Chapters



  • Mortal Dissagrement 

...coming next...

  • Edging the map
  • Chilling in the name
  • Dead pigeons radical decisions




The Dog Years




Day 2. Present day, present time

Salsa got all dried up in the radiating sun, Merango was scratching violently.

Two of them were hiking through the toxic wasteland,

at high noon.

"Trash"

Merango cursed into her chin.

"Mothfucking trash. This place man."

She looked up at the razor-sharp black clouds, swirling around the sun.

"Clouds don't even cover the f4kin’ Sun Salsa," she pointed up

"This spot has no logic.”

“Yé”

“Like this is some bitching magic sorcery.”

As she said that, lightning zapped a nearby rabid rat carrying its screaming children.

“Yeez-ush!”

The toxic wasteland was neon green, ground gooey, melted. Buzzing flock of mosquitoes covered a dead nutria, scattered around the boiling stream, violent galore spread as far as your eye could see. Remains of unarticulated objects sank halfway or all the way into the pools of slime waste. Few large dog-sized isopods were slurping on a metal bar that stuck out of the plastic rock. Merango spat on the ground.

"I miss our bathroom. " Salsa sadly noted.

She was wearing two different boots, a large poncho covering up an extra pair of discolored arms that leaked out of the sleeves. Her body moved in a spidery manner from left to right, multiple limbs were levitating her above the gooey pools avoiding all the nasty shit that covered the surface.

It's little to say that both of them were in a very, very bad mood.

Ever since their youngest sister came back in the blaze of glory and kicked them out of the apartment, the two of them had a pretty rough time navigating life.

‘My Goth, you know this is the last bucket of SPF?”

Marengo poured the entire tube of the gooey blue sunblock over her head.

“How long have we been outsided?’

‘It’s been about twentyfour-nine-dirty-thirty hours would say that's like 5 Yyy’s in dog years’

Salsa carved another Wi-fi symbol over her wrist and crossed it. Blood from the cut powered up a square console on her palm. Numbers showed up on the screen. Sisters have walked for ages, no vehicle in sight, heads fried, Merango forgot where they headed. Salsas’ only happiness at this point was singing in Schwestern’s native, but heavily corrupted, southern drawl. She picked it up from some ancient American documentary about agriculture. Daydreaming about living in a farmhouse and fiddling, it became her coping mechanism to deal with excruciating pains in the frontal lobe from overusing neural-ink.


“Live y life on wire. Y’all get burn’d.

Y’all get burn’d,

Y’all ‘ Y’all, get burn’d.”

Salsa sang a song while they passed the hill full of tall, sexy tubular, stinky mushrooms. Staring down at her feet she observed the sandy grain. Particles moved independently, in neon spirals, as if the road was an acid sauce. Hypnotized by the ground, Salsa didn’t notice they entered a seemingly empty valley.

Merango was mumbling something to herself. Nervous, twitching from lack of sleep. Scratching her dick, slapping her neck, killing the bloodsucking bugs. She wore a former basketball jersey, now a XXXL tank top in neon orange. Sprayed ‘ADDs VOMIT’ on the front, it was missing a few washed out letters. Below she sported heavy weight, metal, military boots for crushing the skulls of jucy caterpillars, who she saw as enemies along the road.

On the horizon something loud and white appeared, Merango was hoping it was snow, she kicked her sis’ out of the daydream:

“Waddya think that is?” no response “ ... Oj, oj! Cheesecake! Wake up.”

Mernago took her by the cheeks, Salsas pupils were dilated. She pointed her head in the direction of the white stuff, leading her on:

“Pull y’ sniper vision out n’ check that thing ya? That thing rite there yå.” Salsa focused scratching the ring above her eyebrow, until the image on the horizon crystalized:

‘Bro..’

“What?’

‘Broooo’.

‘Is that mom again?’

‘No, no, no, it’s better. I see something, you wouldn't believe--”

“Like real food?”

‘’No, it’s better”

“ Ice pool? Boobies? Oasis finest be--”

“Shut the fuck up Merango.” Salsa sighs, “It’s a beautiful herd of strong fierce sheep. Each one has a pirate patch on.” her eyes turned to heart shape “ They are standing side by side. Flowing like a river through the field.., My Goddess what a graceful sight.’

Salsa is unable to control thyself facing her ultimate favorite two things at once: pirates and sheep. The herd is panicked and unorganized, galloping at full speed towards the sisters. Merango’s dotted eyebrows take on a more concerned position:

‘Something is chasing da sheep Salsa’ it ain’t rite”

Salsa was already gone, tripping on 40ºC, running up the hill, spitting some poetic “Freedom” nonsense towards the Pirate Sheep gang.

Mernago squinted: ‘There is a shadow lurking in the distance’ but Salsa didn’t hear that, as she now sang in autotune, one with the herd.

‘I realized my consciousness was connected to these

sheep.

I want to help them.

Because -- their freedom

is mine too.

I know

I know to be happy

Is to be -- OooOo

one, with them.’

Salsa rolled in the toxic grass;

‘Delicate but not fragile, a stream of sheep, floating through the nuclear landscape. A fierce flicker of their wool touched my Heart.’

While she was psygazing, Merango was still squinting, trying to figure out what is exactly going on behind:

“Salsa comes z the fuck back I think there is a rabid dog chasing d sheep ya’ n’ there is a weird dark---”

In a matter of seconds the situation escalated, the herd struck Salsa head-on and flattened Merango to the ground. Two squads combined and the entire thing ended up looking like a spilled bean soup. Girls fainted.

Shadow was slowly lurkin.

In the distanc3.



Leaving la Vida Loca






Day 1. Past time, Xyz

After they hit the bottom floor of an apartment building in the city of Fluffington, sisters went straight downtown, trying to catch some pigeons for breakfast.

Salsa slammed a dead one against the traffic pole, threw it on the table, and sat next to Merango.

They took a break on the terrace in a dusty cafe at central Shitty Plaza. The big brutalist statue was leaking some fungus infected slime. Merango slid her hand over the table removing guts and intestines to make room for the coffee. She put her hands behind the neck, toothpick in her mouth, legs on the table, snarling into the distance.

'Who the fuck does she think she is?'

Salsa broke off the birds’ leg and ripped the skin apart, using her nails, she licked the insides like an ice cream.

'The attitude... Dude, she can't, like, just barge in, we lived in that spot for thousands of years.' Merango spat out hissing.

'Ye' Salsa backs her up with a lethargic howl.

'And like for what, for what did she kick us out for? For a bloody piece of furniture. I tell you that lil bitch values fucking interior design over her blood brothers.'

'Sisters.'

'Yeah, whatever. Literally. So disrespectful.'

Merango was cursed by the lisp, the table in front of her was wet from the spitting rage.

'We gotta get our flat back Salsa.’

‘Yaa’

‘Ok, let’s ask around, some critters might know a guy that knows a guy if you know what I mean.’

The city is always clouded, dark, moist, smells bad and besides few sketchy humanoids that operate on the ground levels, there is nothing to see or feel but the presence of endless amounts of garbage. Air temperature is perfect for creatures that have thin veiny skin and plate-sized eyes, also random reptilians love it, biped fungi people.

Fluffington's architecture was dating back to the era of capitalism. Shopping malls, central parks with ugly fountains in a strict grid protected by procedural skyscrapers, real abundance of distaste.

“Last time someone tried to make something dope they off’d em”

Merango ranted rocking back and forth on the chair.

“Our apartment is classy tho. Neo Biedermeier full on sassy,

Rare chandeliers, Taxidermy sofa “

“Lecken und Geschmecken” Salsa added.

“I want it back Slasa.”

She gazed angry at the closed storefronts, between the narrow alleys surrounding the Plaza. Merango was really proud of the work she did for the city’s “look”. She spent years destroying every commercial Ad insight using fireblaster, giving the town a charcoal shade, as it was burned down. The rest of the mutants inhabited the underground sewage system. Capitalism was long forgotten in the city of Fluffington.


As sisters chilled on the terrace, enjoying their dead pigeon breakfast, a wild nutria appeared and snatched the corpse.

"Fuck you!"

Merango yelled out while Salsa pulled out a handgun and shot the beast. Nutria twitched for a bit then bleed out. Suns where on the horizon, a blue one was setting and a red one was rising.

Suddenly a loud growl broke the peaceful moment. It echoed through the city, followed by an explosion. Seconds after, they saw two large dragons fighting mid-air between skyscrapers. One of them burned a building down. Rats evacuated the area.

"Fuck my life"

Merango almost fell out of the chair.

“Bloody dragon?!”

"Gotta run" Salsa pulled her by the sleeve.

They escaped towards the back alley, ran through the wall gap, bumping into the cheerful mushroom guy.

"Yooo what’s up sisters?" the Shroom approached them enthusiastically, holding his hand up for no.5. Salsa swiftly covered his mouth "Dude there are dragons in the city" Merango whispered, ''hush-hush" pulling him deeper into the alley.

"Wait, Merango, is this your homie? We know this dude?"

"Yeee, ‘member Shroomboy,” they navigated him around the oil puddle “we played Napalm mix b2b at Salem's house party”. Shroomer tried to comment but Salsa choked him harder. His neck was a thick black stem turning into an oversized red cap, gorgeous sparkles in the slanted dark eyes. Visibly freaked out, he surrendered.

One of the dragons landed facing back, right above them, farting a huge amount of sulphur straight into the alley. The group's eyes went red while crawling against the wall. They managed to open a nearby manhole and sink in. Salsa finally stopped choking the poor Shroomer, he barely came to breath: "What is this Schwestern nonsense operation you got me into?"

“Dude, the dragon, did you see it? It’s a fucking dragon.”

Shroomer squated, sponging in the situation: “Yeah.. Ye. Dragons. True true… Eh, sorry guys, I’m fried af. You got me by surprise.”

“What were you up to?” Sisters spoke in rhythmic union

“Was just getting more spores from the garden, haven’t seen you two in ages so I thought why not, say hi, grab some drinks.” He signaled them to follow him, “Did you get those dragons here? Where did they come from?”

“I don’t know dude, they just appeared,” , “Ye, out of nowhere” , “We got kicked out by Jessica” ,“Ye we’re homeless now”, “We were just chillin, thinking what next, than this bloody dragons rampaged” “Ye and zombie rat ate r’ breakf”

“Nutrias are truly getting aggressive” Shroomer added, “They wanted to eat me last time I went out”

Salsa winked,“Cuz you look delicious”.

“Mates, this town is going to shit.” Mernago rolled her eyes as they passed by an abhorrent nest of enlarged spider eggs. An alligator speedboated by them, saying hello to the Shroomboy.

"You really think so?"

“I’m over it to be honest.”

“You can totally crash at ours until the dragons leave, Salem loves you guys, it’ll be fun”

"Tanx Shrooms, but I don’t think they’ll leave us just like that,”

“Ye-he, I bet they wanna have babies here" Salsa proclaimed, laughing nasally.

"True, you has a good point. You know that she’d been studying biology" Merango tapped Salsa on the back,"Knowledgeable" Shroomer agreed adding "Let's kick it at Salem's place. Bet he has some ideas”,

"Sweet, it’s gonna be like in the old times."

The trio upped their enthusiasm descending into a more narrow part of the sewage. They walked along the green mold path all the way to the yellow wall, covered in elaborate typography, until they reached a vault door, marked with a symbol. Shroomer pushed the key and voiced a cheesy “Honey I’m home” towards the kitchen.

“Girls, get yourself comfy, I already texted Salem we’re coming”

Salsa and Merango sat down on a couch in a mustard colored living room, full of red wires and designer furniture,“Bauhaus Resurrected” aesthetics. A tall and slender rabbit figure, dressed fully in white latex techwear, stepped out of the kitchen bringing everyone cups of tea, followed by the overwhelming greeting:

“Hiiiiii girls, what’s up? Hai-hai angel! Long time no see, baby girl!” He hugged and kissed Salsa two times on the cheek, pierced ears twinkled with grace. Merango gave him a mafia boss hug and shoulder tap, exchanging a deep face to face emotion:

“Salem, it’s tough times up there, thanks for having us--”

“Hush girl, don’t stress about it, you know you can stay here anytime.”

“Much appreciated” Sisters nodded in unity.

"So, what the hell is happening outside?" the rabbit pricked up his ears and dragged a chair to the tea table. Salsa and Merango whinged the story out, once more:

"Jessica came out of nowhere. Kicked us out of our apartment."

"We were like, what the hell? Went to chill at the Shitty Plaza, you know, to make a plan.”

“Yé, than two dragons started fucking right in front of us."

"Ripped, like, half of the south side of the city".

"Did they have large penises?" Salem asked, pouring the tea.

"The hell we know"

"I dipped asap" Shroomer backed up Merango.

"Just a curiosity of mine." Selam materialized the RD chem stash from an emerald techbox with his long, performative, fingers, softly leaning back into the chair.

"Let's relax first, smoke, and brainstorm on the dragon issue later" he finished the sentence with a gracious hand twist, probably trying to get attention to he’s newly manicured red nails that went great with stone ruby piercings symmetrically aligned to his chakras.

Team kicked it hard and got really, really wasted. Salsa turned green, she sank into the couch: "Is this the fetal-weed compound?" Shroomer turned tiny "Yeah it's the shits, I grow it using fungal compost" he stood on top of Salsa's head dancing to the tape that played on an oval yellow speaker.

"I knew it" Merango crawled on the floor, cheek down, like a worm besides sofa, focusing on the patterns, “You dosed us dude”. Salem sat as a statue, deeply concentrated, in a pose therapist would take. Salsa bonded with Shroomer, she stood by, entertained by his spore collection. They observed it through microscopic lenses. Tiny spores looked incredibly cute.

A lot of time passed.

"Ojjjj, oj” Merango slapped the table as she woke up from the mostly sulfur yellow fetal-weed induced trip, her head was horizontally deformed.

“So, the dragons!"

Salem finally tilted his head, "The Dragons!” he voiced waiting for the brain to unwind, “Wait. Those are Careulian dragons, mutated from rathorse corpses, from the war of 1972.” Merango wiped her snoot with a sleeve, Salem gave her a silk handkerchief, “Means there is a weapon made to deal with them. Lets go ask the Multipersona what to do. They still have access to the Spiral network".

Everyone stood up and went through the hidden door, behind the kitchen sink, it was about a 13m deep dive into darkness. Air smelled like the cheapest cologne mixed with salami. Salsa puked on everyone, still intoxicated. Selam opened a fuzzy pink mirror tache, cleaned up his visage, then tapped on the interface with a long pinky nail: "Multi honey, hello! It's Salem speaking, I'm in the company of our darlings, Salsa and Merango, we carry some baddie news darling." The vault beeped, a massive bunker door moved out of the way revealing the interior of a circular UV lit room, packed till the roof with monitors.

Multipersona rolled in the robotic office chair, he was naked and fat, all of his heads were wearing the same headset. They spoke in perfect sync: "Dragons. We know. User8 told us about dragons on discord, before his building burned down. We suffer their loss."

Merango fistbumped Multi, holding nauseous Salsa in her other arm: "Bizzare twist of events. Bloody Dragons mate. Did you know Jessica was here?” Salsa twisted her head 180 degrees to finish Merangos sentence “Yée, she kicked us out of our flat she did, just this morning." Sisters delivered in their typical rhythm. Multipersona blushed slightly on the mention of:

"Jessica?”

“Ye Jessica”

“Jessica, the beautiful crown jewel of the Spiral Galaxy?"

Merango rolled her eyes ``The toxic bitch". Multipersona ignored the comment, introverting in their chair. Salem broke the crush-topic tension: "Darlings! Let's get to the point” clapping hands ``we - have - dragons - to - repel.". Salem always knew Multipersona had a thing for an untouchable Jessica. A triggering topic to her older sisters.

"Multi baby, open up the search bar, let's locate some weaponry." Salem was stretching his tall butcheeks in latex, shoving them into Merangos face. Mernago smoothly curved to the left, dropping Salsa on one for the gamer chairs, as she was the sourdough.

"Do your thing Salsa"

"Yé, let's ride Multy"

On the first sight of digital light Salsa's eyes sparkled, her face changed, she was healed by the light of the two dimensional pixel portal. Multi parked on the parallel desk, ready to enter the zone. Synchronized digital shamanistic performance started. Selam decorated Salsas' head with a crown of organic wires. Shroomer opened a curtain, revealing albino frogs in a PC tank. He distracted the amphibian by throwing in a dead fly. Using long silver tweezers, Merango collected a red bubble off the frogs back. Salsa spoke, wiggling her head, singing in autotune:

“Hello Computer! To enter - the Spiral network - pwease pwess pway.”

Merango put the red bubble on Salsa's tongue, she swallowed it.

“To glimmer with the ribbit - pwease pwess pway..”

Rest of the group left the computer room in search of some food. Soon they realized that all the rooms are computer rooms at Multipersonas dungeon. Merango checked the drawers revealing a really shitty instant noodle printer:

“This is what humanity left us with. Pathetic.”

Salem took over pinching her biceps with the chopstick “it’s how you serve it that matters,”

“You truly can thrive in every situation” Merango flirted back at him resting her hand dangerously close to his curvaceous hips. Shroomer, repelled by their flirtation went back to lurk from the corner at Salsa. She looked like half life, eyes wide open but not looking, salivating. Crown of wires proliferated into her nostrils. At some point she might have looked through him, an interesting creature, to be able to converse with the funghi, he thought.

Salsa took awhile to embody the froggyness. She hasn’t been riding as often as Multi. Spiral network is a hard thing to navigate as it doesn’t use manmade signals. Frog juice lights up collective consciousness, the fungal headgear wires the thoughts within the digital interface. Salsa closed her eyes diving back into the chair.

This tech was introduced to sisters by an immigrant amphibian, the Astro-Frog. He took shelter in Fluffington, a few dozen dog-years ago, after escaping a really bad interplanetary business deal. Salsa looked up to him as her Sensei. Around that time Merango introduced Multipersona to the group. He emerged from the industrial-gothic part of the sewage, telling them tales about “the internet”. Together they developed wireless connection to the Frogs native, Spiral Network, by using fossilized remains of Human technology.

Salsas' warm memories of Frog crystallized her flow. She asked the universe for a detailed map of the world, and it was delivered. Much like a dream, “information disappears swiftly after it materializes on the screen.”. Multi uploaded all the data Salsa sent them onto consoles. The project was set.

“Are you hungry guys?”

Multi and Salsa were caught loading a video game. Shroomer took them by force rolling them on their chairs into the kitchen “You guys have to eat, Salem set up a beautiful table, look at it, mood light, flowers, napkins…”.

“And truly transformed the kitchen it was! '' Multi commented. “Now it smells like boiled rice”, remnants of the Multis hikikomori lifestyle were resting in the trash bags. Salem sat at the head of the table, smooth talking Merango, under the candlelight.

“Cheesy” Salsa smudged

“It's called romantic Salsa.” Salem delivered sipping the sewage champagne “romance is important,” he pointed at her, “And friendship is romantic,” Shroomer added, serving a big chunk of noodles to Multi.

“To friends,” Salsa said, ka-ching-ing her glass with the rest of the table.

“Y’all are dedicated to the underground?” Merango opened up the topic.

“Wouldn't you be?” Salem said, “We saw what’s happening on the surface. Don’t be fooled by the dragons, they are the least of our problems.”. Selam gestured a circle with his hands, “looking at a big picture.”  but he actually looked at Merango “we don’t have much choice. Just stay here, with us. We’ll keep each other safe,”. Merango didn’t want to hear about it: “No, I’ll fix the situation. I promise.”

“Yeah, two of you?” Selam pointed the chopsticks at Salsa who didn't really pay any attention to the conversation, she was eating and drooling over a gaming console.

“Merango is right. It is Schwesterns fault. They should deal with it.” Multi’s head spoke. Merango stood up, she waved around with both hands like a gangster “You see? It’s true. It is our fault, it’s our operation and we’ll run it. Straight up - Schwestern style.”

Selam graciously put his long pink nails, each one carefully embedded with crystals, over his forehead.
“As you wish. But do one thing at the time, please.”

“But - We found - the thing.” Salsa suddenly chewed out the sentence, mouthful of noodles,“I scanned it, on D map” she pointed at the console, leaving chilly sauce all over it, “it’s in the wasteland.”

Multi brought the map up on the projection and deciphered Salsa using a powerpoint presentation: “There is a spot that used to sell military grade dragon repellers, it got lost in the system after the second wave of apocalypse. Coordinates we got from Spiral Network lead north. Deep inside the toxic wasteland. They keep moving very slowly, if Sisters move fast they can get lucky and catch up with whoever took the repelles.”  Merango stood up, proudly smacked Salsa on the back and forecasted: “Simple ain't it? We'll just find a ride, pick that shit up around this spot n’ come back. I say we put those dragons back where they came from!”. Salem exhaled loudly, “I’m so, like, convinced that a device from the SECOND world apocalypse would still be all like working and shit...” he stood up and marched into the bedroom, dramatizing how much he’s offended.

Food made everyone sleepy. They spontaneously nested in Multis bed, leaving him the gamer chair. Merango and Selam slept like two mummified sticks. Salsa was rocking inside the chandelier. Room was dark and cosy. Each wall is covered in old empty open closets, beds full of anime pillows and broken tapes. Shroomboy happily snored, until Salem twitched his leg and woke him up. Squinting half awake, he felt an intense vibration, followed by a crack and loud crash. He jumped off the bed and hid below the metal vault. Salsa fell down from the ceiling, followed by the brick and chandelier.

“Earthquake!”

“Guys…”

“The fuck was that now?”

Multi came rolling, Merango grabbed him: “ I think we should scout what's up on the surface.” . Vibration stopped, everyone looked up, woke and traumatized.

Selam signaled them to follow. Entering the Multis bathroom, he navigated the digital thermal sink settings in arabic; twisted the showerhead, making wall tiles fold into each other, revealing a rusty elevator. He then told Shroomboy: “You get them out there, and come back as quickly as possible.”

“No problem”

“Merango, Salsa, be careful.”

“Do you guys have any guns left?” Merango tried, Multi shrugged looking around for some weaponry, “Nothing useful nearby, but...”. They took off their industry-goth brass knucks and gave them to Merango.

“Atta work”

“Wait, there is more”

Multi took the chain necklace off their thick neck and gave it to Salsa. They equipped her with a set of chrome capsule keys and a tiny square console.

“This is for the navigation.”

Trio got into the elevator as ground vibrated, Salem hugged Merango whispering into her ear: “If you come back dying to me again, I’ll literally kill u.”

“And you, don’t let the sky crash on your head, beauty.”

They exchanged a soft kiss as Shroomboy closed the elevator. It went up, stripped to the industrial basics, the rusty cage didn’t even have the back wall. Speed increased the intolerable noise of metal brushing against more metal, ember flying around made it look like an evil rollercoaster. Reaching the surface it slowed down.

The Red Sun was rising once again. Fossilized skyscraper leaned out of the muddy hill, looking at the city. Elevator creaked to the top, lack of the back wall proved as a useful sightseeing perk and a curse. Merango swallowed a chunk of her bravery looking at the epic blood freezing scene in front of her eyes. Salsa and Shroomer grabbed her by the waist, straining their muscles, as if their entire body hoped that it would somehow stop the sound of the squeaking elevator.

“I’m way too killable for this.” Shroomboy whispered.

The sea of Cerulean reptiles, nuzzled around the buildings, scintillated all over the cityscape. Dragons were sleeping, nested and cuddled against each other, like lab rats. Merango grabbed her camera and took a panorama shot, Salsa carefully photobombed the picture, smiling with thumbs up. Shroomboy cried, with his mouth closed. Elevator finally reached the top floor, finalizing the trip with a happy bell jingle. Fortunately for the trio, the sound was not loud enough to wake up any of the five thousand dragons, but loud enough to induce anxiety.

Top of the skyscraper was built to resemble an atomic nucleus cage. Back in the Earth days it used to serve as an observatory, equipped with all kinds of rusty tourist traps and exciting scientific models. Shroomer and Salsa carefully balanced over the broken ledge. Merango passed by the miniature Milky Way mockup, triggered by it, she picked out a few iron planets placing them in the pocket.

The Observatory gave an overview of Fluffington, spreading south until the harbor. Human scientific progression also brought geological engineering that resulted in strange, layered landscapes. On the south edge of the city, neon infected slime waste formed into two hills, separated by streams of sludge.

Merango looked through the monocular trying to get a close up of the dragon, but the lens was badly aimed, and she couldn’t adjust it. Tweaking the apparatus she noticed something near the estuary. Fluffingtons proximity sported an amazing crimson river of blood, it spilled it’s sludge into the harbor far south.

“Salsa.”

“What?”

“Come here.”

Merango pushed her eyeball deep into the monocular. The fish eye lens framed a single black carriage that harnessed two hippo sized fetuses, dragging painfully down the river. Enlarged embryo heads shimmered on a red sun floating in Steamboat Willie 20’s psychotic synchronicity. Carriage in a more ominous looking shape of a wild boar's head and tinted windows, slit through the acid stream, emitting a merry melody that almost induced ulcers in Merangos stomach.

“...The Chicken

Frying in the pan,

The watermelon

Sitting on the chair…”

“Dude”

“What?” Salsa took over the monocular. Familiarized with the image she shivered to the tips of her toes.

“Is that…”

Marengo nodded kinda sour.

“Our Mom…”

They looked at each other in dread and horror.

“Might not be her, might just be someone from the inquisition.” Salsa kept it optimistic.

“What is it now?” Shroomer was kinda confused.

Marengo turned to him: “Nothing special. On top of these dragons destiny is not looking kind towards us… But yeah, actually what I was meaning to ask is, before we go, do you know any good interior designers around here?”

Shroomer lifted up his shroom hat giving it a thought: “You know only few ppl live here and everyone is as useless as u two are.” Salsa stopped Merango from verbal explosion by holding her shirt with one of her extra arms. Shroomer gratefully proceeds: “Why didn’t you ask Selam about it?” Merango seemed bit off, she just waved at him. What she actually did was just her typical distraction to any topic she deemed undiscussable. Shroomer, unsuspected kept his ground:

“More pressing issue at hand is the dragons, they are for sure gonna destroy the exterior before you even manage to get an interior designer. Secondly, you are currently in denial, of the urgency, of the situation we are in.”

Marengo lifted her eyebrows “Daumn rite Shroomz, I am truly losing it”. As she finished the sentence a building crashed in the distance, accompanied by the ear wrecking dragon squeak. Shroomer and girls ghosted behind the hill at full tilt. “Shrooms, have you ever shot a dragon?” Salsa was sparky.

“No, but I’ve seen the documentary.” Shroomer pointed them north, “Here is as far as I go, if you go straight through this passage you will reach the wasteland.”

Salsa was hyped  “Let’s shoot some dirty dragons already” but then she came to a late conclusion, “Ojjj, wait. Does this mean we have to leave the city?”

“Of course we do Salsa, we’re all gonna die here if we don't. Here, let me draw you a map, just for the first half of the trip, rest of it you can rely on Multi’s console.”

Shroomer was incredibly slow. Merango stretched out her face so one could see her purple fleshy eyeball meat. In the background dragons were still roaring and devouring flocks of pigeons. Wave of zombie nutria fled the area, going straight towards sisters. Clouds gathered around the seaside, creating an electric sandstorm. Merango was itchy to leave:

“The fuck you’re drawing for, just pin me the location on the phone r u mad bro” Merango nervously flipped out on the poor Shroomer, “Ok, ok I’m just tryna help. You know that there is no signal in the toxic wasteland?”

Rain started pouring into the ally, pushing the cockroaches out of the holes. Merango was officially over it:

“Fu#k the fr=Kn’ fu#*kington with it’s dragon sh1t storm, bloody f4k1n rats on the bastard pool of s11t chicken cockroaches, Salsa we’re out. I’m not taking this $hit anymore. We’re leaving.” using all the gesticulations.

“Yeah I’m not taking this too well either.” Shroomer said and went down the drain “Remember, DM me or Multi, before you launch the repellers” he closed the manhole, you could only see his eyes bling “Safe quest Schwestern! Future of Fluffington is in your arms” he disappeared.

Salsa stretched her appendage “I’m ready when you are”

Merango put her swimming goggles on. Rain still poured down the river of roaches around their feet.

“Let's ditch this centurion $hit-dorm baby”

They blasted in laughter, walking out of the city.

“We could really use a vehicle bro”

“Maybe we bump into one of those ice cream trucks”

‘Yeah, like, I haven’t walked since 79’’




The Vatican Shadow






Marengo opened her swollen eyes, compact livestock manure washed over her as she desperately reached out to get the woolen arses away from her face. Salsa, inhumed  in a pile of shit, suddenly felt something pulling the weight from her body. Her poncho fell off towards the front revealing her white panties with embossed dandelion. Salsa slowly elevated as hooked from behind, like there was no gravity:

‘Merango?’ Salsa called out

‘What’

“R’We ded?’

Everything turned pitch black. Marengo suspiciously glared at the tunnel of light far ahead, she could not see the ground below her legs. Schwesterns slowly gilded through the darkness, surrounded by the sheep, who protested collective ascension. Trumpet tunes came out of the light, fading into the echoing growels. Salsa's bountiful arsenal of limbs twisted into semi transparent udon noodles as she hit Merango in the head, by accident. Merango felt pain in the head, but also in the leg.

“Shit, we forgot to acknowledge this dog.”

Marengo looked down, a dog was chewing on her ankle.

“Long time since we saw one of these kinds ain't it? It’s a Maltese caterpillar dog.”

Salsa passed by her, rotating vertically in mid-air.

“Looks like the dog we used to have, the one that died.”

“Then, we might have outright been slain.”

Merango shaked the leg but the dog stayed attached.

“Heaven! Christ mercy! Finally! I’m blessed by death, after ten thousand years of suffering!” Merango looked genuinely relieved, even with the lack of expression.

“Can we keep it?” Salsa tried to pet it,

“It could be useful for hunting stuff… In the afterlife?”

“Youuuu Merango, I was sure we were living in the afterlife.”

“No, no dude, I thought this was somewhat a post apocalypse?” Merango shook the dog off.

“Hm… it’s for sure debatable. Let's just keep the hound. I can surf on it”

“Totally”.

The mysterious light dragged all of them towards it. Coming closer, the light opened up an entrance door, suction increased. Salsa tried blocking the hole by spreading her limbs to the edges. Fat ass ram hit her full speed in the groin, she had to give up the resistance. Merango was too proud to break the stance, so she just crossed her hands and looked grumpy, while being sucked into the tunnel together with a long dog.

“Salsa, u know what this tunnel reminds me of?”

“What?”

“Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson music video. Y2K masterpiece. Song was on the album named the Extinction Level Event. Little did they know how it turned out just a few K’s later.”

“Luw it when nature imitates art, yåa”

Tunnel spat them out into a gigantic dome. Glass covered the entire roof, protecting it from the outside. The building floated high in the air, above the red layer of clouds, where the atmosphere was clean. Almost sharp.

“This spot is fresh af ” Merango touched down, standing stiff, arms crossed, in the middle of the room. Salsa landed nearby, rodeo style, holding onto densely energetic pirate ram: “I say we live here from now on!”

Light was etheric, still and cold, opposite from the outdoor horror. Chrome floor reflected the clouds, messing with the perception of space. Sisters cursed the brightness level, then proceeded to discuss their current location. Sheep dispersed as the dog came barking.

‘Where are we?’ Marengo looked around

‘Idk man, should we just keep it at Heaven?’ Salsa was checking out her reflection on the incredibly clean floor. Merango looked around suspiciously ‘Sweetheart, I have a hunch. Maybe I’ve seen this place somewhere before’ .

‘I got your external memory on me, want it?’ Salsa muffled, pulling up a knot of chains around her neck. Plethora of encapsulated SDA-P or the silver data extractive pills shimmered in the sun.

‘No way, magic! Salsa you are magic, install’em’ all”

“Yr brain will rot”
“My brain is rotten”

“Yyyy hahahhahahaaaa”

“My brain,

“Your Brainnn”

“My Brain, your membrane” they sang the obnoxious banger. Marengo squats, Salsa sprayed water on her head. Her hair instantly spiked up, started meowing and escaped Merangos head, revealing her brain. Merango caught the cat-head by the tail, in one swift move, while Salsa quickly inserted capsules into the bloody purple pulsating tissue. Merangos eyes went pitch black, heavy data loading. Salsa grabbed the cat and locked it’s teeth back onto Merangos skull.

“Good job Schwestern” she taped herself on the back and dusted off her knee.

Then she just stood there, in creepy silence, for a good while. Bored, she made a 360 scan of the place.

“Nothing but blue sky” she commented to herself, focusing on her bare feet and zoning out for a moment. One of the sheep licked the floor behind her. She walked around to inspect the area. Her cold feet left sticky marks on the surface, she wondered where her boots went and where she lost them. Suddenly, Salsa fell knee deep into the water.

“Oh, there is a stream here, Merango look, check this out!” but there was no reply, Merango was still offline. Something about the stream made Salsa feel strange. It was making her skin shudder.

Meanwhile Marengos brain was going through seizures, navigating the memory lane. Flashes from the past emerged without context. Scattered scenes;

CLUB, SUNSET, BABY, RIOT, DRUMKIT, DOCTOR, WIG, CASINO,

Import using seed phrases? Restore your memory safely, we care about your privacy.

Brainwashing was quite popular before the world ended, people were extracting their memory using the blockchain amphibious squid-slime logic boards. Cryptic codes lead each external memory into the right place, achievement unlocked.

Merango’s logline and her lifelong - abandoned questlists - pops back up, she waves her arms around the air to get it out of her sight.

“Useless bitchlife” She pressed a number of imaginary X-es on the ground.

“I don’t need this, cancel.”

Then the updates kicked in. Space curved and closed into numerous dimensions. Past and future held the single face, jester, quantified by the number of memories that found a spot in Merangos cerebral cortex, talamus smiling like Janus the Greek god. Decades of twisted friendships, dragged neural wires over the wet and deranged runaway. Everyone she ever knew unzipped the nostalgic curse, like a ten thousand flaming swords.

“Baby, you’re burning”

Right through my heart and soul.

“The world is turning on you”

Patterns in relationships, loves lost, dead souls decimated over and over again.

String of social connections dragged as long as Chtulus tentacles spinning from Merango pineal gland, wide open, birth of evil Venus. Now in the fetal position. She was foaming.

M2051:// Dark room opened up. Merango is looking at a very small baby in the incubator. Baby has an oversized silver helmet, thin long white wires sticking out of the vertex. One big blue eye is wide open, staring at her. She opens the incubator. Baby grabs Merangos finger. Moment felt like eternal serenity.

Mechanical fairies put her memories apart and together as she / him / they passed through the multiple intersection of genderless trance, five thousand years of hormonal history, of liquid identity, of running and escaping different governments. Merango with the capital M.  Twitching on the icy floor, her spinal cord oozed a bubbly kaviar like liquid.

The surest poison is time.

Tiny squids emerged from the egg sacs escaping into the stream, swimming past Salsas bare feet.

Merangos reality was still in shambles. Her frontal view mirrored five other perspectives under some kubist composition. One eye closed, crawling on the elbows, painfully lifting head up and praying ancient catholic prayer she based her seed phrase off.

“If I remember the last passage, I can come back.”

Merangos' head mumbled in voiceless language until the final word came out.

Still tripping Merango looked up, shaky,she slowly stood up  instinctively searching for Salsa.

Salsa was facing the opposite direction, quite far from where Merango was. She was staring at the frozen ginormous metal throne stretching about twenty meters horizontally, branching into thin long spikes vertically. It seemed like something was sitting in the middle of it. Curious, Salsa went to check it out up close.

Mernago waddled towards her. There was a command programmed into her brain, by Salsa and Merangos mothers, from the first time she saw her as a baby: “Never lose sight of Salsa”.

Strange cold wind blew from the throne,“Remember” voice echoed.

“What?”

“Remember”

“Remember what?”

Cold wind blew harder, Merango struggled each step;

“Who are you dude, fuck off w y’r sound bullshit, I have a headache.” Merango slipped over the stream and fell face down into the water.

Salsa was checking out the hairy draugr sitting on the block of ornamental ice. Ice spread out into spikes and lines, forming rhizomes around the chair. Salsa was so excited, it was exactly like in all of her favorite RPGs from the 2000s. She took it as a photo opportunity, texting the selfie to Shroomboy, who immediately responded “damn girl :0 wherd ya find this????”.

Merango was cold, pissed wet and processing her new but old traumas. Situation felt familiar, somewhat like when she ate the raw brain of her former pet goat that was buried in Norway during the First rendition. Memories of snow, cold, night king dildo strap on at the bunker with bandmates... freeze. Flashes of real time and past time rushed through her head.

Salsa had one eye on the phone and one eye on the scene. Her current atmosphere was quite relaxing and unbothered by torment. Shroomboy sent her a very relaxing ambient mixtape and she took a few cinematique videos of her sister's endeavor.

Still ditched, Merangos face vomited a parade of long suppressed feelings. Veins and muscles forehead erect like on bodybuilders biceps.

“God, I guess this is why I hate myself so much.” Mind was closing in on Merango, she was on ice looking at her palm then looking at her friend, realizing it is the past memory constructing inside a present.

M2088:// Ice storm, comrade pulling a broken machine gun. Merango, who was then a man in his early 20's, knelt on the snow with a grim face and bare back. His cold long hair was getting into his eyes, he felt sharp pain on his back. Another soldier cut a line on his spine, drawing blood. Merango took a long breath and inhaled all the smoke from a glass bowl that was held to his nose. Air smelled like burned dead rats.

M2100:// Merango, now a woman, is lying in a hole, in the damp ground, reading news on the smartphone. News says that the President was murdered by young anarcho terorist. Her dead face is in all the pictures. Her dead name is on the newscast. Their mothers are in rage. Government proclaimed a ban on the black metal music and culture.

Polar light hallucination finally faded away and Merango was able to tilt her head up. She rushed on all four legs towards Salsa. Salsa casually walked around, facing the throne with her back. Draghur creeped behind her.

Merango spits blood on the ground, trying to stand up.

“Dude, I know this guy.”

“What?”

“The dude behind you.”

Salsa finally turned around, not tilted by the discovery, pointing at the dude “Is he your friend?”

“Nah that geezer is not my mate, pretty sure I killed him ages ago.”

Merango was thinking. She never was in a place like this before, she saw it on TV. But the dude, the dude was real; pale white patches of skin, like thin pastry,  suspended over the rotting muscle, “Nasty.” she said, squinting at him once more:

“Burzum?”

Draghur squeaks in anger.

“Oh my… I dropped you off a bloody cliff dude!” Merango screamed throwing her shoe straight at the draghurs face. His scrawny body twisted a bit, just like in zombie movies, howling scream, ready to fight the intruders.

“Yo why are you still alive?” Merango genuinely asked “Salsa I swear I killed this guy.”

“How do you guys know each other?” Salsa asked casually avoiding the mad monster.

Burzum expanded his moldy layers drenched in scum. Real-tree hat was still somewhat keeping his balding hair from falling out. He crawled across the throne hunting towards Merango. Ironically, he survived all this time as a biosecurity agent in a Chatolic cathedral, which he burned during his regular lifetime. The Pope at the time decided to curse Burzum, converting him as a keeper of the Sky Vatican, an airborne cathedral funded by shadowy Crypto investors. 

“I simply can’t believe life got us back together my friend.” Merango said putting the brass knuckles on. They went straight against each other. Salsa took another pic of them jumping mid air, clashing at the shoulderblades.

Merango pumped up her testosterone button placed below the left rib, engaging  her torso's quick time rapid muscle growth.

Something itched Salsa, a soft whisper, luring her to sit on to the ice throne.

Merangos punch landed straight onto Burzums cheek, splitting it open, proceeding into a tight knee to rib kick. He tried biting her leather boot. She hardened her fist going straight into a backflip. Burzum crunched, preparing for the jump, howling a deadly breath of smelly ice-ray 90 degrees at Merango. She slipped between his legs, came from the back, using her tights to suspend him mid air for a perfect German suplex. Cracked beast man still had some rage left, tirelessly hissing at her. He opened up his triple toothed jaw and spat acid at her, destroying the shirt and leaving frostbites. Merangos freshly fed pineal gland commanded a mad dance, and she proceeded to deliver lethal damage. Those were punches of a deeply disturbed individual. Salsa was sitting at the throne, crossed legs, watching the fight and talking to Shroomboy over the gadget.

“Seeing this makes me question my morality.”

“In what sense?” Shroomboy asked

“Like I always felt safe around Merango, we’re fully committed. But imagine if she would ever turn on us, u know? It’s a bit unhinged sometimes...”

“ How come this bothers you, you girls kill shit all the time”

“ True. I think this place has a weird vibe that's messing with my brain. Suddenly I’m like conscious, you know what I mean?”

“Honestly Sals, I was always scared of Merango, as a man and a woman and now an undead non binary gender fluid cyborg dracula.”

“How long have you known her?”

“Hmm… not that long actually. Few centuries. Selam knows Merango way longer, back when they were both human.”

“Well I know my sis when she was human-ing with me. She basically raised me on her own.”

Merango was still kicking Burzums face. Shroomboys cam switched to a silly angle where he looked distorted, Salsa kept rotating the phone while he talked.

“Selam told me legends about Merango, lots of weird human anecdotes. You know, killing presidents, running underground operations, killing billionaires, skinning peoples faces, touring with a  band.”
“I found a weird painting in Salem's closet. The paint on it turned so dark that the image became barely visible.” Shroomer smirked, “It was a big family portrait, Merango and Selam surrounded by a bunch of people. But Merango was hugged by someone huge. Later I asked Salem about it and he just replied something about their anti-career.”

“What's that?”

“Don't really know, I asked Astro Frog, they didn't know either.”

Meanwhile, Merangos body mods went as far as bulking up her front jaw with moray eel teeth, Burzum was raising the pentagram protection shield but it was futile, since they were both equally undead. Finally the fight ended by knee to the head session cracking the old man's skull open. Merango removed the pieces of the frontal lobe and extracted memories into SDA capsules. She proceeds to dissect his spinal cord for some magic power ups.

“Bro are you hungry?” Salsa yelled.

Merango nodded.

“Think these sheep are edible?”

“For sure, why the heck would they keep them here if they are not food?”

Salsa finally stood up from the throne and took up the hunter gatherer role while Merango washed the scum off her t-shirt in a stream.

“This place feels strangely medieval for an unidentified flying object.”
Salsas buzzer rang once more, Shroomboy texted them that they might be in the right location.

“Yo my murderous mate, think we got the dragon repellers on the radar.”

Merangos pupils were nuclear yellow, still stuck in an unresponsive information delay.

Salsa took off casually,“ K… ummm… I’ll go find something to eat and like, the engine room…” discussing logistics with Shroomboy on discord. She felt a strange surge of power within herself but ignored it for the time being. The unidentified feeling concentrated around her anal opening, and was slowly progressig towards her head.

“Shrooms, there are no toilets here, mind if I take a dump on the floor.”
“Nah, feel free budie.”

Salsa did both numbers. Yellow piss streams slowly flow into a rhizome of depression lines embedded into the floor, revealing the bigger picture. When she stood up, the area around her revealed a circular symbol.

Merango noticed the same thing happening with the blood pouring out of her battle wounds.

Two streams merged into a number of geometrical patterns revealing a dome sized mandala on the floor. Easy enough, Merangos pattern recognition skill was metaphysical, relating to the infinite and the world that extends beyond and within various minds & bodies was her middle name. But she was dying of hunger.

Salsa followed her piss path towards the dog, and the dog had his own piss path to the door on the floor, where all the sheep safely ate some synthetic holy grass.

Sad, but in survival mode, Salsa grabbed one of the sheep and took it to Merango for slaughter. Girls made a cute campfire out of the cracked pieces of the throne. After a decent amount of sleep on a sheepskin, cuddled next to a dog, the party was recharged and ready to finish off the quest.


Or not.

Actually.

Attention deficit disorder hit as early as red sunrise.

Salsa found a few chandeliers, a grail, a piece of old cloth with some dude's face on it, which Merango almost deemed useless but then Salsa made a cute top out of it. They did find the Dragon repeller canons, in perfect order. But they also found a huge HD monitor with access to a 12 season TV show. Quickly they calculated that they can just squat the Sky Vatican, make it their new home.


“We just need a perfect sofa here.”


Merango squared a few meters in front of the TV with her eyeballs. Salsa nodded laying down on the icy floor in her Jesus wept crop top.

“Something like 2000’S Collani, mixed with a Chinese business lounge and with an embedded coffee pot machine, massage table and electric foot stool.”

“MMmmm we do need that.”

“Something that gives Penthouse vibes, that would make Jessica so jealous she’d go cry to mom.”
“Not the mom.”

“Yea no”

“Can you?”

“Can what?”

“Find an Ikea shop around here?”
“A what?”

“Ikea…” Merango repeated, staring sideways,awkwardly out of character

“Hm.” Salsa got interested at this rare sight of vulnerability and plucked her lips;

“K’ea, k k, mshal check,” lifting the eyebrow intellectually. Tiny sister spread her udon limbs across the floor. Ice piss system interface they discovered earlier spread out through the entire surface. Yellow and red meandering lines outlined various blueprints, topology and symbols on the map of the world below them.


“This piss map we drew needs decoding. But I can still just forefront the

Misteriosity and downgrade bulk fleisch from the gatekeeper we just chopped chopped and then the interface should start automagically mlem.”


Salsa eyeballed Merango hoping to catch a glance of admiration, she lived off occasional ego-pets. Merango slouched, a bit lost. Salsa licked her freezing lips gesticulating with hand for Merango to come closer hissing in a beggar voice; “Some approval please, spare me some approval.”

“Nai”

“Give me few hours”

“Cool”

“You can sync your brain with the floor bdw.”

“What?”

“Put the SDA-P into the hole, in the ground”

“Ah”

“You could remove memory you don’t need, otherwisely you will develop a theoretical disease, of grand cretinous prolongevity.”

“That happened to the greatest of my heroes”

“Rest in peace Comrades.”

“Comrade Rip, that was his actual name.”

“What?”

“He was a very curios person”
“Ok realsies, Merango diddle that thing out.”

Merango sled across the floor in a squat, dragging herself closer to the part of the floor with traced pentacross. Middle area revealed a tiny cavity. Merango spat out one of the tiny chrome squids, moisturized it with saliva and thrusted the top of it in the cavity. Pill submerged back but she blocked it with her mutilated forefinger.


“DEADLOCK”

“What?”

“I didn’t say anything” Salsa said, spider gliding her limbs over the geometry, silver calligraphy shined as the liquid passed trough the dents.


Merango stared at the eye of a chrome squid.

Sound of soul smearing, looping friction that feeds off emotions.

The ghouls that come

Before the end of time

Before the garden of Eden

Before you grow through the soil in the clouds

Scratched the wheel of reality as a lotto ticket

Leaving traces of powder, measured in micrograms.


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