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Unplugging The Electric Potato Chip Cabinet

The first time I knowingly met Cassandra was at the last Suspender concert, on Halloween night in 1994.

I was trying to recover from Satomi Kurogane’s beat down, but my neck was sore and bruised, and I was coming down off of the DMT hard. The Children of the Collective had already entered the warehouse hours ago, and were preparing for their Greatest Show on Earth – bringing Sarah down to her Creation.

Not that I knew this – I was too busy counting all of the $20 bills that had appeared in my stinky jacket, and imagining just how much drugs they would buy me.

“You don’t need drugs.” A beautiful, bald girl in a vest made out of transparent USB cables, and a skirt made out of solid, striped and polka dotted neckties. “You should be buying what I’m selling, feel me?”

I felt her – in my head, my heart, my hot breath. She was visiting me in between moments, right before she died, before she crowned the Grand Supreme in 2011. She was Time, was the never-ending cycle, and she reached down with cold hands to help me to my feet.

“I’m Cassandra Schneider, and you’re my prom date. Come on, we’re late.”

With that, she led me by the hand as we walked through a still world. The cars, people, wind – everything was frozen as we slipped past Phone at the door of the warehouse, and walked inside.

“Stop looking for Jenny, and focus. This is the way the world ends.”

Suddenly, I noticed that there was some activity in the crowd of thousands of temporary punk statues, and I heard someone yell “Ajna! Now!”

I didn’t know who everyone was then, but I do now. Joey Koehler, his sister Miranda, and Aurora Travis rushed to the center of the frozen crowd, surrounding Emily (Sarah’s chosen host). They were flanked by a number of PRS units, and everyone was staring up at the ceiling, as long strings of blood trailed from the concertgoers’ mouths and noses, headed somewhere.

“Let me give you eyes to see. Here.” Cassandra touched me on the neck with her middle finger, and it felt like a billion flexible needles slipped into my skin, only to jump back out of every pore all over my body. I was burning with new connections, with a spine that could speak the Universal language, and I was overwhelmed not just by my rebirth, but the dark violet throbbing other that loomed overhead. It eagerly slurped up the blood sacrifice, as Emily held her hands up overhead, Joey caressing her back.

She was about ready to fill the Massive Cloud Burst, to realize the dream of the millennia. I knew what that meant now, as the Bodyweb buzzed behind my ears.

“Pay attention,” she whispered in my ear, as the room turned blue, and Miranda suddenly fell to the floor, followed by seething tendrils of burning black. Then it turned green, and Aurora slumped lifeless on top of Miranda’s evacuated body.

“I can’t be here any longer. Stay put, and no one will see you. I’ll come back for you when it’s all over.”

With that, Cassandra gave me a thumbs up and wink, as she slipped into another time in the same place.

Then someone appeared next to Emily – it looked just like Cassandra, only now she was wearing a wig made out of the same sort of USB cables, and a long dress consisting of sewed together punk band patches. It had a train like a wedding dress, only instead of silk, human femurs and ribs dragged behind her. She looked at me with empty eye sockets, and smiled before ripping Emily’s hands off at the wrist.

Grand Supreme, read the sash covering the patchwork dress. She dug a silver sphere from Emily’s broken hands. What had happened to Cassandra in those few moments?

So many things happened all at once. Joey tended to Emily’s injuries, kneeling in a pool of her blood. Ai reached out mentally and grabbed the Grand Supreme by the brain stem, while a blond girl grabbed the silver Massive Cloud Burst and ran it over to Tokie Murasaki.

This is when I witnessed the infinite, standing a few dozen feet in front of me.

This is when I heard SAR.AI, the trumpet of the first and final God, as it tried to repair our broken existence with sparking hands.

Whatever Cassandra did to me meant that no one could see me, not even the transformed Tokie, and in a few breaths our saviors were lying on the floor in piles of grey ashes.

I couldn’t understand what happened to Emily, nor the birth of Kaia Strauss from Cathy Koehler, but I was immediately struck by two things.

Ai Watson-Carver pleading with SAR.AI to release her from her duties, so she could be with her mother.

SAR.AI proclaiming: “Objective complete. Variant has been repaired. Prepare to shift back to July 4, 2011. 180 days to Point Zero, mark.”

I understood these things, and it wasn’t just the Bodyweb whispering its secrets to me.

I was always good at math, but my new body was better – it immediately calculated and told me that Point Zero would be December 31, 2011. When I asked about Point Zero, all that came back was an error message.

And when I looked at Ai, with her cascades of curly hair and Massive Cloud Burst shirt, I recognized her. As she burned to ashes at Tokie’s touch, I flashed back to 1986, to Thomason Memorial Hospital and Big Bill’s school for wayward children.

I was all about Jenny Samuels those days.

I had been waiting for days to see her again – after we almost had sex in the TV room, I was put in restraints, and she tried to kill herself with a letter opener she stole from Illyana. She was hospitalized off site, and didn’t come back until 10 days later.

“My name’s Douglas. I don’t know why I’m here.” I was tearing up the yellow card right in front of Big Bill and Illyana. One of the staff had to sign it every 15 minutes to an hour, depending on our current privilege status. I was on 30 minute checks, which took weeks to achieve, but at that point I didn’t give a fuck.

This was our daily group – we would exit the main hospital building past a pool table and sliding door, cross an open yard and the records building, and walk up a few dozen rickety wooden stairs to a house that had been converted to a special place for us teenaged fuckups. The “classroom” was on the first floor, while our confessional was on the second.

“Yes you do. Be honest with yourself, with us.” Big Bill has this bushy brown beard, like a lumberjack. He was annoyingly nice, and was really in to forcing people to vacuum the floors after each meeting – one of our chores.

“I said I don’t know. I should be in juvie, not some nut house.” I was messing with my hair – I cut almost half of it off yesterday, with scissors I borrowed from some collage activity. There were big scars on my scalp on the hidden side – while I was robbing a Circle X Jr. for drug money, the cashier shot at me and I went head first through the front window. It took months to heal, and I ended up at Thomason as part of the court-ordered remediation.

“Call it what it is. A psychiatric hospital…” Bill always liked to remind us we were clinically broken.

“And we’re the patients. We’re sick.” Jenny always gave Illyana the stink eye. I was so happy to see Jenny again that I couldn’t stop staring at her. She intentionally was avoiding my gaze.

Jennifer, you don’t have to be so negative.” Big Bill again, unwrapping a red and white peppermint.

“I’m sick. I’m always sick.” That was Towel. Everyone called her that, but now I remembered that she looked just like Ai. She was always brushing her curly hair, trying to straighten it out. If anyone made her put away the comb, she would go on and on about the filthy, invisible grease that was oozing out of her head – it was her sin made contageous. She had to comb constantly, or the creeping itch would drive her even crazier. That was enough to give her a free pass, at least for a few meetings.

Towel was really cute, and really weird. She had skin like perfectly toasted bread crusts, and she would always wear the same shirts – either the Massive Cloud Burst one with Satomi, Yuma and Masae on it in cosplay, or a bunch of shirts from bands I had never heard of, like Fuck Traffic or Potato Power.

Her best friend in the hospital was Paul the skater, and she would give him stickers from all of her favorite bands, in exchange for pool lessons. Paul was absolutely horrible at pool, and once Towel realized this, she went after me instead.

Quarter, what’s up with you and Jenny?” Towel used to always follow Jenny around in between meetings, a few dozen paces behind. Jenny just assumed she was as crazy as any of the adults that wandered the locked units, and she had her huge friend Eric run interference. He would follow Towel only a few feet behind, until she gave up and went back to her room, or managed to get permission to exit the locked unit for the pool table.

“She’s alright, that’s all.” That wasn’t all, but I wanted to play it cool. Before Laura Watson arrived, I had lots of time to think of random reasons to talk to Jenny, or to end up at the same lunch table. I couldn’t explain it then, but now it’s the most obvious thing in the world – she was the only one I ever wanted.

“I heard from someone that she really likes you.”

“Stop fucking with me.”

“No, really. Do you want me to talk to her for you?”

Towel was like that. She was always butting into everyone’s business, and she even volunteered to talk to Illyana for extra one-on-ones. It’s not like I hated her, but if it wasn’t for her crazy cute shine, I don’t think I could have standed her.

“Please don’t. Just leave me alone and don’t bring it up again, OK?

“OK, OK, fine.” She did some crazy 3 bank shot that no one could have taught her so soon, and walked out past the sliding glass doors.

Towel didn’t try to play pool with me again, but Jenny started to join in for a few minutes here and there. She actually would talk to me at breakfast or in line between hospital events – we had to walk single file from location to location, or when we had to pick up meds from convenient windows. The TV room was only for those who were totally locked down – once you joined the youth group, you couldn’t go back down there. We couldn’t visit each others’ rooms, so we had to take advantage of each little random moment.

That all changed when Laura Watson came. She was half-Japanese or something, with crazy blue hair and all of these marking pen lines and circles all over her body. When she came in, she was just wearing an open-backed hospital gown over a frilly bra and panties – there was a huge ruckus before they managed to get her into isolation, and I saw her for a few moments after I peeked out of my room.

The next day, she was roaming around the hospital like it was hers, and walked up to Jenny when we were playing pool. She just took her hand and walked into the locked unit, and I followed in after them, totally pissed off.

Towel was already following them, wearing a bright red Fire Escape shirt, and she gave me a “sssshh!” finger-face as Jenny and Laura approached an emergency exit. “Subway’s here.”

There were alarms everywhere, as Laura stood by the open door. Jenny didn’t know what to do – she was still holding on to a vending machine knob, the same machine we used to hide behind, so the cameras couldn’t see us kiss. She called it the “electric potato chip cabinet”.

Before the staff members could react, Towel rushed down the hall like a runaway train, her curly hair flapping behind her. Shoved aside overly medicated zombified patients, grabbed Jenny and Laura by the waist, flew through the exit doors, and bounded in one leap over an iron fence and onto the roof of a neighboring house. Gone.

These memories are all wrong. They keep changing and shifting – weren’t Laura and Towel there for weeks before they finally escaped? Was it Jenny and Laura that walked out of the front door, or did Towel leave too?

I was convinced a few days ago that there was something of the utmost importance I had to convey, that involved Ai Watson-Carver and Thomason. Now, I don’t know at all.

I just went to check on a few things – my memories no longer match what Jenny wrote in Antizine, or even what I was sure about a few weeks ago. The three of them did leave that day – I’m sure about it.

I remember that I spent extra time with Illyana, trying to process not having Jenny around. Illyana was very nice about it, and she was extremely interested in if I heard Laura mention anything before she left. I couldn’t remember a thing, and that seemed to piss her off, but she still held it together with a smile.

I was only there a few more weeks, and I spend most of the time hanging out with my roommate, Arnold. He was this black guy who also grew up in Oakland, and he was very smart. We used to spend our free time playing HORSE, on the courts on the other side of the records bungalow, and he had all sorts of crazy stories to tell.

He used to like to imagine what it would be like if Laura had stayed at the hospital, instead of leaving with Jenny like that.

“After college, I’m sure we would meet again. I’d be working at a department store, or maybe a bank, and she’d just walk right in. It would be perfect – we would live on the road and get into all sorts of shit.”

“Well, if Jenny had stayed behind, I’m sure that we would have been together, too. I could just feel it.”

“Don’t be so sure.” Arnold always liked to say that. “Maybe she wasn’t meant to be with you after all. Maybe she had a higher calling.”

That was enough to make me miss my shot. “Fuck you and your higher calling.” I started to rush off the court.

Doug! Don’t make me run after you. Chill out and sit the fuck down.” He pointed me towards a wooden bench, over by the tall fence that separated us from the urban chicken farm.

I don’t know what’s happening. Are these really my memories, of Arnold giving me his last lecture?

“Listen. There is a higher calling. It’s not what you wanted it to be, and it’s not loud enough for everyone to hear. Laura and I had to come back for you, before everything changes for good. Our daughter has a plan, and she hasn’t forgotten about you. She just couldn’t allow you to write down the prophesies.”

Wait a minute – was Arnold just John Carver projecting in? What prophesies was he talking about?

“The reality you know will be over soon. Just listen to Cassie and everything will be OK. I have to go now.”

He stood up, and looked over to the fence beyond the youth building. A car stopped for a moment, and he waived at it.

“Just promise me to look in that box I left under Arnold’s bed. Take it, and keep it safe, until the time is right.”

Then he tossed the basketball over to me, and took three huge leaps up and over the two story tall fence. By the time I could register what just happened, the car had already driven away.

I found the box under Arnold’s bed right away, before staff started to freak out about his absence.

It was a cardboard, Circle X brand shoebox, filled with scraps of drawings and hand written notes on hospital stationary. They were Jenny’s notes, made while she was stuck in bed after her latest suicide attempt. “Hate everything, to make room for love” was on the top of one, along with J + D in a small heart on another. There were a few stray hairs left behind in between the pages, and I gathered them up into a small plastic bag. I kept that box in my closet until recently, when Cassandra told me to carry the hairs to Munich.

I’m not sure what to tell you. The End of All Existence is tomorrow, and the most basic things that have been guiding me no longer seem to be true.

Did Antizine even exist, if Laura and Jenny didn’t start working on it together at Thomason?

Where did Ai take Laura and Jenny, and why was John Carver at Thomason?

If the past has really changed, then how come I still have older blog entries that reflect the previous version? Wouldn’t they just melt away, replaced by the new version?

The worst thing is that I don’t even have time to worry about it. I have to spend the next 24 hours running some final errands for Cassandra, and I don’t think I’ll have another opportunity to say goodbye.

So, this is it. I don’t know you, and I probably never will. Still, I hope something about what I had to share was helpful, that something about my life would have taught you a lesson that I couldn’t learn.

You will be contacted soon – you’ll hear the clear, trumpeting call, and I hope you can seize that final opportunity.

Don’t be afraid to leave all you know behind – what awaits you will more than make up for that.

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Your Final Door Is About To Open

This is a simple post, to reassure the worried.

At 11:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) on December, 31, 2011, every doorway across the world will become a portal to The Structure.

During that hour before Midnight, a message will go out to every person that’s alive, no matter where they are, inviting them to step through into the beyond. Cassandra will be there to hold everyone’s hand as they leave this dying world – if you can’t stand, walk, or are asleep, she’ll still meet your spirit and offer the final choice.

You can walk through without leaving – just decline the invitation. No instruction manual is needed, for the just born or those taking their last breaths – you will understand the clear call, and you can take it, or leave it.

Your Final Door has to open at that time – it cannot appear before, and will never appear again.

As I’ve said before, those who are left behind will face the End Of All Existence. No one knows what that will entail, but it’s not what we have now. It’s nothing we’ve ever seen, or can see. How does one contemplate nothingness from within it?

I have lots to do in the last days. Even if no one will get a chance to read it, I’m still going to finish my story of Thomason Memorial Hospital, and the time I spent there in 1986 with Ai Watson-Carver. It may be the most important thing I’ll ever write.

I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that Ai, or Jenny Samuels, or anyone else is going to swoop down and save us all. We will lose, and lose badly, but the trick this time will literally be how we play the game.

Even if the board is upturned, and new pieces have to be placed one at a time. Even if the rules have to be written again from scratch.

You can take your Final Door, and join us as the new rules are written.

You can ignore the warning, and take your chances with Helena The Grand Supreme’s Checkmate.

Either way, I truly hope I do meet you again someday, for the first time.

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The Frisbee Diaries

On Halloween night in 1994, as the sun was setting in Berkeley, California, I was hanging around a warehouse near the Aquatic Park, waiting for a concert to begin. I didn’t have a ticket, and was hoping to run into Jenny Samuels so she could put me on the list.

She was my “girlfriend” for a few days in 1986, while we were both teenage patients at Thomason Memorial Hospital. Actually, she was only 12, but my poor excuse at attraction was OK since I was only a few years older. Well, it wasn’t actually OK, since when they caught us making out, I was put on restrictions, and was no longer allowed to be alone with her.

I wanted her with all of my being, and for a time it seemed she felt exactly the same. I know I should believe Cassandra when she says Jenny and I were literally fated to be together, until the Universe changed and her heart was forcibly pointed elsewhere. It’s just that idea makes it even worse – we were supposed to be together, until something really big was fucked up. Then everyone moved on but me – she never stopped burning my skin, my soul.

Not that it really matters – things changed permanently, and fast. Once she found Laura Elizabeth Watson-Carver, when she somehow ended up at that same hospital, then all bets were off. Jenny saw Laura as her soul-mate, her one true love from that point onwards, and in many ways that’s true. They were together even after they were apart, but Laura moved on to get married and have a girl, while Jenny was left holding on to stray copies of antizine with rusted staples.

But, that laser focus and life-long sadness isn’t what defines Jenny, nor is that why I’m talking about her now. Jenny Samuels is the former host of the one, true world-destroyer – Sasha OS. I don’t want to get too much into the specifics now, because the truth (for the most part) has already been revealed in the Frequently Asked Questions, and elsewhere. Just keep in mind that Sasha OS, a gift and curse from Sarah herself, was conspiring in the very same warehouse building I so desperately wanted to get into.

All of the bands were going to be there. There was a rumor that this could be Suspender’s last show ever, which caused a massive rush for tickets earlier in October. Some of the fliers posted on redwood telephone poles throughout the East Bay were calling it “Slide Rule School”, but it seemed like you couldn’t actually get in unless you were already etched.

I was there in the hospital when Frisbee (Laura Watson) called forth the plans for all Antennas out of thin air, out of her connection to Sarah. She wouldn’t shut up about Sarah, and was so crazily specific in her “news bulletins” from the future that I started to take notes. Over those two months or so, I filled up 13 college-ruled spiral-bound notebooks I “borrowed” from Big Bill and the on-site school for younger patients.

13 journals with detailed descriptions of not just the future from 1986 to 2012, but a large number of Variant futures that Laura wasn’t quite sure how to fit in her rambling narrative. They were in Frisbee speak, full of fractured metaphors, invented slang and inside jokes, but they also had many moments of scary clarity.

Back then, it was just a way to pass the time, and to get closer to Jenny, since she and Laura were increasingly inseparable. I didn’t take them too seriously until Satomi Kurogane appeared in the hospital one night, after Jenny and Frisbee escaped for the second time, and right before I was finally discharged.

Like I said earlier, I don’t want to waste your time, so let me get down to the essential details. The first time I saw Satomi was at Thomason, when she just walked into the cafeteria one morning when I was having breakfast – oatmeal and milk, due to habit. She was wearing a frilly, purple mini-dress, which I now know was her cosplay outfit from Massive Cloud Burst, and she walked right over and sat at my table. She had on a hospital bracelet, but seemed absolutely foreign, and before I could ask her anything, she took the fork out of my hand and set it down on the table.

“You’re Quarter, right?” She called me by the nickname Jenny gave me, that followed me ever since she started to publish antizine, and told unflattering tales of me at Thomason. I couldn’t stop staring at the woman’s eyes – she looked so sad and worn down.

“Yeah.” I assumed that maybe she was an eccentric visitor with a fake bracelet, interacting with a patient she didn’t know for the thrill, until she started talking again.

“I’m Satomi. Yuma is dead, and Masae is missing. Cassandra sent me back from 1994 to get the Frisbee Diaries. Take me to them now.”

For a moment I was worried that I was off my meds somehow, or that I had just been sprinkling my oatmeal with crack. I didn’t have the 13 notebooks memorized, but I remembered Frisbee going on and on about Die Database, the band that Masae, Yuma and Satomi had started in 2008. Frisbee was adamant that Satomi was going to visit this hospital and “steal all of the chickens”. One of the hospital’s neighbors had a little urban farm, so I just assumed that’s what she was talking about.

I’m not quite sure why I took Satomi back to my room. Perhaps it was because she was a cute, adult woman paying me attention, or maybe she was influencing my mind via her ties to The Collective. Maybe both, but I just put my full tray of food on the cart by the door, and led her towards the unlocked unit.

“This one.” I pointed her to my room, which was somewhat nice – large cabinets to keep your clothes in, large curtains to pull around your hospital bed – and my former roommate (Arnold, Frisbee’s side crush) had been released a few days prior, so we didn’t have to worry too much about unexpected visitors.

I was worried about being discovered, due to the litany of rules we had to memorize by heart, passed down orally from patient to patient, including “No guys in girl’s rooms, no girls in guy’s rooms, no free shows.” Thus, I was terribly nervous to have her in my room, looking as she did, as I pointed her to a shelf in the closet.

She was taller than me, so she barely had to reach up for it. Wrapped up in a plastic, red and black Circle X bag – the future.

She peeked inside, and took out what looked like Volume 7, which covered the year 2000. That was when Frisbee was supposed to die, after which she started to back and side track across all of the Variants. That was the year the Infinite Subway was finished, the very same mechanism that brought Satomi to see me.

Douglas. You can’t realize how many people have died over what’s in these books.” Bundled the bag back up, and held it tightly to her chest. “You can’t realize how important you are to the world, without even trying.”

Walked over to me as I stood watch by the door, and kissed me on the cheek. Instinctively, I reached out and tried to kiss her back, for real that time, but then found myself frozen as she shook her head, and walked down the hallway towards the lobby and front entrance.

“The next time we meet,” she said in my head as she walked out the front door of Thomason, “you’ll recognize me, but I won’t know you. I’ll treat you terribly, but please don’t take it personally. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

That’s it – in 1986 I wrote down everything that Frisbee said about the future, and weeks later Satomi came from that future to take those diaries, and thank me for writing everything down.

When I finally was able to move again, after she was fully outside and already heading down the hill towards MacArthur BART Station, I immediately checked in with Illyana, certain that I needed more meds. I still wasn’t convinced that Satomi wasn’t an imaginary friend, but for some reason she didn’t block her visit out of my memory, like I now know she could have.

You would think that would have been a guiding force in my life, from when I was released to a half-way house, to when I dropped out of high school (again) and started to follow Jenny and the world that antizine represented around the country. She usually paid me little mind, getting me into shows only to ignore me if I ever approached her. Still, I was able to make a life for myself in Fairview, Minnesota – the city that no longer exists.

I have a lot more to say, but here is the takeaway:

I met Satomi in 1986, and gave her the Frisbee Diaries that included thousands of prophetic facts.

In 1994, while waiting for the Slide Rule School concert, I saw Satomi again, wearing the exact same outfit. She was in line with the rest of Die Database, and the Daughters of the Collective, the holders of the Primary Forces.

I was sitting with a bunch of random gutter punks and homeless teens, high out of my mind on DMT. As she was walking past, I stood up and screamed “Where are my fucking diaries! Where is my mind?” I reached for her arm, only to find it around my neck, and she choked me unconscious.

I imagined they had a good laugh. They didn’t know who I was, other than a crazy guy hanging around the bushes. When I woke up, perhaps an hour later, they were already inside the warehouse. I found around $5000 in my army surplus jacket pockets, all in $20s.

Later that night, they would all be dead, or missing.

Later that night, is when Cassandra came to visit me, and when I became Brother Douglas.

I’ll tell you all about that next time, along with another important visitor to Thomason back in the day – Ai Watson-Carver, Laura Watson’s daughter from the future, and the one chosen by The White to usher all souls into its maw.

Ai was Death, and was on strike to visit the mother she barely knew.

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One Month Left

Please accept my apologies for the lack of communication during the past weeks – I was in a different city and year most every day, following Cassandra’s elaborate and necessary plan, and meeting with other members of her Brotherhood.

I only made it back to Berkeley, California last night, and I had to sneak through an emergency exit at the Berkeley BART Station, so the Infinite Transit Authority wouldn’t catch me. Even though Cassandra made the system, there are members of the Structure at large that tend to meddle, lest anyone escape our Universal prison.

I need to focus. I have to work past the pain, and the scars, and my bleary eyes from lack of sleep and existence lag. There’s only a month left before everything ends, and now that I’ve had my last vacation, my last chance to see this dying world, all I have left is a sprint towards the finish.

It’s a sprint because of the forces at work, the constant interplay between the Pure Land and Dark Antennas, The White and The Black. They’re at each other’s throats now, and a perfect example of that was my trip to Munich, Germany on November 20.

Some of the things I have to discuss won’t make perfect sense until I finally get around to accounting for my time at Thomason Memorial Hospital, but that story is so long I’m not yet finished with the post. The only thing you need to know now is that I transcribed a large amount of Laura Watson-Carver’s prophesies about the future, from 1986 to 2012, and I was well aware that she made a big fuss over the “exploding alliance and flaming swabs” that was supposed to happen in late November, 2011. I didn’t quite know what that was to entail, and neither did Cassandra, since it represented a “future”, variant time she didn’t get a chance to explore when she was alive.

Instead, she sent me to Munich on a seemingly simple mission – to rendezvous with Kaia Strauss and her daughter Ariel, the estranged “twin” of Miranda Sasha Koehler, the Chosen Light. Catherine Koehler was cloned at Point One in 1994, while she was pregnant with Miranda. That second Catherine was given the identity of Kaia Strauss – a person that did not exist before that point. She raised Ariel in the United States, Germany, Japan and a number of other countries, and protected her from detection via the powers over Spirit that Ai Watson-Carver transferred to her before Ai’s death.

Unlike Catherine Koehler’s broken relationship with her daughter Miranda, Kaia and Ariel are very close, and have never had any tension between them. Miranda’s powers over Matter were suppressed by her mother, while Ariel’s abilities were encouraged from when she was a very young age. Now the were both 16 years old, and couldn’t be more different.

My insertion point was Hauptbanhof Munich, the central train station. Even though I have very little Meridian Scaffolding, Cassandra did etch the back of my right palm years ago, with a fairly unlimited pass to the Infinite Subway. I’m not able to take every door, but I managed to travel from BART system in the San Francisco Bay Area to Germany, finding an exit in a rarely used passageway leading towards the U1 subway platform.

The central part of the train system in Munich is fairly crowded, so I thought it safer to physically ride to my destination, as opposed to take any visible shortcuts that might freak everyone else out if they were looking my way. It didn’t take more than a few minutes for Kaia to “ping” my Spirit, and I let her take over, plotting a route via the U1 line to Sendlinger Tor station, and transferring there to the U6 train headed to Fröttmaning.

I noticed that Fröttmaning had a big “soccer” (football) icon next to it on the map, so I assumed that there must be a stadium there. While the U1 train was old, blue and dingy, with scratched interior wood paneling, the U6 was gleaming and modern, with curved, yellow-tan wooden seats, and a clear view from one end of the train to the other via a long, open passageway between cars. Most of the stations were similar, except Münchner Freiheit, which had mirrored ceilings and glowing blue columns. Most e-punks stayed away from that station, since it was known to be “haunted” – many of the etched ended up permanently changed after hanging out there for more than a few minutes. As we rolled away from that station, Kaia explained in my head long distance that it was a major node for Sasha OS, with a massive server cluster hidden in that area. She didn’t go further, except to say that her apartment was nearby, “to keep an eye on things.”

Stations passed, and after exiting the underground tunnels, it took another 10 minutes before we finally arrived under the white canopied Fröttmaning station. Kaia led me up the wide stairs to a pedestrian overpass, that bridged a series of tracks filled with old U1 trains – it seemed to be a train garage area. Off in the distance I could see the football stadium, which reminded me of a large, squashed, quilted roll of toilet paper. In the other direction was the Busbahnhof Fröttmaning (a two story bus station), a huge car dealership, and other boring structures.

It was Sunday, and since FC Bayern lost the day before, the grounds were almost empty, save for a few fans every hundred feet, slowly strolling to and fro. Nothing was going on, but it seemed they were happy enough to walk a few thousand feet towards the stadium and exit after a few minutes.

After I passed a huge, blue cube on top of a skinny pole, with “U” in white on all 4 sides – designating the area where drunken fans could buy train tickets after a game – I couldn’t help but notice a series of other white poles, leading up to the fenced in entrance to the stadium. They had prominent bulbs on top, advertising where to go for tickets or other services, and they looked like immense cotton swabs, with one end stuck in the brown grass and concrete. Off in the distance, on a hill beyond a highway, was a huge, slowly spinning turbine leisurely collecting energy from the wind, next to upside down conical structures that I thought were large grain silos, for lack of a better guess.

I walked towards the stadium, taking a random asphalt path that meandered back and forth up a slight incline, past a number of short, concrete walls. I just assumed they were architectural flourishes, and kept on underneath the white swabs until the name of the stadium, in huge blue letters against the quilted structure, finally registered: Allianz Arena. I realized that I had made a transcription error back in 1986 during one of Laura’s rants – it should have been “exploding Allianz and flaming swabs”. I stopped in my tracks, suddenly terrified.

Kaia’s voice continued to call for me – it seemed to be coming from within the arena. I was close enough then to see that foot traffic was allowed past the grey, metal turnstiles, and that a few of the large doors seemed to be open for visitors. It was almost pitch black inside, except for a bright ribbon of light and color beyond the mezzanine and towards the field. A chain-link fence blocked access to the stairs, leading in either direction, so all I could make out was a far away tour group sitting close to the field, a streak of grass, and a few advertisements for Sony Ericsson and Ford near the goal.

A few minutes passed, and then Kaia led me to a metal door. I didn’t bother to read the sign, but once I walked in it was clear that I had entered a long, beige, graffiti filled toilet. Most of the writing by the long, metal urinals was in red and black – a few weakly written tags, a huge black “BAYERN” for those who wanted to represent Bavaria and the football team in question. Stickers were everywhere, for this rave and that band, and it looked like the janitorial staff stopped trying to half-tear them off of the urinals and walls after the first hundred.

I could hear a slight knocking over by the toilets, which were covered by similar graffiti and stickers inside and out, and in a stall I found Kaia standing on top of a closed toilet seat, in a frilly, black Victorian dress, adding a Die Database logo sticker into the mix. She turned around and smiled as she stepped down.

“It’s been like forever.” Placed her hands on my shoulders, and checked me out at arms length. “Ugh, your etching offends me, but it’ll have to do. 6 minutes Doug E. Fresh you’re on. After you…”

She pointed me out of the bathroom door covered with slogans I’m glad I couldn’t understand, and we exited the arena.

“I have to apologize for the subterfuge. Ariel is having one of her Miranda days – she’s off sulking underground, because her frogs keep dying. This way.”

We passed back through the turnstiles, and walked past a sunken area where tickets are sold. The booths were Sunday quiet, with absolutely no one anywhere near the thick metal barriers that usually corral everyone, leading up to each window. Past that we approached one of the concrete structures I ignored before, and next to it was a darkened stairway leading downwards. Was the entire stretch of land leading up to the arena actually hollow?

Apparently so. There actually was a large, 4 story parking structure below ground, divided in many sections and accessible via the stairs. In the center of each substructure was a hole leading to the sky, letting in light and hiding a series of squat metal cylinders on the “real” ground level – they looked like fans or air ducts. There didn’t seem to be any cars parked in the 4 story section we just entered.

There was a yellow ticket machine – perhaps 2 meters tall – by the stairs, and an elevator a few steps away . In the distance, past a series of squared off concrete columns holding everything up, were open, fenced in sides, letting in more light. Kaia started walking towards a far off corner, where there was a shadowy figure giving off periodic flashes of light.

El, I told you to wait until I got back. Look at that mess!” Moving closer, it looked like there was a fleshy pile of something next to the seated girl. She was wearing a red, FC Bayern jersey, with her long brown hair tied into a ponytail, and she kept jerking her right arm towards the pile, followed by a flash and brief squirming. “Please, clean that up for our guest.”

“Yeah, yeah. There.” As soon as I could verify that it was a huge pile of colorful, tropical frogs, the dead heap collapsed into dust which blew away in a cold breeze – it was almost freezing that day, but still bright out.

“We’ve been practicing our amphibians, but Ariel is a perfectionist.” Kaia walked up to her and kissed her on the head.

“It’s one thing to just make something cool, but I was trying to find the right gene to express the perfect shade of neon blue on their backs. I must have went through hundreds of them while she was waiting for you to come.” Ariel stood up on the cement, spotted with motor oil and little pebbles from the walkways above.

“She’s a real handful lately – thinks she can create life without me. Dear, flesh without a spark is just a big, dead mess.”

“OK, fine.” She took a wary look at me. “I’m learning how not to speak my mind on occasions like this, but man – how long have you had that lock of hair again?”

“Since 1986. I know, I know, but Frisbee asked me to keep it safe for her.” Ariel was referring to a small bit of dark, brown hair that I brought to Munich in a plastic bag in my wallet. Instead of an expired condom, a little piece of Jenny Samuels from way back when, that Cassandra had me dig out of a shoebox.

I handed the hair over to Ariel, and she carefully opened the bag, held it up to her nose, and took a whiff. “The DNA is barely usable, but it’ll do in a pinch. Are you sure she’s the one you want?”

“I have my instructions – Jenny always comes first.”

“Ida know… let me call her up, just in case.” Ariel zipped the tiny bag of hair closed, put it in the front, right pocket of her loose fit blue jeans, and then looked over at Kaia. “Incoming…”

With that, a blank, plastic figure appeared. What Tokie Murasaki calls a Plastic Robot Sculpture, or PRS for lack of a better term. It was standing at attention, arms length from Ariel, and it seemed like it was quickly shifting from a blur to perfect focus as she slightly wiggled her fingers.

“There. It took a few seconds to find enough PET in the trash cans around here, but whatever. Mom?”

Kaia closed her eyes for a moment, and then walked over to the stiff, plastic figure and hugged it. A few moments later, the Ghost of Jenny Samuels entered the unit, and a holographic projection of her hugged Kaia back. Then Jenny turned to me, and frowned.

Quarter… what am I going to do with you?” I had seen her around Berkeley over the years, but whenever I approached she acted like she didn’t know me. In a way she didn’t, due to the mental straightjacket The Collective put on her. “Twenty five years is way too long to not give up on me. I already gave up on me ages ago.”

Jenny was wearing a light blue t-shirt, that had a photo Laura Watson-Carver on it, holding a sign that said “antizine!”. I took that photo in 1986, at Thomason Memorial Hospital, with the urban chicken farm fence in the background. Jenny’s father left an expensive Pentax camera for her at the hospital, and she wanted me to capture her and Laura at the moment their printed baby was conceived. There was a third photo, of both of them kissing as they held the sign, and I still have a copy of it in the same shoebox. It was the cover of Antizine 4.

“Gush! What memories!” Ariel apparently was poking in my head when I thought of the three photos. She pointed at Jenny. “Does Jenny know? Do you know how he really feels about you?”

I started to stare at my feet, because I didn’t think she did know, especially after what she wrote about our brief time at the hospital. I did have a “girlfriend” I was always trying to call, but that was just Rachel, who in reality barely paid me the time of day. She was just someone to obsess over, until I met Jenny, that is. It started all wrong, but the day she ran away with Laura is the day my heart broke permanently. No one else was ever the same, but first love always has that sting.

“I know.” She walked over to me, arms opened in the universal shape of an impending hug. “When you pass on everything becomes clear.”

So I hugged her, and felt her warmth past the hard plastic core that carried her.

“I’m sorry I was so hard on you, Doug. Deep down I knew you were serious – why else would you have followed us on the road so long?” She let go, and then placed her right hand on my hairy cheek. “I was your Laura – the one you were always chasing. I love you for that, even though I could never chase you back.”

I didn’t know quite what to say. I felt like crying, like screaming, like ripping out my tired heart for her to see it. Instead, I just took her hand off my face and held it for a moment longer than I wanted to. “It’s good to really see you again, after all of these years.”

“I can’t tolerate this! Get a virtual room already.” Ariel was holding a tiny thunderstorm in the palm of her hands, with lightning tickling her fingers.

“Hint taken.” Business trumped nostalgia. “Jenny, Cassandra wants you to come back first, in the flesh. Do you have any objections?”

She frowned at me again, but ended it with a smirk. “Are you sure that’s what Cassie wants? Or is that what you asked her to do?”

Unfortunately, Jenny had me dead to rights. I didn’t ask Cassandra for anything, but when she mentioned Jenny I couldn’t believe my luck. It didn’t matter how pivotal she was to the overall plan – I just couldn’t stop wishing to somehow hold her close again, even as the Universe tore apart.

“Goddess Sarah! Please spare me his artificially sweet thoughts. He wants you, she wants her, and I want to just get out of here, before my evil twin figures out who was messing with her hotel safe. Deal?”

Jenny turned away, and walked over to Ariel, knocking the storm out of her hands with a puff of vapor. “You may be cuter than fuck, but if you don’t take it down infinite notches, you’ll regret it.”

Ariel looked honestly shocked for a moment, and then grinned as she bro-punched Jenny in the shoulder. “I’ll take that as a yes, please give me my body back, O Goddess. Just gimme a minute.”

The chill suddenly increased, to the point that Kaia and I started to exhale white condensation. Ariel waved us aside, as a roughly humanoid shape started to grow out of the concrete floor. It was like a grey gingerbread cookie, with the best outline of a person a young child could come up with.

“Stop thinking so stupidly! Resurrection clouds are for babies!” She growled at me, as the pile of dirt and rubble quickly tightened into what looked like a clay sculpture of Jenny. Ariel then took out the baggie of hair from her pocket, put a few strands in her mouth, and swallowed them with a small stream of water she called out of the air.

“Mom, get ready.” She turned to me. “I assume you don’t want 12 year old hospital Jenny, right?”

“Actually, it’s complicated. Kaia, please just call Cassandra up so she can explain.”

Kaia shrugged, and then closed her eyes. For a fraction of a second it seemed like she just blanked out of the parking garage, replaced by a white silhouette. When she came back, she was crying.

“She has to be 12, dear.” She wiped her eyes with a forearm swipe. “Just do it.”

I fully expected another annoyed comeback from Ariel, but she seem genuinely touched by her mother’s tears. Instead, she got down on her knees next to the shape of Jenny, and put her left hand on her pelvis.

“Decide quickly if you want to see this, Douglas. It’s never going to clear your eyes.”

With that, Ariel’s left hand started to glow like red lava. Her right hand…

She was right – I still can’t stop seeing what happened next.

Ariel’s right hand penetrated her own pelvis, cutting through her jeans like they were water, and took out the lower end of her own spine, covered in twitching red veins and arteries.

She yanked on her spine, pulling it out like a corn husk. It flopped about like a dead snake, and periodically each chakra would appear… I can’t explain it. It was all representational, yet actually happening – Ariel had temporarily turned her own body into a Jenny factory, using trace amounts of her DNA to clone her in the most visceral way possible.

I’m sorry – I just can’t describe it. She was holding her own spinal cord and brain in her hands. Her body was zipped open and turned inside out, surrounded by a throbbing blackness – the darkest midnight possible.

The unfolded Ariel had innumerable tentacles made of nerves, arteries, bone and hair, moved by congealed blood and lymph. She sculpted new cells, bones and organs, and then flowed into the Jenny blank, devouring the dust only to regurgitate new flesh.

I couldn’t handle contemplating it, but I could never look away. She was giving her inexhaustible life to a Black Construct, while Kaia sat by her side, probing the new body and changing the essential spark to Jenny’s.

Just when Ariel started to breathe from her own lungs again, she turned her skinned head upwards, and let out a scream that literally took the air out of the garage.

I fell to the ground and threw up, only to see Miranda, The Chosen Light, sitting next to the half-completed Jenny.

She had a shaved head, and a puffy blue jacket on.

She was tearing Ariel’s unraveled muscles, bone and skin off of Jenny’s naked, new body like she was pulling ivy from a fence.

Ariel was clearly vulnerable during the reincarnation process, and I could tell that she was desperately trying to shift back to normal, but Miranda was holding her back. Literally, she had her left hand around her neck, while her right hand attended to Jenny, closing up a few lingering holes in her skin with a forceful touch.

“I’ve had my eye on your since Halloween night in 1994.” The Nameless was smiling at Kaia using Miranda’s lips. “You reek of The White, and yet your core belongs to The Black.”

Kaia’s arms were darkening, with her closed fists a burning, pitch black.

“If you don’t return what is mine, I’ll destroy your daughter and the rest of this groaning world.”

“You’ll kill us all anyway.” Kaia brought her fists together, and as her fingers intertwined, the concrete floor and ceiling started to smoulder.

“Your door is the Die Database sticker,” Kaia growled in my head. “Run, and don’t look back.”

As her hands burned an inky black, I couldn’t look away. I spent most of my life waiting for this moment, and I had to see it through, even if it killed me.

“This is not for you to see!” She took over my body and forced me to run away from the twisted flesh that was Ariel, from Jenny taking her born again gasps for air, from the Chosen Light basking in its best gambit yet.

The PRS unit that used to house Jenny met me by the ticket machine, and quickly shifted from blank plastic to Cassandra, wearing a white, button down St. Cloud Rox uniform. She grabbed me by the right wrist and tossed me like a rag doll up a dozen stairs.

“If you look back, you will die.” Below, the parking garage was filling with a golden light. Cassandra threw me on her back like a five year old, and ran with 5 meter long leaps towards the Allianz Arena.

A massive explosion behind us, followed by intense heat singeing my hair. The nearest cotton swab tower fell over, quickly burning into ashes.

The hollow ground erupted in front of us, and Ariel jumped out of another crumbling garage. At least, I assumed it was her, because she resembled nothing less than a bloody spine as large as a telephone pole, crossed with a millipede, with each leg a twitching human arm. There were a collection of organs running up her back, but her head was nowhere to be seen.

Cassandra jumped over the hole and the rubble, and took a flying hop off of the ticket booths, and then dozens of meters over the fair gates.

Out of the corner of my eye, at the top of the hill beyond the highway, was a 50 meter tall Miranda pulling the wind turbine out of the ground like a dandelion, throwing the huge blade over our heads towards Ariel.

Just as we ran inside the shadowy entrance to the arena, I was blinded by a brilliant figure in front of us, slowly gliding down to the grassy field inside. Cassandra switched off my optic nerves before I was really hit, but I could tell instantly who it was.

Kaia Strauss, wielding the Golden Sphere like a flaming sword that could cut through everything.

The smell suddenly changed, and I knew we were back in the toilet. Cassandra gave me my eyes back long enough to see the walls starting to smoke, peeling the beige pant, graffiti and stickers into a skin that bubbled and sagged to the floor.

“My sister will be here soon to reap what has been sown.” She pushed me into the chosen stall. “Your next stop is Ikebukuro Station. I’ll find you soon enough.” The blackened walls started to crumble, and the PRS unit suddenly melted to the floor.

As the Allianz Arena collapsed, I couldn’t understand how the toilet stall was keeping me safe, even with the water in the bowl boiling under my feet.

I couldn’t understand, until I had a final visitor.

Helena, the Grand Supreme, standing in the flames wearing a patchwork dress, and staring at me with empty eye sockets.

“We have the dreamer. You have already lost.” She threw her wig made of USB cables to the melting floor. “This has just been a taste of what is to come. You will never escape the final flames unless you join me.”

Was Jenny the dreamer? And why was I so important to Helena and S.OS?

She smirked as she picked the questions out of my mind, and then looked to the right before she folded away.

As soon as she disappeared, the heat left, and the bathroom was immediately restored, stickers and all.

I knew that if I ran outside, I would find it perfectly reset and intact, and not filled with rubble and charred FC Bayern fans.

She was right – that day was just a bitter taste of our fate, with one month left before the end.

Of course, I’ve always had a bitter tooth – maybe that will save me from drowning in the sweet poison flood.

In any case, I have my post about Thomason to finish, and then I’ll start the final march into the night.

I still haven’t figured out how I’d like to spend the last few weeks, but I promise that I won’t forget to light the way for you.

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Signs Of The End: The Golden Sphere Manifests

As I mentioned in the Frequently Asked Questions:

Name Unknown – This is the tool that opposes the Massive Cloud Burst. It is a small, Golden Sphere, that contains an unknown quantity of The White. It is the tool that the Creation can use to control the Creator….

Dark Antennas are rumored to have control of the Golden Sphere, but it hasn’t been seen since the time of creation, before anything was even named. There is no direct evidence, save for indirect stories from those who have tried to witness (and affect) the first creation.

It turns out that it has manifested in this Variant, which is a very firm sign of the Endtimes. Specifically, Miranda Sasha Koehler, who according to prophecy is to be the final agent of The Black, wrote in her blog that she manifested a “golden jawbreaker” in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 3, 2011:

I couldn’t help myself. I reached down to my bike, grabbed the front wheel, and tore off the tire like newspaper.

Not like newspaper. The tire became newspaper, and I gathered it, crumpling it into a ball the size of a softball.

Down the street, we could hear a car crash.

Every toddler walking with their parents suddenly fell to the ground and pissed and shat themselves.

My hands and wrists turned an inky black.

I scrunched the softball of paper smaller, and smaller, until it felt like I was holding the sun cupped between palms.

Inside of the burning dark was a shining, golden jawbreaker.

It was my rage externalized, my broadcast solidified, my perfect weapon.

Miranda Sasha Koehler is the daughter of Catherine Koehler, and a genetic connection to The Black runs in their family. In past Variants, this has led to Miranda Sasha Koehler having complete control of all Matter in this Universe, a power that is highly sought after by Pure Land Antennas and Dark Antennas alike, and a power that is highly unstable in unenlightened human hands.

Currently, the whereabouts of Miranda Sasha Koehler are unknown, but there is a high probability that she has been given the Meridian Scaffolding of an Antenna, and that she is under the influence of not only a Black Construct known as The Nameless, but also a corrupted version of Sasha Williams’ personal operating system, also known as Sasha OS or S.OS. If she is also able to wield the Golden Sphere, then the powers that control her will be unstoppable.

Thankfully, it seems that the Golden Sphere disappeared from Minneapolis, Minnesota soon after it appeared, and hasn’t manifested since.

According to both Cassandra and the Frisbee Diaries, S.OS intends to use Miranda Sasha Koehler to escape this Universe, into the Structure at large, even if that means that the destruction of everything we know. This final destruction will happen on December 31, 2011, at 11:59 PM PST.

I have been granted a boon by Cassandra, so I will be going on one final trip for the next two weeks. I don’t have permission to release the details at this time, but I can say that during that journey, I will be finalizing an extensive post that details more of my life history, and how the prophetic Frisbee Diaries came to be during my stay at Thomason Memorial Hospital. It is that documentation of the visions of Laura Elizabeth Watson-Carver that may allow some of us to be saved from the upcoming tribulation, and I will do my best to relate how non-Antennas may be able to escape.

Do not fear! Even in the last minutes before the end, the true nature of the Infinite Subway will be revealed. It is a bridge to the final, karmic freedom!

Cassandra spent the entire age of the Universe to see it to fruition, and it will be available to everyone, at all locations, as long as they have the most basic of initiations. You won’t have to follow a checklist of thought, or prove you have certain morals – those things are for those destined to be consumed by The White. If you can see the final doors as they manifest, all you will need is the courage to step through.

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