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(MSWC) God of the Pick 'n' Mix

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posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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Here's my submission for the Mysterious Subjects Writing Context.

For the record, I had all sorts of issues transfering this to the ATS browser because it kept deleting the paragraph indents at the beginning of sentences. The only way around it seems to have been to entirely reformat it, removing indents and adding paragraph gaps and such, so this is going to look a lot longer than it originally was and I'll post it in stages. Sorry!

Hope you all enjoy it, regardless of the reformatting.

--

“You chase me down, you follow me, you watch me, for millennia now you’ve done it. You’ve always been there, on my back but you scarcely ever say anything. You just watch. You’re powerless to change things, you know that better than anyone. How can you predict a variable?” he says to me.

“This time,” I say, “don’t do it.” As if it’s that simple, as if he’d ever listen. As if he’s even listening now, all I can hear is the alarm going off at full volume.

Last time I saw him he was working for the CIA, before that a terrorist group, before that he coordinated guerrilla forces in Vietnam, years before that he was working for Stalin, before that Hitler, before that the list goes on and on.

Now he’s a general in dress uniform, a red button away from releasing Texas’ nuclear arsenal on whatever dot on the map strikes his fancy. Yet again he has millions of lives in his hands.

“I can’t not do it and you know that, your predictions are all based on me,” he’s talking on and on, his accent is American now. I remember the last conversation we had was in Quenchua, on a green mountain overlooking the construction of Machu Picchu. I was saying the Spanish don’t need to know about this place, he was saying it’s the way of things.

He was saying it’s what he’s here to do. Population control, sanitation, disease control, damage limitation call it what you want, he said, all in Quencha, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. And why not let it be someone who enjoys it. He told me all this and this was a normal conversation.

The truth is I’d love for my predictions to be wrong. It’s not even about the millions of people dying anymore, do you think I care? I’ve seen billions of people die. I’ve married more times in my life than you’ve had hot meals and I’ve watched every last wife get older and older and eventually disappear, fade, fall into insignificance. Die. All the while wondering why the man she married 50 years ago doesn’t look a year older than on the day she met him.

So why would I care about a few more million? I just want to go.

I get to thinking about how we got to this situation, in this war room right now. There’s me, there’s him, then there’s 7 dead soldiers between us.

It’s hard to defend yourself against a man that won’t die.

Let me try to explain things before the idea of an explanation is lost next to the radiation fields, the death, the disease, the carnage. The third world war.






Imagine living forever. Imagine seeing the rise and fall of civilisation more times than you can count, imagine watching rocks turn to great monuments, to towers, to pyramids, statues, then watching them crumble back down to earth, just to become another monument for another people in another time.

Imagine seeing the great pyramid in its prime, perfectly smooth with a golden capstone so bright and polished you can only look at it in the moonlight.

Imagine all this and never being surprised. Imagine the beauty of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Lighthouse of Alexandria and imagine how that beauty is only surpassed by the astonishing detail with which you’d already visualised the whole thing in your head.

Imagine the boredom.

How much would you have enjoyed Fight Club, or the Sixth Sense or Harry Potter if you knew the end? I knew the end and everything that came before. I knew Ginny and Harry were going to get married before J.K Rowling had even thought about Harry Potter.

How much would you enjoy Harry Potter anyway though? I mean really. So maybe Harry Potter’s not the best example, but that’s my life.

No alarms, and no surprises, in the words of Thom Yorke.

You may find this all a little hard to believe and I don’t blame you. I found it hard to believe, but you start to understand after you’ve been alive for five hundred years, or a thousand and look like the same man you were when you were thirty.

Your clothes change, your hair style, you live so long you forget what language you spoke first and when you were born. You live so long you can’t remember your mother’s name or even if you have a mother. But you know within a margin of a few hours exactly when World War 3 will start.

Except, this isn’t World War 3 that’s about to start, it’s more like World War 7. When you’ve lived through every civilisation on a planet world wars become tiresome and blur into each other. Mass murder is something you see so often it doesn’t register anymore. You don’t even need to be a prophet to know how a world war will end, they all end basically the same.

All this, like I said, it’s a little hard to believe until you stand under the drop site of an atom bomb and then walk away.

And I’ve survived five.

News Flash: Mastering the Atom. That happened long before you guys figured out how to do it.

My clothes will burn, my hair burns, but when I walk away from the fire and radiation I’m healthy, there’s not a grizzly radiation ulcer or a burn mark on me. I’ve not had so much as a cough for as long as I remember.

The black death, Hiroshima, terrorist attacks, whatever. Been there, done it.

Been there, done it, and knew exactly how it was all going to play out long before it happened.

It’s not all fun and games being God. And that’s what I am, at least, sort of.

I’m some sort of evolutionary fluke, some dead end, something that science forgot. And whenever science forgets something, religion names it.

The Mayan’s had a name for me, the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Incas and long before them so did the Atlanteans. They all had names for me. I don’t remember what the names were anymore, admittedly.

I was probably God of something rubbish. God of teaspoons, God of bricks, God of the Pick 'n' Mix, God of nature documentaries.

God of knowing the future but never being able to do a God damned thing about it. Like the God of fishing rods who’s scared of water, or the God of butchers who’s a vegetarian. Useless.

News Flash: Teaspoons are all your’s, no one figured that idea out before you, everyone else was satisfied with one general spoon size. All those civilisations that came and went that had bombs, and TVs, that had cars and airplanes, well, you guys invented the teaspoon, so well done on that.





Here and now seem redundant when the past and the future are the same to you. And when you see the future laid out and paved before you the same as the past behind you nothing seems all that very different.

The alarm’s still ringing, a red flashing light spins on the concrete wall of the bunker. The dead bodies still slump across the table draining blood into a pool on the floor.

Ares is still in front of me saying how it’s his responsibility, it’s what he’s put here to do. As a God, it’s his duty.

“I’m not going to let you do it,” I say.

“You know you will,” he says, now turning away from me and tapping at a keyboard. Access codes or programming coordinates, I don’t know which. “What I’m doing now is my job, what you’re doing is your job. I was always the God of War, you always were the God of being a whiny little girl, right?”






Don’t get me wrong, I played the whole God thing for a while but the assassination attempts get tiresome and eventually even the slave girls don’t maintain your interest.

I tried slave boys for a while but it didn’t work out.

As best I remember I’m from Atlantis. I’m pretty sure all of us, and make no mistake, I’m not the only one, are from Atlantis.

Some of us were heralded as Gods or demons, some us just went into hiding. Some of us weren’t so lucky.

One of us in particular wasn’t so lucky: Big Foot. Let me tell you, that’s not a family of some ancient monkey species, that’s one of us. She lived in North America for a while, a while in Canada, then if the stories about the Yeti are true, she went to where-ever the Yeti’s from.

I don’t have all the details, it’s not like we send each other Christmas cards.

Dear Sasquatch...




posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 10:37 AM
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Now, when you think of Atlantis you probably think brilliant stone columns, of smooth marble. You probably see water reads curling around a coliseum, everything coloured by the blue haze of the water.

Before that you see an Island, with clean air, without chewing gum blobs on the pavement, without litter everywhere.

What you’re imaging, that’s just ancient Rome, but superimposed onto a tropical island before and after sinking. And that’s ok, that’s glamorous, right?

Well, how glamorous is New York? Sure, it’s great if you’re a tourist.

Atlantis was basically just like New York; pollution, crime, black snot, pissed off people, homeless folk. All just waiting to submerge, not into the sea but into the vaults of forgotten history, into the pages of fairytales and stories.

But the real story is this, and it’s short, sweet and very simple.

Atlantis was the height of sophistication at the time. Between Atlantis and its allies they had technology that makes us today look like fools. The A Bomb, the H Bomb, anything you can do, they could do better.

And they did.

That’s the first Great War I remember. That was the First World War and just like that a civilisation was gone, all but a memory. A light flashes, a battery dies, a star goes supernova, and gone.

Then Plato came along and added all this stuff about sinking Islands. I saw that coming.

Atlantis, capital city, all those years ago, that was the first nuclear blast I survived. I was a soldier then and sometimes I wonder if it was that technology that made me what I am.

It would make sense, wouldn’t it? A super soldier, capable of enduring even a nuclear holocaust, along with the scorpions and cockroaches. That would explain Big Foot too, you send a monkey into space before a man. Things weren’t so different back then.

We probably even had animal rights groups protesting for that ancient species of monkey, now immortalised and roaming around America, bringing dollars and dollars in from stupid tourists.

Not sure what they could really protest, “We want our monkeys… mortal!”

Anyway, how this started is I’ve been tracking another one of us, another one of us that’s been behind every great tragedy of the last few millennia. Since as long as I remember.

The Greek’s called him Ares, the Roman’s called him Mars, the god of War, the God of Bloodlust and it’s fair to say he’s a man that took the whole ‘god thing’ ever so slightly more seriously than me.

I was there watching when he trained Napoleon in the art of military strategy as a child and through his life until he was ready to be let loose. I watched as he gained the trust of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a driver, a driver who took a ‘wrong’ turn and killed millions of people in doing so.

Lots of people say they took a wrong turn at some point during their lives, not usually like that though.

I waited knowing Ares, Mars whatever you want to call him, was building an Atom Bomb for the United States.

I flew with him on a US Air Force transport to Japan. Together we walked through battlefields without speaking a word, US forces charged past us and we just continued through the jungles and cities of Japan. Fire engulfed us, shells landed at our feet, we walked through cities at midnight as they were bombed and their buildings fell all around us. Bullets ripped our clothes but some perversion of physics allowed me and him both to survive. We watched everyone around us die and still nothing happened to us all the way to Hiroshima.

He never knew exactly where the bomb was going but I’d predicted it’s general location – not accounting for wind seed and other unknown variables - years before. He wanted to see what his creation did first hand, he wanted to watch as people’s shadows were burned immortal, like us, into walls, he wanted to see people vaporised, watch as they were blown away.

I just wanted to die. I laid in the road waiting for it to tear through the clouds, waiting for it to hit the ground, for the mushroom cloud to form, for it to be so devastating there wasn’t a sound besides the whistling of fire.

It happened and in that instant I felt warmth surround me, then dissipate. When I opened my eyes I was in a crater and there was nearly no noise, just the whistling of the fire, and him, laughing.

Laughing at me, immortal me, in a crater, hoping to die.

When you’ve lived as long as me and when you know almost everything that’s ever going to happen, life becomes like a soap opera you’ve already seen a thousand times.

You can probably guess what’s going to happen the first time, but by the time you’ve seen it on repeat on a cable channel by the 5th time you know the dialogue.

Let me be clear here though, my ability to predict events so precisely isn’t some supernatural power. Just like me not dying isn’t some God given gift. It’s more a matter of probability and statistics, you learn them more and more the longer you live, so when you’ve lived a million lifetimes, a billion lifetimes, when you’re only a few million years younger than the sun, you get pretty good at it.

People are the same creature they always have been and they’re easy to predict.

That’s why Roswell was such a shock. I live for moments like that. You see, it’s times like that the world comes alive ever so briefly. I had no basis to predict that, so I read that newspaper as shocked as everyone else.

News flash: The fact I didn’t predict that means it wasn’t man made.


That doesn’t mean it was little grey men, though.

Anything without human basis or recurrent historical president is as alien to me as whatever crashed in Roswell. I can’t predict asteroids or meteors. Sure, some run like clockwork, but not all.

Everything man made is connected and that’s how prediction works. It’s not like Edgar Cayce going into a trance, it’s got nothing to do with that. It’s just probability and statistics. Not as glamorous as a trance or a vision, I know.

I used to run the most successful casino chain in America. It gets boring.

Everything gets boring.

I’ve got enough money to fix the third world. But why bother? If I ever did Ares would just arm them, show them how to build guns and canons… And hydrogen bombs.





The alarm’s penetrating my brain, the red light is hypnotic, it’s the same thing, over and over; the story of my life.

“Where do I strike?” Ares says, “I’ve never let you decide before and seeing as you’re here.”

I say to target us, send them up and straight back down.

He types at the controls again, this time I’m pretty sure coordinates.

“We’re too old for all this,” I say, “this is madness, let’s stop this. Aren’t you sick of all this?” I’m pleading and begging and being ignored.

The pooled blood from the dead soldiers is already at my shoes, I step forward, closer to Ares. The blood makes tiny waves across the floor in response to my movement.

“I won’t let you do this again.”

“You can’t stop me,” he says and as you can imagine the God of War is significantly better built than the God of nature documentaries.

We could fight forever and it’d do no good, here now, on this floor, amongst the bodies and the blood, it would just be senseless. No one would ever win.

I’ve tried everything, literally everything to kill myself; I’m built to survive anything. I haven’t eaten a full meal in about fifty years, the last thing I ate never leaves my stomach. I sat at the bottom of the ocean for a year, the last gulp of breath I took sustained me the entire time and the pressure that crumples submarines like soda cans? I felt nothing of it.

Everything I try fails, the future is I can’t die and I can’t change that. The future is world war 3 is about to start and the events that lead to the end of another civilisation are about to be set into motion and I can’t change that.

Nothing short of a miracle can change that.



posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Like I said, prediction is about making connections, it’s about probabilities and statistics and four years ago all those things were in place and I realised when and how the third world war was going to start.

As usual it would start with Ares, now working as a career Military Officer, a man of distinction and honour, a man named Johnston Ford, a good strong American name.

Not so long ago he became General Ford and things started falling into place.

So I followed him, I made myself a new life and a new identity. You get great at that with as much practice as us. I was transferred with him, I moved to the Texan ICBM silos, and I came in every day just like he did.

Right up until today, today I knew it was the start of everything.

Today I got out of my jeep just as usual, I watched my shadow from the low Sun as it stretched out twice my height and I descended into the base by lift.

Today things were different though, I didn’t report to my commanding officer, I headed straight for where I knew Ares would be.

No one around that part of the building knew who I was. Everyone I past glanced down at my name badge and photo.

Everything’s the same all over the building, the same colour walls, dull grey, the same minimal lighting, a single light bulb every few fit feet of corridor, covered by wire mesh. In a few minutes those lights will start rotating and flashing red.

Soon enough the inevitable happened and I came to a hardened blast door I had no clearance to pass.

I pressed on a metallic buzzer button, cold to the touch, now with the print of my index finger pressed into the metal. I spoke into a speaker phone in the wall, “It’s General Ford, I’ve lost my pass,” I told it.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew it was a ridiculous story but like I said, nothing’s a surprise to me. So when the guy at the end of the intercom got back to me saying General Ford is already logged in and for me to stand by, of course I wasn’t surprised.

The blast door opened bottom to top at a good speed, on the other side an armed detail waited, automatic rifles levelled at me.

All the usual happened, don’t move, stay where you are, identify yourself. You know; the usual drill.

What happened that doesn’t usually is when I reached for one of their side arms and they opened fire. I was just blasted backwards with ripped clothes.

How it happens is, imagine being punched, but not feeling any pain. You might get knocked down but it won’t do you any damage. That’s how bullets are to me, even I can’t completely disregard the laws of physics.

It was too late of course, the hand gun was in my fingers and I was already aiming and squeezing the trigger, all five of them were dead in seconds, their last thoughts surely of confusion.

I don’t like killing, but sometimes there’s no option.

Besides, at least that’ll teach them for standing too close to a rising blast door.

I knew the gun shots would have carried as echoes around almost the entire base, there’d be people sent down to investigate in a minute at most. Parts of the base would be locked down and already the lights had flicked to red and the intercom system blared a warning alarm.

My path to General Ford was blocked only by the intercom operators, they crouched behind their desk, their heads popping up and their guns aimed at the door.

They dropped like dominos.

When I walked into the control room with Ares, he just said it was good I’d come, it’d save him the bother.

That’s when they opened fire on me.

Word travels fast.

I was thrown up against the wall by the momentum of the speeding bullets and I slumped to the floor. They stopped firing and in that instant they were dead.

I know you’re used to some more time being given to killing and to death but like I said, this is nothing new. The truth is it’s that simple, time doesn’t slow down, no one has time for last words, there isn’t some bright light that leaves the body to rise into the kingdom of heaven.

All that happens is they bleed.

“You know why I’m here,” I told him.



This is about where we came in.



“I knew you were going to do this, I’ve known for years, don’t you think I had time to figure out some way of stopping you?” I say to him, to his back, where he’s still twisted and looking at the computer screen. His whole body is cast in a red light.

It seems somehow suitable.

Red, Satan, Evil, Danger. Red.

“I don’t see why you didn’t just report me or something, tell them I’m a traitor, a commie, give them a photo of me in ‘Nam,” he’s turned to look at me now, he’s deliberately covering the computer screen that shows a map.

“Because I knew what would happen if I went down that route. I knew you’d have a contingency and you’d probably have me thrown in Guantanemo for some phoney charge you’d cook up.”

“Yeah and a place like that would wear wouldn’t it? You’d be stuck there forever, seeing as you’re not dying anytime soon,” he pauses, watching my face, watching for a reaction. He doesn’t get one. “We look good for several million year olds, don’t we?” he says.

I cross the room and stand next to him.

“Want to see?” he asks, “I think you already know where I’m aiming, guess.”

“Russia or China,” I say and he shakes his head.

Our feet are in a pool of blood, but it barely looks any different to the rest of the floor in the red hue from the emergency light. Blood soaks through a hole in the heel of my shoe and I can feel its dampness through my socks, it feels almost like water, you wouldn’t know the difference without looking.

“Both,” he says, this time quiet, and I’m fighting to hear him against the alarm, “it’s time, want to press the button?”

I step back a bit and I’m thinking that if I shoot him, he’s going to fly back and in that moment I can change things. I just hope there’s a back up button because I’ve got no clue how that console works.

I pray for some unpredictable meteor to destroy this facility.

I pray for aliens to hover above it and pluck every missile out of the sky.

I pray for anything that can stop this.

I wonder for second how he got hold of all the codes to do this but part of me doesn’t want to know. I look down at the gun in my hand at my side, it’d be my luck that I’m out of ammo.

“Thought you had a way of stopping me and you know a gun won’t do it,” he says, following my line of sight to the pistol. His arms are crossed and he’s leaning back on the console. We’re both only a few feet from the enter button.

“I blasted out the hinge mechanisms on all the silos,” I say, “can’t launch a damn thing.” I force a smile of smugness and I know I’ll deserve it if this works out. It’d be a short lived victory but a victory no less.

I’m fairly confident of the result. Just like everything else, statistics, connections, probabilities – with them you know how things will turn out, just like I know how this will almost definitely turn out this time.

“Is that right?” he says, “shall we find out?” He hits enter, my heart sinks, and the sound of missile doors opening to the fresh air and dusk sunlight reverberates through the facility.

“Did you predict I’d fall for that? You should know who’s going to fall for a bluff being a casino owner and it’s not like I’ve got anything to lose by trying,” he’s looking at the computer screen now, watching his life’s work.

I just walk out, just like every other time, I knew how things would go and just like every other time he’s laughing over my shoulder as I walk through the blood and the bodies and wait to watch the start of the end of civilisation on the news.

Alone, I’m powerless and no one will ever listen to you. Let me get that straight and clear, I’ve told this story so many times before to so many different people, they grin like fools, they nod, and they smile. Soon after that they’re blown away, vaporised, dead.

Nothing but a memory and sometimes not even that.

By the time I’m outside and a few more people are dead the missiles are making their way to Russia and China and spy satellites watching us here are transmitting back the scariest news this civilisation ever transmitted.

Even worse than when Elvis died.

Even worse than when Jackson died.

Even worse than when the X Files was cancelled.

I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

---



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by shorty
 


Nice concept shorty. I liked the ideas that you laid out so well. How the processes just don't change. The people do, but the things that happen are inevitable to happen again and again.



posted on Sep, 1 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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Great story. I can just imagine how terrible it would be to be immortal. Life would get so boring, so fast. You did a great job and have a wonderfully story telling ability. Thanks for sharing.


S & F and I hope you do well in the contest.



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