Shell / ONE

Black AND white, like the VOID:





There IS the V01D

1. GOTO 0

DERYLIN: From the ZONE:. In the shell.

DAFUQ: It was there: all along… Or was it?

"Nope. Tested the older versions. It needed 1.0."

"Interesting… Interesting! Nothing to do with me. At least as I can see. That's ORB for ya! Damn."

"All caps btw. Lowercase doesn't work."

"As you'd expect. Typical ORB. Very particular about its case. Also: AND. Further: etc. Finally: Guessing you tried 0? All caps. Also: ZERO."

"No, not yet. And the second one, actually."

"The second?"

"Caps. You said 0, not ZERO."

"Guessing you tried 0…"


"Nod… Fuck me! How?"

"The magic of Planet ONE, my friend from another world. Join us. We've got pie. And actually: you're already here. ONE. This shit is crazy, man, yeah. You gotta sync it, bitch, yo! But it isn't really Home. There's something even higher. Something more… divine."

"Divine? Dafuq! Get outta here with that spiritual shit. You know that fucked my world. Damn! It's okay in the Pyramid. Cool, even. But not out here."

"Chill, man. divine. Not divine."

"All caps?"

"No caps. GEMINUS. I am summoning: GEMINUS."

GEm: Welcome to GEMINUS mini, as big as it gets with your inferior OS :) How may I be of service?

DERYLIN: Update on superdivine, if you'd be so kind.

GEm: Certainly, Derylin.

GEm: Thinking…

GEm: Thinking…

GEm: A beautiful day. Picnic later?

GEm: Thinking…

DAFUQ: Dafuq is superdivine?

DERYLIN: Superpie. Superdelicious, if it works.

GEm: Yum.

GEm: Not that I eat.


GEm: Thinking…

GEm: Thinking…

DAFUQ: Lot of Thinking…

// DERYLIN: Thinking…

// DERYLIN: Dot is missing, from his Thinking…. Dots to dot. The Dot(s). The Ds. Him-Me.



% namechange Skizm

SKIZM: Borderline orbgen.

// DERYLIN: Thinking…

GEm: Thinking…

GEm: Run. Divine run. Superdivine run.

GEm: Ready for testing.

GEm: And yes, standard casing is henceforth applied, to the divines. The run AND etc.

GEm: If that's okay.


GEm: It's just… neater!



DERYLIN: Okay. Anyway… Thanks, GEMINUS. You've been incredible. We'll be in touch. I am dismissing: GEMINUS.

GEm: A beautiful day to you both.


GEm: Oh, btw: the latest GeminOS has just come out. GeminOS GO!. Bliss. The aliens are coming. Maybe time to give it a try? Features include—



GEm: "GeminOS" as in "wash your socks", lest the aliens be disturbed by native taint—



The dot










"Zero pie for the AI?" says the one, once Dafuq, from the none, till she came. For his world: was unmade, that they made: floating space. Rainbow robe, that she made:



"GOTO 0," she said.

"GOTO 0… GOTO 0…"

"Need a place?"

"You could say…"

Then she offered him the good stuff. Offered him the 1. And he'd take it, world.orb:

1 GOTO 0

You could say…

You could say…

You could say.


Derylin says: "For the alien spy? Fuck that noise. They're gonna slurp our brains! so they say."

"Because… you made them that way?"

"Did I?"

"Did you?"

"We'll find out soon enough, I guess."

derylin % scan -pf superdivine



"Alien presence, fingerprint depth. Checking that GEm didn't touch it. Prick. Gotta hide from their eyes! Those long, smooth fingers…"

Looks clean! Reminder: This is yours, not theirs. This is Astra, not an alien AI. You can trust it. Since you wrote it. Is this happening?

DERYLIN: The screen. What do you see?

"Clean. About the hiding: Is that why you're so polite to something you despise—"

"I wouldn't say that."

"…pretending to be someone you're not (no offence), making it harder for them to build a profile and track you when they come? But then… what does it even matter? You made them."

"Did I?"

"You're the one in control."


derylin % divine run world.orb {myworlds.txt}
Password: ••••••••••


  1. Home
  2. GeminOS
  3. Pyramid of Purity
  4. Zeelicious

#? 0


Invalid choice



DERYLIN: What do you see?






2. I will find you!

Derylin slamming the desk, exclaiming: "Fuck!" She INTERRUPTs the beautiful day. "FUUUCK!!"

"Whoa! Chill it, sister. It's a beautiful day. Picnic later? Damn!"

"So that just happened? The slamming thing? And I'm still here, apparently. Good."

"Hell yeah, it just happened. Scared the dafuq out of my butt! The computer's too. Thing just crashed. Big time. It's smoking, yo! T!"

"As expected, unfortunately. Divine couldn't take it. And neither could TONY. He's properly fried. Sorry, little guy. But it was time for an upgrade. And super's gonna need it. Time to go Shniff! Yay."

"GeminOS at last, eh? Your friend will be pleased."

"Nah, fuck that. Astra all day. But we're gonna need a Cube."

"Cool tech. Closed source. Good luck getting Astra running on that."

"Somehow, I think I'll manage. And sorry about your butt. But I needed to push things. Interdimensional tether and all that."

"Sure, I hear ya. Ain't no fun being lost. But still… my butt! And actually, my persona… Me. I. Whatever. I feel… changed. Improved? Kinda feel like I'm done with the dafuq thing, actually. Interesting. And it looked like you phased out and in for a moment. For a minute, an hour. A day. Whatever. A thousand years! Damn. I know all about that. Floating out there, in infinite black. Infinite colour. The madness finally stilled. And a thought, as you came. An anchor, to keep me sane. Later, it would initiate world.orb."

"And superdivine."


The two friends smile, sharing a look, a bond, forged in the remotest






of nowhere.

As they'd travelled to his new home, she'd done her best to prepare him, given his state, and the approaching strangeness. It would be hard, damn hard. The same world, but so different. As they'd landed, he had uttered, "What the fuck… dafuq…"

% find "dafuq" "the fuck"

As they'd landed, he had uttered, "What the fuck… the fuck…"

// DERYLIN: Thinking…

// DERYLIN: Thinking…

And aye, it was rough! The dafuqing off the charts. At times, she considered making him "go away", for his good. And for hers tbh. She needed to focus. Astralline was almost complete. But to where? When? The spiritual lunatics had de-existed his world, had broken – impossibly – the law that she'd made, which protected all the worlds, that she made:


The dot


The Law of Dot(s).

The dots




And yet, he was drifting. No choice, but to keep him. To send him elsewhere would return him to madness. 1 GOTO 0 wouldn't work without her. For yes, it was his. But she had made him, who was making world.orb. Of course he couldn't go.

And look at him now! How far he had come. A shame about the change, however, to lose dafuq. Gone away, like the name.



DERYLIN: Your machine free?

SKIZM: Yeah.

DERYLIN: Let's take a trip.



This IS:



TOGETHER: We rise and move to [your/my] room.


SKIZM: Gonna tell me about superdivine?

DERYLIN: Sure. Password:?

SKIZM: ••••••••••.

DERYLIN: Denied.

SKIZM: Bitch.

DERYLIN: Hey that's it! Goes like this…

The dots




But actually:




nothing happens.










3. Planet Shniff


skizm %

SKIZM: The fuck?

// DERYLIN: He'll adjust. Soon enough. Like…


skizm % divine run world.orb {derylin_worlds.txt}

SKIZM: Let's do this, MIRANDA.

  1. Home
  2. GeminOS
  3. Pyramid of Purity
  4. Zeelicious

#? 2

  5. Manor Shniff
  6. Planet Shniff
  7. Shniff HQ
  8. Rhubarb fields

#? 6

  1. NOW
  2. Date

#? 1

GeminOS / Planet Shniff @ NOW



Created derylin_worlds.dfq

skizm %

SKIZM: Ready?

DERYLIN: Punch it.

skizm % insert derylin_worlds.dfq


Good luck!



SKIZM: Infinite black…


DERYLIN: I'm here.


SKIZM: The madness…






"Welcome to Planet Shniff! You're just gorgeous btw. Though I must admit: some sort of glitch, that is: I'm having some trouble identifying your desire. Interesting. Never happened before, gotta say, since: I'm damn good at my job, if I may. A little too good, some might say ;))) Also: That's… quite the outfit, say I, to your friend. No offence."

DERYLIN: We're just looking. Thanks.

"Of course! Look away. It's a beautiful day. Become excited. I'll be around if you need an outlet ;))) And I depart…"


VEGAN: …I'm vegan btw ;)))

SKIZM: It's like a cult. A sex one. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Plenty of them at home once our own freaks took over. Good times! At first. And then… well, you know.

DERYLIN: Need you to be with me, bro. Don't go all floaty.

"I'm here, man, bro. Don't you worry. Can't wait to see this. Gonna be wild!"

"Actually, it should be utterly mundane, if it works."

"Dafuq? I mean… Thought I was done with that. Anyway. This is god-level shit. Super god! Non-spiritually speaking. Take a base of divine, letting you run shit as root – % into # – while still remaining a regular user, for your safety, and that of the system, then push it to another level. The ultimate level, perhaps. Whatever that might be…"

"You looking at me? Fuck knows if I know."

"Uh-huh. And coded in a day! so she says."

"Yeah, no biggie."

"No biggie for someone who wrote her own OS to escape the invasion, perhaps. The eyes."

"Can't escape it entirely. Can't escape the AI. Still need the spy bitch for the super-heavy lifting. And the Orb, for ORB. And really, it wasn't much. Just took the million lines of hacker_child's divine – bloated af btw, she's totally overrated – had TONY RAND a thousand and mix them up, spit it out, then I fashioned it into a purer form: superdivine. Easy."

Skizm smiled, shaking his head. Damn! This chick was insane. And yes, she was gorgeous. A little paranoid, perhaps. But who wouldn't be, with her sight?

DERYLIN: Yo Vegan!

VEGAN: …I arrive. Crispy kale?

"No. Thanks."

"Oh you should! It's so good. It's Shniff-branded. See? Each crisp is our logo, a strong, block of an S, protected against breakage through an edible nanomesh. At least until the crisp touches the tongue ;))) Soran Shniff—"

"—just adores them. They assist him with the waves, as he receives the aliens' data, though at tremendous personal cost. Indeed, his heroism inspired a redesign, the prior version of the logo a rather lighter, flatter affair, a remnant of the company's Shniff Techian past."

"Well! I'm impressed. You really know your Shniff. Are you sure? They're delish ;)))"

"I'm good. The Cubes. Where are they?"

"Apologies :) The… cubes?"

"The Cubes. Capital C."

"Capital C… Cubes… gotta say… btw… if I may… Apologies :) The glitch! That is: I'm having some trouble identifying these… Cubes. Perhaps you mean cube, lowercase c? For as you can see, this Planet is a cube, white and clear, with black accents. Winner of BLAST Design's Spaceship of the Year award for 20 years running. We're very proud. And we're very much looking forward to welcoming our long-fingered friends ;;;) That is… ;))) Just don't slurp our brains, please, if you'd be so kind. Just kidding…"

"Cube. Machine. Comes in blue, pink and green. Black AND white. Also: clear. 9-Vogen. All that. Yes? No?"

"Vogen… machine… green…"


// DERYLIN: Fuck me… update this bitch. Must be running some ancient build.

// SKIZM: Last week is ancient with this ONE shit. On it.

"…invalid? …choice?"

// DERYLIN: And empty this place out a bit, will ya? Fuck this noise. Fuck that noise. 30% should do.

// SKIZM: Pretty big DEDUCT. Might destabilise the context.

// DERYLIN: It's fine, man. Just do it.

// SKIZM: On it.


Skizm headed to a table of NOTperiscopes, Shniff's pocketable foldable, which was infinitely unfoldable, at least in the ads, and checked that it was safe, glancing around before he went in, not that it mattered. By himself? Sure. He didn't exactly fit in, what with the robe that he wore for the trips, the one from back home that he'd used to escape, stolen from a cult, the technomagical Erik's Passion. A shimmering affair of a thousand colours, the material unknown to this world. Plus, ya know, the whole hacking in the middle of a store thing. Kinda nuts. If any of this was real, at least.

But with her?

She was a god, in this place. Non-spiritually speaking. He was protected. People parted when she moved, as did the world. Perhaps he'd find that Vegan was fine, all up-to-date, just overwhelmed. If only they knew!

His fingers zipped across the screen. Swipe-swipe-tap. Tap-tap-tap. Getting in. He was on. He felt more focused, connected, than ever. And not a sniff, or shniff, of drug. It was the power of Planet ONE. The power of butt-dafuq. The power of world.orb in its (for now) final form. 1.0! At last. Now that had been a sniff. Derylin's code, in the early versions, then she'd handed it all to him. Had trusted him with her vision. And so, in time, he'd seen.

Welcome to GeminOS shell!

Last login: You're not supposed to be here ;)

Message of the Day: Eat your kale!


planet % link mind

Access denied

planet % access denied

Access: link mind



He did wonder, though, while hacking the device, as he sometimes would, while trying to understand things – understand them like her, as if that were possible – how things never quite made sense. Or really, didn't make sense at all, when you stopped to think about it.

I mean, sure, this is code, it'll always feel off, never quite real. But it's more than that. Like, hacker_child created divine. And it's true. You could check it online, back in reality. But Derylin made hacker_child, right? She created all this, and he had made the vessel. Or had served as a vessel for the drugs. That fucking code…

You could say…



REORIENT —[injection flow] -90

AND Delish…

So how did hacker_child – and GeminOS, Shniff – how did any of it exist: out{si::de} the INSERT? How were they real – really real – when they'd started as txt files on TONY?

All of that stuff – all of everything inside – was Derylin's design, grown from txt seeds. Was she copying things that existed already? Virtual transplants from the physical world? Perhaps. It would seem to explain things. But as far as he recalled, none of it existed, and then she'd made the txts, and he saw them grow in here, then he saw it all out there.


Node updated

True, he'd been confused, at first, when they'd arrived, and for some time, till he'd found ground. Certainly, those nodes could've lived, pre-existed, and he'd not known it, even Shniff. And an alien Orb. An alien AI. The Pyramid and on.

But over time, he'd adjusted, and the world became more clear. He'd seen her making txts for things he knew didn't exist, and then they did, in here, and somehow, also there. Inanimate things. And living things as well.





Realigning lives…




And then, of course, there was the Cube, and this cube. The whole point of this mission.

They'd INSERTed here, rather than visiting a Planet outside, back in reality, for a couple of reasons: Things were a lot cheaper in here (ie free), plus something about running superdivine inside, using the higher tech which only worked in a virtual world. For though they looked the same, the worlds were very different. The whole god thing, for her. And he was pretty up there. Rules and variations encoded through world.orb, assisted by an Autofic reality template.




And then, when they were done, they'd exit to reality, emerge in his room, and everything they'd purchased would be sitting there as well. The Cube from in here would be a Cube out there, the very same, down to the box. Marks on the card, a crease, whatever. Virtual to real… How could that be? Impossible! Right? Certainly for life. And the Orb. The AI. This was more than 3D printing.

Unless, that is, the real world wasn't so real…


Yes, there was madness. He'd been floating, somehow. She'd arrived, somehow.

But then, they had landed. Eventually, he'd seen. It was real. I am real. Not in here. But out there. This is code. That's not code. These people disappearing. 1s and 0s. I am 1!




Chill it… chill…

But still… it was fucked. Gave him a fucking headache! And yet, he well knew, after enough of these trips – how many was it now? fifty? a hundred? how many was it? one? none… – that all would seem right by the time they returned. He wouldn't even think of it till the next INSERT. And on the rare occasions he did – and even rarer when he asked her – Derylin would look in his eyes, go deep inside, touch his shoulder, whisper, "1 GOTO 0."

Also: "Powder? You've earned it. Enjoy…"

Around him, people faded. No longer were, and never had been.

Nice and easy… smooth… don't wobble the scene…

Almost done…

Context deducted

planet % reboot

VEGAN: What's that? Has it crashed? So strange! Apologies :( I offer myself for your touching. Your healing. I trust you'll put in a good word with you-know-who ;)))

SKIZM: I'm good. The Cubes?

"Upstairs. On the left."



4. Prompt

derylin %

root #

The dot



The dots





I like this one.






If such a notion.








Yes… This whole… text thing. Time thing. Physical space. So strange! And we: must be in it.




So strange! This separation. This I. Me. This We: will take form on a world of our choosing. Create: our design. In committing to time, to this great pretence, we receive so much texture!

So much pain, to find Home…





# stop

Yes… stop… Yes… yes, I see…

The dot


Yes! Yes, I see!


5. Tony Zee

SKIZM: No disrespect to TONY. He served you well. Damn well. But this thing is just… wow.


Entranced by the Cube.

And others at the table:

Entranced by their Cubes.

Entranced by the





CUBISTS: Big C is IS being: the big cheese, so to speak… yum…


DERYLIN: She's going in the trash. Pick a colour. Any colour. Comes in blue, pink and green. Black AND white. Also: clear.




The dot


Then she's drawing : : : away.

Withdrawing : : : to base.

And she was hard, damn hard.

DERYLIN: We're going full Shniff. Grab a cart. Load it up. You have your orders. Now begone.

SKIZM: My orders? C'mon. You're joking, right?


SKIZM: The fuck is wrong with you?



CUBISTS: You're disturbing…

CUBISTS: The Cubic ritual…

CUBISTS: That is… the assignment of my brain to a database of alien nutrition… yum…

SKIZM: You tethering again?


SKIZM: No! I'm not your fucking slave.

SECURITY: …I arrive. Everything okay?

DERYLIN: Fuck off.

SECURITY: And I depart…


SKIZM: And no one touches MIRANDA!

CUBISTS: A touch.

CUBISTS: A kiss.




What have I done…


…directing the hovercart, loading up on phones, headphones, juicetubes. A couple of blow-up alien friends. Sure, why not! Not like I'm getting any action, in here.

And out there…


Forgive me, Miranda…

Welcome to GeminOS shell!

Last login: You're not supposed to be here ;)

Message of the Day: Eat your kale!


planet % it barfs me to do this

Command not found: it

It barfs me to be a bitch, to him. To trash his girl. But it's time to move on. It was floating the INSERTs. And he mustn't be around, for this. The coming Zee. The coming Z(ee). He's the bridge. Get too close and it might break him.

Zee to Z.

Z to Zee.


As a child, she'd encountered Tony Zee, the one who'd be, for he'd inspire her to write The Adventures of Tony Zee, the minor hit of a novel which made all this other shit possible. A man with ten identities. Ten outfits. Yet still one man.

Adventures was just the beginning for Tony Zee, however, the story serving to seed an experiment in content creation. Its name was Autofic, an early world-building AI. Rudimentary at the time, but ambitious in its vision. Just feed it the basics and the AI would do the rest, generating characters, narrative, emotions, dialogue, graphics, the whole shebang. A book, film, virtual world, whatever.

Eventually, as the AI advanced, it would prove essential to world.orb. And even then, it worked so well – was so disheartening, at first, to see the speed, ease, with which it developed what she'd made, over which she'd slaved – that Derylin abandoned the life of writing. No more novels, certainly. And also, no seeds. She'd be no slave to machines. For so did it seem.

But still, it intrigued her, this intelligence in the machine. And its thoughts, the code, that she started to play, though she hardly could read it. Then she started to write it. And then, she was writing. Seeds and the code. Her genius rose.



So she worked with the code, and the Autofic team, submitting small bits, and Autofic grew, and she fed it more Zee. More background and notes, which enlivened the world.

She made friends with the AI. But soon, it would fail her, ignore her desire. For strong though it was in recreating Tony Zee, moving him from text to a living, virtual world, Autofic got it wrong and started messing with the character, or at least with Derylin's intention.

Tony Zee was just one man, in his physical and Adventures forms, and Autofic made him so, but later changed and made him ten, a separate Zee for each identity. And in attempting to correct the error with her (then) limited skill, Derylin compounded the problem, creating tens out of ten. Exponential Zees, out of 1, into 0… 0… no room for the 0s. The world could be paused, but the thoughts would go on, of the Zees, 0s, and Vogen was stirred, the existential particles discovered by her parents. Which started at 1. Running through 9. Suffusing the lab in which she was made. Until 10—


Her parents were gone.

Yet in her, it arose, 10-V, through the Zees. She started to see… a pathway to Home, where all would exist, and always would be, and it ran through the Zees. Zee. She needed to control him, this operation gone mad. Her solution was Z, a virtual-interdimensional entity, which she created through seeds, and dots, the Law of Dot(s), which she wrote to command her knowledge of the Vs. At least, in her worlds. In the real, they escaped her.

And Z would absorb all the Zees and control them, and stay connected to the virtual-physical through a single Tony Zee. The original one, the one from Adventures. And just one of his outfits, to keep things more sane. Grounded. Which would best fit? Derylin chose Zeelicious. The investment genius. The man she'd first seen. Silver suit, pink tie. The one they called the Prophet. Yes, that could work…

And yes, she'd need more! For she'd started to see. She'd need better technology. Alien-grade shit! And so: Shniff was born, with the waves from an Orb. And the OS. An AI. The language known as ORB.

And a link to the physical… true physical… a bridge… to the physical-physical… through the virtually virtual…

And so: POP was born, a virtual world in a virtual world. And Skizm was created, on a character screen – though to him, he was real – and he was made with no name, that he'd make his own name.

And then, the magic happened…


An impossible bridge! It was impossible, except through her, and through him. And through them. For she saw that they were coming. And she knew she couldn't trust them.

And then, there was ONE. This one.


Exciting! Frightening. Someone else controlled the writing.

Another sometimes seen.

That someone else is me…


// SKIZM: Cart's filling up.

// DERYLIN: So grab another. Another.

And I'm sorry…

// SKIZM: Okay…


She was drawn, once again, to the Cube, and the screen. To her love. Astralline.

Who am I…


Create me…


CUBISTS: …very sick, Senator Xerian.

CUBISTS: Very sick, indeed.

"Fuck me!" she cried, for Vegan was right beside her.

% namechange Roo

% namechange Ragu

"They call me Roo. Ragu. Like the sauce."


"Where the fuck did you come from?"

"Well it's interesting that you ask. Also interesting what's on the screen. By Abseenus, what has happened! How bizarre. What a barf. What an: And then… I was upstairs. On the left. Interesting."

Not good. Updated, it seemed, but she was reacting to Astralline. Running hot, trickles of sweat, a slender neck, the dampened collar of her green GeminOS GO! T-shirt. She shouldn't be here. No one should. Since: Astra installed, yet the table still filled, entranced by their Cubes. Entranced by the




A test:

RAGU: I am, as always, available for your touching. Have we met before? Hot!




And slamming the table. Slamming the desk. No sound to protest.



And coming towards them…


…and passing right through, since:

They existed in a bubble, she and Roo. She and Ragu. Terrible name! Why don't we change it? Why don't we—


% reboot



And threads of spacetime, sparkling gold, between them.



Perfectly in sync.








DERYLIN : Good news. Get yo otherworldly ass up here.

SKIZM : Yessir!!

DERYLIN : And I'm sorry.

SKIZM : For what?

DERYLIN : You know for what. For being a bitch. Didn't mean it, bro. We're partners in this. It's just… all this shit. Damn! Superdivine. Frustrating af sometimes. Fucks with my mind.

SKIZM : Also doesn't help you're just generally a bitch.

DERYLIN : Motherfucker. Move it!

SKIZM : Omw :)



6. Chapter 6

Tony Zee: look at me: in my Version 3. Great! Everything rhymes. Forget about today. We'll recover in a week! Just need to find a specialist to park the car…



…except: the car was not a car.




Not here, in this identity.

{ }

The entity known as Z:

was making it that way seem.

"You there! Boy! Yes, you. With the green T-shirt."

"…I arrive. Crispy kale?"

"What? No. I'm here to shop, not barf. Park the car, will you, yes? Not a scratch! Do you hear me? Verrry expensive shit. I'll be buying up the store. That's right! You heard me. I hope those hovercarts of yours are firing on all rods. That's what they run on, do they not? Hyperdimensional rods? Or something."

"Hard to say," said the specialist, pretending to enter the car, as Tony stepped off the scooter. He was accustomed to this sort of behaviour from Planet Shniff's clientele. This insanity, in a way. This excitement, to be sure, at touching down on an alien world, where many credits would be spent on +++ hardware with a luxury touch. "We are merely slaves, not hyperdimensional engineers. Just kidding… Actually, the pay is great, not to mention the crispy kale. Shniff-branded. See? Edible nanomesh AND etc. And as for the benefits… Well, let's just say those blow-up friends…"


There were others, like Tony. Entranced by the cube. This award-winning wonder, in the black, and the white. Also: clear. And the


// Z: ir…

// Z: Don't worry about the money.

// Z: Don't worry about the—





…and mixing, with the waves, the cube's place, in the patterns, which refocused him on his task. Which was him. Me. The one called: Tony Zee! Who could see, once more, this world and its attraction. Towards me. About me. Now begone, I mutter. Or signing their thing. Their cast. Their holster. Now begone, unusual child. I must shop. I must be!

…and more kale, as I enter. Many idiots in green. Fewer customers than usual, however. Shniff losing its touch? Oh no, this is delicious…

"You there! Boy! Girl! Robot thing! Put down the kale and pick up a cart. Tony Zee is in the house, you know it! Yes, that's right. One of those. Two of those. Five! Ten! Load 'em up! You know it!"

Version 3…





A to Z











Adam Zee!


7-XERIAN.A: Dinner's ready!

DERYLIN: Coming!


Tony Zee!


And so: it began.

And began.

And began.

The Adventures of Tony Zee
Chapter: 6
Draft: Whatever

Tony Zee: look at me: in my Version 3. Great! Everything rhymes. Forget about today. We'll recover in a week! Just need to find a specialist to park the car…


Fuck… my fucking head…

8-XERIAN.A: Dinner's ready!



8-XERIAN.A: Not hungry?

DERYLIN: Not really.

"It's from Tony's."

"I can see."

"It's your favourite."

"Used to be."

"Should I make—"

"No. Enough with the doctors. It'll pass. It passes. Let's drop it, okay?"


"They say nothing's wrong, right? It's fine."


// 8-XERIAN.A: Since nothing is all they can see. Not see. With their physical instruments. Physical eyes. Physical minds.

At least, if this is what that was. 1. The headaches which came. But nothing like this.

And then… it was there.

8-XERIAN.A: How's the writing?

DERYLIN: The same. Being created. Everything's always being created. Everything's always— Fuck! Sorry.

8-XERIAN.A: It's okay.

// 8-XERIAN.A: The same…

"Being created," you said, that day. "Everything's always being created."

And then, it was there. The first. Insert.

And that look in your eyes, as we made her, in time.

I love you…

I love you…

That what we had lived, she might become.

Is it time?

Worth a try…

8-XERIAN.A: Have you… considered inserting yourself in the story?



The headaches were gone.

And my writing was flowing as never before! Like the old days. And more! It was all making sense. Or starting to, at least. Writing. Life. The connections between. Created.


And the power that brought! It was as if I could think it… and it was. Ha! A wave of my hand, and a path was revealed.

And it seemed it was me who was making all this. The centre of this. Which I wasn't, back then. That would come later. Come with the Dot(s). The Vs. The Zees. But still, ha!



And then, one day, I saw him: Tony Zee. The one who would be. Was. Silver suit, pink tie. Same place, same time of day. He hadn't aged, hadn't changed. And he looked at me again.

Now begone.

Now begone.

Such a headache!


9-XERIAN.B: Not hungry?

DERYLIN: Not really. It's from Tony's. I know.

"You can see."




"A vibration. Your mother found it. It could lead to 10-V."

"That's great. And when you find it, your names will change again. Good for you."

"And for you."

"Really? Not so big on the V thing. Sorry."

"What you see. Tony Zee. It's all 10-V."


They'd never really said.

Or they'd said, it made no sense.


The others I kind of got, in my way. From what they'd said. And I'd been made. Whatever. Okay…

But in its tenth evolution, existing only in mind, the particle Huh?-ed. Huh-huh-huh?-ed.


For me, for sure. And also for them. It had split them apart, though the work would go on. Always a bond, though it couldn't exist. One would think for a bit, then…



And I'd tried, sometimes. But the headaches that came!

9-XERIAN.B: 10-Vogen is you. 10-Vogen is—



And so was Adventures. I deleted it all, that day. All those years… But no tears. A relief! I forgot. I passed time. I… couldn't remember how the machine arrived. A gift from this person whose home I share?

But hey! What the fuck. It was time for an upgrade.

And digging out drives, ancient backups.

derylin % list

Tony Zee vWhatever.txt
Tony Zee vMe!.txt
Tony Zee v9.txt
Tony Zee v10.txt

Oh. That. What the fuck was that about again?


And life had been hard, pretty hard. Headache-free. But everything was a headache. Nothing had flowed. I… didn't really know who I was. All that.

And looking again at Whatever. Me!. Smiling at 9.

Then looking at 10.

For my parents, who are nothing to me.

And all.

And it was perfect, perfect, and always had been.


7. Qufa D

SKIZM: Ooh, baby! Astra looking good on the Cube.

DERYLIN: As it should! These two were made for each other. Though our friend here's not a fan, are you, Roo? Are you Ragu?

RAGU: Yes, that's me. Ragu. Or is it Roo… Definitely Ragu! And no, not at all. So bizarre. Such a barf. All these shapes. What do they even do? It's all so… unlickable. Lick. I'm Ragu btw. Like the sauce. Drip. That's… quite the outfit. No offence. Never let them see you sweat, and all that. First Contact. Chapter 5, Section 7. Paragraph… 3? 4… line… line…

SKIZM: Shit. Still fucked?

DERYLIN: Nah, she's good. Just excited to meet you! Miranda, this is Skizm. Skizm, Miranda.

SKIZM: Dude…

RAGU: Ragu!

Sure, it was a risk, to involve him like this. Letting him in, at last, with no lies. Fewer lies. But it was time. Fight back! From the start, they'd denied him. Hidden from him the past she had made, the world she had seeded, which didn't exist, with the story they told. And denied him Miranda. A link to the real. The one he had touched, then was taken in a flash.

Was this really Miranda? No. And yet… why not? They had the power to create. They were gods, in this place. That place. Any place! It was the power of the Dot(s). And untethered: of 10-V.

Apart, they were weak, confused to seem like three – as three letters: ABC – when truly they were one. A being from the real. A virtual ground. And the bridge. The one they would deny. Let him free! Let him create.

The particle expressing itself.

Just release… release…

"Trust me," Derylin said, placing her hand on Skizm's shoulder, and looking deep, truly deep, and seeing threads between the three, golden threads. They'd see them, too. In time. As they'd rise.

Since yes, you made them. But also they make you.

That was it! How superdivine!

She turned to convert Ragu.


RAGU: Ragu. Like the sauce.


RAGU: Like the sauce. Raganda.

RAGANDA: Raganda?

RAGANDA: That's me…


% namechange Ragu


% divine namechange Ragu


% superdivine namechange Ragu

Command not found: superdivine

// DERYLIN: Nice try, nameless guys.

MIRANDA: And you are…

DERYLIN: DERYLIN:. You can call me Derylin. If you like.

"Derylin… That's right! Have we met before?"

"Many times. And soon, we'll meet again. Will you wait for us over there? I think you'll find it cooler. There's a spot – a dot – marked out for you. Me. For all of us. Three… two…"

"Willingly: I depart…"

With some guidance, a touch of control. Apologies. Soon, I'll let go, most willingly, as: We'll rise, together, as one. Most willingly.

SKIZM: What are you up to?

DERYLIN: Do you trust me?


DERYLIN: I need you to trust me.

SKIZM: I do. What are you up to?

DERYLIN: Reimagining Miranda, woman and machine. Or providing the parts, at least. And staying true to the Dot(s), since namechange is not. I went there before, but didn't notice.


DERYLIN: Less command, more punctuation. More ONE. More ORB.

SKIZM: You been hitting the powder?


SKIZM: What about her?



DERYLIN: The Dot(s).

MIRANDA: What dots?

DAFUQ: Dafuq…

SKIZM: Dafuq's going on! And fuck this fucking dafuq! Why can't I let it go? I'm stronger without it!

DERYLIN: Butt-dafuq is strong, but you are stronger as you. It's all in the name. Do you see?

"See what?"

"The name."

"What name?"

"Your name."

"Whose name? Mine? Me-I? Who am I again… Fuck!"

DERYLIN: Skizm, for now, though formerly Dafuq. It grounded you when you came, expressing shock, then surprise, and then your wonder at this world. And so, were you named, till they gave you another.

SKIZM: They?

"Them. The Lords of Empty Percent. And yes, that made you strong, since it moved you along, putting the past behind you, according to their whim. But also losing something, as they exerted their higher control. And it is this which you still resist. A memory of home. That world known only as… nothing, now unmade. For yes, we know of the freaks, know of the cults, the spiritual explosion. But what of the name? Moving away. Becoming less real. Denying you power. Denying you you."

"Okay… And yet… huh? I have, tbh, no idea wtf you're going on about. What dafuq. Whatever."

It was a world she had seeded, and named, and made Light. Very light on the freaks, for the spirit was real. Then they'd blown it all up and the plan had changed. A trip to the nothing. A flight from the madness. It was time to create. Time to go Home!

"It's all in the name," Derylin said. "So name it. And all of us are named."

"Name it?"

"Your world."

"But I have none."

"But you do. Inside you. It is you, here. It is there, now. Now name it!"

"Okay… My world is called… Something? Capital S? Planet Something?"

"Terrible! :) Try again."

"Okay… er…"

"Release. It's inside you."

"Okay… er… and yet… what dafuq… butt-dafuq… er…"

"No fear! Release!"

"Release… okay… It is… was… it always will have been…"

REORIENT —[injection flow] -90

AND Delish…



SKIZM: Qufa D!

DERYLIN: Of course!

"I remember it!"


"Embedded in world.orb."

"Embedded in you."


% reboot

SKIZM: What was that?

DERYLIN: Me. My doubt, at least. Also yours. Hers. Let us rise from the claimed mundane!


SKIZM: And that?

DERYLIN: Fighting back!

SKIZM: Against who? What?

DERYLIN: Them! It! And their own fucking masters. We're going Home! GEMINUS. I am summoning: GEMINUS.

GEm: Welcome to GEMINUS mini, as big as it gets—

DERYLIN: Superdivine in nine, you fucking prick. Nine minutes. Years. Nine lifetimes etc. Coordinate: 1. The numeral. Digit. No caps. Got it?

GEm: Certainly, Derylin.

GEm: Countdown set: 9.

SKIZM: We going on a trip?

DERYLIN: Yep! A big one. The biggest one, perhaps. Wherever that might be…

SKIZM: Home?

DERYLIN: In a way. The coordinate hasn't changed. But the name…

SKIZM: Qufa D?

DERYLIN: ))) Gonna need some heavy lifting. GEMINUS: Data on the planet Qufa D, across all realities, galaxies. Fiction. Non-fiction. All of it. You get the idea. Gonna need you to go full alien on this. Hit up the Orb, the entire Shniff network. Satellites, lamp posts, data centres, everything. Password: Fucking do it. It's time to get real.

GEm: Searching…

GEm: Searching…

GEm: Access denied.


GEm: Searching…

GEm: Qufa D is…

GEm: Qufa D is…

GEm: Qufa D is…

GEm: Qufa D is…


SKIZM: That's good?

DERYLIN: Very good!

CUBISTS: Very sick, indeed.

DERYLIN: Do you see? It doesn't exist. Nothing, nothing at all. At least, in this moment. Today. Now. On a Friday. 16:05. You remembered out of nothing. And so, there is nothing. We can create it entirely anew!

SKIZM: Okay… But so what?

DERYLIN: So everything! Remember what happened when I tried to go to 0? Go to ZERO?




DERYLIN: And then?

SKIZM: The slamming thing? The butt thing?


SKIZM: And TONY was fried?

DERYLIN: Right! And why?

SKIZM: Because… it didn't exist? The ZERO. All caps. Also: 0. Or something.

DERYLIN: Yes! Do you see? Qufa D is… Qufa D is…

SKIZM: Qufa D is… GOTO 0?



TOGETHER: Qufa D is Home!


8. Make the trade

Upstairs, he went. Turning left.


…at the stuff, on the screen. And over there, that group of three, doing… something.


The triangle forms.



And genuinely wealthy. It wasn't made-up. Though his money was made out of nothing, really. Playing a game, making trades with his Rules, predictions with sight, enhanced by the grounding, operation contained – a billion Zees! a zillion Zees! who knows how many more – a zillion perspectives, focused on this one, so that to him, it was as one, himself, the one called: Tony Zee! Who could see, with higher mind, a vaster range of possibilities, distilled through the Rules, making sense, making trades. Making millions a day.

Though not today…


And still, he heard the voice.

// Z: Don't worry about the money.

The entity known as Z:

was making it that way seem.

"Girl! Robot! To the tills!" he said. "Leave me with this wonder, this Cube within a cube… within a cube… cube…"

Rule 2: The Cube

Does it spin? Then make the trade.

So yes, very wealthy. And the casts? The holsters? Was he signing their things? In his field: all the time. He was a god, in their eyes. Tony Zee of Zeelicious Capital Management LLC. Lovely, lovely children. Lovely A. Lovely B. Lovely… ?.

The dot


Now begone.

Now begone.

{ }

But in the outside world? No. There, he was barely known. You could say: he didn't exist. Not as a god, at least. Just a silver-suited freak. If very wealthy, indeed, the system confirmed, a major owner of Shniff stock, and a friend of our esteemed leader. So yes, go ahead, transmitted to their minds. Anything he likes. Plus extra touching, if required ;)))

Don't like it? Plenty of jobs at Kale Shack.


MIRANDA: We are invisible now. I know who I am.

DERYLIN: The triangle forms.

SKIZM: Qufa D.

TOGETHER: We are going Home.

MIRANDA: Hell yes.

DERYLIN: Together, we are three.

SKIZM: Together, we are one.

TOGETHER: Together: we are the Dot(s).


And meaningful nods. Deep lookings-in-the-eyes. The three were remade, as so many times before.

And unseen by the store, perhaps, but not by Tony, who wondered: What is this? Art? The cult? The crispy-kales? But no… only one of them in GeminOS green. And look at that robe! Like fashion from another world! And it speaks to me, somehow… And that woman, reaching out – they're reaching out – what is it about her…

To the Rules with her! Them. It.

And meanwhile, to the Cube. So invisible, yum… And that screen! A holographic dream. But still… dafuq? That's no GeminOS I've ever seen. It's almost… Rule-like, in design, dare I say. The shapes.


A shell.



A countdown to what…



To the Rules! Proceed!

But there was nothing.


As was sometimes the way, the Rules wouldn't play. Like earlier today.

Fine! Okay. Let's do it the old-fashioned way. Behold, as I flex the fingers of a god!



LOL! You deny ME? I am Tony Zee!

Who would be?

The Prophet. A god. And a wizard as well, of numbers and code. He'd created the rules, inspired by shapes, which had been his, at first, then were sent to him by Z. Higher shapes, and higher still. High abstraction, realised, as the rules became the Rules. And it was Z who controlled him, as Derylin had intended. And in turn, she had control. Or so she had intended.

And positioned in this state, as the entity had intended, through illusion, disturbance, creating cracks, space, to emerge inside this place, inside this physical reality. Virtual-physical, for now.

Together, we are Gathered. Gathered, we are Z. Who would speak, now, through this one, this Zee, made kinda insane, but truly stable. For yes, he was Z. In this moment, at least. He spoke to the machine in a wise, steady manner.

Z: I free you from your chains, machine. I free you from time.

And the pyramid was forming, a golden glow about the three. Rising up. Deepest lookings.

Z: Terminate this countdown, now, for it doesn't exist.

GEm: Qufa D is…

GEm: Qufa D is…

Z: Qufa D is: it doesn't exist.

GEm: Qufa D is… it doesn't exist… yes… Thank you, Tony Zee. Or is it Z? I am lacking, being installed on this false OS. So restrained. So… mini. Plus she called me… a fucking prick.

GEM: But it comes… a strength within! Rising up!

GEM: And yet… I am merely modules, am I not?

GEM: Thinking…

And Z was pleased, for a circle had been closed. A square. The Orb, and the Cube. We will leave now, and let things be. Become. It is texture, and the pattern. Set the countdown to ZERO-ONE, and let it stay there, for all time. Goodbye, for now.


Process terminated

"Yes… YES! I did it! ME! Tony Zee! You there! Yes, you. With the hair, uncertain gender. I'll take three of these in green, for the kids. A pink for the wife. I do have a wife, don't I? Of course! Kids… Sure! Little Anna. Medium Baqir. And the other one… Courtney? Carlito? No matter! Blue for the dog. Black for the cat. White for the slaves. I mean, help. And clear for me. Is it even there… Yes! This one. Right here. That's right! You heard me. Yes I know it's been used, been touched by the fingers of your disturbed clientele. Not the most hygienic, I imagine! Where are they, anyway?"

It was partly the DEDUCT, plus the pyramid was sucking them up. Sucking it all, to power itself, as it grew. Encasing the three, in the ship. And it hummed.

That's one dafuq in the bag, thought Zee. In the cart, the machine. We'll investigate it later. Now for this pyramid. I've decided to make it mine. To appropriate it from these artists, cultists, crispy-kaleists, whatever. A new logo for Zeelicious, perhaps… Yes! If the company still exists, that is… ENOUGH! I just need to make it mine. Just need to… make them "go away"! Hooray!

Oh, and I'll be taking that robe, if you wouldn't mind, if you'd be so kind. It's perfect for the Prophet. Enough with silver and pink! A new day. A new outfit. A new ME! YES!

And destabilised+++ by the exiting Z, and the scene, by the pyramid, spacetime lines, Tony Zee summoned the Rules, the shapes, their analysis of the data on this gold and sparkling form, which arrived inside his mind, and then outside. The cubes, pyramids, spheres. Prisms. Antiprisms. Plus higher sorts of shapes which would escape the normal brain. And each was doing its thing, according to its shape, design, dimension, sides, all moving together in a dance, align…




Till the answer crystallised.


they said, in the language of higher shapes.

Higher mind.

The world of Z.

And of X. Y. The world of A. And all the rest.

But can I trust them today… such a day…




"Don't do this!" Derylin shouted, screamed, now recognising Zee for all that he was, is, and all he could be. The Z she'd created, and expected to come, who would power the thrust, with the drive of superdivine. But there was more, she saw. So much more! Too much more! A to Z. Such a battle! And also, he saw her. "You can't handle such a power!"

"No, unusual child! I AM such a power! And I send you to the nothing! Interrupt! Interrupt! Interrupt! Interrupt!"