Nocturne, Part 1, a science fiction story by Kevin James Miller
bald, glasses, smile
kjmiller

Midnight, and the text and graphic displays worn by the Earth fighter pilots looked out of control by the sixth or seventh drink.  Dozens of fonts misspelled specialized military and intelligence jargon, and file and recent war zone vid-grabs swam with infrared continents on alien planets in the animation that ran up and down their uniforms. They sobbed into their glasses, did business with the local whores, and talked to the bar owner and piano player, Cratowski.  He played a piece with a sprightly, good-natured spookiness to it.

His customers, if they stood in the right light and looked from a good angle, could see the artificiality of Cratowski's color-of-old-bubble-gum hands.  The hands had no lines, no folds, and no fingerprints, not a hair, callous, freckle or scar.

Kraxum had other bars.  Cratowski's Snake and Prince everyone in or passing through Galactic Sector 835 liked the best.

The Lattice broadcast, three hours previously, contained the usual war stories, and the usual words of patriotic encouragement from Blirnmann Rill, head of the Three-Worlds Government.

A blond boy fighter pilot who barely looked sixteen, sipped on a cup of lemon narco-wine cooler.  He leaned on the baby grand as Cratowski played.

A dark-eyed, stocky man wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with a low neckline broke off from his drinking-alone routine.  He fumbled to his feet, knocked a couple of beer mugs to the ground and announced loudly, “All love and glory to Pure Flesh!”

Cratowski's eyes narrowed. The young pilot didn't change his stance, but looked toward the loudmouth.

The dark-eyed man tried to walk deliberately toward the piano player, but clearly very drunk he didn't pull it off.

God made us flesh and blood!”  Cratowski could have recited the familiar Pure Flesh League rhetoric as it tumbled out of the loudmouth's thin, pale lips.  “We are NOT machine!  We are NOT technology!  I would NOT have software, gears, and circuits under my pure skin as I would NOT marry a goat!”  The loudmouth stood a few feet from Cratowski.  “Why you breathing the same air as me, fake flesh? “

Cratowski shot to his feet. The young pilot took a few steps back, not spilling a drop.

Cratowski took off one of his hands, and threw it so hard into the loudmouth's face his nose spouted blood.  The piano player picked up a baseball bat next to him on his bench.  Cratowski smashed the loudmouth to his knees, and then planted a foot on his neck.  He held the baseball bat to the dark-eyed man's ear.  The man throwing taunts seconds ago mixed the blood from his nose with his tears and moans.

You know what is really 'Pure Flesh,' you pig?” Cratowski asked.  “Shit. You're full of it.  I'm breathing the same air as you because I own this goddamn bar.”

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</xml><![endif]--><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Midnight, and the text and graphic displays worn by the Earth fighter pilots looked out of control by the sixth or seventh drink.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Dozens of fonts misspelled specialized military and intelligence jargon, and file and recent war zone vid-grabs swam with infrared continents on alien planets in the animation that ran up and down their uniforms. They sobbed into their glasses, did business with the local whores, and talked to the bar owner and piano player, Cratowski.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He played a piece with a sprightly, good-natured spookiness to it.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">His customers, if they stood in the right light and looked from a good angle, could see the artificiality of Cratowski&#39;s color-of-old-bubble-gum hands.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The hands had no lines, no folds, and no fingerprints, not a hair, callous, freckle or scar. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Kraxum had other bars.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski&#39;s Snake and Prince everyone in or passing through Galactic Sector 835 liked the best.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The Lattice broadcast, three hours previously, contained the usual war stories, and the usual words of patriotic encouragement from Blirnmann Rill, head of the Three-Worlds Government.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">A blond boy fighter pilot who barely looked sixteen, sipped on a cup of lemon narco-wine cooler.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He leaned on the baby grand as Cratowski played.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">A dark-eyed, stocky man wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with a low neckline broke off from his drinking-alone routine.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He fumbled to his feet, knocked a couple of beer mugs to the ground and announced loudly, &ldquo;All love and glory to Pure Flesh!&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski&#39;s eyes narrowed. The young pilot didn&#39;t change his stance, but looked toward the loudmouth.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The dark-eyed man tried to walk deliberately toward the piano player, but clearly very drunk he didn&#39;t pull it off.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">God made us flesh and blood!&rdquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski could have recited the familiar Pure Flesh League rhetoric as it tumbled out of the loudmouth&#39;s thin, pale lips.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;We are NOT machine!<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We are NOT technology!<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I would NOT have software, gears, and circuits under my pure skin as I would NOT marry a goat!&rdquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The loudmouth stood a few feet from Cratowski.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Why you breathing the same air as me, fake flesh? &ldquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski shot to his feet. The young pilot took a few steps back, not spilling a drop.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski took off one of his hands, and threw it so hard into the loudmouth&#39;s face his nose spouted blood.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The piano player picked up a baseball bat next to him on his bench.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski smashed the loudmouth to his knees, and then planted a foot on his neck.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He held the baseball bat to the dark-eyed man&#39;s ear.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The man throwing taunts seconds ago mixed the blood from his nose with his tears and moans.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">You know what is really &#39;Pure Flesh,&#39; you pig?&rdquo; Cratowski asked.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Shit. You&#39;re full of it.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I&#39;m breathing the same air as you because I own this goddamn bar.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Two of Cratowski&#39;s bartenders rushed over.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>One of them held the artificial hand that had broken the loudmouth&#39;s nose.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Boys,&rdquo; Cratowski said, putting his hand back on.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;See this fine gentleman to the door.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>If he ever shows his face again, serve him a bottle of scotch, bill it to me, and then shove it up his ass.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The bartenders dragged the loudmouth away.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski sat back down at the piano and continued playing.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Nice piece of fun.&rdquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The young pilot assumed his previous position, leaning on the piano.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Yeah, I think one of us might&#39;ve enjoyed it, but I think maybe not him.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">I&#39;m no expert, but you can play.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family:
&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;</span><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">I&#39;ve been doing it since my tenth birthday,&rdquo; Cratowski said. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;What are you playing?&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;&#39;Harlem Nocturne,&#39;&quot; Cratowski said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Earle Hagen.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>1939.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;What does &#39;nocturne&#39; mean?&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;&#39;Written for the night.&#39;&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Your flesh-metal hands amaze me.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Many people have flesh-metal limbs, soldier.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;"><span style="mso-spacerun:yes" </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;I&#39;m Star Private Sullivan, Mr. Cratowski.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;I&#39;ve met professional dancers with flesh-metal legs and holo-vid announcers with flesh metal jaws.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I&#39;ve met working girls here with the part that&#39;s open for business made of flesh-metal.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;What happened?&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;At thirteen, I lost them in a traffic accident.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;The tech doesn&#39;t get in the way of, you know, your playing?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;You know the Lattice ads?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&#39;Flesh-metal gets your injury or disability and our own technology out of your way of you being you.&#39;&quot;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski came to the end of the Hagen piece.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He paused a moment in his playing and started Howlin&#39; Wolf&rsquo;s &ldquo;(My Country) Sugar Mama.&rdquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski smiled. &quot;Tell you what, Private Sullivan.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Give me another ten years.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I&#39;ll let you know if the technology blocks me from being me.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Private Sullivan looked around.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;This is a nice place.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>How much this joint cost you?&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;It was cheap.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;You were lucky.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;The last owner pulse-beamed his own head off.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">A man detached himself from the happy confusion at the bar.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He wore the baggy gray pants, high collared gray suit jacket, and strangle-looking tight gray turtleneck of a Three-Worlds bureaucrat.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Silky strands of egg-white hair dangled from both sides of his large head.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The baggy gray pants man mumbled something into the ears of customers, tugging at the elbows of the waiters, robots, and humans to say it into their faces.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The man moved by the business people, pilots, and tourists balancing the male, female, and tri-gender whores on their laps, trying to talk into every ear.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Finally, the mumbling man sounded clear.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;I&#39;m Harold Weaver and it&#39;s all a lie!&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;What&#39;s a lie?&quot; Star Private Sullivan asked and sipped from his cup. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Weaver stood in front of the fresh-faced pilot, baby grand piano, and the bar owner.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Weaver swayed left and right, like a sleepy snake.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The color of his eyes phased back and forth from green to blue. That meant he had been using Chromafide, usually popular with cheating spouses.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The designer-narc worked directly on the parts of the brain devoted to guilt.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Shut up, you stupid killing machine,&rdquo; Weaver said.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Star Private Sullivan dropped his smile, went red in the face, and threw his cup at the floor.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>White glass shards mixed with ruby, golden, and black liquid swirls.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Sullivan cocked back his fist.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski jumped up.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Whoa, whoa there mister!<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Just about anything goes in the Snake and Prince, except talking politics!&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Weaver threw up green and blue onto Sullivan\u8217\&#39;19s Three Worlds-issue uniform boots.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Oh, for God&#39;s sake,&rdquo; Sullivan said.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The crowd at the bar laughed.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski came out from behind his baby grand.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He put the fingers of one of his flesh-metal hands in his mouth and whistled.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Smith Beth Harold and R-666, a human employee and a robot employee working behind the bar, looked over at Cratowski.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He pointed to himself, Weaver and the strains of colorful vomit on the bureaucrat suit.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski pointed to the door to outside.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The human and robot employees nodded.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Jones Beth Harold gesture-activated a media cube hidden in a wall.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>It filled the Snake and Prince with the latest voodoo-neo-Lutheran-dubs from Earth; every musical piece had a clear front half and concluding half, afro-Cuban drum solos and church organs that sounded very nineteenth-century United States of America.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Once, Cratowski had used media cube technology in his bar to show movies, but the customers proved to be indifferent or hostile to his choices: Children of Men, Night of the Living Dead, Public Enemy, and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski walked Weaver outside.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The night sky of Kraxum filled with the amethyst flux-beta vapor trails of landing and departing Earth fighter craft.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>In the faint distance, the blue, red, yellow lights of battle played.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The piano player took the drunk to the rear alley behind the Snake and Prince. They moved through a confusion of lights from nearby bars and restaurants and motels and the persistent shadows of the night.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Dump it all out, Mr. Weaver, the vomit and the angry politics talk, or I&#39;ll call you a taxi home.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;The Zah-Gre overthrew their warlords in the first week of the war.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>When the new regime contacted the Three-Worlds Government and sued for peace the Rill Administration covered it up and kept the war going.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Yeah, nice fantasy for a frustrated man, not happy with his VR mistress.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;To hell with you, saloon owner.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Weaver pulled out a media cube from an inside breast pocket.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>It looked like it might&#39;ve been one of the nicer ones, a Willingham 4000 EE Trans-Media Micro-Box.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The bureaucrat&#39;s hands shook, but he did one of those over-stylized activation gesture sequences.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The cube&#39;s software came to life.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>A holo-beam shot an image of Blirnmann Rill, First Manager, the Three-Worlds Government, into the back alley. His familiar bleached hair, hard dark eyes, and soft face looked contemplative.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Okay, we got everyone from Legal Division out of the building,&quot; Rill said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Our pilots will keep listening to Glass Highway, Ragged Rabbit, and Freddy in The Mattress on their combat runs.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The PFL majority stockholders in Omni-Tech will stay team players.&quot;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> nbsp; </span>Rill looked at what Cratowski realized must have been, from the shakiness and out of focus quality, a hidden camera.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Weaver, don\u8217\&#39;19t you have some filing to do?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The recording stopped.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Weaver put the media cube back in his pocket.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Yeah.&rdquo; Cratowski rolled his eyes.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;I&#39;ll send the cops to arrest Blirnmann Rill based on that little recording.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Omni-Tech ties deep into the economy of Three-Worlds,&rdquo; Weaver said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&rdquo;If Omni-Tech suffers a nose bleed we&#39;d have the first interplanetary economic collapse. Pure Flesh League members become majority stockholders in Omni-Tech, before the Zah-Gre started the war.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The PFL threatened Rill with crashing the company, bankrupting it, if the government didn&#39;t keep the war going.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Stockholders don&#39;t deliberately wreck their own company,&quot; Cratowski said.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;People do a lot of things that don&#39;t make any sense.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The old United States of America didn&#39;t fully nationalize healthcare until the Cornfield-Douglas Cincinnati General Raid, no matter how much personal and state government bankruptcies skyrocketed,&rdquo; Weaver said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Ideologues and fanatics comprise the nicer side of PFL, because they lack a better side.&rdquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He pointed at Cratowski&#39;s flesh-metal hands. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp </span>&quot;You got those.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>You&#39;re about the right age to have gotten mixed up in the Pure Flesh Riots as a kid.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>That why you left Earth?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski hesitated.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;No,&rdquo; he then said slowly.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Wait. I remember.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&#39;Cratowski, the Young Miracle at the Piano.&rsquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>After your accident, and the flesh-metal hands, promoters sold you to the public as the number one example of the new golden age of miracle surgery.&quot;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> nbsp; </span>The bureaucrat stepped closer to the bar owner and studied his face.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;So who did you lose in the riots?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">For a moment, neither man said anything.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;From the way your face looks you must have lost just about everybody,&quot; Weaver said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not like you ever made any friends on this planet, from what I&#39;ve heard about the man who owns the Snake and Prince.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski grabbed Weaver by the lapels and slammed him against the alley wall.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;I serve drinks and play tunes.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I call my personal history off limits. What&#39;s all this about Glass Highway, Ragged Rabbit, and Freddy in The Mattress?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;The Earth pilots love listening to those bands.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;God, I&#39;m sorry,&rdquo; Cratowski said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Electric banjos and digital grabs from late-twenty-first big traffic never seemed to me like a good idea.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;Omni-Tech subsidiaries own the download labels for those bands.&quot;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> nbsp; </span>Weaver brushed away Cratowski&#39;s grip.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;That&rsquo;s weird,&rdquo; Cratowski said.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;United States of America pilots listened to something called &#39;heavy metal&rsquo; music during action in Eastern Europe in the 1990s.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;A drunk puking the rainbow telling me about ancient history,&rdquo; Cratowski said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Great.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Epwood Waves in the Fifth Scale hide in the music Three-World pilots listen to during bombing runs.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;Only heavily licensed, authorized therapists have access to equipment to broadcast digital information directly into the human brain,&rdquo; Cratowski said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Not that Epwood Waves psych-therapy ever helped me, although Epwood Waves technology in the Second Scale does help operate these.&rdquo;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He wiggled the fingers of his flesh-metal hands.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;Of course it&#39;s not a licensed use of Epwood Waves technology. You don&#39;t go from being a Commentary Channel celebrity on the Lattice to running the Three-Worlds G by following the rules,&rdquo; Weaver said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;I guess that&#39;s why neither of us grew up to be Blirnmann Rill.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Three-World technicians code the Epwood Waves with hypnotic messages.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>If anything, anything at all, kazoo music or the sound of a mouse farting, anything was broadcast in the war zone in the Epwood Waves at the Sixth Scale or higher, that would knock out the hypnotic messages and those pilots would know what they&#39;re really doing.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;Fairy tales and paranoia.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;Back in the &#39;ancient history&#39; days, yeah,&rdquo; Weaver said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Mid-to-late twentieth century United States of America feared something called &#39;backwards masking,&#39; which supposedly hid evil messages in popular music recordings.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Leave it to Rill and his gang to change ancient paranoid myths to a reality for their own agenda.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;These Fifth Scale Epwood Wave hypnotic messages cause what?&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;The pilots think the Zah-Gre fight back,&rdquo; Weaver said.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;In reality, the pilots have been committing murder, for years.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;No, your story falls apart again. Earth would\u8217\&#39;19ve finished a job of genocide within weeks of the war starting.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;The Zah-Gre don&#39;t qualify as mammal, insect, as, well, frankly we just don&#39;t know,&rdquo; Weaver said. &rdquo;We know they have a previously unseen spectacular rate of reproduction.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>That&#39;s something else the Rill Administration has kept under wraps.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>You know, we translated one phrase from the Zah-Gre oral tradition. &#39;Everybody is always being born or dying, although not necessarily in that order.&rsquo;&quot; Weaver looked up at the sky, the lights of takeoffs and landings, and the distant spectacle of battle, or as he believed mass murder.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;So the Rill Administration gets what they want, Omni-Tech staying in business. The PFL gets what bigots and fanatics always want, a chance to slaughter what they fear and hate.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Those token prosecutions must have been a real bite in the ass back then.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The Pure Flesh crowd mostly got away with the riots.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Most of the ringleaders walked.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>What you have, like a dozen or more funerals to go to at, let me guess, sixteen?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>That and the slap on the wrist for Pure Flesh must have been fun.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski shoved Weaver down the alley, toward the street.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;I never want to see you in the Snake and Prince again.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">#</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The next morning, the Snake and Prince filled with miners from the dark matter pits of Kraxum. Intelligence agents for the Three-Worlds Government tried with varying degrees of success to pass as tourists or journalists.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Five or seven real journalists drank scotch and bourbon.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>A few of the customers grumbled about Cratowski&#39;s business license not allowing him to sell anything other than coffee and tea until 6 P.M. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Chief Constable Bob Martin walked in.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>A man of four or five decades of life, he had taken advantage of the biological/augmentation work available to any human with a salary.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>His fearsomely bulky chest displayed unnatural box-like proportions. The tunic with the large circle of colored third, blue for Earth, red for Mars, white for the Moon, fit perfectly. The arms had the shape of entwined cords of steel. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski sat at his baby grand, playing improvisations based on the power, love, despair, and grandeur of B.B. King&#39;s &quot;The Thrill Is Gone.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Martin flipped his helmet&#39;s transparent visor up. &quot;Hello, Cratowski.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Bob.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Want some coffee?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The chief constable rubbed his chin with a gloved hand and almost smiled.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He shook his head. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&ldquo;A narc-liquor distribution field man who drinks here expose himself again in the church district?<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>It&#39;s not a bright idea to put the houses of worship next to the bars on this planet.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;I&#39;m here about a murder.&rdquo;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Murder?&quot; Cratowski continued to play, not missing a note.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The chief constable gestured over his uniform&#39;s right arm sleeve.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>He showed Cratowski the graphic that called up, a passport photo of Harold Weaver.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;You know this man, right? We traced his movements. <span style="mso-spacerun:yes" </span>He was here for a while last night.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Weaver killed somebody, and you&#39;re looking for him?&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;We found him just after dawn in his room at Blue Field Apartments, with a hole burned through his chest.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Christ.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;I won&#39;t have forensics for another half hour, but the murder weapon will be a standard hand-held beam-gun.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I have to cover my bases and have this conversation with you.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I could&#39;ve sent a deputy over here, but I only had Braun available.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Braun still like I remember him?&quot; Cratowski lifted his left flesh-metal pink and flipped over his index finger to hit the next note.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;He still buys Pure Flesh League idiocy.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I want to keep you two away from each other.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Weaver caused more trouble than we needed, right about where you&#39;re standing.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I hustled him out of here.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>In the rear alley, he told me the strangest story.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The chief constable held up a gloved, armored hand.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Hold it right there.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I want you to look at something first.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>We may have a visual record of Weaver\u8217\&#39;19s killers.&quot; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;How? People travel here for activity they want no one to see.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Something about the chief constable&#39;s expression changed.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski couldn&#39;t quite put his finger on it.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The expression looked sad and sternly serious.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Bob Martin&#39;s tone remained flatly official.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;Blue Field Apartments owns insurance policies from three different insurance companies, one from the Earth, and then the Moon, and Mars. They all want standard tech-security for their policy holders.&quot;<span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> nbsp; </span>He gestured his left hand over his right arm again to call up another visual. He showed the video that then played on his armor\u8217\&#39;19s right arm to Cratowski.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Two figures with hoods up over their heads moved through a corridor of motel room doors.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The light in the corridor glowed dimly, but anybody who had been around, who knew how the government of the Three-Worlds operated could make it out, dimly, in the shadows, under the hoods of the two figures.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Artificial, dark, black, steel-glass construction eyes took up most of the faces of the two figures.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Only one type of person had those types of eyes: Sec-Field agents for the Three-Worlds Government.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>So the Blue Fields Apartments killing didn&#39;t qualify as a murder mystery.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The chief constable turned off the video clip.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski imagined the lawman&#39;s expression saying:<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Whatever Harold Weaver got mixed up in, act smart and keep out of it.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Bob Martin actually said:<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>&quot;So anything else you can tell us, about what Weaver did here, said here, would be a big help.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">You know who killed Weaver, the bar owner thought.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>I know who killed Weaver: those goddamn sons of bitches in Sec-Field. It&#39;s too dangerous to say out loud what we you think.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">Cratowski didn&#39;t have to ask about the media cube that Weaver had with him last night.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>The piano player felt sure that had gone missing, or maybe officially never existed.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">The bar owner felt like the only pallbearer who had shown up at Harold Weaver&#39;s funeral.<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>Cratowski finished&rdquo;The Thrill Is Gone&rdquo; and went into the perfect synthetic spirituality of&rdquo;Stairway to Heaven&rdquo; by Led Zeppelin.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">&quot;Nothing, Bob. Weaver didn&#39;t tell me anything.&quot;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;">END OF PART 1</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Courier New&quot;" </span></p>

Great
bald, glasses, smile
kjmiller
I just spent 20 minutes trying to post something interesting to this page.  Why am I here again? 

Chapter titles (so far) of the novel I’m writing.
bald, glasses, smile
kjmiller

K-DSCN0338PART ONE: THE PHASES OF THE EARTH
DOUGLAS: GETTING TO 90,000  
COMMERCIAL: BUYING & SELLING FACES

VICTORIA: AN OUT-OF-CONTROL ROBOT & 2 BABIES

COMMERCIAL:  WHATEVER YOU FEEL, FEELS YOU BACK

MARCUS: GOING TO MEET AUNT JUANITA
COMMERCIAL: WHAT BECOMES THE STATE OF MAN?

RCFS: THE DRIVE IN THE TRUCK AT 3 A.M.

COMMERCIAL: BY MAN, BY WOMAN, BY CHOICE

CRISTINA: THE 1-YEAR-OLD GIRL VS. THE ROBOT PUPPY
ACCIDENT & DESIGN

RCFS: MR. SENEARAT'S LESSONS

RCFS: NEAR THE CHEEESE CHIPS IN AISLE 3

RCFS: THE LITTLE BLUE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET

RCFS: PULP SCRIPTURE

DOUGLAS: WARS PRESENT AT A BIRTH

DOUGLAS: THE ST. GEORGE TOY SWORD

CHRISTIANITY IN THE BUDDHIST SOFTWARE

DOUGLAS: CLONED HEART

DOUGLAS: DUCK

WE'LL TAKE YOUR COOL HEAD...   

DOUGLAS: A BOMB WITH 6 LEGS

 

PART TWO: THE SEASONS OF THE MOON

WHEN LIARS WRITE HISTORY

VICTORIA: WHAT IS ABSENT FROM HEAVEN?

MARCUS: MY JOKER BEATS YOUR FULL HOUSE … OR SENATE

CRISTINA: MORTAL STAKES

MARCUS: LOSING IS AN IMPORTANT SKILL

DOUGLAS: IN A ROOM THAT ISN'T THERE

JOHNNY RANEY'S ADVENTURES IN TREASON


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