Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Days on Justica Organic Seven

The red lozenge glowed and faded with the cadence of the warning tone somewhere in the hull of the interplanetary ship. Red light mixed with yellows, greens and blues... swirling and morphing as the chrome-skinned android tapped buttons and flipped switches to bring the massive craft back to it's intended course.

Below, the orange planet spun on it's axis, oceans of dust sparkled in the light of a distant sun. Micah, quartz and silica choked the air as global wind patterns sculpted the land's surface. This was the planet Justica Organic Seven. It was one of seven sisters spinning around a hot star in the Negron solar system.

The android, Terri304, was an older model and she - because 'she' had female anatomical body moldings - was en route to the solar system just beyond Negron. The freighter she piloted, the 'Callisto', was running empty and scheduled to pick up a load of fuel cells to transport to a small mining colony. Some 89,002 tons of high-density, pre-charged capacitors.

When the Callisto was approaching Justica Organic Seven, it's aft thrusters failed and the ship was dragged off it's course and locked into the grip of the planets gravity. Terri304 ran all the standard emergency procedures failing to yield the results needed to blast through the gravitational field and slingshot out of the dark side of Justica.

For all of Terri's perfunctory efficiency and vast intelligence, she could not bring the Callisto into orbit. The freighter plummeted through Justica's thick atmosphere, twisting and shaking... leaving a vortex trail of vapor like a monumental DNA helix, a monolithic testimony to the spacecrafts imminent demise.

Then the crash. The impact of Callisto's two million ton bulk made the planet surface shudder for some eight hundred kilometer's around. The resulting skid path was hundreds of meters wide and kilometers long. Terri's auditory sensors howled with a cacaphony of twisting metals, power line failures, droning emergency tones, fuel cell eruptions and the grinding of the hull into the Justacian planet surface.

The ship rested.

Terri304 was not just a machine running logical permutations and algorythms. She was the first of her generation to learn and mimic human behavior. Her knowledge multiplied exponentially with experience. She could approximate empathy... even love. Her fingers traced forms in the sand beside her.

She lay in orange light of the star that shifted and changed colors as clouds of sand drifted in the high atmosphere. She lifted her head, servos complained with whining and whirring as she scanned the landscape. The Callisto was bow down in the dunes, engines smoking thin blue serpents that faded into the orange. Her left arm was twisted at the joint and was rendered inoperable. She lowered her head to the soft, hot sand.

Time passed.

Terri could not move. Her ship was decimated. She ran countless scripts in her main processor and each one ended in abject failure. The heat from the planet surface began to severely tax her batteries. She began to shut down any system in her shell that was not absolutely necessary to her survival.

Night fell.

Morning followed.

The white star rose over purple jagged rock revealing the indifferent landscape.

Terri's batteries were at failure. She began to sense something... internally... but she could not articulate it. If she had a tongue, it would have shifted in her mouth, trying to form the 'word' that would release the meaning of what she... "felt".
Logically, she knew that soon... she would not function. This is android death. Her blue lit eyes went dim. She searched her vast cyber-sea of information and recalled a poem by an author on Earth. It was entitled 'All Creatures Die Alone'.

The data drives inside Terri's chest spun down as her survival programs began to fade with the lack of electricity. She couldn't even absorb the ambient electric currents in the land under her. Terri304's last movement was a finger... she pointed skyward... and inside of her, she approximated lonliness and fear.

When the white star crested the sky dome of Justarica Organic Seven, Terri's system shut down.

Terri304 died that afternoon.

Four days later, a rescue ship landed beside the dusty hulk of Callisto. The team of four androids found Terri's tarnished body, face down in the sand.

Beside her, scrawled in the sand was the word

L O V E.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Only a Father

A father can give his children no greater gift
than his approval and the encouragement
that his little ones have what it takes and makes
their father proud.

Fathers, love your children. Remember how
much bigger you are. When you walk with them,
walk slower. When you talk to them, stoop to
meet their eyes. When you hold their hand, hold
with gentle strength.

When you discipline, do it out of love. Do not
do so from anger. Remember that your home is
a place where your little ones can fail, and the world
will not eat them alive.

Your spreadsheet is not nearly as important as
the question "Daddy, where does the sun go at
night?". The questions of your children give you
reason to wonder about the origins of heaven's
gate and their eyes are a window to God.

Tell your son he is strong and handsome, tell your
daughter she is smart and pretty. A prince and a princess.

Kiss your sons, play rough with your daughters.
Let them win.

Say to them often... I LOVE YOU.

Let them see you dance with your mate in the kitchen.
Let them see you submit to your mate in love, not
struggle to prove dominance. Real strength lay in the
ability of a man to yield and exercise restraint. The
lion has no quarrel with the lioness.

Let them see you fail, but stand up with grace and
smile. This is your strength. Walk on.

Do not judge them, be slow to anger, quick to understanding.
See the world from their perspective and know that they are
helpless without you. Much of this world can take them away
from you forever. Cherish them alive and messy, not laying
under cold sod with a marble name tag. You will rue the day.

Remember Father... you came from the same beginning.

When you are old and dying, they will return to care for you
and comfort you. And in the very end, yours will be the
kingdom of heaven.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In My Coffee Cup

I saw my reflection in my coffee cup this morning.

The news droned on in the living room. Lies.

In the city, cars and buses belch thick, hot breath and move with unforgiving speed.

Fingers fumble for keys, push elevator buttons and collect microscopic detritus. Locomotives howl rueful tones as they migrate through the dark shadows... building tops a palimpsest of the predawn.

Clocks tick out imaginary moments... and the sun lights our preposterous race. In a wet corridor of an underpass, a florescent light chatters and dims... to die in a shaft of yellow sunlight. Night brings it's resurrection.

Somewhere a child is born.

Somewhere sand blows down a desolate beach... each grain forever unknown, yet irreplaceable.

Somewhere a wolf pads her way along tan and brown rushes flattened by a high creek, now receded... seeking a muskrat for a meal.

A deep crater on the moon casts a ten mile shadow that hasn't changed in over a million years.

A star burns with fury a billion miles away casting violent energy into the indifferent vacuum called Universe.

My coffee is cold.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Consider the Smallest Things

I was walking along a road framed by trees adorned in fire colors.

As I walked, many leaves fell. Each one different, each one on it's own flight path.

I stopped to listen to the shush of wind moving through the branches. Some leaves whispered, some chattered.

A small orange leaf landed on the wet asphalt at my feet. I bent... one human among over 6 billion on this planet, to lift the small thing... and how many of it's kind are there?

One leaf, one human. I had the thought that we are like water, like the sky and earth. We don't really begin or end, we only change. We are not new or old, we just are.. and perhaps by some design a valuable part of something bigger that we cannot possibly understand...

Somewhere there are scientists and philosophers tick-ticking away... getting more questions than answers.

I wondered, why chase it?

It is enough to silently and gracefully wonder and find peace in it... because there is a simple grace in the acceptance.. that we just 'are'.

I set the leaf down where it had fallen, but not exactly how it came to rest. No other human will touch that leaf. No other human may look upon it. It was a 'perfect moment'.. as a friend of mine told me.

I walked on.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I can feel winter approaching.

It's a very slow and discreet thing...
but there are skeletal branches lacing
the morning sky telling the clouds a
rumor of ice and darkness.

There's something innately sad about
the death of a long summer and shorter
fall. Yet, I know that when the snow
and ice come, the earth can heal. It
slows us down and we are forced to look

Winter means something different to me
now that I have lost my childhood. It has
become a metaphor for our own mortality.

Small rewards lay inside of it though. Diamond
encrusted snow drifts in the moonlight. Deep
mountain snows that counter shade black tree
branches in glory.

Then I imagine....

Perhaps a werewolf hides deep in the wood lot
watching for it's quarry, an old man wandering
for a bit of firewood. A child pausing to catch
a snowflake on her tongue....

and in some strange way... crimson bright blood
spatter-patterning the pristine white snow becomes
timeless art giving homage to the more elemental
struggle of the ages. Raw and inevitable.

Finer things tantalize... wine, apples and venison.

So it is that we plunge headlong into it, together,
peeling away yet another year.. looking back for
memories that keep us warm and hopeful.

Outside, winter reaches it's broken and cruel fingers
deeper into the ground. The killing frost.

No birds sing in this land.

So we wait for the warmth of spring and life. Below and
beneath heavy rotting leaves stream side, an emerald
shoot bends it's young back through black soil...

a promise that life will indeed, return.

One Small Step

For a long time, I was skeptical about blogging and the motivation behind it. Every character you type, every string of information that you send into the cyber sea is out there... forever. You cannot possibly know who will read it, when, why... or if anyone even cares about what you do. I am not here to analyze the efficacy of a blog... or even to garner any kind of validation for what I write. I suppose this is a place for me to 'prattle'... and play with words and ideas. Perhaps some of you (some is presupposing that ANYone would even bother to read this) will find value in what I create, form, plagiarise or otherwise stir up. Some of you, whom I consider friends by virtue of the fact that I invited you to read this, may find this an exercise in ego stroking... or you might think I am just nuts... but it is my intent on bringing you a curiosity, a thought you haven't had before... perhaps motivate you. It is very likely that I will insult you, anger you... offend or even cause you to want to poison me. In sum, I do this to entertain... you... or myself. So if you have a few minutes now and then that you'd like to burn away forever from your life clock.... come and walk with me awhile.

Comments are always welcome here, but you'll need to jump through a few hoops first if haven't registered.