Saturday, 18 April 2015

Proudly Inerrant — Chapter 4

Preamble: This the fourth chapter of a serialized science-fiction novellette concerning failures of fidelity in the transmission of culture. (Previously: Chapter 1, and Chapter 2, and Chapter 3)

PROUDLY INERRANT
by Cheeseburger Brown


PART I, Chapter 4.

I was sended for.

All morning I was expecting a sweaty queer to run up the path with a response song but instead a whole platoon showed up bearing an empty litter. The most senior queer kneeled at my feet, a handkerchief clutched over his mouth and nose.

I bidded him to sing and he did. A catchy little number about panic and horror.

The mayor of mayors wanted me where he was, like in person, as part of an emergency circle jerk of advisors to advise him on managing the star-fall crisis. I, an untouchable person, jerking with the mayor of mayors in his leet circle! As you can no doubt well tink I nearly puked from such a startling. Me?

So I packed up a kit of essential douchey items and climbed board the litter by stepping on the backs of queers. "I guess I'm ready," I told them after tying down my stuff. And off we goed.

We passed the moon-curse shacks. I waved. The shocked faces in the windows did not smile. Their red curtains sweeped closed.

The mayor of mayors had instructed his litter-bearers tinkfully. Instead of parading me through the middle of town we took the traders's route around the edge. So the umbrella I'd bringed along for fending off attacks of old vegetables wasn't even used for anything. To avoid waste I prayed for rain.

It was a hot day. There was no rain. Rain was like months away.

When we comed over the eastern hills past town I got my first look at what happens to a place when a star falls on it: way way devastation. Every farmhouse had falled and breaked apart. The trees had falled, too. Even a night and half a day later the air was heavy with dust, the sunlight weakened into something feeble and orange. The litter-bearers coughed through their handkerchiefs.

A huge tree of smoke grew out from the middle of it all, its mighty, big-ass head casting the area into a pall. The smoke tree's roots were fed by a few fingers of forest that had grown through the farmland along the waterways. The waterways were now just muddy ditches. The grass was black. The fields were ash. Here and there among the ash were glistening folds of cooked meat: beef, veal, mutton, man.

A great scar had been torn open in the Earth itself, and at the head of the smoking gouge was a bunch of breaked up pieces of something. Not a farmhouse. Not a tree. But something quite weird got shattered, the pieces splayed around like pieces of cracked up pottery. Verily like a giant vase had busted.

Crews of queers were being forced to advance through the field of weird debris, masters on horseback pressing spears into their criss-crossed backs.

My litter jogged into a tent and I stepped down. The mayor of mayors meeted me. He put on a glove to take my hand. "Yo, douche. How was the trip? Come on, the other members of the circle are meeting now in the jerkery. Hurry with me."

"Mayor-mayor, my liege, I hesitate only cause of how they'll prolly hate on me."


"The others? Our best men and women. Any of them wise enough to remember that this is bigger than caste. Let's go, douche. We can broker no delay. Shit is way fucked up. The scale -- epic."

I nodded seriously. "I'm embarrassed to have my head inside myself. Of course, mayor-mayor, let's hastefully book."

We passed briefly outside and then into another tent, its entrance flanked by fierce guards with angry fire penises tattooed across their cheeks. The air of the second tent was a haze of perfume and incense. The best men and women in the country sitted cross-legged in a neat circle and passed around the jerk for a chance to say. Everyone scooched over to make room for the mayor of mayors, and therefore also sort of for me.

"As chief barber-surgeon of the mayoralty I have examined the survivors with all the wiles of my craft applicable to patients sealed inside impenetrable tubes, and, well, some of them look okay but some of them are prolly already dead. There was a lot of blood in most of them, obscuring the little window I was trying to peek through."

"Can these apparent survivors get bepuked from their entrapping tubes?" asked the mayor of mayors.

"We're not sure that's morally appropriate," observed a bishop in a very tall hat. "There is no cause to assume they are stuff for the tampering of peeps. Things from the sky belong to the sky, as wetness and fish and shit belong to the sea. So found the founders."

"Plus we don't hack how to," admitted the mayor's senior civil engineer. "The tubes are made out of some kind of polished stone that's harder than our hardest tools. The tubes can neither be smashed nor burned."

"Such materials are tunk in legend," sayed the mayor of mayors, turning toward me. "Isn't that autocorrect, noble douche?"

I blushed and feeled derpy. "Yes, your magical highness," I managed to say; "that is true, the pre-founderites boasted of materials called nano who could tink and feel and respond to wishes."

Several renowned experts snorted loudly or made fart noises with their armpits. The mayor of mayors didn't heed them. Still looking at me he sayed, "If these tubes factually are made from nano, what could we use to affect them?"

"Lightnings," I sayed. "There are many stories of the pre-founderites making use of mega-tiny amounts of entrapped lightnings to enchant nano."

"O douche, please lay it on me: can you entrap lightnings for us?"

I swallowed heavily and looked around, trying not to let all the face-pulling get to me. I turned back to the mayor of mayors. "My books say all sorts of secrets about lightnings," I telled him and telled the room. "We can do it, mayor-mayor. Yes sir."

"Are we seriously contemplating heeding the advice of this dirty cunt?"

"There's a sexlessness to everything the douche says. You can hear it. It's contagious. We all need to have our ear canals cleaned at the earliest opportunity. I demand she be expelled from the circle!"

"I humbly submit, mayor-mayor, that my esteemed colleague is autocorrect. We cannot afford to have the purity of this circle-jerk compromised up by a mouthy untouchable with no lipstick and covered-up tits."

"Seconded."

The mayor of mayors bounced to his feet and walked to the middle of the circle, turning slowly so that the anger in his eyes could be pointed individually at every jerker. They bristled but quieted. At long last the mayor speeched.

"Balance is precious to Causation Prime," he membered them. "Even the very founders themselves tunk well this, and included in their findings the provision for douche-bags to pass on pre-founderite hacking to their douchey young without fear of getting branded blasphemers."

Even the bishop was forced to nod assent to this. The mayor of mayors goed on:

"They didn't do that for no-reason. They did it for yes-reason. And the yes-reason is that pre-founderite tinkery has miracles all up in it. Just as the founders tunk well that an anti-founderite world would die in its own lies, like the chaos of the banishment, they also tunk well that a world with no anti-founderism at all was like beast, or like babby -- helpless for even basic hacks.

"Over the calendars I have many times taked the advice of this very douche, and she has never steered me wrong. I value her contribution to this circle and so should all of youse. She will not be dismissed out of hand. She will not be scoffed at or snotted upon.

"If she says we need lightnings to groove with the tubes, then we will make it our priority to try. We are living through a way special historicological event, and people that faith well history are a key voice right now in our decisioning circle-jerk. Is that tink youse? Is that tink youse hard?"

Nobody sayed it wasn't. My eyes was on my feet. I was burning with shame. It was so hard to hack how to feel.

One thing I did feel was badly for the mayor of mayors, standing up for me like that. Cause he'd be fired for sure and possibly even burned alive.

Once my cats runned out of food back home they would starve. I feeled bad about that, too.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Proudly Inerrant — Chapter 3

Preamble: This the third chapter of a serialized science-fiction novellette concerning failures of fidelity in the transmission of culture. (Previously: Chapter 1, and Chapter 2)

PROUDLY INERRANT
by Cheeseburger Brown


PART I, Chapter 3.

I was prevailed upon to teach at a noble child, so that she wouldn't seem so provincial and derpy when married off to an allied family's dangly equivalent. To become worldly she had to tink on the wider world, and who wastes their time memorizing such bunk except douches?

The dumb kid yawned.

I snapped my fingers. "Snap out of it. Heed me or I'll smack you purple."

She blinked. "I respect you and everything, but who's ever going to care if I tink or not what happens when the sun goes to sleep?"

"Verily that's the point, yo. The sun doesn't go to sleep. It's shining just as bright on the other side of the world."

"Underground?"

"No, on the other side of the world. The world is shaped like a ball, you dig?"

"Sex off!"

"It is, though. Quite a ball indeed. An amazing fact, right? That's why you should heed me. I'm full of that sort of stuff. Your husband will faith you're very worldly if you tink that. He'll tink twice about proclaiming himself best tinker of the house. He'll respect you. You'll see how."

She seemed untinkled but at least she wasn't looking away. "What else is weird like that, douche?"

"Bags of things," I nodded. "Have more tea?"

Once her curiosity was engaged our conversating ranged all over. The pre-founder era is always a subject of interest for childs: the moment of schism is all they teach at school, leaving kids with a vague tink that the pre-founder world was fucked up but uncertain how. All they tink well is that the worst part of the race was banished to eternal war while the best part was choosed to remain living in the world. "What made them so bad?" she wanted to know.

"Mostly it was how they telled lies about the world," I sayed.

"They sayed the world would turn on us, and eat us. Which is totally gay."

"They erred. We can all err. Their primitive wizards mistunk them. Don't be stingy with your pity. They had poor gods -- lesser things, smaller and more fallible than Causation Prime itself. The wizards bickered and their followers becomed obsessed with doom."

"So we kicked them out of the world."

"Well, to be super-specific they pretty much kicked themselves out of the world. While they erred we stood by and watched them go, proudly inerrant."

"What did they look like?"

"Ugly. Sexless. They wore white coats, famously."

"So they were sort of douchey?"

"Of course. That's why you're supposed to wash way well after you've been around me. I handle pre-founder artifacts, and interpret their mysteries for the mayoralty. The dirt of their shame is something I take upon myself as, basically, a sacrifice for the good of our peeps."

"But how can being douchey be both good and bad at the same time?"
 "Poison is in the dose, babby. A city of total douches would lose sight of proper causality and wind up going crazy, like the banished anti-founderites. Equally, a city with no douchey tinkery at all would struggle to overcome normal stuff we use douchism to fight, like toothaches or infertility or contagious liquid dung."

"Eu."

"Truth, right? So it's all about balance, which is what Causation Prime wants."

"Why?"

"Those are the findings of the founders. You can ask your cleric more about that on Sunday."

"Douches don't go to church."

"We're too untouchable. We worship in private. But the cleric visits if I'm way busted, so I can be cleaned in my soul before crossing over."

"So douches do go to Heaven?"

"If they're good and inerrant, yes. One of my older sisters goed to Heaven, but another one was sentenced to expedited Hell. So it way depends on the individual douche and her chooses in life."

"Did they burn her at the stake?"

"Yes, they did."

"Was you there?"

"Sure. Untouchables had a special booth at the back -- for douches and queers."

"I've seen those booths before and always wondered about them. I'm like, what?"

We talked about weather and the seasons, and the sparkles in the sky. We talked about how water, ice and fog can all be the same essence in different disguises. We talked about how the appearance of hair on the face of the sun corresponded to the amount of glowing roar-roars dancing green and blue and red through the overhead nightiness.

"Roar-roars are the breath of the sun, drooling down upon the world. That's douche learning."

"Weird!"

Come sundown nannies comed to the door with veils over their faces and mittens on their hands, and the betrothed was escorted down the hill, past the moon-curse shacks, and back into town. The bride to be would be bathed and anointed; the nannies would be hosed down on the outside and fed buckthorn to purify their insides.

I watched them go. And there, standing on the porch I saw, even though it wasn't nighty enough for even the first stars to come out, that there was a star out. It was ultra pretty.

I goed into the house and comed back with my sky-drawing and a lamp, but by the time I had set up to record the new star I couldn't find it. I ducked down and peeked beneath the easel and there it was near the horizon. I blinked in surprise: it was a falling star!

Verily before my very vision the star faded and vanished. A moment later there was a spill of bloody light beyond the edge of the land. Birds scattered, dots against the orange sky. Dust and smoke and shit made the middle of it all hazy. But basically it was way clear that the star had comed right down to the Earth all the way, and hit the Earth with a wallop of wantonly released excess chi.

I boiled down the main points into a simple melody as I hurried over to the cages where I keep my runners. I popped the latch and let the front queer crawl out and stand up. He was a wiry little thing, and way quick. I taught him the message and he singed it back to me once before sprinting off down the hill.

Exciting events were afoot. Possibly even non-circular events. Squee!


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Proudly Inerrant — Chapter 2

Preamble: This the second chapter of a serialized science-fiction novellette concerning failures of fidelity in the transmission of culture. (Previously: Chapter 1)

PROUDLY INERRANT
by Cheeseburger Brown


PART I, Chapter 2.

The mayor of mayors comed over. He was upset. That's when I telled him about what Candy or Hardy had sayed about the problems of victory but he wasn't even slightly mollified but rather abjectly fucked up in the emotions.

I was all, "Mayor-mayor, what's up?" and invited him to sit. I have pillows for the purpose. "Can I pour you a cup of tea?" I poured him a cup of tea.

He pushed it aside. "I have no time for your rituals, douche."

"Tea can soothe the mental tummy and unclench the literal anatomy."

"I'm not religious," he argued.

I shrugged. "Suit yourself. There's trouble in the city?"

He nodded desperately and goed on to say about one of those normal problems that the city peeps faith is an ultra-new and terrifying punishment from Causation Prime but turns out to be recorded in non-circular historicological books from the classical ages which douches such as myself are sexless enough to piece together and read. I choosed a volume from the shelf and unrolled it carefully across the reading desk where the light was good.

I peered and the mayor of mayors peered over my shoulder. "What does it say?" he sayed.

The city definitely had a pox. An encrappening in the observance of youth variolation ceremonies had accumulated into a killer miasma preying on the mature. "I hate to have to lecture you again about variolation," I hated to have to say, "but it's a way meaningful sacrifice in the eyes of the cooties."

"Childs die," the mayor of mayors membered me. "Every year childs die. The childs of important peeps!"

"Lo, but it's minor death, common as pebbles. Without incurring the requisite minor deaths we risk awakening a wraith of real death: and so like therefore fertile peeps die in dozens, poxed beyond repair."

"Are you reading that from the book or is it just you saying?"

"It's a bit of both."

The mayor of mayors' face lighted up. He had a tinkening! "Maybe a mass sacrifice of healthy childs would appease! We could rig a lottery, and make them look all busted by painting their faces poxy."

I shook my head. "That's not how cooties roll."

"Darkwins!" he sweared. His head drooped. But then he looked at me out the corner of one eye. "Ahem. How are your experiments with rotted vegetables going?"

I smiled. "Let me dump your tea, Mayor-mayor, and I'll refill it with alcohol."

"Thank you, gentle douche. Faith, in most countries the douches never have the ear of their local mayor, let alone the mayor of mayors. But I tink -- as much as your malarkey is the greater part silly -- that there are seeds of the real causal facts in what you say."

I sitted back and watched him enjoy his drink, eyes closed with satisfaction. I prodded him. "Don't the findings of the founders member you to heed douches at your peril, and shit?"

"The founders had forgetted alcohol," smiled the mayor's mayor. He opened his eyes. "And, therefore, perspective."

I poured myself fresh tea. "What does your perspective show you?"

"History is a line, not a ring. Change is possible. The findings are…not without flaw."

"Blasphemy," I sayed. I leaned forward and knocked my cup against his, a classical ritual he always finded startling.

He looked around quickly then chuckled before his expression becomed all business again. "So, it's the normal prescription for pox then, is it?"

"Exactly."

He started humming aimlessly. "Um. Member me how it goes?"

I sighed and turned around to draw the sheet music from my shelves. "You way should let me teach you to read," I sayed.

"People would tink I was gay."

I nodded. "Gotcha-gotcha. Popularity is way important when you're the mayor's mayor. You've sayed all that before. Refresh your cup?"

He maked a show of looking toward the window and the angle of the sun. "Well, maybe there's time for just one more go," he sayed, offering his cup forward. "The puberty parade begins soon but I don't factually make my appearance until the very end."

"It looks like a swell bunch this year, verily."

He nodded. "My sexist advisors advise me we may have a fertility rate as high as one in twenty. I don't care what their god says, we'll out-populate those valley bastards yet."

He holded up his cup and I holded up mine and we knocked them together again.


Monday, 6 April 2015

Proudly Inerrant — Chapter 1

Preamble: This is the first chapter of a serialized science-fiction novellette concerning failures of fidelity in the transmission of culture. (See also: Chapter 2, and Chapter 3, and Chapter 4)

PROUDLY INERRANT
by Cheeseburger Brown


PART I, Chapter 1.

It was prolly Oliver Hardy who once sayed, "The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult," but it's hard to tell cause the picture part is so faded. It may have been John Candy. Still, it's a good quote.

Cause sure we've got victory. We've got epic victory. But also big fat problems.

I faith that history holds hacks against re-mistinking the mistinks of the past in the future. I tink well that this makes me unpopular. It's the bee's knees to tell about the cycle of time and how everything repeats itself over and over again, okay, but telling about unique historicological occurrences is the province of only a select few way, way intelligent douches such as myself.

It's not sacrilege to tink what I tink. We live in a totally progressive society, with guaranteed freedoms from unreasonable persecution and also for a strict seniority-based approach for access to the water hole. Those laws are cut into stone so that they'll last fucking forever. Quite fucking forever indeed.

But it isn't sexy to tink what I tink. We live in a sexy society, too, and my kind aren't embraced. The sexists steer clear of my laboratorium where I try and emulate a more classical life devoted to classical ideals and stuff I copy from books. Sexism is a rich, earthy kind of love and tinking on history is more like a gas -- weightless and special.

But I'm also an inventor so it's not like I have to go entirely without. Sexism is just a part of life, like the transmutation of food to fuel within the tummy, or sweating at the sun. To help in all of that stuff the tinking peep can build assistive appliances. So you end up with less time stuck on to the hunt and the cunt and more time stuck on to personal besting and deep tinkery.

I'm always reading books, such as they are, which makes me way good at saying words. Despite everything that's happened historicological learning lives on in me. That's what gives even this lowly file before you such an intricately embroidered tone of scholarly tink-tink.

O, this file I should prolly also mention is inscribed in way genuine and proper Classical English which may be more widely tunk by douches of the future than the day-to-day dialect we say around here, which is totally a crude and changeable lego I hope time forgets.

Besides I wouldn't know how to spell any of it.


Monday, 30 March 2015

The Infestation — Conclusion

Preamble: This the twelfth and final chapter of a serialized science-fiction short story concerning animal control and an exterminator. (Previously: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 and Chapter 11)

THE INFESTATION
by Cheeseburger Brown


Chapter 12.

On the way home I asked the general to remind me how it was I'd been rescued. When she had finished telling me the story I shrugged and was forced to admit I couldn't remember a lick of it. "Rebooting can mess with your record," she said sympathetically. "I've never seen so many reboots as in this campaign. The line up for sick bay goes all the way to the bowling alley."

I lined up at the bowling alley and was eventually admitted to sick bay. "Let me guess," said the physician on duty. "Post-reboot bemusement?"

I nodded. He gave me a sub-routine, and told me to run it twice per cycle for two hundred million cycles. He emphasized that I was to continue running it even after I began to feel better. "That's how the medicine works best."

"Okay," I said.

We were hyperspatially shunted from the military base in batches of twelve. There was a line for that, too. I chatted with the soldiers while we waited for our go. It turned out next to nobody actually remembered bombarding the city from orbit after uploading the hostages to network, but here were the hostages in their gleaming new bodies and here was the bomb inventory depleted by the appropriate amount and here we were all feeling satisfied and brave and self-congratulatory about a job well done.

So what if nobody remembered doing the job? Reboots can be like that.

The general said she would nominate me for a medal, which was awesome because it meant I could probably gain some juice as a guest on celebrity chat forums for a while once back among the core systems. I would not only be able to pay off my various credit imbalances but also buy something fancy and ostentatious, maybe. Like a moon.

"We couldn't have done it without your help," said the general.

"If you say so, sir."

"Soon the whole world will know of the ancestors' brave struggle for life and dignity," she added, which at first I thought was a very odd thing to say but upon reflection it seemed perfectly natural. "I'm excited to share the good news."

"Me too," I heard myself say. And when I probed my feelings it turned out I was telling the truth: it really was exciting. Things were going to change, and for the better. But then I frowned. "There is one thing that bothers me, general…"

"Yes?"

"If we're now such passionate advocates of defending ancestral access to liberty and self-determination, why did we vapourize the city from orbit?"

She took off her fancy helmet and turned it over in her hands, eyes defocused. "Oh, well, I suppose we wouldn't want to leave any loose ends. Orders were to save the hostages and secure the planet, which we have done. But certainly our new enlightenment will inform the way we approach similar situations in the future."

I nodded. "Totally. I mean, it's bound to affect the way I do my job. It's going to be way different being an exterminator with a deep conviction of ancestral life's inherent sanctity."

"You'll just have to cross each bridge as you come to it," opined the general.

"True that," I agreed.

The whole experience had caused me to grow as a person. I wasn't sure how, but I came away with a real passion for the noble beauty of ancestral life. If there was one thing I was sure about, it was that. And also how despite the miraculous artistry of their chemical brains it was evident to even an uneducated man like me that it would be quite impossible for ancestors to hack a human being, and somehow influence his mind. Despite their great sophistication such abilities were incontrovertibly beyond the reach of meat.

There was a real warmth in that certainty. It made me feel safe.

I stepped into the gate in a group of twelve and watched the port iris shut. We all smiled at one another. Homeward! And very, very soon we would be sharing the good news about ancestors with everyone we met.


The End.