Episode 15: The Big Fat Brain.
Yeah, the way The Brain figured is that it was like this: He totally ripped off his own name from that John Carpenter flick…
Escape from New York.
Of course, he didn’t figure himself to be cinephiliacally pretentious enough to call him himself Snake or Plissken or The Duke or A Number One. That wasn’t who he was, either. No, he was The Brain. And right now, The Brain was feeling like he was drifting ever so slightly farther from the grip of the Morimoto Corporation, despite the fact that The Corporation was his main source of scientific funding…
Shit, he thought, what sort of university would fund the type of work he was doing, anyway? Pseudo-sci-fi Lovecraftian/H.G.Wellian Back-to-the-Future time-continuum shit… And nobody on any faculty wanted to hear the idea that time really didn’t exist at all. No, sir. Besides, he damn well knew, all the university funding (that other scientific projects got, certainly not his) was just a filter for corporate funding. There were no ideals left, not in this fucking country. Maybe nowhere. Nah, the whole idea was to break out of the corporate grip.
But The Brain would have to be careful… or else The Brain could end up splattered at the bottom of a fourteen-storey Manhattan apartment building.
At any rate, it kind of broke down like this:
It was okay to slice it what it was flash-frozen.
It was not okay to to boil and liquify it into a sticky goo.
That’s when you ran into problems.
And of course, that was monkey brains he was now thinking about. And according to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, they could also be cracked-from-the-skull raw and fresh, if your intention was to eat them for desert.
And speaking of cracking skulls, at that very moment Larry the Brain was busy cracking a skull of his own. Well, not his won skull, just one that happened to be in his current possession. That skull belonged to Zarana.
The Brain glanced down at Zarana’s corpse (second time dead now), and gently touched the left side (her right) of her jaw and pressed her head slightly to the right, as she lay naked with the stiffness of rigor mortis evaporating from her rotting muscles, and nothing between the bare flesh of her back and the cold steel of the medical examining table – save for the cold, gentle gutter running the length of that table so that as The Brain cut into her, any leaking fluids might ripple down the length of that gutter and into a drainage sink installed conveniently blow the slightly-downwardly-angled foot of the examining table. Past Zarana’s bare feet, her paint-chipped toes…
This is no monkey skull – Brain tried to get his mind back on the work at hand.
The skull had already been cracked (this one, Zarana’s skull – not the monkey’s) by the rock-swinging hand of Johnny Fingers, weeks ago on the edge of the beach in the middle of fucking nowhere in the pit of experimental hell.
Perhaps Brain’s brain was becoming too melodramatic, but he was cursing Johnny Finger’s rotting corpse as he tried to piece together Zarana’s skull bits with his bare hands and a tube of Elmer’s glue. Brain didn’t actually mind that Johnny had whacked Zarana, per se, as Brain had in fact all but explicitly instruct Johnny to do just that – but the only other bit of explicit instruction had been:
Keep her fucking brain intact.
That’s what not only worried Larry the Brain, but had pissed him off something fierce.
And that’s when he’d thrown Zarana’s corpse on ice (actually it was a freezing chamber for human corpses, to exactly blocks of ice from the 7-Eleven that you’d use for your camping cooler on a fourth-of-July long weekend) and had hired Kodek (in some round-about long-winded way) to whack Johnny himself. Have the whacker whacked. And boy, did Johnny get whacked, Kodek had certainly not pulled any punches on that gig.
Maybe he had a thing for Zarana? But how could he–
Brain’s own train of thought somehow cross-tracked and interrupted itself as he reflected on how perhaps, maybe, he had over-reacted just a teensy bit. Ever so slightly. Perhaps, he thought in a new Zen sort of way, he should have taken a look at Zarana’s brain tissue first, before jumping to the conclusion that it had been totally destroyed by Johnny Fingers’ impulsive kill response to what was, when it came right down to it, Larry the Brain’s own orders to be carried out.
Well, it was all going to be out on the table any moment now, so…
It would be a hell of a lot easier to slice through if it had been left flash-frozen…
Zarana’s brain was in fact intact.
Damn it, Brain cursed his own knee-jerk reaction. He made a mental note to get back to reading his books on Zen and Buddhism when he finished his shift (36 hours from now. The fact that Brain had also been working on some uber-caffeine GM organic substance was another thing, and was also one of the reason the Morimoto Corporation was leaving him, for better or for worse, the fuck alone. They knew that was a goldmine waiting to happen).
Because time, or TIME, as Larry the Brain saw it, was not actually a tangible physical thing (completely contradicting the work and theories of Albert Einstein, and hence, many scientists and much more work that followed, and completely ignoring the entire time-is-a-rubber-band string theory of physics) but rather a thing that the mind, and so forth THE BRAIN, beheld in its own consciousness. I think therefor time is. Or rather, time Must Be.
But what Brain had discovered was that time not only didn’t have to be, but actually, wasn’t there at all, in any form or sense. Time only stood in the mind.
He then theorized that since time only stood in the mind, that time must have been born of the mind itself, and could not physically exist anywhere else. Because to think that the mind, or consciousness, of a human (or a group of six billion humans) could be physically exuded on the entire workings of the universe, was… well, it was fucking ludicrous, as far as Brain was concerned.
But where Einstein was right was in the idea that time could be bent. In order to bend, it must first be harnessed. But harnessed from where?
Well, the consciousness, of course. Or at least that’s what The Brain had figured.
And Zarana had been his first experiment. And for all intents and purposes, it had been a successful one.
The only thing Larry The Brain hadn’t counted on was a counter-effect. A virus, really, to the controlled experiment. He had released a stream of time-consciousness from Zarana’s mind and had then unleashed her physical body into the world to walk around and do… things. Human-being type of things. Go shopping, get an apartment, watch the fucking television. And help with diverting a hit/heist planned by The Morimoto Corporation that Kodek had been hired to perform.
Kodek was an unwitting Guinea pig in this time-bending experiment… but what Brain had not (could never have) counted on was the idea of The Virus.
Once time-consciousness was introduced into the physical world, well, that opened up the proverbial can of worms. What The Brain would refer to in his Moleskine notebooks as “the virus” The Great Old Ones might have referred to, in other writings, as “Gods”. And some might even have narrowed that down ever further, into simply, “God”.
Larry the Brain placed the razor-slices of Zarana’s dead brain on the slide for his microscope for further (much, much further) examination. Personally, he would never use the term “god” himself, but then again, he was only reaching the tip of the proverbial iceberg here.
He might have to make a call to Kodek. To chat.
Shit, that reminds me, I’ve gotta charge my cell phone.
And on yet another train of thought, all this work was giving Brain an idea for a science-fiction story…
He was really going to have to get back to writing, soon, if he was going to keep up with Charles Beaumont before old Charles was to get back to work on The Twilight Zone script for the end of the month. He subconsciously glanced away from his microscope and over to the black rotary telephone in the corner of his medical office.
He’d have to compare notes with Beaumont over a cup of coffee next Saturday.
You know, writer to writer.
At that thought, Brain’s eyes subconsciously darted back to Zarana’s corpse. He could plainly see that her mid-section was clearly thawed from frozen now, as there was a pushing up of her stomach, from around the belly-button area, from underneath her skin. Brain thought of another John Carpenter movie – The Thing – and figured that this under-the-corpse’s-stomach movement might not be very good.
Larry the Brain took a walk from his stand at the microscope and went around the foot of the steel examining table. Surely enough, there was a rivulet of pink (ans somewhat swampy) fluid running down the gutter, down the length of the table underneath the backside of Zarana’s naked body. Most, if not all, of this fluid appeared to be spewing from between Zarana’s thighs.
Brains gently reached over with his left hand, completely forgetting in the moment that he’d removed his nitrile protective gloves when he’d gone to use the dials on the side of the microscope, and picked up Zarana’s dead-weighted left leg by her paint-chipped big toe.
The flesh-liquid was indeed spurting from her vagina, which was also now writhing and opening/closing like a mute’s mouth as it futilely tried to speak words. And was that a-
Something forming around the clit, obviously, some pulpy, pink-purple mass of-
–had Brain distracted, his eyeballs not leaving the writhing, wet vagina and he was honestly taken by surprise when the pressure under the skin of Zarana’s belly button suddenly burst and–