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Klingons hope to achieve herd immunity from Borg assimilation

The galaxy is being invaded by a civilization of cybernetic enslavers known as the Borg. The Borg spread like parasites, infecting hosts with nanoprobes and triggering the spontaneous generation of neural implants. These implants link to the Borg hivemind, turning sentient beings into a drones. While drones are technically alive, they lose all sense of individuality. They become a “we.” Their desires are replaced with a drive to assimilate.

Before the Borg came, Klingons were the most notorious conquerors in the galaxy. Their Empire has territories throughout the Alpha and Beta quadrants. They’ve reduced inhabited worlds into satellite states. They’ve forced natives to bow to Imperial Overseers. And much like the Borg, Klingons are a collectivists. Individuals are taught to service the Empire and deeply shamed whenever they fail. But that’s where the two cultures diverge.

Unlike the Borg, Klingons have a strong code of honor, personal responsibility, and spirituality. Klingons believe it is better to die in battle than be captured. They believe surrender is a form of treachery and that there is no greater sin than to kneel before a dishonorable opponent.

So why are the Borg taking over vast districts of the Klingon space, while the Klingons continue to go about their routines? At the time of this writing Klingons are still competing in bat’leh tournaments, packing into subterranean taverns, and singing over bloodwine.

Why aren’t the Klingons mounting any resistance?

The answer boils down to two factors: the Klingon code of honor and the Borg’s ability to adapt.

How the Borg contagion is spreading

The Borg used to flaunt their military might. One Borg could weaponize an entire star base. One tractor beam could scoop out an entire outpost. One cube could eradicate an entire armada.

The Borg were fierce, unrelenting oppressors, but they were also blunt. The collective lacked independent thinkers. Their battle patterns were determined by algorithms. They emphasized superior firepower over strategy. They assimilated the memories of their enemies, but they never learned to think differently. This failure of imagination led the Borg to defeat at the hands of the Federation n several occasions.

It appears the Borg have adopted a more surgical approach against the Klingons.

The Borg pathogen

Rather than charge into the heart of Klingon space, the Borg are attacking from a battle station beyond long range scans. This twelve-side vessel, dubbed the Borg dodecahedrane, is equipped with transwarp catapults. The technology allows the Borg to launch shuttles at Klingon worlds without ever being detected.

These shuttles are designed to burn up on entry, detonating a series of biogenic charges, and smothering the atmosphere in nanoprobes. These probes rain down on an unsuspecting population and spread like a pathogen. Klingons are assimilated just by breathing. They never have the chance to prove their courage much less engage their enemy. A far cry from the honorable death Klingons desire.

This is how the Borg plan to conquer the Empire, by engaging the Klingons in a different type of warfare.

The bewildering Klingon response

During the augment virus epidemic the Klingon High Council made the difficult decision to sterilize infected planets. That strategy won’t work this time. Borg drones have already installed planetary defense systems capable of withstanding heavy bombardment.

This has forced the High Council to come up with a creative solution, one the Federation finds troubling.

On stardate 77001 Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog, addressed the Empire. “Hear me sons and daughters of Kahless. We are at war with a silent enemy. An enemy who strikes from the shadows. Who fights without honor. Who preys on feeble minds.

Well, I will not be struck down in my bed. Nor will I cower in the caverns with a breathing tube in my lungs. I will climb to the top of Kang’s Summit, look to the heavens, and roar at the sun!

This enemy targets the weak. Worm farmers. Scientists. Monks. They have not yet faced hardened warriors. We will fight this plague by exposing ourselves to it. It will separate the weak from the strong.

This will be the new Rite of Antaak. Cowards shall submit, but those with courage, and Klingon blood in their hearts, shall survive. They will be like a pack ngavyaw’, immune to sickness. So who among you counts yourself worthy to join?”

Starfleet Medical is concerned

The senior faculty at the Starfleet Medical Academy were horrified by Chancellor Martok’s speech.

Dr. Joseph Switzer, a sentient EMH, was the first to speak. “Troubling.” The doctor is an authority on the Borg, having spent seven years stranded in the delta quadrant.

“While Borg nanoprobes behave like a virus, they are not organic. It doesn’t matter how healthy you immune system is. Every phagocyte, every lymphocyte, every cell will be assimilated. Klingons can’t win this fight by developing antibodies. When it comes to the Borg there’s no such thing as herd immunity. The only cure is to sever the assimilated from the collective. But to do that the Klingons will need help.”

Seven of Nine, a former Borg, has assembled a collation of rogue drones to aid in the relief effort. “We believe we can infiltrate assimilated planets and use our neural links to sever their connection to the collective.” Seven, for her part, has already mapped a battleplan. She just needs the Federation to approve it.

Debate on how to proceed

Starfleet is in a precarious situation. Should the Federation respect the Empire’s decision to treat the pathogen as a culling rite? Or should they use the rogue drones to save lives?

Lieutenant Commander Worf is both a Klingon and a senior member of Starfleet. He believes Starfleet should act and reframe their decision in the aftermath. “To a Klingon there is no greater honor than victory. The Empire need not know about any rogue drones. What they need is a enemy they can see. They need to stand with us against the Borg dodecahedron.”

Lieutenant Commander B’Elanna Torres is a Klingon and the Federation liaison to the Empire. She’s not so sure the Federation should act without the Empire knowing. “The Empire and the Federation have been at peace for one hundred years. During that time the Klingon High Council has bemoaned the loss of sacred rites and rituals. If they learn we acted without their consent that alliance could break down.”

It’s a moral quandary with consequences that could ripple throughout the galaxy. The type of conflict Starfleet hasn’t faced for some time.

More on this story as it develops.

Republicans want to consult the Dark Lord Mammon before passing another stimulus package

While states are easing lockdown restrictions many Americans are still in dire need of financial support. House Democrats have proposed a stimulus package that could help small businesses and the unemployed get back on their feet. But Republican senators aren’t so sure the extra spending is necessary.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel wanted to consult the Dark Lord Mammon before rushing into anything. Last night he and his fellow senators held a session that turned into a summing.

The Night Session

Mitch McConnell raised his hood over his head. He wore an ornate cloak of crimson and gold. He produced straight stemmed lighter and a set of tongs from its pockets.

There was an incense burner at his feet. He opened it, lit the charcoal, and topped it with salt and resin. McConnell took a long deep breath. Satisfied, he walked down the aisle holding the burner up high.

When McConnell came to the well of the senate floor he set the burner aside. He rolled back the carpet, plucked a gemstone from his pocket, and etched a sigil into the concrete. Then he drew a dagger from his waistband, sliced his hand open, and pressed his palm into the sigil, gritting his teeth to mask the pain. When the sigil was full the Senate Majority Leader craned his head back.

When McConnell spoke it was not the soft southern drawl he put on for the press, but rather the guttural gruff of a Shakespearean thespian.

“Lord Mammon. Baron of banks. Duke of debt. Emperor of avarice. He who rules the fourth circle, who sits atop the throne of worldly wealth. He whose controlling interest decides our fate. Your humble servants prostrate themselves before you.”

The senators kissed the floor.

McConnell spoke into the sigil as it boiled and bubbled. “Oh covetous one. We beseech you to grant us an audience.”

The senators chanted in a tongue that preceded American English by a millennium.

A breeze ran through McConnell’s hair, setting his bangs aflutter before circling around. The breeze became a whirlwind, tugging at the curtains, slamming doors, tossing flags like javelins.

The floor rumbled. The desks flipped over and the busts of the vice presidents fell from their stands. Cracks rippled across the ceiling, blanketing the senators in dust.

Then the lights went dim and something lumbered forward from the dark. Its footfalls were a thunder upon the floor, reducing the priceless mahogany furnishings to splinters. Senators scattered like sheep fleeing a wolf.

McConnell groveled as the dark lord Mammon towered over him.

“Speak.” Mammon’s word echoed throughout the chamber.

McConnell took a knee, a knight before his king. “A pandemic has ground our economy to a halt. People are uncertain. They’re buying less. Department chains are filing for bankruptcy. Restaurants are shuttering their doors. Millions of Americans are out of work and they want us to do something for them.”

McConnell counted the wants on his fingers. “Furloughed employees want unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, and food vouchers. While small business want federal loans. Tenants want rent forgiveness, while landlords want mortgage forbearance. Customers want reasonable prices, while essential workers want hazard pay.”

Mammon drew close enough for his breath to pass through Mitch McConnell’s robes. McConnell kept his spectacles fixed on the sigil. He dared not look the demon in his eyes.

“If we don’t provide federal intervention there will be a tidal wave of closures and evictions. We are looking at another great depression. The people want a stimulus bill, but we knew to consult you before doing anything.”

“Wise.” Mammon’s shadow shifted as to draw something from its silhouette. “We must consult the Economicon.”

McConnell leapt back as a book the size of a banquet table spread out before him.

Who is Mammon and why does he have so much sway in Washington?

Mammon is the demon king of money, while he may not be the most powerful demon in the Dukante hierarchy, but he has the most liquid assets flowing through the realm of man. Mammon has his claws deep in petroleum, in pharmaceutical opioids, and subprime mortgages.

He owns shares in everything from. Data harvesting social media companies to cancer causing chemical manufactures. From addiction model game publishers to predatory lenders. From slave labor factories to for profit colleges.

Mammon influences influencers. Political action committees. Washington lobbying firms. They all bow to him. Mammon has made campaign contributions to most sitting senators Republicans and Democrats alike.

Those who dare look upon Mammon say he has a crown of horns that thrust through his brow like a dying starfish. They say his face is locked in a predatory stare. His brow has been furrowed for so long there are trenches in the skin. He has green eyes. A silver tongue, and mouth full of sharks teeth.

Mammon wears a fur cap, a bejeweled bib, and golden robes. His hands are red and his palms are always slathered in grease. There’s hole where his belly should be. His pockets are singed with burn marks and he stands upon on a network of tendrils like roots rising from the ground.

This is who our nations fate resides with.

Back on the senate floor

After paging through the Economicon for an hour Mammon came to the passage he was looking for.

“A star does not concern itself with the rocks in its orbit. The rocks depend on it, but the star is all that’s important. May the market expand without concerning itself with the misfortunes of man.” Mammon slammed the book shut.

McConnel dared to raise his gaze. “So…that’s a no, then?”

“No handouts!” Mammon voice shattered every windows in the capital building. “No entitlements. No stimulus. Only prophet. So sayeth Lord Mammon, prince of prosperity, king of commerce, god of gold.”

And with that, struggling Americans were on their own.

•••

3D Demon model by Filip Hans Nyberg
Photoshop by Drew Chial Continue reading Republicans want to consult the Dark Lord Mammon before passing another stimulus package

Trump is taking wolfsbane to prevent himself from turning into a vampire

President Donald Trump confessed Monday that he has been imbibing wolfsbane as preventative measure to stave off the vampire epidemic.

“I started taking it a couple of weeks ago after the Lincoln Reflecting Pool ran red with blood. I saw the secret service erecting crosses on the White House lawn and I thought, ‘How can I fortify myself?’”

The press gallery answered in unison by holding up the crucifixes they’d been wearing.

The president waved that notion away. “I’m not wearing jewelry. I don’t even wear a wedding ring. No. I’m putting my weapon inside of me.”

Wolfsbane is a potion used in the treatment of lycanthropy. While it has been known to ease the effect of werewolf transformations there’s no evidence to suggest that it acts as vampire repellant, that it could prevent the contraction of vampirism, or that it could quell a thirst for blood.

Even haematomania, the overwhelming craving for blood, is treated with antipsychotics, not wolfsbane. That’s what makes the president’s self-prescription so confusing.

“Here’s my evidence, a lot of people who’ve never been bitten by vampires tell me it works.” Trump told dumbfounded reporters. “Wolfsbane is a game changer. It sounds tough. It makes me feel like I can go out at night. I can take a stroll through a mortuary and nothing can touch me.”

Medical professionals are baffled

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, warned viewers. “Aconitum napellus, or wolfsbane, is toxic. Its petals are poisonous to the touch. In small doses it will make your face go numb. In large doses it will cause nausea, paralysis, and stop the heart.”

Wolfsbane is so powerful shepherds used to stuff it into lamb carcasses to poison wolves. That’s where it got its name. The Spartans smeared it on their daggers and archers slathered it on their arrow heads.

Wolfsbane is both a neurotoxin and a cardiotoxin, meaning it effects both the brain and the heart. It does this by traveling through the blood stream, which is what makes it a bad weapon for thwarting vampires. Vampires are undead. Their hearts don’t beat. They achieve homeostasis through metaphysical means. Their digestion, capacity for speech, and sex organs are governed by forces not found on this mortal plane.

For preventative measures against vampires the FDA recommends:

  • Silver sulfadiazine cream
  • Garlic supplements
  • Holy water cologne
  • and Vitamin K

For self-defense the DOD recommends people carry:

  • A bag of rice, grains, or seeds.
  • A high output germicidal UV lamp
  • An expandable stake made of ash, oak, or cedar
  • And a side arm loaded with either wood, silver or ultraviolet ammo.

The president has put himself at greater risk

Based on the results from his latest physical the president is in the group most at risk of being exsanguinated by a vampire. He lacks the stamina to outrun healthier victims. He has a common form of heart disease and his blood is rich with fatty acids. To make matters worse the Bronx Colors concealer the president wears is rich with the preservative Phenoxyethanol. The aroma is said to draw vampires like catnip.

To make matters even worse the president has begun imbibing a poison that will slow his reaction time should a vampire get close enough.

The risk has strained the secret service. Agents now have to give covert protection when the president isn’t looking. Anonymous staffers say secret service agents have been researching natural substances to repel insects and other bloodsuckers. They’ve seen agents slipping garlic pellets into the presidents Tic Tacs, rosemary into his cheeseburgers, and lemon juice into his ice cream.

To counteract the aconitine toxins the president has been ingesting, secret service members have injected Atropine into his Diet Coke. Trump has yet to notice.

The president has triggered a wolfsbane shortage

Greenhouses across the country have reported break-ins shortly after the president’s admission. Thieves are stocking up on wolfsbane and turning around and selling it at a premium. While the Department of Health is concerned with Americans ingesting the toxin, the Department of Defense is worried there will be a shortage.

Communities that managed to combat the vampire pandemic have found the blood suckers left a power vacuum in the supernatural hierarchy. Their concerns have shifted to the other things that go bump in the night. Citizens have reported hearing howling from the mountains on the outskirts of town. And they are dreading the next full moon.

•••

Continue reading Trump is taking wolfsbane to prevent himself from turning into a vampire

Trump says U.S. will Reopen, “Giant Saucers or no Giant Saucers”

Speaking from beneath the shadow of a flying saucer, President Trump addressed a frightened nation, “Earlier this month everyone was wondering if those Navy UFO videos were real. I thought they were. Then boom! I was right. But that’s no reason to call in sick. It’s time for Americans to stop saucer-gazing and get back to work.”

None of the White House press corps had their eyes on the president. They were too busy craning their necks at the spacecraft, with its fifteen mile radius stretched over Washington D.C.

Hours earlier the alien mothership created a shockwave that leveled a huge section of the Russian Boreal Forest. At one fourth of the moon’s size the craft has already had an impact on the tides. The streets of Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles are all under water, making it impossible for those cities to proceed as normal.

President Trump continued, “These developments have brought excitement to our nation’s business centers and the stock market is firing on all cylinders. Look at all of the trade opportunities. Look at the hungry new market just knocking on our door. They have crossed the divide between time and space to make a deal and the deal maker in chief is ready to come to the table.”

The president advised low income families to remain in the inner cities and resume working. He warned not doing so would disqualify them from receiving temporary assistance, unemployment, SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and property tax refunds.

That’s when an ominous green glow radiated from the underbelly of the craft, showcasing the intricacy of its design. Members of the press corps shot up from their seats with their mouths agape. The vessel blossomed like a giant argent flower.

President Trump tried to draw the crowd’s attention back down to earth. “I for one like the shade. It’s nice not having to wear sunscreen.”

The warning fell on deaf ears

Right before the president’s address, David Levinson, a satellite technician, was on the radio warning the American public about an alien threat. Levinson had evidence the saucers were using our satellite network to send encrypted messages to each other. He had decoded one and found a countdown. Levinson urged everyone to flee the major cities.

Truckers heard Levinson’s call to action and coordinated a relief effort over their CB radios. They lined their semis along Pennsylvania Avenue and did their best to wave the White House staff in. The plan was to fill the rigs with as many people as possible and drive them all to safety. When the truckers failed to get anyone’s attention they resorted to honking.

President Trump saluted the truckers. “And you hear that? That beautiful sound. Those are truckers that are with us all the way. Those are honks of support. They’re telling us to stay the course.” The president pantomimed pulling the cord for an air horn. “I love those guys. Tough guys. Manly guys. Big burly guys. The kind of guys that would sweep you off your feet and not show any lower back strain. Just carry you over the threshold like it was nothing.”

A bright turquoise beam illuminated the White House. Several members of the press core fell to their knees and clasped their hands in prayer.

The president didn’t notice. He gave two thumbs up and shouted, “Giant saucers or no giant saucers we are back in business!”

Then there was a spark and the cameras went dark.

•••

Continue reading Trump says U.S. will Reopen, “Giant Saucers or no Giant Saucers”

Dinosaurs Speculate if the Asteroid is a Hoax

An asteroid is hurtling toward earth at 40,000 mph. It’s 6 miles wide and 50 miles in diameter. At that size we could be facing a fifth extinction event. Modest projections compare it to the ice age that wiped out the trilobites. This is according to the Collision Avoidance Initiative, a team of Aeolosaurus astrophysicists, whose long necks let them see the sky more clearly than other species.

Now Pteranodons are spreading the news from canyon to canyon. Oryctodromeus are digging fortified burrows. Volunteers velociraptors are preserving insects in amber, curing amphibian jerky, and stockpiling snails. And vegan Iguanodons are dehydrating berries and pickling ferns.

A collation of dinosaurs from both continents have come together. But despite their efforts, our brief 170 million year reign could be coming to an end.

The impact will toss mountains to the sky, set clouds aflame, and cast tsunamis to the breeze. It will wipe out 75% of life and kick up enough dust to blot out the sun. Photosynthesis will be a thing of the past. Crops will die. Triceratops livestock will follow. Those who outrun the apex predators will get a lung full of iridium for their efforts.

This is the best case scenario as far as the astrophysicists can tell.

But What if It’s all a Hoax?

That’s what the viral documentary Counterfeit Comet claims. The clip features an interview with Dr. Trudy Saurus Rex, a “freelance astrophysicist.”

As an alpha-female, Dr. Rex used astronomy to deduce Anatosaurus migration patterns and hunt them down. Now she claims there is no celestial threat and that the object in the sky is something else.

When asked if she believes in asteroids Dr. Rex said, “I am not an asteroid denier but,” there was a pregnant pause. “This asteroid that has everyone worried is the product of big astronomy. Now don’t look at me like I’m crazy. This isn’t one of those conspiracy theories about mammalians from the fourth dimension. It’s hard science.”

The documentary claims that Dr. Rex revolutionized how astronomers saw the solar system and that her thesis is widely taught. The documentary followed the Tyrannosaurus to the top of a tall peak where she cast her snout to the heavens.

“The sun circles us all day. It only leaves when it’s certain we’re asleep. Then it races back in the morning. The sun is watching us because the moon, the planets, and even the asteroid are its eggs. The sun is more afraid of us than we are of it.

Now, if you’ve ever laid eggs, you know it’s hard to keep them in the nest until they hatch. The planets are a lot like that. They move, and like eggs they tilt in one direction and fall back the way they came.”

Dr. Rex folded her tiny arms and threaded her claws together. “The asteroid appears to be coming in fast, but it will disappear when it rolls back. That’s why smart dinosaurs aren’t hiding. They’re hiking game trails and playing outside.”

Dr. Rex was especially critical of the Collision Avoidance Initiative’s safety measures.

She thinks it’s unnecessary for crocodiles and turtles to head out to sea. “Sure, they’re slower on the land, but what about all the dangerous rocks in the ocean?”

She pities the rodents scurrying into caverns. “Sheltering in place will make them more vulnerable to snakes.”

And her mind was blown by shifting migration patterns. “I’m hearing reports of birds flying north for the winter and I’m like ‘What the heck is going on around here?”

Throughout the documentary Dr. Rex portrays herself as the voice of sanity amidst a surge of hysteria. She’s shown marching through the jungles as the brainwashed masses flee her presence, too scared to be confronted by hard facts.

Dr. Rex thinks the Aeolosaurus want everyone in hiding so they can have the best trees to themselves. “Those top shelf leaves don’t come cheap. Those bloated sauropods will gorge themselves. You’ll see.”

Further Controversy

It’s important to note that Counterfeit Comet was produced by a group whose cave scratchings feature anti-scientific theories. The group is part of the volcano denial movement. They believe the government is tracking dinosaurs through mosquitoes bites, and that fisher towers cause bone cancer.

It should be noted that Yellow River, the urine based social network, refused to screen the documentary. “The documentary suggests that finding cover is more dangerous than a 60 million metric ton collision. We believe the clip could lead to imminent harm.” Said a Yellow River spokes-dinosaur. “We put our trust in the Collision Avoidance Initiative.”

In a few hour we’ll see who was right.

Dr. Rex knows where her pack will be when the time comes. “We’ll be at the beach, splashing through the Gulf of Mexico without a care in the world.”

•••

3D Tyrannosaurus head by AzurPoly
3D Glasses by almartin
Photoshop by Drew Chial

Continue reading Dinosaurs Speculate if the Asteroid is a Hoax

The President Downplays Spread of Headcrabs throughout the White House

This Friday, President Donald Trump met with 20 House Republicans to discuss the annexation of New York by extra dimensional beings known as the Combine Empire. The President spoke for over an hour without noticing that every lawmaker had headcrabs on their skulls.

Headcrabs are weaponized parasites from the Combine Overworld. They look like ticks with tough leather hides. On average they grow to be the size of a pillow. They have stubby legs, but they’re capable of running down rabbits, killing coyotes, and leaping over an elephants.

Headcrabs get their name by hijacking a host’s nervous system and controlling their motor functions. Their mouth works like a beartrap clamping onto the victim’s neck. Their talons work like climbing axes digging into collarbones. Their beak works like a grappling hook embedding itself in the cranium. Once installed the headcrab pilots the host, like a zombie, turning them into a soldier for the enemy.

Most Americans have staved off this threat by wearing motor cycle helmets, spiked pickelhaubes, and coolie hats. The average American has a steel tipped umbrella for when they go to the grocery store, a homemade spear for when they got to work, and Viking horns for when they go to the beach.

Headcrabs in the Whitehouse

Meanwhile the Trump administration has taken none of these precautions.

Raymond Werner, public health advisor at the CDC, said, “We told the president to launch thermal imagining drones, position motion sensitive turrets on the White House lawn, and install parasitoid screeners at every entrance. He said he’d take it under advisement.

Days later we find the oval office overrun with zombified minions and the president is sitting there with a shit eating grin. I asked why he didn’t notice these barnacles on everyone’s skulls and he said, ‘I’m too busy running the country.’ Christ, these things are the size of a jack-o-lanterns. You mean to the secret service didn’t spot a single one?”

Recently Stephen Miller, policy adviser to the president, and wife Katie Miller, the vice president’s press secretary, came down with a case of headcrabs.

When asked how he hadn’t noticed the president said, “Look at Stephen Miller’s face and tell you’d notice?”

Raymond Werner was baffled. “Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant had a parasite the size of a Thanksgiving turkey on her noggin and no one said a thing.”

A spokesperson for Ivanka said, “Ivanka had noticed, but assumed her assistant was having a bad hair day and didn’t want to be rude.”

3D Headcrab model by Elizabeth Edwards

The President wants to Reopen Despite Combine Invasion

The Governor of New Mexico lifted the state’s quarantine despite the serge of portal storms and the ominous green cloud over the Black Mesa Research Facility. Headcrab infections have skyrocketed ever since. The parasites have congregated in movie theaters, nail salons, and gyms.

Raymond Werner warned, “Headcrabs are pack hunters. They sniff out an easy quarry. You can go to church on Sunday, but you won’t be able to pray them away.”

The Combine Empire have taken advantage of the devastation. They’ve installed a suppression field around New Mexico. The field remotely neuters anyone caught within its wavelength by blocking key protein chains. The invaders don’t want us breeding.

Nevertheless the President applauded New Mexico on Twitter. “Congratulations to the great state of New Mexico on very good, and very smart, reopening. If only we could liberate the rest of the country so quickly. #HeadCrabHoax.”

The CDC is Very Worried

Raymond Werner is less optimistic than the President. “We heard the same denialism from Eastern European leaders. They claimed their countries had headcrab immunity. It wasn’t long before they were overrun with parasitic passengers of their own. After that Combine forces erected a dark energy reactor so tall it blotted out the sun. They call it the Citadel. Meanwhile we’re being told to go back to the amusement parks and strip malls, but If we’re not careful we’ll have a Citadel on every corner.”

The Combine in Washington

Since Friday the portal storms in Washington D.C. have only gotten worse. Headcrabs have filled the national mall and affixed themselves to the Lincoln memorial. They’ve swept through the supreme court, the house of reperceives, and the senate. Yes, the infected continue to show up for floor proceedings, if only to groan. Despite these developments the President is moving to wind down the Headcrab Response Task Force.

“Americans need to shrug off these parasites and get back to work.”

One Question Still Remains

How did the president go into room full of headcrabs and not get infected himself?

Raymond Werner was hesitant to speculate. “I think it has something to do with his hair. It could be the synthetic copolymer or the aerosol spray that holds it together, but the headcrabs wanted nothing to do with it. Figuring out why might be the key to saving the rest of humanity.”

•••

3D Headcrab model by Elizabeth Edwards
Photoshop by Drew Chial

Continue reading The President Downplays Spread of Headcrabs throughout the White House

Meet the Necromancer Responsible for the Negative Energy on Social Media

Meet Dragrim Obsidian, the necromancer responsible for the negative energy that’s bringing you down. “If you feel like you’ve been abandoned by those in power, like you’re at odds with all of your peers, and there’s no hope for the future, that’s probably my doing.”

Obsidian agreed to an interview provided we met on the observation deck of One World Trade Center.

When I arrive I’m told the deck is closed due to COVID-19. I mention Obsidian and the security staff start whispering. One guard puts on a pair of latex gloves. He comes out from behind the desk, raises a keycard to the elevator, and waves me in. We stand in silence for 94 floors.

When the elevator dings open the guard turns. “You’ll want to hide your emotions around him. Push them deep down.”

Obsidian has been sowing discord ever since the middle ages, but you wouldn’t know to look at him here. He’s traded his crimson robes and bone jewels for a high collared jacket with a floor grazing frock. He turns from the observatory window, looking less like a dungeon dweller and more like a character from The Matrix.

I click the button on my micro recorder. “Why here?”

Obsidian gives a measured smile. “I like to admire my handywork.” He brushes the windows signaling to the empty street below. “I’m the one who politicized this pandemic. I built partisan bickering to a fever pitch. I’m the reason you won’t talk to your parents.”

I’m taken aback by how quickly Obsidian is willing to go there. I bite my lip and Obsidian smirks when he catches it.

“I’m not the monster you think I am. When I spread negative energy it’s never out of malice. It’s out of love. Everything I’ve ever done was out of love.”

When did this start?

The sixth century. I was an apprentice under Dughall, the undying, the most feared necromancer in all of Britannia. He taught me how to prompt metabolic healing, so I might live as long as him. If only I’d passed that knowledge on to Celestria. Then none of this would’ve happened.

Who was Celestria?

Celestria was my bride to be. She was a selfless woman who practiced folk medicine.

One day a Bishop came through our village. He had a caravan of soldiers behind him. He saw Celestria picking herbs and naturally he was drawn to her. He whispered something in her ear, something no witness could repeat. I have a hunch he didn’t take his vow of celibacy that seriously.

Dejected, the bishop engaged Celestria in a medical debate. He believed illness was caused by a person’s distance from their lord, and that faith, not medicine, was the only way to ease their suffering.

Celestria believed in humoralism. She argued that illness came from a person’s relationship with the elements. She reasoned that plenty of good people got sick despite their faith.

The bishop had Celestria executed for heresy and moved on.

How did you cope?

I didn’t. I resolved to bring Celestria back. A feat necromancers were known for despite the fact that none of us have actually done it.

Not even Dughall, the undying?

No, and Dughall wanted no part of it. He had dabbled in black magic, but he believed a resurrection spell would require so much negative energy it would cover the earth in darkness.

Crestfallen, I cast stones, read entrails, and consulted the tarot. All my divinations said the same thing. I would have to cast a shadow over every mortal mind to raise but one from the ground. So I buried my bride and set out to spread the darkness.

How have your efforts shaped human events?

I convinced Pope Urban to get the crusades going. Years later I pitted Pope Clement against the knights Templar. I helped brainstorm the book that set the witch-hunts in motion and spread the inquisition across the continent. I urged theologians to suppress the Copernican doctrine and sighted the biblical references that got Galileo imprisoned.

Did you ever feel guilty?

At first. I forced myself to attend the witch burnings, to see what I’d done. After a while I couldn’t hear the screams, couldn’t see the faces through the fire. They weren’t people any more. They were a means to an end. Ingredients in a potion. And my beaker always wanted more.

How much negative energy did you need?

I almost had enough, and then I was blindsided by the black death. Here was all this suffering, but it was outside of my doing. You see a siphoning spell only works on energies you raise. I could wander mass graves and not get a thing because I hadn’t had a hand in what was happening.

I tried to turn the plague to my advantage by spreading misinformation. I promoted the notion that infections followed an astrological pattern. My beaker started filling again. Then someone thought to examine the rats on the ground and I was back to square one.

When did you start using technology to spread negative energy?

Technology has always spread negative energy, especially when it comes to the written word. The first cuneiform tablets were baked in the ruins of conquest. The first hieroglyphs were threats. Every woodblock ever carved was battered in blood. The pen isn’t mightier than the sword. The pen sets swords in motion.

Had I known the Koreans would invent moveable type I’d have gone over there. Instead it was the Gutenberg press that brought me out of hiding. I became an author and my first publications were denounced as literary poison. I mass produced works that challenged the church. I’m the one who set the bonfire of the vanities ablaze.

Not too long after I started contributing to newspapers. I misattributed ‘Let them eat cake’ to Marie Antoinette. I wrote that Catherine the great died having sex with a horse. In fact, I’m the reason you still think Napoleon was short.

How has the Internet helped?

The Internet is the most wonderful conductor of negative energy I could ever ask for. It lets me crowdsource my efforts. People used to get outraged over excessive taxation or potato famines, but now they go to war over female game developers and race-swapped Disney characters.

I take it you’re active on social media?

That’s the understatement of the century. I am responsible for everything from the alt right to slacktivism. From pick-up artists to Incels. From QAnon to cancel culture. Name an ideology, I’ll tell you it’s etymology. And the funny thing is, I don’t believe a word of it. I’ve never been interested in politics. I only want Celestria back. I don’t care who I have to trigger. I will to start a flame war for her.

But what about the people you hurt?

I’ve come too far and ruined too many lives. I’m willing to sextort, dox, and swat total saints to get what I want.

Look at what I’ve done. I took something as honorable as social justice and turned it into an antonym for political intolerance. I fine-tuned every racist dog whistle you’ve ever heard. I founded pro-anorexia communities just because I needed the negative energy.

Could you be claiming too much responsibility?

If you’ve ever felt exhausted checking your Facebook feed odds are it was me.

What about the movements that have developed organically, like the toxic fandom?

Do you have any idea how much gossip I’ve spread? I’ve spilled enough tea to fill the English Channel.

I’m the one who decides when a celebrity is over. I keep all of their portraits on a tile mosaic. I wave a dowsing pendulum as I lord over them. Once the weight chooses a victim, I kneel upon hot coals, press my palms into a bed of nails, and type something along the lines of: #TomHollandIsOverParty.

Now Tom Holland did nothing wrong. He said nothing racist and slapped no one’s ass, but I have to ruin someone if I’m to see my beloved again.

So alternative facts are you doing?

Sweat heart, I’m the king of misinformation. I ghostwrote the research paper that gave birth to the anti-vaxxers. I founded the modern flat earth movement. Heard any good 5G conspiracy theories? Yeah, those were all me.

I convinced people Nelson Mandela died in the 1980s when he really died in 2013. I’m the reason people think the Monopoly Man has a monocle. I’m the reason you think Freddy Mercury sang, “of the world…” at the end of “We are the Champions.”

Wait, he didn’t?

Look it up. I’ll wait.

Fuck.

(Obsidian takes a theatrical bow.)

But you can’t be the only one spreading false information. There too many other vested interests.

There are, but oil lobbyists are not that creative. They needed an interloper to whisper in their ears.

So you’re responsible for climate change denial?

That was nothing. Getting creationists to think dinosaurs walked with man took some convincing. Oh and getting celebrities to think they should run for government.

Was “Make America Great Again” your doing?

It was when I pitched it to Reagan.

I’ve been on more campaigns than there are nations. And I’ve fostered divisions across every continent. But I’ve never had more success than in American politics.

Your two party system is a work of Luciferian genius. It’s a dyad of dark energy. An alternating current flowing back and forth. Your red and blue tribes always collide. And for what? Intellectual bubbles filled with impossible ideals?

It’s beautiful. Like a black pearl. Elegant and simple.

But systems of oppression were around long before you were born. You were in France when the slave trade was happening. America came up with institutionalized racism all on its own. You say you’ve fostered divisions, but the rise of white nationalist would’ve happened with or without you.

Have you heard of Godwin’s Law?

Yes. The longer a discussion goes the greater the likelihood that someone will be compared to Hitler.

Godwin didn’t come up with that. He just identified the curse I’d slipped into the ether. It’s really Obsidian’s Law and it’s been a wellspring of negative energy for me, especially now the comparisons are no longer exaggerations.

You mentioned a beaker filling slowly with negative energy. It must be close to the brim?

I wish it were, but it isn’t. Celestia was exceptional. She had a spark that drew people to her. The lost souls in Limbo don’t want to let her go. They’re demanding over a quadrillion watts of negative energy. Enough to power their cities.

For that to happen everyone would have to let their intrusive thoughts in. A state of total despair would be declared. Depression would have to win.

Despite this pandemic, and the polarization surrounding it, there are still people who are optimistic. Despite all my best efforts, there’s still hope.

When do you think you’ll be reunited with Celestia?

When everyone feels like it’s their duty to change everyone else’s mind. When every laymen speaks with absolute authority. When obscenity out ways a reasoned argument. When feelings count as facts. When nuance is scrubbed from the debate and every person looks upon the other with hate.

So not too long then?

(Obsidian presses his palm to the observatory window and once again regards the empty streets below. He lets out a long exhausted sigh.)

We’ll see. We’ll see.

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