Dave Gilmour: guitar effects, Synthi-A, Leslie cabinet
Roger Waters: bass drone
Roger The Hat: voice

"On the Run", originally titled "The Travel Sequence," is a sound collage centered around the themes of paranoia, death, and movement. While the Floyd usually utilized the latest technology to bring life to an idea already floating around in their heads, for this piece, new technology was as much the inspiration as it was the canvas. In late 1972, the group obtained a Synthi-A synthesizer, basically an updated version of the VCS-3. What made this synth so special, however, was the inclusion of a built-in sequencer, allowing the band to program repeatable patterns of notes.

While playing with this new toy, Pink Floyd noticed a certain "mobility" to the sound. This is in fact the same attribute of sequenced sound that allowed the emergence of modern dance music in the late 1970s. Of course, the Synth-A is much more primitive than an 808 or a Groovebox, but the basic sense of movement was still present in the loops laid down by Gilmour. Upon noticing this, Gilmour modified his pattern to accentuate this feeling of movement as much as possible.

This pattern was fitted with the concept of running to catch a plane, using announcements of flight departures that had been laying around Abbey Road. Gilmour used his guitar and the synth to simulate jet engine and plane crashing sounds. Meanwhile, Roger the Hat's stoned comments about death were taken from the "Speak to Me" questionaire session. A great deal of credit should go to Waters for effectively fitting this futuristic track into the album's concept. The Waters/Gilmour songwriting team always works best when Gilmour is handling the technical musicmaking and Waters is in visionary mode.

Tomorrow morning I will leave again. My plan is to go at four in the morning. People are less observant at that time, and you can get away under cover of darkness.

By now I am used to looking over my shoulder wherever I go and always close and lock doors behind me. I miss my old life of being able to walk unhindered without fear, just enjoying my surroundings. But that is all in the past. Now I cower and move quickly from place to place never staying more than a few days.

In my wallet I keep a picture. It's of me, but today I have difficulty believing that it really is. Twenty pounds heavier and a healthy tan, almost handsome. Quite a contrast to what I look like now. Gosh I miss the old days.

The first time I noticed something was wrong I was in a mall doing some shopping, and I slowly started to feel watched in a quite an unusual way. You know how it is when you get the feeling that you have the same people around you whichever shop you go to, but you still don't recognize any faces. Still even the shop assistants look at you in a kind of familiar manner. But what really freaked me out was on the way out. I walked past a security office with the door slightly open, and there I was. On six surveillance monitors from different shops, but all of them following me. It wasn't until afterwards that I realized that the door being open probably wasn't a mistake. As the saying goes, being paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get you.

The TV and film industry are part of a big conspiracy. If you think that somebody will sit outside your house in a car when they try to tail you you're wrong. That is too conspicuous and would probably only be used if they wanted to scare you. OK, maybe that is how they did it a long time ago, but not any more. They don't need to. Modern technology makes it much easier than that, and technology also means that you leave trails everywhere that are easy to track. Even if your life is completely cash based surveillance cameras in the streets with facial recognition algorithms means that it's difficult to go anywhere unnoticed. My response is stolen motorcycles and wearing a helmet.

Maybe I should give up, just let them come and get me. I'm tired of running, but I've been doing it so long I just don't know how to stop. I'm pretty certain they are getting closer and closer. They cannot be so stupid they cannot catch me. I only have one brain and they have god knows how many combined with a technological advantage. Ah, well, I'll just continue. At least this is something I'm good at.

It always smells of damp. No matter where I go it always smells of damp. Sometimes it isn't just a smell. Last week I spent two nights in a room where the mattress was damp. Nothing horrible and smelly, just a slight damp that penetrates your body and makes you freeze to the bone. This room is not that bad, even if the wallpaper hasn't been seen to for some time and the heavy curtains have that horrible green colour that I detest. But it keeps my existence hidden from the outside world and even allows me to have a light on. Sitting in the dark all evening bores me, at least tonight I have the chance to write some of my thoughts down in this notepad. I would like to read, but the only thing remotely resembling literature I could find was a flyer from a fast food place, and you read that quite quickly, not to mention the abysmal literary level. So I have to do something myself. Problem is my pencil is running out, so I can't write for long.

Tomorrow morning I will leave again, my plan is to go at four in the morning. People are less observant at that time, and you can get away under cover of darkness, but still it's not too lng until I have the advantage of daylight. I don't have nightvision goggles so I need daylight to see properly. Besides, the more people are up and about the easier it is to hide.

Did the light just flicker? I have a feeling it did, but it might also be me getting tired. Sometimes I fall asleep sitting or standing when I really need to be on guard. On the other hand I never sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time. You get used to it after a while. No, the light flickered again, and this time it can't be my imagination. Either the bulb is going to blow or my time is up. I hope for the former. I'm not ready to resign to getting caught yet. My only worry right now is that I will not be able to finish what I'm writing.

It is very quiet outside. I don't like it at all. Any little sound makes me edgy. I can feel the hairs on my neck standing up and the adrenaline pumping in my veins. I try not to breathe to quickly, because if my time is up, then neither fight nor flight will be of any use. But my instincts don't agree. I hear a car passing by in the distance, and that fills me with calm. As I said before, the lack of sound


Written for They Hunger For Nodes: An e2 Halloween Scary Story Quest

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