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  • Writer's pictureJason Rodi

KINO & The Invisible Territories | BOOK 1 - Exodus

Updated: 22 hours ago

I have been exploring the Invisible Territories through the recesses of my mind ever since that night in the desert. Much like it happened to KINO, I was inundated with its vision all at once. I could not tell one thing from the other, like a puzzle with half the pieces scattered through my subconscious, accessible only through the signs that the universe might bring my way. One of those pieces stands apart from the rest, out of sequence, without its proper place. I've eventually come to place it nor at the beginning, the middle or the end, but instead above it all, somehow. Picture an old man, his thoughts flickering like the dying embers of a once roaring fire. He lies on a bed, gazing through a window, his eyes barely ajar. His daughter keeps vigil by his side, telling him stories of the world that lies beyond the windowpane. He utters the name: “KINO”. She knows this, aware that it may be the final time she shares the tale with him. And so, she embarks upon the story once more, as she has done countless times before.

Once upon a time, there lived a boy alone in the desert, and his name was KINO. Bereft of screens, or even books, he existed outside the confines of time. His dreams were ignited only by the sight of the stars. KINO would gaze upon their splendour and envision worlds beyond his own, their infinite possibilities stretching out before him.

At times, a lizard would scuttle by, or a bird's shadow would flit across his path. These fleeting encounters would awake a yearning in him, he could not know what for except perhaps for another like him, alone like him, out of time. Gazing across the desert he conjured a vision of someone, or something, a presence that would complete him. This vision grew so vivid that he came to perceive Her essence in all things — the sand, the wind, the light. Feel her in the grains beneath his feet, caress her in the breeze, and hear her voice among the stars.

And so the song began, deep within himself, like a vibration that would soon take over all things, until he couldn't deny it anymore. Until that fateful night when he followed it out and further still into the desert, beyond himself, beyond the night. Until he would find it, the source of the sound of the music and the light of the stars: a city of every dancing color so bright that it seemed to light the entire sky. There, the source and promise of all of KINO's dreams shinning there for him. And so he advanced in reverence as to not wake himself in case he were sleeping. Let it be true, he prayed, let this not be a dream. As he ventured closer, the vibration of the music became ever more tangible, manifesting into infinite pulsating hues beckoning him forward still, ever nearer until the light lay within his grasp, tangible and true. Endless vibrations of chromatic light forms, weaving every musical note into a singular, harmonious, celestial sound defined by an endless wall.

KINO raised his hand and made contact.

…. … .. .

The moment his fingertips grazed the surface, it enveloped him completely. He felt neither the sensation of falling forward nor backward — instead, the world seemed to surge ahead, racing from behind him at a pace beyond comprehension. A deluge of thoughts and ideas rushed forth, shapes morphing into symbols, symbols blending into shapes, converging and unfurling in a dazzling cacophonic symphony.

For KINO, all of existence resonated in a single, resounding tone, and he could not begin to acclimate to the maelstrom. He was in the throws of all of existence at once, his senses flooded with all there ever was. In this he forgot himself instantly, forgot he ever existed. He was in the deepest of slumbers, in that liminal space between worlds. It is from that place that he infiltrated us. We all had the dream, even if most didn't remember it, everyone was visited by the ghost of KINO that night, everyone of us became him in that instant, that moment he made contact. Only 7 would remember it, but everyone was infected by the idea, and somewhere in the recesses of their souls, that purity of imagination was laid.

Now, who were those 7 archangels that would come to manifest the physical appearance of KINO, and how do they come to that fateful moment? That is the very subject of this first of three books in the saga of KINO & The Invisible Territories. Why these seven and what are the Territories? To understand that, you have to become him too, the way he became the Territories. The best way I have of picturing it for myself is as a ghost lost in an inescapable city maze. At first he is a lost thought, something forgotten. But then there's a feeling, a semblance of an idea that gives you a sense that maybe you forgot something, or better yet, that you had a great idea and its just gone. And in that feeling, instead of frustration, you find a sort of exaltation, as if it hides a new source of power, a new kind of life. So you stay with the feeling, and you let it grow in time, and time goes so long that the feeling becomes a part of you, of who you are, and it makes you beautiful. So its in that feeling, in those 7 archangels specifically, that grew separately in each of them, all enough for KINO to begin to manifest as a kind of roaming consciousness, a ghost. No one could see him, or hear him, but sometimes he was there for those 7, through their eyes sometimes, like the eyes of God peering through. A consciousness, aware of himself, gradually more. Did he ever have a body of his own before, if there ever was a before? Time too, like space, was very fluid then. KINO existed across all of time and space at first, but that was like not existing at all. It was through the collective imagination of seven complete strangers that KINO began. And though he didn't have eyes of his own through which to see, he would come to see through the Seven. So, the story unfolds. First with LUX, then LOK, JAN, SOL, ASH, KRI, and EKO. First with LUX, as he was the first to come to me too. An old man pushing a cart down the street with radios and antennas all over it, trying to catch forgotten signals of a bygone era, mumble melodically to himself. Hide in plain sight, he thought. Though more often he was trying to see the invisible, hear the silence behind the noise, to forget the world around him and see, alas, the truth. The truth, he'd fought so hard for, for himself. He'd given everything to find it, all that he ever was, given away his mind in endless chemical experimentation upon his own brain in the quest to find the way out. That's right! He'd seen it, calculated it through each way round and again to the point that he could deny it no further. There was a world beyond these Territories, beyond the masks we all wear. We'd forgotten we were even wearing one, where we'd come to confuse our masks for who we are. But LUX remembered it and he would never forget it. There was a time when we saw the world for what it was. A time before everything had become a projection, a reflection, an hallucination augmented by the collective mind. LUX wanted his own mind back! He wanted out, to wake up from the dream, and he'd shaped molecules every which way, often including what might be read as mystical considerations, within the formulas. In this way he had fried his mind many times over, and yet was still just as resolute as ever to discover what lied beyond the Territories, beyond the Masks.

Hence, that day, late in his life, LUX would be out collecting relics, along the reaches, connecting incompatible signals in search of clues hiding in the noise. And as the wind seemed to blow by, and a special light reflected from nowhere, he heard it in the signal. It was faint but he had heard it. He repeated it to himself, as if to make it real. "KINO." It sounded right. Why did it matter so? KINO? He repeated it. This was important. The more he said it the more it made sense. In his mind at first, but then the signal would echo it, so he pushed his cart closer to an old antennae and held the wire up to the rod that shot up from the radio, and with his other hand he gently stroked the metal and listened to the sound modulate. Gently he felt his presence come through him like a kind of bliss. He saw him even, perhaps in the floating light, and the words came to him as truth : I AM. He didn't see himself, and he didn't see KINO, he saw in those two words, I AM, everything between LUX from KINO, everything that connects them. He saw God like a mirror reflecting its light upon him. He was young again, though he may not have looked it, he was entirely energized and renewed. He pushed his cart back to his lab with a veracity he may have never felt. It was upon him now. He had finally become who he was always meant to be.


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