By Bill Gallagher
they tell us that we lost our tails
evolving up from little snails
i say it's all just wind in sails
are we not men? we are DEVO!
we're pinheads now we are not whole
we're pinheads all jocko homo
are we not men? D-E-V-O
monkey men all in business suit
teachers and critics all dance the poot
are we not men? we are DEVO!
are we not men? D-E-V-O
we must repeat? o.k. let's go!
"...The aware self-replicating bio-entities of the Aureal Shortstar series represent the height of accomplishment by....[ MISSING ]...for use in colonization, deep space endeavors, all workforce needs...[ MISSING ] ...Fully autonomous and intelligent, these disexual fabricants and their supporting life-form niche-stock are tuned to coexist at the highest levels, with minimal input power...."
From Book One, obtained as a translated technical description concerning the Aureal Shortstar Series of Bipedal Worker Stock, discovered on Strackitt 9 by Interplanetary Archaeological Team 4a666. 210,117 Standard Planetary Periods Before Present...
"We know how to use our technology."
Scotz & Joni
This is it. The most embarrassing assignment yet. And believe me, thats saying a lot. We are people from another planet, and we live among you, and the total of your majority has not even the slightest clue. We pass, you see. We pass.
My name is Scotz. People always say "Oh you mean like Scott with an S?"
"Quite right," I reply.
When we landed on this planet it was easy to see the natives were people like us, from the same basic stock, no surprises there, but with a lot of local deformation, perturbances, twistiness. Uggles. This assignment is particularly onerous because these people here, this planets version of the Aureal Shortstar biped, have devolved badly, and as far as we can tell, an incredible 7 times in a row! A new record. These beings are literally reeling around, eating, eliminating, procreating, dying, with no rhyme nor reason whatsoever, except for various assigned meanings, common and not, to the neurosis and psychosis of this collective seething mass of retarded constructs, and they have been doing this for a long long time.
Some of the sad creatures here assign leadership capabilities according to the length one can trace ones personal reproductive lineage -- these clowns are happy to know a few dozens, or even one or two hundreds of generations: I myself have personal lineage on disc in excess of 100,000 generations, still naught but a drop in the bucket. The tawdry and hurtful drama of this place is finally being wrenched away though, like a teddy bear so grimy it is now become hazardous. Oh Yeahhhhhhh, out you go.
We will be here a long time, and though our life spans are vastly extended compared to the naive natives of this backwater, this is really a hell of a place to spend a good part of your youth. Hell of a place. Debasing. Oh Well. There could even be worse planets; they just haven't been discovered yet.
We of the federation are of the Aureal Shortstar model too, of course. As far as we can tell, we are all thats left in this galaxy. All the inhabited worlds discovered so far (and there are many unknown still) are comprised overall of the same type of things. Same Life. Same System. Occasionally there are local variants stark enough to be called truly different, but still of a type. The Aureal Shortstar type. No one knows if that was someones name or not; it may be a name of a business entity, or perhaps even an AI of monstrous proportions -- one thing is sure: something major swept through this part of the galaxy a long time ago, some organized light of some sort, a super technology, maybe on automatic, and maybe not -- something very alive and big and beautiful, leaving in its wake the things it had created. The Aureal Shortstar System.
Whether humankind was that creating thing, or whether humankind was just its servants, or a pet technology, or something else entirely, has been lost on all the worlds. It is appearing more and more the bipedal form arose naturally somewhere as a function of this milieu, became ascendent, then exalted, and began engineering itself so it could spread. Then it fell apart, and has been doing that in one shape or form, somewhere, many places at once, ever since.
BIG machines, real spaceships are planetoids, and there are ruins all over the place, all the moons, the giants, the mid-size planets...everywhere, the evidence from times before. We ourselves, the Aureal Shortstar System of Integrated Life Forms, are a live and continuous recording of all that, too. Its in us all. Detritus unfathomable. There are two groups: those who know and those who don't. Welcome to the club. Very exclusive club on this planet. So far, anyway.
There are others of us assigned to this world, but not a great many. We do not have parties together or anything like that. We do communicate occasionally. Mostly we are here to influence. Words have consequence. We pass, and thats what matters most. In many ways survival here also boils down to how well one can act. Survival being the only real landscape, act we do.
This planet is also without any real form of electrical grid and has existed that way almost the totality of the inhabitants existence, since being introduced here. The artifacts of the Makers, and of course the other technology of the Aureal Shortstar system are all around these inhabitants, and the planet itself even shows many indications it was heavily manipulated and mechanically formed prior to introduction of the Aureal Shortstar Suite, but the present inhabitants have forgotten all this ages ago; in fact they no longer even have the wherewithal. To be quite frank, they have now substituted many very odd and superstitious beliefs for real knowledge! These hix here, these creatures, like some sort of broken mechanata, have been spiraling downward one step forward, two steps back, for hundreds of thousands of years.
We are here now. We are here to help.
Wireless electrical energy is just coming back again, but all awry, without any planning, based on communication and entertainment only. Without help it will be centuries before these people get a real grid going. As it is now, all tweakered out and buggery, the electronic dissonance caused by disorderly deployment causes more harm than it does good. Yet another excellent example of devolution. Among many such examples. Many.
I Of course use electricity, and lots of it. All I can lay my hands on, though it has to be the right kind of electricity. I have my little machines, and my sleep hookups, and then there is the Aureal Shortstar technology as well. Careful I am to keep these special devices of mine from wandering away. History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men...and as the great Mormon writer Trott Gallop has been known to say:
The girl part of me, the other half of my primary bequeathment here, my technology, is named Joni; Joni is a blond who has perfect breasts, an angelic face, a beautiful smile, a lithe body, a charged intellect and electric wit. She really knows how to use her technology. She likes it here as much as that is possible, but I have to keep my eye on her, because she wants to hurt people sometimes. Not everyone, but certain types, ie. some of the native devo Aureal Shortstars here actually hit the animals in their care, repeatedly, as a means of communication and punishment. So sorry for the indelicacy of that, its just how it is. And thats a pretty good measure of the overall situation, bonk. I explained to Joni once that these devolved Aureal Shortstars hit each other quite a lot more than they hit even their animals, so perhaps there is some sort of bizarre and rare justice at work, below the threshold of things, afterall.
Anyway, We don't go many places without each other, my Joni and I, we are truly not-whole while apart. I get more than twice as much with Joni around, she says the same. We are a pair. This bonding is a better developed, a more pronounced and demanding thing, than among the Aureal Shortstar models here on this planet, these devolved critters, and their sexual peccadilloes, their soap opera existences, their race car religions...eventually even they will learn.
Let this be said many times: first and foremost. We who are here, passing among you, studying you...We Know How To Use Our Technology.
There is also a lot of devourment among the animals of this world, flesh eating, a devolution of the Aureal Shortstar Life System seen elsewhere, possibly attributable to factors caused by the radiations of certain sun types, or solar activities, or even possibly some sort of built-in survival fail-safe mechanism of the system, now run amok. There is no greater evidence that the bipeds have lost control of their technology, and are on the way to a long lingering painful death.
That is where we come in. We take care of our own.
We are to teach the prime, love is what its all about, just love your technology, and everything will work perfectly.
But they are a far way from love here, even if they had not lost the ability to see their technology for what it truly is; these Aureal Shortstar bipeds are worth salvaging of course, but it will be a long and winding road before this group finds the truth, as a whole. The more people there are on a planet, the easier it is to pass among you, but we are limited in number and in real power. What we have is knowledge, and that has usually been enough to get the system back in balance, it is just a matter of time. The world is big, its people many, we must lever what we can. We don't hurt people though. There is time enough without that. We are not Devo.
All Aureal Shortstars and their attendant biotechnological suite are based on the primary reptilian, the snake. The snake is here in all of us, the spine. The medulla oblongata or something like it is the core of most brain forms. It is a snakes brain. The serpent is here inside. The core. The Aureal Shortstar Design is the result of millions of years and trillions of experiments in autonomous existence within this matrix! Kaisan. Now there is a word you might be able to apply.
The designers of the Aureal Shortstar System of Integrated Life Forms, the architects themselves, may very well have been artificial entities, limited only by the physical size of memory they could build for themselves, and self-teaching. Autodidactic. The fact that I can arrive from light years away, and meld with this worlds population is strong testament to the integrity of the engineering, its minimal drift.
Only once: some drunk teenager saw me in just the right light, at what must have been the correct level of inebriation for him -- at a rock concert -- and he could not contain himself. He wriggled on over, piercings all aflash and jingling, spiked hair in several different colors, and I quote:
"God DAMN home-slice, what zoodijoo eck-scape from?"
I wanted to tell him I was not his home slice or anything else from his home, but just smiled, and went away from there.
Yes, the entire group does not know how to use their technology...they are so far removed from their technology, they have invented primitive substitutes that are dangerous. They drink flammable liquids! And a large number of them worship an instrument of torture! Still others are the perfect misers over their measly few little scraps of paper. Ridiculous!
I rant, forgive me. It is only whats to be expected from an astoundingly devolved world of Aureal Shortstars such as this. For many many years this world has been mistakenly based on a flawed and selfish, even anti-survival reaction to the fear that a certain way of life would end, any way of life, and the world would thereby end with it. Not so. Arrogant to think so, but arrogance is a hallmark here, exceeded only by the continual slapstick and silliness which is the social interaction of these dangerous wild beasties.
Yes I know my technology, my edge, my advantage in this galaxy at least: I know about snakes, and the pyramids, I know all about cats and dogs, and the glory of their Creation, like a cosmic click, a nearly perfect rightness for that time, and they are everywhere.....I know why the cow has four stomachs (For optimum output of human foodstuffs via wireless electrical adjustment)...I know what Marijuana is (Mind Grease), Willow Bark (Pain Relief), Bloodroot (Cancer Cure), Aloe (New Skin Ichor), Psilocybn (The Ansibel Gate) and many many many more. I know that the symbol called Yin and Yang is just a vestigial 2D representation of an anti-gravity device, and the crucifix an antenna.
Yesssss, and I know all about the so-called weeds, and other things labeled pestiferous by the ultra-devo, the government, but are not, are beneficial. Then there are the flying chemicals called insects, and birds; don't forget sea life: the aquatic representation of the land series...all flora and fauna of the Aureal Shortstar Creation. Techno Logic.
When we first made contact with your planet, back in the late 1940's, we attempted to communicate with your leaders, and they tried to shoot us down with a very rude, crude, plasma beam weapon just recently developed. Which is to say they tried to shoot us down AFTER our parley, as we were leaving the meeting. We learned something there.
They had declined our offer of help and duly considered us an enemy. They called us Nords. As in Nordic.
We have not taken No for an answer.