Archives de Catégorie: Short Stories

Les derniers travailleurs

robots

 

En l’an 2075, les derniers travailleurs quittèrent la dernière usine du monde: l’usine à fabriquer des robots.

Ce qu’ils ignoraient c’est qu’ils avaient fabriqué la dernière voltige en matière de « génie humain… » la fabrication d’un robot qui fabriquerait tous les robots nécessaires à la marche de ce monde.

S’imposa – par un régiment lent et vicieux- l’ère nouvelle des dirigeants ayant enfin parvenu à leur fin par l’accaparement des terres, le tressage lent en louvoiements hypocrites des multiples crises monétaires et la concentration des richesses en quelques conglomérats qui n’eurent plus que pour jeu: la lutte monétaire.

Le dernier travail: polir et nettoyer les robots. Servir cette nouvelle race de seigneurs et travailler sous terre à des projets intra-planétaires  et extra-planétaires.

Tous avaient le droit de voter, mais tous avaient le droit de ne pas voter.

Tous avaient le droit de se taire, mais tous avaient le droit de parler dans une machine pour exprimer et analyser aux fins d’amélioration de leur monde sur une plateforme virtuelle leur désagrément. En gros, tous avaient le droit de gerber en format électronique.

Tous DEVAIENT transmettre un rapport de 20 pages, journalièrement,  dans le but de parfaire leur statut de travailleur-progrès.

Tous avaient le droit de se parler entre eux par des voies de communications à distance.

Tous avaient le droit de se faire des amis.

Tous avaient le droit d’écrire dans un commentaire d’échanges qu’ils n’étaient pas un robot.

Une machine, au service de LETACMOA, dirigée par une firme indépendante de robots avait pour tâche d’analyser et de transmettre un rapport aux plaignants. Mais le plaignants devait répondre au robot sous peine de sanction(s).

Tous devaient étudier -et ce gratuitement – afin de ne pas être des serviteurs, mais des critiques instruits, libres, et au parfum du système dans lequel il vivait pour parfaire ce système.

Tous avaient le droit de se plaindre de quelconque injustice. On lui attribuait alors un avocat-robot pour la défense.

Deux mois par an, tous les non-robots avaient le droit de voyager sur une île, à l’équateur, pour des festivités arrosées d’alcool, de bains, de soleil.

Tous avaient le droit de demander aux robots-serviteurs  de suivre ses ordres.

Tous avaient le droit d’être créatifs: il y avait alors un concours du meilleur robot à construire lors des cérémonies vacancières.

En l’an 2075, Robert et Camomilla remportèrent le prix en créant un robot féminin,  à la peau noire, et qui pouvait répéter toutes les citations célèbres écrites par les artistes de jadis. Mais sa principale qualité était de former un travailleur en l’espace de 39 secondes. C’était un record.

Il y eut une fête foraine avec des feux d’artifices énormes constituées de fusées qui explosaient dans l’espaces.

Et l’on hurlait, les dents grandes ouvertes:

Yeah! Yeah! YES!

Gaëtan Pelletier

3 janvier 20XX

Publicités

Robinsonville

Villes futures

Cela se passait en 2050. La plupart des richesses des pays ayant été englouties, une centaine de riches contrôlaient la planète de par des ordinateurs. Quelques employés seulement étaient nécessaires au fonctionnement de la machine à produire. Ainsi, les terres n’étaient plus aux mains des paysans. Mais  à parti de New-York, quelques centaines d’employés opéraient les machines qui semaient et récoltaient. Tout cela à partir des tours à bureaux.

Les dirigeants inventèrent alors le chômage provisoire. Les gens sans travail étaient envoyés dans des villes situées au Nord de la planète, des villes sous verres, au climat contrôlé. Enfermés dans leur cloque, ils consultaient chaque jour les écrans babillards qui offraient des emplois.

La nourriture était gratuite. On pouvait regarder tous les films du 20ième siècle, consulter des archives truquées, et aller sur des plages en apparence réelles, avec des bruits de vagues, des odeurs salines et des robots-poissons si « réels » qu’on ne pouvait plus les distinguer des vrais.

Les gens, entassés dans leur cloche de verre, passaient des jours entiers à faire du shopping, à se « détendre », à marcher, courir, ou s’affaler sur leur divan.

Chaque jour il en rentrait 300,000, et chaque jour il en sortait 325,000. Ce bonheur était garanti à condition de faire la guerre.

Il fallait défendre Robinsonville contre tous les envahisseurs jaloux de leur mode de vie.

***

Après un long entraînement, ils sortaient en masse, armés et allaient affronter l’ennemi. Mais personne ne revenait. L’un des combattants constata que les armadas de drones et les guerriers ennemis étaient des robots contrôlés à distance à partir des mêmes tours à bureaux que ceux qui fabriquaient les aliments qui les nourrissaient.

Mais ce fut sa dernière vision.

Une armée de machines vinrent cueillir les cadavres et les engloutirent dans une sorte de fosse flambante, dans laquelle, en quelles heures, les combattants étaient réduits en cendres.

***

« La santé c’est la guerre! »

« La réussite personnelle, c’est la guerre ».

Toutefois, lors d’une réunion, l’assemblé des Notions Unies constatèrent qu’ils dépensaient trop en machines à lutter.

La rumeur circula que la ville située au Pôle-Sud – Gel-City -, avait l’intention d’attaquer Robinsonville.

On délimita un champ de bataille dans un désert africain et aucun n’en sortit vivant pour raconter ce qui c’était passé.

La réussite de cette société fut démontrée par des images de plantations d’arbres et de contrôle et modelage de la remise à neuf de la planète verte.

« Vous vous battez pour reconquérir cette planète »

Les battages publicitaires inondaient, scintillaient en tri-dimensions les réussites, et les citoyens décorés par des médailles gigantesques lancées dans le ciel par des fusées. Chacun pouvait voir le nom de son héros répandre ses cendres de lumière dans la nuit étoilée.

***

« Apprendre, c’est devenir libre et se réaliser »

Les enfants allaient à l’école 18 heures   par jour jusqu’à l’âge de 45 ans.  On y apprenait que l’être humain avait réussi à créer le bonheur en 700 ans. Et ce de par un procédé d’induction dans le cerveau d’une Histoire tracée au fil rapide et implantée par une puce microscopique : La Dogme.

Les malades étaient transférés à Santéville, sorte de gigantesque hôpital où l’on traitait les patients et testaient les nouveaux médicaments.

Au bout de trois générations, tous avaient oublié l’Histoire réelle du monde. Il n’existait que le présent.

« Une éternité en un jour ».

Pendant que des drones-chasseurs pistaient les derniers résistants-humains, qui avaient gardé l’histoire réelle de l’humanité, quelques cellules, de par la flore ressuscités, les forêts, réussirent à échapper aux Drones-policiers en semant des robots dégageant de la chaleur : des leurres.

***

Les habitants de Robinsonville devaient payer ce « bonheur »  enfermés dans une cloche de verre, travaillant pour avoir tout, donnant 90% de leur salaire pour compensation de perte « provisoire de  liberté ».

C’est ainsi que les humains devinrent totalement dénoyautés, décarcassés. Engraissés à la « nourriture médicamentée », ils s’affaiblissaient chaque jour, et chaque fois qu’ils devaient recourir à un surplus de médication, ils devaient en payer le prix : aller à la guerre.

Et pendant les cinquante ans que dura le règne des marchands, des centaines de Robinsonville disparurent.

Il ne resta qu’un milliard d’habitants sur Terre. Les  chiffres officiels, émis par le gouvernement central, parlait alors de 14 milliards.

Le G-1 avait enclos toute l’Afrique pour laisser les africains mourir de faim. Et pour les aider, on leur vendit des graines de semences à « alimentation médicamentée ». Des drones invisibles firent proliférer les champs d’insectes-robots qui bouffèrent les récoltes.

Furent alors transmises  à la dernière Robinsonville les images d’affamés et de mourants, d’êtres dénoyautés, n’ayant que la peau et les os.

En annonçant la nouvelle qu’il ne restait plus qu’une seule Robinsonville, on fit état des nouveaux ennemis : les terroristes. Ceux-là qui avaient créé un concept étrange : la différence.

« La différence est pauvre et appauvrissant », clama une énorme écharpe lumineuse qui passa au dessus de la cloche de verre de Robinsonville.

Le G-1 créa un armée de robots-parleurs qui firent le tour de Robinsonville pour fouetter les nouvelles troupes qui devaient désormais s’attaquer à un ennemi quasi invisible.

Le canal Nouvelle annonça que le gouvernement allait désormais passer au crible tous les habitants de Robinsonville afin de détecter des anomalies génétiques contre-nature.

Ce jour-là, la moitié des habitants se présentèrent au bureau d’embauche.

On créa un concours afin de trouver le meilleur message qui rallierait les troupes.

Un jeune homme de 46 ans, fraîchement diplômé, fut le gagnant dans une formule simple :

« Le gagnant est celui qui ne perd pas ».

Chacun ayant droit à la parole, un vieux, mal vêtu, posa une question :

–          Mais qu’est-ce qu’un gagnant ?

–          C’est quelqu’un qui donne tout et qui n’attend rien, lui répondit le robot.

Le vieux sage, dépouillé, maigre, sale, celui qui avait résisté à tout ce qui pouvait le tuer dans Robinsonville, sortit un magnétocassette de son sac et appuya sur le bouton.

Il en sorti un son étrange que tous avaient oublié : la musique.

Ils quittent un à un le pays
Pour s’en aller gagner leur vie
Loin de la terre où ils sont nés
Depuis longtemps ils en rêvaient
De la ville et de ses secrets
Du formica et du ciné
Les vieux ça n’était pas original
Quand ils s’essuyaient machinal
D’un revers de manche les lèvres
Mais ils savaient tous à propos
Tuer la caille ou le perdreau
Et manger la tomme de chèvre

Pourtant que la montagne est belle
Comment peut-on s’imaginer
En voyant un vol d’hirondelles
Que l’automne vient d’arriver ?

Le parleur-robot tenta de saisir le message, mais ses circuits surchauffèrent au point de s’effondrer  comme il était prévu dans de tels cas : la main sur le cœur.

Une foule se rua sur le vieillard et le roua de coups de pied jusqu’à ce qu’il rende l’âme.

Un médecin fut aussitôt dépêché sur les lieux et remit le robot en ordre en quelques minutes.

Une armée de policiers, de gardes, de soldats envahirent le dôme.

Pendant ce temps, dans une tour à bureau, l’employé qui dirigeait l’opération à l’aide d’un clavier, cracha le contenu d’un clavier sur l’écran tactile qu’il fendilla en toussant d’un coup de tête.

L’armée qui sortit en rang du dôme vit soudaient 25% des soldats s’effondrer. Les quelques appareils déjà en l’air s’écrasèrent sur le dôme en fissurant celui-ci.

Convaincus qu’ils étaient attaqués, les habitants de Robinsonville appliquèrent les méthodes apprises.

Et en levant le bras droit, ils s’écrièrent en chœur :

« À bas! À bas! À bas! Les terroristes.

Pendant qu’ils s’élançaient à la chasse aux terroristes, un enfant de 3 ans ramassa la cassette et se mit à chanter l’air de Ferrat.

Il les regarda aller, curieux, étonné, ignorant ce qu’était une montagne. Il se disait qu’en chantant, il finirait par le découvrir…

Gaëtan Pelletier

18 juin 2013

THE WORM

 

Joe was    68. Tall, bony,  he used to cross  the streets in a slowly but ample pace, looking lost in his deep thoughts, oddly watching  around…He  was the loony called Joe the weirdo. Every village has his loony guy… Conscious about it, he was, in a way,  proud of that nickname.

 Born with an unfathomable  curiosity, Joe was captivated by the observation of the strangest  creature on earth: The human being. Always writing thoughts in a worn-out notebook, he stopped, took  his pencil and wrote: “Hitler was a loser  painter that used only one colour: red.”  Everyone was a unique and strange world for him. “Universes among universes” he used to say.

 

 Retired , he had create his own schedule, which he called the free chaos. : walking  in the morning, eating lightly at lunch, writing thoughts and poetry that he  once in a while sent  to an amateur writers site on  the internet.

Every single day was the same routine, mainly in the morning : Joe made the   coffee while Rhonda was sleeping, or  pretending … When  the coffee was ready, he used to go outside, watching the  birds,  observing the sky , breathing the air, sipping his coffee.  He usually  spent a quarter   there  before to go upstairs an turn on  the computer to read the news.

         What the hell! Is that. He exclaimed.

The  first page was frozen, the computer was  likely infected  by a worm . Probably a  kid, somewhere on the planet , was trying to hack his PC . He had to scan  the hard disk,  but could not fix it. So he decided to come back later. He walked  downstairs, fulminating.

 

About the knowledge of mankind, Joe considered  that we were  like  acarids  on a mattress,  trying to understand the world in which they  were  living. In this  huge and  limitless   universe, they were not  even able  to see the window of the bedroom opened to other worlds.

Mankind was  not really different from the   insects, sometimes behaving like them. He was an individualist, an outsider, from time to time disheartened of belonging to that race.

 

***

 

That summer, the area  was affected by a  heat-wave: the thermometer had pointed near 98 degrees.   The planet was no doubt  warming up. He had always suffered of the   this baking-oven atmosphere he hated.

 

  As usual, that day, he  went to the post office  at   10:30. In cool days,   he used to walk one hour, snaking in the streets, meeting old greying friends,  greeting  them with his   familiar and warmth youthful smile.

 

He came back after  20 minutes and started the air conditioning. Rhonda had never liked that noisy machine , but  she was also getting older and she appreciated the freshness  slowly getting in  the rooms.

 

         Gee! What a day!

         How about  to clean the floor with the vacuum cleaner? She said, just for teasing him.

         No, thanks, I’m going to garden a little..

         Under that sun?

         Yes, he hesitated. Before noon…Maybe not, after having seen that movie yesterday, maybe I shouldn’t….

         What movie?

         The Hideous Sun Monster.

         Again! . The IMDB rated it 3.5 stars.  How many times have you watched that crappy movie?

– Too many… But it’s the real and great  50’s. The cars are genuine ones , it’s in Black and White…The streets…No pollution…  I don’t’ know… I feel like I’m traveling  through time  when I watch these old 50’s movies. Well, my childhood…I guess..

         And real monsters… I suppose, asked Rhonda.

 

Their  modest home was located near a railway. They  had bought it thirty years ago  at a giveaway price.  Because of the noise, nobody wanted it. Because of the good-sized of the parcel of land,  he wanted it. Till the first day he entered the house, he felt the soul of this old red-bricked building.

 

Joe liked to spend hours   in his garage behind the house. He had put a name on it: Peaceland.  In winters,   most of the time , he worked on his devices… Fascinated by Nicola Tusla’s inventions  , he had tried many times  to create a free-energy motor .He did not considered himself as a scientist, working  as he was writing poetry, picking up some strange  plans on the internet. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it seemed to…  When it did not, he just changed  some  parts, simply  inverted them to see what could happen.

 

 His  last device was a magnetic motor which turned well. So he  wondered why nobody had been interested in it. The first time he  started it  and came back into the house,  the motor  created  strange phenomena:  Clocks stopped, TV sets images became blurrily deformed, and the neighbours lawn-mowers inexplicably  choked  He suspended his experiences the day he saw a 747 traversing the sky on a clear day…

 

 “You never know with what you  play”…

 

Ere-long,   Rhonda would call  him for dinner. He knew she was going to grumble about his dirt and frowzy T-Shirt and his bad habit of smoking. 

 

-Joe, it’s ready!

He went on watering his tomatoes, indeed under the  sun,  with cold water. “ It’s against the books”, she had recurrently warned him. The  headstrong man he was had learned that in this life the best way to understand was this way: “doubt in your beliefs and belief in your doubts.” It was the only approach to be consonant with the movement of the universe and its life. Motionlessness never existed except in the people’s mind.

 

 

He got in the house.

 

         What do we eat.

         A tomato sandwich…

         Good idea.  Let’s turn on the TV set.

         How many days have you been wearing this T-Shirt?

         Who cares?

         Bad answer… Joe weirdo…

         I know. But it’s the only one I have, for now…

         Three! She exclaimed. And you want to make love?

         Not with the T-Shirt…With me. He smiled.

         What’s the difference now?

         Me…

         Forget it!

 

He had begun eating but stopped suddenly and said:

         Look honey… Sounds  like my brother-in-law…

         God! It’s so ugly. What’s that? Another program from Nature Channel?

         Well! Not really, I guess… He cleaned his glasses with his T-Shirt… Looks like an E.T.

         Do you remember this UFO near the World Trade Centre, in 2000? It was a hoax to promote a SF channel. So, forget the “ I can’t believe my eyes”. Nowadays, we can’t trust anybody. If we do…

         Damn!  a earwig…he cut.

         By the way, are you sure that you washed  the lettuce? Asked Rhonda.

         Yes… But he did not tell her that he had seen a earwig swallowed by the drainpipe.

         They do not represent a danger… He added. I read that in an article…

         Well, in the sink, maybe. But on TV… As I see…

 

 

Via the satellite turning around the earth, appeared what seemed to be a video game. Joe took the remote control trying to find another channel. But all the stations  were invaded by the same program: a hideous monster looking like an insect, standing arrogant. No words. Just a series of images…

– What are you watching? Asked about Rhonda.

– Don’t know. Kind of videos you can find on You Tube, made by amateurs… Close to a PC game built by teens…  Those guys are strong…

         What are you talking about?

         Just thinking of what you can do with a computer today…

         Do you still go on this porno sites?

         Me? Of course not… 

         How come that I found messages about  Viagra in your box?

         Pubs! They enter in your computer as those… I forgot their names…You know, at 9 o’clock on Saturdays mornings.

 

Rhonda  came closer to the screen. Her heartbeat speeded. She saw two globular eyes, like marbles, and two nippers at the rear end of the  …monster.

 

         It’s a joke? A program like Orson Welles did in the 30’s. Yes, I am sure that they want to create a panic. She remarked.

         Who?

         Don’t know…The Talibans, the Russian people… Or … Our own government…

         … a new Michael Jackson? Add Joe with a sardonic tone in his voice.

         Great! A surgeon can’t make that…

 

 

Joe put  some mayonnaise in his salad. He was so  hungry. When he turned his head toward the screen he saw many people throwing themselves trough  windows of a tower. 

 

         It’s in China, Joe. In China…She shouted.

         How can you know. You have never been in China….  Well maybe it could stop their products  invading our stores, he said, wryly, with a large smile.

         Not funny, but here is something from the Pentagone, on a square at the left of the screen. Do you see?

         That’s worse…

         Come on! I can’t hear well…

Joe took the remote control but it slipped from his hand and fell in the salad bowl.

         Shit!

         Give me that…

She took the remote control and turned on the sound.

 

“ Up to now, we could not have a real connection an be able to analyse their messages. The Pentagone confirms that an armada of flying saucers is approaching our planet. All the countries of  the world…I mean, of the Earth, are ready to face the enemy, uniting their  forces  to resist and stop this invasion. We will have more information for the population in a few minutes .  Stay calm at  home. This attack may occur in several main  countries on  the planet we don’t know yet. ”

 

In Spain, people were running in the streets.

         Look, said Rhonda.

         Yes, there’s a bull behind them. That’s why they are running like that…

         A Bull?

         Yes, it’s a sport…

         A sport? Last time you were running after me you told me it was love…

         It was in the 60’s…

The cam was now showing  England. People were slowly walking in the streets of London, apparently indifferent.

 

A bottle of beer appeared on  the screen.  The usual:  guys and girls were galloping on a beach, having fun…

         What’s that?

         A pub…A young bull running after a pretty blonde…

         You’re such an idiot!

         Don’t’ forget that you got married with me…

         How can you stay cold like that? Oh! I had forgotten, you have some Irish roots…

         How do you know that? I never really talked about my family…

         No, but I  can count the empty  bottles of whisky… Good  enough to swallow all that, but too lazy to put them in the recycle bin…

         You got a point…

         How is your  salad?

                     Green, like these E.T. … In fact, they are… Really bizarre… The body    resembles to those earwigs in the garden…

A man came out of a dark corner in a room and took the microphone.

– Here’s the president of the United States of America.

 

The president looked sombre, uneasy.

“ If the U.S.A, could not do anything , who could?” He had said before to his men.

 

“I am going to be brief: We received this morning, messages from …some kind of E.T. Like you,  we thought it was a hoax. Now we can confirm that it  is not.  We had to consider that   seriously later, when those creatures took control of all the satellites in orbit, and once in a while,  presenting their …message. The truth is that we have no control on our own communication systems.

 The videos – already  on You Tube,- you received on your TV sets were not sent by  us, they were from  somewhere in the universe, sent through our communication  satellites, also on the web.  We did not choose  this …program.  Everyone can easily imagine how  people of this planet feel now: scared, anxious, frightened.

By far…This  is the greatest danger  mankind had   to face.  Together, gathering, unifying our powers, this  could give us the opportunity to change the world. A new age could rise from this incident: the room by which  we will stop fighting each others and be unified in  a common goal. Some strangers want our planet. Some strangers want to destroy our world, kill our children, ending the tremendous evolution of our specie that began with a monkey… This  could be only the beginning. Some others could come later. For the first time, a real danger is here.

 

Here is, in a nutshell, the message that our staff has been able to decode:

“We have lost our planet. Pollution and genetics problems occurred, devastating all vegetation. In fact, we encountered  the same problems  as you are now facing.  However, your  planet still in good shape enough to esteem  that if we destroy the creature of this garden,  we will only shorten  the disaster that may come later,  due to your way of life. To be brief, there is no other way to act: you are a dangerous specie.  Even for yourself… We have learned a lot through you development and history . For us, this is just a shortcut Trying to stop us is useless: our battleships are huge and armed with  sophisticated weapons ”

He president stopped talking, turned his head to the commander in chief.

– Questions?

 

         How did you get this message? They speak our language?

         Not really, in fact, what the President was reading was written by two young guys working for a company creating video games…

 

Everybody seemed to be dumbfounded.

         I know that it sounds not serious. But it is… The message was sent as a short video. At first we did not understand what was the signification… l Fortunately, two young guys decrypted it because they had created this game.  A part of it, as a matter of fact… They joined us just a few minutes after the video invaded our screens…

He ceased talking a moment, looking at the silent journalists, then continued.

– Well! Let’s them express themselves. I am sure you will understand…

Two young guys came to the microphone.

 

 – The aliens used our game called WAR OF THE PLANETS. They probably get it by connecting to the net. We discovered they just used the game, I mean, some constituents ,  and create their own scenario by a  nifty montage. In this montage we can see how it will happen…  But not when. We just put it in words, helped by the best computers of the planet. The biggest  problem we encountered  was the following: they used compressed files, as we do to exchange mp3 files  or stuff like that…  Precisely  one thousand times more compressed… At first we just saw dots  here and there on the screen. We had use the most powerful computers to piece together these  dots … We wanted to know where it was sent from… That’s why, the analyse was so important. We also discovered the reason why  we could not watch it as everyone on the computer: the roots of the video showed us that it was far, very far. We can’t determine clearly the origin of the message in terms of distance … They are practically  invisible… At least for us…. »

 

Rhonda was shivering. Joe went on eating gluttonously, coolly listening the  teenagers. 

 

         Do we know what we will fight, young man?

– No, for the first time, information, like time, is so variable and imprecise…They used the game…But we are not able to make sure whether it’s a s a snare or the truth… An unskilful way of creating the message… He hesitated… A trap, maybe. We can’t imagine people…I mean creatures like that,  being brainless…They even insert some re-mastered pictures representing their appearances …Well, it’s a little complicated… There are so many possibilities… We mean by that… Well! their   strongest weapons could  be their capability of adaptation… Even transformation…

He hesitated. Both  guys looked each others.

It was hard to explain to the  people in front of them  what it was  to infect a computer. Or what it was  to infect a specie… It is, in a manner, the same trick. You just need  the power and the imagination. That’s what people could not understand…

 

– O.k. Let’s give you an example: when we get into a computer to infect it, we just use the shape of a part of the registry. Just modify it.  The profile is the same, we…you just add something in the structure without affecting  it. So, it doesn’t change the way it works… It is still working. So, if you can change it, you can integrate the environment. You  create a new thing, but this is just a work on the structure…

Everyone was upset in the room.

– Tell the truth, whatever you think…

     All Right, said the young man, shirty. If they can change or modify their look, maybe they just found somewhere on our planet a creature, a beast, a… I don’t’ know what. But they probably trying to create  something that they know we are afraid of.  Just imagine they can use all the creatures imagined by Stephen King an… make it real. Yes, real for us… 

 

 

         Could you clarify it? asked a journalist.

 

          This  is just a theory… Maybe they can – in a way- control our brain. I don’t think that a cold could kill them…

         Why?

         They have no nose…

         No nose?

         Not exactly, smiled the young man… I was kidding…But, everyone has an  Achille’s heel. So, we are trying to find it out by analysing each part, each particularity of these  images, mostly the creature itself… As everyone see, they look like earwigs… It still an enigma for us.

 

     A bald-headed man took the microphone.

         That’s all for today…We don’t know if we will be able to get together again… Information will be given through a new communication system created by those two guys on the net… To get access just take the address on the screen attached on the wall.

         What is the code?

         The old Morse code…

 

         One last question, Sir. How did you call this operation?

         …Blue Navel.

 

 

The crowd quickly broke up, everybody  running in the direction the telephones or on  computers.

Ten minutes later, the barrel dropped at $32.

         It’s time to fill the car up, said Joe.

         The car is broken, you  were too lazy to call the garage…replied Rhonda.

         I know, but I bet that all the people are doing that right now…

 

 All the missiles   were aimed  toward the sky. On one side of the planet, the cameras showed a dark sky tickled of stars.     

 

         Joe, you want some cake?

         Chocolate?

         Yes, I made it for you…

         Thanks! How about you?

         I am not hungry…I was…but…

         If it’s time to die, let’s do it after a piece of cake…Hummm! Delicious!

 

A few minutes later he went out the house, contemplating his master-work: a  replica of the city of New York. One hundred feet square, and no neglected details, event these famous yellow cabs were scattered on the bridge.  In fact, the city occupied almost the whole  of land he owned. A few year ago, the village had decided to create a contest. The goal was to create one of the most famous cities on  the planet. Ten people participated. Joe remembered that he was afraid of loosing the contest: his neighbour had built a nice replica of Paris. Since then, many tourists began to consider the village, “one of the most creative project of retired people. “ A small Las Vegas is born”, titled a regional newspaper.

Remarkable   was the word. And Joe was proud of it. He enviously often walk along the city of Shanghaï made by an old Chinese  who had bought a house only a few months before the contest. During  summer, a lot of Chinese  people came to the village to help  him building his  project.

He passed through his garden  he smiled at the scarecrow in the middle of Central Park: Woody Allen wearing a straw hat. Two round glasses were made of tiny bicycle wheels  found out  by Rhonda  in a garage sale.

 

While the rest of the world was preparing to war, Joe was slowly going  to water his tomatoes. Space was missing in his garden, so he  had put many plants   in Central Park. He took the hose and started. At 98 degrees, having forgot to put a hat, he headed once in a while the hose in the direction of the sky waiting for this artificial cool rain which refreshed him amusingly.

He started singing an old song.  An old 60’s. “The best” he thought.

 

Why does my heart  keep on beating

Why do they eyes of mine cry

Don’t say no, it’s the end of the world

 

After that, he headed toward central Park. When he slightly touched the row of lettuce, he saw so many earwigs that he decided to eliminate them in a big way. He took the hose, put the container of soap, loaded it with the pink liquid bought at the special price of $0.99. He never knew why a so cheap soap could kill these insects.  His incredulity disappeared at the first try: it was like to paralyse them with a taser gun.

Two boxes of 12 pints … Enough to kill an army…

 Immersed in thought, still singing, he took off his glasses after having filled up the container. He scrutinized the sky. 

His glasses fell on the ground.

         What the hell!…

 

****

In a large room, two young men wearing flat-caps were surrounded by a multitude of white-haired scientists and soldiers.   There was no wall, except large screens showing different places on the globe.

At the same time, all the screens became blurry and suddenly turned into a single vision: an  oval  face with two huge eyes. No real mouth: a tiny fence, barely visible. But  the creature   mumbled … a song.

The two young men looked at each other.

         What the fuck is that! They said in chorus.

The crowd of scientists thrown into panic.

         I can understand E=mc2, but not that …

He sat wordless.

         It’s a song from the 60’S

         What?

         Yes…Skeeter Davis.

         O my God! The end of the world…They use that song to deliver their message… A cynical stratagem…

         Yes, but they sing so badly, retorted one of the young men typing on the keyboard.

         A You Tube cover, cackled the other one.

 

***

Why does the sun keep on shining

Why do they eyes of mine cry

Don’t say no…

Joe stopped singing. He could not believe his eyes; a swarm  of …oatmeal biscuits floating in the sky. Uncuntable … So many…Like dark points flying over the village.

 

Some of them landed, touching down the ground just at his feet.

The  biscuits started to fire using  what seemed  to be a minuscule laser that hit his foot like a bee sting.

– Fuck!

 

****

         Look! Look! Said Manuel, they are in New York.

         I guess they are, replied the other young man.

         What do we do?

         General! Shouted a scientist, where are our fighters?

         Well!.. Everywhere in the sky, Sir. On New York… Fifty, at least…

         Fifty! And they do nothing… We haven’t received any call…

         They didn’t see anything, sir! Our last contact told us everything was quiet..

         Yes! Quiet! But look at the screen…Are you blind? If you had those big eyes, maybe you could see..

***

Joe, getting angry, started to shoot when he saw a tiny creature getting out the biscuit.

         Take this! Son of bitch!

The first jet had the same effect as on the  earwigs: they huddled up and started moving hardly, crawling  on the soil. Through the leaves of the tomato plants, he took a brief look at a brown metallic object oddly resembling to one of those alien aircrafts. But it was so small that it looked like toys. He turned his eyes quickly to another one flying around him, standing still like  a hummingbird, moving to left or right in a jerk way. Joe was getting nervous: hundred, even thousands of these biscuits were flying all around. He bended himself to grab the clarinet of his Woody Allen crow , and then started to hit the biscuits. One of them began to stumble, balancing unstably. Reflections of the sun on these objects created a disturbing effect. As expected, these small dancing flying saucers  began to ..bug him.

He started to run sorely toward the garage to pick up his 12 gun.

Coming back to the garden he shot  the  bugs running under the tomato plants.  The tomatoes exploded and the juice splashed the insects. Many vessels were now landed and numerous  groups of creatures were running on the ground. He shot five times… Seeing the effect of the tomato juice on the insects, he stopped, remaining quiet for a few seconds scrutinizing them. A big cigar shaped-vessel  was slowly approaching. He put the gun on the ground and tried to water the insects  walking all around. The cigar-shaped vessel seemed to be affected by his strategy: it started to  untidily fly. Joe was a very attentive observer. Shooting to the creatures at his left,  the vessel was moving to the right. He tried the right side… The vessel was moving  to the left.

“ It’s the mother-ship! Yes,  the mother-ship!” He blurted out, exalted. 

Sweating a lot,  drops of salted water slipping from his forehead were  sliding to   his eyes. He felt an increasing  burning pain that forced him to close one eye. His vision became nebulous for a moment. The pain got stronger and he tried to dry his eyes with his T-shirt.

Tired, breathing noisily, with his hands on his knees, he tried to regain some strength, staying calm,   thinking over about what he could do. Maybe those creatures were linked together like bees or ants. He did not know. So he took back the gun and shoot the main vessel thinking that it was the head, so to speak.

After two shots, the vessels started to  tangle. At the same time, all the others slowed down in a weird way: their movements were like in a slow motion.

The main vessel – so big compared to he FB ( Flying Biscuits)- was the size of a large flue pipe. Soundless up to now, it began to give out a sound appearing like the one in the OM of the John Lennon’s song Across the Universe. For a few seconds or minutes, the creatures headed toward their biscuit. The movement became faster until Joe decide to shoot again. The sound became louder.

All of a sudden, Joe heard this familiar deafening sound: the train. The whistle reverberated his painful vibration , taking hold  the atmosphere.

For a moment everything seemed to be paralysed. All the spots in the sky were motionless.

Joe screwed up his eyes. For the first time in his life, something caught him out …He had never been a naïve man. But this time, it was like an unreal scene: the sun, these things in the blue sky, this lack of restlessness… Time is movement, so time stopped… Only the train was moving as usual in an interminable  uproar.

The aliens looked paralysed. Joe thought that maybe Einstein was right…

He started running, entered the garage and took a few jam pots he used to keep his worms for fishing.

He came back rapidly with two empty ones and put himself on his knees trying to grab one or two of theses creatures. His heart was beating fast. It was disgusting.  He could took one of them ant  bring  it in the jar.  Bang! He put the cap and screwed it down slowly. The train was still there and the armada of vessels were  motionless spots in the blue sky.

Tightly holding the jar, he saw a small biscuit on the ground and tried to crush it with his foot.

         Damn it! He groaned.

It was as hard as a piece of steel. So hot that it had burned his old brown shoe.

He took the jar, lifted it up to his eyes. He was now face to face with a creature almost glued on the round surface of the jar. Then he saw the face. The same viewed on his television screen. He could perceived these globular eyes. All was there, in these two spherical bulbs. The message from was now audible :“They are  monsters”. These were not words, a soundless  language infiltrating his mind.  Joe realized that he  was the monster the creature was thinking about.

He put the jar on the ground, seized the watering system, walked through the garden, shooting the insects, smashing the tomatoes.  The aliens  started churning,  affected by all this weapon they had never encountered. They panicked and began to  speedily return to their vessels.

For a moment, he stayed calm, watching them join together in a kind of line-up. All this through the mixed colours of the pink soap and red tomato  juice.

The turmoil had lasted the length of the passing train. Who knows?

         Make my day! Mr Albert.

 He was in an  indefinable trance. The whole picture was hard to describe. He was not able to understand this ample  spoilage in such a short time. All the field was devastated.

After the train, the armada  gathered around the mother-ship. The sun became almost invisible. The dots formed a stable but noiseless ring.  It took a few minutes to the creatures to reach the mother-ship.

Joe was wandering what could happen next. Another attack? Maybe. The village was empty, Rhonda was probably watching a soap opera recorded the night before. This is what she used to do after the lunch,  with her earphones trying  not disturb him in his nap.

He turned his head to the jar he was holding.

Then, the sky turned into blue, let the light passing through the spots that seemed to  quit slowly.

Awaiting, still, motionless, he got back cautiously to the garage. Once he was in, he put the jar on a table, took a magnifying glass to observe the creature.

They were looking each others.

         Oh! God!

He could read in the thoughts of the  beast. It was trying to decode his genetic code and transmit it by a channel. It was like a stereo message.  He didn’t know how, but he could see it as a short movie, almost frame by frame. For a moment he felt a weird dizziness immerging his head.  The one he used to feel just before a nap. But this time it was a sort of control on him.

He turned his head toward the house to avoid this steady look trying to control him with a strength he had never had to confront to.

Then, and idea came to his mind:“ an eye for an eye”. Why don’t use this way of fighting by turning it into his favour? He started to build up images like he was doing while practicing yoga. He created two channels: one to get information, another one  to send some. He put a circular imaginary lead wall by which he would be able to divert the poisoned ones, turning them back to the creature.

 

***

The two young guys, staring at the screens surrounding them, saw an incredible scene:  moving colourful chains were crossing the screens at such a speed that the room looked now more like a 80’s discotheque.

Everyone came closer, watching it with interest, puzzled by the scene.

         What’s the meaning of that, ask one of the men.

         We don’t know sir…It’s your department …

         Yes it is … But I don’t know what is that…

 After a moment he added:

         Damn It! I recognize it.

         Even at his speed? Looks like a code…

          How can you be sure? Sounds like a children daubing a painting…

The other man stayed thoughtful.

         It’s a genetic code… Transmitted by a technical way we do not  posses.

He looked for a colleague, Dantzig, a chemical engineer.

         Dantzig! come here,  please.

          

The man didn’t turn away his eyes from the screens, like someone reading a text.

         A genetic code? Dantzig…

         Probably. But it not ours…

         So it’s theirs..

         Not exactly..

         What do you mean?

         It’s terrestrial and it’s not at the same time …Disconcerting… Like reading a book with meaningless sentences…

         So?

         There could appear a new meaning later… Which is not a good news to my point of view.

         Transforming a code…

         I am afraid of… Even worse…

         Worse? Something could be worse? There’s a battle somewhere, perhaps in New York, we are not able to see it. What could be worse?

         They are making a weapon:  a new creature.

         Brilliant! But , damn, we need to short-circuit it!

 

***

Joe was not feeling well. Images that he was unable to control were invading his thoughts again.  He finally found enough strength to grab the pink liquid.

         Let’s kill that beast…

He hardly unscrewed the cap, sweating, his hand paralysed by the power of the insect.

He started to laugh, showing the bottle to the tiny beast. The next image he could  get was, fear , He unexpectedly understood why. His own fear had became  the message. The creature had caught it as a signal on the wrong channel. So, fear infected the alien … At the same time he felt his hand getting stronger. He had forgotten some peat-moss  in the bottom of the jar. All of a sudden an enormous worm surfaced from  the peat-moss  in the bottom of  the jar, baffling the creature.

 … Now he could audibly read in the thoughts of IT. The creature had been able to read his genetic code, but while IT was transferring it, an accident occurred: the creature having been disturbed by the vision of the worm, had created a code by mixing some links of Joe and  the worm’s genetic code. Moreover, Joe discovered the real and unique Achilles’ heel of the beast: IT was unable to capture the seize of things and living creatures around. Joe saw a crossover of a multitude of things and animals, all represented in sizes that were not right. Now, he knew that it was the inner vision of the creature. Those big eyes were perhaps a way to counterbalance of the creature’s weakness.

Joe exulted.

While the creature was fighting with the worm in the bottom of the jar, Joe ran toward the garage.

***

         It seems stopped sir. Yes, stopped.

         Maybe they have finished to transmit…

Appeared a creature, blood-drenched, pitiful. Behind it a red rings  were forming a new one. What sound to be the Chief  skidded on his hand on what seemed a control panel.

         Gee! Look, their blood is red, like ours..

         Yes , I see… What can you see behind? …

         Well, I don’t know, Sir, looks like a new form of life…

         Beurk! Hope that it will die at birth…

  They could observe for a while a red long thing formed by to heads at the double-ended. These two heads had a nose, an eye, and long white haired face.

In the middle what looked like lips were jerky  babbling sounds… “theeee end of…fof..fo..of…the…

         O Yeah! Said the young guy.

The signal cut abruptly.

They kept waiting , in silence, for hours.

 

 

***

Joe put some gas in the jar,  and lighted it. A  black plumes  of smoke came out the bottle.

He looked at his lighter, an orange one, and mumbled:

“Smoking could kill you”. It was written on his package of cigarettes. He put it right in front of the jar. The creature had failed… He knew now.

Joe could now  breathe freely.

 

Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?

He was sweating and tired. So he decided to sprawl himself in the hammock behind the house. A shadowed and restless place…

He felt asleep. When he opened his eyes, later,  he saw an earwig on the net. He used to kill that ugly insect … It was before… The train had woke  him up. The earwig was slowly walking toward his bottle of water. “ It needs water like us” he realized. He took the insect in his hand, put it in the shadow and pour on the grass some water.

“I do understand now…You’re a nice creature… You’re a model…”

***

A few days  later, Rhonda and Joe, sitting in front of the TV set were watching a program about the attack of the aliens.

“ The Pentagone can now show you the portrait of the alien  that tried to steal our world.”

         Disgusting! Said Joe… seeing the double-ended ugly  faces.

         Not so… It’s you painted by Picasso, remarked Rhonda.

 

 

 

 

 

THE WORM

 

By

 

 

Gaëtan Pelletier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaëtan Pelletier

C.P. 1242

765, Adelard

St-Pascal, Kamouraska QC

Canada

G0L 3Y0

 

 

 

pelleber@distributel.net

 

© Gaëtan Pelletier 2007   

 

 

 

 

An eye for an eye will make us all blind

Ghandi

Please remember that it is really different from

 the tail end, called the posterior. Just imagine

 how you would feel if someone said they could

not tell the difference between your head and rear end…

Herman, the worm.