Friday, December 9, 2011

Decker 28

It felt like coming awake, but with eyes already open; straight from dream to reality. Or... perhaps vice versa? There was a dull, pulsing haze over everything, and it seemed that all the elements of this dreamlike reality were writhing, intermingling like a tangle of electric eels. Quadruple images reluctantly melted to double and, finally, to coordinated stereoscopic left-eye dominant vision.
He was Decker Quall. He'd eaten some peyote buttons in a dilapidated desert shack, and he'd gone for a helluva trip. In fact, the trip didn't seem to be over. Elements of it were weaving in and out before his eyes: A seven-foot-tall, bespectacled, psychedelic painted turtle, a loquacious pair of giant white ducks, an alliterative lizard, a control room like the inside of some upended 1950's submarine, crackling with multicolored electricity, rife with odd, watery scenes from a science fiction Fellini fantasy... he was Decker Quall, but he was beginning to wonder what the hell that meant. Reeling, he staggered toward a curved tables and collapsed into a chair.
A naked, creamy-furred dude materialized and mirrored his movements, causing phase ripples to wash through his newly re-gelled personality. He stared across the table into those insanely familiar eyes, further disoriented by the cream-furred reflection he saw there. "Shit exponential!" Degren's doubling of his expletive jarred him loose; he was Deckren for a moment, then recalled visions of the distorted casino muddled that. Pangs of lust and powdered stimulation knifed through him; the call of manic fortune and wild, unreal elation, the hot sense of power and helplessness merging, the thrill of riding waves of chance and entropy... he wondered where that came from, then realized that he was empathizing with the Furge/Decker entity they'd gone to rejoin, reclaim, reorient....
Where was Furge? As the transpiration of his recent adventures once again slid across his mind like stage curtains reopening, he saw himself tackling Furge and reaching, striving, intending toward this giant hyperbaric chamber, back to Tut, the genius turtle who could help them put things right... but it seemed he'd lost Furge somehow.
Galvanized, he stood and shouted, "Tut! I lost Furge. We have to go back!"
"Err... Deckren, I don't think..."
"I had him, dammit! Deg-...umm, yeah, mirror-me, let's get our heads together and make the trip. We probably don't have much time!"
"Deckren, I still have the projector up and pointed to the locus you just came from," Tut said. "Furge disappeared from the image at the same instant you did. He's not there anymore."
"Well I'll be shit-damned, shit-smeared, and shitillated!" Again, the exclamation was doubled simultaneously. The two furry men caught each others gaze, both unsuccessfully fighting the impulse to giggle like little girls. "What now, Tut?", one of them said.
The curving, riveted-plate wall behind Tut was boiling like pizza sauce. Tut himself seemed to waver. Deckren clenched his eyes shut and shook his head, then looked again; the big turtle had briefly shape-shifted into someone suspiciously resembling Lizzie, the woman who had twice tried to abscond with the projector. The two Aidas, oblivious to everything but each other, were circling the chamber as the floor tilted beneath them, a mad teacup carnival ride in four dimensions. Coxli skittered across the boiling walls, randomly popping in and out of exploding bubbles, re-emerging each time in different, glistening colors. His alter ego, wavering slightly before him, mirrored his actions, oscillating in and out of phase. He told his body to move toward the other Deckren; it responded clumsily, exaggeratedly, and he lurched into an unexpectedly solid, arcing metal bulkhead. The impact seemed to knock something free in him and he righted himself, steadier now. He felt a weight leave his body, saw a familiar, near-emaciated form extrude itself from him and crumple to the floor.
It was Decker/Furge, naked now, nearly hairless but for tufts in the oddest places; head, crotch, armpits... something strange about that, it seemed, though deja vu...
Deckren reached for the prone figure, but it vanished, only to reappear next to his alter ego, who was now on the opposite side of the room, seemingly encumbered as he had been seconds before. He chanced a forward flip in their direction, landed a hand's breadth away from the now-stirring naked man, staring into his own mirrored eyes.
Neither noticed that Tut had fully transformed into Lizzy, who was brandishing some sort of crystalline pistol that, to her dismay, was squirting out rainbows, butterflies, and miniature multicolored pastel unicorns. She launched the offending weapon toward the undulating, rotating ducks and made a grab for the projector. Coxli, looking slightly dizzy, poked his head out of a frozen bubble and saw her. Throat sac in turgid splendor, iridescent green and metal flake yellow, he dived out of the ceiling in her general direction, all the while sputtering machine-gun alliterations at her like blowgun darts. He landed on her left shoulder, knocking her to her knees; the projector went careening into the air and was sucked up by a molten vortex. Lizzy leaped toward the ceiling, hurtling through the air like a trapeze artist momentarily, but she struck one of the rainbows that lingered from her earlier barrage and transformed into Tut, whose inertia was so different that he simply halted in midair, blinking through radically askew psychedelic swirl coke bottle bottom glasses. Coxli's dorsal spines raised up and turned fluorescent purple, then Doppler-ed off into an invisible spectrum.
The other Deckren seemed off-balance, heavy. Deckren clapped him soundly on the chest with two open palms, jogging free another Decker/Furge entity, which fell and melted into the first. As the amalgam shuddered into consciousness, rising slowly to his feet, the two Deckrens found themselves drawn irresistibly to one another. Each braced for what they expected to be an inevitable merge, but their hands clapped together and they commenced to waltz toward the perimeter of the now wildly transfigured chamber. They took up an orbit polar to the two ducks and rotated slowly in relation to each other as the orbit path snaked between the jetties and fjords of the funhouse mirror walls.
Eyes locked on his partner's, Deckren tried to vocalize his thoughts, which seemed to be echoing in bubbly curves around the periphery of his brain, much like the images reflected in the chamber walls. Knitting his brows, he thrust a thought directly at Deckren. Muddled as it was, it must have gotten through; he reciprocated, amplified, clarified, "You."
Their communication catalyzed, crystallized. The room froze, along with everything in it except the Deckrens and Decker/Furge. The mirrored walls went transparent, revealing a mind-bending hellscape of alternate worlds melting, meshing, smashing into each other in hurricanes of temporo-spatial flux.
Deckren, by some heroic effort, locked onto his partner's mind signal and transmitted, "What the FUCK?"
"Agreed," came the stoic reply, "what now?"

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