By fire we come, by fire we go
René Adams
2,810 words

Yellow punks and blue sabotage lips.

Half his eyelid licking away the office. His right eye dislocating his left eye. His lips chattering away regardless, before it was June, before it was May, before it was here, whilst he remembered, lets detonate a feral pigeon flapping along outside, all of that baritone soul under the clouds at 10am, pm, testaments aloud either ways.

Pal held conversation with the notice board dug into into the far wall. It told you your targets, in bright red capital sighs. I’ll hit something. Each and every smoke outside, where those who still smoked rushed out with each break, and tried not to spit or swear at the company, but did, whether it be tall and well dressed, in shape, out of shape, podgy, melting, ready for Saturday, ready for lunch, ready for love, ready for another life. Some peace in April. All jokers above a king. All marionettes smiling silently in the smoking cove. Then back inside. Then why, only some run. Only some fight. Not the loose old fight of dancing. No. No dancing. But with some days, all there can be is, the impossible dance…

“Everything is priority” the overhead message board said. It limped on and off in peachy flashes, instructing the workers how to be shinier pearls in the office flood. More banal than Mars. More white wall than beating away, carcass, caricature of white, helping a rectangle of nothingness black to beat. The lights were once red, like Pal’s eyes, but they weren’t now.

The air conditioning grating in the ceiling was a tawdry heaven, the low calming conversations were heaven deux, and the ornaments were built from the bones below.

Now, the board sending messages to the wardens in the hall on: what to do, RIGHT NOW HONEY, what to say in the tongue, HOW TO HANDLE… The day… TARGETS! Which paw goes behind the last my darling butter-cup. And all that. A gold radio blue-print for the politely damned at sea.

Pal looked up, and poked his incisors with his tongue, where they grew.

Paid by the nuts that walk in, or the government, or the best way to keep blood in transit. He thought chuckling.

The guards coaxed in the batches of patients. They walked in like slugs being enticed by lettuce hands.

“Come on, cooome on, thiiis way. Yup. Yep…”

They followed the guards in, who pushed each herd of them into the room, one carrot many a rabbit, one weak guitar, ten stadiums of light, two eyes at the front, walking backwards, all the eyes in the middle, giggling and sighing, dressed for every Sunday of the white beggar’s ball.

Another set of guards stood at the top of the tank by the fire doors -come welcome doors.

Then other guards dressed in dirty white lead each drove line in. Backing up backing up. Looking behind themselves as they pulled the nasty faced customers in by invisible mandibles around their leash. Flesh paints of all colours dribbling down a door frame. To us. At the bottom. The concrete sky. Each man and woman a desk. And at the exit, where Pal often looked behind himself: more sturdier guards dealing with the fall-out of the advice they gave to the immense insane, to help the rest become sane.

And a new hand of customers entered the building – WELCOME TO TOMORROW – the drooling message board said above Pal. Time is a moving mind, time is emotion, or time is a drunken axe-man running in the fields, it should have said.

Pal: Gymnasium speed, smile inside dark green eyes, the augmented gusto of several mothers and fathers that his real family had paid for, and the diligent heart of a clerk (also paid for and owned by the government), the custom lilac-red smock of his breed line, and the atypical knowledge of loving nightless Pluto, without the memories of Earth V.

Here in the needs of karma, most of the clients were hooked on Exy-byrate-serio-lyte, or: EXACTICA, as most call it. But when all the science in the universe sits in-front of you, you don’t call it much. You call it “The Job”.


(Good peaking Gods, how much have they dosed this trooper with?)

Pal smiled the way commiserating funerals boast at the half-dead, as the patient was pushed towards his desk.

“Name and number mate?” He said pointing in-front of his desk-lathe, gesturing and augmenting the dusty particles, making a milky seat appear from the floor for the client.

“Hey ole timer its Missuzz, oh heyyy, they didn’t tell me you guys had theeeez thingsss-”

“-I do apologise Mr Gestate, I’ll have that corrected.” Pal said moving his hands creating a Pluto-null figure over his glowing desk (catch a bird let it go, catch a bird let it go, both birds point from both fingers, then right hand flat, four fingers shown – flat, thumb tucked in – left hand crushing an egg, making a fist).

Loops sprouted up around the patient’s wrists as Pal made a command to restrain & dose him again, interacting with the null controls. One of the wandering white guards picked up the order automatically, twisting an emotionless stare at Pal’s work space, and the burbling client, making it walk over in slow tracking silence, the way a pillar of genetic stone waltzes.

The guard Teordre: similar in athletic structure to Pal, was familiar with Pal’s increasing liking for comatosed clients, but also, she was familiar with her own inability to create enough credits to be accepted into the warden line. Which pissed her. Massively. Made her shake in hovering warp some nights. Then smile the next day. Harder.

“I’ll see you later.” Their smile said to each other, emotionless, before the guard complied and administered her own choice of adrenalising potion to the neck of the patient via syringe via palm.

Her own batch of Exactica II in fact, which she sold in her time off, which this, this, made her laugh inside. Better than lungs made from lava or envy.

(Better than your fucking pay-check you fuck, no-ones forgotten how I chocked you out in basic training fucker).

“Thank you Teordre” Said Pal, before making another gesture in the air, that looked like a cross unbecoming from crossed forearms in the air – an ‘X’ : then a ‘I I’ – cheap vogue pillars, an ex then two columns (the deeper into the limb from where the gestures come, the more limb used, the stronger the command sent to the receiver).

This gesture almost fired Teordre off her heels, as the direct request was carried out to barbarian effect, twisting her back to the trailer-mill discompassion of her duties. Trotting, spitting, and spiralling back in forced discontent, the she-guard withdrew, back towards the rear exit, where everyone knew: the worst job waited, of dealing with the scrambled ex-clients, healed beyond all recognition.

“So Ms Gestate, can you tell me why you’re here?” Said Pal, leaning forward on his elbows, crossing his fingers.

“Have you ever… Hahaha…” The patient replied, unheavy with the musk of restraint.

-Jesty. As his friends called him, still had at least another ten or so Moons of Exactica knocking around inside him, another thrice or so lives, and another few numberless seas of blood creating his life, body by moment.

Red and blue eyed already, from being bred in a back-street Earth IV room where suits came to experience the lives of animals via synthetic dream, the being’s eyes were born with: Poraxy.

The unifying handicap to understand every atom of colour in separate gravity, verve, and related day. Pal grew tired of the swill somewhere in them both, and looked into the patient directly, having no understanding of emotion, or why it was tragic that they were both where they were.

The clamour was nothing. The beat of their collective organs were nothing. And dusty hooves mate with dusty clams, in the groaning tears of Mars, in the mist, canals for stars, underplanets & overplanets, ricochet dogs, the boats have no vitriol by the canal, no walkers, just runners, light tunes in the features of our shade, the cosmotic dew of all the Earth blades of grass, & the embrace of time without gesture, a pregnant wine glass in the guts of space.

“Our re-gen programme here, Mr Gestate, asks that our serve- I mean ANTS don’t I?” Said Pal, sending across a smirk.

Jesty smiled. It wasn’t working smooth. But it was working ok. The milk clasps felt like shit. Too tight. Both of his wrists were broken. But something was changing in the room.

Eyes bust.
Limbs bust.
Life bust.

Jesty searched his face for a plan, trying to remember it as his eyes clicked open again, taking in the booming room like a song made from life. He checked his expression in the fist sized eyes of the remembricant warden. He looked like a reddy pummel of marble mixed with angular features, having been splashed with oil deep from the planets core, where the majority of the patients worked as miners unless they lost it.

Exactica works the opposite way to rain. Instead of the clouds opening up and dispersing, instead of the ground talking or dancing, the rain goes back up and into one. One motion of myopic delirium, with each beat of the heart, as long as the substance is bio-active. Unlike the past-lives of opium, dopamine, or the speed like charms of serotonin enducing compounds, it worked the other way around. Draw all the heroes & heroines of sensation back to the street for more space. Brought everything down to one dance: organia catégorique plus + praecepta caritatis = et Drago est un.

Dragon drunk & sober, then family, then all that is a single day.

So we say among luck when among it, hunted by sun among the farming day when not, the jokes in our palms, the atoms without death, that stain of a cheekbone with rain rolling down, when rain steers, into the yards of action, no matter the cost, no matter the loss, there is always a limb to choose from whatever movement comes.

But no one dances here until they do. Wake up to the high havoc of plumes inside the office, Pal’s scanning facilities said back to him. The back entrance began to purr and pour back in with populace as Jesty swayed. Exactica. And in long harmonious wails Jesty remembered: Christ, (& a dirt bag who isn’t religious but swears a lot)

“Shit, that’s it, I remember…”

The way a mind works when not polluted by a crisis of power, but a sweat, a real sweat.

He was there to give the signal, to name the day rebellion. Exactica: two eyes: and several screams from everyone’s dragon: Pal began to move his arms in & out of his work-lathe. His upper torso was drunk on his lower torso, which showed when he ripped himself up and called on the guards, having registered the illegal transmission.

Many signs.

Too many for all the memories of all tourettes to remember!

And at a furious speed, the warden called on more guards to enter the building.
Jesty: Jack hammer the gulls, jack hammer the remaining birds, (and the milk bracelets agreed, it was time to let go of his wrists…) say calm this hall… Say damn this hall!

Smoke began to replace the wires of the room, as the families of crazies burst back in from the “debriefing” room at the rear, hover-shake, wardens standing up for the first time in years… Signing like crazy to each other…

Teordre managed to balance herself at the side of the rallying patients, climbing up onto one of the desk-lathes, dodging the many raging pups (now outnumbering the wolves) rushing back into hall and pushing by the guards, all loose with teeth spit and rage, smiling, smiling, smiling…

She stood and watched from a top a desk, leaning forward on one knee, her heel bayoneted down through one of the warden’s skulls, etching words into the dying warden’s desk, where she tapped out a tune, using the point of her heel to draw with his tongue.

In the Petri-dish clinic, the rubber somersaulting customers made love to many of the wardens in chameleon patterns of many on one, the high athletes able to kill furiously with sweeps of their arms at least a dozen or so, but as the clouds of pollenous clients drew in, they were loose, and kept on coming.

Teordre knew that it was all going to end in vitality, bedraggled vitality, and the stupor of dust, as she rocked to and fro perched on top of the desk. But that meant nothing, since at least, in the calamity, the resonance control ability of the wardens was disabled. And. She was also free.

“I told you I’d see you later Pal… Didn’t I?” She howled, in a chorus of loving scream through the air to him. And low words in a darkness. And high words in the switching limbs of madness.

Her voice sounded like a rush of high pitched water, out of tune with the sun, since it was the first time she’d used her vocal chords. Pal had flayed the majority of the patients around him, including Mr Gestate, as soon as his desk scanners had told him that he was giving out signals on the same command level as his. And in a pack of snakes without name, our masks are torn from the universe, the ranks are liquefied back to a room full of countless worms hunting single columns of Apollonian fighters frothing in the molasses sway of lifeless but not so lifeless patients, and a female inside a harp leans forward calmly on a desk above it all, as a male inside an ocean takes another head from its neck by sweeping his hand west, with the same saliva growing inside his basal chest, ready for the final fire.

“Fuck it Teordre. Lets do it!” Said Pal, leaping forward a hundred meters as Teordre did the same towards him.

They both let go of the training. The training of temperance over sea and credit, so that no matter the mood, the mood is not yourself, and that which shadows hatch in sleep, is not what day knows in life; and: untame my gamble, my loving root! (they were both singing through the air to each other ironically, in perfect tune), the leopards, the piano keys of fury kestrels flying towards each other to devour each other, with screaming libretto, tenor, and coloratura; but my hands for you, but your strikes for me, in the drone below: beneath us, my eyes are shut with blood, as I can see yours, so clearly.

It was an easy simulation of reality for Pal to fly, and arm himself for only a few strikes. He bit away the skin on his wrist mid-air to reveal the nerve endings inside his ulna kin, as they flipped forward into long pikes of solid magenta razors for his mate, as he spun 360 many times to gather speed, turning into a bird of spiralling wires; Teordre could do similar, but at a lower rate, having a lower breed of augmentation in her bones, but using her voice as ray, calling on her rib-cage to lend her its bones, where she picked each one out like infinite blades, in her hands now, infinite arms, holding titanium rhythm lances; the lights spoke in the secrecy of revenge around them, no more emotionless animals, than the killing vortex spinning around them as they fought in perfect tempest.

The easy gasps of sick patient lakes swimming against the few wardens below, sent steaming miasma up towards the two fighting lovers above them, as the roof of the clinic began to open above them all. The outer pope-shaped shaped hat in the middle of a desert building began to stagger open its mouth until it was fully open, and the correctional ship’s landing jets hovered above them, cool blue green north east south west dead super-novae miles above.

The rockets applauded Pal and Teordre’s battle with a singular spit of gel from the middle of its liquid body, as it sent down a searching bomb. It fell down from outside of Mars space, through the outer layers, through the methane, and then through, like a rabid metal seed igniting the Exactica Clinic.

none of that mattered to Pal or his mate Teordre.
They were familiar with the myths of Earth…

And thy myths inside pearls, which only look like red grains of sand, flowing in the iris, where Tuesday rains easy, and Friday is a week, since, where we die and wake, our odours are the same, and we shall brake prayers later.


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