During a bucket-list excursion to the majestic New York Public Library main branch, I found, quite by chance, the artifact: a holographic data cube of iridescent material with odd and deliberate markings. The artifact seemed casually slipped in the stacks, collapsed between the pages of a lonely mis-shelved and un-catalogued book of prose poetry. Admittedly, I am no technologist; in fact, I am behind the curve in all things digital. The cube was far beyond my personal ability to decipher, so I assembled a crew with the skills requisite: a moonlighter from a government cryptology lab, a retired physicist from CERN (a family friend), and a forensic linguist, to name a few.
Thus began a search for what was recorded inside and its meaning. The story that followed is a reconstitution of the data extracted from the artifact.
The narrative unfolded initially as a note of thanks from some unknown future; gratefulness for a teen girl’s contribution to the mending of the world. So profound was the message that an eccentric personality of Silicon Valley fame fueled my team’s continued efforts with an R&D grant.
Over 18 months of teasing the data from the quantum realm, the team extracted as much remaining text as possible, given the artifact’s ephemeral construct. What resulted was the tale of a young girl’s remarkable odyssey, and the story of her fall through the nightmare looking glass of our shared destiny.
Some material was degraded during the process of conversion (“lossy” as the computer geeks say). The research team and I would like the reader to know that we made every effort to restore the narrative to its original meaning. A few creative liberties were taken in assembling the narrative, and I beg the reader’s forgiveness.
Due to the nature of the data extraction and interpolation, the story features experimental elements. Irrespective of the narrative’s factual and technical genesis, BAMBOO is presented as fiction.
I would like to thank the scientists, linguists, and others who have contributed to the restoration of the text. Their names and university or government affiliations have been withheld by request, given the politics of the moment, and in consideration for the safety of their friends and family.
Clark Hilton, Los Angeles