On Assange

As Australia is a member of the Five Eyes I am not surprised that there is silence here in Australia about Assange. It is as if the cover has been drawn over the patient and his toe already tagged ready for the mortuary of history.

There are so many crucial aspects to his case that should be exposed and he should not be treated as our politicians blandly declare,’the same as anyone else’. He is NOT like anyone else and thus his treatment should be different. Justice may be blind but is she also stupid? I hope not.

The most disturbing thing is the silence over the breach of the right to seek asylum. It is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and supported by the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.Under these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside that person’s own country’s territory owing to fear of persecution on protected grounds, including race, caste, nationality, religion, political opinions and participation in any particular social group or social activities.You can see it refers to the principle of non-refoulement and the right to a fair trial. The blatant regression on these principles is gob-smacking, as is the silence on the part of the mainstream media in addressing it. Moreno is guilty of money laundering and other criminal acts, of which inviting the UK hounds to arrest Assange, in a deal with the UK, the US and the IMF for funds in return for Assange, is but one. Former President Correa declared that Moreno will go to jail for corruption, for having performed an unforgettable crime against humanity by setting up a deal with the US the IMF and the UK to have Assange arrested in return for cash; a Judas.

The UK District Judge Michael Snow said “Mr Assange’s behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.” Shaw has by this, run his piratical flag up the legal mast already! Clearly the job of the UK is to deliver Assange to the US and he cannot expect the impartiality of the law there, or anywhere it seems.

There are incredibly important principles at play in all of this farce; the impending show trial of Julian Assange, whether in the UK, Sweden or the US. Firstly there are laws and treaties which are being broken (Refugee Law) secondly justice must be seen to be done and the secret trials that will undoubtedly ensue will breach that. Another is the revelation of facts by Wikileaks and Assange for the public interest and common good and this is the job of journalists, although it seems now that virtually everywhere the MSM has a policy of cut and paste from the organs of government or corporate sources. You read something in Der Spiegel and you’ll find the same article virtually intact in most other MSM publications.
Assange did something courageous and morally right, he went to primary sources and published un-redacted material revealing war crimes and human rights abuses on the part of the US, other governments and their agents. This is in the public interest to know. Assange in addition has the rights bestowed from Natural Law. This is another aspect generally ignored, and the Assange case also reinforces what Murray Rothbard argues; that “the very existence of a natural law discoverable by reason is a potentially powerful threat to the status quo and a standing reproach to the reign of blindly traditional custom or the arbitrary will of the State apparatus.” Assange is a threat to the State apparatus, thus he is pursued by them beyond what is just or fair. Another contravention then, of his natural rights, is his ‘non-saleability’. He was sold by Moreno and is being sold by the UK and implicitly by Australia as its silence is complicity.

We want a just society. We are a nation built around the notion of a ‘fair go’. Amartya Sen refers in The Idea of Justice, to the innate sense children have of what is fair and just. ‘the strong perception of manifest injustice applies to adult human beings as well (as children) . What moves us, reasonably enough, is not the realization that the world falls short of being completely just – which few of us expect – but that there are clearly remediable injustices around us which we want to eliminate.’ Assange was redressing injustice as he saw it and this is the pre-eminent attitude ALL journalists should have. If you don’t speak up for his rights as a journalist and a human being, despite his obvious personality flaws, or even mention the debate he has triggered, then who will? Will it be as Niemoller put in this quote.
‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.’

My Beautiful Apocalypse

My Beautiful Apocalypse

-Les, Les!

-What?

-Who are those people in the U.S. who don’t have electricity?

-Latinos.

-No, not them, you know the ones with the funny hats and carts…they wear black clothes.

-Jews?

-No! They live on farms and don’t have modern appliances!

-Hillbillies?

-No! Ohhhh Les, the women wear bonnets and don’t drive cars.

-Ahh, it’s the Amish!

-That’s it!

Marie was sitting at her computer looking through catalogues of appliances that didn’t need electricity.

Marie had met Les, her partner of the last five years, while she was visiting the grave of her husband Ron with whom she had spent thirty one bland but untroubled years. Ron had driven trams for Public Transport Victoria for twenty nine of those years until he was killed crossing the tracks in Chapel St while checking the weather on the Bureau of Meteorology website. Too late he noticed two equidistant trams trundling like green behemoths towards him. He clutched his new iPhone to his chest, tightly closed his eyes and sank to the ground on his knees just as they screeched to a halt a little under half a metre from him. Still, his heart gave out from the shock, just as the iPhone screen  registered that the weather in Prahan would be cloudy with a sixty percent chance of rain.

She was sitting on her little camping stool at the cemetery disconsolate, contemplating Ron’s end, her final years alone and her visits to Aldi’s Supermarket to browse the centre aisle for bargains when loud male weeping made her look up. There beside a nearby grave, covered in bright flowers like an Italian tablecloth, was a man on all fours sobbing wildly. He grabbed fistfuls of earth, rose up on his knees, threw his face skywards and shouted, “Why? Why?” Then settled his forehead down to the earth with shoulders heaving.

Marie felt her heart flip and wondered what to do. First she thought, she would do nothing but look away to give the bereaved privacy but the sight of this large man in the extremity of his grief was too much for her and with a full heart she immediately rose and went over to him.

-Ohhh, ohh now, oh you poor, poor man! Oh come here! Up you come…

She held him by the shoulders, pulled him upright, then knelt beside him. He half turned and buried his head on her shoulder, relaxed with his teary red eyes open at this surprisingly warm presence and her mouse brown hair softly scented with Sunsilk shampoo, just like his wife’s had been.

That was five years ago and their relationship had always been accepted as ‘meant to be’. They both felt they had found their lost slippers or put on their most comfortable winter jumper, it was a coming home feeling and they loved each other warmly and happily.

Les ambled over to Marie at the computer desk and put his large square hand on her shoulder tickling her neck and asked,

-What’s this about the Amish love?

-They have the most amazing gadgets! Look at this Les and what a great price! It’s a grain mill.

-Yes but love you have to get it here from the U.S. it weighs a ton!

-Worth it Les. Worth it. Then here…look, here’s the dehydrator I’ve been looking for and oooh a bicycle battery recharger! Peddle and create electricity as you burn calories! What a great idea!

Les smiled murmuring, good love, yeah and moved to sit at the other end of the table putting on his headphones to listen to Harold Karl Weller speak of Aliens; Grey and Nordic types, Black Goo and Morgellons.

Marie and her deceased husband Ron had had three children, now all grown up, two boys and a girl and all doing well. Garry was the bright one. He’d gone on to do well at the Caulfield Institute of Technology getting a Certificate IV in Logistics and Warehousing and had recently got a great new job at a big Coles in Williamstown and was in charge of imprest services, getting rid of out of date stuff at the end of each week which kept them all in groceries for the most part. It was good to feel they were doing their bit not to have the stuff go to waste, up-cycling Leanne called it.

Leanne the eldest, worked as an Aged Care Attendant and had three kids, all nice but the eldest boy Abel who had ADHD. He was a handful and a half, but still, Les had a soft spot for the boy and often took him outside to play cricket or walk the dog, generally taking him along to do anything he could that was physical. He shared a lot of his theories about everything including Lizard People with Abel who he considered a very bright boy and capable of much more than his teachers said.

The youngest son Simon had moved into his own place the year before when he started work driving trains which then left the front bedroom free. After he’d moved out, Marie kept the room locked, the blinds drawn and none of the children knew what was in there or why they no longer had access to it.

One Sunday after lunch the three of them sat stoned by the great load of nutrients their mother had made for their lunch, which was miso soup, grilled fish with crunchy coleslaw and fresh fruit salad with yoghurt, Simon got up and went to the door of his old bedroom and turned the handle. Immediately a voice came out from the kitchen where Les and his mother were doing the dishes.

-It’s locked. Marie called loudly.

-Well duh. Why? We never had locked doors before. Simon gave it an extra rattle.

-We’ll tell you later. Les seconded and the clatter of pots and dishes continued with the added sound of the kettle boiling.

Simon slouched back into the room irritated and slumped into a dining chair. His board shorts slung on the low tide of his arse were a loud, vibrant pink with frayed hems and his T-Shirt had an image of a bearded gowned saint with the words, ‘Jesus is Coming: Look Busy!’ across the bottom. His sister Leanne wore jeans ripped at the knees and picked her teeth with long red fingernails. She frowned and looked over at Garry staring at her and asked abruptly.

-What?

-Nothin’, said Garry.

-No really, what? You’re actin’ weird.

-No I’m not.

Garry sat up straighter and pushed his pompadour hair back, and watched his sister resume foraging in her mouth for bits of pineapple fibres caught in her teeth.

-Do you have to do that? He said irritated.

She rolled her eyes and puffed out a sigh then wiped her finger on the paper serviette.

-What’s goin’ on with Mum? Simon said.

-What? What d’ya’ mean? Garry frowned at him.

-Lockin’ the door.

-Weird. Leanne replied.

-It’s fuckin’ Les. It’s him and his weird conspiracy theories, he’s got to her.

-He’s alright. No harm in Les. Jeez he makes her happy. Leanne examined the frays in her jeans.

Garry grew tighter.

-He’s not right in the head either. Both of ‘em you know like BOTH of ‘em are up to some shit.

Simon looked at his brother and asked coolly.

-Like what? Wha’ d’yer mean, like what shit?

-It’s like this. Garry leaned forward and Leanne saw little smears of mayonnaise on his finely trimmed beard.

-I saw a stack of magazines in the garage. Survival magazines, like Bait and Trap and Off Grid. There was a box with Grassroots magazines and I found an article he’d torn out of something on how to zombie proof your house! I reckon he’s gonna kidnap mum or some shit is going down bigtime, he’s turned man…fully turned. Cuckoo cuckoo!

He tapped the side of his head and twisted his finger.

-You’re full of it! Simon scoffed.

-Bullshit! Said Leanne.

Garry stared straight at them in an otherworldly way and tapped the edge of the table with his hand saying.

-This is serious. We’ve gotta say something. At least find out what they’re up to.

Simon nodded.

-We’ve gotta find out what’s in my old room.

The three of them jumped up and went to the front door, opened it very quietly and stepped onto the front porch. Simon pushed his way behind the hydrangeas to the sash window of the spare bedroom and reached up to try to jiggle the window open as the lock had always been faulty. It made a sudden movement, he turned and smiled at the other two getting ready to make a jump up on the sill when the face of his mother appeared through the curtains and with a sharp movement she slammed the window shut and locked it tightly.

-I can’t believe you three! No respect! She shouted through the wall at them.

She was reproaching them like they’d just stolen her last square of Rum n’Raisin Chocolate.

Leanne touched her mother’s arm.

-Sorry mum but we’re worried about you, I mean it’s all so weird!

-What’s so weird? Marie asked peering at them, cross.

-Well the magazines, the locked room, the boxes arriving. What’s going on? Garry asked.

Marie looked across at Les. He smiled, shrugged and said it was up to her. Marie took a big breath and said she’d tell them everything after September the 25th and there wasn’t anything to be said yet.

After they said their brief but tense goodbyes and Simon got in his car, he Googled Sept 25th and came up with a bunch of stuff about the coming financial crash in Germany, a blood moon, signs in the heavens that had Never Happened Before but that fulfilled a prophecy from the Book of Revelations about something about a virgin then a tribulation maybe another messiah maybe a rapture, then again the wandering yet invisible planet Nibiru popped up on the day to make its curtsey to earth before flattening it. It was cheery stuff.

Simon got home and pulled a beer out of the fridge Garry had given him that had been discarded at Liquorland where Garry’s best mate Shaun worked, conveniently next door. He didn’t mind that the labels were torn or had marks on them, the beer was great, BeezNeez and it was free. He liked free stuff and while he was at school he had got lots of free stuff when he and his mate Jezza paid their monthly visits to JB HiFi and The Reject Shop. This all stopped though the day the finger was pointed at them at school by the science teacher Mr Jessop who was a holy roller and wore the same grey gravy stained jumper all year whatever the weather. Simon and Jezza had been by the lockers in the corridor trying to offload some extra stuff they didn’t need when Mr Jessop saw the transaction and the bulging bag.

-Oi, what the heck are you two dickheads doing? Jessop shouted from close quarters.

They tried to grab the bag and run but Jessop had long arms and took hold of the bag, a scuffle ensued and a dozen MP3 players a couple of phones and a heap of headphones slithered onto the floor. They weren’t expelled but suffered an in-school detention for 3 weeks, had to give the stuff back and were put on playground duty picking up papers for the rest of the term but it could‘ve been worse, Jessop could’ve found the dope in their lockers as well.

Sitting there on the couch, lounging back with his BeezNeez his feet up on the coffee table staring into the print on the wall of Ned Stark sitting on the Iron Throne, he felt something strange enter his mind, a thought, an original one came to him all pink and glowing, soft and newborn calling for him to tender it and cosset it.

It was the simple realisation that Les was mad. It was like a virus, that kind of madness and his mother was infected too. Something needed to be done. First he had to see what was in the room and then the three of them had to confront the fact that Les needed to be put away, yes, put away never to bother their mum again. He’d think on it, make a plan and talk to Leanne and Garry.

Marie finished the last of the packages sometime after nine on Wednesday night. There were three of them and they were the same size, the same shape and weighed around eight kilos. Last week the estate agent had sent through the contract of sale to be signed and there arose within her a frisson of excitement at the possibilities stretching out before her like a well fed cat in a sunny spot. She was satisfied with everything. She was truly prepped.

She was most content with the price she’d got for the old family home in Caulfield. Bought by her parents back in the 1930s it was where she’d grown up and later moved into as the only heir after they’d passed on and she’d sold the flat she’d shared with Ron and the kids. She had done the house up about a year after Ron died, employing an architect to make some important improvements, fully intending to sell, as Ron had gone too, and get herself a nice little unit in Parkdale, get involved in the community life and so forth till she met Les. Then everything changed.

She thought how his big hand held hers as they went off to sleep at night and how he often rubbed her small cold feet between his fleshy warm ones in winter when she hopped into bed grateful to be able to rest next to the man who accepted her just as she was. He was interested in all that she thought and did with great and gentle humour, loving her simply; Sunsilk shampoo, Pine-o-Clean, loose leaf tea and all.

She called him in to the bedroom and they stood together surveying the fruits of their labour which would all go inside the removalists truck in a fortnight ready to go down to Wilmot in Tassie to start their next and last phase of life before the day of The Great Disaster.

-We’ve done it Les. We’re ready.

Marie’s face beamed delight and hope and Les caught her in his arms and though he tried to pretend he was clearing his throat, he was in fact choked up with love for his Marie biscuit, and he had to wipe his glasses on his t-shirt.

-When are the kids coming love? He asked.

-Tomorrow night. We’ll tell them then.

Simon called Leanne who called Garry who called Simon who called Leanne in circles of dialogue of what to do, what right did they have, who would say what, how did they know what should they do with Les how would their mum react and in the end they decided just to play it by ear when they got there for dinner; an extraordinary meeting, as they would later call it.

After the dessert of blueberries and coconut panna cotta, Simon looked meaningfully at Garry who shifted his gaze to the remains of wobbly white pudding in his bowl. Leanne opened her eyes wide at Simon and said, “Well?”

It was much easier to drive a train than a person, let alone two and much older than you. He put himself into gear and checked the dials of his thoughts.

-Mum, we’ve been thinking a lot about all this stuff you and Les are into and we reckon it’s mad. That’s it. It’s mad and we want you to stop seein’ him an’ that because you’re becoming someone we don’t know anymore!

Marie smiled calmly at him and reached over to take his hand in hers, rubbing the top of it noting that his hand was the same as his dad’s, long and fine with reddish hairs sprouting on the tops.

-Simon, yes, it does seem mad. Yes I’ll agree with you there. Les, it is a bit like that isn’t it, mad? Marie looked around to Les.

-Yes Simon it does seem like that, but come on son, let your mother speak.

They listened and it was as though the tectonic plate collapse she described so clearly and had seen in dreams and visions not once but many times over the last three years had already happened here in this very room: the house sold, the new one bought, the move organised, the parcels now sitting in front of them not to be opened until the day when everything they would need to do and know would be found within them.

-But mum, how will we know it’s the one? Asked Leanne pale with shock and as wobbly as the pudding.

-Remember when you were having Abel, you got all those Braxton Hicks contractions and every time you wondered if this was it? Then the real contractions started…there was no mistaking them. You knew! It’s the same thing. You will know, everyone will know, the huge noise, that deep deep percussion as the plates drop. It will be unmistakable! Then you will have to open the parcels, do what they say and leave, no delays, straight to Tullamarine, you’ll have no more than a few hours before the city starts to submerge and all the roads will be blocked.

Abruptly the tension uncoiled in Simon after he sat jiggling his knee all the way through his mother’s speech and Simon jumped up leant into Les and pointed his finger into his face shouting.

-You. You stupid old fucker, you’ve done this. You’ve done this to our mum, why? For what? Not enough to get free bed and lodgings now you’ve taken everything we have from us, our home, where we grew up where we were made for fuck’s sake with our dad! Well you can fuck off! Just fuck off!

He flung himself out of the room but just as quickly re-entered and wordlessly took the parcel slamming the front door on his way out.

They all left then, quietly, tearfully hugging their mum on the way out the door. Half angry, full of disbelief, in shock, as though their own mother had suddenly declared herself a communist spy or the channeler of an entity called Zog, they hugged each other silently and went home weeping.

They weren’t the only tears shed as the next day, the removal truck closed up the rear door, the skinny guys in navy blue singlets and shorts hopped into the truck cabin and it trundled down the road. Marie held onto Les for dear life. She wondered dimly whether the die she had cast was merely the rolling of a crazed brain feverishly attempting to escape the inexorable cycle of her own personal history. But as she stood there at the front gate, the ground beneath her juddered and lifted quite firmly making her stagger a bit. Although lasting just a few seconds, it was the third time that day, each quake a little worse. It had begun, it was time to go, time to step into the next phase, the better than just surviving phase, the new life.

Some weeks later, from their kitchen in Wilmot, with the rest of the world now feeling the great jolts and upheavals, the waters rising just as Marie had seen in the months prior, Les called out to her.

-What time will the kids be here love?

-The flight arrives in Devonport in about 30 minutes so we better get going, I’ve got the keys. She said firmly.

-Hang on Marie. Sheeeshhh! Les was pointing up in the sky.

Take a look at that will ya? Up there, see that cloud over to the right of the chimney in the lounge room? Just above it, yes follow my finger, pointing there, yes there… see… Nibiru! Planet X!

Marie peered trying to see the invisible planet of doom then turned around, took Les’ glasses off his face and gave the right lens a flick holding her fingertip to his nose.

-Not yet. Chia seed, love.

Episode 3: Raising the Dead

Grief does sad, bad, tragic things when resisted. Protracted grief even kills people. So we offer an antidote in the form of a drug, Tryptorinox, which has solid results and some are permanent, some great- even if short lived. Take Maurice d’Agen for example. Poor bastard, such a sad story, so believe me dear reader, if you’re not willing at this point to feel a little compassion for the bereaved turn the page for Buddha’s sake.

Morrie the Prune, as I privately liked to call him, was a tycoon of incredible wealth. His file revealed the normal ascent through the social credit scale, great rating parents, great school results, great university …yahdahyahdah. Bland bland bland! He’d married a high star rater and had two kids genetically modified for genius, wit, charm and beauty. Like Castor and Pollux, these two kids shone brilliantly in the firmament of lesser mortals, who only had the potluck of random human procreation. It seemed that even using the gene modification company, gave an enormous ratings boost, the odds are stacked in their favour. But the ratings system was hated by everyone except those in the highest echelons who clearly derived the greatest benefit from living in their privileged eyries. Thanks China.

People like the d’Agens used the services of Alset, which made pilotless capsules, pods, built to propel small numbers of people through low altitude travel. These took the wealthiest above the sorry masses, milling and toiling below.

Later there were rumours of sabotage after the pod plunged into the river, killing his two kids who were on their way to school. People thought they were murdered in revenge for something their father had done to one of his enemies. There were also the inevitable cries of ‘terrorists!’ but without doubt, the chances of a successful strike on a moving pod by a terrorist in our omniscient, omnipotent surveillance system was like trying to find a frog that sang Puccini.

It wasn’t the first nor would be the last of these kind of accidents which are like any accidents involving children; regrettable and distressing. That a high proportion of very rich people died in such accidents might be regarded by some as upsetting the social order but some might assert it was restoring it. Malthus lives on.

Maurice felt deep intractable grief, most notably based in guilt. Recently divorced, his wife blamed him for the deaths of their children, sadly a very common thing for such events to cause a rupture rather than make couples draw closer. Unity in adversity? Death the spectre, sweeps his scythe in a brutal arc, those who fall aren’t necessarily only the dead.

His plan was destined to fail. No-one can return from the City with anything other than the experience itself and all the internal consequences of that, as I have said before- I bind up the wounded. Our Maurice had other plans though that caused us all to experience a kind of ex-gratia grief, watching him. It is always the secondary effects that have the harshest impact for everyone it smacks around.

Maurice paid a huge sum to have his kids reanimated in a couple of bots. The management should never have allowed it, clearly on their part, they’d mixed, even curious motives. Part policy, part sympathy, part profit driven? I mean, as I said, he’d paid a small fortune to have the programming done and it took a long time and a huge team of re-animators.

After it all ended so badly, the initial interview with him revealed his original intention by every slumped neuro-biochemical assay, the dullness of defeat in his eyes and his flat tone.

“Mr d’Agen, my name is Dr John Grey and I would first like to say how very, very sorry I am for your losses. I know there’ve been quite a few and they are the hardest things to bear. I just want you to know that.”

He looked blankly at his feet and bent forward to scrape a small fleck of dirt from the toe of his right shoe with a rather long manicured fingernail. He sighed but didn’t speak.

“How are you today?” I asked quietly.

Again he sighed but straightened up and looked out the window then spoke, still looking out.

“How do I go on? After all this, how the fuck do I go on?”

I’m not in the business of obfuscation, of putting Patsy Kline into the conversation although Patsy has her place even after all these years. I couldn’t imagine losing my kids, let alone losing my wife as well, so I could only rely on the empathizer to feel his feelings, so harsh I battled tears that wanted to flow. I said shakily.

“Well, I think we can refer to some horrible old clichés here and the answer lies in the moments that stretch into minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, until finally the day arrives when you don’t hear the crows outside, you hear the finches in the blossom trees.”

He leaked grief. His eyes were dry but every pore exuded his sorrow and guilt, even his head was slightly lowered, plus he didn’t make eye contact, sure sign of shame.

“I killed them you know. My wife said I did.”
This was common. The blame.

“You may well think that she preferred to blame you, believing her anger at you    would be  effective in deflecting her own intense sorrow, her angry feelings. But what do you believe about yourself Morrie? Do you think if your kids were sitting here you would be capable of getting a gun to shoot them, a knife to stab them?”

He frowned.“That’s ridiculous.”

“Then it is equally ridiculous to think that by sending them off to school you were deliberately      consigning them to their deaths. What loving father could ever do that?”

“What loving wife could blame her husband?”

I acknowledged this with a nod, sitting silently, waiting for the moment to fill with his psychotropic modulated feelings. It should really be kicking in about now, the Tryptorinox.

It was somewhat unpredictable how the drug would manifest itself. It was a new brew of neurotransmitters that acted sort of like gates, regulating other neurotransmitters, letting them in or out. If you think of this drug like perfume then you will understand the subtlety of it.

Perfume has notes, dominant or emerging with time or heat, even the wearer’s pheromones. Thus it was with Tryptorinox. The dominant or top tier was norepinephrine but the base was tryptomine which, with a bit of tweaking, hung around the synapse modulating and enhancing the uptake of serotonin and dopamine. The brain of someone with PTSD has lost their way in the world. They revisit powerful emotions, and lay down reinforcers of traumatic memory. Maurice needed to learn to tolerate his intense feelings not by replacing his children with replicant look alikes but in learning to be in his pain without running away. He needed to take action that would increase his capacity for interoception, being sensitive to what was going on in his body not his mind.

All the poor man had done since the accident, was to look for ways to mitigate the experience, which is a normal fight or flight response to his trauma but the Tryptorinox enabled him to deal more effectively with the feelings. That was the theory anyway.

So I was a little unprepared for what Maurice did next.

Cats have what is called an antagonistic reaction to benzos, like Valium, sends ‘em cray cray. My much older brother, when he was a cocky med student, tried to euthanize some stray cats in our parent’s glass greenhouse. Someone dumped them on my sister and she didn’t want them, no-one did, then they had kittens. She dealt with the kittens by putting them in a black plastic bag then dropped them over the edge of the tower she lived in. So my brother, thinking this terribly inhumane, and having a mix of saviour complex and narcissism, volunteered to kill the adult cats humanely, using 10mg of Valprexone, the new benzodiazepam.

Truly it was like a scene from an old cartoon. The cats were rocket-fueled, juiced up and literally zooming and flying past him, tearing at his face with their claws while he ducked and dodged. He emerged after a few minutes bleeding, shocked and panting. He and the cats ran off in separate directions and I’m not sure any paw ever touched the earth. Later we thought the aversion therapy he used was most successful.

Likewise Maurice and Tryptorinox.

Maurice stood with his back to me at the window, his hands behind him like a statesman about to meet’n’greet. Then he started to jiggle and bounce on the soles of his feet. This grew abruptly into a pronounced up and down springing, his arms drifted out from his sides and flapped like washing whipped in a strong wind. I was alarmed but transfixed. He began to grunt, let out whooshing sounds, then a long wheeeeeeeeeee. I went over.

“Mr d’Agen. Are you okay?”

“Hooooooshhhhh…!”

Jiggle jiggle flap… bounce

I stood a little at a loss for what to do but figured the best thing was to simply wait. He couldn’t go on forever with such massive energy.

“Wheeeeeeee…ughh…hoooooooo….ughhhh!”

Suddenly he glanced over at me with a sideways look, piercing and glittery, the look of someone in the grip of an uncontrollable force. He spat out.

“Shaking the tree! I’m shaking the tree!”

“What?”

“Qigong! I’m…sh..sh..shaa.. shaking it off…the energy!”

“Oh, ok. How long will it take do you think?” I asked trying to sound nonchalant.

“T…t..till the end!”

I went back to my old, plush green, wing-backed chair and sat down. It was kind of mesmerizing to watch him, especially after fifteen or so minutes when he got into his stride and his body attained a kind of wave or flap of movement starting from his feet, finally snapping his head back, as though he was a cobra on speed coming out of a gigantic basket.

Thirty minutes passed and no signs of abating. This had to stop, he was going to do himself an injury. I went over to him.

“Mr d’Agen sir, can you slow down?”

His eyes were fixed ahead, looking at a vanishing point that had long since vanished. I put my hand out, lightly touching his arm. Nothing. I pressed with my fingers and called him more loudly.

“Maurice. Maurice. Can you hear me?”

He responded with a sideways head jerk but the rest of him continued the flapping and bouncing. Then he wheezed out.

“Ohhhhhh…..shhhhhh….wop wop wop….wheeeeee…I th..th…think…m..m..my   ..k..k..k..k…kundalini is stuck!”

I agreed. It was time to call in the big guns.

Going to my desk, I held my thumb over the biometric receptor. A female automated voice responded asking me for a code. I responded.

“1-9-1-4”

It responded.

“I see. Your code is 1-5-1-4. Is this correct? Answer yes or no, thanks.”

“NO! 1-9-1-4”

“I see. Thanks. You have given 9-1-5-1-4. This is not a valid code. Please repeat.”

I breathed in deeply and slowly and repeated.

“1….9….1….4”

“Sorry. I’m having trouble understanding you. Please repeat or try again later..tt..try again l..later.” It buzzed and clicked off.

I cussed big, bad, naughty, ugly words. You know, I work in one of the most technologically sophisticated places in the entire world and could I get this fucking crisis measure CODE RED thing to work? No sirree.

In despair, I looked over at Maurice. Extreme snaking and leaping now apparent. I had a bad feeling uncoiling in my guts, the old vaso-vagal response. I tried the crisis code enabler again.

I said it quicker. “1.9.1.4.”

“I see. You have given Ensign.1.4. This is not a valid code. The code consists of four digits. Please speak the code slowly and clearly.”

I shouted. “Motherfucker! CODE RED!”

It paused, then,

“Just a moment please. I’ll direct you to a human agent.”

I moved to Maurice whose face looked somewhat pale by now, a bit cyanosed around his mouth which meant his heart was significantly overtaxed and oxygen wasn’t getting through to his extremities. By reflex I threw my arms around him to attempt to control him, hoping to bring him to a slower bounce, just as the doors slid open and the team arrived to see me wrestling with Maurice. From the corner of my eye I saw Nelson the big boofhead with something in his hand. An appalling pain hit my right shoulder as The Buzz missed Maurice and got me.

“Fuck! Fuck! Him you idiots, him…not me…sedation not electrocution! Fucking monkey nuts… Buddha!” I reeled back holding my shoulder. Damn these guys were stupid. Truly a sandwich short of a lunch.

Boofhead Nelson, dropped the charger, produced another disc like pad with small rounded bristles on the face of it, which when applied anywhere near the neck, induced a transcutaneous pulse straight into the nervous system, dropping the victim like a sack of shit. I jumped back a metre as they approached Maurice, my shoulder still throbbing.

Bang! They popped Maurice on the neck and he did a curious thing. He stood perfectly poised for a few seconds, turned slowly towards me, smiled beatifically into my eyes and dropped dead.

It didn’t matter what they did then, the whole jiggery pokery of do-dads and wizzy bangerang whatsits.

He was gone. Maurice d’Agen, Morrie the Prune, fell off his tree, germinating in a new world of finches and blossoms.

The City of Pleasures. Episode 2: Homo Ferox

I was already oversubscribed that day, too many clients. Really stressed, which wasn’t normal for me. I held things together very well but when the next client came in, the brief already told me I faced a total train wreck. The guy was spakked out, and been since not long after he’d landed at The Mission in the City.

I’d just seen Jungle Man Jesus off; he’d been capsuled for a month before they would release him into the next retention. This lasted three months then our Jungle Man would face a lifetime of check-ins meds and therapy, otherwise he’d be sanctioned and that was no fun. He’d have a strict regime of psychotropics, CBT and The Buzz, essentially a process which physically restrained people to a limited perimeter of movement with progressive levels of liberty. If they breached it-they got zapped, like a strong tazer.

Personally I would have let him go before that but the company wouldn’t have a bar of it since there were other people involved, you know, people high up in The Club who insisted we did the full banana on the guy. So off he went…blessed be!

Fuck me I was scared of Grimwade, the new client. He was the only one I have ever been scared of and I have seen everything you can imagine and more. He had an insect like head, weirdly shaped, like an apostrophe. He parted his short grey hair in the middle, combing it entirely flat to his head which, you know, did not help in the charm department. He was really long and skinny, almost syndactylic, long long skinny arms and legs of unnatural length and proportions with spoon shaped fingers and I could just imagine him eating a fly and scuttling up the side of a wall or something. He sat there with his knees together and his hands inserted in between his legs which he rhythmically squeezed. His tongue kept rimming his thin wide mouth in five second cycles; I counted.

“Can I call you Bob, Mr Grimwade?”

Silence. Lip licking.

“Mr Grimwade?”

I waited.

“Mr Grimwade?”

There was a good few minutes that passed and neither of us said a word nor moved. I sighed. He looked up abruptly, spoke in a gravelly whisper and looked at me intently.

“Yesss yess they all sigh in the end, just at the end after the breath leaves them. They sigh. They sigh, they are tired of the pain, it is easy to let it all go then.”

I had this falling sensation in my guts. I knew it wasn’t the bots he was talking about. They don’t sigh when they get shut off, they just you know, stop with a click, not with a bang nor a whimper.

“The bots don’t feel pain.”

He knocked his knees together and smirked.

“They don’t. It is true. They feel …nothing.”

“Are you talking about the others?”

“Others?” He smirked again.

I was fishing with a little bait which was my knowledge of psychopaths, his extensive file and my intuition.

“Oh, well, what you did with the bots was incredible! I have to applaud you on how you stalked them, how you laid out your traps and the final moments of your catch…well I have been in this business for many years and I have never seen such skill. Masterful! It seemed that you really have studied the art of dispatch. Wonderfully done.”

He waggled his head and a grin formed a tight rictus on his face.

“Thank you, thank you. Yes, I have done a bit of a brush up on the process, anatomy, forensic science and so forth. Most interesting what happens in the last moments before the body dies.”

It took effort but I played my part well and I smiled broadly at him.

“What do you think then? I’ve always wanted to know, so what actually happens?”

He suddenly rocked back in his chair throwing his crossed ankles upwards with his hand still clasped tightly between his thighs. Alarmed I threw out a hand to steady him.

“Whoa! Careful there!”

He dropped forward into the first still position but leaned forward to say in that weird uncanny whisper, mocking them.

“They plead. They all plead. They say please oh please don’t, ohh don’t, don’t hurt me, please don’t I have children, I have a wife, I have a husband, I have a mother father sister brother I’ll give you money I’ll give you my daughter, they’ll say ANYTHING (here he spat it out in contempt) but they NEVER say the right thing.”

“What is the right thing?”

He smiled and those eyes, those eyes like the stinking winking arsehole of Satan himself, closed a little and he leaned back in his chair folded his arms and said nothing at all, later in the same conversation, nothing in fact ever again after that day.

The DNA tests pinned him to forty-seven murders. Indiscriminate, no pattern, random people races ages sizes, random places, all blitzed with Smack, carted off, strung up, some raped, in fact all the children were. Some were sliced away in slivers, truly a death of a thousand cuts.

I ran through the first vids of his arrival at the City base where every person he came into contact with registered an uptick of blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, everyone without exceptions and oddly all his victims knew inside them by their very cellular energetic response that this guy was evil but no-one would believe that they knew they intrinsically knew. How many red flags have to get waved? How many sirens and alarms go off? How well we all train ourselves not to listen to ourselves. I dunno, it beats me.

We truly have great professionals here. I looked at the exchange between Grimwade and Amy Schaeffer. She is the end to end concierge who checks clients in and out. I checked the vis reports she had sent me about Grimwade.

I watched on the screen as she slipped her psyfilters on when she started her shift and dutifully gazed into the monitor which read all her stats did a quick appraisal on her mental health rating and with a little bling sound, a little pink cherub with a golden harp and wings floated on the bright blue screen and she began her day, processing the first guests returning from the City.

“Good morning sir. I hope you are well and have enjoyed your stay in The City. May I have you face the monitor please sir and place both index fingers on the glass pad? Thank you sir.”

Grimwade gave that little tight lipped movement, he thought approximated a smile and complied. His eyes flicked sideways unnaturally fast, almost like nystagmus.

 

He wore beige. Beige pants, some kind of print shirt underneath his beige bomber jacket. I mean, who wore bomber jackets anymore? He also wore black lace up leather shoes with white socks. The trouble with guys like this is similar to flying through what seems to be clear skies then suddenly the plane bucks and jumps, it might fall a thousand feet or more but no-one sees it coming, no radar shows the approaching pockets of turbulence. But Amy Schaeffer did. She used her failsafe button; good ol’ fashioned intuition and pressed the red alert which was done with her eye movements, rapidly flicking right to a sensor and blinking twice. It was for these particular talents that she was placed in this critical position.

“Mr Grimwade, thanks so much. Now can I get you to go into the booth to the right and take off your clothes putting them into the basket provided. We have provided your clothing apropos to your specifications and you can change in the booth now.”

The biosensors were switched to ultra-mode as Amy’s own registered an alert status. Grimwade didn’t know it but thousands of receptors were already reading data from every nasty cell in his body. During the pre-testing several flags had been raised on the guy but the levels of concern were not sufficient to bar him from entering the City at that point but while it is a profit making company, there ain’t no profit to be made from bad press. A couple of years ago, we had a reputation that made us look like a pig with lipstick and worse for a few years back, we were getting the interest of the government folks  in what we were doing and our security systems. We couldn’t shed a follicle without it being appraised and measured by an intergovernmental panel of experts. Then damn, bam, thank you Sam, suddenly they turned around and chipped in to pay for some edgy new fandangle biometric processor I don’t have a clue about but the company was real happy. All we had to do was send them the high end customers reports. One might argue it was a breach of privacy but seriously, who believed that was possible anymore? Back in the twenties chipping newborn everything became mandatory.

It was arguably the most controversial thing that happened apart from the next step, social crediting. Well of course that started in China earlier and was kind of unique to them for a long while because of the way their society is structured, all carrot and stick to a nicely tamed and regulated populace. That and the massive governmental reach into every tissue used to wipe away a tear for a disappeared relative, to every nail banged into the coffin of freedom. China led the way but the technology was mostly American, Israeli and British.

Everyone complained but gradually the propaganda and staged events succeeded in winning people over. When I say staged events, it was quite complicated, it wasn’t as simple as getting a bunch of actors to bite on blood capsules and run amok screaming into the streets, ‘There’s a gunman there’s a gunman!’ No, no. There were layers to this. Take for example microchipping your pets, for their safety and your security. Then taking your shoes off at the airports; for your safety and security. Then whole body scans, immunisations for every conceivable and inconceivable disease children, teenagers, adults, cats, dogs, chooks. Then the cameras on every doorway porch vestibule street and building, the drones that hovered like bees, the environmental taxes, the geoengineering of earth sky and sea well that didn’t work out so well did it as the solar minimum kicked in and we froze our arses off for ten or fifteen years. The Black Army was on the stroll wherever you went. The facial recognition scanners, iris readers, emotiscans, infrared, blueray, 5G, spraying the troposphere, the stratosphere, GMO everything, the move to mandatory veganism or if you were rich, manufactured meat to secure the world’s biomes. What the fuck we were supposed to be scared of was ridiculously clear; ourselves. People should be scared, should be terrified of the enemy because the enemy was ourselves, we the people, homo ferox.

They didn’t ever mention the cost though, the rise in taxes to pay for all this unnecessary shit they just quietly slugged us until in the end, the most worked their lives out for the few. Hasn’t it ever been thus? The few, well many of them spent their easy earned here, at the City of Pleasures.

Anyway, one of the offshoots, just like the microwave oven was the offshoot of a NASA program, was SEA; Sensory Erudition Actuation. Basically it read the tiniest fluctuations in biodata which fed into an extremely powerful program called Alph, created by our company. What Alph did in the beginning was data matching on a vast scale to sift and find bits of codes, track algorithms, find and store every database since Adam and Eve played River Raid on a Nintendo, sniff down all the conscious and unconscious data we so carelessly flung about in our digital lives and project likely outcomes and plans. There was nothing Alph didn’t know about a single solitary soul who ever breathed the smart nanoparticled air of this world. Thus we caught the interest of government intelligence agencies and snared filthy pieces of evil shite like Grimwade.

So when our erstwhile Vacationer finished his sojourn into the City, then stepped into the booth to remove his shoes and socks, unbuckle his belt and slip his beige pants over his pale thighs, take off his Captain Underpants and sweaty shirt, he had handed over every piece of evidence via shed epithelial cells pheromones and follicles any forensic lab could want. Within minutes Mr Grimwade warmly embraced the biometry of Alph, mix’n matched, signed sealed ‘n delivered; the serial killer the cops had been after for a frustratingly long long time.

 

Like all psychos and malignant narcs, underneath their careful planning, they couldn’t help themselves. They wanted the spotlight, craved the attention of authorities because firstly they didn’t know the difference between fame and notoriety and secondly their contempt for all authority meant they ultimately had to have a showdown with it. In their delusion they dreamed they would always best it, could always cock a leg and piss on the tree of authority marking out their grand territory. To a malignant narc or a psych (often they were two in the same) everything around them was theirs, or was an extension of themselves. So when Mr Grimwade saw the lure of the City of Pleasures where his every vile sick fantasy could be fulfilled with no consequences, he bit on the hook that dragged him in to us.

While in the City, he’d painstakingly recreated some of his most vicious and worst crimes not on humans this time but like a dog returning to his vomit, he visited these homicides on replicants (the bots) reproducing the scenes of the crimes some fourteen times in the week he was there.

Waiting outside the other doorway where he thought he could be on his merry way were two robocops which took him into custody and read the charges in a nicely modulated female transatlantic accent. He didn’t have the pleasure of voicing his innocence or his objections to a human audience, he saved that for me.

 

“Mr Grimwade?”

He looked up at me much like an iguana, motionless on a rock, turns its eyes upwards.

“Yes.”

“I’m interested in how you reconciled having a family with also being a serial killer. Tell me more about how you did that.”
He sneered.

“Why should I?”

“For posterity, Mr Grimwade, for posterity, our elucidation! You as master teaching us- your students. Oh I admire your skill Mr Grimwade, I do, really, I do, you have such a… such a, way of doing things. Such perfect planning.”

Clearly he was flattered as a small contemptuous smirk flickered over his face.

“Perhaps, yes, perhaps. Yes I am the best of the worst aren’t I?”

“Oh most certainly. But for example when you snatched young Carmen Pinheiro, she was the same age of your own daughter?”

He shifted slightly and I read the graph status on the screen in my reader. Cognitive dissonance scaling way up.

“She was nothing like my daughter.”

I projected the split of two children’s images on his screen, Carmen playing, Carmen with her baby brother, Carmen eating an ice-cream with delight, then his daughter Josie playing, Josie with her baby sister, Josie sitting in front of a tofuburger staring up at the camera blankly, unhappily.

“Kids,’ I softly laughed. “Kids … they’re all the same, greedy little buggers, but I bet you she just loved that ice cream you bought her didn’t she?”

He was silent. I continued.

“Now take Josie.” Here I slid a hologram in front of him of his daughter at thirteen, entering a store and trying on a very expensive dress. While she stood in front of the store mirror it recorded everything and sent it to a sales team which looked up her family financials calculated her credit and spat the result onto the wrist screen of the shop assistant.

“Oh she couldn’t afford it! What a shame, she looked so pretty in that dress and I guess she really really wanted it. Oh look there’s you! You look so pissed off! I don’t blame you, it would be infuriating to have a mere shopgirl tell you what you can or can’t buy your child.”

Enter the hologram of Carmen Pinheiro with the shopgirl trying on the same dress.

“Wow! K’ching! Look at that! Somehow she’s got all the financials behind her thanks to her daddy being a director of Alco and look how she leaves the store with the dress meticulously wrapped and a smile on her face. How nice is that! She is sooo happy!”

He gripped the arms of the chair he was restrained to but leaned as far forward as he could.

“Little bitch! Little bitch! It was MY daughter’s dress! MY daughter’s!”

I listened silently as he went on.

“I dispatched her slowly you know. She cried for her daddy to help her. No daddy, no daddy sadly. Only me.”

“And did Carmen say the right thing?”

He sat there peering at the hologram of Carmen aligned with Josie.

“What is the right thing to say, Mr Grimwade?”

I leaned over towards him and said forcefully injecting all the loathing I felt for this piece of shit.

“Didn’t that little girl say the right thing Mr Grimwade as you raped her and cut her small throat?”

The Cognitive Dissonance meter pinged off the scale but he only smiled that tight lizard smile.

 

 

The City of Pleasures

 

Episode One: Jungle Jesus

I hear confessions though I’m not a priest.  Sometimes I mend hearts although I’m no surgeon. I fit the puzzles of the mad with their jigsaw cosmic thinking back to solid reality.  I send them back, normal, fully functioning to their families, their jobs, their communities with their sins and secrets, intact and their functions restored for I am called the Doctor of Souls. My name is Dr. John Grey and I work at The Mission in The City of Pleasures.

Well that’s all shit really, it’s what I was told to say in the promo for the company that runs The City. However, in my time I’ve learned a great deal about psych techniques but there is nothing as good for the soul as the true sorrow that comes with genuine Revival Tent repentance. Take Jungle Man for example.

He went as all Vacationers do, having spent a fortune on setting up his Xanadu, his Stately Pleasure Dome, working with the A.I. modeller, having all his tests and finally plugging into the vast sifting program that we call Alph, which scanned his subconscious and unconscious mind to set up his perfect dream. There are many happy customers but when they get too happy and want to stay longer, the down side of it is financial and in the end they have to be extracted using force if need be. There are fines for over-stayers and after a week they grow exponentially, so no-one absconds, no-one hides, no-one successfully goes AWOL in the City of Pleasures but Jungle Man did.

Jungle Man wanted to drop out for a while, he’d paid for three months but the team had to find then extract him after five months and three drone drops of trackers. Overhead there were booming speakers warning him to get out and giving announcements of his current bank balance dropping fast with a huge sum of money automatically coming out of his bank account for every day he overstayed.

On the video file we saw him pop out of a bush stark naked and stare up at the hovering drone. Then he pissed clearly and obviously, waggled and shook his dick, then dived back into the bush.

The City of Pleasures was built some ten years ago, originally as a tourist resort for the very rich with hot and cold running pleasures courtesy of the A.I.s. and I swear on the back teeth of my dead grandmother when I first saw them I couldn’t believe my eyes, so totally real were they. Whatever dreams a person had, they could be recreated in the City of pleasures in remarkable detail depending on how much money and social credit a person had. There were consequences for everything though and as they say, be careful what you wish for.

You know, I’m a simple man at heart. I like natural things; my wife and kids for example. I enjoy the way my dog barks when he hears me at the front door. I love hearing my daughter practise the piano badly and my son scream an off key riff on his electric guitar then shout an enraged FUCK THIS THING when it goes wrong, but he starts again slower till he gets it right.

My wife Beth is a great cook and does everything from scratch and we have a garden with real flowers, vegetables, fruit and chickens in a coop. I don’t spray the bugs, I speak to them gently and put out my powers of persuasion to deter them from eating our stuff. It usually works but I don’t mind if they chow down a little, I mean every dog has his day.

Of course I know our neighbours think we are like weirdo hippies from like Manitou Springs or Moab who live on star dust and tie dyed vegan brunches but no, I am a serviceable unit, dependable ole hacky sacky Dr Grey who keeps bees for the honey and the pollination of his flowers fruit and nut trees, is known to eat granola and observe the phases of the moon while planting seeds. I am not rich in money; I give a lot away as we don’t need it but I feel like the wealthiest man on the planet. I never dropped out, never danced naked as a jay under a lunar eclipse but I do quietly consider myself an enlightened man, maybe an uber hippie.  I suppose, years ago, I would have been a silver haired stoner but not now. Now I am just Dr John Grey, doctor of souls servicing the mad the bad and the weird who enter and leave The City of Pleasures.

As I said Jungle Jesus been dropped into a place designed to perfection. I saw it on the video- amazing! Gorgeous! There were orchids, ferns palms, banana, papaya, mango and coconut trees, a white sandy beach with perfect boulders perched on the fringe of the sea. There were fish, chickens for eggs, a veggie patch ready to eat from, the hybrid Cannabis sativa x Molotovii grew here and there and there were also shrooms, Psilocybe semilanceata. He’d wanted a trippy time and after signing a water tight indemnity form for the company, as all Vacationers do, he was ready to go and I watched his entry, the amazement and joy discovering everything with the purest of pleasure. It made me smile to see him cavorting. Many times I laughed with the other Observer watching him play like some kind of Peter Pan, thrilled with everything he touched, saw, tasted and smelled. Then he got a little weird. It happens. We put it down to the shrooms which he’d pre-ordered and we genetically tailored to his neurochemical pathways. Then things got really weird, like I mean totally barking mad weird.

After everything was over, I was tidying up, at the end of his file I saw a little note he’d written on actual paper with a pencil.

Jungle Man. Yeah they call me that, Jungle Man Jesus and it’s a way to diss me, to whizz and whack me. I know their fuckin games man. I know their games. The whole thing is a worm that they put in your brain when you meet Alph. I was normal. I was ok, like had a job and stuff then I went to The City and what they did to me there was fucked, really fucked now I ain’t got nuthin’ like really nuthin’ they cleaned me out so I got like a ramazoo up my ass and bum fuck nuthin else but for a while there I was the incarnation then the thing went…

That’s all he wrote. How did he know we called him that? I opened the interview file and watched. This was recorded three weeks after he got back.

Dr Grey: On your file it says you were a senior programmer for…um…Klatu Systems, is that right? You created A.I. programs?

Jungle Man:Yeah, like I did that shit easy. So easy. I made programs like Alph for breakfast. It was like sorting apples and oranges. I knew the joy man, knew it when it was all cruizin and hummin like a fart in God’s pyjamas but they’re gone now. Now only a ramazoo up my ass, y’know what I’m sayin’?

Dr Grey: Yeah, I know what you’re saying. You feel ripped off.

Jungle Man: Damn right! You damn right! Jungle Man! Y’all call me Jungle Man? I’m the King of Kings, that’s who I am. Born in Bethlehem on the 25th December exactly thirty- three years ago. My mother Mary my earthly daddy Joseph my heavenly Father the great boss of the whole damn universe.

Dr Grey: It says here on your birth certificate with your photo record that you are actually sixty- two years old and were born in Croydon London on January the twelfth and your birth name is Richard Robin Myles. What do you say to that?

Jungle Man:That’s shit man! That is total shit. Who told you that? Let me see that! Give it to me!

Dr Grey: Sit, sit down. Sit down… now! I’ll give it to you but sit down. By the way, I don’t think Jesus ever swore, not even in Aramaic.

Jungle Jesus:I’m also fully human.

Dr Grey:Any miracles to show for yourself yet?

Jungle Jesus: Certainly. I raise the dead. I raised four people from the dead. Out there in…in…Bethesda.

Dr Grey: Uhh. No you didn’t. They weren’t alive to begin with, they were bots, sophisticated yes but bots. They reanimated because they are programmed to unless you blow them to smithereens.

Jungle Man:You’re lying. You filthy fuckin lyin snake. This is a trick. A shitty trick. They told me it would happen, people would deny me and betray my mission but you can’t stop the inevitable can you devil? Dr Devil. Yes yes Devil I c’n see you, I see your red eyes and your green smoke whistling out of your pores from hell itssel, put out your tongue. I command you! Put out your tongue! Cleft in twain it is…and inside your shoes…hooves hooves!

Dr Grey:Will you stop that! Stop it! You’re being a dick, man! Stop it and sit down… get away from that… STOP! No, you can’t get into the aquarium, it’s too small!

Jungle Jesus: Where’s Mary? Mary… (screaming) Mary! Where are you? Where are you? Maryyyyyy! (sobbing)

It was at this point I had to terminate the day’s session as the client was on now on the floor, writhing like a damned cobra hissing and screaming for Mary Magdalene, the bot, who as far as I know was now hung up in the closet waiting for the next assignment where she could be anything from Annie Get Your Gun to Electra or someone’s sex goddess.

I played back some more from the video and fast forwarded it to the tipping point which was when our client Richard Robin Myles of London England aka Jesus Christ late of Bethlehem, called his disciples together and preached The Sermon on the Mount, well the outcrop.

He’d gathered a lot of coconuts and glued little white shell eyes to give them faces, rubbed red ochre on their ‘cheeks’, all frankly quite spooky, and put them in a circle around him then stood and gestured opening both arms out wide. He spoke loudly in his Londoner accent and with great swoops of inflection and swirled around pointing to them as he emphasized a point. 

“Blessed are the weak for they shall be made stronger

Blessed are the boring for they shall be made funny

Blessed are the poor for they shall be taxed out of existence

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for casual sex for they shall be satisfied

Blessed are those who mourn, for crying shall be outlawed in all the land

Yet still shall the tears run

Blessed are you when all women revile you for you won’t give a fuck

and you will perform great deeds that all the earth will see, hear and feel, then shall the end come with three days darkness and no light no candle shall burn save those blessed by a priest of mine. The righteous shall be taken to a bloody good bar, set down and not charged for a single drink! Shrooms and bliss forever be unto ye unto the end of time!

He threw his arms up to heaven and I recalled a very old movie in my training on megalomania involving an actor called Moses someone or other holding a staff up and dividing the Red Sea which has frozen over nowadays so they could have skated over it if they’d waited.

Our Jungle Jesus though stood there holding his arms up when suddenly through the shrubs and palms came his bots all dressed as he’d instructed in the garb of acolytes or sanyasins and knelt in front of him, pushing the coconuts back with their feet. Some of them fell prostrate before him. He cried out, tears of joy pouring down his face.

Jungle Jesus: Oh! Brothers sisters! Welcome welcome! I will make of thee a people set apart!

He took each of them by the shoulders and kissed them lightly on the mouth as was the custom in those days. Now bots are pretty good at mimicking human behaviour and they are programmed to respond as a real human would, some being programmed to react unpredictably so when one of the bots he kissed responded by sticking his tongue in Jungle Man’s mouth, then thrust his groin forward, there was an explosion as Jungle Man pushed and fell back shocked.

Jungle Jesus: Judas! What are you doing?

Judas:I thought it was the right response. You kissed my mouth I responded as programmed, I’m sorry.

Jungle Man: Who the fuck programmed you ….f’kn amateurs!

Judas: You can examine my details by going under the skin exactly five centimetres from the base of my coccyx. It will give you everything you want to know, however to maintain the integrity of my persona I would prefer you waited until we were in a private area.

Jungle Man: God dammit! Oh get away…

Judas stepped back. Jungle Jesus squared his shoulders and continued greeting his disciples which included a very lovely Mary Magdalene, formerly a G.I. Jane, a temple prostitute, Eva Braun and notable others including Miss World 2026 and a Muay Thai expert. He held Mary’s face in his hands and kissed her on the mouth, lingering on it while his hand wandered down her back. She smiled and said she was honoured and all that yahdahyahdah. It was like watching a really bad Grade Six pantomime confused with Blade Runner and a set up for a porn film. Awful, really painfully cheesy and Jungle Jesus knew it too. He sat down next to a bunch of coconuts and put his head in his hands.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. It wasn’t meant to be like this.”

He got up leaving the coconuts and the disciples behind in the clearing, went to his cabin alone and that’s when he broke his contract.

On the October 1st video I saw something alarming; Jungle Man tinkering with what appeared to be a small key port which was strictly forbidden because it was a device to alter or reprogram the bots. He must have somehow sneaked it in and I’ve no idea how. It was hard to see and a casual observer would have missed it as we did, thinking all was well, up until the subsequent extraction and my interventions. He was quick, he must have known his stuff very well and with that I understood the rest as it all played out.

In our next session I recorded this.

Dr Grey: Richard, good morning. Did you sleep well?

Jungle Man: Considering. Yes, ok. Why am I still here?

Dr Grey:We just want to make sure you’re the cat’s whiskers before you go home, so we just need to ask…well, there are a few questions I have for you today.

Jungle Man : Tell me. Speak to me.  Háblame. Parle moi. Fale comigo. Hmmmmmm? What do you want to know?

Dr Grey: Ah, you are multi lingual. I didn’t know that about you.

Jungle Man:So much examined so much unknown. Do you have children Dr Grey?

Dr Grey:Yes I do…a boy and…

Jungle Man: …and a girl, a wife who cooks everything from scratch, loves long walks in forests and making love with some of her clothes still on.

Dr Grey: Ah you’ve been doing a little hackery quackery Richard but this is all about you Richard not me, not my family, not my opinions.  Since we are here now though, how about you tell me what happened when you reprogrammed the bots.

Jungle Man Laird of the Loch: Och laddie what in God’s pyjamas do ye mean? I dinna ken what yer talkin aboot.

He put his head back and looked at the ceiling for a while then spoke calmly but forcefully still looking at the ceiling.

Jungle Jesus:There weren’t any bots, they were my disciples, my apostles, the salt and light of the Second Coming. They came to me like pure souls, like little children pure of heart and they could see who I was immediately. They loved me and I loved them.

Dr Grey:Then why did they try to kill you?

Jungle Jesus:I ordered them to, it was in fulfillment of the scriptures because unless I died, I couldn’t rise again.

Dr Grey: Apparently that happened already to the real guy well over two thousand years ago. Not you though, it seems things weren’t going too well for you there but how did it feel when you knew they’d broken the law and were really seriously after you? You altered the program didn’t you?

Jungle Jesus: Yeah well I did, it’s true but y’know, crucifixion…I didn’t mind, after all I was their father brother teacher master…

Dr Grey:…lover?

Jungle Jesus: You guys, you always want to go for the groin don’t you. Well, yes. Of course! All things to all men and women so that some may be saved!

He lowered his gaze looking almost surreptitiously at me.

Jungle Man: It’s surprisingly real you know, sex with a bot.

Dr Grey: I wouldn’t know, I have a wife, as you are aware. She doesn’t need to be programmed to want to make love with me. Right. So, you altered the program. Why? You broke contract. It cost you everything.

Jungle Man:Well, they did such a bleedin’ bad job didn’t they, your lot? Bloody useless! I mean, take Judas and the others for example until I reprogrammed them Judas thought he was a gay bleedin’ accountant! Andrew kept trying to screw Martha. James and John seemed like a double act out of Guerilla Punk Comedy and Peter? I wept. He was like the Minister for Home Affairs, bossy prick. I had to actually reprimand him on a number of occasions for bullying Judas. He spoke to me like I was the Under Secretary’s deputy assistant to the Assistant Secretary. He was like, “You can’t spend any more money on renting donkeys Jesus, what do you think? I shit shekels?” ‘orrible it was. ‘orrible! I’ad to reprogram them, I mean look at all the money I spent and everything going wrong. Fuck me drunk!

Couldn’t argue with that. It wasn’t the only time things had gone awry but in the company’s defense it was a difficult ask, we did our best and honestly orchestrating the Second Coming was one of the most difficult jobs we’d ever done. He, however, had made it impossible and he very nearly lost his life in the process.

I decided to ignore Jungle Jesus altogether and deal with Richard, well Jungle Man Richard as he was for now but Jungle Jesus had a disconcerting habit of coming back, I found myself wishing he’d picked the reincarnation of Buddha, nothing like this would have happened if Buddha had been the buzz.

Actually Jungle Man was quite amusing in his own way. I enjoyed listening to the mental tennis he played with himself. He followed a textbook case of Acute Affective Schizophrenia co-morbid with cluster symptoms of a drug induced psychotic mind.

I loved the fact that Jesus was so popular amongst mad people. Odd that in all my years of psychiatry I have never once had a patient claim to be Buddha. Very strange. With Jungle Man though I did have a recording of him having a conversation with Buddha when he was Jesus or Jungle Man or whoever popped up in that final panoply of personalities that erupted in a full blown multi personality disorder of the most florid type. It went like this like a tennis game between them all.

“I’m so depressed, he’s breaking my heart. He never texts me anymore.”

 “Who?”

 “Jesus. I think he’s found a better disciple. I think he’s pissed off with me about flirting with Mary.

 “Mary Mag or Mary Mary?”

“Mary Mary. His mum.”

“His mum? What are you mad? She’s like…she’s like… a cougar! Man you can’t take the mother of a divine being out for a booze up and a slap and tickle!”

“Yeah well, I look at her in that blue veil and I feel all wiggly inside.”

“No wonder he stopped talking to you! You bloody dickhead! Anyway, why don’t you talk to him. Call him.”

“I did but he won’t pick up.”

“Go round to his place man. You know, turn right at Gethsemane? Go up the hill to the olive grove…”

Then in a high voice Jungle Man Kanye cackled and spoke in a basso profundo.

“No no no…it’s because you’re such a shit, man. Not only you tried to crack on to his mum but you cheated on him with Buddha. He was pissed off, broken hearted.”

An Asian  accent came from Jungle Man Om. “ ’s ok, don’ worree, be chill out, be cole like gel… it’s okaaaay, be calm. No problem you go with Jesus. He good guy, you good guy, you love him, he love you…no ploblem!”

Jungle Jesus: “Thanks everyone. You can relax now. All we can do is hope. Faith. Hope. Charity. Do good, love others all of these things added unto to us, to do this much, more or less, maybe greater and sent to us as locusts and honey post restante. You know when I was in the desert I had a vision of all of this?”

An unfamiliar voice responded.

“Richard? Richard? Are you there? Hello? Hello? Talk to me! Pick up. Richard Richard?”

Jungle Man jerked weirdly like some collapsing marionette then slid off the chair weeping, his hands slapping the floor.

“Oh God! Oh God leave me alone…for fuck’s sake leave me alone!”

It was sad. There were many occasions like this, the to and fro of word salad or ranting or, as I showed, this conga line of personalities on and on, well, until I had him canned. To be honest I wanted relief because Jungle Man was way intense but there we have it, life just ain’t fair and along came Mr Grimwade. Bob Grimwade; aka Homo Ferox.