Postcards from Ix

Tonight, something a bit different!

A galactic tourist sent these by an unknown means to my camera. I thought I was taking night shots of the lights on Roberts Bank from the Tsawwassen Ferry parking lot, but after some translation, I discovered I had been sent e-postcards from space!

Somewhere among the sea of stars, glowing on its shores, there is a city in space. Renowned for being the heart of the civilization of the great Zxapsulllati, a race of enlightened beings — literally enlightened, for they are made of light — it drifts in the space between suns like a vast cruise ship, tethered to a minimal amount of matter in the form of a cloud of asteroids linked by tractor beams.

Somewhere among the sea of stars, glowing on its shores, there is a city in space. Renowned for being the heart of the civilization of the great Zxapsulllati, a race of enlightened beings — literally enlightened, for they are made of light — it drifts in the space between suns like a vast cruise ship, tethered to a minimal amount of matter in the form of a cloud of asteroids linked by tractor beams.

The city is called Ix, after the wisest Zxapsulllat of all, the founder of the city, who was named Ix. Ix wasn't happy about having the city named for ixself, feeling that it was vanity; but since Ix had fission-incarnated on, ixself couldn't say a lot about it in a coherent manner.

The city is called Ix, after the wisest Zxapsulllat of all, the founder of the city, who was named Ix. Ix wasn’t happy about having the city named for ixself, feeling that it was vanity; but since Ix had fission-incarnated on, ixself couldn’t say a lot about it in a coherent manner.

The great palace at the heart of Ix, Saphachza, is a shining latticework of light, made of the purest laser beams generated by the sessile Umphra beasts, who when placed by the engineers in a congenial and properly oriented situation, weave their polarized beams into a structure that most races of the multiverse find aesthetically pleasing in the extreme.

The great palace at the heart of Ix, Saphachza, is a shining latticework of light, made of the purest laser beams generated by the sessile Umphra beasts, who when placed by the engineers in a congenial and properly oriented situation, weave their polarized beams into a structure that most races of the multiverse find aesthetically pleasing in the extreme.

Seen from afar when an arm of the nearby nebula passed before it, Saphachza looks like the treasure of the galaxy — as indeed it is.

Seen from afar when an arm of the nearby nebula passed before it, Saphachza looks like the treasure of the galaxy — as indeed it is.

To the Zxapsulllati themselves, their city appears rather like this.

To the Zxapsulllati themselves, their city appears rather like this.

The Zxapsulllati in procession during a holiday to honour their future incarnations. Zxapsulllati reproduce by fusion of one or more individuals, followed by fission, the new individuals being assigned qualities of their progenitors by consensus while in the fusion state.

The Zxapsulllati in procession during a holiday to honour their future incarnations. Zxapsulllati reproduce by fusion of one or more individuals, followed by fission, the new individuals being assigned qualities of their progenitors by consensus while in the fusion state.

A park in Ix. The upright objects are a species of light-beast called Llaphswix. When stroked, they make a weaving of light-tones perceived by the Zxapsulllati as soothing.

A park in Ix. The upright objects are a species of light-beast called Llaphswix. When stroked, they make a weaving of light-tones perceived by the Zxapsulllati as soothing.

A Zxapsulllati light-painting of the humbler sections of the city. These are not inhabited by the poor, but by those who have achieved such an elevated state of wisdom that they prefer to live in simple huts with no more than three or four Umphra beasts to maintain the structure.

A Zxapsulllati light-painting of the humbler sections of the city. These are not inhabited by the poor, but by those who have achieved such an elevated state of wisdom that they prefer to live in simple huts with no more than three or four Umphra beasts to maintain the structure.

The same area of the city as seen in the previous shot, as perceived by carbon based entities with AMB351-type vision.

The same area of the city as seen in the previous shot, as perceived by carbon based entities with AMB351-type vision.

A section of Ix devoted to the pursuit of knowledge of the connections between all things, as perceived by silicon-based entities of the type NOM536.

A section of Ix devoted to the pursuit of knowledge of the connections between all things, as perceived by silicon-based entities of the type NOM536.

The Zxapsulllati are a graceful race, and enjoy movement for its own sake. A synchronized dance of several fission-families of related individuals expresses their emotions of cooperation and continuity.

The Zxapsulllati are a graceful race, and enjoy movement for its own sake. A synchronized dance of several fission-families of related individuals expresses their emotions of cooperation and continuity.

Zxapsulllati, being vacuum-dwellers, do not perceive sound waves, but can translate vibrations of the physical environment into a kind of music. Here, a Zxapsulllati orchestra interprets the rhythm of seismic activity on a nearby moon.

Zxapsulllati, being vacuum-dwellers, do not perceive sound waves, but can translate vibrations of the physical environment into a kind of music. Here, a Zxapsulllati orchestra interprets the rhythm of seismic activity on a nearby moon.

Zxapsulllati, descending a staircase of light. The ways through the city are delineated by psychic markers, to keep travel orderly. Because the Zxapsulllati are able to travel in several dimensions at once, the markers were set to avoid chaos that could cause collisions between individuals, and thus fusions with unintended mates. No one wants to progress to the next fission-incarnation before one's projects in the present are done!

Zxapsulllati, descending a staircase of light. The ways through the city are delineated by psychic markers, to keep travel orderly. Because the Zxapsulllati are able to travel in several dimensions at once, the markers were set to avoid chaos that could cause collisions between individuals, and thus fusions with unintended mates. No one wants to progress to the next fission-incarnation before one’s projects in the present are done!

A candid shot of Zxapsulllati passers-by, in the blue-light section of town. Filled with pleasure-domes catering to all the races of the multiverse, with delights designed to relax beings from less enlightened cultures and thus lead them to enlightenment, the Zxapsulllati often waft through as part of their own quest to grok the ways of other entities.

A candid shot of Zxapsulllati passers-by, in the blue-light section of town. Filled with pleasure-domes catering to all the races of the multiverse, with delights designed to relax beings from less enlightened cultures and thus lead them to enlightenment, the Zxapsulllati often waft through as part of their own quest to grok the ways of other entities.

A festival honouring the return of a party of Zxapsulllati who had gone in search of a lost race of light-entities eons before. Here we see their triumphant processional (top of picture), having met, merged, and formed a new culture with the objects of their search.

A festival honouring the return of a party of Zxapsulllati who had gone in search of a lost race of light-entities eons before. Here we see their triumphant processional (top of picture), having met, merged, and formed a new culture with the objects of their search.

Zxapsulllati in meditation postures. They anchor themselves to one of the Umphra's laser beams and retreat into pure lightness of being, emerging refreshed after ah hour or a millenium.

Zxapsulllati in meditation postures. They anchor themselves to one of the Umphra’s laser beams and retreat into pure lightness of being, emerging refreshed after ah hour or a millenium.

A view of the spaceport docking facility. In the lower centre you can see the Zxapsulllati whose joy it is to receive new visitors. The form they assume resembles small winged creatures from many different worlds, because they have found that this gives most visitors a feeling of welcome. If they meet someone who, for instance, views winged lifeforms as food, they quickly change into something less likely to cause misunderstandings.A view of the spaceport docking facility. In the lower centre you can see the Zxapsulllati whose joy it is to receive new visitors. The form they assume resembles small winged creatures from many different worlds, because they have found that this gives most visitors a feeling of welcome. If they meet someone who, for instance, views winged lifeforms as food, they quickly change into something less likely to cause misunderstandings.

A view of the spaceport docking facility. In the lower centre you can see the Zxapsulllati whose joy it is to receive new visitors. The form they assume resembles small winged creatures from many different worlds, because they have found that this gives most visitors a feeling of welcome. If they meet someone who, for instance, views winged lifeforms as food, they quickly change into something less likely to cause misunderstandings.

 

“OK, what is this, really”, you ask? I see that the jig is up; I shall divulge my secrets. These were some experimental photos I took with my little Canon A700. I knew I wasn’t going to get very good shots at night, but the lights were pretty, so I went ahead and tried some anyway. I wanted to try playing with them in iPhoto, which was my first foray into digital manipulation. I had just discovered that you could get some really weird effects by playing with the histogram and the colour sliders, and I had a ball just playing with those until these images emerged.

I thought I had posted them on my Facebook Artist Page (go have a look and make me happy by hitting the like button!), but I had only posted them for friends! So this is the public debut of this little sorta-story, which I’d someday like to print as an actual postcard series.

I'd love to know — what do you think about this?

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