Posted in Writings

Happy Birthday Jack Monta! – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (56/66)

Chapter 22
Happy Birthday Jack Monta!

Get Out Of The Shower

“GooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING JACK, RISE AND SHINE! IT’S! YOUR! B I R T H D A Y!!!!” screams Dakota’s voice on the alarm that Jack set for himself on his uPhone. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK MONTA! LET’S GO KICK SOME ASS TODAY!”

The funny part is that Dakota recorded that message years ago as a motivational thing to get Jack out of his warm bed on a cold day, the warm bed, of course, representing Jack’s tendency towards depression and the cold day, of course, representing the truly harsh, chaotic, and unconscious nature of reality at large. It just happens to hold extra meaning today, a coincidentally colder than usual spring morning, the day of the track championship.

Lots of things lining up this week, definitely strange; at least it’s almost over.

Jack checks the time – 5:43. Perfect, plenty of time to get ready. Jack grabs his meet bag, already stocked with his spikes, a change of clothes, three flavors of Hatorade bottles, and everything else he’s going to need for his meet. He creeps past his Mom’s bedroom, not wanting to wake Her or his estranged father from their slumber. As he makes his way up the one and one quarter staircases to the main floor, he hears the shower turn on.

‘That’s fine, this is okay, he’ll be out in like five minutes. It’s not like he broke his promise to me on my birthday and got high. He’s not gonna be in there for another half an hour, it’s fine.’

Jack uses this extra time to call up Dakota, as per their birthday tradition. They always call each other in the morning, it onl–

“HAPPY birthDAY my friend! How the fuck are ya?”

“THAAANK YOU! I definitely am Dak, I definitely am. Listen, Sam’s still in the shower and my Mom is zonked out, apparently she brought my dad home last night.”

Oh, oh Jesus Christ. Are you, uh…”

“Yeah I’m fine, I didn’t even see him. Snuck in through the back window.”

“Yo that’s the move! What a gee Jack Monta, oh my gooooood.”

“Right? So like, question for ya. Is there any chance you’d be able to give me a ride to the school? I know the whole alien invasion thing’s still going on, but they won’t hurt you.”

“Now how on Earth – or whatever planet they’re all from – can you be so sure of that, buddyman?”

“Didn’t I tell you dude? I met the captain of the ship, his name is Jolon. Super chill.”

“Oh yeeaah. Lit. Yeah I’ll get my Mom to get ya, plan for us to be there at six’twenty. There are no cops out, right?”

“Zip.”

“Bravado, we’ll be able to speed then. Okay man, I’ll see you soon.”

“Thanks a lot Dak, I appreciate you.”

“As you should! Late.”

click

Jack checks the time again – 5:46. Now all he has to do is play the waiting game.

And play he does, for exactly twenty-four minutes. Then Jack storms up the stairs and, as he’s about to knock on the door of the bathroom, he smells… god damnit. He fucking smells burnt weed. Fucking Sam!!

Jack rips the latch to the attic down and gets treated to the skunkiest odor bath he’s ever had the displeasure of being treated to. Un-fucking-believable with this dude, he can’t go a week without smoking weed? UGH! Jack throws Sam’s bedroom window open to air the entire house out. Then he goes back down the ladder and nearly knocks the bathroom door off its hinges.

“Yooo,” Sam says so freaking slowly from behind the door.

“Get out of the shower asshole, I need to leave for the meet!”

“A’ight man, sorry. I just got in here, I’ll be out in a sec.”

“You’ve been in there for half an hour, are you freaking kidding me?!”

“…Shit.”

One the longest minute of Jack’s life ever later, a soaking wet Sam, who’s stoned brain thought it was a good idea to dress himself before he dried off for some reason, probably because of the weed, steps into the hallway. Jack doesn’t even give him the chance.

“Why the fuck did you smoke.”

“Kuz I had a bad morning and I–”

‘A bad morning? Are you shitting me?!’ “I thought you were trying to quit!”

“Dude I’m not actually addicted, you can’t even get addicted to Cannabis, it’s li–”

“Oh my god, would you stop calling it that?! It’s weed, its pot, it’s a fucking drug Sam. It’s a drug!!”

“Dude, you were here, with the aliens, you re–”

“You’re twenty Sam! Twenty freaking years old! And a human, not an extraterrestrial! When are you going to grow up and get over this stupid high school druggy shit?!” yellsays the high schooler who doesn’t partake in said high school druggy shit.

“Why don’t you guys… why can’t you just love me for who I am?”

Sam gets looked right in his fire hydrant red eyes and, on a silver platter, is served, “Because you’re a fucking psychotic fucking drug addict and your smoking tore our family apart. Asshole. Now get out of my way,” before he’s pushed aside by the birthday boy.

Momma Dakota

One very angry shower later, Jack is clad in his running uniform – mid-groin shorts and a singlet that makes a wifebeater look like a turtleneck hidden under a t-shirt and a pair of reasonably lengthed shorts so he doesn’t get stared at by closeted kid sniffers – and out the door. Just like Dakota said, his Mom pulls up in her dope old unmarked black ex-undercover cop car at exactly six twenty; the bus leaves the school in twenty-five minutes, but there’s still so much to do before then! They have to… well, during cross country season they would have to load the bus with the tent, the cart, the water cooler, the chocolate milk cooler, the ice cooler, the six-seater bench, the other six-seater bench, the six-seater bench for the girls team, the trash can that’s not actually a trash can, the med kit, the defibrillator, the spike basket… the list could go on, trust me. But today is a track meet; all they have to do is show up, maybe fill the water cooler if nobody else did yet, and hop on the bus. Easy peasy, squeezy lemons.

Jack, his mind cast wildly abuzz by the morning’s events, climbs into Dakota’s Mom’s car and doesn’t say a single word. Fortunately, Dakota’s got him covered.

“Whaddup birthday boy? You look like you’re having a fantastic morning.”

“Hey Dakota, hey Missus Dakota.”

“Hello sweetie. Excited for the meet?” Momma Dakota says as she backs onto Quarryville Road and peels out.

“Yeah, very.”

Dakota exhales a short burst of nose air. “That good, huh?”

“What?” Jack says, pretending he wasn’t paying attention. “Oh uh, yeah. That good. Me and Sam got into it a little bit about his drug problem an–”

“Sam has a drug problem??” Momma Dakota shouts from the front seat, surprised she’s never heard about this.

“Nah, Jack’s just a drama queen and a half,” Dakota fills her in. “Sam smokes weed a little more than the average human.”

“Uh, he also does acid, apparently,” Jack says, looking out the window as the plant life sprouting from the side of the road flies by him.

“Really?! Woah,” Dakota says in admiration. “What did he say it was like? I’ve always been super curious.”

“Well curiosity killed the cat, Dakota,” his Mom pipes in, not wanting her son to get into all that. Not while he’s in high school, at least.

“And satisfaction brought it back,” Dakota hums.

“Well it isn’t that satisfying, or else I would still be doing it,” as she takes a turn a bit too fast, the car going up on two wheels for a split second. “I left that stuff behind in college, where I picked it up. As most do.”

“Yeah well, Sam dropped out of college,” Jack mumbles from the inside of his skull.

“Better than flunking out like Isabelle’s loser-ass older brother,” Dakota says, trying to keep it real. “What’s his name, Taylor?”

“I guess. And his name’s Tyler, he’s not that bad…” Jack says, thinking back to last night’s walk’n’talk across the dam. “On second thought, maybe he is a loser.”

“Exactly.”

“Boys, don’t talk about others behind their back. You wouldn’t like it if they did that to you. Plus, Jack… I know it’s none of my business, but don’t be too hard on your brother. I had a broth–”

“MOM! You do NOT need to bring that up, please! We’re tryna get ready for the meet back here and shit!” Dakota uncomfortables before retreating into his shell.

“No it’s fine,” Jack says, genuinely curious and in major need of a distraction. “What about your brother, Missus Dakota?”

“Well, he… he had a lot of emotional problems. Always kept everything pent up inside of him until… um, until one day, when…” sigh. “There’s no getting around it. He flipped out and committed suicide, hung himself with a belt in the attic. It… we thought our family was dysfunctional and distant back then, my siblings and I, but when he took himself out of the equation… everything really went to shit. Pardon my French.”

“Oh… I… I’m so sorry. It’s all good though,” Jack assures her. “Like, on the cursing. I’ve heard much worse.”

“Oh I’m sure you have. I was the last one that he spoke to, and the last thing he said to me was…” sigh. “He asked why we couldn’t just love him for who he was. Even today, I still don’t know.”

That hits Jack like a fucking freight train. The rest of the car ride is very quiet.

Beneath The Skybridge

A few minutes later they pull into the school’s driveway, swerve around the roadkill in the parking lot that nobody ever cleaned up because the last janitor got fired for being suspected of pedophilia, and skid to a stop behind the backed up line of cars on the school’s back road. Not wanting to wade in the uncomfortable silence that unstoppably arises whenever humans invoke the S word, Jack and Dakota thank Missus Dakota for the ride and hop out with haste.

As they walk along the grassy curb towards the bus, they see what’s causing the holdup: Coach Thenure has his truck parked longways across the driveway. He literally K-turned in the middle of the active street and backed up to the curb so nobody could pass him, effectively barricading the road. Sure, he obviously did it so he could easily unload his truck, but still, it’s causing a traffic jam, and he seems to be struggling to remove the lawn chairs from the bed of his truck anyway, like, what was even the point? Jack and Dakota share a yikes look and almost walk the other way, but their conscious grabs hold of them and guides the pair towards the grizzled old high school veteran.

Thenure smells the boys before they even get a chance to say good morning. “BOYS! I need YOU TWO, to get MY CHAIR, out of MY, T R U C K.”

The boys get Coach Thenure’s chair out of his T R U C K.

“Good! Now, here,” as he hands them his keycard. “I’m going to park in my handicap spot on the other side of the school. Go into the locker room and get all the supplies, wheels roll in five minutes whether you’re on the bus or not!”

Jack and Dakota, sharing a doubt over Coach Thenure’s ability to return to the bus within five minutes, slowly walk towards their locker room. Jack goes to swipe the keycard and gets denied, the sensor seems to be on the fritz this morning. Not even a second later, Coach Coach opens the door from the inside and hands the boys an empty water cooler.

“Good morning boys, and happy birthday Mister Monta! I’m sure you know what to do with that.”

“Morning Coach!” the boys say with smiles on their faces, Jack adding a, “Thank you!”

Dakota, giving Jack the present of not needing to carry a metric ton of cross country supplies out of the closet just to put them back, tries to enter the locker room but Coach holds a hand up, creating a forcefield.

“Where ya goin’ there, Dakota?”

“Uh, to get the rest of the, um. Supplies,” he says, saying a bit more nonverbally.

“What supplies would those be? The school that’s hosting the meet has bleachers, we don’t need anything. Besides, this is a track meet, we would look asinine carrying all of that stuff.”

“Coach Thenure told us we had to get them, he seemed pretty distraught.”

“I… see,” Coach sees and says as his brain see-saws, teetering with a tot’s worth of possibilities. “Tell ya what, why don’t you two go fill that thing together. and I’ll go and have a chat with Coach Thenure. Cool?”

“Cool!” the boys coo like a pair of carrier pigeons. They hand off Thenure’s keycard like a baton and trot off towards the athletic trainer’s office.

Coach, on the other hand, centers himself and makes his way towards the front of the school. As he passes the bus and rounds the corner, he’s ambushed by Coach Scoompa.

“Running! Good to see ya bud,” as they share a brohug. “All set with the water cooler?”

“Yessir, Jack and Dakota are filling it now. Here’s your keycard back.”

Scoompa takes his Dean-tier keycard and lanyard and drapes it around his neck. “Thank you. Did Len tell you about the meeting yet?”

“He did not, I was just on my way to go talk to him. He seems to be convinced that we’re going to a cross country meet today.”

Scoompa expresses his suddenly puzzled state of mind. He looks around at the thirty cars, the innumerable students buzzing about, and the total lack of the autumn season around him. “Really? Then why are there more than seven kids here? In the ass end of April? Like, really?”

“Yeah, I know. He always gets like this in the morning, he goes too fast and gets himself lost.”

“Thenure? Going fast? Yeah right, that’ll be the day. All right, very good. Thanks Coach.”

Scoompa turns to climb back into the bus but Coach grabs him with words. “Wait, so what was that about a meeting?”

Scoompa climbs halfway back down the staircase and says, “Sorry man, you know the shtick; he’s gotta fill you in on that one.”

Scoompa then hustles back up the stairs and disappears into the cloud of Hatchet body spray. A sound that can only be described as a rogue elephant squaring off against a pack of rabid hyenas booms from the bus until the doors hiss closed.

About one hundred twenty-three seconds later, once Coach’s legs have carried him up the center roadway, he’s almost flattened to the pavement by Thenure’s pickup truck. The old codger-dodger then pulls the emergency break, Coach assumes, and does donuts in the parking lot, almost taking out the concrete sign that was donated to Hoffman High by the first graduating class after the name change. Thenure then pulls up next to Coach, who’s hiding atop the sign, and rolls his window down.

“Running!” Thenure shouts as he offers a greasy handshake to the messy-haired boy. “What are you doing up there? I just told you and your buddy, you need to get the supplies!”

“Good morning Len. You gave Jack and Dakota your keycard, which I have here for you.”

Coach hands Thenure the keycard, garnering a very confused look from the human embodiment of the tenure system.

“Wait… how’d you get this, then?”

“I…” Coach begins, changing course halfway. “Today’s the track championship, you know that… right, Len?”

A driblet of drool begins its descent from Thenure’s bottom lip to the hair on his arm. He doesn’t slurp it up in time.

“That’s why there are so many kids and parents, and that’s why we need to take two busses. You uh… you know what’s going on here, right Coach?”

The feeling of cold saliva on his arm seems to knock Thenure out of his Alzheimerific trance. “Yes! Yeh– uh, yes I do, of course!” He then grips his steering wheel with both hands, absent-mindedly squeezing it as his brain tries to work. With his pupils darting back and forth from the center to the corners of his eyes, “Um… thank you, Running.”

Coach smiles, putting a supportive hand on Thenure’s shoulder. “Happy to help. Scoompa also mentioned that there was a meeting coming up?”

“Oh yes, thank you for reminding me! Next week we’re having a consultation meeting and… or… wait, that was last week. Erm…” he growls, really trying his best here. He burps without opening his mouth and a few things click into place. “Right. Next week, me, Scoompa, and Mister Ghost are having a meeting to discuss who’s taking over the cross country program next school year. I don’t know if you heard the rumors, but PrinciPal was put into the hospital after he was viciously attacked by a janitor that he caught raping a student. He’s pretty beat up, he uh…” as a tear wells up, “he might not be coming out.”

Stiffening his upper lip and raising his chin, Thenure continues, “So the superintendent Mister Shmeagle has asked Mister Ghost to step up as the new Principal of the school, and I’ll be filling the position of Athletic Director.”

“Wow, that’s… congratulations, Len!”

“Thank you!” with a jolly ol’ smile. “I thought it was a good idea too. It’s about time this school’s running programs get some support from the top. But, that leaves a power vacuum in the cross country area, and as much as Scoompa would love to coach both teams, well…” gesturing towards Running.

“Say no more, Len. I’ll come and see you on Monday and you can fill me in on the rest.”

“I would like that.”

“Me too, Len Then Ay-Dee. Me too.”

Standing in the wide gap beneath the skybridge, the two running enthusiasts share a moment of solace. Then, Coach checks the time and reminds Thenure that the wheels roll in three hundred thirty-three, whether he’s on the bus or not!

Word

Meanwhile, on the boys’ bus, Jack and Dakota are struggling to get the water cooler up the steps. They weren’t paying attention inside the trainer’s office and the hose sprayed water everywhere, greasing up the handles of the cooler just enough to make the carrying of the ancient plastic thing even more of a chore than it already was. Just two more steps to go, you can do it boys… one step… boom! It’s up, now just slide it bac– oh my god, they forgot to screw the cap shut. Oh my god, there’s water everywhere!

Thinking fast, Jack and Dakota rip their shirts and singlets off and start to mop up the spilled water. Their polynylon threads are no towels though; the things get dripping-wet saturated before the boys can even get started. They’re so embarrassed at themselves that they push a frightened pair of freshman girls aside just to ring out their garments through the open window.

‘Wait… why are there girls on the boys bus?’ Jack and Dakota both think at the same time without knowing the other is thinking the same thing. They then both share the realization that their pale, exposed runner’s bodies have spilled the water cooler on the girls bus, the very one that Isabelle’s sitting inside – two rows back from where Jack and Dak are standing, actually – and, like the rest of the girls, she’s giggling at them, not with them.

With sloppy haste, the boys screw the cap on the cooler and kick it down the aisle, Dakota riding the thing like a sled and Jack sliding down the aisle on his feet like it was a slip and slide, except slightly more badass.

A moment after they escape the humiliating clutches of the laughing high school girls, a small but powerful hand grabs Jack’s still shirtless shoulder. As he’s turned, his face blooms into a rose when he sees Isabelle and the literal tanzanite gemstones that are her eyes. She holds out a dirty rag – oh, that’s Jack’s shirt, he must have dropped it during the retreat.

“UH uh, th-thanks Isabelle, uh… sorry for, you know… soaking your bus.”

“It’s fine Mont’,” she giggles, “don’t worry about it. Where’ve you been all week? I’ve been looking all over the low-cost apartment complex for you.”

“He never left Quarryville!” Dakota shouts from the wing of his plane, swooping in to save the day with a bombing run. “Dude’s been chilling with aliens, he met the captain of the invasion ship!”

Isabelle raises both of her eyebrows, giving Jack a chance to speak for himself. Surprisingly, he takes it.

“Yeah, I uh… I won a contest and I went to New Manhattan and met some aliens. They were kinda cool, um… Sam actually turned out to be right when he said they did drugs. Well, he didn’t, he didn’t say that they did drugs, but like, the magic tricks? Before he did them, when he said, uh, when that drugs, er, when the drugs… when you take the drugs, they let you, like, talk to aliens. He was… okay. The aliens did drugs, that’s what I’m trying to say. Not drugs drugs but like, space drugs, like… UH. I forget what they were called, but yeah. I met some aliens that do Psychedelic drugs.”

Neither Dakota nor Isabelle expected that. Letting her curiosity get the best of her, Iz says, “So did you do the space drugs, too? Is that what you’re getting at?”

“OH! I uh, I mean… well, like… I didn’t… not, do them. Uh…”

Yoooooo,” Iz and Dakota say, sharing a look of disbelief.

Then, Isabelle says, “That’s fuckin’ WILD dude! Listen, um… the busses are about to leave and I have to go help clean up your mess, but… when we get to the meet, I wanna talk to you. Like, privately. And preferably before the one hundred, I don’t wanna be all sweaty.”

A tumor forms inside Jack’s brain, his cells multiplying at an uncontrollable rate until they form a mass large enough to cause his cerebral cortex to impale itself on the bone spines that line the inside of his skull. Jack dies immediately and goes to heaven, meeting God at the pearly gates. He asks to be let in, to go out on a high note, but then I tell him, “You’re like, decades early on this shit,” and his consciousness gets promptly sent back into his body. The tumor that formed in his brain must have changed its mind because it vanishes, gone as quickly as it came, the extra cells being repurposed into stem cells to fix the impalation holes. To the rest of the world, Jack spent a slightly longer time blinking his eyes than he otherwise would have.

Dakota, having refueled his plane, takes off into the sky and leaves Jack to enjoy the spoils of his victory. Maybe Sam was on to something last night, Jack can’t wait to tell him about this later.

That’s then though, and this is now, and now Jack really wants to say something smooth to seal the deal. The “English” lexicon has thousands of words that can be strung together into millions, if not billions of unique combinations; there are more potential phrases in the Zerocian language than there are stars in outer space, and no matter how bright those stars are, Isabelle’s eyes will always shine brighter. Jack looks into the heart of her supernovas, more dazzling than all the nebulae afloat in the vast cosmos of Universe W-2020, opens his mouth, and hits her with his best attempt.

“Word.”

This motherfucker literally says word. Like, not okay, not cool, not I’m looking forward to it; he could have said literally any word that’s ever been said by a human ever, or he could have made up a word! He could have belched up some random mouth noise that would have doubtlessly tickled Isabelle’s tater tot into submission right there on the spot, easy. But no, he unironically says the verbal placeholder that lazy authors put into their books when they can’t think of anything else. He says fuckin’ word.

Isabelle smiles, wording Jack back before she returns to her bus where she pokes her head out an open window and wishes him a happy birthday.

Huh, it worked. Word, Jack Monta. Word.

A moment later, Dakota parachutes out of the sky, water cooler in hand, and spills the rest of its contents upon landing. He explains that it was an accident, a bogey that Terry would describe as a fast mover if he was mocking the way the old US army (and by extension the mainstream media) would talk about unidentified flying objects, slammed his parachute with some crazy turbulence and he just lost his grip, honest. Jack doesn’t believe him at first, mostly because he doesn’t see a parachute, but why would Dakota lie?

Together, the boys haul the empty for the third time today water cooler back to the athletic trainer’s office and refill it, making sure to tighten the cap this time. In fact, they even take the cap off and screw it on a second time, just to be sure. As they lumber out of the trainer’s office, the boys bus pulls up and Coach steps out as soon as the doors allow him to.

“Boys, I must say, sublime work on the girls bus this morning. Very smooth. You’ll be running laps after your race today, so says Coach Scoompa.”

“Wow Jack, a private chat with Iz and some extra training? Your birthday just gets better and better!”

Coach raises an eyebrow and smiles, shaking his head; ah, to be a schoolboy again. Well, to be a schoolboy in general. Anyway, he takes the cooler from the boys and carries it into the back of the bus for them so they can take their seat. All right, I’m excited for the meet – time to get this show on the road!

A Fast Mover

Moments after the busses get onto the road, they come to a dead stop. Wanapo’s traffic seems to be backed up all the way from the highway at the end of Jaskell’s half of Treering Ave. Those damned low-cost housing units, this many humans aren’t meant to live in so small a community, the infrastructure just can’t handle it. All this stop-and-go traffic is just going to ruin the air quality, the potholes are going to swallow entire flatbed trucks for breakfast, it’s going to be a travesty.

Wait, what’s that? Hold on, turn up your speaker, kid… thank you. Ah, okay. I see. Breaking news, hypothetical reader: some sort of accident near the highway is clogging up the road, it’s not the apartments. Welp, fuck what I said.

Well that’s strange, they’re saying something crashed out of the sky, an SUV full of a whole family and a half of humans caught it and got ganked. That’s terrible… what, was it a helicopter? Some little single-body plane? Drunk driving is bad enough, but drunk flying? Really New Jersey, like, really? Wait… what the fuck did the reporter just say? A… a fast mover…? That’s not possible, I was speaking metaph– wait, what are those letters on the side of it? Does that say… oh fucking hell kid, forget about the text message, your mother can wait! I don’t care that you left your peanut butter and jelly at home, FUCKIN’… thank you. Yeah, zoom in cameraman, what’s tha–

Oh my god… what have I done?

These busses need to get off the road, I need to do something. Um… a fuckin’… AH!

A meteor named Bob, it… no, fuck, that would just make things worse. Um…

The cars behind the busses begin to float off the… no, that can’t happen. They’re deadlocked, I guess, nothing’s working. I can’t get them out.

Wait, WHAT?! WHY CAN’T I GET THEM OUT?!

FUCK!! WHAT DO I DO?!

Okay, chill out HOW. Just breathe, keep calm. Um… FUCK, uhhh… screw it, go big or go home right? Nobody’s gonna read this shit anyway, I can do what I want.

WHOOP

“Did you hear that?” Jack asks Dakota, the latter pulling a pair of earbuds out of his ears.

“Nope, what was it?”

“Kind of sounded like a whoop, like Sam would make.”

“Huh… well I mean, the bus just kinda jerked forward. Maybe the tires or the breaks squeaked or something.”

“Yeah, that was probably it.”

NO! It WASN’T! Get off the bus, Jack!

Jack doesn’t move, having no apparent reason to get off the bus and earn himself another suspension. It’s his birthday, everything is going to be just fine. All Jack’s life, he’s always gotten himself all worried and worked up over nothing, but he’s not a kid anymore. The boy is seventeen, in a year he’ll be a grown-ass man. Hell, if he was Hispanic he would have been considered a man a whole year ago. If he was Jewish he would have been a man four years ago! It’s time to step up and face the facts – the majority of Jack’s problems exist inside of his head. No more running from them; it’s time to face the world and all its adversity with a smile, like a proper human.

What the fuck…? I didn’t… where did that come from? Why can’t I control this shit anymore!?

Dakota elbows Jack in the side, perhaps a little harder than he meant to, but that’s okay. It’s not every day that a Zerocian invasion ship flies overhead as the boys are on their way to a track meet.

“Dude, that’s…”

“I see it,” Jack says to Dakota. Then, to himself, “I guess Jolon’s leaving a couple days early.”

Dakota pulls up VidTube on his uPhone to strean the Zerocian ship so Terry can see, but he gets distracted by the Breaking News section instead. There are tons of videos, some uploaded within the past few seconds, some streaming live, of the accident. A large craft came tumbling out of the sky and took out an SUV, the commenters are calling it an alien ship. Or at least they were until the Treering ship came looming overhead, making the crashed object look more like an ambitious teenager’s drone than anything else.

“Dude look, your invasion ship’s shooting a beam down to the road. YYOOO! Is that Jolon?! He looks like a badass!!”

Jack snatches Dakota’s phone from his hands and studies the screen. “Yeah, that’s him. That tomahawk is fuckin’ deadly, dude.”

Then, after a moment of watching, “Wait, where is this? Is this why we’re stuck?”

“Yeah dude, an alien ship crashed,” Dakota says, feeling like he’s in the know on a big ol’ conspiracy. “Maybe Jolon accidentally shot off an escape pod or something?”

On the screen, Jack and Dakota watch Jolon frantically swinging his tomahawk into the hull of the crashed ship. His movements don’t seem calculated or gracious at all, he’s swinging that thing like his life depends on it. The boys watch Jolon reach into the gash and peel back the hull of the ship, the shredded metal cutting into his hands and leaving purpleish-blueish bloodstains on the gray exterior.

“No, that… that doesn’t make any sense, that doesn’t match the design of his ship.”

“Then why does it say Jettison on it? Isn’t that just fancy talk for escape?”

Suddenly the bus driver lays on the horn, grabbing the attention of the student athletes from the clutches of their glass rectangles. There’s some sort of crazed crazy woman standing in front of the bus, probably an escaped resident from one of the Quarryville group homes. That’s a long way for a deviant to travel, sure, but who else would have purple hair and a star tattoo over her eye?

Jack thinks, ‘What th–’ but is cut off when one of the freshmen in the back of the bus screams. Jack, sitting in the aisle seat, spins around and sees…

“What the fuck? Is that a fucking zomb–” he says before he’s hit by a freight train carrying a load of brick walls.

All the color drains from Jack’s pale body, replaced by a steady tremble and a mean case of pins and needles.

“Dakota, I need to get off this bus.”

“What?”

“I neED TO G–”

He’s cut off when a searing wall composed of hard UV light cuts the bus, the water cooler, and the zombie all clean in half. The kids scream and start panicking. Scoompa, Thenure, and Coach try to calm everyone down, but their words lose all their value when the two halves of the bus are pulled to the edges of the street until the tires collide with the crumbling curbs.

Scoompa and Thenure look at each other with terror in their eyes – a situation like this wasn’t presented in their school-mandated online coaching courses, they’re more screwed than a goldfish in vinegar. Luckily Coach, thinking on his feet, offers a solution.

“Everybody, get the fuck off the bus!!” Coach shouts over the commotion, his voice booming like the wingflap of a thunderbird. “Back to the school, NOW!”

He doesn’t have to tell the kids twice, they burst from the halves of the bus like a swarm of honeybees out of their hive, but it may be too late. The hornet’s already here.

Coach hops out onto the road and stares down the purple-haired assailant. He doesn’t get paid for this job, he does it for one reason and one reason alone: the kids. He genuinely cares about the youth, they’re going to inherit the whole world one day, and they need to be watched after until that day comes. As an adult with great social power, he has one great responsibility: to protect and serve.

Channeling the spirits of his dead ancestors, Coach charges the woman and is immediately deflected into a nearby tree by a hard-light fly swatter. The woman then sets her sights on Jack, who stares right back at her. Time doesn’t even have a moment to freeze; Jack turns and starts to ru–

A brilliant white light consumes the scene, the bangless flash disorientating everyone and sending children flying through the air. A moment later, a man clad in a business suit swoops in from out the sky, not wearing any semblance of a cape, and lands with enough force to create what is both a small crater and a gigantic pot hole in the pavement.

Oh thank fucking goodness, that’s power armor. It just looks like a business suit. Now… wait… where’s Jack?


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 22 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

Existence Is Weird – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (55/66)

Chapter 21
Existence Is Weird

Goodbyes

“Welp, uh, to be totally honest, I didn’t think I’d get this far,” Chuck stammers, madly searching the pockets of his blazer in hopes that he packed a happystick and forgot about it. He did, of course, but he doesn’t light her up. Doesn’t even remove her from his pocket. Jackson Monta doesn’t like drugs, and that should be respected.

“Oh… well uh, I’m leaving now. So, like…”

“That you are!” Chuck says before walking away to think for a moment. Luckily, there are more goodbyes to be said.

Nobody really knows what to say, though. What a fuckin’ week this has been! Some things happened, noises were mouthed, chaos rained down from the sky like a storm of hellfire, pulverizing and scorching the land like a blazing inferno of doom… but hey, at least everybody got their ice cream.

When? Oh, before they all piled into the bedroom inside the Dirt Eater Mk I that was converted into a chairless BioBot station. You know, the one the Capes set up for Jack to use whenever he wants?

“I’ll go first,” Karen volunteers. She walks right up to Jack, lightly punches him on the shoulder, and says, “The first time I met you, I wanted nothing to do with you. Since then, I didn’t get to know you at all, and will likely never see you again. I’m sorry for any trauma that Chuck and… Sigmund, forced you to suffer through. Go get ‘em, slugger!”

As she walks away, she adds, “And happy early birthday! Don’t ask me why I know, I just know everybody’s birthday. Byeeeee.”

Karen gets into the elevator and immediately proceeds to the forty-first floor to finish printing the rest of the copies of her first ever published poetry collection, Karen’s Pages II: Spot Redux.

“Jack,” Tiny Tim says, stepping up to bat. “I’m sure I’ll see you again soon. I do live in the woods right behind your house, after all.”

“Yeah, but I don’t go hiking.”

“Yeah… well, it was a pleasure meeting you!”

Tim begins to throw hand signs like a wildman, then he vanishes into thin air. He reappears atop Mount Drase and approaches the old man’s cabin, but for some odd reason, the old man doesn’t answer when he knocks.

“Jack,” Jolon says, one of his large purple hands extended. “The series of events that included our meeting were very interesting.” The two shake hands. “I will likely have my invasion ship out of your front yard by the end of the weekend. Thank you for guiding us in the hike to search for the anomaly.”

“But we never found it, Chairseat, sir.”

“Don’t call me that. You’re a human, my political position has no bearing on you. And you’re right, we didn’t… but perhaps that means it wasn’t meant to be found. Perhaps we found something greater instead.”

“Oh? What’s that?”

“Erm… if I tell you, you’ll never figure it out for yourself…?”

“Oh okay, that makes sense.”

Jolon, after a mental phew, walks out of the bedroom and sits on the couch, hoping that the zombie video game he and Sigmund were wrecking earlier has a single player mode.

Next up is Sigmund. He walks over, his nasty plastic lab coat squeaking all the way, and gives Jack a warm hug. Too warm, in fact, as Jack starts sweating. He almost pulls away, but… this is Terry, after all. Or at least, the mind behind Terry.

“I’d like to apologize if your TerryTeamTwenty contest winning experience hasn’t been the greatest experience ever… things got, how do I put this intelligently… way fucking out of hand. And I don’t curse much, that’s how you know things got out of hand.”

“It’s all right Sigmund, seriously. I had a great time with you guys. The only thing that bugged me was that you waited until the last second to tell me I’m basically Steel Man in this Botdy. I would have had so much fun messing around with this thing.”

“Well, it’s funny you mention that. I was planning on leaving the pocket dim– universe, open underneath your bedroom, the one with the BioBot station in it. You know, as a little present for you, since you put up with us all week. And for your birthday, of course,” said with a grand smile that couldn’t be contained even if it remotely wanted to be. “It’s all yours, use it whenever you want.”

“REALLY?!!?” Jack squeals, attacking Sigmund with another hug. “Thankyouthankyouthankyou THANK YOU!! Oh my god, we can all hang out all the time now! We can keep being friends!”

“Well, I wouldn’t go that far – we all have lives Jack, and you’re still young. You still have to grow up and find yourself, and hey, maybe the BioBot will help with that. Or maybe you’ll let the power go to your head and it’ll turn you into a villain that Chuck will have to fight to the death one day, who knows. Either way, you’re quite welcome!” Sigmund says as he attempts to peel the teenager off him. “It actually wasn’t my idea, though.”

Sigmund then pats Jack on the head like a puppy and walks out of the room.

“Then who’s…” Jack dumbly asks himself as he looks over at Chuck, hands in his pockets, leaning against the wall.

“Stop. Yes, it was my idea; I am the imaginative powerhouse around here, after all. Please, hold your applause, I know that I’m awesome. Spectacular, even.”

Chuck walks over and sits on the bed with AdultJack, patting the sheets next to him. AdultJack sits down next to Chuck.

“Well kid, I guess this is it. Can’t imagine that I’ll be seeing you again, unless it’s in BioBot form. You can use it whenever you want, but remember: it’s powered by eL-eSs-Dee. It’s got some juice in it back at your place, but it won’t last forever. In fact, I’m surpri–”

AdultJack slumps over and tumbles down to the floor. Chuck just sits there in silence for a few minutes, keeping his eyes trained on the Bot. Waiting. Hoping. Waiting some more once the hope high wears off; they say hope is a powerful drug, and fuck are they right. Chuck hopes to himself that he’ll get to meet the mysterious they one day, if there even is a they, then he takes out his joint, lights it with his fingertip, and walks out of the room without saying another word.

Across The Dam

Jack, on the other hand, damn near has a conniption when he wakes up in the darkness that is his pocket-Universe. He tries to reactivate the BioBot to say goodbye to Chuck but his attempts don’t really amount to much, considering how he has no idea how to turn the thing on. Oh well; all’s well that ends well, I suppose. Now… how the hell is Jack going to get back into his room?

“Uh, hello?” Jack calls out, alone in the darkness, getting silence in return. “HELLO?! MOM!? SAM?! ANYBODY!?”

Luckily for Jack, at the very moment that Chuck didn’t get to say goodbye to him, Sam broke into Jack’s room in search of his Cannabis. He was just about to lift the top off the storage ottoman, because, ‘Where the hell else would Jack keep the stuff?’ when he hears his brother calling out to him.

“Jack? Where are you, dude?”

“Down here!”

Sam, entirely unaware of the pocket-universe, has no idea what down here could possibly mean. His brain has been frazzled as fuck ever since he stopped smoking, the mental fog seems to have only gotten worse with his sobriety. How’s that for some irony?

Eventually Sam puts two and two together and gets four, the same number of rungs on the little ladder that he finds underneath Jack’s bed.

‘Well that’s all well and good, but what am I going to do with a ladder?’

“Sam, are you still there?! I’m down here, under the… where the freakin’, um… where the bunker was!”

Sam, still on his hands and knees, starts feeling around the floor of Jack’s room.

“There doesn’t seem to be a hole in the– oh, okay, the carpet’s a hologram of some sort. Cool.”

Sam lowers the stepladder down and Jack climbs out all by himself, only using Sam’s strength to pull him up a little bit.

“So uh… wanna explain that to me?”

“Sure,” Jack says, confident. “There’s a pocket-universe down there that Sigmund and Chuck left for me so I can take control of a robot. Well… it’s sort of a robot, and it’s also sort of alive, kinda, and like, not… technological, you know what I mean? The point is, I can be Steel Man whenever I want and it’s freakin’ awesome. Oh, and I need some eL-eSs-Dee.”

Sam, after a slack-jawed moment, says, “Fine, don’t tell me.”

“I’m serious! I need you to get me some eL-eSs-Dee so I can– Sam, where are you going?”

Sam, halfway out his brother’s bedroom door, turns and says, “For a walk, probably across the dam,” even though he was planning on taking a quick hike to The Commons to smoke the bowl’s worth of herb left in his grinder. “Wanna come?”

“Oh, uh… I don’t know, I mean, I have a bunch of homework I gotta do, index cards to catch up on, I have a lot… but… you know what? Tomorrow’s my birthday, I don’t wanna do my schoolwork. Yeah, let’s go for a walk.”

“Cool.”

They embark on a walk. On the way out the door, Jack notices that Mom’s car is missing.

“Hey, where’d Mom go?”

To grandpa’s house,” Sam says with heavy air quotes. “Don’t you remember all that shit this morning?”

Jack, in fact, had completely forgotten about all that shit this morning. When the fate of the Universe, nay, the planet rests on the shoulders of some dude who you barely know but still feel a deep connection with for some reason, it tends to distract you from petty family matters. Jack wouldn’t say that though, it would come off as douchey.

“Honestly no, I had a really long-ass day in New Manhattan with Chuck and them.”

Sam raises an eyebrow, curious. “I thought you said they all left last night?”

“Well, yeah, but the whole Steel Man thing. I wasn’t lying, the thing is powered by eL-eSs-Dee and I need some.”

“Huh,” Sam huhs, “no shit. A’ight, I’ll see what I can do for ya, man. Everybody’s still out of town, so I don’t have the connects I usually have, but uh, you know what they say. Water if g–… uh, it’ll happen if it’s gonna happen. By the way, do you have any idea when that spaceship’s gonna be gone?”

“Oh, yeah,” Jack says as they walk into the craft’s shadow. He says nothing else after that.

“Sooo… are you gonna tell me, or…?”

Jack snickers. “Yeah lahmayo, it should be gone by the end of the weekend. By Monday everything’s gonna be back to normal.”

“Cool, cool…” Sam says as he kicks a stray chip of concrete that broke off the dam. “Maybe Tyler will actually answer my texts when things are back to this normal nonsense you speak of.”

“You guys haven’t been talking?”

“Nah. He’s probably just busy though, friends don’t always talk every day. I don’t see you calling Dakota every night to wish him sweet dreams.”

“You got me there,” Jack laughs, stealing the rock and kicking it over the edge of the bridge. “But me and Dakota see each other every day at school and practice and stuff, and we hang out pretty often. Do the sleepover thing. I almost never see Tyler at our place anymore.”

“Well yeah, but… I don’t know, he’s a pretty busy dude. He’s uh, got… stuff… going on, I suppose.”

“Does he though?” Jack asks, his voice rising in pitch near the end.

The sun is beginning to set over the treeswept horizon across the lake, casting beautiful hues of scarlet, orange, and yellow over the surface of the Skunksville Reservoir. The Wolffe’s boat is washed up on the rocky shore, still upside down, the waves licking at the soggy thing. The craft’s in a state of total disrepair, Mikey Wolffe will never take that boat fishing in Skunksville again. It looks like all Monarks fall eventually, after all.

“Yeah, I mean… well, he’s not working anywhere, I don’t think, but he’s probably got stuff going on at home. Maybe he’s getting into art or something, I don’t know.”

“I don’t either bro, but I always see clouds of smoke drifting out of his windows in the mornings.” Jack doesn’t actually see this, but it’s believable enough to pass as the truth. “Like, do you ever guys, I mean, blahhhh I can’t talk. Do you guys ever just hang out to hang out anymore? Like, without smoking your weeds?”

“Well… no, but like… do you and Dakota ever hang out and not run? Kuz the runner’s high is just like the Ca–”

“YEAH yeah, I know, it’s just like the cannabis high.” Little c; he’s not quite there yet, but it’s a start. “And yes we do, pretty often. Like I just said. We like, never go running together outside of school. We don’t even talk about running unless we’re complaining about it at practice.”

“Huh…” Sam says, looking at his feet. This is taking a turn he wasn’t exactly looking for, maybe he should have just gone hiking.

“What about Harley?” Jack asks. “Do you guys ever hang out?”

“Nah, not really. She’s not one to text or anything though, she kinda, how do I put this… she dances to the music playing in her head, you feel? She always comes through when I text her though, even when it’s not to buy Cannabis.”

“Well that’s good. Why don’t you try hanging out with her? She probably likes you, dude.”

Sam’s cheeks get rosy. “What? What, what makes you say, what makes you even think… what?!” Sam’s beginning to stammer, time for a counterstrike. “I could so say the same about you and Tyler’s sister, wasn’t she at the house this week?”

Hit, left cheek.

“Why don’t you ever text her, the girl clearly has a crush on you. And I heard you say you liked her too, so don’t even.”

Hit, right cheek. Sam sunk Jack’s ego patrol boat.

The Monta brothers walk in silence to the parking lot at the end of the dam. Not an uncomfortable silence, not even a slight hint of awkwardity afloat in the air. Just… a silence, an extended moment shared between two humans that love each other, even if neither can quite understand that the feeling is reciprocated.

Save for the garbage scattered all over the pavement, the parking lot’s totally deserted, as is the rest of the town. A ghostly wind whistles through the trees. At the exact moment Sam begins to muse about how trippy it is to be the only two humans in the entire town of Treering, he hears the distant whine of a car hitting a long and gradual hill.

“Yo, look,” Jack says as he points his finger down the county road. Ah, so the whine has a source – a car, a sportscar in fact. It looks just like their Mom’s car too… actually, it is their Mom’s car. But who’s that in the passenger seat? Daisy doesn’t have friends, she doesn’t go anywhere besides her parents’ house and the liquor store; she doesn’t really associate much with other humans. But here she comes, barreling up the road with some guy; he’s bald, wearing a wife beater with a huge stain under one of the armpits. It’s… no way, it can’t possibly fucking be him.

Daisy drifts around the turn and burns rubber across the bridge, laying on the horn as she passes underneath the ship. She didn’t even notice her kids, mostly because they ducked behind some bushes.

“Sam, who was that guy?”

“Uh… I think that was our dad, Jack.”

“Oh… oh. What the… why?”

“Your guess is as good as mine.”

When silence befalls the valley once more, they both stare out over the water for a few minutes, watching the colors from the sunset melt away into the murky brownness of the Skunskville reservoir, where many fish but none catch.

“Wanna head home?” Sam asks, not really wanting to himself but wanting to discontinue his getting eaten alive by Treering’s killer mosquitoes even more.

“Sure. I think I can explain the whole dad thing though.”

“Oh yeah? Hit me.”

Jack readies himself, he’s been wanting to say this shit all week. “If I’ve learned one thing from the shitstorm that was my experience with Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated, it’s this: Existence is weird.”

“HAH!” Sam cackles, his voice crackling like Jack’s still does sometimes, although he’d never admit it. “Truuuuue that, little bro.”

They give each other a knuckle-bump and start walking back.

“Hey, so uh,” Jack asks, trying to reanimate a deaded corpse of a conversation. “How did you and Tyler become friends in the first place?”

“Hm? Whaddya mean, he’s our neighbor.”

“Yeah, but like, I never saw him over at our place before my freshman year. Which was your senior year, if you forgot.”

“My memory’s not that bad, jeez dude,” Sam defends, actually forgetting he and Jack were in school together at one point.

“I know, I know. But uh, he’s lived across the street from us for like… ever. How did you guys become friends?”

“Um. Well, we had a gym class together our senior year. I had seen him around, at National Honor Society meetings and stuff like that, an–”

You were in ehN-acHe-eSs?”

Yes, I was. I’m smart, dude. That’s why Ace liked me so much.”

“Oh I know you’re smart; I still haven’t been able to figure out how you did those magic tricks.”

“Okay, fine, I’ll bite. What fuckin’ magic tricks? Everybody and their godmother keeps asking me to show them magic tricks, like, what’s up with that? I can’t even do any.”

Jack just shakes his head. “Never mind dude. So what were you saying?”

“Oh, right. So I had seen him around school and whatnot but never really talked to him much. Never had a reason to, I guess. We had gym class together senior year and I saw him tryna talk to this really cute girl and he was striking out, like, bad. So I walked over and said, Yo, Tyler. We’re next door neighbors. Let’s be best friends, and he was like, Okay dude, whatever. And uh, yeah. That was that. We chilled senior year, then started smoking together the summer after we graduated, and yeah.”

“Huh… that kind of reminds me of how Mom said her and dad met.”

“Yeah, except me and Tyler’s friendship wasn’t kicked off by a drunken dare.”

“Yeah, except that.”

Another silence. Then, “I don’t know dude. Maybe we weren’t good friends. Whatever, like you said. Existence is weird.”

“True. I love you bro.”

Well that came out of nowhere. “I love you too, Jack. Thanks.”

‘Why’d he thank me? Aren’t families supposed to just love each other? I feel like a dick now.’

Back Home

They walk back home in silence, enjoying the twilight’s onset. When they finally do get to their house, the Monta brothers see their Mom’s car was haphazardly parked halfway onto the lawn, the front door of the house was left widely ajar, and at least two of the house’s windows are broken, one of which leads into the powder room, the other into the living room.

“So uh…” Jack says, realizing why Sam is always so dodgey when it comes to their dad. “I left my window open, I’m just gonna climb in through the back and go to sleep. I have an early meet in the morning.”

“Word, mind if I sleep in your room tonight? I would, uh, rather avoid interacting with the happy couple, if at all possible.”

“Um… yeah kinda,” Jack says, thinking of his bottle of lotion. He means, the jars of Cannabis that would be really easy for Sam to get at if he slept right next to where they were expertly hidden. “You can climb in through my window though.”

“Nah it’s cool,” Sam declines, more partial to climbing the wall between them than jumping through a square hoop. “I have to shut the front door anyway. Goodnight Jack.”

“Oh, uh, okay. Goodnight Sam.”

Jack watches Sam walk up the soggy front lawn with a hunch in his back. He closes the door loudly behind him, and a few shards of glass fall out of the smashed window. “Did I… was that my fault?” Jack wonders aloud. Then, “Nah, couldn’t be. He’s probably just bugged about dad or going through withdrawal or something. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.” Then, Jack walks around back, climbs through his window, closes it, and locks it up.


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 21 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

There Is Still Work To Be Done – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (54/66)

Chapter 20.20
There Is Still Work To Be Done

I’m Feeling Woke

“FINE aha-ahhahahaa, FIIIIINNNEEE I won’t take the computer, just AHHHH just stop ticking me!”

“Good boy!” Chuck says, flicking a joint into Hymarc’s mouth. “Listen homie, if something, fuckin’, I don’t know, if some crazy shit happens and I decide that it’s time for me to leave the city and move on to better things, you can have my computer and Cape and whatnot. It’ll never happen, but if it does, yanno.”

“Very well, Mister… shit, I never caught your name, amigo!”

Chuck smiles, there’s quite a few places he could go here. Ah fuck it, “The name’s Chuck. Chuck Leary. Keep it the fuck out your mouth though, kay?”

“You have yourself a deal, Mister L–… Cape. On one condition though,” as Hymarc is helped off the floor by his new buddy. “You need to help me install a growery in the Apex tower. I never want to be sober again!”

“Easy there, bucko,” Chuck quells, “I knew somebody like that once. It uh… ended pretty untimely, if you smell what I’m burnin’.”

Hymarc nods thoughtfully, then, “All right. But I still want to grow some plants, I feel like it would be a fun project.”

“It is! The high is better when you produce it yourself too, trust me. I’ll swing by on Monday morning or something, cool?”

“President Hymarc!” an enraged Doctor Torpol shouts from the elevator out in the hall. “We must be going, there is still work to be done!”

Chuck chuckles. “I’m just gonna pretend that wasn’t about me.”

Chuck clasps Hymarc’s right hand in his and brings him in for a brohug, adding, “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, my dawg. Safe travels,” as a pat on the back.

“You as well.”

Hymarc takes his sweet time walking back to the elevator. When he gets there, he offers the joint to Torpol, who almost smacks it out of his hand. He then offers it to the MERCS but, seeing how they’re still paralyzed in their interFacer mode, they don’t partake. The elevator ride is slow, the unequivocal musical stylings of rapper’s rapper Royce da 9’5” providing melodic wisdom to drown out the screaming going on inside Doctor Torpol’s head. When the troupe gets to the roof, the Jettison ship is already waiting for them.

After everybody is strapped in and the craft’s autopilot lifts the Apex crew into the air, Torpol finally asks Hymarc how he’s doing.

“I’m… I’m feeling woke, Eddie. I’m feeling woke as fuck, like I just woke up from a nap, a nap that many don’t wake from until the day they die.” He pauses, takes a very drawn-out drag of his joint, and then says, “How about you, pal? You had uh, you had a lil’ episode back there. How you feeling?”

“I had multiple neuroelectric seizures and a cerebral aneurysm, I’m lucky to be alive. Divine intervention is the only possibility I can surmise for my continued existence. I–”

And just like that the flight’s over; they were just going across the city, after all. As Torpol and Hymarc walk out of the ship onto the roof of the Apex building, which looks much better without a spire now that Hymarc has an alternative to compare it to, they see AdultJack waving in the distance – he followed the ship back, just to make sure they wouldn’t pull any funny business, you see – as he flies away. Torpol grinds his teeth so hard his wisdom teeth shatter, causing the taste of bony blood to sweep over his pallet. Today is not Edvard’s day.

One Last Chance

As the day continues, it only seems to get more obnoxious for The Mad Scientist. As soon as he walks into his laboratory to do a little research before retiring for the evening, he’s ambushed by a very disorientated and pissed off The Prisoner.

Holding Torpol against the wall by his still slightly bleeding ear and mouth, The Prisoner shouts, “WHAT THE FUCK, ED?!”

“I can see somebody is happy to still be alive.”

The Prisoner slams the back of Torpol’s head into the solid steel wall. “We had a fucking deal, why am I still here?”

“Because, alien, you lack vision and perseverance. We do have a deal: if you eliminate any outside variables from tinkering with my plan, you are free.”

“I did all I could, I damn near tore this city in half trying to–”

“A remote-controlled drone of you made of nanobots damn near tore the city in half, and you’re very welcome. Had I not strapped you into the drone rig while you were unconscious, you would have gotten yourself killed and ruined both of our plans, all in trying to… what, exactly? Eliminate Mister Cape, or whatever his real name is?”

“I thought it was Main Character.”

“SILENCE! No, Beta, Mister Cape was an entirely expected variable… his lack of sanity and humanity in general was just a tad bit underestimated, I’ll happily testify to that, but he was expected nonetheless. No, there was an unexpected outlier, one that still must be eliminated in order for us to seize power over Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated.”

The Prisoner cocks his head sideways, not quite following the Doctor but not lagging behind either. “All right Doctor Torpol, you get one last chance. I’m listening.”


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 20.20 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

The Job Is Done – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (53/66)

Chapter 20
The Job Is Done

Main Character

“…all I eva’ fuckin’ wan’ed was t’be amaay–”

ding

The Prisoner, gat in hand, steps out of the elevator, the catchy tune from the speakers still stuck in his head. He’s arrived, and there’s only one way to go – through the glass doors marked Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated.

At Apex they said when the hostile takeover was complete, he would be teleported to an island to live out the rest of his days – it’s not quite Fuego, but he’ll make do. Who says you can’t build a spaceship out of palm trees and a promise?

The DifZoral Tryptamine ring that’s capable of inter-universal travel will probably help too, but that’s beside the point.

The air inside the office is tense, as if a human just finished releasing a whole lot of pent-up tension on another human. There’s the front desk, empty, no signs of a struggle… other than the two gaping holes in the walls, anyway, but those are surely unrelated to the tension in the air. Past the desk, The Prisoner can see windows – ah yes, those must be the windows through which he saw Hymarc and the suited man with the DifZoral Tryptamine ring when the TerrorWing malfunctioned. That ring came from planet Fuego, there’s no doubt about it – that’s The Prisoner’s ticket out of prison.

He crouches below the front desk, tactically peeking around the corner. Just like it was a second ago, the coast is clear. He blinks over to the wall, hugging it with his back as he makes his way down the hallway, peering into the human-sized holes as he creeps past. Empty, just like The Prisoner thought; if there was a struggle here, there would be bodies filling these holes.

As he inches closer to the windows, The Prisoner can smell a certain smell. A skunky smell, a certain skunky smell that smells… Cannabic. He’s never had much direct interaction with Hymarc, but the man never came off as one who smoked Cannabis. He certainly could have benefited from it, but The Prisoner never once detected the herb in the entire Apex building, metaphysically or otherwise. The hostile takeover clearly didn’t go according to plan – could Mister Cape be smoking a congratulatory joint?

Like George Washington crossing the Delaware on the day after Christmas to ambush the silly foreigners who needed to take two days off to celebrate, The Prisoner side-rolls and lands in a crouched position, rifle aimed at the head of… Sean Hymarc?

His eyes don’t deceive him – there’s President Hymarc, sat at a desk with his feet up, puffing on a joint. There’s something different about the Gray Fox though; his tie is undone, shirt’s untucked, he’s not even wearing shoes. Or socks…! Something paradigm-shifting must have taken place here, something that tore Hymarc’s soul from his body and chucked it deep into the bowels of Existence itself.

“What a surprise! Hello Beta, fancy seeing you here! Please, lower your weapon, pop a squat. There’s enough Cannabis in this joint to get half the city high!”

“That… that is not my name,” The Prisoner growls, decidedly keeping his rifle trained on Hymarc’s strangely hyperactive pineal gland. “Until I’m free of your grasp, you shall call me The Prisoner.”

Hymarc shrugs. “Well enough, do as you wish.”

He lazily lifts the joint to his mouth and pulls, the look on his face that of a baby mountain lion when it gets its first taste of cattle.

“Where is Torpol?!” The Prisoner shouts with steam coming out of his ears, failing to mark fear into the very high Hymarc. “I need to complete my mission!”

“Your mission? Ah yes, the whole teleport to the island bit. That’s none of my business. I believe the Doc is still wherever he was taken before Mister Cape and I had our little scuffle. You can go find him if you wish, I’m good right here.”

The Prisoner takes a step forward, then three more, then another, and suddenly, Hymarc’s unable to put the joint in his mouth.

“Then maybe I’ll kill you so Torpol can take over properly. It matters not whose blood is spilled today, as long as my promise is fulfilled. I–”

“Sorry to interrupt, but uh, I care a little fucking bit if more carpet gets spilled over my blood. I mean… fuck it, you know what I mean.”

The Prisoner, keeping his gun pacified in Hymarc’s mouth, turns his head to see a suited man standing with a handful of Mushrooms.

“Hi there, you must be a Zeroc. I’ve met a couple of you, did some drugs with you, fucked one of you… but I haven’t brutally murdered one of y’alls yet. The day is still young though, sort of.”

Chuck waits a moment for his words to sink in, but they just float to the ceiling.

Then, “What I’m getting at is you’re gonna drop the weapon or I’m gonna drop you. Make the call, indigo child.”

The Prisoner smirks, his body twirling to face the same direction as his face. “Actually, I was born a star seed. Tell me, how do you know so much about my culture? The High Councils will surely wish to know when I return to them.”

“Uh, I don’t? And Jolon already knows about me, we played video games together a lil’ while ago.”

The Prisoner’s eyes go wide for a second, then they return to normal size. “Very well… before I end your life–”

“Not gonna happen,” Chuck corrects the alien before chewing his Mushrooms. Hymarc gets a slightly disappointed look on his face, as if there wasn’t more Cubensis growing in the closet.

“You insolent… I’ve had it up to my third eye with you human swine. I’m an extraterrestrial fucking assassin! I am faster, stronger, smarter… I am superior to you pathetic, puny little humans in every conceivable way. Why will none of you take me seriously?!”

“I think you take yourself seriously enough for all of us, bubba,” Chuck says before ducking underneath a spray of bullets.

“Ah, impressive! You’ve mastered the art of dodging bullets… I did too, when I was in preschool. Tell me, ape, what are you called? I wish to bury you myself when I finally get to my island.”

“You know what, bigshit? Two things. One,” Chuck says as he puts his hand into the shape of gun and pshews the teleportation belt on this dumbass’s waist to smithereens, “fuck you. Two, and trust me, you asked for this shit.”

Chuck then spins around and his power armor melts around him. He dramatically pulls the brim of the power armor’s fedora over the power armor’s eye sensors and then slowly turns back around to face his adversary.

In a very nasally voice, he shouts, “HI! My name is…”

Chuck’s right arm forms into a .50 caliber belt-fed automatic sniper rifle.

“My name is…”

Chuck’s left arm forms into a futuristic railgun that shoots pure lightning, the likes of which would make Torpol cream himself.

“My name is,” chucc-chucc “MAIN CHARACTER!”

Chuck opens fire and bores a gigantic hole in the wall around his bulletproof wooden desk behind which Sean Hymarc hid with the computer as soon as the power armor came out.

Finally, after so many years of working at it, the chair-dent is complete.

When the sheetrock dust and smoke finally clears, Chuck’s guns turn back into his arms and he cracks both his own knuckles and the knuckles of his power armor. Then he grabs the Prisoner, who came flying down from the ceiling, and attempts to spin him out the window, but The Prisoner is one step ahead. Using his momentum to reverse his lack of control over the situation, The Prisoner hurls Main Character through the window, sending him and a trillion particles of glass in a straight line across the city, all the way to the Apex building where a crater is created from the impact.

The Prisoner, breathing heavily, then circles around the left side of the desk, the side with walls rather than wall-windows. He sees Hymarc quivering in the chair cavity, hugging the computer monitor like it was his child. The Prisoner’s not sure which of the two is whimpering like a blind puppy without any legs, but he assumes it’s Hymarc. He wonders what noise the human will make when he’s punted through the wall-window in a few moments and gets a little excited.

“There… the job is done…” between tired breaths. “Give me a new teleportation belt. We had a deal.”

“I-I-I t-t-t-old you, Mis-Mister, erm… M-Mister The Pris-oner. That’s,” Hymarc swallows a chunky glob of sheetrock paste and tries to calm his nerves. Now that his mind is open and he’s not constantly drowning in the black, stormy waters of neuroticism, he succeeds. “My apologies. Like I said before though, that was really Doctor Torpol’s deal. A lot of what goes on at Apex is Torpol’s deal, I’m just the one who owns the company on paper. You’ll have t–”

Sean Hymarc is cut off my a very angry backhand to the face.

“Do you imbeciles realize what’s going to happen when I return to Fuego?! I’m going to tell the Council of Life everything – my imprisonment, my torture, the demented, sadistic experiments your doctor forced me to watch him perform on your idiotic team of mercenaries. The Zerocian High Councils will find out how far the denizens occupying planet Earth have traveled from the light of cosmic consciousness and you will be seen as a threat. Your species will be seen as a dirty fester, a rotten disease that must be eradicated in the interest of protecting the Universe from harm. We will bring warships larger than a dozen of your pathetic moons an–” guttural bloody choking.

The Prisoner looks down to see the purple-bluish blood that’s leaking from his mouth. It’s dribbling down his chin, tracing the contour of his neck and finally pooling on the large metal spire that once capped the Apex skyscraper – it seems to have impaled him. He follows the spire until his gaze lands on Main Character, who is hovering in the air, grasping the broken-off end of the most overkill lance ever with both of his power-armor-clad arms.

‘I should be dead,’ The Prisoner thinks to himself as he tries to remove the spire, to no avail.

‘Why aren’t I dead?’ as he lowers his hand, his palm facing the pistol that was a rifle before he jumped to the ceiling to avoid the maelstrom of lightning and bullets.

‘Why does it matter?’ as the pistol flies snug into his hand. The Prisoner takes aim and fires, the massive .45 caliber energy bullet shattering the armor around Main Character’s head and popping his skull, killing him instantly.

‘Why isn’t he dead?!’ The Prisoner shouts inside his mind, or maybe he says it out loud; it’s hard to tell, everything happens so fast. All I know for sure is that Hymarc, once he’s alone in the open air that used to be a sealed Cape office, accidentally figures out what the breathalyzer on the computer is for after sucking on it to calm himself, a habit he picked up from Torpol’s therapy. And by the time The Prisoner’s fully intact body goes flying back through the open space, Hymarc is knee-deep in the Cape mainframe.

As for Chuck and The Prisoner, I think this is what happened: a moment after the bullet landed and shattered his skull for the second time today, Chuck’s pissed off headless body flew forward, spire, The Prisoner and all. He tunneled a hole straight through the Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated building using the spire as a drill and The Prisoner’s body as a gap widener, then repeated this process with each and every single one of the forty-three buildings between Cape Enterprises and the titanium wall that keeps the population of New Manhattan from escaping into the rest of the world. The spire, being made of some flimsy not-titanium, would normally not even dent the mighty wall; in fact, under normal circumstances, the wall would dent the living heck out of the spire. However, Chuck’s unbridled murderous rage had him traveling at such a speed that the atoms of the spire actually began to phase through the wall. The spire’s atoms slipped into the empty space that lies between the wall’s atoms until the Universe caught up and realized that shit’s not exactly supposed to go down like that. Then, She froze the aggrandized needle in place and gave its passenger and pilot a nasty bout of whiplash.

Chuck let go of the spire and landed on it, then slowly walked up the length of the construct until he was standing a foot from The Prisoner’s head. As soon as the umpteen hemi-atomic silicarbon-based nanobots that make up the atoms that make up Chuck’s entire body regrew his head, he crouched down, grabbed The Prisoner’s throat with both hands, and crushed it into the shape of a chewed-up apple core. While holding direct eye contact, Chuck slowly and steadily lifted The Prisoner’s body away from the spire, tearing him in half from the chest down. Chuck then began spinning in circles until he released his stranglehold on The Shredded Prisoner, sending him flying back in the direction of the Cape building, successfully pitching him through most of the holes he spired through the towers between here and there.

Be Patient

Many, many floors below the there that was Chuck’s office before Chuck destroyed it, all of Chuck’s friends sit huddled together in the Dirt Eater Mk I. Jolon and Tim are trying to explain their existences to Karen, who’s more freaked out about being in the presence of both a bigfoot and an alien than she is about her boss laying waste to the innocent organisms that inhabit the city above, but she’s just not having it. Just when she accuses the cryptids of being Sigmund and that weird teenager piloting BioBots, MediBot and AdultJack both walk out of the elevator that takes the place of the ladder when the bunker is anywhere besides underneath the Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated building.

“Okay, fine, you two are real. But those are totally Sigmund and the weird kid,” Karen says, pointing to MediBot and AdultJack.

clickity click clackity” says MediBot, translating to, ‘Yeah, no shit Karen, where have you been?’ in AdultJack’s head only.

AdultJack laughs aloud at this, quickly stifling himself when Karen shoots daggers at him in the form of a killstare.

Turning back to Tim, Karen says, “So you’re literally a bigfoot. Actually, not a bigfoot but the bigfoot, the one that Chuck wouldn’t stop rambling about to the dancers during that one New Year’s Eve that he actually threw a party?”

“I suppose so,” Tim says, rubbing his chin. “I was not invited to that party so I cannot be sure. But yes, I did know Chuck when he was a young child. He’s changed in many ways since then, but yet… he’s stayed exactly the same.”

“What does that even mean?” Karen shrieks in a quiet, respectful tone.

“It means that humans are an interesting bunch,” Jolon quickly says before Tim has the chance to come off as even more wise and sagelike. “Your species is still very young; there are members of my kind that are older than the current human civilization on this planet. On a cosmic scale, you are currently children, whether you like it or not, and you still have much to learn. If we explained everything to you now, you would never learn it for yourself. Besides, even if I was wrong and us telling you the secrets of the Universe wouldn’t prevent you from learning them, by the time you did learn them, you would have forgotten what we told you.”

“Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all,” AdultJack pipes in. Everybody slowly turns and looks at him as if he had three heads. “What? We were doing Shakespeare last we–”

“Kid, Shakespeare didn’t even say that,” Karen says, flexing her literature degree for the first time since she achieved it during the part of her life that she will refer to as The Pre-Chuck Era in her upcoming tell-all autobiography that she’ll hopefully get around to publishing one day. “That was Tennyson.”

“Not according to my school-issued English textbook. Speaking of which, I have sssoooooo much homework to do when I get home, when is Chuck going to be done with whatever’s going on up there?”

A nervous glance is shared between everybody in the room.

“Uh… he’ll come get us,” says Tiny Tim. “It will… take time. Like I was trying to say earlier, before Jolon put his higher being headdress on – Chuck, at heart, is still a child. He’s, erm… he’ll take his time and do things the way he sees fit; it wouldn’t be wise to interrupt him.”

“Okay but, like, what is he doing? Y’all have been so sketch about whatever’s going on up there. I mean, sure, he was cursing a lot and stuff in the elevator, but he’s been cursing a lot since I met him.”

“Kid, there’s a difference between Chuck’s various flavors of expletive-laden episodes, okay?” explains Karen, putting a hand on AdultJack’s shoulder. “Sometimes, it’s the only way he can express himself. Sometimes, he does it because he thinks using curse words in normal conversation makes him cool. And other times… well… sometimes he just kind of loses control and snaps a little bit. I’ve seen it happen a few times, you just have to be patient and let him run his tantrum out.”

“Incorrect,” says MediBot, finally dropping the whole clicking thing. “None of you have been in Chuck’s company like I have. You may work close to him Karen, and you may have known him when he was a kid Tim, but neither of you have gotten close enough to the point where he lets you operate on his body. You’ve never been in his head, not like me.”

“And what, exactly, do you mean by that, Sigmund?” challenges Karen, not about to let her dominance be shaken by the likes of a science nerd, Sigmund the science nerd, no less.

“I mean that Chuck’s let me pilot his body as a BioBot, I’ve literally been inside of his brain, okay? I’ve shared a stream of consciousness with him. You haven’t seen him really lose control, none of us have. He’s never seen it himself.”

“What?” from all lifeforms in the room, including the shape-shifting mammal that only Chuck can see for whatever reason.

“You’re so full of shit, Sigmund,” Karen says, agitated.

“Perhaps… regardless, I think we can all agree on one thing: if Chuck wanted the hostile takeover to end quickly, it would have. We could all be eating ice cream together right now instead of being huddled together down here. But we’re not; we’re hiding while he unleashes his rage on, as he sees it, the Nazis who thought it was a good idea to invade his comfort zone.  He puts up a front like he doesn’t care about anything, which, I’ll admit, is true to a certain extent. He’s still a human at heart though, a human with emotions that he doesn’t understand solely for lack of trying. He’s like a cat with a lot of energy that just caught a chipmunk – he’s going to kill the rodent and devour it, but not before he plays with it. Chuck is playing right now; he’s in total control of the situation.”

“And how can you be so sure of that?” Karen demands, refusing to get on the same page as everybody else because Chuck lives in an entirely different book and her spending time in the same space as him causes their brainwaves to drift towards a similar wavelength.

“Because we’re all still alive and speaking of it. Think about it: Chuck literally has the power to set the entire continent of North America on fire with the push of a button. If he really snapped and lost control, we’d be reduced to ashes before we could even realize it’s happened. And there’s nothing we could possibly do to stop it, if it were to happen. Not that it would, but… well, I shouldn’t say that, actually. We all know Chuck, and we all know that it might. It won’t, it definitely won’t, you know, unless it does… but it won’t.” He pauses for a moment, then, in a frighteningly low voice followed by a heavy sigh, “Unless it does.”

“So… so wait, we’re basically his prisoners, then?” AdultJack postulates, coming to grips with Chuck Leary’s actual power for the first time. “So this whole time, we’ve just been waiting around and hoping that Chuck doesn’t get annoyed and decide to blow up the planet on a whim?”

As AdultJack waits for someone to correct him and make him feel like the idiot he hopes he is for thinking something like that, an uneasy silence grips the room by the neck, flies it high into the sky, and then suplexes it deep into the plasti’spa’junk upon which the city of New Manhattan stands, leaving a crater large enough to fill in and make a reservoir out of.

Just like The Prisoner’s doing to Chuck at this very moment.

The Soot Clears

When the soot clears, Chuck finds himself at the bottom of a deep, somewhat molten, and noxious crater. His heart’s beating hard, fast, sending pulsations through his body. The lenses of his sunglasses are cracked, his suit is torn, and his fucking left shoe keeps coming untied. His purple necktie doesn’t have enough hemibots left in it to both construct the NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST button and repair his power armor; Chuck needs to make a very important decision, but first, some taunting.

Without getting off his back, “Ohhhhhhhh FUCK, this is gettin’ saucy! They call you Beta, right? As in second best? Well you just met your alpha, fuckstick!”

The Prisoner leaps from the rim of the seventeenth crater they’ve formed in the city during their concentrated little onslaught, putting his body in the shape of an uppercase letter Y. His hands melt into jet engines and his feet into a spike. As he falls, the engines kick on and The Prisoner divebombs into the bed of the crater, impaling Chuck with enough force to split him in half.

Or at least he would have, if Chuck didn’t don the power armor and zip up to the rim.

“Missed me, missed me, now you gotta kiss me! Ex-cept you don’t, ‘cause I don’t fucking know you!” he sings in perfect rhythm as he watches The Prisoner futilely try to deroot himself from the molten plasti’spa’junk bottom of the crater.

Chuck feels his chest plate get one layer thinner as a compact nuclear grenade forms in his hand. He goes to pull the pin with his teeth like a G, but the tink reminds him that there’s a power armor faceplate blocking it, so he sighs and just pulls the shit with his other hand. By the time the grenade hits the bottom of the pit, The Prisoner is standing on the opposite rim of the crater.

When the resulting mushroom cloud is blown away by the wind, the boys have a good old-fashioned standoff. Both are exhausted. Both are running themselves thin, although only one realizes it, and they’re both sure of one thing now more than ever before: this battle is coming to a close.

“The Prisoner!” Chuck shouts through the haze rising from the chasm, mentally commanding his power armor’s right gauntlet to melt away and strengthen his chest. He then takes off his glove and raises his middle finger to the sky as the ring forms around it. “I’m not sure why, but I feel like this is what you want!”

Chuck then performs a little dance, squatting and unsquatting, discreetly tracing a big oval in the air with his ring. The taunting does not stop. “Yeahhhh you like this? Come and get it, daddy-o!!”

The Prisoner bends his knees and readies himself. This has to be quick, has to be executed perfectly. He opens his right hand and, as his left seems to melt away, a sword forms in his palm. All things must be balanced; this human, nay, humanity in general is the single greatest threat to the other higher lifeforms living in the Universe. The human plague of Earth must be eradicated, and in order for that to happen, this human has to be eliminated. Otherwise… and he’s going to hate himself later for admitting this to himself, but if Main Character is left alive, the Zeroc won’t stand a chance. The Prisoner takes one last deep breath.

Chuck also takes a deep breath. This has to go flawlessly, one second late and it’s all over. This alien is the greatest unknown threat to the safety of planet Earth, and more importantly, to Chuck’s city. He may hate every last one of the fucktarded consumers that roam the streets below his tower, but he’ll be god-fucking-damned if he’s not going to ensure his concrete playground stays intact. Even the jungle needs insects to thrive.

The Prisoner leaps.

Chuck punches the air.

The Universe stops respiring.

Or at least The Prisoner does; he’s frozen in midair, his blade a micrometer from severing Chuck’s hand at the wrist. Something’s not right, what is this feeling? This razor edge, it’s… not possible. The Prisoner looks down with just his eyes – there’s a portal, an oval-shaped vortex shining with all the colors of the rainbow and then some, juxtaposed vertically halfway through his body. The Prisoner then bends at the neck and feels the front half of his being peeling forward.

There’s no way to stop it, he failed.

Chuck releases his clenched fist and the portal disappears. The two lifeless halves of The Prisoner’s body fall into the crater, hitting the slope and tumbling down, leaving a trail of blueish-purple blood behind.

On a hunch, Chuck extends his left middle finger and jabs it into the puddle. He absorbs the blood, soaking it up like a tapeworm with a  straw, then the rest of The Prisoner’s body follows suit. The head’s up display inside his mask tells Chuck that the nanobots he just absorbed have been repurposed into hemibots, and that both his suit and his body are now at full capacity. He releases a phew of relief, and moments later he’s overcome with a maniacle sort of laughter. He bellows a WHOOP of triumph – just like he predicted, the final conflict happened, and Chuck stands victorious.

One moment later, Tim-nah’tee materializes behind Chuck and gasps at the utter destruction that surrounds him.

“Chuck, did… what did you do?”

“Yoooo, wassup Tim?! Boi I just saved the world! There was a Zeroc that called himself The Prisoner, he was gonna steal my ring and go back to his homeworld and tell the Council to destroy Earth or something! Our Earth dude, you believe that nonsense? Like, if anyone is gonna nuclear holocaust this world, it’s gonna be me! But anyway, I killed the shit out of him! Wasn’t easy, it’s done though.”

“But…” Tim utters, looking around at the macabre masses of dead bodies and mountain ranges of rubble littering the immediate vicinity, extrapolating within his mind the actual devastation that was caused today. Then, with a shudder, “…the carnage.”

“Oh, all this? Nah it’s fine, this city’s strong. Where’s Sigmund and everybody, they’ve got some work to do. I mean, we all do, but I need a fuckin’ smoke, I think I earned it after this bullhockey. Y’all can start without me.”

The Day Is Saved

And that’s just what they do – while Chuck is busy tickling Hymarc into a state of submission back in his office, Sigmund pilots no less than six individual  BioBots, and they, alongside AdultJack, get to work repairing the city. Sigmund can handle up to ten bots at once, as he proved during the whole psychephrenic cataclysm thing the other day, but he needed the extra tredecillion nanobots to repair all the buildings that Chuck and The Prisoner used as environmental weapons. It’s a very long afternoon, the majority of which Chuck spends smoking Cannabis and trying to convince Jolon to not have the rest of the Zerocian High Councils veto the existence of planet Earth. Jolon was never going to let that happen in the first place, the idea was never even discussed among the Council of Life, after all, but hearing Chuck blather on and on about how Earth is like, the bomb-diggity turns out to be pretty darn entertaining, so he just lets him talk.

The living population of New Manhattan also snaps into action – reanimation clinics start popping up everywhere, manufacturing plants start churning out construction bots like it’s their job (because it is) and all dollaristic functions of the city press the pause button for the second time in a single damned week in order to save the consumer body that makes it all happen in the first place. It’s pretty inconvenient, sure, but you can’t have an ant farm without any ants.

By the time the sun sets below the New Manhattan wall, the conflict is over. There’s no more work to be done. The day is saved, and as far as Chuck can tell, the job is done. Not only would Alvey Fratto be proud, but the good guys won… imagine that!


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 20 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

Prayers – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (52/66)

Chapter 19.5
Prayers

One For Each Chapter

Ain’t neva’ asked f’much, I’m not a saint but I got prayers, all I eva’ fuckin’ wan’ed was t’be amaay-ziing,” he sings to the ceiling of his bedroom in the dark, where almost nobody can hear him.

“All right dude,” she quips, just a tiny bit flustered by how off-key this man’s singing is. “Chill out, you weren’t that good.”

“I was talking about the book!”

“You were talking about the sex.”

“Oh, I thought it wasn’t that good?”

She slaps him in the chest before giggling sheepishly and kissing him on the cheek. “It was… what’d you say in the book again? Really nothing special?

“I don’t know, did I say that?” he teases her as he sits up and stretches, flexing muscles that aren’t really there. “I don’t really remember, I said a lot of things. It’s not like I went over the draft before I published it.”

She rolls her eyes, wishing she was rolling something else. Then she remembers she’s not back home anymore and that her parents no longer have any bearing over what she does, or who she does, for that matter. “Hey, do we have any bud left??”

We?” he asks in a feigned voice of shock, following it up with, “Did you buy it with all that twenty-twenty money you earned? And it’s Cannabis; please, have some respect.”

“Shut up, dork.” After a moment of silent contemplation, “And you did so.”

“I did what?”

She gets up out of the bed and momentarily blinds the both of them when she turns on the lights, illuminating his bedroom. His sight returns to him before hers does and his eyes explore her body for a while until they finally meet hers back at her beautiful face, like a marble sculpture carved by the denizens of Pompeii before Vesuvius blew its top and destroyed the planet’s most talented sculptors that would ever be born. She then walks to the edge of the bed and bends over very, very slowly to pick up her purple velvet robe from the spot where he tossed it a few hours ago.

As she ties the knot with the belt that’s already attached to the garment, “You definitely went over the rough draft before you published it. Or, at least you hired someone to do it. Yuh–”

“Nope. Wrong. Fake News,” he stammers as he swings his legs over the side of the bed, man-spreading with just a tad too much virile. “You clearly didn’t read it, chick.”

“Oh?” as she raises an eyebrow and straddles him without taking the robe off. “If I didn’t read it, then how did I guess that you based Fleurna off of me?”

“Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t,” as he puts his hands on her hips and somehow manages to pull her further into his comfort zone. “Maybe all my characters are just figments of my imagination and everyone is super fucking vain,” stated matter-of-factly.

“Psh,” she pshs, poking his nose as she stands back up and starts looking for the weed. “Seriously though, where’s the bud? I like to smoke a joint after… ya know… ravaging.”

“I don’t think I do know, can you remind me?” he says, maybe a little too hopeful.

All his Cannabis stuff is still inside that little old cigar box that he got from the auction hall before he left town, buried amongst the boxes on boxes of stuff’n’shit he brought out here with him. Even though he’s been out here for more than a week he’s had zero time, or urge, really, to unpack and get settled in; dude and his recently reacquainted lady friend have been a bit… preoccupied.

Let’s just say they haven’t met their neighbors yet.

Plus, Cannabis is legal here and they grabbed an entire ounce, with a pack of rolling papers, a box of pre-rolled crutches, and a water pipe, for a hundred bucks. After that, why bother leaving any room, bed- or otherwise?

“So you mistook a bunch of pebbles as a trail of breadcrumbs, congratulations. You’re fucking insane, and that’s coming from me. Regardless though, you missed a very important thing in there, bae.”

“And what’s that?”

“The part about the flow. I wrote pretty much that entire book in a month; one draft, no revisions. And look what happened.”

She pauses her searching for a mere second, for a single skipped heartbeat, and then continues. “What do you mean?”

“When I was writing it, I didn’t really know what was going on. Like, I would just start typing and suddenly, boom, gigantic novel.”

“And the sixty short stories,” she adds, not letting him forget about those.

“Yes, and the short stories… sixty-two by the way, one for each chapter. Plus those extra four…” he trails off, mesmerized by the memory of his own hustle. “Anyway, to be honest, those were a little more difficult. I actually put a lot of thought into them.”

“That’s probably why they didn’t sell as well, hah!” she laughs, busting his balls.

“Yeah,” he mumbles, agreeing for an entirely different reason. “Probably…”

A moment of easy silence ensues. It always used to be uneasy, the silence between these two. She liked him, sure, but everyone around her would always try to warn her about him. He’s a little bit off they would say, he’s always staring off into space, mouthing words to himself. Dude’s crazy, don’t get too close to him. Well she got close all right, and it’s been wonderful ever since. The best-selling books didn’t exactly detract from the wonder, but… yanno, it’s more about the whole underdog rising up bit than anything else.

Come to think of it, she never saw any of the classmates that would talk shit about the dude hanging around him. She never saw him hanging around anybody after class, actually, never saw him eating lunch in the cafeteria. He just kind of appeared before class started and disappeared after. ‘Such is the life of a commuter,’ she supposes as she struggles to imagine going through college while still living at home. She graduated and everything, but like… if she had to go through that nonsense while still living in the same half of the country as her family… yikes.

I’m just starin’ at the sky, yuh probably thinkin’ I’m high…” he says to himself, loud enough for her to hear him.

“Uh, what’s that, hun?” she asks, maybe a little startled.

I’m just; I’m just; just I’m just talkin’ to my diary,” he sings.

“Ugh, why you always gotta sing rap lyrics? Like, all randomly like that?”

“I dunno… I just like to. Plus, I probably look a little crazy when I just mouth the words to myself.”

‘Well that’s a weird fucking coincidence,’ she thinks to herself before realizing she still has no weed in her hands. Then, “I feel you. But I’m not gonna feel you again for at least another hour if you don’t tell me where the weed is.”

Cannabis. And we smoked it all dude, dispensaries aren’t open twenty-four seven. But uh, I think I have some packed in one of the boxes though, lemme find some clothes real quick.

“Nah, it’s all good. Just take this,” as she pulls her robe off and throws it as his head.

He’s totally okay with this arrangement.

Success

A little while later, after they locate the stash box and she has her fingertips covered in sticky little green flakes, the couple sits out on the screened-in porch and enjoys a most relaxing mix of Cannabis smoke and mountain air. All the humans in the village are fast asleep but the night is alive with the sounds of bugs, birds, bigfi, and other nocturnal creatures that roam around the forest when the sun takes its nightly snooze. He’s always liked staying up late; growing up he would pull all-nighters by himself at least once a week just to be alone and experience the part of the world that everybody else sleeps through. The solitude was important to him… although now, he has to admit, it’s nice having someone to share it with.

“Hey,” he says as he passes her the joint. “I think I figured out what success is.”

“Oh?” before she inhales. A few seconds after coughing out the exhale, “Let me guess: money, weed, a house, and the woman of your dreams?”

CaNnAbIs. But the woman of my dreams, huh? We only met a few years ago, darling.”

“Yeah, I think I was the only girl you met in college.”

“Hah, accurate,” he chuckles, taking the joint from her. He holds it between his index finger and thumb, rolling the crutch back and forth, watching the ember glow as it turns green to blackish gray. “I bet you never thought you’d be sittin’ here with me tonight.”

“A month ago? Definitely not. But back in college? Even more definitely not… I still remember that one story you showed me, that weird-ass one that was clearly based off our math class.”

“Oh? I remember a distinct lack of demonic possession in that math class, actually. It may look the same, some names might sound similar, but,” as he points to his head, “the rest is solely up here. Beamed in from somewhere else entirely.”

They share another silence as he hits the joint, allowing himself to chief on it for a few minutes because he deserves it.

“So what’s success then, Mister IKnowEverything?”

“Hm?” through a cloud of smoke. He passes her the joint, which is quickly approaching roachitude, and says, “Oh yeah. I think it’s fulfilling one’s purpose.”

“I thought there was no such thing as purpose,” she interjects rather quickly, as to not let the ember go out.

“Well, I mean, I don’t know… it kind of makes sense that we’re all put here to do something, right? Like, some of us might not figure out what that is until we die, but if we clue in early it’s a fast track to success. When you do what you’re supposed to do, you get to live the way you want to.”

“Yeah,” “that’s all,” “well and good,” all between coughs, “but according to whom?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said When you do what you’re supposed to do. Who decides what you’re supposed to do?”

“Oh, well… you, I guess. Like, your higher self, maybe? I don’t know, god? God with a big Gee? Maybe… a you from a different universe that somehow contacted you and told you what to do?”

She definitely misses a beat after that one. “Uh… that was awful specific, Hunt.”

“Yeah… it sure was. Is that thing out yet?”

“Yep. Do you have that one hitter still?”

“The Hand Cannon Mark Two?? Hells yeah, it should be in the cigar box.”

“Cool, I’ll go get it. I need to put some clothes on anyway, it’s chilly out here,” as she stands up.

She kisses him on the forehead and walks inside, pausing in the doorway to look back at him. His eyes didn’t follow her like they usually do; he’s just sitting there, head angled at the sky, staring at the moon. She walks inside and a minute or so later, faintly, she hears him singing again.

Ain’t neva’ asked f’much, I’m not a saint but I got prayers…


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 19.5 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

The Hobo And The Prisoner – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (51/66)

Chapter 19
The Hobo And The Prisoner

Cishole

“GGRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH,” no exclamation point, is all The Prisoner can manage to scream as a bundle of firecrackers explodes in his ear. A small plume of smoke follows the shower of sparks that continuously pop out of his sizzling ear canal, the heated metal earpiece embedded into his skull cooking the purple flesh of his eardrum until a pop replaces one half of his auditory perception with a blaring ringing emptiness.

What comes next is unbridled chaos – what was once a perfectly calculated spiral around the Cape Enterprises tower is now the erratic work of an abstract modern artist, the scribbles of a child the closest comparable parallel to the contrail left in the sky above the crossing of two of New Manhattan’s many identical streets, Rylitath Avenue and Golskap Boulevard. Until, that is, the TerrorWing, its batteries drained from trying to reestablish its connection with the fried interFacer matrix for god knows how long, begins its descent, with The Prisoner still strapped in, mind you, dazed and confused, his perception riddled with visual snow.

As the TerrorWing tears towards the ground, the sky art takes the form of a very elaborate depiction of a seeding dandelion.

Luckily for The Prisoner, he’s pretty high up when AdultJack smashes both the malfunctioning earpiece and thechip that MediBot finally, after god knows how long, managed to surgically dig out of Torpol’s seizing head. This brings The Prisoner’s consciousness back into his own control, giving him plenty–

‘That was Hymarc, he’s falling. Took a blow to… wait, is that a…” counting “forty-second floor, got it.’

–of time to think up a method of not dying as soon as his glider crashes into the pavement. Should be pretty easy – just don’t crash with it.

Ignoring the steady stream of blood dripping out of his ear and onto his shoulder, The Prisoner patiently awaits his chance. Twenty stories… ten stories… nine stories… seven… five… now!’

He leaps, giving the TerrorWing that extra bit of push the many explosives housed inside the bomb cavity needed to result in a lack of explosion when the glider crumples to the ground. The leap puts The Prisoner a few feet higher into the air than he would have liked, but he lands in a somersault regardless, sustaining no bodily harm outside of a scraped knee and a bruise on his elbow.

‘That’s odd,’ he thinks to himself, or perhaps he says it out loud. “I should be dead. Falling from that height, and with a ruptured ear canal… I should be dead twice over.”

The Prisoner runs the calculations in his head once more and there’s no doubt about it – by all rights, he should be none more than a bluish-purple smear, like a spat piece of chewing gum abandoned on the sidewalk. Well, technically the road, because the sidewalk is full of gawking hairless apes all clutching at their glass rectangles. Now that The Prisoner stops paying attention to the noise in his head and starts taking in his surroundings, he notices that there’s a whole lot more hairless apes around him than there should be. They’re all shrieking like zoo animals, flashing him with bright lights as they attempt to take a picture or capture a video of the strange bald purple man who fell from the sky.

“Did an alien spaceship crash?”

“No, you idiot! That was obviously a secret government project, they were transporting his corpse!”

“What?! The thing is alive, it’s standing up, and you don’t know that it’s a he!”

“Yeah cishole, check your damn privilege! And the government collapsed four years ago, you moreoff!”

“I thought it was fourteen years ago?! FUCK YOU!”

A small squabble quickly breaks out between two humans, and all the humans around them back off and form a ring, a dojo of sorts. The blitzkrieg of camera flashes immediately stops harassing The Prisoner in favor of the sidewalk brawl that’s quickly turning into a mosh pit. Fakebook is going to be absolutely popping later today when the real-life avatars of the many profiles upload their videos of the two dumbasses smacking the shit out of each other on the street. The comments will likely have many inquiries as to why the humans started fighting, along with existential quandaries about why humans even fight in general; these questions will lead to a nasty flame war the likes of which the comments section of these particular videos will have never before hosted, mostly because the videos will have just been posted tonight. The sighting of the purple tallboi, who is actually an extraterrestrial being of the Zeroc variety, will be totally forgotten in a mere few hours’ time, if anybody even remembers that it happened now, mere minutes after the fact.

All because somebody correctly referred to said Zeroc as he.

Homo Consumis

The streets of New Manhattan are like the humans that stock the skyscrapers of New Manhattan; they’re unremarkable, all exactly the same, and they all have arbitrary names that carry zero inherent meaning no matter how much you look into them. That’s because they’re just not intelligent, and neither were their parents; with the hundreds of individual blocks this city offers, you’d think the most Dollaristic creatures in all of America, both North and South, would use all the resources their city offers to take them somewhere in life. But no, they always turn in the same direction when they’re driving, never going anywhere and always wondering why. It’s literally taught in the academies of social correctness – if you write with your right hand, you turn right; if you write with your left hand, you turn left; and most importantly, before you cross the road, you check three things: your right, your left, and your privilege. Not everybody in the world gets to learn how to write things down and cross roads, you know!

 If you don’t want to write after learning the proper way to grip a pencil, then you’d better learn how to use a keyboard, even if you don’t want to create – all the streets and buildings in this city are already built, and said buildings need workers. Even if the buildings need repairs, robots work a lot faster than NewMann humans; they also think and react a lot faster than NewMann humans, and unlike the NewMann humans, they’re able to focus on one thing for more than fifteen seconds before they get distracted by something else. That’s why, for the first time in The Prisoner’s many terrible years of internment on this absolute shithole of a planet, he’s thankful to be surrounded by humans.

When the crowd of vultures that once flocked around him finally move on to their next piece of roadkill, The Prisoner dashes into the nearest alley and ducks behind a dumpster. The smell of hot garbage then proves to be nauseating enough to send him across the next street and into an alley without any dumpsters.

Discounting the NewMannian humans, there are very few wild animals roaming around New Manhattan. The ground, being made of not-dirt, has an incredibly tough time supporting any plant life. The most commonly grown produce in this city is Cannabis, and Psilocybin Mushrooms, and to a lesser extent Salvia Divinorum, but I feel like you get the point I’m trying to make; there are very few bona fide food farms in New Manhattan, and the farms that are here exist in the form of a single floor (maybe two floors, if a specialty fruit like the durian or pitaya is grown) in one of the hundreds of skyscrapers that sprout like weeds don’t from the plasti’spa’junk substrate.

Due to this artificial lack of naturally occurring vegetation (and that phrase includes human-planted produce because, contrary to popular belief, humans are part of nature too), there’s a stark lack of garbage-feeding organisms which run rampant in the streets of the planet’s other cities. Our city still has insects (how else would the dead bodies disappear from the alleys?), most notably a species of cave cricket that’s evolved to savor the flavor of rotting human flesh (I warned you), but aside from the creepy-crawlies, you really don’t see much. An occasional cat or dog that escaped the clutches of its pageant-pouncing owner here, a genetically engineered abomination of science there, and then there’s one dude that owns a Komodo dragon because somebody bet him that he wouldn’t do it; most of the wildlife in this city is really just escaped pets that haven’t been abducted by another human yet. Finder’s keepers, as they say, they being the entitled morons who bought their way into this island of luxury.

I’m sorry, I’m being bitter, I just can’t stand to see how far human life has devolved in this city. If the whole planned dumbing down of the population of the United States of America thing is a thing in your universe, if the USA is a thing in your universe in general like it is in mine (not the Universe of this story, but the one I live in), I have to imagine that this shit right here is the worst case scenario. I mean, the city is called New Manhattan, shortened to NewMann, right? It’s a place for a new type of (hu)man to live, an even dumber, less aware, and more easily controlled human, or in more Dollaristic terms, a consumer. The Homo consumis, literally. Anyway, if you don’t believe me when I say the average NewMann is dumber than the average stuffed model of a bear they rarely look at in their one remaining museum, then you can ask the homeless guy whose legs The Prisoner just tripped over. He watches the flocks of consumers go from no place special to nowhere at all every single day, he’s probably got some interesting stuff to say.

Street Folk

“Ay, watch where ya goin’, ya fuckin’ body pain’er. Ain’t there ‘nuffs a’yous in the dance academy?” the tired old man shouts from inside his cardboard box fort.

Of course, The Prisoner doesn’t realize that it’s a box fort. All he sees is a greasy old box that’s about one and a half rainstorms away from collapsing and degrading into the muck where it lays. The pair of legs that’s sticking out of it would probably have to move for that to happen, find a new box to squat in, but those are logistics. The Prisoner doesn’t have time to consider such things.

As The Prisoner begins to walk away, he hears the voice again. “AY! I’m talkin’ a’you, ya thespian. Shame more a’yer kind ain’t lesbians, now that would be a show worth seein’!”

The Prisoner stops dead in his tracks and slowly turns around, drawing his weapon. “Show yourself, coward, before I turn this alleyway into a fucking light show.”

“Woahhhh, easy there partnah,” says the voice as the legs grow a torso and crawl out of the box. “I didn’t know you were one a’dem eccentric types, I din’t mean no offense.”

The Prisoner holsters his pistol and folds his arms, looking the box-crawler up and down. He’s an older human, probably in the back quarter of his life. Bald head, gunk running from one of his eyes. Missing a few teeth, not missing a few pounds. Definitely missing a few brain cells, judging by the gaping holes in the gray matter around his pineal gland. He’s draped in very baggy, very unsightly clothing that doesn’t fit him at all – a hooded sweatshirt covered in stains, a pair of jeans meant for someone with tree trunks for legs… this specimen may prove useful after all.

“Your clothing,” The Prisoner barks at the alley dog, placing one hand back on his pistol. “Off. Now.”

If the vagrant had any eyebrows left, he would surely be raising them now. Rising to his feet, the man pulls back his sleeves to reveal his arms aren’t quite as scrawny as The Prisoner originally assumed they were. They’re covered in tattoos too, some that were done professionally, some that were done to cover up scars, some that were done with a hot needle and a ballpoint pen.

“Did you jus’ assume my sexuality, you indigo brat? I’m ‘boutta beat you so hard ye’ll never dance aga-” muffled choking sounds.

The homeless man falls backwards and collapses his box, pushed by the barrel of the gun that’s suddenly being forced down his throat. Clenched between his teeth, the pistol then begins to transform, the barrel reshaping itself into that of a rifle, stretching and straining the homeless man’s jawbone that even under the immense pressure of a gun becoming more gunnish, refuses to snap.

“If you don’t submit and do as I say, I’ll dance on the very shallow grave that you’ll shortly be buried in. Do I make myself clear?”

A nod confirms that The Prisoner has made himself clear.

“Excellent. Now, I’m going to remove the barrel of my weapon from your oral orifice. At that point, you will remove your outer layer of clothing, the sweatshirt and the pants, and surrender them to me. Then, you will do whatever you please, but if I may make a suggestion: reshape your box and wait for some unsuspecting victim to stroll by. Ambush them, beat them senseless like you assumed you were going to do to me, and take their clothing. After that, I assume the cycle will be repeated until this city is none more than a pile of bodies and dirty clothes. Do you understand your instructions as I have laid them out?”

A muffled noise, followed by a nod.

Encouraged by the human’s sudden subservience, The Prisoner slowly draws the barrel of his rife from the homeless man’s mouth. He slings the weapon over his shoulder, the strap automatically tightening to fit snugly against his body, then takes a step back to see what happens.

Once he’s free, the hobo clutches his throat and begins coughing and spitting, spewing gun oil flavored splotches of saliva and mucus all over the grimy compressed bricks of plasti’spa’junk that makes up the wall-looking floor of the alleyway.

Then, whilst rubbing his throat, “You ain’t from ‘round here, are ya?”

The Prisoner furrows his brow. “One could say that. One could say I’ve lived in this city for years, as well. Why don’t you just get to the point?”

The hobo hacks out a loogie on the ground between them, this time more intentional and less trying to get the taste of gun out of his mouth. “In this city that you’ve lived in f’years, us common folk try t’put each other on some gain whenevah we can; we look out fer eachothah. Now son, I’m broke poor in a city made a’dollahs – what exactly d’ya’think I have to lose by not surrenderin’ m’dignity?”

The Prisoner loses all feeling in his hand. He looks down and watches as his hand splits apart and more hand comes from within the cracks, the appendage doubling in size by the time it puts itself back together. Suddenly The Prisoner’s gigantic hand is wrapped around the hobo’s throat, and even more suddenly, The Prisoner’s arm extends and lifts the hobo fifteen feet off the ground, slamming him into the wall of the building upon which he just leaned.

The Prisoner then finds himself at eye level with the hobo, and upon looking down, he sees his ankles have extended in a similar fashion as his wrist, which is now detracting back into his arm.

Unsure of how his body is melding and stretching but going with the flow regardless, “I thought we had an understanding, ape.”

“Yer… missin’… mah… point…” the hobo struggles to say through The Prisoner’s grip, seeming to be entirely unphased by The Prisoner’s transformation.

Once the vice grip is loosened, The Hobo continues.

“We’s a dyin’ breed ‘round these parts, us street folk. Used to be plenny, then some dipshit inna suit came ‘round and randomly distributed his money, messed th’balance raight up. I used t’have neighbors, this sideway was packed. Not anymore… they all livin’ the ‘Murican dream, packed like sardines up in them shiny towers. Not me though… see, I wonna lot’ry after th’wife left me, got a few million. Tried to tell my kids, they all changed their phone numbers. So, I sold m’car wash and came here wit’ one goal: get as high as I could off of whatever I could, then go quietly inta hell. That’s mai ‘Murican dream, to take m’money and spend it howeva I want. But th’drugs here, they ain’t like the ones back on th’main land. They’re modified, genetically altered; they’re safe. Hasn’t been an overdose inside these walls in, sheit, probly ever. One night I was layin’ here, dazed in a hole with a nose full of the most potent heroin y’never used to be able t’snort, and I realized somethin’: I found mai way inta hell. Didn’t even need t’die, just needed t’buy a ticket.”

“And what, exactly, does that have to do with you handing over your garments?”

The hobo smiles the smile of a fisherman when a fish finally takes the bait. “See, you could just kill me, take m’clothes. But then they’d be all bloody on account of m’hemophilia. Even if ya snap m’neck, blood’s gon’ pour out my mouth like a fuckin’ chocolate fon-doo. I’m guessin’ you ain’t got no cash since yer in this situation in the first place… why don’ we help one anothah?”

“You… but you just said I can’t kill you?”

“Y’may not. You can get me some drugs though. I wanna float on a powdery white cloud wit’ Lady aycHe by mah side. One day I’ll keel over from the alley livin’, but until then, I don’t wanna feel the time passin’. Get me some drugs, and you can have m’threads.”

The Prisoner slowly lowers the hobo back to the ground and unclenches his throat. When his hand is back to normal size, he says, “How am I supposed to buy the drugs? I have no money.”

The hobo nods to the strap that’s taught across The Prisoner’s chest. “I don’ have shit t‘lose… but the hoity-toity merchan’ folk? Them elitist snobhogs in their little slopshops? They do.”

The Prisoner studies the hobo’s face… it doesn’t seem like he’s building a ruse. But still… humanity

“Fine. Where can I buy you the heroin?”

Hobo points down the alley. “Go th’way you were goin’ before I happened ‘pon ya. Take a leff, go a block. Take a raite, go a block anna half. Duck inna th’arcade, there shu–”

“Arcade? Are you fucking playing games with me? I want the clothing as a precaution, I don’t need it. Just like I don’t need to leave you alive, fool.”

The hobo smiles again, his catch is hooked. Just gotta bring it to the boat. “Then shoot me where I stand. M’only request is that ya do the Irish river dance on m’grave, wifey always did that fer me. The feet on the woman… mmph!

Without another word, The Prisoner storms down the alleyway, mentally cursing the obnoxious human propensity to smile in the face of certain death.

The Haberdashery

The Prisoner follows the hobo’s instructions to the T, taking the left and dashing down the city block, shoving past pedestrians as if they were weightless. One human gets tossed into oncoming traffic and doesn’t get run over because there’s a red light at the intersection and traffic is stopped dead anyway. The Prisoner hits the end of the block and bangs a right without slowing down; his speed is unmatched and his movements precise. He was trained by the best, after all. The whistles and camera flashes from the rabid consumers don’t even phase the Zeroc – there’s a mission to complete.

A block and a half later, he stops on a dime at the entrance to the arcade, almost missing it completely. It’s nothing more than the bottom half of a door hinged to a concrete wall that blocks off the alleyway between two skyscrapers, how is anybody supposed to find this place? Checking his sides to see that everybody around him is recording his movements, The Prisoner sighs and opens the door, ducking inside.

“Welcome to The Haberdashery, my fellow thespian!” says the twitchy merchant behind the counter. The Prisoner eyes the human up and down – wrinkled skin, thin lips, young eyes, thinning blonde hair that would probably look very unsettling if it were wet. The body of a bowling ball (yes, they have bowling on planet Fuego). Nobody else seems to be in the store… well that’s convenient.

Slowly approaching the counter, The Prisoner says, “Why does everybody I meet keep calling me that?”

“Well you’ve adorned a very convincing paint job there, son. What better way to dance interpretively than slathering the skin that you’ll jiggle for the crowd?”

The Prisoner debates this in his head before shaking the thought from his brain. Then, “I need drugs. For a… for an associate. I was told I could find them here.”

The face of the shopkeeper lights up like a crack pipe. “Build it and they will come – that’s what they told me, and I haven’t made a single sale yet. But here we are; seek and you shall find, my vibrant violet friend! Now which kinda drugs are you seeking? Narcotics? Or are you of the Psychedelic persuasion?”

“You have about five seconds to explain to me exactly what you think you mean by the word Psychedelic before I shoot holes into the blasphemous iteration of a human brain that thought it was a good idea to speak to a Zeroc about the Moksha Medicine.”

Shopkeep’s hands fly into the air in a show of innocence. “Woah woah woah, easy there, son! You might not be a dancer, but you’re dramatic as hell! I don’t have to explain anything, no need; just peep the menu. And what’s Zee-rock, is that the name of your dancing troupe or something?”

The Prisoner looks at the menu and sonuvabitch, the shopkeep wasn’t lying. It’s all right there, plain as day: Cannabis, Mescaline, DMT. This idiot’s even selling Psilocybin, as if he didn’t know the dangers of letting the Stropharians take hold of one’s consciousness. True inanity; not insanity but pure, undiluted inanity. The Prisoner’s opinion of humanity has never ridden such a rollercoaster, how mundanely unaware these creatures are!

Hung beside the Psychedelics menu is the much more abundant narcotics menu, but The Prisoner doesn’t even pay that a glance.

“I’ll take… give me as much heroin as you can fit in the biggest bag you stock, and also a gram of Cannabis.” After a moment of expectant eye contact, “Please.

“Very good! Would you like the weed prerolled or in nug form?”

“I’ll take the Cannabis,” he emphasizes, “prerolled. Thank you, Mister…?”

The shopkeep drops a scoop’s worth of heroin all over the floor. The Prisoner widens his pupils, ready.

Mister? My name is Sue, motherfucker, how do you do?! I know you did not just assume my gender, you rat-faced cis-male neurotypical scoundrel! I’ll have you know that I got the tinkler-tuck surgery four years ago and I’ve been alllll woman ever since!”

“But… you said this was a haberdashery? You know what that word means, don’t you?”

Hands on hi– whoops! I mean her hips, “Honey, my words mean whatever I want them to mean. How do you know I don’t have a clothing hustle out the back of this joint? What’s my gender got to do with it anywho, like, what? Do I need to be a man to sell men’s clothing? Is THAT what you’re asserting?!”

The Prisoner closes his eyes and lowers his head, pinching the bridge of his nose. Then, somewhat under his breath, “Just… just give me the drugs, please. I have things to do today.”

The shopkeep grins, another battle against The Patriarchy fought and won. It’s a shame the dancers must fall to the dark side, but such is life. It always hurts to see an angel fall. Sue bags the heroin and rolls the tightest joint this purple cis-bastard has ever seen before packing the whole order into a black plasti’spa’junk bag.

The Prisoner takes his loot and tries to walk away clean, he really does. But then, out of the tall grass, humanity appears!

“Hold on there, sir! Or missus, I don’t want to offend! You uh, you still owe me one-twenty over here. Eighty for the jay and forty for the ache.”

The Prisoner stops on his right heel. Eighty bucks for a gram of Cannabis, what the fuck? “he says.”

“He says what? Give me my money, there’s no way my first sale is going to be a robbery,” in a defiant tone. Then, in a much more lenient tone, “Well, I suppose you’ve got to spend money to make money. Thank you very much sir, have a nice day!”

As The Prisoner lowers the sight of his rifle from the direction of the shopkeep’s head, he calmly says, “I will, Miss Sue. Thank you.”

Home

Back out in the sunlight, The Prisoner takes in a deep breath of car exhaust and air pollution. What passes for ozone in this city isn’t quite as poignant as the artificial enriched oxygen The Prisoner remembers so fondly from his days on Fuego, but it will have to do for now. This will all be over soon, one way or another; he’s not certain of how it will come about, but he knows the end of his days of servitude is neigh.

It has to be.

Crossing the street and shattering no less than four uPhones with his bare hands, The Prisoner backtracks to the alley where the homeless man was sleeping. The cardboard box is here, but there’s no vagrant in sight… had he wandered off? Was that entire story a lie, a ruse to get The Prisoner to move on? Perhaps these humans are a clever bunch… the further down the social ladder The Prisoner interacts, the more intelligence he seems to find. Such a backwards way to live, all the consciousness birthed into the masses while the ones who hold power hold little else. What a convenient shame.

The Prisoner sits down and leans back against a dumpster. He removes the bulbous bag of heroin and grabs the joint, carefully unbending it as to not tear the thin hemp paper. He drags it across his philtrumless upper lip – the odor is intoxicating; it brings him back to the days before he allowed himself to carry a title other than The Prisoner. What wonderful days they were, such a simpler time when he and Al–

‘Wait,’ he cuts me off with a thought, ‘there was no dumpster in the alley with the street dweller… am I in the wrong place?’

The Prisoner bites the joint by the crutch and drops the heroin back into his anonymous shopping bag, springing to his feet. This alley certainly looks familiar… all the skyscrapers on the streets in front of and behind him look the same, too. As a matter of fact, every single skyscraper The Prisoner has seen thus far has looked more or less identical, save for the purplish tint of the Cape building and the large red letters around the spire capping the Apex tower. This city really is so disorienting, especially now that The Prisoner’s sense of hearing has fully returned to him; the mindless yammering of the consumers, the impatient honking of the car horns, the bright lights reflected from the windows, the heat of the sun magnified from the almost visible smog that is the air… The Prisoner could be anywhere in the city right now. He’s more lost than a wanderer, and without any way to communicate back to his masters at Apex.

At least, he assumes they’re still his masters – surely they’re aware of the malfunction in The Doctor’s interFacer by now.

‘Or…’ as the rest of this thought creeps its way into his neural network, ‘or maybe this was all part of their plan.’

They obviously didn’t need him for this mission; Torpol and Hymarc have committed plenty of hostile takeovers without The Prisoner providing “security” by flying circles around whatever building they were claiming as their own. Perhaps this was to be his final mission; when the earpiece exploded it was supposed to kill him, snuff him out quickly, and if that didn’t work, the TerrorWing would attempt to assassinate him with breakneck movements and, eventually, the crash. It would cause one hell of a distraction; the CEO of Cape Enterprises would be forced to go outside and check out the smoldering craft and accompanying maimed extraterrestrial body lying on his strip of sidewalk. Then, with him in an open and predictable location, all of the MERCS would swoop in at once and add another body to the wreckage.

And it would have been perfectly orchestrated, too, if it wasn’t for The Prisoner’s meddling will to live, the very undying will he’s questioning when he hears a familiar voice call out over the traffic.

“Aye plumfuck, what you doin’ over ‘dere? You got mai uh… package?”

The Prisoner looks across the street and sees the homeless man leaning against a corner of a building, arms and legs crossed, just waiting there. How long has he been watching?

“You gonna just stand there or ya bringin’ me m’stuff? I been waitin’ fer ten minutes here!”

The Prisoner looks both ways and then runs towards the street, leaping off the edge of the sidewalk and clearing the entire road, cars and all. He lands with a roll and stands before the human, towering a whole foot taller than him. The joint remains untarnished.

“An’ you say ya don’ dance, hah!” the hobo quips before his hand plunges deep into his pocket. He then produces a lighter, flicks it, and holds the flame at the tip of The Prisoner’s joint.

“Oh,” inhale “thank you. Here’s your heroin,” as The Prisoner passes the black bag to the hobo.

“Thank ya kine– aye, where th’fuck you goin’, son?” said to The Prisoner’s back.

When The Prisoner doesn’t answer, the hobo slings his heroin into his un-collapsed box fort and easily catches up with the purple-painted not-dancer.

“Hol’ up, where y’goin’ withat? I din’t light it to not smoke it witcha.”

The Prisoner considers this and, unable to come up with a reason to not share his jammer with the hobo, decides to humor the humey. They walk back to the hobo’s alley, the vagrant providing something of a shield around The Prisoner that protects him from the gawking eyes of all the various NewMenn and NewwoMenn, and all the other consumers whose pronouns don’t easily/conveniently fit into the base nomenclature of NewMann.

The hobo climbs into his box fort and gestures for The Prisoner to follow him. Suddenly having time for logistics, The Prisoner determines within his head that he wouldn’t fit inside the box fort because of his astounding height. The Hobo tells him to get over himself and just crawl in; the Cannabis must have our alien feeling some sort of way because, without so much as a word of resistance, The Prisoner crawls in.

The inside of the box fort is what you might expect – a plain, undecorated cardboard box. On the back wall though, outlined in what appears to be magic marker, is a door. There’s even a circle for where the knob would be… oh, that’s an actual doorknob. Huh. The hobo opens the door and crawls into the building with The Prisoner in tow, the latter amazed that the hobo was hanging around outside in the first place when he had access to this the entire time.

The room isn’t grandiose, not very luxurious. The walls are lined with the essentials – a bed, a refrigerator/freezer, sink, oven/stove, a computer, there’s a toilet off in one of the corners with a little sheet hanging from the ceiling to offer some privacy. It’s as if somebody took an entire house and shrunk it down into a single room. So like a house in that little desert town that got swept away by mudslides before its residents were all reincarnated into fairies in a different patch of Existence than the one Universe W-2020 lies in, a patch where magic actually exists.

“What… what is this place?” The Prisoner asks with his joint, extinguished, hanging off his bottom lip.

The hobo snatches the joint and relights it, takes a few puffs, and passes it back. “I told yas, when I came here I won th’lottery. Sold m’business, too. Used the lot’ry money for drugs and m’ticket, used the ‘wash money fer this. What, did y’think I really had nowhere to be but th’street? In this city? C’mon, I thought y’lived here f’years.”

“I have. My home is the inside of a dark closet, my bed a set of chains that burn my hide on contact, and my pillow a migraine that would split a human cranium in half.” He takes a hit and tries to pass it, but the hobo doesn’t let him.

“Fuck, purpm’n. You need that thing more th’n I do. That don’t soun’like no home at all.”

“How do you mean?” between lungfuls of Cannabis smoke. “It’s the place where I rest my head at night. It’s no hou–”

“I mean,” the hobo says, cutting The Prisoner off like the cars aren’t able to do to each other in this city due to a combination of dead-stopped traffic and self-driving software, “home ain’t jussa place where ya sleep. Ya see, in here, with all these fancy amenities, this ain’t m’home. I hardly even sleep in ‘ere, tell yas the truth. I was raised in Kentucky, in a lil’ town that’s now called ButtFuck. Out there, I would always sleep outside under th’glow of the stars, jus’ gazin’ up and wond’rin’ what wuz out thar. I hadda house, sure, but them wooden caves ain’t home. Home is where th’heart is, where you go to feel at peace wit’ yaself.”

The hobo stomps his foot and spits on the floor of his house. “We’s humans, but err’body seems ta ferget that these days. Always buyin’, always spendin’ their time tryna’ get themselves somewhere otha th’n where they stand. Neva happy, neva at peace… neva home. Me? Th’closest thing t’home in this rat’s nest is out in the street with summin’ or other flowin’ through m’veins, just like we’s flowin through the veins of th’Universe. D’ya get what I’m sayin’, mista… well I neva caught ya name, sir.”

The Prisoner, with his joint burned into roachitude, extinguishes the ember against his skin without flinching.

“I do understand you, human, more than you know. If what you say is true, about a home verses a house, then I haven’t been home in a long, long time. You said you were wondering what was out there among the stars… there’s a lot. More than you can fathom. My home is on a distant planet called Fuego that revolves around two suns, and our society is… well, it’s the closest thing to a utopia that I’ve ever seen. It’s far from perfect, sure, but… the humans I’ve interacted with here, the very fact that they exist in the form they do shows me how far the Zeroc have climbed. We–”

“Wait, Zee-rock? Fuego? Are you tellin’ me th’t you’ve benna al– ’m sorry, an eckstrah-terrestrial this entire time?!”

“Not Zeroc, Zeroc. But yes… did you not just assume that? How many humans have you seen that can do what I do? That look the way I look?”

“Y’mean the purple extendo-limb sheit? Quait a few, actuallies.

The Prisoner almost forgot about all that body-morphing shit, he still has no idea how any of that happened. “I… see. Yes, I am not of this world. I’ve been alive longer than the oldest living member of your species, though. It’s funny, I normally don’t allow myself to reminisce on my old life, on what I truly am,” he says as he rolls the roach back and forth, letting it crawl between his fingers. “This Cannabis is just bringing me back.”

The hobo snorts, watching his otherworldly acquaintance stare longingly at some pot. “What, y’all abuncha stoners out there?”

The Prisoner smiles. “Something like that… life on my home is different than life on this planet, cast aglow in a very different light.”

“Well th’two suns probly help w’that,” the hobo points out, his words loaded with more insight than he even realizes.

“Yeah… they probably do. How I wish to return…”

A slightly awkward silence ensues, making the hobo wish he didn’t leave his heroin outside. Then, “So why don’ya go back? Ya came here, din’t ya?”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”

“Well then, why don’ya jus’ live out in th’streets wi’me? You c’n have this lil’ apartument here, I don’eva sleep in it. I’ll pop in t’pee’n’poop erry now’n’then, but fer th’ most part, it’d be all yers.”

“That’s very kind, old man, but it’s not that simple. My captors, the Apex Corporation… after they’ve taken over Cape Enterprises, they’ll come looking for me. They have a six-man army that could take over the world in a matter of hours, it would be no use. They already tried to kill me once today, it’s on–”

“Well I dou’that. I ain’t neva heard’a no Apex er no Cape, but I do undastan’ th’dollarists. They don’t leave no stone unpicked, ain’t nothin’ left up’ta chance. If they wann’ed ya dead, we wouldn’t be talkin’ raight now.”

“I don’t think you understand, they–”

“Oh I undastan’ jus’ fine, mista Zeuroc, or howeva yer ass pronounced it. They brought ya inna this world, lit’rally. You don’ think they could take y’out if they wan’ed? You don’t live because they want you dead, sonnybuns.”

The Prisoner mulls this over. “That’s… you’re a very wise old thing, you–” he says, almost calling the man a vagrant. “What’s your name, human?”

The hobo smiles, the fish is finally landed. “Well I reckon I asked you first, Eee-Tee.”

“I used to go by Beta, but so long as I’m trapped on this planet, I must go by the name my captors have given me: The Prisoner.”

“The Prisoner, eh?” the hobo asks. “Wel’if that’s th’case, you c’n jus’ call me The Hobo. I’ll tell ya wut though, if’n’when you do find y’spaceship and y’do make yer way back into th’stars, why don’t y’take me along witcha? I’ll tell Beta m’real name, but not The Pris’ner.”

The Hobo holds out a hand and The Prisoner shakes it, sealing the deal. The Prisoner leaves the alley, allowing his new friend to finally enjoy the heroin that started this whole exchange in the first place.

The Verse Ends

Draped in a greasy sweatshirt and a pair of stained sweatpants, The Prisoner weaves through the streets of New Manhattan entirely unseen, not so much as a camera flash follows him. With some Moksha Medicine in his bloodstream, he’s able to focus his mind and see the path towards the Cape Enterprises building – he’s only been a few blocks away this entire time.

The Prisoner pushes through the heavy metal doors and looks around the lobby of the Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated building. It’s more of a waiting room than anything else; some couches, some carpet. A spot on the wall that looks like it could be a secret closet. It almost smells like Cannabis in here, maybe he should– no. There’s a mission to complete, a promise to fulfill. Rest and play when the work is done.

The Prisoner, having tossed his dirty incognito clothing onto one of the clean couches in the waiting room, steps into the elevator, rifle clutched tightly against his chest, and presses the button with a big C where the number forty-two should be. As the box begins to ascend, a strange form of Earth music fills the air, something utterly unlike anything a Zeroc has ever composed. It’s just a man, speaking in rhythm over the track… The Prisoner definitely doesn’t mind this music.

Then, the verse ends and a woman starts singing.


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 19 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

Space Drugs III: The Awakening – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (50/66)

Chapter 18.5
Space Drugs III: The Awakening

Dominoes

First, Sean sees nothing: the stark, harrowing emptiness of the void in which an unforgiving Universe may float and house the tortured souls that sustain it, that are born from it, that get swept out from the safety of the shores they construct themselves just to be pulled under the surface of the cesspool by the riptides of time, circumstance, and trauma dispelled by incompetent guardians.

Then, It witnesses everything: the good, the evil, the ecstatic, the depressed, the ubiquitous chain reaction of things leading to things, cycles breaking just to form new cycles in an everlasting loop, what is constantly collapsing and forming what will with the remains of what was, the greatest potentialities of all time reduced to singularity with a simple push, like a row of dominoes.

Now, the Universe’s perception of itself experiences anything: the present moment, the very culmination of all past choices, the breeding ground for the future, chaos and entropy fused together as one to make perfect, harmonious order determined by the flip of a coin, the making of a decision not by those sat idly around the table, waiting, leaning on the surface that will catch the coin and benefit from the result, but by the one who provides the table itself.


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 18.5 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

What The Fuck? – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (49/66)

Chapter 18
What The Fuck?

Mister Cape

The phrase What the fuck? goes through the minds of Sean Hymarc and Chuck Leary at the exact same time that it exits Chuck’s mouth. Sigmund and Jolon both reach for a piece of World War II weaponry that neither of them brought back from the digital world. Chuck spans his arms and backs up, squishing his robotic, rotund, hairy, and extraterrestrial friends into the back of the cramped elevator, putting as much ground between them and the motionless zombie before him as said cramped elevator will allow. Even if it’s only a couple feet, it’s still something.

Realizing the zombie is also a vegetable, apparently, Chuck raises his left hand and flips the zombie the bird. His entire left arm then melts into a cannon, the kind you would find on an eighteenth-century merchant’s vessel, and fires a cannonball directly into the zombie’s chest. The projectile penetrates, but then drops to the floor immediately behind the unphased, undead unhuman before melting back into hemibots and crawling into Chuck’s shoe. Everybody in the elevator would be deaf after being in such close proximity to a cannonball being fired, but fortunately, Chuck’s cannonarm has a silencer on it. Unfortunately, the chesthole fuckin’ stinks.

Seeing a decomposing human body body a cannonball without flinching fucks with Chuck just a little bit, so without warning he fires again, shooting the second cannonball into the space where the zombie’s head used to be before a cannonball removed it from the plot as you started reading the second half of this sentence. If the chesthole’s smell was bad before, well, it just caught a whiff of the smell leaking from the corpse’s neckhole and died, further adding to the stench. How the elevator isn’t flooded with vomit right now, I will never know.

Even headless the zombie still stands, menacingly, pieces of liquidated flesh and solidified blood dripping from the pit in its chest like the guts of a putrefied dead caterpillar carcass hanging by its legs from a tree. Within the chesthole, the Cape Gang – well really just Chuck because the rest of them are retching – can make out bits of a mechanical skeleton interwoven with the calcium one, giving the body the support it needs to continue standing without a head. Chuck thinks to himself, ‘A cybernetic zombie? Somebody call the fuckin’ Call To Duty guys, I have their next four video games in my back breast pocket.’

Tiny Tim reaches his entire hand into an especially dense tuft of fur near his chin, I suppose you could call it a beard, and pulls out a tiny piece of what Jolon assumes is a banana peel. Tim pops the rind in his mouth and grimaces as he chews, but swallows nonetheless. Tim-nah’tee then steps up to the plate, guiding Chuck behind him with an outstretched hairy arm. After throwing hand signs at a blindingly fast rate, Tim claps his hands together and produces a visible soundwave that causes the zombie’s rigger-mortis body, and the statuesque bodies of the other three beings standing guard at the other elevator doors, to vibrate and dance their way to the middle of the lobby. Jolon tries to question Tim about how the fuck he did that, but side-by-side with Chuck, Tim’s already left the elevator. Jolon follows close behind, then Sigmund, and then AdultJack, who has no idea that he is, at this moment, the second most capable force of destruction in the entirety of the Cape compound.

Chuck makes a very ugly face as he studies the three heads and four bodies that stand motionless in the center of his lobby. It is at this point that, out of the corner of his eye, Chuck sees past the two bipedal vegetables guarding his office from the inside and spots the balding head of an old-looking dude with a gray ponytail peering over Karen’s desk.

Chuck walks through the glass doors that read Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated before he smashed them to pieces by touching them with the brim of his fedora and shoves away the two statue-stiff humans – they slam into the walls, breaking through the sheetrock while still keeping their upright form like a couple of human-sized action figures. He marches up to the bongless Karen’s desk, ‘Thank you Karen,’ and brings his gloved (or should I say gauntleted) hands down on the desktop to intimidate the trembling gray man.

It works.

“Okay, hi there little guy. Two questions for ya, asked in order of importance. Actually, three. NUMBER ONE! Where the fuck is Karen? NUMBAH TWO-AH!” sharp inhale “Who da fUCK, are you? NUM-BAH TREEEE! Why in the fuck is there a baby-faced German having a seizure on my floor? AND NOW, THE HIDDEN-UH,” sharp inhale “NUM. BAH. FOUR-AHHHLAALALALAAH! What the fuck is up with your fuckin’ statue-ass henchmen-ass ass-ass asses? One of which I assume was a zombie before I blew his goddamned head off!”

The gray man, shivering in the boots that he’s not even wearing, stands up and stretches a hand towards Chuck. “I-I–… I can under… understand why you may be put off by, uh, by all of this, Mister, uh… Mister Cape, Sir, b-but, but I… please help, this man has been seizing for a few minGGAHHHH!!!”

Chuck accepted Mister Grayman’s handshake and seized the opportunity in the form of shattering every bone in the intruder’s appendage. Chuck then twists the hand, snapping the man’s wrist and forearm before raising it and throwing it back down on the desk, reveling in the wet splat sound of the impact. Amidst Grayman’s screaming, Chuck does the whole middle-finger-syringe thing and skewers the mangled, purpleish-blue hunk of skin and flesh attached to the intruder’s wrist. After holding the needle in the lump for more than just a moment, Chuck heals his guest.

“While I’m none too thrilled you’re here, I’m slightly impressed that you and your buddies managed to get in without being totally wrecked by my security system. You’ll have to explain that to me. As far as the seizey baby goes, well… I don’t want to heal him. So I’ll turn it over to…”

Sigmund takes this as a cue to waddle around the structure that houses Karen’s desk and enter the secret elevator behind the wood paneling. He travels down to the emergency BioBot room and sits in his throne to slump over and assume control of a three-foot-tall MediBot that he designed to look like the classic alien gray that his TerryTeam20 viewers were foolish enough to believe existed before Sigmund turned them all into TerryTeammates by broadcasting his programming to them.

The MediBot drops from the ceiling behind AdultJack, who’s just startled to pieces. Sigmund commands the bot to impressively hop over the desk, landing on one knee with a fist to the floor next to the seizey baby. MediBot then picks up Grayman and lobs him into Chuck’s arms in order to allow himself some space to poke and prod at the seizing BabyFace. Chuck gives Grayman a flirtatious smile, lip-bite and everything, and Grayman almost passes out cold.

When the poking and prodding doesn’t help the situation at all, MediBot lifts BabyFace over his head and leaps back over the desk, landing without even bending his knees. He then makes a series of clicking noises at AdultJack, the BioBot auto-translate software letting Jack know that he should follow MediBot into the elevator. When they’re sealed in, MediBot has AdultJack push a button, any button he likes, before having him press the cancel button and then the button for floor forty – the MediBay.

“Why did you bring me with you, Sigmund?” AdultJack asks in the voice of a sailor, “I’m not going to be of much use, I don’t even know cee-pee-are.”

clickity’clackity paddywhack, giveadogabone, click”, MediBot enunciates, translating to, “Two reasons. One, I need to tell you something about your BioBot, just in case you go back up there. Two, you don’t wanna know what’s about to happen up there.”

Meanwhile, back up there, “You wanna know somethin’, Mister Grayman?”

“Uhm… y-yes…?” Grayman asks between thumb-sucks whilst Chuck cradles him in his arms.

“Me too. Your buddy… what’s his name?”

“Uhm, Doctor, Doctor Edvard Torp–” thud “Ouch!” Hymarc yelps after Chuck drops him on his ass. “Doctor Edvard Torpol.”

“Hmmm. Doctor EdVard Tore-pole, huh?” with emphasis on the V. ‘Interesting.’ Chuck contemplates this as he strokes the chin part of his goatee. “Sounds like a Nazi to me, but we’ll let it slide.”

Chuck then offers his uninvited visitor a hand to his feet, which Grayman accepts. Chuck keeps the hold on Grayman’s suddenly wet hand and begins to guide him deeper into his lair. I mean, office. “Come on, let’s go for a little walkie. I want to know something else. What’s your name, Grayman?”

Things Go South

Off to the side, Jolon and Tim-nah’tee are trying to remove the big-boy action figures from the wall so they can put the collection together and horde it into an elevator. Sticking strictly to telepathy, Jolon asks Tim, ‘Should we go in there? Assist Chuck if things go south?’

‘Have you peered into his mind? Chuck’s not the one who will need our help when things go south.’

God Isn’t Here

Grayman is led to the table in the unexplored wing of the office. “Erm, Hymarc. Sean Hymarc, Esquire. Well, the Esquire was from the days when being a lawyer was a thing one could do, although I was never a lawyer, I just always liked the way Esquire sounds, so I used it. What is, um, what is your name, sir?”

Chuck smiles. “Yeah, didn’t ask for the whole history behind the mouth noises you use to label yourself. Sit the fuck down right there, would ya?” while pointing to the end of the table.

“But… there’s no chair for me to sit in?”

Chuck doesn’t answer, instead walking to the other end of the table and sitting lotus on the table itself. Hymarc begins to climb up on the table until Chuck yells, “The fuck’re you doing?!” Chuck then calmly instructs his intruder to get the fuck off the table and sit on the fucking floor, which Hymarc does with haste. Hymarc is just tall enough to peer over the edge of the table, his head at eye-level with Chuck’s crotch.

“May I… sir, may I please stand for this meeting?” Sean asks without standing up.

“So, pleasure to meet you mister Highball.”

“Erm, it’s Hymar–”

“That’s what the fuck I said, Highshit. Don’t interrupt me if you value your ability to speak. Now, we have a few things to go over, don’t you agree? That was rhetorical, before you fucking interrupt me again; I’ll let you know when it’s your turn to speak. First order of business, how the fuck did you and your what I assume to be sex dolls bypass my crazy goddamned security protocols and get into my fortress?”

Hymarc says nothing, waiting for Chuck to give him the okay to speak. Out the window behind the silhouetted suited man, Hymarc sees the TerrorWing zooming around, back, up, down, and forth in no recognizable flight pattern. He doesn’t even have the will to gulp, instead choosing to block out the sight of this sick manifestation of his entire day spinning out of control.

“Oh, don’t wanna talk now? You were soooo eager to tell me all about the history of your fucking name, but now you’re silent. Okay daddy, I’ll play.”

Chuck unfolds his legs and uses the resulting momentum to leap across the table, tackling the sitting Hymarc and pinning him down.

Chuck then holds his left hand up like he’s about to karate chop the abhorrently confused Hymarc. He commands his hand to morph into a plasma chainsaw and severs Sean’s right arm clean off his body, cauterizing the wound as he creates it. Before Sean even has a chance to scream, panic, or even realize what’s just happened to him, Chuck re-hands himself, grabs the loose arm, holds the end of it against Hymarc’s brand new shoulder stump, and stabs it with the syringe finger on his right hand, injecting the healing serum as he pulls the needle out. By the time Chuck’s sat back on his end of the table, a tsunami of pain grips the fully healed Hymarc by his now intact median nerve and pinches it harder than a case of carpal tunnel pinches a teenager’s dominant arm.

“GAAAHAHHAUPSOHSDPA WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST DO TO ME?!” Hymarc screams as he spazzes out all over the floor, convulsing more than his seizey buddy was a moment ago.

“Oh, you like that? I call it the delayed reaction technique. See, I just forced you to feel the pain of amputation without anesthesia while causing zero net damage to your body. In fact, you’re even healthier now than you were before, your nerves are just freaking the fuck out because they experienced me chopping your goddamned arm off. And they’ll continue to do so until… now.

As Chuck says now, Hymarc’s nerves stop the torrent of pain signals they were sending to Hymarc’s brain. His brain then begins a distribution of flight signals, or translated from psychological jargon, get the fuck out of there signals, to his entire body. Hymarc tries to open his mouth to speak but all his muscles are suddenly tightened up. If Torpol were here he would suggest some tension-release therapy, but Torpol’s not here right now, is he?

“How did I have the timing down so perfect? Well… I’ll let you put that jigsaw puzzle together yourself. Now, there was probably a little misunderstanding there. You didn’t talk because I didn’t tell you to talk. A word of advice: speak when you’re fucking spoken to. Now, I’ll ask again. How. The fuck. Did you get. Into my compound. Will all your sex dolls?”

Apparently God isn’t here either, Jesus Fucking Christ.

Hymarc is downright shivering, and it’s not even that cold. He swallows a stringy wad of saliva and mucus, making a gulp sound that Chuck pretends was a hallucination for both their sakes.

Steeled, Sean says, “I… we just landed on your roof and walked in. We had an alien ship on autopilot, it’s actually waiting to come and get us. We can… look, you can keep Torpol if you want him, I’ll just take my uh, my sex dolls, and we can all be on our way!”

Nice try, “Chuck sa– FUCK! Didn’t mean to say that, sorry man! Now what was I… right. Nice try. I guess that’ll explain why your boat didn’t get shot out of the sky by a compact nuclear warhead, your alien tech must not have tripped my sensors… that’s pretty cool. Wanna know something cool about me? I fucked an alien this week. Yeah, you should start crying, bitch. Not even God can help you now, and that’s big Gee, we clear? God isn’t here right now, Mister Sean Hymarc, Esquire. I am.”

Oh my… did… did he hear me?

Hymarc, on account of his own verbacious blubbering, doesn’t hear every word that comes out of Chuck’s mouth. But! he picks up enough keywords to apply the doctrine of context clues and catch Chuck’s drift.

With one drift caught, Chuck throws another. “So, what, you just hopped into my elevator and randomly chose the floor to my office? There’s more than two hundred floors in this building, you’re going to have to walk me through this. While you’re still able to walk.” After waiting until Hymarc’s weeping slows down to a whimper, Chuck adds, “It’s your turn to speak now. Faggot. Go get to fuckin’ speaking.”

“I’m… I’m not a homosexual, Sir, I–”

“Never said you were?” with one eyebrow cresting over the rims of his sunglasses.

“But I… fine. Yes, we took the elevator, but the button for this floor had a big Cee on it, so, so the Doctor and I just assumed that it meant Cape, and that this was your office.”

“Mm-hmm…” Chuck mouth-noises as he taps the pads of his gloved fingers together. “A likely story.”

Chuck then holds up his hand as if he was holding a ninja star and waits as a layer of his tie peels off and wedges itself between his fingers and his thumb to form itself into a ninja star. Chuck then flicks the ninja star and impales Sean Hymarc right between the eyes, knocking him to the ground like a target dummy. With a snap of his fingers, Chuck commands the ninja star to inject Hymarc with healing serum with enough force to dislodge the ninja star and send it spinning back though the air. Chuck catches it in his mouth and smiles a terrifying, toothy grimace as it melts through his teeth and slithers back into his tie.

About twenty seconds later, when the pain fades enough for Hymarc to get back up and paw at the lack of wound in his forehead, Chuck is playing a tune on a very tiny piano.

“I can do this all day, Hymarc. Not play the piano, I mean torture you,” as he smashes the piano to bits with his forehead. “It gives me a twisted kind of thrill, you know? Again, not the piano playing, but the torturing. I legitimately enjoy causing other humans pain… only when I think they deserve it though, don’t worry. You came into my house, my home, uninvited. Do you know what that tells me? That one, you’re not a vampire, and two, that you can feel pain. I have a little-known fact for ya, the undead? They don’t feel pain in the same way the as of yet dead do. At first I thought that rule only applied to hillbillies – it’s a long story – but then I realized, in order to hurt something that’s already dead, biologically speaking, you have to get pretty fucking creative. And it’s a good thing that I smoke lots of Cannabis, because I’m creative as fuck! Speakin’ a’which, any chance you’d wanna smoke a little? I’m being rude, I haven’t even offered yet.”

Quite a few lightbulbs went off in Sean’s head during that little tirade. He says, “Well, Sir, I can’t say I’ve tried Cannabis before, buh–” before he’s cut off.

“IT,” pause “is settled then,” as Chuck walks over to his desk to fetch his rolling supplies. When he plops down in his wheeley chair, he notices that the THC breath scanner had been activated on his computer. He’s almost impressed for a moment, until he sees the tiny, curly gray hair sticking out of the end of it.

With steam gushing from his eyeballs, Chuck says, “So uh, you almost got into my computer, I see. Good job…” before roaring, “is what I would say if you didn’t stick your dick in the fucking sensor you fucking demented shitstain of a pathetic fucking waste of human fucking seed! You FUCKING…” he trails off, pinching his rage to a low growl so the resulting excess mental energy can be converted into physical energy later.

A Misunderstanding

If Sam was here, he would probably bring up that old newspaper article right about now. You know the one I’m talking about, c’mon; that article about the Mexican man who smoked marihuana and went crazy, violently murdering his wife and children in the process because the drug told him to? You know, the one that influenced the United States’ government’s decision to outlaw Cannabis in the first place? He’d probably bring this up to Chuck in an attempt to sway the man’s high into a less villainous vibe before he does something to Hymarc that can’t be fixed by his special sauce, before he proves once and for all that smoking Cannabis can directly lead to evil things. Chuck would of course refute this, claiming that the concept of good versus evil is about as inane and storybookish as heroes versus villains before picking Sam up by his holier than thou-ass ankles and tornado-tossing him out a window.

But Sam is not here, fortunately or un-, and the closest thing to an anthropomorphized voice of reason, the only being still in the room aside from Chuck and his new toy, as a matter of fact, is Tiny Tim, who just happens to peek around the corner to see a groveling Hymarc curled up in the fetal position behind the minifridge. Tim, being Tim, places a heavy hand on Hymarc’s shoulder and attempts to console him.

“There, there, Mister Hymarc. Are you okay?”

Hymarc immediately drops the crying act and says, “Oh yes, Mister Bigfoot. I’m doing quite well, actually. I assure you, this is all a misunderstanding.”

Tim smiles an Oh yeah? You really think so, don’t you? smile before offering, “I’m glad you’re choosing to see it that way. You see, the man in the suit over there? I have known that man for a very, very long time. Ever since he was a child. Ever since I was a child, if you can imagine such a thing. That man is a very great man, a man of honor, integrity, and character. A man who was forged inside the heart of a star, a man who can easily be described as a cold piece of work. The power he wields is even greater than mine; he holds the type of power that could decide the fate of an entire universe, if he were pushed to do it. That being said…”

Hymarc’s cocky smile fades into a shit-smearing frown as Tim continues.

“…that man is also his father’s son. With great power comes great responsibility, of course, and he realizes this… but he also realizes that the times in which so great a responsibility is called upon are few and far in between, if they ever occur at all. He realizes that carrying the level of power that he does makes him a god, and on this human-inhabited planet, well, there’s no instruction booklet for how to be a god. He, and likely he alone, realizes that his power is only considered to be so great to creatures like you and I because it is compared to the power wielded by creatures like you and I by creatures like you and I, creatures that abide by predetermined limits installed into our genetic coding by an outside force. That man… he doesn’t abide by those limits, or any limits. Yesterday I was hiking with him and he told me that he’s met his creator face-to-face and he was thoroughly unimpressed.”

“What are you getting at, ape?!” Hymarc barks through a grimy scowl.

Chuck chuckles as he presses the licked glue strip down, sealing the joint.

“My name,” Tim-nah’tee says in a grave, forewarning voice, “is Tim-nah’tee of the Quatchfut, and throughout the innumerable solar cycles in which my species inhabited this planet, we have never once come into contact with a being on the same level of consciousness as the one who sits across the table from you today. I say all that to say this: that man does not give a fuck. You should choose your words very carefully today, as I did before I approached you.”

‘Hmph, this intolerable talking ape thinks he can scare me. As soon as the ‘borgs boot back up this entire room will be a bloodbath. You have yet to use the secret weapon Hymarc, everything is going to be fine.’

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, Mister Hymarc,” Tim says in an almost sorrowful manner, “I must go bind your cyborgs in eEe-eM-Pee wire.”

‘Shit! What a fucking coincidence!’ Hymarc thinks to himself, not wanting to give up his poker face. “Very well, thank you for the words of advice, Tim’nah-tee. Leh–”

“It’s Tim-nah’tee.”

Ignoring that, “Let me ask you, how often does that man call you by your true, full name? You seem afraid to even utter his name; that’s no way to live, no way to be treated by an employer. Why must you bind my men, because he told you to? Maybe that’s not such a great idea, think about it. I mean, do as you will; I’m in no position to command you, after all. But when this is all over and done with, well, I’d like to offer you a job.”

Tim, without turning around to face Hymarc, says, “I do not work for him, Sean, I live by guided my own free will and nothing else. Jolon and I are binding your men for their safety, and no one else’s.”

Tim then leaves the office and, after installing the new glass doors that Jolon had created with the Dirt Eater Mk I’s fabricator, he hops into an elevator and descends into the underground bunker to wait out the rest of this storm in safety.

Chuck Decides It’s Time

As the pressure on Hymarc’s shoulders seems to increase by the weight of the world’s largest rubber band ball, Chuck climbs back on the table and resumes his lotus position.

“I see you met Tiny Tim, he’s great. Old friend of mine. Now, I have this joint; sit your ass back at the fucking table with me.”

Sean sits his ass back at the fucking table with Chuck.

“Gravy. Here,” Chuck says as he throws the joint like a dart, landing the crutch in the small gap between the top and bottom jaws of Sean Hymarc’s slightly agape mouth. Chuck holds his right hand in the shape of a gun and brings his thumb down, causing a gray Qic lighter to spout from the tip of his pointer finger. Once his wrist is extended to the length of the table, Chuck lights the joint for Hymarc and, after the man’s taken his first toke, Chuck removes the joint from his still open mouth and mentally commands his hemi-atomic nanobots to de-extend his wrist back to a normal size again. Then, as the lighter deconstructs, Chuck begins smoking the joint.

“So I just popped your cherry, right?” Chuck eagerly asks a red-eyed Hymarc. “What do you think, bud?”

“I think…” Hymarc mumbles. What does Hymarc think? Does he even think, like, normally? “I’m… not sure. How is one supposed to feel while on this drug?”

One is not supposed to feel anything, it works its magic on each of us differently. Tell me how you’re feeling, Sean.”

“Well… I, I suppose I feel… light. Happy. A tad bit euphoric, maybe a little peckish…”

“Oh yeah? Woo-hoo! This is great, you’re high! Hahahaaaah, I love making humans high for the first time. It’s always so special. You know man, I was gonna pull some stuff, like, some real stuffy stuff, but now–”

“I wasn’t finished speaking,” Hymarc says, not intending to rudely cut Chuck off but rudely cutting him off anyway. “I also feel… alive, confident, in control of my own circumstances.”

“Well that’s uh, good,” Chuck says, growing agitated. “Buh–”

“SO confident, in fact, that I can do this!” as he slaps the sleeve of his suit jacket right over his watch, clicking a button that sends a signal back to the Apex tower.

From the laboratory on the seventieth floor, two human-sized capsules launch and propel themselves across the city, smashing through two of the wall-windows next to Chuck’s desk. Without missing a beat, Chuck calmly takes a hit and looks to his right.

The capsules open and fill the room with smoke until the smoke is sucked outside by the difference in air pressure. From the metallic shells crawl two naked hillbillies, their bald heads, cumulative seven teeth, and lubricated bodies shining under the unflickering lights of Chuck’s office.

The shorter hillbilly with a mean hunch in its back cackles and twists its head clockwise ninety degrees as claws begin to erupt from not only its knuckles, not only the space between its fingers, but from its fingertips as well, and from the majority of the pores all over its body. The other hillbilly, one hand pumping away at its flaccid penis, sits back down in its capsule to watch.

“Oh fuck no,” Chuck says as he converts his Cannabis cocoon into a worm of ash.

“Mister Cape, I would like you to mee–”

“I said, oh FUCK NO!!” as Chuck rips the fingers and thumb from his left hand and throws them at Hymarc. The fingers each morph into restraints that wrap around Hymarc’s arms and legs, sticking him to the wall. The thumb morphs into an over-the-mouth gag, something Sean just plain isn’t used to at this stage of the game.

After patiently waiting the half of a second that it takes for his hand to grow its fingers back, Chuck stands up to face the hillbilly menace. He holds his arms out, fingers pointed towards the ceiling as his palms both open and dangle down by a hinge on his wrist, revealing a pair of large, shimmering lenses. From these lenses form two massive, Cannabis green hard-light constructs in the shape of hands in the style of the BS comics powerhouse LanternMan. The hands grab one hillbilly each, slamming them together in a double-handed fist before shooting off into space at a speed slightly slower than that of soft light, because of the hard light and all. The hands, and the hillbillies, are then doublefist hamslammed directly into the surface of the sun, arriving so fast they don’t even get burnt up by the cascading waves of pure heat and solar radiation.

Back on Earth now, Chuck’s hands reassemble and he begins a slow clap. Hymarc tries to say something defiant, but the words can’t break through the robinite gag. So, being the gentleman he is, Chuck mentally commands the gag to melt into a neck restraint, which Hymarc finds quite a bit more enjoyable than the boring child’s gag. Before he can speak though, Chuck says…

“Congratulations Sean, you just fucked up! You fucked up big time!” the second sentence said excitedly, like a child talking to a goldfish he just won at a carnival. “Remember what Tim just said a fuckin’ minute ago? Choose your words carefully? Well, do you know what a word is?”

A mental, ‘What, are you trying to teach me a lesson? Do you think you’re better than me, you insolent little rodent? Just give me time, I’ll fucking squash you like the bug you are,’ accompanied by silence from Hymarc, his brain spinning faster than the teacup ride at his favorite carnival that he would always ride alone because he was never able to win a goldfish (or any prizes) as he tries to come up with something, anything, to no avail.

It’s just as well; as most children who’ve won goldfish at the carnival do, the child in the first simile shakes the bag until the fish dies.

“A word is a symbol, on paper at least, that we use to describe something. In reality though, words are just noises – very creative noises, but noises nonetheless – that we spew from our mouths in an attempt to make each other feel a certain way. They’re a fucking manipulation tactic, unless you use them to sing a song or rap, then they’re an instrument of art. But, you don’t seem like the creative type, I can tell just by looking at you. See, when you figure certain things out about the Universe… well, about Existence really, but specifically about Earth’s humans, you’ll realize that our words are inherently meaningless. When humans talk, they often do so in order to hear the sound of their own voice and nothing more. Humans also often like to see the reaction their mouth noises inspire in the targets of their words – I’m a human, and I’m spouting all this fuckin’ quote-unquote enlightened shit right now just to scare you, just to make you squirm. Just so you know you fucked up, because even though I said it, you may have interpreted my words wrong.”

Chuck breaks the entire tip of his tie off and throws it onto the ground between himself and Hymarc. The fabric-looking thing then begins to grow, transforming itself into a smooth metal cylinder with a small wire hanging out of a hole in the middle of the body. Atop the cylinder, once Chuck carefully removes the cap, is a series of needles and spires with electrodes buzzing at the tops.

“See, because that’s where the beauty of a word lies – in the ears of its beholders. Words are inherently meaningless, but yet we all spew ‘em as if they actually mean something, and still they’re so often misunderstood! When I told you that you fucked up a minute ago, you probably thought I was just talking mad shit. That I was condescending upon you because I think that I’m better than you, or some moronic inferiority complex shit like that. Or, that I think you’re better than me, so I need to knock you down a few pegs just to feel equal to you, even though I just said that I’m talking for the sole purpose of scaring you. I’m literally telling you what I’m saying as I’m saying it, but you’re still probably misunderstanding me. Anyway, so you see this little diddy I have here?”

“Yes,” Hymarc sneers, summoning all the saliva in his body into his mouth. The dumbfuck then sprays, “What is that, a garbage can? Are you going to toss me in the trash or something? You know, you remind me of an employee of mine, a low-level lackey named Alvey. He’s the trash man at my Brick City headquarters, recently got a promotion to coffee man at the NewMann location. You’d probably detest him, I know I do; when all this is said and done, I’m going to hang you by your testicles on a meat hook and have him sit in the room and carry out pleasant conversations with you.”

“Okay, first of all, fucking called it. Second of all, fucking called it! You’re not taking me seriously! Sean, I just monologued like a proper antagonist for a fucking reason! You wanna know why, Hy? Because YOU!”

Chuck extends his right arm as if he was reaching for the ground.

“JUST!”

A stream of what appears to be liquid metal containing trillions of hemi-atomic nanobots emerges from Chuck’s tie and slithers over his blazer and up his sleeve.

“FUCKED!”

The sliver of hemibots forms itself into a katana with a handle shaped like the neck and head of a dragon. From the mouth of the dragon, another sliver of hemibots emerges, this one forming into the head of a tomahawk. ‘If only Jolon were here to see this.’

“UP!!”

In a series of swift motions, Chuck slices through each of the five restraints binding Hymarc to the wall. Before the restraints can hit the floor, and far quicker than Hymarc’s brain can perceive what’s going on, Chuck does a back handspring to distance himself from his plaything and throws the Katanaxe Mk VII at Hymarc. The blade of the tomahawk sticks into the wall behind the resulting gap between Hymarc’s body and his newly severed head.

Oh fuck, this just got dark, darker than Hymarc’s rapidly fading sense of self, and perception, and life in general.

Then, Hymarc can feel his face again. He opens his eyes and, after the lights stop blinding him, his vision clears to reveal that he’s facing the wall, which still holds Chuck’s Katanaxe Mk VII. There’s a bloodstain dripping down from the weapon, but no body to be found. Could… could that have all been a vision? A fever dream of sorts, a hallucination generated by Sean’s brain to distract him from witnessing himself committing a heinous act of violent deviance against a fellow NewMann CEO?

Well that would certainly make sense, wouldn’t it? The brain hallucinates all conscious reality, after all. Every sight, smell, touch, feeling – it all comes to the perception from the brain. Everything you know and feel, everything you’ve ever known and felt has been nothing more than an electrical shock, a translation. The brain takes electricity and turns it into reality, but only after it’s traveled through the body – surely an organ of such power is capable of making its own decisions, painting its own reality for its perceiver, no? Well, why not? If one’s brain can take particles of light and make its perceiver think the sky is blue, then why couldn’t one’s brain make its perceiver think the sky was green? Or purple? Why couldn’t the brain perceive true reality and flip it into something entirely other for its perception to get lost in?

Well, the thing is, it could.

Maybe what Sean was seeing was an alternate reality being played out in the darkest recesses of his mind. The dude’s a dickhead for sure, but he’s not evil. He’s never murdered anyone himself, he’s never done anything that didn’t go towards the greater good that is the achieving of his own desires. He’s… well he totally could do it, sure, but… he’s also kind of afraid to kill someone himself, like… what if his victim didn’t really deserve it, you know? What if the reason Hymarc kills someone boils down to that someone having an off day? There are so many unpredictable variables involved, it’s just so overwhelming.

Well, in normal circumstances, anyway. But today… this whole fuckin’ week really, has been about as far from normal as one can stray. Maybe Chuck was really Sean’s father the whole time; maybe experiencing a hallucination of being victimized by a manifestation of all his greatest shortcomings was Hymarc’s brain’s way of having Hymarc’s spirit accept the fact that killing his father was the only answer, the only way to escape that dank basement prison. In order to face fear, one must be made aware that facing said fear is the only acceptable option – Sean’s perception bore witness to his greatest fear in the confines of his mind so his body could face the truth in the rest of reality.

Yes, that would all be very convenient and plot-twisty, it would all make perfectly good sense… if Mister Hymarc wasn’t suddenly overcome with the sensation of his body lying on a table two feet behind him.

“Remember when I said you fucked up, Hymarc?” Sean hears, the words said in Mister Cape’s voice, as he’s slowly turned around to face the table. “Well I fucking meant it.”

Sean mouths the phrase What the fuck? without any of the sound that usually follows.

“Oh, sorry, lemme just…” as Chuck flips a tiny switch behind Hymarc’s head. “There, try now.”

“What have you done to me?!” Hymarc shrieks in a horrified voice. His head is skewered atop the metal cylinder, animated by the electrode-capped spires, and from this vantage point, he can see a small wire running from the base of the cylinder over to the neck of his naked, headless body.

Oh fuck, this just got darker!

“Well, I decapitated you in the most humane way possible. Or maybe the least, considering what’s about to go down in the main office of Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated today. You see… okay, so like… no, actually… okay, so, see… no… hold up. A’right, so you see… DAMNIT! I can’t find the fucking words, GRAGH! Okay, do you remember that cap that I took off the Doohickey Mark One? I don’t know if you were paying attention, but… yeah? You were? Word. So, using that cap, which, if you haven’t already guessed, is much more advanced than your everyday run-of-the-mill Doohickey Mark One cap, I plugged your neck hole and stopped the blood that your stump of a neck was so persistent on spouting like one of those ground fountains at a kid’s fucking water park. Then I took that uh, that little wire? You know, the… oh right, you can see it. So I took the wire and plugged the Doohickey Mark One into your body so now, even whilst decapitated, you still get to feel everything that happens to you. And, let me tell you, things are about to happen. In other words, I finally get to use that random throwaway project that my very happy scientist friend made for me. All things come full circle, buggaboo, and this circle’s boutta’ cum all over your face.”

Before Hymarc can even grasp the sadistic shit that he brought upon himself, Chuck continues. “Or, maybe I’m not finally getting to use it. Maybe, just maybe, this is what I do on especially wet Wednesday evenings. Oh, it’s not Wednesday? Well as far as you know, assfuck. Maybe this isn’t real, maybe this is all a simulation… maybe you attempted to break into my fucking office a looooong time ago and I captured you, and all of your little henchmen and ball lickers, maybe you’re all plugged into a simulation of the office invasion, except instead of you at the helm, Mister Sean Hymarc, Mister fuckin’ IOwnAFuckin’CompanyEvenThoughI’mOneChunk-OfLeadInTheHeadAwayFromBeingARealLeader, maybe it’s each and every one of your little buddies. Maybe you all get to watch yourselves lose time and time again, just to be strapped to my table so I can do things to you. Horrible, unspeakably wicked, truly vile and terrible things, things that’ll be burned into your central nervous system at a quantum level, things that will make pee-tee-ess-dee look like a fucking ice cream cone that you purchase when you’re waiting on line for the fucking teacup ride.

“Or maybe not, maybe this is all real and I’m still about to do things to you, just to restrain you, heal you up, put you back on my wall and practice throwing my fucking Katanaxe Mark Seven at you just so I can repeat this whole process time and time again. Maybe I’ve been repeating myself here, maybe this is the third time in a row I’ve cut your head off with a perfect throw, maybe you just became my new hat-trick. Speakin’ a’which, maybe I’ll turn my fedora into a circular saw and cut your head off like that next time, so you can feel that flavor of pain before the lights go off and you’re swept into that blissful state of limbo that holds you until I decide I want to play some more. Maybe this whole week, ever since you think you saw your building get torched on Monday morning… maybe your whole fuckin’ life has been a simulation.

“Lemme just break the shit down for you. As far as you know, your fucking name isn’t even Sean. Right now, in the actual now, you could be a caveman sitting in a random mountain’s cooch, just sitting around while an aliens scrapes some funky orange shit off the wall for you to smoke until you pass out, and you would have no fucking idea. Scratch that – you have no fucking idea. I have you convinced that this whole shit is a technological simulation when it’s actually a Psychedelic trip, completely biological. AND! You’re seeing me again now because no matter how many times you come to the nexus, no matter how many fucking times the decision is presented to you, you keep fucking up! It’s a fifty-fifty shot, Sean, and you keep choosing wrong! And until the day that your actions don’t lead to me, your life will be paused on an existential level and you’ll stay smoking the wall gunk in that cave. You’ll stay strapped on my table, over and over again for ever and ever. Oh we’ll be the best of friends, Mister President Sean Hymarc, Esquire, Sir – all because you keep fucking up. How’s that for a hat-trick, Apex?”

Sean doesn’t even have mouth noises to clap back at Chuck. He only has one thought, three little words playing on repeat to the tune of epic, fiery, orchestral boss music inside of his head: ‘I fucked up.’

“In other words Sean, if that’s even your name you Gronk-ass motherfucker, you just fucked up so bad that you don’t even know how bad you fucked up. You wanna know why? Because you can’t know how bad you just fucked up. I’ve taken everything from you in the span of about nineteen minutes, even the ability to consciously know what your reality is. Your entire existence just crumbled to dust in the palms of my gloved fucking hands, and I did all this on a whim. You’re playing my game now, Sean Hymarc.”

Then, with a diabolical, fiendish growl, “Welcome to my world.”

Chuck takes the gauntlet off his left hand and throws it down to the floor. He holds his bare hand an inch from Hymarc’s face and mentally commands claws to grow not just from the knuckles, not just from the spaces between his fingers, but from the tips of his fingers themselves.

“Did I get the hand right, Sean Hymarc? Sean Hymarc!?” Chuck slaps Sean Hymarc across the face with his human hand, relishing in the SLAP sound. “Don’t you fucking pass out on me yet, big boy! If you want, I can– you know what? Fuck it. Lemme just hook you up.”

Chuck flips another switch on the Doohickey Mk I, activating an adrenalin pump that surges Sean’s brain into an unforgiving state of constant hyperawareness.

“THERE HE IS! WOO! Now that you can feel everything you’d normally feel and more, did I get the hand right? Oh yeah, just like Tooki’s hand… or was Wan the one who transformed? I don’t give a fuck, I’m only asking because I killed them both at that fucking lake all those years ago and I wanted to bring up the fact that you fucking sprang them on me again! Fucking AGAIN! I didn’t even know it was you that first time, and did you see how quickly I uh, dispatched them, today? Know what that means? That means that I’m mad now, that means I’m about to do even worse things to you, Mister President Sean Hymarc, Esquire, sir.”

Chuck turns and walks over to the body on his table. He lightly drags his middle finger’s claw over Sean’s tummy. Sean feels every dreaded millisecond of it, the accumulated anticipation building up in his boiling bloodstream like cholesterol does a clogged artery.

“I should have figured out that somebody’s been watching me. Usually I’m more aware than this, but… well, you know what they say; great power attracts even greater challenge. Except… wait, you asked me for my name before, didn’t you? HAH, that’s fucking rich! I just remembered that as I was saying it too, isn’t human memory great? Before you walked in here today you had no idea who I was, just like I had no idea that you even existed until I came into my office and found you stroking yourself, wishing you could be me. But yet… you’ve known me all along, haven’t you? I’m the one who is what you cannot be. I’m the one who’s achieved what you never will. I’m the one that shredded your little science experiment, twice. I’m the one who controls the city that houses your company. I’m the one that torched your fucking office on the mainland, and you know what else? Considering all these fuckin’ synchronicities, that was probably your car that I dropped Alvey on Monday morning! Oh yeah, look scared, I know him too. I actually don’t hate him; we’re pretty different, sure, but he’s my friend; I find that our differences provide an interesting dynamic. You were wrong about that Sean, just like you were wrong to come here. And now… now it’s my turn to be wrong…”

Chuck plunges his hand into Hymarc’s chest, slicing through all sorts of arteries, bones, and organ tissues as he removes Hymarc’s beating heart and holds it up in the air. Chuck then brings the heart not to his own mouth, but to Hymarc’s mouth. As he feels his body tremoring, going into shock, convulsing, reaching, begging for the pain to stop, for the blood to flow, for reality to be real again, as Hymarc feels his body approaching death like a tangent approaches the axis on a graph, as Sean feels his belief in God and god alike slipping away, he is forced to lick the blood that’s spurting from his own, still beating heart.

Then, Chuck drops the heart back into the cavity from whence he pulled it. Using his right hand, he injects the headless body with healing serum and the hole in Sean’s ribcage patches itself right back up. The heart reconnects, the body starts working again. Eventually the pain fades and Sean is brought back to baseline.

Then Chuck vivisects Sean’s right leg, peeling back the skin like it was sod and slicing away at the muscles until the bone is exposed. With a series of badly aimed punches, Chuck snaps his victim’s shin bone and takes it out of its wrapping before using it as a shiv and stabbing a hole into every square inch of Sean’s body. Blood pours off the edges of the table in a waterfall just to be sucked up by the Doohickey Mk I and pumped, through the wire, back into Hymarc’s body. When Sean’s husk is more holes than solid pieces of flesh, Chuck drops the bone back into the leg and injects his plaything with healing serum. The bones all realign, the muscles reattach, and the skin fuses back together without so much as a single scar.

Sean is put back together, good as new, just to be torn apart in increasingly gruesome and admittedly creative ways for god knows how long. At one point, Chuck literally rips Sean’s dick off and shoves it into the man’s mouth, shouting, “You fucking thought the breathalyzer was a fucking cock measurer ?! What the fuck ?!?”

You’d think the pain would fade, or at the very least Sean’s brain would become used to it, but no. That would be too easy, I guess; thanks to the adrenalin and the not-publicly-available healing serum, every single moment of this abhorrence feels like the first. Every single stab, every single blow, every single second of harrowing, gut-wrenching, nightmare-spawning pain feels like the first, feels like the worst thing Sean Hymarc has ever felt.

And it happens over and over again, the pain feeling worse and worse each time Chuck devises a new way to hurt his intruder.

And it all keeps happening just for Hymarc to be healed back to perfect health and torn back apart.

Over.

And over.

And over.

Again.

Never ending, until Chuck decides it’s time.

You Have It Backwards

At the end of his episode, Chuck takes a few deep breaths and finally puts the glove back on his hand. He wheels Hymarc’s head over to the end of the table so he can get a really good view of the Doohickey Mk I’s cap.

“Before I put you back together, I’d like to address something. You and me? We’re the only ones in here. Want to know why? Because although your seizing associate and your frozen sex dolls didn’t know what I was capable of, they all had viable excuses to not be here. But my friends? The scientist, the adult who definitely isn’t actually a teenager piloting a robot, the Zeroc, the Quatchfut? They all know me. They all know what I’m capable of, and that’s not because they’ve witnessed it, not because they’ve experienced it for themselves, but because they’ve been around me for long enough to draw their own conclusions. Allow me to address the hole you think you’ve poked in my logic: the Zeroc, Jolon? He’s only known me for a few days, he couldn’t possibly know what I am. But, see, the aliens can read minds, Sean; he took one look into mine and decided that he should follow rather than try to lead me. But you… you have some sort of mental complex, some kind of psychological baggage that you carry around with you in your daily life, the very baggage that makes you feel like you need to be in complete control of everything even though you’re so clearly incapable, so fucking incompetent that you couldn’t pull off a surprise hostile takeover of my company! When I wasn’t even here!

“So I had to teach you a lesson, a very important lesson that everybody inhabiting this Universe needs to learn sooner or later, a lesson that I’m more than happy to teach by any means necessary: you don’t fuck with me.”

With that, Sean’s senses go dark once more. The limbo state is even calmer now, even more welcoming than it was earlier, if this even is the limbo state; perhaps it’s the hub that spirits wait in before their simulation is rebooted so Mister Cape can torture them again.

Or… wait, didn’t Mister Cape say this was all a drug tri–

Suddenly Sean is awake. He looks down and sees his body, sat cross-legged, on a carpeted floor. In front of him is a table with a suited man sitting on top of it.

“Welcome back sleepy head, have a good nap?”

“What… what was that?” Hymarc whispers, mostly to himself.

“That, was exactly what you think it was. It wasn’t a simulation. It wasn’t a hallucination. It was all real, it all happened. Every single second of it. And it can happen again, too, if you’re not careful.”

“I…” as he looks down to the swirly lines on his hands, failing to find god. Or God, for that matter. “What… what are you?”

“Me?” Chuck says as he stands up, clapping the dust off his hands. “Well I’m a human, just like you. I’m living my life, making my mistakes, and enjoying my triumphs. Maybe I’m a little more eccentric than you, maybe I do things with a little more intensity… but, ask yourself, doesn’t that just make me more human?”

Chuck turns and starts to walk towards his desk, deciding to let that one marinate for a few hours before he pops the roast into the oven. Or days, it doesn’t matter; Hymarc can stay for as long as he wants.

It’s not like he can pose any sort of threat to this suited madman.

Or… can I?’

Hymarc stands, his knees cracking from sitting in such an uncomfortable position, and takes a pen out of his pants pocket. It’s nothing too fancy; chrome body, black rubber grip, a lead button on the top. The words Apex Corporation emblazoned up the length in ruby red letters.

Sean grips the pen in his hand and thinks to himself, ‘What do all humans have in common? What is the one thing we all do at the end of the day, the one thing that we can’t prevent no matter how hard we try?’

Sean clicks the pen and powerwalks after Chuck to make up for lost ground.

Chuck hears the footsteps approaching from behind him, but he’s not worried. He isn’t worried when he feels the barrel of a gun press up against the back of his head either, but he figures he should at least stop walking. This finally just got a little bit interesting.

“I’m about to paraphrase the rapper here; not a rapper, but the rapper, but… what was I saying?” Chuck says, readying himself. He then spins around faster than any human should possibly be able to spin around, grabs Sean Hymarc’s revolver, slowly licks up the length of the barrel, and slams it into his own temple.

“Ah yes; Sean, the way I was raised, I’ve come to believe that if you’re gonna murder somebody, you should face ‘em. You should tell ‘em why, look ‘em dead in the eye, and then waste ‘em.”

After a moment of staring into Hymarc’s tear-leaking eyes and not being wasted, Chuck says, “So? Tell me why Sean, tell me why you think you’re about to waste me!”

Chuck’s right hand then morphs into a revolver that’s identical to Hymarc’s except for the fact that it’s twice as big, has two barrels, holds twice as much ammunition, and could probably kill a dragon if they hadn’t gone extinct along with the dinosaurs.

Chuck holds the revolver to Hymarc’s temple and YELLsays, “TELL me FUH-king WHY!!”

“Because you have it backwards,” Hymarc warns, closing his tear ducts. “You might have yourself and all of your little friends convinced, but not me. You are not a god, sir, you are a dog, a rabid dog with mange, rabies, and all varieties of different worms. You probably have fleas, as if your parents neglected you. They left you out in the swamp behind their house, and that’s where you are now, sunk neck-deep in the mud that you helped create by shitting in the water. And me? I’m the kindhearted passerby that notices you in pain. I’m the one who’s going to put you out of your misery.”

“Oh wow, that’s sooo scary, right? You probably sat with your thumb up your ass for hours trying to come up with that shit. Fuck you Sean Hymarc, fuck you and everything you think you’re about. You probably aren’t even going to pull that trigger, want to know why? Because you’re weak, you’re a bitch, just like your fath–”

BANG

Chuck’s body thumps to the floor, the blood that fills the hole in his head oozing out all over the carpet that he just fucking cleaned when he was done playing with Sean a few minutes ago.

One Level Down

One level down, over the humming of the literary printing press bringing her first poetry collection to life, Karen hears the gunshot followed by the thump. All the color drains from her face – she goes to grab everything that she can carry, but then realizes the only thing she brought in here with her was the box of bongs that’s still sitting under the conveyor belt. After jumping up and down in place for a second to run out the time that the press is taking to finish printing the first copy of her first poetry anthology, Karen grabs her leaflet and sprints into the elevator, frantically smashing her finger into the button that’ll take her down into the bunker. She then inserts her hyperspeed key and makes the elevator go as fast as it can without causing her bodily harm.

A Lesson

“I had a lesson to teach you Mister Cape, like you said, by any means necessary,” Hymarc triumphantly says as he wipes the blood from his face with the handkerchief he had in his pocket. “You know, it was never about you. In fact, it was so not about you that I never even learned your name. What a shame, I’ll have to buy a newspaper printing agency and read whatever obituary your scientist friend writes for you. Or maybe your ex-secretary will write it, or maybe neither will, considering how I’ll murder them if they don’t agree to work for me. You tried Mister Cape, you tried to not learn, but guess what? You’re not a god, and you never were a god… I was the true God all along. Wasn’t it obvious? You were the Devil, you inflicted endless pain and suffering upon me and I could do nothing to stop it, nothing to prevent it. But I still survived, because you let me, no less! You made me suffer and left me to die for your sins, but I was resurrected! Yes, you dug your own grave, Mister Cape, and then I buried you. It is quite the shame I never learned your name… but then again, it’s not my job to engrave your headstone, is it?”

Sir Sean Hymarc, Esquire, with his gun back into pen mode, pockets his secret weapon and begins his slow victory stroll to the computer. With the head of this company suitably decapitated, all that’s left is to break into the mainframe and read through the files. There’s even a phone next to the computer, he can call down to wherever the medical bay is and have that strange little alien thing bring Doctor Torpol back up so they can get right to work. The rest of this book is about how Apex takes over the world, hypothetical reader. You made it. I’m proud of you.

‘You did it Sean Hymarc… you finally did something good. I… I did ih–’ “Huh?”

Sean’s train of thought is interrupted by the feeling of a gloved left hand on his right shoulder. He’s spun around to come face-to-face with Chuck, who’s face is still mostly hole except for his mouth and one half of his left eye.

Seizing the moment of silence by the balls, Chuck utters, “My name is…” and draws back his free hand.

With the speed of a Colorado-sized meteor heading straight for Earth, Chuck’s gloveless right hand, clenched into a fist, connects with a punch, the DfZT crystal ringed around the bottom bone of his middle finger impaling Sean right in the middle of the forehead, about an inch above the bridge of his nose. When Chuck pulls back, a tiny dot of blood trickles out from the puncture wound, creating a triangle with Sean’s two eyes.

Sean falls back as a purple mass streaks past the shattered wall-window behind him. All his emotions, values, morals, sensations, memories, preconceived notions, knowledge… his entire perception of the world around him is swept up by the plume of immensely sharp pain that’s suddenly erupting through his forehead from the pinecone-shaped caldera in the center of his brain.

To Chuck Leary, who’s already back at his desk rolling another joint, Sean Hymarc simply falls back and hits his head on the carpeted floor. To Sean Hymarc, though, the entirety of reality melts away…


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 18 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

Or Lack Thereof – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (48/66)

Chapter 17.5
Or Lack Thereof

Activate

“That’s a lot of fucking zombies, Chuck!” Sigmund screams from inside the run-down bunker.

After completing a secret sabotage mission for the Allied Forces, Sigmund and Jolon were flying a biplane out of a German science facility that was disguised as an airfield. Beneath the dirt runways and flimsy tin hangars was a massive top-secret laboratory where black project designs were brought from the drawing board to the wargame playing field. There were designs for weapons that shoot electricity, a time machine shaped like a bell, anti-gravity craft that, save for the swastikas painted on the sides, could be easily mistaken for extraterrestrial spaceships; there was also a gigantic cache of a mysterious glowing fuel source called Element 945, as the Nazis evidently got pretty uncreative by the time 1945 rolled around. And, strapped to the wooden crates this strange radioactive material was stored in? Bricks upon bricks of B4, the very same B4 that Sigmund detonated whilst screaming, “FUCKIN’ HELL YEAH!” in the deep, rugged American accent of his avatar in the old Call To Duty video game the gang was playing while they waited for the Dirt Eater Mk I to finish its voyage back to Cape Enterprises. Well, technically it finished its voyage before they blew up the lab, but Chuck, Tim, and AdultJack wanted to see how the campaign ended, so they’re still playing. And more power to them – these guys have a functioning fabricator. They can do whatever they want; it’s not like they necessarily need to go and have the tour right this second.

For the record, this second is the very second that Karen ducked underneath the conveyor belt of the literary printing press after she heard someone fiddling with the doorknob. You know, the literary printing press that Chuck bought and installed at the beginning of the week before he went to Brick City with Alvey?

What? Chuck notices things. In fact, he’s a great noticer! He’s the one; not AdultJack, not Tim-nah’tee, not either of the beings inside the video game but Chuck Leary, from his couch, noticed the glowing shockwave that swept across the ground under the biplane as it was taking off moments after Sigmund clutched the detonation button.

He was also the one to offer the obvious explanation that the wave of radiation following the detonation of the mysterious secret Nazi space fuel is what caused Sigmund and Jolon’s plane to crash. Fortunately for them, they crashed right next to a run-down bunker, complete with enough nails, hammers, and boards to barricade the windows before the hordes of resulting zombies (which Chuck also noticed) were able to catch up. While they unknowingly waited for the incoming horde, the duo searched the premises for guns.

Well, the part of the premises they could access, anyway. The soldiers were (and currently are) trapped in a room with a staircase and a closed door, the staircase blocked off with a large upside-down couch and the door scrawled with the letters P, E, H, and L, not in that order. The legs of the couch were (are still) wedged between the wrought iron railings, and the door was (is still) locked.

Then, Chuck being the man, pointed out a weird chalk outline on the wall behind Sigmund, said outline suspiciously in the shape of a boomstick. As Sigmund was observing the strange chalky phenomenon, Jolon’s avatar, a Russian man with a love for wudka, grabbed him by the cheeks and turned his head, cracking his neck in the process, to look out the window and see a lot of fucking zombies heading right for them. And then the zombies started to moan and groan, and that’s when Chuck (who wasn’t looking at the screen at the moment) asked, out loud, if that was a fucking zombie, before turning around to face the screen, as he was suddenly interested.

Sigmund, with his head clear following that one swift crackle, corrected Chuck’s observation. And now we’re here.

Sigmund snaps into action. Guided by intuition and Chuck’s erratic shouting, he sprints to the wall and punches it as hard as he can. Sigmund doesn’t feel a thing, being a video game avatar and all, but the wall certainly does, as evidenced by the double-barrel shotgun that pops out of the space enclosed within the outline. Jolon runs to the opposite end of the wall and punches the outline of a bolt-action rifle next to the window that only has half as many boards nailed to it as it did a moment ago. The zombies tore the rest down, obviously, and Jolon is ready. He takes a few steps back and readies his rifle. Three boards left, now two, now one…

BANG

A zombie’s skull gets popped, the innards splattering all over the apathetic zombies next to him. They climb in and get shot down one by one – Jolon even manages to kill three with a single headshot! Oh shit! He turns around and proclaims his victory to Sigmund, but dude can’t hear him, he’s too busy sawing zombies in half with the boomstick, his master key to the door that is the gates of hell.

‘Wait… master key… door… ah-ha!’

After sprinting through and laying waste to the many zombies flooding in from the courtyard, Sigmund runs over to the not-PEHL door and blasts the lock, but nothing happens. He then knocks on the door to make sure it’s made of wood, and this opens it for some reason. He calls out for Jolon to follow him but Jolon is busy cutting a smile into a headless zombie’s face with a shattered vodka bottle, so Sigmund ducks through the doorway alone.

This room is much narrower than the first one, and much more dimly lit. There’s also less windows, another staircase blocked with a couch, there’s a radio playing old German parade music and a… box? A glowing box, now what in the fuck… oh my, there are guns inside of it!’

Sigmund, being Sigmund, pulls out a futuristic, extraterrestrial-looking ray gun and pshews all the zombies, including the ones that broke through the fucking wall, into nonexistence. He then doubles back and saves Jolon from the hordes of undead that are spilling in through the windows. Outside, crowds shamble past the rusty red barrels that obviously contain fuel of the flammable variety.

“Why else would they have little fires painted on them, Jolon?! Shoot the shit out of them!”

Jolon pumps his last two bullets into the nearest barrel and it leaks a small stream of gasoline, but there’s no gratuitous explosion. Until, that is, Sigmund shoots it with a ball of unstable 945 that turns the barrel into a gigantic ball of fire that then turns the zombified Nazis into a fucking rack of ribs.

“Do you need to say fucking in front of everything, Chuck?” AJ asks from the middle seat on the couch.

“Fucking fuck fucking yeah fucking AdultfuckingJack, fucking now that you fucking ask, I fucking do!”

AdultJack rolls his eyes similarly to how a zombie’s head rolls across the floor of the darker room in the German bunker. Jolon grabbed a fiery red tomahawk out of the guns box, because of course he did, and he’s using it to chain together like thirty fucking zombie kills at a time, the maniac. Meanwhile, Sigmund is trying to figure out how to unwedge the couch from the staircase so the duo can get upstairs.

“Why don’t we just go up in the original room, I can chop the legs off the couch!”

“NO!” Sigmund shouts, a plan long formed in his head. “Look at how the building was designed! If we go up this way, we can use the other barricade as a… well, as a barricade! Then, the zombies can only get at us from the front!”

Jolon, not one to fight intuition, hurls his tomahawk at the couch and it splits in half. As the tomahawk returns to its high wielder, the couchlets are devoured by flames and reduced to ash.

“There, we’ll do it your way!”

The two run up the stairs, fight the temptation to see what’s locked in the cabinet the moon’s shining a beam of light upon through the large hole in the ceiling, and duck into a smaller room. Sigmund was right, with the couch wedged in the first staircase, the zombies can only come at them from the front. Plus, the dynamic duo has something of a balcony up here that provides a clear shot of the many barrels scattered amongst the courtyard. It’s hard to make out the barrels in the mob of zombies, of course, but uh… since when is something being hard to do a sign that one shouldn’t do it?

With nowhere else to go and enough ammo to last them at least an hour or two, Jolon crouches, Sigmund lays prone, and they both get to work. The horde does not relent, the hobbling fleshy sounds and haunted groans of the undead soldiers ring through the minds of our saboteurs like the clanking of the ghostly chain leashes hanging off of the hellhounds that keep appearing out of orbs of lightning that appear out of nowhere, but the shooters do not falter. Row by row the zombified Nazis are sawn in half, blasted, pshewed, burned, and tomahawked, the dead bodies and body parts dematerializing as they pile up because the video game console can only render so many assets at once.

From the couch, Tim, Chuck, and AdultJack watch the carnage in awe, steadily killing tub after tub of popcorn that the fabricator keeps making out of clumps of Tim’s constantly shedding hair. Or is it fur? Whatever.

After a long-ass while of silently watching, AdultJack breaks the silence. “This is not how I expected the campaign to end,” between handfuls of corny butter.

“Me either,” Tim concurs. “Imagine being the first human to discover this level. You said this was an older game, right Chuck?”

“Oh yah, came out like… twelve years ago? I think? Fuck I’m getting old, that’s around the same time that Steel Man came out.”

“I know, right!” Jack shouts. Then, “Wait, so you know Steel Man? Is that where you got the inspiration for your power armor?”

Chuck scoffs at the little boy in a man’s body. “Son, you best believe I know Steel Man. I fuckin’ love Marvelous. For the record though, I had the idea for my suit before the movie came out. And, if me and Steel Man fought, well, let’s just say I would make a Milky Way Galaxy out of him.”

Jack rolls his eyes, but playfully, not out of spite. Despite today’s drag of a morning, things are turning out pretty good. He can’t even remember what the fight was about. All in all, Jack’s glad that he decided to come on this tour… oh yeah!’

“Wait, so Chuck, what about the tour you mentioned before?” Jack asks, adding (as a joke), “Wasn’t that, like, the cosmic purpose of my deciding to come back here? So you could give us the tour?”

“Purpose?” Chuck demands, shifting his attention from the orgy of entertaining violence to AdultJack’s face. “Why the fuck’re you worrying about purpose, kid? There’s no such thing as purpose, it’s just a way for old school adults to fuck with your mind because they know you’re smarter than them.”

“Uh… what now?” AdultJack asks. He was kidding, but since Chuck brought it up, “I thought everybody has a purpose. Like, everyone comes to this planet with a specific task they’ve gotta do, a specific path they have to travel. And then they get to the end and they get to realize what their purpose was the whole time, right?”

AdultJack looks to Chuck, then to Tim, then to the TV screen, and then back to Chuck. “Right?”

“You wanna handle this one, Tim?”

Tim puts down the banana he finally managed to peel and says, “No, I’m kind of interested in what you have to say here, Charles.”

“Well, since you called me Charles, I am no longer interested in what I have to say here. Plus, I just said it and he didn’t understand, so like, activate, or whatever.”

Chuck then shoves two mouthfuls of popcorn into his single mouth to show that he will not be talking for at least a few minutes.

Tim sighs with a tired smile and, with a hand on AdultJack’s shoulder, says, “Well Jack, what you said would have some merit if it actually made any sense at all. But looking at things like that, as if there was a predestined path laid out for each of us to find and follow, that’s seeing life backwards. You’re so young, but yet you’re looking at yourself from your deathbed – your life is far from over. There’s no right or wrong path to take, no bad or good way to follow, there is just the trail we blaze through the infinite forest of reality, or in your case, the roads you pave as you run across your patch of planet Earth.”

“So… I have no purpose? Just to run?” AdultJack asks, meaning his words very literally.

Tim-nah’tee chuckles. “Your purpose, or lack thereof, is to make your own purpose. Blaze your own path to walk – or run it if you must – and learn everything that you can. Apply the lessons you’ve learned as you go so you can learn more lessons, and then take those lessons to the grave with you, or more realistically, to the next life. Life has no meaning unless you instill meaning into it, just like a body is a self-driving sack of atoms without a connection to spirit. Sure, you can just drift through your time in your body without ever interacting with it or the world around it; you can live your life doing what everyone else demands of you while consuming only what they give you, keeping a far distance between yourself and your soul, and never figure out who you are – the result? You’ll still die, just like everyone else, and move on to the next life without consequence. You can do that, or…” Tim pauses, trying to find the right words. “In life, we are what we become as much as we become what we are. As far as what we’re meant to become, well, that’s for each and every one of us to decide for ourselves. We’re all born into the world with brains in our heads and environments around us. Where we end up is more or less where we decide to end up – I mean, just look at Chuck.”

“Yeah, look at me, fuckwad. Wait, why are we looking at me?”

Tim just smiles, and so does AdultJack. Chuck has no idea what they’re smiling about, but he certainly doesn’t mind being the center of attention. He usually is anyway, but that’s because he forces himself into the spotlight. It’s nice to have someone else shine it on him every once in a while, although it is kind of bright. Almost as bright as the flash of colored light that brings Sigmund and Jolon crashing onto the floor of the Dirt Eater Mk I – tell ya what, it’s a good thing Chuck wears sunglasses!

“Allll righty, everybody!” Chuck announces as he stands up and cracks his knees, hips, back, neck, and knuckles without moving a single muscle. “That was great fun, but AdultJackyJack over here started talking about existential purpose, meaning he’s pretty damn bored. Shall we get on with the tour of my fine establishment?”

“Certainly,” Jolon says as he stands up and pulls the hood of his robe over his war bonnet that he grabbed before they left last night. “I’m quite interested to see firsthand how you humans were capable of achieving all these heights.”

“Well you definitely won’t see that,” Chuck assures him, “but I’ll show you where I grow all my Cannabis.”

Jolon smiles. “That’s exactly what I meant.”

With that, the squad-plus-one all pile into a single elevator and begin the long rap-fueled ascent to the forty-second floor of the Cape Enterprises, Uncorporated building. It’s a cramped, claustrophobic elevator ride, even more so with all these extra, sweaty, and hairy bodies all packed around Chuck like spoiled anchovies in a tin can, but he manages not to flip out and start cursing at them for being there. He does make some sny comments to Sigmund about the lack of tracks by his favorite rapper on the ‘vator’s playlist though, which Sigmund follows with, “You listen to rap?”

Even after that total lack of awareness from his best friend the rocket scientist, Chuck manages not to flip a shit.

That is, until the elevator doors open and he fucking walks face-fucking-first into a real goddamned fucking zombie and a square of its decomposing fucking face smears onto his fucking sunglasses.


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 17.5 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~

Posted in Writings

Purpose – The 2020 Event |The Main Event| (47/66)

Chapter 17
Purpose

NewMann Secretaries

After finally finishing the half hour of setting Chuck’s bongs back up on her desk, Karen is ready to have the chillest day ever. She’s never been much of a smoker, and with Chuck keeping up his newly established gone for days on end trend, Karen decided to take a little control over her working (read: writing) space. Sue her.

 Karen’s liked to write stories and essays and stuff ever since she was a kid; her and her mom would always sit on the floor of their trailer and make up clever little tales of a boy named Sid and his camel named Sally. Using their time machine, Sid and Sally would travel all throughout history going on crazy adventures together. They stopped bank robbers in the old west, they met and tamed the dinosaurs, they even ran into some purple-skinned aliens once or twice. ChildKaren was such an inspired being, always up to some creative this or that; what a wonderful time.

Her inspiration to create came from two sources – her mother’s constant love and affection, and the collection of art that ChildKaren would display on the shelves on the side of the trailer where she slept. On the weekends, ChildKaren and Missus Page would hit the local flea markets and pick up whatever caught their eye – nothing ever cost more than a couple dollars, and although they didn’t really have the money, Missus Page was never one to turn down the sparkle in ChildKaren’s eyes. ChildKaren’s favorite piece was this weird little ceramic sculpture – it looked like somebody was going to make a beer can, but then decided to turn it into a face instead. One half of the face was painted green, the other half blue, and the eye on the blue side was green and vice versa. Of all the metal contraptions, wood whittlings, and silverware jewelry, the Blugreen Maninacan was always her favorite; it taught her that, even when things have you feeling like a deformed stillborn, all it takes is a dopey lil’ smile to brighten your day.

Furthermore, it taught ChildKaren that, in order to be happy and creative like a proper human, one has to be surrounded by things that one finds inspiring. This is why Karen boxed up all of Chuck’s many, many bongs when she came in on Wednesday morning. No matter how colorful, smooth and expertly blown these glass beaker-thingies are, they do not inspire Karen.

But lo and behold, today is Friday, and Chuck never misses a highdayFriday. Unless, of course, he decides to call it a Friedday, in which case he never misses one of those either.

 In the two days that Chuck’s been gone, after she snatched up that glass company for him, Karen has done nothing but write in her many notebooks. She conjured up a few stories, at least twenty poems, some short works of prose, an entire three-act play about a lowly yet plucky secretary who finds the true meaning of life by doing exactly what her boss doesn’t tell her to do (I wonder where she got the inspiration for that), an entire novella that, ironically enough, is about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and what happens when they meet her boss Chuck, plus a spiritual successor to that novel where the main characters from the first one actually get up off their couch and get some shit done instead of sitting around all fricking day high off Cannabis. Ugh, now he’s got me calling it that.’

The amount of finished work and productivity Karen achieved over these past two days has been nothing short of magical… but, like any miraculous series of fortunate events, this staycation must too come to a close. Chuck will be here any minute, probably with some business associates that he forgot to mention to her, and she’ll have to put on her secretary hat and sit at the desk in wait for some remedial task to accomplish. A phone call to answer or some guests to entertain, or maybe even some coats to stash away in a closet. She’s none too thrilled to be broken out of her creative flow, but what can she do? Life is about the dollar at the end of the day, and until Chuck tells her which of the billion floors of this building houses the printing press he probably still hasn’t built for her even though she… well, she hasn’t asked him yet, but he always sees her writing stuff, he knows she wants to be published, so why does she have to ask?

Yes, until then, she’ll be the best darned secretary this company has ever seen. Even if that includes fishing out grandiose smoking pipes from a cardboard box almost as tall as she is and removing the three layers of bubble wrap (each) that she’s mandated to wrap them in before storage and displaying said pipes on her desk so Chuck can look at them right when he walks in the door. Because that’s what good NewMann secretaries do: whatever they think their eccentric bosses might need.

ringgidy-ding-ding

Oh, a text message from Karen’s eccentric boss with something for her to do! How lovely… oh… oh, is that right? ‘He wants me to pack up all the bongs… that I just fricking put back out… and hide them on the forty-first floor… right next to the…’

“Holy fuckin’ gosh!” Karen exclaims, almost dropping Chuck’s absinthe bottle bong out of sheer excitement. “Somebody is listening to my prayers!”

Karen wraps the bongs like nobody’s business and BlokStaks them (you know, that old video game?) so tightly into the box that the bubble wrap itself is more likely to shatter into a million pieces than the pipes are. As she’s gently setting the last baby into its crib, Karen feels a little tap on her shoulder that she ignores because it’s obviously just Chuck being a weasel.

Then she feels the tap again, then a fricking hand grabs her and spins her around. The look on her face when she sees NotChuck behind her isn’t quite fearful, but it’s definitely a few steps above startled. This dude looks… well, he looks old. He might not actually be old, but he looks old; he’s got spindly gray hair tied in a ponytail, beady eyes, a weird patchy chinstrap facial hair thing, a thin mouth that’s sporting yellow teeth chewing on a cigarette, he’s wearing a gray suit… this geezer could be Karen’s grandfather when Karen’s grandfather was in his early forties. But Granddad isn’t in his early forties, he’s fricking ancient, and this guy looks almost like Chuck, except like… except less Chuckish. Or something like that.

Standing her ground like the alpha she is, even in the presence of the gray man, the weird looking scientist dude with a big scar on his babyface, and the six weird-looking humans in black jumpsuits behind them, ‘Is that one wearing zombie makeup? What the fuck?’ she doesn’t say a single word. Like the memos that Chuck wouldn’t stop spamming her with all day yesterday said, Existence is weird, especially in this city. And knowing this city as well as Karen does, she deuces this little showdown will go one of two ways: either these are new business associates of Chuck’s paying Cape a surprise visit when Chuck isn’t here that want to get a look around the facilities, or…

“Excuse me, miss?” Grayman finally says, breaking the uneasy silence that’s only made more difficult by the unblinking stare of the jumpsuited bois and gorls.

“Um…” Karen ums, keeping on her toes. “Yes?”

“Do you work here?” as he strokes his crimson necktie. “We’re looking for whomever’s in charge of this fine establishment.”

‘Okay, definitely the ominous or… “Well, I did, but my ex-boss fired me. He’s kind of a dick to be honest, that’s why I have this box here,” as she proudly slaps the box.

“I see…” eying the large box. Then, “Well, can you point me in the direction of your old boss? My associates here wish to… have something of a conversation with him.”

Karen raises an eyebrow, unsheathing her NewMannity in prime form. ‘It’s showtime.’ “Now hold on a cis-male second, how do you know my ex-boss isn’t a she?”

“Because,” the lab coat to the right of Grayman says with a smug little smirk on his German-looking babyface, “you just referred to your ex-boss as a he, darling. Do you not remember saying that? I’m a psychiatrist you know, I can help yo–”

“Edvard, please!” Grayman shouts at Edvard, apparently. Then, to Karen, “So where is this ex-boss of yours? We nee–”

“Oh I’m sorry, I don’t want to get involved. I only worked here for a few weeks, I uh, I’m just trying to move on with my life, you know? The hands are washed, as they say.”

Upon hearing this, Grayman and Edvard The Lab Coat both stand aside, as do five of the six staring-ass motherlovers. This five doesn’t include the (likely weeaboo) zombie cosplayer, of course, and he steps forward, closing the gap between him and Karen. Karen backs up against the desk and feels her butt smush into it, the untoned layers of muscle (if you’re feeling kind enough to call it that) molding to the shape of the edge of the desktop like clay.

Karen would be thinking that she needs to work out more if Zomcosplayer, who’s really selling the whole decomposing flesh thing with that rank cologne he’s wearing, wasn’t standing inches from her face. But he is, he’s standing right fricking there so instead, Karen thinks, ‘You ever hear of boundaries, guy?’ while not saying anything, keeping up that alpha status that she’s earned from dealing with Chuck and Chuck-types for the past umpteen years of her life.

Zomcosplayer opens his mouth and begins to speak, or at least Karen assumes that’s what he’s trying to do. She can see down his throat, disgustingly enough, and it seems to be caked with mud. His teeth are rotting out, gigantic lesions dot his tongue and the roof of his mouth and they’re leaking, nay, spewing an abysmally revolting yellow-blackish ooze all over his pallet. When Karen decides that Zomcosplayer’s done attempting to make noises out of his mouth, which occurs at the same time that she smells his indescribably rancid, putrid, fetid, noxious, mephitic, gamy, olid, revolting, foul, makes puke smell like Gavon-ass fricking breath, she draws the line.

Converting inches to centimeters, Karen almost bumps the tip of Zomboy’s leaking nose with her own, and she says, in a perfectly flat tone, “Get the fuck out of my face.”

Zomcosplayer gets the fuck out of Karen’s face.

In fact, all the random humans in Chuck’s office step further aside, giving Karen a direct path to the glass doors outta here. With a smile and a nod, Karen picks up her box of Chuck’s bongs and struts out into the hallway, shooting all the randoms a stink eye until the elevator arrives and takes her to the forty-first floor, Cape’s very own printing press and publishing facility that Chuck installed for Karen, because he does care after all. Good ol’ Chuck, I tell ya.

Passwords

“That,” Hymarc says to a visibly shaken Doctor Torpol, “was the most intimidating woman I have ever met.”

“Quite,” the Doctor concurs. “It’s a miracle that she doesn’t still work here, I don’t think we’d be able to kill her.”

“She scared KingPig… he’s a cybernetic zombie without an emotional hard drive, and she fucking scared him.”

“I know sir, I was standing right here.”

And you offered her therapy?!

“Vhat can I– oh, I’m sorry,” slipping into his accent entirely on purpose. “But what can I say, I felt like the woman was stressed. She probably could have used a release of tension.”

Hymarc just walks away from Torpol after that, shaking his head all the way down the hallway behind the secretary’s desk until he stops at the wall of windows. The view from the forty-second floor of this building is… fairly lackluster, at best. Hymarc can’t even see the Apex building from here, this is just disgraceful. Pitiful. It’s like the anonymous owner of this building is trying to insult him! Why else would he have his office on a floor with such a crappy view?? ‘Unacceptable!’

“It’s no wonder I never came across this lowly man in my travels though this city,” Hymarc says to the glass and the nobody who’s listening to him. “He clearly lacks vision… this tower is at least a hundred floors tall, yet he conducts business from the top of the bottom half. He lacks perspective, ambition, drive; he lacks all that makes me great, Edvard. Don’t you agree?”

A moment of silence, or rather, a lack of acknowledgment.

“Edvard!”

Still nothing… fine, very well. Hymarc refuses to fall for this game again. He is the boss, he’s the owner and operator of the Apex Corporation, soon to be finest financial powerhouse in all of New Manhattan. If The Peasant Doctor doesn’t want to banter with him then fine, Sean’ll just get acquainted with his new office space all by himself.

He looks to his left – ah, the center of operation. At least the man has a nice desk. It’s a very antique-looking thing, probably carved by hand more than two hundred years ago. Shining finish, elegant design… what kind of wood is this? ‘It starts with an ehm, or an ehn I think… bah! It doesn’t matter. After I have that unsightly hole in the wall mended, it will be me sitting behind this desk. The wood will carry whatever name I choose for it to carry.’

Hymarc straddles the desk, awkwardly climbing over it with a technique that no father would teach. He then carefully sits in the chair as not to enlarge the hole in the wall with the back of said chair – he doesn’t want to leave any trace of The Apex Crew’s being here, just in case they have to leave and come back another day. The CEO of this company, ‘no matter how blind to the true greatness he could achieve with his incredible wealth,’ still has incredible wealth, and therefore a likely very busy life. He might not even show up here today, let alone this weekend. Edvard will probably throw his hands up if their plan can’t be executed within the time frame he originally planned, but a little tension-release therapy will fix that. How’s that for reverse psychology, Doctor? Boo-yah, ten points to Hymarc.

Hymarc, being Hymarc, then immediately loses all ten of those points by trying to log in to the computer. After digging through the desk drawers and finding, underneath a box set of dominoes of all things, a notepad with the word PASSWORDS scrawled across the top (with most of the letters written backwards, mind you), Sean goes through the pain-staking process of inputting the eighty-four passwords. The process takes literally hours; not only are the codes all case-sensitive, not only do they all have spaces in them that are nearly impossible to catch on the first attempt because of how bad this man’s handwriting is, not only does Hymarc have to start over at least eight times because he entered the passwords in the wrong sequence, but once he gets to the seventy-third password? The box where he was entering them disappears off the screen!

“What the fuck?!” Hymarc shouts, about two neural pathways over from involuntarily putting his fist through the screen.

The computer then dings, auditorily recognizing the three-word passphrase needed to move on to the next step in the unlocking process. Next, a small black nozzle extends towards Hymarc from a hidden slot in the screen. A window pops up on the screen itself that looks to be some sort of analyzer, as if one were to insert something into the wide-mouthed nozzle to be scanned…

After debating whether or not he should stick his penis into the nozzle, Sean gets up, unzippers his pants, and sticks his penis into the nozzle, the girth of his flaccid member fitting loosely into the tight, narrow space. ‘He lacks all that makes me great.’

Sean holds himself in there for a good couple minutes. He just stands there, pants down, his groin pressed against the computer owned by the most powerful human in the lawless concrete jungle that is New Manhattan. When he realizes the nozzle definitely isn’t a penis scanner in any way, shape, or form, Hymarc awkwardly pulls out and zips his fly back up.

After an amount of time that will go unspecified for the sake of what’s left of Hymarc’s abysmally frail ego, he finally realizes that the nozzle must be some sort of breathalyzer. Meaning he has to put his mouth on it…

“Doctor!” Sean calls out, climbing back over the desk. “Any progress with… whatever you’ve been doing all this time?”

What has the Doctor been doing all this time? Well…

The interFacer

“But what can I say, I felt like the woman was stressed. She probably could have used a release of tension.”

Sean, after staring at The Good Doctor with a face reminiscent of, ‘Oh, what was that thing called… ah yes,’ Byron, turns around and walks past the front desk and down the hallway that’s lined with doors that he doesn’t even open, just to stare out a window like he’s the star of some emo band’s moody music video. It’s just as well; this is, and will be, Doctor Torpol’s operation. Seizing Cape and all the assets and technology held within, this is all part of the bigger plan. The Good Doctor’s been scheming for years to execute today’s activities – but yet, when the day ends and he’s in control of the city of New Manhattan, the work will not yet be complete. There is still much to do in order to bring The Utopian to this world. It will all be done though, it must be; this is Ed’s purpose.

Torpol takes a small metal case out of the breast pocket of his lab coat. He can hear Sean babbling and shouting about something in the background, but he pays it no mind – this is not the time to listen to the fool on the hill playing his fiddle. Inside the case is a small wireless earpiece, the same one that’s hardwired into the skull of the Zerocian assassin who’s currently flying loops around the Cape Enterprises building on a hoverboard that was revamped and upgraded into an extremely high-tech glider device.

Outfitted with four dual-barreled auto-targeting machine guns, two front-pointing lances ripe for the impale, three fully loaded missile launchers, and a deep bomb cavity equipped with electrical explosives, this glider is one of the most fearsome instruments of war ever crafted by Apex. And, if the device’s pilot fails, rebels, or is terminated by whatever forces, man or machine, which will surely be attacking from outside the building, Torpol can remotely control the TerrorWing with his mind. Oh yeah, you better believe this nonsense is called the TerrorWing.

Until he ultimately fails though, The Prisoner will be in constant communication with Doctor Torpol. The same is true with all of the MERCS; they each have an interFacer chip hardwired inside their heads so Torpol can keep a constant tab on them, and they too are subject to remote control by the Doctor’s mind in the event that any of their consciousnesses are knocked out for whatever reason.

Or at will, Edvard can control them all at will, too.

All the important players in this game are linked up into a matrix of sorts by Torpol’s latest invention, called the interFacer, and ready to execute the hostile takeover; all pieces except for the pawn, that is, but Hymarc’s totally useless anyway. Well, maybe not useless; he’s important in the same way that a figurehead is important to a shadow government. To everyone on the outside, the figurehead is the one in charge, the mastermind behind all the action, the one to catch blame and suffer punishment when the hammer falls. But on the inside, he’s a puppet through and through, and every puppet needs a puppet master.

Torpol is salivating, a rabid dog. ‘It es tiem to pull zhe strings.’

First thing’s first: the building needs to be swept and cleared. Keeping the very young and capable bladesman– er, bladesborg R4y positioned at the door to avoid any surprises, Torpol sits down at the secretary’s desk and prepares to share his mind between all six of his MERCS. He puts his head down on the cool wooden surface and breathes steadily, allowing his mind to slip into a state of physical unawareness. This is the only way to activate the interFacer chip in the middle of his brain that links up to everyone’s consciousness feeds – by removing his own consciousness from the equation.

In the void before him are seven screens, each representing one of the seven operatives he’s experiencing all at once. On the left, J3nn43, Ultr4-V1, and R0s3; on the right, The Prisoner, G1-Zm0, and K1ng-Z1g; in the middle, R4y. By focusing on any one of these screens, Torpol perceives everything the broadcaster is perceiving: smells, sounds, tastes, sight, pain… pleasure.’

After taking note of this realization and saving it in the Later folder, Torpol instructs the girls to take the upper floors and the boys to take the lower floors. Through R4y’s eyes he watches as each party disappears into the elevators.

Following the boys first, Torpol sees the elevator door open to reveal… a literary printing press?

‘Is this man insane? Trying to sell books to the masses? The general populous of this country lost the ability to read ages ago… skip this floor boys, surely there’s nothing worth raiding in here.’

As the elevator doors close, Karen breathes a sigh of relief from underneath one of the conveyor belts.

The girls, meanwhile, come to a massive Cannagrow operation. All the plants are at least four feet tall, sprouting out of pots linked up to a hydroponic watering system and cast under the purple glow of full spectrum LED grow lamps. Not a single human employee in sight, though.

‘No matter. Skip this room girls, keep searching. We will find employees and they will be converted to lifeless sacks of meat, prime cuts ready to be devoured by the MERCS technology; they will fall to our crusade.’

The sweep of the building goes on for another hour. Not a single human employee is found. Ed doesn’t see much of anything through the eyes of his lackeys until they hit some of the lower levels, and even there he only sees little more than a measly few robots buzzing around like worker bees in a hive, disgraceful. They don’t even look human! Not that Apex’s robots look human, but still, how dreadfully uninventive… whoever’s in charge of the science division at this company needs a serious talking to. Perhaps Torpol won’t kill off the humans when they find them, perhaps Apex will recruit them.

‘But how to tell apart the slop from the cream of the crop…’ the Doctor postulates while he watches The Prisoner’s feed. ‘Perhaps… a tournament. We will round up all the humans toiling through the building and throw them into an arena with The Prisoner. Whoever doesn’t get beaten to a pulp will be allowed the chance to keep their human body, and the losers? The weak? The pathetic victims to the circumstance they’ve been thrusted into? They will awaken at a new dawn of humanity bathed in the hot light of advanced technomancy in the stylings of The One, The Only, The Good Doctor.’

‘Excuse me?’ The Prisoner thinks to himself so Torpol can hear.

Torpol says nothing – nothing The Prisoner can hear, at least – and so he keeps circling the building, ‘round and ‘round he goes.

The Perception

After an indiscriminate amount of time, Torpol, from the inside of his own head, watches through R4y’s eyes as the girls return to the waiting room, their sweep of the facilities proving fruitless. He instructs the girlborgs to post up at three of the four elevator doors, just in case Cape’s CEO gets back from whatever likely extravagant business venture he’s surely away on before the sweep is complete. Then, for the first time in a little while, Torpol focuses his mind’s eye on the boys. They’ve been going down for just as long as the girls have been going up, yet their descent is not complete. There’s only so many levels to this building before the structure hits the plasti’spa’junk that it’s built upon, how far down can they go? The Apex building has a few sub-plasti’spa’junk levels too, but… oh my god.

‘KingZig! Gizmo! Return to me now, my MERCS, with haste! Drop everything, back into the elevator at once!’

The man behind Cape might be smart, but Torpol is always one step ahead. As the most powerful man in the city, surely Mister Cape must be no stranger to the custom of the power grab. Dollarists from all walks of life must constantly attempt to take this facility from him… he’s likely grown accustomed to it by now. At this stage of the game, who wouldn’t be? According to the arbitrary statistics the Doctor just made up on the spot, Cape Enterprises must have had at least hostile takeover attempts this week alone. The basement and subsequent subbasements… they’re clearly a trap!

With his total lack of training in the fields of architecture and engineering, Torpol is very aware of the fact that one cannot build tower foundations too deep into plasti’spa’junk. It’s just not sturdy enough, not put together as well as normal Earth dirt. Around five or six stories under the surface, things probably get significantly less stable, they just have to; one gust of wind would be enough to rip an entire skyscraper out of the faux ground, surely it would! Torpol can see it in his head now, clear as day! The only way to do it right would be, theoretically, to build all the way down, to have the building extend through the plasti’spa’junk mountain and embed it into the floor of the ocean. But… that’s just impossible, nobody has the resources, or time, for that matter, to pull off such a feat.

No, this is obviously a trap; go deep enough and the elevator falls off its tracks, where it’s left to dangle in a small cavity installed between the foundation and the rest of the building. It would be solitary confinement in the worst way possible, never knowing when the cable will snap, hanging on by a literal thread as the universe itself plays God with your very well being. How sinister… Torpol quite admires this man, this Mister Cape, the Him that he is. The two will definitely have to have a chat before Torpol executes him in front of his audience of MERCS who will be recording the execution for playback during future therapy sessions.

After the longest elevator ride ever, made to feel even longer because Torpol is watching it through two pairs of eyes that don’t even belong to him, the boys finally return to the lobby. K1ng-Z1g is instructed to watch the fourth elevator and G1z-M0 joins R4y at the doors to guard his baby-faced father figure.

With his body protected, Torpol checks in with The Prisoner – no signs of any activity, suspicious or otherwise. The alien makes some offhand comments about the mindless insects marching in line along the streets below like ants in a farm, but Torpol largely ignores his condescension. The Prisoner’s extraterrestrial origins do not make him better or superior to humans in any way – in fact, he’s relatively weaker than humans. Ever since he was captured all those years ago, he’s been constantly spouting on and on about how Zerocian evolution never stops, about how he will evolve a way out of his confinement and slay those who locked him in. Well, he’s still here, captured by the humans who have successfully reached their final form, and nobody’s gone slayed. The Prisoner may be taller, faster, stronger, wiser, capable of telepathy, more accurate with a gun and more deadly with a blade than any human to have ever existed, but he still has rungs to climb on his ladder. The humans finished climbing theirs years ago – when you can only go so far, as is scientifically proven, it’s best not to kid yourself, lest you bump your head on the transparent glass ceiling which looms constantly above, the very ceiling which sits mere inches, nay, centimeters above Torpol’s golden blonde hair.

Yes, Torpol is surely the example of humanity in its prime. A master of technology, a manipulator of the mind, and a beacon of consciousness. He’s observing, and can control at any time, seven other bodies, one of which isn’t even a human, all from the comfort of this incidental swivel chair. Well, technically none of them are humans, but that just makes the feat all the more impressive! Torpol may work for the Apex Corporation, but he alone has truly reached the pinnacle. He has no equal, no superior, nothing that can break his concentrati–

Torpol feels a tap on his shoulder. This tap, this tiny little poke in the dermis, is enough to send his splintered mind spiraling into confusion. Which of the seven screens did Torpol originally inhabit? Which is his body? Is he even a he?

The Perception blinks between each of the six cybernetically enhanced humans but they all feel foreign and lifeless, too empty to be home. It then tries to interface with the Zeroc, clearly the superior specimen, obviously the body It originated from, but Its infiltration is thwarted with such ease that it’s a wonder the extraterrestrial can be controlled at all.

After recovering from the resulting bioelectric shock, It drifts from the screens back into the empty space from which It observes. The empty husk around The Perception begins to tremble, the tremors making it impossible to concentrate. ‘Who am I… what is the nature of my existence? Do I even exist? Am I… I?’

“Doctor Torpol, wake up!”

Edvard flies back out of his seat and collides with the ground. The impact jolts him awake, thankfully, but his entire body feels hauntingly foreign to him.

“What… what happened?”

“I’m not sure,” Hymarc says whilst rubbing The Doctor’s moist tummy. “I attempted to get into the Cape mainframe through the computer on the desk in the back of the office, but their security system is… rather impressive. I called out to you a few times and you didn’t answer, so I came over here to find you in a state of convulsions. I think you may have had a seizure.”

Torpol doesn’t want to hear any of that. He grabs Hymarc’s wrist and attempts to throw it off his stomach, but he can’t seem to lift it. Everything is so heavy, the lights are so bright. Even his mind is a haze – Torpol closes his eyes and attempts to return to that sacred space, that sunken pit inside his consciousness, the place where he can’t feel this measly human vessel he’s imprisoned in. The matrix of The interFacer – The interface that is The Perception’s home, that is true reality.

But he can’t find the darkness; when Torpol closes his eyes, all he can see is visual snow. It looks like television static except instead of gray and black, it’s just… white… or is it a rainbow, the full spectrum of colors that humans can perceive? Hard to tell… perhaps neither. Perhaps both. It’s as if the snow was inserted between the perceiver and what he’s perceiving, the opacity of the layer lowered to about ten percent.

Finally Torpol finds it, the interFacer’s matrix, his home. The seven consciousness screens are still broadcasting, yet the snow has not relented. It’s very hard to make out but its omnipresence is felt; it’s distracting, it’s… domineering. He just has to reach out to The Prisoner, order an evacuation. So distracting, it’s slipping… Torpol can’t interface with the superior Zeroc brain. A flash of light and it’s gone, the screen is gone, replaced by a patch of snow so thick you could piss your name into it. That was his last chance… no, the MERCS! Yes! But which one?

All of them, it’s the only option. He enters command mode… the snow, this sandstorm, it’s too distracting. Torpol can’t move past it. He has his hands on the controls of all six MERCS but he’s trapped, ensnared in this blizzard, unable to maneuver through the buzzing, the electric…

Doctor Torpol begins to seize again. His eyes roll back in his skull this time and frothy drool fills and spills from his twitching mouth as his head flails back and forth. Sean Hymarc, without so much as a CPR class under his belt, has no idea what to do. Then he remembers – the MERCS! He has six operatives in here with him, two of which are just on the other side of the desk! They’ll save The Good Doctor, they have to! He created them!

“KingZig! Ray! One of you request immediate medivac, now! I need the other to… hey, why aren’t you turning around? HEY! LISTEN TO ME! I AM YOUR PRESIDENT!”

The MERCS, being soulless automatons that are still plugged in to the interFacer, couldn’t even respond if they wanted to. Torpol’s hand lays still on their controls, the AI left to sit in wait for an order, an instruction, a command that will never come.

‘This is bad… this is VERY BAD! You have to be some kind of fucking retarded to let yourself fall into a scenario like this, sean. It’s just like Father said, you are doomed for failure… no matter what you do, no matter where you go, you can’t handle the helm… your ship will crash and you will be impaled by the crags jutting from the murky waters of your own incompetence… just get a job, work for somebody, let someone take care of you… you’ll never be able to take care of yourself.’

His vision obstructed by the utter lack of purpose he blames his Father for instilling into him, sean crawls backwards and hits the back of his head on the wood paneling behind the secretary desk. He rubs the impact spot – a small bump, nothing life threatening. Sean will be okay, unlike the Doctor, who’s pale white body is drained of all its color, save for the blue of his eyes.

This is it then, it’s the end of the line. The hostile takeover failed before it even got off the ground. Sean Hymarc, seeing himself as something of a challenger of the gods, set his aim for the stars and exploded before he even left the atmosphere. This is rock bottom, there’s nowhere else for him to go. Nothing else to lose, either.

So, he might as well try for a Hail Mary.

“GOD! God, it’s me, God, it’s Sean! Little Seany Hymarc! If You’re real, if You’re listening, if Your white-bearded grandfatherly face is watching me from Your kingdom in Heaven, send me help! Save my friend! Save me!”

Outside in the hallway, K1ng-Z1g’s elevator goes ding, but Hymarc doesn’t hear it over the sound of his praying.

What he does hear, a moment later, is a man two hinges short of a full doorjamb yell out, “FUCK!! What the fuck?! Is that fucking zombie?!?


Hello Commons, this has been chapter 17 of The 2020 Event |The Main Event|, a satirical novel about aliens that do psychedelic drugs and the subjective nature of reality. |The Main Event| is the fourth book of the First Spiral, a longer story called The Highest One Writing.

The Highest One Writing is a story about an author told through the books he wrote. It starts with a self-help book and ends with the destruction of Existence. Also, it may or may not take you to the depths of insanity and back.

|The Main Event| is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you like |The Main Event| and would like to help support my work, buy a copy of the book here.

Be well Commons~