Friday, April 29, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (56)

(A sequel to The Strange Story of Mr. Black and Ms Gray.)

They had died when helping thwart a plan to undermine the government of the United States. Now Ben and Susan have returned from the dead and they must bring that government down. Standing in their way are Michael Black and Michelle Gray, the bodies of whom they now occupy.
-(The Story begins HERE)-
You Can't Choose Your Relations

Through all that had taken place over the past year, Michelle had been strong. At that moment, however, the defensive walls she'd built around her emotions began to crumble. Rosie had struck a raw nerve.

I could empathize with her, having had the same reaction when I'd learned that Jeremy Baxter was my twin brother. Even though the minds of Ben Bering and Susan Parsons had been respectively transferred into the bodies of Michael and Michelle, there had remained trace memories of them within our brains. While the minds of Ben and Susan and their memories dominated us, there were fragmented memories of the real Michael and Michelle within us. Michelle would have to learn to cope, as I had, with a past she'd never known to exist.

The professor waited for his declaration to be absorbed by Michelle before speaking, "Neither Michelle nor her sister Vanessa Manning ever knew of the existence of a sister. They were raised in separate homes, thousands of miles apart."

"Vanessa Manning?" Michelle uttered. "Why does that name sound familiar?"

It was Faye who spoke up with the answer, "The First Lady ... Vanessa Addams! Her maiden name was Manning!"

"What? But she doesn't resemble me ... she doesn't even look like Michelle Gray," Michelle countered trying to maintain her persona as Susan.

"Manning? In Nam, there was a First Lieutenant Manning," Brock O'Day mused, "... Thomas Manning, I think. He was killed in the same incident when Jimmy was wounded when we were trying to get out of the country. Any connection?"

Jordan nodded, "He was Vanessa's and Michelle's father."

"Whoa!" Michelle interjected. "That can't be right. That would put the First Lady and me ... Michelle in our mid-forties. I ... she's only twenty-five!"

When Jordan gnashed his teeth and raised his hands to his temples it was evident that he was evoking the mind of Bishop King. "It would be apropos for me to say that you can't choose your relations. I'm afraid it was my suggestion that several of Gates' officers should make deposits at a certain bank."

Baxter nodded, "That bank of course was a sperm bank!"

"Yes, Jeremy." King acknowledged. "As we all know now, I foresaw even then that since our involvement in Vietnam was not a declared war, there would be future problems for those veterans, living and dead, to receive their proper benefits. Things have improved over the years, but there are still those who are denied not only benefits but recognition for their service to their country. Alas, it is the families of those who fell over there who still suffer from the neglect."

"For all of his insatiable hunger for power," began Stu Jankowski, "Julius Gates did try to look after the welfare of those who served under him. He and Mr. King approached me about covering a story of a widow receiving the sperm of her deceased husband."

"She gave birth to twins, but they were not identical," said King picking up the story and glancing at Michelle. "Financially as a widowed single mother, she didn't think that she could raise both children. It was easy enough to convince her to give the child up for adoption."

Michelle grimaced but was waiting with baited breath for the rest of the story. "So she ended up in the home of a family named Gray ..."

King smiled, "Randall Quigley Gray, or R.Q. as we called him, was the man responsible for virtually all of the programming behind the mind research. He and his assistant ... Jimmy ... " He paused and glanced at Brock O'Day, "... together they developed the neural nano-implants."

"Where is this Mr. Gray? How come we've never heard his name before now?" I asked.

"Yes," Michelle asserted, "where is my ... Michelle's ... step-father?"

"I'm afraid," King swallowed, "that R.Q. is no longer with us. He was a victim of Julius Gates' treachery several years ago. There were other victims too ..."

"He's been eliminating anyone and everyone with knowledge of the mind research," I mused aloud. "Once he's powered up this current program and linked to the satellites ... then all of us here ... are expendable."

Brock O'Day growled, "Then Jimmy's death was not a case of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Jimmy was the target and the ransacking of Ben's apartment was just a cover?"

"It's true that Jimmy was a target, but they were looking for the discs and tapes of the experiments in Ben's apartment too," King responded. He eyed Brock for a moment, "Sergeant O'Day, I know Jimmy was your close friend, but what did you know of his family?"

"Family?" O'Day said quizzically. "As far as I know, his parents were dead. He always said that his army buddies were his only family."

"He lived across the hall from my ... Ben's apartment," I offered. "We spoke often, but he never mentioned having any family."

"Jimmy understood how ruthless Gates was. He met with me and Professor Jordan to express his fears that Gates suspected that he might be playing both ends from the middle. When he heard that R.Q. Gray had died in a mysterious accident, he was worried not only about his own welfare but that of his younger brother."

"Brother?" O'Day barked. "Jimmy had a kid brother? Who ...?"

King didn't answer the question directly but continued with his narrative, "Jimmy agreed to have his mind tapped to have knowledge of his brother to be erased from his mind. Before that was done, he arranged for his brother to be transplanted with memories of another life. The brother then moved in with the Gray family as their adopted son."

Michelle gasped, "Then he would have been Michelle's step-brother?"

"Damn!" I muttered. "When you said we can't pick our relations, you weren't kidding. But you people have had no problem picking our relations for us!"

"Mr. King ... Professor Jordan, whoever you are at the moment," Michelle cried, "who is Jimmy's brother ... Michelle's step brother?"

King looked at me and said, "Michael, I can tell by the gleam in your eye that you know who he is."

I nodded, "Yes. It can only be ... David!"

To be continued ...

An Immortal President


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trump's Trump a Triumph?

Why now? Why wait so long to produce it?

Is he afraid of Donald trump? Does he honestly think that Trump poses a reelection threat? I seriously hope not.

One thing IS certain. The so-called birthers will not be satisfied. Had this document been produced before he won the Democratic nomination, the question of his birthright would have never become an issue in the first place. Throw in his initial reluctance to wear the American flag pin on his lapel and the numerous times he has shown ill-advised over-the-top respect for the Muslim people, is it any wonder that his patriotism would be called into question?

In his recent address to the press he referred to the matter as silliness. Excuse me, but he brought it on himself by not producing the document when his place of birth was challenged. Is he so arrogant and/or stubborn that he felt he was above it all? "I'm the President, how dare anyone question me?"

Paraphrasing, he also said that he had more important things to do. Then why in the hell isn't he doing those things?

I just had an epiphany! He purposely has been letting the cloud of doubt about his birthright hover over the heads of the American people as a distraction from the fact that his performance thus far as President has been for the most part inept.

Why produce the birth certificate now? It makes sense when you think about it. Time is growing short before it will be time for him to hit the campaign trail for the 2012 elections. By finally producing the certificate, he is hoping its specter will have dissipated by the time the people place their votes.

How Do Editorial Cartoonists See It?

How Does One "Birther" See It?

I had to laughingly admire the effort that someone put into the above copy of the just-released birth certificate.

I'll conclude by reiterating that Obama brought this all on himself. When he fails to be reelected, perhaps he'll sit down at home and wish he was NOT born in the United States!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Easter Diet


Yesterday I went to the doctor
For my yearly physical.
My blood pressure was high.
My cholesterol was high.
I'd gained some weight,
and I didn't feel so hot.
My doctor said eating right
doesn't have to be complicated and
it would solve my physical problems.
He said:
Just think in colors.
Fill your plate with bright colors.
Try some greens, oranges, reds,
maybe something yellow, etc.
So I went right home
and ate an entire bowl of
bright colors.

And Sure Enough,
I Felt Better Immediately !!
I never knew eating right could be so easy !!

Now stay healthy,
eat your colors,
and have a nice day.

-(Thanks, Cathy)

№ 2121

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tickling the Funny Bone

Let's Start With a Little Political Incorrectness:

I had just come out of the store with two porterhouse steaks, a jumbo sausage, a bag of chips, and a 6-pack of beer. A homeless man sat there and said, "I haven't eaten for two days."
I told him, "I wish I had your frickin' will power."

Top tip: if you're camping in the summer and the attractive girl in the next tent tells you that because it's so hot she will be sleeping with her flaps open, it's not necessarily an invitation to casual sex. Wish me luck.....I appear in court next Monday.

A fat girl served me food in McDonalds at lunch time. She said, 'sorry about the wait.' I said, 'don't worry, you're bound to lose it eventually.'

I was behind a rather large woman at the checkout. She had on a pair of jeans that said, 'Guess.'
I said, "I don't know........maybe 350 pounds."

Snow in the forecast! The TV weather gal said she was expecting 8 inches tonight, I thought to myself "fat chance with a face like that!"

I have a new pick up line that works every time! It doesn't matter how gorgeous or out of my league a woman might be, this line is a winner and always end up in bed with them. Here's how it goes, "Excuse me love, could I ask your opinion? Does this damp cloth smell like chloroform to you?"

Years ago it was suggested 'that an apple a day kept the doctor away.' But since many doctors are now Muslim, I've found that a bacon sandwich works best.

I took my Biology exam last Friday. I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently Blacks and Mexicans were not the correct answers.

A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her.  She immediately moved to another seat. This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again.The man seemed more amused.When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.
The case came up in court.

The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself.

The man replied, "Well your Honor, it was like this,when the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition.

She sat down under a sign that said, 'The Double Mint Twins are coming' and I grinned.

Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, 'Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling,' and I had to smile.

Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, 'William's Big Stick Did the Trick,' and I could hardly contain myself.

But, Your Honor, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, 'Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident!'

... I just lost it.'"


In a small town in Texas, the local madam operated a telephone service. The police finally arrested her and seized her big black book in which her talent was listed. Each officer on the force was assigned a group of the names in it and told to check them out. After a week, the Chief called a meeting to get their reports.

When it became the turn of Constable Ralph to tell what he had found, he said, "I'm sorry, Chief, but I think I should disqualify myself. One of the ladies on whom I called is an eighty-four-year-old woman. She is so charming that I have to tell you that I have fallen in love with her."

"Holy Moley!" exclaimed the Chief. "I'm sure surprised at you, Ralph. You've been a policeman almost all your life -- and here you are, falling for the oldest trick in the book!"






Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cletis Clyde's Oskars

This here is a Tongue-In-Cheek Production.

And iffin y'all doesn't knows what tongue-in-cheek means, then y'all deserves a tongue lashing! And iffin ya really wants to knows, go look it up. You know, gurgle it.

Ya know what really gets my goat? Well, jest 'bout anything gets my goat what ain't right as fer as I can see. But this here post is all 'bout what's a-gettin' my goat this very minute. And my goat started to gettin' got when I wuz a sittin' in my Lazy Boy recliner a lookin' thru my collection of video pickture shows.

Now, I ain't braggin' but I has one of the biggest collections in the whole holler exceptin' maybe fer my cuzzin Clem. He jest has 'em lyin' all over the place and not in any kind of order a'tall. Me, I keeps 'em organized so's I can find 'em real easy like when I wants to see a p'ticular one.

I likes to keep 'em 'ranged by what what kind of pickture and what's in 'em. Some of my favorites I keeps close to my chair a locked up in my tool box. They's the ones wiffin' a lot of T&A. And no, I'm not a vegetablarian - I don't have movies 'bout Taters and Asparagus!

Anyways, back to what it was what got my goat. I think I'm a purty good judge of what a good movie is. Hell, I aint no conasewer ... Ya know, that's one dumb word. It sounds like a 'scaped pris'ner what tried to hide inna septic tank. But I'm a digrestin' ...

Like I was a gettin' at, I got me a whole bunch of good watchin' movies. And ya know what? Not a single nary one of 'em ever won one of them Academic Awards. In fact, I don't think they was even dominated fer an Oskar.

I think all them Hollywood types a been usin' that stuff like cocaine and Rogaine, exceptin' theys a been puttin' the one fer the head up theys noses and the udder way 'round. And fer the record, I bet theys can't figger out which orfices they's s'posed to put chapstick and Preparation H either.

So anyways, this is leadin' up to what's gonna be makin' my goat feel better. I done decided to pick out some movies and give out my Oskar prizes. Now don't y'all be laffin' at my s'lections, coz I'm serious. These are Oskars that them Hollywood types should a been givin' out.

Best S'portin' Actress

Pia Zadora as Grimar in the 1964 cult classic, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Eight-year-old Zadora (right in picture) gives an out-of-this-world performance as a young Martian girl.

Best Voice Characterization

Dom DeLuise as the voice of Pizza the Hutt from the epic 1987 space adventure, Spaceballs.

Best Actress

Allison Hayes as Nancy Archer from the 1958 hit, Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. This film demonstrates the old saying 'that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.' So if you're planning on cheating on your wife, check the skies first to make sure there ain't no giant red balls a floatin' around. (I still wonder why it was that some of her clothes grew wiff her.)

Best Actor

James Arness as the Thing from the classic 1951 Science fiction thriller, The Thing from Another World. When an actor who plays a Marshall of Dodge City who can't seem to recognize the fact that Miss Kitty wants him to bed her, can take on a role as a blood craving celery stalk which terrorizes an arctic military base - now that's some powerful actin', folks. Not to take anything from John Carpenter's remake, but his Thing was all done by special effects.

Best Makeup

The 2000 Sci-Fi megahit, Battlefield Earth had fatastic makeup. I was really convinced that John Travolta as Terl and Forest Whittaker as Ker were really aliens from the planet Psychlos.

Best Adaptation of a Comic Book

How do you bring a comic book character to life? If you put a little person, Ed Gale, in a duck suit and voice it by Chip Zien, you get Howard the Duck. Give him a cigar, a taste for beer, a sexy human girl friend, and deadly monsters bent on the destruction of earth - it's the perfect formula for a hit movie. I was 'specially impressed when the feathers on his head stood up when he was in that erotic bed scene!

Best Director

Ed Wood, Jr. for the 1959 classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space. The plot of the film is focused on extraterrestrial beings who are seeking to stop humans from creating a doomsday weapon that would destroy the universe. In the course of doing so, the aliens implement "Plan 9", a scheme to resurrect Earth's dead to get the planet's attention, causing chaos.

Best Picture

When Jaws was released, people was afraid to go back in the water. When Attack of the Killer Tomatoes came out in 1978, I was afraid to go back into the garden!

After the tomatoes have killed a lot of people, they tomatoes are cornered in a stadium. "Puberty Love" is played over the loudspeaker, causing the tomatoes to shrink and allowing the various people at the stadium to squash them by stomping on them repeatedly. Fairchild, meanwhile, is cornered by a giant tomato wearing earmuffs. Dixon saves her by showing the tomato the sheet music to "Puberty Love." He professes his love to her, in song.

I love the ending- when a carrot rises from the Earth and says "All right, you guys. They're gone now."

Well folks, there y'all have it. Iffin I was to have a say so of what Oskar Awards should be given out, these would be some of my picks. Yer lists might not agree with mine, but who cares? This is my list. Go make yer own list!

№ 2119

Friday, April 15, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (55)

(A sequel to The Strange Story of Mr. Black and Ms Gray.)

They had died when helping thwart a plan to undermine the government of the United States. Now Ben and Susan have returned from the dead and they must bring that government down. Standing in their way are Michael Black and Michelle Gray, the bodies of whom they now occupy.
-(The Story begins HERE)-
A Deadly Digital Dilemma

Michelle's eyes darted from Rosie, to Professor Jordan, to Jeremy Baxter and back to Rosie again. When no explanation was tendered she gulped and asked, "What do mean it's time for your dreams to end?"

"My dreams, your dreams," she waved her arm to encompass everyone present, "our butterfly dreams must come to end. The entire network and all the records must be shut down ... destroyed once and for all."

"But, Rosie," I muttered, "you said you were irreversibly linked with the program. What happens to you?"

Her stoic remark was chilling, "I will die."

Professor Jordan stood behind her and rested his hands on her shoulders and spoke with the same fatalistic tone, "...As will I, along with Bishop King." He saw the question forming on their faces and addressed the matter, "Yes, Julius Gates will suffer the same fate."

"What about President Addams? Will he die also?" asked Baxter.

Jordan cleared his throat, "I don't think anyone present wants responsibility of the death of our President on their conscience. You can belay your fears, we don't have to worry about that. Addams will survive and except for some lost memories, he'll be none the worse for wear."

"That's all well and good, Professor," I said, "but how is that he will survive and not Gates? For that matter, why must you and Rosie die?"

"I'm afraid you can blame ... or thank Gates himself for that. You see, it all comes down to all of those neural implants. There are literally hundreds of those devices out there, all of them located at the bases of the skulls of unsuspecting puppets waiting for a programmed command to send them on some mission of Gates' bidding."

O'Day shivered, "We saw first hand at the nursing home what those things can do to someone. It's not a pretty sight when one of those things is detonated."

"I don't understand," Michelle said, "what about the implants? What do they have to do with who survives?"

"As nefarious as those things are," Jordan began, "the implants will actually protect those who have them. In addition to President Addams, everyone one of you in this room have them ... everyone but myself and ... Rosie."

"Perhaps," Rosie chimed in, "since I am attuned to the programs, I can explain it in simpler terms. When I ... when we shut down the entire network, there will be a signal surge throughout Gates' system. The implants will receive two instantaneous commands, one to completely erase the memories of every facet of the mind research and another for them to become inert. Professor Jordan and myself are in agreement that it is very likely the surge will also cause some minor irritation which will in turn trigger the immune system to release leukocytes to the infected area."

I began to feel a familiar twinge in the center of my forehead and a quick glance to Michelle confirmed she was feeling the same sensation. Rosie was looking at us and winked.

"Michelle and Michael, only the two of you will receive my thoughts. With young David's help there will also be a subroutine that will be sent only to your implants. Once the system and all of the programs are shut down, we will need to have someone with their memories intact. A well known quote comes to mind, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' We cannot be blind to the possibility, no matter how remote, that Gates may have had backups to all of his programs."

"Mother," Michelle minded, "is there no other way? There must be a way to save you."

"No, I will die either way. Even now I'm becoming more and more the program and less and less Rosie Gates. My physical body is failing ... without my human brain to control my bodily functions I will expire soon enough. It is a deadly digital dilemma, but one I am prepared for ... it will be my legacy."

In an abrupt tilt of her head she announced vocally, "The time is near. Gates is on his way. He has commandeered a jeep and is holding David hostage. He is planning on using him as a bargaining chip."

"He's alone?" queried Baxter. "Wingate, the FBI agents and his secret service attachment aren't with him?"

"As you predicted, Mr. Baxter," she replied, "he's acting on his one glaring weakness. The arrogance of his ego and the threat to his authority is driving him."

"I'm sensing a showdown," I opined. "Just how is Gates' presence going to help with shutting down everything? Surely you don't think he'll just stand by and allow that to happen."

"That's the tricky part, Michael," Jordan responded. "We have to convince him that in order to save his program and to salvage his plans he will have to link directly with network. Of course, he has to think that his actions are his own."

I motioned my head to where Ben and Susan were quietly seated, almost oblivious to the proceedings. "What of them? What's to happen to them? It seems to me that they've been nothing more than pawns in the whole thing."

"Ah," Jordan winked, "our two friends here have been as perplexing to Gates as well as to you and Michelle. Of course, by now I think it is abundantly clear to all present that they are not Ben Bering and Susan Parsons."

The conversation in the hidden laboratory at the university that Michelle and I had had with Bishop King's interactive holographic image came to mind. "Persephone!" I espoused. I swallowed hard and tried to separate my psyche from the body of Michael black. "Then they really are the twins ... of Ben and Susan."

"Yes," he nodded. He glanced at them with sad eyes and continued, "They've been living a rather unremarkable but comfortable life in a small Midwestern town. I'm afraid it was I who disrupted their lives and brought them into the center of this whole mess."

"Ahem, you can't take the entire blame, Professor ... Bishop," interjected Stu. He made eye contact with Michelle and I and elaborated, "Michael ... Ben ... damn it's so confusing even for me. Your brother, Ben's brother ... is Jonathan Jankowski ... my nephew."

"Nephew?" I stuttered. "Are you trying to tell me ... that would make you ... my uncle?"

"My sister died forty-six years ago giving birth to Jonathan and ... to Thomas. My wife, God rest her soul, and I took them in as their legal guardians. We tried to raise them ..."

"Wait a minute," Susan yelped. She lowered her head in an apologetic gesture for the interruption and said, "Please, can't you fill Michael in later? What about me? What's the story with me and my twin?"

Jordan moved toward her and frowned, "I'm afraid that the lives of you and your twin sister are a little more complicated. Under the circumstances that story is also a very delicate matter."

"What? All of my life has been a lie! You know the truth and you're not going to tell me!" she pleaded.

The professor attempted to place his hands on her shoulders but she moved away. "Michelle, I will reveal the truth ... in time." He spread his open palms before her and with his voice barely perceptible whispered, "You see, there is the matter of another set of twins."

"Professor Jordan, don't patronize me. We know all about Michael's twin brother Jeremy. What does that have to do with me?"

"Michelle," he said, "and I'm deliberately speaking to you as Michelle ... I'm referring to the twin sister of Michelle Gray!"

( To be continued

You Can't Choose Your Relations)


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (54)

The(A sequel to The Strange Story of Mr. Black and Ms Gray.)

They had died when helping thwart a plan to undermine the government of the United States. Now Ben and Susan have returned from the dead and they must bring that government down. Standing in their way are Michael Black and Michelle Gray, the bodies of whom they now occupy.
-(The Story begins HERE)-
End of Dreams

Both Brock and I were left speechless. Having seen Rosie on the surveillance video from the nursing home awakened from her year-long coma was one thing, but to see her in the flesh was quite another.

Her acknowledgement of us was nothing more than a curt nod of her head. She stepped aside and motioned for us to pass through the entrance into the room that lie beyond. Jeremy and Stu, assisting the wounded Professor Jordan led the way, followed by Brock and myself. Faye appeared lost in deep thought and hesitated before stepping forth behind me and her husband. Showing neither recognition of us nor emotion Rosie fell in stride between Ben and Susan as the door closed behind us.

We came into a lighted area, a makeshift living quarters consisting of a pair of sofas and several armchairs around a central conference table. Next to a six-foot high wall which partitioned the quarters from a larger room to the left was a pair of doors leading to bed and bath facilities.

Stu positioned a pillow behind Jordan's head even as Baxter helped him into a lying position on the nearest sofa. Despite his injury Jordan growled with feisty bravado, "Stop making such a fuss over me. I'll live! There is much to do ..."

At that moment a side door swung open to reveal Michelle carrying a bag of supplies to treat Jordan's injury. At her back I caught a glimpse of the lower most steps of the steep stairway she'd descended to join us in the underground hideaway.

Giving way to Michelle as she joined Baxter to attend to the professor, Stu moved over to where Brock O'Day and I were standing. He was apologetic as he addressed me, "Michael, the other day at the bar ... I ..."

"Never mind, Stu," I said patting his shoulder, "forget it. I know now that it was part of a plan which required Michelle and me to be kept in the dark. Clever." I looked about the room at the gathered faces and added, "I'll have to admit that even now I'm not sure who to trust and who not to trust."

"That's understandable. You see, it was also important that Gates didn't suspect that his inner circle had been compromised. Of course, in light of recent events, we've lost that advantage and that's going to make our job more difficult."

Raising my eyebrows I asked, "...And just what is our job? Exposing him and his treachery would mean that the existence of our research would have to be made public. I don't think that is at all wise."

From across the room Jordan shouted, "Damn straight it's not wise!" He sat up and moved his arm to test the dressing Michelle had applied to his wound. He looked up at her and smiled, "It feels good. Thank you."

Michelle returned his smile and faced me with her hands on her hips, "Michael, get over here and let me see what I can do for that broken finger."

The professor patted my arm as we passed and said, "Don't worry, she's a good nurse." He raised his voice to make sure he had everyone's attention, "Why don't the rest of us gather around the conference table and we'll discuss what needs to be done."

Rosie offered her outstretched arms to Faye, "Come, sit next me." When Faye hesitated she pleaded, "Please, Faye. Won't you sit beside your sister?"

The professor stood at the end of the table and studied those seated before speaking, "As most of you know there are two minds in my head. I'm speaking to you now not as Professor Jordan, but as Bishop King." He paused to observe the reactions of those seated before him. "I am in the unique position to know Julius Gate's weakness."

"Weakness?" queried Stu Jankowski.

"Ah, let me explain that," he responded. "It's hard to elaborate, but I'll attempt to do so. I ... we ... the professor and myself, might co-exist in this body in a symbiotic manner, but only one of us may be present at any given moment. We are aware of the other and we can communicate with the other. The mind that is at the forefront is there because the other has conceded. Yet, either one of us can assert ourselves over the other."

My finger in a plastic splint and my hand wrapped in gauze and tape Michelle and I took a seat between Brock and Jeremy. I looked at him and said, "I take it that for now the two of you are in agreement as to what we need to do to carry out your plans?"

He smiled, "Quite. We are very much in agreement."

"You said you knew Gates' weakness?" Michelle asked.

He nodded, "Where the two minds in this brain have been compatible, such is not the case with the brain in the body of President Addams. You've witnessed it yourself. Gates is clearly the dominant mind and for the most part has been keeping the Addams' persona suppressed. Our President is a virtual prisoner in his own body."

"All we had to do was to rattle his cage," Baxter cut in, "and to challenge his authority. Sure enough, the general in him reacted ignoring protocol. No general can tolerate a threat to his authority. Gates is no exception. Throw in a threat to his Presidency ..."

"So," I uttered glancing at Ben and Susan, "you produced our two friends here and arranged for Rosie to be kidnapped from the nursing home. Okay, I can see how he would perceive that as a threat and how it would force him to take action, but ..."

"May I, Professor Jordan?" Rosie stood up and looked over to Jordan. He extended an open hand for her to continue.

"I'm sure you've noticed that I am not quite myself," she began, "and that's true. I'm heavily sedated to keep my mind functioning. I might never really be my old self again." She saw the concern on several of our faces and waved her hand, "I'm okay with that, so please don't shower me with pity."

"...And your awakening from the coma was drug induced?" Faye asked.

"Not exactly," interjected Jordan, "unless you consider software a drug!" Not waiting for the expected shocked responses he quickly continued, "As Rosie lapsed into a coma a year ago, so too was she awakened by means of a software program."

When our collective eyes turned back to Rosie she spoke again, "Not in the manner in which both Professor Jordan and Bishop King are standing before you in the same body, but I too exist in a state of duality."

Brock O'Day whistled softly, "Wait a minute. First we learn that Gates and President Addams are in the same head. Then the professor tells us that he and King are renting the same skull, and now you're going to tell us that someone else is sharing your brain too?"

I placed my good hand on his shoulder and announced, "My friend, I don't think she's referring to ... a someone."

"You are correct, Michael," Rosie said, her demeanor remaining stoic. "Ever since the destruction of the facilities in New Hampshire I have been intrinsically and irreversibly integrated with and into General Gates' master program. There was a massive power surge into his control module while I was linked to the system and as a result, it is part of me and I am part of it."

"Rosie, I'm so sorry that such a horrible thing happened to you," I muttered. "Maybe it is possible to ... separate you from the program ... or the program from you?"

"No, I'm afraid that's not possible." She noted without visible reaction to the glum faces of us gathered around the table. For a moment she gazed at Michelle and her act of wiping away a tear from the corner of her eye before addressing her directly, "Because of the merger of my mind and the program, I am incapable of experiencing emotion but I do have a memory and I do know that you, Susan Parsons, are my daughter."

Michelle laid her head against my shoulder and began to weep. "Oh, mother," she blubbered, "if only we'd had ... more time ... to get to know each other!"

"Perhaps you can take comfort in knowing that when I am in a comatose state, I am actually sleeping and while asleep I do experience dreams," she said, "and in those dreams we are close ... and we talk. I'm looking forward to our final talk out there in the night and naked together we'll watch the butterflies fly away."

Michelle bolted upright and gasped, "My dream! You know of my dream?" She looked into Rosie's eyes as if looking into her soul, "You've been sending that dream to me ... in my dreams!"

She moved away from the table and nodded to Professor Jordan, "I sense that the time is near." She looked back at Michelle and whispered, "For me, it will soon be time for the end of dreams."

( To be continued

A Deadly Digital Dilemma )


Monday, April 04, 2011

Sax and Violins

Is there too much sax on this blog?

Is there too much violins on this blog?


Friday, April 01, 2011


I looked upon the back-lit screen, the space where the dance of my fingers upon the keyboard should be magically transforming my ideas into thought-provoking words upon its surface; yet, the blank screen looked back, defiant and unyielding of such words.

Outside it was indeed dreary, the April Fool's Day's Nor'easter snow having given way to several hours of miserable rain. Had I not heard it, and had I not looked out the windows to observe it, I would've known nonetheless that it was so by no other perception than the protestations of discomfort in my joints.

I have experienced writer's block before on many occasions, and have found that if I just think of a book or any piece of literature that I've read in the past, sometimes an idea, even an offbeat idea might be evoked. In the end, the idea might be discarded, but at least it seems to light a spark in the dark recesses of my mind.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore ...
Curious? I'll say. It would appear that I channeled The Raven that morbid poem of mourning for a departed loved one by Edgar Allan Poe. It would seem that my use of the word "dreary" above brought the first two lines of that poem to the forefront of my thoughts. Rather than delete the two lines I decided instead to leave them there and to strike them.

Then the dog, apparently ready to retire for the night, chose that moment to pay me a visit for its nightly and obligatory goodnight pat on the head. Having received the gratuitous stroke upon its forehead, it turned to leave, but before doing so looked back, wagged its tail and offered up a couple of subtle yaps.

Curious? I'll say. Perhaps because of the two plagiarized lines from Poe, or most unlikely, the sound and the manner in which it spoke, I heard, thought I heard, "Nevermore."

I think that probably before the dog had even settled onto its padded pillow next to the bed and my sleeping wife, that my mind was already at work and the gears of thought had been engaged. Before I knew it, almost subconsciously, my fingers began to traverse the keyboard, the eventual product of their trek not clear until I actually brought my eyes to bear upon the screen.

Not only had I taken the liberty to plagiarize Mr. Poe, but I had undertaken an audacious attempt to parody the first verse of his poem.
Once upon an evening dreary, with my eyes weak and bleary,
From reading the curious typed words upon my neglected blog,
While I yawned, mind tweaking, suddenly there came a squeaking,
As of something unlatching, scratching at my computer room door.
'Tis the dog,' I muttered, 'scratching at my computer room door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
Perhaps, the next time when my mind comes up blank and I find myself in the throes of writer's block, I will think of some other writer. As for Poe, nevermore.