Mongo Fiction | Languages, Schmlanguages!


How could it be? 

The chances of three hundred thousand words in three unrelated languages sounding alike and meaning exactly the same thing, despite no contact made between the civilizations that spoke them, civilizations separated by billions of years . . . how could it be?

Then again, how could it not. I’ve noticed that that humans alone can generate quite a few phonemes, but only a limited number, and there are thousands of languages in the history of humanity. 

I must consult my tables, but I’m convinced that the likelihood is surprisingly high, more than it might seem. It would be very surprising if there were no such coincidences, something which so many are far too dismissive.

This has spurred a search for me, the search for a language sharing no features, even coincidental ones, with any other language. What’s the probability of that? Let me find out!

Good luck. I’ve a feeling I’ll need it to crack this case. I’ve got an extra-temporal murder to solve. If only I can access the files in the Magnum Librarium, I’ll have the data I need. 

This depends on a lot, but with the data, this case is as good as cracked, and the suspect identified.

Then comes the easy part: nabbing the perp before anyone else gets killed!

Mongo Fiction | Not the Neighborly Sort


What of the new neighbor? He’s an odd sort, just moved in from offshore, someplace northeast, and without a word from him since moving here, though I hear talk of what goes on in his home. It’s all rumor, but none of it is pretty.

He never speaks, just sort of mumbles and glowers at people, a nasty sort, even known to kick the neighborhood cats when he can as they show up for feeding. 

He got a nastygram and a visit from the local animal shelter, and from law enforcement on allegations of animal cruelty more than once. Cats have been known to disappear after wandering too close to his place. I suspected at first that he poisons them.

I don’t think much of the people who he actually bothers to let inside his run-down little eyesore of a house, either, one seriously in need of remodeling. 

What goes on in there? One time, I heard something howl and shriek from inside below. Good lord, if he has a dog, or maybe some kind of wild animal caged up in there, that could be where the missing cats go! Maybe it’s worse than just poisoning them. Maybe he feeds whatever’s in there the strays that come too close!

Fortunately, our beasts are indoors only, and he seems to avoid my place, so the neighborhood strays have learned to gravitate here as a sort of safe place for feeding and general cat-gatherings.

But exactly what the hell does he keep holed up in his basement? Something tells me I don’t want to find out.

Where’s Blatherskit and Beelzebub at this hour? They’re late for the early morning feeding . . . . Damn cats.

Mongo Fiction | The Great Mistake


The pain faded, as the drug took effect, knitting his lacerations and what was left of his limbs together, and strengthening his resolve to keep going. 

He had almost considered suicide because of the pain, but this seemed like the better option now, all things considered. Anyway, it’s hard to kill yourself when your limbs have been blown off. That was off the table for now.

The alien stood over him holding the now-empty drug ampule, and its seven-fingered hands hovered over him, preparing to finish the surgery with another dose of nano-drug, the tiny molecular machines would restore him fully in an hour or less.

Yes, he would be restored to full health and functionality, limbs regrown, but there was a problem of his being brought to trial and convicted — of grand theft, for the attempt to purloin the Mind of Ravaad, the holiest relic of the Wuuldraphi empire.

Within the hour, he was brought out of his cell, and escorted to the court. He was only now beginning to think that taking this job was the dumbest thing he’d ever done. It also counted up there with the most painful — something about the means used to guard the relic . . . .

What kind of a hard-case, or lunatic, protects a sacred object with close-proximity explosives?

Lyapunov’s Children | Traveller’s Luck


So, this is it, he thought. His vessel came nearer the event horizon of the supermassive black hole, larger than the orbit of Earth, so large the tidal forces were minimal. But this close the time dilation was enormous, the universe past the accretion disk seeming to speed up as subjective time slowed down. 

It was almost there. 

Transition. 

He saw the universe flash almost blindingly bright, then fade out, darkened, just before crossing the threshold. Now, it was too late. 

The universe behind him had died, and he was nearing the singularity, or was he? It looked strange, like a spinning white tunnel. This was wrong. This was against all expectation. This was against all sanity. He was still alive, not crushed into a dimensionless speck with his ship, and still the tunnel kept going. 

The radiation count was just below the limit of his ship’s shielding, and climbing quickly. Terrific, he thought. He would survive one thing only to be killed by another. Not so fast. He found himself spat out from the tunnel with a sudden lurch, the blinding horizon of a white hole behind him. 

Things looked even stranger in his new surroundings; oddly colored luminaries in the distance, complex, shaped like fractal structures, curving, spiralling, and twisting in ways impossible for a galaxy in his own region of space. But he was a taikonaut, and the unexpected was his domain in the dangerous job of space travel. 

Coolly, he smiled, and directed the flightpath of his ship to the nearest orbital bodies. He would make use of his predicament in this new realm, this, what seemed to be a new universe in itself, not just a new region of his own. 

Maybe he would find a way back, maybe not. Survival was the key here. He would find whatever might pass for a habitable world here, and at least attempt to survive, successful or not.

Mongo Fiction: Evicted


The clawed octopoid towered over the comparatively tiny human standing defiantly at its feet. With its waking, a wave of madness had swept the planet, and this world looked as though it would meet its end. But still the lone human stood there, waiting.

“I know you can understand me, just like last time. We both know I can speak with anything that has language, so I’ll warn you just once: leave. This planet is protected, and you are not welcome here. Maybe come back in a billion years after the sun brightens and the oceans have boiled away on their own. And I know how you’re causing the madness outbreak, you fraud. ‘Cosmic Mysterium Tremendum,’ my ***! You’re using a planet-wide psychotronic disruptor network, which I’ll just shut down like so.” The human clicked his finger, as a wave of blue light rippled across the planet, shorting out the network of alien devices as sanity returned to the suddenly lucid but bewildered humans, those who did no serious harm to themselves or others under the influence.

“Get off this planet, you charlatan. I’ve got worlds to create, not pretend gods to unmask!”

The octopoid stood silently for a few seconds as others of its race gathered nearby. Then, it began to unfurl massive membranous wings, of the sort that could ride the solar wind, and soared skyward as its fellows followed suit. In minutes, they were gone. This world would survive, at least for a little while longer.

Humans nearby gathered around the man from a distance, terrified by the fact he had the power to stand down Old Ones, but grateful that he had saved their lives and minds.

The man glanced at them, saying, “You’re all safe for at least another few million years, until the next alien catastrophe ambles along, or you get smacked by an asteroid. But don’t get used to it. I only sent him on his way this time because he once tried to cheat me in a game of cards. I hate cheats.”

Mongo Fiction | Scream


 

Author’s note: Though light on actual profane language, this piece can seem a bit graphic. It’s meant to be, for the Gods of Terra universe is a dangerous place, and the new character introduced here dangerous itself. The Last Dance will return on the 12th for its fourth installment.

An apparition stood above them, enshrouded in cold blue fire, its face locked in a rictus grin of madness, its eyes lit bright blue from within as its silent voice shrieked in their minds. “A god? Me?!” It said mockingly to one of the terrified humans as though addressing them all, “What on this pathetic waste of a planet would one like me have to do with godhood?”

Several of the onlookers trembled as they clutched their useless weapons.

“Gods are such a limited, outdated concept from outdated philosophies. Gods need supplication. Gods need faith. Gods need believers. I care nothing for these! You’ll find nothing divine nor perfect here, I’m afraid. I prefer to call myself the First, but you can just call me Scream. You hear me in your minds, little monkeys, don’t you? Believe me, this planet is doomed—you are doomed. But I’ll make things easy for you lot. You get to die first. I’m merciful that way. The rest on this sorry excuse for a rock will die slowly and miserably as I tear it apart by myself. I am sick—sick to death—of weaklings dominating the narrative for my species! I’m the First, and soon, the Only!”

It gestured, and its captive audience collapsed to the floor of the cave, forever free of the screaming in their brains, their fear—and their lives, in several heaps of charred and unfleshed bones. It thought to itself: Good to be rid of those smelly little piles of human trash, messing themselves at the very sight of me. I think it’s time to do likewise with the rest of the hairless apes on this world as well!

Mongo Fiction: Going Bananas


Mwelph winked at his partner, the two of them ready for another heist in this rough and tumble town of two thousand. They had snuck into the alleyway between the bank and the general store at two in the morning, having made sure that the lone security guard at the tiny savings and loan establishment was securely intoxicated with Centaurian brandy, and so out of commission.

Mwelph and Brast were new in town, having ridden in on Wednesday, and ready to ride out of town in a night or two also on Wednesday.

Wednesday was the name of their ship, a cheap, run of the mill saucer-shaped craft patterned after old movies from the science fiction of the ancient mid-20th century. All they needed was a Robby the Robot prop to complete the ship’s decor and they could make guest appearances at science fiction conventions.

But here they were looking for cash, and lots of it. Mwelph opened his picks, a set of quantum keys used to quickly run through all possible combinations for the banks security lock, and to deactivate the alarms that had been placed for just such intrusions as this.

The two were overwhelmed by the amateurishness of the security measures, but he and his partner kept their silence as they made way to the vault once entry was made. Another type of quantum key was placed on the vault. This would be a tough one, with quintillions of possible combinations needing a much more complex array of q-bits to calculate the superposition of all. Seconds flashed by as billions, then trillions, and after a minute of tense waiting, the final quintillions. Then silence.

Something was wrong.

It had just stopped, but the door wasn’t opening. No, wait! Now it was!

A faint squeak of poorly lubricated hinges sounded as the vault door swung open, and a billowing fog oozed into the room, with a faint light showing from within. What the hell was this? His radiation counter was going off. Something within was giving off a lot of radiation.

Mwelph blinked as he looked into the vault. Not believing what he was seeing, he blinked again. Bananas. The entire vault was filled from floor to ceiling with bananas. There were apple bananas, ice-cream bananas, cooking bananas, but not a single cavendish in the lot. All of these were from the banana groves of the planet Mindallax. A sign was posted inside, over the stacks of produce in the vault: “Keep your stinkin’ paws off these, you d**n, dirty humans!”

What the h*ll was wrong with these people? Bananas as money?!

Then he and Brast remembered that the natives of this planet were descended from uplifted Terran gorillas. No, not brutish, hulking humans, but literal effing gorillas with slightly above human intelligence, for whom this was a valuable form of barter currency as well as a tasty snack.

The two would-be bank burglars quietly closed the vault and dejectedly snuck out the way they came in, kicking themselves all the way to the spaceport as they left this forsaken planet and went to seek better targets on economically sane planets – that didn’t use produce as money.