Article written by Lesenthe, re-published from the United Psionics Club, permission granted by Float, UPC administrator.
The first time I actually saw programming was when I was discussing caging with a friend on IRC. He was laughing about having dropped a simple mirror shield over some kids and seeing them jump up and down when they realised they couldn’t get out. We had a chuckle, and I stepped outside for a cigarette, noticing almost immediately that he’d dropped one over me.
Muttering a few choice words for the prankster under my breath, I opened up and took a look at the construct. Sure enough it was a simple mirror shield, designed to reflect anything I threw at it back upon myself. Nothing too fancy, but the fact remained that the shield was too strong for me to bust out of. Or was it? On a whim I switched my vision from the quasi-realism which showed it as a mirror-like cage, and attempted for the first time to look at the programming that made it what it was. Normally I’m not very good at reading programming, so I attempted to see the shape of the programming rather than trying to read its purpose. Immediately it showed up as something else… A rather ghostly outline of the outer shape, with the programming appearing as glowing lines or wires in a repeating pattern throughout the construct.
“Now,” I mused, looking over the pattern, “what do I do with this new-found knowledge?” The answer was pretty simple. Instead of attacking the shield and having the attack rebound, why not attack the programming itself? Take a moment to consider the prospect. Just what is a construct? Generally it’s a lump of energy squeezed into a pretty shape and programmed to do something. Take away the programming and you have… A lump of energy. Ripping out the glimmering filaments of programming, I gave the shield a tap and it shattered in mirror-like fashion. Taking out the programming that made it reflect also removed its strength. To conclude my little tale, I bounced back to the PC in high spirits to confirm that I had, indeed, destroyed the mirror shield. In the spirit of thoroughness I should mention that I left a portion of the shield (external to the mirror itself) standing, which preceded in short order to regenerate the mirror, but that’s rather beside the point.
The applications of this technique are as varied as those of construct building itself. As somebody who usually programs through a tactile method, seeing the program means I can ensure visually that it is sound and runs through the entirety of the construct, rather than being in one central area (which I’ve seen before in other people’s work). A simple construct generally shows a correspondingly simple mesh-type series of lines, while a more complex one can be a dizzyingly elaborate array. It’s an easy way of gauging how well you’ve made your construct, and once you’ve seen how the pattern appears visually you can repeat the pattern over areas that you may have missed, or neaten up any vague or poorly-made areas.
To begin, make a simple construct. In the interest of tradition, I’ll suggest the basic psi-ball shape, with a little programming to make things interesting. You might like to repeat my original experiment and make a simple shield, that way you can bounce things off it to ensure the programming is in place, and then shatter it once the programming has been torn out.
To view the programming simply “look” at the construct mentally and tell your mind what it is you want to see. It’s a simple act of will, no more complex or difficult than deciding to see something energetically rather than physically, or choosing to highlight a specific tether or link amidst a large group. The trick is that of choosing how you wish to perceive the construct with your mental “vision”. Trust your subconscious… It knows better than you how to cover the technicalities. I usually see a black background (in other words, the absence of anything other than what I’m focusing on), with the construct appearing as a rather vague, ghostly shape, and the programming standing out as a series of glowing, intertwined lines. As far as I know the color is subjective… I see it as blue, though there have been notable occasions where the color was different to represent something drastically different about the construct and its programming. For something simple like this you should see a simple pattern of lines.
Look at the programming itself and notice how it’s formed. Is it completely neat and uniform, or are there blank spots? Take some time to see just how good the programming is before grabbing the threads and ripping them out. You’ll find it’s no more difficult than putting the programming in place to begin with, and nothing at all like tackling a shield in the normal fashion. Mentally grasp the wires and yank them out, or dissolve them, or use some other piece of mental trickery that represents their destruction to you. Take another look at your construct and see what happens when you try to bounce things off it.
I’ve always felt the best way to learn is by experimentation. See what happens when you do different things to the programming, such as closing the gaps between the “wires” and making it more dense or taking out only certain parts and leaving others standing. Have fun with it. Play with your own constructs, and then have a friend make one for you to analyse. Experiment with constructs of varying complexity and make note of the differences between your programming and that of others.
Being somewhat of a newbie in this area myself, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the possible applications of this technique. Some simple ones include making the programming more resistant to tampering, making it more efficient, and even making it “invisible”, or at least less obvious than a glowing line.
I hope my little article’s been informative.