Monday, October 5, 2009

Moon Spider Poison

Accordin to Pat 2 (I ain't callin him Pat 1 because I think of myself at Pat 1, mostly because I come up as number 1 when you search Pat O'Neil on the Google, unless that computer science teacher has gamed the system again, in which case I still think of myself at Pat O'Neil 1 by virtue of not bein a sneaky cheater. Who uses computer science to help them rise up on Google stats, anyway?), fightin an enemy that can materialize and dematerialize at will is a bit like tryin to wrestle a bowl of jello into submission. It ain't never gonna submit, you can't understand its motivations and, in the end, you're just gonna wind up sticky and tired. At first, the moonbound army of Pats, squimonk and Douggies didn't know anything was wrong. Sure, there was constant rumors of squimonk disappearing, but everyone wrote it off as confusion. This was in the halcyon early days of interstellar travel, mind you, and no one had yet come up with a good system for tellin one Alistair or Pat from another of the same kind. Well, that ain't exactly true. There was some of em that stuck out like a hand full of sore thumbs lookin for a ride on the highway. Due to differences in Earths, some Pats were taller, some shorter, some a little older, some a little younger and some of em was even females. Tell the truth, that was about half of em; the female ones. But, besides them differences, most of the Pats fell into a sort of average range. Characteristics were usually shared by up to 90% of Pats, including the need to grow a beard to cover up a superfluous second chin. That bein the case, when one Alistair or a Pat or, occasionally, a Jared disappeared, everyone would say that they were lost in the mob or one Pat had mistaken his Alistair and another's. In a situation like this, confusion is liable to run rampant.

The Pat army figured out somethin was wrong when, diggin deep into the moon soil in order to install the swimming pool that would be vital to their operations, they came upon a chamber the size of Cleveland that was as perfectly spherical as Cleveland isn't. As I said, they'd seen them some spiders before, and they'd been hypothesizing all along where they was from and what they was doin on the moon, so they wasn't too surprised to find the spider chamber, though that meant some of the Pats owed other of the Pats part of their salary. Instead, what was most surprisin about the chamber was the little white balls that covered its interior. Pat 2 there explained that it was like bein inside a basketball that had been covered on the inside with a fine coating of golf balls. Well, they just had to know what was inside them little balls, so they started unravelin em. The first Alistair that got to the inside fainted and nearly died from the shock of seein himself paralyzed but alive. This was repeated over the hundreds of times they opened them balls. Inside each one of them, there was a perfectly preserved Pat or Alistair or, occasionally, a Jared. It was a bit like goin to the store and buyin one of them Homiez figures from the vending machine except this didn't cost a quarter, the homie inside was life sized, it was you and it was alive. Come to think of it, it's not at all like buyin one of them Homiez. I guess I just brought that up because I put all my Homiez up for auction on the E-Bay the day before I got sent here, and I was wonderin how the auction was goin. They're all in mint condition and I got the whole set from series one and two. I thought it was worth about $500,000, but I thought I'd start the bidding at $400,000. You know, play it cool for a bit. But now, I'm afraid the auction might be over and if I haven't contacted the buyer, they're not gonna buy it. I was gonna retire from all this ninja fightin business and by myself a little place somewhere with a porch that men like me could whittle and tell each other stories on. I guess I'll just have to start the auction all over again when I get back, but it's gonna hurt my seller rating.

Regardless, after openin up all their spider homiez, the Pat army knew they was in for some trouble. Them big ol' crazy warpin spider things obviously meant business. And it wasn't the kind of business that was gonna provide high returns on low investments, it was the kind that was gonna suck your soul out of ya and leave ya tied up in a big wad of silk unable to move, but no dyin. Somethin like insurance, but not as bad, if you know what I'm sayin. The real question was how on Earth, or on the moon, as it were, were they gonna fight an enemy that could dig perfect spheres and pack it full of people and animals without anyone knowin. It's sorta like askin how you're gonna fight Dick Cheney except, far as I could tell, the moon spiders wasn't big on shootin people in the face. The answer came to them all too quickly.

You see, as soon as they was finished gettin their buddies out of the shells and into the ICU, one of the spiders popped in to the chamber, saw what they was doin, dropped its newest package, and bit the nearest Pat. She screamed through her beard and fell to the ground, seemingly lifeless. As everyone ran over to help her out, she rose to her feet, said, "I'm feelin right funny," and then blinked out of existence. Wide-eyed, everyone stared at the space she used to be. Then they heard a voice from behind them sayin, "Hey, whatchyall lookin at? You been standin there the whole time?"

They all turned around to see a tanned, happy lookin Pat wearin a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops, holdin a coconut in her hand and lookin mighty strange. When questioned, she told them that, after the spider bit her, she thought she might want to spend a week in Maui, restin and recuperatin, and suddenly found herself in Maui. It wasn't as nice as people made it out to be, she told everyone sagely, there was too many cyclops there these days and they spent all their time throwin rocks at the passin ships and tryin to sink em. After sittin down and doin some math, the squimonk figured out she'd been on an Earth where the time passed much faster, where two seconds here was a week there. They also ran some tests on the Pat that was bitten and saw that, while she was bitten by the spider, she had taken on their abilities instead of goin into a coma. Test after test was performed after that, but they couldn't see any physiological difference between that Pat and most of the others that had been bitten by the spider. So then they figured maybe diet was a factor. They quizzed her about what she'd eaten that day and she told them she'd had her usual meal of two packs of bacon for breakfast followed by a jelly donut. The squimonk doctors checked this against the stomach contents of the frozen ones and saw that, among the Pats, most had less than two full packs of bacon in their stomachs with some having as little as one measly pack, though all had the jelly donut. It's nice to know there are other people out there like you, you know?

Once they got this figured out, they gave the sleeping ones an I.V. drip of bacon and they soon started wakin up and bouncin all over the universe. Pats were scattered hither and yon. Most often they showed up after spendin some time on Maui, but occasionally got into weirder stuff. Well, the squimonk decided that they couldn't wait around for passing spiders to randomly bite at them, and they sure as heck couldn't abide these spiders kidnappin their doppelgangers, so they got busy with the sciencin. Right away, they put all the Pats on a strick diet of two packs of bacon and a jelly donut for breakfast every mornin. It didn't put the Pats out too much, but there is now a new moon around Jupiter in this system that is made entirely of bacon grease. Every once in a while, they will fly their space piratin ships over to it and make popcorn or whatnot with their leavins. It's supposed to be a lot of fun to go slidin down the great grease mountains on your belly. After that, it was a simple matter of the squimonk isolatin the spider poison, synthesizin it in a lab, running experiments, sequencin genomes, mapping the knows universe, teaching the Pats what was on the map and how to use their jump powers for somethin more than quick vacations, and makin enough quantities of their chemical to give to all the Pats, and they were in business. The playing field had been leveled some. Now most of the Pats could bounce through space at will and it was just a matter of findin where the spiders were hidin, what they wanted and how they could be reasoned with or defeated. All in all, a pretty easy day's work for a hyper-intelligent creature, I should think.


kaploy9 said...

So, if there's a whole mess'a good-guy duplicates.. does that mean there's at least a few bad-guy duplicates too? :/

Pat O'Neil said...

I guess we'll just all have to wait and see, won't we, Mr. Too Impatient to Read All The Way Through The Story Which Doesn't Seem Like There's An Ending And Keeps Getting Weirder?

kaploy9 said...

Man, if you weren't in this whole "dropped into Drug-topia with Me, Myself, and I" situation and weren't rushed into a hurry as often, you could be a pastor; 'Cause you're preachin the truth, brother.