The Remembricants (short story)
Esmerelda’s hand locates one of my legs in the dump-pile of body parts after the explosion. I can’t remember when it was. But I can still feel the flash in my circuitry as we slide down the hill, only a few hundred meters away from a procession of other remembricant guards chasing us.
The whine of the air-born displacement bomb buzzed over our heads as we ran, halting its small metallic egg shaped body ahead of us, in the blue hung moon. The whine stopped. It turned around. Then black out.
Somewhere, I start to realise that only seconds have past and the procession of security workers are nearing, although, I feel calm, because the bomb worked, it scattered us into pieces, and from here, I cannot help but appreciate all endeavours, no matter how numb.
Slow and milk-like, we began to piece our body back together.
Slow by your time.
Perhaps two or three beats of a hummingbird’s wings in actual time.
First Esmeralda brings me the remains of my head, dragging the scrappy half-remains across the red desert to the largest collection of our body parts.
Next, as her hand touches the bare parts of my destroyed spinal column, she sends a last message to me from the power turning off in her own circuitry. Her hand suddenly flat lays in the sand, exhausted. Damn it. I re-wire the pulse from my own power centre laying near my spine and the hand starts to move again in the shattering heat.
Next, our right elbow, but, in this calming haven of always night: the shedding stars and thrice moon collect warmth from near-by creatures.
Esmeralda’s busy hand drags her arm across the desert blind, across the face of a scorpion. Entangled in the glue-like substance of our remembering circuitry, the creature instantly dies, becomes a part of us, as does a swimming snake passing near us, that now entwines on my back as I grab it, helping to recreate our power cells. Even the burst skin of the bomb is something that is pulled into our core, tiny shattered eye-metals, like mirrors, soaking into the spreading suit of our reforming elements.
‘Esmeralda. Can you hear me?’
‘Yes – Xx#$ct- Of course I can honey.’
‘Wow. The stars are like heavy rocks screaming in space down here.’
‘Yes. There’s three in particular that I’m fond of…’
‘Oh yes darling? Which ones are they…’
‘That would be the three new disseminate bombs heading over our heads in T-minus 2.6 seconds…’
‘You always were sharper than me…!’
Esmeralda and Ballius. Or rather, Pahnyette, as the reformed remembricant called itself in that instant, rose up in one movement.
Streams of blue-black sand pouring from its back in a single anti-reaction lifting up, like a door swinging open from the dunes.
Leaping forward in one beat, Pahnyette launched itself a mile in the air, forward and up, pulling the three missiles together about to burst in-front of its face – via connective lighting – spreading out from its hands, whipping them back at the oncoming guards below them.
Several craters explode behind them as they drift forwards a mile ahead, and the unharmed guards lift up into the air, continuing to chase them.
The dew of their body forcing their speed beyond sound, feeling the gap close between themselves and the guards.
‘I think that they’re catching up.’ Pahnyette says.
‘Perhaps we can show them the reversed gods?’
‘It seems that something has happened in the reformation… The glowing…’
‘Oh…’ Pahnyette said stopping and looking at her hands, landing once again on the blue sand.
The remembricant brought itself out of hyper-speed and looked at its hands in the still desert. It was true. The rocks above, the stars, were similar to smiling animals.
There were no mirrors apart from those built into their body. The contorted figure of soft fleshy material, eye-let mirrors, remaining junk scraps, desert creatures, and original parts, stood, and listened.
‘I hear their latin names, names of primordial future, beings in songs, and diamonds in our skin.’
‘Yes.’ Pahnyette said turning around, as each of the guards perusing them also came out of hyper-speed, phasing back into current time, like huge ants, becoming opaque.
In a buzzing voice Pahnyette knew the exact words that would come next: It was the words of the ruling orbital family: A small scratching existence, chirpy, finite, cruel, child-like, distorted, and sharp.
‘You have come to the end. Pahnyette! Pahnyette! Ha. Izz. Halt now. As we take you back.’
You know love, we should probably run… The remembricant said to itself.
‘Nooo… Look up!’
‘A jaguar clings to the roof of the space-mist!’ With that, a command was given, which brought the Pahnyette to its knees.
More guards phased out of hyper-chase and became visible.
Collecting around the kneeling symbion that had escaped from service.
Pahnyette looked up.
Their face now a smooth onyx screen with different creature legs, entrails, and make-shift patterns changing under, inside, and on the reflective covering.
‘Why do you kneel! You will not be saved!’ The dead repetition came from a screwed up augmented face, that spoke to them from one of the palms held out by a guard.
Then the remembricant began.
It looked up.
And winked from its mixing face.
Or at least, an eye near its teeth, near its broken teeth, its smile.
An increasing number of guards un-phased around them in circles of gas, some because they were a part of the initial hunt, some because they were just in the sector, and some because they felt the low message of oncoming execution in their system. A collecting bulk of twitching hairs appearing around a sculpture, rolling its shoulders, and making the creatures twitch in its reformed body, because Texas leans into Vertigo’s kiss.
So the remembricant began. The sting of a scorpion comes out from its mouth, and licks the dead airs lips.
‘In June, the sound of your voice is the same as trees shifting their bark, from right to left… Hollow the mane, now the night warms the erudite mask!’
‘I hope you know what you’re doing love…’ Esmeralda said, laughing.
‘No!’ Ballius replied to their heart.
‘Endd.’ The tight Augmentas face said from the guard palm.
The guard showing the vision shuts its hand. Looks at his fist, opens it, closes, squeezes, remembering.
‘I only remember the first time that I heard animals speak. I think it is the only thing that I ever knew,’ Payhnyette says.’
The guards shuffle closer into the kneeling ex-member of their house. Some thinking about cougars, leopards, bears, jackals, neurons, stars, blossoms, old trees, many friends, new data, new blood. All of these things, unavoidable. Showering down their perfect visors like involuntary reactions in the still desert. Shadows dripping down glass.
‘What – animal? – Achhck. Inht. Ahh.’ One of the guards finally says, having not used his voice, in so, so so, long. He shows the image of a marsupial that used to inhabit the planet on his visor. The mauve face of a vole flicking in and out of vision on this particular guard. As if he was remembering, becoming, and it was the snub nosed face of a vole which connected most to his heart.
– Richhht – The guard’s body said as it fell to it’s knees, and became the vole.
‘Shall we shower each other with compliments of love, or actually live it by diving from chaos? I met my partner in the canteen. We were tight and smelling nothing but the bad canteen food, and the pay was worse than the jokes, and I caught him smelling my hair, he wasn’t near me but I new he was, so we started meeting up and dreaming of how much more bitter the universe was, but it wasn’t, everything from the way that the fleas danced like stars, to the way that we made love on the polluted roof tops of the academy, the tiles still boiling into our skin from reflecting the radiation all day and into the night, everything that we remembered created the future, and by the jewels that hung striking our torsos we became Pahnyette, thrice male thrice female born from desert storm and calming tide, the name of every animal that quakes in your gut and troubles the wind, the slow days were like miles of silk, and the training was dull, empty, and full of regret, it was beautiful only to our nights as the fleas from all dogs become one with super-nova, the winds made from itching hair, the molasses sculptures of the old cities flaming down into bone again done again, the dispersing missiles of life dreaming that we could run within the eye, and away from this place. We remember Morocco’, The remembricant said as more of the guards transformed into themselves, ‘But Morocco was not our dream, it was just something that came from the cosmos and we chuckled about walking out on to the roof top and appreciating the universe, for all of its defecating music and verse.’
The planet stopped turning, in each and every eye of the creatures swarming within the desert. Sharing their reforming blood. The solar screams of the orbiting houses and hierarchy bled with rage. Pahnyette stood up and danced among its friends, and accepted the swelling sea of polluting joy, dipping its finger into the sea surrounding the chimericants, and water.