Sunday, July 28, 2013

Writing - Saturday Night - Quantity

Writing - Saturday Night - Quantity

Quantity



Six million, four hundred thirty two thousand, three hundred and twelve.

That would be 6 432 312.

Litres.

Of water.  That would be.  That would be how much a comet trawler carries.  That would be how much this comet trawler carries, of H20, mostly ice, some liquid (not much) and a bit of gas.  That's how much it takes to fill a trawler. The trawler fills at  223 litres an hour, 5360 litres a day.  You do the math.

Okay I'll do the math.  It takes almost 1200 days to fill one trawler.  That means 3.3 standard cycles.  Just over 3 years.  3 years.  A man sits behind the wheel of a spacecraft for three years, and he gets to thinking that maybe...just maybe he's on the wrong end of the galaxy.

Being bored.

Being bored of watching ice, and water, slowly fill up in a massive space trawler while you chase the backside of a comet.  Sure it's pretty for the first couple days, then it all just starts to look like a blizzard.

So you play a holo-game.  Ya read a few books.  You link-stim some of these latest Simstim movies, that Tom Cruise AI, is there anything he can't do?

And round abouts a year in, you get so bored out of your own skull, that you just start being nutty.  Like you go swimming, in your suit in that massive trawler of space ice and H20.  Why?  Cause you're bored.  You swim through crystal dust meant for the far side of the galaxy where they carve it up and bottle it in expensive silicate for a couple hundred credits a litre.  And here you is, diving in it like some long-extinct porpoise.

Cause you're bored.

You paint your own bridge.  Then you paint the hallways, and the mess, and maybe the escape shuttle.  And you run out of paint, paint you don't remember packing but someone, clearly thought you'd need it before you went full bore loopy.  But then you realize it's only been two years.  And you still got another year and a bit to go.  That seven string Yorin-Guitar you packed along, well you learn to play that.  You forgot you packed it, and if there was dust on your trawler, well it'd be covered in it, but there ain't.

Anyway you learn smoke on the water on a Yorin-Guitar.  And only after the week it takes you to learn how to play it, you realize you just played smoke on the water in space while chasing a comet.  That's pretty silly.

You do push-ups every morning, you run fifteen klicks around the tank to get back to being fit, because you let yourself go for a while there, being bored and only doing the bare minimum antigrav exercises.  But now because hey, you're into year three and you only have the little bit left, maybe you ought to look better.

You even shave that god-awful beard of yours, space beard we call it.  Don't lie, everyone has one at least once.

You start leaning over the railing of the tanks and counting the H20.  Because you're going full bore loopy now, thinking you can see the mess of ice crystals and can see the litres coming in.  Sometimes you stay awake for days, just staring at it, piling up like that, I mean except you can't.  Not really.  Tanks are hermetically sealed.

You go swimming in it again.

Cause you're bored.

You get a piece of meteorite and you call him Spock.  You realize that's an amalgam of space rock.  Wow.

And that moment.  Right as you're about to lose it.  Really lose it.  Right as you're about to lose it the hold slams shut, the alarm dings, some weird klaxon you've never heard before rolls and what.  You're done.  3.3 years.  A full hold of H20.

Space jump takes hours, feels like another year.  Intersteller trader empties the hold into another tank.  Takes him less than a day.  3.3 years for you, less than a day for him.  A four million chit credit burning a hole in your pocket, and nothin to spend it on.

And you know what you do?

Let me tell you what you do.

You go and sign up to get another 3.3 years worth of goddamn H20.  Six million, four hundred thirty two thousand, three hundred and twelve, litres.  Why?  You barely came home, you didn't even set down anywhere with earth standard G.  Why.

Why did you sign up?

Because you're immortal, hooked into the machine forever, and will never die.

And you have nothing but time on your hands.

This time though, you're taking a lot more paint with you.  May as well do the outside.

Right?