[Destiny] Chapter 55: Mir A Cull Child

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Argento red

stretched out wall skin

not calling out loud not coy just

giallo red

horror knife cut red

death is red and red is

in front stolid, old stone, door-like

leading me through with legs of hydrogen legs of

gliding legs

ineffable legs

ensconced in lux cavity within castle wall

lies the inevitable

just what I thought it would be

one of HIS taunting cabinets, door ajar, open as I greenly approach, stocked with human façade, the face

mine but

skin pale blue, grey, something between

feet and legs wet

cabinet floor now a swimming pool

slowly drowning in pink water

dentist fluid

on legs arms neck bone fingers

~~~

The cabinet gorged on the dark and the dark gorged back, subsuming everything pink and with form until it got bored of all that and let the tracing begin.

Sila pursued the psycho trail, eyes half cut, picking out

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[Destiny] Chapter 54: Purple Ruin

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zakaj je skočila v luknjo?

za ljubezen?

osamljenost?

Long pauses were objectively frowned upon, but Sila stopped anyway, staring into the pale green orb he was inputting Slovene into, trying to make sense of his own questions.

Those three weeks, was she lonely?

A gradual slide into it, or an attempt to lift up out of it?

Was it a knowing slide?

Had she really wanted to fuck last night or was it simply programmatic? A solitude reflex?

She sucked me off, I licked a bit, came inside her, that didn’t happen before. That meant something. But then she put the pillow over her face when I was inside her. Made some moaning noises, not very convincing.

Talked afterwards.

What is this place, when are the others coming, what’s with the toxic plant and language inputting, it’s kind of like an Ernst-designed prison, the usual stuff.

A sharp flash of green, followed by that odd vibration on the inside of his eye sockets.

Sila refocused, typed out more Slovene.

Glanced at Joanna’s reflection in the haze of his input orb.

She wasn’t far, just a few feet away, swiping something something something in Cantonese.

He squinted, trying to read the impossible.

And even if he could make out the words, he wouldn’t know what they meant. Or what was actually a word. One character or two? Demarcated by what punctuation? A comma?

It was beyond him

Beyond Fulci too.

But not Engineer Many and his amazing translation machine.

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[Destiny] Chapter 53: Garden Dome Organism

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V naslednjem kabinetu se bo pojavil

V naslednjem kabinetu se bo pojavil

V naslednjem kabinetu se bo pojavil

V naslednjem kabinetu se bo pojavil

V naslednjem kabinetu

Not sure this is what you want for your database.

Bad night’s sleep, I guess.

Sorry.

Don’t even like cabinets.

Ignore.

Wonder what Joanna’s typing?

picture words were dense, weird, not unlike the Gundex Gudexxx nute language system, minus the strafe auxiliaries. Definite auxiliaries? Org-zil-lee-air-reez or org-zi-luh-reez? Say it fast, no anxiety. Or don’t say it at all.

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[Destiny] Chapter 52: Engineer Many

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Green text on the health guidelines

green skin on the Kontolian

green laser fire

green exhaust fumes

before the reactor blew

green mood from Captain Wong

green assistant engineer

green cum

turned pale-green

oxidised wiped up and replaced by

cartoon green particles

up to her knees and rising, a trigger going off in her brain, hand-dragging her back to this shade of reality, putting her face to face with the same purple orb that god knows how many minutes, hours, days earlier had absorbed itself into her and

it wasn’t purple sparkles engulfing her

they were green

why?

Ignorant or non-telepathic, the purple orb flexed some of it mist leftwards and spelt out a list in cloud particles. The heading text: Frequently Asked Questions [that may not be asked].

What is this place?

Who are you?

What are you?

Where’s my friend/lover/sibling/parents/actor/pet/prey?

What’s this green stuff around my legs?

Why is it rising?

Is it sentient?

How did I get here?

Where is here exactly?

Can my species and your species fuck?

Are those really two moons?

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[Destiny] Chapter 51: Varo-Scape

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Not Tai O exactly

but shacks on stilts, waterless, simulacrum desert lifted from Almodóvar Chicken outskirts, totems with flashing lilac light, beam communication system, mountain face with cut-out alcove for the local baron to dwell

no sign of baron security, thugs

air particles sparse

avoiding her mouth, nose, that’s what it felt like, moving her face, amber-stuck, then her arms, legs, fingernails, crawling over the weird rough dirt, trying to

‘… … … …’

Joanna dropped back down, gasping for atoms, head tilted towards the hazy structures nearby.

There had to be someone

a guard, lookout of some sort

farmer, farmer kids, desperate cows

wayward Almodóvar Chicken staff

Sila Søren sheriff alien outreach

‘Machine,’ she mumbled in Cantonese, rolling up her eyelids another millimetre.

Vision or vision-esque, maybe real, but

was it?

From where?

No idea, no way to answer, no choice but to observe as, in the middle of what looked from her eyes like the town square, only oval-shaped and barren, a large pale-green orb rose up out of the dirt, and sprouting out of that orb was a white totem with a blinking purple light on top and, as it got higher, a small valve slid open and fired out something small and mechanical, possibly a drone-dart.

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[Destiny] Chapter 50: Void Helenism

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Being framed in darkness, in complete darkness, could be survived psychologically, mentally for about forty eight seconds, but when it still didn’t end after that time, when you stopped bracing for the ground you assumed was imminent then you had no choice but to detach from object-end-finality and start inventing your own frames.

That is what Solaris was about

on some level.

~~~

First frame, unprovoked

the ship cabin from Genoa to Barcelona, slow slug walk from bed to bathroom to beach with the demon biting her way back into their business to the aswang floating head to the Krsnik wretch to

~~~

Second, third, fourth frames sketched Sila plus arguments, that fucking space show he watched all the time, the walk down the autobahn, the cabinet pics on his screen, his claim that this one was the one, her open tab of Ljubljana city centre, pleas for silence, obedience

directing him towards the tree

hiding behind a red-soaked castle wall

apologetic, enthused

desperate

blood dripping from Denzel Washington’s neck

French from all angles

Tak offering up a bag of grey vasic, even though it never came in bags

offering again, with knife

and again and again and again and

again with different weapons, different smiles, in different European settings before switching via jump-cut to Hong Kong

Yute Long, her and a tiny couch

enduring TVB

laugh-weeping at a vampire flinging a Dutch thief off a bridge in Amsterdam using only his eyes

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[Destiny] Chapter 49: Dim Green Light

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Chicken costumed as Frankenstein

Chicken costumed as a mermaid

Chicken costumed as Alain Delon

Chicken costumed as a matador

Chicken costumed as a cyborg

Chicken costumed as another chicken in a chicken mask

All chicken, all poorly drawn, all poorly inked, all nothing to do with Pedro Almodóvar, who she was starting to suspect wasn’t actually the basis of this service station-stroke-restaurant out in the middle of nowhere.

Following the thought, she pulled up a map of the area on her phone, zoomed in and spat out Red Sonja in man town breath as she saw the word Almodóvar next to her own blue dot.

Well, now it made sense.

To a degree.

Though why was the nearest chicken dressed like the glasses guy from Re-animator?

She looked down at the surviving coffee granules in her cup, mostly sludge at the bottom, murky, deformed, then heard a voice in cautious Spanish and looked back up.

One of the staff was trying to wake the old guy sleeping on the table next to the toilets.

And getting nowhere.

Another was mopping the floor near her feet.

Then there was the woman still trying to scrub the stain off the one film poster in the place. Something in Portuguese that, based on the main pic, was an old horror film. Possibly giallo. Had the colour range for it.

Joanna sipped ghost coffee and watched the woman scrub.

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[Destiny] Chapter 48: Past Pastelised

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A hundred

Two hundred

Ten thousand

I’ll kill them all, even in this weakened state.

Poor Fire Hand Zhang, thought Joanna, staring at the sentence of his death, the feral wolves descending into the pit, clearly not giving much weight to his boast, or caring much if it was flesh or fabric they were tearing off.

Did no one think for even half a second about saving the wretch?

Fire Hand was about him, not self-assigned

honour called for helping lesser enemies

beaten jokes, sudden weaklings

but no, the Red Flower Heroes, in a pit of wolves, just left him there.

The door opened and a Chinese couple wheeled their luggage in, clocking her under the duvet and saying hi, we’re new in Mandarin.

To head off further conversation, she vetoed I’m part of the furniture and gave a muted hi back instead, then lifted Gum Yong over her face

returned to Fire Hand Zhang

felt pity, shame

blamed the Red Flower Heroes, Gum Yong,

definitely not the wolves.

~~~

In her head, the streets always had a hazy glow round the fringes, the pastel tone of the buildings heavily saturated, the people lively in their limb movements, action mechanics

yet now

in this reality, on this side street

things were ten, twenty per cent diluted.

Drained by a city-sized ghoul.

Self-torpefied.

Phased into a sexless monotone frame.

No Gum Yong. No Varo. No idioms. No Samaritan Girl. No Tat Ming Pair. No flag on the moon. No animal porn. No passing trams. No beggars. No baking soda dealers. No Krsnik. No possibility of Krsnik. No Krsnik prints.

No gutter Slovene.

No Cantonese.

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[Destiny] Chapter 47: Gurng See

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Abjection is above all ambiguity

Ambiguity is an alcove

Our Alcove is cosy

Filtered, safe

Joanna’s head stayed fixed in position, eyes on the graffiti outside the blue door that allegedly led to the hostel she’d just booked back in the car, half an hour earlier.

Abjection is above all ambiguity

Ambiguity is an alcove

The words seemed familiar somehow, philosophy that Yute Long had told her once, or perhaps the Gum Yong translator at Uni, or a book at the library

but de-territorialised

scrawled out on Lisboan infrastructure, regular structure, pastel façade

in English over Portuguese

next to an amateur spray of a giant dick shooting up like a rocket into an upside down blood pool.

Why?

For her?

There was a noise to her left, a local woman shouting at her friend, pinching her jacket as evidence.

Joanna waited for them to pass, then put a hand out and pressed the hostel buzzer.

~~~

The hostel owner was playing a football game on a huge projection screen when she walked in, and two men who she could hear whispering German were parked on the couch at the side.

‘Take over,’ the hostel owner said, handing the control to the German with frizzy hair, then got up and strolled over to the table that had to be the check-in desk.

Didn’t look much like it.

No leaflets or guides to local tourist sites.

Just a carboard cut-out pic of Faye Valentine, leaning over the CB cockpit controls.

‘Chinese? Korean?’ the hostel owner asked, taking her passport and writing her details down in a shabby-looking notebook.

She pointed at the passport cover.

‘Ah, Hong Kong…quite close. You coming in from Porto? Or flying in?’

Joanna looked at the two Germans in the relaxation area, one of them playing the football game, the other holding an anime doll she didn’t recognise level with his face, interrogating it.

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[Destiny] Chapter 46: Reason Alchemist

~~~

Thousands of light years from your home, from where you were born, from other people who resembled you

YOU

YOURSELF, ALL PARTS, ALL SCHISMED ASPECTS

sitting in a hidden basement behind a broken wall in an abandoned pueblo behind a Portuguese hill in the middle of an imitation desert near a decrepit service station called Almodóvar Chicken

realising in spurts where you were, where you truly, physically were, how isolated that position was, how weird the purple mineral deposits in the walls looked

enervated, drained, relieved

all cowed by blankness, body strangely there, real skin an inch behind, gone in the Baudrillardian sense, laughing, an ironic simulated atom thatch

not only lost in place

but lost in concept

stranger in a Star Trek cave

any series.

~~~

Sitting with her back arched was sustainable only for latter-day nihilists, and her left knee had been digging in so hard so long to a jagged chunk of earth that Joanna had no real choice but to give up on the pit stakeout and pull herself over to the nearby wall.

Which is where the counter-thought hit.

What if the moment you left, his eyes had appeared, or Søren’s eyes, glowing purple, begging beacon-like for a hand up? Or another hand to drag down…

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