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Channel Plex: Darkness In The Light

Max liked the anonymity of his job. He had walked through the convention doors and no one had turned their heads or given him a second glance.

He was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans. He strolled past a group of Naruto warriors and past a group of Hollowed before making it up to the registration booth. He actually stood in line right behind a fanboy dressed up like the character he voiced. 

Max smiled; he had hit the pinnacle of voice-over actors. For the past three years he had been the voice of "Simon Light" in the anime series Bold Gun Crew Votillard. It was his bread and butter after spending a few years lost in the Saturday morning cartoon world, and he probably would be still if it wasn't for his agent who called him up and told him that the US company who had picked up the distribution rights to BGCV and a producer wanted the guy who had voiced "Chem Finder" in that CGI movie Citadel. They figured it was the perfect vocal tone for "Simon". 

The line inched ahead at the registration desk and Max didn't mind. It gave him a chance to hear what manga/anime fans were chatting about and it also gave him fuel for his discussions. He didn't like writing a prepared speech and spouting it out like an automaton. 

"Name," the girl at the desk asked. 

"Cube," he leaned forward in doing his best Sean Connery. "Max Cube." 

The girls eyes widened when she heard the name. "Omigawd!" 

Her partner at the desk stopped what he was doing and said, "Mr. Cube! Holy crap it's you!" 

"In the flesh," he said. "I'm supposed to be speaking in an hour. What room will I be in?"

Channel Plex: Lunchtime in the Cafeteria Part One

"I can't believe he took marks off for that," Mayganne said. 

Goner nodded. "So, yeah. Which means my average won't be high enough for the scholarship-thingy. Which means, well shit. It means next year will be shit." He sighed. "Hey, can I have a fry?" 

"Finish them," Mayganne said with sympathy. "I'm sorry..." 

Goner pouted. He felt like crap. Angie strolled down the aisle towards them, with a bag from the local comic shop.

Channel Plex: On the Cube Tube

".... and tonight Max's guest are: noted Hollywood gossip columnist Aretha Dhenti, action star Matt Damon, and musical guest Muu Junkiez... And without future delay here's the man of the day: MAAAAX CUUUUUUUBE!...


"What do you mean you don't know?"

"Really I don't."

"You have to tell me something more than that."

"How can I tell you when even I don't know?"


"... and for a limited time offer we will include this set of tarot cards..."


"... repeating the news on the top of the hour. A comet streaking through the night was mistaken for a ...."



Channel Plex: Now Playing in Theatre One

Channel Plex: Clubthumper

Darius' fingers were doing the magic. His ears attuned to the crowd, listening to their reaction as he scratched in another layer to the groove he was building. They were into it and he was really in the zone. He had been the house DJ for the past several months and his reputation was growing. 

"You're killing them tonite," said Suzanne as she placed a gin and tonic on the stand beside the turntables. 

"Mos def," he replied. Sweat was pouring from his brow. He was in the zone and he wanted to elevate these poor desolate people who came in for a night of merriment to the next level. 

"Who are you playing anyways?" she inquired. She didn't recognize the main underlying groove. 

"Chakra Secrum Project," he said as he shot a glance to the album cover. "An experimental group in the 70's." 

"Wicked," she replied.

Channel Plex: Game of Cubes


Channel Plex: We Don't Need No

We don't need no...
We don't want no...
We can carry on without...

It's Sunday night and I'm feeling down,
After the encounter with the clown,
You said you loved me, but you left me anyhow
So I don't know what I should do right now,

We don't need no .... (Time)
We don't want no .... (Time)
We can carry on without ... (Time)

Yo, my name is Max and I'm here to stay
I've been itching on the back of your brain,
like a maggot on a piece of meat,
Like Gunga Din without a treat
It's the only thing I can say

We don't need no .... (Scratch)
We don't want no ....(Max)
We can carry on without ... (Tax)

They call me Aqua and I'm a hip chick
I like to rap my rhymes, like honey on a stick,
You see me here and you see me there
and if you see me in my power gloves
yo you better beware....

We don't need no... (War)
We don't want no ... (More)
We can carry on without ... (S'mores)

We don't need no .... (Time)
We don't want no .... (Rhyme)
We can carry on without .... (Chime)

Words written and spoken by Max Cube, Aqua and Tatter
Music composed by The Professor

Channel Plex: #generationplex

Mayganne and Goner (version.Teenager)

Channel Plex: Living Outside The Lines

Tatter smirked as she was told for the hundredth time today that she was their favourite character on the show. She nodded and smiled as she took the sharpie and signed her name on the glossy 8x10 photo of her face. 

Leonard Nimoy probably felt like this, she thought. Here she was sitting at a booth at a convention and signing autograph after autograph. It was a good thing that she was getting paid $1,000 for just a few hours of work. She knew that she wasn't top end of the sci-fi convention scene. Heck, Wil Wheaton was making more than her, but considering Wil was also an internet geek that upped his convention fee as well. 

"I like your performance in the episode 'Die Now, Pay Later'," a little girl said. "It moved me." 

'Die Now, Pay Later' was her breakout role in the series. Up until then she was just a secondary character only guaranteed five minutes of screen time. After that episode her screen time doubled and eventually tripled. 

The little girl brought out her sketchbook and flipped to a page showing Tatter as her character. "Could you please sign this?" 

Tatter marveled at the illustration; she had seen her fair share of artwork and fan drawings but this one was a definite labour of love. She was afraid to even mark it for fear of ruining such a masterpiece. She placed down the sharpie and reached for a ballpoint pen. She knew the sharpie would bleed on the paper and a pen wouldn't. This was going to be a very special autograph... one that might even pay this girl's way into college several years down the road if she was willing to part with it.


Channel Plex: Theory #304

...was that the 20 albums released by Max and the Mana Junkies corresponded to the Major Arcana of the Tarot, and that Trump 21 - 'The World' - would represent their first international tour. Of course, Frank's nervous breakdown put a stop to that. But rumours persist that the tour will still take place someday (even though Max says it never will) with XXXX XXXXXXX taking Frank's place.

Channel Plex: Release Date

Goner had just turned 16, driver’s license incoming, two long phone-calls plus a decent amount of texting with the new girl in class, Angie, and now Mayganne was about to play him the latest download from Cube Life. So yeah, things were pretty awesome.

“I’m tired of feeling older than everyone else in school,” he said, lounging in her easy chair. It didn’t sound right when he said it, sounded like a bored teenager, but he actually meant it, literally felt like he’d been around longer than he had. Or around wider maybe? How would you describe traveling sideways in time?

“Maybe you’re using too much energy feeling so smugly superior,” Mayganne shot back, like he knew she would, her wink, his smile, and right on cue she tapped Play, the speakers fuzzed. Her laptop screen went into image. And the music started. And it felt alright again, Goner felt okay again, even though he always felt different, and had thoughts he couldn’t figure out how to explain to anyone even Mayganne, definitely not Angie, wouldn’t want to spook her. And the music coming in and the anime video playing, j-pop-punk-electronica mashup, Cube Life just starting to hit it big, he loved their whole sound and style, and so laying there it felt alright, feeling different and lost and clichéd and too old and too young. Horny, angry, curious, bored, scared.

Mayganne singing along – somehow she already knew the lyrics - with Suki’s voice from the speakers:



Channel Plex: Agents of C.U.B.E.

Channel Plex: Fan Base

"... was a case like that of Neon Genesis Evangelion, where the creator's personal problems apparently affected the development of the story, but Season Three definitely saw a dramatic shift in the direction of the show and the way its stories were told." 

"No doubt, and many viewers dropped the show, there was the attending outcry online- " 

"And many other people starting tuning in as a result." 

"So Crisis ended up finding an equilibrium. I'm of the camp that thinks this was all planned, that Simon's supposed mental health issues were hype to coincide with the changes in the series." 

"So the production side of the show actually became part of the show..." 

"Well, the whole Man Behind The Glass character clearly evokes a 'meta' reading of the whole thing..." 

"And there are those who say that The Glass Man was actually the figure in the alleyway back in Season Two, where Max kept reappearing to Natasha..." 

"Whatever dudes, all I know is that Season Four is gonna kick ass!" 

"Thanks for sitting in, Colin..." 

"(sigh) Yeah, thanks Col."

Channel Plex: Mahjong

Max stood on the promenade deck; he was leaning with his back against the railing. His hand holding a red pen, writing along the margins of the script. 

Damn, these hacks couldn't write worth beans. He was constantly changing things, adding colons, fixing up the words here and there, and changing the details to make things more cohesive and clearer for the audience. 

"Finished yet?" Simon said as he approached. He was carrying two cups of coffee and offered one to Max. "You've been out here for over an hour. I figured you needed this." 

"It's not easy turning crap into gold," Max replied as he put the cap on the red pen and clipped it to the page he was editing. He accepted the cup and took a pull from it. 

"What's the scoop?" Simon inquired. "We shooting this scene today or not?" 

"We're three days late as it is," Max replied. 

"Logollos is dancing around the producers," Simon said. "He's working his magic in order for this movie to be finished on time." 

"Christ, we're over budget as well," Max said. "I hope to hell this doesn't end up as another Heaven's Gate fiasco." 

The ship chugged along the river as Max took another pull of the coffee. "Here comes The Professor now," Simon said under his breath. 

"Are you finished with the changes, Max?" The Professor asked. He was dressed in a windbreaker and had on a baseball cap that read Cube Productions. "We need to shoot the next few scenes now before the weather changes again. The lightning and the weather is a good mood-setter for this."


Channel Plex: Pilot

Max wakes up in bed, alone.

He doesn't recognize the room. A motel?

There are seven laptops placed on the floor, the end-table, an ironing-board, the bed beside him. They each have different screensavers: The Avengers, Supernatural, Buffy, Doctor Who, The Matrix Trilogy, The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Bourne Trilogy. Max recognizes the images but can't recall the plots of any of them.

He pulls back the covers, he's dressed in baggy pants and a white t-shirt, no image.

The movement is enough to cancel the screensavers on the two laptops on the bed; the Avengers vanish and Max can see an icon for a music file, and when the Winchesters disappear it reveals an icon for a video file.

Max feels tired, feels tempted to pull up the covers and go to sleep. Go back to sleep? Had he been sleeping? He leans forward to open the music file...

A cell phone buzzes on the pillow beside his. He can see the text on the screen. It says: DON'T.


Leaving Purgatory

Max and Maggie were already gone before The They arrived to investigate the disruptive incidents that had happened in Purgatory. The digitized healing of structures and objects was well underway, knitting together the fabrics that were damaged, erasing and modifying memories of those involved.

The They hovered over the lifeless husk of Morganfokker in the apartment and consumed it.

Several blocks away in a diner.

"Mmmm," Max said as he put down the coffee mug. He had the nature of a child in his posture. "Man, I'm ever going to miss this!"

Maggie let out a chuckle.

"You knew all along what was going on?" he said. "This was all a trap to ensnare you."

"I don't just get by on my good lucks," Maggie stated. She took a sip of her tea and smiled. She glanced up at the clock on the diner wall. "You better finish up, it's time to go."

Max chugged the remaining bit of coffee and his body quivered with delight; he might have to make a special trip back here now and then just for the coffee.

Maggie took Max into her arms and they embraced.

"Answer me this," he began. "If we're in Purgatory, what happens if we died here?"

"Well, let's just say it's the final chapter," she told him. "Though, on another note there's something you should know..."

"Oh," Max replied. 

"Prepare for some change when you leave here," she told him.

"Oh," he repeated, his curiosity piqued now. 

"What colour do you like, pink or blue?" she asked. 

Max pondered a few seconds before his eyes widened like a dawning of a new day. Maggie embraced him and they kissed just as their world brightened up.

Max disappeared in a blinding flash of light.

Maggie's avatar fell to the floor of the diner.


Queen Takes Bishop

"You can stay here then," Maggie said as she pulled the trigger.

Half of Morganfokker's skull disappeared in a spray of red, grey and goo.

"I've had enough of your shit to last me a lifetime, jerk."


Bishop Takes Knight

Before Max had a chance to bring up the weapons he realized that he had fallen right into Morganfokker's plan, once again, all along. He was being played like a piece on a chess board, which made him even more angry.

Morganfokker brought up his hands; both were cupped like a grail, and unleashed a blast so powerful it was blinding - in a brief instant of memory it reminded Max of that old Japanese animation show where they channelled power. And that's what Morganfokker was doing the whole time, channelling power.

The blast caught Max in the upper torso and blew him back through his apartment window, across the 50 feet chasm of the street into another building, through that building as Max crashed through living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, knocking people about, destroying things in the process until finally coming to rest on the ground floor of the complex.

Morganfokker walked to the edge of the open window and peered at the feat he had just accomplished.

"I'm going to love it here," he muttered....


Knight Takes Pawns

The dam had finally busted and a flood of memories - old, new and some not even born yet - flashed through his head. Like a slide projector malfunction at an event, images appeared and disappeared and seemed to merge together.

"I'm Max," he said. "Though which version am I?"

His arms snapped out and took the two paramedics down, hitting them in their pressure points and they dropped to the floor like sacks of flour.

"Ah, Max," Morganfokker said. "Good, good. It's nice to see that you haven't lost your touch... Maybe your mind... but not your touch."

"You," Max said; his voice couldn't mask the rage and the hostility in it. "You did this to me!"

Morganfokker just smiled and nodded. As Max glanced around his surroundings it began to dawn on him what was going on.

"But this isn't about me, is it," he said matter of factly, clasping his hands behind his back. And as he did Pain and Joy were in the process of digitizing in. They were his signature weapons of choice and they felt good in his hands, the sensation was almost orgasmic in nature.

Purgatory had a way of amplifying senses.

"You, my dear old friend, were just the bait to get her here," Morganfokker said. "And it worked like a charm. I'm sad to say that we should have thought of this earlier."

Max brought the weapons up and around...


Code Red

The paramedic ripped open Max's shirt and started feeling the chest; he had the needle in his hand like a stabbing instrument.

"He's going," said the other paramedic. "Time to hit him!"

The paramedic with the syringe was about to bring down the needle, but his hands were stopped in the air.

"Let him be," the fellow told them.

"But, but he's going to know!" one of the paramedics said.

"Yes," the fellow said. "That's been the plan all along."

"What do you mean?" the paramedic asked.

"We had to bring her here somehow," Morganfokker said.

Code Hunter

Maggie ran up the flight of stairs; she was too impatient to wait for the elevator. She was going to fly up but then realized that would probably trigger an alarm.

Then The They would come to fix it.

The last time she had dealt with The They was a long, long time ago and that hadn't ended up too good for anybody.

"You're almost there," the voice on the blue tooth told her. "Just three more floors to go."

"Hope I'm not too late," Maggie whispered. She was second guessing herself and thought she should have "winged" out and dealt with the problem when it happened.

Unlocking Codes

Max felt better; he was lying on the floor of his apartment staring up at the ceiling. He was counting the dots on the tile, it was the only way to stay focused. There was a pounding sound and he figured it was from the door.

Hira must have called the paramedics when he had screamed.

The door to his apartment opened. The manager of the complex had the key code and unlocked it for the responders. And they rushed right in, stretcher and all.

"I'm fine now," Max said but no one listened.

He glanced to see Hira peering in from the door, a look of horror on her face. Hira's mother came and covered the child's eyes.

"Look," Max said as he reached for the counter; a pack of smokes digitally appeared there. "See, that's how that works."

The paramedics knelt over him; one them took out a syringe and prepared to embed it into Max's chest.


The Tethered

"The tether is still holding," the voice on the blue-tooth said. "You've got another 24 hours to find him or else you're stuck there as well."

Maggie unconsciously felt for it behind her but didn't feel a thing. She had fought demons, devils, other angels, alien monstrosities, lawyers and worse. She had been through hell a few times, as well as the battlefields of heavens. Though this was the first time she had ever been in


The Good, The Bad, And The Pixelated

His head hurt, the constant ringing in his ears seemed to unleash a migraine. He downed three extra-strength aspirin and chased it with a shot of brandy. He opened his eyes to see everything as if they were in pixels. He equated it to a photo blown up where you could see the squares in it.

"What's happening to me?" he muttered. He placed the glass down onto the coffee table and it shattered, breaking into static then disappearing.

"Mr. Koob, are you okay?" he heard Hira ask from the door of his apartment.

He stood up and the migraine in his head seemed to stab through his brain. He slumped back into the chair, defeated, crying like an athlete going for gold but ending up being disqualified.

"What's wrong with me," he whispered. "What's happening?"


Your Time Is Gonna Come, Maggie

Drive me insane, trouble is gonna come to you,
One of these days and it won't be long,
You'll look for me but baby, I'll be gone.
This is all I gotta say to you woman

Maggie strolled through the mall, the headphones in and she had the volume cranked and she felt like dancing like no one one was watching. Tortelvis was wailing away on the Dread Zeppelin song. She blamed Max for this since he got her hooked on this fringe cover band.

She had asked Max where he had discovered them and he told her some old Native fellow whom he had sat down with at a bus shelter one evening and talked about iterations of worlds. The Native fellow told Max that all realities eventually bleed into each other. Like coffee rings on a coaster or table. Each ring blends together forming another whole.

She wondered if the ritual had worked.

It had been three hours since it was cast. It might take some time to weave. But, as soon as the ritual was completed she had the urge to listen to some Dread.

"Mags," the voice said from the blue-tooth device that was now in the breast pocket of her jacket.


Still no answer.

"Crap on a stick," the voice said.

"Your time is gonna come," Mags sang.

"It's working," the voice said, sounding relieved.

Your Time Is Gonna Come

Lyin', cheatin', hurtin, that's all you seem to do. 

Max looked out the window of his office and scratched the back of his head. He wasn't sure what he was feeling at the moment since a jumbled amount of thoughts where dancing around his head. The problem was that he wasn't sure if they were his thoughts to begin with. 

Messin' around with every guy in town, 

He could hear music playing in the distance. He finally put it together that it was a soundtrack in his head. Max wasn't sure if it was Elvis singing this song but it sounded like him. 

Puttin' me down for thinkin' of someone new. 

The buzzer on his desk chimed. He ignored it. 

Always the same, playin' your game, 

It was maddening, like a sore festering in your mind for days and unable to scratch it. He figured something was damned up in his mind but he could not pinpoint it. 

Drive me insane, trouble is gonna come to you.


Ticking Away, Tocking Away

Maggie was sitting at the counter, her fingers dancing across the invisible keyboard in front of the monitor. It didn't take her to long to figure it out. The sensors on the monitor knew what she was typing.

She scanned the newsheets looking for a tidbit of information, gaining what she could from where she was but still not a hint of Max anywhere to be found.

"Maybe, he's mindlocked," a voice chimed in from the bluetooth-like device in her ear.

"Could explain a lot," she replied. She reached for a diet cola and took a sip. "This is really strange. Like fish out of the water strange."

"Care to tell?" the voice asked.

Maggie looked at the dozens of watches on her arm, checking the time on each were about a minute off. "In another forty or so minutes."

"Jesus, Mags," the voice stated. "You're not going to go full Doc Brown on me now are ya?"

A Cool Refreshing Drink

His watched chimed at him again; Max glanced down and noticed the time was 2pm. Break time. He got up from the desk and walked to the water cooler where several others where standing around, holding plastic cone cups and jabbering about whatever they talked about around a cooler.

"... a meteorite landed outside of the city..."

"... did you catch the news about the body missing from the morgue..."

"... someone stole a bunch of watches from a S-Store..."

Max grabbed a cup and poured himself a drink. Sipping the heavenly liquid, the water danced over his taste buds making them feel alive. He was questioning his sensations.

"Yo, Maxie," Chan said. "Wassup with that?"

"Huh?" Max questioned.

"The whole body quivering when you drink or taste something - it's like you are tasting things for the very first time," Chan told him. "It reminds me of my niece when she tastes a different brand of baby food."

Max felt he was looking down a long dark tunnel; he took a glance at the cup and then back at Chan again and then back at the cup. He didn't know what to say so he quaffed the water.


All Dressed Up And No Where To Go

She glanced at herself in the mirror, admiring the clothes she had on. Black leather pants, a black cropped tank top and a red leather long jacket over it. She also had on knee high boots; Uggs was what they where called. So now she was dressed and ready to go, though she had no idea where to go.

She turned to the woman on the slab and tapped her toes and said, "Sorry, sister. I need these more than you do now."

Maggie walked out the door and bumped into one of the coroners. The fellow looked at her in shock, a microsecond of fear in his eyes but then quickly composed because the dead don't usually get up and dress themselves. She figured it must have been one of his deepest darkest fears.

"Excuse me, ma'am," the fellow asked. "What are you doing here?"

"I got turned around in this place," she said shyly. She then added, "I wanted to see the angel."

"You get out of here now, and pay no attention to the rumours, Missy," the fellow told her. "If I ever see you down here again I will call security."

Maggie turned away and smiled a warm smile; she walked down the hallway at a brisk pace before the coroner discovered a body missing. 

A Case Of The Kindas

Max sat in the pub sipping a Newcastle Brown. He had the urge to smoke but couldn't remember if he had ever smoked or not and that was starting to bother him. He glanced around the pub and saw faces that he knew the names of but he couldn't remember how he knew them.

There were events that had happened in the past few days that didn't make sense to him. Since he woke up, and it was eating away at him like rust on a car.

Derek, the bartender, was pouring some drinks and noticed the perplexed look on his face.

"Looks like you got the 'kindas'," Derek said to him.

"Kindas?" Max asked.

"Like you kinda forgot something and are trying to remember what it is," Derek chuckled. "A grocery list, a doctors appointment, those kind of things."


Magenta Is The New Blue

Her eyes fluttered opened, much like a butterfly when it spreads its wings. She heard the echoing rumbling through the hallways but she couldn't quite pinpoint where she was at. She deduced it was at a hospital, but by the smell of things she was certain that she was in a morgue.

"The body is in there," someone said.

"Just the one?" another asked.

"Yes, sir," the first person replied. "Are you expecting more?"

"No," the other said. "Just by the sounds of the discovery it seemed there should be more."

She swung her feet off the slab and sat up; she had been dead a few times before. She didn't know what iteration she was at now.

"They found her in a cornfield," the first voice said. "Naked and covered in a substance."

"Well," she whispered. "Where did you bring me into now, Max?"


A Folded Comic

It was mid-morning when he stepped out of the diner. He had quenched the pangs in his stomach. A burger, some fries and a cola to wash it down. It was pure heaven to eat them, his taste-buds had tingled with delight.

"Excuse me, sir," a young lad said as he approached him.

"Yes," Max replied.

"Can I have your autograph?" the kid asked holding up a comic book and a sharpie.

Max looked at the comic book and a wave of nausea hit him. The cover depicted him with two guns blazing and he seemed to be flying through the air, firing at shadowy demons while a beautiful angelic woman hovered higher with a glowing katana in her hands.

He took the comic book from the kid and unfolded it and read the title, Your Moment of Max Cube! Below that read:

"Can The Professor Save Him Now... or Is Max A Lost Cause?"


Sweet Three, Four Sour, Echo

Max sat on the seat of the maglev; it was oddly comforting for him. A sense of being alive, being in a place where he knew he was safe, a feeling of being home. Which was a weird sensation for him to feel.

He scanned the newsheet feed, catching up on the news of the morning, events that had happened overnight while he slept. His mind actively searching for trigger words.

Trigger words, what is that supposed to mean?

He took his attention from the newsheet and glanced at the landscape as it zipped past like a blur, meshing together like one giant panting. It all seemed vaguely familiar, yet strange to him. Maybe, just maybe he...

"Tickets, please," the conductor asked, breaking Max from his train of thought.

Max lifted up his wrist and the conductor scanned it.

"Magenta," the conductor said.

"Huh?" Max asked.

"Pardon?" the conductor replied.

"Did you say 'magenta'?" Max questioned him.

The conductor looked at him strangely and finally stated, "I said you are welcome."


Coffee Breaking

Max leaned back on the park bench, enjoying the scenery; he watched an elderly couple stroll by him holding hands. The old fellow just nodded at him as they went on their way through the garden. There was a potpourri of aromas about him; a mixture of jasmine, honeysuckle, roses, even the smell of oranges as the warm breeze picked up some.

He could make out a group of young lads playing a game of stickball, as well.

Stickball, he thought again. Had he ever played it on the mean streets of...

Where was he from anyway?

He brought the disposable mug to his face and sipped from the coffee. He could tell by the LED countdown on the handle he had another five minutes left before the mug disintegrated. Becoming one with mother nature once again.

His watched chimed. An old Fatboy Slim song came on telling him it was time to go. He gulped the last of the black liquid and set the cup on the bench and walked away.

As the LED of the mug reached zero the mug simply dematerialized.

Gone into the static.


Express Elevator To Nirvana

The elevator doors opened with a slight little shh sound, which made Max chuckle out loud. The little girl who was standing beside him as she waited for the elevator as well. She was dressed in a school uniform, black slacks, white shirt and a bright orange plaid vest. She carried a lunch box that had a picture of an angel with a huge sword flying above the air.

"Morning Mr. Koob," she said. "It's suppose to be a beautiful day again."

"Is it now, Hira?" he questioned. He didn't know if he had met the child before and it was strange that he would know her name. Why do I know her name?

"Yes it is, Mr. Koob," Hira said as she stepped into the elevator. She pressed the button for the lobby. "Mom says it's all due to the atmospheric processors."

"Atmospheric processors," Max repeated.

The song playing in the elevator was an old Nirvana tune done in the style of elevator music; it seemed strange to hear 'All Apologies' playing with harps, flutes and cellos. Max knew this song was going to stick in his brain all day now.

"Wait a second, Hira. Did you just call me Koob?"


Living In The Now

Max stretched his arms. And took in a breath of a fresh clean air. And it was fresh, tasted minty for some reason.

"Morning, Neighbor," a fellow on the next balcony called over. Max glanced over and noticed the fellow was standing there in pajamas with a huge, blue bathrobe draped over him. He had a mug of coffee in his hands as well. "It looks like the start of a new day."


Nectar Of The Gods

The moons hovered in the morning sky, like little children close to a mother. Max strolled back from the balcony, grabbed a t-shirt off the floor and slipped it on; it was nice and new and smelled of spring. The coffee maker chimed again, letting him know his cup was ready for the taking.

He sauntered into the kitchenette and grabbed the mug of comfort, glancing at the clock on the wall which told him it was time to get going.

But where?

He didn't know but he had that urge in him. Something programmed in him? Maybe. He took a few sips from the coffee, the black liquid danced across his taste buds which nearly sent him to a point of orgasm. He took another sip from his coffee and yet again it tasted what heaven must taste like.


Not In Kansas

Max awoke in the pre-dawn morning, his eyes flickered open. His first compulsion was to reach for a cigarette by the night stand but there wasn't any there.

"Oh, that's right," he thought.

He threw the blanket off and sat up on the bed. His feet touching the cold wood floor, giving him the sensation that he was still alive, kicking and able to feel sensations like a cold floor.

He stood and stretched, his body making noises like a breakfast cereal once milk is poured. A cacophony of grunts, groans and other sounds emerging from the vocal cord.

"I'm still not getting too old for this shit," he muttered.

He walked to the balcony doors, drawing the curtain and then he stepped back in amazement. His eyes widened in wonder, much akin to a child looking at a Christmas gift that they thought they would never get but did.

He brought his right index finger to his mouth and bit down hard on it. It was an old trick he learned from a monk to see if he was still dreaming; the sensation of pain was real enough. He opened the balcony doors and stepped out into the cold February morning, glancing up at the sky seeing the moon so close that he thought he could touch it. Beyond the moon he could see three other planets as well.

"Well...." he simply said.