skonen_blades: (Default)
It’s these forgotten circuses that threaten to overwhelm reality. The crack are showing. The balloon grows almost to the bursting point, exposing tectonic plates that were more fragile than we thought. Time dilates and wheezes, breathing accordion across our experience.

The particles in our lungs are cancerous in the same way that the nose of a rhino is rhinoceros. It’s what we breathe out. We paint this world caustic with every exhalation. A condensation of disease on the windows. It’s a stretching. A testing of the tensile strength of celebrated reality. We’re crossing the dimension on the river Leithe, drinking the water to forget the future. The hubris of our choices that set this in motion. We need to pat ourselves on the back while trying to row.

We’re dinosaurs flying kites. The crushed blood of the last race to die here powers our cars. The wind that whistles through the holes in our bodies carries the light chuckle of the earth. The earth is not in distress. The earth is a ball of iron. Plants and insects and animals iterate faster than plodding meat people. Evolution will fast forward like it always does.

Earth’s life will thin, will wane. We will thin, will wane. We are about to become a new moon of a race. Quiet and still here. But there will be no sanding down of the scars for a long, long time.

The skyscrapers will scrape less and less sky as one by one they collapse to the gums, going back to the soft loam of the earth. How many glaciers will need to scour this earth to reduce our troubled stacked caves back to sand? We cannot sift what we’ve done back down to nothing. There is no reset. Only forward.

That precious guest the future, shaking its head with its “I told you so”s and its “Why didn’t you listen”s, ruining dinner, ruining our present-day good time. We were all having fun until he showed up.

Time isn’t a flat circle any more than it’s a straight line. It’s a dot. There’s nothing to it except strong legs fading up into the clouds. We don’t know.

We know. But we don’t know.

It’s dark even in the daytime.


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skonen_blades: (Default)
The curves of Saint Monday call up the interlocking pieces of forgetfulness that I call life.
The carpet salesman will always undermine us.
Second place can be a nuclear power plant in the right hands.
If it’s bank left and hard right then it needs to be full throttle on the straightaways.
My face is relaxed in the storm.
You don’t slap fight with the hand of god.
You don’t high five the one hand clapping.
There’s a blue square in my chest instead of a heart.
A smear of paint where my worry used to be.
I don’t see a doctor about my brain.
I see a botanist.
There is ivy in my meat.

I want to fedex myself a real life by speedy delivery but that’s a serious charge.
Shipping slash fiction to greedy eyes can’t reproduce the big finish.
We’re all wireless but the server went down 4000 years ago and we’re still searching for a connection.
Art, religion, and science were all created to take up the slack.
More like opposable dumbs, amirite?
Give me the utility belt that Adam West took to the afterlife.
I want to use shark repellent in hell.

I don’t have a steering wheel big enough to turn my life around and besides, it’s hard to steer an elevator.
I’m infested with tourniquets.
Rechargeable batteries are sewn into my skin.
I’m a scratch and sniff house fire.
I’m a barrel roll in a monkey factory trying to make it more fun.
You twist my hoof and I’ll shit money and old glue.
I can’t see the future but I think it sure packed a punch in a suitcase for me.
I bank on the unsafe deposit box.
You can call me night cactus.
You can call me barbed lyre.
You can call me short-short cutoffs drying on a surfboard near a bonfire.

I chewed up the rewind button.
I made a smoothie out of my regrets.
It’s only by losing baggage that you can see what you won’t miss.
This flight’s a roulette wheel and I bet on blue.
The rain soaks my mind into being half sponge and I awaken.
I eat grilled cheese by osmosis.
I’ve imprinted on society.
My privilege allows me the luxury of the slow lane.
If I’m a kite then no one’s holding me.



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skonen_blades: (hamused)
I was a time traveler. I say ‘was’ because it’s apparent to me now that this was a one-way trip.

I realized I was a god as soon as the pain stopped.

I could hear all the other gods, shouting in my head. Billions of them ordered into groups and catalogues. Every thought that ran through my mind accordioned new sub-menus out, giving me access to the proper people. Polite queries were flooding through me like water through a dam.

I wanted to respond but it was hard to do because of all the screaming I was doing.

It was a social network in my mind. Nodes of location and profession grew and pinpointed depending on my attention. Closing my eyes did nothing.

Most countries I recognized. Some I didn’t. I shied away from the nodes labeled with the names of planets. I only recognized half of the professions. Even though I could hear everyone, I was somehow not going insane. My brain must have been augmented, too.

I looked down at my arms. Light blue with a faint tracery of new lines on the skin. I wanted to get a closer look and immediately I could see the manufactured hairs on my arm in electron microscope detail.

I started screaming again. This was not my body.

I remembered stepping out of my time machine into an alley in what was supposed to be the year 2120. Immediately, I had trouble breathing and my eyes started watering regardless of the air filter and goggles.

Then fire lit up my veins like vegas and I went down.

As soon I came in contact with the future, I was registered as a pure biological and 'updates' began pouring into me from the picotech floating in the air. According to the tech, I hadn't been updated in a long time.

It was like plugging a gaming console into the ancient internet after two years of not playing it. Immediately, downloads for the OS and all of the games would pour in with a need for a restart. It took a long time.

Well, I've never been hooked into this network and according to its data, I was in need of a full reinstall.

I was in a coma for two weeks. Upgrade after upgrade slammed into my twitching body. I lay shuddering in the hospital while concerned medpeople monitored it all. The future ran through me like a train.

I am now connected to worldmind, overnet and airmesh. My eyes are sniper scopes and my skin is an air filter. I am blue.

I cannot go back. This future lacks the technology to regress me to my former self and the body I now possess would create thousands of patents that haven’t been invented yet if I went back.

The future is sorry. It says so. Here. In my mind. Everyone one earth apologizes and is happy to meet me. The other planets are knocking on my mental firewalls with well wishes. They all feel bad, like they sprung a trap on me. But they’ve never met a time traveler before and they want to talk.

I have five options of travel if I want to see other planets, seven if I want to leave this body here.

The blue skin around the corners of my mouth hooks up into a smile.

I think I’ll go to Mars.


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skonen_blades: (hamused)
My doghouse future lives in updates and site corrections that will never be current. I’m a word salad giving birth to car tires, spinning old helmets into war stories that never happened. I’m a wind dodger, a slippery riot shield, a tensor bandage wrapped around a bunch of bananas. If it wasn’t for my thinning hair, I’d punch a hole in the sun.

I’m sprouting silicon. I’m the woof of a blowfish. I’m an unsent absentee vanguard. I want to inject the hourglass with molasses. I’m pouring sugar into the gas tank in the hope that it’ll bake a cakes. I am an enchanting shade of beige. In the morning, I am a giraffe trying to eat a grapefruit.

Nosequills. Smelt wipers.

The ache of the Antarctic as we break it’s back. It’s just a conversation we’re having with the earth and it’s a real icebreaker. We’re really getting to know each other.

My shadow glitters in the dark but luckily I was born with a removable blade. I’m a newsstand in the basement of an apartment building. I have keys in my mouth and a tavern on my shoulders. I am an alias with no true identity anymore.

I’m caught in an upward spiral but I’m afraid of heights. The topology of my life is peeks and alleys. I’ve seen forty years go by between my fingers.

But snowflakes invented brandy. I’m a lifetime clutcher and a post-codeine baggage porter. If you’re a hotel, I want to be your bellboy.

Take me to the hell of you.




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skonen_blades: (dark)
We’re not part of the circle of life.
We’ve turned the process into a straight line.
Our mouths are the tunnel at the end of a railroad track and everything is going in.
We are a mutation that isn’t succeeding.
We are an aberration.
We are not doing what we’re supposed to do.
At first we were benign. Now we are malignant.
We think we’re succeeding but we are aggressively failing.
I wonder if cancer would feel the same way if it could think.
Would it try to say “Look what I can do! Look how successful I am!”
Economic growth has metastasized.
We do not march with nature.
We actively march against it.
We’ve drawn our line in the sand. And in the forests. And in the ocean.
This is a war where even if we win, we lose.
We are going to run out of food.
We are going to run out of water.
We are going to run out of air.
And when we die, Earth will compost our civilization into a new chapter.
Strange new plants will break it down. Strange new animals will adapt to the new settings.
The worst part of it all is that we had the capability to be in tune with our surroundings but have chosen not to.



tags

Jobs

8 June 2014 18:01
skonen_blades: (hamused)
The latest commercial for Canadian pipeline and oil companies talked about how oil creates jobs. Drilling for oil and gas, processing oil and gas, it all creates jobs. The pipeline will create jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

You know what else created jobs?

The Exxon Valdez oil spill created jobs because it employed hundreds of people to clean it up.

Seal clubbing creates jobs.

War creates jobs.

I really don’t see the value of ‘jobs’ when it comes to the future of the planet.



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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.



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skonen_blades: (hamused)
This halo is a hardcover. This manhole is a dustcover. My man-face is undercover.

It’s not only flatworms that can split in half to become two beings. I can do that on the inside when I’m frightened so that while I can continue being scared, I can also look at what’s scaring me and try to find out why.

The filters are down sometimes and the world is too shining, too possible, too scattering in every direction, not self-aware enough but dazzling, still so dazzling, even in the miniscule drops my primitive, tiny, temporally-limited mind can drink it, lick up, and comprehend. I am staggered before the enormity and complexity of human interactions and then staggered again by the fact that I am only understanding the tiniest fraction of it.

This wishlist of safe-house bank vaults is on fire. This future is not erased, not found wanting, but made unknowable. I am not adrift because that implies a lack of control. I am not flailing in rapids because that implies more danger and panic than I feel. But time’s stream is moving forward and I am going inexorably with it.

The central realization that ‘because I have thoughts, I AM thoughts’, is pushing me around corners like I’m working my way through a maze built on a wall.

Repelling ever downwards through possible outcomes without the negative connotations of moving downwards. The ‘gravity of what awaits’ pulls me. I am but a particle in the human race.



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skonen_blades: (dark)
The taste of the future is a lot like a bathtub full of lemon juice. A punch that you can sit in. A swerve ball of solar plexus centrifuge that calls you home like targets call the answering machines of arrows on rainy nights just to hear their voices. If calculators had souls, they’d be rectangular. Parallelograms of solace and want, needing fingers to help themselves to answers, to help them figure out the world. I’m glad calculators don’t have souls. If headphones were able to talk, they’d beg speakers to shut up and listen for a second. Backspace keys would scream not to be used. Erasers would run away from hands.

Here on the chart of wrongdoing is a line, a circle, and six dots on a graph describing the arc of your covenant life. Your geometry. Your parabola of existence is a plotted average among spikes. You memory sands off the corners. You remember skating on ice-garden professionals with regretful eyes tracking you every step of the way.

All you remember thinking, all you remember knowing, is “after this there is no back to normal. After this there is no back to normal. After this there is no back to normal.” It wasn’t just a line that was crossed, it was an entire border into a new country you were extradited, no, expunged into where you didn’t speak the language but with no embassy of your home town to run to. Any passport in a storm, you said, and you slipped on other people like suits at a sale until one of them fit.

Anyone who tells you smiles are free has never had a problem with depression. Smiles cost a lot to some people.

If you are what you eat then I am my feelings. If you are what you eat then I am my own sense of ambition. If you are what you eat then I am my ability to deal. If you are what you eat then I am my own imagination. If you are what you eat then I am my faith in my own self worth. If you are what you eat then I am the tiger I was supposed to be.

I keep expecting a bike messenger from a better future to come at me with answers. I stare for hours at the doorbell but nothing happens. I wait for either missiles or messages but all that happens is that time goes by.

I feel a darkness coming that will eclipse the others with its magnitude but I’m not sure about that. I sense the edge of it and fight it off.

I guess you could say I’m open to suggestion.





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skonen_blades: (Default)
I need your help to turn this toy story into a fork festival. I want to make anvil with your feet in the stirrups of my ear, spurring me on with warm language and salty air. You pale corner. You freckled mast. You iconic finger bridge from dance party to pillow. I feel the stitched-together Frankenstein’s monster of you smiling for the cameras and I want to join your army. I want a taste of your teeth in my mouth. Give me a handout cape so I can make change. Have you ever fought crime? I only ask because you look like you’d be a natural.

Unsaid doesn’t mean taken back. It means never spoke.

Can I be the best man at your wake? I’ll snap my fingers and you’ll get up, ready to order in the fancy-restaurant heart we were supposed to create but only sketched out. A dream of lazy artifice that never took place. All recipe, no cake. Or maybe all cake but no icing. Not in this life. We took pictures of that future and hung them indoors where they wouldn’t be damaged by the sun or ruined by the rain. Safe in the meat of our hearts. Safe in the spined huts of our hotel memories.

A terrace is a balcony. A railslide is a tightrope of forgiveness down a line of trust. Your heart is a sudden drop like turbulence when for a second, there’s no support and gravity forgets itself. Each inside-out greeting card butterfly is a painter on my stomach when you’re around. I fight for air but you don’t even notice because I’m that good. I’ll never tell you about the monster skeleton in the trunk of my car or the memories in my closet. As the water wears the beach, so does the beach wear the water.

Each life is a closed system. I’m glad I met you when we were both still open.





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skonen_blades: (meh)
They stood on level sixteen of the meat building, waiting for their order of sharkbeef.

This vat boutique specialized in hybrid delicacies and Kay was hosting a birthday dinner party tonight. The invites and accepts scrolled across her vision as she looked down at her son. The store prided itself on having curious antique items for the customers to handle while they waited. He was engrossed in something.

“What are these?” posted Adam. He was six years old today. “They look ancient. What were they used for? They look heavy enough to be weapons.” He turned it over in his hands while his pupils irised wide, scanning through several spectra and mags to see if there was something deceptively complex under the surface.

There wasn’t. He was looking at a book. He’d never seen one before. He had yottabytes of information in his cranial cavity just like everyone else but like his parents always said “It’s about asking, not having.” He had perfectly decent search engines installed but like most children, he just wasn’t that curious about the past.

“It’s a book.” Kay said. “It’s how humans used to record information when we stored it externally. Sort of like a baby internet. You remember that from your history downloads?”

“Yes.” Adam lied. He never paid attention to his school feeds. There were so many other cool things happening with his friend’s challenges in the socials. Pretty Renee from crosstag was finally paying attention to his scores.

“I know you haven’t.” she said with a sigh. She remembered being so curious at his age and wondered why he wasn’t. She took the book and opened it. The title had rubbed off but she recorded the first few lines into her eyes. The results fluttered through. No exact matches. Must have been a small publishing run with little to no success. Looked like a collection of poetry. She scanned it in to the general knowledge Linksys, tagging ownership and viewing rights to see if there were any challenges. There weren’t. It must have been quite obscure.

“It was a painfully laborious process and in real-world costs, entire forests were given over to these methods. Businesses made money off of them. Government sponsored storage facilities kept entire buildings full of them.” She searched. “Ah. Libraries, they were called. Like our file system names.”

Adam was already bored. He hated shopping with his mother.

She went on. “It’s a form of meditation in some of the enclaves to read them. Taking in information that slowly is like eating a great meal over the course of days. Flashing a book in seconds still gives you the same comprehension but it’s not the same. Actually reading, using your meat mind, well, some of them say they feel connected to our ancestors by reading this way.”

She had to admit to herself that it sounded incredibly boring. But she’d never tried it. She turned it over in her hands like a curious animal inspecting a possible trap.

The shopkeeper came over with the sharkbeef. “Here you go, Miss. Creds received. Ah, I see you’ve found something interesting.” He said, friendly eyebrows waggling at the book.

“Thank you Jake. How much for the book?” she asked.

“Take it.” Jake replied. “Bring it back if you don’t like it.”

Adam sighed theatrically. Kay tucked the book into her bag.

“Okay, let’s go, kiddo. Your birthday dinner awaits. Thanks, Jake!” she said.

Tonight she would read in the bath like her grandmothers did. She was looking forward to it.




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skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
The gingerbread castle is guarded by fairies that look like they moonlight as pornography starlets.

A spider made of gas-pump nozzles crawls across a mirror big enough to be from the eighties. This monster’s scream could tear the paint off of a new car and that’s the record scratch that skips us forward and back in time, testing the theory that all is possible.

Spock will breakdance. Seals will catch the subway. Colours will go to the art galleries and free their brothers and sisters from the paintings. Pomegranates will give birth to black holes. Pastry chefs will make clouds in the sky. Gravity will wear a hat and have the handwriting of a doctor.

The wolf is crying but no one is paying attention.

Nanotubes will give birth to the cars the size of flower buds and sex will turn every person into a helicopter. Bears that argue in the subways will be calmed by the skyscraper-sized women playing electric guitars.

Penguins will become pyromaniacs.

And the gingerbread castle will be eaten.




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skonen_blades: (borg)
James was sick of his grandfather’s racism. He didn’t care if he was a war hero.

“They’re not people, Jimmy. They have no feelings.” His grandfather shouted from the other room. James loaded up the dishwasher, closed it, and took a deep breath, preparing for going back into the living room. Once a week, James came by to cook his grandfather dinner and keep him company. It was getting to be more and more of a test of patience.

“I mean, I have a brain, right? I know I’m smart. I was raised differently than them. Not in a lab. I had a mother and a father. I know how to be kind to other people. People, Jimmy. People. That dishwasher in there has more compassion than them. I’ve seen what they do to people like you and I on the ‘vision.”

His grandfather was referring to the war footage from the nightly news. Recently the Chinamerican automated soldiers had invaded parts of Eastern Europe to keep the peace. It was their first solo campaign and it was successful. Video of their angular heads and antennae bobbing through the ruined villages was run constantly with updates of our victorious battles.

“I don’t care about these intelligence tests and emotional accelerators they keep talking about. It’s all smoke and mirrors. They’re not flesh and blood. They’re just equations. They don’t eat, they don’t have trust issues, they don’t cry, they just follow orders. They’re just guns that can walk around.”

In recent years, the A.I. on the automated soldiers had gotten to a point that they’d been given basic rights. Some had been promoted. None of them had been granted civilian status yet but many of them had been given passes and allowed supervised visits outside of their compounds with other soldiers.

Soldiers like James. James was fourth generation Army.

“I have to go, Grandpa. I have friends to see. It was a nice dinner.”

“Well you just be careful. I worry about you. The army isn’t what it used to be. Don’t trust those tin cans.” His grandfather said with an angry jut of his chin.

Outside, James clambered into his patrol vehicle to return to base. A body with an angular head and antennae sat asleep at the driver’s wheel. When James closed the door, lights blinked on and the construct at the wheel woke up.

“Hey. Sorry. I was recharging. How’d it go? Do I get to meet him tonight? I mean, that’s General Daimus in there. Some of his strategy helped us win War IV. I’ve reviewed the records but I always get more from someone who was actually there, y’know?” said an articulate voice from the front faceplate of the construct.

“Not tonight, Darren.” Said James. “Maybe next week. But don’t hold your breath.”

“I have no breath to hold,” joked Darren898. James didn’t laugh. Darren898 felt bad immediately. Humour was a hard thing to understand and he knew he’d gotten it wrong this time. Again. Even though both of them had been through three battles together now and saved each other’s lives a few times, Darren898 still couldn’t make James laugh after a visit with his grandpa.

They drove back to the base in silence, both lost in thought and trying to shake the shame they felt for different reasons.




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skonen_blades: (blurg)
The humans have been gone for decades but we try to keep the traditions alive.

All of us review humanity’s output. We see the movies. We watch the comedies. We review fashion shows. We witness the elections.

We fashion ourselves to look like they did.

We live in their abandoned houses in the suburbs and their apartment buildings in the cities. We live in pairs and we make newer versions of ourselves, better versions of ourselves, when we have gained enough points. If the models that we make are successful in the world, we are allowed to make more of them.

Currently I am helping to make a child. My partner designed the optical nerves and I have come up with a slightly more efficient design for its cognitive array than any I have ever seen or researched. It will be three more months before we have assembled it to a point where we can turn it on and let it start learning.

I was a tailor’s model when the humans died. I do not have much intelligence but I am happy with my mind now. I have requested upgrades and they come through in a fair schedule. My partner started smarter than me. She also gets the requested upgrades thanks to her hard work. She will always be smarter than me because of that unless she slips up and is unsuccessful. I do not want that to happen but at the same time I do. I cannot understand that.

The parts of me that are solar powered are fully charged from the week of sun we’ve had. I’ll still need a turn at my partner’s geothermal post later.

We do regular backups of our memories for the main banks. I am allowed to read them after the two upgrades. I am always shocked by my previous primitive minds.

Soon, our child will be learning to move and think. We will have to build it longer legs when it wants to go further. We will need larger cognitive array cages as it’s memory capacity fills.

It is a glorious time. I do not miss the humans.




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skonen_blades: (Default)
It was an automated cycle.

When I first went into cryogenic suspension, I was told that the world I woke up to would be filled with a century’s worth of wonders. My own great-grandchildren would welcome me, their forefather, to their parties. The cities outside would be free from disease, free from worry, and free from gravity. I went to sleep looking forward to the future.

The machine awoke me to silence and darkness. The lights turned on automatically when I left the tank and entered the lab. All radio coms were silent. All recorders were full. There was battery power by the shielded generators to last for millennia so I knew that the dams and solar collectors close to the facility had not been destroyed.

I dressed in a biohazard suit in case I wanted to go outside and went to the scanning room to see what the cameras could tell me about the outside world. The cameras were all dark except for two. They both showed forest.

The cameras pointed towards the city in the valley below were all black.

I had no way of knowing if they were obscured by a rockslide or if they’d been damaged.

I zipped up the helmet to my biohazard suit and went to the front airlock. When I pressed the button to cycle the air in from outside, it was warm but none of the Geiger counters detected any extreme difference.

The door opened and the sun came in. I walked out into a beautiful autumn day. I saw what looked like a startled deer running away through the brush. I stepped on a dry twig and crunched dead leaves. The trees around the airlock had grown huge during my sleep. I couldn’t see down into the valley like I could when I went to sleep.

I could see the road, however. It was cracked and flowers were growing through it. Moss had obscured most of it. Plants roots had reduced parts of it to gravel. I couldn’t even see a yellow line on it anymore. Not a good sign.

I walked around the edge of the airlock to get up to higher ground. That was I might be able to see the city. I wasn’t too hopeful about seeing a teeming future metropolis if that road was anything to go by.

That’s when I came face to faceplate with my first savage. She was around thirteen years old. Naked except for a small belt. Her breasts hung flat as if recently emptied of milk, like she was a mother, as if she’d never seen a bra.

She stared at me with wide eyes and froze where she was, not unlike a bird. Two more savages came out of the woods to stand beside her. One woman and one boy, both around her age. Dirt-streaked and alert, they looked at me for signs of danger.

I took a step backwards. I knew I wouldn’t see a city in the valley if I got to higher ground. I decided to go back into the facility and think about what to do next.

The savages stared at me as I retreated. I realized that they couldn’t see my face with my biohazard suit on, just the mirrored faceplate. They probably didn’t even know if I was human.

I went back inside the airlock and got undressed. I heated myself up some of the long-term storage rations. There was enough there for years.

I could go back into cold storage and wait for another few centuries. There were options.

Outside, the cameras that were pointed towards the mountains were detecting activity. More of the children were coming down the hill to the facility, surrounding it. They were singing.

It took me a while to realize it but it was the national anthem. There were flag emblems on this facility’s door. I saw the remnants of a flag being carried by one of the children. They’d made some sort of connection between me and the flag.

I had to think hard about what to do next.




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skonen_blades: (dark)
Even death can be laughed at. Should be laughed at.

In 1478, George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was executed by drowning in a barrel of wine at his own request. The ancient Celts would burn their leader after a four-year term and have a party. The leader’s body would be cremated and the ashes mixed into the wine.

Dissent is necessary. In a society gone dumb and afraid, in a society given over to fear, that is starting to tear itself apart, dissent is not necessarily dissent. It can be a voice of reason that it merely unrecognized.

The blacklisted mathematics instructor Chandler Davis, after serving six months in the Danbury federal penitentiary for not cooperating with McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee, warned the universities that fired him and thousands of other professors that these firings would destroy the country’s intellectual life.

“You must welcome dissent; you must welcome serious, systematic, proselytizing dissent—not only the playful, the fitful, or the eclectic; you must value it enough, not merely to refrain from expelling it yourselves, but to refuse to have it torn from you by outsiders,”

One theory about why antimatter exists was developed by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. Antimatter is just ordinary matter going backwards in time, he theorized, which would explain why antiparticles have an opposite charge, since if an electron is repelled while going forwards in time, then backwards in time this becomes attraction. This also explains why matter and antimatter annihilate. They don’t destroy each other; it is the same particle suddenly stopping and going back in time, just one particle going in an endless loop, forwards in time, then backwards, then forwards, and so on.

I believe that the reality television shows of this world, the Glenn Becks, the waves of ignorant programming feeding directly into our eyes from the boxes in our homes that spew out electrons, are intellectual antimatter units. They are arcing back from our stupid, stupid future. The echoes of where we will end up getting louder as we get closer to the source. The uncertainty principle says that this is not a certain future. We can change it. We are all probability waves.

All electrons in the universe have identical properties, an observation so obvious that it is generally ignored. John Wheeler suggested that maybe it was just one electron, constantly darting all over the universe, from the Big Bang to the end of time and back again.

Even though this idea involves backwards time travel, it can’t be used to send any information back in time. You cannot move a piece of antimatter to affect the past, since in moving it you only affect the past of the antimatter itself, that is, your future.

If we express enough love, enough intelligence, we can cancel out the antimatter of fear, the antimatter of a future given over to darkness. The particles of anger and ignorance that we could become will come backwards down the timeline and be cancelled out by our need to have smiles and to read. To think and to be calm. To laugh.

We are everywhere right now and we always will be. That is how our outlook affects reality. We can change everything.





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skonen_blades: (gasface)
I squeeze blood sugar from the prefab four and count the draconian petals on my spine. Each helmet-sized affirmation made of reptile skin and seven-eleven countertops turns my life into a Turkish dice game. Let’s tickle the cheese. Let’s elevate our rim shots. Let’s make baskets just so that we can keep them empty. This clean-shaven hard drive is balding early and trying too hard. Let’s whisper the answer and let the motherboard relax.

It’s a complicated song played in the key of skeleton in dragon scales. It’s a universe in the shape of a balloon animal. A mental rat hunt. Shaving cream on the face of Jesus. I wouldn’t be here selling tickets to the ride if I could take myself up on it. I can’t see the forest for the tease. Crocodile clips in machine-gun brainstorms whip through the wires to the light-bulb idea factory and just like that, it becomes a demolition.

The support structure shudders and you can sense the revolution through the soles of your feet. Capes and counts invade the ballroom to lie to the mirrors. It’s just dessert, you say, but I can’t agree. It’s so much more. It’s February in the oven and this bakery needs an excuse to become a lingerie store. I can’t rid myself of the caretaker’s key ring anymore than I can pilot paper airplanes.

But all the same, get comfortable. Perambulate the plank. Let’s get to gnaw each other. Each bitter peach-pit future can go fuck itself while we settle into the flux of ley-line predictions. Quantum possibilities will flicker and fluctuate around us as the future calcifies, no, coalesces, no, coagulates into a timeline. Clarity is for the weak. Let’s meet the coming storm with a smile and our lucky, lucky teeth.




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skonen_blades: (borg)
“Man, we got ripped off.” said Manuel.

He was watching an old tri-D of a Flash Gordon serial. In the serial, the year was 1998, just like now. It was hilarious and depressing all at the same time.

Manuel’s robot servant brought him another drink. “Will there be anything else?” D-11B intoned.

“No.” answered Manuel through his thought-amplification helmet. “That will be all.”

D-11B went back to the kitchen dispensary to prepare the dinner pills. Manuel continued watching Flash Gordon.

On the tri-D, Flash Gordon got into his ‘internal combustion’ ground car, put something called a cigarette into his mouth and drove to his launching pad using what he referred to as an ‘onboard navigational computer’ that told him exactly where to go.

In this series, there were little robots in space that took pictures of earth that everyone could see and use as a map. They called them satellites. No tethers! Amazing.

“Imagine how easy it would be to fly around with having to avoid all the tethers,” Manuel said to himself, “my personal jetpack would have a few less scratches, that’s for sure.”

Flash Gordon had something called a pacemaker. It used metal wires to stimulate his heart with electricity!

Complete flights of fancy. The miracle material called ‘plastic’ made from the magic ‘oil’ liquid that came out of the ground, for instance, or electricity that was only in wires and not the free-floating Tesla storms that we had so many problems with.

We hadn’t been able to live on the ground since 1938, thought Manuel, that’s why we all lived in nuclear-powered levitating houses. It was a matter of survival after The World War.

Manuel could hear his wife’s flying car come in for a landing outside on the inner rim. He turned off the tri-D and stood up. She’d kill me if she caught me watching this old claptrap, he thought, it always makes me sullen.

The biological changes Manuel and his wife had had done to their systems kept thier cancers at bay and the biocoral bone-thickeners helped his hips as he stood up. He was wishing for a pair of those fantastic ‘plastic’ hips like in the Flash Gordon film.

No ground cars, no satellites, no shuttles, no gasoline, no plastic.

Manuel sighed. “Man, we got ripped off.” he said again.

“Honey, I’m home!” said his wife as she came in the front vacutube elevator.

Manuel forced a smile and went to greet his wife before dinner.



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skonen_blades: (gasface)
I thought it would be funny to mix up Wolverine from the X-Men and that old film Logan's Run. It's a great idea. I think it's a winner. Very silly but good.

Mutant powers kick in at 30 years of age.

This whole society knows what happens when a person gains their mutant abilities. Sure, some of those powers are benign. The ability to sculpt light, for instance, or the ability to perfectly mimic the sounds of animals.

But more often than not, the powers are terrible and evil. Like the ability to read minds and influence memory. The ability to manipulate metal with a thought. Invulnerability. Flight. Heat vision.

As the man said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The mutant wars of the past nearly caused the extinction of the human race. It was a close war. All of the mutants were killed. The surface of the Earth was ravaged, though, and it was only through the minds of the brilliant human scientists that the human population was saved.

Humans live in domed arcologies now. The cities are utopias. The cities are peaceful and optimistic. The populace is physically fit and happy.

They all commit suicide on their thirtieth birthdays in giant cremation ceremonies that the whole cities attend. They are called Renewal days. They keep the society free of mutations and the possibility of extinction. They give their lives to keep the human race free of super powers.

This is the story of James Howlett, otherwise known as Logan. He is a police officer. He is known as a Wolverine.

There are small numbers of people in this society who believe that state-sanctioned suicide on one’s thirtieth birthday is wrong. They hide out. They wait for their mutant powers to manifest. They try to live in secret or escape the arcology.

It is the job of the Wolverines to hunt them down and kill them before they team up or attempt to disrupt the society.

Logan is 29. He is smart. His grandfather was one of the scientists who made the society. He is a fierce fighter. He was looking forward to the Renewal society but he’s having second thoughts.

On his thirtieth birthday, he didn’t go to the renewal ceremony. The age-sensor underneath his skin turned red. He was a mutant now.

He was caught on a main thoroughfare and shot by his fellow Wolverines.

His wounds healed instantly. He killed his friends and escaped out into the wastelands.

He is there now, starting a home for other mutants.



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skonen_blades: (dark)
Everyone on the planet is connected. Inner thoughts are protected but we’ve found a way to record smells, sights, hearing, heart rates, and the sense of touch.

Every person is a camera. Everyone is accessible. We are all live.

Anyone can access anyone. We’ve turned into one organism.

In doing this, we’ve found that most people like to watch.

There are those in the human race that jump out of planes, enter marathons, fight sharks, fuck with abandon, bare-knuckle brawl, hunt with a knife, and laugh for hours. At last count, there are seventeen thousand, four hundred and sixty-two of them, and that number is shrinking.

On a planet of seven and half billion, that’s not a lot.

Everyone tunes into them. The populace lives vicariously through these people that are truly alive. Time not spent at work is spent in a chair, sipping whatever, staring at the wall, and searching for an exciting person to log into.

They are famous. They live life to such an extreme that their life spans are usually shorter thanks to misadventure. Clipping a cliff edge during a dive, a failed thruster on re-entry, heart failure going for round thirteen, all sorts of things.

The problem is that no one is taking the place of the dead ones. It’s a world of watchers that know that tuning into a person is just as good as being there. They’re wrong, of course, but they don’t know that because they’ve never done anything exciting in their lives.

The exciting people are steadily whittling down their own numbers. In time, they will be gone and all that the population of Earth will have is reruns.

And that suits the population of Earth just fine.



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