Article: 178554 of talk.bizarre
From: (d.)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Regrettance Art
Date: 1 Dec 1994 03:05:36 GMT
Organization: Old Dominion University CS Dept.
Lines: 64
Message-ID: <3bjei0$>
Status: O

There are five buttons in the world.  In my world.  Five buttons, and
all are red.  Five buttons, and all are lit.  Set out in a row on my
panel, five buttons.

There are other things in my little world.  In ancient times this
would be called a bathysphere, now they simply call it an "environment
pod".  The spherical interior is filled with straps to hold me in
place, with joysticks and gadgets and panels and viewscreens arrayed
all around.  And five buttons; one for Leon, one for Mark, one for
David, one for Melissa, and one for Katski.

My little pod orbits the station like a little planet.  I live in the
planet like the spirit of god.  I can kill like the spirit of god; I
can reach right out and press those buttons.  Press, press, die, die.
Sometimes I almost do it.  Sometimes I just stare at the buttons.  I
can kill with a touch from here in my little world.  I'm like the
spirit of god.

Melissa has put a towel over her pickup so I can't watch her anymore.
Bitch.  I know she's fucking around with Leon, why does she bother
trying to hide it?  I guess that night before the launch didn't mean
shit to her.

I can hear her through the speakers.  She's cooing softly to the cat.
Without thinking I reach out and pound the fifth button with the heel
of my fist.  Bitch!

Melissa shrieks!  She wails and screams and suddenly my video pickup
into her room is bright again and I have a full screen of her
teary-eyed face.  She's calling me names and yelling louder and louder
until I have to turn her microphone down.  Oh boy, have I done it now
-- Leon's going to space me for this one.

Only one thing to do.  I reach out and press the fourth button before
I change my mind.  Instantly Melissa is gone from my display.

For a moment I sit there and shiver.  What have I done?  They're going
to find the bodies and space me!  What have I done?  Leon's going to
torture me!  Leon's going to cut me real slow like he threatened that
time in the dorms!

Fear wells in me and I slam the first button in panic.  Leon's not
going to kill me!  Relief coats me coldly over my heart, flooding down
to my white-knuckled hands.

"Toby?  Toby?  What's going on over there, Toby?" says Mark's voice
from the telecom speaker.  Oh god, I'm all done for.  I can't make it
look like an equipment failure, there's not enough time.  What can I

The other two buttons click against their contacts cleanly and my
speakers are all quiet once again.  I guess I should get to work on
the panel to try to make it seem like an accident.

Wow.  I feel like I'm thinking clearly for the first time in months!


Truth, tears and tirades.