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Object Untitled, Author Unknown

Object Untitled, Author Unknown

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Published by Jon Kaneko-James
The CS Cogliostro floats in a hungry, sentient void. A dusty thing slowly erodes the crew and steals the essence of their existence. The only hope lies with the prisoner and his impossible explanation of what has happened.
The CS Cogliostro floats in a hungry, sentient void. A dusty thing slowly erodes the crew and steals the essence of their existence. The only hope lies with the prisoner and his impossible explanation of what has happened.

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Published by: Jon Kaneko-James on Oct 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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James/Object Untitled/2There’s something out there again. In the void, just a coupleof hundred centimeters above my head. I can feel it scratching onthe hull. When I open my eyes I can almost see it playing with thebrightly colored grains of darkness.I’m lying under a low curve of bulkhead. It’s gray plastic,decorated with a poster of my favorite vids - just like when I wasin high school. Except that I’m not in the attic, and there’s amonster out there. It’s heavy, shifting around in the back of mybrain. I’d be scared out of my mind and drill holes in my head tolet the evil out but I know things like that don’t exist. They justdon’t happen, and for all my fears I’m just lying under a blanketin the dark.Downtime is the part that I hate here: lying in my bed underthe swoop, or sitting listlessly in a chair. I haven’t even got thenerve to watch TV. It’s impossible to think of most of the timebecause of the noise, or the lack of it. You never realize how louda starship is until the sounds stop and you’re left with thedeafening silence, every note reverberating through the hull.It’s hellish, in fact I’ve wondered if we were in hellsometimes, but again I know that’s not true. There’s no such place.I’m lying in an elliptical complex of metal and plastic, andoutside hangs another ellipsis of hardened brown ceramic. Mostimportantly there is a three meter vacuum between the two. Betweenthe airlessness and the shields that protect us from our new engineI know that there can be no sound from outside the ship. But thereis.It’s hungry too. Downtime is when we all feel it slitheringthrough our minds, like a diet queen in a candy store. Look butdon’t touch, until one day…
James/Object Untitled/3I feel myself percolating through the darkness. Everything’stoo close; every time the lights come on, even when there are otherpeople, some part of us doesn’t return. I can’t remember whatstrawberries taste like. When I realized that I nearly tried tokill myself.It’s why we don’t sleep now. Even together there’s bound to bea moment when you’re awake and everyone else is asleep. Just aswell there doesn’t need to be any day or night here. There doesn’teven need to be sleep, theoretically. The problem is habit. We’rehuman, and after a while you begin to miss things; never-endingdaylight and the latest in safe stimulants lose their charm to theseductive call of privacy; retreat to a place that’s yours, sleepfor a little while - just long enough to remember what it’s likebecause forgetting, well...The wall screen flashes on and I roll off the bed in a halo ofwhite light. It shows up the intestine purple carpet and corpsegray walls, I might have described them differently if I wasn’t insuch a macabre mood, but you take what you can get. The infoconsole next to my door says that I have twenty-five messages but Ierase them all immediately. Most of the others just ignore them butI’m always the tempted. Inter officer messages are passed on paperor in person. We don’t like to let each other get too far away.We have to guard against them: the lost ones, our friends andlovers. Eerie, mumbling things in the darkness -
where we put them-
living in the abyss and talking to themselves in broken prophetictones. They crawl, easing themselves along on shattered hands andsliced up hamstrings -
we did that
- of course, they can stilloperate the controls. No matter how we mutilate them, they alwaysseem to find a way. Messages on the intercoms, lifts that come upfrom the depths of the ship and never go back down again -
we’vewelded the doors shut
- we should get used to them. We’ll all belike that one day.

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