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Ask questions. Be open to new experiences. That’s how to be good in bed.

  • Candy

 

5 Minutes Later - Fox - Neutron Star

I land on the smaller neutron star. It’s a very flat, very bright, silver surface. The other star whips along over head. It’s billions of degrees celsius. My weight fluctuates between zero and trillions of tons. I feel okay. I’ve taken precautions. I pat my pockets. God Machine in my left, Fresh Start pump in my right. Yep, I have my precautions. Obviously. If I didn’t, I’d be dead. Also, it would take an act of god to remove them from me now.

I look over at the Impossible Party. Pat my pockets again. Still good. Alrighty, let’s check it out.

I walk over to the party. I could just warp over, but I like to approach social situations slowly. A habit from youth. As I mosey over, I think of the logic algorithms that are keeping me alive. I hope they’re not buggy.

A God Machine can solve any math problem instantly. This is handy because reality is made of only information. Matter and energy are just useful delusions. The sub-quantum calculations of a god machine can have powerful effects. By studying the minutiae of any particle, it can use entanglement to infer the position of every other particle in the universe. Similar observation can alter the probability of virtual particles forming. Calling them from nothing to create anything. Doing the opposite can bend or tear spacetime, allowing me warp to anywhere.

In theory anyway. In practice, I don’t know the right questions to see everything, build anything, or go anywhere. But, I do know a couple good questions. Enough to maintain body autonomy.

My True Sight can see all large objects within a couple lightyears, and all particles in my immediate surroundings. Any harmful particle that approaches me is sent to nothing. I recreate it on the other side of my body. I’m not sure if recreating it is necessary. I just feel like I shouldn’t be making waves. Could particle turbulence around me harm another person? Probably not, but why chance it?

On that note, I check my algorithms to make sure it’s safe for people to touch me. I don’t want to rip their hand off and make a copy of it on the other side of me. That seems like a party foul.

Anyway, I’m perfectly safe here. Nothing harmful can touch me. Unless, my body autonomy algorithm has a glitch. Then I’m all kinds of fucked. I pick up my pace. I could use a drink.

I approach the party. It’s happening inside a massive, cracked, orb. It glistens like a soap bubble. Rainbows flash madly around it. Refractions of two doomed suns. Ragnarok’s Disco Ball.

There’s a couple spaceships parked beside the orb. Most advanced aliens just fly or warp without a ship, like I do. Apparently some don’t. I see The Rumor. Fuck. I guess Doc-Danger really is here.

There’s a silver woman leaning beside a crack in the orb. Smoking and drinking.

“Welcome.” She smiles.

I check her out with true sight. She’s completely made of bio-neutronium. Hmm. That’s a safer way to stay alive here. I have no idea how she did it. I could make a bio-neutronium version of my body, but I don’t know how to transfer my consciousness to it. At best, I could make an indestructible twin. Changing my own body to bio-neutronium has the same problem. I don’t know how to transform my brain without killing myself and making someone else a lot like me. Continuity of experience is a crucial part of staying alive. Just because you can make a new brain doesn’t mean you’ll survive blasting your old one to bits.

“Hi!” I say.

“Would you care to designate yourself?”

“My name’s Fox. I’m a human.”

“Really?” She says. “Second human of the night. Do you know Doc-Danger?”

I sigh. “Yes.”

“It’s very uncommon for two members of the same species to debut at the same party. Congratulations. You two must share a lot of trust.”

We really don’t.

“Would you like to gift some human culture to the party?” She asks. “It’s not mandatory.”

“Sure.” I pass her a data file. I don’t want to offend. Also, I don’t want to share anything that gives them an advantage over me. More of an advantage. I should have carefully put together a strategically innocuous package. But, I spent all my prep time making sure I would stay alive here. So, I downloaded a random bunch of internet videos at the last minute. I didn’t have time to look through it, but statistically, it’s mostly porn.

She thanks me and consumes the data file. Waves me into the party.

The inside of the cracked orb looks like the inside of a cracked orb. No surprise there. The guests are mostly standing or lounging on its inner surface. A few are sitting on the cracks, or floating around the orb.

The guests are mostly bipedal, tentacular, or spherical. About half are biological, the other half are made of neutronium. A few are made of light or shadows. Their esthetics run from cutesy to nightmarish and all points in between.

It’s a good group.

For entertainment, there’s music, dancing, gaming tables, and holograms crowded with math. And drinking and smoking. Also, there’s trays filled with small disks. I’m not sure if they’re snacks, drugs, or batteries. I eat a couple.

I call a beer into existence, and busy myself with it. I’m never sure what to do at parties. Presumably I’m here to meet people. I’m not great at talking to strangers. Maybe I should join an activity - that’s a way to meet people. Hmm. I’m not dancing. That leaves math and gambling.

I look over at the math section of the party. Doc-Danger is there, pouring over some equations. Okay. Gambling it is.

I check out a few tables. I have no idea what the fuck they’re playing.

“Yo! Human boy! Over here!”

I turn around. There’s a poker table. It’s got a couple neutronium monsters and a well dressed human-like guy sitting at it. He’s smiling and dealing cards. He has a huge pile of poker chips. I guess he’s winning.

“We’re playing human games here.” says High Roller. “Care to show us how it’s done?”

“Poker?” I ask.

“Mostly.” says High Roller. “We figured out poker a little too fast, so we had to complicate it a bit. Now when you bet, you get to make a new rule.”

I notice everyone has a different number of cards. Also, some of the cards are electric snakes.

“Any rule?” I ask.

“Sure. Why not?” says High Roller.

Fair enough. “What are you gambling with?”

“Secrets.” High Roller smiles. “Got anything you’d like to share with the group?”

I smile. Back away. “Maybe later.”

Okay, that was weird. I make my beer bigger. Maybe I can make it big enough to hide behind.

“Hello Earthman.” A woman has approached me. She’s older. Very, very, cute. Dressed in simple silver clothes. Elegant with a dash of space hippy.

“Hello.” I say. “My name’s Fox.”

“Very nice. I don’t have a name. My species used relative positions. I suppose you would call me Eve.”

“Pleased to meet you Eve.”

“Likewise. I studied your gift of culture. I liked it very, very, much.”

“Great.” Shit. I really should have looked at what I gifted.

“I want to share one of those hugs you do. May I hug you?”

“Okay.”

She wraps her arms around me. Her hug is firm and soft. So is her body. I feel her hot breath in my ear. “Beware the man in the mask.” She whispers. “He means to murder you.”

She releases me. Smiles. Leaves.

Huh. Was not expecting that.

I casually look down at the lowest part of the orb. There’s a man in a mask standing there. He’s quiet. Still. Wearing a black featureless mask over his entire face.

I look at him. He looks at me. Maybe. I have no fucking idea what he’s looking at.

Well, fuck. What do I do now?

While I’m thinking, the Man in the Mask walks briskly to the math section of the party, and picks up Doc-Danger by the throat.

Holy shit! I’m expecting that mask to be forced down and pushed right out the Masked Man’s asshole, but Doc-Danger appears to be struggling. He’s in trouble.

The party has gone deathly still. Some guests are blankly watching the attempted murder. Some are blankly looking away. Nobody’s doing shit.

I walk over. High Roller looks at me, shakes his head slightly. Yeah, fuck you. I ain’t watching this.

I alter probability around the Man in the Mask. Enough to make a good chunk of his body disappear. Not enough to kill him, but definitely an attention getter.

It does not work. Instead, all of my body autonomy algorithms redline. The probability of me existing is plummeting. Mother Fucker’s trying to disappear me! Crap.

I’m tempted to pour everything I have into staying existent. That would be a mistake. I need to keep power in reserve, in case one of these other fuckers tries something. I can’t beat all of them. Hell, I probably can’t beat the Man in the Mask. I need them uncertain about how powerful I am. Bluff my way out of this.

So, I let the odds of my existence plummet, and slowly shift my attack on the Man in the Mask from diffuse and non-fatal, to focused and deadly. I don’t up my overall power, but I concentrate it on smaller and more vital parts of his anatomy.

He’s hammering my whole reality, and I’m lasering his brain stem. I’m getting real close to my fake limits. Also, very close to dying. Crap. I’ve got about 2 seconds to come up with a better plan.

Crack!

Doc-Danger hits the ground. He has a small warp portal in one hand, and the Man in the Mask’s severed arm in the other. He tosses the arm aside. I guess he used the warp portal like a knife. Cutting off the Masked Man’s arm by sending a chunk of it to the ass end of the universe.

The attack on me has stopped. The Masked Man seems bemused by his dismemberment. Doc-Danger - always a mean looking mother fucker - is looking slightly more murderous than usual. I prepare myself for another blast of violence.

It doesn’t come. The Man in the Mask goes back to his spot at the lowest part of the orb. His arm reappears as he walks. He resumes his silent stillness.

Doc-Danger watches him for a moment. Then returns to his math.

Well, you’re welcome, asshole. Fuck this party. I make a warp portal. I’m out of here.

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Doctor Zero

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