Alexander Gordon Jahans
A man enters. White slip on trainers, worn and muddied from use. Pin striped black trousers hanging from red braces about thick shoulders. A lime green long sleeved button down shirt is adorned with a brown paisley tie in a windsor knot, a tartan waistcoal, a lime green suit jacket and a dark brown duster coat that hangs down to shin level. His face is hangered with age and dark spectacles hide his eyes as long grey curly hair hides his ears. “Do you do Diet Coke? None of that Pepsi crap, do you have Diet Coke?”
The bar tender looks the stranger in the shades and nods.
The stranger nods back and smiles, visibly relaxing as he takes a seat. “One pint of Diet Coke and 2 shots of your strongest alcohol, if you please?”
The bar tender nods and fetches the drinks.
The stranger looks across the bar at the young women and licks his lips as he reaches inside his suit jacket for an old dusty leather wallet and pulls out a couple of ten dollar bills.
The bar tender places the Diet Coke and two shots of Tequila on the counter.
“Keep the change.” says the stranger. “I know I’m an arsehole.”
The bar tender nods and takes the money.
The stranger knocks back the Tequila and winces. “That is some good shit. What is it?”
“Trump Brew.” Explains the bar tender with a smile. “The cartels make it from the cocks of any trump supporter stupid enough to go south of the wall.”
The stranger smirks. “So the fucker actually built the wall, did he?”
The bar tender smirks and shakes his head. “The cartels did when he renaged on his promise. Their economy has been booming ever since.”
The stranger nods “Because when America complains about immigrants the Mexicans shrug and climb through barbed wire to get there but when the cartels say no emigrants...”
The bar tender nods. “Every good Mexican knows not to mess with the cartels.”
They chuckle for a moment, then the bar tender asks “So where are you from then? I mean you don’t sound American...”
The stranger smirks. “That is a long story.”
The bar tender studies the stranger for a moment then pours out another shot of tequila. “I’m Earl and I own this fair establishment so if I say we've got time then we've got time. Who are you?”
The stranger sighs, takes a sip of his diet coke then starts to explain. “My name is Reginald Barklay and who I am is not important but what is is that I was part of a war.”
“What kind of war?” asked Earl.
“A mad one.” said Reginald. “You see our universe exists as part of a multiverse which lives in this place known as the nothingness. Beings known as the older gods used to watch over the multiverse and the nothingness but men tried and killed them. One of them escaped death and became reincarnated forever in the multiverse. That one became known as the Farsh-nuke and one of his number the Great Farsh-nuke founded the Logicios. The Logicios were empowered men. They were able to travel the multiverse and manipulate reality but they were founded by a lustful fool so they fell to the worst of temptations for a centralised powerful force for regulation. They became oppressive, arrogant and prejudiced, using slave labour just for sick kicks.”
“And they were the enemy?” said Earl.
Reginald shook his head and gulped back a glug of diet coke. “They fought the enemy while the good guys were getting ready. The Enemy were these beings of pure logic called the septagonoids who wanted to destroy all reality so that it would be more logical.”
Earl stared at Reginald for a moment then whistled. “I guess the good guys won then? Who were they?”
“The United Civilisations of the Multiverse.” said Reginald. “Led by one Lucy Dance, the Paragon of Virtue. She and the United Civilisations were the Great Farsh-nuke’s attempt to undo the damage he caused. And you’re right, they won but at a cost.”
Earl nodded. “War never changes.”
Reginald knocked back a second shot of whisky. “As the war went on the elder gods that had survived like the Farsh-nuke started to regain their old power. They didn't need technology anymore, they could warp reality with their minds, conquer whole armies with a look. Eventually the war took all but the strongest and wisest, which was when they saw what needed to be done.”
“Oh?” said Earl, a quizzical look on his face.”
“I said the Great Farsh-nuke was a lustful fool, I never said why.” said Reginald. “You see the Farsh-nuke wasn't a man to begin with. The Farsh-nuke was just a semi-sapient proto-universe wandering the nothingness until the soul of the original Lucy Dance appeared before it begging for an end to her existence. The Farsh-nuke became a man and gained a lust for women when it absorbed her soul to end her suffering.”
“And how does this information help anyone?” asked Earl.
“The Farsh-nuke didn't just gain a lust for women when he absorbed Lucy’s soul, he learned everything about her.” said Reginald. “He became the ultimate pickup artist. He knew how women thought, how they felt, what they wanted and just how easy it was to trick them.”
“He sounds like an arsehole.” said Earl.
Reginald snorted with laughter. “Oh, he was. One of them met my sister at a party once, next time I saw her she was smiling blank faced as a living statue in his home.”
Earl stared at Reginald then shook his head sadly, “So I’m guessing the idea was that the Farsh-nuke absorb the soul of the Logicios and thereby know their weaknesses.”
“Not quite.” said Reginald. “Similar things had been tried before and the Farsh-nukes had sided with the septagonoids. The logic was too corrosive.”
“So what was the plan?” asked Earl.
“For every Farsh-nuke that existed there would be a matching Lucy.” said Reginald. “This is because at the moment of absorption the Farsh-nuke bonded her soul to his. If he is born again so will she be. The plan was to bond the logic of the Septagonoids to the Farsh-nukes then commit suicide in a very particular fashion so that all Septagonoids and Lucys would similarly be trapped beyond life.”
“But that’s horrible.” said Earl.
Reginald nodded. “You’re right but it was also the only way. All new Farsh-nukes, Lucys and Septagonoids generated by the multiverse would become similarly trapped if ever any of those they were bonded with realized their potential.”
“Shit.” said Earl. “So what are you doing here?”
Reginald placed the index finger of his right hand to his lips then pointed to where a young man with piercing green eyes was getting up from the bar to approach a beautiful young blond woman over in the corner of the bar.
“No...” breathed Earl quietly.
“Is there anything we can do?” asked Earl. “They’re so young.”
“Not for them.” said Reginald. “But the Farsh-nuke escaped death once and he doesn’t like to lose.”
Reginald lifted the still mostly full pint of diet coke to his lips and drained it in five seconds.
“What are you going to do?” asked Earl.
“My duty” said Reginald simply as he rose from his seat.
The young man with the piercing green eyes wore a leather jacket and jeans. “The name’s William”
The beautiful young blond woman wore a short skirt and a leeveless shirt. “Lucy, pleasure to meet you.”
“I was just wondering if you wanted me to buy you a drink?” said William.
Lucy smiled warmly. “Alright, I’ll have a JD and Coke if that’s okay?”
William nodded, a wide toothy grin upon his face. He turned to fetch the drink.
Reginald blocked his way, towering over him. “On your orders, Sir.”
“Orders?” said William.
Reginald pulled out a revolver and shot William between the eyes then he spun the barrel and shot Lucy between her eyes.
When he found the light he found he was in a small room with a large double bed and a chest of draws but the draws were empty.
A short young blonde woman wearing a bikini entered the room carrying clothes.
William stared at her. “Who are you?”
“Lisa.” said the young woman brightly. “Master wanted me to give you these.”
William frowned but accepted the clothes then threw them on the bed. “Leave!”
“As you wish.” said Lisa. “I’ll just be outside.”
As William got dressed in the clothes he noticed something rather curious among the socks, handkercheifs and boxer shorts. Some kind of remote control with strange commands had a piece of paper elasticated around it. When he had removed the elastic bands and unfolded the paper he saw that it read:
William, excuse the manner of our meeting, all will be explained, I assure you.
For now please accept the gracious gift of my toy girl Lisa.
She is a fully sapient and sentient human being but I have spent a lot of time and effort ensuring that she will respond to commands given to her either verbally or through this remote control.
Enjoy her, I certainly have.
When William had dressed he exited the room into a long corridor and saw that indeed Lisa was standing patiently outside the door for him. She didn't even blink. She just stood smiling brightly into the middle distance.
William coughed. “Lisa, umm, could you... Umm... Could you take me...? To...? To your master?”
Lisa nodded “If you’ll follow me. I'm afraid lifting you might be tough.”
William rolled his eyes. “I’ll follow you.”
The place was a vast labyrinth of winding corridors but eventually Lisa led him into a seven sided room filled with complex instrumentation and screens. The man who had shot him was standing before a big screen and operating the controls.
“Apologies for shooting you but it had to be done.” said the strange man.
William glared at him. “You said on my orders? What orders? I've never met you before in my life.”
The strange man chuckled darkly. “It’s true William had never met me before but you did give me the orders, Farsh-nuke.”
William suddenly felt a ferocious pain in his head. It was like having a migraine while hungover as workmen dug up the road. “Oh god...”
“I did as you commanded, Sir.” explained the strange man. “I didn't like it but I did as you commanded. I killed William and Lucy just before they were dragged to the null place. The Septagonoids were sent there upon their deaths as is normal and then I remade you, Sir.”
William closed his eyes as memories from lives not lived flashed before his eyes. “Oh god, I killed her, I killed that girl, Lucy.”
“Don’t start feeling guilty for those who have diet because of you. We don’t have time for that.” said the strange man. “I have bought her back and implanted her with the same abilities as my own fair Lisa. Her body and her mind is yours to command if you wish.”
William nodded grimly and stiffened up. broadening his shoulders as he remembered the weight upon him. “I'm not that man anymore, not that monster. I will not command her. I did not use the loophole just to abuse som,e poor woman.”
“No...” said the strange man turning from the screen. His eyes visible without the glasses were revealed to be a bright yellow. “No, you never were content tto just play were you. You always had to get concerned with the needs of the little people. The Logicios, The United Civilisations and now this? Why can’t we ever just have fun?”
William smirked bitterly. “The Bam-Kursh? After all this time?”
“Always.” said the Bam-Kursh. “Did you think I was just going to let you sacrifice yourself without so much as a goodbye?”
“You saved my life...” said William.
The Bam-Kursh shook his head. “I killed a young man and woman. There’s a difference. So what is it? What great need calls the Farsh-nuke out of sacrifice?”
William sucked his teeth then strode over to examine a monitor. “Do you know that old joke about going back in time to assassinate Hitler?”
The Bam-Kursh snorted. “Didn’t you eat him once?”
William sighed. “Obviously you can’t change time. We live in a multiverse but you can change the present. I have spent more than a quadrillion lifetimes saving humanity from aliens and logic monsters and anomalies but never have I actually stopped to look after the people I was with. If they wanted to vote in Hitler who was I to stop them?”
“You’d be fighting against democracy.” countered the Bam-Kursh.
“What’s democratic about genocide!?” snapped William.
The Bam-Kursh snorted. “You just committed genocide against the septagonoids.”
“I had no choice. The septagonoids are hard wired to want to destroy all of reality.” said William.
“Fairly certain Hitler felt the same way about the Jews.” said the Bam-Kursh.
William glared at the Bam-Kursh then went back to studying the screen. “People are being oppressed and they’re being lied to. Where is democracy when the populace is informed by the party with the biggest budget?”
“Point taken.” said the Bam-Kursh. “So what are you gonna do about it?”
“Counter-song.” said William idly.
“What?” said the Bam-Kursh.
“Counter-song. It’s a bardic power from Dungeons and Dragons. If someone is using an auditory power to screw over the party a Counter-song can let the party think clearly.” explained William. “The media can influence the world to vote for people who will screw them overt so I will Counter-song with my own influence.”
The Bam-Kursh snorted. “And just what influence do you have exactly?”
William looked to Lisa and smiled. “The age of man is over, the patriarchy is dead and throughout most of the western countries in the multiverse feminism has all but won.”
The Bam-Kursh stared at him for a long moment then a smile spread slowly across his face. Her approached Lisa and kissed her on the forehead. “In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.”
Lisa asked “What do you mean?”
William shrugged. “Feminism is a very powerful tool, like any ideology, to whoever is clever and wicked enough to exploit it. Which I think means me.”
The Bam-Kursh chuckled then looked serious. “You can’t do this alone.”
“Oh I know.” said William.
“But I can’t help you either...” said the Bam-Kursh.
William nodded. “Thank you for doing this for me old friend. I know how far along it is. You don’t need to explain.
“You’ll take good care of her won’t you?” said the Bam-Kursh pointedly.
William nodded. “And I’ll take care of the girls. Thank you.”
The Bam-Kursh nodded. “Thank you.”
The Bam-Kursh pulled the revolver out of his pocket, pointed the barrel under his chin and pulled the trigger. His corpse fell lifeless to the floor.
William stared at the monitor for one last moment before he went to the controls of the ship. A thirty year old brunette was undressing a young ginger woman on the monitor as he left it.
Lucy woke. She was lying naked on cold metal. William was standing over her, he was dressed in some kind of strange tailored suit.
“Honey...” he said “We've got a lot to talk about.”
Lucy nodded. “Where am I?”
William smiled awkwardly and started helping out of the cold storage draw the bam-Kursh ha left her in.
The middle aged brunette led a young blonde woman in through the front door of her house then bolted the door shut behind her as the blonde woman giggled. Then she heard a polite cough.
William and Lucy were sittting on the bed in formal suits as Lisa admired the beautiful ginger woman in a bikini who was staring into the middle distance with a bright smile upon her face.
The brunette turned to run as the blonde woman looked confused.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” said William.
The brunette froze, staring at him.
The blonde looked to the older woman as if for guidance.
Lucy said “Lisa, make the girl a mug of tea why don’t you?”
Lisa nodded and approached the blonde woman.
The blonde woman looked to the brunette.
The brunette nodded.
The blonde woman followed Lisa into the kitchen.
William said “I was just admiring your collection. Do you know their names?”
The brunette nodded.
“That one’s Amy and she’s Emma.” said the brunette. “They consented.”
“I’m sure they did. I’ve eaten many a consenting date.” said William.
“We aren’t here to stop you engaging in your activites as consenting adults.” said Lucy. “We want your help.”
The brunette staggered backwards. “With what?”
“Politics.” said William. “Pig fuckers, fox hunters, racists, narcissists and creeps. Reckon we’d fit right in with that lot don’t you Bam-Kursh?”
The Bam-Kursh stiffened. “What do you want me to do?”
“Work with me, help me start a movement, together we can be unstoppable.” said William.
“What’s the catch?” asked the Bam-Kursh.
“You can’t keep trying to kill me and we aren't leaving this world, not until we've set enough organisations up to ensure its ongoing political stability.” said William.
“Okay...” said the Bam-Kursh “But if I don’t permanently harm them I can do what I like to your pets and I get to fuck you without her getting jealous.”
Lucy snorted. “Jealous? I’ll be involved.”
Bam-Kursh glared at Lucy. “Oh I could just carve you up like a christmass turkey.”
“Try it sometime.” said Lucy.
William sighed. “Deal but for heaven’s sake be gentle. I’ve not had this body long.”
Lisa led the blonde woman back into the room.
The Bam-Kursh smiled. “Honey, this is an old friend of mine and his girlfriend, they’re going to help us enjoy you.”
The blonde woman giggled.