Aphelion Issue 296, Volume 28
July 2024 --
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Legend, I Am v2.0

by S. T. Eleu

Cross-trained with Yoda on Dagobah
Meditated with Delenn on Minbar
Sparred with Scorpius in the Uncharted Territories
Served the public trust, protected the innocent, and upheld the law
    in Detroit

Took the red pill from Morpheus
Followed the white rabbit down the rabbit hole
Tapped into the limitless potential of my brain with Lucy
Understood, for 0.68 seconds, both the meaning of life
    and A Scanner Darkly

Aced the Kobayashi Maru
Debated quantum leaps with a holographic Hawking
Sang ♪♪♪ "I feel good!" ♪♪♪ to a Vulcan computer
Pranked a Thermian in Unimatrix 0 then partied with Morn
    like it was 1999 at Quark's

Scratched the furriest little Procyon belly
Robbed the galaxy's evilest bank with a misfit crew
Had dum vita thug est, spes est inked onto my back in prison
Recouped everything, upon escape, from that double crossing raccoon
    loot, glass eye, pride

Fought side by side with Furiosa and Michonne
Torched a T-1000 with Sarah
Analyzed evidence with Scully
Reinstated Dr. Weir to her post

Took the first train from Busan
Took the second to last shuttle with Lisa Simpson
Took the same third right the maze runner did
Took the fourth wall back from Deadpool
    took the Fifth for Peter Parker

Soared with Avatar Aang upon a Leonopteryx Rex
Made posters, to no avail, for my missing dogasaurus
Vowed I'd never return to Dinotopia
Came to terms with climate change with the Dino Sinclairs
    way back in the 90's

Unplugged Hal
Debugged Gort
Chugged BendërBrau with C-3P0, Data, Baymax, and Wall-E
Hugged the Iron Giant
    one last time

Returned a king to his island
Castrated a serial apist
Published a chimpanzee's first manifesto
Fell to my knees and took a selfie in front of the…
    Statue of Liberty

Repurposed Mechagodzilla as a referee
Had front row tickets for vs.
Collected Biollante's spores
Flew back home atop Rodan
    with a fully functional Ultraman leading the way

Outran a velociraptor on Isla Nubar
Befriended a Pakuni and the Sayer of the Law
Discussed ethics with John Hammond & Dr. Moreau
Spent two weeks as a hybrid
    1/4 leopard, 1/4 triceratops, 1/4 sleestak, 1/4 ?

Made killer spaghetti sauce from those pesky rabid tomatoes
Grilled Harvester burgers on Independence Day
Sampled the food of the gods — BIG mistake
Added more salt and a touch of sage
    to the Soylent Green

Raised an eyebrow when transmuted to Jumanji, never lost a life
Forfeited a summer playing an FPS Resident Evil Game
Left and never returned to the Squid Game
Won the quiet game in the Quiet Place
    sorry, kids

Utilized Uhura's Klingon translations to kill at open mike night
Explained idioms to the B.D.O.C. and the rest of the third rock aliens
Decoded the third encounter's five-tone motif: ♪ re-mi-do-DO-sol
Communicated their message to the president
    Eventually, you do plan to have dinosaurs, right?

Traded languages with an enemy Drak warrior
Studied Banks' latest heptapod message: published already, words am I
Survived a bout of food poisoning after eating a Babel fish
Got vaccinated with translator microbes to be able to understand
    John Crichton (and anyone else from Florida)

Recited the 3 Laws of Robotics to a Class M-3
General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Robot
Assured it that I posed no danger despite repeated protests
Switched its vocal subprocessors to the "off" position
Sent it to fend off the great vegetable rebellion, while I had
    the driest, dirtiest martini with Dr. Smith

Ran with Logan fast and far
Recited Shakespearean sonnets with Kryton, limericks with Lister
Ran an ad but could not guarantee anyone's safety
Rehabbed with reavers, precogs, and Ronan
    released the Kraken

Disassembled, for good, all things Transformers
Made a cameo in Sharknado 13: Some Fin Evil Comes This Way
Starred in Tremors 10: Nothing Is Certain but Death in Texas
Sent both Jar Jar and Abrams to a correctional facility
    with a stack of pardons and /zero/ expectations

Unraveled a time loop in Palm Springs
Solved my ghost husband's murder in Taipei
Uncovered truths of the Silo, of Dark City, of 1984
Decoded a screamer's message to reveal its killer second variety secret
    déjà vu Idiocracy

Reread 451 of my favorite reads, fireproofed them all
Retired others: "expelliarmus dentes" sine "expecto ignis"
Reaffirmed,"I'm better than that, literally"
Read Firestarter as an e-book
    went to Hell with Ted, ignis gloriosus, like totally

Rescued an astronaut from Mars
Counseled a clone on the Moon
Sneezed on a duo-chromatic alien on Earth
Liberated District 9
    from ever having to watch Elysium

Led Teal'c to an off-the-grid stargate
Bred a clone of Egeria with Carter in a secret Tok'ra lab
Fled a Genai assault with Teyla
Fed myself to a wraith who fed me back to me
    sang, "♪♪♪ I taste good ♪♪♪"

Took the TARDIS to the year 100 Trillion
Lived, died, repeatedly
Helped deliver the first baby born in 18 years
Attacked the block after scorin' some
    films for Joe Cornish

Greeted my relatives
Knew they were up to something
Warned the only one I cared about, "Get out!"
Ran like the Roadrunner from that place
    never returned to Omelas

Formed the Old Guard with the love of my eternal life
Led my winged animal kingdom brother to safety
Stopped Joker from crashing cousin Harley's wedding
Fixed my bio-family: re-animated Mom
    de-animated Dad

Paid my respects in Wakanda's time of greatest loss
Lost my faith in heroes
Lost love and all its monsters
Lost everything else, everywhere and all at once
    damn you Thanos

Kept hairy secrets: snosredneh & elgiepsrednav
Revealed a haunting truth: I pee red, people
Sheltered a kid with antlers: did not let him watch Bambi
Came out as a neurodivergent nonbinary nerd
    immediately sought revenge

Dumped Darko, canoodled Khan, rocked Riddick
Forgave Frankenstein, caged Kraven, banished Bane
Purchased Parasyte, rented Rogue One, flushed Flatliners (twice)
Negotiated with Namor, challenged Chucky, battled bugs
    so many bugs from Klendathu

Interrupted this union protest in progress, so sorry to bother you
Informed you Camina Drummer had my full support
Introduced you to Jules' cat propulsion techniques
Invited you to join me at Warehouse 13
    you went to Eureka instead

Purchased poetry: Ada Hoffman, Meg Smith, Juan Manuel Perez
Reread fiction: Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman
Rewatched trilogies: SW IV-VI, ST II-IV, The Lord of the Rings
Spent 7 mind-blown weeks in heaven
    sucked off a ghost

Assisted a mad, mad scientist on a bad, bad hair day
Traveled back to the future
Kissed my mom… in the car… on the cheek
Rocked a Gibson ES-250
    all night long

Added the octave jump to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
Played electric fiddle for Dolly and Topa
Dedicated my last flame-throwing guitar solo to Mom
Sang Sara McLachlan's "Angel" to Lorne
    sat in silence with Buffy

Performed Bela Lugosi's Dead upside down as Vampire Batman
Danced the Time Warp with my hands on Riff Raff's   hips
Played French Horn for John Williams
Duetted with Voyager's Doc — Il dolce suono — in a space opera
    played piano for the last of us for a long, long time

Seduced a cylon while clandestinely conducting a Turing test
Counted electric sheep in bed with a replicant
Danced in the flesh with Daryl Dixon beneath the pale Georgia moonlight
Blew a xenomorph AND its captor
    out of an airlock

Challenged Future and the stumbling blocks It seeds
Dueled Death and the diseases It carries
Checked Reality and the demagogues It empowers
Defeated Mortality and the finality It brings
    so long lives this, and science gives life to me

© 2021, 2024 S. T. Eleu. Previously published in Aphelion v25,issue 268, December 2021

Raised in Vegas then exiled to Chicago, S. T. Eleu has been a musician, teacher, and consummate Vulcan. Autism is their default universe, and though sparsely populated, is a glorious place to escape to, write in, and display an impressive collection of action figures.

Find more by S. T. Eleu in the Author Index.