“Classic” SEG: The Joneses #1

 

Old Friends

Somewhere in orbit around Sirius (2342, about noon Galactic Admin. Chronometric Standard)

Mr. and Mrs. Jones were floating in a small vessel in stellar synchronous orbit around Sirius. They stared out of the windshield at the flares coughed up the nuclear mass. Mr. Jones handed Mrs. Jones and smoldering joint and she handed him a near empty bottle. They nodded in unison to the thumping of the music bouncing around the pod.

“That one looked like a cow,” Mr. Jones said pointing out the window.

“I think I saw a cow earlier,” Mrs. Jones replied, “But it was in orbit so that may have been the mescaline.”

“Mom? Dad? We got a…,” a voice said over the music before being switched off by Mr. Jones.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones continued to nod.

‘Wu-Tang killa’ beez, we on a swarm.’

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The Joneses #12

“That’s right, Ray,” Yalda said, mumbling to himself as he ran, “Let me lead you on a merry chase. That’s what we do right? I lead, you follow.”

He noticed a woman preparing to place her children into her car. He ran behind her  and grabbed her by the neck, jamming a pistol into her stomach. The children began to cry.

“Get in,” he said.

“Don’t hurt my kids,” she said.

“I’m not interested in your kids. The last thing I need is your spawn screaming in my ear. I want your vehicle.”

“Just take it. Please, let me go. My children…”

“Unfortunately, I don’t know how to operate this thing so that’s where you come in.”

“Please, my kids need…”

“God damn it, human mothers never shut up about their kids. Get the fuck in.”

She cried and shook her head.

“Believe me, I don’t want to be stuck in a small metal box full of human stink either.”

He pushed her in and she sat in the driver’s seat. She looked up at him weeping.

“In, in, all the way in. I’m sitting there.”

“You said you don’t know how…”

“You’re going to tell me how. Now, move over.”

She climbed over the center console and flopped into the passenger’s seat. Yalda sat behind the wheel.

“Now what?” he said.

“Put this in that slot,” she said holding the key.

He grabbed it and did as instructed.

“Now push that button.”

He pushed it and the car grumbled to a start.

“Internal combustion?” Yalda said, smirking. “You people are monkeys. Now what?”

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The Joneses #11

XI.

Here Comes That Sinking Feeling

“What’s taking so long back there?” Wolf hollered out of the flight cabin door.

“Sorry I can’t run out and pick up parts that haven’t been invented yet,” Holly replied, “If you looked up ‘jury rig’ in any textbook this would be the cautionary example. I’m also going to be repurposing all unessential power. That includes your stereo.”

“No fair.”

“I need it to able get a signal strong enough to overcome the gravitational influence of dust. Otherwise, we wait for them to bridge in, get on the roof, and wave flashlights.”

“Even if we do contact Ray,” Luna said, “How long is it going to take to convince him?”

“I assumed it would be 600 years easier,” Wolf replied, “I don’t know, we met his past self, shouldn’t he remember that? Holly, wouldn’t he remember that?”

“Beats me, dad.”

“You’re supposed to know shit. That’s why we feed you.”

“Time travel has never been done before.”

“If Ray time traveled from 600 years ago, doesn’t that mean time travel has been done before.”

“Dad,” Holly barked, “I’m trying to repair a long-range communications device that operates on the principle of quantum entanglement with parts I got from a 21st-century Radio Shack. Could you please, let me think?”

“I’m just saying you had 600 years to catch up on this, 900 really, if add our…”

“Mom, do something,” Holly called.

“Wolf, you’re bored. Find something to do,” Luna called back from the lounge.

Wolf stared out the window into black, empty space. He began nodding his head in shallow downbeats. His hands joined in, drumming out irregular rhythms on the console. He hummed and the hum became a disjointed scat, which gave way to, “Are you almost done?”

“Constant requests for status updates won’t make this go any faster,” Holly put her tools down and mumbled, “It’s done.”

“You estimated you’d have it done in an hour. You got it done in 47 mins. The whole time I was requesting status updates. Cause. Effect.”

“I’ll cause your effect,” Holly said under her breath.

“What?”

“Nothing. I sent the message.”

The console bleeped and the computer hummed, “Incoming transmission from Parthus.”

“Connect,” Wolf said.

A holographic image of Ray’s head appeared above the console.

“Hey, Ray whaddya say?” Wolf said, “You wouldn’t happen to remember me, would you? Maybe 600 years ago?”

“Identify yourself,” Ray replied.

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The Joneses #10

X.

“Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

“For once I’d like something that isn’t rampaging down a crowded street,” Sophie sighed, looking through binoculars, from a rooftop, at Video Drone’s trail of destruction.

The street was crusted in twinkling glass shards and blown with litter. Storefront mannequins were scattered and twisted, among the groaning wounded, making for an eerie parody of a war zone.

“It does seem like chaos for chaos’ sake,” Ian replied.

He and Hunter waded through the debris. First responders were attending to the wounded, who formed a choir of agonized groans as they clutched, wincing at their wounds.

“Doesn’t look like there’s been any deaths,” Ian held his hand to his ear.

“That’s just one block,” Sophie’s thin, tinny voice crackled back through the speaker on Ian’s communicator, “The trail goes all the way down Chestnut Street as far as I can see. He may have made it all the way to Front by now.”

“Thirteen blocks,” Hunter sighed. “How’s your cardio?”

“Miss Fischer, if I may?” a voice zapped in and out over the comms.

“Bart?” Sophie responded.

“The news helicopters have visual on Video Drone doubling back down Walnut.”

“Why am I on the roof if we can just watch the news?”

“We’ll try to cut it off,” Ian’s voice pressed through the static.

“For alien tech, these communicators are pretty junky,” Sophie said.

“What are you expecting from millennia-old technology?” replied Ian, shrouded in white noise.

“Star Wars, at least.”

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Joneses #9

I Hear You Knocking

 

“That’s ‘Back in the Day Ray’ taken care of,” Yalda said, watching his whiskey as he swirled it. “You left the portal open for future Super Dick Ray to come crusading through. That leaves Not So Back in the Day Ray. Have you figured out where the detachment chased the Joneses off to?”

“Not yet,” Vidjeda grumbled, glowering into the distance.

“Close enough is good enough. If you’re going to miss, try and make it behind them. But I’m sure I can fix whatever they fuck up if we wind up in front of them. If I remember this Vyx guy correctly, he’s a squish with a cyborg enhancement fetish. Creepy as fuck, but for some reason the whole world wants to blow him. Really pliable, though. He’s got some exploitable skeletons in his closet. Vivisection on poor kids and shit. Dickens on coke type shit. Of course, that would be the shit I remember. It’ll all come back to me once I get there.”

“What do you think your younger self will think?”

“I’d be embarrassed if he didn’t try to kill me.”

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