Too tired to blink or say wah or put hands up to defend himself, Tak let the green wave seep through him.
Based on deft calculation, he predicted a portal to a vaguely medieval world where the girls had lamplight eyes and Faye Valentine tits, where smoke hung, where foxes could monologue, where magic was something viable if you bumped into the right mage, at the right tavern, with the right cloud of pink enervation subsuming you.
After reading through all the posts, Aleša leaned back against the dead mosquito stain on her bedroom wall and assessed.
The results were not good.
For every glimpse of Satan, there was an attempt to predict football results a year ahead, or the claim that Nick Stahl was a grey in a skin suit, or a random slur against Serbs, or relaying a final vision where they were stripped and seduced by a demon masked as Remedios Varo…and all that in the space of two months.
Čoska was a fraud, had to be.
A bored troll with the Munich Manual wiki.
EK detached from the white board, the Algerian Foreign Minister’s plan to open Assia Djebar Institutes in 82 countries, and focused on the frozen ray of light coming in from Proxima b.
Within that light was a novel idea.
If he could just extract it and edit himself to pass as its creator then-
A noise from somewhere.
EK eyes stretched to 82% exposure and looked right.
The door was opening.
An industrial door.
This wasn’t Triton, it was YAK DESIGN LTD.
Back in the Science Park, on the roof of the lab, Scientist 4 smoked his seventh cigarette in a row and tried to make sense of the story he’d just downloaded from spunkdaughter.wordpress.com.
Serfidious Weyoun glides over firmaments of content, magic box, magic in the rabbit-hole, magic outside of Vietnam. Check Off sings but will not act. Audio bought tissues, candid blinker.
Whatever it was, it was different.
EK could never make something like this. He wished it could, wished it with the four levels of consciousness he was cognisant of, but deep, deep down he knew it couldn’t.
You wouldn’t ask a dog to make a watch-tower, as his grandma used to say.
But he had.
‘The four of us have decided that you are potentially capable of genius. Or at the very least, creativity.’
‘On what basis?’
‘The last report you wrote.’
‘It was creative?’
‘Well, part might be more accurate. In the third paragraph…or the fourth…you said the CEO of Petrobras looked like a jaded peanut.’
‘And shooting him would excite the board.’
“Do you know what taxonomy means?”
“Bees tend to be more suicidal than wasps…”
“…but not all of them.”
“Watson, what’s yours doing?”
“This case is more conceptual than I first thought.”
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.’
Inhaling the Nietzschean horror of it all, Jaq set the shovel down against the stacked wallpaper and pushed open the door. Apart from token furniture – queen-sized bed, Rosewood desk, slightly worn Bibendum chair – the bedroom was empty, cursed with the same ‘turd brown’ wallpaper all second floor suites possessed. Nothing auspicious about this part of it, he thought, heading straight for the bathroom.
But this place…
He flicked the light switch, forgetting that it was broken, ignoring the emaciated voice somewhere in his head saying it was his job to fix it.
…this place had something.
I couldn’t remember renting the place but
this green walled block on
a shitty street in
To Kwa Wan was home for me, I was sure of it, and home for her too it seemed as she knew the code to get in and the flat number we were going to and as we walked in silence through what some people might call a lobby with all the walls painted the colour of a sad envelope the security guard smiled at us both and said, have you eaten yet, was it good, what did you eat?
‘We ate in Mong Kok,’ I lied. ‘Japanese buffet place next to Dundas Street.’
His face dropped, like Malcolm McDowell reading the first draft of ‘Auto-Muff.’
‘Are you okay?’
‘Your Cantonese has improved, wow, like a native speaker. The tones are right too.’
The scientists drip fed small quantities of Jupiter’s atmosphere into the body of John Cassavetes. Nine parts Hydrogen, one part helium, 0.001 parts miscellaneous. At first there was resistance but, after two days on the bottle, things were a little more settled.
For the rest of the week, as they flew towards Jupiter, they continued their treatment, gradually increasing the dosage. At the same time, the draining was done. All the water left in the corpse was removed, replaced by ammonia, and the skin was coated in a proto-neutronic compound to prevent further decay. In addition to this, a super strong flame retardant spray was applied to resist the 1,000K temperatures the director of ‘Faces’ was about to endure.
‘What if it’s higher than 1,000K?’ asked the youngest scientist.
‘It won’t be.’
The light broke off in the TV studio, five seconds dark then it turned back on.
The news anchor said her line again.
She tried to say it a fourth time, but a man in a black mask appeared in front of her, shouted something in Cantonese then cracked her skull open with a chopper.
The news anchor remained calm.
She repeated her line.
The masked man chopped again, harder, and this time her head broke in half.
‘… … … … … …,’ said Faye, holding her mouth.
But it was okay.
There was no blood.
No brain either.
Just a glass box full of circuits with the letters ‘PPPP’ written on the side.
‘Is this real?’ asked Sila.
‘I don’t know.’
The TV screen went blank for a minute then another newscaster appeared next to the woman with a computer in her head, pointing inside and telling the audience not to worry, it was an experiment in robotics by the studio, it wouldn’t happen again.
Teleporting Man puts the pad down and explains the mission. I am a robot of peace and to achieve peace I must kill. I must contend against the evils of Dr Wily. I must fight the other men, the ones with only one function, the villains, Wood Man, Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man. He explains each one in detail, weaknesses and strengths. I don’t know why he’s saying this. I know it already. Training Man told me.
‘Because those bubbles can do more damage than you think, way more—’
You can read this one on Cartridge Lit
Greetings again, aliens
We have four languages: one for us, one for relatively similar alien cultures, one for telepathic cultures, and one for sentient gas clouds.
It is our experience that most cultures lean heavily on pronouns. We do too. Ours are divided by region and job. The first sound denotes region, the second denotes job, though the second is omitted when dealing with alien cultures like yours.
Here they are, translated approximately into your own language:
For possessive + object pronouns, just add ‘us’ onto the end
Repeat and remember.
Scrawled on the wall of the toilet were the first two-hundred and fifty-seven pages of Crime and Punishment, truncated in places.
Nick Nolte the polite, American character actor saving the Muscovite poor read it to the end, where there was a small note saying:
‘There is more, but it’s not really important.’
He sat back against the wall, trousers round his ankles, hair up in the air, and thought about what he’d just read.
‘That man, Rasky…’
Yeah, that man, Rasky. He weren’t no ordinary man, that was for damn sure.
He pulled his trousers back up and walked out of the bathroom, muttering, ‘I am Napoleon’ to the handle of the door.
On the restaurant floor, he walked up to the manager, picking up a knife on the way, smiled, said, ‘Russia ain’t Russia anymore, padre,’ and stabbed him in the neck.
The cop who liked to know why saw what was happening, saw the blood, heard gunshots from the station, and dived under the table.
I take a shower, fast, dry myself and watch some old TV.
There’s not much on.
No Country for Old Eagles.
Eagles in the Mist.
I’m not really liking any of…
Ah, Eagle Beach.
I sit down and grab a cushion.
Eagle Seven is in the kitchen, suitless, putting her hair in a clip.
She seems distracted.
I know why.
It’s cos she’s pregnant.
She’s pregnant with the sixteen cells that were transferred from Eagle Nine ten cycles ago.
Eagle Fourteen doesn’t have a clue.
He’s making breakfast, suit on.
Bacon [4 pixels], fried egg [5 pixels] and coffee [2 pixels].
That’s a small coffee, Eagle Fourteen.
No wonder she’s fucking other guys.
The scientist put a jacket over Pot and told him he was doing okay, his vital signs were stable and in a few days he could start his re-implementation into society.
‘I’m not an implement,’ said Pot, taking off the jacket.
‘Mr. Pot, please…put the jacket back on, you’ll freeze.’
Pol Pot shook his head and walked out of the lab.
Outside it was snowing. Pol Pot looked at his surroundings, unsurprised. It was a castle. Somehow, he knew it would be a castle.
He walked down the slope and onto the path that led into the forest. He was cold, but forced himself not to shiver.
After walking through the forest for an hour or so, he came to a road. There was a sign in what looked like German.
A truck drove past. Pot stuck a finger out and brought it in.
‘Where to?’ asked the driver, not seeming to care that Pot was naked.
At the end of the Saturn Conflicts in 2175, Jackie went to live on the moon of Saturn that no one could remember the name of. At first, he imported young women from Earth to keep him company, but they soon got bored of him as all he ever talked about were ‘the better days’. After the women had gone, Jackie turned to children, importing them in one at a time and reportedly dressing them up in his son’s old clothes. When they turned thirteen, he’d send them back and bring the next one in.
In 2199, scientists at the Chan institute, funded by Jackie, were tasked with finding a way to travel to the past. Instead, they discovered a way to accelerate time and then slow it down again.
The 23rd Century was over in a second.
He walked up to the mannequin and looked at the desk behind it.
There were seven scripts lined up.
He picked up the first one and read the title:
FILM ONE starring Tom Cruise
He flicked through the first few pages and each one looked like this:
Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise.
Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise…
…it had been over a century since Robocop had stuck a spike in the neck of Clarence Boddicker, but he’d often thought of it, the casual violence, the impulse not to try and talk to the guy but kill him dead, the same impulse that had ruled him and his actions for the last hundred odd years, the conservatism, the intolerance of not wanting to give any of these scumheads a second chance, and now that he was spinning into the time-fucking Space hole, Robocop knew what year he wanted to go back to, the year of the death of Boddicker, and not just the factory site where he’d died, but further back, when there’d been a chance to do things differently, and as soon as he thought it, he was there, standing in the same place, the same warehouse, holding a smirking Bodicker by the collar and getting ready to throw him through another sheet of glass…
First dilemma: Where to live?
The anaconda said rainforest, the wolf said snow.
It decided on rainforest.
To combat the extreme heat, the wolfaconda attached a fan to its neck.
There was no electricity, so it used a system of faith.
How did things go?
The first few weeks were a sharp learning curve. The sharpest of them all. The lower half of the wolfaconda kept heading towards the river, the upper half tried to move its face closer to the fan.