You Will Always Be A Dogbot

Everything I’m going to do I’ve done already. Everything I haven’t finished I hadn’t started to begin with. And that’s just the way of things. So I made coffee while I was walking the dogbot whilst sipping the coffee that I’d made yesterday during the time when my dogbot pissed butane out at my leg and onto my Big Toe. I jumped away from it, annoyed, as I slumped on the couch.

“You are BAD! BAD-BAD-GOOD BOY! GOOOOD BOOOY!”

This is what I screamed at my synthetic pet for letting organic liquid loose all over my foot (particularly my Big Toe).  I was conveniently taking a shower in that same moment, so I wasn’t too upset, even though I absolutely was.

Regardless of what Strange Dew—that’s my dogbot, don’t you know—squirted onto my low-limbs, I was completely happy with myself, albeit totally fucking miserable.

Strange Dew was clean-shaven with a long beard and people on the grassy bio-block would always notice this. They’d shout things like “Hey! Look at that smooth-faced dogbot with the long black and/or white beard that hangs down and drags across the muddy, sticky-dry pavement as he/she scuttles quickly at a slow pace!”

Keep it to yourself. Yep. That’s what I’d always scream under my breath. Keep it to yourself.

Conventional Dry Particle—also the dogbot’s name—and I (or You, depending on where you’re standing) were on our way to the local dogbot factory, which also functioned as the international morgue for dogbots. It all happens here, but not much goes on most days.

I’m serious!

It was raining inside, cool and dewy (yes, I know), which was fine because the two of us were equally outside where the both of us sweat like female dogs that are in season to mate and have babies.

I took Strange Dew/Conventional Dry Particle into that sun-shower of a birthing room and watched her (or him, depending on the time of day) die. I don’t know why I did this, aside from the fact that I knew that it positively needed to happen. I had no choice and limitless alternatives, so you see where I’m coming from, don’t you?

I looked at the tightly squinted eyes that were wide open and realized that at the end of the day, which is also when the cock roosts or something, that no matter what time it is, or whichever ground you choose to stand on you’ll always be a dogbot.

It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?

For further reading on multiverses and simultaneous realitiesgo here.

Pavel and Metiri

Pavel thought of his cold concrete floor as a king-sized bed. On the night before Loatia’s bi-annual Threnody, Pavel laid rigidly in his bed next to his best friend, Metiri. Metiri was a crescent and was twice the size of Pavel. Since Metiri was limbless, Pavel draped a paisley blanket over where its brain was to keep the kind lunula warm at night.

Pavel feared Threnodies.

“Why induce death?” he thought, his face propped up by two pillows, his eyes fixed on the ceiling of his room. His breaths were shallow. Slowly, he sank into thought. Moments later, he realized he was trapped in an asymmetrical section of his mind, cornered by the old intangibles Anxiety and Dread. Pavel was frightened, so he decided to search for irony in the situation.

“How can I be cornered in a room without symmetry?”

+

In Loatia, the Threnody was a sacrificial ceremony where local governments throughout the country would select citizens at random to be dissolved with nitro-hydrochloric acid and poured into the Sea of Murnan, to the east. The Orthodox Lecheorian priests would then sing dirges until sundown of the following day.

The ritual was relatively new to Loatian culture; it was inherited and instated by Lecheorian bureaucrats in the throes of the Lecheor – Jord conflict roughly three centuries prior.

+

After a few seconds, which to him felt like an eon, Pavel broke free from the immaterial, lopsided room. He saw the ceiling again. He turned to Metiri, felt its cool white light on his callused middle fingers.

“Your feet make me feel safe. They always make me feel safe.”

The moonlight that Metiri emanated gradually placed Pavel back into a trance. He was back into the asymmetrical room. He saw Fear now. Fear stood directly in front of Dread and Anxiety, forming a triangle. It was the only symmetry he saw inside of the room. The only symmetry until he saw Metiri enter the room from the east.

Metiri’s presence was brilliant, its bright white light quickly dissolving the phalanx. The room began to shift into a gorgeous symmetry; first into a rhombus, then into a perfect square. His mind was lucid. All was as nothing.

Pavel saw the ceiling again. His hand was now pressed firmly against Metiri’s feet. He felt liberated. Kingly, even.

Malconium

“Hypergnosis hovers over our planet in the form of a jellyfish.” “Our thoughts, our ideas, anything the collective mind has constructed in the past and into the future, is transferred from the human brain into a quantum form of mesoglea, travels up towards the sky and out of the atmosphere. It bonds to whatever mass already hovers above the planet. It adds context to the Hypergnosis.”

After he finished reading the transcription aloud, Caius slid his chair away from the screen. He looked over at Osella. She shook her head slowly as she stared at the floor.

“This can’t be right. It shouldn’t read like this.” Osella’s voice was weak, as though her breathing was shallow.

“Os, it’s the third time I’ve transcribed this section. We’re almost there.”

Osella gazed into the floor. Her presence was brittle.

Caius rubbed his neck, wincing lightly. “Hey, did you ever render those glyphs into coordinates?”

“So now they’re coordinates?” Though exhausted, Osella tried hard to savor the jibe.

“Come on. Did you get anything worth taking a look at?”

“Here.” She briskly typed a command into her desk. Within seconds, the coordinates appeared on Caius’ screen.

05h 14m 32.272s, −08° 12′ 05.91″

“Let’s try it.” Caius felt a velvet anxiety in his chest. He was out of ideas.

“You’re not serious. You can’t be.” Osella wanted nothing but sleep.

“What’s there to lose?” It was as though Caius had been infected by an idea.

“Listen, anything we’ve transcribed from this ‘bible’ has turned out to be roachshit. They’re wasting our time.”

“Osella, you know that we’re onto something. You know what kind of things those Malconites have been saying lately; the predictions of battle outcomes, the—”

“OK, just because those old mole-men spouted some vague gibberish from the Malconium doesn’t mean they’re clairvoyant. I could pick up a cooking book, read you a recipe and transpose all of that nonsense into an apocalyptic sermon. Sacred texts are meaningless works written by illiterate peasants from primeval planets. We’re wasting our time.”

Alright, OK. I’m just going to take a look. A quick look and then we’ll call it a night. Good?”

“Fine.”

Caius punched in the coordinates. He waited for a moment, thinking to himself and laughing. He then slid to another part of the marble table. “Let’s bring it up on the primary monitor.”

Osella fiddled with her own screen. “Stop acting so… optimistic. It’s weird and gross.”

Caius laughed again. “OK, OK, bring it up.”

A shot above Rigel appeared on the screen.

The two sat in a thunderous silence.

Caius gripped Osella’s hand tightly. She squeezed back as they stared at a jellyfish floating in the sky.

The Old Kingdom Is Not An Anomaly

The Household’s façade was dour except for its Bionicrustacean legs. It traveled to the rhythm of its own surly and sullen personality, which usually meant westward. It traversed only over the green rock formations of the Old Kingdom, typically near the Lake of Liquid Girls. When people first see The Household perambulating over the rocks on its white, crab-like Bionicrustacean legs near the Lake of Liquid Girls, the first thing they usually ask is:

“Who the heck lives inside of that super-ultra-mega sad thing?!”

It is a silly question. It’s also the wrong question to ask. They should be asking:

Who is that Very Depressed Walking House that mainly walks over the green rock formations of the Old Kingdom, typically near the Lake of Liquid Girls?”

The Household is not a home. It’s not a house at all. It is a living, un-breathing thing with a neurotic personality, windows for eyes, a unique pathos and white, crab-like Bionicrustacean legs.

It only strolls over the green rock formations of the Old Kingdom, typically near the Lake of Liquid Girls, because The Household thinks there is a party there. There is a never a party going on near the Lake of Liquid Girls. This is because the Liquid Girls are too busy trying on new brand new viscid clothes that were gifted to them from Father Time of the Brown Sky. The clothes were made from the finest hot gelatin in the Old Kingdom. Father Time of the Brown Sky only wanted the absolute best for his Liquid Girls.

It should be said, though, that Father Time of the Brown Sky did not father the Liquid Girls of the Lake. He claims that the Girls “were just there”.

“I just enjoy seeing them smile” he liked to bellow.

He sounded slightly like a pederast.

Is this why The Household is always in a bad mood? Is it because he thinks there’s a party over by the Lake of Liquid Girls when there’s actually just an eternal, arguably unexciting game of dress-up going on? It could be.

Is it because he secretly wants Father Time of the Brown Sky to give him a special gift? Does The Household want Father Time to accept him as he is, as a living, un-breathing thing with a neurotic personality, windows for eyes, a unique pathos and white, crab-like Bionicrustacean legs? It could be.

It quite possibly could be.

Oh, I think he’s spotted us. Look! Look at him scurry away! Look at his giant Bionicrustacean legs! Oh, that poor little-big walking house. He’s miserable, isn’t he?

Ah, well now! There’re viscid trousers dripping from out of Father Time’s mouth!

Let’s try on a few pairs, shall we?

An Elderly Man Is Not Phased By The Appalling Stench Of A Carrierfish

Acrid.

I am annoyed.

The scent of sidewalk muck and trimethylamine colonized my nasal passages again. Though I was more offended by the smell of that massive carrierfish than by its mighty presence… I could smell the other fish behind this one, floating through the air with crates of dragonphant’s tea strapped near their gills, reeking, reeking horribly of that translucent green seawater and vinegarberries.

But what jiggles my giblets is that everyone in town is always so surprised, so taken aback by the carrierfish deliveries, always in awe of their absurd actuality. It’s tedious, these reactions. It’s boring. Get over it, neighbor.

Things are much worse in Proatia Aloft. The walking crab-houses with iffy deliberateness always lurking around 40 meters from you; the overpriced fractal food found at the astral markets, which is always impossible to digest if you’re from down here; that terrifying Infinity Dragonphant who holds all of our memories tightly in his symbol pouch and hates letting us leave Proatia Aloft…

Oh, and the odor – that appalling odor!

Is it possible that a city’s stench could have evil intentions?  Could an aroma be depraved? I’d argue the possibility of such an absurd thing, especially if it originates from Proatia Aloft.

They must realize how good they have it here in Proatia Beneath – the neighbors, I mean. My friendlies next door, the residents so easily scared of the gigantic, mohawked carrierfish delivering the weekly supply of dragonphant’s tea.

Go inside, boy! The carrierfish aren’t the worst of things! The way of things is worse above! Much worse! I swear it! I swear it!!

Javros Doesn’t Understand The Plights of Others

Javros sighed at Mala. “Why do you let it sit with us when it doesn’t eat?”

“You know that’s just how things are for now. That’s the way they have to be with her.” Mala was worn out, tired from Javros’ badgering. “And it’s a ‘she’. You know this.”

“OK, well she doesn’t talk. She don’t even eat! What does she do?”

“Why are you acting out like this? What’s your issue tonight?”

“My issue is that we’ve been takin’-a care of this thing for four months, Mala! When will you take-a responsibility for it?!“ Thick white spit and crumbs of cod spattered out from Javros’ mouth and onto the dinner table.

“Unbelievable.” Mala pushed her chair away from the table.

“And now you-a leaving?”

“Yes. Now ‘I’m-a leaving’.”

“Don’t make-a fun of me. Where you goin’?” Javros’ question wasn’t rooted in insecurity, but in concern. He was sincerely curious.

Mala didn’t respond. She walked out of the kitchen and up the small staircase to her bedroom. Javros’ heard the door shut close from upstairs.

He looked over at the massive green being sitting to the left of him. He craned his neck upwards and to the right so that he could see her face.

“You look-a like one of them aliens on those old Earth TV shows.”

The large, olive-colored figure stared ahead into the empty space of the living room. Her hairless head knocked gently against the lamp above the table. She heard Javros speak, understanding none of it. She wasn’t there.

Javros looked away from the being. He shifted his seat so that he could catch a glimpse of the television that sat under the cabinets.

He shoveled a hunk of cod into his mouth. He chewed slowly and with his mouth open; the sound from his mouth was very similar to the sound of someone trudging through a swamp.

Javros raised the volume on the television. He adjusted it with his mind.

“Approximately 2,000 more émigrés arrived today at Commonwealth Isle. These refugees, like most others over the course of this past month, come from lower Jord. Citizens of Commonwealth Isle are expected to report to the Provisional Emigré offices at the beginning of next week to sign off on housing at least one more refugee.”

The oversized other-worlder still sat in a catatonic trance. A few moments later she passed wind, violently. Brown and green excreta dripped down her long leg and onto the kitchen floor.

Javros stared at the alien for five seconds. He then looked straight ahead and shoveled the last piece of cod into his mouth.

Androgyne Police Officer Watches War From Prison Window

All I wanted was to finish as Alexandria.

All I wanted was to be a poet.

 

Lecheorian attacks on Jord had begun two days before I was taken into custody. The first attacks came from the sky. They took out our main military forces, there’s agents outnumbering our soldiers six to one. They destroyed the city’s primary defense fields within minutes of the first assault.

Electricity was cut within hours of the attacks. I was alone on the 8th floor in the Jordian Police Headquarters, trapped with no means of communication. Cellular Towers were being torched by Lecheorians. I was defenseless, too, stuck with wi-fi weapons that wouldn’t work for me. We were so dependent on The Towers.

Feeling hopeless, I grabbed a stylus and tablet and began to write.

 

Find log:

Lecheorian Arrest Briefs: 13.01.2246 – 14.01.2246

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Supporting Deposition: OFFICER R91498SK4M: Haigh, Christoph

Logdate: 13.06. 2246

Prisoner 30460 – Original Detainment

Background brief: The majority of Jord forces had already been neutralized or detained and placed into custody, though Chief of Police Alex Montrose eluded agents for approximately four days before surrendering to Lecheor forces via artificial clairvoyance structure; older Jord technology.

Four Lecheor agents arrived at the Jord Police Headquarters (JPH) at approximately 1000 hours. According to the agents, the primary entrance to JPH was barricaded, thus the agents were forced to dissolve a major portion of it with medium quantities of nitro-hydrochloric acid.

Upon entering JPH, the agents found no traces of mammalian life in the immediate proximity, aside from officer Montrose, who was sitting inside of her cubicle, calmly. It should be documented that Montrose was not insubordinate or resistant toward the Lecheor agents, though to say she went into custody willingly would be a bit of an overstatement. Agents noted her body was abnormally tense while she was moved from her cubicle and into Lecheorian custody; an agent described detainee’s wrists as having “the feeling of rigor mortis” while he placed security bands onto them.

 

When the agents came to headquarters to remove me from my office, I didn’t argue. I didn’t fight it; there wasn’t a point. I sat at my desk with much patience, waiting for them to depose me. I was the last of the clean constables, so I figured I’d be removed with as much dignity as possible.

Four agents were sent over to the offices – overkill, like usual. They tried kicking down the door as if they were in one of those old Earth films. A funny thought, though I didn’t actually laugh at it. I’m still not laughing.

The four agents couldn’t break through the door physically because they didn’t realize the base of the entrance was forged with titanium. I sat and waited for them to dissolve it somehow. Within seconds the entrance was gone, smelted down to the floor.

They stomped rhythmically over to my desk, saying nothing. They had large, foreign-looking weapons draped over their shoulders; it was the only thing I noticed before looking away from them. Their presence was inscrutable and intimidated me, though I didn’t want them to see this. I looked straight ahead, as stoic and stone cold as possible, waiting for them to detain me.

Two of the agents grabbed my arms and shoved them behind my back, pushing my wrist up towards the top of my back, slightly dislocating my right shoulder. Their hands were freezing. Still, they said nothing. We both understood what was to transpire as they walked me out, leading me across the City Centre into my P.O.W cell.

 

Find log:

Lecheorian Prisoner Observations: 13.01.2246 – 14.01.2246

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Logdate: 13.13. 2246, 0931 (northeastern time zone) Prisoner 30460 – analysis II, Obj.,Subj.:

Health: Subject was fed at 0900. Subject will bathe in East Wing showers at 1200. Subject appears fit, physically healthy overall.

Current actions: Subject sits on cell mattress, upright, knees against chest. “Fetal position.” Subject appears subdued, nonthreatening. Subject is currently staring out the window and has been in this position for approximately twenty minutes.

Pscyhoanalysis: Subject is essentially catatonic. Empath readings listed the following possible emotional states of subject: sullen, helpless, impotent.  Calm at the moment but potentially prone to fits of anger and rage, similar situations described in last week’s analysis. Two security drones have been placed outside of subject’s door. Considering subject’s state, better to act pragmatically. Updates to come later in the day.

Sullen and helpless, I watched it all take place from my cell window. I stared impotently out onto the City Centre while the paramilitary agents vehemently pulverized my comrades with alloyed batons from unfamiliar planets, their snouts pressed to the grindstone. They knew nothing but their work.

It was early in the morning; I’d guess around 0830 or so. I sat and studied them, watching how they dirtied their hands as they turned my district into a nondescript horde, which then coalesced slowly into a massive mound of red pulp. If I hadn’t have known any better I’d assume it was a Leisurepool filled with fresh mercury iodide, like the ones they have on holiday-asteroids.

Holiday-asteroids. Vacations. Repose. Comfort. Quiet.

I sank back into my own head, reminiscing. Wanting things. Wanting everything to be the way it was before the chaos, before the mass bleedings.

A shrill scream from outside the window interrupted me. I heard a young girl, a teenager, screaming her throat raw at the paramilitary agents, begging them to stop the massacre while simultaneously asking them “Why?”

The screams took me out of my meditation. Suddenly I was in an ugly place of mind, a place in time from a few days ago. The agents were checking me into the makeshift prison.

 

Find log:

Lecheorian Intelligence MEMOS (Gen.): 13.06.2246 , all

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OFFICER R96297SK4M: Johns, Mikael

Logdate: 13.06. 2246 To: Kastori, Lenka, Lecheorian Intelligence Bureau (L.I.B)

Re: Prisoner 30460 – original admittance; Gender Identifications, Etc.

Prisoner 30460 was handled firmly by the agents while being admitted into the provisional prison. Agents logged prisoner’s digital fingerprints, retinal scans and dental scans before a general delousing in the showers on the east end of the concourse.

It should be stated that during the delousing, multiple agents reported that the prisoner’s sex was previously altered; a confirmation that the Jordian chief of police was, in fact, a Changeover. It was deduced that the prisoner’s sex was originally male, based on the stitching and scaring near the pelvic area. This suggests that the prisoner was raised by Malconian high priestesses, as it is well known that the offshoot sects of all-female Malconium followers on Jord perform sexual sterilization to male children. Reasons for this are unknown at the moment, but most likely have to do with dated Malconian rituals based on sacred texts.

It is imperative that more research on these offshoot Malconian sects must be performed in the coming months, as Lecheorian agents are finding more and more Changeovers in higher posts of Jordian authority.

 

The agents twisted my arms back in a Hammerlock behind my back while they placed scalding-hot security bands on my wrists. The bands never left scars.

This area in time is where I began to feel less and less like a person and more like a Lecheorian statistic.

I was carted off to the makeshift prison a few blocks away. It was in the bombed out Proma Hotel. I was checked in at the improvised security area they’d built in the lobby. Prints, eye scans; the usual admittance measures. The agents had cold, absent looks in their eyes. I could only see their eyes, as they wore those dated Lecheorian ventilation masks attached to their helmets.

I was then brought over to the right side of the hotel, where everything was made of marble; it was also where the showers were. They ripped my uniform off and threw it in a waste bin. I watched it dissolve quickly. The agents began ogling me, leering at my pelvic area. They noticed my ritual scars. Their empty stares slowly frosted with disdain, their apathy shifting to contempt. I watched as an agent stared at me, shaking his head in what looked like disgust. He typed something on a marble screen.

An agent then walked over to me, swiftly. He blasted my head with his foreign-alloyed baton. This wasn’t the blow that knocked me unconscious, though; I slipped in a small puddle after being struck, causing me to hit my face on the edge of a sink in the showers. My last thought before everything went black was “I’d love to be able to fly.”

I woke up in a temporary detention room.  It used to be a hotel suite.

 

Find log:

List of Jordanian Casualties 14.06.2246; “Pre-Autopsy”

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OFFICER R46267HK5N (Medical): Tolstaya, Annia

Logdate: 14.06. 2246, 1800

To: Kastori, Lenka, Lecheorian Intelligence Bureau (L.I.B)

Re: Prisoner 30460 – Incident Report, Cause of Death

Summary Narrative:

Prisoner 30460 (formerly Alex Monstrose, Jordanian Chief of Police) was found among a pile of neutralized Jordanian citizens placed near the Lecheorian Provisional Prison. Although it’s still under official investigation, officials have concluded that the prisoner jumped through her cell window in an attempt to escape.

Agents reported the prisoner missing at approximately 1400 hours. Agents arrived at prisoner’s cell room to drop of prisoner’s second meal. Prisoner did not respond to agents within a timely manner, and therefore were forced to enter the room. Prisoner was missing and window was open. Agents were sent outside the building to search for the missing prisoner, but quickly found prisoner on sidewalk directly below prisoner’s cell room.  The body was dormant and mangled.

Preliminary list of damage to prisoner’s body from the fall: dislocated mandible; hairline fracture to left orbital bone; four of twelve thoracic vertebrae shattered; five of five lumbar vertebrae shattered; coccyx dislocated; bruised femur; split ulna. Full autopsy report is still being prepared.

Aside from the major damage done to the prisoner’s upper body, the lower half is in arguably fine condition. Once autopsy is finished and logged, it is suggested that lower half of body be transferred to bio-enhancement offices (once they are established in the city, of course).

It is also suggested that all windows in Provisional Prison building be replaced with titanium or lead sheets. This would be a days worth of labor for Jordanian prisoners, and, as discussed, it is important to keep the current prisoners busy.

Please respond with general thoughts and further directions.

 

I sat on my stiff cell bed and looked out the window again while I simultaneously I thought of places to go. If I shut my eyes, where will I take myself? Whenever I meditate, I try my best to go to a place of peace from my past.

I was suddenly six years old. I was sitting on a cold floor with a thin blanket covering it. This is where I sat and dreamt. I dreamed of flying, like most other six year olds. But me, I felt like I was different. I felt that if I could fly, I’d end up becoming exactly who I was meant to be. I don’t know how that made any sense to me at the time, but it did. It was an abstract, utterly illogical thought that made complete sense to me as a child.

It finally made sense to me again.

I was now a large child. I stepped off of my bed and explored things, touched things. Played with debris on the floor. I sat near the window and played with the rusty latch. After shaking it a few times it just fell off. I was a powerful child. I looked at the rusty latch in my hand, and then looked out the window onto the street. I looked at the pile of bodies from eight stories up.  I was still a child.

I pushed the window open. It made a creaking sound. The agents forgot how old some of the suites were in this building. I looked outside again. Eight stories up. I was still a child. I was still six years old and wanted to fly.

I thought about my past and tried to weigh it against my perceived future as a prisoner; my future as an experiment. Any humanoid features I had would soon be gone, dissolved, out the window. So I decided to fly away.

 

Find log:

List of Jordanian Casualties 14.06.2246”Evidence”

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OFFICER R36287FK5N: Sythe, Jomol

Logdate: 14.06. 2246, 2130

Nothing of major strategic value found at scene, though we did recover a slim tablet with writing on it that matches the deceased’s handwriting.

Transcription of found writing:

I summoned the Dread from out of my chest And into the air up above my head. It had the hue of an apple – deep red. I summoned the Dread up into the air, Made it grow to the size of the sky, And then shrunk it down into the palm of my hand. I then took a bowl from my left And placed the Dread inside of it. I took a bamboo brush from my right And ground the Dread into tea. I dipped my hands into the warm sea, Poured it into the bowl. I then poured the red tea, the Dread, Onto the white rocks near the water.

The Dread dissolved into the ground, Gone for the moment. But I knew it’d be back, returning again, and again, And again.

Galaktias Grottesca

He saw her face through my window. Unsettled, I stood behind Malkin as he sat statuesque and engrossed in what he saw before him. His miniature fluorescent blue eyes beamed directly into the ship stationed just outside Khylund 5c. It was congested with fresh, miserable émigrés that had just recently been dumped into the station. They had come from Jord.

 

Malkin sat and absorbed everything that was happening on the main ship. He was taking in the Knowledge of the Present at a rapid speed. Within seconds he saw and knew every face; he now knew each refugee's sad story. His whiskers vibrated gently as he absorbed the Poignancy into his paws.

"Are things... normal?" My heart raced.

Malkin paused. It felt like an eon.

Moments later, Malkin, my prophetic Felis catus, began to painfully transmute into a Krypte catus. He hissed and cried.

"Out! GET OUT!"

I was paralyzed in terror. I watched Malkin's fur fall from his back, exposing filthy pink flesh. His body pulsated as though something inside of him was trying to induce its own birth. Blood began to drizzle down his back from a wound I had yet to see. Thin membranes connected to wing bones began to emerge from his body. He continued to hiss.

"LEAVE!"

 

I shivered. I ran into the hallway frantically, looking for the XO of this transitory ship; I bowled into her within seconds, by chance.

"What's your issue, Dr. Keigh?"

I was short of breath. "It's happening... it's happening. It's happening!"

"Be specific, doctor!" The XO's face turned white.

My throat began to tighten as though I was having an allergic reaction. "Malkin... Malkin's sensed The Disciple. She is aboard the émigré ship... The Disc-"

"The Disciple."

"Yes."

The XO stormed away from me. Moments later I heard voice over the battleship's P.A. I knew what I was about to hear.

"Attention passengers of the Metonym: Prepare for auto-destruct in 45 seconds."

I walked slowly back to my room. All of the blood in my body had drained to my feet. I peaked my head in.

"Jam tibi impero et præcipio maligne spiritus! ut confestim allata et circulo discedas, absque omni strepito, terrore, clamore et foetore..."

I stared at the living gargoyle as it chanted, waiting anxiously for my body's particles to dissolve. I prayed this would work.

I shut my eyes.

 

Seconds later, I appeared on the émigré ship, watching Metonym expand into fire.

The Johnsmith Family Moves for the Umpteenth Time

Pa was absolutely furious. "Not again. I can't believe this!"

The Johnsmith family gathered their belongings from the area surrounding their recently purchased home. They were moving yet again; the screen door of their new home was faulty. Ma and Jemma now understood why her family was not allowed to keep personal properties inside a newly acquired residence.

Steven was the most upset about the move. It wasn't the packing that got to him, though. It was the fact that they had to leave behind his new best friend, Bacon.

Bacon was a Security Oyster that was assigned to protect the Johnsmith family a week after they'd moved in. Security Oysters are gigantic bivalve mollusks that function as family watchdogs throughout most of the Allied States. They're handy, they're utilitarian and they smell terrific.

Steven told Bacon all of his darkest secrets. Before it was announced that the screen door was faulty, he had just told Bacon that he liked to walk around in Jemma's clothes when no one was home. He said it made him feel like less of a boy and more of a man, a man an oyster or his Pa could respect.

Baby Diamond crawled around in the dirt near the home while the family gathered their things. He hadn't learned to speak yet, but when he saw the rainbow forming in the sky, he stood upright and quoted the following:

"What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, Make yourselves scabs?"

The family turned around, stunned. Jemma shouted:

"Baby Diamond can talk! And he's quoting last month's Cosmopolitan!"

The family began to weep simultaneously. They showered Baby Diamond with kisses and snuggles and stared at the rainbow for a few long moments. Pa interrupted responsibly and asserted that it was time for them to leave.

The Johnsmith family crammed into their golden sedan like too many deceased bodies in a crematorium and drove toward the rainbow. They sporadically turned around and screamed "Goodbye, Bacon!" in unison.

Schizophrenic Prisoner Abandoned in Washroom of Old Coal Mine

The floor was cold. Cold and grimy. And soft. Yes... it was soft now. I ran my fingers between the cracks. It was soft now. I could feel it in my fingers. It didn't look soft, but it was soft. It was very soft. Like a sugar glaze. Yes, like a sugar glaze. I could feel it in my fingers.

I ran my fingers between the cracks.

"WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHERE I AM?!" I yelled toward the entrance. The Light had come back around, greeting me again.

"Yes, of COURSE I'll write it out for you!"

I began to write out my location for The Light. Of course I'll write out my location for you, Light. Of course I will, my friend. Of course I will. Of course I will.

I stuck my fingers into the sugary soft muck of the floor. Or, I tried to. It looked like a cold glaze... it did, truly! It looked soft, but it made my fingers bleed. After a few hours a few of the bones in my fingers began to jam and swell. The middle finger on my right hand turned into a purple sausage.

Where did the pain come from? The floor is soft, sticky with muck and sugar. Where did the pain come from, Light?

I ran out the door, towards The Light.

"LIGHT! Answer me!"

"OK, I'm calm. I'm calm."

I walked back inside. When my feet rubbed against the floor it sounded like the inside of a gymnasium. Why? The floor is soft! Why does it make the noises?

"WHY DOES IT SOUND THIS WAY?!" I threw a tantrum, shaking the chains that hung from the ceiling.

I took a deep breath, deep down from the bottom of my diaphragm. I tasted soot. Ash. I remembered.

The coal mine's washroom, abandoned for... how long?

I knelt down slowly, inching back toward the floor. The floor was cold. Cold and grimy. And soft...

Terrible Delicatessen -- 6.17.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Kreemie waxes and whinges on about the death of Western arts. Gary makes him eat crow and condiments.

What a great boss.

6.17.13

NEXT WEEK: Kreemie mouths off to Muscley 'Roid Guy and his pitbull. Funny ensues. Que sera, sera.

'Terrible Delicatessen' -- 6.10.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Kreemie spends hours futilely working on food-art in this week's strip, only to have it spoiled by his delusional despot of a boss, Gary Sanzar.

Kreemie's futile attempts at food-art.

NEXT WEEK: Kreemie whines about the state of Western media industries, Gary humbles him. C'est la vie.

Feral Wether

 Feral Wether , a "narrative soundscape" about a hybrid human-ram who tells his story of exile to a rotten banana called Musa. By Justin M. Knipper.


Introduction:

What is this?

  • ‘Feral Wether’ – a narrative soundscape for voice and electronics. It is made up of layers of natural and synthesized voice and various other forms of keyboard synthesis.
  • This narrative soundscape follows the story of a hybrid humanoid – half boy, half-ram or goat – that is exiled to a prison landfill on a war-tattered planet called Jord. He “sings” his story to his only friend, a banana named Musa.
    • A wether is a term commonly used for a castrated ram.
    • Musa is the genus for bananas and plantains.
    • This follows a very strict narrative structure. It is formally divided into chapters, not unlike those found in short stories or novellas. It is, quite literally, a sound poem.
    • Voice as a focalizer – a device meant to allow the conscious mind to “see” the narrative. This is why I opted for a spoken word performance instead of melodic singing; the monotone text is now a focalization device, not a melodic device.

 

  • The Work:

List of Chapters in Feral Wether:

1)    Prologue:

i.     An omniscient narrator depicts a hot and wet prison planet, Jord. We are alone in swampy, refuse-filled area. Dense, oozing droplets of thick rain smack against marble or linoleum. “This is where our story begins” is quite literal in this sense

2)    A Wether Lives in a Landfill Prison and Sings to a Rotten Banana

i.     We are 24 years in the future from the rest of the story. Our main character, Wether, “sings” the same story to his only friend, a now-rotting banana called Musa.

3)    Foreshadowing a ‘Death March’

i.     A short transition section that foreshadows Wether’s ‘death march’ from Norbottenia, his original home, to Jord.

4)    A Wether’s Family History

i.     We travel back 24 years in time as Wether describes how he’s arrived on Jord. We find that he is the child of a forbidden bestial love. His local community (the komunerna) locks him in the local jail (the lada) as he awaits the “nice men from JASA (Jordian Aeronautics and Space Administration)” take him to his new home.

5)    Lock-Up and Lift-Off

i.     We aurally witness Wether being put to sleep with Laser Barbiturates as he’s thrown into a Titanium Tube and sent to Jord.

6)    Welcome to the Rest of Your Life (In a Prison Landfill on an Alien Planet)

i.     Wether arrives on Jord. He enters the prison and meets his “welcoming” new family of prisoners. The prisoners scream at him, describing him as “fresh fish”. They’re rather excited, for some reason.

7)    A Short Walk Across the Prison Yard & The First Meal

i.     Wether takes his first walk across the prison yard, taking in the atmosphere. He is served a plate of hot flowers from the electric soil that causes him to hallucinate and “transform” into something new.

8)    Hallucination and Enlightenment of a Wether, or, A Revelation

i.     Wether’s voice metastasizes, implying a complete transformation of character. He begins speaking in an abstract, aphasic tongue, communicating a chain of unrelated ideas, images, and, emotions, memories and revelations.

  1. This is a pyramid poem I wrote asemically, without conscious recognition of language or logic. It is, in the words of Andre Breton, “pure psychic automatism.”

ii.     Wether claims he is now Pan, the Greek half-man half-goat god of god of the wild (among other things). Before this, though, he speaks the phrase “Time-maggots in two-dimensions”, expressing his belief that time is two-dimensional and linear. It implies that everything is happening simultaneously, which in turn implies that the piece is occurring as a whole simultaneously – the piece is a 2D simulacrum of an event, a linear vortex we can visualize in our conscious minds.

The text:


Feral Wether                   Justin M. Knipper

I. Prologue

Jord was a prison planet. Its climate: sweltering hot, rainy, unchanging. The rain was viscous and tepid. It defined the planet.

This is where our story begins.

II. A Wether Lives in a Landfill Prison and Sings to a Rotten Banana

Loggia. Here I stand in The Loggia. (Or what I've been calling The Loggia - Most call it a landfill but I call it the Loggia).

All I can do, Is sing for you, Musa.

Cygnus.

24 years ago, today, I was exiled into Cygnus.

Destination: Jord. (Or Kepler-22b, Whichever you prefer, Musa) Jord, near the star Deneb.

I was sent to The Loggia in a Titanium Tube. The Loggia. My new home; sublime.

I'm surrounded by treasures: Detritus, ammonia, Excreta and methane.

Citizens come to stare; They speak to me, but I don't understand the language.

You are the only understands, Musa. This is why I call to you, Musa.

III. Foreshadowing a Death March

IV. A Wether’s Family History

I was conceived on the terra nullius of Norbottenia, In the sty of a pig farm.

My father had a long white beard – As did my mother.

This was the problem.

Mamma was a kvinna get, Pappa was a starke man.

And I was the product, Of their pure, unwieldy love.

This revolted the village locals; Norbottenia despised us.

They protested to the kommunerna  And had me sent away.

They jailed Mamma and Pappa For tidelag.

V. Lock-Up & Lift-Off

The locals locked me in the lada Until the nice men came from JASA To take me away, To send me to my new "home".

They told me it's a better place Filled with finer things and similar people.

They put me to sleep With laser barbiturates;

I awoke approximately 46 hours later, My eyes wide inside the Titanium Tube.

VI.  Welcome to the Rest of Your Life (In a Prison Landfill on an Alien Planet)

I woke up and looked around; I looked at the void up above. I sensed I was very far away

From...

Musa?

They said I was in a prison, Next to a landfill. But the inmates sounded friendly; Their voices – they welcomed me.

VII. A Short Walk Across the Prison Yard & The First Meal

I walked across the front yard; A beach of bones with precious stones.

My first meal was a plate of hot flowers That grew from the electric soil.

VIII. Hallucination and Enlightenment of a Wether, or, Enlightenment

Machine. Fruits, gnosis. Propel discus scissorman. Fortunate processes after growth. Hypertext, close-up, changing, monologue, hologram. Stone hidden, it breaks all hearts. Folic acid liquid girl; Alpha Centauri after-party. Sumerian, happening, Olympus, Book of Dada; more machines. Sand, layover, clouded, nostalgia, formless mass floats over it. There is no reason to end things: Eye, accept paradox.

Time-maggots in two-dimensions: I am Pan.