Madness: 2003/2011

March 2003: 

Nick Collison, Aaron Miles, Wayne Simien and Roy Williams lead the Kansas Jayhawks to the Elite 8 in the NCAA basketball tournament, where our story begins. 

At the same time George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney lead the United States to war in Iraq on false pretenses. 

March 19: The United States attacks Iraq with “Shock and Awe”. 

April 7: KU loses the national championship to Syracuse. 

April 14: Roy Williams resigns as head coach of KU basketball.

May 1: Bush gives, “Mission Accomplished” speech. 


Madness 2003 (Written 28 March-7 April 2003)


Cast of Characters


Negotitor: The Kansas Jayhawk

Deputy Dog: Coach Roy Williams

Wildcat: University of Arizona

Eagle: The Marquette Golden Eagle

The Orangemen: Syracuse 






  A lone Wildcat ambles along the valley floor sated by a fat season and occasional road-kill.  Ejected fur ball mucus trail stains the sinewed trunk of a  twisted mesquite  as  a 6'9'' 255 pound, beaked shadow traverses it's foliage and turns back for another pass...


Arizona 2003


  ...The wildcat pauses, sensing something.  He turns far too late to avoid the serrated, razor sharp, gold titanium beak which fastens around his neck and severs the central nervous system between the 6th and 7th vertebrae.  His last vision appears to be of a red/blue shadow, back lit mesquite greenery and a pale blue sky streaked with rippling, cirrus clouds... 





...Deputy Dog sits in his cowhide rocking chair and wonders at the things that have come to pass.  You'd never think that Jesse James could out-smart the law by operating a small band, hitting banks and hiding in caves until the Feds gave up, but that is just what he had done.

  The Deputy, however, had bigger things on his mind.  Law and order had reigned for 40 years in Big Whiskey, but it wouldn't take much longer for the good citizens to realize that he shared credit for maintaining the county with a red and blue morphable pterodactyl called "Negotiator", which the Deputy's predecessors had trained and equipped to keep the peace.

  "There's nothin' to do for it now," he told the carved walnut statue of Socrates he kept on top of the safe which held the keys.  "We're in the water for Christ's sake.  Swim or die old buddy.  Let the beast run."

  He ran his hand over the mercurial glow of his Colt and slid two lead train wrecks into the empty cylinder. 

  "Dang," he thought, "I'd sure hate to be shot for lack of  bein' able to shoot back," and loaded the four remaining... 



New Orleans


...The Eagle cruises the thermals high above the Big Easy dropping, when he feels the urge, like Shuttle debris on unsuspecting mackerel feeding the outer edge of the alluvial fan.  A masterpiece of natural selection, the Eagle is equipped with the most formidable hunting tools the awesome power of nature can provide.  Secure in his mastery of all he sees, the Eagle almost dozes as he is gently rocked by the wafting rhythm of rising spring air currents...

  From 24,000 feet all that can be seen by the naked eye is the roiled, moonscape texture of the bunched nimbus cloud cover below and the blue/white atmospheric fringe above.   Being unable to visually locate prey is an insurmountable obstacle to nearly every predator in nature.  The morphable pterodactyl known as Negotiator, however, is not, nor has ever been, "natural" in any sense of the word.  It's 24 Infra-Red Laser GPS Oriented Sensors, known as "IRLGPSOS" in fact, receive no signal-feedback at all from the clouds and view the three state area below with a clarity approaching that of GOD himself.  The tiny blip it's positioning matrix registers over the Mississippi Delta is instantly identified as a possible threat of the avian class.  Full stealth mode is attained momentarily and auto-pilot functions are automatically overridden, restoring consciousness to the scarlet topped, blue bellied bird of death.  Depleted uranium eye covers retract, first vertically then horizontally, to reveal the flaming golden orbs few had been quick enough to glimpse before cold titanium did its irreversible work.  

  Within minutes Negotiator is cruising a holding pattern 21,000 feet directly above the hapless Golden Eagle, recording data on it's movement patterns and functional abilities, and waiting for a positive "threat" identification signal... 


Interlude II


  "Breaker, breaker.  I'm lookin' for that big blue eye in the sky down Dixieland way, come back Big Bird."  The display panel blinks red three beats before giving way to the green "connection established, please enter your password" prompt.

  "Nice to hear you alive Big Bird!  What's your 20 good buddy?" 

  "Longitude 97 degrees 23 minutes east.  Latitude 30 degrees 27 minutes north.  Altitude 21,700 feet."

  "Well I'll be a..." mused the good Deputy, "It's already in New Orleans.  Cheeses, roses and berries!  I'm glad this old boy's on my side."

  "Big Bird, you showin' anything on your threat monitor?"

  "Possible bogie on the floor at 850 feet.  Avian class.  Predatory flight pattern.  Probably feeding.  Request permission to engage contact."

  "Now you just hold on to your tail feathers Big Bird.  We don't want too many people knowing you're in town yet.  I'm on my way down.  I got my .44 and you know I can knock the eye out of a bird flyin'.  Just in case I'm gonna stop along the way and buy me a shotgun about as long as I am tall.  We gonna shoot that Eagle... just to see him jump and fall."

  "Yo-da-le-hi-hoo that Big Dog.  Awaiting further instructions.  Big Bird out."

  Deputy Dog signs off and slowly winds up the 300 horses under the hood of his '69 Camero SS.  Years ago someone had chopped the body down just behind the front buckets and installed an 6x4 foot oak flatbed.  With the muscle up front and the bed in back he could do 0-60 in 7 seconds hauling a half-load of fence post and wire.  It wasn't easy to look at, but then neither was he. 




  "Breaker, breaker.  Big Bird come back."

  "You got Big Bird.  What's your 20 Deputy?" 

  "I'm down here at the Super Dome tailgate party enjoying an oyster poorboy with sauce piquant and an ice cold Jax beer.  Oh, and by the way, Big Bird, you have the green light on that bogie. I got your back."

  "Yo-de-le-hi-hoo Mr. Dog.  Big Bird off the booze and on the move."

  If you've ever watched a Star Trek movie then you know the sight of Negotiator diving to engage a hostile contact.  In the TV series, when the Enterprise goes to warp speed, the stars turn blurry and the control deck shakes. Lieutenant O'hura holds onto her communications consol, cleavage a shiver, and ... Ta Daa, they come out near the planet Zircon in the constellation Golon.

    That is not what we're talking about.  We're talking about the movie.  In the movie, as the warp drive is engaged,  light from the stars begins to stretch because of something akin to an unlimited Doppler effect.  Then, the seemingly solid ship rapidly appears to extend toward infinity due to relativistic and quantum distortions.  Finally, there is a what could be described as a visual sonic boom as the ship accelerates past the speed of light.  We see what looks like a nuclear explosion in the vacuum of space, viewed through the eyes of Tweety Bird on acid.  Implosion, then ultra-rapid expansion of  brilliantly rainbow colored light/shock waves expanding then receding into nothing as the ship outruns the ability of light to reflect it's progress.

  A similar sight is beheld by no one as Negotiator folds its wings and prepares to engage its foe.

  Less than a second later the Eagle is torn from his doze as instinct correctly perceives the inevitability of the approaching threat.  Wings fully retracted, altitude diminishing, the Golden Eagle comes fully to his senses. The decision to dive headlong into the water and hope whatever is behind him can't swim comes not of conscious thought, but of hard-wired, survival neuro-kinetics.  

  Natural selection is a cruel and unforgiving master but un-natural selection sits at the right hand of Satan himself.  The Eagle feels slightly elated as he hears/feels the distinctive percussion of his own spinal severity.  Eagle and Mecha-fowl plunge deep into the tranquil Gulf waters and continue through the bottom silt ejecting skyward a column of muddy water that darkens the sun and rains hot sludge, punctuated by heavy ocean life, onto the heads of disbelieving shrimp boat crews late into the evening.






  Deputy Dog sits low in his Wall-Mart aluminum folding chair, half a bottle of Jim Beam 'Red' dangling from his left hand.  His right hand is occupied re-loading the Civil War issue Colt .44 which lays across his lap like the bloody saber of an exhausted corporal trying to doze during a lull in battle.  The view in front of the main gate at the Super Dome this Monday afternoon is gruesome beyond imagination.  The good deputy sits across from a steaming pile of  bodies sporting exit wounds the size of Florida oranges.  Flies have begun to sow their rotten seed and the drone plays base to Deputy Dog's slightly shrill mumblings.

  "All somebody had to do was tell me what an "Orangeman" was.  That's all.  Then I coulda shot him and y'all coulda' gone home.  I don't know what an "Orangeman" is!  If somebody'd just a told me then I'd a gone home.  Now look at this mess."  He takes another pull off the bottle and wipes his brow with the back of his sleeve.  "Hoo boy," he nearly sobs,  "Yo-de-le-hi-hoo.  Guess nobody else'll be trying to come in today..." 

  Deep below the floor of the Gulf of Mexico Negotiator's reserve power supply automatically restores life to the Beaked Bomber.  Thrashing and twisting upward through a century of muddy refuse deposited by the anus of America's Breadbasket, progress is slow but steady.  After nearly 40 hours of excruciating effort Negotiator emerges on the beach of Padre Island to find the rapidly decomposing corpse of the Golden Eagle still hanging, like week old spinach, from it's terrible titanium jaws.  Oil slathered coeds stare gape-mouthed, luke-warm Bud-Lite forgotten in the sand, as they watch the red-topped pterodactyl drop the bird and begin to remove the filth from it's wings. 

  In short order Negotiator has restored his armor-like plumage, run systems checks, re-calibrated IRLGPSOS and resumed his patrol high over the Mississippi Delta. 

  "Breaker, breaker.  Big Bird come back.  I need some help down here." 

  "Deputy Dog you got Big Bird, what do you need Captain?"

  "Big Bird can you please tell me what the hell is an "Orangeman" and what does it look like?"

  "Give me one minute, Deputy. "

  Negotiator accesses its super cooled atomic binary database to find nothing on the subject.

  "Negatory on the file search Mr. Dog.  Does not match any stored data." 

  "Well I'll be a...Dang!"  Deputy Dog throws the mike to the floor of the Camero and barks his head on the door frame as he exits the car.  The pain is intense enough to induce nausea and after a momentary swoon he forcefully launches sausage gravy laced with undigested biscuit chunks and  beef jerky over the roof and onto the pavement across the car.  He tries to clear his nose and bolts again.  He continues on his knees until nothing emerges but long, clear strings of saliva and horrible bone rattling sobs.

  As he gets up, Deputy Dog stands to face a naked boy smeared dark head to toe with dried blood. 

  "You killed my father," says the boy.  Deputy Dog's eyes blur with fresh tears and he sees another blood smeared boy, then another and another.  He wipes back the tears and shakes his head and sees the entire parking lot filled with blood smeared boys. 

  "You killed my father," they say in unison.

  "Hold on there boys.  Just hold on."  The profound shock of the vision he beholds strikes his heart with the force of the hammer held by the god of eternal vengeance.   He staggers, falls, stands, falls again and then, remembering who he is and why he is here, rises once again.  He looks at the mass of darkened bodies, squares his shoulders and slowly finds voice.

   "Boys, let me be truthful.  I know I'm not a good man.  I've done things no man should do...and not just today either.  I been doin' them things all my life.  At one time or another I reckon I've killed just about everything that walks or crawls or moves.  I don't know that I'm sorry about it, that's just the way things came out.  I didn't mean to kill y'all's daddies though, and if I did that, I am honestly and truly sorry.   But boys, could you help me out just one time before I set things right?  And I am gonna set things right, you have my word as Deputy Sheriff of Big Whiskey County.  I ask that you help me just this one time.  Right now, here, today."

  The voice which had inspired uncountable posses to ride the unknown and bring blood thirsty outlaws to justice travels out over the heads of what now seems to be a multitude of naked, blood smeared boys.  And even though Deputy Dog had personally killed every one of their fathers the great, wisdom laden voice wins the day and the boys nod their heads in assent.  Deputy dog bows his thanks and faces the first boy alone. 

  "Kneel before me," says the boy. 

  Deputy Dog lowers one knee without hesitation.

  "What is it you would ask of me?"

  Deputy Dog places his right hand on his heart and with tears again threatening to spill down his cheeks says,

  "I apologize on the souls of my ancestors for the devastation I have brought you  and your kin.  I have no right to ask anything of you, but before I die I must know..."  Deputy Dog closes his eyes and in a painful voice asks,

  "What, for the love of God, is an Orangeman?"

  The boy smiles and lays a small hand on the head of the good Deputy.   When Deputy dog opens his eyes the multitude has returned, only now they are grown men each over 7 feet tall.  The dark ocher of the dried blood has faded with the low sun and now glows, if not orange, a gold tinged rust.

  "We are the Orangemen," chants the multitude.  The lead man reaches down and tilts the Deputy's face up until their eyes meet.

  "You kill our fathers and in less than a generation you will have to kill us...or die."  As he withdrws his hand the multitude turns as one and begins to walk away.

  Deputy Dog raises his trusty Colt, now brilliantly reflecting the orange light of the setting sun and presses the barrel into the soft flesh behind his chin.

  "Thank you,"  he whispers to the wind.

  Hearing the report the Orangemen pause, sensing something, then continue the journey back to the land from whence they had come.


To be continued.








Madness 2011



Cast of Characters


Negotiator:  The Kansas Jayhawk

Coach Soul:  Bill Self

Frunobulax:  The Boston Terrier  (Thanks to Frank Zappa's 'Cheapnis', the song before 'Muffin Man')

Storm Bird, know to the French as Piasa: The Fighting Illini

Theraphosa Blondi the Goliath Bird Eater:  The Richmond Spider

The Ram: VCU 





Boston 2011


Ladies and gentlemen,
The monster, FRUNOBULAX,

(Apparently a very large Terrier dog)
Has just been seen approaching The Power Plant
Bullets can't stop it
Rockets can't stop it
We may have to use NUCLEAR FORCE!
The National Guard has formed up at the base of the mountain
And is attempting to lure the enormous Terrorist dog towards the cave
Where they hope to destroy it with napalm
A thousand of the troopers are now lined up and are calling to the monster . . .
Here Fido
Here Fido
Here Fido

It begins as a humming in the ears of the most sensitive Guard troops who have expanded their powers of perception through the practice of Yoga, Zazen or psychoactive substances and stints as members of the First Earth Battalion.  As these spiritual warriors extract their minds from the immediate situation and begin to scan the horizon to the east, the very fabric of space and time is ripped apart as Negotiator accelerates past the speed of light above. Red and blue shock waves converge to form a singularity which sucks the hair off the giant Terrier and instantly expands to create an alternate, furry, universe.  The naked beast is now vulnerable to the intense stares of the enlightened troops, which, within seconds, stop its heart.  As the gargantuan rat-like corpse crashes to the dirt the troops assume full lotus and begin the act of ritual purification. 



Reporting live, pre-game, from Japan.




Interlude:  Origins (2004)


It rained and it rained .  Water seeped up and spilled through crevasses in the trees and still it rained.  The river below, once blue and placid, was an incredible mass of brown energy pounding the feeble, man made banks and threatening to relocate the town several miles downstream.  The shear rock cliffs which lined the river valley now gave pause to the people who had lived there for so long.  Few of them understood that the cliffs and the water were dancing to a profound rhythm several hundred feet taller and several thousand years older than the concrete embankments built to contain a fury contained by none, ever.  There were red lines painted on the bridge supports indicating the point at which the river would flood the adjacent highway but it was 400 feet from the line to the top of the canyon wall.

  As the rain, so came death.  The river rose until it lapped the foundations of the steel reinforced buildings lining its banks.  It rose again and felled the steel like the wind fells a cornfield.  Cars, concrete slabs the size of train cars and train cars tumbled to and fro amongst the rock walls crushing smaller forms of matter into dust or liquid.  Many of the townspeople had made higher ground well before.  Those who hadn’t now, themselves felled trees and bounded rock to rock until their dispersed mass added fuel to the mighty aquatic engine of destruction.  Devastation this great had not been seen by man since before written history, but the rain did not stop for another five weeks.  When the waters rose no more those who had built their houses atop the highest cliffs found they now lived on the banks of a river so wide and so deep as to render those on the other side citizens of another country.

  No one knows how it actually happened, but all agree it was then that Negotiator was brought into this world.



Reporting live, from Japan.





Diplomacy 16, 2011


Coach Soul steps through the mirror and dons the traditional eagle feather headdress.  He had been Chief of Chiefs among the Illini Confederation for years and knew the danger well.  Crossing the border meant that he was now subject to Illini law and at the request of any of the gathered Chiefs could be beaten to death with a ball-head war club, one blow at a time, by the Council of Elders in a ritual called 'Bashee da ex-Coach'. 

Nearly trembling with fear Soul looks out, sees the faces of such Illini chiefs as Mamantouensa and Chicagou, takes a breath, squares his shoulders and begins to speak.

"My brothers, you all know me.  We hunted bison, jerked beef and fought the Iroquois Nation.  Even today I make the sign of the Illini on the door of my lodge.  We were together many seasons but now I am master to another.  One so great I fear for you, my brothers, so I bring you an offering of peace."  Before the council he unrolls a shimmering deerskin containing the petrified jaw-bone of the revered Memphis Tiger.

"You all know what this is.  It is all that is left.  I give it hoping to spare you the same fate.  My charge is fearsome beyond imagination.  Accept your fate.  Accept death and I will return the body, intact, for a proper burial with all rites."

To the rear a group of Illini 'ikoneta' servants begin repeating the words, 'Storm Bird, Pi-asa.  Storm bird, Pi-asa.'  Within seconds the chant has spread throughout the hall and thunders from the stone walls.

Soul sees things going bad quickly and rallies for one last effort.

"YAMEROU!"  he commands.  "If you release the Storm Bird I will be forced to give free reign to my charge, the Bird of birds, Predator among predators,  Spawn of the waters below.  You have seen blue, but not like his. His is the Blue of marrow burst from crushed bones.  You have seen red, but not like his.  His is the Red of blood burnt from scorched veins.  You have seen gold but never gold like his.  Heed my words or prepare for cold titanium to do its irreversible work!  All will die, including the dragon!"


Soul, now understanding the folly of his enterprise steps back through the mirror to the relative safety of the locker room beneath Oklahoma badlands.

On the bluffs above the Illinois river lightening strikes.  Tremors shoot through the limestone cliffs and the primordial force known as Storm Bird is shaken to life. 



Reporting live, from Japan. 



Illinois 2011


Coach Soul sits in the locker room beneath the Oklahoma badlands reviewing the attributes of the one the Illini call the Strom Bird, Piasa:  Bear head, huge teeth...

"Gosh darn, been too long."

The coach cranks up the spin-gen and thumbs the mike on the radio left by the Dog of Deputy fame.

"Breaker, breaker Blue Bird, you up there?"

"Roger that Soul-man you got the Bird.  Come back."

"Bird, what's your 20?"

"38x24x36 Coach. Where you at?"

"Hawkster, I need your help.  You got any info on a thing called 'Storm Bird' or 'Piasa'?"

"Give me a tick Chief."

Negotiator accesses his super-cooled atomic, binary data base with appropriate electronic and audio interference.

"Got it Chief.  Piasa, Storm Bird, Illini legend, possibly factual as evolutionary remnant.  Bear head, big teeth, elk horns, fish body, bear legs with eagle claws, 50 foot tail with spearpoint and....wings.  Over."

"Big Bird, does that sound like a dragon to you?"

"Not any dragon I want to meet...sir."

"Big Bird, if you had to, could you take it?


"Big Bird?"

"Coach, I can take anything you put me in front of, SIR!"

"I know you can my mechanical friend.  Okay, Bird, I want you to set up in an eight way, way above the cliffs along the Illinois River.  I'm sending up some help."

"Coach!  I don't need help!  I can do this!"

"I know you can, buddy.  You do what I said, you hear?  Wait for my call."

"Roger Soul-man.  I'll be there before you can smell the coffee."

"Yeah, boy, rock and roll."  Soul thinks to himself as he leans over, unlocks the safe, removes the keys and opens the gates of Hell itself.


"Bird-man, come back."

"Chief, good to hear your voice.  Are we Go?"

"You got con on the bogie?"

"I got something but it must be under rock because I can't tell what it is."

"Bird, here's what I want you to do..."

Negotiator sits across the river in plain view from the mutant dragon known as Storm Bird, all systems powered down, waiting for a go.  The stench wafting up the bluffs has begun to corrode the gold-titanium alloy of the fearsome beak called Widow-maker.  Strom Bird is now focused on red and blue like a laser and occasionally flips its tail across the Illinois, probing, inviting reaction.

"Big Bird, Big Bird, we are in place and ready to go.  You may proceed."

"Roger that, good buddies.  Let's Rock."

Negotiator quietly powers up all systems as Storm bird paces back and forth flicking the death tipped tail towards its nemesis across the water.  Gruesome reptilian squeals escape the bear-like head venting its frustration and confusion.  It senses something more than the eye can see.    

  Negotiator sways imperceptibly with the rhythm of the saurian tail, watching, aligning his circuits with energy of the stinking beast...

In a move so quick as to be invisible Negotiator thrusts forward titanium jaws, severs the tail and standing, extends its wings above the crown of its scarlet head.  

The Storm Bird lets out a roar to wake the gods and takes wing, speeding across the water toward death.  Negotiator stands motionless, watching the grotesque shape thunder forward.  Milliseconds before impact the monster is stopped dead by crossed giant spears thrown by twin towers of human flesh which emerge on either side of the beaked bomber.  The force of the blows sends the dragon/bear back across the water and impales it on the limestone cliffs above.  Within minutes it is re-absorbed by the limestone never to awake again.  Negotiator nods right then left.  The Twin Towers bow and recede into the night.



Reporting live, from Japan, halftime. 



Origins II (2004)


  No one knows how it actually happened, but all agree it was then that Negotiator was brought into this world.  As scientists smash streams of particles together at FERMILAB, TOROIDAL and BELTUS, creating substances which haven’t existed since seconds after the universe began to expand, and possibly those that did not exist even then, so the river smashed metal, stone, concrete, wood, human and animal flesh creating a homunculus-fowl not seen nor imagined by the greatest of Olympian myth makers.

  This mass of improbable substance lay incubating in the back seat of an intact 1961 Cadillac beneath the water for 2 years, 1 month and 12 days.  On the 777th day the water receded below the custom double chrome side trim and the Cadillac was dislodged along with a full blown 302 ’69 Camero SS which had lodged its protruding Rat Fink shift stick, upside down, deep between the spread rear wings of the impaled Caddy.

  The time frame does not fit the patterns to which we have grown accustomed, because time, in this primordial soup, was crushed and broken into pieces every bit as small and disordered as the matter that had once been a peaceful riverside community.  This type of event gives credence to the idea that space and time are nothing more than the a priori forms of sensory intuition.

  It was seven more mangled ‘years’ before Negotiator ate the last of its makeshift placenta and emerged on the side of a small hill in eastern Kansas.  At one ‘time’ civil war era intellectuals had named the hill Mt. Oread and at another civil rights war era intellectuals had named the spot “The House That Wilt Built”.  Of these things Negotiator knew nor cared.  It emerged hungry and proceeded to feed.



Reporting live, from Japan.



Richmond (2011)


If not for the size differential any bird would have a hard time taking down a spider.  The story begins with a long legged Richmond pitcher named 'Puss' Ellyson.  Somehow the spindly motion of Puss' long arms and legs combined with a wicked knuckleball to physically transform the nappy-headed youngster into a spider over the span of a single season.  Online upgrades modified 'Daddy Longlegs' into Theraphosa Blondi, the feared Goliath Bird Eater; an 11 inch arachnid with one inch fangs and urticating hairs.  Still, nothing to fear for a 6 foot 9 inch 245 pound red and blue morphable mecha-pterodactyl with a super cooled binary database, 24 Infra-Red Laser GPS Oriented Sensors (IRLGPSOS) and gold-titanium alloy beak parts...until the radiation. 

In what some have claimed an attempt to create a 'Manchurian Candidate'of the American Vice-President, nefarious forces advocating one world government allegedly used HAARP technology to direct the cloud of radioactive particles emanating from the Japanese Fukushima reactors through the ionosphere towards the American capitol with astonishing results.  Astonishing in that they missed by 250 miles and that the cloud came to rest over Richmond , Virginia and the Goliath Bird Eater.

Because of the something similar to the well-known 'greenhouse' effect atomic particles were able to enter the exoskeleton of the Bird Eater but not able to escape.  Cancerous mutations occurred inside the spider at a rate dwarfing the combined total of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima and in less than a week the Bird Eater had grown from eleven inches to twenty-one feet and its fangs from one inch to twelve matched, un-historically, only by the prehistoric saber-tooth tiger.

Coach Soul had been monitoring the situation with his portable mutate-o-graph upon the grounds of the mission San Antonio de Valero on the tranquil banks of the San Antonio River.  While he admired his predecessor, the great Deputy Dog, Sheriff of Big Whiskey County, Soul, a God-for-real Oklahoma cowboy, still did not have a feel for the Deputy's 'cowboy' ways.

"Breaker, Breaker, Blue Bird come back."

"Soul-man you got Bird."

"Bird, what's your 20?"

"Way down south, Soul-man,

Waaay down Mexico way."

"Roger that.  Jimi Bird, tell me, what's the best way to take out a twenty-one foot bird-eating spider with utricating hairs and stridulation that could make Ted Nugent weep?"

"Give me a second...Sir, I'd go with 'speed of light attack to the cephalothorax' and put a new, ugly, constellation up in the sky, Sir."

"I knew you would Big Bird, that's why I love you but did you know that male Bird Eaters are only 1/4 size of the females and have no tibial spurs?  I think that spider is a girl and I think maybe we can pull off a 'bait and switch' and save a lot of fuel and maintenance time on this one..."

"Sir?...You're not thinking..."  The Beaked Bomber shakes vile off his composite feathers and sucks out windows over a four state area with a warp jump that has him circling the galaxy Fornax 1 in minutes.


Game Day


Negotiator sways and steps in jerking, yet graceful, movements executing a precise dance evolved through millennia for one purpose and one purpose only:  Mate with Theraphosa Blondi, the Goliath Bird Eater, and not get eaten.  The Scarlet Topped Bird of Death flutters his indigo wings, squirts a trail of synthetic arachni-pheromone and Bird Eater's mandibles go slack.  He squirts again and greenish-brown spider juice begins to drip from numerous, seemingly salubrious, openings.  Something opens near the center of the She-bug and Negotiator is hit with desire so powerful he loses all concept of space and time.  He swirls his wingtips rhythmically in the pheromone pools and prepares to insert them into the pink, multi-rotating opening now protruding from her lower abdomen.  Insertion complete Theraphosa begins rubbing her back legs creating stridulation so intense the cooling systems for Negotiator's atomic binary database momentarily shut down.  As Negotiator begins to drop away, Theraphosa tucks her head, fangs working like garden shears, and prepares for a post-cotial treat.

"Big Bird, Go!  BIG BIRD GO!"

Instantly all systems achieve full power and Negotiator, wingtips still fully inserted, kicks his golden buckle-boots over his back and inserts their protruding tibial heel spurs between the fangs of the drooling monster, momentarily jamming the cutting machine.  In a gymnastic move resembling a nuclear high-bar dismount he then swings his body down, backwards, under, then over the fangs, avoids both regurgitated digestive juices and utricating hairs, tucks for two full rotations, sticks the landing on top of Bird Eater's prosoma and severs the Goliath cleanly into two pieces at the 'waist' or pedicle, otherwise known as the pregenital somite.  The Blue Bird takes wing and from 2,000 feet watches the spider halves search for each other spreading gelatinous blue and green blinking spider goo over an area twice the size of a basketball court until they collapse and crumble in upon themselves, steaming. 



Reporting live, from Japan, pre-game.



Origins III (2004)



When the bloated body of an unfortunate human of female construction floated within range Negotiator consumed the limbs and torso within seconds.  The head however, proved more of a problem.  The pale blue eyes would bob and roll with a nudge and though all human consciousness had left the body something remained.  Unwilling to give up its prize, Negotiator rolled the head toward the makeshift nest it had constructed of refuse.   Within range the young bird instinctively set and with a quick flip of its already deadly beak, lobbed the orb, golden hair whispering through the breeze, in the direction of its lair.

Papa B had taken refuge in a tree atop the mount and saw the head drop squarely in the bottom of the nest with a thud.  Somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind lights began to flash.

‘Shit!  Migraine.’

Plagued with nefarious demons since he could remember, he knew the only thing to do was hold on and weather the storm.  He hadn’t eaten in days so the nausea was brief.  Then someone began pounding his brain like an anvil. 

With pain comes release, with release, clarity.  Transported in time he beheld a feat of God-like magnificence as if he were there:  A tall negro with ‘Pippen’ sewn on the back of his sleeveless undershirt is standing at the line bouncing a ball in what appears to be preparation to propel it towards a round steel rim with some kind of rope netting hanging from the bottom set high above the floor.  The whole town has gathered to watch the event.  As he raises the ball another man standing behind him, ‘Jordan’, begins to charge as if knowing exactly what is about to transpire.  ‘Pippen’ releases the ball with a flick of his wrist as ‘Jordan’ brushes past his left shoulder.  The ball hits the back of the rim and begins to bounce back.  At the same instant ‘Jordan’ vaults toward the ball off the line, grabs it with both hands and slams it through the net with such ferocity the crowd is propelled off their seats into a terrifying roar that finally subsides when He comes back to earth, sporting wings, somewhere in the mountains of southern Japan.

Papa B battles his demons for several hours but the vision remains.  He finally opens his eyes to see Negotiator flip another lost head.  Mind caught in the relentless throes of labor B jumps into the receding waters and begins to decapitate bodies as they float by with his bare hands, feeding the heads to the fledgling mecha-hawk, which continues to instinctively flip them toward its nest until the mind of Papa B gives birth to the game which will, one day, give birth to His Airness and the King.



VCU 2011


"Breaker, breaker.  Blue Bird come back."

"You got Bird."

"Bird, what's your 20?"

"I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady, I caught her messin' 'round with another Ram.'

" Jimi Bird, I'm tired of jackin' around.  What do you say we do this one the old fashioned way?  I think I like the scenario you mentioned the other day."

"Wop Bop M Bee Bop M Bop Bam Boo!  Soul-man, Roger that."

"Bird, you be careful, the radiation got that daddy sheep, too."

"10/4 good buddy.  See you in Sam's town."


The following occurs between 1:00 and 1:00:00:00:00:00:01


The Ram stands invincible on the Texas plain pawing the dirt, bursts of steam jet from his nostrils forming Mandlebrot equations, which gather into clouds and begin to expand.  The same radiation that turned the Goliath Bird Eater into a twenty-one foot monstrosity affected the Ram like shots of steroid-laced adrenalin to the heart.  Muscles twitch in synchronized waves, which roll over his body emitting sparks of energy into the air.  The sky darkens as huge cumulous clouds gather thick and begin spitting lightening like a Wyoming redneck spits Copenhagen.  Lowering his horns he begins to charge, slowly at first.  At the five mile mark the sound of his hoofs can be felt as far away as Pelanque in the great state of Chiapas, southern Mexico.  Resonant waves travel the mantle of the earth magnifying in intensity until the crust is fluttering like a paper fan in the hands of a Japanese Maiko. 

Experts say that Warp 10 is impossible because anything traveling at 10 times the speed of light would occupy all points in space simultaneously, an absurdity for anything other than God himself.  The scarlet topped mecha-fowl known as Negotiator was about to prove them right...and wrong.

As Negotiator hits the afterburners and accelerates past 1,862,820 miles/second the entire universe undergoes a phase shift from matter to energy rendering all concepts relating to space and time irrelevant.  There is only silence as the energy ball formerly known as Negotiator approaches that once know as the Ram.  At the exact moment of convergence Negotiator shuts down all systems and....... stops......dead....... returning its form to the world of matter instantaneously and sending out shock waves approaching infinite power which fracture the energy of the Ram into particles so small as not to be discovered by man for another 10,000 years; particles which shoot into all points of space simultaneously and briefly extinguish the stars in what had once been called, heaven.  As the lights return the Beaked Bomber drops from the sky like an anvil and crashes hard on the windblown hills outside Nuevo Laredo.



Reporting live, from Japan, pre-game.     

































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