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Tag: psychological horror

Something Goes Wrong in Space (Idea) Part II

Last report on Something Goes Wrong in Space:

https://zombiesintelligently.com/2012/08/16/something-goes-wrong-in-space-idea-part-i/

Here follows a non-chronological account of what goes wrong in space. And how.

Developed by me and Drakekin.

~

The Point of No Return (Incident T0)

This is the first scene. We start with a slow scene where the ISV Alhambra releases all the pods layer by layer, expertly navigating them through the fine mesh of the honeycomb framework. Our surviving characters are rather solemn, trained not to panic (as the ones who didn’t catch this training have all, ah, panicked and died).

Something humanoid but toadlike floats toward the giant dish, at the centre of which our characters are sitting, watching through thick crystal. Someone squeezes someone else’s shoulder as the thing bumps into the dish with a creaking, clanging sound that is heard through the metal. It climbs down a railing a long way, into the air chamber and closes the door, pressurises the chamber, and goes inside. This is Danetage. Ze deflates into a more human shape, with machinelike sounds, and quickly is presented with hir non-spacesuit and then hugged.

[number of crew awake: 41; sleeping: 220; dead: 419]

~

Incident T1

Danetage gets hugged, and then scooted off to an ‘interview’ with Solvieg. They’re in the climate controlled area to let Danetage feel as safe as possible; it is unpleasant for Sol, but she does not let that show. Not all of the conversation is shown: some of the time the camera is more focused on the despair of the crew and how they stare at the ‘fish skeleton’ their ship has become. (People shudder at that phrase.) Sometimes the dialogue of the Sol/Danetage conversation is muffled or muted to show the disorientation of the crew and machines. The gist of the conversation is that something went wrong, and if you people at the bridge hadn’t sodded up this wouldn’t be happening.

(Crewmembers who are still in space, die. All the ejections of pods crush them, some flung out into space, others crushed by two different pods, etc.)

The android ambassador ask how they can be of assistance. They are ignored. Kiloyield talks to them about nothingness, which gets grim.

Someone still thinks they can save most of the pods by radio-controlling them to steer toward the planet, and land in the sea (if the planet has a sea, which it might).

[number of crew awake: 37; sleeping: 220; dead: 423]

~

Incident T-negative-1

Wvera goes back to listening to the ansible and becomes worried it might be infected by That-Which-Speaks. She tries to discuss this with Irving, who is distraught by the fact that they have no radio with Antruth or Danetage, and also the report that the sunsail covering the hole in the deflector isn’t holding still – it’s doing what sunsails do, which is to move. He’s telling some engineers to put the deflector dish to spin to minimise the damage to the superstructure by having sunlight only pass every now and then. It is revealed, however, that he pseudo-remembers That-Which-Speaks’ voice.

Antruth and Danetage arrive at the level of the ship where the cargo spire main control node is. Danetage, while ze still has usable vocal cords and isn’t all blowfished up, asks if Antruth shouldn’t turn the radio on. But it’s a simple thing we’re doing and we don’t need more of that douchetrucks’ ‘jokes’, says Antruth. Danetage puffs up.

They start manually ejecting and restructuring pods to get into the ship. Eventually they are inside and have a double airtight seal and Antruth turns on an atmosphere pod and leaves the spacesuit. They have to keep tetrising the pods in order to move toward the shutting-off-node, which they are aware might have turned into something else once they get there, given the reshuffling of the computer.

As they’re walking through the honeycombs and finding the computer, Danetage – half deflated to speak and manoeuvre – freaks out about it being a brain. Antruth just wants to get this over with. But they’re people! Not more than, say, a fish is. Fish don’t feel pain, ‘Tage. Shuts it down slowly. The ship is still under the impression that they have arrived and it should unload, because Antruth’s radio was off since the joke that was in poor taste, and the bridge can’t control anything blindly. Antruth gets sucked out into vacuum and dies. Danetage finds the airtank and sucks some air from it, inflating hirself, thinking fuckfuckfuck.

[number of crew awake: 43; sleeping: 220; dead: 417]

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Worldbuilding 3: When to Let Go, & New Stuff

Last entry in this series: https://zombiesintelligently.com/2012/07/20/worldbuilding-2-the-points-of-departure/

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If you don’t put your heart into something it can never have the pulse you’ve taken all your life to protect. Similarly, I’ve grown disillusioned with the poisonbeasts and shall instead talk a bit about the deaths of things.

For me, most projects do not simply die, but poison the water and then appear as ghosts in the lucid dreams of my other projects. Which is a fancy way of saying I reuse things, at times, and ideas gnaw on the back of my skull often and hard.

It’s good to let things die, though. I can’t tie that into the other metaphors I’ve used here, so I’ll just say it plainly: deciding that a project is not worth your attention means you’re doing quality control and also that you won’t have to decide that /later/. Saying goodbye at 500 words in is better than 500 pages in, etc.

Letting things die isn’t the same as giving up. Giving up is all defeatlike. Someone once told me, or said in my vicinity, that creativity is the creation of many ideas and then pruning them until you find the ones that are salvageable. In light of that, whenever I let something die I write down another idea, or gravestone the thing into a drabble at the very least. Even if it’s bloody stupid. So, related to that last post about things you can have, here’s a bunch of things I might use, which are of course up for taking (do show me the work when you’re done with it if you pick one of these plots):

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