(“WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA’s M3 program.”)
“To contribute to emergency response, humanitarian assistance and other defense missions, a robot needs to negotiate difficult terrain.
Cheetahs happen to be beautiful examples of how natural engineering has created speed and agility across rough terrain. Our Cheetah bot borrows ideas from nature’s design to inform stride patterns, flexing and unflexing of parts like the back, placement of limbs and stability. What we gain through Cheetah and related research efforts are technological building blocks that create possibilities for a whole range of robots suited to future Department of Defense missions.”
There are days who wait just around the corner, in the parking lot behind whatever, like meth-spurred nags all ready to roll.
They can’t wait for much longer, because they’re so terrible at it. It’s sad, almost. What is there to do in this town, they ask each other all the time. Nothing, not-a-fucking-thing, and it’s true, so they just tally up the compounded again and do a few more wheelies and, every couple minutes, ask No, seriously, what is there to do in this ghost town.
They’re wrong to call it a town, even if it’s true there’s not shit to do, because the days they are will be those ones with no more town and country and no cities either, just a tremendous clotted expanse of and, as in hinterland and stand your ground and the decelerated circulation of capital and.
But all the same, when you head west to the stockyards or wherever and put your ear to the wall like the old films about Manifest Destiny or ribcages, you know their arrival is not just imminent, it is foregone. Because through those borrowed transmitters, you can just make out the wheelies and the fumbling gallops and the demands for the killing of time so as to preserve it,
And you hear more: there’s the wind and the knives and the emphysemic huff of a long-dry Slurpee machine that, through a design flaw/triumph, has no manual override, until finally, through all the wheelies and chatter you can hear it, that queer and dwarfish grumble of sawing and forging. Which means the days have already champed to shit their previous bits as well as each and every one left remaindered in the stupid stores left in this stupid town. So they make some new ones, by hoof or hand or however their stumps end, fine ones now, well-crafted, well-burnished with time and beeswax, responsible and fun, artisanal and repurposed from parts of other things (mess halls, the elderly, infrastructure). Anything, really, to offer a semblance of restraint and history to gnaw on while they wait and wait, wheelie, wait, munch the katechon and wait again, until the word finally comes through that all chips are down and all bets are off or just all is now. Or whatever one says to days who have been waiting too long and now get to close out those last bare inches of the deferment period that everyone, even relentless beverage composition hardware, knows could never hold them at bay for long.
Of course, this is all supposition, all deniable. And it’s true that on when you Google Earth it, no visible word has being given, nothing is written out in enormous letters of fire and charnel – IT’S FUCKING GO TIME, WILDCATS – to be read from on high. But the trees are all gone. And even the stupid stores cannot be regutted, because they are already like lace, if they are touched with tools of extraction they will become pure void and even the drywall has been gummed into oblivion, and it does not matter one whit if any of this was local and it never will.
When the days do come, like anything does with nothing left to bite, no one will bother giving us the word.
Yet the cops/days are also acephalic, which even the listening wall didn’t let us see coming. They are not headless like planes are, i.e. not something that could have a head in the first place but missing, misplaced, begotten elsewhere and left to mewl – the cat has held on despite everything – full of sight and immobility.
Like the town itself, there was nothing he could about it all, poor Wash, here where his headless horse lost its suffix and found its way, where it sloughed off the -man who, disconsolate and wild, proceeded to gut an airboat for the heart it could win back and a guinea pig for its galumphing form, which, just like Irving himself that afternoon, cried out once and then once again at the awful violence of it all. My God, to have written stories about it. The reek.
And the days, who took graciously took borrowed heart and form alike from the severed -man, kindly set them all free. It even gave them a head-start: couple centuries good with you? And then they broke its promise and became multiple, circuited, wide and graceless and took after the prey in hunt.
All to say: the sound in our ears won’t be hooves or boots and definitely not the moody and dogged silence of this pertinacious companion that was mysterious and appalling. It will not be blood’s tinnitus, which we’ve known for so long, that we use to mark the counter-time of slosh, blockade, and thump through which the war on time goes down. No, the sound nipping at our heels is simpler and worse, a clusterfucking batallion of weed-whackers. Faced down, they fall over and trundle around like corgis made of go-karts who dream of horseness and who the noble-minded call cheetahs. It’s cute, almost. And we laugh and they do too and then they mow us down like pigs, doves, or kids and leave us for the EATR of the dead or otherwise.
And if it is to end in triumph or reversal, it means bolas come back with a serious vengeance, and if it is not, well, you know, pigs, doves, or kids, plus EATRs. But either way, it’s certain that days don’t only go one way and we’re not so bad with goading sticks, honed liquids to turn the mind, bolt-cutters. Even wildcat days can be made to remember their cradle sites and places of employ, get spurred into storming the labs that speed them or nom-nom-nomming the armory.
And whatever way it goes down, we won’t need a satellite to the message left in its seeping trail, whether IT’S FUCKING NO TIME or RETURN TO SENDER, “BRO” or whatever else can be written in long trajectories of puke, in all the slow and steady bile gathered diligent by those with nothing to sell but time, no crime to waste and no town to spare.