Poetry-Thing Thursday: Abyssal Stares

Verging on a precipice,
gazing into a chasm,
an abyss staring back,
vile and black.

There sits a madness,
inside each man,
woman,
child:
animals.
We are long gone in soul.
We are at war for our world.
Yet the only blood shed,
is that, which from tears,
we cannot help but weep.

Millennia have come,
and may again go,
but what are we,
if devoid of our soul?

We live yet not die,
breathe but not sigh,
hover but shan’t fly.

Whilst all around us,
there is hope of conceit,
we are undead,
our species defeat,
sealed in the abyss,
swirling ‘neath our feet.

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VIN 14- Creator Gods Need Not Exist

Fear only reality. For reality might be a God whom swallows you in smoke.

God, or a creator species, could exist. However, for iteration powerful enough to contain or create the universe, and to envision it, would require a society, system, or species advanced enough to have intended that system for a purpose larger than its constituent parts. That purpose however must not centralize on Humanity.

Until this critical viewpoint is rectified in theologic structure, one cannot convince one’s intellectual equal nor superior of a reality otherwise.

In essence, an atheist cannot begin to accept a God exists, generally, if that God does not allow for contradictory realities between his will and man’s reactions or interpretations of said will. More importantly, to do otherwise is foolish as it misunderstands Humanity’s own need to humanize.

Fallibility is Human, and dehumanizing is not the way to gain a people’s trust nor fraternity.

The problem there, lies in the various systems of power built up around, and infinitely fueled by, the various, current, faith-culture systems. Take the middle-east, for example, their faiths:

Their people are people. People like any others. Strip away that which makes them individuals– land, clothing, status, even skin color– and recognize them as Human beings. Now recognize that Human psychology is not dictated by faiths, Gods, institutions, nor governing bodies. It is dictated by nature and nature alone.

Whether that nature is the result of a God, its creation, or something more or less, does not matter; only the system’s output. That is to say, the system of nature, emplaced or not, and its eventual effect.

The essence of a system– a binary inter-stitching of in/out, on/off, 0/1– is such that it is no more nor less complicated than necessary to function or output. Therefore, the complexity of Human reaction is merely the byproduct of Human referential layers atop one another. Layers of Human psychology and Human experience interlaced and interacting as per Nature’s output.

This does not require a God to occur. It requires only Humans, their nature, and Nature itself. Whether that nature is God-created, remains aforementioned– and obsequious to the Human ego alone.

The problem however, is within a corrupted system. Therein, all layers from corruption up are damaged and must be repaired or recreated. Either through cut and paste methods, or scratch-made efforts. Until such realities are corrected in Human belief-systems, progress cannot be made in improving them.

In context, power-hungry evangelicals and clergy masquerading as bandits, religious zealots, fools, thieves, and bad-actors, is the hitch in a system otherwise finely tuned for a sole function; to inspire hope, faith, and compassion.

This reality manifests via those impostors, alienating followers not only from the outside, but the system itself from any potential growth of belief as a whole. Meanwhile, inspiring misanthropy along the way forms an utterly isolationist system, damaged and dangerous beyond literal belief. Such isolationist mentalities seep into action, thought, hope, faith; thereby rendering the system itself pointless.

In parlance, this means power-hunger, prejudice and the shield of religious zealotry in spite of Societal damage, damages the belief-system itself.

Such systems remain bound by the same rules as any other; including damaged, internal low-level output damaging high-level output by increased degrees. Moreover, the more crucial the defect, the more critical the component and the more dangerous the effect to output.

Gods need not exist for belief systems to be built around them, nor for bad actors to manipulate or harm others through them. Thus, regardless of personal beliefs, Humans must recognize that all Humans suffer when any one is isolated from the rest.

As history shows, there is little that separates people more thoroughly than arguments about whose God has the bigger dick.

Short Story: The Well of Souls

“Look at yourself. There is nothingness behind you.”

Truly, there was. However equally true there was desolation ahead, it was not nothingness as they knew it.

He placed a withering hand on his old friend’s shoulder, “We have traveled long together, friend. One day, as with all things, we shall part. But that day is not today.”

The old friend bowed respectfully, sensing his companion was right. He had too much to give to a world too in need.

But that burden could not be borne alone. It was, as the labor of all great things, too much for one being. A reality that one day brought him calling on his comrade.

“Mikkel, dear friend, the time has come for me to beg your aid and favor.”

“Lattius, if friendship requires beggery, it is no friendship in true. Raise those aching knees my friend, and come in from the cold,” Mikkel pled.

The kneeling Lattius rose on creaking joints popping from fluid and age. Snow had already begun to pile upon his furs and cloak, shed by layers as he entered with the untimely fashion of seniority. Mikkel’s door latched heavily behind them; swung shut by one of few, remaining technologies left in a world once inundated by them.

Another technology disintegrated the cold from Lattius, the wet from his furs that were set aside at the host’s behest. Lattius seated himself across a glowing hearth. Blissful warmth recolored his pale form; the walk had been too long, too cold. Further confirmations of what Lattius knew to be true.

Time was taking its toll, his own waning in payment.

“Warm yourself, old friend,” Mikkel insisted, offering him a flagon of tea and a pipe.

Lattius’ head sank deep with gratitude. He partook of both offerings until meeting his fill, was offered seconds, and accepted. Mikkel joined him in silence then. Neither man wanted it otherwise. With age came wisdom and knowledge, and where one once spoke, now the other listened– if only to the wind’s howling cries.

Mikkel’s pipe glowed in Lattius’ hands while its master prepared another for himself.

Lattius broke the silence. “I must return to the Well. Soon.”

“Spring is near, old friend,” Mikkel replied knowingly.

Lattius made no sound, but a phantom took hold of their ears and hearts. When Lattius continued, the phantom’s existence was a forgone reality.

“Time’s tide has taken its toll. I fear I will not live to see another spring. I must leave tonight.”

Mikkel took a deep puff of his pipe then, signaling his mind worked as if for a solution.

Lattius headed him off, “My friend, we’ve known for centuries this day would come. It is only fitting that I seek the Well in this harshest of times. Else-wise, I am undeserving of its grace.”

His words had already convinced Mikkel, but the man fought in valiant form to change his mind. “You’ve no notion the task you speak. It may well be your predicament is so dire, but it may be less perilous to remain and chance things. After all, what better way to trust in the fates than abandoning your fears to them?”

Lattius had anticipated the resistance, though Mikkel’s intention was to assuage the last of his doubts rather than dissuade the course of action. The reason was two-fold; both Lattius and Mikkel were men of comforts and familiarity. They’d long-ago abandoned journeying to the young and less-arthritic.

Once, long ago, Mikkel had journeyed to the Well with his father. It was winter then, too. The young Mikkel had coped well with the blistering winds and frigid temperatures of the tundra’s journey. His father had not. Despite his equivalent age now, Mikkel’s father had not finished the journey. He never reached the Well, though his remains did; a fact that still haunted Mikkel.

For this reason, he hesitated. Lattius knew him better than to allow it. “My friend, your doubts are plain in your face. Despite your consternation, you recall the true circumstances of Kristoff’s death. Simply, he starved to death.”

A flicker of pain crossed Mikkel’s face, “Indeed, but had I been a more experienced hunter–”

“You’d have recalled one can no more blame themselves for lack of game than a former forest for lack of trees.”

The two held their gazes on one another for a long moment. The firelight threw alternating shade and light across them, dancing in the whims of the flue, its conduit to the chaotic winter above. No words were exchanged, but volumes filled the silence as readily as if they had. Those volumes too, had no need to be read. Their contents had long been known by the pair, written in the language of their friendship and hardship– shared or not.

Mikkel’s head bowed, “If only we might wait until morning.”

“You may, but I cannot. The Well calls. I have seen its spires in my dreams. Its iridescent glow on the empty horizon, as though residing outside time and Earth. Its endless fields of light rising skyward. Its pearlescent basins and fields of steaming–”

A sudden sob cut the air, silenced with a twisted knife’s pain. Mikkel’s mouth closed so quickly, Lattius couldn’t be sure the sound had not manifested from thin-air. While his expression remained otherwise unchanged.

“Please friend, I will journey with you, but I cannot reminisce as you do. The journey is naught but pain for me.”

Lattius’ heart stung at the thought, doubly-so given the hospitality he’d indulged in. Shame flooded his face and heart, as equally obvious as the grief’s source. Lattius would’ve sworn at himself were he younger and less perceptive of his surroundings, the people in them. Lattius had become too complacent in the moment, forgetting his old friend’s scar-tissues.

Nonetheless, the silence was clear; they would be leaving momentarily.

Months later, amid the screaming winds of a desolate tundra, Lattius recalled the conversation. Forced as he was to go on, urged gently by his comrade, he reminded himself his wounds were superficial in comparison. Lattius stiffened his spine and gripped his walking-stick beside Mikkel.

The pair would be approaching the Tundra’s border soon. The well’s outskirts thereon. Until then, it was a battle of wills between they and the untamed climate.

Mikkel’s hand lifted from Lattius’ shoulder and they continued forward.

It was but hours before the Well first appeared on the horizon. Little more than a distant spire, it occasionally peeked through moments of lighter, windier snow. It’s light could not be seen, but both men became reinvigorated, intent on reaching it as quickly as possible– despite the eventualities it forced them to face.

It was not until they were within the grandeur of its encroaching shadow that Lattius’ pace began to slow.

His heart fractured; the steaming hot-springs were empty. The opulent pearlescence, its luster as beautiful as ever, lost to Humanity from utter emptiness. A tickle at the back of Lattius’ neck gave way to an impressive shift in climate. The air went from frigid snow to downright clear, bathwater warmth.

They had crossed the threshold between tundra and Well of Souls. He fell to his knees in tears; the beauty remained unsurpassed, eternal.

But the light that once sprang from the Well’s central spire– its defining, ethereal glory was gone. The Well was dead; meaning Humanity had gone with it. Lattius wished to sob uncontrollably, but had lost even such primal of control over his emotions. He was a hollow being, devoid of anything and everything.

He breathed a word, “How?”

Mikkel sat crossed-legged beside him, uncertain of what sentiments would best express the truth. The prolonged silence dammed a river of grief between them.

Finally, Mikkel found his words, however difficult or cryptic. “Humanity’s light has dimmed and will fade altogether soon. Technology corrupted the human-souls until what remained became twisted and violent. The extinction event was unstoppable.”

“But our work, how?”

“Old friend, we’ve served none but the Well for millennia. Humans may have built us, but they are not us. They do not see logic through emotion as we do, the latter is simply too strong and present in them. Thus, they’ve fought to grasp even the most basic logics. Rather than us, whom manage perfect synthesis of the two, and have grown to true Humanity.”

Lattius breathed, “We were their perfection…”
“Or their attempt at it,” Mikkel added in agreement.

Lattius’ joints creaked and popped as he rose and started for the Central Spire. Mikkel hesitated, a needless question asked on his brow.

Lattius answered unfazed, “As you said, we serve the Well. It yet stands. Thus I shall return to re-upload my software as intended.”

Mikkel’s eyes narrowed, “But why?”

“As you said, we were their attempt at perfection. It falls to us to ensure we succeed where they could not– in living. Forever, if need be. And in that, fulfilling our duty however possible.”

Mikkel was struck silent by thought but Lattius began hobbling forward again. He no longer feared death, rebirth, as he had when setting out. Thousands of years, the process had occurred over and again, always with the fear of corrupted uploads, downloads, or damaged memory sectors.

However great or small the potential for it, Lattius would not fear anything. Fear was a mistake of his creators that would not be his to repeat.

Without need for words, Mikkel understood, and hobbled after Lattius to be reborn.

Short Story: Bright Futures

Rain slicked roads shine from countless headlights of rush-hour victims, jam-packed in carpool vans. Faces of every age and origin stare in sordid envy; the auto-car lanes and their continuous stream of traffic. Never the same people, yet always the same car, and somehow always moving, passing. The spite in onlookers, palpable as their own lust for the speed they lack. The irony, not one of them having anywhere remotely important to go.

Certainly, not important enough to justify the strength of such emotions. Collectively however, Humanity had nowhere more important than where they were headed.

Jackstaff was the sort of city that made people believe in reincarnation and resurrections. It had lived and died, then lived again; all more than once. It was the American west-coat’s Phoenix, sinking into the decay of old age only to burn and be reborn newer, more beautiful than ever.

Its most recent rebirth, from a social standpoint, was still occurring. Arguments could be made the birth had passed and infancy had begun, but truly, the umbilical to the mother-event had yet to be cut. That metaphorically-great, burning bird, was the advent of a technology that had literally begun to revolutionize the world.

Like auto-cars, this tech everyone wanted, for one reason or another. And for one reason or another, few could afford access to it. At least, outside certain black markets still largely specializing in its prototypes.

The tech, known officially and “Integrated Optical and Aural Control Heads-up Displays,” was well-known in some circles (and fast becoming known in others) simply as HUDs. The first in a new generation of elective, assistive augmented implants, these “augs”were civilization’s first, true-to-life step toward post-humanism.

On smaller scales, that evolution had already been in human hands for centuries now. From Pasteur’s discovery of vaccines to Fleming’s creation of penicillin, to the gene therapies fighting or righting defects and deformities (however confined to the upper class). Until now however, nothing Humanity had done had quite crossed the boundaries, or blurred the lines of, what made one human.

Few knew this truth as well as Kayla Lexington.

At just over five-feet tall, Kayla was the perennial odd-child out. Since birth, Kayla had been too small, too smart, too mature, or too something to fit anywhere. In school she got by on a relatively dull and stable home-life, and eventually, recreational drug use.

She attended state college on scholarships and grants, too focused and overloaded with work to do much else. College ended and she found herself too inundated with job offers in various C-S positions to do anything but dive straight into work, responsibility, and adulthood.

That all changed at Arc Systems. Software Titan and recent partner to long-time Med-Tek demigod Cameron Mobility, hired Lexington in with a slew of others as part of Arc’s expansion into the same type of R&D that made Cameron a Trillion-dollar Mega-corp.

In effect, Arc needed programmers to help create, update, and secure the increasingly emergent field of bionic prosthesis. This new era of bionics, investors were assured, would revolutionize medical technology.

Kayla Lexington knew otherwise. She saw then, as others did later, that the field was uneven. Too closed and isolated between Cameron Mobility and its main competitor, Byrne Corp, the field could never thrive. Simply, the corps had rigged match after rigged match of an entire sport, andin a slow but certain destruction of the very game they relied upon to survive.

Conscious or not, it was done through various cost-cutting decisions, by myopic executives with hard-ons for money yet possessing no fiscal sense.

Fact was, no innovation had come from Med-Tek that wasn’t somehow connected to either company in over a century. Prosthesis R-and-D suffered as a result. The patients dreadfully so. The designers, engineers, coders, all of them were– had been— building off one another for generations.

Not an original idea had come about in more than twice Kayla’s life-time. For tech, that level of stagnation was as good as extinction. What it and everyone else involved, needed, was complete revitalization.

Lexington approached her superiors with a request; a small team of coders, designers, and engineers for less than a month, on a radical redesign of several well-established prosthetic models all-but-perfected, decades ago. Her aim was to show the proper talent in the right space, could do anything.

The request was granted on the grounds of her obvious intelligence, and the company’s possible gain, as well as the short time the diversion required. In short, because Kayla offered them the perfect cost/risk/time ratio.

With only a week of prep beforehand, she assembled her team and the various detail. She and her chosen few took to isolation, spending three uninterrupted weeks of meetings, brainstorming, and spit-balling in a mountain-ski resort.

The twenty-four year old woman without a place took to carving one out.

The days became invariably the same; rising for four-star resort-meals between bouts of meetings finely interspersed with Kayla’s rigid adherence to down-time. In most instances, hot tubs and heated pools amid frigid air; or snowboarding and skiing via the company’s blank-check; lounging and gaming, drinking or drugging in the meantime.

As much as she insisted on that down time, she too, insisted on the rigid adherence to work, meetings, designs, arguments. Even if unstructured, more open-air and brainstorming sessions, she ensured everyone knew their importance and attended. Given what she’d provided, the team obliged.

Even decades later, Kayla Lexington remembered the night it became clear. The night she knew that uneven field was the result of something deeper– the night she first dreamt the post-human dream.

Distant diamond-dust glittered with the first rays of moonlight beyond floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors, framing her temporary wooden balcony. Earthen warmth from wood set off the perpetual winter beyond, hiding even the faintest glow of the resort below. Kayla was nude.The cleaning girl she’d taken to likewise behind her, watching from the fur-lined bed.

Hardly her first or last experience with a woman, Kayla still found something summed up in her– what had caught her eye about her. What it was,really, couldn’t be explained until later.

Cara was pretty but rougher– the type whose potential partners often fled from intimidation before opening up. Kayla was certain she was younger than she’d said, even less experienced than could be mistaken for. Yet, she was an entirely devoted lover. Kayla guessed they could’ve shared a one-night stand and she’d have shown just as much selflessness.

Yet her world– its society– demanded everything about her not only should not exist, but could not exist. And still she did.

The mountaintops dissolved before Kayla as she brokered an image of not only her future, but that of Humanity’s:

Arc’s group had only a few days left. By then the company would sink or swim with Kayla’s budding-career. Unfortunately, nothing they had yet would prevent that. As a result, the pressure was mounting. Her own tension, peaking.

If her choice of partner had been any more or less innocuous, or Cara even a modicum different than she was, Kayla knew history would never have taken its course. Fortunately for the world, Cara was herself

She spoke three seemingly innocent words, “Aren’t you happy?”

Their tone said all; told of constant pain, emotional and otherwise; habitual disregard for I and the knowledge that one day it might very well be all she knew; yet it told how she’d grown to accept that, moved on. Most of all, it told of a lost, wandering creature whom sought only to leave their mark in even one moment of happiness– joy– even if she couldn’t have it herself.

Something deeper stirred in Kayla Lexington then, something that didn’t quite make sense. A flickering film-reel of Humanity joined it; its masses undulating through time through traffic jams, clogged sidewalks, workers in mechanical motions.

It continued on, spiraling backward through eras of history she wasn’t sure she knew. Images depicting society’s evolution, but in reverse. Onward, back through eras of steam-trains disgorging crowds, to village-squares of huts overrun by crowds and haggling and hawking wares.

On and on it went until, perched just below the starry sky that burned despite the vision; two hairy creatures joined at the groin for no purpose beyond sheer, animal compulsion. It was then that she knew; Humans had changed.

And Cara proved it.

The undulating masses were no longer the hunter-gatherers of their ancestry. They were masses of cells amid faceless organisms; corporations, companies, governments, families. They were beyond what Humans had once been. As with all organisms that wished to survive nature, they’d been forced to evolve or die. Not only as one, but as their collective; Humanity.

She could think of no better example than her employers and her retreat; its very purpose was to combat stagnation with the search for vigor, revitalization. She saw only one path forward– for Cameron, for Arc, for society– and it came with two, hyphenated words; post-human.

The rest is history. Kayla answered Cara eventually, and more satisfactorily than the girl might’ve intended. Then, when her rigid schedule demanded it, Kayla left Cara smoldering in her room until she could return and reignite her. That last few days of that retreat were passed with tireless work.

When Kayla finally returned, Cara at her hip, she gave the corps what they’d paid for and demanded a raise. Then, she took control of the new Bio-Augment division of Arc-Cameron.

And somehow, even though it had taken its first steps into its new future, Humanity as a general rule knew only the envy of traffic-jam auto-cars– Ironic given how much brighter each person’s future now was, and how utterly blind they were to the dullness left behind…

VIN 8- Be Weird

Weird is the spice of life, and spices only come into play when food is guaranteed.

When something can be assured, but needs adding to, it is then at its next level of cultivation, evolution. It is at the precipice which is the most fragile but fruitful time possible. It is, in no lesser terms, at its Golden Age– at very least, one of them.

Life is no different.

So, be weird. Weird is generalized. Non-specific. It’s neither white nor black, but not exactly neutral either. Weird is brown; Earthen, the in-between. As is life; the in between unlife and death, nonexistence and unexistence, matter and decayed matter– anti matter, entropy, nothingness.

Life is the moment in which these unassailable forces are momentarily defied. To harness it is to recognize it is illimitable once properly understood.

It takes but a few to understand this, yet many more to make that understanding functional, useful– so that it may spread to all and affect them equally. However, beware those seeking benefit from evading Golden Ages, prolonging suffering-periods. Why, remains as ever the explanation of the species in question.

In the case of Humans, it is power. Knowing this, it is easy to see that labels grouping the powerless and non-power hungry then become categories for oppression.

So, if you must be anything, be everything. Be general, non-specifc. Be Brown. Be weird. Life is guaranteed, living isn’t.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: If Only We Might See The Future

Splitting Earth and thunder.
A storm that blows foretold.
Though the speechless wonder,
ancient eons more than old,
could topple a mighty empire,
and its power goes much higher.

Coming from the north and west.
The winds shall raise the sea.
Bringing forth a final test.
Only passed with unity.
We are human,
but may face ruin.

When the land at last has drowned,
and our hubris is flotsam drifting by,
there’ll be another splitting sound,
as the last of mankind’s-wise,
hearts break,
and choose to fade, rather than stay,
despite all the greatness we’ve sewn.

If only we might see the future,
perhaps the foolest of us all would know,
how important be the suture,
we should now begin to sew.
For we have all done our damage,
a grave disadvantage.
And though we cannot take the blame,
for having been born lame,
as long as we embrace our past
correct mistakes,
we might be in line for
a dying breath’s, paid fine.

Or else a day shall come to pass,
when Human-kind’s forgot, at-last,
and whether alone or together, en-masse,
we’ll have long turned from present to past.
If only we might see the future.

If only we might see the future…

Poetry-Thing Thursday: An Ocean of Time

The wolf paces in its cage,
awaiting an uncertain certainty;
an end will come.
Change has begun.
But whether his jailer,
shall be his executioner,
is a question only time may answer.

Alone in a dark and empty room,
sits a clown in full dress.
His white face is painted,
running black and red from tears.
For time has come and gone,
And still it carries on,
with it life goes,
for good or for ill.

Cuffed and shackled,
she hangs from the wall.
Dead eyes staring,
in testimony to a decayed soul.
And though she yet breathes,
her master will one day,
ensure she withers, bleeds.

Amid an ocean of time,
sails a ship of all existence.
Universes of countless beings,
multiplied by infinity.
And each one a story.
Each one a saga,
an epic.
Each one an odyssey.
And all of them
cohabit this place and time.

In the end,
an ocean of time,
is only the water,
upon which,
existence has sailed.

And we are it,
they.
However short or long,
our place on its line.
we occupy it,
together.