posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 08:38 PM
“Hello, my name is Cronos and I have problem,” Cronos stated with a slight quiver in his voice. The reserved dryness hinted he had practiced the line
for hours. This was the first step in which he wished to justify his present existence to the group, to excuse his undertakings.
“Hello Cronos,” the chair jockeys bellowed! The chairs were constructed of liquid metal which function to adjust to the individual‘s posture, but it
only caused the rider to constantly re-adjust their racing positions. The members themselves were a mish-mash of types. A gift basket of phantom
papayas and spent artillery shells: tall and short, male and female, human, machine and those like Cronos who were in the between stage of being
“I…err…well, it all started back when I first became infected with Jrang worms,” Cronos said as the arms of a hush encircled the crowd and squeezed
them all in tighter. “NO, no...wait! It’s not what you think! I caught it while trying to assist an injured woman in a hover car crash!” He was quick
to reiterate only to halt that verbal plane in mid-flight and somberly flutter down on semi-gelatinous wings. “The woman died in my
The support group eased back into their seats almost in disappointment for the lack of bad soap opera sexual drama. It seems as though we all love a
good pornographic car crash and, as you must know by now, the main cause of Jrang worm infection is intercourse with those from the moon Europa. The
intermingling of fluids between the species gives life to the deadly but normally dormant bacteria. It has been jokingly dubbed ‘The last venereal
disease you will ever need’ because the flesh of the victim begins to rot. Thus the reason why most of the infected become cyborgs: replacement
A kind, but stern, elderly woman broke the silence with a clap of her hands. Parrhesia, the group counselor had been working in such a capacity for
years. “I know that this is difficult for you Cronos, but please go on. Part of the recovery process is admitting the problem to yourself and
sometimes that admission is best acknowledged when said aloud,” she regally stated. One could just tell who the ringmaster was in this sideshow
carnival and it wasn’t because of the bull-whip she held…or the thigh high black leather boots. Damn, that’s hot!
“Ok. As I’m sure you are all aware, a symptom of the bacterial infection is the craving for Europian flesh. After awhile I had developed the yearning
for any sort of flesh to satiate the uncontrollable urges. I admit that is my weakness. Being in a military program, I came across many opportunities
to…satisfy that hunger, but I have resisted the urge for nearly four months now.” At this point Cronos stopped to dab his brow. He had the beginnings
of cyber-manipulations, but was still mostly human and thus continued to have all of the human misgivings.
“You, my new friend, have taken a huge step by revealing yourself to us as well as to yourself and I, and the group, are honored that your would do
so,” proclaimed Parrhesia. “In this day and age, you are not as alone as you might believe. I have a close friend that is also dealing with the same
dilemma.” Parrhesia turned to the room‘s other tenants and asked, “Now would anyone like to share with Cronos as he is new to the group and is unaware
of our prior conversations? Shugo, how about you?”
Shugo sat hunched over the arms that were recoiled into his chest like an old fashioned switchblade. It was not so much in concealment as it seemed
that they were his prisoners and nightly lock-down had just occurred. The room fell silent as Shugo began to sway.
“I can’t play paper/scissor/rock with you,” Shugo awkwardly blurted out!
“If you would like more time to compose yourself we will all wait for you,” Parrhesia expressed caringly.
“No, I’m good! He seems nice. Hi-five, Cronos!” As Shugo swung his arm into the air like a angered lawnmower blade, a light spray of sticky fluid
sprinkled everything in its range of fire. It seems as though the water works are coming from Shugo’s hand or rather the space in which he would have
had a hand. A droplet careens with Cronos’s upper lip and with a quick inhale of air, he nasally consumes it without being noticed. The rush pounds
his head to dizzying heights…or perhaps it was more of a surge.
Surge (surj) v. surged, surg · ing, surg · es. 1. To move in a swelling manner as in that of liquid waves. 2. The oscillation of an
electrical current. 3. A carbonated beverage of the late twentieth century. 4. The sensation of excitement that a Jrang worm infected cyborg
experiences when consuming flesh or body fluids.
“So Surge it is then! I mean come on, ‘Rush‘? What was I thinking?” I ramble shortly before realizing that I left the volume on eleven. The
support group turns to set their sights upon me crouched in the corner, feverishly rambling…I mean blinking into a portable (1st person) retinal scan
recorder like a sports commentator. It seems as that my mistake has turned the spot light upon me and not the event I was reporting.
“Hey! Don’t I know you,” Cronos questioned with a diagonal tilt of his eye brow?
“I’m sorry, but this session is for registered members only! I am going to have to ask you to leave, Narrator,” Parrhesia stated rather firmly as she
continually tapped her whip.
“Fine! This story is lame so it is no wonder that I am not in it!” I spat out as stomping across the room and through the door accompanied by the
child-like hostility of being left out which trailed not far behind me.
One of the group members jumps upon his chair and suddenly imitates an air-guitar only to quickly sit back down and display the emotion of shame. What
a silly emotion Shame is! If you regret it then why play out the action in the first place.
Parrhesia turns her attention back to the group. “My apologies everyone. We update the lock codes frequently, but that narrator keeps bribing the
writer to insert him into the story. Shugo, would you please continue with what you were saying?”
“I have never really accomplished much in my life,” Shugo verbally cringed, “but once I was happy for a moment. Proud and excited, but I can never
return to that place now. I was a lump of flesh for hire, a mercenary. It was my first assignment and I was the communications officer. We were cut
off from our team leader and under attack. I was the only one able to work the perimeter tele-visor and get the team out of the line of fire! Everyone
was congratulating me! Glad that I was part of their team. I felt more needed and appreciated at that single moment than in the whole of my life.”
Shugo stopped to indulge in a much needed breath and a shutter seemed to surf the miniscule hairs of his arm. Hang ten my friend, divided by an
“As a boy, I had always dreamed about giving the ultimate hi-five, but I have horrible hand/eye coordination and always messed it up. BUT at that
moment, I had all the confidence I would ever need. I turned to the second in command and imagined my leg muscles as powerful springs. I leaped into
action, arching my arm in the air. A perfect ten!” Shugo wiped the welling tears away from his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt and continued. A
smear of eyeliner corrupted the sleeve, building colonies whose life-span was only as aged as the next day’s washing.
“At that moment, at that exact moment a plasma shot was fired,” he stated as if fighting back the anger. “It disintegrated my hand and a few fingers
of the sub-captain’s hand as well as a sliver of his head. He died in the arms of a man whose limbs never healed completely.” A pause, and the room
Just one moment longer…
The bewildered group scan the room at various angles as if searching for the volume adjuster on a television remote. No couch cushions to look
between, no wild dingoes running off with it, no lawn gnomes coming to life and indulging in thievery.
“I think that my watch is broke,” Cronos mumbled while thumb flicking the water-proof lens of his timer. The watch had taken on a life of its own and,
in a search for water, had burrowed its roots deep within his arm. One never could trust those all-organic watches.
“ACTION!” I manically scream while racing nude past the support group room’s orifice and out the anus of the building.
Parrhesia’s eyes rolled so far back in her head that one could mistake her for a one armed bandit, not the gang of handicapped thieves that have been
bumbling about town as of late, but a casino slot machine instead.
“I would like to talk about my problem now,” Sharum declared without missing a beat, “I have been hurt…many times…so many times and somewhere along
the way I ceased believing that I could ever trust men. It is best just not to get romantically involved with them and so I turned to the
companionship of androids. What I have come to realize is that while androids are far more trust worthy, they do not display believable loving
affection and so I feel that I am caring about the relationship more than my partner seems to be. I know that I can’t have it both ways. I only want
to feel fulfilled. Sorry if I offended anyone. That‘s all I have to say.”
“There is no need to apologize for the way that you feel,” Intrepid unemotionally stated. Intrepid was one of the older models produced from the Intec
Corporation, a TC-1014 multi-functional series android designed primarily for companionship. One could just tell he was an android as no human being
could knot a tie so tightly and still be able to breathe.
“I was committed to a relationship with a human female once and she ended it for the same reason that you have stated. All of my programming defined
the experience as ’love’, but perhaps I was not constructed with enough data to conclude such a judgment.”
Turning to Cronos, Intrepid declared, “Hello new-comer! As I have just stated, I question my programming and that is what has led me to this support
group. I wish to better understand my personality matrix in order to improve myself. I was instilled with the characteristics of seven hundred and
twenty-three musicians for the purpose of sexual appeal. The problem with all that is the overwhelming urge to perform guitar solos when my simulators
become excited and to perform as such without an instrument is quite inappropriate.”
Sharum understood all about feeling like wanting to feel whole again. Gain, and in turn loss, does that to a person, the leveling of a mountain to a
pebble. She gazed at Intrepid like a mother wanting to help a child and waited on the cliff of her chair for him to continue.
“As you might know,” Intrepid began, “My makers, the Intec Corp., became bankrupt years ago and all of the information on my model’s personality
construction was burnt in a fire caused by an insurance scam. I am now searching for my future without the benefit of a past to work from.”
“Thank you Intrepid. Epicure, would you like to add anything so that Cronos might feel more at home in our little family,” Parrhesia asked the only
member of the group that had not yet spoken. She was a female of average height and attraction. Hair on her head, feet attached to her legs. You know
the type, all smug and in order.
“Muuuurrrrrrraaaaaa,” Epicure mumbled while pointing to the swollen mass of abused tissue in her mouth. She had an obsession with consuming her own
tongue. Each time it grew back almost complete, but not fully. No one knew quite why as this hungry ghost was never able to complete a sentence. The
support group members used their etiquette and were polite enough not to kick in a door that one was opening. This existence is realized and
appreciated, but not as an actualized being with feelings and emotions.
“Well, I believe that is all the time we have for today,” Parrhesia declared, “so I think that we should bring this session to a close. Thank you all
for sharing with us. I will see you again next week.”
The building doors burst open like an overripe sore and Shugo spews forth like Friday’s school child. Cronos exits shortly after with salivating eyes
and an ever quickening pace towards Shugo. The word ‘hunger’ seems to flicker across his eyes like a billboard advertisement. It seems as if someone
is about to cheat on their diet. Sharum and Intrepid stroll out side by side discussing the possibility of finding a local eatery. It is not because
they are currently hungry, but rather because they continue to have the hope of being hungry, the hope of finding fulfillment.
As Epicure attempts to leave the building, the doors grow jagged teeth and practically split her in half. She rises from the ground and pushes herself
back together, but you just know that, like her tongue, it would never completely grow back and so her halves behave like serpentine memories and
slither into the sewer grates like so many broken-home tongues before her. In the distance, a frantic, naked male human could be seen, spear in hand,
hunting down the setting sun. Will he ever accomplish his goal and overcome this fertile predator? Does it matter? He goes on…in hope.
Disclaimer: All ATS member names that have been used in this short story are done so with the approval of those individuals. However the
created personalities of said characters in no way represent any person living, deceased or reanimated.
[edit on 16-6-2004 by Jonna]