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Boating Part 7 - The Adventures of Zarkor and Zerak

Posted by StarMountainKid , 23 October 2013 · 377 views

Boating Part 7 - The Adventures of Zarkor and Zerak Here is the next installment of "Boating" which I began way back when on some distant page. Some of you seem to be actually reading these installments of this story. Well, maybe not, as probably most who visit here read a sentence or so and leave as quickly as they can. I can understand that and sympathize.  For those who stay, don't worry, no one will learn of your visit, and I admire your stamina if you manage to get through the whole page. Anyway, here's what is happening next:

As you may remember, Zarkor is being escorted to Slog’s execution compound, being held down by the natives. They arrive at a walled-in area with a machine at its center. Slog peers at the machine with a loving expression on his face. He explains: “Zarkor my friend, here you see my patented brain extraction device. It’s very simple in operation. You sit here in this chair, the mechanical arm covers your head and effortlessly and painlessly your brain is extracted from your skull. Simple, isn’t it?”

Zarkor glances hesitantly at the machine then turns to Slog. “Very nice,” he says. “I think we should talk this over first, though, Slog. I mean, I think you’ll be disappointed in my brain. It’s got me in a lot of trouble, and I’m not so sure you’d be happy with it.”

Slog, still gazing in admiration at his machine, ignores Zarkor’s comments. “Of course you are kept alive during the operation so that the organ remains active, then your brain is carefully placed here in this glass container for further examination.”

Zarkor finally looses his temper and confronts Slog. “You can’t do this, Slog! I have powerful friends; wait ‘till they hear about this! Then you’ll be sorry! And besides, I’d be more valuable to you with my brain where it is! I’m a brilliant scientist, in case you didn’t know; I could help you in your research!” Zarkor then adds hopefully, “Want to hear some of my theories?”

Slog, who has been making careful adjustments to his machine during Zarkor’s diatribe, now pauses and turns to Zarkor. “I suppose I could use an assistant. These natives are no help at all. If it wasn’t for their gullible complicity I don’t think I’d tolerate them at all.”

“Yeah, that’s right, Slog,” Zarkor says hopefully, “my brain is too valuable to be put in a bottle. I’ve had various enhancements and improvements installed, like my Dumb Luck Implant. I’d make a great assistant!”

Slog turns back to his adjustments, seemingly having dismissed the assistant idea. “Hmm…By the way, where’s Cloney?” He says absently.

Zarkor looks around. “I don’t know, he was here a minute ago. But listen Slog…”

Slog glances over his shoulder at Zarkor. “No, all this talk isn’t helping. I think I’ll execute you after all. Your brain would be much more valuable to me in a bottle. In fact, yours may be the last brain I’ll need.” Slog straightens up and stares into a vague distance. “With your unusual brain, my experiments may finally be completed! My life’s work fulfilled!” Slog re-focuses and turns to Zarkor. With a gesture he says, “Sit here, my friend, in front of the machine. And don’t worry, it will only hurt for a little while, then you’ll feel no pain for the rest of your life!”

Promptly, the natives push Zarkor into the chair and strap him down. Above him a claw shaped arm with spinning knives begins to lower over Zarkor’s head, motors humming, gears spinning. As the claw draws closer and closer to poor Zarkor’s skull, Zarkor cries out. “Stop! Stop, Slog! It is impossible to do this. It is impossible for you to remove my brain!”

At this, Slog idles down the mechanism and turns his attention to Zarkor’s words.

“Listen Slog,” Zarkor begins, “you say you built this brain-extracting machine yourself, right? Well, you didn’t build it!” Slog looks a little confused at this statement. Zarkor continues. “This is all a figment of your imagination, Slog! Look, any instructions are only a virtual description of that which they describe, and therefore there can be no physical relationship inherent in this depiction! This machine cannot exist! This is just a figment of your deluded imagination, Slog! You have never built this machine and you have never extracted a brain! Your laboratory is empty, only your delusions exist!”

Slog considers this dubiously. “I suppose this is one of your famous theories, Zarkor?” He asks rather sarcastically. “This is not a very convincing argument.”

Zarkor thinks fast. “Umm…where did you get the instructions, Slog?”

“Well, from an old issue of Popular Galactic Mechanics Magazine."

“I thought so,” says Zarkor contemptuously. “That rag has been discredited by the Galactic Engineering Society for years as a bogus source of useless inventions and pseudo-scientific speculations! You couldn’t build a functioning brain-extraction machine from that phony crowd. You should know that! Your delusions have gotten the better of you, Slog! You need help.”

Slog steps back and considers this. “Well…but I can see this machine right here beside me! I can touch it! I know it exists! My laboratory is full of brains!”

“This just proves how nutty you are, Slog,” Zarkor asserts. “By your own words you have condemned yourself! I see no machine here and neither do your natives. Just ask them,” Zarkor demands confidently, being carried away somewhat by his own rhetoric.

Slog turns to the natives and looks them over. He speaks something to them in their own language, then turns back to Zarkor. “There!” Slog says. “The natives say the machine is real! They can see it!”

“Mass hallucinations, Slog,” Zarkor says calmly, shaking his head in disdain. “It’s a simple example of transference. You’ve transferred your delusions to these poor stupid creatures. Simple psychology. Why don’t we sit down in some quiet place and I’ll analyze your distressed mental condition. Here, untie me.” Zarkor struggles with the restraints. “Probably a result of a traumatic childhood,” he continues, twisting about in a vain effort to loosen the ropes. “As you may know, I’m a trained professional psychological specialist.” Attempting to drift out of his confinement, he adds, “Want to hear my theory on sexual deviations in the species Celeopheidese?”

Unable to wriggle free, Zarkor dejectedly slouches back and looks at Slog expectantly. Slog looks at Zarkor, furrowing his brows as if he were not quite sure he wants Zrkor’s brain after all. There is an uncomfortable pause in the conversation.

Auspiciously at that very moment, Cloney swoops down from high above and lands rather clumsily on the ground between Zarkor and Slog. “Slog!” He shouts, righting himself and regaining his hover. “Listen to me! I have placed a fusion explosive device in your laboratory! And here is the detonator!” A small black object floats before him. “Release Zarkor or I will blow up your machine and destroy all the brains you have so meticulously collected!”

Slog turns furiously to Zarkor. “You have deceived me! I am not delusional! This machine is real, as are my brains! You will pay dearly for your cunning treachery, my friend! Let the brain-extraction begin!” Slog pushes a large red button on his diabolical machine, and the horrible metal blades begin to reel and flash as they inexorably descend closer and closer to Zarkor’s trembling blue-green head.

Zarkor turns to Cloney in terror. “Cloney! Use the remote!”

Cloney turns to Zarkor, then to Slog. “It’s not a real remote, Zarkor!” Cloney cries out apologetically. “It’s just something I fashioned from our last chocolate cup cake to look like a remote!”

“Cloney!...My brain!” Are the last words poor Zarkor is able to articulate before the ghastly blades begin their gruesome task, burrowing deep into poor Zarkor’s skull.

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