Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Storyline: Metanoia

Alas, humble reader, for the vicissitudes of a rambling tale are akin to literary whiplash, in which the mind, like the boom of a small vessel daring the foaming peaks of a raging see, darts now one way and then another. And yet, so must it be, for in no way can the modest authors of this tale impart to you, the dear reader, that TRUTH which lies at the base of this narration, without resort to the perambulations which now beset you.

And so, let us merely due our duty without more apology, but, without delay, let us recall to your mind all that has passed, and all that is to pass.

For, as Pierre Saint-Barnabas reflected upon the heavenly disturbance and pungent fungal aroma that drew his mind back to the Howard Metzenbaum Ball Room in Singapore, just at that moment, L'il Timmy Rompkins reclined on his couch with the amiable Melanie Lustiger at his side. His mentor, Professor Klimmingstock, was not far away from Saint-Barnabas; south of Bretagne, he was lifting the manhole cover from the Parisian sewer, carrying his dissapointment like he carried his unused camera - that is, on a string. Hansel Daggerfjord lay in the hold of a storm-tossed tanker in the North Sea, while Bigoyle and Sultan Zhpat looked down upon the emerald maelstrom they had created. Colonol Snack was likewise nearby, leaning against a grafitti'd wall in Ivry-sur-Seine, taking the report of a flustered Corporal Ying with his passel of Singaporean gendarmes, who voiced their humble protestations at their failure to capture Winky. And Elsa? Elsa McConkey lay in the brush of Greenback Tennessee, her love-child Warto beside her, who in turn was beside his fiance Crystal Silverloin (who had only been able to come with a black catwoman outfit on short notice for this reconaissance mission). Behind them, but unnoticed, perched high in a Bradford Pear, was Lt. Frank Corky, who was handcuffed to Herve Quisleau (a distant cousin of Pierre Saint-Barnabas, on his mother's side). Corky watched Elsa as she trained her binoculars on Greenback Tower, his unbendable legs sticking out starkly on either side of the bough that supported him, unaware that he in turn was watched by Shimmy Platudinor. Shimmy turned his own binoculars onto the green windows of the tower, to the observation platform, where he could see his uncle Platu dangling a nervous man by one ankle over the edge of the 1000 foot drop.

And behind Shimmy, disguised as a morbidly obese Kentucky Polecat, was Druppins Patinki, the brother of Ragnar "Fats" Patinki, the Hungarian Assassin dispatched by Big'un Rompkins at One Pickle Place in Cincinnati Ohio. Patinki could see almost nothing out of the tiny eye-slits in his polecat costume, but he had a vague impression of someone being dangled from the observation deck of Greenback Tower, which put him in mind of Lucky Luko, the Czech assassin who had been slain the same night as his brother Ragnar. This caused Druppins' body temperature to rise considerably as he thought of revenge, which unfortunately caused a resonant heat condition inside the polecat suit. This, combined with the entire turkey that Druppins had consumed for lunch, sent him into an immediate coma - a coma from which he never awoke, for Earl Platudinor's groundskeepers found him the next day, and presuming that they had the redolent carcass of an unusually large polecat to deal with, dumped him unceremoniously in the Greenback Tower incinerator, from whence fine particles of Druppins Patinki later descended on the residents of that sleepy little town.

All of these divergent facts were known only to you, the reader, and to a sinister man dressed in a nutter-butter suit, who sat in a darkened van nearby, watching everything from the broadcasts of his army of microbot camera-flies.

And yet, though he could see the present, and in some sense predict the future (whether based on some unknown mystical ability or simply a mastery of the syllogism), he was unable to see the past, unlike your devoted authors, who now, for the purposes of clarity, must take you back to the year 610, in a dirty hira near a scrubby desert town...


Da Bomb smiled as he remembered that day, and his unwitting protege Mo. Mo had accomplished all that Da Bomb had wished, and more. And now, centuries later, all was falling into place. The first stone was securely in place in Da Bomb's secret hideout in Mecca. The second was surely in the sea-cave temple that Roger Bacon's girlfriend "Mollie" had created for it, and which Da Bomb, Sultan Zhpat, and that infernal Texan Bigoyle now sought with increasing urgency. The third stone could only be in the hands of his nemesis, Plato, or whatever farsical name he had chosen. But Da Bomb now knew, thanks to the carelessness of Darkins and the idiot accountants of the Central Twillings Oil Works, that Plato was living in the South of the United States of America, that place of last resort to which he always fled. And Da Bomb would be dealing with him shortly.

Or so he thought, for as he turned to walk along the seawall, he was drop-kicked from behind, staggering under the blow imparted by the massive frame of Big'un Rompkins.

Storyline: Bigoyle Refining Unlimited

The inhabitants of that rough coast were not sentimental and so they had little qualms in selling out to what appeared to be a large international petroleum company Bigoyle Refining Unlimited. There were some raised eyebrows however, when their new neighbor erected an eleven foot high wall that snaked about the countryside separating the BRU property from the rest of Bretagne. The fact it was bejeweled with the skulls of various animals, including humans, cattle, and sheep began to give them some consternation, and the fact that now at night, the dark sky seemed to be awash in the reflected red glow of some enormous conflagration within the BRU property had them soon talking in hushed whispers and warding off demons with their own druidic incantations. What was, after all, going on?

In the following months a few fishermen ventured close to see if they could discover some clue as to the apparently demonic machinations of BRU. They came as near to the coast as to determine that an enormous tower was being constructed within a sea wall a good five hundred yards or so off the shore. An enormous fountain spewed water continuously from within the walls out into the Ocean.

Not long after, the fishermen’s nets became choked with dead things: eels, squids, all sorts of mollusks, and putrefying fish that not even Parisians would eat regardless of how much mayonnaise was employed to cover the foul taste. Sick black ooze formed a deadly skin over all the water and charcoal gray smog covered all the land, completely hiding the activities within the wall of skulls as the locals began to call it.

When men started to disappear from the surrounding villages, a deadly fear seized the rest, and one after another the villages were abandoned, the fields became fallow, the paths and trails choked with brambles. Wild dogs ruled the streets, and derelict cars and homes became warrens to hordes of enormous red eyed rats.

Only one road remained open, the road which led from the BRU property to Roscoff and along it a seemingly endless stream of trucks brought more and more supplies. They passed through the black gaping gates, over laden with cargo, and returned empty. Along this road, seven miles from the BRU property, a small tavern and inn eked outa pitiful existence. The proprietor, one Pierre Saint-Barnabas, was a man of great curiosity and learning. He happened to be a self-taught expert in biochemistry and biophysics who specialized in exotic and rare mushrooms, especially those of Southeast Asia and who had also toyed with various modern Nerve Agents. In fact he had recently been in Singapore attending a conference and had witnessed some unusual events which set his mind to rapid electric pulsation. The strange odors carried on the breeze towards his disintegrating business made him wonder if he had not, perhaps, stumbled on something more sinister than the Dantesque inferno that had sprouted from the verdant terrain might at first suggest.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Storyline: The Second Ring

Dusk in the early fall of 1201, two peasents were gathering in scythed wheat from a bumpy field along the track that lead from the town of Agneash to Ballaragh on the East coast of the Isle of Man. These hearty fellows were rather non-descript save the flaming red hair which grew long down their backs and marked them of Norse stock. They were third generation Manx; their grandfather had been one of the landless high birthed who had sailed across with Loof of the Crimson Fist, but a storm in the Irish Sea had driven him ashore on Man and he was forced into servitude by the local Viking chieftain.

Their task was still far from complete when they heard the sound of a horse being driven fast and recklessly up the narrow track. Such a sound was a wonder compared to the gentler plodding of Oxen. Horses were rare in this part of the country seeing as they were far from the wealthier provinces and the cost of keeping horses was prohibitively expensive even among the chiefs. Moreover, the potted ox-cart road was no place to take a horse to a gallop, and at dusk disaster was inevitable.

Indeed it was, for no sooner had horse and beast appeared as strange silvery figures against the strangely white Eastern sky, but the horse stubled and fell in a sickening thud, throwing up straw and turf. In its agony the beast rolled over upon the rider, crushing him under its vast weight. The rider let out a horrid cry, then moaned as the horse attempted to regain itself kicked its hind legs striking him in the chest.

The two peasents were upon him in an instant. One, the taller of the two noticed the strange leather and whicker constructions strapped to the horses hooves, which had been beaten to shreds in the rapid flight of the horse. Acting bravely, he took his wooden stave and struck the beast on its head, cracking its skull and ending its life.

As the other peasent dragged the rider aside, he noticed the red cross on his breast, the well oiled leather armor and a strange reed tube, bent into a shape like a J and strapped to the riders neck.

The two peasents knew about the crusades, its successes and failures. A brother of theirs had joined one of the English crusades in the hopes of finding land for himself in distinguished service, but had died of a fever on Cyprus before he could distinguish himself. But this creature was something entirely knew to them.

In the final glistening light of that day, as the two brothers bent over him they could see dark blood welling up from the knights mouth with every pained breath. It was clear that the knight was trying to speak. The sound of other hooves now came to their ears and the knight's eyes widened with fear. Clearly this brave man was not afraid of his own death which was certain but of something else. He gestured towards the dead horse, and the tall peasent went over and saw the waterproof saddle bag. The knight nodded. The peasent brought the bag back and loosed its contents. There was some food for the journey, some coin, an extra cloak, a wineskin and a waterskin, a leather bound book (valuable whatever the contents) and a black stone set in a bronze ring. With an unworldly effort the knight managed to sit up, then stand. He grasped the book and the stone and shoved them into the arms of the smaller peasent. Then with his last effort he pushed the peasent aside, away from the track and turned to face the unknown riders.

This smaller peasent, notable only for his profoundly large lips, found himself running, driven by a fear he could not comprehend. The sound of conflict and shouts rapidly faded behind him, yet he did not stop. He ran all that night and all the next day, stopping only when he reached the monastary of St. Colm, a tiny chapel and dormitory of rock and wood in the rugged terrain surrounding Snaefell. There, he hid the book and the stone without anyone's knowledge within the wreckage of a fallen hermitage at the edge of the compound. He rested for two days under the care of the kindly Monks.

Having mastered his fear he returned to his home, a journey of some three days, but before reaching his village a relative told him that his brother, the taller of the two peasents decended of Vilek from Dagger Fjord had been found dead on the road and it was assumed that he was the murderer since he had disappeared. Quietly, Janik the shorter of the two peasents with the enormous lips, retrieved his family and moved back to the monastary of St. Colm taking up residence in the ruined hermitage.

Janik lived another 65 years after these events never saying a word about what had happened and relating this tale only on his deathbed to his son. That was in the year 1266, the year of the Treaty of Perth.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Philo Platudinor's Campaign poster from 1863

Philonius Platudinor was also know as "Black Philo" for his role in undermining republican efforts to gain a foothold on the South after the war. Most of the more conservative side of the Platudinor family considered him a black sheep, and some attribute the monicker to the major players in the family and their attempt to distance themselves from him.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Storyline: The first of the three rings

Upon Greenback tower, just barely visible from the street below, there is a small helipad, several radio and microwave transmission towers and a small observation platform. Upon this platform projecting out towards the warm, soft, green, and oddly motherly mountains of Tennessee was a metal rod 99.45 cm long, upon which a ring has been mounted. The ring is precisely 1.1 cm in diameter and 1 mm in thickness. One could, if one were so inclined, by leaning far enough over and twisting one’s neck slightly look through the ring and stare down upon one of the many pear trees that ringed the tower.

Yet that is not the purpose of the ring. To understand the purpose of the ring one would need to know that it, like the entire superstructure of the tower was composed of a special Beryllium Iron Nickel alloy with quite special properties. Virtually infinitely stiff, virtually zero coefficient of expansion, virtually transparent to high-level radiation. One then might notice that the axis of this rod projected backward would intersect the axis of the tower precisely at a point marked by a smoothed stone of some strange mineral polished to a near mirror like finish.

But the stone was not perfect. One would find, if one was quite careful was not quite spherical but was, in fact slightly ellipsoidal, with major axis 975 mm and minor axis 909 mm. Its coloring was far from flawless rather it was mottled and streaked, in some places quite rough and dull and in places seemingly polished and bright. The rock was held fast by a ring segmented by twelve small blades or vanes twisted as to catch the wind. This ring sat upon a special non-linear friction bearing so that the stone would turn under the influence of the prevailing winds of Greenback, but regardless of how weak or powerful the wind, it moved at precisely the same speed.

Depending on the direction of sunbeam or moonbeam and the cast of the shadows, the stone would reflect quite differently so that the color was ever changing. But almost always visible was an unusual bright spot ten degrees below its northern pole and several darker shadows which seemed to creep across its surface. In fact, were one to consider quite closely the two shadows, one might be inclined to think of them as two snakes locked in battle encircling the brighter spot, but it almost seemed as if the shadows were of forms within the stone itself and the bright spot an internal glow.

The observation platform was on tracks and itself moved, but quite slowly, so that it took 110 hours, 22 minutes, and roughly 49.86 seconds to complete a single revolution about the tower.

Considering again the rod and the ring, if one were to drop a measure from the ring to the street below, (quite possible due to the conical shape of the tower) one would find that the distance was not quite 1500 ft but in fact roughly 1466 feet, or in actuality 446.818 m.

The inhabitants of the tower, all but one of course, would have been quite indifferent to these facts seeing as the eccentricities of its creator were as numerous as they mysterious and none seemed to have any particular impact on their ever-present task. But their meaning within the pantheon of forces shaping our story is important, indeed could be considered essential for there were in fact two other places where such similar numerological constructions could be found. One Platu knew well, and it was the thankless task of the army of engineers to return him thence. The other, was its antithesis. The dreaded pit-temple which at that moment Sultan Zhpat under the hidden power of Da Bomb was entering.

Storyline: Chaos rising

The delapidated old tanker trudged through the icy waters as if some titanic root hog foraging for buried morsels of scant tubors left after an orgiastic feasting on the plants that the roots once fed but were now reconstituted as razorback fertilizer.

An empty tanker that had once trolled these seas with belly full, she now skirted on the waves like a water spider.

The nose of the beast would seemingly dive into the frothy currents, only to emerge again splitting the waves like cannon fire through the ranks.

A cold mist formed large ice banks along the hull of the aged beheamoth as she forged ahead through the dark waters.

In the belly of this steel giant, a warm glow emanated from a tiny room deep within her cold, inhuman frame.

A pot-bellied stove sat in the corner of the steel room, and moisture formed on the walls and dripped from every over-hang.

The scotsman, roused by the rocking of the great ship, stoked the fire in the stove with more chunks of black and dusty coal.

He then fell against the wall and slid to the floor. "Elsa looks so lovely in the dim firelight", he thought, so lucid it seemed he heard his unspoken thought.

She reminded him of those cute little mice that would inhabit the corn-crib way back, in the back of beyond, behind the hidden place that one could only find by first venturing into the back woods in those hills of green that he called home - Greenback.

To Hans, he never would forget that it was the place of the blue-belly dollar, masquerading itself on an aqua-azure note.

The democrats had tried to fund the union forces during the Civil War by issuing (as all blasted liberals will do) $450 million dollars, greenback.

Printing more money has always been their standard when it comes to economics. If it doesn't really exist (or, if you don't like history), simply pretend. Who will know the difference. Who will care?

The repulicans on the other hand backed a stance that would once again base US currency on the gold standard - something real and tangible rather than fraudulent and fictitious.

The little town was torn in twain by that nasty war. At the time, they had embraced the liberal philosophy...but having been sold down the river, so many times since (by the TVA, for instance), they now have instituted a campaign to move away from that sullied past, and locally have embraced tobacco as their monetary standard (for the black market trade and barter of the backwood) - specifically a non-cancer causing, genetically-engineered strain that has all the flavor (not to mention addictive properties) of its cancerous counterpart, without the harmful effects (other than the brown teeth of most inhabitants).

To Hans, Greenback represented those beautiful green hills, and his secret place hidden within them.

But he'd thought enough of the tyrrany of the left, and the rage he felt for them manifest in that damned demon, Bigoyle.

He gently kissed Elsa's cheek and drifted back into glorious slumber dreaming beautiful dreams of warfare and the sweet, sweet taste of victory over those damned slug liberals.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Storyline: The Horse Gurgeller

Lefty Cratchins shook his head and sighed, his weathered face and perpetually squinting eyes betraying no sense of the depth of his sadness. Behind him, a couple of the new hands stood in mild shock. One of them let out a heaving sob, before burying her face in her hands and turning away.

Lefty took the wheat stalk out of his mouth and stood up, his hands brushing the creases out of his blue jeans before coming to rest at his side.

"It's allright, Janey," he said in his gravelly voice, "this kinda thing just happens sometimes"

In front of the three was the object of their attention - a beautiful palamino, lying dead and bloated, its scuba gear wrenched awry and thus ineffectual. The horse must have struggled for the surface, never able to make it from so great a depth.

Inside, Lefty wondered whether it was all worth it. The years of training - the patient work that took a horse from a mundane land beast to the pride of the Mounted Marines. He had thousands of hours invested in each horse, and yet every so often, this would happen. For no damn good reason.

And now the high mukkety-mucks were talking about getting rid of the horses alltogether, replacing them with some new-fangled mechanical contraptions. Left could spit (and did). Mechanical mounts for the marines. Hell - might as well train dolphins if you're gonna do that. It was a damn fool world, full of damn fool people. And Lefty had about as much of it as he wanted to take.

"Come on," he grunted to his field hands. "Let's move 'im off the beach."

The Tao of Mao

The lightning illuminated the Sultan's skeletal features, the direction of each flash bringing into clarity a particular bony protrudence. His face was horrific in the stark black and white of the stormy Ocean coast of Breton. It was as if his skin had been wrapped so tight that it was compressing the bone beneath and at any moment the fragile film would rupture bringing into complete presence the skull. The bulging frog-like and lidless eyes were veinless. The whites of his eyes were a sickly yellow. The irises were olive green, the pupils dilated and huge.

His clenched jaw bulged in time with the clenched fist which gradually was crushing to powder an ancient vellum text.

It had been written in Old Manx but used the coptic alphabet. Few could have deciphered it. Never now would man know it. But the fact that such a thing might even exist would have quickened the pulse of a any who have sought to delve into the conspiracy of the Illuminati. Yet by paths hidden now it is possible to guess what Zhpat had read, what had sent him to this spot and why now he looked up at the starless sky, cursed God and begged the sea to swallow him up. It had said something to the effect of this

Two hands clap at Sophia's death,
A decade err the third age draws breath,
From whence Arturius sons cast glares,
Towards their lots now Saxons' shares.

Old Gaia ne'er crushed opens her womb,
And forth spills the sea from San Grayls tomb,
'Tween lotus and star the pattern makes,
Take salt, three rings, for Pan awakes

Herman Mao put his hand upon the Sultan's shoulders. Cold comfort, the comradeship of the damned. "I think, perhaps, dear friend, the storm has got the better of you."


"The tide is coming back in, the barometer is still falling. You will not find the place tonight."

"Not tonight?" Zhpat snarled, "not tonight than not ever."

"The wyrm turns it is a dyrythmic drama, and you are foiled by an alliance of God and science."

"I believe in neither. Consume that philology if you must and die. Only fate exists, that star under which we are born...

"And Gaia herself of course, the lotus flower. Its your philology which needs rejuvenation."

"Bah... where is Bigoyle?"

Heavy flopping steps were rapidly approaching. Zhpat and Mao exhanged uneasy glances. Was it the Inuit? The Canadians? Zhpat, drew his saber from out of the cane pole that masquearded as a walking stick, while Mao, took his luger from its holster at its hip, snapping a fresh clip in. "Hold friends," a deep phlegmy voice called out, colored by a touch of a Basque accent. Out of the murkiness, a man appeared. Duck-like and majestic in its eeliness, the flippers slapped down in a final quick stocatto burst and he was at attention, rubber riding crop raised in salute.

"Oh, its you Juan-Henri, how is the Queen?"

"She is perfection incarnate."

"Glad to hear it. Please relax and report."

"This is for the Sultan, sir. Sultan, my men saw beneath the cliff, right at your feet almost a great cave has opened up, it has since disappeared under the waves, but we clearly marked it, and even now we have four men at its entrance."

The Sultan's face almost beamed with delight. He sheathed his saber and rubbed the back of one hand with the palm of the other. "Take me there."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Greenback Tower

An image of Greenback Tower, as drawn by Melanie Lustiger after her 1989 visit with Lt. Frank Corky and Herve Quisleau.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Storyline: The Dervish of El Segundo

Irony! You goldhearted bastard! Descending on alabaster wings to leave talon marks on the foreheads of your victims! Surely it was you who brought Bigoyle, with his aura of The Valdez, into the ever narrowing circle inhabited by Jade Piece, whose unwashed Mongol miasma could only be enumbrated by the fouler sort of toxin that suffused Bigoyle's person.

And, uncontent with this most unlikely union, you must sink your claws deep into the befuddled mind of Hansel Daggerfjord, who, at the moment you punctured the aquifer of his hatred, was engaged upon the most serene and pacific impulse imaginable - the purchase of a new puppy.

Yes, indeed, as Daggerfjord groped upward toward the light, quoting good Lutheran verses from his Revised King James, his soul was weighed down by the ballast of his past, and unable to grip the hand of his son Warty, he leaned forward against the pet shop window. Beside him, Elsa gasped suddenly, and her hand went reflexively to the hilt of the claymore sword strapped across her back. Warty looked up at his father with the wide eyes of a twenty-six year old and said:

"What's the problem, Dad?"

Hansel steadied himself against the glass with his one real arm, his crooked nose and Jaggeresque lips only inches away from the quivering snout of a Burmese Dachshund.

"Nothing, Warto" Hansel panted, his eyes glacing only slightly at his son and his future daughter-in-law Crystal Silverloin.

"Dearest," Elsa chimed in, "Surely you are not remembering that day in Singapore?"

"As a matter of fact, Honeysnoot, I was"

Had either Hansel or Elsa, or Warty or Crystal, allowed their eyes to drift off of each other's faces, even for a moment, they might have seen in the reflection of the pet shop window the unmistakable visage of Sultan Zhpat, emerging from the stairs of a double-decker bus and onto the Stockholm sidewalk.


Platu looked out from the catwalk upon the floor. Below him, in bank after bank of low-walled cubicles, and in invariable blue oxford shirts with white featureless ties, an army of engineers and mathematicians toiled. Computer keyboards clicked, printers spat paper, and for some reason, a bank of industrial capacitors charged and discharged, only to charge again.

Platu knew they must be getting close, closer than he had dared to dream.

"Oh, hello Platu," came a voice from behind him. He spun, ready to execute the Brazilian Prod, a deadly martial art that only he had ever mastered, before he stopped himself.

"Mr. Menlo, I have asked you three dozen times not to use my real name."

"Oh, uh... sorry there, Dr. Platudinor."

For Menlo, he could hardly fathom that Platu was a real man, let alone a real man masquerading as an eccentric billionaire. And the more he found out about Platu's history, the more stunned into confusion he became. After all, here he was, standing on the catwalk of the 34th floor (engineering overlook) of Greenback Tower, and beside him stood a man who had not only swapped spit with hotties in the Amazon, but had educated Aristotle, decried the wrongs of Athens, and studied under Socrates himself. Menlo's eyes glazed, and he shuffled further along the railing. Speechless.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Der Pariah Negra

The black ink of night poured through his soul as an oozing denizen at once devouring each and every molecule of his existence, enfolding his being in its viscous tar. He felt like some self-aware sponge saturated by its smothering nothingness.

He feared the night. For to him it was only a harbinger of a destiny of doom.

How unlike the other side. There, complete knowledge. Total comprehension. Illumination, complete.

Here only the icy black, numb, nill and nefarious.

Reaching out into this chasm would only remind him of the futility. Groping to find nothing, and reminding him again that he is alone in this black sea.

Here he lay, a sponge at the very bottom of the leviathan. Like the water, he could feel the darkness. It was consuming him; filling his pores with an ink one shade darker than black-strap and twice as thick.

He dreaded the light of day, for even in it he would carry the darkness of night on his soul. His burden was heavy - his task, damning.

To take a man's life. To stop his heart. In an instant, to destroy his being and at once your soul; to cast him eternally into this fate that of recent had become his black enemy.

Daggerfjord thought of how it would be...to again look into the eyes of his enemy as he peered into that eternal damnation of dark, with only the yearning for some light.

He could draw no other conclusion, and he feared the black blasphemy, but what becomes of evil but damnation?

To see the eyes of his prey as he had done so many times before. To view those ice-blue eyes consumed by an ever-expansive ebony apeture telling of the eternal dark. To once again feel the dark exhale of the dragon's final breath. To cast this soul against the black chasm of space and infinite dark.

"Revenge is mine, saith the Lord."

"Then might I be the fulfillment of thy will, Father. The facilitator of thy plan, the sling and stone composing thy weapon, the assassin of thine enemies. Cast me true into this night, oh Father, and pierce it I will. The heart of the dark chasm will explode with your light and will leave not a single slice of shade in any corner of the universe. Victory will be yours.

Forgive me, oh Father. If it means the loss of my soul, it will be worth it for those who will come to know the light. For what I am about to do -- to break thy commandment again and stop the beating heart -- for this I am so terribly sorry. Mine is a justice, incomplete; but for the terror he has wrought, I am left with no other choice.

Forgive me."

That black bastard who was ripped from the womb of Lucifer's whore would now meet destiny. His eyes would not be able to blot this unmistakable blue light of truth.

Bigoyle must die.


Bigoyle turned to his lovely valet and asked her to mix him another whiskey sour.

A young mongul girl of Russian descent, Jade Piece was more than happy to oblige. She was dutiful, but Oyle knew her ambitious soul.

To some she was known as the Green Dove, thanks to her past exploits as an eco-terrorist. It was she who master-minded the attack on the Dove soap factory in Pinepski, Illinois.

To the hippie, soap was nemesis. Full of who-knows-what (99.99% pure hell), it was the thing that washed their funk away.

Lord, how the hippie hates bathing.

Jade was their heroine. She struck at the heart of their enemy's soul and dragged its white purity through the mucky slime pond that was her domain.

Filth was her weapon, and Bigoyle knew he must exploit this dirty girl to his own, dastardly ends.

Her nasty funk would be his weapon against that muddy so-and-so, Daggerfjord.

Fight filth, with greater filth. Ingenious. Simply, ingenious.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

From the ether, something real

Untitled Document

Response to a mechanized message:
Subject: No Mouse, No Keyboard... New UI Design...

To: Everyone, and no one
Re: the demise of civilization


One entry found for civilization.

Main Entry: civ·i·li·za·tion
Pronunciation: "si-v&-l&-'zA-sh&n
Function: noun
1 a : a relatively high level of cultural and technological development; specifically : the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained b : the culture characteristic of a particular time or place
2 : the process of becoming civilized
3 a : refinement of thought, manners, or taste b : a situation of urban comfort (in the context of this note Mr. Webster, I'd much prefer "urbane") -SEV
I suppose this means that the "written" word will now be input via microphone? Sign language? Manipulation of symbols and hieroglyphs on the "touch" screen (can you say "digital keyboard", Oh Great and mighty RA ? - of course you can't - you have no language, do you? But boy, are your pictures purty, you iconoclastic SOB).
Now where did I leave my Rosetta Stone?
The screen looks like something upon which I'd beat out a tome with a stick (or, better, encourage via language and logic some ruffian to perform said menial task for me) - Eureka! We have our missing link, and he is us.
As goes the language, thus goes the society.
So much for composition and framing one's thoughts.
My bet is that in ten years we will no longer need dictionaries as there will probably only be ten words in our communal vocabulary (at that point I feel certain we will be forced to rely on our intuition suma cum total, thus reverting completely to our caveman heritage; but then, there are times I rather like grunting and intuitively trying to make sense of the grunts of others - like upon hearing grunts about some new "interface", for instance).
Imagine the world of tomorrow in which the only inter-"face" ing will be accomplished through a cold and heartless machine. Who needs imagination - just look at all the cell phones, laptops and PDA's (this e-mail).
No one talks "to" each other anymore - only "at" one another.
Just do what comes natural and to hell with 200,000 years of effort to build what passes for civil-i-zation (Australopithecus, where art thou? We will know the answer in due time as you sit at your screen of doom and try to become sentient working so hard to make sense of what you see - comprehending nothing but a meager mirror of what was once a world to which you were long ago physically connected).
As far as I'm concerned, the geek-meisters can completely devolve as such and inherit this, their knave, lewd world.
Which way to the library? Oh, never mind. Some flamer inappropriately pseudo-named "Rip Diddy" burned it down to make way for a new game-boy or i-pod factory; or, perhaps some kickin' wi-fi hotspot designed specifically for romantic encounters with his new lady love, his beloved "touch" screen (oh, his mighty kingdom for a curve and well-conceived whisper).
He might once have been a diddy rippin' son-of-a-gun were it not for the demise of his lingo, Bingo. Now he just sits and stares at his precious lite bright, his illuminated screen of scant, little illumination.
Give me a cave, a quill and a goat's hide and I will rule this lousy world of rubes, one perfectly-formed character at a time.
Now how is it that I reboot this damned inferm-al machine? Looks like one of our new-found geniuses tossed the instructions in favor of intuitively stroking and petting his pretty, pretty box (reminds one of Lennie Small and his soft, albeit dead, mouse - and we ALL know what happened to good ol' Lennie http://www.evermore.com/azo/99season/omm_syn.php3).
Mercy, mercy me - cave painting, here we come.
On the up-side...it will do wonders for original thinking.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Storyline: Flashforward

It is among the most dastardly of plot devices; that awful trick of an errant author, in which beloved characters are stranded, midaction, upon some netherworld beach of drama, poised and prepared, and yet doomed to be frozen thus, until in its meandering way, the story returns.

And yet, that is the device perpetrated upon you, dear reader, for we must now bound away from the humid days of April in Singapore, and descend raven-like upon a date exactly 10 years later. To wit: April 3rd, 1997. La Hoya, California...

L'il Timmy Rompkins smoothed back his beach-blonde hair, and his free hand reached up and touched the scar on his lower lip, a reflexive action that he had acquired in the last decade since that fateful day on Sentosa Island. He was reclined on a faux-leather sectional, it's burgandy sheen blazing forth against a muted beige room, sunlit by a bank of windows that looked out over the Pacific ocean. The brilliant white light of So-Cal midday burned into the room, turning everything it touched into white California Plastic.

Rompkin's free hand continued to stroke the scar on his lip. His other arm was wrapped around the shoulder of Melanie Lustiger, who dozed on the couch beside him. L'il Timmy's arm was beginning to go numb, which was unfortunate, because the hand at the end of that arm was holding onto a Highball glass full of Jaegermeister & Cola, and with the condensation, LT was afraid the glass would slip out. He called out suddenly.


Steps were heard in the corridor, and Angelista Rasmussen strode into the room, clad in the French-maid outfit that L'il Timmy made her wear.

"Yes, LT?" she asked.

"Come 'ere and take this drink, willya? It's startin' to slip out."

"Yes, LT" Angelista replied, and dutifully came forward to take the glass from his hand. Striding across the tiled floor, she retrieved the corked tray, placed the glass on it, and stood, expectantly, looking at Rompkins.

"That's all," L'il Timmy continued, "you can go back to the accounts now."

"Yes, LT" she answered, and exited the room as gracefully as she could in 3 inch heels.


Hansel Daggerfjord looked up from the foozeball table as the door to the Diplomat Lounge opened, letting in a wicked ray of light that pierced the smoky air of the seedy bar. At that very moment, an undistracted Nigel Krunt drove in a hammer shot from the 5-man. Daggerfjord's beer-sodden reflexes responded too late, but he spun the goalie anyway, and unfortunately several threads of his crimson hair became wrapped around the grip, and Daggerfjord's head was suddenly jerked to the left, and downward, until his ear was pressed against the warm metal of the foozeball pole.

"Get it off! Get it off!" he began yelling, and for the next ten minutes, a crowd of concerned bar patrons gathered around the foozeball table, attempting to extract Daggerfjord's hair from the ball bearings on the table joint.


"Zis eez incredeebull!" Professor Klimmingstock blurted. His voice echoed through the cavernous brick tube, reflected upward from the rancid sewer water and fading away into the distance. Klimmingstock hung from the rusty ladder, the crook of his left arm holding the ladder tree, his left hand holding the high-power lantern, while his right hand attempted to bring the 35mm camera into focus.

Below him in the water, a 25 foot crocodile slowly surfaced. This would have been enough to astound any visitor to the infamous sewers of Paris, even were they, unlike the Professor, totally unfamiliar with the importance of the aged leather collar around the crocodile's neck, the crocodile's missing eye, and the lettering emblazoned on that collar: Winky.

Klimmingstock was having a devil of a time with the camera. Using just one hand, he could barely rotate the barrel of the lens, and he was totally unsure how he was going to attach the flash from his precarious perch. But he never got the chance, for out of the sewer's darkness, a sudden roaring sound was followed by the forewake of a black zodiac crammed full of Singaporean policemen with harpoons.

The crocodile, more agile than the Professor, immediately dove, but the powerful searchlight of the zodiac caught a glimmer of his tail as it vanished into the murky water, and the chase was on. The Singporeans motored by the Professor, totally oblivious to his presence, laughing as they pursued their quarry deeper into the Paris catacombs.

One moment Klimmingstock was about to have the most important photo of his life, and the next moment he hung uselessly, his camera dangling heedless at the end of its cord, as he listened to the fading strains of singing coming from the disappearing motor launch.

"Oooo bayabee do you know what that's wolth.... oooo heaven is a prayce on ealth...."

It was enough to drive a man to drink.


Platu stood on the top floor of Greenback Tower and surveyed the landscape. The room he occupied was entirely circular, forming the entirety of the maximum circumferance of the cone that formed the tower's shape. Above Platu, the circle diminished. Below Platu, the circle diminished. This suited Platu just fine.

He contemplated Pi as he tamped more Captain Black into his hula-girl shaped meershem pipe (described lovingly in "Goodnight Mr. Menlo, wherever you are"). Taking from his pocket a Zippo lighter with a palladium casing, he lit the pipe, and contemplated for a few more moments. What the heck was Pi? He was sure that the answer to this riddle would have staggering implications. In an otherwise orderly world (or so Platu found it), how odd it was that such an unusual number should form such a critical role. 3.1415etc. It just wasn't right. After all, compared to the neat package of days, weeks, months, and years (ignoring certain inconvenient variations necessitating that despicable leap year), Pi just seethed incompleteness, messiness. Why couldn't Pi have been 7, or 3.33 or 12.34? Why the hell did it have to be 3.1415etc.

Maybe, Platu thought, it had to do with that meddlesome whole number system. In fact, what if he were to rename 3.1415etc to "one". Then "one" would become -3.1415etc, and Pi would be 1. That would be much, much neater.

Platu clapped his hands twice in rapid succession. From the corner of the room, where his intercom box was plugged into "the clapper", came a muffled voice.

"Howdy Mr. Platudinor! What kin I do you for?" Platu was instantly irritated at the redneck accent of his parrot-faced secretary Darby Smithreen Gribbles, but he replied in his best Jamaican accent (for Darby was convinced that Platu, whom she had never seen, was Jamaican):

"Ms Gribbles-mon. Git my engineers on da phone an tell dem dat we's going ta make one into Pi"

Darby giggled outrageously for several minutes before responding.

"Allright honeybuckets, I'll git yer egg-heads called up and tell 'em you wanna make one inta Pi, but you better do some thinkin' about the implications of messin' around with that there mathermatical system."

But Platu did not hear his despised secretary, for his mind had already engaged upon its next flight of fancy.


Herve Quisleau completed his 400th pullup and dropped down from the tape-wrapped pull-up bar at Lean-firm Gym. The remainder of the athletes went about their business, oblivious to Quisleau's feat of strength. And this irritated him to no end. Lighting a Misty cigarette with a match he struck against his bare chest, he turned and glared at the nearest person. But no-one was looking at him at all. He glared around for a few more moments before shrugging his shoulders and pulling a 9mm Glock from his gym bag. Stuffing the Glock into the waistband of his shorts, he then pulled out a pair of numchucks and a few throwing stars.

Spying a muscle bound man wearing a "Cleveland Rocks" T-shirt, he threw one of the shurikan on a deadly arc, and the tines of the weapon were buried deep in the man's forehead. His eyes crossed before going into a vague stare, and the man collapsed on the bench, 200 lbs of weights and bar falling onto him before drunkenly tilting onto the floor in a stupendous crash. By then, Quisleau had already killed two more men with the throwing stars, another with a flying drop kick, and was bludgeoning yet a fourth with the numchucks.

Finally, he was getting some attention, he thought. He was just about to reach for the Glock and do some serious business when he happened to glance at the door. There stood Frank Corky, in the modified-Weaver stance. A teak slingshot held in one extended hand, with the elastomer sling pulled back by the other hand. Quisleau could see the wicked gleam of a ball bearing in the pouch of the sling.

"Corky, you American bastard," Herve began,

"Can it, Frenchie." Corky responded, "I'm taking you in."

"You will never take me in, you miserable pile of dog-poo!"

"Oh yeah?"

"What is this, O yeah? What is this supposed to mean?"

"It means you lose," Corky answered, and he released the sling. Two ounces of austenetic stainless steel were suddenly accelerated by the leather pouch, and a split second later, the ball bearing had struck Quisleau on the bridge of his gallic nose, rendering him immediately stupified.

The last thing he remembered before losing consciousness was Frank Corky putting the slingshot in his slingshot holster and looking at his watch.