- T -
(wasteland (formerly Dallas, TX), 7/12/90, 08:12 AM)
A 7" cockroach will devour the rat corpse in front of him within the next 7 seconds. Having done that, he will emit a quick series of noises, alerting his lookout that he is about to forage for more food.
As he starts up the pile of softly glowing tin cans, he will discover a tattered package, labeled "Grape Fizzi", with several tears in the paper. He will scurry back to his eatery with it. Upon opening it, just prior to devouring the contents, a 13" slug will slither, slimily, around the corner, startling him. The purple tablets will fall from the package, and roll down the slight incline into the grate, just out of reach of the roach. The moisture there will cause them to expand immediately into a large, translucent, violet cloud of bubbles and vapor that the unchecked plains wind will blow towards a nearby lake of fire containing the nowhere-spent-remnant of a mighty reaction missing only a key ingredient to again be self-perpetuating.
- U -
(classified radio transcript, USAF 7/12/90, 08:12 AM)
"Hobbes, we're doing the slow flyby of Dallas Central now. <squawk>"
"Calvin, what are your current readings? One of the SkySpySats is showing some REALLY high numbers nearby. <click>"
"Hobbes, we have only the usual 400 Rad on the outside, and 10 on the inside of the plane. Turnover point reached. Starting rescan. Over."
As the plane banks over hard, a sudden, bright light momentarily blinds both the pilot and the Admiral in the back seat. The pilot slaps the autopilot button and starts to inform his base. Neither of them senses the vivid purple explosion that annihilates them and reduces their plane to radioactive metal dust. Far below, a 7" cockroach is thrown 7 miles, bounces off 7 rocks, and wonders what just happened as it lands on its feet and scurries for cover.
- V -
(Deep underground beneath the reactor building at UTEP, 7/12/90, 08:12 AM)
Large EMPs, fluctuating wildly, cross at nearly right angles to 00000- guage cables made of room-temperature superconductors that wend their way along a little-known, deeply-buried fault line between El Paso and the Gulf of Mexico, setting up both incredible currents of electricity and magnetic impulse backflows that warp compass needles hundreds of klicks away. The cables begin to boil within their specially shielded, liquid nitrogen-cooled, teflon/concrete sheaths, causing furious arcing. Transubstantiators begin to overload, sea water in the Gulf boils furiously as overstressed metal plates bolted to massive undersea rocks crack and pit under the mechanical, electrical and chemical strains. A computer senses disaster-limits approaching, and cuts in shunt circuits, throws overload relays, diverts power from less critical substations, and drops a voltage along a particular analog output line of a networked Allen-Bradley PLC-5, causing the energy barrier above El Paso to shrink in diameter by approximately 10 %. Thousands of animals, millions of plants, three UFOs piloted by peace-loving energy lifeforms, and twelve thousand people die instantaneously. A handful of dying, DNA-damaged cockroaches and common garden slugs mutate. Dr. Reimann tosses in his sleep, dreaming of huge balls of self-contained cold fizzion reactions flying through the morning sky like small, furious, Soft-White (tm) 100 MW suns, to fall nastily against energy shields and faraway towns, as the lights flicker in the hallway nearby and huge balls of self-contained cold fizzion reactions fly through the morning sky like small, furious, Soft-White (tm) 100 MW suns, to fall nastily against energy shields and faraway towns.
- W -
(classified radio transcript, USAF 7/12/90, 08:32 AM)
"Dad, this is Hobbes. Any sign of Calvin? Over. <squeek>"
"No sign, Hobbes, but the counts are WAY up in the area, and the SkySpySats were right. There is DEFinately a new reaction in the Dallas zone, and... WHAT was THAT???"
"Dad, are you ok? What happened?"
"Sorry, Hobbes. Something just flew by and blinded me for a moment, and... damn! The peak counters are all pegged! Permission to abort? Over!"
"Dad, if the peaks are pegged, it's too late. Sorry. Please continue your mission. Over. <squawk>"
"Look, Hobbes, I... wait, Hobbes there appears to be a huge mound southwest of the Dallas zone, that wasn't there yesterday. I'm going to investigate."
"Major Scatatini, this is General Schuyler. I'm real sorry about what happened. But it really is too late for you boys, and we appreciate all you can do for us. Remember, your families live here, too..."
"Sky, shut up with the motivational therapy, OK? I just freaked for a minute. We are proceeding towards the anomaly now, and will investigate as long as our fuel holds out. Tell Dane' I love her, will you?"
"Look Scat, get back here alive, OK? You got at least a few weeks left, and I'll transfer you and Dane' to Hawaii for the duration. How about Schulman in the back seat? You alright, Dave?"
"Duration? That's a good way to put it, Sky. But thanks. Dave's busy with the instruments, and you know he goes into his own world. But we appreciate the offer, Sky. Hey, Sky, the mound is changing shape. Looks like it's exploding in one area at this end or something. This thing is really BIG. It's...AHHH..."
"Scat? Scat? Dave? What's happened??? Come in, Dad. Do you read me?"
- X -
(just slightly southwest of Dallas, 7/12/90, 08:34 AM)
Slowly, faintly, your sluggish slug thoughts make their way to your center of consciousness. Nothing seems right. You feel slower than usual, yet stronger than usual. Something buzzes nearby. A tiny insect, perhaps, but trailing some form of vapor. The buzzing, ever so faint, nevertheless offends your sense of trying to make order out of apparent chaos. The wall you were climbing only moments ago shrunk, collapsed, and crawled underneath you, only to disappear altogether. You sort of wish you could reach the insect, and realize (although slower than it happens) that you have grown a pseudopod out towards the nuisance and crushed it. Something burned the flesh off the tip of the new pod faster than you could coat it with slime, but it fell off, and is wriggling nearby like a dying slug itself. You feel gravity pulling harder by the moment, and as you grow and gain more and faster understanding and consciousness, it is too late. Your massive weight collapses on itself, bursting your sides as various bodily fluids and pseudo-fluids fly away, and then drain slowly to the ground as you collapse, all dimming, a buzzing from inside yourself overwhelming all other sensory input, forcing darkness into all 7 senses with an inexorable weight, until all is gone, gone (g o n e).
- Y -
(personal thoughts, 7/12/90, 08:34 AM)
It says here in the paper that three portions of California survived by floating (pure chance, of course) on various frisbees and surfboards that made up the primary geological underpinnings of coastal California for at least the last 30 years. Explains a lot. Got to remember to show this to Cindy when she wakes up. Can't recall where she was from out there, but maybe some of her friends are alive, even if they are drifting towards Japan at 2 miles per day.
At least Jennifer and Alan slept last night. Martha, Elvin, Stacy, all of them asleep but me. Keep wondering how Reimann keeps it all going. Damn the security jerks for recalling my badge. Won't even investigate for at least another month, knowing them. Wish I could have gotten that pig, Fronten, for planting that stuff in my office. I guess I should be glad to be free, and not rotting in a cell in DC or something. Hope Reimann can keep things working by himself.
Maybe we can get an aerial on the other side of the mountains with a shielded cable REAL deep to pipe in radio broadcasts. This daily paper dropping via Reimann's chopper is the pits. Besides, what if the CIA thinks he's in on whatever it is Fronten has them convinced I'm in on?
Fronten. Scumbag. At least he's gone, now. Not much left of ANYthing in the San Antonio lab, from those pictures in the Times. Too bad about the others, though. Missy, Scanlon, Barry the Geek, Doreen. All good people. Especially the Geek. Best electromagic engineer I ever saw...
Oh, hi, Stacy. Here, have some General Foods coffee to celebrate these special times, hahahahaha...
- Z -
(Moscow, TASS, 7/12/90) The Politburo today empowered the Academy of Sciences to send nearly 100 physicists, chemists, and physicians to the United States of America, in an unprecedented offer of help in the great catastrophe that has occurred in the southwestern portion of that country. Dr. Zhorinski, the top nuclear physicist in the Soviet Union, will head the expedition, who hopes to help the US understand the nature of this tragedy, find ways to halt the destruction, and help the survivors. Hopefully, this sign of Soviet intent to aid our fellow men will be taken in the same vein as it is given, that of international cooperation and building goodwill among all people of all countries.
- A -
(a nondescript house in a Baltimore suburb, 7/14/90, 12:42 AM)
"Look, Bill. The Sovs are sending their top scientists over in brotherly love to help us all out. Better notify the "Flyswatters" to get in gear. Full alert. Assume they're all Spetznatz. Tell Drummond to notify the White House. This could be BIG trouble."
Last updated: 7 May 1994
Copyright 1989, 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
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This copyright may be freely used, distributed and modified subject to the conditions noted above in the preceeding paragraph. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514