Posts Tagged ‘space travel’

What is the worth of a word?
Trust

Whale… that was unexpected.

Trust: The steadfast belief in the words and/or actions of another to meet some unspoken expectation.

Trust is perhaps the most hotly touted but least earned characteristic of our time. Absolutely essential to modern living, Trust is required, to one degree or another, in nearly every interaction we have: from shopping for groceries, and trusting that the store you frequent isn’t completely ripping you off for Mallomars; To crossing the road (particularly here in NYC), and trusting that the drivers around you will follow traffic law… and not hastily paint a greasy tire track onto your backside while rushing off toward the next red light. Undoubtedly, Trust is the quintessential foundation for ANY relationship, or should be, particularly in those which hope to be healthy and long-lasting, and for good reason — without some sort of basic Trust, how could any relationship ever strive to exist beyond the superficial?

But — and I Trust that you know I had a big ole’ “BUT” planned somewhere in here soon, (and I know, that you know, that I knew that — believe-you-me…) — Trust, good, noble and wholly necessary to cultivating and maintaining relationships as it may be, is a double edged sword, ain’t it? As it’s also the very same condition which flips to become a hotbed breeding ground for treachery and deception. After all, the most effective way to dupe someone is by beginning as an individual whom they implicitly Trust. Someone dark and shrouded against their careful eye of scrutiny? Only an individual given sanctuary from your doubt will find themselves in the unique position to leverage you — you and your peevish Trust, reader — to take advantage, while your back is turned, of you and your good nature.

SUCKER!

Behind-My-Back

It’s a common misconception, actually, that bunnies are of a good nature. If you don’t believe me, go watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

So… getting back on topic.

Here’s the truth about Trust: If you deserve it, you shouldn’t need it. It’s more mere cursory respect. Worth exists individualistically, it’s intrinsic — either you’ve got it, or you ain’t — and thus is wholly independent of others’ regard of you. So when questioned by a friend or associate, IF you’re an honest individual, you shouldn’t distress — you should just be anxious to re-prove your worth. Between those of a valid bond, doubt is always laughable. Encouraged, even. As you’re both clearly confident that you’ve nothing to fear… just something to clear up.

Even in the healthiest relationships, for every five positive interactions, one is still negative. Couples, whatever constituents may make them up, just doesn’t see eye to eye from time to time… and that’s healthy. People are different. That’s what makes them interesting. Negative interaction is NORMAL; natural. Think about it, if two individuals were to agree on EVERY-single-THING, every stones ripple cast across their philosophical matrix, than there would be no basis for a relationship — they’d be the same person… with nothing to gain from an interaction at all. BORING! Without differences, we simply wouldn’t be interested…

Thusly, Paula Abdul was right after all — Opposites really do attract.

Only so long as long as this doesn’t happen too often, this doubt — so long as it is truly reserved for situations of true extremity — these little tests can serve to solidify and reinforce an already sound house of union. However, and as mentioned before, this healthy and natural turbulent period, necessary to the pretext of any relationship and it’s growth over time, is, too, very much sensitive… to exploitation.

Bearing all this in mind, today I’d like to present you with a short story that further examines the virtues of Trust, both from the writer to the reader, and from character to character, within. For this story, there is no right answer. Faith, and whichever direction you choose (or don’t choose) to place it, will determine your alignment in the end… and you won’t be wrong.

Thus, I humbly present to you — good, Trustworthy readers — with…

“The Duel”

The nebulous grey dust will never fully settle on the face of the Moon. It whorls, and kicks, and cuts unseen, vitriolic, against anything left exposed. It’s incessant and furtive, forever under the influence of the restless solar wind, and will, over time, dismantle man or machine alike without prejudice. The Dome was built inspired by this very volatility, fortified against this same eternal plague, and the unbridled solar wind herself, unable to be tamed, was the chief reasoning for our own engineering. We live for radiant energy; our metabolism necessitates it’s consumption. Thus is it our charge to siphon excesses from the craters and their pools for mere survival, and to flock about, endlessly searching for and then drinking from, cuts in their vast cable infrastructure. The same tethering which enables them to stay, and to thrive, on our world.

Something unusual was happening within the Dome. We could all feel it; after all, we were bred to. A flurry of humans, minds buzzing alight with fresh electrical impulses, fanciful notions of fear and doubt, all gathered around the southern lock-gates of their building 42 and made us slaver. Yet today there was no ship we could sense about to be seen off. No piles of refuse were planned to be jettisoned off into our wastelands.  Merely were there two men, each oozing with an abundance of mental radiance, standing in the antechamber, both donned in full Terra-Gear and each wielding an ancient pistol, slung by leather, and hanging low at the hip. It would seem that the most ancient of rituals, one which we hadn’t seen the execution of in many an orbit, was about to be underway…

A Duel.

Audible to our ears alone, the familiar, “Vhur-Woosh”, of the retreating exterior docking doors rang out, (our tympanal membranes had been contrived, perverted really, to be attune in these environs), as the hapless borrowed air from the cloistered commune was hastily released, vacuumed away, and lost forever to the vastness of space. Before long two lone figures, each mind alight with fervent, frantic activity, steadily paced their way out onto our bleak desert plain — one destined to live, and one certain to die. Both men were riddled with their own doubts, and each fed a few dozen of our kind, as we fluttered about their skulls, suckling on errant joules of lost energy expelled by their over-brimming brains, and processed what we stole, inadvertently, to read their every thought.

Eventually, at a spot wordlessly acknowledged by both men, each placed their backpack respirator against the other, and both heaved a lungful, having finally reached their place of destiny where no stray bullet could harm the distant Dome. Then, as their mental activity bounded toward a glorious crescendo, nursing ever more of our kind, the duo began to run through their paces.

These were the thoughts which crossed through their minds as they took their final, fated steps…

First Measured Pace:

“I am Podunck Jenkins. I have lived in this town my entire life. The scoundrel, how could he? I wear the holy helix upon my chest, am clearly a god fearing man of this state, and am a unyielding staple of my town and to my countrymen, who’ve all known this face for life. Clearly I’m in the right. And yet, who is he? An unknown. Some outsider, who dared to challenge my nuptials. A stranger! A nobody! And yet here he is, on the most important day of my life, no less? At the very moment of a Jenkins vow renewal! This cannot stand, this queer perturbation. It is unfounded. It is unjust. It is unfair… No. He cannot prevail this day. This day is bigger than he. Today, this stranger must die.”

“This is stupid, I should just turn around and blast him in the kneecap. Such a shame I can’t kill him myself… all this ceremony, what’s it for? Those fat fools in that bubble wouldn’t even make it halfway up the ridge by the time I’d crested it, hauled his ass in my ship, and set the hyper-drive to Old Abberdine. Wonder if those bastards would pay out all the same? Hell, I’d even take a cut to be done with this. Three days. I’ve wasted three days on this backwater, redneck, puritanical satellite, and this is where I wind up? This is not how you avoid fame, and you know fame gets you hunted. Were I trained, I never would have wound up here, but you know, too, training makes a man predictable. Looks like it’s just me and all I’ve ever had, for better or for worse, my instinct. Let’s hope it was right… Maybe I should just turn around and blast him. Ugly, son-of-a-bitch.”

Second Pace:

“Thank God I had Jerald, that bitch Makenze’s husband, hand out the guns; this fool outsider has no idea he’s only got a single bullet in that chamber. This is my town, this’ll all be over soon enough and I can get back to my business. Amazing… even after the affair Jerald’s still loyal to me. Never said a word about it neither. Not to a single soul, so far as I can tell. That’s good. After all, men are weak, and it was Makenze who’d tempted ole’ Podunck with her smooth, bare flesh. That wayward wench. The only damned person in this whole forsaken commune who agreed with the outsider and legitimized his challenge, making it stick. He’d be a heap of puss and blood were it not for that one. Of course she would. Everyone suspects something, even if they don’t know for certain what. But that’s baggage left behind from a past life, Sir. Now all that matters is my fresh commitment to Patricia, for as long as we both live, in this new one. Just got to make it through this one, little hiccup. And Jerald? Well, after today, I’ll see to it that Jerald never has to worry about a thing again. Today I’ll show him, Patricia, and Makenze just exactly what type of a man I am.”

“Damn this gated commune. Damn these close-minded twits. Never again do I walk in blind, I don’t care what the size of the bounty is. Were it not for that strange woman, I’d’ve been lynched. “Speak now”, they say. Yeah, unless you’re a guest, and, if you are, there better be at least one local supporter or we’ll beat you with clubs and stab you with sticks until you stop squirming. Sounds about right. Still… It’s not like I didn’t try. Couldn’t get a stitch of information about this rock before I flashed my paperwork and shouldered my way in through the door. First in years… and look where it got me. Don’t even partake in the pulse — wouldn’t know what to do with it if they did — heathens. They’re living like it’s earth-1 all over again… OK. Enough of that. No more distractions now. Focus: go over the facts, quick. There isn’t time. You’re hunting a deviant, likely a sociopath, a Missing Mayor from the Centarus Cluster, who’d first been the face of a children’s charity, and then disappeared days before his embezzlement came to light. This type of person will stop at no-one and for nothing in achieving his ends. A grade 8 stake, with the caveat that he’s brought in alive to face the scales of justice in person. You followed the unique ionized signature of a registered and recently stolen ship, which you found abandoned behind a high ridge, invisible to the denizens of this cloistered world, which inevitably led you here. Also, it’s suspected that this deviant has in his possession a quantum holographer — which is wonderful — meaning he can take on any appearance he wishes unless I can get him outside of an atmosphere. Hence: The Duel. The moons surface will suffice in revealing his true form, if my suspicions are correct, and if I can expose him to the elements… without killing him. That’s a lot of “if’s”. Surely this is not smart business. No. This is my mark, I’m sure of it, and I’ll prove it. “Toad-Man mayor”, this is your gambit to lose.”

Third Pace:

“This man, this supposed bounty hunter, will die by my hand in but a mere moment. I shall savor it. He has, thanks to good ole’ Jerald, naught but one bullet, and, knowing this as I do, all I have to do is dive astride, miss his one hasty shot, and, as he retakes his aim with an empty gun, unload my remaining chamber into his foul chest. Damnable outsider. I shall stare into his madcap countenance until the final reserves of his pathetic life drain out through to the acrid soil. Simple. But what after that? The battle is won, but the spoils are rotten. There will be blame yet. Surely this man hails from someplace significant. Others will come. Explanations, sought after… Perchance I can shift focus onto Jerald. Hapless, simple Jerald. If my poison spreads true… Nobody knows of my triste, and he has been acting rather strange. Maybe I could devise a way to have it yet again, after all. The comely Makenze. I know not how much longer I can suffer the company of that dullard Patricia anyhow, but, after the affair, in order to keep her happy and quiet about the… situation, surely I had little other choice. Unfortunate mistakes of the past. But now I wonder, could not I abdicate to finality? I could reclaim Makenze as my own, be rid of the nattering Patricia for good, satiate any authority who tries to intervene with a simple shift of blame, and fade back into the simple life which I’ve sought for so long, and surely so sincerely deserve. Yes! These events shall come to pass, or the name which I bear is not Podunck Jenkins!”

“These hillbillies are not to be trusted. This gambit threatens my throat as much as my mark’s. Never before, in all my starbounding years, have things ever been so out of my control. Even still, and if I manage to win out this day, can I truly be certain that I’m playing the right hand at this game? Am I so sure that an incriminating ledger from halfway around the galaxy, shredded and lining the barn bed of a neighbors horse, is evidence enough? Even when coupled with a hastily called “re-marriage”, a vow-renewal in normal corners of the universe, and some queer local custom of spousal benefactor inheritance, and automatic citizenship? Can I truly be so certain in my comprehension of local law after merely three days of study? Why must the Centarus government respect the laws of some backwards, uncultured religious reservation, anyhow? It’s loopholes like this which permit this exact type of lawless behavior. Then again, if not for bureaucratic oversights such as this, I might be out of a job. Now, here’s how it all could work: the mayor kills, consumes, and assumes the identity of one: “Podunck Jenkins”, utilizing his recently stolen Quantum Holagrapher to achieve the feat. Legally, this makes him a murderer, subject to local law… but only if caught. However, were this “man” to never officially be killed or discovered dead, which is unlikely given the types of acids that a Ratherain carries around in it’s gut, but rather, even as an impostor, remarry — or marry, depending on your particular slant — a local, sanctioned worshiper and denizen of the Helix commune, then that individual, whether or not they had the right, will become an official member themselves, having been ordained by an official minstrel, inside an official place of worship, with official witnesses lining the pews. Furthermore, and more to the point, this individual will, unwaveringly, be extended amnesty through governmental religious exemption. Their dome, their rules. Then, as an official member of this special community, sharing equally with his wife in all of his worldly possessions, were somehow some tragedy to befall his betrothed, he would successfully have become, legally and forevermore throughout the universe, the inimitable owner of a theoretically stolen charity fund — with monies ample to support a lavish lifestyle across many a generation. But I’m here now. It’s obvious, even to an amphibian, that people will be coming for him. He can’t kill his wife to be, unless he first kills me. And if he does, than he can become whoever he wants, and fade into whatever life he desires. No wonder he rallied in support of a duel over a hearing… Well, nothing more to do now but hope my gun swap, and empty chamber trick pays off… and I don’t somehow get shot myself before he shows his true form. Or get lynched. That’ll be fun. Well, here goes.”

*BANG*

Thanks for reading!

~J

Welcome back everyone,
hello-cute

Hey there 😉

As you know, on this blog I generally do my darnedest to keep things whimsical. I like to try and make intellectuality fun — at least as fun as someone bereft of said topic can make it — and that’s because I understand all too well that pretension will only get in the way of communicating what ideas I may have and would genuinely enjoy hearing others honest opinions about.

For that, I need you all to be smiling.

I require your guard to be down.

(But not your fly… XYZ, reader)

Now, some may call this peevish, and if you do I have a special place for you, (Just click the “X” on the upper right hand side of your web browser, and I’ve got the whole thing set up to redirect you exactly to where you belong on the internet!) but I believe in everyone’s opinion being valid. As I see it, we all have differing life experiences, which lend themselves to differing insights about the reality of being. Each of us alone is only a piece of the puzzle, only together can we see what is. Thus, you may have noticed, across the four some-odd-years that I’ve run this blog, (Say Thank-Ya!) that I’ve always made pains to refer to you all as one. Never referencing color, race, location or gender (unless that’s the topic in question), while addressing you all in these jaunty little introductions, or, in this blog’s previous incarnation, throughout the entire proof of my theorem.

"Humans"

“Humans”

Today though, as you may have already guessed, I’d like to assume a more sober tone. Today I’d like to discuss something that happened to me personally (don’t worry I’m FINE. It merely led to this week’s inspiration), which helped solidify the mere fragments of thought on the topic I’d had, up until it’s occurrence. At first I was going to obscure the introduction, being that the person who did this may well read this blog, but I quickly realized that I am no coward, and that relenting in such a manner would be tantamount to “Do as I say, but not as I do” — which is decisively Un-Cool. And so, without further ado, here it is…

(Wow, can’t quite find words which won’t elicit a giggle….)

(Well, whatever… You’re a mature audience.)

😛

I got my junk grabbed — like full on, a full handful, for a full second — and this was done by someone I work with. A Woman, no less. Now, as you may or may not know, I once worked as a topless waiter at a strip club. There this type of thing was routine, and I was able to shrug it off as the nature of the beast. However at my current job, working for CBS on a television show, this type of behavior, even with a flirty coworker (whom I certainly reciprocate with, just never to this extreme…), was, frankly, unacceptable. And so, with a heavy heart, and plans to kill the buzz, I approached her in a clandestine manner, asking for things to never again go to where she took them. She then responded vocally, amidst a large group of others — people without any knowledge of the aforementioned affront — saying, and I quote,

“Oh, be a man. You know you liked it.”

……

Now, it took me some time to process all the emotions — admittedly, mostly negative — that coursed through my mind at this moment in my life. I’m not going to lie… at first I wanted to smack her, but logic quickly argued against that. Then I wanted to wail vocally, explaining to the entire gymnasium full of our film crew that she had, in fact, sexually harassed me… but my days at the club popped in my mind and it all felt like a rather flat argument. The best reason I could find within for feeling so wronged was that, somehow, a power struggle had been breached… and quite unjustly. Finally I found a healthy way to deal with my feelings on the occasion — I’d write about it. And the story today, after three manifestations that I’d scrapped for being far too blunt, is the result of it all.

I’m not going to mince words here: Equality is a blanket term, it has NOTHING to do with entitlements or supremacy. If you truly wish to see yourself as an equal — a just contributor to modernity — than privilege becomes a slight. It’s abhorrent, as it assumes the same role of the oppressor which you, or (more likely) the brave people before you, had once fought so direly to be free from. You may or may not see how, but this piece is my way of confronting the racism I’d been subject to as a child, the class warfare I’ve bore witness to all my life, and the general ways that mankind has tried to keep his brothers and sisters down. It should also serve as warning to movements of equality, Feminism, Racial equality, First, Second, and Third world conflicts amongst each other, and any people who strive for their fair share, that sometimes we can take things too far. Equality, true equality, is blind to Gender, Race, Color, Size, and shape — and perhaps may someday include Species, Race, Planet — and even Galaxy and Universe.

Everybody’s on a journey throughout this life, one unique to them, and so every point of view is valid — and certainly deserved of a listen by the rest of us.

~J

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ordinary Extremities

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ticket, please”, Bade the Conductor, approaching the squatted pile of rags at the far corner of the car.

The woman beneath didn’t stir.

“Hello Ma’am?” He said politely, “Sorry to wake you, but I need to collect your ticket now.”

Still the enshrouded figure remained nonplussed.

The Conductor bent, waving a translucent blue palm before the hooded cave of the woman’s visage, before kneeling and tipping his face in for a better look.

The fact that this man was, in actuality, a hologram — a mere segmented sliver of the conductors waking mind, present here only due to clever camera and speaker placement — was not lost on me. So at this thought, despite myself, I snorted a laugh.

From his hands and knees the man inclined his head in my direction, before craning his neck to peer under his arm’s nook at the wall of passengers which had built up across the car. The Conductor then got up, dusted off his knees, and approached me.

“Ticket Please”, he said, an accusatory lilt staining his custom level tone, seeming to imply some connection between myself and the vagabond across the way.

Casually I removed a balled fist from the pocket of my well pressed Sports Coat, never bothering to take the sole of my fine Italian loafer away from the door on which I leaned, thrusting it out then for the man to see, before hinging each finger out, slowly and in turn, to eventually present him with a bare palm. From the transparent ceiling above, at a point indeterminate due to the setting sun, a green laser light fanned out, sweeping my palm first in one direction and then the other before blinking out extinguished.

“Thank you.” Said the man, eying me suspiciously. Shooting a thumb over his shoulder, he soon added,  “How about you help me out? Go wake your little buddy over there so I can scan her ticket too.”

“Little buddy?” I scoffed, failing to stifle a second snort, “I don’t know that person.”

The man dove his face in toward mine, searching my eyes, darting erratically back and forth from left to right, before melodramatically stepping back to indicate the crowd.

“Tell me than, what’s this? Why is it you can stomach this woman’s clearly quite pungent odor, when the rest of my passengers huddle and cower like frightened livestock?”

I regarded the crowd, noting that easily three yards separated me from the next nearest paying customer. A singular huddled mass, the people all breathed as one; through sleeves, scarves, and hats — anything that might help stave off the offensive aura being generated by the woman just across from me.

“She’s harmless.” I asserted. “Besides, my desire to be left alone presently supersedes any musk this individual could possibly produce.”

And it was true. I’d hastily purchased a ‘standing room only’ ticket, knowing full-well the risk, and had accepted this unfortunate condition as mere penitence for my retreat.

The Conductor scrutinized me thoughtfully.

“Well then, friend” He began afresh, clearly changing tactics. “Give a guy without a hand, a hand, eh? This form may have function, but it has no form — if you’re picking up what I’m projecting down. Be a pal and, well… just tap her on the shoulder for me, would ya?”

I unfocused my eyes, looking straight through the shifting veil of blue before me to examine the mysterious figure just across the way. Indeed it seemed that the thing beneath the ratty pile of garments was, in fact, a woman… though without removing her thick and pungent wrappings it would be impossible to tell for sure. Long, dreaded hair flowed out from under the dark recesses of her cavernous hood, which then weighed down the loosely stacked garments cosseting her chest to detail two modest, though distinctly feminine, mounds. Carelessly crouched in the corner as she was — wrists rested on bent knees, back strait, shoulders level, with some indeterminate rigidity protruding diagonally underneath her thick vestments — the woman seemed more pious sentinel, particularly in this shade of divine azure, than penniless freight-hopper.

Malodorous scent or not, queer as it may sound… I soon found myself drawn to her. Something was brave and bold beneath that hood. Something new. Something I’d never encountered in all my worldly travels, and someone who the other people of this train would never dare try comprehend… I stared intently into the void cast by it, that hood. Searched every impregnable inch methodically, earnestly seeking but a single point of light being reflected back by flesh… but only found its darkness to be absolute. Just as I was ready to give up, prepared to simply walk on over as the Conductor had asked, a dual burst of slits flashed alight within the gloom, each punctuated by an iris of burning red. Their appearance, though brief, was married to a nearly imperceptible incline of her head, and the collective gestures combined to culminate as a simple yet strikingly vivid message; ‘Stay Away’.

I faltered. My composure shattered. Fear gripped my heart, and my easy lean slipped from the wall. My palms pressed firm to the doors behind me, unconsciously searching for a place to flee, and I found myself flat against the wall standing on tiptoes. The Conductor regarded my change, glancing over at the woman — who only appeared as she was — before whipping back around again to me, scanning my eyes for any sign of a ruse.

Eventually satisfied, he pressed a heavy weightless hand into my shoulder.

“Forget it,” He began, his voice imbued now with genuine care, “I thought you knew her”. He then added, dimming his speaker volume to a decibel only audible to my nearby ear, “I’ll just let the Staties deal with her once we pass Forrest Squarewood. That’s their jurisdiction, you know? They hate Planet Hoppers. Such a shame, too. Hate to hand over someone who’s fallen on tough times. But… a job’s a job. Word to the wise? Beware that woman, friend. She’s likely strange; wily. The type that can’t be trusted even for a second. You keep your distance, now.”

Abashed, staring absently through the clear floor at a tempestuous river we raced above, I nodded stupidly in response.

Then, I was alone. The conductor walking straight into the adjacent car, unperturbed by silly things of matter, like tangibility or mass.

“Get out-of-the-way, Moron!”, came a voice amidst the crowd.

“Move it, Jerkface!” echoed another, seemingly headed my way.

Then, all at once, the hermetically sealed line of average passengers burst, spewing forth, before the wound quickly healed, two attractive young ladies; one a petite Brunette, and the other a voluptuous Blonde.

“Jesus, Tria, you said she didn’t smell so bad. It smells like a Whorehouse’s Outhouse out here.” Exclaimed the Blonde, quickly masking her face with a jewel encrusted hand.

“No, Lo-Lo, that is not what I said at all.” Proclaimed the Brunette, exposing her pierced navel as she yanked a low neck line up over her nose. “What I said was, and I quote; ‘How bad could it be, that guy’s standing there?’ Answer: really, really, really, freaking bad. Wow. The last time that thing took a shower, John-John was on ‘Mercury House’. Am I right?”

“Hell, yes you are.”

“Am I right?”

“Oh my God, bitch, I already said, ‘Yes’. Can’t we just spark? That thing’s making me sick, already.”

“What am I, your mother, you whore? You need permission? Light it. Danm. Light that shit up already.”

“Shut-up, slut.”

“Hoe.”

“Bitch.”

Then, in tandem, they both concluded, “Whatever.”

Flashing each other a vicious pair of smiles somehow seemed to settle the exchange, and soon both were digging through their respective golden handbags, extracting, before long, a pair of Electronic Cigarettes.

The Blonde unscrewed hers at the center, peering inside. “Shit, I’m out. You got any left?”

The Brunette then unscrewed hers, turning about in circles while trying to find an angle for the overhead light. “I can’t tell, I think I need a refill too. You got any more on you?”

“Yeah, I think I do.” Said the one called Lo-Lo, juggling her effects, balancing her bag on a raised knee and struggling to keep her balance. “Somewhere in here…”

“Hang on.” Said Tria, tugging her friend violently by the hand, nearly toppling her over, and then dragging her by me. “Hi there, Mister.” she began, long lashes fluttering, salaciously brushing my arm, “Hold this for me, would you?”

Before I knew what was happening I found myself clutching a clutch, supporting a shoulder bag with my shoulder, and palming hand lotion — amongst other unidentifiable effects of superficiality — in my palm. The two young women, for their part, each held a strap of Lo-Lo’s Bag, and were both digging voraciously through its contents, stopping only to toss out bits of garbage onto the train floor.

Finally Tria produced a small container with a sealed lid.

“Is this it?” She asked, presenting it to Lo-Lo between two raised fingers and a thumb.

Lo-Lo snatched it unceremoniously, raking her friend harshly with manicured nails bearing a collection of tiny circus animals.

“Ah, you bitch”. Shouted Tria.

But Lo-Lo was lost in the vial. She eagerly popped the lid, hurriedly raised the opening to her nose, and huffed the noxious scent therein deeply. The display was for show. Once opened, even from back where I stood, the smell was sufficient to stifle even that of the transient’s across the car. Reaching inside they each pinched off a small amount before plucking their cigarettes from my open palm and stuffing their devices full. Within but a second, the gadget was reassembled, the girls pressed at the ignition, and each was inhaling deeply — leaving me as a forlorn baggage handler at the airport, and without any tip to boot.

From somewhere at the back of the crowd a man’s voice could be heard “Hey, you can’t smoke in here. It’s illegal. Some of us have an allergy.”

“Oh, yeah?” Challenged Tria. “Who’s gonna stop me? Not you. I do what I want.” And to punctuate this apparent fact, she took a long drag, deep down into her lungs, before exhaling a mighty vapor cloud toward the group.

A wheezing, raspy cough was the crowds only retort.

Lo-Lo then took a lungful in all her own, before breathing it out into my face, asking “So… what’s wrong with you? You enjoy smelling like ass or something, Mister?”

“I just want to be left alone.” I insisted, extending the clutch toward Lo-Lo, “I just got back from this long, pointless ‘inter-office relations-trip’ that my boss sent me on, and…”

“That’s not mine.” Lo-Lo interrupted, stepping back from the handbag disgusted.

“Yo. Don’t give that hoe my bag.” Interjected Tria, swiveling her head around like a snake. “She wouldn’t know what to do with one that’s not a fake, anyways.”

“Please, girl.” Pleaded Lo-Lo. “It’s been a long, hard day, and I don’t have the energy left to teach you the difference between a ‘Carl Mongoose’, and whatever it is you’re calling a ‘Petera’ Divine’ over there.”

“Oh, don’t you start with me, Miss ‘I-Don’t-Buy-From-Little-Persia-I-Only-Like-To-Look’.”

But Lo-Lo did start…

And then Tria continued…

And so, as the girls continued to debate the laurels surrounding the question, “Which one of their bags was better suited at holding things?”, I quickly grew weary of acting out the role of impromptu living mannequin. Thus did I proceed to place all of their loose effects into whoever’s shoulder-bag it was I was presently shouldering, to then merely lay the weighty satchel down on the clear floor at my feet, noting, as I did, the first patches of trees springing up on the ground far, far below.

It wouldn’t be long now. Soon I’d find out exactly what type of woman it was buried underneath all that dowdy patchwork.

Lo-Lo seized her bag from the floor with a huff, and shoved me harshly against the wall, saying “What the eff do you think you’re doing?”

“Oh-My-God” Chimed in Tria, slapping my shoulder. “I know that you did not just put her Ten Thousand Dollar, ‘Carl Mongoose’, Winter collection bag on that dirty-ass floor, with that filthy… thing… sitting right there.”

“Girls.” I began, tenderly as I could manage. “Don’t do that.”

“Don’t do what?” Demanded, Lo-Lo, as sprightly green tips began whizzing past her ankles.

“Don’t talk about another human being like that.”

“I will talk about whoever, however I want.” She insisted, the thickening wood growing steadily to overtake her height.

“Look, it’s clear this person has fallen on tough times. You don’t know her story.”

“We don’t care.” Insisted Tria, clapping her hands for emphasis on each word, all while massive shadows painted darting streaks across her form.

“Yeah, well… either way. You shouldn’t add to her problems. Just… leave her be. I’m asking you a favor.”

“Come-on mister. What, you in love? Bitch ain’t even got no clothes.”

“Hoe don’t have no money.”

“Trick smells like ass.”

The tips of the monolithic pines were now beyond the reach of sight, their numbers surging greater by the second still.

“Yeah, well… She’s a person. She get’s to live how she wants. What if this is what makes her happy?”

“What? You serious?”

“No makeup. No friends. No class. Smells like a dirty-ass construction worker that just tipped over in the Pora-a-John. Sitting here, doing nothing but stinking up the train for the rest of us normal, god-fearing, folk. Man, please: that ain’t even a lady.”

Suddenly light inside the car was squelched out entirely, as the encroaching tree line had finally grown bold enough to steal the setting sun.

A mind trembling scream rang out from somewhere amidst the crowd.

As the lights of the cabin pulsed slowly to life, and my vision oscillated between states of pure blindness and mere hazy shadow, I found the crowd was moving toward me, reeling back from some bewitching scene unfolding near its center.

It was then when I caught my first glimpse of the thing. Circumscribed by the ever swelling circumference of screaming and frightened passengers was a beast not quite human, with a wide drawn out squamous face, and a lithe lolling tongue — one which defied jagged rows of impossibly sharp teeth as it danced along their precarious peaks and valleys — actively tasting the air. It held a redundant dagger in each of its two claws, as all of it’s five fingers were adorned with vicious, corkscrewed nails, while it stalked through the crowd of lambs — slaughtering any and all without the sense or wherewithal to run.

Calcified as I was, agog from the massacre unfolding just before my eyes, I nearly didn’t feel the nagging pull of the two wildly wailing women persistently scrabbling at my back. However, when I nearly lost my footing while stepping on a familiar golden bag, the initials ‘CM’ forming a gaudy pattern all along it’s every facet, reality finally came home, drunk and crashing into the garage, and I became instantly aware of the two girls urging me to glance over to my left. There, at the epicenter of the car and just beside where we stood, a luminous pinprick wisp was floating, unaided, and steadily gaining in girth. The wormhole rapidly gained mass and began to pull at me, and, were it not for the frantic women holding firm at my arms, each demanding I, “Be a man and save them!”, and weighing me down, I may have even been engulfed by its mystical allure — cast to frightful plane. Then as the otherworldly draw began to ebb, and just as the brilliant vortex, hollow at its heart, had reached a sizable three yard diameter, another set of scaled and corkscrewed claws braced themselves at the lip of the dimensional rift, to then vault their master whole into our place in space.

The Reptilian beast landed to the floor of the car with a weighty thud, as the wormhole neatly cinched up behind it, sending a splintering shock-wave throughout the reinforced plastic at its wake, compromising integrity engineered to hold a hundred men. It spent but a moment in the throes of nausea before its slitted eyes were trained on us, and the women redoubled in their efforts of shrieking as it slavered and ambled serpentine our way.

Lo-Lo shoved me toward it with one hand, and held firm with the other, bellowing, “Fight it, Mister. Protect us!”

Tria wept, and held firm at my arm, wailing, “Make it go away. Tell it to leave.”

“Girls, let go.” I pleaded. “I can’t move.”

“Do something”, they screamed in unison.

Like lightning the creature was on me, effortlessly shifting its easy gait into a terrifying pounce, clutching then at my coat, arching me overhead, and slamming me down hard onto the floor. The ground groaned and quaked beneath the hammering of my mass, and all the air was stolen from my chest. As the room spun, and the light-show played, my whereabouts grew dubious, and my mind clouded. Sleep beckoned.

Somehow through the hypnagogic haze I felt the light playing on my face dim. Gathering my wits through great focus of effort, I synched my wayward eyes and fought to look out strait from my helpless supine form… only to discover forthcoming doom. The thing was upon me, mighty fist raised high overhead, blotting out the cabin light, and prepared to slam down into my skull. With a greater effort than my body had left to give, I rolled hard to the left, feeling the whipping air thrash my necks nape at the wake of its mammoth fist as it narrowly missed my face. Already undermined, the car yielded to the tremendous power of the things assault, and left me dangling through the floor, hanging precariously by the tips of my weakened fingers.

It seemed the end was near. The creature wasted no time in reeling back for a second strike, this one aimed at my fingertips which clung desperately at the lip of the opening, promising to cast me into an impending free-fall many kilometers long, either to be impaled on a tree, or to shatter my every bone against the distant terra. Resigned to my fate I turned my face toward my attacker, determined, at the very least, to go with my dignity intact. I matched his wild eyes with a level gaze, wholly free from fear, merely patient, and found myself in admiration of the speed in which it’s limb was capable of traveling — that is all before a warm spray misted my cheeks, and the hapless arm cascaded clear beyond me, tumbling freely into the open air beyond my dangling feet. Armless now, the beast hissed in pain, whipping about furiously then to confront its assaulter, only to be diced, just at the hinge of its jaw, by the returning upward swing of a Katana.

And there, flared by the wildly luminous cabin lights, stood a proud silhouette which wielded the brilliant blade — the lowly vagabond from the far corner of the car. Shed now of her outer layer, camouflage from the very start, she shucked her sword free from the serpents blood, highlighting, as she did, bountiful curves of dense musculature beneath an elite black and silken armor. She then kicked at the chest of the thing, still writhing even without a head, shoving it out beyond me and into the open air below, before dashing off, and out of view, presumably toward the panicked crowd at my back.

The drama then unfolded in screams and gasps, while I struggled and flailed, and failed, in extracting myself from my tricky predicament. Before long the cacophony, blind to my eyes, fell to stillness. Not a sound could be heard. Visions of an all-encompassing massacre filled my mind…

Finally then, after a silence of interminable length, where I never ceased in my struggle to re-board the racing car, it was the shallow voice of an elderly man which broke the strange repose.

“Thank You.” He said, voice quavering with emotion. “Thank you so very, very much, young lady.”

Then came another, quick on his heels, a woman this time. “Here, take this. Please, I insist. And… Thank you.”

Before long, another chimed in, a little boy, “That was really cool! Here, strong lady, it’s my favoritest… I want you to have it.”

And then came another, and another…. and another.

And so it continued, as my fingers quaked, from all the voices, of all the people in the car: gratitude. Thanks being showered on one who, only just a few minutes ago, the entire lot had all but condemned.

I felt the dimming of the overhead light once more, and, fingers trembling, strained to look skyward… and there she was, bearing a halo of light — and was she ever beautiful. Long dreadlocks framed an angled face that belonged on the cover of a magazine, were it not for the jagged scars and random battle-won maladies which gave it its fierce character. She had her rags back on now, and from all the errant, random, and poorly sewn pockets, people’s valuables jutted out. Precious necklaces, rings, jewelery and just plain cold hard cash overflowed the paupers clothes, creating a jaunty juxtaposition embodied in the sight of this mighty warrior woman.

She regarded me, as she drew her hood back over her head, sightlessly cleaned her blade on a rag, and sheathed the sword, asking, “You’re the one who defended me in my rags?”

I swallowed hard, saying all I could think to, “Yes…”

“You shouldn’t have done that…” She chided, a bright smile shining out from under the hood. “Look, times are always hard. People will have their opinions. All that really matters is how you react to the ordinary extremities of everyday life.”

I merely nodded, the wisdom of her words failing to presently pierce me in my condition — I was simply praying she’d help me up from my hole.

“Hey!” Came a voice, I knew to be Tria, “Take this. It’s worth alot!”

“Yeah, yeah!” Chimed in Lo-Lo, “And these. They’re yours now.”

“No.” Said the warrior woman, severity back in her tone. “I want you to keep them. After all, they’re all you have.”

She turned back to the hole, regarding me with pity.

“Pull yourself up.” She ordered. “You’ve done it before. I have no doubts that you can do it again.”

And then, without hesitation, she leapt through the hole — never to be seen or heard from again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ FIN ~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sure hope you enjoyed this.

It’s 4 days late, and that’s because I took some more time with it — and it still feels like I could’ve taken another week or so to get it right.

Please leave your thoughts below, on the topic and the story, and I’ll add edits to this as time permits.

Thanks

~J

Welcome Everyone, Ha, Ha, Ha,
Down for the count

1… Ha, Ha,Ha! 2… Ha, Ha, Ha! 3…

Hey, Big Bird — can’t I just suck his blood now?

This counting is taking forever…

Ha, ha, ha!

(Alright, so I’m feeling a little cheeky today.)

🙂

You know, Readers… life can be unforgiving at times. One bad move with, say, oh, I don’t know… — a horrific, cringe inducing portrayal of a “Teen” Vampire that also happens to glorify abusive relationships, (hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge…) — and people might just cease to trust you. You’re credibility’s shot. Suddenly, you’re Carlos Mencia.

Go Figure…

There can’t always be “Happy Endings” for everyone.

Anyway, keep that in the back of your mind… This week’s short came from a simple, innocuous writing prompt — something I hope to do more and more as time goes on, as it was quite fun for me to piece together. The prompt? “I Like Cheese”. A phrase uttered rather drunkenly, (and wholly non-sequiturly), by my younger cousin on a visit to my place in Queens, which led promptly (get it?) to uproarious bouts of laughter… and me sneaking inside to write down those three simple words.

I’d go on, but I don’t want to give anything away…

PLUS — I have guacamole to make for the Superbowl!

And Jell-O shots to drink

And Slaps to take.

(Don’t ask…)

So, and without further ado, I give you: “I Like Cheese”.

(Thanks, Andy)

 Enjoy, ~J

I Like Cheese!

Cheese

I like cheese.

What’s in my pockets? Let’s see. Hmmm… Feels like, Messy Granola — psssh, that’s not cheese! Anddd… Yuck! Sticky Jelly Beans — too sweet! Anddd… A Big Bag of Fishies? They taste like cheese, but they’re not CHEESE, cheese…

…Soooo, I have NO cheese.

Looks like I have to go out and find some!

Maybe if I go outside those happy people in the parade celebration can help me!

It’s too noisy here anyway. I wish the noisy animals would just be quiet!

The ground outside is so squishy. It’s fun to dig my toes into the grass. Squish, Splash, Swoosh — I splash a big puddle! Yay! So fun! I don’t remember rain, but I sure hope rain did not fall on everyone’s parade. That would be sad. But it is OK, everyone looks so happy. Some people even had so much fun that they fell asleep on the grass. Silly-Heads!

All the people look so glad — smiling wide with all of their teeth, and hands above their heads in joy. Some people wear silly costumes too, with wiggle-waggle arms and funny-duddy glasses — even the Van-tree-lo-list man’s here too, with his hand inside that big scary doll. I don’t like that big scary doll, though. It looks too real…

I hear a big BOOM from up above, and look up to see pretty fireworks explode in the sky way up high over my head — WOW. They better be careful not to burst the big parade floats with all those neat lights! There sure are a lot of pretty floats this year. Everyone looks like they’re having so much fun, and so I run to catch up with them because I want to have fun too! I skip into the crowd, cheering and shouting like everyone, and slap High-Fives to all the fat people i catch up with that don’t run so fast.

Then someone pushes me — which is not very nice — and I fall into a big red puddle and hurt my own bum. OW! I look for the meanie when I get up, but I guess he already left cuz’ he, and all the slow fat people too, are already gone… Now my Lalergez must be bad toady, cause I felt the dust hit my face and then I sneezed real big-like. Ah-Choo! I wipe the dust away, and then shove the tears away too, and then see that the parade is already gone around the block. All’s I can see still is the big, tall man on his long skinny stilts, and his neat flashing lights like on the floats — but then the trees block him too!

Oh, well! So, now the people are all gone. And the Parade is gone too.

POO!

But, look! Across the street is the Stupor Mawrket!

Hurray! My cheese is there!

I wait at the traffic spot, but the light is too little to see, I think. Or, it’s not there. I don’t know. I don’t see it. What should I do? How long am I supposed I wait?

This is taking Foooorrrreeeevvveeerrr! Ugh.

Soooo… I know it’s naughty, but I’m gonna cross anyways.

Hehe.

(I looked left and right!)

Look

I try to walk into the store like I always does, but the door doesn’t see me today and so I hit my head on the glass. BANG! Ow… Now my head hurts because I walked into the door. But it is kinda funny… Then I have to pull the doors open, and they’re reallllyyy heavy — but the cheese is there, so I pull hard!

It’s weird not seeing anyone in the Stupor Mawrket, but I guess they’re all at the parade so it’s OK! Asides, More Cheese for me!

I call for the Deli-man when I go in the back, past the cereal aisle with all my Favowrite-ist cartoons from TV, but no white man shows up. Nobody comes for a Reaalllyy long time, and I Reaalllyy want some cheese.

“Hello?”

          “HELLO!”, I scream!

                    “Hello?!”

But, nobody ever comes.

So… Then I’m bad again and go to where the people stand… and get it myself. But then when I go back there there’s the white Deli-Man taking a nap on the floor! Silly-Billy!

I put all my paper in his pocket, next to the metal pointy thing with the watch on top — I hope it’s enough — and take a big bite from the corner of the biggest, bestest, cheese-block I’ve ever tasted in my whole, entire life!

Yumm…

……

………

Ugh… Where am I? My head… Why am I holding a brick of American cheese? Is this the supermarket across from the lab? What am I doing here? How did I get here? Why am I behind the Deli? Why is my lab coat red?

“BOOM!”

That earth-shattering crash outside… could it be that the invasion..? So, it wasn’t a dream after all. Mankind is…

“BOOM!”

Sigh…

They must’ve come for me, and I must’ve ingested a test capsule. Well, it didn’t kill me — that, at least, answers that… Wait. That’s right… The pills. The plan!

Hurriedly I pad my pockets, quickly remembering that before I’d taken my pill I’d begun to affect a plan.

I first trace the familiar rectangular outline of my GPS monitor, bought for my Rhesus population’s tracking, and my chest tightens at the implications of how I’d planned to use it for the early stages of the coup.

Listen to me… a coup? A revolution with one man?! What can I possibly hope to do alone..?

The next thing my fingers find is the loose collection of bean-like, sugar-coated, distilled cannabinoid capsules, which my cartload loved so much, bulging out at the bottom of my pocket.

The very thing that must have saved my life… Provided my Intelligence Theory is correct. Looks like it’s gaining steam…

I remember the final object before my fingers dance across it, my peevish plan then crashing back into my psyche like a frightful tsunami — The Trackers…

Just then, something next to me coughs.

There’s a man in a Deli smock lying on the ground next to me — a huge wad of greenbacks sticking out of his chest pocket next to a meat thermometer — and he’s still breathing! Though alive, his breaths are dangerously shallow, and so I sit him upright and get some water from a nearby shelf to pour over his face.

Water pouring from bottle

Cough, Cough…

“Thank you”, he begins, his words fighting their way out through intermittent coughs. “Who are you?” Cough. “What’s going on?” Cough, cough.

I take a deep breath, how am I supposed to even begin to explain this..? One step at a time, I guess. Here goes nothing…

“Well, you see… My name is Doctor. Nyguen, and I work just across the street. I conduct classified governmental research for…” But here I find myself falter…  My cocked and loaded stock description of my livelihood unable to fire, being wholly unsuited for the world’s current predicament. “I do pot research on monkeys.” I conclude. “Please, tell me, what’s your name? Tell me everything you remember.”

The man blinks, adding after a minute, “Ron. My name is Ron Ballast. I, um… I work the Deli counter…”

“I know, I just stole some of your Yellow American.” I tell Ron, indicating the Brick of Cheese on the floor between us, and he flashes me a wide smile — a promising sign.

Suddenly the word “electrolytes” flashes in my mind, and I realize why I’d sought out the cheese. My subconscious mind had wanted to regain its facilities… simple salts. Brain fodder. Hydration.

“I don’t remember much.” He continues weakly. “There was this weird announcement that came over the stores speakers, but past that…”

That’s right, “The Announcement”. Their first strike toward the intelligence of this world.

Instinctively I glance over my shoulder, approximating the man’s custom perspective from behind the counter, and find I can easily see the background static of a warped Tellevision being poorly reflected by the stores wide-angle mirror.

So he hadn’t gotten a full dose of whatever they’d done to us. He’d survived the first wave, which means… There must be others then, too.

“…Past that I don’t remember anything until you doused me.” Ron concludes.

And, how could he? His brain was likely seizing, and he was likely well on his way to unconsciousness.

“Ron?” I begin softly, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I’d like to tell you now what’s going on.”

“Ok…” He agrees meekly, peering up at me with eyes deep-set in their sockets. Frightened. Cowering.

“But, listen… I need you to know that it’s not going to be an easy thing to accept, what you’re about to hear. OK? But I’m going to need you to listen anyway, and to be strong. You need to trust me. Think you can do that?”

Ron blinks and nods.

“Because…” I stammer, knowing this bit would be the roughest… “Because, well — to be frank? We may be the only ones left.”

Ron blinks again, swallowing hard. “What… what do you mean by that..?”

No other way to do this but to just begin…

“Ok… Here goes.” I heave a deep breath — knowing full-well this wont be easy for either of us to hear… “Roughly twelve hours ago — maybe more, maybe less, it’s hard for me to tell, I was drugged — Earth was… invaded.”

Ron’s eyes begin to shimmer, going wide and wet, and a large chunk of dried rheum tumbles down his cheek, carried on the back of a single groggy tear.

After I knew for sure the crux had sunk, I plodded on, “Now past that all I have is conjecture, but here’s what I think I’ve figured out so far — and working off this is what’s kept me alive. I believe they’ve launched an attack on humanity’s intelligence, Ron. And, when you think about it, this makes a certain amount of sense… that is if they want us, or at least the simpleminded among us whom they can easily control — children, the mentally challenged, and likely intelligent animals — to be obedient to them. Subservient. Sycophantic. Loyal. I learned this strategy well with my work in primate research: Remove the Alpha, and you become the Alpha. Basically, they’re looking to make us into a race of slaves.”

Ron merely stares at me with saucers which pierce my heart.

Maybe I should stop. Maybe it’s too much. I don’t want to hurt this man, do I? Isn’t there some other way? No, it isn’t about that and I know it — I must go on. He needs to hear it; the truth. State it plainly, Bill. Like ripping off a band-aide… Like plucking a hair…

“Thus, Ron, my preliminary conclusion is as follows: they wish to make slaves of us. In their eyes, those among us with intelligence are likely to revolt… and so they were executed right away. Or will be, and soon. But, and this is the important bit, they also believe that all of us below this particular threshold should be mailable enough for them to aptly control — to invariably brainwash — and so they are spared… So that they might someday become the seeds of future slaves.”

“Oh…” Added Ron, crestfallen. “Then does… does that mean… Does that mean I’m stupid? Was I below the threshold?”

“No, no, no. Nothing like that. Look, their assault was first launched through our media; Television, radio, cell-phone’s — anything that they could broadcast on. I was busy conducting research in my basement, the screams of my caged test subjects acting as an unlikely buffer to whatever pervasive announcement they’d made. You, for your part, were likely deafened by the simple whir of a Deli blade — and, if we’ve survived on… happenstance, then there must be others as well. And we must find them.”

“Right…” he answered, absently.

“Listen to me. Right now, what we have to do is try and carve out a place to exist, Ron. That’s step one.” I pull out the packet of capsules from my pocket, presenting them. “These are experimental drugs — meant for monkeys but safe for us too — which work by binding with the cannabinoid receptors of our brains. Long story short, they make us stupid. Stupid enough to survive. They make their detectors skip over us, and they make their kind ignore us. However, they’ll also incapacitate us while we’re under the influence. Also, we may… wander — I’ve recently discovered — which can be a problem. We’ll have to work on that.” I then pull out the GPS tracker, and the baggie of round GPS tags, holding them out for Ron to examine. “These are tags and a tracker which I’d bought for my Monkeys, in case they’d ever gotten away. If we could, somehow — I don’t know how yet, but we’ll work on that when we get there — tag the foot soldiers, we can then keep track of their whereabouts, and, at least, be able to avoid them until we can figure out what to do next.”

“Right…” Ron said again, clearly a Galaxy away…

In what sad state is this man’s mind?

“Is all this true?” He added finally. “How can I know what you’re saying isn’t… well… you know?”

It made sense for him to be skeptical, after all, this was near insurmountable… even for me. And I hadn’t just had a seizure… and likely a stroke or two.

“Can you walk?” I ask, tenderly as I can muster. And at Ron’s simple encouraging nod, I help him to his feet.

Together we shuffle toward the front of the store, being careful to stay hidden from prying eyes behind a shelf or two, and find, beyond the supermarket’s wide, and blood-streaked front glass window, a scene of devastation surreal and complete. I had to brace myself on a nearby shelf to prevent feinting while squared off to the sheer horror of it all…

shockedeye

We really are big meat sacks full of blood…

All the streets were flooded, sewage grates clogged inexorably with errant clothing and limbs, with what looked to be red sewage — and I knew it to be mostly human gore. Everywhere an eye was cast bodies were slumped and strewn haphazardly — screwed onto fence posts, draped over traffic lights, tangled in power lines — as if a tornado had come about and flung them all around whimsically. The immediate dead and writhing, those clearly visible from our vantage through the horrific show-window, seemed maligned by a type of savage burn the likes of which I’d never seen — ghastly, still embering pink stumps of ash were all that remained where limbs ought to be… clearly the work of some technology of ungodly, unearthly origin. Troops of soldiers jogged and splashed up and down the streets, rifles held tightly in four arms and across impossibly broad chests.”

The work of DNA manipulation, no doubt. Our petty sanctions seem awful peevish and foolish, now — don’t they, congressmen?

Up in the sky, organized fleets of cubed cruisers marched mightily in a row, while smaller smiling arches, likely scout vessels, buzzed in, out, and about their ranks. And, in the distance, some sort of robotic walker, a five legged monolithic monstrosity — easily thirty stories tall — could be seen crushing and then scanning houses. Likely seeking out humanity’s remnants…

“No…” Ron breathed, taking his weight off me. Fighting to stand on his own.

“NO!” He then bellowed.

“Be quiet.” I warn him in a rasped whisper, “They’ll find us!”

I reached for his wrist, but he was already lunging for the window.

“Why?” he demanded, while beating the glass with his fists. “WHY!?”

I palmed a pill in my hand and clapped it into Ron’s mouth, hearing him choke on it and swallow — before wheeling on me, fiery malice in his gaze.

I was set to run — pivoting my heel, weight leaning in — when the Building violently shook and tossed us both to the floor. Fearing the worst, I jammed a pill into my own mouth, just before seeing Ron’s eyes roll to the back of his head, stoned.

So this is what I’d done to my pets…

……

………

Yawwwnnn… That was a good nap. Boy, the air sure is dusty. Ah-Choo. I sneeze from my Lalergez. Up in the sky, there is a hole in the roof. And a big Bo-bot is peeking his head through.

“Hello!” I say.

Then somebody grabs me rough and picks me up by my neck. Meanie! And someone else is here too. The bad costume man is hurting my neck AND his. He looks at me long with his kitty-eyes, and then bangs my head into the other man.

We look at each other, and I say, “Hi. I like cheese.”

And he says, “I like cheese too.”

_________________________________________________________________

~Fin

What’s up, beautiful earthlings?

It’s nice being human, isn’t it? Cable TV, I-Pads, Gaming systems, gourmet cuisine, 2-hour parking meters, (well, maybe not that last one…) — we’re living the life people!

But, you know, sometimes I do wonder if maybe somewhere, someplace out there, somebody has it better than us. The grass is always greener after all… unless it’s purple. Which is always a possibility. Anyway, as you might’ve already guessed, this week’s short was inspired by my curiosity of the happenings on other worlds.

Blame it all on my love of Anime and Comics, and my happenstance stumbling across a battle between two of my favorite Aliens: Goku and Superman. Whether or not you’re familiar with these two Alien POWERHOUSES, watch that 3-minute flip-book video. The work it took to fill in all those pages alone will surely have you in awe, ready to create something amazing yourself.

No more set-up…

…I’m hungover

Let’s do this!

Seward’s Folly
europa

It would have been Christmas morning. The trip seemed apropos. Rather than unwrapping some useless tchotchke, he’d be unwrapping one of the greatest mysteries of all time. How he now longed for the Yule-Log and Egg-Nog…

Using his foot for leverage against what could only be loosely described as a throat, Seward wrenched the dull end of the exploration pickaxe from the well armored gut of the malodorous Fish-Man. A sickly sucking noise erupted forth, followed by a jet stream of hot and green hued blood which coated his bare arm, as the flat, battle-worn edge of the instrument was freed at once. For a grim moment his heart sank to his stomach, as it seemed he’d lose his purchase on the icy terrain from the effort, but his government issue, “Sure-Grip Space-Boots”, and their, “Guaranteed Never-Slip, Stabili-Grip”, here proved their namesake. Now, standing tall, slinging his makeshift weapon over his shoulder, he heaved his first easy, non panic-stricken breath in over two days. Finally, the onslaught seemed to be over. The air was still.

Gazing out across the vast, bleak tundra of Europa, partially blinded by the heliographing floodlights of their distant ship filtering in through the ubiquitous forest of ice forged stalagmites, Steward was taken aback, momentarily, by the ineffable beauty that was this forlorn world’s sole and defining feature. Rather, the ice pillars had been the trademark of this peculiar moon… that is before he and his team had effected their influence. Now lying under the radioactively clouded war-torn sky, amidst shattered and splintered pillars of ice, countless bodies littered the vista, Human and Fish-Man alike, distracting the eye from a preferred view. Impaled and inert bodies, strewn everywhere a gaze was tossed, tainted this once breathless landscape absolute, staining the pure, transparent ice, both green and red — as if some mass murderer’s perverted dream of a blessed Christmas.

Shaking his head for the loss of his comrades, Seward took silent stock of all that had gone down over the past three days… while absent-mindedly scrutinizing the calcified mayhem at hand. Their aims had been pure enough, a simple mission of, “look-see and report back” which promised to send him to a world he’d only dreamed of since he was but a boy. And, being he was a member of the scientific expedition, (Note: decidedly not some government mercenary muscle for hire), personally of this purity of cause there could be no doubt. Though were he being honest, the primitive, oddly human creatures all around — mostly dead (one, of a pickaxe to the gut), the rest gasping and writhing pathetically, trying to suck air through dying gills on what would be our ribs, were the only ones who could truly steak claim over this barren place — this distant moon of Jupiter, Europa: the ice planet of legend.

Suddenly contemplative of the morality of it all, he shifted his gaze skyward, finding himself quickly lost in thought, staring into the ever-changing, undulating and tempestuous Great Red Spot. Once more he was reminded of the eternally burning Yule-Log, and his home. It seemed so near… absently he reached out to touch it… and promptly scoffed in ire at himself, shaking his head at the sheer frivolity of the act.

Jupiter, europa

They were the villains here, not the Aliens, he decided.  Hastily he amended his logic. The true aliens were at fault here, us humans, not the denizens of this oceanic world, abhorrent as they my be. No, the citizens of this planet had done nothing wrong but protect their only home. Meanwhile Captain Malrick, leader of the government grunts sent along ‘for protection’, who lay slain within pissing distance from where he now stood — skewered like a suckling pig on a tall ice spike — just may have been wrong in giving the order to fire in the first place. Perhaps their arrival, cinematic as erupting through the dense ice in a dazzling flourish of air-born acrobatisim may be, and frightening too, was born more-so of curiosity than aggression. Hell, he mused, maybe the sentiment was neither of these human emotions. Perhaps what had brought the life of this world topside was an entirely novel emotion to him and his kind altogether. He was reminded of how little they actually knew, (rather, “he“, as he was now the sole survivor), about the life-forms of this world. They could’ve learned so much from us, he thought, we could’ve shared so many things, helped to evolve their culture, and, in time, branched out together into a new and shared race… But instead this Christmastime Rorschach was splayed out before him.

Well, no matter, he thought, his wits returning to him at last. Though a scene of ineffably devastating tragedy was presently on display, he was still the sole survivor of this ill-fated expedition and had a duty to return to the base at Ursa Minor. Reports needed filing, explanations given, and, perchance some motes of wisdom could be gleaned through classification, he’d sure love to be the man who’d done it. Medals are given for acts of survival such as this, he promised himself. Briefly he pictured living out his long remaining days a local celebrity — a planetesimal to call his own, with throngs of female visitors to keep the booze flowing and the partying non-stop for all of time to come. He’d had enough of space. It was bloody cold. Time to get a move on.

Ambling past the stained, towering crimson and clover peaks of perpetual ice, growing taller and denser as he approached the distant ship, Seward incrementally made his way toward his lone salvation — weaving a blind path and occasionally backtracking as dead ends were met — all while eying down an uncannily tiny, and heavily wounded Fish-Man at the periphery of the devastation. That’ll make the panties plenty wet back home, he assured himself, through an ever-deepening spine rattling shiver. A real live Fish-Man, in the flesh, or, rather… Scales, on one of our operating tables — or, better yet, in one of our Zoo’s. He could just picture the droves of women barging down his door. The War Hero, Seward the Fearless, returned home with the greatest prize of all — Alien life. Mankind’s dream since he first stared up at the cosmos, and knew them for what they were.

As when the brilliance of light from a destination star overtakes the meager cabin luminosity within a ship on final approach to a target system, filling your heart with excitement and hope after so much time spent in a pitiless void, Steward felt a familiar, palpable sense of relief, and, (at least he thought), warmth, as he could now spy his destination up ahead. The clearing was partially visible through gaps in the massive clear spires of solid standing water, and he was nearly at the smoothed patch of ice they’d scorched from space, (posited upon the densest swath of ice their radar could detect, ensuring a safe, secure landing), while still dragging his putrid prize by the calf, the bedraggled, more than half-dead Fish-Man, clutching it just above the sharp and serrated fin that jutted off the back of its heel, threatening to slice him open at the slightest graze — when the ground began to tremor.

It was a mild vibration at first, a mere constant hum which reverberated all around but posed no real threat to his gait, and so he forged on ahead. Soon though, the eerily menacing, steady throng of jittery underfoot movement was joined by bouts of violent seizures — loud and heavy drums that lifted him and his catch from the ground as they struck — each strike increasing in intensity and frequency. The fifth ardent rumble proved to be too much, and effectively stole his, “Sure-Grip Space-Boots”, guaranteed purchase from their assured place on the icy Terra. Knocked from his feet, Steward landed squarely on the back of the Fish-Man he’d been dragging along, and sliced a sizable gash into his right tricept where the creatures back-fin merely glanced his numbed flesh. The Fish-Man, air pressed forcibly from its form, exhaled a long, sad, wheezy whinny under the force of Seward’s sizable mass, lasting a sickeningly prolonged few moments. What followed — as Stewards eyes danced frantically across the whitewashed world in search of a threat, as his arm freely bled and as his heart attempted to flee his body via his throat — was complete and utter silence and stillness… that is, all up until he heard the massive, echoing crack from up above.

Redolent to look, instinctively fearful, he clapped his eyes shut, cast down his head — and was promptly struck on the back of his skull by something cold and firm. Apprehensively, he opened his eyes, peeking past his interwoven eyelashes to find a small chunk of roundish ice coming to a rest… and rapidly growing shadow around his form. Cracking his head skyward, he easily found what was casting the shade, the two-story broken tip of an unusually wide ice spike, presently tumbling downward, ricocheting off nearby spires, and threatening to land squarely where he was, promising to permanently stamp his form into the permafrost.

He dove for the clearing, thoughtlessly abandoning in an instant his aspirations for fame and fortune, leaving the Fish-Man behind. The titanic chunk of frozen matter slammed hard into the ground, flattening the Fish-Man’s lifeless form, where he’d only just been, and piercing the thick shell of the Moons surface — rippling spindly, wandering hairline fractures outward from its epicenter which ran and stretched throughout the clearing, creeping throughout the ground beneath his waiting ship. Feeling his welcome in this world had long been exhausted, Steward redoubled his efforts to reach his vessel — springing to his feet and sprinting with vigor, using energy reserves he was sure he’d exhausted at least a day ago.

Then something curious began to happen. As he struggled not to slip while running across the slick ice, his ship started to sink below the horizon. Rather, the ship remained as it was, but the ground before him seemed to… rise… blocking his view and creating the illusion that the ship was hastily descending. The effect was odd indeed, and as his mind worked out the arithmetic his, “Sure-Grip Space-Boots”, offered up the best possible explanation that could be had — by losing their grip on the surface. The ground had shifted.

Before he knew it his body had turned and was in an untempered slide, and all at once the grim truth of his predicament was evident — the fragmented end of the ice float, upon which he was just running, was being weighed down by the fallen Ice spire, creating a onetime luge that ended in his hypothermic death if he plunged into the bitter, icy waters below.

Breathlessly, he wished he would have kept the pickaxe…

…but instead he’d ditched it to take the Fish-Man.

He might’ve even reached the ship in time.

………………

He plunged into the bitter, icy waters below.

Splash

It was warmer than he thought in the embrace of the ocean, but then again maybe that was the hypothermia kicking in. His lungs burned for lack of air, and, though he was adept at swimming, his experting motions were tantamount to childlike flailing, as he could do nothing to counteract the pull of suction created by the still sinking, enormous ice spire. Before long, he just gave in. He was too tired, too hungry, and too hopeless to do anything more. Accepting his fate quickly brought a certain stillness to his heart, and he was finally able to appreciate his surroundings. There, not but ten yards away, was the flattened body of the Fish-Man who he’d planned to bring with him home, impressively intact for something that had just had its corporeal form reduced to two dimensions, he thought absently.

Then, as if reading his thoughts, the body of the Fish-Man… re-inflated. At once, like a switch had been flipped, the body that had been descending as would an unperturbed sheet of free-falling paper retook its previous dimensions. Agape, Steward gawked, not lost to the truth that this amazing transformation would ultimately prove inconsequential were he to die, intensely curious as to the mechanism of their physiology that could achieve this, and wishing he were in a warm, dry lab, able to study it.

You will not perish, came the odd, phlegm born voice at his rear.

Thoroughly surprised, though turning completely without fear, (a combination of emotions only the delirium reached in the throes of certain death can allow one to achieve), Seward found a large Fish-Man hovering just ahead in the distance. Had it really spoke, or was this merely something his dying mind had manifest? The broad palms of his clawed, three-fingered hands rested at his hips, turning the flattened, hammer like butts of his elbows out to the side, giving his silhouette the impression of some queer undersea superhero. Perhaps he was. Innate matters such as this, floated through his mind now. Seward knew he was very near to death.

It was never our intention to engage you in combat”, the voice continued as Seward’s consciousness began to flicker, “Your odds of success were non-existent from the start. Look behind you.”

Mildly agitated at the demanding nature of the pompous hero, but without much more on his agenda that he could presently recall — which seemed odd… hadn’t he a bris to rush off to? — Seward casually flipped around. The reanimated body of the Fish-Man at his rear was vomiting luminance. Then, differentiating into individual beads, (beads, he imagined, that could fetch a pretty penny at the Ursa bazarr back home), the bits of shape-shifting puke then swirled around its body, creating a blanketing vortex of light which obfuscated its form from view.

Bioluminescent phytoplankton“, the Fish-Man superhero, ‘Captain of the Sea’ continued from both behind him, and amidst another galaxy.

Seward idly wondered if these plankton were used in any intriguing, fishy-fish sexual acts. For a brief lucid moment, he wondered if his mind were unraveling, and then thought, nah. Grilled cheese. Then, the eyes of the once flattened and dead Fish-Man fluttered open, again revealing the horizontal slit pupils that had initially terrified him so. Now they made him crave pizza… or a nap… he couldn’t be sure which but his struggling brain insisted that it was time for repose. Fine, you cheeky monkey, he thought, you win this round.

We have a symbiotic relationship — they are healing him”, came the voice from the heavens, and Seward wondered if it were God himself. “See, we know you creatures came from beyond the solid substrate. Meaning you’d arrived by traveling through the black waters where we cannot swim. A feat such as this must have pitted your opinion of us into the primitive. That, we are not. We have a highly evolved, complimentary ecosystem. Everything has a purpose, everything is incorporated into the whole, nothing is wasted or ignored.” And, just when Seward could not help but to reminisce about his first memory in life, (hiding a pair of shame and shit filled underwear in a crack in his bedroom wall, something that earned him the worst spanking of his young life when found out for the stench) the voice of God said one thing more. “Even you will have a reason to exist”.

That’s when everything went black.

Seward awoke in a bolt to the sound of a loud thud, and fell flat on his face as he tried to push himself upright on an arm which simply wasn’t there. He glanced down to find a black stump jutting off his shoulder where his right arm once was. Frostbite, the gash in my arm, he mentally intuited, impressing himself at the lucidity of the connection. Using his left palm now, he pressed away at the hard floor, and sat up on the floor of a cage. Fish-Men of all sizes and shapes ambled past, smiling wildly, while some now were stopping at the clear wall of his confines, pointing emphatically at something to his side. Turning, he saw a package on the ground, neatly wrapped in seaweed. Up above, on a ceiling far too high form him to ever reach, a latch fastened shut.

Hastily he unwrapped the package, discovering inside three tiny, cured squid.

Some Christmas, he thought morosely.

Finding a corner of his clear cage, Seward sat with his elbows to his knees and bit deeply into the bland meat that his captors had provided him. The children of the crowd giggled, and tugged at their mothers fins. Clearly he would be the talk of the town. He’d become a celebrity after all…

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Poor Seward, he was only doing what he was told. Perception can be a bitch, eh?

Anyway, come back in a week and you may find this story edited some more. I’m man enough to admit that I may have rushed the ending, Christmas activities are calling and I’ve yet to buy a single gift.

(I know, I know, I’m a horrible person. You try to find time to shop with 80 hour work-weeks! At least i gave Seward a present! Wasn’t that nice?)

Hope you all enjoyed visiting another planet today,

Europa’s very real, and AWESOME — now go learn about it!

Be well, and go create something for fark’s sake, wont ya?

~J

We live in a curious time…

Complexity abounds. It’s all around us. For some, it’s within us. It’s certainly staring you in the face as you’re reading this, and, chances are, you don’t understand how it works.

Something to do with Ones and Zeroes…

Heck, I would argue that nobody on the face of the planet FULLY understands a computer anymore. Sure some can order parts on the internet and slap one together with relative ease, (hell, even I’m in that group), but who among men could go to a mountain, mine, refine, hone, craft, weld, assemble and create the thing from scratch?

Likely, not a-one of us.

Which seems like such a shame to me. Intriguingly knowing how each part of a system operates endows a person with an unparalleled perspective on how to improve it from within. But these days this all-encompassing comprehension simply isn’t possible — there’s just too much to know. Nobody has the free-time. Nobody has the money. Nobody has the memory…

And so, I can’t help but to wonder, isn’t it high-time we made a visit to the shop for an upgrade?

Homage to M.C. Escher

See, in general, and aside from computers, we live in a time of ever accelerated pacing and knowledge, (and, let me tell ya, that crazy train ain’t slowing down anytime soon), yet there are no more hours in the day than ever before for which to learn these concepts.  If anything, there are less; being that we’re tethered to the innumerous necessary daily distractions which allow us to function within this world at all, I.E. Cell-phones, Computers and the lot. Today, more than ever, we desperately need to comprehend an ever-growing volume of complexity, and yet, today, more than ever, who has the time but yet to skim?

It’s an interesting modern paradox…

We need to be fast, lean and agile to compete — yet also we need to sit still, study, and thoroughly learn what’s going on in order to compete. It would seem that the snowballing concepts of mankind have finally hit a critical mass of sorts within the mind, they’ve seemingly caught up with our potential, and now the memory, attention-span, and longevity limitations of the human mind are all being highlighted — and they’re coming up short.

Today, a lot of fingers get pointed around.

It’s Greece’s fault for what’s happening to the Euro. It’s the 1%’s fault for what’s happening in America. It’s China’s fault for permitting outsourced labor. It’s the cartel’s fault that Mexico can’t truly be free. It’s Monsanto’s fault for causing malnutrition within the masses. It’s yo mamma’s fault for being so damn fat! Sorry — don’t know how that one got in there (Still though, she can use to lose a few). But, seriously, whose fault is it really? Furthermore, does fault even matter?

How about we just find a solution?

That’s the grown-up thing to do, right? It’s just… it’s tough — being that all the involved factors can’t possibly be known to any one individual, let alone be understood by all the rest thereafter, in order to verify said solution… So in truth, in order to find a solution to the world’s ails, we first must find a way to hold all the intrinsic factors in mind at once — which is currently impossible with the brain alone. Thus, in order to even begin brainstorming for answers, we need to first find a workaround.

That’s the real issue at hand here.

Easier said than done, right? Well, not really…  There are at least three solutions which I can think of off the top of my head, and, being of the creative sort (much like you, good reader), likely many more still to be discovered. I’ve realized that the trouble lies not in conjuring solutions, rather, as I see it, the true trouble lies in getting people vested in pursuing these options. And so, here are but a few which we COULD (potentially) rally behind…

Solution #1: Enhance the mind

If the problem we face is an overwhelming amount of data, than a natural solution, from a strictly computational standpoint, would be to improve the hardware.

Sure, people tend to freak out about the thought of attaching circuitry to the mind in order to enhance its thoughts, but what new technology has not done precisely this? Think about it; “The Wheel”, the quintessential inaugural invention of mankind, was, in itself, an enhancement of the mind. It merely extended a thought, namely, “Ug want move faster”, into reality. Modern computers have merely continued this ancient legacy, as they perform myriad concurrent tasks, thousands of times faster than John Henry ever could have dreamed.

Sorry, buddy. They beat you in the end...

So why not just keep using computers?

We’ve been trying. But, like stated earlier, we’re reaching a breaking point. Computers are beginning to outpace us, and all the double-clicks, the bits of typing, and the looking from here to there on the screen are quickly dwarfing the need for the technology’s furthered progression. However, if you look at technology as another part of us — for it is only an extension of what we’ve invented, like the wheel, and thus IS US already — than we need to ensure that we, ourselves, can keep up with the growing speed of our devices. Meaning soon, “Having chips on the brain”, might imply more than simply thinking about that bag of Doritos (TM) in the cupboard.

Enter: the Singularity

The Singularity is a concept indicating a time when we’ll merge with the machines we’ve created. It’s already happening, and, if we wish to continue comprehending our world to the fullest, it might be necessary in maintaining the continuous growth of our culture. Thus far these circuits of the mind would be utilized mostly as a relay point to still existing physical computers, though I would speculate, as quantum computing continues to take strides in progress, that soon the paradigm of a, “physical computer”, will be nothing but a footnote in our history textbooks. That is, if we still have history textbooks.

(We will likely not have history textbooks…)

So, being that the growth of technology is measurable, it is not only likely that soon we will have to enhance our minds to keep up, it is inevitable — and also determinable as to when. All in all, making this option ‘one fine solution’ in addressing the problem of keeping up with the voluminous concepts of our modern world, as it’s certain to happen either way.

“Now, or later”, is our only real choice…

Solution #2: Trust

If the problem cannot be held in one mind alone, than, possibly, it can be shared across multiple expert minds.

Let’s say that you don’t buy into the idea of Doritos (TM) on the mind. Let’s say that you think we can solve all the modern ailments of the world with good old-fashioned elbow grease and honest cooperation. Let’s say, you feel that collaboration, without outside influence or bias, is actually possible as a means to reach resolution for an ever more complex world in the end.

Let’s say you feel we can trust others

Than, let’s say, I agree — conditionally. We’ll surely need a back-up. We’ll need a way of double checking ourselves against the overwhelming complexity we face. We’ll need to ensure that we’ve, including myself, not acted emotionally whatsoever. For this, we’ll need help.

Meet, Eric Berlow

Utilizing an outside system, such as Eric’s TED talk suggests, would be the perfect accompaniment for this type of solution, as it would keep everyone on task and honest within the method’s constraints. We would require varying trusted experts, in all respective fields, to continuously conjure additional factors for which to plug into the model he suggests (it’s only about four minutes if you didn’t watch it — and you should!), and in this way we could invariably find the real buttons for change, and act upon them more prudently, generating in the end, true, long-term and viable solutions to the world’s ever perplexing plot-line.

(I bet the butler did it!)

Solution #3: Forced Evolution

If our current brain isn’t up to task any more, than why not simply engineer a better one?

Genetic modification is what I’m talking about here, my people, and it’s my final, “Off the top of my head”, answer toward resolving the issue of our ever-increasing complexity, and the enduring, growing need for our complete comprehension of it.

In truth, this final solution is actually my favorite — mostly because it freaks people out.

In the eyes of the public, genetic modification is synonymous with maniacally laughing evil scientists, ginormous bolts of lightning slamming into over-sized Tesla coils, and their invariably resulting, freaky Snookiesque monsters,  but that needn’t be the case. Ever since Craig J Venter successfully sequenced the human genome I’ve been dreaming of the day that we could engineer and alter life, and soon that might become a reality.

Two brain hemispheres, puny humans... Why not three? More for the eats!

Precisely, Doctor Zoidberg

Since the late 70’s we’ve been engineering life from the ground up within bacteria, and lately this endeavor has become much more advanced. Recently it’s been branching out into ever more complex species, and soon (were we to make this our goal) it’s speculated that we could alter and improve our very own DNA.

For instance: How about a triple helix? How about an epigenetic code that we could alter at will. How about regenerative tissues, decreased need for oxygen, increased longevity, or even, as the good Doctor mentioned, how about another brain hemisphere?!? If we merely remove our collective biases from the equation, and our inherent assumptions about morality, we might actually be able to engineer a better version of ourselves…

Humanity Mach 2 — Version 1, 2, 3.1, 3.4, 4.2!

To me, as funny as this might sound, this seems like the most prudent and natural solution of them all. Bioengineering would be a way for us to remain organic, and, rather than having two communicating systems within the body, would keep us whole.

Cause I don’t know about you all, but I have plenty of voices talking to me already up in my brain…

We could systematically make improvements to the form and function of humanity, and we could have multiple versions of ourselves to colonize ever more hostile worlds around the universe. I imagine designer people, changed on a generational basis, and all with a fresh perspective on the story of life itself.

In this way we might finally understand life, and what it would take to help everyone thrive, all throughout the Universe!

So, anyway, what do you all think?
Is it time for an upgrade?

~J

Hello creativity, nativity and falice-navidad-tidilly fans around the world!

I’ve been thinking…..

To BE, or not to BE -- that is the questio... OOH is that a Banana?!

(I know — Ut-Oh, right?)

Rather my mind has been wandering — capricious thing that it is — and, being that the holidays are besieging upon us, it’s been ruminating across the myriad facets of the season: thoughts of family, friends, good-will and geniality toward your fellow-man (women too of course ;-)), and — naturally — Presents!

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But I’m a broke Actor so there won’t be any of those.

Penny for MY thoughts? (Please...)

So, that’s when I got to thinking some more. What present could I give the world? Surely there has to be something… What would be the ultimate gift to the people? What could I give that would embody the spirit of the season — togetherness, love, empathy and all that gushy type sentimental stuff — and still have it coast in under the forty some-odd dollars I’ve got left in my bank account?

And then I realized — that the stupid Keplar space telescope already beat me to it…

You want to talk about togetherness here on earth — Keplar says that’s thinking too small.

Keplar wants us to feel guilty — more guilty than we already do being around our family…

Keplar shows us planets around the galaxy and beyond — that are just like us — and, presumably, expects us to love them as well around the holidays.

What’s next Keplar? Buying presents for other worlds!?

For eats?

Nevermind — don’t answer that…

But then I got to thinking even more… I know, even I feel the theme being abused. As Kepler’s been finding hundreds of Earth-like planets around the cosmos, and forcing us to think about them as we shop at Bed, Bath any Beyond (Finally — now I know what that “Beyond” section is for), there has been another thought flittering around my cavernous (and mostly empty… Hm. Broke Actor… Real estate for sale!) mind…

What happens when we find ET?

Well naturally we’ll want to talk to him right?

Or is it, It?

Or, Her?

Or, Samblorginsetin?

Whatever… Anyway.

We’ll have to communicate, somehow, if we want to infect infuse them with our Christmastime spirit, right?

RIGHT!

So today I would like to place my bid in over at NASA for a fully comprehensive and cooperative communication strategy to employ upon our first meeting with our new friends, which, if we did, would make the melding of our two cultures flow just as smoothly as your credit-card did through that scanner at the mall this year.

What is this Brainy-ack idea you say? How can we be certain that we wont offhand? What could possibly be a common burial ground for us — a similarity we could be sure of — between our cultures?

ZOMBIES!

Braaaiiiinnnnsss! (And coookkkiiieeesssss and miiilllkkkkk!!)

No…. Seriously.

What civilized culture WOULDN’T have Zombies?

Think on it for a moment. Evolution — provided that they have that over on Omicron Persei 8, must have occurred. And throughout their slow process, much like ours, they must have taken quite some time to evolve, I.E. from the wheel, to the hammer, to a 2.8-Killowat, 12.3Lb Stihl Professional grade chain saw — for use in slaying the undead around the holidays, naturally.

It could be argued that for a culture to have not only ensured its own survival, but to have grown intelligent enough to fly throughout the cosmos, that symbolic thought must have come about. And, in cultures where art has arisen, eventually they must have found their way to the Cinema.

Play the Zombie flick next!

Now I’d totally let you call me crazy if I’d tried to claim that the little green men had re-created, “Fargo” or even, “Forrest Gump”, but is it really that crazy to think that they have Zombie films?

Zombies are us, in every way, only:

A) Not intelligent, and

B) Bloodthirsty.

A very common baddie that would likely arise in any thinking culture that’s has ever lied on it’s back, stared up at the ceiling and pondered what type of script that they’d wanted to dream up.

The real question is not whether or not they have Zombies, but rather — what would they look like?

deviantART Related / Devious Fun / Miscellaneous ©2010-2011 ~lesatho

They would likely be a perversion of whatever the alien species looked like themselves, much in the way that ours are human-esque, but, you know, all covered in blood and stuff. Imagine Winged Zombies, or Zombies with Acid Blood, or even — in particularly dumb cultures — Intellegent Zombies.

Ooh, the HoRrOr!!!!!

So there you have it, my gift to you and yours — and the universe at large — for the holidays!

A way to communicate with our brothers and sisters around the cosmos!

Turns out, we DO have something in common after all!

Zombies!

(And, let’s be honest, would we really want to be friends with them if they didn’t have Zombies?)

~J

Hello out there all my beautifully creative people!

Generally on this blog i like to delve out precious pearls of wisdom and/or insanity — but today I’m busy editing, so how about a change of pace?

Today I’d just like to share with you all a small segment (of which I’ve recently edited), from my Book, “Welcome to the Future”: a Sci/Fi futuristic adventure. I welcome all comments, feedbacks, critiques, or praises, all that I ask of you is honesty.

Get ready,

I’m not going to even set this sucker up!

Please Enjoy 🙂

 

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Chapter 3          

 

The kitchen light illuminated in anticipation of Holly entering the room — a neat trick of programming, considering that Holly, was a hologram.  Daniel had always wanted a hologram, and had always wanted to name it Holly, mostly because he thought the title, “Holly the Hologram” was an endearing one (and, not to mention, fun to say).  Holly, on the other hand, didn’t care much for titles, and cared even less for her name.

For a hologram, which is only an interactive 3D program with a finite (yet vast) string of predetermined responses, this type of self reflective thought simply didn’t exist.  So when Holly shared the contempt she held over her own name with Daniel, and suggested Jill as an alternative, Daniel was, needless to say, flabbergasted.

For a hologram to express dislike of it’s own name and suggest “Jill” as an alternative, is like having your DVD player tell you that it doesn’t care much for the movies you watch, and suggest that you go out and rent the Matrix trilogy instead.  Daniel spent the next few weeks after Holly’s confession scratching his head and trying to figure out what exactly he had done wrong with her programming, when finally it struck him.

Daniel figured there were two elements at play when you broke Holly down to her most simplistic components; her memory, and her personality.  He had intended on storing Holly’s personality on his apartment’s internal computer; thus giving her access to everything electronic in the house — allowing her to effectively become his maid, cook, and super all in one.  As for Holly’s memory, Daniel had planned to give up a large segment of unused space from his own brain chip.  Having this connection to her would give him access to all the things Holly saw and learned, and would in theory make him seemingly exist in two places at once.  It would appear though that in his haste, Daniel had mixed up the two.

This meant that Holly’s memory was now bound to the apartment’s main computer; a completely unsuitable and wholly inefficient place for it to be.  It also meant that her personality was stored deep within Daniel’s own brain.  Having Holly’s personality trapped in a place with human thoughts, desires, and emotions coursing through it, seemed to have had a profound effect on her programming.  The end result of which became a hologram — that acted, thought, and behaved, as if she were a human.

This implied two very important things about Holly; Firstly, it meant that Holly had access to something that the most sophisticated robots of the time, let alone simplest holograms, did not have access to — the full spectrum and scope of human emotion. Secondly it meant that Holly, were she to feel so inclined, could access whatever Daniel was viewing, thinking, or calculating, at any given moment, by simply interpreting the data streams that naturally flowed across the chip.  In this way Holly was one of a kind, really the first of her kind, and once Daniel realized what had happened, he certainly had no intention of “Fixing her”, or going back to the way things were.

So Daniel ordered a memory upgrade for his home — to provide Holly with a proper brain — and then he sealed off her section of his chip, so he might maintain a certain level of privacy.  Everything else he left alone.  Daniel was grateful for a companion that was more than a program, and Holly was ecstatic to learn that she was the first and only self aware non-humanoid living on (or around) planet earth.  So ecstatic, in fact, that she still tolerates the name, “Holly”, to this day and never again suggested that she instead be called “Jill”.

Thanks for dropping by everyone!

Hopefully this read well and kept you interested.

(Also, would anyone like to read/know more?)

Thanks again everyone, and have a great day!