Tuesday, November 13

time to tear space/time a new one...

i think i'm starting to lose it.

a space-sponge takes a steam-bath. in the 21st century apartment of the man who is responsible for all the miseries of my life. who has apparently no technical skill whatsoever. so it's unclear how his inventions came to be. and who just happens to be an alt me. who has been a kind of quantum reconfiguration locus for now hundreds of other alt me. who were sent here to kill each other. because they are being used by the universe to destroy itself. and i have to make sure all of them die. except me. and skint here.

wait. never mind. not losing it after all. it all makes sense now.


his living room is pretty crappy too. a lot of boxy black furniture. a black leather couch. some monstrous huge screen on the wall. a dining table. but, there are two things of supreme interest.

one: a six-foot long horizontal bookshelf covered in booze. it must be hours since my last drink... actually... now that i think about it i am pretty fucking hungover. that ocean of starshine i inhaled to rehydrate spajjy wasn't really that long ago. luckily all this jumping through non-time and non-space has sort of confused my nervous system. the sight of all this ancient hooch is making me realize that maybe, just maybe, life in the 21st century isn't so terrible.

skint pours a couple of glasses of whisky and sets the bottle on the coffee table. we cheers and stare each other in the eye. for a moment, we have romance. then the memory of my little night-time rendezvous with the alt me i left in the future bubbles up in my mind and i close my eyes and drink.

oh wait... i forgot to tell you about the other thing of supreme interest in the room. how silly of me... it's so easy to overlook.

it's about 9 feet tall. black as space. a foot-and-a-half on each side. covered in weird protrusions and round things and square things. a topological wet dream. shafts and dowels and rods and... well... that's mostly it. it's a weird thing for an apartment in the 21st century to have in it. frankly it's a weird thing for any apartment in any time to have.

that's because it's an "all'n'one skintronic station reactor" this guy has sitting in the corner of his room. down to every last detail.

except for one... he has a jacket hanging off one of the power-pins. the negative one.

oh... two... i guess... it's not floating in a tank of heavy water. which worries me a little bit. because that thing puts out, approximately, the energy of a... i don't know... a fucking space station.

'say skint?' i ask him, casually. 'what's that thingie you have over there in the corner and did it come with a tank of heavy water about... oh... 100 feet cubed... to shield you from lots of nasty radiation?'

'eh?' he's busy pouring himself another drink. i quickly finish mine and shove the glass in front of him.

'the fucking reactor... the big black thing in the corner of the room... why do you have one?'

'the alien weapon sculpture thingie?' he asks back, confused.

'yes. the big black alien looking thingie. that's a fucking power-plant for a station. i thought you said you didn't build anything.'

'i haven't. bought that at a second hand shop because the sight of it made me so fucking ill i had to have it.' he says. 'great coat rack. good party conversation starter... if i had parties... or friends.'

i go up to it. usually the thing sort of floats in this big tank, on full view to the tourists who visit the station. people treat the whole setup like some kind of fucking trashcan/wishing well and throw shit in there. every so often the janitor (who could that possibly be?) has to suit up in a heavy-water diving rig, put on his fucking snorkel, jump in and pick up all the dead wishes and shattered dreams.

that is one of the parts of my job i particularly enjoy. the salvage of broken hope. lot of good swag down there. people put a lot into their dreams.

one of the cathodes looks off. i touch it and it falls off... a jet black prism with a jet black dowel coming out of it. i hold the piece in my hand, staring at it.

'you like my sculpture? the other guys were afraid of it.' he shrugs. 'i need to glue that piece back on. actually, i have a whole bucket of pieces that fell off. too lazy i guess.'

i look closer... there are holes and missing chunks everywhere. but, without a doubt, this is a skintronic. this is a fucking massive reactor capable of powering a star. and clownballs here has his jacket hanging off it.

'this is a not a fucking sculpture.' i tell him.

he nods. 'one of you told me it's some kind of engine or plant for the station. frankly if it's that fragile no wonder the future seems to be such a pain in the ass.'
so not only is my world determined by this clown, but also by what this idiot thinks is a garbage coat rack purchased on a drunken binge.

oh universe...

we sit in silence for a bit, listening to the sirens and traffic and screaming locals outside. it's peaceful here. i could get used to it.

'so what's the plan?' he asks me.

'plan?' i respond.

'i don't want this universe to end any more than you do. seems like if we want to ensure that there is only one possible thread through space/time, we need to figure something out.'

smart guy.

'well... i can tell you what the plan was. i was going to kill every alt me but me and the one in your future, and my altspace. but i'm not sure that makes sense anymore. it's entirely possible he was there as a distraction to prevent me from stopping the universe's dream of absolute destruction.'

'that sounds plausible.' he says. i suppose it does.

'so i think we need to change who the other me that lives will be. i think it should be you.'

'what?' he seems shocked.

'you want fame and glory and your name to be remembered until the stars burn out and the universe finally dies its heat death?' i ask. 'oh... and do you want to live forever?'

skint puffs out his cheeks. in this light, with his little beard and scraggly hair, he looks like shitzilla. i get a little teary-eyed. i miss that monkey bastard.

'i guess so.'  he says.

'here's how it's going to play out then. you are going to stay here. on this day. in this apartment. for the rest of time. other versions of me are going to show up. and you have to kill them. every single one.'

'what? i can't kill anyone. i'm a coward.' he protests.

'of course you are... that's why we get spajjy to help you. ' i shout,  'spajjy?'
spajjy bounces his way into the room, slowly. he finds the radiator in here and sits on its rusting release valve, happily getting a warm steam enema.
'yo.' he says, very peacefully.
'you're going to help skint.' i tell him. ' he'll keep you company. since he's going to need you to turn his clock back regularly so he can keep killing the other me. he's our recursive time-killer.'

'i think i started writing a story about...' he starts.

'shut it.'

he looks at me, curls his lips in a half-sneer, half-appreciatve smirk. then asks, 'how do i get famous?'

i nod at the scraps of envelopes and tissues, all dotted with illegible notes.

'all these awful scripts and garbled-intepretations of physics and math... we can create a universe where they're accurate. as a matter of fact, it already exists. mine. and a lot of other versions of the universe as well. for each spaceman we kill, we destroy another potential universe. the universe you created with these notes is the only universe that will remain.'

'but won't the universe try to put a stop to this?'

'the universe won't be looking for you. with spajjy here, you stay put as the universe streams around you, like some brain-damagee, confused, standing in the middle of a hallway, forcing traffic to bow around him.'

we sit quietly again. skint pours a few drinks and we drink them. spajjy gets a bottle of his own.

'what are you going to do?' he asks

'i've got a spaceman to kill. just one more... the fucker who sent me back here to get slaughtered.' i say.' then i have to deal with the simp.'

'how you gonna get back without spajjy?'

good question. but i've already got the answer.

'with that...' i say, pointing at the reactor. 'time to tear space-time a new one...'

No comments:

Post a Comment

what the fuck is your problem?