“Where did they go?” the creepy Man in suit to the left of the window asked. If I had have been there I’d have shivered for sure. But I wasn’t there right now. I was somewhere else. I don’t know?” the other replied and peaked around the edge of the window. The bright orange beacon hauntingly flashed sepia like tones around the darkness of the tower itself, toying with shadows. The far north to south areas of Bochetz was visible, miles into the distance from this vantage point. With a high end pair of noculars one might be able to see the Bicarbonite pools on the eastern edge. They had been watching the two renegades approach along the tops of the buildings and discussing the lack of direction and protection they had in this circumstance. All communication had ceased with Okmar for some time now. No one knew where he was. This created an undercurrent of uncertainty throughout the ranks of the remaining seventy-two Men in Suits, Okmar had spent the majority of his adult life fathering. Thirty were sent through the pass with twenty dogs and they were followed by twenty more dogs and thirty more Men in Suits. “When did you last see them?” the left man asked. “Over the seventh flat top? Do you think they climbed down?” “I’m not sure? They were there a minute ago?” The Man in Suit on the right stepped forward and pressed a series of buttons on a control panel, mounted on the wall next to the window. The invisible shield evaporated, allowing the breeze that pushed east to find its way into the clothing of the Men in Suits. There was an odd moment of hesitation from the Man in Suit on the right. His eyes went vacant for about seven seconds and his head tilted to one side. The other Man in Suit regarded this with indifference. This had been happening more and more frequently over the past few months. They would randomly fall into states of loss as though they were buffering or something. The periods of loss sometimes lasted fifteen seconds. Following the Suited man on the rights seven seconds of buffer, his head leveled back out, a small sigh escaped his lips and his eyes cleared. The drop was a mortal one but the Man in Suit was not interested in such things at that particular moment. He removed a set of Noculars from his left breast pocket and clipped them to his nose. Distance closed drastically and focused on the areas of his particular interest. He could see nothing. Nothing at all. The breeze had even been unsuccessful in pushing a loose piece of trash around. He took a step out beyond the window frame, onto the tiny balcony section and looked left and right with the same result. He turned with a sigh and was just about to tell the Man in Suit on the left to send out more dogs and three men to find and kill them when the air shimmered behind him. The Man in Suit on the left’s eyes widened and then his brow creased in both confusion and alarm. With his words stuck in his throat The Man in Suit on the right slowly turned in time to see Andelad Mott and Bohspox materialize out of thin air, four feet from the edge of the balcony and seeming to stand on thin air. Andelad Mott’s sweaty bangs shivered in the breeze. Bohspox held a small capsule out in the palm of his right hand and his eyes were dark with malice.
Foo was the first to go. One of the dogs was sniffing its way into eye line with him at the base of the tree they were in. The dog saw him just before he landed on its face. It opened its mouth and a single bark reported before mewling and howling began. Foo got one of his clawed paws into the dog’s right eye and the other just underneath its left ear. The eye ball popped grotesquely. He held tight, extended his rear pawed claws and ripped the dog’s throat open with three hard pushes with his hind legs. Blood flew. Rags of flesh hung grotesquely. It began to rain cats. The three feathers landed two feet from the front of the group of Men in Suits. The Men in Suits halted. All the other dogs perked, looked and attacked. Four cats fell on each of the three dogs that raced for Foo’s blood. One of them got hit in the head so hard it went face first into the dirt. Its eyes were torn out before it even knew what hit it. Mucassy goo ran down Stinky’s paws. Nobody really liked Stinky, but he was one mean mother fucker so everyone tolerated him for his usefulness in moments like these. He was the perfect kind of crazy for a task like mass murder. He licked the goo from his paws and stared down two more approaching dogs. The yelping and howling echoed in the dark trees. As Bor made his final decent which was a leap from about ten feet, Stinky managed to dodge the first dog and then rip one side of the other dogs face off with one clawed swing. It ran head first into a tree and began to kick out its paws in random fashion. The other dog skidded and turned but Irvatt, (the newest and least appreciated member of the Kwalee) managed to land on its back and hold tight. The dog yelped, tried to turn and bite but Irvatt remained just out reach with his claws dug deep into the dogs back. This afforded Stinky the moment he needed. He bolted for the dog’s throat and, with his teeth this time, ripped open the soft, vulnerable flesh. A loose flap of skin swung up and smacked the dog in the cheek. Blood rocketed out of the wound. “Yeah!,” Irvatt cheered and then he was in the teeth of one of the dogs and being thrashed around crazily. Stinky raced forward but he knew he was too late. The dog tossed his lifeless, broken body aside and ran at Stinky. Stinky ducked just in time and slid under the dog on his belly. He quickly got up and turned around but the dog was already on him. Stinky swung claws and dug impressions in the dog’s cheek. It lunged for Stinky’s throat and then its head was gone. Blood splashed out and over his fur in a hot splatter. The headless body tottered for a moment and then fell over revealing Foo standing just behind, holding a tiny katana. Stinky winked thank you. The carnage was in full swing now. More than half of the dogs had already fallen and it didn’t look to have taken too much of a toll on them. Bor landed just before the group of men in suits and smiled darkly. And then there was music.
Bor found his balance on the limb and just as the object was about to leave his hand a blue and orange ball of fur flew from a somewhere deep in the shadows and provided such a showing of instant death Bor couldn’t help but facially appreciate it. The crow was mid squawk when it all occurred. His rude report was cut off so suddenly the silence seemed intense. The sudden change in concentration left his senses lost to the dogs long enough for them to have crept up. Bor quickly put his finger to his mouth and remained very still as about twenty Sickruman Dobers loudly entered the clearing below. Their fur was matted in places and their legs looked warn as though they had been chewing on them. Tongues flopped from the corners of their mouths and sharp teeth gleamed in the pitch darkness. Bor noticed how much Foo’s hair was sticking up. “You okay?” he asked with a right corner smile perched on his face. Foo stared at him darkly for a moment before looking back down at the passing pack of dogs. Bor looked up just in time to see a few feathers tumble from the limb across the way. He jerked into a panic position and held his hands up. There was a lot of sniffing going on down there right now. Bor watched in horror as three small black feathers sea sawed their way down to where the dogs vigorously sniffed. He turned to the new sound his ears invited and watched as at least twenty or thirty, Men in Suits exited the darkness of the tree’s as though the darkness birthed them. They all wore exactly the same expression and attire. They seemed wholly disinterested in what the dogs seemed to have discovered. Bor experienced a moment of indecision. The three feathers were just over half way to the ground now. At their current rate of fall they would most likely land right at the feet of the lead suited men. Foo turned to look at Bor. His eyes glowed fiercely and Bor was quite sure they could not open any wider. He looked beyond Foo’s head and into the tree’s beyond where a couple hundred set’s of glowing eyes regarded him similarly. His indecision ended. It was time to go to war, music or no music. He nodded and pointed down.
During this particular UM, Andelad Mott seemed to materialize out thin air fifteen feet above the centre of the audience. To the average onlooker he seemed to be riding his drum kit like a hover wrack. As he began his animated physical attack of the drum’s, he began to move in small semi circles that gradually grew larger, slowly taking him closer and closer to the stage area where the rest of the band continued to perform on their own props and to the rear of the crowd where it was difficult to see much of what they were doing. Thousands of hands were raised in the air; hundreds of thousands of fingertips came within inches of touching the smooth underbelly of the projection ball that easily supported the weight of the entire drum kit. The circular motion was controlled by a bit chip, Andelad Mott had inserted in the ball gap of the projection ball. It was completely controlled by memory. Andelad Mott had flirted with the idea of manual control but, following several attempts at this, came to the realization that he would require two brains to complete both the task of controlling the movement of the projection ball and completing the extremely complex opening drum sequence of their most popular song. They all agreed that too much could go wrong. This unfortunately left them with limited options when it came to his movements. There were only four specific movements and they were artificially implanted so they were always careful to keep track of their uses in particular places, doing their best not to repeat anything. The projection ball is a personal invention of Andelad Mott. It is a complete manipulation of gravity using an extremely thin membrane projected by the ball gap which is small enough to fit in your pocket. The membrane is one hundred percent communicative with the host unless the ball gap is manipulated. Andelad Mott used temperature manipulated liquid, (properties were scarily similar to Bicarbonite which, thankfully, was information that had somehow evaded Okmar’s thought sponge), that sprayed out of the ball gap in a fine mist and took the shape of the energies expended by the brain within, (once again, unless manipulated). Andelad Mott made some small additions during this time, mostly for the size of the membrane. It had to be able to encircle his whole drum kit as well. When it did Andelad Mott would simply think, ‘invisible,’ and the membrane encircling them would shift from translucent to perfect blending with any particular surrounding. So, technically he was not invisible, the membrane just fooled your eyes into seeing an unobstructed continuation of any particular surrounding. Sometimes he had fun with this. When he wished to become visible he would simply think, ‘visible,’ and the membrane would return to its translucent state. These were the only functions he would use his thoughts for other than the, ‘loop,’ command (during a performance),which would then initiate one of the four motion options they had. There was no need to speak the loop command during this particular use of the projection ball. Bohspox knelt down on one knee, seemingly on nothing at all and watched as the flashing beacon atop the watch tower approached at a relaxed speed. Andelad Mott stood next to Bohspox with his arms hanging loosely at his sides. His brow was deeply furrowed and his eyes dark. There was no wind inside the membrane. Both of their hair hung loosely over their sweaty foreheads. Andelad Mott could see the ghostly image of one of the men in suits just inside the shadow of the extension above the main window. A small smile crept into the corner of Andelad Mott’s mouth. ‘They have no idea we’re right on top of them,’ Andelad Mott thought. Things were about to get interesting.
During the war of 1712, (more specifically the 10108674-19.42 Universal Moment)(UM) a musical group travelled from galaxy to galaxy under the name of Samson’s Left Foot, (which stood for the chronic illness Slfoot 7 in Triliviom quadrant B at the outer rim of M1345 Galaxy), and were just entering the dramatic mid section of their most popular song at a sold out show on Blaywag Z03. At the twelfth minute of the seventeen minute and twelve second intro, (which purposely reflected their opposition to the battle currently raging on planet Grabulon 9 in the Sphector quadrant 12 parsnippets inside the outer edge of the Bogdon MF17 galaxy), the spectacular visual presentation that had onlookers staring wide eyed and silent, except for the intended swell of appreciation for something breathtaking, gave way to an immediate decent into darkness that purposely occurred, with the end goal being the extraction of- neurological alarm- from the audiences personally uncontrollable subconscious reactions. They were suddenly so intensely afraid for reasons they could not understand, (some more than others), and just seconds before the inability to control their panic on a mass level, (there were moments from the past where small groups would fall into panic and Andelad Mott always found it mesmerizing to witness how fast these ripples expanded, as though a boulder were dropped in the half frozen waters of Beril 0009 who’s waters flowed like molasses), but just before the level of panic effected an uncontrollable amount of people an explosion occurred just above the centre of the stage and torches that had been strategically placed around the entire observation area would ignite, revealing the stage reconfiguration that was never the same. Three members of the group, (Bohspox, Leibelaid, Tymotit), would appear in various positions in various articles of dress, atop various objects that directly related to most current events within understanding of the majority of attendees. In this particular Universal moment Bohspox stood atop what looked to be a tea kettle being eaten by a large fish, (an anti religious sympbol representing those who support the opposition currently campaigning for next week’s surprise election), Leibellaid swung back and forth on an oversized love swing with his keyboard in his lap, (representing the shifting tides effecting crops on the starving, repressed planet closest to them, Fargone Y17), while Tymotit stood inside the mouth of a giant statue of a cat like creature named the Phoysoy, (the god of life). An unthinkable amount of thought, yet surprisingly little preparation went into these consistently dramatic, sense manipulating experiences. The only constant would be the later appearance of Andelad Mott, always in motion inside, above, rising, swinging, hovering, rotating, and spinning, usually in spectacular fashion such as on fire, spraying gnomejoes and/or bubbles tops.
The object rose and fell, rose and fell. It’s smooth, black edges caught the final light of the Stungett, randomly, and decorated the surrounding foliage with arty light. Foo stared at the rhythmic movement of the object with total fascination in his huge green eyes. His tail twitched and a shiver ran up his spine. He raised his hind legs and then repositioned his tail before sitting again in the warm dirt of late evening. The dirt would cool overnight. Temperatures could hit minus sixty overnight and if there’s a wind it can be hell. Foo hoped it didn’t get much colder than minus ten or fifteen tonight. Bor didn’t care how cold it got. There was murder in Bor’s eyes and although Foo never said so, he was quite agitated by it. That was the main reason his focus was trained on the rise and fall of the object Bor seemed quite fond of. Several time’s words would seem to hit a volume barrier just outside his lips, bouncing his inquiries and curious thoughts back. The rest of the cats were spread out in the Ficusth tree’s on either side of the narrow path Kevin had led them too through a telemap service, (first month free) he pirated from the universal archive. Bor regarded the glowing eyes decorating the area and his brow furrowed. The Stungett was all but lost to other areas of the planet. A purple glow streaked across the portion of cloudless sky Bor could see through the trees. A weak wind rustled some leaves and threw some dirt, but somewhere inside these sounds Bor thought he could hear something else. He caught the black rounded object and held his hand up in the air. Every cat in the area stiffened and silenced. The sounds around them grew very loud. Foo slowly raised his eyes from where the object had been to where Bor’s concerned, murderous, flushed face protruded from his thick neck. He wondered if he had somehow become hypnotized by the object. He also considered whether this was intentional or not. Bor was a mystery sometimes. The earth was being disturbed farther up the path. Accompanying the sounds of disturbed earth Bor could hear fast, heavy breathing coming from several sources. He knew what was coming before the message was relayed from scouts at the head of the path. Dogs. Lots of them. Bor waved his arm back and forth a few times and then pointed upwards before climbing the tree he had been leaning against moments ago. He moved with much effort while Foo watched from a branch halfway up. His accent had come much easier. When Bor reached the same branch his forehead was running with perspiration and his breathing was hard. Foo found his way through the volume barrier with a two word question. “You okay?” Bor glared at Foo for a brief moment before settling his balance, turning and surveying the path from this new elevated position. The sounds seemed fainter up in the tree. Bor supposed the path was a wind tunnel and most of the sound rushed past at a lower level. But there was no mistaking what he could hear. He watched a few trees over as cats relayed a message that would eventually find its way to him through eye blinks. They would have to refrain from telepathic use until Andelad Mot and Bohspox fired up the tunes, lest they give up their surprise. Up in the trees they still had a chance to avoid detection until they Men in Suits were below them and the music was playing. A loud squawk ripped through the silence . Bor looked in the direction of the noise and saw a large black bird perched above a row of cats. The cats looked up at the bird and then at Bor for direction. He shook his head and reached into his pocket for the object. The cats looked on.
“Please. Let’s stop for a moment and rest,” Bohspox pleaded. His shoulders slumped in a defeated fashion and he regarded Andelad Mot from beneath a weary brow. Sweat ran along the edge of his loose jaw and dampened the neckline of his cotton shirt. They had been climbing and leaping along the rooves of buildings for the past forty minutes, slowly making their way closer to the flashing blue beacon at the top of the control tower. The Stungett made its way deeper into the horizon, painting the sky with bruises and lighting the horizon on fire. Andelad Mot halted at Bohspox plea and regarded this fire thoughtfully. The consideration of a reply did not present itself anywhere in his body language and his silence was full of impatience. He did not turn out of fear Bohspox would read the thoughts he had through his eyes. Little did he know that Bohspox had read just that in his silence no less. He just didn’t care. He flopped down on an air vent protruding from the flat roof of the building they stood on. They hadn’t seen the dogs in nearly twenty minutes. Andelad Mot had heard one single bark from a distance but nothing otherwise. The only other sound was the growing Easterly wind that ruffled the long hairs toppling from his small head. It whistled and whined through the alleyways and window panes surrounding them. “Have you considered that we will be expected? The dogs couldn’t be coincidence. They did not look starving or unkempt,” Bohspox said and wiped the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his shirt. It only took seconds for the perspiration to reappear and begin to run again. He regarded the Stungett and hoped its disappearance brought with it cooler temperatures. “Oh they’re expecting us my good friend. They are just counting on us not expecting them. Their plan with the dogs was not to kill us. It was to drive us higher so they could watch our approach. I can feel their eyes on us as we speak,” Andelad Mot said flatly and continued to stare into the horizon. “Not sure about that. The dogs did look as though they would have pealed us like bumble fruit if they got close enough.” “Yes and if they did get us it would be of no care to them. One less thing to worry about. But if they didn’t get us they would know where we were coming from. Little do they know that we have this.” Andelad Mot pulled a small device from a side pocket on his jacket. The device was circular in shape and transparent except for a small black button in the centre. “What is it?” Bohspox asked, remaining in his resting position. The heat in his legs finally began to abate. A throbbing sensation ran along his outer left thigh. He rubbed at it as he listened to Andelad Mot. “It’s a projection ball. Remember when we played on Suflagone D78?” A small smirk appeared at the corner of Bohspox’s mouth. A breeze cooled his forehead and a heavier darkness was suddenly recognized as the Stungett began to disappear into the desert. Realization dawned on his face. His exhaustion found somewhere else to go. He stood and looked into his friends eyes. “I could kiss you right now.” Andelad Mot looked horrified.
The Stugett hovered over the East hills, sickly distributing it’s failing light over the reddish horizon as day began to fall. Shadows crawled along the edges of sharp rocks, distorting, dimming and contorting over every other object like a river of molasses. Stars, far and near, began to poke through the black sky, winking and sparkling fantastically. Animals crawled into caves. Birds flew into trees. Brightness bloomed in the distance, accompanied by inebriated shouts of joy and celebration. The party was into its second hour. Where Okmar and Solith’s house once stood, unmanned machinery continued to purr and hum in its auto state as the factory waited for the following day. Suddenly a new sound. A low rumble as the rock face of a cliff, west of the factory began to rise from the dusty ground, revealing a dark hollow. Ghostly shapes began to appear in this darkness. Ghostly faces hovering in deep dark. The day had come. Okmar’s smiling face bobbed into existence, followed by many others; these wearing blank expressions. They marched in single file, drawing a line in the dimming light across the horizon; each step in sync, thudding on the hard ground in a hypnotic, repetitive pattern. The line zigged and zagged its way west, in the direction of celebration. Okmar’s eye extended and bobbed with his movements. It rose ten feet into the air and turned to regard the line of Bicilites following, drawing a ghastly shadow in the red dirt. Okmar could feel his heart begin to accelerate in his chest. His smile began to hurt, but it would not dissipate. This was his day. He had risen from the dead with purpose. Nothing would stop him. Anything that tried would leave this world for the next. Judgment day had come for the residents of this dying planet and Okmar couldn’t hide his excitement.
There was a lengthy silence following his father’s words as he considered them carefully. His father sat at the foot of the bed and patiently awaited a response from his son. Okmar’s eye stretched out as he turned to face his father. “The torment would come from the knowing that these ignorant, useless creatures passed on by any natural occurrence regardless of its painful extent. The only way to quell these voices and move on to fresh pastures is to rid them. The only way to do so and maintain any form of sanity is to do it myself. I want to smell their burning flesh. I want to dance around the fire with my men and sing into the night sky one last time. I want to cut off Draxle’s wifes head and rub it in his face. I want to feel Draxles pulsing throat in the palm of my hands. I want to watch his eyes topple from their sockets as I squeeze. There is nothing else I can do to move on harboring any inkling of sanity. If they are to die anyway where does the real harm lie? There is no god father. I have been presented an opportunity I will not waste. I will not feel bad about it. In fact I may feel a whole lot better.” Solith regarded his son levelly for an entire minute and Okmar noticed the second of fear that glistened in those eyes before he turned away and silently floated back into the darkness from which he came. “Remember that I love you Okmar. Remember that I will always love you,” were the words that floated to Okmar as his father disappeared into the darkness. Okmar stared into the corner for a time. The voices stopped suddenly. A peace crept over his pale, tight skin. He lay back down and closed his eye. His other retracted and nestled into the socket. Okmar was asleep immediately, unconsciously wearing a smile.
When Solith spoke from the dark corner of the room Okmar lay awake in, his eye shot out and protruded defensively at full extension. Okmar followed his eye to a sitting position. “Hello father.” “Hello son.” A long silence followed in which the flesh from his eye slowly receded until it was a four inch protrusion, a predator in waiting. Solith broke the silence with words Okmar had not expected to hear. “I love you very much Okmar. Life has always been hard for us. I often wonder how much different it would have been had your mother not passed. I can’t help but believe it would have been much better. She would have leveled it out somehow. I may have made mistakes but I want you to know that my heart was always true. You were always my number one priority. I owed it to your mother. How I loved her Okmar. I am so very proud of you. I will stand behind your decisions whichever they may be for blood is blood, but I want you to know that violence is not the answer. I have witnessed too much proof of this for it not to be true. There is always more than one way to deal with uncomfortable situations. Killing Draxle will not bring me back or make you feel any better. Burning seven hundred Bicilites will do nothing but reduce your existence. The planet is dying on its own. God is taking care of it for you. I don’t imagine the Stungett will last much longer than ten more years. The surviving Bicilites will be lost in the darkness, freezing and starving to their death without your assistance. You could walk into town with your men and easily take control of it. Force them to understand their coming extinction and convince them that a move is the only way to survive. You can be the voice of reason. A future hero. Or you could just up and leave with your men. No one would know any different. You’ve been thought dead for ten years anyway. The universe is huge son. Even with your new capabilities and strengths, discovering all of it is near impossible. You would have many things to keep you occupied. You may even find love somewhere. You can do all of this without washing yourself in the blood of your people. In the end the choice is obviously yours. I am dead after all. There is nothing I could do either way. I am simply offering you choices. Any choice you make will have no effect on my love for you. I don’t want to witness a life of torment and pain for the only remaining blood left in the universe.”