Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: science fiction

In Case of Organ Failure

Beginning to suspect that Dr. Donum’s insistence on cloning specifically herself hints at a deeper problem in her psyche. I am withdrawing my previous conclusion that it is yet another sign of control issues. I saw blueprints on her desk. Next week I will attempt to surreptitiously get a closer look. It should also be noted that in case of organ failure, a clone of her would be ideal to pick organs from.

I exchanged the samples, of course. We are in fact cloning me now, to keep that woman’s trickery at bay. Besides, I deserve it more than her.

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The Microwave Problem

The microwave oven engineers made a box that only worked when closed. It was too small for a child, and yet puppies had the occasional misfortune of being cooked.

This problem was posed long before the teleportation device was realised. Supposedly it was something the engineers of the microwave oven had faced: how to make people avoid putting their body parts or children inside the machine, as it is obviously unsafe for them? The device needed free air, so they had to run a current through it to discourage body parts. Yet, puppies had the occasional misfortune of being cooked.

Harddrive Rust

When grandpa still existed, when there were any grandpas at all, he used to explain to me that there used to be more than one sun in the sky. He said there was harddrive rust in the universe and that all the stars had become similar and they had then become one. Concepts were disappearing, merging. There’s just one sphere now, and there are no grandpas, and soon there’ll be no memory of grandpas either. I think my hands used to have more fingers, but I don’t know what comes after ‘five’. The one sphere sings a solemn, lonely song.

Red Rotary Phone

It’s a pretty tall building, isn’t it? And aerodynamic.

If you go down deep enough, to the fundaments, you will find the rocket fuel, and under that you will find the thrusters. The metal canisters have been there since the 50’s, so there is no guarantee that anything will work, but it’s there. If you pound them you can hear it sloshing. Cobwebs galore, all over, and the displays are stuck, in all likelihood. Search enough and you will find the manual with all the telephone numbers and launch codes.

There is a red rotary phone on a rickety table.

Voyage

“Find life.”

You were fitted with a chelonian, deliberate kind of intelligence, and all the cameras in the world. You left our system as a living thing; you taught us all we know about extrasolar space. And you fulfilled your mission; you found life.

You aimed your thruster; you set your course.

And you degraded. Micrometeors, particles of dust, stray gamma bursts, bugs that turned up after hundreds of years, data inconsistencies. So you turned into just another inert clump of metal, gathering ice on your journey to this other world. They did not see you coming.

And you crashed.

I Solve Your Fictional Problems with FTL-Drives

The post on Time Travel was a success! On account of how everybody loves technobabble, I will strive to make solving your fictional problems a regular occurence. Today’s letter comes from one @_TK_O (Ms. Osborne), who writes

Dear Mr Punkt,

My starship is not peppy enough, and I’m struggling to get it to go faster than light. However, all the fancy spaceships my friends own seem to be able to manage it! Tell me, how can I win the next big drag race in the Alpha Quadrant?

Sincerely,

Ms. Osborne, T. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #3

Last one of these I’m posting before I get anywhere with editing this novella into shape. I haven’t even got to write the really cool scenes yet! (The really cool scenes are some NGE/Michael Bay stuff. Explaining it here would ruin the explositude.)

Previous excerpts can be found here: /2012/11/12/nanowrimo-excerpt-1/ and here: /2013/01/13/2012-nanowrimo-excerpt-2/

This snippet takes place between excerpt 2 and 1. As usual, comments appreciated.

[Content Warning: sex]

~

She closed the door and exhaled and lay down on the floor. Immediately, Ikkje appeared from the doorway from the kitchen and sat down next to her. He held her hand. He wore an apron and smelled like cinnamon.

“Do you love me?” Rovy asked.

Ikkje Pouncer appeared to think for a little while. The house was modest, she thought. Like most of Ikkje’s kind, the house was just at the edge of the city, but Rovy was okay with this. “I think I do. I don’t think anything has changed. What’s wrong?”

He spent most of his days out in the emptiness, unrecorded, hunting and gathering. Rovy shook her head. “Long day, is all. Have you heard of the falling elites?”

“Elites?”

“The bewinged men and women falling from the sky, love.”

“Is that where the elites are?”

“Well, a bunch of them fell and something happened to the Information Market. Hardly any Buskers there, but many buyers. Don’t know what to make of it. Is dinner done soon?”

“It is. I gathered a lot of mushrooms and potatoes, today.” He smiled.

She kissed him. “You know, most hunter-gatherers also do the hunting business. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you bring home a phant of any kind.”

“These potatoes were totally a struggle, I swear.”

She stared at the little information ball that had rolled out of her pockets.

She kissed her husband again, “hey, do you really love me?” Read the rest of this entry »

I Solve Your Fictional Problems about Time Travel

Fictional people often come to me with their Problems. They are very distressed until I calmly technobabble at them until it all seems to make sense. So, I thought I should offer my services to the public. Are you a fictional person? Do you have a problem? Email me at johannes.punkt at gmail dot com and pose your problem and I will try to explain it away.

Now, without further ado, today’s problem is about time travel. The question was illustrated in the form of a picture of a DeLorean several thousand miles into space, with Earth in the background, and a pithy explanation that the Earth moves in space.

Q: How come time machines also seem to be space machines and always know exactly where to go???

Read the rest of this entry »

Plots You Can Have #5, Ambiguous Monsters Edition

[Content Warning: suicide, human sacrifice]

Previous part here: /2012/10/31/for-the-undecided-plots-you-can-have-nanowrimo-edition/

First part here: /2012/08/20/a-few-plots-you-can-have/

~

The Dalmour Parasite

a parasite that only infects suicidal people and turns them into psychopaths to make their lives better

Neil Ruthsmoke is a man who makes his friends suicidal. He cannot help it; it is not to do with his personality per se, it is just that his particular body odour trips bad wires in people’s brains; he is a freak of nature undiscovered by science. He is also quite depressed on account of this. Story is about how his psychologist both tracks the spread of the parasite and how it starts to take over hir. There is research into Ruthsmoke’s life, and the point where his friends stopped killing themselves and started becoming sociopaths is found. Good scenes might include: when the psychologist puts forth the idea that maybe, possibly, it’s all Ruthsmoke’s fault; when a friend breaks the pattern by topping hirself; when the psychologist realizes ze has probably been infected hirself.

Read the rest of this entry »

2012 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #2

Another excerpt can be found here: /2012/11/12/nanowrimo-excerpt-1/

(This takes place before that one.) Comments appreciated.

~

The Information Market bustled. The woman used to take the way through it home because it was quicker.

The ceiling here speckled with stars, also had tiny disclaimers about ‘accurate representation’.

“Young lady!” screamed the man in the hat. He wore a garish reflecting suit and he bought and sold information for a living. He grabbed at the young woman’s neck with his hooked cane and eventually dragged her to his dais, where he knelt with one arm on his knee and looked into her eyes. “You can’t fool me. I know you were there, I saw the incident report with my own eyes. How’s about we make a deal?”

She wriggled loose from his cane (the only way to do this was unfortunately to move forward just a bit, and then duck; the Garish man smiled at her when they were this close) and rubbed her shoulderblades. “How about no, leave me alone.”

“You’re never gonna get a deal as good as this, I promise you. I have some bona fide ancient information, it arrived here from the Divers just a moment ago – I swear, this is the hot stuff! Tell you what, free of charge I’m gonna tell you the first bit, if you just will tell me your name, pretty one.” Read the rest of this entry »