The Abandoned Station






Larry's Wad

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Here's a Thought





Ruminations on Power and Cheap Chicken



-methods, yes. Materials, no.

-materials can change the methods.

-no doubt at all about that.

-so this is not going to be an episode in futility?

-well futility is always waiting near the finish line.

-but in the meanest of times, we aren't going to get all demapped as soon as we unroll?

-our propaganda investments are strong, on message. Already feeding into the inflated egos of the locals. Whispering into their earsets as they settle into sleep, nightmares of the ever-involving and evolving others, plus dreams of their final conquering.

-a bit on the nose.

-we have some good car chases and semi-ironic chatting in bars and alleys. Hide some more subtle suggestions to obedience and particular trade policies.

-I've heard good things about pre-packaged grassroots collapse.

-out of our price range.

-I wondered when we were going to run up against that wall.

-oh, I still guarantee a few seasons before they begin to waver and demand results.

-and that's when the gates must open, to see us holding the carrot or the stick.

-well considering the level of our liquidity, we have no choice at this point but to talk to the rabbits.


-for the foreseeable future, we are to be loved instead of feared.

-you are certain that we cannot find some thugs that will take a small slice of land and people as payment to keep said people docile?

-none that I would trust to not soon try putting their boots upon our own throats.

-a religious take, then. I will gladly put on robes and say a few words with a blood and thunder tone if that would make them cower and defer.

-local polling has shown god is no longer commanding the fear he once did. Some genuine miracles or unexplainable disasters would be require to drop the rabbles' iq a sufficient amount of points.

-you are really popping all my balloons.

-and you are really resisting our most practical and let's be honest only option of at least temporarily giving the masses exactly what they want. Why do you not want them to love you?

-love takes time. And time is a precious commodity.

-as is love.

-then what's the point if we're just exhausting limited resources to create more limited resources?

-because if they love you, then they will forgive you the first time that you hurt them. And the second. And maybe even the third. And hopefully by then they'd have grown complacent enough that they won't have noticed that you stopped loving them long ago and that there are now obedient, mindless foot soldiers marching the streets.

-yes, yes of course, I see, I know, but...

-the energy.


-dragging you down.

-beneath the waves, the water pushing down into my throat, infecting me.

-think how much more you could accomplish if you pushed these thoughts out of your mind.

-'the less you know'.

-'the more you'll never stop'.

-but we are now at the gate where the mantras shrivel up and die.

-right. Of course.

-the time is now.

-okay. Love.


-I must love. I must care. I must show these things convincingly. I must. I can do this. I am true and one.

And with that I close my eyes and breathe in that thought and let it become a feeling that pushes from my heart and groin outwards.

My advisor slips into either the shadows or back into my mind, I forget how real they actually were, how much of an impulse or well-read devil's advocate.

But I know the moment of truth is at hand. The responsibility of a nation with ill-defined borders is the slippery fish that has jumped into my boat, and instead of whacking it with an oar, I have to feed it the finest glow worms and rock it to sleep.

I walk down the cavernous hall and am about to enter the courtyard, where I will make the first pronouncements-


Fuck me. Terrible memories come flooding back. I freeze for a moment, considering whether to turn around, rip off my designer uniform and run naked for the hills.

Instead I rush into the courtyard and yell:

-what the hell is he doing here?!

To no one apparently. The gazebos are destroyed, the tables all overturned, the feast strewn across the ground, and all my senior advisors lying horribly managed in deep pools of their own blood. And trying to feebly flap away, as if I caught them red-handed and could actually do something about it, was a Cheap Chicken.


I wince in pain at the terrible volume of its cry. A three-storey, semi-plastic atrocity, a grand mistake of living advertising, a massive bird that looks like it had been perfectly painted a pleasant baby blue. It's wings not strong enough to get it off the ground despite being proportionally the same to the average chicken. Something about its unreal insides means it can't do the things you would assume it could.

But it certainly was able to be angry, confused, and step thoughtlessly on dozens of powerful and influential people that I was prepared to rely heavily upon to make my rule over the people beyond these walls a successful one.

-you son of a bitch! I scream at it, not knowing if it could hear me.


I'm grinding my teeth in pain at this sound. I don't know how it got here, or what it's going to do, or really, how it was created by an overeager public relations company in the first place. Makes you doubt the fabric of this very reality, but I always get more philosophical with my hands over my ears.


I struggle to get closer and notice that it's favouring its left leg, that it's almost trying to hop around, and thanks to that I see the problem. Why it's still kicking up such a fuss.

A giant shard of windowpane is sticking almost perfectly up its bottom, clearly the cause of great pain to a sensitive area. Where did that happen? There are no glass structures in the courtyard, so it must have arrived like that.

But then it turns towards me and its beady blue eyes lock on to me, and I can't read them well, I don't know if they’re full of pleading desperation, hoping that I could somehow help it, or if the feeling is one of great anger and rage, blaming every living creature around for its pain.


Taking several steps towards the Cheap Chicken, I hope that I am not the only one who chose love this afternoon.





It's the oldest book in the trick