Colby Brown

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Back to Psychic School
9/14/2021 10:32pm

Hanging out at Lake Logres Resort and Spa with the APSA kids has been super chill. Even in light of the abduction. It was probably just some kind of hazing ritual.

@Jenny Ondioline and I and a bunch of the other kids have been hanging out around the resort, and the indoor/outdoor infinity pool, or on the little mountain trails. It's beautiful this time of year, and crazy that we get to miss the first weeks of school just so we can be a part of this cool club!

Jenny O is off on one of the screening appointments, which we all have. It comes up on your phone when it's your time. My first ones were about holding shapes inside of a velvet bag with one hand and pointing to a picture of the shape with the other. I liked those because they were easy.

But now they're getting harder... like, you have to put on a leotard and then learn a dance with some fancy dance instructor and then you have to go on stage and do it for a bunch of people. Or the singing coach goes though a song with you once and then you have to perform it in front of the same people. At least it looks like there's a lot of people out there. I'm terrible at signing so it was REALLY embarrassing. Jenny O said she just pretended it was karaoke.

Back to Psychic School
9/26/2021 11:02pm

Today we became full-fledged members of the Active Psychic Students Association.

Actually, we discovered we were already members.

After passing all our screenings, we gave kind of a recital to all the APSA senior members where we performed the weird skits they had us learn. They were just everyday stuff like opening doors and walking into rooms, but each one had something kind of weird and embarrassing in it. We seemed to do a good enough job and we even got a standing ovation.

After that, we were each led to private conference rooms where we met our "sponsors." These were the senior APSA members who were paired with.

And guess what? Our sponsors were US. Future us. My sponsor was ME. Me from the future. But not me from the far future... it was me right up to this moment in time.

I don't really understand it all, but I guess the APSA has been made up of the same students for years and years. Students like me and @Jenny Ondioline and the rest. We've come to Psyhigh, join APSA, find out we're already in the APSA, and sort of become ourselves.

Needless to say, only one of us walked out of our private conference rooms.

So, now I enjoy being a member of the APSA for a few years, and then the new me will start as a freshman at Psyhigh, come to the APSA initiation, and walk through those weird plays until we meet up with ourselves at that very moment. We close some kind of loop?

Anyway, I've got one of those snazzy green jackets now. And it fits real well. Because I've been wearing it for years.

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9/29/2021 7:52pm

Wow the APSA dorms are awesome. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, but each time feels like the first.

The APSA dorms are on the 13th floor of the Blavatsky Complex. Floor to ceiling windows, open floor plan, private rooms and master baths. Potted palms, sunken couches, ultra-wide screen 9th gen immersive psy-vr. Kitchen island. Plus, access to the indoor/outdoor infinity pool and hot tub and teleportation pad on the roof.

It's great for entertaining, but we're not allowed to have any non-APSA students up.

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Mr. Bumbles
10/4/2021 10:15pm

Lots of students have pets on campus, but the APSA is especially proud of their cat, Mr. Bumbles.

Mr. Bumbles doesn't undergo the same time-cloning process that the APSA members do, but has been the club mascot for as long as anybody can remember. Which means he's old. Really old. And he can't see or hear very well. Which is why he's a 100% indoor cat--no telling what kind of predators are slinking around campus and the woods at night. Well, actually there IS telling what kind of those kind of predators, which is why Mr. Bumbles stays inside.

Or at least he's supposed to.

Somehow he followed me down the elevator and bolted out the front door of the Blavatsky Complex.

"Here, kittykittykittykitty! Here kitty!"

Mr. Bumbles
10/8/2021 10:07pm

"Is he chipped?"

I had gone to see Ms. Nicholson, the Dean of Pets.

"Call me Jaimie."

There are a LOT of pets on campus, which is why they have their own dean. Psychic support animals, familiars, animals that are an extension of your psyche, exotic ornamentals, guard animals...

"No, he's not chipped."

"Well that's too bad, because we could track him if he was."

"I didn't know the chips could do that."

"Oh yes, they're very handy. That's why we chip all the students too."


"Nevermind. Right now, it's important to think of Mr. Bumbles as being in a liminal state. Is he alive? Is he dead? You don't know, so he's both. Alive and dead."

"I don't think that's a good perspective to have. Doesn't it have something to do with intention? If I sit around thinking he's both dead and alive, that seems like half giving up."

"No, it's what the science says. And you know it's important to follow the rules!"

It didn't seem like Jaimie was going to be much help.

"You know," she said, "those Build-yr-own Pets kits are very popular. I think they still have some at the student store."

"Thanks, I'll keep it in mind."

Mr. Bumbles
10/14/2021 10:19pm

"So, have you found him yet?"

Elaine Ablach was always letting herself into my room. And talking to me. We didn't really know each other that well, even though we were both APSA.

"No. Dean of Pets was no help. And I've already gone hoarse walking the trails in the woods calling for him, shaking a food bag, banging on cans..."

I was tired.

"Maybe there's something to what the Dean said about Build-yr-own pet kits," I said. "I'm sure there's more than enough hair on our floor for a DNA sample, and maybe there's some kind of cloning add-on or extension you can buy...."

I was losing hope.

"You're losing hope," said Elaine. "And forgetting how this works. Don't let the haters bring you down! That's all they know how to do. They're only about gravity and weight and their so-called rules, man."

Elaine was kind of a rebel, come to think of it.

"I mean," she continued, "they act like they OWN science. And their science is always looking for the lowest common denominator, the bottom line, the big leveler. And do you know what that is?"

"Uh, facts?"

"No. It's death. Death is the one thing they want to make sure everybody's sure of, and they bake it into every piece of the puzzle. Every piece of the prison. Every brick in the wall! They make sure it's in the ingredients of everything we eat, and everything we read, and the chemical composition of the air we breathe. And then they make sure to tell us it's just 'how it is.'"

I actually hadn't realized how wound up Elaine was about this topic. I mean, about Mr. Bumbles, I guess.

"The cat is ALIVE," she said. "C'mon."

Mr. Bumbles
10/16/2021 11:31pm

"ALL this shit is out of alignment," Elaine said, gesturing to the whole night sky.

I'd followed Elaine Ablach up to the top of Storm Mountain, through the trails in the woods behind school. The moon was up and we could see campus down below, then a few more hills, then the lights of the town and the suburbs all the way out to the horizon.

"The climate, wealth equity, racial inequality, polarized cultures, violence," she continued. "It isn't 'natural' or 'normal,' but they keep it so everything 'makes sense' based on its own internal logic."

Elaine bent down and picked up a stick.

"It's only been this bad for a few generations though. They needed to get a global information grid in place to really mass produce the illusion, make it airtight."

Elaine walked over to a crescent of gnarly oak trees and waved her stick. A number of small boulders materialized out of the darkness. Had they been there the whole time?

"But the original info-system is still here. They keep defacing it, grinding it down, but there are still nodes you can access. If you know how to find them."

Elaine waved her stick again, and this time it left a trail of purple light when she moved it. The trail floated out over the big stones and as it landed on the rocks, they began to light up with golden patterns. Or was it just glowing lichen and moss?

"We will find Mr. Bumbles. ALIVE."

Mr. Bumbles
10/27/2021 11:57pm

After spending some time with the stones, Elaine Ablach led us back down Storm Mountain, talking the whole time.

"They've laid harnesses over everything," she said. "Harnessed the water, the magnetic fields. They laid iron chains all over the place."

We'd stopped at a little spring, shimmering in the moonlight.

"But the energy still seeps out, here and there."

A giant white salamander crawled out of the water and sniffed Elaine's stick. Then it licked it with its big tongue.

We came out of the trails at the cemetery on the edge of town. Elaine ran ahead and did a cartwheel in the dewy grass.

"The whole thing works on a machine intelligence, if you can call it that. Because it's not actually intelligent. Everything is 'on' or 'off.' Black or white. Binary."

We came to some kind of water pump, or hydrant, or something. It was rusty and had a wheel.

"So it SOUNDS like they're giving you a choice, right? Heads or tails?"

Elaine started tapping on the wheel with her stick. It had a kind of ring to it.

"But the whole game is rigged. Just two choices? It's so clearly a set up, but everybody has to put their dime into it and spin the wheel."

She started tapping more quickly.

"Half the time they kill everybody. Then they kill half of everybody else. Halflife, amirite? Keep making you choose and they keep making you lose. Their terms."

Elaine stopped tapping with her stick. The ringing had become a sustained tone.

"Makes people forget there's so much energy left untapped."

Between the headstones and the trees, a path through the cemetery lit up with a purple and green glow.

"The cat is ALIVE."

Mr. Bumbles
10/30/2021 11:28pm

“Correlation is not causation. That’s one of their litanies,” said Elaine. “Total bullshit.”

It was still night. How long could a night be? After making our way through the cemetery, with Elaine stopping here and there to wave her stick or make other adjustments to the info-firmament, we ended up in the alley behind the Handymart. 

“They use it to deny any other path to their forgone conclusion — that the cat is dead.” 

Elaine nudged some cardboard boxes aside with her toe. “All the way down the line, you’re given a series of choices, each one reducing your options for the future.”

She pulled out her stick. 

“It’s the funnel. The chute. And at the end of the line, the Final Cause. A decaying isotope rigged up to a hammer and a beaker full of poison. Run that experiment enough and they'll always get the outcome they want. They want us to believe that the Theory of Everything is just a game of Russian Roulette you keep playing till it's over."

She'd cleared the space up to the side of the dumpster. She eyed the dumpster for a moment and gave big kick, which was really loud in the middle of the night in an alley.

Then, a purple and green pattern swirled on the side of the dumpster and blossomed out into circular pattern in the air. Like one of those Aztec calendars, slowly rotating, with little animated characters all around it.

"This is the node you're after. I'll let you drive from here."

I looked at Elaine like I didn't know what she was talking about. Which I didn't.

"All it takes is intent, " she said. "The cat is ALIVE."

Mr. Bumbles
11/7/2021 9:48pm

And that's how I found Mr. Bumbles.

I spun the purple wheel and slapped at a few green pictographs. I didn't really know what I was doing, but after watching Elaine do it all night long, I kinda had the jist. Like Elaine always says, it's really about the intent, mostly.

So I gave the dumpster a big kick when I was done. The sound echoed down the alley, and Mr. Bumbles walked around from behind the dumpster and meowed.

"Mr. Bumbles!!!!" Elaine cried and scooped him up.

Mr. Bumbles looked awful. Like a drowned rat. How did he get so wet? Plus, his paws were muddy and there were fresh leaves stuck to his fur. He was a mess.

"Let's take this very ALIVE Mr. Bumbles back to the 13th floor of the Blavatsky Complex and get him some FOOD, shall we?"

As we walked back to the school, I wondered how Elaine had done it. Had she really fiddled with the controls of the world -- the "big board" as she called it -- and arranged things so that we shared the same world with the Mr. Bumbles who was alive? Or had she just used natural energies to help guide her intuition till we discovered the most likely place for him to be?

"Or..." said Elaine, with Mr. Bumbles wrapped up in her sweater, "did I know he was living in the alley behind the Handy Mart the whole time?"

Only Mr. Bumbles knows for sure, I suppose.

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