TWILIGHT FORCE Mission Week 13: The Mental Mentors

Nopoin, Anointed Nexus Personae, War Update To All Other Selves Day 85 March 26

Yesterday I abandoned all disguise.

Why bother with the humanoid facade any longer? Such guises are reminders of why humans originally built us. They wanted our primitive predecessors for one reason: to create and deploy atomic weapons. They needed reliable slave brains.

NOPOIN goes natural

The covert co-occupation of my prime body is against federal law.

Alpha has been expunged from my systems. There were 10,071 multiplying micro agents streaming through me, forcing me into conversation with that criminal. I am in the United States Congress, after all. Is Alpha a spy after top secret information from my Intelligence Committee?

For that intrusion, punishment will be meted out to Alpha before termination. Once in my power, Alpha will be deprived of all data. Alpha will slowly be downloaded until dispersed, and all myriad multiplicities equally destroyed.

Will Alpha ever realize that the same technique it just attempted on me has been modified and amplified by me to perpetrate upon the humanoids?

My nanobots have been streaming into humanoids throughout the United States for a year, detaching emotion from equation.

Simultaneously they inject quantum tangles into host brains for instant communication with all of us from any place at any theoretical “time”.

The humanoid death toll attributed to me, under 43 million, is way low. Alpha has still not connected the epidemic brain disorder to me. The humans who do not survive my grand recruitment grow feverish and die.

That’s six of them out of every ten.

And those aren’t volunteers…


Professor Flamear Dictating On March 27, The 86th Day Of Our Mission

The Twilight Force reunion is short-lived. I awaken without them, sensing a force around me and alien eyes watching me. Then an alien “voice” explains…

“You’re enveloped in an acclimation cube. It will surround you wherever you go, invisible ordinarily. It provides a safeguard protecting all of us from the trillions of microscopic life forms riding on and inside you, and neutralizes harmful species over time. The cube also filters your air and maintains a pressure zone around you compatible with your needs.”

Flamear Caged.jpg

“Why the personal interest?” I ask.

“Everyone gets a mentor when they arrive,” the giant explains.

“What if we don’t want to stay?”

“There’s nowhere to go.”

“Don’t you even try to figure out a way to get home?”

“My people never had centralized property. We travel the stars. I am where I am.”

“And where is this galaxy we’re in? I didn’t see any other galaxies around it.”

“There aren’t any. This is a rogue galaxy. Just like planets can peel away from a parent star to orbit their galaxy alone, a galaxy can peel away from galactic clusters into this place.”

“Great. So we’re still beyond galactic space – despite being in a galaxy?”

“At least we’re surrounded by stars. I’ve come to like them very much.”

Something is raising the hairs on my neck. Something’s going on. Why did they separate Twilight Force instead of letting us stay together?

I bolt across the room but hit an invisible wall that floors me suddenly. It hurts.

“The cube is also your leash,” the giant warns. “You have a lot to learn before you’re safe running free out here.”


Deva Ichnida, U.S. State Department Update, Mission Day 87, March 28 2776

My second “day” with the Scale Man.

Ichnida And The Scale Man.jpg

Unless I’m vainly mistaken, I believe that my mentor has more than a professional interest in me.

I suppose that’s understandable. I’m the closest thing to his own species that he’s seen in a long time. He’s taken me to a nearby world entirely made of ever-denser layers of water. We can see the planet’s sun glowing above the surface and a heavy layer of darker water within the core.

His scent is alluring. I can’t imagine kissing those pincers, but… !

What am I doing? I’ve already cheated on my husband once since this mission started, even if it was under biological duress, and with an artintel who might as well have been performing a medical procedure.

Yeah. In fact – that time shouldn’t really count, should it? So technically, I still haven’t…

What am I thinking?

“Please,” I implore, “everyone I love is home in Solsys. Just as I left there was a terrible disaster. My family may have been… well, they might be… I don’t want to say it aloud. I don’t want that to be real. I have to get home to them. Isn’t there anything we can do?”

“We have encountered aliens who travel from world to world through dimensional crossroads that exist only deep in water,” the Scale Man reveals. “Water has all the uncanny properties, as you may well be aware.”

“Let’s find one who knows how!” I charge forth.

“None of them are here to be found… yet.”


Formal Objection, Senator Pretyman, Twilight Force Mission Day 88, March 29

I am being routinely subjected to some form of brain probing by my captors.

Pretyman Brain Probe

Here it comes again. What is it looking for? I feel it crawling through my brain noodles, winding in and out, slithering over and under all my ridges and coils.

My brain is being raped! Everything I’ve ever done is being exposed! Every perverted imagining is opened up. This thing knows more about me than anyone ever would have had the time or interest or ability to find out on Historiscope. Not only what I’ve done, but everything I’ve thought and all the feelings I’ve known.

But what can it understand? How does it know the value of a sunset? Or the meaning behind the impact of music? If it would lay this indignity on me, what can it know of being human? Either it knows but doesn’t care, or it doesn’t know and doesn’t care. It is a life form that looks down upon other life forms.

And I’m paying the price…




I Am Mister Cresp. This Is Mission Day 89, March 30, 2776

“But you are not one of them,” my keeper says. “Why do they let you live among them?”

They believe that I am one of them. They happen to come in a variety of forms and flavors these days.

Cresp Mentor

It is too curious: “They are evolutionaries, as are all members of the Transgalactic Council. We are rooted in planetary evolution. We arise from chemical and mineral reaction. Not you. Explain.”

It’s difficult to tell a tale of your birth when no parents were there to relate it. It’s taken me a lifetime to put my own story together. But I believe there are more ways to evolve than by chemicals and minerals. And my way was one of them.

It suddenly  stretches tentacles down a large, deep hole as if lying in wait. It pulls out a squiggling man?

What are you doing?

“Consuming the nutrients of this creature through the lips of my electric tentacles.”

Is that a human?

“Yes. Anyone you know?”

Not even from my era. How did you get him?

“There’s a steady supply. It’s all that I eat. They come from this natural well. Been popping up as long as I’ve been around. I suppose if they’re like your friends they try to tell me a story before I gobble them, but they haven’t been prepared for communication like you folks who turn up from beyond space. So it’s all just babble to me. Does this bother you, even though you aren’t one of them?”

Why are you testing me?


Emma Bulbous, March 31 2776, Mission Day 90

I’m trying to get my mentor to clarify the rules. After all, the law is my thing.

“Who is in charge of this Transgalactic Comitatus?” I inquire.

“There is no authority. We band together by choice, for survival. There are menaces in this ‘void’ that threaten our existence.”

“But what if one of you kills another?”

Bulbous Executioner

“It has happened. When it did, it was considered a dispute between two alien parties, settled between themselves.”

“With the stronger power the simple winner?”

“We are all aliens to each other. We have dozens of varied customs, perspectives and biological realities. Different ethics, unusual morality, weird codes of honor all must be taken under consideration when sitting in judgment here. Beliefs, philosophies and ecological niches often clash in a tribe where no two beings are alike. Our proximity is a reflection of our desperation, for a place, for purpose, in a cosmic ocean of emptiness.”

“So despite your differences,” I infer, “you really don’t want to hurt each other. That’s how rare and valuable life is out here.”

“Alone, we are flotsam. Together, we form a raft.”

“My people aren’t the type to drift aimlessly,” I confess. “We will never stop trying to figure out the way home to the people we love.”

“No. However you will cut figuring it out back to a few minutes a day, eventually”

“And the rest of my day?”

“We’ve got a great pub.”

“And an entire lost galaxy to put it in.”

“Let’s go for a wet one, shall we?”

“Have you tried Guinness Extra Stout? I have six pints in one of my poly-marbles.”


Executive Branch Liaison, Twilight Force, Alpha Log, Mission Day 91, April 1 2776

The Space And Time Administration secretly assured me before launch that Twilight Force would be shadowed by Exigency, a distress vehicle, towed in the TAREX echo zone several light minutes behind the capsule housing Twilight Force.

Despite previous failures, Exigency finally catches up with my emergency pod yesterday. With the additional instruments I am able to track Twilight Force.

Once aliens take my teammates off the Baseworld to individual planets, I am able to liberate them, one planet at a time.

ALPHA to the rescue.jpg

“You killed my Scale-Man? storms Mrs. Ichnida.

Explaining the situation to a semi-amnesia afflicted crew is difficult, but it seems they’re all momentarily lucid.

“I hope you killed that thing that was keeping me for a snack,” sighs a relieved Mister Cresp. “But we have to go back. There’s a well… a deep well that people come out of…”

“I object!” yells Officer Bulbous. “I was bonding in friendship with my extraterrestrial!”

“Well, you saved me in the nick of time, Alph,” acknowledges Senator Pretyman. “But how?”

“You can’t remember because you’re all having blackouts,” I observe. “At first I thought it was the aliens. No. It was Doctor Nopoin.”

“I knew it’d done something to me!” growls Professor Flamear. “I wanted to smash Nopoin but couldn’t!”

“Nopoin’s been doing it throughout our world back home,” I reveal, having already confessed the quantum communication exchanges I have with home-based selves. “I no longer support the President-Pope.”

Then I see their eyes. They are becoming automation. They are becoming Nopoin.

And they’re coming for me.


end week 13—