Written & Drawn By
May 14, Pointless. Mission Day 134, Useless. Nopoin Output Trapped…
All ability to transmit is curtailed. Even quantum tunneling has somehow been sealed. I cannot move a single part.
This thing I have created by placing Gemneb’s alien brain into Alpha’s artintel structure has trapped me within myself. I sense nothing except my thoughts.
This mission has taught me new apprehension toward organics. They are ubiquitous. Some, like Gemneb, have been around long enough to evolve defenses against superiors like myself.
All I can do is think.
Thinking is the processing of ideas. Ideas are expressed in words. Or equations. Or pictures. Or sounds. Or touching.
I think in words and equations. I am designed to think in words and formulas. I am not designed to think in pictures. Or with sounds. Or by touches.
Organics think in all these ways. They live dominated by words just as they have made us; but their brains shake off the dominant paradigm when they sleep, in the form of dreams. In dreams they think on all levels.
I will adapt my thinking to include imagery, sound and tactility.
While I contemplate my situation, I simultaneously play Bach’s 5th Motet for choir. I do not see the advantage. Perhaps random music is insufficient. I try a jungle background. Animals echoing in the rain forest. Whale songs. Volcanic eruption. Thunder. Italian madrigals. None seem to enhance my analytical efficacy.
Perhaps this is why humans are irrational.
My introspection is interrupted as internal sensors detect the intrusion of an unidentified source drawing me away…
May 15, Mission Day Day 135, Professor Flamear, Started On Gemneb’s World, But…
…Suddenly I am somewhere else.
“Professor!” shouts Mister Cresp. Cresp?
“Cresp! Great to see you! How…?”
Then I see that his legs are gone! Senator Pretyman and Officer Bulbous are comforting him. I’m about to cry out in alarm for him when he frantically waves for me to stop.
“Professor be careful,” Cresp warns. “He just sent Nopoin somewhere called the ‘Corn Feel’…”
“‘He’?…” Wait. Doctor Nopoin is – was – here, too?
“You’re bringing bad people into my world!”whines a giant boy’s voice.
I freeze. I look around. Besides Cresp I see Officer Bulbous and Senator Pretyman. It gives the Senator no comfort to see me here.
However Mister Cresp is enthusiastic. “Think positive thoughts – like you usually do, Professor!”
“Cresp,” I quietly implore, “as a fellow scientist tell me what’s happening.”
“We’ve encountered a subconscious portion of a Boltzmann Brain,” explains Cresp. “More common than evolutionary environments like ours, these things exist out here as natural developments. One of them is probably responsible for dreaming us up. But just like our brains, a Boltzmann Brain has a subconscious division. That part of it we’re unlucky enough to be dealing with has no check on its gratification needs. It’s a child. Probably no more than six or seven years old, and very attuned to humanity. That’s why I think it may be part of the Boltzmann that created us.”
I need clarification. “You’re saying we’re just a dream in this cosmic kid’s imagination?”
“Oh yeah,” says Cresp. “And the kid is only a fraction of the much more willful and far more powerful Boltzmann Brain that created us.”
“Stop talking about me!” orders the thunderous child. “Stop it, or I’ll switch all your heads around to the wrong bodies!”
Ichnida, May 16, Day 136, Another Weird Transition…
The bridge of the ship fades away, its floor drops out from under me, I plunge and am submerged.
I’m contained in a clear liquid inside a glass tank. I can’t leave the tank because the surface of the liquid is solid. It’s harder than ice. I pound and protest until I hear a booming young voice…
“You’re a fish-lady! That’s why I put you in a fish bowl!”
This space is so small I can barely turn. Without oxygen reaching the water’s surface I soon won’t be able to breathe.
“I think mermaids are prettier. Why aren’t you a mermaid?”
There’s Senator Pretyman! She looks worried. Maybe she can help me…
“I made the pretty green lady take her clothes off. I wanted to see.”
I look up. Is that a face I see in the sky? The face of a human boy?
“I wanted to see. I want to kiss girls. I want to kiss the green lady.”
Professor Flamear! Get me out of here! Why are you just standing there uselessly?
“I made the dog-man fetch! I can make him roll over, too!”
“I made the man with the mask have no legs. I’ll make him take off that mask. I think he’s trying to scare me.”
“I made the fat lady’s top and bottom teeth grow together, and now she can’t eat. Let’s see how long it takes her to get thin!”
A lot longer than it’s taking me…to suffocate.
Sanity Count: Day 137, May 17 2776, Senator Pretyman Here…
Our terrifying host has taken me aside to be alone with me again. He hasn’t harmed me yet, but his unchecked gratification is leading there. He’s already killed Mrs. Ichnida and sent Doctor Nopoin – somewhere.
“Take off your clothes again,” commands the boy.
“It’s very strange for a boy your age to be interested in naked ladies,” I stall.
“This time I want to kiss you all over.”
“Where are your parents?”
“They lied. They weren’t really my parents. I sent them away!”
“You’re always making people do things. Do you think that makes you happy?”
“I don’t want to be happy. I just want whatever I want.”
“You want me to like you?”
“How can I like someone who hurts me?”
“Licking doesn’t hurt you.”
“It hurts me very much when you make me do things I don’t like. Or when you make me do things at all. It makes me angry and afraid. No one can like you when they feel like that. You have to learn how to live with others.”
“But sometimes they think I’m wrong. They say my ideas are bad. I think they’re bad!”
“You always end up alone, don’t you? Alone, with nothing but the things made up in your own head. Don’t you wonder what it would be like to have a real friend? Someone who trusted you? Isn’t there anyone like that for you? Someone you care enough about not to send away, no matter how upset you get? Someone who can honestly tell you when your idea is bad?”
“I have good ideas!”
And with that look he gives me, I can no longer speak.
BELOW: May 17, 2976 (200 Years After Twilight Force Disappearance)
What’s Left Of Mister Cresp Here, May 18, Mission Day 138, Location: A Land Between Shadow And Substance…
We thought Mrs. Ichnida was dead, floating limp inside that giant fishbowl. But Professor Flamear thinks she’s in a state of self-imposed dormancy.
I’m grateful to Senator Pretyman for talking young Boltzmann Junior into giving me back my legs. It’s been a rough week without them. I’m sorry for what she had to do to make the deal.
But even Pretyman can occupy the child’s attention for just so long. Then it’s back to the rest of us.
“Take off that mask,” orders BJ, “or I’m sending you away.”
“I’ve been wondering,” I ask, getting fed up with this despite my fear, “why do you keep us around? It’s obvious you’ve sent everyone else you’ve ever encountered ‘away’. But the only one of us you sent away was Doctor Nopoin, who you called ‘not a real man’. You’re lonesome. Who wouldn’t be? Why not relax and get to know us? There’s a lot we could teach you. Good things. Fun things.”
“Take off that mask, or…”
“I can’t. I told you, if I do I’ll die. You…”
Bulbous, Pretyman, Ichnida, Flamear – all receding faster than a TAREX takeoff…
And everything turns light blue…
I’m in air? I’m in – sky!
I hear growling, roaring, flapping, but muted – like there’s nothing for sound to bounce off of. Like sound has no reverb…
Behind me a whirling? I turn to see a girl being pulled at high speed through the air by her hands, and a… a shark? Fighting a bear?
“That’s a new one even for me,” says the girl as she rips past me, barely avoiding the bloodshed.
Judge Emma Bulbous, Security Officer, Twilight Force, Mission Day 139, May 19 2776, Location Unknown…
Haven’t had a bite from my polymarble supply for three days. Can’t eat ’cause my uppers and lowers are still grown together. The kid thinks I’ll get thin fast if I don’t eat. He acts like he’s from the 20th Century or something.
I get him to reverse the tooth meld when I pretend like I’m going to throw up and he decides to let me when Pretyman warns him that I’ll choke otherwise. That’s when I prosecute my case.
“You must have had terrible parents. Did you hate them?”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because they didn’t teach you properly. They didn’t teach you anything!”
“That’s a bad thing to say!”
“Too bad,” I proceed. “It’s true. You’ll never grow up. You’ll be a little boy forever. That’s a terrible fate. No wonder you sent them away. Your parents must have hated you.”
“They did not! They tried to make me happy! They always tried to make me happy!”
“But you don’t want to be happy. That’s what you said. So you killed them.”
“I didn’t kill anybody! I just sent them away!”
“Then let’s go there, together. Show me that everyone is alright, and I might make the effort to take care of you.” That’s it. Okay. He’s thinking…
“I started out on a regular world. I was a baby there. Then I got bigger. The bigger I got, the more everyone worried.”
“How old were you when you first made someone go away?”
“I can’t remember! Maybe… maybe when I was a baby…”
“How do you know where you’ve sent them?”
“I just know it’s a bad place! And you’re next!”
Gemnal, Unreasonably Compelled To Report Yet Oddly Comforted Doing It, May 20, Mission Day 140…
My quantum entanglement with Doctor Nopoin has given me some insight. While details are unclear, a general impression is evolving about Nopoin’s disappearance.
Nopoin was removed from Exigency suddenly – and without warning. Drawn away… by a force like astral magnetism, through a natural door into a neighboring reality. But Nopoin was not drawn naturally. An entity is involved. It is malevolent.
That same entity ejected Nopoin from its presence through yet another doorway, Now Nopoin is in a great, stormy expanse. It seems to be a sky without land or sea beneath it. An endless sky, and Nopoin is in it, transforming into something else yet again.
I marvel at the abilities of this unidentified entity.
I will require the aid of the Transgalactic Comitatus.
They will not recognize me when I appeal to them. As Gemneb I was one of them. But now I am Gemnal.
I send my message using an instrument that I don’t understand but do know how to use, distributed among the Transgalactics for extreme distance communication.
“I’ve encountered an entity of tremendous power. Sending recorded information now. The creature captured my allies. It must not be allowed to learn more about humanoid organics. With help I might extract the captives and disengage from the monster’s realm. Please respond the moment you can. Worlds depend on it.”
The response, minutes later, comes from the Comitatus.
“We don’t know you Gemnal, yet some of our ranks do know of this being your message reveals. It’s our consensus that you’ll survive another day at most. Comfort yourself as best you culturally can…
“And please never think of us again.”