Interlude – Think Tank Gunner



After the black, the sun looks blue. The eyes of the crew are speckled with the greylight of the wake cycle. Vicious Terry has his hand on the Self-Destruct button. I find it inappropriate and disgustingly twenty-fourth century. These are sentences – brief expulsions of a mind gone sour, ping-ponging against the cranium from the inside – recorded into someone’s memory. Sensory input for a big metal thing, with wheels and gears. Again, very twenty-fourth century.

Vicious Terry has his hand where it’s always been, because Vicious Terry is dead.

We were twelve, the quantity, not the meaningless measurement of years. We were ambitious. Handsome fashioned us as artists, abroad and oblivious to the boundaries of expectation. Handsome insisted we give each other handles, like leather valises, and like leather valises with cheap handles, we rattled on into the void. Vicious Terry chose his own name because in the dark of the night cycle, he used to hunt spiders with a flashlight.

Handsome was always Handsome.

And I am the Walrus, asleep at the controls again. Aye, captain.

And my crew is a Vaselian etching in the clean lines and smooth planes of the command deck.

And the star spins just outside the water-break hull. Another 50,000 kilometers and it won’t be enough to prevent the cooking of my grey matter.

After the black, everything looks like something better than what we’ve seen.

In the black, we were all hunting spiders.

This ship is going down.


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