Chapter 1:- What's going on here?
"... you sit there and ponder circles of government conspiracies or half truths. Biblical prophecies swirl around in your spider web filled skull. So, yeah, what if it is real? Then what? You gonna... launch your own black ops strike force? Right. That'll be the day. It comes down to your tech versus theirs right? Well the government, the aliens, fuck. Us passives we are just on the side of the road just like that, that, what is that little migrating crab you know the little Christmas one?"
"The red Carapace." said Cleo.
"Right... The red what? Fucken graduates anyway."
Doogie kept spilling out his Youtube education channeling it through his highness like a stream of pee. A sudden flash of white light lit up our junk filled front room - we had that; oh shit look, into each others eyes -and three seconds later
our windows and floor shook, we all went down... the power dipped, two computer screens shut off.
"Jesus that was close." said Cleo.
"Lets check for the shroom." said Doogie.
We ran out the front door and down the steps into sunshine. Other people were already doing what we were doing. A teenage girl walked by us muttering a string of swear words cursing the politicians. Three Whistlers buzzed down to us from the nearby airspace. These looked like toy RC quadricopters but were incredibly fast. No bigger than humming birds. They zipped up and down with speed. All were equipped with powerful, digital facial recognition software that interfaced with some massive unknown data mine. At any given time of day you would expect to see one or two of these damn things hovering around in continuous surveillance. To everyone's delight, a small murder of crows were able to attack one device. The other two zipped away in a vertical climb that the crows could not match. On the ground its tiny parts were pulled and flung away from the downed Whistler by jet black beaks. It's propellors slowed and stopped, tiny LED operating lights faded out. The crows cawed randomly in triumph. A stranger nearby tossed a half eaten burrito to them and they hopped away from the mauled machine. They huddled around the slab of burrito and feasted. The crows had become our accidental allies. It became an unwritten rule to always reward them when they took down a Whistler. Cleo pulled shades from his pocket and put them on.
"Shit - almost forgot. That was like, three blocks away - no more."
"I wonder who bought it." I said.
"You know who. Anyone pushing the wrong buttons is who." said Doogie.
"And at least a few innocents." I added.
"There. I see it."
Cleo pointed over a tree line where the mushroom cloud rolled up slowly. A fire burned. The sun lit up the gray and blue smoke. There was no wind, so the cloud held its shape. Other fingers on the street pointed to it. Like a mini nuke bomb we all stared at its form. It's hood rolled under, the fire bubble billowed upwards. The red fire churning and churning. It was mesmerizing and In some bizarre way beautiful, unless of course... your in pain because of it. A trio of distant sirens filled the air. The lawnmower sound reached our ears. We didn't need to look at actual lawns in the neighbourhood, that wasn't it, we knew the difference in the sound. The big missile carrying drones always had that faraway doppler-changing pitch.
"A Husqvarna." said Doogie.
"Yeah." I said.
We gave them different names. The bombers were Husqvarna's, the searchers were Toros. There were others but It was time to go back in, and like good little sheep we would march into our pens, back to our consumer programming. The street dispersed. Our good neighbours went back inside too. They all knew the game, we glanced at each other, vacant eyes on vacant eyes. The only ones remaining outside were our shadowy intelligent crows that lived in the trees.
How did my life get this way? Who says we have to make our lives like characters in commercials with their; look at me, you want to be me, you need to own this car, this house, this phone, personality. We live in a corporation consumer vacuum where ideas are born by minds brainwashed since birth, poisoned, and driven to sell product. Urge the buyer to consume consume consume - and do it this way, our way. Why? Well, um because no one really has a better way and I want to be filthy rich. The sociopaths are running the asylum.
Of course deep in my brain I wouldn't turn down being filthy rich, I would be lying to you, dear reader, o-illuminator of my true nature. I cover my face in shame. I am guilty. But if you are in need of a slight distraction from the everyday lies that spill out of the overweight lobbyists, then read on. I have ventured past the house of the rising sun, beyond the void whispering trees of an LSD night, a DMT death and awakening, and cried for the loss of my mother. Wounded souls reveal the unspeakable.
Ground rules? I reject your reality and replace it with my own non-participatory cult reality. That's right a reality full of superstitions, UFOs, and government conspiracies - end of the world stuff. And oh, if you have some smoke you can ride along, but be warned; I will not damn you for inexperience. I would only ask from you a slight measure of leeway, a gift of latitude, an agreement between us that you might access, that you might unscrew, the tiny machine screw holding the facts of your perception tightly together. Just peek into this parallel earth as it is, and discard along the way that which may disturb you or bend you wrongly.
Only out of necessity and the company of my friends could I really remain functional. I ignored the predictive audio from everyday life by plugging into my little purple ipod shuffle listening to singer-less soundtracks. I was sick of the T.V. and the music videos full of narcissism, notions of what we're supposed to be as long as you just don't give up on yourself - more consumer programming nonsense, ugh, I reject it all.
I wore my square, narrow, dark blue shades looking like some lost white dude wannabe Ray Charles throwback from an underground forgotten cyberpunk flick. I was bullshit, I had really checked out. Slacker extraordinaire. And I hid like an enochlophobic on a mission. Don't fucking approach me sales people. The banks and their greed, the government's killing for energy. I felt our country in general had become a self perpetuating war machine selling weapons and looking to start wars and being known and viewed as the world's bully. Congrats - all of the other countries on the planet hate us. Hates Americans, hates this parallel earth. Fuck them you say?
Yeah. You remember that line when you forget it in a year and decide to take a vacation out of the country and you want to hang with the locals there and eat their food and then wind up throwing your guts up because the teenager serving your food just so happens to have had his non-combative brother or father get killed by a drone. But that's not your fault. Those weren't your tax dollars used in a black budget. And now the drones are here, at home, with us. How nice. And you really think we voted that guy in? Electronic counting. Trails are manipulated to make it appear as if it were close, in this parallel universe the media was, has, and always will be - under the thumb of the multinational corporations and the weapons makers. My hand covers my mouth. What have I wrote... how long before I'm taken to a FEMA camp?
It's sad really when you've surrendered to knowing that there is not a goddam thing you can do except get pepper sprayed and thrown in jail at a protest. They don't give a fuck how much you march. The only reliable news comes from Wikileaks and Doogie's secret online contacts. This is where we and the rest of the disgruntled parallel survival population go to read how our foreign relations are actually doing. And you had better have some serious encryption on your search engine, lest big brother take an interest in your interests. Do I sound bitter? Things do stray down the path of apprehension, that Twilight Zone premonition, that slow march toward a nuclear nightmare that surely must arrive. Doesn't it always when things approach the darkest hour?
The Native American Indians were right about the white man. They were right about me. They were right about my ancestors. The end for humanity on this world is nigh.
And there's more. There's the aliens, and I don't mean the aliens that come from another country because we're all from another country somewhere down the line. Shh. What I like about the Aliens is this: 1. Even our own government knows they are the real wildcard. 2. Our government cannot stop or control them in any way. 3. My enemie's enemy, is my ally, unless they try that anal probe shit. 4. If they are working with the aliens then we're all fucked royally.
We filed back into the apartment. Defeated. My co-conspirators hid/lived with me in my two bedroom doing the things people do in a controlled mess. If someone cooked or got food the rule was to share but it was frequently ignored and we all suffered malnutrition, self imposed of course. Empty beer cans seemed to appear on the scarred black coffee table at any hour of the day, along with the ever present three foot bong that laid sideways underneath, it's bulbous curves held a shallow marsh of bongwater stink.
We were caught up in America's bullshit. Oh yeah, we were trying to hustle our way through, trying to find a solution to defend our addictions, but we knew why already. The drugs were levies against the barrage of the shit this reality threw at us. Their constant consumer pitch was met with our wall of escapism. Drugs were our mechs, our soldiers. And my reverse hell was; I worked as an assistant that kept me near the law, the government regulations, near the hounds. It was also my secret little cache of being able to bounce ideas off of those attorneys who worked the angles. Doogie hated that about me, he called me two faced. He can go to hell. But he was right.
The alien problem all came forward after my little Hawaiian vacation. After coming back I made the mistake of leaking what I had seen there to Cleo. He is the educated one. He is the one Doug, Doogs, Doogie, Doogs sounding like noob but with a D, always likes to swear at - cause Doogie thinks Cleo sold out to the system by going to school and getting a degree. But now he owes thousands for it and there aren't any jobs, not jobs that he was schooled for anyways, and he wouldn't take the shit jobs. So they are after him for the loans and now he is in hiding. So he lives with us and swallows the wet cat poop Doogie throws at him. He sleeps on the sofa, our public litter box. Sadly dirty, only because we don't vacuum much but it beats the Fema camps which is where everyone goes if they don't pay.
Doogie could be convincing. But the problem was, as always, proving facts. And the wonder smoke that he got from his contacts from the clinic tended to blur those facts. We never really knew what we were smoking. A card would be great, but then you're I.D'd, and the authorities receive that information, and then it's archived for some soul branding purpose of the likes only those of a Gestapo mentality can celebrate. Of course Cleo, Doogs, and I didn't mind the baked part. It gave our conversations a smoke and mirrors narration, a blurry crust that shielded us from the possibility of the situation of being too real and uneatable - after all we were in our parallel universe.
"... that triangle that you saw Jim, I bet that was one of the Grays..." Doogs was doing a yoga move, the warrior. He stood up straight and looking up, brought his arms overhead. A puff of smoke blew from his mouth.
The first time I saw something, yes, a fucking UFO, was way back in two thousand two. I had just got off the job. It was dusk. My co-worker and I were walking out to our cars. The company building was located on top of a hill so we had a beautiful view of the area. He noticed it first and pointed to it. It was as if a solid black line, the length from your thumb to pinky. It' like it had been painted there, in the blue sky at about two o'clock. Looking like a black felt marker, it was just frozen in the sky, spooky and silent. Zero movement. I felt my stomach tighten, a bag of ice was placed on my spine. And then, as if it had noticed, that we had noticed it - the thing blurred, at speed, across the horizon and out of sight. All without a sound. The whole moment from when I saw it lasted maybe three seconds.
We looked into each other's eyes. Roger seemed to swallow before speaking.
"You saw that right? Tell me you saw that."
"I saw it... Wait... what the fuck did we just see?"
"Just... don't ever forget that you saw it."
Working at that company together I never mentioned it to anyone else and neither did Roger. It had become this weird little secret that we couldn't share. Society's vibe was, if you have seen one, then you're on a specific political side. That was of course was brainwashing. You knew it, or, were brainwashed. The media had projected this rare conflict into the public mindset. If you were aware you were awake but avoided. Awake meaning, aligned with a political value. So to bring it up, had become admission of taking a side. Talk of (that thing) was in private around trusted friends only. We tried to explain away what it might have been in the sky but it would not fit into any experience or in any explanation except for, absurdly advanced beings with superior technology. After months we stopped talking about it. Of course it was forever burned into my mind. But I could never confide in anyone that was not deeply trusted.
One day, seven years after I left that particular job (I stupidly) reported the sighting to a UFO agency online, just because I felt some strange urge and obligation to do so after watching a show on T.V. about unidentified flying objects. Now, I had blabbed to the world what I had seen. So now they have me on record. Obviously I wasn't thinking clearly. In retrospect, I realized that the sighting haunts you, urging you into doing things. Things you shouldn't be doing if... you we're on that other side of the political fence.
And then it happened again.
I was driving in Hawaii just recently with my girlfriend at night. It was around eleven thirty PM, we were heading south. The starfield at night is breathtaking. In L.A. the stars are nearly faded out, from the massive city lighting, but on the Big island it's as if you are marooned on a distant space station. The Milky Way dots across the night sky as clear as a polka dot dress in the sun. My hand kept walking over to her thigh, she kept pushing it away but I couldn't keep my hands off of her, it was going to be a wild sex night and I was thinking hard about it, worried that the day may have tired her beyond my twisted plans for her tonight.
I jumped in my driver's seat. She unnecessarily pointed through the windshield, her voice was shrilled, alarmed. I had already spotted it as well. I was in shock more at her sudden outburst, not knowing this side of her either, but "There" was all she needed to say.
For a moment, a single, bright, deep green light hung in the sky directly in front of us about a half a mile ahead up in the sky. Our windows were down on our rental car and the air was cool and fresh. Looking through the front windshield that single light became three, then six , then nine lights, forming a triangle. Connecting lights came on to all three corner lights. Little rows of greenish yellows. I felt numb at that moment. This was an altogether different feeling than the first one that I saw so many years ago. My girl's hand gripped my arm at the steering wheel. This triangle was roughly the size of my hand held up to the windshield. The triangle slightly rotated slowly. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck, a mild current was being applied to us. She felt it too, her worried face looking into mine. Suddenly we jumped, as tiny infrequent blue sparks crackled over our arms, legs, and faces. It was like, one of those mosquito zappers. I did all I could stay of the road. I let up on the gas, the car slowed.
"What's that? Don't slow down!"
The sparks stopped. But I felt as if I was in a spinal mercury radiology hospital test or something. It had frozen me for a few seconds. I finally managed press my foot down on the pedal. The object did not seem to get larger or smaller. Now doing fifty-five miles per hour. It was matching our speed... staying distant but within reach, and we were the only car on the road. The craft, like the other, was dead silent. The car passed through the night, the wind noise at the windows as it had been for hours. But now it seemed vacant. A dream. It moved away so fast that we could not perceive it's location. It was simply no longer there - like it had winked out.
"Grab my little camera just in case."
Just in case. In case of what? In case in comes back. Please don't come back I repeated in my mind. And I knew my girlfriend was thinking the same thing even though she had removed her seatbelt, eyes glued and was perched at the edge like an English Setter. And I admit, I was glad it didn't come back. There was something sinister about it's actions. I mean, if they were friendly wouldn't they just appear in the daytime so this phantom-like appearance would be less of a shock?
A second UFO sighting in nine years. That's what started me off. I wanted to know more, I needed to know more. I obsessed a little, sure. And like a virus we all caught the UFO fever.
And when by chance I ran into that co-worker Roger from years ago, Cleo and Doogie were with me. It was all meant to be. They immediately asked him. And that did it. If they hadn't believed me before, hearing Roger's account - set them in stone, pun intended.
"... from what I've read the Grays are kind of just reps, you know? Not really in control, like they are being controlled by someone else and all. A sort of mind control from another alien from someplace else."
Doogie reached over, grabbing the mini zeppelin from Cleo's fingers.
"Great, great, now that doesn't complicate things." Cleo smiled that little smile he had when he smelled bullshit. "Regardless and I know you both agree we shouldn't pursue it."
Doogie stood in front of us stepping up on the coffee table. He addressed his imaginary fan base. He wore dark brown multi-pocketed cargo shorts that hung past his knees with black laceless sneakers and the ever present black burglars hat that covered his Howard Stern-like, long black curly hair.
"In my worldly wisdom and rock solid spite I hold for this system, I will determine the measure of our progress by... the amount of resistance we receive on our quest for the truth in this otherworldly subject, if that's what it is."
Cleo quickly spat out at him.
"Ahem, what else would it be if not otherworldly?"
"Military secrets? Indigenous craft created by - our own race, with help from..."
He turned his finger, pointing up.
"I hope that you would expect me to undertake this assignment with a healthy draw from the oxygen of scientific skepticism, and logical explanations. Without that leveling, our revelations, if any, will feel empty."
"Aye aye." We replied while puffing on our blunts.
He stepped off the table and flopped into the stained orange easy chair, something I picked up from Good Will for a measly ten bucks.