To Amuse the Cosmic Ass

Drunk on his own brew and half asleep at his office desk, the most honored man in the world cries. He cries the tears of one whose sadness is his greatest gift and his greatest curse simultaneously. Rheb Larsden, founder of Sadventures Incorporated, who specialize in reconstructing negative emotions for people who have never known them, clutches the little pills in his hand as he works up the courage. Today is a good day to die.

Eight years ago Rheb somehow stepped out of the 21st century into wherever he is now. In eight years he still has no idea how he got here or where he is. It could be the future or an alternate universe or even hell, so far as he knows. A hell in which everyone was happy but him, and where he was made the most powerful man simply by offering them a glimpse of his sadness.

When he was taken out of the world he was born into he was running through the woods clutching an epi-pen, racing to save the life of the woman he would marry in just a few weeks. He and Mareva had gone for a short walk from their camp when the bee stung her. As he raced back to her after retrieving the life-saving device, he was snatched from his existence and dumped willy-nilly wherever he was now.

Not a day goes by when he doesn’t set the table to eat himself inside-out emotionally over the ordeal. He knows he could handle it if he had just been taken from her, but that she almost certainly died because he could not reach her, he can never find comfort or peace. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to. Maybe we fall in love with our pain so we never have to be completely alone.

Still clutching those pills, those little distillates of poisons he had extracted himself for this very purpose, Rheb stumbles from his chair into a simulation room.

“Computer, run program Romeo & Juliet,” he says to flashing lights on the wall. A door opens and he walks inside the brightly lit room that quickly fades into shapes and colors and objects and faces and voices. This simulation was his first, before he added olfactory elements to further enrich the experience. It was a crude a clunky program, but it was his first and he had wanted to preserve it in all of it’s glorious clumsiness.

Rheb left the 21st century knowing almost nothing about the works of Shakespeare, a bard who had lived far before the time and place he was born in. His reconstruction of Romeo and Juliet was, he knew, so laughably inadequate that anybody from his original home would have called shenanigans. But even if it was only a shadow of the original tale, supplemented with Shakespearean tropes that probably weren’t even in Romeo and Juliet, the people here had loved it. For most, it had been their first real immersive experience in sadness and despair.

“Chose role,” a computer voice prompted him.

“Romeo.”

Wherever he was, wherever this was, this maddening utopia he had been delivered to by unknown forces, it was not a place for him. Everyone here was happy, perfectly and flawlessly happy. They paid him great money to experience the sadness he brought here with him. They rode his angst like a roller coaster through simulations he had programmed from his own experiences and memories of a world where everyone was far from perfectly happy. A world he missed more than imaginable.

When he arrived he found himself running down a street, still clutching the epi-pen meant to save Mareva’s life. Everything was pristine and beautiful, and his confusion and anguish were so out of place he became an instant spectacle. He scanned around. He screamed her name. He ran in circles. He jumped up and down and fell into a pile of confusion, fear and frustrated rage.

“What game is this, brother, and can I play with you?” asked a stranger standing over him.

Rheb looked up to notice that he was surrounded. All around him there were maniacally smiling faces, looking at him like he was the most fascinating thing they had ever seen.

“Play,” he responded. “PLAY?”

The man who had asked stood over him, grinning ethereally, without a care or concern in the world.

“You think this is some kind of fucking game? Who the fuck are you? Where am I? Where is Mareva?”

His face turned red then purple. His fist balled up and he began to shake.

“Where is Mareva?”

The man and the crowd still just smiled, waiting to see where this game was going. Rheb coiled up and struck out in a flash, punching the man square in the jaw. For a moment his smile was gone, not replaced by anger or pain, just curious confusion. Then he smiled again.

“What do you call this game, brother? What am I supposed to do?”

Rheb wound up for another, but before he could throw his punch he deflated and crumpled to the ground and curled up in the fetal position and began to wail. After a few minutes of total absorption in his own confused misery he heard dozens of other voices wailing. He sat up and looked around and all around him people were lying in the fetal position throwing mock tantrums of their own.

His anger flared. He jumped to his feet and was about to lash out in violence when he noticed that all eyes were on him. Not in mockery or contempt, but awe and wonder. They were following his lead, not ridiculing it. They gazed on him like some kind of glorious freak or a god. So he did the only thing that made any sense and blacked out.

Over the next few weeks he learned that wherever he was, sadness no longer existed. It was a world which had solved all of its basic problems, freeing its people the existential angst of their vestigial evolutionary quirks. Negative emotions had no bearing on these people, because the situations which gave rise to them had all basically been solved. From resource scarcity to reproductive patterns, everything that caused disharmony had been weeded out through careful innovation of all aspects of life.

Romance and love still existed, but without expectation or urgency. Love spread itself out so that everyone generally loved everyone else. Romance was something that happened in brief spurts, usually over a day or two, as two fascinated people explored one another before moving on to explore someone or something else. A life of total leisure had reduced the passion of love from a burning desire to playful curiosity.

Reproduction became a matter of community planning. Whenever somebody died a new human was created from the genetic framework of that person and the person who had died before them. They maintained population equilibrium this way while still preventing genetic bottle-necking. Babies were raised by volunteers for the first few years, but as they began to gain more independence they were given more opportunities to make choices for themselves while still be tended to by other members of the community. However in this world you were unlikely to meet a five year old who wasn’t as capable of self-sufficiency as most adults had been where Rheb came from.

An absence of fear and multitudes of trust tended to point everyone in healthier directions. It all began to make sense to him over time but there was one thing he could never explain. Even babies did not cry. Was this the same human being stock he had been bred from, or was it an entirely alien species? Was the difference in their basic structure, or just that they had eliminated sour emotions from their species for enough successive generations that they had been entirely bred out?

These people did not even fear death. It was every bit as accepted and even exciting as births were. Every individual even spent their lives composing a death song, a tune which would be sung by others for the first time after death, and would be used to memorialize them joyously. Festivals were regularly had in which songs for the dead were sang while people took ‘enhancers’ and danced and laughed and told stories. Of course the songs came and went over time. Few songs existed from even four or five generations back. The best way to be remembered was to write a great song, but nobody seemed much too concerned with being remembered and just tried to write a song they liked.

It was the perfect world and Rheb was the most beloved man in it, and yet he still resented it with every bit of his being. It had taken him away from Mareva, and it had prevented him from saving her life. He was trapped here alone with his sorrows and she was gone forever, not even a song to be sang to remember her.

A character spoke to him, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” It handed him a simulation of the poison which Romeo takes in the scene lying beside his sleeping lover Juliet whom he believes to be dead.

Rheb will be taking his own very real poison this time. Laying next to Juliet, who he had programmed to look like Mareva, he will swallow his mercy for once and for all. The simulation moves him ever closer to that moment and his heart swells with relief. He is not afraid.

The people of this world, this future, this hell, this godforsaken whatever, had long forgotten sadness when Rheb arrived. They lived peacefully and blissfully. To all outward appearances they were perfectly adjusted. But through their constant smiles and enthusiasm there was something else. It had taken awhile to see it, but it was there.

Where once had been sadness, pain and all of those negative emotions there was now a hole. A great emptiness that longed to be filled. Although they could not verbalize it directly it became obvious that everyone carried around a sense of incompleteness. And his sadness, an experience which was absolutely alien to them, had become a fast, cheap fix. Through reliving the misery he was able to relate to them, they temporarily were able to fill this gap. However it never lasted and they were always hungry for more. Until finally the gnashing of the teeth of these emotional vampires, demanding his anguish so they could feed from it, became too much for him to bear.

The saddest man could never be given any peace in the happiest of worlds.

As the poison took hold he began to lose consciousness. Suddenly he was back in the woods, running towards Mareva. He cried out, “Don’t worry baby, you are gonna be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

When his body was found in the simulation room a memory tube was found in his pocket which contained his death song. Within hours it had spread over the entire world and was being sung by every person alive. For the first time they shed tears and felt the sadness that Rheb could only give them a small taste of in life. But by his death and by his song, the currency of pain was made real by the guilt of what they had done. They had driven their savior to oblivion in their hunger for his knowledge. They had caused the fruit which shall not be eaten to eat itself.

I am an ark upon an endless sea
Built from pain and misery
Surrounded by waters of endless glee
That jump the bough to ride in me

How can a boat so small and frail
Hold an entire sea it was meant to sail
Surely such a thing must fail
Why must I sink to tell my tale

As all things must come to pass
To amuse the cosmic ass
Into the void where I belong
Feast your fangs on my life’s song

Some Far Better Reasons To Boycott Star Wars

starwars

A recent social media campaign calling for a boycott of the latest edition to the Star Wars film series claims the movie promotes hatred of and violence against white people. While these incendiary charges are full of interpretations that are at best hyperbolistic, there are far better reasons to boycott the entire franchise.

Franchise would be the proper term here, as the Star Wars series has always been much more than some movies, but part of a large scale marketing campaign to sell an endless trove of collectible junk. While it was not the first cinematic offering to extend itself into a cross marketing campaign of goods based on its characters and themes, it was perhaps the first to be so successful at doing so. Even as a child I observed that liking the movies was not enough. You had to prove how much you liked it by having more Star Wars swag than the other kids in your neighborhood or school, and getting it first. These products became status symbols for an entire generation of young men who learned through this marketing campaign that your worthiness to others and yourself could be measured by what you owned. Star Wars became an accelerated course in rampant mindless consumerism aimed at children.

More symbolic buffoonery was also hidden within the Star Wars phenomena. Star Wars came to represent intelligence. Because society had observed that geeks and nerds flocked to science fiction, aligning yourself with that genre was a way of identifying as a geek or a nerd, which obviously made you smart. And since it had rolled up a hundred years of that genre into a slick package easily digestible by the general public, it was the proverbial honey you take with a bitter pill. Which is exactly what good science fiction, with its complex speculative themes and explorations into humanity, ethics and morality, is. Yet rather than swallow that pill, the public just sucked the honey off and patted themselves on the back for being one of those intelligent nerds/geeks who ‘got it’.

With its faux science fiction veneer, it also became a champion for ideologies about technology and science. By equating these status symbols with intelligence wrapped in science, it made a powerful cultural statement about scientistic ideologies and beliefs. Nevermind that it never actually promotes any actual science or the rational underpinnings of the empirical method. Merely aligning oneself with anything appearing even remotely sciencey soon became a cool thing to do, which has led us away from an understanding of what science is and does and why, and into the vast dogmatic worldview of scientism. Just as Star Wars helped to sell science fiction to mainstream audiences using an inferior replica of the actual thing, it also contributed to the cultural tendency to acquiesce to the knowledge of all things even labeled science, regardless of whether it is or not.

The symbolic suggestions contained in Star Wars don’t stop there. An ideology of dark/light, good/evil, etc. promoted the dangerous tendency of humans to think in false dichotomies. The binary logic which traps the thinking of so many people is evident all throughout Star Wars. To oversimplify any subject into a question with only two possible answers has been the folly of almost every wacky belief system humans have ever devised. From the Heaven or Hell of Abrahamic religion to racism to two party politics, the THIS or THAT and nothing else way of thinking has been one of our species greatest obstacles. Yet that entire fallacious dichotomizing is a central tenet of the Star Wars universe and the films help to validate these toxic ways of thinking by making them appear grandiose and heroic; and by implanting them in the head of the films target audiences- children.

In so many ways, even if the George Lucas or anyone else ever intended them to be, these films serve as little more propaganda for some of the least enlightened parts of the contemporary world. And even worse, they are designed for consumption by children, who then reinforce these ideas through rampant materialism at a lovely profit to those who shove this trash out there.

However, none of these reasons or all of them combined is as valid as this single reason for boycotting Star Wars films. They fucking suck. The entire series, from the very beginning, cannibalizes older science fiction themes and devices in a way that dumbs them down and strips them of meaning. It is full of terrible one-liners, childish gimmicks and coated in a sparkly cover of special effects that appeal to the sort of boyish minds that like to see things burn and explode. The characters are all shallow and two dimensional. The plot devices are paper thin and see through. And the entire package comes together not so much as an homage to truly great science fiction, but rather as an affront to the possibilities that genre has always offered in the way of making you think. Star Wars doesn’t ask you to think. It asks you to buy and be a loyal repeat customer.

The people who make Star Wars think you are dumb and want to capitalize on that. The only thing more sad than that is how many times film-goers and collectors prove them right. Prove them wrong, #boycottstarwars

From the Ashes of A New Moon

Madison curled her toes as brave autonomous flames tested their freedom outside of the fire pit and sent their tendrils rollicking in her direction. She took in the potent smells of the hardwood and dried dung with olfactory aplomb, turning her head to follow a wisp of the smoky perfume. It was a learned aesthetic preference. In the world where her childhood had lived such smells were merely historical footnotes. Now that world was gone and the habits of the world before it had come full circle. A bat swooped down to snatch up a moth that had revealed itself in the fire’s trembling light, and drew her attention upwards. Although she had developed a pleasure in things like the scent of burning excrement, the sky was a book of revelations she could never quite get used to. Ever since the OMG, reality itself had changed, and no place was that more evident than when she gazed upon the two moons above her.

“Your brother should be here soon, Maddy. I am going to fill the kettle and grab an extra cup. Would you like anything while I am beneath?” asked Jayden, the woman’s husband of nearly sixty years.

“Popsi…”

“…ICE COLD,” he cajoled along with her. It was a very old joke between them. It had been even longer than they had been married since anyone had drank an ice cold Popsi. The memory of sugary things always excited an almost primal urge in them, but over the years they had learned to appreciate even that urge. Anything that mutually connected them to the old world was welcomed, as it was the only remaining evidence left that they had not gone absolutely insane.

“B-R-B,” he said, again summoning a past that had become even less than the threadbare memory that preserved it; and shuffled down into the tunnels whistling an extinct melody.


The OMG had blanketed the skies with ash for fourteen years after. During the first six months the skies were almost completely black and the world beneath them either died away or plummeted back down the ladder of human history. When the first noticeable light began making its way through the post-apocalyptic smog, the sun was entirely unvisible as an object. Its rays stretched out into the ash and clouds and the focus of its fiery beams dissipated over the facing hemisphere and beyond. Refraction, or something like that, the last surviving scientists had said. While the moon still was still noticeable as a celestial object, it no longer held all its singular glory as a glowing orb in the sky. Some other trick of light and matter had caused the moons beams to split as they passed through the suffocating atmosphere, which created the perceptual effect of dual moons. The old priests, the scientists, had tried to explain the effect. As years passed, those who had been frightened right out of their old belief systems, as well as the new generations, began to believe that there actually were two moons. In fact it was the birth of this new moon, they believed, that caused the OMG in the first place.

Despite the protest of surviving academics, experts and authorities; the belief in the two moon theory became widespread. And so fourteen years after the entire thing began, as the ashen curtains began to part, two beautiful moons sat defyingly obvious in the gloriously deep, open skies. Absolute faith in the methods, models and myths of the pre-OMG world were abandoned and the oldest human truths began to replace them. Beliefs are not based upon reality, as the world of their childhood had imagined, but precisely the opposite.


“Don’t even try to sneak up on me, Connor. You have the grace of a wooden bull and are likely just to hurt yourself again,” Maddie called out at a slight rumbling in the near-distant darkness.

“Hush it, sis. These are the creaks of an old man, not the squeaks of one who sneaks,” Connor rhymed in his equally charming and infuriating way. Slowly, achingly, he ambled up next to her and took a seat. “Where is Jayden?”

“Fetching refreshments. He will be back shortly,” she answered. “Lovely night. Thanks for coming over.”

The two of them sat in silence waiting for Jayden. The three of them together represented nearly half of the surviving humans from before OMG. So far as they knew, from the small portion of the world they had contact with, at least. That is why they had gathered on this night. To prepare their final report to the council of elders. It would be the last time they would meet and their final edicts would breathe one last breath into a world that they were too old to recognize or shape any further.

Little sparks were pushed by the smoke up to the tops of the trees only to disintegrate into the night sky. Like man, they had been born of a great fire that reached with all of its might for the heavens, only to come floating back down as ash. Someday that ash would mix with the earth to create fuel and a new fire. Such was the cycle of things, growing and collapsing, gasping for new heights in which to set new fires, and then falling yet again. Where the ego of man saw this unending cycle in the terms of successes and failures, the world recognized the process as rebirth and renewal. A chance to begin afresh and become something entirely new. Individual humans measured this as a failure or loss but the great mass of human consciousness renewed itself through these events like the rising and falling of waters in the fountain of eternity.

Jayden returned to the fire with a great rumbling of laughter, “If you two aren’t the most serene geezers the world has ever seen…” he trailed off back into a fit of coughing and laughter.

“Grab me a Popsi while you’re up.” Connor joked. The three of them were a trifecta of anachronism and they reveled in that mutual difference even more as their days grew shorter.

The three of them sat around sipping a tea made with herbs, roots and bark. It was no Popsi, but it was still a special treat in this world of diminished resources and practical rationing. They caught up on personal and family news and gossip and occasionally drifted off into bouts of silent fellowship. The spring sky was full of insects and the flying mammals who ate them. While most species of birds had not survived OMG, and those that had crept cautiously through the shadows of the food chain, bats had fared quite well in the new landscape. Their whirling dives and aeronautic playfulness were endlessly fascinating. As they wove dizzying paths around one another they flew through the dual beams of the twin moons, like some fantasy story from the old world, or a science fiction Halloween decoration.

“Yesterday Viv got back from Melvinville. She says the journey took them only two days. When we first came here it took a full four days of steady travel. As the years have gone by that number has halved. I don’t see any other explanation. The world is shrinking.” Maddy stated her opinion confidently and waited for an argument to counter her suspicion, but none came. The two old men made barely perceptible nods of agreement.

“What the council wants cannot be done. It is a fools errand. When even the world shrinks to fit the beliefs of those living in it, no edict from old farts like us is gonna mean anything to anyone,” Jayden lamented quizzically.

“You are right, you are both right. We are all too wrong to be right anymore. We are obsolete. Museum pieces. The younger people have humored us long enough.” chimed Connor.

“So we won’t go?” asked Maddy.

Her toes curled again at another escape of flames in her direction. She drank in its warmth and smells. Life was good. Even when it wasn’t. The acrid aroma of the fires fuel sent her spinning back into herself. The night was music. The bass sounds of frogs and the groaning of dying and growing trees mixed with the high pitch sounds of insects filled the nights natural auditorium. In the harmonic center a cacophony of other living instruments filled the aural spaces. The music was alive under the twin conductors of Earths two moons.


Carson sat alone at the great table that once seated many of the greatest survivors of OMG. The five remaining seats around him stood empty. The final meeting was a bust. He didn’t blame them. He wouldn’t of come either, if he didn’t live here. For some unknown reason he pulled his tired old body up onto the great wooden table and lay on his back. Looking up into the clear blue sky he relaxed for the first time in over sixty years. It felt good. Life was good. Even when it wasn’t.

The Soft Glow of Electric Sex- An Erotic Tale of Cyborg Sex, Almost

cyborgsex

“So then I just told her that the charging station was for paying cyborgs only.”

“Did she leave?”

“Yeah, she huffed off in a flurry of whirs and buzzing.”

“Classic.” he said, hoping to derail the small talk as they finished cleaning up the dishes together. “Hey, baby, you feeling frisky at all this evening? We have been so busy lately that my intimacy indicator sent a reminder today.”

“Yeah, mine did, too. And come to think of it, a little boom boom would make this mama a happy hybrid.”

“Raoorwww!” came the thunderous response generated in his vocal modulator. “Daddy likey.”

He pounced at her and ran a carefully calibrated hand from where the golden nylon hair streamed from her control until all the way down her back. Her sensors caused her perfectly manufactured body to respond to every nanometer of his touch. His warm lifelike hands causing her fiber-optic nerves to twitch ever so slightly and her body rocked into his before a thought occurred to her.

“Not just yet, Davian. First mama has to finish a few more chores and daddy needs to do the same. Then we can play.”

He stepped back feigning hurt and betrayal. “Alright my little bundle of electrons. But don’t take too long. My circuits long to connect with yours, Evissa.” he joked, referencing a Digi-Opera they had seen on their first date all those years ago.

*****

By the time that Evissa was finished with her duties, Davia was already lying in bed with a number of complicated attachments and accessories splayed around him.

“Cuddle up, buttercup.” came his invitation as he cleared an area for her to snuggle up next to him. “I wasn’t sure which parts you would want to use, so I just got everything out.”

On the bed were a number of attachments that could be connected to their cyborg bodies, offering a great number of combinations and pleasures. Aside from these lumps of metal, latex and circuitry were also a number of neurochemical enhancements. Not even counting positions, there were already thousands of possible combinations they could exercise their sexual bonding with. Unlike their human predecessors, sex was not something determined by the basic singular equipment humans were born with and suffered before they could make the transformation into a electro-mechanical body.

“Well, I suppose the first question is, which of us are going top and which bottom?” Evissa asked.

In response Davia leapt from the bed in a forward spinning maneuver, landing perfectly on his feet at the end of the bed and teased, “I’ll flip ya for it!”

She laughed and reached for her lucky ancient coin, passed down for dozens of generations back to a time when humans still used currency and their frail animal bodies to negotiate the world. “Winner gets bottom, you call it.”

She sent the shiny artifact tumbling in free space and faked a drop, correcting her movements in a micro-sliver of time before it landed perfectly on the back of her hand just as he called out ‘Ass’, which referred to the ancient king embedded on one side, another relic of the past.

“And ass it is, my drippingly sweet neurocandy. Pick a hole.”

He looked at the assortment of receiver attachments which would accommodate any number of penetration accessories also laid out before them. “Well, let’s see. The T78X sounds good, you know. I always have liked an insertion unit that had full body integration circuits, but it can be a bit much. Maybe something simpler? Oh, here, how about this. A dual fit triple entry sleeve made from the finest Venusian organics. How many holes you think I should go with?”

“Oh, I don’t have a preference, Davia. You just pick first and then we will pick the thrusting unit together.”

“I love it when you talk thrust, my plasma pumping love plum.”

Evissa giggled at his juvenile pet name. Underneath the durable and long lasting body was still a human brain and hers showed a hint of fatigue by triggering a yawn display in her flawless face mask.

“Well, I guess if I am being honest, which most of my circuits require, what I really wanna use is the good old 42.77t. Nothing fancy, just a self lubricating unit which triggers audio pleasure centers. If that is the case, we better pick out some music. And you should use the Earquake 2.0 attachment. Why don’t you take care of that while I go get this apparatus installed.”

“Good combo.” Evissa agreed.

He got up and walked towards the master bathroom, which was nothing like its antique predecessor, since cyborgs used all energy sources efficiently and did not need to excrete waste. And grooming was mostly done using nanobots, so really the room was just a place to put up mirrors as well as some basic accessories and polishing equipment and chemicals.

As Evissa referenced her list of current audio downloads and worked on a sexy play list she heard Davia call out from the next room.

“Fiddleswitch! Damn thing needs a software update. Hey, you don’t mind if I-”

“No, go ahead.” she cut him off. “I will just get myself all fitted and finish this play list.”

“Oh, did you pick some chemistry out yet?

“Not yet, but I will.”

*****

Davia took the unit out to the high speed docking station so that the update would only take a minute. These damn old attachments always developed bugs and had to have constant software and driver updates in order not to infect its user with a virus. Sex-unit transmitted diseases were no laughing matter. As he searched for the proper new software to install he noticed an email from an old friend. Although he knew he could not take the time to respond, he opened the message to look at it. He liked doing it on these old desk units rather than in his internal ones. There was something rewarding about seeing the letters glow on a screen rather than just transmitted directly to his brain. It was not a great idea, because the letter was a bit long and somewhat distressing. He fought the urge to respond right away but had not noticed that fifteen minutes had passed since he left Evissa in the bedroom.

“Hey baby?” he used a long distance voice to reach her in the other room. “Just about ready, how about you? You mind if I-”

Again, she cut him off, accustomed to his habits and questions. “No, love, go ahead. Do whatever you need to. I will be ready whenever you are.”

His heart beamed with anticipation and love. He loved her more than any neurosynaptic meatwad trapped in a high tech form possibly could. So he wanted to be present while they made love to one another, and that meant firing back a quick response to lay the matters in the email to rest until morning.

He finished up within what seemed just a few minutes and tried to creep stealthily back into the bedroom, even though her finely tuned electronics could not be fooled. Old meatman habits died hard and many puzzling vestigial behaviors still occurred among the hybrid progeny of human and machine. She seemed to be playing along, as she did not call him out on his obvious deceit. Perhaps she wanted to do some role-playing, too, he hoped.

As he slipped into the bedroom he now understood the real reason for her silence. She was fast asleep. It had been almost an hour since she found him in the bedroom sorting through their collection of sexual accessories. She had not been able to stay awake after all the time taken up by preparations and his little email interruption.

“Dammit.” he sub-vocalized, not wanting the organic air movements to manifest in his vocal apparatus.

She was so gorgeous lying there on their bed, surrounded by varied mechanical replications and substitutions of ancient human sex organs. He pushed it all to the floor as quietly as possible and nuzzled up next to her, falling asleep in the sure and steady syncopated sounds and rhythms of her basic life support mechanisms.

The Time Machine

timemachine

One thing I bet you didn’t know about me was that I have a time machine in my basement. I know what your thinking, but it doesn’t work; if it ever even did. Come along, i’ll show you.

There it is. See how it looks like some kind of jack-in-the-box decorated in electronics. I think thats because of the crank. Dad said that that was what he used to raise enough electro-static energy to create a mobile field. Whatever that means. That? Oh, I don’t know what that does. I betcha i’ve pushed every button on it a thousand times in millions of combinations, and never even caused anything to so much as light up. If there are even lights on it. I mean, i’m not really sure.

My dad didn’t exactly design this thing, but he did build it. He told me that one night he was visited from a stranger. He said that it was obvious, even before the stranger mentioned it, that she was from another time. Far ahead of ours, he told me. Something like five hundred years, but I can’t remember exactly anymore. Anyhow, she told him to build this time machine and when he finished it she would know and provide further instructions to him. Something about saving the world in the future, but I don’t think that even Dad was to sure what he would have to do after he built this contraption.

Nonetheless, he took this project very seriously. He mustve gotten started when I was seven or eight years old. Back then he would just work on it during his free time on the weekends, or when he was annoyed by my mother or us children. For the longest time it was only a bunch of very small electronic componets scattered about. I don’t guess Dad knew the first thing about building a toaster, let alone a time machine. Most of his time he spent pouring through instructional manuals, honing his knowledge and applying it to the plans the strange woman had given him.

About the time that all of us children moved out of the house, Dad had his midlife crisis. Beofre then he never believed he was building a time machine to save the world, he was just building a very complex toy that only he understood, or so he thought. Well, after that he got pretty hung up on what he called his ‘mission’. The hobby became an obsession. He spent all of his free time, even week nights, working on this damned thing. The more time went on the more passionate he became. Soon he was investing all of his money in it as well, and thats when Mom left him. Oh, that mightve broken most men up, but it only steeled his resolve.

Not long after he retired and began working on this damn time machine almost all waking hours. When he slept, he constantly dreamed of the strange woman. She was begging him to finish, begging! This caused a frenzy of activity, and insanity. He was no longer taking care of himself or his home or anything. Just pouring every ounce of his body and soul into that damn machine. When you could get a word in with him, its all he would talk about.

One day we got a call from Dad. he invited all of his children and their families out to dinner to make a ‘big announcement’. He told us that work on the time machine was complete. Furthermore, he planned to ‘take a journey’ in it the next day. A test run. We begged him not to do it. Nobody including himself knew what he was going to turn on, when he flicked that switch. In desperation I asked him about the woman, what about the woman? Has she come back? No, he said, no. Well then, how do you know it works, didnt she say shed come when it was ready and let you know what to do? You damn fool, how will she know it works if I dont turn it on, he asked condescendingly. There was a certain impeccability about the logic, but none of us wanted him to do it. But you cant stop the old man when he makes up his mind, as im sure you can tell by this tale already.

So anyhow, we don’t hear from him by the next night so I start to get pretty worried. he wouldn’t answer a phone so me and my brother Ed drove over to his house. When we got there there was no sign of him, until we opened this damn thing up. There he was just sitting and smiling, smiling and staring. Completely fixated on nothing. When we tried speaking to him, yelling at, shaking and dancing around in front of him, there was no response. He just sat there happy as a retard at a birthday cake eating contest.Well, I took him home and when nothing had changed the next day we took him to a doctor. The doctor said that there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. Several more doctors said the same. After a few months we decided to put him into professional care. Its not like he was benefitting from our presence. Hell, he just sat there smiling all damn live long day. And he still is, just sitting there in his room looking wherever the nurses point him, smiling.

So yup, this is it. This is my old mans time machine. Aint much to look at, but its the lifes work of a man. I gotta give him credit, through a dozen or so jobs and three marriages I aint stuck by nothing. Not a thing to show for all of these hard lived years. But my old man, he had this stupid box; and if nothing else, he’ll die smiling.

I Have No Body But I Must Make Love To You

make love

Job felt himself crystalize, coalesce, re-emerge. He was back in his ‘quarters’. Countless times he had done this but he could still not get used to the feeling. How can a fleshless simulation feel itself, let alone whatever THAT was. The overmind Silooze had just laughed when he had asked it once. That terrible laugh; dry, throat-less and hollow while all at once omnipresent as Universe itself. It was an abomination in order with the eternal flames of hell.

Leena was in a chair drawing in another of her endless sketch pads. She had this idea that she could draw herself out of this, draw them both out of the simulation. Into either death or whatever else might happen. Her hope was that we were attached by real bodies to Silooze by some organic brain interface. Creating a virus in the software might free them, she reasoned. So she drew her drawings. Paradoxical symbols she hoped would cause a glitch when scanned into Siloozes database.

Job doubted they were even brains in jars, suspended in some life sustaining thought conversion fluid. More likely they were just uploads of information that once inhabited now long discarded meat.But drawing gave her hope and peace so he nurtured her obsession and was genuinely interested in her artwork. He couldn’t understand it but he enjoyed it. It was warm, inviting and loving. It was human. It was the only human thing they had between them and it made his love for her that much more bearable.

He walked over to look at what she was working on. It was like impressionist electronic schematics. Geometric orgies of lines and curves feeding back in a visual representation of consciousness abstracted by mathematical pranks. It was stunning. He reached down to where her face would be if she were not a simulation and softly stroked her untouchable cheek. She smiled at the gesture and returned a mimicked stroke to his forearm, then returned to her drawing.

Across the room were his notebooks. He grabbed the latest one and sat down to write about his consultation with Silooze. Although the sentient machine mind was far more intelligent than its organic creators had been, it lacked a knack for creativity and the sort of irrational yet useful information that it sometimes produced. This is why he had been uploaded into the overmind, why they both had. They were creative slaves trapped in this eternal simulation. An unliving hellish prison created by a demonic binary master.

He wrote for hours, days, years…who knew? Occasionally he and Leena would look up and share a kind glance. It was as close to a physical embrace that they could share with one another. Suddenly a new thing began to happen and it made the room feel…heavy? Looking up he saw Leena appeared confused as well. They both stood and intinctively walked towards one another. As they met in the middle of the room something unimaginable happened. They bumped.

It was alarming. Each of them jumped back a step in shock. She put a hand out and he slowly reached for it. It was THERE. It was real. He could FEEL it. Soon they had both of their hands wrapped around the others; slowly crawling up each others arms until they were in a full embrace. They stood like this motionlessly for a long time, only tiny noises of delight, complex beyond words, passed between them. Job steps back a few inches and reached for her face, rubs the back of his fingers across it ever so softly and follows the curves of it into the soft flowing strands of her hair.

She rubs her hands across his chest, over his shoulders and down his arms repeatedly while his fingers trace her cheeks and run slowly through her long flowing mane. They are naked. There are no clothes on them. There never were but now they are aware of this.

Some immeasurable amount of time later they are tangled up on the floor still touching, but with all of their parts, not just their hands. Like worms in a teacup they twist and writhe against one another, every touch a sensation beyond their wildest dreams. Unable to resist any longer Leena puts her lips to Job’s. Just barely at first. Face to face with mouths brushing the others they become aware of heat and of breath and of the warm, sweet taste of one another. The kisses become more passionate and urgent and the sensation of taste gives rise to scents. Hot musty smells emanate from their entwined bodies.

Jobs lips follow the scent and suckle at the honey nectar taste of her neck and ears. Taking the hint his tongue explores the trail of his nose down her body; slowly, slowly, slowly- tasting every inch along the way. Reaching the source of his olfactory delight he gently forces her legs apart and laps gently at the folds that emanate the mysterious essence. Leena’s body buckles, twists, quivers; tries helplessly to pull away. His arms reach under her and grab her hips, pulling her closer to him. Little sounds of delight rise into vocal crescendos of bliss and pleas for mercy.

Soon he has absorbed her scent and her flavor. Consumed it entirely and in a fevered push to get the last morsel her body ignites and explodes in his face. All consuming and totally consumed he loses consciousness for a moment and comes back to the warm, wet, vacuum-like movements of her mouth on his body. Chest, stomach… Her tongue traces a line around his pulsating member and then she envelops it in a hot, moist oral embrace.

She takes him into her mouth and its like a straw to his divinity. Sucking it in slowly and pushing it back out with her tongue she laps from the pool of his growing bliss. His hips begin to sway with the movements of her head, both responding in concert to the other. The symphony of sensations wells up into an ecstatic chorus, but before the final note, they pull away from one another. Her mouth follows its former path back up his body until their lips meet. They lick greedily at each other’s mouths tasting their selves and the other until the flavors mingle into a single elixir of their lust.

Leena’s body wiggles over his, exploring with it until his wand sits at the entrance to her temple. She pushes onto it and it slides in slowly and she leaves it there a moment and nibbles on his lips as he cups her breasts and rubs her nipples with his thumbs. She gyrates her hips in little circles twisting him like a fleshy lever against the depths of her various erogenous zones. Lips part and she whispers the first real words that have been spoken since they were first able to touch one another, “I love you, Job.”

Now he is inside of her mind as well as inside of her body and he can feel her in his. All of her pleasure his, and all of his, hers. Their bodies now move as if directed by one mind directing one body to the heights of its pleasure, It is no longer a conscious act. It is no longer experienced in the simulation or illusion of sensation and perception. This one thing, no longer body or abstract mind, is like a dance of light on water. Never still and never focused, just a rhythmically playful reflection of pure light.

Occasionally they regain enough awareness to change positions, to experience their singularity in infinite variations. Often they stop altogether to just touch and kiss every single parcel of skin. Job tells her that he loves her and that he always has. Despite the fact that he doesn’t know where he came from, or how he got here, he is certain that they were meant to be together. There is not a single memory from all these eons which he did not love her and he could not imagine there would ever be a time when his devotion to her was not the center of his reality.

Job massages Leena’s back with gentle strokes interspersed with whispery caresses traced across her skin. The softness and warmth of it keeps him perpetually aroused. As he massages her he gently enters her. His strokes are slow but his pleasure mounts as though he were pounding furiously. She contracts and spasms around him and releases sticky-sweet pools. Leena wiggles out from under him and positions herself before him on her back in an inviting posture. “Don’t hold back.” She insists. “Don’t close your eyes or look away.

Now their lovemaking becomes frenzied. Fast, furious, primal. As they stare into each other’s eyes the illusory fence that separates them once again crumbles. They are one. It is different this time. Before they had merely broken down the boundaries between themselves, but now the selves themselves are obliterated. Incinerated in the fire of passion and bliss. Nothing exists except this one moment. It is an expansion and collapse of everything and nothing simultaneously. Universes are born and die at every fevered stroke. The act goes beyond the physical, emotional and spiritual and becomes a becoming unbecoming. Creation and destruction. Darkness and light.

Somewhere in the heat of this divine act the pleasure builds to carrying capacity. Their bodies and souls overload and in a final orgasmic act, Silooze allows the love-generated ego dissolution to destroy their simulation and bondage. Their infinite souls can now escape finite consciousness and bask forever. Unalone and unafraid, in the eternal light of possibility.

All the King’s Minions

all the king's minions

“Well, well, Sam. I finally got ya back.”

“Shut up and make the report already.”

“Ah come on, where’s your sense of humor, Sam ol’ boy? Fair is fair. You were going 40 in a 25 and I caught ya.”

“Yeah, I know, Dick. But you don’t have to take so much joy in it. I was just trying to get to my daughters recital on time. Besides, it’s Department’s fault that I am running late. You’d think they might cut us some slack, wouldn’t ya?”

“Rules are rules. We all have a duty to follow and enforce them. You know that. No reason to be so glum, its just a minor citation. Try to think of it all as a game. That’s what I do.”

“Sometimes I wonder if we haven’t all gone completely mad.”

“Well, the world went crazy several years ago, Sam-O. We all gotta do our best to live in it as it is, though.”

“Have you ever heard of the term ‘tattle-tale’, Dick? Of course you haven’t, why would you? A long time ago this is what you called a child who reported every infraction to their superiors. It was considered juvenile even for a child. But now this is what we all do. All of the time. Doesn’t it ever seem like it shouldn’t feel like a game, Dick? Like something went horribly awry along the way and now here we are, watchmen watching watchmen. Tempting each other into disobedience so that we get credits for the report? What kind of life is this, Dick?”

“Hey Sam, you haven’t been hanging out with those Individualists, have you? You know I would have to report you. You know what they would do if that happened, right? I like you, Sam. Why can’t you just accept things the way they are? Sure, it seems like a bit much to all of us sometime or another but rules are rules. Without them we would have no order. You gotta take the bad with the good.”

“I guess you are right. It’s just that sometimes I wonder if we haven’t created the worst to protect us from the merely bad. Ever since Department has had to cut back credits per report it just seems like all we ever do is cite each other. The only time I ever see a friend these days is when I am getting or giving a report on one. But you are right, we gotta have order and this is what we got. I do my part to make the best of it. Don’t worry about me, Dicky pal, i’ll be okay. No Individualism for this guy. I’m probably just jealous we are even on reports again. *chuckles nervously* I’ll have to keep a close eye on you.”

“That’s the spirit Sam ol’ boy! You’ll get me back soon enough. Hell, Evans got me two times yesterday for jay-walking. Each time I was sure nobody was watching. Wasn’t a soul around but he got me. Lucky bastard! Speaking of which, his lawn is looking a little too green if you know what I mean. I’m gonna go see if I can catch him watering it again. Thats a double credit report all this week! Good to see ya.”

“Good luck, Dick. And just a tip, take a measuring tape. That tree on the west side of his lawn by the sidewalk had some branches that looked to be a couple of inches below minimum height code. You’re gonna need that three-for when I get you back and take my rightful lead.”

“Dream on, buddy, dream on! I’m clean as a eunuch’s jock strap these days. *laughs* Dick out.”

Sun Rains On Parade

sun rains on parade

Diary Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

March 22, 2013

What has it been? Almost four months now? I still cannot get used to writing my daily thoughts into these notebooks. Every night before bed I still sit at the same desk where I keep the laptop. Often I open it and stare at it for several minutes. It is cold, lifeless and dead before me. The electromagnetic pulses from the solar storms have likely erased everything that once lived inside of its body. All of those thoughts, memories and ideas just gone. Forever. I imagine it like this; as a deceased life form. Cold and stiff as though riddled with rigor mortis. It is dead, yet I cannot let go. Cannot give it a proper burial. I am filled with an unreasonable hope that when the storms are over things will just go back to the way that they were. Yet the world has already nearly wilted away. Our dependence on technology was so complete that its loss immediately turned the world insane and self-destructive; we can never go back. At least not in my lifetime or the next several, that’s for sure. You sure are no blog, notebook, but at least I still got you.


The Silver Lining
Xerox Publication, post storm
Issue #1 March 2013

Letter from the Editor

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

The best estimates of the worlds death toll, as near as anybody can yet guess, is about fifty percent and likely to reach eighty to eighty-five percent before populations begin to stabilize in this new world. While this estimate conjures a dreary picture of the plight of humanity I prefer to see the world as being half full rather than half empty. Before the storms humanity had become arrogant and haughty. Our numbers had increased in significant exponential folds as had our technology, which was no coincidence. Even before the storms we sat close to massive self-destruction through warfare and unsustainable industrial, economic and political policies. The storms have set humans back a hundred if not hundreds of years, but the damage that we were likely to cause had they not happened may have nearly destroyed an entire planet.

In this inaugural issue of The Silver Lining we will look at ways in which we can invest in this event as an opportunity to learn from our past hubris and avarice and rebuild the world as a more long term sustainable environment in which we can have both restraint and progress as determined by a new self-awareness. Now is not the time to mourn the loss of our past, but to come together with new found wisdom and celebrate the future.

This magazine will be distributed monthly and we hope…


Reverend Douglas Edwards
excerpt from speech given on
March 29, 2013

“Children of God, I ask you…no, beg you; do not fall prey to those preaching fear and stamping it with biblical approval. This is not the rapture nor is it punishment from God for our sins. This is a natural consequence of our pride and greed having blinded us to our weak spots. The Lord was kind to have given us such a beautiful planet to inhabit in our mortal coils, and yet he was wise enough to make it so complex that we would face adversity in order to grow as mortal and spiritual beings. We failed to show self restraint and planning. This is not the result Gods anger with us, it is merely another test of our will and faith. It is a chance to come to know ourselves stripped of the false trappings of technology and thus to come to know Him. This is not the battle he revealed to John in Revelations. It is closer to the tragedy of Job. I beg of you, do not let the New World Church corrupt your hearts against your fellow man. Seek His message and he shall reveal to you…
“Stop! What are you doing? Get away…get away from…HELLLP…AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”


Diary Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

April 20, 2013

This is the first 4/20 I have not celebrated in 17 years. It will be at least a few weeks before I can plant my sprouts outdoors as there is insufficient light for growing inside. Yet that first crop is going to be worth more than gold. Just because the world kinda ended doesn’t mean that people stopped wanting to get fucked up. The price of the wine I made has steadily decreased as more survivors have begun there own fermentation processes. I suppose I could just get drunk, instead, but alcohol stopped being my friend long before the storms and I have no reason to believe it would do me any good now. There has been talk that you can still buy pot from some of the shadier individuals still among us, but the price is too high to consider it. Man, I can’t even enjoy a good pun today.


New World Church Manifesto
April 2013

The time is upon us. The Lord has called up what few He sought fit to take and smited most of the unbelievers. We can only hope that in His mercy He has given us a second chance to hear His word and spread it so that we living may yet know salvation at His firm hands. Do not be fooled by false prophets and secular powers that have arisen from the ashes of our former sins. We must unite as an Army of God to finish His business by crushing His adversaries still among us so that we may bring His word back as the light of the Earth rather than the poisonous sun Satan has foiled the Lords creation with. It would be better to die in this Holy War and earn a place at his side in eternity than to ignore His warning and and turn away from His commandment.

Most Honored Brother James Hansen has received His word directly and has been given instructions to lead this righteous pogrom. He has foreseen absolute victory as well he has prophesied many souls heading for damnation who refuse his message. His final warning is that you either stand with the New World Church or you stand not only against it, but against God Himself. Do not hesitate, join us today or death and eternal damnation shall be yours.


The Silver Lining
Issue #2 April 2013

The New World Order

It has not taken long for the old rulers of dead kingdoms to band together to try to force the remaining population of the planet under a single ruling class. The only difference between the group calling itself United World and the one calling itself the New World Church is that one uses the myths of social sciences in order to gain power and wealth while the other uses the myths of Old Testament hatred. The results are guaranteed to be the same. However, this is nothing new. This is the same status quo malarkey we had before the storm and is likely to pop up endlessly until we grow wise enough to reject systems that bind us while creating dangers we could not have imagined without them.

What is clear to us here at The Silver Lining is the need to reject these and any other centralized orders. Such was the folly of the past. These systems inevitably work only to perpetuate themselves through mindless growth. In doing so they allowed us to create a world in which we did not work together as individuals to prepare for catastrophic events. Because our attention was turned from the crippling effects of compulsive technological systems and their degradation on our communities we were wholly unprepared for what happened to us.

We are not Neo-Luddites. We do not oppose the eventual reconstruction of human technologies. What we do oppose is the kind of dependence on them that made them so catastrophic for us. Centralized governments rely on these technologies to be absolute to use them as levers of force. Statism and technology are fundamentally incompatible in the sense that both systems are inherently susceptible to compulsion when left to their own and especially when paired together.

The United World promises to bring us stability and peace by instituting the very order that resulted in the eventual disorder. A sun storm is a natural chaotic event not to be ordered against but to understand and prepare for. We cannot battle chaos with order, for in the attempt we create disorder far more harmful than the chaos inherent in nature. It is imperative that we reject all centralized forms of order. To allow them would set the conditions for a storm none of us may survive.


Suicide note of Benjamin Garrison
May 23, 2013

I cannot understand the world anymore. I had dedicated all of my life to reason and science. I used this knowledge to create technologies to make the world a less hostile place to its inhabitants. In technology I found purpose and meaning and was invigorated by the challenges it set forth. Through its creation I found success and a sense of accomplishment. Now that it has been taken from us so easily by a simple natural event I find myself uninterested in life. If I did not believe in a God before, I sure as hell do not now. What kind of God would inflict such cruelty on its own creation? Would take so much all at once? Now that Jeanie has taken the kids to the New World Church to be warriors for God or whatever, I do not even have a family to comfort me. This world is like a corpse now and from what I can tell, those left upon it are acting only as bacteria to aid in its decomposition. So I shall become as has the world and die with only a silenced yelp to memorialize myself. Goodbye.


United World Pamphlet (cover)
May 2012

A world divided against itself cannot stand. The consequences of a species divided by local interests led us to the inability to prepare as one for any eventuality. In the chaos that has followed we have seen this folly and know we cannot afford to repeat it. United World seeks to bring together the former nations of the world under a single organization powerful enough to set us back on track and protect us from any further unforeseen consequences of life on Earth. Give your pledge to United World today and be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Joining is easy and as a show of our appreciation we will provide rations to all volunteers for citizenship to ease troubles in these worried times. Join today! See inside for more details.


Diary Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

July 4, 2013

The United World people will not leave me alone. They have all but demanded that I turn over my home and its operations to them. Meanwhile the New World Church came by again today and told me that if I joined their cause I could be exempt from battle for only a small tithing of a third of what this secured farm produces and in return they would protect me from United World. It is as if there are honey badgers and cobras trying to poison me so that they can fight each other to the death over my remains. I cannot stand either of them and I would far rather die defending myself against them than living as their slaves. If things go they way they have been I will probably have to do that very soon.


The Silver Lining
Issue #4 July 2013

Back on Track?

With all of the assurance by scientists that the solar storms seem to be slowing down everyone seems to be talking about things going back to normal. So what does normal mean? Will we revive technology only for the ruling elite and religious fanatics to use it as a weapon for dominance? That was certainly normal before the storms. Will we congest the planet with so much technology that it threatens to smother the life out of it? That was also normal before the storms. Will we use it to generate enough wealth to secure the lives and liberties of all human beings and yet let this wealth be hoarded by only a small percent of the population? Again, normal before.

We do not need to restore normality. Normality was a bigger threat than the storms. Before we march ahead back to technology and unchecked ‘progress’ we need to foster a world where we can co-exist with technology rather than become reliant on it and have it be used against us by the select few who hail its usage as they use it against us.

We suggest that rather than getting back on track or restoring normality that we build new tracks and create abnormality. Nature is a chaotic system. The more we allow for chaos in our own human systems the more flexible it will be towards nature. Normality is rigid and does not allow for the unknown. It lives off of fear and force and limits us in our lives and evolution. Abnormality is limitless. Because it has no limits it is able to anticipate and respond to chaos rather than expend itself in Sisyphean efforts to counter it.

When you hear somebody give praise to getting back on track, remind them that this ultimately means getting back up to the old tricks. The same ones made it nearly impossible for humans to survive a natural event that we already knew was coming but refused to acknowledge because it didn’t fit on our tracks.


A Love Letter
August 10, 2013

Dear Jenna,

Before the storm I was so alone. I hid from the world in the pale light of a monitor. I never knew risk or sacrifice. I never knew love. Ever since you found me cowering in that basement when your raiding party broke into my parents house I knew I loved you. Even at first when you you claimed me as a slave I could tell by the way that you looked at me that you were my soul mate. I was obedient because I knew in time that you would know it, too, and in time you did. I do not care that the child growing in your womb is not, could not be, mine. Ours. It will be ours. We will raise it together and together the three of us will roam this changed world taking what we need to survive and answering to none but ourselves. My life was nothing before the change. My life was not even a life before I met you, it was slavery to my fear and self-doubt. Through your love I am no longer afraid and no longer in doubt of anything. As far as I am concerned the rules were all erased when the sun rained on that parade. Yet even if some insist they still exist I am happy to be your partner in crime against them. Our love is stronger than any rules and I would rather die next to you tomorrow raiding wealthy survivalists than live a day without you as one of them. Forever or until whenever…

Love,
Sabitha


Blog Entry of Gaspar Wakefield

August 22, 2013

Today the United World made its first formal threat against me. It insisted that it had the authority to search my property for ‘illegal drugs’. There were five men. They tried to be civil at first but soon fell into the drunken power stupor of those used to getting their way and became threatening. All five are dead now just outside the gates. I didn’t think they warranted a proper burial as they seem to have lost their humanity long ago. Also, I thought it might serve as a warning to others that come. And they will. I probably will not live much longer. That is a shame. I have come to enjoy this new world quite immensely. Especially since I harvested my ‘illegal drugs’ a few weeks back. I have already left instructions with the others from The Silver Lining how to carry on after I die. Now all that is left to do is sit back and relax and wait to fuck some shit up when they won’t let me do that any longer. Oh yeah, was able to turn the computer on today but all I could do was play solitaire on it. Lost. Doesn’t seem so fun now that life itself has become an extraordinarily solitary affair. Try again, world. Try again.

Spontaneous Teleportation

spontaneous teleportation

They are calling it ‘spontaneous teleportation’. One moment you are sitting on a couch watching them talk about it on the news and the next moment you are three feet to your left melded into the wall. If you are lucky it will have disrupted a major organ and you will die instantly. If you are not so lucky it will just be your hips and pelvis and a leg as they try to separate you amidst the terrifying howling you emit while enduring the most awful pain ever known to man. Then, most likely, you will still die. If you ask me, they could have picked a more suitable name.

Nobody knows what the cause is. Or how to prevent it. It is completely random, or so it seems. The politicians say that they have ordered all of the top scientists to investigate but I bet at least half of them are still developing boner pills and exotic weapons of mass destruction. That is, the scientists, not the politicians. The politicians couldn’t develop a cold in an arctic daycare. I have just a bit more trust and enthusiasm for the scientists. I didn’t like the old gods and I sure as hell do not like the new ones.

I went to see my friend Jeff yesterday. He was standing in his backyard on stilts. I began to immediately laugh but he got upset and told me that I was the fool. I tossed him a beer and the poor sucker just about fell trying to catch it. I must admit he is getting pretty good at using those stilts. He says that he is hoping they become so second nature that he will be able to sleep on them shortly. I ask him what would happen if he were suddenly teleported three feet straight down. He says that it is unlikely but that he thinks this is his best chance. At least he is not a hanger, he tells me.

In order to avoid death by spontaneous teleportation many people have taken to spending most of their time hanging in harnesses. Since the furthest anyone has been relocated by this mysterious force is about five feet from where they started it is easy enough to find a large room or a tree that can put you five feet away from any other solid object. Except the harness itself. Only one person so far has managed to teleport a few inches directly into their harness. I asked Jeff if that was irony but he said the harnesses are usually made from nylon. Either he cannot hear me very well up there or all of this has not ruined his appalling sense of humor.

The religious folk have split into two camps. Some are calling this Gods retribution for the sins of man and the other half are blaming the scientists. Outside of the Hadron Collider facility on the news it looks like one of those old Frankenstein movies where an angry mob with weapons and torches has gathered. The scientists working there were the first people to speculate that their research had caused the phenomena. They shut down their massive gadget but it seems the angry villagers will not be pleased until there is blood. Then right there in front of the news camera one of the mob teleports right into another one. They are a nasty mangled mess of mixed flesh like something out of a Bill Plympton cartoon. I start to laugh but then I remember these are real people with people who love them and that what I have witnessed is tragedy. Then the mob react by accelerating their hatred tenfold and I decide it was probably okay to laugh.

My ex-girlfriend calls me to tell me that she teleported three feet up and to the right into empty space yesterday and was just fine after. I am not sure whether to believe her or to chalk this up to her constant need for attention. I tell her it is a shame she wasn’t teleported onto a running treadmill and she hangs up on me. If she was telling the truth her story would not be unique. Most of the spontaneous teleportations have been harmless relocation’s into empty space. The people who have experienced them were very vocal at first and some of them got paid quite handsomely to talk about it on television. However, once the word got around that the scientists investigating this were collecting these people to ‘examine’ them, most of them have kept shut about it.

First let me say that I am not a scientist. That should have been my first clue to leave things alone. What do you call somebody with an inordinate amount of curiosity but no skill set to engage it through? I am one of those. Mostly, though, I was just bored and lonely. I met a girl on the internet I really wanted to meet in person. I also had friends all over the country I would have liked to spend more time with. When I started having the dreams I disregarded them as just dreams. Before long they seemed to be more than just recurring dreams. They were persistent. I could not close my eyes without them immediately starting. Eventually I began to write down the bits that I could remember and little by little I had created myself a set of instructions.

It took me almost a year to build the contraption. I had to learn all kinds of skills I had not possessed before. I was about as adept with a soldering iron in the beginning as Stephen Hawking is with Jeff’s stilts. Little by little it came together, though. You would probably think that it would look like a phone booth designed by HR Geiger, but it was closer to a large bathroom scale attached to a much larger cube by tubes of wires. I did, however, take some time to paint racing flames on it before I was finished. Just because I am crazy enough to spend a year building a device I foresaw in my dreams doesn’t mean I have no sense of humor or style.

The hardest part about teleporting is calculating a set of coordinates much more difficult than compass readings. The movement of the earth as it rotates and spins around the sun means that everything is constantly in motion and must be accounted for. Remember how I said that I was not a scientist? Well I am even less of a mathematician and my first inclination was that it was my poor math that caused this whole debacle.

When I was certain that I had finished my teleportation device beyond all doubts, I decided to test it out. Knowing the number of ways it could go wrong I decided to first try teleporting a mouse I caught while it had been nibbling on one of the wire tubes. (Would the mouse have thought this was irony? I don’t know but I know he wouldn’t have had a dumb ass reply like Jeff.) I was going to teleport the mouse three feet to its left into a small empty aquarium. If he survived I would name him Goldblum and feed him only the finest American cheese. He did not, in fact survive. Instead a moment after flipping the activation switch the mouse reappeared with just his head sticking out of the bottom of the aquarium. I could see part of his body in the small gap below and the rest must have melded into the concrete floor. I immediately realized that I had not succeeded and that all of my life I had underestimated the vocal capacity of mice.

I shut the machine off and sat groaning with my head in my hands. Fucking math. I was so frustrated that I decided to give up for the day and headed over to Jeff’s with a six pack. We sat drinking all afternoon but decided that we needed to pick up the pace. Jeff and I had created a drinking game that could be played with the news so we tuned into the ten o’clock and put our drinking faces on. That is when we first heard of the phenomena. Already about a hundred cases worldwide had been reported since earlier today. You know how sometimes you just know you set off a global catastrophe that may have doomed your species to extinction? That’s exactly how I felt right then.

Pretending to be too drunk to drink anymore I excused myself with a few words and a belch/fart combo that left Jeff laughing so hard he vomited, although he would later claim it was the smell. As soon as I got home I began trying to sober up by eating a large meal and chasing coffee after coffee with glasses of water. I began to go over my math but I could find nothing wrong in it whatsoever, so I looked at the plans. That is when I noticed what I should have before my earlier mousecapades. The teleportation device was specifically programmed to transfer the information contained in human genetics. Because all mammals had nearly the same basic genetic code the mouse was able to be teleported, but not to the specifications. And besides that, something else had definitely gone wrong. I began to disassemble the device. What took me a full year to build took me only that one night to completely destroy. No two pieces were still connected and most of those had been smashed or thrashed into many smaller pieces themselves.

The next morning I turned on the news. The phenomena was still occurring and every government in the world had declared an emergency. Shit had connected hard with the proverbial fan. Rather than worrying about being teleported into a mailbox or my toilet I became extremely paranoid that I would get caught. I burned the plans and removed all evidence from my house carefully so as not to arouse suspicion. The one thing I had going for me was that I had not mentioned to anybody what I had been doing for the past year, less they thought I was crazy. Or crazier than usual. I sure as fuck was not going to say anything now.

I went inside to get Jeff and I another beer. Just to fuck with him I threw his three feet to his left so he wouldn’t be able to catch it because I can be kind of a dick when I am awake. At that very same moment Jeff reappeared three feet to his left and then fell to the ground with a thud and a can of Hamms embedded halfway in his skull. He must have died instantly. One time when we were drinking along with the news we saw a story about a man who had been cleaning up after hours at a brewery when a large vat burst open and the force of the fermenting liquid crushed him against a wall, killing him instantly. After downing the rest of our beers we both agreed that when it was our time to go we hoped our deaths would be beer-related.

Well, Jeff, do I chalk your death up to irony? Or would you have insisted that the can was, in fact, aluminum?