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Information, Communication, Supply
Information Communication Supply 01/29/93 Vol.1:Issue.1
Email To: ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU
E D I T O R S: Local Alias: Email: ICS Positions:
Daniel Frederick -Neon Chrome STU445666405 Mail, Tech, Editor, Flames
Russell Hutchison -BurnouT STU524636420 Mail, Editor, Flames, etc.
Benjamin Price -Dreamweaver STU406889075 Mail, Submissions, Flames
Luke Miller -Aminohead/DUB STU521532642 Mail, Tech, Editor, Flames
Donald Sanders -Zorro ORG_ZINE Mail, Editor, etc.
George Sibley -MACFAC FAC_SIBLEY Faculty Supervisor
Matthew Thyer -Mr. Touch STU523086351 Mail, Chief Editor, Response
Deva Winblood -Metal Master ADP_DEVA Mail, Tech, Editor, Response
| ICS is an Electrozine distributed by students of Western State |
| College in Gunnison, Colorado. We are here to gather information about |
| topics that are important to us all as human beings. If you would like |
| to send in a submission please type it into an ASCII format and mail it |
| to us. We operate on the assumption that if you mail us something you |
| want it to be published. We will do our best to make sure it is |
| distributed and will always inform you when or if it is used. |
| See the end of this issue for submission information. |
REDISTRIBUTION: If any part of this issue is copied or used elsewhere
you must give credit to the author it and indicate that the information
came from ICS Electrozine ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU.
DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the
views of the editors of ICS. Contributers to ICS assume all
responsabilities for ensuring that articles/submissions are not violating
copyright laws and protections.
| \ / |
| \ T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S / |
| / \ |
| /________________________________________________\ |
| Included in the table of contents you will see some|
| generic symbols to help you in making your |
| decisions on whether an article is something that |
| may use ideas, and/or language that could be |
| offensive to some. S = Sexual Content |
| AL = Adult Language V = Violence O = Opinions |
I. FIRST OPINION: By Matthew Thyer.
II. THE FISH THE BIRDS AND THE ELECTROZINE: Commentary From A
Struggling Faculty Advisor. By George Sibley.
- A look at the birth of the Information, Communication, Supply
III. MUDS: The Computer Social Virus: By Deva Winblood.
- New technology always brings new psychology. This is an
external look into the world of the "Mudhead." (O)
IV. DIARY IN THE CLOSET: By Russel Hutchison.
- Everyone has secrets that they keep hidden. Some need to keep
their secrets to protect themselves or others from those who
would cause them harm. Sometimes when secrets come out violence
is the only protection left. (AL V S)
V. TALES OF THE UNKNOWN: By Deva Winblood.
- This is the first in a series of stories. These tales will be
presented as closely as possible to the origional hearing. This
is a tale of ghostly voices.
VI. CHI - THE POWER/SUPERNATURAL OCCURRENCES: By Daniel Frederick.
- This is a confusing look into supernatural experiences, religion,
and martial arts. It is an attempt to tie a few threads of
consciousness together in some new form. (AL V O)
VII. FINAL OPINION: By Benjamin Price.
/ FIRST OPINION \
Since the creation of Internet, US publishing companies have been
toying with the idea of doing their business over your modem. Various
problems ranging from a general lack of action to monetary control of
redistributed information have plagued the development of fast, electronic
information from its conception. A few brave underground netsurfers who
have developed publication standards for their own media have forgotten
that a mainstream world exists outside of their own electronic universe.
We at ICS have dedicated ourselves and our limited resources to
two goals. The first concerns the idea that most of the
staff here would like to perceive themselves as pioneers of sorts. We
would like to develop ICS into the modern, electronic equivalent of
mainstream, literary/futuristic, paper-media publication containing
not only contemporary works but advertisements as well. In addition, ICS
will be exploring the world of rights. We would like to find ways to
ensure that all of our writers have rights to the information they
produce. Over the long term, we hope ICS can act as a catalyst for
developing this technology.
The second goal on our agenda concerns the state of
information today. We strongly believe that information is power and
through the proper use of such power we can help shape the future in a
positive manner through the opinions of our readers. That is why ICS is
dedicating itself to written discussion through a "Letters" section
that will appear in every issue as comments from our readers find there
way here. Your letters will help to improve ICS Electrozine and create
standards for others to fallow. In addition, we accept submissions
from anyone with something to say.
The hypothetical future is starting now. We hope ICS can become a
leader in the development of "Electronic Journalism" as well as please its
readers with its content. We would welcome anything you have to
| THE FISH AND THE BIRDS AND THE ELECTROZINE |
| Commentary from a Struggling Faculty Advisor |
| George Sibley, Western State College of Colorado |
Back in my early cultural memory, there is a child's story about a
fish who wanted to be a bird. I remember none of the particulars--
only that, at the end of it, the fish was finally at peace with its
fishy destiny, and no longer trying to adapt to a new medium.
This story re-emerges in my consciousness from time to time, when I
seem to find myself in the position of "wishing I were a bird." This
happened years ago in college, when I spent two increasingly
frustrating and bewildering years trying to be a math major, before
finally conceding what the aptitude tests had shown me as a freshman:
that I was pretty weak in abstract thinking skills. I guess I had
spent those two years listening to another of our cultural stories, the
story of "the little engine who thought it could." I see the flaw in
my logic, of course--the little engine didn't think it could be
something other than just a better engine.
I had cause to think of all that again, however, when I was
approached last semester by a student representing a small group of
"netsurfers" who wanted to experiment with an "electrozine"--an
electronic magazine to be distributed over computer networks. Meeting
with them, I realized that I was talking with people who were not just
"computer literate"; some of these cybernauts were potential Marlowes
and Shakespeares of this emerging literacy.
Myself, I am able to fumble my way into a word-processing program and
use the computer as a glorified typewriter--to a real cybernaut, I
think, the equivalent of using a Ferarri to plow the fields. My
immediate response was suspicion: why weren't they approaching people
in the computer field for help? But they knew what they wanted: they
knew where to find help for the technical problems, but their real
interest was in attaining to a degree of JOURNALISTIC legitimacy. They
told me about the 'zines already in existence--primarily either
underground hacker journals like PHRACK or highly specialized exchanges
of abstruse information among scientists and others involved in narrow
fields of expertise.
What they wanted to do was to create a mainstream, general interest
'zine that would help bring more people in to this new world they had
discovered through Western's connection with Internet--people with
literary, artistic and humanistic backgrounds as well as the scientific
groups. In a sense, then, they were trying to bridge back from what
they saw as their future in the electronic realms into my present in
the print medium. In the largest sense, they wanted to do what they
could to bridge the "Two Cultures" gap between the physical sciences
and the arts and humanities that C.P. snow brought to a general
awareness in his famous 1959 address at Cambridge.
I was intrigued. But I was also very aware of being a fish among
birds. I never had the feeling that they were, like academics
sometimes do, using specialized language to exclude me; they really
wanted to answer my questions, but the answers required translations
and definitions every few words, which led to discussions among
themselves of the best way to help me understand--I felt like Caliban
talking to Prospero.
I disabused my cybernauts immediately of any hope of my "leading
them" into this venture in the standard teacher-student relationship.
If, however, they were truly serious about trying to build bridges
between these vast and magical electronic spaces, and the dark confused
hearts of all the people who secretly hate and fear the complex
technologies without which they could no longer survive, then I could
probably provide them with a "learning experience": they would teach
me--a hardcore print person since I first cracked a book, but also one
who knows something about journalism, and about learning --what they
wanted to do, and how to do it; then together we could probably figure
out how to bring the campus into it.
Which is, I have learned, no harder than bringing the known universe
into it. These incredible machines, linked up as they are in networks,
simply eliminate space, distance, as a relevant concern. I learned-
-the hard way (the cybernauts forgot to ask anybody about a "mass
mailing," and made a mistake or two too)--that one hundred thousand
people can be contacted personally with an ease and lack of expense
that makes the direct-mail industry look ridiculously wasteful as well
as obsolete. (Some of those contacted got mad, the same way I get
disgusted about junk mail in the mailbox--a couple even did the
electronic equivalent of wrapping the "return postage paid" envelop
around a brick and mailing it back.)
At any rate--here I sit, deep in the Colorado Rockies, an aging
journalism and writing instructor, trying to keep up with a small group
of students who are full of energy, interest, and even idealism for a
future I have tended to look at with apprehension when I look at it at
all. Why don't students like these ever find their way into my regular
classes? That's a question I will have to look at sideways for a
while; it's too cruel to confront directly.
But as you are reading this--locally on campus, in Greece, Australia,
or wherever--know that my students are educating me; the fish might
yet learn to fly. The presence of this in the Electrozine proves that
I've at least found the magic buttons for creating a TEXT file, and my
glorified typewriter is sprouting its electronic wings. So I'll never
be anything more than just a flying fish--that's okay. To paraphrase
T.S. Eliot, fishkind cannot bear too much reality.
And I join the rest of the Electrozine staff in inviting you to
become part of it: if you don't like what you find here, write a
letter or write something better, and send it on--you're just a pulse
away in this new world. And the generic appearance of a TEXT file
certainly needn't reflect a generic or homogenous world.
( M U D S: The computer social virus )
\ By Deva B. Winblood /
(____)t is late at night and you pass by the campus computer lab. You
turn to see a familiar row of people. A thought passes through your
head, WOW! THEY HAVE BEEN THERE FOR OVER EIGHT HOURS. This is amazing,
you can't believe so many people are interested in using the computers
for so long. This shocks you more, because these people were never in
the lab until the recent connection with internet was established, and
soon after the MUDs were discovered. MUD origionally was an acronym
for Multi-User Dungeon, but now has grown to mean Multi-User Games of
(_)he MUDS have entered the academic computer scene like a tool for
inspiring computer literacy, but to some bystanders it seems just like
a new social disease. These MULTI-USER GAMES that allow people to
participate in the game with people all around the world are at first
wonderful and enjoyable to the explorer.
The explorer stumbles upon the MUD and plays for an hour or so.
Then the explorer sees a couple of friends and says "Hey, I found a neat
game, come check it out." Things go well at first, as many of the
explorer's friends that only have a passing interest in computers begin
to play these games with great enthusiasm and interest.
It begins with the person connecting to their first MUD
experience. They begin to do what it is normally difficult to get
people learning the computer to do. They use the HELP facilities and
read the instructions. They quickly learn to communicate, move, and
slip into the role of their electronic character. As a learning tool
the MUDS seem to surpass most other programs at the speed in which the
users learn to manipulate information. However, this soon levels off.
Initially some of the new MUD players will realize that they are
spending far too much time playing these games, and will quit playing
them. However, many seem to be afflicted just as many drug addicts are
afflicted. They begin to skip classes, meals, and social gatherings.
Their daily conversation outside of MUD games starts to become laced
with discussion of MUDS and MUD terminology. When deprived from the
game for long enough, they even appear to show evidence of behavior
similar to withdrawal symptoms of addicts. When a person on the
side lines sees this they often wonder what could motivate such
behavior. These people usually will try out a MUD to see what all the
fuss is about.
These curious people usually end up in one of two categories:
the MUD addict and the realistic. The new MUD addict will usually
gradually slip into the same behavioral patterns as other MUD addicts.
The realistic person will be aware of some things that he/she did not
know prior to playing the MUD.
The MUDS are a society unto themselves. The MUD addiction is
not confined to just one native machine, and one computer lab. It could
very well be happening on a computer near you. The game has regular
players from around the world. The players follow a make believe
role/ritual that changes very little once they have it perfected. Often
this society will closely resemble that portrayed in a television soap
opera, and other times it will resemble a hack and slash battle world
where you strive for power and greater weapons with which to kill ever
One would think that after playing one of these games for
hundreds, even thousands of hours, a person would get tired of the
ritual and the rules long since mastered. It doesn't work that way.
Many bystanders have not been able to reason how people could gradually
slip further from real life and begin to base their life around
something that is not tangible and often is destroyed. But, still they
giggle, yell, battle, and often claim to fall in love over the MUDS.
Often the MUD players fail to see their real life (what they
call RL) friends, and the MUD terminology begins to be used in life
outside the games. The Hacker's Dictionary mentioned that the MUDHEAD
was someone that would play the games incessantly, and would often
fail or drop out of their degrees/programs. This appears to be the case
in some instances. Going to class and playing MUDS 8-10 hours a day does
not leave much time for anything else. When the MUDS are being played this
much it becomes the equivalent in time of a FULL TIME job. Taking on
a FULL TIME MUD PLAYING job usually leaves the person with two options.
Drop out of school and take on a real FULL TIME JOB so that the bills
can still be paid, or quit playing MUDS and get a job while going to
school so that the bills can be paid, because there is not much room
for doing all three.
At some campuses it sometimes becomes difficult for students
wanting to do homework to find a terminal, because of the sea of intense
MUD players. This is a problem that plagues Systems Administrators.
The general options are disallowing INTERNET functions to students (other
than EMAIL), setting up counter programs so that people can use TELNET
(or RLOGIN) only when the labs are fairly empty, or policing the area with
LAB MONITORS. These options all seem to have problems.
The option of disallowing internet functions other than MAIL
takes away students' ability to reach vast amounts of information. While it
may solve many of the problems facing the Systems Administrator it will
still take away incredible learning and educational opportunities.
The option of setting up a counter program is probably the one
most favorably viewed by both MUD players and students that have to deal
with them. The counter programs have flaws though. To date most
counter programs generally make an initial check before allowing people
to TELNET or RLOGIN. The problem with this is, that the counter program
will generally make no additional checks, so the MUD player can remain
in the game for eight or more hours even if the lab fills up to
capacity. The general solution posed by solution seekers is to have the
counter programs invoke in a sub-process every so often that does
another count and disconnects(or warns) the MUD player when conditional
limits are exceeded. The problem with this is that most Systems
Administrators also look with distaste at programs that require a
sub-process. It is most likely that a program could be devised that
would solve these problems, but the program has yet to have been
announced to the majority of Systems Administrators.
The third option of having LAB MONITORS that "police" the labs
has its merits, but also has several problems. The merits are that the MUD
players can always be monitored and removed when the need arises. The
problem is that the LAB MONITORS are generally students themselves, and
end up getting battered by insults and anger, and often lose friends while
carrying out their duty of removing GAME PLAYERS when the lab is so full.
MUDS could well be the next evolution in social diseases, as
well as the catalyst for even less effective workers. Some may wonder
whether the last is really a loss, but others think of it as a terrible
thing. The future human will be faced with many strange/new situations
and the solutions will often be quite evasive.
The epidemic could get you, your friend, or even everyone soon.
Keep an eye out, and try to manage your life the way you think it should
be managed. Things could get worse once real virtual reality based
games enter the scenes, for they will be even more realistic and thus
will most likely be more addictive than existing games.
|||||| DIARY IN THE CLOSET ||||||
|||||| Russell Hutchison ||||||
Honest, nice, and tortured: that was my friend John. Until I
met John, I thought I was a great judge of people. The first time I saw
him he was on the football field at our high school during my sophomore
year and his junior year. The other cheerleaders and I were going
through the cheer that our school used wherever the team scored a
touchdown. The one that showed our legs the most and made our skirts
spin up high.
"TOUCHDOWN SCORED BY #34 JOHN WELCH," the loud speaker
When the cheer was over I felt a firm slap on my ass that stung
like a son-of-a-bitch. I turned to face the bastard that had goosed me,
expecting to see the guy walking off like nothing had happened, but
instead I was confronted by one of the wide-receivers of the team
standing real close to me. Normally I would have punched him but the
look on his face was so apologetic that I held my hand at my side.
"Sorry about that, Lucy, but there is a bet going on with the team
that I won't be able to get away with slapping your butt every time
I score a touchdown. I can't back down from a challenge like that.
"Why am I the center of this bet?" I demanded.
"Because you racked that linebacker Frank when he goosed you at
a party. You're considered a major challenge by the other team
"Your eyes are brown," I replied.
"So I say that you're a liar and full of shit."
"I'm sorry that you feel that way," he said and walked away.
I watched after him as he retreated, a big 34 and the name WELCH
printed on the back of his jersey. A smear of mud made the 3 on his
jersey look like an 8. When he arrived at the team bench he was greeted
by multiple slaps on his back that shook his shoulder pads. His manner
had been so open, almost nervous, that I couldn't help but think about
him. Any other football players would have been cocky and arrogant,
especially after scoring a touchdown. But he had acted like a boy who
had been dared to kiss a girl on the lips in third grade. I wanted to
have a chance to talk alone with him. I didn't get the moment I wanted
that night. He did slap me on the ass twice more that game though. I
I saw John Welch at his house two nights later. Apparently he
used the money he had won in the ass-slapping bet to acquire a keg and
he held a party at his house while his parents were away. Being
one of the women on the cheerleading team got me an invitation to
the party. I had been at the party for about half-an-hour before I saw
John checking the cash flow with the two linebackers who were taking the
cover charges at the door.
I forced my way through the crowd towards John and
managed to get to him without any of the guys at the party
'accidently' caressing my butt once. I guessed that my reputation of
being a lady who wouldn't let a guy, besides John, take even the
slightest liberty with my body without paying a heavy and painful
penalty had worked its way into the minds of all the team members. John
was facing away from me when I snuck up behind him. His rear profile
was very impressive even though he only had the build of a receiver.
Built for speed and endurance, not for the stand-still-and-toss-about
job of the two L-backers at the door. John and all the 'bouncers' were
dressed in suits and ties but without shirts, so they were easily
recognizable as the people who were in charge of this party. The
overall effect of the outfits were very becoming. I stood behind him
for about twenty seconds before I decided to make my presence known by
goosing him real hard on the butt. He spun about fast and looked like
he was ready to kick-ass until he saw me.
"Paybacks are a bitch aren't they?" I asked. He stared at me
with a look on his face like there was something in his throat and
didn't say anything. His mouth was open slightly and his tongue was
moving like he was trying to say something.
"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" I asked him.
His face assumed a more normal composure. "I'm just surprised
that you're talking to me after the game this weekend. But I'm glad
"Don't believe I wasn't mad. I don't know why but you just
seemed different from the other players."
"I guess that I just have a different attitude than the other
"And why is that? What makes you such a Joe Cool stud and not
"I'm not a 'Joe Cool Stud'. I just come from a small town
originally. I treat people differently is all."
"Do you have any pictures of your home town?" I asked, trying to
get him talking about himself.
"Yeah, I do. Would you like to look at them?"
We wove our way through the crowd and up the stairs, stepping
over Frank's legs where he sat on the stairs studying his beer glass.
John's room was the third door on the left, with a picture of last
year's football team on it. I waited until he turned on the light before
I followed him in.
"Go ahead and sit down." he said, as he opened his closet and
walked in. "It'll be a second. My photos are in here somewhere."
I sat down on his queen sized bed and ran my hand over the lion
pattern covers, then I positioned my skirt so that most of my legs would
be seen when he came out of the closet.
"I can't find them," his voice drifted from the closet then he
came walking out. I uncrossed my legs then crossed them again. He
didn't show any outward signs of noticing. "I guess we won't be able to
talk about my past." I slid over and he sat down, covering the lion next
"Well then I guess that we should start up with the usual
questions. Tell me about yourself."
"O.K. I'm six feet tall, one hundred sixty eight pounds; I have
no brothers so all my father's boyhood dreams are mine to try to
accomplish; I have three sisters who are with my folks this evening and
we have no pets. How's that for starters?"
"Sounds incomplete to me."
"Well, then tell me your story and I'll try to tell mine better."
I sighed then shifted my position on the bed of lions. "My name
is Lucy Sanders, I'm five foot four and I'm an only child. Until my
mother died I used to take gymnastics and Ken-po Karate, which I have a
brown belt in, but when she was killed in a carwreck my father decided
that it was time to become a drunk and use all the money for karate to
help him achieve constant oblivion. This was almost two years ago. My
father lost his job with the police and has been working odd jobs for
the last year. He abuses me whenever he drinks, and I'm going to loose
my temper on him someday. But for now I can convince myself that it's
his lack of steady work that is causing his problems. I get straight
A's and love biology. And I think you're cute."
He sat silently for a while, just staring at me. I began to
wonder which part of my story was making him think so hard.
"Why don't you beat your father up? Use your Karate on him?"
"He knows some himself, Judo mostly, and he is very big."
I didn't want to continue the conversation in this direction.
It made me think of feelings and possible actions that were in my
thoughts too much already. "What about your father?"
"My father is a big guy too. He doesn't try to beat up on me
anymore, just hits me once in a while. He is constantly riding my
back, bitching at me to be the best and to never back down...to be what
he never was, a Pro. My mom is a pushover and does everything he says."
John paused for a little while. "This conversation is getting
depressing; let's find something new to talk about."
"Sounds good to me," I smiled. He began to turn his head and
look around his room.
"Hey, there's my photo book." He leaned back and took the book
off the headboard of his bed. "Do you still wanna' see them?"
My head bobbed.
We spent the rest of the night flipping through his old
pictures. John told a story about each one. I never saw any pictures
of the girl-friends that he talked about having, and we never made out.
* * *
Over the next two months I only saw John at the games and at
parties. He didn't seem to have a steady girl-friend but he was always
real friendly with all the women. My father started to drink more and
I would go to school with new bruises everyday, some even on my face.
After the second time I went to school with a black eye I received a
note saying that my father and I were to meet with a man from child
crisis management. If my mother had still been alive I bet she would
have gone with no complaints.
I showed my father the note after I served dinner
to him that night. I was hoping that the food would have
sobered him up so he wouldn't get mad. But he had more to drink
than normal and hit me twice, HARD. I finally lost control of myself
and hit him once in the stomach, stabbed him just below the sternum with
the steak-knife that I'd been holding, and hit him in the nose hard
enough to break it.
I called the ambulance five minutes later when I gave up on
trying to stop the blood from flowing out the stab wound. He lived.
* * *
I spent the rest of that school year living in a foster home and
going to school at a place called 'Cottage.' I began to smoke and drink
a lot. I didn't see any of my old friends at all. One night, three
weeks into the summer, I was hanging out with some of the other
delinquent kids from 'Cottage' at an all night coffee shop called 'The
Traveler.' Most of the other people who were there were stoners or
A commotion started near the front door. It looked like a
preppie had decided to go slumming and had run afoul of four skin-heads.
It took me a second to realize that the preppie was actually John Welch.
Before I could suggest to my friends, Dan and Josh, that we should help
John out both Dan and Josh had gotten up and were heading towards the
front of 'The Traveler.' Both Dan and Josh had been in enough fights
where they had been outnumbered by football players that they couldn't
help but to get on the side of the underdog. Just seconds before Dan
and Josh had reached the front John turned and walked out the door with
the skin-heads right behind him. When the three of us had cleared the
door to the coffee shop we found John facing down all four skin-heads.
We walked up behind the four growths-of-filth and Dan introduced us
with an impressive yell.
"HEY! How about a fair fight you neo-nazi shit-heads?"
They turned around and seemed quite taken back by the sight of
the three of us. I had know that the skin-heads would back down as soon
as we began to move towards them. Dan was 6'3" and weighed over 200
pounds, all of it muscle. Josh was about 5'6" and weighed about 180
pounds, also all muscle. And I knew that I was bad-ass enough to screw
up at least one of the skin-heads before he had moved more than a dozen
Johns eyes widened in recognition when he saw me and he smiled.
The skin-heads backed off, leaving with the usual threats of revenge
that most bullies use when the have to protect their pride. After they
had gotten in their car and driven off I introduced everybody to each
other. Everyone exchanged greetings and shook hands.
"Thanks for the help," John said. "They would have kicked my
ass but I was too mad to care."
'No prob'," Josh said, "But the skin-heads might come back
still. And with more help. How did you get here?"
"Well how would you like a ride back home in my car?"
"That would be great."
John and I talked all the way to his apartment. Apparently
his parents had gone on vacation to Europe with his sisters and had left
him here for the summer. They had also sold their house and were going
to move in to a new one at the end of the summer. So for the summer
John was living with his roommate, named Mike, and was working two jobs
to pay rent. I told him about how cool my new foster parents were. He
asked if I would be returning to the high school for the new year and
looked happy when I said yes. My two friends and I walked with John up
to his third floor apartment and decided to stay awhile when he offered
us a couple of beers to us for our help. We were there for the better
part of an hour shooting the bull with John and Mike before I had to
leave or risk pissing off my foster parents. John gave me a hug
On the way home I commented about how fine I thought John was.
Dan looked at Josh and laughed once.
"I don't think she knows what he is," he said.
"Neither do I," said Josh.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Here's a hint," Dan said. "John's apartment is a one bedroom
It took me a second to make the connection. John was a
* * *
Classes started and I returned to Johns' school like I said I
would. He had moved back in with his parents so he didn't have to work
while going to school. A strong feeling of friendship formed between
Mike, John, and I. We hung out together all the time and a lot of
people thought that both the guys were dating me or that we were in to
group sex or something like that. Together we worked our way through
the first semester of classes with no problem. I rejoined the
cheerleading team and John was giving his all on the football team,
hoping for a scholarship to a good college. Mike was smart enough to
get into any college he wanted with a full academic scholarship.
The first semester ended and Christmas break was a nice relaxing
time. In January, two days before the second semester started I
received a phone call from John.
"Lucy, I'm really screwed," Johns' voice was shaking badly.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"I told my dad that I went to the mall today, with David Helms.
But I used the car to go pick up Mike and bring him back to my house. I
thought that my dad was going to be gone at work all day but he came
"Oh shit," was all I could say.
"He saw Mike and me together. I've never seen
him so mad in all my life. He stormed in and nearly beat Mike
with a chair but Mike blazed out the door. Then he started calling me a
fag and hit me a few times. He said that he was going to call Mikes'
parents and tell them everything. He pulled me into the study and
started to yell again. God I'm fucked. Mike isn't much better off.
His parents are thinking of sending him away to military school. What
do I do?"
"Drive over to my house and we'll take it from there."
"My dad took my car keys."
"I'll come get you then."
"Don't worry John, it'll all work out."
"I hope so."
* * *
School started again and John and I faced the first day with
feelings of doubt and fear. We hadn't seen Mike again; apparently he
was somewhere with relatives back east. He would be going to military
school the next semester. I wished John good luck when we separated to
go to our first classes. Time dragged through the first three classes as
I waited for lunch when I could see John again. When he didn't show up
at our usual meeting place I got worried. I skipped my next class to
try to find him. Then I heard rumors that he had been in a fight in the
boys locker-room. Someone said that he had tried to call John at his
house and his father replied that his 'fag son doesn't live here
anymore.' He had started to tease John, and John attacked the guy.
John's dad was called to come get John since John wasn't eighteen yet.
As a result of the fight John was suspended and kicked off the football
team. I went to the nearest payphone to call Johns' house but the phone
was busy. Next I tried my foster house to talk to my 'mother'.
"John just called here," she said. "he sounded very upset.
All he said was to tell you goodbye. I tried to call him back but the
phone must be off the hook. What happened at school, Lucy?"
"Call the police, mom. Tell them to go to John's house. I'll
tell you why later," I said and hung up.
John only lived about twenty minutes away if you walked. I
sprinted to his house using every shortcut that I knew. The cold air
hurt my lungs with every breath and the foot-and-a-half deep snow made
running hard. By the time I reached John's neighborhood the fastest I
could move was at a slow jog. I slipped on the top of a brick wall in
the back of the last yard I needed to cut across. I landed on top of the
bricks with my ribs under my right arm and fell into the yard. The
world darkened as I fought to keep from passing out. I couldn't seem to
find the energy to get up and I stayed lying in a snow drift for several
minutes. Then I heard the sound of a gun going off, a big gun. I
forced myself to stand up and move. My ribs began to feel very numb for
some reason but I ignored them.
The world seemed to turn into a T.V. show with the volume turned
down. The only noise I could hear was my own breathing. I crossed the
back yard and began to jog slowly across the front yard into the street
when I heard the second gun shot.
"No," I said under my breath. "NO!" I moved across the street
to the front door and kicked it. I don't remember any jolt or noise.
The door was just there one moment then open the next and I was inside.
I heard faint police sirens in the distance. In side it smelled like
the Fourth of July. I didn't see or hear anyone so I went up the stairs
towards the bedrooms. The door with a picture of the football team was
slightly open. I shoved it out of my way and stepped into the room.
The room stunk like gun powder, and then I noticed the blood splattered
on the wall. My gaze dropped to the floor and I saw a pair of feet
sticking out from behind the bed. My ribs hurt now and it was hard to
breath. My vision tunneled until I could only see the feet. I felt
weak, fell to my knees and crawled across the floor. The first thing I
noticed was that the face looked like it had a red hood over it. The
next thing I noticed was that it was the body of John's father.
I passed out.
* * *
When I woke up it was two days later and I found myself in a
hospital bed with my foster parents sitting next to me. I felt very
groggy because the doctors had me on some kind of sedation. I was awake
long enough to find out what happened. After John had killed his father
he had gone down stairs and killed himself with a .44 in the back yard.
I had broken my ribs and was in the hospital for the next week.
Johns' funeral was the next day but I was unable to attend. After
the investigation I was able to keep John's diary as a memory of my
\ T A L E S O F T H E U N K N O W N /
/ By Deva Bryson Winblood \
( )__( )
| __ |
(_) (_)ere begin the tales of wonder, unexplained, and strange
happenings as heard from the mouths of common people. With each
publication of the ICS magazine one or more tales of this variety
will be told. If you yourself have a tale that you think
others might find interesting or informative, send it to ICS.
(__ __) ---------------
(__)he wind was blowing through the cottonwood trees, pine trees, and
aspen trees bringing fresh summer smells to the nostrils of the four
youths as they walked down the dusty road. The sun was warm and the
heat was high in the clothing of the young boys. Cotton floated in the
air only to be pitched around by the winds coming off of the mountains
that surrounded the valley.
Not far ahead of the boys was an old white house with peeling
paint, and old fading green trim. The windows to the house were smoky
with age, and heavy on the bottom where the glass had slowly expanded
They were there because one youth had overheard a conversation
between his mother and the lady who owned the house next door to the
decrepid house. The lady had been busily telling his mother about strange
figures of little kids that would attempt to play with the lady's dogs in
the night and the dogs would act terrified. Eventually the spectral
children would vanish.
This youth as well as many of his friends was interested in
bigfoot, UFOs, ghosts, and anything else unusual. So, soon the boy was
listening to any rumors he heard about that house and anything in its
Over time the boy and some of his friends had learned that some
children had once lived in the old house next door, and that they had
died of small pox and were then buried up on a large ridge behind the
house known as Hog's Back. The evidence kept suggesting that the house
would indeed reveal some interesting things if only the boys would go
and investigate long enough.
Finally one day the boys got an interesting idea. Why not
try to see if a tape recorder would pick up anything. The boys felt
this was a great idea as long as no one was around to see them making a
fool of themselves.
When they finally stood semi-close to the old house that had
cottonwood branches in full bloom draping around the roof, they began to
joke and wait for someone brave enough(or crazy enough) to carry the tape
recorder to the porch. They had all already unanimously decided that they
did not want to stand close to the house when yelling their questions at
the "ghost." They kept talking about how scared they would be if they saw
something looking at them through the windows of this house.
At last one boy grabbed the tape recorder, ran up to the old
short porch and deposited the tape recorder on the porch. He ran as fast
as he could back out to the others standing ten yards away.
The boys began to shout questions. The questions were basically
WE WANT TO HELP YOU, WE WILL MAKE PEOPLE KNOW YOU ARE HERE.
SHOW US A SIGN THAT YOU ARE HERE.
TELL US YOUR NAME, SAY IT IN THE TAPE RECORDER, DON'T SAY IT OUT LOUD.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
These questions were shouted fairly loudly so that they could be
picked up by the tape recorder that was ten yards away. Finally after
yelling questions and statements long enough to fill up about fifteen
minutes of tape one of the boys ran and got the tape recorder and they
proceeded to one of the boy's forts.
The Fort was behind the boy's trailer home, and was constructed
of plywood boards. All of the boys squeezed into the fort and sat on
a foam mattress that they liked to refer to as the couch. The boy was
finally handed his tape recorder which he had been rewinding on the way
The boy pressed play and set the tape recorder on the ground and
listened for a moment. Yep, their voices started shouting questions.
After about two minutes of listening the youth in the fort got
distracted as youth at that age often do. They began to joke and listen
less intently to the tape recorder. Then it happened.
TELL US YOUR NAME , then the very loud inhuman voice while the boys
question was muffled in the background as it finished DON't SAY IT OUT
LOUD, SAY IT IN THE TAPE RECORDER.
The boys described the voice then as being a cross between a pig
and a deep human voice. The sound began with a loud scratch that
sounded like the screen of a screen door. It just so happens that there
was a screen door two feet away from the tape recorder.
After the scratch the INHUMAN VOICE said something. At the time
the boys thought it said LEE very forcibly, because they were expecting
a name to go along with their question. The boys excitedly ran around
the town playing the tape for anyone that would listen. Most adults
grinned, though many of them seemed startled. The man at the news paper
took the local boys aside and told them that indeed a man named Lee had
lived in the house many years ago. So, for many years the boys would
believe that is what the voice said.
Later one of the boys(now grown) asked the news paper man
about LEE when rekindling the old childhood image, and the news paper
man said "But, LEE is still alive, he just has not lived here for
a long time." At that time the boy(now man) realized what the voice
really had said. What the voice had said was LEAVE.
Chi - The Power / Supernatural Occurrences
by Daniel Frederick / Neon Chrome ©
In this article I am going to discuss the concept of supernatural and
try to explain it in my own way. I would like to hear a response about
my ideas and would like to hear your ideas on this subject too. Please
note that these ideas are purely my own and no disrespect is intended.
Chi is not my word, I learned it from many others around the world.
When I used to think of the word supernatural I envisioned dark
decay and robed madness, kneeling before the gaping flames of hell
preparing a fine young female virgin. Bloody knives glittering in
the luminosity of a megalithic, psychotic, and evil stare of the demon
Satan himself as he watched his legion surrounded by runes, magic and
screams of the angels in pain.
Overdoing it? Maybe. But that is what I thought about, and maybe a
little bit more dealing with cruelty and malevolent actions of magical
deities and elementals who love to hurt. The supernatural is a topic
that no one really knows facts about. Each of us will see it differently.
I have had a few encounters in my past. Or so I believe.
I was born Roman Catholic and believe that if for no other reason,
religion is good because it gives you an environment that is pleasant
and friendly to grow up in. Usually religious people tend to be good
wholesome people. I, however, can't say I honestly believe in one all
powerful God that created every thing. I am not a believer in much at all,
but don't really have a problem with others believing as long as they don't
press their beliefs onto me.
Is there a demonic Satan some where waiting for God to dispel us from
heaven and send us to hell where Satan waits to thrust suffering and pain
onto us for being evil people? I don't know...it would be nice if a heaven
was there for us to go to when we end with our lives here on this plane
of existence called life on Earth. I don't have my hopes up.
As far as the supernatural goes I do have a underlying feeling that
there is some sort of unknown that really scares the life out of us
because we don't understand it, and what we don't understand we fear. As
long as I am a morally good person I really am not worried about ending up
in any existence that may cause me great pain once I die.
I mentioned that I had some unusual occurrences in my life. Having talked
about them with friends and people who I know well I found that most had
similar things happen to them when they were younger.
When I was with a good friend in his dark and large basement we saw the
red flaring horns of what we believed was the Devil himself. We were quite
serious and were not fooling around. It seems to me that when you and a
group of friends go in search of the unnatural and some one can't take it
they tend to disrupt the mood by cracking a joke. When you all are quite
honestly waiting to see what will happen and all involved are serious, then
that is when your collective psychological feeling for something to truly
happen makes it possible for you to see something you may never be able to
explain. If you haven't heard of the word Chi then you should take a moment
to learn what it is.
Chi is what most martial artists in the world refer to as an energy that
you create about you to perform acts that would otherwise seem somewhat
incredible. I have had the opportunity to train under a couple of styles
of martial arts, ranging from Tae Kwon Do, Judo, to Aikido. Each talked
of how real power came from within not muscle alone. Also I came to
understand the concept and began to focus on it more when I was witness to
my mentor's ability to show and use Chi. A strong board of wood placed in
a metal frame broken while a fist or foot was still inches away. Video tapes
of it showed that no contact was made yet still wood was broken. Many
scientific studies I have read about show an incredible amount of study
has gone on concerning this subject. Chi is in a sense a life force that
can be in a way, a mind over matter force. To go within an inch of one
instructor gave a shock to my touching hand. Chi then can be used when
focused on by martial artist, so why not all of us. Because we don't know
about it? I myself spent many years trying to imitate my instructors in
their use of Chi. I accomplished it and proved to myself in the most
convincing way that Chi was real by using it myself. How was I to doubt
myself if I was to believe in all I knew was the truth (as I know it).
When you are scared by something lurking around you and you feel it
breathing down your neck twisting your emotions into hell and playing
havoc with your mind and you release adrenaline into your body to
prepare you for any life threatening situation you may encounter, do you
think that possible you create a force around yourself. Chi surrounds
you and instead of using it to break a board you use it to create what
your mind sees. If you really let your imagination get away from you it
could be lethal. Now imagine that there are six of you all experiencing
the same phenomenon, your collective Chi builds up surrounding all of
you in a state of pure fear. This collective force lets an even more
prominent force occur before all of your eyes. If you sat together in
a circle around a chair and focused on it in such a state of incredible
fear that sparked your inner self and all of you desired this chair to
rise, would it. Why not? What besides fear will cause you to form such a
powerful force of your Chi? The supernatural would only be you then, not
the power of some Satan. Then again possibly this Chi is present with us,
and Demons too are out there co-existing in our sense of reality or
non-reality...waiting for us to contact them so they may fill our
dominion along with theirs. Then these monsters would be able to cause
what looks like magic too. Even more powerful than we can if they
should happen to understand what we don't. The unknown/known cannot be
feared. Only controlled like everything else we as humans learn about.
I do hope that if we all fully understood forces like Chi then we would
be able to control ourselves and it, not just it. We understand how to
build and create nuclear weapons, but I have no desire to play in the
radioactive dust of my parent's ashes because we cannot control ourselves
along with controlling nuclear weapons. Some do understand in a limited
way what Chi is and what can be done with the human psyche and mind. It
is a powerful force, most likely the mind is the most powerful thing of
all. Some have learned how to control aspects of these forces, weather
they give meaning and credit to themselves, some powerful demon or God
himself, it is still limited yet incredible to those who possess no
control over these forces at all.
I would wager that the psychic person, the magic user, and those like
the martial artist, all use the same power. Each person would have their
own battery of Chi. Each persons would vary in strength and be channeled
in different directions. Some would understand Chi in the form of magic
while others would better understand it in the form of their own psyche or
I offer the idea that the power of Chi is a force of nature that can
be controlled by single individuals and groups in many ways, all powerful.
In manipulation or fear. To be used or used by. I would like to hear your
views on this and all the above subjects. Magic, psychogenics, Chi, and
Daniel Frederick / Neon Chrome ©
\ F i n a l O p i n i o n /
The editors hope that I.C.S. is a great departure from anything that
has utilized this format before. It is not a literary 'zine, but we want
to emphasize creative writing and imagination. Ideally, we would like to
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In order that I.C.S. be available to the maximum number of
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There are ways to use imagination to partially overcome this, and we are
slowly learning. We also realize that there are many others out there
who have a great deal more experience with the electrozine and we would
be grateful to any who might help us along with their ideas.
Reading through the first issue, we hope that your impression of our
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issue to issue early on as we learn more about what we are doing. It may
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