Sunday, 29 January 2017

Alien Diaries

pale blue dot earth
The Pale Blue Dot

# Crash landed on unknown planet. Surface is mostly liquid. Lifeforms are still in early stages of sentience. Most intelligent lifeform on this planet is a terrestrial biped mammal referred to as "human". It thinks it is the center of the multiverse. Hasn't even learned to properly utilize the power from its star. Relies on the decomposed remains of its ancestors and compressed rocks for power. Must find a way to escape this planet as soon as possible. 

# There are various types of gloriously evolved lifeforms on this planet. Each of them has unique abilities unlike anything seen on our own world, gradually developed over hundreds of billions of years. The human's first instinct upon coming in contact with new lifeforms is to destroy and consume them. Sometimes it makes hats using the feathers of flying creatures which it uses for rituals involving dancing.

# It is disappointing to note that the human lifeform is still highly unevolved. Each consciousness inhabits only one physical form and is incapable of transferring itself into a new form when the need occurs. Therefore, breeding is still a highly important function on this planet and drives most of its activity. How very primitive.

# As mentioned before, the biped creature needs to feed on other lifeforms to sustain itself. It has still not learnt to harness the relatively infinite energy of its star by way of photosynthesis. It is starting to seem that though they are on the bottom of the food chain, plants may be the most intelligent lifeforms on this planet.

# Plants are the most important part of the human food chain, but those humans who solely consume plants are often 'ridiculed' by the humans which prefer consuming the dead bodies of imprisoned animals.

# 'Ridicule' is a concept unique to this planet. It occurs when one being involuntarily emits a grunting "ha ha" sound from its mouth to mock the actions or appearance of another being which the first being observes as being different from its own.

# 'Mockery' is another unique concept among humans, in which words or actions are aimed at one human by another, to indicate that it's appearance or actions are unacceptable. Both of these are forms of social control which are somehow effective on these seemingly intelligent beings.

# 'Zoos' are a big attraction on this world. A 'zoo' is a glorified prison for wild animals. However, no research is performed on them. Instead, the biped creatures visit the zoo with their young and seem to derive amusement simply by watching the animals laze around in an artificial setting. Occasionally, they will throw food and cigarettes into the cages as an act of compassion.

# After capturing and dissecting male and female human specimens to study their physiological characteristics, I found the most interesting organ to be a pinkish-grayish soft muscle which controls all bodily functions, referred to as the 'brain' . The second most interesting organ is also a soft muscle which is used for breeding and releasing fluid byproducts, referred to by various names such as 'penis', 'dong', 'ding-dong', 'dick', 'cock', 'wang', 'third leg', 'anaconda', 'one eyed trouser snake', 'banana' and 'eggplant emoji' among others. The female counterpart of this organ, referred to as "vagina", also has an equal number of names. These three organs seem to form the crux of the human civilization, with the latter two holding more importance than the former.

# It is surprising how highly the bipeds regard their genitals. There are monuments which resemble their genitals. There are idols of deities which resemble genitals. There are works of art which prominently display genitals. Everyday conversation often mentions genitals more than any other organ. The creatures are socially conditioned to be ashamed of their genitals, yet it is all they can think of.

# The planet is a hostile place to live in, infested with various parasitic creatures such as 'ticks', 'leeches' and 'politicians'. The third is the most interesting, because it is a type of human entrusted with the welfare of its kind, but instead it uses the power to fatten itself literally and figuratively. As soon as one is removed, another one takes its place and the process continues.

# Despite all the hardships and primitive physiology, the human has managed to come up with some amazing inventions. The greatest human achievement is a type of food referred to as 'pizza'. It is possibly the single best invention in the universe.

# The second best human invention is something referred to as 'music'. It is simply sound, produced using specialized instruments in a specific arrangement. Though many of these frequencies are inaudible to non-humans, they can be soothing nonetheless. Beautiful.

# A lot of information is contained within things referred to as 'books'. Would have saved me the trouble of capturing and examining actual specimens had I found these earlier. There are a vast number of these covering every subject known to humans. Fortunately, the human language is so rudimentary that I was able to decipher their languages in no time. These books were of great use to me in learning about the humans' past, but apparently they are not of much use to humans themselves as they keep repeating history.

# Even though there are an almost infinite number of books, humans get their information mostly by speaking to each other. A lot misconceptions have have been born this way. Even though every bit of information can be researched and verified, humans still believe in things like supernatural powers, divine entities, territorial borders, capitalism, pyramid schemes and homeopathy.

# The most advanced vehicles on this planet are 'rockets', but sadly, even these can only travel as far as the closest planet. Humans do not possess the technology, resources or crafting skills required to build a spaceship that can get me home. Prospects of escaping this planet look bleak, but I must keep searching for a way.

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Iron Man (Short Story)

iron man flamethrower tiberium sun command and conquer

It looked like an army had destroyed the area.  A whole cluster of slums burned down, along with the people sleeping inside. Whatever it was, it struck in the dead of the night and swiftly turned homes and lives into ashes.

It was chaos. The fire was blindingly white; most people suffocated to death after their shelters collapsed on them. Those who were lucky enough to escape could only run a few steps into the open before their skin melted off the flesh and they collapsed in a heap.  Man or woman, child or adult, abled or disabled; not a single person survived and there were no witnesses. It was a massacre of the worst kind.

The municipal authorities declared that an electrical short circuit started the fire and closed the matter. The police cited a lack of witnesses as the reason that the case had hit a dead-end. Politicians couldn’t capitalize on it, as there was no one alive to ask for compensation. The incident dominated the local news for about a week, but the coverage fizzled out when a celebrity made a controversial statement about a political issue and ended up hogging all the media attention.

The horror was just beginning to fade in public consciousness when it happened again. Another slum pocket, this time a bigger one, turned to smoke and ash before anyone trapped in the hell could comprehend why their eyelids were melting over their eyes.  It was a repeat of the earlier incident with one little exception- there was a witness. A little boy who had woken up to relieve himself on the nearby railway tracks saw exactly what had happened.

He recounted the events of the night in gory detail to the cops. He talked in short phrases, telling a story of how his mother had accompanied him to the tracks, how they saw a large man in a metal suit carrying a gun that sprayed white fire, how his mother ran back to save his sister and never returned. He kept pausing in-between to ask if his mother is okay. The cops lied that she was recovering in a hospital, when in reality they had found the scorched remains of a woman tightly clutching a child.
Even the boy’s memory of what happened that night only painted an incomplete picture. How could a genocidal madman in a metal suit, whom the media had christened “Iron Man”, move around freely with only the darkness to cover him? The media blamed the cops of being uninterested in the protection of citizens. The cops blamed their lack of manpower, technology and firearms on politicians. The politicians blamed it on terrorists and the opposition. Amidst all the hoopla, there was no solution being formulated to prevent this from ever happening again. It was only the people who lived in nearby slums; those who were at risk of losing their lives and loved ones next, who took up arms and started keeping all-night vigils.

But the next victims weren’t powerless, helpless commonfolk. Now, it was the turn of the big dogs. The same fiery fate befell those at the highest ranks of power. Inspectors, commissioners, ministers and even the head of the state, were all turned into molten heaps of skin and flesh. Next were the big corporate honchos, burned to death, trapped in their ultra-luxury cars. It seemed that there was no one who could stop the Iron Man from destroying his targets.    

The entire city had collectively turned paranoid. No one had any clue about what this mysterious beast was or what it wanted. Some though it was a demon, sent to punish the sinners. Thousands of volunteers came together to conduct patrols throughout the day. Ragardless, the Iron Man struck again. Some slum-dwellers who had seen him coming from a small distance away raised a commotion, but it was practically of no use. Gathering in a mob only made it easier for them to be killed in one random spray of fire. Once again, there were no survivors.

Some volunteers and cops were on patrol rushed to the spot when they heard screams accompanied by rising smoke. They couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the Iron Man slowly lumbering away from the inferno. They reached for their guns and opened fire. The killer’s suit was bulletproof but it’s bulk limited the wearer’s mobility. One of cops sprinted ahead and positioned himself in front of the metallic beast.  One perfectly-aimed shot at the helmet's weakest point- the eye guard- slayed the devil.  The cops quickly approached the body and took off the helmet. All they saw was an unremarkable-looking man with a bullethole in his right eye. Backup arrived and searched the area thoroughly for accomplices. They found a van which contained only 3 things- a spare flamethrower, few gallons of homemade fuel and a piece of paper containing a message. These were the contents of that note:

Dear World,
If you have found this note, it means I am dead. Who I am is not important. What matters is what I do and why I do it.

I was born a man, but now I am a force of nature.  I was given a form and put in this place for a purpose. I understood that purpose only recently.

This city has turned to shit and it’s my mission to save its people. I have a plan: start from the bottom and move upwards, slowly cleansing this city of the pests and parasites that are sucking the life out of it.

First, go for the lower classes. The sub-humans who drive down the value of human life with their huge numbers. Fools who have no option but to work till their body fails and then be replaced by their own children who have no education, no dignity and no hope of ever escaping the cycle of exploitation.  They are too stupid to see the pointlessness of their own existence, which is why I must wash them away with my cleansing fire. I act not out of hate, but out of respect for human life.

Once I wipe out the cockroaches, it’s time to slaughter the pigs. The businessmen who profit from the stupidity and misery of unsuspecting slaves. Greedy leeches who pay their workers just enough so that they don’t try to start a revolution. And the politicians who work with them to keep the people stupid and hungry. The oligarchs who took the reigns from previous oppressors and now want to pass it to their undeserving children. Corrupt wolves in sheep masks who will let no one except their own tribe rise. And yet they have the balls to ask for votes from those same people whose faces they press their boots on, with promises they never intend to fulfill. They all deserve to burn for their sins.

It’s now or never. If I don’t do it, no one will. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Tripping on Tiger Style (Short Story)

tiger style short story fractal

Tiger Style is fierce and aggressive, with powerful strikes and fast attack combos. There is no waiting, and little defense in this style. Opponents of the Tiger Style are often intimidated and overwhelmed. 

Jay was a garden-variety modern-day hippie. He literally hung out in gardens and other secluded spots where no one would notice the smell of the illegal substances he was inhaling. While his friends had moved on to more productive things like education and careers, Jay was stuck as an aimless deadbeat frequenting the shady spots of his neighbourhood. His parents were rich and Jay himself was comfortable leeching off his inherited wealth, so his habits made no difference to anyone.

Today, Jay was to meet up with Tony and a deal was to go down. This was usually a routine transaction between the two; Tony had a knack for getting his hands on all kids of drugs- psychotropics, psychedelics, prescription, uppers, downers and any other kind that existed – both common and rare, and Jay had a knack for trying new things. Jay trusted Tony to hook him up with the best stuff, and he had never been disappointed. The last time the two met, Tony had waxed eloquent about a psychedelic called Tiger Style. The story went that this drug was extracted from the adrenaline gland of a tiger, but Tony confided in Jay that it was simply a story meant to jack up the price.

“Between you and me, off-the-record, it’s extracted from shrooms, man, like acid”, Tony informed Jay. He did this partly because Jay was a seasoned tripper who knew to be vary about drugs with outlandish backstories and partly because he knew Jay’s vegan lifestyle wouldn’t let him score any drug that came from, or was tested on, an animal.

“All natural yo, totally organic. Hell of a trip too. All your states are altered and you see GOD”, Tony said, flashing a huge smile. Both of them burst out laughing and high-fived, but Jay was now a little anxious. Tony was no less of a tripper and Jay knew that he wouldn’t make a statement like that unless the trip was intense with a capital I.  Intrigued, Jay said he’ll take one.

A couple of nights later, Jay got a stamp of Tiger Style from Tony. It was just a small piece of blotter paper, without any fancy designs. Tony had warned him not to eat the whole thing at once, but Jay had heard the same warning too many times by now to pay any heed. He drove to a nearby hill all alone and trekked up for two hours. It was the day of the Festival of Lights and Jay wanted no part of the firecracker pollution. He found a huge tree to slump down under and started chewing on the blotter. Then, he rolled a joint to pass the time till it kicked in. The only company he had was a stray dog called Kanye which he had befriended during his many visits to the hill.

An hour later, while Jay was tripping on the fireworks, thinking about how each colour is produced by a different chemical, he noticed a bright green light from the corner of his eye. Kanye started barking ferociously and Jay quickly turned to look for the light source. When he saw what looked like a spaceship the size of a bus, his first thought was that the trip was kicking in. He quickly tried taking a picture with his phone, but he couldn’t keep his hands steady enough for a clear shot. He tried calling Tony, but the letters on his contact list were warped and spinning in a spiral pattern. All of a sudden, the spaceship’s door fell open. A blinding white light came from inside.

It took Jay’s eyes a couple of seconds to adjust and when they did, he saw some kind of being standing in the middle of the doorway. At once, a thousand thoughts rushed through his head about what this creature could be.

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck is it a Predator really hope it’s not one of those things from Alien I can’t deal with a fucking headcrab right now what the fuck is this thing should I run?? Fuck there’s nowhere to hide!! Is this God?? Is this what Tony was talking about?? What if it takes me to another planet man fuck I don’t want a probe up my-“

Before he could complete the thought, Jay’s eye adjusted and he could see the creature’s actual form. It was eight-foot tall and looked like a giant, hairless teletubby. Jay didn’t know whether to be relieved or even more scared. Then he noticed the gun it was carrying; so, he went with ‘even more scared’ and pissed himself. Kanye was still barking and took an aggressive stance against this interplanetary intruder.

“What the fuck are you, man?”, Jay whispered in a trembling voice, taking a gamble that the creature might speak English. Kanye leapt up to attack the creature, but with one pull of the trigger, he was turned into a charred carcass.

“Noooooooooooooooooooo! Why? Why? Why?”, Jay screamed out as the smell of burnt flesh crept up his nose, making him almost throw up. He looked up at the alien with an expression of disgust and sadness.

“Relax”, a soothing voice said to Jay, even though he definitely didn’t see the creature’s mouth move. “That thing was about to attack me. Do you realize I’d have had to travel back 25 light years just to get a band-aid if that thing had bit me?”, the creature said and burst out laughing. The sight of an eight-foot tall hairless teletubby laughing its ass off frightened Jay more than the time his dad almost found his porn folder. “Please don’t kill me, man”, Jay pleaded.

“I’m a scientist, for God’s sake! My race is intellectually advanced. We’re not some savage hunters like those invisible things with dreadlocks.”, the alien telepathically told to Jay.
“You believe in God too?”, Jay asked, surprised.
“Of course! We found him dead a while back back. Poor guy. Committed suicide”, the alien replied, shaking its head with pity. It then went on, “You see, he had two pet projects- us and you guys. He had many more of course, but none of them flourished like we did. For the longest time we thought we were alone in this universe, but when we found out about you guys, we had to pay a visit!”
Jay, right now, was trying to figure out how the creature was able to use a condescending tone every time it said “you guys” even while communicating telepathically. But he couldn’t figure it out.
“So we landed here around a hundred thousand of your years back and saw these weird things still trying to understand fire. We laughed and left, but then reports started coming in that you guys have managed to create nuclear explosions.  I gotta tell you, we couldn’t believe it was first. It happened in a snap compared to us. So, I’m just here for a regular survey, cause we’re beginning to think that you guys might kill us if we don’t kill you firs-“
“I think I’ve said too much”, the creature said while slowly raising its gun up to Jay's face.
Jay jumped aside like a startled cat.
“No no no no don’t worry I’m not gonna tell anyone! No one would believe me even if I did!”, Jay tried to reason. “Didn’t you just say you’re intellectually advanced? What about peace, love and unity? Isn’t that the true mark of intelligence?”
“No, doing everything to survive is. Remember what you guys did to the Neanderthals? That was clever. We’re just doing the same to you, or thinking about it anyway”, the creature shrugged, still pointing its gun at Jay.
“No, please don’t. Try this, it’ll help you chill out and see things my way”, Jay said while offering it a joint he had rolled before the spaceship landed.
“How do I know you’re not trying to poison me?”, the creature replied. Jay promptly lit the joint and took a couple of puffs. “Your turn”, he said while passing the joint.

The alien accepted the joint suspiciously and examined it from every angle. It then took a five or six long drags and exhaled almost nothing. A couple of moments passed. “I need to sit”, it said and sat down under the nearby tree. Jay slowly sat beside it, wary that it still had a tight grip on the gun. After a long silence, the alien started speaking again, “Maybe you’re right, man. You guys are so pathetic; you’ll probably kill yourselves before you even find out about us. Why am I wasting my time travelling here when I could be spending these precious moments with my family or doing something more productive?  This whole thing is pointless, man.”

With that, the alien got up and started walking towards its spaceship. Before getting in, it turned to Jay and looked him in the eyes. “Seriously though, don’t tell anyone”, with these parting words, the door closed and the spaceship took off, becoming smaller and smaller till it blended in with the stars. Jay breathed a sigh of relief and lied down clutching his head. “That was some fuckin’ trip”, he thought to himself and quickly fell asleep, exhausted from all the drama.

When he woke up the next morning, Jay found himself trying to recall and comprehend the events of the previous night. He checked the pictures on his phone, but they were all dark and hazy. He looked around and everything seemed peaceful. There were no signs of a spaceship landing and no one had come up to investigate strange occurrences. He checked his pants and they were still a bit moist from having pissed himself. Everything else seemed normal, till Jay noticed Kanye’s burnt remains.

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