A young man in pyjamas and a dressing gown is slumped in a throne on the bridge of a starship. He looks out a great glass viewscreen at a vast shimmering light show in space. He sips from a can of diet coke and sighs.
Alexander Gordon Jahans
A tall middle aged man with emerald green eyes, dressed in a mismatched three piece suit, materialises on the bridge beside him. The tall man looks about the bridge, muttering. “Not in the shit anymore.” He stares at the young man in the captain’s chair. “Alex, what is this? Where are we?”
“A different metaphor for a different problem, William.” says the young man and he leans forward in the throne, pointing at the viewscreen with his coke hand. “What do you know about Wormholes?”
The Farsh-nuke strides up the viewscreen and stares into the heart of swirling, shimmering, light show, trying to determine what lay at the other end. “They’re a theoretical spacial feature. a passage connecting two entirely separate parts of space and time with a singularity at either end. Virtually impassable unless you have a very fast and tough ship and even then the conflicting pressures could tear whatever tries to travel through apart.”
The young man nods and sips his coke. “This ship is in full reverse trying to get away from it and we’re just holding position.”
The Farsh-nuke looks back at the young man. “This ship is you, I’m your goddamned psyche, this whole thing is an exercise is understanding an issue, so what is it? What’s pulling you towards this singularity?”
The young man drains the diet coke, crunches it in his fist, tosses it aside and stands to his feet, dressing gown like flowing robes. He looks at the Farsh-nuke with a green fire in his eyes. “Racism...”
The Farsh-nuke stares at the young man sucks on his teeth then looks back to the viewscreen. “You intend to drive this ship through the singularity, to risk the damage that may cause, and for what? To defeat a concept?”
The young man shakes his head. “I’m not a nice man, hell, I’m not even sure I should still be alive, but my world is going insane and I have a platform from which to preach.”
The Farsh-nuke burst out in laughter and looks mockingly at the young man. “They aren’t your choir! They despise everything you stand for and everything you are! Even those who like you, like you the same way villains in movies like the heroes. The whole “We’re just alike you and I” schtick. They are deluded and obsessed! You cannot engage with them!”
The young man nods. “You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I can’t engage with them. Not directly.”
The Farsh-nuke stares at the young man. “Not... Directly?”
The young man picks up a staff of diet coke and strides towards the viewscreen and the Farsh-nuke. “My hatebase are the enemy. They are exactly the demographic I would want to be reaching with my rhetoric. If there is even a chance that I can change someone’s mind, that I can cause someone to become more moderate, to question their research...”
“They will use you.” pleads the Farsh-nuke. “If you give them an inch they will take everything. They know where you live, they’ve tried hacking your accounts and they are stalking you. Don’t provoke them.”
The young man smiles. “They will try but those who spend their lives in shadows can’t fathom those who live in the light. I’ll be fine. And anyway what good are my morals if they make me run when I can fight.”
“They could hurt your family.” says the Farsh-nuke emphatically.
“They’re just trolls.” says the young man, smiling and looking at the window.
“They are for the moment.” says the Farsh-nuke. “Do you really think it’s going to stay that way when you are analysing every aspect of their culture and rebuttling it? When you’re lying lying your arse off to get onto the Daily Shoah, Millennial Woes and other alt-right podcasts? You’ve had to call the police because these people couldn’t handle indifference, annoyance and ranting, just what the fuck do you think will happen if you decide to go to war with these people?”
The young man stares into the wormhole. “I think I’ll make a lot of money from angry idiots, catch a few scum bags and do my part in the culture war. I mean they did want scripted videos with proper arguments.”
“Exactly!” says the Farsh-nuke. “This is what they want, don’t do it.”
The young man shrugs. “I thought talking to you would help me make up my mind. I’m even more confused now.”
The Farsh-nuke falls silent and stares at the young man in his pyjamas and dressing gown, carrying his coke staff. “You want this don’t you? You’ve cut the bullies off and you’ve succeeded but that’s the problem isn’t it? All you’ve ever known is the school yard and being bullied. You’re not even scared of your father and self loathing any more. You want to start a war because you’re bored and want more trolls to swat. You’re mad.”
The young man giggles and turns his back on the viewscreen. “I was gonna have us meet round the dinner table given my recent Hannibal binge and my writing of Weresylph Dawning but I thought that might come off as a little too nuts and well the ending of season 2 hit me a tad hard so I dredged up this dilemma, had to write about something.”
The Farsh-nuke stares at him.
The young man smirks. “You’re right, you’re absolutely right, I want to pick a fight. I thought these were just isolated insane morons but now the British government is giving them they greatest desires so I want them to suffer. And since they’re all depressive autists like me I know just what buttons to press.”
“I did not know you were so sadistic.” says the Farsh-nuke soberly.
“Where do you think you came from?” says the young man then he narrows his eyes at the Farsh-nuke. “They are genocidal nazi fuckers. That means by my morality they can die. More than that though I want them to, I hate them. I despise everything they stand for and that the vile shits could ever think to find kinship with me. I have a policy against revenge but I very much enjoy it and these fuckers are presenting me with the one situation where I can allow myself it.”
“There are laws to obey.” warns the Farsh-nuke.
“Oh don’t worry about that. I’m not going to physically harm anyone.” says the young man. “But these people have forgotten how to troll, if they ever did. They have a culture of viral ideas and jokes. A union of the isolated with a shared language of memes. I could give them such an education.”
“It’s dangerous to poke the hornet’s nest.” says the Farsh-nuke. “Hell just this autoexposiprose could cause bad consequences for you and your family.”
The young man grins. “We you know me, I’ve never really been one to listen to threats.”
“Yeah, you’re an idiot.” says the Farsh-nuke.
“And if they were just coming for me I would agree with you.” says the young man more somberly.
The Farsh-nuke closes his eyes. “You’d do it, wouldn’t you? Risk death to save others in the propaganda war.”
“Yes.” says the young man without hesitation.
The Farsh-nuke glares at him.
“No.” says the young man, then he shrugs. “I don’t know. Any decision I make is going to affect my family and that makes it more complicated, particularly when I don’t know if all I’m doing is providing a straw man image of the left wing for the alt-right to laugh at.”
“But the moment someone threatens your family -?” asks the Farsh-nuke
“I go line by line through every video of millennial woes and every podcast of the daily shoah to deconstruct the alt-right and lecture on the wisdom of 4egulated capitalism and techno-progressivism.” says the young man. “Or at least I’ll want to.”
The Farsh-nuke laughs.
The young man laughs.
The wormhole shimmers behind them.