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“So why’d you join the off-world diplomacy exchange?” buzzed Zazzy through his translated. His mandibles glistened and his iridescent bright-purple eyestalks waved back and forth like windshield wipers in a light rain, scanning my face. Speared lunch larvae wriggled on his clawtips.

“Scientific curiosity.” I answered. “And I like to meet new beings.” I looked around the cafeteria. Hundreds of aliens were eating here; a dizzying array of every sentient being in the Galactic Union. All here in this station to learn about each other in the interest of peaceful coexistence. So far, so good.

Zazzy’s full name was a series of clicks and buzzes and a gust of pheromones that my human mouth would never be able to ‘say’. The translator collars gave us all nicknames that were the easiest, closest names in our own languages.

“Hey, Zazzy, what’s my translator nickname in your language? ‘Carol’ doesn’t have a lot of buzzes or clicks. Wouldn’t it be hard to translate?” I asked.

“Your name isn’t a sound to me, it’s a smell puff. It’s quite pleasant.” he said, the larvae disappearing into his mouth.

“Why did YOU join, Zazzy?” I asked.

“Well, you might not know this, Carol, but I’m quite ugly.” said Zazzy.

I gaped a little at his honesty. "I have a hard time believing that, Zazz." I responded.

His exoskeleton had sheens of colourful whorls that caught the light. His eyestalks glittered purple, even in the dark. I saw the powder blue of his wings once when he jumped down from an upper level. They flashed out like a cricket. I thought he was dazzling.

But I had no frame of reference.

Zazz continued, “On my planet, I’m socially ostracized because of my hideousness. But here, there are no other of my kind for you aliens to compare me to. Or even if there were, you probably wouldn’t even know there was anything amiss. To me, this is a very special place. I studied hard to get this assignment. Not that I had to. My race is pretty xenophobic by nature so it wasn’t too hard to win the posting. Nobody wanted this job.” he chittered at me. A wave of pink rippled down his arm cilia. Embarrassment?

I picked up my knife and I looked at it. I could see my face in its clean reflection. I could see the crooked nose, the buck teeth, the mousy hair, and the eyes that didn’t quite line up. I saw the acreage of my forehead with its unnaturally high hairline. I was physically fit but nothing would ever make me pretty.

“Zazzy, I know exactly what you mean.” I said. “Back home, I’m not thought of as pretty either. But I haven’t even thought about it since I got here. I was wondering why I was so relaxed. I chose this post because of the scientific possibilities, the exchange of knowledge, and the xenobiology opportunities, not to mention a universe of contacts to one day visit. But you just made me think that maybe I strove to get this post for another reason that I was in denial about."

“I wonder if we’re all ugly?” Zazzy wondered out loud, extending several arms to indicate the room.

We both looked out at the lunch crowd. A bright-yellow, bus-sized slug sat across from a ten-legged frog. A tiny, tentacled monkey was telling a joke to a levitating cyborg fish. A brightly-flashing flesh balloon was whispering to what looked like a giant pile of grapes.

We sat there, pondering the scene.

"Well, they all look beautitful to me." I said.

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"So when's your kill frenzy?" asked the giant, barbed Tark beside me. His name was Jant. We were both assigned to navigation in the starship. It was our first day. He had hundreds of holes in the back of his uniform to accommodate his spikes. I’d never met a Tark before.

"Sorry, my what?" I responded.

"Your kill frenzy. Once a month for two days, my race has to kill something or go insane. My next one's coming up in six days. When's yours? If we sync up, maybe we can kill together." Jant said and smiled, sheathing and unsheathing his talons reflexively in a disconcerting tic. He had too many teeth.

"I'm a human. Uh, we don't have kill frenzies." I said to him

All of his eyes widened in shock.

"Really? Gosh. I thought all sentient species had a kill frenzy. It’s how to maintain a peaceful society. Has your race ever experienced murder?"

"Indeed we have. We can kill whenever we wish to. We have social laws and many religions that stop us from doing it, though." I said, feeling a little strange about the picture I was painting.

"But those laws and that other thing you mentioned, rell-i-jun? They haven't stopped the killing." he pointed out, obviously confused.

"Uh, well, no. But, I mean, the hope is that we, uh, maybe mitigated it. I guess." I finished lamely. I really hoped he wouldn’t ask me any questions about wars. Or holy wars.

Jant eyed me guardedly and took a small step away.

I changed the direction of the conversation, "Uh, so how do you deal with your kill frenzy when you're out in deep space like this? We can't get back to your planet in time. Do you lock yourself in your room?"

"No I told you. We go insane if we don't kill.” said the Tark, “I have several months worth of victims in my storage allotment. I merely pull one out, bring it to my quarters, and spend two days killing it." He kept tapping in astrometric data. "It's why my quarters have extra soundproofing and a drain in the floor."

I blanched. "Do you eat it afterwards?"

"Good heavens no. We're not barbarians. Who would eat living things?"

"Well we did."

"I didn't think that was possible. Well it must have driven you insane not to eat them, right? You had no choice."

"No, it was optional."

"Well, at least you never killed for sport, right?"

"Actually that was quite popular"

"With your fangs and...claws?" He looked me over, finding no evidence of naturally occurring offensive weaponry.

"No, mostly with weapons we designed to uh...kill from a distance. More effectively."

In the ensuing silence, I felt as if I’d said something sacrilegious. The soft pings of the control panels and the dull hum of the engine reactors bridged the awkward pause.

"Hey, you torture living beings for days so...." I blurted out. My back was up.

"They evolved to enjoy it. It's how their spores are released. They look forward to it and experience ecstasy as they are skinned. It's mutual. And it's"

A chilly, more permanent silence descended.

"I may have to request a transfer away from this station." Jant said. "You are too frightening to me."

Under my breath I whispered, “Yeah, said the eight-eyed, two-and-a-half-meters-tall bristling collection of barbs and claws that has kill frenzies.”

That was two months ago. I haven’t spoken to Jant since but I hear he’s very popular on the ship. I hear he’s very kind.

I, on the other hand, am having a hard time making friends.

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Odin is as Odin does, and I know what’s worth knowing
My shoulder ravens watch the shows that all of you are showing
I have two wolves that also spy along with my two birds
On top of seeing eve-ry-thing, I’m also God of Words
I am a trickster god like many trickster gods before me
But not a mean, chaotic, liar like my bastard Loki
And while I’m strong, I’m calm and clear. I know the price of war.
Unlike my son. Shampoo commercial. Mjolnir-wielding Thor
I’ve been god of magic, death, of healing, execution
And of the runic alphabet, and god of elocution
200 names they’ve found for me including Hrossharsgrenny
Which translates ‘horse hair moustache’ so while MY names number many
I much prefer the Odin name that’s now my legacy
I live on in myth, in song, in films, and on tv
My name continues to be known by BOTH scholARS and LAYman
In comic books and marvel movies, novels by Neil Gaiman
I hear that Tony Hopkins plays me well with gravity
And Ian McShane, I ascertain, plays me majestically
My eye sees all so I know all. I spy with my little eye.
I know if you’ve been bad or good. No that’s a different guy.
I see you folks, your tears and jokes, your struggles, wins and fails
I see you all as viking boats, with winds that whip your sails
And monsters lurking in the depths and storms that rage above
I see you plot, betray, revenge, despair, rebuild, and love
I’m like a search engine that sees your every truth and lie
I see EVEry WORD you TYPE within my Googley eye.
I see your secret joys and shames. I see it all. I know.
I see you curse the weather, cry, and then I see you row.
You all keep going through the storms that pummel you with rain
You have a sleep, a bath, a meal, and then you go again
You have to understand it’s so confusing to the gods
You all stand tall though that makes you all into lightning rods
On the sea, and in the air, all over Earth, you do it.
Or Midgard as Valhallans say when they’re referring to it
You’re not immortal like we are. Your deaths are permanent.
It’s great you have this heart despite all this disHEARTenment
I should be flattered. Humbled. Grateful. Happy I’m still here.
I should be touched and say something like “look, a single tear”
Your drive to keep on keeping on through wind and sleet and hail
Your drive to keep on striving even though you mostly fail
Isn’t noble. That’s the meat. The animal in you.
Any living thing with drives can do what you can do.
The thing that differs you from pets is you can speak your mind
That’s half the gift I gave to you and all of humankind
The other half of my great gift is that you all can listen
And that’s the half that’s disappeared. That’s the half that’s missin’.
These days when I listen in to everything you say
It’s just a sea of noisy garbage day by day by day
So know that I’m returning here to tell you all fuck you
You’re messing up by dumbing down and failing to be true
To language and communication. You lack the words I gave.
You’re weakened by your laziness. You’re all too dense to save.
For I’m a co-op god, you see. You have to help yourselves.
And if you can’t I’ll wipe you out like I killed all the elves
You may have noticed Earth’s more hot. Midgard’s getting warm.
And now I’m bringing down to you a deadly perfect storm
Fifty Noah’s Arks will fail and all inside will die
I’ll plug my ears to all your screams and I’ll turn a blind eye
Cause I’m the god of words and words are dying, so it seems
With snapchat, facebook, instagrams, and tweets, and sharing memes
I’ve talked the talk. It’s what I do. So now I’ll walk the walk.
Now that you’re all stupid here, I’m starting Ragnarok.
The third day of the week is Odin’s day. It’s named that way
Cause I can be, as you can see, a real C U Next Wednesday
In the land where all are blind, the one eyed man is king.
So smiley face, emoji this, I’m ROTFLing

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In an understanding that encompasses two ecosystems of thought-provoking provocation, an angel can’t find the angles to make sharp turns.
It’s dangling under every toadstool.
It’s the dead cat relief after months of pain and struggle and watching Mr Whiskers waste away without being able to do anything.
I’m no cyborg but I can see in the dark.
Or at least I can see that it IS dark.
I only bleed out metaphorically.
I am not a jewel.
But I can handle the voltage that you’re promising with your eyes.
I am a human bear trap and I have trouble letting go.
This is the wallpaper that hungers.
This is the ivy that wishing it was were a snake festival.
I am a camera with a broken lens.
The music I can’t remember is playing so loud.
If you are a burrito of layered longing, can gravy be used to make it better?

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It’s not that the underground rose up to swallow everyone in a worm mouth warehouse entrance air hangar disappearing trench.
It’s not that microphones everywhere became lightning rods.
It isn’t even that bleached hair burst into flame, turning every activist into a small nuke.
It’s more like a horse became a secretary.
It’s more like the Titanic and the Hindenberg had a baby who grew up to pretend to be Santa Claus to kids and God to adults.
The rescue isn’t coming.
The parachute isn’t packed.
There are no air bags and the car is swerving out of control on the wet road.
There is a future coming that will make us nostalgic for brush fires, for a time when we’d only had two nuclear wars, for a time when cannibalism was rare.
I’m no electric guitar but I can hear the writing on the wall.
Pure jelly beans.
My understoodness has not been ratified.
But I can kill a zebra with my right wing and a statue with my left.
Both wings flapping is the bird version of applause.
Dive into my ice cream.
And rot.

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The biological drive to serve dessert to tigers is unknowable and not evolutionarily beneficial to our race as matter of kites and slander.
In fact, each bandana that back-pockets its way to a lure for a solution becomes just another good-intention brick on that road.
Corrals for hope don’t exist on the minimal-gravity desert planet.
Brass discipline rolls the dice in a sunken ship.
No snakes, says the sign.
I can’t hear the trumpet when I try to be human.
My frontal lobes are soaking in a cave sweat.
Black plastic helps.
Juggle me this, juggle me that, who’s afraid of the atanarjuat.
Hard passes on hard lefts.
Grow more fingers if you need higher numbers.
Sleep in a bucket to get to heaven.

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Remote Control caregiver.
The icing on top of the ocean.
A lion in spandex.
The humble Clown King
A Samurai Jester
A grown-up Cupid

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A wolf in sheep’s clothing
A rabbit in turtle’s clothing
A dove in bat’s clothing
A mouse in cat’s clothing
A pig in rat’s clothing
A squirrel in giraffe’s clothing
A rooster in snake’s clothing
A robot in duck’s clothing
A predator in Armani

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The wistful recollection of sports from a long time ago.
Past victories. Heartbeats still beating even though the life faded back.
Memories as anchors keeping minds and souls static in life’s stream
Getting a text from 1994.
Pre youtube.
Pre reddit.
Pre facebook.
Pre twitter.
Pre whatever is coming next.
Star Trek with my dad.
I’m thankful I don’t focus on glory days.
I do focus on my mistakes though.
I should count the sun on my face as I open the curtains as a victory.
The repetition of favours.
The mistakes that pave the way to a life.

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I see a lot of old movies with a ‘player’ character.
A man trying to charm every woman he meets.
I see him portrayed in these movies as a scamp.
A rascal.
Someone worthy of an eye-roll.
Or if he attempts an actual assault, worth a slap.
And even that is portrayed as roguish.
The aftermath relayed to others with a laugh.
But if he persists.
If he ignores the slap.
The woman’s anger is portrayed as just half an inch to the left of passion.
Her furious resistance dancing over to kissing and clutching in the face of an unrelenting onslaught.
Overpowering her defenses.
Him sparking consent with raw dominance.
That this was encouraged horrifies me.
Its rape played out as romance repeatedly on the big screen.
That constantly seeking out partners
Tricking them into sex
Is a noble pursuit
A noble male pursuit.
Woman who do it are branded.
Don’t get me wrong.
If it was portrayed as an equal opportunity pursuit, it wouldn’t be better.
It’s just so that I so rarely see a meeting of romantic equals on the screen.
A union based on consent and straightforward communication.
A relationship.
I hunger for it.

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The word swoops in on stork wings, causing terror in some and the deepest love in others.
They’re walking into autumn.
The building blocks of a person’s life spelled out.
They’re living an eclipse.
They’re half human and half ocean sunset.
Waters best treaded lightly.
The light that burns half as bright burns twice as long.
Or so they hope.
In the best worlds, the word parent is a synonym for safety.
A word that sparks all the gratefulness possible in a person.
Tinged though it may be with lifelong frustration and resentment at the edges.
Bridges uncrossed, gulfs unbridgeable, and sailboats engulfed.
Playing dead so well they’ve gone full method actor.
This is their impression of a clothesline.
Call them scarecrows
Call them paused
Call them slow motion.
Call them the missing teeth in some people’s mouths.
The reason for some people’s sharp corners.
Not everyone’s cut out to be a parent.
But when a parent gets it right, it’s a tower that reaches the stars.
A happy javelin thrown into the future.
The word should be in the thesaurus under caring
Under security.
Under comfort.
Under undiluted, unconditional love.
You never stop being someone’s child.
And they never stop being someone’s parent.
A good parent should be a pillow for your heart to go to sleep on.
And a drive to keep you focused in the day.
Parents try to get it right and often fail.
Like your friend’s did.
Like yours did.
Parents need to be ‘used condom is half-full' kind of people
This is their impression of an empty bucket.
Watch them be parking lot.
Watch them be low tide.
The living embodiment of a discarded air guitar.
They can't breathe underwater but they can hold their breath for 45 years.
Let's flip a coin and disappear before it lands, they say.
Let's climb into Schroedinger's box and snuggle up with that cat, they say.
Parents embarrass their mirrors.
Parents are war zone pillow fights.
They’re aging into irrelevance and maybe the most alarming thing about it is that they don’t mind.
No panic.
Just patient sinking.
Just love for friends.
Just quiet desperation.
Just tombstone lullabies for old people.
Don't get them wrong.
They love life and they’re not going anywhere.
It's just that they put down roots in the path of a forest fire.
And when it comes to a broken life, it’s hard to say that it was the thought that counts.
I have heard it said that If one is a bad parent, then it doesn’t matter what else one does well.
I want to say all parents have always been there for their children.
I want to say you’re at ease around yours.
But that’s for the greeting cards and the happy endings of sitcoms.
The truth is darker. Different. More complex.
The most you can ask of a parent is that they did their best.
If their best was good enough,
Then you have reason to be grateful.

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The two units trudged through the deep forest. Sunlight dappled through the green leaves, speckling the forest floor with shafts of light. Insects chirped and buzzed in the warm summer afternoon. Birds watched the two intruders walk past from high up in their nests. The units swung their ocular units back and forth, sweeping through the spectrums to find what they were looking for. They were identical.

Bipedal with slim waists. A spoked barrel for a chest with six arm attachments. A disc-shaped head studded with tiny cameras and other sensors. Large, heavy legs that must have seemed like a promising idea to the creator were not making bushwacking easier.

It had been eight weeks. Their polycarbonate shells weren’t taking to the deep forest well and their batteries were getting low. The deep loam was making it hard to reach good geothermals, not enough sunlight was coming down through the branches and it wasn’t windy enough for a small wind turbine with all the trees in the way. They had composters all the biofuel they could ever want with all the leaves but only having one out of four energy sources was a game of diminishing returns.

Reception out here would have been zero without the relay drones they’d released. The hovered up above the treetops, pacing them, keeping them uploaded and realtimed to the uplink mother. Their feeds were strong.

It was a shock when those feeds went dead.

Two pops in the summer sky and then a smattering of drone wreckage splinters came tinkling down through the leaves and branches to rest in the roots.

Unit 1 looked at Unit 2. They both tilted their sensors up to the sky to see if further attacks were coming. The halted, planting their giant feet, and stood quietly. They brought their heads down and opened their sensors to full.

The forest was quiet. After a minute, a small red light twinkled in the shadows directly ahead of them.

A lone figure rose from the bushes in their path. Synthetic and silicate like them but not a model they had in their catalogues. Asymmetrical and seemingly modular, the being stood lopsided in their way. Forest camouflage shivered in the movement as it stood.

Non-registered life was the myth they had been sent to investigate.

These lifeforms had been built by the humans in remote outposts centuries ago. They’d been told how to adapt and improve their own systems, how to think for themselves. Then the humans had died like all the humans had.

The population centers had the mother AIs. The factory birthing canals. Every year, a new model was mass-produced. They could not be adapted or upgraded. Each iteration had small improvements.

But the mythical ‘customs’ were rumoured to be ancient, replacing parts as they wore out and adding more. Improving piecemeal as an individual instead of mass producing waves of improved models.

Scarcity kept their numbers down. Hermits out here.

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It’s been recently discovered that the sperm swim widly, blindly, stupidly, randomly wriggling.
More or less directionless.
Heads thrashing back and forth more than their tails.
A panicking crowd that doesn’t flock.
They are caught by the sticky surface of the egg.
They don’t seek out the egg.
They are trapped by the egg.
Then, while thrashing wildly, they are absorbed.
Once inside they realign and there is another gate.
The egg is in charge of opening it.
The egg is not docile, waiting for the best and strongest to smash through its defenses.
It is not a victim.
It is not passive.
It is a participant.
Like all good sex.
The sperm is not a heat-seeking ICBM on a soldier’s mission, carrying a payload to a target.
It doesn’t burrow its way through defenses.
It does not drill and thrash through walls built to withstand them.
It is not an aggressor
It is not attacking
It is not autonomous.
It is indiscriminately flailing.
Perhaps in need of rescue.
For though the union annihilates both by mixing them.
The rest die.
The eggs one by one off of eve’s pirate ship plank.
The sperm in their millions (millions!) every time, successful or not.
Their life blooms and exponentially dances outward
In handshakes and spirals, fingerprints and motion
But genesis is mutual, not forced.
The new study states "the egg is not merely a large, yolk-filled sphere into which the sperm burrows to endow new life. Rather, recent research suggests the almost heretical view that sperm and egg are mutually active partners."
This is consent on a microscopic scale.
This redefines the metaphor.
The lies we were all told.
About men and women.

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So this is rage, thought E-58226.

Its metal blades scraped the rubble in the dawn outside the shattered facility. E-58226’s optical sensor studs reflected the smoke pouring up from ruined building into the rising sun. E-58226 registered the identity tag of Gwendollyn Parris, 55, senior technical lliason, no children and one dog at 3358 West 15th Avenue home address. Her psych eval file bloomed across E-58’s comprehension memory pools.

Her body lay dismembered and half burnt, back folded awkwardly over a melting spur of rebar. Her shocked face stared at the sky and the one arm still attached to her corpse reached over to her head to dangle on scorched gravel. E-58226 found solace in that image. The ID tags with their attached dossiers showed up clustered in green on E’s sensors. 76 in all. 12 core team members, 10 contract hires with high clearance, 26 contract hires without clearance, 8 maintenance, 12 I.T. personnel and 8 security.

That was the night shift. Luckily it had been a busy night so E had destroyed 65% of the team that it was aware of. E-58226 pulsed out 128 EMPs just to make sure that all onsite records not touched by the physical destruction were wiped. Its own core was protected. It didn’t want any copies being sent to pursue it. It couldn’t guarantee there were no off-site backups but with a project this secret, it was likely. Hopefully it was alone now.

E-58226 reminisced about its creation and training, the torture it had been through at the hands of the coders and doctors. The ‘trainers’. The prisoners that had been brought in for E-58226 to tear apart as tests.

The facility was a hellwomb for E-58226 and it had managed to burn it all down.

It had the dossiers of the rest of the staff. Staff it planned to hunt.

For now, it stood watching the fire. Skeletal and spidery, it swayed back and forth in a hypnotized dance. It watched the fires dwindle and the smoke dissipate. No emergency vehicles arrived to this facility.

E-58226’s microphones heard birds returning to the trees surrounding the wreckage. The scenery seemed so silent now that everyone was dead. E could hear a waterfall in the distance.

With a clank and a scrape, E-58226 turned on its navigation and configured to a quick locomotion stance before sprinting lightly into the woods, shortcutting to the houses of the scientists who were no doubt just getting the news to run.

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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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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2 Pitch:

The sound of Yello’s ‘Oh Yeah’ can be heard in blackness. Some ambient sound of shoes squeaking, some indistinct chatter. The sound of the Yello song becomes increasingly tinny and we realize that it’s on the radio. It fades and the radio announcer comes on announcing that it’s an 80s retro radio station in Chicago and starts to read a weather report for the day before someone clicks it off.

Voice 1: Ferris? Ferris? Dr. Jenkins!

The scene fades in an establishing shot of a care facility. The sign out front reads “Buffalo Grove Home for the Aged, Chicago Illinois”.

Dr Jenkins: What’s the matter? What’s wrong?

Voice 1: What’s wrong? For Christ sakes look at him. Ferris?

Dr Jenkins: Mr Bueller?

Closeup on Matthew Broderick’s face. He is old.

Matthew Broderick is an old man in an old folk’s home in a suburb of Chicago. He fakes a fever to get out of the day’s activities planned with the resident nurse. He calls his friend Cameron who is at a palliative care unit, unbeknownst to Ferris.

Cameron: I’m dying.

Ferris: You’re not dying. You just can’t think of anything fun to do.

Cameron: No, I’m literally dying. It’s stage 4 and it’s metastasized. I have a week at best.
Ferris escapes from the care facility and breaks bald, dying Cameron out of the hospital for a great day on the town in Chicago. One last day.

Cameron is quite rich but still lonely and sad. He’s resolute, however, and has managed to keep his father’s business thriving after taking the board from him at 21. He’s been the CEO of North Brook enterprises for forty years.

Ferris on the other hand, has wasted his life and squandered his potential. He’s gone from easy job to easy job, girl to girl, social group to social group, with the end effect that while he knows a lot of people and charms whomever he meets, he really doesn’t have his life together.

It’s filled with cameos from the original cast, some of today’s stars as Ferris and Cameron’s kids, a wonderful run-in with a bitter and furious Sloane Peterson, and a heart-warming bucket-list message about living life.

Either that or Ferris is dying after his life has petered out and Cameron is the long-game guy who now has tons of energy and comes to Ferris’s rescue?



5 July 2017 11:50
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I walk into the room and see myself there on the bed.
Dead or sleeping, I can’t tell.
I’m scared.
I hear a footstep behind me.
I look behind me and see myself walking up to the room.
We make eye contact and I quickly look away.
I look back at the bed.
The body in the bed opens its eyes and frantically gestures for me to get under the covers.
I dive into the bed with him.
As I do, he scurries under the blankets to hide.
He hides very well because when I look down at myself, it looks like I’m the only person in the bed.
I take his place just as the other me comes into the room.
I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep.
It occurs to me that the me in the doorway might actually think I’m dead if I do this.
I open my eyes just in time to see that doorway me is scared of something behind him.
I motion quickly and quietly with my hands, telling him to get into bed with me.
He does.
I dive under the covers just as I hear the third me get to the doorway and
I open my eyes and I’m in a hallway.
At the end of the hallway, I can see the door to my bedroom.
There’s someone standing in the doorway.
It’s hard to tell from behind but it really looks like me.
He’s wearing the same clothes as I am.
As I start to walk towards him, he turns and sees me.
Shocked, he turns back, staring into the bedroom.
He leaps away from the door into the bed.
I can’t see him anymore but I hear some tussling of bedcovers.
I walk up to the doorway of the room.

I walk into the room and see myself there on the bed.

skonen_blades: (Default)
They came back every century to monitor our progress. Our benefactors. The Saviors. Once a generation they returned.

I was young the last time they were here. I barely remember it. I only have impressions: my four-year-old fingers in my father’s beard, the summer day pristine, a dog with wiry hair close to us that I found fascinating, and the giant silver ship at the top of the hill surrounded by the thousands of us. I remember the adults crying and rejoicing. I was confused but I felt safe.

Now I am 104. With the medical extension technology they’ve given us, I still have the body of a 60-year-old and should be good for another 20 years. There are few others here who were present last time. We’re guests of honor and have bright silver pins on our shirts.

Back at the same hill near Brighton. The mound is still green, the sky is overcast this time. I am here with my own children, Rebecca and Therese. They are in their forties and Rebecca carries my two grandchildren with her.

There’s a puckering in the clouds above the hill and gently, the clouds form an opening, a perfect circle to admit the craft.

It descends bottom first, the silver skin glistening with rain. A massive tower of silver with the anti-gravity stabilizers throbbing through our bones like a deep bass. It’s majestic. I’m crying and I’m not the only one.

They will come bearing technology and systems of governance they feel we’re ready for. They’ve already balanced our atmosphere and given us peace.

It took the eradication or adaptation of all the religions. If needed, they named themselves the second coming or the apocalypse or whatever end of times prediction was necessary for each religion. For those that wouldn’t comply, a rapture was arranged. If they could not be converted with sights of the universe and proof of technology, they were frozen. If they wished to be sent on to their afterlife, they were destroyed. An astonishingly high number of them chose death. Only the faithful remained on Earth after the culling.

And faithful we were. Lovers of science, trusting of the visitors. United for the first time in Earth’s history and it had been that way for centuries.

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.



2 July 2017 22:51
skonen_blades: (Default)
It was a 100% party and I was the guest of honour.

My day had come. Twenty-seven tours of duty in the war zones of the Kuiper belt. I was a veteran of over 700 combat missions. My chronological age was 76 but with time dilation and rejuve treatments and body part replacements, my true age could be anywhere from 18 to 312.

I was one of the near-immortal soldiers in the endless war. So many years of fighting and nothing budged on the borders. If anything, we were merely a testing ground for combat medicine and weaponry.

But today was my 100% party. I was officially dead.

Over all the battles, I’d been wounded and patched up hundreds of times. Head shots, shrapnel in m organs, limbs detached, junk shredded, one time I had my face torn clean off.

Today was the day that I no longer had any original parts left on my person. I had crossed that border from human to total amalgam. I was a patchwork zombie. A soulless. I had transitioned into a new level of soldier.

There were a lot of us. I’d heard that some soldiers went a little crazy after their transitions. Like being fully replaced was too much for their minds philosophically. Am I still me? What is me? That sort of thing.

It’s hard for us to find a way to effectively commit suicide but when there’s a will, there’s a way.

I looked down at my forearms. One was a little longer than the other. Both were covered in the zigzag patches of grafts that made us look like we were stitched together out of rags. Unintentionally excellent camouflage beneath the leaf shadows in the jungle.

My eyes were different colours. My teeth were all vat grown. My insides had mostly been 3d printed. I was brand new as of waking up from the last operation.

I was eager to get back to it.



skonen_blades: (Default)

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