Sub Specie Aeternitatis
Episode 5 of 5
A God Bomb is a Pint of Guiness with a shot of Holy Water in it that you chug as fast as you can while administering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to one of your temporal lobes. Compared to the nanotech touch KarenD got, TMS is like getting a sledgehammer to the side of the head.
Nikolai passes around enough “hammers” so everyone can drop their God Bombs at once. (”Hammers” are what God-Bombing kids call the Info-War II Russian Military surplus Electro-Magnetic Pulse pistols retrofitted for use as portable TMS devices. The gun barrels are so blunt and the grips are so long that they really do look like small sledgehammers.)
We get Nikolai to do a “three. . .two. . .one. . .” for us while we stand around with hands head-high and elbows out, our pints poised at our lips and our “hammer” pistols to our heads Russian-roulette style.
“. . .Go!”
It’s all snap and crack and Paul’s God Bomb goes wrong. The sharp ozone cuts through my nose cologne. With the sparking and the arcing and the quivering and the bulging eyes I figure Paul for a Molotov Chihuahua.
Droppin’ God Bombs while wearing third-eye contact lenses was perhaps not the best idea in the world. My telepathic link to Paul makes my God Bomb blow up in exactly the same way. Not being an electrophobe, though, I don’t wet my pants like Paul does.
I had always suspected, but now I know for sure: when God Bombs go wrong your mental state gets a mile high before the arc resistance is sufficient for the ionized gas to quit conducting.
We’ve blown a hole in the ceiling of the bar and in the ceilings of all of the units above. No one above us was hurt, fortunately (and how weird would it be if a plane got hit?) but they angrily peer down through their smoldering holes to see the source of the bolt from below.
Here’s what there is to see:
The Slaughterhouse boys’ scalps are burnt bald but we’re otherwise relatively undamaged. The Karens’ hairs stick out in all directions. KarenC is in ecstasy but I’m guessing more from the electro-pyrotechnic display than from any seizure induced unity with the Oneness of All Being. She’s stomping her boots and clapping her hands like a little girl. The other Karens are a bit more dramatic. KarenB is flopping around on the floor making high-pitched dolphin squeals and KarenD is down on the floor with her trying to hump her leg. Though their reactions are various, it’s quite clear that Karens B through D are having a fine time.
I’m the first to notice that things aren’t looking so hot for KarenA. I’m shocked at the sight of her.
Slaughterhouse Paul: Ugh, with the puns.
Slaughterhouse Pete: You telepathically said “ugh.”
I yell, “Care-en-uh” and my concern is sincere, though it’s a little too late for that now. No one saw it happen, but KarenA yanked on her ninja brain strings.
It’s only now that my temporal lobe seizure kicks in and it’s only now that I actually notice the other customers, the ones that are neither Slaughterhouses nor Karens. They scramble out the bar clutching their jacket fronts closed against the cold, their shoulders hunched to pinched points, muttering something about the unfortunate antics of “the neurotrash.”
Cold air blows in from the opened doors making steam rise from the front of Paul’s pants. The bridesmaids start sobbing. Maybe in a different frame of mind I’d feel bad and sad. I look around, thinking about this crew, the Karens’ loss and the imminent sorrow of KarenA’s unmentioned family and unnamed fiance, but I’m deep in the grip of my seizure. The gaze that falls upon the pissed pants, Paul’s steam rising toward the scorched ceiling holes, the blood and the Guiness and the brains on the floor, the crying of the Karens — this gaze is the gaze of God. I see it all as exactly where it all has to be. I see it all sub specie aeternitatis. And it is good.
It’s all good.
Â© 2004 Pete Mandik