Aragon Nixx-Sci-Fi Private Eye

 

by Solomon Tate

Aragon Nixx sat at a table by the window at Fran’s, nursing a cup of coffee for almost twenty minutes without taking a drink. He just sat there, stirring the spoon around and around, and every time he completed the circle, there was a clink as the spoon hit the edge of the cup. Dressed in a gray trench coat and fedora, he looked like he just stepped out of a Dashiell Hammett story. He said he was a sci-fi private eye, following clues that had led him across galaxies, as he searched for missing science fiction writers. He claimed to be the best although his reputation was solely based on his locating Agatha Christie so long ago.

By the end of the twenty fifth century, when fiction became fact, and everything that had once been mere fantasy had become the new reality, demand was placed on writers of science fiction to produce new worlds that could be abused and conquered. In this world it was not uncommon for science fiction writers to go missing. He was now in the midst of another case which involved the disappearance of the award winning writer, Kasper Kyro. Kyro was no ordinary writer. He had single handedly been responsible for individual time and space travel by simply manipulating thoughts. Nixx’s appearance at Fran’s that night was proof that it was possible to traverse space and time just by willing it.

“I’ve never heard of him.” I said.

“Well, that’s because he hasn’t been born yet. But in three or four hundred years, everyone will have heard of Kasper Kyro.”

Nixx said that it all began on Weaver’s Planet, a barren hunk of crap hurtling through space, where he had been forced to reside following a rather indiscreet transgression that involved the wife and daughter of the Governor of Stasis 6.  Kyro’s girl walked in to his office above The Parallax Bar and Grill, dressed in a black, leather body suit that left nothing to the imagination. He would have taken her right there on the desk if he could only have figured out how to get that damn body suit off.  She was concerned that he had not come home for almost a week, and had been to the police, but they didn’t take her seriously. One thing Nixx said he knew for sure was that no man would ever leave a woman like that alone for a week. At least not willingly. The clues Nixx had followed through time and space for the past three months had led him right to Fran’s.

And now I wait.” he said. “Sooner or later, he’ll walk in the door, and I’ll have him.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“Nothing.” Nixx said.. The job is only to find him. That’s it, really. Then I report my finding to the despondent girl friend, and pray that I can figure out how that damn body suit comes off.”

A tall man with a long, white beard wandered in to Fran’s clutching a small, leather brief case to his chest. He seemed anxious as hell, and sat at a table near the back of the restaurant. Nixx tried not to be seen.  “That’s Farberman.” Nixx said. “Dr. Martin Farberman, the physicist. About ten years ago he was working at some top secret government brain trust and then he disappeared. Rumor has it that he had inserted himself into a painting. Some friend of his blew up the lab and all of Farberman’s notes. No one has ever heard from him again. Things are certainly beginning to get interesting.” Kyro entered a few minutes later and sat down beside Farberman. Nixx watched and waited patiently, as he lit a cigarette.

“You can’t smoke in here.” I said.

“What?”

“Its the law. You can’t smoke in here.”

“What kind of hell is this?” he asked as he put the cigarette out in his cup of coffee.

“The worst kind.” I said.

Farberman handed Kyro the brief case which he attempted to hide under his jacket. Nixx was already halfway to their table before the writer even noticed him. “Call the police, please.” he said to the server as he passed by her. “I’m a private detective.”

“Kasper Kyro.” he said as he arrived at the table. “Please don’t get up. Your girl is worried about you.”

“She’s not my girl.” Kyro said. “She works for The Agency. She’s a spy.” The police arrived rather quietly and headed directly to the back of the restaurant.

“Mr. Nixx.” one of the officers said. “What do you have for us this time?”

“Constable Frayer” Nixx replied, “its good to see you again.”

“Its Detective Frayer.”

“How nice for you.” Nixx said. “I’m not sure what we have here, but I was hired to find Mr. Kyro, and well, here he is. I’m not sure what the story is with this other gentleman, but I suspect someone is looking for him as well.”

“Alright then.” the dectective said. “Well let’s go down to the station and you can give me a full report. The officers will take care of these two.”

“My friend there can corroborate everything.” Nixx said pointing at me.

“Anything you can add?” the detective asked me.

“Not really.” I said. “What’s going to happen to those two?”

“Nothing.” the detective said.

“And what about Nixx?”

“Well Mr. Nixx will be returned to his bed on the seventeenth floor of St. Michael’s Hospital. You’re free to visit him whenever you want to listen to his crazy ramblings.”

The detective left with Farberman and Kyro still seated at their table. They smiled, as Kyro reached into the brief case and removed what looked like a television remote control. “Tell Nixx we’ll see him again, sometime.” he said, and with the push of a button, the two of them vanished into thin air right before my eyes.

The Crazy Train

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

Drug induced psychosis is what the doctor said. Hell, we didn’t even know that was a thing. Drug induced psychosis. The more we heard those words, the more ominous it seemed. But I guess it was a big deal, I mean the doctor said he’d never really be the same. All they could do now was give him some pills that would mess around with his brain and settle him down and everything, which we found insanely ironic, I mean but that was exactly what got him into this mess. I guess life can be like that, sometimes. As we watched him in his bed sedated and strapped to his bed on the seventeenth floor, it was obvious that  Pauly Herman was pretty well fucked. I suppose it was bound to happen to at least one of us, I mean we were pretty messed up most of the time, riding the ebb and flow of the peyote express. Pauly was always up for the ride. We all were. We’d hang out for what seemed like days at a time, listening to ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ over and over again, as it carried us across deserts and oceans of mind blowing melodies catapulting us to the top of the mountain from where we were pretty sure that we could see the future. It was just what we did then. We’d invite Mindy Kessler and take turns with her in the bathroom.. She wasn’t very pretty, but there was little she wouldn’t do at the drop of a pair of pants.

Things got pretty weird sometime after side ‘A’. We were used to the flying monkeys and the singing grapes and everything, but this was a completely different kind of weird. Pauly met God, or so he said, right there in the kitchen. He didn’t stay long, but he told Pauly that there were only two truths. First, there are aliens living among us, and second, Paul McCartney was, in fact dead. I was already pretty sure that beings from another planet were living in my neighborhood, but the McCartney thing, well that was a pretty big deal. I can’t verify it or anything I mean, I didn’t hear God say a word.  By the time the sun came up we had all come down from the mountain top, although Pauly was still up there, convinced that we needed to sacrifice a virgin, even though not one of us knew of any. We thought he was just stuck in some kind of bad trip or something, but Mindy was sure that he had lost his fucking mind. We had to believe her I mean, she was a psych major and everything.

Pauly had always been a fairly normal guy, despite having only one testicle which, I was assured by a nurse, had absolutely nothing to do with his mental breakdown. I wasn’t as certain though, I mean I think anyone would be a little fucked up if they was missing a testicle. He didn’t lose it or anything, I mean it was just never there. It seems that it was stuck somewhere inside, although I have no idea what use it was to him there. From his stretcher in the E.R., Pauly reiterated all of the clues that existed in Beatles lyric and album covers that clearly noted the death of the famed musician. We had been over this before and the truth was none of us really cared. They were still The Beatles, and to be honest, we didn’t really think that McCartney had written anything of substance since well, forever. Pauly saw it as a great conspiracy, the grand cover-up that scammed a planet. He became loud and animated and was eventually subdued by two rather large security guards and a syringe in his ass. He was moved to the locked unit on the seventeenth floor, where he remained for twenty-three days. We visited him a few times during his stay and he was pretty much out of it most of the time. Whatever pills they were giving him seemed to have turned off his mind completely, but I suppose that was the point. I don’t think he knew we were even there. We took Mindy with us once in the hopes of cheering the poor bastard up I mean, who wasn’t happy getting a blow job, but Pauly wanted nothing to do with it. He pushed Mindy away every time she tried to touch him. After a while we just stopped visiting, I mean there seemed to be no point to it, really.

While he continued to have his mind reprogrammed, we were just hanging out for what seemed like days at a time, listening to ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ over and over again, fucked up on peyote, watching the flying monkeys devour the singing grapes. Mindy was on her knees, honing the skills that had made her a legend when we got the news. Pauly had died. They said it was sudden and inexplicable, but we all  knew that they were full of shit. Pauly just gave up, I mean there was still enough of him left to know that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life uninterested in blowjobs. With no desire to live, he simply slipped into oblivion and found his way back to the deserts and oceans of mind blowing melodies that carried him to the top of the mountain from where he would be able relive the past.

 

From Here To Uncertainty

 

by Solomon Tate

In the film, ‘Prozac Nation’,  the character Elizabeth Wurtzel states “You wake up one morning afraid you’re going to live.” And that’s exactly what it was like. For 2 years my life was no longer in my control as I spent my days consumed with overwhelming dread, and my nights, which seemed to go on forever, in horror that I was going to have to make it through another day. It settled in like a New England fog, without warning,  but with a darkness that was frightfully unsettling, leaving me cold and alone, until it had totally enveloped me. It occupied all of my waking hours, with relief found only in sleep. I was swallowed by an all encompassing fear that had settled in my head like an unwanted house guest that just never seemed to leave. With every passing moment the walls moved in closer and closer, encasing me in a prison that I couldn’t seem to escape.

Its easy to look back and try to sort it all out, but at that time, when I lived my life in quiet desperation, wallowing in the anguish that filled my thoughts, it was impossible to tell the difference between light and dark, although it really didn’t matter. I felt detached from the universe, a singular being drifting through time and space, battling demons that brought me to the brink of a madness that I both detested and feared. Most of all, I was afraid of being afraid. It was completely paralyzing, bringing only a constant, heightened sense of total and complete helplessness. Not knowing what the hell was going on, but certain that absolutely nothing could save me, I wandered around the house hoping to find something I could hold on to before I was swept away by the fear. It wasn’t always like this, though. As far as I remember my childhood was relatively normal, as I lived my typically suburban, middle class life filled with assorted superheros and nondescript cowboys. Outside of the crazy, old woman who lived across the street and threatened to have us arrested every time we played ball hockey on the road, nothing really bothered me. And yet, there I was, almost 20 years later, showing up at Emergency rooms,  on a revolving basis, at every hospital in the downtown core, and each time, sent home in perfect health. Even that never provided any reassurance. The feeling of impending doom that hung over me like a black cloud, continued to tighten its grip on my life. I shut off from the rest of the world, disappearing into my torment. I stopped eating and I stopped working, uncertain how much longer I would be able or willing to carry this burden, often staying in bed for days afraid to get up lest the terror should find me.

In the impending madness I discovered, contrary to popular belief, that it was not darkest before the dawn. It was darkest at twilight, when the fear & loathing ran rampant through my mind, dancing around my head, sending me spiraling down the rabbit hole of despair, knowing that I would have to relive this again tomorrow. It was like living a nightmare, the kind that seems so real. A constant, chronic nightmare with all of the scariest shit right there when I was awake. Every moment of every day I felt the hot, sticky breath of disaster on my neck. I was so aware of it, so tuned in that it became a part of me. At times it felt like I was the only one on the planet who had been doomed to live in this hell on earth, and I was certain that everyone could tell. I excommunicated myself from everyone, embarrassed and ashamed of what I was sure was weakness and failure. The isolation compounded the incessant fear and dread, driving me further and further into the abyss that had taken up permanent residency in my mind.

When I was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I felt a sense of relief. It was recommended that I get my hands on the book ‘Hope & Help For Your Nerves’ by Claire Weekes. I read this over and over again, looking for something, anything that I could hang on to in order to deal with the panic that had taken over my life. Over the next few weeks, the clouds began to dissipate, allowing me to see the sunlight for the first time in 2 years. I learned how to deal with the worry and the panic. I learned how to stop fighting the dread that was trying to consume me, how to accept it and to let it run its course until, much to my surprise and delight, it just simply went away. I found myself back in control of what was going on in my head. I learned that I was not alone in the darkness and that there was indeed hope and help. I learned that fear can be all consuming if it is allowed to. It thrives on the fight, growing stronger each time it is challenged. It cannot beaten in combat, but dies when offered acceptance and a willingness to let it pass on its own. I learned to ‘float’ through it, to sail along with it like a boat in the waves, and to live in the present, and stay the hell out of the future.

Decades have passed since those years of emotional insanity, and I continue to float through the eddies and currents of whatever life brings. I gave up the shame of being unwell, and wear my disorder with pride in the knowledge that I have not just survived, but have won the battle for control of my life. It is said that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, and I suspect that the strength I developed all of those years ago prepared me for the trials and tribulations that I have subsequently had to deal with. In the end though, the years have brought me peace and happiness, and that is really what life is about.