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The Universe according to the Wisdom of Metcalfe:

The world is made up of the following six groups:


Lords:
Those of independent financial means (they do not need to work)
I.e. the rich
Orges:

Those who manage resources and organize time and people


I.e. project managers, bank managers, and politicians

Gnomes:

Those who leverage specialist or esoteric knowledge for financial rewards


I.e. doctors, lawyers, engineers, programmers

Grins:

Those who practice Art or Entertainment for their livelihood


I.e. musicians, painters, sculptors, actors

Trolls:

Those who engage in physical or unskilled labor for their livelihood


I.e. laborers, prostitutes, check out chicks, fry cooks

Poors:

Those who have no means of financial security


I.e. the starving, the homeless, the disenfranchised

BUT YOURE JUST A FUCKUP!!!!!


Landscapes and Scenes
#
Wind coming in of the ocean whipping over rolling green hills under mid morning sky chill and
cloudy slowly travelling Mountains in the distance no closer than yesterday
#
Planet rise over small moon like a giant swallowing the moon into night
#
Phosphor lit chrome held display glass shows of unrecognizable foodstuffs in fish and chip shop
while outside metal men roam the streets in search of ever decreasing numbers of pensioners
#
The wind blew up in the night and by planetfall had turned into a class 4 storm the search
party was forced back to the basin
#
A cold gray world. A sea of noise. A death. Picture a Mind, a Mind groping at the edges, a mind
desperate to find a grip on something, anything.
A cold gray world.
#
Wedrel is our hero and being our hero he must have certain characteristics. He must be likable
and charming, he must remind us of ourselves. We must be able to empathize with him. This
is difficult however once you realize that Wedrel is a very different creature to the ones we
are, he is a Mind. He also inhabits a very different, much larger universe than the one we do,
and this to can cause problems

#
A City. Seen from a distance it appears as a brittle black mountain jutting from a flat swirling
sea of dark gray fog. As you enter the atmosphere this is all you can see, the endless sea of
fog flat, impenetrable, brooding and there, in the distance, growing slowly larger, more defined
is the jutting piece of black coral, called by its inhabitants Terminus.
#
Grass flat seas currents ripple like oceans of spindle green.
#
It is hard to describe the feelings that came to him that morning, his memory of the home
place was vivid and complete and yet despite his training he could not recall what the color of
the sky had been yesterday
#
The Earth is about to be destroyed, (interstellar war perhaps or whatever), so a ship is to be
sent out in search of another habitable world. To maximize survival potential the ship is
designed like a self reproducing Von Neumann automata in that it harvests space stuff
(asteroids or whatever) and uses the material to construct a replica of itself every x years.
When this happens the crew, (numbering in there thousands originally and breeding all the
time), divide into two groups, one for each ark ship, both ships then go of in different
directions and the process repeats itself. All of human knowledge is replicated each time and
the Arkers have plant and animal materials etc... Work out the mathematics and see how it
looks. Perhaps a story of the divergent cultures in two or three arks I dont know, whatever,
fuck ya!
#
Wedrel lay in his bed wondering what in Great Grom's name had become of his life. He spent
most mornings doing this and never quite managed to resolve the issue to his satisfaction.
This morning in particular was causing Wedrel a lot of grief as it was the morning of his Adepts
Exam. He feverishly hoped he wouldn't pass but had a horrible feeling that he would, and with
flying colors. The difficulty with the exams at the Academy was that it was very hard to cheat
when the whole thing was conducted between the pupil and a 9 th level mage telepathically.
This made it almost impossible to fake any lack of Talent.
The trouble was that Wedrel seemed to posses an awful lot of Talent when it came to magic
and the other trouble was that all Wedrel really wanted to do was hack people up with swords,
which was something for which he had no talent at all. This ambition of his was probably very
childish and that fact also tended to bother him quite a bit, but it just seemed to him that it
was a lot more fun than wandering around in a pointy hat and curing people of their corns.
Suddenly there was a Man in the room, a Mage actually and one who liked Wedrel about as
much as Wedrel liked him, which wasn't much.
"It is one hour past the middle-day Wedrel, and time for your Exam."
Wedrel had prepared himself as much as possible for the exam by getting horribly drunk the
previous night and sleeping in till middle-day but he didn't honestly think it would make much
difference, it never had before.
"I am ready Mage Hareth"
"Let's begin"
They took the customary positions on the floor, about three feet apart and kneeling in the
meditation posture. Wedrel did his best to relax in the face of the sickening invasion that was
about to take place but it was never enough.
He felt the presence like a wall of vomit hitting him in the face, groping past his dearest held
secrets, feelings and perversions. As it always did his mind cried out in protest, as it never had
before it killed the mage.
"Bugger me with Great Grom's Hammer" breathed Wedrel.
Something had gone very bloody wrong that was for sure. Feverishly Wedrel hoped the Mage had
died of a heart attack or something whilst all the time the realization that he had killed the man

thudded like a pulse through his body. Almost but not quite instantaneously Wedrel's small cubicle
was cram pack full of Irritated Mages all yabbering at each other and yelling at him. And a few
seconds later they were all gone except one, the Head Mage. Wedrel was so shocked at the
appearance of the man he only knew by rumor and reputation that it took him some time before he
noticed that Hareth's body was gone, and it was only several moments after that that he noticed that
his room and indeed the entire universe had also decided to take a holiday.
"Bugger me" he said again.
"I don't think so Wedrel, not today anyway!"
"Sorry sir yes sir"
Somewhere ElseAn angry god was waking. He was not particularly angry, but then again you
dont have to be particularly angry if your a god, just a bit angry is well and truly angry
enough. He was waking from a sleep of many thousands of years and considering he had only
meant to take a two hour nap it was no wonder he felt a bit irritated. He wandered from his
bedroom to the toilet to take a piss.
Grom was around four feet three had a long gray beard and walked with a distinct limp in his
left leg. This morning he was
And so the journey began. Wedrel was wet and miserable as he walked from the city, and his
shackles itched miserably. He wondered how far it was to Terminus, he would probably have
cut his own legs of if he knew the real answer. The countryside surrounding the city was if
truth be known incredibly beautiful at the moment, the misty rains on the rolling hills the
green grass stone fences knee high and meandering beside the brown earth of the road, and
down in the valley behind him the lights lamps smells and distant sounds of the city a noble if
run-down testament to the urban and the urbane. Wedrel of course would have said that it
looked cold and wet and gray, and he would have been right of course, we however have the
benefit of viewing the seen from a warm and comfortable distance much the same way as a
person may describe a picture of the Irish countryside during the potato famine as being
beautiful and poetic whilst someone who was actually there might call it a desolate wasteland.
Six days later Wedrel came to in a small shack in a desert with irons and hex's shackling his
body and mind.
#
Wedrel threw the book down in disgust, he had no head for symlog and he wasn't feeling
particularly like studying anyway. His father kept telling him that if he did not pass his fifths
then he would never be allowed in the core, but since M had no interest in joining the core
anyway it seemed silly to even try for his fifths.
He peered out of the window, something appeared to be happening, or rather appeared to
have happened about twenty minutes ago, unless there was transmission lag from the jumper
stations again. The scene in front of him showed a group of students running from the armed
guards of some principality or other, and a voice was saying all soughts of silly things about
the right to strike and so on. Wedrel didn't believe a word of it of course, all the news from
earth was doctored, made up by scriptwriters and advertisers, or so he'd been led to believe.
Just as he was about to rise from his gloomy couch in the study and meander to the gloomy
kitchen to steal some pre-mealtime snacks the image on his window morphed into the face of
Coke, apparently looking for trouble and a willing accomplice
'Hey Mick'
"Coke, what's up?'
"I was thinking of going for a Walk, you up for that?'
Wedrel was not one to deny himself or Coke the chance to get into real trouble and was
certainly not going to miss the opportunity to go Walking if Coke really had found a way
around security and wasn't just playing a none to subtle practical joke.
"Definitely, I'm up. Meet me at Kitchens in five"
" Check"

Wedrel wasted no time. He left the study and sealed it with his own codes, these could be
overridden by almost any of the officers or even stat-sec but if he was lucky no one would
bother to check if he was in there till it was far to late. He left at a jog, heading straight for
the corridor that led from his families House to the Area Kitchens. There were no sec's in the
corridor, which was something of a blessing, and he arrived at the Kitchen without incident to
find Coke waiting for him.
Without preamble, Coke lunched into his tale of discovery and enterprise;
"Two days ago a new Family arrived with the cargo shipment, they're R&D so they had
to wait for sec clearance. But there three class1 Walkers were moved right in. And, being
without clearances
The walkers were the most maneuverable he'd ever used and he found himself wondering if
they were really class one after all. They had made good time from the basin and were now
several clicks beyond the rim racing around what was known as the maze, a natural formation
of canyons and gullies that no one had yet been able to account for scientifically. Suddenly
Coke appeared in front of him with a targeting laser lock, Wedrel cursed into his pickup.
"I think I've found something"
"Where the fuck did you come from, I got no sensor reading at all"
" I know, thats what I'm saying, there's a cave down here that seems artificial and my
scan wont go through it"
" Let's take a look"
They descended into the depression that Coke had sprung from to find themselves at what
could well have been the entrance to a mine
It was black. A large black spheroid about 10 meters tall and 15 end to end and screaming
chaos at their scan.
Wedrel woke to his first morning in 800 years feeling like it might very well be his last.
Interstellar travel would do that to you he supposed.
#
Deep in the bowels of the city far below fog line
#
An explosion. White light. But before that darkness. Darkness and a man. A man who had
death in his eyes. He said; "I think you had better leave right now"
You don't argue with that sort of thing coming from a guy with death in his eyes so I
ran. But I didn't get far. Woke up two days later in some shitehole hospital with dicks and
musclepigs standing over me and all I could remember was the man, the explosion and the
light. Couldn't even remember what the bastard looked like, and it was a good thing too as it
turned out.
The place looks the same as it did three days ago. Carpet needs vacuuming but otherwise its
pretty clean and cozy. I like having a nice place to come back to at the end of a run, it reminds
me that not everything is that fucked up and that some people have enough money to live
reasonably peaceful lives. I look to the wall and see that there are no messages, there almost
never were, I didn't give that number out to many people, and those who had it knew me well
enough to not even bother with calling the house if they needed me in a hurry. So I'm
standing in my lounge room getting ready to go to bed or watch a vid or some such when I
notice this shadow. Shadow leads to guy in corner. Guy is spooky, and so I'm thinking of
maybe making a run for the door (Suicide of course but I wasn't exactly cogent at the time.),
when he says; "I am glad you choose a minimalist approach in regard to your police
statements".
Or something like that anyway, and I nod trying to be cool and maybe convince this
guy with my gesture that I'm the type of guy who doesn't go running to the cops with any
regularity, you know, that I can be trusted as a card carrying member of the social underclass
or whatever, and then he says "We have a job for you Mr. Penn, (that's my name) a very
lucrative job."

Wedrel Kenneth Penn. I first saw him after that Bomberman thing in the 'west. He was not a
very pleasant looking man, gave the impression that if you tapped him with a pencil he might
collapse into a pile of old clothes like Obewan Kinobe after Vader's light saber. Still, I figured
that he fit at least part of the psyche profile that we needed for the job and so I ran him down
and asked him. He gibbered. But he agreed.
So this guy has just offered me a job. This is pretty cool 'cause I've just got back from a run
and so I'm well right for cash, but if this new thing was quick I'm thinking I could use some
disposable income.
#
am not diametrically opposed to life in general, at least i hope not. i dance in the shadow of
death? LIFES NOT PID, IT'S JUST YALKING CARP, HE'S SEEMS TO BE SAYING A LOT OF CRAP.
IT'S JUSDT NOT FROM THEW HEART. i DON'T CARE FOR IT LIKE I CARE FOR LIFE ITSEKLF.
THIS WAS NICE UIL THE GIRL STARTED SINGING. SHE'S SINGING CRAP.
SHE DOESN'T MEAN IT.
rfUC GOD WHO HAS KNOWN ME ALL MY LIFE HAS LEFT ME AND NOW I DO NOT KNOW
WHETHER AYONE CAN EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN AND I HAVE ASKED FOR THAT WHI9CH IS MY
ONLY BLESSING AND I KNOW WHO I AM AND I WANT SO MUCH AND I AM SLOWLY LOOKING
FORWARD LIKE A MACHINE IN MOLLASAS AND I WISH I COULD JUST SING THAT SONG BY
THAT BAND Called abba that goes " can you hear the drums fernando...." but i forget the
fucking words i love tony thre true and only fish monkey but iit is all in vain, vanity of vanitys
alll of poofda gay craiglieness.....it's funny how when the word craig comes up the word gay
pops in
#
19/2/99
dreamt i was having a secret affair with my mother who was andy mc dowel,
in sydney. all my uncles and cousins were tonka toys or toy steam engines,
me and my brother ben were in the ira and we met in the upper storey of
an old apartment block. Andey mcdowel was also a primary school teacher,
and i was a student, we had sex in the old portable near the oval at ,
ivanhoe primary school caught ferrys every where whent to the beach after ira
meeting went to catch train but missed the one i wanted so i caught another one
it was egelmont sstation but there where two tracks one higher on a hill thamn
the first
#
They'll never get him now, he telecommutes.
through the darkened doorway the light flickers
there is a smell; pizza, sweat, stale coke
you enter and behold the temple of the light
it occupies about half the room, and seems to have its origin in the corner furthest from the
door
you look closely it is hard to see
it appears to be made of large flat cardboard bricks,
the flickering light emanates from the multitude of tiny cracks; you move closer,
compelled to look within
then you see the truth.
it is pallid white, like death .
the rags around its shoulders may once have been a black t shirt
it is so fat that its hands seem almost to stick out directly from the body
one hand is half plunged back in to the flesh
it takes some time to realize that this must be were the genitalia are
the other hand twitches incessantly, a gray cord running out between the third and forth digits
it seems to rest on a placemat;

surprisingly the only place were pizza slices or half empty jolt cola cans do not appear
as the hand moves the screen flickers
naked women appear across it almost faster than allows for recognition
the thing lets out a low groan and a mixture of spittle and cheese covered olive drops from its
mouth
you flee from the dark temple of light
glad you have a notebook

The Future Histories of Thero Arker;


Book One: Travelling
Chapter One: Police Matters.
1 Descriptions of normal life.
2: Thero is attacked
3: The police
Chapter Two: Work is Hell.
4: Thero goes to work
5: Thero Gets Drunk
6: Second Attack
Chapter Three: Childhood.
7: Eexplores new neighborhood
8: Thero searches for double
9: Thero fights inner child
Chapter Four: England.
10: Thero is pursued by the hunt
11: Thero meets the aristocracy
12: Thero is given Aid
Chapter Five: The Hippie Aesthetic.
13: Thero meets Hermit
14: Thero faces moral choice
15: Decides on meaning of quest

Book Two: Suburbia


Chapter Six: Big Sister.
16: Thero arrives in the city
17: Thero goes on a Binge
18: Thero has sex, kills sister
Chapter Seven: City.
19: Thero flips out
20: Attacked and cant tell who won
21: Thero cannot find a door
Chapter Eight: trippen
22: Thero arrives in heaven
23: Thero Explores
24: Thero Resigns Himself to Fate
Chapter Nine: The Arena.
25: Thero fights the angel
26: Thero is accepted by the peers
27: Re-commits himself to the quest
Chapter Ten: Earning Your Wings.
28: Thero goes to hell
29: Thero goes to a strange Place
30: Goes through the looking Glass

Book Three: Revelation


Chapter Eleven: Desert
31: Arrives at Desert of his Zen Mind
32: Thero recalls his existence
33: Thero Meets himselves
Chapter Twelve: Cowboy Town
34: Back into "self" and "others"
35: Thero Journeys to town
36: inhabitants of the Core Verse
Chapter Thirteen: Castle.
37: Leaves town in search of center
38: arrives at center explores building
39:In corridor formulates question
Chapter Fourteen: Revelations
40: Thero Meets a Reff
41: Thero discovers truth
42: Thero answers Question
Chapter Fifteen: Climax.
43: Thero gives away his mind
44: Thero meets old friends
45: Thero goes away

Book One: Travelling


45000 Words
Chapter One: Police Matters.
9000 Words
Section one: Descriptions of normal life.
3000 Words
Imagine you are God...
You look down from your dwelling place and you smile your knowing smile...
You See...
An infinite blackness with infinite lights, each light a universe, each universe separated from its neighbor
by a spec of dust, a law of physics, a thought. An infinite distance. Blackness. But lying on the blackness;
the glittering of the tiny lights. Zoom in. the lights resolve themselves into globes, translucent and
shimmering. Choose one, zoom in. Our globe is now a ball of thread, twisting and turning. Now a part of
the tread, once more made up of glowing balls of silver, each ball containing a thousand galaxies, each
galaxy holding a million worlds
A sound like a kettle screaming, rising in intensity, growing closer as we close in on our subject, is
suddenly cut off
And on one particular world
Thero got home from work and threw himself on the couch, wishing he had said something to James from
distribution. Once again he had backed down from a confrontation when he knew he was in the right,
backed down from the most obvious of challenges. James had asked Thero to go and make coffee, which
was not Thero's job. Thero had mumbled something about having work to do and James had said
something to the effect that Thero's job was unimportant when compared with the need he (James) had for
coffee. James had said this in such a way as to make it seem to all those listening to be a joke, whilst at the
same time making it absolutely clear to Thero that it was not a joke at all, or if it was then it was very much
on him. Thero had no choice but to laugh along with everyone else and go and make coffee for James
and himself. He had not wanted coffee but could hardly be seen making one especially for James. Thero
groped under the couch for the old cigar box that served as his stash and swept a pile of junk mail of the
coffee table and onto the floor making a space for him to work.
He had never been so feeble when Susan was with him. Knowing that she was their in his lounge room,
watching day time TV, or reading some pamphlet about how to save the starving millions, had always given
him the confidence to speak his mind, at least to anyone but her. James was new, and technically Thero
was his senior, but no one seemed to pay much attention to him, lowly computer technician that he was,
and the new guy had picked that up pretty quick.
Thero shook his brooding head and scratched Mouse behind the ears. Mouse was his cat, a small gray
furball which never seemed to be anything other than hungry or asleep. At the moment Mouse seemed
undecided as to what state he would fall into next. Thero thought that Mouse was probably weighing up the
effort involved in begging for food versus the likelihood of getting any at the end of it all. If Mouse
elected it was a bad risk, Thero had no doubt that he would immediately curl up and fall asleep. Clambering
out of the loving embrace of the couch Thero staggered out to the kitchen and fed Mouse. Then, in an effort
to stop reliving forever his humiliation at the hands of his new nemesis James, he went back to his
masterpeice in progress on the coffee table, completed his joint, switched on the TV and zoned out.
Thero was a young man, mid twenties, with short curly brown hair, blue eyes, a prominent hooked nose and
a slim, angular face. He worked in the post office as a computer technician and lived in a small, single

bedroom home currently still under mortgage. He had lived with his girlfriend Susan until three months
ago, when she had left him to pursue her humanitarian causes in a country he had never heard of. She had
not ended up going to the country in question, something to do with her organizations inability to guarantee
her safety, but she had still not come back to him. That was when he had taken to triple deadbolting the
door and developed a mild insomnia. The few friends he had thought this eccentric, citing the fact that
Susan was not exactly a kung fu master or anything, so he was no less safe now that she was gone. Thero
didn't care. He had felt safe when he went to bed with her breathing beside him, now he felt like he lived in
a tent, a place with no permanence. His life had become ephemeral and insecure somhow less real now that
there was no one to share it with. His friends provided little solace, Thero was not the type of man to bond
closely with people, Susan had been the exception. His friends were drinking buddies, people to play cards
with, not to confide in. Also, Thero knew for a fact that they went out without inviting him more often than
not. He was the outsider, the one who hung on at the edges, he knew they liked him, just not enough to
want to be around him without the buffer of the group. Thero liked his job. He liked being able to pull
things apart and see how they worked, fix them if broken, understand them. He didn't like his co-workers,
they looked down on him, the technician, the fixit man, outside the corporate ladder, not worth befriending.
Ad break. Food. Thero once again went into his kitchen, musing on the time and effort that would be saved
by synchronizing his munchies with the cats, and made himself some toasted cheese sandwiches and a cup
of coffee. Once it was all prepared to his satisfaction he brought it back to the couch to eat in front of the
TV. Thero never ate well these days, but at least he ate what he liked, at home whatever was easiest, and
out whatever had the highest fat content, pizza, burgers, if it didn't bleed oil into the paper bag you carried
it in he didn't want it. This was, according to hid friends, because he constantly had the munchies, Thero
felt this to be unwarranted; marijuana helped him sleep, it was medicinal. Mouse woke up to enquire about
the possibility of some toasted cheese sandwich of his own, so Thero fed him the crusts, which were only
half eaten before he got bored and fell asleep again, this time on Thero's lap.
Thero butted the end of his joint and set about preparing another, he knew he shouldn't, a second joint
would leave him truly stoned; with just one he merely felt relaxed and slept better, with two he would feel
paranoid and jittery, and probably not sleep at all. Oh well, what the fuck. Thero took a long toke on his
second joint. Thero's dealer was called Scott. He was the one who had introduced him and Susan. That
seemed a long time ago. Scott was the closest thing Thero had to a real friend, a shoulder to cry on, Scott
had gone out with his sister for a while and Thero had kept on seeing him after Kate had dumped him.
Scott was everybody's confidant, provided he was well wasted he was willing to listen to just about any
length of tales miserable. Thero mused about wandering 'round there, but he had no money, and he would
probably not be as welcome as he might if he wasn't buying.
Susan had not been a pot smoker. She had been at Scott's to visit his girlfriend (not Kate, another one) who
she had gone to university with, Scott's girlfriend was at the time on a heavy trip which centered around the
idea of Scott and her doing social things that were not predicated on dope smoking, so they had organized a
double date; Scott and whateverhernamewas, and Thero and Susan. It had not been love at first sight.
Thero and Scott had got well stoned before they left the house and whateverhernamewas had not taken
kindly. Susan had thought Thero a feral, smelly dope fiend. Thero had had to ring her later begging for a
second chance. Thero in his more lucid moments believed that this sorry tale was pretty much indicative of
the position each of them held in the relationship. Still, she had at least given him confidence with others,
even if it meant him sacrificing his dignity every time he came home.
A movie was now running on the TV in which a man who looked a lot like Thero's boss was in trouble with
the law, and Thero became mesmerized by the thought that maybe this was his boss and that these very
things were happening too him right now, that somehow he was peering into some sort of looking glass,
and that his boss was really running down an alley way somewhere in New York right now. The idea was
becoming so palatable that Thero was beginning to shout instructions at the cops; Hes in the fucking
allyway Man, just turn around, Turn around for fucks sake Thero was considering wether there was some
way of phoning the police men on their mobiles before he became suddenly and overwhelmingly distracted
by an intense urge to eat multi colored pop corn, this often happened when thero was stoned and getting
overly excited, whilst straight Thero had noticed that his cravings were never for things that were available
in the house, no matter how well stocked the pantry, it was therfore, in his opinion, the night air and the
wind that he craved, but he always bought the snacks as well. Thero looked around for his keys.

Thero's car was his pride and joy. He did not take care of it, or treat it well in any way, but he loved it, and
climbing into it he felt a deep affection rising up within him. It started after only three attempts. good girl
ManWhatDuhhhee..heee.he The twenty-four hour place was about ten minutes drive away, but
when stoned Thero usually made it in twenty. He knew he drove to slow, but enjoyed the feeling of cruising
through his neighborhood and letting his food cravings grow in intensity until his stomach ached
wonderfully.
Thero's street ran along a spur at the back of a hill that sat on the northern side of the 'Burb in which he
lived. It was leafy and green, each house sitting on a quarter acre block, the only attribute ever likely to
give the properties any value in the future, they were certainty near enough worthless now, despite the fact
that paying the place off seemed to cost Thero more than he earned. The street ran down towards the main
road (it also ran up towards the main road, which formed a half circle round the hill.) on which two seven
eleven's existed equidistant from each other. Thero liked to go to the one further out of town, this was truly
in the sticks, being more of a service station for drivers passing through on holiday and so on. Thero drove
down the hill. The stars were beautiful this far from the city, and this was something Thero was grateful
for, life in the sticks would be almost unbearable if not for these small graces.
Thero was about halfway to the shop when he noticed the car following him. His pot addled brain pondered
at this for some time before deciding that this must be a secret agent of some kind, come to arrest him for
his copious drug use. Thero decided to throw this goon of the trail. He began taking lefts and rights at
random, but the bastard stuck like glue, no matter where he drove, there were those two pale headlights
looming in his rear view mirror, always the same distance from his car,not near enough to be annoying but
not far enough away to relax. It was becoming progressively more frightening, and to Thero more
plausible that this really was some kind of a bust. Thero was now in the suburb one step further out than
his own, the road he was on was unsealed and wound eccentrically through the hills, making Thero
progressively more queasy. He looked up to see if the prick was still there and almost lost control of the
car. The guy was his double! Fuck! Fantasies of a long lost twin, separated at birth a family secret, fires in
maternity wards, adoption rackets, a desperate pursuit through the night ending in tearful embraces Jesus
the guy looked exactly the same!. It was some time before Thero noticed he had stopped his car, it was
after more time still that glancing up a the rear view Thero realized that he had been seeing his own
reflection.
Thero twisted round to see if the other car had stopped as well, but it was no where to be seen, so Thero uturned out of the road he was in an continued on towards the Sev, His mind still humming and popping
along.
Thero knew most of the people who worked the late shifts at the Sev and he recognized the guy behind the
counter right away , and wasted no time in relating his harrowing tale at uncomfortable length. On his way
home he had the strangest vibe that Hassid was upset with him for some reasonAs he always did he
drove back the "Other Way" which meant that he circled round the hill, coming through "The Village "
where his work was, past the pub and the supermarket and then back up and over the hill to his house.
Thero enjoyed seeing the place he spent most days deserted and dark, but only on the way home, not on the
way out.
Once again collapsing into the couch once again switching on the TV, Mouse is curled up on his favorite
chair, asleep, and its all infomercials, and 60's sitcoms.
Thero dreaded going to bed, but it was past one and the TV shows where becoming progressively less
bearable, so began the nightly ritual. He would first put the cat out, then change into his pajamas, he had
never worn pajamas until three months ago, but now the bed always seemed too cold, and the possibility of
a need to flee outside and not be naked preyed on his mind. Next, he would brush his teeth, wash his face
and hands, then, moving into the bedroom, he would check the alarm clock at least three times, and finally
he would climb into bed and lie their, sometimes for hours, before falling asleep.
So Thero lies, half-awake, half-asleep, brooding hazily on the days little dramas.

Susan Drake was afraid. She lay there, the blackness washing over her minds eye as she felt her body
writhe and jerk. Wave after wave of terror swept through her as she fought the urge to cry out, she was
going to die, she knew it with every fiber of her being
Susan Drake sat up and switched on her bedside lamp, then she switched on the television and then she
carefully wrapped herself in her blankets as the last of the tremors worked their way through her limbs.
Susan woke the following day at 2:00 pm after having finally given in to sleep around $ am. She got out of
bed, pausing to switch of the muted T.V and made her way into the kitchen where she made herself a
coffee. She thought that coffee was probably not helping her problems much, but didnt care. As she sat
looking out of the glass kitchen slide doors into her back garden Susan toyed for the hundredth time with
the idea of seeking professional help. It wasnt that she was afraid of therapy, it was just that she perceived
it as a weakness much akin to watching day time soap operas, or converting to a born again religion. Also
she could not imagine what could be done for her short of medication, and she flatly refused to so much as
consider that; she had a depressive friend who they had doped up, and now all that Lucy could muster was
a sort of vaguely happy indifference to the world, coupled with a tendency to stare blankly at walls for long
periods. No, she would not go down that road.
Already just thinking about it had almost brought on another attack, the emptiness lurked at the back of her
mind and the mantra stroke, aneurysm, aids, accident, cessation, non existence she pushed it all away,
getting up and finishing her coffee, she switched on her radio loud enough to be heard over her shower,
which she then went to prepair.
By the time she was dressed the coffee had kicked in enough to ensure her a few hours of safty at least so
she hoped, she wanted to visit Marian, and whilst she would be okay when in direct human contact the
journey would , even now, coffee fueled, be no picnic. Once again shoving the downward spiral from her
mind, Susan grabed her bag and walkman, and almost ran out of the house.
She had been hoping her sheer momentum would carry her on her journey, but she was not halfway up the
street when it began to come back, slowly, incessantly, it was hard

The music had seemed repetitive before, it was still repetitive, but now is seemed to pulsate with a cycle
akin to life itself, the beats washed over her like the flipside of her old fear, gone forever now a part of her
mind said while another part laughed in disbelief. They were all smiling at her, and she felt herself smiling
back, she couldnt feel her lips, they were doing it by themselves. She could hear the thoughts of her bed
companions drifting in and out of her own, they were amused and happy both to see her wear they were and
because they had helped bring her here. Susan felt gratitude flood up within her, almost becoming tears
before transforming into laughter. There was something though, she felt it on the edge of their thoughts, a
sort of gleefulness which seemed somehow less pure, less friendly than the other emotions that washed
over her; she couldnt. Susan, that was her name, it sounded different in her head now, like some one
elses name, a sexy name a cool name giggles Susan ... Explore Rising from the bed and silently
wishing her new friends farewell she steps out of the room and makes her way down the corridor and stairs
back to the throb and pulse of a more frenetic, a harder, living, running, loving music, sweaty smelling
bodies surrounding her, she can hear them as a distant hysteria, they are not in tune like the ones upstairs,
there is something mistaken about these ones. She wants to find Marion, somewhere else, down the
ground floor corridor that runs directly underneath the one upstairs, its menacing mirror image, she feels
the trip is beginning to escape her somehow, she does not like the way things look or feel, she is hot, very
hot, a random door, and there is Marion, naked grunting disgusting Marion. with the Bastard she is sure
it is the Bastard they see her; a hand gesture from Marion to close the door, to late there is laughter

from the Bastard and it hits her like a hammer, he is in her mind and laughing. Look, look he says, I am
fucking a corpse. I am Fucking her corpse I am Fucking your corpse.
Susan felt like she was sort of falling sideways through space away from the door with infinate slowness, it
went on for ever and ever Then an imact in her shoulder and watch were your fucking going bitch
buetifull black hair walks past, she wishes she had hair like that
I have to go now she says to herself , she can walk home it is closer to her place here than Marions

The stone stands in the field, leaning slightly in the direction of the wind which blows of the sea, the grass
follows the land as it slopes in a near perfect curve to the waves, it is as if you could just walk down that
mound and into the water like a wall. The stone is cold as he places his palm on it fingers spread as if in
some kind of communion for of course he is in communion, but he does not know with whom or why and
now the mist rises quickly, it is near the end now, and soon some stranger somwhere will wake and shake
their heads to clear their minds ogf him and he will be no more, frustraition and despair, and then, again and
again and again, nothing..

Section two: Thero is attacked


3000 Words
An explosion of blackness out of blackness. A sudden weight on top of him pining him under the blankets
and knocking the wind out of him. The fear, an aching empty hole of fear, as the strong hands grip his neck,
thumbs biting into his cheeks. Suddenly breath near his left cheek and a voice whispers
"Youre my first barehanded, had to find a newbie, too risky otherwise you understand?
Breathless, quiet laughter, hands repositioning for firmer grip as consciousness begins to fade, the feral
need as his hand searches its way out of the blankets and under the bed, feeling the handle of the kitchen
knife he has taken to keeping there these last few months, the swinging of the blade up and under,
thumping into flesh and the grunt from above hima sound of pain, and surprise. Then finding himself at
the light switch in the doorway, not knowing how he got there, and looking across the room, his room,
seeing the body sprawled across his bed a knife buried deep in the left armpit, and seeing the face, that
terrible terrible face, the eyes still showing signs of consciousness, staring at him, he had seen that face
before, seen it thousands of times
Thero looked down at the dying man in his bed and saw himself staring back.
And then his mind exploded. Thero saw things, like looking at a scene through a strobe, a million tiny still
frames each coupled by a million silent words. He saw faces, faces all his own, yet different. He saw skies,
skies the wrong color. He saw the room jumping in his vision from three dimensions to two and back;
reality on the blink like a broken television. He heard a rushing wind seeming to come from all around him,
rising up and then fading to a terrifying silence. Then it all began to recede, not disappearing, merely
dropping below the surface of his mind, still there, he felt it gnawing at the base of his brain, planting a
rotten seed there, patient and sure of its eventual harvest. He struggled to remain conscious as he stumbled
to the phone in the kitchen.
And then he finds himself talking to a man who says
"there'll be some officers there right away, ok, so you just stay calm, and stay on the phone, if you
can just give me some details about yourself"
The phone falls from his hand as he fights the urge to vomit or cry, or perhaps he fights to be able to

Section Three: The police


3000 Words
The police banged at his door and called out;
"Mr. Michaels, it's the police, could you open the door please!"
he walked out of the kitchen to the front room, opened the door and let them in. Two men walked past him,
into his lounge room, scanning his furniture with their beady cop eyes.
"It's through here!" Thero stammered,
his mind reeling from the hallucinations that were still swimming beneath the surface of his eyes. They
followed him into the bedroom and began to examine the corpse as he explained what had happened, still in
a state of shock.
They listened.
They smiled.
One said, the older one;
" there's been no crime committed here son, stop shaking, you've done what anybody would do in
the circumstances"
The younger one nodded a he removed a small plastic roll from somewhere inside his uniform, shaking it
out it became a body bag, black with a zipper down the middle. Moving toward the body the two men
positioned the bag on the floor next to the bed and the young cop reached over and worked the knife slowly
out of the corpse;
"Nice knife"
"thank you"
Thero watched with growing uncertainty as they worked, putting the knife on the bedside table and the
body in the bag, zipping it shut and standing one after the other to face him.
"We'll take this of your hands son, but I'm afraid you'll have to clean this mess up yourself,
budgets not what it used to be I'm afraid!"
Thero watches as they carry the body to his door, passing through it one says
"Happy hunting!".
And then they were gone. Thero walked back to the bedroom, the bed a pool of blood, blood covering the
floor, blood all over the bedside table where his knife sat. The gaping hole in him grew and along its border
a wave of tears and sickness, while a black blankness raced down to meet the pain, Thero felt the last
vestiges of consciousness begin to fade
Thero lying in the doorway, curled in fetal position, unconscious, with a face that is twisted with horror
and pain

Chapter Two: Work is Hell.


9000 Words
Section Four: Thero goes to work
3000 Words
When he woke he had a shower. Thero knew that he was not well. Images, like memories, kept bubbling
away in the back of his head, it was like dope induced paranoia, accompanied by a mild acid trip. "This
will pass" was rapidly becoming Thero's mental mantra. He repeated it over and over to himself just as he
did when he got the fear on dope. He scrubbed for a long time at the blood that encrusted his arm up to the
elbow. He made the water hot, hot enough to scald, until, pink and burnt he went to his bedroom, removed
clothes from his cupboard as quickly as he could and walked to the lounge room to put them on. Thero
remembered dimly something about getting a cleaner for his room so he opened the phone book and flipped
through the C's, discovering as he did so never before noticed ads displaying pictures of dead bodies being
swept away by smiling, overall wearing cartoons. Thero then stood in his loungeroom for an hour, trying to
pin down what was different about the room, what had changed since last night, something about the
sharpness of the colors perhaps? He didn't know. The cleaner arrived and told him it would take a few hours
so Thero elected to spend the time at Allen's, his next door neighbor.
Walking out onto the street Thero began to notice other things that seemed not quite right about his
perceptions, he swore he could feel the weight of the light on his skin, and the perspectives seemed to have
changed, vanishing points becoming more obvious, backgrounds overtaking the foreground with their
brightness and sharpness, Thero began to feel ill, like a man stepping of a roller-coaster.
"Jesus, you look awful!"
"I'm not feeling as well as I might I guess"
" you look like you need a doctor, I think your in shock or something"
" I'll be fine, really, just thought I might come round have a cup of coffee.or something"
Thero swayed dangerously
"shit come in for fucks sake"
"thanks.."
Thero sat at the table drinking the black coffee pressed into his hands by Allen, who was sitting across the
table, looking at Thero with a measuring stare.
"So I guess you'll be moving on after this hey?"
"What do you mean?"
" fuck you know , leavingtown, to play the game, fuck, you know"
Thero didnt know and said as much to Allen who became pensive after that, Thero decided to check up on
the cleaner and maybe set up a bed on the couch in the lounge. He thanked Allen and left.
A sudden flash, like a flare going off in his mind, he sees faces, strange and alien, he feels a rush of
adrenaline, a pinprick, needle like feeling between his shoulder blades, and then its gone, back to the
swirling strangeness in his head.
From outside his house looks different, more menacing, like he's never been in there before. As he walks
through the front door the pressure on the handle feels somehow heavier.
"It's done, clean as a whistle, looks like you did a real job on that one eh?"
Thero paid the cleaner and watched him leave, then he sat down on his couch. He couldn't go to work now,
it was too late in the day and he was not sure that he was thinking normally, and he couldn't bear to stay in
the house. He elected to go for a walk.

Thero wandered up the hill that brought his street to the main road which ran sloping down a ridge into the
shopping centers and the train station. He looked through glass windows at displays of the latest toys for
the boys, and catching his reflection he saw his face, pale and haggard,
"There will be more coming, I was just the first, there will be more"
The voice left him cold, his own voice, in his own head, but not any part of him speaking, there was an
otherness to it, that otherness in the breathy laughter at his cheek in the night. He shivered, looking around,
he felt watched, unsafe, he hurried home.
He thought about seeing a doctor, but elected against it, he didn't trust them, not now. He thought about
going to see Susan, she might be moved to pity him in the state he was in, but some part of his mind
screamed in terrible fear and flashed visions of friends and loved ones he had never known, bloody and
dying before his eyes. He would not go to see Susan. Instead he put his knife under the coffee table, curled
up on the couch and waited for the day to end and next morning to come. He did not sleep.
At work they looked at him with hooded eyes, avoided speaking too him, but this was nothing especially
unusual, so Thero got to work on some of the network configurations he had ruined last week.
Conversations drifted past him
"And so we work, right? we as individuals work to produce, then go home to consume what we have
produced, and all the time these companies and social structures build up and up, like a spiders web, while
we just keep going through the cycle, never knowing what or who it is that we're really serving"
".yeah whatever"
"So then Sandra says that she's to busy and I'll jus have to accept that.."
"typical, they never think twice about it when they need you to sacrifice your time"
" So when will those be back.."
" should have been here yesterday"
Thero ignored the conversations and concentrated on his work. He found it hard to concentrate, he still felt
like he was high, or on some kind of bender anyway. His hands shook, and periodically his vision would
black out to be replaced with strange imagery of himself in various styles of dress. He was glad when
lunch arrived. Thero knew that the photocopier tech came in on Wednesdays so he thought he'd have lunch
with him.
"Thero"
"Dan"
"How goes your network?"
"Very well, and your copiers?"
And then it hits him again, colors flicker on and of the surfaces around him. In his mind that alien voice
screams; " run run run run".
And in front of him at the table it is no longer Dan, but a Thero dressed in overalls pointing a snub nosed
revolver at his head. Thero's mind is screaming, and Thero is frozen like an animal caught in the
headlights
"Thero, you ok? You look like you maybe popped one too many of your pills, you know!?"
And then it was gone, leaving only that dull knowledge, the knowledge that there truly was something
wrong with his mind, and, quite possibly, there really was someone out there, right now, waiting too kill
him, at any time, place " Oh god help me"
"what?"
"I need a drink Dan"
" We've got twenty minutes, we could go to the pub."
"Brilliant"
The pub was only a few doors down the street and was a regular lunching place for the more professional
class of employee at the post office, which was why the technicians rarely went there, preferring to bring
there lunches from home, or buy take away. Thero and Dan found a table in a corner and got a couple of
drinks.
"So, what's up Thero, on a bender?"
"NoI killed someone a couple of nights back"

"your in the game? Fantastic, so why are you staying at work?"


Thero was uncomfortable with the fact that everyone seemed to know what was going on in his life except
him, so he changed the subject.
" Drink up, we've only got fifteen minutes"
Thero brought his drink to his lips, and nearly gagged. The beer made him want too vomit, his mind
howled denial, begging him not to weaken it. Thero gritted his teeth and drank, he had felt that way before,
with other drugs, and he trusted his conscious judgment that he needed a drink or would go irrevocably
insane.
After two more beers the constant paranoia and hallucinations had begun to ease somewhat and Thero felt
capable of completing his days work. Taking his leave of Dan, Thero walked back up the street and took
the lift up to the floor where he was working. Thero spent the rest of the day in the relative privacy of the
network control room, trying to reconfigure a drive. The Network control room was a small room off one
of the main corridors in the post office's complaints department. The complaints department was a grid of
corridors, each giving access to several rooms, staffed by complaints telephonists, usually young women.
These rooms where not walled off from sight but for some reason were glass paneled from about knee
height to the roof. Thero had found this most irritating, especially since several of the more useless
managers had taken to strolling up and down the corridors talking to people through the glass.
" Come on girls, they can hear you smiling, keep smiling"
" Thero my boy, are you going to have our computers fixed soon, come on now, you got to put you back
into it"
Thero had solved this dilemma by putting one way contact all over his glass, allowing him too see out, but
no-one to see in. This had had an unexpected benefit , in that if he stood up he could peer past the glass
into the complaints division next to him, without the girls knowing that he was watching. He had seen
many candid things done, and many a furtive crotch scratching since he had raised his barrier, and he often
whiled away the hours watching voyeuristically some particular girl who he liked the look of, hoping to see
her stand up from her chair to pull her underpants from her ass or scratch her crotch, or reposition her skirt.
Thero felt almost at ease by the time the day was over.

Section Five: Thero Gets Drunk


3000 Words
Thero stopped at the bar again on his way home, and had several more drinks, until, feeling his
consciousness disappearing, he went home and blacked out on the couch. He woke at three in the morning,
hung over and convinced that there was someone in the house. He fumbled for his knife on the coffee table
as the hallucinations surged up within him, something in his head told him to leave the light off, to find a
cull de sac and wait, but his terror overrode the voice and he raced from room to room, switching on the
lights and throwing open cupboards, until every room was lit and ransacked, and Thero sat in the corner of
his loungeroom, cradling his knife and crying.
The alarm clock he had set up on top of the television brought his mind back from the blankness at eight o
clock and Thero rose showered and dressed. He did not want to go to work, he felt the need for human
contact, to feel un-alone, he felt unsafe by himself.
He elected to go shopping.
Shopping was something Thero often did for purely therapeutic reasons. Whenever he felt he had spent too
much time alone, but did not feel like seeing his so called friends, he would go to the shopping complex
and wander around, surrounded by people, a sea of consumers who somehow managed to make Thero feel
like part of a community. He would window shop, talk to sales people for hours about products he really
had no intention of buying, and generally mingle until the catharsis was complete. Then he would began to
feel claustrophobic and revolted by the mindless fools who wasted every penny they had on useless
garbage. Happy at last he would go home and think mean thoughts about the pathetic mob.
Today his shopping was not going to plan. He felt more isolated, his hallucinations had stepped up in their
intensity as soon as he had arrived at the complex, and the people he usually enjoyed so much now seemed
somehow menacing, alien.
The sensation of being followed grew steadily as he wandered around the shopping complex and his
hangover subsided. He bought sardines for Mouse, milk, sugar, coffee and pornography.

Section Six: Second Attack


3000 Words
He was walking past a shop that specialized in a variety of bondage gear when he noticed the man. He was
dressed shabbily, and had a beard and long hair, sunglasses and a hooded jacket on. Thero had seen him
before. He had been in the store where he bought Mouse's food, and then again in the news agency where
Thero had purchased his porn. Thero felt his hands shaking and resisted the urge to vomit, He walked
quickly towards the exit where he was parked, feeling the man following, Thero began to jog, then run, he
was almost at the exit when he looked back and saw the man, talking to a girl and laughing about
something, taking of his hood and glasses to reveal a face totally unlike Thero's own. Reeling from the
shock he staggered towards a side corridor, hoping to sit down. He found an access hall and leaned against
the wall, breathing heavily. He glanced up the hall and there, standing in the shadow of a door frame was
himself, a smile on his face, a large double edged hunting style knife in his right hand. They seemed to
break into a run in total unison, each electing the same moment to act. Thero had about ten meters head
start and used it. He ran, back out the hall the way he came, and back into the complex, proper, something
in him told him that running for the exit he had come in from would be a mistake, that he had to find
somewhere different, somewhere to end this. His pursuer was screaming something at him, something
meaningless and garbled, the crowds parted for them, but no screams went up from the people who saw the
knife, there was no shock, it was like they saw this sort of thing everyday. Thero cursed them silently for
not intervening. Then on his left, in his peripheral vision, something that set the hallucinations rioting He
saw an exit sign, black box with glowing green letters over a door. Through it then. And out. Into a terrible
world.
The outside of the shopping complex had changed. Thero had been to this place a hundred times before, it
was directly between his home and work, the place he always shopped. Now it was different, not in the
way everything had been recently, that was still with him, and seemed to be a more subjective kind of
change. No. This was on an altogether larger scale, trees were in different places, the car park was smaller,
the cars where models he had not seen before, this place was not the place he had been before. He heard
the running footsteps from behind the door and knew he had not lost his attacker when he lost himself.
Casting about the ground Thero's eyes were caught by an iron bar, leaning against a skip, obviously used to
lock it. He grabbed it, the door flew open, Thero brought the bar round like he was swinging a bat.
And then past him runs the man, the dead man. Shattered skull. Blood. And then Thero's mind is shattered
again, and again he has is invaded by visions.
But this time it is different, Thero stands outside himself, watching as a life flashes past him, a life much
like his own, but more squalid, he sees his own face in the mirror, a strangers eyes looking back, he sees
himself attacked, in a shack, sees a fight, between two of him, sees the victor, sees the victor begin the hunt,
and later sees and feels and hears him die, an iron bar crushing his skull as he chases a newbie through a
Worldgate.
It was over more quickly this time and Thero merely vomited rather than blacked out, already the visions
and knowledge he had gained were fading like a dream fades, and Thero fought to commit memory those
fact that he had learned before they were lost; He was hunted, hunted by people who looked like him. He
to was a hunter, he must kill those who tried to hunt him, and, most importantly, he was somewhere
different now, no longer in his own world, but somewhere else. Thero vomited some more.

Chapter Three: Childhood.


9000 Words
Section Seven: Thero explores new neighborhood
3000 Words
Thero walked aimlessly, everything so familiar, everything so alien, colors different, like the contrast and
brightness have been changed, the trees seemed more animated and cars blinked in and out of reality like
frames in a stop motion animation. He walked toward his home, what was his home, hoping to find himself
there, hoping to hurt the self he finds, to pay them back for the ruin and madness they have brought down
on him. It was getting dark. Thero saw the rows of houses as cardboard cut outs stacked one behind the
other, two dimensional. He stood outside his house, across the street, standing under the tree that had until
this morning been bereft of leaves, now they are too green, too bright in the evening dark, and they make a
noise like the running of fingernails down a blackboard, screaming in terrible unison. Laughter from inside
the house. The lounge room lights are on throwing their yellow glow out past the weatherboards and into
the quiet street. He moves closer, coming up the drive to look in the side lounge window. A family, a couple
and two children, none of them him. The lust that had filled him before, the desire to kill, vanishes and is
replaced by a terrible loneliness. Here everything is different, that one anchor he had hoped for, to see the
one who was him here, was gone.
"what is my name"
"Thero Michaels"
"who must I find"
"Thero Michaels"
The people within appeared to be preparing to go out, the children were dressed in tiny suits and the parents
were busy searching for keys and wallets. Thero moved around to the back of the house, sitting against the
rear wall until he heard the car pull out of the driveway, circling round he came to the window of what had
been his spare room, here a bedroom for the kids. The window was not locked, just as it had never been
locked in his home. Thero climbed in and looked around, the place was terrifying, it was as if he was seeing
his house as it would have been if Susan had stayed, if they had had two children, if they had remained in
love He was angry again now, for a different reason, or perhaps not so different, and he began to ransack
the house. He found a bundle of notes in the bottom of the closet in the main bedroom and shoved them in
his pocket, walking into the kitchen he paused to tear the phone out of the socket and then began to flip
through the phone book. There where five Michaels with the right initials, so he tore out the page and put
that in his pocket too. Thero left the way he got in, but instead of heading back out into the street he walked
to the back of the garden, intending to jump the fence and head down the laneway there. He was holding
the upper rail the fence when his mind collapsed.
A sudden picture, pain and darkness, Thero running from screaming silhouettes helpless. Something within
him sneered, laughed at his weakness, he had killed a hundred times before he had run a score of worlds, he
had
He needed a weapon. Running back to the house he once again slipped in through the window. He went
straight for the kitchen and found a large knife, black handled and eight or nine inches long. Then, back out
the window, over the fence, and down the lane.

Section Eight: Thero searches for double


3000 Words
Thero headed for the train station, usually a twenty minute walk but he was moving fast. His vision was
still all wrong, he could see past the shadows of the streets shrubbery and make out words on the spines of
books in shelves inside the houses across the street, his eyes felt as sharp as his mind felt broken, still his
perspective would shift in and out of three dimensions, the sky looking like a huge black sheet of plastic
one moment and just like a sky the next. He could remember things now, remember how he had killed a
particular version of himself by tying him up, slashing his wrists and the fucking him until he lost
conciseness, Thero had liked that, now the vomit and bile rose up in him at the thought.
He stood on the station and waited, examining the memories he found he could now access. There were
two sets, one from each of his kills, but neither was complete, most of the memories seemed faint, distant,
like a TV show. But some, some where terribly clear, as if they had happened to Thero himself, and these
tended to be of a type that Thero found abhorrent. Thero wanted nothing more or less than to feel
comfortable, unafraid for even a brief moment, but he knew, at least, some part of him knew that that was
not to be, not now, not ever again. Thero's train arrived, he got on, it pulled away.
Thero left the hall of records confused and weary. He had not managed to find anyone who matched his
own name and description there. The closest he had come was a 12 year old boy called Theo Michaels who
lived across town. He was heading their now. He had wanted to book a hotel room and bed down for the
night but something vague in his "other memories" told him that this was tactically wrong, and so he kept
moving. He supposed that this Theo might at least be a starting point, a beginning, he felt very strongly
that he needed to take action, to shape the course of his own destiny rather that just wait for the next
attacker to pounce on him.
He had consulted a street directory before leaving the hall of records, and he now approached the house
from the access lane which ran behind it, this was a different lane to the sort he was used to in his
neighborhood, it was bordered on one side by the high wooden fences of the homes it served, but on its
other side, an earthen wall rose up steeply, leveling of at the top to reveal train tracks. Thero kept to the
shadows made by the scrub that grew on the slope, it was evening now and getting darker all the time.

Section Nine: Thero fights inner child


3000 Words
The first rock spun him round like a top, and he thought he felt his shoulder blade crack with the force of
the blow. Before him in the darkness was a group of about ten children, ranging in age from about eight to
around twelve, and they where hurling stones at him. He was trying to run when another large rock clipped
his temple and he fell down. The children pounced on him, swinging rocks and sticks down on him in a
frenzy of screams and laughter. Thero went for his knife, unsure of what he could do with it. Staggering to
his feet he swung the blade in a wide arc and the children backed away, only to begin throwing their rocks
again. It was then that Thero notices the other boy, he stood at the back of the pack, he seemed to have no
weapon, and he stared directly into Thero's eyes and smiled like an angel.
Above the laughter of the mob the angel spoke.
"you really are the most pathetic fucker I've seen in a long while you know"
Thero, now on his knees and bleeding badly from several wounds knew he could not much longer last the
barrage, so hoping that his aim was still good he hefted one of the larger stones that had been thrown at
him. The children seemed to be used to this tactic and instantly backed away, tensing each to pounce in a
different direction should he throw. But Thero was not interested in the pack, he was interested in the angel
boy.
But the angel boy was laughing again.
" Oh Jesus newbie, you dumb fuck do you seriously think you can hit me?"
Thero threw his rock. It missed.
Thero was at a loss, he felt sure that if he played dead the pack would not stop beating until he was nothing
more than a bloody ruin, he knew he could not throw a rock that was heavy enough far enough to strike the
child. Thero wondered what it would be like to die, and to die like this, like a dog, and something in his
mind snapped and let a flood of memories come crashing into his nerves and muscles.
He could feel it in his arm, the weighting, the wrist action, he could see himself, different and then different
again, strike down other selves at a distance with a steel blade, ever changing, sometimes long and slender,
sometimes short and vicious, his muscles knew them all, knew how it was done, and he reached down into
his jacket for his knife, stolen from his house, and threw it at the angelic boy. It struck him in the neck.
And then Thero knew, and knew with certainty that he had killed himself again. The pack melted into the
night and Thero felt himself blacking out as the memories began to flood in.
Dreams.
Thero was ten and he and his friends would sit behind the fence of his parents house, smoke dope, and
throw rocks at the trains that ran past every fifteen minutes. Sometimes when strangers came down the
lane they would throw rocks at them as well. Thero was nineteen and a man had chased him down a lane,
chased him screaming and laughing. And then Thero had seen himself, sitting with a group of boys, seen
himself look up, seen the fear, the confusion, and then the iron serenity closing down, the purity of
innocence and sociopathy of youth. And then he calls to the pack and the stones come down, and Thero the
child tastes his first new mind. The man who followed dead Thero avoids the trap easily as do many others
later, but sometimes other newbies with no kills to their name would come down the ally and child Thero
would feed. He was a simple animal, with only one generation of selves beyond his own. Other Thero's
crowded round, laughing at such a simple creature almost succeeding in subsuming dreaming Thero
dreaming Thero woke up sweating in the cold air.
It was still night when he woke, he examined his wounds which were not as savage as he had expected and
most were already scabbing over although he did feel lightheaded from bloodloss.
Thero turned and staggered down the laneway, Once again feeling the memories flooding into his mind. He
had no time for that now, he just needed to be away, away from the body of the boy that lay broken and
bleeding behind him. Thero kept running, running down the laneway. At first he did not notice as the
incline on his left began to flatten out, and the houses on his right change from there high unbroken fence
line and resolve themselves into sparse cottages. The light was growing now as the dawn came and Thero
saw a cartoon English countryside rolling out before his eyes

Chapter Four: England. / (summer holiday)


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Section Ten: Thero is pursued by the hunt
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Rolling hills sun coming out like a sped up movie reel, bright green grass and little clumps of trees. Knee
high stone walls crisscrossing the land, dirt paths run along side sheep walk and congregate on high land
while cottages out of some fairytale huddle in the valleys. Sun seems strong and high in sky, only moments
ago deep dark dusk. This was different, this was not a place that Thero knew, this was not a twisted version
of his own neighborhood, this was like a postcard or a book he'd read, he felt he was walking into a dream.
He could see people now, a few people stood in front of a cottage by the road, they had been talking,
laughing moments ago, but now they stopped and stared as he walked past. He wanted to talk to them, to
ask them where he was, for food, god but he was hungry, he couldn't talk to them, the way they stared, like
he was an animal, with a sort of disinterested sadness reserved for things not known well or liked but also
known to be not long for this earth. He hurried past.
The road led upwards, winding its way up the grassy hills, apparently heading towards a pine forest that sat
brooding on the higher ground above the vale.
He heard the sound and almost laughed, so many movies, he had heard once that they made it with coconut
halves, and truly it sounded just like it. Turning he half expected to see cameras and boom mikes following
knights in armor on the path behind him.
There where three of them, they looked a few years older than Thero, mid thirties perhaps, but they were
not so changed that they where not easily recognizable as doubles, the eyes and nose were still exactly what
Thero remembered seeing in the mirror. They wore red jackets, white pants that where tight around the
calves and looser around the thighs, black nut shaped hats and riding crops. Dogs running round the feet of
the huge chestnut hoses that they rode and their faces where smiling death and terror from just a half a mile
down the road.
Thero ran.
He left the road as quickly as possible, believing he had a greater chance of avoiding capture by making
straight to the pine forest.
He ran through long grass and brambles, zigzagging up a spur towards the pines, the riders where not far
behind and he could here them laughing and talking.
Thero entered the eves of the forest. It was cool and dark, the smell of pine, the soft needles underfoot
shadows, quiet, menacing. Thero ran. The hunters followed. The hounds bayed. The wood grew denser,
Thero began to wonder why the hunters had not caught him yet, it seemed to him that he should not have
been able to outrun hounds and horses. Through the trees Thero could make out what appeared to be a high
hedge in the distance, a wrought iron gate arched in a four meter gap through which a manor house could
just be made out.

Section Eleven: Thero meets the aristocracy


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The riders did not seem to be pursuing anymore, Thero wondered if this might be because whatever was in
the house might be something worse even than mounted Thero hunting Thero's.
The gates opened noisily to reveal a rolling, dilapidated lawn with a path that led up to the front doors of
the house, Thero walked towards them. The door was answered by an old man, tailed jacked, deranged
English fantasy butler.
"This way, the Master is expecting you."
Thero followed him through vast rooms, wood paneled with strange landscapes and portraits hanging from
the walls. Walking into a large sitting room, green couches, open fireplace blazing and in front of it,
standing on a tiger skin, is a man in a white suit, with a maroon smoking cap on his mustached head and a
martini in his hand.
Thero noted that this man was also his double, slightly older, mid fifties, he had gray hair, and was staring
musingly into the fire.
Thero stared at him and said,
"are you going to kill me"
"oh no my dear boy, no"
"oh"
" are you all right? The chase can be quite frightening, or so I have heard"
"yes,.yes I'm finewellnot fine exactly, you know"
"oh of course my dear boy I know, tough times for all and all that"
"Who are you?"
"Ari is my name, or rather it is not, but that is what I am called. But I am not the stranger here, not the guest
of the house, and I do not want to bore you with tales of me, tell me of you."
Thero felt his defenses crumbling.
"Sit my boy, please!"
Thero collapsed into one of the couches that surrounded the fire and began to speak. He spoke about his
ordeals, the attack in the night, the children, the hunters, and then he found himself telling Ari about other
things, his break up with Susan, his troubles with his co workers, and Ari would listen, and sometimes ask a
question or murmur an encouraging word, and then Thero found himself telling of things that had not even
happened to the self that he knew, things that had happened to that short (as yet) chain of lives that trailed
out the back of his head.

Section Twelve: Thero is given Aid and decides to continue


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Talking, talking, talking. Thero felt it would never stop, the thing actually seemed nervous, eager to please.
"just shut up for the time being, ok? I'm trying to think."
"sure, I 'spose I could give you a minutes peace, I mean I wouldn't want to upset you or anything would I?"
The fucking thing almost sounded sarcastic, Jesus but he could do with some dope now, just to calm his
nerves, it wasn't as if he could become any more scitzo was it?
Thero felt that something had been done to him in the last few days, not so much a healing, it was more as
if Ari had taken a scalpel to his mind and cut and separated parts of his mind that were wounded, he still
felt broken, even mad in the true sense, but at least it no longer felt debilitating.
"We each walk our own special path through the Verse, not every Gate will take every traveler to the same
world, but it is wise to remember that the Worldgates will rarely if ever separate a hunter from his prey"
"There are many Thero's, I am one, though that is not my name. There are many worlds, one for each of us.
Now picture, this, picture a man, moving from his world to the next, he is fleeing from another man, who
crossed to his world fleeing from another and so on, sometime there are many of us on one world, each
having traveled from another world but unable for a time to move on, so in some worlds we build up, and
in many worlds there are none of us but those empty world drop from the game, and there doors close.
Now, our man, out of practicality and expediency kills the one he finds there, and lo and behold, the one he
kills has killed a few of his own and they have killed a few of their own and so on. So as the Empty Worlds
close their doors to us, and our souls and minds aggregate into fewer and fewer bodies, we congregate onto
fewer and fewer worlds, destroying each others bodies and building communities in our heads. Some of us
believe that we are in the process of creating a superbeing, the some total of all the minds, housed in one
body. I doubt this, we all go mad you see, we cant cope with that many minds in our skulls. Its too much.

Chapter Five: The Hippie Aesthetic. / (camping)


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Section Thirteen: Thero meets Hermit, discusses philosophy
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Thero floated. Sunlight touched his skin in patches and the water, while cold, felt pure and fresh, there was
a smell of pine and eucalyptus in the air, and the quiet sounds of birds and wind and drip drip drip. He
could see that red sandy rock made up the basin in which he now floated, it contorted and twisted in strange
shapes above him, and yet it was achingly beautiful. Trees grew on the rock, and spiny bushes, he could
just make out some kind of lizard sunbaking in his peripheral vision. He felt a peace he had not felt in
years, he could not remember feeling like this in his adult life, alone, unthreatened, peaceful.
"Hello"
Thero splashed himself upright and spun around in the water to see an old man, dressed in rags, with a long
bushy gray beard sitting by the pool, watching him.
"UmHello"
The old man beckoned for Thero to follow him, and for some strange reason, Thero found that he implicitly
trusted this person, he rose up and waded out of the pool and set of after the old man.
The Hermit (as Thero now thought of him) led Thero up the gully that formed the stream which fed the
pool, after a while the land flattened out and a hut could be seen leaning against a large rock formation.
They went in.
So Thero sat , naked, drying himself by the fire, the hut was a strange contraption, it was built around the
mouth of a cave and it was in the back wall that the hearth was placed, under a natural chimney, through
which the stars could just now be made out. It was both warm and cool there, and Thero felt drowsy and at
ease. The hermit spoke not at all but merely sat, a little further back from the flames, more properly in the
hut, for he was beneath the roof of bracken whilst Thero was under only rock.
"who are you?"
I am you, as you should know only too well"
"You won't kill me will you?"
Silence.
"Do you know, I feel almost healthy here, like a memory of camping with my parents before they dies."
Silence. Soothing absence of speech.
"I think I'm tired"
"Sleep"
So Thero slept, and dreamed warm, silent dreams, for the first time in a long time, no dead parents, no lost
lovers, no mad doubles capering in the periphery of his sight, just warm wind in starry night and
comfortable silence of a consummate companion.
When he awoke the hermit was gone. Thero could not bring himself to feel too concerned about this and
finding his cloths dry and folded with his meager possessions beside them, he dressed and stretched like a
cat, the action instantly taking the nights drowsiness and days of aching joints away as if never to return.
Some time later the old man returned, and looking again Thero could indeed see something of himself in
the face beneath the white gray beard, and he found himself laughing with delight when the old man said;
"I have brought breakfast, caught fast trapped rabbit in my hands man."
The brace of rabbits had already been gutted and skinned, and the hermit set about providing a most
auspicious breakfast of flame grilled rabbit and stew.
After the meal Thero felt jovial enough to ask
"So I presume you too "Abstained from play"?"
An affirmative silence.
"Well I'm convinced, how do I abstain, I've grown kind of tiered of being a fox or a hound"
"That is no simple thing you ask, many have tried to forsake the Game, but all bar few wind up being eaten
in Play, for they are of weak will and do not last long, in their own bodies or in the minds of other
collectives, it takes strength of body and mind and wisdom hard gained to sit in your own corner o the
Verse and remain unchallenged and whole."

Thero sat in stunned silence at this, he had not heard the man say so much in all the time he had been there,
he had not really expected an answer at all let alone so comprehensive a one as this.
The hermit seemed

Section Fourteen: Thero faces moral choice


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Section Fifteen: Thero Decides on meaning of quest


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Book Two: Suburbia


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Chapter Six: Big Sister.
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Section Sixteen: Thero arrives in the city
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This is the Verse. A book of as many pages as there have been thoughts, or a corridor, with as many doors.
It is vast. It exists on many levels and in many ways and meanings. Some say that it could be most closely
modeled as a tree, universe after universe spreading out from the trunk and spawning branch after branch in
an hyper inflationary, self reproducing, series of bangs and pops and whistles. Others argue that it more
closely resembles a forest, because of the many parallel realities said to exist just out of reach of all but the
chosen few, Still others say if the forest then why not the mountains, if the mountains then why not the
planet, if the planet why not the system, if the system why not the verse itself. Those chosen few, they may
know, but it would be unwise to ask, those who watch can only guess at what goes on behind the many
masks, those that never know need never care and those who Play, they are unlikely to tell what they know
or think. We watchers are content to know that some there are who still stride through the skies and shake
the worlds with their shouts and laughter who fall darkly and long for the privilege of burning oh so bright,
not that they are given any real choice in the matter.
Thero woke in a gutter, shadows loomed above him, noises he couldn't assimilate came from every
direction. He got up. Looking around he saw he stood in a laneway nestled between two buildings that
looked out onto the street. The street was chaos. Hundreds of thousands of people seemed to be flowing
up and down it, speaking and shouting a hundred different languages.
"Well, looks like a cool placebusy, I like it!" said Aid.
" Jesus look at them all, how can I walk into that?"
"Just go with the flow man, it's easy"
"Oh fuck"
Thero stepped out into the mass of human movement and flesh, noticing as he did so that not all the people
crushing past him where clothed, and many seemed in a state of sexual excitement, some did not walk at
all, but smiled their ricottas, orgasm grins as they where swept literally of their feet in the crowd.
"This is awful"
"I like it, its got a sort of old world orgiastic charm"
After some time Thero learned how to let the crowd carry him along not fighting the flow of people and he
became more relaxed, his previous exhaustion evaporating. Thero rode the crowd for an hour or so, and
was almost saddened when he noticed it slowly disintegrating around him, until there was room to breath
and take stock of his surroundings. Apparently he had moved out of the main business district and into an
area where people actually lived.
Thero decided to rob one of the apartments and get some food and a weapon of some kind, he was sick of
his knife, and felt the urge for something more extravagant.

Section Seventeen: Thero goes on a Binge


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Section Eighteen: Thero has sex, kills sister


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Chapter Seven: City. / (Depression in the big city far from home)
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Section Nineteen: Thero flips out
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A moment in time frozen like an ocean of water suddenly locked solid, ice floating in, the warm wet when
now gripped by cold hard, no one for miles and miles, they will have to walk across the water rock, over
the deep deep new ground, they will have to climb the snap still wave hills and chip away with little metal
claws until they find that place where heart is cold and caught in hard ice thought, one moment when the
world stopped and went cold and hard and empty and silently looking up will one day see those coming
with their heads held high, they will stride over the water where the fish no longer move they will peer
across the new made plains and laugh in the face of adversity! Looking out trough long dead eyes at them,
watching them make a world for themselves, the mobile ones, the ones not stuck half in one moment for
foolishly floating in the warm wet when, it was all fine and then, snap! And how could you know, how
could you see it coming see her turning her head and see her dying and want to wail at the water and the
vast past now no go no change all pain, and land locked, individual but they are free because of it, they can
walk upon, they use the moment when to find now and later, later they will walk past and one will say look
here, here be the body, the body of one of them, the failed ones, the ones who let the clock stop at some
hour or other and let the oceans of time freeze and hold them vice like in the grip of some pain too heavy to
pull upon the road of minutes too leaden a weight to float upon the waves and so this one brought the
winter down to save himself from drowning deep with too much luggage but silly one gets caught can't run
away can't use his box to sledge along the ice paths no, one is caught in terrible one place sorrow makes a
mockery of poor old Zeno's arrows the light catching the hair there golden brown and sunk in shadow
bands of light that throw the dust just so her hair shines wine laughter always shadow terrible to believe
that maybe the face was seen and known before the deed was done and sun seems terrible shooting shafts
like ancient paradox roaming over her body roaming over the ice never on her face did not see the face
must not have seen the face hidden always in shadow until the terrible moment sun bright above who could
think this thing and live what if what if the face had been known what if the deed was lustily performed by
a pack of men a roaring mob a bucket of blood but surely he amongst the crowd abstained refrained sun is
hot and bright but far far away and ice is cold and close and now familiarity gives rise to new explanations,
new angles viewpoints theories and they are not pleasant no hope now no way forward but inside and the
paths all lead down, down into the dark.
He killed her and he knew her and he saw her and it didn't matter and there had been so much blood and
then there was so much silence and he had been hard and he had been frightened and he had felt alive and
for the first time since it had all begun he had truly enjoyed being what he had become and at that moment
something in his mind had broken in a terrible irrevocable way.
Thero knew he was mad. He felt sure that it had been going on for some time and wondered distractedly
when it had started and how long it had been going on. When he had killed Kate was the defining moment,
a part of him said, but really it stretched back before that too. Perhaps he reasoned, I'm still curled in the
corner of my bedroom in shock with some dead bugler on my bed.
" I doubt it, it would seem to me that the last thing a person in shock would do would be to hallucinate a
totally different killing!"
"Shut up. I have elected to cease believing in you "
"Why should you disbelieve in me, I am merely a Device, microchips and speaker/microphones"
"Whilst I am still able to hear you", Thero whispered conspiratorially, "I have for some time now been
unable to locate the box wherein lives your brain, it is most assuredly not about my person, and yet still I
hear you chatter, and even speak back to you, you who is apparently no longer!"
"You fool!, ignorant pillock! I have merely transferred my circuitry into your flesh to be closer to you my
one and only friend"
"Fuck off!"

Thero stopped and sat on the ground. He ran his fingers through his hair and massaged hi scalp, his hair
had changed, he noted in an idle sort of way, to a rich golden brown, and had lengthened to hang around his
shoulders.
People glided past, season was over, he was safe, someone had said that.
Thero watched the path on which he sat as it wound its way away from the Center and towards what where
presumably quieter, happier places.

Section Twenty: Thero is attacked and cant tell who won


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Section Twenty-one: Thero cannot find a door


3000 Words

Chapter Eight: trippen


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Section Twenty-two: Thero arrives in heaven
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Endless deaths. Thero fell. A million worlds, or one, it mattered not, as Thero fell he killed and was killed,
consumed and was consumed, some thread ran down into the tapestry and in it lived

Section Twenty-three: Thero Explores


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Section Twenty-four: Thero Resigns Himself to Fate


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Chapter Nine: The Arena. \ (Thero fights the forces of divinity.)


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Section Twenty-five: Thero fights the angel
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Section Twenty-six: Thero is accepted by the peers


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Section Twenty-seven: Thero re-commits himself to the quest


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Chapter Ten: Earning Your Wings. / (rebirth)


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Section Twenty-eight: Thero goes to hell
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Section Twenty-nine: Thero goes to a strange Place


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Section Thirty: Thero goes through the looking Glass


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Book Three: Revelation


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Chapter Eleven: Desert
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Section Thirty-one: Thero arrives at Desert of his Zen Mind
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One day Thero found that his madness could carry him no father, he opened his eyes and saw the endless
flat, colorless land. His mind gave him images with witch to populate this country, cowboys in hats,
spacemen in fishbowls, and yet some part of him knew that none of this was real, that the place to which he
came was to abstract, too pure and horrible to know

Section Thirty-two: Thero recalls his existence


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Section Thirty-three: Thero Meets himselves


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Chapter Twelve: Cowboy Town


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Section Thirty-four: Thero recombined into self and others
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Section Thirty-five: Thero Jopurneys to town


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Section Thirty-six: Thero meets the inhabitants of the Core Verse


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So we enter the dusty bowl that is the town, the sign has many crossed out populatioons and the small
number that is left seems an optomistic estimate at best.

Chapter Thirteen: Castle.


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Section Thirty-seven: Thero Leaves town in search of center
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Section Thirty-eight: Thero arrives at center explores building


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Section Thirty-nine: Thero camps in corridor formulates question


3000 Words
Three days, three plays, three ways from Sunday, blown by a wind so strong it purifies like a hand dryer in
a urinal. Thero walked, the passage ran straight and level, recessed lights light tit at intervals of about ten
meters, this had the effect that as he walked he was alternately plunged into absolute darkness and sick,
hollow light, Thero watched his shadow grow and disappear behind him, like so many lives and minds
rising up, growing then obliterating themselves in the light. Thero was hungry. A clan of voices in his head
told the committee that this was nothing unusual, but a lone and trusted voice told him that he, they, would
die if not fed soon, the water bottle was empty, his rations long ago consumed, he hoped beyond hope or
caring to find some form of sustenance, His companions around him mocked him, their stomachs growing
large as they pranced down the passage, he paid them no mind.
"You are welcome to my batteries, though I may starve and need resetting!"
Thero laughed at Aid's remark
"Only the strong may retain their own souls, fewer still may lead the multitude to water in the desert"
Herm spoke wisdom, but this only served to anger Thero, who had had enough of wisdom, enough of
heroes and heroism.
"You are all Mad." He cried'
"I shall not shed one drop of blood to save you, for I am selfish, and a thief in the night!"
Thero laughed and the sound was hollow and terrible in his ears, echoing down the passage through time
and lurid light.

Chapter Fourteen: Revelations


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Section Forty: Thero Meets a Reff
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Section Forty-one: Thero discovers truth


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Section Forty-two: Thero answers Question


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It rose up before him, a horrible alter to a dead god. Thero thought of all the lives he had led, of all the
games he had played, for them, for those who had died, or left and gone far away, they were laughing at
him, he was sure. It took some time before he realized that it was he who laughed, long and loud, his many
minds united in the morbid appreciation of a cosmic joke.

Chapter Fifteen: Climax. / (redemption)


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Section Forty-three: Thero gives away his mind
3000 Words

Section Forty-four: Thero meets old friends


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Section forty-five: Thero goes away


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