Excerpt for Heavy Metal Scientology Aliens by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

B.P. KASIK











HEAVY METAL SCIENTOLOGY ALIENS



B.P. Kasik

































Literary Works by the Author:

Used Zombies

The Gym

Fruit Beast

Dementia-13 Part-2

Generic Mystery

Henrika

Aunts Aren’t Ladies!

Gathering

Wahoo

Heavy Metal Scientology Aliens

The Speed and the Fury

Mystery Shopper Menace!

Dragon Mormon



The Florida Series:

Please Don’t Eat My Face!

Man of Florida

Florida Strong!



The Derpa Derp Series:

Best Sellers

Generic Romance

Fast Breaks

Atonement Lost

Atonement Found



The Eric Roberts Series:

Eric Roberts: The True* Story

Eric Roberts 2: Acoustic Boogaloo

Eric Roberts 3: Lord of the Screen













Copyright © 2017 by B.P. Kasik. All rights reserved.



Published in the United States of America by me, B.P. Kasik



Cover image by my H.B. Kasik, a brilliant InDesign remix of:

Purple Lights” by Rachel Titiriga licensed under CC BY 2.0

Do you believe in Flying Saucers ?” by Prayitno / Thank you for (9 millions +) views licensed under CC BY 2.0

Scientology temple” by isghoul licensed under CC BY 2.0



Author Photo by Cthulhu’s Librarian



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination, or used in a fictitious and satiric manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.











For my brother.



And copious thanks to Amanda Glass, Peter Sawyer, Keith Robertson, Richard Miller, Stilly McBeam, James Pullen, and Marcus Lawrence.



For influence and help in ways large and small.











1



I believe in the power of metal.

Always did.

You know the ringing of the silver bell in that old kid’s book about the train to the North Pole?

There’s this reindeer bell that sounds beautiful, but as you get older and lose your belief in Santa Claus, you lose the ability to hear it.

Seems like that happens to everyone when it comes to things we loved and believed in when we were young. Belief erodes and you lose the magic.

But not me. The metal bell tolls for me as loud as ever.

Because I believe.

But I also believe in time travel, so take me with a grain of salt.









2



I always figured if someone had to invent time travel, it would be my brother, Mikey.

Mikey was ahead of the curve on every technology since he was born.

And he always showed me how he did it.

In the mid-eighties, he took apart our Apple II and removed the circuit board. He used a soldering iron to melt every connection and disconnect every microchip. With the sound of Judas Priest and the smell of molten metal thick in the air, Mikey held up the stripped, flat green slice of plastic in front of my face.

“DEFCON 1!” I shouted.

“Or is it?” he responded with a mischievous smile.

Mikey proceeded to reassemble the board piece by piece, soldering the chips back in place perfectly. He then held the intact circuit board up to me.

“DEFCON 4!” I shouted.

He nodded. “But let’s make sure.”

He put the board back in place and powered up the computer. Worked perfectly.

Shouting DEFCON levels according to our situation’s danger level wasn’t the only thing we co-opted from the movie War Games. We also learned hacking from there. Well...my brother did. I just watched him go. And he always let me. Even though he was seven years older and substantially cooler than me. When he had friends over who played on the computer with him, he never once pushed his lame little brother away.

I wanted to do everything he did, but I just didn’t have his smarts.

I always wanted to be more like him, and I felt like cranking metal was a great way to be in his headspace. That music will always be the audio avatar for my brother. His concentrated essence.

Long after I stopped seeing my brother regularly, I kept listening to metal. The sound keeps him close in my heart.

And it’s my love for heavy metal that sent me back three decades in time. And led to that whole mess with the Scientologists and the aliens.

My brother got me into that music. And he got me into the time machine.

So let’s just blame it all on him, yes?









3



I was working alongside Paige on the flow line on what turned out to be my last day at the superstore distribution center. (You know which superstore I’m talking about, so I’m not risking a lawsuit by naming it. I’ll give you a hint—it’s a mart that has walls.)

We handled all the regional deliveries for the superstore that arrived from warehouses nationwide. We processed, rerouted, and shipped deliveries to local area stores, along with all local online customer orders. Sounds super-fun, right?

Well, it wasn’t so bad. They always let me wear headphones and crank eighties metal all day on my Discman. A little sweet with the sour, makes the hours fly by. Rocking along while tearing open, inspecting, and resealing boxes on the flow line, trying not to feel like a machine cog doomed to replacement as soon as robots become more cost-effective. But good work while it lasted. And I couldn’t complain about anything that gave a paycheck, the economy being what it was.

Paige caught my attention as I popped out one Accept disc and popped in another.

“Still using CDs, huh, Pat?”

“Always will,” I responded, putting my headphones back on.

“Hey, I, uh, watched that movie you’re always talking about,” she said.

I lowered my headphones. “You watched Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years?”

“Yeah, I saw it was streaming, and you’re always saying how great it is.”

“It’s mankind’s greatest achievement!”

I cannot say enough good things about that movie. It perfectly captured the L.A. hair metal scene in the mid-eighties. Every scene, every line, every performance is perfectly aged cheese. I watch that movie at least once a week. It takes every ounce of restraint I have to keep from jubilantly extolling its virtues every minute of every day.

“Right, right,” she said.

“So did you like it or did you love it?”

“It was interesting.”

“Just ‘interesting’?”

“You know, it had some good parts.”

Now my sense of well-being is not dependent on the opinions of others. If another human being doesn’t love something the way I do, I’m fine with that. I’d lose my mind if I didn’t, because no one likes heavy metal like me. I’ll just call it “metal” from here on, but let’s be clear—I only love trashy eighties heavy metal.

I’m not a “cool” metalhead. I don’t like the right bands. I’m familiar with Slayer, Anthrax, Metallica, and all manner of death/thrash/black/doom/goth/progressive/metalcore/grindcore/other-core bands. They’re all well and good. (Megadeth is a bit too heavy for me, but I like them because they were in Decline II.)

But I like cheesy metal above all. The fun stuff that dominated the airwaves and the culture in the mid-eighties. Def Leppard, Enuff Z’Nuff, Mötley Crüe, Hanoi Rocks, Ratt, and especially one-hit-wonder bands that fell into obscurity. Even the crappy early nineties latecomers that dropped a single power ballad, took the money, and ran. (Lookin’ at you, Slaughter. May your flight to the angels last forever. And Tuff, with their bold and heartfelt hatred for kissing people goodbye.) If I were a musician, I would write nothing but power ballads devoted to my love of that kind of metal.

And I know how pathetic that sounds. And I know VH1 chewed up and spit out heavy metal and eighties culture in a series of abhorrent documentaries and shows. (Also their facts are wrong—This is Spinal Tap killed heavy metal? That movie came out in 1984, before the scene really blew up. Boo on you, VH1 research staff and interview subjects for that pathetic Decline II-wannabe documentary, When Metal Ruled the World! You love the eighties? Sure, you do.)

Even the people involved with the scene—bands, managers, record companies, execs, and music video directors alike—have kicked it to the curb. But they ignore the joy that the music brought to fans. And there were a lot of fans. I wasn’t alone, even though I often feel alone with my passion now.

This was one such moment. Happened all the time. A pal or co-worker fails to see the true power and majesty of Decline II. I liked Paige—as a friend—but if the best she could muster about the movie was that it had “some” good parts, I could tell this was a conversation best ended. That movie is nothing but good parts!

I bit my lip as hard as possible, trying to stay reasonable. No need to go off on her about how much Decline II reveals about the human spirit and ambition and existential angst and overindulgence. Not to mention how ignorant she was for not seeing its brilliance.

So I simply said, “That’s cool. It’s not for everyone.” And I put my headphones on and hit play. German metal masters Accept sang a song of encouragement for the listener to put their balls to the wall as I continued my work.

I sensed that Paige was standing there, slightly hurt by my dismissal. But I’d been through this conversation one too many times before. Paige had a thing for me. You can tell these things. And if you have a thing for me, Decline II is a deal breaker. I know, I know—I’m using a movie to keep people at a distance. Every girl I’ve ever dated—even if they like heavy music—gets sick of that movie after a while. And soon they sour on eighties metal in general. And then they leave me with some slight variation on the “You suck and your music sucks and your movie sucks” lecture.

So don’t assume I’m unaware of Decline II’s faults. I’ve heard every criticism.

Yeah, the Ozzy Osbourne orange juice spill is faked, Guns N’ Roses is glaringly omitted from the film, Megadeth is totally out of place among the other cheeseball bands, Chris Holmes’ vodka bottles may have been full of water, the Kiss interview scenes are ridiculously staged, and every metal fan comes off as a chucklehead.

You’re wrong about some of these, you’re right about others. Either way, I still love every second of this cinematic masterpiece. It captures everything I love about metal—both ridiculous and sublime—in a way that no one else ever pulled off (Especially not VH1).

I lose myself in that film and dream of hanging out with everyone in it, every time. Especially the band that was more determined than anyone to make it, but was never heard from again:

Zeus.

I think about that band all the time. Yeah, yeah, you can talk trash. Go ahead and say their singer sounds like Rockso the Rock ‘n Roll Clown and they sound generic and their hot tub interview scenes were ridiculous and they were just a puppet band for that old guy who owned that sleazy stripper-ridden club.

But I don’t care. They have the fire and the gusto and they’re the best band in a movie full of amazing bands.

Decline of Western Civilization II reminds me why heavy metal’s chugging riffs and pounding beats are always righteously traveling through my brain. It’s the cornerstone of my metal religion.

Paige finally got back to work and didn’t try to talk to me again. We finished out our day, then made like Journey and went our separate ways.

I wanted to apologize to her for being so dismissive, but I was in the middle of Accept’s “Turn Me On” as we walked out into the parking lot and I didn’t want to pause it. That song rules.

I figured I’d just talk to her when we came back and worked together again after the weekend.

That never happened.

Thanks to a phone call from my brother on Sunday afternoon, with an invitation I couldn’t refuse.









4



“Get out here, bro.”

“Huh?”

“You have to come out here. Now.”

“Huh?”

“Turn your music down, Pat!” my brother shouted.

I laughed. He was right. I was listening to that Lita Ford/Ozzy Osbourne duet, “Close My Eyes Forever,” at full blast. I was surprised my neighbors weren’t complaining. Maybe they enjoyed the music as much as me? One can hope.

I turned it down—which felt most un-metal—but this was for a phone call with my brother. Worthy cause. I couldn’t remember the last time he’d contacted me.

I got back on the phone. “Happy now?”

“Thanks, bro. Now get out here.”

“Where?”

“To my lab. It’s in a warehouse in Silver Lake. Got something you gotta see.”

“Silver Lake, the neighborhood near L.A.?”

“It’s in L.A.”

“And I’m on the other side of the nation!”

“So get on a plane!”

“I can’t afford that.”

“Did you blow your last paycheck on an original vinyl pressing of Mötley Crüe‘s Helter Skelter? Again?”

“Ha-ha. No. That only happened once. I just...I have to work tomorrow! I can’t take a cross-country trip tonight!”

“Call in sick tomorrow. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.”

I could afford it. My expenses were limited. And I hadn’t seen my brother in years. He wasn’t on social media, so I never got updates on his life. I was terribly curious to know what he was working on.

So I relented. “I’ll be on a plane tonight. I’m guessing you already bought me a ticket while I was thinking it over?”

“Of course! Check your inbox, your confirmation’s there.”

“Fine. But you have to pick me up at LAX. I hate that place.”

“Everyone does. See you in a few hours, bro.”

“DEFCON 4?”

“DEFCON 4!”









5



Now since my bro and I got older and wiser, we realized that there’s actually a “DEFCON 5” that indicates a state of total safety. But we never worked that into our repertoire of references. Because hey, there’s no such thing as total safety. A state of “DEFCON 4” is about as good as you can expect in life.

I carried my CD wallet in my backpack for the trip, packed with my two-dozen favorite metal albums.

That thing always made TSA folks look cross-eyed when it went through the x-ray machine at airport security. No one carried CDs anymore. So the things probably looked like slim little land-mines to them.

Little did they know, the music on those discs was more powerful than any explosive ordnance.

An underpaid and undertrained TSA employee with an awkward photo on his ID badge asked me to open up my bag for him after it went through the machine.

I dutifully unzipped it and then pulled out and unzipped the disc wallet. I flipped through it, giving the security worker a skimming glimpse at my treasure trove.

Whitesnake, Enuff Z’Nuff, Ratt, Mötley Crüe, Fastway, Anvil, White Lion, Zeus, London, Twisted Sister, Faster Pussycat, Lizzie Borden, Britny Fox, Def Leppard, and Celtic Frost’s Cold Lake (The only Celtic Frost album I like, though Vanity/Nemesis was also okay).

He just shook his head. “Ever heard of an iPod, pal?”

I didn’t dignify that with a response. If I told him what he needed to be told, I’d get thrown in Guantanamo. This wasn’t the first time a TSA worker asked me that question, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Wait—scratch that last part. It was the last time. Ever. But I’ll get to that later. We’re almost there.









6



The flight was uneventful, sailing above the clouds in a pleasant fugue accompanied by Fastway’s Trick or Treat soundtrack on my Discman.

I got some annoyed looks from my fellow passengers for the noise spilling out around my large headphones.

I love it loud, what can I say? Sorry for bringing too much awesomeness to the party!

I’m just giving them an opportunity to sample the greatest noise ever composed by mankind. That is not something for which one should apologize.

Come on, feel the noise!









7



My brother was waiting for me out front, getting yelled at by LAX security. The uniformed female employee forcefully demanded he move along.

She shouted, “Sir, this is a five minute loading zone and you’ve been here six minutes!”

He blinked and shook his head. He shouted in a thick accent, “No English, yes? You speak Slovak?”

She crossed her arms. “Yes, I do. Vypadni odtiaľto!”

He giggled, his bluff thoroughly called. He saw me coming and pointed at me. “My traveler has arrived! I will be moving along now!”

She sneered. “You speak English now, huh?”

My brother feigned ignorance, shouting, “Please speak up, cannot hear!”

He motioned me into the car. I got in.

The security guard shouted, “Sir, I’m going to have to give you a ticket. You violated—”

And my bro sped off, dodging a ticket for the umpteenth time. And those umpteen times are just the ones I witnessed. Who knows what the grand total might be?









8



My brother cranked his cassette deck to eleven, blaring Judas Priest’s “Turbo Lover.”

Judas Priest is the first band I remember my brother playing. My earliest permanent memory—at the tender age of four—is my brother lip-syncing along to Priest’s “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” in front of the mirror. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. And I was right.

I reclined in the leather car seat, shaking off the jet lag.

There were so many things to say. So much for long-separated brothers to discuss.

So I started. “Hey, when Rob Halford came out of the closet, did that change your opinion about his song, ‘Eat Me Alive’?”

Mikey shrugged. “It was always a song about forcing someone to give you oral sex at gunpoint. Whether Halford was singing about making a guy or girl do it? Not really an issue for me.”

“You are a progressive gentleman and a scholar.”

He bowed his head. “The metal community has always been open-minded.”

I didn’t know much about the metal community. My brother was my metal community. For me, it was always just about the personal connection with the music. I never went to concerts. I never hung out with metalheads. I never joined any metal fan communities online.

And most glaringly—I never Googled any of the bands in Decline of Western Civilization II.

I know I could get online right that instant and find out whatever happened to Seduce, Zeus, London, Faster Pussycat, Lizzie Borden, or, heck, even that guy who said he couldn’t imagine ever getting a job. But that it wasn’t a problem, since he simply must be seen performing live in order to understand why he would never have to do anything other than play metal to support himself. Did he make it? Did he get a “real” job?

I think about all those guys. Often. Sitting around the house watching Decline II and eating tortilla chips with a little microwaved bowl of salsa con queso, I’ve had the thought that some of those very people in the movie might be sitting alone in their homes eating chips and salsa con queso at the same time. Maybe the same brand of chip and salsa con queso. Somewhere out there.

But where were they? What were they really doing? I don’t want to know. I don’t want to find out that they hung up their scarves, bought suits, and got respectable employment. I don’t want to know that they stopped romancing groupies and started getting married and having families. I don’t want to hear that they still play open mic nights or do one-off sad little shows in sad little clubs, still chasing the metal dragon of their semi-glory days.

In my heart and in my imagination, they succeeded. They made it. Or they died trying. Just like everyone in that movie said.

Death or glory! Never giving up! Nothing could stop them!

My brother punched me. “Are you thinking about Decline of Western Civilization II again?”

“No, no. Well—yeah. I don’t have to lie to you, do I? I mean, we’re driving through the place where it all happened!”

My brother smiled and held his arm up to the windshield. “Yes—behold the neon jungle where true heavy metal was born! From the small towns of America the musicians came! To this great sprawling chaos of a city they were drawn! United they were, and loud they played!”

I threw up the metal horns.

My brother returned the salute.

I’ve heard differing accounts on the metal-horn salute’s origin. Ronny James Dio said he popularized it when he sang for Black Sabbath in the early eighties, throwing it up at concerts. He learned it from his grandmother, who used it as the sign of the evil eye, to send a curse, or to ward off curses.

There are also those reactionary fundamentalist Christians—as depicted in Decline II—who claim it’s the sign of Satan. And there’s some evidence to back that up. If you look close at the hand gesture, you can trace three sixes shaped by the fingers on the sides—EEK! 666!—and they say three fingers held down in the middle indicate a rejection of the Trinity and the two upraised fingers on either side of them represent the horns of the Devil.

But it’s all a joke. Just kids having fun. No one takes it seriously. I strongly suspect the Satanic-panic associations with the symbol just come from Moral Majority/Tipper Gore/PMRC types in the eighties trying to scare parents into sending them money so they could “fight” this “Satanic scourge.” And their pockets got lined, like every televangelist and snake-oil salesman from that time.

Nobody cares about that paranoid nonsense anymore.

Metal survived unscathed. If anything, lame parents made it seem cooler by accusing it of being so evil. Bad marketing move, hypochristians!

“So,” I said. “You’re working out here now?”

“Yeah, been here a few years. Funding is kinda iffy at the moment. Doing less science and doing more meetings with suits. Facing some drama with the government at the moment. Fun, fun.”

“And you have a special project going on now?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“This better thrill me.”

Mikey nodded. “You have no idea.”

“Is it bigger than your Queensryche cover band you started in high school?”

“Princessryche? Yep. Bigger.”

“I can’t imagine.”

“Really, you can’t.”

I looked around, taking in the expected palm trees and other L.A. landmarks. There was a whole lot of dusty beige on the ground around the edges. L.A. was a big, developed city, but at every opportunity, it reminded you that it was a desert at its heart.

And the heat was intense. Even with the windows rolled up and the A/C cranked, my bro and I were working up a solid sweat.

I recognized the scenery from countless movies and shows. I sensed rich history and tradition on every corner. But I had no idea what any of the buildings were called. They looked like buildings in any other city.

Years, you said? How long have you been living out here now, exactly? We’ve been out of touch so long—”

“Yeah, sorry. Been out here…long enough, it’s not super-important. You still into metal?”

The fact that he asked me that told me everything I needed to know about how far we’d drifted. I didn’t answer.

He leaned over. “So that’s a yes?”

“Yes, I still like metal. That flame’s never going out.”

“Good, kemosabe. Good.”

“We never talk.”

“Sorry, bro. Been busy. But that’s gonna stop. I should have more time, thanks to our most recent breakthrough.”


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