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Frequency Puppets

Many rural cultures have lived with the fear of famine for so long and so closely that the very concept takes on an existence of its own. Medieval France had the Ankou, the skull demon of plague and starvation; the Remote have the Frequency Puppets.

No records exist as to the origin of this unpleasant phenomena. One apocryphal account draws attention to the old test signals used during transmission faults or transmitter shut-downs. These generally took the form of simple, brightly coloured images, sometimes pictures from old books or children's toys. Such images became part of common culture (and mass unconscious) by the hypnotic quality which they engendered and the prayer-wheel like testing patterns which accompanied them.

In the culture of the Remote, an absence of signal or transmitter breakdown would be like the loss of a sense and the sublimated fear of ever having to see a test pattern has developed into the legend of the Frequency Puppets. Something glimpsed only late at night, dreadful hopping creatures which sing with an eternal whining song. Stories abound of those found dead, their receivers tuned to dead stations and static, pointing in horror at nothing. There is little documentary evidence, save the case of Oblivious Friend, a code worker found insane clutching a matchbox which only contained a stick of chalk, of a kind unknown to science.

The story is given little official attention by any side; it is worth remembering, however, that legends and ghost stories are the very currency of the War. And that the Great Houses really dislike the Remote.

dronid/book/articles/frequency_puppets.txt · Last modified: 2008/02/04 16:10 (external edit)