Trust isn't an emotion, it’s a choice.  Eventually, you have too much invested to change that choice.  

  • The Darkness


2 Weeks Later - Megacles - The Mega Lab

Mr. President is alone in a dark room, studying math, drinking. So am I. Well, Lodestone is watching me, but fuck her.

One of Mr. President's programs just developed a pill that can slow or reverse aging. I guess we’re never gonna get old. Ha.

They named the new planet Damocles. Mr. President has just faced another barrage of questions about it. Who put it there? Was it aliens? Was it Jesus? Why did they do it? Is it a reward? A threat? A test?

Mr. President ignored the who, how, and why, opting instead to show stunning photos of Damocles’ towering alien dinosaurs.

“We found these guys. Pretty cool, eh?”

They were cool. They held off our ubiquitous existential anxiety long enough for Mr. President to get the fuck out of there. Within minutes, the questions were back. How do you move a planet? Are we next?

Since Mr. President had left, the reporters asked each other the questions. I couldn't take another round of empty speculation, so I switched to Mr. President's live feed.

We work together quietly. It's not the same as working with Doc-Danger. Mr. President only knows me as a statistic, one of millions watching his feed. Still, I find him comforting.

The Darkness walks in. She sits across from him. They look at each other in silence. Eventually, Mr. President shakes his head. She leaves.

When Damocles appeared, the Darkness told Mr. President to turn off his cameras. He refused. She hasn’t spoken since. They do this little standoff once a day.

I look over at Lodestone. I wish my creepy advisor only bothered me once a day. I’ve been masturbating in front of her. I don’t want to, but she won’t go away.

In an effort to keep some secrets, I haven’t looked at the impossible answers again. I’m studying the original impossible questions, trying to figure out which one has to do with teleporting planets. As far as I can tell, the answer is I’m wasting my time.

Candy projects into my lab. Maybe. Could be fucking anybody.

“Hi girls, kill each other yet?” asked Candy.


“Yeah, this is awkward.” says Candy. “I figured out who your dead man is.”

I turn to her.

“Remember when those National Spy clerks went nuts and killed each other? I got to thinking… Look, here are the names of the dead guys. Nobody we know, right? But, I matched the names with government IDs and look who showed up.”

She shows me a picture of Agent Happy. I feel dizzy.

“You gotta start learning people’s real names.” says Candy.

“What the fuck! He can’t be dead! I’ve stuck my finger up his butt!” I cry.

“Yeah, he seemed pretty alive when I fucked him too. Perhaps there’s another explanation.” says Candy.

“We’re all just a delusion of nothingness?” I say.

“Yeah, or he faked his death.” says Candy.

“Fuck.” I think for a bit. “Was the slaughter even real? Are any of them dead?”

“Yes.” says Lodestone.

She calls up a feed of the battle. It’s awful. Crazed gunmen mow down dozens of clerks. The clerks run, the gunmen pursue. The lights go out. It’s hard to see, the feed is lit sporadically by muzzle flashes. Something has changed in the darkness - some of the clerks are running back at the gunmen. In one flash, I see my gentle lover cave in a gunman’s chest.

“Ahh.” I say. “I could have lived without seeing that.”

Lodestone rolls her eyes.

“Arrgh!” I say. “You cunt! Why would you mix me up in this?”

“You’re safer with him than without him.” says Lodestone.

I sit down. I stand up. “Nope. Fuck this.” I head to my electrical panel, and kill the power to my whole house. I grab my phone, laptop, anything with WiFi and a battery. I stuff it all in my car and send it away. I grab my blackout go-bag, and hop on my motorcycle.

I leave my whole life behind. I’ve done it before.


About the author

Doctor Zero


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