By Klaus Kinsky
(996 words; posted Sept. 23, 1996; do not read before Sept. 23, 1999)
My unit was commanded by Captain Our, who finally broke
down one day and consented to tell us her own story, in
her own words.
"I think I've had it taken away and taken away," she
began, "And taken away again, and then, suddenly, given
back to me and then, just as suddenly, taken away
"In the end, I think much more has been taken away than
I'd ever had or been given -- and I anxiously await, at
least, a good faith attempt, on the part of the fucking
cosmos, to give something back."
We travelled all throughout Ethiopium, and all across
the Lithuanaland-Malodia Confederation.
We reached Nicojuana, where the people could crush their
brutal dictators by thought alone. This was the result
of a social experiment, years before, that had failed --
and, now, every citizen wore a miniature bunsen burner
on a chain around her neck, to commemorate it.
hen we passed through a string of new countries and
nation-towns: Scandorica Norte. The Union of Pan-Tongan
Republics. CanaMex Refugee Zone 7. The 14th Street
Protectorates. Greater Lubrical City. Metro La-Bas.
Suddenly the van swerved and we smashed into an uplink
dish. Captain Our was jammed under the steering wheel.
Two of the other soldiers in the back went crazy and
tried to make a run for it, but were immediately shot
dead by the local Panamonika militia, on whose border we
had just crashed.
I was taken into custody, and this is the only
deposition they were able to force out of me:
As you can see, I have not arrived fully
prepared to live on your planet and am
fucked-up in ways that don't have a name
and, thus, cannot receive funding.
Further, my home planet or dimension has
lost my file, and I am, therefore, here,
cast adrift amongst you, forever.
But, despite all that, I am not, in this
deposition, asking for any kind of
I am asking only that you please refrain
from killing me in ways that, to you, are
just plain old everyday life.
o, for my crime of pretending to exist at all, I was
sentenced to Death Row, with no possibility of death.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, Captain Our was there
"What are you in for?" I asked.
"Mass murder, serial murder, drug possession, grand
theft auto, driving without a license, driving under the
influence, driving an unregistered motor vehicle,
possession of false identification, forgery, kidnapping,
grand larceny, 2nd degree murder, possession of a
controlled substance, possession of fissionable
materials, intent to transport controlled biochemicals
across international borders, intent to conspire to
assassinate the Pope and the President with a single
bullet, intent to foment world civil war, conspiracy to
cause World neuro-chemical war, high treason, low
treason...." she said.
Eventually I was released for absence of behavior, and
as I walked out, the chaplain met my gaze and smiled and
said a little prayer that I not really be what everybody
kept telling me I was.
checked into Atari Hospital for the Criminally Innocent
and was given a large private room with a view of Hail
Mary International Airport.
This wasn't really an Airport, but had 4 or 5
board-certified landing mounds where, occasionally,
desperate re-entry pods would attempt to slam down.
My first night there, I couldn't sleep because of the
loud hum from all the listening devices hidden all over
my room by, you know, World People's CIA and World
Peoples' Bureau of Investigation and the World Moonies
and World Mafia and the World Hispanic-Islamic-Jewish
So I went up on the roof.
It was dark, and I was already starting to see the
skeletons of architectural structures in my head,
preparatory to dreaming.
The null emotion swept through me and, in the sky, I
could hear the gentle sounds of a few lost re-entry
pods, beginning their desperate trajectories down --
their pilots, eyes closed, fingers crossed, praying hard
to just slam down in one of the SOFT spots, across the
street from me.
he next thing I remember was waking up. I was shivering
from the cold, and Dr. Our was standing over me. The
sun hadn't even come up over the distant rooftops yet.
"Good news," he said, all upbeat, as soon as he saw that
I'd opened my eyes and was conscious.
I looked around to regain where I was. The sky was
partly overcast, with only a few patches of dawn far in
"You fucking asshole," I said, angry, but still only
But the doctor didn't seem to hear, and waved a handful
of lab reports at me.
"We've just gotten your tests back," he said, "And
there's really no reason to keep you any longer."
Then he motioned to some orderlies to wheel me away, and
as they did, he called after me.
"And I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to go
back and lead a normal, healthy, happy life from here
on," he said.
The orderlies looked at each other, all "Whooooah!"
As soon as I was released from the hospital, I walked
out into the sunshine and my parole officer was there,
waiting for me.
"Sorry," she said, "But you've been violating the terms
of your parole like a maniac for too many years now, and
we just can't let you keep getting away with it. We
have to be fair, and we have to set some kind of example
for the other parolees."