Man, the endangered species

Fizzy Choices

The garish prisms of light blazed down from the ceiling of the crystal cathedral upon the writhing sweat drenched forms. The latest offering of music sounded ominously like a call to prayer, a last chance for many of those present to relieve themselves of their sins, or perhaps to relive them.

“You know I hate this place, why do you insist we meet here?” Wren asked shifting uneasily in his seat, casting furtive glances around the nightclub.

“But look at their energy Wren”, laughed Mercer “the frantic dying screams of youth, why it’s absolutely delicious. I have to come here to pray and play, and consume ridiculously large volumes of alcohol”

Wren fought hard to maintain his rapidly dwindling composure; it seemed to fade so fast these days. “A third of these people will be dead inside of twenty-four hours and you come here to enjoy yourself”

Mercer merely laughed joyously in response and shrugged his shoulders “Don’t blame me man, blame the system, bad consumers make bad producers and must be encouraged to do better.” He turned once more to look at the dance floor, a look of awe on his face “Real life, so much better than us corpses don’t you think?”

“Oh really” remarked Wren “Care to trade places with one of them?”

“Oh no, that’s quite ok” answered Mercer groping for his glass of wine “I am quite content with my present state of existence”. Finally locating it, he paused and looked strangely at Wren “And you could do that too, couldn’t you?”

Wren chose not to answer and busied himself instead with fishing around in his pockets for some credits with which to pay the extraordinarily beautiful waitress who was approaching the table with their drinks. He left her a king-sized tip as he always did, one of the perks of being able to physically make money.

“Why don’t you interfere Wren?” continued a hopelessly drunk Mercer “you feel this, I mean really feel it”, he waved a hand groggily “you could stop them from feeding these kids to those goddam vampires”

Wren lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply “How old are you Mercer?”

“Oh you know, older than some and younger than most”

“I killed a Messiah once Mercer, killed him before he knew he was one, stole into his chamber and slaughtered him”

“I see”, replied Mercer, visibly stooping now, “and was he tasty?”

“Somewhat, and then I chose his replacement and set him up”

“Didn’t work out then?”

Wren idly swept his hand across the spiraling eddy of smoke he’d just exhaled, taking in the length of the dance floor before answering “Obviously not”

Mercer appearing to be in the throes of severe double vision grabbed wildly at his glass three times before regaining it. He stared steadily at Wren then for a long time before asking “So which of you fucked it up anyway?”

Wren laughed, finally relaxing somewhat. It was impossible not to in the company of Mercer “I’ll tell you what” he offered, “Pick a person, any person here at all and you have my word that they’ll be saved”

Mercer took a long time before answering and when he did, he appeared visibly more sober. “ I don’t like that choice much at all”

“That’s about all the choice we get”

“Wren the Company somehow knows about me, they want to employ me or they’ll more or less destroy me, that was pretty much the choice they offered”

Wren took a moment to absorb that before asking “They hope to you use against the Church is that it? Jesus they’re still pretty naive aren’t they?”

“Jesus?” asked Mercer quizzically

“Oh, it's just a term. Listen you really don’t want to go fucking with the church, they have some defenses of a decidedly unpleasant nature. I guess this means you’ll be picking yourself tonight”

“Well since you were kind enough to offer”

“Oh I like you Mercer and besides, saving a corpse is a damn sight easier than saving one of those poor souls up there would be”
 
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ZeroCool

Death Jester
fire and youth

I don’t miss Youth so much as the clean cut living of razorblades and Rabies. It dreams of someone stealing into your room and delicately removing your scream with a scalpel and replacing it with a sigh. You get older and you accept that people for the most part don’t want to fix anything. They just don’t want things to break down completely. There’s always the sneaking suspicion too, that paralysis comes from gauging things too accurately and maybe that’s why nature introduced faith into the mix of humanity, a lubricant for life, something to keep it moving.
“Well I think that”
“Burn the heathen and burn that country there and we’ll build a nice cathedral from the rubble”
There are no maybes when you’re young, you don’t hedge a damn thing, you hate and love with equal passion, expending all in fits of lunacy. You gamble your body, forever promising to pick it up from the pawnshop and taking it out for Fish and Chips and chocolate covered taco fries to celebrate. You’re broke all the time, you’re dumb, the best decisions you make are bad ones, and the rest are disastrous. You’re in thrall to all women, destined to run around with the rest of the pack sniffing their butts and wagging your tail hopefully. Being young was being able to blame your troubles on everyone and everything around you with a clear conscience.
Being older is seeing the grander design of life, the one whose authority you’re expected to accept and submit to. You’re now highly cognizant of the decisions you make, and like investing you’re expected to make less of the volatile ones. There’s less time to recover now and the price of pawnshop recovery becomes ever greater. The grand design looms large in your mind, you’re acutely aware of whats expected of you, but you lack the faith that others possess. How much of their vaunted plan is needed and how much of it is speculated into existence, their ever-expanding bubble. If everyone believes in it, is there a difference anyway. There’s no security for the non-believers and no safety in numbers any longer. All you can do is to pretend to pray and worship, all while circling with needle in hand for a chance that will probably never come but then maybe...
 
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ZeroCool

Death Jester
A letter to the widows of the Possessed

I like the possessed, I think they’re good folks. They have tentacles, breathe fire and rip apart anybody they encounter limb from limb. Blood for the blood God, that’s all they believe in and it doesn’t matter whether it’s yours or theirs. They’ll run from one end of the board to the other ranting and raving about hearing 'the voices', and it seems to be a matter of vital importance for them to ask everyone they meet (in that brief period of life left to them), if they’ve heard them too.
And they trusted me those poor bastards, and I got cocky I freely admit it. After you’ve sent in four squads of them time after time and they obliterate everything in their path, you start to believe in that cult of invincibility. And then some pansy Eldar fucker charges you with twenty bright lances and forty dark reapers. “Charge them back I ordered” and the possessed sort of looked funny at me and made time out signals with their tentacles. “Look” one of them said “it’s not that we doubt your uncanny tactical abilities which seem to consist of charge and run for the most part , it’s just we’d really like to review our employment contracts”
“I see” I replied tersely “and what happened to blood for the blood God, theirs or yours”
“True, that’s quite true sir” pausing “it's just that in general we prefer if it's theirs”
They charged in the end and lasted about two minutes, those useless fucking Cunts. Less squads of them next time and I’ll cut their wages too. Get six Defilers and bombard the shit out the Pansies early on and then send the possessed in.
 
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His father had shown up unannounced with his prime advisor Garrick, something he’d never done before in Dave’s entire life. The timing was rather unfortunate as Dave had been attending a rather important meeting himself with five of his closest financial advisors, all female, all naked and there was the minor matter of Dave being handcuffed to the bed. “Father” he greeted heartily “I hope this day finds you in the best of health”
No response was forthcoming save that of his father cradling his head in his hands and rocking his body gently backwards and forwards. “Ladies” Dave continued unperturbed “that Balance Sheet seems quite in order, I hereby call this meeting adjourned” He paused for a moment then “Sally if you could just retrieve the key from the secure hiding place you put it in and unlock me”
It was after the ladies had departed that his father had introduced Terrence declaring him to be Dave’s guardian Angel. There was no doubt Terence had the wings and the feathers too, the damn things moulted all over the place. He also carried an obscenely sharp looking sword by his side.
 

ZeroCool

Death Jester
Well?

Your defences are still pretty strong. Mind you a few well-chosen words will still knock hell out of them, it hardly seems worthwhile maintaining them at all

I guess it must give me some kind of purpose

Well I suppose one kind of purpose is as good as another as long as you’re reasonably content, anything else?

No, wouldn’t mind if you hung around a bit though, it gets lonely around here

Well what are you up to

Attempting to code some C#, kinda silly really, a project from a college textbook, I’m considering going back to study it

Hmmm seems like you’ve got it pretty well figured out, reasonable set of classes, most of the functions are there and how they’ll communicate with other. So why haven’t you assembled it

It’s a little dry

Ah and this isn’t

This is an attempt to foul myself and cry out for the referee

I count things Mac I don’t keep score. Your atoms are in perfectly fine shape and you have an abundance of energy so why don’t you just do whatever it is you things are supposed to do

I don’t know it feels false

Look the energy is limited in any case and it will get spent regardless. Use it to push yourself into a few more states, you might find one that suits you better

That seems like an entirely reasonable and worthwhile proposition

Make noise, perhaps you’ll even stumble over some harmony. I mean your energy looks cleaner already. Why do you things find it so hard to do what’s good for you

I don’t know, sometimes it must be easier not to. Can’t you zap me with electricity or something?

Damn I’m on a pretty tight budget, I can’t really go zapping anything…but look if you really think it might help I might be able to throw a little schizophrenia your way

Ummm y’know I might just hold off on that for now, keep going under my own steam for a while yet

Well if you’re sure

But hey thanks for the offer anyway

S’ok, what are friends for
 
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a day

The words, the days, the life, should they be apple pie and Ice cream or salty excrement? I can’t make my mind up so I skip breakfast as I’ve done for the last five years and I wonder about the demons that never possessed me, that died chewing their way to the core, pathetic creatures not fit to wear the mantle of rats. It’s the phone call that wakes me early, the tiredness wakes too and clambers all over me in its attempt to pin me to the bed. Deftly I smack it about the snout and it whimpers mournfully retreating to the corner.

It’s from the company I do part time work for. The permissions are still messed up on their File Server. They’re nice people to work for, a man and wife team who were more than willing to allow me to learn what I didn’t know. The husband is a pure engineer, impatient but reasonable with a sense of humour similar to mine, black and dehumanised, throws hand grenades but will always bandage you up afterwards. The wife is really nice, the structured one who keeps the whole operation together. Embrace catastrophe or remain paralysed, and I know I take too many risks but nevertheless things have more or less remained intact. They seem so much older than me and I suppose he is but she’s only two years older and pregnant to boot. It’s a damn good thing I don’t have to manage permissions on lives. I’ve never left them in the lurch and I never will and I guess they respect that and the phone calls keep coming.

Back to my main place of work then, the tomb of despair, a nicely done décor of bend over art and a place of finance that makes plenty of profit but is being shut down anyway for tax reasons. I’d try to understand it better but the madness smells, the colours are hazy and I’m too bored to explore the heart of greyness. A big lumbering beast, something that was born long before I was and is sure to outlive me. It sheds workers as lizards shed tails, never losing anything of importance. God knows what it wants from life, always hungry, never satisfied, simultaneously moving and standing still, and immune to practically everything. Sure it could be my twin. The folks here took it harder, older, and more loyal I suppose and have mortgages to support. The poor dumb beast is only obeying its instincts but it seems mere idleness to point out that its faults are ours.

Still biting my damn nails or cannibalising myself for spare parts as I like to think of it. It would be nice to be a floater having pulled out the roots of my present existence but entrenched I remain, still caring, still revising and sure there’s always Dawn Of War and interesting people and they’re all interesting when you look closely enough. So damn fragile though.
 
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ZeroCool

Death Jester
The Pope, the puke and Punk

Well he wasn’t quite passed on yet and myself and Deez aren’t quite Christian yet, but the premature wake took the form of a punk/trad band called “Blood or Whiskey” that played in club Voodoo. Practically the whole band sported Mohawks, safety pins at all angles and grimaces of the milk curdling variety, all the way down to the banjo, accordion and tin whistle player. The exception was lead singer who looked like he’d stepped directly from the set of that dodgy as fuck Flash Gordon movie.
The only saving grace of Capitalism is the reactions it produces. There’s only so much greed, materialism, meetings and paying for management’s bonus’ that your average person can take, just as a body will also only so much poison to seep into the body before it takes drastic action by invoking the puking clause. Punk is just a bunch of people puking together.
I felt old looking around at the scene and hey I’m only 28, but I guess it’s because I’ve been around for a lot of economic renaissance of Ireland. It was in the very late 80s that Ireland saw the game was up, massive unemployment, spiralling out of control debt, all of the young dynamic people leaving the country. So the government of the day embraced Capitalism like never before and it’s worked more or less. Companies get a free ride in Ireland, they pay practically no taxes but they do provide a lot of jobs with employees providing all of the taxes to keep the system going. We have one of the best economies in the western world by any numbers you choose to use. And it’s happened so fast, from worst to best in the space of 15 years. And the baggage that travels with it has come about so quickly too. The whole living environment has begun to resemble a battlefield; people have become undeniably crueller, a little colder and removed from something they can’t quite put their finger on but they feel the loss. As the whole process begins to grind, the queasiness increases, and you’re like, hey I’m glad I got on this ride and it’s improved my life to no end but can I get off now please. And the controller just laughs, pretends he can’t hear and jacks it up to level insane.
How much of it is necessary? The feeling runs deep that there should be more to life than this but maybe that’s just a foolish notion that will correct itself over time. In the meantime, Excuse while I puke on this guy.

Bucharest

Shot in the head in a bar in Bucharest
I was just hoping to score
I was standing there broke
Laughing at some joke
When the world burst throught the door
I was dreaming of Stonehenge in '68
When I met your old dear
On a blind date

Shot in the head in a bar in Bucharest
Shot in the head in a bar in Bucharest
Shot in the head in a bar in Bucharest
I was just hoping to score

Shot in the head in a bar in Bucharest
What was the promise you made
It was 14 years since I'd shed any tears
And even longer since I got laid
And it was only then
As I was lying there
I thought I really like to change
The style of my hair

Shot in the head in a bar in Bucharest
Blood went all over the floor
There was a four piece band
The biggest in the land
I heard the crowd call out for more
It was clear to me
Anyone could tell
That they had nothing to say
But they said it so well

© 1996 Blood or Whiskey, all rights reserved.
 
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Dawn of War

Hi my name is zerocool and I’m a dawn of war a holic. I think I began to suspect this when my friend pointed at a quite beautiful looking girl in the pub and said “phawwwwww would ya look at her” I looked at her carefully before replying “I don’t know man, looks like she has pretty crap hit points to me, no tentacles or fangs” I added, “useless in close combat and I seriously doubt she’d be worth upgrading”. There was a long silence at this point.
I gave up computer games years ago, I done my time, I repented, I was saved and JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT, THEY PULL ME BACK IN. I have disturbing images of the future forming in my head. My wife talking to me despondently “It made me think of what you once told me. In five years time the Zerocool family will be completely non virtual. That was seven years ago”
“I know. I’m trying darling but there’s a new patch out next week that’s going make the possessed and defilers even harder and that’s just the reality of the situation.”
Dawn of war can be played one on one but it’s best as a team game, 3v3 online and to the death. For this your teammates are everything and every mistake you make costs them dearly. The ultimate betrayal is the dropper. This is the slime of humanity, the one who drops out in the middle of the game at the worst possible time leaving his fellows to fight on in a two V three scenario. The following was a conversation by two of my teammates. The former had a scheduled porn download, which he forgot to switch off before engaging in a game. This hung his machine as the bandwidth was not able to cope with the planet-sized breasts he was so desperately trying to acquire and this consequently dropped him out of the game. The later team-mate was Bellylint. His space marine army is all pink and they’re called the flaming ho’s, which has lead to all kinds of aspersions being cast upon army and commander. Do not be lulled into any kind of false sense of security about this for Belly is death incarnate and he smells too, and we’re not talking about victory here.
Trembling team mate: “Look belly I’m sorry man, I totally forgot about that download dude”
Belly: “Trembly, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the Forums, I don't want you near my house. When you go online, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?
It was truly sad but this is the business that we’re in. Belly added to me later. “Zero I want nothing to happen to him until this season is over and then I want you to take a mallet and go put his machine out of business. This I dutifully did and posted the mouse to the newspapers as an unmistakeable message.
Our final team-mate Patientzero appears to be some early variant of A.I. Whatever the designers originally intended, it neither looks nor acts human. It cannot be determined whether it would pass or fail the Turing test as it keeps killing the testers in question with Reapers, laughing at the fools that engage in close combat. Its only known demonstrably human characteristic to date is a hypnotic like fixation upon any and all large breasts in his area of operations. On entering my humble abode, he always tells me to put the kettle on so he can have a cup of baby. These are my peers, this is my life.
 

ZeroCool

Death Jester
slide

I pick too many holes in things and I’ve never learned to sow. I’ve worshipped at many Alters but none so strange as my places of work, places that wished me to believe in the craziest fucking things without supplying any of the appropriate drugs. Besides I never saw the point of sacrificing live animals or other human beings for that matter. I was happily poisoning myself choosing ruin over damnation and that’s why I noticed the couple. They finally relented in telling me this, after spending a half hour trying to convince me, that I could see them only because I’d finally lost the plot. I hadn’t really drunk enough to become philosophical, and these days it’s become too damn dangerous to dabble in anything other than measurable practicalities. So I just laughed when the guy said I might just have to kill everyone in order to save the species. A true child of my generation, I said I’d kill everyone for free and the species too for a good tip. I mean fuck it, what have they ever done for me, and what are they ever likely to?
 
Thinking seriously of quitting my job to examine the blueprints, more than thinking really, I’ve more or less decided if they’ll have me. These are pretty good days, I hardly bleed at all when I shave and I removed most of my bones by plucking them through my nose with a tweezers. I had to smash them of course but I’ll never have to again. I traded in my old superior scales for a broken ladder, one that wobbles so much it changes perspective wonderfully. Never could figure it out, I wrote high and highs or low and lows, I could deal with the meandering between the two but I could never properly appreciate the need for it. I’m now hitting the gym three times a week now and I’ve more or less given up smoking, giving up religion was so much easier. My reading seems to have turned harder again, bigger circles instead of smaller ones so the repetitions are felt less easily. There is something special about the blueprints though, the stories those cells seem to be itching to tell, living for a fraction of our lives but existing far beyond anything we’ve known. I’m looking forward to studying them if I get the chance, something I should fine out in a month or two. I suppose I should attempt to get this going again to see if I can learn anything from my own crooked circles.
 
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