The year is 2049, and microchips have been implanted in every human being on Earth.
When Global Intelligence Agent Alex Rose finds Doctor Joshua Singer unconscious with his hand cut off, Singer suspects that the violent act may be part of a something much bigger.
As forces gather to stop Rose’s investigation, he finds himself uncovering dark secrets about the chips, about the world, and about himself. What, if anything, will be left after he reaches the truth?
RED TORTOISE BIOFUEL STATION
OUTSKIRTS of ROLLA, MISSOURI, NORTH AMERICAN TERRITORY, INTERWORLD ALLIANCE
11:12 PM, JULY 4, 2040
Sheriff Curtis Staples watched…
The Stoner Boys got stoned in Stoner Woods, and that was all that anybody figured they would ever do — including the Stoner Boys.
Missy Churmblo would become a psychologist, Joe Maglietti would take over his father’s construction business, and the Stoner Boys would smoke dope in Stoner Woods. Maybe they’d get some poor girl knocked up, work menial jobs, and do a little jail time, just like all the other white trash kids from the Sunset Trailer Park. Not much else was likely to come of them, though.
No, the truth wasn’t pretty, but it was the natural progression…
Read: Part 1
The boys expected to find the hospital in chaos, with nurses and doctors rushing frantically around Grady. Instead, they walked into sterile white indifference. Grady, pale but otherwise looking the same as always, smiled at them from his bed.
Grady’s mother was there too, her enormous girth swallowing the chair beneath her as she held her son’s hand. She turned to smile at the boys, tears glimmering in her eyes.
“I knew you’d be here,” she said. “Such good friends.”
The boys squirmed, awkwardly picking at their clothes or running hands through their hair. Compliments were foreign…
12:05 AM, January 1, 1967.
Lower Haight neighborhood, San Francisco, California.
The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” emanates from a dilapidated house on an otherwise quiet street. The house’s windows glow with soft orange light. Darkness bathes the front porch. A match flame pops into life and illuminates the face of a prostitute named Sunshine as she lights a cigarette while standing on the porch steps.
Sunshine takes a drag, arches her back against the railing and exhales languidly into the night air. She can see herself perfectly in her mind’s eye, the way the curves of her body silhouette against…
It sobs wetly and drags itself across the kitchen floor.
Five jaundiced eyes roll asynchronously in loose, gelatinous sockets as it mewls your name.
It congeals around your trembling legs, opens its mouth and bares three bony teeth.
You stiffen as it closes its moist mouth around your leg and relax in relief when it doesn’t bite. You look with surprise at the butcher knife in your upraised hand, frozen mid-stab.
It suckles your ankle and massages your Achilles tendon lovingly in its gums.
Your fear fades into desire to embrace.
You look into its rolling, vacant eyes, and throw…
February 9, 1967
Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California
“Welcome to the chessboard, Agent Rose,” a tinny metallic voice said through the telephone. “Initiation configured.”
The last part of the statement confused Rose, but then again so too did the whole situation. In the space of less than an hour he’d had his partner draw a gun on him before telling him he had to leave behind his old life, walk to a payphone in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and do whatever the person on the phone said to do.
None of it made much sense, so why…
Two men in crisp black suits parked their Ford Fairlane on the shoulder of the service road and walked into the desert. The sun directly overhead cast few shadows either from the men or from the creosote and mesquite surrounding them. Dead wind hung over the Earth. Vultures like pinwheels in the sky.
“This whole thing is getting bad,” Agent Alex Rose said. He was the younger of the two men, black-haired, middling-height but thick and powerfully built.
“You have no idea,” Agent Raymond Albright replied. Older, sandy brown hair greying at the sides, tall and lean with an upper…
Okay, this is a weird hypothesis — but aren’t all the best hypotheses?
“Man in the Long Back Coat” is one of my favorite songs. It’s also unique in Dylan’s catalog. This uniqueness comes largely from the sound created by Daniel Lanois’ production, but lyrically the song is dark in a way that no other Dylan song is. At least, no other Dylan song I can think of.
People don’t live or die, people just float
— Bob Dylan, “Man in the Long Black Coat”
I stumbled upon my interpretation of the song quite accidentally.
I was reading Sinister Forces…