From: "nikolai kingsley" <email@example.com> Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: ftsd. that party Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 04:02:26 +1100 Organization: Monash Uni Lines: 72 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-Trace: towncrier.cc.monash.edu.au 975603296 13780 184.108.40.206 (30 Nov 2000 16:54:56 GMT) X-Complaints-To: email@example.com X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600 X-NNTP-Posting-Host: pm2-S18.broadway.net.au someone invited a Sthelane to the party. this event was supposed to be for us adolescents only, but it turns out the alien was the son, or daughter, or some kind of offspring, of one of my father's clients. So it didn't seem as much of an insult after that. it was cool. when it arrived at the party, it looked like a tall square column of silvery metal which wiggled when it walked. it kept changing shape, copying the furniture and the catering machines. then it started copying us, one after the other, then switching back and forth between the shapes so quickly we couldn't keep up with it. i didn't get to speak with it at first because the creche alpha primates had to demonstrate their place in the structure by dominating its attention until they got bored. i listened to the conversation, or at least attempts at conversation. i don't think either side realised they weren't really getting through. when i finally got a chance to talk to the Sthelane i'd decided to ask it about hobbies. "I make things that demonstrate simple principles of mathematics. May I demonstrate?" Why not, I thought, and nodded. it changed shape a few more times before settling down as a brilliant iridescent green cuttlefish about two metres long, floating in the air, waving translucent pink tentacles that tapered to delicate five-fingered tips. it darted back and forth in the air for a few moments, then cleared everyone out of the third guest toilet. "Many similar small rooms in other apartments, yes? Rooms like this one, used by all of you at some stage in your species' party-going phase. Each one linked by, lines of, kshashishatre-theyenenatre, crossing-over-points? Co-incidence? You should consider having your language upgraded, because there are not enough words for it to be useful. "I assemble standard opening and closing energy structure over this similar unit," it waved its tentacles up against the flat plane of the open doorway, rowboat-shaped prow waving back and forth like a dancer with a pencil up their butt drawing circles in the air. Tiny flickers of heat haze wavered near its fingers, drifted about in the air like smoke rings, or ghosts of jellyfish past. The Sthelane had woven something out of hazy energy, five metres in diameter, shaped like a lop-sided basket complete with hoop handle. The alien bobbed in the air gently and tickled the handle of the basket with every one of its fifty fingers. "Now I enter activation principle modulated by locator functions tuned to vectors of strongest co-incidence. By principle of planar xerox, energy structure with equivalent principle manifest at nearest vectors. Each new structure map out nearest *six, plus or minus two* co-incident vectors, link in Bacon network, offer low-duration transport to nearby nodes." In effect, turning our third guest toilet into one end of a multiply-threaded wormhole which led to the third guest toilets of anyone who had ever visited ours, and so on in a network that covered the entire planet in a matter of minutes. It only lasted for a few days, but in that time tens of thousands of students took advantage of the very cheap airfares and swapped addresses and many were stranded in places they'd thought of visiting but had no desire to *live* in, thank you very much. nikolai --- hopeless posession the splendour of nightmare sacred infection wholly indelible as pure as my cruelty - shriekback, 'hubris'