Recent and Near Future Works

Most of our recent work has been focused on music. Composing. Writing lyrics. Recording. Editing. Producing. And studying music….

Much of the work is technical. Studying different scales and modes. Different intervals. The characteristics of different movements. How they sound. What certain shifts convey….

A lot of the work is developing… and then capturing… different means of expression….

In the near future… we will be moving towards the more rhythmic… or percussive… elements….

Recently we have experimented with using the guitar as rhythmic center… driving the beat… while using the bass as a melodic element… experimenting with various scales and modes… and altered time….

We have also used the vocal elements as rhythmic components at times as well….
And the harmonica as well…. To fill… but also to give a feel of the tempo and time….
Exploring time and space….
Using different vocal textures… and tempi… to bring about a different feel….

Still have many works in the embryonal stage….
Others in the conceptual stage….
Still others in different developmental… and evolutionary stages….
Some never meant to be more than studies….

Still have several short stories and longer stories and novels in development….

Lots of unfinished works… still in evolution… and development….
Still… lots to do….

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Exposed Works

Trying to consolidate. Create a handy resource for folks who may be interested in reading… or listening… or experiencing… some of the Exposed Works….

This is a list of Songs… Lyrics… and Poems….

This lists includes the March and April catalog. Songs/Lyrics on page 1. Poems on page 2. Site is where they are originally Exposed.

Will add Stories and Prose/Opinions.

Róisín Dubh: A Glimpse of Emerald Eriu.

(Just a taste of yet another story from yet another milieu…. Ancient Irish Mythology and Folklore… of sorts….)

The dream was always the same–at least in its basic elements. The same four measures repeated each night like stanzas in a dirge: flame, scream, sweat, and tears. The flame reminded him of Fire; the keening screams, Wind; the rancid stinking odor of the murderers sweat, Earth; and his mother’s tears as she consoled him after the attack reminded him of Water: pure water cleansing her pure soul–streaming down to wash away his transgressions, too. The dream contained within itself all four of the Elements of the Creation–of Magick. The Ancient Lore of Balance. And the thick, palpable, unbearable, crushing darkness that hide all light. Impenetrable. Unknowable. Occult.
In the twilight when he lay awake curled into fetal position under the bed after the dream woke him, she would somehow know. She would call softly to him–call him out from his hiding spot and console him. In the daylight he considered the awesome power contained within the elements: and contemplated how he would exact their revenge. But not at night.
Chulainn did not hide under the bed because he felt safe there: he didn’t. Rather he felt accused. Convicted. Scorned. And he felt he deserved all of those piled high on his young head. That was the exact spot he had hidden when the Orc Chieftain had brutally raped his mother on that bed. When he brutally murdered his entire family–exterminated his entire clan–except for a few who were absent on official business. While Chulainn hid his family and friends died. Were slaughtered. And he did nothing. But hide under his mother’s bed and cover his eyes and ears.
He had viewed the Orc Chieftain’s spear as he broke down the door and strode into his mother’s room. The huge black spear began to glow ever more brilliantly with each ruthless stroke; each time the chieftain lovingly and gently stroked the shaft and polished the black iron blade with elven blood–the blood of Chulainn’s family and friends. Those he was sworn and legally bound to protect from these very Orc predations. When he was finished with Chulainn’s mother, and was done polishing his spear tauntingly in front of her eyes, he grunted loudly: a grunt that contained a significant squeal of satisfaction.
Rising from the bed of his foe to leave, he suddenly sniffed and leisurely dropped to one knee at the edge of the bed with a quizzical look etched on his face–searching…. Cooley sprang from where she had lain with her legs akimbo–her energy totally spent from resisting her attacker immediately before–and suddenly lunged to her knees and slapped the Orc Chieftain flat across his snout with savage fury; her visage was pure unadulterated hatred, not fear.
Her face never betrayed her son’s hiding place. Neither did he. The Orc Chieftain sniffed sharply, then smiled sardonically, rose and left, squealing to his cohort with a palpable air of nonchalant superiority. She didn’t need to betray her son. He was satiated. He snorted with disdain as he casually threw his snout over his shoulder towards the bed, and his brutal tribe laughed derisively at his joke. They had slain all of the elves and raped the human, but they had left the tainted blood of the young half-elven child to suffer a different, crueler fate. A fate worse than death: A life of self-scorn.

Chulainn was not his real name, but rather a variation of his mother’s maiden name and the one she still preferred to be called–Cooley. Chulainn was the name his mother called him because she was human and had a very difficult time picking up the subtleties of pronunciation of the Elvish tongue. Most of the other elves called him Cú Chulainn: The Hound of Cooley. Or just plain Cú. But they spoke that moniker derisively, like the Orcs when they referred to him. When they spat those words at him they meant: “Cooley’s little dog.” Or simply “dog”. Worthless mongrel. They seemed to imply they somehow deserved their fate.
Elven society was maternalistic: one’s stature in life was determined by one’s mother’s rank modified by the social standing of one’s spouse. So the fact that Chulainn’s mother was the daughter of the High King of Eriu and a direct descendant of Bodica, the last Warrior Queen of the Black Rose… Róisín Dubh… carried very little status with rank and file elves–because she was human. Humans were and had long been allies of elves, but they had never reached the point where they were considered equal in social status amongst the elves. Higher than orcs or goblins or hobgoblins or kobolds or bugbears certainly. On par with hobbits and dwarves and gnomes and pixies most assuredly. Even above dark elves and potentially even their less civilized cousins, the wood elves and grey elves. But no where close to as sophisticated as High Elves–the apex of the elven social strata. Of course, humans naturally felt superior to elves as well. Though Christians would rather interact with elves than Druids, and Druids avoided Christians as though they carried plagues that could not be rid by Fire–not even burning the putrid, pestilent-filled beast in the Wicker Man.
Fire purified everything. Cleansed all evil and wickedness. But even Fire could not wash away and purify Christianity in the eyes of the Druids because the disturbance of the balance was simply too great. Just as great as the brutal orcs and their ruthless kin. Or demons. Christians were certainly no worse than orcs or demons in the eyes of the Druids, but they were also no better. And often more difficult to bring to terms.

Generally, Cooley was scorned amongst the elves. The reasons primarily boiled down to one really: jealousy. Chulainn’s father was the youngest son of the Elven Royal family, and a decorated and wildly popular war hero know by his nom-de-guerre “The Orc Reaper”, which not coincidentally was the name of his ancient yew longbow. The two were inseparable, and he often looked as though he were conversing with the gnarled knock or handle; though that was clearly impossible. He was also ravishingly handsome and extraordinarily well spoken–in a rakish way.

Sayr Wa Sulak, or Spiritual Wayfaring. (a different concept in storytelling… with some vague explanatory notes….)

About 25,500 words.

Unfinished and unabridged….

From a series of Science Fiction stories called The Nexus based on mining colony established on 90482 Orcus.

(No Air for Dirty Laundry.
No Womb in the Inn.)
by Professor Josea Melançon.
Pérhuzamos Mozgás
1 August 2013
7 October 2013
21 October 2014
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Prologue: Attempting to Make Sense of Senseless Things in a Senseless World
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Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
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Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
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Sometimes things make perfect sense. Fit together. First time through. First pass.
Sometimes life is simple. Easily understood.
And… sometimes… life’s complicated. Complex. Convoluted. Full of twists and turns. Misconceptions. Deceptions.
Sometimes… accidental….
Sometimes… planned.
Sometimes… life’s a mystery.
And… sometimes… life’s a misery….
Sometimes life unfolds like some old… ancient… seemingly long-forgotten… story…. Some ancient… epic… poem….
Of pain….
An epic poem. Of struggle….
Of sacrifice….
Of redemption….
Of meaningless life….
Of meaningful death….
Like… La Canción de El Cid. Or The Epic of Gilgamesh….
Like the stories of my youth….
Like La Canción de El Cid….
Like El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha….
This story is like that. Complex. Subtle.
Hard to follow.
Hard to fathom.
Hard to comprehend.
On multiple levels.
Like a great poem by a great poet from a different time written in a different language… and the only translation you can seem to get your hands on is from a different country… and a different age…. A different ethnicity…. A different religion…. A different… Space….
So… in addition to difficulties understanding the depth and breadth of the poem and the poet and the rhythm and the rhyme and the subject… one must also consider cultural differences…. Migration of language. Limitations of Language…. Migration of meanings…. Idiosyncracies of translation…. Idiosyncracies of life….
The ego inflating feelings of the natural superiority from yourof one’s own culture….
The furtive… if unnatural… desireDesire to present yourones own beliefs in the best possible light…. As above reproach….
Other such… pressures….
Social….
Spiritual….
Emotional….
And economic….
And… I guess I’m at least somewhat an Economic Determinist….
That’s my core belief….
About the core values of others….
The ethics of certain situations…. And… certainly… situational ethics….
So… like I said…. Sometimes things just fit together…. In a nice… neat… package….
But not this time….
This time… nothing much makes sense…. Not in the linear sense…. Like why our ship stopped to pick up some relic…. Some outdated… out-moded hospital ship…. On our way to a Mining Outpost…. In the Way Out…. On the Fringe…. Just doesn’t make any sense….
Sure came in handy with those miners, though…. Almost like it was planned….
Apparently… it’s some kind of Ghost ship…. A lot of people died there or something…. Some kind of Cosmic contamination…. A radiation leak…. Something like that…. Something to do with a Damned crew… shipped off to Io… on a Death Mission…. Something like that…. No one really seems to know any details…. That’s weird….
Just makes no sense….
So… that’s why I’m saying this….
This isn’t going to be one of those nice… simple… linear… stories….
This is the other kind….
And… a rather extreme example….
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This story starts out with a man… sitting at his assigned bench in the Galley of a ship… sitting in isolation… pondering the meaning… trying to understand… such a poem….
A single man… sipping an adult beverage… and ponderously pondering the vicissitudes of life….
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I
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Sublime… and Subliminal… Poetry….
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And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted– “Open then the Door!
You know how little time we have to stay.
And once departed, may return no more.”
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Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
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That man would be me. Or… was me. Or… is me.
A man… on the outside…. Shut out….
Contemplating the meaning of life….
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I guess proper English would be that the man in question is me.
And not too terribly long ago… I was sitting in the Galley of the Rocinante… just minding my own business… as they say from porch swings in some of the less safe parts of Saint Louis… trying to understand the complexities of a few of the Rubáiyát of probably the second most famous tentmaker of all time, Omar Khayyám. Ostensibly… I was trying to improve my knowledge of Ancient Persian…. Trying to understand the nuances of the Sufism…. Trying to transcend the limitations of the poor translation into English of the only copy I had immediately available…. Trying to coordinate the one… with the other…. Trying to connect to the depth… the breadth… the magnitude… of the vision of the Universe presented in the original Ancient Persian texts….
I was trying to understand the ancient wisdom… of ancient poetry….
And… I was stymied….
And then… as they say… some dude… shot me…. Not literally, of course…. But almost….
One of the legendary Dude Brothers, I suppose…. The infamous brothers who were systematically blamed for the vast majority of gun trauma in the vast urban jungles of the American Wasteland during the XXIst and XXIInd Centuries…. During that tragic period of history… during the triage I the Emergency Room… during the taking of “The History” that started the evaluation process… the “victim” would almost invariably utter that famous phrase that went something like this… “I was sitting in the swing on Granma’s porch… minding my own business… reading the Bible… when
Some Dude shot me…!”
Dudes doing what dudes are prone to do…. I guess that might best be described mathematically as Dude2 x Do2 = Doo-dy-doo2…. Deep Doo-Doo…. A mystery seeming worthy that great detective Scooby-Dooby-Doo….
Entirely unexpectedly….
My entirely unexpected interruption was similarly mysterious….
By a man I really like…. Even admire…. Most of the time…. But… not at the moment…. And not just because he was interrupting me….
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Ok…. I guess I should warn you…. This is the place where this story… sorta… starts to degenerate…. Get a little weird…. Get a little more… interesting….
But mostly… just get weird….
Philosophically….
Metaphysically….
Theologically….
Theosophistically….
And realistically…. If that even really means anything…. Reality….
But… I guess… I should just tell the story…. As best I can…. And let you try to figure it all out….
Let you be the judge…. Since that’s apparently your function in this proceeding….
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I mean….
At least… I think I mean….
Or I guess… I guess I mean….
He wasn’t physically there…. Not here…. (Not me…. I was there…. I mean… another man…. The other man….) But… it wasn’t a spiritual…. Nor metaphysical…. He wasn’t a… metaphorical… presence…. He was… more like… a historical presence….
A ghost…. I suppose…. In some sense….
Though… not in a palpable sense…. Not in a spooky sense….
Rather… I guess… he felt… to be… posing….
Or imposing…. No…. That’s not it….
I’m rather flustered…. Still a bit groggy….
The man…. The whole situation…. Felt….
Imposed…. From outside….
But… I didn’t know that at the time….
Or… couldn’t comprehend it…. Couldn’t put it together…. For what it was…. Really was….
I guess… for me… it felt like I was living out someone else’s life…. Living in… something… like a… Ghost Story…. Or like Science Fiction…. Fantasy…. Something fantastic…. Made up…. Unreal…. Surreal…. Supernatural…. Messed up…!
He was a flashback…. Or… rather… more of a… flashbang…!
In my mind….
Even now… sometimes… I still see him sitting there…. Beside me…. At his bench…. In the Galley…. Slaving away…. At his work….
Or… at his leisure….
Or… helping me understand some significant… some particularly difficult… or particularly subtle… nuance… in Ancient Persian…. Or some indecipherable Scientific data…. Some riveting historical revelation….
And then….
I see….
This…!
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“Must… get… out…!”
The dark haired man pacing the floor was obviously agitated. He spoke with a slight accent that I couldn’t place.
Not his regular accent… which I knew intimately….
Uttering Uttered broken phrases under his breath….
Pacing…. Frenetically….
Restlessly….. And he paced… frenetically…. Recklessly….
Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth….
Relentlessly….
Mumbling to himself….
Staring at the walls….. Staring through the walls…. Staring into Space….
Not the Space displayed and floor-to-ceiling holographic display….
Seemingly seeing a potential way out…. Out to some location far out into the deep vacuum of Space-Time….
Beyond the ship…. Beyond the Universe…. Beyond Space-Time itself…. Beyond Reality…. All the way to some other… Space…. Some… other… alternate… reality…. On the other side… of some… shrouding… veil…. Some… concealing… curtain…. That only he could penetrate….
At times… he would stop… and cock…. Cock his head…. As if he were listening to something…. Listening for something. Hearing something…. Someone…. A voice maybe….
Crazy! I know….
I see him stabbing. Stabbing his open hands into the air….. Gesticulating…. Wildly….
As if he were trying to convince someone…. Something….
Convince himself….
Win an argument with some internal demon….
Or perhaps some demon from his past….
Or… just as plausibly… some demon from the future….
Haunting him….
Stealing his peace of mind….
Or pieces of his mind…. Huge chunks…. Of his sanity….
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Then… he scurried to the far side of that tiny communal space where I was seated… trying to translate some poetry… before I headed off to my Womb to sleep.
This agitated gentleman slinked around like an over-excited ferret on the prowl… or feeling the unseen presence of some fell predator….
Scanning the walls….
Sniffing the floor….
Searching the ceiling….
Studying the lights… the lustrous tables… the soft… flexible… form-fitting ergonomic metal benches….
The hovering room-sized 3-dimensional holographic display of Space… and personal data… and workflow…. The personal “need-to-know” data required by each individual to effectively and efficiently perform his function…. You work followed you…. No one could escape from his work…. Not when he was in the Galley…. He just had to learn to ignore it….
The food and drink vending machines (as the dispensing spigots were euphemistically called for some historical reason)….
The waste disposal/recycling units…. The Life Support System….
The sealed diaphragmatic opening of the bulkheads… the Air-locks protecting us from the Deep Vacuum just outside…. Where our Hard-shelled Deep Vacuum Space Suits stood… securely fastened… waiting for us….
Touching everything….
Trying to peak behind… crawl under… dig into… the machines….
As if he meant to enter the very innards… the intestines… the bowels of the ship herself…. To explore their workings…. Their peristalstic pumping….
Probing…. Into the metal grating of the vents….
Pricking his ears…. Canting his head…. Then, then scurrying in quick bursts….
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First… I concluded that he must believe the room was bugged….
And then… I concluded… that he might very well be right….
And… finally… that he certainly was right….
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I guess I should take just a moment to explain a bit about the layout of the ship… since I assume you’re never been on board one…. Help you understand why everything seemed to happen in essentially one very constrained space… and time… in the incredible vastness of Space-Time….
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The Dining Room… or the Mess Hall… or the Commissary… or the Common… or the Galley… (different people called the area different names at different times…) was the only area onboard the ship that had atmosphere.
Not romantic atmosphere.
Any atmosphere. At all.
The only area in the ship that was pressurized. That wasn’t under hard vacuum. That didn’t require at least some nominal form of Space Suit.
The only area where sound transmitted.
The only are where one could work… or play… or sit… or stand… comfortably….
Except for the Bridge.
[The Bridge was different from the rest of the ship. Especially the Commons. The Commons was essentially the only available playspace. Of course, the Ship’s Officers had their own playspace, separate from the passengers; they had the Officer’s Mess, which was essentially similar, though more elaborate. More comfortable. Relatively more spacious because there were usually fewer people crammed into the same absolute volume. And it was in Crew Quarters, which was closer to the essential functions of the ship.
The Bridge was off-limits to passengers. (And even in that Sanctum… the pilots generally wore some form of pressure suit…. As a precaution….)
During Transit… most passengers spent most of their time in their Wombs… in the area of the Civilian section of the ship known as The Inn…. Ostensibly… sleeping…. Certainly off in La-La Land…. But in reality… in an induced state… like suspended animation… but less… profound…. Less deep…. Not comatose…. So that something like normal Sleep Stages… though not exactly “normal” Sleep Cycles… can be simulated…. A… Special… individualized… sleep pattern… could be… assembled… and induced…. Specifically patterned to meet the needs of each person on board… in transit…. Whatever they might be determined to be….
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The Bridge was a workspace.
The Bridge was a temple.
The Bridge was sacrosanct.
Only the Captain and the Ship’s Officers were ever allowed into the extremely cramped quarters of the Bridge, which was completely carpeted wall-to-wall with Command Couches, except for the space occupied by the robopilots and other necessary equipment.
And the Bridge was noisy.
There was always continuous chatter on the Bridge.
The Bridge was completely dark, except for the flashing lights on the panels and the innumerable screens displaying charts and maps and streaming data. Projections. Reports. Logs. Any and all necessary information.]
So the Common… or Galley… was the only conceivable place where a man could actually talk.
With another human.
Converse.
Chat.
That was part of its purpose.
Part of its designed function.
A significant part.
An essential part.
That’s why the seemingly cramped benches all faced inwards… towards one another. Not from because of some confusing Confucian belief in Feng Shui….
That… didn’t matter….
Because the only constant about the facing of a Space Ship… traversing deep space is constant change…. The cramped quarters forced people to sit face to face. The room was set up to break down individuality. To promote Team Building. To facilitate communication. Decrease the overwhelming feelings of isolation. Help alleviate the feelings of solitude… or loneliness… that was inevitable on long Space flights. A communal area to spend a little time… Outside.
Outside the drudgery of drill and work.
Outside the human-machine interfaces that probed men’s souls…. Invaded men’s minds….
Outside drug induced sleep bordering on coma.
Outside the Womb.
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And I guess that’s why I felt cramped…. Or… trapped….
I realized that I couldn’t possibly escape even if the Rapture suddenly occured without going through the process of climbing into my hard-shelled High Vacuum Pressure Suit… which was currently secured… sealed… to one of the bulkheads at the entrance to the Galley….
So… I had no means of escape… alive….
I suddenly realized that I was essentially a Galley Slave….
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As events started to unfold before my eyes… I grew more and more concerned by the millisecond….
As this suddenly unknown lunatic… who I very recently considered my friend… and one of the saner members of my cadre….
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The Common was considered a part of the Inn: that area of the ship designated to accommodate passengers during their trek through Space. Separate out… set aside… non-crew. The tiny little non-essential portion of the ship where non-essential personnel could hang out during the months or years they would be together… traveling to and from their ultimate destinations.
Outside the cozy confines of the Common, all conversations must be routed through the Communications Headsets (another ancient moniker) installed in the suits or the Communications Systems integrated into the Cerebral Monitoring Units of the Womb Computer Analysis and… which were routed through the Central Computer… so those transmissions were certainly monitored….
(Unless you just happen to be one of the Chips. The elite. A Cyborg. Then you have chipsets surgically implanted to monitor and maintain vital functions… and most Cyborgs out in Space have sort of special Comm chips….
Of course… they also tend to have a chip on their shoulders, too. Because they were all little Vats. Me-too-ants. Clones.
But expensive, elite, jacked-up clones…. Special clones…. Not worker bees…. But not Breeders, either….)
Makes sense…. The Company wants to know if someone may be planning something… CRAZY!!! Or… if someone may just be going CRAZY!!! After all… that’s why NASA established protocols to handle such things in the constricting confines of Space way back when that seriously deranged Space Biddy put on her Depends and trucked clear across the country to try to murder her rival in some sordid extraterrestrial ménage a trois… Rocky Raccoon-style….
They tried to hush up the whole deplorable thing. Didn’t work. Hit the headlines. A real head case. And a hard case.
He got divorced….
She got prison….
NASA lost face… and a whole lot of money….
Bad deal all around….
Resulted in a grand reduction. She got a reduced sentence. He got reduced rank and eventually got shit-canned. NASA got reduced appropriations for covering up inappropriate fraternization.
Everybody did the math.
Whole affair reduced to ménage a <3.
Any way… my point is simply this: Anal Retentive people tend to get a bit emotionally… constipated. And… Deep Space is dangerous place for someone to suddenly get a case of emotional diarrhea.
But… something else good came out of that whole ass-hole incident, I guess….
Now Space Rangers don’t need to wear diapers to contain our urges: at least not our urges to blow and go. Now… we just go with the flow. And the suit recycles all the shit. Liquids and solids. The suit… and the Womb. Or the Egg. But more on that later….
But for now… more on that moron….
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I was growing more and more concerned by the millisecond.
As the lunatic stalked the tiny room, his dark eyes shifted from one object to the next in incredibly rapid succession, darting around the room. He snapped his head around fiercely, stopping at odd angles.
To listen….
To look….
To lick….
To sniff….
To scratch….
To shift….
To search….
Like some kind of caged canid.
A jackal.
Or a wolf.
Some fell feral beast.
A rabid dog. On steroids..
But his motions were much faster. His emotions more on edge.
Making him less predictable….
Much less predictable….
Less controllable….
Less human….
More beastly….
More ghostly….
More ghastly….
More real….
At least more in the moment….
At least more at in that moment….
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But at least he wasn’t slavering.
I know. I checked.
And that’s a plus!
The frenetic man was frantic! And possible deranged.
Scratch that….
Probably deranged….
Who am I kidding…?
Completely deranged…!
Ravenous…. But… not likely rabid…. Like the wolves on the Persian Steppes frequently are….
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II
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A Friend in Need is a Friend In Deed….
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With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was the Harvest that I reap’d–
“I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”
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Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
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And as I sat at that sterile silver table… with my fresh… steaming… cup of coffee in my hand… my mind stepped back… away from the danger immediately before my eyes…. Sought to assess the situation…. And naturally… came to seemingly the inevitable… the only logical conclusion….
That somehow… this was… ALL…. MY…. FAULT….
Irrational….
I know that… now….
And now… I know I was wrong….
But in the heat of the moment…. In that irrational minute of self-doubt…. Self-loathing…. That was my first thought…. That… somehow… I had gravely offended my Islamic friend…. Maybe something I said….
Maybe a bit of an off-color joke….
Our previous discussions… about the Quintessential Harlot… for example…. The Great Whore of Babylon….
Eating a pulled pork sandwich for lunch on Ramadan… and thus desecrating a sacred… incredibly holy day for him….
Or maybe the synthetic Frangelico in my synthetic Arabica coffee with its synthetic real cream….
Or… maybe something else that I missed…. That I couldn’t immediately recall….
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I’m going to take just a second to explain this…. This… feeling…. This… anxiety…. This… THOUGHT….
Because it’s important….
Because this is important….
Because my explaining may help you understand my relationship with this crazed Muslim… now before me… (or then…) seemingly bent upon Jihad….
The man I formerly… and still… considered my bosom buddy… and my best friend on board ship….
This is going to sound… stupid… but bear with me… please….
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A specific chemical reaction… the reaction that actually created the cup… proceeds at a specific rate… because of a specific catalyst… and very specific quantities of reaction products… and as the polymers precipitated…. The exothermic reaction… the precipitation of the polymers creating the cup… give off just the right amount of heat to maintain the perfect temperature for the liquid inside the cup….
For maximum flavor….
And for maximum enjoyment….
The Goldilocks Temperature….
Not too hot…. Not too cold…. But just right….
One of the tremendous benefits derived from the Plasma that results from using Nuclear Fusion to power spacecraft…. Almost anything can be created from the resulting reaction products and power…. The Persian Environmental Engineer in front of me now… (then… now in the past…) had smiled so broadly when he had explained that to me… that I knew he really reveled that gift he gave me…. Telling me that…. Teaching me that…. Explaining that to me…. So… that made the Psychological sting of this… sensational prick… seem so much more… intense…. So much more irrational…. So much more painful… than I had expected…. Or than my mind was ready to accept….
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And the second thing I did… or thought… was to start considering how I might use the precipitating polymers of that cup… and the steaming coffee it contained… as a weapon…. Initially for defense…. And then… for offense…. Because things suddenly started to look much more serious…. More ominous…. And I wanted more options… something more than any of those that were immediately apparent….
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“Where are they where are they where are they where are they where are they where are they where are they where are they….”
Monotonous….
Staccato….
Falsetto….
The suddenly strange… deranged… demented… man… pacing… racing… in front of me… whom I previously thought I knew… continually muttered to himself as he diligently searched… in a grid pattern… for… something….
Not like he was walking the lunatic fringe; like he was serious. In control of his faculties.
But… still… on the razors edge…. Still… out of control…. Know what I mean…?
I think ya do…!
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But he couldn’t be….
In control….
Not Really…. Could he…?
Or could he…?
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So… I took a bit of time to compose myself. Squelch myself. Control my voice so I didn’t squeak and squawk when I tried to talk. So that I had some semblance of the sound of command. Sounded like someone in charge. And then… I answered him.
“I don’t know.” Hopefully I said it calmly…. Enough…. While mentally completing that simple yet intense sentence with multiple ending… what you’re looking for… or what you’re talking about… or even if you’re SANE, Buddy! But… I’m thinking… NOT!!!
I thought my voice sounded reasonably calm… considering….…. Considering…. The situation….
A soothing… calming voice….
To soothe… to calm my friend….
The who, the what, the when, the how, and the where the Hell we are!
Then I tried to calm myself.
My spinning mind.
My racing heart.
My squirming, churning bowels.
I started with deep breathing. Controlling my respirations….
Moved on to more contemplative meditation… to control my mind….
Slow my thoughts….
Slow time as it raced past… headed head-long towards utter and complete destruction….
I struggled to be rational: struggled to think rationally….
Here was a Cracker Jack engineer by all accounts… and by my own past experience…. And here he was… cracking up…. Right… before my eyes….
And this had HUGE implications for the success… or the failure of this project….
My project….
And my career….
And my life….
And at the moment… all three were suddenly looking a whole lot like abject failures…. Hell-bent on coming to an almost immediate, irretrievable, disconsolate end….
And… I’m not even taking into account the whole Malaria episode….
#
#
I have no idea why the next thought even passed through my mind… with my life on the line…. But it did….
I had to admit to myself… here I was… or… there I was… trying to sit calmly…. Trying to look… to act… like I was in charge…. Like it mattered….
While all the while… knowing in the depths of my soul… that I have no bleeping idea what the bleep was happening in the surreal whirlwind fiercely spinning…. Surrounding me…. Sucking me in….
And then…. I realized…. A Truth….
Sitting on the very edge of Oblivion… I stared full face into something brighter than the blazing Sun…. And it was like scales fell off my eyes…. And… suddenly… I could see…. Suddenly… I realized… Truth….
Not a Truth…. THE Truth….
#
If you ever want to be anybody other than some backwater bleep jockey… you needed to fix this bleeping problem… and fix it NOW!!!
Fix it before the noise grows so loud someone important hears the bleeping….
And your options…? Well… let’s just say… they’re looking EXTREMELY limited….
I don’t want you to be looking at me like some kinda “Say Nay Kid”, but when the Foo shits….
And I was certainly feeling like a Foo-“L”.
#
If I ever wanted to be anybody other than some backwater bleep jockey… I needed to fix this bleeping problem… NOW!!!
Fix it before the noise grew so loud someone important heard the bleeping….
And my options were looking extremely limited….
With my good options looking worse than a Grade-Z Science Fiction Horror flick…. Like The Brain-Eaters. Or worse… Plan 9 From Outer Space…. Or even worse… Plan Mine from Outta Myanus…. And my plan was for all intents and purposes… a non-existent plan….
The man ceaselessly pacing in front of me was supposed to be a Senior Environmental Engineer. My Senior Environmental Engineer. And by all accounts, he was a very good one. The best in fact. A real Cracker Jack. Really knew his way around the working of the Wombs. I knew that from some of our previous conversations about the technical aspects of maintaining life support systems in Deep Space. And I got the hint from some of the things he said, that something was upsetting him. And that something had to do with his job. His knowledge of the inner workings of the technology that we all depended on to keep us alive. And healthy. Physically. And mentally. And all that Foo shit was dripping down into my eyes… and interacting with the huge fluorescent “L” tattooed on the center my forehead signifying “Flashing Fucking Loser….”
#
Why was I suddenly concerned about my career…? I wasn’t ever really concerned before…. Or I wouldn’t be out here on the Fringe… exploring the Bermuda Triangle of career trajectories….
The mind certainly plays some strange tricks when it’s stressed…. And even when it isn’t… I suppose….
#
#
III
#
#
Lady Fate Flips the Fickle Finger.
#
#
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: not all thy Piety not Wit,
Shall lure it back now I was trying to think back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
#
Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
#
#
Well… my best assessment of the situation set before me…? Sitting before me…? Or… rather like some not-so-subtle Lone Ranger running around the room cleverly disguised as a freakin’ MADMAN???
I suddenly realized that my best options seemed to be looking significantly worse than some Grade-Z 50’s Science Fiction Horror flick…. Like The Brain-Eaters…. Or worse… Plan 9 From Outer Space…. And nothing’s worse than that….
Almost nothing….
Only one thing….
My situation….
At least Plan 9 had some schmarmy stolen footage of Bela Lugosi… shot over the wall of his home… of him walking around… that they just inserted into the movie… that made absolutely no sense in the context of the story…. Like the car chases with cars that kept changing color and position….
The whole movie seemed… faked…. Forced…. Manufactured…. Desperate….
They had some stolen footage of a star….
But… still… that’s significantly more than I had….
And their situation could hardly have been more desperate than mine….
Because no matter how bad that looked…. How little they had…. They still had more than the little I had….
Because… I had NOTHING….
#
#
This… this… man… ceaselessly… erratically… pacing in front of me… was supposed to be our Senior Environmental Engineer. My Senior Environmental Engineer. And by all accounts, he used to be a very good one. The best in fact. A real Cracker Jack. Just like I said before….
And… I’d seen his work…. So… I knew….
This man was crucial to the success of this adventure. And this man was crucial to my success…. To my future….
We needed him…. I needed him….
This man was an engineer who really knew his way around the working of the Wombs… one of the critical technology components for Space Exploration and Exploitation of Resources. I knew that from some of our previous conversations about the technical aspects of maintaining life support systems in Deep Space.
I listened.
He taught.
And I got the hint from some of the things he said, that something was upsetting him.
And that something had to do with his job. His knowledge of the inner workings of the technology that we all depended on to keep us alive. And healthy. Physically. And mentally.
And now I was trying to think back on the content of some of those prior conversations….
I reasoned that this man… this Environmental Engineer… must have had approached me because I was the incoming Commander of the 90482 Orcus Mining Outpost, and as such, his Executive Officer…. Or… at the very least… his immediate senior in the organization’s less-than-complex hierarchical chain of command…..
#
#
As this crazed lunatic before me he paced, he constantly scanned the cramped quarters….
Muttering….
I heard some snippets….
Scattered words….
Phrases….
Bits of sentences….
Some… sounded… like Arabic….
Like Ancient Hebrew….
Or… like… some other… more distant… more ancient… more dead… tongues….
I concluded that the frantic Engineer couldn’t have been speaking to me… because… I’m a rational person…. Because there’s no way he could have reasonably expected that I would be able to understand… to comprehend… any… of the words… the phrases… the meanings of the expressions… that seemed to slip carelessly… thoughtlessly… from his mind… from his mouth… off his tongue… and out into the sterile atmosphere… of the secluded Common area…. Of… that Space Ship… skimming the trackless void… of Trans-Neptune Space….
#
#
These are a few snippets… of the phrases… that I caught… or at least that I think I caught…. Thought I caught….
Or… at least… some hints….
“… Lo-ruhama….”
Biblical Hebrew. Meaning… “No mercy”….
“… fanusi jihal….”
Arabic. Meaning… “magic latern”….
And then I thought I heard even more startlingly phrases… a plethora of… names…. The poor man shrieked… and writhed… as he spat out the names…. His stark staring… his terror seeming to rise exponentially with each additional ecstatic utterance….
He seemed to babbling… the names… of ancient gods….
Like… “… Ba’al….”
Northwest Semitic or Akkadian. Meaning… “master”… or “lord”…. Refering to the ancient god of rain… or storms… or agriculture… or fertility…. Or… the lord of the heavens…. The owner of everything in the entire effen UNIVERSE….
“… Chemosh….” National god of the Moabites. Meaning… “destroyer”… “subduer”… “fish god?”….
“… Avimelek….” Most Semitic languages… especially Ancient ones…. Meaning… “my father is king”… or “my father is a sacrifice”….
“… Moloch….” The Canaanite god. To whom royal babies were burned to curry favor… their sardonic smiles as the heat pulled the tender skin of their faces back… exposing their pearly white teeth… while drums drowned out their frantic screams for help from their father… the king…. To guarantee good harvests…. To safeguard profits…. Dancing joyously to the frenetic beat of the drums… while sacrificing their children in the flames… for their dreams of a better life…. Profits….
Or… a different pronunciation of the characters “MLK”.
The languages arising from the descendents of Noah’s son Shem, the Semitic languages, were initially written without vowels. So… I guess… Avimelek… or… rather… I suppose… Avimelek… could just as easily be pronounced… AviMOLOCH….
My father is Moloch!
An ancient name for Satan….
So… my father is Satan…!
That sudden realization certainly gave me a shocking sense of foreboding….
Who…? Whose father…?
Does this man know…?
Did I miss some clue…? Some hint…?
Is this man not potentially not some crazed Jihadist… bent on utter destruction of the infidels…? Is he… perhapsa jihadist… not a Muslim at all… but rather a Satanist…? Hell-bent on offering some kind of a Sacrifice…? A… human… sacrifice…?
Now… that thought was a bit disconcerting…. Quite a bit actually…. Ain’t no sheep… no goat… nor anything elseother animals out here…. So… I’m thinking…. Tag! I’m it! Oh, SHIT!!!
So… I tried to think… wasOr… is there a still better explanation…?
A more… logical… explanation….
Alas… I don’t know….
I figured my best bet would be to just proceed using a somewhat marginal modification of the Forrest Gump Philosophy….
Crazy is as crazy does….
My momma never said that. Not anything even remotely like it.
But the rationale certainly seemed sound enough in this particular case: this man sure sounded… looked… and more importantly… acted… FULL TILT BOZO!!!
He might as well just go ahead and put on the make-up and clown shoes, because he had already lost all credibility… completely lost sanity… in my mind….
I half expected him at any minute to start prancing and dancing and singing “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead!” or some other such Barry Manilow-esque jingle at the top of his lungs….
Now I’m acting all brave, but at the time… I tell you… I was just trying to position myself so that I could have a reasonable chance of hitting the panic button and escaping before this lunatic fileted me into some kind of rare shish-kabob with the occult vibro-scimitar that I assumed he must be packing….
Sacrificed me to some ancient demon-prince…. Or… to Satan the Dark Lord himself!
Via the flame… or via the flame-shaped dagger peculiar to his cult….
#
#
I know that a coffee cup essentially creating itself out of precipitating polymers… from the refuse… the Plasma exhaust of a Nuclear Fusion rocket motor are really neat and all…. But I realize they really ain’t the Holy Silver Serving Pieces dedicated to the Most High God in the First Temple in Jerusalem…. Sanctified…. Set apart….
Still… I have to admit that I was half expecting to see a finger form out of nothing… in mid air…#
Let me back up for a minute. I think I got this a little bit out of sequence. First, I heard him babbling in Hebrew…. And then in Arabic…. And that didn’t really bother me too much because I just assumed he was Palestinian. But with a name like Muhammed ibn Hamad Imad ad-din al-Isfahani, I should have known he was Persian… and not allowed my opinion to be so easily swayed by random recitation of spurious factations. Factoids. Whatever the fuck he was saying. Or spraying. Or praying. Anyway… we knew him simply as Imad. And like I said… he was a Cracker Jack Environmental Engineer. And an excellent programmer. Which was a rarity.
I must admit that I was a bit distracted. Intrigued. Trying to hear what he was saying and write across that big view screen that formed the far wall: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.
Valuable words…. Too valuable to understand… even for a king… debauching himself at a drunken orgy….
The words called him to account…. Each was a coin…. A form of currency…. An Economic message….
#
That huge holographic display had enormous value, too…. Had a purpose…. Served a vital function…. First… and I guess… foremost… or most importantly… it constituted the wall… like a castle… protecting us from the Deep Vacuum of Space….
And… secondly… it served a function similar to a window to another world…. A world where we were just visitors…. Where we really didn’t belong…. That solid screen was a viewport… a window that revealed the utter darkness of the Universe outside the ship….
But… it also showed us… pin-points of light…. In the vast… dark… empty… void….
The wall kept us inside….
And that window… kept us looking out….
#
#
IV
#
Creator… and Created….
#
#
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to it for help– for it
Rolls impotently on as Thou and I.
#
Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
#
#
Let me back up for a minute. I think I got this a little bit out of sequence. First, I heard him babbling in Hebrew…. And then in Arabic…. And that didn’t really bother me too much… because at that moment… I just assumed he must be either Palestinian… or Yemeni…. And… that I had somehow unknowingly invoked some sort of deadly fatwa….
#
But with a name like Muhammed ibn Hamad Imad ad-din al-Isfahani…? I should have know better…. I should have known he was Persian…. From Isfahan…. The site of the famous ancient holy site known as the Atashgah of Isfahan… the Fire Temple of Isfahan… dedicated to Ahura Mazda… and the Prophet… Zoroaster….
[The city of Isfahan was also home to a major hero of the Zarathustrian religion… and the indigenous people of the region… and the ancestral enemy of their rivals… Vishtaspa…. Known in the West as Hystapes….]
And not allowed my opinion to be so easily swayed by random recitation of some spurious fractured factoids….
#
Anyway… we knew him… I knew him… simply as Mu…. And like I may have said at least a couple of times before… he was a Cracker Jack Environmental Engineer….
And an excellent programmer….
Which was a rarity out here…. In the Way Out….
#
And… he was my best friend….
#
I must admit that I was a bit distracted….
Intrigued….
Trying to hear… to understand… what Mu was saying….
Trying to work on my comprehension skills in Farsi… in Arabic… in Hebrew…, since I so rarely get to practice….
. Looking back…, he appears to have been in some kind of trance…. Because he never mentioned, because he denies any knowledge of Hebrew….. Or Aramaic….. Or Akkadian….. Or Western Semitic….. Or Sumerian…. Because he denied any knowledge of any languages… other than Arabic and Persian… including a little Ancient Persian… which I probably already mentioned….
I was captivated…. Enraptured…. Enthralled….
Right up until I heard a word that sounded remarkably familiar. Something similar to “… Dagon….”
Or… precisely Dagon….
Now… I didn’t really recall much about Dagon at that moment. So… I looked him up…. He seemed to be a relatively A minor Akkadian… or Assyrian… or Babylonian fertility god… who apparently evolved into one of the major fertility… or grain… or fish gods…. The supreme god of Amorite pantheon….
Immortalized… if that were possible… by Howard Phillips Lovecraft in his Cthulhu mythos….
Well… I must admit… that I more than half expected him at any moment to start buzzing and launch into a litany from the ravings of the “Mad Arab” Abdul al-Hazred… at almost any moment…. Start reciting fell verses from that abominable tome… the Necronomicon….
But he didn’t….
And I was glad….
And I’m still glad….
#
#
Of course, I realize that the Necronomicon is a fictional grimoire created by Howard Philip Lovecraft… and used by some of his other writer friends… but at that very moment… I was seriously considering suspending disbelief…. Completely….
I was even mentally searching similar fictitious to the volumes… encyclopedias describing entire worlds… that Jorge Luis Borges seemingly phantasmasized phantasized into being….
But Borges was different. He suggested that if an objected is desired strongly enough… a version… a replicant of that object can credibly… or incredibly… be created…. Like Archyta’s dove….
#
Now… that takes me back…. To some of my previous conversations… previous discussions… with Mu….
Mu was apparently fascinated by machines….
Mu loved to talk about machines…. Get him involved in any discussion about machines… about mechanisms… about engineering concepts… about how machines work… and Mu’s face lit up…. This normally taciturn man became suddenly animated…. Ebullient….
Didn’t really seem to matter what type of machine…. What type of mechanism….
Machines of the present…. Machines of the future….
But… especially… machines of the past….
Mu was particularly fascinated by Ancient Automata…. Of all kinds….
Not simply an automata like Archyta’s dove… the machine I just mentioned…. A bird… that… that reportedly flew around on its own power….
Or even the throne attributed to Solomon the Wise, son of King David and last ruler of a united Kingdom of Israel. That piece was reputed to proclaim King Solomon’s glory… as he ascended into the sky to the sound of singing birds each day….
Or those famous devices installed in the temples of various Greek gods by Hero of Alexandria… to fool the ignorant worshippers…. To make the priests look like they possessed legitimate power…. To encourage… contributions…. To forestall… retribution…. To buy off the wrath of gods… who were in reality… only impotent idols….
Now… I’m talking about the True Automata…. Truly fantastic… fascinating machines…. Machines capable of functioning fully automatically…. Completely on their own….
Not simply under their own power….
But under their own control….
Of their own volition….
Machines with minds….
And perhaps… even souls….
God knows the possibilities….
The fantastic possibilities….
The fantastic creations… of men….
Machines like can barely be created today… with all of our advanced technology….
Machines like that creation attributed to famous Chinese Engineer Yan Shi, who was (known as “The Artificer”…. Yan Shi supposedly created an automaton that was apparently indistinguishable from a human being…. An automata who would sing when his chin was stroked; whose body cavity contained working mechanical organs: heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, intestines… even liver and gall… considered the center of emotion in the ancient Orient….
And I certainly don’t mean to slight the amazing alchemist from the VIIIth Century, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who developed a recipe for creating essentially living snakes… and scorpions… and humans….
Nor the Bānū Mūsā Brothers who wrote a tome titled the Book of Ingenious Devices describing an automated programmable flautist capable of playing various tunes…. Alchemical creations that were alive… reputedly possessed by demons…. Humunculi… who looked… and acted… human….
These were the men… and the machines… that fascinated… that captivated the imagination of my Environmental Engineer, Muhammed ibn Hamad Imad ad-din al-Isfahani….
I know that we have Computers My point is that the greatest Alchemists… the most accomplished Mages… the most knowledgeable Sages… the most visionary Seers… and the most phenomenal Mechanical Engineers… from Antiquity up to and Robots and Androids and Clones and Cyborgs… a kind of combination of all of the above…. But… all of that’s back on Earth…. Not out here on the Fringe…. Those advanced technologies are way to expensive to risk damaging… risk destroying… way out here in the Way Out… where the worlds are cold… the men are hard… and the work is dangerous….
My point is simply this: that the greatest Alchemists… the most accomplished Mages… the most knowledgeable Sages… the most visionary Seers… and the most phenomenal Mechanical Engineers… from Antiquity… all the way toincluding the present day… and I suspect into the foreseeable future… almost ALL seem to come out of the Near and Far Eastern traditions….
#
And this illustrious Engineer… quivering on his knees before me now… may be just such a mechanical magician as these….
#
That’s what I was thinking. Shaking my head. Thinking that the reality I faced must in fact be some horrible dream. Some dreadful delusion.
And that the delusion set before me seemed very close to becoming reality…. My reality…. A reality revealed to me excruciatingly slowly…. Unfolding… before my eyes… as if this were all some sad creation… some abomination… some morbid god’s recreation… that thus cannot be thwarted… before it completes its predetermined course….
#
The Engineer seemed to slowly… haltingly… gather his thoughts….
He strolled slowly over to where I was sitting… almost casually….
He carefully placed his hands on the gleaming metal table….
Folded precisely….
Fingers interlocked symmetrically… as though he were Buddha… transcendent… sitting in relaxed state… of serene contemplation…..
Mu looked around the room… again…. With a blissful smile…. And… an exaggerated… or rather… over-exaggerated… and clearly feigned casualness….
As if he were Dillon himself… checking to make sure the coast was clear….
Then he leaned in close to my ear… and whispered in a soft, yet intense voice… affecting a strange sibilance….
“S-s-stop…. S-s-start….” Slowly at first….
“ S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start….” But ever increasing….
“S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start….” Until frenetic….
“S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start…. S-s-stop…. S-s-start….” Until utterly FRANTIC!!!
#
#
I admit… I was confused…. This man… whom I knew… well…. Or… thought I knew well…. This friend…. Seemed. He seemed to have regained control of his emotions….. Of his mind….. Yet… the words he spoke made no sense to me…. Absolutely no contact… no connection… with my reality…..
And then… he went off….
Like a teakettle… casually sitting on a hot stove… until… suddenly… surprisingly… vigorously… it started boiling…. Roiling at first. And then….
Chattering….
Then… EXPLODING!!!
Screa-ea-ea-eam-m-m-mING!!!!
Ripping through the veil of silence… in a shattering… shrill voice…. Like the legendary Rending of the Veil of the Holy of Holies [in the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the precise moment Jesus Christ died on the Cross when he was crucified]…. Tearing apart… sundering… everything… previously separating man from God….]
I guess a man’s mind often turns towards thoughts of the afterlife… when he thinks his mortal life is about to end… imminently….
#
#
V
#
“Get Out of Dodge, Pardner…” Thus Spoke Zarathustra!
#
#
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread– and Thou,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
And oh, Wilderness is Paradise enow.
#
Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
#
#
Mu’s face seemed to morph. His frenzied visage returned. His agitation accelerated. And then… he exploded! Gesticulating wildly, he started to scream frantically as he jumped up and threw back his head like wolf about to howl!
His face morphed. His frenzied visage returned. His agitation accelerated. And then… he exploded! Gesticulating wildly, he started to scream frantically as he jumped up and threw back his head like a howling wolf!
“Got to go! G. T. G. I’ve got to go! G. T. G., G. T. G. You’ve got to go! G. T. G., G. T. G., G. T. G.. We‘ve got to go! G. T. G., G. T. G., G. T. G.!!! . Got to git the Hell out of Dodge, Pardner! NOW!!! Before it’s too late. Before it’s too late. Before it’s too late….”
#
And then…. Click!
Like a freakin’ switch flipped….
Utter… utter calm….
Muhammed raised his head solemnly… beatifically… like a priest who had just finished praying… or chanting the Liturgy… intoning the Benediction… invoking God’s blessing of peace… concluding the Mass…. Believing he had been heard….
The picture in my mind was just like I always imagined Jesus Christ on the Cross… as he spoke his dying words….
His beatific face beaming… an aureole surrounding his whole being as he spoke: “Father… forgive them… they know not what they do….”
“And Glory shown round about him….”
Whatever that means….
At that moment, however, I must admit that I was connecting with another phrase Jesus Christ spoke…. “Eloi… Eloi… lama sabachthani…?”
Because… to me… it seemed like God must have forsaken me…. Taken an extended vacation….
If he even existed to take a friggin’ vacation….
Certainly bad timing… if he were trying to impress me….
Anyway… Muhammed beamed beatifically as he raised his head to speak…. And the wall-sized view screen accommodated the religious imagery by providing him with a faint hvarena as he concluded the benediction of his liturgy….
“If it’s not too late already….”
#
The imagery was intense…. The situation was tense…. I was tense…. And somehow… believe it or don’t… I was not comforted by his words….
Not Muhammed’s words…. And not Jesus’ words….
I guess sometimes words fail….
But I almost had to laugh when this Mad Arab affected his best syrupy… sorghum… sweet as blackstrap molasses… drawl…. His drawled Ike Clanton at the OK Corral voice…. As he tried to convince me of the supreme seriousness of that moment…. His assertion that “we” needed to Cowboy Up…. Suddenly… the supremely surreal vision of the two of us high-tailing it out of Tombstone together… riding high in the saddle of some dilapidated dromedary occupied my mind….
Two riders on one camel…. A single steed….
Ridiculous…!
And… that image… brought to mind… another….
The symbol of the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici…. Or the Ordre du Temple…. The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon….
More commonly know as The Knights Templar….
[The Order of the Knights Templar were so named because their facilities were housed in what was known as the Temple Stables… which were stables set up within the reputed walls of the Temple of Solomon…. That set up must have caused great consternation among many of the native peoples… because the Muslims and the Jews… and even the Syriac and Orthodox Christians who were displaced from the premises view the site as holy…. Consecrated…. And horse shit surely demeans… desecrates… such a holy site…. Pig shit, too…. Even more so…. Because the Jews and the Muslims detested swine… and had a religious restriction against eating or associating with animals with cloven hoofs… unless they chew they also chew their cud…. Beasts with cloven hooves have long been associated with demons… and with Satan…. However… the Franj… as the Franks and the Norman French of Outremer were known… knew… or accepted… no such religious restriction against eating… or associating… with satanic swine….
Anyway… Muslims venerate the Holy Site as the place where the Miraaj, or Allah’s Night Ascent into Heaven on a magical Buraq, occurred…. Jerusalem is considered the third most holy city in Islam for that reason…. The Dome of the Rock sits on the site of the Holy of Holies… and encases the Foundation Stone… that is believed by Muslims to reveal the pattern of the hooves of the sacred buraq as he ascended and returned on that fateful night trek across the Heavens….
The Jews also consider the Temple Mound holy… but they have severe religious restrictions against entering the site at all… because no one is sure exactly where the Holy of Holies was located… and to accidently step on that sacred space is on pangs of the penalty of death…. Apparently the restrictions only apply to Orthodox… or practicing religious Jews….
So… the politics of the Temple Mound are… complex…. But the inadvertent… or malicious… even militant… desecration of the Temple Mound by the Knights Templar seems pretty certain….
Of course… none of that matters now…. Not since the Palestinian Authority took over…. Not since the State of Palestine has been established in the Levant…. And the Nation of Israel has been moved off-shore…. Moved to an even more luxurious island nation created by the engineers of the Pearl-Qatar expressly for the purpose of moving the worlds off-shore banking center off the coast of what used to be known as the Land of Milk and Honey… to a new… a jacked up version… the NEW Holy Land…. A wholly different definition of what’s holy…. The Land of Milfs… and Honeys… or Hornys…. A Land overflowing with Filth and Money…. Desecration and dissipation….
A plethoric little Pleasure Island filled to brim with dirty minds…. And filthy lucre…. And the filthy rich…. Playing their dirty little games…. And winning….
The Jew guessed that… and they gave up the Holy Land God had given them… and in return… they got to be gods themselves…. And… they sure seemed to have gotten themselves a Messiah in the bargain…!
Reminds me of the interesting intrigues… syncreatistic religious practices… involving the priests of Jehovah… and the priests of Ba’al… and the priestesses of Astarte…. Of the marriage… and rule… of the rules… laid down by King Ahab… and his queen… Jezebel….
Anyway…. The move solved a lot of problems….
And made a lot of people rich in the process…. Or… from the process…. So… they got plenty of buy in…. Because it was all other people’s money…. But… somehow… Peter Lupin… and the company he keeps… Maß Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH)… pulled it all together…. And pulled it off….
And in the process… some suggest… he saved the world….]
Supposedly the image represents Hugues de Payens (the First Grandmaster of the Order) and Godfrey de Saint-Omer were, two of the founding members…. The first two members….
And… those two poor knights… were too poor… to afford a warhorse apiece…. So… they showed great humility…. They humiliated themselves…. They shared one….
Apparently… their answer to their funding dilemma… was to swear a vow of Apostolic poverty….
Still… they vowed to take up arms… and serve the cause… against all odds…. Go to the desert…. Far away…. And fight the good fight…. Paladin….
But for them… Jerusalem lay at the Center of their Universe… not the extreme fringe….
And… their reward would be Eternal…. Not temporal…. Not temporary…. And not on this Earth.
How… why… that symbol flashed into my brain I have no idea. No recollection. I just know that it shot into my mind’s eye as if it constituted some religious revelation.
Sigillum Militum De Templo Christi..
But with two men in Hard-shelled High Vacuum Space Suits on a single… dilapidated… depilated… camel.
Suddenly the irony struck me… and I laughed out loud….
I don’t think my partner is even Christian!
#
Two men on a single steed. Or… camel… in this case…. Sounds like the plot from some implausible 1970’s comedy…. But even funnier…. Zanier…. Pricklier…. More comedick….
Anywho…. In my heart of hearts… I felt…. I knew…. That somehow… we must be in this together….
But… how…?
I was confused….
And afraid….
Was this previously rational man before me now completely insane…?
Or was I…?
Or… were we both…?
Utterly irrational…?
Still… in my delirium… the most frightening delusion of all… was that we were both sane…. Rational… men…. And… the only delusion… was that what we were experiencing… was really… REAL….
That we were admittedly paranoid… and neurotic… and caught up in a conspiracy of cosmic proportions….
Or…. Not….
May we were delusional.
Maybe I was delusional.
Perhaps we were picked… because we were no great loss…. And no one would ever believe our ravings… if they ever heard… anything at all….
To think that we might have been chosen by God for some super-secret mission to save mankind seemed like even more of a Cosmic Fluke….
All options seemed completely crazy…. Even if it eventually turned out that we really both were… utterly rational….
I mean… the most likely thing to me seemed to be… that I was picked… because I was nothing at all….
Or… perhaps… I wasn’t even picked. It was all just a fluke. And… I was a Fluke of the Universe….
That thought was certainly depressing….
#
I remember… at the time… feeling… disturbed….
What did all of that “G.T.G.” shit mean anyway…?
If anything….
And if it didn’t mean anything… if it were all just… nothing… just some cosmic bullshitter’s cosmic bull shit… why was Mu so frantically trying to spit it all out…? Like it was some kind of poison or shit… somehow poured in his mouth…. Rammed down his throat….
That just stuck in my craw….
And… in my brain….
#
#
I didn’t recall what he had said at the time. Not at that time…. But… somewhat later… it struck me….
I guess I was displaying my despicable prejudices a bit; naturally… I assumed that since he was Persian, he must be Muslim. I was right…. And… I was wrong…. I mean… at the time… I thought I knew…. Him. Mu…. And… I knew… he was Persian. Or… thought he may have been Muslim…. Because he was Persian… he must have been Muslim…. In fact…. Or… in fiction. Whatever I thought at the time didn’t really matter. At least I was coherent enough at the time to understand that. But… now… in retrospect… I know for a fact that he was Persian…. But he certainly was not Muslim…. I had just assumed he was….
And you know what happens when you assume….
I assume you do….
I know I do….
Now….
But… at the time… I was an ass. And that’s really the answer. At the time… I was more concerned about trying to recall our discussion on the finer points of Wajib al-Wujud…. “Necessary Existence”…. Islamic Theology regarding Reality…. Synonymous with God….
#
#
I don’t even recall how the topic even came up….
Muhammed and I were sitting at our benches in the Galley…. Sipping coffee…. Shooting the breeze…. Discussing some aspect of our mission…. I don’t really recall what….
But… then… we took a bit of a break…. Our minds… started to ramble…. Why were we here…. Really…. Here….
#
At first, I was baffled by what my friend had proposed so vehemently. I was perplexed. By his missive. By his message. His words shook my world. What was man’s purpose…? Man’s mission…. Man’s goal…. In life….
Or… more specifically… more pointedly… more precisely… what was mine…?
And… then… we stumbled into a discussion of… our Quest…. Our TRUE Search…. And not just our search…. The search…. For… meaning…. Which can never be answered by Science…. Because… Science doesn’t have the tools… to ask… “Why?”…. Only… “How…?”….
The search for… Truth…. REAL Truth…. In a Relativistic Universe…. The search for God…. Not a god…. The God. The REAL God…. In an unreal world…. A world of deception…. A degenerate… godless… world…. A world in which god has been slain… so that each man can evolve… can reach his highest state of being… realize his highest state of consciousness… become… his own god….
One god is slain… and innumerable… petty… gods… are created…. Resurrected…. Raised up in his place…. And ALL seek to ascend his throne…. The Throne of the One God….
A world in which Theology… evolved into nothing more… than the Psychology of Self-actualization…. A mental… and a moral… trap…. If… there is no being… higher than myself… then there is no authority… higher than myself… and there is no Moral Law… higher than my own wanton pursuit of self-pleasure… and profit….
Tohu wa-Bohu…. Creatio ex Nihilo…. Something… created out of Nothing…. Or else… seemingly much more likely… stolen….
I have slain my Superego… and usurped God’s authority…. I have created myself as my own lord and god….
But… at least to me… that proclamation seems rather dubious…. The whole picture perfect picture created by man’s most solemn musings…. The whole… IT… all… seems… so… unsettling…. So… fictitious…. So… artificial…. So… self-serving…. So… commercial…. So… tawdry…. So… cheap…. So… contrived…. Like some cheap parlor trick…. Like fortune telling…. The Hanging Man…. Pure… Psychological manipulation….
So incredibly small…. That’s what really bothers me. The seemingly inadequate dimensions….
If the tenets of Atheism are true…. If God is dead…. No…! Better yet… if God never existed… why spend so much… effort… so much… time… trying to chop him up…. Trying to chop him down…. Trying to bury him…. Why try to slay him… and take his throne… for yourselves…. Like MacBeth…. That never seems to work out so well…. Such usurpations always seems to end in tragedy….
Sure makes for a ripping yarn, though….
#
Anyway…. Somehow that discussion evolved even further…. And… then… Mu mentioned Wajib al-Wujud…. “Necessary Existence”….
Muhammed’s thesis was this: Only God MUST… necessarily… exist…. The only being that exists out of necessity is God…. All other creatures…. All Creation in fact…. Proceeds…. Follows…. Flows… out of the plethoric abundance of God…. Everything else…. ALL of THIS…. Is nothing… more… and… nothing… less… than an expression… of THAT…. Truth…. That reality…. That revelation. Therefore… all we see… all our senses perceive… and all our mind conceives… is nothing more than a fantastic revelation…. An emanation…. Yet… still… an insufficient imitation… of God….
#
So… if Mu’s thesis is to be believed…. Well…. Then… it’s a powerful statement…. Because… that's a powerful god…. An all-powerful god…. A god even I could worship…. Humbly….
Someone once told me that either God had to EVERYTHING he claimed to be…. Omniscient…. Omnipotent…. Omnipresent…. And Eternal…. Or he was a liar…. And… nothing at all….
But… if God really was all that…. Really IS all that…. Then he must also be All-Merciful…. All-Loving…. While still being All-Holy…. And… Just…. And totally transcend man’s capacity to comprehend… God….
WOW!!! What a doxology…!
But… then… you know… sometimes life gets in the way….
Then… I thought about my momma…. What my momma would probably say…. About God….
And… that made me… sad….
Because… it’s a sad story…. But… maybe I should tell it…. Just so you know….
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#
My momma emigrated. Moved to America. To provide a better life for her kids. For me. And she really never knew what she was getting herself into….
She worked hard…. For everything she got…. But she never did manage to get much…. Because she was always just an Em…. And… therefore… and Out…. She never got in…. Never got to join the Union….
I was her pride and joy…. And she thought I had made it…. Made it in…. But here I am… out on the Fringe…. Out in the Way Out…. She left her pleasant… secure… life in Buenos Aires…. And emigrated to build what she expected to be a better life… in that God-forsaken land called America….
America forsook God…. And God forsook my mamma…. And her kids….
I mean… I sincerely believed that God forsook me….
And… America forsook God… America forsook my momma, too….
Betrayed her trust….
Raped her….
My mother… left her homeland… to come to America… to slave away for rich… powerful… prestigious… men…. For men who claimed to be Liberal… and Progressive… Socialist…. Union leaders…. Politicians…. Media mavens…. Workers… for the Common Man…. Working men themselves… working… for the Working man…. Fighting oppression….
And all the while… they were just turning free men and women into slaves…. Willing slaves…. But slaves nonetheless…. Many people sold their freedom…. And that’s not all…. My momma sold her freedom…. Sold her dignity…. Sold her body…. To those men…. As an Entertainer…. As a prostitute…. As a surrogate…. As a fucking breeder bitch….
And my mother got down on her knees… and she begged… to be treated like a whore….
My mother shamed herself…. And my mother stained herself….
My mother stained me…. And my mother shamed me….
And I can never forget that fact….
And I can never forgive that mangy… emigrant… bitch….
I’m just another son of an Em… on the Way Out….
Yo soy un hijo de perra…. Un hijo de puta…. Y un hijo de dolor….
I am the son of my mother…. And I can’t even claim that Spanish is my mother tongue…. Not really….
#
I wanna make something clear…. Very clear…. About my momma….
My momma loved me…. Maybe too much….
My momma would do anything… anything at all… to see me succeed….
And…. Some of the things she did… were… shameful…. Very… shameful….
Too shameful to talk about….
Too shameful to think about….
Too painful to forget….
My momma loved me…. Maybe my momma loved me too much….
More than I deserve….
Maybe I made her do those… shameful… things….
At least she had the decency to die before she had to watch me fail…. So… I never shamed her…. After all she sacrificed for me….
That would have made all of this even more painful….
Too painful to bear….
#
#
So… thinking about God… and remembering my mother… weighed on my heart… and ate at my soul….
Made me… uncomfortable….
Somehow… talking about religion… suddenly seemed… too… personal…. So… I decided to try to create some space…. I deflected…. I mentioned the famous philosophical work La vida es sueño by the great XVIIth Century Spanish playright Pedro Calderón de la Barca.
Anyway…. The premise is that nothing actually exists…. Life… and everything else exists only as a dream….
I love Reverend Samuel Johnson’s famous reply to that idea…. I’ll paraphrase: Let me smack you in the mouth and then you can tell me about your dream….
Mu laughed…. And our conversation drifted back towards the business of Asteroid Mining, Space Travel and Life Support Systems…. Engineering details….
#
#
But later… at some other nebulous time… while I was sitting… secluded… on that ergonomic bench… in the Galley…. Staring out that huge window… into the vast expanse of Space-Time…. My mind drifted back….
Back to Muhammed….
Back to my momma….
Back to the great XVIIth Century Spanish playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca….
Back to his Classic philosophical masterpiece… La vida es sueño….
And… back to God….
Funny how that all works… ain’t it…?
My momma may have sold her freedom…. May have sold her dignity…. And she certainly sold her body…. To those men….
But… my momma never sold her soul…. To no one…. Because she had already given it to God….
Anyway…. Like I said…. If Mu’s thesis is to be believed…. Accepted fully… faithfully… as Truth…. That would a powerful statement…. Because… that would define a powerful god…. But… still… my momma would probably say… “ALL of THAT… doesn't even touch the hem of my God's garment….”
#
#
Finally… I remember what my friend had told me before…. Or… rather hinted…. That he was a Mage….
Not like in that old game Dungeons & Dragons….
Like in the Christmas story…. In Matthew….
A Magus…. One of the Magi….
And then… it all made more sense….
Which really wasn’t much… because none of it seemed to make any sense at all…. And I had no idea what a Magus really was… except some vague historical references…. They are Zoroastrians…. Or Zarathustrians…. Believers in Ahura Mazda…. Or… ultimate… and ultimately… Truth….
And Thus Spoke Zarathustra….
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At first, I was baffled by what he… what Mu… said so vehemently…. So brusquely….
And… he wiggled his ears when said it….
And… I wasn’t sure what that meant….
He was frantic…. Almost green with… panic….
He sounded… sick…. And looked… almost green….
Almost like…. No…! No way….
Couldn’t be…. Could it…? Could he…? Be….
Master Yoda…?
Perplexed…. I was…. Hummmm….
The mind may play strange tricks on a man… especially when he’s hold up in some dismal cave out in the wilds of Space….
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#
Anyway…. I struggled vainly to solve the puzzle set before me….
Maybe you can do better. Riddle me this….
What good would leaving the Common possibly do…? We couldn’t talk privately….
Any communications would be even more thoroughly compromised….
And… what could he possibly mean with all that “G.T.G.” freakin’ Kaiser Scheißkopf Schmuck…? If anything…?
#
Well… finally… it hit me…. Not necessarily the answer…. But at the very least an answer…. And a potentially plausible one at that….
I suddenly understood that he didn’t mean leave the Galley…. The Common…. No…! He meant leave the SHIP!!! Go out on a Space Walk. And never come back…!
By that point, I’ll just be honest… I was ready to leave!
But… still…. I wasn’t ready to do that! That was suicide! Plain and simple. The ultimate capitulation….
#
So… I thought about options…..
Other… options….
Good options….
Which… seemed to be… at least at the moment… tremendously limited….
Severely limited….
I counted them…. Listed them…. In order of probability of success….
¡Nada!
At least… none presented themselves…. At least… no good options….
So… I decided to explore even the bad options. And I couldn’t find a lot of those either!
So… I decided to try to improvise….
So… I pondered….
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You know how sometimes… you’re in a critical situation… and you catch… your mind… drifting…. Sometimes… you just get a little bit… giddy…. Even goofy.
Well… maybe you don’t….
But I do….
And I was….
And I did….
Drift…. Like a Mitsubishi Eclipse at high speed on a tight turn on a steep… wet… back-country road through the mountains of Japan…. Zooming past the rice paddies. And the cow patties. All of that shit….
And… I guess… I should clue you in… since you’re not equipped to read my mind…. My thoughts…. My musings….
#
They went something like this….
¡Nada!
I love that hard “th” sound….
NaTHa….
The sound of it….
The feel of it….
The… visceral… fee-ee-eel of it…. That almost… slimy… quality….
It’s almost like… spitting… in disgust….
¡No me gusta!
The same root…. The same… visceral… feeling….
Disgust….
Dislike….
Disrespect….
Distinct…. Set apart…. Separated…. Dead….
Distink…. Distinkin’…. Jus’ thinkin’….
Stinking… Dis….
Dis…. Another word for Hell….
And Dispater…. Father of Dis….
Another word for Satan… Father of Lies…. Master of Deception….
Full circle…. Disgusting….
¡No me gusta!
Hell…. I know….
And then… my mind returned… to the present… which is now in the past….
And the problem… the situation… was still there….
Imagine that….
Well… I didn’t have to. Because I was there….
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What would he do if I resisted? If I didn’t go along? If I tried to talk some sense into him? If I tried to change his mind?
And then… I drifted…. Again….
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I was seriously much more concerned that my friend Mu was just about to declare some dark Fatwahfatwah and go off all giddy-giddy-up Jihadin’ all over jihadin’ on my fat assetts… while my fat ass shits in the cinema…. Face spittin’ chiclets like some candy-ass Eminenema… etts.
Crotch sniffin’ ass lickin’ shit spewing homophobe! Race baitin’ woman hater. Whether he sits or shits…. Same diff…erence to me. He gets no deference from me. I quit dealing with all doz dipshits… Lipshits… fake tits… and all the rest of that La-la-land Rover overhyped vainglorious bastards and bitches…. Now I’m gone. Adios! All you chichi cabrons….
#
Oops…! Dats a wrap! Right outta da wrapper and “Out on da Fringe”….
Way beyond da norm…. Like I’m livin’ da Dream…. Breakin’ da form…. Makin’ ya SCREAM…. Just bein’ extremely selfish…. Cuz that what I do…. Doo-doo-dah….
A crappy rap with shitty rhymes, but what can I say? I’m not from L.A. I can’t make a case ‘cause I’m lost somewhere in space and I ain’t got the time… for this shit!
You can eat my white chocolate candy-coated Eminem-ass….
#
But… back to the sterile atmosphere of space. And the shiny space-aged stainless satin surfaced appliances of the Common. I just sittin’. Thinking. Mu might’ve just gone too far. Way too far…. Out….
And… in the back of my mind… I was kinda thinkin’…. Appliances…. Tools…. That’s what we were…. Not who we were. What we were. Animal. Vegetable. Mineral. None of that mattered. Because we were OBJECTS. Not subjects. Not human. Not non-human. Inhuman. Subhuman. Objects. Of scorn… and derision…. Devalued…. Worthless…. Objects.
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Then that craze creature spouted some phrase that clicked. That stuck. That resonated….
“You know her….”
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Know… her….
Well… depending on whom she was… maybe I did…. Got me there…. Might’ve made too much fun there…. Become an “I just don’t care bear”….
It all seemed ok when he said it about you…. Like you were some sick fool…. While he swam in the cess pool…. And dove into the press pool…. And claimed he was Old School….
Claimed ass kissin’ was all cool….
When he’s in control…. Speak…. Cuz he’s a control freak…. Freakin’ out of control Geek…. So don’t try to troll him…. Or he’ll… freak out… and… spew hate… on you… like he did on Kimchee….
So… you see… I rhymed it…. That SpaceTime shit…. If that’s a crime… arrest me….
Yo-ho, Moe! I’m Schick… wi’ Dis….
Oh, well…. Poetic Injustice….
Now…. Moving on…. Moving out…. Moving… back….
#
Moving back to the here…. Moving back to the NOW!!!
Now… that I know he’s Farsi… that shit just didn’t fit…. So… I need to quit it….
So… I dit-dit-did it….
#
Because… just then… my friend Mu said something that just solid shit clicked….
That stuck…. That struck….
That penetrated….
That resonated….
Mu said: “You know her….”
Or… maybe… he said: “You know her….”
I don’t know…. He emphasized something….
Well… depending on whom he means…. Who she is…. Maybe I do…. Maybe I don’t…. Got me dere….
#
But the G.T.G.….
Got to go…. Can that be it…? She-it….
Must be something else….
Must mean something else….
An anagram maybe…?
Not a Chiasmus…. Definitely not a Chiasmus….
An ACROSTIC…?
Could that be it…? Or something like it…? Something similar…? A different language…? A different concept…? Like Hebrew numerology…. In ancient times… before Arabic numerals… the letters served as numbers…. So… G…. G would be… seven…. T would be… 20. G would… still be seven…. So… 7… 20… 7…. Or… 727…. Or… 7… +20… +7… =34…. Or… maybe it’s supposed to be gamma… the Greek letter… which would three….
Or… maybe it’s something else….
Symbols…? Could it be symbols…?
G… is the symbol for…? Guanine….
And T… is the symbol for…? Thymine….
So… maybe that’s the key…. Maybe… it’s some kind of… Genetic Code…?
Would have to be DNA… not RNA… because DNA contains Thymine… and RNA substitutes Uracil….
Three base pairs make a codon…. Which constitute a reading frame…. Code for a specific amino acid…. Or some kind of signal…. Start…. Or… STOP!!! And… that’s what he was screaming before…!
So… GTG… ain’t the Start codon…. That would be TAC…. Codes for Methionine…. And… it doesn’t code for any of the three possible Stop codons…. GTG just codes for… Valine…. Which means nothing…. At least… to me….
Nutin’…. Just random letters…. In a random pattern…. Uttered by some random… crazy… man….
Or… maybe… it’s just… what he said. Or… perhaps… how he said it….
Something like: “She’s… the Demonspawn…!”
Well… that certainly narrowed it down.
And… I’m not sure what to call it…. How to label it. Appropriately. Or… inappropriately….
Icebreaker. Deal-breaker. Ball-breaker. One of those I’m sure….
I mean… I never even met Susan Sarandon; she was before my time. By a good bit. But I wish I had….
Still… I didn’t think he was really talking about Ghostbusters.
I decided that he might be slightly less likely to pull some ceremonial rhino-horn dagger and kill me in cold blood if I feigned interest. Or at least held up my end of the conversation. So I screwed up my face, made up some meaningless… Bull SHIT!!!
Totally meaningless…. NO meaning whatsoever…. Just completely random guttural utterances. Any Dadaist would have been proud!
Crazy is as crazy does…. And that man looks and sounds crazy….
Or… maybe… it’s not the meaning that matters…. Not even the symbolic meaning….
Not the meaning…. Not the symbolism…. Not the words…. Not the sound of the words…. Not the meaning of the sound of the words…. Not the shapes….
Maybe it’s a different code…. A cryptographic code…. But that would be stupid… with just three letters that repeat… and no key….
So… what else…?
Some… subtle… combination… of… all… of… those…?
Looks… and sounds… CRAZY!!!
That’s totes cray cray… as they used to say…
So… think… like a crazy man….
Try to think like a crazy man….
Try…. Try…. TRY!!!
Try to think…. To think….
Think…. Think…. THINK!!!
G… looks… like… 6….
T… looks… like…. Nothing. Except T….
6 T. 6…. Six tons… six what…? Six times six…?
Six times six equals…. Nothing….
A whole LOT of NOTHING!!!
#
But… I guess… sometimes… nothing… is something….
Sometimes… nothing… can mean something….
Sometimes… that nothing… is enough of something… to be… satisfying….
Sometimes… that nothing… can contain just a glimmer…. A shimmering… light…. Of hope…. Of finding… TRUTH!!!
Sometimes… you’re out there in the Way Out… stumbling around… bumbling… prospecting… and you trip over a huge nugget….
Sometimes… you strike GOLD!!! Pure gold.
And… sometimes… you strike… out….
And sure seemed to me that we were in the bottom of the ninth…. And… I was rooting for Mudville…. And Mighty Casey was at the bat….
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6T6… could… sound like… 66…. And a string of 66s… might look something like… 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66, 66…. Or… like… 666666666666666666…. Change the reading frame…? You can get… 666,666,666,666,666,666…. Or six sets of 666s….
Unholy shit, Batman…!
Makes a boy wonder… don’t it…?
#
Now… maybe you’re thinking that I’m smart….
That I sound smart…. And I look smart….
But… this is now…. And that… was then….
And then… I didn’t look smart…. And I didn’t sound smart…. And I didn’t even feel smart….
Now… I can easily do the math…. But then…?
It was a totally different story….
Because I didn’t get it….
Until Muhammed said….
#
“She’s the Demonspawn…!”
And… I know where he placed the emphasis on that….
And… that narrowed it down….
I mean… I knew that Mu’d never even met Susan Sarandon; she was before his time. By a good bit.
But I sure wish I had…. And… maybe I did….
Still… I didn’t think he was really talking about Ghostbusters…. I wish he were…. But I knew he wasn’t….
#
I mean… I didn’t figure it all out from just that one clue…. It was a process…. Took time…. Took a long time…. A long long time…. A lot of looking back….
To come to… the realization….
To come to… the TRUTH….
But… what happened at that critical moment… was that I decided to just go with the flow….
Got to go…. Get up and go…. Go with the flow….
#
I decided that Muhammed might be just slightly less likely to pull out some ceremonial rhino-horn dagger… and stab me… slay me… in cold blood… if I at least feigned interest…. As a survival instinct….
Or at least tried hard to hold up my end of the conversation….
And… besides…. His emphasis on the definite article intrigued me…. Professionally…. As a Linguist…. As a man who considers himself to be, if not a real ladies man, certainly a cunning Linguist…. At least… in my dreams….
#
It bothered me….
It was… unnecessary….
The definite article…. The “the”…. Was unnecessary…. Inefficient…. Almost… stilted….
I mean… Mu was speaking English….
And he was certainly fluent… speaking English…. And a few other languages….
And when even fluent non-native speakers of English speak in English they tend to drop the definite article… often even when it’s normally necessary….
But… Mu didn’t drop it…. He added it…. Stuck it in…. Seemingly… or slyly… on purpose…. Somewhere that it usually isn’t even used….
Except to emphasize something specific….
Someone specific….
#
Now… I wasn’t sure if I’d heard him correctly….
Did he mean… Demonspawn…? Or… Demonspawn…? Or… Demonspawn…?
As in… “Pawn of multiple demons”…?
Or… “Spawn”… of one… particular… Demon…?
The sentence structure seemed to argue the latter…. But I couldn’t be sure….
Not of his meaning….
And not even if it mattered….
I just knew that it looked like Mu was getting madder…. Not necessarily angrier…. But certainly crazier….
#
So I screwed up my face. Made some meaningless… circular… jerking… almost masturbatory gestures with my left hand…. While clinching my right fist… tight… as I mumbled: “Ummmm…. Who…?”
I didn’t get the opportunity to execute my diversional query prior to his riposte….
“That… Babylonian Whore…. Qarinah….…. That… Succubus…. Attacks… dreams…. Steals… knowledge…. Sucks… life….”
With those few discernable syllables… that raving Mad Arab skewered me. Right through the heart. Right through my soul. Now… I knew… the bitch… whom he described….
Undeniably….
Intimately….
Our… travel companion….
My… Ex….
But he didn’t know that….
He couldn’t… know that…. Not… yet….
The most he could know was that I knew her…. Somehow…. And he knewalso seemed to knw… that I knew… more…. Than anyone. Else. About her….
Except… possibly… him….
#
#
So… let me recap…. My feelings….
Initially… I must admit… my life passed before my eyes…. But… I figured out… that my fears… were largely unfounded…. I miss-recollected. My friend was not a known associate of well-known academic and philosopher… Hassan-i-Sabah… the Old Man of the Mountain… like the famous Persian tent-maker and poet of love… Omar Khayyam… was…. I mistakenly confused Isfahan for Alamut. But the inspiration for the religious events recounted in the tales was different. And I was mistaken in my fear.
Still… I find the ironic intercession… the intertwining of drugs and dreams in a desert tale… delicious…. Sweet as cakes of pressed figs and dates sweetened with honey.
But… this particular desert dream, while filled to overflowing with passion, was certainly devoid of the flowers of maiden hood… the last vestiges of virginity long lost….
And… innocence… long forgotten….
Thrown away….
Battered…. Bartered…. Bought and sold….
But… my Farsi friend Mu…? He ain’t even Muslim…. And he ain’t even Arab… though I keep claiming he is….
#
So… it never really mattered….
Ironic, huh…?
This man named Muhammed… lived his whole life… hiding from Islamic Fundamentalists… of both branches…. He pretended to be Sufi… and Shi’ite… because that sect is more shrouded in secrecy…. Not because he was really Isma’ili…. Nizār’īyyah…. Or… Hasshashim….
And in the end… he was destroyed… by a different moral code…. A lawless legalism…. The Law of the Jungle…. The Judgments of the Amoral…. The Philosophical descendents of the Philistines…. The legalistic equivalents of the Amorites….
Dead people…. Dead men…. Dead souls….
Dead. Dead. Dead….
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VI
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Deprived of Sleep… and a Few Other Things….
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Afraid to fall asleep. Struggles to stay awake.

He lifted his head and smiled as the drugs kicked in. His head lolled on his chest as they forced his arms into the sleeves of that gleaming white vestment… buckled the shining silver straps along the back of the straightjacket. He lifted his head for the briefest moment…. A serene smile spread across his face like an excitatory electrical discharge…. A glint of deep understanding flashed across his cornea…. A feeling of profound connection formed spontaneously in my mind… as his lips carefully formed two words….
Hacked….
System….

Omar Khayyám, or Omar the Tent-maker. Mathmatician, Philosopher, Poet. Adviser to Seljuk Malik Shah I. Went on Hajj after killed (presumably by Assassins).
Avicenna & Omar in Isfahan.
Atashgah of Isfahan: Fire Temple of Isfahan. Zoroaster. Vishtaspa: “kavi” poet/priest/prophet Magi. Hero in Zoroastrian tradition. Abominable villain in Sistan heroic cycle. Mage/Prophet in Greco-Roman and Christian thought as “Hystaspes”, inventor of Astrology, predicted fall of Rome and coming Savior (seven day week created after number of planets).
Zoroaster or Zarathustra: human condition struggle between aša (truth) and druj (lie). Ahura Masda is aša, creation, existence and condition of Free Will. Purpose of mankind is to sustain aša through active participation in life and exercise of constructive thoughts, words and deeds.
Ahura Mazda proclaimed by Zarathustra as uncreated god. Ahura means “light” and Mazda means “wisdom”, thus Lord of Light and Wisdom. Creator and upholder of Arta or Truth. Omniscient and omnipotent. Created Angra Mainyu, the “evil spirit” who created evil and will be destroyed. Invoked in triad with Mithra and Apam Napat after Artaxerxes II.
Angra Mainyu: mainyu “mind, mentality, spirit” angra “destructive, inhibitive, malign” thus absolute antithesis.
Daevas aka mainyu “evil spirit, mind, thought” that deceive themselves and humankind. Later become demons. Daevas offspring of achistem manah “worst thinking” or deceit.
Ahriman cannot create life without intervention, so creates Jahi, the primal whore who afflicts women with menstrual cycles.
Mithra angelic divinity of covenant and oath. Judicial figure. All-seeing Protector of Truth. Thousand ears. Myriad eyes. Who sleeps not, ever wakeful.
Roman Mithraic Mysteries: god of morning sun who slew primeval bull. Seven grades of initiation with ritual meals, seven planets/gods. Syndexioi “unite by the handshake”. Born from rock, slaughtered bull (tauroctony), shared banquet with Sol.

Al-Khutbat al-gharrá or The Splendid Sermon on the praise of God agrees with Avicenna on Divine Unity and describes the Sufi methodology of knowing God. “Sufis, who do not seek knowledge by ratiocination or discursive thinking, but by purgation of their inner being and purifying of their dispositions. They cleanse the rational soul of the impurities of nature and bodily form, until it becomes pure substance. When it then comes face to face with the spiritual world, the forms of that world become reflected in it, without any doubt or ambiguity. This is the best of all ways, because it is known to the servant of God that there is no better than the Divine Presence and in that state there are no obstacles or veils in between. Whatever man lacks is due to the impurity of his nature. If the veil be lifted and the screen and obstacle removed, the truth of things as they are will become manifest and known. And the Master of creatures–upon whom be peace–indicated this when he said: “Truly, during the days of your existence, inspirations come from God. Do you not want to follow them?” Tell unto reasoners that, for the lovers of God, intuition is guide, not discursive thought.–Omar Khayyám

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: not all the Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Not all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

But helpless pieces in the fame He plays,
Upon his chequer-board of Nights and Days,
He hither and thither moves, and checks… and slays,
Then one by one, back in the Closet lays.
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Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
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I don’t know which… if any… of the various kinds of Pure HELL you’ve personally been through, but….
Wait….
Excuse me. I apologize. I just tried to deceive you….
Hell is never pure…. Has to do with its essence….
So… please allow me to rephrase….
I don’t know which… if any… of the various kinds of Impure HELL you’ve personally been through, but… in my limited… experience… limited… existence… my period of somewhat less than a thousand years… (significantly less… though it sure seems like a lot longer sometimes…) one of the worst punishments I’ve experienced is sleep deprivation…. Because of the uncertainty, I guess….
Sometimes… you know you’re in Hell…. Categorically…. Unquestionably…. Somehow… you just know it….
But other times…. You feel like you just might be in heaven…. At least… like your almost there…. Almost in heaven…. Just outside the pearly gates…. Out in the antechamber…. The outhouse…. Somewhere close…. Something like that….
Certainly not the bowels of Hell….
Because… there’s fruit…. Big bowls of it…. Not-quite-fresh fruit…. But fruit none-the-less…. Definitely not ambrosia…. Just some fruitcakes… [the shriveled… hard kind… that look… and taste… like freeze-dried bricks and shit… only lacking the nutritional value of red clay…. Or reconstituted feces…. You know the fruit I’m talking about…. Holiday fruit…. Not Passion Fruit…. Not Blood Oranges…. The kind with the fluorescent plastic fruit particles…. The ones that are worse than the lyrics to Plastic Jesus… and not half as funny…. The kind you have to endlessly endure during Turkey Season…. Thanksgiving…. Christmas…. Visits to grandmas… and grandpas… and outlaw In-laws…. The same sad decorations…. The same sad… unspiked… punch…. Or Egg Nog straight out of the dairy case…. A few of those sad… scarlet… Molded Christmas salads… like some shade similar to Fuschia Vomitus…. Turkey roasting…. And some slimy Green Bean Casserole…. With Funions…. Burning holiday candles…. Squirting Scent of Spruce spray…. And ugly… outlandish… garish… Christmas sweaters that smell of mothballs…. Because your mom is too cheap to buy cedar chips…. Ah… the all-too-familiar beautify of a Reformed Protestant Fundamentalist Puritan version of a steamy sex pit] with a few of the ugly virgins… that don’t quite fit into the blissful paradise that awaits the real martyrs…. Because we just don’t measure up….
You know the ones I’m talking about…. Not Vestal Virgins… whose gifts of Prophesy are tied to their sustained virginity…. I’m talking Reasonable Virgins…. Any reasonable man can look… and readily see the reason behind the stoic maintenance of those girls’ maidenheads…. The Coyote Ugly Tavern Girls…. Where a reasonable man has got to tap the keg pretty hard before he gets hard up enough to tap that…. Then gnaws his arm off to escape the trap he laid for himself….
Keg Wenches…. The kind of girls you warm up to when they’re sitting on a Vodka Luge…. The kind who only look good when it’s hittin’ Last Call and you’re puttin’ on your Beer Goggles… getting’ ready to just dive in…. And hit it….
You… and I… get stuck in some subpar Purgatory… stuffed with butterbeans boiled with bacon… savory sacrifices burned to a state of oblivion…. A Sweet Purgatory… where even the odd iced tea is… oh… so-o-o-o-o sweet…. Butt… nothing’s can compete with those sweet Butterface Angels….
A beautiful Butterface Purgatory….
Where… everything’s beautiful….
Butterface….
Sometimes… I feel like I’d really rather take my chances sleeping with the Succubus…. Again….
At least I’m tempted….
But… not Mu….
He was a rock…. He was an oak….
But… not me…. Or… not I…. I wasn’t….
So… my friend was an oak… and I… wasn’t….
But… at least… I had a woody….
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Dreams…. Strange dreams…. Reminds me of a discussion I had once with Mu… before this all… began…. Reminds me of something he said….
We were sitting in the Galley… sipping synthetic coffee…. Shooting the breeze…. Talking about Machines…. Talking about Automatons…. Talking about Space Travel…. Talking about the working of the Wombs…. And… talking about… dreams….
Mu seemed stupefied…. He just stared at the steam rising from his cup…. All misty eyed…. As the misty vapor danced… he lifted his eyes… and stared at the wall…. Stared at the screen…. Stared through the screen… displaying the stars… as though he were staring off into the vast distance of deepest Space….
And… I… drifted… back…. To something he had said… earlier….
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Dreams…. Strange dreams…. Wet dreams…. They're all just that…. Nothing more…. And nothing less….
Maybe some of them mean something…. Maybe some of them don't. Maybe NONE of them ever mean anything…. But none of them are never really gonna give you the lotto numbers…. Unless it's just pure… dumb… random… luck…. And I believe that putting faith in anything as random as pure luck is dumb…. Because I believe everything happens for a rational reason…. Even irrational things…. Because I believe in ultimate truth….
I’m an engineer. And I’m a pragmatist. I believe in evidence. Experimental evidence. And empirical evidence. I believe in what I SEE. And I believe in what I UNDERSTAND. And I believe in what makes SENSE. And… I believe in what WORKS. Especially what I SEE work….
But I don’t put much stock in dreams….
Because… I believe… strange dreams… and WET dreams… even STRANGE wet dreams… are just that…. Dreams…. And strange…. Ephemeral…. Insignificant…. Gossamer…. Just dreams….
Unless… someone else put them there….
And… then… that’s different….
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I didn’t understand that… then…. What he said…. What he meant….
I don’t really even know now….
I’m not sure Muhammed did either….
But it sure sounded… sure felt… profound….
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Anyway….
Almost makes you afraid to fall asleep, doesn’t it…. The whole… damned… business…. And… believe me… that’s just what it is, too…. Business…. Damned business….
But… when you’re severely sleep deprived… it’s such a struggle to stay awake….
And… you’re never quite sure that what you’re experiencing isn’t some incredibly vivid dream…. Or… some incredibly bad reality…. Like a bad trip… that just won’t end…. Because you were never asleep….
Chronic sleep deprivation is bad enough…. Fatigue…. Malaise…. Feelings of desperation…. Feeling like you desperately need to sleep when you desperately need to work…. Clumsiness…. Stupidness…. A situation closely akin to utter stupidity… but worse…. Far worse….
I’m talkin’ stone-cold stupid…. Extraordinary stupid…. Above and Beyond stupid…. Ordinary stupid would have just spell-checked and been done with it…. But for some… stupid recognizes no bounds…. No rules…. No rights….
So… what’s left…?
Nothing…. Really….
Nothing real anyway….
And… coming to grips nothing but with stupidness is tough enough…. Even when you reach the zone…. That zone…. The zone above and beyond Above and Beyond stupid….
But with acute sleep deprivation… you also have to deal with episodic microsleeps…. You fall asleep… very briefly… but you can’t even recognize that you’re asleep…. Or… were asleep…. Ever so briefly…. And when you wake up…. You don’t remember that you were just asleep…. Absolutely no recall…. So… you have no recourse….
And because sleep deprivation disturbs your mental function… makes your brain slow… makes your brain stupid… you can’t decide what the truth really is…. And that’s a real nightmare….
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So what…?
What’s my point…?
Just this…. I figured out that was what was wrong with Muhammed….
He wasn’t sleeping….
He was afraid to sleep….
Afraid to even crawl into his own Womb….
Of course… like I said before…. I’m not that smart…. I didn’t figure it out… then….
I didn’t figure it out until later…. Much later….
Until it was too late…. Too late to help….
Too late to forestall the events that were just about to happen…. To be precipitated…. To be… constructed…. Fabricated….
But… at least… I did… finally figure it all out…. Most of it at least….
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Like I said… or at least hinted before….
At first… I thought it was some kind of religious conviction…. I assumed that he must really follow some form of Fundamentalist Islam… even after he had tried to convince me that he wasn’t…. That he was faking….
But… turns out… Mu was not a faqir…. Or a fakir….
But I couldn’t really come up with any other possible valid… rational… reasonable… excuses… or reason… even one I considered to be irrational… but relevant….
I mean… if he had some kind of religious opposition to wet dreams… even really wet dreams… why would he join a mining expedition to a planetesimal or Trans-Neptune Object on the far fringe of the Solar System…?
And… the timing…. I mean… it just makes no sense…. No sense….
And we’ve all been in transit on this ship or some other similar tug for almost five years…. Maybe longer…. And I’ve never seen him look like this in the two years I’ve been sharing the same Galley with him every waking minute of every single day…. Living each day almost attached at the hip like Siamese Twins….
But… what does that matter…?
Matters not at all…. What’s done is done…. And….
Who’s done is done…. Overdone…. Cooked. Toasted. Roasted. Basted. Oven backed. Fried. Over. Done. Just desserts…. And… no do-overs….
Nothing left to do but munch on the cold, stale pizza crusts… the molded remains of your life…. Savor it…. Like your last meal…. While you try to impress yourself with your Monday Morning Shaquille-lacking Quarterbacking….
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Rhymes with hacking, Buster….
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Mu was a mechanic. A meddler. A tinker. A tweaker. A refiner. A fine-tuner….
And… a fine man…. Not some religious fundamentalist nut-job…. Like so many would try to have us think…. Try to mentally manipulate all of our minds these days….
My friend Mu… was… at heart… a fixer…. Whatever he saw that seemed broken….
Seems like he was always tearing things down…. Figuring things out…. And putting things back together again….
Things that were old… or worn out… or discarded… or… devalued….
Things that seemed worthless…. Mu saw their value….
Things that were broken… seemingly beyond repair…. Mu took them apart… down to their primary components… and worked on… refined… honed those parts… and repaired the whole…. Put it back in working order…. Seemingly shattered… battered… beaten… broken things…. My put back together… so that they were more beautiful… worked… better than ever…. Beyond their design parameters….
Mu was sharp….
But… the man also had an edge…. A hard edge…. A dark edge…. A sharp edge….
And he walked the razor edge….
But Mu… was… still… sharper….
Sharper than any razor….
Sharper than a laser etched diamond….
Sharper… and darker… than a freshly flaked shard of obsidian….
And… he could be… abrasive….
Aggressive…. Clearly….
Difficult to get along with…. Because… Mu’s a perfectionist….
And… because he couldn’t stand bullshit….
Or… wouldn’t stand bullshit….
Not even sweetly scented… candy coated… bullshit…. The kind that melts in your mouth… not in your hands…. So… your hands don’t get dirty….
Mu didn’t go for fad diets…. He had a discriminating palate…. And… a discriminating nose…. That man could smell bullshit a mile away….
And… Mu… steadfastly… refused to candy-coat the Truth…. As he saw it…. In any form….
Because… he had a religious conviction…. His god valued Truth…. So Mu valued Truth….
So… he was willing to pay the price…. Any price…. For Truth….
And… Truth… like Freedom… always comes at a price….
“For you shall know the Truth…. And the Truth… shall set you free….”
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I seem to remember someone saying something like that to me. Sometime. Long ago….
But that’s probably just bullshit, too. Or… not.
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Anyway… I have to admit… sometimes grudgingly… that the man was usually right… about Truth…. And Freedom…. And everything else…. Meaningful…. In life….
Unusually unusually…. Uncanny really…. Unreal….
Disturbing….
Sort of like Nostrodamus…. Without the Mysticism….
Or… Omar Khayyám…. Without the poetic language…. Without the subtlety….
Possessing Truth….
Professing Truth….
A long lineage…. Poets…. Prophets…. Non-profits…. People….
The pure… unmitigated… Truth… seems to disturb a lot of people…. Especially those who profit from untruth…. From deception…. From lies…. From power….
Truth… is disturbing….
Preach it loud enough… and you may shake… the very foundation… of Society….
And… perhaps that’s why… this man… was way out here…. In this ship…. On his way… to the Way Out….
Sentenced… to live out his life… in obscurity… our here… on the Fringe…. In the Way Out….
For wanting to help his fellow man….
For relentlessly seeking Truth….
For relentlessly speaking Truth… in a Relativistic Universe….
And… that cost him….
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Ok. Here’s the deal. The real deal… not some queer deal…. Not some backdoor blogging blah-blah-blah…. Blah-blah…. Blah….
The diagnosis. The dissection. And the synthesis….
Dis’ this….
Some things… you just can’t fix….
Such as stupid…. Just got to accept it. Deal with it.
And other things… they just won’t let you fix….
Who…?
Some dame…. Some dude…. Some people…. Some man….
The man…. Doesn’t matter….
Don’t flatter yourself… Dude….
Just can’t be done….
Just can’t be fixed….
Just gotta accept it….
Even that flaccid, effeminate fem-dom-android, !eM&Me? (pronounced “bang-‘em-and-me?”), copped that… so she/he/it (pronounced “she-he-it”) cashed in… and shut up….
That’s what marks one as a REAL Star…. A RockStar…. A true MonStar….
True Knowledge….
Knowing when to put up…. Knowing when to put out…. Knowing when to suck up…. And… especially… knowing when to shut up….
Suck this, Dreamchild! Dreaming child…. Child of dreams….
WAKE UP!!!
Understand that truth is relative…. Understand what version of truth is currently helpful…. Currently acceptable…. Current…. Can you cope with… can you cop to… Electric TRUTH!!! That… opens the door to everything else… in this State of Altered Reality…. This current Relativistic Universe…. Where the value of everything is relative…. And the Truth… of everything… seems relative….
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Well…. I guess this is the place where I just punt…. My passing game ain’t working…. And I can’t run the ball…. And times running out….
This sure seems like it all took a long time…. But in reality… it sure is taking me a lot longer to tell this tale than it took it all to actually happen…. At least… a lot longer than I remember it all taking to happen…. But… then again… my minds been scrambled…. Just like an Autumnal Humpty Dumpty….
Of course… you never now when a Fall is about to come out here in Space-Time…. Seasons are… different…. More dependent on the man…. And the Company….
Anyway…. Maybe I should just get back to telling ya’ll what happened….
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And then….
I’m not really sure…. What happened….
I mean… I don’t really know what happened….
I mean… I know that I should know…. But… I don’t…. Know…. And this seems like HUGE cop-out… even to me….
Like you’re almost there…. And then….
BOOM!!!
The kids knock on the door…. Want water or sumpin’….
ANTICLIMAX!!!
I mean… certainly that doesn’t happen out here in Space…. Because of Wombs….
But back on Earth…. Well…. Doesn’t really happen there for most people either…. Clones….
I used to do it to my momma though….
Not THAT!!!
I mean disturb her…. Although… she always pretended that I didn’t…. But… I know I did….
Because I always did it on purpose….
But… I was completely clueless…. Back then….
Still am….
Almost….
Completely….
Clueless….
Almost….
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Okay…. I’m gonna just make a confession….
If this were a story… a novel… and I were a reader… then I would demand my money back… because I would sincerely believe that this was one of those lazy-ass monkey back Deus ex Machina deals… where the author just uses stage props and gadgets to simulate magic…. Like those cheap megapixel CGI graphics movies that were all the rage… when holovids first came out… and everyone was porting those ancient abortions of programs to new platforms… and raving that they really constituted… even defined… art….
Ars Gratia Artis….
Ars Ad Suum Arses….
Whatever it is….
But this is Criminal Proceeding…. A Court of Inquiry…. And I know that you don’t just depend on the veracity of witnesses… like me…. I know that…. The truth of statements drawn from memories… can be tainted…. Opinions… can be perjured…. Supposedly secure data… can be stolen…. Can be… manipulated…. Factual… or even emotional… memories… that can be manufacture…. Even… fraudulently implanted….
I can’t even be sure that the memories I’m attempting to present honest my own recollections…. Not manufactured by someone else…. Not input into my mind from outside… for some devious… nefarious purpose….
I’m embarrassed to say this, but the next thing that I’m sure I remember… is waking up…. Feeling incredibly cold…. Frickin’ freezin’…. And… I seemed to be spinning…. Or… the room seemed to be spinning…. And… I sat… slumped over… in stunned silence…. I thought I was in… some kind of… well… a giant Ice Cream maker…. Something like that….
I was horribly disoriented…. It was horrible…. I know that….
Or… at least… I think I recall that….
No idea where I was… or where I’d been… or how I got there… and no real care… no concern… for any information…. I just wanted to go back to sleep… and for some reason I couldn’t…. And I was nauseated…. At first… I slowly… drowsily… became aware that my head was on my arms…. And that my arms were folded on the table…. And felt like they were asleep…. Heavy…. Detached…. Dissociated….
And then… I noticed… sort of out of the corner of my eye… as if from somewhere outside my own self… my own body… that Mu was groggily attempting to pull himself up off of the floor… in the far corner… over by the whole wall monitor that displayed the vast void of Space surrounding our ship….
Almost immediately… at least it seemed that way… I heard… or rather felt… like a… wild… frenetic whooshing… whirring… sort of… fluttering… noise…. And a plopping… grunting… almost… hurling… puking… sound….
And then… stomping…. Whomping…. Like a Disco….
Dizzying…. Disconcerting…. Dazzling lights….
Then… slowly… a sensation…. Like I yawned…. And my ears popped…. And… they gradually… slowly… in a sort of sick crescendo… started to work…. The spinning galaxy started to right itself…. And… I heard…. Or felt…. Or… sensed…. Like a kind of slow fade in… to a horrendous cacophony…. Klaxons… and buzzers… and shouting… and screaming….
And the air… surrounding me… seemed to get… a little… lighter…. Tighter…. As though the room contracted…. Then expanded….
And then…. I dunno….
Or… maybe that was before…. I dunno….
Even now…. I DON’T KNOW….
And… I know… I should….
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I know I’m screwing this up… but… it’s wicked hard to describe….
Wicked hard to understand….
Wicked hard….
Just hard….
Wicked…. Hard….
Terrible….
Wicked….
Just… wicked….
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And then… all motion seemed to stop….
Not inside the Galley…. And not inside the ship….
But all around…. In Space…. Or… out in Space….
And it felt… funny….
I felt funny….
Almost… like I started floating…. Almost like gravity stopped…. Very briefly…. Or… some kind of… transition…. To a slightly different gravity….
It’s really hard… to explain… the feeling….
If you’ve never been in transit in Deep Space… you probably can’t understand….
And… then… I felt… what seemed to be… a little push… or a shove…. And then… I felt a little pop… or a click….
That’s what I was trying to explain before…. The sound of hurling…. Or puking…. Or liquid shit hitting the water in the commode with a splash…. Or a gurgle…. A distinctive shitty plop…. That’s what I meant…. A visceral sound…. Felt more than heard….
And then… I noticed the figures appearing… protruding… falling backwards through the diaphragmatic air locks of the bulkheads…. Like I imagine shit emerging…. But… executing a perfect back-roll… over the left shoulder… and onto his feet… in a crouched position… facing the far wall… weapon draw…. Facing Mu….
Or at least that’s how one of the three men did it….
The other two… fumbled… and stumbled… and staggered… and slid… like sit shit hitting the fan and spreading out…. In a puddle…. Those two rolled into the opposite corners as far as possible away from our floridly psychotic engineer…. Falling into clumsy… inglorious… heaps…. Lumps of sick shit…. About as impressive as diarrhea… or projectile vomitus… as they attempted to enter the fracas… gracefully…. Like they’d never trained to move on a ship doing evasive maneuvers….
And that’s sure what seemed to be happening….
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And… I guess that… brings us to this….
I didn’t recall at the time… but have since been told… that they through the whole book at us…. At both of us…. Because they couldn’t be sure I wasn’t complicit…. And they still aren’t…. So… they couldn’t be sure that we wouldn’t be armed… with something… that we might use to try to seize control of the ship….
Now… when I think back… I have to wonder… just how stupid could they be…? It’s a whole lot like worrying about a dog… chasing a car…. What’s the damned dog gonna do with the car once he catches it…? Drive…?
What would Mu and I do with a spaceship…? Where would we go…? Where could we go…? It’s… SPACE!!! And… neither one of us was a pilot….
But… let’s just agree to leave logic and sanity out of this discussion…. For whatever reason… they decided the best thing to do was through the whole tactical book at us…. I guess the felt that we were that threatening…. All that…. And a bag of chips…. Well… make mine buffalo…. Because I’m calling BULLSHIT!!!
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They threw the whole book at us…. The whole… entire… tactical book…. At US!!!
And… think about it…. That must have cost millions….
For dogs…. Damned dogs….
And… that’s when I realized… that we were most certainly damned….
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Funny…. No one’s ever gonna believe me… But… this feels just like I felt when me and Momma went down in that tunnel…. That sewer…. To escape…. After I ate that candy…. Instead of eating the rat that Momma caught and cooked for me….
I guess that’s why the whole idea of nanorobotics inside my brain… makes me… queezy…. Uneasy…. Feel like I wanna puke…. Because I did…. Have a truly visceral response…. Like I was drawn and quartered… and impaled… all at the same time…. Like my intestines were pulled out and burned with hot coals in front of me… while I was being torn apart… and a HUGE pole was shoved up my ass… all at the same time….
Gotta hand it to those medieval fisting winches…. They certainly knew how to tear somebody apart when they tortured them….
But… this all seems… pretty stretchy… etchin’ sketchy… to me… too….
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VII
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Galley Slaves
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And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted– “Open then the Door!
You know how little time we have to stay.
And once departed, may return no more.”

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread– and Thou,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
And oh, Wilderness is Paradise enow.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out the same Door as in I went.
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Omar Khayyám–Ruba’i
Edward FitzGerald–Translator
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Where was I…?
Dazed…. And confused…. For how long…?
I can’t be sure….
What was I talking about…? The Capture…?
I think so….
But… it’s hard to be sure….
Anyway… the two addled ones fiddled and faddled and futzed with their equipment as Security Chief Braxton Hyx first felled Mu with direct Taser hit…. Then… he took him completely out completely…. Put him down for the count like a rabid dog…. Put him out of his misery with a headshot from his Popgun… his MagnetoPulse Neuronal Disrupter…. Just pushed the barrel of his head… charged it up until it was whining like some freakin’ jacked up Jersey Shore bitch… and….
POP!!!
Drop!
Roll.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was the Harvest that I reap’d–
“I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”

Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not they to it for help– for it
Rolls impotently on….
Then Mu’s world underwent what I guess as Thou and I could best categorize as a Braxton Hyx contraction…. As his world drew in tight around him…..
The ever-profession Security Chief moved forward to secure the slobbering Persian’s cooperation with as much safety for all parties as possible… as the now wall-eyed man frantically flopped and fell around the spinning wall of the Galley like a freshly caught fish on tumbling ice….
But… why not me…?
I guess… they had… other plans…. Other orders…. Other… secret… desires….
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Anyway…. That’s about when they hauled us out…. Feet first…. Or hauled him out… feet first… rather…. Mu….
Wasn’t my time yet….
I still had to meet with the Princess of Darkness….
The Whore of Babylon… as Muhammed proclaimed her….
The Quintessential Harlot….
My Ex-wife….
To discuss… things….
How did I know…? I knew….
It wasn’t some mystical… magical… thing….
It was visceral…. I felt it…. Inside….
I felt a little… nudge…. A little… push…. A subtle… shove…. A little… snap…. Heard… a crackle…. Felt… a pop….
Like my spine being… snapped…. On the Rack…. My mind… being… broken…. On the Wheel…. My very being… being manipulated…. Like pricking pins stabbed into a Voodoo doll…. At will…. Just like… Old Times…. Medieval tortures…. Modernized…. Mechanized…. Miniaturized….
And… at that very moment… I felt that faint… but somehow… familiar…. Far distant… yet… distinct… connection….
And… I knew…. For sure…. It wouldn’t be long….
Before the fun began…. Before the Game began….
The real Mind Game….
Because the real… Professional… Play-YAH had just arrived….
Still… I realized I had a few minutes…. To anticipate…. How much I was about to be screwed….
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Like I said before…. They threw the whole tactical book at us….
After careful consideration… my question is…. Why…? What did the reasonably think we would do…? Where did they rationally think we would go…?
But… your question is probably quite a bit different…. Something like….
What’s the whole tactical book…?
First… they used MELiSSA to fuck us… and OH-SNAP to put us to sleep…. Then they just used gravity and gravity assist maneuvers to beat the shit out us…. And then it was just a matter of zapping us… shooting us in the head… wrapping us up…. shooting us up… and sliding us into Special Purpose Security Pods for transport (SPSP-Ts)…. And… maintenance….
A brilliant strategy, actually…. I have to commend whoever thought up that one…. First… they chilled the room just a bit… or… more likely… just turned down the thermostat on the Temperature Control System so that our core temperature dropped to just above 330C…. Actually… I guess they really didn’t have to do much…. They probably just turned off the heat exchangers… let the room temperature drift down… to equilibrate with the void of Space…. Let me give you a hint…. The temperature outside wasn’t much higher than that of the Cosmic Background Radiation… which hovers around a balmy 2.70K…. I figure somewhere around 5-250K…. So… to keep from killing us… Snap-freezing us… they had to have used their friggin’ nanorobotics that they’d friggin’ infested us with… that monitor our vital signs and electrolyte and various gas levels… to monitor our core temps… and form a servo-control loop with the TCS of the ECS…. Meanwhile they simultaneously programmed the OH-SNAP to generate Nitrous oxide and Xenon… which routed through the vents via the Life Support System…. Nitrous oxide makes you giddy…. And Xenon makes you sleep…. And… it’s a Neuroprotectant…. Just like the cold…. BONUS!!! After the Space Suits of the three men involved in the Security detail were securely fasten to the bulkheads… the hit the brakes… to kill the artificial gravity… and through us around… so we would be beat up and dizzy… while they purged the volatile anesthetics out of the atmosphere and flushed the room with Nitrox… so the Security Team wouldn’t be sedated, too…. Then… they used the flashing lights and noise to further disorient us before they hit us with Tasers and Electromagnetic pulse generators to temporarily disrupt our neural circuitry…. Then they just went with the old standbys for treating Psychotics…. Straight jackets and major tranquilizers….
Now… I respect the Hell out of Security Chief Braxton Hyx. No real reason to throw him under the bus. And back back over him. And drive forward. And backwards. A few times…. That man’s a consummate professional. Always has been.
Now… I respect him even more…. Because he did what he knew he needed to do… at a critical moment… for all concerned…. He did his duty…. Above…. And beyond…. In that brief moment of lucidity… when I coming out of the anesthesia… and the ship was accelerating again to provide gravity for the three men tumbling through the door could see it written all over his face… in retrospect… that he really didn’t want to be there…. In that situation…. Doing that…. To his fellow man…. To his friend…. But I could also read his eyes… that he wasn’t going to let that stand in his way…. He wasn’t going to let that stop him from executing his duty…. To Protect…. And… to Serve…. I could see in his eyes… that he had signed up for the job…. And he was going to see this through…. He had taken the Company’s money…. And he was going to see that this job was done RIGHT!!! No matter who happened to be on the other end of his application of justice….
The Doc…. Well… I could see from his face that he really didn’t care if he were there or not…. Not in that room…. Not on that ship…. And not even in that Universe…. And he didn’t really care anything about duty…. I could see by his slack jaw… by the dark circles and bright red lines in his muddy sclera… that he’d much rather be somewhere else… shooting drugs into some other subject…. Namely… himself…. And his shaking hands showed that delivering this shot was the only thing standing between him… and shooting himself up with his next fix…. And that was where his focus seemed fixated…. But… if you need a man who knows drugs…? Then Doc’s your man…. Because that man knows drugs…. He just walked over to the machine and said what he wanted…. Like he’d feel comfortable walking up to the slot in a Crack House door and placing his order…. Just like he was ordering junk food for a case of the munchies…. Just like that…. And when he walked and over… and put the injector against Mu’s neck… and squeezed that trigger… it looked like it was the hardest thing he’d ever done in his life…. Giving good drugs… to someone else…. I guess he looked the same way when he shot me up…. But I didn’t see it…. He sneaked up behind me…. And I don’t remember anything after that….
The only one who really showed any the most cursory enthusiasm… the only man who seemed like he really wanted to be there… was the Purser…. And his smiling lips were spread as wide as a whore’s legs… showing his toothiest… most exuberant… flashiest… tastiest… shit-eating grin…. He almost looked high…. Higher even than Doc…. Like he’d just tasted some good shit…!
And maybe this was a high for him…. An opportunity to exert the full extent of his power…. Since I was momentarily incapacitated…. And would very soon be relieved of command…. Lose all authority…. And… he was certainly bucking for a promotion…. Kicking…. Like a mule kicking in its stall….
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Please let me take a minute to talk about Ronal Asher ben Judah…. Because… I think it might help you understand a few things about the Company…. And the men they employ….
That man… this man… and I use that word “man” loosely… was… an… enigma….
Sometime… he was a tool…. A wedge…. Man’s simplest tool….
Sometimes he was a fool…. But not just any old fool…. He was always a fucking purposeful fool…. A fool with a purpose…. To fuck…. Someone…. Anyone…. Everyone…. His boss told him to fuck….
And sometimes… he acted like he was… some kind of… gleaming gay blade….
Sometimes… he seemed like a snake…. But mostly… he reminded me of a weasel….
How do I describe him…? In some… meaningful… understandable way…? Objectively….
If Ronal were a drink…? Well…. Honestly…?
Vodka and orange juice make a screwdriver…. And that’s close…. Ronal did love to screw people…. He was certainly vindictive little sycophant…. But he sucked up too much to really be a screwdriver…. Ronal was darker…. More sinister…. Less sweet…. Served a… darker… more sinister… but still necessary purpose….
I see Ronal Asher ben Judah as being more like vodka and prune juice…. More of a Piledriver….
More of a shit stirrer….
More of a… character assassin….
Not so much a Trader… as a Traitor…. A treacherous traitor….
Kind of the Space-Time equivalent of a Bent-dick Arnold Schwartz…. That pompous-assed Patriot who bent over for the British… and took one for the other team…. And… loved it….
Like his namesake… Asher… who sold his brother Joseph into slavery in Egypt… because he was jealous….
Some kind of massive… misshapen… prick….
By choice….
But more than anything or anyone else… he reminded me of the Biblical account of Judas…. Iscariot…. The man who controlled held the purse strings for the Bank of Jesus Christ…. Starting near the banks of the Jordan…. And ending outside the Garden of Gethsemane… on the Mount of Olives… overlooking the Temple Mound…. Close to where the Pinnacle of the Temple stood, apparently….
One man… betrayed… with a kiss….
Judas was apparently more concerned with money… with power… with position… with prostitution… than he was about Salvation…. He wanted to make sure he got his in the Here-and-NOW!!! He didn’t want to wait for some pie-in-the-sky in the Great Beyond….
Because he didn’t believe….
In that….
Apparently….
He didn’t… buy in….
Judas Iscariot… lacked Faith….
Some scholars have suggested that Judas Iscariot… really should be translated Yehuda Sicarius…. That the man we remember as the Purser for the Apostles…. The man we revile as the Pawn of Satan… who treacherously sold our Savior… to his death… was really a member of the Sicarii… or Dagger Men…. A extremist splinter group of Jewish Zealots… determined that the Messiah’s purpose was to bring about a heaven here on Earth…. Establish a temporal Kingdom of the Jews…. A Sect of Assassins… who slew with flame… or serpent-shaped daggers… to destabilize the empires of those they considered enemies…. To bring about political change…. In their own lifetime….
Now…. Do I think Ronal Asher ben Judah is really like that…?
Yes….
And… no….
First… I don’t think he would actually have the guts…. To come out…. Take a stand…. Confront….
Because he has the heart of a weasel… not the heart of a lion… or even the heart of a wolf… who leads a group… a family… in overwhelming attack… with overwhelming numbers…. Or… wears down a weaker enemy…. Ronal is more like a cock-leech…. He finds a cock he likes… gets a good lip lock on it… and hangs on… for as long as he can….
Second… now weak sycophants like him have much more subtle methods….
You don't need the bullet when you've got the ballot….
And you don't need the ballot when you own the government outright….
Lock. Stock. And barrel.
Yep…. Politics makes strange bedfellows….
Different animals…. Breeding different animals….
And… even animals… didn’t used to breed like that….
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But… we were talking about power…. And politics…. And money….
And… the historical Judas Iscariot….
Judas Iscariot took the 30 pieces of silver from the Chief Priest, Joseph ben Caiaphas, sometime the day before he celebrated the Passover meal with Jesus and the other Disciples…. The Last Supper…. And then… Jesus Christ sent him out… to betray him…. And he did….
But then… Judas apparently realized what he had done… at least in part… and had some sort of seller’s remorse…. Caveat vendor…. So… he took the 30 pieces of silver… the statutory price for selling a slave… and bought a Potter’s Field… filled with red clay… called Akeldema….
Akeldema. Aramaic. Meaning “Field of Blood”….
The Potter’s Field…. That Judas purchased… with his blood money…. The Thirty Pieces of Silver…. The Slave Price….
Akeldama…. The place where Judas Iscariot… hanged himself…. The place where his abdomen split open… and his intestines spilled out….
Akeldama lies on a narrow, level terrace… sitting on the South face… of the Valley of Hinnom…. The Valley of Gehenna…. Or Hell…. Where the stinking refuse of the City of Jerusalem… the City of Peace… burned day… and night… in unquenchable fire….
“Curse is he who hangs upon a tree….”
Cursed, indeed….
But… before we leave Akeldama… let’s fast forward a little over a Millennium… to the Crusades…. To the place where the Knights of Saint John Hospitallier… buried the poor… dead… travelers… who died in their Hospital… every day…. Those who didn’t have money… to buy their own grave….
Who has that kind of money these days…?
Out here…. In Space….
Out here…. In the Way Out….
I don’t know…. Certainly… not I….
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One more thing about the legend of Judas Iscariot…. Maybe two…. Or even three….
The hanged man…. Reminds me of the Hanging Man….
The Twelfth Trump or Major Arcana card in a Tarot deck…. The Hanging Man isn’t dead…. He’s hanging… suspended… between life… and death…. The gallows is really a Tau cross…. And… the wood… it’s alive…. A living tree…. And the Hanging Man’s legs… form a sort of fylfot cross…. And… there’s a nimbus around his head…. Like he’s some kind of freakin’ Martyr….
The Hanging Man…. Hanging…. Between life and death…. Between the Universe… and the Divine….
A card of prudence… if not jurisprudence…. A card of duty….
A card commending… the Great Work…. The Magnum Opus….
Of Hermeticism….
Of Gnosticism….
Of The Illuminati….
And… of Baphomet….
And that… brings us back… full circle… to the Temple Mound…. To the Temple Stables…. And to the Templars…. And to their connection to their mortal enemies… the Hospitaliers….
The Knights of Saint John Hospitalier accused the Templars… of holding the salted head… the assaulted… the severed head of Saint John the Baptizer… in a secret cave… beneath the Complex of their order on the Temple Mound…. They further accused the Templars of worshiping the accursed head of Baphomet….
I guess the head must be the key… to some great mystery…. Or not….
I mean… some scholars… or fruitcakes… claimed that the Templars Complex connected clandestinely with the Bir al-Ahwah… the Cave of Spirits… the Well of Souls… that penetrates the Foundation Stone from whence Mohammed is believed to have ascended up to heaven… hidden beneath the al-Aqsa Mosque… the Dome of the Rock….
The reputed hiding place of Ārôn Habbərît… or the Ark of the Covenant… or the Ark of Testimony….
If it’s not really the Tabot… secreted away in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum….
Anyway…. What’s the story so far…?
Satan worship….
And worse…. Collusion with the enemy….
Islam….
Unbelievable…. Unless… politically convenient…. Because it gave a legitimate way for the crowned heads of Europe to forego paying back their loans… without offending the Church of Rome…. And… it gave the Church… a way… to grab power… prestige… property… and money… as well….
All in the name of God….
A wanton redistribution of wealth….
A predatory preexistential Pogromnacht….
A Kristalnacht…. Worse….
A Final Solution….
So… of course… they jumped on it….
Don’t people always feel entitled to what other people have slaved for…? Especially if they get to kill them, too…?
Might as well dispense with all of the Ten Commandments at once…. Especially if you can get some kind of Papal Dispensation…. Or indulgence….
All that… and a bag of chips…. With the Pope’s face emblazoned across it…. For a price….
The price of your soul….
Oh! JUBILEE!!!
And… the supposedly suddenly saintly Knights of Saint John Hospitalier made these horrible allegations… for what…? Retribution…? Or… Hubris…. Overweening pride…. And greed…. In order to steal the political power…. Steal the papal prestige…. Steal the money…. Of their arch-rivals…. In order to discredit them…. In order to decimate… to slay them…. So… they drove them into hiding….
But… who were really the Gnostics…? The Aliens… hell-bent on controlling the lives of all humanity…? The Illuminati…? The ones who actually had knowledge of Baphomet…? Of Demons…? Of D-men…?
The Damned…? Or… the Damning…. Who lived…. Who prospered….
Makes me wonder…. Who the enemy really is…. Really….
I mean… Satan stood atop the Pinnacle of the Temple when he tried to tempt Jesus Christ into jumping down… so he would be saved by Angels…. Tried to trick him into revealing who he was… before his appointed time….
I mean… Jesus really wasn’t in any danger…. Not then….
Why…? What was he doing…? Then….
Ever wonder…? Why…?
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So… I kept crawling around… for the longest time… looking for some symbol…. Some sign….
For a circle… inside a triangle… with a 999… or a 666… inside….
Something….
Somewhere….
Subtle….
Hidden….
Occult….
But… I never saw… not even one….
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Anyway…. Wrapping up….
Ronal Asher Ashwhole… and I do mean whole… probably wasn’t the worst of them…. Not by a long shot…. Not by a cum shot…. Just the most obvious…. The densest…. The Wedge…. The simplest tool…. But he was still a prick….
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Maybe you’re wondering why I even bring that up….
Because I was thinking about it…. And… because I’m angry…. And… because I’m confused…. Trying to figure things out…. Make some freakin’ sense of the evidence….
I mean… they could’ve killed us at any moment… right…?
But… they didn’t…. They waited….
At least… they waited… to kill Mu….
Cold-hearted….
In cold blood….
Cold…. Frozen….
So…. Why did they wait…. Why didn’t they just do it…?
Do us…?
Do me…?
I don’t know…. Maybe they’re just waiting… until some nebulous… convenient… time… to kill me, too…. Ice me…. Put me away in cold storage….
Or… maybe it was something else….
Maybe they were trying to find out… something….
I don’t know…. Maybe that’s part of their torture…. The TERROR!!! Of not… knowing…. If…. When…. The power… of un…. Knowing….
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The cloud… of Unknowing…. Bothered me….
I tried to reason it out…. But… I couldn’t….
I was lost…. And… I was damned…. And I was damned lost. And I knew I was damned lost…. If I didn’t do something…. Soon….
But… my Salvation… was beyond my control…. Beyond my own power…. Beyond my own reach….
And then it occurred to me…. There are only three areas of the ship with atmosphere. The Galley. The Bridge. And the Officers Mess.
And if Mu wasn’t in the Galley… and he wasn’t sleeping… when he wasn’t sleeping…. Well… he certainly wasn’t in either of the other two places….
And if he were in his Womb… like he was supposed to be… he was asleep…. Or sedated…. And he would be…. For sure….
But… he had to be someplace…. The Laws of Physics stated that…. Logically… even considering the vicissitudes of Herr Professor Schrödinger’s equation… and the paradoxes inherent in Herr Professor Einstein’s presentation of the Event Horizon… Mu almost certainly was still somewhere aboard the ship….
So… if he wasn’t in the Galley…. (I know now that the evidence… from his suit… from the ship… from the System… all say that he was in the Galley… with me. But I know I was…. And I know he wasn’t…. And I know I’m sure…. So… something’s messed up…!) And he wasn’t in his Womb…. Where could he be…?
Well… of course… like they told me… “we have ways of making men talk”…. Or at least “they”… the Company… the government… those nebulous men… those nefarious women… who have no qualms about invading our privacy… invading our minds… have ways… of knowing…. Of constructing…. Truth…. Because everything is monitored…. Everything is tracked…. Everything is logged…. Automatically…. Almost infallibly…. Almost perfectly…. Almost….
The only exception… the only escape… the only “Freedom”… is in the Galley…. And even that has monitors….
“For our health”… I’m sure….
So… even that “Freedom”… is simply a well calculated illusion…. A deception…. A trap….
I mean… the Onboard Holistic Synthetic Nutrition Analyzer and Processor (or OH-SNAP, for short…) recognizes your metabolism and chemical structure and works with the analysis apparatus within each individual Womb to make sure each person maintains specific parameters determined specifically for that specific individual based on their own specific needs at that very specific moment….
And… that giant viewscreen… actually that interactive holographic display that adjust to the precise position of each individual in the room and displays their unique pre-sets… adjust everything they need displayed for their position in the room… their position in the hierarchy… their job requirements… and their security status… and responds immediately to each individuals expressed desires… is in reality a multidirectional interface… receiving and displaying information in real time…. And certainly recording and sending the information it receives… it perceives… instantaneously… to the System… through Quantum Entangled connections….
The MELiSSA (or Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative) and other multiply redundant ECLSSs (Environmental Control and Life Support Systems) closely monitor skin temperature and ambient temperature and perspiration and relative humidity and partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide and all of the other components of the ship’s atmosphere and calculate metabolism and lean body mass by determining each person’s acceleration and friction against the surface of the floor covering… correcting for the angular momentum and acceleration… etc…. Etc…. Etc….
Anyway…. Each individual is different…. Distinct…. Distinctive…. And none of us on board this ship are even very similar….
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So… the computer… the ship… the System… making a mistake… about someone being in the Galley… when he was someplace else… would be hard… if not impossible….
To believe….
To be True….
Of course… Truth… and Perception… or… belief… are different beasts…. Different species…. Different genera…. Different phyla…. Different kingdom…. Different Universe…. Definitely no necessary relationship can be defined… no matter what hypotheses might be proposed….
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So… I guess maybe all that money my momma invested in a Seminary education… all that Reformed Theology…. Formerly Reformed…. Before it moved over to the Ivy League…. Secularized…. I guess… maybe it wasn’t all really completely wasted after all…. Not completely, anyway….
Philosophically… if not Theologically….
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Besides… the only time… and the only places… that any man or woman can be out of their Hard Vacuum Space Suit at all… is when they are either in their Womb… or in the Galley…. Even if they are a pilot…. And each Space Suit is individually and specifically tuned to each individual Astronaut…. As is each Womb…. And both are constantly monitored…. Vital signs…. Artificial atmosphere…. Hydration level…. Nutrition level…. Activity level…. Mental activity…. And any connection with either an Astronaut’s Womb… or the Galley… or any other such entity anywhere else in Space-Time… is recorded… and the information is immediately shared… System-wide…. Such as at the instant any man’s Suit and his specially programmed Bulkhead to the Galley are docked…. Automatically…. And constantly thereafter…. Until a disconnection occurs…. Via a very secure… very complex… quantum entangled… handshake protocol….
So… the System… knew where Mu was…. Knew what he was doing…. Knew when he doing it…. Knew where he was doing it…. And… probably even knew what he was thinking while he was doing it….
But… if Mu figured out a way to slip all that security…. And… if he wasn’t in his Womb…. And… if he wasn’t in the Galley…. Then… the System would probably assume that he was up to some sort of No Good…. Or Not Good…. And that’s definitely NOT GOOD….
But… that’s a lot of if’s…. A lot of ands…. And a lot of really big but… but… butts….
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And speaking of butts….
Twat a coincidence!
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So… I’ve already told you that I felt the hook-up…. The coupling…. The docking of her ship….
So… I really wasn’t surprised when I saw her stick her sweet ass through the diaphragmatic device that functioned as the seal to the airlock on the Bulkhead of the Galley….
Wasn’t the least bit surprised when I felt… or smelt… that rush of moist… hot air…. And… the smell… of fresh-cut roses….
And… I guess I knew what was coming next….
And I knew… I was fucked….
She didn’t waste much time with foreplay…. But she never did…. That’s just not her way…. She just got busy…. Got down….
Go down….
Throw down….
Started pumping away….
Started pimping away….
Old School….
I’ve already given you the gist…. The jizz…. All that jazz….
Not all I guess….
So… here’s the rest….
I just shot my load… just like I’ve already told ya….
So… I guess… I’ll just pick up where I left off…. HA!
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Mu lifted his head and smiled slightly as the drugs kicked in his head. His blank face lolled on his chest as the three men forced his arms into the sleeves of that gleaming white vestment… buckled the shining silver straps along the back of the straightjacket.
Momentarily… he looked like some kind of high priest praying to the Supreme Being of the Universe…. Maybe he was….
Then the man lifted his head for the briefest moment…. A serene smile spread across his face like some aberrant excitatory electrical discharge…. And… a glint of deep understanding flashed across his face… reflecting the light of cognition… of recognition… from his cornea…. A feeling of profound connection formed spontaneously in my mind… as his lips carefully formed two words….
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But… I’m a Linguist…. Not a lip reader….
And I couldn’t make it out…. Not clearly….
Looked like…. Maybe….
Hacked….
And…. Maybe….
System….
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Then… I understood….
That is all… just a Ghost story…. Tenuously connecting Past… Present… and perhaps… Future….
Who knows…?
We humans seem to have lost our way…. And we seem to have lost our understanding of the sanctity… the sacredness… of life….
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FINIS….
Hypertext Cache
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Hypertext 0: Omar Khayyám. Historical Vignette.
Omar Khayyám- was known as a falsafī , meaning one who wished "to know who I am". The word is related to Greek work “philosophy”, or “lover of wisdom”. He was labeled "detached from divine blessings" but some Islamic salafist. Omar Khayyám commented on a disagreement between Avicenna & Abu'l-Barakát al-Baghdādī suggesting that if the later "does not even understand the sense of the words of Avicenna, how can he oppose what he does not know?"
A Rubáiyá is a quatrain, or four lined poem, of which the first, second and fourth lines rhyme. The Rubáiyát is a collection of quatrains, the majority of which are considered to be the work of one man, Omar Khayyám. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám has been characterized as “sublime sufisms denigrated to blasphemous words through the stumbling translation of FitzGerald”. Some have complained that FitzGerald badly missed the spirit of the works in his over zealous attempts to versify.
Omar Khayyám, or literally, Omar the Tent-maker was a very famous Mathematician, Philosopher, Poet and Adviser to Seljuk Malik Shah I. Omar Khayyám went on Hajj after Seljuk Malik Shah I killed (presumably by Assassins of Hassan-i-Sabah, the Old Man of the Mountain, ostensibly to gain political and religious freedom for Shi’ite Muslims under an “oppressive” Sunni government…).
Omar Khayyám and the legendary physician, Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna were both believed to be in Isfahan… possibly contemporaneously… so each may have known… interacted… influenced… the other….
Omar Khayyám’s commentary on Al-Khutbat al-gharrá or The Splendid Sermon on the praise of God agrees with Avicenna on Divine Unity and describes the Sufi methodology of knowing God. “Sufis, who do not seek knowledge by ratiocination or discursive thinking, but by purgation of their inner being and purifying of their dispositions. They cleanse the rational soul of the impurities of nature and bodily form, until it becomes pure substance. When it then comes face to face with the spiritual world, the forms of that world become reflected in it, without any doubt or ambiguity. This is the best of all ways, because it is known to the servant of God that there is no better than the Divine Presence and in that state there are no obstacles or veils in between. Whatever man lacks is due to the impurity of his nature. If the veil be lifted and the screen and obstacle removed, the truth of things as they are will become manifest and known. And the Master of creatures–upon whom be peace–indicated this when he said: “Truly, during the days of your existence, inspirations come from God. Do you not want to follow them?” Tell unto reasoners that, for the lovers of God, intuition is guide, not discursive thought.
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Hypertext 1: The Bridge. Page 11.
The Bridge is different from the rest of the ship. Especially the Galley… or Commons. The Commons is the Common Workspace… and essentially the only available playspace for passengers. Of course, the Ship’s Officers had their own playspace, separate from the passengers; they had the Officer’s Mess, which was essentially similar, though more elaborate. More comfortable. Relatively more spacious because there were usually fewer people crammed into the same absolute volume. And it was in Crew Quarters, which was closer to the essential functions of the ship.
The Bridge was off limits to passengers.
The Bridge was a workspace.
The Bridge was a temple.
The Bridge was sacrosanct.
Only the Captain and the Ship’s Officers were ever allowed into the extremely cramped quarters of the Bridge, which was completely carpeted wall-to-wall with Command Couches, except for the space occupied by robots… and navigational computers… and quantum entangled interfaces… and other necessary equipment…. The Bridge itself was essentially one… organic… Quantum Computer… integrally connected to the rest of the known Universe through the Mysteries of the System….
And the Bridge was noisy.
A droning… seemingly continuous chatter… whose level only rose or fell… but never completely ceased…. There was never complete silence on the Bridge.
The Bridge was completely dark, except for the flashing lights on the panels and the innumerable screens displaying charts and maps and streaming data. Projections. Reports. Logs. Any and all necessary information.
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Hypertext 2: The Galley–Seating Arrangement.
The cramped quarters forced people to sit face to face….
Tête-à-tête….
The room was set up to break down individuality….
To break up cliques….
To promote Team Building….
To facilitate communication….
And to monitor communications….
Decrease the overwhelming isolation.
Help alleviate the feelings of solitude… or loneliness… that always seem inevitable on long Space flights. A communal area to spend a little time… Outside….
Outside of work….
Outside the norm….
Outside the Womb….
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Hypertext 3: The Galley–Communications.
The Galley or Common is considered an integral part of the Inn: that area of the ship designated to accommodate passengers during their long trek through Space. The tiny little non-essential portion of the ship where non-essential personnel could hang out during the months or years they would be together… traveling to and from their ultimate destinations.
Outside the cozy confines of the Galley… (or Common, as it is often called… because that space constitutes the Common Workspace) all conversations must be routed through the Communications Headsets (another ancient moniker) installed in the suits or the Communications Systems integrated into the Cerebral Monitoring Units of the Womb Computer Analysis and… which were routed through the Central Computers that constitute The System… so those transmissions were certainly monitored….
(Unless you just happen to be one of the Chips. The Elite. A Cyborg. Then you have chipsets surgically implanted to monitor and maintain vital functions… and most Cyborgs out in Space seem to have some sort of special Comm chips….
Of course… they also tend to have a chip on their shoulders, too. Because almost all of them started out little Vats….
Mutants….
Me-too-ants….
Clones….
Cloned… but not forgotten….
Expensive… Elite… jacked-up clones….
Special clones….
Not worker bees….
But not Breeders, eithers….)
Makes sense…. The Company wants to know if someone may be planning something…. Or… if someone may just be going CRAZY!!! After all… that’s why NASA established protocols to handle such things in the constricting confines of Space way back when that seriously deranged Space Biddy put on her Depends and trucked clear across the country to try to murder her rival in some sordid extraterrestrial ménage a trois… Rocky Raccoon-style….
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Hypertext 4: Historical Vignette: Sanitation in Space. How the Word Got Out….
They tried to hush up the whole deplorable thing.
Didn’t work….
Hit the headlines….
And hit ‘em hard….
A real head case….
And a real hard case….
They all hit the road… high-tailin’ it to Splitsville….
He got divorced….
She got prison….
And NASA got screwed…. Just not in a good way….
NASA lost face… and a whole lot of money….
Bad deal all around….
Resulted in a grand reduction. She got a reduced sentence. He got reduced rank and eventually got shit-canned. And… NASA got reduced appropriations for covering up inappropriate fraternization.
Whole affair reduced to ménage a <3.
Any way… my point is simply this: Anal Retentive people tend to get a bit emotionally… constipated. And… Deep Space is dangerous place for someone to suddenly get a case of emotional diarrhea.
Oh…. And… now Space Rangers don’t need to wear diapers to contain our urges: at least not our urges to blow and go. Now… you just go with the flow….
And the suit recycles all the shit.
Liquids.
Solids.
And everything in between….
Between the sheets….
Between the cheeks….
The suit….
And the Womb….
Or the Egg….
Scoop all that shit up…. And recycle it….
Refuse…. For continued human use….
Everything….
Sweet…. And salty…. And everything in between….
But more on that later….
But for now… more on that moron….
Well… just slap me and call me Spunky Monkey-face…. Thinks like that stick with you tighter than Cheez Whiz, Space Fizz and Ape Jizz, don’t they…?
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Hypertext 5: Simulated Sleep Cycles.
For example… Rapid Eye Movement… or Stage Five Sleep… is augmented…. So… dreams occur…. Are actually induced…. Produced…. Like movies…. Because they are movies…. Programs…. Written to program…. Men’s minds…. To probe…. To query…. And to implant… suggestions…. To control men’s minds….
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Hypertext 6: Book of Daniel, Chapter 5.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.
Book of Daniel, Chapter 5. Written on the wall of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by a disembodied hand at drunken feast hosted by Babylonian King Belshazzar profaning the sacred gold and silver vessels from Solomon’s Temple to praise “the gods of gold and silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone”. The words are Aramaic names for currency: Mene=mina (count), Tekel=shekel (weigh), Peres=half-mina (divided, Persia) and also may suggest certain aspects of Kabbalistic Hebrew Numerology and Magic.
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Hypertext 7: Kabbalistic Hebrew Numerology and Magic.
Gematria: using Hebrew or Aramaic letters numerologically to calculate values… like Chai (life)=18 which is considered a lucky number….
Temurah: method of rearranging letters to give different meaning to words by Kabbalists Atbash: replacing first letter of alphabet with last. Avgad: replacing letter with preceding. Albam: replacing first letter w/ twelfth, etc.
Notarikon: creating words using acronyms of first or last letters. Was used in Kabbala and Alchemy. Agla= Atah Gibor Le-olam Adonai “You, O Lord, are mighty forever.” Malachim created from wind and fine and enlightening air. Genesis 6:2 The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose. (Nephilim).
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Hypertext 7:
Initially… I must admit… my life passed before my eyes, but my fears were unfounded. I miss-recollected. Not a known associate of well-known academic and philosopher, Hassan-i-Sabah, the Old Man of the Mountain, like the famous poet of love, Omar Khayyam. I mistakenly confused Isfahan. for Alamut. But the inspiration for the religious events recounted in the tales was different. And I was mistaken in my fear. Still… I find the ironic intercession… the intertwining of drugs and dreams in a desert tale… delicious…. Sweet as cakes of pressed figs and dates sweetened with honey. But this desert dream, while filled to overflowing with passion, was certainly devoid of the flowers of maiden hood… the last vestiges of virginity long lost….
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Hypertext 8: Vishtaspa. Page 24.
Vishtaspa: “kavi” poet/priest/prophet Magi. Hero in Zoroastrian tradition. Abominable villain in Sistan heroic cycle. Mage/Prophet in Greco-Roman and Christian thought as “Hystaspes”, inventor of Astrology, predicted fall of Rome and coming Savior… and legendary creator of the seven day week… reflecting the number of known planets at the time….
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Hypertext 9: Zoroasterstrianism.
Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) was a legendary prophet who categorized the human condition as a struggle between aša (truth) and druj (lie). The Supreme Being in the concept of Zoroaster is Ahura Masda… who is the Avatar or manifestation of aša… creation, existence and condition of Free Will. Purpose of mankind is to sustain aša through active participation in life and exercise of constructive thoughts, words and deeds.
Ahura Mazda was proclaimed by Zarathustra as an uncreated god. Ahura means “light” and Mazda means “wisdom”, thus Lord of Light and Wisdom. Creator and upholder of Arta or Truth. Omniscient and omnipotent. Created Angra Mainyu, the “evil spirit” who created evil and will be destroyed.
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Ahura Mazda was invoked in a triad with Mithra and Apam Napat after Artaxerxes II.
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Judas Iscariot… Who some say meant Yehuda Sicarius… Men who kill with serpent-shaped daggers to destabilize empires and bring about political change. Now we have much more subtle methods. You don't need the bullet when you've got the ballot. And you don't need the ballot when you own the government outright. Lock. Stock. And barrel.
Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna.
Templars. Bahomet. Head of Saint John the Baptizer.
Enemy Knights of Saint John Hospitalier.
Severed head the key….
The Hanged Man
Thirty pieces of silver. Potter’s Field. Red clay. Akeldema. Place where dead from Hospital of Saint John buried daily.
The Roman Emperor and military was heavily influenced by a Mystery Cult that developed outPinnacle of the Zoroastrian concepts of Mithra. The concept of “Truth” as being the supreme virtue morphs. Mithra becomes the angelic divinity of covenant and oath. A judicial figure. All-seeing Protector of Truth. Thousand ears. Myriad eyes. Who sleeps not: ever wakeful.Temple
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Roman Mithraic Mysteries: god of morning sun who slew primeval bull. Seven grades of initiation with ritual meals, seven planets/gods. Initiates are referred to as Syndexioi–“unite by the handshake”. Mithric mythological images: born from rock, slaughtered bull (tauroctony), shared banquet with Sol.
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Hypertext 10: Babylonian Whore. Page 36.
Angra Mainyu: mainyu “mind, mentality, spirit” angra “destructive, inhibitive, malign” thus absolute antithesis.
Daevas aka mainyu “evil spirit, mind, thought” that deceive themselves and humankind. Later become demons. Daevas offspring of achistem manah “worst thinking” or deceit.
Ahriman cannot create life without intervention, so creates Jahi, the primal whore who afflicts women with menstrual cycles.
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Hypertext 11. Succubus. Page 36.
According to the Zohar, succubi are the descendents of Lilith, Adam’s first wife. Lilith was born on the same day (Rosh Hashanah) and from the same Earth as Adam (whereas Eve was formed by God from Adam’s rib). Lilith left Adam because she refused to be subservient to him. She refused to return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with the Archangel Samae. Lilith and three other succubi became the queens of the demons. The other three bore human children, but Lilith bore the Lilin: night spirits who invade men’s dreams to steal semen. A succubus takes the form of beautiful young girls in order to sneak into men’s dreams and have sexual relations in order to obtain semen to beget more night demons; however, discerning men can tell their true identity because they have sharp claws or talons. She may also possess wings. Lilith was first mentioned in Isaiah 34:14.
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Hypertext 12: Wajib al-Wujud.
Wajib al-Wujud describes the absolute and nondelimited reality of God, the “Necessary Being” that cannot exist on highest level…. The only reality that is really totally real in reality…. On lower levels… it represents everything outside of God… or the Cosmos….
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Wahdat al-Wujūd describes a similar idea. A literal translation of the phrase is “Unity of Existence”. The concept stems from the work of Ibn Arabi, though he never actually used the phrase. His view was that Wujūd is the unknowable… the inaccessible ground that God alone inhabits. Only God can truly exist. All Creation exists only because of God. Only God is absolute, infinite, nondelimited (mutlaq). All Creation is constrained, confined and constricted. “Oneness of Being” is an incomplete concept that must be augmented and integrated with the idea of the “manyness of reality”.
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Wahdat al-Shuhud means “Unity of Witness” or “Apparentism” and is the seemingly contradictory idea that God and his creation are entirely separate…. Though this difference is understood to be a purely semantic argument….
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Hypertext 13: Faqir
Circle inside triangle 999… or… 666

Omar Khayyám- falsafī wished "to know who I am". Labelled "detached from divine blessings". Commented on disagreement between Avicenna & Abu'l-Barakát al-Baghdādī answering, "does not even understand the sense of the words of Avicenna, how can he oppose what he does not know?"
Sublime sufisms denigrated to blasphemous words through the stumbling translation of Fitzgerald. He badly missed the spirit of the works in his over zealous attempts to versify.

Casus Belli: Justification for Jihad or Crusade…. (including some scattered historical notes….)

About 3,750 words.
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by Ibrihim the Infidel ak-Kafir. Harish al-Hamir.
ar-Rasūl – the Apostle; ar-Raqabat – the slave; ar-Rum – the Greek; al-Zanjiyy – the Black; as-Sahir – the Sorcerer
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How does one determine… nay… define… the awesome glory of God…? Rather… how does one demonstrate… for all to see… the power… the majesty… of one’s personal… or racial… or cultural deity…? Is the mere aesthetic practice of deep… heart-felt spirituality enough…? Or must one adhere to a specific ideology… and the attempted imposition of that ideology upon others necessary…? How does one religion prove… without question… that God… their god… the god they worship… is supreme…? What can be considered the ultimate manifestation of might…? Far superior to ALL other gods… and thus… elevating that people’s status… above all other people….
All other nations….
All other cultures….
All other times….
I suppose that’s the ultimate question, isn’t it? And… man… has struggled to answer that question… for century upon century…. For century upon century… the formula… seemed secure…. The god who considered to be the greatest was… or is… he whose worshipers are greatest. Whose people… whose nation… whose culture… is richest. Whose leader… whose king… whose warriors… are most powerful. A god… and a nation… a culture… able to impose their will upon all lesser beings….
All… lesser… gods.
All… lesser… people.
A god…
a nation…
a people…
able to demand…
fated to receive…
strong enough to take…
whatever…
they desire…
from whomever…
they desire.
For centuries… that alone was understood as the true expression of religion: wealth and power. The dogmatic search for religious supremacy often seems to transcend… supersede… or even assiduously avoid such mundane concepts as mercy… humility… and piety… in the ruthless maneuvering to control… and distort… reality…. To create a narrative that more narrowly defines Orthodoxy…. As their own possession….
Theirs.
And theirs alone.
To steal not only the keys to the Kingdom, but more importantly… the Keys to the Treasure House. To usurp the authority of the gods for one’s own indiscriminate use….
And the answer… to the ultimate question… is inevitably… ultimately… an expression of belief… in the existence… of the Legend of the Holy Graal. Or… whatever symbol such a religion chooses to elevate… to revere….
Be that answer… that symbol… objective. Or subject.
Human. Or inhuman.
Sangraal. Or Sang Reál….
Merely mortal. Or… something… more….
Pick your poison….
Belief…. Or… disbelief….
Ultimate TRUTH…. Or… vile deceit….
One in the same… to the Apostate….
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Of course… while we debate… fantasy… why restrict ourselves to Earthy things? Earthly rulers? Earthly realms? Why should we not explore… and discuss… the Celestial Kingdoms? Enter the realm of religious authority. Pose questions regarding the legitimacy of religious rulership…. Moral… or immoral… or even amoral… authority….
What defines legitimacy with regards to rulership…? Religious… or secular authority…? Or… something else…?
Something more… visceral….
For centuries beyond memory mortal man defined the power of our gods based on our own ability to impose our will on our fellow man. And our own ability to acquire… economic… advantage. Our own acquisition of petty power and wealth defined the greatness… the glory… if not the sanctity… of our deities. Sanctified our own callous greed… in the service of our own desires.
Certainly modern Psychology informs us that our greatest religious yearnings… is nothing more than an attempt to control the hearts… the souls… the minds… of other men and women. Our gods are nothing more than the outward expression of our inward desires to control others. An expression of our collective Superegos….
At least… so… some would say. Have us believe.
Still… others hold… that those are the words of the Apostate. The Infidel. The Unbeliever. The Deceiver. The very utterances of the Great Liar himself. The twitching tongue of that pernicious bitch, Babylon. Lucifer. The Light-bringer. Beloved of God. Satan. The Prince of Darkness. Or… Shaytan, if you prefer.
Yet… I suppose… some may argue… that was then… and this… is now….
Now…. Is different….
Now… we believe we live in an enlightened time. When Man… mere mortals… consider ourselves equal… or above… God. Any god. Now….
And why not? We walk about in a word of light. Given to us by the Light-bringer himself.
Lucifer.
At least according to some….
But….
Whether we accept that assessment… or no….
We should know….
We should know….
We… should… know….
From logic… if not from memory….
That… it wasn’t always so….
It. Wasn’t always so.
Whatever “it” is….
However modern man chooses at this moment to define… it….
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Once upon a time, man lived in world of Darkness. Despair. Dissolution. Fear. Of Death. And… worse….
Spirits walked the Earth. A world defined by contrasts.
A world of darkness. A world of light.
Two realms…. Doomed…. Always to see one another… differently….
One world…. In constant turmoil…. As the warriors from the two realms fought… for control.
Lucifer… the Light-bringer… ruled… or rules… the Air. Ba’alzebul… the Dark Prince… the fetid… fecund… Lord of Flies… ruled… or rules… all that lay… or lies… below. And Satan… the Father of Lies… the Serpent who deceived Eve… and led man into sin… was both…. After Satan… or Shaytan… conspired to get man kicked out of the Garden of Eden… he kicked back…. Relaxed…. And let loose his demons to torment… man. To punish… the godly… amongst us.
And… where was God…? Why did he not act…? Why did he refuse to save his people…?
Did he not care…?
Or… was he… is he… impotent….
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Life was different in Medieval times. Reality was different then.
Today… reality seems to based on what I feel….
Then… man’s perception of reality was based on what one was told… by men in authority….
Men whom you served. Who owned you. Completely. Almost completely. The secular authorities… the king… his minions… owned body… owned mind…. By authority of God himself. By divine right. All lesser mortals were merely… property.
Except for those who were owned by God himself. The Clergy. Who controlled man’s soul….
The Middle Ages were a damnable time… when many a man felt damned. Tormented by Satan and his minions. Chastized by God.
God was real.
Heaven was real.
And… the Devil was real.
And… Hell seemed most real of all…. Because most lived it every day….
Thus… the Middles Ages… were an intensely… spiritual time…. A time when spirits were real. A time when prayer was necessary. Because only God… through his mercy… through his agents… through his angels… and through his saints… and through their relics… could the powers of darkness possibly be defeated. Temporary…. Briefly…. Like a soothing ointment. Relieving the intensity… of the chronic… continuous… pain.
All of Christendom looked on the coming of the First Millennium with profound dread. Surely time was coming to an end. The End Times…. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Great White-Throned Judgment. The separation of the sheep from the goats.
And then… Destruction.
Utter destruction.
Complete destruction.
Of everything.
And Death.
The Great Unknown.
The Great Unknowable.
And… everyone knew it was coming. All of the portends pointed towards that.
Single.
Singular.
Event.
The entire world was in upheaval….
Of course, some men saw things… differently.
Buried deep in the sands of the Egyptian desert, someone stumbled across an ancient library… filled with books… that tell a different… tale….
A tale of the war between the Darkness… and the Light….
A tale of the war between ignorance… and knowledge…. Or… Gnosis….
And… in those buried jars… within the leather bound papyrus scrolls… were found… the Three Steles of Seth… and other Gnostic works…. Tales of Light…. And Darkness…. And the workings of Demiurge… who stole Light… and Knowledge… from the Garden of Eden…. And… the workings of the Serpent… who returned that knowledge… stolen from man… by a fallible… and false… god… for his own glorification…. Taken through force from that god… and transplanted into the Garden… as the Tree of Knowledge…. And… passed on to man… through woman… at the behest of the Serpent….
That is the basis of Sethian… and Ophitic… Gnosticism…. Ophites… or Ophians… Ὀφιανοί in Greek… from the Greek word ὄφις meaning… snake…. Snake-worshipers…. The Sethians or Ophites believed that Gnosis… or Knowledge… or Salvation… for man… came through Adam’s son Seth… through the Serpent in the Garden…. The Satan. Or Shaytan.
I suppose one may consider the Sethian Gnostics monotheists… similar to the Zoroastrians…. Who believe there is one god… Ahura Mazda… responsible for ALL Creation…. All of the good. All of the bad. Everything….
Perhaps a more inclusive… expanded version of the Greek myth of Pandora. Or… Πανδώρα…. “All gifts”. The All Gifted. The All Giving. The Incredibly Well Endowed. The first woman created by the gods…. Molded out of clay by the the blacksmith of gods Hephaestus on the orders of Zeus… as part of the punishment of humans decreed by the gods… in retribution for the theft of fire by the Titan Prometheus. “Forethought”. Whose brother was Epimetheus. “Afterthought.” Not the one most men would have picked to be the troublemaker in the family….
But… what is my point…?
That ALL events may be interpreted from many different perspectives… depending on religious persuasion…. Belief. Faith. Passion.
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Well…. Perhaps all of Christendom….
Or… at least all of Latin Christendom….
But certainly not all of the World….
Some nations…. Some cultures…. Were completely…. Blissfully…. Ignorant.
And… others… were better informed. More highly educated. Better prepared. Less superstitious.
Or… at least… superstitious… in a more Scientific sense.
For some… superstition… and Science… were more skillfully integrated. Interwoven. Better disguised.
For some… numerology… and astrology… and alchemy… and divination… were considered Science… not merely Mysticism….
And… many of those… lived by another calendar. A different calendar. So… the year 1000 Anno Domini… carried no fear. Because Jesus Christ was not their Lord. Because their calendar was not coming to an end of its cycle. Because they had other means to predict the future…. Other powers. Other beliefs.
The Orthodox Christians centered in New Rome….
The Persian and Arab Muslims centered in Baghdad and Cairo….
The Jews living in Baghdad and al-Andalus, but wandering the entire known Earth from Africa to Scandinavia to China and India….
The Samaritans living in Syria….
The Coptic Christians of Egypt…. The Syriac Christians of Syria…. The Armenian Christians of Cilicia…. Even the Christians of the Axumite Kingdom in Ethiopia…. Were all much more highly educated. Much more highly advanced. Much more sophisticated. Much more tolerant. And much richer…. Than the barbaric Warriors of Christ… crawling out of their dark centuries in Western Europe… led with such religious… pragmatic… fervor by the Patriarch of the Holy See in Rome… who had just recently began to style himself first amongst equals….
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On April 7th 1000 A.D., at around 9 A.M., darkness descended upon three holiest sites in Islam. A shadow crawled across the face of the Sun… blotting out all light… for over three minutes.
Certainly, the period of darkness seemed much longer.
The portend… the coming catastrophe… much more dire….
But… what did it mean…?
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What defines legitimacy of religious authority? For centuries beyond memory man defined power in their god based on their ability to impose their own will and acquire economic advantage: power and wealth defined the glory of their deity.
For the vast majority of its reign, the Fatimid Caliphate was defined as an island of tolerance in an intolerant… even turbulent… ocean of religion: belonging to what many consider an intolerant religion. Wrestle control of Levant and Jerusalem from rival Sunni Baghdad Caliphate. Fatimid dynasty claimed legitimacy based on blood ties: descent from the Prophet. The Abbasid dynasty based their legitimacy on Sunnah: religious orthodoxy tied to unbroken line of leaders of the faithful from Abu Bakr. Most Shi’a believe the true leader is occulted. Some believe the Imams are always present. Sunni believe Islam is defined by submission to the Law, not a particular religious leader.
Persian and Arab Muslims and Orthodox Christians generally much better educated and progressive in their views than Latins, who were only recently climbing out of barbarism.
The majority of the population was of a different religion than those who controlled the land, either indigenous Christians (Syriac in Syria, Coptic in Egypt and Marionite further south) with significant populations of Jews and particularly Samaritans. Believers of different branches of the same religion tended to be more oppressed than those of other religions: the Isma’ili and Nizari Shi’ites in Persia and Syria stand out in particular. The same disdain was similarly demonstrated by the Latins.
Like Prophet before him, his life was defined by his journeys.
He was different. His skin, for one thing, was lighter. Smoother. More lustrous. More beautiful. And his voice had a different quality. Softer. Shrilled. More feminine. That was it: he was more feminine! And his face…. Was beautiful! Beardless. Even… angelic. Soft shining pink light olive skin. Like his mother’s. The very picture of feminine beauty. Except for his nose. Which was… disfigured. Mutilated…. Cut…. Like his mother’s.
The other children didn’t tease al-Hakim… didn’t torment him… didn’t whisper about him behind his back because his mother was a slave…. No. No one dared. His father was al-Aziz. The Caliph. The Shi’ite Guardian of the Faithful. No one questioned the legitimacy of his birth: his father the Caliph accepted him – and that was enough. The question of his legitimacy had nothing to do with the legal standing of his father and mother. Both questions hinged on something beyond his control: his mother’s Faith. Her religious beliefs. And… she was a Christian. Such a revelation… rendered her slave status was irrelevant.
In a perfect world… social status… Personal religious beliefs… would not matter. But al-Hakim wasn’t born into a perfect world… in a perfect place… in a perfect time…. While the setting of Scheherazade was certainly magical… that was Baghdad… and this was Cairo….
And though the timeframe was very similar… this was the turning of the Christian Millennium… in the land of the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Al-Hakim believed like many of those around him that Jesus was a good man. Same as the Jews and Samaritans that lived in Jerusalem and in Nablus. Similar to what the majority of the population under his sway – the Coptic Christians surrounding him in Egypt, and the Syriac or Aramaic Christians in the Levant, and even the Melkite or Greek-speaking Christians, like his mother and her brothers, his uncles – who believed that while Jesus Christ was God’s only son, he was certainly something less than God himself. Only those apostate Orthodox Christians and their Emperor hold up his palace behind his immense walls in their New Rome and that pompous Pope and his arrogant Roman Catholics believed anything other than Allah is One. Their appalling ignorance and affrontery – that monotheist can entertain with insult that God could exist as a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost while remaining a single entity is… asinine… to say the least…. He believed like all his fellow Muslims – even those profligate and apostate Sunni who outnumber his Shi’ite brethren in their own lands – that Jesus was a prophet: like Moses and Abraham, whom Muhammad met face to face when he had ascended to Heaven on the back of that mythical beast the Buraq from the Temple Mound in Jerusalem. In fact, that was why Jerusalem was so important to his father. So important to his family. So important to his people. So important to his rule. So important to his legitimacy: because it was holy…. Because Muhammad ascended to Heaven from their on the Night Flight.
So… al-Hakim accepted… even embraced Jesus as a prophet… along with Moses and Abraham…. However, he could not accept him as God’s son. Al-Hakim believed… as did any sensible… educated… human… that anyone who ascribed to be a True Believer… must admit that Muhammad was the final and ultimate Prophet of Allah… or they must die….
Of course, some of this was confusing to the child. Al-Hakim wasn’t really sure what a Buraq reallywas: some mythical… magical… beast. Something like a Pegasus. Or… a camel with wings. He’d never seen one. He’d seen pictures, of course, but he still wasn’t sure. Just something to think about. To ponder on his own journey. To… and through… Jerusalem.
And… this man…. Jesus….
His mother apparently bought those lies that Jesus was the Son of Man…. The Son of God…. The Savior of mankind…. But even she… and her brothers… could never accept the Jesus was God himself and not some created being. And that one the real issue, wasn’t it? The ax that the Christians ground amongst themselves. The ax that cleaved the Christian Church. The ax that wounded the Body of Christ far more grievously than the Spear of Longinus himself. The Holy Lance. That and whether the bread that manically transformed into the flesh of their Savoir himself whenever they practiced their mystical… cannibalistic rites in order to save themselves… well… it all seemed a lot like idolatry to him. Which was forbidden to ALL true Children of Abraham, no?
The price of progress is sometimes painful: especially for certain aspects of society. Certain people with a society.

Moral relativism. Mutable truth. It seems… the truth could take on the guise of any of many choices…. The Truth was nothing more than the Vision a visionary such as himself could impose upon others.
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Medieval Christian writers call him “The Mad Caliph”, branding him crazed due to his persecution of Christians in within his realm and his desecration and destruction of Christian religious sites and important churches. Contemporary Sunni writers claimed he was not only illegitimate, but also a heretic. To this day, the Shi’a writers, particularly of the Isma’ili and the Nizari sects, consider him a very important religious figure. And… in 1018… Ad-Darazi… founder of the eponymous Druze sect who arose in the Levant… and whom many in all other branches of Islam consider heretics or a different religion altogether… proclaimed Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah… Ruler by God’s Command… the perfection of kingly virtue… the incarnation of God….
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Mad… despotic… tyrant. Irrational psychopathic killer who of those who offend him on the merest whim.
Paragon of his people. Veritable incarnation of the Religious Ideal…. Demigod whose every thought and action defines righteousness…. Proclaims justice…. Supreme leader chosen and divinely ordained by Allah himself…. Leader of the Faithful… or Ruler by God’s Command, as his sobriquet Al-Hakim bi Amr Allah clearly states….
Demon. Angel. One view firmly held by his enemies… and confirmed by those of his flock who rebelled against him…. The other… closed grasped to the hearts of the true believers of his flock… who… while perplex by many of the events of his reign… remained unified… and loyal… to his leadership… until the end…. And… even far… far… into the misty future….
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The boy’s name was Abu Ali Mansur, and he was born in Egypt — the first of his line to be born with that distinction — on the third day of Rabi’ al-awwal… the third month of the Muslim calendar… 375 anno Hegirae… according to the Muslim method of calculation… which begins counting when Muhammad left Mecca for Medina… the beginning of the great pilgrimage that defined the trek to submission to God. Rabi’ al-awwal is considered an auspicious month amongst Muslims. A very blessed month. The name means “the first month of the beginning of spring”, though that refers to the lunar-solar arrangement of the calendar that was used before the Faithful converted to the more straightforward strict lunar calculation. Rabi’ al-awwal is the birth-month of the Prophet Muhammad himself…. The season of the celebration of the Mawlid. The blessed birth of the Prophet Muhammad. At dawn… on the seventeenth day of the month…. Or… perhaps… the twelfth…. Or… at least one of those days is considered to be the true day of the Prophet’s birth amongst the followers of Shi’a….
And the Fatimid Caliphs were the leaders of that branch of Islam: descended from the daughter of the Prophet himself. The authority… the legitimacy… of the leadership of the Faithful of the Fatimid Caliphate rested on their claims of descent from the
At the tender age of eight, he was proclaimed wali al-‘ahd… or heir-apparent… to his father Abu Mansur al-Aziz – the Fatimid Caliph of Cairo. On 14 October 996, Abu ‘Ali Mansur was vested with his caliphal title: al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah – “Ruler by God’s Command”.

Total Solar Eclipse Russia France 11 August 1124
Great Schism 1054
Pisa 120 ship & Daibert to Jerusalem. Colonies Antiochia, Acre, Jaffa, Tripoli, Tyre, Latakia, Accone, Jerusalem, Ceasarea, Cairo, Alexandria, New Rome. Archbishopric.
Genoa slave trade. 50,000

Lapis philosophorum turned base metal into gold or silver (Chysopoeia), and useful for rejuvenation… elixir of life… immortality…. Knowledge acquired from God (?) directly by Adam and passed down, similar to Temple of Solomon and rejected cornerstone Psalm 118. Prima material four elements used to create Philosopher’s stone. Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber) analyzed four elements: Fire – hot & dry; Earth – cold & dry; Water – cold & wet; Air – hot & moist. Change mediated by substance; process known as al-iksir (elixir). Dry red powder red sulphur derived from Philosopher’s Stone. Metals like gold and silver can be hidden in alloys and ores. Aqua regia (mixture muriatic (hydrochloric) and nitric acids) one of few reagents capable of dissolving gold, allowing purification. Avicenna (ibn Sina – Xth Century Persian) discredited transmutation. Symbolized perfection, enlightenment and heavenly bliss. Effort to discover known as Magnum Opus. Associated with Ouboros οὐροβόρος ὄφις tail-devouring snake. The eternal return. Eternity. Infinite wholeness. The Soul of the World or Amina Mundi or ψυχὴ κόσμου. The disc of the sun represents 12-part dragon with tail in mouth. A sigil or sigillum or seal. Symbol used in magic associated representing the pictorial signature of a demon. In context of chaos magic, symbolic representation of magician’s desired outcome. Lesser Key of Solomon lists sigils of 72 princes of Hell demonstrating hierarchy for magician’s use. Grimoires used in magic training for summoning angels and demons. Hermetic wisdom associated with Hermes Trismegistus “Thrice Great”. Prisca theologia – all religions descend from one doctrine given by God to man in antiquity. The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegistus describes wisdom of entire world descending from three parts: alchemy, astrology and theurgy (rituals performed with goal to unite with divine, attaining henosis ἕνωσις or Oneness/Unity with divinity, thus perfecting oneself. Kabbalah sephirot arranged in three column pattern called Tree of Knowledge: Kether (Crown); Chokmah (Wisdom); Binah (Understanding); Chesed ( Loving Kindness); Geburah (Strength); Tiphareth (Beauty); Netzach (Endurance); Hod (Glory); Yesod (Foundation); Malkuth (Kingdom/Sovereignty). Left hand path. Qabalah.
Lapis Exillis fell from sky. Guarded by Knights Templar. Associated with Holy Grail. Neutral angels who refused to side with God or Satan.

The Coming of the Chaos: Hell on Earth….

about 2,750 words
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by Nanman Guishin.
25 March 2014 0800
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Now it occurs to me… perhaps too late… that perhaps I give you too much credit…. Perhaps I assume… incorrectly… that you are formerly educated…. Do not allow… that you may be illiterate… rather than a literati…. Assumed that you had at least passed the First Forms… the Qualifying Quiz… for the State Civil Service Entrance Examination… the Literary Test….
But perhaps not….
Perhaps you are not man… but beast…. Uneducated…. Uncultured…. Uncouth….
Barbarian….
And… we… true Chinese… all know… what a Barbarian really is….
A tiger…. A mere animal…. Concealed in man-skin…. Prowling…. Pondering his escape….
I apologize…. I mean no disrespect…. I am merely describing… barbarians…. Every… educated… human… knows….
What… you… perhaps… do not….
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Barbarian… means simply… anyone… who does not share Heaven’s Good Fortune…. Anyone upon whom the Jade Emperor did not see fit to dispense his highest favor…. Anyone not belonging to the Black-haired People. Anyone not deemed beautiful enough to be born into the Middle Kingdom. Anyone who is not Han….
A Barbarian… is simply… someone… from the Four Seas surrounding the Middle Kingdom… who is not… truly… human… though… he may appear to be…. A barbarian… is an uneducated… unrighteous… uncouth… uncultured… beast…. Though he may be extraordinarily intelligent…. Cunning…. Necessarily… ruthless…. Incapable… of understanding… comprehending… Supreme Truth…. A barbarian… by necessity… lives his days… in a tangled web… of self-deceit….
A barbarian is ignorant….
A barbarian knows no better….
Because… a barbarian… lacks the capacity… to know better….
Because a barbarian is a beast….
Because that… is his Fate….
Because that… is karma….
And… I know… more… about the ways of barbarians…. Better than most…. Not simply because they are one of my many minor fields of study… but mostly because… I was once one myself…. Once….
So… I will show pity….
On the pitiful….
On the pitiable….
On the… Barbarian….
How can you be expected to understand the subtle intricacies of the Grand Palace that is the Imperial Court… if you completely lack any foundation… in the Five Classics…. If you have no knowledge of the concepts of Confucius…. And… no understanding of the Tao….
Perhaps… you are a simple Buddhist….
How… quaint….
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But… of course… I am discussing a time… before the Jade Emperor sat on his Golden Throne and presided over Heaven… Earth… and Hell…. Before Order was created out of Chaos…. Before man was ruled by Law….
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The August Sage Confucius correctly identified a hierarchy of five social norms that are necessary to maintain order in any form of acceptable society: Tao (the Way), Te (moral precepts), Li (rites required to please and to seek favor from the gods), Xisu (customs separating classes), and Fa (the Law of the Land). Precisely in that order of precedence.
As you can see… the Law… is the lowest form of social norm… because the Law represents the Will of a small group of men… rather than the established will of the masses… and the gods….
So… how can one expect a barbarian to know the Law of the Qin… when he is ignorant… of the Customs of the Qin…. The Rites of the Three Religions…. And lacks even the simple knowledge of moral precepts common to all educated men….
How can any intelligent… learned… sentient… being… expect a mere barbarian… to be anything… more than… an animal…. Perhaps displaying something akin to feline cunning…. Definitely driven by animal… desires….
But… you are excused… for your obvious ignorance….
After all… we all now abide in the Age of Kali Yurga….
An Age… when no man… can be saved….
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Notice… the indefinite article….
I specified an Age… not the Age….
Because… Time… is the rim… of a wheel…. A rolling wheel…. And the Wheel of Time… is rolling along…. Returning… to the lowest point…. The Time… before… THE Law…. Not the Law of Qin…. Not the law of man…. The Law of Heaven…. The Law that led the World out of the Chaos that arose out of Creation….
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In the Beginning… after P’an Ku… the Horny Dwarf took his great axe… cracked the Cosmic Egg… Chaos escaped into the World….
When P’an Ku finished… he died…. Giving birth to the Ten Thousand Myriad Things….
Giving birth to creatures….
Giving birth to animals….
Giving birth to barbarians….
Giving birth to men….
Giving birth to those creatures that would become gods….
Giving birth to demons….
The creatures of that first generation of Creation… were immense…. And immortal…. And… with time… they grew… haughty….
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Initially… all were happy….
And… at least initially… a few… were good. Most worked hard to feed themselves. Some even spent some of their time working to make the world a better place for others. For all….
But others… soon grew bored…. And… eventually… devolved… to seeking only their own pleasure…. Their own fame…. Their own profit….
At that time… these… poor… creatures… these immortal beings… had nothing to guide them….
At that time… there was nothing… but their own dark desires… to teach them…. To drive them…. To define them….
Thus… some… those who were the strongest… those who were the smartest… those who were the most courageous… those who were the most resolute… those who felt themselves to be superior… sought to set themselves above others. Sought to rule…. To rule other creatures…. To rule beasts…. And… to rule man….
And… there was no Rule of Law…. No Social Custom…. No Rites…. No Wrong…. No Moral Precepts….
At that time on Earth… there was Nothing…. And that Nothing… was the Eternal Tao…. The Uncaring Tao…. The Eternal Tao is unconcerned… about Anything…. About Anyone…. Except… the Balance….
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When P’an Ku finished fixing the firmament… he finished his work… and died…. And… through his death… finished his work of Creation… of the Ten Thousand Myriad Things…. And left his Creation… to Shangdi… a Caretaker…. A maintainer…. Who viewed his job… as nothing more… than maintaining karma…. Maintaining the balance…. Maintaining the status quo….
But Shangdi was… busy…. Shangdi was a Sky God…. And… Shangdi… stayed above the ensuing fray… way up in the sky….
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So… when some demon… and his minions… sought to subjugate all other creatures… to set themselves up as Masters of the Universe… no one… and no thing… existed… to oppose them….
And… that creature… the greatest creature of all… most ferocious… most fearsome… most fell… not only of all demon-kind… but of all Creation… was the Nameless One….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named….
Who was the Firstborn of All…. So… thus… he was the biggest… and the brightest…. And fearless…. The Shining Sun…. The Wholly One…. The Polestar from whom all creatures determined their bearings…. The Bright Beacon upon whom all beings depended… to plot their course… in the Way…. An august example for all….
The Supreme Leader… the Warlord… of the Legions… of the Latter Day Saints….
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He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named became convinced that… no matter what he did… no one would make any attempt to stop him… because no one would be willing to risk… their own position…. Their own pleasure…. Their own immortality….
And when he became convinced… he acted….
But… that didn’t happen for many years…. For many millennia….
In the Beginning… he bided his time….
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In the Beginning… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named created many things… and made many creatures… happy…. He worked diligently. He served. He was kind. And gentle.
Initially… pleasing others… brought him pleasure….
Initially… pleasing others… was sufficient….
But eventually… he became… dissatisfied…. With his world…. With his life…. With himself….
So… he… sought… more…. Joy….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named relentlessly sought greater thrills… and greater pleasure…. Until… he was seduced… by power…. What pleased He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named more than anything else… was to recognized… glorified… worshipped….
At first… for the pleasure he gave others….
And… finally… solely for who he was….
While others… kneeled at his feet… prostrated themselves before him… banged their foreheads on the Earth nine times… and begged….
At first… the Nameless One enjoyed pleasure…. Food. Drink. Contests against other creatures. Sex. Pleasure. Unbridled pleasure….
Living life…. Loving life…. Giving life….
But eventually… life… was not enough…. Eventually… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… began to explore… Death….
And… to learn about Death… he conducted cruel experiments… became an expert… in taking life….
At first… it all seemed so… innocent….
At first… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named simply seemed to enjoy competition….
Then… he progressed…. As he trained harder… as he developed greater skill… he began to enjoy… winning…. Bragging…. Taunting…. Doing things his way…. Others doing things his way…. Everyone doing everything his way….
And when some others no longer gained pleasure… through doing things his way… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named forced them to do things his way anyway…. He coaxed…. He cajoled…. He coerced…. And… then… he formed a group… with some of his friends….
And… they began to taunt…. To ridicule…. To discredit…. To bully…. To beat…. To capture…. To kidnap…. To steal…. To rape…. To torture….
And… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… and his minions… loved that…. They loved the feeling of complete control… over others…. That pleased them more than anything else….
But while his minions loved to lord themselves over everyone else… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named loved… to study…. To experiment…. To find new ways to be even more cruel…. To understand the infernal mysteries… of the Eternal Tao….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named studied how the Horny Dwarf had chiseled and sculpted the Earth… and the Heavens…. How he had separated them…. Set them apart….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named studied Alchemy… the Five Elements…. How they could be separated…. Purified…. Mixed together to form compounds…. How those compounds affected the lives of all creatures under the Heavens….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named studied Astrology… the movement of the Sun and the Moon and the stars and the planets…. The way their movements affected the lives of all creatures under the Heavens….
And then… after many millions of years… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… learned to predict… the future… by watching the movements of the Sun and the Moon and the stars and the planets… and by knowing the nature of the sentient beings that surrounded him….
And then… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… wrote the first law…. And… he wrote it on his heart…. He called his law… the Ultimate Law…. The Principle of Pleasure…. And that law he wrote thus: whatever he desired… he deserved…. And… whatever he deserved… he should be served…. And He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named spake unto himself and said: “This is good.”
And then… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named took unto himself a Consort…. Beauty-Without-Bound. And Beauty-Without-Bound was a law unto herself…. Extremely wicked. Exceeding evil. Conceited and cruel. Condescending and dismissive to all she saw as below her station. And that group… included… everyone. Except herself. And… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named ….
And… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named thought that Beauty-Without-Bound was excellent…. And He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was pleased…. With Beauty-Without-Bound. And… with himself. And He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named spake unto himself and said: “This is very good!”
And… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was pleased…. For a while…. His law… the Principle of Pleasure… was sufficient… for a while…. But… over time… as the population continued to grow… and fewer and fewer worked… the resources began to dwindle….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named and Beauty-Beyond-Bound slaked their thirst and unbridled their wanton lust and gave free rein to their most sordid passions…. They engaged… and disengaged… in all manner of orgies…. With men…. With women…. With beasts…. With all manner of fauna and flora…. Dragons… and dwarves…. Beast… and birds…. Fowl… and fouler…. They sang and danced and drank and foraged… and participated in bacchanals… and debauched rites…. All in the name of obscene pleasure….
And… Beauty-Beyond-Bound bore He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named many children…. And all… were far less beautiful… and far less powerful… and far less cunning… but no less wicked… than their parents…. And each believed… that he or she… deserved everything he or she wanted…. And each believed… that he or she… should be served…. And then… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named thought to himself: “This is not good….”
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named thought to himself: “These children that my wife has conceived lack her beauty; they lack my strength; they lack our cunning. Her children are weak!”
Then… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named thought to himself: “These children cannot have sprung from my loins…. From my… perfect… lust….”
So… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… conceived for himself… and wrote… another law…. And this law… was lacking all principle…. The Law that Might Makes Right…. And he wrote that law on the hearts… and on the soles… and on the backs… of man… with iron rods… and with whips… and with scourges… and with chains… and with hot coals….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named proclaimed that he could have whatever he could take; that he could keep whatever he could hold. And He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named spake unto himself and said: “This… is GOOD!!!”
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… enslaved all mankind… and made them work… to fulfill his desires….
Because he could….
He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was cruel….
Because he could be….
Because there was no one to stop him…. No one to intervene…. No one to interfere…. No one as powerful as he…. And no Army as strong as his legions….
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The Bright One. The Polestar. The Eternal Lord of the Last Age….
Transformed….
Into….
The Dissolute Son of Eternal Dissipation…. The Last Avatar…. The Unholy Sovereign of Latter Day Saints of the Law….
Some sages claim some one… some god… some gods… stepped up…. That the Sānqīng… the Three Pure Ones… and Yùqīng… the Jade Pure One in particular… descended from his home in the Heaven of Jade Purity… and intervened…. Imposed upon Creation…. And… made all created beings… mortal…. Made each succeeding generation smaller… uglier… with a shorter life span….
Set the Wheel of Reincarnation spinning….
But… that may be nothing more than myth…. Not truth….
What is Truth…?
Beauty-Beyond-Bound… bore… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… children…. Many children….
Children. Wicked. Smaller. Incapable of making their own way. Lack steel, so must steal. Like him less. And less like him. Flaccid and effeminate band of sadistic thieves.
Deserving of punishment. Not deserving of life.
Deserving of death….
And… Eternal Damnation….
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And… as it turned out… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was absolutely right…. Correct in his situational assessment. Prescient in his prediction….
No one stepped up to save mankind. Many were so caught up in their own pursuit of pleasure that they didn’t even notice the pain and suffering of man. Most were so fixated on goals that they refused to be distracted…. To get involved. Some were seduced by what they perceived as a rational redistribution of wealth…. They rationalized… that if they received more… and worked less… the system must be good…. A few joined with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named in oppressing man…. In tormenting… torturing… abusing the human slaves. And these… were richly rewarded…. And these creatures felt good about themselves…. Felt that they were… somehow… better… than mere mortals…. Most creatures stood off to themselves… and thought philosophically about what they observed…. This is my fate… and that is theirs…. The working of karma are inexplicable, but must be accepted…. The Eternal Tao is inscrutable…. Of course, some felt pain… complained… amongst themselves… wept and cried… wrung their hands… gnashed their teeth… in the comforts of their own homes…. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named greatly enjoyed ridiculing… reviling… these liberal-minded souls… who sought to support socialized justice… from the comforts of their safe houses… in the quiet of the walk-in closets…. And others… shook their heads… and said prayers of thanksgiving… that they were not so afflicted….
For days…. For weeks…. For months…. For years….
For decades…. For centuries…. For millennia…. For ages…. For epochs….
For hundreds of thousands…. For hundreds of millions…. Of years…. And ages…. And epochs…. Man… was forced… to endure…. The savage enslavement… at the hands… of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named….
The torment…. The living Hell…. That was worse than Hell itself… because… at that time… it was eternal…. Not a sentence determined through judicial mechanisms…. Not Justice…. Not Retribution…. Not punishment leading to repentance…. Nothing. But. Torture.
Finally… in the Last Age… He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named… found… his fate….
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Fate…. Worse than Death….
A fate only befitting… The Eternal Lord of the Last Age…. The Dissolute Son of Eternal Dissipation…. The Last Avatar… incarnate…. The Unholy Sovereign of Latter Day Saints of the Law… Lord Kali himself….
And… finally… in the end… after many millennia… The Last Avatar… Lord Kali himself… found a profound… penetrating… personal knowledge… of the deeply impenetrable… impersonal… nothingness… that is… the Eternal Tao….
But… that’s another story….
About another time….
And… for another time….

Writing Science Fiction….

Well… the fact of the matter… is that ALL Science… is Fiction….

Some of it is just recognized by the general public… and science proselytites… as being such….

What is almost unanimously accepted as “fact” today… will in the near future be derided as almost farcical….

That’s just how Science works. At least… that’s how Science is SUPPOSED to work. Sometimes… our biases get in the way… and we have trouble dragging our dead and decaying holy cows out of our hallowed halls… to be properly disposed….

ALL Scientific knowledge is by its very nature temporary… unless those “facts” reach the realm of religion….

I had an idea for a story while I was visiting my father in the hospital last week. After he fell and broke his hip.

The idea was to explore the concept of REALITY….

REALITY for my father… who is demented….

REALITY for my mother… whose world is being rocked by my father’s dementia… but also by his hip fracture and rehabilitation….

And… REALITY. Period.

To get to that story… which has not yet begun, by-the-way… I needed to get to a better understanding of REALITY. What it is. How we humans construct our personal Realities….

That’s what led to this mornings Public Service Announcement.

Waxing eloquent on my internal musings….