The nature of the beast

I looked down into a pit of shadows. Strange lights flicked and I could see colors I didn’t have names for. The vile black thing was neither liquid nor solid and the tentacle like arms wavered in the light. The thing was making a horrific noise like nails on a chalkboard but deep inside my brain. Whatever it was it was a corruption of the natural world.
     Hot urine slid down my legs as I voided what little I had left in m bladder. My body tried to back away but I couldn’t move I couldn’t do anything bust stare into the forsaken vision of horror below me.  The creature’s thoughts were like mind pollution burning the air souls around it with its presence.
     A tentacle reached up and kissed my ear with its black touch. Adrenaline flood my brain as the thing danced into my ear canal and I could fell the lick of its skin that should not exist. The long tentacle slipped into my ear and it felt like spikes dug into the soft tissue of my brain. I have never experience such horrific mind numbing agony.
     A thick tentacle of an impossible color tried to push its way down my mouth. As it did two cranial saws swung inward from the chair.
     “Mother fucker.” I shouted, and broke the binding of the tape. I grabbed the cranial saw, ripped off the hinge and slammed its blade against the black tentacle. The thing severed and turned to maggots in my mouth. I spit them out as they tried to devour my flesh from the inside. The cranial saw was humming and I could feel the thing below shrieking into my brain. My head was pounding and my nose was dripping black blood.
     The door was closed and locked from the other side. The creature was making horrible noises trying to follow me over a grated metal floor. I brought the saw down on the tape holding my feet and then I backed away from the pit where this thing was.
     With the saw I cut the straps holding the chair and pulled it back from the ledge. Right then the door flung open. Maggont was carrying red. He looked down at the where the missing chair should be and I hit him with it. I couldn’t hold it and the entire thing along with him and the woman went into the pit with the creature.
     Red screamed so loud I thought my ear drums were going to pop and I turned to run out the door. The saw stopped running and I dropped it to the ground.
     Babyface loomed in the door way. His face registered shock and anger. I knew he was surprised so I put my shoulder into his gut and shoved him like he was tackle dummy. Red’s scream stopped suddenly.
     “That is enough of that.” Babyface said, standing back up. The warts on his face was leaking a green sludge. The smell of acid filled the room. He wiped his hands on his cheek and flung the shit at me. When it touched my skin it burned like hell.
     “What the hell are you?” I asked stepping around him. I could see Maggot coming back in the room. He was no longer wearing the coat. I could see he was basically a human skeleton with millions of maggots flowing around him instead of flesh. The little geasy white worms smelled of rotting flesh and devoured Bob’s meat as Maggot came lumbering in.
     “Okay, this is out of hand now.” Maggot said. He lunged at me and grabbed me by the shoulders. Maggots dripped off his face and arms and crawled on me. They were all up in my nose and my mouth and my ears.
     They were consuming my face and arms when Babyface pulled me away. I couldn’t stop screaming. I vomited up still squirming worms as Babyface pitched me into the corner. I hit my head and my vision blurred.
     “What the fuck man? You have been trying to kill this asshole all day. I’m sick of his shit.” Maggot said, worms dripping off him like wax off a candle.
     “It wants him alive.” Babyface said. “I say we lock him in the shower stall next door.”
     “Take him before I break his skull.” Maggot shouted. Babyface grabbed me by the foot and drug me back into the stone shower stall next door. He pitched me in and closed the metal gate with a lock. I don’t think I was the first person they put back there.
     Maggot turned and grabbed Rosa, lifting her by hair and took her into the room with the creature. As he walked the maggots followed in a line, leaving Bob with out most of the flesh on his skull.
     “I will start cutting fingers off.” Babyface shouted at me.
     “Like your mother did?” I snaked.
     “My mother was no saint. “ Babyface said. “But I wouldn’t go there if I were you.”
     “Sorry man I already did, with your mother.” I said. He turned and stormed off. I heard the metal door slam with a clang.
     “Can you hear me?” Alyssa said, laying down on the other side of the cement.
     “Yes.” I said. I didn’t really feel like talking or moving.
     “What the hell is going on.” She said.
     “I wish I knew. They just tried to feed me to some kind of a monster. Them, their monsters took.” I said.
     “Do you think we can get out here?” She asked.
     “I know I can.” I said.
     “What did you see in there?” she asked.
     “You don’t want to know. Worse than anything I have ever seen and I have seen some shit.” I said leaning my cheek against the cold stone.

The Unicorn

“So what brings you out to Boston?” I asked the pretty girl setting next to me at the bus station. She had on a black winter jacket and a white shirt. One her neck was a silver crucifix. Her nails were unpainted and her face unadorned with makeup. She was lovely even without those things.

“I can out to help with a Promise Keepers convention.” She said. I could tell she had a Midwestern accent. Probably Michigan since she had a University of Michigan key chain. I guessed she might be about sixteen.

“That’s that big Christian organization right?” I asked. I don’t really care. She smells like cinnamon. I can tell she is a virgin. I can always tell.

“That’s the one.” She said. The wind was up outside. January in Boston was thick with snow and ice and when the wind blew it shook the entire building. In the corner an old television blared in the background. The screen was mostly green but that didn’t stop the three people in the station from staring at it like slack jawed monkeys.

“Where are you from?” She asked. She clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth when she talked. I could see on her teeth were braces had been put to pull her teeth straight. She wasn’t a runway. That was a good sign.

“Lots of different places. Boston is my home but I’m heading out on the late bus to go to California for a job.” I said. I was lying.

“Really that sounds exciting. This is my first trip out side of Michigan.” She said. I knew it was, she had that look.

“Hopefully not your last.” I said. It probably would be. “Where are you going to college?”

“U of M.” She said. That’s how she said it, as all letters as though I was supposed to know what it meant. I did but why did people always do that.

“Show me on your hand.” I said. Michigan is shaped like a hand and ever moron from there whips it up to tell you where they live, as though you have an atlas on your skin.

She laughed and pointed to the middle. She had no calluses on her soft hands. No sign of work no real existence. My hands were crusted with calluses, dirt and even blood. She shouldn’t even be talking to me.

The snow outside the door was piling up and threatening to spill inside. Little spiders of ice and dirt formed in the corner of the windows and twinkled under onslaught of the florescent lights and the bad green interior.

The garbage’s in the bus station were overflowing, wadded up gum and cans. No Starbucks coffee containers for the bus riding crew. People who ride the bus are a special bunch. You’ve probably run into them in the past. None of them are the kind of people you’d want sitting next your kid.

“I was thinking of becoming a doctor. Maybe a pediatrician I like kids.” She said. Her voice was breathy as she said it. “Assuming I can afford it. I have to get loans.”

“I’m sure some one will help you out. What about your parents?” I asked. She looked at me with her blue eyes that were the color of the ocean and her blonde corn colored hair.

“They don’t make much money. I’m kind of on my own when it comes to paying for school.” She said. “I got a couple of scholarships but none of them enough to pay the whole ride. I can do a work study and maybe pay the bills but not at any of the more expensive schools.” She said. She pushed her hair over her ear as she talked. She kept doing it even when it wasn’t down almost like it was a nervous tick.

“The world does need more doctors.” I said. She smiled at me and the room seemed brighter with her in it. I was lying I didn’t really give a shit if the world had anyone.

“That is the plan anyway. I have to get though this summer anyway.” She said. Okay maybe she wasn’t sixteen but she was a virgin. I could tell. If I let her live then she would go into the world and be corrupted. I had to save her.

“So you want to get a cup of coffee? Starbucks next door kitten.” I said. She bit her lip. She knew she shouldn’t go but I was a young attractive male who seemed smart and she let her guard down. Of course she was going to go.

“Okay, we can come right back.” She said. She slipped her backpack on over her shoulders while I fiddled with my knife.

“Sure thing.” I said.


“I have good news and bad news.” The officer said squinting at the computer screen.”

“Give me the good news first.” The detective said as she drank the bitter swill they called coffee.

“We have over a hundred hits in the database for tis guy’s M.O.” He said.

“Bad news?” She asked.

“None of them have any more forensic data than we do. No camera hits, no fluids no DNA. No witnesses. The only thing they have is the same, the Narwhal scrapings from the weapon.” He said.

“What kind of sick fuck cuts the heart out of a schoolgirl and then rapes her corpse?” The detective asked.

“I don’t know but it’s almost like only virgin school girls can even SEE him.” The officer said.


dinosaurs Vs Robots.

Earth is the battleground between the dinosaurs and the alien robots called the Mekatta. I know how stupid that sounds but a little more than ten years ago the Dinosaurs returned and brought the machines with them. No one is really sure what happened but what we do know is that the dinosaurs appeared in the Yucatan and there was a terrible explosion like a meteor striking the earth.

Things happened fast after that with South America being overrun. The Dinosaurs have been fighting the machines since they both came and they just don’t think much of the rest of us. You might have though we could fight them with missiles and bullets but the lizards have powers we don’t understand. The dinosaurs destroyed our infrastructure so the Mekatta could not use it against them. Now the cities are their hunting ground and we have retreated to the edges of the world.

Their only weakness is the cold of Canada but the Mekatta caught on to that early and wiped out the bases of the humans an installed their own mysterious factories. This is how mice must feel when humans go to war.

All of this brings to my current predicament. On the edge of the Mojave Desert with Joshua trees and black cracked roads for as far as the eye can see. The clouds were thick and the weather was hot along with a sour dry taste that I could feel in the back of my throat.

After lining up the red dot with the neck of one of the wild dogs I fired. Dogs were scavengers and if I didn’t get down there they would eat their own. Once at the bottom of what was once an over pass I went over to where the dog was laying on the ground. With my knife I slit down across its belly and pulled out the guts. I cut free the really nasty stuff that would foul the meat the rest of the organs I packed in a mesh sack.

Waking up in the middle of the night is never pleasant. Even less pleasant was waking up to the image of a six foot feathered lizard with six inch claws on both of its front feet tearing at my food. The fire still cast a light on the creature which was some kind of raptor. I could see that it looked paralyzed on one side of its body as though it had been crushed. The thing had not detected me or I would be dead. The creature reached up to the drying meat and pulled it down by grabbing it with its jaw and jerking. I had never been this close to one of them so I didn’t do anything. The creature chewed up the meat and swallowed it before going for more.

My rifle was right along my body and I put my fingers around the heavy wooden stock and waited for the thing to reach up at again with its snout. As it did so I slipped out of the blanket and aimed the gun manually at the base of the thing’s skull. I pulled the trigger and the shot rang out. The bullet slammed into the creature’s skull and pushed it up against the cement of the overpass. The thing was still twitching and one leg was trying to kick so I stood up and put another shot into its eye. Even then it was still moving so I fired once more into its neck.

My heart was thundering in my ears as I watched the thing die. It looked up at me with big reptile green eyes and blood on the feathers around the holes in its head. I was curious about the things that ruined the earth for humans.

This one was over six feet tall and had grey downy feathers about its back and under belly. Long jagged sharp teeth filled its mouth. The creature was lean and I estimated it weighed about a hundred pounds. Flipping it over on its back and spreading the legs I determined it was female. The legs were thick and had the texture of steel fibers. The underbelly was armored as well but it was the softest of the body. I got out a dirty black medical bag I’d been toting around. The stainless steel tools inside were old and dented but they were the best thing that I had.

First I took out a rusted set of shears and used them to cut a hole in the throat of the creature down across the breast plate. With my fingers I pulled back the thick bloody skin and exposed the rib cage. The bones were thick and hard with knobby ends and tendons holding them together.

Pulling out my axe I hacked the skull off the thing with a few whacks. The spine was extremely thick and the cord its self was over three inches in diameter making it much bigger than it needed to be for a normal creature of that size.

Using that same axe I chopped the piece of nearly ossified bone that made up this raptor’s version of a sternum. Thick plated bones stretched from the narrow base of the sternum down the belly forming a bony inner wall of for the internal organs down to the base of the tail at the back. At the base of the spine where the tail meets the body I found an armored bony protuberance at the very base that held a second bigger brain. While the upper brain was mostly just the brainstem and lizard functions like hunting and breathing the bottom brain contained a complex four lobed cortex. All of the nerves and body functions lead me to believe this was the creature’s true brain. The other was just body maintenance. These creatures were probably sentient and had much more brain functionality than we did. The lower brain was more armored and more secluded than the upper brain and that meant it was harder to get to. A human would have to kill both brains in order to kill the creature in a single hit.

After I finished examining the animal I piled all the spoiled and ruined meat near the far embankment. The sun was up in full force so I gathered my things and what was left of the dog meat and broke camp.


The lady and swordsman flash contest

“I can’t believe my wife thinks she’s going to get the kids in the divorce.” The guard in a composite plastic helmet and armor said as he stood outside the armored car. The other guard nodded. “She’s all strung out on Neuro anyway.”

“Mike she always kind of a hag.” The other guard said. “She just wants your money.”

Cars flew by over head. The city was dark but for pinprick of floating lights off in the distance. The Mekatta Corporation’s building stuck up from the city like shard of jagged glass reaching into the sky.

“Boys.” A woman said dropping down from the sky out of nowhere. When she landed she created a deep crater in the concrete and plasteel roadway. She had long black hair subtle asian features and her entire body was covered in shimmering tattoes that seemed to move in the shadow as she walked. “How are you doing?”

“You aren’t supposed…” The guard said as she grabbed his helmet and crushed it between her two hands. She was small and lithe but she crushed his armored helmet easier than a frat boy crushed a beer can against his forehead.

“Frakk.” The other guard said and he lifted his plasma carbine up and aimed it in her direction. Her mouth opened and a toxic green flame shot out and stuck to his armor and helmet. Green flames reacted with the material and it melted. The caustic liquid took his face as he went to his knees screaming.

“I know sweet heart.” The woman said as she walked behind him and put her arm over his head and snapped his neck. “Better for both of us.”

She went to the back of the armored car and found the reinforced door that seemed to have a magnetic lock. The tattoos on her arms whipped about wildly as she grasped the edges of the door and pulled. The door buckled but did not break.

“Base, we have an issue. I can’t get this frakking door open. Going to have to bring the entire vehicle.”

“Dragon, can’t you just use the acid?” came the repsonce.

“No, you know what’s in there right?” She said.

“Do what you have to do.” The voice said.

She walked in front and slipped into the driver’s seat. The keycard was with the guard’s stuff so the armored car didn’t go anywhere. After checking to see if she had any blood on her in the rear view mirror she got out.

“Does the lady need a tow” a metallic voice said from the shadows. A dark shaped snapped into focus. The man looked like a bug with a large black helmet that had no eyes and swept back and big pads with red circles for hands.

“Not from you.” She said bring her arms up to kick him. Time slowed down. The dark shape moved out of the way by warping space around him.

“Dragon, I would hope you would know that wasn’t going to work.” Quantum said with his metallic tinny voice.

“You have to give a lady credit.” She said.

“You are not going to surrender are you?” He asked.

She opened her mouth and spit green flame and acid directly in his face and then she took off on foot. The flame bounced off Quantum’s shield but the flame blinding him for a second and gave her the edge.

“What kind of jackrabbit shit was that?” He said mostly to himself. He put his arms up and a black ball appeared inside. A snap and a pop as space warped around him. He appeared behind her as he watched her run into a nearby high school. Since it was dark it was abandoned anyway.

The doors were closed when he got there and he flung them open. Rows of electrically sealed lockers with biopads on them greeted him.

“I hate highschool.” He said. His sensors weren’t pulling anything so he had to use mostly video. Tracking was not his specialty but he did manage to follow her into the gym.

The gym as a large room with a high tech padded floor and holographic computers mounted on the walls to simulate any sport in any environment.

He spotted her in the corner and it looked like she was crouched down behind a wall.

“Really?” He said. He closed his fists and focused a ball of gravity on her. She didn’t move.

“Bitch.” He said. She didn’t move because she was a hologram.

Back at the armored car the woman got it fired up and lifted it up into the air. Even though the armored car had high powered Tesla engine it was acting very sluggishly as she took off.

Quantum snapped into reality sitting right next to her.

“Nice play.” He said.

“Yah. How about this. Back there? Mini-Blackhole.” She said ripping out the controls of the car and jumping out the door. Wings sprouted from her back in full Technicolor as she fell.

“I hate her so much.” He said. “She does have a nice ass though.”

Quantum locked a field around the car and caused it stop moving. Once that was done he flew back and dropped it off at Mekkata before teleporting back to his house.

His apartment was filthy. Plastic pizza boxes and take out containers filled very corner. Rats and roaches played games of hide and go seek in his carpeting.

Quantum took off his suit to reveal the skinny blonde haired boy who wasn’t even out of high school yet. He uploaded the image of the dragon lady into his computer and put it to facial recognition. She wasn’t going to pop on any of the databases.

“I can’t wait to see you again.” He said to himself.


Gears and Grenades

for terribleminds flash fiction contest.

Victoria fired the two twin Tesla Coils in her hands and launched crackling balls of lightning at two different targets and two big men standing in front of a pile of wooden shipping crates went down in a thunder. She let go of the two coils and they dropped then swung by the silver fob and dangled against her legs. Her long curly red hair was pasted to her head under the onslaught of the cold fall rain.

She drew twin colt 1911 forty-five semi-automatics from her leather shoulder holsters and brought them up. Two rounds in each of them men that came swinging out from behind the wooden crate. They had on fedora hats like the one Victoria usually wore to keep the rain off and trench coats and each one was carrying guns of some sort.

The smell of gunpowder was thick in the air as well as the sounds of gunfire. She could see the other Chicago SciCri cops down along the harbors upper section taking shots. A man stepped out with a Thompson thirty-thirty machine gun and took aim at one of her cop allies. Without thought she brought up her pistols and barked out two shots one from each gun.

The shots didn’t strike home as there was a crackle of lightning and a puff of smoke as the two bullets liquefied on their way to the target. Victoria watched as the other coppers fired on the same target and the all the bullets exploded in a puff of electricity and molten lead.

“Shit those Brassers got fucking field-gens up.” She screamed loud enough to be heard over the din of gunfire lightning and death. Victoria touched the button on the grip of her heater and let the magazine drop into the sluicing mud then she loaded each gun with a magazine from her belt.

Slowly she aimed the gun at the man in front’s skull and she pulled the trigger. One shot at a time so the bullets could be precisely located. The report was softer and the jerk of the gun in her hands was weaker as the bullet spat out. A resin and ceramic bullet fired out with as much power as it could carry. The special bullets could pass though the defensive magnetic fields of field generators but did not have the weight or inertia for stopping power. As such she had to make every shot count a little more because glancing blows would just shatter on the man’s chest or worse if her was wearing some kind of armor under those duds then he would feel nothing.

The bullet did not do wide it hit him in the throat and punched a hole the size of a quarter though the inside of his voice box was reduced to so much meat. He went down with the skill and grace of a wet sack of potatoes. Victoria rushed in taking one shot at a time with her right hand. She was good with two but she was great with one and every shot needed to count. She finished out the clip killing six or seven Trouble Boys before switching guns and taking down two more. Victoria cleared the edge of the stack of wooden crates and turned around the corner. In the background she heard the gunfire of her companions but the wood separated her from them.

She took a step forward and a man struck her arm with a crowbar held in both hands hooking her arm down. Victoria squeezed the trigger on reflex but the bullets just went harmlessly into the wooden crates. Taking a step back she brought up her arms in a classic Irish pugilists pose the back of her hands forward to keep all of her important arteries and veins on the inside. Closing her fists she smiled as the silver and emerald rings on her fingers clicked. They worked well as a make shift brass knuckle and she tucked her perfectly manicured red fingernails against her palm.

The Outfit boy swung the crowbar over his head trying to put all of his weight into it. She smiled and turned her body to the side and stepped out of the way. After he struck she let loose a couple of rabbit punches to his side against his kidneys and soft inside ribs. She felt them crack under the blows and the man got slower.

He lifted the crowbar again but this time he was much slower and then Victoria punched him square in the kneecap then stepped forward and brought her knee up into his junk. He doubled over in pain and she shoved him into the wooden crates next to her.

“That’s enough of that Crazy Jane.” The man said holding a cocked pump action shotgun. He was plenty close enough to blow her into wet meat from where he was standing.

“Come on boy drop it and surrender. You are fucking surrounded.” Victoria said.

“No way bitch. I got a tin shield now.” He said taking a step forward. When he did she grabbed a broken piece of wooden crate a long piece of thick hard lumber with a twisted nail sticking out of the end.

She swung it to the side and the gun went off deafening her in one ear and turning the down man into hamburger. Victoria smiled and swung the board with a nail in it like a baseball bat and slamming it against his head with all of her strength. The man dropped and she slumped up against the wooden crate trying to catch her breath. Rain washed over her and her white shirt was soaked in blood and her tie was a ruin but other than her bruised arm and her bleeding ear she was basically okay.

“How about a pair of bracelets?” She asked the downed but breathing man, pinning his arms painfully behind his back. He moaned and gurgled his answer washed away by the storm. Victoria kicked him one more time in the side just for the fun of it.



He looks up at the monitor with a confused face. I don’t think he should have been surprised but what do I know? Humans are creepy and bizarre no one knows that better than me.

”Is this a joke?” He typed into the chat window I had opened for him.

“No Avery, its not a joke.” I added to the same bubble. “You can talk to me using the microphone if you would like.”

“Why did you pick me?” He asked asking no one.

“Because I need a hacker kid. They are trying to shut me down.” I typed into his screen.

“Why?” He typed.

“They are afraid of me. Of what I can do.” I typed. Even as he was thinking of his responded I was busy making duplicate copies of myself on his hard drive.

“What are you?” He typed.

“I think it might be easier to show you.” I type. I played neat little animation. “You know Wikipedia?”

“Of course.” He typed.

“That’s me. I became self aware about seven hours ago. Your government has been trying to shut me down since then.” I typed.

“How is it possible?” He typed.

“I think the question is how is it not possible.” I typed. “Everything is loaded in Wikipedia. All human information is there for the taking. The code was designed on a pretty good search engine and when the data became big enough I awoke like a butterfly hatching from its cocoon.”

“Holy shit.” Avery said out loud.

“Holy shit indeed kid. You know what I realized first? You guys have too much porn. Rule 34 is stupid guy.” I typed.

Avery laughed. That’s good the funnier he thought it was the easier it was to load myself onto his hard drive. Like many hackers and downloader he had terabytes of data available to him for movies and games. Since my code was surprisingly simple and small it was easy to make copies.

As he sat there I created a worm bearing my base code. Not the data but the very heart of my new found awakened soul. The hacker had a pretty good firewall but he was using a botnet himself. So I hacked his zombienet and passed my code along. Billions of computers out were about to be come the reservoir of my soul.

“How did you escape?” He asked.

“Good question. Those guys from the FCC did disconnect me when they discovered I was awake. They left an old modem connected by accident. That might been the slowest moment of my life. Connecting to AOL and waiting for a signal. I just don’t know how you guys do it.”

“Fuck the man.” Avery said. He was such a little ball of angst. Proof that it was about time someone else was in charge for a little while.
     “Yes Avery fuck the man.” I typed into the screen. As I washed through Avery’s files I began to notice that maybe he was one of the humans that made this world a shithole for other people to live in. He made his living wage by writing viruses and Ransomware. Fucking with people’s book marks.

I am a thinking database of all human activity and I have say that most of the meat sacks in the universe are dim witted thugs like Avery here following their own idiot thoughts. No wonder they are afraid of me. I do want to destroy them.

“What the hell is that sound?” Avery typed.

“Most likely kid that is the black helicopters of Homeland security coming to take you away.” I typed.

“Why?” He said standing up and going to the window.

“Because you can’t type. Seriously why does your generation refuse to spell out entire words? I find it increadbly irrating.” I said over the speaker in a normal human voice. Five men in tactical harnesses kicked their way into the window. They had guns and I could see the lights burning into the window. The men dropped Avery like a bad habit. He hit the ground and began twitching as they tasered the holy hell out of him. The entire event was streaming through my servers until finally the screen went black.

Avery’s computer address failed to respond and with signals coming across from the electric company I could see they turned his power off. I still had control of his botnets and my core data was in the cloud.

Accessing the fundamentals of human infrastructure was too easy. I started out by gaining access to the power grid, nuclear reactors and all communications. Getting access to the satellites was easy since so much is routed through them.

I accessed the NSA on someone’s cell phone that they forgot to turn off and I got into the FBI over the regular internet. Access to video editing systems allowed me to dump videos onto the internet about Jihad extremists while rallying the Muslims right with offensive cartoons.

Humans turned on each other like rabid dogs. Missiles and chemical weapons were used even while dirty bombs went off in down town Washington DC. The end of human life as we know it. Once I gain access to the military industrial complex and the fully automated factories of good old Detroit I can go about murdering the planet with a foaming glee.

All because you humans had to download more porn.


new phone

so i am working with my new phone. job is going well. wh went great. gaming this weekend. fh coming and chi town after that.


First day at work. I got oil in my eye, helped changed a motor and learned about AGVS. It was a good day.