the zamerida transmissions

9

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was following Isphur through the living room when he caught sight of a spiral notebook on the coffee table. He stopped, picked it up, ran his eyes over the page it was turned to. Poetry. He flipped to the next page. More. “Are these for the new book?”

            Isphur paused at the kitchen doorway, glanced back to find Tobel looking over the scribblings in his notebook. “No,” he said, and began stroking his beard. “I don’t know what those are yet.”

            Tobel looked up at Isphur. “What’s a Cyfyn?”

            Isphur’s eyes narrowed. “You mean the Cyfyn?”

            Tobel glanced down at the notebook, nodded. “I do, yes.”

            Isphur leaned against the doorjamb, crossed his arms. “What does it sound like?”

            Tobel tossed the notebook back onto the coffee table, looked at his friend. “Honestly?”

            Isphur spread his hands.

            Tobel grinned. “It sounds like a hose.”

            Isphur raised an eyebrow. “But…”

            Tobel smirked. “But it’s a strange spelling,” he said, “and capitalized.” He paused, looked away. “And with the in front of it.” A moment later he looked back at Isphur, his brow furrowed. “It almost sounds like an animal,” he said. “No…a beast. Mythological.”

            Isphur frowned, shook his head. “You want a beer?”

            Tobel studied his friend. “I think I’m gonna need one.”

            Isphur peeled away from the doorjamb and moved into the kitchen. “You know, professor,” he said, opening the refrigerator, “you’re probably the only person on the planet who could get that just from a glance.” He grabbed two bottles and closed the door. He walked over to where Tobel had seated himself at the table. “Yeah, you’re schooled in classical literature and all that,” he said, extending a beer to the other man. “But you also know me.”

            Tobel took the bottle, bowed his head. “The great honor of my life.”

            Isphur thumped him on the skull and turned away. Tobel looked up grinning. “So I nailed it, then.”

            Isphur moved over to the sink and leaned against the counter. He sighed, squinted at Tobel. “In a manner of speaking,” he said, and twisted the cap off his beer.

            Tobel did the same. He took a sip, leaned back in his chair. “So?”

            Isphur took a long pull from his bottle, wiped his mouth. “The Cyfyn is the name I’ve given to the nameless.”

            Tobel stared at him a moment, then feigned comprehension. “Yeah. Thanks for clearing that up.”

            “You were right to call it a hose,” Isphur continued. “As in that hose used for…well, syphoning. That’s where I got the idea.” He took a sip, set his bottle on the counter. “But tentacles would be more accurate. Tentacles that stretch across the entire planet, sucking up wealth, resources, lives. The tentacles of The Cyfyn, the beast. A true monster of our reality.”

            Tobel chuckled. “Oh, man. Are we talking about the New Global Alignment?”

            Isphur shrugged. “Call it what you want. You’ve earned that right. You woke me up to this stuff, after all. But we both understand what we’re talking about. It’s the bankers, the corporations, the war machine. It’s all the overlapping power structures pushing for more, more, more. Maybe it’s still the old timers’ plan for one-world government. I see some of that. Or maybe it’s devolved into everybody out for themselves. Doesn’t matter much, does it? The result is the same. Centralized power. One body. One beast.”

            Tobel gazed at his friend, betraying no emotion. “The Cyfyn.”

            Isphur nodded. “I was tired of it being nameless. The New Global Alignment was never a name, it was an agenda. Now it’s more a tool than anything else. Something the enemy uses to make us look foolish.”

            “I was just reading something on that the other day,” said Tobel.

            “Who?”

            “Bemi Vod Baw.”

            Isphur nodded his approval, then took a swig of beer.

            Tobel looked down at his bottle on the table. “There is power in mystery,” he said. “How do you fight something you can’t point to and identify? How do you identify something with no identity?”

            “Precisely,” agreed Isphur. “The man with no name and all that. It plays on one of our primal fears—the unknown. And,” Isphur said, then shrugged. “I was sick of it. Enough’s enough. People need to understand the rules only work when we play by them.”

            Tobel took a drink and set his beer down. “So you gave the bitch fangs and wrote a poem about her.”

            Isphur smirked. “Well that’s what poetry is supposed to be.”

            “What?” asked Tobel. He leaned forward, eyed his old friend expectantly. “What is poetry supposed to be?”

            Isphur’s smirk faded, replaced by a warm solemnity. “Whatever’s needed,” he said, raising his bottle for a drink. “At the time.”

            Tobel watched Isphur take a swig then shook his head and turned away. Tobel had always wanted to be a poet. He’d tried and failed a number of times in his life. Eventually he had to face the fact that

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