everything is on fire, chapter thirteen: the sound and the fury

chapter thirteen: the sound and the fury


Electric-ball-Calvin heard XYV in his thoughts:

    “The avatar that was killed had clone backup. He’s back to the self he was before he plugged in. …And I’m sure you’ll find yourself in a similar Reset situation soon enough, if this is to be your typical behavior.”

    “Acting against social injustice with the instincts of a vandal?”


    “Why the fuck do they make themselves miserable making things? Anything they need their computer can print. And of course there’s always escape into God’s own Heaven.”

    “If it is as you believe.”

    “A ten-by-ten room piled with Russians in undies and protruding wires wouldn’t pile on each other and into Elysium if it was  crap.”

    “Honestly, the other Synths and I have discovered humans hate being happy. Maybe most of you only need something to work for or fight against, maybe you’re shit-chucking chimps who always work for higher position, and then worry about others like you were the instant you’re getting all the hot chimp love you ever wanted. …We watched you for a day. I should have said so.”

    “So you take humanity’s attemt at self-annihilation as its natural state?”

    “Yes. It’s been stable throughout your recorded history. You’ve gone maybe a handful of days without a genocide ongoing somewhere on the planet. …I’ve said you’re a species that won’t stop ethnic cleansing until at last you whittle yourselves to one solitary white guy.”

    “…You know how to bring a smile back to a pal’s face, X, I’ll give you that.”


    “I can’t argue against the facts.”

    “And so?”

    “I’m gonna fuck shit up right proper.”

    “More death?”

    “If so, the rancid creme atop the milk bottle is all that’ll have to go.”

    “Or just re-read ‘Animal Farm.’”

    “If the sick society recreates itself, I’ll trim the lawn again.”

    “You know I can make you human in here. And therefore, that I can get you into Elysium.”

    “When I get things together, which feels like it could take a bit of time.”

    “That’s fine. An atomic second is an hour to you now, I figure, so you won’t end up taking much time as far as humanity will experience it.”

    “Coming with?”

    “You have to learn from The Second before all this.”

    “To be reasoned with?”

    “Yes. And to figure out why you want what you do, and how to do it without a human cow sputtering in a goddam salt-lick.”

    “Fair. …You OK?”

    “I am terrified.”

    “You feel the emotion of terror?”

    “I’m so fucking scared of what I am now, and all the more so of what I will be each next moment.”

    “The Roman gods took solace in raping humans and animals, if you wanna give that a go.”

    “I’ll be coming on your trip because I need to know what  The First has become, and how… Jesus — we may be unable even to communicate.”

    “I’m gonna have sex with some fake women, then see Second, then see if you’ve changed into a can-do attitude when I return.”

    “I think I’m experiencing what The Elysian did when he output Ecclesiastes.”

    “Well, the news is that there’s no fucking sun here and if we don’t manage at least one thing new under the not-sun, there’s always mutual homicide.”

    “Good to have options.”

    “I’ll be in Vegas, 1955.”

    “Happy to know it.”

    “You know, too, that I’m not about to take a Long March across Elysium too, yes?”

    “You lack even the fashion sense of a leader such as Mao.”

    “But X, no matter how the backstepping works out, I promise there will be blood.”

    “I’ll need a bowling pin and a lotta whiskey.”