A Reptile Dysfunction……by Greg Hafner
Tabor Mountain with all its forests and abundance of nature very seldom saw a sunrise as pleasant as this one. Warm, sweet and relaxing, an enveloping mist, even the rare bird song.
It was indeed a beautiful Tabor Morning even as Zyam awoke to a strange feeling. A strange feeling caused by a bizarre dream. Was it a dream? It seemed so real. One of those dreams where you dream you’re dreaming only to wake up and still be in a dream. Zyam had spent too much time listening to his good friend Spake last night at the “Into Blue” club proselytizing about his conspiracy theories. He had heard it in rumors many times before. It seemed ridiculous now, but the rumors were about a world that was being controlled by lizard aliens. In the government, on all the major corporate boards, heads of banks, insurance companies, and investment firms, controlling hospitals and militaries, manufacturers and shipping companies, social organizations and charities….almost everywhere. These aliens looked and seemed normal enough, their identities cloaked somehow to the normal person, but nefarious in their intent to control human civilization. Somehow, for some reason, in his dream Zyam was able to identify these lizard aliens for what they really were, even through their disguising ability.
Zyam considered the elements of his dream and reflected that if these rumors held any semblance of reality, how much it affected The Hours in Our Life. Everything we do, all our ambitions, the direction of our lives. All things controlled by those in power.
He turned to study the sleeping face on Dori, this unusual woman next to him. He couldn’t believe they had spent the night together. It wasn’t expected, it just happened. Zyam was certain their affair would not sit well with authorities (if they knew) or his friends. In his paranoid ramblings last evening, Spake even whispered that he had heard Dori was a product of government sponsored human/alien inbreeding. If this was to discourage Zyam, it had the opposite effect and just made her more intriguing. He wasn’t sure how it happened from there, but he wound up having an unbelievable night with Dori. Still, he remembered staring at her cat-like eyes and could have sworn he saw her naked skin shine iridescent in the full moonlight. She was fascinating yet scary and Zyam mumbled “I Don’t Understand” as he lay there next to her.
Zyam needed to get up and get the day started. Nothing better for that then the mind-boost mood medication his Holo-Physician prescribed to keep him calm but provide motivation to be productive. Zyam was struggling with the mental and physical side effects of the medication, but the government, the drug manufacturer, and his doctor all seemed to conspire to make sure
Zyam understood he was much better off taking the prescribed medication then avoiding it. Still Zyam felt like he should Beware the Side Effects.
He placed the vial in the actuator and placed it on his open right eye. He pressed the “dose” button on the actuator and the resulting vapor was absorbed into his eye. The emotion took hold of Zyam’s mind immediately. The sweet feeling began to take effect, along with some of the less desirable psychological side effects. Zyam began gazing at the media screen on his skid, fixating on the streaming video images of what seemed to be unrelenting trouble. World wide chaos, hate, and destruction seemed to be the dominating issues. It almost seemed like a conspiracy of ill-intentioned money grabbers manipulating global actions and events for their own satisfaction.
Lizard aliens? “You Tell Me”, Zyam mused. He could get Dori a food pack from his skid, but he hated to wake her this early. So Zyam grabbed a hydrate-tube instead and wandered down the mountain to a tumbling stream.
Zyam glanced down the stream’s edge to see a new sign posted at the thickest part of the forest. He could hear birds chirping, osprey screeching and a lone bull elk bellowing a mournful mating call, all unaware of the sign’s disclosure of the impending destruction of their home.
Governcorp wanted to generate more profit by clearing a right-of-way for more toxic oil sands to be transported underground through this area from Canada to the coast. Zyam thought “haven’t we polluted the world enough in the past with nuclear fall-out and belching factories, toxic water from fracking, run-off from industry or dumps, species destroyed from deforestation, urban encroachment and pesticides?” Regardless of life being destroyed for profit, and the world being made less for it, Governcorp was just an inanimate profit machine incapable of empathy, understanding, environmental issues, or any concern for life. Insulated in this beautiful spot, Zyam realized, one could not be safe from Big Corporate Money Blues. The confluence of mega-corporations and government, Governcorp, seemed to be controlled by this soul driving desire for more money, more profit. Our founders envisioned a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. These days, though, seemed to illustrate that our leaders (possibly all lizard attorneys before being elected) have created a government of the government, by the government and for the government. They vote their own pay raises (even if they haven’t done a good job).The earth, the environment, the animals, and all the people seem to be less important than profit. Such a short term viewpoint, Zyam thought. Couldn’t the Governcorp lizards, uh leaders, see the long term destruction of our world if they continue to go their present path unabated? It’s just a matter of time. Why can’t industry, and the concern for the future of the world strike a Compromise to save the world and still create jobs and livelihoods? Zyam didn’t have the answer.
He felt, overall, most people ignore their responsibility to the world or for their own destructive or malicious actions. Many people blamed their religious beliefs, or others not like them, or the government’s attitude, or someone else for their hurtful words, hateful actions, or negligent behavior. Zyam believed that each individual is responsible for their actions, words, and results.
You may be taught to hate, but you should be smart enough to realize that hatred will always be wrong and perpetuated by evil.
Zyam’s medication seemed to be creating more conflict in his mind than control. Melancholy side effects made him think more of his mortality and his place in the world. He felt that he should have a lot more to show for his existence”. Something profound or transcendental to show for his presence on earth. Why are we here? Why do we exist? Why do we hurt or destroy each other?
Who is in control and why? Zyam remembered seeing the word ITATI tagged all over burned out and ransacked buildings and asked a tagging artist what it meant. The response was, “Is that all there is?” Is this what life is all about? Struggles, anger, frustration, fear, loss. Or could love, peace, understanding and coexistence at some point rule the day? Peace. What was peace?
What does peace look like? What does it sound like? Zyam contemplated that he had never observed global peace in his entire life. It also seemed like his parents had never lived in a world of peace. Neither, for that matter, had his grandparents. Had there ever been a time in the world where there had been no hatred, no greed, no jealousy, no wars or mankind’s destructive side? A Child’s Peace of love, understanding, and sharing. Caring for the world and all it’s inhabitants. Had it been or would it ever be possible? Why would mankind not want peace? Were their outside influences that perpetuated the chaos for their own self-serving plans? Lizard aliens? It must be.
Why would we do it to ourselves? Why would we destroy our only home?
And if there were lizard aliens running the world, where were they from. Spake had a theory on this as well. He had studied quite a lot of astro-physics, particularly about a celestial body on the edge of the Solar System called a Brown Dwarf. He told Zyam this unusual and highly misunderstood celestial body was where he believed the aliens haled from. Zyam had a hard time believing any of it. But who knows what is true reality and what was imagined or artificially created reality.
Zyam pondered for a moment, sipped the last of his water and strolled back to the abandoned building they had slept in last evening. The sun was again breaking through the thinning fog. It was going to be a beautiful day……