INT. UNIVERSITY SCIENCE LAB – DAY CLOSE UP on a picture of a family, firmly clasped in a man’s hands. We see a husband, wife, daughter, and someone’s tears dripping onto the frame.
PULL BACK. Sunlight bursts through a large window, highlighting glass beakers on a bench. We see a teary man, a scientist, giving his last goodbye to a family he will never see again as he shoots a rainbow liquid from a test tube, and the picture slipping from his hands.
NARRATOR DOCTOR ROBERT BLAKE, A QUANTUM PHYSICIST, DEVELOPED A SHRINKING FORMULA…
Jean-Pierre searched frantically for his sword in the rubble. He was sure it landed there after Lab Rat knocked it from his hand during their battle. But for all his efforts, JP couldn’t find the sword. What he did find though were small footprints, which he realised must have been Iggy’s. The young boy must have had caught up to him and watched the battle ensue, biding his time so he could steal the sword.
JP shook his head in fright. The boy was in more danger with that sword than he would have been stuck in Lab Rat’s grasp. For JP knew that this was no any ordinary sword, even though it had been an heirloom in his family for generations. This sword was the greatest killer in all of history, fore by its blade had taken the life of over 40 million people and counting.
The sword first belonged to JP’s ancestor, Sir Leone, a French knight who made a name for himself as the Crying Killer of the First Crusade. It was given to Leone by the Church and was said to have been forged with Macedonian steel and the blood of a murdered king using the fires at the top of Mount Vesuvius. The Church declared that the greatest warrior among their knights must carry this blade into the war because could kill even the most powerful of kings. Sir Leone took the sword with him on his crusade and it spoke to him. What it said led to the slaughter of thousands. It was only the beginning in the sword’s tale. This story will be its end.
JP ventured along the rooftops of Cairo. Quickly, he noticed a tall man with odd hands running along the adjacent rooftops, chasing none other than young Iggy. JP jumped and ran after this man, who had stopped above a gap between the buildings. As snakes ran down the tall man’s leg, down into the gap of the building, JP threw a poison knife from his back pocket at the man. He pierced his left eye and the man screamed in agony. JP noticed Iggy being flung to the other side of the corridor between the buildings. The tall man was now gone, in a flickering of shadows. JP yelled out to Iggy but he didn’t answer. Making his way down the building, he lost sight of him just as a car came screeching around the corner.
On the coattails of Jean-Pierre’s winning blow against the diabolical Lab Rat LX, young Iggy took the sword that JP was no longer watching over and ran off with it – first through the cracks of the crumbling building and then through the winding streets of Cairo after dark.
Little did Iggy know, a man with two right hands was chasing after him. Normally, Iggy would notice such a tall man following him, except that this man was following the boy from high above on the rooftops. With the way the moonlight was focused, the man’s shadow didn’t appear in front of Iggy as he ran, instead, the shadow was in three, two on either side of Iggy and one some length behind.
Quickly, Iggy turned a corner into a narrow corridor between buildings. He shuffled his way through, struggling between the encroaching buildings. The man with two right hands stopped above the corridor, planting his feet on either side of it. Now Iggy noticed the man’s shadow, high above him. The boy looked up and saw snakes slithering down the walls.
Iggy wriggled and squirmed, trying to push himself through the tight corridor, as the hissing got closer. Then Iggy felt something pulling at him from his feet, which yanked him up, turning him upside down and flailing the sword in Iggy’s hand all over. A snakes head then went flying and then another as Iggy flipped back around and to the ground on the other side of the corridor. The snakes had him, but by sheer luck Iggy survived thanks to his tight grip on Jean-Pierre’s sword.
Iggy could hear the man with two right hands screaming in agony. The snakes were a part of him, but Iggy didn’t know that. All he knew in that moment was that he was free, which meant he needed to pull himself together to run out of there. Blood spooled at the corridor’s exit, as Iggy launched himself like a sprinter.
Under a sky awash with lurid purple, orange and blue, a crow flies over the slums of Collin’s wood, passing a dilapidated building with peeled paint and a dusty window in which a light has just come on.
Down a dusty hallway, the sound of a young woman’s heels click-clack across a haphazardly tiled floor. Runs in her stockings, the swing of her skirt seems almost hypnotic. Her shoulders wear a short-fur coat. Her style accentuated by tortoise shell sunglasses, poorly hiding a bruised eye. She stops at an old wooden door with a glass window it reads “City Water Works – Main Office” She knocks three times. A young girl (18) with curly blonde locks, half-hidden under a beanie, baggy T-shirt and skin-tight black jeans, answers the door.
LIZZIE Yeah, what d’ you want?
The young woman lowers her sunglasses.
MYSTERY WOMAN Business, of course.
LIZZIE Business is outdoors for a while, but you happy to wait?
The woman barges through the door, little Lizzie be damned, and with her eyes focused on the room, throws off her short-fur coat, knowing the girl would pick it up.
And Lizzie does just after closing the creaky old door behind her, But not before a large hand stops it from locking.
MYSTERY WOMAN Well, well, seems business is right on time.
She and I were working together as a couple of investigators of a sort, going around to churches or following certain congregations that ever so slightly changed. How they changed, I cannot say. It captured my attention in the dream because of their choir-like singing and group prayers, something in that arising in me a way to connect with my own childhood past, and even more so answer feelings about the deceased that matter to me most. An old friend who was also in the dream complained about the church as she listened and I tried to decipher it.
The mental capacity on the older model cyber-enhanced cranium-unit stretched beyond capacity today, clearly unintentionally. The intel band popped a sub-routine before our test configurations could set in, breaking connection to the public network while two of our warm bods were still jacked in. They got thermo everywhere. It left a bit of a hole in the tech boys’ work schedule for the afternoon.
The old lady busted our balls about it, shouting her way to next Sunday. Can’t really blame her, though. Four long-range radial barriers were penetrated as the damn thing literally fritzed into the next millennium. The popped sub-routine activated a sleepr, a perpetrating virus carrying orders to go Y2K on central command’s after-forge – full biblical – which then unlinked six weapon classes from spine-7.
They say that if you can clearly assess the dynamic of a situation then that’s a martial art best employed in court. So, they may as well have called me big boss dragon because all I could do was analyse the dynamic of all the arseholes in the room. Seriously, how far one little old lady could scale the arseholes of those top brass members and guests while pinching our balls in a perfect display of theatrics is uncanny. Still, siding with the ministry is one thing, but doing it while some southerner diplomats watched, I mean c’mon. I’d rather be a typist for the pony room. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever puked in my mouth before, until then. Ressio had a nicer view of the show from his astral seat, the prick. Yeah, well, too bad for yours truly, I guess, she clamped my sec-link tight, fixating slide out, blocking dive in. I was itching to jump by meeting’s end.
Least next time I’ll get one up on the battleaxe if this amateur crisis ever rears its ugly circumstances again. After all, who else could prevent this type of clean up.
A profane government career man experienced a fantastical deja vu when he picked up a saucer, which in a dream he once had a very similar moment occurred and was followed by an explosion.
The explosion in the dream had come from the saucer and the man turned away to avoid its force as it expanded toward a radius of thirty three centimetres from its centre. It seemingly felt to be a natural occurrence, not a self-combustion on the saucer’s part or a triggering on the man’s part, but more so a shift in the likeliness of the unlikely within the moment’s part – which to the man was a moment all too common, all too routine that it felt mundane enough to be just another time that he had picked up a saucer to place his cup of coffee upon before putting on his black leather shoes he only wore for work. He avoided damage to his face but his hand was in agony; it was black with flesh that had charred and then cracked. His spirit had retreated into itself with a fear of knowing and his body had began to sweat profusely. Then there was a stranger outside the window, veiled in an echo seven reflections deep, who induced a panic before the life-long government career man woke up.
As the deju vu passed, he wiped his forehead and took a moment to collect his thoughts, sitting down for the first time without a coffee and outside of his routine.
I was walking up the main drag toward the outdoor shopping mall in the heart of Melbourne, hoping to cross paths with the friend I was to meet before I needed to call him for a location update, when I came upon a gathering of onlookers standing near the main crossing. They were clearly gawking at someone, but who that was didn’t grab my attention until I spied several lightly armed police officers holding a large, oafish man dressed in rags against a shop front window. He kept repeating something and I then wanted to know it was and why he was in this situation.
I lined myself up against the lamp post, more onlookers gathered in front of me, and watched intently as I took the phone from my pocket and began dialling my mate. The phone rang out and I noticed what the ragged man was wearing as the police officers took off his belt and untied his shoe laces to make sure he had no means to hang himself while riding in the back of the police van. Apprently these things happen and apparently he had on old sneakers, a baggy band t-shirt and a torn hooded jumper. His hair was unkempt, most likely had not been washed for days and was the colour of brown sand. His face was flushed and there were visible veins on his cheeks.
My friend called me back, he was one of the onlookers in the crowd in front. We didn’t need to say hello, we just started talking about the situation in front of us. The police then escorted the ragged man into the police van. From what I could tell he was yelling about some awful vindictive thing that had happened to him, spouting a short sentence followed by a single word repeated three times. It reminded me of Dog Day Afternoon. I didn’t really understand any of it other than the tone he took with repeating it. He was upset and the police were annoyed but quite careful not to hurt him in any way.
To our surprise, a woman appeared from behind the periphery wall of our vision, stating that this type of thing happened every other day in the Melbourne CBD as if it was a fact we needed to know because it seemed she assumed that we didn’t know much about the city at all. We grew up here. Maybe it was our clothes? She claimed to be a street performer and after a quick drag of her cigarette, affirmed that she knew the ragged man when we asked her about him. Unfortunately, she didn’t want to talk about him other than give details on where he could usually be found, and after that it was difficult to get another word in – a motor at the back of her throat had started as soon as we showed any intrest. It was kindness that kept us in front of her for the next three minutes, which is a long time when you’re watching the clock in front of you. I began to gesture that it was time for us to move and the conversation ended on a high note. We told her to stay out of trouble.
It was an interesting start to an afternoon that revolved around eating ramen.