Friday, April 07, 2006

Chaosmos- Episode 3 (The Odd Couple): She

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Artemis cursed, as LAL’s rocketbike bounced off Pangaea before skidding to a stop. The bike looked like it had been rummaged out from the bottom of a scrap yard heap and was held together by sheer willpower. “And it uses liquid fuel,” thought Artemis contemptuously. Pangaea, which ran on antimatter power, was a state-of-the art machine that could accelerate from a speed of zero to 10 light years in just 2 seconds. The translucent outer casing was made of highly malleable and viscous liquiglass that even a blue supergiant, the hottest star in the universe, couldn’t burn through. Inside, all the controls were made from fortified titanium and the hypergamma ray guns could reach a target 5 light minutes away.

LAL was making fish-faces against the casing. Artemis scowled as she let him in. “Sorry dawl! Still got a long way to go on my manners,” LAL drawled, making himself comfortable on the aircushion, and switching on the massage sensors. “You know,” LAL continued, “I wudda thought you’d be happy to see me.” “Look out there!” Artemis snapped. LAL turned on his side, and supported his face with his hand. “It’s really romantic view, dawl! Who wudda thought? All these years and I didn’t realize you had a thing for me.”

“Oh shut up!” Artemis was seriously beginning to regret calling him over. LAL was cleaning the dirt from his fingernails and humming “… now that she's back in the atmosphere with drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey ye hey heyyy…” Artemis looked up suddenly. LAL looked at her steadily with a gleam in his eyes. “Personally I think it’s a good thing, he said, rolling over on his back again, “This way you get a better view of the moons. But then again, if Taur killed you, you wouldn’t get to see the moons anyway.”

Artemis laughed and fell back into the pilot seat.

“That’s ma gurl!”

“What now, Lobo?”

“Well, I don’t suppose you’d have Shaymaniac’s number now, wud ya? Naw, I didn’t think so. It would be too easy, and frankly a little boring.”

“Shay...?” Artemis protested lamely, “But he died in that multiple supernova explosion stunt he pulled off in the Agni galaxy.”

“Sure thing dawl!” LAL grinned back.

No, please, let it not be Shay, Artemis thought, looking at LAL distraughtly.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Chaosmos- Episode 2 (Lobo Rising): He

“…now that she's back in the atmosphere with drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey ye hey heyyy…”, crooned some obscure Earthian singer from a bygone millennium on the ‘Platinum Oldies’ UFM channel.

“Perfect bloody timing!” mumbled Artemis bitterly, as she flicked her telekine* bearing finger a tad too vigorously to shut him up. It was crucial to locate Jupiter and bring it back before anyone noticed, especially Taur. But how? She needed an aide, bloody fast too. She ran her fingers through her golden mane rather absentmindedly as she hovered nervously from one end of her deck to the other and back. And then it struck her like a hypergamma ray.

19 quick flicks of the T-finger, and the raudioscreen lit up. A rather wolf-like creature- shaggy, tattooed, and remotely humanoid, only double the size and muscle, appeared.

“Hiya, Timma dawl!” slur-growled the creature in a vaguely good-natured way. “What made ja raudio-up yer dusty ole pal? Can I help ja?”

Lost-Angel-Lobo a.k.a. Los-Lobos a.k.a. LAL was one messed up item. An inter-galactic Rocketbiker, a drifter, a mercenary, a metalhead, and a junkie to boot, even though the dirtiest substance couldn’t do much to his near-invulnerable constitution, LAL had modeled himself after Lobo- a vintage DC anti-superhero. In this rather successful bid, he had gotten himself fixed-up so many times that he was now one of the few bona-fide Romans** in the universe.

“You bloody well can, LAL. In fact, (although I hate to admit it) only you can.”, said Artemis, squinting at the motley assortment of pills, needles, CD’s, guns and dirty virtuoslides strewn across the floor upon the raudioscreen.

“Just collect your hairy behind and scoot to Jupiter’s orbit. Like now.”

“Anything fer ja, dawl. Ja gawt it. I’m shure ja gawt my interests all worked out.”

“Just come over, okay. ” said Artemis with a faint plea in her voice.

“Aw-kay! See ja!” replied LAL.

"And enough already with that put-on accent of yours." barked Artemis just before the raudioscreen faded back to black.

*Telekine= A minute neutronic device that can be installed in the form of a sticky chip on one’s fingernail to amplify one’s telekinetic abilities
**Roman= a colloquialism for Robot-Man, or a humanoid who’s got organo-robotic parts in his body


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chaosmos- Episode 1 (Artemis' Quandary): She

Artemis sighed as she veered Pangaea into Jupiter’s orbit. She was already in Taur’s bad books, so she hadn’t protested.

The Sun was dying; it had already swallowed up Mercury, Venus and her ancestral home Earth. Soon it would wither away into a white dwarf. Scientists were betting that, as the biggest planet, Jupiter would pull the remaining planets into an orbit around itself. But that wasn’t for another billion years dammit! But Taur insisted on sending Artemis to check up on Jupiter every millennium.

She slowed down as she swept by Jupiter’s main moons — Io, Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. She sighed again. Then she blinked. How had she not noticed earlier? Her burnished golden hair, which almost touched the floor, rustled as she shook her head in disbelief. She switched on the radar, but the beams just bounced away into space. It couldn’t be.

Jupiter had disappeared.