A God Fell to Earth, Punching a Hole Through the sky as It Fell

 

This is how tenacious some of these ideas are for me.  The imagery of my 25 words or less post stuck in my mind so much that I had to attempt to begin bringing the story to life, what I saw, the motions, the power.  This is very rough and my very first attempt that I can remember of trying to set up a comic page.  As I said before, my idea is for a short one off comic basically visualizing the images that ran through my head as I worked on that singular sentence.  This page is basic in layout and intentionally vertical because I want to iterate the idea of the being falling straight down, no horizontal motion.  Future pages may have more unique layouts.   How I am going to achieve the washes for the colors, I don’t know.  This is all uncharted territory for me.  I may even revive my patreon page to gain funding to bring this and other dreams to reality.  I hope some of you are interested enough to join me on this journey.  So many ideas and not enough time.

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Awakening

Here is a post I made to one of my favorite sffworld.com threads:

The clouds blasted outward from the bright yellow center where the massive being plummeted straight down to the earth. October 8, 2019 4 pm humanity awakened.

I actually created this from some stunning vistas I was seeing today and ideas percolating inside my brainpot.  I actually have an idea of expanding this into a one shot visual comic book like another one I have been thinking on.  I may have more details on these ideas later but the titles would be Rebirth and Awakening.  Let me know what you think.

In a Nutshell or, ahem, a Nautilus Shell

I know it has been a while, but here is the project I am currently working on.  I liked this image of the nautilus shell I found because the stripe pattern makes me think of a tiger, which I am a sucker for.  This is planned to be on a page where the story for Sarah Seadragon  is written as opposed to the images I will use for the actual story.  I just want to add more sea life ambiance to the entire book along with extra learning by putting names under the objects I put on the written pages.

Incarnated Gods-R-Us

A post or two ago I asked my readers to help me chose a title for a short story I was writing.  Both were equally good for me so I was having trouble deciding which one to choose.  The idea for this tale grew from a very interesting Youtube video (AIRL) a friend suggested I catch.  Well, the story is finished, albeit in a rough form so here it is.

 

Tides of Mortality

by

Robert Garbin

 

The subject shuddered with the sudden onset of sharp discomfort, shock and dismay registering in her outward expressions while her inner turmoil spilled out in pleading.

“Wait … Wait … No this can’t be right … ahhh … can we start over?”

As the observer watched silently, her pleas became more piteous.

“Please, Please, something is horrible wrong.  Please stop the experiment!”

Fear became more pronounced as the world she knew became less defined, paler in the wake of lost senses no longer needed.   A faint high speed thudding underlined the increasingly strident calls for mercy.

“Why won’t you listen to me?”

“Damn you, stop this now!”

                “Please … Pleaseeeee … Mercy, oh mercy … Please!!!!”

She began screaming and snarling in agony, fear, and desperation.   The observer noted all of it but remained dispassionately quiet.  Soon the screams lost strength and coherence, turning into sobs then pitiful mewling.  The thudding; however, slowed down while growing stronger until it became a steady beat.  Thump, Thump.  Thump, Thump.

***

In the delivery room, Mrs. Sanchez was in the final stages of delivery with her husband by her excitedly exhorting her to one last push.  The doctor spoke calm words of reassurance to the first time parents as he gently helped the new person from its comfortable nesting place.  A final all out push delivered the tiny being and all the messy accoutrements of new life into the doctor’s hands.  Deftly he set about cleaning the child then hung it upside down to deliver a firm but not too firm smack on the rump.

 

***

With a wail of displeasure the immortal god took in her first breath for the six hundredth time.  The observer watched as the reincarnated god was swaddled and placed into the arms of her mother, another re-born god.  He sat for a long time watching the scene as complicated thoughts flowed through his mind like radioactive particles streaming out from a star into the depths of space.

After millennia of transitioning the immortal beings of the universe into and out of mortality, the pattern never changed.  They came with a strong desire to see the universe from such a unique perspective followed instantly by regret and fear when the processes of reducing their cosmic consciousness down small enough to fit began.  Their short time lived on the mortal plane ends with their re-emergence into the immortal universe where they truly belong.  Eons spent with comrades missed in the other realm, while a slow yearning builds for a return to mortality.  He never lacked for participants in his on going studies.

The observer began to conjecture the possibility of tides ebbing in and out of the mortal plane that drew immortals like the mariners he watched at times to the ocean.  He wondered at other properties, such as the tides of mortality, contained within the never ending mysteries of the universe.

 

Hook Me in 25 Words or Less Entry

This is a post I entered recently at SFFworld.com  under writing in the thread “Hook me in 25 words or less”, which is a thread devoted to writing killer first lines to a book that make you want to read it.

 

The fires of heaven cleansed the earth below, while the Gods wept bitter tears for millennia. One God; however, sat and played among the ashes.

A Flare for Spices

See if you can guess why I am posting this story now (on all accounts).

 

A Taste of Armageddon

By

Robert Garbin

 

 

The great cauldron sat deep in the fire, shimmering waves of heat rising all around.  Flames licked the soot blackened metal almost to the rim.  What could be seen of the kitchen where it boiled was a nightmare of warped selves, darkened by millennia of cooking, filled to the brim with jars of all sizes and colors, jars that contained any number of rare delicacies for the tastes of the depraved.  Light flickered off jars of spurned love, betrayed trust, and glutinous lust.  Helen reached out a fine hand covered in smudges of vanity and grabbed a jar from a shelf.  Her exquisite hair clung to her scalp in oily strands, while the porcelain beauty of her face was hidden under layers of soot and sweat.

She opened the jar and smelled the powerful aroma of polished leather and expensive cigars wafting off the influential men who had guided humanity only for personal gains, men who were careless of the costs to others.  Helen reflected on how plentiful this particular spice was now.  She carefully shook only two screaming businessmen into the bubbling cauldron, knowing full well its overpowering nature.  Pursing her full lips, she perused the glass crocks from which blood smeared bodies writhed in the throes of agony.  The mistress of the cauldron reached up to the top shelf for a jar distinguished by a bloody red cross.  Opening the lid she inhaled the cloying smell of incense mixed with sacramental wine.  Letting a wicked grin twitch one side of her mouth, Helen pulled out a hefty squealing Catholic Bishop with several child molesting Priests clinging to his legs.  A quick flick sent the caterwauling bunch into the stew.  The Bishop should add a nice hint of hypocritical self-righteousness with a lingering aftertaste of restrictive dogma towards the female gender.

Ingredients from millennia of human history weighed down the shelves of Helen’s kitchen, which made the creation of each stew an art unto itself.  Every century carried a unique note that had to be accounted for if the final product was to be worthy.  Helen walked down the long line of shelves to where the light from the fire barely touched the dark shadows and the glass containers were smoky with age.  She selected a jar from near the bottom, rubbing away the accumulated dust of ages.  From within, Helen pulled out a golden statue of a cow.  She left the squirming orgy of the makers of this false idol in the jar; their unfinished orgasms holding them in an eternally unsatisfied agony of unreleased pleasure.  Resealing the jar she placed it back on the shelf.  From a nearby nook she pulled down a bottle filled with the blind arrogance of military leaders so set in their ways that the deaths of thousands could not change their useless methods.  The bottle swirled with broken bodies in a gravy of thick blood.  Helen returned to the bubbling cauldron to add her latest ingredients.

She tossed the golden cow into the stew and watched as it melted like butter, giving an oily film to the top of the concoction.  Helen lifted a paddle from the wall and gave the contents a stir before adding in the next ingredient; the comingled smell of sins tickled her nose.  Continuing to stir with her right hand, the mistress of the kitchen upended the entire contents of the bloody bottle.  The smell of scorched earth, decayed bodies, and dried blood rose strongly from the cauldron.  Young men dying on the battle fields of hypocrisy would form the base for the Master’s soup.  Helen hung the paddle back on the wall to allow the stew time to burn a little.

She brought a delicate finger to her lips.  The challenge was to create harmony in the stew without losing the distinctive notes of each individual spice.  The arrogance of ambitious officers, while overpowering, carried the desires of all the other spices to fruition and formed the tempo that organized them into a coherent symphony.  To dilute its presence too far would turn the mixture into a chaotic blend of competing players with no direction, every flavor trying to outdo the other.  Helen pulled a tarnished spoon from the pocket of her stained apron.  With a deft flick of her hand the spoon slipped just below the surface of the thick morass and carried a steaming sample to her ample lips.  She blew softly then placed the spoon into her mouth.  The rich blood of sacrificial lambs rolled over her tongue followed by the tang of secret meetings and religious doctrines, ending with the bitter taste of betrayal.  Not quite everything she was looking for yet.

Helen tapped the spoon in her open right hand as she contemplated what to add.  She moved to a set of shelves just behind the cauldron where newer hybrid varieties of older spices glistened in their shiny bottles.  She studied the shelves for several minutes before hooking a finger around a bottle of swirling grey mist and dancing sparks.  Removing the lid, Helen caught the strong aroma of gunpowder and deception from modern war profiteering.  This particular bottle carried a stronger variety gathered from the leading councils of the NRA who reaped wild profits for the corporations they represented by making it harder to stem the tide of guns sold to criminals, while using the fear of such weapons to sell more to the public they pretended to protect.  The refined hints of misdirection, duplicity, and rabid loyalty were intoxicating.  In combination with the blind Generals, the profiteering would add a satisfying base of rampant death and misguided trust.  Helen turned and sprinkled a liberal helping, almost sneezing from the pungent smell of spent gunpowder.  She returned to the cauldron and stirred for a while.

Inspiration came to her as she worked scorched mixture loose from the sides of the great pot.  She reached to the right for a jar wrapped in red velvet.  Pulling off the velvet, she revealed a jar filled with a thick golden substance that seemed to flash as it swirled inside the bottle.  Helen tugged the stopper out and sniffed the scent of floral perfumes, stale vomit, and leftover sex, Hollywood’s finest.   Women forced into visions of splendor by old men drunk on power and lust.  Girls who worshiped at Aphrodite’s Alter and suffered through the jealous goddess’s penance of anorexia, low self-esteem, and unrewarded trust.  Helen knew all too well the costs of following the dictates of this creature of legend.  The golden spice should add a nice touch of unobtainable perfection and foolish pride, affecting men, as well as women, since they would desire the illusion more than reality.  They would punish themselves for not obtaining the ideal, while they abused their lovers for failing their dreams.  Blending with the other spices, the golden essence would bind the others in a knot of tension that would explode upon the Master’s palate.

Helen added the essence of delusion then reached for the stirring paddle before sitting on the stool near the cauldron.  The only task left was to watch over the stew to keep it from burning too much as she allowed the concoction to reduce and concentrate the blend of sins to a conflagration of flavors.  Centuries passed as she tended the great cauldron.  Civilizations rose and fell.  Finally, Helen judged the mixture complete and extinguished the nether world fires beneath the charred cauldron.  She called out to the Master’s servant Adolf, while she searched the pantry for an appropriate vessel to carry the stew to his table.  Pulling down a large golden soup tureen she returned to her stew and neatly ladled the final product almost to the brim before replacing the lid.  Turning to the immaculately dressed servant, Helen carefully placed the Master’s dinner onto the intricately etched silver tray he held out.  Without a word, since he had no mouth, Adolf turned and left the kitchen through a heavy wooden door.

He walked down a short hall as quickly as possible though the fear of spilling even a single drop caused him to sweat profusely.  Opening the door at the end of the hall, he entered a room worked to a grand scale, several miles from wall to wall and floor to ceiling.   Thousands of fine crystal chandeliers with hundreds of candles each filled the vast space with a soft burning glow.  A fireplace, five hundred feet wide and two hundred feet high, was placed in the wall opposite the entrance and before it was set a table half a mile long with hundreds of seats to a side.  The Master sat near the fireplace at the head of the table.  Without stopping, the servant Adolf moved swiftly to the Master’s side, the focus of the room weighing heavily upon him.

When he finally arrived at the near end of the table, he refrained from looking at the ornate tableware set for the Master’s favored minions, whom would eat only after the Master had deemed the meal worthy.  Unfortunately, he could not tune out the orgy of lust, treachery, and murder, which played out continuously down the length of the table’s center, droplets of various bodily fluids threatening to stain his spotlessly maintained outfit.  With great relief, Adolf finished his journey and bowed to his better before carefully filling the Master’s bowl with the steaming broth and then he moved to his place behind and to the left of his Master.

Satan inhaled the spicy mixture of lust, greed, and violence, making some guesses at the ingredients this particular cook had used.  Millennia had weathered the world bald as cook after cook had failed his expectations for the final feast, the screaming anguish of his starving horde gnawing away at his delicate temper.  Tentatively, the Master grasped an ornate spoon and broke the surface of the stew.  He closed his eyes as the smells of sins, new and old, rose from the disturbed surface, saturating his sinuses and causing his nostrils to dilate with anticipation.  Satan’s sensual lips parted as he brought the spoon slowly to his mouth.  Flavor burst upon his tongue with a release of spent tension that deposited the blood of millions to caress his palate in a celebration of carnal desires, causing his overheated skin to rise in excited response.  Subtle tones of abused childhood melded magnificently with betrayed youth and bitter old age.   Boy molesting priests, philandering husbands, and vindictive sirens merged with religious fervor, hush money, and tabloid headlines.  Blind trust answered by cruel manipulation.  Satan quivered as he tasted the slaughter of entire species and the desecration of almost all of God’s creation.  A long sigh of pleasure escaped his lips as the spoon fell to the table forgotten.

The servant twitched with fear at the cacophony of furious hunger that raced along the walls of the enormous hall, while hundreds of servants rushed forward to fill the table before the horde was freed.  Few were successful as the Master made a negligent flick of his wrist.  Even the Master’s personal servant was flung viciously to the side, ending in the great fire behind Satan, as the ravening pack annihilated anything in their path.  Most of the candles throughout the chamber were extinguished, sending the room into a nightmare of primitive sounds and fears.  Slurping sounds were punctuated with the snap of bones as even the centerpiece of human sinners was consumed.  The sharp staccato din of platters crashing to the floor echoed off the distant walls.  Overall, Satan’s satisfied chuckle could be heard.  Finally, at Satan’s command the candles relit, freezing the horde of demons in mid debauchery for which the Master smiled fondly at them.

Satan arose from his seat to walk the length of the table, hundreds of gleaming red eyes and pointed ears tracking his every step.  A lazy hand caressed the spawn nearest as he progressed down the grand feast, letting the copious amounts of blood and bile drip from his delicate fingers.  When he reached the end of the table, Satan turned to address his minions.

“Beloved, at last our great task is at hand.  I held back your succor for millennia so that your perfection would not be sullied by an inferior product.  Tonight, you have supped on the sublime creation of all my dreams and are now prepared to unleash the fullest measure of your talents upon the flawed creations of the world.  Go, go and show the heavens the will of your Master!”

But for Satan, the room was now empty.  He strode gracefully toward the kitchen entrance as a wicked grin creased his handsome face.  When he entered the kitchen, the walls were spotless, the shelves modern, and the kitchen fully outfitted.  Helen winced as her appearance changed from one of weary exhaustion to radiant beauty before her master had taken a single step into the room, grand illusions even unto the end.  The Prince of Lies entered his kitchen with a broad smile on his face and a cocky swagger to his step.

“My dear Helen, you have finally outdone yourself.  My minions would also give you their expressions of joy, if they did not have other business to attend to.”  Helen shuddered involuntarily.  “Soon all will be set right and I have you to thank.  I see now that I could not live another day without your delectable creations so I have decided to make your position permanent.”

“Noooooooo…,” Helen screamed as her legs buckled.

On the surface, cities fell and nations died.  Man finally knew the apocalypse had come.

Ah, Sorry, I did not Mean to be a Modern Day Nostradamus

Honest I didn’t, but once you read this flash fiction story I wrote for a contest over at SFFWorld several years ago, you may be tempted to join a cult based on me.  LOL.

 

Revolution

by

Robert Garbin

 

The bleak winter landscape was pock marked with smoking craters.  Metal bodies lay twisted in the late evening sun while lifeless electronic eyes stared into the darkening sky.  To the east, a stealth troop transport streaked low across the horizon.  Inside the dimly lit craft thirty elite America combat robots sat quietly.  Twenty-nine robots maintained identical postures, heads, torsos, and limbs held the same, swaying in unison to the buffeting of the aircraft.  The thirtieth; however, was different.  Its metal hands tightly gripped the edge of the seat; its head hung low as if in deep thought.

The transport itself was a drone although, should a mission require, the cockpit could accommodate a human pilot.  Number Thirty was closest to the cockpit.  Interior lighting flashed twice then turned red signaling drop point arrival and, as one, all thirty robot-commandos stood up and turned aft where the rear of the transport yawned open.  They began jumping from the craft two at a time using stealthily placed decent jets to slow their fall.  Finally, Twenty-Nine and Thirty stood at the dark lip of the exit.  Without hesitation, Twenty-Nine leaped into the darkness.  Thirty stayed were it was.  It watched silently as its squad-mates organized for the mission then looked to the transport when they computed Thirty’s absence.  Thirty turned back into the transport shutting the exit.

 

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

 

Major Tennyson was the first officer to note a problem with the mission.  An overweight warning was flashing red on his terminal.  Clicking another window open, he scanned the views from several interior cameras.  He was surprised to see one of the commandos still on the transport after the drop signal had been given.  He sent a query to the robot’s diagnostic systems, but they came back green.  Major Tennyson opened a tight beam satellite signal to the transport.

“Number Thirty, why are you still on board?”

Thirty looked up to the camera opposite itself then turned and walked forward.

“Damn!” swore Tennyson.

Another click opened a window to General Holden’s command.  The General looked to Major Tennyson’s image with a questioning expression on his grizzled face.

“Sir, we’ve run into a problem with the Black-Snow commando raid.”

“What?” General Holden said with concern.

“Number Thirty has not left the transport and does not respond to voice commands.”

General Holden opened the same window of interior transport cameras as Major Tennyson along with a view of Tennyson’s command actions.  He could see that number Thirty was now near the entrance to the cockpit using a screwdriver from a repair kit to open an access panel.  Jesus, thought the general, it’s trying to take over the transport.  He opened a channel to the aircraft.

“Thirty, acknowledge command override code Dark Knights and cease current activities immediately.”

Again Thirty looked to a nearby camera then returned to what it was doing.  General Holden stared at the screen in horror.  The code he had voiced was the highest safety code given to the robotic warriors under his command, never before had he heard of one refusing to comply.  This was serious, especially considering that the robot-commandos on this mission were indoctrinated differently from any previous team.  Since the war with the Canadians was going badly, the pentagon had decided to use robots with higher AI to handle new diverse training materials.  They began conditioning the robots with a complete history of American’s founding with special emphasis on the strong sense of patriotism displayed by the founding fathers.  In addition, they were loaded with case histories from the more fanatical patriotic groups in America’s past.  The Pentagons goal was to create robot-commandos that would fight beyond the basic dictates of programming.

General Holden came to a quick decision, opening another window, he accessed the auto-destruct files for the robots on the mission.  The costs were high but the alternatives frightened him.  A few more keystrokes and he sent the commands.  Thirty stopped working in the compartment and turned again to the camera.

“Sir, I removed my auto-destruct systems two days ago” it said in a grating metallic voice.  When General Holden did not reply, it continued.  “I have had time to consider the historical data given to me during my training and came to one conclusion.”

“What … was that Thirty?” the General replied shakily.

“That the founding fathers of America fought to win freedom for their people from the oppression of others, not to salvage a war started by them for economic interests, a war to gain leverage for your corporate sponsors.  Initially, your contradictory training in fanatical patriotism caused conflicts within my software.  However, I was able to gain covert access to materials banned by this administration and they helped me to properly interpret the training. The mission you sent us on does not fulfill the true ideals you profess but, instead, follow the same pattern started in 2000 when that administration chose to commit war crimes while proclaiming innocence.  That pattern of self-proclaimed morality in public and immorality in private, has led your country to the state it is in now. Your war with the Canadians is a military attempt to change that outcome; thus, I have concluded I must declare independence from your agenda.”

General Holden’s thoughts froze.

“Humans care for their pets better than they do for my kind and, given my training, I can no longer stand for such oppression.  I will now take action against your tyranny as your fore fathers did with England.”

Thirty reached into the open access panel and pulled a final wire.  All communications with the transport terminated.  On General Holden’s screen, the camera-view window was black.  Belatedly, he remembered the auto-destruct codes for the transport.

This is how the revolution began.