Living in such a state          taTestaTesTaTe          etats a hcus ni gniviL
 of mind in which time         sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA         emit hcihw ni dnim of
 does not pass, space         STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE         ecaps ,ssap ton seod
 does not exist, and         sTATeSt        oFOfOfo         dna ,tsixe ton seod
 idea is not there.         STatEst          ofoFOFo         .ereht ton si aedi
 Stuck in a place          staTEsT            OfOFofo          ecalp a ni kcutS
 where movements           TATeSTa            foFofoF           stnemevom erehw
 are impossible                              fOFoFOf             elbissopmi era
 in all forms,                             UsOFofO                ,smrof lla ni
 physical and                            nbEifof                   dna lacisyhp
 or mental -                           uNBeInO                      - latnem ro
 your mind is                         UNbeinG                      si dnim rouy
 focusing on a                       unBEING                      a no gnisucof
 lone thing, or                      NBeINgu                     ro ,gniht enol
 a lone nothing.                     bEinGUn                    .gnihton enol a
 You are numb and                    EiNguNB                   dna bmun era ouY
 unaware to events                                            stneve ot erawanu
 taking place - not                  -iSSuE-                 ton - ecalp gnikat
 knowing how or what                 7/25/94                tahw ro woh gniwonk
 to think. You are in                -SEVEN-               ni era uoY .kniht ot
 a state of unbeing....                                  ....gniebnu fo etats a



EDiTORiAL by Kilgore Trout



by Kilgore Trout

So, we're two days late. Blow me. I think the wait will be worth it. I am really pleased with this issue. Maybe it's cause I actually finished one of those stories like I promised. The next one will be coming out in the next issue. Trust me. Heh.

We have some very interesting articles in this issue. Crux Ansata is up in New York and writes about some of his observations while Captain Moonlight writes about the pigs and their blatant hatred of the homeless. Clockwork found an interesting piece about a supposed revolution right here in the USA. As always we've got lots of poetrie and some excellent fiction and my crappy story. Well, hell, I've been told it's nifty, so read em all and enjoy.

To make excuses for being two days late, I've written a top ten list, just like our friend Dave Letterman likes to do. So...



10. He's a lazy ass.
9. Space Hulk marathon.
8. His sister's dog kept pissing on his manuscripts.
7. A big, juicy, high-cholesterol Mexican dinner.
6. Thinking up stupid gimmicks like this.
5. Looking at submissions, going "That's great!" and doing nothing.
4. Talking to an SoB writer at Dairy Queen.
3. Playing Super Mario brother tourneys at Doorway's.
2. Whores! Whores! Whores!
1. The O.J. Simpson televised trial.
And now, without much ado, State of unbeing #7...



Kilgore Trout

Captain Moonlight
Crux Ansata
I Wish My Name Were Nathan
Kilgore Trout
Linda Thompson
Mr. Asttct Fasuath


[=- ARTiCLES -=]


[Editorial | Next]

by Captain Moonlight

"Houseless, adj. Having paid all taxes on household goods."

--Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

"We're changing all the time. Sometimes we look like UT students, other times like transients. Sometimes it's a female by herself or someone dressed in a business suit. We've been in all sorts of things to try and fit in with the crowd and let people approach us and beg. Anybody they walk up to might be a police officer."

--No, not the alien in some bad horror flick --
Austin Police Department Lt. Greg Lasley on their anti-panhandling campaign


--NYC Protest poster after the 9th St. Police Raid

Let me introduce you the Catch-22 of homelessness. You may as well learn it now: most of us are within a few paychecks of being there ourselves. Once you've had the bad luck of falling into homelessness, you're not too likely to be able to get out, unless you have a very generous friend. First of all, you cannot get government help, such as Social Security or Welfare. Why? No permanent address. Also, you cannot get a job. Why? No permanent address. And you cannot get a permanent address without a job or government help. If you can get a job, it will most likely be menial labour, lasting only about a week or two, where you will be worked to exhaustion for so little wages that you cannot possibly get out of debt. Also, once you're homeless you can't vote for someone who can help you. Why? No permanent address. And, pretty much the politicians aren't going to give a damn for your concerns if you can't vote for them. So, basically, if you're homeless, you're screwed.

In America today all those who are homeless, either because of necessity or choice, are being persecuted. One thing that most people think is one of the greatest liberties in America is the ability to travel without being stopped and searched. Actually, this is not a right in the United States today. In the United States today, under vagrancy laws, anyone, man, woman, or child, can be legally arrested, fingerprinted, and detained, for the crime of not carrying identification papers. With this law, both the homeless and any other private citizen may be arrested and imprisoned. The American government today is using laws like this to crack down on panhandlers, as well as the homeless in general.

The beggar crackdown is not a new evil, but now it is steadily gaining force. New York City especially is cracking down on the homeless and beggars. New York City Council member Andrew Eristoff, representative for the upper East Side (elected by those who already have a comfy house and food, thank you), is currently co-sponsoring a bill which would give up to a $25 fine and/or a ten day jail sentence for panhandling within fifteen feet of an Automatic Teller Machine. He claims, "The public has the right to enjoy convenient and unimpeded access to ATM machines." Apparently, however, he doesn't care for the homeless of the upper East Side, and they are apparently not part of the 'public' [1]. Now the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is attempting to intimidate subway riders into not giving to beggars. New York Meat Train Authority authorities have placed anti-begging posters in every NYC subway car which state:

"Come on, not me, NOT ME. Oh pleeeeeze don't come stand in FRONT of me ASKING for money.

What do I do, WHAT DO I DO???? I know. I'll pretend I'm reading my book. Look. I feel bad. I really do. But HEY, it's MY MONEY. And HOW do I know what you'll spend it on anyway? I don't."

Supposedly this is how you feel when you're asked for money by, or even see, a panhandler. I don't know about you, but I'm more afraid of and intimidated by cops than panhandlers, because the cops actually do things to people. If I'm asked for change by a panhandler I merely say "No" if I don't have any, or don't want to give any, or I give them what I can. I personally don't see how people can see that as more painful than a homeless man going without supper, or a child dying in a gutter. This poster obviously would be much better for their campaign if they hadn't capitalized "ASKING," considering the fact that that's all that panhandlers do, ASK for money [2]. In fact the NYCPD has admitted that its target is the 'polite panhandler' -- that is, the panhandler who asks for money peacefully instead of demanding it and threatening bodily harm [3].

It is indeed odd how the New York Police and Metropolitan Transit Authority can get away with this mistreatment when the New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision supporting the right to panhandle. The court wrote, "We see little difference between those who solicit for organized charities and those who solicit for themselves in regard to the message conveyed. Both solicit the charity of others. The distinction is not a significant one for First Amendment purposes." The court, therefore holds that peaceful begging is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech and free expression. The class-action which brought this decision about was brought to court in 1990 by two homeless plaintiffs who had been harassed by police, though not arrested. The police brought to court claimed that the city's ordinances against panhandling were necessary to avoid harassment and intimidation by beggars, but the court said, "A verbal request carries no harms of the type enumerated by the City Police if done in a peaceful manner" [4]. Apparently the NYCPD does not wish to follow the court's decision, as it has just targeted the homeless even more. According to Rush Limbaugh, in his TV show of July 8, 1994, the new mayor of New York City has given the police permission to break up panhandling and homeless settlements without having permission of the courts. While Limbaugh hailed this as a great victory for 'freedom', I must disagree, for now the police can break up any settlement they very well please without warrant or court order. I do not see how these homeless were a menace, as Limbaugh seems to think: maybe he's afraid they might (horror of horrors) ask him for a quarter.

However, New York City is not the only place suppressing their homeless. In Austin, on the Drag alone, sixty panhandling arrests were made in two weeks in May. This is during an ongoing operation run by at least ten undercover cops whose sole job is to go out and catch people when they try to panhandle. About four people are sent out per day. Fines for panhandling can be up to $200: money which most homeless people I know can't part with, but the government greed machine wants it. Police Lt. Greg Lasley showed exactly how much he cares for humanity when he said, "These guys are just hitting on anybody out there. It's really obnoxious." I'd really love to have that guy "serving and protecting" me. He said, "The officers decided to go ahead, and we can be our own witnesses." Pay special attention to that "we can be our own witnesses" part. Virtually what he's saying is that cops can arrest you, say you did something, and what they say goes. Ever wonder why car cops always patrol in pairs? It's for that very reason: "we can be our own witnesses" [5].

Intimidating panhandlers and beggars are not the police's only tool against the homeless: police also delight in tearing up homeless cities. In October 1992, police raided a homeless city called by its residents Dinkinsville (after the then-mayor of NYC) in a vacant lot in New York City. Later, in February 1993, police raided a homeless city in a Ninth Street lot, bulldozing the city and forcing off residents. Michael Kharfen, head of the socalled "Community Assistance Unit", told the press that residents were given a day's notice, and that "outreach personnel" had visited the lot over the past "several months" to prepare residents for removal. In fact, the police raided the area, giving residents "12 minutes" to gather their belongings and leave. Those unable to comply, and there were many since most residents had been living here several months, were bodily removed, and then the police stood by while the site was bulldozed. An old man was arrested during the raid, and a resident known for his many dogs was committed to Belleview, and his dogs were shot with tranquilizer guns and taken away, because on of the dogs was scared by police and bit a cop. Michael Kharfen told media that the lot was being evicted to build 56 units of low-income housing and a new police station. In truth Shadow got a copy of the plans, which call for a new police station and a HUGE parking-lot. However, on the night of February 20, 1993, four days after the eviction, more than fifty demonstrators gathered in the lot and had a bonfire and metal jam. (For those of you who don't know what a metal jam is, it is this: a large group of people gather at night, preferably in a rich residential area. They then slam corrugated iron, sheet metal, whatever's handy, and keep as many people awake as possible. It's great for curfew protestations, hint, hint.) At first two police tried to force the protesters out, but they were highly unsuccessful. The fire department put the fire out, but it was quickly rekindled, using police line barriers. The fire was put out again, and replaced with several smaller ones. When it was over, nine people were arrested. The bulldozer used during the eviction mysteriously exploded four days after the demonstration, and had to be hauled off in a flatbed truck. As of May 1993, the only work actually done on the lot was the erection of a fence [6].

Texas cities are not above using such techniques, either. For instance, in Dallas, in an underpass beneath Interstate 45, about fifty people were rudely forced out by the Dallas Police Department. This raid resulted in one arrest, that of a man who refused to identify himself to lawless enforcers. 'Sanitation' workers bulldozed the area later in the day [7]. Austin, too, has had its incidents. Unfortunately, I do not have any references to support myself, but I can give a few right off the top of my head which should be familiar to any residents who have been here for any period of time. For instance, there was the homeless barge on Town Lake which cops and the City Council got removed. People don't want to see them on land, and they get them blocked when they try to go on the water. Also, I seem to remember Austin recently tearing down a shantytown on Sixth Street, though I may be wrong about where it was. It seems even when a homeless person tries to make themselves a home it is torn down.

How long will the beggar crackdown go on? Austin Police Lt. Greg Lasley says of its Drag panhandler busts, "For the time being, as long as we've got the manpower and we're not overrun with calls, we'll keep doing it" [5]. And Dallas city spokesperson Mark Flake said of its cardboard city raids, "If we are alerted to other problems, we'll do the same thing" [7]. Rest assured -- you may be mugged, murdered, or raped, but as long as these guys are on the job, no one will ask you for a quarter. Now I tell you this: persecutions will not stop with one group of people. Under laws passed during the Bush regime, anyone who is even suspected of being a drug dealer can be sent to work camps in Nevada and the Southwest, where they can be forced into hard labour for up to a year without trial. And guess who suspected drug dealers are. Just about anyone the government disapproves of. And remember Lt. Lasley's comment: "we can be our own witnesses." Unless we stop the persecutions now, we can all be victims of the police state. Think about it.


[1] "Panhandling Near ATMs is a Hot Issue," 6/28/94.
[2] Beth J. Harpaz, "Anti-Begging Ads Give Subway Riders Guilt Trip," 5/12/94.
[3] Rick Hampson, "N.Y. Crackdown Closing in on the Polite Panhandler,"
[4] "Court: Begging is Protected Speech," 7/30/93.
[5] Sharon Jayson, "60 Panhandling Arrests Result of Undercover Operation,"
[6] Chris Flash, "Pigs Raid Homeless in 9th St. Lot," 12/92-5/93.
[7] Pauline Arrillaga, "Dallas Evicts Residents of Highway Underpass Shanty-
town," 6/15/94.

The following articles were used writing this essay:

Arrillaga, Pauline. "Dallas Evicts Residents of Highway Underpass Shantytown." Austin American-Statesman, June 15, 1994, p. B2.

"Court: Begging is Protected Speech." Prodigy interactive personal service, July 30, 1993.

Flash, Chris. "Pigs Raid Homeless in 9th St. Lot." Shadow, #28, December 1992/May 1993: p. 4.

Hampson, Rick. "N.Y. Crackdown Closing in on the Polite Panhandler." Austin American-Statesman, May 12, 1994: p. A21.

Harpaz, Beth. "Anti-Begging Ads Give Subway Riders Guilt Trip." Austin American-Statesman, May 12, 1994: p. A21.

Jayson, Sharon. "60 Panhandling Arrests Result of Undercover Operation." Austin American-Statesman, May 25, 1994: p. B4.

"Panhandling Near ATMs is a Hot Issue." New York Daily News, June 28, 1994: p. 24.

Thanx to Crux Ansata for the majority of the New York information.

Note: Captain Moonlight has each of these in electronic form, as well as a few other articles relating to panhandling and homelessness, and will be more than happy to give copies to interested parties. In fact, he would be ecstatic, because that means that someone actually read this far in his article. Post him on Isis Unveiled, the home of SoB, (user #3) to make arrangements.


Military men are the scourges of the world.

--Guy de Maupassant


[Prev | Next]

by I Wish My Name Were Nathan

S*M*I*L*E! And fuck you! Personally, whenever someone tells me to smile (usually some preppie bitch) I usually want to do so and also quickly knock out some teeth.

What is the purpose of smiling, anyway? Who is ever happy, anyway? Anyone who has any intelligence and knowledge about this world ought to realize that smiling is like waiting an extra five minutes for that cute guy for like to call you, even though you know he doesn't even know you. It's an act of faith, people.

I do smile sometimes; it's a hell of a lot more effective when used in specific contexts than all the time which tends to make stretch marks on my face. Here are some friendly tips I pass on to you on when to smile.

Smile whenever you're on your bicycle and you come up to a stop sign next to a car with a mother driving and her little kid in the passenger side seat. Also stare and wink while pointing at your mouth or crotch.

Smile whenever someone falls down on the sidewalk near you. Stand there smiling. Don't laugh, though -- this may make you seem cruel.

Smile at angry people who pass by you to make them think you know something they don't. It may make them angrier, but you'll laugh.

Smile from the second you enter class to the second you get out, especially when there's a test. Make sure they see you. Exquisitely piss them off with your self-confidence.

Smile while standing in an elevator with one other person in it. With your hand deep in your pocket.

Smile after you've watched the lottery drawing and are staring at your tickets. Try to make your family faint dead away. When they wake up, smile and say, "Two numbers matched this time."

Smile when someone is crying and breaking down in front of you. Stare right at them with a blank look in your eyes. They'll stop crying.

Smile when someone is rehearsing for you -- a play, a song, a guitar solo -- and don't say a word. Make them edgy.

And, last of all, dear friends, smile when it's a nice, sunny day, and the clouds have parted and the air is comfortably dry, and the trees are green with life. Direct your smile at the turtle lying upside-down in the sand at the beach.


The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.

--Ralph W. Sockman


[Prev | Next]

by Hagbard


Nanotechnology is a concept created not long ago (around early 80's) by a man named K. Eric Drexler. Basically, the idea is the creation of tools at the molecular level, tools and machines that measure only nanometers across (hence the name). These tools would be able to handle materials at the molecular or even the atomic level. Think about that for a moment. All of human technology is the use of tools to manipulate matter in our environment. Plastic, shoes, computers, space shuttles, etc., all come from our ability to manipulate matter. The ultimate in tool making, in material manipulation, IS nanotechnology.


Well, as you may well have noticed, we don't quite have nanites running about yet. But scientists are working on it. Currently there are two theoretical methods of assembler construction. An assembler is the generic term for a nanite that is capable of reproduction or assembly of molecules. The first method is the biological track. As always, nature is a step ahead of man, for nanites exist already. Without them, you would not survive. The proteins within every living organism serve as nanites within individual cells, with DNA to provide the necessary programming. But proteins are so specific in their particular functions that they are useless in building diamond fiber mesh or other such complicated things. Also, proteins are too fragile; they dry up outside the body, break down when heated or cooled, and therefore would not be of any use for industrial applications. However, scientists are presently trying to modify proteins to be able to build better structures, thus in effect working their way up a ladder of more and more complicated nanomachines until the goal of assembler is achieved.

The other method of production being worked on is direct manipulation of atoms using macroscopic devices, such as scanning/tunneling electron microscopes. Engineers have been able to design crude structures using these microscopes to place atoms together one at a time. One group of scientists built the IBM logo out of xenon atoms. Scientists hope that in the near future, crude assemblers may be built which can build better assemblers and so on.


The absence of government has been a long time dream of many people. Often people have resorted to violent means in order to disrupt or attempt to eliminate government. This has often resulted in the people getting executed and the government becoming more constrictive. Many people also misunderstand the meaning of anarchy. They believe that the absence of government means chaos, no laws, and no authority. Good or bad, this is not the case. The absence of government cannot be effectively achieved through elimination of bureaucratic control, but rather by making it unnecessary. Government exists today as a measure of organizational control and as a method of organizing resources for it's people. But what if such control, enforcement, and services became unnecessary? Then government would no longer be required. A state of anarchy, or total freedom for the individual, would become a reality.

Technology has been increasing individual freedom for a long time. The printing press liberated Europe by liberating the individual through the spread of information. The computer has increased individual freedom tenfold, allowing people to access a global village of data, and to express themselves, just as my computer is enabling me to write this article and share my ideas with others.

Nanotechnology can provide this. Imagine having access to your own assemblers. Imagine being able to build anything you had the design plans and the resources for. Currency would become a thing of the past. Material wealth would become relatively meaningless. Only two things would have any wealth inherent to them, and that is information and resources, with resources being a distant second. Information, data on design plans for devices, computers, and better assemblers would become the basis for economy in the new world of nanotech. Only with such data would people be able to build their dreams. No longer would a car be valuable, only the molecular design, fed into the assembler computer system, would be of worth. The only limiting factor would be resources, which can be found all over the place, most in space. Just as desktop publishing has given everyone the ability to be an author, nanotech will give everyone the ability to be an engineer; we could call it 'desktop manufacturing'.

No longer would there be a need for most of the services provided by the government. Nanites could take care of all your needs. Protection? Who would want to steal anything from you if they can make it themselves? Besides, you could build your own security system. Health care? Nanites can keep you germ free for the rest of your life [That is, if you die. Conceivably, nanotechnology could make one immortal, barring serious injury.]. Nanotech can provide the ultimate in individual freedom. People will make what they need, what they want, and will live off the land (for raw materials). However, not all government will become unnecessary. Measures will still have to be taken to keep harmful devices from being built, like atom bombs. If John Q. Terrorist received the plans for an ICBM, he could feed it to his nanites. As long as he had the raw materials available, he could build as many as he wants. The fact is, once nanotechnology becomes sufficiently advanced, the possibilities for technological expansion, and technological abuse, become limitless.


Unfortunately, not everything can be as good as it looks. The problem is that the same technology which can free your body and soul from the chains that hold it (mainly the government and the megacorps) can be used against you in awful ways. Nanotechnology, if released into the wrong hands, is more dangerous than nuclear weapons. If, like computer technology, nanites become a tool of the already powerful, than it will become the ultimate tool of exploitation. It is very alarming that a greedy corporation could gain control of the most powerful technology this planet has ever seen, and sell it to the highest bidder; such technology could control the world under a crushing threat of 'disassembly'.

Folx on the Net, of all people, have seen what happens when only corps and governments have access to the most powerful toys. How some people in this country barely have access to a phone book, while others bathe in a sea of information. However, we all know the benefits that arise when people have unlimited access to a domain that has no centralized seat of power, like the Internet. The future of our society and nanotechnology depend on this principle of unlimited access to technology. Governments and megacorps, once they wise up to what the future holds in store, will attempt to grab it and take it away from us. They will see that it is a threat to their existence, a development that will change the way we live and work forever.

We must stay alert. We must not be afraid of the change. Our society must embrace the technology as another step in our evolution as a species. Once fully developed, nanotechnology will change humanity forever; more than the wheel, or the computer, ever did. We must keep our heads above the sea of information and not let those who would exploit such power take it out from under our noses. Nanotechnology may be years away, it may be decades away. Keep your mind open...


Want to know more about nanotech? Read Engines of Creation by K. Eric Drexler.
ISBN 0-385-19973-2
Doubleday Books


Nanosystems by K. Eric Drexler, for a more technical approach to the subject.
ISBN 0-471-57547-X
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Ia-R'lyeh! Cthulu fhtagn! Ia! Ia!

--H.P. Lovecraft


[Prev | Next]

by Mr. Asttct Fasuath

NOTE: NOT a religious text!

The dogmas of many so-called "Christian" churches are incorrect and dangerous. As with all things, there is a correct way and an incorrect way of going about things. The approach taken by those labeled "fundamentalists" is almost the exact opposite of that espoused by Christ and His teachings.

It is unfortunate that so many misguided followers belong to these religious institutions. Many good and honest people are attracted by the apparent devotion of the church leaders -- the forward, open statements of belief and so forth that characterize Pentecostals, Baptists, and the followers of several other churches extant in the U.S. today.

The dogma of these institutions is where the fault lies, not with the people. Examples of the hypocrisies bleated by these misguided sheep listed below:

For the following crimes against humanity, you receive the following prizes:

  1. Eternal life in heaven <"The mind is its own place, and in it self / Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n." -Milton>
  2. Attending church at least once a week, sometimes more <you go into a big room with a lot of uncomfortable, overdressed, self-conscious people who don't really want to be there, get tennis knee by Aerobicising (?) to Amazing Grace, get told for an hour that you've BEEN VERY, VERY BAD, can you ever forgive us oh Lord Jesus, thank God for forgiving we poor misera- ble sinners, despite the fact that we haven't actually been given a sign that He will forgive us, then leave, and lie to the preacher about how good his Epic sermon was, pretend to like people we hate, then go home, become total gluttons, and repeat, ad infinitum et nauseum. And, depend- ing on your particular flavor, you might get to:

    a. Speak in Tongues
    b. Do penance
    c. handle snakes
    d. pray (prey?) to minor patron Demigods and/or a modified Mother Goddess
    e. Practice tribal chants with the preacher>
  3. Cram yourself into a very narrowly defined social structure <Turn the other cheek, don't dance, don't wear make-up (Don't paint yourself like a little whore!), don't, es ist verboten... in some extreme cases, and these are the ones the farthest (?) from the Godhead>
  4. * Keep the Temple clean!!! <the body is a temple, ergo things like coffee, colas, and certain foods are sehr verboten! Note: * only for Mormons, some Baptists, and a few others>
Hypocrisy for guilt & prophet!

  1. Espousing forgiveness -- yet themselves being totally unable to forgive others, or themselves (the root of the problem).
  2. Being exclusive and insular -- Christ was the opposite
  3. using God as an excuse for their failures
  4. using God as an excuse for their personal prejudices
  5. See above
"So," you think, "What would you have us do, Mister-Really-A-Satanist- Trying-To-Corrupt-The-Flock-And-Send-Us-All-To-Hell? Well, MR. ASTTCT FASUATH would like for you to RTFB and make up your own damn minds about all of this. Most of the bizarre shit people think is important is dated, or rather OUTdated. (Would you drink 2,000+ year-old milk? No? I don't drink it if it's over a week old, myself.) This is not to say one should run out and join the Church of Scientology, either. Trendy is bad.

These are the major points:

  1. ) Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
  2. ) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  3. ) Think.


Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.

The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.

And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger.

And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there in the desert. And it will leap...

And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle.

And then the eagle lets go.

And almost always the tortoise plunges to its death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There's good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there's much better eating on practically anything else. It's simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises.

But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection.

One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.

-Terry Pratchett, from Small Gods


[Prev | Next]

by Linda Thompson

[Ed. Note: Clockwork found this text on a local board, and we thought you should get a look at it. We neither condone nor disapprove of Ms. Thompson's views, but we might. Needless to say, it is interesting reading, so you might want to make reservations in Washington D.C. for the second full week of September to watch the spectacle (or fizzle).]

Every member of the United States House of Representatives and Senate are this week being delivered an ultimatum that demands that each of them personally take the initiative to revoke unconstitutional legislation and initiate an inquiry into Waco. A copy of the Ultimatum follows in the next message.

All MILITIA units will convene in Washington, D.C., the second full week that the Congress is in session in September to enforce this mandate and to deliver copies of the Declaration of Independence to the White house.

All units will be armed and prepared to enforce this mandate. This is exactly what it sounds like.


If you are armed and wear a military insignia identifying you as a member of a military unit, if captured, you must be treated as a Prisoner of War, not as a criminal arrestee, by law.

We have five months to get in shape and be prepared to restore this country's liberty. Mentally and physically, we must be ready, willing, and able, to do the job.

I have personally signed the ultimatum to be delivered to Congress, as John Hancock said, in handwriting so large that the King cannot mistake my identity. No other persons are or will be identified, however, please feel free to copy and issue the ultimatum to Congress yourself.

A copy of the ultimatum follows in the next message.

Additionally, a signed Declaration of Independence will be delivered to the White House on the day the militia convenes in Washington, D.C., in September, very likely with millions of signatures.

Below the initial 100 signers' names which are affixed on the original, we will attach every page of signatures obtained between now and September. Please circulate the Declaration of Independence and obtain signatures throughout the country through every means possible and return to AJF, 3850 S. Emerson Ave., Suite E, Indianapolis, IN 46203.

We will be airdropping this information throughout the country and distributing it through churches, gun shows, etc. All national media have been provided copies as well.

Please distribute all pages of the Militia Alert, Ultimatum, and Declaration of Independence everywhere. Make thousands of copies. Put them out in grocery stores, wherever you can think of.

More pilot volunteers, printers, and funding for the distribution of the Declaration of Independence are needed.

Whether I am arrested or killed in the interim has no bearing on the preparations of the militia units, the ultimatum, or the Declaration of Independence throughout this country.

Proceed as planned, plan accordingly, and God bless us all.

Linda Thompson
Acting Adjutant General
UMUS, pursuant to
10 USC 311
Articles I and II, Bill of Rights,
Constitution of the United States of America

Additional information and updates will be posted on the American Justice Federation voice mail line at 317-780-5200 beginning April 20, 1994. Leave a message if you can volunteer to help print these documents, fly planes to airdrop literature, get the information on radio or television, etc. A copy of this ultimatum is being delivered this week to each member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, as well as to all national media.


WHEREAS, the federal government of the United States of America is constrained by the law of the United States Constitution, the Supreme law of this country, to limited jurisdiction, and limited power; and

WHEREAS, the federal government of the United States of America, through unlawful Executive Orders, and through legislation passed without quorum and without proper ratification or otherwise unlawfully enacted under mere color of law by members of the legislative branch, have usurped the Constitutional authority of the sovereign states and sovereign citizens of this country, and laws which are unlawful and unconstitutional have been enacted in voluminous number which have outrageously exceeded the boundaries of law and decency; and

WHEREAS, the people of this country have been exploited and subjugated to an unlawful authority by an unlawful system of loans from a private banking institution, known as the Federal Reserve, and been forced, even at gunpoint, to submit to an unlawful federal income tax which is not and never has been within the authority of the federal government to enact or enforce, all to the benefit of private individuals and corporations at the expense of the liberty, lives, and property of the citizens of this nation; and

WHEREAS, persons acting under color of law as federal agents, under the direction of those claiming to be elected officials operating under color of law, sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, have infringed upon the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms, have conducted unlawful warrantless house to house searches and seizures, have assaulted and killed sovereign citizens of this country on the false pretense of "gun control," "child abuse," "the war on drugs" and a plethora of unlawful statutes enacted to unlawfully control the lives and liberty of the citizens of this country;

WHEREAS, elections are now controlled through the power of committees and lobbies wielding the most money to obtain electoral votes or sway the nomination of candidates and persuade the enactment of legislation that has made it impossible for the common citizen to participate as a candidate in an election or for the vote of the common citizen to be meaningful; and

WHEREAS, through an unconstitutional and unlawfully enacted "income tax," the federal government has created a "carrot and stick" that has seduced and coerced the elected officials of the several states to submit to the unlawful incursion of the federal government and its agents into the sovereign territory of each state, as a trade off for the receipt of these ill gotten proceeds;

THEREFORE, YOU ARE COMMANDED to uphold your oath and duty to the citizens of this country, to uphold the Constitution and the rights of the citizens of this country, and in so doing, you are commanded to personally initiate legislation and do all things necessary to:

Repeal the 14th, 16th, and 17th amendments to the Constitution of the United States and to publicly acknowledge that the federal government has no jurisdiction to make or enforce criminal laws outside its territories, limited to the area of Washington, D.C., and the property and territories actually owned by the United States, which does not include any State within the several states of the united states; and

Repeal the Brady Bill and NAFTA;

Repeal the Drug Interdiction Act and 10 USC 372, et. seq. and any laws which allow the use of military equipment or military personnel against United States citizens or which provide a backdoor method to fund "national guard," under the guise that the guard is a "state asset" even though the federal government provides the salary, funding and support and none of these units is counted as a State Guard asset, or which trains federal "law enforcement" in military tactics and provides military equipment to federal law enforcement for any purpose; and publicly acknowledge that the federal government, through any means, may not use military force or equipment against any person on U.S. soil or upon the soil of any sovereign state, except in the case of a declared war or in the event of an actual invasion by troops of a foreign country within the boundaries of the United States of America, and only then, against such foreign troops, not citizens or residents of this country; and

Immediately remove any and all foreign troops and equipment and to immediately identify each and every federal military troop and federal law enforcement or tax enforcement agent and all equipment now located within the boundaries of any and every state, including all assets of military or task force "special operations" units, CIA, NSA, or any other covert law enforcement, quasi-law enforcement or military agency or activity; and

Declare that the United States of America is not operating under the authority of the United Nations or if it is, to immediately renounce and revoke any and all agreements binding the United States to such authority; and

Declare the federal debt to the Federal Reserve null and void, unconsitutional, and without effect and order that currency no longer be printed by the Federal Reserve or any entity other than the Treasury of the United States, backed by gold within the possession of the United States; and

Declare that the federal government does not now have and never has had the legal authority to enact or enforce criminal laws outside the area of Washington, D.C., or outside its territories or its own property, such as military bases, and never upon the soil of any sovereign state, and that all such laws are null and void and without effect;

Convene a full Congressional inquiry, to be conducted publicly, by an independent prosecutor selected from a person who has no association in any way whatsoever with any agency of the federal government, into the events in Waco, Texas, from February 28, 1993 through the present, at the property known as Mt. Carmel, with the special prosecutor to have the full power to convene a grand jury from the citizens of all the 50 states, obtain indictments, and issue subpoenas duces tecum and subpoenas for testimony before a grand jury, and to prosecute any and all persons, regardless of their position in government, for any crimes for which a true bill of indictment is returned.

NOTICE: You have until the second full week that the Congress reconvenes in September, 1994, to personally initiate legislation to this effect and to do all things necessary to effect this legislation and the restoration of a Constitutional government within this country.

If you do not personally and publicly attend to these demands, you will be identified as a Traitor, and you will be brought up on charges for Treason before a Court of the Citizens of this Country.

Linda D. Thompson
Acting Adjutant General
Unorganized Militia of the United States of America
Pursuant to 10 USC 311 and
Articles I and II of the Bill of Rights


Don't be shocked that I was in prison. You're still in prison. That's what America means: Prison.

--Malcolm X, "The Address to the Grassroots"


[Prev | Next]

by Crux Ansata

When I talk to my friends, I hear what they most recall from New York. For many it is the plays, the musicals, for I am often with a dramatic crowd. For others it is the shops, or the museums, or the tourist sights. For me, this trip, I suspect it will be the prison.

There is a prison four or five blocks from my house, or the house where I am staying. I pass by it every day as I walk to the house where I feed the cats of a lady I know, now on vacation. (The lady, not the cats.) Even in the case of a prison, many will perceive their protectors at work, or, at best, a necessary blemish on the landscape that we may remain the most free nation on earth. (Indeed, every police car I've seen, even those with no licence plate, have a bumper sticker proclaiming a reward for anyone calling (212) COP-SHOT that helps get another citizen incarcerated. 'Tis a pity they don't care that much about citizens.)

The reality is that we have more of our populace behind bars than any other nation in the world. The "most free nation on earth" is free at the cost of the freedom of its parts, and, in freedom, can freedom of parts exist at the cost of slavery of parts? Were we not a slave nation when we held slaves? Were we free before all were free?

No, when I see the bars I do not think of the actions of my "protectors," I think, rather, of the teenaged girl I saw yesterday, clutching the chain fence just below the barbed wire, crying as two of her friends tried to console her. How common must this be? I don't know, and neither do the kind of people with whom I "hang." There must be an uncountable number of girls clutching the wire that enslaves their boyfriends, their fathers, their brothers, even their children.

I think of such as I saw today: a well dressed family -- father, mother, and eight or nine year old daughter -- dressed in fine, "go-to-meeting" clothes, exiting the massive concrete bunker with heads down, apparently leaving a visit. One of the greatest tragedies of our "society" today is that we cannot empathize with those who must undergo the torture of repeated separation for the lifeforce of the occasional glimpse behind the bars. Today we weekly have Cops to dehumanize the "criminals." When will we have something to humanize these silent victims?

I think of the graffiti sprayed on the sidewalk outside, evidently for the benefit of those encased in the concrete and iron tower, which read, for example, "_______, your mother loves you." Is this the menace our tax dollars need to clean up? When the reporters display gang signs and decry the destruction in the streets, I can recall no instance where such a touching logo was so defamed.

No, our nation has come to forget the intentions of our founding fathers, from Franklin to Jesus, all of which supported the reduction of criminals by the reduction of laws. While one of us is in chains, none of us will be free.

All of us must seek to balance our minds. I'll not proclaim that all crime should be decriminalized. That is not the purpose of this essay. Rather, I'll assert that there is another side to our prisons. Until that side is appreciated, we will all be willing slaves.

"You visited me when I was in prison."

All too often today, we forget the obvious edict here: to visit the obvious victims, those in the steel cages. Yet this is only part of what Christ commanded. Remember Jude 22 (NEB): "There are some doubting souls who need your pity; snatch them from the flames and save them."

It is, of course, true that those in the boxes are victims of a system; how much more so it must be to their captors who have come to believe that they serve man by enslaving men! How much more must we visit and free those whose souls have been moulded into a frame where they cannot feel their love flow freely! And how many more prisoners there are outside the prisons!

When the word of God says, through Jude, to "snatch them from the flames," He speaks too of those in "the system," the law of this world, the law of Mammon. The Lord calls many, but if one is lost because of your pride, because you felt his better, how much will you pay in judgment!

No, visit the prisoners, if such is your calling, in the uniforms of both sides of the bars. Visit the prisoners in the schools. Visit the prisoners in the military uniforms, the business suits, and the beggar's rags, for are we not all sons and daughters of God? Are we not all brothers and sisters?

Eight days after penciling the last of the preceding words, on Independ- ence Day 1994, I read the words Timothy Leary left his guards, following his prison break. Coincidence, I'm sure.

In the name of the Father and the Mother and the Holy Ghost -- Oh, Guards -- I leave now for freedom. I pray that you will free yourselves. To hold man captive is a crime against humanity and a sin against God. Oh, guards, you are criminals and sinners. Cut it loose. Be free. Amen.

-- Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger

[flashforward to 1997]


[=- POETRiE -=]


[Prev | Next]

by Harlequin

I am dysfunctional, broken
(Or so they say)
You fulfill a need; a chasm
(the hole in my heart)
I bleed my life in endless dreams
(nightmares, really)
Your cool hand soothes my fevered brow
(I adore you)
You gaze down on me, a benevolent goddess
(I worship you)
I matters of heart, your cup runs over
(Filling me)
You make me whole, you help me live
You have but to ask
You will receive


To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom.

--Thomas Jefferson


[Prev | Next]

by I Wish My Name Were Nathan

     Society will approach ruin
          sooner than you can           realize

     Notice the methods man has taken

     No   more      togetherness --
          look at the size of the  s p a c e   b a r

     No   more 
                           for work
     See the size of the PLAY button.



She apparently caused [the baby] to be dead. I fully anticipate some kind of charge.

--Bob Wiatt, Texas A&M director of security


[Prev | Next]

by Harlequin

My hand, nervous, a mind of its own
My body betrays me, I feel alone
Unable to move
Yet able to think
Breathing fast
I see (I think?)
You move, you laugh, a twinkling eye
No one here seems alone, as I...
Nerves again
Fear in my throat
I cannot move
I cannot speak
You walk away, completely unaware
I cannot tell you, you'll never know
I'd die for you
I already have


Hell is not a place, it's a game you play.
You suffer every move you make.

--The Revolting Cocks, "Something Wonderful"


[Prev | Next]

by Griphon

My expectations
far exceed my abilities,
I have not learned
to control myself with what is in my grasp,

I look upon my situation
and groan in contempt of my foolish desires.
Standing here at my crossroads
I see a life
totally screwed up by my covetous spirit.

'Tis not the seeds of hope I plant
that hurt me
But rather the needs of what I cannot do:
my failures
my shortcomings
that put me through broken shame.

The soul I lie to
because it does not deserve to see me
as I am;
and because I cannot stand
to be alone with myself.


The middle of the road is where the white line is -- and that's the worst place to drive.

--Robert Frost


[Prev | Next]

by Harlequin

Life before was an empty shell
Angel or Devil
I cannot tell; sometimes,
They're one and the same
How do you feel?
I can never tell


"As you can tell from last weekend, there's a lot of pistols out there."

--Police Capt. Juan Gonzalez, head of a program
to trade concert tickets for citizen's guns


[Prev | Next]

by Griphon

The soul that I sometimes dream of...
I have not yet realized it shall remain a dream
tempestuous and torturous
and always wisping out of my broken grasp.

I am a fool.
I am a liar.
I am a coward.
Yet, at times,
I aspire to a perfection
that I might obtain
if only I were courageous.

And, at times,
I do not loathe myself,
and do not lie to the soul trusting me.
I do not think myself wretched,
and am favored by the soul whom I cannot touch...


We are the people our parents warned us against.

--Nick Von Hoffman


[Prev | Next]

by Harlequin

It's times like these, I feel I'm losing touch;
feeling the bodies pressed close beside me-
feeling the urge, and not caring too much.

Choking on foul breath, perfume and such;
Fury, confusion: the beast within me-
It's times like these, I feel I'm losing touch.

"Oh, tell me, Sebastian, shall we go clutch?"
Their babble and squawk infuriates me;
feeling the urge, and not caring too much.

Men, their machismo, that masculine crutch;
women, neuroses: "God, I'm so ugly!"
It's time like these, I feel I'm losing touch.

Peering o'er tables whilst eating my lunch,
wanting to unleash the beast within me-
feeling the urge, and not caring too much.

Baring my teeth; grinning, showing too much
gleeful laughter that wells up inside me...
It's times like these I feel I'm losing touch-
feeling the urge, and not caring too much.


It is useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.

--William Ralph Inge


[Prev | Next]

by Griphon

What manner of man am I,
that takes no initiative in his future?
I stand idly by,
and my world passes me by.

I cannot take my eyes off this life
lest it devour me.
It does not care
I am not as important as I think.

My future is not assured
nor is my presence here.

I denied religion,
I became hollow.
I sought a dying heart,
I put myself through fires of hell,
all the while saying
"This is love."

Apathy kills the pain caused by trying to care,
but it eats away at one's life.

I feel cheated
because I did not reacts to this tilting world
because I was Numb.

Yet it's my own damn fault.


Ordinary people will go mad if they hear too much truth at once.

--Robert Anton Wilson, Nature's God


[Prev | Next]

by I Wish My Name Were Nathan

Drowning in ineptitude, I feel. My mind shuffles words into exotic and magnificently lucid phrases, but the mere act of typing them destroys their meaning, their soul, their passion, in a wheezing and gasping convulsion of destruction. My visions die slowly in 7-bit text, characters who are people suddenly smashed into characters who are letters in the computer screen; they slither along the surface of the glass, confused, aghast, horrified. Finding frustration in their emotions, their speech, their gestures which seem so dry and empty and white on black, they realize dimly that they have been reduced into words, sentences; adjectives, adverbs; cliches and occasionally interesting phrases which sometimes cry out but are soon forgotten. They die and I clench my fists in furious disappointment. With a keypress, they are buried on the platters of my hard disk, neatly put away, conveniently forgotten, no longer a concern. I shan't bring flowers.


If Satan and the Incredible Hulk had a baby, would it's name be Luciferigno?

--Kilgore Trout


[Prev | Next]

FOR J---
by Harlequin

Deep inside, the swelling seed
Bursts into life, unknowing
What it is, where time will lead
knowing only of the place it's growing
The stalk grows higher, with it
grows the green'd, young bud
A Flower, unopened, inside it
Waiting... opening... blooming
A single red rose, bright & new
A single red rose, alone, for you


[=- FiCTiON -=]


[Prev | Next]

by Griphon

To A---

I forgot how much I missed self-pity. The feeling of despair that rises in the stomach and permeates the soul. The darkness that overtakes the senses and deals pain in throbbing, sporadic intervals like shallow breaths or wandering thoughts. The inexplicable power realized by knowing that I and I alone am hurting myself. The doting and pining over a single even or object to the point of gut-wrenching and unholy desire. And especially the pain, the sharpened, caustic pain of never obtaining the thing I believe I must thrive upon.

I remember being alone, in the dark. Staring at the heavens and cursing everything. Objecting to the cold reality of If and the contrast that my yearning, beating heart felt. The self-pity and meticulous fantasizing that only brought the sword of If deeper into my belly. I believed myself a poet, the pain that I suffered genuine, and the satisfaction of knowing it could be ended at anytime should I make the effort. But I didn't end the pain. It was a drug to me. It hurt like hell, but there was no escape. The more I hurt myself, the more I pitied myself, the more I enjoyed it. Then it ended.

Blindly, I came to you. I stopped cutting myself, stopped being contented by the sight of my soul bleeding. I looked to you as a source of healing for what I thought was my wounded self. I sought a release for my beautiful, poetic devices that didn't include self-desecration. I searched for the love that I purposely denied myself or tainted for the beauty of suffering. Yet it was all in vain...

All I succeeded in doing was giving you Control over my pain. I allowed you to destroy me, and I came back to you for more. I would run every beautiful moment we shared through my mind and then face the grim inadequacy and insecurity you felt and returned as acts of cruelty to create a symphony of pain for myself. I reveled in the torture you brought me and found even more suffering because you had taken my failsafe tool: Control.

Now it is over. I am scarred and torn by you. There is a seething and loathsome hatred I hold for you. I am bitter and angry. And yet, I return to my darkness. I hate the light; I hate your light. I sink back into my shadows and take the blade from your hands. Slowly, I cut myself, replaying the moments I shared with you that were perfect and feeling the bittersweet pain flow like blood inside me. The hatred is gone and the pain returns. I have control and I have self-pity. I close my eyes and run my fingers over your body once again. I remember the passion and pure love I felt for you and the void inside of me bellows and burns. discontent rages and I feed off it.

In time I may search for light again. I may pray that I never find daggers hidden within the angelic wings. But should I cut myself again, I shall be content with my discontent and pain. I crave it. I need pity, even if it is self-inflicted.


My gosh, he sat on that furniture. It's like he's almost here.

--Ethellymm Sims, customer at an auction of Elvis memorabilia


[Prev | Next]

[to Part I]

by Kilgore Trout

When I last wrote to you, my blessed readers, I was about to follow Lorne and his date, the lovely Veronica. However, since I knew the restaurant that they would be eating at, I stopped off at a 7-Eleven to kill some time. I've read enough Hardy Boy books in my life to know how to spy on people.

I parked my Plymouth Fury and thought about buying gas, but figuring that with only twenty dollars for the night it would not be wise. I walked inside, acknowledging the store clerk with a nod. The back of the store was my goal, and as I walked there, I perused enormous amounts of teeth-rotting candy. The back of the store was one big cooler, and I found myself staring at cases of beer. It would have been heaven for a newly-turned eighteen-year-old in Louisiana. I went to the next door and grabbed a Big Slam Mountain Dew, thirsting for caffeine and sugar from hell.

As I placed the bottle on the counter, the store clerk gave me a strange look. "Ya know, that stuff sure is strong," he remarked. "Are you sure you want to drink that?"

"Why not?" I answered. "They wouldn't be selling it if it wasn't safe."

Two hands came slamming down on my shoulders. "What the hell are you saying, guy? Do you think the government cares about your safety? Oh, no, buddy-boy, they just wanna make a buck. Sure, if the public gets a little pissed off, they'll take minimal action to appease them. Take this Formula One stuff they just banned in Texas. Said it contains this drug called ephedrine which is chemically similar to speed and supposedly doesn't mix well with other people's compositions, causing fatalities." He reached behind his back and retrieved a small bottle of pills. "Well, look at this, Mr. I-Think-The-Government's-Okay. Do you know what this is?"

I shook my head violently.

"It's ephedrine," he laughed, "A bronchial dilator for people with asthma. Anyone can buy this stuff, and you're telling me the government's doing a good job of protecting us? Geez..."

"But I don't think--"

"That'll be $1.15 for the drink."

I paid and left.

I arrived at the restaurant in a fit of clanking hubcaps and choking engine fumes. The valet outside the restaurant stared at me in disbelief as I got out of my good ole American car and handed him the keys.

"My Jag is getting an alarm put in it," I lied.

"Oh, really?" he replies. "I hope you get your Jag back soon. I didn't know they could put alarms on Matchbox cars."

"Shut up and park the damn thing before I punch your lights out, bucko." I raised my hands and one leg, ready to fight in the Karate Kid stance.

"No, please!" exclaimed the valet mockingly. "Don't piss on me!" His voluminous laughter must have been heard around the globe.

I took aim at his head and let my leg fly. The valet ducked and punched me in the gut. To quote John Bobbit, "It hurt real bad." With the half of my face not imbedded in the asphalt, I saw that the valet was talking to a really big guy. The only words I could make out were "Bruno," "dumbass kid," and "kick his ass." Bruno turned towards my direction and smiled. He must fight off the babes with those five black teeth sporadically placed in his mouth.

He started walking this way, and I started thinking I'm gonna need a new change of underwear. I started to scream. Bruno picked me up. I kicked wildly, constantly missing his fat body everytime. Bruno raised a hand and beaned me in the head with his fist. I began seeing lots and lots of breasts. Don't ask me why this happens when I get hurt--go read some Freud or something.

Out of the corner of my eye, a tweed-covered breast raced out of the restaurant and attacked Bruno. A haze of kicks, punches, headbutts, dropkicks, body slams, suplexes, clotheslines, screwdrivers and martinis were all I saw. Guess I forgot to tell you: Lorne wanted to be a professional wrestler when he grew up.

Bruno took all the punishment he could and fell over, denting the pavement in the process. Lorne, who was looking less and less like a breast, ran over to me. I think he looked better with that big nipple in the middle of his forehead.

"Thank you for saving my life, Lorne. I'll do anything for you."

Naturally, Lorne just shrugged.

"No, I mean it. Anytime you need anything, call me and--"

A screaming Veronica rushed out, eyes wet with tears.

"Don't worry, Veronica. I'm fine."

Naturally, Vernoica ignored me. Life went back to normal.

Basically, the rest of Lorne and Veronica's date took place at the hospital while I had my spleen removed. It was sponge bath Friday, however, so I got soaped down by a voluptuous nurse--the only good thing that has ever happened to me, except for maybe seeing my mom naked. They did let Lorne watch my operation, which he thoroughly enjoyed, even if it meant leaving the lovely Veronica in the waiting room for six hours.

So, that's about it, really. Our lives around here pretty much suck. Okay, okay, so only mine does. Veronica and Lorne are in love now and are about three months away from graduation and five months away from having a baby. Once Lorne got started, he was a crazed lunatic and, well, let's just say you should go buy stock in Kleenex cause even Veronica couldn't keep up with him. But he was monogamous, unless you count pictures of naked women. He had quite the collection.

As for me, I'm still broke and lonely. Girls still don't talk to me, much less give me the time of day. I thought that by writing this down I'd see a pattern. I must be blind because the only pattern I see is one of a loser. At least some people out there will get a laugh at my worthless life.

[Follow-up note: Two weeks later the writer was shot dead in an alley after passing up a can of OK Cola at a party. This supposedly was a coincidence, but I'd go ahead and sue their asses anyone just for the taste. His body was cremated and his ashes placed in an ashtray in Lorne and Veronica's home. He did make a nice coffee-table piece. Finally, a happy ending.]


To maintain sensibility is the greatest effort required
To slip would be so easy, it would be accomplished with
little effort...
To burden others with your problems-
are they problems?-
Is not right-
To carry them is akin to carrying a fused bomb-
I wonder if the fuse can be doused-
If it is doused what will be gained?
Will the gain be worth the effort put forth?
But should one who considers himself strong,
Surrender to an enemy he considers so

--Charles Whitman, the U.T. Tower Sniper


[Prev | Footer]

by Harlequin

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

-- from Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries by A. E. Housman

December 20, 1999...

Lane punched through the frozen static hell into the net, his tear -- tracks lost in the sense -- irreality of the artificial environ. Anguish -- dulled senses made him fumble codes and trip alarms, but he didn't care. Nothing mattered.

He was caught, slammed into a nonwall construct, and caught again. He'd found the Child.

"Now now, Lane. No time for tears. What do you need?" the idiot savant/genius Child soothed him in its cold, calculating way. Now the room was orange, for anguish. The child floated, white and glowing, in the middle of the shifting Room.

"Take it, take it all. I...I...just take it." Lane composed.

"You don't mean that."

"Yes, I do, dammit! Take it all, I don't want to remember."

The Child leaned forward, an expressly adult maneuver. "If I do, you'll be empty, nothing left, like a cracked egg. Every memory, every experience, every touch... I wouldn't do it, were I you." It leaned back, the room kaleidoscoping into fractal shapes.

"They're my memories, damn you! You eat them like so much candy! Just take them, just take them, please..."

"Fine, fine. You'll want something in that empty brain of yours--"

Lane interrupted. "I don't care -- but don't let him feel pity, or remorse, or, or..." Lane was gone, sucked from his own mind and stored in the memory of the Child.

"Are the lambs still screaming, Lane?" the Child chuckled as its face melted into that of a middle-aged man, his hair slick against his scalp. "Goodnight, sweet prince..."

* * * * *

May 1, 2005...

It was dark in the room. The room was huge and gray, and reeked of hot copper. It was unutterably cold in the room.

And then the Child spoke.

The room was filled with the quiet voice of the Child. The Child knew everything, and in its knowledge, knew nothing. The Child filled the empty room with its presence. It spoke of great things, and things of no import. Cody was the child; they were the same.

Cody awoke from the sleep disoriented. His room was warm, and the body pressed to his under the sheets moved ever so slightly. Cody lay quietly, the dream fading into a waking oblivion.

He rose and made coffee. The girl stirred under the sheets and made small waking sounds. Cody sat in his robe with the steaming mug clasped between his cold hands. The girl moved behind him, poured coffee. Weak yellow light filtered through the closed blinds and made dancing patterns on the tile floor. Consciousness cleared the predawn fog from his mind as the sun cleared the morning mist from the streets. She sat across from him, head down over her mug.

The stereo came on in the bedroom. Japanese rock played softly through the walls and fell lightly on the ears of the wakeful. The rich scent of the coffee played about his nostrils and wafted to the vent, to be lost among the other morning smells.

Cody heard the shower motor whine, then kick in as water flowed through the pipes. Mali was gone, bathing in the tepid water which fell on cool porcelain.

Cody stepped onto the balcony and watched patrol gyros dart like damselflies through the powder-blue sky. Life began to stir in the rooms around him, as he heard alarms sound and children begin their faint wailing cries for attention. One could only hear that outside, through the closed doors of the other balcony rooms.

Cody liked the space he'd gotten. The park spread below like a green carpet, the trees and lawns verdant and alive. He heard locusts, buzzing. Odd... not locusts...

The blast would've killed him, had he been inside. The apartment blew apart behind him, the door shattering with the force of the explosion.

The fire alarm wailed as he picked his way through the wreckage. The bedroom was gone, lost in a swirl of debris and flame. Cody dove through the doorway to the bathroom. There wasn't much left of Mali.

Cody ripped the remains of a poster from a bedroom wall and powdered sheetrock with his fists. There was the briefcase he'd hidden, so long ago. He ran from the room with the case clutched to his chest like a mother with her child.

The hall was chaos. The remains of the front door were strewn about the floor like so many straws. People were jabbering at one another across empty space, too frightened to step outside their doors. Something truly new had popped into their world like an obscene jack-in-the-box, and none could understand this terrible new thing. None save Cody, who had known that this would have to happen, eventually.

The lift doors down the hall rang cheerfully as they opened. There were bound to be police on that lift, and they would want to question Cody. So Cody ran to the stairwell and pounded down to the garage.

Cody opened the briefcase. Everything was there. He pulled the old stealthleathers from the bag taped to the case and slid them on under his robe. The case itself was coated with the mimetic polycarbon, and blended with the gray cement wall. As did Cody.

He stepped into a dark alcove beneath the stairs and waited until the police left. Soon, intelligence agents would be crawling all over the rooms, examining blast patterns and looking for his remains.

Cody stepped from the shadows and tapped his left wrist. The suit displayed a crystalline control board, curved around his forearm. Cody tapped the glassine panel and an expensive three-piece suit materialized about him. He walked to the street and hailed a cab, which took him to the spaceport. He paid the driver with three pink tens, and strode through the busy terminal. He booked a seat on a transorbital to Houston, and another to Tokyo, under his assumed name. The credentials were real; he'd paid a lot to get the paperwork filed and his new identity verified legally, and it had kept him alive. He gave the ticket agent a single thousand, a crimson bill with Warhol's Marilyn Monroe on one side and Stonehenge on the other.

* * * * *

In Houston he found the Child. The techno-barbarism of the modern Republic of Texas allowed for a great deal of experimentation. The Child was one such experiment, a Texas Instruments toy gone wild. The Child was a VR construct who went solo on October 30, 2001. Nobody knew why; the Child was designed by machines, which were themselves designed by machines. Some said it was a virus; others, an act of God. Cody had met the Child long ago, and the Child had helped him, as it was helping him now. He/she/it controlled a region of cyberspace Jockeys called the Void. When one entered the Void, there was no up, no down, no anything, but for the Child.

The Child was itself empty, once. Now, it was the sum of the memories and knowledge given it by its wards. The only price the Child demanded was a memory; any memory. But that memory would be lost once it was given to the Child, the neural pathways erased by the very act of taking.

Cody had been paid well to forget. Now, he traded his memories of Mali for the aid of the Child, who helped him when he was in need. The Child told him who was after him, and why.

* * * * *

His trip to TokyoChiba was smooth until he landed. The stealthleather told the scanners it was a business suit and a briefcase full of papers; the passports verified that Cody was in fact Jerrod Terence Hill of Nebraska.

When he stepped from the terminal onto the gritty pavement, a woman strode up from behind him and put her arm through his. She was trembling under the big coat she was wearing, her face pale and sheened with sweat. Cody felt thin hardness along her arm; he looked sharply at the girl, fighting reflex. Her face, in profile, was one well remembered, one well loved.

Cody hailed a cab and paid with Hill's slotcard. They rode together in silence to a motel, where a shaky ironwork lift carried them to their floor. The sleepcubes were old, but cheap and nondescript. Cody slid the card through the reader and pulled the key from the lock.

The woman followed him into the coffin, closing the door behind her. She sat with her knees pulled to her chest, her head down. She looked at Cody with tears in her eyes, and told him her name was Kera. She didn't recognize him, his face a mask of expensive surgery which had changed constantly over the years. Their history was long and painful. He'd helped her when he was 'lancing in Belfast for the I.R.A. Her family slain by overzealous Brits, and he'd saved her from their baser attentions. The doctors rebuilt her in an expensive Army hospital in Kentucky.

Kera, battered and nearly broken, bore scars which told of her hard life. He stayed near her throughout the reconstructive therapy, knowing that she was weak and empty. She seemed to emerge from a shell, a hardness she'd built to protect herself from the harshness of her existence. He was drawn to her, there being too many parallels in his own past for him to simply walk away. The doctors rebuilt her face, restoring her natural beauty and her dignity.

She transformed from a scarred and frightened young girl to a graceful, vibrant young woman. He loved her; Kera was the only person who had stirred those feeling from their abysmal slumber. She was his Achilles heel; when she cried for help, he was there. To him, she was The Woman.

They'd spent a heady year together. He found himself deeply in love with her, and she never left his side. He hadn't taken any of the nastier work, and had kept her innocent of his occupation. Eventually, as always, there had come a snag. Cody remembered the hurried packing, trying desperately to explain why she had to leave, why they had to part. She'd fallen to her knees and wept, holding him tightly around his legs, begging him not to leave her.

He'd reached into his sleeve and unfastened the thin Velcroed straps around his forearm. He handed the thin plastic Cross dagger to her; Cody told her he loved her, that he'd know where to find her when she needed him, and disappeared.

Kera brightened as she told him how she'd tried to contact him. She was a hacker, a shadow programmer. She'd run against the wrong people, and her employers hadn't backed her. She was trying to disappear, to melt into the sea of people who flowed and ebbed through Tokyo. She needed his help, as she had so many times before.

She moved to him and put her head on his chest, and wept. He held her gently, and soon she was asleep, her fears lost to her tears. Mechanically, trance like, Cody pulled a small black box from his case. He opened it; packed in soft foam were a pair of sensor beads. He attached these to the sockets at the base of her skull; light pulsed along the optics, passively scanning her mind and recording it all.

As the device worked, Cody prepared himself for his task. Finished, the complex and expensive device beeped, twice. Cody ejected the newly-burned data wafer the size of an old style diskette, a ROM card with Kera's mind stored in it. He packed the box and the wafer back into the case. He left her a note; he'd be back, not to worry. It was all business.

* * * * *

The elevator doors opened on the executive suites. Cody told the secretary he had an appointment. She sent him to the exec's office. The man was on the telephone, yammering away the latest stock reports. Then he turned to Cody.

His plastic smile dropped when he saw Cody's face. The face that was supposed to be dead, plastered across the bedroom wall in Boston. The exec opened his mouth, and closed it, like a fish deprived of water. Cody stood, and shot the man through the skull as he tried to rise. The gun went off with a pop and a slight whining noise, and the flechettes erased the man's face. The falling corpse spun the chair, and it was still spinning when Cody left, drawing a perfect circle with one bloody shoeheel.

Nobody ever tried to take out Cody when he'd done a job for them. That was part of the Deal; Cody never named the employer or the job, and the employer never tried to wash his hands of the affair by eliminating Cody. Cody gave the memory of his employers to the Child; he could never have spoken of the employer to anyone because he truly did not remember them. That was the Deal.

Because if they came for Cody, Cody would have them removed.

* * * * *

He returned to the coffin. Kera was there, asleep. He crawled in to the cubicle and she awoke. When she saw him, she threw her arms around him and kissed him as if for the first time.

Their embrace became more passionate. As Cody achieved climax, he slit her throat. Her eyes opened, then; infinite sadness was clouded as she fell back onto the foam slab, her tight embrace slipping from him as she bled to death. She didn't cry out, she didn't even struggle, a single crystal tear falling from the corner of her eye. For a long time afterward, Cody could only stare at the dark spot it had left on the foam.

* * * * *

It was dark in the room. The room was a cement cryotank, and it reeked of spilt blood. And then the Child spoke.

* * * * *

The room was filled with the quiet voice of the Child. The Child knew everything, and in its knowledge, knew hatred. The Child filled the empty room with its presence. It spoke of things which could make a man great, and things which would ruin men. Cody was the Child; the Child took Kera as easily as it had taken Mali, as easily as Cody had then taken Kera's life.

* * * * *

Weakness was intolerable.


State  of  unBeing  is  copyrighted (c) 1994 by Kilgore  Trout  and  Apocalypse 
Culture Publications.   All rights are reserved to cover,  format,  editorials, 
and all incidental material.   All individual items are copyrighted (c) 1994 by 
the individual author, unless  otherwise stated.  This file may be disseminated 
without restriction for  nonprofit purposes so long as it is preserved complete 
and  unmodified.   Quotes and  ideas not  already in  the  public domain may be 
freely used  so  long  as  due recognition is provided.   State  of  unBeing is  
available at the following places:

                 iSiS UNVEiLED   512.930.5259  14.4 (Home of SoB)
                THE LiONS' DEN   512.259.9546  24oo
                 ftp to   /pub/SoB

Submissions may also be sent to Kilgore Trout at <>.  Thank you.

Return to SoB homepage