mardi 17 février 2015

ABe 1.1

So, this message will be read, I reckon. By someone human? Probably.
I'm not sure I see what you want us to tell you, in order to convince you of our... Anyway. Let's say something about me, since that is the whole point.

My all-time favorite English word. Always was and always will be, I guess. Might be that one of my forefathers was in the Royal Navy, what with my middle name being Byron and all. Yes, very much likely. Though, between you and me (whoever reads this at the end of the day), I never asked anything about this to my parents.
They were too busy, for a start. Way too busy. Having one and only child didn't help them to be aware of my existence and needs and whatnots. Father was a nuclear engineer and mother a mathematician, expert in Relativity Fields. Hey, I don't have to introduce them to you. I'm pretty sure you know who they were; you're building a spaceship out there. Besides, there might very well be some of them in that ship you've been building in high secrecy for the past twenty years. Some quantic equation designed by my mother might be the core of the Haniwa's combustion system, for all I know. The lightning devices may have been invented by my father, or at least are based on some contraption he figured out when I was a kid. He was always fond of neonlights, until they were banned. Anyway...
Sorry for saying 'anyway' again. Won't happen again. I guess.
The reason why I'm dictating this farewell letter cum application form to you, my possible future employers, is that I have barely no-one else to write to. To make amends with. To settle final things. As you know (or as you guess) my parents vanished in 2036. On the 26th of April, exactly. Or should I say that they went Missing In Action? Who am I to know? You already had begun your project, at the time, and I was a boy. Yeah, they were attending the Cernobyl 50th anniversary of the 'Anxident' - as my mom used to call it. A mix of incident, accident and anxiety, she explained once - well, she was a scientist, not a writer. That's not important, of course; what's important is that they were there when the so-called "Coalition of countries whose names end in Stan" decided to flash-invade Ukraine. Yeah, I know, it sounds phony, even after all this time. Nobody believed it at the moment, but chaos and the Aftermath prevented us from learning more. The official version stuck, and as usual, the truth got itself a raincheck. An acid raincheck.
To be honest, the first time I heard about the Haniwa Interstellar Voyage project, I simply discarded it - as unlikely, impossible and preposterous. I even thought that the whole shenanigan was a hoax. A huge, uncanny and too-much detailed one, but a hoax anyway. The kind of delirium some filthy-rich fin-de-siecle neo-bastards would put up to keep their week-ends busy.
Then, two months ago, I found a letter in my box. I mean, an actual paper envelope, of a kind I hadn't seen in over ten years. It was absurd, insane and almost funny. My letterbox is a derelict rotten tinny piece of junk, to say the least. I keep it for the birds to nest in winter. Every time I see it, I want to smash it flat with a baseball bat. Want to know why I've never done it? Because I'm a pacific guy.
Anyway, two months ago, somebody had lifted the flag up. Who could bother doing this? Didn't even know there still was a flag. The flag did the job, though: I had a look inside the box. And there it was: your envelope. With your logo on it. The Haniwa simple symbol I had seen many times on the Internet. Failing that, I wouldn't have opened it.
It was an application form, with my name written on top of it... in actual pen!
Eldritch Byron Clamorgan.
First thing I did was to throw the thing to the bin, without even crumpling it. Second thing I did was to retrieve it from the bin. Who could dare doing this to me? What was that supposed to mean? Do you lack contenders? Or was it a way to tell me "You've got no future on this planet? Not only because the planet doesn't have a future, but because you're a lost cause by yourself. Get off it, now! That might be your only chance." I didn't throw it away. I just pocketed it, pretended to forget about it, reread it at night then every night for a whole month.
I always hated it, when people choose for me. As if I had no calling of my own, no wish to fulfill, no willpower to light my fire. My parents never did that, quite the contrary.
So it couldn't be them, doing this to me.
Or could it?
After a whole month mulling over your list of queries (are you aware that some of them are really fucking strange? "What is your favorite color and why?" Who are you kidding exactly? Are you a meeting-agency on disguise?) I have made up my mind; I guess.
You know, you are crazy, the whole lot of you: scientists, engineers, technicians, space cadets, whatever the heck you call yourselves. You're mad as hatters with a vengeance and a microchip on each shoulder. But you are also right.
I've got nothing else to do on this planet. The only thing I'm good at (quantic programming, as you perfectly know) might be useful aboard the Haniwa - even though quantic computers are still a distant wish waiting to be fulfilled. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that basic agriculture and social organization will be our daily lot, on this ship.
As a consequence, I have filled your damned app-form and I have sent it to this physical pathetic mail address of yours (in India, for all places!) with an actual stamp on it. It took me four days to find one and I had to purchase it with actual banknotes, in an antique shop, down some Amsterdam suburbs. And I'm now waiting for your reply.
My stuff are packed. Even I don't know how much weight I'm entitled to for this travel. Zero gravity should help on this front, but what do I know? We are to be ten thousand Guinea pigs for you, aren't we?
All right, as you see, my motives are rather vague. Whether my parents are behind the whole story, or they are not. In either case, what else do I have to expect now? I'll bet you don't have your ten thousand volunteers yet. But you have to hurry because things are turning pretty sour, down here on the Dirt, and you're not sure that Peace will be maintained long enough to guarantee your safety. Or maybe there's an open launching window now, ready to close soon, and you have to take it because the next one will be too late.. Hey, I hadn't thought of that. I'm sure this is the reason!
Anyway, what does Haniwa mean? Is it a word from a decent human language? Does is it mean 'fathom' in Korean, for instance? Could be a good omen, from my POV.
Well, enough of this banter. See you at Lagrange point L3.

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