STOP. DO NOT “LIKE” THIS POST. PLEASE READ THIS FIRST.
EDIT: very special “thank you” to the generic-blogger automaton who liked this post and confirmed my suspicions. Maybe I’ll just disable likes entirely. Is that a thing that can even be done? I’ll check, whatever. I hate wordpress so much :’)
Please. I’ve got this weird(normal, valid, and probably correct) feeling that everyone who uses wordpress just “likes” every post they see without reading it. Pretty LAME right? Well if you’re actually reading this, please do me, a stranger, a helpful favor and INSTEAD OF LIKING THE POST, just leave a comment below. Say literally anything, just leave an “lol” I don’t care. I just want to get a feel for how much people actually use WordPress’s reade– you know as I’m typing this I realize how stupid it is. Of course no-one uses wordpress to actually find material they enjoy, right? What am I, like 100? I should just make a twitter and jump off a cli
anyway, leave a comment please 🙂 if you do, you’ll instantly win my friendship or whatever else you want that is of lesser value. Or DON’T leave a comment, but then ALSO, DON’T like the post. If you do, you are admitting that you aren’t a human being but a mere flesh-machine.
Anyway, sorry for being weird and lame. Please enjoy this work in progress 🙂
new story. maybe new book??? :O ;O 😮 idk, but it’s something
more coming soon
CHAPTER 1: THE EMOJI FACTORY
>What’s left of you, skeleton-man? Hmm?? When all the lies are peeeeeeeeled away, what is left?
“Exciting New Plastics!!”
>Is that all you can say now?
“New emojis are coming, you can’t stop them. You wouldn’t want to.”
>How could something like you know what I want?
“I know you better than you think I do.”
(I punished him further for lying: another one-half hour on the rack. Big ouchie to say the least.)
>Are you ready to talk?
“JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!” he cried out. “I’LL GIVE YOU ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD!”
>You think I want your money? Your worthless FED-backed money? The FED is DED. I’ve got all the Dogecoin I could ever need, and I don’t need a lot. Not to secure my future.
He shrieked in anger because i disrespected his (false) god. “U WONT ESCAPE US! WE’RE EVERYWHERE! WE ARE EVERY.THING!”
I started giggling like i was being tickled on my feet. my feet are VERY ticklish. It frightened him and he stopped pretending to be dangerous for a second.
“PLEEEEEEASE! THERE MUST BE SOMETHING YOU DESIRE!”
>ur right. i need to know the truth. Tell me where the emoji factory is located.
he started crying like a girl who just got told she could stand to lose a few lbs. sobbing and blubbering because he didnt want to do what he’d have to do.
>r u gonna tell me or am i gonna stretch ur bones some more lol? (I inquired)
“FINE!” he squealed. “THE EMOJI FACTORY… is on the Moon.”
*I kick him in his knee so hard it shattered like an egg.*
>YOU’RE LYING! THE MOON IS WHERE HELL IS.
I had his pain-inhibitors turned on so he could respond to me, weakly. “I know… it’s all the same.”
All the same. It’s all the same. Why hadn’t I seen that before? I got going immediately, but I dragged him with me. He’d be my ticket inside. I chucked him into my moon-rocket’s cargo compartment. Perfectly roomy for someone like him. A physically “average” man, but with such a small spirit he took up no room at all. For the moon-rocket existed not in 3D-space, but just outside of it, in the Dimension of Souls. My moon-rocket was fueled by passion and excitement, so from the cockpit, I started asking this guy about the future of social-technology and “what progress looks like for marginalized eyes” in “ensuring equity.” False-joy might not be Eco-friendly but it’s fuel nonetheless.
But once he got started, he wouldn’t shut up for over 20 minutes, despite me saying “OK” multiple times in the tone of voice most people would recognize means it’s time to wrap up your story. The rocket’s fuel-tanks were full, and I had had more than enough hearing about the Internet of Things and what it was a good thing that my smart-thermostat could wake up my computer and open a tab of Recommended For You porn videos. I had to put him down. And so I needed a new way to get inside the Emoji Factory. I was almost there and had to think fast.
I decided, ultimately, that I’d fly through the wall and try my luck. My luck had always been exceptional, but on this day, it was particularly exceptional and I landed smack-dab in a board meeting room. Hideous, vile, cartoonish demons were drawing flowers on whiteboards. I hopped out of my moon-rocket and announced my intentions.
>I NEED TO SPEAK WITH YOUR CEO.
This was not a Karen-demand, I wasn’t being an obnoxious cons00mer demanding free plastic or better customer service. I was demanding holy retribution.
They hissed and spat at me, but they couldn’t refuse. They could sense what I’d do to them if they did. And so they led me through the pristine, sterile bowels of the Emoji Factory.
I knew things might go South in a bad way from here, so I left my mortal coil behind on its own, leaving just enough of myself inside of it to function. This is hisstory.
At the time, I never thought to give him a name. I will now. His name was Sev and I’m naming him after a character from the Star Wars Republic Commando video game from 2005. I won’t get into that now, but at some point I might have to start “nerding out” about it, and I apologize in advance because Sev’s story (our Sev) is much more important and I don’t want to distract from it.
I didn’t just name that human body of mine Sev because I really liked Star Wars Republic Commando (although I did and I do– it’s a CLASSIC game, and one of the greatest tactical military first-person shooter ever created.) I named him Sev because of his very first action on his own.
It must have shocked him, or spooked him a little when so much of his soul abrubtly exited his body, because what he did next was shocking and spooky. He pushed the demon(shaped like a woman in a business suit) walking in front of him down on to the ground. Then he threw his arm back and clocked the demon-man walking behind him, knocking him out cold as Level-9. The corporate hell-mercenaries–the ELITE GUARD of Level 1–jumped out of the ceiling, swarming him on all sides. But at this point, of course, Sev had shape-shifted into a bear, as I would have done if I were in his shoes.
After he’d finished devouring the black heart of the last merc, Sev must have gained some “knowledge”. Because he transformed back into a man and fished through the merc’s pockets. He found a set of keys and walked back through the halls into what appeared to be the security office.
From there, he opened a locker and took out … the finest machine the demonic gunsmiths of the Moon were capable of producing. Of course, it was based on the already-existing, Man-made M14EBR. An M14EBR, right? That’s “Enhanced Battle Rifle.” I’m not going to pretend to know a lot about guns. I know the difference between a magazine and a clip, I know a bit about the .45 v 9mm debate (seems to me that the 9mm wins out in practicality even if the .45 is more “manly”) but I don’t own any and I’ve never even been to a range. Just too lazy, can ya believe it? The only reason I knew about the EBR was from the video game “Killing Floor 2” “AGAIN with the video games? What a waste of time!” you cry out as you binge-watch Netflix and tune in for every sports broadcast you can, absorbing all of the commercials and advertisements thrown at you, filling your mind with how much more absorbant name-brand paper towels are and side-effects for HIV medication that you’ll never need. Everyone knows that all entertainment is a distraction. But there’s ACTIVE and PASSIVE entertainment. Is you sitting on the couch with drooling hanging out of your mouth somehow less degenerate than my fingers and mind moving at the speed of light, making calculations and taking estimated leaps of faith to safely and efficiently slaughter hordes of mutants as Christian metal is blaring out of the speakers even louder than the cries of the Un-Men falling before my righteous fury? I don’t buy it, sorry. This entire story could just be a defense of video games, but it won’t be I promise. Vice is vice is vice. C.S. Lewis warned us about the “lesser of two evils” and I haven’t forgotten it at least in this moment. But I’m sure you haven’t heard the last of this.
I DID check with the demon gunsmiths later, and they CONFIRMED for me that yes, the weapon Sev had taken was INDEED based on the M14EBR.
But Sev grabbed this rifle and felt a surge of energy going through him. The man (for the mercs had been still-human Men) whose heart Sev had eaten in his ursine fury had been gifted this rifle, this very expensive rifle, by his lover, a femboy who wore a lot of striped knee socks and called himself “Kira.” He was cute, I guess.
The remnants of that man, living now inside of Sev stirred when Sev took hold of it, and he found himself entirely familiar with it, despite never having held any gun before. Is this too long of an explanation? Maybe I should have mentioned earlier that “Sev” from Republic Commando was a marksman. But this rifle, and Kira, and the dead merc are very important to Sev’s story anyway, so it’s good that you get this information anyway, believe me this will all come in later.
When Sev had put in a fresh MAGAZINE, NOT CLIP, into the rifle, he knew what he had to do. He had to do what I’d been too afraid to do.
Afraid? Me? Hard to believe, right? Well maybe I’m being a little unfair to myself. In fact, yes, I will say that I’m being unfair to myself. What should I or could I be afraid of when God is on my side? I was just being pragmatic, honest. If I failed and my soul got caught in that place, God only knows how much time would be wasted. And even now I still don’t think there was any time to waste.
The Emoji Factory had long-been a target of the Final Crusaders. An extra-secretive fraternity of pseudo-Christian chickenmen who didn’t want to live through the End Times and were desperately trying to stave it off. Trying to defy God’s will by trying to maximize Good on Planet Earth was a bit strange and I didn’t know how to feel about it that first night when they contacted me for my services as an interdimensional shapeshifting assassin. Not least of all because I was not an interdimensional shapeshifting assassin. I’d only just built my moon-rocket that could travel through one other dimension (and only as far as Earth’s Moon) But they’d assured me that even though God was still hell-bent (LOL) on Ending our planet, the Emoji Factory was not specifically included in His plans. But every day that it existed, it indeed brought us all closer and closer to Armaggeddon. (And the Final Crusaders didn’t want that.) But it was an evil too terrible to tolerate, even for the End Times which as of this writing is only-now just beginning. So God (I’m told) didn’t mind it being eliminated, and if it meant a few more days of Peace, the Final Crusaders were willing to risk my life to destroy it.
What was the Emoji Factory? Most people thought it was just where emojis were produced. The Crusaders had told me it was something far, far more sinister, but I either didn’t believe them or I didn’t care, I don’t remember now. What the Emoji Factory represented to me was ascension. A way out and above. I had been assured by a third and I believe more reliable party that helping the Crusaders by infiltrating the Emoji Factory would reveal to me the secret necessary to travel farther and further than the Moon.
I’ll talk more about my moon-rocket later I think, maybe. As for Sev, he’d landed himself in some hot water now as the remaining guards charged down the hall to the security office. The neat thing about the security office was that it faced the hallway with a screen of bulletproof glass above the desk, with a hole intended for passing through ID cards, passports, and other documents. Sev stuck the barrel of his rifle through it instead, and picked off the unprepared guards like fish in a barrel. He took another half-dozen half-lives and when he was finished, replenished his ammunition, took a backpack full of other useful equipment (which I may reveal as necessary) and left.
As I watched Sev stomping through the halls of Level-1, I was filled with something dangerously close to Pride. He stopped at a secretary’s desk. I’d later confirm (although I guessed correctly even at the time) that this was the secretary of the Big Cheese, the most important human being on the Moon. The door beyond her desk led to the most powerful human “alive.” I felt bad when the secretary tried to stop Sev from entering. She must have been making some handsome dollarydoos, because she leaped from her desk and stood in Sev’s way as she desperately called for a no-longer-alive security team. Maybe Sev went overboard next, but in a sick way, I’m kind of glad he did. Because when he punched her in the face so hard that she died on her feet and fell as a corpse, I no-longer had to say that I’d named him after a video game character. Now I could say (although you know the truth) that I’d named him after Severian from The Book of the New Sun.
The secretary’s name had been Kelly, and seeing her lifeless body on the floor might have been the first wake-up call for Sev. It was hard to imagine her being evil, crumpled up there like a blonde spider. Stupid, certainly, but evil? Maybe not. Maybe even “probably” not. But there she was, dead as Hell. The problem with whatever doubt or regret Sev was probably feeling was that while it might have served to eventually make his spirit stronger, it immediately made his body weaker. For when he stepped in through the door to the Big Cheese’s office, he was grabbed by two thugs. I shouldn’t call them thugs, I’m sorry that’s rude. They were the two most physically attractive women Sev would have ever seen even if he hadn’t just been born minutes before. But their bodies were augmented by nanomachines, as the Prophet Kojima had seen coming decades ago. Sev struggled in vain to break from their iron-grips, and the Big Cheese walked out from behind his desk with a lit stogie, which he put out on Sev’s forehead. It hurt Sev, but he didn’t cry out.
I don’t know if it was a coincidence or what, but the cigar left a perfect inverted cross on Sev’s forehead. The Big Cheese didn’t notice it and turned back to his desk as he began delivering a long and boring speech about the importance of making language inclusive and accessible for everyone in the world.
I knew this was the great lie behind the Emoji Factory. I’d always suspected its true purpose, but when a seven-winged archangel briefed me on the mission days before I’d began, my suspicions were confirmed. The real purpose of the Emoji Factory was to destroy complex thinking by devolving all languages into simple emotional expression. That was the end-game. No more words. Just small pictures of poop with different faces. It was nothing less and nothing more. So imagine my non-surprise when the employee I’d kidnapped revealed to me that the factory was located on the Moon. In Hell.
What were we talking about?
Oh, the Big Cheese just put out his cigar on Sev’s forehead. What a jerk, right?
He was droning on about something probably really interesting for people without souls, but I stopped paying attention for about an hour or so before I checked back and noticed that Sev’s head was down. Had he been defeated? I got a little anxious feeling in my stomach because I figured I’d have to hop back in and finish what I’d started after all, but I looked closer and saw that Sev was just snoozing peacefully. Interesting. The Big Cheese just kept talking though, and he definitely noticed Sev was sleeping. Was he casting a spell or something? I decided to put my earbuds back in and have a listen.
“–and so you see my dear boy, we here at Emoji are Proud to be ‘Empowering the Voices of the Disempowered.'” I noticed his literal forked-tongue slide out whenever he hissed his s’sssssssss. What was Sev doing? Why had he just fallen asleep? It was boring, but he had a job to do.
The Big Cheese went on talking for another three hours, uninterrupted. Finally, it looked like it was time for his two sexy guards to take their 15-minute breaks, and they released Sev who woke up immediately.
“Bye,” they said.
The Big Cheese stammered and demanded to know where they were going.
“Gonna take a break lol,” they said together.
“N-no, you can’t leave, I’m not finished with my sermon.”
“We here at Emoji are a Family. And Family Takes 15 Minute Breaks Every Four Hours,” they recited from their employee manuals.
The Big Cheese pulled his massive body out from behind his desk, but the guards had already left. He tried the door, but it wouldn’t open! Uh oh!
Sev woke up grabbed the Big Cheese’s leg. He pulled him down to the floor and demanded to know how to get to Level 2.
“NO HUMAN HAS EVER BEEN TO LEVEL 2!” the Big Cheese screamed.
“HOW. DO. I. GET. TO. LEVEL. 2.” Sev repeated slowly.
But the Big Cheese just wouldn’t stop talking nonsense about why it was important to not try to stand in the way of Progress. Sev left him there and opened the door effortlessly. The guards were on the other side, eating salads dressed in lava. They blankly stared at him with poker faces only women can get away with without you wanting to break– has a guy ever just stared at you expressionless? You know the feeling. There’s no good reason for it: they’re either idiots or idiots who think they’re smart and are trying to mess with you, so either way, it’s a face the deserves to be annihilated. With a woman, there can be an air of mystery behind it. Who knows what kind of secret, genius, magical thoughts a woman is thinking at any given moment? (LMAO). Anyway, there they were, innocently staring at Sev.
“Hey,” said Sev. “Give me my gun.”
One of them poured some more lava on her salad as the other went to fetch Sev’s rifle.”
“Are you really going down to Level 2?” she asked him as she forked it over.
“Yeah, I just don’t know how to get there.”
“We can show you the way,” they replied in unison. “If you do something for us.”
Sev didn’t like taking Side-Quests so he told them to ‘eat it.’ But they decided to show him anyway because they still had another 10 minutes left and it was only a 2 minute walk.
They walked down a flight of stairs and arrived at a security checkpoint. Behind the glass checking IDs was a truly foul creature that I could describe in more detail but will not. It didn’t matter, and mattered even less when Sev stuck his gun through the hole in the glass, as he had upstairs and from the other side, and shot the creature in the stomach (I think) four times. An alarm went off, and the two girls wished Sev all the luck in the world as they giggled and ran back upstairs.