hajnal

Hajnal

Even the petals

say

“not now,”

the frolicking

of dawn’s

too quick

and far aground

to fawn

over such

emotions’ sounds.

— A. P.


*Inspired by the artwork by Jyrenne Guerrero, which in turn was inspired by the piece “Hajnal” by Venetian Snares.

Artwork posted with permission.

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Weapons for the Modern Man

1. Emoji Gun
“Whether with a smile or a frown, I’m taking you down.”

The Emoji Gun was a product of the massive pugilist movement that rose in the early 2030s, an invention mothered by the futility of verbal communication and the necessity of annoying the people that you do not like. Emojis have been around for generations (since the early 90s) and has been mainly used as a sort of pseudo-cuneiform that conveyed an individual’s emotion with one symbol. However, their greatest use was never fully realized until the mid-2020’s. Turns out, emojis contain what are now known as “sleeper symbols;” linguistic devices that seem inert when alone, but in frequent bursts would cause mild annoyance at best, and a ruptured patience valve in the target’s hippocampus, at worst.

Yes, it turns out that emojis are really, really good at ticking people off (to the point of outright killing them), and in the year 2027 a group of scientists begun what is to be one of the greatest achievements in human engineering: weaponizing the sleeper symbols within the emoji. This project was no joke; it involved a team 6 neuroscientists, 6 language experts, 8 psychologists, 7 political analysts, and one Doctorate in TV and Anime Studies (majoring in Sitcoms, Shonen, Slice of Life, and Reality TV).

The Emoji Gun in its current form functions just like any other gun, with the exception that its ammunition functions as a wave and not a particle. This makes it difficult to predict its rate of fire, but it is said to be relatively consistent and on average can produce sleeper symbol waves of up to 10 exahertz (close to gamma rays), which is equivalent to 10^19 emoji emissions per second (EE/sec). If the current pace of technology remains, Emoji Guns dishing out 10^20 or even 10^21 EE/sec may see the light in the next 5 years or so.

2. Drivel Bomb (also known as the Invalid Argument Detonator or IAD)
“Ire in the Hole!”

The Drivel Bomb or the IAD is the product of many, many years of data: generations worth of heuristics, statistical analysis, and conversational nuances, all packed in one little bomb for the modern warrior to enjoy. What the IAD is, is simple: a compilation of strings of Invalid Arguments collected throughout the past millennium, ready to explode in the face of some unsuspecting fast-talker at a moment’s notice.

The IAD uses cutting-edge compression techniques to incorporate every horrifying, shocking, and also all the stupid dumb arguments any human has ever made— all in a sphere the size of a modern baseball! As for the source, well, the inevitable rise in popularity of the Internet in the early 2000s led to the possibility of curating the collective inabilty of the human species to control our mouths especially when in bursts of extreme emotions. Most of these strings are therefore sourced from 16 to 20 year-old individuals undergoing the now obsolete “angst phase,” However, there are some from older individuals as well (particularly those that did not handle midlife crisis very well, or old grandpas and grandmas complaining how the youth at the time were not like the youth of their time— which is a load of bollocks when you think about it).

Every straw man, unfair comparison, false dichotomy, dilemma, cause, or indeed any invalid argument you can think of is included in this neat little package of subatomic stupidity, which can cause massive damage in the immediate vicinity that some could only describe as all the natural calamities rolled into one, experienced three times over. The blast radius, however, is a bit small at a mere 2 miles, but there had been reports that the effects of these earth-shaking stupidities can be felt in locales 10,000 miles away. One such notable use of the bomb is the Pandemona incident in Manila, Philippines which occurred in the year 2033. An IAD was used to flush out insurgents and anti-government cells by the Philippine Military by order of the Dictator / Chief-of-Staff who was already in position for almost more than two decades at the time (said leader is seeking the secret to immortality, it turns out, but we digress). The effects of the Pandemona incident was apparently so severe that it caused individual earth faults to rearrange themselves, actually moving the whole Philippine archipelago closer to China, which in turn re-ignited disputes regarding what country owns which territory.

The IAD is not to be taken lightly. Truly, it is a magnificent feat of human weaponry, one that can make or break world peace, depending on who uses it (not that we care — so long as you pay for it).

3. Attention-Seeking Missiles
“Notice me, senp- *boom!*”

There’s really not much to say about Attention-Seeking missiles, but they are a marvel of innovation still worthy of discussion. Based on the technology that made heat-seeking missiles possible, the Attention-Seeking missile (or ASM) uses advanced algorithmics and neural tracking to lock-down on people who feel that it’s necessary to excessively glorify their selves and thus in turn feel that all eyes should be on them all the time. Well, they can rest assured that the ASM’s eyes are always on them, all the time. Basically, the ASM is good at invading homes of narcissistic people and promptly making their heads explode and have their splattered brains serve as wallpaper and carpet embellishments all in a matter of a split second.

It seems like a simple mechanic, but the criteria for narcisissm was not an easy factor to figure out, much less configure and program into an AI-microchip that’s to be used with a missile. Psychologists and neuroscientists made their breakthough in 2036, when a complete neural structure of the brain was successfully mapped. Basically, this neural map is what the very heart of the ASM is, and it scans the area for certain “triggers” that will make the ASM go batshit insane (indicated by the word TRIGGERED on the built-in LCD) and destroy everything in its path until it gets to the brain that “triggered” it. It will then promptly deliver its payload and explode in a merry concoction of cyanide, thermite, concentrated hydrogen, and antimatter in a lavish display of fireworks while a little audio chip plays the tune of “Happy Birthday To You,” “Auld Lang Syne,” or “The Star-Spangled Banner,” depending on what variant the user ordered. Music can be further customized to play, for example, the national anthem of your country, but it will cost a little bit more than market price.

ASM are slowly gaining popularity in countries with pseudo-governments or those in anarchy, as political “leaders” tend to have narcissistic personalities and the ASM is an easy way “root out the bastards,” so to speak. Just be careful and double-check if you have equipped the included ASM-immunity wristband to ensure that you do not accidentally make yourself a target. Each purchase of the ASM includes the wristband with a serial number that matches the ASM you bought— you are thus immune only to that specific ASM. We repeat: do not use the ASM without the wristband, we cannot stress this enough. It will be bloody.

Cheers,
A.P.

kshatriya

Kshatriya

Must you impart on me the wealth of lesser scribes?
I drink from the sharp petals of lilies,
and the sarissa beckons and cries for blood.
Must fear be the color of this wavering flag?
I grew wisdom from the roots of those that fought
before me. Those that have laid their sacrifices
before my spirit sprung. Those that have bestowed upon me
intangible rewards such as knowledge and peace,
the value of life when weighed against freedom and
the sweetness of death.
The women and children grovel at your feet, must you let them in?
Awake, they count the hours they sink into courseless passions
and glorified nightmares. Awake they dream, and while
this is not a trespass in itself, must you be tolerant of snakes?
Must you give the other cheek when the supposed echoes’ peak
closest to god, would rend the sacred temple,
crumbling as ruins when it speaks?

Must you impart on me the paltry slogging of the weak,
when as the valleys and canyons I am strong,
this fertile land that lived as long,
the decades tilled to fruit the minor faults
of penance and redemption that we seek? How bleak, the proud—
how empty the mighty river, now; as Ganges in the light
that floods the mud in overflow, too blurred, unclear,
like soil devoured by vi’lent blizzards all the years.
Must you impart the centuries less and less,
and reading trite what even shadows bless?
Stop me, war, for it comes to you as snow in summer!
O, this land and its people in desperate need.

— A. P.

Writing Concept #776ASJDGHSAKJ

Perhaps one of the greatest inconveniences of time is that there are moments when it goes by so fast, we can’t keep up. For many people, the inability to catch up with the things that matter most has been a constant source of worry, which can become their worst fear, eventually. There have been missives and poems and countless stories written about this, too; always emphasizing how precious the passage of time is, always reminding us that we should never miss a beat.

But if we really stop and think about it, time, or its passage, are never the precious things. These are but constructs of the human mind, designed to describe a cosmic concept that are as natural as gravity, eclipses, or the tides. We gave names and concrete definitions of these things so as to be able to communicate better and form better ideas of them in our heads. Now, don’t get me wrong: the phenomenon we call “time” is real, what I’m saying is that the worries, and fears, are misplaced. We must not fear lost time, for time is a matter of perception. Time was conceived so we can conveniently measure our lives in seconds or hours, or days; just as space was conceived so we could express the boundaries and frontiers that we have crossed in terms of distance, or volume, or depth.

No, what we should fear are lost moments, the lost chances, the lost opportunities. What we should worry about are the could-have-beens, the should-have-beens. Have you ever heard the phrase, “there’s no point wallowing in the past?” That is not true. There is a point, and there is no shame in wallowing and dwelling and reflecting on the choices you could have made, on the life you could have lived had you taken *this* or *that* chance and “seized the moment,” so to speak. By weighing the choices that matter, you can evaluate what you have right now and compare it against what you would have gained before, if you had taken another path. The questions you ask and the dilemmas you resolve in your mind can be the start of self-improvement. Would things be better? Would *I* be in a better state if I took that chance? Would feelings linger longer? Would I be feeling happiness right now, instead of unfathomable sorrow? Would certain people have stayed?

Time means different for many people, but time is never gold. Time… time is there, and time goes, and we can never do anything about that. What is golden are the opportunities, the choices we make, and how we respond.

Cheers,
A. P.

i did not come to touch your heart

I did not come to touch your heart

I did not come to touch your heart,
as your eyes do not come to experience sight
only to witness mine.
Your fingers were not made
to tremble for my whispers; your voice
was never made only to sigh on my behalf.
And in such resignation of states, your bones and skin
were never made to mesmerize my senses—
just as my senses were never made
to so easily surrender
to such crude contraptions as legs and thighs.

And my mind was never made to fall for lies,
just as your lips were never made to tell them, no.
But people are unpredictable and full of surprises;
you: especially so.

Not one was made to be deserved;
not one reserved, but here we are.
I did come to touch your heart,
but as touches go, I’d rather reach than pull away,
but nothing is made to stay. This we know,
some people come as they
eventually would go;
you: especially so.

— A. P.