Sunday, November 8, 2009

Post #100: Aboard the Deus Ex Machina

I may not be the brightest knife in the drawer, but I sure as heck know a reference to eighth grade English class when I hear it. Sure, I may have no idea what it's talking about, but I sure as shootin remember that it is a reference to something from eighth grade English. And that's what that there Deus Ex Machina thing was. Now, I been around these here Squimonk for a time now, and I know they's hardcore nerds who talk about their fancy schmancy stuff all the time, tryin to act all uppity because they got big brains and they weren't dropped on their heads when they was babies and wasn't raised by an inarticulate family of harbor seals whose only literary discussion was one of 'em gettin into a coughin fit after forgettin to unwrap a cheeseburger before eatin it. Come to think of it, I prolly can't remember what Deus Ex Machina means because I was still relearnin English in the eighth grade. Either that or that's the week we put on that old Greek play and I was playin Zeus and at the end, when I was supposed to be lowered on this kinda machine thing, but Douggy was at the other end of the boom arm, and he was busy chattin up Helga Leibowitz, who he'd had a crush on since the third grade, but had never had the nerve to talk to, especially since her parents homeschooled her and never let her out except to go see "cultural events" like Greek plays and Kiss concerts. So Douggy wasn't really givin that boom arm his all and the whole machine that had the god Zeus (me) in it came crashin down on the stage, knockin me right out. I was out for three days, dreamin that I'd actually become Zeus and had to spend all my time wanderin around and gettin people out of impossible situations that they'd got themselves in because apparently, as a god, I didn't have nothin else to do but sole people's problems and get yelled at by my wife. I thought it was quite a headache until I realized the fly I swallowed was really causing me a headache and I had to take drastic measures. The doctors tell me that, in my sleep, I kept a running commentary of all this, which they'd neglected to tell Douggy, which is why I woke up from my coma to see him over my bed with his axe. I gotta say, for almost killin me twice in a week, he was bein a real stand-up guy.

I'm sorry, I got distracted there talkin about my role as a god in a machine, but I meant to be talkin about the Deus Ex Machina. Kinda funny how you can start talkin about one thing and end up talkin about somethin totally different. My first area of concern was not the name of the ship, though, but how it got there in the first place. But, not wantin to give away my intentions right away, I kind of sidled up to the question by askin about the name first.

"You see," Alistair explained to me, "we were working for some time on cracking the secret to faster than light travel. As I'm sure you know, due to the properties discovered by Einstein in his theory of general relativity, an object will increase its mass as it approaches the speed of light. If anything of any mass were to achieve the speed of light, it would become infinitely massive. Obviously, this is impossible. Even if it were possible, it would make travel even AT the speed of light a fatal proposition. This seemed to be a problem at first because everything with physical existence is supposed to have mass. Thus, theoretically speaking, travel at or above the speed of light should be impossible.

"However, after doing some research into cutting edge particle physics, we discovered a theory for the Higgs boson, which was said to be a particle with the special property of bestowing mass upon things. We built a pretty rudimentary particle accelerator in your backyard, did some experiments and came up with conclusive evidence of the existence of the Higgs boson. Then we developed a series of machines that would extract Higgs bosons from all of the atoms in a given area the size of this ship, developed an interstellar drive that takes advantage of gravity wells and we had an FTL ship."

"Well," I said, scratching my head, "that sounds fascinatin and everything, but it still don't say nothin about the name."

"Right. Well," he snickered, "That's a little joke. You see, the Higgs boson is known in some circles as the 'God particle' and, since we're taking the God from the Machine, we thought Deus Ex Machina was the most appropriate name."

I didn't know if that was clever or not, so I gave him a polite half-chuckle and moved on to what was really on my mind. "How in the heck did y'all find me?"

Alistair furrowed his brows. "You do remember running into Charles, do you not?"

"I sure do! We had pork sandwiches."

"Do you remember him giving you a button?"

I looked at my overalls. Sure enough, the button was still there. I pushed it out proudly, "You mean this button?"

"Yes," he said bluntly, "that button. As he was supposed to have told you, it contains a tracker. We can use it to follow you in the known universe."

"So let me get this straight," I said, "you got this Zeppelin that can go faster than the speed of light, and a machine that can track me anywhere in the universe..."

"KNOWN universe," he corrected.

"Fine, known universe, whatever. If you got all them fancy things, then what the heck took you so long to find me."

He closed his eyes and rubbed the spot between them. "Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I tell you we research particle physics, build a faster than light drive AND a machine that extracts ALL mass in a small area and you think it took us TOO LONG?!?! AUUUUGH!!!"

Then he turned around and stomped off, his furry little hands wavin above his head.

I looked at Douggy. "What's got his panties all in a bunch?"

"Man," Douggy put a hand on his shoulder, "if you think this is bad, you shoulda seen him when the blip that was you moved from one side of the screen to the other. I thought his furry little head was gonna explode. How ya been?"

"Well, I been in a robot fight on a world taken over by meth, taken a trip to the moon with space pirates that was really copies of me, drunk moon spider poison, and came here to be almost killed by a coupla ninjas dressed like unicorns, but other than that, I got no complaints. How bout you?"

"Good," he said, "good."

Alistair came back, lookin a little less ruffled. "Let's get you debriefed. Then we can figure out where we're going next."

So, I told them all about what had happened to me since I last saw em. When I told em about my newly found and then lost ability to teleport, Alistair said, "That explains the movement in the tracker. It wasn't a malfunction!"

It took me a little while to get through the whole tale. I digressed some, but Alistair kept me on task like he was an 1800's school marm and I was Huck Finn. After hearin everything, we decided it would be best for everyone involved if we travelled back to the world of the moon base and helped them in their invasion plans. All agreed, we set the coordinates and jumped back just in time to see the first of the fireballs shoot into the sky.


kaploy9 said...

You know, next time those Squimonk decide to give something a name, maybe they should call you first. I mean, I'm not too sure about everything, but I don't think a large portion of beings in the universe would get the pun in their names. (of course, if they actually like explaining their jokes and such, the situation reverses entirely)

kaploy9 said...

Also, congrats on 100 posts of what looks like to be reeeealy long acid trip. Or something like that. ;D

Drew said...

I think I've said this before, but Pat O'Neil may need drug rehab if he's getting into adventures like this because it sounds like an LSD trip.