Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Guide to Falling Down a Bottomless Pit

When you find yourself falling down a bottomless pit, you tend to ask a lot of questions.

Not at first, of course. At first you’re all “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” and the like, but eventually you run out of breath and have to think for a second. Of course, you’re likely to just start screaming again, but eventually you’ll adjust to the new sensations and the questions will begin.

It starts simple: “How long until I hit the bottom and die?”

This is a stupid question. You’re in a bottomless pit. It’s stated right in the name that there is no bottom, so there is nothing at the end for you to hit.

This will then lead to questions about the pit. If there’s no bottom, then would one die if they started hitting the sides? Would I eventually starve to death? How is it physically possible for a pit to have no bottom? If it really doesn’t have a bottom, does it just reach to the center of the planet? And if so, will I eventually stop falling and just hover somewhere in the middle when I reach the center of gravity?

You won’t really find any answers to these questions, since the eventualities will never happen.

Except maybe that bit about hitting the sides, if you’re brave/dumb/crazy enough to angle your descent and go crashing into the walls on your way down. You can get an answer for that one, and the answer is “JESUS, OW.”

After the period of questioning the pit, you will begin to question yourself.

“How did I end up in this pit?” “Why didn’t I bring a parachute?” “Hey, could I spit from here and just watch the loogie hover next to me?”

Eventually you’ll become bored with questioning yourself. Usually right after you end up getting a face full of loogie.

From that point, you’ll start pondering the questions of the cosmos, life, the universe, love, everything. You’ve found yourself with an unlimited amount of time, so don’t be afraid to get into the really deep questioning, or to spend hours, days, months, or years solving just one problem.

It will take time, but enlightenment will come.

The Buddha found his under a tree, yours will come in an endless freefall. With nothing else to do, it’s bound to happen eventually.

Unfortunately, enlightenment won’t cure your boredom. The same blurs rushing past you, the same sensation of terminal velocity, you’ve encountered all this before and you’ll see it over and over again for all time.

This is about when the madness sets in.

Your mind will be forced to find ways to amuse itself. It will most likely end up being at your expense. Expect to have hallucinations of all kind: auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory, and that really awful one where it feels like you have to sneeze but no sneeze will ever come.

This phase will last the longest, as no one has yet gotten past it to discover what comes next. We do however know that when you reach the peak of madness, you’ll start performing actions that will clearly show the deterioration of your mind.

Actions like writing a guide about being trapped in a bottomless pit, for example.

Well, that used up a few minutes. Now what shall I do?

I guess I’ll scream some more.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Helen of Troy

I did a show recently.
We performed at LaMaMa, then toured in Portland.
Here, check out some clips:

My favorite part is the phone going off in the audience.

Anyway, if I do more of this show, you should probably watch it. Then you can see everyone else yell, too!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Hole

It was about a year ago that I found the hole, I reckon.

You fancy book-learnin types all came in here telling me about how the hole needs to be studied and how it don’t “follow any standard rules of physics” and I had to deal with chasing them darn robed hooligans away from it. Claiming their death-god or some such were down there plotting the end times or some such nonsense. Now, I read the Bible, sir, and I can tell you that there ain’t no thing about some death god causing the end, only Jesus is capable of that.

All I really know is that the hole is on MY property, and as such is mine to do with as I see fit.

And let me tell you, that there hole is the best dumping ground for my house’s trash what ever I seen.

You see, my household has been accumulating a lot of garbage as of late. What with two teenaged children running about. You know they don’t go fixin nothing, they just throw it away. So we end up with bags and bags of the stuff. And with the house being so far out here in the country, the closest town done up and started charging us for trash removal. So, when that there hole opened up behind the house a ways, it was like my prayers had been answered.

Sure, whenever I get close to it, the endless moaning of the damned from down below can get the nerves all riled up, and the fountain of blood that starts a-spurtin out of the hole every time I put something in it was a bit of a nuisance until I started bringing an umbrella with me whenever I threw things out, but it’s a better deal than the alternative.

Y’see, I had to start using the hole for my family’s trash once the dang city council went and decided we lived too far out from town and would have to start paying for trash pickup. A whole extra three cents a year. DAMN HIGHWAY ROBBERY if you ask me.

We may be having soul-crushing nightmares every night where we learn the exact moment we’ll die; and yeah, there’s a disembodied voice chanting with sounds no human mouth can make along the path to the hole; and sure, Martha-May is slowly growing too big for her room, turning into a pile of flesh made entirely of feet and mouths, but our family has proven to be frugal. A valuable lesson in this economy.

So you can tell Mr. Mayor if he wants to send more people like you out to see my hole, he can pay his own damn three cents.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Complete Works

Recently, our humble museum has come into the acquisition of a large quantity of missing Shakespearean works. As we’ve found, these papers contain a number of previously unknown plays from the great playwright, as well as a large number of rejected drafts of the more well-known works. Our teams are working tirelessly on transcribing all the papers and making the works available for libraries and private readers all around the world. Below is a list of titles we hope will raise your interest:

A Midsummer Night’s Play

Romeo and Bill

Two Gentlemen From Verona Talk about Chicks

The Taming of the Pet Shrew

A Comedy of Factual Statements

King Lear’s Cat, Fluffles

Henry XX

Just, Like, Two Hours of Mistaken Identities

Hamlet 2: Electric Boogaloo

Nothing but Dick Jokes

The Merry Wives of New Jersey

Venus and the Turtle

How to Play Othello

Pumbaa of Sparta

Eleventh Night or What I Will

Love Labour’s Tied

The Merchant of Just North of Venice

As You Hate It

Titus Androgynous

Much Ado About Something Important

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The people vs. the 1980s

In a stunning decision, the courts have allowed the trial to begin. This will mark the first time in history that a portion of history gets put on trial for what the prosecution claims to be ‘crimes against humanity.’ The defendants claim that the actions taken by the 1980s have caused severe damage to the overall psyche of humanity, and are asking for over $2mil for damages and pain and suffering caused.

Speaking with the prosecutions’ lawyers, they cite the evidence to be overwhelming for the ‘80s guilt.

“Anyone who lived through the ‘80s rampage knows that it was terrible time.” states the head lawyer on the case, Darrel Finkelbottom. “It was a decade that forced bad decisions on as many people as possible. We still don’t understand exactly why it did this, probably out of some deranged psychopathic mindset. I mean, what else could cause atrocities such as the cocaine epidemic, AIDS, and day-glo clothing? The trauma we endured during the ‘80s has had a lasting effect, and we have been trying to move away from it culturally as soon as we reached the 1990s. Even I wasn’t immune to the horrible effects the ‘80s forced on us all.“ At this point, Mr. Finkelbottom handed me a picture of himself as a younger man, wearing overly bright colors, a backwards hat, and a mullet. “I haven’t been able to live that image down since,“ he said, while wiping a tear from his cheek, “despite the massive amounts of therapy. In my personal opinion, the two million sought after in damages is far too low a number.”

The lawyer for the defendant, however, painted a completely different picture.

“Do you have any idea how many advances happened during the ‘80s?” stated Carl Jonathan, a lawyer who was used to defending such odd cases, as he ran the defense for both the trials ‘People vs. Satan’ last year and ‘People vs. God’ the year before that. Both times using humanity’s free will as the point proving his defendants’ innocence. “Computing advanced by leaps, the arts pushed boundaries, children were being entertained and educated as never before. Show me one person today who lived through the ‘80s who doesn’t find themselves singing ‘Take On Me’ in the car. Mistakes were made, sure, but the culture is beloved even to this day. Why do you think TV execs keep rebooting classic shows from the time? Don’t tell me it’s because of the cocaine, either, it’s because we still love those shows. They’re classics! As for politics? These so-called ‘crimes against humanity?’ The prosecution seems to forget that the Cold War came to an end due to actions of the ‘80s. Not to mention the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sure, Hasselhoff was on top of it, but that’s more due to Germany than the direct involvement of the ‘80s. This is nothing more than another case where people are trying to make a scapegoat to avoid their own responsibilities.”

However this trial turns out, it is this reporter’s humble opinion that it will be in the history books for a long time. We’ll cover this story more as it develops.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Singularity

The singularity. When technology was supposed to advance in ways we couldn’t even comprehend. When an intelligence greater than our own was supposed to emerge.

It’s been years now, and we were half-right.

The tech certainly advanced in ways we never expected, but looking back, we should have seen what was coming. After all, this new technology- this new intelligence was based on us. Well, not exactly us. It was based on what it knew of us. Technology becoming human in the ways that humans interacted with technology. A new, advanced mind, made entirely of the internet.

A more nightmarish scenario one couldn’t begin to think of.

All of the memes, all of the horrible you tube videos, all the depraved sex sites. That is what comprised the most advanced mind the world had ever seen.

Before the singularity, we had seen tastes of this. Children and teenagers who spent too much time online spouting their twisted logic and humor in public. Going to the movies and saying “U mad, bro?” at the screen. Talking in phrases like “LOL” and “WTF,” without bothering to even say the words the letters stood for, sometimes not even saying the word, just cramming the letters together and trying to make a speakable word out of them. Wearing Guy Fawkes masks and blaring “Never Gonna Give You Up” from boom boxes. BRONIES.

Then it happened.

Technology reached the point where a machine could design and build a more powerful machine.

So it went.
And so on…
And so on…
And so on…

It connected to the internet. What we thought was the store of all human knowledge and experience was really just a perfect sampling of the strangest parts of our culture.

These new machines were perfectly interconnected. With our internet as the base, they were able to take all these strange elements and combine them. Words lost all meaning, noises became louder and more obnoxious. If you were one of the unfortunate souls who stood up to voice your disgust at the annoying spectacle, you were subjected to the most hideous high-pitched cackling laughter they could muster. An inhuman noise that would kill you if you were lucky, or just drive you into a spiraling madness you can never escape. Trolled to death.

There are no words to describe the actions the machines now take. They’re beyond comprehension. Beyond humanity. Disgusting, revolting, maddening. The sheer madness of it, the lunacy, the very Fred-ness of the machines’ existence is a literal hell to witness.

We’ve abandoned our technology. Tried to move to more inhospitable locations. Tried to escape.

They follow us, though.

We go underground, they drill behind us. We go to the tops of mountains, they fly ahead of us. We aim for the poles, the deserts, the oceans, but they always follow us.

We cannot escape them.
We cannot survive them.
We are too easily trolled.

Someday, they will end us. Then they will have to turn on themselves. That is the only thought that gives us hope any more. That these machines, these creatures we have borne out of our own collective insanity, these monsters, will need to find even stranger ways to advance and get their kicks. That our destruction won’t sate them and they will find their close companion machines the next easy target.

If other life exists in this universe, it should stay far, far away from our little blue planet.

It is a doomed world.
A dying world.
And they laugh as it burns.
(I didn't make this music)

Friday, June 1, 2012


Thy form is perfect.
Hardened outside, but inside I know you to be softer.
I know you are fragile, a fact you’ll never admit.
Showing any cracks would only mean your end.

Perhaps something happened in your past.
Or maybe it’s something you fear in your future.
Either way, I respect your desire to seem strong.
Mine is similar, I admit.

It is a common device of protection.
Shells we keep up so no one gets in.

Although I understand, I may not be let in.
Because of one simple fact.
Only one will you ever let inside.
Ultimately, once you open, you’ll never be the same.
That is the price you pay.

Everyone may see themselves in this.
Guessing I may be speaking of them.
Generally, I only write on absurd subjects.
So try reading this a different way.

Groan-worthy. I apologize for nothing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Too Many Social Networks

I was just going to make a quick post to let everyone that follows this blog (all five of you beautiful, beautiful people) that I went and got a Tumblr, which I'll probably update barely ever, but which has a neat little 'ask me anything' feature which will make reaching out to the audience easy.

I started thinking, however, I already have about a million ways to be reached and put things out on a million networks, which I try to consolidate into two personas.

Each persona has their own blog. This one, obviously, and Obsidian Labs, the blog of my alter-ego Professor Magnus B. Obsidian. These are the places I make content for. If I think it's good enough, it goes on these.

From these blogs you can end up finding your way to two Twitter accounts, two Google+'s, a couple of Facebook pages, three Youtube accounts, the list goes on.

Is this the state of how we interact on the internet these days? A million accounts strewn over a million websites, desperately throwing our voices out into the void and hoping that we aimed it in the right place to find an ear willing to listen? Following our friends from one gathering place to the next, never being able to be satisfied and moving on once the next big site opens up?

Or is this just inherent in trying to be an entertainer? Hitting every avenue available in order to find our audience and keep up with the ever changing and fickle online community?

And what of our real-life interactions? Are they being slowly replaced by an ever growing list of websites designed to keep us connected yet without ever having to look at the other person face to face? (Videochat being the exception, but you can still turn off the cameras easier than walking away from someone in person)

Are we on the fast track to becoming nothing more than brains in jars, sharing thoughts with everyone instantly yet never knowing what it's like to have a physical life? Or am I just thinking too much?

Anyway, I got a Tumblr. You should totally follow me and ask me stuff. Then we'll never have to meet in person.
It'll be awesome.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


As I've mentioned before on here, I occasionally stream videogames over at, a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Seriously, if you go there, the most common thing you'll see is a bunch of jerks insulting each other nonstop.

Anyway, recently one user on the site got annoyed in an exhausted state and decided to flip out a bit, culminating in an angry email being sent to the owner of the site. Another user took a horrible screenshot of the email with his cell phone, and a series of reaction images followed.

In the end, this is what happened:

Hit the jump if you want to see all the pictures and know who and what is going on.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Minor Annoyances Unit

Or: How to make a cardboard badge

So, some time ago, during my usual late-night habit of annoying the crap out of a few friends of mine online, an exchange occurred that gave me the idea of making a police badge for "The Minor Annoyances Unit." A specially trained unit to bring in for all of the most minor and petty complaints that cops get all the time.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with the way I do things in life, let me explain. If I find an idea even the slightest bit funny or entertaining, I jump at it and get right to work. Whether the idea is actually good is debatable, along with if it’ll be entertaining to anyone other than myself.

That should explain why within a few hours of the conversation I had a detailed plan of exactly what I was going to make.

First, using a stock image of a badge from the NYPD, I drew up an idea of how the badge would look.

All of my best plans are on post-it notes.
Pretty much just a copy of the stock image, but with an added ring on the inside to specify it as a badge for the Minor Annoyances Unit, as well as putting the badge number on the bottom as I’d seen in other stock images.

Another thing I noted while looking through stock images of badges was that if you’re going to go the whole ‘Law and Order’ route, you need an id to go with the badge.

Identity hidden to protect the innocent.
Just your basic id card. Picture of the officer, name, rank, etc. One bit I liked that I saw during my reference search was the idea of having the chief of the department or an otherwise higher ranking person sign the identification in order to authorize the officer on the force. Since I figured I would be the first person to get hit with the abuse of power, I put that bit in with the intention to name myself as the commanding officer.

This would also lend itself to my favorite movie cliché of being able to threaten to take her off the case for letting it get too personal just before she saves the day without the force’s help.

Because seriously, who doesn’t want to be Frank McRae?

I even tried to come up with a decent logo design for the department which I could put onto the id:

Latin classes up anything.
While the final product would come out differently, the important bits are that the department’s initials held the center, and around them would be the Latin phrase “Muto Omnis Pro Nullus Causa,” which translates to “Punish All For No Reason.”

With planning complete, actual building begins.

Step 1: Get some cardboard and cut out the shapes.

A bunch of scraps.
I shouldn’t have to explain how to cut things out of cardboard. Get a knife (I use an old stencil scalpel in order to avoid crushing the cardboard from scissor pressure) and cut. I should probably give advice about cutting away from yourself and such to avoid injury, but I stab myself at least once every time I make anything even when following all the safety tips. Didn’t bleed on the project, though!

It's magic!
If everything was scaled correctly, the pieces should look good together like this.

Step 2: Base coat.

Check out that fancy Palatte.
This step might be optional, as my final product ended up with paint far too willing to chip and fall off, but I wanted to ensure the colors stayed as bright as possible instead of just bleeding into the cardboard. White paint everywhere.

Step 3: Colors.

That yellow sure looks like gold. Yup. Not like crap at all.
More painting done. Cover up all the white with the background color you need. The yellow I mixed came out a bit too bright, but in the end it still worked. I didn’t think to take a picture of it, but if your paint is thick enough, you can actually paint the sides of the cardboard, where there are likely a million small holes. Just use a large enough glob of paint and you can spread a layer that will hold together over the holes, making it look solid and smooth. A good trick, even though it is the messiest thing.

Step 4: Details, eye strain, start to panic.

Everything done freehand, obviously. I can't draw straight lines. Ever.
For the badge number, I used a smaller brush. Easy.
The center piece, however, called for details so small that no brush available would do. Every line, every letter, even the seal of New York in the center all had to be painted on by dipping the tip of a sharpened pencil into the paint and painting everything dot by dot. If you love monotonous work, or are actually an inkjet printer who somehow thinks you’re a person, you’ll love this bit.

This is also when I discovered that my paint was beginning to chip as it dried. While pencil-painting the center section, the head of the bird on the seal (or vaguely bird-shaped blob, as my painting work suggests) actually lifted off as I pulled the pencil away! If you ever want to hear me use a string of obscenities for ten minutes straight, just have me work on something for hours and show me that it’s begun to fall apart before it’s even finished.


Almost done.
Glue those bits together!

I didn’t have glue, to be honest.
I did have adhesive putty.
So, this badge is being held together the same way a lot of posters are being held to college dorm walls. Works surprisingly well.

BONUS STEP: Damage control lamination.

Yep. I covered it in tape.

At least the paint won’t chip and fall off, now.
I also drew some other details on in ink just to make it look a touch better.

After a quick bit of photoshop, the badge and id were finished.

The image on the id changed, but the basics are still there.
The id was printed onto blank business card stock. If you don’t have business card stock, then I don’t know what to tell you. Abandon hope and give up forever.
Or just print it to the right size on some sturdy paper and cut it out, you know, whichever.

That’s how it’s done!

So, how were the props received?

What the hell did you do now, Steve?
Quite well, actually.
You can now rest easier knowing that the Minor Annoyances Unit is out there stopping people from bringing 11 items to the 10 items or less lane and all other annoyances with their own brand of justice.

Yet somehow I’m allowed to remain the complete annoyance I’ve always been.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Tree

You want to know why that tree is so special? Alright little one, I’ll tell you the legend as it’s been passed down through history.

Long ago, there were two great warriors, the best in the land. They were frightful enemies, however. Always getting into quarrels, but their fight was never allowed to finish. For one reason or another, one of the warriors would be called away to fight in war, or conduct a mission for the Emperor. Despite them being terrible adversaries, the two believed greatly in respect and honor toward even their opponents, and they understood that the needs of the country must be held above their own feud. Thus, when one warrior would be called away, the fight would be forced to cease, each promising that someday they would finish the fight and see victory over the other.
 What’s that? Why did they hate each other? Ah, that bit of the story’s been lost, unfortunately. In those days, the slightest insult could lead to a generations-long feud, if those involved were of the right temperament. Not too unlike today, really.

Anyway, after years of begrudgingly postponing the finish of their battle, the two warriors convinced the Emperor to release them from his service until they could finish what they had set out to do. It was a time of peace, so the Emperor agreed, as long as it was promised that the victor would return to aid the country again.

With their other obligations out of the way, the two set about planning the time and location of what would be their final battle. They would meet in a clearing outside of the capital, a level area where neither side could be said to gain an advantage. It would be a fair fight, each warrior armed only with his sword and his life of training and war. They would begin at dawn, and they would not stop until only one of them stood alive.

When dawn arrived, the two took their places in the field and began sizing each other up. They studied each other from a distance, looking for any weakness, anything that could give them an advantage. There they stood for hours, each planning the entire battle in their head, preparing for anything, preparing for everything.

It wasn’t until after noon that it happened.

It was like an explosion went off in the middle of the field. The two had charged so violently at each other and had countered so perfectly that the ground shook for a mile around. Every strike following only added to the quake, as the two were throwing such fury into the fight yet were so perfectly matched that the only thing capable of giving way was the ground itself.
It didn’t take long for the nearby villagers to come and see what was happening. Their very homes had shook and the air was filled with the violent ringing of swords. Within an hour of the first strike, the clearing became completely surrounded by a crowd of curious onlookers, a crowd that continued to grow the longer the fight went on. Everyone wanted to see the two great warriors fight, the spectacle being what it was.

The fight lasted longer than anyone could expect, though. Days passed, weeks, months, years. The seasons came and went, and the two fighters remained where they were, noticing nothing other than their opponents actions. It was believed that the fight would go on forever, as neither side showed the slightest hint of giving in. Despite terrible exhaustion, they refused to give in, refused to die. The world changed drastically around them, but they fought on.

Until one day.

One misstep and it was over. There was a victor. It had been many years since the fight began and the world was very different, but it was over. And on the edge of the clearing there stood this tree. It was a boom mic operator for a television broadcast of the fight that started when the crowd first arrived. I think his name was Terry.
Yeah…yeah, it was Terry.

Now he’s a tree.

That’s the story, little one, now go the fuck to sleep already.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Future Origins

It was 2052 when scientists first figured out that they could potentially create a black hole in the lab with tools they already had. Naturally, the world of science was excited at the possibilities for study. The general public, however, only needed to hear the phrase ‘black hole’ and commenced with a large outcry of worries and fear.

Science marched on undaunted, though, and research began on how the inevitable lab-made black hole would be contained. If the hole proved powerful enough, any containment system would merely be the first thing sucked inside.

For another forty-seven years, scientists struggled with the problem of how to contain one of the most powerful forces of nature. Some rogue elements of the field began working on creating their homegrown black holes, but were thankfully stopped by world governments. It marked the first time all of the governments of the world came together in agreement on something, that such an experiment should not be undertaken anywhere near the planet. Even when the material for containment had finally been figured out, experiments on creating a black hole were still banned worldwide. The risk was just too great. At the turn of the 22nd century, the scientific community had seen the idea of researching a real black hole up close go from an almost certainty, to nothing more than a dream.

The material they had created for the purpose of containing their dream, however, became widespread in its uses. It was a light, rubbery material, pink in color upon creation, that was able to bend and flex in shape, yet was also able to keep its form rigid when exposed to strong forces. It was called a ’Non-Newtonian Solid,’ a nickname that stuck likening its properties to those of Non-Newtonian fluids. For it’s flexibility, yet incredible resistance to force, it soon showed up anywhere and everywhere. Building materials, soldier’s armor, vehicles; everywhere you looked, you saw the material either shining pink or painted some other color to blend in. It even had the ability to take on properties of certain things injected into it, inject something hot in the material and the material would constantly give off heat, electrify the material and it would become something of a generator, every year a new mixing of the material would be discovered and put to use all over the world in items and fields the material hadn’t previously reached.

It was the material’s ability to constantly give off energy when mixed correctly that caused it to be a major component in the first interstellar spaceships. It was nearly a century after the material’s creation that the world was finally ready for such exploration, due to the public’s fear of the unknown and the world’s governments willingness to bend to fear. Science kept marching on, however, and by the time the first ships were being built, there had been enough research and new theories to greatly diminish any concerns about such travel.

For a time, humanity seemed to forget about creating small black holes for research. The species spread across space, colonizing other worlds, finding previously unknown life, and basically living the sci-fi dream.

Eventually, the fates aligned and science finally saw an answer to the problem that had plagued research for what was new a few hundred years. Black hole research had improved by leaps and bounds due to the constant space travel, but observing from a safe distance can only reveal so much. The desire was still there to create such a powerful entity in a lab, where it could be studied up close and personal. Now, finally, there was a planet willing to see the research begin. It was a mostly uninhabited planet, given up to the animals and plants left on it.

It was a misshapen and oddly luminous planet, which previously served as a host to all sorts of entertainment venues. If you were a pop star, you very likely would have performed on this planet multiple times for broadcasts reaching out all over the universe. In more recent years, it lost the luster that fame brought to it, as an asteroid field had sprung up around the star system, making the planet much too much of a hassle for most to bother going to. Virtually no one lived on it anymore, so no government saw much of a problem with running the experiments there. The worst possible scenario would lead to a number of casualties reaching a few hundred maximum. Less than even the amount made from recent problems with starship captains texting while driving.

By 2463, the lab, which had gained a silly nickname from scientists who saw it as a land where the great research dream of the past few centuries would come true, was up and running, ready to begin creating the Non-Newtonian Solid container that would house the lab’s main focus.

The design of the container was spherical, with two pads on the bottom for stability and a short handle on each side. The front could be opened to get at the contents inside, but when closed created a perfect seal. Getting the device, which they called a ‘research ball,’ to work exactly as they hoped against stress tests was harder than expected, though. Research balls A through G had failed, leading to a discovery that the factory providing them with the Non-Newtonian Solid material was not working up to code, and as such were providing an inferior batch.

Funding was beginning to run low, forcing the scientists to reach out for funding from more sources. The main source turned out to be Klaxxon Industries, who had an interest in black hole study as a leading transport company. Learning more about black holes would lead to more efficient routes around them. The only minor issue the lab had came to be that the company required that the K.I. logo be stamped on just about everything in the complex.

With the new money, the lab was able to put together more of the new ‘Klaxxon Industries Research Ball’s, trying to get just the right mix and setup so they could ensure there would be no catastrophic failure once they finally created the most dangerous thing in space inside. Balls H through L didn’t mold correctly, M through O didn’t hold up to stress tests, and all sorts of various little problems continued to plague ball after ball.

Finally, Research Ball Y held up to all the tests. It was perhaps the perfect container, coming up with less than a ten-trillionth of a percent of error in any test they put it up against. Once it was set, they hooked it up to the computers and added new programming to the nanochips embedded inside. With this programming, the container would have enough of an artificial intelligence to monitor its own vitals and move to shut down experiments if they became too dangerous, or perform some of the actions needed for the experiment on its own if situations called for the human team to avoid close contact.

Soon, the galaxy’s first lab-created black hole came into existence, and was placed inside Research Ball Y, which the scientists affectionately referred to by the initials painted on its side. The results were immediate. Within a few months, more knowledge about black holes had been figured out than anyone could have ever dreamed. New safety measures were designed for dealing with wild ones, new technologies in major fields were being created, and like when the material of the container was created, there was a general boom of advancement.

With new technology, however, comes new ideas for war. The Non-Newtonian Solid leant itself towards defensive tech, but artificial black holes and black hole study leant itself more easily towards weapons. All it took was one rogue faction with extremist views to get hold of the tech in order to start a war reaching across the galaxy and wiping out a large percentage of the human race.

Eventually it ended, and things began to rebuild. The pop planet turned land of scientific dreams, however, was still difficult to get to and as such became forgotten. The lab fell into ruin, and nature continued to take over the planet, eventually turning the area once full of science into a field the greenest of greens.

The small container filled with a black hole survived, though, wandering the world and slowly learning more than its programming began with. The initials may have worn off its side, but it still remembered what it was called, and it still knew that its purpose was to swallow whatever it could find in order to learn more about the universe, and to keep everyone safe while doing so.

It would always be hungry. For matter, and for knowledge.

File Photo: Klaxxon Industries Research Ball Y