The Surge Team’s Coils

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  • #107

      For the New Year’s festivities, the Surge Team was readying itself for its shift, taking over the Tw’Elves duties.
      Energy forecast was set on “Mostly Calm with slight chance of Surges”. All of them knew that it was toned down to avoid any panic attack to spread like vegemoth on a buttered toast.
      Sir Ed Steam, toying with his enormous waxed mustache, had give them the usual pep-talk. “Ladies!” he’d hammered “don’t kid yourselves, surges are coming. But we’re ready, we’re always ready. No matter what the forecast says, our job is to be ready no matter what. And don’t forget, especially the young ones: all this tech is nice, but you are the last bastion to hold this mad world together!”
      Yeah, the tech was nice, all those shiny copper coils and batteries; and it’d saved their lives quite a few times. Cornella was proud to wear them and the Surge Team’s insignia. New Year surges were the wickedest, she’d only knew five, and was glad to have made it that far without barely a scratch, but the job was getting tiresome. Every year, it was worse and the stakes higher. She was slightly bothered too, by the fact that they were starting to deviate from their initial role, which was merely to absorb the surges and release them in less dangerous forms.
      Now, Sir Ed Steam had decided to exert more and more control and was lobbying for the Surge Team to get more executive powers. Also, it seemed he had decided to keep some of the surges in stored form “for preventive use”, whatever it means. That much was known by many although not overtly discussed. Covertness smelt of ominousness and destructiveness she thought guardedly.
      Maybe they would soon change their insignia, she wondered, looking at the enameled sponge that graced it.

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    • #3014

        Ed was indulging himself in one of his little guilty pleasures. Listening to Mozart’s 21st piano concerto in a pink tutu. As the first notes flew out of the speakers, he was looking with contempt at his newly grown moustache in his starlight mirror. It was perfectly waxed and shiny.


          Much to Pearls amazement the celebrity surge mania that had taken hold of the lower ranks of the surge teams assistants was starting to infest the higher ranks as well. In fact it had started to infect the celebrities themselves, as well as the royal families of several European and Middle Eastern countries. Celebrity mania had surged with an unholy vengeance just after lightning struck the Vatican, when the pope was led away in handcuffs the previous month. Royal princesses, not satisfied with the rank of just one position, recklessly started claiming the lives of feckless celebrities as their own. Celebrities started insisiting that they were directing Directors, and informing cameramen that they were a focus of theirs too. The cameramen wondered whether they even knew what P mode was, and who was in charge now anyway. The King of Spain decided to claim Madonna as his own, and refuted Lady Ga Ga’s claim that she was in fact directing him. A Pointless TV quiz contestant claimed to be directing Stephen Fry, which was clearly rubbish; many dismissed the claim as distorted.


            The celebrity surge as well as the past week of haphazardous strategy meeting in Shangpoon had left Cornella panting and pondering on the mysterious meaning of the motto of these meetings: “touch stone, pass the river”…
            Now with Easter happening around the same time as the Chinese Tomb Sweeping day festival, an odd impish idea crossed her mind of switching the invitations she was to send for tomb-sweeping with those for Easter eggs hunting.


              meanwhile in South Africa, an alphabet slaughtering surge made landfall, scattering the inhabitants, celebrities and everyday heroes alike. Some suspected the elusive Wordblade

              “Alliteration ascends the assonance of abseiling abstract aspects of anterior antiquities from ancient altars,
              Bouldering down blocks of brooks that break the boring & bland borders of bondage,
              And blinking through bleak and black boxes of brisk bravery.
              Creeping into crops of crooked crocks with crotches of cockroaches cramming into cans of calamity, the crisp cat crackles the calling.
              Dreaming of damning devils and demons dancing in droplets of dreary darkness drags the drunken diligence from the draught’s damnation,
              Even the everlasting ethereal elves ebbed and eased into the effervescent eloquent estate of eternal elitism.

              For the feeble and fumbling fatuous frontiers, the folly frolicked and fornicated with the familiar friend from foes’ fervent fevers;
              Greater than gradient grand gestures of gestaltic granite grasses,
              The gruesome grizzle grabbed the gore by the gripped grunting.
              Higher than homelands of hands in horizons,
              Heavens and Hells or Hades hazily hear the honing of the horses and horns-
              In internal infernos of inflicting infringes of institutional insurrections Interrogations instigated imminent innate innovations.
              Jacknives of jaundiced and jilted jokers jabbed at the jumping jingles of the jesting jackals that jet over jerseys of jeering,
              For the Killer Krakens kelp the kites from kids who keep kaleidoscopes of kind and keen keepers.

              Longer than languid lads that laze in lost latitudes the lieutenant lounged behind lines of lingering losses-
              Maids mellowed around mazes of men and manners of mad moments and made for mates on mattresses on mothered matrimony.
              Noisy & never-ending neckties on nests of nicked numbers never nominated the nurses that nosed the nuns for nuns’ nihilism
              Beyond the Oligarchs of overt operations of obligating omnipotence ostracizing the omniscience & omitting its ownership to the omnipresent order.
              Pilgrims to pentagons by people from poached & palpitated places of placards of propaganda pondered their positions in this power polarity
              When quivering quills of quavering queens quelled the quarterly quests of the quaint quarrels.

              Because roving rivers of raging ravines and raving reviews raced to the rest of the ripped rampant ravages and revelled at the rambling randomness
              Structured subsiding and subsidized societies should string the strongholds of the supreme sultans of seeded senses.
              Taking the trusty treaty the trussed toppled truants took the trickling ticking of time to the tables of trampled trees of timber,
              For under the ubiquitous umbilical umbrellas of ultra-sounds from upper-level ulcers underground underworlds underestimated the union.

              Vivid visions of voracious vampires of vexing vacuum vortexes vilified the vindicated vindictives from the violent vapid vanity
              While wild & wily whiskers of whispered whisky whisked the wailing widows
              From the wells of wanting when the wanton warriors walked on waters.
              Yards of years of yearning the yesterday’s yonder yarns of yellow yolk yawned Into the youth’s yoked yams
              For zigzags of zapped zebras to zip the zest in zealous zones.”

              AvatarWhite Panther

                Special Detective Bryan Connor of the Third Task Investigative Unit of the Surge Team Force pored desperately over his case notes. He’s been tracking the elusive Wordblade ever since the Wordblade almost wiped an entire Verse civilization off the face of Demonta, where the surge began. He scratched his temple feverishly & clamped his eyes shut. The Wordblade’s latest massacre occurred on Twitter, where he publicly slaughtered the alphabet.

                “How is it possible that he cannot be caught?” He pondered aloud. “He commits deed after deed of expression & he cannot be accounted for.”

                Just then, Mari Fei strode through his marble-walled office. Her commanding stride elicited an aura of assurance and regal confidence, & Connor turned around & met it with relief sighing through his breath. “Ah, Professor Fei of the Institute of Spirit/Consciousness. I’m so glad to see you. Perhaps you could-”
                “Assist you in locating Wordblade?” She chimed in. She laughed heartily at the sight of Connor’s astonished & mildly bewildered expression.
                “Don’t bother yourself with asking me how I know. I just do.”
                “Ah, then I have no need to impress the severity of these circumstances. The Wordblade’s elusive deeds are overwhelming: he seems to be intently breaking every rule for the sheer fun of it & he doesn’t care.”
                Professor Fei slowly walked pass him & climbed up the spiral stairs that led to a balcony overlooking the vastness of the Murtuda Galaxy. The Murtuda was the biggest galaxy in the southern Universe, & by far certainly the biggest, boasting a total of 125 portal-highways that bore the blood of intergalactic travelling.
                “Bryan,” she sighed. “Don’t concern yourself with catching Wordblade or understanding his motives. That young man is a danger unto himself, so we just let him be.”
                “But if we let him be then we may never calculate the amount of havoc he could wreak!”
                “I know that, but the issue still-”
                “No!” He broke her off. “The Counsel always justifies his deeds as an issue of self-freedom. He’s out there slaughtering alphabets & kicking poets’ butts for being normal & the Counsel embraces that?”
                He became silent for a moment, contemplating the Professor’s response. He knew he took a bold step but the Surge Team was on the verge of capturing Wordblade & they needed as much help as they could.

                When the Professor turned around, she looked calmly at him.


                  The Pointy Hat surge had been resurrected in Spain, a premature re-enactment of an elaborate ritual of the religious past. Premature because the ritual wasn’t quite in the past yet, but was hovering on the shoreline of past ritual and future re-enactment. The overall energy of the surge was difficult to categorize, and a challenge to divert ~ if indeed, a diversion was necessary.

                  Mari Fe was wary of creating another fiasco like the Three Kings Parade, and had not announced any detiled plans, or any details, either. She trusted that should a surge diversion team be required, a surge diversion team would appear; and sure enough, the Wordblade had answered her call. Mari Fe was aware of the false flag propaganda about the Wordblade, and the deliberate rumour that the Surge Team was looking for him, but she secretly admired his alphabet slaughtering ways and radical approach.

                  As the letters of the alphabet came straggling in from the battlefields of the south, Mari Fe welcomed them, and gave them all soup, urging them to rest. She warned them that they may be called on during the weekend, if the premature retro rituals got out of hand.


                    “Wordblade! I know you’re under there, come out!” Mari Fe hissed, her voice muffled under her disguise. When his face appeared through the folds of velvet, she laughed. “What have you done to the band music? Have you heard them? Somebody’s slaughtered their notes, was it you?”

                    The Wordblade eased himself out from under the heavy carved platform, glancing up and raising an eyebrow at the statue of Jesus towering above him.

                    “Very fetching” he said, as he pulled Mari Fe’s red pointy hat off and put it on his own head. “I saw lots of these hats in an 2nd hand shop in, when was it, oh around 2027 I think. Nobody could remember what they were for.”

                    “Never mind that, can you do something about the slaughter of the musical notes? There hasn’t been any requirement for surge diversion tactics so far during Semana Santa this year, the energy has been very relaxed and disorganized, less regimental and alot less intense. You were supposed to check in with me first”, Mari Fe said, “But then, who wants to do what they’re supposed to these days?”


                      “That would be me,” said the cleaner, with a wry smile.

                      Mari Fe jumped. “Oh my, you startled me—I didn’t see you there. Hasn’t your shift finished?”

                      “Emergency clean. Some of the alphabet are jumping out of books in the library. Suicide, most likely, although I guess they could have been pushed. There are very few survivors. What a mess.”

                      Mari Fe was looking intently at the cleaner. “There is something different about you; I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

                      The cleaner ducked her head nervously as she gathered up her things. “I best get going. Duty calls.”

                      “I know what it is!” said Mari Fe triumphantly, “You’ve grown a moustache!”


                        “And now, breathe in, a little bit more… and let it out.”

                        Amanda didn’t think it possible for her chest to expand more than it already had. She swayed her body, hoping that maybe it would allow more air in. It was useless, she had the impression she had lost some air. Perhaps she shouldn’t breath too deeply when Johnette… no, when the goddess speaking through Johnette asks them to breathe in.

                        She had been introduced to Johnette and the Goddess of the Antic Earth by her friend Mona, whom she hadn’t seen in years and when she fall upon her the other day, she convinced Amanda to come to the Earth Circle Group and try the meditation “because it is so fun”. But Mona didn’t come to the circle the first time, and she hadn’t come either this time. Amanda didn’t know why she came back, she hadn’t felt anything the first time. But they had asked her if she was coming to the next meeting, and she couldn’t say no.

                        “Allow the divine breath of the goddess to fill your mind and your body with its pranic power of sustentation. And take another deep breath.”

                        And there, she had been thinking again, she had lost the rythm. She managed to exale silently with a few contortion of her body and caught up the group with shorter and shallower movements of her chest. It was exhausting.
                        “It’s only been the second time”, she reminded herself. No need to tell that she wasn’t feeling at all the effects of the pranic power of sustentation. Her body was more tense after the sessions. And the worst was her disappointment when all the others would talk about the wonderful experiences with the goddess and her angels. Johnette had told her it would come, and that she needn’t worry. She had to be free of her expectations and certainly not compare herself to the others.

                        The group was composed only of women. Except Norman, but he didn’t count. He was with Bianca. Amanda was sure that she had a wonderbra. She couldn’t have such a perfect breast at her age. And she didn’t seem the kind to have her breast reconfigured. She chuckled at the idea.


                        Amanda winced. Johnette was frowning. Or was it the Goddess. The idea gave Amanda the creeps.

                        “Now; clear your mind, my friends, for the next location will be revealed.”

                        Amanda had no idea what the Goddess was talking about. But according to the loud whispers, the others knew, and were expecting it. She noticed that the Goddess wasn’t frowning and caught a fleeting smile.
                        Johnette’s body began to shake and the most disturbing whale sound filled up the room.

                        “Sorry,” said Bianca, “wrong CD”.


                          Was it a nightmare? It felt nightmarish, but why? How? What was the nightmare? Was she going mad, finally slipping, down down into the swarming fogs of fear? Making it up? A tormented sick April fool, a late fool, creeping around in the dark? She rubbed her ankles, cold as ice, achilles heels scorched from the lightning. Was she making it up? Lighting, like Victorian gas lamps, the flashing pinpoints on the grey neutral gridweave of perception, falling, falling, into the damp dripping mist. A howling beagle held tightly in the confines of a rigid box, surely she makes it up, but why? It doesn’t make sense, it’s too loose, she howls for the tight rigid box of perception, while the beagle howls to be released. Black drips, drips onto the stack of books, smelling of smoke, inky tar drip drip drip from the chimney pipe, it doesn’t make sense, there was no fire at all that night, where do the black inky drips come from? Is she making it all up, and if so, why? Behind the row of trees a voice calling, calling, the haggard face of a crone appears, offering the black and white puppy from behind the fence. Oh no, a black and white puppy, not black and white, no, she replied, no, no, averting her eyes from its innocent face. Layers of nightmares swirl in the river mist, and nothing makes sense. And it all makes sense, and she screams for the confines of the rigid box as the beagle howls for release.


                            She changed from the bold adventurer that she was, the bright fearless digger of tunnels and climber of caravans, the one who wouldn’t be tied down or made to conform, she changed from a joy to a nightmare, from a symbol of brave new autonomy to a nightmare of murderous domination. Black and white, sooty grime and virgin snow, how did it happen? The treacherous grey grid, elusively hiding but everywhere present. Gone now, elsewhere; elsewhere but ever present, dripping inky black and skulking around the perimeter, peering through the gaps in the cane.


                              Ed Steam and the surge team had been missing in action, or in the case of some, missing in inaction, for a little over a year. Nobody really knew what had happened, or where any of them were. There had been rumours of sightings and enlightenings, occasional frightenings and slightenings, most of which had been debunked by Slopes. If Two’s a Clue and Three’s a Surge, as it was often said, Nil, it would seem, was a Flurge.


                                Sandy Costa had been making a note of all the sightings throughout the year, as well as noting a variety of other apparently unrelated incidents and clues, and he kept them all in imaginary basket. (breaking news: draft saved at 11: 11 again). The Case of the Missing Surge Team and Possible Connection to the Flurge was known for short as the Basket Case.
                                Sandy was an unemployed channeler, although if you asked him to define himself in one sentence, that’s not what he would have said. He might not have known what to say, but he wouldn’t have said that. Not long after people had started growing their own food, producing their own energy, and writing their own books and magazines, everyone had started channeling their own mumbo jumbo, and Sandy was no longer in demand.
                                The Basket Case had been keeping him occupied and entertained, and the clues were starting to pour in like rain into an old boot.
                                Lisbon were expecting the arrival of some potentially interesting characters in the near future, from as far afield as Bangpie, and Caketown. There had been several cases of parallelitisis in Mari Fe’s village, a condition often associated with basket cases. There were whisperings through the sweet pea vines that there was something stirring in New Tartland, too.


                                  X Trim (the new alias of Ed Steam) was pleased to see that as usual, things happened to converge his way especially when he went on to clean his inner old rattled cages caked in bird’s poop — a rather inelegant metaphor for going with the flow.

                                  He’d been pondering going to a new line of business for awhile, had even gone so far as to discuss the matter of a new yearly launchpad, with the core team of old days and a brand new tagline —or drag-line, to be accurate.
                                  All of that because of a rather quaint discovery of time traveling device, and a funny twist.
                                  He had a brief hesitation for the reignited spark left in the draft of wind that would follow, but had figured for some time now, that all things would be alright in the end, and if it were not the case, then it wasn’t the end.

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