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Month: July 2023

The Party at the End of the Street

If you were to look up the words “Party” and “Celebration” you’d find something that describes what we expected to find. It was Parade Season in New York, so we’d expected it to be Parade Season pretty much everyplace where humans were.

We were like that. Ignorant.

So, we were wandering around; shore leave on a colony so far out on the edge that they had given up on standard English centuries ago and spoke like old videos from the 20th. Good news, the 1990s Media had just reached them via Radio waves Arriving AFTER the colonists. Bad News, everyone thought being disaffected and rude was “in”

This was the blessing of Faster than Light Travel, we raced ahead of our own culture reaching out into space. So a Culture would meet humans who had spent 100s of years in space then they’d bump into the Radio waves of Human Culture as i passed through space. After a few bad meets, an enterprising scientist developed the “Leading Wave” project that sent FTL ships ahead of the “Human History Wave” to establish “good faith” for Humanity before the wave reached intelligent people out in the void.

The upshot of all this is humps like me find ourselves crewing massive diplomatic ships going in one direction from Earth OUT.

And we needed a Party.

So we stayed here on “Planet MTV” as they wanted to be called. They had been blessed with a loop of 90s American Culture and decided it was the nadir of humanity and just went with it. Imagine a 90s than ever ended like an old Star Trek where they are stuck in World War 2 forever. That kind of thing, but with beanies and weed. They could throw a party though, there was this never-ending 2 part “Woodstock” festival going on here in the “Burbs” district. Basically one part is a riot and one is like full of Non-Aggro Mud People.

The Party that never ended on the planet that never left the 90s. It was like living on old times for our crew, from before their grandmas were born! They threw a good party for us working stiffs on shore leave. In less than 4 days we’d be back on the ship , getting our genetics in line to make us “neutral” before we head out again, diplomats who clean toilets on a space ship, racing our own history into the Universe.

Party on Wayne.

In a hot summer

Chet had spent the last 14 years moving one step at a time along a trail of self-destruction that has stretched out ahead of him as a teenager as a “whole lifetime” and now was looking like something that folks in high society will call ‘youthful indiscretion’.

Chet had been killing for Uncle Sam since before there were secret agencies to give you medals for it. He had been working for The Secret Service unofficially just so they’d have a budget to shuttle him around the world to take care of people they thought they couldn’t buy or bully.

Chet found himself in his 30s, back home again. In the deep dark of time between duties. He had nothing, was nothing, he hardly existed as an actual person anymore. Chet always seemed to be somewhere else. He had personalities and voices and accents for every place America Had an Enemy, He forgot what his home town even looked like; never mind how they’d sound.

Chet stared at the main drag of the huge college town he had been born into. He couldn’t picture anything about this place. He felt the breeze die, and the heat pricked him all over. Pins of sweat appeared as soon as the breeze gave up the ghost and the Sun seemed to just focus on Chet’s lost self. Like the baleful eye of a God or at least Judgement.

Chet ducked into the Drug Store and was pleased to find it cooler and darker.

“Hey! Chester!” the man behind the counter looked to be about Chet’s age. A burly man, not the type you’d find behind the counter in a Drug Store.

Chet met the man from behind the counter as he stretched out his hand, Chet assumed a friendly personality, “Good to See You! It’s been forever is this your place?”

“Sure Is! My Dad left it to me when he moved out to Nevada!” Chet scanned around, looking for a family name, catching Scanetts. He spun through names in his head and came up with some unsavory people, and Nevada clicked it all into place. Chet knew right away why he was in his home town.

“Izzy?” Chet ventured.

“YOU REMEMBER!” Isreal Scanetts (Scanetti) was in fact running a local money laundering scheme via his father’s Drug Store. Which did a decent business; but it’s books showed a bit more profit than was sensible for a town this small. Izzy was watching shop for his Father’s Mobbed up connections in Nevada.

Chet was here to close up shop. It was going to be a long hot Summer.