One day as Johnny was taking a leisurely stroll through the private cemetery, a woman who was crying as though she'd lost her best friend was trying to walk up to Johnny.
Johnny walked up to the woman and stopped her. He placed his hands gently on each shoulder. "My dear lady, please tell me what distresses you so."
The woman looked at Johnny startled through her tears. "Good sir, I was looking for my cat whom I'm very attached to. She-we were soul mates, and I have felt the severing of our connection. I've looked everywhere for her, and she's gone."
"What happened? When did this occur?"
"I went to the grocery store and when I came back home, she was gone."
"Did your cat manage to sneak out of the house," asked Johnny. "Or was she already outdoors?"
"She was outside in the back yard. She was a good girl and she usually stayed wherever I told her to stay." The woman wasn't acting, and if she was, she was very good at it. Her body language was one that read true.
"How did you know about me, if I may ask?"
The woman sniffed as she tried to smile. "A friend of mine told me I should try to find you. They said you might could help me. Can you help me?"
Johnny smiled as he looked at the woman. She was a beautiful woman, and Johnny hated to see her in such a distressed condition that didn't show her beauty to it's full potential.
"I believe I can. Show me where you were, when you last saw your cat." Johnny smiled and gave the woman a reassuring squeeze on her hand. "I also have soul mates. I know exactly how it feels when one dies, and is cut off. Rest assured I will find out what happened to your cat."
"Thank you. I'm sorry for being so rude, Mr. Tanner. My name is Ms. Wright." Ms Wright was wiping her eyes on the long sleeve of her shirt, because her handkerchief was too wet.
Johnny gave Ms. Wright a dry handkerchief. "Please, I prefer Johnny." Johnny smiled as the woman looked at Johnny sadly.
"My name's Susan."
"Glad to meet you, Susan."
"I've heard rumours that are not so good about you, Johnny. It's rumoured that you eat people, as many criminals mysteriously disappear. Not that it isn't appreciated by many, for they were some of the worst types. Are you a cannibal?"
Johnny smiled sadly. "Guilty, in regards to getting rid of the criminals. Unfortunately since no one sees or knows how I get rid of the criminals, the worst is assumed. Myself, I never make assumptions except when driving."
"Why only when driving?" Susan was puzzled at this.
"Well, when you assume the worst and prepare for everyone to jump out in front of you, you tend to drive more carefully. I think it's called defensive driving. All other times you get yourself in trouble by being wrong about the assumptions."
As Johnny spoke, his charm was effecting the woman, and she was feeling better. Her tear streaked face was starting to dry up.
Susan was reassured then that she was safe and Johnny would never hurt her. "If you wouldn't mind walking with me, I'll show you where I left my cat."
"I'm all yours. Lead the way, Susan." Johnny smiled as he motioned with his left arm for her to start her walk.
Susan and Johnny walked a few blocks away from the cemetery to a neighborhood with some crackerbox palaces in a line. They weren't too shabby, but still not any great shakes. Johnny saw a restaurant a couple blocks away. It served Japanese food. Johnny heard some pretty bad things about the place.
"Susan, do you know anything about that restaurant down the road?"
"I know a few of the workers, unfortunately." Susan sighed as Johnny looked at Susan quickly. He didn't like the undertone Susan used as she spoke.
"I tried dating a couple of the men, but they're really mean. You wouldn't know it until it was too late."
"What do you mean, too late?"
"They cover themselves in public. They're all nice and charming. In private, that's another matter. Then it's too late, and you're stuck until the date is over."
As they were talking Susan was taking Johnny into her back yard where she last saw her cat. She pointed to a spot in the yard. "This is where she last was sleeping when I left her."
Johnny went over and examined the area. Sure enough, there were signs of a struggle and the smell of some human. The cat didn't die on the spot, or was taken by anyone other than another human.
Johnny stood up and sighed. He looked at Susan, who was starting to cry again. "I'm sorry to say that she's been taken,, most likely by another person. It looks like a struggle took place here."
Susan buried her face in Johnny's chest as she cried anew. Johnny stroked her hair as he would pet an animal in distress.
"Please don't worry. I know it hurts. I also know that the soulmate connection will remain even after mortal death of one or both soulmates."
"You mean she's still alive?" Susan looked so pitiful that Johnny dared not tell her that currently her cat was dead.
"Oh yes, as long as you want her to be. Every soul mate will remain connected, unless you or one of the others embraces eternal death."
"What's the difference between mortal death and eternal death? Aren't they the same thing?"
"No. A mortal death means the soulmate is dead only in the last life. They continue to live again in another form, a future life. Eternal death is when the soul itself dies, and it no longer survives after its last life."
"Don't feel so bad, Susan. You were never abandoned by your soulmate. Now go wash your face and I'll see what else I can find here."
Susan went into her house, leaving Johnny in the back yard. Johnny examined the trail further. The scent went towards the restaurant. Susan came out of the house after Johnny was back from his tracing of the scent. Her eyes were still red and puffy, but she looked better.
"It looks like your cat was abducted from this spot. The best thing you can do now is make yourself a drink of coffee or tea and have something to eat. I'll let you know more when I find out what happened. I think I'll be able to get her back for you." Johnny smiled as he watched Susan's eyes light up in pleasure.
"Thank you, Johnny. If there's anything I can do, let me know."
Johnny smiled and held his hands up to stop Susan from speaking further. "Please, it's my pleasure. I don't like scummy people who treat animals so. I'm doing this more for myself than for any other reason."
Susan smiled awkwardly and went back in her house, then locked the door. Afterwards, Johnny went to see what he could find in the nearby restaurant.
As soon as Johnny went into the restaurant, instead of taking a seat, he went straight into the kitchen before anyone could object. He took one look at the cook and knew the cook was guilty.
"Why'd you do it?" Johnny gave a hard cold stare at the cook. The cook stopped using the butcher knife as he looked at Johnny.
"Don't play games with me, you polish flower. Why'd you kill Susan's cat?"
"We ran out of meat, the cat was handy." The cook resumed chopping up the remains of the cat. "The woman won't miss the cat, anyway."
One of the workers from the front of the restaurant caught up with Johnny then. He stopped as he saw Johnny take the gun out of his vest pocket.
"You lying sack of shit." Johnny pulled a 45 magnum out of his vest pocket. He had a silencer on it, special made so there would be no sound at all. "I hate liars. You just killed a treasured cat. There's only one penalty for that."
The cook looked at Johnny who was smiling wickedly. He got a look of alarm that was cut short as Johnny shot him between the eyes; he then dragged the cook into the walk-in freezer and put him on a meat hook.
Johnny turned quickly to the worker who followed him, making sure he couldn't escape or raise an alarm to anyone else.
"I'm a very impatient man. The animals taught me everything they could, but they never were able to teach me patience. So please continue to walk into the walk in freezer. I'd get moving if I were you. Any slightest sound out of you, and I'll do to you what I did to the cook. Now move."
The worker edged over to the walk in freezer, keeping an eye on Johnny. By the tone of Johnny's voice, the worker knew that Johnny wasn't lying. He already shot the cook, anyway. The worker went inside. Johnny followed. As Johnny looked around, he saw meat stacked up and packaged in various cuts.
"No meat, huh? I wonder what he calls all this?" Johnny looked at the worker then. "I've changed my mind. You've managed to make me very angry, along with your buddy out there. I tend to get trigger-happy when I'm angry. Open wide and this won't hurt a bit." Johnny smiled and laughed quietly with madness in his eyes. The worker looked white as a sheet and horrified at Johnny's threat. "Well, it may hurt a little. Not for long, though. I promise, scouts honor."
Johnny shoved the barrel down the throat of the worker and pulled the trigger. A soft explosion took place. The workers body exploded. Johnny looked at his clothes disgusted. He sighed in dismay. "Oh shit. Now you made me even more angry. At least you won't be killing any more soul mates.
"I guess I'll have to take care of disposing of you both now."
Johnny sighed as he set to butchering up the bodies. When he finished, he cleaned up the area so there was no trace of any murder in the kitchen. Just as Johnny was finishing up, a stupid worker came in.
"Duh, where's the cook?"
Johnny signalled to the still open freezer. "Inside. He might need some help."
"Duh, yep. Okie dokie." The worker walked into the freezer. Johnny followed and then pulled out the 45 magnum and killed the idiot worker. He then put the magnum back in his vest pocket. He placed the worker on another meat hook, then he walked out; just as he walked out another pesky worker met him.
"Oh, he and another guy decided to take some time off and hang around a bit. They're currently inside the freezer. I think they were looking to be alone for a while."
The worker grew angry when he heard that not only were his employees taking time off but that they were possible closet lovers. Worse, they were doing it in his restaurant. Oh, what would everyone think if that got out? The man stormed into the walk in freezer. As he stormed into the freezer, Johnny followed and screwed the silencer back on the 45 magnum. The eman was appalled at seeing one worker hung on a meat hook beside the cook, and another partially sliced, and some hamburger meat beside him, probably from his body. The man went white as a sheet as he saw this before him. Johnny, having followed, had his magnum 45 out and was pointing it at the man as he slowly turned around. After he shot the man with the 45 magnum that had a silencer on it, Johnny unscrewed the magnum's silencer and put it back in his vest pocket. Just then another man walked up behind Johnny.
"What's the meaning of this?"
"A woman came to me about her missing cat.' As he spoke, Johnny turned around. "A very special cat, I might add. The trail leads here. Your cook was fixing the meat from that cat to feed to your customers. I decided it was time for the cook and his buddies to contribute themselves instead."
"I ordered the cats death. The woman had it coming."
"Oh, and why's that?"
"She made me angry." The man shrugged his shoulders.
"Now you have made me angry. Whatever you have against her, the cat and all others are innocent. There's only one penalty for making me angry. So open wide and sat 'ah'. Johnny smiled as he pulled the 45 magnum out of his vest pocket. He smiled evilly as he pulled it out. "Stop wasting time, will you? Let's get on with it." Johnny then looked at the end of the magnum, got a disgusted look, and drew the silencer out of his pocket. "It's such a nuisance when that happens." As he spoke, Johnny was screwing the silencer on the end. He then resumed pointing it at the man.
The man was trembling with anger and fear. He tried to sound confident, but he was shaking with fear as he looked into Johnny's steady and cold eyes. "Who the hell are you?"
"Fair enough. Some people call me Mr. Tanner. My friends call me Johnny. Most believe that I eat my victims, but in reality for the most part I prefer to feed them to their friends."
"Oh good god almighty."
"No god is going to help you here. Now be a good boy and open wide. There are a lot of hungry customers waiting to be fed. You don't want to keep them waiting." Johnny forced the magnum down the man's throat and pulled the trigger. This body exploded as well. Johnny's clothes were ruined anyway, so he wasn't too concerned about his attire.
Johnny put the magnum back in his vest pocket and resumed preparing the meat dishes on the menu. He murmured aloud to himself as he read the orders. "Now if I can be left alone for a bit, I can fill these orders." He took the bloody clothes off and put the cooks apron on. He served the orders, taking other orders as customers walked in.
When Johnny went back to the kitchen, he took the rest of the orders, then after serving those he decided to make an announcement. He walked out, dressed as the cook, before the customers. Many recognized him as the one who gave such great meals at charities.
"Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention for a moment I won't take too long. There's been a slight delay. The regular cook has suddenly retired. I was asked to fill in until a replacement was found. I'll be as quick as I can. Thank you for your patience." As he turned away, he heard murmurs of approval. As he left the table area and went back to tend to the bodies, he smiled to himself. Actually most of the food was already made so all Johnny had to do was put everything together and call the waitress to retrieve the dishes. Johnny went through the motions of playing cook until the restaurant closed for the day. Johnny took out his portable tyme machine device. He sighed as he spoke to himself. A waitress heard his remark. "I can't stand it."
"Tell me about it." The waitress spoke with a weary voice.
"How long have you been here?"
"Just a few minutes, so far; well, I was in the back area for a while cleaning up there."
"What are you still here for?"
"I'm supposed to clean up and lock down the place."
Johnny sighed as he spoke. "I don't think anyone will object if you leave that task to myself. I'll make sure it's safe."
The waitress looked uncomfortable with that. "I don't know. I'm trusted to do the lock down and tidying up. If they ever found out, I'd be canned."
"I'll make sure no one is the wiser. How's that sound? You can have that time off, and still get paid for it."
The waitress smiled then. "Deal." She threw the keys to Johnny who smiled as he caught them. "See you later." She winked at Johnny before she turned and walked off. Johnny was caught by surprise and smiled in return at the unexpected wink. He went to the tyme machine, making sure the coast was clear first. He set the tyme machine for the exact time, date and day when the woman's cat disappeared. The tyme machine appeared just after Susan left to go shopping. He went out and looked at the area. The cat was there, asleep. Johnny went over and tapped the cat's shoulder. She woke up, startled at being disturbed by a stranger. Then the cat recognized the body language of an old friend and yawned sleepily.
Johnny barely got the cat into the tyme machine when the cook showed up with some chloroform and cotton ready for the cat. Johnny watched, as the cook was surprised at the empty spot. Johnny froze time then while he went out of the tyme machine, took the chloroform and cotton from the cook. He then soaked the cotton with the chloroform and put it up against the cook's nose.
Upon starting time again, the cook was sound asleep, passed out where the cat was previously. Johnny then took the cook and placed him near the back door of the restaurant, close to the trash bins. Johnny then went back into the tyme machine with Susan's cat.
Johnny went ahead a couple of hours. Everything looked normal, so Johnny went ahead to when the restaurant closed and called Susan.
Susan answered in a shaky but calm voice.
"Hi, Susan. It's me, Johnny Tanner."
"Did you find my cat?"
"Oh yes, and she's very much alive and anxious to see you. What's more, the people who tried to abduct your cat will no longer be a problem to you again. I straightened them out, you might say and gave them an offer they couldn't refuse."
Susan sighed in relief. "Oh, good." She didn't seem to catch the meaning behind Johnny's words, since she was so anxious to see her cat again.
"I'll be over in a couple of minutes. This is a reunion I don't want to miss."
"I'll be waiting." Susan was very happy now, and her voice reflected it.
Susan's cat was wide-awake now, and curious about Johnny. The cat recognized Johnny's body language, although she and Johnny never met. Not in the cats present life, anyway.
"Fear not, little one. You gave Susan quite a scare back there. You would normally be dead, but I have a deep love for the cat family, so I altered time to save you. Now come along, we have a reunion to go to."
Susan's cat looked at Johnny as though she understood every word Johnny spoke. She followed Johnny as though they'd known each other all of their lives.
After Johnny did some more cleaning up, he set the time machine for the hour Susan gave. The tyme machine appeared near Susan's house so Susan wouldn't know how Johnny arrived.
Johnny and Susan's cat walked up to Susan's house. As Johnny and the cat walked to the house, Johnny spoke silently to the cat. "Yes, I remember you, Swinger. I also hated to be separated from you. Now we have met again, however briefly. Unfortunately, Susan needs you more, right now. You and I will always be soul mates as well, Swinger."
When Johnny rang the doorbell Susan opened the door shortly after, as though waiting with her hand on the doorknob. "Swinger!" Susan cried. Johnny was surprised to hear the same name used as the name he also used when Swinger was his cat. Susan hugged Swinger as she spoke. "I've missed you so very much!" Susan looked at Johnny then as though she saw him for the first time only just then. "Please, come in." Johnny entered as Susan spoke. "Where did you find her?"
"Actually she was in another nearby hidy hole. We just didn't see her. I'm sorry if I alarmed you earlier. The people at the restaurant really did have some violent intentions against you, but I gave them a one-way ticket out of town, never to return. They'll never bother you again."
Susan and Swinger this entire time were hugging. Swinger was on Susan's right shoulder with her head buried in Susan's hair.
"I'll leave you two to spend your time together. Seeing you both like this was worth the effort to make sure you were together again.
Johnny smiled and left by the door he went in, not noticed hardly at all by Susan or Swinger.
As Johnny got back in the tyme machine, another cat and soul mate of his, Lancelot, greeted him. Johnny smiled as he greeted Lancelot. "Another day, another soul mate saved. We have a lot of work yet to do, my friend." Lancelot looked up and smiled as he walked beside Johnny. It was as if he understood what Johnny said. They walked side by side into the kitchen. Johnny proceeded to make some coffee as Lancelot waited for him to put it all together. While the coffee brewed, Johnny dished out some food for Lancelot. When the coffee finished brewing, Johnny poured himself a cup and went out to the front room. Lancelot was still eating, so he stayed in the kitchen.
David was on one of the couches as Johnny sat down with his cup of coffee. He motioned to David as though to get a cup for him, but David raised his hand to signal no and Johnny sat down. "Tell me something, Johnny," said David. "I understand your anger and desire to kill. What I don't understand is what happened that you not only kill, but you eat the victims."
"That's a fair enough question. Back when I was growing up, I went to a seminary school and I tried to get other people help me so I wouldn't have to continue to suffer the abuses I was enduring. Since the parents were such well-known town charity people no one would believe me about the abuse. So I tried to ask the 'Lord' with prayers. My petition was denied or ignored. Now I rebel by serving them mostly to their friends."
"So your anger carried over, enough to continue the killing of the humans."
"At first it was anger, yes, but in tyme it wasn't anger anymore as the need for thinning out of the violent humans needed to be killed. There's too many of them, and the human population is too vast, as you know." Just then Lancelot walked into the room and jumped up beside Johnny. He was starting to wash himself. Johnny stroked him.
David smiled as he watched. "Just how did you two meet?"
Johnny smiled as he spoke about Lancelot. "One day as I was walking through a pretty little town, my steps were all of a sudden guided by some unknown will. I had never been to the town before or ever seen a map, nor any part of the town on any TV or pictures of any kind. It was all the more mysterious as I started walking as though I lived in the town all of my life. Without knowing where I was going, I found myself in front of the local animal control. I walked in and looked around. I walked directly to the cat cages. There before me I recognized a soul mate from a previous life. He smiled as I spoke to him.
"What did you two say?"
"I smiled as I spoke. 'Hello, Lancelot. Have you had enough adventures yet? Ready to go home now? I'll have to trust you to walk beside me. I don't have a harness or a cat carrier. There's nothing to keep you away from danger. Not until we get in the tyme machine.' Then Lancelot looked at me, and understood everything that I said. I then paid the fee and got Lancelot released. Then we started walking to the tyme machine, disguised as a car. Lancelot didn't once try to dart out in traffic or get scared. He stayed beside me as he knew he would be safe as long as he didn't venture away from me. The rest is history."
One day as Johnny and David were roaming about a pretty planet, David stopped as he was looking at a large rose bush. The roses were a deep purple, almost black. "Reminds me of your request upon your death. We wouldn't happen to be on the planet of your burial site, would we?"
"No, it's a runner up in the choosing, but this isn't the one."
David looked at all the tall trees, the mountains, and the ocean with the dolphins, the birds in the sky and back at Johnny. "It's certainly equipped for it, and it's very beautiful. Since it does remind me though, can you answer something for me?"
"That depends upon what you have in mind." Johnny smiled and flashed his teasing look at David.
"Well, it's not your death, actually; I was wondering about someone you cursed a long tyme ago."
"Oh? You mean the one who abandoned a good friend of mine?"
"Not exactly, but now that you mention it, what'd you do to him?"
"I placed a curse on him so that until he lived nine lives in a row and never lied or abandoned anyone, he'd remained cursed to suffer humiliation and desolation, like the woman he abandoned. If he ever lies, or abandons someone before he lives his nine lives, the curse will continue as he continues to suffer the extreme conditions of desolation and rejection as she was under." Johnny took a black rose on a rose bush nearby and sniffed its perfume. As he straightened up, he spoke. "If I hadn't intervened, she'd be sprouting black rose bushes now. Her soul was nearing the zero when I came forth."
"Ah; why nine?" David picked some grapes on a grapevine nearby and was eating them as Johnny answered.
"That's the reflecting number. The young man has a lot to reflect back on."
"The souls split in the nursery, though, so how could he live out the nine lives?"
"That's why it'd take so much longer-the splits would eventually have to allow his soul to once again be as it was when he originally abandoned the woman. The chances are slim of that happening; more because he would repeat his previous personality, with no knowledge of the curse upon his soul. None of those so cursed will have the knowledge imprinted upon their souls, and no other reminder. If they're intelligent enough, they'll read their soul accurately and be able to act accordingly. If they're lucky, they'll read their souls before they hadn't already damaged themselves by renewing the curse."
"You're a sly one, and no mistake."
Johnny smiled as he put the pitch black rose in his shirt pocket.
"The one incident I had in mind was the one before you were brought before the council of the tyme lords-remember?"
"Oh yes, Rick. I gave Death instructions regarding his soul because he was so abusive. What about it?"
"Well, I never knew what all the instructions were, and if I'm to be in Zeus' place, it'd be best if I knew all of the details, don't you think?"
"Point well taken. As you know, I told Death that Rick's soul was to be handled with special consideration."
"What was that?"
"What I meant, and the code Death and I always use between each other, is when someone is under 'special consideration' they are not to be put with the rest of the souls because when they were cursed they had to remain intact. If they went in the soul chamber, they wouldn't remain intact, as you know."
"That makes sense, but what was the curse exactly, the details of it, and why? Did Death get all of the details and how long will the curse last?"
"Yes, I sent the information to him mentally on a private telepathic wavelength only we share. The details are that because Rick was so abusive, and because his abusive mannerism was growing, he was to be cursed, indefinitely if need be, with no knowledge of his latest life up to then."
"You said indefinitely if need be; How's that?"
"Well, every tyme Rick was recycled in another life form, whenever he'd even begin to think of abusing others, of his own species or any other, he'd experienced the pain I put him under before he died. The curse will remain until he never has any more violent thoughts of personally harming others."
That's all fine and good, but everyone has some form of violent thoughts. What would make it possible for him to be rid of the curse?"
"The difference is that Rick would see himself as the one creating the pain and high torture, where a lot of our thoughts are of watching someone else, not us personally, creating pain."
"I see; so how long until it's lifted?"
"When Rick can get through a total of twenty seven lives in a row without having any violent thoughts, the curse will be lifted, since by then he'll be cured. Until that tyme, he'll continue to be cursed to feel the pain I gave him all those years ago in Louisiana."
"Seems I remember there were rumours going around about you."
Johnny smiled as he thought about those olde days. "Yes, some thought I was from some state named New Orleans, and was in a barroom brawl over a Cajun Queen." Johnny snickered. "Naturally they couldn't be further from the truth."
"Why didn't you try to correct them?"
"Why bother; after all, the less someone knows about the real you, the better."
"I don't know about that. Could it be that I don't know you like I think I do?"
"No, you are one of the few who knows me well, and without any false information."
"However, I'm not the one who knows you in depth."
"True, but you know more than anyone else except one other; the only one whom I trust completely with that deepest knowledge is the tyme machine." Johnny smiled as he sent an image of comfort to the tyme machine, and received a warm glowing thought of comfort back.
"The tyme machine isn't alive like we are, though."
"No, not like us, but she is a life form, and you can lay to that, matey. Anyway, she holds all of the secrets, and is my confidant who will never betray me."
"I know the tyme machine I have is also alive, but are you so sure about how far you can trust them?"
"David, you use your tyme machine often, correct?"
"You put all the information of your past in it, don't you?"
"Yes, but what has that to do with-"
"Would you trade one for another, randomly? Or would you prefer to keep the one you have?"
"I'd rather keep the one I have, naturally. It feels natural, like a part of me."
"To get rid of it would be like being without your wings and limbs, wouldn't it?"
"That's true, but how could you know that they'd be capable of being such a confidant?"
"When we were introduced to the tyme machines, we were joined on a level that goes beyond any other form of marriage that exists within the universes. I remember being disoriented a bit at first as the merging took place. When it was over the tyme machine spoke to me-at first in dreams, then at other tymes."
"I had the disorientation, but the tyme machine never spoke to me. Why'd yours talk to you? Is mine incapable of speech?"
"No, according to my tyme machine, your tyme machine was remaining silent because the time to go forth never was right."
"Your tyme machine spoke to you just now?"
"Yes, and she's the older sister of your tyme machine and all the rest of them."
"That alone is why you should take Zeus' position, and not me or anyone else. Surely you would have access to knowledge no one else could have."
"Not necessarily, since the Universal Mind also has such knowledge."
"You're sure of this?"
"All the knowledge you'll ever need in within the Universal Mind. Information gathering is easy; the hard part is knowing what questions to ask in order to get the correct answers."
"Still, it seems a lot of the information within the Universal Mind regarding yourself is not there."
"Yes, I've been there. That's what I mean, David. I've been keeping it updated, but in order to get the information out, you need to know of certain events in the first place so you can ask the right questions in order to get the information you want. Otherwise, you'll never know of that information, or that it exists."
"So anything that happened to you during certain times would remain hidden because I wouldn't know of any specific event to get that information."
"Yes. Not just me, but everyone else, and all other things. That's why it's so difficult to know what really happened so far back in out histories, and beyond that."
"I begin to see Zeus in a different light. I'm not so sure such an office is for me after all."
"Now you begin to understand what I mean when I say that most never appreciate or understand another until it's too late. David, I don't want you or anyone to take over Zeus' office until you understand everything there is to know involved with it."
"I still believe you'd be a better candidate than myself. What I don't understand is why you reject it."
"Knowing what's involved with taking over Zeus' position, I know I don't want it. I'm not cut out for it; more than the research involved and discipline, I'm no politician and never will be. I don't have the temperament, and being a traveller suits me just fine. I have no other ambition, but Zeus refuses to believe that since I'm so powerful."
"So what makes me better? I'm no politician, either."
"Except that unlike myself you can be around more of our own kind and for longer periods of tyme since you were never rejected like I was."
"You're better now, and I don't see that it's a major problem, since you do so well."
"You've never seen me in a crowd or among any more than a dozen and only for a short period of tyme at that."
David paused as he thought about what Johnny said. Upon reflection, he knew Johnny was right. "I never thought about it that way."
"The early years of aphasia and rejection don't make me very well suited for dealing with my own kind like a politician has to tolerate. You're constantly playing salesman selling yourself, and that's what I will never be. There lies the real difference. When Zeus struck you down, he couldn't destroy that inner core that makes you who you are."
"Still, I'm not so sure I want the position myself."
"We'll come to that later; for now, I think it'd be better to spend some tyme exploring. It's the best way to learn new things, after all." Johnny couldn't help smiling as he remembered some of the best times were when he was exploring various planets and gathering information of the life on those planets. There's nothing quite like personal experience to make the gathering of knowledge so enjoyable.
Use the Lorenz Transformation in Physics as part of running Zeus down to destroy him.
"I never said I wasn't."
"Never said I was sane, either."
"You should be locked up."
"That remains to be seen, don't you think?"
"Harold, stop playing with the gas! I told you to save it for blowing up your relatives' and the gravesites."
"Hello, little girl. How would you like to take a little trip with me? I'll make you feel comfortably numb all over."
"Normal? What's normal? My life has been so negative that if anyone were to know my mind fully, they would most likely commit suicide. I am forever saddened by this world. I have a title I never wanted, yet I won't discard it, even now after having earned it."
"What title is that?"
"I used to wake up every day with a groan. I had been cheated every time once again. I longed to die and Death was refusing to take me. I was tired of mortal living. Tired of having to withstand the continued mental tortures I was being subjected to. I was only a little kid, and I felt ninety."
You know, the older you get, the more like yourself you become.
One day a traveller was sitting in a bar. A friend came in and sat down beside the traveller.
"Hi Mac," said Katy. "I heard that there's some trouble megalo spiral 9, sector 6. Quite a few humans have gone bad there. Word is they go insane after a short time spent there. The species is almost extinct as a result. Sounds right up your alley. You may want to clear it with the time lords, though."
Mac was thinking about that. "Yes, it does sound like a perfect assignment. You aren't trying to wet my appetite, are you?"
"Maybe, maybe. I admit that I feel safer when you focus on humans other than myself. I guess you could say I'm rather self centered and self serving in that regard."
"Oh yes. I'm looking out for my own interest as well when it comes down to it, you could say. After all, I get nervous when you start looking my way with a hungry look in your eyes."
"Others would be flattered."
"Except they don't understand your hungry looks are for the dinner table they'd eventually decorate personally."
"Spoil sport. Rest assured I'd have only lust in mind with the likes of you, Katy. I'll use others to outfit my table."
"Yeah, right. I'll bet you say that to all the perspective women before you start carving them up in strips."
Mac tried a mock serious look, as he put his hands over his heart. "Scouts honor. You know I'd never lie to you, Katy." Mac snickered.
"Sure, not until you got me under your thumb, at least."
"That at least."
Katy looked at Mac as she shook her head in dismay. "Are you ever serious, Mac?"
"Oh, coitainly I am. It's just that, things have been very difficult for me lately. The last few weeks have put a lot of demands upon my time, and the pressures have made me more clownish in the attempts to cover it up. I really could do with a little southern comfort, if you catch my drift."
"Oh yes, I'm afraid I do, and no, not me.
"This information is perfect for you, since most humans will never suspect your real intentions. You'll have lots of good eating at their expense. I'm sure the time lords will endorse this mission for you, should you decide to accept it."
"The chances are high that they will, but no one can control another mind with such precision like yourself. Who will keep me in check if you don't?"
"Poor booby. That's so sad." Katy spoke with mock sympathy.
"I'm sure another human will take pity upon your dilemma. Just remember that it's best to kill them unawares."
"The meat tastes better, as the adrenaline changes the flavor to a more gamy taste."
Mac smiled as he thought about it more. "Yes, to be able to get away with murder, stock up on my meat supplies, and get paid for it at the same time. You're right. I'll inquire about it right away."
"Just promise me you won't be trying to pay me any courtesy calls. You make me edgy. I have no desire to share any seven course meals with you, thanks anyway."
Mac chuckled and rose from the bar stool. "You've got a deal, Katy." Mac walked out of the bar then.
Have you ever seen a soul being devoured, regurgitated, resurrected and immediately devoured again? Or how about put through a shredder, revived and destroyed over and over? It's not a very pleasant time, I can assure you. How would you like to become one such tortured soul for all eternity? Do you mean to tell me this is better than death? Would you even recognize a fate worse than death? All of the anti-depressants and 'happy' drugs in the universe will never get rid of the past tortures of your soul and the horrors you will have to continue surviving. Don't tell me that there are no suicides that aren't justified when the mental disposition is in question. Not everyone has to be suffering from a fatal physical disease in order to justify committing suicide.
Let's say that you were approached by an Immortal. The Immortal tells you that you have two choices. Upon your mortal death you can come back as a mortal again, or you can die the eternal death of the soul, never to live again, ensuring that your soul is destroyed.
What would you do? How would you respond? Would you respond immediately?
Remember this; the one who approached you is an Immortal. If you weren't worthy of being an Immortal as well, they wouldn't have bothered to approach you at all. What are they hiding? How is it you can't also become an Immortal? How did the Immortal become an Immortal? Will you even bother to ask these questions?
I'll be a Melancholy corpse.
Never judge another corpse until you've walked a mile in its bones. This above all else: to yourself always be true, and it will follow, as the night always follows the day, that thou can never be false to any man.
Let's talk of worms, graves, and tombstones; make the dust our papers. Then with our tears of sorrow we'll write upon the bosom of the planet.
When the band you're in starts playing a different tune, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. After all, that's where I parked my space ship. Unfortunately, I lost the control device. Fortunately I remembered to cloak the time machine before I lost the control device.
Sitting on a corn flake. Waiting for the band to come.
A beam of light will fill your head, and you'll remember what's been said by the good men this world's ever known...
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth bound misfit, I.
Hell's teeth man! If you don't stop trying to nibble my fingers and toes off I'll have to send you first class to Davy Jones' locker.
How would you like to come to my cemetery for a little snack and desert, bouncy, bouncy?
Man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
Broken down on the highway of life
Oh woe my life is hardship and strife.
People yellin' and screamin' at me to move,
The rut of my life is just another groove.
As I teeter on the edge
My life hangs by a thread
As the cliff edge recedes
A ground I never see.
Oh woe my life is full of strife
Accelerating faster my sanity and life
Everyone thinks I'm strange when
Societies to blame.
As my stomach starts jerkin'
My brain stops workin'
Starvation alone creates enough pain
Then the roof collapses and it starts to rain.
Your pockets are empty
But pay you must
Fix the car, the roof
It's a boom or bust.
So down and down and down I go
To the sharp rocks far far below.
With stress so high, my hair's gone white.
I've fought for years-no end in sight.
But the time will come or so they say
The rich will lose as to the piper they'll pay.
The surrounding area was well kept in a very green cemetery. The tombstones were an average of fifteen feet apart. There were eucalyptus trees around the border. The grounds were cleared of debris.
The office was in the center of the cemetery. The grounds were level around the office for a couple of blocks all around. The cemetery then continued another couple miles on a gentle slope as it 'dipped' from the office. You eventually walked an additional twenty feet below to some older sections. There were no stairs. You had to walk the decent in a two city block distance. When you got to the bottom there were fancy letterings, gilded iron works rarely seen in the more modern area, since such work is now too expensive to decorate the more recent graves. The graves here were about twelve feet apart from each other.
There were old fruit trees, ivy plants and other climbing plants woven in tresses and some iron engravings. Most of the tresses were rotten, and the only thing keeping them from crumbling was the climbing ivy.
Johnny passed all these, beautiful as they were. The grave he was interested in was on the outskirts of the cemetery.
Johnny had his dark sunglasses on. He wore black Levi's and a black shirt. He was carrying a dozen pitch-black roses.
The cemetery was large, and so it was unusual to see more than an occasional human in one spot at one time; especially in the older sections.
"Please, kind sir. I need to knead. If I don't I'll go mad. It's a craving I have- like my need to be alone most of the time."
Tolerating some criminal minds-far too easy to find. Society thinks I'm strange- they should be ashamed.
"Johnny, I don't quite understand. I mean, how can you be a cynic and a Melancholy Man at the same time? Wouldn't the combination cancel each other out?"
Johnny smiled as he drank his coffee, thinking about how to respond. "No, on the contrary. My cynical views of humans gives me a higher suspicion so I doubt all the humans. Using caution, until proven otherwise, no human is treated like a criminal. My melancholy disposition helps balance out and maintain the cynic."
"So they do cancel each other out."
"You lost me again."
"My melancholy disposition works with my cynicism and allows all humans the benefit of the doubt. If I didn't have the melancholy disposition, I wouldn't be able to allow this, and everyone would be treated like a criminal."