Friday, November 22, 2019

LDR: Bad Finite Query (Kabla)

She sat and pondered. When the world is your canvas, what should you paint?

Kabla sat in the darkness, alone and quiet. She knew she was thinking too hard, but it was too difficult to stop. When the emptiness grew heavy on her shoulders, she pulled up her cabin again, and climbed into her comforting hammock, one leg dangling over the side, rocking back and forth.

In a moment of inspiration, she hopped down, climbed the ladder to the hatch, and started painting the rest of her ship. The other crew cabins, the bridge with all its blinkenlights and the lockers containing blankets and supplies... then back the other way, to the mess, and then the engine room, where things always seemed to make more sense. She had another hammock here too, though the Captain hated having it strung up above the spinning heart, so she kept it bundled up and hooked on one of the wall beams.

She reached for the pulse of the ship, yearned to feel the strumming of its energy, but she couldn't bring it to life. She slowed the spin, brought it to a halt, and continued onward.

She brought the empty cargo space in a single twist of thought. Her memories populated it unbidden, a muscle she never thought she had remembering how to ride the bike. She waved her hand, and knew without seeing it there would be a medical bay and passenger cabins back along the tail... She descended the catwalks without a thought, standing, pausing, before the closed bay doors, and caught her breath.

Kabla didn't know what lay beyond, and feared it would be more darkness than she would be able to paint. She felt the cloying darkness squeezing her ship... until a shaft of warm sunlight pierced the viewport on the bay doors.

She threw up her hand over her eyes in surprise, and at a gentle knocking on the outside, pounded her palm against the control panel.

The doors trudged open, and she was met by a breath of fresh air, liberally sauteed in exhaust and manure. It smelled like home.

Lin stood before her on recently dewed grass, smiling. "You don't need to make whole world, darling. I do heavy lifting. You just paint details."

"I don't know how."

"Like dreaming. You just remember how to dream. Like cows," she gestured behind her, and the empty field populated with two dozen heads of the same beast. "Close eyes. Remember... Now open."

Kabla looked out among the herd again, and they were all individuals once more.

"Good. I write, you 'proofread', yes?"

Kabla nodded.

"You keep ship. Is good work. I not help at all. Now, sleep, dream. I go write." She turned to go.

"Wait... why do you talk like that, Lin?"

"Reminds you I am not you. Not like you. I am apart. Different."

"So you could talk just like us?"

Lin deepened her tone. "I am the voice of every being you meet who is only a memories. I speak like you when I am you, when I participate in your memories." "When I am above, outside, when I am not you, I speak not you. I am not you. Close door. Sleep sound. Dream well."

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More LDR: Bad Finite Query

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