Void Lust

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by DotCom, Jul 6, 2015.

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  1. [​IMG]

    An albatross in space does not need to be bound by the inconveniences of gravity. A thousand architects fought for the right to design her but economics won in the end. If they were going to use rockets to lift uranium, one of the heaviest elements in existence, into space, then the Void would be a sphere.

    The ship came together over a decade. Treasuries and oil wells both were emptied in its construction. No one really asked why they were doing it, why they were packing a giant shiny sphere in the sky with nuclear fuel and sending it off to a colony hundreds of years away. But it still came together, and they somehow accelerated it out of Earth orbit and straight into emptiness, into the vast amount of space between very small bodies.*


    Her home was approaching the end of its second decade in space, which meant, by Cam's calculations, their night time ought to be adding up with nighttime back on earth, GMT, if a day or so behind. It was was difficult to say, because even though the Void had remained more or less on schedule, their control had gone out the window when they'd first lost sight of the sun. After that, keeping time, at least in the traditional sense, had stopped meaning anything really.

    It almost meant she might actually be 18, which was just as well, since she'd been lying through her teeth about her age almost since birth -- a feat, since pretty much everyone with two eyes and a soul had been following along when her mother had died.

    She could hear Dixie and Drell arguing somewhere below and behind her, which was about as entertaining as watching the black pass from the porthole in the observation deck above her bunk; that is to say, not at all. But it was a familiar sound, and a comforting one, so she counted another full twelve seconds, or however long twelve seconds was now, before rolling out of the hammock she'd rigged under the coms speaker in the control room.

    Like Drell, she was a mechanic. Unlike Drell, and most aboard the Void, she had no patience for open spaces. She couldn't guess where she'd gotten it. She'd been born in the big black. Open space were, ostensibly speaking, all she'd ever known.

    But the Void's heart beat at its center, where the air felt heavy and hot and alive and close. That was where she wanted to be.

    *forward by this guy
    #1 DotCom, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2016
  2. Whatever people can't get, they want.

    "... this chip, Dixie. Look at this chip. Eight little traces going in and out of it. This chip is a 555 timer, the most rudimentary of devices for circuits on the ship. When the computer program thinks something is broken, I take it out and put another in."

    Dixie frowned.

    "I'm like .." Drell rubbed his face and smeared cosmoline over his eyes. It made him look more brooding then he already was. ".. a white blood cell. Do you think a neuron knows it's making me smart? Well, that's the same with me and this ship." He shut the panel carefully and moved on to the next sector for maintenance; Dixie went the opposite way.

    And what are we going to do when we run out of chips? Are we going to wither and die, then crash land in a gigantic nuclear fireball on the surface of Earth 2 a thousand years from now?
  3. They had told her when she'd started the bow side observation deck was, to put it glibly, redundant. Not, they insisted, a "really fucking huge windshield against space," which of course was precisely what it was. They'd built the Void a hundred thousand different ways, so it could be piloted here to next Tuesday -- literally, in some cases, by a blind two-year-old. The autopilot/AI, Apollo, that did most of the work was forever reminding her that the various heat maps and digital displays blazing under her fingers and over her hear were a statically more reliable set of directions than her own eyes.

    But Tau had never owned a smart phone, even before they left earth. Not that there'd been much time or point by the time she was old enough. Even still, dark the day would be when she decided to trust a fancy calculator over what was spelled out there in front of her, over her gut intuition.

    Besides, space fields were pretty. And no glorified can opener could ever give her that.

    With a quietly reverent sigh, Tau yawned, stretched, and raked green eyes over the bottomless swirl of green and black that stretched before her, spackled with with the silver white of burning stars. It was one of the quieter views she'd witnessed, and still it never got old. She was approaching the end of her shift, but with Duchy still in the infirmary, she figured a double was in order anyway. There was a half eaten candy bar melting on the console before her unnoticed. Tau made a face and grumbled under her breath.


    At the far edge of the huge space windshield, one of the white specks suddenly brightened and vanished.
  4. "You should turn off the viewscreen before a Moms sees you."

    Drell slumped into a chair next to Tau. The chair was egg shaped, a slanted plane sliced out of it to form a deep hollow that obscured a lot of the peripheral vision. Fashion relic, hopeful architecture, or psychologically tuned - or none of the above. He blinked at the candy bar and automatically reached for it, eating what wasn't melted and cleaning off the rest with the small bottle of enzyme solution that always hung from his maintenance belt.


    "What? That's my job."

    "The bar."

    "Can't really afford to waste anything, right now." Drell licked his fingers. The chocolate was a little bland. "Apollo says we're going through a patch of dim radiance .. the farms won't be able to grow much." We've been going through dim radiance since I was born, though.

    "And no," he answered Tau's question before it formed in her mind, "the LED artificial suns are nice, but we can't run them too high. They'll burn out."

    "I don't understand why the Moms and Dads don't like space. Why'd they come?"

    Drell leaned back into the egg. The edges of the chair cut off everything except for the impenetrable black in front of him. "I don't know either. Sometimes they'll organize trips into the holodeck, visit a jungle or the beach." He stuck his tongue out. "Humid and gross."

    "I think one of the Moms said something about 'vertigo'."

    "What's that?

    Drell took Tau's silence as a 'I dunno'. Together, they gazed upon space.

  5. There was a hollow space between engines two and three [BLANK] could just slide into. It made her feel claustrophobic, made her chest grow tight with something akin to panic. And once she was in, the only way out was to wait for the closeness of her own breath, mingled with the burning tang of hot metal to make her sweat enough that she could slide back out again. It plastered her short brown hair to her skull and pinned her shirt to her ribs, making her look like she’d just crawled out of a swimming pool.

    Whatever that was.

    She tried to close her eyes and imagine what it would be like to float in a pool of water – one that wasn’t monitored on all sides to test your ability to whether zero gravity (she couldn’t). Like space, maybe, but wetter, and twice as dangerous, because when you screamed, everyone could hear. Tau had told her of such things once, but Tau had a tendency to get carried away with her own make-believe.

    These days, the engines ran cool, conserving energy on cruise control while they all tightened their belts against the upcoming solar blackout. It took twice as long to sweat her way out of the engine block.

    Hence her surprise when the Void suddenly lurched hard enough to throw her to the floor. She wasn’t sure whether it was the ship, the impact, or the cold that surprised her most.

    Outside, another star had gone dark.
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