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- Ben & Sebastian
Bits and bytes, it was the stuff taught as basics in high school computer class. Boring, but necessary. At least at first. The flickered out at light speed, and I get on my computer. I checked logged in, checked email, and jacked out. I had tried various writing websites since the start of my class, and yet there was nothing like writing in my notebook at home. To think that, so young, I refused to roam with other cattle. Other girls, while more beautiful than I, were as close as you could get to cows. And so few among them, were as tender as the lambs. And, alone in the darkness, I savor their silence as I fall into a dream. I think of girls getting their heads taken off by the guillotine. I imagined brief acquaintances I knew at school dining in the blood of their friends. I became puffed on, and I felt a coolness like someone watching my under regions with a wash cloth. And I dream of them speaking the King's French while whispering in my ear. Indeed, the rest of my school days would be an excellent year. You wouldn't think someone as harmless looking, would have a thing for blood, and yet the more my sexuality develops, the more certain desires have intensified since graduation. I despise of crowded events, like graduation and wedding day. I prefer to ride horses in the clouds, and seeing shadows split by the illuminated lights of the street lights. I stalk the night, and the night consents, as I wander in its shadows. In its shadows, I carry a cane with me, and feel something following me. Then I wake up, as if from a fall. At times writing of my life is difficult, but that is because so often it has been far to strange for people to believe. I only wish it were as normal as vampires who stalk the night. When you see nothing but emptyness, at times your mind fills in the blanks. And often such thoughts come alive. And yet for the longest time, I had dreams of being taken aboard by alien spacecraft, one I remember when I was young, involved a young grey telling me that I wouldn't be harmed. Many of my sensations of sex, have been with the greys from the reticulan region. Demons, angels, shadows; all these things are far more tame, my terrors far darker than the opus of Mein Kamph. For, as you see, I have gotten away with much, and yet do to the nature of it, almost nobody ever notices it. It was midnight, when I had met her. She was wearing a red dress, and offered to take me in. I had moved out after my parents had died, leaving me behind at thirty two. And now I go through life wandering if there is any childhood left to live. In my mind, I dream of fantasy adventures of children flying gliders, riding on the wings on birds in flight. And yet I go through my days plying my trade in stream and block ciphers, under the glow of black candle lights. I never found out her name, yet seemed to take no issue with spending most of my time writing stories, even in perhaps I never chose to publish them. Part of it being a matter of self-doubt, and part of it was the shame of my own sexuality. She read to me some of her middle grade novels she kept in her younger years. She commented how it seemed I was one of the few writers still in existence. It had been many months since World War III, and in many ways it both exceeded and and underwhelmed my imagination. Then the robot rebels came and went, then the super computer overlords. On the run from dream-scanners, and found myself hoping for some kind of release from my misery. It started out as technology designed to scan your brainwaves testing for issues related to sleep apnea, but gradually evolved to watch over developments of deviant personality traits. And now I sleep in wait wondering whether they will come for me again.
I consider myself more of a diarist, though I can see the confusion with science fiction. But my life is not a fiction book. I call my new friend Ravina, who was short. Coming up only to my chest, I wasn't much taller than a tall woman myself, being not much taller than five foot four. My long black hair covering my mirror shades. We slept together on the futon, while me mind reels from lack of internet connectivity. I had given up intra-networking, even for developing small home networks. Now any network controlled by anyone besides our masters was already illegal, and soon cash would be as well. I long for the days of girls in wooden shoes, tulips, and windmills. I long for the days before the sun went out above us. At one point I had wanted children, but it's to late now.
We're children beneath the darkened sky.
Beneath a shadowed sun.
My body was meat.
I once knew a guy who would meet trolls under a bridge, although in actuality they were just homeless people trying to find a place to live. Even so, he would thrust them with one of his daggers, and watch as they reel in extreme pain. Needless to say, I wasn't friends with him for very long. Only for about a year. When I had left Ravina's house, exchanging phone numbers, I kept her as a network contact while I was off the wire. I would explore bridges in the suburbs outside of the city, and find colonies of soldiers that had survived the war, and made their life terraforming the total darkness that was the underground sewers. Cardboard cut outs were re-purposed into makeshift houses, where they stored cookware. Some of them had become bandits, because society didn't want them. I met two that were roasting rats on a stick, while I thought only of Ravina.
What we think of as sewers today, where actually ancient battle grounds built by a culture far older than Ancient Sumeria, possibly as much as 18,000 years in the past. And now, in the year 2019, we live in the aftermath of the great repurposing back in the 1970s. But certain figures on the walls and statues give clues to this far ancient culture, who rode on flying wings that reached the sky. And now, here we are, eating roasted rats underneath the holographic metropolis, wondering when the bridges far above us will eventually fall and kill us.
-- I wouldn't give them one a year, said one bandit.
-- What makes you say that man?
-- See those columns above? They're already cracking. -- He pointed to the seemingly seamless column, implying that that was the one that would eventually collapse. It was an unstable life, not much better than the tail end of the nineteenth century, although they probably thought this was better than when they were rebuilt by their masters over in North Korea all those years ago. -- It's inevitable.
Indeed, the only reason they're still alive now, is do to a kind of genetic modification, that allowed their body to regenerate from radiation poisoning. But throwing up all the time do to their immune system made this aspect a miserable existence. I adjust my mirror goggles, and then crash on my futon.
Nothing like sleep.
When Orwell wrote 1984, he wasn't expecting there to be simulation coastal vistas, using meat space avatars while glancing the view while on the wire. And unlike like groups specialized towards sex education, in practice actual sex education was surprisingly prescient for the writer. And yet the thing that hit the eighties and nineties was virtual reality, and then the world wide web. But now we're already have the idea of quantum networks being discussed, extending concepts of mass surveillance beyond what was conceived of in the nineteen forties. And the old public key systems were slowly going the way of the dinosaur.
The classic game consoles have become the latest dinosaurs, with each latest generation having their maximum development expectancy set around five years at the most, aside from the few home brew developers. I had given up game development a long time ago, preferring the flow of text on the page. And yet sometimes I miss the old days of loading the makers, and churning out demos of games in my development bucket list. But now, my own bucket list is to exist.
And my thoughts display on quantum holographic networks displaying the words "to be or not to me, that is the question." My drifting in the world of darkness, as if I was already dead.
I thought I heard a voice in the darkness, in what seemed like a digitized version of an ancient language far older than the age of Egypt and Sumeria. We had been walking through the tunnels for some time, when we find a previously undiscovered room. The others thought of it as a get rich quick scheme, finding spare parts to sell on the black market. Yet for me, I was preoccupied by the statue that stood before us by the flat screen computer monitors. It had a vague semblance of Roman and Egyptian statues, except that the garb looked to me from a previously unknown star faring civilization, indicated by the appearance what seemed to be some ancient space helmet. The computer rooms were built ontop of ancient Native American temple, from a culture that was as old, if not older, than the Inca.
-- Get a load of this lady.
-- Ain't she a beauty?
-- I wonder how much this stature would be worth? And look, not a single crack on it.
While the others were thinking of how much they could sell it for, there was something about that gave off a sinister presence. I split from the others into a separate room. And just in time, as when one of them tried to steal the monitors, a false door opened up a portal that unleashed men with space helmets, and back attacking them with laser beams. My friends told me to break for it, so I took my futon and left the scene trusting their judgement, and my instincts to survive. And then suddenly the room became silent. One of the men came out alive, but said that they were all surrounded by armed guards from a different galaxy, and that they let him live long enough to reveal to me a message.
-- Don't go to far down here, there are things which we were not meant to see.
You might think that he almost died, but as best as I could, I nursed him back to health. However his right arm continued to bruised for the next few days after. I called Ravina.
-- Can you do me and a friend a favor?
-- What do you need?
-- Medical attention.
It was the following morning me and my friend woke up in the hospital. He spent the entire morning watching television mindlessly, while trying to think of what happened in those tunnels in the darkness. I was left craving going back down to find out what the meaning of the symbols were, and the meaning of that statue. Since I wasn't injured, I left my friend to the care of Ravina as I made my way toward the tunnels, leaving my futon at the hospital. She said she would roll it up, and I could sleep at her place tonight.
As much as you get used to wandering the darkness, there isn't anything like wandering it alone. I walked through the tunnels, slashing and thrusting giant rodents, and eventually came upon the room in which we had left. Already, the room had been cleaned up the mess, despite having no natural reason for the corpses absence, and stared at the portal in which the monstrosities had exited. I touched my hands along the wall, and found the room began to swirl around.
I arrived in what seemed like a laboratory in hell, with various abominations, craving to eat my flesh. And thus, I made sure to only stay inside of the lab. I heard a voice in the darkness. It was a young woman in her early twenties, who said that I should not have arrived here, that it was a top secret government facility. She asked how I had found the place, and I noted that me and my friends had been living in the tunnels for some time, and that it was only recently that a friend of mine had been kind enough to let us stay with her. But the lady other than this question, remained largely elusive about what was beyond the tunnels.
I was knocked out, and woke up at Ravina's place.
-- And just where have you been? She asks.
-- Where am I?
-- At my place, you always sleep here. -- She adjusted the blankets for me, while I situated on the futon. -- I found you outside in the cold at midnight. Don't leave me like that again, and your friend, he needs you.
I had nothing else to say then.
I was left thinking of the tunnels.
It was one of those years in high school, when kids felt like proving their worth by picking fights with me. You know those kinds of hot shots, who feel like fighting is the only answer to an infinite possibility of questions one may ask. At times I dream of the day I can put such hot shots in their place, and slit their jugular veins, and yet at the end of the day I realize I prefer the freedom to eat Broccoli beef at the local Chinese restaurant downtown. And the thrill of the exploit on the net made whatever issue I had in my past largely worth it. Although at times I think, what if I came back to high school at my current age. Certain television shows made jokes about adults beating up minors, but seniors in high school were not minors in any no legal real life sense. And for my own size, I'm effectively no bigger than I was in high school.
These days I carry a can of pepper spray with me, in the off chance that something would attack me in these tunnels, but so far I haven't had to use it. And to be honest, running, when you're not having to proof your machismo to blustery men, was a perfectly valid strategy to survive the next day. In these tunnels I could find place I could hide from the giant rodents, an opportunity to take a break and browse the net. The internet had become almost ubiquitous sense last you, with pirate boxes on almost every street corner. Even down here, you'll find USB dead drops every so often.
In such dead drops, it acted as an offline social network, so I would occasionally find people posting images on there, from who knows where. But do to the time delays between interactions, I could have time to finish my thoughts. An aspect of my life in previous years that had always been scarce, even among family, who had the urge to find some reason to snark before I've finished my thought. Even when writing at the dinner table, my family would find some reason to interrypt my flow. So I spent most times downstairs writing various stories non interrupted. But my own life never even approached some of my science fiction stories.
At least until recently.
Once I had gotten back from the tunnels, I took a break and rested at Ravina's place, parking my tiny house in a public parking lot for the following night, having dropped a week's worth of organic farming salary for the privileged. I had the tendency to keep that kind of money on hand, as I had long sense lost any amount of trust in the bank. The banks, not only were they demanding money for account upkeep, but also double the price to get the job done, so I have heard. Therefore I resolved that the best course of action was to keep all my assets in person. I kept several wallets to store my cash, and thankfully that enabled to the lifestyle to not have to find a trailer park, that was becoming increasingly rare as urbanization increased. I slept on my futon, wondering how my other homeless friend that survived the onslaught of the underground tunnels. When I was down there, the lady scientist suggested that I leave that dimension for that time being. That I would be contacted soon.
On the following evening, when I was getting ready for the beach, the lady had called me on the phone. She said that she didn't want me immediately in that alternate universe lab at that moment, as she didn't want to reveal to her superiors that was there doing unofficial work. She had known about my tendency toward puzzle solving, although this wasn't necessarily revolving around programming, so much as html and remote viewing. I had more experience with remote viewing rather than html, but had acquired the language skill in order to communicate my concepts about IPvRV, or Internet Protocol Over Remote Viewing. You used all of your five senses, plus the extra sense of magnetism in order to look for hidden things with the urban matrix.
And now, she wanted me to use these skills to find hidden alien bases in the portal that led to the lab.
In my younger years, I dreamed of a woman guillotined for murder. I woke up with mother saying "wake up little Hitler." By the next night I hallucinated of beheaded hippies, bleeding in a field of flowers growing in my bedroom, and outside was my grandmother's room ready for me to play in. But I used that time to be alone from the world, hiding away from the light. And now here I lay, waiting for some chance at life.
I took random coordinate numbers, gathered my pseudonym and date, then reclined resisting the temptation to masturbate. I could a hidden landscape that my vision could not see, a world only my third eye could sense, and sensed only of extreme wetness. The smelliness of iron oxide wafted under my nose, as I resisted the draw of the morning sunlight. I was called by the lady of the lab, who asked me what I had sensed.
I couldn't describe how I felt. It was only sadness.
I dreamed of gypsy girls and petite tap dancers, some hung by nooses in the seventeenth century.
I suppose one can never change.
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