Pass by Catastrophe

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No Dreams of Orgonon post this week. I've been preoccupied with finals and a move. Here's a short story I wrote for a class and revised for Eruditorum Press. 

Iran annexes Ukraine | Entire US Cabinet Found Dead of Lead Poisoning | Immanuel Kant Cloned | Rabbit Kills 70

Wednesday, 6th of May, 20 _ _

The Pedagogic Courier

PASS BY CATASTROPHE: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE METZGER UNIVERSITY NUCLEAR CATASTROPHE
Reni Abbasi

As Metzger University resumes operation in the aftermath of its nuclear explosion, the university’s administration is working hard to earn back its students’ trust. The families of the deceased have been offered compensation fees of $20,000 per casualty, plus a partial tuition refund for both deceased and living students. Metzger has asserted student loans are not forgiven under any circumstances). All students have received automatic 4.0 GPAs, and adjunct professors have received a 6% raise in their salary. The university has embroiled itself in a bout of some controversy over the 56% salary increase its administration has given itself. “With an unprecedented catastrophe like this, we felt Metzger University owed its students some financial support,” says University President Charles McDonnell. “And with their recent efforts to boost student morale, the board figured they owed themselves a reward.”

The catastrophe occurred at 2 PM PDT on the 17th of November, when Metzger University sent its student body emergency text messages, alerting them that the college had triggered a nuclear bomb and all faculty, staff, and students would have to be 50 miles off campus by 2:10. Over 15,000 students, academics, and manual workers scrambled to leave the building, causing many to be injured and some to be fatally trampled. Evacuation was further slowed by fifty philosophy majors who beat each other to death in an eschatology debate. In the parking lot students leaped into the windows of moving shuttles, often breaking ribs in the process. One mass of people managed to tip over a shuttle in motion and forced it into the side of another shuttle, as attested to by the university director’s personal security camera. At 2:09, a blinding flash and a mushroom from hell obliterated the landscape, instantly claiming thousands of lives (exact numbers have fluctuated, as estimates vary from 30,000 to 170,000). Buildings were decimated and forests burned for days. The governor called a state of emergency, martial law, and bypassed constitutional law to declare himself dictator of Transylvania. Shortly afterwards, security footage obtained by the New York Times showed the governor screaming at an aide about goblins under his desk. Institutionalization is being considered for the governor by his family.

As entire counties burned, governments, universities, and news channels debated the details of the nuclear explosion. A federal investigation was launched into the cause of the detonation, but it seems to have been inconspicuously concluded. In a rare public appearance, Harold Camping visited the destroyed Metzger campus. He has since been quarantined with radiation sickness despite his insistence that he has been cured.

Getting witness accounts from corpses is difficult, so pinning down a cause for the event has proved difficult. What security recordings exist from security cameras impervious to nuclear blasts, they do not pinpoint the origin of the nuclear bomb. However, former university staff and students have explained that in 1998, Metzger University obtained one of the two Tsar Bombas developed by the Soviet Union.

“The Tsar Bomba was tested by the Soviets in 1961,” says Dr. Adam McNally, former head of Metzger’s STEM division. “It was the most powerful H-bomb ever constructed. What the world didn’t know was that the Soviet Union accidentally constructed two of them. After the Cold War ended, Russia got a little antsy about having one of these things around, so they quietly auctioned it off to the highest bidder. Why they sold it to an American university, we’ll never know. I mean, we will literally never know since the records have been vaporized.”

One of the escapees from the disaster, a chemistry student named Allen T. Burroughs, has come forward with an account of the poor judgement exercised by those using the bomb. About twenty minutes before Metzger University was put on red alert, Burroughs witnessed campus officials and STEM professors tampering with the Tsar Bomba. “They say everything is STEM’s fault,” says Burroughs,” “which isn’t true. It’s our fault about 25% of the time. The other 75% is because of business majors. Greg Banks from the business department oversaw what happened.” Burroughs claims that the university staff were investigating the broken nuke, which was partially severed in half on the floor. Their only tools were a pair of wirecutters and a bong, which the provost used in an attempt to bang the nuke back into one piece. “The board had an orgy in that room which knocked the bomb clean off its perch. They could have deactivated it with a few codes, but instead entering passwords they used their safewords. Which do not deactivate the bomb.”

This is not the first allegation of extreme behavior from Metzger University faculty and staff. “Once I went to the provost’s office to arrange some photographs for a press conference,” says Metzger graduate and photojournalist Ursula S. Berger. “And there was… so many drugs. Like every single solitary drug you could imagine was scattered around that dude’s office. Alprazolam. Cocaine lodged in the provost’s nostril. Acid laced with what looked like meth. Plenty of mescaline. Ether. Oh, and they had yagé. How the fuck did they get yagé?”

In the months since Metzger’s destruction, interviews have been conducted by dozens of journalists. None of them have figured out exactly why Metzger University tampered with this death machine, although there have been strong theories. But finally, we at the ____ Courier have tracked down a former university official who has explained to us the exact reason Metzger used the Tsar Bomba. “Everyone you’ve interviewed is wrong,” says retired President Alexander Metzger. “It wasn’t sheer incompetence that destroyed Metzger University. The board has reasons for what it did. Nobody could have predicted Metzger University’s obsession with entheogenic nuclear bombs.”

When the founders of Metzger University first encountered entheogenic theories and practices, they figured that there was no spiritualism that a little war profiteering couldn’t fix. Generations and Oppenheimers later, Metzger University realized that the mind bending qualities of a nuclear explosion made for the perfect consciousness-altering experience. Nuclear test sites were purchased, and officials used them with alarming frequency. These were often disguised as military operations, when in fact the US government, in the words of the head of the FBI, “kept itself as far away from those lunatics as geographically, politically, and emotionally possible.” An FBI official reached out for comment. “How *do* you handle people like this? People using nukes as entheogens. Well, in our case, you turn the other cheek and pray to god you’re not caught in the fallout.”

Metzger University has resumed operations in the past few months, on a new campus about an hour south of its old location. The 300 returning students seem less than thrilled with their new circumstances, but with their tuition halved have settled into their new reality. “I mean, it’s not ideal,” says student Letitia Serano, a chemistry major. “Their classes ranged between super tedious and making you terrified for your safety. One day, one of our biology professors went up in flames. Completely incinerated. Nothing but a pile of ashes on the ground. And he came back to work two days later like nothing had happened. It was really weird. Not okay at all.”

Other students have offered choice words about Metzger University. “I hate this,” says Ashleigh Eze, who’s preparing for her master’s in medicine. “They need to build a goddamn roof for the cafeteria. It’s not bad enough the salad has Windex on it, the breadsticks taste like hail.”

News is slowly getting out about Metzger University. This article will give the public their first official glimpse of what happened that November day and what really occurs behind the scenes at this eldritch institution. A student activist group called Students Ending Mandatory Entheogenic Nukes has organized on campus and meets every Tuesday. The university has neglected to comment on mere hearsay. With official press releases coming out, they will be forced to make a comment and possibly close their doors. Perhaps with enough pressure, Metzger will ends its apoclayptic traditions.

Reni Abbasi was arrested prior to the publication of this article.

Comments

Christopher Brown 4 months ago

I actually laughed out loud! I hope you got a good grade on this :)

What is the context of its creation?

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Christopher Brown 4 months ago

Eldritch purposes, I hope.

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Christine 4 months ago

It was a short fiction course where we had the opportunity to write three stories over the course of the semester. This is the one I'm most satisfied with.

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