Does anyone know anyone who has actually read War and Peace cover to cover? In the full, unabridged version? I might actually be the first, I think, as I lie down on my futon, with a cup of Kava, and wonder whether Tolstoy or my ceiling fan could provide more entertainment. Alternatively, I have a big collection of bad science fiction that I have been building up for years, that I mean to get to. But just at the moment, the lesser Coltrane starts in on "Syeeda's Song Flute" and I feel compelled to check the internet.
I check the usual suspects first, and don't find anything interesting. So I log on to a special IRC channel, the type of IRC channel that was on the eonet, one of the ones full of matrixy-style scrolling characters, the type of thing that could show up just as well on an Apricot system bought from Wacky Willy's. And it appears there is trouble brewing. I don't even know half of the names that are flashing by with complaints, and I get the feeling that if I tracked their IP addresses, they would end up ending up in broken down, uninhabited mobile homes outside of Sedona. I ask the obvious question: has anyone contacted The Doctor. The Doctor is the leader of a loose group that may or may not exist. He seems to know way too much about weaponry, and also has seen every episode of Babylon 5, which is why he has supposedly saved the world from supernatural menaces more times than I could imagine. Either that, or he is a pathological liar and I am semi-paranoid with a dissociative habit. Or, as they say in the book, "all things are true in some ways, false in some ways, meaningless in some ways, etc.".
Apparently, the Doctor was nowhere to be found, which was a worry all in itself.
The main thing is, we had a problem. Apparently, recent monetary troubles were not confined to just the normal greed and what not, but were a bleed in to the earth economy of things happening somewhere else. Apparently, an organization called The Corporate Institutional Bank of Time, which I had heard of twice previously, had been trying to reach apotheosis on the sly, by buying future futures, and then selling them short, or maybe even long, depending on your temporal viewpoint. Basically, at this point, the time travel madness had gotten out of hand, and there was a thought that time itself would be subject to a credit crunch fairly soon.
I rolled my eyes (hard to do via the internet, especially the type of internet that was based on 300 bps modems, and typed:
What do you want me to do? Tune in my shortwave radio and search for a numbers station broadcasting from a purely mathematical, atemporal realm with instructions on how to save us?
was the reply, so that is exactly what I did.
And when I didn't find anything, I explained the obvious: that the project of apotheosis and perfection that had been set upon was probably doomed from the start, and that what we needed was some sort of really big gun to somehow fire at pieces of temporal flotsam that were clogging up the flow of temporal liquidity. Fitting, really: since the metanarrative seemed to not be able to carry forward into a realm of boundless fulfillment, the only thing to do was to hit the metanarrative sideways. But I didn't know exactly how to do that...so I quickly set to work, trying to figure out how the works of Jean Francois Lyotard and a 40mm anti-ship cannon could be used to disperse a threat to the time stream. And while doing this, I take a step back into reality and look down at my dock. November 19, 2008, which means it is a Wednesday. Why am I doing this anyway? Will someone give me affection for my efforts to save the world? Will, as they say, the cheerleaders come out for smooches? Barring any immediate rewards, I realize that my shift is over, and someone else will have to pick up the slack, as far as bailing out the time stream goes. If my laziness means the world will be readjusted, and when I wake up tomorrow, the world will be radically different, with no memory that it is different than it was, so be it. Because I can only save the world on Tuesdays.