Excerpt from: Racket
When the second the digital pad broke, the man lost seven years. It was barely noticeable as the wrinkles of his face hadn’t really delved since his forty-four’s birthday. Only a few grayish hair strands had appeared on the top of his bold head.
When the foot sank in the hard-drive, the man lost ten years. The change was striking. The wrinkles on his forehead and around his mouth nearly disappeared completely. On his head grew back this long brown posh wave of hair that he had such a hard time witnessing the lose as he aged ; and his belly, so easily sculpted, year after year, by mayonnaise lobster and Ruinard champagne, had lost more than two thirds of its volume.
When the laptop bursted, he lost another decade. His wrinkles fully disappeared and a soon-to-be adult mustache drew itself above his upper-lip. Almost laughable, he now seemed like swimming in his dark wool suit, so far tailored to perfection. Indeed, his shoulders had recovered the amplitude of the twenty three years old young man he was, though his thighs, belly, neck and arms were now drastically thinner.
When the camera got disintegrated, he lost three more years. His shoulders lost some of their stature, though the tone of its skin, so far quite dull, distinctively seemed to gain color. His mustache got substituted by an elegant peach fuzz and his combed hair got tousled.
On and on, following the wild rhythm of the object’s destruction, the man, was simultaneously getting younger. Thus, it was when the furious foot of the young criminal befell on the quartz wristwatch, that from a young boy floating in a luxurious suit, rose a new born baby.
Virgin territory’s terrestrial deployment Guide book
Happiness 0 fields — rf: Sorrowlands
Is considered happiness 0, any field in which occurs a radical substitution of happiness by a chronic sorrow. On this type of ground, the soldier will find himself upon the impossibility to feel any: joy, well-being, pleasure, amusement nor euphoria ; each of these feelings will be substituted by: an overwhelming sadness, a lasting despair and an anxiety which will eventually drive, according to the case, to paralysis and to such discouragement that the soldier will thus have to proceed to the maneuver of the instructions listed below:
N°1: The soldier will need to permanently see to keep his vision clear by regularly wiping up the tears that he will continuously produce throughout his mission. It is recommended to the soldier to repeat this move every ten to twelve seconds using the pocket handkerchief included in the b-0 Kit. To guarantee his efficacy on the field, the soldier will have to ensure not to wipe his tears with a moist handkerchief. Thereby, if his handkerchief would find itself to be too soaked during a mission, the soldier will thus have to replace it by the second handkerchief included in the b-0 kit. The soldier will therefore need to hang the first handkerchief to the lace intended purposely on the inferior part of his bag pack in order to let it dry, and to allow an eventual replacement of the second handkerchief in use.
N°2: Facing the enemy, the soldier will have to repeat to himself these few short phrases « The enemy is not a human being, he is an enemy. The enemy is a threat to my country and democracy. This enemy deserves to die. » The soldier must be conscious that this operation is essential on any Happiness 0 grounds as even the idea of killing will seem absurd and cruel to him ; consequently, the adrenaline rush he usually feels, as he presses the trigger, will transform itself in an unbearable sorrow characterized by a burst of tears and a dangerous lose of his means of action.
Excerpt from: Memorium
27th of October 2XXX
Last night, as I was chatting with my G.F (GrandFather), I was struck by the amount of stories he was able to tell me « from memory », ergo without no prothesis. From a scientific point of vue, I can’t help myself but to question the veracity of those facts. Wouldn’t he be making up this stories along the way to entertain me? How could a hundred per cent organic brain could even hold this much data without seeing its hippocampus loosing some of its structure? How could he not forget? In my point of vue, that is not quite human.
Besides, his face is not quite either. I can’t help to hide my discomfort when his face, delved in hundreds of furrows, starts to move around altogether. After a few researches on the Cloud, it would seem that it is no anomaly though rather the display of what was called at his time Wrinkles. It’s in fact quite peculiar to me that this naturally striped outer wall, of which the number of trenches (nt : thus of wrinkles) varies as he expresses himself by randomly appearing and disappearing, gives me the feeling of going through some « organic battle ». He is capable of deforming the paper thin walls of his skins like a old used silicone to help the expression of his stories. Isn’t that extraordinary? It remains fascinating and monstrous.
Excerpt from: The faceless gambler
When the last card was turned, the young man collapsed on the table. He had lost the set. All of his precious tokens were now in the hands of the stranger, whom one could sense the invisible satisfaction.
“Young man, what are you going to do now ?” he asked suavely.
— I… I don’t know, Joseph admitted, confused.
Within, the professor knew that the boy knew. I wouldn’t hesitate to play him. In the past, he had often met this empty look : the one of a man tempted by lose.
— I’d like, if you please, to carry on the game without seing you leave it.
— Sir, as you can see, I lost, I don’t have any money left…
— Yes, yes, said the man, amused. It is most unfortunate but allow me to suggest something to you. You see, a few years ago, as I was, myself, a young dashing boy like you are, I sat at this table. And that day, right where you’re standing, I saw a man gamble his own face. As you do, he had no money left. I’ve seen people brave enough to bet their face, that I did, but their courage was reckless, idiotic. This man was different, and he was the first I came upon to see. Truthfully, this man was playing his face with the fascinated despair of one who, deeply, wanted to loose. But why loose on purpose? Because loosing there means winning elsewhere. Evidently, at the time, faces would freely pass from hand to hand. Lives would come and go every day…
Excerpt from: Intersection
“Why haven’t I been warned of the broadcast?” she asks Mercure somberly.
“Your warning rate was critical. I didn’t want to worry you. Please forgive me, this will not happen again. You should know, however, that I only have two system transgression licenses left before I’ll have to justify my mistakes to the Life Management Magister, I won’t be able to help forever… Concerning the broadcast, well, it’s quite complicated… I must confess that I have been worrying about you quite a lot these few weeks, and the rest of the furniture has as well. We thus decided to take care of the matter and to accept, on your behalf, to take part in this delightful show Garrison Fax was talking about earlier!”
Eve has no reaction. She doesn’t seem affected nor displeased. Mercure’s silence however does not show any mischief. He’s quiet and ready to obey when he must as some independent entity. He doesn’t know it yet, and will only too late, he actually is one of the most successful subject of the young researcher. He is his most perfect creation. A flawless project, as he has been built with the upmost accuracy. His voice, and this sense of humor that Eve pretends she hates have both been programmed. The Life Management Magister is, as well, nothing more than a simulation program she added, to have him believe that he mustn’t make any mistakes. She has given her creation a free will that he can transgress.
and other worlds Lire en Français
“The objects’s dust, scattered in shiny constellations on the cold concrete,
thus gives him the feeling of a sour bulk coming up from the bottom of his throat.”
“Note: Any soldier who will take his own life
by despair will be considered deserter.”
“Little by little, the sky takes on boreal looks. From the top
of the platform, the metropolis looks like a peaceful lawn of foam”
“As if in doubt, he looked at the smily face behind the hands
of his wristwatch and realized that his old face had found him back.”
“Lying at the center of the room, dressed in black, Eve bathes in the light.
The Synapt has become the iris, she has become its pupil.”
© Éditions Sciences Acides
The book Intersections and other worlds is the outcome of a writing cycle which aimed to experience and undermine popular worrisome contemporary subjects through the sketch of fictional societies and institutions. It gathers five short stories, written mid-way between science fiction and fantasy. Written separately, then put together, each world depicted in the first part of the writing process was re-thought to greet the others within its own storyline. As a result is the portrayal of a world in which time, geography, political patterns, black market or even love-affairs are intertwined to paint one big picture.
To merge its writers into one, Adel Cersaque decided to send its manuscript to the french Éditions Sciences Acides in order for it join their 1987’s Sci-Fi collection. And it did.