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HA B WORLD 2420 Digital Grim oire


Wel come back , r eader s! We happily invite you to hear the deluded autumnal ravings of HAB! Here, within the sordid bowels of HAB' s electronic id, we will find new shards of his fractured mind to examine and reel in horror from. This issue is the first of our digital-only mini-issues, presenting select stories and comics exclusively for our web readers and digital devotees. Enjoy while you can, and Happy Halloween!

CONTENTS "O n e N i gh t o n Rh ea" by Jam es W H ed ges .

"H o u se an d H o m e" by H abw o r l d 24 20

"53 M el l v i l l e Sq u ar e" by Ger al d i n e Fu r ey cov er ar t w o r k by

T r i o n a D oy l e


On e n ig h t o n Rh ea

?Hooboy,?he screws his eyelids tight. ?Talk about jetlag. The spaceport was hell. What time even is it here?? Harry clicks his fingers, yells ?Service, please!?,and when the waitress appears, orders drinks. He has a margarita. Mike has a lychee martini. Sam has a New Old Fashioned, a contemporary twist on the Old Fashioned.

FUTURA is one of the best bars on the Moon. Moon City is a garbage town (as everybody knows), but sometimes sophisticated people have business even here, and FUTURA plugs the gap in the market for classy watering holes.

When the drinks come, Sam exhales and stirs the single cube of ice in his glass with his index finger, which he then absent-mindedly sucks.

The theme is mid-century modern. ?Mid-century?still refers to a certain style of design from the 20th century even though we?ve come a long way since then, chronologically. There is Danish furniture, Saul Bass posters on the walls. Oscar Peterson?s piano shimmers in the background.

?Cheers!?says everybody, and they clash their glasses together.

Two men are seated on a reproduction IKEA couch, next to a low table. They?re sipping cocktails from the correct glassware and smoking electronic cigarettes. Mike is here for work ? he works for a company that mines rare lunar minerals, and has come up from New York for a week to oversee production. Harry has been living here a year or so, and hates it. He gets away to Earth sometimes, but finds it hard to get the time off. They?re talking about Sam, who will join them shortly. Sam has taken a couple years off work and has been traveling around the outer moons of Saturn, partly for research, partly pleasure. He has a layover at Moon City on his way back down to Earth. Communication across the Solar System is spotty at best, and very expensive, so the friends are keen to hear of his adventures first-hand. An hour passes, during which Mike and Harry finish a couple more drinks, and become more animated in their conversation. People enter and leave the bar. Mike is just getting up to use the men?s room when he sees Sam coming in. He looks tired. ?My man! Sam, dude! Take a seat! Long time no see!? Sam and Mike embrace, and move over to the couch, where Harry greets Sam. Sam sits down and relaxes deep into the seat.

?So, tell us all about it!?says Mike. ?What do you want to know?Where can I even start??Sam sips his drink. ?Where you been?? ?Let?s see.?Sam puts his fingers up one by one: ?Titan, of course. Rhea. En... celadus?Enceladus, right. Iapetus. Dione. Tethys. Plus a couple of really minor satellites that they?re exploiting for minerals. It?s interesting to see how they work out there.? ?How so?? ?Well, they have these little moons, big rocks really, with numbers instead of names. One of the Companies of the SLF will claim it, and they?ll set to work. They send a team down there for a survey, which means they have a little town set up for a couple years. Then they rig the whole place with explosives and ?boom? blow it to bits. The smaller bits of rock are easier to gather, and can basically be collected any time.? ?And what was the town like?? ?Interesting. A little depressing, actually. They?re glad to have visitors of course, because they go crazy down there with nothing to do but stare at the walls and jack it. The food sucks, it?s all freeze-dried or canned potatoes, that kinda trash, and the bar only had vodka, also from potatoes, no joke.? ?Ew. All the food out that way must suck, though??


You?d be surprised. Very surprised, actually. It's not cheap, but there?s plenty of loaded folks out there in charge of the Companies. They have farms, of course, and most of the water comes from Hyperion, which is really just a big ice cube.? Sam stares at his own ice cube. It has largely melted. He drains his drink, and the friends order another round. ?I met one of these rich guys on Rhea. Rhea was wild.? ?What?s it like?? ?In terms of scenery - not much. Mountains and craters and crap like that, but once you?ve seen one icy moon, you?ve seen them all - no offense, Harry. But Rhea City is pretty crazy, I saw some shit there. That?s where the super rich guys in the SLF go to live, it?s luxurious. There?s some big domes in the middle where the money lives, they?ve got some insane buildings there. I?ve got photos on my phone.? The men politely gaze at the architectural photos on Sam?s phone. The drinks have caused the men to become a little buzzed. Sam has woken up, and is speaking more freely. They land on a photo of man with a mustache and closely-cropped hair. ?Ah yes, this is the dude I was talking about. His name is Doctor F, no joke - I never heard anyone call him anything else. He?s in charge of one of the Companies out there. I met him in a bar, RC is pretty small all told and you can run into some real singular personalities out there. We hung out a little. I think he?s mafia, too, but I didn?t ask.? ?Doctor F?That?s some supervillain shit right there.? ?He was actually a really interesting guy. Came from nothing on Earth, worked his way up, now he?s like a spacelord: mineral baron, fingers in every pie, rolling in it. We had a cool night.? ?What happened?? ?This is what I was getting to. We hit it off and eventually he says he?ll take me to a restaurant, give me a taste of the finer side of life. Now, I?ve had food, before, all sorts of food. The best. You know me. Even in the SLF they?ve got some pretty wild farms.

As well as the spirulina, seaweed et cetera, you get Kobe beef, you know they massage the cows and play them classic chillout - it makes the meat super tender. ?Anyway - we had a few drinks, and Doctor F took me out to a restaurant. The top restaurant in the whole SLF. I protested, he insisted, he said he?d pay for it, I said ?OK?, YOLO. We got in his car. ?I was feeling a little nervous, thinking why amI in a car withthisdude, hehasdiamondteeth FFS, he screams gangster. And if I disappear, nobody will ever know. He was cool, but he had this certain vibe, you know what I?m saying?? Harry and Mike both nod, engrossed. Mike strokes his neat beard and takes a pull on his cocktail. ?We get to the restaurant, and I?m feeling kinda relieved. Go up in this gold elevator. No shit, real gold. Pretty lavish. Inside it?s dark, tasteful. They have a Jeff Koons, a Warhol. Staff usher us in and we sit down. There?s only a drinks menu, he orders a 1897 whatever, some real crazy old wine. He says ?They ran out of the good stuff, I drank it all! Ha ha ha.?He kinda cracks a smile. ?So this is what I?m getting to. They start bringing out a range of small plates, one after the other. Peanuts - ok?Cazu Marzu - I?ve had it before, good shit. Sperm whale soup. Then out comes something I don?t recognise. Finely sliced meat, odd texture. I try a bit, tastes good. ??What?s that??I ask. ??Tongue,?he says. ??Ox tongue?? ??Don?t insult my taste.?He?s smiling again, showing shiny diamond teeth, but it feels a little uncomfortable. ?This is the finest Saturnian human tongue.?? ?Dude, what the fuck??interjects Harry. ?I knowdude, I was freaked out too.?says Sam. ?But it tasted really great. So I asked him about it. He says it?s this rare commodity out here, especially since it needs to be real fresh, like sashimi fresh.? ?You mean an actual human?s tongue??says Mike. His fingers clasp his tumbler tightly. Everyone has finished their drink, but they haven?t yet noticed.


?It?s great, really. Served with scallions and just a dash of red wine vinegar, sliced real thin. Very smooth texture, nothing quite like it. Nothing like ox tongue. Really worth trying actually. You should give it a go if you get a chance.? Mike nods. Without looking down, he starts racking up three lines on the table. ?What?s this??said Sam. ?Finest Colombian, amigo.?

Harry sullenly reflects for a moment on the likelihood of his getting off of this dump and actually seeinglife a little for once. A brief thought intrudes ? I don't actually like any of my friends, and he bats it away. Mike proffers Sam a sleek silver tube, like a retro rocket ship. Sam takes it, and expertly vacuums the powder up his nose. ?This shit?s not bad, bro.?Sam nudges Mike?s arm a little too hard.

?Wait until you try some from Mars. They have some real advancedhydroponicsystemsout there, real cuttingedge.?He doesn?t refuse.

?Who?s for another drink??says Harry, putting up his arm to wave at the waitress.

Mike thinks that Sam has gotten kind of snobby since he?s been out in space. He has that slightly supercilious air the well-traveled sometimes affect.

Jam es W . H ed ges

There is a brief moment of silence. ?So what happened next, dude?? ?He put me in a car back to my hotel. He?d wired through papers and tickets for me to visit one of those moonlets, which was awesome, but I never saw him again.? ?I think it?s pretty fucked to eat part of, like, a person,?said Mike. ?I don?t think I could do it, it sounds kinda gross.? Sam once again affects his mildly irritating, superior new air. ?It?s the way they do things out there. Sure, on the Earth and the Moon, wage-free labor is frowned upon, but as a result progress is hideboundby all these ancient regulations. They?re totally irrelevant to the modern economy. That?s why the outer fringes are becoming so competitive. I liked what I saw.? ?OK, whatever, dude.? ?Seriously. And at least they give people the right to work, and don?t replace them with robots like they do here. In a way, isn?t that more cruel??Sam pauses. ?Besides, it tasted amazing. Like nothing else. Silky.?His eyes acquire a far-off look.


When I got her e, it was 19 7 3 . Her t ongue is f r ant ic, but mine t ur ns t o ash.

I am bur ning wit h t hir st .

I must have a dr ink...

Pl ease... I'm bur ning...

Their smoke cur l s deep in my gut s. For a moment , it pl acat es me. dul l s me... Takes me somewher e...

Pur e.


Her e, Her f or eat moment her e is ,onl t her y e f ul f ilisl ment no t ,hir and st .a sat isf -

My t hr oat ! Rel ease me!

Ack !

He st umbl es of f , bl eeding out ... Deaf ened by t he sound of his own pain


bl inded by visions of ecst at ic pl easur e...

Weak, he f al l s, or was he pushed?

Did he cast himsel f ? To escape his most pr imal need?

It mat t er s not . Ther e is a wet sound when agel ess r ock meet s him, and my t hir st is abat ed.


53 Melville Squar e by Geraldine Furey

Three months into the job I knew things weren?t... normal. Being a cleaner, I?d seen some weird shit, but nothing like that.

That left me on house sitting duty.

The Devine house was old, all the houses

standing in the doorway, watching them

in that part of Belfast were; old families,

drive away, uneasy at the thought of that

old buildings, old money - big, cold houses

And that is how I found myself alone,

through and keep the rooms in a frozen stasis. In my experience, wealthy people don?t mind the cold. It?s like they use it to measure your endurance and character. That home was freezing. It was furnished with the most modern of furniture and appliances - stereos and TVs that were controlled by voice. Intercom's and self-regulating climate control, whatever that was. All state of the art, no expense spared, and yet bitterly cold at all time.

was not in it. I needed some time, doing

my new role as a house-sitter. As the

locked. I thought it was my mind playing

not settle and with a desire to hear a

tricks on me, that the creepy old house and

familiar voice, I phoned my sister. She did

the wine had combined to unnerve me. I

not answer. I finished my glass and had

cursed myself for being so childish.

another, then I ran myself a bath. I had always fantasied about that bath - a big iron thing with a curved end and feet that

They were young and ambitious - all

I decided to settle myself with the rest of the wine and watched some TV in the sitting room. I must have fallen asleep, as I woke there, shivering to my bones with the TV still on. Checking my phone, I saw that it was three minutes past midnight. I

The buzz of the intercom made me bolt

was half asleep, but I felt? strange, as if I

upright.

was not alone. The house was silent.

clients, they made no small talk and

Then the front door closed.

allowed me to work on my own initiative

Panic hit me like a firework.

There was no sound from the TV. Had I done that? Had I turned it down?But it

? which I was more than capable of. And

was more than that. There was no sound

I bolted upright and scrambled out of the

anywhere. It was like being in a vacuum.

bath, grasping for a towel. I felt like an

My ears searched for the familiar, but

intruder as I raced to the door.

there was nothing. No clocks ticked. No

settee and sobbed. A miscarriage. Her fifth.

Padding, wet-footed and shivering

I wasn?t sure how to react, so I just stood

through the hall, I called out a stuttering,

there watching silently. I had no words to

?Hello!?

soothe her. The next day Mr Devine took

No answer.

her to their holiday cottage in Wexford.

I was alone.

opened a bottle of wine. But still I could

thoughts.

wet-cheeked. She threw herself onto the

announce my presence.

I checked the doors again. They were all

insurance firm, the man was a barrister.

Devine came home early, red-eyed and

through each door, calling softly to

darkness inched its way across the sky, I

sank in and let the warm water ease my

so it was, until last week, when Mrs

There was no one there.

what I always did before I could settle into

The woman worked for some big-shot

quiet and detached and unlike my other

I peered over the landing balustrade.

I checked every room, creeping hesitantly I cleaned for a while, although my heart

just made it look warm and indulgent. I

appearance, status and money. They were

the stairs.

house being my home for even one night.

with fireplaces in every room, though few that worked - they just let the wind whistle

The light sensor activated, illuminating

taps dripped. In such an old house there were no floorboards creaking, no pipes whining ? even the whistling fireplaces had fallen silent. My breath froze before me, hanging in the air. And then came the noise.


A banging and crashing, as if an anvil had been thrown down the stairs. The hairs on my arms stood on end. Adrenaline raced through my limbs, and my body tensed expectantly, readying itself for what was to come.

There was no time for my brain to process his presence. Behind him stood a small, stout man clothed in darkness. A

?Exorcizamus te!? I dropped to the ground in a penitent pose.

cold hand grabbed my mouth as the stout ?Crux sacra sit mihi lux!?

My first instinct was to run, anyone?s

man spoke foreign words that began to

would be. Long steps, brought me through

scrape and burn my brain. The little man

My head jolted to the heavens as a bright

the doorway but then something stopped

produced a small bottle from his breast

light appeared, like a spotlight shining

me, rooting my feet at the bottom of the

pocket and fear spread throughout my

upon me.

stairs.

body.

"My breath froze before me, hanging in the air. And then came the noise." An ice-wall seemed to hit me, knocking

I couldn?t explain the fright, I just felt the

the air out of my lungs. It was as if my soul

need to run from these men, knowing that

was being wrenched from my body. My

they were intent on harming me.

stomach somersaulted, and I suppressed the urge to throw-up. I clawed at my throat and grasped at my stomach and willed myself forward. My bones rattled,

I rushed towards the stairs as splashes of acid water rained on me and foreign words scratched at my ears and pulled my limbs backwards.

and my brain banged against my skull as if displaced. I moaned and yet I made no

My body and mind were in revolt. I knew

sound - had I gone deaf?I scanned the

that I had to escape from the words and

hallway for movement and called, ?Hello!?

the burning rain, but at the same time,

and was relieved that I could hear my voice

they seemed to anchor me.

make the word. I waited for someone or

I turned to stare at the fat little man who

something to show itself, but the house

stood stoically in front of Conor Devine. I

remained silent and still. I didn?t want to

drank him in. He had a bald head with

go back into the living room, but I wanted

wisps of white erratic hair. Penny glasses

my phone, I desperately needed to hear my

covered his eyes and he wore a black suit

sister?s voice. I needed her to tell me that I

with a white dog collar. A priest.

was imaging things, but I was terrified, rooted to the spot. I stood there for what seemed an age until a breeze gently brushed my hair. I turned to find the front door open, wide to the world. There stood Conor Devine.

Conor Devine fell backwards against the wall and hid his eyes from the scene. ?Vade retro Satana!? The priest stepped towards me, the cross of Christ rigid in his hand. The world began to vibrate and hum and pulsate and I felt a storm rip through me until all I could hear was the primal roar of a bitter, rotting world. And then, everything seemed to? stop. The world froze. The priest was a statue, Conor Devine nothing more than an effigy. The humming had stopped too. A calmness swept over me and I knew that it was up to me to make the decision. I could go, disappear, venture into the unknown of what was next, or I could fight, and I could stay. And it had to be decided at that

Hatred, as I had never experienced, erupted from my lungs and shattered the windows showering us with glass. The priest shielded his eyes while his stubby fingers grasped a pocket and returned with a small wooden crucifix. Immediately my eyes burned like white-hot coal in a fire. He continued his Latin lament.

moment.


W ith the calmness, came a clarity and I looked at Conor Devine and saw his fear and his weakness. I saw his empty life. I saw his empty marriage. I saw his fruitless pursuits and I knew what to do. W hy should he get to decide?W hy did he get to stay there?W hy should I leave?

Then they came.

I muttered words of my own.

?Dad-da!?

?Domine Deus meus in te speravi? ?

?Dad-da!?

The world started again, and the

?Dad-da!?

pathetic little priest stopped his mumblings. I smiled at him. ?Ouver! Chameron! Aliseon! Mandousin!? His cross dropped to the floor. ?Domine meus daemones!? It was the priest?s turn to kneel. As before, the world began to vibrate and hum and pulsate and a storm roared around me. But I was not afraid. The priest moaned and called for his God. Conor Devine clung to the wall, face hidden, unable to watch. I could taste his fear on my lips and I grinned. I knew he would break. The house seemed to breathe in, and then blow a wind through it, a wind that sounded like a sigh. And then, as before, everything stopped. The world froze. I looked to Conor Devine and waited.

Five little lost souls. ?Dad-da!? ?Dad-da!?

...


In

t he next excit ing inst al l ment of HAbwor l d 2420

Khu is a quick-talking, hard-fighting, deep-smoking space princess who travels the lands with her giant horned battle mount, challenging the political intrigues of her father 's clan and their enemies. This will be an action-packed story, but with a little luck and under the auspices of the peace pipe, not everything will end in blood.

We're all incredibly excited here at Habworld to be featuring this ten part story, written and drawn by the incredibly talented Fez from Azeftra art. We will feature a story, beautifully constructed and laboured over, in every issue until its completion, at which point it will be collected into a special edition.


Ev er y per s on who r eads , downl oads , s har es or s pi t s on t hi s i s s ue s uppor t s an ex per i ment and a mov ement t hat s eek onl y t he modes t goal of wor l d domi nat i on For t hi s we t hank y ou.

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Habworld 2420: Digital Grimoire  

The first of our digital-exclusive issues, the Digital Grimoire presents you with the most mind-boggling, blood-curdling stories of Samhain...

Habworld 2420: Digital Grimoire  

The first of our digital-exclusive issues, the Digital Grimoire presents you with the most mind-boggling, blood-curdling stories of Samhain...

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