The Big Spiff

Nov 30, 2022

T H E   S W A R M …      

Hello again, son! 

I sure miss your lumpy grin and glad to get word everyone is safe through these troubles. Well… so much has happened since your hero last rode into town I’m not sure where to start. 

Back when everything stopped working, like a salmon, I swam upstream to my hometown. I haven’t been back for a while and a strong nostalgia for the rain and moss seemed reasonable, at first.  Soon enough, I understood my new attraction to rotting leaves, moldering peaches, and interest in European cheeses… despite all precautions a supremely invasive form of prion virus slipped through my double-chamber breathing mask and now turns my brain into a warm jiggly bowl of mayonnaise. 

I know this sounds terrible, but your very own dad turned this lemon into lemonade : I negotiated a truce with these tiny beasties and This-Close to a major trade deal! Kiss me Lady Luck, but your proud pop is now sole local franchisee for the Hegemonic Swarm, a sentient form of folded-protean hive-mind riding the magnetic winds of our galaxy. 

Supremely adaptable, the Swarm easily side-stepped my precautions with their advanced biology and collective cunning: after all, they’ve been at this game of life a long-long while… and this flexibility leaves them open to negotiations with their hosts.  Local management is new, replacing a failed bovine effort of decades past: They simply couldn’t regrow cow throats for speech faster than detection and slaughter.  Landing on the wrong species is embarrassing, but left an opening and fresh team eager for success.  Lagniappe, a lifetime on the road negotiating contracts, marketing agreements, arranging manufacturing licenses, and intellectual property royalties has all primed me for the biggest bonus in human history: Daddy’s gonna be loaded! 

You know son, Mad Cow is such an ugly term and really just comes from ignorance. Let me explain; rewind that cosmic clock to the first wake-up call back when simple critters spread early and often, filling cracks and fissures with consenting amino acids eager to rub-together when nobody is looking. Now immensely old and powerful, these masters ruling our end of the universe take a rather longer view than we do and often amused by our notions, like survival of the fittest. As a sales-hound you know I’m used to running ahead of the pack - get the prize, right?  As they explain, IF evolution is a race, THEN it is won by crossing the finish line LAST: to-be or not-to-be is the last one standing. Weird, but makes sense.  See son, even this old dog can learn new tricks. 

We are actually lucky they look so fondly at the comical gigantism of us ‘newfangled’ planetary creatures.  On a good day, the microscopic world views us as Animal Shelter or Wildlife Preserve.  On a bad day, they’ll drive us like Macy Day parade floats at a Destruction Derby.  I mean, just look what that inbred hick-cousin Covid did and it can’t even read! Now, as one of the earliest forms of life prions have an ancient and proud lineage and we {look son, PoV change!} never indulge in such teen antics. You see, those fancy big-lipid bacterial demigods controlling the more fashionable arms of the galaxy will describe the Swarm as something between cheeky cross-dressers slumming dirty lightspeed-zones and/or dodgy inter-species pedo’s to be avoided in polite company.  In fact, I find them agreeable businessmen glad to work with anyone; native despots, meme cultists, even lawyers, so we are lucky they met me first and why I feel eager to add my uniqueness to Team Slurry. 

Now, as Symbiote One, the decomposition of my body actually fuels my mental-state transfer into their femto-bit cloud, where I will live forever - essentially.  They call it becoming Exalted and I’m told there is great beauty in the breakdown of my meat, but I understand it may be unsettling to see this decomposing corpse lurch and shuffle on your doorstep. Now, I’m still arranging the meetup, but looking really-really good I’ll land an exceedingly well-connected Hollywood social influencer as First Host. As a key-part of my deal, I’ve stipulated the Swarm extends me full puppeteer control of a living agent to visit you twice-yearly on birthdays and Christmas, for your entire life, as well as your children, and grandchildren… for seven generations.  We are going to have such great fun!  

Hey, we have bonus perks for early adopters! I’ll send your mother pamphlets. Hopefully that weird communications block is gone soon and you can reach me directly. Imagine, all of us together again.  You, mom, me, and everyone Kevin Bacon {Shh, let’s surprise mom} meets will be together… forever!

Starswept from the Web of Worlds

Jonathan Gibson ©'22   All Rights Reserved. All Wrongs Revenged.

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