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‘axehead’ – 2013, Bored at work

Ever hear that philosophical koan about the ship? A ship leaves port with lumber and a full crew. When it reaches the next port, rotten planks are replaced, crewmates leave and are similarly replaced. By the time it gets back to its point of origin, every plank and crewmember has been replaced. Is it the same ship as the one which first set sail?

First they took my eyes. Advanced biometrics were substituted, featuring high-definition feed quality, along with zoom, light-amplification, thermal-visioning and cutting-edge probability-matrix functioning. I took so well to my upgrade that I was selected for the Unit 23 trials. Basically they were guinea-pigging experimental combat augmentations on me, supposedly to check which upgrades could work in synchrony with others without conflicting. The true, unspoken motive behind my mechanisation, which became harder to conceal with every part of me they swapped out for experimental tech, was the clandestine development of a cutting-edge cybernetic combat unit. The public could handle the idea of a wounded soldier getting some new legs, or a squad being fitted with integrated visual HUDs, for better battlefield communication in the style of Landwarrior. But perfectly capable limbs, organs and synapses being replaced en-mass in the pursuit of greater lethal functionality? It was too ‘dystopian sci-fi’ for people to stomach.

A golem was being quietly pieced together while they slept, and it seemed unlikely that they would take well to this military-grade homunculus.

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‘ezikiel’ – 2013, coming down

On some occasions the procurement of rum and marijuana wouldn’t quite cut it. This wasn’t just the regular life-affirming desire to surrender to the life-negation of jouissance; something had been *accomplished*, some hurdle overcome, a daemon exorcized, etc. On this occasion it would be necessary to seek out the services of Ezekiel. Ezekiel, or ‘Mandy’ as he was listed as on my phone, was an MDMA dealer who operated near Wimpey. His shit was so krunch. A soapy white fat chunk of his crystals would be all yours for the low, low price of £30, usually weighing in at just under a gram. Considering the comparative purity of the product, this was a fantastic deal. As such, Ezekiel was the kind of dealer you didn’t share that much, because you feared him getting busted and losing his services. I don’t know if it was left out of Biggie’s 10 Crack Commandments due to rhyming difficulties or simple oversight, but there’s a very powerful technique missing from the list, ultra-secret Dealer-Fu, only intended for the highly initiated in that particular black-market sector: Make the fiend *treasure* you. Then you’re a step closer to invincibility.

Anyway, Ezekiel’s shit was pure and unchanging, unlike Ezekiel himself. I say this, because no one I know who’s picked up from him has given matching descriptions. I see a tall, heavyset Maori with precise tribal ink. Friends of mine have described stocky boys from Peckham with strong noses and Nepalese scoundrels. This got me to thinking: what if there *is* no Ezekiel. Consider it; a selection of the regional dealers get together. For too long they’ve been ripping each other off and getting into unnecessary brawls, the only people who benefit from this being 5-0. What if instead, they Got Organized? Shared customer bases, pooled together for access to that truly pure Amsterdam shit? But who to lead the group? No one. Plain and simple. A code was put in place, the code of Ezekiel. Written in Ezekiel were the districts and prices of the respective associates. If any of them got pinched, say the same; I work for Ezekiel.

Or perhaps Ezekiel is an avatar of Nyarlathotep. This is my other theory.

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‘redlight’ – 2012, Tania’s kitchen

The hooker in the tower block opposite me has replaced her red light-bulb with a set of tiki torches. Though no less visually impressive, the ominous element has been lost. Used to be that the tower next to me was just a sheer wall of lightless apertures, like some creepy humming hive, the denizens only emerging in the lighted hours to swoop down upon the seafront to rip an infant from a foolishly uncovered pram, hot tenderflesh for the larvae. But at the very top there shone a single crimson maw, like the deathgina of some Titan out of pre-history which passed the aeons doing handstands, hoping to scoop in a few seagulls for sustenance/pleasure.

From this lighted vantage point, Captain Hook saw down on all the sins of the Kemp Town reprobates, the view extending on past the atrophied Lanes, the drab Western Road, seeing out as far as the marbled banality of Saint Hove, houses carved from vanilla ice-cream blocks, featuring no chocolate-chips.

Whether the eye was seared or simply shut to be preserved for a more deserving species is uncertain. However, in its place stand several Tiki torches. Perhaps a cabal of learned tantric monks trojaned their way in there and did slay the beast. Childe Roland to the Whore’s Tower came, and she spent fucking hours scrubbing it up.

Shub-Niggurath placated, they put in place an altar of erogenous worship, the torches acting as a guiding signal for the minds with two backs. No longer would the light act as an angler-fish’s lure, an electric traplight for flies with heaving loins. Now instead appropriate worship could be practiced towards the spirit of Release. Help the kids swap Onan for orgones, self-pollution for mutual-satisfaction.

I miss that light. Yes, it had an ominous quality, that leering vagina in the sky, but it was a warm light, an enveloping radiance that regarded everything the same pitiless lack of malice, serving as the tractor-beam for those geared towards the Grot, the Lost Ones who had to look over the edge of the abyss because they though they heard a familiar heartbeat pulsing somewhere in there.

Yeah, you chained the beast, well done. Now the walls begin to crack and smoulder, vines reaching up, looking to dig around in there, wondering where the Warmth went. The womb is empty, torches put in place to celebrate the birth of nothing, ascendency of the Void-Child, and soon the placenta will follow, roaring out of the cored pinnacle, full of maternal rage for its stolen birthfruit. The fury will wash down the bricks, feeding the vines and filling them with Relish, whipping about to cleave man and machine in two without thought, the martyred fluids flowing down the streets to fill the oceans, like some birth-squash, gleaming hands of unknown and terrifying life reaching out to tear the slats of the pier, kind hands stretched upward to the pier-goers, many of whom wordlessly leaping into the new Womb. An army of shared-birth flowing out into the channel, hoping to catch a rip-tide to swing back and stain the Hove streets with something truly unwashable. Out, damned spot! they’ll cry. Futile.

Maybe the bulb burst.

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