2 completes the set A way of envisioning a life without fear
A multi-dimensional object that is, in shape and movement, part digital glitch and part sea urchin. It’s a shade of deep, massive gloss black. Darker than black, darker than death. It’s the color black that makes a noise like a planet collapsing. Its shape is eating itself and exploding outwards, broiling tumultuously. You’re a mile above a massive city, sky scrapers reaching to the sky like hope, you’re looking down with no body, watching it roll, seethe, swarm, sky-scraper tall, into the center of the neon night, shanghai future. It’s here-but-not-here, it’s in a layer superimposed over reality, a layer extra to everyone else’s run-of-the-mill 3-dimensions, visible to you, real to you, real to it, but not yet manifested as real to everyone else. This is good because otherwise everyone would be dead.
An underground environment lit by fluorescent lighting, Parisian subway tiles on the wall. It’s here, with you, bus sized. This time, manifested, real to everyone. Everyone is not dead yet. That’s because you and your team, team spelled family—you’ve been through it all together, like that one time you barely pulled it off at the last minute, with a plan just crazy enough to work, to stop that one end-of-the-world scenario, that was, what? last month or something?—are here to stop it. All of you, and it, are sharing in the same realities now, so you all have bodies and their associated delicacies. It’s a liquid-obsidian black, the same color that greed is, a deep, lustrous, beautiful black, like ballpoint pen ink, but for the pen that wrote the end of universe.
The reason for the sudden partialness to the more standard reality currently expressed by all parties is that it came here to fight you: loser dies, winner continues on their merry way—it’s merry way being to consume the city and world and everything you love in a maelstrom of hatred and violations of fundamental laws of physics. Luckily, you’re a goddamn weapon, and you’re carrying one too. Something very futuristic and Japanese, with a sleek dark look, the kind of look that a fancy knife has that indicates that it is definitely for killing. You softly un-sheath the weapon, which, to clarify, is technologically as much like a knife-definitely-for-killing as silicon is like silicone, with enough style that it’s clear you’re here to fuck shit up, but not so much style so as to be unprofessional. It’s unclear how exactly you got here and why the confrontation is in the format of a duel, but what is important is that you’re gonna fucking win, because this is what you’re made for. You’re something like the son of a fallen god, and you’re here to get after it.
You’re sorta going through all this in your head as the moment of confrontation draws out, with your teammates ready to lay down their lives and this creature ready to do whatever the fuck it is that it does, and you realize you’re not really sure how to get started. For lack of a better catch phrase as you raise your weapon, you say Okey-dokey.
It pops into a million spikes and then inhales itself into a smooth wave and then breaks into a cubic digital mass and then it freezes as a voluminous scream, a dark-matter Rorschach. Before you have time to move, it booms, deeper than the oceans, deeper than the crushing loneliness of the abyss space, deeper than the tomb of God closing shut
YOU CONTINUE TO JUSTIFY YOUR OWN FLAWS AND POOR CHOICES THROUGH A DESIRE TO BE YOUR OWN ANTIHERO DESPITE KNOWING THAT IT HURTS THOSE WHO CARE FOR YOU
you yell a battle cry and attack with the smooth ease of an athlete
WHAT MEANINGFUL AND POSITIVE IMPACT THAT’S UNIQUE TO YOUR EXISTENCE DO YOU HAVE ON THE WORLD AT LARGE? HOW ARE YOU NOT REPLACEABLE OR EXPENDABLE?
in shock, the world blurring, screams echoing, blood
YOU SAY NEXT TIME EVERY TIME AND WHEN YOU GO NOWHERE YOU LASH OUT AGAINST OTHER FOR YOUR OWN MEDIOCRITY
your teammates die and/or kill themselves
HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE DISPARITY BETWEEN YOUR AMBITION AND YOUR INADEQUACY
you alone stand determined
YOU COULD HAVE BEEN SOMEBODY
you sit down
It is a color of black that is the opposite of glowing in absolute darkness. It is the color of black of a bad goodbye. It is the color of black of hope when there is no hope.
A moment later, it’s silent. There floats jet-black sphere oscillating slightly, radiating smugness in a way that only a floating jet-black sphere that is oscillating slightly can. You look at your lethally-Japanese-but-also-futuristic-looking-ass weapon, it’s important end, on your temple, and realize that it was useless. This is gonna be different than before. You pull the trigger and you fucking kill yourself; it is you and you are it.
what’s the world coming to these days? It’s all going to hell isn’t it?
what if we just got away from it all? like light years away, like really out there
with the sky figuratively falling and with the economy and the people and the election and the general state of things
you’re the one thing that’s good in the world
I was thinking
let’s just get away from it all, like you’ve always wanted
you and me in a cottage on the sea side
you know? Let’s do something crazy and just run away
we don’t need anyone if we have each other.
Just you and me
I can see you’re with me to the end no matter what
so let’s elope,
let’s go some where crazy
I’ve got the perfect spot in mind:
let’s go to PSR J1748-2446ad
what if we did that? let’s just get away
I know this is a little out of the blue, a little crazy, I can see you’re a little worried, but it’ll be perfect
let me tell you about J1748-2446ad
it’s a little spot up north, in Sagittarius, by Terzan 5, it’s exactly the kind of place we’ve always imagined we’d grow old together in
there’ll be plenty of room for kids if we want to have some
it’s a fix me up for sure, the heating’s a little wacky, it’s probably like 6×10^5 Kelvin there year-round
but I love the way a little sweat looks on your skin
the foundation needs some work, the whole place might collapse into a black hole;
you’re all the foundation I’ve ever needed
it’s also a bit bright there; the 1.29×10^26 watts of emitted X-Rays would either instantly vaporize us or instantly give us cancer and then instantly vaporize us
I’m not worried about that though, your smile is pretty damn radiant and I haven’t vaporized yet, have I?
that aside, it’s got a great view, the perfect place to watch the sun set, though we might get a little motion sick because J1748-2446ad rotates at about 44,000 miles per hour. But you already spin me right round baby (like a record)
anyways, that’s 61,862,299 more sunsets a day we can watch together with our toes in the neutron sand
also probably the wifi won’t be that good, what with us moving at 0.25 the speed of light and the 2.3×10^13 Gauss magnetic field that will erase all of our devices
and also instantly destroy them
and also instantly crush our bodies
but I think it’s nice to unplug from everything every once in a while
Oh, and we’ve got to watch for the tide, or at least the tidal forces, because J1748-2446ad’s gravitational field,
well it’s about 106,387,117,347 G
it’ll keep us down to earth
but together I know we’d figure out how to make it work
and once we get there it’ll be our own little paradise
Imagine! what if we did it? what if we just got up and dropped everything and left right now?
with only high-energy astrophysics to bother you and I
we can finally have a cottage on the sea side like you always wanted
it’ll be just you and me
and a sea
of ultra-densely packed neutrons radiating gravitational waves into the starry sky
a place where we can just be us
just you and me
and PSR J1748-2446ad
I know its late at night, babe, but it’s 18,000 light years a way so we better get going
it’ll take 134,123,326 more anniversaries to get there if we sling shot by Jupiter
we can celebrate on the road