Xat: it's shattered in three places, but definitely more. my leg is out of commission for the time remaining. no more commissions for me. can you believe we still use these cast things?
Ferm: they're futuristically silver now, not white. we must learn from the ancients, they're ancient for a reason. stop skirting the issue.
Xat: i know, it's about the skirts and how empty they all were. except for you. the sex is wrong, wrongish, because after the lust and the extra-added filling for the taboo aspect, what man strives for is love, and i felt love with you. that's all that matters, nothing else matters, sex comes, and goes, but what remains is the feeling between two people that bonds them, whether by red blood or not, it's two people who connect, share information, are warmed by each other's natural heat. i don't want to hear the word cyber again.
Ferm: you just did. and i've moved on. or moved forward. i'm all about that alien action. a true truth. i've left you.
Xat is stuck in the lab his (father's) money built. he is also stuck in a hoverwheelchair, his broken leg sticking out like a sore thumb as he leans his weight against the workdesk. he is stuck, he is seeing things differently but he must move his body again easily.
Tob has been moved to the CL's private resort room. there are waterfalls, chocolate and water. the CL dances in and gives the most genuine smirk you can imagine, which is difficult cos smirks by their very organic nature are fake. in behind him is his pet Tibetan Mastiff.
CL: told you.
the CL closes his eyes and gives an anime smile to the room as he points at his dog and laughs.
CL: what can i do for you today on this lazy Sunday, my beautiful people? pork? lobby? let's have some pork in the lobby.
Ferm: sir, we don't have that kind of time. the Earth is about to explode or worse.
CL: who are you? how did you get in here? oh yes. wait, what? oh yes, i dunno, so, yeah, what are we doing here, my secretary took a long vacation after the winter break, that's how they get ya.
Ferm: he's probably dead, sir. this is Tob plopped on your table. he is the alien we fished from space, the only one who can save us. he is the only one who can locate where the life-saving ore is in outer space with his alien powers. he has a panel here of buttons that we've been trying to push in various combinations to get Tob to zero in on the big lodes of ore so we can send someone out there to mine it, no use detecting the small lodes.
CL: thank you for the debrief, i knew all that but it's nice to hear it in a mellifluous lady voice. you should be on my staff, fetching me lemonade and whatnot.
the CL lights a real genuine Cuban cigar, plops his feet on the table inches from Tob's face and crosses his shoes.
Tob: imagine a shoe stamping on an alien face...forever.
the CL gets a call on his hovering intercom.
CL: oh goody! i love prank calls! it's actually more fun to receive them, you can use your imagination as the caller is telling you to imagine something.
it's Xat on the line.
Xat: sir, because of my leg, i had to recline at a certain angle. the light hit my micromicroscope in such a way i couldn't see before when i was upright and centered. i moved my science equipment accordingly and discovered a red speck on the ore sample on my slide that wasn't there before. i was seeing this while almost upside-down on my head, literally and figuratively, you have to move the slide accordingly, too. without this micromicromicro stuff that's the latest in technology, i would never have spotted it.
CL: hit the spot. it hit your spot. you have me to thank of course.
Xat: no, dammit, i'm low but not out of it yet. it was my money that paid for the research and development.
CL: sure, okay, take credit, it's all the same in the end, it all comes together as one in the end, we were never working against each other, just on two imaginary sides of the same imaginary bitcoin. i put in some money, too, you have to admit, even though you didn't know about that. i also developed the prototype.
Tibetan Mastiff: wuf
CL: sure, sure, i was also a painter in a previous life.
Xat notices something during the CL's trademark animated motioning of his hands and feet as he talks.
Xat: i can see it through the intercom despite being so far away on an intercom screens. i have good eyes, better than most. sir, and i use that term loosely cos we're foes, but sir, you don't have any cyber parts attached to your inner body, do you?
CL: nor on my person. very good, nice observation.
Xat: how? why?
CL: oh well you know, i love myself. actually, it's more like i love being myself. i love to sigh and burp and fart and sing and dance and drink chocolate waterfall and use my feelers to feel my dog's head when i pet him, to share a kiss with my dog's tongue, to dance with my dog on all twos, to have sex, well to have the opportunity to have sex, and to sigh after sex, to trip and fall on the catwalk, oh how i loved my facial pain after that fall.
Zhu: a qerbillion views for that fall, sir, beating out Justin Bieber M. it was so shocking because the CL is always graceful, never falls from.
CL: i didn't treat the wound, i let the blood drip over my cheek. oh how i love life.
Tibetan Mastiff: wuf
CL (smirking): now get your cheeks over here, my boy, we have a life to save!
Xat: i can't, remember, i'm immobile, i'm stuck in this chair.
CL: just fly, fly with your thoughts, it's all connected with a computer, right? it's all wifi and shit, right?
Zhu: still with plugs, still need your code. we haven't accomplished the wireless version yet, sir, it's still in R&D, still a month away.
CL: tech goals, life hacks, that's what i want to hear, hear hear, never be satisfied, always the next thing, always leading to the next thing, always more work to be done, it hasn't all been catalogued yet, that's why it continues. the future is the future, not the accomplished present. the past is dead, forget it, learn from it but forget it.
Xat wills himself past busy hovertraffic on the ballleaper-filled streets, has to jaywalk, and there's a couple flights of escalator stairs and armed security guards who taze him despite knowing who he is, because knowing who he is, till the man reaches the CL's door. his wheelchair is long gone. he's a stump, a white block of matter, plopped in front of the CL for his enjoyment.
Xat: thanks for nothing. here it is.
Xat punches his information into Tob.
Tob: you know, he does kinda look like Bill Belichick, doesn't he?
Xat: yeah, has that air of mystery.
CL: except i show my charismatic side. i used to look like Schopenhauer's hologram but that was so played out. i don't like things explained, i like games of chance and playing and not knowing what the final outcome is gonna be. why play the game if you already know the final score? Bill only showed his charismatic side in private. also, i'm wonderfully bald.
the quick interaction between friends buoyed Tob's spirits again and he was ready to get to work finally.
CL: did your research indicate anything else?
Xat: no, what do you mean?
CL: Indicate. Indicate. Indicate anyone else?
Xat: no, everyone works for us.
CL: sure, us. U.S. Unified System.
the CL lets out a hearty sigh.
CL: i see, i see. oh well, maybe later you'll see. onwards and offworlds!
Ferm takes this as her cue and she pulls out a newayz stick that she kept in her nail kit, unzips it out, and sticks it into Tob's face.
Tob: fuck, i'm used to the pain by now but it still hurts.
Ferm: love you baby.
Tob: love you, too, space baby.
the CL smirks lovingly.
Xat: yes, yes, i see it now, i can see clearly now, the pain is here...
Ferm sticks the stick in harder, deeper.
Tob: ow, baby, i said stop, i'm reaching something but your pain is distracting me.
Ferm: it always has to hurt, it has to hurt to make you see.
Tob: fuck that hurts. look, folks, everyone who can see cos i can't, i'm operating on instinct, my eyes are closed so i can see better, the black makes the white stars shine. this is the truth, humanity, is the intercom on? are you getting this, CL? is this being broadcast to the screens? this is the truth of the universe...
on the screens in the CL's office:
* hi, me again. i'm brought to you by Big Debbie's Nutty Bars. have you noticed that certain hashtag superinstagram words have, like, an insane number of pics and others don't? i mean, if you type in #life, you get 100 million hits of pics. if you type in #amazing, you get more than 100 million pic hits. if you type in #selfie, you get even more. if you type in #self...
* and now, Wolf Spritzer with today's news of the crash:
Wolf: hey Non.
Non: it's Nan.
Wolf: Nan, don't i look good in my suit?
Nan: spiffy, sir. this is serious, report the news.
Wolf: how's my lighting? i want the light to bounce off my newly-shaved beard. twenty years younger easily. folks, what's this? i've just been handed a bulletin. terrorist attack in France? why wasn't i notified of this?
Nan: the lighting's fine, sir.
Wolf: i dunno, i don't trust you, you change names. folks, i'm sorry i don't look like Jesus anymore, i look like an ordinary Charlie. *hologram sigh* we'll just have to manage this way. where did freedom of artistic expression go?
Nan: the lighting's fine, sir.
Wolf: good. i told you, didn't I Non? i said when the End Times came, CNNN would cover it first. the people would see my beard first on their screens reporting on any horsemen galloping by, CNNN, worldwide fucking leader now and forever, until the end. fear the beard. getting paid tonight. i make this look good. Anderson, what are you doing here? get back down there!
Anderson: hey, i still have one more day. whatever, Don Apricot's beating your ratings over at Puma.
Wolf: ha, i see Billy breathing on the glass. he wants a piece of you.
Anderson Cooper: Billy Corgan, let's have a sit-down interview.
Billy Corgan: i'm not getting paid for this. you will pay for this.
Anderson: look Billy, yes, i made fun of you over that ridiculous magazine cover you did where you're brandishing that trademark creepy smile of yours holding cats, but...
Billy: that hurt, man. i'm already a depressive, you can't publicly mock an influential depressive like me and hope to get away with it! i course i'm gonna strike back with the FUCK YOU ANDERSON COOPER t shirts.
Anderson: i know but actually that just denigrated the beauty of those cats. i like cats, too, it was a joke.
Billy: life's not a joke, it's serious. not everything can be categorized into a RidicuList item. and how dare you! this is how you treat your gods? that's sacrilege!
Anderson: i know, i'm sorry, you weren't the god we all know now at the time. i take it all back, i suppose. the point is, this is the stupidest feud of all time.
Anderson: huh? i mean, come on, there's so much tragedy in this world and this is what we're fighting over? why did it even start?
Billy: you started it. i can forgive, i'm the bigger man with the bigger bald head, i'm a god in fact. i suppose. alright, come in, in my body, bro hug, i can slap any man on the back.
the two hug.
Anderson: i'm having a religious experience. your hug is binding me down, blinding me, like a clamp. i'm feeling something in the ether.
Wolf: feel that? the air of mistrust, of the government, not knowing the outcome, wondering when the next terrorist attack will occur. was the airplane crash terrorism? folks, this is serious, this isn't a game. see how weather is our enemy? nobody up there cares for us, the weather isn't our friend, just another hurdle we have to deal with, just another in the long list of whims and fancies that add up to our completely random and capricious lives. nobody knows when the end will come, except CNNN is first to report that the CL isn't having luck discovering more ore so the end is nigh. vague vagaries, none of us know when the end will come. has the wreckage been found? the wreckage from this air disaster will never be found, the tail might have been found, it lies as a tale inside the hearts and minds of those left behind. Left Behind is real. we here at CNNN have developed a pie chart, see? it shows how much time, approximately, our experts feel will pass before we start to get real answers. Miles as you can see says it could take weeks. our other aviation experts, like that guy with the porn stache, says months. it's all a kind of race, y'know? it's a race to see who's right.
Kari: give it up!
the crowd goes wild.
Skip: Kari, Kari, before we start, can i ask my friend Stephen Naismith a little ol bitty question? oh i don't know.......HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS?!!!!!
the crowd goes wild. Stephen wears a nice tailored suit and a scowl, which is the opposite of a smirk.
Stephen Naismith: ask me that on Monday.
the crowd boos.
Kari: how was your weekend, Stephen? where did you go? what clubs? that's all that matters, forget the players, they're not important, they don't grant us interviews anyways, the games themselves and the participants don't matter, only we matter, the (voice of the) fans, what we think about the games, not the players, what they go through, practice, talking about practice, they are bought and their concussion senility is paid for, they're forgotten except for the final score, it's what we think, we speak for the little guy, we're the ones doing all the work here! if we don't like it, it's not well-received.
Stephen and Skip in unison: well said. we argue a lot, take opposing sides, but we are all brothers, no boys' club here, we all put our heads down on the cool side of the pillow.
the crowd goes wild.
Skip: so, SuperSuperBowl coverage? yeah, we'll be there, we'll film all the locations the three of us go to eat! my brother is the World Chef!
CL: i'm hungry. Chinese everyone?
Zhu: i'm half.
Tob: look. put it up on the screens, do you feel that? baby stop for just a minute, the pain is intense.
Tob's eyes bleed red blood.
Ferm smirks and pushes harder.
Tob: please, please. look inside yourself, past the cyber stuff, or before it, when we were all human. flesh. bone. feeling. love. that's it.
everyone closes their eyes but only after the CL closes his.
CL: my people, do as i say. love. yes, love. the universe was once a marble, but who first flicked it? what was that energy? Neil Tyson punches holes in all of our theories. it was some sort of string theory but with two sides, not multi, not helix the other one, and then add to that space brownie, turns out it's more brown when you account for inflation and dark energy, the hologram layer of frosting all against the backdrop of background independence, named after an obscure Russian scientist whose name escapes me but we're trying to escape.
Tob: no, these are all the mechanics of it. but what is it? what is it exactly?
CL: can't be exact.
Tob: exactly. Heisenberg. uncertainty.
CL: that's who it was, Heisenberg.
Ferm: you're goddamn right.
CL: I Am Heisenberg.
Tob: we all are, we all operate under that. when you observe something, the moment you see it under a microscope, record it, place it at a certain space, it ceases to be at that space, it doesn't exist anymore. so where does it go? where did it move to? how does it move? perception really is reality, it's all we've got to grasp onto, for what is reality?
Xat: apart from us. is there such a thing? it's all us, it can't be forgotten, it remains catalogued in space, it's forever observed by the observer, hive mind, we are all a part of it.
Ferm: we are it.
Tob: everyone, close your eyes, think of Billy Corgan. he was a master to me as well on my home planet. he's making me not as lost now though my planet is lost. think of Billy's music, the wondrous magic of the ancients which survives today to clue us in to our past. a past of hope, holding hands, swaying to the beat. listen to the guitar riffs, the rhythm of the human beat, the chords, the riffs, the creativity which springs forth that a computer clock cannot time the occurrence of. it comes when it comes. it's messy and bloody and full of doubt. it trips up. it is the very force. it is what it is. it is. it is all.
Ferm and Tob look at each other with wet eyes of different wetnesses, witnessing each other, looking at each others' looks.
Ferm (softly): beauty.
Tob: yes, but more.
Xat lets out an inner sigh, a cybersigh. his inner thigh is real and it hurts. his glands are cyber.
THIS ROCK GEM? CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
CL (one eye open): yes, we all had to learn it in school. i hated it at first cos it was just another test but i mandated it in all schools when i became the CL. seems like forever ago. i was always CL. knowledge remains. quizzes fade, theories, papers, degrees burn up in the atmosphere, but the memory remains, the feeling of the memory. i love this song, it's so pure, pure guitar-driven moonrock, i love it at the end when our savior Billy says his band was, is, and forever will be The Smashing Pumpkins.
Tob: despite the breakup. you can't break up the spirit that came together to create this music, spirit never dies. it's always interesting to hear the leader of a band actually say the band's name, to hear that, the saying of "Smashing Pumpkins" in Billy's voice, the way Billy envisioned it sounding when he came up with the name of the band. imagine Kurt saying the word "nirvana". that's how nirvana should always be pronounced from now on. now. on. a or ah. ah.
Tob's white square of a body is sweating profusely. the panels on Tob's panel light up, the buttons are pushing themselves in the correct combination: the musical cue, DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN
Tob: OH WOW
CL: the planet oh wow? or the substance? the ore? who's making that musical cue? it sounds familiar, like something the ancients taught us in a movie long ago when it was still called sci-fi. where's it all coming from?
Ferm puts her sweaty head on Tob's head and the two collapse into a ball.
Xat: i felt that. i heard the herd. i couldn't see it with what was fitted in me. i taste it. i smell it despite the depression blockage. i see it all fits together. i'm pregnant.
a dripping of Ferm's sweat falls down her pursed lips. her cheeks are red and sore. she smiles.
Ferm: it's the best exercise. the best workout to work out.
on a faraway planet, in a galaxy so far away it barely exists to the Earth of the future, there is a huge lode of ore lining the outer edges of a planet. this is what everyone was looking at, or feeling through towards. it was a planet, not a rock as first thought, a bluish planet.
the planet imperceptibly spins on its axis, sure, it follows all the natural rules, the natural order, but when Tob and Ferm fell into each other, the planet jerked suddenly a mile to the right, into the range of everyone's senses.