The year was 2079 and half the earth was anarcho-communist.
Aliens had been discovered six years earlier, a series of telescopes in Paraguay picking up a signal that, when deciphered by twelve year olds on the internet, simply said, ‘what go on?’
Discovered was a generous term
Contacted by was more accurate
But the Americans insisted on it, and everyone had to listen to the Americans as they had funded the telescope construction, at least fifteen percent of it, and when the second message arrived two days after the first, they used their satellites to intercept and their machines to translate and a six hour star-stunted special to present it back to the world.
The content of the second message?
‘We visit. Don’t move.’
By 2074, it was clear the aliens were at best a casual type of creature, at worst, barefaced liars, as their ships were nowhere to be seen, and the radar systems that few understood weren’t detecting any blips in the Kuiper Belt and people online were going back to The Oort Cloud Chronicles and Love Factor 6, and the politicians got bored too, realigning themselves to different struggles [the war on acrylic!], leaving the alien paraphernalia to the fringe and hoping with a great degree of confidence that taxpayers would forget about all the money they’d splurged on the Welcome to Earth/Please share your tech banners.
A year later, it was as if the aliens had never existed.
Of course, their exact nature was still debated by philosophy students, philosophy professors, philosophers for hire, anarchists, UFO enthusiasts, lunatics, people sitting next to lunatics in diners, astronomers, libertarians, exo-biologists, endo-biologists, Pluto lovers etc. but most people shrugged their shoulders [in spirit] and returned to quotidian life, thinking about food, food, food, food, food, creative pursuits, food and writing thank you letters to the scientists who’d perfected fusion.
The actual, real, genuine, couldn’t possibly be a lie truth was…the aliens were hanging out at a Lagrange point near Eris when they’d sent the signals.
And it hadn’t been intentional either.
One of their more senior observers had gotten so used to the ‘on base’ routine of their Eris habitat that, when they were told it was time to go home and spawn, they responded by fragmenting, stripping down to their core and hiding in the helium pools. That would’ve been fine, it had happened before on other bases…all they needed was enough time to program the nano-kleps, make sure the input data was sufficiently xenophobic…but this observer knew the routine and, somehow, managed to access the computer from the pools themselves.
Fortunately, they didn’t send any threats to the humans, but they did introduce themselves as a form of object-reality – an alien to their normal – and that was something difficult to walk back from.
High up in the Carpathians, on the south-western slope of a mountain dominated by snowstorms and sluggish bears, a man who called himself Jaq shoveled the remains of the previous night’s blizzard away from the hotel doors.
It was tedious work, but necessary.
At least that was what he’d been told. To him it was pointless, no vehicles coming up this way until April, no tourists in danger of slipping on the ice, but he was a disciplined man and routine could be a comforting thing.
So he dug, for forty-five minutes each day.
Digger digger digger digger digger the snow
If ya, if ya, if ya don’t want Etta to know
Depositing the last dregs of sleet on the snow at the side, he took the shovel back inside the main lobby, propped it up against one of the mauve pillars, sat down in front of his Adler 39 typewriter and started to write.
After an hour or so, he heard a noise.
It wasn’t the first time.
In fact, it was the hundred and thirty-seventh time…in two months. Which, according to his calculations, rounded out to two point one six occurrences a day. Of course, most of these noises ending up being nothing more than his kid breaking something, or his wife rehearsing her role in The Cherry Orchard…but not all.
The noise came again, from upstairs.
He took one last look at what he’d written on the page, muttered ‘bland, average’ then reclaimed the shovel and went to investigate.
According to the hotel manager, room 237 was the most auspicious spot in the entire region. VIP guests had been married in it, philosophical theories had been thought up from inside its bathtub, an indigenous Romanian tribe had fitted the pipes [before being beaten to death with other, looser pipes]…the mythology was infinite.
Gena Rowlands met with the scientists somewhere near Almeria, Southern Spain. She didn’t know this but they were the same scientists who’d brought back Pol Pot, the same scientists who’d predicted genocide holes = long distance space travel and the same scientists who would one day put the mind of a Japanese student into the body of an English lit student/gym instructor.
It was 1989.
‘Here’s what I want,’ said Gena, checking her watch. ‘My husband, John…you know him? He’s a director…was a director…he did Shadows and Faces and…Gloria. No? Doesn’t matter. The point is…what I want is my husband, alive again, via science.’
The scientists muttered something in Spanish.
‘I know, he’s dead. But only just. I mean, it happened a few weeks ago. But that doesn’t matter, right? From what I’ve heard of you guys, the science you can do, that doesn’t matter. Does it?’
The scientists nodded.
‘Cool. That’s cool. So the point is, what I want is…’ Gena paused, realising she’d said this part already. ‘Okay, you know what I want. Bring John back. My husband, bring him back to me.’
The scientists looked at each other.
‘You can do that, can’t you?’ Gena said, lighting up a cigarette. ‘I mean, I’m not just talking to a bunch of fucking actors here…am I?’
The lead scientist broke off from the others and led Gena to another part of the desert twenty metres away.
‘We can do it, of course. Explanations, however, are a different matter. Science is…it’s very complicated, the methods are…perhaps not so easy for you to understand.’
‘Okay…’ said Sila, looking to the left of his brain where he’d been told his language conduits were, ‘Oi sing yan hai…yee gah…chu lido…hai Heung Gong.’
‘Aliens are living in Hong Kong?’
‘Yup. Were the tones okay?’
The teacher smiled. The same way she’d smiled when he mixed up wife and grandma. ‘Some.’
‘I’ll take that.’
‘Lei yau mo gin gwor oi sing yan?’
‘Have you ever seen an alien?’
‘Ah. Yau mo gin gwor. I knew that.’
‘Ho lak ju.‘
The rest of the lesson carried on in pretty much the same way, the same way it’d gone for the last eight years since he’d first murdered ‘lei ho’, not realising he had to sing it, not say it, or say it but with elasticity, showing four tenths teeth and moving his mouth in an alien way, alien to the way he’d been taught while growing up, which wasn’t really taught either as sheep had once been geep, think had once been fink, and Batfink had probably always been Batfink. Continue reading →
What’s that room, what’s that room, what’s that room, what’s that room, what’s that room do, what’s in there, what’s it do, what’s that room, what’s inside, what, what’s inside, whoopi g? what’s that room, what’s that room, what’s that room, what’s in there,
Sentient textbook, shave in space, don’t like talk
Put it in the slut net
you’re soldiers now, 12 ship war, where’s earth? Where’s Chiba, where’s Mish? Turn left, stick with me, I’m half Belize, D at science, fuck first, sob fight later, where’s Sally B, you stole my knees, mourn that fool, we turned left yet? I’m fine, nice shirt, don’t apologise for holo-suite fun stains, scare Tracy.