the biology and psychology of an extra-terrestrial in its own environment #1

I have two thousand three hundred and sixty-two different somatic cell types in my body. Unlike that of earthly humans, my body plan has great complexity; somebody actually sat down and engineered the whole thing, not leaving it to chance. Kimura, my ass. Just to clarify for you earthly idiots… I am not, strictly speaking, an after-animal, or μετά ζώα -n. As I said, I am the product of careful planning, I’ve not just exploded multicellularly out of some shady Welsh (Cymru) terrestrial melting pot.

The complexity of a living thing is defined by the size of its minimum description. It would take a while to describe what I am, let alone who I am to a terrestrial audience. I hesitate to even consider beginning. What I would like to say, at the very eve of things, is that I do not much admire your invertebrate achievements. Spineless as you are, I do not hold it against you: you earthlings are the product of accumulated random mistakes. Plus, you’ve never actually sat down and thought anything through. If you saw an opening, you got in there.

Get in there!


It seems pretty obvious that you fucked up. Your psychological, let alone spiritual needs cannot be fulfilled without species and individual independence, without personal responsibility, without aesthetic value and… erhm… even metazoan significance unless you are rooted on your planet, or any other heavenly body in some organic way, in full symbiosis with its biota. Needless to say, humans have completely failed at symbiotic relationships. You’re way too greedy to give anything up, therefore she or he is always going to leave you.

Humans: get a grip, already.

Ok, I shall tell you a bit about me since you still have some time to kill (ho ho, you are good at killing) before your planet melts down.


The End of glass bodies

I climb out of my grave and I stumble across three bodies. Their eyes locked into steely pain. They died suffering, electrecuted. Apparently, to free me. 

I do not have a clear memory of anything. I look at the empty glass coffin, from the side of the room a large window overlooks planetary explosions. Volcanic eruptions of war, I shudder at my newly found world.

My limbs are limp with cathartic pain, my body fragile as crystal. My friends are dead. I recognize the nun, the soldier, the student. Their eyes look at me from beyond. Carefully, I crawl forward, no strength in my flesh. I am the will to exist. One side of the tower overlooks the abyss. Needlessly, I look into it and remember the ocean, and the depths of fear.

Slowly, each feeling is coming back to me like a chain, roaring sea-waves crashing into my numb and stupid self-shore.

The bitch of living. I am utterly alone. I drag my limp carcass down the staircase, one stump at a time. I bleed against the rough surface of the floor. My knotty hands claw my headfirst downfall. I hit my head onto the first bend of the stair. 

I lost consciousness, perhaps hours have gone by. What are a few hours, in the general scheme of my sleeping entombed for years. I refuse to give up. I am so fucking hungry and tired. I hate all this breathing, it is so very, very hard. I wonder for a second if I should crawl back upstairs but there is no way I can turn my body around. I use heavy gravity to come crashing further down. Only one way to go. 

Hours pass. I know that years are yet to come, and decades of more pain lie in wait if I can survive this ordeal. There is only one way forward. There is only one way forward. There is only one way forward. 

I look at the explosions out of my body, the empires at war destroying every living creature. Life in the multiverse stands on the brink of annihilation. The sound of bombs dims my senses. Moulds growing on the staircase smell of rot. My nose sharpens its focus. Somehow, looking at the whimsical nature of these lichens, spreading in all fashions and colours, somehow I am reassured that life will endure.

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in a prison of glass her body had been buried while her mind spun endlessly for years. 

in the same confined space she had lost the sense of self and it had taken over. 

the daemon on one’s shoulder is both gargoyle and shameless sinducer.

Kyniska was me. After gaining a religious faith, she died in a maelstrom of angst. Madness is a mode of being, legs no longer operational, breathing detached from glass body, brittle on the eve of sleep.

Sleep you must, and sleep is taken away from you. Day after day, sleeplessly, you talk to it, and talks to you. Sometimes it shouts, sometimes you whisper. Sometimes the messaiah is coming, and sometimes it’s just you and it. Watching the circle, as no season exists in this prison. There are no flowers, no harvest, no sunshine. Pain does not end, it revolves, profoundly.

One hour you dig deep into the sinew of your gut, one minute lasts an eternity. There is no sleep in this darkness, only a thousand voices shouting in unison. 

Then the tomb opens, and I finally look down the side of the building, emerging chrysalis, down to the abyss. It is not even that deep, or long. The much desired death is within reach, the end of suffering.

I hesitate. There is an absolute stillness to this instant, and the heat of the tower shields us from the cosmic freeze. This is Earth. This is Rex Nebular, this is Enceladus and a thousand million other places merging into one. Time takes survey of all and comes to a halt. 

In this gap, the wave extended leaves no mark on the mind. I am conscious, again. For a moment, pain is no longer an absolute necessity. 

I climb out of my grave. 

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Angel at the gate

“The night is darkest when you do not know who you are.

I have been a slave, a private, a capitalist, a rebel, a captain, a commander. Of all my memories, none is dearer to me than that of running around in circles, dodging duty and observing birds being torn apart by cats. 

Rebels, former companions. I am glad to have had half of you blasted to smithereens, and the other half thrown in prison. There is nothing quite like cathartic betrayal.

My loyalty is not with the Eastern Empire, though I am double-aging for them now. Before being a Western slave, I was an Eastern child, bound to poverty and subdued by the higher powers of colonization. How lucky I was to be carried off world to be a slave builder of multiversal screens.

I despise everything you three represent. 

A former nun, lying about faith.

A former student, lying about knowledge.

A former soldier, lying about right action.

You have come to the gate of Enceladus castle to subvert the Truth of the Western Empire. And for that, you are welcome. I embrace your cause insomuch as it advances my cause. And my cause is with the Eastern Empire now. 

I remember as a child, before falling down into slavery, I lived in a room on the first floor of an empty building. That place was haunted by an eerie silence, and at night all I could hear was the sound of hexapods creeping in. Surrounded by disease, blighted by flying bugs, barricaded in a room with a wooden bed, a net and a table. At night a light would flash from the window and create patterns of shadow on the wall. The devil dancing on that wall was my sole companion through those dark days. And when the rain would fall, I would be untouchable. Looking down to the yard, a cemetery of statues looking up to my solitude.

As a commander I open this door to you, that you may walk through these corridors and seek your buried friend. 

I died a long time ago, a small child looking at father breathing in poisonous gas. I have carried on as dead ever since. My sole ambition is to make money. 

Go to your friend now, little rebels. Our paths may cross again.”

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Being together through long periods of deep-space silence made us intolerant of each other’s convictions. Thinking back on the Engineer’s new ways, the vanishing flatness of disgust. As a man of knowledge, he has achieved recognition from the Academy of Laputa, one certificate at a time. The radiant fabric of Steve’s suit is a stark reminder of our extinguished paths. When we last saw him, he had an ascetic aspect, and the only thing he said to us was that he was going to clean out the universe, one rubbish bin at a time. His back was hunched in an imperceptible fall, and his eyes were ray-less and stricken. Father back, at the end of them, was a mournful gloom tempered with the bitterness of living. As we sail on the mission to rescue Kyniska, we are diminished, we are so few. The spaceship plows on, swinging from side to side, an ambling gait picked up at the harbour, its self-awareness, a game of dominoes.

The Taoist, alone in the immensity of unstained light was ready to go out suddenly. A good south wind came from behind his meditation. The albatross of the mind did follow. His grief was centered, his anger in decay, and the noises in his head were many. They cracked and growled, his loneliness was vertical like hollow moon-shine. He was concentrating on shame, on the consequences of betrayal. An infection plagues us, and every cross-bow in every mind shoots endless arrows into the bloody sun. The light in his cell is all-powerful, because his eyes are closed. His copper eyelids are shut, and his legs are crossed; his back is hunched. He slumps forward, a hollow hiss follows forward into the silent dampness. A breeze does not blow, the furrow in his furnace-face deepens, white foam flows from his mouth. The poison in his mind is echoed by the dimmest gut gurgles. Through fog and mists he sees the farthest shore, a place where he knows he can find rest. The clock on the prison-wall keeps on ticking.

They made me watch.

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the soldier debates

As a conscript, I have been a cruising yawl, snaking my way up the river in search of mythical prophets. What a failure I have been. What a scarcity of real teachers there really is. One of them is rotting in gaol, a false teacher in a false age.

At gun school, I’ve learnt how to shoot crack and feel my head bloat till my testicles exploded. They don’t teach you that in nursery school, but death is the best anesthetic. Scale a fortress, or a nunnery, or a book. I’ve learnt it all. Then I was sent to Enceladus, and I have been freezing my mind in God’s shame in the wonders of isolation ever since. Never mind my spell in the rebellion. I have always been a yes man, and now I don’t take yes for an answer. The tide has turned. The middle class railings next door make me mad. My neighbours want more. My window overlooks the well-built city. I don’t hear the sounds of the Albatross, but the faint flash of bomb-lightning reminds me that we are at war with the Eastern Empire. The Penmynydd Empire is in crisis. I’m bound down the river, along with the bodies. I could sit here, and debate the pros and cons of war, and I will, but I know you are pressed for time, and you need an answer. I will help you rescue the half wit, beg pardon, the half dead. But first you need to listen to my lecture.

The Empire insists on the mistakes in words. The lack of history is methodically researched. Cultural hegemony is imposed by the promise of the forever young, by the immediacy of communication, by the invasion, occupation and annexation of our minds. As a soldier, I have fought for the Empire in the West, for the way things are – for the way the things were. In the absence of limits, the public and the private merge in universal stream of consciousness, where the narrative is dictated by the absence of content, by structural enforcement of the fake. The fake is everything. East or West, the fake rules our constituents, and the soldiers are the theoretical application of cultural domination. The other side, is the complete and perennial uprooting of ideas by a tsunami of emoticons, an electric shock of enforced perception of want. Warfare is waged on the twittosphere, and the unconsciousness is forged one child at a time. I used to be a soldier, now I am an intellectual on the brink of extinction. My social order is brought about by fast riding Amazons in brown packages. The Tudors are down, seven times, the commotion caused is not more than a whimper. The Eastern Empire is looking for recruits. When Perseus learned of the conspiracy, the turned himself into stone on the spot.

Follow the winged horse till the tallest tower on Enceladus. There in the castle without a view, you shall find Kyniska sleeping in the power of light, scaly serpents overlooking her tomb. When the Eastern Empire comes, you rebels will have your heads cut off, snakes that we are.

“And through the drifts the snowy clifts

Did send a dismal sheen:

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken

The ice was all between.”


Get thee to Enceladus,