A short story,
ood ladies and gentlemen of creativity, curiosity, and (crap… I’m out of “c” words), cacodemonomania- and might I say good luck with that – I now present to you, without further commercial interruption, the conclusion of,
“And so he ran…”
A blinding sunburst of pain erupted from his elbow as the Droid-shark sank its generous rows of fresh teeth into his all too yielding flesh. Having not been adequately prepared for the sheer stunning immensity of agony that fell on him in this instant, George became surprised to such a degree that he simply forgot where he was. In his fragile, half conscious, already oxygen deprived state of mind he yielded to his terra-dwelling instincts and reacted in an exceptionally normal way for a creature that resides on land: he attempted to suck a sharp intake of oxygen into his lungs.
Now mind you that this, under any normal circumstance, would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do (being that above land, where he was quite accustom to existing, there is a copious and voluminous quantity of the stuff for which to draw into your lungs whenever it may please you), however when you are underwater this action is phenomenally inadvisable.
Man is not a fish…
Fish have gills…
So because of this small bit of trivia which had fled Georges mind at quite possibly the most inopportune moment that anyone can conceive of, his body reacted to the water inside it (which had no place being there to begin with), in another perfectly reasonable way – had he been on land – it began to chough.
Consciousness quickly became a transient thing. Distantly George thought that he still sensed the layers of incisors sawing back and forth along the knob of bone that made up his elbow, and from across the sea he still heard the soft sound that the scraping teeth were making along the joint (which reminded of his classroom days – when people still went to school that is – and his peers would all run their nails along a chalkboard for its horrifically entertaining pitch), but even though these things seemed real, present, and happening to him, another reality had presented itself just beyond a freshly opened new horizon.
As Georges mind slipped away into nothingness, a bright white light opened up above, and with a meager bit of attention on his part towards the thing, George quickly discovered two distinct and separate states of being that he could inhabit. In one: he was being thrashed about by a shark that was dragging him to the surface of the bay – and twisting its torso in a pretty eager attempt to separate his arm from his shoulder – but in the other: he was being warmed to the core with a soothing, calming, radiant white light, he was listening to the sound of classical music, and the feeling in his phantom limbs had been restored.
Idly he flipped back and forth between the two. It reminded him of channel-surfing on the Holovision.
Channel 5 – pain…
Channel 72 – pleasure…
He wondered how long it would be until someone took his remote away on grounds of abuse
After mucking about with the very fabric of existence for a good bit (and actually finding himself rather bored with it, and wishing that there was something else on), George figured that it was high time he’d made his choice, and with pain being weighed against pleasure, there really wasn’t much of a choice to be made.
George welcomed in the light…
He felt his arm again…
His lungs tasted air…
He felt his hand again…
His feet hit feet hit the ground…
His mind was present…
His body was whole…
He peered intensely into the light…
“Why isn’t it working”
“I’m not sure sir”
“Are you operating on the proper frequency?”
“Yes sir I am”
“Well if you were on the right frequency I’m relatively certain that it would be working.”
“I’m sorry sir”
“You’re always sorry”
“Well I am”
“Perhaps he is not in possession of a cerebral implant.”
“They all have the cerebral implants, you’re just working on the wrong frequency, get out of my way, I’ll do it”
“Is he reacting?”
“No sir not at all.”
“Well I’ve still got a heartbeat over here, so he’s alive at least”
“It would seem that something is happening”
“I told you that you were on the wrong frequency.”
“He’s not entered the interrogation reality sir”
“Than what’s going on?”
“His biorhythm and brainwave activity seemed to have spiked all of the sudden”
“He’s waking up?”
“It would seem so”
“Hey?.. Hey you, can you hear me… Any luck on finding out this guy’s name?”
“No sir, there seems to be no record of him on file.”
“Well check again.”
“Sir, I’ve checked both the new, and the old internet two hundred times apiece in the past ten seconds, there is no record”
“Sir, I earnestly believe that he doesn’t have a brain chip”
“What do you want to bet that he’s got a brain chip under that primitive skull of his?”
“3!?… 3 what?”
“I don’t know, I hadn’t thought about it”
“He’s got a brain chip”
“He hasn’t, I can tell”
“He’s got one”
“Sir – I didn’t say that”
“Hey buddy, you awake?”
“Am I dead?”
“He’s awake sir.”
“Thank you I could tell”
“Who are you two?”
“They always want to know who we are”
“Who we are is not important”
“Are you God?”
“If I said yes could we move on?”
“Sure, I suppose”
“Indeed. Now, I need you to answer a very important question.”
“Do you have a brain chip? And be honest, there’s “3″ riding on it”
“Oh… “3″ what?”
“Does it matter?”
“Well, no I guess it doesn’t. Did you say you were God?”
“I thought we were moving on past that?”
“We were. But, well it’s just… I wouldn’t expect God to bet.”
“Well we swear and drink too up here so get used to it…”
“Oh, right, no i haven’t got a brain chip.”
“I told you”
“Oh shut up”
“You owe me “3″ “
“Fine whatever, kill the light.”
All at once the blinding white light that had up until this point been filling Georges perspective neatly washed away, and he was finally allowed to gaze at heaven. Evidently it looked very much like the back seat of a flying car. No ordinary flying car mind you, as that would not be suitable for heaven, but nevertheless, despite the plush purple padded cloth seats, and the highly polished light brown leather trim, the space that George currently found himself in looked very similar, if not altogether identical, to the backseat of a flying car.
Out the window to his right a great blue flame surged out of a sturdy conical turbine, wherein little pixie-like bursts of what could only be described as miniature fireworks exploded, and set as the backdrop to it all, beyond the window of heaven directly to Georges right, was the vast all-encompassing vista of space.
“This isn’t heaven, is it?” George asked dejectedly
“No” offered a voice from the front right seat ahead of him, “certainly not, don’t be foolish. No such place.”
“I would be inclined to disagree”
“Well than you sir would be an idiot” to which he then added under his breath, “And likely are…”
“If i could interject for just a moment” A meeker voice from the front left seat interjected for just a moment, “I believe that if we were all thinking clearly, we would have to acknowledge the fact that there are more pressing matters at hand than a senseless debate about an all-powerful deity, which might or might not exist, and which consequently has no bearing on our actions. For instance, where did you happen to store the data that you stole from the Green Machine refrigerator production plant?”
“…………”, said George, adding after a bit, “Who are you two again?”
“They always want to know who we are”
“We told you before, it doesn’t matter”
“I say it does matter if you want that information.”
“Fine… you first”
Looking to his left George saw far out in the distance the planet Earth, and surrounding it as always was the Belt. It would seem that he was off the planet. The only significance that George could take from this observation (other than the fact that while he’d made it he couldn’t help but notice that his left arm was fully in tact, and hole-less), was that he was captive, in space, to these two men.
“How about a trade?” George offered
“I’ll need to hear it first”
“Fine. You tell me how it is that I have my arm back, and that I’m not dead, and I’ll tell you what you want to know, provided that you tell me who you are after – and then promptly drop me off at the nearest tree.”
“Deal – rubber teeth – now you.”
“Rubber teeth? I’m going to need a little more than that.”
“Should I sir?”
“No I’ve got it.”
“Well?” Pressed George
The man in the front right seat of the car turned around and George finally got a good look at his face. He was very tall, and exceptionally muscular, and dressed in a very neatly fitting black tailored suit. This guy had money. The stoic look in his eye said both that he’d seen more than any man should, and that, at the moment at least, he was trying to look as unassuming as possible… It wasn’t working.
“Droids, as you already know” He began, “literally are everywhere. They are constantly updated with the whole of human knowledge V.I.A. their streaming wireless link to the net, and even though they are microscopic and receive their signals individually – which is precisely what makes them impossible to control once they bind together and take the shape of whatever they need to be in order to succeed at the single-minded task that they are currently pursuing, in this case, “You” – we are not bound by the limits of mankind, as we are not of it, so we can control them quite at our leisure. The guns that had been fired at you were merely projectors, the shark that had bitten you had rubber teeth, and rather than chasing you to bring you back to civilization where you would have faced certain persecution, they had instead been controlled by me…”
“Us…” butted in the softer one from up front.
“Us” conceded the burly man, “and rather than bring you into the local authorities, or simply kill you, I had them instead haul your sorry sopping wet behind, to US…”
“………..” George paused as all this sunk in, “So my arm…”
“And the boiling water”
“Runoff from the plant”
“Now then, I’ve held up my part of the bargain, where is the data that you’d stolen”
“I downloaded it to my shirt”
“But you’re topless”
“So remind me, where is it again?”
“I dropped it in the bay.”
“Now if you don’t mind, i do have reservations with that tree, and I’d really hate to keep her waiting, shall we be off then?”
The burly man with the gruff voice whipped around in his chair and slumped moodily into it.
“To earth sir?” Asked the voice from the front left seat
“To earth…” Responded the burly man from the right.
Heaven – that is, the flying car – banked a quick left, and took off steadily down toward earth. George, who had never possessed the type of money necessary to buy such a luxury vehicle as this (capable of interplanetary travel), sat slack-jawed the entire duration of the silent trip, and stared out the window with awe and wonder.
After a long while they finally broke through the atmosphere and George was snapped out of his stupor. He couldn’t help but to ask.
“So… before I go, I’d still like to know who you people are. You saved my life.”
“Should I tell him sir?”
“No, I’ll do it”
Once again the juggernaut from the front right seat swiveled his posture, and adjusted himself so that he was turned toward George. He smiled what he thought was a friendly and welcoming smile, but was in reality the type of smile that would make small children cry, and hardened criminals laugh in fear, and began to tell George his story.
“I’ll give you the short version, as we’re almost there” He began, ” I am not of Earth. I am not of the Belt. I am of a planet with a name that I’d doubt you could pronounce, and by that same token I won’t tell you my name as I doubt you could pronounce it either. The person sitting next to me is a hologram who embodies a side of me that I was better off without, and I won’t tell you his name either as surely you…”
“Couldn’t pronounce it?”
“Can I try?”
After a deep sigh he continued;
“Mankind was not given his due course of evolution. That is not to say that you hadn’t evolved, you did, it’s just that we helped you along a bit. At the time we were a very intelligent society, with a wealth of knowledge to share, and you’d been the first sign of life we’d ever found in the vast emptiness of space. We came across your planet by sheer coincidence, as it was inhabited by a common species of hostile lizards and we nearly ignored it altogether, but our scientists had placed a great emphasis on species classification so we came down to have a look around, and – much to our surprise – we found mammals, as you call them. Being the young excitable species that we were, descendants from a type of mammal ourselves and anxious for any sort of company in the cosmos, we spliced in a portion of our own DNA into yours with hopes to accelerate your progress, and returned home for a time.”
Here he took a deep breath and readjusted in his seat yet again.
“When we’d returned, much to our chagrin, we discovered a species that was not only barbaric and hostile, but astonishingly stupid. You had placed some people in higher regard to others, and were completely obedient to them regardless of how horribly they’d treated you. We saw you kill each other over ore, trinkets, even over food – which was abounding, and as such not a very good reason to kill for – and we watched you wage wars over foolhardy reasons, mostly over an insubstantial imaginary figure that ruled you from the sky. Our scientists said that the rushed evolution which we’d imposed on you must not have given your species ample time to evolve out these traits, which were characteristic of a primitive society, and suggested that another splicing of DNA was in order to fix what had gone wrong. We visited many cultures around the globe, the Aztecs, the Incas, the Egyptians, the Atlanteans, and sporadic tribes that we found along the way, and interjected our DNA once more.”
The ship easily coasted to a stop, right in front of a large, full tree which was stunningly back-lit by the bright night sky. The Alien in the front seat (who’d looked so much like a man to George that he couldn’t make out any difference - even if that man could have easily been a linebacker), took an exceptionally deep sigh, and continued on with his story.
“That is when we saw you use the bomb. The debate on our planet had been raging fiercely: should we destroy our failed experiment, or should we give it some more time? This was the event that had tipped the scales. Now my other and I are your last hope. We gave up everything we knew back at home and choose to come here instead. We’d convinced the whole of our society that we would serve as your caretakers until you’d reached the enlightened stage of your evolution – which is taking much longer than we’d hoped - and we have been here ever since. Whenever there is a problem, we fix it. Whenever you do something that might jeopardize yourselves, and in turn your planet as a whole, we get in the way. Because we should have not played god, and because every life is important. Do you remember the story of Roswell New Mexico?”
“The air balloon from the 20th century?”
“That was no air balloon, and we were there. Remember when the sun burnt out and needed to be re-lit because you had been stupidly hauling garbage at it for years?”
“Of course you don’t, because we took care of it. Zombie crisis of 98′, teleportation of organic matter 07′, invention of wormhole technology of 13′ – any major happening on earth that has occurred within the past two-hundred-fifty years was of under our supervision, and was carefully controlled so that a species you have never met, on a planet you’ll never see, won’t kill you all for being primitive.”
“What was that?”
“You two are behind every conspiracy theory that I know of… You are “The Conspirators”
“Perhaps we are. But whatever we are, we’re your protectors.”
“The Half-Breeds can help you, we found out that they’ve been controlling the masses minds on a global scale by using the device…”
“We know that. We put it there. And now, because the GM corporation has found this out and is using it to influence the minds of the world, I have to now find a way to get a shirt scrapped off the bottom of the bay so that I can do my job.”
“He hates swimming”
“I hate swimming”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
“Well, for two reasons I guess. For one, I’d made a deal with you, and a deal’s a deal. And for another, you won’t be remembering any of it.”
“How can you realistically expect me to forget a thing like…”
The brilliant white light in the back seat of the car had turned back on with a flash, and George quickly gave in to the soporific effects that it’d had on his mind. The Conspirators, yes… that name suits them just fine… Carefully unloaded George from the back seat of the car, and left him in an open field next to a tree so that he might have his date.
“You know, I rather liked that fellow.”
“I could tell sir”
“There might be hope for the human race yet, you know that?”
“You’d never doubted it.”
“I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not going swimming”
“You heard him, we’ve got help on Earth now, this could be our ticket back home… Let’s see how they do”
I DID IT! Wow! I mean, I really did it. It might have come out better, given unlimited time and resources, but I’m very happy with the ending here. Plus did you notice the custom artwork? stylish ;-D.
This project was particularly trying because I have to think so intricately about what’s said (as the characterizations have to be consistent), and what happens (as this too has to line up), as a lot of what happened here is integral to my forthcoming trilogy, “Welcome to the Future”, but, all-in-all, I’m happy, and I think I’ve succeeded.
I hope that this works as a stand alone short, and that you’ve all liked it well enough (plenty of people have subscribed because of it, or at least it would seem), but wowie-wow-oh am I tired.
Beddie by time……
As always my awesome Creative Peoples, be ever Observant, never Judgmental, Strive to create every day, and make sure to trust yourself; because if you can’t, how can you expect anyone else to?
P.S.- sorry it ran so long!