September 12th, 2007


Reposting: Escape

I apologize for all these reposts of old material. I imagine some people are sick of seeing things they have seen before. However, much of my stuff is kept on a website owned by a company that I haven't actually paid any money to in about 8 years. At any time they could remove my stuff and it would be gone. So, I am feeling a need to preserve the things I would hate to lose track of. This story is one of them.

I wake screaming, again. The dream fades; I remember only images of fire and the dull KRUMP of artillery.

Strong hands seize me, as they always do. I am unceremoniously hoisted from the cage in which I am kept. I am bounced and thumped and wittered at in a tongue I do not understand. Suddenly, food is thrust in my mouth -- the same liquid gunk I am regularly dosed with.

I drift away.

- * -

My most recent clear memory is capture at the hands of Duc Phat's mercenaries. Bad directions led us too deep into the Mekong Delta during the aftermath of the Tet mop-up. We were surrounded and decimated, and we gave in.

I was beaten and tortured. I told them everything they asked, anything I thought they might want to hear, and still they threw me in the lightless pit to rot. I remember slowly starving down there, my lifeforce seeping into the root-tangled soil along with the last trickles of my blood and urine, unable to turn around or stretch my arms, without sight, voiceless, numb.

Then, light -- light and intense cold. Hands dragged me from my moist prison, but they were not the hands of rescuers -- only more torturers in surgical gear, battering me, poking me, weighing me dispassionately on a scale like a nice steak. I gave voice to protest, but something was wrong: I had lost the power of speech, and I could only scream inarticulately.

The 'Cong must have made some new psychoactive drug, because even now I cannot think clearly. My bones have been turned to rubber; I have difficulty manipulating even simple items; language returns only very slowly to me. I am rendered helpless.

- * -

The feeding session is complete. Now begins the humiliating ritual of waste-removal. My captors seem to delight in forcing me to urinate and defecate in my own garments. They diligently change my wrappings, revelling as I am exposed, naked, dependent on them for my every need.

Nevertheless, they will not break me. Their drugs must be wreaking havoc on my mind, for there are times when I begin to forget my previous existence and imagine myself to never have lived a life other than the miserable captivity I endure -- but I will not succumb. I WILL not!

I am not yet strong enough to fight back. Only recently have I gained the fortitude to pull myself erect on tables and slowly limp about with support. I can grasp some objects, but any thoughts of using a gun or knife must wait until later. I have learned a few words of their jabbering tongue, but I do not know enough to impersonate a guard -- and they are much larger and stronger than I, anyway.

I made a break for it recently. A door was left ajar. I arduously crawled out and into the vegetation, hoping to hide there, perhaps to catch and eat insects to supplement my liquid diet. However, my absence was detected almost immediately, and a search party brought me back, squalling and kicking, to be plopped in the tub.

But I will succeed. Every day I am stronger; every day my mind is clearer; every day I learn more about their defenses and weaknesses. I will not forget. They will not keep me here.

The first duty of a baby is Escape.

Annoying Questions Answered

Long ago I used to very much enjoy writing things and posting them to the usenet newsgroup, talk.bizarre. In the early to mid nineties, talk.bizarre was a vibrant and fun community of unique people, and it was fun to participate. All good things end, however, or at least fade away, and so my involvement in talk.bizarre gradually dropped to zero. Still, I have retained many fine friends from those days, and I am pleased to stay in touch with many of them through livejournal.

One of the hallmarks of the ethos of talk.bizarre was harsh sort of 'repel the invaders' cultural mindset that tended to prevail. Usenet has always had an extremely noisy signal, and it was always my desire (and that of many others as well) to attenuate the noise by encouraging clever, creative posts -- and, at times, discouraging dull and insipid postings. To that end, I would frequently respond to posts that annoyed me in, well, a somewhat cranky tone -- but in a way, I hope, that also tried to be inventive.

Here are a selection of some of these responses.

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