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Phil Murphy / Blog

The Beginning of the Middle of the End II (Part 2)

The bus pulled to the side of the street with a loud exhaust of air from the braking system that sent a plume of dust swirling around like a tornado, I watched a skinny man who had obviously consumed his share of alcoholic beverages that day misjudge the distance from the bus platform to the road below. The shaky leg could not support the full weight of his step down. He fell forward, his inebriated state slowing his reflexes and reducing his sense, failing to protect his forehead from connecting with the curb in full momentum. An immediate spray of blood decorated the sidewalk, fanning out over some passerby’s shoes. A woman dropped a bag full of groceries, screamed and covered her O shaped mouth with tight, erect hands. A widening pool of blood began to form below the skinny man's left ear. My mother hadn’t noticed any of this until the woman had screamed. She cursed at the sudden hazard lights the bus activated and told me to look away but I couldn’t. I made it look that way to her but I watched as two men ran out of the bus, lifted the skinny man by his shoulders and drag him from the street to the sidewalk. Blood poured in an alarming rate from the gash on his forehead. His sweat pants had been dragged down to his ankles, exposing a bright orange pair of fruit of the looms. One of the men wrestled with the sweat pants, failed, shouted something in a foreign language and walked away briskly. The other man attempted to roll the skinny man over, but after seeing the amount of blood pooled beneath the skinny man's cheek he thought better and set him back down. It was then that my mother found space to merge into the left lane. My shin began to pain slightly as I fought my balance with the foot that wasn't hovering two inches above Z’s mangled head. I stepped back and replaced the hovering foot to the ground. I looked at Z’s smoking eye socket for a few more moments as the graphic memory of man and curb evaporated. I turned and saw Church’s dead body crumpled beneath some sparking machinery. I choked through the building smoke, trotted over, reached under the machinery and dragged Church out by the tail. There had been no disapproval noises. Half of the giant window remained in view. The glass had been spider webbed, some had even come loose, littering the slightly crooked floor. The control chair had come loose from its spinning stand and lay tight beneath the smoking control panel. I roughly tossed Church’s limp body over my shoulder and ran to retrieve the chair. I began to sputter and drool now. I swung the chair at the spider webbed window with everything I had. Small shard of glass sprinkled down on the first hit, but the structure remained intact. I swung again and again. The fourth swing shattered the entire window. Glass fell. I covered my face with arms and ran from the destroyed shuttle and into a bright hot heat. I fell to the hot sandy surface of Rock, coughing and choking. Church’s body toppled from my shoulder and rolled into a small hole that supported the only plant life my perspective provided. The electric energy in my veins continued to pulse. It only took seconds for me to repair my coughing issues. I felt no other pain at all. I momentarily recalled the reanimation of my baby finger before I stood with sudden purpose. I retrieved Church’s body from the small hole and ran west. A shocking strength ignited new energy in my legs. I ran like the wind away from the smoking wreckage of Z’s tomb, across the desert like terrain toward a destination my subconscious seemed to know of.

The Beginning of the Middle of the End II (Part 1)

My eyes opened. There were my fingers. A long jagged cut ran along the inside of the thumb, across my wrist and out of my field of vision. The middle finger stood straight up in a very unnatural way. The baby finger was no longer there. I stared at these uncomfortable things for a very long time during which I noticed the smells of smoke and the sounds of angry electricity. I witnessed my middle finger snap back into place and the long jagged cut along the inside of my thumb fill in with new skin. Tendrils of stringy flesh began to extend from the bloody stump of my baby finger. I watched in amazement as bone and muscles began to materialize out of thin air. Tiny blonde hairs pushed their way through the new skin like blades of grass. Finger nails pushed through the tips. My attention was slowly stolen by the sprawled ball of fur crumpled in corner. Z’s fur was burnt in places. His tail looked devoid of fur. He lay in a twisted position; back legs to one side, front paws straight out to each side. The left side of his face glistened with blood; it matted the fur. All the whiskers on that side had been burnt off and a flap of skin had been torn from his top lip exposing four of his white, well kept, sharp teeth. Where his left eye used to be was a dark, smoking hole. His other eye stared blankly into nothing. Invisible arms curled under my elbows and lifted my cheek from the floor of the destroyed portion of the Fluth shuttle I seemed to have managed to survive in. I wobbled like a drunk towards the destroyed, smoldering corpse of Z, aided by something I would never totally understand. Seven of these unbalanced steps were what it took for me to reach him. I stared down into his good eye, searching for any sign of life. I glanced at the smoking hole where his other would be and gnashed my teeth. I raised my foot and held it over Z’s head for a long time, battling with my thoughts.

The Beginning of the Middle of the End I (Part 2)

Kevin’s thoughts were murderous. His instincts vibrated with a need for blood. A sickness bloomed deep in his guts and threatened its contents into his throat more than once. How could he have been so stupid? Now that Z’s betrayal had been made evident, many moments from the past entered Kevins memory in a mocking way. How could you not have expected something here? What about then? And dear god man! What about this time? Kevin’s claws continually protruded until they would click on the surface of the control counter and retract adding a second silence eater to Bor’s continued toss of his object. Kevin spun his chair and stood on his back paws. He regarded the three remaining members he’d assembled for the intended distraction to Okmar’s men. They stared back intently. “The war is begun. Our plans have been leaked. Okmar knew everything all along. Z is a traitor. The one cat I trusted my life with has been relaying information to the Men in Suits all along. I have failed you all. There is no guarantee Murphy is alive or if he will be for much longer. We have only two choices now. Run or fight.” Bor caught his object one final time and a devious smirk spread into his lips. “What a pleasant surprise,” he whispered. He placed the small object in the single pocket in the centre of his shirt and began to stretch. Andelad Mot and Bohspox left their seats during this strange reaction and stepped forward until the small group was in a circle. “I do not share Bor’s excitement for death but I am ready to stand against this well dressed disease,” Andelad Mot said placing his hand on Kevin’s head and running a pet along his length. Kevin’s eyes squinted in approval and he purred quietly. “I too am ready to stand against these funeral home directors. Enough is enough,” Bohspox said and gave Kevin a pet as well. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. I have once been deceived by someone I trusted. I have never forgotten how that feels. It speaks volumes about your heart and character.” Bor finished his stretches and stepped forward to pet Kevin as well. “Head up chum. Let’s go win a war.”

The Beginning of the Middle of the End I (Part 1)

When Onun was seven, his father enrolled him in Ormas Odunah, which is similar to what humans call track and field. He seemed to harbor a talent for running which was strange for someone his size. It looked awkward and uncomfortable when he did run, but the speed at which he travelled could not be denied. He didn't run like the wind as much as become it. He easily took the Oluqua medal in every event he enrolled in and received high praise from both judges and members of competing planets. The head general of the D.F.P. had a son competing that year. He had a seat close to the field and spent the day shaking his head in bewilderment each time Onun sped past him. The head general forced himself into a long term friendship with Pono, Onun’s father, that day and when Onun turned legal age for D.F.P. enrollment the decision had been easy for all of them. There never had been and never again would been a D.F.P. recruit like Onun. When the Panel monitor registered erratic trajectory alterations in the Fluth shuttle’s travel Kevin’s face darkened in an approaching storm kind of way. His eyes lost their glow for several minutes as the weight of silence effected each person there. Andelad Mot and Bohspox sat on the love seat at the back of the small room, regarding the monitor intensely. Hypothesis and deduction danced in their eyes. Bor leaned against a pillar in the center of the room tossing a small object in his hand up in the air over and over. This was the only sound in this lengthy silence and it grew quite loud over the duration. Onun was the first to speak. He stood next to Kevin who continued to darkly gaze at the small, flashing line on the screen as it veered away from the solid blue one. “Where will it land?” Onun asked and leaned forward on the control counter. Kevin did not register as though he’d heard the question. He was visibly vibrating now and the hair on his erect tail stood on end. Onun searched for something else to say when Kevin calmly replied with slow and deliberate action. The map depicting both the projected landing area and the Fluth shuttles current route minimized into a small square in the bottom corner. Kevin lifted his paws in the air and began to wave them around like a conductor. Information began to fly by the screen with dizzying speed. An article, with the headline, Ponsils Demands Trade Route zipped by and Kevin lowered his arms. Another screen, similar to the Fluth shuttles tracking screen appeared but this one contained one bright yellow, flashing dot. Kevin waved his left paw in a passive manner and a flashing yellow dot appeared on the Fluth shuttle tracking screen as well. “That is an approximation of the Fluth shuttles landing zone on the left. Once controls on board were manipulated manually an approximation is all the Panel can muster.” Kevin handed Onun a small device, “This is a potapocket. It will flash red the closer you get to your destination. It will become solid red when you are within one hundred yards. The projected landing zone has been imputed.” Onun held onto the device for a moment and then placed it in his travel puse which he had hung low on his left hip. “What is the dot on the other screen?” Onun asked, pointing where he meant. “Communication has been detected between the shuttles com system and that location here on Rock. Z is no longer to be regarded as an ally. Kill him on sight. Run like the wind Onun. We may have already lost all the time we have. We may have lost the war before it had a chance to begin.”

The Story of Okmar Part 5

Okmar slept, in a barren office/closet for nearly an entire week. He did not eat, he did not rise to relieve himself, nor did he drink a single drop of water. Hanging on the edge of death, his father visited him in a place between sleep and wakefulness, leaving Okmar with a surreal experience that never provided any evidence either way. In his experience his father wore an expression of anger that rarely found its way into his features. His thick uni-brow curled down in the center and whisked away into the hanging wad of tangled hair on his head, above his pointed ears. The shadowy interior of the office/closet lent eerie shades to his jaw line and a strange glow from his dark pitted eyes, making him seem twice as sinister and volatile as he looked. Okmar stared disbelievingly up at his father from where he lay on the floor, covered in his own stinking feces and urine. A sucking sensation ran through his left eye, followed by a bright popping sound. Strands of flesh began to reach from his eye. They intertwined with each other until it resembled a thick chord of wet flesh. A long shadow ran along the wall next to him in a ghastly way. The chord of flesh seemed to be warning the figure of impending danger, much as an animal would when protecting its young. Okmar paid the odd reaction of his left eye with no attention. His complete focus rested solely on the man who raised him with such care and respect only to fall dead to his own son’s stupid, curious nature.

“Father,” Okmar half croaked, half whispered. The noise sounded alien and very loud in the small room. The thick chord of wet flesh seemingly turned to regard Okmar in a questioning way before detracting back into the deformed socket with more wet popping sounds that would have made anyone with a weak stomach consider ejecting earlier nourishment's.

“What are you doing?” Solith shouted, causing Okmars sore muscles to tense and his heart to skip a beat. “This is pathetic Okmar. Is this the young man I had such high hopes for? Lying there in his own shit and piss waiting to die alone, underground?”

Okmar said nothing, but let his attention wander away slightly in embarrassment and shame.

“LOOK AT ME!” Solith boomed. Okmar swore he could feel the vibrations from this demand in the floor below his splayed hands. He looked. “This is no time for feeling sorry for yourself. This is a time to utilize the gifts presented to you through our shared tragedy. Now stand and follow me.”

Okmar pushed himself up on shaky arms but fell back down the first time in an exhausted, defeated way. His left eye squelched again and revisited the air outside Okmar's skull. It once again intertwined until it was a thick chord and as Okmar attempted to rise for the second time it placed its end on the floor and assisted in the push. Okmar made it to his knees as his father’s ghost exited the room. The acrid stench of his excretions attacked his gag reflex but he had nothing to toss. Using the wall for support he rose to his feet and stumbled into the vast study beyond. Hundreds of file cabinets lined the walls on both levels. His father stood next to one of these in an irritated, impatient fashion. Okmar made it next to his fathers ghost with concerted effort, sweat beads pushing through his skin, above his eye brows and upper lip.

“Begin here,” Solith said simply and then faded away into nothing. Okmar stared at the place his father had just been standing for a very long time. And then he pulled open the top drawer of the file cabinet and began to read.

The Story of Okmar Part 4

Okmar refilled his glass to the brim and sighed heavily. This was the first time in nearly a thousand years he had taken the time to revisit the most horrible event in his life and the emotional effects were unexpected. He wiped his tear streaked cheek and took another heavy swallow of booze. His left eye squelched loudly, extended and stroked his face lovingly in an attempt to provide comfort. His body was warming and his mind was relaxing from the alcohol. It had been quite a time since he drank this much. The option to stop and try to get some rest was denied by his continuing memories…

Solith had an underground bunker in a small cave about three miles from their home where he stored his most valuable research. He did this to protect it from the wrong hands and from the possibility of its destruction. In a daze, Okmar stumbled across the rough terrain towards this cave, carrying the dead weight of his father over his shoulder, as the dim copper color of dusk gave way to the heavy blanket of darkness. He didn’t seem to have full control of his actions. Even in perfect physical condition, it was a fair bet to believe he wouldn’t have made it half as far with his father’s dead weight; however something pushed him onward and seemed to carry half the weight. His recent loss and the understanding of local opinion closed his mind off. His left eye throbbed and ached, as did other parts of his burnt and scarred body, yet he continued on to this safe place, needing to escape his current situation and avoid confrontation. The wind began to push from behind him in growing gusts. Felled voices decorated the coolness of this breeze, but Okmar wasn’t fooled. He knew where these voices were coming from and at this particular time he had no interest in listening. It seemed he had somehow developed the ability to read thoughts. Although curious, he was still overcome with grief and found the organizing of any thought too much of a chore to bear at this time.

He buried his father in the hard ground outside the cave and left it unmarked. No one else deserved to know where the greatest creature in the universe rested for eternity. Considering the terrible thoughts others seemed to have of he and his father, Okmar figured they didn’t deserve much of anything; maybe death. Following the laborious process of laying his father to rest, (which he preformed methodically languid, sporting a blank expression, devoid of awareness), Okmar stumbled blindly through the pitch darkness of the cave, tripping frequently, falling only twice. Time seemed to slow for him. It felt as though he were walking, knee high, through a pool full of peanut butter, (a wonderful import from Stulgast 101, home of the largest peanut), for the better part of an entire day. Maybe he had. He didn’t know and he cared even less. When he reached the seeming end of the cave, Okmar waved his hand in front of the wall and a small portion of the smooth Bicilite parted and revealed an electronic key pad. Its bright blue glow was shockingly and suddenly bright. Okmar winced against the brightness with his good eye until his vision adjusted. His other eye made a wet popping sound he noticed not at all. He entered his birthday into the key pad. Following a few seconds of silence there began a low rumble inside the walls of the cave. There was a loud crack and then a reverberating low gurgling sound as a much larger portion of the smooth wall slid aside, emanating a much more intense brightness than the key pad had. Okmar entered his father’s secret chamber and the portion of wall closed back up behind him. He did not leave for ten years.

The Story of Okmar Part 3

Before Okmar opened the only eye he would ever open again a Bog Worm found its way to his unconscious body and began an agonizingly slow journey up his pant leg, over his burnt, bloody shirt, along the skin of his neck, over his bloody, dirt smeared cheek and into his terribly wounded left eye. Before entering the gash, left by the piece of glass which had come loose sometime during the explosion, it halted and tested the area curiously, bobbing like a mere cat, extending shadows over Okmars face. Confident of a lack of danger the Bog Worm took three final lunges and slowly entered the gash until it disappeared into Okmars head. Okmar could hear voices, but they seemed very far away like an undependable connection experiencing interference. He was still over a full minute until a raggedy consciousness would reveal the horrors before him. During this short period of time he became lost in the steady rise of voices, seemingly coming from every direction and from mostly familiar sources. Although he recognized the Bicilites these voices came from, there was such a mess of overlapping expressions as to make most of it unintelligible. He made out some words and partial phrases however. Bonsworf, the local market owner said something degrading concerning Solith’s state of mind; ‘De Ite be nuts. Don know a pinchet from a fart do ee. I say good riddance to…’ The astrophager, Mortif, who was a highly respected Bicilite and one of Solith’s closest friends; ‘…lost in his own arrogance he is. We be a better race without his insa…’ Topitty, the wife of Storgath, also a friend of Solith’s; ‘…sad for is son I be. Poor tike is messed nough…’

He opened his eye to see. The lid came up slow and shaky, his vision blurred by the wind and sudden brightness. He squeezed away the moisture in his eye, two tears fell away and zig zagged down his dirt and blood streaked cheek. When his vision cleared he stared, unbelievingly, into his fathers open, lifeless eyes for a very long time. As the seconds flowed, the pain in his face and body began to fade into a numb throb and his brain began to piece together the moments leading up to this tragedy. A runner of drool slipped, carelessly from the corner of his mouth and dampened the dry Biciland. As the voices carried on inside his head an enormous cloud of grief began to build around his heart, lightning began to explode from these clouds at the realization that this was his entire fault. The cloud opened up and poured as he came to understand that his father, the oldest and most amazing creature in the universe had died saving him from a disaster created by his own stupid, careless curiosity. Thunder pounded as he listened to the uncaring, dishonest, traitorous words pour from trusted sources. There was a moment where Okmar almost convinced himself he was dreaming. This couldn’t be real. Then the smell of smoke invaded his conscious and a vicious pain ripped through his skull from his wounded, left eye. He grasped at it, ignorant of the pain his sudden, jerking movement created and let loose a jagged, howl. His left eye felt as though it harbored a hot ember. He rolled around in the dusty Biciland, with his hand over his gapping socket, screaming over and over, drowning out the painful voices that continued to hurl hurtful statements. His body grew hot all of a sudden and stilled, as he kneel in the dying light of late evening next to his fathers dead body and a smoldering crater that used to be their home. He wobbled back and forth for a moment and then collapsed back to the ground and into the last state of unconsciousness he would experience until the day he died.

The Story of Okmar Part 2

Three weeks prior a comet had crashed on the planets surface near to where Solith and Okmar resided. Always excited at the prospect of testing and operating on something foreign, Solith carefully extracted the rock from the small crater it lye in, separated four small pieces and carted it back to his lab. For the next three weeks he had attempted many tests and experiments on the strange rock. It wasn’t until he had mixed the rock with pieces of Bicilite, (a shale type rock decorating the entire planet), that the real excitement began to brew in his chest. The two rocks reacted in a completely unexpected way; liquefying. The night before his tragic error, he had locked the liquid in an air tight container and set his machine to gradually raise its temperature in specific increments throughout the night.

While he slept in his room upstairs, Okmar woke thirsty. Okmar went to the water pump and got himself some water. As he stood, mostly naked in the warm dining area his ears popped and began to register a noise from his father’s lab downstairs. Still groggy from sleep, Okmar followed his curiosity to the strange sounds and discovered the heated liquid in his father’s machine. Okmar marveled at the color changes within the liquid. There were some colors he had never seen before and they flowed through each other in hypnotizing patterns. His eyes grew wide and these colors bounced off the glossy surface of his face. Before he knew what he was doing or before he could convince himself to do anything but what his body began to do, his arm stretched out towards the liquid. The tips of his fingers began to tingle with electricity and the colors within the capsule began to blend into a darker shape and extend towards Okmar's reaching fingers. He could not resist touching the glass. There was no warning as to the temperature of the container. When Okmar’s single finger touched the transparent surface his skin sizzled and stuck. He screamed. He swung his other hand at the container in an attempt to knock himself away and the container burst. The liquid exploded outward, the majority striking Okmar in the face. A chunk of glass from the container cut into the soft tissue of his left eye and sent shocking pain through his head. He grasped at his face as he fell backwards. Solith bolted from his room and descended the stairs in a panicked fashion nearly losing his balance more than once. He halted at the bottom of the stairs and regarded his screaming son in horror. Okmar held his left eye, blood cascading from what was surely a terrible wound beneath and falling backwards towards the tanks that contained the gasses Solith used to fuel his machinery. Solith raised his hands in a warding off gesture. Okmar’s motion carried him, unknowingly into the valve that contained the gas. He hit the valve hard and toppled to the floor. Solith took one step towards his son before the valve blew off the containment unit and hit him square in the chest driving him against the far wall. There was suffocating pain in Solith’s chest. Something was surely broken and bleeding inside of him. He coughed hard, ejecting a thick wad of blood over his chin. His first attempt to rise from his position was unsuccessful and caused such a rip of pain through his body he nearly passed out. The second time he was prepared for the pain and was able to endure it enough to get to his feet. Gas continued to shoot out of the tank. He could smell its acrid stench. Okmar’s screams had ceased and Solith feared the worst. He shuffled over to his sons crumpled frame and through terrible agony lifted him and began to run for the stairway. Something sizzled from behind him. He did not turn to look. He hobbled to the top of the stairs, through the dining area and burst through the back door just as the house exploded, sending him and his son flying through the air.

The Story of Okmar Part 1

Okmar reached out and took a small glass from the circular table next to his oversized chair and brought it to his lips. The smell of alcohol filled his nostrils and encompassed his senses. He closed his good eye and reveled in the hot, bitter aroma. The liquid burned his lips slightly when he tipped the glass and heated his throat as it headed for his belly. After two swallows he opened his eye and leaned back his head. His other eye swam in its socket making wet popping sounds.

The room was empty, as it usually was and as he usually preferred. It allowed his overactive brains to reach out farther and capture a more broad education of matters in the universe.

Okmar was troubled for the first time in eons and the trouble came from his memories. Dark were these memories, full of a grief he preferred to hide in hollow caverns, beneath present issues.

At the age of twelve, nine hundred and ninety nine earth years prior, Okmar was given a guitar by his father. It was a random gift on a day that had never held any importance before. His father claimed to have purchased it from an iconic musician on a planet in the Milky Way galaxy seven hundred years in the future. He went on to say that the musician changed his world with it. Okmar was overjoyed with the gift. For several painful months Okmar would pluck at the strings in nonsensical patterns. He would grow frustrated at times with his lack of understanding at how the instrument worked. The odd time he would work out small arrangements that came off sounding weak and disjointed but his father never complained. He always encouraged Okmar to keep playing, claiming it relaxed him as he worked. Okmar’s father was a great man of great importance on a planet decreasing in population ever since their star began to lose its life. Many claimed Solith to be the oldest being in the entire universe, but to Okmar he was just Dad; the man who comforted him in times of sorrow and encouraged him in times of weakness.

Okmar’s father was known as Solith the Wanderer to most and Solith the insane to some. It was always amazing how fear of the unknown could alter people’s perceptions. He was the first being in the universe to develop time travel and also the first being in the universe to develop space travel. Solith would spend countless hours and days in his laboratories, running tests, mixing compounds, testing equations and so on, yet always seemed to find enough time to paint a smile on Okmar’s face. He had few friends. Most of his closest friends had died long before. The friends who remained had become busy with the business of survival. It was unseasonably warm on planet Bicilite the day Solith made the mistake that would eventually lead to the demise of his entire race. A comfortable breeze blew across the parched ground and through the strange, ageless, skeletal vegetation, kicking up suffocating dust clouds. Bicilite floated in a large empty portion of space, close to the point believed to be the beginning of the universe. The star the planet orbited had rapidly lost its brightness over the past four years leaving a dull shadowy glow to represent day and a dark so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face to represent night. The closest planet to Bicilite, Ogmosh, occupied the edge of the small galaxy and retained simple life. There was no resistance to any activity Solith, or any of the other Bicilites chose to spend time exploring or experimenting. This left plenty of room for error, and yet error had been avoided for multiple centuries, despite their lack of fear. And so it was until this day; the day his son, Okmar was brutally forced into manhood by a design beyond any life’s comprehension. Possibly even beyond any God’s.

The End of the Beginning of the End V

The pain was bright and hot. The entire left side of my body felt as though it were in flames. Blood first dampened and then soaked the left sleeve of my shirt. I could feel it running down my arm and into the crook of my elbow. I turned my head and looked at Church’s dead body in the corner and burst into pathetic tears. What the hell was I doing here? Had I thought this were some kind of game? Had I still been convinced I was inside some kind of nightmare where nothing could really hurt me? In some ways I still felt like this was some kind of dream. I would wake up in my bed with Church curled up comfortably on my chest and a day of work ahead. I felt my brain falling into this fantasy; doing everything it could to make it real. I could almost feel the warmth beneath the blanket and the cool morning air on my cheeks.

My eyes snapped open revealing Church’s crumpled body in the corner, collecting its pool of blood. The pain returned but the fire seemed to have reduced to a simmer. The realization of my failure blurred my eyes once again. Z would take me to Okamr and Okmar would rip what was left of body into at least seven pieces in front of thousands of terrified, bewildered feline eyes. I hadn’t the slightest clue of the scope of The Men in Suits ambitions but found myself sure that it would eventually include Earth. They would pour through the universe like a disease, infecting democratic processes with an iron fist. There would be no defense.

My teeth came together hard. My jaw bulged and my brow furrowed. My vision first darkened and then brightened with fierceness. I turned my eyes to Z, standing on his hind legs, sweeping his front paws over the black surface with concentration. The entirety of the front window filled with the surface of the planets strange landscape. I could see the glowing blue rocks that made up the disc surrounding the planet skimming by the fluth shuttle, dangerously close. I could feel something growing inside my mind. It felt as though this something were taking over my ability to conjure rational thought. The fire in my arm abated. I involuntarily lowered my eye lids and marveled at the colors hidden there. I could feel something cool and comforting running through my blood stream. I exhaled in relief and closed my right fist. The dried vomit split into pieces and crumbled from my skin.

“What the fuck?” I heard Z’s voice mumble. It seemed very far away as though I were listening through a poor connection. There was sudden and drastic movement. I could feel my body slide along the floor. There was a crash and a bang from the same place Z’s voice had come from. My body bounced from the floor twice, but I barely noticed. The cooling presence lifted my eyelids and allowed me to observe the situation. The glowing blue rocks making up the disc surrounding, Rock seemed to be moving about, causing Z to manually shift the shuttles direction erratically. The rocks seemed to have purpose. They seemed to be directing Z away from where his intentions were transporting us.

One of the rocks scraped the side of the shuttle. There was a long, teeth shattering grinding sound. I could faintly smell smoke. The shuttle narrowly missed another of the rocks that had moved into its path. Z uttered a sharp curse and almost fell from the seat. I slid along the floor again closer to the chair and the view out the window. My arm hit the edge of the wrap around couch but the pain that would be expected never came. Something hit the side of the shuttle hard all of a sudden. I was thrown sideways and into the corner where Church lie. I could hear Z’s voice in my head all of a sudden; louder than any of this sudden commotion.

“Lost all controls! Losing power. Trajectory drastically altered. Going down!” And then I lost complete consciousness.