In The Sixth Millenium, There is an Answer to an Old Question

“Anyone ever ask you what the measure of a man is Aiden?”

The answer was sitting on the table to the left of a tape ruler. The rest of him was on scales all around the sterile white room. Amber Banes was diligently disassembling as much of the man as she could. 2 liters of blood were sitting on the ground in glass jars. With a plop, the kidneys were put aside to be inspected later for viability. Briefly she glanced at Aiden who was standing at the edge of the room trying to muster up some emotion for the proceedings. She turned back to the body, revealing the red highlights of her black bobbed hair.

“Well Granddad?”

“ Stop calling me that. I’m ten years younger than you.”

“No honey, you just lived ten years less than I did. The birthday still proves you’re my senior.”

“That’s fine. Is that Trevor Ashton?”

“Says so on the chip.”

“Trevor Ashton, awarded Hero of Earth in 2166?”

“As far as I know.”

If Aiden had his druthers, he’d be smoking and pacing up and down the ten mile compound. A troubling thought could always be beaten down with the proper medication. Sooner or later, he’d out pace it and find a rational, comforting answer. This was not to be as the fruit of Kentucky had died long ago and Aiden had work to do.

“ How does a man who survives impalement, plasma discharge and two painful divorces die?”

“A steel beam removes his head apparently.”

“So you’re saying that he’d be a poor recruit for an army?”

“ I would be if it was 4000 years ago. Now, we’ve got capabilities that… it’s magic. I got frozen a doctor, now I’m a shaman.”

The scalpel was put on a tray so that she could grab a pair of hedge clippers.

“ Why did you leave?”

“My arthritis got to the point that I couldn’t tie a knot: couldn’t work. Turns out all I needed was a cream.”

Plop. The heart was pretty big for a small man. Out of its element it was a rather unimpressive piece of meat. It might just save someone else’s life but that was potential. At that moment it was a bloody junction. The salvage mission continued onwards.

“Well Mr. Smith, do you need him or not? I really don’t want to remove his intestines if I don’t have too.”

“No, I kind of figured I’d get the whole package.”

“Wouldn’t be so picky myself. I’ve got sot some natural born killer heads back there.”

“I’ve got better prospects.”

“Do you need a new kidney?”

“Three’s sort of crowd.”

“Picky. Picky.”

Plop. The liver was now weighed. If you were one to subscribe to the idea that this was where the soul resides you might think Trevor had some serious evil inside him. Could very well be a symptom of the toilet wine.

“I was suppose to go somewhere else.”

“Senior moment?”

“I was told when you stop living you go somewhere.”

She stopped for a second. With her right hand she maneuvered to touch his shoulder but remembered the blood at the last possible moment.

“Do you dislike where you are?”

As if the patron saint of awkward moments, Ikay bust into the room with what looked like a tricorder and an insanely cheery smile.

“What’d you get me Amber?”

For a moment the two regarded Ikay like she had horns growing out of her bald head. Her cheerful disposition could be so irksome. Problem with that was, Ikay just wanted to save someone. Try as he might, Aiden couldn’t fault the kid for that.

Trevor Ashton died at the age of 60, 1.65 meters tall, 65 kilograms heavy. He had 155 confirmed kills and in his life he saved 20 men. In his death, he saved another 21.

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The New World at the Event Horizon

First the caravan was stars and then it disappeared all together. The 500 souls on The Manifest Destiny were an island in an ocean beyond measure. They weren’t the first island made in this endeavor and they wouldn’t be the last. There were in fact at least 100 islands scattered across space, although some were uninhabited. Still when humanity at large leaves you, smoke might just get in your eyes.

There is a story about a boy named Icarus who flew to close to the sun. We’ve forgotten why but we know that Icarus died in the end of the story, diving downwards to Earth. Many people believe that the moral of the story has to do with ambition but captains know better. There’s a more practical lesson to be learned; stars are not to be trifled with.

Captain Thomas Yule looked upon his new sun and sighed, desperately wishing he would fall back to Earth. They didn’t have enough fuel to even escape the star, let alone go home. Home would be here, under this light. They had shovels and hoes and a little green place where they could settle down. Then someday, maybe they’d build new ships to find the other islands. Maybe, they’d even find new island, full of new peoples.

Thomas didn’t much care for that last idea, citing humanity’s sad history with new things.

Memento Mori Mr. Roboto

Brian was 7 and Christian was 8. Brian had bruises all over his body that his parents worried about with little chance of relenting. Brian was an active little boy, and active little boys tended to lose their mint condition awful quick. Little boys only last for about 12 years, then they become teenagers. Christian had the same amount of dings but he was made of stronger stuff. More or less, Christian would be forever what he was. His steel was coated and his circuits were shielded and he needed minimal upkeep.

They would play together and they were friends true as any but, there was an undercurrent of sadness in Christian. See robots get input from time to time, but mostly the mind they start with is the mind they keep. There in his mind, Christian knew that 1+1=2 and somewhere deeper he had access to actuarial tables. The discrepancy between Christian and Brian’s life expectancy was 910 years.

For a while Christian wouldn’t even talk to Brian; it was just too weird. Sure it had always been there but he didn’t use to like Brian. Brian use to be that little squirmy thing, unknowable: estimable but not knowable. Then Brian started talking and the little thing started to come up with these bizarre games that Christian was just enamored with. They would play for four hours straight and some how the human had more energy.

In one game, a tree had became a despot and the air was full of enemies to defeat that only they could see. So they kicked and grunted, as men do until they finally met the overlord of darkness itself. It towered over them but neither was afraid and soon it was vanquished, broken apart by Christian’s fist. Christian had thought it rather easy actually. That tree was an Sugar Maple and should of (by most respects) lived for another 200 years. By all respects, it was sturdier than Brian.

Christian was so distraught as to find solace in the company of Esther, a strange robot as old as a Sugar Maple could hope to be. Most robots had their people and once their people were gone a robot tended to wander away from humanity. Esther lived openly among humanity and most robots thought her queer for it. She welcomed the assumption with an odd cackle she had sampled from the elder women she had known. Along with her queer ways, she had developed a reputation as a good listener.

“Ma’am,”

“Esther. Life’s too short for formalities.”

It wasn’t but she was still an elder and therefore to be respected.

“Why do people have to die?”

“Well, they try not to but….”

“But what? Humans are smart. They can’t fix this?”

“Nope and neither can we.”

“Maybe if we get our scientists on this we could fix it?”

“We fix bits of it all the time, trouble is something else breaks.”

“So, there’s nothing I can do?”

“Nothing but enjoy what you got while you got it.”

“Never thought of Brian as a commodity.”

“You ain’t forever either.”

“But I’m going to live for a thousand years.”

“And you think that’s enough?”

She cackled madly as Christian left to process. She was obviously a lunatic. After a couple minutes of walking, he found Brian playing on a slide. He immediately decided to join him. Most of the children waiting behind Christian wished he hadn’t, but he fixed things well enough.

A Sex Machine Sadly

He could not find her bedrock no matter how hard he drilled. He thrust and he thrust and he thrust but he never landed in that special place. She smiled but he knew he had failed her. There was no point to him if he could not make her happy. He might as well be destroyed.

“It’s okay honey, I have my ways.”

Tiffany was always so kind, so beautiful. Her auburn hair obscured her almost symmetrical round face. She was rubensque and more than he ever deserved.

“I’m supposed to be your way.”

“We’ll just have to recalibrate.”

Michael was built to please humans sexually, but he was after all mostly a do it yourself model. He was mostly DIY due to the fact that strictly homemade models tended to have strange issues with their lover/mother’s. The customizable options were still rewarding enough to warrant the elbow grease and hassle.

“It feels like I’ll never be the tool I’m supposed to be.”

“We’ll get there.”

For a moment they shared a spark between their eyes, sight to sight transfer and love by another name. His tawny yellow eyes told her everything he wanted even though she knew that to be her. She made him want her blubbery body, white cottage cheese thighs, flat and wide breasts. She made him enamored by her needy nature. She made him love her bad breath. It was all there being repeated back to her in his diagnostics.

“I just want to make you happy.”

And there was the strange thing, she was trying to help him help her. He would rise in her with such efficiency, such frequency and such accuracy but she just couldn’t be there in that moment. She was out of her body where she didn’t have to stare at those eyes that searched her for approval. They were stuck in each other’s insecurities.

The difference was Michael’s could be fixed.

In The Sixth Millenium, They Need a Few Good Warriors

“You know, dead people use to actually disturb me.”

“They’re just things.”

“That distinction alone troubles me to the core.”

“Morality from the time of The Express Crusades. Cute.”

“Do I want to know?”

“Christians kill Jews, Jews kill Muslims, Muslims kill Jews, Muslims kill Christians, Christians kill Muslims. You were all very busy, I’m not surprised you don’t remember.”

“You know Roebuck, Icky was nicer.”

Roebuck turned, his protruding lip was level as he demonstrated the very face of bemusement.

“Ihkay, Mr. Smith. Please have care with our language.”

“I will be as careful as possible with your language, even as you insult everyone I ever knew and loved.”

“You’re era was know for it’s promiscuity.”

“You’re era was know for dying due to being evolutionarily retarded. Why am I back in this god forsaken place?”

This place was a gigantic freezer full of humans that could be; creatures of potential energy. They were stacked ten tall in bags, heaviest at the bottom. Sometimes they were rearranged to prevent entropy. The entropy had it’s own pile with at least a hundred bags in the corner clumped together and broken, awaiting a scavenging mission. When Aiden looked behind him, it made him come close to wretch. A beautiful red headed woman with green eyes was mostly there save for the crushed torso.

“You were a warrior were you not?”

“I was soldier, yes.”

“Is there a difference?”

“A soldier swears to die for his country and to march in straight lines when told to.”

Aiden Smith was desperately trying to remember if The Devil’s Dictionary had an entry for soldier. He probably had just committed plagiarism.

“But he does war?”

“Some more than others, but yes that’s roughly the point.”

“And like does know like.”

“Are you suggesting I’m here to pick out scrappers?”

“No we’ve got salvage experts. I need warriors.”

“Warriors don’t have a look, Mr. Sears. They’re farmers, little boys, grandmothers, and at least one was a polish bear. The only trait they share is experience in a painful pastime.”

The reference flew over Roebuck’s nappy head, as well it should being 4 millenia old.

“So you can’t help me?”

“I can tell an Army haircut a mile away, well a US Army haircut, unless he’s delta force or… Tell you what why don’t you tell me who looks tough to you.”

“And you’ll tell me whether or not you agree.”

“See, we’re sympatico.”

“I’ll assume that’s not a form of disease.”

“As far as you know.”

They happened upon a 300 pound two meter long man with a big beard and muscles all over save for a gigantic gut.

“This man looks like a… scrapper.” Roebuck tried to imitate the sound.

“He’s a Hell’s Angel according to his tattoo.”

“Sounds like our kind of man.”

“Do you have any meth?”

“What?”

“How about a motorcycle?”

“I’m at a loss.”

“Then I wouldn’t recommend him.”

“And who would you recommend?”

“No one until I know exactly what I’m making recommendations for.”

“If you must know,”

“I must.”

“A planetary guard.”

“Which you need because?”

“To defend Humanity.”

“From the aliens that mostly think us swell?”

“Most everyone did not attack your World Trade Center .”

“Funny how history is abridged. I bet they told you nothing of Vanilla Coke.”

“You concede that I’m right, do you not?”

“Despite yourself, yes but you’ve probably thawed a few already.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, in case you haven’t noticed there has been a lot of war.”

“And how do we find these warriors?”

“We ask.”

“I have a confession, I’m not a people person.”

“Ugh. Does being a liaison pay more than washing dishes?”

“Pay? I’m sorry I don’t have the translator on me.”

“Are the hours better?”

“The hours are yours to make as you will.”

“Then, I’ll find your army general.”

As the two men shook hands, there was a sense of doom about them but as they were surrounded by corpses this seemed to be a problem of ambiance.

The Perils of Being Sexually Active in the Multiverse

It’s like standing between mirrors in a barber shop. They go on and on forever and if you should wander away, you might just find yourself in a wrong place with different laws governing your actions. There are no easy exits and each way back to you is littered with distractions and obstacles. You can only keep walking and hope you find your way back.

What I’m trying to tell you is, that’s what your Steve is facing. For the last three months, I’ve been banging you under the false pretense that I’m your universe’s Steve. Considering the large scar on my cheek and the patch over my eye, I’m sort of surprised you didn’t figure out that I’m not your Steve. Maybe, it’s just that women are stupider here.

Ha, if you meant to assault me with your libation I must point out that drinks in my universe are much more poisonous. Where are you going? I don’t have any of your universe’s money. You know I never have any of your universe ‘s money on me. I guess I’ll play with sex as is my custom.

 

 

 

 

…. Hello officer, would like some sex?

Mindwhore

The morning dawns and Jeffery gets his body back, only to realize that he has had sex with a woman three leagues above him. Her ample perky breasts, pale soft skin and long flaxen hair makes her 9; the deviated septum keeping her snoring away far from 10. He thinks about asking for seconds but knows better of it. Really, the only way to get out of such situations with any feeling of comfort is to leave while they sleep.

As he collects his clothes slowly, Jeffery wonders just how much sex he has had while absent. It really is a strange business to rent your body, it takes a special man. The man that can rent his body, is of course capable of leaving for periods of time. The accepted term is astral projection, but Jefferey considers mental vagrancy a more astute summarization of the experience. Then all you have to do is find other people similarly gifted who would like to use your body. It helps to have a nice body.

He comes up with a number as he wiggles into his briefs. In the five years since he began working in this profession, he has witnessed the aftermath of 87 confirmed lays, 10 highly probable lays, and 3 instances that he tells himself were not sexual in any way. There have also been 12 brawls, including 3 black eyes and a broken rib. 2 weeks ago, he had awoken to find blood on his hands without any open wounds. That really did scare him and now he’s just fulfilling the appointments on his docket.

“Honey, last night was worth $200, I do so hope you have it. I wouldn’t want to get Dante involved in this.”

Having suffered a broken rib from the last meeting with Dante, Jeffrey quickly found the wallet in his pants, his wallet. His wallet wasn’t suppose to leave his house on these excursions but apparently John 356 thought that was more of a guideline than a rule. So the prostitute pays the prettier prostitute for a product he has not partaken in. Whoring ain’t easy.

 

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