[Void Galaxia] Chapter 28: Peeep Show


  The hostel in Compton was so strange I honestly thought it couldn’t be real.

Spanish Colonial/brutalist design.

      Reception desk flanked by Elsinore banner.

      Dorm room signs with different Hamlet character names, several vowels eroded.

      Blanched palm trees, cracked fairy lights.

      Kenneth Branagh standing by the pool holding a polystyrene sword, saying over and over, ‘kin, kind, kin, kind…a little more than clever, but less than Kevin Kline.’

      No, not Branagh, just a guy who looked like him…or looked like Branagh’s version of Hamlet. Maybe an out of work actor practising for a local production. Or a nut wandered in from the street outside.

      Whoever it was, I blanked him and headed to my room.

      Tutted at the Ophelia pic & sign.

      Said a relieved kuso when I beeped open the door and saw it was empty.

      Found my bunk, clambered up the splintered ladder, lay down and stretched my legs out past the footboard.


      Quick nap then head to the common room, wait for Syria and her airtight, WAIF ASTRONAUT t-shirt to show up.

      Feign surprise when I see her? Or go full honesty and thank her for the hostel recommendation?

      Hard yawn, followed by another.

      Ah, decide when you see her, I told myself, eyes closing.


      When I opened them again, the room was covered in a citrine dust strip of LA sunlight and there were voices below. I rotated and instantly felt cold. It was Syria, right there, along with two guys who looked like surfers.

      Somehow, they didn’t seem to notice me at all.

      Maybe they’d forgotten something and were just coming back in quickly to get it?

      I waited out thirty seconds, a minute.


      They were sitting on the bed, talking about sex, one of the guys with his paws all over Syria’s tits, the other pulling off his pants.

      This was not transitory.

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[Destiny] Chapter 55: Mir A Cull Child


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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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 27: LA & Waif Astronaut


      The plane landed, or grounded as Nick called it, and we disembarked.

      One passenger couldn’t let go of the shitty airline VR server and had to be dragged out of his seat by two of the bulkier flight attendants, yelling beach tunnel, beach tunnel as he went.

      It was mildly entertaining, for everyone except the filmn star.

      He was too busy licking his left hand.

      No idea why.


      We walked along the flat escalator tracks, onto the MAV train and under the tarmac to the main terminal. Stahl didn’t say anything the entire way.

      Reaching the mouth of the immigration line, he pulled out a card with his number and address and told me to give him a call soon as I figured out he was right about the girl.


      ‘You can keep Moon Prison too, my treat.’

      ‘Keep it?’

      ‘Out of here, dude.’

      Holding up a solitary arm, he walked off to the left, joining the queue for American citizens. I pulled up next to the nearest form rack and watched. It took about two minutes before he looked at his ticket, mouthed something into the neck of the man in front of him, maybe a curse, then sauntered back over.

      ‘Don’t say a fucking word,’ he barked, pupils flashing purple.

      We carried on past the immigration line, along another escalator track and over to the gate where our connecting flight to LAX was waiting for us.

      To avoid laughing, I pretended to read the back of Moon Prison.

      It mostly worked.

      Until I saw the Beyond The Rabbit Hole comparison.

      ‘Equals Tsukubashi’s work then surpasses it…’ I muttered, reading out the quote and adding an even lower, ‘says a fucking clown,’ at the end.

      ‘Read it. Study it. Emulate it,’ said Nick, tapping the back cover.


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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 26: Captive Ant


Walking floating drifting gliding cauterizing minimizing

 through a forest that looked something like the forest of illusion in old Mario World and alongside me for the ride was the alien from Alien and I was trying to talk to it, but the alien wouldn’t talk back and every time I tried to grab its wrist, the alien shrugged me off and said, ‘dude, I don’t speak Japanese.’

I looked around the forest and saw Alec Guinness waving some kind of blue torch, screaming, ‘where are your fucking papers, spy?’ and then a bear hitting metal with a hammer, not saying a word, and other things related to other things that seemed to be important, but it doesn’t matter, I thought, not really, because I was bored of the forest and its dying leaves and its Alec Guinness act so I turned back to the alien to ask about forests on LV-426 but the alien was now ahead of me by a few trees and

I walked faster and caught up, asked my LV-426 question, but the alien ignored me and then the whole thing happened again about seventeen times until finally we came to a beach and the alien got into a kart and disappeared from view, and I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there for a while, and I wasn’t sure how long I stood there but the sky went dark and then light and then dark a couple of times so it must’ve been as long as it took for that to happen, and then when it became light again I looked down the shore and

A Japanese girl, Asami…no, a blonde…Sadia, or Julie Christie maybe…no, not a girl, a man…Nick Stahl, carrying a kart on his back, and when he got close, I could see Stahl was wearing a kimono and had his eyelids pulled out to look Chinese or Japanese, just like Connery in that racist Bond filmn, and I said it out loud, and Stahl said back, sure, Mr. Zhivago, just like that Bond filmn, and then he put the kart down and told me to get in so he could chase after the alien who ‘doesn’t really respect you as much as he should’, and I said, ‘yeah, I got that feeling too,’ then jumped in the kart and started driving even though Stahl kept calling him Mr. Zhivago, and we went faster and faster and sand flicked up into my eyes, but it didn’t matter cos now I was wearing goggles, and Stahl was somehow hovering next to me, moving at the exact same speed, yelling over and over that the alien didn’t respect me enough.

‘I know, I know,’ came up out my throat, and then Stahl vanished and up ahead was a heart attack-shaped cave dug into the cliff and in that cave was the alien, in its own kart, driving in little circles, not getting any further out of the cave, and I smirked and drove to the bottom of the cave and stopped my kart and called up to the alien, ‘hey alien, you’re stuck in a cave,’ and the alien didn’t look down or show any sign he’d heard anything, so I was forced to shout it again, and again, and again, until it was dark and it started to get cold and a voice that seemed to come from the cliff in front of me said, ‘hey doc, why don’t you do something with all this?’ and I said, ‘that’s an idea, but what? It’s the nineteenth century, she doesn’t love me anymore,’ and the voice replied.

‘Julie fucking Christie.’

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[Destiny] Chapter 54: Purple Ruin


zakaj je skočila v luknjo?

za ljubezen?


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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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 25: Liverpool To Moon Prison


      Dad came into the living room and I introduced him to white dwarf oddball Nick Stahl. They both gave the tiniest of nods and that was it. Dad asked for a word in private so I left Stahl with an episode of Doctor Who and followed the tired breathing noise into the front living room.

      ‘He’s not staying,’ I said, pre-empting the inquisition.


      ‘Or not tonight anyway. Maybe another hour or two on the couch. I don’t know.’

      Dad turned to the window, a post-Solaris breath at me or the bike repair shopp opposite.

      ‘What’s wrong?’

      Breath and a sigh.


      One final exhale and it came out: Charlie was really bad. Not only did she refuse to believe I was real, but she also suspected I was a demon from ancient Japan. I asked if I should go up and see her, but he said no, I should leave.

      ‘Leave where?’


      ‘No, I mean…where should I go? Barry’s?’

      He told me I should go away for a while, use the money I had saved up in the bank and go somewhere foreign.

      ‘You mean…far away?’

      ‘I mean you should go abroad, son. Just for a little while. Wait till Charlie gets back on her feet.’

      ‘On her feet?’

      ‘You know what I mean.’

      ‘But…this isn’t fair. I’m not a demon.’

      ‘Please, Mark.’

      ‘But I’m not…’

      ‘I know, but…Charlie…she’s not good, she needs time away from…’

      ‘What? The Japanese demon?’

      He nodded, eyes going left to a stain on the wall.

      I asked him when I was supposed to leave and he said, ‘now would be best, son. Today.’

      ‘But Dad…’

      He put his hand on my shoulder, a little tight.

      ‘Please, son. She needs this.’

      I folded my arms, trying to restructure this whole thing with Charlie as the demon and me as the good guy, but it wouldn’t stick. No matter what she thought of me, she was still my sister. ‘Alright,’ I said, unfolding my arms, ‘as you’ve already decided it anyway, I’ll go. Today.’

      I walked back into the living room but didn’t sit down. I couldn’t, it wasn’t my furniture anymore. It wasn’t even my housse.

      Nick Stahl, eyes fixed on the Doctor, told me I should come to the States with him.


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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 24: Journey To The End Of Several Nights


We started at Angry Moborg.

      Barry walked in first and the rest of us followed, nonplussed by the holographic green fish floating two feet above everyone’s heads. Just like every other Friday night, there were so many bodies packed in the place that I got a bit lost and couldn’t take the same route as Barry; one grubby guy in a Gundam for Lord Protector t-shirt refused to budge, even though I told him I was coming through, and when he turned and saw my face, the fucker gave me an Andi Chopra on sunny Pluto look and smirked.


      Luckily, there was room round the other side of the Gundam guy’s circle of fuckwits, but, as I moved that way, I caught him prodding his friend with a free hand, gesturing for him to hedge back a little so I couldn’t get round that way either – double kasu – but the friend wasn’t quick enough to understand and I was able to sneak past and fuck up his plan. Still in range, I heard the two of them saying something about not letting the nips get comfortable in our fucking city, which was weird…until I remembered what face I had

      Motherfuckers, I thought, but didn’t turn back.

      Not worth it.

      And too cramped to fight in this place anyway.

      Pulling my jacket collar up a bit, I located the others hovering over a high table near the back. Barry was already propping his hand up, miming a pint glass, which was a complex Barry signal for me specifically to go to the barr and get the first round. I nodded back and repeated the gesture, then added a twin pair of two fingers, code for him to come and give me a hand with the drinks. Of course, being Barry, he shook his head like a Wraith-Tory down a coal mine then shrugged and started walking anyway.

      Looked like the scientists hadn’t altered him too much.


      Carving out a spot by the barr, I ordered five pints of something on tap, the nearest one, couldn’t see a name, but it didn’t matter as the barr guy didn’t understand a word I was saying anyway so I pointed at it, and he spoke back to me, ‘one beer, two beer?’ I held up five fingers and he nodded, walking away to get the glasses. As I turned, Barry arrived, asking if I’d got the usual shit or something fruity, and I pointed at the beer tap again. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the barr guy looking at me, one of his colleagues parked at his shoulder, both of them laughing at something.

      Probably the woman in the goomba costume next to me.

      Or Barry’s gut.

      Definitely not my face.

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[Destiny] Chapter 53: Garden Dome Organism


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.


Don’t even like cabinets.


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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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 23: Cosy Ennui


The next day, my blonde fragment of American void still hadn’t messaged, so I sent her another message even though it was out of rotation and probably a little bit creepy. In clipped verse, I told her I’d been reading more of her story and that it was the most amazing thing on the site, and at the very end of the message, asked if she was alright, if there was anything she needed or was worried about.

       After that, Planet Dark.

       Comfortable nostalgia.




      Another day expired and still no reply.

      I wanted to send another message but didn’t.

      A third one in a row would kill it stone dead, I knew that.

      Instead, I sat in my room all day, online, not writing, just staring blankly at a whole season of Planet Dark and every now and then reading her stuff, especially the thing about the burning girl. It was beautiful. Depressing. Vacant. A portrait of empty death. Maybe it was the dry air in the room, but at one point I cried. Then turned back to Planet Dark and went blank again. Then switched to Elf Serenade and had a wank over the social worker. Fuck this world. Fuck my own artistic output.


      Dad called me down for dinner in the evening and asked what I was doing up there in my room all day. I told him I was writing and that I’d be done in a few days.

      ‘And then you’ll look for a job?’


      I didn’t tell him about Sadia.

      Didn’t tell any of them.

      It was none of their business.

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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 22: Non Manic Pixie Girl


The Authomaton Game [and how to get ahead]…


      Claim – Beat the slushpile! Get read! Get published?

      Method: each member has six bookshelves. They can choose what to read and what to back [put on their bookshelf]. They can also leave comments on other members’ pages, praising or criticising the writing. Each month, the five books with the highest number of backings will be selected for review by an industry professional.

      Members will be able to promote themselves via the website forum or in private messages to other members.

      No abuse of other members will be tolerated.


      These were the basics.

      Of course, there were more rules and regulations to run through, but I didn’t need to see them as, for some bizarre reason probably related to those Japanese scientists and their loopy experiment, I already remembered.

      The same way I’d read that first letter and remembered that I was, in some fashion, a writer, it was the same again now.

      Like the implant had just been shot through the window and directly into my brain.

      And something else…

      Another implant.

      A bigger one.


      The girl he’d mentioned, I knew her somehow. No idea why, but even before he’d written it, I knew who it was gonna say.

      The blonde girl.




      Going to my message inbox on Authomaton, I was instantly hit by a trail of messages, all from her, except one halfway down inviting me to read an octopus/schoolgirl love story written by what looked to be a sixty year old man.

      Sadia’s last message was first, so I started with that.

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