Friday, August 5, 2011

Grey Irish

Grey Irish
Bobby Derie

1. Grey Irish
The Grey Irish are the descendants of the remnants of the Zrr’gbk fleet, which was caught in a terrible hyperstorm and crash-landed on the shores of Ireland in the 2060s. Their descendants are primarily noted by the prevalence for grey skin tones and psychic powers.

2. Grey Irish (ii)
Opponents to the Grey Irish theory posit that the unlocked psychic potential actually comes from the potential higher percentage of Neanderthal genes, though they have failed to reproduce these effects with cloned Neanderthals provided by the Korean labs.


3. Greys
The original progenitors of the Greys didn’t last for long, finally succumbing to human venereal disease in 2066. However, a team of Scots-Canadian researchers kept seven of their cell lines alive well into the 2070s, and is alleged to have used them in experiments involving the insemination of chimpanzees. This is more or less assumed to be the cause of the Great Ape War of ’79.

4. Consensus of Africa
The Silver-Backed Kings and their Humanzee troops, allied with the New Republic of Liberia, managed to seize a substantial portion of the Gold and Ivory Coast before diplomatic entreaties and the threat of ancient, untested Russian psychotropic weapons resulted in the Treaty of Gallimont, fixing the borders of the Consensus of Africa.

5. Alien Genetic Test Ban Treaty
The Alien Genetic Test Ban Treaty was signed by every nation except the United States of America and the Republic of China; by 2081 the first “grey grafts” were available to America and Chinese markets, though the effects of these early an crude efforts were overly expensive compared to existing medical alternatives, and subjects were prone to cancer.

6. Chupacabres
Unlicensed testing of greytech on bonobo monkeys is believed to be responsible for the appearance of “chupacabre” populations in Mexico and the southwest United States. Some attribute their spread to labs improperly disposing of lab animals, while others believe that the hairless, psi-active creatures were deliberately established in colonies.

7. The Mindfuck Zone
ETransgenic bonobo populations became such a nuisance in the Los Angeles megasprawl that the state governor of the time, Michelle Xanakis, acting as commander-in-chief of the state militia authorized the use of a single psychotropic weapon. The resulting damage to the collective mindscape of LA has been called “the Mindfuck Zone.”

“‘The Mindfuck Zone’ is simply the psychological scar caused by the psychtropic weapon. You have to understand, these things rip right past all the bullshit your brain normally screens out, and lets you experience the world raw. For three days script writers in LA could see nothing but rains of aborted fetuses and a sea of human effluent. Then, God help us, they found their word processors.” – Maxoltl von Powers, Action Psychologist

8. The Mindfuck Zone (ii)
The creative output of Hollywood increased ten-thousand percent over the next six months since the deployment of the psychotropic weapon, but the majority of the scripts and shorts were unfilmable or unwatchable to those who had not experienced the weapon. A translation effect was necessary to bring LA back in touch with the real world.

9. Blasphemy Kirkpatrick
Into this void stepped 17-year old Grey Irish beauty Blasphemy Kirkpatrick, from Dublin. The grey-skinned beauty was able to render the torrent of untapped filth from the Hollywood psyche into mere palatable smut that could be safely pandered to the masses. Her tactile scans were experienced by roughly one billion sapients during her breakout year of 2082.

10. Blasphemy
“Blasphemy was a walking Mindfuck effect. Just looking at her dorsal scales made you spout poetry more evocative and disgusting than James Joyce’ love letters. She could have done anything, been anything. In Hollywood, a beggar gang organized a shrine-commune in her image with an economy centered on oral sex. That’s what she could do to you.” – James Z.

11. BabyCarePharm
Also in 2083, roughly 2 percent of children born in Vancouver, Canada were born as ETransgenics; the result of a prenatal vitamin supplement contaminated by a Silverback humanzee from the Consensus. “The fucking monk-man put something into the vitamin B tanks. All of them.” – Edwin Phelps, Manager of BabyCarePharm

12. Vancouver Cuckoos
The Vancouver Cuckoos received lavish worldwide media attention. Interesting to ETransgeneticists was the fact that the apparent mutations fell into two phenotype categories: the ascended, nearly hairless “lizard people” with their bizarre genitalia, and the sexually dimorphic “atavism” twin-pairs that displayed prehensile, hairless tails. The mutations were ultimately believed to be the result of two different parasitic infections.

13. Terminal Contamination
“You have to understand, at the time that focus was finally shifting to the more dramatic ETransgenic possibilities, the human genetic pool had already been terminally contaminated, if that’s the right word. In barely twenty or thirty years we had entire generations of hybrids, rich pricks were dosing themselves with cloned alien stem cells in a bid to look younger, and a government project to breed a new species of chimp had resulted in a war in Africa. We were still getting our shit together when the Bakleen trade ship drifted in.” – Mi Ke Namura.

14. Greykin
“Greykin started popping up on the global computer networks not long after the Zrr’gbk first arrives. Computational archeology has salvaged ancient fanfics and remnants of the forum posts where teenagers would gather and talk about how they were Grey souls trapped in human bodies – literally searching for or claiming alienation, probably for attention. Then Blasphemy Kirkpatrick came along and told them it was all true. Like trying to put out a fire with antimatter.” – Xie Xie Nyugen

15. Grey Irish
“I blame the public education system, which these days equates to the internet. All anyone understands is Mendellian inheritance; the genetics articles are scientific blatherskite nobody wants to wade through. That’s why you have idiots talking about how grey their blood is, the purity of their ancestral line—the Greys aren’t peas folks. They represent a completely separate source of DNA, at least some of it possibly synthesized. When those first lost and lonely space sailors smacked down and finally rubbed up against those red-headed lasses, it was the genetic equivalent of crossing a horse and a donkey—well, no, but you can go read up on chromosomes and all that. The point is, the Grey Irish are a hybrid species. Something new. We can never go back to the way it was.” – The deLucca

16. Consensus
The Consensus of Africa was the first truly integrated multispecies supernational group to emerge in Africa, but it was troubled almost from the start. The Silver-Backed Kings’ militant societal construction for their humanzee troops resembled an atheistic version of the Taiping Rebellion, but the enforced peace of 2078 saw significant troubles for the transgenic apes. These were quite literally a new people, full-formed without a cultural identity or history of their own, feral children raised in labs with the lingering remnants of tribal instincts diverted into military esprit de corps. In this void, the concept of of apETransgenic society eventually coalesced around a central text: Abraham Maslow’s “Eupsychian Management.”

17. Greytech
The recovered remnants of the Grey fleet’s ships and equipment revealed a level of technology barely above 2060s bleeding-edge technologies. Human scientists and engineers reproduced allotropic alloys in a few years and cracked the base-17 alphanumeric programming languages fairly quickly; what took them years to really grasp was the alien system engineering and design philosophies behind the tech.

18. Bollywood
Bollywood was the sleeping dragon of the last century. India and its client states had a greater English-speaking population than the USA, UK, and Dominion territories combined, and Bollywood was their honey and salt. The Mindfuck-event staged in Mumbai in 2078 was the equivalent of a popular, talented young actress so self-conscious that she allows herself to be mutilated by a gold-card cosmetic surgeon, pursuing an unnatural beauty. The resulting psychotropic shitstorm turned Bollywood into a dozen atomic-flaming spewing gojiras.

19. Greylife
“Earthlife breaks food down into component parts, then builds them back up again into what we need. Greylife operates at a higher resolution, able to incorporate proteins and substances they digest directly, but unable to break down certain substances or synthesize every necessary biological component. ETransgenics usually display a combination of these traits, and require specialized dietary systems to thrive.” – Joanna Greykin, Dietitian

20. Fungus Cairn
The first fungus cairn arose spontaneously from Grey-289 when he drowned in a puddle outside Ulster, the first alien to die of a human yeast infection. Most Terran viruses and bacteria didn’t quite work on the original crew, but for some reason the initial Greys were particularly prone to fungal infections.

21. Psychotropic Weapons
Psychotropic weapons have their origins in DARPA-fueled research grants for nonlethal crowd control. Infrasonic sound can affect structures in the brain, microwaves can simulate an auditory effect directly in someone’s head—electromagnetic hearing, also known as the Frey effect. Some bright young grad students at MIT tried to put them together for a rave and two generations later the Russians were using flash-rape devices against insurgents in Georgia.

22. Damned Kids
“They’ve got it so the kids can make themselves look like aliens now – my damned nurse has a scalloped skull, skin washed out to greyish brown, Rorschach eye tattoos…why is it that just when we can make ourselves look like anything we damn please, all the body artists on the planet decide Greys are it?” – Jerry Hollis, 97

23. More Blasphemy
“Religion is a disease of the mind, but like most diseases you need to be exposed before you’re inoculated against it. I see sex as a form of worship. Care to build up your immune system?” – Blashephmy Kirkpatrick

24. ETransgenic Cats
“ETransgenic cats were a mistake. The only thing the furry little sociopaths were lacking to become the dominant species on the planet was psychic powers, so what does some Korean lab give ‘em? If the damned things weren’t so adorable, I’d hunt them for food.” – Xie Xie Nyugen

25. Shepherds
“My granda was a shepherd, same as his da and his da and so on back to when some English prick probably chased us away for rustling sheep. Granda spent a lot of quiet time out among the sheep, thinking. There’s lots of different sheep, he used to say, and there’s lots of different ways to raise ‘em. The grass, the water, the cycles of day and night – everything leaves its mark on the wool, the meat, the lambs. The sheep get funny when he’d drive ‘em south to market. An’ if you mixed two sheep from different farms, the lambs would have a bit of both in ‘em. That’s the way I reckon we Rishti are. Two different sheep. Biological clocks buggered to hell and gone; we’re on something like a 27-hour cycle by default. Not that it matters much, we’re earthborn folk, not born under no alien skies. Earth grass, earth water, earth time. That’s how we’re raised.” – Colm Butler

26. Fungus Cairn (ii)
A fungus cairn is a persistent colony of symbiotic and parasitic fungus and moss species that are based on the partially mineralized pseudo-endoskeletons of the original Greys—the closest earth-based biological system is a coral reef. In this case, the individual cells within the Grey’s skeletal systems continue to live and thrive after the death of the original organism, feeding a system of Earth-native fungus species.

27. Cannibalization Taboos
“They didn’t eat like we did. Some chemicals, some proteins didn’t break down, they could be passed on from one living thing to another. It’s very efficient, from a biological standpoint—no energy wasted—but it also opens up tremendous risks in that poisons and harmful bacteria can be readily passed on. The Greys’ cannibalization taboo is centered around the potential for spreading debilitating illness, but it must be weighed against an instinctive desire to re-acquire those specific chemicals, proteins and antibodies possessed by the dead.” – Jean-Paul Goodwill, Xenobiochemist

28. Awesome
“We have sufficient physical and anecdotal evidence to suggest that the Zrr’gbk dedicated an entire branch of their civilizations to, for lack of a better term, being awesome.” – Maxoltl von Powers, Action Psychologist

29. Neanderthals
The resurrected Neanderthal population began small, little more than feral children experiments that bypassed laws on human rights. It took three decades and a concerted campaign for the United Nations to expand their aegis over the fledgling race of empaths, who exhibited the expected defects of first and second generation cloning, genetic disease, low fertility and premature aging. By then, the Neanderthal population numbered in the low thousands and was spread throughout the G10 nations.

30. Uncanny Valley
The Grey Irish are an interesting investigation into the 'Uncanny Valley'—that level of perception where things that approach the human norm cease to be attractive or bear a positive response. Based solely on the number of hits search engines get for Rishti pornography, researchers at the University of California-Berkeley have stated that first contact may have irreparably altered human perception. Dissenting researchers opine that the valley has merely "opened up," revealing a more complicated response pattern.

31. No Longer Alone
"Imagine all the bloggers and fanfic writers and search engine scholar pundits that died before the Greys and the Neanderthals and the talking apes, their talents and energies wasted on realizing the various fetishes and picking the brains of just humans. I swear to Ghost, it feels like the human race has been holding its breath ever since the first modern human crushed the skull of the last other sapient non-human hominid, like that final shower of blood and brain matter had driven home the point: now you're alone!"—The Mighty Zia, bloggartiste

32. Rishti
The Grey Irish, or Rishti, encompass more than the humans believed to descend from the Greys who crashed here from '63 to '65. This far from home, with no females—or whatever sexes they have, apparently the right mix wasn't available for breeding—the Greys eventually settled for, well us—and any other mammal of about the right shape and mass. Which is why you also have the very proud and slightly frightening Grey Irish Woolbearers, a sheep with armor plates and a weird trilateral jaw arrangement full of extremely sharp teeth.

33. Grey DNA
When you get down to it, the basic concepts of genetics are simple and the actual mechanisms and expression are a little complicated. DNA/RNA, the blueprint for your body, growth and development encoded in a sequence of molecules called bases. The "genetic code" is literally how to translate that series of molecules into every biological structure in your body. The Greys operate on about the same system—DNA, RNA, even most of the same base molecules. The difference is in the format and execution—the Greys had a double nucleus with different numbers of chromosomes in each nucleus, and their cellular organelles had a more complicated relationship—nothing too exotic, we've seen some stuff like that on Earth in bacteria. Humans have built things out of synthetic DNA with a double nucleus. What it meant though, is that under the right circumstances the Grey's DNA was mostly compatible with any earth critter with the right number of chromosomes. Mostly.

34. Breakthink
"Inside every engineer is a kid willing to break something apart to find out how it works. Deep down inside, there's a bit of that kid in everyone. Surgeons know the feeling. Academics do it to art, literature, music. Philosophers break thoughts and beliefs. Psychologists break people. When the Greys came, the whole human race picked up their nearest hammer—and converged. Groupthink at its finest, most visceral level. The only question was: who would get to the shiny new toy first?"—Mi Ke Namura

35. Ireland
"Of course, the stage for the whole Grey Irish thing was Ireland. Fianna Fáil had finally withered down to a stump of a party, and the Green Party exploded into competing technocratic factions—the Gene Party, Eire Unwired, the Reclamation Party—it was a coalition government of environmentalists, communication company lobbyists, transhumanists, and people that wanted a war with Britain over fishing rights and ecological damage in the Irish Sea. The politicians had promised their constituents that technology would solve all their problems, and couldn't deliver—until the Greys started landing. The Prime Minister would have gladly sacrificed his firstborn press secretary and wrapped the guts of his party leaders around the oak tree for that miracle."—Padraigus MacAvoy

36. Yet More Blasphemy
"The human race believes with a passion that they can fuck, worship, or kill anything, sometimes all at once. Most humans forget about eating it. Consumption has been one of humanity's most sacred and profound acts for all of its existence, a pure demonstration of power over something else, a pure act of transubstantiation as witnessed by a warm, full feeling in our stomachs. Magic has been obsessed with it, from South African muti to the baby feasts of the imaginary Medieval Sabbat. Religion has embraced it, from the blood and bread of Christianity to the ritual cannibalism of the Aztecs. When the Greys landed on earth, it was only a question of time—how long before humans as a species could go before they sliced them open, painted altars grey, rubbed themselves to off to high-definition pictures on the internet—and finally bit into one. Wouldn't you like a taste?"—Blasphemy Kirkpatrick

37. Zen Rishti
"Yes, the world is always looking for some way to be better, to make itself better, to idolize something better, to escape from itself. Funny thing is, the Rishti don't try to be different or better, they just are. Bit Zen, that."—Mi Ke Namura

38. Mockingbird
Among the Vancouver Cuckoos, the most mediagenic was NeuPunk musician Beau "Mockingbird" Radley, a drummer and vocalist that fronted a number of extremely short-lived bands during the brief and near-suicidal days of Seattle's psychopunk rave scene, which ultimately resulted in the braindeath or impregnation of three-quarters of highschool seniors in Seattle, Snohomish, and Everett in 2087. The survivors were widely regarded as either the hardiest partiers of their generation or hopeless geeks that couldn't get invited to the parties.

39. Theology
The theological consequences about the nature of these new sapients was deliberately stimulated by various churches and religious organizations for advertising purposes. With over a hundred years of theoretical working models addressing the question of whether alien hybrids or sapient apes had souls and were qualified for salvation/reincarnation/damnation/initiation provided an excellent fundamental working basis for hundreds, if not thousands of blog posts, scholarly and less-than-scholarly ezine articles, electronic books, graduate theses, religious laws and papal bulls. These in turn generated tens of thousands of the same in the form of commentary, timelines, and analysis. The Berkeley School of Music hosted an entire concert series on ETransgenic-inspired music, lambasted in the popular press because not one single ETransgenic composer made it onto the program.

40. Chupacabres (ii)
Your average ETransgenic bonobo is no Mr. Thundermug. The partial alien and human DNA sequences grafted onto their own were designed to promote the generation of specific human and Grey neurotransmitters; they succeeded, but the structures they built caused serotonin to be released whenever the bonobos formed new neural connections—the literally got high off of learning. Young ETransgenic bonobo "chubacabres" would whirl about in a frenzy of fresh experiences, permanently and sometimes cripplingly entranced by their own brain chemistry. Older chupacabres were wizened beyond their years, learning to read in order to expand their full range of experience and appreciate the slow erotic feel of accumulating knowledge before burning out once and for all.

41. Fungus Cairn (iii)
The psychopharmacology of fungus cairns have been an ongoing interest. Seekers of drug experiences that imagine themselves seeing alien vistas after downing a few choice shrooms had better stand back; the majority of the fungi in a given cairn are either harmless (yeasts, mainly) or toxic, either naturally or by becoming loaded with the poisons of a decomposing alien entity. However, careful analysis of the original cairn has revealed some of the alien's unique biochemistry has reacted oddly with a strain of ergot, and that the resulting small black fungus growths—typically 10 cm within the cairn—may well have interesting psychopharmacological properties.

42. Psychochemical Warfare
Over a hundred years ago in the 1960s, the United States Army made a substantial investment to weaponize marijuana. By the twenty-teens, you could search for basic material on the global computer network. In 2051, college kids around the country were sharing plans for concentrating marijuana into "red oil" and deploying it as an aerosol at parties. At the same time, paramilitary groups around the world were sharing instructions for creating simple chemical weapon dispersion systems. When it came time for the Silverback Kings to take back Africa, they initially chose THC-aerosol weapons as the most effective and humane weapons at their disposal.

43. Ganges
In India during the 21st century, the Ganges was a river of filth. Ecologists tracked the sacred watercourse over its 2,500 kilometer run, traced the sources of various industrial outlets poisoning the river, passed laws and blocked pipes leading into it. None of it did much good; the primary polluters were the Indian people themselves. Even the most postmodern technologies could not process the feces of half a billion people.

44. Interface
Primitive brain-computer interface technology finally made the first real forays into commercial use in the 2020s, but lacked the real killer app that sold people on getting a microchip implanted in their brain that could talk to their cellphone. Early experiences with text message systems failed to capture the public imagination, but provided steady growth and allowed the technology to refine itself. More advanced multiple-chip implants became temporarily popular among gamers in later 2025, and led the way to non-ocular feedback technologies.

45. Mindfuck Victim
"You have to realize that human beings can sexualize anything. Anything. And the more sexual energy they expend on any given day, the more imagination they have to use to do it. Your really sick and elaborate fetishes, you don't form those in a day. They have to stew for awhile, right in the back of the forebrain, build up momentum in your subconscious. That's what this film is gonna be about. It's gonna take your places. I mean yeah, technically it's body horror, but it's the transition, see? We're working backwards. We're taking Blasphemy Kirkpatrick and we're peeling off the scales, and we're gonna see what she looks like without it, pure human genome, but then it's gonna reverse. She's going to become herself, and the audience is gonna cream their jeans."—Maci Maxx, LA movie director and Mindfuck victim

46. Grey™ Inside
Many purported ETransgenic products aimed at the popular market followed traditional pharmacological marketing fad techniques—ambiguous commercials starring individuals statistically likely to physically appeal, testimonials, sciency speech, and the firm knowledge that they could get away with selling the customer anything until a law was passed to prevent it. The real products were cultivated hybrid stem cells, proteins with properties that looked anti-cancerous when injected into rats, and other state college biology lab rejects.

47. Pacific Trash Vortex
Rogue garbologists from the Universities of Tokyo, Sydney, and Los Angeles have begun excavation of the Pacific Trash Vortex, mere weeks before the United Nations plans to consolidate the floating mass of garbage using specially bred sargassum algae that will bind together the mass and encapsulate dangerous pollutants so that they may be more easily transported to reclamation facilities and disposed of. The garbologists, defying multiple national and international orders, believe the PTV represents a wealth of archaeological knowledge about the past two hundred years of life on Earth.

48. Education
The slow and general reform of the educational system was characteristic of the development of the last century. While once it made sense to bring multitudes of children together for group learning, by the end of the century that ancient idea was being challenged and new ones applied. The social construct of the school and the exposure to others was still immensely useful and practical, even as web-based social interactions began gaining prominence, but evolved into an educational tempering treatment where entire classes would be broken up for brief explorations of foreign countries, in the hope that the greater and more visceral exposure to humanity would provide context to their own relations. Of course, there were sound economic reasons for shuffling thousands of teenagers through different countries as well, and given the generally declining birth rates in Western Europe few people lamented the additional teenage pregnancies that resulted.

49. Mother of Blasphemy
“She's got scales and a tail and four teats and I don't give a damn. She's my baby and I'm going to keep her and love her no matter what. If the church and the neighbors and the government have a problem with that, they can all go to hell."—Lille Kirkpatrick, Mother of Blasphemy

50. Space Seeds
"Scientists have been sending seeds into space for generations, not as part of a disorganized grab-ass effort to colonize Mars or anything useful like that, but in a slow but desperate mad dash to get some data down before they run out of funding or drown in their own shit. Today, however, we have finally arrived at a seminal moment in human history: the tomatoes of Mars."—Priyanka Windsor-Patel, Xenobiologist

51. The Gardeners
In 2066, a new breed of monastic mendicants arose, basing their philosophy on physical self denial and the vast quantities of information freely available on the web. This movement claimed no ties to any specific religion, though individual chapterhouses aligned themselves according to the theological makeup of their members. Buddhists contemplated the all and nothing while meditating on the timeless mastery of Tetris, Benedictines searched online for the perfect balance between their dietary rules and daily caloric and nutritional intake, and the atheist ETransgenic chimpanzee sect known as the Gardeners used ancient guerrilla gardening techniques in an effort to halt the expansion of the Sahara.

52. Forward Progress
"If you look back on human history, there has been progress. Sidesteps, slidebacks, but generally a progression of technology, of thought, of quality of life. We as a generation are guilty of looking backwards. We sift through the rubbish of the last hundred and fifty years, looking for the future we should have, the technologies that were ignored, pushed aside, buried and secreted away because the governments and religions of the time weren't ready for them. Maybe we still aren't ready for them, but the time has come to use them anyway."—Franz von Trollman, Futurist

53. Mockingbird (ii)
"To scream, to die, to shout it all out/the Greys came to Earth to fuck and rock out."—Beau "Mockingbird" Radley, the Lost Signal

54. AM (After Mindfuck)
It used to be, no-one in Hollywood was their dayjob. Your waiter was really a screen writer who hadn't sold his first script, your valet was really an actor who hadn't caught her break yet, the young car salesperson was an ex-film student paying off the loans from his disastrous first project. 3 years AMF (After Mindfuck), the scene had changed, but the mindset was still there. Zen prostitutes practiced their koans while taking it up the ass and dreaming of turning the casting couch around when their scripts were picked up, skin barristas dealt handjobs under the table to pay for the stock medical footage they needed for their next film experiment, and predatory body artists would prowl the downtown LA streets, willing to pierce and be pierced by anything for any price if it got them three minutes and three hundred thousand hits on the internet.

55. Blasphemous
"The gift of the human race is finding joy in novelty, pleasure in discovery, ecstasy in the weird and bizarre and strange. Why else do you define normal, if not to look beyond it? To imagine, to dream, and for some of us—by effort or supreme chance of birth—to be it, to embody it? I just want to be me, and I am one weird bitch."—Blasphemy Kirkpatrick

56. Seafood
"In the future, there will be little seafood. Between overfishing and the rising toxicity of the oceans, eating anything you grab out of the briny deeps is going to be a slot machine pull against slow death by poisoning. Sure, there's farm-bred fish, but those things have their own limited genetic diversity issues to deal with. 'course, when you're poor, it's not like you got much choice. Slow death by mercury poisoning is sometimes better than not-quite-as-slow death by starving. Maybe."—Jakejake, homeless former LA producer

57. Geneclinics
While the rest of the world turned to the Grey Irish, the human race itself has never stopped in its efforts to get weirder. A fertility clinic in France began discreetly offering customized embryos to its patients—based on their own DNA, but with the additional graft of certain isolated traits such as perfect time and pitch. The initial generation—marked by a 1 in 5 tendency toward polydactyly—became some of the most promising and technically proficient young musicians of their time. By the time their gifts were apparent, the early 2070s, multiple geneclinics in France were offering a much wider assortment of genetic benefits and aberrations to an international clientele.

58. TestiFight!
Testifight! is a pseudo-Unitarian religious/music movement prominent in the Great Lakes area, with small denominations/fight clubs/fan productions elsewhere in the world. Worship involves listening to various authenticated and approved industrial/metal bands and mandatory participation in the communal mosh-pits/ritual fights. Emphasis is on enjoyment of the music, physical fitness, and participation. Capoeria and similar martial arts are highly regarded, but fun is deemed ultimately more important than form in the pit.

59. Blasphemy’s Cause
"Blasphemy Kirkpatrick, like many stars, eventually turned some of her personal time, energies, and monies to a cause—unlike most, her cause was violation of those few human cultures that had by dint of xenophobia and government protection remained isolated from the modern world. She traveled to exotic foreign lands and broke the cultures she met, who viewed her as a demon, a goddess, a plague-bringer that would appear and laugh, seduce the youth and lead them in glorious revolt—then disappear again, to become a thing of myth and legend, a Salome with the tactics of Che Guevara."—Maxoltl von Powers, Action Psychologist

60. Suck and Awesome
"We may be living in an ETransgenic future made of suck and awesome, but this is real life, not fiction. You're never going to get duels on the floor of the Senate again or...wait, what? That happened? Shit. When? Damn, I need to open my newsfilter to the streaming political feeds."—Jimmy Z.

61. Booze
"Ironically, the thing that really got the ETs excited when they got down here was alcohol. Fermentation worked a little differently back on their planet or whatever. Most of the shit they drank back home was the equivalent of well-aged jet fuel."—Xie Xie Nyugen

62. New Castes
There are five castes of non-sex titillation. Phone sex operators and strippers are the lowest castes—they commune with their audience on a single sense, hearing or sight. Webcam operatives and sex actors operate on a higher plane, as their performances combine sight and sound. The highest caste are the Psi-Whores, who engage all your senses to get you off while maintaining that first, most important rule—no touching.

63. Arrest
Jan. 17th, 2078—London, UK—Grey Irish teenager Blasphemy Kirkpatrick was arrested today for urinating in the sink of a public bathroom and resisting arrest. Miss Kirkpatrick claimed, loudly and with several expletives, that her urine was a substance of great value to the ETransgenic parasites that live in London's sewer system. These claims have not yet been confirmed or denied.

64. Memristive Economics
"Normal accounting methods fail hard when brought up against the postmodern economy. Executives and entrepreneurs have evolved ever more complicated and elaborate ways to obscure their credits and debits. This new age requires a new approach—memristive accounting. More than an accounting practice, memristive accounting is a way of life, controlling your spending and borrowing."—Blipvert, North American Digital Television, 3:03 AM

65. Silverback Kings
The Silverback Kings were never designed as soldiers; they were the test-beds for ETransgenic applications prior to human testing. The enhancements, based on prior treatments perfected on rats, pigs, and other laboratory animals, went beyond expectations. Dormant psychic activity flared and erupted beyond the ability of lab protocols to predict or contain, and touched every sapient within range. These genetic chimerae—chimpanzees and gorillas, for the most part—became the nodes of a psychic network, receiving and processing information from everyone around them. This was the start of the Consensus of Africa.

66. eCigs
The electronic cigarette took a long time to gain acceptance. While a alternative to the social cancer that is smoking, it remained hard to project the same level of cool while sucking on a little plastic penis. No, the killer app for the electronic cigarette was the commercialization of various mild (and not illegal) psychoactive substances—and Blasphemy Kirkpatrick, who swore by, at, and with them. The three minute clip of Blasphemy stroking her favored e-cig while looking straight into the camera and telling Willem Deveau how inadequate he was for her needs and telling him she might as well be fucking it instead—then proceeded to on camera—remains a favorite.

67. Pylons
The pylons of France are an effort of the current century to rectify the mistakes of the last one. Constructed out of an amalgamate of waste rock and recycled plastic. Driven into the shallow coastal waters, the rough cylinders are designed to be environmentally-neutral breeding grounds for oysters, nature's little water filters. At the current rate of deployment and oyster seeding, and with reductions in waste pumped directly into the water, by 2099 France's pylons will remove as many toxins and wastes annually as they dump.

68. Rishti Food
"Rishti cooking is pretty much straight Irish cooking, except for the inclusion of a few dishes on the fine side between rotten and fermented—I'm not a dietician, so I guess it's just something their bodies say they need, y'know? Anyway. Lutefisk, thousand-year eggs, fermented fish sauce, and really ammoniated cheeses are a small but pungent part of the Grey Irish diet."—Jamie Z.

69. Kelly
"The thing about Hollywood, Bollywood, all the 'woods—including the ones in your pants, boys—is that reality is not enough for them. For everything you've known and seen, there's more and better out there, or if there isn't then you have to create it or fake it. You want it extreme, you need it extreme—martial arts, gun fights, free running, sex—and the only thing we want to do is give it to you. Your whole brain is an erogenous zone, and it's my job to touch you where you've never been touched before."—Abomination-Before-God Kelly

70. ETransgenic Engineering
"Pure scientists scare engineers the same way that philosophers scare priests, and vice versa. Priests talk about the end of the world, philosophers figure out how to do it, which scares the shit out of the priest-engineers. And then the priests use it, which scares the shit out of the philosopher-scientists."—Julia Dyne, ETransgenetic engineer

71. Forgotten Places
Even today, there are explorers, but they do not discover new lands never seen before, they recover the old ones locked away or forgotten. They scale fences and pick locks, looking for the art in the abandoned or forbidden places, and share it with the rest of us. On the moon, tourist-astronauts have paid millions for a few hours scraping through the debris of half-built moon-bases, crashed vehicles, and the rough lunar cairns built over the remains of those who died up there.

72. Mockingbird (iii)
"Musical genres are like competent artists, once they get to a comfortable level of expertise their choices become static, predictable. After the initial heady rush of exploring a new soundscape, the new genre hits a wall as the artists try to define it, compartmentalize it, tell one another who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong, copy off one another and compose homages, until eventually it boils down into a self-referential static mess...or artists break off from the mass and form a new style. Let's face it, pilgrims, music is a virus, highly contagious and mutable, and we're all carriers waiting for the next trend to spawn."—Beau "Mockingbird" Radley, right before urinating on the crowd during a concert

73. Sorcerers
There are sorcerers, in this old world, this new century. They look where others do and see what others overlook; their means are arcane and obscure, and they hoard secrets as little else, for a secret known only to yourself is a powerful thing. These post-modern magicians watch the progress of the ant and the rat, the anole and the pigeon. The creatures of cities, the familiar markers...who multiply, adapt, differentiate, and finally grow strange. In 2077, one of the sorcerers was eaten by ETransgenic rats in a London sewer; they found a rat-bitch had gnawed her way into his rib cage and was keeping her brood warm and fed in his lungs.

74. Kelly (ii)
"Neural interface technology was the tool. With the hardware installed, it was ust a matter of getting the right software to interpret the signals to and from the brain. Music and video were intuitive programs, automatic biofeedback through the eyes and the ears. You think, and a sound or image is made, and you hear that sound and see that image. It provokes new thought. You control the loop, alter the sound and images, make songs and videos together—not in your head, but on the machine in front of you, recording the output. Sound synths, image synths, all sort of applications were spawned to help you control it direct it, shape it. It was science fiction—psi-science—synthesis."—Abomination-Before-God Kelly

75. The Eternal Struggle
‎"You need a Rishti cat to deal with a Rishti rat."—Colm Butler, on ETransgenic pest control

76. Psychology Equations
"There was once a graduate student who decided that the best indicator of improved standard of living in the world was the number of pieces of bread used in a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich (2.78 pieces, counting the weight of the heel). I prefer measuring the number of female children that live past six months in China, divided by the average number of children per couple in India, plus the percentage of children that survive to puberty in Africa. Weighted for population, of course." Max von Xolotl, Action Psychologist, padding his resume

77. Taste Revolution
Some revolutions are quiet. Changes in diet and cuisine are generally gradual, dependent on the availability of foodstuffs and the pressing need to consume them—because humans are stolid creatures when it comes to experimenting with new foods, new flavors. Still, just as industrialization introduced the universal food experience—standardized fare, available anywhere—post-industrialization began to introduce the awareness and appreciation of a more diverse array of foodstuffs. There was not just butter, there was ghee and oils and fats, all with their distinctive flavors and uses. Commercial salt was white, almost perfectly pure, with a uniform grain size; but there were other salts—grey, brown, black, and red; bacon salt and algae salt, each specific in their use. Why limit yourself to peanut butter, when there was sweet almond butter, macadamia nut butter, and so much more? The taste revolution was quiet, an invasion of the supermarkets and the artisan farmer.

78. Rishti (ii)
No one recalls where the term "Rishti" comes from or how it came to be taken up as a group label by the Grey Irish. The term does occur once in the classic Rudyard Kipling novel 'Kim', but most linguistics agree it derives from the term "rishathra" from the Ringworld novels of science fiction author Larry Niven.

79. Empathy
Humans are a highly empathic species. We never needed telepathy to hunt, to attract mates, to call someone's bluff at poker. The Greys, by contrast, had all the empathy of a sea sponge. Beyond a couple instinctual scent cues, they were absolutely horrible at reading body language, interpreting tone, or other tell-tale physical signs of social behavior. Then again, the Greys could pick up the electromagnetic fields emitted by their fellow living critters. At that level of sensation, an eye twitch can be predicted a long time before it occurs.

80. The Thetans Have Landed
Scientology survived the turn of the century, but it was a dying faith-based marketing scheme. There was a brief, brief resurgence when the Greys landed—it's far easier to spin a line about aliens when there's proof they exist—but the Massacre of '69 basically destroyed the organization.

81. Off-Cycles
"Rishti don't sleep right, most of the time. Awake at odd hours, asleep at odd hours. Alien biorythym trying to adjust to a terran cycle and all that. There's days I just want to fly off to that colony on Mars, so we can all be off-schedule on an alien world together."—Colm Butler

82. Consensus (ii)
The Consensus of Africa took a long time to get religion, and when they did go in for a belief system it was on their own terms and for their own purposes. Their scripture contained such ineffable wisdom as "Don't shit where you eat" and "If you pick at it, it won't get better." Their 'magic' consisted of carefully inscribed chemical formulas with the correct dosages of drugs and all their effects, the wiring of electrical systems, the physics of motion. And because theirs was a religion of continuing revelation, they would continue to explore and expand on their religion—new drugs, new ideas, new purposes. Because science requires a degree of belief too.

83. Intelligence
There are many fine degrees of intelligence, sapience; it is not a switch, on or off, it is a spectrum of ability and awareness and behavior. Everything a body can feel, everything a body can be aware of feeling, all of the connections it can make between those feelings, everything it can remember, everything it can extrapolate—so many different configurations of intelligence, so many expressions of the Universal Turing Machine in this world. Humans. When there is such a broad range of intelligence within just one species, how much more variety is there in all the others? Rishti. ETransgenic apes. Dolphins, maybe, and elephants.

84. Sex and Blasphemy
"Sexual programming is physical, cultural, and individual. You are like all men, like all men of your race, and yet only like yourself. Some parts of you, the biology, will respond to whatever feels right. Automatic, uncontrollable. Your cultural programming is more specific, it affects your standards of beauty, your desired mate. Individual tastes are dependent on your life experiences—sometimes it's a more rigorous specification (fetish), and sometimes it's deprogramming, broadening your selection. Often it's a little of both. You want to make out with a grey chick, you need to let go of your cultural hang-ups, focus on what feels good in your hand, on your sex—and be ready to move when the fangs come out."—Blasphemy Kirkpatrick

85. GreyDNA (ii)
Trying to meddle with the DNA of a fully-grown organism is almost impossible; if you're lucky you'll just cause cancer or something to rot and fall off. So all those people looking for ETransgenic benefits relied on secondary or tertiary means—protein injections, subdermal tissue grafts that eat fat and shit elastin, bacteria that process your natural biotoxins faster. Great stuff—but it's not balanced. There are side effects and costs.

86. Singularity
"Sometimes I think we're headed toward a biological unity. Not a singularity, but a a place where we've adapted an entire environment to our own genetic code, spread our material throughout the whole ecosystem so every living thing on the planet loves and serves us. It's been happening. Human DNA has gone into pigs, cows, goats...not much, mind. A percent, less than a percent sometimes. The gene for a couple proteins here and there. That's all you need to get started, though. Those animals, they breed, spread it around—and we don't stop. I saw a flower today with genes for human melanin. The leaves had freckles."—Xie Xie Nyugen

87. Vacations
The key to chemical vacations was providing a uniform experience. Tripping off of DMT for a week while on an IV drip isn't as much fun (or as lucrative) as taking the entire family into a couple days of artificial exercise and carefully-controlled hallucinogens. Most drug vacation packages begin with an orientation tour and group activities that get everyone on the same wavelength before the main dosage hits.

88. Fungus Cairn (iv)
"Deep core readings of fungus cairns show relatively strong electromagnetic activity, comparable to the output of a human being. I wish we knew more about the Greys and how they died on their own planet, to tell us if this was normal or something unique that developed here."—Dale Enrique, Xenologist


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