Mina

My name is Mina and I am all alone in this world.

I was born in 2451, on January 30th. That was twenty and four years ago.

“The government” is no longer a concept where I am from, but if there was a modern counterpart to it, then it was the Council of the Third. The Council funded research into FTL travel and eventually was able to come up with a prototype, a vehicle designed to break free of our measly physical laws and travel through a sort of hyperspace. Or was it a wormhole? Or spice?

Wasn’t really paying attention when they taught me all that stuff, covered it in the classes leading up to the launch. I wasn’t interested in it, beyond the bare essentials. We’ll get to them, later.

So there I was, in orbit.

The prototype ship was nicknamed Nostromo for its strange shape. I was floating outside it, going over every inch of her surface, checking her for holes, ruptures. It was tradition, that’s why.

She was a beauty, the gray outline of her side, in the glow of the sun and the African continent below us. I slowed myself a bit and enjoyed view and the serenity of the fly-by.

I entered the ship through the free airlock. The other airlock connected the lab to ship, so no way was I getting through it. Doctor Roland was already in the ship when I got in. She updated me on my vitals while I went over the pre-flight checklist.

She didn’t have much to report. The mission was still a go.

Twenty minutes later, I detonated the explosive charge that destroyed the lab, while a larger charge vaporized the Council headquarters. That was my actual mission. The Council of the Third, Airborn Division Three was a mask that I used to find my way onto the Nostromo. Once aboard the ship, I made short work of the scientists who designed it, then flew into the void.

They’ll never catch up. That’s what I remembered from the lectures.

FTL has an upper speed-limit, and I was at it. I was alone forever. The world I was born into did not matter anymore, it was beyond reach.

The ship was not built to navigate between the stars, this was a prototype we were hoping would fly us to Mars. When I slow down, I will be flying on manual. Finding a star with a habitable planet around it will be a miracle. Setting down on a planet is astronomically unlikely, I realize that.

Finding my way back to Earth was an impossibility.

Wherever I am, and wherever I find myself on this trip, it will be a new, different world.

My God, Chapter 1

[Editor’s note: found this post from September of 2016. Posting what I had. Foy was renamed to Zeke, I was still playing around with the name of the college and where it was. The real name would probably have been chosen in editing, but I don’t want to edit these.]

[Previous Chapter]

I came to Kodo for college. I’d never been in a gods-2.1 world before. Didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but mom and dad encouraged me to see the sims.

In a world where all travel is instantaneous, leaving to go to college no longer carries the same weight as packing up the used car dad helped you pay for and crossing a timezone or two. It simply involved walking through a doorway.

I stepped out of Buchard and into Kodo. It was a similarly-themed terminal. I was approached by a friendly local named Zeke who welcomed me. Zeke knew enough about me, knew what I was majoring in and the names of my parents, and took me on the twenty-five cent tour – whatever that is – of the precinct’s capital city, Cedar.

We flitted above the city in a light plane and Zeke gave me a brief history of the sim and the formation of the precinct. We landed on the campus of Takona University and continued the tour there.

Zeke was a junior, studying terraforming, and was my mentor.

The tour concluded with a dinner for almost eight hundred incoming freshmen and their mentors. The Dean spoke to the class, gave us the usual pep talk, presented the parade of professors who spoke to us of their classes and the various paths to a degree the students could follow.

When she finally got to the topic of gods, I stopped fantasizing about diving off a cliff into an active volcano.

[Next Chapter]

My God, Chapter 0

[Editor’s note: found this post from September of 2016. Posting what I had.]

First day of college was nerve-racking. Of course it was. First time away from home and on my own, in a real, meaningful way. The independence, the other students in similar situations. No news there.

But it was also my first week in a God(s) 1.2a world.

We didn’t have gods where I come from. It was a pretty standard sim, no fancy physics or gods or afterlife. My parents were pretty consistent about living pre-upload lives, at least while I was a kid.

I’d always assumed that they tried other sims, probably even experimented with gods and Dali and nightmare worlds and stranger worlds besides, but for whatever reason – probably their own sanity – they chose to bring me up in an Outside world, a sim very similar in living conditions to an average planet outside of the sim. It was a peaceful upbringing, though it left me woefully unprepared for college.

Sure, I’d heard about those non-standard worlds, even visited a few on vacation, but hadn’t actually lived in one. When I chose Takoma University in a God(s) 1.2a world I’d half expected my parents to give me a talking-to about all the strange things I’d see and to stay away from brain-melting brownies or something, but they rolled with it. Even brought out a few mem-packs and we spent a pleasant afternoon flipping through their college times.

I’d been on Basin for a week now, but hadn’t gotten a god just yet. The university suggested we hold off on that until after the first week of classes before getting a deity of our own. So I spent my time exploring the world as a strange tourist.

[Next Chapter]

My God, Chapter 5

[Editor’s note: found this post from September of 2016. Posting what I had.]

[Previous Chapter]

Class let out at four, sharp, and we were out the door as fast as the wind. It was Foy, Mina, Sandy, and myself. We climbed into Foy’s car and blasted off toward the beach.

It was Friday afternoon and we had the weekend to ourselves.

First things first, we went for a swim, then a bite down at the pier. The servers were friendly enough. We avoided making a big deal of it, but I could tell the others were still uncomfortable.

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My God, Chapter 9

[Editor’s note: found this post from September of 2016. Posting what I had. Still figuring out the names.]

[Previous Chapter]

Zeke met up with me at a bar in downtown Cedar and we drank for a while. This was, in his words, a prerequisite for meeting one’s advisor’s god. We then did shots of a horrible liquor made from a boiled Europan fish.

That was a requirement for meeting my advisor’s god.

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Simon Stålenhag

I’ve been a fan of Simon Stålenhag long before I knew his name. By wall of The Paper Wall an HD wallpaper gallery that’s sadly no longer in existence, I stumbled on a bunch of detailed paintings of idyllic countryside scenes with subtle additions of aliens. For a while these were the backgrounds of my monitors at work, and I wouldn’t have a good answer to people who inevitably asked “Where’s that cool picture from?”.

Apparently, it’s not that hard to find him, and his art is amazing. He also has a couple of books published. I have the first, Tales from the Loop, which is a collection of related pictures and a series of sci-fi themed captions for each photo. The captions are usually unrelated, though they do happen in the same universe and showcase the strange world where humanity found a new power source.

https://simonstalenhag.tumblr.com/post/147584391842/everywhere-i-look-theres-a-dead-end-waiting

Tuesday

[Editor’s note: this was an unfinished entry from… I can’t remember when.]

Tuesday, October 4th

I wake up early.

It’s my place, my room. I look over myself, feel for damage, anything out of wack. Nothing wrong.

Get a jog in around the lake. Come in and make myself a breakfast, quick shower while the eggs are cooking. My bathrobe is, like always, that perfectly cuddle-able amount of soft. I have breakfast, drink two cups of coffee, listen to a record on the turnstyle.

Through the open window I can see the city, a random metallic box interrupting the view as it plummets or rockets, carrying its unterrified passengers on recklessly suicidal speeds.

If the AI were to die.

Happy thoughts!

I went down to the market and spent a while picking out the ingredients. Rice, chicken,

[Editor’s note: the post just ends like that. Can’t remember what I was thinking or planning. Need to release the post just as it is.]

Dice, 3

[Previous Chapter]

I looked around and saw that everyone was floating inside a white-walled hangar. I was strapped into the harness, so couldn’t move, but everyone else reached out to caught hold of the strands of cloth that were attached to the walls around us.

Meg pulled herself down to the closest wall and quickly shed her weapons and backpack, pressing them against dark crosses that closed around the assault rifle and the pack. She then turned toward me and pulled stretcher in the direction of a door.

As she turned me I noticed there were blue-textured seats attached to one side of the hangar, and it was into these that the crew strapped themselves.

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Dice, 2

[Previous Chapter]

A torch of bright light sliced into my prison and scattered sparks all around me, over me, and what felt like through me.

My consciousness was fading in and out, the shower of sparks jolting me awake one moment, then lulling me back into non-existence the next.

After an eternity of this the light ceased. Seconds or minutes later, my formerly-mobile-now-stationary prison was wrenched apart, steel tearing and popping, clear plastic shattering and giving way to a strong wind that carried with it acrid smoke. Cold rain fell on my face and my lips and after a moment I tasted oil.

A swarm of hands reached into the gap and tugged at my body, nimble fingers running over the dark mesh suit I wore and pulling on wires and tubing that stuck out of me at odd places. Then I was lifted up into the light.

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The Killing Floor

Henry Wallace was a writer. He had written fourteen novels during his forty-year career, and now, while finishing up work on his latest, The Killing Floor, he has hit a brick wall. Henry has writer’s block.

Henry Wallace began writing in his twenties, usually as a way to internalize the outside world. He had found organizing his thoughts through a diary to be the best way of thinking, and thus he started to write about his world. He wrote about his day in general detail, and would then dive into the fractal of human experience and focused intently on the small details.

These ruminations gave Henry a unique perspective on life, and slowly he began to embrace and practice them. Henry was now, after four decades, able to look at a random stranger on the street and see their entire lives, their past and their future, with amazing clarity. He knew the names of the stranger’s fifth-grade teachers, could even vividly see how they would die.

None of what he saw ever proved true, of course, but Henry was able to construct elaborate self consistent worlds where the rest of humanity lived out entirely different lives, where deviations from our world took place at Henry’s will.

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