Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Tin Foil Helmet

“So everything is now in place, Mr Muscovitz?” The figure in the candlelight asked, his claw-like hand clasped a wine glass of fine crystal. His voice was as crisp and well cut as the glass he held. His eyes were equally as crystal clear and yet his face above his mouth could not be discerned in the gloom of this magnificent room.

“Yes, Lord Rothelm. “ Elliot replied, always self-conscious of his American accent when speaking to this European aristocrat. “With the Chinese flotation I now have almost 80% of the world’s population, with internet access, the digitali, within the sphere of Visage social media.”

“We…” The aristocrat corrected. Did Elliot see a hint of irritation sweep across the aged aristocrat’s half hidden face? “You may have designed the software but don’t forget the money, backing and contacts we have supplied you, young man. But where are my manners?” A smile returning to the old man’s face.  “Jeremiah, a glass for our young friend here.”  

From the side one of the aristocrat’s silent servants poured a glass of wine from a decanter, which caught the light of the flames under the intricately carved marble hearth. The wine was passed to Elliot.

Elliot took a sip, the red wine was smooth and yet strong, full of aroma and hints of summer fruits.

“You like it?” Lord Rothelm enquired.

“I’m more of a beer drinker myself,” Elliot replied, “But this is nice.”

“Nice?” the aristocrat repeated, “This is the result of over two thousand years of viniculture. This is from the Valois grape, originally grown on the golden, sunward slopes of Burgundy. It was renowned when the Merongovians ruled France. Its lineage can be traced beyond Roman times to when Greek traders first mapped the world of barbaricum.”

The aristocrat stopped and sipped at his wine, before continuing. “Alas it’s like will not be pressed again for many lifetimes. I have ensured that the genetic blueprint for this grape is preserved for future vinification, for my children's children. It is fortunate that I have several casks set aside for my own enjoyment.”

“I hadn’t thought about it like that.” Elliot said, feeling slightly uncomfortable.

“No I suppose you wouldn’t have,” the Aristocrat said dismissively, “You are a child of your generation.  But this has been the great plan, handed down from my forebears to me; it is fitting that I enjoy the finer things accumulated on this great journey through the ages.

“Great  plan?” Elliott asked. Suddenly this audience chamber seemed a threatening place. “I thought that because of the impending catastrophe that we were …”

The aristocrat suddenly interrupted. “You thought we have only instigated this idea?” His mouth curled into a cruel smile. “We are nearing the end of our journey. All the wars, famine and pestilences we have guided by our hands. Now comes the great purge of humanity.”

“The great purge!” Jeremiah repeated as if in the grip of religious fervour.

Elliot shifted uncomfortably in his seat, “I thought we were trying to save humanity …”

“Save?” Lord Rothelm laughed cruelly. “Humanity are cattle, mere sheep for the slaughter. The flock has grown and now we shepherds are the wolves, to whittle them down.  We have shelters set aside for the select elite and retinues; we have livestock and seeds safely held in genetic depositories.”

Elliott swallowed hard. “But surely if we…”

“Why don’t you understand? Your profile says you are a genius Muscovitz, and yet you have failed to grasp this?” The aristocrat set down his glass of wine carefully. “There are some seven billion on this finite world; we will drop it to half a billion; that way there will still be enough slaves to service our needs.”

“Slaves? We can’t enslave the survivors.” Elliot gasped.

“Semanitics, dear boy, semantics.” The aristocrat said waving his hand dismissively. “We will control all access to food. He who works purely for food is a slave, surely?”

“But people could hunt, fish or grow crops?”

“Haven’t you been taking any notice of what’s been going on around you?” Lord Rothelm said. “The ecosystems are dying. We have cut down the rainforests. The seas have been fished clean and poisoned; why do you think Fukishima was never rectified? As for growing crops; the seeding of the earth by chemical trails has insured that only genetically modified plants that we have developed can thrive in the soil.”

“People won’t stand for this, when they know this has been done on purpose they will…” But as he said it Elliott realised it was hopeless. He had been instrumental in their mental enslavement after all.

“They will do nothing, as ever.” Rothelm said. “Thanks to your software and your social media, Visage, we know how the sheep think, what they find emotive, and how to manipulate them. We have socially programmed them to think on our terms. They’d rather live next to a murderer than someone guilty of hate crimes; which is ironic, as we will murder most and we hate them all! We have HAARP and a network of satellites, as well as fluorides and mind controlling drugs in the water supplies.” The old aristocrat chuckled and reached for his wine once again. “Are you suddenly experiencing a moral epiphany Muscovitz? Are not the billions in your account and your place in the New World Order enough to salve your guilt?”

Was this it then? Was he to be safe living amongst these parasites that had killed his world? All his friends would be dead; killed by this elitist vampire and his ilk. To think he had been the epitome of cool, his face on Time and Forbes magazine; the new breed of global entrepreneur, the new master of the universe. How could he have been so blind? It wasn’t too late though, he could be a force for good. Visage was his software, his creation; maybe he could install a sub routine?

He stood up and faced the old man. “You won’t get away with this conspiracy you old bastard.  The world will know about this! You may be the illuminati but I have the digitali! Word will spread. I have my own insurance policies; who do you think finances Wikileaks?”

The aristocrat seemed unfazed by his outburst. “Elliot, can I call you Elliot? We know this. But in truth what are you going to say? Are you expecting a traffic accident to occur? We’ve moved on since Lady Di you know, we can be more subtle these days. We can use the powers we have to drive you insane. You’ll be the latest fruitloop, the latest loon. Just like we did with David Icke, and who remembers him now? We control the media, we always have. Go then, enjoy the humiliation and the collapse of your company’s value on the stock market; we control that too of course. We will break you, destroy you financially as we did with Tesla, or merely bend your broken mind to our will, whether you like it or not.”

“I know how to stop you getting in my mind, I’ll see you fall Rothelm.” Elliot stormed, backing towards the door.

“Of course you do, but really Elliot...” the old man said standing up and showing himself in the light at last. On his head he wore a silver cap, “Who’s takes anyone seriously, wearing a tin foil helmet?”

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Universe is toast!

The universe is toast and it’s my entire fault.

There are infinite worlds, through a veritable infinity of days and yet this moment was on one, before this particular schism of timelines. Each was linked of course; webs of subatomic particles strung each to the other in a network of infinite possibilities. Already through the choices made, there were alternative earths with differing histories, some similar and some radically different from our own. I say our own, but of course I mean mine. It might be that you have winked out of existence, without you even realising. Or perhaps I am now a never was, due to the past choices of others? Do I talk to myself? Do I really exist and if not, how do I ask myself these questions? I hear the radio in the background attempting to set the parameters of  this reality, but do I really? What if all this is a figment of my own imagination? Was Descartes correct in his assumption of cognito ergo sum?

If only I could have the best of all worlds…

But like it or not, I am a traveller through the quantum universe. The world you see seems settled and familiar; the solar system an orrery that moves like clockwork on its set patterns, set in a swirling galaxy, in a universe that counts the hours since its violent birth at the beginning of time. But this is an error, an illusion we escape into to preserve our fragile sanity.

If you could see at the subatomic scale (although seeing isn’t the correct term, as at this level, light has no meaning, as we would be beneath the peaks and troughs of photonic wavelengths) then you would observe a seething chaos, an insane madness where quarks and neutrinos exist and don’t exist, occupying the same space in the multiverse. Some spin but do not show us the same face until one and a half rotations.

Being aware of this doesn’t make it easier to understand. It makes no sense, this can’t be real, this must be my imagination and yet I do feel hungry. Do I feel hunger when I dream? Have I ever dreamt of eating? I can’t recall.

But like a Star Trek episode, dealing with these quandaries, everything has a cause and effect. What I do now could cascade through the future but I must make a decision, and make it soon. I’ve weighed the options; sweet or savoury, strawberry jam or marmite. Are my needs the only indicator that I can rely upon? More time! I need more time! Maybe I can defer for a moment?

But suddenly with a violence akin to the big bang the time is upon me, filling my senses; the sound of the forceful ejection, the sight and the smell of the carbonising process. I reach for both the items from their apertures. They are both hot, threatening to burn my fingers. Surely this must be another sign, an indication that I truly exist?

So now I am at that final point, whereby a decision is needed, but I defy this cruel universe. It shall not force my hand; I will have the best of all worlds. I laugh then at the universe and revel in my cleverness; of course, it was obvious. I spread the butter over the two cooling slices of toast and reach for the jam AND the marmite, one for each. Victory, this timeline stays whole with its infinite possibilities preserved.

And yet as I reach into the cupboard, I see the universe mocking me yet again and seeding my mind with doubt… peanut butter… I’d forgotten about the peanut butter!

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Weeping Willow

“Just be careful at the river’s edge, boy.”

John grimaced and looked over his shoulder at his father carefully unearthing potatoes from the ground. “Come on dad, I’m not a little child anymore.  We could do with a fish or two to go with those spuds couldn’t we?” he said defensively.

His father heard the tone in his son’s voice. The boy needed to spread his wings, that was true; he couldn’t mollycoddle him. He remembered how he had been like when he was John’s age; what could happen down by the river? But that was the problem. He looked up from his digging and looked at his son. He saw the same defensiveness that he once had in his eyes; could almost see himself having the same conversation with his father, so many summers ago…

“Wait a minute John, I’m not having a go, honest, I’m not.” He stood upright and stretched his back, feeling the weight of years, and leant on his fork. How he wanted just to hug his son, but those days were gone, he had to accept that. He patted his waistcoat , finding his pipe and baccy; strange he thought he had more in the pouch last time he had loaded his pipe. He filled the bowl and struck a match, fragrant smoke curling around him as he brought it to life.

“Can’t I just go Dad? I’ve done all my chores.” John said irritably. Over his shoulder he had his rod and line and in his haversack he had a packed lunch of bread and cheese, as well as a jar of cider and a pipe and pouch of his father’s tobacco that he’d surreptitiously concealed. His father was lighting his pipe, a sure sign another lecture was due, did he suspect something?

His father blew a smoke ring, a smile forming on his face as he remembered the scene from decades ago.

“It’s a lovely, sunny day, John. No doubt you’ll be fishing in the shade of the willow thicket?”

“Not necessarily so Dad, although there are nice deep pools on the opposite side, where the fish sun themselves.” John sighed. And it was away from prying eyes, he thought, but he might have known his father would know every corner of this place.

“Well that’s where I always used to go when I was a lad, John. “chuckled his father. “Not giving you any ideas, mind, but I once sneaked out a jar or two of scrumpy to have a nice old time fishing there.” He made sure he didn’t look John in the eyes, but he saw his son shift guiltily from one foot to the other.

John feigned laughter but crossed his fingers behind his back. “You did that Dad? Did Grandfather punish you?”

“Only did it the once, Son. I’ll tell you why and why I want you to be careful…” He cleared his throat and began.

“It was a sunny day like this, the air was thick and warm; it was full of insects and the fluff of willows billowing off their branches. I went down to yonder willow thicket to escape the afternoon heat. I set my rod and leant against an old weeping willow with gnarly bark. Old man Willow had roots that reached from the bank into the water like fingers. I remember thinking them odd at the time.”

John laughed. “Old man Willow, Dad? It’s just a tree!”

“You reckon lad?” his father said blowing smoke around him. “You think trees are just plants? They’re more than that lad, each has their own personality. Why do you think I ask trees their permission to take wood?”

“You mean like you do with Elders?” John asked, “That’s just because their branches look like a witch’s fingers!”

“Yes John,” his father replied, “And like you I thought the same of the Old Girl, that was until I was taught a lesson by Old Man Willow, and now I always ask first. You see willows are fickle trees, their mood changes just like that, they envy us our legs and their hearts are as black as pitch.”

John snorted, “It’s just a tree, they can’t have bad intent and what could they do anyway?”

“Well, I’m getting to that,” his father said sucking on his pipe, “There was I, leant against him, drinking my dad’s scrumpy. The leaves above were glossy cages quenching the sun’s fire but the air was so warm. The sunlight came through the gloss all dappled and shone on the slow moving water in front of me. It dazzled my eyes. Soon I was feeling drowsy and my eyelids grew heavy. A gentle breeze was in the treetops making soft rustles and squeaks as the trees spoke amongst themselves. The sound of water around the roots, the leaves rustle and the hum of insects was like a sweet, sad lullaby. Soon my jar of cider was empty and I thought to rest my eyes, but for a minute… I never noticed the water around me, not until it was over my head and I came to in a panic.”

“You’d fallen drunk in the river dad?” John asked, giggling.

His father shook his head, “No I hadn’t slipped in the water.  I had been pulled. I was being held by those twisting roots. I very nearly drowned, I can still picture the mud blinding my view under water, as I trashed about under the surface, desperate to break free. I kicked my way to the surface as those hands that gripped me seemed to change back into roots. When my head broke the surface, Old Man Willow’s branches were shaking and creaking, screaming their hate at me. He had one more trick to play. I grabbed a low branch to pull myself out and it snapped off the trunk, taking part of the bark off with it. I remember it to this day, looking inside that tree; his heart was black and rotten. I had to kick with my legs as I swear those roots became snakes, trying to pull me down again.”

John’ s humour had left him hearing the earnest fear in his father’s voice, he looked at his father open mouthed.  “You were drunk, it was just an accident!”

His father looked at his son shrewdly. “Maybe it was, but I got home sodden and muddied and as sober as a judge. My mother tore a strip off me, but later your grandfather had a word with me; seems he had something similar happen to him when he was a lad. You watch those willows lad; they’ll weep for you as they drown you. Don’t you dare trust them!”

John swallowed hard and reached into his knapsack and passed the jar of cider to his father, he dropped his eyes, feeling sheepish and not wishing to look directly at his father.

“Good lad,” his father said, “We’ll share this later when we eat the fish you’ve caught, good luck.”

“Thank you, Dad, and I will be careful.” John said smiling, realising he wasn’t going to get in trouble now.

“Of course you will." His father replied with a glint in his eye. "We were all young once lad, but just one thing; don’t let your mother catch you smoking!”

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Infinite Helix

The Pythagoras, appeared at the set point , caught in the spiral of hot gases and matter spinning around the point of infinite dark; the monster at the centre of the Milky Way, the supermassive black hole. Inside the shielded vessel a last lecture was being given…

“So you see there are clues everywhere and thus the 3d universe is projected. I’m sending our findings by laser carrier wave now.”

“Then everything that we experience isn’t real, but how can that be?” the student shook his head in disbelief.

“It’s just the way of things; all our readings bear the theory out. The universe is a projection, if we believe it to be real then how are we to know it isn’t? Soon we will see what is on the other side of this projection point of singularity.” The instructor said; he was sure he had been clear, but here he was stretching the point. He didn’t have long now, the gravity shields would only hold for so long. The shell of the ship was under intense pressure.

“Look it’s like this, everything in the universe is basically falling; we are clear about that yes?”

The student looked nonplussed.

The lecturer saw the student’s confusion in irritation. He didn’t have time for this, neither of them did! “Okay, I will explain again,” he said, as the creaking of the metal got progressively louder, “When we were on earth, you would pull a bath plug and the water would spiral down the plug hole?”

“Yes, but that is just the most efficient way for the water to move, surely?”

The lecturer nodded. “In our universe that is the case, yes; but only because it is following the blueprint of the projector, like all things. Not only in the way that water spirals, but also look at the shape in nature; a snail shell, the DNA helix, there are all wheels within wheels.” As he spoke the warning lights blinked in alarm; the gravity shields of the Pythagoras were about to give way, he flicked a switch in acknowledgement.

“As in a whirlpool or tornado as well?” the Student added.

“Exactly!” the Lecturer said in triumph,” And in the way that planets orbit stars.”

“But aren’t they almost on a lateral plane, circling the point of strongest gravity; the star?”

“No they’re not. They only appear so if we don’t experience their movement, inside such a solar system.” The lecturer said quickly. Not long now, it may have been an optical illusion but it felt like things were being stretched. “You see if we take Terra, Earth, for instance; it is in the western spiral arm of our galaxy and is orbiting the galactic core. The earth orbits the Sun at approx. 70,000 mph, while the Sun with its system of planets is moving at around 45,000mph. It takes the Sun around 240 million years to complete a circuit and in that time it wobbles above and below the lateral plane. When we left earth, which is 25,000 light years away, we were amid the lateral disk, which is why much of the light of the billions of stars was obscured by the clouds of galactic dust. But as the Sun orbits the galactic core it drags the planets along, they almost form a screw as they plough through the universe; another spiral you see?”

“And here we are spiralling down to our destruction into the point of singularity?” The student said. He paused. “But why does this mean all reality that we have known is a projection?”

“Because the Point of Singularity is projecting this very spiral we are caught within, into all perceived reality.” As he spoke the end of the room seemed to yawn as the process of spaghettification began. Visual perception and time blurred. “In the time we have spoken we have done a full orbit of the point of singularity, but to anyone looking from beyond our time field it is as if time as barely passed.”

“I know we knew the risks when we signed up for this, but now, at the end, I’m scared.”

“Courage, my friend. We will be remembered as the ones who proved the projection theory and just think; maybe we will find out what lies beyond the point of singularity, who is projecting reality and why.”

“Will the laser carrier wave make it? Gravity here is so strong even light doesn’t escape… and you said yourself time barely passes outside our time field…”


The lecturer had no time to scream as the Pythagoras and her occupants disintegrated, stretched into infinity as they fell into the bottomless gravity well of the blackhole. But outside reality was projected as always, matter and time recycled…

The Pythagoras, appeared at the set point , caught in the spiral of hot gases and matter spinning around the point of infinite dark; the monster at the centre of the Milky Way, the supermassive black hole. Inside the shielded vessel a last lecture was being given…

“So you see there are clues everywhere and thus the 3d universe is projected. I’m sending our findings by laser carrier wave now.”

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Phage

The Phage had travelled the vastness of space, intent on conquest; indeed they knew no other way existing in their strange half-life, neither living nor dead, but assimilating all others. They were parasites beyond equal. Alien, frightening and greedy for other life forms, they were a constant threat.

They had breached the outer defences, stealthily enslaving some of our comrades on the outer rim of the trade ways, feeding on them, using them, biding their time. We only knew of the incursion when it was too late. Using an oxygen freighter returning for replenishment they had traversed the great distances until they were poised at the heart of the system.

The oxygen freighter docked on auto-pilot as usual at Pneumo-Port to load up on life giving supplies to distribute to the outer worlds. There was a sudden explosion as the freighter was torn asunder. Emerging from its wreckage the horror of the Phage was revealed; alive and yet dead, biomechanical but robotically relentless. They had six legs around their data control nexus and mouthparts, their heads were carried behind and were smooth and shaped like a cut diamond. They swarmed upon other freighters in the dock. Other freighters exploding here and there and from each explosion the swarm grew and multiplied.

Alerted to the threat the Home Fleet launched a counter attack, determined to regain control of the Oxygen supplies, but their plasma weapons proved obsolete and inadequate. The Phage gained the upper hand in the engagement, ruthlessly destroying the defenders and capturing other plasma gunships for themselves. Yet out of the defeat one escaped, it had scanned the different proteins and elements that made up the protective Bioarmour of the enemy. Other gunships sacrificed themselves, ramming the alien invaders, ensuring that the one with its precious cargo of knowledge escaped to report to the system core.

Soon they were everywhere spreading through the trade routes and throughout the colonies, the whole system went into spasm as the alien infection bloomed.  All seemed lost as normal life ceased to be, as the Phage insisted upon the compliance of all. The system was shaken to the core, in a fever ridden nightmare, as the aliens stalked around the central Core gathering for the final attack.
 But those of us in the Core hadn’t been idle, we had learned from the defeat at Pneumo-Port. The sacrifice had not been in vain. All other industry had been shut down in favour of a rearmament programme. Our new fleet , with effective weaponry ,prepared to launch and engage the Phage…


“Will he be alright Doctor?  He’s been in a fever for over two days now, sweating and delirious”

The Doctor smiled at the boy’s mother and lifted his hand from the patient’s forehead. He still had a temperature but it was finally going down. “Don’t worry, his fever has now broken. Ensure he rests and stays hydrated. I’ll pop around tomorrow, but he’s strong; his system is now fighting back at the virus.”