Tuesday, October 17, 2006



Those who at dawn come to the city of Aurora are at first struck by her imposing circle of defending walls.

Entering from the Eastern Door they must all walk along a path that borders the internal side of the walls where, in some filthy niches, whores and beggars take their place besides piles of appalling junk. Then the travellers come to a turn to the left, where a large avenue points directly to the centre of Aurora.

All can therefore triumphantly ride through the many districts of Aurora that follow one after the other, starting from the sordid suburbs, towards the houses of the poor people and then to those of the petty bourgeoisie or of the affluent professionals, and finally to the huge mansions of the nobles with their splendid and inaccessible private gardens.

One is almost arrived to the city centre, where in the middle of a big square bordered by fashionable portici, rises the Castle, the seat of power, of unparalleled elegance and of the sponsorship of science.

Just then the traveller is stopped by an interruption: the road is closed, imperative signs order to go left or right. The traveller complies, looks for another entry road for the city centre, passes bridges, gets backs in dirty alleys, even discovers peaceful campiellis with a Venetian vera da pozzo or an ancient tree in the middle. But he cannot find again the road he left.

The sun starts to go down, at first noticed with some surprise: it’s past noon already! Then its descending path is spied with concern, finally with terror or deep bitterness.

No foreigner can stay inside Aurora after sunset under penalty of death.

According to tradition, in all centuries, only one foreigner succeeded in entering the Castle: a monk from the desert.

But that can’t be possibly true since we are told that he made all the journey on his knees.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006



When I read on the Corriere della Sera that a student was found dead in the undescript area near the Taverna of Via Morigi, at first I thought I didn’t read well. But the article was clear and quite analytically described the state of the corpse, that showed unspeakable and unexplainable signs. The inner organs had exploded from within and the organic matter that flowed out had crystallized regularly in a plurality of hyper-cubical concretions.

My mind raced back to the day before when by chance I met A. in Politecnico of Milano undergrounds, under the Nave building. I was there to substitute a few video cards in some secret servers, that had been assembled since time immemorial by a student cabal and illegally used to host the virtual world of MidLand, the colossal role playing game set in Milano about which nobody ever speaks openly.

Subtly A. caught my interest. He revealed that on that same evening, in the big medieval hall of the Palazzo della Ragione in Piazza Mercanti, it would have been possible to find a group of Tibetan monks united in a meditation circle. Just for that night the monks would have revealed a powerful mantra that would have allowed to the few that logged in that moment and in that place to rise to a more advanced level of the game, the one that simulated the bigae races in the Roman circus of via Cappuccio and via Circo.

I now know that A. was a master of that subtle art that consists in exacerbating the mental tension that connects the real and the virtual and in titillating the vanity of those who adopt the virtual to counterbalance the desert of the real.

I fell in his trap and I inadvertently confessed that I had recently bought from another player (and that had cost me almost a month’s salary in addition to the huge risk that one runs in meeting in the real world another player of MidLand) a virtual sabre, descended from some superior level of the game and the possession of which gave me dominance on players at my level.

It was then that A. said something that at the time I didn’t understand: “A stolen good’s purchase. If you really wanted to cheat, you had better buy an armour”.

For a long time I had heard stories about the supreme level MidLand, the one in which the real Illuminati acted from MidLand towards Milano, modifying the latter or its people in ways so subtle and unthinkable to be imperceptible, but that were applied continuously, inexorably, with the haunting precision of the computers and whose cumulated effects could suddenly provoke a fire in a park, or a subway power failure or even panic in the Cathedral.

The Corriere della Sera printed also a photo of the corpse from which I could identify the guy who sold me the virtual sabre.

Game Over.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


The Giant

I was at “La Belle Aurore” pub in Milan when I suddenly overheard some people say that a giant was found drowned in the Naviglio Pavese, near the crumbled guardrail of Via Imperia. For a short moment I had the impression of standing on the deck of a ship and I had to cling myself to the bar to avoid falling down while my heart was pounding as hell.

I rushed to the spot, through the city immersed in a dark night, but when I finally got there, there was nothing to see. Police kept people away, the area was closed, and some passer-bys, gave uncertain and muddled answers. A drunken one had even the gall of speaking of a shored whale.

I made long enquiries, but as it often happens in such cases, neither the newspapers, nor the TV gave the news, except for some that liked to print something about metropolitan legends, just to make fool of crackpots.

Finally, I found some very bad quality photos in a web site dedicated to the mysteries of Milan and of Lombardy.

The torso, huge and ashen white, of the giant was barely distinguishable, while the lower part of the body was not anymore. The face was horribly disfigured, eaten by rats, and the right arm sported an enormous hand that reminded me of the colossal statues of the last Roman emperors.

The web site did not say what it was apparent to the few in the world that have knowledge of these things. Notwithstanding the devastation I was looking at, I could sense that the giant’s face had always been free of wrinkles, like a small baby’s one.

Quite differently, the web site alleged that an autopsy was secretly performed by the authorities on his lamentable remains from which it resulted that the colossus had no stomach and no intestine.

Had I the strength to come out I could confirm that that was the only correct thing that was said about him.

He was an eminently spiritual creature and when I forgot to think about him, he died.

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