Page 1

Kama
Lot
V
 
 Lanz
watched
the
images
flicker
across
the
viziscreen.
Light
from
the
screen
 threw
shadows
onto
the
grey
walls
of
the
small
room.
The
image
of
a
field
 painted
the
bare
walls
gold,
then
dissolved
into
the
pinks
and
steely
blues
of
a
 cityscape.
White
lilies
filled
the
frame
for
a
moment,
heads
bobbing,
enveloping
 Lanz
in
the
screen’s
ghostly
white
aura,
before
parting
to
reveal
an
island,
 surrounded
by
a
river
of
fast
flowing
water,
where
trees
with
slender
white
 limbs
quivered
under
a
glass
bio‐dome.

 The
trees
reminded
Lanz
of
something.
Of
a
time
Before.
When
he
had
 seen
a
picture
of
trees
like
that
in
a
Book.
He
had
turned
the
pages
with
an
awed
 delicacy,
afraid
that
they
might
turn
to
dust
at
his
touch.

 The
images
on
the
viziscreen
bathe
him
in
a
dancing
web
of
colour,
 drawing
his
thoughts
away
along
a
winding
road
down
to
the
city
where
red‐ coated
workers
and
foot
soldiers
are
walking.
Priestesses
ride
past
two
by
two.
A
 silent
funeral
marches
past.
A
couple
walk,
hand
in
hand,
beneath
the
glow
of
the
 two
moons
of
Kama
Lot
V.

 As
he
watches
the
screen,
all
the
while
Lanz’s
hands
move
mechanically.
 They
repeat
a
set
of
actions
that
he
has
been
performing
for
so
long
he
is
no
 longer
aware
of
them.
The
two
moons
fade.
A
searing
white
light
blazes
onto
the
 screen,
radiating
with
an
intensity
that
ricochets
off
every
surface.
All
four
grey
 walls
vibrate
with
her
presence:
The
High
Priestess
Charlotte.

 Lanz’s
hands
cease
their
routine.
In
three
quick
strides
he
is
at
the
door.
 He
flings
it
open.
Light
bursts
into
the
room.
Static
buzzes
on
the
viziscreen.
He
 staggers
forward,
bangs
into
something
hard.
He
looks
around.
There
are
no
 lilies,
no
trees,
no
river.
The
white
light
is
fading.
Lanz
clutches
his
head.
He
is
in
 a
small
room
with
four
grey
walls.
In
the
centre
of
the
room
is
a
viziscreen.
Lanz
 walks
around
to
other
side
of
the
screen.
Standing
there,
transfixed
by
the
 screen,
is
a
figure.
Reflected
images
dance
on
his
face.
It
is
Lanz’s
face.
Static
 pulses
through
his
head.
 Lanz

stumbles
forward
to
the
door.
He
opens
it:
four
grey
walls,
a
 viziscreen,
a
figure.
And
another,
and
another.
Every
door
opens
onto
another
 cubicle
of
four
grey
walls,
where
Lanz’s
doppelgangers
stare,
hypnotised
by
the



webs
of
colour
woven
by
the
viziscreens
as
they
wordlessly
execute
the
same
 mechanical
movements.
Unseeingly,
their
fingers
assemble
parts
that
are
 transported
along
conveyor
belts
beneath
the
viziscreens.
 The
static
in
his
head
is
unbearable,
his
vision
is
pixelating
into
black
and
 white.
The
rooms
concertina
in
front
of
him,
endlessly
repeating.

And
then,
he
 opens
another
door.
The
loud
rush
of
water.
White
lilies;
heads
bobbing.
And
 trees;
white,
slender,
quivering.
Lanz
glimpses
a
bright
flash
of
white
between
 the
trees.
He
tries
to
walk
toward
her.
But
the
static’s
getting
louder,
it
mixes
 with
the
shout
of
the
river.
He
stumbles,
falls.
The
river
is
deafening,
it
immerses
 him.

 As
the
river
bears
him
away
toward
Kama
Lot
V,
odd
fragments
memory
 surface.
Snatches
of
long‐ago
and
far‐off
songs.
Songs
from
Before.
Images
from
 the
viziscreen
dance
before
his
eyes.
And
images
of
a
sometime
other
and
 sometime
else.
White
trees,
a
Book.
And
then
the
light
in
his
eyes
goes
out.

 Lanz’s
body
gleams
in
the
dusk
as
he
floats
silently
into
Kama
Lot
V.
He
passes
 between
the
high
houses
of
the
city.
Red‐coated
workers,
foot
soldiers
and
 priestesses
whisper
on
the
streets
as
he
passes
by.

 ‘Who
is
this?
And
what
is
here?’

 As
he
passes
the
chamber
of
the
High
Priestess
Charlotte,
static
pierces
the
air.
 The
High
Priestess
looks
down
at
him,
pale
and
slender
in
the
moonlight.

 ‘Not
a
bad
face,’
she
says.
‘For
a
drone.’

 She
turns
to
her
companion.

 ‘What
is
it
with
these
Lanz
drones,?
Must
be
some
sort
of
a
design
fault,
 that’s
the
second
one
this
week
that’s
tried
to
leave
the
Tower.
Why
can’
t
they
 be
content
to
work
and
watch
the
viziscreen
like
they’re
programmed
to?’
 


Kama Lot V  

If Lord Alfred Tennyson had been a sci-fi writer, The Lady of Shalott might go something like this...

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