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Episode 0 -- Fools... and Fantasies

Premiered 20 March 2009


Multiple Choice -- Episode 0

Fools... and Fantasies


The rising sun highlighted a tree-filled valley of greens and browns -- a kind of scenic reality readily visualized by any student of Albert Bierstadt. It was your typical pristine mountain valley of the indefinite, possibly illusory past and/or future, framed with snow-capped peaks in the distance and billowing clouds overhead.  The early dawn... always a patron of such talented landscape artists -- thoughtfully cast reddish hues amidst the dirty white clouds to add a gentle, benign and colorful movement of light and shadow across a nearby lake.  The scenic panorama continued to unfold, until in the foreground... I’m distressed to report… dirty brown, ground fortifications could be seen. Furthermore, said fortifications appeared to be… ah, well… there is just no other way to say it… current. 

Recognizing that perhaps the bigger picture was suggesting the possibility of their being trouble in paradise (or in just one of nature’s grandest setting), one began to look about and take stock of the local environment. It was immediately obvious that the local environment was slightly ill at ease... as if primed for something threatening… or at least just a shade less than ideal. Such premonitions were quickly affirmed as suddenly, out of the color-filled clouds, a strange and threatening craft began sweeping down for an apparent strafing run.  Like an eagle on a glide path to snap up a cruising trout or snare a rabbit in the midst of an audition for the role of Thumper, the craft lowered its talons of fully loaded missile racks, assorted weapons of mass destruction, and high powered lasers designed for slicing, dicing and sauteing whatever looked appetizing. The rabbit was not going to even be given a sporting chance. The trout was already toast.

The craft itself was one ugly dude, a battle scarred black and gray behemoth, bristling with guns, antennas, and protrusions of unknown but apparently deadly purpose. The protrusions were randomly scattered about multiple flat polygon surfaces forming a cubist confusion of armor plating and offensive weaponry -- the kind of flying craft that only a Picasso or some other somewhat demented avant-garde artist could love… or just an engineer with a world class hangover. The fact that the attacking craft was firing everything from laser cannons, mortar sized shells from rapid-fire artillery rifles, and something akin to oversized depth charges… the combination provided sufficient evidence of deadly intent to cause serious concern for those on the ground, be they inside or outside a fortification. For clearly, we’re talking bunker-busting bombs here! It was weaponry not quite on the level of a planet killer, but small portions of said planet... such would be child’s play.

As the subsequent explosions shattered the tranquility of the valley, all thoughts of getting just a few more minutes of peace and quiet in support of circadian rhythms were quickly dissipated.  Accordingly, the isolated ground fortifications began to randomly return fire, the initial knee jerk reaction to coming under fire. Meanwhile, additional craft of the same basic design and murderous intent as the first one appeared out of the clouds, entering the fray, sweeping in from roughly the same direction over the saddle back between two otherwise pristine mountains. The effect on the hopefully more distant observer was to paint a picture of a classic, future battle scene, full of sound and fury and signifying… well… very little... unless of course you were a current resident of the valley.

David Walker, in full battle regalia (a Rambo style of the near-future -- torn and scarred clothing, crisscrossed with all manner of weaponry and technological marvels), was running toward a sandbagged bunker. He was carrying an oversized, futuristic rifle-shaped weapon in one hand and a laser-pistol in the other.  Neither was of much use when the bunker he was running toward was suddenly hit and exploded in a burst of napalm generated flames. The explosion caused our hero to hit the dirt, roll, and end upon on his knees where he began firing from the hip at one of the alien craft.  Explosions proliferated as the battle seemed to center not unexpectedly around David. Abruptly, a really ugly alien ground trooper (the depth of his hideous nature being evidence of his foul character -- as per Hollywood tradition) came rushing from one side as David leapt to his feet just in time to blast his attacker with his rifle.  Without bothering to aim, David turned with his laser-pistol to blast another alien ground trooper coming from the other direction.  In fact any ugly dude attempting to rush David was summarily blasted... with or without having gained David's undivided attention. A lot of ugly dudes were summarily biting the dust. One could only wonder what it was about ugly alien ground troopers that they never seemed to learn to avoid Rambo look-a-likes and the inevitability of an ugly dude death thereby? Clearly, a universal mystery.

Meanwhile, just behind the second alien, Katherine Grace, dressed in the latest “Lady Rambo” fashion, came running toward David, blasting yet another alien to one side without so much as breaking her stride.  Suddenly a nearby laser blast from an alien craft knocked Katy off her feet, forcing her to the ground just as she reached a “king of the mountain” position atop a large pile of rubble.  David reacted to her dilemma by rushing toward her position, simultaneously blasting an alien ground trooper who had the misfortune (or merely the abject stupidity) to appear charging in from the same direction as Katy... and who was already thoughtlessly taking aim on the wounded female.

With Katy in a sitting position and holding onto David’s leg -- in a very sexual manner such that one of her hands was almost all the way up his inner thigh and inside his torn jeans -- David reverted to the classic, comic-book hero’s stance, shooting from the hip with a huge laser rifle in one hand and a similarly deadly-looking laser pistol in the other.  Katy looks particularly sexy in her carefully torn and revealing clothing and added window dressing to the hero’s stance.  But in the more modern tradition, she also managed to return occasional fire in roughly horizontal shots with her hand held laser pistol -- all the while stroking David’s inner thigh with every increasing gusto. David, meanwhile, was concentrating on shooting at alien craft with both of his weapons… that is to say, David was attempting to concentrate on shooting said alien craft… David’s survival instinct was suddenly being challenged for supremacy by his instinct for... well... sex.

In the midst of smoke, debris, an increasingly large mound of blasted alien ground troopers, and an occasional explosion on the scale of a volcanic eruption, Jeremiah stepped from the wings to approach David and Katy carrying a silver tray of three martinis.  Dressed in formal waiter’s garb and in the true English butler fashion, he offered David a martini.

“Your drink, sir.”

David continued to fire the laser rifle with one hand, while he holstered the pistol, and thereafter took the proffered martini with his free hand.

“Excellent idea, Miah.  Thank you.”

Nonchalantly and in the midst of still firing the laser rifle, David took a whiff of the drink’s bouquet, smiled, and took a sip, obviously relishing the taste.  But then his expression turned blank as he noticed Katy standing alongside, just as the “English butler” Jeremiah offered her one of the remaining martinis on the tray.  As she reached for it, Jeremiah helped himself to the third drink, toasted glasses with Katy, and then downed his drink in one gulp.  David viewed this mini-scene with a perplexed look.   He then glanced down to see what was still holding his leg with one hand nearly to his crotch. 

There he saw Evyr Annah, who instead of looking up at David, was eyeing Katy and Jeremiah.  Evyr then turned to look up at David with a “where’s-my-drink” look.  David returned her gaze for a moment, and then abruptly stopped firing his weapon, taking the time to look at his martini and then at the surroundings of the raging battle.  The age old question of, “Who were these people?” briefly crossed his mind. He frowned, took a quizzical glance at his martini glass, and then turned to look at the camera with a queer expression. 

Simultaneously, a ringing was heard in the distance.  


Multiple Choice -- The Novel

Forward to:

Episode I -- One Night Stands


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