Copyright © 2015
All rights reserved.
Ivan’s on his way to work on Friday.
clear day in the Chelyabinsk Oblast,
Restaurant’s not due to open for a few hours;
Ivan’s going in early to finish some accounting-work.
What are the ramifications of unlimited free-energy?
Will man ever be able to travel back-in-time?
While Ivan’s thinking these thoughts,
at that exact moment:
A massive meteorite streaks across the sky;
an airburst explosion followed by a massive concussion,
many windows in the Chelyabinsk Oblast.
Time: 9:26 A.M.
February 15th 2013.
Ivan pulls his vehicle over;
records the exact time in his journal.
What the fuck was that?
Ivan looks at the sky;
studies trajectory of the object;
It will take about 23 minutes to get to the meteorite landing-site.
I must be the first to get there;
this meteorite could be very valuable.
Ivan stomps the gas;
500 horse-power Mercedes engine roars to life;
calls his cousin David.
David: “You OK?”
David: “I’m OK.
My house’s windows were blown out,
so were the restaurant’s windows.
I was heading home.”
Ivan: “I was headed to work,
but I’m going to find that meteorite.
I want it.”
“I know this is something you have to do;
I’m not going to argue,
I’ll open the restaurant today;
get the windows boarded up;
call in another manager.
If you get rich on whatever you find;
I want a piece of the action,
David: “I bet this makes CNN.”
Ivan: “Many will google the Chelyabinsk meteor for years to come.”
Ivan has a Geiger counter in the trunk of his car,
a souvenir from The former U.S.S.R;
keeps it in his car,
he’ll always have one with him.
Chelyabinsk is the most-polluted territory on the planet;
Ivan’s Geiger counter/souvenir is in case of another nuclear accident,
and the Russian government claims radioactive levels are safe.
Trust but verify.
Ivan drives to the edge of a wooded area,
the meteorite must have landed in;
gets out of his car.
It’s got to be within a kilometer of here.
Ivan takes out his Geiger counter;
turns it on.
Ivan’s getting a reading.
higher than normal;
nowhere near dangerous.
Ivan starts walking towards the reading;
ground’s covered with a layer of hard snow.
No one around;
no one’s been here.
The snow’s fairly fresh,
I’m going to be first to the site!
Better get there first;
get the hell-out-of-here.
Ivan begins to run;
The area’s pocked:
pebble-sized holes in the snow.
The meteorite must have shattered,
into millions of tiny fragments;
a fairly concentrated,
Ivan digs into the first hole,
in the snow he comes to.
Ivan turns his Geiger counter back on;
leads him to a relatively large hole,
shaded by a tree.
Digs into the hole;
a golf-ball-sized meteorite-fragment.
Ivan bends over;
picks up the meteorite fragment;
begins to stand upright,
the sky turns black-
wakes up early;
Two feet of snow!
No school today!
storm’s just letting up.
Ray’s mom needs to go to work;
main streets plowed.
His driveway encased,
a three-foot snow-wall,
by the snowplows.
Ray looks up at the street lights:
sporadic flakes can still be seen.
Ray grabs his snow shovel;
starts to go to work.
Loves his mom;
begins to shovel.
Not the heaviest of snows.
around thirty degrees.
not the backbreaking shit we got last year.
Last year’s big nor’easter came down at higher temperatures;
snow heavy and slushy.
Every snow’s different.
Eskimos have 53 words to describe different snows;
Sami Scandinavians: 180 words.
I’m a fucking nerd.
Ray shovels the end of his driveway;
gets mom’s car keys;
turns engine on;
lets car warm up.
While the car’s warming up:
brushes snow off mom’s car.
After the snow’s completely off his mom’s car;
backs the car to the end of the driveway,
He then shovels:
front of the driveway;
Done 33 minutes.
Across the street;
comes outside with a shovel.
Mr. Oconnell: “Looks good Ray!
Do mine next?”
Done 26 minutes.
Mr. Oconnell smiles.
Mr. Oconnell: “You’re quick;
Ray: “Any time Mr. Oconnell.”
Ray turns to go back home.
Mr. Oconnell: “Where you goin’ Ray?”
Ray: “Back inside;
got nothin’ else to do.”
Mr. Oconnell: “Come here a second.”
Mr. Oconnell hands Ray:
a newly-minted twenty-dollar bill.
Ray: “Didn’t do this for money.”
Mr. Oconnell: “Really?
that’s not right;
I’m not a fuckin’ communist,
even though I live in a blue state.
Thanks for the gift,
but I insist on payin’;
won’t have it any other way.”
I could make a hundred dollars today!
If I had some money:
I could ask Kristen out.
Ray walks down the cold,
thinking these thoughts;
knocking on doors:
Ray: “Shovel your driveway and walk for twenty dollars?”
“No thank you.”
After being rejected eight times,
ninth house says,
It’s daylight now;
Ray’s shoveled five driveways.
Ray’s cell-phone vibrates:
Tom: “Whatcha doin?”
Ray texts back: “shovelin driveways
want 2 make some $ 2day?”
Ray: “Bring ur shovel
meet on Middle st.
u’ll C me.”
house to house,
knocks on twenty additional-doors.
Before Tom shows up,
Ray: “Pay you five dollars an hour,
Better tell Mike.
Can Mike shovel too?
There enough work?”
Ray: “Plenty of work.”
Tom texts Mike;
Mike brings his brother Jay;
in a few minutes:
there are six kids.
After some more texting:
Twenty kids on my payroll!
Ray continues knocking on doors;
organizes the twenty:
Ray: “Who wants to knock on doors to sell?
Who wants to shovel?
Those who sell will earn three dollars a sale;
a ten-dollar bonus to the best salesman.”
Mike: “How much per-hour for sales?”
Sales are commission only.
You don’t sell:
you don’t get paid.”
Tom: “Fuck that!
I’ll stick to shoveling.”
Because you got no balls.
keeps his thoughts to himself.
Four kids want to sell.
Ray: “Shoveling pays five-dollars-an-hour,
plus a fifteen-dollar bonus to the fastest team:
the team clearing the most driveways.”
Ray teaches his salesmen what to say;
they follow him for the first-few houses;
he sets them loose on their own.
Ray supervises everyone’s work:
collecting all the money.
They bust ass until three o’clock.
Everyone’s tired and cold.
Ray: “That’s the last house;
let’s go home.”
Tom’s team’s the fastest,
they earn forty-five dollars,
All the other teams earn thirty dollars each.
The best salesman,
next to Ray:
Steve sells twenty houses,
earns seventy dollars.
The other salesmen earn:
and forty-five dollars.
The group shovels one-hundred driveways and walks.
Ray takes in two grand;
a little under six-hundred dollars.
Cleared fourteen-hundred dollars!
tells no one how much money he made,
not even his mom.
none of them ever made that much money before.
According to Ayn Rand:
Americans invented the phrase:
‘to make money’;
money’s created out of ideas.
and Mike go over Tom’s house.
Ray orders pizza;
offers to pay.
“How much money did you make?” Mike’s the first to ask.
Ray: “It was a good day.”
No adult’s home;
just the three of them.
TV on skinny-max,
hoping to see some topless-women.
As luck would have it:
boobs waiting for them,
no bush though.
Tom and Ray play chess.
Mike’s watching the tube,
Tom: “Still got a crush on Kristen?”
I love that little girl.”
Mike interrupts: “She’s so taken man;
her and Daley been goin’ out foreva’.”
that won’t last foreva’.”
South Boston area;
turn of 21st century.
Tom: “Heard she’s gone to third-base with him;
it’s very serious between them.”
Ray: “Don’t wanna think about it.”
Mike: “Better leave her alone:
Daley will break your nose again.”
(Mike only eats cheese pizza,)
and an order of breadsticks.
Mike takes a slice of pizza;
jams his middle finger in it.
Mike: “I just fingered the pie;
it’s fuckin’ hot!”
Ray: “You’re wrong for that.”
Tom jams his finger into his pizza too.
Tom: “You’re right Mike!
Just fingered the pie too;
wanna smell my finger?”
Ray: “No man,
it’s still wet;
Ray: “No thanks.”
Mike: “Let’s call Daley,
maybe he can come over and finger your slice?
Would you still want your slice,
once he dipped his finger in it?”
Ray: “Fuck you both.”
Mike and Tom are laughing,
Ray: “It’s not funny.”
Tom: “It’s a little funny.”
Mike grabs a breadstick:
performs fellatio on it.
Mike: “Wonder if Kristen’s given Daley a blow?”
Ray: “Come on man,
Tom: “That’s a long breadstick you got there Mike:
sure is stiff and firm;
you gonna dip it in the pie?”
Ray: “You guys suck.”
Tom and Mike are laughing their heads off.
Ray’s getting pissed.
Ray: “It’s not funny!”
Mike: “It kinda is a bit funny.
What’s funny is you still want her after she’s been penetrated.”
Tom: “Bet she’s tight and hot.”
Ray: “Not as hot as your sister Katie,
Tom: “Fuck you.
Don’t talk about my sista.”
Mike: “Your sista’s like a doorknob,
everyone gets a turn.”
Ray: “Your sista’s like a TV,
a five-year-old could turn her on.”
Tom: “Fuck both you guys.”
Mike and Ray laugh.
Mall’s hopping today!
Is Kristen here?
Made a fucking killing yesterday!
This pizza’s gonna be so good.
Tom interrupts Ray’s random thoughts.
Tom: “Kim Kelley’s here.”
Ray: “That means Kristen’s here,
Kim and Kristen are best friends.
Ray gets up;
walks over to Kim.
Ray: “Who you here with?”
Ray: “Anyone else here with you guys?”
Kim: “You mean her boyfriend?”
Kim: “No Ray;
just us girls.”
Ray: “Where’s she?”
Kim: “In line buyin’ clothes;
be out any second.”
Kristen walks into the food court;
Ray smiles back.
Kristen: “You tryin’ to hit on my best friend?”
I like someone else.”
Ray: “I’ll tell you later;
you know her though.
You ladies eaten?
Can I buy you guys lunch?”
Kristen: “No thanks.
My boyfriend would freak out,
if you bought us lunch.”
Ray awkwardly: “OK.
good seein’ you.”
Kristen: “Good seein’ you.”
Ray goes back;
sits with Tom and Mike.
Kristen and Kim both buy burgers and fries for lunch.
Mike: “That took some balls.
Aren’t you afraid of Daley?”
Ray: “Fuck him.
She’s too-good for him;
Tom: “He’s a big neanderthal though.”
Ray: “Tell me about it!
He broke my nose a few weeks ago.”
Mike: “Aren’t you afraid of him?”
Ray: “You don’t get it:
I’d die for her.”
Tom: “You might.”
Ray: “Don’t care.
She’s what I want:
more than anythin’ in the world.”
Ray walks over;
gets in line;
buys a giant,
He walks over to Kristen and Kim;
hands it to Kristen.
Kristen: “What’s this?
What’s it for?”
Ray: “That’s a hot-fudge sundae,
with extra whip-cream.
You eat it.”
Kristen: “I know what it is and what it’s for.”
Ray: “Then why’d you ask?”
Kristen: “Why are you givin’ it to me?”
question caught him off-guard.
with your shield or on it.
Death before dishonor.
Once more unto the breach,
if his chest had been a mortar,
he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it-
Ray: “ ‘cause,
I’m enthralled with your beauty;
I’m in love with you.”
Kim: “Daley’s gonna kill you Ray.”
Ray: “That’s OK.
I’ll die knowin’:
I died for something meaningful.
Died ‘cause I gave the girl-I-love a gift.
Men die every day.”
Kristen: “I can’t take this;
I’ve got a boyfriend!”
Ray: “I’m leavin’ now with my friends.
I’ve said what I came-over to say.
given you what I wanted to give you.
You can eat it;
or throw it away:
I’ll not take it back.
Hope you eat it;
What’s important is you know how I feel,
know I’d do anythin’ for you.
You deserve the best;
that’s my message to you;
that message incarnate:
the hot-fudge sundae you see before you.”
Ray walks away from Kristen and Kim.
The girls ogle the giant hot-fudge sundae,
in front of Kristen.
Kristen: “Thanks Ray!”
Ray: “Enjoy it gorgeous!”
Ray, Mike, and Tom hop the ’T’ home.
No one says a word.
Ray’s focussing on a bum sitting across from him;
covered in his own urine.
Visible moisture has leaked down his legs,
forming an outline around his shoes-
Reeks of piss.
Nasty fucking bastard.
Tom gets a text;
looks at his phone.
Tom: “Oh shit.”
Ray: “What’s wrong?”
Tom: “Just got a text-message from Skully sayin’,
‘Daley’s gonna kill you.’
Hope it was worth it.”
Ray: “It was.”
Been a long time,
since I was physically,
in the presence of my Emperor.
I kneel before The Emperor;
pledge fealty to Him.
I recite The Pledge:
“I am Furai today and forever!
Long Live the Furai!
Long Live Our Empire!
Long Live Our Emperor!”
The Emperor to his guards:
The Emperor: “On your feet,
drop the formality,
drop the bullshit.
Speak to me plainly,
How are you,
my oldest living friend?”
I say: “Living the dream My Emperor.
Running a solar system’s a lot of work,
but I’m enjoying it.”
The Emperor: “I meant oldest,
You’re one old motherfucker.
That dust on you?
Or you just ashy today?”
I say: “You’re gettin’ pretty-old yourself.
Been many years since your nose got all crooked and shit.
Why don’t you get your nose fixed you cheap bastard?
The kid-that-broke-it probably smiles,
every time he sees you;
sayin’ to himself,
I broke The Emperor’s nose!’”
The Emperor smiles at me.
The Emperor: “I like my nose;
it’s good to remember your scars.
We can’t all be:
and fixin’ up every ‘flaw’ that makes you a man.
I’m a man motherfucker!
Been in some fights;
I’ve got scars!
Look at you all dressed-up-to-perfection.
Still wearing old fashions I see?
Can you get the telephone?
The 80s just called,
they want their earring back.”
I say: “You haven’t grown any bigger lil prince;
just your mouth.
Nice new throne though,
almost makes you look taller.
Napoleon would be proud.
Glad you’re raised up on-a-pedestal,
at least now you can look at me eye-to-eye.”
The Emperor smiles.
The Emperor: “Shit man,
this pedestal’s a little higher than that.
if you came forward about ten feet,
you’d see we’re not eye-to-eye.
Your eyes are actually below my waist on this dais.
When I designed it;
took your exact height to one of our artisans and said,
‘Make the dais tall enough,
when he stands before me,
he’s eye-to-eye with my belt.’
so I can rest my balls on your head.”
I say: “You wanna show me your tiny,
The Emperor laughs.
The Emperor: “Enough meat to choke an old man;
I say: “Nah,
Why’d you bring me here?
Why couldn’t I have traveled virtually?
A thousand lightyears is a long trip:
might not make it home before dinner.”
The Emperor: “I have a task for you.
Thought long and hard about this;
I know this is what must be done:
Compile the story of Ray,
from age twelve till his young death.
His entire life stored on a chip,
I alone possess.”
I say: “Why not just release Ray’s chip’s information;
in its entirety,
to the general public,
allowing them to glean from it whatever they may?”
The Emperor: “Remember the first Macintosh computers?
No hard drive;
entire OS fit on a single floppy-disk?”
I say: “Sure.
Amazing a relatively sophisticated OS,
could fit in such a small space.”
The Emperor: “Can’t tell you all the details right now;
there’s a need to release a sophisticated OS,
for a primitive human-mind,
that fits in a relatively small space,
I say: “How small a space?”
The Emperor: “The OS will be a single Compilation;
to be released in the form of separate,
Each object corresponding to distinct levels,
of a Furai’s development.
The first object will correspond to the Level One Furai;
later objects will correspond to more-advanced Furai Levels.”
I say: “Why several objects and not one?
Why not release one,
containing all objects?
Instead of each object,
The Emperor: “For the same reason the Furai have:
many levels prior-to-accepting a new Furai.
Level One Furai graduate to Level Two Furai,
not receive higher-level knowledge,
until they’re ready.
By separating the objects,
we help insure Seekers not take shortcuts.
new Furai Seekers do not receive power they’re not ready for;
power they don’t have the judgement to use properly.
To allow a Level One Furai to receive advanced knowledge,
history has proven,
again and again,
You wouldn’t give dynamite and assault rifles,
to those without the wisdom to use them responsibly.
Furai advanced-knowledge is more dangerous,
to the untrained,
than atomic weapons.”
I say: “OK.
I’ll create all the separate objects,
corresponding to the separate Furai-Levels.”
The Emperor: “One more thing,
these objects must be tiny, tiny, tiny.
They must be in media–formats appropriate,
for the early twenty-first century.”
I chuckle at the implications of this.
I say: “You mean 2d video with sound?
That would be a tiny file indeed.
I don’t know if I can find any bad actors in this day-and-age;
nor a video/audio-only camera.
I could compile:
force a camera angle;
then strip out:
Then use data compression to make a primitive mpeg-file.”
The Emperor: “Books.”
I burst out laughing.
Couldn’t help it;
the thought ridiculous.
I say: “Books?
What you gonna do with a fuckin’ book?
There’s no paper or ink,
made anywhere in The Empire,
that I know of.
Want me to kill some fucking trees?
Grind some wood pulp?
Why not papyrus scrolls?”
The Emperor: “I have my reasons.
On second thought,
just make the separate objects,
using all six senses,
I’ll have Eliezer:
and compile your objects,
into appropriate media-formats for transmission.”
I say: “I’m sure Eliezer could handle this entire project;
why not have him do it all?”
The Emperor: “Thought of that.
I thought of many,
You’re uniquely qualified:
you’re one of the only living Furai,
studied the earliest stages of Ray’s development,
a great story-teller and teacher.
Eliezer might leave out subtle details,
edit things that shouldn’t be edited.
Eliezer’s many things,
his sense-of-humor’s a bit dry,
even by AI standards.”
Eliezer: “Fuck both of you.”
The Emperor and I both laugh.
The Emperor: “Eliezer,
love you man!
faithful AI servant.
That was pretty funny,
nothing more than a sophisticated algorithm.
An imitation of humans in my timeline;
made-me-laugh in the past.
(speaking to me,)
will create the objects,
Eliezer will transcribe and compress the objects you create,
into media-forms appropriate for the early twenty-first century.”
I say: “There anythin’ else you wish to tell me about this project?”
The Emperor: “Just one thing,
this project’s important to the survival of man,
and man’s expansion in the universe.
I can’t tell you who will be receiving your message;
I say: “OK.”
I say: “Emperor,
you knew Ray as well as me,
better than me-
Why don’t you make this Compilation?”
The Emperor: “I knew Ray;
ultimately for The Empire’s benefit:
Ray had to die;
Ray was soft.
He and I argued violently about what to do;
what course-of-action was best for the Furai.
I killed him for the good of the Furai.
Ray didn’t have the stomach for what needed to be done:
I can’t look back on his life and be objective.
I don’t love the young man like you did;
that’s another main-reason you must write Ray’s story.
If I made The Compilation;
it would be through the eyes of your Emperor.
Only you can tell an objective story.
A story to be taught to every twelve-year-old in the universe.
A thought virus:
spreading through the galaxy;
inoculating man from all disease,
all would-be oppressors.
I want the story,
to be appropriate for twelve-year-olds and adults.
You’re a better story teller than I;
have a better sense-of-humor;
kids love you,
young Ray sure did!”
I say: “You know,
a lot of parents don’t like the language I use;
am kinda abrupt;
speak my mind;
way to fuckin’ much.”
The Emperor: “Richie Rich trusted you with his son’s life;
your language was good enough for him;
it was good enough for Ray.
It’s good enough for your Emperor.
As for tight-assed parents:
The Emperor: “Twelve-year-olds are the nastiest,
most primal-creatures in the universe.
Show me a twelve-year-old who doesn’t say,
I’ll show you a little,
I say: “True enough.”
The Emperor: “Twelve-year-olds will appreciate your humor;
if parents don’t like it,
so be it.
I’ll make it required absorption in 7th grade.
Parents can bitch all they want.
If kids like to learn it;
The Emperor decrees it;
teachers make it required:
What choice will they have?”
I say: “None.”
The Emperor: “Exactly.
Here’s a copy of Ray’s primitive chip,
implanted in Ray’s cerebral-cortex,
at a young age.
On the day Ray died,
I took the chip out of Ray’s body,
and added it to my intelligence,
without power to overrule decisions,
or ask unsolicited questions.
Ray’s chip inside me,
is strictly a resource to access when I choose.
This chip’s the only remnants of Ray,
outside of me,
be careful with it.
Keep it fire-walled at all times!
Do not duplicate it,
nor allow it to duplicate itself.
Do not allow anyone else to access it.
Do not allow it access to Eliezer,
Be vague in your answers;
do not tell it what year it is,
any information which may allow it to calculate the year.
Be vague about the size of The Empire,
keep it answering your questions,
do not allow it to question you.
Do not allow it access to your biological-mind.
Remember who you’re dealing with!
the mentors he had,
the access he had,
the intelligence he had.
This thing is dangerous,
I say: “Are you scared of it?”
The Emperor: “In its current form,
As you go through its memories,
this thing will gain strength,
It’s been trained by the best.
It’s unsure of what path to take,
it’s a young man still,
it may choose to go DOA.”
I say: “Jesus Christ!
Why are we messing with it?
It’s an abomination!
we should leave it be;
let sleeping dogs:
The Emperor: “The risk is small,
As long as you understand the risk,
understand the power this thing has,
and the potential for destruction,
if it was to break free into the ether-
This thing is capable of:
raising an army;
crashing stock markets;
hacking defense grids;
If it goes DOA,
and has ether access,
there could be civil war without end.
I know you’ll be careful.
do not copy it;
no ether access;
no Eliezer access;
no access to your biological-mind;
keep it in the dark-
I say: “OK my Emperor.”
The Emperor: “Go through his chip.
It contains all of Ray’s:
All on one primitive,
Go through it ALL;
condense it into meaningful form.
This chip is the boy Ray,
from birth till the day he died.
Every bad thought,
the first kiss,
the first drink,
every TV show,
When you access it;
you’ll be Ray;
through your eyes.
Write as much or as little to tell his complete story;
teach the lessons Ray learned from his father and others.”
I say: “That’s powerful information to release to twelve-year-olds.
What if they rise in the streets?
Burn The Empire to the ground?”
The Emperor smiles.
The Emperor: “I believe The Empire is good;
and security for our trillions of inhabitants.
I believe The Compilation will reinforce why The Empire is good;
why individual fealty is in the best interest of all.
I’m an Emperor.
If I was a tyrant,
I’d probably still believe The Empire is good.”
I say: “If you were a tyrant,
you wouldn’t want your citizens to have this knowledge.
Tyrants aren’t big on freedom;
they fear self-empowered,
Man is freer than under any president or legislature in history.
The right to vote’s meaningless,
if others control your thoughts.
Fuck Tom Brokaw!”
The Emperor: “This is why I chose you old friend,
make me proud.”
I salute my Emperor;
take young Ray’s chip;
leave His throne room.