“Trust I seek and I find in you . . . Every day for us something new . . . Open mind for a different view . . . And nothing else matters” Metallica, 1992.
Jack P Rocket-Man Chronicle, REV.10.
Jack P Rocket-Man is FICTION. No warranties expressed or implied.
REM: That Roman Arch Door in the tower: you fixed the latch, and found your way back?
JPRM: Sort of . . .
Friend Karl, A.K.A. Alien Visitor Three, was a splendid illusionist. It turns out the entire drama was a test: a hallucination, a lucid dream composed of surrealistic, anachronistic, disruptive sequences. They wanted to see what I could do.
When I grew up it was in the country, the boonies, everything dirty and rough. Then my parents moved to a strange little town with the polluted river, and the rats, and dull aggressive people who clustered into little gangs. Tribes.
For a year after I got away I lived inside a tall city in Massachusetts with too many cars, the hippies, the chemicals, the sadness. I knew then I was born an Extremophile. Finally, a half-century later, I learned to start turning who I was into an advantage. I’m doing very well now.
In that Tower Dream I was on the move, defending myself rightfully, plus I had The Machine with me — an excellent Multi-Tool — it read my needs and transformed into a Katana, a Samurai Sword. There were people to kill, problems to solve, and broken stuff to fix! Life felt normal again!
The stairs heading down from Floor-One were different, more modern; the metal rail was thinner, denser, a better alloyed metal. The stair treads were thinner but firmer, they seemed to be machined to very high standards, rather than rough-hewn.
I paused for a brief moment to reflect on the idea of quality, its deterioration in the twenty-first century, and the unintentional, accumulating cultural damages that were piling up like a worldwide car crash.
The second stairway continued clockwise-down, a tactical advantage for a “righty” armed with sword while battling his way back up. I had to descend about a hundred feet just to fetch a replacement barrel-bolt for that busted door at ground level. If there was a spare!
I didn’t have a better idea, and knew in my heart that stasis meant death. Down I went. The lighting improved, it got whiter and brighter as I headed down. The walls were very smoothly finished, no bog smell, no bugs. Would there be more adversaries below?
I reached the bottom, expecting another Roman Arch Door. Instead, I encountered a pristine white rectangular modern-looking panel that seemed strangely familiar. The lever-latch opening hardware was solid, not chintzy, and keyed. Was it locked? There were no further options. Keep moving . . .
I tightened my grip on the The Machine, only mildly surprised that it reverted to its original mini-brick form and tungsten smoothness.
I put The Machine back in my shirt pocket, placed my hand on my Fallkniven Pilot Survival Knife, which wasn’t standard Airport Security issue (but did have “Pilot” in its name), and touched the door latch. Was it locked? No, it rotated smoothly, solidly, silently. I slammed the door open . . .
And found myself back inside the hidden room with the four alien visitors and Mister Director. They didn’t seem to mind the slamming door, nor were they concerned about my personal Fallkniven, they believed in the right to bear arms! All the theatrics hadn’t seemed to bother them, perhaps because I was already SEATED. Alien Karl, the hypnotist, had merely conducted a test on me. A test of my reaction time, imagination, and determination. It was all a setup!
REM: The alien visitors, they were testing you? Did they confirm they had, as you said to me, “a temporal problem?” Were they connected to Gregory Johnstone, the Engineer you were freelancing with? Had Gregory met with the alien visitors?
JPRM: That’s enough . . . Gregory had NOT met the visitors, unless he was lying, which he was capable of. My wife Louise and I are Empaths, biological lie-detectors. Gregory hadn’t met them YET. But he and I were working for them, I found out that early morning at the Tura International Airport, THT, in New Hampshire.
Did you know that Extremophiles are good at learning new software programs? It’s the Reptilian Brain part of their minds. That section, according to people who study brains, is mostly hard-wired and very stubborn. That’s why some folks keep keeping on . . . and some die.
Like a dark, determined, feeling of “keep going” — when your whole body, mind, and soul want to cut and run. About this, Jimmy Morrison, singer and lyricist of The Doors wrote: “I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.”
It’s that way with survivors. Like having blue eyes or sports genes. Survivor genes.
REM: Didn’t Jim Morrison die young for a “Lizard King?” Age 27?
JPRM: Yes. The other parts of him, higher levels of his mind, were too intelligent, too vulnerable for this primitive world. Remember, luck trumps all? Jimmy Morrison had shit luck, he unintentionally over-medicated his Lizard King. He needed a rest, all that sadness. It was destiny. Fate.
Next, I noticed in the hidden room on Floor Six-Point-Five the strange visitors had revised the seating arrangement. They seemed to be obsessed with ritual, geometry and mathematics; they’re kind of eccentric, quirky, worse than humans. One click anti-clockwise, they were. I was now facing diagonally opposite Visitor Four, who I had that day called Slim.
Slim was vocal, like Angela and Gracie. For some reason Karl hadn’t said a peep. My guess was he was the least “normal” of the four visitors, though they were pretty darned strange, all of them. Karl’s function was “Savant of Mesmerism.” It was easier than going through all the trouble of a PowerPoint presentation for them I guessed. Also it was a dynamic TEST, not a mere static display.
Slim’s job was to wrap things up. He was the leader, the boss. I was congratulated on my ability to think fast, act wisely, and effectively. I interpreted that as approval for the self-defense killing of the four intruders in the Tower Simulation who were, he confirmed, an intermediate stage between us humans, and them visitors. They were part us!
They needed Gregory Johnstone because he was a specialized type of living computer, very detail-oriented and could write unique firmware programs. He was a tool, one they needed. They just put up with him.
Slim glanced at Karl momentarily, who was now seated next to Mister Director, the airport manager, and nodded approval. Slim then nodded at me. I was initiated; into what, I didn’t know.
The visitors indeed had a temporal problem, about a century — no, exactly. The reason they were so darkly, uniformly, pigmented was that their sun, source of light and life, was acting up. The visible spectrum and infra-red were diminishing, so their planet was cooling. Simultaneously, a different particle was manifesting in the heliosphere. One that was FASTER than light! Also it drilled tiny little subatomic holes into planet earth and everything on it!
I told him I was tired. I didn’t care if their sun was changing. Slim explained their sun was OUR sun too. Year 2103. Two human generations, approximately.
Did I want my great-grandchildren to die?