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In space, no one can hear you scream

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

A dumb tag line from an ancient movie, but it's coming back to haunt me as I wait to die. A movie got me into this mess. I was climbing around on the Listening Post, and it looked so much like one of the pods from that other old movie, what was the name? There was a psychotic computer in it, I remember that.

Anyway, I was thinking about that scene where the guy is trying to get back into the ship, and I just . . . didn't check my tether. They say that stupidity is about 79 percent heritable, which means I'm doing my part to improve the gene pool. I'm only 1,000 meters out, and no one can hear me, because the LP doesn't listen at radio frequencies. No broadcast long-distance communication allowed. Of course, if we weren't so short-handed, what with the war and all, I'd have backup. I'd be alive.

I wish I hadn't renewed my life insurance.

If I hadn't, Louise wouldn't be getting any money out of the TBA. It was a Trans-Belt programmer who stole her from me. What she saw in him is anyone's guess: boring, ugly, and no money. She had it made with me, and now she'll be spending my insurance money with that loser.

Where was I?

Everything is spinning. I guess really it's me that's spinning. I keep seeing the LP, smaller each time, diminishing like the murdered astronaut in that old movie. The other guy was trying to save him but it was no use. If someone wanted to save me I'd be a textdisk example. Next time someone comes out here I'll be thousands of kilometers from anything. They'll never find me.

It's funny. I was floating, looking out at the stars, and almost starting to feel at peace with my situation. It's beautiful out here, and I so seldom find the time to look. I was absently coiling up my tether as I looked out at nature's biggest jewels, and when I got to the end I saw that the hook is completely smashed. No wonder I came loose. I oughta complain to the manufacturer, but I've got nothing to record a message on. If it wasn't for a defective piece of gear I'd be on my way back to base now. Sucks to be me.

But it sure worked out good for Louise.


I had buckwheat pancakes and sausage for supper. Meat sausage, not buckwheat. Don't know if they make buckwheat sausage. Probably tastes awful if they do.

Oh, I digressed: Great story. Great site. I read all of yesterday's and will keep reading. It's better than the NYTimes. More factual, too.

Posted by: J. Ward | March 27, 2007 2:32 PM

Great story. And the site looks awesome.

Posted by: Jaime | March 28, 2007 2:21 AM

belated thank you for the two very nice comments. Hope you are still reading.

Posted by: David | May 4, 2007 1:29 PM

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