Fire Me Down, Father
(Originally appeared in Miscellanea: the Transdimensional Library, April 18, 2013).
Wandering Brightness drops me whistling at supersonic speed south of the equator, high on cocaine for a little retro vibe, and I am, surrounded with headphones blazing my mantras, a sleek little bullet for a fast little war, my audio shouting:
Where there’s a weir there’s a way, so turn it round son, and make it whole, I’ve got you where I need, if you’re ready for the deed, of love . . .
Under ocean. Under radar. Under the legacy of my grandfather’s grandfather and our orbital paean of honor, honor, orthodox. By root, ‘ortho’ means upright and honor is ‘dox,’ and so we are men of upright honor, and I am down under the Pacific, Wandering Brightness above, its weapons arrays bristling but on hold, awaiting signals from me and others.
I surface and deploy my petrochemical boat, expanding from its origami hold, making a sound like a kite in the wind. From my sabretache I attach a solar motor, extra quiet, and I scoop my body into the tube, lying low, heading south towards a Micronesian atoll.
“How’d you like that one, Bony?” is the encrypted question I receive by squirt; I cannot respond from this latitude, not for an hour or more. I liked it just fine, though.
My clan is Weir: we manage water. Such is the arrogance of planet dwellers that they do not realize the scale of their wealth; I had to be acclimatized over months to such immensities of water. My wetsuit can extract salts; I could, in theory, survive afloat for weeks. I am nine thousand days; on Earth, twenty-five years old.
The water I was ready for. But I’m not sure I’m ready for the reality of crowds. How can they live with so many billions?
The ocean is beautiful. My radar notes three vessels only ten nautical miles out, so I deploy my blinking decoys ― I am small enough I should slip through.
What can you know of our ways? I have seen so many suns I cannot count, even before I was of age. I am better.
I accelerate and meditate for an hour; the guard boats slip by me without hardly a notice and then I feel the thwump of the bolts shot out from the high atmosphere as Wandering Brightness fires its hands planetside, to attach the little islet to its hull.
In the management of water we learn inevitably of the management of rock; from my sabretache comes markers for my brothers, who dive, and fire their knives to cut loose our spot of land.
For sport, I begin to fire, backstroking with one arm to keep from being carried ashore by the waves. The natives fall and scream as I unload my ammunition. Earth rock is rich with organics, you see? So much cheaper just to take some than to grow it.
I watch as the atoll is lofted skyward, the huge nano-chains spiraling faster than my eye can track, roping the billion-ton chunk of biomass and rock up, up and up.
I am laughing.
My clan is Weir. Near is Rick, and Staff, and Eidolon. We hold onto each other’s arms and launch back skyward, brothers in our war we know better than you.
I am 5Jack. I don’t care if you remember me or not; I will remember you.