|Xangles > Frangles > Kyle Kirby > Chapter 4||read note before reading|
|Frangles: Kyle Kirby, Book #?|
Chapter 4: Mallrats
I can't believe you bought a Starch shirt just to entertain yourself by throwing it out." Tommy finished his krunch pizza and stuck his thumb up at an acquaintance just sitting down nearby--an action acted out to seem Tommy-like, Kyle thought. He wondered if he was even given instructions sometimes on exactly what to do.
"I can't believe you bought a Starch shirt just to entertain yourself by throwing it out." The actor grinned, appreciating the irony of his statement. It was just this sort of thing that made the shows of schizos entertaining; schizos they could somehow--even if only vaguely--sense the cameras all around them, and hence act on this, maybe even wave once in awhile (hey everyone, I'm Kyle! Welcome to my show)! Maybe there were hidden cameras in the bedrooms or bathroom stalls.
"Well, I'm sure someone watching my movie or reading my book found it entertaining."
"You're so weird."
"I'm a star." It was mock-egotism.
The plaza wasn't very big, and kids spent a lot of time sitting around, or talking or hacking. The actor version of Tommy used this time to go over his motives for the day, instructed to him by a pink sticky memo he got this morning. When he hung out with Kyle at length there was more of a chance to influence him. He considered Spider's recent introduction. Spider was a transsexual insurance agent who had suddenly felt the need to go into reality show acting. They had talked at length and it seemed to make sense for Tommy to think Kyle's ideas and specifically the developing dark tones, a little ludicrous, paradoxically giving Kyle more reason to develop them and hence improve the show's ratings.
Kyle frused and mentally replayed the scene.
Tommy finished his krunch pizza and stuck his thumb up at an acquaintance just sitting down nearby. There was probably a button sequence like "up, Y Y Z" to make Tommy stick out his thumb, then select the target out of all the humanoid programs in the room, or someone's pet dog he sometimes thumbed, who usually went up to sniff his crotch. Maybe now the "talk" button was pressed, and five appropriate Tommy-like things to say were displayed. Select number four. Hit enter.
"I can't believe you bought a Starch shirt just to entertain yourself by throwing it out." As with a show there was irony, because the players had actually gotten six experience points toward Kyle's oddity level for making him buy an absurdly expensive shirt then not bother using the gained object. If they acted things like this enough, Kyle's Quirky Level would go up from ten to eleven.
"Well, I'm sure someone out there found it entertaining. Maybe it would have been funnier if..." This was the computer's response. Or someone else might have selected this for Kyle to say. Perhaps this was a two-player game of Kyle vs. Tommy. Maybe by the time they left the mall they would fight to the death with their learned abilities.
Get ready.... Fight!
> fireball Tommy
You cast your level eight fireball at Tommy. Tommy manages to evade and receives minimal damage. Your magic is 78%.
Tommy hurls a throwing knife at your head.
critical hit. You are down to 28 hit points.
> arm katana
You get out your katana and prepare for melee.
> hit Tommy
You leap into the air three times higher than gravity would allow, and bring your sword down as you land. It was a good blow!
Tommy summons his Oblivion Dragon.
Tommy and the mall vanish and you are warped to a strange timeless realm. Shadowy, black and blue energy flow all around. You hear the sound of wings flapping and soon a dragon descends from above. There is a horrible screeching sound as the Dragon opens his mouth, and white lightning begins to crackle all around. The dragon breaths lightning and it engulfs you. There is a colorful atom-bomb-like explosion, and suddenly the mall and Tommy re-materialize.
You loose zero hit points. Tommy had no idea that you had immunity from the Oblivion Dragon, and you both wonder how you could have survived a nuclear strike without receiving any damage.
> hit Tommy
You draw your katana back and chant the words the Priest of the Land of the Purple Porn Store taught you, and slide forward and strike Tommy ten times. While being sliced through with a sword would kill most people, Tommy's character is only damaged.
Tommy tries to run away, but fails.
Tommy hits the wrong button and summons Oblivion Dragon again.
Completely devoid of the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus's view that you can never step into the same waters twice, the exact same scene acts itself out.
An ineffable, angelic glowing bird with white fiery wings descends and envelops you with clouds. You are healed to maximum hit points.
Tommy curses as he hits another wrong button on a controller he's not used to and casts Efferdent Plus 3 on you, used for battle with the elderly lady Mrs. Perloo. It does no damage.
> arm angreal
You get out your angreal that was given you by the Aes Sedai in the realm of the game that ripped off Robert Jordan that magnifies your magical ability.
> fireball with angreal
The entire screen explodes into fire, and while you're totally engulfed in the same fire Tommy is, for some reason only he looses hit points.
Tommy's hit points fall below zero. Tommy is dead. You gain 170 experience points and Tommy's items are added to your inventory. You can now go back to the Wizard of Loraminania and receive the sacred glass donkey.
"I said, do you mind going to Electri-City? I need a new graphics card."
As they walked around, Kyle pondered at the sea of electronics, the nifty stuff that wouldn't exist without the inventers thinking out of the box. Who first had the idea of teleporting a piece of paper thousands of miles with something like a fax machine? Maybe someone else then had the idea to use it to teleport army supplies or actual humans, before they realized nobody would fit in the fax paper slot.
They passed the newer plasma TVs and Kyle wondered what was so special about a rectangle. Why not a circle, or a floating dodecahedron? Kyle thought about the phones and computers and wondered when everyone would have tiny electronic cheez-its in their heads. Then some creative guy who might have thought up a fax machine would think to someone else, "you know, what if we could fax brain cells to each other?" and then the brain-fax would be invented, so everyone could share experience, dirty pictures, and specialized knowledge of kidney transplant procedures, and the dream of sending army supplies and MREs could finally be realized, although they'd only be of use to the psychotics who could hallucinate them into tangible form.
Only ten percent of the human brain was used. Perhaps you could store nine other people's messed up heads in yours, causing massive multiple personality disorder. Although it would be organized enough that you could select one at a time. You're a dork mode at a party because you were arguing theoretical physics with someone with Stephen Hawking's memories earlier, and you switch into popular jock mode, and can suddenly flirt with any of the girls in recently-dumped-vulnerable-girl or underage-trashy-slut mode.
While Tommy was asking questions about the graphics cards, Kyle gravitated towards the DVDs. They were almost like memories, he thought. Like the brain cells. Maybe when they got more advanced, you would actually experience the film. The downside would be that to record the really gruesome movies, people would have to get mauled and killed by real genetically engineered monsters. You'd feel the horror of someone's last moments, who was only scantly comforted by the knowledge that the footage would help make a blockbuster horror movie that would gross over sixty million.
He thought to his wormhole plans. Maybe engineering would help. He could design a weapon that would zap the target to another plane of existence. To be humane during war, this could be a whole Fiji planet of tropical waterfalls, causing firearm suicides to increase to a third of the population. Doctors could teleport new organs into the body during surgery, instantly imported from some planet of humanoids who's internal systems were 70% livers and thyroids.
Tommy found his card, and they wandered the mall and grazed a few stores, including a computer game store. Tommy purchased a recently released game were you were a predator-like alien who wandered around mangling innocent humans in seventeenth-century London. Eventually they got bored and plunked down on one of the stiff mall couches. It was past noon and Tommy called up Aaron and Sam to meet them later. Tommy got bored and fell asleep, and Kyle wondered how the plains were doing.
The council was a circle of mostly animals thought important to the plains, who stood or sat around a large, almost glacier-shaped boulder, although it was often noted that it was in fact much smaller than a glacier. Grornoff had spent the day in hard thought and in seeking advice from wise, revered malformed animals; the others often looked to him for leadership. It was rumored and now confirmed from Grornoff's demeanor that he had fell into indecision and even fear, a sign things were very bad indeed. Even Ketchup, perched on a small nearby tree, his weight cracking the thin branch he was on, looked hopeless. Grornoff began.
"There is a rumor, almost a prophecy; the threat of a doom that will overtake our land at the moment of the double eclipse of our moons, Bacon and Chlorophyll, with our two yellow suns. The beetle-worm astronomers tell us this time is nearing.
Two twin owls spoke up in an eerie, harmonious monotone. "Peace deceased; always fall. Death for all, death for--"
"Shut up!." Grornoff growled. Their only response was an argumentative "hooo."
"Great cat-bug, what says the tree?" piped up a small three-headed chipmunk. The others looked to him.
"The tree talks in useless riddles. He's like a termite-infested mobius strip."
"How about the brick-blue swan?"
"Useless as well."
"The invisible ostrich?"
He shook his head. "I couldn't find him."
"Did you see the alchemist alligator?" asked the chipmunk.
"Yes, he had some very helpful advice."
"Well, what was it?" asked a hedgehog.
"It's... not currently relevant." Grornoff made this excuse to avoid telling the entire council that he had by now forgotten what it was the alligator said to him.
"What if someone were to walk the path of Leonarn up the great volcano and destroy the dead buffalo carcass forged by the ancient Deathweaver?"
"We did that, it didn't seem to do anything."
"Then, then, perhaps all is really lost?" stuttered the chipmunk said with fear.
The twin owls spoke up again. "Peace deceased; always--" Grornoff mauled one of them in a fed up blood-splattering rage, the other fled.
A long, checkered serpent spoke up. "Grornoff, I have ssstudied our old textss, and they sspeak of help from afar."
"It is ssaid our whole world is ssimply a drop in the ssea of all lands, all intertwined, like a huge lake of infinitely long, evertangled ssnakes. It's ssaid there were once sserpents, and also chipmunkss, who were revered for the ability to follow the chordss at great length, bring visitors here through riftss from other worldss. Perhapss ssuch a thing is sstill posssible."
In his chair in the mall, Kyle sat up.
"Perhaps. Chipmunk, Sselefru, you should read deeply into the Texts of Scant Wonder in search of any more information that might aid us in this." He raised his voice. "You must all do the same... now how are your armies doing?" Each animal gave reports about their land's armies and the attempts to gather forces. It was unknown if the danger would be anything tangible, anything they could fight with force, but they prepared for the possibility.
The meeting seemed to dilute into minor issues and quarrels between lands. When it was over, Grornoff let himself experience the infinitesimal added hope of foreign aid, as if hoping for a hot young lioness to ploof into existence. Kyle shook his head as if he were catching himself falling asleep.
"They're all going to die, you know."
"Your optimism could liquefy tennis balls."
"Maybe some kid prodigy should build them an off world stargate."
"You're probably the forbidding cancer."
"Death for all." Tommy started to wake up. "Oh, look at the time; I have a web to weave in some scary basement where a depressed shrink hung himself."
"Morning, Kyle." Tommy had to urinate and they got up and walked toward the bathrooms and passed Susan and a friend sitting on a bench. Kyle tried to pretend he didn't notice them but Tommy pulled Kyle's shirt and walked over. "Hey, Susan."
"Oh, hey Kyle. Hey Tommy."
Kyle felt he should speak, and tried not to say anything moronic. "Nice day, unh?" He'd failed.
"Sure... anything new at Home Depot?" There were attempts to merge Kyle's and Tommy's names, which either came out "Kommy" or "Tile." The tile was awkwardly extended to "home depot," even though there were only two of them, and Susan had heard the term once and was trying it out. Tommy's response was mock-excitement. "Kyle's gonna build a giraffahole." Kyle gave Tommy a hard look.
"A what?" said Susan's friend Kim.
Tommy lowered his sarcasm to a minimal mockery that only Kyle would catch. "Like a wormhole. He's gonna build one; Kyle's a genius; and we're all gonna get to go to other galaxies and whole realms of video games and yellow pot fields."
"Can I come?" Susan asked.
"Nah, only super-close friends."
"Well, Kyle and I will have to go out then." Kyle frused.
"Come on, Kyle."
"I'll... see ya later, Susan... Kim." She waved as they were leaving.
"That was bad."
"She asked you out. The girl should never ask you out. It makes you her pet."
"I think she suggested I ask her out."
"Not much better."
A little later they met Sam and Aaron at one of the mall entrances, and decided on a movie at the mall theatre. The film was about a war between werewolves and some strange deformed alien monsters trying to invade earth. The leader was a powerful werewolf named Claw, the name of the movie, and of a temporary fruity candy they were eating. Tommy munched on his popcorn while watching the gruesome deaths and frowned when the good werewolves triumphed by sending the aliens back to their homeworld, and was still eating as the theatre plopped them out from the world of generically deformed creatures to that of bored suburban teenagers.
"So, would you be a good wolf or a bad wolf?"
Sam shrugged. "I dunno, I guess it would dep--"
"Shut up, Lardy. You're too fat to be a werewolf. I was talking to Aaron and Kyle."
Aaron gave a mock-look of taking Tommy's question as a serious ethical theme and replied slowly and thoughtfully. "Good wolf."
"I'd be a monstrous demon-wolf from hell. Feared and respected. Round up all the other bad guys and build concentration camps for all the do-goody werewolves."
"Sounds like Hitler."
Kyle felt they must be talking to him, warning him of what he might be capable. Or maybe tempting him, shooting for even higher ratings or book sales; maybe that's what Spider was doing. What if Spider had a good "Meta-voodoo for Dummies" book and could influence his friends, or was an alien at the zoo paying ten bucks each visit to play "get an earthling to kill someone and win a plush teletubbie." Or maybe he was just a bored, musing teen who liked pasting his death-blog-rants into people's cheez-it chips whenever he couldn't find any good free online meta-porn.
"Kyle could build me a wormhole and I could send all the putrid angelic werewolves to a hell dimension, and I'd round up all the bad wolves and aliens and take over Earth. Maybe Mars too."
"I'm hungry," Kyle said.
"Time for krunch."
The food court was more populated now, and they recognized some of their schoolmates. A freshman noticed Kyle's homestar shirt--a different one today--and said "toons!" in Homestar's voice--a menu option on the flash site, which brought up a colorful menu in Kyle's head of areas of his life to visit for the rest of the day. Maybe the guy was visiting an Earth zoo and was teasing a dumb monkey who liked to draw stars in the dirt with a stick. Or maybe he was the monkey looking up to a superior being who had the vast intellect to comprehend Homestar Runner. Kyle turned and noticed a squirrel blink at him outside a window, or maybe he was just blinking at the nuts topping the fudge Sunday in line of sight. They bought food, each at a different place, and Aaron complained that someone should sell fluffernutters. They spent another hour aimlessly wandering the mall and the three went home, Kyle on his neon, sticker-covered bike, Tommy and Aaron in Tommy's noisy, junky corolla.
At home, on a whim, Kyle pulled out a blank notebook he'd labeled "Giraffahole Blueprints" and sat at his bedroom desk. Quite out of character, he manage to focus enough to stare at it blankly for over fifteen minutes.
"I helped out Einstein, you know. Before me, he kept going with E=mc^7, which it might as well have been, of course."
"You could do this, right? You must have schematics or something."
"My brain-fax machine only operates at about the speed you could think it up yourself. Besides, it's busy making out with the surge protector." Kyle hadn't made the obvious link between his thoughts in Electri-city of brain chip-faxes and all the bizarre voices he heard. Maybe there really was a silicon cheez-it in his brain. It would explain quite a bit. Especially his odd liking of rock-hard stale cheez-its. "Besides, if I told you, you wouldn't learn." He left.
Kyle loosely sketched a stargate from the show. Then the delorian from back to the future. Then he dotted as many constellations as he could remember from ninth grade, then made up the constellation giraffe, and the Strongbad constellation, Homestar's nemesis. What exactly was he trying to do again? He turned and looked out his fractal poster. It was mostly circles and spirals and internal organs in primary colors, all tangled like a dozen game controller cords. He traced a few paths with a mental finger from one area to another by different routes. One detour he took to avoid a triple Porsche / minivan / thyroid highway collision got him lost and he wasn't able to get to the particular Subway he wanted. In doing so he thought of how the whole universe was a distracted scribble of minivan/thyroid detours. One direction, then another, at the fractal's whim, or possibly an ordered, programmed path, the street cars electrons on computer circuit boards on the great z=z^2+c operating system--O/S Mandlebrot. Infinite data and code and internet html pages and java scripts. He thought about spiders doomed to eternally craw the vast pages and mall stores and perfect the computer and mall directories, their $5.50/hr job never done.
That led him to an idea. He turned back to the notebook and started sketching a template for a massive mystery or sci-fi saga written by many authors across three dozen books or films that you could read or watch in various orders. You might read the two mysteries of the drowned group therapist and then the poisoned Buddhist national enquirer writer, with the same suspects in each of a transvestite, a pedophile florist, and visiting alien; then before or after these read the drama of two childhood friends violently abducted while gardening by an alien who's anal probing sexually confused them who later regretted torturing them, the line of shrinks who were never able to help any of them, and the permanent collective hatred instilled in all three for group psychotherapy, pacifism, and fabricated alien abduction stories.
He thought of search engine information, thought of all the many different directory listing paths and ways they might better be organized: instead of following humor to platypus to haiku to find funny platypi haikus, you could begin at any of these three and get to the end result by six different ways (three factorial). Or to help you find a good forum or dirty site, the engine could gather personal information stored in your browser like age, fetish, prostate issues; like a good travel agent. It could cross-reference your information and tell you where other people like you go. If a bunch of fat, middle-aged hippies tend to gravitate toward the same three dirty websites, and you were a fat, middle-aged hippie, it might suggest these to you. It could even bypass the moronic initial screen that said you had to leave if you were under eighteen and had an extremely abnormal sense of ethics in regards to stupid porn laws.
This brought him to a useful version of the talking paperclip from Word that would get to know you well; a buddy who knew the fractal better than you did. He could watch your emails, read your hard drive, and greet you in the morning with:
HEY JIM! It's Tuesday, June 9. Here's your schedule. There's a rights-for-human-rights-activists march on Sunday you might like, and a near-shirtless lesbian pride march going right through your town you might want to plan around. Amazon has a sale on bad horror films, but you can't buy any because your PayPal account was hacked last night. Oh and you won that drawer of polka-dotted eBay underwear. By the way I checked peoplefinder.com; your ex-girlfriend moved; and I saw in the obituaries that your distant aunt Marge died of cancer. Here's the weather. Where would you like to go today?
Something made him jump onto the web himself, focusing a little more than usual. He thought that Google mildly seemed a giraffahole, searching a vastness of fractal stuff and dumping you off here or there. On a whim he looked up kylekirby.com. It existed; the guy was an inventor who claimed he liked to attempt the impossible. He had studied flight--aviation--and science; and loved solving problems. He developed technology; hard drives that compressed massive data into tiny, itty bitty monoliths: more seas of twirling, haphazard data. It all seemed too coincidental, particularly in light of his line of thought tonight. Maybe Pico had put it up for him. Maybe it was some game. He imagined some punk kid playing a superadvanced Kirby7.0 on one of this guy's infinitesimal futuristic orb-shaped hard drives, screwing around with Kyle by posting the thing. Kyle frused thinking that maybe he got ten points every time he frused.
It was all about the giraffahole. How could you build a train if you had no idea of the landscape and cities and towns around you: the books to write, the web of sites to surf, the things to invent. Or a mall directory or elevator or escalator without knowing the mall's architecture. He had to find the connections between all the strange places he went. When he knew how they were related, maybe then he just had to get some construction guys to wrecking-ball a building wall where he calculated there was a hidden secluded monastery that would be fun to join. Then the door would exist forever, or for awhile. When he knew what was on the other side of the Bermuda triangle, maybe it could be controlled. Bermuda octagon?
It was all too theoretical, though, there was no practicality. Anyone could imagine a vague meta-subway map: "Next stop, the Realm of Organic Aspercreme. Next stop, the Blue Matrices of Retarded Smurfs. Next stop, the Plains of Golden Organic Aspercreme and the Underground Cyber world of KyleKirby.com. Thank you for riding the ghost train in the center of the universe. Mind the gap." But making it real was something only a psychotic teen would try to hallucinate into his delusions. The web-Kyle attempted the impossible, but probably not anything as hopelessly moronic as a gateway to other dimensions. Aviation only let you travel so far.
He tried to bring to mind one of Pico's recent lessons. Objects and feelings spread out into infinitely-dimensioned space. Every place a corner of an infinite hypertostito. If you could stretch Kyle out like putty in enough directions, you could reform him into Ketchup, or Seth Green, like a molecular transport. If you mush all Earth's mud and platypi and haikus into warped forms, you could put your hand in Earth like a glove and reach out to Pluto. But how? So Kyle was a single square on an infinitely sided rubix cube. How does a square move? Maybe it just waits...
He'd written twenty pages, and his brain was a fried Denny's omelet. Maybe that's what happens when someone fiddles with space-time. Just as well; if anyone figured it out it'd probably suck his homeworld or a nearby star into a black hole or destroy all existence. What a great game, movie, or book ending. Game Over, you blew up the universe, you win. Book over, now read the sequel where the universe is re-created by pressing the same neon glow-stick-green button that created the damn thing to begin with.
He read through a couple comic books, and by bed had only half-forgotten his crazy plans. He shut off the light, stripped to his boxers and flap jacked onto the bed, and vaguely drifted away to a vast living fractal doomed to spin in circles forever, where during the week he was lost in a great dimly-lit mall, the directories torn down by the werewolves and aliens. He ran around sleepless, occasionally passing Susan; always the same conversation. I'm building a wormhole. We'll have to go out then. Later. Every weekend he fought Tommy to death with oblivion dragons and samurai brain chip throwing cheez-its, and each time he would die Sunday night after a weekend of battle, and always at the same moment the deletion virus-plague culled the great plains, by chance sending some of the animals to Tommy's werewolf hell planet, and some to an over packed Skunk concert in the section reserved for deformed animals, who would all then get crushed to death in the mosh pit anyway.
Somewhere nearby, outside Kyle's room, a squirrel blinked. >>
|Xangles > Frangles > Kyle Kirby > Chapter 4||read note before reading|