Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.

two from AQ Saga: Neuro-Piratical Self Help in Pocket Universe 17!

Ben Roylance


AQ, a cyborg living in the year PPUD117, has descended into a “pocket universe” in search of the source of his neurological illness, for which he has found no cure in his base-reality. This particular pocket universe is based, either through chance or narrative influence, on the Golden Age of Piracy and populated, either through chance or narrative influence, by spirits of the dead. Taken from the first of the two halves comprising the book, these two cantos constitute a first climax in the narrative. Upon entering the Pocket Universe, AQ meets two composers (and the ghost of one poet) sailing on a sloop called the Initiated Flagellant. AQ informs these two (Psireal Scop and Parsec Ranger) about his mission, which first involves finding a ship called the Erythroprosopalgian. The scene below takes place during the boarding, and violence done upon the crew (neurologists), of that vessel.


Ranger’s dear whips fascin

A rope up the Ery side, really

Bloodred, I climb up amid the bombe-

D out ‘mergency I ‘magin Tri made in blowin-

G up, up over the side, companions trailing,

Quiet, Gem under arm like a cat, whis-

Purs “Inscribe A Name On Me”, not now,

We’re all up now, spy Lychen, lost a

Leg in the blast, still a’breath tho,

Spies us, smiles at me, dr.-like, not-

Ice now how intact the Erythroprosopalgian,

Scarred only ‘round the blasted

Table Herr M.K. sat at when ‘e blew…

I have me a look else-about the thing,

Around red edges of the ship ar-

Rayed are pain rays twenty, marked

“-SPERIMENTAL” in psychic font,

Ugly goblin crewmen spilling like ‘lectrons

Cross and long the hated galleon, I act-

Ivate my mild built-ins, clear my mind,

SCAN surround, gather some pocket

Biog-info— as ‘spected, that’s Lych-

En there, staring harm at me… 

And these others? Convening

Now around I and Psi and Pars?

I unfold the Blutoe map-sheet,

Let it watch the scene as names

Are unspooled and discourse beg-

Ins, my inner instruments reach-

Ing terminal usefulness when met

With those whov signed no priv-

Acy agreement, because dead, 

But I hack a few names out: Capt. 

Cer Spino Binge, E. Karl Charcoal,

Nicky Tulpaz, Gerard Wan-Sweeten,

Baird Hearten, and… feeding cuts out,

Encircled now, these docs threaten

With bludgeons, gestures to-

Ward the pain machines, long spike-

Poles and curling hoox, I eat 

The mind map, swallow its 

Quick-gathered layout, meta-

Bolize its intuitions of crew and 

Bestways forward here, grow qui-

Et, stilling, as monologous Capt. Binge 

Begins: “AQ, presump, we are but

The true body, the bare cycle, the science 

Of the nervous HEAD, come close, 

I’ll measure miosis, autonomic 

Toy, I’ll measure miosis yea, hypoth-

Alamic TOY, I’ll peel into stem, 

Place lesions, split the fibers of

Your carotid body, hypothal-

Amic RAT, figuring the body

OUT, understanding the body OUT,

I work alone, I work with crew, 

I singled you out from across

Time at rec of Herr Lychen, Our Man In,

Look, it’s nothing symptomatically pers-

Onal, yeah? There’s funding from ab-

Ove, funding after death, never had

That in life, never drank the juice

Of the brain in life neither but things

Are different down here AQ, I smell

Your living brain, see it spine-sitting

There on tower top, we need of know-

Ing total unreasoned PAIN, you cybernetic TOY-“

Having heard enough from Capt. 

I spin with remotest cold kick, 

Remove his head in higher plea-

Sure than I would have liked to feel,

Having come, on record, but for a cure...


Tho the dead cannot dead.2,

I grip Binge head under hard bootstep,

First leg of his escort off this sealand,

Off to other Pocket, other place,

Where else to go but pop-up elsewhere?,

Not before a spoken hex bleetz out

The sever’d thing: “Half your face 

Goes red, AQ, your autonomic

Body floods with harsh peptides,

ERYHTRO--“ pop it hard, a grape,

Expect anarchic mob, a rush,

Get nothing but anticipatory lo-

Oks from enemies at hand, high

Nervy chuckle from Psireal and

Parsec’s clammy pat on shoulder, 

Wait for … anything… Nicky Tulpaz

Clears his thought and speaks forth 

First, anatomical and autopsy-turvy

Mannerisms accenting his stoned

Speech: “Eye thighnk we may hairve 

Glotten oriff on thyrong Foote…” pres-

Enting the mangled remn of Lychen’s

Bomb’d leg, “or, eye necklected tooth-

Ink, no, off on thyrong Headde?” inspec-

Ting the assassinated remn of Binge’s

Skull-and-brains, Tulpaz brand-

Ishes a skullpel with quik wave and cuts,

Or tries to cut, “AQ” into the side of Gem 

Stow’d bulgingly at my side, but man-

Ages only “A,” upon which Gem sez “OK,

A...bort the Life of Nicky Tulpaz???” ‘nd

Flare up, catching NT in the gut, both flap-

Ping away, a confused flight ‘til 60, 70, 100

Meters up and out, conflagrulations! The real-

Ity! and rain down fire’s shrap’ upon... Uh,

Oh, the Initiated Flagellant? Up in flame!

Psi and Parsy groan and huff, I get a blue

Troop of waving lines superimposed o’er

My face, indication: shame and unbelief,

“We’ll have to take control of this one then…”

Sez Parsec in an army voice, and Psi-

Real, concealing sadness under battle-

Tone, agrees.. I with wand grab hold

Of Al and In, begin to scribe-in further names,

When Baird Hearten speaketh strong: 

“Do stop! I, Effective Captain, I command

An order come upon this ship!” I pause,

Willing to hear the doc out, having killed

His Capt. and crewmate, owe him that (?),

A mistake, delicate cruelty cums across s’face,

He speaks in historo-medical tone: 

“You’ll kill yourself AQ, we ha-

Ve seen this, complete suicide, just 

Kill yourself, there’s no treatment

Just shoot yourself in the head AQ, it’s

The Suicide Head, ach, Lychen wants

To apply it, weapon at will, just 

Stab yourself in the eye, AQ, it’s

Fine…” I feel a pinch at brow, shad-

Ow bleeding spread over face-half, Hear-

Ten continues: “Ten out of ten, three hour

Duration, put a gun to your brow 

And pull the trigger, we sail now a new-

Ly christened ship, the Hearten’s Sephalgian,

I captain, I’ll throes you below, histaminergic 

Knave, turn up the blast of pain!” and yes,

The wet Dero “manning” the ray with mal-

Ice twists a hornéd knob, blitzes me,

Lychen with his bloody lacking leg laughs,

Laughs: “Pain! Good! It’s good!”