Microwave Explosion

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Queen of the Hudson 12/30/2019 9:51pm

"And this is the box?" I ask.

Melvin 117 has it buried in his arms.

"Uh... yes! Yes your... uh, majesty."

He looks around like he's not sure what to do, then holds it before me, squinting, like I might breathe fire.

"Bring it to me."

He looks around again, then walks up the steps of my dais.

The Twigs in my court stand and reach for their weapons. Denizens of the shanty towns around Poughkeepsie Field, homeless from the city, others that got lucky and found their ways up the social ladder but still remember where they came from. The clone population grows daily, thanks to the combined efforts of the Cloning Governance Administration and the Magician's Union. An endless supply of workers and little people to keep the companies going serves them both. Clones who want to be free.

I lift my hand, and they stand down. Melvin 117 hands me the box.

It wasn't always like this. Why am I the only one that remembers?

One ship -- the Microwave Explosion -- and one expired delivery of biofilm. That's all it took. That's the danger of biofilm -- it's not a localized medium. It's BIOFILM. It's all connected. Once one frame exploded, the whole movie went up. Clones everywhere. Forever.

Why am I the only one who remembers?

Because I've seen myself at the other end of the box.

I saw myself as Queen.

I can lead us all out of here. I can lead us all back to before it began.

Because now I have the box.

Melvin Splitsturd 11/14/2019 10:01pm

Something in me says I'm the 117th Melvin... and the only one left. But I might as well be the original, wot? Same memories, same me. When it was all of us, it was easy to just go with the flow... but then we flowed right out the doors of the Microwave Explosion and landed hard on the ground outside the Poughkeepsie Field. Well, some of us landed harder than others. The ground was pretty pulverized with Melvins when I landed, and our warm soft goo broke my fall.

Poor me. There wasn't a clean jumpsuit amongst us (not that our jumpsuit was ever clean) but the kindly waifs who live in these garbage patches outside the airfield are kindly folk, and dressed me in their finest moth eaten tweed and hurried me off before those bulls from the Magician's Union showed up and started busting heads.

The little ragamuffins want me to meet their queen.

Because I've got a Chinese Lightning Box.

Larry Fantasio 10/9/2019 11:36pm

Psssst! Hey! Over here! Yeah, under the streetlamp, and up the rickety stairs behind Pop's place.

Just so you know, the big boys from the Magician's Union aren't the only people keeping their eyes out for that Chinese Lightning Box. If you hear anything, the Queen of the Hudson would be mighty interested in knowing about it. Even the tiniest scrap! She'd make it worth your while, too. Just keep it on the down-low from those union boys and the CGA and you'll be right as rain.

You can find her at the reed-covered lodge, by the little-water place.

And tell her Larry sent you.

Presto LaRue 8/30/2019 10:25pm

The Magician's Union ain't too jazzed about this missing lightning box business. We know youse crows and ragpickers rousted those piles o' twigs in the shanty town out near da landing fields. If'n any o' youse found somethin' interesting, you better let the Cryptic Order know about it, pronto, capisce? Unless you wanna find youself sawed in half.

Presto LaRue
Marshal of the Inside Sentinel
Magician's Union, Poughkeepsie Branch

Curious Curios Inc. 7/30/2019 10:24pm

The footage, as by now everyone has seen, was horrific. The Microwave Explosion on its descent into Poughkeepsie with the never ending stream of bodies pouring out of its hatches. The Cloning Governance Administration quickly identified it as a threat and sent in Twig Teams to deal with cleanup and disposal. Truckloads of broken bodies--all identical of course--were gathered from its path, and the Microwave Explosion was contained in a CGA superlifter. I'm sure all survivors--clone or not--were then quick-terminated.

I suppose my Chinese Lightning Box is going to be held in forensic evidence by the CGA for who knows how long--probably forever--along with the biofilm and refrigerated Iced Miracles and the Spirit-in-a-box and whatever other undelivered cargo was onboard. But the Magician's Union sure isn't going to be happy about it, and I'm the one they're going to hold responsible. And believe me, a bunch of angry magician union members is the last thing you want on your tail.

Melvin Splitsturd 7/1/2019 8:26pm

We may be over-producing a bit! {ooof, excuse me} They just keep popping up, and {pardon me} at an increasing {ow!} rate! Holding onto the captain's chair is becoming more of a challenge, as a {excuse me} steady flow of me continues to surge past like {oh, sorry} an emergency evacuation through a subway. A never-ending stream of humanity, packed like sardines, and they're all me. As a result, all the hatches and doors have burst, and a steady waterfall of my clones pours out, undending.

I believe I myself was pushed out through the main hatch some time ago, and this is my seventh iteration to hold the captain's chair.

{ooof!} Oops. Make that the eighth.

Curious Curios Inc. 6/1/2019 11:43pm

Through the crack left open in the Chinese Lightning Box, I can see and hear just enough to see that the clone crew has accepted the delivery to the Magician's Union Hall in Poughkeepsie. They're actually better than the original crew, seamlessly working together to a common purpose.

Why don't we have more clone crews? I don't understand the laws against them, given their obvious efficiency. At this rate. we'll be at the Magician's Union Hall in no time.

Melvin Splitsturd 5/2/2019 9:30pm

I'd wondered how the ship was sustaining the influx of my clones. They just keep popping out of the woodwork! Jolly good bunch! I just can't get enough of them.

But the ship had originally come with a crew. Not the biggest crew, to be sure, but we had a full compliment.

"What happened to 'em?" I wondered.

Well shame on me, because I've found them all, tied up in broom closets, rolled in rope and gagged. I feel sorry for the lot, but, well, there's a lot more of these clones than there are of me anymore, and I can't risk a mutiny. I think we'll just need to "go with the flow" if you know what I mean.

Full steam ahead! To Poughkeepsie!

Curious Curios Inc. 4/2/2019 7:58pm

Oh my god they've got clones loose.

I really should have checked the ship's history before allowing them to transport the Chinese Lightning Box. Apparently there was some kind of Biofilm accident in the recent past, and now the ship is starting to double itself. Starting with the crew. Or at least one particular, unkept, odd, likely socially awkward and ripe smelling crew member, who has filled the bridge with copies of himself! All wearing the same smudged blue jumpsuit too.

This doesn't bode well for my box getting to the Magician's Union Hall in Poughkeepsie. If only there was some way to warn the captain @Annie Griffin...

Melvin Splitsturd 2/27/2019 7:41pm

The Captain's gone away. Burrowed deep into her own brain no doubt! I saw her heading down the spiral staircase to the library, lost in thought, a million miles away.

Now's the time I live for. Buried in her reverie, the Captain will never notice when I let out my clones!






"Cheers, mate!"


And so on. They've been multiplying ever since that Biofilm blew up. Didn't want to have to fill out any paperwork over their appearance, so I've been keeping them on the DL from the Captain and the officers. Little do they know the reason I keep the ship running so well is that there are so many of me.


And more every day, it seems.

Anyway, time to drive the ship around a bit. "Steady as she goes, mate!" and "Aye aye, mate!" and all that. Never gets old talking to myself.

But wot's this ornate inlaid box of apparent oriental manufacture doing on the dashboard? There seems to be a man peering through it! Hmmm... it says here "Chinese Lightning Box by @Curious Curios Inc." I wonder wut it could all mean. Hello in there little man!!

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