by Jeff
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


cover of a Weird Science comic book from the 1950s

Bjork - "Alarm Call"

Continued from Part One

Paul called the number scotch-taped to his console. The note was so old the tape had grown brittle and brown.

"Hello?" someone answered on the tenth ring.

"I'm calling from Outpost X, the alarm is going off."


"The alarm!" Paul didn't know what else to say. The number had been in his peripheral vision during the past eighteen months of sitting, waiting, doing nothing. Whenever he imagined calling it, he never thought he would have to convince the person on the other end that something was actually happening.

"Outpost . . . X?"

"On the outer Ecrustean line. The alarm is going off!" He felt like it was buzzing a hole into his head.

"Hm. Well, it must be a glitch on your end. I've got your entire system on the screen in front of me and everything looks fine."

"But . . ."

"Don't take it personal kid," she told him. "But at this point your outpost is almost like, what's the word I'm looking for?" She paused. "Totally useless, that's it. With this new GRID technology we've got the whole Union on lock. These universal sensors, they're great. We can watch every known bio-unit. Heck, I'm looking at you right now. Woah - your core temperature is waaay up, and I'm sensing a major influx of adrenaline. Calm down buddy. It's okay. Also, take some B vitamins, according to the read-out you're deficient."

"But the alarm--"

"That's a glitch on your end. Call in the engineer to fix it. It's so old I can't override it from here."

Paul breathed out. He was finally starting to calm down. It was nothing but a false alarm. A Pincer invasion was unlikely, of course. The chances of it happening on his watch, after a hundred years of nothing, were infinitesimally small. But when the bell rang he was sure he was doomed.

"Oh, hey, that's weird," the voice on the phone perked up.

"What?" Paul asked nervously.

"According to this there's someone in the room with you. Maybe I didn't pick them up before because they're invisible - an invisible life form? Is that possible?"

"WHAT?" Paul back up against the wall. "Invisible life form?"

"Woah, yeah, okay. They're invisible and extremely vitamin D deficient. If they are there, which I can't say for sure, get them some supplements ASAP, okay?"

"But how do I protect myself from someone I can't see?"

"Well, that's a tough one, right? Let me check the manual."

The phone went dead. Paul felt something on his shoulder, and he turned to see the face of a Pincer fading in and out of visibility. He recognized it from the books he'd read. Then he began screaming at the top of his lungs.

To be continued . . .


Posted by Jeff at June 7, 2016 11:50 PM
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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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