Sights.

What are you afraid of,
I know that you are
Keep it in your sights now
and don’t let it go far
 – London Grammar
 
It is approximately two years since I did any serious writing. It has been awful. Even by extensive procrastination periods, this has been a record breaker. It is like I have been in hibernation, a long hibernation which defies biology. Buried deep in the ground never daring to raise my head up.
So what have been doing all this time not writing. Well, I have designed. Beautiful websites and applications, learnt a new language (Python). Promptly dropped it. Old unlikable PHP still does wonders in legacy systems. Wandered around jobs. Kept wondering how I got here. Quit them, stayed home and gazed at the stars searching for Alpha Centauri and Betelgeuse. Never found them. Stocked my library, read new experiences. Got hooked to Charles Stross and Neal Stephenson. Had an existential crisis, got over it. After all we all heading to the big black. Why sweat it?
I have listened to less and less music. Later settling on two bands which seem to resonate with me on a level I can’t quite grasp. Of Monsters And Men and London Grammar. Give them a ear, they will not disappoint, oh, and Mayonde.
I usually don’t do(did) short posts. This is a new ground which I am not treading again. It has been hard to put up whatever sh*t I have churned out. I haven’t submitted anything to magazines too. Blame it on the crippling self doubt which I would like to imagine I am crushing it right now with a vice.
I am dusting several halfway done manuscripts and typing word after word until I am done. Every two weeks I am putting up something. I was born to do this, dammit!

Klexos

Klexosthe art of dwelling in the past.We think of memories as a work of art – and a work of art is never finished. Only abandoned.

Giant Bio mech squid

 

Down town Nairobi bustles with activity. It’s midnight but the absence of planetary light has rendered nights negligible. It is now about the bottom line. Keeping the city’s economy alive and making a mark in the archives lest you be forgotten like a gust of wind. The open air market is crazy as usual. Shouts, haggling, collisions and secretion of bodily fluids.  Something which has not changed for over ten thousand years, or so, the memory banks have this for a fact. Early 19th century had humans travel to market centres and trade. That has not changed at all. There is foot and air traffic as well as constant chings here and there. The city lords have banned mechanical traffic from some of the sections. They say it corrupts, fills an otherwise great trade with a background buzz or drone which is impossible to eradicate from the transaction. These include but not limited to hover cars, drone-suits, and jump bikes. One common denominator is that they are all the products of the past centuries. They have refused to die with time and instead adapted, one could say they have evolved.

They are being replaced by super squids. The semi biological fast moving, flying and swimming contraptions. They are even being used for orbital transfers. The diamond wisp stretching up to the moon is becoming old fashioned, and cheap.

Kora doesn’t like Nairobi. She doesn’t like her family too. It’s understandable she is at that stage of life. It is too crowded for her liking. The comm links in her hypothalamus keep chiming. Installed at birth, she can never get away. Unless she goes off world. The major one. Moving off system where solar noise is none existent.

To be continued

 

The Absence – Part 1

There was an eerie look around the village. Dusty paths Meadows filled with sand soil. In addition to making them difficult for transit, they gave it a rather rusty feel. Like it had seen the better days. A feeling that once upon a time prosperity had made this a home. Then came a time to move on. Leaving trails of dust and hopelessness. I  was seated alone in the back of the old struggling bus which managed to find extra energy after every few minutes to move ahead. I was aprehensive of everything. The weird quiet soundings which had an occasional hoot of a barn owl. We came upon a dry riverbed where the bus had more than it’s fair deal of the labourous journey. Passengers got out to give it a push, will it to expend any remaining energy and if like Jeremy says it has soul; find within it’s nooks and cranes for that extra will power to get through the sand. I did not disembark because my body was not willing to. Hours of hard bumping and slipping in and out of consciousness had worn me out.
 
We were on the road again in no time and for some reason my eyes were fixed on the left window staring far in to the distant hills. In between I could see huts which had smoke billowing. A notification that it was already lunchtime and I had had few scraps for the last 36 hours. A few of the huts had white flags on the roofs. A common protective feature for a community which had completely refused to move with times and adopt imported religions. Shrines where the gods resided where hallowed ground and it would be an anathema if an outsider like me got to peek in to one.
 
The drone of the bus, occasioned by the constant scuffles as it hit massive potholes was hypnotizing. The drone was a cue to get asleep, bumps woke me up with a start or sometimes they didn’t. The last bump made me bite my tongue, for the umpteenth time. With the trend going on I could be devoid of speech functions in the next few hours.
 
I was running in the beach barefooted. Hazy and dreamy filled with love. A scenario I witness in romantic movies when couples are watching the beautiful orange tropical sun set. I was doing the same thing, only this time the sun was not setting in-font of me. Up in the sky were rockets and space-ships constantly breaking out of earth’s atmosphere and transforming in to fiery fireballs albeit for few seconds. They created a spectacular aurora which was amplified by the dying streaks from the sun. It was a beautiful sight. I realised I had a camera in my hands and I went on a photography rampage. This went on for so long until I realised there was no end to the rockets departing. A thought dawned. None of them was coming back. All around me now was sand, dunes and more sand. Then there were numerous ground space stations where the ships were being launched from. The noise emanating from the anti-matter engines was deafening. I covered my ears but it would not stop. Then there was a whizzing sound for a few seconds, my ear drums burst. I was back on the beach, seated on the cool sand and watching the sky. The lights now were much less than before. I saw one burn and burn, then instead of dissapearing in to the outer space it plummeted back to the surface. It streaked like a shooting star but only growing bigger and brighter. It hit the ocean at some point and fizzled out. My thoughts formed, a sort of eureka moment which was a little too late.Every living soul was vacating earth, vacating the solar system. The sun was dying and with it support for  any life here. Billions of humans left to search for habitable planets far away. In multi generational ships for journeys which would take centuries and if the luck was still a bitch, millenniums.
They ships engineered for the purpose. I had briefly worked on Kano both on the Indian ocean and the low earth orbit. 
I was the only soul left on earth, freezing…I bit my tongue again really hard and woke up.
 
Maybe I will get my teeth clipped when I am back in the city. I did not know how long I had been asleep and dreaming but the landscape had not changed a bit and the bus drone was still disturbing.
‘Tell me about it’. I turned to my right to find an old lady holding a kyondo of apples staring at me apprehensively. Apples which made me salivate and had my stomach rumbling and squeaking in all sorts of funny noises ‘uh?’ I stared back at her blankly. ‘Tell me about your dream young man, in exchange of  some apples’. She said. ‘Was I mumbling in my sleep? I am sorry for that’ I said. ‘Nothing of the sort young human, I can tell you were dreaming, tell me about it’.Her eyes lay deep in their sockets, bright and constantly searching my face. I thought, what the hell. It was just a stupid dream and I would murder for some of those apples so here it comes old lady. I told her about my dream without leaving any detail. What surprised me was that I was able to remember everything about it with vivid clarity whilst I  always have problems recalling my dreams even the ones I really struggle to remember. She listened and nodded and in between she offered me an apple which fuelled the story. If I could really sell my dreams at a price then maybe I wouldn’t be so distraught and broke like I was. When the story was over I guess she was disappointed just as I was. If I could stretch it to several hours maybe I could end up with the whole basket. It was a disappointment. Was I willing myself to fall asleep and dream just for an apple? 
 
This was eerily weired. Who was this old hag anyway? Her complexion was dark and for some reason her face seemed cloudy. Her nose was long and her eyes were the only clearly discernible feature of the wrinkled face. When she spoke her voice was crisp clear, strong and commanding. She had a musky, old smell which should have been disturbing, but it wasn’t. Where had she come from? I couldn’t remember her embarking in to the bus when the journey commenced and sure as hell she did not get on at one of the numerous stops. I could have seen that. 
 
I had set out for this journey as a soul searching mission. A washed up journalist who was in and out jobs making enemies with editors on nearly daily basis. The journey which was now on it’s second month had fleeced my accounts and now I was traveling on a shoestring budget. Food had become a luxury and my stomach was constantly rumbling. The hag couldn’t have been here at a better time.
 
I don’t remember when I fell asleep again but I woke up with a shudder after we hit a rather massive pothole. This was an empty piece of sleep. No dreams at all and no memory of how it was. This did strike me as odd but who was I going to lodge a complain to? The old lady who was staring at me uncomfortably? I said hello once again. ‘Sorry ma, no dreams’ I said with a shy smile. “I know”. The reply. 

Sense8 and the Failure of Global Imagination

Couldn’t have put it better.

The Nerds of Color

How do you imagine a life you could never live? Though not really a theme, this problem is at the heart of Netflix’s new original series Sense8, created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, and heavily influenced by Tom Tykwer. Like many fantastical or science fictional premises, Sense8’s premise is a wish fulfillment: not — as is typical of this genre and the Wachowskis’ earlier work — the wish fulfillment of the disempowered middle school nerd stuffed into a locker, but rather the Mary Sue desire of a mature, white American writer/auteur who has discovered that an entire world is “out there,” one that the maker doesn’t know how to imagine.

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Celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary with this stunning nebula fly-through video

If your digital world seems to suffocate you at times with its strangling cacophony of constant information, we recommend this refreshing odyssey courtesy of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, pulling us into the wondrous eye of the cosmos.  NASA technicians created this thrilling fly-through visualization based on images obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope for its 25th anniversary.

The inspiring video teleports voyagers straight into the radiant center of the Gum 29 nebula toward the sparkling star cluster Westerlund 2 and its infinite beauty. Built by NASA and the ESA, the Hubble Space Telescope was first launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery 25 years ago today.

Here’s NASA’s official announcement:

This visualization provides a three-dimensional perspective on Hubble’s 25th anniversary image of the nebula Gum 29 with the star cluster Westerlund 2 at its core. The flight traverses the foreground stars and approaches the lower left rim of the nebula Gum 29. Passing through the wispy darker clouds on the near side, the journey reveals bright gas illuminated by the intense radiation of the newly formed stars of cluster Westerlund 2. Within the nebula, several pillars of dark, dense gas are being shaped by the energetic light and strong stellar winds from the brilliant cluster of thousands of stars. Note that the visualization is intended to be a scientifically reasonable interpretation and that distances within the model are significantly compressed.

Uncanny Issue 1 Cover & Table of Contents!

Uncanny

Uncanny_Issue_One

Coming in November, THE FIRST ISSUE OF UNCANNY!!!
All of the content will be available in the eBook version on the day of release. The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half in December.

Table of Contents:

Cover by Galen Dara

Editorial
The Uncanny Valley- Editorial by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

New Fiction
Maria Dahvana Headley- “If You Were a Tiger, I’d Have to Wear White”
Kat Howard- “Migration”
Max Gladstone- “Late Nights at the Cape and Cane”
Amelia Beamer- “Celia and the Conservation of Entropy”
Ken Liu- “Presence”
Christopher Barzak- “The Boy Who Grew Up”

Classic Fiction
Jay Lake- “Her Fingers Like Whips, Her Eyes Like Razors”

Nonfiction
Sarah Kuhn- “Mars (and Moon and Mercury and Jupiter and Venus) Attacks!”
Worldcon Roundtable featuring Emma England, Michael Lee, Helen Montgomery, Steven H Silver, and Pablo Vazquez
Tansy…

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Miniscule Black Hole – Part II

See Part I of this story.

The trees in Europa are so green they are blue. Seko stared at a willow through his window and made a mental note to pluck some leaves. He had just received a message that he was needed back at earth with immediate effect. The message had come directly from the Universe Ism ruler. Seko already knew it was a matter of magnitude proportions. A summon by the ruler was unheard of. He was so mysterious and scarce that he was almost mythical. After 11 earth years he was going to depart from Europa at last. He was born on earth but came to the island domes as part of his studies. He never went back. He loved it here. There was plenty of unspoiled oxygen and terraformation had created a wonderful environment. The shuttle was leaving in one hour, he already had the special pass authorised from the Ism directorate. The mere sight of the stamp was enough to send the guards scrambling to salute you or even kiss your ass literally.

He felt special. The flight back to earth took 5 hours. It was a shuttle of moderate proportions, not equipped with light speed enabling Alcubierre drives. He liked it that way, ships which contracted space scared the shit out of him. He could take weeks to recover from the journey.

He arrived in Nairobi at the evening just when the sun was setting. He did not miss it. The air was even stuffier than he left it though the pull of gravity was less, way much less than he had imagined it would be. He was almost floating. It was unnatural. He was picked up by a uniformed ism soldier who led him to a vintage limousine from the old earth. ”Will I be bequeathed the ruler’s head in a platter or something”, he joked to the soldier who was weaving past hover-cars at breakneck speed. No answer. Seko gave a light chuckle to himself and continued looking for anything new on the roads since he left. There was nothing, in fact people were less than the norm. This was another very unusual factor. Human beings loved earth beyond logic, many of them since centuries immemorial had adamantly refused to move to new planets and colonization. They held the earth dear, their mother. They arrived at the gleaming towers that housed the Universal Ism headquarters in no time. They were just as he remembered them.  Dreary and scary. The people who worked here were always gloomy as if they held the weight of the world literally on their heads. Right now they did. Seko was ushered in to the office of Earth director in a hurry. The director was a huge man. Broad shoulders, demeaning walrus-moustache, deep booming voice and all. His face was grim. Seko noticed that he had some traces of hair on the top of his head. A very rare occurrence, the feature had been out-evolved. He felt like laughing at him the way the laughed at a boy who had the same back in school. He held it back. ”Seko, we have been expecting you. I hope you are fully nourished.” Seko wondered what this had to do with anything. ”Earth is very dear to us and it would be sacrilegious if one day we lost it. We have discovered an anomaly in our immediate space. In exactly nine months, 2 days and 6 hours, a black hole will form right beside our orbit to the sun. I think you know what happens after that. It is your job to stop it from forming.” The director said with an air of finality.

Seko was confused, he was not an astrophysicist nor was he a scientist by any definition. He willed his time away at Europa by writing poetry and occasionally editing for the news organization there. There must be a mistake somewhere. ”Sir I don’t see how, I am not a scientist and I have very little understanding of how black-holes work.” He said. ”You will be given all the knowledge there is by microchip implantation to your diencephalon. It’s a simple matter. Have you ever been acquainted with time travel? Of-course no, it is illegal”. He answered himself. ”We are the Ism though and after numerous deliberations you have come out as one of the candidates to travel back in time and rectify this problem. We have traced your lineage and we are lucky to find that you have an ancestor who was a scientist and who contributed much to the problem we are having.” The director said. ”With all due respect sir, I have to decline. I am sure there are better people suited for the job other than me.” Seko said. ”You do not understand young man, that option is not available under any circumstances. Doctor Meniz will be with you soon for orientation and implantation. You will leave in one month so that is what you have to familiarise yourself with what the chip does not make clear. Feel free to ask any questions. I believe we have come to an understanding. I am now leaving for my walk. Say hi to your great, great, great grandpa and don’t look up my family when you are there”. The director said as he picked up his cane and walked out leaving Seko perplexed.

Dr Meniz was short and rather pleasant in contrast with the director. He walked with a slight hunch as he led Seko to the lab. The first task was the chip to fall in place. Seko had never been fond of implants but his life had changed dramatically since he received the message in the morning. He was about to do many things he was not very fond of or straight out loathed. In this period he met the other three candidates. Yeggi, the tall engineer who wore old fashioned glasses and mumbled to herself. She was an expert in time travel and also an historian of some sorts. Adua, the only extraterrestrial in the group. He/She, Seko could not differentiate came from a planet in the Andromeda system. Adua was an expert in black-hole formation as well as white holes. He/She was involved in the construction of several of them in Andromeda which were used to keep in place moons and planets which had broken orbit. Why he/she had chosen to work on a dangerous project to save the earth Seko had no clue. There was Kik, a temperamental scientist who always had his brow under sweat. He was responsible for the invention of several deadly weapons and he also relished the idea of blowing up moons.  To his surprise Seko was the leader of the group. He was tasked with making the first contact with his ancestor and making sure the coast is clear.

***************

I woke up the next morning with a massive headache. This was not a good way to start a day promising to be weird. The first thought was of the former human or post-human species lodged in my lab. My shoulders slumped. They were going to stay slumped for a very long time. A frown would also materialise which at last would take a plastic surgeon to wipe off. I took my hover-car to the lab. I walked inside to find Seko hunched over the bench with another creature. This was definitely not a post-human species. It was not bipedal for a start. It floated mysteriously just above the ground and buzzed all over my lab swiftly. This did not give me a second heart attack though. I was past the stage partially due to the events of the previous day and partially due to the fact that I was still a little bit inebriated. ”Hello Seko, who do we have here?” I asked cheerfully. ”Oh, where are my manners, this Adua. Adua, meet my once upon a time ancestor. He will definitely help with these calculations,” he said to the creature which turned to me and made what I presumed was a bow, or an insult. ”Nice to meet you Adua, now Seko, would you for the love of God explain to me what the hell is happening,” ”Chill out mate,” he said cheerfully ”see I familiarised myself with your slang to sound cool, chill out”. I was not about to ‘chill out’. ”No Seko, for the record that slang does not belong to this age and even if it was I do not use slang in my conversations. Now tell me what the hell is going on”. I realised I was getting agitated.

”Okay, okay mate sit down and have your precious coffee.” He said. ”Do you remember a paper you wrote 2 years ago about the formation of artificial worm-holes as a means of space travel?” ”Yes but it was only a theory and it does go against many laws of physics, it is not tenable,” I replied. ”Well, my old man. Some of your former colleagues did not think so and right now as we speak they are in the final stages of setting it up. It will not succeed, not now anyway. It will remain dormant for another four hundred years. When it does form then, in our time, it will not be a worm-hole but a black-hole. A black-hole smack in the middle of the solar system. Its size will be capable of collapsing the whole of the Milky Way. Sucking it unto itself. You would not want that to happen, would you? Your job is to help us stop them.” His cheery self had disappeared with his little speech. ”We need an old rocket which to refurbish as soon as possible, I am sure you can get us one old man”. I was not happy he was calling me old man but then again I was his great, great to infinity grandfather.

Obtaining a rocket discreetly was not an easy task. There were few of them just outside Nairobi in Athi river mines. They were dumped in old missile silos used in the world war three. The good thing is that they were not heavily guarded as they were regarded useless. We transported there in the nightfall by my hover-car loaded with 3D printed confusing contraptions which were to be used in repair. They had spent the whole day printing them with fascinating efficiency. There were two bored guards by the entrance strapped with laser rifles. We alighted and crept by the shadows until they we were a few meters away, then Adua materialised and said hello. They fainted. I summoned the hover-car and we bundled them in an air-lock inside. After that it was a breeze. Once inside they selected an old NASA space plane which was used to transport supplies to the International Space Station and the moon later. Seko said it was more than they had wished for.

We printed several drones and programmed them for the repairs which they did efficiently. In a few hours it was as good as new. The next step was weaponry. It was at that moment that an apparition occurred just beside me and off it went with some of my sight. Out stepped two creatures which looked like Seko. They did not even bother acknowledging me. Later I learned it was Yeggi and Kik. They spoke very little. Kik got down to work installing weird equipment to the sides of the plane. By the time he was done it looked more menacing than a Russian military chopper. We launched in the wee hours of the morning. A few minutes after we did, we got a message from the ground space control that we were not allowed to launch any rockets and especially old ones. We were asked to abort and we promptly declined.

The next warning was not so polite. It was a ground to air missile which missed us by miles. The next one was four heat seeking missiles capable of breaking in to space. The plane responded with its own which destroyed them. Several others were released to the same result. The real battle was ahead of us.

Several satellites in the orbit were already armed in readiness for the rogue plane. Their sheer number was overpowering. Kik’s massive veins on his forehead bulged as he fought them and neutralised them one by one. He was hitting them with missiles of his own creation which de-fragmented them in to several million pieces and to avoid creating space junk sent the scampering back to earth, breaking orbit and in to atmosphere. In a sense he was infecting every piece with smart nanites. Nanites which I had created in my lab. We soon settled on the orbit and started scanning for the construction team. When we saw them they did not seem perturbed. What was a mere space-plane against their five massive spaceships?

One of the spaceships was holding the supercollider which was in the process of accelerating the collision of the particles. The mission was to annihilate it. Remove any trace of it’s existence. We fired a warning shot high above them in the dismal hope that they would move away. They charged their weapons on the four ships and activated defenses on the fifth one. This was not going to be easy. We advanced in what was soon to become a battlefield.

The two ships in the flanks closed on us and simultaneously rained torpedoes on us. It was the time for Kik’s shields to prove their character and they really did. While the force from the attack threw us around, nothing penetrated the hull. It was like stabbing a cerrusite plate. This went on for five long minutes without any retaliation from our side. We took down the lead ship in less than a minute blowing it in to smithereens which like the satellites broke orbit back to earth. This prompted the other ships to form a triangle in defense of the one holding the collider. They made it too easy for us. Kik sent a volley of nanites enhanced photon torpedoes and soon we only had the mother ship remaining. We systematically destroyed it’s propulsion and weaponry system as they intended to take it to the future. Doing so would enable them to track any changes done in the field and disable them from their own time-line going onwards. Kik once again proved useful by equipping the space plane with cloaking mask which enabled me to go back to earth invisible.

Nairobi is in utter chaos now that I am back, and so is every place on earth. There are conspiracy theories on what really happened yesterday but nobody can guess the truth. I will take it to my grave.

Miniscule Black Hole – Part I

This post originally appeared on Storymoja Festival Blog

What Nairobi needs is a flood of heavenly proportions to clean it, wash the filth towards Nairobi river and any other outlet available. Wash away the filaments of delirium inducing weapons from the future. Weapons which have destroyed the present to save the future.

 We are just a semi evolved race hurtling towards its own demise. Accelerating and fanning the risk. Consuming and in turn being consumed by the greed of standing above everybody else’s head. So lonely and single minded, yet none can stand loneliness.
These were the words of Seko, a strange creature who traced his lineage to me. His head is huge. A concave shaped behemoth on the top of his neck. It is also bald giving it a rather ghastly look. His complexion is not like anything I have seen. Sci-Fi channel has given me time to time a picture sub consciously lodged in my mind of what aliens could look like if by any chance in the future they decide to pay us a visit. Green men, men with pixie pointed ears, creatures with multiple limps and complete lack of empathy. That sort of thing. Seko is not an alien. He swears by the Christian and Muslim holy books that he is human. He was not sure of what religion I subscribed to so he learned all the texts as part of crash course on the 21st century earth and the crazy religious zealots everyone is according to their history. He is right by some extend, and wrong too because I don’t subscribe to any religion. His skin feels rubbery to touch, more like touching the outer layer of cobra’s eggs. An activity which nearly killed me a decade or so ago when I bumped in to some by our farm. Fascinating contraptions that held me in awe for some minutes. A strike on my left hand brought me in to senses and it is also the reason I don’t poses the arm any more. He talks, not in any way different to the way I do though the accent is a bit perplexing but it is a bit difficult to focus on the accent when the creature in front of you is 8 ft tall and from the future.I am curious, very curious. The shock of the cavity which opened in my lab does not wear off but my scientific curiosity gets better of me. I never dreamed I would have any children, let alone have a lineage stretching more than four hundred years in to the future. If this thing is talking the truth that means I finally got the courage to chat up girls and even get one in the family way. The future doesn’t look so gloomy after all. My synthetic arm whirs in the struggle of shifting the couch in to a position which Seko can comfortably sit. It is a bit a product of my invention. My research work is based micro and nano robotics. Micro robotics has been fairly successful in the past few years and it is one hell of a scientific leap. My biggest echelon in the field is Squido. The tiny mosquito-like creature which guards my house with an option of paralyzing any biological intruder with one sting. All it takes is one command from my glasses or computer. I have not figured a way to disable fully mechanical robots though. It is a work in progress. I have a friend who has managed to install electronic modules in to the brains of rats, spiking their I.Q and making them excellent spies for several government agencies. I have no interest in that at all. I find it creepy and disrespectful to the laws of nature. These are major lauded accomplishments in the scientific field. The same cannot be said for nano robotics. The control of matter with atomic or molecular precision has proved to be a tough nut to crack. The underlying reason is lack of enough funds in the field rather than insufficient knowledge. Governments all over are afraid of what might come out of it hence tough regulations against it. This has paved way for underground crime and military organizations and corporations to invest in the field away from the prying eyes. Nearly everybody in the scientific community knows what is happening. Some renegades, I am not proud to say I am one of them, have chosen to go ahead with actualizing the thing which has been keeping us awake at night for so long. I have perfected the art of manufacturing and hiding them until the right time when the regulations will be lifted. A few hundred of them are safely lodged on my synthetic arm. One of them though calls my spinal cord his abode in the effort of confusing my neural system in to believing that the synthetic arm is flesh and blood as any other part of my body. So far I have succeeded and my doctor or any other person would immediately report me to the ethics commission if they realized I have done so. This research is one of the reasons Seko was chosen to lead their team to our time line and systematically alter it. If all goes according to plan, 99.98% will not realise they were here. The other 0.02 % percent is made up of scientists handpicked across the globe who nobody will believe if one day they go mental and decide to blurter it out. That is the best case scenario. The worst case scenario involves annihilation of every organic thing on the surface of earth as well as what is contained several hundred kilometers beneath.Seko does not eat; or rather he does not consume nourishment by conventional ways. He digests a mixture of Hydrogen and carbon straight from the atmosphere through the pores on his skin. He does not know what hunger is and neither does anybody alive in the universe during his time. I realise this after I generously offer him a cup of steaming hot coffee believing that coffee, my good old drink, is timeless. Thoughts whir through my mind. I could be having a rather realistic dream. I could have been abducted and my thought processes altered by nanites. I know there is a group in Tokyo really in to mind altering research by the use of illegal nanites. If so, what would they want with me and why go to all the trouble of showing me something as unrealistic as this? I dismiss this as illogical. I might have just gone mental, after all people have been known to say I am mad from time to time. I push my cup subconsciously off my desk and the hot coffee jolts me back to the present when it makes contact with my groin. The hot searing pain cannot be anything else but real. I am in the present, conversing with a post-humanoid creature as if we are just out in the bar sipping martinis. Wait until I write about this. I might be on the verge of a Nobel peace prize. Seko shakes his head disapprovingly and puts his rather short finger relative to his size on his mouth in a silencing gesture. He is telepathic too and he gently informs me I am not to communicate the encounter to anyone. I have to spend my day normally and if possible spent more time in the lecture halls. He is now the custodian of my lab and it will be the nerve centre of his mission. He assures me with a pat in the back that it will not take long than intended and with my full corporation we might even speed it up. This is all confusing and highly uncomfortable. My lab is my baby, my legacy. I would not dream of bequeathing it to anyone, leave alone hand it over by passive aggressive persuasion. Seko reading my thoughts tells me that this is just the beginning of things and it would be wise for me if I put my heart in to it and really cooperated. He is to brief me the next day as well as divulge the details of his mission the next day. Until then I will have to get a good night sleep and come back in the morning fresh, with my bags packed.I make my way out of the lab dejectedly, the orange sun is glowing majestically over the Chinese university tower as it sets. My lab is a smart house and can perform basic functions like real time surveillance on command or even defend itself if the worse comes to the worst. I think this is the time. I do not know if Seko can read a mind which is 200 meters away but I will have to take my chances. I sent a magnetic lockdown command through my glasses to the lab. No response. I activate nerve gas release. No response. The lab has been turned in to a Faraday cage. I am so doomed.

I walk briskly towards city centre and in no time I am at 20th Century cinema wine bar. I usually frequent it on Fridays but this Tuesday calls for special drinking. I would like to see if not so few shots of whisky will clear my brain which is very cloudy at the moment. Thoughts and counter thoughts on time travel criss-cross it. It is a paradox and a scientific impossibility. Sure, since time immemorial people have burned the mid night oil trying to come up with calculations which can enable it but it is just too complex and still impossible. I am really not sure how this future race did it but they must be pretty good to pull it through. It is surprisingly hot where I am seated and I endeavour to move to another corner. I pick up my glass and but I trip with the first step I take and go sprawling towards the counter. This day is not getting any better. My artificial limp luckily hits the ground first so there is no real damage other than my deflated ego. Rising up I realise the nights mission is already accomplished, I cannot keep my balance and hell and Seko know what tomorrow will bring. I summon my hover car to take me home.

Satao – a legend

I really had to repost this.

Mark Deeble

Satao - legend just title

When I last wrote about Satao, I felt that I couldn’t use his name. I could refer to him only as a ‘magnificent tusker’ or an ‘iconic Tsavo bull’. I feared that naming him would risk revealing where he lived. Now that I can use it, I wish that that I couldn’t.

On the 30th May, poachers finally caught up with Satao. An arrow smeared with Acokanthera poison hit him in his left flank and penetrated his body cavity. It travelled right through to his vital organs. To begin with, he might have run, to get deeper inside the park, where he felt safe. Running would have made the poison work faster. He didn’t get very far. Eventually he stood still in open ground, not a mile from the park boundary – with the potent cardio-toxin coursing through him. Without any cover to hide his tusks, he’d have felt exposed…

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Oh! The Joys Of Kenya @ 50

Have you heard that they are looking for 150 limousines to ferry V.I.Ps during our beloved country golden jubilee? Did you see that 50 bob gold coin our dear supreme leader launched to show how rich we are after just fifty years of independence? Have you seen flags and other shukas paraded all over the city proclaiming the fifty years?  I have heard some guys on Twittverse have been paid 100 grand to tweet about their love, their pride, their heritage, their commitment to a Kenya which is just fifty years young. Why not 50 grand?

 

A rumor goes that the M.Ps are getting 10 M bonuses, once again, why not 50 M? After all they have worked hard to earn it. 50 years of screwing up a country of nearly 50 M people is not a small task. I myself and my whole clan couldn’t do it in a millennium. I know what is on your mind, no, we are not lazy.  They have sank their teeth and wieners in to the good old Kenya without making any considerable mistakes. It’s true every once in a while one of them decides to steer away from the masses and do something else. Let’s say some developments, civil rights activism, fight corruption and some other acts of selfishness which are frowned upon by the members of the August house.  He or she is quickly silenced by the high priest or else he is jeered upon by his comrades until he drops the embarrassing behavior.

I think you have heard that some people have died in Moyale due to tribal clashes.  27 of them and counting. In case you are wondering, yes, this happens often. But what does the good old menopause Kenya do about it? Nothing , it’s not a big deal. The fourth estate is excellent in it’s devotion to licking the ass of the high priest and his cronies. Fifty years on. All of them have the money to sent reporters to S.A for Tata Madiba’s send off but none to make their way to Moyale. Well, the high priest recently decided the licking was not up to the current globally recommended standards. Borrowing a leaf from Mugabe, Kim Jong Il, Ayatolla etc (He sure does have many role models). They decided to add another thread to the screw. It will now include curtailed press freedom amongst other things. The forth estate was brought up to standards by a resounding ‘Ayeeee!!!’ in August house a few days ago. Newspapers were then termed as ‘makaratasi ya kufunga nyama’ . I am at loss why they still lick that ass instead of a fully blown media blackout. The perks of Kenya at 50.

 

The process of retrenching nay sacking 100,000 civil servants is already on the wheels while we celebrate. A good reason given for this is that we can’t afford the wage bill. We are simply too poor. Yes, we can afford to pay M.Ps and their smaller followers M.C.As gazzilions of Kenyan shillings but we are too poor to compensate the hardworking Kenyans. Teachers have been whining since time immemorial, their wage, working conditions and other negligible issues have always been in contest. The government is for the opinion that they are just fine and they should stop making noise over nothing. Teachers think otherwise but still, they have all the reasons to celebrate Kenya at 50.

Health workers will also be on strike while the celebrations go on. Of course this is a non-issue. No M.P can ever be caught dead using the public health system. To sum it up it’s no concern of theirs.   It has now become the norm, rather than the exception for you to lose your belongings or life to criminals every once in a while. This, as a proud country which is past mid-life crisis, we choose to ignore. A product of unemployment and flawed institutions. We trudge on, after all we are fifty. Police officers don masks and steal from you at gun point, they rent out their guns when they feel it’s too cold. But hey, we are fifty, a reason to celebrate.

 

We have an excellent education system, hell, the good old government is even upgrading to schools 2.0. Laptops for standard 1 kids and all. Graduates who cannot perform a single task litter the job places but who cares. The government is digital. We have a new constitution. A fact which makes us congratulate ourselves every day.  Plans are underway to screw it up and judiciary will just be a victim of circumstances. Guys who at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sorry Mutunga and co. Please show up to the celebrations in full regalia, we will have nothing less. Lest we forget, we have Thika Superhighway. The other potholes are negligible. This calls for a toast of champagne.

 

I must confess the euphoria has also sank in to my cranium. You can only hold on to being bombarded by the marketing efforts for too long. I have been dreaming of Madiba passing on the night before celebrations. I am not sure how our dear old Kamwana would have reacted then. It would have been a real bummer. I would still celebrate Madiba’s life, just like I am doing.

P.s I saw my good old senator ‘hanging out with’ Mandela thanks to poor photoshoping skills. Please, Mars take me away.