Coming To The End Of Infinity by William-Bill Philip
A search party was sent out to locate the rogue missing charge. The place it should have occupied within the consistent framework was empty, for as far as the eye could see in either direction every charge was in place. The vacuum created the vision, the consistency of uniformity alluded to the blur. Orders came from the Cerebral Cortex to capture and detain with, “whatever force seems necessary”. A memo boomed out across the chamber that the missing charge harboured sensitive information that was urgently required. Search parties raced across preplanned roots as the individual charge crouched down obscured from view. Information officers raced down the linear roads examining the sides, the odds and the evens, oblivious to the fact that the missing charge was in the gutter. Each charge was scanned, the information was read and bypassed in zillionths of milliseconds. The process of information read and charges knocked down created an electrical domino rally. A trillion pieces over a few squared millimeters. The charge crouched down and started to take a sip of water. Not even having time to put the vessel to his mouth, he was seized, squeezed, subjugated and sectioned. The information was pooled and the break for freedom was curtailed, charge one trillion ten billion eighty five million twenty five thousand and forty nine was put back into place one trillion ten billion eighty five million twenty five thousand and forty nine.
“Bonzo!” Mr. Rigg yelled pebble dashing the air with breakfast debris. “I have just remembered his name it was Bonzo.”
“No it wasn’t, it was Bronco.” Mrs. Rigg corrected, demonstrating the lack of mutiny within her skull and highlighting the impeccable order within.
“Bonzo? Bronco? What’s the difference it is all the same old crap.” Mr. Rigg defiantly retorted highlighting the ineptitude of his brain and bit into a piece of burnt toast.
Such concepts as mistakes and breakfast didn’t interest Gerry Rigg. Seven year old Gerry, Mr. and Mrs. Rigg’s only child was a prodigy, a genius, an unnatural gift of nature. While his parents were arguing in the floor above about the name of their old next door neighbour’s dog Gerry was building a spaceship. The London borough of Garnett in south-west London, where the Riggs lived in a two bedroom terraced house, didn’t have a space programme and Gerry’s astronomical endeavours were notable by their isolation. Young Gerry filtered out the muffled noise of his parents’ pointless arguing that descended through the pine floorboards, through the dust, pens, mice shit, detritus and plaster and fell from the ceiling, the matter that separated the floors absorbed some of the sound but never enough for Gerry’s liking. Mr. Rigg and Gerry never got on, the relationship was strained from the start. As soon as Gerry could speak and hold a conversation – at eight months of age – he was correcting his father. Being corrected by an eight month old sapped the confidence of any man.
Relationship severance effectively came at the wedding of Gerry’s uncle Gaz. It was then when Mr. Rigg saw Gerry as less of a son and more of an annoying concrete albatross. Mr. Rigg pushed Gerry round the reception talking to friends and family, when he stumbled upon his wife’s niece Stacey, a lady who Mr. Rigg had always liked sexually. He plucked up the courage to talk to her. “I think it was Mark Twain who said, ‘Love: a temporary insanity, curable by marriage.’” Stacey nervously giggled unsure of what to say or do next, Mr. Rigg laughed and subtly examined her chest. Nine month old Gerry stood up in his pram and whilst biting onto the neck of a plastic giraffe, gargled, “It was actually Ambrose Bierce” and sat back down to continue the decapitation. Mr. Rigg first went a shade of light crimson that suggested embarrassment followed, quickly, by a mid-Venetian red that suggested anger. Mr. Rigg didn’t know when the legitimate age was to punch his son. He was waiting for that day. Occasionally when he felt defeated in a discussion with his toddler or bored of being constantly corrected Mr. Rigg would pick up Gerry and spank him. One day the spank would be replaced with a pummelling, that day would feel like the proverbial all the birthdays coming at once.
The spaceship that occupied the entirety of the basement of number 37 was, save for some minor fine tuning, ready for take off. Venture II, as Gerry had daubed across the side of the steel casing in red paint, had been in construction for over three years. It measured sixty feet from tail to tip and just under twenty three feet in width. Three years of meticulous planning and fastidious engineering were in the next few days to bear fruit, creative fruit, fruit of the loins. Since the age of five Gerry had used an economical hand pump to syphon off petrol from the tanks of parked cars throughout the streets of Garnett, the vat of petrol that he was storing in a trench in the back garden he had calculated would be enough to take the laden ship into space whereupon the ‘dark engine’ which he had slaved over could then start thrusting the ship powered by the renewable energy source of dark energy that populated every corner of the cosmos, jetting Venture II through infinity helping him on his quest to find life on nearby planets. Gerry calculated the speed that the ship would travel would be sufficient to bend space and create a shield in front of the ship to deflect all manner of celestial debris.
When Mr. Rigg was twenty one he signed away his rights for participation in a drugs trial. Undeterred by doctors and medical staff who encouraged Mr. Rigg to read the small print and see exactly which rights he was signing away, he continued recklessly signing the five sheet contract and demanding the money up front. The drugs trial was to test the implications and possible side effects of EjaculatiYUM! a product that flavoured ejaculate so that, as the tagline promoted, a splash of love tastes like a splash of heaven. The flavours that were tested at the trial were far from heavenly – coffee, bubblegum and beer. Mr. Rigg didn’t once think about the possible health implications of a product that bleached semen with synthetic tastes, napalming sperm cells with bubblegum chemcials. Prostitutes were brought in from nearby areas like Drebin to taste the ejaculate and to write down which flavours they thought were present. The trial was stopped in the first week, patients suffered adverse effects and traces of blood were found in the ejaculate. Mr. Rigg was ostracised from his family who questioned the morality of joining a medical experiment that wasn’t offering to further research on preventable disease but flavouring cum. Mr. Rigg always thought the EjaculatiYUM! experiments may have affected the mental state of Gerry, he used to laugh to himself that for someone who should have resembled beer, his son was actually full of shit.
The deafening roar with which Venture II left the basement of number 37 and hurtled towards the black abyss of space could be heard over nine miles away in the metropolitan borough of Rigsby in the south-east of the capital. The great thrust of the engine blew out the windows of all houses and cars within a two hundred yard radius, like the exit point of a gunshot wound the chasm that engulfed the rear of the house was vast. The lower portion of the back of the house collapsed, as did the wall at the back of the garden, forty chimney pots fell, the spaceship uprooted an apple tree and carbonised the patchy grass in the back yard. Mr. Rigg, awakened by the thundering ‘dark engine’, muttered that Gerry had really gone and done it this time and went for him to give him another spanking only to see the apple of his eye, the banana of his groin, the plums of his testicles, the fruits of his loins ascending to the heavens in a glorious harmonious flash. Mr. Rigg let out a brief reflective smile before bellowing that the bottom of his house had fallen down.
Gerry Rigg left solid, stable, dependable land indefinitely, bolting towards the darkness floating for the foreseeable future with every possibility that his steel capsule could become his wooden coffin. The provisions that Gerry had brought to nourish him through his astronomical expedition shook and smashed with the rumblings of the engine. Bottles broke and sealed packets burst open with the continued bombardment of pressure. After traveling for four minutes the shuttle approached the lower reaches of space. Gerry reprogrammed the engine, flicking switches and writing down the figures on pressure dials and distance gauges, he switched off the connection to the petrol tanks, and lowered the empty tanks then flicked a series of switches to ignite the dark energy collection funnels and opened five vents across the front of the spaceship and a further twelve throughout the rest of Venture II. The pooling of dark energy started, the tanks were unfastened and the dead weight removed. The ‘dark engine’ kicked in and the vessel started to rocket through space. Gerry, who was sat on a box so that he could see over the dashboard, steered through a large scattering of meteorites and then activated the autopilot. When he was happy with the path he was taking Gerry went to the rear of Venture II and reassembled his provisions, stacking the food up in uniform piles, neat pyramids. He took the box from the pilot’s seat and stood on it to look out of a side window, the view was similar from every window. Exhausted by the journey Gerry, whilst brushing his teeth, examined that his calculations were correct and that no debris was penetrating the shield and striking the spaceship, he monitored the speedometer and then fell asleep on the floor in his pyjamas cocooned in his sleeping bag.
By the time Gerry resurfaced from his slumber Venture II had traveled over two point six billion miles. Gerry examined the readings on the gauges and dials across the dashboard and the chambers of the engine and annotated them all in his book, before examining the optic registers for life forms on planets the ship passed as he slept. Gerry used his sensitive hyper-goggles to anatomise the celestial bodies, he passed at one hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second, for signs of life or evidence of the aftermath of redundant existence. Intently observing every rock Gerry raced through infinity.
On the eve of Gerry’s fourteenth birthday, the miles coverage dial broke. It was the worst birthday present he could have asked for and six light years from base camp he didn’t know where to get a replacement from either. The miles coverage dial didn’t present a figure but a word, it was jarred on VIGINTILLION, Gerry had watched the gauge with relish flash up the words that he had pre-programmed, seeing SEPTILLION being replaced by OCTILLION in turn being replaced by NONILLION. Gerry was annoyed he had wanted to see the day when CENTILLION flashed up, the letters he had installed for CENTILLION were five points bigger, upon reaching CENTILLION the dial returned to the beginning. The scanning of planets and rocks and the persistent swaying of his head had resulted in deep wrinkles horizontally dissecting Gerry’s neck. The lines were a visible warning to the internal damage being done to the cartilage in his spinal column. Venture II flashed through space, on its endless quest, catapulted through the unknown.
Gerry had designed an allotment in the back of Venture II, it had supplied him with an endless amount of vegetables. A reliable constant food source that too relied on the abundance of dark energy. The rows of grow bags in the back of the ship gave a calming fluidity to the internal dynamic of the vessel. As Venture II started to veer off its course Gerry steered the ship closer to a cluster of planets a quadrillion or quintillion miles away on the left hand side. A year or two down the line when he passed the planets he discovered that not a fragment of life existed on them.
Traveling at the speed of light made Gerry lonely. Very few forms inhabited his world. His parents were long since dead and so was his home planet, planet Earth never stood a chance. Gerry began to lose track of how old he was, he thought he was fifty three – he was in fact sixty two – everything merged into a flash. The view rarely changed, the objective rarely changed. He whizzed through time. Nothing changed.
The hyper-goggles Gerry wore cut large grooves into the side of his head and permanently embedded his eyes in dangerous vacuums, bursting blood vessels and damaging his skin. Despite, the Years being one of the few things that could keep up with Gerry’s flying spaceship, they didn’t affect him. He still adhered to the same careful manner of observation his neck turning one hundred and eighty degrees scanning the passing rocks and lumps, his neck was as well oiled as it was when he was an eight year old, he may have been carving semi-circular grooves through the vertebrae but he didn’t let the pain stop him in his desire to find life forms, he diligently observed the passing galaxies as he had done for the past fifty four years. Seeing the larger meteorites being deflected by the shield over the viewing screen was a spectacle that Gerry never tired of witnessing, the way the bent space directly in front of the ship’s nose threw the rocks all around Venture II brought on ideologies of a protective hand of God. Gerry slowly swiveled the pilot’s chair round and removed his goggles, he ignited the autopilot and the optic registers and shuffled to the rear of the ship. Using the Sensitivity Capture, Gerry took a light meter reading, through his goggles he observed that there was a slight brightness difference in an area roughly fifteen light years away to the north-east. The reading documented a brightness difference of 00098 p/p/u, Gerry re-programmed the designated path and headed towards the minuscule difference.
The virgin path that Venture II paved took diligent Gerry past thousands of rocks and hundreds of planets. Every new planet he passed he named and documented, the inbuilt computer above the cabbages at the back of the ship contained the names and details of over three hundred and fifty planets, all baptised, in Latin, according to their appearance. Each planet had been fully documented by a series of cameras located on the sides of Venture II. By the time Gerry eventually reached the light source he was ninety eight, en route he had documented a further seven hundred and three planets, none contained life or signs of past life. Not a single one, the only life that Gerry Rigg had seen was the assorted vegetables growing in his allotment. The darkness of space had caused his pupils to stay, for long periods of time, at the same dilated size. But with each passing year his pupils were shrinking, as the light source brightened. There appeared a large light source a few million light years away. When he was eighteen months Gerry had read up about the nemesis theory of the destruction of earth by a dust and gas ball, a couple of light years ago he had passed Nemesis. He nodded at it as it raced on its path to obliterate planet Earth, but life had ended there anyway so it was a false dawn, a collision course of nothingness. Like two lumps of concrete banging into each other with no one there to watch.
Gerry scanned the planets as he raced at the speed of light through a new unchartered galaxy. When all of a sudden a motion, on a planet with horizontal and vertical rings, caught his attention. Gerry steered Venture II towards the activity to examine the spectacle at close-quarters, he had been searching for since the age of eight. Skilfully piloting the vessel fifty thousand feet above the ground of Bastrid, Gerry observed what appeared to be some form of alien life. Gerry lost control of the ship and ploughed it at one hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second into the hard shell of the gigantic planet.
Moments prior Gerry struck the ejector button and his body flew through space, due to the lack of atmosphere on the planet the parachute failed to deploy and Gerry’s unconscious body flew towards the surface with the parachute lagging behind like the release of an inflated balloon. He died next to his beloved Venture II, his Impact Suit preserved his body from obliteration and his pointless parachute, that Gerry had only installed in case of complications in take off, fell and covered his face like the death sheet of a traumatic fatality. The apocalyptic crash caused a stir on Bastrid. The speed of the crash caused surrounding buildings to be structurally affected and the local population to run for cover. Local officials were first on the scene. They told bewildered onlookers to take a step back and let the officials have some space. By the time that Gerry Rigg’s body was recovered and removed from the scene the crowd of green aliens was ten thousand strong, all murmuring and with antennas excitedly swaying, one in the front row told his friend, “They are going to take him to our leader, I think.”
Gerry Rigg’s body was put on a table and a series of aliens came in and probed him, the autopsy was carried out relatively quickly. The tests carried out were inconclusive, the body was of indeterminable origin. A media frenzy had ensued around the spaceship that bolted out of oblivion and landed on Bastrid, the strange figure found in the space suit was labeled the Alien From Outer Space, and pictures of him occupied the title pages of all media outlets. The mysterious figure, some news stations, announced looked like a gratinlin – a spongy form of alien food, others suggested he may have come from Illiarina a nearby planet that most unexplained activity was blamed on. The Leader of Bastrid took to the marcastone steps outside his seat of power, where a crowd of over one hundred and fifty thousand had gathered to hear the official announcement, the result of the probings and the origin of the Alien From Outer Space.
“I have here,” the Leader announced brandishing a grey folder, “the results of the autopsy and the findings of the scientists.” Silence engulfed the ever growing crowd. “The tests were inconclusive, the body was not from any planet we know. The scientists are divided as to whether this thing is from Illiarina or Kuoto, it is a fifty fifty split.” The Leader put a suction pad tipped green finger into the air, “One thing they can agree on, though, is that this form that has been branded the Alien From Outer Space, is almost certainly a hoax.” Members of the crowd nodded knowingly. “The fleshy shell, the five fingers on each,” the Leader jokingly emphasised, “hand, the two legs and the brain in the centre of the head. It carries all the hallmarks of a hoax. A good hoax, but a hoax nonetheless.”
The Alien From Outer Space was put down to being work by a local conspiracy theorist possibly in the pocket of a local tabloid newspaper who were interested in shifting units of their flagging rag. Both Venture II and Gerry Rigg were bought by a local museum who exhibited hoax artefacts. His naked body was placed in a sealed glass cabinet, next to him was his Impact Suit and his parachute. The cabinet to his left contained a three headed brown creature with seventeen arms and one leg and to his right a shapeless blob which was named the Yatras Yan after the place it was discovered. Amidst the weird and wonderful exhibits Gerry Rigg in the shadow of his beloved Venture II found eternal rest. Green aliens filed past him to observe what a very good hoax looked like, the information panel at the base of his feet read:
Alien From Outer Space
This figure caused a media frenzy when he
was discovered by the side of Venture II
(see exhibit 245) at Japatian in 796. The
Alien From Outer Space is an example of,
as the Leader announced, a very good hoax.
The work around the head is especially
realistic. Critics continue to debate who
the figure was the work of, but there is a
general consensus that the newspaper
Oppatrian were somehow invloved.
© 2013, Metazen.