Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Hero and the Beast

With heart pounding, and the long white fingers of the rib cage closing in on it, wrapping themselves tighter and tighter around the pulsing organ like a spider wrapping its tuckered out prey in silken threads, our hero sets herself down once more in the dark cave of nightmares and switches on her digital light processor. Bathed in that surreal whitish blue glow, her little fingers tip tap on the instrument’s sensitive black teeth. "Shush now beast, it’s alright." She croons, "lets tell them just one more little story, you and I. Then one day you will turn these square teeth on me and finish me for all time, but for now be patient beast, it’s still my turn to set the pace." So wedged there between an electronic monster and her own bad wiring which continues to torture her heart and soon extends a line into her stomach, sending neural impulses which demand that its muscles convulse heedlessly sending passionate letters telling of their white hot pain up to the department of gray matter.
Inside that drab little office various clerks run to and fro deciphering the messages sent in from the strangled heart and contracting stomach, examining and reexamining, assessing, suggesting courses of action which might end the torrent of passionate communiqués. They argue, they coerce, they collide in dimly lit corridors spilling their armloads of data and bending to begin the process of re organizing it. In the center of the room, seated by the red telephone, the General sits, black boots laced up to her knees propped up on the desk, chewing the end of a cigar between clenched teeth, and watching with steely eyes from under her cap, the scurrying activity of her subordinates. Finally, without moving a muscle, she booms from her brown swivel chair, "That’s enough, Goddamn it!" And everyone stops in place, turns their head in her direction, and feels indignation followed by relief. Someone is taking charge.
"I’ll tell you what we’re going to do about it." She says slowly with great emphasis, "Absolute fucking nothing. Do you hear me?" Now that she’s sure she has their attention she rises, switching her crop to add a little flourish. "We’re in the middle of a war here, or have you sniveling bitches forgotten that? A war against time. That heart is going to give out. Worms are going to crawl through that stomach when it hits the dust. But before that happens, we have a mission to carry out, and that is all that matters." The silence is oppressive as she picks up the receiver of the little red telephone and says, "All systems are GO. Launch operation ‘do before die.’" Our hero plays out a fine melody on the teeth of her bastard counter part. Will our hero be able to execute the mission before the shadows close in and the insects and rats jump hungrily onto her fresh corpse ensuring the success of another generation of pests? Will the beast cooperate or will it slowly pull her essence out through her fingertips until a complete transference has been made and it becomes the sole vessel of life? "No not to soon, beast." She urges, "I must tell you everything. Our union must be complete. I have to tell you about your birth…about your real father…"
"You were conceived in a cubicle in a well lit office in Semi Valley. A man whose name you and I will never know drew out the plan that would be you. He borrowed your blueprint from that of another nameless Joe like himself, which only 6 month earlier, had done the same to create another entity very much like you. He added a few senseless embellishments of his own, which is why you suffer from hiccups now and again. He drew your insides, laid out the instructions for your creation, and that little dribble of data on parchment was rolled up in a cardboard tube, AND WITH THE APPROPRIATE POSTAGE ADDED, was ejaculated into the system. You were gestated and born in a warehouse in Taiwan. Thousands of hands contributed to the making of the many parts that have come to be you. One woman wore a hair net and a paper face mask, and as she lowered her soldering iron to your videocard, she sneezed. This is why you suffer from momentary bouts of blindness. You were packed with white blocks of Styrofoam into a box along with millions just like you, (although some of your siblings have perfectly functional video cards,) and you were carried over the seas by a big steel stork, only this stork preferred to swim and had no wings and had lots of mites running all over its deck. And that is the story of your birth my dear beast."
Our hero lets her fingers go limp on the bastards teeth as it mulls this over, electrical pulses coursing through its circuits. "One day," she continues, "you will return to Taiwan, or to other parts of China, Pakistan, or Africa. Dirty little boys will strip you and smash you to bits. Your wires will be thrown into fires to give rise to black billows of toxic smoke so that the plastic insulation will melt away and your precious copper can be extracted and sold for a few dollars on the black market. Old men will smelt down your mercury and silver in the shade of a smelly thatched roof hut with a dirt floor, using their wives only cooking pot. You too are slowly dying."
Machines, dear reader, do cry. Different machines do so in different ways, some expel salt tears, others little droplets of black oil, and yet others grind and groan their lament. The beast is of this later kind, and our hero of the first. Will they finally gorge a lasting alliance and tell the greatest story ever told? (No that story will not be about Jesus) Or will they both rot in a dank garage along the Californian coasts? Tune in next time and find out

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