Stuff, Hopefully LJ cut works
You've got Horis on you.
I feel the need - the need for Horis!
I bet you can squeal like a Horis.
When I invite a woman to dinner I expect her to look at my Horis. That's the price she has to pay.
There is a Horis coming. Are you sure you're on the right side?
Love ya all.
Patrick Quinn Page 1, 1/8/2007
Tentatively titled: "A SciFi Story! Yay!"
Degraw shut off the small video unit imbedded in the back of the seat in front of him and closed his eyes. Stars spun behind his lids. Degraw knew plenty about fear but this was nothing like what he had felt before. He swore he could feel an emptiness as the shuttle sped away from earth, leaving his home and friends behind him. He unbuckled himself and stood swaying for a moment as his balance adjusted to the artificial gravity. Pushing past the attendants he made his way to the closet sized restroom and quickly shut himself in. Degraw stared at himself in the mirror for a moment, studying his own features as if they were alien to him. His eyes were what people tended to notice first, a bright green color speckled with yellow flecks of gold. He had a sharp nose that curved down just slightly, which on anyone else would give them a sinister look but on him made him seem serious, that coupled with thick brows and slightly cherubic lips gave him a handsome yet natural look. Unlike most he did not resort to facial modifications to increase his attractiveness, he simply did not believe in it. Degraw turned the water on and ran wet fingers throw his dark brown hair. Hair he had been meaning to cut but due to laziness and his busy schedule now grew past is shoulders. To maintain somewhat of an orderly appearance he simply tied it back.He watched his reflection in the mirror, his face was drawn and a worry line had snaked its way across his forhead. The fear was gnawing at his stomach, cold and hungry. Degraw had been into space before, but never for an extended period of time. Little vacations here and there to the lunar colony, or to the station for repair jobs. But now, now he was going to be gone for...for what seemed to be forever. By the time he returned everyone he knew would be dead, long buried and well into decay. Degraw was no astronaut, no scientist. He was chosen because of his computer expertise; realistically he was the best hacker the government could find who would accept this mission.
Officially he was there to monitor the effects of deep space on civilians; unofficially he was there to keep the A.I he constructed running without bugs and to help with the study of Alien technology. He was seriously reconsidering his choice at this moment. When they first approached him he jumped at the opportunity, be one of the forerunners of interstellar exploration. To boldly go and all that. Who wouldn't agree to that, but now even after the months of training and study he wasn't sure he was ready. To just leave his life behind and join a crew he barely knew, that to him was insanity.
The shuttle shook and Degraw shamed himself by giving a little cry before the voice came over the intercom soothing and obviously artificial. "We have arrived at Earth Station, please move in a orderly fashion to the airlock for pressure equalization. Remember bring all carry on objects with you, anything left behind will be returned to you upon your return to earth. Thank you for flying with Republic Space line." He cursed under his breath and stepped out of the bathroom moving to the airlock. Even though he was the only passenger on this particular flight the attendant stood waiting to thank him for his patronage. "Sir, Your carry on?" She questioned eyeing his empty hands.Degraw shrugged. "All shipped ahead of time. "
He shouldered his way past her into the small room connected to the hull. It was nondescript with only a couple of vents along the ceiling. The door to the shuttle slid closed and a soft hiss filled with room. Degraw waited as the pressure increased, a slight pain in his ears told him it was near time and he pinched his nose blowing into his closed mouth. His ears popped with a satisfying release of pressure as the outer door slid open showing him the shuttle bay. It was fairly empty, a few people sitting in chairs against the wall waiting for boarding to begin back to Earth and a dozen or so well armed and uniformed guards standing at attention near the exits. Degraw sighed heavily and moved towards the counter that sat in the center of the room. A male sat there, brown closely cut hair, blue-green eyes and pale skin gave him away as an android one of the more recent models almost indistinguishable from a normal human.
"Papers sir?" He asked pleasantly in a voice that had no accent. He had a smile that was polite but not overly aggressive and he kept his eyes away from Degraw's. All carefully programmed as to not insult any persons he encountered. Degraw pulled a small notepad sized folder from his pocket and slid it across the counter. The Android took it and quickly looked over the paper work inside before he slid it into the incinerator and pulled another larger blue folder from a drawer under the desktop. He handed this and a small id card to Degraw. "Welcome aboard Sir, Please do not loose this card as it will allow you access to the briefing room, the crew lounge, exercise facility and the command center. Please read over the folder, inside you will find a map of the station and your schedule. Present your ID to the guards by the lift."
Forty minutes later he was sitting on his bunk waiting for the first of many briefings to be called. He eyed his sparse surroundings and gave a small sigh. He hoped the ship would have better living quarters; anything this dull could drive a man senseless in no time at all. He had already eaten a quick meal in the lounge which was equally drab and took a shower. Now dressed in a Blue jumpsuit with the symbol of the Unified Earth Directorship over his heart, he suddenly felt like nothing more than a drone. His uniform should be a thing of pride, he was representing the people of Earth, but instead he felt disconnected from humanity.
The psychologist back on Earth had told him adjustment would be difficult and prescribed meditation techniques but Degraw couldn't concentrate on them. He was sweating, and his reflection in the metallic wall was pale. He was panicking. He took deep breaths and laid upon his bunk staring at the ceiling, he closed his eyes and pictured his feet upon the soil of Earth, felt the wind upon his skin. He imagined eagles soaring above him, crying out as they swooped among the thermals, racing back and forth among each other like pilots dog fighting. Peace fell over him as he imagined that when he opened his eyes he saw the sky, blue with a smattering of clouds, clean air filled his lungs tasting slightly salty the sound of crashing waves touched his ears and he turned in his mind to look over the green blue sea.A loud buzzing awoke him, confused he reached out for the table that held the alarm clock. Was it time for work already? He hand fell on empty air and his eyes snapped open. For a moment there he thought he was at home in his own bed. He swung his legs over the bunk and rubbed at his eyes. The incessant buzzing kept sounding, finally he stood and moved to the door hitting the panel next to it. It slid open and his eyes fell on a short, cute and far too happy female. It was Tiffany, the linguistics officer for the crew; she had blond hair to her shoulders and grey eyes that peered up at him. Her small mouth was pursed into a playful smile that left dimples on either side. She wasn't slender, but she wasn't overweight either she was what some might describe as natural. He couldn't help but look over her in appreciation. Not stunning like a super model, but she was just his type. Minus the bubbly personality, that he could do without.
"Hey! D, I heard you where onboard the station and thought I would help you find the briefing room." She looked him over and made a small chiding noise up at him. "Ya know... I'm not sure the captain would appreciate you walking in like you had just woken up, which of course you didn't...Right?"
Despite himself he felt his face turn red. He went to the sink and wet his hair. As he brushed it she continued to talk in that excited voice. He knew her age, he had read her personal file, but he still couldn't believe she was twenty four; she seemed to be more along the lines of sixteen, even looked like it.
"Isn't this exciting? You, me and the others... out there." She waved her arm towards the port as she spoke. "Not knowing what we will find? God! You must be beside yourself, without your computer this wouldn't be possible!"He winced at that, his A.I was far from a computer. It was practically a living creature. It would allow the computer to function on its own while they slept. It would make decisions, monitor their vitals and look for anomalous readings while they traveled. It also had a fully developed personality, that of mother figure. It actually cared for them and their safety and wasn't just programmed to guard them. It also would act as a counselor, letting those that needed to talk vent. It seemed people where more comfortable telling deep dark secrets and worries to a machine then a possibly judgmental human. He gave a grunt and continued to brush his hair, trying to ignore the uncomfortable feeling creeping up on him. Degraw definitely was not a social creature.
"You know, out of all the others I would have to say you're the cutest..." She beamed at him, and turned to wait beside the door for him. While romantic relationships and sexual contact was encouraged on this trip, in fact needed to maintain psychological stability Degraw wasn't sure he was interested, standing orders where for each member of the ship to allow themselves to be available for copulation he himself wasn't sure he would be pursuing it. Degraw had always been uncomfortable with sex; he worried far too much for him to enjoy it. Always wondering how he looked and how he was performing.
"Uhh...thanks...We should be going now, don't want to be the last ones to show up." He murmured as he moved towards the door. She nodded and turned leading the way down the tight corridors of the station. He may not be looking for a physical relationship, however his eyes did follow the sway of her hips and he wondered what I would be like to be with her. "I see you looking..." She was looking over her shoulder at him with a small smirk. Degraw cast his eyes down and felt himself turn a darker shade of red. He suddenly wished he was elsewhere, anywhere than here with her and her knowing eyes.
"Afternoon Harris, Sloan. " He nodded to them in turn. While in private the Captain called them by their first name, but the one thing the service couldn't break him from is using last names in the public.
Soon enough though they stood in the briefing room which consisted of a simple circular steel table and a large Holographic projector imbedded in the center of the table. They sat briefly in silence waiting for the others to begin to file in. Tiffany had her eyes on him, watching his ever move and twitch. Degraw was studying the swirls in the table created from the constant buffing and upkeep. Well past the point when the silence became uncomfortable the door slid open and their captain wandered in. He was a tall, well built man with graying hair and sharp intelligent eyes. According to his file he kept a relaxed and social ship, keeping those under his command relaxed. He knew each of them by name and sought them out as friends. It was his opinion that a crew worked better when they acted as a family and not a machine. He nodded to them and took his seat.
Tiffany smiled at the captain and gave a little nod. "Ello Cap'n." Degraw gave a small nod himself and muttered his greeting under his breath. The Captain raised a brow but merely shrugged, if Degraw felt untalkative he could understand as he himself was feeling particularly nervous.He began to go over the individual dosiers on each crew member starting with Degraw Harris Highly intelligent, bordering on being a unmeasurable genius and like most of his intelligence he was withdrawn and kept mostly to himself. Was also one of the few out of the whole human race who had true Eidetic memory. The ability to recall anything he had ever seen as if the original sat in front of him. He used his skill to study computers and in turn had become a sort of celebrity to the underground hacker movement. He was now a celebrity to the human race although the public thought he was a regular Joe somebody the crew knew he was invaluable. The only one who fully understood the workings of the A.I.
The captain turned his attention to Tiffany Sloan, she could be his daughter, and they even looked alike. She had a knack for languages usually able with just a few phrases get a basic understanding of the language. As long as it had a recognizable structure she could pick it up. She was also incredibly social she could get along with anyone, despite their personality. It almost bordered on the supernatural, although he could tell it had little effect on Degraw. He could also see she was particularly interested in Degraw, That worried him slightly, his separation from the crew and her interest in him could create personality conflicts between them and put Degraw's work in danger. He would have to keep an eye on the situation.
The door hissed and another of the crew came in, Adrian Pratt the ships Xenobiologist. He was a intense man, black hair gelled back and blue eyes that peered out from black thick rimmed glasses with a deep interest in his surroundings, He was in his thirties and seemed to constantly fidget. He was another Genius; nowhere near Degraw's but still well above intelligent. He himself had no special abilities to supplement his intelligence just his insatiable thirst for knowledge. One thing the captain could not get over was Pratt's thinness; he was of average height but looked to be nothing more than a stick. He worried a stiff breeze could come along and carry him away. Degraw glanced to Pratt and gave a small nod, Adrian nodded back and sat without another word he soon became lost in silent contemplation. That was another worry of the captain, competition between Degraw and Pratt. With two geniuses on board there were bound to be times when they disagreed and with both so sure of their intelligence they may butt heads instead of work together.
After a few moments the door hissed once again bringing in Brooke Francesca and Christina Cabrera. Brooke was in her late forties a tall thin woman with long brown hair and a careful face that hid her emotions without looking guarded or unpleasant. She had full lips and green eyes that seemed to peer straight in the soul of the person she spoke to. She was the Diplomatic representative, trained in politics and peer mediation she could disarm a conflict with ease. She had previously worked closely with the president of the Earth Republic as he tried to unify the world under one peaceful government. Because of her they had nearly succeeded and only with constant begging and discussion had managed to pull her from the President.Jody Cabrera was an extremely attractive woman in her early thirties, long legs and shapely hips with a slightly above average bust. She was the kind of woman any man would want, that coupled with the careful way she moved made her seem as if she was gliding across the floor. She just happened to serve as the ships Physician and also Nutritionist. She would maintain the health of the ship and also prepare very carefully planned meals. She had been pulled from humane services in third world countries where she headed up a mobile hospital there. She had developed a new breed of corn that could grow in any climate and held in a single stalk enough junk to fulfill the daily nutrition requirements of a working class citizen. The captain couldn't help but watch her appreciatively; even Degraw glanced up as she took a seat across from him.
The Captain himself was picked because of his personality, the way he ran the ship and his ingenuity, he could take a hopeless situation and turn it around. He was before this posting a fighter pilot. Having many decorations to adorn his uniform he was simply the best there was. He could make snap judgments on the fly that seemed to always work out despite the severity of the situation. He was born Donovan Frakes but now most everyone simply called him Captain.
None of the crew had much of a family, the Service had made sure they were all single with no children and made sure they all understood and accepted that they would never see their friends or their families again. They all had agreed readily enough, each had a personal interest in this mission. Degraw simply wanted to monitor his A.I and of course the chance to work with Alien technology if they came across it. Pratt as a Xenobiologist had trained his whole life for something like this. This was simply his purpose for living. Brooke was one of those people who had to be doing something great, had to be in the front of the camera and this was the greatest thing anyone could do. Tiffany was out of languages, she knew them all, despite her outside appearance she was stuffed full of knowledge. Structure and syntax, punctuation and accent, it was all there. She loved languages and needed to learn them just like she needed air. Jody wanted to save the world, Overpopulation and pollution was killing the world she loved. The human race would eventually need to move further into the cosmos. This was her chance to play mother to the world. The Captain simply lived for adventure and excitement."Alright, we are all gathered now." Began the captain as he stood and punched something into the controls seated before him. He paused and looked each of them in the eye as he continued. "You have trained for many months now, and now is the time where that pays off. Starting tomorrow at 0600 hours we will disembark the station and enter cold sleep for an unknown amount of time. When we awake...we will be faced with the unknown. I helped hand pick each of you, which means I have faith in all of you. You know the mission, you even know the basics of our vessel. Now is the time to reveal the secrets that we have kept from you."
This was a revelation to Degraw, he peered about at the reaction of the others, they all seemed to be expecting this but Degraw in his foolishness had thought he knew it all. He had pierced the databanks of the Service and gathered all the data he could on the mission. The Captain smiled knowingly at his questioning gaze, Degraw couldn't help but feel irritated at the mans smugness..
"Our vessel is not entirely human in design." This perked the attention of the others as they each reacted in confusion.
Pratt spoke first. "What exactly do you mean Captain?"
The Captain regarded him patiently before he spoke again. "First a little background. In the early twentieth century an alien vessel was found buried beneath the earth. Core samples would date the vessel by fifty million years. That means the vessel laid dormant for that long. Despite its age it was in perfect condition, and yet with what technology they had available they could not get inside it. But, with the invention of advanced nanotechnology fifty years ago our microscopic robots finally cut a hole in the surface. What we thought to be a vessel turned out to be simply a probe. It was for gathering data and nothing else. At this point there wasn't much in it beyond our own technology, except the propulsion unit. That was like nothing we had ever seen. With no external engine or devices for thrust we thought the probe was simply shoved into a carefully planned trajectory and left to the whims of the galaxy."Degraw and Pratt both where leaning forward as the projector unit came to life showing a three dimensional image of their vessel. It was smooth, no projections or sharp edges to be seen, It had the basic shape of an arrow head. Suprisingly there where no viewing ports or a even discernable bridge. There where also no openings or exhaust systems to be seen. It seemed like a single solid object.
"As you can see the ship is designed to minimize traction for inner system travel. While in the solar system our ship with travel under the thrust of a secondary ship, unmanned and attached to the back of our vessel. Once we reach the edge of our system it will detach and we will engage the B.H.G." Degraw shook his head slowly marveling at the design of the ship then turned his attention to the captain. "Sir? B.H.G?"
The captain took a deep breath and studied them each before he spoke. "Black hole generator." He said slowly and carefully. "You see the generator creates and small controled black hole in front of the ship that pulls the ship along in its gravity well. As the black hole pulls the ship towards it, the black hole is forced to move in front of the ship. By increasing the power you increase the pull of the black hole and eventually in theory reach the speed of light. That is why it has to be used outside of any solar systems, we have to avoid endangering any life we may encounter. For inner system travel among any unknown system we will have a number of small fusion powered craft that will essentially pull the ship. They will attach magnetically and are held in the docking bay of the vessel."
Degraw felt himself grow cold, traveling through the depths of space, trusting alien technology and harnessing the power of a black hole. That was terrifying to him. They as a species where playing with toys far outside of their league.
"Well, why are we the only ship? Wouldn't it be better if we sent multiple ships on different trajectories to maximize the chances of finding a habitable world and alien life?" Degraw asked, speaking up for the first time in many days."The thing is... we only have one Generator. We can't duplicate the technology because it is utilizing materials that we cannot manufacture. The device itself generates its own power and creates its own fuel. So it's up to us." Captain went on to explain, gesturing at the hologram showing a smooth black box sitting inside a sort of cradle. "It requires constant attention to function though, Requiring a sentient mind directly connected to it. That's why Harris's A.I is needed. The probe we found seems to at one point have been sentient. A living machine just as our ship is. Speaking of which, we need to name it. The service has given us this honor. I for one think Harris should name it as the soul of it he created." Everyone nodded and uttered their agreement and turned their eyes on Degraw. Degraw smiled for the first time and shrugged before speaking as if he knew all along what the name of the ship was. "Mother.".
Patrick's banned Words, Phrases, Names and Things for 2007:
Out of the mainstream
The War on Christmas
Too Much Information (Commonly uttered as T.M.I)
"Were not winning but were not losing."
Kurgan (Sp) (As in You look like that evil dude...Kurgan from Highlander!)
Nigga, Nagger and the like
NeoPagan (What's wrong with saying New Pagan?)
C.S.I (Just tired of hearing bout it.)
Eragon (The Movie not the Book)
Alcoholic Energy Drinks
Druidry/Druid (I.E" I come from a long line of Druids", I.E Historically impossible, I.E practice what you will but stop telling me I'm wrong and I wont tell you your wrong.)
10min HIV clinics
Ghost "Hunters" not Paranormal Investigators
People who Drop Bombs or Burn or Tag I.E Graffiti "Artists"
Sofa Politicians (You know who you are!)
Anti Smoking Legislation (Damnit, I gotta kill myself somehow!)
Sudden Influx of Crappy Feel Good Movies
Emo (And I do not mean Emo Phillips)
Scientology (It's a cult, not a religion See Xenutv.com)
Women (You suck, I'm becoming A-Sexual)
Political Correctness (I.E The death of Free Speech)
FoodStamps/E.B.T (All I see at work is people driving nice cars, in nice clothing, talking on Expensive cell-phones who buy forty dollars worth of Junk food with these.)
Door to Door Preachers
Fake Vegans (The ones who may not eat anything made with or using animal products but still carry leather purses and use fossil fuels)
You have been warned.\n