distance=perfect galaxy (or) canned tortillas
August 6 1998
Away: Radio on a teak cabinet serves music into the molecules of the air: "I feel a hot wind on my shoulder. And the touch of a world that is older. I turn the switch and check the number. I leave it on when in bed I slumber."
A pattern of paper clips static in a lemon sky. The air is perfect across the Western Desert. It soothes cauterized skin. Two residents of the planet, Naast and Rachel, sit on an aluminum coaster swing sipping water.
A Scree, most prodigous of the local vermin, swaggers across the lawn. Its crown of pipes reflecting the sun. Naast lifts his gun. Blows the Scree away in an oily mess.
Puts the gun back.
Rachel's silver skin. Burgundy striations zag like fingers down her arms. She whistles the melody. Matches the beat. Naast smiles. His active gums and cracked teeth enlarged by the bottom of the glass.
They quiver with satisfaction.
Los Angeles: Unmarked helicopters. Four of them visit Naast's sleep. They are as silent as a super computer's hum. A megaphone: "Byron Naast."
In his mind the resurgent off-white spotlight of repeated dreams. This is it. This is the day he's finally singled out.
Like it's coming over his stereo: "Relax. You are in no danger. Exit your domicile. You are to be the subject of inquisition. Nothing more."
Sideways. Naast peers out his slat windows through mustard blinds. He doesn't know whether to throw up or feel honored.
Transmission; Aug 7:
Greenasses march under steel blue cumulus. She was fifteen and she flew. And as she looked down upon them she almost reconciled the bits and pieces of her journey. Traveling light thru space: The Noster was a ship of swank (as gallant as they come) until she hit a mine and sank just off the coast of Sum.
Precisely where a craft of cost the Ergo perished later all hands (you may recall) being lost including captain Pater.
Each group of technicians is accompanied by its mascot often exceedingly unfaithful to their origin. They sang and danced: Sometimes I get the feeling things won't fall apart. Sometimes I think it's gone too far. Sometimes I get the feeling things seem pretty nice. Then again sometimes I'd like to leave you twice.
These ICs combine on scale and organize the vertical and or horizontal integrations of their plants: Look now. Look all around. There's no sign of life. Voices and not a sound.
Border Zone: Storm clouds building in their direction. Three armed figures wrapped in black. Two of them are packing up the satellite dish.
A few feet away a monstrous yellow sign: English Speaking Area.
Merlot hair in the wind. Cornelia watches her compatriots load the dish into the back of the truck. X-ray eyes stay focused on the skies above. She swivels the headcam around the side of her body so she can survey the horizon as well.
Bagpipes. A flank of helicopters. Black. Black. Blacker.
Cornelia gets what she wants.
Air: Gray vortex-s form and flash over the plexi of the cockpit. Two blue faces oblivious. Flying by instruments. Recon over the border zone.
"Dish activity? I don't see anything."
"It was scheduled."
Ground: "I don't think they see us." Cornelia is in front of the camouflaged truck. Bruce shouts back. "Who is it? Can you tell?"
"I think it's Border Patrol. Freaky blues."
Air: Another world. Distracted, the helicopters turn right and are absorbed in the storm.
Ground: "Told you." They climb into the truck. Three across on the Ford's bench seat. Cornelia reaches under the seat and pulls out three beers. The cans are opened and drained. Bruce says, "I fucking love this shit. It beats the hell out of writing."
"Hell yeah. Writing sucks. I can't wait 'til we get back and download the buzz."
Phan crushes her beer and slides it across the beaten dash. "Can you believe the volume tonight? That C guy nailed it."
A Canadian love song plays across the plains. The storm ranges behind them. A bruised sky swallows the truck's lone headlight. A road sign: Pierre 17 miles.
Excerpt from Chapter 5
The Mess is a weekly Science Fiction Serial written by jon nevada and jef virginia. It comes out every wednesday. Back episodes are available through the website (www.cruzio.com/~mess). For more information e-mail jon and jef at firstname.lastname@example.org.