My God, Chapter 9

[Editor’s note: found this post from September of 2016. Posting what I had. Still figuring out the names.]

[Previous Chapter]

Zeke met up with me at a bar in downtown Cedar and we drank for a while. This was, in his words, a prerequisite for meeting one’s advisor’s god. We then did shots of a horrible liquor made from a boiled Europan fish.

That was a requirement for meeting my advisor’s god.

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Simon Stålenhag

I’ve been a fan of Simon Stålenhag long before I knew his name. By wall of The Paper Wall an HD wallpaper gallery that’s sadly no longer in existence, I stumbled on a bunch of detailed paintings of idyllic countryside scenes with subtle additions of aliens. For a while these were the backgrounds of my monitors at work, and I wouldn’t have a good answer to people who inevitably asked “Where’s that cool picture from?”.

Apparently, it’s not that hard to find him, and his art is amazing. He also has a couple of books published. I have the first, Tales from the Loop, which is a collection of related pictures and a series of sci-fi themed captions for each photo. The captions are usually unrelated, though they do happen in the same universe and showcase the strange world where humanity found a new power source.

https://simonstalenhag.tumblr.com/post/147584391842/everywhere-i-look-theres-a-dead-end-waiting

Tuesday

[Editor’s note: this was an unfinished entry from… I can’t remember when.]

Tuesday, October 4th

I wake up early.

It’s my place, my room. I look over myself, feel for damage, anything out of wack. Nothing wrong.

Get a jog in around the lake. Come in and make myself a breakfast, quick shower while the eggs are cooking. My bathrobe is, like always, that perfectly cuddle-able amount of soft. I have breakfast, drink two cups of coffee, listen to a record on the turnstyle.

Through the open window I can see the city, a random metallic box interrupting the view as it plummets or rockets, carrying its unterrified passengers on recklessly suicidal speeds.

If the AI were to die.

Happy thoughts!

I went down to the market and spent a while picking out the ingredients. Rice, chicken,

[Editor’s note: the post just ends like that. Can’t remember what I was thinking or planning. Need to release the post just as it is.]

Dice, 3

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I looked around and saw that everyone was floating inside a white-walled hangar. I was strapped into the harness, so couldn’t move, but everyone else reached out to caught hold of the strands of cloth that were attached to the walls around us.

Meg pulled herself down to the closest wall and quickly shed her weapons and backpack, pressing them against dark crosses that closed around the assault rifle and the pack. She then turned toward me and pulled stretcher in the direction of a door.

As she turned me I noticed there were blue-textured seats attached to one side of the hangar, and it was into these that the crew strapped themselves.

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Dice, 2

[Previous Chapter]

A torch of bright light sliced into my prison and scattered sparks all around me, over me, and what felt like through me.

My consciousness was fading in and out, the shower of sparks jolting me awake one moment, then lulling me back into non-existence the next.

After an eternity of this the light ceased. Seconds or minutes later, my formerly-mobile-now-stationary prison was wrenched apart, steel tearing and popping, clear plastic shattering and giving way to a strong wind that carried with it acrid smoke. Cold rain fell on my face and my lips and after a moment I tasted oil.

A swarm of hands reached into the gap and tugged at my body, nimble fingers running over the dark mesh suit I wore and pulling on wires and tubing that stuck out of me at odd places. Then I was lifted up into the light.

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The Killing Floor

Henry Wallace was a writer. He had written fourteen novels during his forty-year career, and now, while finishing up work on his latest, The Killing Floor, he has hit a brick wall. Henry has writer’s block.

Henry Wallace began writing in his twenties, usually as a way to internalize the outside world. He had found organizing his thoughts through a diary to be the best way of thinking, and thus he started to write about his world. He wrote about his day in general detail, and would then dive into the fractal of human experience and focused intently on the small details.

These ruminations gave Henry a unique perspective on life, and slowly he began to embrace and practice them. Henry was now, after four decades, able to look at a random stranger on the street and see their entire lives, their past and their future, with amazing clarity. He knew the names of the stranger’s fifth-grade teachers, could even vividly see how they would die.

None of what he saw ever proved true, of course, but Henry was able to construct elaborate self consistent worlds where the rest of humanity lived out entirely different lives, where deviations from our world took place at Henry’s will.

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PF

Who’s gonna be in NYC in July? It’s been all over the news, thanks to our tireless marketing department, but if you’ve been living under a rock or off-planet, I’ll be announcing a prototype non-weaponizable reactor, nicknamed Safe Arc (no numbers yet, but it’ll definitely have improvements) on July 1st. There’s gonna be a big fancy gala, so remember to suit up.

And of course there’s the UN Assembly happening on July 3rd, and all member nations are expected to debate on… you know, I can’t recall what they’re meeting about, but I don’t think that’ll be relevant, it’s just too good of a target not to get hit.

Lots of fun things happening in the city around Independence Day.

There’s even this big children’s choir thing in the city, something like five hundred thousand school children from a culturally diverse set of backgrounds, and they’re all going to sing the national anthem on the 4th. Another soft target there, plenty of potential casualties and a real opportunity for the city’s homeless population to step up and save a handful of children from precarious ledges and such. Whoo!

Seems like perfect time to get together, knowwhatimean? Someone’s definitely gonna drop in on these perfectly-scheduled festivities, so let’s do what we do best?

Pillow fight!

Did everyone see the video of Thor getting pummeled by Banner on that gladiator planet? I sent it out last week. And yesterday. And here it is again, for your viewing pleasure. Now there’s a dude who can take a pillow to the face!

[Editor’s note: video removed by Fox. But it had the Hulk jumping up into the air on that gladiator planet and then punching Thor in the face as he landed. And then Thor wakes up in the hospital bed, like he just took a nap and not a nuke to the face.]

So anyway, I’m thinking we can organize more of that, push each other around a bit, topple some empty buildings – no worries, I’ve bought up every major under-construction building in Manhattan, lots of space to play! – and overall just have a good ol fashioned annual pillow fight.

Thor brought this up earlier, and I know some of you have been hinting at this, so: we’re sending Dr Strange to pick up the shawarma. Two birds, one wizard: he gets the shwarma from 19th century Turkey (very authentic!), and no spoilsport around. Anyone get in a pillow fight with that guy? He cheats, teleports you into a pillow factory or some such, really cuts the fighting time down with that “I’ll fix things in four seconds” nonsense. We’re here to have fun, not save the day in the quickest, most boring way possible!

See you all soon, Avengers FTW and all that.

PS: I’ve developed a new suit that’s like eighty times stronger than the Hulkbuster, can’t wait to try it out. Obviously it’s just as non-lethal, like a mattress-sized pillow, but… you know, it punches things better. And this new paint job is sick!

Ward, 1

The not-protagonist is a writer, a shut-in who’s constantly struggling with putting fingers to keys and black text on white background. He’s been at this for a bit, writing that is, and still hasn’t figured out how to make a proper go of it.

If he was to put a metaphor to his struggles, he may compare climbing a fourteener – a mountain peak that is at 14 kilometers elevation – to writing a novel, and if this was the measuring stick, then every one of his attempts seems like a five-story building, and it’s so much fucking effort just to make it up the first flight of stairs. And he wonders if it’s really what he wants.

Wonders every day. And decides to write a character who does not have this struggle. They know full well who they are, what they are here to do, and understand why they are doing it. He writes a character with purpose, creates a persona out of thin air who could do that which he himself cannot.

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Writing Excuses 11.06

The vision was a jumble, this time.

I saw blood, gushing. A stream of it, that seemed to be a major theme, as apparent rivers of it sloshed across my vision and impacted on a curled fist. The vision was focusing on the blood, and I kept on seeing the stream suspended in the air, a red waterfall frozen in time. The blood-drenched hand was just out of focus.

You can’t exactly clear your throat or nudge the vision to hurry it up, it’s got a schedule of its own. So I didn’t bother pointing out that it was eight minutes til and just concentrated on being available.

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