Saturday, July 14, 2012


 The Message, by John 55555:

"I have a message for you."

The man's face was all but covered by a black cloth wrapped around his face, he stood on their doorstep, indistinct against the dark canvas of the night.

The woman's hand shook as it took the letter, both hand and envelope were pristine and without blemish, a sharp contrast to the soiled, scarred man before her. She turned it over, To Irene, From High Commander Douglas Lancaster. The man bowed as she turned away, ripping open the message with finger made clumsy by emotion. As he watched her read its contents, he flashed back to the memory of when its burden had been placed on his shoulders, years ago and many leagues away.


The dark clouds not made by nature rolled swiftly in the autumn wind as the First Airborne Legion prepared to engage. All around him was a flurry of motion, men fueling their packs, loading their belts with ammunition, checking and double checking eachother's gear. Like and island in a raging ocean one man stood, and the messenger stood next to him, as he silently surveyed the sky and the movements of his men. His face didn't change as he turned to his aide de camp, "Take down a message."

The messenger whipped out his pad of paper and his pen. His commander stood a moment longer and then took them out of the younger man's hands, to scribble the message himself. He folded it, addressed it, and gave it back.

Then he signaled his men and they flew into their last battle.


The woman stood with her back to him, one hand raised to her face as she read the letter of her long dead husband.

'Excuse me ma'am, but if you don't mind, could I see what it says? I have traveled long and hard to bring it here."

Without turning she handed it back to him.

Dear Irene, I love you.

Message, By Omar Onarax:

 I was running, behind me was him. Sprawled down on the floor, of course that was the point all along. So why did it feel so wrong, I had go into this knowing exactly what would happen, and yet when things turned out the way they were supposed to, it just didn’t feel right.

Why was this happening, it’d happened last time as well, and the time before, it’d never happened before. Was I losing my nerve, my steel, and why? Wasn’t that the eternal question, why? It just didn’t make sense; then again life rarely makes sense. Still what would my superiors do if they found out? I’d probably be the next target, folks like me were a liability, and the organization could not afford liabilities like me. Bad for business I suppose you could say.

I tripped; my hands touched the ground for only a moment before slipping on the slick surface. It was at this moment, this moment when I was there, stuck lying on the sidewalk, soaking in the rain, when I had a so called epiphany. Perhaps this was all a message from some part of me. A part that I thought I had locked away, maybe what I was doing really was wrong. For all that we claimed we were doing the right thing, from what I had seen the targets had also been doing just what they thought was right.

Perhaps we were in the wrong; after all didn’t folks always say that killing was wrong regardless. That no man, or woman, had the right to take another’s life. Sure we always claimed that we were doing the right thing, that we were the people’s savior. However was that really true, maybe it wasn’t, and maybe my conscience, the part I’ve me I thought I had buried, was sending me a message. A message of what truly was right, and what wasn’t.

Yes now I saw, no matter what they may have told me, what we were doing was wrong, there had to be another way. A better way. There just had to be, otherwise how long before we became the very monsters we claimed to hunt. Yes now I saw, it had always been there, right there in front of me, this message, this message coming straight from my soul, my heart. We were wrong, there was always another way, a way to avoid bloodshed, we were just too stubborn to admit, but it was time I changed that. I stood up and wiped the dust off my clothes, for I had message to deliver.

Message By Lego Lover:

Correspondence between Professor Chong and Professor Thompson

January 18, 2603

Allied Forces of the Solar System
I.P.O. Box 1397

Professor Allen Chong, Ph.D.
University of Hong Kong
I.P.O. Box 2891

To whom it may concern:

The data you have asked me to supply is beyond my capability to obtain. Faster-than-light travel is impossible at current technological levels, and so no FTL-capable engines have been built with which I could test your designs. I have sent you several messages about this issue in the past, only to receive replies that I can do it if I put my mind to it, or else. I do not take kindly to threats; you are a Solar System-wide defense organization; we should be able to find some form of middle ground without resorting to blackmail.

I trust you received my earlier thesis on why FTL travel is currently impossible? To reiterate in brief:

For a vessel to travel forward, it must generate enough thrust to overcome its mass and, by extension, its inertia. However, a peculiar effect occurs when approaching the speed of light: The vessel’s mass will increase as its speed also increases. Most vehicles traveling at speeds far slower than light (for example, cars, airplanes, and most spaceships) do not need to worry about side-effects of such massive speed; thus, they are not built to withstand aforementioned effects.

To engineer a spaceship capable of both approaching the speed of light and surviving the crossing of the speed threshold would require years of preplanning, planning, research, and far more resources than I, a professor of theoretical physics, could possibly scrounge from my university.

While FTL travel is impossible at this day and age, the chance is great that it will become not only possible but practical; however, our technology may be a century away from achieving such an accomplishment. If you are willing to fund such a project, I must warn you that results may be years away, perhaps even beyond our genetically-lengthened lifetimes. However, to restate in clarity: It is likely to become possible the more we work toward it now.

Enclosed are papers of equations and explanations detailing the future possibility of faster-than- or near-light travel. They will be of more use to you than the prose of this response.

I do not understand your organization’s willingness to threaten me when I can provide no better responses under duress than free. You have my word that if you wish to keep your information confidential, I will not breathe a word of this deal or your organization’s goals to anyone. My wife has been consistently asking why I spend so many hours at my university; if you were to ask her, she would likely suggest I was seeing someone else. I trust you understand my knowledge of this situation’s severity.

I wish you luck in your endeavors, but as I stated above, I can do no more without more resources and years of engineering. Do respond if you are interested in providing the above.

Professor Allen Chong, Ph.D.
Theoretical Physicist

* * *

January 24, 2603

Professor Allen Chong, Ph.D.
University of Hong Kong
I.P.O. Box 2891

Professor Cameron Thompson, Ph.D.
Allied Forces of the Solar System
I.P.O. Box 1397

Professor Chong:

We have received your reply and have decided to send representatives to meet you in person rather than rely on a text explanation. We feel face-to-face confrontation would better explain our desire to possess FTL travel, especially when we have been detecting strange readings from beyond the Kuiper Belt that have been tentatively identified as U.F.O.’s.

On behalf of the Allied Forces of the Solar System, I would like to thank you for your assistance. Even if it was in vain to contact you, we are still grateful for the time and effort you put into attempting to satisfy our demands.

If you have met with our representatives, you may not be alive to read this, but know that we still believe FTL travel is possible and that it will be required in the coming years, if not months.

Professor Cameron Thompson, Ph.D.
Lead Physicist of AFSS
Message By Nate GSR:
 Okay.  If you are reading this, either I am dead or you are my lawyer.  In the latter case, I don’t care how ‘legally informal’ it is, I’m not taking this intro out.  Bite me, Tom.

I do not know how I died, but let this be the first stipulation of this will: if I died in a boring way, you know, car crash, heart attack, something like that, for god’s sake jazz it up a bit when you tell the kids.  You know, Daddy had a championship boxing match with the Shark King or something like that.  Or maybe he blew up a terrorist base or something.  Use your imagination, ‘cause I ain’t around anymore to do it for you.

(Kids, if you’re reading or hearing this, either I lasted way longer than I expected, or your mother has a very messed-up sense of what is and isn’t appropriate to show you.  In either event, don’t believe what they told you.  The Shark King had it coming.)

Next! Anyone who reads this, or hears this being read, or basically ever comes in contact with this will: do not get all weepy over it.  Screw that.  (Alternatively, if you’re all happy over me being dead, screw you.)  Don’t you dare throw a funeral for me.  Throw a wake, and make it a good one.  I want dancing and singing and music and let this be the next official stipulation of this will: there will be an accordion player there.  If a recording of the wake couldn’t be mistaken for the soundtrack for a French film, you’re doing it wrong.

You know what, actually, don’t worry if you get it wrong.  Just throw another one if you do.  Make it a monthly thing, call up Jen if she’s in town, the whole nine yards.

So, on to the important stuff.  Who gets what and all that.

Carol, my darling wife, who has loved and looked after me these many years, you get the house and the stuff in it.  I mean, come on, did you think I was going to lock you out or something? It would’ve been a pretty good trick, granted, but I’m pretty sure that would wipe out what little good karma I’ve built up by accident over the years.

Tom, you better be reading all of this out loud.

To the kids, who as stipulated above really shouldn’t even be in the room right now, I leave to them their stuff as well.  At the time I write this Ted’s three and June is six, but I see the way they look after their stuff.  They have fought tooth and nail – literally, sometimes – for those plastic cars and dollhouses, and I swear to God if someone tries to take those from them I will come back and haunt their cereal.  Yeah, you hear that? How would it feel to look down one morning and see a ghost in your Cheerios?

Are they laughing yet, Tom? No? Jesus.  Find someone in the room who can do stand-up.  Tell me Jen’s in the room, I was in stitches at her Baltimore show.  She could make a grocery list hilarious.

Jen? Good.  Okay, let’s keep going.

Actually we’re almost done here, so I guess you don’t get a lot of material to work with.  Sorry Jen, once this is over just do your Canada routine.  Carol actually knocked over the table we were at when she heard that one, if she isn’t smiling by now she will be if you do Montreal.

As for my personal belongings, I regret to inform you, Dave, that I actually don’t have a massive stockpile of lewd images in the sock drawer.  You too will learn to make that sacrifice when you find a woman.  My remaining songs are in the safe on the third shelf from the top, code 4134.  Yes, Carol, I know that’s where we’re supposed to keep the kids’ social security stuff.  Those are in the sock drawer.  Don’t give me that look, if we ever did get burglars why on Earth would they look in the sock drawer?

Okay, wrapping up now.  If anyone has anything to say about me, say it now.

Okay? We good? Cool.  Last thing for all of you: stay the course and all that jazz. The fact I have people this is being read to in the first place means I got plenty far enough in life in my books.  Rest of you , if you really have to use me kicking the bucket as an excuse to get all mopey and introspective, let me save you the time: figure out what you want out of life, then go beat life up until it hands it over.

It worked for me.

(Okay, that’s all - knock ‘em dead, Jen, if my urn doesn’t get broken by someone in a hilarious mishap caused by laughing too hard, you are so getting the Cheerios treatment.) 
 Candles By Aimee Aderia:

Life would be so much easier if the ocean tide handed people little messages in a grimy green glass bottle and the rolled up parchment had their purpose in life written on it.

Really, what would be wrong with that?

There must be countless people out there in the world who have wasted their lives chasing down a career or a dream just to realize that their passion is not there anymore, and it lies elsewhere.

My mother is one of these people, my beautiful and compassionate mother.  She spent fourteen years of her life on the chalkboard side of a classroom showing middle schoolers how to spell correctly and write legibly and appreciate a novel.

And now all of the sudden, the school cut her entire department out of their staff. My mother, she is old enough to retire, but she won’t. Not until she puts my siblings and I through college. And she is just now discovering her love for-

Time’s up. Too late, nobody is looking for a sixty year old woman with a heart of gold and an unrivaled love for people to work at their hospital or clinic. Even though she pushed herself through night schooling and Dad, always on his business trips, had to stay home and take a demotion in his company to take care of us kids.

The world I see needs a loving soul like her, and needs it more than anything. Even the little bit of light she could provide in these darkening days could change a life. Is the world really too cold to open up and be warmed by the candle she is offering to thaw the iceberg?

The message I’m seeing right now is that life will chew you up and spit you out, no matter how good a person you are. And there are cold winds coming from every direction to snuff out the candles we have to offer. The people are vanishing, the ones willing to huddle with you to protect your candle and then help fuel it into a bonfire and dance around it with you.

But one hope I have is that I will find a message in a grimy green glass bottle washed up on a beach telling me that I’m wrong.

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