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"So what is it we're dealing with?"
"Something terrible. Something unimaginable. I've seen terrible things in my lifetime, but I've never seen anything quite like this. It's...sir, it's the epitome of all evil."
"All evil, you say?"
"All of it. Every last drop."
"I'll go in there and talk to him."
"It. It's not a human, sir. It might have been human at one point, but it's not a human anymore."
The man walked into a room, where someone else was sitting at a table. The man at the table didn't look up. The man who walked in the room, Joe, sat down at the table.
"So, what's your name?"
"I don't know."
"Where are you from?"
"Who am I to know such a thing?"
"Well don't you know where you came from?"
"How can you know anything?"
"I see." Joe pulled out a piece of paper with a giant letter A on it. He held it up and said, "I want you to tell me what this is."
"I don't know what it is."
"This is the letter A."
"How do you know that?"
"That's what we call it. A."
"Sure, that's what you call it, but how do you know that's what it is? Who are you to say that what you think is A is really A? I don't know that it's A, so what powers do you have that allow you to know that?"
"I'll ask the question again. What do you think this is?"
"But what is it?"
"Who am I to know? You can never truly know anything. You think you do, you scientists with all your scientific methods, but you don't. You don't know anything. Nothing can ever be known."
Joe got up and walked out of the room. He said to his science partner, "This...thing...I've never seen anything like it. It completely rejects everything. All knowledge, all classification, everything. It's like some kind of sub-human. Where did you say he was from again?"
"Some state called Nihiltopia. Here, let me get a globe and point it out for you."
"I think I'll need a map."
"I intend to go to Nihiltopia and study these creatures, and find out what makes them how they are. If I don't make it back alive, tell my wife and kids I love them."
Last edited by Jinjonator; 5th June 2009 at 12:38 AM.
Somewhere deep in Nihiltopia, a man named Phil was working at a huge company, which he was the owner of. And, unfortunately, the only place where he was able to start up his company was in Nihiltopia, because that was the only place that figured they had nothing to lose, because they literally weren't convinced they actually had anything to begin with.
"Hey, you, over there," Phil said to one of the employees. "Has the shipment of spoons been sent out yet?"
"Who am I to know such a thing?"
"It's your job to make sure the spoons get sent out."
"How can you know that?"
"Because that's what I hired you for."
"Or did you?"
"Yes, I did."
"If you say so."
"Good. Now make sure the spoons got sent out."
So the man left, but was never able to make sure the spoons got sent out to where they needed to go, because he felt he had no way of knowing that what he thought he saw was really spoons, and not just a figment of his imagination, because, for all he knew, he might be the only thing that truly existed, and even that was up for debate.
Phil sat down at his desk with his head in his hands. This job was driving him insane, and he couldn't wait for the first opportunity to get the hell out of Nihiltopia.
"These people," he said to absolutely no one. "They're crazy. Absolutely kooky. How can anyone be so unsure of anything? It's madness. It's..."
Then the intercom said, "Sparta. The spoons are now being shipped out to Sparta. At least, that what I've been told. It might not be true. Who am I to know?"
Phil got up, put on his coat, and began walking home. He didn't bother telling anyone, because he figured they probably doubted his existence anyway. He went in his closet, and pulled out a gun, wanting nothing more than to just get away from these people forever.
Joe was sitting down in a helicopter, flying toward Nihiltopia. The pilot looked over at him and said, "You really sure you want to do this?"
"I have to. I have to know."
"Know what makes these people tick."
"Well, sir, that's just the problem. Nothing makes them tick. There's nothing there at all. They're empty voids. No. Even worse than that. They are, very literally sir, negative."
"I don't think you do. But when you get there...you will."
The helicopter landed on top of a building. The pilot said, "Good luck, Joe. You're gonna need it." And then Joe got out of the helicopter, and began looking around. It looked like a fairly normal city.
"So what is this place? The building, I mean."
"This is where the Nihiltopia government is. I suggest you refrain from talking to any of them for awhile. If you absolutely must talk to them, at least wait until you've gotten more used to this place. I heard about a man who, after talking to one of the lead men of the government here, killed himself. He just couldn't stand living in a world where such a person could exist."
"Wow indeed, sir. Wow indeed. Anyway, best of luck."
Joe watched as the helicopter flew away, and he wondered if he might have made the biggest mistake of his life.
A man walked onto the roof through the door. "Hello there. For the following conversation, if you don't mind, I'm going to assume you exist. Of course, I can never truly know such a thing, can I?"
"I suppose not. And you are?"
"I don't know, but you can call me Frank, I suppose."
"Hello Frank. My name is Joe. I'm visiting here from America."
"Merely to observe the people here, and the way they think."
"Do you mean to suggest there might be something wrong with the way people think?"
"Well, like you say, who's to know they really think, or even exist?"
"But you would question their thinking if they did?"
"I'll leave you now, so you can go on and do whatever you think you're doing." He didn't say it like an asshole. He honestly thought that, whatever Joe was doing, he only thought that he was doing it, and that he might in fact be doing something else entirely, but who could really be sure?
"Ok." So Joe went down the stairs, through the building, avoiding eye contact with anyone in there, and went out into the streets. He looked around, and saw that there was no one outside, in the middle of the day.
"Well," Joe said to no one in particular, for indeed there was no one to say anything to. "I guess there's no sense in going out and having a good time if you can't know you're having a good time."
"What is Jack Malt?"
Joe looked over at the random hobo who had just said that. "Excuse me?" Joe asked.
"What did you just say?"
"Did I say something?"
"Yes, you did."
"How do you know?"
"I heard you."
"What if you didn't?"
"How do you know?"
Realizing this one going nowhere, and that there was no sense in talking to a hobo anyway, Joe decided to just walk away. Now that he was here, he wasn't entirely sure where he should go, or what he should do. Maybe he really would've been better off staying at home.
As Joe was walking around, he saw someone else, who was in a business suit. He walked over to the man. "Hello," he said. "I'd like to talk to you, if you don't mind."
"No! I have had it. I'm done!"
"I beg your pardon?"
"You damn people and your insanity, I can't take it anymore! I'm going to find the nearest train, and jump in front of it."
"I'm not from around here, sir. I'm visiting."
"Visiting? Are you mad? Do you know anything about this place? It's Hell. No. It's worse than Hell. Hell is suffering. Hell is something. There's nothing here. These people...they aren't people. People have thoughts. These things don't. They do things, but they don't know why. And out of every place in the world, you chose Nihiltopia to visit?"
"I'm actually here to better understand these people."
"Don't bother. There's nothing to understand. There's no reason."
"There has to be a reason somewhere."
"Well good luck trying to find it. Now excuse me, I'm going to kill myself."
"Kill yourself?" Joe asked. "Isn't that kind of....stupid?"
"I've been here for many years. I can't get out of here. There's literally no escape, and communication with these....things...is not possible. It's maddening, every bit of it. I'd rather be in Hell than here, quite frankly."
"Well I can get you out of here."
"Is that so?"
"It is, actually. But it's gonna be awhile before the helicopter comes back to pick me up."
"***** this, I'm going in front of the train."
"Wait, wait! C'mon, you've survived here for years, right? One more month, and you'll be able to go out into the normal world."
"Sounds tempting. I accept."
"Good, good. So...now what?"
"Now you come to my house, and we have a drink."
Joe and Phil sat down in Phil's living room. "So," Phil said. "Lemme get this straight. You actually flew all the way down here so you could study these people?"
"Ha. Listen, that won't do you any good. See, you want to find what makes them tick, right? As it stands, that's fundamentally impossible. In order for something to make them tick, it'd have to mean something to them. But nothing does, see? You see, I came here to start my spoon factory. I didn't know what kind of people were here. If I had...well, I sure as hell wouldn't be here. Anymore, trying to get them to do anything is a joke. They don't care. We haven't made a single profit since we started."
"Well wouldn't the factory get closed down, if it's doing so badly?"
"Who would close it down? The way this system is run, if it's even really a system, is they let people do whatever. You wanna make a factory, make a factory. But no one really cares to make sure that jobs get done, and the government doesn't care to make sure things are working properly. Why should they? After all, nothing has any meaning."
"Wow. That sounds.....shitty."
"It is. So listen up buddy. Whatever it is you're hoping to find here, you aren't gonna find it. All you'll find is people pretending to live."
"Oh, also, the guy who flew me here, he was saying something about the people who run the government here. He said one killed himself after..."
"Yeah, yeah, that's all true. I can't say I blame him, either. The things that they say...don't even try to understand it. You can't. And I'll warn you right now: do not try talking to one of those government psychos. Hell, I'd advise against talking to anyone else here. You're the first normal person I've seen in a long time, and I don't want you dying on me."
"I see. One more question: some guy said something to me, it's probably nothing, but I thought I might as well ask. He said, 'What is Jack Malt?' Does it mean anything?"
Phil sat there for a few moments, looking at Joe, thinking deeply. Then he finally said, "It means everything."
Near the edge of Nihiltopia is a train control center, wherein all the incredibly important decisions regarding trains are made, and wherein all the people make sure the trains go where they need to go. Unfortunately, the trains almost never went where they needed to go, since no one felt the need to make sure they did.
The train place, Traggat Transcontinental, had been formed many years ago, by a man named Danny Traggat. Ever since he was a fetus, he had aspired to become the greatest ever person to own an entire railroad system, and do all the wonderful things associated with such a job.
His whole life, he did everything he possibly could to get enough money to finance all of this. He sold his childhood friend into slavery, gave top secret information to the Russians, and shot himself in the thigh on a dare for $100. He even sold his soul to the Devil for more financing.
One day, he had come home from work to find his wife sitting on a chair in the living room, with a pissed-off look on her face, most commonly associated with people who are pissed off.
"Hello dear," he had said. "Why do you look so mad?"
"I'm very mad at you."
"Yes, I can see that. Why?"
"You don't love me anymore."
"That's a rather bold claim to make. How do you figure?"
"All you care about anymore is your stupid job. It's all you ever talk about. You never have any time for me."
"What about last week, when we did it?"
"You were moaning 'Ooooh, Traggat Express!' the whole time."
"That was an accident. I didn't mean to say that, honest."
"So you accidentally pretended you were have sexual relations with a train?"
"Oh, poppycock! You're a terrible liar."
"If you'd seen the Traggat Express, you'd understand."
"Aaaahhhh! I can't take this anymore! We're getting a divorce."
After that, Danny's wife divorced him, and took an absurdly high amount of his money. Danny overcame this, and continued working as head of Traggat Transcontinental.
Danny was sitting down at his desk, enraged. "I don't understand it, Generic Assistant. We never get anything done. The only trains that have ever gone out are the ones I personally drove."
"Well," said Generic Assistant. "Nothing matters. Accept it. These trains have no value. Nothing does. Just give up."
"I would sooner cut my balls off than abandon Traggat Transcontinental!"
Then someone walked into the room and said, "Mr. Traggat, you have someone that would like to speak to you, or so he says."
"Ok. Let him in. Get out, Generic Assistant."
Generic Assistant walked out of the room, and some man walked in. He sat down in the chair in front of Danny.
"Yes? What can I do for you?"
Ten minutes later, Danny busted out the door of his office. "Suck my balls, all you retards! I'm leaving this place forever! To Hell with it all!
Last edited by Jinjonator; 17th July 2009 at 11:59 AM.
"Listen," said Joe. "I know this is gonna sound absolutely insane, but since I'm gonna be here for a month, I really might as well. I'd like to talk with one of these people."
"Christ, are you mental? You talk to these people, and it'll do things to your mind you couldn't even begin to imagine."
"I know, but there's a reason I'm here. I have to make some attempt to understand them. Besides, it's just words, right? It can't be that bad, can it?"
"It's far worse than you can imagine. But if you insist..."
"Ok, listen up. I know what you're all gonna say, and, quite frankly, I don't give a damn. There's a big problem right now. The economy is going down the shit hole. Soon, we'll have to start cutting jobs. We simply don't have enough money to pay everyone, the way things are going now."
The man who spoke was a man named Frank. He was sitting at a long table with a number of other people, on the 30th floor of the Nihiltopia Government Building.
One of the other people at the table said, "How do you know the economy is truly 'going down the shit hole', as you say?"
"Because unlike you, I've seen the bloody charts showing how the economy is going down the shit hole, and it's going very far down."
"And how do you know these charts are reliable?"
"I had my top economic experts make it. Look at it yourself, you'll see it's 100% true."
"Frank, Frank, Frank. Why do you insist on making such claims? Nothing is 100% true. You can never truly know anything. You say the economy is doing badly, but how can you be so sure? Because some people who you claim are experts made it? Who's to say they didn't lie about it? Maybe the economy is doing excellently. Maybe there's no economy at all. Who knows?"
"How do you know you know?"
"I've seen the proof."
"The mind plays tricks. People will see what they want to see. Or at least, they think they do."
"Dammit, you people are intolerable! What do you believe?"
"That nothing can be known. That nothing has any meaning or value. That's what I believe."
"If nothing has any value, why do you stand by this belief of yours with such conviction?"
"The only fact is that there are no facts."
"Ok then. This meeting is over. I'm out of here."
I like your story. Negative beings who don't know anything... humans sent to their planet... it's pretty cool...
"I'll kiss that smile off your face, just say when..."