Mind Games pt 14 '...but you're HERE!'Mind Games pt 14 ".... but you're HERE!"
I felt a strong hand grip my right upper arm.
"Don't crouch down there on the floor like a camel! Stand to attention, man!". It was Dr Young, but he sounded exactly like Colonel Ross, "You're the guest of honour here. This is all about YOU. Brace up, lad. we're going to have to walk down there, calmly as you like, and join them in a minute..." he continued in his own countrified, sporting gentleman's accent.
".....mmmmmnnnnn Not going to...", I forced myself to say through gritted teeth, even as Henry Markram was introducing me; "... here, really present in our VR copy of this theatre, so real that he doesn't even have to wear a head set himself, is the Man himself, Martin Ronald Carter. At $6,000,000,000 the price is right! ... please, as they say on your TV show, come on down. No one will hurt you. One of your technical support team is operating your extension remotely, just for this demonstration; that's why it's wearing a head
Mind Games Part Friday The ThirteenthMind Games pt Friday the Thirteenth
He ushered me smartly through the swing door with the round window in it and I found myself in the middle of a level arc of new looking terrazzo flooring. Ahead of me was a fairly long set of broad, shallow steps leading down to a fully equipped laboratory bench with all the services; compressed air, vacuum, oxygen, methane, nitrogen, CO2, liquid air, electricity, computer consoles with embedded flat screens, one at each end, USB style LAN links, fibre optic superwide broadband links and a central lectern with a 'heads-up' invisible autocue and interactive white board controls that probably included some for satellite up and down links, for all I knew.. The white board a few feet behind this bench covered the entire rear wall of the theatre. The bench itself was twenty metres long and there was space to spare for 'demonstration' and other equipment beyond each end of it. The usual high tech lighting racks and PA speakers nestled discreetly
Mind Games pt 12 A Chin Wag Over A Light LunchMind Games pt 12 Chin wag over a light lunch
I was thinking of asking Trank how he got the Zappata moustache and chin stripe goatee which weren't there this morning but remembered just in time to avoid making a fool of myself that in IRL, as the nerds say, it hadn't been only THIS morning but some other morning, an indefinite number of days ago; and that even if he hadn't had time to 'grow', in this sim (and I had to remind myself it still WAS a sim, even after my recent dip in the Mediterranean), he could look like anybody or any thing he liked. I assumed he was dressed up (or was it down?) as FZ because I was such an admiring fan; owning more than half of his official output and with Youtube access to all of the rest, despite the ongoing efforts of Gail, Moon and the Zappa Family Trust.
I sat down between Karl and Quaternity and began to tuck into my steak and chips, taking a long swig of that glorious California orange juice. It reminded me at once of the freshly press
Mind Games pt elevensesMind Games pt Elevenses A Little Snackerel Of Something
I'd been so absorbed in this reconstructed memory, or whatever it was, that I didn't notice that the dirigible was still lowering overhead like a spiteful grey, cigar shaped cloud. I heard someone who sounded like Gritpype Thinne saying, "Moriarty... lower the giant drinking straw! Eccles, get ready to suck as you've never sucked before... we haven't much time. You shouldn't have dropped him overboard, Bludnok! This could ruin our plans."
"Demmed fellah hadn't paid his fare, " said a quavering but indignant, military sounding voice as if this kind of thing happened every day. A huge candy striped red and white drinking straw was lowered from a hatch in the belly of the blimp and descended until it had surrounded me in my patch of warm sea water.
"All right Eccles, SUCK!", said 'Gritpype'. I felt my ears pop and the water level in the straw rose until I was half way between the sea and
Mind Games pt 10 Falling in the waterMind Games pt 10 "He's fallen in the water!"
The door closed behind me and I had a glimpse of some ribbed, tarpaulin covered structure from the inside before plunging through the floor, which had vanished under my feet in the meantime to reveal blue water about thirty feet below. I heard a radio sound effect as of a loud scream, but with rapid diminuendo, followed by a large splash as I hit the briny. It was salt water. What sounded like the voice of a four year old girl a few feet behind me could clearly be heard to say,
"He's fallen in the water!"
I struggled to the surface, shook the water out of my face angrily and looked up in the air. There was a dirigible there! It was trailing a tail. It was a crazy tail. It reached down to the ground.... and was tethered to a donkey! I should have known... it was Colonel Bludnok's Donkey driven Zeppelin Service!
"You swine, Bludnock!" I shouted in a high pitched voice, straight out of the Welsh valleys, "I'll get you for this!" It
Mind Games Part NINE ExistenZMind Games pt 9 ExistenZ
Dr Mentz ushered us into the Environmental Resources Design Suite; a regular open plan office full of neat but powerful looking work stations, through that and into a space that looked like an indoor basket ball court, only with the walls and ceiling covered in high tech LED lighting rigs, beyond theatre or film studio grade. There seemed to be a trampoline set into the floor with what looked like Dr Young's clone wearing a VR headset and haptic gloves apparently moon walking towards us on it. Karl walked up to this figure, and as he did so the clone walked towards him, and the 'trampoline' in the floor kept pace with him until the two were facing each other across its boundary. "Professor Young! Delighted to meet you. How are you getting on in there?" The clone replied in the same stuffy, slightly upper class British accent, "Can't complain, old boy. The things this thing can do are... well, it's just magic. Makes you think, what?"
Karl turned an
Mind Games pt 8 If you can, hire the A-Team.Mind Games pt 8 If you can find them, hire the A-Team
"We'd like to prepare you properly this time; help you adjust to your situation...", the Professor continued. At the environment programming suite you'll be told much more. You'll be shown around, told how we've done things so far... a sort of orientation lecture, don't ye know? A little tour of the facility." I was certainly looking forward to a tour of something apart from the nether regions of Edwards AFB, or wherever this was supposed to be. This seemingly endless desert might as well be the ass end of nowhere.
At this point Karl took out a map. It was blank except for the title.... NOWHERE. I shifted my eyes back to the road to concentrate on my driving. Did that make any difference? Could I really run off the tarmac into the desert and get lost? There was a sign up ahead. When I could see it clearly enough to read it, I read "YOU ARE APPROACHING THE MIDDLE". Things were going from bad to worse!
Mind Games , Magnificent 7Mind Games pt 7 "Shoot your way to freedom, kid"
It was a Spanish, 1960s vintage, machine made, side-by-side 12 bore with authentically blued barrels, case hardened and patinated box lock and brass bead fore sight. The trigger pull was six and a half pounds and there was an 'improved cylinder' on the left and a 5/8 choke on the right [I think 'full choke' is 40 thou]. It was chambered for two and three quarter inch long cartridges, although it would take two and a half inch ones. It was nitro proved to withstand a pressure of 3,000 psi at the breech face and could be loaded with anything from dust shot to solid ball.
It was MY Marixa shotgun, abandoned by my father in Rhodesia when 'information, Immigration and Tourism' minister P.K. van der Byl had suddenly kicked him out, after failing to get the independent judiciary to convict him of anti-state propaganda in the high court, by the simple expedient of refusing to renew his two year work permit... at only three days notic
Mind Games SIX Waiting For The Electrician...Mind Games, 6 Waiting For The Electrician...
"Tell you what, old chap... let's go for drive, if I can fit into that dinky little Kit car they gave you.", said Karl in what I was sure he meant to be an avuncular manner. It had 'KAR 006' as a personalised number plate, just like the one Patrick McGoohan drives in the opening titles of The Prisoner. It was Goodwood green rather than canary yellow and, small as it was, it did have a passenger seat.
"What's the point," I demurred, "you know there isn't anywhere to drive, I can't even get it into fourth gear on that winding Welsh country road out of The Village. All it does is go through a few tight 'S' bends before you hit the downhill stretch to the Observatory, and that isn't long enough to get up any speed. I don't even bother to drive any more. It's so frustrating..."
"It might be different, this time," said the Professor, cheerfully, "Please? I really want to see what it's like, and you never know..." Why not? I thought. I had no