The Alien Candidate

Inspired by this Reddit prompt (my username is goat_therandy):

 

“Sir, we’ve touched down in what’s known here as the Appalachian Mountains,” Blorg said the leader of the Fridnar team, aka the Scalpels. They stood on the edge of a cliff, and twinkling lights dotted the warm, green valley below them. “This is one of the more beautiful places we’ve been, eh sir?”

“Stop calling me sir,” Captain Rogorg said, turning to look at his friend of over three Earth centuries. “Seriously, what the hell is that about? We’re a team, not a bunch a of filthy savages. Tell me, does everyone have their skin on?”

“Yes, except Lorg, she’s still getting ready. Man, I don’t know how humans where this stuff.”

“It’s just how they hold their guts in. Anyway, you really need to do more to remind your wife of the urgency here. The Yakonians have already infilitrated the Cuban government.”

“They’re playing a short game, then.”

They both fell silent and enjoyed the sight of the stars. It reminded Blorg of when he first asked Lorg to marry him, after they had been dating for months (although it had seemed like many wonderful years already) on Fridnar’s third moon. It reminded Rogorg of their win against the Hyperions in the Hindristic Nebula games.

No team had managed to infiltrate a major power here yet, and Rogorg wanted to know why.


“You mean to tell me that I have to get people’s signatures in order to run for office?” Captain Rogorg was telling the party official. “How many?”

“Well, sir, it depends on the state … ” Mary, or whatever her name was, tapped a few keys on her keyboard, and the Fridnarian knew it was a delaying tactic ” … but in total…about 900,000 in order to get on the ballot in each state.”

“What the hell are you talking about? In my home country, anyone can run for office! A child can, of course he won’t be elected, but he can do it!”

“That’s very cute, sir.”

Rogorg grunted and left the building. He called Blorg with his cell phone. Human currency was easy enough to print for themselves, at least. “Any luck getting a job with the agency?”

“Ro, they want to do background checks! They want my family, my friends, all of them to testify against me just to get a job!”

“What kind of untrusting people are these? This is going to be harder than I thought. Damn, I heard the Yakonians are working with Venezuela now.”

“And the Klepers are already moving on from Ghana to Gambia.”


Rogorg knew it was unethical, although not technically cheating, to assume the bodies of whoever they were invading. He didn’t see another way, however, and a win was a win. He sat in the Oval Office, sure that in this position of power the Scalpels would win within a week, or perhaps a day or two.

Blorg stood in the corner, continually scratching himself. “It’s this skin, how can they wear it?” he’d say when Rogorg or Lorg, who sat in a chair staring at a tablet, would complain about it.

“What do you mean you can’t get the votes?” Rogorg said angrily into the phone. “I’ve literally developed an engine that can go faster than the speed of light, and still you can’t get enough votes to approve a Martian colony?”

The gift of technology was something else that was traditionally forbidden in the Invasion Games, but technically not considered cheating. Rogorg had had enough.

“I know…I know…ethical concerns, taking care of Earth infrastructure first, all that, of course. But an off-world colony is the first step to any unified world government. What do you mean New World Order? Actually yes, that’s a good description of– What are you talking about? Why shouldn’t I talk this way? Just get the votes!”

“Easy, captain,” Blorg said after Rogorg slammed the phone down on its receiver. “We’ll find a way, just got to keep trying.”


“Peace is what brings us together, not war! Peace is what makes a man a man and a woman a woman, not war! Peace is what we must have, for one world must have one government!”

All the political representatives cheered Rogorg’s speech in the joint session of congress. He was sure that people all over the country, and even the world, were ready now to become one. Then the Scalpels would declare victory for the third time in as many centuries, a record that few could match.

A senator, whose name the captain didn’t know, spoke in his ear, “Sir, it still has to go through both houses.”

“Whose houses?” Rogorg said above the ongoing cheers.

“I just want you to know, there are still those of us who oppose you in the Senate. We’ll filibuster this if you try it without negotiating first.”

“Filibuster?” the Fridnarian had heard of that term, and he knew what it meant. “No…” he shook his head as the cheers quieted “…no…” he writhed around, dense internal hands pushing against the flimsy skin “…no…” Blorg tried to stop him, but it was too late.

A twenty foot tall tentacle monster stood before the Congress. Its orange skin rippled like oil in a breeze, and its dozens of eyes stared everywhere at once. Talons popped out of its tentacles and began whipping at everything in the room.

“I’M INVADING YOUR PLANET, YOU SHITHEADS!!!”

Blorg looked at Lorg among the ripped and gored carcusses of those who so recently had been clapping for their killer, and said, “Well…I guess this means we lost.”

A Tired Monkey

The wingbat stared at the sky and pondered what might be in another era. Thousands of years had passed and the gubers lived strong. These beasts, with horns that reached hundreds of feet high and trunks like the elephants that you had nightmares of as a child, destroyed the homes of the wingbats, who flitted of to Mars to live the rest of their sols.

The gubers ruled the Earth for millions, if not many millions of years. Decades? Centuries? Millenniums? They were nothing to the gubers, who wanted only production and evolution, management and organization, peace and brutal warfare.

The moon was home to an old species…you guessed it, humans. They were tall and thin and light from Luna’s light tug, but had little food to subsist on. More water evaporated into space than could be replenished. The humans were to die, and the gubars only waited.

A new type of wingbat was born one day, on Christmas Eve in the year 86,723,148 A.D. He flitted about and felt the wind of Mars and was ever happy and proud. All the other wingbats were in awe of his speed, his dexterity, and his abilities in the game of poker.

One day, an old wingbat approached Maximus and said, “My crapson, you are the fucking chosen one that our goddamn, dumbass people have spoken of for like three years. You know your shit and that’s why we’re fucking sending you to the worst kind of shit your ass has ever witnessed.”

“Just tell me what to fucking do,” Maximus said to the old wingbat.

“Go kill the shit. On the thing.”

“What the hell? You speak of Crappy the Crap, the crappiest crap who ever crapped?”

“Fuck yeah.”

“I’ll fucking go to Earth and fuck some shit up.”

Maximus, the crapperson of Plentimus, flew off to Earth to face Crappy the Crap in battle. When the young wingbat arrived there, however, he witnessed something that disgusted him: All of the gubers were ugly, lazy, and malcontent. It would be an easy battle, but there would be no honor in it.

“You there,” Crappy the Crap said, the biggest guber said. “You are Maximus? I hear you play a good poker game. How about we play a round and whoever wins shall inherit the Earth?”

“I can fucking deal,” Maximus said. Winning in poker against one of the greatest gamblers in the universe would certainly be a greater honor than slaughtering the pathetic creatures.

THe first hand was the wingbat’s, but the guber came back around in the second. The battle tipped up and down for each combatant and there was the ever flowing sound of chips being transferred back and forth as each other one gained the upperhand. Finally, Maximus landed the best hand imaginable.

“No,” Crappy muttered. Hands of sludge covered his eyes as tears poured forth like Niagara Falls expels water during spring. “It can’t be!”

“Oh, but it can, bitch,” Maximus said, the wingbat’s eyes gleaming with the shining light of righteous victory. “It can, bitch.”

“Five kings! Five of a kind! Why, this hasn’t happened since Bleepy destroyed Gappy in the Great Poker Tournament of 24,565,019 A.D.!”

“Give us our home back.”

And so the wingbats returned to Earth from their temporary shelter on Mars. The humans left the moon at the urging of the wingbats and returned to Earth, where they crossbred to become something like angels.

The gubers, on the other hand, were left with a Mars that was already rusting over. The radiation set in after three hours.

Poetry, I guess

At times, tainted life of light will shatter.

When it hits some undiscovered matter,

Say the ground, or a plane, or even you,

darkness comes, and you’ll wonder what to do.

Your life is like that short, or long, lived light.

Nothing matters if your day is so bright

that, should the days of others be clouded,

your joy makes all fear become unshrouded.

Out in the open with nowhere to hide

exists the choice of letting fear decide.

Only when light reveals an empty night,

can we put aside our near-constant fright.

 

 

______________________________

 

I have no idea what makes a good poem…

The Fallacy of Self – Coupon!

Get my short story collection, The Fallacy of Self, for 75% off from now until 11/7/15 using coupon code: KX74F .

Do it! Do it now! Before it’s too late! It’s about life! And what life would be like if life did not exist! A paradox? An android? Corporate warfare? Read it now!

Fallacy of Self

A Living History – Part Deuce

The cockpit of the shuttle is bathed in red light, and our panels are dim to reduce the damage the light may cause to our vision. “You got some of that coffee?” Deng asks me. I picked up a bucket before we left. We’re near weightless and our harnesses are the only thing keeping us in our seats. The coffee is in a thermos with a straw.

“Yeah, quite a bit left, want some?” I ask, unable to lie or else awkwardly drink my cup full of coffee while he stared at me with an envious brow. “We’re only a few clicks away now, see anything on the radar?”

Deng grabs my thermos of coffee and slurps a generous amount before answering. “Nothing. It might have been just a rock or something.”

“Pretty large rock to get nothing on visual. I mean, this close? If there had been anything at all, we would’ve seen it.”

“Yeah, well, drift a moment, then we’ll see.”

I cut the engines and we float in space. Jupiter’s cheek covers a portion of the right side of the cockpit window. We see Ganymede, but no other moons from our position. The planet is impossibly large. That always unsettles me, how it seems to loom over us like some giant devil. I’ve had dreams where I’m spinning, uncontrollably falling into its surface.

“A few minutes,” Deng says, sipping at my coffee. “Then we turn back and report we found nothing.”

I nod and try to forget about it and just think that soon I’ll be off shift and able to relax. I can leave, I guess, go off the station and make my way elsewhere, but where? Cryonox freaks me out, not the actual procedure, but just the idea that my body would be frozen for thousands of years, only to wake up and think that Earth is still dead, and Mars probably is too, and that we’re all that’s left of humanity.

An alarm sounds. Deng keys the radio and says, “What, what’s that? What’s going on?”

The tinny version of Beal’s voice says, “We’re hit! A meteoroid strike!”

“Lock the hold!”

“It went straight through the center of the station! We’re evacuating, but if it isn’t repaired soon, the whole place is fucked!”

“What about the other shuttle?”

I’ve already started the engines and set our course back home.

“It’s in service, god damnit!” Beal’s voice becomes shrieks. “Just get back here and do the fucking repairs, now!”

“Right,” Deng replies. He cuts the radio and drinks the rest of my coffee.

***

“I’m suited up,” I tell Beal. I’m standing in the airlock waiting for the word go.

“Go,” she says. “I’m tracking, there’s no other objects.”

“You missed that one,” I say. I don’t know why I’m challenging her, but I’m about to patch up the outside of the space station on thirty minutes of air, so fuck it.

“We were distracted with that ship you didn’t find. Now get out there and fix us up, before this place implodes. We’d all really appreciate it, Jack.”

“Let’s roll,” I say, and Deng hits the switch on the airlock’s outer door. I drift out and kick my jetpack up a notch. The station is shaped like a series of concentric circles that vary in size, with a thin needle poking through. The needle houses the nuclear core, which powers everything from life support to pron sims.

“I’m at the first hole,” I said, holding back a grin and thinking of dirty jokes. Spit rolls down my cheek as focus sharpens my mind. The sheet of metal is thick enough. Fit it over, gently now, not too rough, there we go. “Ha! First one!”

“Weld it tight,” Deng commands.

I’ll command him from now on, the creep, always stealing and taking from me. Then Beal might even respect me.

“We’re about hitting critical mass, here, jack,” Beal crackles over the radio.

I’m almost to the second one when a window cracks and the chain reaction that follows spreads through the station like a wildfire in high winds. It just straight collapses, and the nuclear core goes. I’m just able to get a few clicks out ahead of it, but now my fuel is gone. The shuttle is gone. Everyone is dead.

I’m almost to the second hole and I weld the sheet metal down in a matter of seconds. “Nice work!” Beal says. “I respect you now!”

No, she wouldn’t really say that.

I reach the exit wound of the station and place the sheet of scrap over the hole and weld it down as quickly as you can say my name.

“Nice work!” Deng says over the radio.

“We’re good,” Beal says, all calm, sighing into the microphone with the relief that can only be measured in life, or perhaps death. “Everything is stabilizing, nice work Jack.”

“Thanks,” I say and wonder what happened. The same thing, three times. Four times? How many times did I just live through, how many outcomes?

***

“So are we all set on the repair work inside, too?” I ask Beal.

“Just about,” she replied. ” I wouldn’t want any customers to meet us like this, though.”

“Are any on their way?”

“Just one.” She drags her cigarette and exhales a few rings of smoke. “While you too were out there, looking for our ghost, we picked up another signal from that same area as the first.”

“What?” I ask, sipping my coffee. “We couldn’t find a damn thing out there.”

“Maybe we weren’t looking in the right places. Or time.”

“Different space?”

“This one was a recording,” Beal says shyly, as though almost afraid to share this information with me. “You know that shit you read?”

I nod.

“Something along those lines. Listen.”

She touches her temple and the image of an old man’s face appears, somehow sharper and smarter than any I had ever seen. “Good job, my children. I see you have the ability to work as a team, a single unit. Does that mean you are ready to meet us, who left you so long ago on the planet that you have now destroyed? We shall see…”

(TO BE CONTINUED….What do you think should happen next? Let me know in the comments! Last time, only one person told me that they wanted something. That was for a meteoroid to strike the station. Well, that happened. What next? Come on, tell me…)

A Living History – Part One

“Rare metals, originating from the asteroids that bombarded Earth’s surface billions of years ago, were once very common. The original settlers of the stars stripped the planet of as much of these materials as they could before finally leaving Earth in a mass Exodus. Those remaining on the planet suffered from the lack of knowledge that resulted, and fell back several stages in technological progress, eventually using stone tools as their ancestors did in the caves. It is my hypothesis that this first wave of human expansion now observe us from UFOs.”
— Dr. Phineas Turnbull
Excerpt from Interview in Nature, March 2078
I stare at the words in the old magazine and wonder what my life might have been like had I been born a hundred years either forward or back. Stuck in an age where the commute dictates one’s lifestyle or living in a world already abandoned for the stars. In such a short time, so many changes.
Earth is a near wasteland, having spent its nuclear missiles in one nation’s attempt to prevent another from leaving in the Exodus. The moon, once terraformed, is now again a gray husk. Mars is still thriving, but who knows for how long. As humans keep expanding outward, the inward source collapses.
I sit on the observation deck of Station Gecko, orbiting Jupiter. Staring down at its surface, I wonder what it might have looked like when the Great Red Spot still raged, a storm that captured the eye of many an astronomer over the course of centuries.
Our station is a resupply base for those leaving Mars and venturing further outward. They’ll then make the long haul out to Neptune where they’ll refuel and go into cryonox for the journey to another life-giving star.
I wanted to go for so long, but lacked the funds, and now that I have them, I don’t want to leave. I guess I’m a romantic. Human history has captured my heart in the same way that exploration tugs at the hearts of others.
And here the words of Dr. Turnbull drive me further down a steep decline of sanity. He didn’t have the advantage of easy space travel. Had there been anything or anyone else in Sol, we would have found it by now. A discovery of Columbian proportions.
There should be nothing, but I still feel as though there must be something. It was all too quick, too easy to destroy our planet and leave it for it not to have happened before, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago.
“Jack, put that shit down and get in the hole,” Deng tells me. He speaks Mandarin, but I hear it in English through the neural implant that serves so many purposes. “We got a ship coming in. Two hours.”
“Right, fine,” I say, throwing that shit down. He doesn’t have to be such an asshole all the time. Half the time I actually think about telling him. “Where from?”
“They’re not broadcasting and I don’t give a shit. Keep in mind, you don’t either.”
It’s probably a trafficker, packing their ship so illegally tight full of people that half of them wouldn’t survive the trip. It’s a way to charge less and make more. Currency, which should be lacking in our society of plenty, is the one string that ties humans throughout the solar system. In my opinion, we should be totally rid of money. Nothing is really worth paying for, anyway.
*****
“So where’s the ship?” I ask Beal, who stands holding her tablet in one hand a cup of overpriced coffee in the other.
“We don’t know,” she says, staring at Callisto outside the window of the cafeteria. “Only showed up on radar for a couple hours.”
“They check infrared?” I had reported to Deng, who told me to get the fuck out of hole and wait in the cafe. Something, I know, is wrong. “Sometimes they cloak for the deceleration phase. Pirates have been pretty hot the past few months.”
“Infra, ultra, and everything between. They didn’t even leave a heat sig. I’m thinking it was a ghost, but Mel just checked the calibrations manually and everything’s right.”
“How about radiation from the planet? Could be a shadow.”
Beal looked at me with incredulous eyes. “You don’t trust my piloting? We’re far enough outside the radiation belt. It’s weakened from a month ago.”
“Fine, fine.” I look out Callisto and wonder what it be like to just disappear. “I’m gonna get some coffee.”
On the way Deng interrupts my path and says, “Alright, come, let’s go. Time to check this bitch out.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We’re going in the shuttle. You and me. Come on. Don’t be slow or I won’t pay you this month.”
You can’t do that, Deng, you bastard. “You have to…” he raises an eyebrow “give me a minute, I’ve gotta take a leak.”
“Make sure it’s not a radiation leak, huh? Hah!”
I shake my head and get my coffee, chugging it down through the hallway toward the hanger. The shuttle is prepped and ready to go. I suit up and board, with Deng waiting in the navigation seat. “You’re piloting, okay?”
“Why not Beal?”
“Beal needs to be here.”
“Why?”
“In case of attack. We don’t know what this thing is. No more talk now, let’s just go.”
So there is something out there. It could be anything, and the hope that it is something wells up inside me. Another ship, the source of which we don’t know. I may be the first to see it. I engage the engine and drift from the station.
TO BE CONTINUED…. (leave comments, let me know what you want to see happen next!!!)

Update on attempting to get published

So I wrote a book called Gaia’s Dream, and it’s about an alternate world where retail space is won through corporate-sponsored gladiatorial combat. If a company’s team wins in the arena, they earn the right to lease retail space from the Rulers of the Sphere. The size of the retail spaces vary, and the wealthier corporations only go for the bigger spots, which are of course more expensive. But that’s only a small part of the story.

It gets really interesting when one of the main characters…I guess he’s a main character, named Gat Jones, starts killing people with shadows.

Have you ever read Philip K. Dick’s VALIS? Or the Nag Hammadi Codexes? Or any of Plato’s work? If so, you’re probably familiar with the idea of dual worlds. There is a perfect form for everything. You look around and see triangles. From whence do the triangles come? They come from the realm of forms, the perfect realm (I know I’m simplifying it, and I also make up my own words for stuff), where there exists the perfect triangle.

These ideas are reflected in ancient cultures across the world. For example, Norse mythology speaks of different levels of reality. We live in the middle world, and there are four above and four below. Even within these nine levels, there are different layers (think about dreams, and where your mind goes when they happen; or thought itself). In the bible, there are eleven different layers of heaven. And nine gates to hell.

Back to the dual ideology, there is the perfect realm, from whence all things come, and the imperfect realm, where all things exist. There is Light and there is Chaos. To tie this into the ideas of the Norse, there is only one layer of reality in Light, because that is the perfect realm, but there are many levels of reality in Chaos, where we humans, and all creatures and forms of matter, make our home.

The shadows that Gat creates in Gaia’s Dream are a reflection of the different layers of reality. Friendship City, where the story takes place, has drifted to become a shadow of itself. It is not fulfilling its true purpose. The shadows that Gat uses are the lost souls of those who might have had a life and had a purpose, if only the denizens of Friendship City had taken their true course, or line of destiny, or fate. And that is what motivates Gat. He wants to destroy the city, because he believes that it is too late to save it or change it.

Mary Gold, the gladiator who must stop him, does not really know what motivates her. She wants to stop Gat, but she doesn’t know why. It is as though she exists in a different layer of reality than anyone else, and therefore has no frame of reference from which to judge her own frame of mind. She looks around and sees fools, and knows that she is not a fool, but this knowledge does not come from the reality that she exists in.

So that’s a little about the book I wrote.