skonen_blades: (Default)
Brad was so sick and tired of being stupid. He couldn’t wait for the new download.

He looked around his drab room. His parents weren’t well off but they worked their asses off to give him a good home. Unfortunately that meant they were almost never home. It was ironic they worked their asses off to keep a roof over their head as a family but were never there to enjoy it. They wanted to keep their family from living on the streets but their family seldom spent time together.

His retro posters of 2021 revivals hits patched the fake-wood walls. Reboots of reboots of sequels of commercial successes from way back. New Jaws. New Titanic. New Breakfast Club. It was the same with music. Sequel rock was popular now. Rolling Stones II, Led Zeppelin II, Def Leppard This Time It’s Personal or just DFTiP on the posters. Everything a remix, everything a sellout. Even 2Tube and Finstagram were getting in on the fashion.

His mind had the upgrades that were installed in all babies at birth. Autism had been capped and stamped back down. All people had the ability to take in the fire hose of information being shot at them right now. Fortunes changed in milliseconds. Fame was instant with the stars usually only finding out about their fame a few hours after it had already happened and after they could capitalize on it. Everyone had an agent on standby from birth out of necessity.

But the upgraded brain needed upgrades. The fast forward human life needed mitigation and filters and they needed constant adjusting.

Currently Brad was at Brain 86.2. The leap to 90 promised insight and thought caliber of a demigod. When everyone’s a demigod, no one’s a demigod. So the philosophers warned but they were all dead so who cares that they thought?

Brad put the jack into his skull and hit download.

He’d be asleep all night while it installed like half of the continent.

His brain had everything it needed, or so he thought.

skonen_blades: (Default)
Half of my life is conversations I was too afraid to have
Conversations I rehearse even though the moment to have them has long passed
Once in a while I get it right
I say what needs to be said
When it needs to be said

But sometimes
When I'm alone
I tell
The walls
That I love them
In clear ways that can't be misinterpreted
I am articulately angry at
Deserving people
Mute people
Shocked into silence by my eloquence and given insight by my clarity
A fantasy world
Of triumphs
Of clear communication
Of victories leading to victories
That make my real wins
My here-in-the-flesh successes
These conversations ghosts are powerful and sway reality
Much more than they should
And I can't decide if they are wise
Or stupid
Fuel for my engine
Or sugar in my gas tank

skonen_blades: (bounder)
Its name was a mental picture of a sunset on a specific day with cultural meaning to it plus personal memories of its family and the memory of three smells, almost like three tones of music, which we had no true parallel for. Pepper, lemon, and hot stone would be close but insultingly far off.

Without telepathy, we could not communicate.

The problem with human minds was the lack of a broadcaster organ like the aliens had. Using some organ graft technology on a stem scaffolding and a bucketload of immunosuppressants, Stevenson cloned one and joined some of those strange tube structures onto a lab mouse.

The alien’s reaction was to turn hot pink and to dance its feet yellow feet around like a horse on ice. It immediately hit the mice with a hot bank of information about its purpose here and the poor little mouse’s head exploded.

Obviously a success. Obviously human trials were the next step.

The problem with this level of the experiment was the human subject. We couldn’t use a death row inmate because who knows what his brain would broadcast to the alien? The same went for the mental hospitals we sometimes used. We couldn’t risk the best minds in our studio because of the work that would be lost if a head exploded.

We had to settle on reaching out discreetly in our local circles to a human that was loving, tender, fun, and into undergoing surgery to talk to aliens.

We found Alan. Alan smoked a lot of weed and had blue glasses. He sold high-grade marijuana to some of the scientists. It was slightly embarrassing when three of us realized we had the same dealer. He drove to the lab in twenty minutes and signed every form and waiver we put in front of him.

It took four days but the graft was a success. The tubular accordions hanging off of either side of Alan’s newly-shaved head pulsed and slackened wetly like lungs from a child with four probing flowers tasting the air like each ear was wearing a uterus.

The alien turned mint green this time and shuddered something that was either orgasm or shock. It knelt on the floor gasping through its sunflower heads and the smell of something between strawberries and rain wafted through the lab.

It composed itself and stood back up, straight backed this time, like a centaur dancer standing at military attention.

“Hello,” said Alan, turning towards us. “Thank you. This volunteer human knows my name now and can be my spokesperson. I know of your world intimately from him and I want to know more. If you can provide us with more spokespeople and minds to communicate with, we will give you the secrets of star travel and alchemy you need to heal this planet or leave it. Please provide as many as you can.”

Alan sagged. When he raised his head back up, his eyes were focused and clear and his own again.

“I have to make some calls.” He said. “I know about a hundred people that can be here in less than two hours.”
We gave him our phones.

That’s how the hippies took us to the stars.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
I looked into the eyes of my husband. At least, I was pretty sure it was my husband. Ever since The Crash, I haven’t been able to tell.

Our implants and knowledge banks were all erased on that one day. Theories were still being talked about.

Some think a solar wind or some sort of EMP just randomly wiping through space was the culprit. Some think enemy action was responsible and they were scared. Myself, I didn’t really know. If it was enemy action, we were easy pickings and if there were invaders, they hadn’t started invading yet. My bet was on some naturally occurring galactic disruption pulse sweeping through our solar system, a pulse that would’ve been much less dangerous to a pre-net world.

But here on Earth it was a catastrophe. Everyone’s headbox had been erased.

All the ‘soft in my brain has gone blank. It was two pounds of tech in my skull just taking up space, just the same as everyone else now. It had my phone book, my addresses, my schedules, my tutorials, my contacts and e-profiles, and perhaps most importantly, my facial recognition programs.

Including all of my important memories. The ones I wanted to remember most of all. The best ones. All gone. I have only vague, foggy, mists in my head now when I try to glance the past.

Pre-Crash, whenever I met someone, a sparrow-cloud of data spooled across my vision to let me know who they were and what their connection was with me. Everything about them flew up against the windscreen of my eyes and let me know all the relevant details. Previous conversations, secrets we had, times we shared in the past, references to in-jokes, ongoing issues, financial records, and a thousand other points of interest jigging around real time, undulating and updating as we spoke.

As a race, we were the best conversationalists we’d ever been.

More importantly, the elderly and mentally infirm now no longer had to pause to remember forgotten pasts or struggle awkwardly in social situations. Grandmothers could recognize their granddaughters. It was a golden age. It was a time of miracles.

My regular ability to recognize people had atrophied, however. It had for all of us. I know that now.

Ever since The Crash, I couldn’t tell strangers from close friends. I looked at people’s faces and I felt nothing. I knew nothing. I couldn’t tell if I recognized them. Some looked more familiar than others but I had no reference point.

If I did feel like I knew them, I didn’t know from where or what we used to joke about or discuss on a regular basis.

I still knew how to do my job. I was lucky that way. Every day, I see my co-workers and I wonder if we all used to have good times together. I know my name. I barely know how to drive even though I don’t know how to get anywhere without the map implants. I’m lucky I lived close to where I work. But I don’t know my birthday. I don’t know anyone’s birthdays.

On the streets and in the bars, we all stare at each other awkwardly. The few who try to talk to each other usually regret it.

The man in front of me looks really familiar. We have matching rings on our fingers and we both have keys to the same house and that’s pretty much all we’re going by. I’m going to try to kiss him but I’ve forgotten how.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
I believe that you are not your gender. You are not your race. You are not your occupation. You are not the country you were born in. You are not the language you speak. You are not even your name.

I believe that you are also more than the electrical impulses that give you your thoughts and move your limbs. You are more than a being that can interact with this world physically. You are more than the animals, for better or for worse.

Who are you? Who are we? WHAT are we? When you try to answer this, you see the need for a purpose.

Maybe we’re just here to quest. We are here not just to struggle, but to strive toward. The fact that what we strive towards is unknowable is the reason we strive. The search is the end. The constant movement is the destination. It’s a contradiction that fits.

Art, science, and religion are all trying to explain the same thing.

All questions lead to more questions. That is as much a function of the universe as it is a function of our own perspective. We have not found out how large the universe is and we have not found its smallest particle. The ladder is endless up and down and the road is endless in all directions as far as we’re concerned. Both ends of the telescope do nothing but expand our base of queries.

Imagination bridges gaps. Stories gives us answers. Myths teach us and give us reasons. A person with answers seems powerful because answers calm us. Without satisfactory answers, we turn faster and faster. We become smarter and try to dampen the curiousity with more knowledge. We turn to art to abstract the pull of wanting to know. We memorize religious books and tell ourselves that strength lies in belief, damming up the need for facts, facts, more facts.

The yawning abyss is exactly this.

What calms the journey is direction. Your journey may take you to the stars, to the intricacies of language, to atoms, to your own inner workings, to the physical and metaphysical. It may take you to places on maps either real or imagined. The quest for peace has so many paths.

This holy grail of balance is what comes in and out of focus for us. What gets us out of bed in the morning is not only our awareness of time passing, our bodies decaying. It is the question. As innate as eye colour. It is bred into us and seemingly, only us.

It is why our life form is insane. It is our greatest strength and our greatest flaw. With no curiousity, we would be at peace. This is why we are damned. This is why we are holy.

They say that getting there is half the fun. Since getting there is all we do, then that is why we feel we are missing out on half of something.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
There is a reason in video games
Why lives look like hearts and they don’t look like brains
Love is what gives us all life while we’re here
Brains are fantastic but I think it’s clear
That brains, while quite useful, are computery
They just sort of think. They don’t feel much, you see.
But hearts now, they’re passionate, foolish, and strong
They don’t know their right from their left or their wrong
When playing a video game, at the start
YOU get some lives and they’re shaped like a heart
If YOU lose too many too quickly, you die
Your body collapses and then there you lie
But the NEXT time you play when you get to the part
That once was too hard and would take your poor heart
You know how to dodge, or jump, or defend
And if you keep playing, you get to the end
At least of that level. Cause there’s always more.
But the more that you play and the higher you score
The more hearts you get and the longer you love
Hearts fit a life like a hand fits a glove
‘Cause they’re what’s inside and they just keep on giving
Without your heart then you can’t go on living
A literal truth but a metaphor, too.
If you allow yourself (when you feel blue)
To IGnore your heart and pretend it’s not there
THAT all that you have in your chest is just air
Then one, you’re a liar and two, you can’t do it
The heart won’t be smothered. I’ve effing been through it.
Love can’t be beaten and can’t be contained.
It takes too much effort and makes a life strained.
Love that’s denied is a blight on the soul
Because you can’t turn your heart into a hole
No quarter asked for and no quarter given
You say you’re alive but I don’t think that’s livin’
If you fight your heart, when you win then you lose
No matter the person and no matter whose
Heart takes a beating, it always beats back
Hearts always fight when they feel an attack
Or else they leap or they duck or they run
The only thing hearts like to play for is fun
Your brain’s the controller. Your hands have the skills
So dive down those valleys and run up those hills
Press all the buttons and move left and right
Practice your loving all day and all night
Loving and games are unique in this way.
You only get better the more that you PLAY.
I’ve got some quarters rolled up in a tube
In my pocket and yes, I am happy to see you
Let’s have a two-player, co-op, turn-based
Side-scrolling platformer medium-paced
RPG flash game with magic gold rings
Your BRAIN knows the words but it’s YOUR heart that sings
So remember this moral this Valentine’s day
To be better at love then play, player, play.
And remember when playing to lead with your heart
Up down left right B A start

skonen_blades: (hamused)
The majority of earth voted against winter this year.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t happen that often. There are still countries on Earth for whom snow is a novelty and there are those who like the seasons to change.

But this year, no winter. The vote pinged us, time zone by time zone, around the planet. We mentally filled out the ballot box in the corner of our vision and sent it back to the main computer.

It’s hard to remember a time where computers were external and even the implants had to be installed physically. Now with the biosoft rewriting the DNA, we’re ‘born soft’, as they used to say. Worldwide, we’re all linked together in our minds.

The weather satellites were a necessary revolution after the planet nearly cooked from our fuel consumption. We crowdsource everything now. There’s still an economy but local power centers and governments don’t differ from each other that wildly anymore. Earth is a country now, not a kaleidoscope of fractured cultures.

Our translators make it possible for us all to speak to each other which we do often. We debate but we rarely war. The collective IQ of the planet has risen to a nice, high average and we’ve realized the profit in peace.

We’re more like a collection of around five thousand cities connected like Christmas lights sprinkled around the globe.

We stabilized the population and we’re all born with a baseline gradient of information that trickles in. We have the wisdom of generations at our fingertips and it cannot be removed or taken away.

That was the failsafe of the architects who instilled the change in us. It was a turbulent time of near-extinction as we understand it. Wholesale slaughter had not yet begun but we were dying by the thousands. Mostly preventable disasters were occurring more and more frequently because of greed, divisiveness, and secretive governments.

A unity was needed. And those Helsinki seven delivered.

Now we are all knowledge-rich and connected through maturity. It’s truly a new age.

It’s called the Anthropocene.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
My brain has negative thought patterns.
This makes me really sad.
My brain has negative thought patterns.
This makes really angry.
My brain has negative thought patterns.
So I don’t tell anybody.

EDIT: When I wrote this, I thought it was really witty. It's not a confession.

skonen_blades: (whysure)
Dang my poet mind.

I saw a bus with a malfunctioning sign once that said it was the “Sorry. Not in service. Express.” And I was like , “I know exactly what that means.”

I read somewhere that computer monitors use more power on standby than they do when they’re being used and I was like “I completely understand.”

I saw a sign once that said “Prepare to stop” and I’ve been doing that ever since.

skonen_blades: (gasface)
So you get it twisted. You think that the people that refuse you know something that you don't. You think that the people that say yes to you are blind to the truth. You start to think that the ones who turn you down are smart and the ones who want you are stupid. It sets up an awful echo chamber in your mind. A hall of second-guessing mirrors with no right answer and a deep, dark spiral into self-hatred disguised as fact.

skonen_blades: (jabbadoubt)
My consciousness is merely a fender on my brain. Much like my skull is a helmet. I see what I’ve been told I should see, I hear what I’ve been conditioned to hear, and I interpret the world as a tall white man living a life of comparative luxury in the first world.

It’s a straddle and no speakers about it. I have airplane lottery tickets dangling in the dozens around my neck, backstage passes from all the concerts I’ve ever wanted to go to. My eyes are twin modems and I see the world downloaded through my vision. My skin is a camera. My bones are made of glass and it’s only a butterfly wing away from reminding me how mortal I am. Diseased meat stretched around a filament of bone sticks and bone pegs.

I am a median. I am a traffic cone. I am yellow lines painted down the middle of basket-weaving courses funded by professional distractors. My voice, when unified with the rest of the voices, is powerful. My voice, when given the ability to change the opinions of many minds at a time, is powerful. That goes for all of us. Keep us down. Keep us segregated. Keep us entertained.

This is not news. This is what my eyes say to my brain all day. This is not news. I am on a ferris wheel and the ride is getting monotonous. I am not bored. I am not ungrateful. But I am worried at the gathering speed.

I need to remove my filters. I need to uncondition my hair and bequeath bare feet to my soul again. The gravity of time has me. The gravity of this planet has me. But I need to life up my mind. I need to light bulb higher. My thinker is gathering precepts and defaults. It’s accruing a mess of ‘knowledge’. It’s becoming glutted with facts, making it too smart to realize, making it too stuffed to think. My brain is a saturated sponge in need of a wringout or a drying.

I need a cleaning. And I need it soon.

skonen_blades: (Default)
I’m an upside-down daddy with shoes on his hands.
And when I ask questions they sound like demands.
It’s less of a power and more of a curse
I always bring last what I should’ve brought first
The craziness isn’t the worst thing I feel
The worst are the super-rare times I feel real
That’s when I see my life plainly and true
And how the plain truth of it lies to me, too
Like I’m a senior with Alzheimer’s brains
Who only remembers his name when it rains
And once a month knows that his wife passed away
Eight years ago on the fifteenth of May
And knows that his daughters are here every week
Cajoling and stroking his mystified cheek
A moment of clearness so cruel in its clarity
A moment made crueler because of its rarity
These are the moments I feel now and then
Thinking of all of my kin and my friends
It’s like a nostalgia but based in the now
A feeling of knowing what happens and how
Like missing the person that sees things so clear
Like I miss the way that I used to live here

skonen_blades: (Default)
Brains carrying clubs in their squishy fists patrol the cartoon world. Bugs disguise themselves as cars while long-legged valentines run down Chinese-restaurant hallways. Kings clumsily stab bear corpses with swords and hold the pose so that photographers can make royalty look ferocious.

She is tiny but she is hard. She bounces up over the hood of the car and through the windshield, right into the driver’s snarling teeth. An entire wedding runs away from the oncoming destruction. It was the type of the day that let you walk on walls. Long, dangling ghosts refereed drag races while goats did their best to sell lava lamps to sheep. Wrestlers had off-duty eating contests while all the stuffed animals did their best to have a party in darkness of the dungeon.

The photocopiers turned wild and roamed the countryside, cutting down trees and trying to make children’s books. Apples became infested with butterflies and condoms were rolled down over the number one. Princesses texted each other while android babies screamed like they were programmed to. Satellite dishes soaked up the excess while fat geishas relaxed.

Boulders dream of being drummers. Flying cars have rose-coloured headlights. A deer made of matches taunts alcoholics in the liquor store. And over here, near the bus stop, is one elephant that can walk on its hind legs to fool humans.

skonen_blades: (blurg)
We had always been looking for a way to legitimately kill the stupid. But where did one draw the line? An outside force, something inhuman, had to make the choice. We couldn’t make that kind of decision.

We found a way.

The aliens left behind a device. We don’t understand how it worked but the components were simple and easy to recreate.

After first contact, Earth was catalogued, included in their star maps as possessing both intelligent and non-intelligent life, and then left alone. It was quite anticlimactic. Almost business-like. The aliens themselves had translator machines that picked up our language nuances wonderfully. They went to great lengths to appear like us. Aside from the blue skin and golden eyes, they succeeded. Their spokespeople appeared on all of our talk shows and deftly handled all of our xenophobic questions. They mollified us, measured us, and left.

The silence in their wake was depressing. Those that had been waiting to become part of the galactic family all of their lives felt like they’d been given nothing more than a high-five.

Then we found the device. It was the small machine they used to detect intelligent life. It flashed red on animals, meaning non-intelligent life, but green on most humans.

Most humans.

Some humans were classified as red. The mentally challenged, those with brain damage, and most children under the age of three, for instance. But around fifteen percent of adults tested also fell into the red category. In most cases, it wasn’t a shock. Racists, incompetents, overly aggressive men, willfully ignorant people, non-readers, dubious politicians, and religious zealots for instance. There were exceptions to all of these categories but the ones that showed up red were rarely surprising.

Many genetic theories were thrown into the pot. Perhaps these people, mostly from the same families, were closer in lineage to our ancestors and had not been given sufficient spurring to evolve. Perhaps they were from a strain of the human race with defects. Perhaps inbreeding millennia ago had produced these throwbacks.

That’s when the theory started that maybe the human race needed to be pure for the aliens to return, that maybe we were being watched and tested.

The first few ‘red murders’ were put down to extremists but as Green Wave Party started climbing in numbers, death tolls rose.

At first, all of the red-positive folks were rounded up for their own protection. Those temporary lodgings turned into refugee camps as the months and years went by. They were a drain on resources. Several leaders in the scientific community calmly suggested euthanizing the lot of them. After all, according to the alien’s machine, they were no smarter than stray dogs.

Most of the cities concurred.

Calmly, deliberately, and with a cold, orderly precision that would have made Hitler jealous, the lives in the camps were extinguished.

A few rebelled and successfully broke free only to become the hunted. A few escaped because of sentimental attachments that Green Wave Party members had. Wives or stepsons, that sort of thing. They were neutered and let out into GWP custody with no more rights than pets.

After the purge, the human race has become smug, docile, and guilty. Everyone is routinely tested. Everyone is green. We are smart and happy.

And it was all thanks to the aliens. We can’t wait to show them what we’ve accomplished.

We’re still waiting for their return.

skonen_blades: (nyeeehaha)
The craft smoked in afternoon sun. The hunter was no judge of aircraft but this strange ship looked damaged beyond repair. Trees lay flat behind it where it had crashed to the ground in the forest. Its silver shell winked in the sunlight, shuddering occasionally as whatever machinery inside of it quaked to a wounded stop. The hunter had seen nothing like it, not even on the newsfeeds. Maybe a new kind of experimental ship that had crash landed but the nearest air force or army base was thousands of miles away.

The hunter was forced to entertain the possibility that this was a ship of alien origin. Setting his jaw firmly and readjusting the grip on his rifle, he stepped forward towards the silent craft. The forest started to come alive again. The violence of the craft’s crash landing had ended. Squirrels resumed foraging, deer resumed grazing, and birds began their songs anew. The ship’s hull ticked as it cooled. The film of frost that had formed on it started to melt in the sun.

The ship lay broken. Through the largest crack in the dripping hull, the hunter could hear movement. A whispering shuffle that ended with a clank. The hunter knew the sound of a wounded animal when he heard it. He advanced to the crack with his rifle ready. The alien inside the craft might was probably close to death or stunned. The hunter walked slowly and softly towards the crack and peered into the gloom.

A silver whip of corded metal shot out from the crack and skated across the hunter’s cheek, laying it open. The hunter’s hands tensed in surprise and he emptied both barrels of the shotgun into the crack. A shower of sparks from buckshot ricochets lit up the interior for a second and the hunter clearly saw the alien life form.

It was like a metal octopus with many more tentacles. The tip of each tentacle ended in a specialized tip. The hunter had shot directly into its center of mass. The creature thrashed and lay still. It was a lucky shot. If the creature had integral organs there, it was almost certainly dead.

The hunter’s cheek buzzed. His right eye closed. He dropped his rifle. There was something in the cut that the alien had made on his face! The hunter’s immediate thought was poison. He felt his heart race and a fever take over his body. He fell to his knees and the sun seemed to get brighter. His breathing came hot and fast. He passed out.

When he awoke, he felt refreshed. He brought his hand up to his cheek to find it healed. He felt the ridge of a scar. Judging by the position of the sun, it looked like about an hour had passed. He stood up, picked up his rifle and went back to his cabin. In the morning, he’d go into town and report what he had found. Right now, though, he was exhausted and thirsty.

It didn’t occur to him until he got back to his cabin that he knew exactly how to build a metal octopus and spaceship. Chemistry beyond his education unspooled in his mind. Mechanical processes popped through his mind. He’d need to invent the tools needed to create the compounds necessary to make the chemical chain reactions that would result in the hardest bonds in the new metal. There were no names for what he was thinking about, just clarity and pictures. The memories of the alien life form were there as well. He couldn’t access them but he knew they were there in a corner of his mind, waiting for download into the shell he now had the ability to create.

It would take six years and it would make him rich if he kept the goal of his projects secret. The patents would change the history of Earth.

The hunter looked at the mirror in the cabin’s bathroom as he prepared for bed. The scar on his cheek was silver.

skonen_blades: (gasface)
Photographic Memory Semi-Autistic Total-Recall Auto-Didactic Infonauts.

We just called them Rain Men. They were mostly women but there was something sexless about their dead-eyed stares and monotone recitations. The term ‘rain men’ worked just fine. It was a reference to an old movie from Before.

Ever since the search engines went crazy and the libraries burned down, we had to put all of our information into people.

It was an experiment. Ever since we went from the information age back to the steam engine and electrical fields could only be used locally, it was up to us to make a human network to replace what used to be the internet.

By finding autistic kids and boosting their memory sponge capabilities with available drugs, we could turn them into living computers. Their ability to collate, reiterate, cross-identity, and speak was perfect.

Their awareness of the world around them was almost zero. Anything with a pattern seemed to catch their eye. A spinning plate, for instance, or a light that flashed in a rhythm. Who knows what it caused to happen in their minds. Maybe they saw some sort of Fibonacci sequence fractal equation spiraling away into the future. Predictions of timing and parabolas arcing through the available math of their minds.

We updated them with new information that way. Every Rain Man Owner had a ‘spinner’ device that would bring his or her Rain Man up to a receptive depth before reading new information to them or showing them images in books.

Only the rich could afford the Rain Men and they charged admission for the people in their area to ask questions.

It’s been raining ever since The Event.

skonen_blades: (dark)
Real Life:

Are there two tribes of people?

I see vacancy in a lot of eyes that I envy sometimes. But not really. Just wistfully.

Am I just more sensitive to the input of the world? Is my experience what everybody experiences but doesn’t talk about? When I walk down busy streets and I see people doing things that I would never ever do and act in ways that I would never act, I wonder.

I heard recently that there was an overlap of the homo sapiens and the Neanderthals. That they mated. That our race might have two strains running through it.

I see that some people lack the capability for introspection and self-correction. The concept that they might be wrong about their beliefs is foreign to them and will never cross their minds. It makes me think that if I didn't question myself, that I wouldn't push forward or ever change. That maybe doubt is what leads us to being more than we were, to being human.

I wonder about nature versus nurture. The origins of our race are lost to supposition and best guesses.

Like the etymology of slang terms.

I also remember the Germans putting forth "concrete proof" that the shape of a Jew’s skull proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were lower on the evolutionary scale than an Aryan.

That makes me feel like the closer I get to feeling like there are two kinds of people in the world or that some people are better than others, the more I feel like a Nazi.

My brother had a dream where he and I were super heroes. We were in the Hall of Justice with the other heroes. They were in a circle with their hands in the middle making a ‘circle of power’ or something like that to activate their powers in a true ‘Avengers Assemble!’ battle cry before they fought the bad guys. My brother didn’t feel like joining in and I was trying to convince him to do it. He said that I convinced him to do it in the end.

Just the thought of him having this dream brings tears to my eyes.

skonen_blades: (borg)
The best way to put them in limbo without alerting them is to put them in an airport.

If we intercept an agent and need to take him offline to dig through his secrets, we’ll put his conscious mind into The Airport. The Airport is a virtual reality structure as large as the continent of Europe. The hallways are long, the escalators are quiet, and it’s populated with constructs of stewards and passengers all rushing along to their destination.

The agent is given a boarding pass with a flight number that is posted on the direction boards. Through busses, terminals, elevators, hallways, check-in desks, security points, delays, re-scheduling, and loops, it’s possible to keep an agent’s mind walking with no suspicion for up to three days.

Something happens to a human mind in an airport. Time becomes meaningless. Connections to other people take on an abstract feel. Everyone feels like they are in the country of In Transit. They are uprooted from home and have become a traveling message, a shipment of themselves on their way to somewhere. They are on their way back or their way there but they are not 'here'.

It’s easy to keep their minds a little foggy about the details. It’s natural.

No alarms go off in their home country's head offices as long as they’re kept conscious. The Airport does the trick. We can go in and perform counter-espionage on their subconscious mind and memories while they blithely look for the proper gate for their flight.

Their mind wanders. They amuse themselves.

It’s only after a few days of delays that they start to suspect. That and trying to have anything resembling a deep conversation with fellow travelers. After they realize that the people in the fake world are about as deep as a puddle, the suspicion starts in and the illusion is generally discovered within a few hours.

It becomes as unstable as a dream at that point and we better be finished our work by then.

We can have them wake up with a hangover in a hotel room and be none the wiser.

skonen_blades: (borg)
It was 1856. I remember it like it was yesterday even though so many of my other memories have gone.

The blue fella had crashed in the woods outside of the settlement. His wagon looked like it had fallen out of the clouds judging by the sheared treetops that led to his crippled metal sky wagon. He’d probably been struck by lightning in the storm the night before.

I say ‘he’ but really, that was just what we decided after finding him. His nether regions were as smooth as a river rock. We nicknamed him Baldy because there wasn’t a hair on him and his head was a little bigger than ours. He had a ring of gold eyes on his face, arranged kind of like a spider although I didn’t find it threatening or creepy. He had a little mess of tentacles where his mouth should have been and twenty or so tiny round holes where a nose should be.

He had fours arms up top, a big pair and a small pair, three thick fingers on each hand. The knuckles on his hands seemed to go any which way they pleased. I remember that being more disconcerting to me than his strange face.

His legs were practically crustacean. They were armoured on the outside with blue plating like a snail or an armadillo. I’d seen a lobster in San Francisco once and the fella’s legs reminded of it. He had big, dangerous looking claws on the ends of those feet. Solid points of balance and no mistake.

He was dripping bright orange blood. We put him a makeshift stretcher and took him away from the smoking shell of his ship. No telling what kind of chemicals were on fire in there. He had a couple of wires that were still attaching him to the ship. We had to cut those wires to get him away.

Cutting those wires caused the ship and Baldy to shudder. The ship almost immediately started crumpling in on itself. We carried the twitching Baldy away as fast as we could to get him to the doc’s office.

Scouts the next day would report that aside from a hole in the ground and a deep stench, the ship was gone. Some sort of way of protecting itself, I guess, once its connection to the pilot was severed. I didn’t see the use of it myself.

The blue fella died there in the doctor’s office. We were all pretty sad about it. Some of us thought that maybe it was disconnecting him from his ship was what done it even though his wounds looked pretty severe and he never stopped bleeding that mango juice all over the doc’s floor.

The doc was pretty shook up. He didn’t write anything down about it. We took the blue fella out and buried him in a ceremony that most any of us would have received. It was pretty touching.

I can’t tell you the reason that none of us thought to write anything down or try to take pictures of him or report it on the wires or try to make money off of him or anything. It just didn’t seem right.

On the place where we buried him, a tree sprung up the next spring. The leaves were shaped like bright red octagons.

The fruit looked like pink siamese-twin pears with little thorns on the bottom.

Five of us picked and ate some of that fruit.

Over the decades, the other four have died here and there of one thing or another. We didn’t keep in touch but we all had the same experience.

It’s been twenty years since I ate that fruit and the memories are still bright in the my mind.

The memories of growing up on an ice planet with six blue suns. The memories of leaving my brood and climbing aboard a spaceship. The memories of deviating off course to explore what there might be away from the beaten path. The memories of being struck by lightning and being found by strange, pink, bipeds with simple cell structures. The memories of being cut off from the hivemind and the fading sense of belonging. The memories of not being able to tell the pink biped medical officer that it wasn’t his fault that I was dying.

I remember my own face looking at me. That’s the weirdest memory I have. I also have memories of strange, alien math and technology that I’ve always been scared to tell people about until now.

They say that I have Alzheimer’s. I’ve felt my own memories slipping away more and more. The memories of the alien remain bright and unchanged. I think the fruit put them in there more solidly that my own. In a while, they’ll be my only memories.

That’s why I'm writing these equations down. For the scientists. For you humans. Use the math wisely.

skonen_blades: (Default)
I have a wandering eye.

I see photographic opportunities in a puddle. A telephone pole against the sky. A half-built building. A shoe on the ground. My consciousness sniffs out aesthetically pleasing compositions in the world around me. It’s dizzying enough in a static, silent world of buildings and street signs.

In a room of blood-soaked, body-painted burlesque dancers in various states of undress, high on mid-performance timestream absenteeism, cramped into a small room shoehorned with nightmare props and outlandish costume pieces, the possibilities for photographs are overwhelming. The sheer magnitude washes over me.

I take no pictures and bask in the glorious privileged impermanence of it all.



skonen_blades: (Default)

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