explaining the undiscovered continent

Because few things are more fun that exploring undiscovered and lost continents…

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Notes from the 3rd Guam Xenoarchaeological Expedition

Today we discovered a remarkable passage on partially intact Guamish storage device. It appears to be from a personal journal or diary. (We argued about whether to call the author a blogger or not. It seems obvious to me, but everyone else called it ‘pre-mature as fucking hell,’ so I will bide my time for vindication.)

In any event, we agree that we know now the ancient Guamites did indeed use what some of us affectionately refer to as the “Easter Island guys” for defense. Only the details of how they operate and were moved between Easter Island and Guam remain to be sorted out. Fortunately I didn’t have to remind anyone they used to have hats to make the association of the term “sombrero turret” apparent to my colleagues. (Though I suspect Dr. Applebomber didn’t know and was just playing along to avoid looking any stupider than he does already.) Moving on, we also agree that it seems the training for such duty was highly coveted and rigorous.

Finally, let me present Dr. Zisselfraggen’s translation of the passage:

… and so what if a tree falls and no body hears it, the forests are gone!” I retorted.

The blow came fast and hard, a heavy whip that bruised my lips and made me snarl. My hackles, such as they were, were up and my fingers twitched, eager to make a fist to retaliate with.

He laughed viciously. “Oh yes. Do it. So us all you have the self-control of a pile of shit.”

That brought me up short. I looked at him with a combination of confusion and suspicion. What sort of weird metaphor was that? Shit seemed to have quite a bit of self-control. It just sat there and stank. Was he dumb or testing me?

He realized what a shitty (haha) metaphor he’d made and struggled for control. I struggled not to show the amusement I was feeling.

I failed.

Then, predictably, he failed. Or I’d fallen for the trick and what he did to me no longer mattered, and it was bye-bye sombrero turret dreams for me. Or, I supposed, both.

It wasn’t long after I got over being knocked semi-unconscious that I found out he was dumb and I was still in the program. Now, I just needed…

It’s also with noting the author’s use of scatological humor. I have made a note to investigate the universality of this. Certainly this must be the earliest example of its use.

We are hopeful that our tech, Bernie (I cannot recall his last name), can recover more data from the device, but it was heavily damaged and I count us fortunate to have even these few bytes. What a find!


Holy crap, Guam is real?!

I discovered something remarkable today. More than remarkable really. I mean, I literally fell out of my chair (granted I was sitting on the edge of it already, but still).

Guam is an actual place:

All these years I’ve been tossing around this Guam shtick. Make jokes about it, talking about my secret volcano headquarters there, how we’ve recruited the “Easter Island guys” to defend it (alien weaponry in their hats, though weakened since all the brims fell off, but still bad ass), using it as an interjection and/or greeting, and so on.

But, lo and behold, there, in the South Pacific (nearish Easter Island – quite a coincidence!), is an island named Guam. To add insult to injury, it’s part of the United States, a country in which I was born and lived for 4 decades.

I’m wondering now what the Guamites (Guamese? Guamians?) think – or would think, if they aren’t already aware of it – of my fixation and how I’ve expressed it. Offended? Appreciative? Bored? Will they hunt me down and rough me up, demand an apology and get me to stop? Send an Easter Island Guy to take me out?


Snippets

Heavy-lidded, he crawled to the window. Outside, they still waited. Colorless. Translucent. Sharp. Frozen.

A menina espiou por cima o ombro para ele. Temeroso, ele parou. Com um riso, ela pulou sob a ponte e para as sombras. Das sombras, ela chamou, e o menino seguiu, limpado de medo por sua voz.

Her scent was cherries and tobacco mingling in her wake. He breathed it in and the craving for a cigarette was sharp and sudden, it made him want her.

A caverna era sem fim, sem eco, sem som. Havia apenas escuridão e chão e o cheiro de terra. Havia sido perdido dentro da terra por semanas. Nunca tinha sede ou fome. “Por que sou ainda vivo?” se perguntou de novo.

He breathed in the cerulean air and shuddered. Around him, they danced. He dropped to his knees, crushed into shards of pale bitterness by the weight of their gliding. The skin of his knees pierced a hundred times, his lapis blood colored the shards. They sighed and melted into the ground.


Um dia na minha vida

Normalmente me levanto às 7h ou um pouco antes. Gosto muito da manhã. É quieta e calma.

Depois de me levantar, faço café. Enquanto a cafeteira está fazendo o café, alimento minha cachorra. Em seguida, leio as notícias e tomo café. Às 8h eu e a cachorra saímos para jogar uma bola.

Às 9h é hora de trabalhar. Eu trabalho para uma organização secreta que quer conquistar Guam e usar ele como uma base para criar raças de gatos e cachorros que vivem por 60 anos pelo menos. É um trabalho duro, mas tenho tempo livre suficiente para fazer exercícios e comentários no LiveMocha também.

Paro o trabalho cerca de 18h, bebo umas cervejas e então começo a cozinhar um jantar maravilhoso. (Gosto muito de cozinhar quase tanto quanto gosto de conquistar ilhas.) Eu como às 20h30.

À noite, passo o tempo assistindo filmes, lendo, ou jogando PS3.

Vou para cama antes da meia-noite e sonho sobre viajar para as estrelas para ensinar português a extraterrestres.

Oh. Quase esqueci. Claro escovo os dentes antes de dormir.


A viagem à escola

Deixe-me dizer a vocês sobre minha viagem à escola. Moro no centro, mas a universidade fica no sul da cidade. É cerca de 30 km. Muito longe  que quer caminhar! Então viajo de tapete mágico.

Não sou rico, então não tenho um tapete mágico, mas há alguns públicos que qualquer cidadão em boa posição pode alugar. Normalmente é possível dividir o custo entre outros que estão viajando pela mesma rota (se não até o mesmo lugar). Dirigir um tapete mágico é bem fácil (são mágicos, certo?), simplesmente tem que usar as palavras mágicas. (Que são da língua antiga da Atlântida, claro.) Custa entre 10 e 20 moedas para alugar, dependendo do tamanho do tapete.

A viagem leva cerca de 40 minutos. Antigamente, a rota era bem segura. Os monges beges a patrulhavam, mas deixaram nosso mundo há dez anos para procurar o Elvis. Então, agora temos que ser cautelosos com os monges nus que jogam furões aos viajantes incautos. Que mundo!


Como chegar à minha casa

Para chegar à minha casa não é uma coisa fácil. As instruções que vou dar a você podem parecer simples, mas têm que ser seguidas precisamente. Então, deve começar no centro do Mercado Público com o pôr-do-sol. Se estiver nublado, não pode vir.

No momento o sol toca o horizonte, comece caminhar para o norte. Siga por duas quadras, mas pause a cada cinco passos e jogue sal sobre seu ombro esquerdo. Traga muito sal. Meu sal acabou ontem, então preciso do seu para cozinhar o jantar.

Depois de duas quadras, verá o Templo dos Quinhentos Ventos. Sopre quinhentos beijos ao templo e depois vire à direita. Dali, vá até o segundo semáforo. Ouça para o leste, o norte, o oeste, e finalmente para o sul. Não esqueça a ordem!

Vá para o leste até a Àrvore da Ninfa que tem apenas uma Lágrima (ela está a guardando para seu gato). Bata na árvore sete vezes, espere por 3 segundos, e então mais nove vezes. A ninfa vai abrir a porta.


Esta Rua

Então, você quer saber sobre a rua mais cheia, mais ocupada, maior, e mais bela na cidade onde moro? Bem, contarei. Embora deve ficar em silêncio, porque vou sussurrar das coisas que algumas pessoas não querem que você escute.

Esta rua, esta rua maravilhosa tem segredos. Nada é como parece. Aquele banco, na esquina e ao lado do restaurante, é propriedade dos gnomos das Colinas Vermelhas. Claro, os funcionários são humanos (pelo menos acho), mas quem sabe o que os gnomos fazem com o dinheiro que ganham?

E a padaria do outro lado da rua, em frente ao correio? É propriedade dos monges beges. Olhe, os uniformes das trabalhadoras (sim, todas são meninas, interessante, né?) são beges and têm o símbolo da ordem deles. Escutei que colocaram ervas estranhas nos pães e bolinhos para entorpecer os cidadãos.

E, a banca de jornais, o dono é humano, mas ele negocia em informações do submundo. Mas talvez você não goste do preço, humano, com sua alma tão bela.


The Climb

For years and years I climbed the mountain: up and up, on and on. Never once had I seen its peak. Even on the clearest of days looking up was no different from looking down. My starting place was as lost in the distance as my destination. If I looked out over the plain I’d left to begin my climb, I thought I could see the ground. It was a dark shadow under the sky, but the horizon was indistinct. A bland blurriness where land and sky met. I could not even recall exactly how long I’d been climbing.

I had tried to keep track of course, to estimate how far I’d come along the slope and upwards. But what was the point? At the end, if I ever got there, I would have a few numbers in my head that, while surely impressive, were merely trivia.

I think the air thinned as I’d climbed, but I could have been fooling myself. I was older, more tired. If it was thinning with elevation the rate was miniscule. I was just as unsure about the plant life. It seemed more scraggly, more weathered, less dense, but maybe that was just the monotony. I still found enough berries to eat, wood to make an occasional fire to roast an occasional animal I’d managed to snare. My diet was as dull as the horizon, but I never starved.

While I could not say how far I’d come, or even how long I’d been climbing, my more recent memories were fine. I could give a reasonable, if dull, account of the last couple decades. It had been a few years since anything interesting had occurred – that being my last encounter with a living person. A woman who’d claimed she was coming down. Not for having given up, but from the top. From having reached her goal. (Or maybe not, who was I to say her aim had been so low.) She was mad and I, so unused even to sane conversation, had struggled simply to understand her.

Mad or not, the encounter with her had buoyed me. For several months before that I’d been morose over the last person I’d seen. A dead man, who had killed himself with a sharp rock his temple. One could hardly blame him.

Madness was not ideal, but it was better than braining myself.


The inestimable M. John Harrison on sci-fi, prognostication, fears and death.

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