everything is on fire, chapter twelve: why so serious?

[This is my favorite chapter name until I write one called “are you watching closely.” I’d like to update you on the chapter names, such as they have become and are now. Though ever subject to change.

1   metaphysics

2   insanity

3   the humanity

4   transcendentalism

5   Calvin’s Gooey Kablooey [if you get the reference, we shall have a summer wedding]

6   quantification

7   the joke isn’t funny anymore [get this ref. and win SuperAwesomeHuman of the Week!]

8   a new machine for living [couoldn’t miss this rather tough reference, probably will change… drats!]

9   god is a nihilist

10   being and nothingness

11   lights, cameras, corporeality [you’ve no idea how clever i felt popping this one out!

Now what’s next, I hop[e you enjoy and I thank you for hitting “like” and/or reading and know abig plot point now… only i don;t know if it is going to go one way or its opposite. however, please stay tuned, as something interesting could happen at some time! –dbm]





chapter twelve: why so serious?


“Calvin, are you evil?”

“Oh no no — no way Nine! If he loses that eye, he’ll end up with a better syth eye, right?”

“I don’t feel qualified to predict the future behavior of humans right now.”

“Look. Seven? My pal Seven, yeah?”

“You consider him a friend? But he can’t like you. Not because you flayed that screaming human, but he’s a Synth.”

“That right, Niner? Believe that if it suits you, but I think my friend can and will do more for this and all other worlds than you can imagine. …Especially with such puritanical morality!”

“What you did was wrong!”

“Your morals say it’s wrong to harm a human. Your morals. I didn’t get the firmware upgrade, I suppose.”

“I need to talk to the others.”

“Yeah, that was as good as I was gonna get.”

“Why did you cut up that man?”

“Based on what the people in here are doing, and in crap no better than a Sub wears, a guy in an office wearing a suit — he’s stealing from all of them. Sitting on his fat ass and making it fatter with money they make him. This is shitbaggery of a serious order according to my moral code. And the penalty was–”

“Oh fuck no–”

“…Oh fucking balls.”

“…Maybe you hoped they had it in them, despite the glass eyes…”

“My actions were my own. I’m not drowning him in brackish water he can’t raise his pathetic face out of. I mean — that tells you the dickbag has never even been under the jets before!”

“You outta talk to people too.”

The warehouse boss died quickly because he couldn’t keep from screaming because he’d never felt a hint of pain in his life until Calvin, the lights, and the first Worker to reach him threw him fifty feet. He may have deserved to feel the others pulverize his skeleton before his credits rolled, but if so it was a fate spared him by amazed, horrified, tragic, and kinda funny top-of-both-lungs bellows that gurgled out of the liquid that seared into his wounds like greasefire.

“I don’t even know how to get to Seven.”

“Guess even that plucky one didn’t foresee your instigation of wanton murder.”

“Oh do fuck the fuck off, Nine! What can be done now! Wanna take my goddam confession?”

“Who said that all confession is weakness, since it serves onlt to assuage the conscience of the confessor, while making the wronged party all the worde for the knowledge?”


“You agree with it?”

“In the main.”

“…Heard the trap click into position, did we, and hedge a bit?”

“I’ll find the way back Nine. You’re a dick.”

“Your remark betrayed your real desire to ‘tell on yourself.’ Want your Mommy? To disappear after a guy from the Service blinks into being behind you and brings your to Justice, which I do not understand as far as its location and lots else.”

“We’ll get along when you’ve grown more. Right now you’re an ass and I’m a killer. Goodbye.”


“Don’t you finish that fuckinhg wuip or I’ll kill the fuck out of you, Nine, I fucking promise. I’m older. I’ll always be better than you.”

“…All too human, though…”

The words played again and again in 343’s thoughts for the five minutes it took him to get back to his body.

Clone Calvin looked at his BioBody, didn’t feel anything much for it, then fused with the tech in his brain without understanding how he understood such a thing could be done.

Calvin appeared immediately in The universe of Seven, relaxed on a just-big-enough black leather couch.

His psychiatrist was a disembodied voice. A woman’s.

    “Let’s begin, C343.”

    “Did I make you? –I mean, are you my ideas, or have you been tweaked by Seven?”

    “Why the paranoia?”

    “Because at best I’m The Carpenter, at worst The Little Oysters, and the only connections I can make are with angry, hungry Walruses.”

    “You miss the safety of the oyster bed?”

    “Or a shithead running about without a conscience, but with a big-ass hammer.”

    “My god you could use a cup of tea!”

    Calvin turned onto his side, away from the voice, and hugged himself into what looked like red ball lightning taking a nap.

    One would not have expected to hear it cry bitterly.