Slave Pianos, SLAVE PIANOS: A diagnosis, 1998–2001, Text
SLAVE PIANOS A Diagnosis, 1998–2001, is an ambitious collection of audio recordings with an accompanying reader.
The impetus to publish these documents in hand arose during a meeting in Los Angeles in February 2000. Pursued for more than a year over three continents, the result is this boxed set edition.
The collection contains an audio triumvirate on vinyl, CD and cassette. This diversity of formats echos the breadth of Slave Pianos concerns. Piano, string quartet and brass band are represented here as three major spheres of activity. They are complimented by recordings of other instrumentations, including jazz ensembles, DJ’s and solo violin. These live and studio recordings represent extracts from most major Slave Pianos presentations current up to a year ago. The recent chamber opera performances will be the subject of a planned second volume to this edition.
The reader provides a specific context for the audio material by introducing the piano as it’s central motif. A trio of writers pay tribute to this most civilizing of instruments with texts that range from the musicological to the fantastical.
Plakarte (English translations)
NOTHING OF GREAT INTEREST HAS BEEN COMPOSED AFTER MONTEVERDI. (George Maciunas)
AMERICANS ARE MOSTLY ANARCHISTS BUT I AM NOT. (George Maciunas)
FLUXUS SHOULD TEND TOWARDS ANTI-EUROPEANISM. (George Maciunas)
PLEASE STOP PERFORMING MY PIECES. (George Maciunas)
I AM NOT AT ALL INTERESTED IN PROMOTING MYSELF. (George Maciunas)
COMMUNISTS MUST GIVE REVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP IN CULTURE. (George Maciunas)
PURGE THE WORLD OF EUROPEANISM. (George Maciunas)
PROMOTE A REVOLUTIONARY FLOOD AND TIDE IN ART. (George Maciunas)
I DON’T BURN YOUR LETTERS, FIRST I MEMORIZE, THEN I BURN. (George Maciunas)
ONE EYE IS GOOD ENOUGH. (George Maciunas)
I ALWAYS CHARGE DOUBLE TO ARTISTS, THAT’S WHAT ARTISTS DESERVE. (George Maciunas)
THAT THIEF! WARHOL ALREADY STOLE EVERY ONE OF MY IDEAS. (George Maciunas)
I’M GOING TO NAIL DOWN THE PIANO KEYS TONIGHT. (George Maciunas)
MAYBE WE WERE MISTAKEN AND WERE JUST CHARLATANS. (George Maciunas)
IT’S NO WORSE THAN BEING BORN. (George Maciunas)
THE PAIN KILLS THE PAIN. (George Maciunas)
GEORGE HAS NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE. (Henrikas Sablevicius)
LITHUANIA IS WATCHING THE STRANGENESS OF THE WORLD AND ATTEMPTING NOT TO ADD TO IT. (Vytautas Landsbergis)
TODAY YOU PLAY JAZZ, TOMORROW YOU WILL BETRAY YOUR COUNTRY
FLUXUS WAS…A KGB TRICK (Almus Salcius)
GEORGE WILL HAVE THE PROGRAM ALL MAPPED FOR US (Emmett Williams)
LETS TELL THE PRESS WE DID EVERYTHING (Ben Vautier)
LETS TELL THE PRESS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM (Ben Vautier)
I THINK THAT WHAT GEORGE MACIUNAS WAS DOING WAS CLEARLY ART (John Cage)
EVEN MUSIC COULDN’T REACH HIM (Billie Hutching Maciunas)
MY SON DESTROYED A PIANO WITH A HAMMER AND AXES (Leokadija Maciunas)
AT THAT TIME HE SEEMED POSSESSED BY A DARK POWER (Leokadija Maciunas)
AND SUDDENLY IT WAS AS IF HE WEREN’T HIMSELF (Leokadija Maciunas)
EVEN IN THE ELEVENTH HOUR GEORGE LET HIS PLANS EXCEED THE POSSIBILITIES (Leokadija Maciunas)
SO MANY FAILURES, SO MUCH SUFFERING (Leokadija Maciunas)
FORGIVE ME MY MISTAKES IN THE LITHUANIAN LANGUAGE (George Maciunas)
SPATIAL POEM # 5. (Vytautas Landsbergis)
IN MEMORIAM ADREANO OLIVETTI (George Maciunas)
I NEVER USE DIACRITICS (George Maciunas)
I HAVE NO CONTACT WITH LITHUANIAN IMMIGRANTS (George Maciunas)
FOR DODECAPHONY IS DECADENT AND PAST ITS TIME (George Maciunas)
IT WOULD BE BEST TO GO TO THE SOVIET UNION VIA SIBERIA (George Maciunas)
I’M GOING TO DIE (George Maciunas)
The Lepidopters: Mandible One: Mind of the Moths
FIRST MANDIBLE: “MIND OF THE MOTHS”
Image shows Indonesian island and weird hive like cloud formations arranged regularly in the skies around.
Page is divided with top two thirds showing:
MANDIBLE 1: “THE TEMPLE”
A military/science ship is anchored far ashore near sunset. It’s American, called Jack B. Quick, but it’s a stealth ship. Two men stand on the boat gunwale, looking out over a weird scene. One is a military officer, the other a strong-bodied civilian. There’s a full duffel bag beside him on the deck.
Over the choppy seas enormous hive-shaped (cone shapes) occupy great swaths of sky. Are they clouds? There is something oddly regular and peculiar about them.
Text says: INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO, DECEMBER 2013, ONE YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD.
Bottom third has two panels.
Left: The Officer, close up, looking out over the sea, is saying: THEY HAVEN’T BUDGED FOR THREE DAYS.
Right: The Civilian (Michael Moran) is saying: ARE YOU TELLING ME PEOPLE STILL THINK IT’S REALLY A CLOUD FORMATION?
This page is divided into two parts. The top part has one row of three panels.
Top left: Officer saying: THEY’LL THINK WHAT WE WANT THEM TO THINK, MR. MORAN.
Top center: Moran: ALL OF THEM?
Top right: Officer: THE GOVERNMENT’S CLAMPED DOWN. TOTAL SILENCE HAS BEEN MAINTAINED WITH REGARD TO THE PHENOMENON. THE POPULATION IS BUSY WITH PROBLEMS OF ITS OWN.
Second part of page is two larger pictures.
Left: Djakarta newspaper shows front page article. ROCK IS DEAD. PUNKZILLA TO PLAY OUTDOOR FEST. Picture shows Guerilla style punk band holding guns not instruments. Side column left states: CURFEW RE-INSTALLED COASTAL ACCESS LIMITED. Text begins: DUE TO UNUSUAL TYPHOON WARNINGS, CURFEW …. Other headline: AIRPORTS CLOSED INDEFINITELY.
Right: A TV set shows a newsman with the image of a Moth behind him. The text on the screen says: RETURN OF THE MOTHS?
The page is divided into 3 rows of two panels each.
The conversation continues in speech-bubbles left and right, as we see.
Top left: Moran climbing down a rope ladder into a black launch. The sun has set and the sky is deep red, the “clouds” lit peculiarly.
Moran: AND WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Officer: EVERY DRONE WE’VE SENT HAS FAILED. ALL COMPUTER EQUIPMENT THAT COMES NEAR IT REPORTS IT AS IF IT ISN’T THERE. NO INFORMATION PENETRATES IT. ONLY RADIO GETS THROUGH.
Top right: Moran and officer on the deck of a launch as it heads away from the Jack B. Quick.
Officer: YOU’RE GOING TO DEPLOY THE ORDNANCE . WASHINGTON WON’T RISK A PLANE. THERE’S A FLEET ON THE WAY, BUT THEY’RE HELD UP BY THE TYPHOON.
Moran: WHERE DO YOU WANT IT?
Center Left. Moran being rowed ashore by a black-clad sailor. It’s now basically night. The night is starry, and the foliage of the coast dark and forbidding. A dock is in the distance.
Officer: AS I’VE SAID WE KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EXCEPT THEY CAN BE SEEN. THAT’S NOT QUITE TRUE. THE FACT IS THEY ARE ALIGNED OVER THE SURFACE IN SOME SORT OF PATTERN.
Moran: WHAT PATTERN?
Center right. Moran met at the docks by Indonesian soldier.
Bottom left. Moran walking up a sandy, if dingy local lane behind the officer, coming over a rise. He’s a black silhouette with his duffel bag.
Officer: YOU CAN’T SEE IT WITH THE ORDINARY EYE.
Bottom right: Moran has stopped to take in the view (we can’t see it).
Officer: BUT ACCORDING TO THE COMPUTER …
Officer: IT’S ARRANGED AROUND A VERY PARTICULAR CENTER …
Full-page image showing a dingy two-story degraded modernist motel with one or two lights on, in a post-capitalist wasteland sort of area however with nice seaside view.
From Moran’s perspective, the cloud formations appear now surrounding the place. Insects are everywhere among the rich foliage. Moths in particular flying by. Musical notes tinkle out the window. Sign says UNIK MOTEL. Two rental cars and a motorcycle in the driveway. Chainlink fence is visible.
Super-imposed on this is a map of the region showing circles ringing around the island in such a way that a weird complicated spiral is originating from out of the Unik motel.
Officer speech bubble: THE UNIK MOTEL. ROOM 11A.
This page is divided in half. Top contains two large panels.
Top left: A pretty young Indonesian girl in a short plain dress, bare legs and sneakers walks along a road out of a city. It’s dusk and curfew is coming so vagrants, cops, citizens, and local types and punks are heading indoors. We see an old bookshop. Posters on the wall announce punk shows and protest. Odd insects are visible.
Top right: She’s a bit outside the city now; the road is going to nature. Night has fallen. There are stars in the sky, large black cone shapes are visible in the darkness. She is holding a smart phone gleaming before her.
Computer chat text at bottom of the frame: MISTRX: ARE YOU TELLING ME NOTHING HAS CHANGED?
The bottom half of the page is divided into two rows of three smaller panels.
Row 1 Left: We see her from the side from the distance in silhouette. A large moth is right up near us, as if we’re seeing what it sees. She’s walking all alone and the road is now full-on country. She’s typing on the illuminated smart phone.
Center: Close-up on her face. She’s the perfection of worried innocence.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: NOTHING’S CHANGED. IM ON THE BUS. :)
Right: She comes over the rise in the road and we see there are road blocks set up with signs saying: NO COASTAL ACCESS. STAY INLAND. COASTAL ACCESS PROHIBITED. OBEY CURFEW. A bored cop leers at her.
Chat text: MISTRX: WHERE ARE YOU GOING TONIGHT?
Row 2 Left: In the darkness beneath some palm trees, by the guard’s car, we see her kneeling and apparently fellating him from the distance.
Chat text: MISTRX: YOU THERE, LITTLE ONE?
Center: She sneaks over a fence and goes down a road. Sign says: MOTEL — OCEAN VIEWS. We see the stars again, and the gaps in them.
Right: She comes to the last rise. We see her back silhouetted before the stars and sea. In the distance the lights of distant ships. A few helicopters.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: :) YEAH. I’M THERE.
Full page image of the motel below Cheryl. Over a bluff looking at the sea, the opposite direction from Moran’s approach. The cones in the sky seem to have gathered around. Musical notes emit from the door. There are thousands of odd insect species in Indonesia. It seems a good selection of them has swarmed also encircling the motel, leaving clear space around it. Moths are prevalent.
Chat text: (perhaps we see the phone itself in foreground and her finger) CHRYLSWEET: TEMPLE. :)
The top section of this page has two large panels.
Left: Inside the motel. Not so dingy at all inside. It looks almost temple-like, in a pagan tropical sort of way. Moran, duffle bag on his shoulder takes key from the young pimply man behind the desk. A TV is on behind him showing the musical show by the water. It seems like mayhem.
Youth says: IT’S ON THE BOTTOM. CORNER ROOM.But Moran’s looking to his left.
Right: Moran looks and sees a young, not so pretty, obvious prostitute, sitting sassily, leg crossed by another TV.
She says: ANYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TONIGHT MISTER?
Bottom section of page has three panels.
Left: Moran entering room 11A in darkness. Only insect visible is one very odd looking moth on the door.
Center: Moran inside. One big double bed in standard looking motel room. The bathroom is a large room. The windows by the door are curtained. The duffle bag is open. There’s a walkie-talkie in his hand, saying:
OPERATION IS A GO. I REPEAT A GO. STAY TILL MIDNIGHT. IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD FROM US BY THEN. GET OUT. MOVE FAST. WE’RE LIFTING ANCHOR AT 01:00.
Right: Moran has unpacked ordnance and set it up in the closet. We see an atomic symbol. And a timer set for 03:59:59
Moran is holding walkie-talkie. Saying. ALL SYSTEMS GO. MORAN OUT.
Top half of page is one large frame.
Cheryl is entering the Unik Motel. The doorway’s open. The insects have left the area surrounding the place free of interference. But they are everywhere around
Chat text: MISTRX: AND DID YOU VISIT YOUR GODS TODAY, LITTLE ONE?
Second half of page is two rows of two panels.
Row 1: Left: Cheryl walks by desk, looking at phone. Kid says: SHIT. I KNEW YOU’D COME.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: YEAH.
Right: Cheryl walks by a piano we haven’t seen which is playing on remote, apparently, from where the notes are coming. Kid says from behind: NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE CURFEW?
Chat text: MISTRX: WHAT DID THE GODS SAY, LITTLE ONE?
Row 2: Left: Cheryl smiles wide, looking up from phone, seeing someone.
Right: She and the prostitute hug, prostitute whispering in her ear: HOT GUY IN 11A TONIGHT. AMERICAN. YOUR TYPE.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: THE GODS WERE DIFFERENT. THEY WERE ANGRY. :( THEY SAID I HAVEN’T GONE ENOUGH TO TEMPLE.
Full spread showing one large image of Cheryl on her knees, in dress with flowers in her hair before an altar in her parent’s house, with three strange statues of almost Lovecraftian nature, apparently insect gods of some sort. There is incense burning and candles, and religious paraphernalia in a bamboo lined tropical sort of home.
Over this image are scattered snap-shot images from Cheryl’s life. Some show her with two older remote parents. She seems the innocent perfect beauty. One with some sort of graduation hat. Others show her serving strangers sexually in motel rooms. Group sex. Old single married men. Also nice pictures of her and johns being together lovingly. Military and strangers. In one or two others the prostitute from the Unik Motel is visible. The gods’ eyes look angry.
This page has three rows of three panels.
Top left: Cheryl goes outside, walking along the lower level of the motel, past rooms 2 and 3. The moths and insects watch from beyond their radius, thick into the night sky. She’s looking at her phone, typing. A speech bubble comes from behind: HEY. YOU’RE ONLINE? THERE’S SUPPOSED TO BE NO SERVICE.
Top center: Cheryl stops, looking back.
Chat text: CHERYLSWEET: THEY’RE ASKING HOW COME I’M ONLINE.
Top right: A peculiar large Moth (only insect inside the radius of hotel) is up front of the frame. We see from its point of view as she looks back to the open motel reception door, with Prostitute leaning out.
Chat text: MISTRX: :)
Center left: Same image. Cheryl saying: MY FRIEND’S A HACKER.
Center center: Prostitute looking out, says: WHAT’S WITH ALL THE BUGS TONIGHT?
Center right: Weird close-up of Cheryl. She smiles. THEY’RE JUST WATCHING I GUESS.
Bottom left: Moran’s POV. He’s sitting on the bed. Walkie-talkie in hand. Looking at television. Television is showing riotous Punkzilla concert. Banner words say: CURFEW IGNORED BY CONCERT-GOERS.
Chat text continues: MISTRX: I’M EXCITED. A SPECIAL DAY. WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Bottom center: Moran’s face, grim, lost in thought. A thought bubble is saying. I’M AFRAID YOU CAN’T LIVE WITH US ANY MORE MIKE …
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: ONE GUY. AMERICAN. :)
MISTRX: LET ME GUESS. 11A.
Bottom right: Moran’s flashback. A boy is at a payphone on a dirty American corner. The phone is saying: BUT YOUR UNCLE GOT YOU INTO THAT HOME FOR TROUBLED BOYS.
A sound emits over the image. RRRRIIINNNG
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: YEAH.
Top half of page is two rectangular panels.
Top left: Moran rising from bed, cocking his pistol, looking at the door.
Top right: Moran up against the door, peering through peephole of door.
Bottom half of page is a round view of Cheryl through the peephole but there’s a weird moth between them and in the perspective it seems like she has the head of a Moth.
Top half of page is three long thin panels.
Left: A sweating freaked-out Moran, back against the door, gun out.
Center: Close-up of his hand on his gun.
Right: Close-up of Cheryl’s hand on the door-bell.
Second half of page is also three long thin panels.
Left: Moran close-up, sweat-drops on face.
Middle: Flashback. A 21 yr old Moran is getting hauled away by cops. One’s saying: SORRY PRIVATE MORAN, IT’S A RESTRAINING ORDER.
A moth-headed woman is screaming: I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE!
Right: Closer up on Moran’s face of raw fear.
The top half of page round peephole view, as before, but now showing moth moved away, large in the foreground. It has eye-like rings on its wings. Cheryl glows in the center in her most radiant innocent beauty. She smiles, waves a little, phone behind her back.
The bottom half of the page has three panels.
Left: Moran’s hand on door knob, gun stuck in the back of his trousers.
Center: Door open, his silhouette before it.
Right: Eye-Moth flies in over his shoulder.
Top third of page has three square panels.
Top left: TV showing riots at the Concert. Band is wearing gasmasks and looks moth-like. Scrolling text reads: ROCK N ROLL BAND FIRES ON POLICE …
Chat text: MISTRX: YOU’RE INSIDE … :)
Top center: TV showing picture of satellite in space. Scrolling text on TV says: SPACE JUNK OR SABOTAGE?…
Chat text below: MISTRX: ARE YOU THERE, LITTLE ONE?
Top right: TV shows huge numbers of insects on island streets.
Scrolling text says: THE SUPER-MOTH?
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: I’M IN THE BATHROOM. HE TOLD ME TO CLEAN MYSELF FIRST. :)
Bottom two thirds of page is taken up by two rows of two panels.
Top left: Close-up of Cheryl’s face before the oval bathroom mirror.
She’s applying lipstick. A moth face looks back but she doesn’t seem to notice.
Chat text: MISTRX: YOU EXCITED?
Top right: Moran with curtains open, looks out. Walkie-talkie in hand.
Chat text: MISTRX: GO TO HIM NOW, MY OWN ONE.
Bottom left: Moran’s face reflected against the moth-thick window. He can’t see past all the bugs.
Bottom left: We see Cheryl walking into the main room from behind. She’s naked, but still texting. The Eye Moth also flies behind her.
Chat text: CHRYLSWEET: OK.
Bottom right. Cheryl’s POV. Moran sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting. Walkie-talkie is laying beside him. Moran is suspicious, saying: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?
Two rows of two panels take up top half.
Top left: Moran’s POV. Cheryl naked, phone down. She says: CHATTING WITH A FRIEND.
Top right: Moran stands up, reaching out. Moran says: GIVE ME THAT!
Bottom left: Moran has the phone, looks at it. Behind him the Moth is visible landing on the walkie-talkie.
Two rows of two panels take up bottom half of page also.
Top left: Close-up of Cheryl’s phone, showing chat software.
Screen says. MISTRX: GREETINGS MICHAEL MORAN.
Top right: Moran sitting on the bed, sweating, eyes wide looking at phone.
Bottom left: A moth-headed Cheryl kneels before Moran.
Chat text: MISTRX: WE ARE THE LEPIDOPTERS.
Bottom right: Close-up of a transfixed Moran.
Chat text: MISTRX: WE HAVE RETURNED.
Top Half has two square panels.
Top left: Deep night. From the Bridge of the Jack B. Quick the Officer looks through Binoculars. A radio is saying: DOWNTOWN YOGYAKARTA IS IN THE HANDS OF PROTESTORS …
Top right: On the bow a sailor pulls up anchor. In the sky the cloud formations seem to glimmer with the stars. Officer is saying: MORAN. IT’S ON. GET OUT OF THERE …
Bottom half one large picture
The Jack B. Quick**peels out a wake as it leaves the area. In the high night sky the huge hive-like cloud formations twinkle in the sky.
Officer’s words continue: WE’LL WAIT AN HOUR. THEN WE’LL HAVE TO LEAVE.
Top third as two panels.
Top Left: Panel showing the exquisite sexual life of the Male Moth.
Chat text: MISTRX: RELAX, MICHAEL MORAN. ENJOY THE MIND OF THE MOTHS.
Top Right: The TV shows an entomology professor among a New Guinea Tribe. Scrolling text saying: THEIR PUPAE HAVE YET TO BE DISCOVERED …
Bottom two-thirds shows the entire Unik Motel from outside. Insects have thickened all around it so it looks like an ancient moth-made temple. Moths have gathered all around. Its lights are all gleaming. Music tinkles out the door. Room 11A is brightly illuminated.
Chat text unwinds: WITH YOU WE SHALL SOW OUR QUEEN!
NEXT UP: MANDIBLE 2!
“LARVAE OF THE ATOM BOMB!”
The Lepidopters: Mandible Two: Larvae of the Atom Bomb
SECOND MANDIBLE: “LARVAE OF THE ATOM BOMB”
Night-time. Image shows hijacked news helicopter rising over Yogyakarta, packed with freedom fighters. Weird hive-like cloud formations still visible in the night sky. Buildings burning etc. in the distance with apocalyptic feel.
SECOND MANDIBLE: “LARVAE OF THE ATOM BOMB”
Top half of page has one big image.
Night-time. Image shows a brightly lit warehouse out by the coast of the island. Radio tower, helicopter on near pad, shows it’s a TV news station working late. Weird hive-like cloud formations still visible in the night sky. Buildings burning etc. in the distance with apocalyptic feel.
Bottom half of page has two panels.
The anthropologist and the natives as seen on TV in Issue 1.
CAPTION: INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO, MIDNIGHT, ONE YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD.
Same scene, but different point of view. Now we see the camera crew. And everybody who was in the picture is not outdoors at all but before a green-screen in a brightly lit warehouse on the island. They are not quite what they seemed before, wearing sneakers etc.
Page is three rows of two panels.
A Journalist holds a microphone. She’s a Western dressed islander, quite a looker, with two husky camera guys supporting her. It’s dark, late at night. She looks angry.
PAM: Just the what the hell is going on here anyway? Who are these guys?
The anthropologist is no more. He was wearing a mask. Instead is a small, dark-skinned tough-faced islander. His name is BOBA and he is loading a small automatic machine gun. He speaks in dialect to his comrades — no longer primitive islanders but now, machine-gunned guerilla fighters.
BOBA (not in English): Pretend we don’t speak English. Now’s the time! Do what I say! Don’t fucking hesitate!
The larger tougher islanders easily manhandle and restrain the camera crew. They have machine guns, knives, rope etc. Babo’s Lieutenant, the tall, strong BOOKMAN complains.
BOOKMAN (not in English): I hope you know what you’re doing, man.
Outside environs are urban. It’s pitch midnight black and the door has been kicked open. BOBA, BOOKMAN and fighters are armed and ready to burst out.
BOBA (not in English): I have no idea whatsoever. But when the opportunity comes, the revolution must take it.
Across we see the news helicopter gleaming on the night lit pad atop the warehouse. It looks free for the taking.
BOBA (off-screen, not in English): Hey Bookman. Ever flown a helicopter?
Same as Page 2. 3 rows of two panels. Left to right:
The Unik Motel as we last saw it packed and covered with moths. Only the Moths seem to be near something like ecstasy.
Flash-back: Close-up of Cheryl as a student. She’s very proper and young looking, wearing glasses. She’s looking at her phone, not paying attention. Off-screen, a speech-bubble says.
PROFESSOR (OFFSCREEN): As to the objection to the term “cargo cult” along the grounds of Houlder, etc. — in effect arguing the perspectival limit as set by the colonialist mind projectors…
Close-up of Cheryl and Moran making love in Room 11.
Close-up on bomb clock. It says 00:01
Close-up on wide-eyed, terrified Moran.
Cheryl as a student, at lecture as in Panel 2. Concerned, she’s looking at her phone. Speech-bubble from off-screen and caption below in phone text.
PROFESSOR (OFFSCREEN): The reason West Papua existed at all, or indeed any of this biosphere, in fact, was that the technological society of the primitive sort that surrounded believed it was a non-functional—
CAPTION: CHRYLSWT: WAIT. IS THIS HAPPENING NOW??
Unfortunately for everything happening now, in the local area at this moment a 10 Megaton Atomic bomb has detonated. This page expresses the blast.
As the news helicopter rises among what appears to be a momentous gathering of New Guinea’s spectacular Lepidoptera, and insects we can see Bookman driving and Boba pressed close beside, others packed in. They and everything else on the page are about ten kilometers away from what we now behold as an exploding blue megasun. Frighteningly the Moths are feeding on this light in interdimensional thickness.
Six Japanese-style drawings of mushroom clouds at their appallingly mushroomlike stages cross the bottom of the page below everything.
CAPTION: misterX: There is no such thing as now.
Two rows of two panels.
Cheryl is now looking toward the dais. She appears to be alone in the lecture hall. There is actually a moth on her shoulder, the same one who has been following her all along. She looks confused/concerned.
PROFESSOR (OFFSCREEN): It’s the only really habitable zone in this system for the finer moths. The sort who understand this sort of conversation anyhow.
This panel shows Moran awakening in surprise within one of the giant hive-ships, totally encased in some sort of pupa paste binding. His hands — his wrist are free.
Moran’s wrist snaps out a mini-secret dagger to slice his bondage with.
Cheryl still looking as student. The Moth is now on her knee.
PROFESSOR (OFFSCREEN): Our Royal Governor passed away some time ago. And the successor, well it’s that creature on your knee, he has well, you might think of it as falling in love but for a moth these things are extreme. More than extreme. Until he manages to penetrate his target, he has abdicated.
CAPTION: cherylswt: is this death???
On this page a sort of moth-logic has begun to take over. In all the next pages background should be black yet everything totally visible. Perhaps some general graphical change.
The moth-colored Unik motel of moths is skeletized negative zap-lit by pure total fusion. Inside we see Cheryl and Moran yin/yanged in sexual position; the lady and guy outside in their positions. the player piano tinkling inverse notes the wrong directions.
Also Cheryl is at the lecture. But it isn’t a professor, it’s a moth-headed artificial being at the dais — its MADRIGAL Third Ring Bright Representative of the Lepidopter Imperial Fleet.
She isn’t alone in the audience. There are a smattering of people and animals about. Some in mid air, slung in pupish bondage of the sort as bound Moran, others free. Numerous moths are flying everywhere. There is a magnificent Moth on her knee, the same one that had been flying about the Motel Room.
There even seems to be some sort of drinking establishment in that weird environment; it has a sign that says the Hive Mind.
Now the speech bubbleis the same as the phone text. The professor at the dais (in fact a moth atop a robotic suited body) is saying with speech bubble
MADRIGAL misterx: this? Death? Not at all. This hasn’t happened. We are still but larvae of the Atom bomb.
Flashback: A pretty young Vietnamese girl in a short plain dress, bare legs and sneakers walks along a road outside of Ho Chi Min City, following retreating U.S. soldiers, carrying a baby. She is calling out.
MOTHER: His daddy Colonel Moran, Special Forces, CIA, Colonel Moran…
11 yr old Moran with glasses sits and watches a television. We see from behind TV so we can’t know what is on the screen.
TV: What do you mean this hasn’t happened?
Moran has cut himself entirely free, dressed as before just stickier with mothgoo. There is something refreshed new about how he looks. He is resolved and holding dagger ready to pounce. From off-screen Madrigal’s voice:
MADRIGAL: I Madrigal, Third Ring Bright Representative of the Lepidopter Imperial Fleet, tell you this. We are the Lepidopters. We come, we come, we come, from—
Young Moran still before the television. We’re behind him now. We see the television screen. On-screen is Madrigal. Someone is talking off-screen.
MADRIGAL: We come from behind the time.
(Madrigal has apparently begun singing for musical notes also come out of TV)
OFFSCREEN: Mikey? He’s worth less than nothing. Literally. Go ahead do what you want to him…
Page has four similarly designed panels.
Madrigal, our Moth headed, robot-bodied, professor holds forth, singing before a listening, but complaining, Cheryl and a chorus of other moths and creatures inside the sticky hive ship.
MADRIGAL (Et. Al.):
Here we are within you
We are here below you
Here we are here above you
We are here before you
CHERYL: Why are you all singing?
In the same relative position it is no longer Madrigal. the old Moth from the Motel, heading a prong sexed insectizoid robot body. Cheryl is now naked. They might be Adam and Eve in a garden of paradise insectizoid and sex-oriented.
The MOTH ORNKIKON grins as it takes in the sight of her in its many-lensed lecherous eyes.
* I have come to pluck you.
**** Whether I must mug you
* bug you, drug you, or plug you with some sticky glue
All: I have come to pluck you.
CHERYL (holding her head confused) Why, why, why are you singing?
Here Madrigal is again lecturing as in panel 4. The moth (Ornikon) is no longer on her knee however. It’s flying and singing as well now.
You are also two.
There was one good daughter
ORNIKON: And one filthy whore.
ALL: You are also two.
Madrigal lectures her more extensively.
As you are two, so we are too
Webegin as larvae, turn to worm,
still to More!
You call it death, we call it molting
And though you’ll find our world revolting
CHERYL: Hey! I haven’t died!
A single illustration. Center a single image of Madrigal saying a long text.
MADRIGAL: My Dear Lady please accept our humblest apologies for your survival in this way. But our servant Ornikon has flown astray. The Earth-Bound Moth will play, or so they say. Yet he remains inflamed. Or so they say.
ALL: Or so they say they say.
Four drawings around this center show:
1. ORNIKON heading a spike-penised Moth machine pursuing a fleeing Cheryl through the hive.
2. MORAN leaping with dagger.
3. The player piano unwinding notes to fly through the page.
4. MORAN tackling Ornikon just in time.
Same general structure. Here MADRIGAL still goes on, but attired now in the many winged finery of the council of the Galaxy.
He brought you here to take you
Ashe is gametic and as governor a male
Iam afraid you must make fetid
Liquids and prepare your tail
Wehave come this far to bring him
Tothis molting now
Before he’d made his vow
Sowe must get it over with so that the fleet can leave.
…The Bomb was just the blast to force us to the past,
just one hard moment back before the blast began.
Moths can make such passages beyond the mind of man.
The three images around the center of this panel show
1. Ornikon easily overcomes Moran.
2. Moran again inside a pupoid straightjacket.
MORAN: Did the bomb go off??
3. Cheryl up against the inner wall of the hive-ship. Ornikon approaching—
CHERYL: What bomb?? Did what bomb go off??
Three rows of two images each. little mushrooms sprouting.
Closeup on CHERYL. Now her ankles and wrists are pinned down by mushrooms But she’s not nude.
CHERYL: Why am I restrained?
Close-up on MADRIGAL.
MADRIGAL: The gametic must make molting when molting must its hetero-gamete make. Come. All things can be made images and then be told again.
CHERYL: I am no hetero-gamete.
ORNIKON backs away. Horrified.
The other gathered Moths, for Moths are watchers, are still gathered all about. Other creatures of the night are visible also, even bats.
MOTHS et. al.: She is not an heterogamete.
Close-up on MORAN perplexed to the utmost degree.
ORNIKON: Do you mean I have raised sperm to pierce one who like myself would fuck a dead bat if its desire told it rat!?
ORNIKON self-castrates phallus
ORNIKON: NEVER!! I AM A EUNUCH NOW!
This page divided into three long images. Side by side. Every where tiny little mushrooms are starting to appear in reality, beginning to bubble into the page.
PANEL 1 (left)
Cheryl, bound, looking toward Moran.
PANEL 2 (center)
MADRIGAL and other moths
MADRIGAL: The Imperial Majesties in the Rings above us would doubtless want me to apologize for all that has happened. My commander the Admiral Qoill insists, regardless.
PANEL 3 (right)
MORAN, also bound, looking toward Cheryl. The moth Ornikon has lighted on his head.
MORAN: Maybe we can go back in time. We can stop the bomb.
Three rows of two panels
MADRIGAL, still atop his robot body, stands between a freed Cheryl and a Moran still bound.
MADRIGAL: The explication of moth logic and this behind world may be too much for you. Yes it is possible to go back, if you were aware at the time and were then so inclined to do such a thing. But really, why does it matter. All this archipelago will be now up for redefinition regardless. In the long years Ornikon’s predecessor left ungoverned the planet has been overrun by pre-molting bipeds. Happily with the backlight of this bomb and taken all the moths aboard and all the other insects who wanted a ride.
MORAN restrained. On his head the Moth Ornikon.
ORNIKON: Good luck. You’ll never accomplish such a thing without a governor.
Back in the motel room now. Cheryl has jumped up nude to open the door.
Freed in the Hive, Cheryl stands up in her student outfit.
CHERYL: How does one become governor?
MADRIGAL: Who would want to do such a thing? The position is hereditary (and he has not made youngsters). I am afraid I must stay. For from here any moth can look backwards upon light on that world a governor must govern the other way round.
ALL: This is why we follow the light.
CHERYL: I would want. I volunteer to be Governor of the Lepidopter’s colony on Earth.
The moths and other bats and insects etc. inside the ships readying to depart earth from Indonesia are all shocked and stunned.
ALL: Why on Earth would she volunteer to rule above other creatures in a state of reality she could not enter or control?
Ornikon is still atop Moran’s forehead.
ORNIKON: As governor I could make others of you from here — move in time to there. Nothing as slow as a man but anything insect size or just a little bigger.
Back to the motel room as it was in Issue 1. Cheryl before bomb has gone off is opening the door to outside. a speech bubble continues Ornikon’s speech. Moran’s walkie talkie has the Old Ornikon flying near it.
ORNIKON: ever would ever build enough speed. And you’d need something that looked like a door to show a threshold…
A bat’s blind-eye view shows us the moth encrusted Unik hotel, now with the door to Room 11 thrust open and light shining through below in red-on-black.
Close-up of Moran’s walkie with ORNIKON the moth about to land on it and turn down the volume.
Bat’s eye-close up of right up near the door, showing red-lined view of interior with target lights around Ornikon.
Interior Room 11. We see Cheryl by the door she has opened. A bat is whizzing into the room
Smack! The bat takes Ornikon in its jaw. The radio is free.
Three panels, one and two small, three big.
The Radio blasting.
RADIO: Abort Mission. Repeat. Abort.
Moran Rising, turning off bomb.
MADRIGAL (off-screen): You do know that the local Lepidoptera and their dependants, a set that includes local humanity itself, will be, as local Ambassador, your responsibility entirely. We don’t want to come back all this way again. Now that so many have come aboard here—
Cheryl turning to look out the door.
PHONE-TEXT: cherylswt: But I will have no powers to help anybody at all.
Moran has turned back to her, he has a gun in his hands. She is sweating.
MORAN: What the fuck is going on?
PHONE-TEXT: misterx: a 10 megaton explosion was absorbed. All that power must be somewhere…..
Full-page image shows Cheryl from outside looking out on the army of lepidopters insects and bats etc. that have gathered outside of the hotel. She is their light. They are all hers to command in that doorway. But she looks young and quite innocent for what might be coming.
The Prostitute is looking out the window.
PROSTITUTE: What next?
TITLES: COMING SOON MANDIBLE 3 / TO GOVERN THE MOTHS….