Ekaterina S.

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Strange Patterns
5/24/2017 10:21pm

I was in the stock room at the Techno-Botanica, tagging a shipment of Microgravity Maracas, when Mr. Hmxclxclr tried to come in to talk to me. But he couldn't because his EVA suit is too big so he just ended up denting the door frame and spilling over a box of the maracas, which proceeded to start floating around the room.

"May I have a word with you, Ekaterina S.?" His voice modulator pulsed in its warm, pleasing way. He was obviously encoding with C.A.L.M. engrams.


"Please enter my cone of silence."

He wanted me in his cone of silence because he was divulging the address of the Strange Patterns™ paint factory. He needed someone to pick up our order, and not only do I have my license but he knows I'm not fond of the paint, and therefore even more trustworthy than anybody else on staff with the stuff.

It was kind of a quandary, since I really do think that stuff is dangerous, but apparently not worth quitting my job over. Plus, taking most of the afternoon off to drive the company station wagon around was always a bonus.

So I drove. And drove. Mr. Hmxclxclr was very clear that I needed to follow his directions exactly, including speeds. I found myself on dirt roads precisely accelerating at 1.8 m/s2 till I was going so fast I buried the needle. I turned on to giant freeways that were so new there was nobody on them--which was good because I had to drive incredibly slow on those parts, sometimes coming to a complete stop for specific time periods. I passed the time listening to psychic radio on AM because that's all the station wagon gets.

Finally, I found the industrial office park that Mr. Hmxclxclr described, and drove around the empty parking lot looking at the giant numbers on the sides of the buildings. I pulled in front of a door with a squirming spot of Strange Patterns™ paint.

There was a sign in the window that said DELIVERIES NO.

I opened the door and poked my head in, and my mind stretched like cotton candy in a cotton candy machine. Forever.

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Strange Patterns
5/18/2017 7:22pm

Last night on the way home from work I saw some kids tagging with Strange Patterns™ paint. I'm not going to name any names of course, but since only psychics really know how to use it AND the Techno-Botanica is the only place around to buy it, let me just say that they may have had familiar faces. To both me and you. And to @Selena.

The beauty of tagging with Strange Patterns™ paint is that even a quick tag ends up being a really engaging piece. You see people on the sidewalk who stop and stare and become transfixed and don't move till somebody bumps into them or their phones ring. So yeah, it's kind of cheating.

But the drawback to Strange Patterns™ paint--in graffiti or more legal hobbies--is that it oozes. The paint doesn't really loose its strange patterns, but it tends to settle, slower than the eye can see, until it reaches the ground and combines with whatever other Strange Patterns™ paint might have oozed there too.

Then I'm not sure where it goes.

Strange Patterns
5/12/2017 9:03am

The rep for Strange Patterns™ paint came by the Techno-Botanica yesterday. Because of the size of his EVA exoskeleton, Mr. Hmxclxclr can't fit into our tiny little cash office, so he activated his Cone of Silence and had the meeting right there on the floor.

Mr. Hmxclxclr is hard to read even under normal circumstances. His voice emulator removes any inflection from his voice, and his space suit is really just a remote operated bottle for his plasma-based consciousness, so there's no body language to pick up on. He just stood stock still like a statue, his modulator pulsing calmly as he emitted syllables.

The Strange Patterns™ rep was a middle aged woman in a skirt and pantyhose and a Strange Patterns™ tattoo squirming on her arm. She probably had more business than ever (at least from us), and Mr. Hmxclxclr was eager to buy as much as he could I'm sure, so it seemed like an amicable discussion.

So I took out my eye piece to get a better look at the Strange Patterns™ rep, wondering if she had the swarm of Bugs around her like I'd seen with everybody else who was on the paint.

She didn't have a swarm, which was weird, but as I adjusted the eyepiece I saw that while she didn't have a swarm of Bugs around her, she WAS a bug! A big one, standing up on its spindly metal back legs, the other four waving in the air, with antennae and optical sensors coming out the top of its silicon wafer body.

I whipped the eyepiece out and hid it in my pocket when their meeting suddenly ended and they were both staring at me.

Strange Patterns
5/5/2017 7:01pm

I no longer suggest Strange Patterns™ paint to customers. Mr. Hmxclxclr insists on continuing to carry it because it makes him so much money. It's not cheap and the demand keeps on growing and since we're the only Techno-Botanica in the tri-cities area we get all the freaks.

Like today the guy who'd sprayed himself head to toe with it. I don't think he was even wearing any clothes because the Strange Patterns™ paint makes everything... strange. So I pulled out my eye piece and checked him out and sure enough he was swarming with Bugs. Crawling all over his face and flying around. He wanted our whole last case of Strange Patterns™ but Mr. Hmxclxclr has set a rule of two bottles per customer, because even though we could sell the whole case at once he wants to keep the customers coming in so we can upsell them on Early Warning Eyebrow Patches and "Lost Seagull" Screech Lamps and minuscule Love Detector Bedazzlers.

Strange Patterns
4/27/2017 1:59pm

Germs travel at the speed of light. I did not know that, but working at the Techno-Botanica I caught a bug. You need an eye piece to see it (which we sell) and a magnetic Klein bottle to trap it in (ditto), but when you've isolated yours it's very interesting. Once you've filtered out the red shift, it looks like a little domino with paper clip legs and horns.

They seem to swarm (at the speed of light) around a little pool of the Strange Patterns™ paint that I spilled. I wonder if @Selena notices the same thing with her backpack? That is, if she can see them.

Strange Patterns
4/11/2017 8:54am

My first class on Tuesday is Mindfulness, so here I am on my phone. After school it's straight to the Techno-Botanica and it's going to be "crazy with deals" because the Waxing Gibbous Sale is over and it's Full Moon Sale night. Not only is Mr. Hmxclxclr crazy for money, but during the full moon he goes almost "out of his head" because the moon's gravity pulls all of his essence up into the top of his helmet and he can get a little goofy. So drop by for some amazing prices on all your Techno-Botanica needs like Minor Disturbance Egg Beaters, LED Truth Tellers, E-ink Parchment Paper, TV Eye Talismans, Wall of Protection Mother Boards, Spirit Phone Ear Buds, and of course Strange Patterns™ Spray Paint if you're still in the market, @Selena.

I'll be there till close, so drop in and say hi. There'll be free Mooncakes and Kombucha and a Mariachi band.

Strange Patterns
4/9/2017 3:48pm

We've been selling a lot of that Strange Patterns™ paint at the Techno-Botanica. Technically everybody who buys it is supposed to write their name down in logbook, and we're not supposed to sell more than six cans at a time to any one person, but Mr. Hmxclxclr isn't such a stickler for "human rules." Plus he was anxious to make bank during the Waxing Gibbous sale.

But what I mean, @Selena, is to keep your eye out for imitations! Anybody could be putting Strange Patterns™ on anything these days. Who knows what @Glitter really "found."

Strange Patterns
4/8/2017 10:31pm

It was "Waxing Gibbous" deals at the techno-botanica today and we were packed. 5% off per item, up to 50%, so I was ringing up big sales my entire shift with barely a lunch break. Wires of Mystery, Tru-Love GPS chips, Dust-free Mojo Bags, Willy Wooly Magnetic Hair Growth Grains. The boss worked the floor and watched for shoplifters, and he's pretty imposing in his exoskeleton, or space suit or whatever. Plus he can see in 360 degrees. "What can I help you with?" comes out of his voice emulators but it's encoded with subliminal ultra-low frequency warnings that have brought more than one small-time larcenist to a life changing moment.