Sorry to sort over, my fellow droogs, that - since some pretty pollys have been disminded at the letter amounts of my many-layered papercake - my tribute to Anthony Burgess [A CLOCKWORK ORANGE being among other readables of his] I feel must be removed from my revised edition. Would that be brain-savvy, do you determine? Either way, here for your private perusings is "Observatus".
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--- The world was going to end, and he didn't want to miss it.
--- Though still, there was the war of course to weather.
--- Even now, sleek strikers with particle parriers and heart-bearing bushers broke over him like a skein of starving scavengers, searching for signs of their powerless quarry. Their shiny, silvery noses gleamed and glimmered, flying in a deadly formation as they approached while behind them loomed Sceptre - Olympia's third and largest satellite - one so close in orbit at present that he felt he could almost reach out to it and touch it and at last find sanctuary there.
--- That hopeful imaging proved hollow, however, for the very next moment volleys and voltages were dispatched in his direction, gutting and gouging up the cold and craggy terrain beneath his antiquated grounder, churning and chunking about shards and slivers of glittering and glistening rock there as they did, all of which soon left him buried up to the brimside of his broughtover.
--- Then those same strikers turned his way again but only fleetingly, fortunately, before they barreled back down into the blackened bowels below where more of their kind were sure to be watching and waiting and wangling, to destroy the defenseless and to kill their dreams along with their minds so that only their souls remained.
--- Such an anomaly was life and death, he well knew.
--- Otherwise, this ongoing affrayment meant little to him. After all, it was their routine ritual. Besides, it was the spectacle - not they - he yearned to see.
--- Accordingly, after dislodging and discharging the residual debris from the flexible shell of his plexible hull, he headed over to the multiple passages that myriaded and mingled down through the tired, tertiary tunnels underneath until he came upon the cavern, itself.
--- Once there - as he had become so uncomfortably accustomed - he was reproached by some on sight while others recoiled in reaction to it so that he soon selected seating off the center section as usual, avoided by all save for Hrdy - a geem consistent whose time-tortured features most found to be either frightening or frightful but which Pasun, himself, considered uncommonly unique.
--- This elder elocutionist acknowledged his entrance and then etiquated his own needs before he spoke, squinting at the liquidity as it subsequently shaped before him before he held it high and haughtily as if it were some sort of sanctified and sacred panacea before appraising IT while addressing HIM: "An old poisonous potion, Pasun." He beckoned back at what they had all been waiting to witness with a shaky and shivering grip. "One as prehistoric as that planet that is soon to be expirated."
--- Their attentions were drawn and diverted by the actions that appeared about the flud, momentarily, where a fiery ball of blues, scarlets and yellows festered and flared and flamed across it, an aura of such magnitude and magnificence that its streams and beams of invasive illumination practically pervaded each and every nook of the geem as well.
--- "As satisfying and as soothing as is its successor, some might say," Pasun said, selecting now a stronger solution than his and feeling comforted by the thought of having IT as well as the thought of seeing THAT.
--- But, as one might suspect, something unexpected next occurred.
--- The flud flashed out.
--- After it did, the figured followed. A few in back chantered and charged out a series of obscenities as others about either grumbled or griped, one particular patron, whose senses were slipping, himself hurling a half-filled foamer off the flud in frustration.
--- On the over, in the mean, a vex-voiced deliberator announced that another prominent presider had succumbed - his end attributable to a murderous minority as normal - before he expounded earnestly on the evils of it all and of how it should not be so customarily accepted in a society as acculturated as their own as well as espousing other such simple-sensed, languishing languorousnesses.
--- Hrdy finished his libation with an exasperated swallow, scarcely listening.
--- "And what else might one reasonably expect?" he said as a replacement filled the hold of his hand. "After all, the human race has been killing itself since the very first few were ever formed."
--- Between them, without caution, another stood suddenly, sniffing and snuffling before he grandiosely gagged, his cohorts close by rancoring and roaring in response to his rudeness.
--- In return, Hrdy expressed a smidgen of a smile while they did before he quietly quaffed what he had in his hand and then spat and sprayed it all over them.
--- With that, though, the air was systematically shocked so that they each would unwillingly withdraw, the other making more spiteful signs as he retired, regardless, all designed to denigrate the degree of Pasun's own masculinity for - in spite of his youth and muscular mien - all could see he was a subjugate spim, one cursed with not only a hairless head but also a torpid and crippled copulator as well.
--- "Humans," Hrdy said in turn, now partaking of more potency. "Worse type of animal God and nature ever devised."
--- Mercifully, everyone's attention was averted an instant later as the account by the deliberator was supplanted with that of the old sun once more, the sight of its bloated and boiled body slowly resaturating the room.
--- "Did you know, Hrdy, that I closed in before on Sceptre, herself, myself?" Pasun confided at that although, along with the others all about, still being both beguiled and bewitched by the barrenness of such foreboding beauty.
--- The other man looked at him like some wise-weary immortal.
--- "The moon on our side this rotation, you mean," he determined.
--- "Yes, and it was so close," Pasun gasped, "that I felt I was perusing and pursuing potential paradise there."
--- "Like spiraling skypeaks you eagerly approach yet find the closer you come the further they are," Hrdy assessed, thereby effectively crumbling that contemplation completely.
--- Pasun squeezed his eyes tight while he tried to revisualize what he had seen nevertheless and - even more than that - had WANTED to see.
--- Until his geem-mate obscurated and obliterated the bliss of that thinking, too, by saying: "How sad it must be - that is, your being a spim and all - that the things you can never hope to have are all that you can ever hope to make you happy."
--- Angered and anguished as such, Pasun then lifted his libation like some watery weapon before he drafted down its stinging and clinging contents though only after considering how sufficiently sating it might have been to have disrupted Hrdy's indifferent demeanor had it not been for the fact that he KNEW he was RIGHT.
--- "It is barely enough to legitimize what life I have AS life," he as a result conceded, reasoning now through red-rimmed eyes.
--- "Down below where you labor where few others live," Hrdy recounted. "So that for you the sight of Sceptre must be so much more than it can ever be for me - a memory for YOUR LIFE, I suspect."
--- Hearing his harsh, yet heartfelt honesty, Pasun drank down another libation as well while wanting another and another AND ANOTHER so as to get apathied and amnesiated altogether.
--- "Which is why I will watch the wonder of it all with all my sole, selfish senselessness!" he screamed as a subsequence, the tumult and turmoil within the solar circle currently conspiciously increasing.
--- "To all of you throughout The Milky Way!" a demonstrative deliberator declared while it did. "We will soon bear witness to a true miracle in space!"
--- Once he finished, Hrdy flailed out his libate-fuddled fingers and forcibly frowned.
--- "Not much of a miracle!" he hiccoughed, his eyes having become accordantly amber and opaque. "For it is all natural. AS NATURAL AS BIRTH AND AS NATURAL AS DEATH!"
--- Albeit looped and lingering from the effects of his tipplers, too, Pasun swore he could feel the old sun's waning warmth and smell its cosmic carcass.
--- "Besides, it's already happened," Hrdy insisted with a break of the brows. "And it surely must be a SIN to look back upon its destruction."
--- Nonetheless, Pasun focused on the frothing ferment of bubbling blue that bore the blisters of the stricken star in the inner middle, much like an ocean might in Hell, he harbored.
--- Meanwhile, a pair of planets were produced, both of which - the deliberator divulged - had been engulfed by it eons earlier, consequently prompting him to compare it to some mad parent that had devoured two of her very own children long ago.
--- As such, the dying and decaying disc assumed a far more devilish deportment to Pasun, drawing him to determine as he dwelled on it that it doubtlessly deserved its foreseeable fate.
--- The doomed world, itself, was then introduced, it all swamped and skirred by several series of squalls and storms, its scarred skin a naked-and-notched granite-grained gray.
--- "There goes its helium!" the deliberator proclaimed of the sun simultaneously as a deafening discharge reverberated and rumbled within its pink-and-purple corona while it continued its incoming collapse a breath before flurries and flusters of blues and bright yellows flickered and fanned out from its airless exterior into the derelict and desolate darkness about. "And here comes that heat again!" he thereafter imparted.
--- That is when, however, something entirely unforeseen arose.
--- For the ancient wanderer all of a sudden shuddered and shimmied as parts of what had been its mountains began to jar and jumble while what once had held its water started to wrench apart. Ranges of rock were right after ripped out and uprooted. Huge blankets and blocks of soil, sand and stone were strewn about as well, its surroundings sent spinning sideways and skyward while the surface, itself, buckled back and broke open, its insides bursting and its body breaking into innumerable fractures and fragments as it did.
--- A resounding resonation, thereupon, rocked the room, bringing a few to buckle and bawl out in befuddlement, and even causing Pasun, himself, to cautiously cower.
--- The stricken sphere, meantime, further sundered here and separated there as if God, Himself, had happened by and had left His own heavenly footprint down upon its mutilated remains until it shattered and scattered into space.
--- And then it was simply no more.
--- Hrdy bent back and choked and chundered at its unanticipated annihilation while those about cheered and chanted.
--- Yet Pasun found he could only consider it close-mouthed with conflicting contemplations of rejoicing and remorse.
--- Even the deliberator at first appeared to be too stunned to speak but then managed to muster: "One would think it had never even been there."
--- Another libate materialized within Hrdy's faltering and fluid-filmed grip.
--- "But it WAS," the speakerman at the same time wept on as the spirit of the sinful star emitted an eerie, ending emanation. "And we must remember THAT IT WAS!"
--- While he did, it became all so suddenly understandable to Pasun - the universe, the galaxy, Olympia, himself and everyone and everything else in it. That is that they were each a part OF IT and each a part of EACH OTHER. Even Sceptre, he now truly knew, he could touch had he ever the nerve or notion or necessity or need.
--- "Nor must we ever forget who WE ARE or who THEY WERE!" the deliberator, meanwhile, cried out. "Nor must we ever, EVER forget what IT WAS!"
--- Hrdy's head heaved and hunched over while the other man's eyes seemed to seek out Pasun's very soul.
--- "THE EARTH!"
"The Final Phase is confidently recommended to science fiction enthusiasts as a sweeping, complex and dramatic saga of the far-flung future." - The Midwest Book Review [www.midwestbookreview.com] November 2002