Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NOSTROMO “Guts” C45 (5cm Recordings)




“IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.”

“IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.”

“IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.”

As I repeated this in a deep, reverberating monotone to the five-year-old girl sitting across from me on the bus, I thought to myself, This isn’t doing either of us any good. The girl’s mother, thirty-ish, vilely unattractive under an unseasonal Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap and vicious scowl, stared so deeply and hatefully at me that I wondered if the intensity was enough to impregnate me with a baby xenomorph. Who needs the facehugger middleman to do all the dirty work?

The bus reached my stop, and I disembarked, but not before tousling the girl’s hair and flashing a smile at her mom. The scowl remained, and in fact deepened. Undaunted, I flipped my aviator headphones back over my ears and pressed “Play” on the comically oversized tape player attached via belt clip to the waistband of my sweatpants. Out poured the lovingly noisy math punk of Nostromo, a sweaty three-piece probably from somewhere around Des Moines, Iowa, a long way from Panama City, the capital of the country that I now called home. The churning sleaze, which wouldn’t be out of place on a Drag City compilation, soothed me, pushed the mantra that haunted me to the back of my consciousness. For a moment at least.

I entered the Weyland-Yutani Corporation complex through the gated entryway, flashing my badge to the hyper-alert guard flanked by automatic-weapons-toting ex-military security officers. I flashed him a smile as well and contemplated what he would do if I tousled his hair. His stoic face did not return my attempt at connection. He pressed a button and a gate opened. I kept smiling.

I walked across the campus to my building, an unassuming warehouse-like structure a quarter of a mile from the entrance. Nostromo’s guiding rock and roll continued to keep me company. I entered through a plain metal door in the side of the building, a retina scan the only thing suggesting advanced technology to the outside observer.

We knew what they were – those things. We’d encountered them before, in deep space. We needed more information, but we needed stooges to bring us that information. So I was in charge of the project to make that happen. I had the perfect plan – an interstellar transport operation, moving mined materials from other planets to Earth like a truck pulls a tractor – but in space! We’d initiate a distress call, our chosen ship would investigate, and blammo! We’d have access to all the, ahem, alien DNA we’d need.

I wandered into the hangar area where the almost-completed ship, our ship, was being fitted with various parts and equipment. It was busy. Nostromo, reverberating through my ear canals, was on fire this morning – yeah the tape, Guts, was still playing (“Trebuchet” is a long song after all). A tech in an Atlanta Braves cap wandered by with a large coil of hose over one shoulder. “Hey Charlie,” I said to him, “in space, no one can hear Sid Bream, amiright??” Charlie, with an incredulous and vastly confused look on his face, almost stopped his pace, the “What?” clearly forming on his lips before he thought better of it and continued on his way. I shrugged. Nothing was gonna ruin my day.

The conference room was not empty as I entered it – three American men of similar ages (don’t make me guess what they were) in sharp bespoke suits standing at one end of the conference table looked up as I entered. My smile lit the room, and I did not feel self-conscious in the slightest dressed as I was in navy sweatpants and a plain orange t-shirt. I slid my headphones back off my ears, but I dared not hit “Stop” and silence Nostromo’s guiding sonics. “Guys,” I said. “This is my project, right? It’s only fair that I get to name the ship. Here we go. I’m going to call it the Nostromo. What do you think? Actually, it doesn’t matter what you think. You’re not the head of the engineering department. I am. I’m the one in charge of this whole operation. So now that we got that out of the way, let’s get down to business.”

The CEO of Weyland-Yutani – sure, probably the oldest one, but seriously, I have no idea how old – smiled even wider than I did, if that was even possible. “That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard, Phil. Nostromo it is. Now, let’s decide which rubes are gonna bring us back this wonderful alien DNA. By the way, what is that enchanting music you’re listening to?”

5cm Recordings

--Ryan Masteller


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