Moon Bounce.

photo by Trevor Paglen

photo by Trevor Paglen

04 OCT 17

By the time you read this I may no longer be alive. And if I am, let’s pretend like I’m not. It is 2224 on the 3rd of May. You know the year. I won’t tell you where I am. I have to get this down quick. 

There’s a station, out in the woods. For spooks. It glows yellow, ever so slightly, like the eye of a wolf. When you see it, you know you’re about to die. 

It’s well hidden, mind you. Easy to miss; not on any map of course, no satellite imagery of that place. Everything is filtered. I spotted it on a hunt once, pure chance. Sitting up at the top of the ridge. I saw its shadow in the lighting, and then I couldn’t miss it. You’ll never forget the soft glow, warm, comforting; the last ember in the fire.

I camped in the same spot for days, almost ran out of provisions. Just sitting in a blind, binoculars to my eyes, staring into nothing. Trying to convince myself I’m crazy, but I know I’m not.

In the day it disappears. Don’t ask me how. I don’t know. Aside from thunderstorms, you can only see in by the light of a full moon, and even then, not all of them. It has to be an especially big moon.

First thing you see is the dish. Great big satellite dish, biggest one I’ve ever seen. Must be at least as big as a football field. It’s on a massive curved rail that can position it almost anywhere in 3D space. It can tilt, roll, slide — you name it. If you’re in those woods, and you hear a deep, low roar, like something ancient waking from a sleep, that’s the sound of the rotors turning, bringing the beast to life.

In actuality, you can only see it at night, because it’s only alive at night. It tracks the moon. Unofficially, it’s there to intercept spy communications bounced off the lunar surface. What a load of shit. 

It tracks the moon, as soon as it peeks over the horizon, until it dips back once again. On full moons and new moons it’s at it’s most powerful; the rusted chains slip from their gears and the stars are pulled from their orbit. The prison moon spins ever on. For a while, I pondered if maybe the moon followed the dish, not the other way around. 

I know what it does, but I don’t know why. I won’t live long enough to find out. Maybe they’re communicating with someone - or something - up there. Maybe it’s a weather device to control the tides and rain. Maybe it’s a weapon, waiting like a mountain lion on the prowl. Maybe they’ll bring the damned thing down. I don’t know. I don’t know I want to. 

But this and this alone is fact. The storms are getting worse, more frequent. The thunder cracks out for minutes on end. Something is changing, some roar from the deep. The moon is getting bigger, brighter, more full. I think they’re waking it. And when the great one stirs, dawn shall never rise.


On Validation.

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