|Xangles > Frangles > Kyle Kirby > Chapter 3||read note before reading|
|Frangles: Kyle Kirby, Book #?|
Chapter 3: Plasmoctagons & Skater Boys
On a planet called Florbb by some, somewhere in a galaxy in what Earth scientists call the known universe, Mark clicked off the plasmoctagon. It was five and Kyle's reality show was over for the week. He leaned back on his polka-dotted beanbag and interlaced his fingers behind his head thoughtfully. "Spider... What kind of a name is Spider for a villain."
Joe spoke up. "You'd think they could come with something better. Maybe Tormenter, or Deathweaver."
"Joe, this isn't scripted."
"I thought it was scripted, made to look like a reality show?"
"No no, this is real footage, this is from a planet in the alpha quadrant somewhere called Earth, near Alpha-Centauri."
"Oh, they have such good ground mammoth there. Anyway, what makes you call him a villain?"
"His name is Spider."
"I like Spiders," said Brett, "There's Spider-man, Spider-toddler, Spider-fetus, Spider-porn-store-clerk..." Spider-man was a superhero that most galaxies had unending sequels of. Mark and Joe's planet was up to twenty thousand, three-hundred and sixty-four: The Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Mutant Ninja Homicidal Slightly-bisexual Elderly Rainbow-clad Sewer-dwelling Teenage Mutant Ninja Stock-broking Secretary-seducing Basket-weaving Blue-collared Unitarian Universalist Toddler-trampling Tic-tac-taking Tie-die-turtlenecked Sysop-Rockbeast from Hghrunguwu." Spider-fetus films were only made on worlds that had had a thorough planetary pro-life consensus for at least two centuries.
"But his voice was twisted and ominous." Technology had allowed Kyle's thoughts and internal worlds to be audible and often visible on the octagon.
"Maybe it's some guy like Pico pretending to be evil to freak Kyle out."
"I don't think so," Brett said, "It seems likes a good time to begin foreshadowing some conflict into the story."
"I thought this wasn't scripted."
"Well not to us, but somewhere beyond our entire galaxy, I'm sure there's someone guy scripting every word of Kyle's life on a sidewalk or bathroom stall. I mean we can reduce all our lives to some sort of badly constructed plot structure. I mean look, in these two days alone we have foreshadowing of a villain, a love story, and a project by a young genius that could destroy existence for all we know."
"So Brett, you're saying somewhere, our conversation right now is being read in some book?"
Mark spoke up. "Brett, that's going a little far. He's only being metaphorical you know."
After Brett and Joe left Mark's apartment, Brett headed to the grocery store to get some food for the week. Once there, he realized Kyle's show might be a little more popular than he thought, because he saw a punk kid wearing a bright shirt that said "FREE KYLE." He figured it referred to the very occasional event where a reality show "star" was actually taken off the planet and integrated into galactic society. But then again, it's possible the punk's name coincidentally was Kyle, and he was out on bail, encouraging people to break him out of jail if he was convicted. Brett asked him, and the kid explained that his name was Kyle, but was wearing the shirt in an attempt to attract the girls. He thought that implying that he was gigolo who'd fully dropped his rates would give them the feeling they'd be getting a great deal to date him.
At home, Brett flicked on his own octagon. There was an infomercial for a seven dimensional rubix cube; last week it had been six, but this type of short burst always happened occasionally in marketing, such as Earth-like planets going from two-blade razors to twenty-two blade razors when it finally dawns on someone to count beyond two, in about nine months. Some often paralleled the nine months--which it most often was--to a nine-month birth period, theorizing perhaps they were witnessing some strange metaphysical birth of an edward-scissorhand-like octopus with twenty-two razor-arms. He flicked the channel to some absurd propaganda by a radical minority for convincing people the titles of Spider-man sequels had become too long.
Brett ignored the commercial and his thoughts drifted to Pico's philosophy. They were ideas that he had learned in third grade metaphysics then called fractology, but of which he forgot about, like totally forgetting arithmetic by the time you got to calculus 32. He didn't think this Pico was some mindless hallucination--maybe he was some smart ghost-like bacteria professor moozing around in someone's old jar of mayonnaise who had googled some network that Kyle happened to be on.
He remembered he found the fractological take on knowledge interesting. That one could be a pickle without any conscious awareness that one was a pickle, or a baby pig having a dazy dream with little knowledge that one is doing so. He didn't know for sure, but he estimated Kyle's society probably had established some argument that one thinks, thus one is; intrinsic knowledge of self, which could just as well not be there, a pickle with no idea that it is--or who lost all self-awareness through a metaphysical identity theft--a pig minus Descartes, the philosopher--Brett would discover later--most credited to this line of thought on Earth. Brett would also discover Descartes was just a mutant frog passing through the solar system with a couple stray weed-induced thoughts that somehow got manifested into a work called "Discourse on Method".
Later in the development of the field, people often agreed that one exists only because life rapes a perfect negative, each tearing on the other like a kitten litter and the Earth band Korn. According to this theory, To think "I think" is narcissistic. Much more accurate is "I half-think."
On a whim he decided to learn more about Kyle's planet, and logged in to his internal internet that a new technology allowed him to do. He had one of the first prototypes, and it was only text-based at the moment, like cell phones before they generated tangible, datable holographic women. They were just learning how to send a few sentences through hyperspace, which had taken the galaxy millennia longer to figure out than anyone expected. It wasn't even ready for a single photo album of a Fiji vacation to send to your great great grandmother in a nursing home to say "Doesn't it suck not to be here?"
Brett found Earth's history a little boring compared to Florbb's, but like Kyle's show, strangely a bit addictive. He had some vague idea he might become addicted to Earth and specifically Kyle, like a bad soap opera (which Brett's planet called an apricot-srub opera), or some gruesome period of history you just happen to like, Earth's 1970's. He reminded himself with scant excitement that an apricot-scrub opera went on indefinitely.
After Joe and Brett left, Mark kooshed down on his sofa, hands again behind head, and stared up at the ceiling. Today it was a screen saver (ceiling saver) of a huge tank of strangely-colored fish. Hovering in the tank were a bunch of non-sequiter living blenders. When a fish got to close to one, it would suck it in and grind it to mush. Mark thought that Kyle seemed like such a fish.
On an impulse Mark whistled, and his laptop, which was a small, crunched up, organic ball of tin foil in the corner, that when activated flattened out into a floating rectangular viewing device. Current technology had gotten this down to a billionth of an Earth centimeter. After laptops (which had just kept the name because "Floating-In-The-Air-Top" just didn't have the same ring) had reached about the only "thinth" that anyone cared about, scientists continued the crusade to make them ever thinner, although they were then the only ones who gave a damn anymore, though the prices were still raised. The goal was to get them down to the absolute limit of a handful of molecules, just enough that the laptop wouldn't evaporate into a poof of electrons, protons and flutophons when you rebooted it.
Mark knew there were ways of getting involved in certain shows; there were organizations which had different ethical views about the treatment of such planets. There was little need to study such cultures anymore (only a few details were studied now like stock market prices on skittles or condoms), but there was still a good chunk of galactic society that had a fetish for watching them all run around. Interference was forbidden but some slight manipulation to gain ratings was often allowed. This Spider even might have been someone's doing; suggesting things to Kyle that it was natural for a schizophrenic to think anyway (A weaver of death was a random choice; they might have introduced Kyle to a bulimic real estate agent in the delta quadrant). If they were allowed to force straight out, they would simply make Kyle stand on his head and quack all day and market the entertainment to some planet of mutant duck men.
After a half hour of surfing the galactic wide web (which didn't sound quite as catchy as "world wide web" and had a third less alliteration; but in balance, "gww" was two less syllables to say), Mark found a group of a handful of people involved in Kyle's show who called themselves Kirbians and were now considering a change to Giraffaholians, even though their email addresses and some information on their servers (servers were now the size of about a quadrillionth of a pea) would have to be changed. Like Brett, he waivered, while considering an addiction to such a thing. Eventually general boredom with his life took over and he sent an inquiring email.
After Joe got home, he promptly forgot about Kyle and spent the rest of the night running up his phone bill talking to the exact same mutant frog that had passed through Earth--who had his own personal 900 number--except instead of Earth or philosophy, they discussed ski-ball stock and lottery probability.
* * *
Zipper and Punk whipped back and forth on the plaid half-pipe. There was only one other person there: a slightly drunk elderly man who kept falling off his skateboard, who had either lost his skill in his old age or was trying to teach himself a new trick. Each time he fell he let out a slow groan and touched his hand to his back or his hip. The half-pipe was big enough for the two moderately skilled others to board around him. Zipper spoke up.
"So, you finally broke in your static, ethicless 'gram, eh?" 'Gram' was skater boy slang for 'begram,' which was a thing similar to Earth's computer "programs." Kruffonulania was a realm not too far removed from Earth and hence had a similar language to English--if a different dialect. The term "program" had been instead been coined "begginergram," which was halved by the constant use to "begram," and halved again to a single syllable supposedly by Punk himself, a term Punk claimed he had coined and let the fad term ripple out among compsci skater kids and then everyone else (He also claimed that skateboarders had to board in full pipes until his great-great-grandfather suggested sawing them in half; and before that, lead boxes).
Of course, no one knew how far the term spread, because no one knew how large Kroffonulania was. The land appeared totally flat, and it was supposed the horizon and sky were either flat and infinite (or maybe a sphere of infinite radius), or limited and round; some huge ball of rock and dirt too large to confirm. Some pondered that Kroffonulania was just their version of all existence, all possible worlds contained within it if you just traveled far enough, like Earth's "known universe" of many galaxies, but instead of space-time bending around the foci of spherical rocks and balls of gas, Kroffonulania bent around a flat world supporting everything. From a Kroffonulanian frangle, planets could be massive constructed objects floating far above the flat ground, or a tank of tiny marbles with microscopic cockroaches.
"Spider's gonna freaking trash Kyle." Punk had the short, always-spiked hair that got him his nickname that re-colored itself about once an hour, a few ear and nose piercings whose metal morphed between copper, platinum, and adamanthium, and had a thin nickel spike driven right through his skull, an organ on Kroffonulania sort of like a thought-liver that didn't have much use. Zipper in contrast was more clean cut. He had recently started wearing the denim of Kyle's current period, earning him his recently attained nickname, and a shirt currently in style that looked like swirling grapefruit juice.
"I'll bet yah eighty squeezes of aspercreme I can get Kyle to off himself in a month. And Spider isn't static. He's dynamic." In Kroffonulania, all but a few chemists had perished at a giant convention inconveniently held in a nuclear testing site, which had a bomb testing overbooked on the same day, by the mistake of an overworked and underpaid secretary. Hence, the aspercreme ingredients sucrose, calcium carbonate, corn starch, talc, mineral oil, natural and artificial flavors, adipic acid, sodium polyphosphate, and yellow 6, were mostly hard to come by, and aspercreme had become one of the primary currencies of the planet.
What wasn't noticed was the last known ingredients they thought made up aspercreme were instead the ingredients of Tums, by the mistake of the same underpaid secretary--incidentally (and coincidentally) with the same name as the Springfield High secretary who had misordered the college calculus book--Alice--who had become fed up at the dangers of radioactive testing by the time she had grown her fifth eyeball, and switched jobs, which was ironic since she eventually died of calcium overdose, having consumed the Tums excessively as if candy. The reason the error, incidentally--and coincidentally--wasn't noticed, was that all the warehouses for the last remaining supplies of sucrose, calcium carbonate, corn starch, talc, mineral oil, natural and artifical flavors, adipic acid, sodium polyphosphate, and yellow 6, were all mislabeled by Alice's ex-husband, and were actually the respective aspercreme ingredients (except the warehouse for yellow 6 which contained a supply of yellow 4).
"You're on. He's gonna be a friggin' savior by the time the game's finished."
"Saviors get crucified... Anyway, the game's never finished." The game was a simulation of life, on the Kroffonulanian equivalent of computers, which were strange glowing orbs of data and running begrams. Kroffonulania had an odd mix of what Earthers might consider technology and magic. These orb servers in particular were exponentially more advanced than Earth's computers, so much so that the entire operating system of many of the relevant Earth-computers in the game were fully contained within the encompassing begrams, as were everyone's brains and everything else. Other Earth computers, such as laptops in local Starbucks' and the CVS centralized prescription data, were just roughly approximated. When one of these was accessed by a relevant Kirby-world character, the program would allocate space and program much of its hard drive for temporary use, simulating the PC's processor. Hence when one looked up a drug like viagro-oxy-continent-rilititalin at Walgreens, the system took more time to configure its chemical formulae, consider the person's addictive tendencies, and decide whether there was any in stock.
The game ran 24/7 (or 34/9 in Kroffonulania) in real time and the players checked in regularly by remote devices like a laptop connecting to an internet server. The main variables and sub-begrams that were manipulated were the people and the environments surrounding the main character. Part of the game was altering things like school curriculum, gas prices, religion of parents, or whether friends or siblings prefer BBQ fritos or original. One might find a way to give a player's dog cancer, or introduce some transfer student to try to seduce him, who could turn out to be a nice next-door girl or an alien slut from another planet.
"Kyle, Kyle, doomed and vile..." Punk attempted a 180 and fell hard, slamming his head. Oddly enough, at the same moment, the old man successfully achieved the same maneuver. Punk yelled out in pain.
"I told you to wear a goddamn helmet. You're gonna kill yourself."
"Just more practice to get Kyle to do the same." At this, Zipper zipped right by Punk--who was getting up--knocking him back down. Punk yelled. "Hey! Don't take your anger that your cyberpet is a suicidal disfunct out on me. Just be happy he's unlikely to be homicidal."
"Not a danger to himself or others, huh?" Punk got back on his board. "Anyway, my dad says they rig the Kirby program to lean towards your dorky ethical scenarios, so as not to be a nasty influence to us if he goes nuts and offs the planet."
"Fahh; you're just setting up an excuse to blame when I win. You're just jealous I won the last game."
"The simulation was flawed. My group of monk demonists would never have been converted to by your over-holy Confucianist vulcans' bullcrap logic." It was a reference to the aspects Kyle's culture that had been involved in their last Earth game. All the cultures and history and sciences of Earth were entirely fabricated by the corporations producing the Earth orbs, with extension packs like diving into the details of karaoke engineering for a character who wants to go into the business.
"Elf. He was an elf, you idiot. His ancient magic and wisdom were quite realistic enough to debunk your punk monk hunks' theories. You're just making your lame excuses. I never do that when I lose."
"Nah, you just boast when you win."
"I'm humble, I never boast," Zipper boasted.
The old man had fallen again, and seemed in more pain this time. In fact he didn't get up. Instead he grasped at his chest, apparently having a heart attack. Zipper and Punk were too distracted by their argument to notice.
"That's 'cuz your excessive winning is boasting enough. And like I said, it's all rigged toward the ethics of a non-pedophile priest. Anyway my monks were just in good physical shape, they weren't hunks. How could they be hunks if there were no whores around." The old man wheezed then fell to the ground, motionless. "Holy crap!" Punk yelled. Zipper yanked out his cell phone which was about the size of a quarter gram of valium (a drug that was always in stock in the Earth CVS's) and called for an ambulance. In the boarding dome, most everything was run by skateboarders, so soon two paramedics zizzed down together on hover boards, with emergency kit backpacks. They examined the old man, determined he wasn't dead, and slapped a small raisin-sized sticky-thing on his shoulder which teleported him to the nearest hospital in a flash of silky, milky waves of liquidated store-brand Irish Spring soap.
At home, Zipper sped up the stairs to his room, flipped onto his bed, and pulled down Aristotle's Metaphysics from his bookshelf, a printed version from Earth's fabricated history that he'd ordered at the cost of three weeks allowance of aspercreme, as books were expensive. This version's cover was Socrates as the lead singer of a rock band at an unpopulated club with the handful of fans booing and throwing tomatoes and turnips on the stage, denoting "non-musical Socrates."
Zipper had introduced the character Pico and was hence mostly his to program, like owning major stock in a company, which could always be bought out through various means by Punk. He thought it would be interesting to mix some of Kroffonulania's 4,597th century philosophy--which had influenced Florbb's fractology in a nearby realm and was similarly called "fractologic"--with the current general philosophy of Kyle's society. He often wondered how history would proceed if certain ideas or technologies were introduced earlier or later; like giving homosapians nuclear weapons. Punk had tried that once in a simulation and Zipper was still laughing at the results.
He had seen strong parallels of Aristotle's ideas to the math and symmetric physics of fractologic, the idea that everything was sustained via perfect symmetric opposites; a puppy for every pit-bull, and so on (he often noted that his relationship with Punk thrived on some of these kinds of opposition). The book had influenced Pico's recent quick math lesson to Kyle, fusing the higher dimensional theories of both systems, and Zipper was examining the book in more detail to find more ways to further blend the two. He flipped to a random page and read out loud.
" 'If for each thing there is one direct contrary, one might raise the question how the equal can be the opposite of both the greater and the less...' " This sparked Zipper to consider adding more puppy-pit-bull elements to Kyle's math cocktail.
He flicked on his pentagon and entered a few settings which selected a camera in Kyle's room. Kyle's morning alarm was going off, and he estimated Kyle had hit the snooze button twice by now. He clicked the pentagon off and just stared for awhile at a corner of his room, where he often imagined there was a camera watching him inside a bigger game in which the entire Kirby land was just a tiny side function called ZippersKirbyGame(). He was suddenly sad at the idea that his whole life was some twenty-minute begram run on the laptop of some respectively godly beatnik sipping expresso at Starbucks. At this thought, more than ever before, he felt a little more for Kyle, real or not, and just before falling into a nap, committed just a tad more to helping him out.
Punk in contrast was getting puke-sick of the game. Upon getting home he ignored his mother's greeting, her further voiced complaint that he had ignored her greeting, and her usual speech about how it was especially rude to ignore this second comment, and whistled to Spike instead. Spike was a deep-black pit-bull with small pointed bone fragments sticking out of his head and wolf-life teeth. He had helped engineer him, bending the dog's uncanny loyalty to himself. Most everyone else stayed outside a good radius.
"Come on, Fuzzy." Spike--who was lying on his favorite striped rug--stood his ears up. He was more intelligent than an Earth dog, yet wasn't quite smart enough to grasp Punk's occasional verbal irony. He watched Punk walk out the back yard door then ran after him.
Outside, Punk grabbed a two-by-two rubix cube hanging around that was about the size of a basketball, and tossed it to Spike. He had introduced him and Kyle both to the rubix cube when Kyle was thirteen. Spike's was designed to turn when the dog nudged one of the sides in a certain direction. Spike would never figure it out, Punk thought, considering even most humans couldn't figure it out themselves. "Look at me, comparing things to a fictional homosapian cyber race. I've been playing this stupid game too much." He left Spike uselessly trying to calculate the algorithms to solve the cube, and flopped into a hammock.
He thought back to his conversation with Zipper--a quite usual and boring one--despite trying not to bother thinking about the game, but his mind soon wandered to the giraffahole. The plot turn was a little unexpected, and he hadn't read much about it in the manuals; they fell short in the details of schizo teenage epiphanies. Punk figured it had a lot to do with Zipper's Pico program, and mentally made a note to begin his hostile takeover of the thing.
Punk pulled out a thin, rectangular viewer, and clicked on the spy cam he had secretly installed in the corner of Zipper's bedroom. Zipper was napping, and Punk was glad it wasn't something he hated clicking in on. Punk pressed a button on the viewer which enlarged itself into a screen and holographic keyboard. He checked in on Kyle via a game that Zipper had written for him which altered Zipper's brain to believe he was controlling Kyle, when in fact he was just watching what Kyle was up to. The technology was in its infancy and was only text-based at the moment.
Welcome to Kyle Kirby text-based mud. To begin, please enter character name:
Sorry, you can only enter Kyle. Enter character name:
You are Kyle. You're an ADD, schizophrenic, quirky teenage kid, living on a remote planet called Earth. You're in your bed, and it's currently Saturday morning. You've just dragged yourself awake and you sit up and switch off your alarm. You have the whole Saturday in front of you.
You're in a colorful, messy bedroom. Posters on the walls include a fractal, a rock band called Skunk, a magnificent dragon, a small Home Star Runner poster.
Relevant objects: rubix cube, backpack, computer, clarinet, lamp, axe body spray
Exits: door, window
>get rubix cube
You pick up the rubix cube.
You randomly turn the rubix cube, trying to improvise to get it right. You manage to re-arrange just a couple of the squares where you want, but like everyone else, you basically fail.
> solve cube
You can't yet.
There's a wallpaper of a random bikini girl. Three browser windows are open: freetetris.com, Wikipedia, and Fractopolis.com. The trash hasn't been emptied in at least a year.
Desktop icons: notepad, paint, adobe, firepig, tetris, aim
> play Halo 4
>play Halo 3
You play Halo. You have fun. You die.
> click AIM
You log onto AOL Instant Messenger.
>open chat TommyDog34
>send "hey tom"
Tommy: mornin ky
>send Tommy "go fuck a duck"
The system reminds you that you can't do anything Kyle wouldn't do.
>send Tommy "meet me at plaza in an hour"
> open chat generic_AIM_AI_attempt
> send "how are you?"
generic_AIM_AI_attempt: I'm super, KyleTurbo9!
> send "go fuck a duck"
generic_AIM_AI_attempt: that's not nice, KyleTurbo9!
You log onto YouTube with firepig.
> download rubix cube solve video
You download a video that demonstrates how to solve a rubix cube.
> watch video
Your Gateway desktop PC crashes.
A standard house hallway with a few doors.
Exits: bathroom, parents bedroom, office, stairs
> parents bedroom
You wouldn't go in there.
Todd says "Morning, Kyle."
> get ready
You brush, shave, floss, shower, and dress.
> out, stairs, door
> bike to plaza
You're inside the entrance to the Plaza. There's a rotating rectangular ad for an upcoming movie, Skunk's new rock album, and a new young men's cologne also coincidentally named "Skunk." It's early and there are just a few people around. Two jocks are walking to your right, and a nerdy looking kid is at a laptop to your left.
Objects: directory map, trash, dropped pen
> talk to jocks
One of them says "Go to hell, homestar."
> talk nerd
He says "Heya, Kyle!" then resumes his work on a code compiler.
> look directory
Plaza stores open:
Echo Echo shoes, Aferbomple & Starch, food court, bank, CVS, Macy's, Friendly's, Punk's Skateboards
> go starch
Aferbomple & Starch
An expensive clothing store, with a very large black and white poster of a slightly homoerotic scene. Two Starch-dressed staff are getting the place ready for the day.
Objects: shirts, pants, boxers, socks, cologne, jewelry, dentures
Exits: out, dressing room
> look shirts
You examine a plethora of Aferbomple shirts, many with slightly different A&S logos, and some with different numbers stitched on them for no meaningful reason you can decipher.
> buy shirt
You completely max out one of your father's credit cards to pay for a yellow Aferbomple & Starch shirt with a proud-looking number "17" stitched into it, allowing you to display your pride in your basic kindergarten arithmetic.
> out, front
> shirt trash
You stuff your recently acquired Aferbomble shirt in the trash bucket.
> wait Tommy
You shift between watching the ad rotate and staring at the ceiling.
Tommy enters and says "Yo Ky."
> food court
Tommy follows you to the food court. You both have krunch, a pun on 'brunch' that Tommy made up for your tendency to eat lunch sporadically throughout the day and to 'crunch' too loudly on lime tostitos.
The game continues without you. Thanks for pl#$@#$--
Zipper woke up with a fading feeling of eating out with Punk inside the game at a mall somewhere deep in the Earth orb. Something made him think about the giraffahole again and he sat up and ran a detailed search through the orb manual and the following came up.
There is a small chance Kyle will attempt to develop a subtransformulate multi-dimensional wormhole, that he will often call a giraffahole. In some cases, Kyle will be successful, and achieve something capable of interacting with the realities he perceives, including the game itself. A player might have Earth-related dreams, or wake up some morning and find his toothbrush now talks to him, or feel a very small urge to go out and start a new life as a part time serial killer. In rare cases, the giraffahole may escalate and form a hole in the fabric of local space-time which could eventually suck the player into an unknown dimension, implode the players' planet or collapse a nearby star, or, very rarely, cause a chain reaction and obliterate all reality. This is a potentially hazardous downside of the Kirby game. If you see these signs like these developing, please contact customer support.
Zipper gaped. "Holy shit! >>
|Xangles > Frangles > Kyle Kirby > Chapter 3||read note before reading|