Posts Tagged ‘dream’

End of the Earth: View from the Moon

He’s crazy. This PhD student we’ve got in our place. Granted, we are living underground, in an abandoned missile silo, so we all have our eccentricities. But this guy has really lost it. We think he’s acquired a real missile–a fucking nuclear powered atomic bomb thingy. He keeps playing with the control room, like he’s setting up for something.

Days later:
He’s done it. This place is on lockdown. There’s apparently no way to stop the bomb. The whole system is rigged on a death-lock. If anyone tries to tamper with it, the missile goes off immediately. We’re certain he’s got it aimed at Moscow. He’s going to trigger the doomsday scenario. He’s on some kind of ‘world must reset itself’ binge. Bunch of fucking philosophy major bullshit. The whole world knows. It’s on the news. NATO was alerted that a formerly deactivated launch center has triggered an offensive attack and it’s gong down in the next two hours. Seems like a long time. Maybe the government will be able to break into the silo and stop this thing. Maybe they have a backdoor into the system and they can stop it for real. I’m kidding myself, of course.

I’m not certain but I suspect he thinks the russian defense system won’t work, like it’ll be delayed a few hours in responding. Just enough time for the US of fucking A to take full offensive and finish the job in fear of the final retaliation. He thinks some people will survive this thing. We don’t even try to argue the ecological impact that will undoubtably carry radiation and death to every door of the world. Even if half the world is destroyed. We are all members of a fragile web. He’s fucking with the web.

The radios are all scatter-cast. They hiss and jibe in a frenzy with broken reports and speculation. The World is onto this place. Everyone is kissing their loved ones. Ready for the end of the world.

He likes me. Some kind of comrade in arms thing. We’re bunkmates, telling stories of our childhood and fucked up upbringing. We know each other’s secrets. I should have known he’d go ballistic on the entire world. But he has some kind of escape mechanism.

We are going to the moon. He’s got this advanced military device that can teleport (or some crazy science) us to the moon in no time. I don’t know what to say but he’s invited me to watch the end of the world on some odd little secret military base with him. Before I know it, we are beach-towel-laying on the moon, just outside of the base station, staring at Earth and the whole thing just looks so sad and fragile. I ask him about space suits and he says he didn’t have time to pack them but the air filtration and ventilation system inside the base will allow us to breath outside within 20 feet of the entrance. It’s just blasting us with oxygen, faster than the void of space can rip it away from us. My hair is in a permanent wind gust pattern the likes of which Morrissey has never known.

I’ve got to get back home. This moon-base is freaking me out. It’s a dome that looks like something out of a James Bond casino scene. There’s a Jukebox and a sassy waitress, booze and billiards. I feel like throwing up. I jump for the transporter while his back is turned.
One of my housemates reminds me that I have an experiment brewing. It’s a form of nano-machine powered ectoplasmic fluid that will melt through just about anything, even heated enriched uranium, releasing safe, eco-friendly waste into the air. The missile is right in front of me and I drizzle the beakers all over it. The cap melts, revealing a super-hot plasma sphere. Canisters of all kinds of deadly crap are sitting inside the missile, melting together into the ultimate weapon. I don’t know what to do but I keep splattering the fluid all over the device. The timer is ticking. It’s getting hotter in here. I can see that if I continue to eat through the material, this whole place will fill with such heat and fire that all the oxygen will burst into flames. We will all die. I prod the goo, trying to get it to work but something in it has just given up. It’s just laying there in spatters like inert spit–a worthless affront to the inevitable. Like the whole of physics has just flipped a middle finger to this crazy species.

I envision the end of the world. The ecto-acid goo isn’t preventing the apocalypse. I can’t stop the timer. My flatmates are hiding themselves in self-flagellation, coming the form of last minute video game victories and alcoholic drinks–they’ve given up. I can hear the military, with their best men, banging on the top door. They want in–knowing full-well the best they can do is put a bullet in my flatmates and me. I can’t open the door from the inside. It’d be worth a try to give them a chance at stopping it. This is happening. We’re all going to die.

The timer counts down and I can hear, through the distant crackles of the kitchen radio, the cries of mothers holding their young. The missile fires. We watch it go up into the air and all we can do is hold our breath.

Russia has a hand on the trigger. The US has the same. Everyone ready to kill and die but not willing to fire until it’s set in stone. Thank fucking reason for that. Nobody in the face of the earth breathes for a long time.

The missile keeps going. It goes up–and when it should be turning toward Russia, it doesn’t. It just keeps going up, through the atmosphere and into space, off to detonate somewhere else.

I gasp for air as all the oxygen in the planet moves in and out at once.

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Secret Composer Agent

I’m a child, playing out a piano piece written by some old composer. He’s standing there watching me, making sure I’m doing it right.

“Ah, good, that part there is a little fast but it’s good that way.”

Many years later, I am an old man. I see the composer in a coffee shop, looking not a day older than when I was a child. It is apparent that he must die. He is the enemy, an agent from another faction. But I am old. What can I do? I befriend him. We discuss the changing scene of classical composition in modern times. He invites me over to his yacht where we drink and laugh about the past.

My family is with me now. We are all old. This is our vacation in some undisclosed European country.

“If he’s here, we need to run.” My wife suggests.

“We could catch a plane tonight. Grab only the items that are already packed.” I tell them. “I am going to see if I can finish this first.”

I head out to the yacht, uncertain of what I will do. Upon arrival, I see a figure leap from the mast and fall into a mesh of chain and rope in the front of the ship. It is the old man. He has hung himself on the bow. My arms fly into the air in a victorious flail of triumph. He is dead and I didn’t even have to kill him!

Interpol comes racing in, surrounding the scene. I scream at them. “He’s dead!” I laugh. “I didn’t do it but he’s dead. He’s finally dead.” I follow them over to the body and one of the agents grabs ahold of the man hanging from the chain.

“He isn’t dead yet. There’s breathing.”

My heart sinks into despair.

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Neo-Tokyo Towers

I’m up in a skyscraper that scrapes the ionosphere. It’s mostly under construction on the bottom of the tower but it’s all finished and full of people up top. There are escalators everywhere and I’m running down them. My Heely skate shoes come in handy as I round the corner and glide down one of the special wheelchair ramp escalators. It’s totally flat but it moves me faster than I can run. When I hit the bottom of the ramp I grab hold of a metal bar encircling the next escalator and I jump up through the opening that separates the pedestrian walkway from the pedestrian freeway. Now I’m flying. My feet tap every fiftieth step on the electric stairway, just enough to keep my momentum but the angle of descent is enough for me to nearly free-fall down dozens of floors.
Although I’m going fast, I know they are not far behind me, Yakuza, gokudō, but not bōryokudan–this group isn’t violent by nature. I think they just want to question me, why, I don’t know but I’m running anyway. It’s not that I mind answering questions, I just like to answer questions with all my fingers intact at the end of the conversation.
In almost no time at all, I’m nearing the underdeveloped part of the tower. The are no longer any escalators and I must take one of the large elevators they use to cart equipment. It also carries a lot of people on sometimes, like tonight, where countless tuxedo and gown clad citizens celebrate on the roof, gazing at the less distant stars, getting drunk off of the high altitude.
For a second, I worry that they may have someone stationed in the lift. Luckily, they had flown in and landed on the roof. They must not have had anyone come from the ground, yet. The elevator takes me all the way down to the basement level, my ears popping all the way. In the lowest level of the building, there are even more people than on the roof. They are getting ready for a Cirque performance of some kind.
I grab a seat, trying to be inconspicuous. The show starts and immediately I am unimpressed. They have giraffe unicycle magicians catching fine pieces of cloth, which are being projected out of thin air, but I can see a black gloved hand throwing them from behind an even blacker drapery. The contortionists are weak and the jugglers falter.

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Remote Avatar

I’m meeting with a guy from Google. He enters the board room and starts to talk to me about the long flight he just took from San Francisco. There’s something strange in his voice and I don’t quite believe that he just got off a plane.
He quizzes me with a few programming challenges but they are all elementary and I suspect he’s toying with me.
“Well, give me the answers to your questions in a week and I’ll start the evaluation. Then you can take part in whatever project you want or start making whatever project you can imagine.” He says.
“I’ve got some great ideas for Google Calendar,” I exclaim. I’m an eager little puppy. “It should be able to log your life, like sleep and work hours and generate a report for you of what you spend your time doing.” I give him an eyebrow raise, hoping he’ll agree vehemently that I should start modifying the calendar code right now. Instead, he begins to cough.
And cough. And he stands, walking toward the door, coughing more violently.
“I need to call in an engineer!” He says, hurriedly. “I’m sorry for this.”
He heads out the door and around the corner. I follow him and point him the way to the Men’s room. As he rounds the circuitous pathway of the building in search of respite, he continues his expulsion of airy fluids. Even through the walls and back in the conference room, I can hear him. It sounds viscous and hoarse, as if he’s on the verge of exploding his insides out onto the floor. I worry that I didn’t respond quickly enough to his needs. Perhaps he would hold that against me. Perhaps he would not be OK.
Minutes later, he returns with an engineer from Adobe Labs. The engineer is talking to him in a language I don’t understand and looks up at me with disapproving eyes.
“You can stay, but this is confidential.”
“Um, ok, sure…” I’m not really sure to what ‘this’ is alluding.
“Ok, let’s take of the helm…” The engineer says, pulling at the Google man’s chest.
The chest comes off, clean and with a few delicate clicks.
“A robot! AI? But then… He passed the Turing test! I didn’t have a clue!” I’m in shock and I’m mumbling and stuttering.
The Adobe engineer holds up his hands to me. “Don’t freak out, he’s a robot but it’s not AI.”
“I’m actually still in San Fransisco.” Smiles the Google man. “This is a prototype, I thought I give a try. It’s called a Mobile Avatar. I have three of them in different cities around the world. Makes arriving to meetings a bit more bearable–saves fuel, and I get to stay at home :)” He actually draws a smiley face in the air, two dots followed by a swoosh. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a gesticon. It’s the new trend with kids these days. Evidently, Google man wants to be hip.
I marvel at the smoothness of movement and the realism of the robot.
The engineer tinkers with the inside of the Avatar’s chest as he explains, “We realized it wasn’t worth making the AI to go along with our bots, but we could market them as vessels for people to be halfway around the world without actually going anywhere. Our clients, stay at home, step into a suit that picks up on every movement and transfers those signals to this machine.”

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