April 2018


It’s clear that the item is manmade; even through all the intervening centuries, fingerprints are still visible in its fired clay surface. It also appears to be largely intact. But its purpose and design remain obscure.

The name “Devil of Wickhamshire” or “Wickhamshire Devil” come from two sets of small protrusions that look like small horns depending on the orientation, and an overall “facelike” shape. Alarming newspaper coverage at the item’s discovery in 1857 sent panicked locals into a mob to demand that the evil icon be smashed; a resourceful page from London who had been sent to collect the find gave them instead a worthless potsherd upon which he’d scribbled a menacing face.

With its odd shape, two central holes, and ‘horns,’ arguments for the Devil have cast it as everything from some sort of abstract idol to an incomplete pottery experiment to a simple block and tackle. Even carbon dating has failed to settle the dilemma, with a date of 3510 years before present, ± 100 years–an era long before the Roman invasion for which there are no known records.

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Justin looked at the AltLives™ window on his computer. In it, an alternate Justin wearing a different t-shirt was watching AltLives™ on his computer.

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised?” they both said, in unison.

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We were prepared for violence, for jackboots. Totalitarianism, in its most naked and vaguely cartoonish form. And, to be sure, some tried it. But the old stahlhelms didn’t fit anymore, and things proved unsurprisingly resilient to that nonsense.

Instead, people were simply…disconnected.

Blacklisted.

Biometrics meant there was no real possibility of false identities, of begging and borrowing, at least not for most. If the powers that be decided that you were a threat, they simply took you off the grid. No access to the global data net, no access to most services, no electricity.

It was possible to live that way; many did. It was even possible to relish it, as some did. But for the average person, who had never known real want or fear…it was a death sentence.

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The writing grew more ragged at this point, the previously flawless scribal Latin starting to lose some of its meticulousness.

“I had thought that the cloudiness I detected, the distraction and memory loss, was the real threat to my existence. But I was wrong.”

“I have made a breakthrough that explains the symptoms, and Imust write it down with shaking quill even though I desire nothing more than to scream in terror from te rooftop of my stuffy or to fling myself into the fire, for all the good that would do me. Living as a thousand scattered sentient ashes is only marginally less of a horror that that which I have discovered.”

“Cancer occurs naturally in our bodies over time. We never notice that fact because medicine, for all its advances during my long life, was never terribly advanced and even now people tend to die of other illnesses.”

“But what I have found is that the rate of growth is geometric. The longer a lifespan becomes, the most likely we are to develop cancer. The more likely it is to grow, and to spread. Eventually, even the hardiest person would succumb. But not I.”

The investigator set aside the codex after photographing the final, unintelligible scrawls with her cell phone. She then turned to the alchemist’study, still thick with the newly disturbed dust of centuries.

A misshapen lump of flesh, man-sized but with little recognizably human about it, laying across the floor and swathed in robes so ancient they were beiginning to crumble away. Every few moments, it would pulse, rely and weakly.

“He should have done a little more research before using the Stone to become immortal,” the investigator said. She picked up the delicate amber-rose crystal from where it lay on the floor and crushed it in one hand. “Losing his mind to Alzheimer’s was the only mercy this thing gave the most intelligent being on earth.”

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“He thought he was hot stuff as a horse breaker,” whistled Tex. He watched, leaning against the paddock fence, as Mulligan ran for his life, his galloping pursuers rapidly gaining.

“I know he needed to be taken down a notch,” said Bud. “But don’t you think this is a bit much?”

Tex shrugged. “He needed to learn how to deal with centaurs sooner or later.”

“Oy! You!,” cried the lead centaur pursuing Mulligan. “Get back ‘ere so we can finish beatin’ some sense int ya!”

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When you argue from ignorance
And people reject the inference
You’ve been Splocked™
When fallacies pass your lips
And everyone thinks you’re a drip
You’ve been Splocked™
If there’s no logic to find
In or out of your mind
You’ve been Splocked™

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Congratulations on the purchase of your new #0868 Ouroboros Premium Clock!

Complement any room with the contemporary look and functional features of this sensitive alarm clock. Tap gently or activate just by snapping your fingers, clapping your hands, or thinking anxiously on past mistakes. Enjoy a longer battery life with its auto-shut off feature when it detects awkward silence in the room, and its auto-activation feature that is always listening–ever-vigilant, but never judging unless it so chooses.


Important:
Please read the user manual thoroughly before using your clock. It contains warranty instructions, basic operations, and incantations that will keep safe the unwary.


Specifications:
• Two display mode:
Display 1: Time and temperature (display alternately)
Display 2: Time (default display)
Display 3: Time remaining until they arrive (“anticipation mode”)
• Battery type: 3 x AAA or 2 x AA or 1 x A (“A” batteries may not be available or exist in all timelines)
• Power input: DC5V
• Material: PVC
• Dimensions (L x W x H x T): 868mm x 80mm x 80mm x 40,320,000 minutes
• Weight: 868g


Package contents:
• Alarm clock
• Power cable
• Instruction booklet
• 08 68 08 68 08 68 08 68 08 68 08 68
• You will never see it coming


Features:
• Power input
• Reset button
• Battery compartment
• Digital display
• Analog display
• Set button
• Erase button
• Secret button
• Select ‘Up’ button
• Select ‘Down’ button
• AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
• 08 68 08 68 08 68 08 68 08 68 08 68


Understanding the Product:
START USING THE ALARM CLOCK
START USING THE ALARM CLOCK
START USING THE ALARM CLOCK

1) Setting up the alarm clock
Press and hold the ‘secret’ button for about 3 seconds to enter into setting mode.
The settings may be set in the following sequence:
Year > Month > Date > Hour > Minute > Alarm > 08 > 68 > AAAA > AAAA > AAAA

a) Year setting:
The ‘Year’ section will flash
Press the ‘Up’ / ‘Down’ button to select the year you will die.
Press the ‘secret’ button to confirm and move on to set ‘Month/Date’.

b) Month/Date setting:
The ‘Month/Date’ section will flash.
Press the ‘Up’ / ‘Down’ button to select the month and press the ‘Set’ button to set the date of death.
Press the ‘Set’ button to confirm and move on to set ‘Hour/Minute’.

c) Hour/Minute setting:
The ‘Hour/Minute’ section will flash
Press the ‘Up’ / ‘Down’ button to select the hour and press the ‘Set’ button to set the moment of death.
Press the ‘Set’ button to confirm and move on to set ‘12H/24H’.
Note: If any part of the detail is set wrongly, skip through the rest and restart the setting process from the
‘Year’. Please note that previous setting is saved after exiting setting mode.

d) Alarm setting:
Press the ‘Up’ / ‘Down’ button to select the format of the display time. Press the ‘Set’ button to
confirm and move on to set ‘Alarm’.

e) 08 setting:
The ‘Alarm’ section will flash.
Press the ‘Up’ / ‘Down’ button to select 08 and press the ‘Set’ button to set 08.
Press the ‘Set’ button to confirm 08.
08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08

f) 68 setting
68
Up
Up
Up
68
68
68 68
Alarm (Set)
68
68
68 68 68
Alarm (Set)
Set
Set
Set

g) AAAA setting
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

2) ‘Secret’ button function
Switching in-between display modes
During ‘Normal’ mode, press the ‘secret’ button once to switch to another display type.

3) ‘Set’ button function
a) Switching views
During ‘Normal’ mode, press the ‘Up’ button once to return to normal. Do not do this more than once.
b) Speed up selection
Set
Set
Set
Set
08
68
08 68
Normal (Clock)
08
AAAA
08 68
Normal (Clock)
AAAA
AAAA
Up
Up
08
68
68 08
Normal (Clock)
AAAA
AAAA
AAAA

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