Sunday, November 18, 2007

Header One

He picked up his newspaper and hardly noticed the blank sections and vacant photographs. News he wasn't meant to know and didn't care to. His coffee was hot and fine. The November weather crisp yet comfortable.

He arrived at his semi-annual checkup a little early. While he waited, he took a call on his phone. Speaking into the air with someone from work. The caller apologized, he'd forgotten why he'd called, he'd see him later at the office and tell him then, if he remembered.

The Clinic monitored all network traffic as a matter of course. Too many terrorist attacks. The doctor watched a graphic representation of their conversation, noted where the enhanced reality plug-ins erased the unpleasant information from the conversation in real time.

"Now there's one last thing." The Doctor pressed a key on his Module controller.
"Doctor? What have you done?"
"Mr Harway, I'm required to deactive your bad-news guard twice a year to confirm that you want to leave it on."

With horror, Mr. Harway's eyes widened as every piece of bad news he'd received in the last six months came smashing into his conscious awareness in a mad rushing tide.

"Turn it on! Turn it on!"
"How do you feel, Mr Harway?"
"Oh, fine, thank you, everything alright, see you in six months?"

The doctor nodded.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Typur Wen and Pose Rem

Typur Wen works one day out of every 30, even then it is only for 12 minutes. He gets on to his workstation and completes a 14 hour day in 12 minutes, his overclocked brain steaming from the strain.

Pose Rem is a Zship pilot. Jockeying cargo between Earth and its few and far flung colonies. They make an effort to meet in person, an anachronism but they are very old men, though no one could tell just by looking at them. Recently Pose has become concerned about his friend, he's been disappearing lately, vanishing into the air.

What's worse is that Ty is in total denial about the fact. His work online has fragmented his awareness of reality so deeply he cannot consider the disappearances any more than holes in his memory, expected artifacts of his job, for which he is handsomely rewarded. A real time trader in the 22nd century has an unaugmented operational lifespan of 40 years, Ty has already surpassed this number. Unaware of this fact himself (having deliberately deleted it from his mind) he has attracted quiet attention for his resilience to ego disintegration. Pose worries for him. He's unknowingly pushing boundaries of interpenetration that have never been succesfully pushed before.

Worse, Ty is beginning to behave like Pose's second-in-command, a secret in the Zship command structure known only to Pilots and Captains in the industry. A secret so explosive it could destroy space commerce forever.

Unknown to the politicians who authorize space travel, the second in command of a Zship, the sentient thing responsible for the awesome transportional effect of the Zship, is nothing more than a highly modified horse. The fiercely forbidden result of banned experiments in the 21st century into genetically augmented life. Swimming in a neo-natal synthetic solution, wired up hardline for maximum transmission velocity. These creature only superficially look like swimming horses. Their eyes betray them, they are aware of what they do, thankfully they enjoy it. Else it would be the wantonly cruel imprisonment of a thinking lifeform, they cannot live outside their delicately calibrated environments. Except when they travel in n-space.

Who designed them is a further mystery that Pose doesn't know and doesn't want to die finding out. What he does know is that at the height of a long jump through space and backwards in relative time, the 'seconds' disappear.

Just like Ty does. Only the 'seconds' know where they go and what they do when they get there to get the Zship back into normal space and in position around some distant colony planet. Pose doesn't understand the Unruh-Minkowski equations well enough to grasp the subtleties but essentially the 'seconds' know a place in n-space where it's easier to move the universe around the ship rather than move the ship around the universe.

The secret of their success is in where they go and what they do when they get there. The 'seconds' have been asked about it but their answers don't make sense, language wasn't designed to handle hyperdimensional cubes of 54 faces.

Pose suspects that Ty is lying to him, that he does know where he goes. Pose wonders if Ty will take the tracking pill he gave him this afternoon. Then he could be tracked by his 'second' in the Arcturus. Either way it will mean something, won't it?

Imagine! A man that can move the universe just like a sythetic 'second' only half in this reality from the outset! Where couldn't he go? What couldn't he do?

Who will try to kill him first?