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. 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 came down toward us from the nearby airspace. These looked like toy RC helicopters but were incredibly fast. They zipped up and down with the speed of hummingbirds. All were equipped with powerful, digital facial recognition software that interfaced with some massive secret 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. And as usual, the pop of an airgun, from an apartment window. Someone on our side, having a little fun - but quickly ducking out of sight. Destroying government property meant mandatory Fema camp where you were forced to make more of these and other robots for the wonderful system. 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 mini nuke bomb we all stared at its form. It's hood rolled under, the fire bubble billowed upwards. The red fire 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 to 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.
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.
No... I say give up on yourself, and then you might accidentally find yourself. Communist you say? Socialist? Of course that's what you would say. Thoughts, the same ones that do not think it's possible to be torn between two equally beautiful women or to have more than one opinion on a political subject with an understanding that the action will affect many poor people as well as rich. Empathy... a dirty hollow word to the well off. I just reminded myself to continue hating politicians, hurls an egg, a shoe, a frying pan, a three hole punch.
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, the media was, has, and always will be - under the thumb of the multinational corporations, the weapons makers. They are in bed with the Pentagon performing unspeakable acts. 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?
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.
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, 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. Yes, he has government student loans. 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 points. And the wonder smoke that he got from his contacts. The clinic. A card would be great, but then your I.D'd and the DMV receives 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 and I didn't mind the baked part, it gave our conversations a type of narration, a crust, it kept the lens dull and blurry. A better writer wrote; a darkly lens. It shielded us from the possibility of the situation of being too real and uneatable. Remember we're in our reality, not that other real one, the real one being too much to bear - a burden imposed by the insane corporation mantra of huge bellied CEOs rolling nude in gold minted coins covered in syrup.
"... that triangle that you saw Jim, I bet that was one of the Grays..." Doogs was doing some odd yoga move, a puff of smoke poured from his mouth as if his body was twisted by invisible forces.
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, had been painted there in the deep blue sky at about two o'clock. Looking like a black felt marker it was just frozen in the sky, spooky and silent. And then, as if it had noticed, that we had noticed it - the thing went across the horizon and out of sight - without a sound. The whole moment 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 did see it... Wait... what the fuck did we just see?"
"Just don't ever forget that you saw it."
I never did. The memory came to me many times while we worked at that company together. I never mentioned it to anyone else and neither did Roger. It had become this weird little secret that we were unwilling to share except with each other. And we did talk about it in private, we tried to explain away what it might have been but it would not fit in any experience or in any explanation. After months we stopped talking about it but both knowing that it had burned forever in our minds. So we retired the incident, knowing no one could offer more, or how to set the moment into peace.
The years rolled by.
One day, about seven years after I left that particular job, I 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. Maybe I did it to somehow finalize what I had seen all those years ago. To lay it underground once and for all. But it was never far from my thoughts and it would not allow last rights to be read. To this day, when I recall those past years, I've always remembered that single moment as if it were yesterday. No other memories from that time period could I recall as easily.
I was in Hawaii just recently with my girlfriend. It was night, around eleven thirty PM. We had been driving down the Kona coast highway. The starfield at night is simply breathtaking. In L.A. the stars are nearly faded out from 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 tone thigh and she kept pushing it away.
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, forming a triangle. Then connecting lights came on to all three corner lights. Little rows of greenish yellows, pretty but intimidating. Certainly they were strange and we became a little afraid. Maybe I was more than that. I felt something in my gut. 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 and it slightly rotated with one corner moving to the others. The hair on the back of my neck stood at attention, a massive tingle warned me traveling up my spine like some mercury radiology hospital test. The object did not seem to get larger or smaller, and we were doing a minimum of fifty five miles per hour with the cruise control on. So it was likely matching our speed... and we were the only car on the road. The craft was silent, the night wind noise passed in through the windows as had been for hours. So just like the black line I had seen so many years earlier, the energy from this object created no sound, or no sound that we could hear. And in no more than it's five second appearance, it turned off all of it's lights, or, it moved away so fast that we could not perceive its location because it was simply no longer there, like it 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 at all." Cleo smiled that little smile he had when he smelled bullshit. "How are we supposed to proceed with this quest?"
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 spite, I will determine the measure of our progress by the amount of resistance we receive on our quest for the truth for this otherworldly question, if that's what it is."
Cleo quickly spat out at him.
"Ahem, what else would it be if not otherworldly?" asked Cleo.
"Visions of the imagination? Military secrets? Indigenous craft created by - our own?"
"Sounds like you already doubt me." I said looking away from both of them.
"Jim Jim - you would expect me undertaking this assignment without a healthy draw from the oxygen of scientific skepticism? Without the leveling revelation of explanation beyond circumstantial evidence? He stepped off the coffee table flopping into the stained, orange easy chair, something I picked up from Good Will for a measly ten bucks.