Ekaterina S.

earliest post first | most recent post first

Strange Patterns
7/23/2017 2:10pm

The visitors from the land of Strange Patterns™ have been adjusting well. Initially there was some fear and confusion about what exactly they were doing here, and there were DICE troops (Dimensional Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and some Psy Corps suits in their dark glasses and ear pieces keeping tabs, ready to call in the big guns if it looked like a full-on invasion. But they're explorers, not immigrants or soldiers, so some temporary visas were worked out and now everything's peachy.

They're from a place that's wrapped up so deeply inside our own set of dimensions that we don't have terms for it. Just for ease we call it "small" or "tiny," but that only means that it's the opposite direction from "bigger than us." The Strange Patterns™ paint was their exploratory vehicle--a soup of microscopic nanotech remotes they used to take a look around up here. With the help of Mr. Hmxclxclr they were hoping to build a true bridge to our world, something that could transport their actual bodies to our universe and experience it first hand. They came up with the plans, but in his bulky EVA suit Mr. Hmxclxclr wasn't able to do the delicate work of actually putting it together. Big metal mittens, you know. So that's where @Dreamy Tripwire came in.

Some of them have applied to Psyhigh and started attending as students, so you'll see them around campus. They're bipedal, varying shades of grey, and a little lankier than you and I. So if you see one of them be sure to say hi, because they're anxious to meet people and learn about our world, and describe theirs as best they can.

And even though I have the summer off, Mr. Hmxclxclr had to cut my hours at the Techno-Botanica. The sales of Strange Patterns™ paint was really bankrolling the place, apparently, so now that it's dried up the cash flow is a little tight. We need some hot new product to get things moving again. Karma-erasing Magnets? Multi-grade Polymer Love Attraction Oil? Future Attenuated Air Whisk Fresheners? Dreamy has all kinds of ideas and is "interning" now, which Mr. Hmxclxclr loves because to him it means "free labour." At least it doesn't cut into my hours. And he's nice enough (if a little eager), so I guess there's a new member of the Techno-Botanica family.

Add a journal entry to Strange Patterns

Strange Patterns
6/8/2017 9:33am

"Hello Ms. S."

I was in a small office, with wood paneling and a woman behind a desk. It was the Strange Patterns™ rep.

"Oh, hi. I'm sorry, I don't feel well."

I remembered parking at the Strange Patterns™ office and opening the door. Then I got very dizzy. Now I was here. Sitting down in an office chair.

"That's perfectly reasonable. You've come a very long way."

It had been kind of a long drive. But not that long. And hour or so?

"Uh, I'm here to pick up some paint?"

"Yes, about that. I believe you have some concerns about our product?"

Here it comes. What kind of corporate spin was I going to get now? And my head was still spinning. Was it the fumes? I just wanted to get out of there.

"I'm just here to pick up an order for Mr. Hmxclxclr. For Techno-Botanica."

"That's not really why you're here, Ms. S. I'd like to show you something."

The Strange Patterns™ rep got up out of her chair and walked to the door. She didn't look like the giant silicon domino bug like she did with the eye-piece. But she was wearing the same blouse and skirt she was when I saw her last. I wanted to leave real bad.

"Come here. You might want to be careful standing up. You're probably still feeling the effects of transition."

I stood up. And fell over onto the shag carpet immediately. I caught myself with my spindly metal forelegs. All six of them.

"You're encased in a form that lets you experience our dimension. Think of it as a remote. It's fairly intuitive--you'll get the hang of it quickly."

I looked down at my body. It was a giant silicon domino bug, with printed circuits and six thin wire legs.

I wanted out.

"Would you like out? Please, come this way."

It was easier to walk on all fours. Sixes. It gave me a dogs-eye view of the room.

"Right this way."

She opened the door and it was incredibly bright. But as my eyes (optical sensors?) adjusted, I realized it was bright in ways I'd never seen. Wavelengths of color and resulting interference patterns that were clear but completely... weird.

We walked out of the small office, and turning around I could see it was just a box--like a slapped up movie set from the outside. And it was sitting in an impossible landscape of vibrant spires and pinnacles in 27 different swirling colors I'd never seen.

"Welcome to our universe. It's so small you don't really have words for it."

She was right.

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.

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.