|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Three
11 - What are we gonna do tonight? - Michelle
Taylor absently twirled a pen between his fingers as he focused on the notepad in his lap. He paused a moment, pen hovering above the lined paper, but he lost the thought and threw aside the pen with a sigh. He was so sure he was onto something for a second but it had eluded him.
He reached over to flick on the radio, and as he recognized the tune, he smiled and began to sing along.
Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon
'Cause the cartoon has got
the boom anime babes
That make me think the wrong thing
His voice rang out clearly, and he continued, humming along through the words he wasn't so sure about.
"I have a tendency to wear-"
Taylor stopped abruptly, a strange burning sensation in his throat. He shuddered and opened his mouth again.
"I have a history of taking off, off, off, off, off-"
Taylor felt an electric tingle go through him and he shook his head as if he could shake it off.
"Wuh," he frowned as he struggled to get out the sound, "wuh, wuh, wuuh, weeeeird."
The word came at last, slow and drawn out. His jaw felt strained from the effort, and he closed his eyes for a second, trying to block out the whirring he could hear in his head.
There was a popping noise and his eyes widened in disbelief as he saw a panel slide out from his arm, filled with little chips, transistors, and other expensive looking little pieces he didn't recognize.
"Whaaat the hell?" Taylor croaked.
Then a mechanical sounding voice, the last thing before things went blank.
"Auxiliary back-up failed. Auxiliary back-up failed."
somewhere above Nebraska
"Urga# boap la$khš bwoosiusf lorξτ⌋ ∂foop."
"You know we're supposed to speak English. So we can stay more in tune with them."
Kaczews dismissed the apology as his attention was caught by a blinking line of text on the computer monitor.
Auxiliary back-up failed.
"Someone screwed up," he snarled, casting an accusatory glance at Denah.
"Look at the screen yourself," replied Kaczews, pressing a button on the control board.
The image of a human boy about fourteen or fifteen years old, long blond hair, filled the screen. He looked like he was sleeping, but in quite an uncomfortable position... sitting upright on his bed, shoulders slumped.
Another warning message blinked on the screen.
Kaczews sighed, "Looks like we'll have to change the batteries sooner than we thought."
somewhere above Oklahoma
Taylor opened his eyes, finding himself strapped onto a metal table, a bright light glaring down at him. He shut his eyes quickly, dark spots appearing almost immediately, his eyes hurting. He could hear two hushed voices discussing something nearby.
"Well, besides this, things have been going well, haven't they?"
"Yes. There are a lot of fans."
"But you don't really think it will work do you?"
"Denah, you never understand these things."
"We'll discuss it later. I think he's awake."
"Good, that didn't take very long."
"Clear his memory now?"
"No, you idiot. That'll leave him a stupid vegetable. Set the memory time frame from eight to nine as sleep. That should be a safe enough span."
Taylor felt a wave of electricity fill him and for the second time, things went black.
He wouldn't wake up again until the next morning.
somewhere above Ohio
"Well, that's all settled now," Kaczews stated matter of factly.
"I still don't see how it will work."
"Trust me, of course it will work."
"Look, I understand what you're trying to do here, and I'm telling you it'll fail."
"Denah, look down there. Look at the obsession. Look at this... fan fic."
"I don't believe I'm familiar with the term."
"Stories people write, utilizing our creations as the characters, as the subject. These people are in love with them."
Kaczews handed Denah a few sheets of paper. Denah skimmed over the writing and let out a snort.
"This is the type of person we'll have control over?" and he began reading the last paragraph of the story aloud in a high-pitched falsetto, "And we moved into a mansion and he was so sweet and good to me. Even though his brothers were jealous of Taylor that I picked him instead of them, I knew that deep down inside, they could only be happy that I was happy, for they loved me that deeply. This is pathetic."
Kaczews grabbed the story back, a cross look on his face, "I'm telling you. These people love Hanson. And not all of them are like this."
"And what do you intend to do with those that haven't embraced our creations so readily? To them, Hanson is a bunch of 'faeries' I believe the term is. I may not be very good with this language, but I know that's not a compliment."
Kaczew's frown deepened, "Do you think it's the hair? I thought I'd try something new. I mean, the New Kids on the Block flopped after it had seemed so promising... I was hoping to go for a completely different look."
They sat looking at each other, a bit perplexed.
The silence was then interrupted with a beep from the computer, followed by the customary flashing message.
Taylor: Prototype O-7345.
Returned to normal activity.
"We'll just wait and see then," Kaczews said with a certain finality, "But I swore to you I'd have this planet, and I will continue trying until I do."
"And if Hanson fails?"
Kaczews pressed a button, displaying on the screen a group of five young women, all sporting tight, revealing clothes, heavy make-up, and plastic smiles.
"Well... those Spice Girls gave me an idea. How do the Java Maidens sound?"