Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: starships

Curtains, but No Windows

This room has curtains, but no windows. They hang in such a way as to suggest that they are blocking the sunlight. If you were to look behind them, you feel, sunlight would flow into the room like water from a burst dam. This is an illusion you keep with you. You know not if gravity still affects you. Your legs are touching the floor, you cannot lift your arms; but you got like this long ago. Your heavy heart. Maybe now you’ve moved somewhere where the sun is nothing but a distant star, where nothing pulls you home anymore.

The Myth of Continued Consciousness

Lou believed that he died every time he fell asleep. There was no difference. He had programmed himself to reflect this, much harsher than the other mezzodes on the ship. He had new personalities, new quirks, new phobias every time he accidentally slumbered. Lou refused to be a carbon copy of his former self, that was one of the ways he stayed himself. Sometimes he screwed up changing his own batteries, and someone plugged him in again and Lou held a little funeral and played the bagpipe. Lou believed in very few things, but he said bagpipes healed the soul.

Fragments of a Work in Progress

Thoughts stretched like shadows elongating; like you’re on a painstakingly slow-revolving ship made of glass heading outwards from your sun, awaywards, deepspacewards. Your thoughts (the shadows) are then everywhere because the sun is underneath you – and you ascend, unless your mammal mind has already adapted to the rotation.

Grahm found that difficult. Everything he believed in space was new; the cogging went in spirals inward. For a few amorphous months Grahm had gone through every holy book he had ever been taught about, and delved into the library for more. He used them up, quicker than he shed his skin and replaced himself (which for regular humans was the luxurious length of 7½ years).

When he had first been shot out into space there had been food with him, to trick him into thinking he had a supply. In fact, all those paperbags were one and the same bag, and when he opened the first one he collapsed them. Grahm, though advanced enough to eat the starlight shining in through all the windows, had requested this specific food to carry with them into the cold of space and now the bag had gone stale and the smell of Americana was faint enough that it could have been anything.

On a similar trajectory as he was his Chanceone, his choice one, Decarulin, who he was told was beautiful. He did not really care; they were going to fuck. That was the one thought that came back, though it too in different shapes. It was on the list. Some parts of him liked her, others hated her, but his whole being wanted her. That was sensor-proof.

Grahm started making up his own gods, but they lacked in weight and symbolism compared to the old gods and he used them up too quickly. He could spend a month in the intermediary state spoke of in the Bardo Thödol, or six weeks digesting [the footnotes of [the footnotes of [the footnotes of a typo]]] in the Torah scrolls but when worshipping the Eternal Lobster all he could do was shed and empty, all his skin cells aligning to attention. Days flew by, Grahm felt motion sickness from it – or was it the rotation? – and his pantheon thinned to just him, the devil, and the Alien.

“I am chock full of clockwork chemicals,” he said to space which did not reply, but rather looked scornfully back at him, malice in its million eyes. Looked back at them. He tried for a moment to repeat the declaration but started rhyming and embarrassed himself.

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?


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