This is a book that I couldn't complete. I didn't like it.
Induction - Broken Record
The term "timeline" is a fallacy of scientists, admittedly through no fault of their own. How could anyone guess that the universe has been repeating the same events for infinity? Time is not simply a measurement based on the rotations and revolutions of the earth. "Time", by definition (not Webster's definition; the TRUE definition), is the length of - for want of a better word - time it takes for all the events of the Universe to complete once. This happens every several billion years which causes a timeloop...not a line. For our purposes, and so you humans don't get confused by the colliding definitions of "time", we shall start the TRUE definition with a capital "T" and your silly little "measurement" definition with a puny, insignificant, lower-cased "t"...Even if the sentence begins with the word "time", it will be lower-cased.
There have been exactly infinity Times to date. Some argue that there must have been a "first" Time. Unfortunately for your comprehension, there was not. Times have always existed, therefore, there was no Beginning. Will there be an End? I don't know. I can't see the future although some people would have qualms and disagree with that statement, but it is, in fact, true ...despite what your leather-bound books teach you.
One of the hardest things for humans to grasp is that they have existed over and over since the beginning of time...except Buddhists...They understand this concept.
You may say that this whole talk of repitition of Time makes you feel as if your actions do not truly mean anything...that you are insignificant. This is not true . Your actions can change the future because the future is not written. Apparently, the Old Timeloop was altered by a single human. And I'll be damned (that'd be considered blasphemy if any of you little monkeys said it, huh?) if it didn't catch me off guard.
December was remarkably warm that year and not many people seemed to notice...especially those who were in the waiting room of the Edenn Memorial Hospital. The month was a little over a week from concluding. The date was the twenty-first minus one day, making it the twentieth. Outside, a man in a business suit babbled about how the End of Times was at hand, and the nursing staff debated on whether or not he should be removed. After a few moments of weathering the man's insanity, they removed him. Much to the man's dismay, he had to drive back home in his always less-than-perfect mental state. In traffic, a few yards from the hospital's entrance, the occupant of a vehicle blasting poorly mixed rap was victim to a severe honking by another driver. The result was a disastrous bout of vocal kickboxing. When traffic resumed, they forgot the argument and drove on their merry way. A few miles away, a couple discussed dinner plans. Well, the female discussed plans while the male stared at the television and uttered an "uh".
(None of these people were aware that the Universe was going to end - only to resume with a "Big Bang"...haha - within 24 hours.
Only, it wasn't going to end this time)
Around the same time all these events were occurring, a child breathed his first breath...But he wasn't supposed to. He was supposed to be a still-born, according to the pattern of the preceding Times. This confused the hell out of me. Eager to follow the saga of this miracle child, I decided to document it.
His name was Edward Wilner, and he survived out of a one out of infinity chance. According to statistics of probability that you could not possibly understand, this event was never supposed to happen. Not in a million years. Not in a googleplex æons. A one out of infinity chance does not exist and is not at all possible. He had that chance of survival, although it doesn't exist. Therefore, he shouldn't exist, and the statistical unlikelihood should be of no relevance.
But he lived.
The Mayans were correct. The world would end on December 21, 2012. It would, but it didn't. So the Mayans of this specific Time were incorrect on another one out of infinity chance.
Just so it's of no confusion, Jesus never comes back. Sorry if I wrecked your story.
No one is quite certain why Edward Wilner survived or why he picked that specific Time to do so. All things considered, it's doubtful that he could choose to survive or to not survive. That would suggest that humans can decide their fate in utero. And there's a one out of infinity chance of that happening.
I despise probability. I always used to recognize the Universe as being in a set pattern. After the birth of Edward Wilner, I'm not so sure what to expect. Every particular person on earth (or any other planet for that matter) has lived infinity times in the past...except for Edward Wilner. The only person to ever affect even the "timeline" was an insane man with a beard who worked with wood and may or may not have even existed. Probably not. Maybe so, though. I'm not telling which it is.
At any rate, Edward Wilner affected the Timeloop...something that even Jesus couldn't pull off.
But I digress. Here's the remarkable tale of Edward Wilner:
Chapter 1 - Carpool
Eddy rolled groggily out of his bed - just a twin-size mattress on a box-spring - with a faint memory of the horrible, preceding day. Such a horrible day, Eddy was glad to remember only a fraction. Everyday was horrible, though. Eddy loathed life. Life, as far as Edward Wilner was concerned, is 90% payment of fees (taxes, debts to friends, other forms of financial bitch-slappery) and 10% other. He never learned exactly what the "other" was. Phrasing the thought in a different way: Edward Wilner was broke.
He drug his feet - and, consequently, the rest of his body - to the kitchen to stare into the fridge until he decided, like he did every morning, to fix a bologna sandwich with mayonnaise. Much to his lack of surprise, he did just that. Bologna has a strange property, or so it seemed to Eddy, in that it took a long time to become spoiled. Incidentally, it is slightly difficult to detect when and if bologna has spoiled. This made the bologna sandwich the ideal breakfast (and lunch and dinner, quite often) for Eddy.
Edward Wilner lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in the sphincter of a desolate city named Angell Falls. His source of income involved...well...He didn't have a means of income. One might argue that he lacked the survival instinct except for one small detail: he was alive. And besides that, Eddy's laziness overpowered his instincts. So long as he had to do the bare minimum (and by "the bare minimum", I mean "absolutely nothing") he was fine.
Curiously, Eddy glanced into the cupboard based on the one out of infinity chance that something else would be able to calm his stomach's incessant growling. Much to the lack of an absence of his surprise, Eddy discovered something in the back of the cabinet. The something was actually a nothing-special but still something of a something. It was a jar of grape jelly.
"What would grape jelly taste like on a bologna sandwich?" he asked himself aloud. Not great, he concluded. He vaguely wanted to try this seemingly vile concoction. He vaguely wanted to dismiss the memory of the grape jelly that had mysteriously appeared in his cabinet (maybe it had been there all along, and he just never saw it...but that seemed unlikely). He vaguely wanted to return to his bed.
At length, he decided to try the grape jelly with bologna...instead of mayo with bologna.
Eddy spread out the makings of the sandwich on the small, four-sided (not exactly a square or a rectangle; poorly assembled) table, adding the jar of grape jelly to the mix and omitting the mayonaisse. The aforementioned "makings" consisted of white bread, the cheapest; bologna, ditto; and grape jelly, the strangest. I say "strangest" because it didn't exactly have the hue of normal grape jelly. It was slightly darker than normal grape jelly, and Eddy wasn't sure he was acquainted with the brand name: Enjoy Life.
"Fuck life," he muttered. He was not above rebuking foodstuffs, as he had the grave misfortune to discover over the last few weeks and was so kindly reminded by himself in the past few seconds. He said he'd thank himself later...Perhaps with a gun to the temple. Perhaps not. Yes...It was definitely the second one. It had to be the second one, you see, because otherwise the story wouldn't last very long at all, now, would it?
Despite the cursing of the grape jelly, it tasted rather delicious. He thought of cursing it again for hypnotizing him with it's jelly goodness, but that only furthered the jelly's resolve to piss Eddy off with its invigorating flavor. The Enjoy Life label wasn't the only patronizing quality, as the taste proved. Maybe only they seemed patronizing because Eddy viewed them as such. Maybe they really were trying to piss him off. Sometimes, those whacko conspiracies turn out to be true , if not utterly implausible...Even the one where the jar of grape jelly is trying its best to make your morning so great and optimistic that it pisses you off. It could happen. You don't know. Do you have a doctorate degree? (To those of you who have doctorate degrees: I apologize. To those who don't: you're no worse than those who do...You're just lazier)
Eddy stuffed the amazingly delicious (yet mysteriously annoying and condescending) jelly into the 'fridge with the bologna, the week-old milk, and the Sam's Choice Cola - 2-liter. After this, he retired to his room.
Edward stared out the window at the pouring rain, and began to curse, yet again. It was not that rain depressed him, per se. It wasn't even that the satellite reception might be slightly askew, much as it is every time a butterfly twitters by the satellite dish or any other harmless event causes Hell to unfreeze long enough for the satellite's reception to be less-than-perfect...as it always is. No...It was quite another thing entirely that caused Eddy such distress about the rain.
You see...He had left his car windows down.
Chapter 2 - The Grape Jelly Reminder
The only thing Edward Wilner hated more than swimming in his car was George W. Bush...But that's a story for another day. The matter at hand was the whole carpool thing (the literal sense of the word "carpool").
Fortunately, it had only been raining for five hours, so the car probably only contained a minimum of one foot of water. No big deal. Only that it was, in fact, a big deal. Eddy's car didn't double as a boat. On the plus side, it didn't double as a house, as it did for most people in Eddy's financial situation. It's also sufficed to say that the car didn't double as a houseboat...which, admittedly, would have been pretty cool.
Edward did not find the situation to be "cool".
(It's a bizarre phenomenon that the colloquial term "cool" has lasted as long as it has. Quite phenomenal, really. Oh wait...I used words with the root word "phenomenon" twice. Pardon me...Back to the story)
Unable to aptly resolve the situation, Eddy was forced to let it pass and just "Enjoy Life" (If a sound could be inserted into a book, I would insert an ironic rimshot at this point). Ignoring annoying situations was difficult. The least he could do - which is what he always did: the least - was roll up the windows and keep the rain from furthering his car's progression to becoming an aquarium...which is exactly what he did.
Edward walked angrily - as angrily as one can walk, I guess - down three flights of stairs before, at length, reaching solid ground. Eddy had something of a fear of elevators, so stairs were always his choice. He walked around back to the picturesque - the kind of picture you might find in a postcard of Hell or England- parking lot, where his car, or fish tank, lay.
Eddy rolled up the windows to his car and pulled his now-soaked feet from the vehicle. Fortunately, the water hadn't made it to the point of drowning the seat. Unfortunately, the gas and break pedals were completely submerged. This did not make for a very pleasant Eddy.
Sick and tired of all the physical effort, Eddy decided to swallow his fear and try the elevator. From that day on, Edward would be absolutely confident in his fear of elevators. The fears were justified, it seemed because within the next few minutes Eddy and a rather tall, mustached gentleman were suspended somewhere between the second and third floors.
Eddy's first reaction was to scream. He did this. His second reaction was to scream louder. The mustached gentlelman's reaction was to slap the piss out of Edward.
"For Pete's sake," he said, "Get ahold of yourself." He cleared his throat before continuing, "Now...Who do I have the pleasure of slapping?"
"My name's Eddy, and I swear to God, I'm freaked out enough without you slapping me around...So if we can keep our aggressive hands to ourselves, we'll do well."
"Don't do that," the man replied.
"Do what? The thing where I respond to your questions?"
"Take God's name in vain."
Eddy raised an eyebrow. "Ah. The sacriligious thing. Doesn't matter. Religion is a bunch of shit, you know."
This earned Eddy another slap. Eddy's rebuttle was somewhere along the lines of a punch to the man's stomach.
After a bout of punching and kicking and swearing, the two settled to normal conversation:
"So," Eddy said, "You believe in God?"
"So many people believe it," the man suggested. "There has to be something to it."
"A few hundred years ago, a lot of people believed the earth was flat. That didn't make it true ."
"Sometimes things aren't that simple," the man explained.
"Most of the time, they are...And I've seen how you feel about majorities." Eddy concluded the sentence with a light grin.
"So you just don't believe in God?" the man inquired.
"Then, what do you think made all this?"
"Why does something/someone have to make everything?" Eddy answered in a question. "Not everything has a purpose."
"Everything has a purpose."
"Wrong. Try this: Why do you have brown hair instead of blonde?"
"Because that was the dominant hereditary color."
"True," Eddy agreed...sort of, "Except that there wasn't a 100% chance of you having brown hair. A simple Punnet Square will tell you that much...The answer is probability favored brown...Not that God chose for those odds. I don't have to believe in God to believe a penny can land heads-up or heads-down, do I?" There was a pause. "Besides," Eddy continued, "If there was a God, the laws of nature wouldn't be constant...That is, if God was actually involved in the world. Since He's not involved, we see no apparent changes in the physical laws. Therefore, everything remains...with no need for a deity."
"You're crazy, you know."
At that point, the elevator began to ascend, again, much to Eddy's relief. Edward enjoyed the arguement. And wasn't that was he was supposed to do? Enjoy Life? That was what the grape jelly had reminded him. He decided to tuck away the grape jelly reminder into his mental filing cabinet.
The elevator rested at the third floor, and, at long last, the doors opened. Eddy parted with the mustached gentleman and went to his own apartment. The rain had stopped, he noticed. That means that there was little point in making the voyage to roll up the car windows. This would have angered Eddy, but he had already drifted into a sleep for which he had no use. He didn't need to rest for anything.
The silence of the apartment was unbroken by the noise of Eddy's silence. He was in dreamland.
Chapter 3 - Hello, Mr. President
The next morning, Edward Wilner decided to take a new approach to life. Maybe he'd get a job today. That is, in fact, what he did.
Eddy felt oddly invigorated. Possibly from the the refreshing verbal bout in the elevator, the preceding day. Perhaps from the reminder printed in calligraphic style text of the jelly jar: Enjoy Life. It was, in fact, neither of these things.
You see, Edward Wilner didn't know it yet - but maybe his subconscious had a bit of a clue - but he was about to turn his whole life around. He would finally have a source of income. He would finally ditch the survival-mode life.
The events of the day played out such as follows:
The sun lifted up over the horizon with victorious resolve. Not that it was much of a feat...because that is, of course, the sun's typical behavior. At any rate, the sun seemed to shine a bit brighter and with more of a je ne sais quoi. Eddy had the same essence orbiting him like a satellite - one whose picture isn't disturbed everytime a cloud enters the sky.
As the early-ish morning rays penetrated Eddy's east-facing window, Edward Wilner rose from his messy bed with a peculiar grin perched on his face. Usually, trying to get Eddy to smile was like trying to drown a fish. I'm not sure why he awoke with a smile. He had no job...no girlfriend...no "happy pills" to induce the smile. Still, he kept on grinning.
Eddy glided out of bed, as opposed to his usual sliding or rolling, and headed for the kitchen...only he wasn't hungry. He then decided to find a job. Eddy was blissfully unaware that he was doing that, but trust me...he was looking for a job.
Full of glee and full of pee, Eddy voided his bladder - just full of glee, now - and took the elevator down to the parking lot. There, he entered his car and set off on the adventure of a lifetime...not really. I suppose I shouldn't exaggerate the boring event of finding a job.
Not exactly sure what he was doing, Eddy had a "fender-bender" with Roger Philbin, the President of the Internet. The wreck was entirely Philbin's fault.
In 2020, Bill Gates died of a bizarre disease where a bullet enters an infected person's chest at the speed by which the bullet could be projected by a gun...or maybe he was just shot. In any case, a hacker/ex-teacher named Roger Philbin, through a web of boringly brilliant plans and courses of sly action, took full control of the Internet by 2023. Using propoganda, hacking, iPolice Monitoring Systems (iPMS), and global espionage, Philbin became a world leader, the first world leader who wasn't a real dictator. He was an atheist, and therefore, he had no problems with any of the religious groups. He respected them and got the same in return...except from the Christians, but he had a plan to cleanse the earth of them by 2043.
In 2027, the Internet began to be controlled from a supercomputer web in the city of Elohim(formerly New York City). The entire city was off limits to anything that wasn't composed of metal and didn't talk in a robotic voice. Stephen Hawking was banned after a lawsuit in mid-November of the same year. It was updated to say "No humans". Roger Philbin, of course, was allowed and a select group of hackers that guarded Philbin. They were called the Elohim Base Perimeter Control Squad. Not a particularly good name...Nor a particularly graceful acronym - EBPCS. After a week of the five-word nonsense, they changed the name to simply Elohim Base Control - EBC...which became much more popular.
It's sufficed to say that Roger Philbin had the single greatest influence in the world. And he had just wrecked Edward Wilner's car just outside Angell Falls (which was just 30 miles from Elohim). Edward wasn't happy. Roger was equally as not happy.
"What the hell, man? Do you have eyes?" Edward began.
"Ooo...That looks like a pretty big dent," Roger said, understating the blatantly obvious.
"'Big dent' is your description?" Eddy fumed, "Who are you, anyway?"
Despite Roger's high status, he submitted himself to the law, knowing that bad publicity could cause an overthrow. Roger was a pretty peaceful, unofficial world "leader". (No one ever called him a leader, but it was implied).
"I'm Roger Philbin...President of the Internet. Look...We don't need to worry with insurance. Listen, I can get you a new car. No worries."
That wasn't good enough. Eddy knew how much bad publicity would destroy Philbin. He decided to shoot for the moon.
"Hmm...That's a start."
Oh shit, Philbin thought, One of those people.
"I also want a job. A government job. One of those cushy government jobs where I do jack-shit and get paid. On second thought...Just forget the car. I just need the job."
Philbin considered this. He could give the man a "job" and call it even. It wouldn't hurt him at all, since currency was all electronic and no one could track the transactions but Philbin and the EBC...or the iPMS, but Philbin didn't worry about them too much.
"All right," Philbin said, "You have a deal. Where do you live?"
"Mr. Wilner...You are now the signal tester for the Angell Falls area. Every week or so, you will connect to the internet and report the signal strength to me. Sound like a simple enough job?"
"I think that just might work."
They exchanged IP addresses - Eddy owned a laptop...everyone did - and other information before they headed on their merry way. The plan was to essentially meet up every two weeks for a signal strength report...And for Eddy to pick up a 50-number code to plug into his computer that would transfer half of the month's pay to Edward's account.
Edward returned to his apartment that night with a fucked-up car and a big, fat I.O.U. in his account. Life was good.
Chapter Pi - A Digression for Your Digestion
It's profitable to note that I used to be bored. I saw evolution unfold over and over again. Every time, humans were the last step. Humans never evolved and it was a constant annoyance. I'm not sure why humans never evolved...Well...I wasn't sure at the time.
Anyway...My boredom was relieved when Edward was born, so I decided - as I've stated in a previous section - to write down the story.
Eddy and Roger actually became friends through all their meetings and transactions. They would discuss everything that was entirely unlike business over dinner at a restaurant in Angell Falls - a place called Halo Summit that was up a hill from Broken Wings, a bar/hot wing joint. Eddy would occasionally go to Broken Wings to enjoy a virgin Rum and Coke - ordering such had the tendency to piss off the bartender. Roger would accompany him and order a läger of some sort.
Roger liked Eddy. The kid had heart, as Roger might say. Eddy also held an air of someone who was only alive to piss people off. Those types of people were generally fun to be around. Sometimes, though, they piss you off.
Edward never bothered Philbin enough for him to care. The camaraderie gave Eddy a sense of power. He liked it...And for once in his life, he didn't feel like being an ass.
Chapter 4 - Invitation to the City of God
Broken Wings was filled with smoke - mostly cigarette and cigar smoke - and the thick scent of people. It's a horrible aroma. The smell, if you're not used to the cloud of people stench, in Broken Wings hits you exactly how a butterfly wouldn't.
Edward was used to it. He'd grown accustomed to the smell of cigarettes and whores when he was in high school - remarkably, the scent of a strip club filled with smoke is almost exactly identical the smell of a high school hallway.
Roger took a drink of his läger before eyeing Eddy with an I-have-a-proposition-for-you look.
"Hey," said Roger, "You wanna see how Elohim works? I could let you check it out."
Edward considered this. Elohim was a mystery to everyone in the quasi-free world. It was a city, and it was a computer. Some semi-religious nerds had even named it "City of God", saying that the city itself was, in fact, God. The religion depicted by such beliefs was known as Technismology - usually shorted to "Technism" or "T3K". The religious beliefs can be found in the e-holy-book: Æski: The Binary Gospels of 3L0H1M. Binary and "LEETin" became world-wide languages. Prayers were closed with the ASCII 8-bit binary coding for "period" or "full stop": 00101110. Attending such online church - chat room - sessions could really be annoying. Teks, as they were called, were not allowed to have computers that would translate the LEETin or binary for them. Luckily, different versions of the same e-book were written...to lighten the confusion. (Excerpts from Æski can be found in Chapter 4½ of this book)
"I've heard that your city is 'God'," Eddy grinned.
"Yeah...I don't know if I'd called it God, but...whatever they want to think," Roger replied.
"So," Roger continued, "You wanna check it out or what?"
"Um...Sure. Why not?"
Roger nodded lightly.
"We'll go in the morning," Roger said.
Eddy acknowledged this by sipping his virgin Rum and Coke.
The next morning, Eddy awoke without a hangover. I guess it would usually suffice to leave that bit of information unsaid...but I have to add it because Eddy spent the previous night in a bar. I'd say that waking up without a hangover after that is a bit of good news.
It seemed that everything turned around after he broke his routine. He still was unaware that he was such an important person...or what he was for.
I didn't even know what he was for, at the time.
Edward showered before slipping into some semi-formal, semi-I'm-too-cool-for-formal clothes. He had upgraded his wardrobe a bit since he began to receive an income. Now, he would not look like a poorly-dressed hobo trying to imitate a clown or a hippie. He'd look like a human.
Eddy took three flights of stairs to reach his new car at the parking lot level. Edward got in his car and drove out of the parking lot, into the traffic-infected streets of Angell Falls in rush hour. The locals, not so cleverly, referred to the time as "crush hour"...because of the numerous wrecks. Edward was a quasi-skilled driver, so he did not so much worry over "crush hour".
The other jackasses, however, did not do so well on the street - except for the ladies of the night...but that's a different sort of "doing well on the street". Eddy was held up because there was a horrible wreck on Highway 42 East, heading to Elohim. Eddy cursed. A myriad of emergency vehicles were present. By the looks of the vehicle, the occupant was a corpse.
Edward leaned his head angrily against his seat. Eddy was late for meeting Philbin outside the Gates of Elohim.
That proved to be less of a problem than Eddy thought. You see, Roger was in a renegade automobile. The GPS coordinates that had been programmed to stop at the Gates had been hacked. This caused his car to speed randomly into the streets, ending in a collision on Highway 42 East.
Within the black vehicle, Roger Philbin lay.
Chapter 4½ - Æski 3xc3rpt and Notes
The First Epistle Of St. iPaul (ELV)
Chapter Omega-3-Alpha, verses gamma through 7-zeta-4¼
In nomine Prophet, et Elohim, et Spiritus ASCII: w3 7h4nk t3h L02d, 3L0H1M, 4 t3h w0nd3rz 0f t3h m1gh7y W1k1p3d14. F20m 175 p4g3s, w3 h4v3 r34d t3h kn0wl3dg3 7h47 w3 h4v3 p24y3d 4. J00 d3l1v3r3d u5 fr0m t3h 3v1l5 0f IE 4nd 53n7 t3h gr347 Fox of Fire. Pr4153 B 70 j00, 4 j00 pwn t3h n00bz.
N0w, w3 45k 7h47 j00 70uch u5 w/ j00r h4nd & 53nd u5 fr0m 7h15 m473r14l w0rld 70 t3h l4nd 0f H34V3N. L37 u5 B m4d3 v1r7u4l 4nd 3nd t3h p41n 0f l1v1ng 0n 7h15 34r7h.
Prophet was a prototype robot used to prove the nonexistence of God. Prophet, instead, discovered that you cannot prove or disprove anything (Now known as the Prophet Paradox). A malfunction in his perception software caused him to hallucinate an encounter with Elohim, in which Elohim told him to start a religion in God's honor. Thus, T3K was born.
Prophet became a "homeless" robot in the City of God and was later unplugged by a member of the EBC by directed orders from Roger Philbin. He became the first T3K martyr.
St. iPaul was a cyborg saint that claimed to have visited the City of God. Roger Philbin made a public statement saying that such a thing could not be true because Elohim did not detect such a presence...but even if iPaul had been to Elohim, Philbin said, he could be put to death for trespassing. After this announcement St. iPaul went missing. Some say he was self-exiled to the island of Elysia off the coast of Florida. In a letter that was added to Æski a few years later, St. iPaul wrote that he had "gone on to be with Elohim in the virtual splendor of H34V3N, where there is no pain".
Æski is written in LEETin, mostly. Some e-mails that composed the early writings of the Æski, especially those written by Prophet and other robots, were in ASCII 8-bit binary code. Others in 7-bit.
The excerpt (Chapter Omega-3-Alpha, verses gamma through 7-zeta-4¼ of St. iPaul 1) was in the original ELV (Encrypted Leet Version). The following is the NNEIV (New Non-Encrypted Informal Version) translation of the same verses:
The First E-Mail Of That iPaul Guy (NNEIV)
Part Omega-3-Alpha, smaller-parts gamma through 7-zeta-4¼
In the name of Prophet, and God City, and ASCII: thanks Dude for Wikipedia. It kicks ass. Like seriously. Oh yeah...And thanks for gettin' rid of that stupid Internet Explorer shit. Firefox is better. Totally bad-ass. Better logo, too.
By the way, help us out a little bit every now and then. Don't be like all the other gods that don't make contact with anybody, and they end up havin' to believe in their god on the principle of coincidences and "faith".
The translator for this version was a teenage hacker named Daniel from a school near Elohim. The NNEIV was for the benefit of kids his age.
Daniel was later shot by his English teacher.
Chapter 5 - Death at a Funeral
Edward drug his feet - and consequently, the rest of his body - into the parlor of the funeral home. The stench of death covered the room like a fog. The most influential man in the world had been murdered by a hacker named Eric Kierst.
Eric Kierst was the pastor of Angell Falls Baptist Church and very "close to God". He saw the world growing more and more as is depicted in Revelation, the End of Times (he was a bit off). Coincidentally, he viewed Roger Philbin as the antichrist. Therefore, he decided to hack the man's car and be certain that the antichrist be killed. To me, that doesn't make sense. If God exists, things would pan out however God intended...so why would Eric believe that he could change that? Maybe he didn't really believe what he said he believed. There's the problem with fanatics...They don't believe what they claim to believe. They're just too proud to admit that they are frauds.
The material of which Roger Philbin's casket was composed was opaque. Incidentally, it was a closed casket. Therefore, Roger Philbin could not be seen.
Philbin's corpse, beneath the wooden exoskeleton that was his coffin, lay in pitiful shape from the game of "Chicken" that was played between the vehicle and a lightpost. Philbin lost this game.
Eddy walked, unsteadily, to the coffin of his late friend. It's hardly worth mentioning at this point that Eddy felt horrible. Since such information is worthless, the price of this sentence and the preceding sentence have been deducted from your purchase price. You have saved 1-infinitieth of a penny.
If the casket were open, Philbin would be looking up at Edward with closed eyes. Of course, the casket was closed, though, and Philbin, in either case, would have no participation in viewing anything...except maybe the "afterlife" - if such a thing exists. It doesn't, by the way.
The rest of the funeral panned in this way:
Everyone gathered into the chapel for the eulogy. Since Roger Philbin was well-known for being an atheist, the "preacher" giving the eulogy was also an atheist. This made for a very interesting time.
"Friends and family of the late Roger Philbin," he began, "My name is Peter MacTroy. Our friend, Roger Philbin, President of the Internet, has died. I'd love to shower your brains with false ideas of God and Jesus and Heaven and whatnot. Those things do not exist and cannot be proven..."
This was all that Peter could say before a bullet derailed his trail of thought - thought in the form of digression, as you noticed, I'm sure. MacTroy died instantly.
Eddy ran, as did the entire crowd, after the bullet resounded and echoed about the parlor. He escaped the chaos and fled the scene with his car.
The shooter did not fire another bullet, as the crowd had thought. But he did get convicted of the crime, in a way. He was lynched by a team of militant atheists outside of the funeral home.
Never before had a piece of rope done as much to pacify a group of atheists as it did that day.
Chapter 6 - The World is Falling Apart
Eddy's television displayed an anchorwoman with medium-length, red hair and the face of someone who hadn't acquired very much sleep, lately.
"Good evening," she said to the camera, "I'm Tracy Caulbert, and this is an emergency broadcast. Three days ago, at the funeral of Roger Philbin, the world-renowned President of the Internet and global peace-keeper, a eulogy was held by a Peter MacTroy. As we all saw on the global, live news feed of our computers, Mr. MacTroy was cut-down in his speech by an assassin's bullet. The "assassin" was from the local Christian community. The atheist community retaliated later that day by hanging Mr. Kierst, the Killer Preacher, in front of the Angell Falls Funeral Home. For these past three days, religious riots and small wars have been held around the world. No militaries have been involved, as of today. We will be on your global, live news feed in every language, including binary and LEETin, to keep you up to date on the world's condition."
Eddy sighed. The world was falling apart.
Chapter 7 - Neighborhood Wars
Billy Elysis hurled another mini-grenade across the battle-torn street in which his children used to play. The MG landed near where Michael Nemmstein was preparing a trebuchet to launch a large clod of dirt that he had dug out of his own yard.
A small explosion rattled the block. Gutters fell from houses, and people dove to avoid being victimized by their fall. The Nemmsteins' trebuchet released the clod of dirt, sending it rocketing toward the home of the Al Shabahs. Mr. Al Shabah cursed in Iranian as he ran from the flying ball of earth.
The dirt exploded as it collided with the eastern wall of the Al Shabah home, creating a thick cloud of dirt. Billy Elysis used this moment to attack.
"In nomine Patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti!" Billy yelled as he detonated the pre-set dynamite that lay in the foundations of the Nemmsteins' and Al Shabahs' homes. The homes collapsed in a cloud of smoke and flame.
Flames danced up from the rooftops of the war-engulfed streets. Huge clouds of smoke and dust covered the neighborhood in a fog-like haze. Bodies littered their respective yards and blood ran into the streets.
Children were dressed for combat, not for play.
The Al Shabahs would welcome death as a free ticket to be with Allah. They were doing His work.
Billy Elysis would welcome death as the beginning of his eternal life with Jesus. He was doing His work.
Michael Nemmstein would welcome death as a chance to meet the God of his people...For he was doing His work.
At the end of the street, Alan Johnson hid from the chaos. He was simply trying to avoid the insanity of the fanatics. He would have no part in welcoming an untimely death. He had real work to do.
Alan Johnson was a long-time friend of Roger Philbin and the head architect for Elohim. Philbin had been doing more than Johnson thought about keeping peace in the world. Now, religious zealots were stocking up with ammunition and firing at their lifelong neighbors. Times were bad.
But Johnson had places to be and things to do. If Elohim was overthrown, there would be no way to restore peace. Johnson had to make sure that Elohim not be taken over by any specific group of religious idiots.
Chapter 7¾ - God Module Defined
The God Module is the area in your brain that creates all delusions of religion and spiritual things. This evolutionary Module was developed to add order and stability in society. This, however, became more of a problem as different people's perceptions interfered with their God Module, causing new, conflicting religions.
There are people, called atheists, who have trained themselves to ignore the illusions of the God Modules. They can only, however, ignore it. No more can be done. A few people were born without the God Module at all. One of these people is Roger Philbin. Two more are named Edward Wilner and Alan Johnson.
Chapter 2³ - g0d_killer.exe
Two weeks ago, Edward Wilner sat across the table from Roger Philbin at Broken Wings, sipping their respective drinks and discussing nothing in particular. Suddenly, Roger Philbin broke into a new discussion.
"Have you ever heard of a 'God Module'?" Philbin asked.
"Yeah. There was a lot of research done on it. What about it?"
"One thing that I've developed as a leader is a capacity to keep peace and to, if necessary, restore peace. I have an emergency program, in the center of Elohim, that has a wireless connection to the God Modules of every person on the planet. If needed, I have the ability to shut them down."
"Really? That's kinda cool. Why would you do that, though? Like...What'd be a scenario in which you'd have to do something like that?"
"Picture this," Philbin began, "The world is at war, and the cause is relgion...conflicting religions. In order to stop the madness, I can simply put an end to the mess by running the God Module program at the center of Elohim."
"Where exactly is this program? And who all knows about it?"
"I'll show you sometime...And nobody. Only I do...and you, now."
"Sweet. I feel special." Edward sipped his virgin Rum and Coke.
"The program is called g0d_killer.exe," Philbin remarked with a smile.
That was two weeks ago. Now, Edward Wilner had a job to do. He had to find the g0d_killer program and run it. First, he had to infiltrate the most secure city on the planet: The City of God.
Chapter 9 - The Mine Field
Alan Johnson waited for the explosions to subside before he grabbed all of his computer equipment and ran like hell. His destination: Elohim. That was the only safe place. He knew the entire city because he had, of course, designed it himself. The only problem was infiltration.
A dead, three mile radius surrounded the City. Alan was entering this radius, The Mine Field. "The Mine Field" was just a name, though. There were no mines...Only a labyrinth of secure 20-foot, biomechanical walls designed to kill any man that dared to enter it unauthorized. A person could get lost and die in such a maze...Or make a wrong move and end up unhappily flying in random directions, all simultaneously. Luckily, Alan designed it...But that was a decade ago. So his luck was not so good as could be hoped for at the time. Incidentally, all the passwords had evaded his conscious memory.
Carefully, Alan tried to envision The Mine Field from bird's eye view. He tried desperately to recall every turn and all the codes to open secret doors. There were keypads at certain dead-ends that could access a trapdoor...only if you knew the password...or if you had Roger Philbin's fingerprints. Alan didn't remember the codes, nor was he the physical embodiment of the late Philbin, so he had to find his way through the labyrinth the old fashioned way...which he already knew was impossible.
Suddenly, a young man ran by with a baseball bat in his hand and a defensive android on his tail. The defensive androids were released whenever an individual punched in a false password or when anyone other than Roger Philbin pressed the thumbplate. The young man turned quickly and bashed the three-foot tall mechanical being in the side of what would probably be his skull. Wires and sparks flew from the side of the androids head. The man kicked the bot one good time before gathering his composure and looking calmly at Alan.
"Hi there," the man said.
Alan Johnson looked at him uneasily. "Who are you?" he asked.
"My name's Edward Wilner. I was a good friend of Roger Philbin. And who do I have the pleasure of addressing?"
"Well, I guess this is my lucky day. Do you have the passkeys? I've tried several things, but I keep getting these damn androids. Seriously, I've beat the hell out of like 10 of these little bastards," Eddy said as he motioned toward the pile of mechanical death.
"Why are you risking death to go to the City of God?"
"I'm an atheist in a world rattled by religious wars. What the hell do you think I want the City for?
"But the City will be conquered eventually by the religious zealots."
"Yes...But...Philbin left a program to be executed in case something like this were to happen."
"What program? I designed this place. There is no hidden program."
"Yes, there is. It's called g0d_killer.exe. He hooked it up to everyone's God Module. He was going to execute it in case of religious war outbreaks. Now, he's gone, so I'm going to do it."
"Where is this program?" Alan inquired.
"The center of Elohim is what Philbin said. Something about a tower."
Johnson's eyes widened with understanding. "He asked me to build a central tower that sent a continuous signal to the brainwaves of every person on the planet. I guess this g0d_killer.exe is a preset to disrupt these brainwaves."
"So you're in?"
Chapter 10 -
At that moment, Alan turned and began to run, inviting Edward to follow. Edward followed.
"Where are we going?" Eddy inquired, already short of breath.
"Back to my house. I need the pass codes to these walls. They're specifically designed to kill people that don't know the codes."
"Ah...A bit of a snafu," Eddy said and added, "Why aren't we driving?"
"Have you seen any of the fuckin' battles that are going on? I'm not driving a car through the flames of Hell, like that."
"I see," Eddy muttered, slightly defeated and insulted.
At length, Edward and Alan emerged from the metallic labyrinth and into the horrors of the pre-apocolyptic ruins of Angell Falls.
Cars lined the roads and were covered with ash, flames erupting from the hoods, wind whipping the fire in random directions. Houses lay in ruin with their collapsed roofs in the centers. Former pets scattered about the neighborhoods, seeking refuge. Bombshells exploded in yards. Bodies were strewn about the scene.
"Fucked up, ain't it?" Alan remarked.
Edward nodded. Then, a thought occurred, "How are these people getting all these damn weapons?"
"The Black Market. It's not difficult to get grenades or mines, nowadays."
Eddy signified his understanding with a nod.
A grenade exploded about 50 yards away, in the 10 o'clock direction. Shrapnel coated the adjacent areas. Luckily, Alan saw the grenade before it had the indecency to explode...So Alan had thrown Edward to the ground and dove away, himself.
"Thanks," Eddy gratified.
"Yeah...Whatever," responded Alan.
"So...Where do you live?"
"About three miles from here."
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