Die Writing

St. Michael’s guns

Posted in Guns of St. Michael by erdaron on August 30, 2010

Aside

This might become another series.

Boom

“So… can you die?”

“Yeah. Not that I’m gonna make it easy for anyone.”

“Damn…”

“Watch your mouth. Also, next time – actually shoot somebody.”

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Save us

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on August 20, 2010

Aside

I’ve forgotten how much I miss him.

Raw

Two angels stood at the edge of deserted parking lot, unseen. A homeless man with long, dirty blond hair was sleeping on a piece of cardboard near them, tightly hugging a guitar. It was freezing.

“Should we pick him up?” Asked one of the angels.

“Can’t interfere with his work,” said the other.

Time passed in silence. A few people walked down the street, on the far side of the parking lot. None of them looked toward the homeless man. A police car slowly rolled by, but the officers didn’t want to leave its comfort and warmth and simply drove on.

The man finally stirred. His bleary blue eyes aimlessly scanned the space for a couple of minutes before finally focusing on something. This brought him back to reality. The filthy green sweater did little to keep him warm and he started to shiver. He slowly brought his eyes toward the neck of the guitar, stroked its strings with stiff, calloused fingers. Pulled it closer. Touched his forehead against the wood.

A few minutes later, he was finally on his feet and staggering toward the street. Passerbies recoiled. The angels followed.

“What now?”

“He’s off to do his miracles.”

“What do we do?”

“We watch. And we remember.”

The Devil and the Musicians, part 3

Posted in The Devil and the Musicians by erdaron on August 19, 2010

Aside

This may seem like the end, but…

Again

The Musicians played on, and the joint was full. Every table, every chair, even the walls were filled with people leaning closer and listening, swaying with the beat. All onlookers drank the sweet music, smiling, except the Devil. He was in usual spot, in the very back of the house, leaning against the wall, trembling hands holding on to the never-ending cigarette.

“Play for me,” the Devil asked in a quivering voice.

“No,” the Musicians shook their heads.

The Devil stood up. He took a long drag off the cigarette, and the thick smoke began to pour from his lips, he raised his cane and rudely poked the man sitting in front of him. The man promptly disappeared in a wisp of thin black smoke.

“Play for me!” The Devil demanded, but the Musicians did not answer.

The Devil swung his cane, and the whole arc of people melted into black smoke. He began to walk toward the stage. A small table that was in his way began to smolder, then turned into cinders and fell apart. He raised the cane above his head.

“Play for me!” The Devil thundered, and again was left unanswered. He brought the cane down, and the entire crowd disappeared. The Devil and the Musicians were the only ones that remained in the place.  The music ceased. Slowly, he began to approach the stage, burning, scorching his way across the floor. At the edge of the stage, he stopped and reached his hand toward one of the Musicians, but something stopped him.

The Devil screamed, roared, flames leaped from him onto the floor, the tables, and the walls. The joint filled with the fires of his rage, and yet the Musicians were unmoved. When his screams died down, one of the Musicians – The Guitar Player – stepped forward, holding out his instrument for the Devil. In silence, his head hung low, the Devil accepted, and stepped onto the stage. The Guitar Player stepped down, and walked out of the place.

The Devil turned around to see the place restored, and a new audience taking seats at the tables.

Madness

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on August 12, 2010

Madness came quickly. Once within its reach, propriety and decorum seemed… a hindrance.

The gates

Posted in Neuropilot by erdaron on August 11, 2010

Aside

Thanks for reading, y’all. This is related to the Pamphlet.

Inside

A needle pricks your finger. A couple of neurons fire off in panic, signaling to the brain that something is wrong. The brain acknowledges, and commands the finger the shirk away from the needle.

A billion needles prick your entire body. Every neuron now fires off in panic, signaling to the brain that something – everything – is wrong. The brain tries to acknowledge, but there is just too much pain. Shock. Blackout.

That’s the trick they pull on us. The starfighter’s control network jacks directly into my spinal column. In combat there is not enough time to pull levers and push buttons most of the time – a mere thought, a raw reflex will have to do. So they jack the control network right in. They actually did a good job of picking which pathways to hack, so that the system’s inputs make sense to the brain. For this reason, the machine’s distress signals go into pain receptors.

When a shell hits the jet, I actually feel it. I feel every bit – the concussion, the shrapnel, the burn. It’s all right here in my brain, and it hurts like hell.

Combat is an intense place and there is a lot of pain. So much pain in fact, a normal person shouldn’t be able to handle it. So they install a few chips, spray some chemical into the blood, and voila – the safety floodgates that would normally allow the brain to go into a blackout are now fixed open. No matter how much pain there is to handle, there is no release of unconsciousness. After all, lose the pilot – lose the machine. Can’t have that.

We are not allowed to have painkillers. They all work by either slowing down or completely shutting down some neural pathway or other, and that means that some part of the machine will either be shut off or slowed down. In a situation where every nanosecond counts, that is unacceptable. Instead we are trained in how to disassociate ourselves from pain. We feel it, but simply don’t care.

There is a reason for the floodgates. There is a limit to how much intensity the brain can handle before, quite literally, burning out. That’s the rumor, anyway.

Over the edge

Posted in Neuropilot by erdaron on August 8, 2010

This is where it ends, where everything ends. The space goes on – but things don’t. Only complete and utter emptiness as far as we know. As long as we’ve had detectors pointed that way we have not received a single blip of anything.

To look over the edge is to look into the most absolute darkness imaginable. There is absolutely nothing for the eyes to lock on to. There is no contrast, no subtle changes in the shadows, no part that is darker or brighter than any other part. The eyes freak out a little bit, unable to accommodate. There is nothing to accommodate to. There is nothing.

It is a maddening experience. Such profound absence of anything is unthinkable. Some say that looking out over the edge is the closest thing to dying.

Which is probably why almost all of the starfighter pilots spend time here, at The Last Station.

Grin

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on August 3, 2010

The grin is more than a shape of the lips. There is the tilted head, the swept shoulders. The weight is shifted slightly back and to a side. It’s a whole body package, that grin. It’s about as slouched and aloof as one can be while still standing straight up. The grin communicates that its owner is in charge of this moment, and that’s just it. It slyly says, “Fuck you.”

Which is why I could tell he was grinning despite his impenetrable ski mask.

Fucker.

An important monologue

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on August 2, 2010

Aside

For strange and kind Mr. Kharms.

Great Cucumbers

Mr. Smith was standing in a corner, fiercely scratching at his scruffy face and slowly growing. His shoulders have already reached the shelves with the fine china, and his voice kept getting more and more booming.

“What you need to understand is the role of the crows, as well as the various breakfast leagues. These things are important!” He temporarily ceased the scratching to shake a fist.

Mr. Johnson quietly kept sitting. Mr. Johnson has only recently mastered sitting on a chair, but it still took a lot of his concentration to maintain the effort. Were he in a more prone position, he may have attempted some counter-points, however weakly, but his few resources were already fully engaged.

“The breakfast leagues are the beginning of the end!” Boomed Mr. Smith angrily. “And the lunch dominions are nowhere to be found in this time of hardships!” Scruff-scratching reached a feverish intensity, producing puffs of something flaky.

At this point, Mr. Smith entered eating a sandwich. Unlike the first Mr. Smith, he was normal- sized and cleanly shaven. Never removing the sandwich from his face, or the gaze from the larger Mr. Smith, the second Mr. Smith produced some sort of buzzing sound. It was a bit hard to tell, on account of his mouth being full of sandwich.

At the sight of the second Mr. Smith, the first Mr. Smith attempted to throw himself out of the window, but has grown too large for the frame.

“Go to hell!” He ordered the window, which is infuriatingly refused to do.

Exhausted, Mr. Johnson gave up the struggle and nodded off, slowly sliding onto the floor.