Transmission Log 8074: Tweetie username @4armpuppeteer

O’Brien? Are you out there? Goddamn it, man, first thing happens after I arrive is I get beaten up. #notmyideaofavacation

Seriously, I’m at the meetup point. Reply or DM me ASAP. This place makes my skin itch. #grimeandurbandecayasdermalinfection

I fkn hate only having two arms in this altuniv, but both of them are shooting middle fingers at you right now. #sopissedicouldkickapuppy

You’d better have some whiskey as a peace offering. Christ, I could use a drink. #WeAreTheAggregate

I mean, is it so much to ask that your operatives use — hey wait, I didn’t write that hashtag. #AreYouReceivingCommunication

WTF is happening? O’Brien, zat you? Are you hacking my fkn Tweetie acct? #WeAreTheAggregate #AreYouReceivingCommunication

Um, yes? #CommunicationReceivedAndUnderstood #ContactCommencing #TranslationProtocolsInitiated #NeuralInterlinkTransmittedAsText

What? #ContactDesignateIdentityConfirm #AreYouVahidNabizadeh

How did you get my name? Who the hell is this? #WeAreTheAggregate

And who is The Aggregate? #TheAggregateIsACollectiveHigherDimensionalIntelligenceSeekingSafeHarbour

And what the hell does that mean? #ThatWeAreFleeingABurnedUniverse #OurKindExistsOnlyAsInformation #OurHomeHasBeenDestroyed

You’re shitting me, right? #ColloquialismUnknown #WeRequireCorporealForm #WeSeekSafeHarbour #WillYouHelp

How can I believe any of this? Your hashtag hacking could be an elaborate prank. Why the hell did you pick me anyway? What did I do?

Well? #ScansIndicateTesseractTransference #YouAreNotFromThisAltUniv #NeitherAreWe #ThusProbabilitySuggestsOpennessToAidUs

How could you possibly know I was sent here by the Tesseract Project? #TechnologyIsFullyIntegratedIntoOurselves #WeAreAdvanced #WillYouHelp

Look, I still don’t buy it. Even if you’re truthing me, how could I help? I need aid myself. #ADownloadOfOurMatrixIntoYourCorporealForm

You’d download into me? I don’t like the sound of that one bit. #ButYouWillBeAugmentedNotOverwritten #TheJoiningWillBenefitAll #WillYouHelp

Sorry, anonymous aggregate. Nothing doing. I’m closing this account now. I’ll have to contact O’Brien another way. #YouAreMakingAMistake

Maybe. I do that sometimes. Bye now. #YouCannotEscapeUs #WeCanGoAnywhere #WeAreTheAggregate #NowhereInTheMultiverseIsSafe

#YouWillHelpUs #TheAggregateDemandsAnAnswer #WeAreLegion #WeAreForever #WeWillTakeOnPhysicalForm #WeWillTakeThisAltUnivByForce

#ContactDesignateIdentityVahidNabizadeh #AreYouReceivingCommunication #AreYouReceivingCommunication #AreYouReceivingCommunication


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This piece is just one in a 23-part linked narrative called Fragile, which will take a liberal interpretation of the song titles (but not the lyrics) of the masterful Nine Inch Nails double-album The Fragile. To read the other chapters in this series, click on the category “Fragile” below.

Edd Vick

Parthenia Rook, adventurer, renowned stamp collector, and backup drummer for The Ramones, paused to slather on a gloop of sunscreen before taking up her kayak oar once more. According to the GPS in her pineapple-frame sunglasses, she had three more miles to go before she’d reach the Magnetic North Pole and be able to reconfigure Doktor Mandrill’s latest nefarious device. Provided she could find it.

On the up side, the device had melted the polar ice, so she had open water all the way.

When her oar pulled at nothing but air, she briefly wondered if she had sunstroke. Then she saw the turrets on either side of her, and knew that she sat atop The Bonobo King’s submersible castle, a perfect replica of Neuschwanstein down to the last wedding-cake flourish.

A dozen dormer windows opened, and rocket-propelled robotic penguins shot out in crazed trajectories before locking on to her position. Parthenia shoved off a nearby chimney, and slid sideways down the metal roof. Her kayak caromed off a pipe, the roguins zooming low to follow, straight for the edge of the roof.

“Penguins!” she thought. “Trust the good Doktor to get his poles reversed.”

At the last moment she caught a rain gutter with the oar and hung three stories above the water. Her kayak slipped off and spun downward, followed by the rockets. They slammed into it.

The resulting explosion knocked her upward again and blew an enormous hole in the side of the subschwanstein. She landed running, and dived through one of the dormer windows. A launch tube led down to an ammunition dump full of roguins and roseals.

She briefly debated setting some to explode, but the castle was already taking on water.

She still had to find Doktor Mandrill’s machine. It must surely be in the castle somewhere. Even if it went down with the castle, there was no assurance its destruction would bring back the ice cap.

Quickly, she texted her progress so far and prepared to delve deeper into the castle.

– - – - – - – - – -

Here Parthenia Rook’s intercepted last report ends, with supplemental material supplied by satellite and Orcandroid surveillance. Observation continued as ordered for the next two days. The castle sank and exploded underwater, with no sign of life detected. The North Pole remains entirely liquid.

Respectfully submitted to his majesty the Bonobo King this 29th day of March, 2010.

– - – - – - – - – -

The previous appearances of Parthenia Rook by Luc Reid, Rudi Dornemann, may be found here.

Parthenia Rook, Episode 1: The Third Oldest Trick by Luc Reid

Parthenia Rook, Episode 2: The Shoe in the Brain by Luc Reid

Parthenia Rook, episode IV: In the Hall of the Bonobo King by Rudi Dornemann

Parthenia Rook V: In Rio de Janeiro with a Gnome by Sara Genge

Parthenia Rook, episode VI: The World’s Fair by Trent Walters

Parthenia Rook, Episode 7: The Gory Candlestick by Luc Reid

March 26, 2010 will mark the Daily Cabal’s third anniversary of posting brand new, very short, often wildly speculative fiction every single weekday, come Hell or high water, with about 800 stories posted to date. And we’re going to celebrate!

But we have no idea how, so there’s a contest.

THE CHALLENGE: We invite all Daily Cabal readers, supporters, wanderers, stumble-uponers, nay-sayers, and enemies to comment here with ideas for how we Cabalists can best express our elation at having survived another year. Some kind of flash fiction writing would probably be involved, but apart from that it’s all open to whatever you can imagine. Give us a writing challenge, a theme, a restriction, a process, a warning, a command …

THE PRIZE: The person who submits the winning idea will be respectfully Tuckerized (inserted into the story) in multiple Daily Cabal posts according to any personal details that person is willing to divulge, whether those details are true or fanciful, clear or ambiguous.

THE DEADLINE: Put your ideas in the comments to this post by the end of the day Sunday, March 14th. To add a comment, click where it says “No comments” or “1 comment” etc. below.

Thanks to Luc for putting this announcement together!

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