23. feb. 2011

Part 2: A Beautiful Facility Manager ...

In Other Wor(l)ds stories from Berlin - Part 2: 
A Beautiful Facility Manager Is Insisting on a Heart-Breaking Glass Window

I. Clashing Histories
A beautiful facility manager insisted on a heart-breaking glass window.

“Give in, give in to my beauty!” shouted the manager. By now she was in despair. Normally, her charms always worked, no matter how pressing the window’s heart-ache was. This window didn’t make a screech. One if its panes moved slightly, from left to right, as if to say: “No.”

“What do I have to do to heal your shattered window-heart? I tried duct tape, chewing gums, even the new subparticle glue … Please, talk to me!”

Was this a dream? A bad one, it seemed. A kind of nightmare. Since when did he notice that this special window was talking to him? And why did he think it was female? Nobody knew he liked women. It was forbidden, the machines didn’t want it. Why was he so sad about the broken glass? He couldn’t remember. This shouldn’t be happening. The machines. Was evolution really this bad?

He was male. That was the only thing he knew.

“Go to hell,” he shouted, “go to hell, all of you!”

Stretching Robin woke up. He looked over to the corner where he kept the window. She was still there. Shattered. And his dream slipped away from him.

“Time for another appointment with the high Wita. Stay there,” he said, “and don’t move.”

Talking to a mirror again, oh dear. He crawled up the ladder and into the air vent that protruded insignificantly into the room. He had to make his way to the bowels of the ship. It was magik time. He had to witness the Ritual.


He heard a sound as he tried to wriggle him ample hips through the small hole. He paused, sweating. No other life forms apart from the Facility workers were allowed in the ship. That’s unless you count the witches. And of course, no one knew about them.


He heard it again. He lowered his feet down onto his screen shelf where all the Universe’s oracles were kept. He pushed his shoulders through, and bruising the right one, he landed with a bump on the second layer of his cabin.

The only thing with even a vague Life-Energy was the mirror. But that was impossible. Surely the forces had died long ago with the genocide that had rid the planets of all humans. Womyn. Was that how it was spelled? He wasn’t sure. The histories seemed to clash.

Moving over to the mirror, he observed his long lashes repeated in her eyes.

“Why the fuck mirrors? Are mirrors glasses? Window-glasses? What a stroke of genius of fate. Of course, at this point people did not believe in faith, a somewhat anachronistic concoction, anymore. But then, in spite of technology, how do you know – to have picked mirrors as the last remnant of life-energy?

The thought of recovering a mirror, that symbol of vanity and coherence of the self, tickled Robin’s sense of glory. He pictured himself as the hero, just like in the texts he had at one point read in brain training.

Robin the hero would save those he loved most – women, womyn – and himself, rescue them from the planet where it was possible to survive only with the help of mirrors. Robin didn’t know exactly where to but knew how it should look like. He gave the idea a second thought and suddenly he wasn’t sure anymore if he knows where to go. Sure about the need to leave and sensing that the journey away from the planet will be long and exhausting but nonetheless necessary, Robin started preparing for the journey of his life.

II. Potatoes Don't Have a Gender
A beautiful facility manager was insisting on a heart-breaking glass window. She was sitting in a large oval room, surrounded by kaleidoscopes of windows. Rainbow-light was reflecting everywhere, bouncing off her hair, giving it the colour of the old flags she had seen in the history Portals, carried on poles by strange women with short hair. Her salopettes were slightly wet with sweat and she was sitting surrounded by fragments of broken glass.

A short, curvy figure walked up to her: “What are you doing, Ariadne?”

“Shh!,” the other said. Her stained fringe shook irritably: “'I'm concentrating.”

It had taken her so long to get to this point, she felt. And yet only a few hours ago she had been sitting in the mess-cafeteria, sipping her tomato juice with Vox. And now they were here, at last. And she had to concentrate. Hard. Or everything might be lost.

Vox ate her mashed potato hungrily. Ariadne was acting strangely. Quiet, frowning. Holding her tomato juice in her hand, barely drinking it and eating nothing, even though they had a busy day of Lyte Krystal mining ahead. What the hell was going on with her?

Annoyed, she finished and slurped down her cold, luminous energy T. In a way she felt manipulated, as if she was in some kind of sarcastic system of cow-willing-sipping luminous energy T in the morning, replenishing, just to pour all the energy into the Lyte Krystal. On the other hand, their plan was projecting an arduous night ahead.

While sipping on the mashed potatoes (yes, they could be sipped as well if X-rayed with the sharp light of the awakening morning), they were sorting out the last details of the night that was lying ahead. They didn't let themselves be bothered by the annoying phone ringing, or by people who were passing by, iodizing in wonder at the two persons sitting on the floor, surrounded by glass-spirals, eating breakfast and talking just as casually as if they were shopping at the market. No, they didn't let themselves be disturbed by the BIG ONE, who was flying into town and who was way more important than any of their human concerns.

Ariadne's concentration period was finished. She opened her eyes again and instantly the rainbow-light disappeared from her voluminous hair. As she looked around herself, nervous about the BIG JUICY ONE's arrival, she noticed that her hair looked even longer and darker in the shattered glass reflection. She wished she could cut it right there, at once, just like Vox did after seeing the holographic representation of her strong predecessors' history of struggle against the BIG ONE. What worries! Now, only a hundred years later, she and Vox were on a diplomatic mission to introduce the BIG ONE to the new mashed potatoes recipe which healed the heart-break off all species, BIG and small.

Everything became great as Vox accepted the new wisdom. And everybody really loved the BIG POTATO ONE. Potatoes don't have a gender. Who knew it would be that easy? And it all started with a facility manager ...

III. Metamorph Now!
A beautiful facility manager insisted on a heart-breaking glass window. So he looked at it. Why do these cyborgs always destroy windows? That was his life: queering ponies, broken crocodiles.

“Mr. Suffer?”

Oh, no. He hated to be called by his real name.

“Yes, divine queen of perverts?”

Cyborgs are so logically engaged. You can’t win.

“Why is there a teddy lying on the second floor?”

“I don’t know. Do you wish that I metamorph it?”

“No, thanks.”

And then he saw it. The face in the window. Again. This planet was a mess.

He looked down and returned to his work. They called him Mr. Suffer but nobody knew his real name. He forgot it a long ago, in the Third-Iron-Age. And no one bothered to give cyborgs a name these days. There were too many of them … us … no, them. So hard to think of the trillions of slick figures of his kind. And of course, that is what the humans always wanted. To de-figure them. To take cyborg culture and hide it from all second-class citizens of the Eleventh Galaxy. No wonder, he thought cynically. With the combined life-force of these eternal lifeforms, a revolution could be staged.


Again he heard it, that sound that his Professoress once described as the sound of fingers scraping a blackboard.


Quickly, he looked up. Nothing.

“Queenie, oh queenie,” he mumbled.

His Supervisoress reappeared.

“About that teddy: can you metamorph it after all? Its fuzzy little legs are bringing out my maternal instincts.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Typical, he thought. She was scared.

Scribbling little letters which don’t deserve their name onto the surface of the table, the divine queen of perverts was pondering: “Is there a difference between Teddies and Cyborgs, and if yes, who gets to name them? In a way, Teddies had been just very lucky but maybe also strategic in selling their fuzzy legs as completely inoffensive; so trivial and cute that revolutionary metamorphosis could not be thought of.”

Queenie started thinking aloud but just couldn't get it why the Cyborgs were always said to be biologically engaged. After all, she never saw any Cyborg sharing its desire with another Cyborg. At least not with her own eyes. Or was she simply ignorant? Maybe she imagined desire in a certain way, thought it had to assume a certain shape ...

In this moment, Mr. Suffer realised he was in his own world. There were still teddies around him but no cyborgs in sight although he could swear he smelled the overwhelming saliva from their mouths ... not in sight but surely present. Instead, only a sales-person was looking at him like he was insane. He was sure that this sales-person thought so, but he didn’t care about it. Cyborgs were around him and they might have desires, too (he just didn’t see them) ... and he himself ... yes, he himself ... a small flash of insight grew … became huge ... yes, he desired them! He desired THEM!

“Oooh! Cyborgs,” he screeched like a nail scraping against rusty metal, “why wasn’t I constructed as an autoerotic cyborg, why can’t I just please myself?!”

“Don’t despair,” shouted the divine queen of perverts, “metamorph! Metamorph now!”

“Yes, I am ... am ... mmh ...”

His electronic consciousness faded out for a second, perhaps a century. When he opened his eyes again, he realized he was tied to the iron frame of a velvet-red bed. A dozen fluffy and warm teddies were sitting on his chest, salivating with desire and gazing transfixed into his many compound eyes.

“Who am I,” he thought, “what have I become?”

Perhaps it no longer mattered ...

IV. One grows, one grows up to the task of growing
A beautiful facility manager was insisting on a heart-breaking glass window. The window belonged to a fancy shop with antique teddy bears. They were not in the best shape, some of them were missing legs, some of them had no head, but looking at them, the facility manager could cry tears – so beautiful they were in their uniqueness! They were to be exhibited, the facility manager decided, and so s_he went against the conviction of her_his colleagues and clients who thought s_he's gone crazy. S_he was standing in front of the shop, looking at it from a distance, aware of the treasure that was lying behind the wooden bulk windows. S_he was thinking of teddy bears and their heads and legs and bellies and filling that was partly pushing to the surface of their beings. S_he could almost smell their fur, it had the sweet odour of years of humidity.


The facility manager moved her/his beautiful head towards the sudden sound. What was that?

“Aaa-khm,” repeated the sound and by now (s)he knew that this was not some random noise from the street, not the cracking of the boards that covered the window – no, the sound was coming from behind the boards. (S)he brought her perfectly violet nose closer to the window and looked at the damp teddy bears from real close. One of them seemed to move slightly, as if to stretch its muscles. Suddenly, it pulled out a sign that said: “WE ARE NOT EXHIBITS. FLUCK YOU!”


“Which part of the sentence you didn't understand?”

“Maybe the 'Fluck you' part.”

“C'mon, I'm a bear. Do you expect a perfect pronunciation or what?”

“I didn't even know that a toy is able to talk.”

“I'm lonely. And my name is Zoo, by the way.”

“What kind of a name is 'Zoo'?”

The bear seemed to grow: “What kind of a job is a 'facility manager'?”

“You're a naughty little bear.” Am I really talking to a bear, she thought in the mean time, I should visit the doctor. While it wondered, the bear apparently returned to its inanimate stasis. And then: “Naughty little bear, am I? Are you trying to dominate me or what?”

Aa-khm laughed: “Well, I guess they don't call you 'Bears' for nothing. Who would think that toys are into BDSM?!”

To her/his surprise, the teddy laughed heartily with her. Did it understand? No one, not even the Sybil-IV's got his/her jokes. They were too old-fashioned, filled with references to a time long gone. So s/he kept laughing, hysterically now, the sound coming deep from hir belly.

“Look, shut-up,” the teddy bear hissed, “you've got to get me out of here. I'm old and trapped. Look, my shagging is starting to get mouldy.” Zoo held up a leg impatiently, showing Aa-khm the newly-formed star crystals. Zoo was here for too long and too frustrated to bandy about PleasSex with a facility manager. However, s_he was pleasantly appealing. Zoo quickly thought about how simple it was for it to label people as appealing or not. Where did it learn that? Behind the glass window, checking out passers-by.

Like a balloon with its sides stretching, Zoo became larger. A kind of an unpleasant feeling, but one grows, one grows up to the task of growing, stretching, filling up space. Like a yeast dough with a slightly fractured surface. Fractured? It started with some cracks, cracks turning into fractals, like sprinkled sugar all over the place. A kind of slow-motion but steady, then a point of fullness, a point where glass resistance is overwhelmed by Zoo's mighty belly, crashing and cracking, shattering all over the floor. The glass window is broken, and so is Zoo's mightily enlarged heart. Literally.

V. Embizzle's Home

A beautiful facility manager was insisting on a heart-breaking glass window. Glass had proven instrumental to Embizzle's daily routine at least once or twice before. Its power to break people's hearts, literally, helped her once to dodge a ticket checker, another time to stop a night train from departing on time.

Looking at the window frame, Embizzle could not help giving in to the – what was by now thought to be obsolete – way of insulating living units. So Embizzle was choosing the occasions, the moments when it used its power very carefully and sparsely. It always focused on something that was incredibly important to it or to those it loved. And it loved people very much. Throughout the years it would observe how its use of power made people do things they wouldn't do otherwise but were just more right – they brought more equilibrium and justice (however vague this concept might be). However, when people would act in a more just way, their hearts would turn bigger and bigger until they would explode.

Embizzle itself was hurt by it and now, at this point was wondering whether the glass windows were the key to get rid of all this pain. After all, the glass was supposedly emotionless – and motionless. But wasn't there always something, someone behind the window glass?

Embizzle tried to look through the dusty window but only saw its own reflection. Its beauty was typical of its species: vertical eyes, horizontal nose, vertical mouth et cetera. But Embizzle was used to her face. So used, xe no longer noticed it. Right now she knew only one thing: her reflection in the dark dusty window was on her way, preventing her from seeing what was behind it. So s/he smashed the window with her fist.

She was surprised to see how easily the glass broke. How soft. It melted away and she was surprised again. The window was hiding a different room. There stood a scientist and mumbled: “Oh no, oh no, oh no.”

Embarrassing. Her beloved H was a small scientist? An ant? An insect with a writing pad in its hands? Ridiculous?

Embizzle wished she hadn't broken the window. This story was going to end really bad and she knew who would suffer in the end – herself. Looking at the scientist she noticed something strange about the creature. Although it definitely had insecticide characteristics it also had the same slightly slanting eyes as H, Embizzle's own long mouth. But, as well as this, the scientist had long white fingers, which were writing feverishly in a book. Looking at H, her own heart was breaking.

“Hello Embizzle.” The creature smiled: “Recognise me? I am your syster.”

And Embizzle knew then, where her ana…est dreams and skills had led her. Here. Home. To this beautiful, tri-specied creature, truly a child of the anti-speciesist Order's own philosophy. Looking at her, Embizzle knew that her hardest work had only just begun. Instead of breaking hearts, she would now have to learn to mend her own.

Part 3: A Wild Teddy Bear ...

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