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Teapot. First section

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1 Teapot. First section on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:30 am

Bayushi Dave

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Amateur Writer
Once confined to fantasy and science fiction, time travel is now simply an engineering problem.
-MICHIO KAKU

“So the Earth was destroyed, well not so much destroyed. I have something of a bias for generalities and have come to correct myself after spending so much time with less than subtle people. When mankind died in the embers of a comet collision, I say the Earth was destroyed, because humans couldn’t live there anymore. Actually the Earth is just fine. It just doesn’t support human life anymore. I specified life on Earth because not everything was lost when the comet hit. For a few decades man had taken to the stars, not full blown terraforming or giant space stations, but ships that could sustain life and a few stations that acted as a hub. Oh, and not only did scientist and engineers survive, but unimportant people like business majors made it out as well. My name is Ashley Ferrier. I majored in business law, and I captain the Murphey’s Law.”

“And whose dumb idea was it to make business major captain?” From behind the furrowed eyes of a young Japanese girl with fervor pulled as tight as the dark, brown ponytail.

Across the circular chamber padded with wires connecting several databanks and monitors stood a dark skinned man with an oscillating motion in his wrist, pulling the skin against the bridge of his nose. “Bliss, your dumb ass is going out an airlock if you had any authority.”

“Second that motion.” Interjection shot out in accordance from a dark haired girl behind Bliss. Her eyes reflected an inner gaze from her mouth still ajar as the insult result out while her finger twirled a curl in it.

“Eat me Atom-man.” Bliss retorted as she crossed her arms, lowering her gaze.

“I’ll second that motion if Ernest doesn’t do that because of his being black.” The discourse turned to a quartet as a young man in his late twenties chimed in with his hands tucked inside of a red jacket. His wavy brown hair parted in concordance with the rim of his glasses.

“Shut up miscreant; what do you even do on this ship, Hicks?” Attacked from every angle, Bliss shot to kill.

“I check the meters.” He found shelter as his back descended against a hard metal framing beam.

“What meters?” While she knew of the existence, she didn’t know what exactly he did with them.

“He checks the meters.” Even if Ernest didn’t know what exactly Hicks did, he wasn’t going to let Bliss beat anyone down. After a good circulation of blood moved to and from where he assumed appropriate and rested it against the metal shelving hosting the databanks.

“Don’t change the subject. I’m finding who’s in charge of this idiotic decision and setting them straight—”

“Well, it’s good to know word travels fast even though I didn’t tell anyone in this room what they are talking about.” Light from the fluorescent tubules glared a light off of the reflective surface of the greasy forehead that protruded well beyond where the natural hairline of a man should rest. “But, I see lack of intelligence hasn’t kept you from discussing and coming to conclusions.” Wire frame glasses the look of opportunity succumbing to disappointment.

“Get over it; we have a problem.” Before the newcomer could even fully enter the room, Bliss began her barrage.

“And we’re fixing it.” Calamity left them no shortage of qualified engineers and scientist, but strife ruined any harmony among the group. “We need everyone to focus on the big picture.”

“But our job is the small picture.” Ernest wanted to keep control of the otherwise tense situation broiling inside the room.

“Let’s just do our jobs and get this over with.” Taking to her feet about three inches over Bliss, Lucy Brillows, once a child pageant queen turned juvenile delinquent turned ship’s field technician, made her way through the small room to an adjacent corridor.

“This is more than a job.” Worry cracked the lines of his brow. “I cannot stress that enough and I hope you all know that.”

“Got it.” Hicks spoke with a discontentment towards the patronizing tone.

“We’re not arguing over what we’re doing, and it’s how we’re being told to do it.” Metal began creasing a deep line in Ernest’s back. Resting his back against the grating brought about as much comfort as the unfortunate timing of this meeting.

“Business major is in charge?” An accord rang from Bliss. Even if they stood at odds with one another, the crew did come to terms with a resentment towards their new commander.

“She knows the systems.” Gregory tried to assure the team.

“Did she learn them in business school?” A sigh of disappointment came as a catharsis to Bliss’s comment. Not only did Bliss insist on her comment, she didn’t even try to put creativity behind it.

“Before she was captain most people liked her.” Before anyone else could chime in Gregory made a plea to reason. “She has the least amount of ego among the group, and isn’t Almah.” Gregory alluded to the peculiar man Almah Charmer. No one knew where he came from and the stories he brought up filled the rumor cycle to the brim with stories of how he spoke of past experiences with the likes of Napoleon and Lord Byron. “The man is unbalanced enough to give me reason to put Ashley in charge of making sure the mission comes first.”

“What about putting Lucy in charge.” No one really wanted Lucy in charge, but Bliss decided to lead with the comment anyways.

Hicks shook his head before thinking of one of many reasons to object with. “I object on the grounds I don’t want to be murdered in my sleep.” He picked the best one.

Crawling out of a three by four mirror, Lucy emerged with the reminder of her strange and unique gift. “If I want to murder you, you’ll be murdered.” From an incident in her early life of beauty pageants and terrible domestic living, Lucy placed herself in the hospital resulting in a short experience with death. Details of the incident only came from what Lucy told others, and the exact nature of what she did stayed shrouded in fabrications Lucy sewed together, but the ability to move in and out of mirrors made her a vital member of information gathering teams.

“We’re not putting Lucy in charge, because of the difficulty and danger of her job and the fact that someone on the ship needs to communicate with her.” Gregory shortchanged the fact of Lucy’s neurotic behaviors that made her isolated from the rest of the crew, but everyone else already knew.

“If you don’t mind me asking, why am I not in charge?” Ernest filled in the opening with a question he felt deserved to be asked.

Bliss intercepted the question. “Get over yourself.”

Gregory brushed off Bliss and delivered his assessment. Ernest had come up as a candidate, but the crew needed his position as a psychologist. “You need to maintain a working relationship as the ship’s doctor and that role would conflict in accordance with the roles of the captain.”

With a less than sincere tone Hicks cut through the helpful reasoning. “Since we’re going down the list, why can’t I be captain?”

“I’ll murder you in your sleep.” Feeling Lucy’s snide comment worked well enough to alleviate the situation, Gregory decided to move on.

“I’d take business major over Hicks any day.” Bliss delivered a follow up to Lucy’s comment, before Gregory could continue his conversation.

“Mind going over the details for why Bliss isn’t captain, so she can know just what a bitch she is?”

Gregory finally interjected himself in between the bickering of the room. “Whoever is in charge doesn’t matter. I’m sending you to Earth…”

“That place sucks.” A sigh came from Hicks at the revelation of the mission.

Bringing herself back to the discourse through an over simplified measurement came Lucy. “A big rock hit it and now no one lives there.”

Gregory finally boiled over with frustration. “Thank you. I so fucking happy I have crews that can keep me informed of things of compelling nature as that.” The room cleared with frustration and a wave of laughter came from the discontent engineers.

“You said the ‘F’ word.” Lucy made the first remark at the expense of Gregory. A weak moan from the crossing of metal latches connecting the ships permeated through the ship.

“We’re going to report you and get your tenure taken away.” The roll of comments continued from Hicks as the exchange from the crew came against Gregory.

“Take it up with the review board when you’re down there. I’m sure they’re in just as good of spirits as they were when we all lived down there.” With his orders given, Gregory stepped over a wire bundle extending from the wall and made his way towards the adjacent corridor.

A sigh came from Bliss. “Data collection.” Her arm moved to rest her chin upon her hand. “No wonder we have Business major on our team.”

Calling the business major an omen for remedial jobs went past Ernest. “He didn’t give us any details.” He knew why.

Hicks did too. “I guess we’ll figure it out from our captain then, probably with lots of learning aids and team building activities.”

“Well, that makes it worse.” Bliss leaned her body further away from the center of gravity in her hips. “How is she going to explain exactly what we need to do?”

“She’ll probably pass along information from people who gave it to her.” While Ernest tried to come off with as little conflict as he could with his remarks, he could still she Bliss felt uneasy about the situation.

“He comes in here, and tells us we aren’t thinking of the long term goal, and then they do this. Lack of intelligence can screw the entire thing up.” In a moment of clarity Bliss recounted the problems she encountered with the current plan.

The thoughtfulness of Bliss rubbed Hicks the wrong way. “Why didn’t you try saying that instead of letting them know you shouldn’t be left to oversee anything.” After all the complaining she did, this came across as her moment to bring up a legitimate concern.

“I don’t’ think people complain enough around here. You people are far too content with your dwindling existence.” Right in the wrong ways, Lucy chimed into the chatter. Ernest darted his eyes towards her with a challenging look to see her lounged halfway out of a mirror. In that moment he realized the amazement of her talent paled in comparison to the amazement of the lack of caring she could assert in such a dire situation.

While Ernest looked on with disgust in Lucy’s direction, Bliss continued with Hicks. “It wouldn’t really matter what any of them think; they don’t know me. They know stories about us, but they don’t know us.”

“When we have those guys coming here to put us in order it starts to give those stories less a collective narrative, and let’s face it, our collective is not so good.” They almost strived to make it worse and Hicks knew it. The egos weren’t to blame. He knew the real reason they always struggled with each other came down to wanting to live. Bliss and Ernest both wanted it bad enough to make sure no one could get mess it up, and honestly Hicks put more faith in Bliss than Ernest as someone who could fix this mess.

“So I decide to lead with my individual merits.” Even with the faith Hicks had, he couldn’t top Bliss.

“You know you’re right. You leading with yourself is probably what screws us over and gets us Business Major put in charge.” For years he dealt with girls and their egos and came to note an ego always came at the most inopportune time. He wrote a joke once explaining the similarities between a girlfriend’s ego and her time of month and couldn’t reason which he dreaded more. “You get to be right on this one and know that being right means you are impeding your own progress to happiness and fucking everything up.”

The accusations rang true enough to Bliss to get her out of her seat. She wanted to walk up to Hicks, but settled for a soft bite to her bottom lip. She hated being wrong and even with a loaded statement wanted to tell herself other people were to blame for impeding the progress. “You’re just jealous because you don’t have the means to do anything about the situation. You just check the meters.”

“Slowly dwindling to oblivion.” Reclining to the disheartening sounds of people with nothing to lose and everything to gain was making Lucy feel better about her position in life. She might not help, but at least she didn’t do this to people.

“Hey guys.” Coming in from the outer corridor, Ashley walked into the uneasy sounds of arguments and unsettled discourse. “I need to go over the details of the mission.” Her brown hair sat around the edges of her light blue jumpsuit. For the past few years she worked with each of the members of the team, but never felt they really respected her. As she walked into the midst of the argument she brought back her suspicions.

“Awesome.” Bliss started up. “Please tell us exactly what it is we need to do.”

“I’m sorry.” Ashley felt she needed to take a step back. “Is there a problem?”

“Yeah.” Short and curt, just like Bliss liked it. “There is. Some of us have important jobs to do, that would be me, and other people have things to do, that would be everyone else.”

“Well, I’m about to go over how we’re going to…”

“Okay Business Major, last week you assisted Hicks in not being competent at checking the meters, but now you get to tell us exactly what we need to do.”

Ernest had enough of Bliss for the time being. “Bliss just shut up, and let her tell us what we need to do. Being captain isn’t as important as we’re making it out to be.”

“Thanks.” Ashley took a remarkable amount of offense from the comment meant to put down the offensive comments from Bliss. “The plan says we need to excavate a data bank from the Haldren Collider.”

“Oh my God, it’s Hadron, you moron.” Bliss played the card dealt to her and went after Ashley.

“We need to use the FTL pathways, so we won’t need to place anymore waterbots to clear out a path for us.” Holding onto her patience, Ashley continued with the briefing.

“It is pronounced Hadron.” She didn’t add anything to the conversation, but Lucy made the situation worse. “You should doubt yourself and your status for mispronouncing a word.”

“The other goal we need to achieve is hooking into the Australian databanks. They have been missing for years, and researchers were able to duplicate some of the experiments, but we need to go back and upload the contents of the Australian data banks and bring them back.”

“Which experiment?” Bliss loaded a question.

Ernest wanted to detract Bliss from the conversation. “It doesn’t matter if we’re taking the entire databank. They probably want verification on the results.”

“It was the Electron Emission experiments.” For years Ashley acted as the ship’s archivist, working alongside Almah. In those times she picked up everything she needed know about the mission and what it entailed. She lacked the science background to apply herself to the solving of the problem, but her skill with calculus made her suited to apply the appropriate measures to the self correcting systems of the ship.

“Electron emission what?” Bliss tipped her chin up as she probed for the last word.

“That doesn’t matter.” Hicks really didn’t care about the argument as much as he wanted to get the meeting over with. Hyperspeed travel took forever and he didn’t want to spare a second.

“Spectrograph, bitch.” With what she felt assured her a victory in pretty much her own eyes, Bliss cocked her head. “Why can’t they do that in the lab?”

“They didn’t say.” Less than amused, Ashley let her eyes drop as Bliss finally asked a relevant question.

The pageant queen rolled her head, setting it with her stare on Ashley. “Can we get on with this? I’d rather sit around and wait while we move than why we listen to Bliss talk.”

“I agree.” Hicks concurred.

“Ew.” Lucy didn’t.

“Yeah, we’re done.” Without adjusting her head Ashley let out a long drawn sigh while Bliss turned and made her way to the door.

Bliss left by tossing a punch into the side of the corridor wall. “Thug life.”
“In lieu of black people, Bliss is probably the most thug life out of all of us.” Lucy kept her demeanor and eyes both turned downward.

Feeling overlooked for obvious factors, Ernest decided to step in. “I’m black—yeah, Bliss is pretty thug life.”

Briefly summarized, What I did can be described as simply an act of desperation.
- Max Planck

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2 Re: Teapot. First section on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:45 am

Bayushi Dave

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“Lights are green across the board.” Space flight really only truly encapsulated one of the word ‘space’. While they technically remained afar from the surface of a planet, the lack of lift and other mechanics turning every decision into a life or death situation made it far easier than any of the other captains would ever admit. Ashley learned interplanetary flight through a mixture of simulators and hands on exercises through moons with basic atmospheres to help her account for entry and re-entry, but none of them held anywhere near the same experience of a re-entry to a warmer planet.

“None of the lights over here look like an alarm or anything.” Lucy held her knees up to her chest while she spun in the swiveling chair mounted to the ground.

“Breaking off from the central hub; let’s get to the coordinate and set up for synchro.” The metal terminal retracted from the hull of the cylindrical Murphey’s Law and hung in lucid space adjoined to the Occam’s Razor. As the ship disembarked from the circular space station, the feeling of motion extended to them made itself clear as they drifted. Ashley turned to take sight of the station before it faded into the blind spot the cylindrical hull cast on her vantage point of the back of the ship. Eight terminal platforms protruding from the ball-like station gave the look of a metallic spider with a glow gleaming along the edges between the upper platforms.

Falling away from the station sent a sick feeling her stomach as she watched the change in motion. Before she only felt a slight disturbance when working in the center of the ship, but her recent promotion forced her to take account of the motion first hand. The overly sterilized air seeped into her lungs leaving her lungs with an empty feeling. A lonely feeling.

“Nanobots are ready.” A steady red glow poured over Lucy’s forehead.

Self replicating and infinitely intuitive by design, if humans ever died off the tiny little creatures each ship left to create a system of relays to travel across space unabridged would long survive. In the early years of space exploration scientist took a small insect from Earth known as the waterbear into space. Back on Earth the creatures showed remarkable adaption abilities in the harshest areas to all other organic life, which prompted scientists to take the creatures into space and release them into the vacuum. Remarkably the creatures rolled into a state of stasis and survived in the vacuum until the researchers returned them to the pressurized container.

After unlocking the static devices waterbugs used, researchers took great strides in duplicating this process in self replicating machines to keep their energy sources running at an almost perpetual system. The art of system stasis became the next great technological breakthrough in which the bounds of space travel opened up for with greater potentials.

“We won’t need them for a while.”

“Just letting you know so you don’t ask me later.”

“Okay, that’s fine.” Engines kicked up, blasting away the ice formations from the cylindrical edges of the core ship. Each ship used consisted of two major parts: the first part of the ship used the classic aerodynamic design giving the ship a slick isosceles angle of the ship. Engineers built magnets into the hulls of each ship to allow them dock inside of a large cylindrical outer shell. Magnets lined both the outer shell and outer hull of the ship with impeding polarities pushing against one another to keep the ship in a constant state of rotary motion, ushering in a false gravity within the central ship. Engineers embedded a lining to keep the electronics safe of the magnetic influx that would destroy all of their input frequencies if left exposed to the magnetic force directly. “Lucy, I need you to go around the horn and see--”

“I hate how you said that more than I hate you wanting me to do something.”

“Can you at least patch me through?”

“You owe me for this.” A push of force against her lower back pushed her towards the systems control monitor for the ship’s relay system. With the channels open the feed resting within the microphone connected to Ashley’s controls.

“Thank you.” A hint of irony hung in the elongated show of gratitude as Ashley forced the stand towards her body. She grappled hardily against the throes of cords tucked within the console gripping against the singular wire on the microphone.

“What are you doing?” Though Lucy hardly cared she still inferred as to what strange phenomenon kept Ashley entangled with the hardware.

“I can’t get the stand out.” She darted her hand into the center of the wires to try and wiggle the single wire out from the tangled mess, but felt her hand make no results. “I don’t want to have to lean over to ask people if they’re ready, and if I’m sitting up they can’t hear me.”

“We can hear you, darling.” A calm voice came over the speakers in the cramped pilot compartment. “This is Almah in the archives.”

“You left the relay on?” Ashley’s demeanor turned more flustered and agitated as she began to feel around the stand for a screw.

“You told me to.” Lucy retorted in an even more annoyed manner than Ashley conveyed. “See if I do anything nice for you again.”
“This is Hicks in engineering and we’re good.”

“Hold on please.” After she located the screw in the joint, Ashley frantically pushed against the metal widget to disconnect the shaft of the stand from the wedding joint. “I want to do this all at once.”

“Bliss in the AI lab, and doing a check in is a waste of time. We’re going to be travelling for two weeks, and we don’t need to waste five minutes doing this.”

“This is Ernest in the medical bay.”

“I’m sitting seven feet from you, so I’m clearly not ready.” Lucy watched as the artificial gravity propelled the screw towards the ground.

“Well, that can do for our go around then.” Slowly her agitated adrenaline began to subside as she thought back to a relaxing technique she remembered going over. “Are the bots ready?”

“I said they were already. I’m not doing stuff if--”

“Okay, fire the nanobots.” With a slight motion of her arm, Ashley signaled over to the apathetic Lucy.

“We don’t fire nanobots, you empty headed horse face.” A shrewd voice came through the speaker in the central command from the AI lab.

“Turn the speakers off.” Frustration came back to her emotional spectrum.

“She just said what we were all thinking.” A flip of a switch shut the channel down. “The nanobots are making reconnecting the bridge.”

The bridge consisted of the original planetary subway built while Earth was still a livable part of the universe. Early explorers used the tiny nanobots to create a vacuum that allowed the passage of vessels through an enclosed pathway. While moving closer towards the speed of light the danger of coming into contact with travelling debris posed a threat to the viable means the crew needed to pass through in a timely manner. In the first voyage of the Occam Razor to its current spot in the resource rich area of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, the Razor laid down the initial path markings for the long reaching paths.

Each path slowly grew relative to the girth of the universe, but the rapid flow of nanobots kept their properties intact. Magnetic forces created a force against any revolving planets, while the nanobots began fabricating the fibers of the very space itself within the pathway to allow passage of time to move beyond the speed of light. Each branch of the pathway needed separate linking gates in order to keep the pathways from taking any obstructing blows from any large enough debris capable of causing cracks within the lining of the wall.

As each ship passed through a pathway they released a number of nanobots to begin the reconnection process throughout the pathway. When the bots took to their work within the primary opening of the gateway they created a seal in which the ship could pass through without contaminating the inner workings of the pathway. After years of maintaining the pathways and the growth of their community through the reintroduction of nanobots with every passage of a ship through a gate, the nanobots constructed complicated sensory mechanisms within the pathways to locate any free roaming debris.

“Looks like the entrance is good for passage.” Ashley guided the ship through the precise measurements the ship’s computer made in accordance with the opened box adjoined to the pathway. As the ship entered the door to the outside slid closed. A seal formed from the busy nanobots as they made their way to clean the ship of any hazardous debris the ship may have picked up during its arrival outside of the gateway.

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