Emergency Shutdown

“Due to the emergency, all TV and radio stations have been ordered to shut down their transmitters. The Bureau of Intelligent Government (BIG) is now the only authorized broadcaster. All content providers will be asked to bring their materials to an authorized air force base for evaluation and possible transfer to our transmission facility. Note, there could be considerable delay. We’re sorry for this inconvenience while we save the world. We will attempt to provide both news and entertainment during this crisis… Next up an important news bulletin.”


The whole thing is odd. Zusoiti is trying to be Big Sister, guardian of all the emotional life of the passive flower that obeys her, and she can dictate the mode of ridicule for those out of fashion. I don’t think the brother BIG has any idea what’s going on. They’ve focused on the physical aspects of the attacks on the TV stations, and they’re ignoring everything else. So the studio vulnerabilities have been eliminated but what about poor James Fitzgerald who involuntarily killed his own assistant — oh, I never did find out what happened after that. And now, not only are there many people who are afraid to fly, but now many will be afraid to do Yoga, now a few who mis-heard the radio pronouncements will have a morbid fear of yogurt, and now some seeing the video clips played over and over will fear podiums and potato chips.

That’s odd: instead of going straight to the “important news bulletin,” they’re doing a commercial for a pet store. I guess they’re trying to make everything seem normal. Should I turn it off or turn down the sound? I don’t know — every time they say “important announcement,” something goes wrong. Oh, maybe when they say “bulletin” it’s OK.


“Before we begin, we’d like to say a word about James Fitzgerald who evidently suffered a psychotic episode. It is a travesty that congress has not approved more funds for the wackos, um, no, I mean, the mentally challenged. And now let us have a prayer, oops sorry, I mean, have a moment of silence for all the families of those killed at the press conference…

…and done. Evidently, it is a conspiracy of our political opponents. We will filibuster until the truth is sequestered. There is only one party of the truth. All else cannot speak without a label of scorn, and thus no debate. We bow to BIG and if you have nothing to hide, you will too. Everyone but us is silly, and we hope when you laugh you will only believe us who gives you pleasure and relief from anxiety. Don’t worry; we will protect most of you. For those who die, we will provide a grand ceremony at no extra cost. Just laugh at the circus.

“We are always rightly democratic in the votes we steal from the dead (no stone unturned), and the opposition clowns who abound must run through the reeds of the Demagogue who is waiting in the weeds of retirement to return, making the opposition doomed to fail. We say, even when we have giant shoes and a clown car driven on chopped-up toads that it’s legitimate. Toady the line or croak because we steal the vote by any means necessary. And the Constitution, archaic, will die. We have our Executive Orders and Congress is irrelevant.

“OK, we’d also like to say we are doing our best to find the women who were kidnapped at the Yoga conference center. We have no clues as yet, but remember worse things have happened in Africa and the Middle East, so don’t complain.

“That concludes our obfuscation and have a nice day and century. Um, and now we will play musical chairs.”


Oh this can’t be good — I feel like something is intruding into my mind.

“Uayi?” it says.

I’m feeling Upper Utd’mbts images floating around in my head. I’m wondering who it is.

“Uayi?” it says again.

I have a feeling thought: “Utcoozhoo?”

“Uayi?” it persists, but I’m afraid to give permission for a blending thought. I can’t remember how in Upper Utd’mbts you verify who you’re talking to.

Trying not to embrace the entity in any kind of dangerous way, I flash a quick thought, “Utcoozhoo?” The intruder in my mind shows me Zawmb’yee and I, meeting at the Ngtqua and doing the ‘ka’-sound-harmonic-duet method of making a door-opening eksetyk. It feels like Utcoozhoo but I’m not sure. It could be Ngheufel doing a prank.

“Uayi?” it says again.

I push out a thought and push a close to the last image of a flooded chamber where Zawmb’yee and I almost drowned. Maybe I should have allowed more to be said in Utd’mbts. But I’m so out of practice in the language that I thought it would be much too dangerous. I guess I’m going to have to try learning it again. It just might be Utcoozhoo trying to communicate with me. But then Zawmb’yee did issue the Death Warrant and this could be a trick to make me give away my location. But the TV is still working, though weirdly.


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