The Voice of Experience

images. sci fi

I was going about my regular maintenance duties on the ship, tightening the bolts on the hyperspace drive, topping up the fusion cells with T2O, checking the sprockets in the Q-core and so on, when a disembodied voice boomed out from somewhere behind, all muffled and incoherent like an announcement on a train station. I nearly fell over with shock – I was the only person on board and had been for the best part of two hundred years. I tried not to let my fear show. I tried to keep a sense of my own authority. “Who are you?” I barked. “What are you trying to say to me?” Despite my best efforts, I sounded badly rattled. There was a moment’s silence, then the reply came, still somewhat muffled and booming but intelligible this time. “I am the voice of experience!” it intoned solemnly. I considered this answer, and found that the more I considered it the less sense it made. “What the hell do you mean you’re the voice of experience?” I replied testily, “What sort of an answer is that? What’s that supposed to mean” There was a prolonged silence and then the voice came again, sounding somewhat sheepish this time, somewhat crestfallen. “It’s just a bit of a joke. Humour, you could say. I thought it would be a rather funny thing to say…” It trailed off. I didn’t see the humour in this at all. In fact I felt considerably irritated. “Who are you then?” I demanded to know. The voice issued forth again, mumbling rather, “I’m just a voice. That’s all. Just a voice. No need to get like that with me. No need to get on your high horse…” I scowled blackly, “Well in that case would you have the decency not to talk until you have something worth saying.” This time the voice never replied, and I continued with my chores.

 

NOT REAL

 

A bit later on that afternoon I realized abruptly that none of that was real. There was no Hyperspace drive. There were no fusions cells. There was no Q-core. I didn’t even know what the hell a Q-core was! The whole thing had been one of those episodes. Not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real none of it was real. What a stupid crappy hallucination, thought to myself. How could I have been taken in by it? It didn’t even make sense. It was like some kind of joke. It was ludicrous. It was absurd. It was like someone was taking the piss out of me. Not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real not real

 

THE MOOB

 

I am the moob. Where I am there are lots of other things too, but they aren’t like me. They are all enemies. They have no name. They hate me and want to hurt me. They are savage and spiky with armoured plates and glistening teeth, pale white ghostly teeth, very thin and very sharp like the teeth of one of those unpleasant-looking fish from the bottom of the abyss, from the bottom of one of the ocean’s deepest trenches. They glide around silently, shifting in and out of focus – sneaking up on me from all sides. It’s a dance of death. Their eyes are fixed on me the whole time, the malice in them plain to see. They long to harm me. They are waiting for the moment to come when they will all rush me and overwhelm my defences. They will then rip me to shreds. I am soft and helpless and I can’t move very fast. I look a bit like a giant clam that has lost its shell. I discover that I move around by undulating my body slowly. It occurs to me that I am a type of large flat worm. A Platyhelminth. The pale tooth-laden vicious no-name dancing things are surrounding me on all sides, slowly circling. They intend to eat me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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