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The Walrus Effect

He was sitting in his apartment; well, the apartment that he had in this version of reality. He thought on the television and was changing channels with his mind; the television sensed what he was in the mood for and changed to a program suitable to his liking.

His phone rang as he reached for a cup of coffee, so he diverted his hand to the cell and he tapped the screen. His ringtone was a Beatles classic... It was good that they had existed in this version. Unlike John Lennon's Imagine, he had lived through what the singer sang. He cracked a smile.

"Hello.... Max?"

"I'm here," he replied. This time he got to his coffee cup. "What's up, Goner?"

"Nothing. Just wanted to talk, that's all. Didn't know who else I could call at this time," Goner said. "Hope I am not disturbing you?"

"No problem on that," Max said. "I've got nothing but time."

"Just that I couldn't sleep and needed someone to talk to."

"After all, it's your first shift," he said. "It's to be expected."

"This is freaking me right out," Goner stated. "I'm here, and yet things are the same but there are some differences. It also feels like there are tiny ants crawling over my brain."

"That's an after effect. You'll get used to those once your brain falls in sync with the worlds."

Faux Blog

excerpt from phased_from_reality's journal at Blog Nation:

His name is Max and he came to me in a dream.

I peeled onions like bugs on a window, roasting like a dog on a sidewalk. Falling forward into the pit of demons with tiny pitchforks dancing about like a zombie rave. Music pulsating like blood through veins, rejuvanating the likeness of youth.

Me: You are who you say you are?
He: I am who that person that I introduced you as.
Me: Why are you doing this? Why this confusion?
He: Why not.

Replied said and done like a serving of dinner. An awkward eternity before the sun rises again for the third time in this portion of the dream. Lucid dreaming, a sea of possibilities?

Me: Who is scanning the spectrum?
He: I can't answer that.
Me: Why can't you?
He: I'm afraid to.

Acts go by, with the same scenes played out over and over. A record skipping is a thing that has to be heard, unlike a cd player. Bring in the old school, learn from the new and together we shall bond as one.

A Moment Out of Sink...

The summer sun was waxing across the sky, as Max's eyes flickered open. He was lying on the ground and had no inkling on how he got here and what he was doing. Vague images played through his mind like a 1940's newsreel.

His cellphone chimed.

"Hello," he said after answering on the fourth ring. He noticed several cuts on his hand and marvelled at that.

"Well?" the voice on the other end was feminine and impatient.

"Well what?" he inquired.

"Where the hell are you?"

"At this point in time, I really don't know," he answered truthfully. He got up from the ground and saw that his shirt was torn and there were blood specks. "But wherever I was last doesn't look too good at all!"


Bring Two

Dexter sat at his desk, looking out the window. The keyboard was in front of him and he really hated this part of the job; crossing the i's and dotting the t's. He had been riding the desk ever since "The Hyatt Incident".  His fingers danced over the keyboard like Olympic figure skaters and he was not reading the words he was typing at all. It felt like his brain was on auto-pilot.

His cellphone chimed. The theme from Shaft kicking in.

"Yo," he said as he brought it to his ear.

"Busy?" the voice on the other end asked.

"Not really," he lied. He needed the distraction to clear his head.

"I'll be over in a bit," the voice said. "I'm stopping by Kelly's. You want anything from there?"

"I could use a Bostom Creme donut," he replied. "On second thought, make that two."


Max sat at a booth by the window, a cold cup of coffee in front of him. He hadn't touched it when the waitress had placed it before him. The ashtray was clean and sparkling and it wasn't violated with a butt or two yet. 

A pack of smokes sat on the table, the wrapper still around them. His lighter was stationary like a sentinel waiting for orders. He had a lot of thinking to do; changes were coming and he didn't know what he should do.

Could I prevent them if I wanted to?

It was one of the fleeting thoughts going through his mind. He didn't know what he was going to do.

It was 2:34am and the 24 hour diner was empty save for a waitress sitting down at the counter reading an entertainment magazine. She glanced at Max and noticed that he wasn't doing anything at all except for staring out the window.

An Elvis tune played dimly over the noise of the air conditioner and the hum of the freezer. But the words and music could still be heard.

Max reached down and took a sip from the coffee, then he looked at the waitress.

"Isabel," he called to her. 

"Warm up?" she asked with a wink.

"You read my mind."

Incident at Moot Point

There was a horrible sound of ripping as if flesh was being torn apart. Frank and Angst, who were waiting by the car, looked up. Upon hearing the sound Angst keyed the two-way on the cellphone.

"Looks like the Professor was right," Angst said into the phone. "There's the anomaly as planned."

"It's about time," Mags said on the other end. "Does he have it?"

"Not sure," Angst said. She had been sitting on the hood of the car, soaking in some rays but she was sliding off now to go to the spot where the portal was opening.

Frank walked back to the the trunk and brought out a suitcase.

"Looks like he's got company," Angst said after witnessing the fabric of space and time open and deposit two forms like trash from a car window. "It's not an item. It's another person!"

"That can't be," an astonished Mags said from her end.

"Welcome back, Max," Frank greeted as he walked over to the bodies on the pavement. Frank did a double take at the body beside Max.

"How long?" Max asked.

"About two days," Frank told him. "Who's your friend there?"

"It's a long story," was the answer. "But that's the package."

Beside him was a formless being with no facial features or any other distinguishable body part.

"Well that's just freaky," Frank told him. 

Max reached inside his pocket and took out a sheet and gave it to Frank. After looking at the sheet Frank looked up at Max.

"You sure?" Frank asked Max.

"Yes," Max replied. "I couldn't be more serious."


Forgotten as Lyrics to an Unwritten Song

"The moon is blue and hangs low in the heavens," he said.

"And this means what to me?" questioned Suki.

"It's a song lyric," Max replied. He continued to stare out the window.

"What song?" Suki wanted to know.

"Sure beats the hell out of me," he replied. He glanced over at her and smiled.

"That's Maggie's job," Suki said with a wink.

Focus on Aspects

Max's fist slammed into the wall leaving a hole. He was really upset about this and he knew that there was only one option out of their current predicament.

"Are you sure?" Maggie asked. She held the picture up to see it again. "It's not a glitch or anything like that?"

"Yeah," Max replied. He plopped down on the sofa. Dejected.

"Damn," Maggie said. She put the picture down on the table, and shook her head.

"Copyrighted," Max whispered.

Clothes Make the Man...

Suki could hear the changing in the rumble of the car. It sang to her that the car was going to be stopping shortly. 

"Time to earn our keep," she replied with Godhammer glowing. Max looked up from the paper he was reading and glanced out the window of the car. Still seeing only the darkness of the tunnel.

"Ak-Ak," Suki called to the back. The huge norseman glanced up from the book of poetry he was reading.

"You joining in or sitting this one out?"

The subway began to slow down; Max folded up the paper he was reading and set it on the seat. He picked up his two pistols and placed them into his back holsters as he stood. 

"Are we set?" he asked her.

"Yeah," she replied.

Akimoto stood up and joined them at the door. He was wearing a gaudy Hawaiian shirt and dark sunglasses.

"Next reality I am taking you shopping," Suki told Aki. 

"Oh really?" Aki replied. "What is the matter with the attire that I have on now?"

"That's so Magnum," she told him.

Prologue: The Waking Tide

Max awoke, convinced that he was hearing someone singing an ancient song. Though it sounded distorted and warbled, as if coming through static, low enough though that he could make out the lyrics. He brought his arm up to his head only to find that an IV needle was stuck in his veins.

Pain shot up his arm and that's when he realized that he was in a hospital. His throat parched and his body ached as if muscles were being used for the first time in a long time.

He was lying on a cot in some infirmary. He sat up. The ward was dark but he could make out several bunks from the low light. There was a nurse walking through the bunks, checking in on the odd patient when she spotted Max.

"The dead has risen," the nurse said with a smile. "Well John, it's nice to see you up and about."


Doing the Do

The moment that he walked through the door, he knew he was in big trouble. Max stood, scanning the room, noticing the devastation that was strewn about. Bodies scattered about like discarded toy soldiers after a child was bored with them. 

Max made no sudden moves, since he could feel a pair of eyes on him. He would have to thank Maggie later for that gift. 


"Ah Max," a voice said from the shadows. "It's good to see you again."

"It's been a long while. You could have called." 

"I knew if I did this that you would come." Brogan stepped from the corner; he held a device in his hands that resembled a gun. "Like a bee to pollen."

"Enough with the games, Brogan," Max said. He stood there staring at the man.

"You killed me once," Brogan said as he stepped forward. "I doubt if you can do it again. I've evolved."

The Unseen Spectrum of Moments

Max slammed his hand on the table, making Frank and Goner look up from what they were doing. Frank was reading the paper, while Goner was doing a Soduku puzzle. 

"What's up?" Frank inquired.

Max ran his fingers through his hair before replying, "Still no word."

"Well, after all it's been only 12 hours," Frank replied. He had folded up the paper and placed it on the table. Beside the 13 clips that were loaded and ready for battle.

"Shouldn't there be a sign at least?" Max seemed more agitated than normal.

"What's up, Boss?" Goner asked; he noticed this as well.

"I'm not too sure," Max replied. "Something doesn't feel right at all."

Sentry Duty...

"What's going on?" Angst looked about. She walked across the roof to the spot where Suki was camped out.

Suki turned to look at Angst; she held a portable game player in her hands. She was in the middle of kicking alien butt.

"Nothing much," Suki replied.

"You're supposed to be on sentry duty," Angst said with a scorned look.

"I am," Suki stated. She finished off the level and then quit the game. "It's boring. Just sitting and watching, it's like doing math or something like that."

Angst sat down beside Suki and took the binoculars from their perch to do a quick glance.

"Besides, Trump is in the tree across from the building," Suki said.

"I hate that cat," Angst muttered.

"You and Max both," Suki said with a smile. "I can understand why Max doesn't like the cat but what's your story?"

Angst scanned the building and saw no movement. She scanned to the tree to find Trump sitting on a limb licking his right paw. He seemed to notice someone watching him so he peered toward Angst.

"It's a long and complicated one," Angst said.

"I got all night," Suki inquired.

"Well I don't," Angst replied. She turned to Suki and winked.

Prologue: The Awakening

Kelly's Diner sat on the outskirts of the city, a rest stop or a last chance to get a meal before heading off into destinations unknown. It was a relic from the past, erected during the 1950's and had managed to survive the radical changes as the city grew in the distance.

It had changed hands many times but never its style and that's maybe why the woman liked coming here every so often. She pulled into a parking spot in front of the diner and stepped out into the crisp morning air.

The waitress was sitting on the edge of the counter taking a sip from her coffee when the woman entered. The waitress straightened up from the stool and placed her coffee down.

"Good morning," the waitress said. 

The woman nodded and said, "Indeed it is." The woman was athletic, somewhere between her late twenties and early thirties, wearing torn jeans and a tank top. Her posture was straight but  not arrogant. She stood at the door and glanced around and decided to take a seat near the back.

"Do you want coffee?" the waitress asked.

"Yes please," the woman said. She stopped and turned to face the waitress. "Has there been a gentleman here? About 6'1. Sandy blonde hair?"


Remix: The Long Drive to Hellenbach

Archived Event: The Long Drive to Hellenbach 

While gas fed the hungry car, Goner continued to talk about ramen noodles. The Professor snored in the backseat. Goner was sitting in the passenger side and was making light conversation; trying to stay awake. Max chuckled.

"All this talk about food is making me hungry," Goner said as he spotted a sign declaring Husky's House Truckstop to be just a mile down the road. "How about you?"

Max shrugged a little, but now that Goner had suggested it he could feel the pangs of hunger growing. The Professor murmured something in his sleep. Max glanced back to check on him; it was rare to have him in the same plex coordinates. Max liked it but it also made him feel uneasy.

"There's a restaurant another mile or so up the road," Goner said. "To my recollection they serve the best hash browns and sausages evah!"

The car pulled into the nearly full truckstop, with several rigs lined up like soldiers ready to roll at a moment's call. Max found an empty parking space in front of the diner. The Professor yawned and stretched. Max killed the engine and then turned to the Professor and said, "You're buying!"

Goner looked at the empty backseat. "Max, who are you talking to?"

A Change is Gonna Come

"You feel that?" Maggie asked Max. Her eyes opened and she stared up at the ceiling.

Max turned from the window where he had been standing like a sentry watching the city below him and faced Maggie. "Yes," he answered. 

"I'm scared," she said. It was the first time in a long while that she had felt this way.

"Me too," Max replied. He didn't know what to expect.


Goner was getting impatient with Angst; by all rights they should of been in the battle. Though he had said he would wait as she prepared; it was the least that a friend could do.

His cloak billowed in the warm breeze; it seem to comfort him. He didn't like to be waiting, especially if there was a battle going on. He looked over the horizon to see if he could see anything from this vantage point.

He saw a glimpse of lights near the river. It seemed like the Mysterious Mingos' were up to their old tricks. He placed the binocs into the utility web of his suit, and flexed his power gauntlets.

"Well, are you ready?" he asked impatiently. He hoped the tone of his voice would signify that this was indeed an emergency.

Angst adjusted her mask and made sure that there wasn't a tear in the spandex. After all, she needed to look her best for the entrance. And that her plasma pistols where charged and ready to spew out hot death to those who opposed her.

"Do you know what we are up against?" Angst asked.

"How am I supposed to know?" Goner replied. "I don't make the reservations. I just heed the call."

On that note both took to the skies.


Not the News to Hear Now

Washington DC, 1989 

Max was munching on a hamburger when he saw the news. It was on the television up in the corner of the diner and was on low volume. But high enough just to make it out. He placed the hamburger back down on the platter and looked around the diner to see if anyone was watching the TV. 

No one else was paying close attention to the event that was unfolding on the screen. Max breathed a little easier. It wasn't a big deal at the moment and maybe it could be swept under the carpet if the agency worked quickly on it. 

Shit's going to fly on this one.

His cellphone chimed.

"Max," Brogan said. "Have you've seen the news?"

"Watching some of it now," Max said. "What's the plan of action?"

"It's going to be hard for the boys to cover this one up," Brogan replied. "You know who they are going to shit upon for this foul up."

"Do we have a contingency plan?" Max inquired.

"Yeah," Brogan said. "But it's still going to end badly for someone."

Max signalled the waiter for the check; he took out a crisp $20 bill and laid it on the table and got up. 

"Get a chopper ready," Max said.

"Already on standby, my friend."

The Trader's Creed

Iralia, Operation: Stormfront

The bunker was hot and stuffy and there wasn't much anyone could do about it. There was a poker game going on at a table with several of the troops playing off some of their paychecks.

Broom broke off from the poker game since he was tapped already and didn't want to loose what little money he had left. He saw that Pretty was up and he went to him like a moth to a flame. 

"Hey Pretty, you got any cigs?" Broom asked. He stood at the foot of the bunk. Pretty was reading a western novel and peered over the book to see who had interrupted the best part of the scene.

"What kind you want?" Pretty asked Broom; he leaned over and dragged a locker out from underneath his bed.

"Le Morte's if you have 'em" Broom said.

Pretty opened the locker and moved a few things around and ended up tossing Broom a package of Le Morte's.

"Cool!" Broom stated. He tossed a couple of bills at Pretty. 

"Pleasure doing business with you," Pretty called after Broom. He turned over to Max and said, "I can't see what you like about that mag."

Max glanced over from his bunk; he was engrossed in an article in the Fortean Times. Something about string theory and a paperclip.

"It's educating," Max replied.

"I've got something for yah," Pretty said. He reached inside his pocket and pulled out a zippo lighter and tossed it.

Max caught the zippo and looked at it. The design on it caught his eye.

"Well, I'll be," Max said. "Where did you get this?"

"Ancient trader's secret," Pretty said with a wink. "Besides, I owe you man."

Nothing for Money

MAX is standing in a long line waiting for his turn at a teller. There are 14 people before him and there are 3 tellers on duty at the moment. MAX is wearing a neon yellow t-shirt that states VILLAGE and he is wearing jeans. It's a pretty busy morning at the bank.

The young girl ahead of him is chatting on a cellphone. She is a college co-ed.

GIRL: (into phone)
... like so I say to the jerk "It's your move asshole".

The man before the girl turns to face her; he sees that she has a cellphone. He is about to turn and let the girl chatter.

GIRL: (to the man before her)
What are you looking at? Line is ahead!

Max smiles to himself. Trying not to indulge in the conversation but the girl is speaking too loudly not to.

GIRL: (into phone)
Nothing Jenny. Just some doufus before me.

The man is about to say something, but Max shakes his head no. So the man turns and faces the front.

GIRL: (into phone)
So the jerk stands there gawking like he has something to say and I say to him "spit it out" but he's like stammering like an idiot.

Max shivers. He turns to see a shift occurring. The bank has changed from a brilliant beautiful building into a long abandoned building. Max is standing amongst the dust.

MAX: (as he drops his check onto the dusty floor)



He was unable to sleep since he was plagued by bad dreams. Max Cube lay in his bed staring up at the ceiling fan rotating. A cigarette in his hand on his chest, lit, and the smoke rising into the air as if someone signaling that trouble was near.

The clock on the wall ticked away, the second hand seemed to amplify in the night. Max was doing some serious thinking; remembering the past events and wondering about the ramifications of certain actions.

His room was dark and mysterious, no lights inside but the lights of the city cast shadowy images on the wall. Which triggered events in his mind and got him thinking again. He really didn't know what the whole purpose of this was, but he was glad that he was getting some self healing done.

He brought the cigarette to his lips and puffed away, and then he exhaled a dragon's smoke into the air, watching the swirling cloud as lights reflected upon it. The smoke showing him what the future might hold.

He smiled and then butted out the cigarette, and turned over on his side. Sleep might pay him a visit, but he highly doubted that.

The Long Drive to Hellenbach

While gas fed the hungry car, Goner continued to talk about ramen noodles. He was sitting in the passenger side and was making light conversation; trying to stay awake. Max chuckled.

"All this talk about food is making me hungry," Goner said as he spotted a sign declaring Husky's House Truckstop to be just a mile down the road. "How about you?"

Max shrugged a little, but now that Goner had suggested it he could feel the pangs of hunger growing.

"There's a restaurant another mile or so up the road," Goner said. "To my recollection they serve the best hash browns and sausages evah!"

The car pulled into the nearly full truckstop, with several rigs lined up like soldiers ready to roll at a moment's call. Max found an empty parking space in front of the diner. He killed the engine and then turned to Goner and said, "You're buying!"

The Heist of a Lifetime


MAX, FRANK and MAGS pass through a set of doors into a very long hallway. Frank does a double-take on a weird looking statue that looks like a combination of a spider and mosquito.

What the heck is this supposed to be?

Beats me.

Looks like someone I once dated.


RANCOR and his GOONS appear in a cloud of sulphuric smoke, where two sentries are sitting and having a coffee. The sentries are caught off guard and have little time to react.

Do something.

GOON1 and GOON2 take out the sentries.

GOON3 takes out the third sentry who steps into the room.


According to the teller they should be somewhere down below. It only gives us a few moments to set something up.

Calling Through the Statosphere

Max entered the living room from the kitchenette. He brought with him a cup of coffee and he slid into his computer chair. He was just about to unwind and go on a killing spree after a hard day at the office.

His phone rang.

Unknown name, unknown number, the display read.

Reluctantly he picked it up, knowing all to well that it might be a telemarketer asking him if he had received his sample of free meat, or something silly like that.

"Max?" the voice asked.

"Yes," Max replied into the phone. He was sitting at his desk. Moving the mouse over to the Gang Us Con IV icon and ready to enter a world of violence.

"I've been trying to find you for the longest time," the voice said. 

"Well," Max stated. "You have found me. And who might you be?"

"Brogan Mirk," replied the voice.

"Brogan?" Max questioned; he leaned forward in his chair. A stirring of recognition washed over his face like a panama tide.

"Yeah," Brogan said. "It's been a long time friend."

The Troubling Effect of Waves

Frank is standing on the shore throwing a rock into the river. Max comes down from the roadway and he taps the cellphone off. Frank doesn't turn; he knows it's Max.

Well, what's the word?

It's going to be one of those days.

What kind of day would that be?

The kind where you wished you would of stayed in bed.


That's not good.

Max picks up a rock and throws it into the river.

Not a bad shot.

You find this comforting?

Yeah I do. When all else fails. Nothing says relaxation more than trying to skip stones on water.

Symbolic isn't it?

Well, I never thought about it that way.

Riders of the Signal

Frank sat at his station playing a game; he had been here for the past six hours waiting and observing and occasionally listening to the static. Boredom often came with the territory, and it was huge and vast like the Sahara desert. Every now and then something came on but it wasn't what he was waiting for.

He checked the instrumentation again to see if it was working. He knew that he was only second-guessing his work, but at this point he was paranoid, thinking and working overtime.

He sipped the coffee beside him and reminded himself to get a refill. He was in the middle of blasting aliens to kingdom come when he spotted the red light blinking. He rolled the chair over and turned up the receiver and when he turned it up he heard gold.

Max's eyes flickered open when he heard the alarm. Already dressed in last night's clothes he jumped out of his bunk and headed out the door. If this was what they were looking for then he couldn't waste seconds just tidying up.

He moved along the corridor and met Mags along the way. She came out of her bunkroom and smiled at Max.

"You think we found something?" Mags inquired.

Both of them entered the room in time to hear it and Max let out a whoop. Angst was standing behind Frank with a smile, nodding her head.

"We've found it," Frank said.

"Okay everyone, you know the drill," Max cracked off. "Stations!"

Mags jumped into the pilot's chair, strapping herself in and getting everything online. Angst jumped into the navigation seat and her fingers began dancing along the pad.

"Angst, we only have a few more minutes before we lose the signal," Frank warned.

"Tracking it now," she replied. She stared into the screen before her as her fingers danced. "Got it. Feeding the trail to Control now."

"Ready to dance," Mags replied.

Frank cued up the recording chip. "Ready when you are, milady!"

The spaceship turned on a dime; Mags was an exceptional pilot and she was heading back to when the song first started.


The Moment Forgotten in Sync

Max butted the cigarette in a sparkling clean ashtray. It was his first in the diner.

He looked up at the clock on the wall and watched the second hand tick. It hit 12 and his watch chimed. Perfection. Everything was in sync again. It'd been a long while since he had felt in tune with his surroundings, a hell of a long time before he was able to sleep at night and not worry about the nightmares.

"Indeedios" a tiny voice seemed to say. Max turned to see a housefly zip past his nose fly off.

He was about to call after it but then he heard the chimes above the door. The doors had opened and a goddess walked in.


She stood by the door and scanned the area and spotted her intended. He reached for another cigarette and put it to his lips. He turned to signal the waiter for another cup as Maggie slide into a chair across from Max.

"Hiya," she said.

"Hey," he replied.

The Unforgotten

Max walked down the alley. He was walking with purpose and meaning, a sense of emergency in the strides he took. Time was not waiting and it wasn't for the wasting. He was thinking of how autumn felt when winter arrived.

His fingers felt like they were asleep, like thousands of dull needles pricking them. He glanced at the tip of his fingers and could see through them.

Damn, he thought. Not yet. Not now.

His cell phone chimed, but he wasn't in the mood to answer it. He was glancing around the walls and looking for something. He continued to walk briskly, scanning the walls and the doors. He could feel the pins moving down his fingers, and at the moment he was scared to look at them.

"There it is," Max muttered. He stopped at a wall with several graffiti symbols on it and then he tapped the wall in various places. The wall shimmered a little and Max stepped through, with a look of relief on his face.


A Friend in Need

Goner is sitting on a chair eating a bowl of cereal; he has his cellphone beside him. He is wearing a dirty t-shirt and has the television tuned to a news channel. He is keeping an eye on the news waiting to see if anything is going on.

Goner's cellphone rings and he answers it. He sees Mags' name in the view.

Yo Maggie!

CUT TO close up on Maggie's face. She has phone jack and mic on.

Hey Gondy!

CUT TO Goner in his apartment.

What can I do you for this morning?

I need a favour.

It's your quarter.

(background SFX what appears to be sword swings and gurgling sounds)
I am kind of in a jam at the moment and I need someone who is close by to help me out of this.

No need to ask. Where are you hiding at?


(SFX rapid gun fire)
Two blocks down from you. Near the Tunnel Gate. Go to Nexus 7.

Ticking Away

Max sat on the floor, his legs crossed and the sound of several clicks ticking around him. His eyes closed and his breathing slow and rhythmic, as several black-flies buzzed about the room adding to the ambiance of the clocks.

Occasionally his eyes opened and he recited lyrics of an old song as if saying them as a chant, his mantra. Then he closed his eyes and remained quiet without moving. A sentinel on duty, waiting for the proper moment to act.

His cellphone chimed.

"Max." Mags' voice was somewhere distant. "We're in position."

Max opened his eyes and tapped the cellphone off. He stood up covered in sweat and he nodded.


Mags backed away from the door. Her hands behind her signaling for Aqua to find someplace to hide quickly. Aqua turned to Suki and motioned for her to back away as well and both girls quietly went into the next room. Suki didn't need to ask questions, she was a soldier that understood the rules of warfare.

"Well Mortif," Mags said; she was backing away to where her katana was sitting. "What brings you here?"

"You know why I am here," Mortif said. He stepped into the room and glanced around. "I owe you for what you gave me those many years ago."

"I'm touched," Mags said sweetly. "And after all these years you never forgot me."

"How could I!" Mortif roared. He couldn't control his anger. "You scarred me for life!"

Mags let out a little sigh before replying, "You know you should let bygones be bygones. That's all water under the bridge for me."

"Not for me, Wench," the demonic beast said. His nostrils flaring and the veins in his neck were beginning to show. "I've hunted you down for these many years and now I have time to extract my revenge."

"Revenge?" Mags repeated. "I shall say something poetic at your banishment."

Mortif let out a huge laugh and as he did several smaller demons came in from behind him. Mags grabbed her katana and smiled a sweet smile, like a warm sun after a cold wintery night.

Suki took out her Godhammer while Aqua donned her gauntlets. It looked like this girl's night out was going to be postponed on account of an old nemesis.

Second Hand Imagery

The summer sun disappeared beyond the horizon making the twilight sky a purplish landscape. Max sat on a park bench watching as the twilight blended with the evening, and the stars began to appear as if they were being summoned.

A lamppost began to hum to life nearby, as electricity began to build and brought forth the glow a few seconds later. Lighting up the area around him, he felt like he was Jimmy Durante at the moment.

Max cracked off a smile. The magic was beginning again.

In the distance he could hear the sirens of police cars, intermixed with a fire truck and not to be outdone by a fire alarm ringing somewhere close by. He took a sip from his styrofoam cup of java, and then brought a smoke to his lips.

After taking a long puff, he exhaled smoke and watched the patterns shift into an image. He stared at the smoke making out the scene and then he nodded. He flicked the cigarette butt across the pathway and stood up. He had a job to do.



Max lay face down on the asphalt, a pool of blood spreading out around him water from a reservoir.  Frank was the first one there; he turned over Max to see the gaping wound in his chest.

"Christ on a pony," Frank stated. He tried to stop the blood from escaping Max's body by slamming his palm over the wound, but to no avail.

"Oh no," Angst said. "This can't be happening. Not now." Angst turned her eyes from Max's body; she saw Suki approaching and went to her, to shield the young girl. Even though Suki had seen a lot, Angst didn't want her to see Max this way.

"It's not stopping!" Frank cried out in vain. Blood covered his hands so that it looked like he was wearing red surgical gloves. "Someone get Maggie! NOW!!!"

"It's no use, Frank. He's gone," Goner said after checking Max's pulse.

"He c-c-an't be," Suki yelled. "He's Max!"

"Now, now, child," Angst said in a motherly tone towards Suki. Angst herded Suki off to one side and you could hear the sobs coming from her. A river of tears began to flow and it spread like a contagion as Angst, Goner and now Frank seemed to be caught in its snare.

Max's lifeless eyes where staring up at the heavens, and with a wave of his hand Frank closed them.

"Cut!" a voice shouted out. "THAT WAS AWESOME! It's a wrap!"

Max's eyes fluttered open. He saw Frank, Goner, Angst, and Suki standing around him; beyond that he saw two dozen other bodies now moving about. All seemed to be in a state of celebrating something that just happened.

"That's it boys and girls," the voice said. "We've done all we could do, now it's up for the editors and FX crew to work their magic."

He didn't know what happened. He stared down at the gaping wound in his chest, his finger examining the wound, and he brought his finger up to his nose to smell. Sugary red syrup.

"Let me help you up, buddy,"Frank said to him as he offered his hand. "I think that scene has Oscar written all over it!"

"Denver," Suki said as she came over to Frank. "Are you going to The Den for the wrap party?"

"I'll be over later, Lon-Rii. Need to shower and get this shit off me."

Max sat there and looked around, a dumbfounded look on his face.

"What do you think Aaron?" Frank asked him. "You think we'll get a nomination this time around?"

Do You Feel That?

Max stepped out from his apartment, stopped and looked up at the morning sky; he saw the three red blinking eyes flying overhead. He was dressed in a pressed white t-shirt and had on khakis and nice brown dress shoes. His hair was cut and styled much akin to a James Dean movie.

He tipped a wave to the blinking eyes and then moved merrily on his way, whistling a tune. The sun was rising and the birds were singing, as if in unison and in a very Disneyesque way. Max shuddered slightly but still held his composure.

He walked with a spring in his step and a smile upon his face.

"Morning Max," the newspaper vendor said to him. The vendor had just opened his stand, and was laying out the newspapers in neat stacks, alphabetical order.

"Morning," Max acknowledged as he flipped a dollar coin onto the stand and took a paper. He tucked it underneath his arm.

"You going to the Renewal event?" the vendor ask. "It promises to be the grandest one yet."

"You'd have to be some sort of nut to miss it!" Max exclaimed excitedly. "I heard the morning announcer declare it was going to be quite the event this afternoon."

Max continued down the street; he passed by other shops and buildings and waved at shop keepers and passersby with friendly greetings. When no one seemed to notice and the three eyes had passed over the city, Max ducked down an alley. He made sure it was dark and that there was a balcony overhead.

He fished out a bent cigarette from the the fold in his pants and put it to his lips.

After he took a puff he fished out a cellphone and hit a speed-dial number.

"Professor, you got to get me the fuck out of here!" he said in a whispered voice. "One more day here and I will go on a rampage like this reality has never seen!"

"Now Max," the Professor's voice came through the phone among the static. "We are working on it at our end. Hold on!"

The Hunger

FRANK is driving down a busy street. MAX is riding shotgun. ANGST is sleeping in the backseat. 
FRANK is dressed in a dark suit and a loose tie over a neon yellow shirt. MAX has a t-shirt that declares SUBMIT on it. He is dressed in khakis, and has a cigarette dangling from his lips. ANGST is covered up in with a blanket in the back seat.

Well. What do you want to do this evening?

I really don't know. It's feels like years since I haven't done anything in a while. Feels weird not doing anything.

You wanna shoot some pool?


Catch a game at the arena. The Blues are in town this evening.

Not my cup of action.

How about a movie?

I really don't want to subject myself to another reality at the moment.


You're a heck of a date.

MAX taps FRANK's shoulder and points to the BURGER REDUX restaurant that is up ahead.

I could go for a tasty burger though.

Anything you want JULES.

Infinity Radio

"Staff meeting," Angst called out as she walked through the room. She cuffed Goner on the side of the head. "That means you too Gonzo!"

"Oh geez, do we have to?" Goner replied. He set the pile of vinyl on the edge of his desk. "What's the gripe this time around?"

"Don't know. Don't care," Angst replied. She continued to walk through the office proclaiming the news from the head honcho.

Frank was by the coffee maker, pouring himself a fresh cup of java. Max came out of the booth and stopped to get a cup.

"You know what this is about?" Max asked.

"Don't have a clue," replied Frank. "Ain't you on the air?"

"Well, I'm a clone," Max said with a wink. "So I can get away with it."

"Playing some taped, eh?" Frank asked.

"A good disc-slinger never reveals his trade secrets," Max said...


The Hellcat

There was a rap at the door. 

The doorman turned towards the door and was about to slide the peep-hole open to see who it was, his gun drawn in case it was danger. He didn't realize what hit him and sent him down on the floor.

Maggie kicked the door open and charged in, her katana swung and she caught the other doorman off guard. Sending his head one way while his body fell another. 

She was a hellcat unleashed and she was showing no mercy. Her hair alive and looked as if it was on fire, her eyes seemed radiant with the intensity of hate.

"You wanted me," she shouted. "You got me!"

Jester's Wild

Maggie flipped the card over and looked at it and smiled; she dropped it onto the table with a flourish. 

"Read 'em and weep, fellows," she declared after the card landed on the top of the other cards on the table. 

"Well now," Frank replied. He leaned back in his chair, shaking his head in disbelief. "You must be one of the luckiest people on this planet."

"It has to be magic," Goner stated. He picked up the discarded card and stared at it, flipping the card and rubbing it. "You know she's more than she seems to be."

"Sore loser are we, Gondi?" Maggie asked as she began to rake in her chips.

A Cafe Mission

Max sat at a table just outside the cafe, sipping a coffee and watching the smoke drift from his cigarette and across the table. David Bowie was singing about changes from a car passing by. Max smiled. His cellphone sat on the table beside a package of smokes.

"You waiting for someone?" someone asked which took Max from the daydream he was about to enter and back into the fold.

"No," Max replied; he looked up into the eyes of an elderly nun. "Not really."

"Do you mind if I join you?" she asked. "This cafe is ever so busy and I saw you sitting alone. Hope you don't mind me imposing."

Being the gentleman he stood up and pulled out the chair for the nun. She sat down and gave him a nod.

"No imposing at all," Max replied. He sat down and took a long puff from his cigarette. "Hope you don't mind. It's a ritualistic habit of mine."

"No problem," the elderly sister replied with a disapproving smile. 

Max gave her a I-know-something-you-don't-know wink.


The Play's the Thing

a very stupid short play in one act

Cast of Characters
Max (wearing a jeans & a bright yellow t-shirt that says CHOOSE)
Maggie (wearing a futuristic robe like the kind in 'Logan's Run')
Frank (wearing a Victorian-era suit complete with Bowler)
Goner (wearing 1970's clothing along with a brimmed hat)
Angst (in a cheerleader Go Team outfit complete with pom poms)
and Mumbles


[SCENE: A coffee house. There are several low tables and comfy chairs about and also a long table running with 6 chairs. MAGGIE, FRANK and GONER are seated at the long table.]

MAGGIE is sipping tea. FRANK is hovering over a crossword puzzle. GONER has a gameboy he's playing with. Once MAX enters they will put things down.

There are other customers sitting at tables in the background. MAX enters from stage right; he is tapping his cellphone screen.

MAGGIE: Hi lover.

MAX (leans forward and kisses Maggie's cheek then looks around): You see Danny Glover?

MAGGIE: You silly fool.

FRANK: What's the scoop?

MAX: I've just received word from the Professor. He has another assignment for us.

MAGGIE: Oh really now? We just got back from one of the levels of Hell and now he wants us to go off on another merry adventure.

FRANK: You think you had it easy?

GONER: We had our share of excitement as well.

MAX: I told the Professor we would take a pass on this one. I still need to get the bugs out of the system.

GONER: You ate a bug.

MAX (doing a Brando voice): I ate a bug.

MAGGIE: (laughing) Oh that's funny.

SERVER (coming over to table with a coffee pot): Refills?

FRANK (holding mug up for SERVER): Why do you ask a question that you already know the answer to?

MAGGIE (putting hand to shield mouth and talking to SERVER): Next time bring an intravenous and stick the needle in Frank's arm.

The SERVER pours Frank a cup and then continues on with the others around the table.

GONER: That sucks.

FRANK: What does?

GONER: We've haven't truly had time to really sit down and have a night just to get reacquainted again.

MAX (still doing Brando voice): The horror. The horror.

MAGGIE: Well I guess that is one of the reasons why Max took the by.

ANGST (entering from the left): So this is where everyone is hiding?

MAX: Well maybe.

FRANK (pulls out a seat for Angst): You thought we were lost?

ANGST: You never really can be sure these days.

GONER: Not really at all.

ANGST: Have you guys seen Mumbles?

MAX: Mumbles?

MAGGIE: Whose Mumbles?

FRANK (looking at Max & Maggie): Mumbles. The one who saved your sorry asses a few months ago.

MAX (looking confused): Come again?

GONER (leans forward): If it wasn't for Mumbles man, you wouldn't be here.

MAGGIE (looking at Max): Ummm honey.

MAX: You don't need to tell me.

MUMBLES (pops out from the right) April Fools!

FRANK, ANGST & GONER break out in a hearty laugh



Running Like Fire in the Wind


MAGS runs into the shot, not looking behind her, she is running at full speed. A few more seconds and we can see why. Hundreds of dog-sized spiders are clamoring after her. Like a massive moving wave of sheer terror.

We see MAGS pick up her cellphone. She hits a number with her thumb and brings it to her face.



Can you help me out here. I'm in kind of a bind.

Hold on.

Well I can, but I don't think those behind me will.

Very well.

Only Death Can Save You Now

Max's eyes took in what was going on around him. He paused, his mind racing through various actions he could take. It looked like he was panicking for a second. 

The huge troll stepped out of the tunnel, with big battle axe in hand and it came at Max like a runaway locomotive. 

Max had emptied his clips into the damn thing; it appeared that his bullets didn't phase it. 

With no other option, Max turned the guns around to be used as blunt objects and he ran towards the troll.

Four Ladies and a Wild

Frank laid the cards down on the table, and sat back and grinned. It was the first time that he had an actual grin that seemed to radiate what he felt inside. "Read'em and weep boys." 

Goner tossed his cards onto the table in disgust. He was sure that he had a pat hand, but seeing Frank's ladies staring up at him made him wince in pain. 

"Awww poor baby," Suki said as she leaned over and gave Goner a hug. "Do you want that towel now?" 

Goner shrugged her off with a nod. He wasn't sure how, but he thought Frank had cheated.

> Debashis in Plureality 3

Finger on switch, ready to pull, a look of excitement on the face of one. The other's siting at the table, a half-smoked cigarette resting in the tray – menthol light – half interested.

“How about if you pull that dimmer switch less than halfway down, just to make it zap us, but not too loudly…just a whisper.”

“What’s the point? Let’s just go all the way.”

This little power struggle goes on for a bit of time. One suggesting moderation, the other insisting full steam ahead, both infusing their versions in that nice, and passive-aggressive kind of way.

“I just want a taste.”

“That’s just foreplay and masturbation – sauce and gravy – give me the meat!”

“You’re just gross. You’re an adrenaline junkie. And you’re trying to turn me into one too.”

“Geeeez!!!!! Will ya’ just live a little? With you it’s always, ‘watch out’, ‘be careful’, ‘not too much’. You’re the idiot who takes one fucking toe at a time into the pool while everyone else already swam to the other side of the crater."

“And you push too hard. Ain’t everyone like you, you know. Nothin’ wrong with going slow! And besides, it can hurt. Do damage to yourself. Why do I have join you on this shit?” A long suck from the smoke was more calming than expected.

Well, they weren’t passive-aggressive anymore. Finger on switch, one’s ready to pull, while the other glaring, wordlessly daring defiance. The catalytic electric inducer was better than sex, better than coke, better than weed. A recent invention, it could give the receiver doses of total euphoria-messed-upness that induced all the effects of any age-old vice of choice, with the same range of effects from a buzz to unconsciousness. But its effects were immediate…and maybe just a bit unpredictable.

“Come on, let’s just do this! It’ll buzz for bit, we’ll feel fucking awesome and then it’ll be over. You got nothing to lose.”

“I just don’t like the zap. That just hurts – I hate pain.”

“Don’t be such a baby. Fine, how about instead of full tilt, we’ll go three quarters. You’re a loser.”

“Look, if we can’t go one-quarter, I’m not doin’ this with you."

This half-negotiation goes on. They bully each other, half-heartedly, exchanging insults along the way. Finger on switch, one’s tempted to just pull without the other’s approval. The other inhales a mouthful of cigarette smoke, then inhales a mouthful of rum-shine brew.

“So, we’re settled on one-third power?”

“Fine. Count of three?”
Both disappointed, but ready, one arches the back, takes a deep breath, readying for the anticipated pulse of shock-buzz about to pulsate through the veins. The other, finger on switch, eyeballs getting wild with excitement and maybe even a glint of ……


“I’m going to kill you after this.”


Finger pushes switch. An ominous hum permeates the room. Punctuations of little crackle noises. As the pulses engulf their bodies, the cat walks by and can hear from one:


From the other:

“I’m going to …”

Then a bang and a white flash of light, a smell of burning magnesium, a cat screech, body-vibrations. Explosions inside the brain or outside? Euphoria and lift-off.

BANG and then black.