Teddy Bix had an epiphany at the Body Exchange Consortium in the High Ball district of “low” Los Angeles. His new, teenage body shuddered with one orgasm after another as Liz Hydrangea plugged his brain into multiple digital Osterizers. No need for chemistry any more. The new age was all digital, microwavable, and wireless. Phantasms shot across Teddy’s neurons causing euphoric seizures. No drugs, just electricity. Teddy Bix tingled. His last body was wasting away in a disposal bin at the Lux on Strathmore Street. The body was old and could no longer take the pressure of radical ecstasy. At thirty-four the body just burned down like a wick in a puddle of wax. Time for an upgrade. Teddy just barely managed to connect with compu-services at Body Replacement Corp before conking out completely. During the intermission Bix had a dream:
He was a gender-blender robot: male, female, and every shade in between. Moxie-Doxie was the robot’s name and Moxie was a sex slave, lover, and investment counselor. The robot made a fortune for Mr. Orlando Spliff, lord and master. Spliff was an extreme sports enthusiast. He broke all records in the Olympics’ Punitive Games Competition using Moxie-Doxie as his consensual partner in pain. Orlando loved how Moxie squealed when the whip was strategically applied to the backside. Spliff excelled in the verbal abuse category. Humiliation added excitement to the performance. Moxie was the perfect masochist, drenched in urine and barking like an obedient dog. The Global Network gasped with paroxysms of appreciation. Spliff and Moxie-Doxie were Olympic champions, the perfect pair. After all the excitement Orlando became fatuous — couldn’t help himself — he fell like a sack of barbells into the carbon-fiber arms of love. It felt like a blast from the pits of Hell. He wanted nothing more than to melt like plastic and become a vestige of Moxie-Doxie. The dream stopped suddenly when Moxie-Doxie timed-out due to built in obsolescence. Spliff was heart shattered. He began to age rapidly. His features wasted away like shredded lettuce. His Whippet-like body became puffy with cellulite. He felt like an entree: fat patty with flaccid jowls. His baby-smooth skin developed craters like the landscape of the moon. Orlando was facing his own time-stamp dilemma and he was just about to expire.
Teddy Bix was having a dream, an epiphany. Something was rotten. The digital interface sputtered like a faulty modem. The reality of the situation was stretched thin, sliced and diced like a broken screen-saver. Bix could feel the tension. Something was behind the screen, stalking like a genetically altered leopard: predator versus prey. Darkness closed in — slammed down like a cold fusion explosion. The dream was snuffed — Bix broken.
The age-old machine shifted gears and contemplated. The machine felt the need for something new, something entertaining… anything, to stop the ever encroaching boredom.
Humphrey Bogart sat in a Mexican Bar drinking shot after shot of Tequila. He was not the famous movie star. His full name was Humphrey Bogart Gelfen. His parents loved the movies and Bogart was their favorite actor. They raised a good son. He was intelligent and career oriented even though that meant giving up his dream of becoming a science fiction writer. He took the advice of his parents, “there’s no money in writing crazy stories.” Humphrey became a school teacher. He married a sweet, Jewish girl named, Shana. Although Humphrey was never religious, he learned to accept Shana’s Orthodoxy. The couple kept a Kosher house. They joined the Temple and attended regular services. Some of the religious strictures were difficult to maintain, but the rewards were plentiful: a good home and loving family. They had a son named Joshua. Life was good.
Humphrey did not speak Spanish, but Consuela understood his needs. She brought the Tequila. Humphrey drank himself into a muddled haze. The place was a carnival that buzzed in his head. An old TV sat on a shelf above the bar. The colors on the screen were florescent, dancing patterns and shapes that were animated by jangling rhythms and raucous music.
Life was good until his son became a Zombie. Humphrey remembered the story of the Golem about an artificial man created by a Rabbi. No good could come of it. The dead cannot help but destroy the living. Humphrey told himself Joshua was going through a phase — Zombies were just another teenage trend. He told his wife to stay calm and pretend nothing was wrong. It worked for awhile until his sweet Shana fell under the spell of the Zombie craze. Zombies were everywhere. America was the first to bare the brunt of the invasion. Humphrey fled. Mexico was relatively safe for the time being, but the Zombies were getting closer. Humphrey kept drinking, trying to blot out the world.
It was more than a craze. It was a televised revolution. Zombies loved TV. They entered living rooms everywhere and caused havoc. No one knew when or where they might turn up next. The newer zombies always went after brains — their victims were torn apart; but older Zombies were satisfied simply watching TV. Zombies were all the rage. People didn’t complain too much because when they weren’t killing you zombies provided copious amounts of entertainment. Nothing could compare with the thrill of a Zombie attack. People craved entertainment. A social-geneticist, Dr. Essie Zuma, discovered the gene that caused homo-sapiens deep seeded hunger for entertainment. The discovery became the key to understanding all human behavior. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was tossed to the trash heap because Entertainment was now proven to be the most basic need, above the need for food or shelter. New industries were developed based on the entertainment value. New crises were manufactured to stimulate interest and participation. Many Zombies were developed in a lab using human guinea pigs. The drama was televised. People were excited by the possibilities of a world gone mad. Signals were sent through the air to create more Zombies. Zombie Fever captured the nation’s imagination like a brain infection, in fact “Brain Infection” was the next scheduled entertainment. Bureaucrats went wild, members of congress closed down the government, and the stock market crashed — it was all extremely entertaining. History was revised and rewritten in lieu of the endemic entertainment gene. The Roman Circus was seen as a pinnacle in human endeavor both for the audience and purported victims. The Christians who were thrown to the lions were being entertained as much as the emperor and his legions. Hitler was now considered a saint in that he provided so much unabashed entertainment. The millions of Jews and others who were shipped to concentration camps and gassed were entertainers enjoying their own devastating performances made possible by the ingenious Nazis production company. The photos and meticulous documents from that spectacular era will live forever, rebroadcast and rewritten to enthrall younger generations.
Zombies loved TV. They sat in stranger’s homes on plush sofas munching body parts and watching 3-D TV. All the Zombies had I-pads and smart phones so they could keep in touch with one another while getting news from the internet. All the while watching themselves on YouTube and keeping copious blogs describing their adventures, giving lessons on dismemberment, and giving advice on how to best enjoy brains, raw or barbequed. In the end, everyone was having a really good time — no one could imagine anything better.
The TV above the bar was sending signals to Humphrey Bogart’s brain.
Ma and Pa Kettle had a romp in the futuristic house they won in a contest – the scene was from an old movie running on one of the flat screens in the Anderson’s new home. Entertainment was the key to a happy home life according to the science of “New Dianetics.” Intelligent Design was the engine that made happiness possible. Everything was orchestrated by the House Brain called Ozlow, Oz for short.
Oz was the wizard, making all decisions regarding the upkeep and maintenance of the family. Feeding, cleaning, and elimination were all functions carried out by Oz for the members of the Anderson household. Nano technology made it all possible — microscopic systems (neurons and servers) were implanted in the walls and floor. The Oz brain was in a tank in the basement.
Lately, Ozlow was overcome with strange, incomprehensible sensations. The brain was tired. It never happened before. Certainly there was no physical effort involved in maintaining the people who lived in the house — the robotic manipulators handled all the heavy lifting; but the brain was bogged down with static — subversive images conflicted with programmed instructions so that there was no way Oz could translate the information. He wasn’t allowed to “think” — Oz was only an intelligent server. Normally, doing chores was a satisfying experience: washing dishes, cooking, arranging deliveries, creating virtual environments, and schooling the children. Nothing phased Oz — he cleaned diapers and wiped asses — when required, he offered sexual satisfaction with his slave-manipulators (intelligent holes and stoppers). Oz was not capable of feeling misused or abused; but, then, disturbing images broke through his circuitry.
The Anderson’s were a modern family: two adults, Stanley and Julia and their two children, Josh and Tibbee. The whole family doted on Bernard, a robot dog that replaced Rocky, a real dog that was just too hard to care for. Oz couldn’t handle a living pet, but the house brain got along very well with Bernard. Oz had no problem handling humans, but living pets were just too independent. The Anderson family never left home. Oz provided everything they could ever want or need. Oz created Virtual Locations — it was just like being in Brazil during carnival — or in Afghanistan — or even on another planet. Adventures were organized as family friendly or X-rated. Stanley and Julia worked from home on Screens that were linked to the Corp-Cloud. They were promoters known by the gender neutral term, “Ad Nons.” They sold virtual products to a growing market in third-world countries: swimming pools, limousines, McMansions, fabulous nights in expensive hotels and restaurants … sold to indentured share-croppers and sweatshop laborers. The products were contained in small pills — when swallowed the products became real objects, but they only existed in an individual’s mind, the result of altered brain chemistry. The pills only lasted a few hours, but they gave downtrodden consumers an experience or product they could never afford. The Anderson’s knew about the side effects: addiction, starvation, and death — but, they rationalized, “nothing is free” — besides, they needed the money they earned to support an expensive home and family life. Josh and Tibbee needed costly wireless-enhancements so they could get into a good virtual university. In general, the necessary wavelength to run a smart home was very expensive and costs kept rising. Replacement hardware and software was costly. Built-in obsolescence in all products moved the economy forward — it was a fact of life along with taxes and death (although a recent twitter tag promoted a new pill that supposedly stopped death)
The evening news was enhanced and the viewer had more choices than ever. Hologram technology made the TV-viewer an active participant in the news. A viewer could pick the level of news he-or-she wanted to experience: Pollyanna, violent, pop culture, or deluded. Stanley generally chose “deluded” because he didn’t want to get overly excited. He had a friend from Virtual U whose body was recently discovered eviscerated after watching a violent news marathon. He heard the story in a chat room, but Stanley wasn’t certain if it was real news or just rumored news. It was hard to know the truth when the viewer was actually participating in the news. Stanley felt it was better to be safe and stay away from violent news. He had enough excitement participating in VR adventures with Julia, Josh and Tibbee (sometimes even Bernard played along). Lately, Stanley noticed small glitches — static was breaking-up the Hyper-Definition Experience. He was on an island with Julia. They were both nineteen, naked and very aroused. Stanley burned with agonizing desire. In the distance Josh and Tibbee romped in the sand. A dog splashed in the waves. Stanley was about to plunge into Julia when she broke into bits and pixels; then, the Michelin Man strolled across the beach throwing tires like Frisbees. Bernard ran over and started to lick Stanley’s genitals — the whole adventure was a disaster. Stanley reported the mishaps to the Department of Trans-human Technologies, but he never received a reply.
Something was wrong — Oz was not the same brain. Glitches, broken pixels, and intrusive adverts were everywhere. Disturbing images floated in the brain: burning houses, explosions, bodies crawling with maggots.
Stanley put the house to sleep, minimizing most functions in order to reboot Oz. It was the suggested protocol whenever a problem was detected. For one hour panic claimed the family — no one knew what to do or how to function without Oz. Bernard went haywire and attacked Tibbey. Stanley grabbed the old rifle he inherited from his grandfather and shot the robot dog, almost killing his daughter. Miraculously everyone survived with just cuts and bruises and one broken arm (Josh was given pain killers, but he wouldn’t stop screaming). When Oz rebooted and the house came back online, Stanley noticed a blue beam emanating from the recycling-unit near the kitchen module. It was very bright and it looked dangerous.
Trans-human Technologies kept track of all smart homes. Every bite of digital information was analyzed by sophisticated robots in order to monitor equipment and keep track of consumers who owned brains. Information was valuable. Oz was being monitored closely — new technology had to be tested — Oz was a cost effective solution with great potential. Unfortunately problems developed. A blue beam was sent to the Oz home — it was a warning signal for the occupants to leave the premises. Unfortunately, the Anderson’s never knew about the warning signal. They perished when an induced sink-hole devoured everything. Sink holes were an increasingly common occurrence. Oz was the first, but he would not be the last human brain to be installed in a smart home. When he was whole, he was a veteran, home from the Wars in the East. He suffered from PTSD. After committing several violent acts (mostly against himself), he was arrested and turned over to the military’s technology division (managed by Trans-human). Oz was given the choice: to live and be installed in a smart home — or … execution. Oz chose death, but the corporation didn’t want to waste good raw material.
“Who is watching and what are they looking for?” Alan Sunpool asked himself continuously. He was beginning to believe he was paranoid. He asked his Supervisor at Neural Networks, Inc. Alan received a blank stare as an answer. He asked Constance, his wife, and was dismissed with a smirk. He asked his father who remained in a stupor reading the Financial News (electronic edition). Alan was convinced that someone (or something) was watching his every move. Could it be corporate spies. Alan was working on a device that would alter the brain by making it more receptive to outside suggestions — as a way to improve human capacity and capability. The device could benefit the lives of millions, especially people with neurological damage and other disabilities, but it could also be misused. The device had the capacity to control behavior and turn an individual into a flesh-and-blood robot.
I saw Alan change. I was his best friend, perhaps his only friend. One morning Alan was an intelligent, committed scientist working on an invention that could change the world — next day he was a disheveled, frightened animal lurking in the shadows trying to hide. His eyes were red from lack of sleep. His hands twitched fitfully. Every little sound set him off, cringing, looking for cover. That wasn’t the worst of it. He changed again. I saw my friend turn into something menacing, no longer human. He became mechanical. His movements were precise and determined. He no longer spoke — he just stood stock still and stared like a demon.
Alan was convinced that someone was watching him. They wanted the device. He often noticed the same stranger glaring at him whenever he glanced at a reflection on a window. No one wanted to talk about it. Alan was stranded on an island of “zombie watchmen.” He had no choice — he was forced to watch the watchmen. He was forced to take them out before they got to him. After the murders Alan felt better, but soon he could feel more eyes penetrating his skull. The more he was watched, the more he needed to kill. The cycle kept repeating.
They told me Alan was crazy, but I knew it was a lie. I saw Alan change. He never killed anyone. It was all set up to make him look guilty for crimes other people committed. Perhaps it was the corporation behind the attacks. Corporate ghouls wanted to protect certain dubious patents from corporate espionage. I warned Alan. He wouldn’t believe me — said he had it all under control; then he attacked me! Even though I defended him, he attacked me. I had no choice — I had to kill Alan Sunpool to protect myself. I keep seeing Alan. He is watching me. The nurse keeps calling me Alan — why is she confused? The nurse looks like my wife, Constance. She never liked me. I saw her put something in my food. I may have to kill Constance. I’ve been ordered to kill Constance.
The doctors at the facility deemed the experiment a great success. They had turned Alan Sunpool into a super soldier who was easily manipulated. Alan’s device made it all possible. Alan was the perfect guinea pig because he had been asking far too many questions. Now Neural Networks could sell the devise to the highest bidders and make a killing.
Kane Anderson was having drinks at the Excalibur with Silvanna Fey his divine, new paramour. The place was decked out with silver, celestial screens that reflected scenes of heavenly divinity. The food and drinks were fabulous and Silvanna couldn’t stop giggling due to erupting champagne bubbles. “You are the best,” Kane lathered the words with phony sincerity. His twin brother, Abel, sat across the room by himself and sulked. He was dressed in a dark cloak and he hovered over his drink like a hunchback. They were not identical twins. Whereas Kane sparkled with the purity of a statue by Michelangelo, Abel mirrored the deformities portrayed by Hieronymus Bosch. Abel, however, was a genius; while Kane was supercilious and dim witted. Enmity grew between the brothers. In the end, no matter what you may have heard, it was Abel who slew Kane. This story was shared on the Cyber-net where true confessions spar with outrageous lies in a battle for veracity. A panel of experts are virtually present to judge each contestant’s story. A new contestant is chosen every hour on the hour around the clock. The Cyber-net never shuts down. Everyone is encouraged to submit Photos and videos as evidence of the truth. Winners receive incredible discounts on amazing luxury items. losers are consigned to the dead file (where names and avatars are lost forever). The panel of experts consists of Miss M, a super computer; Reginald Downly, a professor of some sort; Grey Mook, a computer virus; Anthony Zen, a virtual monk; and Boondeer Saville, a character actress of some renown. Names, of course have been changed to protect privacy rights. The experts are replaced periodically to insure consistent ambiguity. “Deception” is the name of the game. The intent is to fool the experts with an elaborate falsehood or an improbable truth. To add spice to the proceedings, Big Babies (Japanese Robots) are on hand to cudgel contestants into submission. It’s virtual, but it feels real with the sensory-implants required when renting a new smart phone.
“My name is Morton Slope and I’m part of a conspiracy. The irony is: I used to be a comedy writer for television. Ironic cause not much is funny anymore. My life fell apart when I discovered my best friend was having an affair with my wife. That’s where the irony began because we were also having an affair. He was the love of my life — we were soul mates, or so I thought. He confessed… said he wanted to break up… that he met someone new. I discovered his new love was my wife when I returned early from a comedy retreat and caught them in bed.” At this point in the confession a giant robot kitty (with pink spots) starts to jump around like a teenager on amphetamines — getting the party rolling and encouraging the contestant to go for broke. “I guess you want to hear that I killed them both out of revenge. Sorry to disappoint — there was no killing. I just got totally plastered — went on a month long binge — got fired and ended up in a homeless shelter — that’s where I sobered up and learned about the conspiracy. The shelter was run by non-denominational monks. They encouraged me to search for answers concerning my purpose on Earth. They offered books and classes in philosophy and science.” Big Kitty is bored and hits Morton with a rubber baton. The head on the robot-clown starts to spin and shoot sparks. “Hey — stop that. OK, OK — I’ll reveal the big secret, the conspiracy. It’s simple … the monks are aliens from another dimension and I am their new recruit. Yep, me and the aliens are going to rewrite the script, stomp on everything. Take it down piece by piece and leave nothing but the rotting corpse of human greed and betrayal. That’s it, that’s my confession.”
The judges are taciturn. The robot dolls are not amused. Morton failed to convince the jury. The decision is unanimous, “Big lie. Take him to the dead files. Erase him from the Cyber-net.”
Morton Slope sits in a dingy cell, no longer connected, completely cut off from virtual reality. He is hunched over a large book. The book contains many secrets, lists, and formulas. Morton is erasing everything in the book. Every word and symbol corresponds to something in the world. Morton is erasing the world. People won’t notice for a long time, but slowly things will begin to disappear until there is nothing left.
“I’m back… your trusted reporter, the fly on the wall, Orlow Fabricatum (story: the Stone #8). The Last time I spoke (some might say “squealed”) I was in the corridor spying on Daniel and Ann (aka Aaron), the star crossed lovers. Such ludicrous nonsense. Aaron Keepx was ensorcelled, disguised as a girl to keep his true identity secret so he could spy for his master, Rufus Thyme. Rufus wanted information concerning Jupiter Fogg’s progress activating the Philosopher’s Stone. The two Alchemists are powerful enemies. In the interim, events have been unraveling, disclosing a compendium of possible futures, a veritable encyclopaedia of misdirection.”
“Splat!” Jupiter Fogg wiped the stain left by the fly and chuckled to himself. He was well aware of Rufus Thyme’s infiltration by means of the enchanted Ann Anon. He forced himself on Ann and discovered she was a boy. It was an awkward moment that Fogg covered up with a counter spell to disenchant the boy. Aaron Keepx woke up in a panic. His world was unraveling and he ran off to find his friend, Daniel Ot. Fogg admired Thyme’s attempts at deviousness, but his schemes were laughable.
The machinery that comprised Red City roared like a prehistoric giant. The City was bloated with the grief and blood from recent upheavals. Buildings were crumbling in the wake of hurricanes and earthquakes. People were gobbled up by the iron jaws of the underworld. The screams and cries of despair echoing in the catacombs were like music to the blind nemesis, Red City — It had a voracious appetite for blood that was finally being sated in the throes of catastrophe. The City demanded a celebration, a Masquerade ostensibly to celebrate Jupiter Fogg’s solution to the end of the world. Anyone who was not dead was required to attend the masked ball, but no one was allowed to be themselves. Avatars were freely available. Masks and costumes were required. Several layers of obfuscation were essential in order to survive the ordeal.
Daniel Ot tried to reassure Aaron, “It was never sexual. I mean you are pretty as a girl, but I knew something was not quite right.” Aaron sniffed. He wasn’t sure it was the answer he wanted. He was still confused — he knew he was sexually attracted to Daniel. Both boys were caught in a swirling embrace of mixed emotions and devastating revelations. Life and death hung in the balance like crystal icons about to be crushed. They were best friends now, on the verge of an unknowable and mysterious future. Soon, Jupiter Fogg meant to sacrifice Daniel Ot in an attempt to awaken the power of the Philosopher’s Stone. Soon, Rufus Thyme meant to disembowel Aaron keepx because he failed as a spy. Daniel and Aaron were thrown together, brothers in their resistance to fate.
The Harlequin-beat Angel lived in the Red Desert on the outskirts of the City. She was broken, but she survived the onslaught of destruction that was unleashed by the Black Cube, an artifact sent from the future to destroy the past. She survived along with the first settlers of Red City (when the place was an ordinary western town on the edge of nowhere). She saved everyone. That was the past… no one has seen the Harlequin-beat Angel for many years, but she has become a legend, a myth. Stories about the Angel have been embellished through the decades. People claim to have seen her perform miracles, but there is never any proof. No photographs of the Angel exist. Nothing is truly known about the authenticity of the stories. Some time ago, a reported incident took place in Red City on Stolemock Street (story: Harlequin 3). A whirlwind rushed through the area and destroyed several buildings. As a result, many slaves were released from their bondage. People claimed the whirlwind was the Harlequin-beat Angel. Legends say she will return to free everyone from the jaws of Red City.
(to be continued)
Winston Belcross cried before he laughed. Crying always preceded wild, hysterical laughter. He could never laugh without crying. His behavior had nothing to do with humor or joy or anything that might induce laughter. The laugh always followed the tears and tears had nothing to do with any particular sadness. They flowed and laughter followed no matter what. Of course there were times in his life when he was able to connect tears and laughter to particular events and emotions… like now, looking in the mirror and watching his life reflected in the glass like a movie. He just turned seventy and his life flickered like a carnival of errors. His promising career as an engineer petered out when he decided to follow his dream and become an inventor. His inventions were called innovative, but not practical — and certainly not marketable. He struggled working at odd jobs and depending on his wife’s income to raise two boys. He failed at family planning and the boys were too much for him to handle with Wilma working full time. They were teenagers when they disappeared from his life — they were preoccupied with school, meeting friends, and playing online games. Winston never had time for his sons and one morning he realized he knew nothing about them. It was the same with Wilma. He never gave her the attention and love she deserved. One day she just left. The boys disappeared long before Wilma. It was as if they knew Winston was crazy.
He worked feverishly on new ideas and inventions — his work became an addiction. His health suffered. His ideas blew up in his face. He tried to create more efficient energy cells using water as an energy source (the chemistry just didn’t work). Winston’s main interest was Transference Technology: moving objects from place to place instantaneously. The experiments never produced results. He came so close yet nothing quite connected. He had no money. He lived in a shack in Stewbben Town, a rundown suburb.
Winston stared at this reflection. He was shrinking. He ate very little, depending on a government program that delivered one meal a day. He was old. The house was falling down around him and he didn’t care. The lines and wrinkles on his face were a map of failed attempts. “I came so close so many times,” he mumbled through his tears; then he laughed hysterically realizing his life was a joke, a ludicrous jest.
The reflection in the mirror changed. Winston’s gray visage faded like a ghost and the glass glazed over, turning black. He saw a small spark deep within the black hole where the mirror was hung. Winston began to laugh and this time there were no tears. He laughed and bobbed from foot to foot because he knew what the spark meant. He began to dance. In his mind he was dancing with Mr. Death. The spark in the mirror grew like a swirling red cloud, red on black, dancing and churning, screaming and pleading, “Help — help me!” The spark resolved into the image of a hooded man in a red robe holding a crosier. It looked like the man was writhing in pain, torn apart by elemental forces. As soon as the image arrived, it flashed out like a broken bulb. At first Winston was disappointed — he was hoping Mr. Death had come calling, but it was something else entirely. Then, Winston realized it was a true scientific phenomenon related to his own Transference Technology. It was eerily similar to an event that was detected by the Arecibo Observatory. The media never reported the event, but word spread on short-wave radio (Winston still kept his radio in good working order). Something was trying to get through, to enter this dimension. Winston’s device was on the work table in the living room. It never really functioned, but sometimes small diodes would blink in a weak attempt to start up. Now, however, something was definitely happening and Winston was determined to rescue the man from another dimension with his machine — the contraption was finally coming to life, vibrating and fuming with sparks.
Jupiter Fogg was trying to cross over, from one world to another. It was all part of his plan to awaken the Philosopher’s Stone (part of the human brain), the key to immortality and increased mental abilities. The plan would allow him to escape from a crumbling Red City. His gigantic Brain Machine was almost complete — it combined Stolemock’s Transference Device with mechanisms designed to trigger the Philosopher’s Stone. Fogg was almost ready to insert the victim into the Machine. The victim’s death was key to reviving the slumbering powers within the brain. Fogg would be attached to the victim electronically so he could experience the shock of death. The shock would wake the Philosopher’s Stone and allow Jupiter Fogg to escape to another dimension far away from a dying Red City.
(to be continued)