Tuesday, 29 March 2016


The soldier were running around her, the heavy alien machines gunning down anything that was moving in their sight.

Rita moved slowly, trying to present - as much as possible - the figure of a civilian.

For being the terrible "killer robots from outer space", the Anipos machines had already become famous - because they did not really kill anyone - unless they really, really, really had no other choice.

As long as you were not armed, they did not even injure you - not the way they wounded armed soldiers, at least.

Obviously, when the soldiers realized this, a vast majority of them started ditching their weapons as soon as they were faced with these ugly mountains of metal.

Even more obviously, as soon as the High Commands had realized the danger of masses of soldiers "losing" their weapons on the battlefield, they emanated some nice new rules.

Every soldier that abandoned his weapons, now, was considered guilty of desertion in front of enemy forces, a crime that - since times untold - has always been punished with death.

Rita couldn't help but feel that it was as cruel and as dumb a rule as one was possible, what could the poor schmucks really do, after all?

But it didn't really matter. She was not a soldier, no matter how many of them she had come to know and even respect, in these last few days.

Corporal Ruby appeared, jumping out from the last trench, carrying an unconscious girl soldier on her shoulder, pulling a sled with their two rifles on it.

No weapons abandoned, so they may have some hope of escaping the not enough obfuscating stupidity of their commanders.

Rita remembered what she had read of ancient history, and thought - grimly - that this time the Oh-so-High-And-Mighty generals would have probably recuperated the long forgotten, but often honored, tradition of the Decimation.

She turned around, and took the road toward the retro-guards, moving quietly.

As an unarmed civilian, she was in no imminent danger, either from the alien battle-bots, either from Earth's authorities.

She had come, she had seen what needed to be seen, so now she was ready to go back to her master, and to tell her impressions on the current war. Which could have been resumed in a phrase: "It is, really, a steaming pile shit".

A 0,50 machine gun started firing in her direction - probably, in direction of the alien machines, but the gunner was evidently out of his mind and didn't mind having a civilian in his sight line.

Of course, a really sane mind would have taken the armored car already, turned it the other way and then floored the accelerator, running home as fast as possible.

Five shots went to her chest.

"I have to play dead, now... what a bother" - the lazy thought passed through her mind, then she realized that the alien machines behind her wouldn't have missed the basic fact that her "dead" body still produced a respectable amount of heat.

The laws of thermodynamic are such bitches that, no matter the tech you are using, they cannot be avoided, which meant that every machine with good IR sensors could spot someone faking her death after a couple of minutes.

Probably, the most intelligent policy would have been to run away, as fast as possible while being discrete - not as fast as she could run, rather just as fast as she should be able to run.

Too late.

She finds herself, all of a sudden, in a very huge shadow, cast by something approximately the size of a eighteen wheeler.

Or of a battle-tank.

Running now would probably be a bad idea, so she turns around, and then raise her eyes, as she recognize that the object casting the shadow is floating at some seven - eight meters of eight.

The big machine rail-gun comes to life, the noise of a continuous, high-pitched buzz... Rita looks at the shots flying. Some four thousands shots per minutes, calibre 2.5 mm, muzzle velocity... 25 thousand meters per second?

Rita feels a bit deluded... she expected values way higher than these. These are puny shots, really... She can "see" the tungsten darts flying, and there is no way that her technology is better than that of the Anipos, the aliens with the FTL drive. So, the machines must be putting very little effort in today's battle - their usual, evidently.

Of course, limited as it may be and lazy as they are, what these robots have and do is way, way more than enough to do the job that they are supposed to do, and their efforts an overkill... in three seconds, the barrel of the .50 browning in the APC is virtually vaporized, the wheels of the APC fare not much better, and the lone gunner is running away.

Rita wonders if he, among so many that  ran at the right moment, is the one going to be charged for desertion, having abandoned the materiel that he was in charge of. Knowing the absurdity of bureaucracy, of which the army was just an extension, she thought it was probable.

The robot kept its distance, observing her leisurely.
She heard a first ultrasonic ping, some 50 w/square meter, at about 1.2 megahertz.

The machine was trying to get a 3-D image of her body, innards included. Of course, the impulse was deviated by her shields, which was going - most likely - to make the already curious machine even more curious.

So, not for the first time, Rita wondered how dumb really were these 'bots... if attributing human characteristics as curiosity to them was appropriate, they were probably a lot more intelligent than the authorities were willing to admit.

Not that it would be any surprise... the "authorities", to date, seemed spectacularly ignorant of even the most basic facts of this war, preferring a lot of wishful thinking and "expert reasoning" to politically inconvenient truths.

At least, they stopped using nukes, when they realized that they were virtually useless in the current situation.

The robot tried another time with the ultrasound probe - Rita supposed that it had spread transducers all around her, trying interpret the deflected sound as it was received in multiple points in space, probably with real-time interference differential analysis... it didn't come as a surprise, she had done the same, plenty of times.

Her transducers were small electronic flies with point-to-point laser channels... the big robot probably had things one magnitude  smaller and more sensible, so she was sure that the machine had his reasons to try again the same trick twice.

After a third ultrasound probe, the robot switched to a low intensity, high-energy x-ray beam.

Rita deduced that the ultrasounds didn't manage to satisfy the big machine doubts - he wouldn't have tried a different probing technology, otherwise.

By now, the alien robot was fully aware that she was not really a somewhat plain looking woman, so switching to a different tech really meant showing her more of its tricks-of-trade.

- "If we keep on like this, it is going to understand that I am the only thing on the entire front that is armored and armed heavily enough to make a dent into its armor, master. What should I do?"

The answer to her sub-vocalized question, as always, came as a confused stream of concepts and sensations - she still hadn't learned how to interpret it as a voice, as some of her sisters did - that led her to understand that it was, probably, really too late to do anything.

By now, she knew that the robot was run-of-the-mill tech, to say so.

Relatively low-tech materials - ultra-high-strength steels and titanium, but no carbon nano-tubes, no nano-tech self repairing capability, no QCD chemical binds-strengthening field nor gravitational force fields, only a basic "flat-plane" anti-gravity device, and some big electric propulsion fans. 

The black boxes meshed inside her body were arguably way more sophisticated and, pound-per-pound, she was probably some 30 to 50 times more powerful.

Unfortunately, the alien machine was probably 130.000 lbs, while she was somewhat less than  200 lbs.

It was enough to make her float like a brick, much to her dismay, but surely not enough to exchange blows with the metal titan in front of her, more so considering that his brother 'bots would probably act together, if it ever became necessary to get ridden of a small nuisance named Rita Mcfadden.

- "Damn... I should have flown away when the soldiers started to escape. Permission to retire, master?".

 Again, the flow of semi-abstract concepts reached her, only, when it stopped, another stream of consciousness reached for her.

This one, she clearly felt as a voice.

A young girl's voice - one of her sisters? no, this was a voice that she never heard before, with echoes as deep  - and as amused - as the voices of the dolphins she once dreamed to ear. If it was a dream, that is. 

"You have my permission to retire, little one. But I expect you to meet with me again, at Pyramiden -  78.6566581 north,  16.3264134 west. We will talk, without unwanted witnesses and distracting chaos. We have much to discuss, little sister. Now, you better go, before some more stupid legends are born; God knows there are already too much of those, around".

Rita blinked twice, then jumped away, accelerating at 170g till she reached 900km/h, on a flight path that her navigation subsystems had spent the last ten minutes calculating to keep her on the fringe of radars and other possible observers.

She didn't care much about the Army's radar... they didn't detect her any better than they detected the Anipos robots -  - so, unless she flied directly into a radar beam at less than one km, there was no chance they could see her.

But, lately, the Army had started deploying a lot of small drones with short range Lidar that were - these -  capable of seeing her, or, rather, that could see that something of her size was flying just above the top of the trees, and to report when they ear sonic bangs, which meant she couldn't go at Mach speeds. Those drones were a nuisance that was best to avoid.

This day was already on the shitty side of things, without getting the oh-so-bothersome Earth's legitimate authorities discover her - and by inference, her sisters' - existence.

The U.N. military was already getting its ass wrecked hard enough, without adding her to the host of the meat grinders.

In that moment, the 130.000 "dumb-bot" thoughts were remarkably similar to hers... only, it was already enlisted in the meat-grinders, which was quite unfortunate for it, because it didn't really suit its tastes. He really enjoyed more to surf the planetary info-grid, looking for unknown humorists.

Now that the little one was gone, the battle-bot spread his legion of microscopic spies even larger, observing the confusion of his enemies and evaluating how to reduce the casualties to the very minimum.

It was hard to do so while respecting the very shortsighted orders of its masters, but if things were easy, no 'bot would ever enter "Hrkana". .

In its estimation, it and its "brothers" could have won the war by the second week of hostilities, at maximum.

The time to identify where the enemy Headquarters were, and to pound their installations with an orbit-to-ground massive drop of kinetic weapons.

Arguably, making a pulp of the generals should be exponentially more effective than wounding millions of foot soldiers.

Theirs orders, instead, were to drag the things at a way slower pace, in order to not offend Earth's public opinion too much. Which, the more the Brothers did learn of their enemies idiosyncrasies, the less sense it made.

The Robot updated the war's tally - 55.345 injured soldiers, today. 1238 deaths, mostly wounded soldiers that had been trampled in the stampede, when the run started. What a waste it was, all this pain for nothing.

Five soldiers were actually killed, accidentally, by one of its brothers. Overcame by grief, it had already self-destructed - the footage of its explosion would probably come come to torment it and the brothers in the enemy propaganda, dressed up as a victory produced by Earth's military might. That it was a delf destruction, though, was certain to every knowledgeable observer... the 'bot had expelled the power package and the rest of the matter/antimatter trinkets, its destruction was just a massive discharge of the emergency batteries. Half a ton of explosives, nothing more.

To quell its sadness at the loss of a relative, the massive machine tuned its inner ears to the song of the Whales' Queen.  This stupid, stupid war had, at least, given that to the Brothers. Access to a not-human culture of great interest.

And then, there was this mysterious little sister.

It didn't manage to analyze her fully, but all she had shown pointed to a pretty respectable technology, and to an use quite innovative of it.

In the Anipos culture, the development of cyborgs was forbidden from time untold - she was the first one that the Robotic Brotherhood had ever encountered, and she didn't really look like the kind of Demon that the traditional tales depicted.

The battle 'bot devoted some other 300 ms to savoring its sense of wonder, plotted  the successive 30 minutes of battle, and went on to his job, humming in tune with the Whales' Queen song.

The idiocy of this war notwithstanding, life had been really good with the Brothers, in this system.

NCS -Non Consensual Story (Part 1).

This is a work of fiction. 

Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. 

Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and, frankly, undesired on the author's part.

Joshua "Josh" Lightgow was a rich man.

He hadn't always been one, or even aimed to become one.

When he was young his dreams were much simpler. Marrying the woman he loved, have a couple of children, a house in the suburbs. Normalcy, as they say, in all its heinous glory.

It didn't work out that way - she left him for a guy with grander ambitions, a day-trader that worked at Lehman Brothers, that earned thrice as much as Josh.

As many of his colleagues, the guy had then lost everything when the Lehman imploded, but by that time she had moved onto a bigger mark... and Josh took a perverse pleasure in knowing it.

Yet , some day... some day she will have to pay.

Needless to say, when she left him Josh was really distraught.

It took him a couple of years, and a couple more of failed attempts at starting a relationship, to get back on his feet. When he finally did,  he managed to do so through a wholesome revision of his own world view.

The companions that he so desperately wanted do not exist. His drunkard father and crazily possessive mother, nuts as they were,  were right: women are, at hearts, whores looking for a wealthy man.

Thinking to build a life with one of them was foolish, completely.

His job had laid him out at the very start of his troubles, just after a month or so of his moping around. It didn't matter - the company went busted soon after, anyway, but the fact that the boss that decided to fire him was a woman didn't help matters.

John found himself writing cheap "romantic" novels for the likes of his "wife" - barely hidden rape fantasies and hyper-gamy unleashed, for dumb cows that didn't even realize how akin to bad pornography that stuff was.

The chicken idiots couldn't resist, and soon the pseudonyms Josh uses to sign his works - Valeria Steedle and Patricia Loughear - started alternating their presence in the New York Times Best Seller list.

Never above a comfortable centre-of-the-list, as to sell enough copies to pierce in the top twenty would require a lot more male readers than what Josh would care to have.

Because Josh wrote his books with the secret gusto of damaging, silently, his women readers, by trapping them in a mirror of his own unrealized romantic aspirations.

He sold copies, made money, invested it wisely, made more money, and so on.

Money begets money, they say, and it is true.

All this notwithstanding, Josh was merrily unhappy and unsatisfied. He really couldn't outgrow her and what she did to him, though a well padded wallet was a way better cushion than an empty one, upon which to rest while crying his pain out.

He went on for quite a while in this way, till he realized that he really needed a catharsis, a vengeance - to get rid of her, so that his heart could finally be sated.

Little did he knew, in reality, of freedom and life... his quest for vengeance wasn't something capable to set a man free, but what we ignore cannot save us fro our follies, and he set forth to plan the execution of his great vengeance.

Always a methodical man, he realized that he needed to arrange a dry run, a test run of himself in the new role of God of vengeance.

Maybe some smarter part of him, deep down where his eyes couldn't reach, was just trying to buy some time.

He decided to start with a morsel less dangerous than his socialite, well connected wife.

Not a bleeding liberal heart he was, yet he knew the difference between destroying some black dregs of a woman and a rich WASP, when it comes to law enforcement response, to be true.

The first would have maybe warranted a routine search, the second would have gotten far more media attention and drawn a full effort on the part of the police.

So, reason said him to start with someone that could disappear without being missed, one of the poor saps that read his drivel preferably - because, deep down, he hated them wholeheartedly - and, if possible, a black girl of particularly African looks. The less the white-looking, the better. 

Kyla was 12, when her stepfather decided that she was woman enough to meet his needs.

The next few years had been hell, as her mother - with a logic as insane as heartless - decided to hate her for having "stolen" her her man. He abused her time and again, while mother treated her more and more coldly, till Kyla found the strength - or the desperation- to run away.

Life in the street for her proved to be brutal, but still better than what she had at home, and she had an unexpected shot of luck.

One of her clients gave her a hand, a place to stay and helped her found a job as a cleaning maid - all she could get with her non-existent degrees.

She recompensed him with plenty of sex, of course, but he was kind of a right guy... he didn't choke her, beat her,  tried to rape her nor did he stole anything from her.  By the time they had met, in Kyla's book this already read as being, positively, a gentleman.

He was a lecherous looking guy with insane habits, so much so that he called himself "leach", yet he was a huge step upward from her stepfather.

They separated after a couple of years or so -  because she had grown up a bit and, with a better diet, she had finally started looking like a woman; a fact that profoundly disgusted him, as much as he tried to hide it.

His shortcomings notwithstanding, he had left her able to stand - shaky as she was - on her own feet, and she vowed herself to never come back to whoring again, so Kyla decided to keep cleaning houses for a living, study at night, and went through life baring her knuckles on a daily basis. She was a though young woman, yet she was not yet a cynic. In her moments of respite, she read romantic novels, and dreamt of wealthy guys with athletic bodies that could see beyond her wasted hair, her precociously wrinkled eyes and her sore hands.

She suspected these novels to be a pornography of the soul, written for and by sad women, but she didn't really care. As "leach" said the last time she saw him - skinnier than even she had ever been, even at the worst time of her life - in the hospital, toward his end...

- "No matter if it is stupid, shameful or even illegal, kid. Take whatever you need to go on, step by step, and the rest... let it go."

When the hospital letter finally came in, telling her that she had won "the lottery" and she didn't catch the damned bug from the guy, she went out to buy the last Patricia Loughear novel, and hooked up to the shabby plot with a happy bliss. In her own way she was following his last, and only, advise.

When "leach" finally died, two months after, she finally wrote to Patricia Loughlear, unwinding all the stress, the tears, the troubles of her crappy little life, in a moving letter written with an earnest heart.

Josh read that letter, laughing all the time like an idiot, almost at every phrase - eager as Kyla was to improve herself, she was still a functional illiterate with a flair for excessive melodrama, and Josh had completely lost his ability to empathize with others - and he immediately decided that she was the right subject for the experiment.

Nobody would miss her.  She was already a zombie, in more than one way, no family, almost no friends... a living dead, waiting to be finally put to rest.

Josh felt obliged to help such a loving reader finally find the peace that she was so evidently longing for. And she had put her full address, on the envelope.

Josh found a flat, in the building in front of her, from which to observe his prey, while he looked for a bigger, more private place in the countryside around her city.

He replied to her letter, using a bright orange envelope, than flew to the flat, in order to be there by the time the letter arrived. This way, he was able to see that, indeed, she was the person that he deduced from the many clues that she put in her letters.

He soon bought a farm, in a small town not far from the city.

The place was quite secluded, the nearest construction being almost a mile away, and it was surrounded by woods. It also had an anti-atomic bunker, a remnant of another era when the U.S. was in the grips of hysteria, now used as a storage area for food.

Just seeing it, Josh thought plenty of better ways to use the ancient underground complex, so he was more than happy to pay a slightly higher price for aplace with such a marvellous dungeon.

The area was losing population, like the nearby town - people was driven away by the loss of jobs after the closure of the local plastic factory, and the fear of unrecoverable, long term environmental dangers due to the former's dispersal of toxic materials. Undoubtedly, it was going to become yet another ghost town, another monument to the backsides of the American Dream,

He rented an apartment in the palace in front of Kyla's flat, to keep an even closer eye on her, and proceeded to alternate living between there and the farm. He emptied the bunker, and bought some "furniture " for it,

Her life was even sadder than what he thought from her letter. Getting her rid of it was going to be, almost, a good action.

Josh decided to move calmly, writing a new Valeria Steedle book in the meanwhile, with two point of view characters, one for when he was working in the farm, one for when he was checking on Kyla - "Aftermaths"... it became a huge success, and it woke up a career that had grown quite opaque, much to the chagrin of its writer.

The last thing Josh wanted, right now, was the distraction of having to manage a literary success beyond his usual, comfortable middle of the list. For the first time, he had to contemplate using some kind of front-woman to play the role of Valeria Steedle... luckily for him, his agent had contingency plans for the case.

Valeria Steedle was soon played by a washed out theatre actress, without more hassle - for Josh - than jotting down some stage notes for the impersonator , every now and then. A drain of his energies, but not one so deep as he initially feared...

Meanwhile, his observation of Kyla's life led him to discover that she was taking a course in creative writing, at night, in a community college. He decided to enrol in it, to be nearer her.

He still  couldn't imagine how to kidnap her, without leaving too many clues about what had really happened. Initially he thought that he would have had to hide his literary talents, but he soon discovered that it was not necessary. Million copies sellers as he was, his writings did not excite any of the people in the course, least of all the teacher, one hard mean ghost writer, specialized in biographies, by the name of Liam Marder.

Josh had to fight, time and again, the desire of leaving the course after this or that cutting remark from Marder. In this, it was not any better than what Kyla had to endure... after a couple of months, Josh had managed to become friend of Kyla, united by their struggle with the mysteries of the English language.

By the end of the course, though, Josh managed to let drop that he was not going to follow it the next year - he didn't need to continue the charade any more, and didn't want his desire of abducting Marder grow any bigger.

He confided Kyla that he had found a job as a ghost-writer, but that he would have needed some help, and that everything was to be kept on the hush-hush: he didn't want to risk that someone of the others could steal his occasion.

After another month and a half, Josh contacted Kyla - he really needed a critical editor, someone who could read his notes and help him polish the style.  he offered her the job, a bit better paid than her cleaning work, but nothing otherworldly.

Initially, she worked at home, correcting what were the first chapters of Josh first - and only - foray into science fiction. Soon, she came to recognize that working with Josh, at the studio in the farm, was probably better. 

On a spring morning, she took the bus to Downtown, and climbed in Josh's old Roadmaster, with all the things that she had in a couple of bags, her heart full of newfound hope. Not having to pay the rent of her ludicrously small flat while having a more spacious room in the farm was a bonus she had decided to take.

She was going to be a writer, and was really happy of having this opportunity with Josh.

Josh was a soda maniac, so she had never saw him drink anything that was not carbonated and caffeinated.

When he finally made his move, she didn't realize anything was different - he never drank water from her same bottle, anyway. She fell asleep while redressing a particularly convoluted paragraph, one that reminded her of certain not so satisfying passages in Patricia Loughlear's works.

When she awoke, she was naked and chained to a bed, in a place that she had never seen before.

It was, of course, just the start.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Genes and Memes and...

Below, the genes and their egoism are the basic fact of life, then the differences between male and female and their "biological imperatives", establishing the two poles among which human societies oscillate.

The structured society is the embodiment of female needs for stability, and of a prosperous environment in which to bring up children.

All the while, it is subtly emasculating the males in it, the more stable and structured it becomes,

The all conquering barbarian horde is the incarnation of the male need to spread one's own genes no matter what, by raping everything that moves - preferably in a fertile age, 13-23 - and pillaging the rest
A social make-up structurally unable to preserve any accumulated wealth, to foster and maintain the kind of wealth-creating enterprises and network of services that is the province of structured society.

Above, we find the "memes" - as egoist as genes, but made by ideals and other contagious ideas; religions, democracy as an exportable value, communism... each meme trying to exploit the most his population of more or less willing carriers - a summer pop song's infected may be willing, most of the believers of any of the faiths on the planets have been grown into their religion - and, in many cases, denying the value of the single believer, subordinating it to his contribution to the spread of the Idea (be the idea the nationalist supremacy of the U.S.A., the greatness of Islamic Caliphate, or be it evangelical proselytism, it doesn't really matter: apart summer pop songs, all of them ask their believers to commit a disproportionate amount of energy, up to an included their very life, in order to spread The Word all over the world).

What is below sometimes manages to forge its own memes, in order to further its goals at the cultural level.

So the needs of the genes gets reflected in the memes of the family, of lineage, sexual monogamy as honour bound to sexual conduct,  and all the rest of that crop of stupid ideas, the biological female imperative brings forth the Roman "dura lex, sed lex" and the male ones, the concept that "right resides in strength".

We poor schmucks fall in the middle of all these competing levels of semi-alive stuff, all of which are fighting for supremacy.

And we are supposed to accept that each and any of these crappy, crappy, crappy things - from the family chains to the extended tribe called state, to the stratified fantasy that are mythologies and religions  - are more important than us, that have precedence on our personal needs and desires.

I look at this, as dispassionate as I can, and I say:

                              Kiss my ass.

And I am already being too polite.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Diplomatic service

His career was virtually over. He had screwed the things by the numbers - or, to be precise, he had screwed all too well the wife of his section's chief, Mirailla Defunes-Loeton.

A not small part of himself was satisfied, because the chief was a bastard and she was quite hot.

An even bigger part of him was ashamed, by the whole situation, because those were not excuses that an intelligent person would have ever considered.

He had allowed a childish corner of his personality to overtake his rational mind, and decided upon an almost idiotic spite against his chief, the never-to-be-outfoxed Lamis Defunes, to pursue the ouvertures that the older woman had let him glimpse.

Now, he had been ascended to a far higher place than what he used to have, and assigned out of planet - five years, minimum, among the barbarians in - what's the name of the place? -  New York.

He could resign, but then his family would probably get quite upset - mainly his father.

- "What, you want to resign? Are you crazy? I do not know how you managed to do it, but it almost never happens that someone is  promoted four pay grades at once. Be an adult and stand your ground, for once... five years are going to pass soon, son. Don't be stupid, keep the place and enjoy the pay."

Galgan thought, gloomily, that that was not a promotion but, rather, a well concealed exile.

Yet, his father was right... no matter what the reasons, no matter the fact that his new charge was probably the one with the highest chance to make a mess and being demoted and sacked from the civil service currently in existence, the post and its cushy paycheck were just too good to refuse.

Gargan Golefacehuggers, once an obscure analyst of xeno-cultures in the Ministry of Foreign Offices, recently promoted into the ranks of the Cultural Attach├ęs, growled again, watching an old movie in his omni-book.

The travel to the orbit height takes around five days - Anipos Prime geostationary orbit is at 30000 km, and the climb rate is usually limited just at 250 km/h - which is just one of the reasons why the Anipos really do not like to go into space.

Anti-gravitaty climbers were used, nowadays, for fast ground-to-orbit travel, but Galgan didn't really want to go, so he chose a seat in the side cabin of one of the freight climbers that still made the bulk of the cargo movements, being way cheaper - in joules per tonne - than even the most advanced anti-gravity system.

In the Anipos culture, energy is literally money, and its productions system technologically stable since a couple of centuries.

This made a lot of the details of the culture that Galgan was expected to immerse himself in for the next five years, a lot more puzzling than they needed to be.

Gold? They used gold as tender, for centuries? What a bunch of suckers; the metal had some technological uses, but not so many.

It wasn't anywhere near as indispensable as platinum, indium or palladium... one of the worst possible choice, to base a tender upon.

A planet of small-headed gold lovers...

- "Maybe I should resign and look for a job in the private sector, or sign for the unemployment guaranteed salary." 

One last day to go, the climber went up to the orbital ring around the planet.

Another couple of days to reach his ship's berth (out-of system diplomatic ships had no cargo to load or unload, so they traditionally were lodged in the area between the climbers' poles), and then a two months subjective time while the ship accelerated out of the planetary system, went to hyperspace, and then back into normal space to decelerate entering the destination system.

It was no wonder that, aptly defined "astronomical" energy costs apart, the inhabitants of the Anipos system didn't like the idea of going to other planetary systems. 

Nothing out there was really worth the effort, the costs or the time to make the travel.

Little Galgan knew, of how wrong he was.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The most intelligent species on Earth

Humanity is the most intelligent species on this planet.


Scientists can list an impressive list of "existential dangers" lingering  upon our head, some of them auto-created.

Of course, there is no money to be found for any serious attempt at tackling the issue of going to space... the human of the street couldn't care less, and it has its reasons.

The species may survive or not, but if you are dead and your kids too, it is not a matter of your interests.

Species have no real existence of their ow, beyond being  a useful tool for scientific discussion... a species does not decide anything, nor it acts upon its needs.

It's the sum of the behavior of its individual components, following mostly similar patterns, that can give the impression of some coherent active will that many science-fiction writers have been so fond of.

Yet, as  a species, we are supposed to be a notable exception to this situation in that our individual members can know the general situation of the world, and hence act upon some kind of intelligent project to address the issues at hand.

Right now, the greatest current danger for our continued existence seems to be the global warming of the planet.

Either it is solely a product of our releasing excesses of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, or a combination of this and general trends in the environment  - an hint... by the established succession of warm and glacial eras to date, we should be in a glacial era, now -  our fossil fuels consumption plays a great part in this process.

At the moment, after the "shale revolution", it is the ability of the environment to absorb our wasted CO2 that is posing the main limit to the quantity of energy that we can use to do, say, everything.

We already know that there are some potential energy sources that could cut down on it, "intelligent" nuclear fission, nuclear fusion and renewable energies.

At the moment, the goal of economically sustainable production of energy by nuclear fusion lays some twenty years in the future, that if there are no more snafus along the road.

One such snafus could be politicians cutting down on the funds dedicated to the research in this fields.

The main project on nuclear fusion is ITER, and it has accumulated its part of costs overrun and schedule slips. 

The "shale revolution" has changed the equation of costs and benefits that was behind the drive toward other energy sources that funded its project.

As always, the doubt is that this money could be spent better.

It is quite a bit of money... some 20 billion dollars, over some fifteen years of development.

If we can pull it off, nuclear fusion promises to solve almost every energetic problems of our civilization... its radioactive downfall is a fraction of that of even the cleanest current fission reactor and it would be intrinsically safe.

Someone points out that, with cheap energy, water shortages can be solved - desalinization is an energy intensive process.

Also, many other commodities shortages could be addressed with a more thorough recycle systems, which usually are limited by energy issues.

20 billion dollars are a lot of money, but it should be an investment with plenty of return..

And, it is the revenue of the teams of the NFL for one year.

So, is our species really so intelligent? It can't even devolve half of the "panem et circenses" budget of one country, for one year, to invest in the most probable technology able to solve its most pressing problems for the next century.

We'll never go extinct soon enough.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Transsian - A Threat Analysis

An actual, typical Transsian, in a selfie^2.


The Alien Species commonly referred to as Transsian (Homo Sapiens Sapiens Hermaphroditae) is the apex predator on the Super-Earth of 2.3 Earth's masses Barnard I - the only planet in
orbit around the Barnard's star.

The species occupies, on it, the same ecological niche that Homo Sapiens Sapiens occupies on our planet.

This is not surprising, as both are an offspring of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Cro-Magnon) explosion that was halted by the phenomenon commonly referred as "Nu slide", occurred around 43 thousand years ago.

The Transsian is, by far, the alien human species nearest to our star.

As such, despite their current lack of any FTL technology, it arguably is in Earth's best interest to study it. 

It appears probable that the original settlement on Barnard II was not an actual, full scale colony - like Anipos Prime - nor a leisure resort - like,  it has been inferred, was our Earth at the time.

The most probable explanation for Transsian physiology and for their general cultural idiosyncrasies is that the original settlement was a mono-gender biological research community, either a male or female-only one - something that, not unlikely those created by some contemporary trans-humanist cult, was relatively common at the time of the Great Slide.

Either way, the stranded colonists answer to the disappearance of FTL planet-to-planet transit was to use the biological technologies at their disposal to reproduce themselves, and to assure that their offspring didn't need any technology to reproduce.

Given the sophistication of Cro-Magnon technology at the eve of the fall, even billion-inhabitants industrial colonies like Anipos Prime could manufacture only a tiny subset of the spare  parts and supplies they needed; it was inevitable for a smaller group like the one living on Barnard I to devolve into barbarism as the machines broke down and couldn't be repaired.

It appears manifest that, in the process of granting their descendants the ability to reproduce without technological assistance, the "Barnadites" added some modifications to make their offspring more resilient to the perceived threats of their environment.

Also, it is extremely probable that they tried to obviate what they perceived as shortcomings of their own species physical and social structures of the time - again, like it has been tried by cultists, here on Earth, as recently as in 2057.

So, it is probably in observance to some ideological goals, that they engineered their descendants to be symmetrical hermaphrodites, a trait that has no other human species in this arm of the Galaxy. .

This characteristic was, famously, highlighted by the first photo of a Transsian to ever be obtained, the famous "Beautiful Alien"

It was very unfortunate that that was the first Alien image to have ever been deciphered, though it was almost inevitable that a  Transsian image would have been the first data packet to be interpreted.

Barnard's Star is a red dwarf, with a light so poor of high energy photons that Transsian 's first environmentally-induced mutations must have been the complete loss of melamine and of chromatic vision - no biological pigments are known able to intercept reliably infra-red light in a warm body, and the only visible light the planet receives - and few of it - is almost monochrome red. 

As a result of this reality, during their long phase as hunter-gatherers the Transsians lost every cone cell in their retina to the vantage of rod cells, and even acquired the same kind of reflective layer present in the eyes of felines and other night animals. 

As a direct consequence, transsian visual media is all about light and shadows, and their most employed  image format is consequently a 16-8 bit grey-scale with LZF compression, reminiscent of GIF images and suited for their extreme ability to distinguish shades of colours.

A format relatively easy to identify and decode.

Unfortunately, the nature of this first image was generally misread on our planet, with consequences that may be potentially ominous. We shall examine these in the successive sections of this document.
Another genetic difference between Transsian and base humans, whose genesis is unclear, is that their myostatin hormone seems to be less efficient than that of most descendants of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Cro-Magnon).

Coupled with the planetary slightly stronger gravity acceleration, (1.40 g), it contributes to make the average Transsian way more muscular than the average terrestrial male of the same size. . 

The consequences of the Transsian unique physiology on their cultures and societies cannot be underestimated.

Human male and females, in almost every Homo Sapiens variant,  have vastly different - and somewhat at odd - biological imperatives driving them.

The interplay between these competing imperatives is one among the strongest forces to haveever  driven human societies development, here as well as on many other planets.

Transsian had instead only one gender, their reproduction system is entirely symmetric - it is not rare for Transsian partners to fall both pregnant after sexual intercourse - and their mating has an almost symbiotic nature.

Transsians mate for life, and it is not uncommon for a partner to die shortly after the other.

In turn, this is probably the reason why the species has not reverted back to the "silent estruses" that are common to most humanities.

There is no necessity for "females" to keep "males" "enthralled" - companionship, once a bond is struck, is automatic and mediated by a complex interaction of hormones.

Also, Transsian cannot sexually excite at all, unless their partner is present and receptive... which happens only in the fall mating season, a period of around one month - 22 Earth's days - in which every fertile adult of the species feels a compelling urge to copulate, till either it or its mate gets impregnated.

The remaining 180 days of the Barnard I year, the Transsians feel no sexual impulse whatsoever.

As a result of these fundamental differences, the Transsian cultures have no more use for the concept of "sexual mores" than they have for colors as we see them.

Religious Mismatches between Earth and Barnard I

As stated in precedence, it is somewhat unfortunate that the first image of a Transsian was "The Beautiful Alien", and maybe even more than it was not just circulated among a restricted number of scientist - like it has been the case for the images of the "Starfishes".

What is even more unfortunate is that too many "moral entrepreneurs" tried to capitalize on the apparent - to OUR eyes - lewdness of the image, and devised an entirely fictitious "orgy planet" around it.

Even as we write, there are religious preachers around the world that condemn the very existence of the Transsian species as a proof of the existence of Satan in the universe.

This is contributing to what is maybe the single greatest danger, aside from climatic instability, that our species has brought upon itself in the last century.

Because, and we can't stress this enough, the actual government of Barnard's I is a  theocracy.

A theocracy whose members lacks many "normal human compulsions", to compete for their attention, for some 11 of their 12 months, and that is known to go to extremes that make those of the ISIL Caliphate, in the first quarter of the century, look tame in comparison.

The person in "The Beautiful Alien",  with its greatly reduced body mass, was actually an ascetic monk of the so-called "Order of Sobal", a F'Qahj named Lize Fjschwann. 

In the main Transsian religion, Gubernism,  F'Qahj is a term used  to indicate a pious person, versed in the religious law that has decided to dedicate its life to follow one of the faith's three paths to illumination, in this case the path of the ascetic starvation.

It is also telling that the image itself was a drawing of pure black and white with no gray shading - in Gubernism it is considered disrespectful to show photos of a person, because - as the Good Book says - "un-mediated mechanical representation  cannot bring to the viewer the true soul of a being".

It is a style, we now know, that Transsians most commonly use for sacred images and between friends - almost every Transsian learns to draw, or - at least - to ink competently, in religious schools, as Gubern was a graphic artist before discovering his role as prophet.

Fjschwann passed way in 2058, and its teachings have grown to become the source of a great renovation  - i.e, a return to fundamental roots and practices - in the Gubernist faith.

Barnard star is just some 6 light-years away from our system, well inside the range of current digital video broadcast, and has acquired extensive specs.

Every time a televangelist like Rupert Moon bashes the "sinful alien monsters", showing a censored - or defaced - representation "The Beautiful Alien", our species is in effect grievously provoking the inhabitants of Barnard with that they call "Disrespecting Saints".

A crime that they routinely punish with death by public impalement. 

Gubernism and Islam

If the activities of Christian telepredicators weren't enough, there is also the issue of the relationship between Islam and Gubernism.

Owing to the difficulties involved  with historical sources and space-time fabric dilation over huge distances, prophet Muhammad's birth is estimated to have been in a range from  the year -2  to 3 of the Gubern era.

One of the historical problems of the Gubern faith was that, in the tradition of Zamarysm (the religion in which Gubern was born), to every prophet correspond an anti-prophet, whose followers and false teachings the true prophet had to conquer.

No such false prophet arose, during the life of Gubern... which Zamarysts interpreted as a proof that it was not, indeed, a true prophet. 

The discovery that in the same  time-frame, a mere 1.83 parsec away, appeared another prophet came in as a much-needed relief. A way to reconcile the Gubernist majority with the influential Zamaryst minorities still present in the Transsian population.

It did not take much for the Gubernist religious authorities to cast Muhammad as the Anti-Prophet, whose followers the true believers are called to destroy, to prove the righteousness of their faith.

Probably, the Gubernism leaders would have contented themselves with using the argument as a way to ease the inter-religious tensions with the other great faith on the planet, without bothering with any form of off-world interference.

Unfortunately, in the spring of 2061 the 40 million dollars transmitter built on behalf of the Quranic University of Ryad, send toward the stars the first Sura, encoded in Universal Data Link format.

It was preceded by a lengthy Arab-Transsian dictionary and a description of Arab grammar and rules, as it was intended from the start to send the QuRan in its original, Arabic form.

The transmitter used radio waves, to bypass the stringent No-Religion policies of the firewalls on the Anipos Z-Wave network; as a consequence of this and of limitations in its design, the transmitter was pointed toward the Barnard Star - the only humanity's cradle inside its effective range.    

The message reached its intended recipients in 2067.

Needless to say, they didn't take this attempt at religious propaganda lightly, even fatally flawed as it was.

Our current understanding is that the Gubernism authorities have declared Islam a "false faith", its believer "apostates" and that a way more rigorous firewall has now been implemented on the Z-Waves real-time data connections entering the Barnard System.
Needless to say, this unprecedented state of affairs is extremely worrying.

Current threat Analysis.

The Transsian technology is greatly inferior to the Anipos' - around 2000 years at the Transsian current rate of improvement.

This means that they have no FTL capability, nor is it realistic for them to acquire it for - at least - another 800 years.

However, this does not signify that they have no means of retaliation, for what they see as acts of significant memetic hostility made by inhabitants of our system.

More in particular, as many Earth's religious entities have already violated the Barnard's info-sphere with their proselytistic efforts, they felt justified to repeal the AMW treaty of 12330 A.A. (1070 AD) insofar as it relates to data traffic toward our system, and notified their decision to the Anipos.

It is possible that Anipos Prime may intervene and force the Transsian to reconsider but, for the time being, we aren't covered by the treaty any more, which means that the Anipos Firewalls do not stop religious materials between Earth and Barnard I any more .  

Or, to be more precise, we are the first species in almost one thousand years that has managed to expose itself to the full force of Transsian Memetic Warfare.

At the moment, they are still gauging the peculiarities of our various cultures, and devising the most efficient ways to spread their evil-ideologies in our planet, yet we have seen elements that seem to indicate that a preliminary, probably basic, attack is already under way...

In particular, the host of "Transsian porn manga"  - that has started flooding the 'Net in the last two years - has attracted our attention.

While superficially appealing to - and respecting - the Japanese tradition of futanari characters, the fact remains that these so-called porn comics are produced by a culture  that doesn't have - itself - any previous history of pornography, and are likely created exclusively for consumption by inhabitants of our planet.

An analysis of these comics' plots seems to indicate that they are manufactured out of a basic repository of tropes known in the genre, probably by  an AI system.

To date, none of these comics appears to be anything more than what it superficially seems - raunchy material designed to stimulate the lowest instincts of baseline citizens. Run of the mill material, the likes of which many Japanese authors have produced countless examples, for at least two centuries. 

However, one thousand years ago, the crop of absurdly violent video-games that flooded Anipos Prime didn't seem to be anything more than second rate rip-off of classic Anipos games from the dawn of their 23rd Console Era. Yet, before they realized it,  4% of their population had become Zamaryst , of the violently fundamentalist faction known as The re-birthed. These citizen had to be removed from any post of structural importance, after several of them managed to destroy the facilities in which they worked.

It is debatable that launching the very first FTL vessel to traverse the galaxy in 42 millennia, just to destroy Barnard I main moon, was or was not a reprehensible choice.

But it puts in perspective the danger that we have unwittingly brought upon ourselves, by the length at which the most technologically advanced human civilization currently alive went to free itself from a previous incarnation of it.

It is probably already too late to stop this first memetic incursion, as this material has spread well beyond the initial shell of geekly Comics aficionados.

If the past is a reliable guide, the memes that Barnard's authorities are injecting in our culture will not coalesce in the type of memetic catastrophe the Anipos experimented until a third or fourth wave of materials is released into our info-sphere. 

We still have fifteen to twenty years time, to negotiate a peace with the Transsian government and to prepare contingency plans in case we do not manage to do so.

It is not very much time to do so, once we take into account the kind of resistance that our own religious expansionist will probably put up against any attempt to stop their proselytizing efforts, more so as the first goal would be pretty laughable... porn comics hardly appears as a media able to change the soul of its users, and usually it isn't.

We recommend analyzing,  with extreme attention, every cultural artifact that may reach Earth info-sphere from Barnard, from now on.

Beyond the possibilities of a full-fledged memetic war, it must be noted that reaching Earth is NOT outside current Transsian capabilities, once their authorities habits of thinking in terms of centuries is taken into account.

Currently, the Transsian government is in the middle of a 150 years plan to overhaul their retirement health care and retirement system.

Our best estimation put in 200 years the time it would require a Transsian generation ship to reach Earth - provided that they have not already launched it

Such a time-frame goes well beyond anything we are used to, in Earth political landscape.

It is pretty normal for the Transsian, more so among the more fanatically minded.

Final Recommendations

It is now apparent to the members of this commission the wisdom of the Anipos saying:

 "Better to keep your radio shut, until you are sure that nothing of what you may say can prompt any of your neighbors to rip your throat".

Unfortunately, before our species even had occasion to hear it, it obtained the hostility of one of the more belligerently religious human subspecies known in this arm of the galaxy.

We believe that, as a species, we must find a way to resolve this situation positively.

If we do not,our sons or grandsons, if not us, will have to pay a hefty price for our errors. 

It is necessary to steer the AI systems of surveillance, to more closely  observe citizens that have been exposed to questionable - or just odd- Transsian cultural material in these last three years.
This will create considerable unrest, but it is inevitable.

The planet needs a new set of firewalls to replace the now ineffective Anipos systems.
It is improbable that Earth will succeed where a thousand years of Anipose's efforts have barely reduced the Transsian impact section, but we have to try.

Diplomatic talks with the Transsian governments should stress that Islam is just one of the many faiths on Earth. Repugnant policy as it may be, no member of any Judaeo-Christian religion should be allowed inside the negotiation team, nor any atheist or agnostic. 

Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that any of the religious authorities involved in attempts to "evangelize the barbarian aliens" will stop, or even slow down their activities. The most probable effect of any such effort would be to instill a martyrdom sense into these authority figures, and prompt a fierce resistance. Given this, we recommend only to ignore religious figures inputs on the issue.
We realize that even this reduced recommendation will be extremely hard to implement, for almost every politician on the planet. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Yes, I know... I know. I am dumb. 

In a distant corner of my mind, a voice was yelling "It's a trap, it's a trap, it's a trap".

 OK, it is pretty habitual, for me, to ear that voice... but usual, it happens reading emails or CollaSpace "better then real" profiles from the U.K. (where the whole "consensual" has no legal standing, no matter how informed the consent was... everything is Grievous Bodily Harm;  Which is indeed akin to put a chastity belt on masochists, but that aspect of things always escape the concerns of the "saviours" of decency).

Usually it is just a thrilling nice little voice, but right now it is a yelling behemoth...like some dumb Reality show host that just discovered it has been eliminated from the show.

 Or BRIAN BLESSED, a day that he is trying to be really bombastic.

 OK, OK, you do not understand anything I say - my fault.

Let's take a step back.

You see, I met this woman on-line - nowadays, it is almost always on-line, as I have no patience and no wish to play the "enlightenment" lottery any more.

The "lottery": meeting a woman in real world, and try to explain her the fine facts of BDSM between consenting adults: either I find a 50-Shade-ette, either some religious maniac, a fearful "vanilla" that runs away and spreads the tale that I am a dangerous pervert, or simply an utterly uninterested woman. Over time, it wore me thin.

It worked better, I suspect, back in the '80s in California, when Jay Wiseman was playing the field and earned his experience in domly affairs, that in today's Galicia - deep down, it is still the catholic core of Francisco Franco's power - so the percentages are not really the 33-33-33% that Jay talks about in his  "SM 101" book.  More something in the range of 40-15-25-15...

The photos she sent, to get a portrait done, were of a thirty-something buxom brunette.

I checked with google images search-by-image, and they weren't already available on the 'net, so chances were that they were really theirs - or from a cousin.

She also sent me a  "proof of identity" shot ( it now appears that it only proves that some of the younger generations are way better than what I believed possible, with Photoshop - I mean, better than me).

The syntax of the emails was maybe a bit crappy, but so is my Spanish, so - who could say? Not me, for sure.

Maybe she just wasn't the brightest tool in the box, but if I were only to meet the bright ones, I would never see an ass worth an erection.

At thirty+, in these awful modern days and their "work before living" environment (those who have a work), reading and having the time to do pilates is limited either to journalists, writers and fitness instructors; most other people choose either A or B.

On the other hand, she wasn't stupid either, something that I am not so sure that it can be said about myself, at times. At times like this, at least.

OK, I know... I am digressing. I  tend to do it, when I really want to avoid an issue -  I will try to keep myself in check, from now on.

She let slip that she was living in the nearest "big" city - OK, 80 thousands inhabitants is no big city at all, but it beats the nearby town - 15000 - or the place were I live - 350. Yes, I know... what the fuck do I do in the only place in Western Europe that is as scarcely populated as (and way less socially progressive than? ) Illinois?The only possible answer is that, deep down, I  am a moral masochist.

Anyway, I thought that she was interesting (she did breathe, after all)... so, I tried to prepare the encounter "by the book" - Saturday afternoon, not too early, not too late, in a coffee bar where the coffee is barely drinkable, yet STILL drinkable  (Italian expatriates, like me, usually bitch a lot about coffee in foreign bars; we have our reasons - most of it is crap).

A place that I know, but where I am not known too much - and that she also knew, it appeared, though this was all more likely as she lives there, while  I have to take a car and drive a bit to reach the place. Gasoline is some 5 dollars a gallon (in Italy, it's still 7$... when the price go down, they raise the taxes; the country where petrol never gets any cheaper).

OK, digressing again.
I entered the bar - that was two hours ago, or twenty years ago - depends on when you r... agh, digression - which means, some comfortable fifteen minutes before the agreed-upon time.

No soccer play at this hour, so nobody was looking the game on the 94 inches screen (when the hell did they placed that monstrosity? Why the hell bars in Spain have so many TV sets???? If it was for watching tv... - digression).

The only other client was a girl, something like fifteen years old, by the look of her.

OK, no problem, we are not going to discuss anything even slightly outrageous, me and the lady - when she arrives.

Also, the last time I saw a girl that looked 15 to me, it was at the supermarket - I was perplexed when she climbed in her Passat and drove away. This being spain, it meant she was at least 19 - 18 to get a licence, one year before one can drive anything bigger and faster than a base model Nissan Micra; but i It is not uncommon for local women to be shorter than, say, my 11-year-old niece, and it messes up my age recognition abilities quite a bit.

Oddly enough, the kid started looking my way. Then she took a peek at her phone - I started feeling a bit uneasy. And then she came over to my table - hopefully, she was just a young waitress - and she finally said 'Hola, Dabotz - Soy yo, Andrea".

That is when the yelling voice started.

Indeed, the smartest idea would have been to rise from the table, say that I forgot the car open, and run away as fast as possible, while the voice kept yelling in my metaphorical ears.

But... I have been her age, with a head full of fantasies I did not dare to confess to anybody, no idea of how to reconciling them with reality, and being alone with them didn't help one bit.

Given the place where we live, chances were that she had even less adults, able to discuss and put things in perspective, around her.

In a way, I owed my long lost kid self to take a couple of hours and try to explain the ABC of ... BDSM to her, as seen from my point of view - everybody has his own, and mine may be as flawed as that of anybody else, but it is mine.

Dotting the I and crossing the Ts... starting with a first question, that I really fell that I needed to ask.

- "Would you mind telling me whose photos did you send me?"
- "My big sister's. Taken by her boyfriend"
- "Big sister? How old are you?"
- "17, and you?"
- "43."
- "Like in your Fetlife profile?"
- "Uh, you are not supposed to enter that site till you are at least 18."

 I do not know her FL nickname, and she got to me through my kinky e-mail. The guys of FL will have to pick and toss her out on their own.

- "OK, don't take it wrong  but, given your age, nothing is going to happen between us, OK?"

She makes a pout when she hears it...

By the Spanish law, she may be legal tender for a fine "vanilla" fuck, but BDSM has a bit more stringent moral requirements than pure sex, at least in my book.

It's the "informed consent" part that screws things - if one can't enter a legal contract, she or he can't give that either.

- "That said, if you have a question, I will try to answer, in the limits of what I know, which isn't very much, I am afraid to say".

- "It isn't much?" - she makes a weird face again, as if she doesn't really believe it.

- "Yes, it is not very much." - I have another kind of bad feeling, now.

- "But, your drawings? They are so vivid..."

- "Yes, I have a great fantasy, kid. Fantasy, you get it? And you shouldn't look that crap till, say, next year."

- "Oww, I hoped it wasn't like that."

I spent the successive hour and a half disabusing almost every of her overly romantic ideas about the whole D/s relationship thing. I fear that I managed to bring her back to the vanilla side of the force - OK, of sex really - for the time being.

If she is really an SM person, she is going to be back in some months or so, possibly when she is 18.

Probably she will end with some douchebag, that will burn her out for a couple of years or so... it is not like there is a scarcity of those in the scene.

Raise his hand whoever has never crossed a woman who got burnt with one of those guys, and took a break of some months, or years, from the scene. You never met one? Never met a submissive woman in your life, confess!

If and when she'll be back, she will regard me as boredom incarnated - which I  am, kind of.

Fuck, it is really hard to do the right thing sometimes.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

The Queen

"What the fuck do you wait, ya bastard?- Do it!" The voice is that of a maybe 15 years old girl, in a green uniform - camouflage green 23 - that is banging with what's left of her assault rifle on the armour of a hover-bot.

The time was the last day of the war, when the Anipos' army finally pulled all stops and rimmed us a new one.

I am on the other side of the trench, my left femur cut in two by one of their damn razor shots.  As usual, it managed to avoid the artery.

The hover-bot massive hide isn't even scratched by the crazed  child's efforts, and I expect the damn machine to follow its usual police - shot the poor fool one of their damn razor bullet, trash her without killing her, and then move on to mow down the next bunch of fools.

The ugly piece of metal stays there, indifferent. Apparently, the high commands were right about the machines' rules of engagement... below a certain age, they do not even consider to harm an enemy combatant.

 The hover-bot lowers its  height - that's odd, a five tons tiger cowling in front of an angry child. The girl jumps on top of it, in a frantic state.

I expect the alien monstrosity to finally lose it and wipe the kid off the world. It would be a step forward, of a kind - the robots have abided to a strict "maim, not kill" policy.

Tactically it has paid them well - each wounded soldier requires much more resources, to be tended to, than just sending back a dead man's dog tags.

Also thanks to this, the war strain on the logistic resources of The World's Army is reaching a break point.

Which is the reason why the upper-ups have decided to gamble on this idea that the sucker-bots do not even wound children.

 Apparently, the damn machines have found a way to avoid the issue altogether, some sonic weapon - trimmed on under-age skulls, I am sure - that knock kids off, without the need of any major bodily harm.

They are so, so, so... so fucking civilized. It is like being steam-rolled by a bunch of Swiss Pacifists, just as relentless as polite.

The girl with the rifle - private Johansen? Yes, that's her last name - is one of the few kids that managed to not be knocked out cold by the noise.

She has voided her weapon's magazine upon the robots, knocked down three of the smaller drones, and now was trying to smash this fourth with her hands.

She is crazy, completely crazy... I look at her efforts, pretty much scared shit-less.

She is on top of the damn machine... I can't believe it. Nobody has ever gotten so near to one of those fuckers. Some other old-timer, on my left, shouts "Go Johansen! Kick its ass!!".

Something opens on the top of the 'bot carapace, behind Johansen's back. The machine zaps her with a plugged chord, something like a TASER. I immediately realize that it is over, the sucker is going to fry her.

But she doesn't lose consciousness.... her eyes roll up in their orbits, but she doesn't really twitch as I expect to do by someone tasered.

She leaves her her rifle fall, and then she calmly sits on top of the big machine. When her eyes roll back down in their orbits, she looks around with an unnatural tranquillity.

Somehow, she doesn't look human... and her voice reaches octaves way below what I remember, when she speaks again.

Or is it the machine under her thighs, that says: "This is just too stupid."? - I will never know

Hearing her words, I pissed myself on.

Thirty minutes after, the war was over.

A two gigatons Kinetic Energy Weapons - the aliens really had them - annihilated the Joint World's Army Headquarters in Mount Cheyenne, and started that nuclear winter that stabilized the sea's level for the first time in a century.

The following ultimatum was as predictable - "Surrender or we will pound every parliamentary building on the planet" - as our planet's surrender.

Nobody ever saw Ilene Johansen again, but me in my memory, and in the nightmare that visits me every other night.

Ilene Jenkins - the Queen of the Robots?

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The life and times of Thomas Althusser

Thomas Althusser, 2130 - Daguerreotype by Crystopher Marx

Nowadays, his name is Almost synonymous with "traitor", outside his native country of Switzerland.

But Thomas started his life not as an eponymous villain.

He was out of a family with a long tradition of civil servants from Switzerland, and pretty much an average member of it - for most of his life, a man who prided himself of working eight hours a day to keep the machine of the Swiss state running.

But, as many born in the late '50s of the last century, he was also very worried by the issue of climate change and, throughout his career in the Berne's health department, he became more and more a critic of the established wisdom on a gradual planetary warming up.

The possibilities of some catastrophic "inversion point", hidden in the still unresolved areas of most climatic simulation models, became almost an obsession for him.

Though he arguably had no way to change the state of affairs, or the world's economic policies and their nefarious effects, he spent many hours despairing over how to save Earth's from many possible  catastrophic outcomes.

The possibility that the climate warming was indeed a by-product of a concatenation of human and natural causes, the latter absolutely beyond human control, left him often in a state of frantic panic, though he managed it and worked his way up the food ladder in the Swiss administration (where being ecologically minded wasn't as much of a suicide as, say, in the then-contemporary USA Federal Administration).

Toward the end of the '20s, Thomas was nearing the mandated end of his career in the Swiss Administration, but thought that he was still fairly young. In a moment of something that can only be described as dark brilliance, he decided to leave his post as chief of the statistic office for the Swiss health department and join the U.N. fact-finding commission on Extraterrestrial Cultures, where he spent the successive 15 years, ruthlessly building up the small base of power that he thought he woyld have needed.

In this position, Thomas had access to first-hand information on the Alien cultures surrounding Earth, information that had been placed under "classification" when the initial news on the existence of aliens had stirred worldwide unrest, mostly in theocracies like North Korea.

In his role as "chief debunker of the alien propaganda", Thomas was all too aware of the truth behind the actual counter-propaganda that his own office was helping to spread.

Among the many "Earths" surrounding our solar system, our was maybe the less  technologically advanced - a fact that most Earth's authorities were very decided to hide, along with many other sociological details that didn't fit each authority's own political agendas.

In his role as "selector" of which informations were to be diffused by the official news media, and even before this of which information to present to the U.N. and the various sates' policy makers, Thomas was in an ideal role to push his own, now infamous, agenda.

By subtle manipulations, mostly by overplaying some aspects of one culture, downplaying others, attribute as generals what were really idiosyncrasies of single subcultures and vice-versa restricting to subgroups what were almost universal traits, he managed to reinforce the personal beliefs of many of the most restive governments on Earth about the "Alien Scums".

As a result, pressure groups  developed in various countries and the media became transmitting a host of xenophobic messages, aimed against the invisible "monsters in outer space".

Althusser knew all too well that at least one Alien culture had placed unmanned reconnaissance drones in Earth's local system -  in fact, declassified material proves that his underlings, mainly Inara O'Shaughnessy,  had deduced at least the presence of Anipos' Dark Side of The Moon base station, if not of the Transsian 1 full spectrum listening satellites, that by the late '90s monitored every data broadcasting from Earth and relayed it on FTL channels to the homeworlds.

So, when his game induced the aforementioned Anipos to except on their own rules, and send a manned diplomatic mission to Earth, in 2123, Althusser was among the very few that had been expecting this development.

It is fit that his co-conspirator O'Shaughnessy, who became his successor as the chief of the  "fact finders", managed to get Thomas on-board as a consultant, when she was tasked to assemble the team of experts in alien cultures that was supposed to handle the "dangerous" alien diplomats.

The wrinkled, amicable face of Althusser became a fixture of the first Earth-Anipos  dialogues, where he continued his manipulations with the help of many of the other members of the "Alien cultures experts" group - almost all of which were former graduates of his commission, and shared his overall goal of saving Earth's biosphere from the idiocy of its inhabitants.

Thomas and his fellows soon identified the most intellectually flexible member of the Anipos' mission in Gargan Golefacehuggers, and managed to convince him to join forces with his group of co-conspirators.

With the help of Galgan, they cooked-up the "Blitzstein" scam that helped set in motion the first inter-stellar war of the last 2 millennia, whose opnening salvo was the bombing of the Anipos Automatic observation post on the Moon (the exact location of which had been revealed by Golefacehuggers) on 1st September 2124.

By that time, Thomas Althusser had returned to his native Switzerland, to spend his last days , where he he became one of the most local voices pushing for the small country to leave the U.N. - once again, something that he managed to obtain with a popular vote of June 2124.

The war itself didn't, unfortunately, follow exactly the script devised by Thomas, mostly because the U.N. military refused to play any dirty trick up to the end, to which the Anipos Robotic Army responded by as much as chivalrously inflicting horrendous deaths to the U.N. Armies throughout the whole war's six months.

Of course, as in any real world conspiration, soon after the end of the war, Thomas's accomplices  started writing books,  mostly presenting their reasons for participating in the Shenanigan.

When oceans indeed started releasing methane into the atmosphere, and  the Anipos robotic servants reacted placing the first section of Earth's orbital sunscreen, Thomas ideas were vindicated.

Without the screen, the Earth would be boiling, now. 

Thomas died the 4th of May, 2132, while the Swiss government was discussing - some say, cleverly delaying - a request of extradition for crimes against Humanity from the  International Tribunal of The Hague.

He was survived by his two wives, 7 sons and daughters,  22 grandchildren.

Note: nobody with last name Althussen lives in Switzerland as of today.