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Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 23:09:16 -0600
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From: "Colleen C. Bailey" <ccbailey@facstaff.wisc.edu> Subject:NEW Schrodinger's Rat (1/1)
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Summary: Alex Krycek's reactions to being stuck in an abandoned missilesilo. Follows Piper Maru/Apocrypha.

Archival classification: V A.

Rated RA for Ratboy Angst. Lots of angst. Dripping handfuls of it. I'm talkingmajor heavy stuff, here. The ravings of a lunatic mind. And some bad language,too. And did I mention angst? You've been warned. Of course, now that weknow he gets out OK, it's not quite as much fun to write, but what the heck,I'm feeling existential tonight.


Schrodinger's Rat
by Colleen C. Bailey


*********
The darkness is all around. Up, down, everywhere. Pinpoints of light thatserve only to show how black is this artificial night.

The heaviness of the air; surrounded, pressed in on all sides by concreteand steel and earth. This is what Edgar Allen Poe feared so much. No wonder.

If I sleep, will I wake? If I die, will angels see me to my rest? Or willthe rats flow up from beneath this solid floor and carry me off, one morselat a time, until I am gone and my soul alone remains? Trapped, forever.

Oh, I am dead, Horatio. Horatio, I am dead. And I have seen those strangethings that exist, not between heaven and earth, but beyond the heavensand below the earth. And they are abso-fucking-lutely not mentioned in yourphilosophy.

Christ, I'm losing it. I haven't done Shakespeare since college, what bringsit up now? Gee, Alex, maybe your IMPENDING DOOM?!? This must be the slow-motionversion of your life flashing before your eyes. Funny, I didn't expect tosee commercial breaks.

Weather report: cold and clammy, with a high pressure silence remainingstable over the region. Tomorrow, continued cold and clammy, with a strongchance of despair. Extended forecast calls for more cold and clammy, witha good chance of expiration by the weekend.

I cling to time. My watch has a night light feature. It tells military time,date, it even has a timer. Another 2 hours, 23 minutes, 31 seconds beforeI allow myself to cry again. 30... 29... 28....

Don't think about it. Think about the ship - I daydream for hours aboutthe ship. After the pain and fear of the...after I coughed it all out, Iavoided it. But there's only so many hours you can spend pounding on thedoor before your hands get sore. So I explored the ship.

Not that there's much to explore; once my eyes became accustomed to thedim light, there wasn't much to see. I traced the designs, tasted a corner,kicked the landing gear, pressed all the protrusions and stuck my fingersinto all the indentations.

Nothing happened. I was very glad. Maybe tomorrow I'll try it again, andbe less glad. Or more glad. Does it matter? Does it really fucking matter?After all, I'm going to die in this fucking hell-hole, what the fuck isa stupid fucking alien life-form going to do that could be worse!?!

"Worse..."

"worse..."

Don't cry. Dammit, don't cry. Just breathe.

Sitting is boring. Walking is futile. Lying down makes me think that maybeI'm already dead, and simply haven't noticed.

I slept with coins on my eyes last night. Just in case.

Licking the walls yields no moisture. I can suck the sweat from my body,but the salt only makes me thirstier. How much longer can I recycle my resources,before the water vapor I lose in exhalation and perspiration reduces mysupply to the point where it can no longer sustain life?

Your life, Alex. Let's not mince words. Not just *a* life, but *your* life.You don't have any problems wasting *a* life. You've done quite a bit ofthat, haven't you? You've held that power many times, heard it calling toyou, vibrating in your bones. It owns you, Alex. And you like the feel ofthe collar.

There's a moment in every kill. You raise the gun, you touch the detonator,the knife is poised, the poison unstoppered. You are an agent of pure changein that moment. What has been will be no more. What god has created, thisman shall pull asunder. This life, the cry of birth, the laughter of childhood,the orgasmic moans of adolescence, the whispered love of adulthood, allthat will be gone. All that is within your power to destroy. It crumblesin your grasp like the shed skin of a snake; it retains the form, but containsnone of the substance. You have reduced the man to the shadow; all thatremains is the formality of crushing the husk.

I am a killer. I am a liar, and a thief, and a whore. I kill, I steal, Iviolate. I am a raw force of nature, master of all I survey.

And I am helpless in this barren womb. A missile silo, designed to gestatestillborn bombs aimed at an equally impotent enemy. World War Three willnot be fought with arsenals and armies. It will be fought, as it has beenfought and is being fought, with stealth, with assassination, with diplomaticpouches and encrypted files and the feint behind the deception beyond thehoax below the misdirection beneath the cover-story.

I'm cold.

The gun they left me is heavy in my hand, the single bullet throbbing inthe chamber, calling my name. If I pull the trigger, and no-one is aroundto hear, will I die? Can I die? Am I already dead? Am I immortal?

Schrodinger's cat was unobservable; it didn't exist, except in a wave ofprobabilities. Until we lift the lid, we can't know. Is he dead? Is he alive?Is he Memorex? And how did the cat feel about that? Did he experience death*before* they lifted the lid, or did he have to wait until he became an"observable phenomenon"? You son of a bitch, how many cats didyou waste before coming up with your precious numbers, your shitty sacredtheories? What about the fucking cat!?! Didn't you think about that, Mr.High-and-Mighty scientist?! No, you just stuck a poor defenseless kitty-catinto your fucking box and blasted his goddamned brains with radiation, youfucker! It's not fair! It's not fucking FAIR!

"Fair..."

"fair..."

Oh, God, get me out of here. Please, help me get out of here.


*********
END Schrodinger's Rat (1/1)
Colleen C. Bailey
"Wait....Worry.....Who Cares?"
WE DO! GET ACTIVE!
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