The gang

It all began at the beach. I was rumbling my head on a piece of cloth and I was a child again, summer holidays at the beach, you know the feeling. My head was deep into the cloth and it was green and there was light beyond. For a moment, I had forgotten I was in Phoenix Park next to the obelisk, in Dublin of all places, freshly unemployed and already in debt.
Then the spell broke as Shitty John told me to pass along the cloth and I realised half my life had already passed by.
One piece of cloth for four guys. That says a lot of things about our organisational skills, and perhaps we should have stopped at that and just gone home and got some sleep. Instead, we decided to go to the pub.
I'm sweating like a paedophile on a playground, muttered John.
We are not the fittest guys in town, and playing tag rugby, even for training, just drains us all of every ounce of sweat hidden in our skin. And don't begin with the tag rugby is a girlish sport thing. In tag rugby, there is rugby, so we are like, real, mean, men. There are also actual girls and you are allowed, kinda, to touch them. That was the impression that decided us to get part of this team thing.
We all look like dogs splattering in the river.
We have not won a game so far. The best we lost 7-22, and that was a reason for celebration. The captain is disappointed. He is not officially the captain, though. Our team has no captain, but we listen to him because he is, like, fit, and he brings the ball for the training, so obviously he knows his shit. We call him Dread Seb. In another life, he must have been Chabal, the French rugbyman out of Neanderthalia. In this one, he leads a bunch of amateur losers.
Seb stresses out the importance of the team spirit, of building it and of respecting the fucking line. Yes boss, we know about the line. You gotta respect the line, stay in it and just keep it.
He's got a point though and, little by little, it crosses our mind that he is right, that we should in fact build our team spirit.
That was the rationale for the pub, all along.

Dermot's car is not old, give her that. But it's already got the feeling of an old car. He puts music on and he drives. He knows all the lyrics by heart. Mumbled words and melodies are on his lips. We pass by girls. Suddenly, he beeps and honks a bit, and waves to an empty side-walk the other way while the girls turn back to look at us. And then he grins. He looks so old, but he is not 30.

Only the four of us remain. The girls have long left.
So we keep digging and digging around the concept of the team. It devolves into get rich quick schemes. It was bound to. When you see the price of one pint of Smithwicks nowadays, and the way the mates guzzle the fuel down like a trucker on its way back to Warsaw... You just cannot rely on the willingness of The Economy to provide for us.
No one of us has practical experience of crime and related activities, beyond jaywalking. Dermot is hailing from the lowlands of Northern Ireland and, as such, is proficient in criminal endeavours such as drunk driving or insulting people without them having the slightest hint about it because of the accent.
What that means is, and I spell it out because I am the coward type:
Let us be a tiny bit cautious guys. In prison they have, you know, prison sex, and I don't want to be on the receiving end of that.
We proceed with the plan-making. We design processes. We discard the Internet for communication, because we know you are spying on us, whoever.
The battle language is Eric's idea of an efficient communication within the gang. It is something out of a science-fiction novel or something. Nobody cares about it much except that Eric is adamant about using it and it is like the only way we can get an answer out of his Viking chest.

Written 2009-2010. To be continued on Eric's blog... here (2012-01-17)!

A short night

Some kind of emergency signal is blaring. After a vain and quick struggle, barricaded under a large pillow, the fat man fails to contain the noise and awakes. The cabin is empty but for him, a mound of clothes and what could pass as a bed in a place with little room and taste.
INTRUDER ALERT, says the alarm in the alien language.
The fat man gets dressed in a hurry, checks his weapons and prepares to open the door.

Sudden silence takes him off balance.
He stops before committing to the lock, pays attention like a bad kid at school in a streak of concentration.
Silence, silence and a big fat door.

He moves the lock with dancer's grace and slides through into the unknown. Barely thinking: not now, not now, not now...
A DIFFERENT SCREAM/ALERT. Some system is hurting.

Fat man goes hunting.


The fat man has an air of authority around him. He is seating lazily, hands on his shirt, waiting for the crowd to move. Next to him crouches a child with the stern eyes of a watch dog.
A villager comes forth, chances a request. With an unshaven smile, the petty lord denies it.
You want the key to the sky, but I just do not see what's in it for me at this stage.
A ruckus.
Guys... guys, guys. I'm just sayin', I'm not actin' in your best interests that's for sure, but think about it. You used to hate your old life. Now you have a purpose, a new home to build, and I am totally ok with that. I'm not killing, I'm not raping anybody.

We tried your ways, we tried the statistics and the satellite, and it did not work out for us. Now let us try my way, violence that could be and a tax in food and women. I am not un-gentle but please accept I do not consider myself exiled here by misfortune and this terrible crash. I had a long look around and I like what I saw. This is my place.

The fat man is the new lord of this virgin world. He can be; planets far from Empire space are rarely exploited as they should be. Barring a deployment of troops and industries for planetary exploitation, Fat Man can hope to live long and happy. The child is the sole survivor of the noble family who commissioned the ship. He used to be a baby, a toddler; he now is an uneducated blue blood savage. The wreck's riches are still many; some systems function flawlessly. All are keyed to the genetic pattern of the orphan.

As long as the boy can bring power and light in the community, the fat man will rule.