Monday, 26 May 2008

Not ready yet.

The flesh flickers and grows in an explosion of silent stop motion, muscles flexing and combining while reaching out like tentacles. His face slackens and grows pale, as though he is in a trance, a coma death mask as his body tears through energy reserves to rebuild itself into a new form.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

singularity surfing

The kinetic battledress wraps around him, its liquid feel enclosing him like a secret fish in its subconscious. Their ship is approaching the black hole on a known, safe vector, or at least as safe as the techs can manage, and so long as the timings are correct then he and the suit should survive long enough to encounter whatever it is buried deep within it.

For a long time black holes were considered inescapable. What goes in stays locked inside forever, not destroyed, but hidden. For all he knows, this is still true. Then the techs found that some black holes are not quite what they thought, being a spinning clockwork of singularities held in a special balance that protects what is contained within the mechanism without destroying it, but distorting the time and space within to create a a kind of sub-space, or ur-space, or something. Civilisations would hide themselves inside them, protected from the many and varied dangers of the universe, waiting for a moment when they might emerge, more powerful than their rivals, and conquer their galaxy. Or maybe just hide inside forever, looking to survive the heat death of the universe. Either way they make rich pickings for those with the secret of how to crack the eggs open.

(inspired by Rudy Rucker's blog. Read it.)


Plastic bags and empty cans hover just below the water's surface, caught between sinking and floating in the dark, opaque water that reflects a sky the colour of dead televisions. It is always worse after a heavy rain washes the worst of the crap into the canals. Jay stands inside the yellow tape, oblivious to the activity of the officers around him and the small crowd, a mixture of the homeless and the going home, as he watches the body floating, upside down while caught in a slow invisible spin of current. Except that the man is dead he cannot tell anything now. He turns himself slowly, the ball and heel of opposite feet keeping a measured friction while he examines the abbreviated landscape around him, removing everyone else from the scene. He sees the movement before he sees the thing itself. His focus pins it to the wall. A black scrawl against the brick, a symbol that forms a gateway. Jay shivers. He ducks under the tape and walks to the foot of the bridge where it was trying to escape. His fingers reach out to touch it. There is the smell of rotting plum and the movement of flies. The image still does not move but it begins to fade, falling through purple and blues like an old man's tattoo. The smell of tobacco tells him that that the DCI is standing behind him.

“What you looking at?” The DCI asks.

“Just thought I saw something.” Jay replies. “But there's nothing here now.”

The DCI lets out a slow stream of smoke.

“The recovery boys are here, they're going to get the body out for us now. Better go pay our respects, eh?”

Jay nods and follows the DCI back through the cordon.

Ripped off William Gibson for the first line.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Monday, 5 May 2008

edge of embers tilts itself slowly in the darkness, turning its belly towards the distant sun. the exotic dance of particles across its quicksilver skin ripples against him like an ocean wave. the burst and fade of their energy is sucked inwards, a welcome feeling that offers scant blessing against the pain. the scars of the attack cut deep across its back, it is all it can do to counter the tumbling of its motion to keep itself orientated towards the sun, ignoring the frozen outpourings of gases and liquids that blemish its smooth shell.
they will be back to finish it once they realise that it is no longer a threat. it counts three of their ships dead and that has scared them away for now but it can feel them watching with the subtle ping of directed radio waves. it turns its attention inwards, towards its guest. she is conscious but seems strangely calm. she must know that it is dying and that she will die too yet she does not react the way it expects. she sits calmly.
"skatha bruin edge of embers." she says, quietly. "you fought bravely, and well. what is our situation."
it feels sorry for her and briefly keeps silent while it composes a report.
"if we have an hour, or two, it is possible that i can repair myself enough to push us on towards jupiter ring. i doubt that we will have that long before they return."
it feels her nod inside it, the shift of her weight against the seat.
"then we must find another way." she says.