O3. The Arms Race

As they climbed the mountain the terrain grew steeper and more rough. They left the fruit trees behind and clambered over boulders, approaching the barren peak. Only one plant grew at this elevation. Nemo had never seen it before.

The bush’s spines were an inch long and barely distinguishable from the slender black leaves. They protected a tangled black ball of fruits. The black ball had thousands of tiny orange legs.

“Think you can get it?” The arm pulled a branch aside. Nemo folded his arms defiantly. “Come on, get it!” The mouth licked its lips. “Yum, yum! Centipedes! Gotta eat centipedes!”

O3 Commentary: Ancient Aliens

Writers often hear, “where do you get your ideas.” I don’t hear this so much, because I’m not exactly a writer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t self-righteously subject you to my opinions.

In my opinion, writing is mostly making things up as you go along, and the rest is researching and rewriting and editing. That means I’ll retroactively find religious allegories in my dumb anime robot fiction, and then rewrite to make the religious allegories more applicable and fun. 

In the opposite vein, I sometimes spontaneously recall ideas I’d long ago entertained, then forgotten. An idea worth remembering never knocks just once, and occasionally it returns without warning.

I’ve been sitting on a particular idea for years and never found inspiration to write a short story about it. Have you heard of the ancient aliens theory, popularized by the History Channel? I can’t honestly pretend to believe it, but it’s a great concept. What if space-aliens built humanity and all modern religions are just misinterpretations of an intergalactic messiah?

O2. Nemo’s Children

It took a while for Nakayama to explain what she wanted Nemo to do with the egg. When he finally got the idea, he stepped behind a bush and she obligingly turned away. Nakayama knew a thousand humans would need space to stand, so she cut a clearing of trees from the top of the island and stacked the logs. 

Nemo screamed, first in pleasure and then in terror. Nakayama hurried to his side.

Fully grown adults spilled from the egg. Nemo covered his horrified face. “Congratulations.” Nakayama pat him on the back and lit a cricket for him to smoke. “You’re a father. Say hello to your family.”

O2 commentary: Adam, Eve, and Quetzalcoatl

Nemo’s a pretty good dad considering he’s only a day old: he immediately teaches his children his own name, their own names, and how to eat apples and peel oranges. He even investigates a dangerous invader to keep his children safe—it’s a disembodied arm with two elbows, a mouth, and an eye, and it crawls along the ground like a snake.

In my commentary to M1. The Fall I promised comparisons to Milton’s Paradise Lost, the epic poem about how Satan made a cannon to kill God. The islands Akayama builds become Sheridan, a twist on the Garden of Eden.

O1. The Egg with 1000 Yolks

As she fell into the red planet’s gravity well, the mountain which had jettisoned her opened a caldera into which she fell. Soft sand at the core of the planet caught her like a trampoline.

The planet rumbled around her. “Have we made progress?”

“ I did not expect these results so soon.” Akayama made a blue tentacle and stuck it in the dark wall. Through it she transmitted images to the planet. “Look, there was a man under the sand. Did you put him there? I named him Nemo.”

“Only one man?” The planet’s core contracted in disappointment. “How long until each of my pilots has a private person to possess?”

O1 Commentary: Immortality

Immortality is a mixed bag. On one hand, you get to live forever. On the other hand, you have to live forever. You’ll see the rise and fall of civilizations, but long before then, all your friends will die. You’ll watch the landscape wrinkle into mountains, but eventually the sun will explode and you’ll be stuck in it. 

In fiction, immortality is often like a genie’s wish: you wish for immortality but eventually you wish you could wish to die. 

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