skonen_blades: (hamused)
I’ve been schismed out. Shook loose. I’m walking around this laboratory and it’s difficult. The air is thick. It takes effort for me to breathe. I’m not sure how long I have to live.

Next to me, the other scientists ponder the place where I was standing. They’re looking quizzically at the space where I used to be in the machine. They’re frozen in time. Either that or I’ve been sped up. I prefer to think that I’ve been quickened. To think that that this machine has slowed the universe is too extreme for me to contemplate.

I was so sure that the voltage was safe. We thought that I might get a tingling sensation, maybe see some borealis across my skin.

But here I am trying to breathe ‘slow’ air, hoping that any of my colleagues are realizing what happened. It’s been an hour so far and I haven’t suffocated but I’ve been light-headed twice. The room seems dimmer. I’m frightened that might be because light is moving slower through my eyes.

I’m scared that if they turn off the machine, I might be trapped here. They need to exponentially dampen back the strata to below where it is in order to get me back to regular speed but above all, they can’t turn it off.

I’m hoping that one of them will understand what happened and hit the switch to dump more polarized electrons into the memory pools. My money’s on Sarah. I’m looking at her face right now.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human face get an idea this slowly before. I’ve watched Sarah’s face contort from confused from panicked to understanding. Now I’m watching her slowly evolve an idea, hopefully the idea to turn the electron switch.

I’m watching her face move like it’s the hour hand on a clock. I can’t perceive it changing when I stare at it but if I look away for a while and look back, I can see that it’s incrementally different. It’s fascinating to see a brilliant human mind move in such painfully slow detail.

I can imagine the tumblers in her head locking into place and coming up with the dawning of a notion. I can tell that she’ll come through for me because the rest of the scientists are still looking at my empty chair with puzzled looks.

I just hope that I’ll start to see her hand reach out towards the button soon.

I’ve tried to press it and nothing happens. It might as well be carved out of marble like my colleagues.

I tried to yell but it’s too much effort. That was one of the times I almost passed out.

Sarah’s head is turning now, her hair lifting and starting to fan out like the hem of her labcoat. In real time, she’s probably spinning as fast as she can but here, I know it’ll take an hour for her to get to where she needs to go.

I can see that she’s turning in the right direction and I can see her eyes fill with purpose.

I am exercising my patience. I am trying to breathe. I cross my fingers.




tags
skonen_blades: (hamused)
The island of Dr Seuss

A shipwreck has happened
A sailor has come
He’s come to my island
To ruin all my fun

I asked him to leave here
I begged him to go
But now that he’s seen
All my pets I don’t know

He’s seen all the hogmen
The ape people too
He’s seen the dog-panther-
Chimp-snake-kangaroo

etc


tags
skonen_blades: (gasface)
It’s not that whirlwinds can’t ask questions.
It’s that the framework of the answers is incomprehensible.
You can’t converse with tensile strength verbally.
You can only test it.
You can’t interrogate structural integrity.
You can only explore its limits by applying pressure.
These are the conversations of the real world.
This is the back and forth that birthed our science called physics.
It’s happening all around us.
It’s the language of matter.
We’ve managed to use math to measure it and we are part of the conversation every time we flop down on a couch, blow up a city, hammer a nail, or interact in any sort of frictile way with the electron walls around us.
Thump and push.
Shatter and break.
Test and test and test and test.
It’s a cycle.
It’s not an evolution.
It doesn’t climb upward creating stronger and more intelligent mountains.
It just talks.
All around us.
Every raindrop that fails to break the pavement.



tags
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.





tags
skonen_blades: (dark)
Sure, sure, a talking pig. That’s great. I get it. Not bad for beginners. How about a scorpion magician? A unicorn that can play the piano? Also not bad. What I have here will amaze you even further. A tarantula accordion squeezing through the eye of a needle. A blooming spike-plant needing a Godzilla costume before it can uproot and destroy the Kwik-E-Marts of suburban America. A forked, frozen lightning strike that’s cool to the touch and able to fit inside the fins of a fish. I have a dishonorable nuclear discharge waiting to play tag.

We are the dirty dishes of this planet and now we want to play god. Bacteria is the answer. Bacteria and viruses. If we are to create life, we must create it in our own image, just like that other guy did a long time. We are a disease on this planet. We are consuming it with no thought of the future. We are bacteria and viruses. I repeat, if we are to create life, we must create it in our own image.

I have done that. Soon, there will be a sick wind arcing down from the hang-glider rooftop where I’m standing, holding two uncorked test tubes of salvation wafting final solutions in the airstreams from my outstretched arms.

Soon, human lungs will have trouble functioning. Then they will bleed. Then they will stop. It’s contagious by sex, by touching, by air. I believe I have achieved a hundred per cent transmission capability. There might a handful that are immune but I can live with that. Earth will have thousands of years to heal.

I know the Earth does not have the means to thank me. I am a suicide healer. A bomber about to give life by bringing about Shiva’s gift of surrender. I can rest easy knowing that while the Earth lacks the capability to be grateful, it will be made better by our absence.

I have thrown the switch. The part of the galaxy is about to go quiet. If visitors come to find us, pursuing the distant echoes of our transmissions, they will find silence. Earth will once again become a place of humid, stable ecosystems. The animals will mutate and there will be no one around to tell them that they are mutations.

I am kissing the Earth goodbye as a greeting and as a parting gift. I have painted the words “You’re Welcome” on the roof I’m standing on because I didn’t know what else to do. The building will outlast my body but hopefully not by too long.

Eat the cities, plants. Run riot, mold. Invade, animals. These are your homes now.



tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
We tried everything but the kid was just too fast. He ran right off the Earth into space. We were hoping to break speed records when we bred him. A snip of a molecule here, a tweak of an atom there. We only wanted to cheat and win some gold medals for our country.

We were too good. The kid could move himself around the room with a muscle twitch. The snap of each muscle fiber contraction set off miniature sonic booms. We had him contained but he’d run into the walls just by taking a step. The concussions were killing him and he’d rocket around in his room like a pinball every time he had a nightmare.

We had to let him out. We had theories about how to slow him down so that he could function in society and we tried them out. Speed retardant. Friction enhancers. We injected negative velocity serums into his bloodstream. We coated him with time suspension gel. We even dialed his quantum universe placement signature to always be ten feet behind where he actually was.

Nothing worked.

Early in the morning, we carefully put him into a wheelchair and told him to stay still. We took him out into the field above the secret sub-basement where he’s spent his entire life. He was immediately agoraphobic when he saw the blue sky and clouds so far above. His eyes were wide.

“No walls.” He said. He was six. Those were the last words we heard him say.

He twitched his head to the left and my glasses broke from the shockwave. He stood up, immediately displacing the air into flames around him for a second with the friction. Anything standing in front of him would have been vaporized from the small blast wave.

He looked into the distance and cocked his head.

And disappeared. The trail of churned earth and scorched grass that flew up like a roostertail fell back to earth lazily, reclaimed by gravity. His tracks ended twenty feet away. At first, we’d though that he had vaporized.

Then I looked up and saw the hole in the clouds. Taking a minute of drift into account, it looked like it would have been about parallel with the end of his tracks.

We got the defcon warning two minutes later that there had been an unauthorized missile launch from our co-ordinates. We invoked our black book top-secret status and that went away. Defcon stood back down to previous levels.

I want to believe that our child broke the light barrier. I want to believe that he has landed exhausted and happy on another planet.

I want to believe that he hasn’t run into the heart of a star or that he has somehow not died in the cold vacuum of space.





tags
skonen_blades: (gasface)
There’s a glittering fishing lure hanging in space near the entrance to the warpgate. It’s a small ship powering down so that it can power up. A strong repulsor field is necessary to grease a ship’s way through the throat of the wormhole.

“Like shit through a goose”, Mr. Young would say. He was my fifth-grade science teacher. One of his eyes pointed off into the great unknown at all times and he turned bright red at the slightest provocation. I think he loved teaching but hated us kids. All of my science teachers were much crazier than my other professors. I wonder why that is.

The fishing-lure ship’s main lights are going out, row after row. Space plays with scale sometimes. At first, I thought the fishing lure was a two-person shuttle. I can see now that it’s a huge starship and that every row of lights is an entire deck. The generators at each tip are glowing blue now as they warm up. Their aft engines cool from orange to ochre to black in the icy ink of space. There’s an entire colour shift along the ship as the repulsor whines into life. It loops around the ship like a skipping rope once, twice, three times and then it’s going too fast to count.

Mr. Young would demonstrate with the tiny warp gates he had set up on either end of his desk at the front of the class. Powered by a small battery, it could shunt objects as big as a house-key through the tiny hoops. He was missing a finger tip from a time where he got a little too close to the mouth-end of the gate. I wish I’d been in class that day. That must have been exciting.

The light barrier is broken with an arcing snap and the skipping rope is now in several places at once around the ship. It’s an impenetrable barrier with a weakness at either end but the wormhole never touches the prow or the stern. The huge pleasure cruiser is the yolk at the center of the repulsor field’s egg. It’s a cat’s eye hanging in space. It’s ready. The all-clear is given and I rustle up onto my feet and over to the gate controls.

When I came to school near the end of fifth grade one day, we had a substitute for Mr. Young. His name was Mr. Hendricks. He had glasses and tame hair. He was boring. Mr. Young never came back. A year later, I found out that his heart had given out and he had died. I don’t know why they never told us students. Trying to protect us, I guess, that close to the end of the year and all. I missed him a lot. Him and his missing fingertip and his red face and uncontainable joy for teaching science.

The warpgate opens. It’s a mouth to forever. A swirling Christmas present of un-knowable laws. It’s a rip in the shape of an intenstine. It’s a tear in the t-shirt of the universe. There are colours in that massive hoop construction that don’t exist. As warpgate operators, we have to take tests to make sure that seeing those colours won’t make us go insane. Luckily, I’m not very imaginative or curious. I passed. I have my hand on the lever that will push the ship down the throat of the wormhole.

I wish I’d paid more attention in Mr. Young’s class. He seemed like a nice guy. The science he was trying to teach us might have gotten me a better job than throwing this switch ever few days. This whole warpgate is automated for the most part. I’m one of sixteen crew members. We’re all far apart in this giant structure so we don’t see each other much and that suits us all just fine. It’s why we were chosen.

I’m only here so that the next of kin will have someone to sue instead of the company just in case, knock on titanium, Something Goes Wrong. That hasn’t happened yet.

There’s a flash and the universe turns itself into a catcher’s mitt for a second. The ship arrives at it’s destination on the other side of the wormhole just a tiny bit before it leaves this side. I see the ghost image shudder around itself before it disappears entirely. It was a pretty impressive sight the first few times but not anymore.

Sighing, I check to clock to see when the next scheduled departure is. Nineteen hours. I decide to go back to my computer and check my hopelessly out-of-date databanks for the names of all my science teachers to see if I can find their pictures.




tags
skonen_blades: (dark)
They were called Pruners.

Aptly named since they were old and wrinkled. Ironic that pruning is what gardeners do to plants to keep their gardens healthy. Their very existence was seven levels of clearance above the level of the President of the United States. They were the scientists that designed the viruses that kept the planet at an acceptable level of population.

Eight men and three women. The positions were hereditary. It was the same job that their grandparents had. They grew up in the sub-basement and were rarely exposed to the real world. To them, it was a statistics game. Cancer, AIDS, flesh-eating disease, and more.

They had a large number of test subjects in the cells down there. There was a border that had to be maintained. All of the cures and the antidotes were down there too.

The diseases needed to be tailored perfectly. Too contagious or deadly and the planet would be rid of humans forever. Too weak or too long of a gestational period and the humans on the outside would develop a cure quickly and that would be that. The diseases needed to be incurable, insidious and stealthy.

The side effects on the population on a societal level were what fascinated the scientists the most. The changing of social morals and habits could be achieved by releasing a virus that targeted certain racial groups, for instance, or those who ate a certain food. It could target people with certain sexual habits.

The problem was in making the disease too specific. The Pruners could not afford to upset the genetic apple cart. A dynamic and varied base was needed to keep the population of Earth going.

Fascinating and rewarding work. The fact that billions had died under their family’s hands, generation after generation, black plague after black plague, didn’t disturb them in the slightest.

A fresh supply of homeless people, condemned prisoners, orphans, and mentally sick people were provided to them.

The Pruners are down there right now, pale and weak and brilliant, living by the white glow of fluorescents and the green glow of computer screens. Mixing, matching, and experimenting on unfortunate souls.

If there is a hell, this is it. Under us, yes, but it’s cold, sterile, brightly lit, and quiet.




tags
skonen_blades: (gasface)
The aliens dug our tunes.

It was sweet. They came to down to us in these big blue ships, all curves and awe-inspiring slowness through the clouds like settling continents. Freaked us right out. We, the human race, didn’t even try to attack. We’d seen this movie before. We knew that there would be no point. We just waited for them to either kill us or speak up. There wasn’t even much panic, just a global sort of cowering whimper.

Wide eyes in the shadows of floating leviathans, we waited, holding each other tightly.

“Hey there. Uh. Hey. Right. This one right? Okay. Hello!” said the sky. It was a human voice, the kind of voice you’d hear at any old bus stop on a cel phone. Our guy, North America’s guy, was named Robert Gogas. A greek fry cook from Venice, California. The aliens had kidnapped him and told him to speak to us in our native tongue to calm us down.

“They like our music but they say we have shitty transceivers. Uh, like, I mean, uh, our broadcast quality. It’s lame. They say. But they really like us. Man, this is AWESOME!” said Robert Gogas. “They’re all blue. They’re musicians, man!”

All over Europe, similar addresses were taking place as the atmosphere was turned into a giant acoustical dome. Each ship had taken a local artist and had him or her talk to the planet, to his country of origin, in the local language.

There was a flurry of translation after Pete stopped talking. He rambled on for about fifteen minutes. The upshot was this.

The aliens, named the Kursk, wanted to install giant antennae at equidistant points around earth and they wanted us to hook our datacables into them. They wanted us to funnel our libraries, television shows, podcasts, webpages, movies, songs, animations, books on tape, and spoken word into the antennae for the enjoyment of the whole universe.

They wanted to turn Earth into a radio station.

We were far from the first.

That was ten years ago. After the first year, they started to ship down billions of tiny things that looked sort of like a cross between an iPod and a throwing star.

They were universe radios. The music of a billion billion civilizations was suddenly available to us.

It's been a fantastic decade.



tags
skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
“Hey baby, how are you?” I replied to the phone.

I had told my wife that I had gone to Earth for business.

Angela lay, limbs spread wide and gloriously naked on the bed behind me, a beatific smile on her face. We’d been hedonistically wasting the hours of our romantic getaway. The scenery on this moon of Jupiter was supposed to be amazing but all we did was stay in the hotel room, order room service, and fuck. It was magnificent.

We had spouses, of course, back on our home planets. This was an affair.

“Oh my god, are you okay? I haven’t been able to get through until now.” my wife asked on the phone.

She was in a panic. I figure that she’d found a receipt or that one of my friends had squealed or that, hell, maybe she’d just pieced it together. I was relaxed. More lies. My wife was gullible. It wouldn’t be a problem.

“Things are great, hon. I’m in New Hampshire right now. The boys and I just went to see a movie and have a few drinks. They have a nice office. How are you?” I replied, the untruths slipping effortlessly from my lips with no twinge of conscience.

Her voice was confused and shrill. “Oh thank god. Are you sure? Did you manage to get away in time? When did you go the movie? Are you talking about yesterday? Where are you?”

I calmed her down. “Baby, baby, listen. It’s fine. I’m in my hotel room in New Hampshire on Earth, just like I said. I’m thinking of you. Don’t be crazy. Everything’s cool.”

There was an icy pause. When her voice came back, it had hardened. A dark place in the back of my head opened up a flower. Something was horribly wrong. I was missing a big piece of the puzzle in this conversation.

“Turn on the news.” She said in a flat voice. I reached over and thumbed the wall unit to life.

Every station said the same thing. Earth had been destroyed four hours ago in a civil war. Reports were still coming in concerning who started it. Our homeworld had become a husk. There were no survivors.

Angela screamed on the bed, gathering the blankets to her amazing breasts and staring wide-eyed at the screen. Her husband was an Earth senator.

My wife didn’t even question the sound of a woman’s voice in the background. She knew. I’d been caught.

“My lawyers will contact you tomorrow.” My wife said and turned off the connection.

Busted.





tags
skonen_blades: (gahyuk)
I hunt the Time Killers.

I am the person they call in when they have a chronovore infestation. These creatures are bright blue and frog-like with the giant faceted eyes of an insect. Millilocular lenses, each one seeing progressively further forward and back in time.

The smaller a beast is, the less it can see into time. The babies can see ten minutes in either direction. The big ones could see for days. I heard of one giant beast that saw a week and a half in either direction.

It’s like how a fly’s eyes are giant hemispheres, giving it a nearly 360 degree field of view for warning of incoming danger. These chronovores see a lenticular time-field to give them warning of imminent attacks.

These chronovores, being quantum animals, needed to see the chunk of time that they were going to eat. If they could only see five minutes forward and five minutes back, then they could only eat that ten minutes of time in one go before moving on. If they ate more than they could see, they’d untether from the timeline and were never seen again. Greed kept their numbers down.

It was when a pack of them got together and started grazing that the problems really started.

The fields they emanate can take up entire city blocks. The area where they eat gets shuffled back in time and the blue frog’s bellies get full.

Most humans blame their memories or drugs or other mind-altering experiences. One day looks pretty much like the next in their numbing drudgery of an existence. The small 'vores pass without much damage. It’s the big ones that cause problems with history and timefaults.

I’m from the Core. I have perfect recall. When a chunk of my time goes missing, I know it. My scanner says that there are ripples here. The beast must be close. I warm up the looptrap and place it near –

- Wednesday for lunch. It’s not much but I’m hoping that they don’t linger. Wait. Wait. What day is it? I check inside and compare streams. I lost a month. That can’t be! A month-eater would be the size of a shuttlecraft! I’ve heard no reports.

Wait. The television. It’s talking about a giant blue frog in the downtown core. The helicopters of this era are circling. Jesus. The chronovore’s field emanation must be the size –

- tranquil, almost summertime breeze. I’m looking forward to the barbeque and seeing Marie. Damn. It’s happened again. I wonder if it’s yanking the entire city backwards a month at a time. It’s going to continue on its path, leaving month-sized holes across the seaboard like a moth making its way through a closet of expensive clothes.

Maybe they can drive it into the ocean. In the depths, a month of time isn’t going to make too much of a difference one way or the –

-peanut butter. I can’t even be sure that the supermarket is open. The queue is taking a long time. How did I –

- given my orders. Apparently there’s a large chronovore in LA. I’m not looking forward to it. I don’t like the heat in that city.



tags
skonen_blades: (borg)
Scientific experiments have proven that a person’s perception of time does indeed slow down when that person is involved in a near-death experience.

The threatened person’s body is flooded with adrenalin. The synapses fire at over six times their regular rate. Visual stimuli is examined in detail.

All of the senses are channeled through the cerebellum and catalogued for a way out, any way out, some way to survive. A side effect of this is excellent data recording and recall.

The channel scanner management took this data and applied it to their workers. The pay was great. The scanners themselves usually didn’t last very long. In most cases, the money they made was left to their next of kin. They sacrificed their lives to give some much-needed money to their families.

A scanner was hired, put into their chair, and told to look at the bank of television sets in front of him or her. The data would spool forth on all of the television screens at once. Every monitor would flare to life, sound on, channels changing randomly.

It was an influx of data from the universe.

We were far from the only world with television. Every since the first received broadcast in 2033, the others started pouring in. Apparently, our rate of development is normal and common. There are thousands of us sprinkled throughout the galaxy and we all discovered technology at roughly similar moments. We started receiving alien broadcasts close to the same time as our broadcasts reached the nearest systems.

We’ve started receiving broadcasts from older civilizations, farther away. There were tens, then hundreds, and by the end of this year, probably millions.

Like rocks thrown into a pool, the ripples are meeting.

They’re too far away to have a two-way conversation with but we can watch their shows.

They have scientific breakthroughs that we don’t. The scanner division scans their television stations for breakthroughs in weaponry or medical science.

The needles sink into the back of the scanner’s neck and the restraints snap into place. The eyes are forced open and the scanner is sent into a mode of Deep Terror. The most mind-numbing fear that it’s possible for a human to experience is funneled into the scanner through the drips. A complex array of drugs and surgical additions keep the heart from exploding or the lungs from collapsing. Going into shock or passing out from shallow breathing is prevented.

Scanners generally last about eight weeks.

Their terrified whispers are recorded as their eyes dart from screen to screen, taking in information as fast as possible.

We get about six valuable ideas a year and once in a while, a serious society-changing breakthrough. We can only imagine that the other races on far-away planets are doing the exact same thing we are. It’s a race.



tags
skonen_blades: (cocky)
There is a theory that we are all strings vibrating at the speed of possibility. Reality coalesces around our perceptions like crystals around a paper clip hanging in sugar water. We dress our world.

The scientists had discovered how to isolate one person’s probability superstring. It was research. If they could isolate a string and ‘strum’ it, the subject would change. Since the string was isolated, they didn’t have to worry about paradoxes affecting the rest of reality.

They’d done it already with a number of inanimate objects. Take a gun and strum the string and watch it change. See what it would look like invented later. See what it would look like invented earlier. See what it would look like if someone else invented it using different principles.

Try it with a banana. Try it with a scalpel. Try it with a glove.

After no more than ten tries, the changes resonated too far away from this reality and the physical laws started to break down. The object would shimmer, fade out, and never come back. It was cosmic roulette. When was the best time to stop?

The gun, for instance. It glimmered in on the ninth try with unrecognizable add-ons. It was larger and coated in purple iridescent metal. It had a much longer grip but it was too thin. The bullet chambers glowed green. The radiation siren went off so Dr. Jenkins just hit the strum button again.

The gun left the dais and never came back but the footage from that experiment had excited the military bosses. Maybe we could ‘evolve’ weapons this way?

Weapons. Bah. The scientists had blueprints for thousands of weapons. They knew what most military people forgot. Weapons were secondary to people.

How many quantum gear changes could a person take? That was the answer they were trying to figure out at the moment.

It was Jenny in the passenger seat. She was strapped to something like a dentist’s chair under the fluorescent lights in the lab.

‘Experiment on someone no one would miss’. That was the edict. A standing doctrine for first tries.

Jenny was a cheap prostitute. Health and mental well-being were of no concern to this primary experiment. Later on, they might do it with soldier volunteers.

On the first try, they lost her. She slipped out of our reality forever.

The scientists went back to the drawing board, trying to recalibrate for conscious subjects. Perception was the fly in the ointment of their calculations.



tags
skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
Jared Thompson, aged 8, was an exceptional genius.

Meaning he was, like most geniuses, dumb as a box of warm hair.

For the Peter Johnson Elementary School Science Fair, Jared proposed to make a project detailing how mold could be grown on fruit as it fermented in order to make another food source. The mold could be scraped off of the fruit after six days and used as a basic nutrient for many recipes.

Now, the fair was in four days. As mentioned, Jared needed six. In order to make his project work in time for the Science Fair, Jared needed to find an extra two days.

He spent three days building a machine that would give him the time he needed.

By using a lot of his mother’s pans, the neighbour’s dog as a reality conciousness quantum anchor conduit, the kitchen toaster, a jackknife, a magnetized weathervane, a picture frame, and the household vacuum cleaner, he built a doorway into the past.

He was tired after all his work but he had a good feeling about this. He pushed down on the toaster’s handle to turn it all on. The weathervane spun, the dog whined a steady tone, the vacuum cleaner made small sounds of protest, and the negative space inside the empty picture frame shuddered.

The frame, if Jared’s calculations were correct, should be looking at a patch of his floor from eight days ago when the family was over at Uncle Pat’s place for a picnic. It was sunny on that day and no one was home.

It was rainy now. His room was dark. Wherever he pointed the picture frame, a much brighter version of the room appeared within it. He could hear birds. Success!

Remembering that he never once looked behind his writing desk during all of last week, he snatched up the plastic bag of apples and pears. It was sealed to prevent any giveaway smells as the fruit rotted.

He walked over to the space behind his desk and held the picture frame flat, making a square basketball hoop out of it. He held the bag of fruit over the hole in the frame and looked down at the sunny patch of floor behind his writing desk six days in the past.

He let go of the bag. It went through with a bark from the dog and a muffled thump from the bag of fruit. It was a thump that he heard through the frame but didn’t feel on the soles of his feet. Jared, leaning forward, looked down at the bag of apples and pears through the picture frame portal.

Slowly, he moved the picture frame away. There, in the rain dappled pool of blue light thrown by his room’s window, was the now-dusty plastic bag of apples and pears.

Six days moldy.

Jared smiled and walked over to his machine, turned off the toaster, let the weathervane slow down, and unhooked the confused dog before making the diorama for his ‘fruit mold as a food source’ science project for the rest of the afternoon. Drawing was not his strong suit yet he whistled with confidence as he wrote large letters in crayon on the carboard.

He was so angry when he placed sixth in the Science Fair. "Just not very appetizing." said the grading teacher. Becky Erickson’s stupid fake volcano got first prize.



tags
skonen_blades: (incredulous)


AP – Dr. Terror (center) and his head scientist, the mysterious man known only as Professor Z (left), pose in this undated picture by the toe of the giant mechanoid creature they constructed in 1961 in a bid to take over the world by force. Recently-made-public files published by the British Government reveal that the duo's plan was foiled by a secret agent on the eve the plan was due to be put into motion.

After 47 years in a high-security prison for evil masterminds, the two were released on parole six weeks ago. They immediately returned to their island where the ruins of their secret base and nearly operational death machines still dot the shores of the volcanic mountain peak they previously called home.

"We are a peaceful couple of men who want to be left alone" they said in a press release issued shortly before landing and heading inside. There has been radio silence ever since.

Representatives sent to the island have still not reported back for comment.

A contemporary of Scaramanga, Dr. Terror was a threat to be reckoned with at the apex of his career. He never achieved the fame of Dr. Evil or Dr. No but Dr. Terror was one of the first graduates of the Evil Medical School established in Belgrade in 1948. All evil doctors that came after him merely followed the trail that he blazed.

Professor Z excelled in robotics and engineering. He was an avid photographer and keen bird-watching enthusiast. While attending a class on making cabin darkrooms, he met and befriended Dr. Terror. The two of them hit upon the relatively new idea of world-domination profiteering through military-backed blackmail.

Previously, the evil geniuses of the world had been at the ears and elbows of powerful men, subtly changing the course of history into more evil directions. As well, those evil geniuses were rarely, if ever, doctors. They directed from the shadows through emotional manipulation and ego massage.

Professor Z and Dr. Terror would go on to change all that.

The joint effort initiative between Professor Z and Dr. Terror was the first ‘doing it for themselves’ movement in the history of evil genius-influenced world-stage tactics. Most of the evil geniuses still working in the world today owe a great debt to these two.

These days, however, evil geniuses rarely have the time, patience or age of majority needed to attend eight years of evil medical school. A new breed is coming to the forefront.

“I would never have thought of taking over anything bigger than, like, a state or something,” says 12-year-old Jokerzz69, an evil genius currently bent on slipping beneficiary clauses into standard rights internet checkboxes naming him as the sole beneficiary in the event of the signatory’s death. This is funding his current scheme, still in the planning stages, to make the world ‘dance like a puppet to his whims lol’.

“Even with the internet, it wasn’t until I read about these two that I realized that I could do more than just burn my school or hometown. Me and the rest of my f-list are going global and we owe it all to Dr. Terror.” Says Jokerzz69.

“We all owe those two a favour. All they have to do is ask.”

Dr. Terror and Professor Z are at peace now on their island. While they can’t be reached for comment, there’s one thing for sure:

They inspired a movement.


tags
skonen_blades: (no)
Obviously, you’re all dead if you’re reading this.

I just want you to know that is for the good of mankind that you’re inside the box. I left this note on the table so that you’d know why.

You are the scientists that came up with the solution. This room is where the celebration party was to take place. I converted it into a giant matter dispersion cube. The disassemblers are in the walls and the door is locked.

In minutes you will all be atoms and the plan will be secure.

I set the plan in motion twenty minutes ago. The world will be safe now with no knowledge of our involvement. I trust you all implicitly but I do have to say that I’m not sure that trust extends to what would happen if any of you were captured and tortured.

This is the only way to be sure.

You were chosen because your brilliance and dedication left you free of spouses and children. Your disappearance will be a blow to the scientific community but since your public contributions were small and no one knows about the top-secret projects you were working on under my supervision, your absence will hopefully not trigger anyone’s suspicion.

Myself, I will take poison after throwing the switch to cleanse the room you’re in.

I am deeply, deeply sorry to all twenty-six of you that I have come to know as sisters, brothers, and in some cases, lovers. It’s been an inspiring eight years. All the more heart-breaking for the fact that no one will know what we achieved.

Peace on Earth, gentlemen and ladies, scientists all, and good will to all humankind.

Hold on to each other. I am watching on the camera. This will not hurt at all.

Professor Shale


tags
skonen_blades: (angryyes)
My nervous system registered a strong palm-print between my shoulder blades just before I was shoved hard towards the ground. I landed face-first amongst a scatter of hot shell casings and a reek of spent gunpowder.

I heard bullets whine and snap into the thin wall where I had been standing. I rolled onto my back in time to see a larger piece of artillery that would have torn me in half rip a hole through the shuddering slum gyprock.

Dust rained down into my eyes, turning me the same ashen colour of my dead mates. My dead fellow officers.

It wasn’t going well. This was a small apartment building in a slum. The most these kids should have had was bottles and bricks and maybe some home-made pop guns.

High caliber slugs stitched their way up the floor towards my wrist. I yanked my fist over to my chest but not quite in time. A few of my fingers flipped up into the air, suddenly free of my hand. One of them had my wedding ring on it.

I made a mewling sound like a kitten. Maybe two seconds had passed since I had been pushed down.

I looked up to see who had saved my life.

She stood like a warrior from a completely different and much better movie.

Underneath the minimal armour and ordnance was the scarred, thick frame of a 40-year-old bodybuilder. Her face was warped with rage as she emptied a gun that would have looked more at home on the front of a tank.

I realized that her body had scars that matched the lines of her muscles at the same time as I saw her take six bullets in the chest and two in her face.

Her head barely snapped back as a shower of sparks from her forehead lit up the hallway. Her body actually slid back on her heels a couple of inches from the stuttering impact of the torso hits.

With an animal roar, she fired back. The gun whirred down to a series of clicks after a few deafening sweeps of the hallway.

Cries of the wounded echoed back to me from down the hall. Profanities of rioters who had taken decent cover came back as well. The clicks of weapons being reloaded. A preparation for more battle.

She tossed aside the weapon. It landed like an engine block beside her. I noticed that some of the holes in her skin weren’t created by bullets. They seemed to be engineered and shallowly inset into her muscles.

I wondered how much of what I was looking at was still human.

She threw her head back and yelled at the ceiling. I saw little blue lights warm up in the crevasses of the inset muscle plugs. With a body wide spasm, they strobed a blinding pulse out that sent the whole building into darkness.

The biologically generated EMP caused the militants down at the other end to shout and then whisper amongst themselves. I heard the word ‘surrender’ followed by a gunshot.

There was a change in the air pressure next to me and then the sound of bare feet on dusty ground padding softly down the hall. It sounded like the feet of a ballerina or a young child. So fast and so quiet.

There was a moment of stillness when it occurred to me that I should start crawling towards the doorway to the stairs for medical help or decent cover until backup arrived.

That’s when the screaming began down the hall. It sounded like a slaughterhouse. In amongst the gunfire, I could hear the sounds of metal on bone and see occasional flashes of blue taser fire.

This riot was over.

I surprised myself by how quickly I crawled out and down the stairs.


tags
skonen_blades: (funneee)
Turning around the center of the bonding element was a jeweled molecule of hydrogen winking at me with sheer delight.

I hadn’t realized that I could create this kind of complexity in a chain reactive static chemical crane array. The underchains would make a little room between the different string boards when the time came. It was the moment I’d been waiting for. The oven timer went off with a ding.

Seconds before the oven mitt caught fire, I let the retractors go and turned the electron ginny to six. With a little wiggle and a snap heard only on a quantum level, the lattice formed. It was perfect.

I’d made a fourteen-molecule high exact replica of my living room. It was there. I’d routed my electron microscope through the projector television that I usually played old-school fighters on. The image of tiny green-tinted chairs and a coffee table was projected there in monochrome perfection on the pulled-down screen. I even managed to recreate the broken lampshade with a salt bonder, revised electrolyte silver off of a fork of my mother’s, and just a little chocolate.

Light even streamed in through the close-to-the-ceiling basement suite arrow-slit windows. It was perfect.

I sat back to watch the show.

I had made her from pure electricity and wound her cored skeleton up from polymer attractors. The barest sheen of flattened oak protons and a milli-milli-milli-scenter of my own blood coloured her hair. She walked into the room, a little unsteady on her feet, and looked around in confusion.

I could actually see her hesitancy. The resolution wasn’t high enough in the scope’s view but it if was, I’m sure I would have been able to see a scurry of electrons form a sparking furrowed brow. She knew this room but she could recognize that something was wrong. She held her hands up in front of her. If she noticed that they were made of kaleidoscoping cohesive energy waves, she didn’t show it.

Barrelled underwards and hidden side-by-side on a level of predictable uncertainty in between this universe and the possibilities of our nearly identical neighbours, I’d stored the entirety of her mind in a recording.

She was almost pure theory based on a shrunken cascade of concatenated decision processes mapped out at the moment of transition as she feel asleep. The solenoids and smallfarms I’d put in her hot chocolate had run rampant and reported back as her eyes fluttered closed.

Her thisworld body lay unconscious on the work bench behind me. Her breathing was steady. She’d be fine by nightfall. I’m no monster. She’d have no memory of the last day and a half, though. I wanted no trouble.

Soon she’d wake up on my mom's couch upstairs and assume that she’d had a little nap. I’d be there in her groggy state to back up that assumption and make it fact that would be seamlessly dreamwoven into reality by tomorrow. She’d have no idea about the copy of her that the boy in the basement next door had stolen.

I watched her tiny sparking soulcopy make herself comfortable for hours in the tiny molecular living room before carrying her awakening realword meatself back up the stairs.

I couldn’t wait to make the adjustments next week and put a copy of me in there as well.

Time to see if she meant what she said would happen if we were the last two people on earth.

I believe in science. I believe in love. I believe in controlled conditions.



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