Thursday, March 12, 2009

Great Hites # 44


Hear Promos From:
Weather Child
Personal Effects Dark Arts

I talk about:
and Jeff's Random Thoughts

I was there the night the wall fell
By Ashley Redden

Deep into the night of November 9, 1989, he once again found himself amid political and social upheaval. He stood high upon the wall that divided East and West Berlin amongst throngs of Germans, East and West alike, celebrating and rekindling long lost family ties. The situation he found himself in was most unusual. Apparently earlier that day the East German minister of propaganda announced that the gates of the wall would be open for pedestrian travel for the first time since 1961. The massive surges of people thereafter overwhelmed the unprepared East German guards. The people then began to clamber over the wall en masse thus producing the situation that currently existed. Apparently the East German government had not realized that a small loosening of control would snowball so.
He was not surprised. He had seen it so many times before across a sundry of seas in a myriad of cultures and lands.
The current situation had been building for some time. The dark man remembered the American president Ronald Reagan’s speech delivered several years earlier challenging Gorbachev to tear down the very wall upon which he now stood. Many were the people who thought the American president was crazy, but the dark man knew guile when he saw it and quietly appreciated the speech more for that reason.
No, it was not the current political upheaval that he found strange. It was the simple fact that he was standing, comfortably so among a huge number of people. Such a thing happened so rarely that he had simply stood most of the night, stock still upon the wall lost in the balm of memory.
Lost were the days when his kind could travel as they wished and feed on a whim. Gone was the time when occupants of whole villages could simply disappear and few would ever know or even care. As humanity became more connected, especially with the internet and nearly instant global communication, his kind had to be more thoughtful in their nightly forays. This was neither unexpected nor unwelcome. For beings that are timeless, challenges are a necessity for continued interest in survival. So many times, he mused, he had slipped over the great wall into East Berlin to hunt. He was always very careful and the communist government installed there kept information for the masses at a strictly controlled minimum.
Though humanity knew of his kind, thanks to very subtle assistance from his brethren, as well as, himself, they had passed into the misty realm of legend. Long had humanity associated them with the wolf, driven by an unconscious and deep abiding fear. The comparison with which he felt more appropriate was that of the great striped cat, the tiger. As with the feline predator, his kind wore the night as a cloak. Quietly stalking the victim to suddenly take and rend with such viciousness to be unknown to humanity. Then stealthily disappear back into the shade of night.
As his senses returned to the present, he realized that his hunger was becoming aroused. The dark man looked down at his hands and smiled. Again, as with the great tiger, his claws had unsheathed. Still smiling, he retracted all ten and quietly looked about him. The revelry was still going strong.
Though people were jostling for position on the wall, none were within an arms length of the dark man. He noticed none of the humans near him appeared to be entirely comfortable, scrupulously avoiding looks in his direction. The people standing near were also not the same as when he arrived. He smiled as he casually wondered how often individuals had abandoned their hard won spot upon the wall just to be away from this strange man who stood emotionless and still gazing out at the horizon.
Again he felt his hunger rise, but squelched it. He would not feed tonight or probably on this continent again for perhaps ages. The time of change was past. Next would follow transition. The dark man had never liked transitionary periods. People tended to look at details during transitions. Details were one thing that he avoided with great impunity. It was time to go. New haunts must be found, time to see the sights and taste new local flavors if you will.
The dark man looked to the east and sensed more than saw a ghost of aura there. Though the sun had not yet begun to rise, he could sense it’s coming much like the intuition of animals before a deadly storm arrives.
Utilizing the inhuman quickness that was the trait of his kind, he hopped from the wall and in seconds disappeared into the West Berlin crowd below. Those on the wall blinked in apparent unknowing relief and surged to fill the now vacant spot. All over East and West Berlin people cried for joy. The following year, the wall was systematically demolished.

Ganymede, Part II
By Norval Joe

Julie was angry. Her father was away, off moon, on another business trip, her mother had gone off to do her community service, and Julie was left at home to watch her new slave do chores. The allure of having a personal servant had worn off in just a few days, and became a shackle around her own leg. This girl couldn't understand her language, so any instruction to her required complex pantomime that nearly wore her out; she might as well do the work herself.
Besides, the little thing was ugly; virtually hairless with light blue eyes and skin to match; skin that was soft and squishy, like over ripe fruit. She wasn't beautiful and dark with a tough, thick, hide, like Julie was. She rubbed at the thick carpet of short hair that covered the top and back of her head, down her neck and over most of her back. Julie badly wanted to go down to the ground level to explore, but her slave couldn't endure the radiation like her own people; had these creatures lived underground on their moon?
She went to her desk and spinning the top half of the smooth orb, she turned on her music player. Static. The magnetic waves between the planet and its moons sometimes interrupted the broadcasting device. She got her anti static cloth and began to buff the player, hoping to reduce any magnetic charge. The cloth snapped and popped as she lifted if from the device, but didn't hear the music that she expected. After a loud burst of static came a clear voice, ["Mr. Gorbachev....."] Encouraged, she rubbed harder and more vigorously with the clothe, more static, then, ["I have a dream....."]
Frustrated by the incomprehensible babble, she turned the music player off, and sat down with a huff.
Magnetic waves that resonated between the planet and its moons, held the recorded broadcasts from Julies ancestors, 500 million years in the past. Her people, originally earth colonists, had survived countless near extinctions, population booms, dark ages and enlightenments, and thereby, evolved to live in the high radiation environment of Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. In the recent past they had discovered the physics that allowed them to travel through space, to the planet and its other moons. They had the all the luxuries and benefits of an advanced civilization.
Julie was angry. Her slave was performing again, her puffy lips turning down at the sides and water coming from her eyes. Julie was so angry and frustrated that she just wanted to hit the slave; but she felt, somehow, doing that wouldn't be right.

By: Norval Joe

Her long silver hair was held behind her head with a golden clip in the shape of a dragon fly; the craftsmanship so intricate and detailed that a person would want to approach slowly to get a close look at the golden creature before it startled and flew away.
She sat as still as a pearl white marble statue, bent over the microscope on the antique golden oak desk; her gossamer lab coat, an iridescent waterfall, cascading from her shoulders.
Her lab assistant stepped into the room; he was older than her, though not grey at all; his hair and eyebrows, jet black, in contrast to his milk white skin. "Jenesse," he interrupted, "I have the spectography reports." But she silenced him, slowly raising a single long index finger into the air and holding it immobile next to her petite, pointed, right ear.
She sat up from the microscope and took the report from her lab assistant, Farland. Glancing over it briefly, recognition and understanding clear on her beautiful and youthful face.
"You have identified the substance," it was a statement, not a question.
"Yes," Jenesse replied, "It's lint. Belly button lint. The human scientists believe that they have found the reason that it accumulates there; there are fine, task specific, hairs that direct the lint to the belly button."
Farland smile wryly, and said," Can you imagine having that much body hair?"
Jenesse nodded and replied, "Can you imagine having a belly button?"
They both turned to look at the bell jar on the desktop next to the microscope; the toxic wad of fuzz, inconspicuous and inert in the vacuum.
They shuddered.

The Forced March
By Jeff Hite

Phillip felt the pain flow through him with every step he took . Two days ago all he had wanted was to see the end of this journey and be able to see his family again, but right now all he could think about an was ending to the pain. The pain had build so gradually that he had not even noticed it until they stopped last night for dinner. When he tried to get up his whole body throbbed with pain. It was not the kind of dully achy feeling you get when your sick, or the more harsh ache from the day after a hard work out. Not this was red hot burning that lay right near his pain threshold. It started somewhere behind his eyes and and ended some place about three feet under the soles of his boots.
Try as he might he could not ignore it. He tried to push through it. He had tried the relaxation exercises they had taught his wife to help her with labor, he had taken the pills that were in his rations and emptied his canteen, and there for his bladder, three times. None of it was helping. He knew the march was coming to an end but he was not sure he was going to make it, as beads of sweat from just staying on his feet popped up all over his body.
Finally the march did end, and they stood in the dusty little village, that would serve as their home until the airlift unit could come get them. Phillip dropped to his knees and nearly cried out as the waves of pain washed over him.
"Captain, I think Phillip needs to see the medic." Alex, his constant companion on this journey, said. The Captain rushed over, his gasp was audible even though he had tried to stifle it.
"Get two people over here with a litter right away," He barked. "Everything is going to be alright Phillip, we will get you to the medic right away."
The pain caused by them moving his body from the ground to the litter was beyond anything he could have imagined, and he felt the world getting fuzzy around the edges as they finally walked through the door to the medic's office.
"He was complaining about pain right after dinner, said it hurt to move any part of him." Alex's voice came to his ears as if from far away.
"Alright. I will see what I can do for him but it does not look good." The doctors voice was deep and warm even though his predictions were dire.
For a little while the doctor examined him without moving him and the pain lessened slightly as he lay there perfectly still.
"I know this is going to cause you pain, but I need you to undress so I can take a closer look at you. I think it will be less painful for you to do it then to have me help you and touch you."
Phillip nodded his head slowly in agreement. He sat up and started to take off his coat as new waves of pain shot through him.
"Stop. Hold everything." the doctor said as soon as his coat was off. "What are you wearing?"
"That shirt what is it made of?"
"I don't know." even the movement of his jaw caused him pain.
The doctor, came over to him at that point and lifted the front of his shirt. "Yup, just as I thought." He reached down and touched his stomach, and the pain was gone as if it had never been there. "Medical science has come a long way in the last few years, but when they finally found that this little bit of belly button lint, can cause the body some incredible pain that was a miracle. I am surprised that you made it this far on your own two feet."