Chapter XLVI
by General (Uncle Claude) Xxaxx
& General (E.J. Gold) Nunan PFC 1st Class Ret.

Leaving her appartment, Woo left directly for Sam Fauxley’s. The passage to her place took Woo through the theatre and art district otherwise called the slums. Looking out the window at the empty streets and nearly abandoned buildings, Woo could hear the sub-mental echoes of a long since past humanities lecture, “The bubblers have no use for art or theatre. Vidi is their drug of choice.”

Vidi Addiction: In the late twentieth century, opti-visual stimulation of drug induced sedative states was in its developmental infancy. Not until variable scan line multi-image technology became a reality did vidi systems become the drug delivery systems that they are today. A preVSL-MI vidi system would typically produce sedative levels in the 50 milligram per hour range. VSL-MI made possible endorphin production of 350 milligrams per viewing hour. Drug selectivity was severly limited in early VSL-MI, systems, nothing like the 19 plus menu that vidi producers now have available. Because of addiction and audience expectation, the vidi industry in general is limited to the same three endorphins used in preVSL-MI days. Patents and controlling interest in the sixteen other endorphin induction opti-visual stimulating algorithms are held by “All My Money!” Incorporated. Through a quirk of bio-chemistry, eggheads have a congenital deficiency of endorphin receptors for the three most common vidi algorithms. This endorphin receptor deficiency results in no sedative effect from the majority of vidi shows and reviews. Imagine veiwing a vidi broadcast with only its content to appreciate without the benefit of endorphin stimulation. It is no surprise that eggheads have little or no interest in vidi viewing, with the exception of “All My Money!” Eggheads are subject to endorphin induction by three of the additional sixteen opti-visual stimulating algorithms controlled by “All My Money!” Since these algorithms are used randomly through the show, eggheads are stimulated on an average by 16.4 percent of “All My Money!” episodes.

“I suppose,” Woo mused to herself as she walked the theatre district, “that if we eggheads got stoned watching vidi, theatre and art may not have flourished as they have. It’s hard to compete with vidi-stimulated endorphin addiction. Revivals of the ancient comedies such as Who’s on First and neo-Gogh artworks simply don’t hose down the ol’ endorphin receptors for a pleasant night of drug induced ecstasy vidi-viewing. There is, however, a certain something captured in these art pieces that transcends biomolecular physics. Referring to the Spiritual Science of DNA treatise and the accidental discovery of verbal-somatic dragon sigil’s by various ancient schools of art, one can explain many of the more profound reactions to the theatrical arts.”

“Profound reactions or not, there is still precious little money in the art game; easily demonstrated by the abject poverty of this district. Artists — during the ancient twentieth century — are reported to have been faced with the dilemma of ‘selling out’, or not. Contemporary artists are faced with no such problem. Even if they wanted to sell their artistic-soul, who would buy?”

Definition: Selling out colloquialism depicting the production of art designed and/or manufactured to standards appealing to the money saturated mass market. Deferral of artistic goals until ill-defined future date when artist will have accumulated ‘enough’ personal wealth to afford ‘doing art for art’s sake’.

Definition: Enough (origin unknown). Qualitative accessment of quantitative measure. The ancient religious group known as Quakers had a saying, “How much is enough?” This is the only specific definition that has been uncovered to de-limit the word enough. Inquires into other sources have yielded little more than “There is never enough.”

Definition: Quakers — Ancient Near-Western religion, founded upon the precept that one must live a good gentle life until either the Gods Calif or Nia sit in judgment on the last day for the earth-shaking removal of faults and the washing of fruits and nuts into the sea.

“Sam Fauxley’s may find it convenient to live near the artists’ ghetto because of her contacts in IGADS. But it doesn’t make it any easier getting around. Not a taxiperson in town will take a fare into this district — little or no chance of a return fare from these poverty struck neighborhoods.”

“I really must consider doing something about this incessant internal dialogue.” Woo admonished herself. “Unfortunately I’ve seen the best experts and not a one could make me stop. Besides, even though you and I are doomed to wander alone, (not to mention psychophrenic) it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a bit of refreshing conversation from time to time.”

“I’ve asked you not to mention that; and no, it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a bit of pleasant conversation from time to time. Except the next time we go to a psychiatrist’s office, you do the talking. Even half the fee is more than I want to spend.”

The rain wet streets of the art district were cluttered with scrap objects of every variety. The junk could easily have been cleaned up. In fact, if not for a djinn conjured by Woo to guard over the bits and pieces of salvage, the Found-Art Co-Operative would have no resource elements for their sculpture. By the rules of the Found-Art Co-Operative the objects-de-finding had to be available to everyone in FACO. Thus the streets and alleyways were the ideal storage areas. In appreciation for her thaumaturgical help, Woo was given pick of the litter — any object she wanted from the collected fund of found-objects. Professor Woo spent many hours prowling through the piles of art objects — a study of pseudo-randomity and selection processes. She still has an absolutely gorgeous white porcelain piece reputed to have been removed from storage in a place called a Museoid. The name of the piece is Urinal. Given the route word Ur, Woo assumed that the object originated in the Mesopotamian city of Ur having something to do with temple rites — either as a receptacle for offerings or a reservoir of holy water in the shrine.

Continuing up the street, weaving between piles of sorted and assorted salvage, Woo was struck to her knees by a sudden contact. The cold harsh texture of the asphalt counterbalanced the penetrating astral connection as Stan Lee put on the emerald necklace. “Good work, Stan. You are moving along faster than I thought.” Stan, of course, couldn’t hear this. He wasn’t meant to. The linkage through the necklace was mostly one way. When Woo concentrates she can hear, or, at least sense what was happening in the immediate locality of Stan Lee. The emeralds of the necklace were vat-grown as crystal computer components and operated on a tight-beam ether-port. All ROM and no moving parts. The necklace functioned off the small magnetic and electrical fields generated by the body of the wearer. Not much power but enough to do its job, which, in this case, was to keep Woo informed of the general status of Project Levity. Woo could now relax a bit knowing that at least she would be informed of the project’s progress, even if other duties now forbid her direct participation.

No matter how much competence Woo wished to attribute to Stan Lee, she couldn’t afford to leave herself in the dark. If things started to go bad, she had to know — hopefully in time to get on the Johnny-On-The-Spot and help, maybe even before it was irrevocably too late.

Walking up the stairs to Sam Fauxley’s flat, Woo wondered briefly if she wasn’t making a mistake bringing Sam into this. The IGADS were so stubborn and fixated upon their own agenda that one could only hope something like saving the world might be in alignment with their collective goals. Woo reasoned with herself, “As a member of IGADS, it really is important that Sam Fauxley understand the importance of Project Levity. As CMO, she could either help Stan Lee requisition the personnel and equipment he needs, or she could effectively block every such effort. Yes, this little visit is not a waste of time. On the good-bad scale of time managment, this is definitely on the good side.”

Definition IGADS: the International Goddess And Dragonette Society — sekrit society, membership available to female eggheads only. Division of cultural labor between The Cownsil and IGADS was decided in whole by IGADS. They left the administration of egghead society and xpearimintation to The Cownsil. IGADS reserved to themselves the establishment and implementation of long-range trends and goals. The male-dominated cownsil was best suited to running things on a geographic and temporally local level. IGADS engineered shifts in the various lines of research and cultural involvement. Long range vision required responsiveness to nonverbal nonlinear input. This was IGADS province. Many, apparently, well-designed xpearimints have failed simply because they did not meet the hidden agendas of IGADS. (See Dragon Magic, Subhead Women Trained.)

Turning into the outer door of Sam Fauxley’s rather humble apartment building, Woo set her intention, “I will elicit the cooperation of Sam Fauxley, or know the reason why not.” Having spent her early childhood subject to the rearing of bubblers, Woo was perfectly willing to entertain any serious argument for annihilation of the planet. She was at least willing to keep an open mind on the subject. Barring a convincing presentation to the contrary, Woo was setting the magical intention to provoke the help and cooperation of IGADS through the assistence of Sam Fauxley.

Entering Sam Fauxley’s apartment, Professer Woo dispensed with social obligatory pleasantries by insulting Sam’s furniture, choice of wallpaper, and to show her great respect for Sam, Woo also made several slanderous remarks about her heritage. With these details of courtesy out of the way, Woo went to the point — explaining in as great a detail as she dared the general outline of Project Levity and Stan Lee’s responsibilities — omitting only details of the final double cross, double take finish. That little bit of shtick was entrusted to Stan Lee alone.

Woo concluded the overview of Project Levity. “Sam, you now have the gist of it; I trust you to help in any way that does not violate your integrity and goals of IGADS.”

Woo waited expectantly for a word or sign of Sam’s response.

In the off-handed way that Sam Fauxley has about her, she accepted Woo’s request without hesitation, “Of course you can count on me, Woo.”

Satisfied that one of the final steps was in place, Woo stepping toward the door, making to leave, “I have utmost confidence that saving the planet will somehow fit into your agenda and meet with IGADS general approval. A bunch of flat Goddesses and Dragonettes will probably not be an improvement.”

Normally, this would have been Woo’s parting shot and exit cue, but not tonight. This night Woo hesitated at the door looking as if she was debating whether or not to continue the conversation. This, of course, having an uncanny resemblance to exactly what she was doing: debating whether or not to continue the conversation, that is. Sam, not being entirely blind, noticed, “Woo, what’s got you by the short hairs. You’re standing around looking to all the world like you’re debating whether or not to continue the conversation.”

“Well,” Woo drawled in the best verbal imitation a Chinese born egghead could muster of twentieth century Saint John, the Wain, “little buddy, that’s just what I’m aimin’ to do.”

“Sit yourself down; this calls for refreshments and tea,” Sam Fauxley offered. It is common knowledge among Woo’s friends and business confidants that her incompetent impersonations were an indication of something weighing on her mind. On the other hand, Woo’s incompetent attempts at early twenty-first century humor were a known indication of good mood — a mixed blessing at best.

Serving tea and refreshments, Sam Fauxley insulted Woo’s choice of footwear — generally trying to make her feel comfortable.

Sipping the tea, Woo visibly settled into the trim couch slouching slightly in the cushions. “Thank you, Sam, this is my first real meal of the day, and it may be my last.”

Sam noted the poignant absent phrase “of the day”. Sam marked the implications of this as a point for future consideration. At the moment, Sam needed her full attention fixed and available to follow Woo’s current conversation.

“The food is a welcome presence in my organ of food reception and mulching. Even as I sip this infusion of camellia sinensis leaves and partake of complex carbohydrates baked into semi-decorative rectangular forms, I can feel the nutritive elements being absorbed across the digestive membranes into my blood stream and coursing their way throughout my organo-structure imbuing me with a sense of well-being engendered by a relative rise in blood sugar.”

“Please Woo, I’ve made prepared products containing healthful combinations of nutritive substances available to you and I’ve positioned myself upon the sitting receptacle in a relaxed and non-aggressive posture meant to indicate willingness to continue conversation in a mood receptive to your selection of subject topic. So, please cease and desist with the overly pedantic and formalized word structuring that somehow through some misbegotten mental association you have classified as humor.”

“Ouch. You’re better, or should I say worse, at this than I am anyway. Just attribute it to my temporary state of being without an intuitive notion of proper conversational direction, i.e. I don’t know quite where to begin.”

“Well, definitely don’t start at the beginning. How about somewhere near the end. Yes. That’s a capitol idea. That way I can at least know who did it.”

“Well, as a matter of fact, it was the butler who did it — or in any case, the door-sentient. For you see, today my door sentient couldn’t recognize me.”

“How could that be? They function off one’s bioelectric fingerprint. It’s fool-proof, nothing can change a bioelectric fingerprint. If every organ and cell in your body was transplanted, and even if you were to suddenly become brain dead, your bioelectric fingerprint would be the same. Nothing has ever been found to alter a bioelectric fingerprint or counterfeit one. That’s the basis of current security measures and our system of economic financial transfer.”

“I know, I didn’t say I was taking this lightly; I just said that it was happening.”

“Okay, let’s take that as the end part and pick up somewhere nearer to the beginning.”

Woo shifted in her seat, assuming a posture more in alignment with the mnemonic memory keys necessary for access of the said earlier material. “It all started when I was six years old; I decided that I wanted to learn dragon magic . . .”

“Whoa Woo, don’t start quite that far back; you, of all people, shouldn’t be forgetting the gravity of the situation. We only have a few weeks until we are all squished so flat that up looks like down to me.”

“Okay, some time after six years old and about fifteen years before present time, I graduated with a degree in advanced Dragon studies”

“Yes, Woo, I am well aware of that.”

“Something of which you may have been previously unaware, is that a student is sent on a dream quest shortly after the closing graduation ritual. In my dream quest, I experienced a premonitionary dream in which I received very specific information. In addition to the certain knowledge that my bioelectric fingerprint would one day become unrecognizable, I was told, or the nearest dream equivalent to being told, that it would become important for me to ascertain whether my field changed or the world field had undergone the modification. I was further given to expect consequences to follow shortly after these events. As you may be aware, or should at least be able to guess, dreams during Dragon ritual are not to be taken lightly and definitely shouldn’t be relegated to the realms of psychology or allegory. So you see, it is not a theoretical question to me.”

“What kind of consequences were you given to understand would follow shortly?”

“Well, a few minor things, nothing much of any lasting consequence, unless you call my personal annihilation — every goober on the planet dissolving into a pool of Jell-O and bosspersons taking over full administrative control of the world — something of consequence.”

“Some folks would consider some elements of your dream consequential. What about those dragon powers of yours? Can’t you just whomp up some kind of solution?”

“I thought as much myself. Just graduating with a degree in dragon magic — that was the first solution I thought of. After several nocturnal sojourns and the application of more than a few dream walking techniques, I have been able to extract and receive confirmation that all of my powers and abilities could not forestall my personal annihilation once my bioelectric field began to change.”

“Unless you’d like to dwell on it, let’s leave off discussion, for the moment at least, of the aforesaid horrible consequences. I’m sure you don’t need me dwelling on the subject of your imminent annihilation, you know, concentrating the conversational attention on the bit about your coming to a complete and total state of non-existence, ceasing to be, never needing to worry about what to wear, no problems with the irritating habit of breathing, moving from the realm of isness into non-isness, permanently changing your address to 000 Voidness of the Void Way . . .”

“Enough, I get the point already; let’s say we direct the conversation into a different area, one in which I was hoping to get another point of view.”

“I’m game. Tell me more about the part where you were told it was important to ascertain exactly whether your field had changed, or perhaps, if the world-field had undergone the change?”

“Oh, you mean the relativity of field flux phenomena and the relationship of renormalizable frames of reference? Nothing was made clear about that. I tried to unravel the sequence as best as I could. I kept blacking out during the transitions, something about being blown into atoms, the galaxy disappearing, floating alone in emptiness and void, you know the usual that precedes black out.”

“Usual for who?”

“Pehaps. In any case, I cast my attention onto the question of, ‘what do I do with this?’”

“On first glance, the questions run too close to the usual Philosophy 101 drivel. Is it appropriate for me to assume that you are in some way interested in my helping you?”

“Yes. As a matter of fact that had crossed my mind.”

“Okay, the way I understand the question is: did your bioelectric field change, or did it remain constant and the rest of the universe undergo a modification that you neglected to follow along with? Is that the gist of it?”

“Yes, the measuring equipment in my door-sentient registered a noticeable change. But how could I know whether I changed or the measuring equipment changed?”

“That’s the central problem with any reality check, isn’t it? Each is relative to the other.”

Laughing to herself, Woo asked Sam, “Could you perhaps be a trifle more vague?”

“I doubt it. Perhaps something along the expository elucidative line would be in order.”

“Yes, something along the expository elucidative line would be nice. Provided you put in a bit less expository and elucidative, it may shed some light on the current question.”

“Okay, Woo, consider the situation: you and I, drifting in separate life-rafts far out to sea.”

“Not unlike this conversational current.”

Unsuccessfully ignoring Woo’s comment, Sam made a show of wincing and proceeded almost uninterrupted, “Let’s suppose that after drifting for awhile one or the other of us notices that we have drifted apart. Would it be possible to determine whether you drifted and I stayed stationary, or I drifted and you sat still, or perhaps we both drifted?”

Picking up the course of the example, Woo completed Sam’s thought, “Without recourse to some item that could define a more absolute reference frame, such as an oceanliner positioned nearby, we could not know which of us had drifted. We could only know that the relative distance between us has changed.” Woo waved toward her friend, as if to say, “back to you, Sam.”

Taking the cue, Sam did continue, “Let’s assume that we do have a common reference frame, such as a nearby ocean liner. If it then appeared that I drifted relative to you and the ocean liner, how could you know whether I drifted, or you and the ocean liner drifted, relative to me?”

“Once again, without recourse to a reference frame greater than you, me and the ocean liner, such as a satellite based GPS (Geophysical Positioning System), it would not be possible to determine who drifted relative to what.”

“Right. In each case, one is seeking recourse to a larger, supposedly, more stable reference frame — one that is fundamentally more significant — an ocean liner, a visible nearby landmass or satellite based GPS. In any case, one is presuming that the selected third party is stationary relative to the movement reference of the life-rafts. By convention, habit and, in some cases, just good ol’ physics, we are taking the larger reference frame as the standard to which we measure the relative movement. This is okay. I don’t have any quarrel with using any agreed upon coordinate frame as reference. It would just be nice to occasionally remind ourselves that it is an agreed upon coordinate frame and not an immutable absolute. This is especially true in something fuzzy.”

“What, pray-tell, do you mean by fuzzy?”


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