• Styles Yugen

Brimstone and Bullshit


Ever been in a situation where something so beautiful, so outlandishly ridiculous, so crazy happens, you can’t just help but stand there and appreciate it?


Relish these times; you never know when, or if, it’ll come around again. Take the moment, live it and remember it for as long as you can. These are the memories that seem to stick around the longest--even those that seem unimportant or trivial at the time. Small details are what add color, a spice to the grey canvas that we are otherwise presented in our lives.


Ukiyo: to live in the moment, detached from all other bothers in life.


Just be careful, as the extraordinary can sneak up, taking you by surprise and turning everything on its head. What’s the extraordinary but the unexpected? Dustbowl is a planet at the ass end of nowhere; stuck between those scumbags over at RustBucket and ER Cybernetics. Needless to say, Dustbowl isn’t a place where the extraordinary is supposed to happen. Nay, it’s a place that’s supposed to be forgotten, some dumping ground for useless tech and people.


But amongst those soapstone canyons, hidden under the scree and vicious wildlife, there was something. Like a needle in a haystack--which mind you, every haystack has a needle in it as decreed by common law--a myth lurked.


Some say that myths are just that, myths. Legends are legendary, yadda yadda. But when confronted, face to face, with a figure from legend, what’s one to do? Charon: the ferryman on the river Styx, said to ferry the newly deceased into the land of the dead--for a fee, of course. His cloak was of the purest black, nothing but an elusive silhouette, and he moved with an uncanny grace borne from experience.


I had no coin to pay the ferryman, no excuse for my ill prepared nature--no. I was as a lamb before slaughter. Imagine my surprise when the myth, the legendary figure of the underworld turned out to be business savvy? Imagine my surprise when the ferryman himself offered a deal we couldn’t refuse?


Charon offered coin to us, and for the first time in history, didn’t ferry his charges to the land of the dead. We ferried him his due in information and departed those cursed shores with a single promise to him, given for an additional golden coin, “Keep quiet.”


If you’re out there, Charon, just know that coin went to a favorite charity of mine. And while I may have not kept my side of the bargain, I made--in some small way--someone’s life better. And as the ferryman of the dead, guiding your charges over the dusty waters of the river Styx to the next plane, I hope you can understand that.


Remember, readers, that even on the wrong side of the donkey’s ass, even at a place called “Dustbowl,” extraordinary things happen. Keep your eyes out, and the next time you’re presented with the opportunity to detonate a fusion core, keep a safe distance. Ukiyo: enjoy the fireworks.


Styles Yugen, signing off.


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.