Categories
Ancient Past creative writing Earth fiction women writing

ˌɪmɔːˈtælɪti dʌŋ mɑːsk

Summary
ˈhɜːkjʊliːz kliːnz ði ɔːˈʤi(ː)ən ˈsteɪblz baɪ fɜːst ˈgɛtɪŋ ˈfɑːməz frɒm ɔːl ˈəʊvə griːs tuː klɪər aʊt ðə kaʊ dʌŋˈɑːftə ˈwɜːkɪŋ ɒn ə fjuː ˈprɒdʌkt aɪˈdɪəz wɪð tuː ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ kənˈsʌltəntshiː ɪˈvɛnʧəli dɪˈsaɪdz tuː bɜːn daʊn ðə ˈsteɪblz

After the last of the farmers’ carts had left, Heracles summoned Themis to thank her. She had told him what to say to convince every farmer in Greece to use immortal bovine dung to improve soil quality and guarantee bountiful yields, even in times of drought. The best part? The dung was free, as long as they scooped it out of the stables themselves.

Kisshoutennyo, one of Lakshmi’s cousins, was visiting with Themis. She appeared when Heracles said he still had a decade’s worth of dung to clear out. She offered a solution. “Let’s do a night cream called, ‘Kissho Immortality Dung Mask.’”

“Who the $#!+ will use face cream made of $#!+?” asked a bewildered Heracles.

“Everyone,” replied Kisshoutennyo, not quite understanding what the problem was. “Ten minutes of this is going to snatch your face.”

“Are you seeing my office, though?” whined Heracles.

“Relax,” said Kisshoutennyo, “because I will help. But give me a second … Be right back.”

While they waited, Themis suggested mixing extra virgin olive oil (lamp fuel) and immortal bovine colostrum into the dung. These ingredients would prevent the cream from drying out. Two days later, the churning was turning into a new labour, and Heracles was not happy. They were well past the deadline and they had no packaging ready.

“I should have thought of packaging first,” Themis said. Then she got an idea. “Do you realise that we can use this mixture to make soap? No packaging necessary.”

“How?” asked Heracles.

“We have colostrum, which has water; olive oil, which is fat; and dung has lots of salt.”

Heracles’ eyes glazed over. He was, after all, just a guy with muscles who did stuff.

“We need a cauldron and some fire,” continued Themis.

Pointing to an urn containing lamp fuel, Heracles suggested, “Like, why don’t we use that and burn all the $#!+ in here?”

“That works better,” agreed Themis. By now, the noxious gasses in the stables were making her loopy. In spite of this, she put the cows out to pasture, and Heracles set the stables ablaze.

And as they chuckled to themselves, Kisshoutennyo appeared.

“Oooh, you’re done already?” she exclaimed. “You’re so hardworking.”

Themis glowered at her friend, flaring her nostrils. This prompted Heracles to stand between them.

Categories
art Earth

Wood Love

An open sack of charcoal; the opening is in the shape of a heart
Charcoal Heart

strips of wood, interlaced
Stripes

Captured in a forest reserve. The torches below were for our evening bonfire. The chopped wood for the bonfire is shown in the second to last photo.

In other news, I managed to make curry, over a coal fire, for ten hungry colleagues. No idea what I was doing and there was lots of improvising. So, it felt like an episode of MacGyver. The ingredients (curry powder, streaky bacon, potatoes, carrots and onions) were already prepped by the research facility that hosted us. Everyone was nervous about the potatoes but I Gordon Ramsayed them and they came out just right.

Torches for a campfire on the ground
Torches

Logs on a log shelf processed in black and white
Shelved

wood for a fire, in an iron grill
Wood Burn

Thank you for viewing.

Categories
Earth fiction Her Dark Arts Mars men women

End of Installation

Thank you all so much for your kind attention and support. This post marks the end of the fiction as art as fiction installation, Earth, Mars and Her Dark Arts. I’ve prepared an afterword as a standalone page. Please read Aftermath if you can make the time and I’d be very happy to have your comments.

All posts that flow between this and the marker posts, excluding non fiction asides, are part of this installation. Thank you for your warm support.

When I started putting this together in early December, 2014, I was thrilled and scared at the same time. Would anyone read it, much less stay around for three months? As I’ve said in Aftermath, your attention was the light obliterating the gloom on a dark world. Thank you so much.

The risk of putting myself out there and banking on your trust was worth it thanks to your repeat visits, your courage, your patience, your kind words of encouragement, your belief, questions, comments and gestures of appreciation. All have meant a great deal.

See you all, again, soonest. The stampede starts up again in a day or so; not to be missed.

Love and caramel hugs,
SB

Categories
Earth Mars

End of Section Three

This post marks the end of section three. Thanks to all of you, the Martians are happily making their way home.

I am grateful for your enthusiastic support in this section. Your engagement with the story was moving. I added an Easter Egg because it’s the season and every adventure story needs a sort of romantic ending, doesn’t it? Thank you for reading.

Warm regards and cinnamon love,
font

Categories
Earth Mars

Not Safe For Work (Warning! Explicit language)

Lilibeth
Penelope Slutfest Hannish, OPP, BDSM, BJ, HJ… Where is she? You are not a cow on a farm in the English countryside, so why are you mating with all the bulls?

Peas
I beg your pardon! How did you access this network?

Lilibeth
Where is the boy? Don’t worry about resetting your system. An army of tech mercenaries owns your network. I told them of the rich data mining opportunities on your servers and you have their undivided attention. Because I’m kind, you will get three minutes to tell me where you’re keeping the little Martian boy, or they will turn off the power and jam open your outer doors. I will watch with pleasure as you and your tag team freeze to death in that …

Peas
You do not know what you’re talking …

Lilibeth
I read your blog. According to this post, a mystery team rescued an extraterrestrial from a crashed ship and has him sedated and stashed somewhere ready for transport. According to these juicy emails, the “cargo” is stuck there until the end of October, when a crew from JAXA and ESA will come for him. My team traced the breadcrumbs you left on Mob Gnarley’s website back to you at these coordinates. You accessed your account and updated a post two minutes ago. We know that because we have been watching your every move for the past two hours. And let me say, you English hootchies are freaky.

Peas
The blog is fiction.

Lilibeth
I do not believe that. Gnarley plagiarised you for his radio show and as he is trending on Twitter right now, it’s only a matter of time before your bosses catch on that you’ve been telling tales out of school. But that’s only the start of your problems.

Peas
This is ridiculous. I have nothi…

Lilibeth
Sit down! You’re a mechanical engineer, which means you don’t have the imagination for storytelling. However, your attention to technical detail makes you give great head. I need to set up playdates to get laid in Manhattan and you’re getting tag teamed in a cave in Antarctica by men who have families? Is slutfesting part of your contract? And don’t tell me you’ve used protection. I’ve seen you.

Peas
You’re going to kill me over some nonsense I wrote on a secret blog to pass the time? Or because you envy my content rich sex life?

Lilibeth
Call my bluff, you establishmentarian, government goon, triple penetration, ass cream guzzling, whorebag slut!

Peas
Look, I can be in a lot of trouble just for even talking to you. I signed confidentiality contracts.

St Lucas
Do you recognise me?

Peas
What…?

St Lucas
A Martian boy is lost here on this planet and his father is right now in orbit, waiting for me to tell them where to pick him up. It took him a year to get here. You better hope he’s alive.

Peas
I can’t help you. I don’t have any authority.

Lilibeth
You know where he is. The fuck with your job. Where is your humanity?

Peas
This is not my fight.

Lilibeth
You’re willing to precipitate a Martian invasion because you’re too up yourself to see the big picture.

St Lucas
All you need to do, to make this all go away, is point me and them in the right direction.

Lilibeth
Tell you what. Let me give the go ahead and open the doors. Split screen… It is negative thirty Celsius outside at the moment. Bitch, you see that? That is your five hundred thousand dollar, state of the art, icebreaker, slash snow plough, slash snow blower…it’s full of fuel and is now reversing at full speed towards your door. Wait for it… Wait for it…

 

Peas
Shit!!

Lilibeth
She scores! Let your bukkake boyfriends pick that up. I’ve just… sent a message with your exact coordinates to his father and his grey warriors. They’re something fierce and the third. And they are coming to have a talk with you. The door is wide open, so they’ll walk right in and terminate your funk ass.

Peas
What the… Oh my … my … arrrrr…. head feels weird… Urrr… Ruuuu….

IMG 2

Lilibeth
Siemus, can you see that metallic stuff sticking to the walls? I think they’re there already. That was fast.

Siemus
They might have already been in the area. Why’s she suspended in mid air? And her eyes are moving really fast, like a skipped CD or something.

Lilibeth
It’s the metal in her suit. I’m guessing they’re focusing a really strong laser or magnet on her coordinates. If her rapid eye movement is anything to go by, they are using something like a eleventh generation FMRI to search her visual cortex.

Siemus
You think they can physically retrieve information on his whereabouts, from her brain?

St Lucas
You can stop feeling guilty about your talent, Lilibeth. I think your tech is generations more advanced that what the Martians are using.

Lilibeth
That’s a scary thought. For my sex life. I need to make a call to finalise the last leg of this trip. I want to collect some trophies…ah, I meant…to do a thorough cleanup before the JAXA and ESA assholes get there.

TCMIV
Right.

Lilibeth
Siemus, stay on the bitch. What am I saying? Her brain’s magnetically fried forever, so she’s not going anywhere. I meant, signal me as soon as you have on screen confirmation of their arrival.

~-~

+**~

Images

  1. Halley VI: The World’s First Modular Research Station in Antarctica. Hugh Broughton Architects.
  2. Davis after a blizzard. Snow covering the exterior wall of the Living Quarters. Courtesy, Antarctica, Australia Government. May 30, 2014.
  3. Snow vehicles for Antarctic Observation via Ohara Corp Japan.
  4. Reconstructed images from FMRI brain scan of the visual cortex, from research by Shinji Nishimoto, University of California, Berkeley

 

Categories
Earth Mars

Manitoba

[ Translated ]

Di
[ Downloading dictionaries. ]

Ti
[ Are we using the child’s translation protocol. ]

Di
[ Yes. It should let us read what they are saying off our visors. We might not be able to communicate over voice protocols. ]

Ei
[ Mission command: Upload a voice protocol patch sooner than at once. Code override through external speakers in our breathing masks. ]

Chris
What’s up? Are you guys on location? Is that a glider? It’s fracking awesome!

Kim
Are those the Mars Elect Turbo ski masks Junya Watanabe designed for Comme Des Garçons? I love. I want. I need. Did you know, Junya spoke his design idea to an AI that was created for him by British Aeorspace? The AI did all of the layouts in three dimensional holograms.

Chris
I had no idea. But, those look like a tight fit. Are yours customised? I mean, that should cost you a fortune already.

Kim
Can we take photos with you for my Instagram? My friends are not going to believe this.

Chris
Where are you guys from?

Kim
Thanks… Wait…. One more….

Di
Mars. Sector Five Gorant A…. Quadrant A.

Chris
Cool. I’ve always wanted to visit Norway. Especially for the winter sports.

Kim
Yeah. Winters get so lonely out here in Manitoba, Christopher. Let’s both get in the shot.

Chris
You guys lost?

Di
Yes. We lost this.

Kim
That’s … What is that? Is it … Aren’t you guys shooting that movie? Lam..Lamba.. Lamda Six.

Ti
We do not shoot. We are Scout Team Delta.

Chris
Location scouts, cool.

Ei
Have you seen this object.

Chris
I haven’t, but we could drive around in my snowmobile. It’s a converted VW bug… it’s … safe. I don’t know if you can all fit.

Ei
Do you know the area well “Manitoba, Christopher.”

Chris
Yeah. I …we grew up here.

Kim
You guys all sound like Siri. That’s weird.

Chris
Who’da thunk it? The male voice was modelled after a Norwegian.

Ti
We have no currency. If you help us search the sector, we will give you our ground scout vehicle. As payment.

Kim
Awesome. But you don’t need to do that, eh. We’re cool with Instagram photos.

Chris
Yeah. Welcome to Canada. We’ll help you look. Come on. Get in.

Ei
Let us make two teams. Christopher. Ground. … Glide … Gliders …

Chris
I get to glide on that?!! Fracking awesome!!! What’s this?

Ti
It is called a Frame Loaded Z Axis Gravitational Compensator.

Chris
A what now?

Ti
Synonym… magnet… It is a “fracking awesome!!!” magnet. Strap it on your wrist, directly on the skin. It will prevent you separating from the glider.

Chris
See ya!

Kim
I’m Kim. Where do I go?

Ei
Kim. Air. Commode.

Kim
You mean stay here? I’m good. But you guys can go ahead if you like… Where’s your commode?

Di
You are standing in front of it.

Kim
I don’t think you guys should go to the bathroom out here. Not at these temperatures. You guys should know that, being from Norway.

Di
Kim is not wearing a visor. Perhaps deactivate the sensory disruptors.

Kim
Holyshitthatsnotacommode!!!

Ei
[ Resonance imaging is detecting acute restriction of blood flow to the cerebrum. Showing serosecretions from these mirrored organs here ].

Di
[ He might not be properly insulated from the cold. Help me carry him. He’ll warm up indoors. ]

Ei
[ On count of three, two, one … ]

Ei and Di
[ Lift! ]

Categories
Earth

Join the Revolution

Shultz
Does life on Mars matter more than the lives of our children here on Earth?
As we launch ourselves on yet another mission doomed to fail,
let us think about what matters most and act, now.
Join the Revolution.

Narrator
That was a public service announcement sponsored by
Proctor and Gamble and the Darfur Children’s Initiative.
Support your local charities and donate now.

Visit www dot Gamble for Darfur dot com.

Nurse G
The Shultz-Bajani marriage still has the world divided.

Hannah
And yet, he’s so hot when he’s saving African babies.

Nurse I
You think they’ll adopt a Darfurian?

Nurse G
Adopt or buy.

Nurse I
Good point. … There, I’ve donated the equivalent of a sandwich and five seconds of my time.

Hannah
How’s the diet?

Nurse I
Not eating bread is stressful, but my ass is … Check out my Instagram.

Nurse G
Wow. Tell me what you don’t eat. Wait, what’s that?

Nurse I
It’s an interactive game to promote a new movie from my favourite boyfriend, husband and lover, Luke St James. You find a place on the planet and stare at it through Google Earth in hopes of finding a large spaceship that crashed here from Mars. The Martian boy is supposed to be nearby, so we have to follow the clues and try to track where he’s been taken or where he went if he left the ship. I hear it took three years to construct a life sized ship, and then they damaged it so it looks like a real wreck. It could be buried in quicksand for all we know.

Hannah
It’s gone viral over the last eight hours. There are three apps for it, already. There’s one that lets you take selfies with aliens now.

Nurse G
Sometimes I hate being a nurse. Everything cool happens when you’re on shift. Send me the link? Where did you search?

Nurse I
I took Africa, because it has a huge desert, so it’s the perfect place to look, but I’ve had no luck. I don’t even remember what I’m looking for.

Hannah
Show me the game rules again?

Nurse G
Everyone’s looking in Africa because of the Shultz PSA about the Mars mission controversy. Let’s try looking at Australia. Not that anything happens there, but you know he loves mudding in Alice Springs with Razor Crane.

Hannah
There is a countdown. It says time minus twelve hours.

Nurse I
No time. Let’s divide it into three parts and scour it.

Martine
Nurse? We need you for a briefing in recovery. It’s for the aorta patch patient.

Hannah
Right away, Doctor Russell.

Categories
Earth

Darfurians

Shultz
… Nah, that’s alright. You drink?

St Lucas
Water, thanks.

Lilibeth
Scooch over. This dress is literally stifling me. Thank goodness I fit into a sample size. Not that a ten percent discount made a difference. I knew the feather train was a bad idea… Uhh… Hi. Whose car am I in?

Shultz
That’s a beautiful dress. Burberry.

Lilibeth
I’m concerned that you know this. Thank you. I’m concerned that you know this.

Shultz
Secret? My wife’s the new spokesmodel and she did a shoot for French Vogue in that dress.

Lilibeth
Your wife is a doll. Adorable. Unrealistically long legs. I literally worship her. She has replaced Victoria as Queen of the Galaxy. And, I find it ironic that Victoria designed this dress for Burberry that’ll crown your wife her successor.

Shultz
Thank you. Uhhhm… We haven’t been formally introduced.

St Lucas
This is Lilibeth Stefánsdóttir. She’s my…

Lilibeth
Head of his daughter’s charity organisation … for the … children … of Darfur. And other countries.

St Lucas
Yes, we’re … Yeah.

Shultz
Oh, I thought you two were…

Lilibeth
No. He’s not my type. I’m into married couples. Friday night Strip Minecraft? You two should join my spicy little group.

St Lucas
Lilibeth is here to ask… appeal. I mean, I’m here to appeal … Actually, why don’t I get my publicists on Skype? They’re better at this.

Shultz
Sure.

St Lucas
Marcus?

Marcus
Good afternoon and congratulations on another hit movie, Mr. Shultz.

Shultz
Thank you.

Marcus
This is Storm, my colleague. We’re working on a non profit project.

Lilibeth
For children in the Sudan. And other countries.

Storm
Yes, that’s… exactly. How do you do, Mr. Shultz? I’m such a big fan.

Shultz
I love your hair colour. It’s nice…

Storm
Thank you so much. Shall we get on with the presentation?

St Lucas
She’s shy.

Marcus
Let me start by saying that we are on an active campaign for the children of planet Earth. Our government has spent billions on failed missions to gather soil samples on Mars and haven’t disclosed to the public how these missions have any benefits for our planet’s future prosperity. We have social problems that would benefit from a fraction of that in social investments. We want to start a viral campaign. We will begin with an emotional appeal from a group of Japanese high school students who, last year, created a recycled gym wear collection drive for children in developing countries. The Japan Red Cross has cosponsored it. It hasn’t got worldwide publicity but it’s got lots of support in country. We would like you to push it into the stratosphere.

Shultz
I’m really disappointed I didn’t hear about this before. I visited Japan last month.

Storm
We have an affinity for non profit projects. Especially those created by ordinary people.

St Lucas
To get maximum support, we will piggyback off the publicity for my upcoming movie.

Shultz
You want to have people work hard for a real social cause while they’re waiting for the movie’s release.

St Lucas, Storm, Marcus, Lilibeth
Exactly!

Marcus
We want people to care for this as much as they care about the newest hit film. Donation wise, we want to present dollar amounts equivalent to items people buy regularly.

Storm
For example, you can donate a cookie, a sandwich, a donut, a cappuccino, or a hamburger and fries. We don’t leave the donation amounts open ended. That actually makes people less likely to choose to donate. We make it real. Tangible for them.

Shultz
I’m in, one hundred ten percent. What do you want me to do?

Marcus
Well, it’s very simple. We want a really unconventional campaign ad, so we would like to record your statement right now, in the car.

Shultz
Cool, I can do that. I’m all dressed up.

Storm
Thank you for cooperating. Speak a little louder than you feel comfortable doing, as we need to compensate for the sound editing later. Let’s record three times. Please lean forward. Just stare at the screen and read the text off it.

Shultz
Got it. Ready. Wait, I want to rehearse first. Can we do that? When does this ad get released?

Marcus
Ninety minutes. We upload it and through our contacts, who will hype it just as the images from tonight’s premiere are released. The morning shows will scramble to cover it.

Shultz
Okay, I like this better than mugging for the cameras. Are we ready to record?

Storm
Yes, we are.

Shultz
Lilibeth, can you count me down?

Lilibeth
With pleasure. Begin in five, four, three, two…

Categories
Earth fiction

The Premiere

ABC
Let’s get you dusted down here. Liz, get me a fluffy mic cover?

AP
We don’t need him yet.

Getty
Mr. Shultz, we’ll need you to wait here for another three minutes.

Shultz
Sure.

Elle
What about me? I’m in the movie, too.

Shultz
They’re under a lot of pressure. I’ll say something to the producers later.

Elle
You don’t have to go to the trouble.

Shultz
It’s okay. I’m happy to do it.

Getty
Could you guys get a bit tighter? To the right of the poster, please? Mr. Shultz, put your arm around her waist.

Shultz
Alright.

Elle
Wow. That was nice.

Shultz
You’re welcome.

AP
No smiles, please. Look straight ahead. Now just talk casually. Thank you.

Elle
It’s okay, you don’t have to move your hand.

Shultz
I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.

Elle
It’s okay, I’m very comfortable.

Shultz
Do you have everything?

Getty
Just wait for the press bank, please. They’ll want you next.

ABC
Standing by for live feed. Tony?

Elle
I’m staying at the Marriott. I’ve got a suite courtesy of mutual friends.

Shultz
Mutual friends?

Elle
Quentin, of course.

ABC
I’m sorry, could you stand over to this side? The tree’s not playing well.

Shultz
Sure.

Elle
I mean, you could swing by. I’m in one of the executive suites. I think it’s five seven seven.

ABC
Tony? It’s going alright. We’re waiting for commercials to end. Two minutes.

Shultz
Yolanda, could you call my wife?

Assist
Right away.

Shultz
Tell her I’m on my way home right after this interview. Ask her if she wants to stay in or go out. Set it up.

Assist
Will do.

Elle
Has Cassandra seen the film as yet? The Internet’s been talking about our steamy love scene.

Shultz
I think Quentin cut it. Didn’t you hear? He said he didn’t like it. It was gratuitous.

Elle
What?! It’s a shame Quentin’s such a prude. I’m sure you can use your influence to have the editors dig it up and leak it online. Our fans deserve to see it, don’t you think?

St Lucas
Shultz, how are you?

Shultz
Sweet Jesus! You scared the crap out of me.

St Lucas
Hello, I’m …

Elle
I know who you are. You’re setting the world on fire. Nice work.

St Lucas
Thank you…

ABC
Forty seconds.

Shultz
I have an on-air interview. Now.

St Lucas
Can you make some time for me? There’s a thing…Just came up out of the blue. Thought you might be interested. It’s a humanitarian effort, a throwback to your “Batman” days. It needs someone with a sizeable codpiece.

Shultz
I’m never going to live that down. I’m leaving right after the interview, perhaps we can catch up later?

ABC
Fifteen seconds.

St Lucas
Why don’t I just ride out with you?

Shultz
Sure. I’d love you to meet my wife. Hang out, right over there!

ABC
And we’re live in five, four, three, two, one.

Categories
Earth

50 ways to eat …

Lilibeth
Coq au vin…costs fifty dollars per plate on my private jet. Let’s stop pretending it’s not really prefabricated 3D printed carbs and petroleum jelly packed with salt and sugar… And… the porcelain pricks overcharged me for fuel … again. My first honest job, where I have to actually work. I agree to do it for free. And it’s costing me a fortune.

Siemus
Karma, Ma’am. It’s a bitch.

Lilibeth
Alright. On our way over, I’ve read every post on this guy’s blog and listened to his podcasts. There is too much confirmable data, according to our tech team of one, Jodie.

Jodie
Timelines, transport logs and press releases from independent sources match up exactly.

Lilibeth
Luckily, his listeners are toothless sharks and that may be why he’s still in there.

Jodie
However, his Twitter feed’s now picking up a lot of followers, because of his helpful hashtags and the information war we instigated, thanks to some of my friends in Hong Kong.

Lilibeth
… and don’t forget the gold rush that Planet Xenu engineered with his PR people in New York. That is why we need to question him before the real sharks notice he might be ground zero. Is everyone understanding the situation? Good. Bring the truncheon, kids. Knock that door down. I want a grand entrance.

:::::::..+++.::::::::
:::::::.***::::::::

Mob
What the…?

Lilibeth
Give this to me. Shut that off.

Mob
You can’t do that. I’m live on the air!

Lilibeth
Oops. Tell me….Mr Mob Gnarley….when was the last time you got …. wood? Hmmm?

Mob
Are you law enforcement? I must see your credentials.

Lilibeth
Sure. Let me scootch up a little higher. Uhhh… Right … there. My “credentials” are hot pink, by the way.

Mob
This is … harrassment … assault.

Lilibeth
You’re wrong. It’s torture… for me.

Mob
Who are you?

Lilibeth
Where exactly in the United States is the Government holding alien technology, slash aliens, slash, whatever?

Mob
I don’t know.

Lilibeth
You have a radio show, a podcast and five hundred subscribers. Don’t tell me that.

Mob
I literally don’t … It’s a gimmick.

Lilibeth
Hang on a sec… You like? This, my Gnarley friend, is a custom made Rimfire. It is called the LMX Queen Máxima. That’s a rose gold plated grip and these stones embedded in the barrel are tanzanite and morganite and … this long, pointy thing? Is … a … silencer.

Mob
Please!

Lilibeth
I’m going to put it over here. Because a guy like you, I only need to dry hump you until you tell me what I want to know.

Mob
Haaa, okay. Alright. This woman has a blog about reverse engineering projects using extraterrestrial technology. I read her posts and use them as scripts for my show. With a few editorial flourishes here and there.

Lilibeth
She doesn’t mind that you’re plagiarising?

Mob
Well, I … No. She doesn’t have any followers. Well, one… me. I felt sorry for her, you know, so I threw her a bone. Technically, I reblog from her blog.

Lilibeth
Technically, you’re a douche. Where’s this crazy bitch from? What is her name and where does she live?

Mob
I don’t know. Ahhh. Actually, ohhh, that feels nice….Owww!

Lilibeth
Stop deflecting, or I’ll slap you again.

Mob
I don’t know her. She uses an alias. If you let me grab my laptop, ohhh, okay, my phone. I’ve bookmarked it.

Lilibeth
Thank you.

M2M
Gnarles, what’s with the noise? I’m trying to… Wow! Nice dress. Are you going to the premiere?

Lilibeth
Yes.

M2M
Can I go with? I can pretend to be your assistant. I’m literally thirty seconds away from changing into something decent.

Lilibeth
Young lady, I’m a bounty hunter and not a professional carpet walker. This getup is a disguise and don’t get it twisted.

M2M
Well, what are you looking for?

Lilibeth
Martian boy.

M2M
Like, for the interactive game? People are really taking this seriously. It’s just a movie. And you look rich, like, you don’t need the money.

Lilibeth
I meant, like, for reality. Your boyfriend…

M2M
Cousin.

Lilibeth
Right. What was I thinking… He broadcasts this conspiracy theory nonsense on his show and it happens to be true.

M2M
Well, what if I said I used to be a software engineer at IBM and Cisco Systems? I built software for two orbiting satellites and was one of two hundred engineers who designed the software for the Mars probes. I quit because no sun for three years straight was a bit much. Nowadays, I let people pay me to hack their networks, you know, to spy on their wives and husbands.

Lilibeth
Sold! You will join Jodie, my tech team of one. Siemus? Find a place for Mission to Mars in the convoy. If she can’t fit on a back seat, put her in the trunk.

Siemus
Ma’am.

M2M
Oh my God! Thank you so much. Can I go with you on the red carpet?

Lilibeth
No.

Mob
Where are you going? Traitor! Hey, give me my phone!

Lilibeth
I’m keeping this. For research purposes, of course. And of course, I won’t return it.

Mob
Wait… What about my front door?

Lilibeth
See ya!

Categories
Earth fiction

**** Breaking News ****

findthemartianbaby

The interactive game for Luke St James’ new film, Lamda Six has gone viral, with just under 40 million retweets in the first five hours since its release. The $200,000 reward sparked widespread protests in Pakistan. The film is currently being shot on location in Canada and is scheduled to be released on February 14, 2016. SB Catalog.

earthlivesmatter2

Leaked documents concerning an alleged multinational Gobi Desert operation, insider trading, a new Mars mission and asteroid mining plans have ignited protests around Europe. SB Catalog.

Categories
Earth

Boola Boola

Lulu
Ninety five.

Harriet
Okay, how many more grids left? And we haven’t covered the north side.

Lulu
I now understand that GIS is really sucky. There’s too much data, and none of it is live. We need access to several satellites and military grade software if we are ever going to get this done in time.

Harriet
Not necessarily. We could use drones and do the physical search that way. I mean, do you know anyone who could lend us a few drones?

Lulu
You mean, my father? If he agrees to lend us drones, which he won’t because this is just a game to promote Luke St James’s new blockbuster movie, how can we use them effectively, if we have only two sets of eyes?

Harriet
I have an idea. Come with me.

:::::::
….. ….. …..
:::::

Harriet
Hello, bitches.

Rori
What up.

Harriet
Drop everything and come with me.

Bart
All of us?

Harriet
Yes, all of you.

Heath
Yes, Princess.

Harriet
I’ll give you a free pass Heath, because you’re seriously into me. And I might throw some at you later.

Bart
What’s this all about?

Harriet
The new interactive game, “Find the Martian Spaceship” with “Find the Martian Boy” for Lamda Six. My darling, St Lucas, apparently came up with the concept himself.

Heath
Bad ass concept. I mean, it’s so simple and so state of the art. It’s got 3D animated aliens and did you see the ship designs? Too cool.

Lulu
Yeah, Icelandic runes were an unexpected artistic touch. I liked how they draw in all the world cultures we normally don’t get to see in movies.

Harriet
Guys! I’m in charge of the presentation.

Bart
The Martians’ face tattoos resemble Maori, which is extremely cool in itself.

Rori
Bart and I are playing right now. We’re betting on the North Pole.

Bart
We’re sharing the two hundred thousand dollar grand prize. I mean, Icelandic runes means, Lapland, et cetera. Big clue. Winners!

Josh
I have Nero’s econ mock exam tomorrow.

Heath
Pssht! He’s hot for you. Just do a strip tease to calm him down, and he’ll pass you with flying colours.

Josh
You know, you should really…

Harriet
Is anyone here going to listen to me?

Bart
I’m listening.

Harriet
I was thinking, we pool our human resources and split the prize money equally. Not that this is about money. This is about pride, people. Hansel! Join us.

Hansel
Hiya.

Harriet
I was saying, everyone is playing this new game “Find the Martian Spaceship”. You have heard of it.

Hansel
I have, and so has everyone who’s breathing. I just read that the launch announcement got thirty eight million retweets in the first four hours. The Lamda Six website’s crashed now, by the way. There are mirror sites popping up by the minute. This game is literally breaking the Internet.

Rori
Take that, Kim Kardashian’s butt! Although, physically, it’s like literally looking for a needle in a haystack. I meant the game, not her “asset.”

Harriet
Can I please just get on with my presentation? It is seriously like a preschool in here. As I was saying, luckily, I have a brilliant idea. Lulu and I have been using GIS software we borrowed from the lab to analyse the terrain in specific locations. We haven’t been able to come up with anything because, and this did not occur to us before, but we’re looking at archived images of terrain.

Heath
Right…that makes sense. But we can’t like, use satellites.

Harriet
No. We can use drones. Lulu’s Dad owns the world’s largest drone manufacturing company. She is on the phone with him right now. I don’t know what she’ll say to convince him, but we have to assume that she will get permission. Plus, we’re both geography majors, so it’s like, educational. It’ll be fine.

Hansel
I admire your confidence.

Harriet
Don’t condescend. Alright. Are we all together?

Josh
Isn’t it like, not cost effective to use drones? I mean, they’re expensive and the cost of operating them would be more than the prize money.

Harriet
Get over yourself, Josh. You’re still an under graduate. Who cares about the cost, people? We can’t let the Oxford team steal our glory. I found out this morning that they’re seriously organised. They have taken over a whole dormitory and are using it as a command centre.

Bart
No way!

Harriet
Yes way.

Rori
How do you know that?

Harriet
A certain geography professor has a crush on me from my short summer studies there last year. I think he was trying to impress me. We, on the other hand, are all over the place. Don’t you have any pride in your school? For the next seventeen hours, we will sweat and bleed to win the game. We use our superior assets, which are my brains, and your eyes and forefingers. It’s the perfect combination.

Bart
Yes, Princess. So, how does this work?

Harriet
First, let me explain why satellites won’t work. Remote sensing applications, that is the technical term for how satellites “see” things on the ground, have limitations. These are overpass frequency, timing and clear daytime skies. However, with drones, we can overcome all these limitations. Here’s how we will do that. While Lulu’s getting her Dad’s drones online, we need to become experienced observers. Let’s use the archived images to have an idea of what the terrain looks like normally. Then, we can see immediately what’s different about the location over the time period. We are looking at specific spatial patterns and how they change in time.

Hansel
What you’re saying is that while the Oxford team is wasting time looking at stale footage of the ground, we will be looking at the fresh, raw, real time information?

Harriet
Prexactly.

Hansel
Let me grab my laptop. You guys in?

Josh, Rori, Bart
Hell, yeah!

 

Categories
Earth

Time minus 29 hours 40 minutes

St Lucas
Storm, Marcus, I was pleasantly surprised you guys were even awake, much less working at four in the morning.

Storm
A client is doing a live interview in Melbourne at the moment, and we need to monitor all the media outlets here and in London. We tend to babysit our projects until they’re complete.

St Lucas
What did you both do to your hair? Marcus, pink looks beautiful with your skin tone.

Marcus
Thanks. I chickened out at the last minute. Storm, however, went hell for steel grey.

St Lucas
That’s the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen.

Storm
Thank you.

St Lucas
Well, you guys are professional, discreet and super talented magicians. Which is why I’m here.

Marcus
We’re listening.

St Lucas
This upcoming assignment is going to be the mad wood of mass marketing. But first, we need a sanctuary. We need a cone of silence.

Marcus
Got it. Turning off mobile devices.

Storm
Unplug the phone.

Marcus
I’ll set the windows to opaque. And…let us pray.

St Lucas
I need a publicity blitz the likes of which has never been seen. I need all eyes on this. I need everyone eating, drinking, dreaming this.

Storm
We’re with you. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess.

St Lucas
To that extent. Ladies, I want The Rapture. I need you to blur the lines between fiction and non fiction. It’s for an upcoming movie. But I want it to look like it’s not a movie.

Storm
Alright.

St Lucas
When I say “blur the lines”, I mean that elements of the campaign have to look real. If…someone …. an objective … statistician, let’s say, were looking at the data, that person should be convinced that this is real.

Storm
Alright.

St Lucas
The outcomes could be ordinary people lobbying the Government to release secrets. I want CSpan, PBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, CNN, BBC, Sky and Al Jazeera, did I miss anyone? Covering a controversy we engineered, twenty four, seven, three sixty five. Wars will cease fire to catch the latest details. I want so much noise about it that when the film comes out, people will not even know they were victims of an epic brainwash.

Marcus
Okay, right away I can think of a few things we can bounce off you.

St Lucas
Before you do that, there’s one more thing. And this is really important. I need all of this to happen in the next twenty nine hours and … thirty minutes. That’s why I’m here. I need the Wonder Twins.

Marcus
We’ve done this before, so we have an idea what you need. You’re saying you need a fake campaign to start a real one. Right?

St Lucas
Yes. Exactly.

Storm
We can do that. First, we need to understand exactly what we’re working with.

St Lucas
Alright. Look at these stills.

Categories
Earth

Rabbit out of a Hat

St Lucas
Hello, Beth.

Lilibeth
Mid stroke?

St Lucas
Yes, literally. I just finished ninety nine laps in the pool.

Lilibeth
Show off. Here is the thing. Your grey friend popped up. Scared the crap out of me just now. He’s for real. He is in a dark room somewhere, and he is unconscious.

St Lucas
So you believe me.

Lilibeth
Yeah. But there’s a glitch. I … my special … technique only works with people who know where they are. Which is usually the case with criminals, fugitives, and the like. They have plans and intentions, and I can see what they are going to do. I can be five moves ahead of them. It’s visual data, that I use and …well your friend is …unaware of our… ahm. He’s never been here before so, I can’t find him with visual data from his reference point. That means I have to do some actual sleuthing.

St Lucas
Right.

Lilibeth
Luckily, I have mad skills. But I’m going to need you to pull a rabbit out of a hat. You have star power. I need you to use your influence somehow to get every person on Earth with Internet access looking for your friend.

St Lucas
That’s…

Lilibeth
Just hear me out. You’re going to get them to look but, they can’t know what they’re really looking for. They have to think it’s real. I need all eyes on every agency in the world that could possibly have picked up your friend. I want them bombarded with requests for information. This is important because we can cross check patterns in the movement of data we have already collected for analysis at my base of operations, if we can get some serious amplification. It’s like injecting dye into a patient’s arteries when you’re looking for an aneurysm. I gather from their advanced technology that our Martian friends are monitoring us remotely. We need to shout loud and clear that we are looking for the child. What I’m saying is, in order to demonstrate that we’re busy working, I’m going to need you to start an information war, but on a global scale.

St Lucas
I get it. You have two brains, and I’m very grateful for that. So you want me to be in front of it?

Lilibeth
On the sides, but there. I don’t want anything in your past or present to overtake the situation. Your friend might be safe if we can keep the people holding him distracted for long enough. We need to either find his exact location or have him ourselves before his father gets here with those fierce looking people in the screen grabs. I need to get moving. It’s now time minus thirty hours.

St Lucas
The kind of operation you’re talking about will need more time than that, but okay, I have access to a few geniuses right here in New York.

Lilibeth
Rabbit out of a hat. Pull on it.

St Lucas
I’ll get on it, right now.

Lilibeth
Good, catch me up later. Siemus!

Siemus
Ma’am.

Lilibeth
Climb into bed with me… … … … … Why are you soft?

Siemus
I think it’s unprofessional to respond.

Lilibeth
Damned Navy Seals discipline school. Alright… Get out… Oh, and while you’re at it, get that fat-ass bitch on the phone.

Siemus
Which one, Ma’am?

Lilibeth
The half ton Disneyland squatter who bled all over my bed last week. I had to knead a full pound of flesh to find his disco stick. While he was rambling incoherently, he mentioned something interesting and I now know it’s going to help my client.

Siemus
Right away, Ma’am.

:::::  …  :::::
:::::  …  :::::

Lilibeth
Hello, Peter, my Loch Sex Monster. Baby, sweetie, honey, darling.

Joseph
Hi, baby, I miss you.

Lilibeth
I miss you too, baby. Ahm, I need your help. I’m doing research for a children’s book I’m writing, and I thought you could, like, you know, help me.

Joseph
Oh, that’s so sweet, baby. Sure, anything for you.

Lilibeth
Well, it’s about visitors from…I feel so silly saying this… other..worlds… And I thought your friend you mentioned, the one in Los Angeles, with the radio show, could have material for my project. Would you be good enough to, like, let me have his information? I mean of course, unless…

Joseph
No, no, no. It’s fine, I’m sure he’ll be so flattered that anyone’s paying attention to him.

Lilibeth
You know, everyone has value, even if we don’t agree with them.

Joseph
You’re so mature, baby.

Lilibeth
Thank you, baby. I have to go, because I have a meeting with my publisher. Can you text me the information? Please?

Joseph
Of course, honey. I love you, baby.

Lilibeth
I love you too, Peter.

Categories
Earth

Lilibeth

St Lucas
Good evening, Miss…

Lilibeth
Do not be fooled by the Givenchy slip. I have two brains. I needed to get here in a hurry, because… I was … doing something.

St Lucas
I apologise. And I thank you for coming here at such short notice.

Lilibeth
One more thing. Call me Lilibeth, Beth, Li, Libeth, Lili, bitch, baby, honey, sweetie. Just don’t call me Miss. Sorry, sweetie.

St Lucas
Actually, Libeth, my daughter is the client. I’m just here for supervision.

Lilibeth
What’s the problem, sweetie?

Sami
Daddy?

St Lucas
It’s okay, honey.

Sami
My friend is lost. I think he wanted to surprise me for Valentine’s Day. His father is scared. We have to find him…we don’t know where he is.

Lilibeth
I feel like I’m missing something.

Sami
He’s from Mars.

Lilibeth
You mean Xenu.

St Lucas
She means Mars.

Lilibeth
Are you kidding? Is this some Scientology conversion field trip?

St Lucas
Contrary to rumours, I am…we are…Catholic.

Lilibeth
Fine, then this is some Hollywood film experiment. I hope I’m not being pranked because I don’t care how much you’re worth, I will destroy you for wasting my time.

St Lucas
No need. Honey, show Lilibeth your phone. It’s the text message transcripts.

Lilibeth
Lack of punctuation and a familiar oddness about the phrasing. It looks like her friend is a Scandinavian who used Google’s translation software patched with Siri to communicate. Which means, he’s human.

Sami
He said their language sounds like Icelandic.

Lilibeth
This is interesting. I am Icelandic. See why I have this conspiracy theory going around in my head?

St Lucas
She and her friend communicated through Siri for a few days last year. Then, he suddenly stopped talking to her. Shortly after that, his father FaceTimed several times over the last year to say he is on his way here … screen grab… which is how I got involved, and I can vouch for the veracity of this document, but I’m an actor and therefore ….

Lilibeth
Woah… Greys. There are quite a number of grey people in this screen grab. I mean, this is great CGI. I saw Avatar. It was … Meh! Nah… Baby girl, why are you crying?

St Lucas
Honey, sweetheart.

Lilibeth
Dude, that’s mean.

St Lucas
I beg your pardon.

Lilibeth
You fed your child crap about aliens from Mars and now she’s a mess. Let’s say that I believe that you believe this is true. How do you know it’s not a prank caller trying to extort you for money?

St Lucas
Alright. I spent the last year questioning my sanity. I had phones taken apart, hacked and traced at Yale University’s Computer Science Department. I was determined to find and destroy whoever was harassing my daughter. Okay, there is no source of data. These …people… beings… pop up in any device. I replace a phone, the new phone turns on, like it’s being accessed remotely, with the full message history of every mobile phone I’ve ever owned.

Lilibeth
Fix it, Yeezus.

St Lucas
Now, you tell me, which phone company on this planet offers that kind of service? I didn’t expect you to believe her, or me, but … You are the world’s best bounty hunter, with a one hundred percent success rate.

Lilibeth
This is true.

St Lucas
I just thought you’d have a clue as to where we could look. The boy is about my daughter’s age. He’s spent a year scared and alone in a damaged spaceship, he can’t call home. He can’t turn back. His father estimates that he has crash landed just today, somewhere here on Earth. Naturally, he is frantic. We don’t know how to look for him. I don’t have access to things. I can’t just go to the State Department.

Lilibeth
Did you try Google Earth?

Sami
Yes. Daddy and I looked everywhere.

Lilibeth
Ahhh! God, I can’t understand …what’s happening?

Sami
Please help me find my friend?

Lilibeth
Do you know why I’m the best at my job, sweetie?

Sami
Why’s that?

Lilibeth
I cheat. I know the answer to the question before someone asks me the question. Then I pretend I don’t know, and get lots of money when I, you know, reverse engineer my way to the …

St Lucas
Are you kidding me?

Lilibeth
Do not judge me, Planet Xenu.

St Lucas
That… How… ? I just said…

Lilibeth
You want me to believe that some Martian kid got lost on Earth, but you don’t accept that I can see beyond seeing.

St Lucas
I’m not making this up.

Lilibeth
I want to warn you about the consequences of lying to me. I will see the answer to your goddamn question.

St Lucas
I promise you.

Lilibeth
I find out this meeting is part of a hidden camera movie promotion zap mama, I’m coming to your office, with my team. I’ll smash shit.

St Lucas
I swear to you, I would never bring my daughter into this, if this were some joke.

Lilibeth
Alright, I’ll make you both a deal. If your friend exists, if he exists, I’ll find him for free because I do not charge children. You on the other hand, Xenu, set that overpriced timepiece. According to these messages, we have thirty-six hours before your stalkers do something big. I will get to the bottom of this il-nana, and if you’re responsible… I need your phone on at all times. I don’t care if you’re mid stroke, stop and pick up. Bye, sweetie.

Sami
Thank you, Libeth.

St Lucas
Thank you, Lilibeth.

Lilibeth
Fuck you, later.