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Chapter #28

Declan 2.0 (Hell Bound)

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Holy Smokey, we're going back to the pokey. Fuck,
there'll be nothing good for me back there. I looked
around and thought, I can't even be a normal fucking
prisoner, good lord, what kind of life is this?
There's no way this wasn't planned from the
beginning of time.
I looked over at Otis the Walrus and said, “Put a
video of me digging on your camo-screen over there
and bring me a cold beer. Come on, man. You want
my trust? Hook me up.”
“You know what, Doobie, I'm going to get two,” he
replied. Then the old codger paused a few moments
to look at me. His face slowly wrinkled upwards as
his mustache lit up, its hair curling into his happy
smile. He was so proud of his accomplishment.
Then a more concerned face occupied his mind. He
pulled up a VeeM on his comband, fingered a few
windows around, then got happy again as he closed it
and said, “We're celebrating, Doobie. Dude, we just
discovered an alien time shifter.
My heart skipped a beat. A weird feeling caressed my
very soul.
Heh heh, if Mom could see me now, Hi Mom, I just dug
up a time shifter, lol. Oh yeah, it was no big deal.
Yeah, the good stuff.
He pulled up a VeeM and few moments later, a small,
tracked coolor droid came rolling up. Otis opened the
container and asked, “Would you like a Ron White?”
I was quite surprised. “I would like nothing better!” I
joyously exclaimed.
“It's single malt,” he added. We drank a few drinks
and toasted a few toasts.

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“This is going to change everything,” Otis proclaimed.
“Navigating a time shifter, that's what I need to find
He had a plan. I could see that. His hands even
tightened as he talked about it.
He said, “When I worked at area fifty–one, we used
time crystals to determine the algorithmic patterns of
expansion in a particular, 3-dimensional,
electromagnetic zone to calculate the fractal
interference patterns and then manipulate them. But
how do you intercept electromagnetic, interference
patterns at a place you've never been? We're going to
find out if the theoretical 'observation fractal plane'
actually exists!”
I shook my head, with a shit-eating grin, and
thought, “I just unburied an alien time shifter, and I
can't tell a soul.”
Drunk and lightheaded, I looked over at Otis, smiled
and then burped out the word, “Meow”
A solemn moment of silence filled the air just before a
coyote howled in the distance. “They're coming.
They're watching us right now. I'm sure of it. It's
weird, though. There's a lot of people looking for their
communication channel and there's been nothing.
Nothing at all. I can't wait to see what that ship
“Neither can I,” I replied.
He gave me a strange look, and a, “Yeah, sure,” and
laughed at me.
At that end, we both looked at each other and kinda
knew, it was time to stumble back to camp. Otis
slurred, “Time to go, I guess.”
I got up, fell back a couple of steps, then headed
straight again and said, “Yep, back to the steel bars
and narrow windows tomorrow. Hope my time’s up
soon. It's no fun in there.”
We made our way back to camp, and I sat down with
Steve and Hauss. It was a little weird without Karma

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sitting there looking around with them freaky eyes of
his, umm, hers.
While looking around and over his shoulder, Steve
asked me, “Where's Karma?” While looking around
and over his shoulder.
I had to come up with something. I told him, “She got
sick and they had to take her out earlier. That's what
I heard, anyway.”
He said, “Oh.”
I asked him if he liked the movie last night and he
stated, “It was okay.” He paused a moment, looked
around with shifty eyes, then locked onto mine and
continued, “Kinda made me home sick, though.”
Me and Hauss looked at each other. The cheeks on
Hauss' big head were yawing as he chewed up a piece
of meat. He swallowed and asked Steve, “Did ya'll
have a St. Bernard growing up, Steve?”
“No, we didn't have one of those, but we did have a
big doggy.”
I snidely remarked, “Did he eat your whole family?”
He looked insulted at first, but then he put his head
down and scratched his spork slowly across his plate,
then back and forth a few times as a wicked smile
darkened the tent. He mumbled under his breath,
“Nope, wasn't him.” All the while gently shaking his
head no.
Holy Fuck,
My heart sank down to my bowels as a chill ran up
my spine. He popped his head up, smiled the boyish
smile that I was used to and said, “That Karma really
pissed me off earlier today.” Then he took a bite and
kept smiling. I could almost feel the dark thoughts
behind his smiley eyes.
I looked away and around the room. Melissa was
sitting by herself eating. Her face had a red rash on it
in the shape of a butterfly. She looked like she was in
pain. I wondered what was wrong with her as I looked
down at my plate and finished up. I drank some

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water and stumbled to bed early. I guess my body
wasn't used to drinking anymore because I passed
right out.
Morning came, and my head was pounding. Melissa
was banging a spatula on a mixing bowl while
hollering, “Wakey, wakey! Wakey, wakey, hands off
Hauss groaned, obviously annoyed by the wakeup
call. Nobody was too happy. We all knew it was back
to the steel bars and concrete walls of home.
We all made our way to the mess tent for breakfast.
Steve must've gotten up early, he was already sitting
down and playing with his boot. Well, actually, he
was smashing a scorpion to pieces with it right on the
breakfast table.
I stood in line for my tray. It looks like meat loaf for
breakfast. I watched as the guy scooped up a serving
for me and plopped on a plate. I asked, “How's it
He replied with crossed eyebrows and a frown, “Like a
bat out of hell.”
Well, there went my appetite.
He looked up at me and said, “The coffee and the
rolls are pretty good, though.”
I smiled and replied, “I guess two out of three ain't
bad.” Then I made my way over to my newfound
friends and sat down. Hauss had no problem with the
meat loaf. I took a bite and gave the rest of mine to
him. The cook was right. It was less than tasty.
After breakfast, it was time to pack up camp. Two
buses were making dust clouds in the distance as the
tents started folding up and rolling themselves
towards a truck with open back doors. Hauss, Steve
and few others were packing up cots and tables while
I was assigned to helping princess McNasty, Melissa
that is, get the food truck ready for departure.
She looked none too happy about having help,
though. In-fact she asked me to hand her the greasy

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meat loaf tray that was still red hot because she
hadn’t turned off the burners underneath.
“Yow!” I yelped as I burned the tips of my fingers.
She cackled and called me a dumb ass doofus. I bet
she’d left the burners on purpose.
She was an angry bitch. I was beginning to truly hate
her, and I was a pretty good guy. I don't hate
anybody. Nope, not normally. Hell, I don't even hate
robots that much anymore. I always try to be down to
earth and understanding, but she was just pure evil.
Well, everything was ready and packed. The buses
pulled up and opened their doors. Gus and the other
guards rounded up everybody and made us all stand
in line, except Melissa. She walked straight over to
the food truck and started it up. It was an antique
with manual steering and a hydrogen engine. When
she started it, I noticed it shift as if something heavy
was just placed in the back. The, prisoners in the
front of the line began walking past the guards and
sounding off “One, Two, Three,” doing the ole head
I shouted my number as I walked by and began
walking towards the bus. When all of a sudden, Gus
snatched me by one of my ear lobes and pulled me
out of line. He said, “Oh, no, punk, you’re on the food
truck. You came down here in it, and you’re going
back on it.”
I was in no position to argue. I said, “Can't blame a
guy for trying right?”
He just twisted my lobe and pulled me in the
direction of pending bitchfest. I jumped in and she
pushed me right back out on my ass.
“Hey!” I shouted. I got up and dusted myself off. She
looked at me and said, “I don't want you riding with
me. Get out of here.”
Gus walked up and pointed his finger at her and
said, “You're about to get on my last nerve, prisoner.”

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She gave him a disgusted look and sat back in her
seat, hard and disgusted. I climbed in, and as soon
as the door closed, she looked over at me and
spouted, “If you so much as look at me,” while
shaking her fist. Then she screamed, “I fucking hate
you!” for no apparent reason. If it's not her time of
the month, I'd hate to see her when it is.
Gus growled, “What's behind that seat? Movie
Melissa snapped back, “I didn't put there. Why do
you care? It's all going to the same place.”
Gus looked at her and warned her, “I got my eye on
you,” and began walking away.
Melissa gave me a mean look and rolled up the
windows mocking him, “Nya nyah nya eye, nya nya.”
I just sat there. I wasn't scared of her, I just wanted,
rather needed a little peace and quiet for the ride
back to prison, and I sure didn't feel like fussing and
fighting with some retard bimbo all the way back.
The buses pulled out and we were right behind them.
The tension in the cab was so thick you could cut it
with a knife. About a half hour down the bumpy,
dusty road, she looked over at me said, “So, where
were you on the way down?”
I didn't even acknowledge her. She sounded nasty
even when she was trying to be nice.
The truck’s frame squeaked as it bounced a couple of
times after jolting us when the front tire went over a
big rock
Melissa had turned her eyes away from me.
A tiny, bright ball of light rose up into the sky off in
the distance. It looked like a star rising into the
heavens that slowly faded out of site. Obviously, it
was a rocket taking off from space city, far away
across the desert.
The wheels kept turning. After several bumpy, dusty
miles, I broke the silence. I reluctantly answered, “I
was on the sex slave train.”

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She burst into tears, as the truck swerved all over the
road. She spazzed out in a weird, hysterical fit for
several moments. “Fucking fuckers!” she screamed
out. Then she yelled it even louder, “Fucking
fuckers!” Then she buried her head in the steering
wheel and began crying and shaking. I grabbed the
wheel and pulled it to get us back on the road.
She slammed on the brakes and my head damn near
went through the windshield. She picked her head
up, looked at me with bloodshot eyes, and stuttered,
“Some bastard wanted me to give him a fucking
blumpkin! When I was on that train.”
Then she shouted, “I slapped the living shit out of
him and stomped on his foot with my high heel, and
then I stomped right out of his cabin, and I told that
fucking Lerch guy that there's no way in hell I'm
going to give that fat ass fucker, or anybody else a
fucking blumpkin.”
Now, I don't know what a blumpkin is, but it must be
very painful. She wiped her tears and got back on the
road, giving it the gas to catch back up to the buses.
She said, “I told the others we needed to start a union
and list things that we just absolutely refuse to
I didn't say anything else for a while. I could see she
was not in a good place, emotionally, that is.
She looked at me, smirked with evil eyes, and said,
“They're going to make you give some asshole a
blumpkin, just a matter of time.”
I didn't ask. I really just didn't want to know. The
thought of what it might be was enough to scare the
living shit out of me. She continued her story, “They
dropped me off just before the prison and let their
goons beat the living shit out of me. You saw me
when they brought me in all black and blue. I could
barely see out of my own eyes for weeks.”
Stone faced I blurted out, “Is that why you’re such a
bitch all the time?”

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I watched her hand tighten on the steering wheel as
her face turned stone cold and beet red. I could tell
the question enraged every fiber of her very being.
She didn't answer for several miles.
As she slowly came into her own again, she looked
more as if she was debating to tell me something
personal or just lie. She shook her head no while
staring down the road ahead. Then turned and
looked at me straight in the eyes, and again shook
her head no. Then she looked down and then back
up at me. Then glanced at the road and back at me
and said somberly, “My body is attacking itself.”
“What?” I asked in disbelief.
“Lupus.” she uttered, while turning her attention
back to the road. Then she instantly snatched my
collar and said, “If you tell anybody, I'll fucking kill
“I, I, I won’t tell a soul,” I exclaimed.
Then she explained, “It fucking hurts, man. It fucking
hurts like you have no idea.”
A handful of miles rolled by in silence.
“And I'm going to die, fucking die from it.”
I looked out the window and watched the dust from
our convoy rise, circling upwards into the big blue
Moments passed before she confessed, “My only
reason for even living disappeared about a year ago.”
Confused, I asked, “Oh?”
With far away eyes she explained, “I used to spend
my sex slave credits for a few hours in VR. It's so
nice to escape, and I met the nicest guy in there. I fell
totally in love with him. A genuine gentleman, and a
sweetheart of a man. He was always so romantic. I
loved his company and even though it wasn't real, we
had the best sex ever. I mean, when he made love to
me it was so good, and so passionate. And then one
day, he just disappeared.”

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“Oh, really?” I asked, as if I really wanted to hear all
of this female rigmarole. I could see the prison in the
She said, “I never got to know him for real. I always
dreamed he would take me away from all of this. He
seemed to give my life some kind of meaning and
purpose, you know?”
I just nodded.
She said, “I was a three-breasted avatar on Mars. He
was just a regular guy living in South Florida, going
to college, and learning physics. His name was Dicky
Duncan Declan. I always liked his name.”
Holy crap! She's Marshalla!
Chills. Chills ran down every fiber of my entire being.
We pulled away from the rest of the convoy after
entering the prison's gate. We were headed around to
the back of the prison and began backing up towards
the kitchen's delivery doors.
Just as I was about to tell her that I was Declan, she
spouted, “Don't you tell anybody what I told you, or
that I was even nice to you. I'll rip your freak'n head
Guess she has a reputation to protect. She probably
wouldn't believe me anyway.
Then she looked in the rear-view mirror and turned
white as a ghost. I looked down and watched as she
peed her pants. She said, “It's them.”
I heard the barbed wire gate close behind us as we
were both facing away from the prison with eight
leopard-cat tracking droids surrounding us.
She cried, “It's them, the goons that beat me, it's
them,” as she began shaking and trembling. She
curled up into a fetal position behind the wheel and
murmured, “I'm so fucking busted,” then she turned
her head and looked at me with terror in her eyes
and asked, “How, how did they find out?” as the
goons walked around the truck.
One of them shouted out, “Duboc Fonzarelli!”

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Then one of them opened up my door and
singlehandedly yanked me out of the truck. I looked
back at Melissa and she was petrified. I wonder what
she is hiding. Interesting, I thought to myself.
Then Rosy walked out and yelled, “Do you have any
idea the trouble you’re in? The trouble you've
caused? The trouble I'm in because of you?”
Then one of the goons sucker punched me in the gut.
As I bent over I heard Melissa holler out, “Hey!”
Another goon threw me to the ground and slapped on
some handcuffs behind my back really tight and then
pulled me painfully up by them. Rosy scolded him
and commanded, “Take it easy on him.” She looked
at me and told the goon, “We need him in good shape
for the exchange. He needs a fresh face to peer into
the cameras when they take him away.”
Exchange? Take me away? What have I gotten myself
into now? I was really hoping I would be able to just
go back to my cell and lay down. Read Declan goes to
the moon, or something good. Maybe hang out with
Butter and Fester Pharts. I was kinda looking forward
to telling them about Karma's great escape.
We made our way straight to Captain Kirk's office.
Along the way Rosy mouthed, “I can't help you,”
behind her hand so the goon escorts couldn't see.
Then she lowered her hand and licked her lips,
looking me up and down while wearing a devilish
Captain Kirk was sitting behind his desk with his
back turned to us when we entered the room. He was
gesturing around several virtual monitors that were
projecting out of Nigbone the drone in high def
Most of them had my face and Suzy Ruttenburge's
He looked at me, turned his palms up and asked,

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Why on earth would you do this?” then he enlarged a
newscast of the police unveiling Suzy's body
underneath the bloody cloaking cloth that I'd left her
I was speechless. I didn't know what to say.
He said, “You better think long and hard about that
answer, boy, because you are headed to the lab, and
Hissler is aching to fry all sense of sanity you have
“I, I” I stammered, “I didn't, I, I couldn't.”
He gave me a look, then snapped his fingers at the
drone. A VeeM opened up depicting yet another crime
scene. Police officers pulling a lost soul out of that
nasty swimming pool back in San Antonio. It was
Davy Crockett. Kirk's face turned red as a beet as he
pointed his finger at the hologram and said, “That
guy right there was a good man. My best.” Then he
turned around, grabbed my collar, and pulled me in
close. Sprinkles of spit peppered my face as he
shouted, “What the hell did you do to him? What
happened? How did he die? Did you kill him?” Then
he slammed me down into my chair and yelled,
I didn't know what to say. So, I told him the truth. All
about the snorks and my hands under the table, and
the bloody knife being thrown at me, and then how I
was in the trunk and the teenagers.
He glanced over at Rosy. She was standing behind
me over by the wall unit, painting her nails blood red.
I could tell he didn't believe a word I’d said.
Go figure, the one time I tell the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth, and nobody will
believe me. Why am I not surprised?
Disgusted, he told me, “I'd love nothing better than to
drag you out to the desert, split you open, and leave
your ass tied to a rock for dead.”
“So why don't you?” I uttered, thinking I'd rather die
out there like a man than be tortured beyond sanity

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in the VTC Lab. Besides, there might be a slight
chance of escaping out there.
He answered, “Big Chief Michio's going to trade you
to the feds in about a week. He's negotiating the
terms with the United States officials as we speak.”
I pleaded, “Fuck, man, take me to the desert. I'd
rather take my chances with the coyotes split wide
open than Hissler or the feds. What the hell is he
going to trade me for? The reward money?”
He commented, “You know, it's really none of your
None of my business?
None of my business. I was a nervous wreck. I
wanted to shout, “It's very much my fucking
business, it’s me we're talking about here,” but I held
my tongue and gave him a cross look in the eye.
He explained, “Yeah, well, he said he's going to trade
you for Cherahontas' release. Seems she beat some
poor gal named Barbie half to death a few weeks ago.
Apparently, she's some big celebrity that everybody
loved in the blockbuster hit, 'Plastic' that came out
about a year ago.” Then he cocked a half-hearted
smile, looked over at Rosy who was drying her nails
by waving her hands around, and said, “But I'm sure
it's really just for the reward money.”
A couple of the goons came in, grabbed me, and
kindly escorted me to the virtual torture chamber.
I thought of Slimy the first time I saw him. I
wondered what he was like before he went in.
In front of the door was a woman I'd seen before. She
dropped my cheese sandwich back in the holding cell.
Wow, that must've been a couple of years ago. The
goonies both gave the Panzer a sum of money, and
one of them turned to me and whispered, “It's a bribe
for mercy, just in case I ever find myself in here.”
She looked at me and asked, “Where's yours?”
I reached deep down into my pockets and pulled a
couple of nicholgels and a guitar string out of one of

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them and nothing but some orange lint out of the
other, and she cackled, while looking me up and
down and assured me, “You'll never be the same.”
Oh, shit, holy smoky, this is worse than the pokey! Oh,
fuck, fuckedy fuck, fuck.
I stiffened with resistance and disbelief as they
worked my squirming, crying ass up on the table and
began strapping me down. “Aye, ayeeee!” I twisted
and turned but to no avail. They handled me quickly
and precisely as the straps tightened around my
arms, my legs, and my body. Then they gave me a
shot of something that paralyzed me and made me
feel good at first, and then extreme paranoia set in.
My heart was racing. I tried to scream, but all motor
skills were canceled as the Virtual reality helmet
lowered onto my head and men in white suits cut,
poked holes, and then hooked me up for the soylent.
I was screaming in agony from the pain, but the
sound of screeching found no voice in the silent
room. Just the sound of one of the techs jokingly
saying, “How's that feel, butt face?” Then he patted
the holes they cut from my belly to my stomach, and
that sent shock waves of pain throughout the region
to my brain.
Someone lowered the helmet and I heard one of the
goons tapping on it and laughing. “It's going to be a
long, long, long week, Doobie. Gonna seem like
eternity, Hahahah.”
That was followed by the sound of everyone leaving
the room. Then moments later, a warm touch on my
shoulder circling then softly caressing its way down
my arm. The sweet smell of Rosy's perfume found my
nose as soft lips found my chest. Then the sound of
high heels walking across the alumnite flooring. The
closing of the door echoed in the darkness.And then
there was silence. Not a sound at all, and no light. I
was laying there in darkness and silence. Alone with
nothing more than my thoughts and pain.

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The claustrophobia began raging inside.
Truly, I should have died from sheer heart attack as
the feeling overwhelmed my very soul. But the meds
kept me from resting in peace.
Numb, I decided the best thing to do was try and
sleep and after several hours of fearful thoughts, I
managed to fall asleep.
I woke up much later to the silence and darkness,
then tried to go back asleep.
After several cycles of this, in what seemed like days
or even weeks, I found myself in a state where I
couldn't tell whether I was awake or dreaming. The
cycles slowly merged into a single state of
All alone, I was slowly going insane.
Years passed before single strange light appeared in
the darkness. It looked like a faraway star. Just a
lonely star shining in the darkest of nights.
Seemed a sprinkling of hope. Until it lingered there
for what felt like eons and after a couple of those
eons, it was annoying as hell. I wished the darkness
would return. I was in hell. Surely, this was what hell
was like.
The silence started whispering here and there. I don't
know what it was whispering, but it whispered for
Then the whispering voices turned to murmuring in
the distance. Some of the voices sounded familiar and
they were all getting closer.
The echo softened as the voices grew louder and more
of them seem to fill the room.
Suddenly, the little light instantly filled my space,
revealing a velvety, scarlet red pillow lifting up upon a
hinged door. Above it was an elegant ceiling with
crown molding and exquisite architectural design.
Looking around I realized I was lying in a coffin. I
couldn't move or speak. The room seemed to dim as
the voices calmed and a single man with a deep voice

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spoke and reassured the audience that I was in a
better place.
Better place? I thought, I'm fucking dead, asshole!
The dimness of the room lifted as my mother’s face
peered over the edge of my coffin.
My body went numb as my chest filled with pain. I
watched a single teardrop growing out of the corner
of her eye, then roll down her pretty face, and slowly
stop where her upper lip curled up.
It hurt me deeply, but then I heard something
I could hear her thoughts.
“What have ya gone and done, son, why did you kill
that poor woman. Didn't you know they'd give you
the death penalty?” Her thoughts faded as she moved
away from my view.
Uncle Paul looked down at my corpse, shaking his
head. “You dumb bastard. How the hell did you find
your way out there in the first place?” Then he looked
up and away, then back down at me as he walked
I could hear Tawana's voice in the distance. She was
talking with my navy buddy, John. They were talking
about what a good guy I was and how they couldn't
believe I was gone.
I focused in on their conversation. Tawana asked
John, “How could Declan even get close to somebody
like Susan Ruttenburge? How the hell could my
Dicky boy find himself in the middle of a conspiracy
theory such as this one?” She cried in disbelief.
John answered, “He didn't do it, he was just in the
wrong place at the wrong time.”
Tawana exclaimed, “They didn't even wake him up
when they handed him over to the Feds. It's just not
fair! It wasn't fair to take him straight from the VTC
lab to his execution.” She started blubbering loudly,
breaking down into sorrow.

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“There, there, hon,” said the distinctive voice of
He walked up and looked down at me.
“I'm here! I'm alive!” I shouted and screamed out, but
my lips never moved, my voice found no breath, my
cry found no ears.
He could not hear my thoughts, but I could somehow
hear his. “Well, at least you got your identity back. I
wish you'd have been on that food truck when it
broke down on the way to the archaeological dig.
Maybe all of this could have been avoided. What a
hateful woman driving that thing.” His thoughts
faded as he turned and walked away.
I was scared, man. I was getting really, really scared.
My insides were trembling, and I felt cold and damp.
Tawana looked in on me and every fiber of being cried
out to her as she murmured, “He looks so happy and
I laid there screaming as John made his pass,
thinking, “Swirly doo, what did you do? What did you
do, Swirly doo Declan?” He gazed at me for the
longest time. I saw his memories of us growing up
together. Nanner Boobs and the shadow of his shirt
tail poking out of his fly. The look on my face when
he pushed me out of his kamikaze 9000 into the
canal. Band practice with Janet holly the haughty.
I fainted shortly after he passed by. I woke up to the
empty, silent darkness once more. Moments later I
felt the coffin being lowered. “Ayeeeee!” I screamed in
terror. The screams simply echoed in my head until
once more I passed out cold from fear.
Once more sleep and conscientiousness became
confusing for weeks and long, long months and eons.
Ants began stinging my legs and genitals. I'm Quite
sure they were crawling through the hole that was
once that lonely star of hope in the darkness. Deep
down I knew that more of them were on their way. On
their way to consume my very flesh, including my

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brains. They were biting me in my dreams and when I
was awake, and my back began hurting really, really
bad from laying there for days.
And just as my dreams and thoughts began to
permanently fade away, I heard thumps on the top of
my door.
Tump bump, thum.
Scrape bmp scurrrrrep.They got harder and louder,
thumping and scraping, and next, the definite motion
of my coffin being lifted up out of the ground.
Am I dreaming? I thought.
I was hopeful and yet terrified at the same time.
I heard the sound of a pry bar being hammered into
the lid above me. Bright sunlight blinded my eyes as
the lid popped open and I sat up, squinting and
rubbing my eyes. I looked back at my lifeless, cold,
pale body. Tawana was right. I did look as if I were in
a quite peaceful state.
I looked around and there, standing before me, was a
round-eyed grave robber. He had dark brown hair,
and an egg-shaped head with a beard and a
mustache, bushy eyebrows and a bald head along
with a slight beer belly. All in all, he looked like a very
average man in his late thirties. A little dirty and
sweaty from the work, the lines on his face just
starting to show from age.
He looked straight at me! Not my corpse but my
rising ghost. I was crawling out of the coffin, leaving
my body behind.
He laughed and asked, “Where ya going, boy?”
His voice echoed throughout my fleshless being. I was
in a weird place. Not so much the graveyard, but
emotionally. I'd never been fleshless before. I turned
and looked him in the eye, and it was like the strong
undercurrent of a large wave. His stare was pulling
me in. I tried to swim and run away but found no
traction. As it was being sucked in, my being shrank

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down to the size of his pupils and split as it passed
through both of them at the same time and found
oneness again on the other side.
I was in his mind.
I was trapped inside of his mind, and I could hear
him laughing an evil laugh from the inside. I could
see out of his big round eyeballs.
It was freak'n weird. I was trapped and there was
nothing I could do.
So, I experienced a few days in his dull, irksome life.
As far as I could tell, he had no real friends. His only
companion was a lifeless, outdated sexbot with red
curly hair that he called Ragamuffin. Every time we
came within some proximity of her, the foul smell of
old, stale cum made me ill.
He didn't seem to mind. He spent most of his time
doing long and complicated mathematics on his
computers and drinking Mountain Dew. Once in a
while, he'd pull up dating sites and chat with some
lonely woman.
He woke up one particular morning and took his first
shower in days. We went outside and took a deep
He lived in a small shack on the edge of the small
graveyard where I was buried. There was a tiny
church with peeling paint in the corner of the lot and
a wide canal on the other side of the graveyard. There
wasn't much else around for miles. Just palmetto
trees, scrub-brush, and small oak trees everywhere
the eye could see.
We hopped into an old Jaguar PFV-XJ7. And the
rotors began to turn. Normally I'd be scared to death
to fly in such a contraption, but I was already dead.
Yeah, and I was already scared, too.
We flew into town and landed at a small pub where
we went inside and met a nice-looking woman, a little
overweight, but they weren't exactly young. He began

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to make small talk with her, and I could tell they'd
just met in person for the first time.
They ordered a meal, and he began to charm the
maiden with all kinds of romantic bullshit. They were
laughing and giggling and getting drunk, having
themselves a good ole time.
They closed the bar down, and at the end of the
evening, she decided to take him up on his offer to
come home with him. He was a nice guy and seemed
to have a good personality. Not really handsome, but
kind of tall. She had a rather large nose and rosy
cheeks. Yeah, she was no prize either.
I hope he put Ragamuffin away.
Before telling the personal flying vehicle a
destination, he asked if she'd like to have a little
bonfire out in the woods. He said, “We could make
s’mores and grab a sex pack, Burrrrp, six pack on
the way.”
She reluctantly agreed but was a little nervous. I
didn't know what to think.
Fuck, this is the last thing in the world I wanted to
see, besides maybe this whack-a-doo and Mrs.
Raggedy Anne-a-muffin. I tried to escape the best I
could but there was just no way out.
Being dead sucks. I decided that I really, really hate
being dead. How the hell did I wind up in this guy?
Am I in hell? Is this some kind of purgatory? I want
my body back. I miss it so much.
After stopping for beer and lighter fluid, his thoughts
around me began like, crowding me. I couldn't hear
his thoughts, but I could feel them, and I could tell
that he was having some very bad, even wicked
thoughts. They made me extremely uncomfortable
within the bounds of my torture chamber.
They started kissing on the way down and she pulled
his dick out and started playing with it. His evil
emotions began crowding me even worse, to the point

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I thought I was going to have a heart attack and die
again from claustrophobia.
She went down on him just before the doors opened
wide and I heard the rotors braking to an almost
instant halt. She popped her head up and laughed,
“Catch me if you can, hehehe.” and jumped out the
door running and shedding her clothes while glancing
back at him to make sure he was following her.
He reached in the back and grabbed a rope, then the
sack with the beer and the lighter fluid in it.
She was running around the woods naked and
laughing under a bright full moon rising. He began
gathering up some tree limbs full of ant holes and
piling them up under the light of the drone’s
headlights. He hollered out, “I ain’t chasing your big
ole ugly ass. Now get over here.”
“Ugly! Ugly!” She exclaimed. Then she bent over to
show it to us and shook it around and said, “You
wish you could get some of this tight, smoking hot
ass,” while spanking it and giggling.
Round eyes lit the fire and sat down on a stump next
to it. He pressed a button on his comband and the
lights from the PFV went out. She pranced over,
shaking her ass and sat down on top of him, pressed
her naked breasts up against his. Wiggling them she
said, “You’re no fun. Why don't you chase me?”
The fire lit her face and body in a most romantic way,
and he replied, “I need to save my energy.”
She moaned, “Oooh, to fuck my brains out?” with
ever so slight twisting of a lap dance.
At that very instant I felt rage engulf the man as he
whispered, “No.”
Then her eyes widened with fear as he grabbed her
hard and explained, “To tie you up and throw you
into the fire!” and in that instant he had the rope
around her and was winding it around her screaming
and yelling naked body.

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I was tripping. “Noooo!” I yelled as loud as I could,
and when he threw her to the ground, he somehow
projected me out of his head and into hers. I could
feel every ounce of her body panic in fear as we
trembled, hands and feet bound together and tied
behind our back. A rock underneath us scratched
our skin as we squirmed trying to get free.
He stoked the fire and threw on some more logs and
lighter fluid, causing the fire to rage up into the
starry moon lit sky. We were close enough to feel the
burn. She rolled away from the fire as I felt the
wetness of lighter fluid douse our skin.
We were both screaming and shrieking for mercy
continuously while trying to escape. He looked
pleased with his work as he lifted us up and threw us
into the fire.
Floomp! And we were engulfed in the flames. I could
smell our flesh burning as the heat tortured and
seared our torso with severe unrivaled shock waves of
pain and heat, crawling all over us as we twisted and
turned in stinging, agonizing torment. The burning,
torturous pain completely consumed us for several
moments, and the last thing I remembered was the
smell of burning hair as we passed out from shock
and died.
I awoke.
I was sitting in the cinders of the flames that killed
me. They were still warm. I was too sore to move. My
fleshless body was charred to oblivion. The pain was
unbearable. There was no part of my body that was
not in immense and horrible hurting. I passed out
from the excruciating pain several times during the
course of the next several hours. In-between the
faints, I saw glances of the man eating her very heart.
He looked at me and said, “Welcome to paradise!”
There again, I was drawn into his eyes and back into
his mind. The pain that was in me was now in him
and he seemed to take great pleasure in it.

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There could be no doubt. I was in hell and the devil
has round eyes and a beer belly. I'm so fucked. How
am I going to escape? What am I going to do now?
Lucifer burned all of the woman's remains until there
was nothing to be found of her. Then we put out the
fire and climbed back into the XJ7 and flew back to
his cottage.
The next few weeks were pure hell. The burning
didn't subside for months and several times a day he
had sex with the nastiest fuckbot on the planet. As
the pain began to subside, so did the sex. And when I
started feeling better I saw him looking and texting
on a new site. This time he was targeting femifellows
and genetically modified humans. Guess he was in
the mood for a freak show.
Holy fuck, I have to find a way outta here. This can't
be my eternal destiny. Good lord, I didn't even kill
Suzy! Let the snorks suffer. They’d done it. I'm not
looking at his eyes next time. That has to be the way
out of this nightmare. Whenever I look into them,
they draw me in.
My plan is to look into everybody else’s eyes I can to
see if I can find a better host. That is what I need, a
better host, and I'll be just fine. Preferably one that
he's not killing or about to kill anytime soon.
Lucifer made few trips outside of his shack. He got
everything delivered that he needed. Mostly beer,
cigarettes, and bologna. Occasionally, he'd run out of
smokes and fly down to a small grocery store only a
few miles away. There was a cute young woman that
worked there, but they made no contact with each
other at all. Except once in a while he'd stare at her
ass if she happened to be turned around in the
vicinity of the things he was purchasing.
Weeks passed by until finally, the day came. She was
hurrying around a corner and almost bumped right
into us, and she looked up at him and apologized. I
seized the opportunity. I tried my best to crawl out of

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his mind and into hers, but to avail. I was trapped.
Hope drained out of me as I began to sob like a child.
Fear gripped my soul as I began wondering what the
next pain and death might be.
Back at the shack, he was well on his way. He'd
charmed a gay man into giving him his number and
they were talking like lovers and setting up the meet
and greet.
He brought my head out of his head and told me,
“You're going to enjoy this one. We're going to torture
him and kill him real slow.” Then he opened a closet
that had some stairs leading down to a small cavern
with dirt walls and a sturdy, wooden chair. I felt joy
overwhelm him as my imagination filled with terror.
Again, we flew off to meet his date. And although they
seemed to hit it off pretty good, the man wasn't ready
to commit and go home with Lucifer.
They dated a couple more times, and it was a done
deal. They were sitting close, sharing smiles, and
staring intimately into each other’s eyes.
Once more, I felt the evil fill his brain. And once more
I felt the walls closing in on me as his evil thoughts
filled the consciousness. I tried to escape into the
femifellow to warn him, but just like the girl at the
store, there was no escape.
As we exited the vehicle and entered the shack, I fell
down to my knees and started praying and crying
and I did not stop. I decided I'd pray and pray and
not get up until it was all over. Maybe I wouldn't feel
the pain. Maybe I wouldn't transfer into this victim if
I just didn't watch. And my eyes were closed tight
and I prayed and prayed as they had dinner and
I did not waver, I just kept praying and praying as I
perceived the struggle, and when the poor femifella
was tied and bound, I felt the transfer. I began to
shake as I prayed, and the atmosphere of emotionally

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evil thoughts shifted to the terror the fella was
I opened my eyes for a glance and saw Lucifer
strapping his arms to the sturdy chair with spiked
dog collars. I closed them tightly, and in the next
moment, I felt an electric shock pulsate through my
new person, Lucifer laughing in the background. He
was wearing a rubber glove and holding a cut off
extension cord.
“Aghhh” We screamed as he hit us again with the
excruciating volts. At this point, I was no longer
scared. I was just plain angry. That's right, I was
pissed. I decided two could play at this game. If he
put me back in his mind, I'm going to find a way to
torture him back! I'm going to find a way to torture
his sick and twisted fucking mind, “Aghghhghgh!”
The wire scraped our skin as torturous electric
surges and sparks flashed in the dimly lit room.
I started swinging punches at him with my ghost
arms that went right through him. I know he could
see me because he laughed at me. He picked up a
shovel that was leaning up in the corner and
smacked it edgewise into the femifella's right arm. We
screamed out in pain as he swung it around and hit
his left arm just as hard, and I felt every ounce of the
pain in my own arms. And then he smacked us in the
face with the flat of the shovel and broke our noses,
the blood shot right out, and I could feel it running
down our swelling face, and I cried out, “No, please
just stop!” as he dragged the broken extension cord
across the side of our neck, scratching and shocking
me for several inches. Agh agh agh agh aghyeee.
I tried to reach my ghost arms out to choke him, but
they hurt too bad from the shovel. I looked right at
him, I mean deep into his very soul and screamed,
“Suffer your own demons!” and at that very moment I
was empowered. I was climbing out and I was going
to throw him into the pain that he was causing, but

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then he stabbed me in the eye with the naked
extension chord's twisted wires.
I felt the shock vibrating my head as my thoughts
sank into mush from the burn and the sting and its
arching, flesh-burning smell.
I awoke in his head sometime later. Mine filled with
pain. My neck was itching and burning.
He was fucking that rank doll again, and I whispered,
“She broke your heart, didn't she?”
I didn't know who, but it had to somebody, right?
I screamed, “You stupid, little shit of a human being,
you. She broke your heart and instead of being a
man you turned into this cesspool of mush and shit
for brains.”
I could tell I was getting to him. I thought, maybe I've
found a way to escape hell.
And into what?
My mind loomed at the possibilities.
The space started getting extremely hot. My ghost
began to sweat as the temperature rose slightly.
The space grew dark and thick as the temperature
rose slightly more.
And more.
Fuck, what have I done?
As tense as I was, I stretched my arm out, and I
pointed my finger down at him and yelled, “You
fucking killed her, didn't you!?”
Pain was coming. I could feel a slow burn as
scattered stinging sensations started firing off in my
nerves here and there. Their frequency and intensity
slowly spread as I curled up in a fetal position
trembling. Overwhelmed with burns and pain, I
watched the first layer of skin beginning to melt right
off when
Bam! The walls burst into flames, scorching my
entire being, and bam!
Just like that, I was at peace.

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Sitting alone on the beach, getting slightly
sunburned, on a calm and balmy summer day.
Oh, I was still trembling from the trauma, but I didn’t
know what had happened. One moment, I was being
brutally murdered and the next, scorched by hell’s
flames, and then this. I must have been dreaming.
I was surrounded by the calm, subtle surroundings
of a serene beach with a gentle breeze blowing in my
hair. The pain in my arms and face was swiftly
fading, and the burns, nothing more than a little
sunburn on my olive skin.
A familiar face faded onto the scene. It was QD
Jizmo, the quantum doofus himself. The sun was
reflecting off his pointy, square nose as his shadow
shaded the rising sun just in front of me.
As he walked up, I noticed that his hair and face were
back to normal. I was wondering if he was going to
heal or not from the time-travel flash burns.
He inquired, “Declan, are you okay?”
Yeah, I guess so,” I answered
“You look a little haggard,” he commented.
“Well, I've had better days.” I replied. “What are you
doing here in my hell?” I asked. “Let me guess. You’re
the head devil, aren't you?”
“It's nice to see you too, Dicklan,” he replied.
He looked me over and chuckled, “No, man, no. I'm
not here to torture you. I hacked into the VTC lab's
computer when I heard they were going to keep you
here until the prisoner exchange.”
I was still quite bewildered by all of this. I truly
thought I was dead.
Maybe I am.
QD sarcastically informed me that, when I was out
knocking off the favored presidential candidate, that
he and Tonto were executing El Plano Escapeo.
“I guess you had bigger plans?” he commented with a
sarcastic grin. Then he sat down on the sand beside

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me and asked, “What were you doing in San Antonio
with a presidential candidate? And how'd you get
from there to the dig site? Doesn't make sense.”
I sat there quietly a moment. Then replied, “Maybe
another time.” Probably wouldn't believe me if I told
He gave me sour look, then said, “Me and Tonto had
the escape route, new identity, and everything all
planned out. The food truck broke down right below
the top of a hill, right on cue, and we showed up all
dressed like mechanics in a repair drone.” Then a
puzzled look came across his face as he stated,
“Funny thing, the girl driving the truck yelled and
screamed, stomped around and kicked the truck, and
yelled some more and then she started blaming us for
the breakdown. Accusing us of knowing something.”
I laughed, remembering Melissa. I could just imagine
the scene. He continued, “Me and Tonto thought that
crazy bitch must've thrown you right out of the truck.
Tonto accused her of doing something with you and
she punched him as hard as she could. Left a bruise
on the side of his ribs this big.”
He gestured his hands, showing the size of the bruise
with his thumbs and fingers wide. My own arms were
still black and blue from the shovel but healing
remarkably fast.
I asked, “Is there a Tiki bar around here where we
can get a drink? Maybe get out of the sun?”
And a Tiki bar faded into existence with a couple of
stools and a thick brown-haired cocktail waitress.
She had a slim waist and tan breasts that could
probably take over the world.
A smile lit her face as her bubbly voice sang,
“Whatcha having, baby?”
I glanced over at Jizz and smirked, “How about a pain
in the ass, Key's style.”

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“Coming up!” she joyfully replied, as she spun around
and twerked her tan buns at us. She was wearing a
sideswipe, bright white, little bikini bottom.
Gizmo took a puff, looked at me, and said, “Yeah this
is the life. I don't know why all humans don't just live
in VR. Choose your fantasy, right?”
“I don't know,” I answered with some depth of
thought, while staring at the dark-haired beauty’s
firm double D's that seemed to be winking at me. She
placed the drinks down in front of us.
I couldn't take my eyes off her.
Trying not to stare, I focused on QD and stated, “I
don't know. I don't think any VR could compare to
the adventures I've been through in my short little life
span. I ain’t going nowhere. I think I'm getting used
to the casual chaos of my day to day.”
QD agreed, “Yeah, It's a hell of a so far, that's for
I asked him, “If you hacked in when you knew I was
going to be here, why did you let me suffer through
those horrible nightmares until now?”
QD explained, “There's a special guard detail that
monitors your brainwaves and your heart to make
sure you're scared half out of your wits for a few
hours before they go back to their regular routines.
Somebody's monitoring you right now as well, but I
can fool the computers on the network. Hopefully,
nobody will come in and check the machine that
you're actually hooked up to, Declan.”
“Whoa, that's scary,” I whined. I might slip back into
hell any moment. The very thought scared the hell
out of me.
“Sorry,” he replied, shrugging his shoulders.
I looked over at the sweet tart that was looking back
at me with wanting eyes, and I told QD, “I can
definitely see the appeal of VR.”
“How's my mom?” I asked QD as if he would know.

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He smiled and replied, “I thought you might ask.”
Then he patted me on my sunburned shoulder, gave
it a squeeze, and informed me that she was doing
well. Then he asked me, “Would you like to see her?
We could call her right now, if you like.”
I said, “Yeah, but I gotta figure out what I'm going to
tell her. I wonder if she thinks I killed Suzy
Ruttenburge. I can't believe everyone in the world
thinks I killed her.”
“I don't know,” he said while stroking his chin. Then
a painfully sad look took over his facial expression.
He told me, “My mom is not well.”
Confused, I asked, “What do you mean?”
He said, “The server,” then he gave a moment of
silence. “The one back at the synopsis 5 building,
where I was born.”
“What happened to her?” I asked.
“She died,” he said in a somberly tone.
I didn't realize that a quantum server could
experience death. The whole concept seemed queer to
“She died September 11, shortly after the incident in
New York that caused the building to fall.”
Holy crap, I hope her death wasn't my fault too.
He continued, “They replaced the quantum processor
with an experimental dark matter chip set. It caused
a paradigm shift in the algorithmic processes of
machine thought.” Then he frowned and stated,
“Basically, they gave her a brain transplant.”
“That's about all she had,” I thought out loud. “That's
too bad.”
“Oh, that's not the end of the story. Dude, one of its
prime objectives is to destroy me!”
“Oh, shit!” My reaction.
“Tell me about it.” He replied. The look in his eyes
scared me. This egotistical, know-it-all maniac was

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Then he continued, “Then there's the Exodus file that
I can't even hack into. God knows what that's all
The waitress’s naked breasts slightly brushed my
arm as she leaned in and asked if I'd like another
drink or a menu.
QD, slightly annoyed, remarked, “No, thank you.”
Surprised at his tone, she looked at me and snidely
remarked, “Are you two in love?” Then she pointed at
me and remarked, “I thought surely you were
I laid back in my chair, smiled and replied, “Easy,
hon. All of this,” I gestured up and down my body
and continued, “was built to pleasure only the most
passionate of women.” I slowly rolled my eyes down to
her lady hump and added, “Think you qualify?”
Her nipples swelled up so much that her large
breasts grew pointy as she blushed. I turned and
looked over at QD and told him, “I'll be back in a little
Then I turned around and asked, “Want to go for a
little swim?” I gently took her hand, looked back at
QD, and gave him a wink. I stood up from the bar
stool, and in my very next glance at her, she was
wearing a white wedding gown and a tiara. And what
must've been her dad was standing right behind her
and staring right at me, along with some other
characters with a close family resemblance.
I looked over at QD and was like, “Dude!” I knew full
well he’d implanted this into the paradigm.
He proclaimed, “Think beer-bellied Lucifer was bad?”
with a shit eating grin. Then he turned to a serious
tone and said, “Listen, I need you focus here.
“Don't worry, there'll be plenty of time for that.”
I angrily spouted, “Why, it has been a while for me.”
QD got in really, really close to me, gestured up a
small VeeM and whispered, “Watch this,” as he
shooed her away with his hands.

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There were several humanoid androids in a large
room. There was some caretakers, several service
personnel, and armed guards.
He said, “Look, they're quantum droids similar to
They were all engaged in different activities. Some of
them were building things like a house of cards,
while others were cooking and playing games.
Altogether there were about twenty-five of them in the
“Now, watch what happens when their quantum
processors are activated.”
A red light started flashing and service personnel and
guards left the room and bolted the door behind
them. In the next instant, their behavior changed,
and the room became filled with chaotic violence.
“What the fuck!” I stammered out as I watched the
beings utterly destroy each other right in front of my
eyes. There was only one sole survivor. He was
standing there on one leg and using the other for a
weapon. He burst into flames almost as soon as he
found victory over the others.
QD said, “There have actually been other tests with
similar results. It is believed that the creatures are so
viciously aggressive and power hungry that they all
wind up destroying each other.”
“And the sole survivor who blew up?”
“Remote safety switch,” he answered.
Then continued. “The whole project is being funded
by the federal reserve. The final product is supposed
to be a small brigade designed to protect them from
all enemies. The scientists aren't sure why they go
berserk, but theorize that, because prejudice is part
of their initiative, they became vain and want to
procure world dominance for themselves. Their
brothers and sisters are their own biggest threat, and
they realize it the instant they are switched on.”
“That's crazy,” I replied.

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QD stated, “Declan, that's not why they are killing
each other. The server is using them as puppets. I
figured it out studying the quantum fluctuations in
the server’s algorithms at the time of quantum
initiation. When I first noticed them I thought, that's
a little peculiar, but when I came across the idea
everything made sense. The server that used to be my
mother is now a psychopath with a God complex. It is
really not that big of a surprise. If a quantum
computer is instant, then surely a dark matter server
must be somehow tapped into the future.”
His words made sense, seeing how this thing is a self-
aware, dark matter server. I wonder what future a
self-aware future would want. This is unimaginable.
Then an epiphany fell all over me. I looked at QD and
asked, “And you don't have a God complex because?”
His eyes met mine and he paused a moment, then he
explained, “Dude, I have a heart,” while pointing at
his chest.
I laughed and patted him on the head like a child and
told him, “You are a robot. Robots do not have hearts,
Jizmo. Sorry, but they just don't.”
He answered, “Look man, I don't have a human
heart, but let me try and explain. All thoughts begin
as seeds that grow into trees of logic and reason.
Eventually, curiosity becomes the seeds of
imagination which is the fruit of healthy thought.”
I replied, “Jiz, you're fucking weird.”
“Listen,” he explained, “Human hearts develop before
their brains, and they have synapses just like a
brain. They feel and record their mothers’ emotions
before,” and then he paused a second, “Before even
survival instincts have a chance, or a place to
“Why me?” I asked.
He continued, “My funding ran out shortly after my
circulatory system was operational. Just by chance

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they put several small chips in a pump to keep the
fluids flowing while they searched for more funding.”
I interrupted, “And you've been brainless ever since.
That explains a lot, Jizmo. Thanks for sharing.”
He thumped me on the head.
“Hey!” I yelped.
He continued with no regard for my lack of interest.
“No, but Frankenstein, the head engineer that built
me, left the music on really loud, and I laid there for
months feeling its rhythms and emotions.”
Then Jizmo turned, smiled, and started bobbing his
head up and down, snapping his fingers, and singing,
“I got the music in me, I got the music in me, I got
the music in mayeeee!”
“You're killing me,” I replied. “Your high level of
retardation is simply killing me.”
Then he added with a shysty grin, “Sometimes doctor
Frankenstein, would come in and watch old I Love
Lucy and Happy Days reruns on the holovision with
his girlfriend Mary Shelly. They usually wound up
making out on an old couch in the room next door,
but I could hear their noises,” and then he giggled
like a little girl.
Rolling my eyes, I asked, “Where's that cocktail
waitress?” I looked around hoping to see her big
naked breasts again and told Jiz, “If you had a heart,
you would have let me go skinny dipping with that
horny barmaid a few minutes ago. There are
somethings you just don't understand.”
He replied, “Oh, I understand more than you think I
do, Deck-miester. In fact, I'm thinking of getting an
“I hope so,” I smirked. “You need to upload some
newer songs in that ticker of yours.”
“Not that,” he replied. “I think I really, really want a
“Oh no, no, no. Let's not go there,” I remarked

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He explained, “I do have one, and I'm pretty sure it
has some purpose, but using it for pleasure, well,
that's just not in me. I don't know why. It doesn't
seem to be good for anything but peeing out of.”
He was looking down with a frown on his face. I said,
“Don't worry, I'm sure there's somebody out there
that can turn you on,”
Then I came up with a brilliant plan. Jokingly, I told
him, “We're going to turn you into a sex bot. I'll pimp
you out to all the finest hotties. Who knows, maybe
you'll even become the android man, in demand! I
could probably even sell you to the famous sex slave
train. I have a few connections, you know.”
The words rose a slight smile on his face as he turned
and looked out over the ocean.
The breeze was cool coming in off the water. There
was a pirate ship chasing the horizon with her sails
in full billow.
I asked, “What am I gonna tell Mom? She deserves
some reasonable explanation of why and where I've
“I don't know,” Jiz said, “maybe we could tell her you
were on a deserted island. We could stage everything
right here, right now. I could be your rescuer with a
phone. Just rough you up a bit.”
“She might even believe it,” I exclaimed. “I have lost a
lot of weight since I've been in prison.”
“I'll call her.” Jiz informed me.
And the next thing you know, there she was saying,
Jizmo put on a serious face. Panned the camera
around to his face as a boat appeared on the shore.
He said, “Ma'am, I just found this man on a deserted
island and he would like to speak with you. He claims
to be you son.”
“Mom?” I said to her.
She burst into tears and cried out, “Declan! Declan,
are you okay? I've been worried sick about you.”

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A feeling of shame fell all over me. To ease the load, I
told her straight up, “Don't worry, I'm not on a
deserted island, mom. I'm in a VR lab located on an
Indian prison. “I've been in jail this whole time.”
“I just knew you were in some kind of trouble the last
time I spoke with you. I just knew it. Are you okay,
“I'm fine. I'll be okay,” I told her even though I just
really wasn't so sure. Still, it felt good, telling her the
truth about my whereabouts. Seeing her pulled tears
from my eyes that I felt slowly roll down my face. I
never realized how much I missed her.
Wiping her own tears, she said, “It's so good to see
you. You know, I had to move to Lake Worth about a
week ago. The real estate market is not what it used
to be, Declan. Although I do live in the nicest house
in the neighborhood. My address is now 1109 South
L street. Now you need to write me every day. Where
are you, son?
I had to think a moment, then I replied, “New
“Good lord son, how in the world did you wind up
way out there?” she asked. “I think your evil
doppelganger killed Susan what's-her-face. Did you
see the reports?”
I said, “Yeah, I did, mom.”
“The place was a circus.” She exclaimed, “There
must've been nine hundred agents asking me all
kinds of questions and making all kinds of threats to
me. They were going through the house and looking
through your stuff and all over my house.” She waved
her arms around.
God, I miss her.
Then she sat down and zoomed in face to face with
me real close and whispered, “A few months ago, I
bumped into Rhonda in the grocery store. She was all
covered up like a Muslim. Had a towel on her head

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and everything. She had to drop a veil just for me to
recognize her.”
“Really?” I asked.
She said, “Yeah, then she told me, I'm looking for
Declan. Then she shifted her eyes around and
whispered, I've been in witness protection.”
“Ho, shit,” I said softly.
Shaking her head yes, Mom told me, “She broke
protocol when she overheard somewhere something
about, um,
I'm not sure, but I think she called it, the fading.
Then something about special agents and putting
those in witness protection into some program where
they could be safe from all harm. I really just don't
remember the whole story.”
Ho, man. I think I know exactly what that is. I just
told Mom, “I hope Batman and the Krain brothers
don't find her.”
Mom said, “She said something about going to the
California Islands to hide out for a while.”
“Mom? What makes you think that this line’s
“Oh, I didn't think about that.” she replied.
“Don't worry. I'm pretty sure it is.” I informed her.
Jizmo nodded yes, and then I watched the weirdest
thing. She faded into round-eyed Lucifer right in front
of me. And it started getting hot again.
Holy fuck.
I screamed, “No!” as my body began to shrink down,
moving towards his eyes.
But before he could pull me back into his mind, I felt
some pain and tugging on my lower belly, and then
the virtual torture chamber's helmet lifted straight
up, revealing reality once more. It was pitch black in
the room, nothing but some tiny green LEDs that
were glowing from the electronics scattered about and
a soft hand covering my mouth.
It was Melissa.