Language of the Chaldeans (Prologue)
So the king summoned the Chaldeans to tell him what he had dreamed:
“I dreamed a dream that troubles me. I wish to know it’s meaning”
The Chaldeans answered him in their mystical tongue:
“O King, live for ever! Tell your servants the dream and we will interpret it.”
But the King replied them:
“This is what I have firmly decided—
If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. But if you tell me my dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards with great honour.”
Once more the Chaldeans implored the king:
“Let the king tell his servants the dream and we will interpret it.”
“I am certain that you are trying to gain time,” said the king “you have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then tell me the dream, so that I know you can interpret it for me. If you do not reveal it to me, there is only one penalty for you—”
The Chaldeans answered the king:
“There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, no matter how great or mighty has ever asked such a thing of any astrologer or enchanter or magician. What the king asks is to difficult, no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live amongst men.”
New York, November 1999
The memory itself taking on the strange contours of a dream—
A bright shadowy November afternoon in Columbus Circle. Heading underground for the trains, I am arrested by the impulse to call—my mother? Out with the cell phone, click on address book, scan personal directory till the heading “Mom” creeps up… press “SEND”…
Something is not quite right and feels different—an unfamiliar string of digits click away at unnatural length. My heart knows to race unevenly as an unending modem style hissing and clicking begins—all terribly wrong. Sharp panic: is this my cell phone? Is this the right number? Is this my mother?
On screen the legend NOMAD appears in alien logo script. The heart beats at an uncommon pace: the mind enters quantum territories. This is what I perceive:
In outer space, high up in the stratosphere an intricate weapons systems unhatches a spidery array of satellites—aligning themselves in deathly formations towards the target— New York.
Here on earth, in the split seconds of activation, the Red Alert is blaring. We all hit the ground. Army tanks materialize out of nowhere, military personnel cover the area. I am afraid that they will hone in on my signal—I try to switch it off, jam the signal—anything. I remove the batteries and suddenly it’s over: the alarm ceases, the military pulls out and every one gets up—emotionally shattered but relieved. On a PA system somewhere, someone is announcing that it has been a false alarm. Some sort of mistake had tipped off the alert systems. Everything is okay, everyone can go about their business now. My instinct tells me NO!!! They might still be searching for the source of the signal. Have to get rid of the cell phone.
I run into the subway station, I’m almost sure the soldiers tense as I pass them by—have to get rid of this cell phone. Two commandos are walking in my direction. I’m not paranoid, they are watching me— perhaps I am acting a little suspiciously. Maybe not, three, no four of them closing in. Where is my metro card? There isn’t any time, the train is coming… Without thinking I walk through the turnstiles. When I say I walked through the turnstile, I mean this: literally my body passes through steel fixtures. I did it without thinking and something else happened in that instant. The Commandos have completely surrounded me now, they have honed in on the source of the signal. Except they will find nothing: when I passed through the turnstile the cell phone disappeared into my body.
Language of the Chaldeans ©2004, 2013 onomé ekeh