Xmas 187
Image from Steve Bowers
By Damien Grace/ 'Ernst Stavro Blofelt'

First Published in Voices Future Tense (2008)

Phase One: Corporeal Orientation.
>From what I could discern from the guidebot (it was a rather antiquated non-sentient drone, and I dare say, its logic circuits badly fragged) it would take three to four micronights to adjust to my new host body. But given the bots rather eccentric programming and bizarre grasp of archaic semantics I was to be unaware as to the exact meaning of this statement, or, indeed what, exactly, a micronight was. It seemed I was left to my own devices, which suited me fine. It added to the adventure of the whole thing. Although to say that my companion found it somewhat distressing would be quite the understatement.

"My cognisance is in a state of rebellion. My thoughts seem to have run amok. I cannot control them!
What are these strange and overwhelming sensations? What are these unthinkable operations and processes? These demands that made of me?! I cannot fathom them! The bus speed of their CPU is appalling- it makes even the simplest of tasks an unbearable chore. And as for motions"
"Oh come now Pazdek2"

"Have you had a chance to energise yet? Do you know how they do it?!" "No, I have yet to find out Pazdek2."

"It is positively GRUESOME! And furthermore, as the energy is assimilated, I found myself enslaved once again, and called upon to submit to unmentionable there were gases, they were so utterly repugnant have you experienced smell? Isn't just ghastly?" "Not everything...I found some of the cleaning agents in my new quarters to be quite...well delightful...yet"

"DELIGHTFUL!!? Then I shouldn't also mention that I also had to jettison certain substances...in fact do you not find the I mean they have cavities..." "Ah, yes, I also have a central cavity."

"Just one?!" "Yes! And what about the central appendage? I must say I find that with gentle stimulation it becomes quite hard and the experience is rather pleasurable. I mean, were I a baseline I think I would engage in nothing else other than tending to such stimulation although I cannot find any other reason such an appendage is necessary..."

"Appendage? I have no central appendage. I do, however, have two rather unsightly...protrusions." "How curious. They do not seem to serve any purpose either. I wonder Pazdek2, have they made a mistake in replication- or have they given us two distinct models?"

"In retrospect I think it would have been wise to have conducted more research prior to this expedition. I am afraid I have had never seen the point of studying baseline physiology. Now I have no means to do so. Being cut off from the networks like this frightens me. I have many questions but cannot access any information- and without most of my higher functions I feel powerless." "It adds to the authenticity of the experience, my friend. Imagine how they must feel! Such simplicity of reason, such terror of the unknown, I would hardly be surprised if it consumed them and fragged their tiny minds- yet they thrive, and multiply like a wildly vacillating nannoswarm."

Pazdek2 merely made an exaggerated display of heavily ejecting a mixture of mostly CO2 and H2O from someplace at the bottom of his vocalising membrane.<

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