An Odd Story

[The world began. ]

A middle-aged man sat in his living room with a book. This book appeared to be an electronic book titled “Magic” which he’d found in the attic of the home he’d just purchased. He, in his infinite wisdom, believed that the “book of magic” was just a nice looking gimmick and that as a relic it looked nice as a conversation starter on his coffee table. Had he treated it as such, that’s all it ever would have been.

One night, after drinking a little too much, this man dececided that he would open the book and begin to follow the instructions therein. As an editor, he was quite annoyed at all of the clear mistakes both in logic and in basic spelling. He proceeded to make corrections to his book of fiction. He also continued to drink.

Hours later he decided that he was satisfied with his edits and figured that he would proceed with trying to follow the instructions. This poor man was afflicted with a few things slightly beyond his control:
a) there was never anything written in the book to begin with – it was just an electronic display on the cover with actual blank pieces of paper on the inside.
b) he was tripping balls because he was unaware that his scotch had been poisoned by a discontent employee who’d found his stash.
c) the diary was, for the sake of this narrative, created by a certain specific idiot for a long-forgotten purpose.

It’s important at this stage to note what is real and what is not as this series of events unfold… for the sake of later accounts and of course our amusement.

Middle-aged Guy’s Perspective: This middle aged man positioned himself just so… and channeled his energy. He made the necessary adjustments to his ‘chi’ or power so that things didn’t start exploding prematurely, and then chanted “the key words” to start the spell he’d created:

“… and Drummer Hoff fired it off!”

Time slowed down, seconds seemed to pass one after another, and worry started to set in. In reality, barely one second had passed but his instincts and senses had become focused on the task at hand. A slow heat was felt on his palm, and radiated in towards his core. It mixed with his intent and willpower, and started to form inside the object he was attempting to imbue.

Reality: a drunk reading from a diary holding a spatula as he wets his pants in the center of his living room.

Middle-aged Guy’s Perspective: He immediately prepared to chant the stabalization mantra when what seemed to be a loud female voice interrupted him:

“You do not have permission to chant the forbidden magics! You will be punished!”

Reality: The rambling eventually triggers his Amazon Tap, causing it to respond with “I found 22 matches for ‘Drummer Hoff,’ would you like to review the results?”

Middle-aged Guy’s Perspective: The color drained from his face with the knowledge that his carefully planned spell had just been ruined. There was no way to tell what effects this might have, only that it would end badly. The only words that left his mouth were “You’ve got to be kidd…”

Those explosions that he was attempting to prevent – they happened.

Reality: he passes out.

Did I mention that he was tripping balls?

This is where reality and imagination sort of… blend… to form for the sake of my own sanity what I will call an alternate reality.

As it turns out, the guy’s own urine contained just enough of some sort of chemical that, when it “blended” with the pages of that diary, it caused an unintended magical reaction.

From the standpoint of an observer a mile away looking in just the right direction, it looked like someone had detonated an atom bomb. That in itself would have been scary and caused a panic except for the peculiar nature of how it impacted the environment and people around it. In actuality the color of the mushroom cloud was not white, grey, or black. It did not have lightning running through it. There was no accompanying shockwave, no physical damage to any physical structures near it’s source. In the place of these things there was complete silence. Anyone looking at it would have sworn they were halucinating. At the moment of observation, if a sane person could attribute color to what was seen, they might have tried to say it was pink and blue with black pokadots. If they were to attribute texture and shape to what was seen, a sane person might have instead asked “are those pants, and are they… doing a line dance?” If that same person were to try and estimate the size of said linedance, they might have indicated that it streched the entire width of the horizon.

In actuality none of that really happened. Unfortunately imagination and reality had combined just long enough for millions of others to share in the guy’s deteriorated mental state. Just as quickly as the phenomena appeared, it disappeared as the catylist was completely… absorbed… into the paper. There was in fact a mushroom cloud, but it was no bigger than what you might find if a small student-made rocket had exploded in the park on it’s makeshift launchpad. The kinetic explosion was enough to physically punt the guy out out of the room he was in, crashing head-first into the corner of the bedroom dresser. As he was already unconscious and now quite dead, he remembered nothing. As everything was completely enveloped in silence, nobody heard anything. The people who could have made a claim to have actually “seen” something passed it off as a strange daydream. In weeks to come, his body would be discovered and an autopsy would reveal his blood-alcohol level causing his death to be considered self-inflicted.

The magical backlash of the failed spell was large, encompasing an area equivilent to Alaska. As a result, the effects were a bit more wide-reaching. For the next few months there were intermittent reports of strange behavior. For example, one insane asylum was featured on the news as the majority of the inmates had mysteriously taken up linedancing, and psychiatrists fresh out of college surprisingly found themselves immediately and gainfully employed as they addressed an unexplained fear of pants by gradeschoolers. Even the language in that part of the world eventually added the word “pants” to its commonly used explitives.

And so it was that a new world in an alternate reality based on the current world of technology – but with magic – was born.

[The world ended. ]

With such an… unfortunate tale of creation, it should come as no surprise that the very same world would meet its end in a similarly unfortunate way. As it turns out, the original world was heading towards disaster with the proliferation of greed and an increasing absence of people who cared about the changes to the environment. The addition of magic only spurred further development of weapons and tools for pleasure. With emphasis on these two aspects of life, education became less of a focus, and things that were once known as fact were discounted because “magic changes everything.”

These poor fools who had previously put so much emphasis on their technology eventually ended up abandoning it. They blamed the receeding electromagnetic field of the earth on the use of Magic, and felt that as long as they could shield themselves it wouldn’t matter. They blamed the warming of the earth on the use of magic, and felt that as long as they could control the temperature with it, that it wouldn’t matter.

The slowing rotation in the Earth’s core caused the entire planet to enter an ice age as the atmosphere dissapated. Those same fools were absolutely correct in that magic could counter the effects, and they were proficient enough in it to back up their foolish words. The Earth would have eventually righted itself and restoreed it’s electromagnetic field, except for the fact that some genius decided to use magic to pull the earth closer to the sun because they felt cold. So proficient in magic were they, that they could do such a thing fairly easily.

Yet, an object in motion tends to stay in motion until acted upon by an external force.

In this case, that “external force” would be the sun. That’s right, the world was slowly plunged into the sun and burnt to a crisp. The inhabitents of the planet carried on as long as their magic could sustain them. Nobody could quite figure out why the sun kept getting bigger and bigger, though to the end they thought it was a good omen and were getting closer to god. As you can surmise, no amount of magic is able to sustain that level of stupidity indefinitely.

In fact, it is probably for the best that such a world came to meet it’s end. The proliferation of shorts in the workplace and the propensity for using magic in the most obscene and unheard of ways would have eventually caused headaches for magicians across the dimentional plane.

That is the good news.

The bad news: while the original creator of the world had since died, the person who created that book was still alive and kicking. He happened to come from the original Earth and was in the process of… “helping.”

[It’s actually his fault. ]

One of the reasons for the current situation had to do with the fact that he just didn’t think things would go this far. One of the other reasons might have been that he didn’t care enough to predict things this far enough ahead. You could also say that he had a very peculiar sense of justice when it came to the way things in the world should work. However the thing that you could not deny, the thing that many in hindsight might say was absolute fact, was that this was absolutely his fault. He had many chances to notice something was wrong but remained blissfully unaware. He had made no plan “b,” no “what if” scenario discussed with anyone… it was always just a matter of fact things would go a certain way and that was all there was to it. It never occured to him that other people would still be able to impact the outcome of his plans.

So that is why, while experimenting with a used cappucchino mahine, he kind of blew up the moon.

This person’s name was Ernest P. Cummings. An unfortunate name for an unfortunate person who would cause the most unfortunate accident to befall the planet earth. I’m not talking about the many pieces of mountain-like debris that plummeted through the atmosphere and wiped out nearly all life on earth. Nor am I talking about the premature ice-age which wiped out 2/3rds of the remaining wildlife on the planet. I’m not even talking about the volcanic wasteland that the equator of our planet became.

No, those things pale in comparison to the thing that was burried in the moon and whom granted everything that still lived on the Earth the ability to make things happen based on the strength of their willpower and clarity of their imagination. This thing was actually a living being. Her name was Loki, and that name should both foreshadow what she would be like as well as partially explain her reasoning for doing such a thing. However history would record her has being the more sane of the two, if you can believe it. It doesn’t matter how sane she may or may not have been, because everyone’s fate was sealed the moment she met Ernest.

As the story goes, Ernest was a maintenance technician on a barge that had just docked with MoonSpace3, an orbiting transfer station of the moon. His mission was to pick up unused radioactive materials and literally hurl them into the sun for disposal. He was described as a very brilliant but serious individual who took competition and procedure very seriously. He had invented, flown, and further improved upon the efficiency of the ion-propulsion engine used in modern-day space travel. However he had a very serious personality defect: whenever procedure and competition would come into conflict, he would always prioritize competition. Hence why he ended up being demoted to a glorified garbage collector instead of a celebrated scientist.

He was in the process of transferring one of four pods from the docking ring to his cargohold. His instruments identified organic compounds that procudure dictated he was obligated to investigate. Upon examination he found an old expresso machine and some long rotten coffee beans. He kept the expresso maker for himself since fixing it would proove easy and in theory taste so much better than the coffe-mix that he’d grown to hate. After completing his task, he was to wait until 21:00hrs to execute his burn and use the moon’s gravity to slingshot him to Mars’ orbit, dumping the cargohold before beginning his breaking manuver. During the 5-hour wait, he repaired the expresso machine and caught up on some sleep. Upon awaking and prior to his burn for Mars orbit, he went to use the expresso machine as he had planned. Due to some odd malfunction which to this day has yet to be explained properly, the activation of said expresso machine triggered an emergency ejection of the contents of his cargohold. It makes you wonder what exactly he had to pull from the ship to fix the thing…

Given that the computer was already prepping for an extended burn, the barge was oriented upside down to take advantage of the angle of attack and orientation of the people/objects inside the craft during the burn to address the buildup of g-forces. As fate would have it, the contents of said cargohold were forcibly ejected not out into space as intended, but down towards the moon surface. Any guesses as to what happened to be on the moon surface directly below the plummeting radioactive garbage?

A nuclear power plant.

You would be correct in assuming that such a fragile target would almost certainly be protected against kinetic forces such as random meteorite strikes and other falling debris. You would also be correct in assuming that the structure itself would be dug deep into the surface to use the moon as an additional buffer. What such a structure does NOT protect against are kinetically charged radioactive debris where excessive force had caused their own meltdown cycle. The debris impacted on the dome but did not break it. Instead, it sat there until a scheduled maintenance worker was assigned to go collect the garbage.

That scheduled maintenance did not happen in time, and the radioactive material melted through the casing that it was enclosed in, then through the dome itself, finally onto the ceiling of the rod pool. The decompression of the dome caused an evacuation of the facility, and everything was set to computer control. Meanwhile the garbage slowly burned/melted its way through layers of concrete. Several days later after the dome was sealed and oxygen restored, an investigation was initiated to find out what happened to the contents… however by then it was too late. The hole in the roof of the rod pool had caved in, blocking the flow of water to the rods and another meltdown was in progress.

The meltdown eventually caused the facility to stop functioning to the point where there was not enough power to affect repairs. The rods overheated and melted through the floor and further down into the fault line that the facility had been built into. A series of shifts somehow occoured – the records aren’t clear here – but we suspect that the remaining radioactive contaminents mixed with other materials in the fissure to cause a sizable explosion. That in turn resulted in the slow breaking apart of the moon into three distinct chunks. At some point two other nuclear power plants which had been built in a similar manner found themselves with what you might call “a shakey foundation” and also ended up melting down and eventually exploding. These other two explosions were enough to push one of the three pieces into a decaying orbit where it eventually broke up and caused all kinds of hell on earth.

This might be where you think: “oh, well that must bring us to the present day where these two people meet!”

You would be wrong. The idiocy does not end there. Not by a long shot. It is my obligation to let future generations know just what kind of idiocy can exist, so hopefully they can take countermeasures to prevent it from happening again. But I digress…

You see, there’s a little caveat to the part where I said “where it eventually broke up…” That caveat was the attempt by the brilliant Ernest P. Cummings to build an ion generator and subsequent engine farm to push it back out from a decaying orbit. But let’s back up to where we left off – I was getting a little ahead of myself.

After Ernest accidentally railgunned radioactive material down to the surface of the moon, he did what anyone would do: go on about his business as if nothing had happened. In fact it has been later proven that none of the alert systems that would have told him of such a fault actually alamed. The reason being that he disabled them because they were annoying. This begs the question of how, when and why were alarms going off so frequently on his barge that they would be considered annnoying enough to physically disable? Regardless of the reason, he continued with his plannned burn a couple minutes after he’d prematurely ejected his space garbage. It was a few days later in Mars orbit when he heard the news, and decided that he should return to earth to help with the catastrophe. He still didn’t know what role he played in it.

Toggling the ejection switch at the right time, he waited a few minutes, reoriented, closed the doors and scheduled a series of burns to get him back home.

 [Placeholder for Title]

The engines fired exactly as they were programmed to, creating the right amount of force in the right places to keep the piece-of-moon whole. This chunk slowly started accelerating and after it reached the desired delta-V, the engines slowly powered down.

The chunk of moon hit the Earth’s atmosphere at roughly 4:45pm Eastern Standard Time on July 22nd, 2092. It broke up into what witnesses say were two distinct pieces before they could only see one solid white cloud-llike object. Thirty minutes later seventeen mountain-sized pieces of moon crashed into the earth’s surface at roughly 1780Mph impacting every continent except Greenland. It seems that even the universe doesn’t give a shit about Greenland. Not to be outdone, a resulting tsunami wiped out their population an hour after impact. On earth, the only survivors were those who had a bunker, meaning mostly military families and only 2 doomsday cults that had prepared underground bunkers and were coincidentally not near the points of impact.

Due to the violence of the impacts, tektonic plates started shifting, all moisture in the atmosphere was either ejected or turned into plasma. Great tsunamis washed inland as far as Kansas in the Americas. Europe was decimated by the same. Africa – the parts that weren’t already a wasteland became one soon enough, the lower half being completely submerged. The moon pieces hit the earth near the equator, beginning with Panama, across india and almost to southern California which ironically did end up literally falling into the ocean. Nothing on the surface survived.

Ernest stared dumbly at his terminal. Red and orange blossomed on the screen where green and blue should be. He realized he had been unable to stop the devastation. If anything, he had guaranteed it. He poured through the commands given to the engines and could not find any error. He looked over the specifications and finally came to the realization of one important thing: the model of thruster that was attached to the piece of moon that just destroyed the earth had no reverse thrust. His command to execute reverse thrust was interpreted as a regular forward thrust burn. And he had slept through it assuming everything was going to work just fine.


After a solid 10 minutes of not really believing what he was seeing, he came to his senses and decided to put it behind him.

“Well, there’s nothing I can do now. I guess I need to wake up first before I figure out what I need to do next.”

He was – by his own admission in his memoirs later – “a little bummed out” at having been unsuccessful at saving the earth, so he went and made himself another cappucchino.

Seventeen miles away from his craft, a creature of immesurable power and [arguably] intelligence continued to drift, rolled up into a fetal position with it’s blue hair streaming behind it like the tail of a commet. It wasn’t sleeping any more… but neither could it really get anywhere without a means of propulsion No, the reason why it was still in that position was because it was laughing and trying to breathe at the same time…. neither of which it was able to do as effectively as it might have liked.

[Placeholder for Title]

The gavel rang out as arguments, profanities and hystarics broke out among those in attendance.

“Order, I said Order!”

The commotion started the moment when Ernest had testified that he had no idea about any of the claims regarding the radioactive material ejected from his vessal onto the nuclear power plant.

“Do you or do you not recall turning OFF your alerts?”

“Yes, of course I do.”

“Did you have a good reason for doing so?”

“They kept going off at odd times, and I could never track down the actual cause, so I shut them off.”

“You didn’t ‘Shut them off,’ you cut the wires to the system!”

“Yeah, that was the easiest way to shut them off.”

“Are you aware that is in complete violation of your flight charter?”

“Yes, I wrote that charter after all. I figured that I would be best suited to know when to make exceptions. I guess I made a mistake. My bad.”

“My b…!” the exasperated cross examiner tried to say as he failed to complete his thought.

The courtroom erupted into another flurry of curses and histarics.

“What about my children? My grandchildren! They were killed because of ‘your bad’!!!” one woman spat.

The prosecutor tried again, “When did you first realize that you did not have all of your cargo?”

“I realized when I arrived at my retro-burn coordinates and performed my regular mid-flight check. It indicated there was more fuel than I should have had.”

“What did you do with that information?”

“I mentally noted it, and then proceeded with my dump-and-retro maneuver.”

“Did it not occur to you that something was very wrong? You were carrying radioactive cargo after all!”

Somewhat annoyed, Ernest replied, “no, it did not occur to me that an excess of fuel automatically meant that a mass of radioactive cargo had been ejected from my ship onto a nuclear power plant on the surface of the moon causing it to explode and trigger a massive tektonic shift. Try again.”

“Do you or do you not admit that deployment and use of the ion engines on the piece of the moon that was driven into the atmosphere by you was your responsibility?!?”

“You have the records, you should know that I’ve done my utmost to take responsibility… at least as much as I can.”

“Explain exactly what you mean by ‘as much as I can.’ To me, you are clearly responsible for the near genocide of the human race!”

Erest could clearly see that this person had no intention of arguing rationally. Irritated that his attorney didn’t seem to be very active, and irritated that he once again was going to be held completely accountable for something that was not entirely his fault, he decided to accept this as a challenge.

Slowly and deliberately, he stood and looked at the prosecutor with murder in his eyes. Then he addressed the courtroom in spite of the judge and his attorney warning him to sit down. The orchestra of chaos died down almost immediately.

He spoke loudly and clearly. “I am sorry for the mistakes I made. I did try my best, and I would have succeeded except for the few things that got the better of me. I didn’t see any of you do anything but complain. You should be grateful I even tried. The moon would have struck earth even if I hadn’t done anything. If you have compaints, send them to the company who waited forever to get maintenance workers out to clean up the radioactive material, just to save a dime! Send them to the governments who refused to provide resources for the project – resources that would have allowed your Navy to build the engines I asked for in the first place! Send them to the scientists that took the first shuttle out without helping us figure out a better alternative. Blame someone who didn’t literally engineer the technology that allows you and the remainder of the human race to live and travel comfortably in space!”

The orchestra of chaos erupted again. The court guests and jury had to be temporarily adjourned to gain control of the unruly mob that blossomed in rage within the courtroom. In space and the few human habitations left, you could almost certainly guarantee chaos and arguements pertaining to the remanants of the companies, governments and scientists who were involved. Ultimately, to save their skin, they called in their favors and a decision was made.

Two hours later court was reconveined. But it wasn’t the guests or even the prosecution that spoke up, it was the judge.

“Mr. Cummings. I have presided over this court for over a decade and I have heard people say things much more insensitive than what you said earlier. You may even be right to an extent. However until now I have had the luxury of going home to my family and venting my frustrations so that I can remain partial the next day. That family, Mr. Cummings, was on Earth… the planet you steered that piece of the moon into. You have made it very difficult for me to remain impartial.”

The room fell silent. The judge looked expectantly at Ernest, clearly expecting an appology or at least a very humble response to justify the sentence that Ernest knew was coming.

Tired of the one-sided interrigation and accepting his fate, Ernest replied, “By your own admission, it’s clear you won’t listen to reason, so I’m just going to say this and hope you eventually understand the true meaning of it… I’m sorry to hear your family was on Earth when the moon struck. Hopefully they took cover. In the likely scenario they didn’t find one sufficient for their survival, consider that you’re still relatively young. I bet you can still have another family if you really wanted it.”

Ernest had earned the nicknames “asshole from above” and “engineer of the moon drop.”

From that point forward, it was impossible to retain order and it was decided that a verdict would be decided on by the judge in spite of the rules of law.

While it had been debated to bring back the death penalty, it was decided to exile him on the planet that he failed to save. He was dropped in what used to be Antartica, but after the massive devistation was only now a series of islands surrounded by rapidly melting glaciers. It was clear what the intent was.

About the time that Ernest was being hauled in by the Navy but prior to his hearing, more debris from the moon entered a decaying orbit and fell to the earth. Among those debris was the being that had the blue hair. Upon closer inspection you would find that “It” was actually a “she” – no pun intended. She had managed to use the elements in the debris around her to create a kind of makeshift rocket, generating the momentum needed to start heading towards the Earth. 

You would think that with such advanced knowledge and experience, it should not have been particuarly surprising that she should find herself eventually falling to the Earth. Yet, it came as quite the shock when she found herself on fire, plummeting through the atmosphere. Apparently, she had not done that before. Thus would she later claim that because of a certain individual, she would be having all sorts of new experiences. Currently however, the lack of oxygen and panic caused her to loose consciousness again despite taking no physical damage from the g-forces or heat of reentry. Her descent could have been called ungraceful except for the long tail of hair – which was also on fire – trailing behind her. Lost in the other falling debris, she dropped like a stone just north of Sydney.

[Placeholder for Title]

What do you get when you put an idiot with a prefab home, an ion generator, a set of knives, rations for a year, a computer, a 3d printer with 3-tons of plastic refills, 10 yards of copper wire and 100ft of nylon rope on an island that used to be part of Antartica? Not a lot unless they know how to use those materials to the fullest effect.

Luckilly the person in question wasn’t just any idiot, he was a brilliant one. As someone who had helped bring about the 2nd rise of interstellar exploration, it was felt that a complete abandonment was a bit too cold hearted. In fact most people simply viewed him as an unfortunate soul that had bitten off more than he could chew and needed some time to himself to more-or-less rehabilitate. Being too brilliant couldn’t be good for one’s mental health after all. Yes, this would just be a way for him to live the rest of his days in peace… with nature… by himself… on what’s left of Antartica.

He had the foresight to negotiate a deal to where he would literally only do what he was told right up until he was dropped off at the destination site. This, only so long as he were to receive certain items that (with some work) would allow him to maintain a standard quality of life for over a decade. So weary of him were they, that not only was the deal literally documented as the “no-bright-ideas” pact in the official government manuscript, but his conditions were quite literally explained as necessary to guarantee humane judgement “or as long as we can keep him occupied and away from society.”

Let us recap on his decision making so far and why the current naration might have judged him a little harshly.

Why is he an idiot?
* His laziness prevented him from being able to use his intelligence when it counted
* His inate trust in others and abnorrmal pride in that behavior prevented him from verifying crucial aspects of more than one project he was in charge of, allowing them to make glaring mistakes under his watch
* He failed to do the obvious when confronted with a large mob wanting to blame their misfortune on someone
* He used his precious materials to build a device that projected a giant middle-finger as a kind of bat signal on the clouds… A-la idea that “a middle finger is not truly a middle finger unless you can see it from outer-space.”

Why is he brilliant?
* He was able to build specific tools that allowed him to create and extrude clay for the purpose of creating other tools and storage devices which would then be used to store and collect resources like food and water.
* He was able to build a “fish call” which used an electromagnetic pulse to simulate a school of fish which attracted predators that he ate for food, as there was no other wildlife around
* He was eventually able to contstruct and fit enough extruded pieces together to create a kind of boat
* He would need an easy way to project a signal once he started interacting with others.

In short, he’s like a less-good looking MacGyver that everyone loves to hate, and who unknowingly thrives on that kind of attention.

[Placeholder for how he makes it to Australia]

[The Devil fell down to Australia lookin’ for a soul to steal…]

She was nearly blind, but otherwise feeling fine and wanting to have a meal… when she came across this young man cooking and making it hot, following her nose without any clothes she managed to make it to his spot.

“I bet you didn’t know it but I’s once a cheff too, so if you want I’ll make a croissant and then I’ll certainly proove it to you.”

“Yeah… see, umm… I just bought this from that gentleman over there,” he said as he started pointing to an older fellow huddled next to a makeshift sterno grill.

“Oh.” she whispered as the cleverly concocted rhyming bit came to an unceremonious end.

“Want some?”

“I always want some.”

“Right. Here you go.”

And so the unknowingly bald yet naked woman sat down next to our esteemed hero and ate. For our hero’s part, he figured she was just an eccentric exobitionist out for an evening stroll. He didn’t want to pry.