Clark Thompson

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Worm Gardens
5/8/2021 3:48pm

"I thought you said the reality walls WEREN'T thinning?"

"Well, it turns out we were misapplying the Eckhart readings," said @Buffy Chan. She's eating cup noodle and looking over data.

"Look at this," she says.

The screen on the laptop shows a map of tunnels. Wormholes, I assume, but more tightly packed than the maps Buffy usually looks at.

"Are there really that many? I didn't know it had gotten that bad."

"Oh... it's a... well. Ok, you can keep a secret."

"I'm a junior agent, right?"

"Intern. But remember your psychic NDA."

She was right. I couldn't talk about it even if I wanted to.

"Anyway," she continued, "when you extrapolate an additional Eckhart dimension based on the density..." She pushed a button, and the map transformed. "Then there's thinning. Significant thinning."

"And this means....?"

"Well, you've noticed it. And I've noticed it."

"You mean... those students?"

"Exactly, THOSE students. The ones who talk about themselves and each other like they're not really here."

"Like they're narrating an imaginary story they're pretending to be in?"

"Yup. This is what happens when reality thins."

Worm Gardens
4/18/2021 11:05pm

"Great! So, on the map it says @Endicott Darnell can take Troop 109 back through wormhole #327x6 and land right back here behind the grounds maintenance garages."

"No," says Buffy. "Turn the map sideways. Into the light."

"Oh... I didn't know it could to that."

"See," continued @Buffy Chan. "Once you're committed to a path, we can't actually predict where a particular wormhole will end up. We can narrow it down to a some options, but that's it."

"Well we need to tell Endicott! They could be headed... oh my..."

"Yeah but we need more data," Buffy continued. "Maybe there are tendencies. We just haven't had the opportunity..."

"You want to use them as mice. As guinea pigs. Moving through the wormholes, exploring for you..."

"We tried it with drones but it's not the same. It's different for... living beings. Something about 'intent' we think."

"So you're just letting Endicott and that troop of guides..."

"Hey, they've got training. They're students. AND they're Spirit Guides. What could go wrong?"

Worm Gardens
3/28/2021 8:10pm

"So can we tell her?"

"No," says Buffy. "Not beyond what we've discussed. And shhhh you aren't on mute."

"Huh? Ohhhhh....."

Hi @Estreya Harlow! Yeah, uh... my Ganymede internship is, uh, over. But you mentioned Carbesktan-15. And Worm Gardens. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you might know more about Advanced Intracellular Wormhole Generation than you think.

How exactly did you get there?

Tell me everything you remember about Carbesktan-15. And how you arrived on Ganymede.

Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs
2/22/2020 2:17pm

"My tattoo is... moving."

"Yeah, it's not really a tattoo," said Buffy Chan. "That's just a cover story."

"A cover story?"

"Well, we didn't really think that saying 'Hey we're going to let intelligent slugs absorb themselves directly into your body' would really fly."

"A slug is absorbing itself directly into my body?"

"Yes. It was part of the deal. But it's perfectly safe."


"Of course. I absorbed mine months ago. Zero noticeable after-effects. The only way you'll be able to tell it's there is with a very specialized scan."

"Part of what deal?"

"The slugs are dying out. They're super ancient, migrated through thousands of different interstellar systems, yadi-yadi-ya. But they needed a way to preserve their genetic history, and after a lot of study, Psyhigh students turned out to be the best shot."

"Against our will?"

"We ran some focus groups and it was clear that there wouldn't be enough volunteers. And really, there was too much at stake."

"Too much at stake?"

"They've got maps. Maps of wormholes. Star-spanning, galaxy-spanning maps."

"So you traded us..."

"Not exactly traded."


"By absorbing the slugs, their genetic information gets integrated with our own. But it's more than what we generally consider 'genetic.' Think of it more as just 'information.' Information on a quantum entangled level. Entangled with memory, entangled with space."


"Yes. Now we're the map. And the territory."

Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs
2/15/2020 2:28pm

"You sincerely thought I'd bust in here with a Psy Corps tactical team, and, what, start throwing salt around?"

Buffy Chan showed up at the Valentine's Dance, along with most students, and all of the Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs. I asked her to slow dance because, you know, that would be the most clandestine way for me, as a Psy Corps undercover operative, to communicate with my handler.

"You're not an operative," she reminded me. "You're an intern. And besides, the slugs have diplomatic immunity."

The slugs really seemed to be having a good time. They started with their line dance, snaking through the crowd and leaving a silvery slime trail all over the floor of Limacidae Hall. Then some adventurous students joined in, and then more, till it seemed like everybody was part of the big slug line. That really helped break the ice for the Slugball dance, where more and more slugs adhered to particular students until they were completely covered with them, and looked like a giant ball of giant slugs with a pair of human legs sticking out. A few of them were swaying in the slow dance crowd around us.

"They're just hoping to get to know us better," Buffy whispered in my ear. "Psyhigh seemed like the best place to let them roam free where we could still keep an eye on them. Hey, this fog is a great effect."

I looked around, and saw the other couples being slowly enveloped in a thin mist. Had the slugs rented a fog machine? I hoped they didn't use my debit card. I looked around the edge of the dance floor, and there, against the wall, was one of those Emission Tank outlets. The kind they use to power the school. And the fog was pouring out of it.

Wait, was it on fire? @iXlrshnoo, @oTrknirloo, and @uGilgamoo were slithering over it, working the knobs and levers. More and more vapor bellowed from the Emission Tank.

And that's when Buffy and I passed out.

Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs
2/9/2020 11:06am

"We'd really like to thank you for helping us out with our problem, Clark, and inviting us into your room."

My room has been invaded by dozens of the giant invasive intelligent slugs. They hang from the walls and ceiling and the light fixture and are all over my couch. I did not invite them in.

"Well, ok, maybe not 'invited' exactly. But can we say you've opened your heart?"

It's impossible to tell which one (or ones?) are talking. Because telepathy.

"We're just so super excited for Psyhigh's Valentine's Dance! It will be a great place for our species to mingle. We just need a private place to practice our dancing."

A few of them are in a circle in the middle of the room, bobbing and weaving and doing their thing. Their multi-colored sensory tentacles move like they're underwater.

"What about those emission tanks?" I ask. "What are those exactly?"

Suddenly all the giant invasive intelligent slugs turn to face me at once.


They all keep staring right at me, silently.

Till one starts giggling. It's the one called @iXlrshnoo I think. Then they all start cracking up.

"Awww, we're just pulling your leg, Clark."

Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs
1/26/2020 9:45pm

I was late for Transpatial Awareness, cutting through the Sound Garden behind the library.

"Wait! Hold up!"

I froze rounding the corner around a sound sculpture.

Nobody was around.

"Whew! Thanks for that. Just stand pat. You were about to step on me."

Below me, in a clump of winter grass and mud, was one of those giant invasive slugs. They've got dozens of multi-colored sensory tentacles so they are easy to spot. If you're watching where you're going.

"I, uh, didn't know you could talk."

"Nobody does! Or at least it's not common knowledge."

We looked at each other for a moment.

"Well, you're invasive! You're, I don't know, not supposed to be here. You're messing up the eco-system. Wait! Are you dangerous?"

"Ah, heck. We ain't dangerous. We're just misunderstood."

I realized I was talking out loud but receiving messages telepathically.

"Hey I'm receiving messages telepathically."

"Now you're getting smarter. Smarter than that @Level 8 Bouncy House and that @Level 9 Bouncy House and all those other bouncy houses. They can't hear a thing. Plus they're too soft to bounce us out of anything."

"Well... why don't you just leave? Why are you causing problems?"

"Ah, you see, kid, problems are relative. And we've got a problem you might be uniquely suited to help us out with."

Oh jeeze here it goes again. Just when I thought I was bored. This really isn't what I was looking for.

Giant Invasive Intelligent Slugs
1/18/2020 10:18pm

As my Interplanetary Internship wound down I was really looking forward to getting back to a normal routine, being on campus, enjoying my dorm room and taking classes. No more pool cleaning in sub zero temperatures! No more getting kidnapped by green and purple blobs! No more almost unleashing unknowable powers of evil from a dwarf planet's core!

But now that I'm back, I'm bored.

And not only am I under a psychic NDA (the kind where you *literally* can't talk about something), but when I see Buffy Chan in the cafeteria or library she pretends like nothing even happened. I mean, she told me it would be that way, being as she's my Psy Corps handler now and nobody can know.

"Hi Buffy! Anything... interesting going on?"

I give her a big wink I'm sure nobody else can see.

"Well, we went to the Tri-City Spirit Team tournament and guess what we got first place in Competitive Temporal Pyramid Modeling! And that was even though Mad Scientist High obviously had some kind of gravitational wave cannon under a tarp in the back of a pickup truck they were using to try and disrupt the other teams. You?"

"I accidentally stepped on one of those giant invasive slugs and it's still stuck all over my shoe."

"Oh that's a shame. They're so intelligent you know."


"Uh, I really should be going. See you around!"

"Yeah. See ya. Buffy."

Interplanetary Internship
1/12/2020 8:49pm

"Actually... I lied," Buffy says.

"About your job?"

Buffy and I are shooting up through the Interior Ocean in a rocket-powered submarine. PSY CORPS is stenciled on stuff all over the place.

"Well, no, I was really doing the kind of disembarkation analysis I was describing," she continues. "What I meant was about your F.T. score."

"My F.T."

"Yes. I know what your Future Threat is. I've known for awhile. It's why I was assigned to your school."


"Your F.T. score is off the charts. And there was a situation shaping up here on Ganymede that really called for it. So we set up the whole 'internship program' and made sure you saw the ad."

"Off the charts?"

"Oh, yeah. There's only been one bigger than yours. When the Corps found out about you they gave Jr. Psy Corps the case, and I was made your handler."


"Somebody to make sure you don't get hurt!"


"Ha! No, seriously, you have a very useful and important power. You're like a potential luck bomb, ready to tip the cosmic scales at specific moments. Bad guys from all over the place are suckers for a guy like you. With the right direction -- from Psy Corps -- you could do a lot of good."

Through the window of our observation bubble, we watch the fractal tetragonal ice forests recede below us, gently lit by the massive bioluminescent megaplankton.

"Wow," I say. "Me. A Junior Psy Corps Agent. Who would have guessed?"

"Oh, no," says Buffy. "Sorry. Not an agent."

"Not an agent?"

"No. An intern."


Interplanetary Internship
12/31/2019 8:52pm


It’s hot, and purple and green blobs are carrying me above their blobs with their snakey pseudopods. 


It’s a giant, stalactite filled cavern, interspersed by diamonds and luminous fungi. The cave is full of purple and green blobs, as well as yellow and brown blobs, pink and blue blobs, black and white blobs. So many blobs. And they’re all chanting--


--as they lead me to an especially wrinkly old blob, holding a giant key, standing next to a giant keyhole carved into the rock.

The blobs that abducted me got chatty on our long trip down. Down to the bottom of the interior ocean, down though tunnels bored through the tetragonal ice, and down into the caverns of the rocky mantel. They told me they had a job that "only I could perform" because of my "special qualifications." 

What? Did they have a pool that needed cleaning?

They plop me in front of the wrinkly old blob. The crowd hushes.

"UNLOCK THE DOOR!" the old one bellows.

"Everybody freeze!" cries a familiar voice above me.

I look up and see some kind of SWAT team gliding down ropes from the ceiling. Black technical gear, nasty looking blaster rifles, kevlar boots, landing all around me. 

"Not today, Glb'rb'rbmo. Guess you'll need to wait another thousand years."

The leader takes off her hood and turns to me.

"Hi Clark!"

It's Buffy Chan. 

"... Hi Buffy."

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