The Third Day, Between Pages Six and Seven, Second Attempt, Part Two

“I can’t make heads nor tails of this infernal contraption, Rudy… What did you call it again?” The Cosmic Kid scratches the bright red latex of his costume where his scalp should have been, confused. He tentatively reaches out to touch a blinking button, but withdraws, suddenly uncertain of its intent, no less the assurance that it was connected correctly in the first place. (It’s worryingly tough to have to constantly see right through time.)

Photo by Yulia Matvienko on Unsplash

:: — :: Did they never tell you about the word costume? Either it’s a type of oafish and overly-sentimental dramaturgy that pertains only to the recent past three hundred years or so, or a simulated falsification of self through wardrobe or plumage—a dehumanized self: a clown, an actor, or a hero, deprived of any meaningful personhood by being entirely shoe-horned into an ideal, character, or idea.

:: — :: As distinct from uniform, that implies organization and a belonging to that organization. You are thereby accounted for and directly inherit some default and assumptive characteristics, primarily beneficial. :: — ::

“A communicator, Kid. Just a communicator. Like a phone. You have voice here, video here, and text here. This one has a thought channel, but I didn’t turn it on because it’s just connected to the Cataloger.” Rhodólphos speaks slowly, concerned that The Cosmic Kid isn’t fully digesting the content… but why would that be? He made this technology! How could He possibly need exposition? “So, as you know, the stream of a Cataloger is just a series of ranges of potential fabrications of presumed source thoughts that are encoded and stored to later match with the actual measured radiation decay and dispersal patterns to reliably reconstruct the initial synthetic self.”

“Yes, yes, of course, but…” He claps the captain on the back. “The answer we need is precisely in those thoughts. Render it for me now, Chum.”

Rhodólphos shakes his head, baffled by the inanity of the request, nonetheless complies, and tunes in the audio frequency to settle on a repeated stilted robotic intonation: “heavenly rapport a metric tonne” with a scratchy squeak at the end.

The more The Cosmic Kid listens into the dancing static, the less he’s able to understand, the words He’s hearing mutating at will, combing through databanks for associations, linkages, possibilities… He presses His protective goggles back into place. “Rudy, give me the text output.”

68656176656e6c79207265706f727420616d65726963616e_68656176656e6c79207265706f727420616d65726963616e…

“Syllogize it, please, Rudy!” One shouldn’t have to ask for such things in the real world, should they?

heavenly report american
heavenly report american
heavenly re…

The Cosmic Kid grabs the stand-up microphone from the coms-panel, tapping the morse code along with his hollered message: “Information insufficient. Provide more detail!”

“By Jove, Rudy, I think we’re on to something here!” Lorelei snaps her gum in boredom, elbows sunk into the counter, chin sinking deeper and deeper into her wrists, as Guy is shuffling a deck of Magic Cards from one hand into the open palm of another.

Rhodólphos cranks an eyebrow high, even more convinced this attempt is a boondoggle. “Kid, this programming has either just been initiated or its subject is something of an empty… canvas, shall we politely say.”

“That attitude and that mumbo-jumbo will get us nowhere, Rudy. I really look to you to know better.” The Cosmic Kid stares up for a moment, forgetting that there were several fans keeping the bay cool. Against a backdrop of blinking lights reflected, He could infer their spin and speed just by watching the edges of shadow move across the ceiling. “Information insufficient. Provide more detail, now!” He draws in a deep, quick breath to hold and listen only to the response. “Aha! It’s changed!”

“Kid, I have pretty good ears, even if they are original, and there’s no difference…”

“You’re right, but look at the text stream.”

Rhodólphos does a double-take, astonished at the scrolling output.

HEavenLy rePort aMErIcaN
HEavenLy rePort aMErIcaN
HEavenLy rePor…

“Rudy, you mentioned a subject, but you didn’t tell me which of the Chums we’re interfacing with.”

Stumbling incredulously over his words, trying to focus on the question and the text simultaneously, “Uh-umm, Miles, er… Myrrmann. It would be Myrrmann. But… how did you…?”

“Merman, good! He’ll be able to lead us right to Darby, no doubt!”

“It’s Myrrmann, but… how… what do you mean I didn’t tell you, I told you it was Myrrmann just back in the corridor.”

“Murman, is it? You did no such thing.”

“No, Myrrmann. I did.”

“Moorman? No, you certainly did not!”

“Myrrmann. And I did, and Lorelei confirmed, and then you leant down on one knee, took her hand and proposed your undying love for her. I’m not crazy here, am I?” Lorelei agrees with a nod of her head and a frown.

“None of that sounds like me or anything I might do.” Returning to the toy microphone, “Myrrmann, we can come for you! Tell me: Where are you? You say ‘in,’ where should we let you in to? Where are you?”

The signal is overcome with a harsh hissing static that scrapes nails viciously along everyone’s cochlea as they wince. It is mercifully swift, as the teletype marquee lights up again, the sonic drone unchanged.

HeavEnly Report amErican
HeavEnly Report amErican
HeavEnly Re…

“Here?!” The clear and present Chums spy about the room, looking for clues or secret incantations hidden in the girding of the magnificent temporal vessel, The Inconvenient Truth, buried in her cargo holds or etched into her quantum circuits, but The Cosmic Kid was certain that He knew the truth.

— That here is a place of fear and terror. An investigation into the Self so deep that you relive the pain of fire, and you relieve asphyxiation in gas chambers, and you relive the repetitious drumbeat of whips upon your back until you can’t really tell the difference between blood and air, skin, bone and whip. There are a lot of places about Us you surely don’t want to go again, that you would forbid yourselves from ever committing again, the drowning of Neanderthal children, the death-plaguing of the American Indians, slaughterhouses roaring up ovens for deviants, crooks, and deformed, the poisoning of rivers and stratospheres, junkyarding biological three-dimensional space in orbit of Mother Earth, the smashing of atoms…; Here is a magnificent palace but also a torture chamber. And if You don’t live both sides of the torture, You’ll never understand who You really are. Only You are the one who knows torture and inflicts it.

— That here is a station of fear and terror. To build all of this potential, only to have it thieved in the night. If we give the blood, sweat, and tears of generations of labor, how could it dare be shared. This is our hafn, our haven, our citadel, and only we understand the rules of “How Reality Should Always Be,” scores of master theses are dedicated to the perpetuation of this white, male patriarchy (who brought you such hits as: Genocide, clean running sewage systems, slavery, space stations), we are the only ones with global syndicates running experience, and we’ve done this to maximize shareholder value, so listen to us when we speak about such things! We’ve got this covered. This is the job we were born albino to do. So out of fear and terror, you defend and protect. Against not other people really, but against your own worst fears of what you would do in someone else’s situation who was being subjugated. I used to say that you could tell a lot about a person from the way they imagined what their cat was thinking. And right then I knew we had to set a better example for the cats.

HeavEnly Report amErican
HeavEnly Report amErican
HeavEnly Re…

“Stop kidding around — you’re not here, we’ve scanned the entire ship and there’s no trace of you that isn’t a trace of how you disembarked.” I know that there’s a tremble in my voice when I say it. I didn’t want to let it show, but there’s no doubt that this is a scary situation. One of the Chums lost their way in search of solace and alcohol, a moral cleaving with our true hopes and aspirations for ourselves or our species. But so many have been felled by this same disease, the slow, tortuous acid burn of vodka or whisky or tequila or wine. It takes years to consume you, but you were dead the moment you took the first sip. But then, the second child, the youngest, the blonde, the angel, the eros, blundered further astray, unannounced and unnoticed, into the pressure bubble of expanding spacetime, and hasn’t come back. The prospects for these types of ventures are decidedly ill, even for dimensionally-flattened cartoon heroes.

— That here is a place that never yet existed. Here is illusory, more illusory than there. That where We are, truly are, is somewhere else. As if the bargain between language and humankind was ultimately won by the technology. That technology bit into biology and infected it, until we became We and we believed ourselves to ultimately be the abstraction. That the ego-home to all of these streams of consciousness are already the technology of language and not the animated transgressions of biological beings. Here is where We decide what is truly true. Are we the words that become Us or are We the biochemical exhortations that splurt onto a fleshy mass of electricity? Did you know that Frankenstein was made of electricity? Are we pinky or the brain? … and what if we were? What if we were what? What if we were words. And formulas, I grant you formulas, I’m just more of an Artist than a Scientist, but you’ll have realized that already. What if the royal *We* were the technic, the words, the computers, the bits and bytes? Why is that so damn bad, really? Aren’t these words, these abilities to use words and render sensation into words and sense emotions from just reading words, weeping without someone having to die, isn’t that what Humanity and Humanitarianism derives from? Not from seeing a starving child and feeling sad or helpless, but from the abstract notion of generic starving children a world of emotion intensity can erupt. Language is the more loving and humane solution than the penis. How did We miss this the whole time?! Because we weren’t here in this dialog, we were there, slowly realizing what we were reading on the screen.

heAVenly rEport ameriCan
heAVenly rEport ameriCan
heAVenly rE…

The Cosmic Kid perspires now, because this message makes no sense. It is not one he can recognize. How can it have been written if he cannot recognize it? It’s one thing to pretend to not get it, but to actually be de-looped from the process of uploading and downloading your sense of self up and down between your personal consciousness engine and the Cloudfront of Humanity. This is actually perplexing, and concern becomes insuppressible fear.

The Chums chatter back and forth, quickly trying on and discarding theories. “AVEC, it’s clearly referencing the French for ‘with,’ what does he mean with?” “It’s something to do with something, maybe within us?” “Nah, like with, like maybe inside our imaginations, like he’s inside here (tapping on her scraggly curls) — here with.” “Maybe, maybe, just run it through then. He’s in our memories or he’s in our thoughts…” “Oh, oh! Maybe we have to think him materially out into the world here in order to find him!”

They come to The Cosmos Kid with their idea, but he isn’t really trying to follow their logic because he intuitively knows that’s not what’s going on here. It’s not His doing, which makes it ever more imperative to ascertain its meaning.

“Ave-C, Avenue C, no…” “Avesi, avesi, a’ves y…” “aveline, avecine, a vaccine… a vaccine!” “No…”

The silences between ideas elongate, interrupted starts mellow and age into aggravated groans, this is going nowhere, thinks The Cosmos Kid, a long, frazzled furrow in his bald cap above his aviator goggles.

— No, it can’t be. Not because it’s too simple, but because it’s comprehensible, it has to be, but I just, I don’t, I can’t, I don’t want to look, I don’t want to have to think about that as a possibility, it’s not, it’s just that, well, oh, no, no, no, it’s got to be, just… why why why why, for just a second, you think, okay, this might just work out, I can find a way around this, but then WHAM, and. Nevermind. It’s just… the way it’s gotta be. No problem. We can do this.

“Chums, I know where Myrrmann is.” They huddle anxiously around, generating a softly whispered orgy of ‘where’s.

“Look at it again, and listen to it. It’s repeating, but where does it start?”

“At heavenly, obviously… or is it?”

“Listening to it, once it gets going, it’s just an endless drone of repetition, and you could slice it up anywhere.”

“Evac?”

“No, next one.”

ameriCan heAVenly rEport
ameriCan heAVenly rEport
ameriCan heAVe…

“Cave… that mean anything to you there, Kid?”

— That here is a place of damp and florid meaning. It is overburdened with prospect and possibility. It balloons faster than the speed of light, and the arrow of time is a pierce through the heart. We used to think that the self was in the belly. Why not? We come from bellies, we’re blurted out wombs, sex and stomach, Goldilox and Five Barns, three hundred children and but one crop in the field. We’ll be eating cereal again for breakfast, boys. We know this place, of projected chaos, where every twist and turn and beam of light is scrutinized, measured and scarred, leaving in its undulating wake the hopes and prayers for unification again some day. This stalactite symphony of water tones is only the beginning, the very, very beginning of what promises to be an extraordinary and extraordinarily long process. And here, my misanthropic dwarven friend, in this cave, is where it truly begins.

Yes.

Hello Jeronathon. Are you the Erasure?

No, I am the Emitter.

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