Dead Planet XIV

Dead Planet XIV

“It’s Borges—
the other one,
that things
happen to”
—Jorge Luis Borges,
“Borges and I”

DroidBoy got us outta there.

Outta Hell City—and back to Hellas Town upsurface.

No one saw us slip outta Mars City Underground—back to the Martian surface. Back up to Hellas Towers—back up into the Borgesian circular ruined night. Leaving behind Old Mars nightmare down below—for his magic realism OtherWorld.

Leaving the contaminated Tyrell City down below—where telepathic leprosy was rampant. The fetid holocaust underground devoted to Death down there—Tyrell with his face the color of ashes. The unrelenting sub-surface exo-Zend foreigners—and lurking, skulking alien entrepreneurs unhonored by mankind, yet tolerated for their super-science.

I didn’t even wake up—I just sort of phased outta REM sleep. Back into the normal rhythms— my so-so, so-what, bourgeois existence. Cycling my way slowly back thru—alpha, beta, delta sleep. Whatever unconquerable cosmic plan they were plotting down there—strangling the future with old has-been Magellanic slime sleights & cynical interplanetary, otherworldly coldness.

The kid put his head on my shoulder—unconsciously I wrapped by arms around him. That tomblike Tyrell niche down there— where the kid was conceived & born. His all-knowing Count Frankenstein father could fuckin’ keep it—all that crummy rotting ancient Lost Knowledge twisting its way back into Time.

All that alien forbidden exo-shit—rotting forever down there. Draped on the underground walls—like rotting baroque curtains in some ruined crummy high castle or forgotten Egypto-ArtDeco exo-temple. Dust of stoic, taciturn gone centuries—clinging to the dank receding shadows. The cosmic dreck of dead creepy cosmographies—dredged up by Tyrell & his Krell Team to be doomsday déjà vu zeitgeist once again…

Smile like you mean it—the Krell circular ruins far below seemed to say.

Tyrell & TerraCorp had realized with great bitterness—that nothing could be expected from the human species inhabiting the solar system. The outside intruders weren’t much better—they had no affection or even a single degree of sympathy for solar sector human beings.

The aliens & exo-creepazoids were basically vampires from outer space—they lived thru us, their preexistence totally illusionary. Completely dependent on the genius of Tyrell’s brain—the Droidic magic recall technology was the corporate world’s only hope.

The aliens & exo-creeps lived in REM dreamtime—like all human beings did when they dreamed. But REM dreamtime was also their psychic prison—there was no Gulag escape or grand exit strategy from Hell. They did Tyrell’s bidding—great Martian Mephistopheles magician that he was. But even Tyrell had his limitations—that’s why he created the half-human Nexus-9 DroidBoy to be his Earthman intermediary.

Smile like you mean it—Tyrell said to his son.

The kid shrugged—he could care less. He was genetically flawed—and he knew it. He had a built-in lifespan—but nobody knew how long. It was Russian roulette—every day of his life. Bad biology—had made him all too human & yet not human enough.

Too young & foolish to know why he existed—too vain & smart to ever wanna go back to Big Daddy ever again. Tall, lanky, taciturn—at times intractable. High Balkan cheek-bones—a disconcerting way of zeroing in on only one thing. Down there—where humanoids know all about it. Where clairvoyance was like Coca-Cola—something to be bought & sold. Marketed & managed—consumed & thrown away.

I slowed him down a little bit—especially during REM dreamtime. I forestalled some kind of imminent clairvoyant disaster—intuitively I sensed something wrong. I was dumb as a doorknob—when it came to ESPN-ESP. If I were gifted—I would’ve cleaned up at the tracks & got outta the bounty hunter racket a lot sooner.

The kid was bound to burn himself out fast enough—if I didn’t hold him back a little bit. My own naïve stupidity—and low intelligence dragged him down like an albatross or anchor around his neck.

The learning curves he put me thru—mostly at night when I was REM skating on thin ice. I slowed him down a lot—he had to keep a third eye on me. The kid had to save me more than once—from falling thru & drowning in the Zoid depths.

There was more to creepazoidal consciousness—than I thought. I thought all that Lovecraft-stuff was just bullshit—but then the Martian dreams began. Mysterious dream-worlds with disturbing names—a pantheon of ancient alien gods. Exo-beings such as Cthulhu and Azathoth—and weird eldritch planets haunting our own. Lovecraft must have been in a nest of them—seguing in & out of New England towns like Arkham with its Miskatonic University.

Struggling & wrestling with the kid—gave me something to do. My so-called Terra life was pretty much shot—long before I got outta Earth’s ruined orbit and to ancient Mars. Why retire back Earthside in that toxic Apocalypto hellhole—that radioactive dump full of fuckin’ Corexit zombies everywhere? There’d be no end to it—all I’d be doing was retiring the Living Dead zombie creeps instead of runaway droids.

From the minute I met the kid—some kinda ultra-neon light started blinkin’ on & off. Like some old Bijou film palace marquee—with the latest flick for me to watch. “El Distructo Zero Hour”—as if that was anything new to me.

Usually I’d always get a seat in the Bijou ghost-mall balcony—sitting alone up there going thru a couple of REM movies. One would suck me into the other—so real they weren’t even movies anymore. Before I met the kid—I sorta phased outta one dream flick into another. Sometimes there’s be a chance intermission—and I’d realize I’d been living Sunset Blvd or The Big Sleep without knowing it.

It took a Nexus-9 droidboy—to get me to be more lucid and alive in the flicks. Until then there’d been no Brechtian dream alienation-effect for me—I simply took dreaming for granted.

The kid taught me the difference between—dream Entfremdung & dream Verfremdung. Entfremdung was an alienating condition—Verfremdung was a method of making that condition clear to dreamers. Not afterwards—but spontaneously within the dream movie itself.

It was an improvement over the van Vogt Null-A technique—there wasn’t any need to set one’s alarm clock every 90 minutes. To wake up & remember the Cthulhuesque or Azathothian underworld. It was Verfemdung Lite—alienation despite the Zoid Zone.

It held the kid back some—him holding me tight so I wouldn’t fall thru. In return, I shared things with him—like getting him to dig sad crimson Martian sunsets. Teaching him the unbearable lucidity—of restless young human insomnia.

Taking him outta Hellas Town on weekend hover-craft trips—out across the Amazonis night dotted with ruined plains far down below. Checkin’ out the Pyramid Face ruins—helping him to squander his young male strength just pleasing me.

The strength of his young male douchedroid delirium sometimes—abandoning the maze & labyrinthine mirror house inside his stale old droid dreams. Getting into the real marvavilloso task at hand—the silent Zen-contemplation of the ancient planet Mars. The Phobos moonship zipping by—high overhead in the nightsky above.

Getting both our minds—synching more closely. Him off his Tyrell past—me off my Terra memories. Focusing on us more & more instead—bowed down & broken by the planetary gods. Me uttering to him—
the only real words I knew how to pronounce.

The meaningless ancient wordless words—of my beating all-too-human troubled Terran heart. My love for him—that painstaking love that had overcome me. Salving the guilt of my bounty hunter past—during those brilliant Martian desert nights. Helping the kid to live his life—his way and not Tyrell’s way.

Stroking his double pulmonary arteries—down there with my forefinger. Such inspection pleasing him—making him feel proud. Staying up for dayz & nightz—deliberately not sleeping for long periods of time. Letting his heart feel how to be more human. Feeling it turn inside-out just for me—and not Tyrell below or the fuckin’ planetary gods above.

Stroking his Michelangelo physique—in the shadows of ancient pyramid ruins, No longer a droid-vat stippling kid—but instead an upsurface young adult. Getting to know the way human love—that can count the countless hairs on a guy’s body. The way human love can X-ray—a fully grown man all the way to the bone. Past his quivering REM eyelids—all the way down deep into his glowing-in-dark exo-skeleton. Night after night—I dreamed this kid more awake.

It’s an old story—gnostic conglomerates & ancient cosmogonies creaming the Milky Way. How many dark handsome angels—oozing squirting outta the groins of dark Greater Magellanic Clouds? How many young cute Alpha Centauri Adams—does it take to make an Eden? Young Martian guyz—with big adolescent Adam’s apples. Going spaz from one end of the galaxy—all the way to the other?

The galaxy I grew up in—the solar system that was my home. The Planet that was my Home World—the Apocalypto Nova that destroyed it all?

I threw myself at his feet—how many Wizard Apprentice droidboyz could I fall in love with? Before the Altair, Adebaran , Alpha Centauri gods grew jealous—destroying me in my greedy dread-inspiring love to be more than merely human?

One evening I was totally exhausted—near some ruined circular Martian temple we’d landed at nearby to explore. I finally fell asleep in a zero-grav hammock next to him—out there in some abandoned Amazonis deserted place. In my REM dreaming man’s dream—I dreamed the kid awake once again. He was calling my name—from inside the pyramid.

The consecrated period of Martian time long ago—it was beginning to recede ahead of time again very quickly. Subverting & transgressing all the arcane secrets of the kid’s inner universe—reaching backwards & stretching forward into Zoid-zeit realms of the future. Apparently he was the only Nexus-9 droid in existence—the other ones were waiting in the distant Martian past & Oort Cloud Belt future?

This was no big deal secret to anybody—his Tyrell inheritance & vat-birth beginnings were dream-memories from way back before I first met him. Under the pretext of android pedagogical love—the sorcerer’s apprentice became more like me. A lousy two-bit bounty hunter all for himself—taking in & keeping my own personal droid doppelganger kid.

The kid I knew would probably leave me soon—the important thing was that we both helped each other to understand. Eventually, inevitably, erotically—we’d become one. But Hellas Town wouldn’t last forever—sooner or later all the lost leagues from its past would catch up with it. All the impenetrable secrets of the ruins—bleaching the sun downstream somewhere in lost Martian time.

The kid would sooner or later forget me. Overcome by some uncanny zip-lock preprogrammed erasure ticket—the twilight circularity would continue with identical droid-human love affairs further on down downstream. I’d see him on the vidscreen someday—faces telling faces about a magical youth in a temple on Titan who can levitate. A youth who could walk on the Rings of Saturn—and not be methane-singed or burned.

I’d worry about the kid sometimes—whatever truths or lies he’d discover about himself in the future. That he was nothing new really—that a droidboy army of phantasm-drones were waiting subsurface. Created by Tyrell—trained by TerraCorp.

Conceived organ by organ—neuron by neuron. In vast underground Martian vats—submarine greenhouses of dreamtime slime. Taught a little love & private eye craft in Hellas—learned by him above-surface with me. Learning to smile—like they meant it. Thru a vast thousand—and one Martian nights.

And then strangely enough—the most amazing thing would happen. Exactly as Mars was finally cataclysmically destroyed—by powerful concentric rings of mega-holocaust atomic rays. The Red Planet Mars—becoming a brief crown of crumbling cinders. As the Golden Age—of Solar Space Exploration came to a close. In that flash-second, I had this final déjà vu dream-image—ahead of time & space by many light years.

I realized with a certain flashback humiliation & terror—that for all magical & practical purposes I’d been mistaken. The kid wasn’t just a droidboy fantasma—actually I was one too. I was but a mere Terran apparition—some droidboy from the future was dreaming me even as I spoke…

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