Author Archives: Sha'Tara

About Sha'Tara

Reticence rules. I don't like talking about myself. Cosmic in awareness, I live for challenges to everything I believe, or think I know. I suppose my main focus is on the philosophy of social issues. I think that every problem is an invitation to all of us to work out the solution, and I believe that no problem exists that does not contain a solution within itself. All we are asked to do is unravel it. Life is like a Rubik's Cube. There is a solution, it's just a willingness to work at it with intelligence and logic until something useful emerges. The reason for this site is I need a place to post my more controversial subjects, the attempted discussions about taboos, the reasons for why bad things keep repeating, that sort of stuff.

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #62

(Something a bit different, a break in the story that explains a bit more about the politics of T’Sing Tarleyn. Thankfully short!)

For more information on the early life of Chang-X, see Rise of the Supremacy – Its Military Strategy – Melkiar Invasions and Aftermath by Michele Dellman, freelance journalist and Supremacy chronicler with contributing annotations by Deles Kotmallo of Parnako. The following report is intended to help the reader understand how Elbre was ruled and what that meant for the women of that land, in case there are still doubts.

End blog post #61
______________________
Begin blog post #62

 As found in earlier writings by chronicler of T’Sing Tarleyn history, Michele Dellman

 re: King Jestor Tassard of Elbre by Michele Dellman.

 King Jestor (Yes, it is  pronounced ‘jester’) Tassard the One Thousandth Three Hundred and Three was the king of Elbre until the hundredth day before the arrival of An’Tierra on T’Sing Tarleyn {ref: Avatari and WindWalkers – the tales of Al’Tara by Deles Kotmalo}  At that time he was deposed through the simple but expedient and definitive process we call murder, by his own son who became king Jestor Tassard the One Thousandth Three Hundred and Twenty Eight.  It must be noted that the son only followed his father’s example.  Jestor the “OTTHT” (not to be confused with his son, Jestor the “OTTHTE) had also murdered his own father to gain access to the throne.  It’s a little family tradition that has served them well, so why should we question it?

The number, by the way,  does not refer to how many “Jestors” have ridden the throne of Elbre to ignominy and infamy, but to the year of investiture of power of that particular Jestor. 

 “Old” king Jestor Tassard (Jestor the “OTTHT’) is an avid spectator and promoter of organized sports – of one organized sport, actually.  On the day of his bloody climb aboard the throne of Elbre – a kind of coronation à la Napoleon that included the sudden, inexplicable but timely death of his father–(the inexplicability of it already explained) he held the most lavish of feasts.  It became known in the Annals of the King Elbre as the greatest display of state sanctioned pleasure-killings ever organized in the kingdom city.

 As per the records kept by the Arena Council of Hyrete, three hundred and eight female fighters, concubines as well as hapless birth mothers, female sex slaves and worker drones, were officially butchered in the Hyrete arena, most of them under the approving eyes of the new king, his jealous uncle and heir apparent and their respective retinues.

The event lasted from sunrise to sunset over a period of exactly six days.  It is assumed by this researcher that on the seventh day, the poor king desperately needed an extended rest period.  The very last victim to grace the arena and titillate the entirely male spectator crowd was the king’s own beautiful young concubine whom he personally escorted, with a complement of twelve aides, down unto the bloody sands of the arena floor where she was stripped and handed a weapon – a staff actually – with which to defend herself from, and attack to kill, her challenger whom as you have likely deduced, was none other than king Jestor himself.

The petrified trembling girl dropped her staff in utter terror of striking the king and for that little mistake was promptly decapitated by her reproving lover.  In a final tribute to the supremacy of malehood, the king then proceeded to have sex with the decapitated body.  A fitting end to a perfect week to commemorate the enthroning of Clown Prince Jestor to king of the fair land of Elbre.

(Note: my use of the word Clown rather than Crown is deliberate)

“M. D.”

End blog post #62

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #61

Yet despite the gargantuan problems the race created for itself, it propagated like a veritable disease all over the planet.  Yes, you can live, you can function, you can learn with incomplete data.  It gets you started.  That’s all that’s needed for life to move forward: a volitional push.  It needs to be inseminated.  Wildly.  Seeds thrown to the winds of change and chance.  Without plan or forethought?  I still don’t know how to answer that question but the two naked lovers on their sweaty bed are answer enough.

[end blog post #60]
______________________

[begin blog post #61]

I know this sounds crazy, but many lives ago I already knew that “life” was a resolvable conundrum through logic simply by removing the linearity of time from any equation.  Past and future become interchangeable, depending on your current needs.  You can “travel” across these impossible dimensions without disturbing anyone else’s current process.  Those who do so were known as the Avatari and on certain worlds they were called WindWalkers, those who walked between “heaven” and “earth” or more accurately between the worlds of spirit/mind and of physicality.

Here are some thoughts that may help clarify the conundrum for you. 

You cannot exist in two different places at the same time in the same dimension, but you can exist as identical “mind entities” in any number of the same place if in parallel dimensions.  Clarification: the same place, same time, but separated by the dimensional shift.  The greater mind of the Avatari can choose to inhabit any of the identical minds in any of those dimensions. 

Another explanation of dimensional shift: think of a dictionary as your cosmos.  You want to go from, say, the word “accrue” to the word “write” but they are separated by a thousand pages in two separate volumes.  You can do it like today’s commuter by reading through each word and flip through the thousand pages – travelling normal space/time, going from one volume to the other and continuing until you get to your destination. 

Or you can “bore” a hole through the thousand pages of the two volumes, travelling only three or four inches to go from “accrue” to “write.”  That is the Shearing drive effect.  It is violent and invasive.  You could also, if you knew exactly where to “re-enter” simply slip your finger from the word “accrue” (you dis-incarnate or ‘die’ at “accrue”) and gently let the book close, run your finger down the edges of the two volumes until you come to the page with the word “write” and enter there (re-incarnate) without changing anything within the books during your process.  This is how the Avatari do it.

So now you’ve just crossed one thousand dimensions if each is a page, or about one hundred thousand dimensions if each is a word entry through two universes if each book is a universe.  Impossible?  Nothing is impossible except what is thought to be.

Another you, or several other “you’s”  whom you may, or may not, be familiar with or be aware of, can exist in the past and the future without interfering with your present awareness.  An adept can get information from these other “selves” and use that in the current incarnation. 

Finally, it must be accepted that yes, the chicken can lay the egg from which it is hatched.  That is not a riddle.

However strange this may sound to linearly-thinking brains, this is how it is.  Life is not bound by any ISSA’s ability to understand events in the time/space continuum.  No amount of prayer, positive statements or deniability living will change an iota in the processes on the event horizon.  You have to enter in and join the dance.  Dance macabre or the Tango, that is your choice, but you must be familiar with the steps within both type of dances.  Life insists on that.

Duty calls, I must leave you with those thoughts for the moment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Subject: About king Jestor: an addendum

The following bit of Elbre history relating to old king Jestor Tassard, is reprinted here with permission from the titular estate managers of Michele Dellman, historian and chronicler for the Supremacy.  Dellman is currently in out-space transit to Minora de Oro to record and analyze conflicting statements issuing from the bloody aftermath of the religious rebellion put down by order of Grand Admiral Chang-X.  The Grand Admiral is facing a court-martial on Pax Nova where he must currently reside pending his hearing and the analysis of the “MD” report from Minora de Oro.  At this point, all we really know comes from the commercial news sweep Fax-Net.  Their reporters claim that millions of unarmed civilians were targeted by sub-sonic waves and killed while attending mass peaceful demonstrations against the military curtailing of their religious observances. 

 Minora de Oro is one of twelve worlds within the Supremacy granted and guaranteed by Galactic statute the charter of full religious freedom without any interference. Under the statute, Minora de Oro opted to be ruled by a theocracy. It is, however, no secret, that Chang-X who boasts an ancestry that goes back to Túat Har, specifically to the Communist regime dictator Mao Tse-tung, nation of China in C-20,  holds nothing but the deepest contempt bordering on hatred for the observance of any religious ritual.

 For more information on the early life of Chang-X, see Rise of the Supremacy – Its Military Strategy – Melkiar Invasions and Aftermath by Michele Dellman, freelance journalist and Supremacy chronicler with contributing annotations by Deles Kotmallo of Parnako. The following report is intended to help the reader understand how Elbre was ruled and what that meant for the women of that land, in case there are still doubts.

 End blog post #61

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #60

(Another late “Antierra Manifesto” blog post… better late than never ‘they’ say!)

She continues with the same angry, disillusioned tone:  “Why you want to hear stupid story?  They call you Desert Beast for green eyes.  You come from desert, yes?  This they say.  But you no beast, just bigger woman, longer arm, legs, stronger.  You die too, like us, like all woman.  No different.  Same.  All same, always same.  I know.  It the way of it.”

[end blog post #59]
______________________
[begin blog post #60]

I realize in that moment I’ve just had my very first conversation with a true T’Sing Tarleynan woman.  That is the mindset I have to work with.  A distant tale of some possible alien intervention on this world by a race of tall “green” people with scales (Reptilians?  Armour? Reflective pressure suits?) who appear to have been females.  A battle for control of Malefactus that resulted in the female alien race being defeated and destroyed to the last, the invaders in the “black sky boat” who looked like men made of metal taking control and instituting a new law that decreed females would be the slaves of males. 

Current facts certainly seem to bear the truth of the story.  Were the black sky boat metallic men a global phenomenon, or local?  Is all of this world under the same total domination by males?  I need to speak to the few black female slaves about their remembered experiences, if I can get them to talk.  Maybe it’s different where they come from?  Could they possibly be remnants, descendants, of those aboard the black spaceship, of slaves of the black metallic men?  Could these black “metallic men” have been a type of Melkiar Cyborg adapted from thousands of years lost in space? 

What about this world beyond the great water as they call their ocean?  What I learned of Malefactus before I incarnated here said it was a world ruled by misogyny.  Fear and hatred of the female was the modus operandi.  As a stack world, the effects have to be global.  So, for the time being, barring miraculous intervention or change I must continue to assume there could be no place on this world where a woman could conceivably escape to and find sanctuary. 

I cannot trust my Altarian research.  There were too many gaps in it, too many errors.  Whoever filed those reports must have had a rather shallow experience of this world.  I suspect the reports were written from observation orbit, not from personal interaction with the people of the planet.  How could I have been such an idiot?  Why did I not locate the source material used for this information?  How was it taken across the dimensional barrier?  Who was the recorder and courier?  How long ago?  The records were old and had no tracer and no date.

Then I begin to silently chuckle to myself.  I was no idiot then but I certainly am the idiot now! I knew then, as Al’Tara, where the research came from, and why it was so shallow and why I accepted it at face value without question!

I remember a time when I reveled in being a “conspiracy theorist.”  I made a point of considering every major event the result of a specific conspiracy.  I would immediately create a plausible scenario in my mind that explained the conspiracy.  Believe all things, believe in nothing, that was my motto.  Did Earthians actually land on the moon way back then in C-20 when they had no working space flight technology worth speaking of; their world poised on the edge of war based in radioactive nuclear fission technology?  Having just survived two world wars in one century only twenty years apart?  My answer was always, “No.”  It was a put up job.  A conspiracy to hide something else.  A hoax like their “The War of The Worlds”* radio program that created such mindless panic.

*(The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air.  Directed by Orson Welles, this was the radio program that created mass panic.)

But of course the answer was always “Yes” also.  You can always have both, according to Altarian Logic.  If you have one, you have the other.  Dangerous walkway that is, if you are betting your life on it.  I did, many times.  Why?  Because even if you can only see one side of a thing it is preferable to admit the logic that it must have two sides rather than stubbornly believe only in one side, claiming the other does not exist.

Take the information I found on Malefactus, from Altarian logic.  Who brought that information to Altaria and put it in the holorecs?  That’s simple: I did.  The day I received information about stack worlds and my mind began to “see” these realities is the day I began to enter the data in Altaria’s mem-banks so the computers would begin their algorithmic searches to extract useful ‘information’ for future research by whomever would be interested in the stack world theory.  That, of course, would likely be none other than I.  You see, if I were to bet my life on the reality of the stack world scenario (and believe me, nobody agreed with my conclusions then, few enough even later when it became obvious there had to be “something” in it) I needed something to begin my quest. 

I needed to look into the future far enough that I could create some plausible information from what I saw, index that information in a safe place, my home world of Altaria, so I could in the past that remained my future, access that information as if it came from someone else and use that “fabrication” to create my personal future living reality on Malefactus.  Hence I realize now, the inexplicable “gaps” in the reports and the research.  I could not place there what I could not know unless I had already lived on Malefactus, and that would not happen until I had studied the information available and formed a plan for that particular information-gathering life in the future. 

It was a catch-22 situation yet basically a simple and logical approach to the problem.  I was proceeding as with a conspiracy theory – from projections I mirrored back at myself to test their reliability.  Since both sides are true, and as in the Möbius strip, they are but one side, I could never be wrong.  I just had to accept I would have to trust my life on incomplete data, something that I was very familiar with having lived many lives on Old Earth.  Everything done there was based either on incomplete and unverifiable data, or data ever condemned to shortly become useless. 

Yet despite the gargantuan problems the race created for itself, it propagated like a veritable disease all over the planet.  Yes, you can live, you can function, you can learn with incomplete data.  It gets you started.  That’s all that’s needed for life to move forward: a volitional push.  It needs to be inseminated.  Wildly.  Seeds thrown to the winds of change and chance.  Without plan or forethought?  I still don’t know how to answer that question but the two naked lovers lying on their sweaty bed are answer enough.

[end blog post #60]

I Am so Ready!

I Am so Ready

(thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara)

No matter the number of years I’ve thought about it and meditated on what it means to me, the idea that I am ‘so ready’ for that final breath is still, well, stunning. I’ve given myself the freedom to speak openly about my ‘impending’ death for some time now even if it causes a frozen lull in most conversations.

Why would someone speak about dying? Some are simply fed up and think, ‘enough is enough’ while some, if rarely, are eager to join up with their chosen loving deity or whatever. That’s not how it is for me.

Am I dissatisfied with the conditions of Earth as imposed upon it by a ruling species unwilling to control its power and take responsibility for its actions? Certainly but that does not drive me to despair, quite to contrary, since I have an impeccable solution to such problems.

Do I think that I’ve done enough and it’s time for a much deserved break from the merry-go-round and the pig pen? No, quite the opposite: I know I haven’t performed to the best of my abilities and there is so much more to be done. I know that my sudden “departure” would currently leave some people in the lurch.

No, my sense of being ready does not come from selfish motives. It comes from an innate knowing. It comes from a bursting of joy having something good and tangible to take with me after a wonderful day at the fair.

The fair is still going full bore; I could stay and play some more but speaking of bore, any fair will get boring if it goes on too long. I don’t want this to go on past the point where I can enjoy it. I don’t want to just sit in the car as the night falls and the lights come on only to fade.

There is a sense of fullness that is driving me, today particularly. I want to enjoy that quiet if passionate, fullness. I want to enjoy one accomplishment in particular: detachment. There is nothing, and no one that has the power to hold me here. I am the one with the power, all of it and that means I have also managed to get a handle on self empowerment.

I choose, I decide, no regrets. I gave myself a purpose for my life henceforth and that purpose is anchored within my own nature now. Like Leto Atreides II choosing to forfeit his humanity in order to become a sand worm, the Fremen deity called Shai’Hulud, I have forfeited my humanity (or perhaps gained it!) by turning myself over to becoming an avatar of compassion.

This is done now. What comes next, is next. I live in the joy of this accomplishment. I was taught even as a child that it is possible to change one’s nature. I had to prove it to myself and the answer is, yes.

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #59

“You woman now.  What you want be?  I not understand you.”

“I want be more than what I be, Tiki.  Better.  In good ways, not evil ways.  I tired of killing.  Tired of blood and screams.  Tired all over.  Old now Tiki, very, very old.  But cannot go yet, cannot leave, cannot die.  I first find me, better me.  Good woman me.  I first do something good for another person.  If you not understand, no matter.  You remember I say this and put my words in your head.  They grow there.  Ideas.  You say to me woman thinks is stupid.  Is not stupid Tiki.  I think always.  Think, think.  I watch men, learn.  Design new weapons, train in new way for women to fight so live longer; so you live longer.  I stay here, not die because I want help women be stronger, live longer.  Is nothing else for me.”  

[end blog post #58]
______________________
[begin blog post #59]

“You do this for me, not you????”  She shakes her head from the novelty of the idea, that someone would deliberately sacrifice herself to help others when there is possibly an easier way out.  This is a thoroughly alien concept.  I must proceed carefully.

“You know love?”  I ask for a reaction.

“Love!” she snorts and looks at me.  “I know love.  Bad thing.  Men, they love me many times.  They love girls, hurt them, kill them.  They say it making love, it good for us.  They lie.  It no good.  Only with you it good.  Different love with you; nice, warm, good.  I like love with you.” 

I am thankful for the darkness and that she isn’t Cholradil because my tears are flowing freely and I cannot speak for some time.  I wipe my face with the back of my arm.  These little characters are so simple, remain so candid even through their nightmare lives.  It’s like living in a black and white cartoon world trying to hold the little creatures together and reshaping them with a pencil and an eraser.  Matter of fact; good or bad.  No shades in-between.   I want to drop into her space, hug her… fall in love with her… and give her my heart. 

Put a check on that right now, woman.  Remember she is one of millions, perhaps billions.  You cannot help her unless you help all of them with equal power and abandon.  Can you do that?

“Love with friend is good, yes.  But when friend gone, what you do Tiki?”

“I know.  I have friend before here.  She good with me.  She have accident, die.  I know love then.  It mean very sad.  Much pain here.”  She puts my hand to her heart.

“So even with friend, lover, love still mean pain?”

“Yes.  Sometime lover taken away, or leave to go with other woman.  Then you all alone and very sad.  Hurt much.  Angry too.  Want to kill other woman.  I see this here.  Love, even good love, big trouble.  If you go now, I hurt much.  I sad and angry, I know.”

“Listen Tiki.  There is love that give no hurt, no pain.  Even if all gone, all lost, still no pain.  Just good love.  Always good love.”

She sits up then and looks into my face, notices the remaining traces of tears.  Touches them and licks the salty liquid.  “You hurt?  I hurt you?”  She is incredulous and afraid.

“No, not you.  I hurt me.  Inside, I be many people, in my heart, in my head.  Many people from many places, stars, times.  Now and long ago.  I different.  Not from this world Tiki.  We feel things.  Know things.  Often cry great sadness for what hurt people everywhere.”

“Other places?  Other worlds?  Many people inside you? Women they say you Desert Beast.  Is true this?”

“What do you know of this Desert Beast, Tiki?”

“Only what guardians say when I little.  They sing sad song in my ear.  Song of long ago before Man take this place.  Woman free then.  Have place to live, children have mother.  Run free outside, run in rain, in grass, swim in river and big water.  The man, he my handler when I be little.  He say there be bird in sky, many many, beautiful white bird.  Bird, it laugh, it very happy, like children, girls, they happy then too and laugh.  He say in song this place protected by Great Desert Beast, she mother of all children of world.

“He say Desert Beast, she very tall and she have green scales over body.  Green hair, green eyes.  Like you have green eyes too.  She fly in sky boat that make thunder and it have fire like sun to push.  Very strong boat that fly even in night sky.  See everything.  He say other Beasts like her come with her in other boats.  Talk to the people and give gifts, beautiful things, make things grow and build houses and make life happy.  It is good, he say, but one day another very dark, very big sky boat come.  It kill the people, take girls away.  In sky there is terrible battle and Great Desert Beast boat go down into ground, into desert sand with big ball of fire.  He say no one see again.  Only big black boat sail off, go away far. 

“The man he say the black sky boat have home like this one and all females put in cages there.  Much sorrow on world after.  Nothing same.  No one free.  Men crazy with anger and rage, kill women until black metal demons come out of sky boat to stop killing.  They have fire weapons, kill many men.  New law they give.  Women now slaves of men.  Woman speak, die.  Woman hit man, die.  Woman do anything displease man, die.  No more children for women.  Now we born from female, but not have mother, just strange people to care, teach, train.    

She stops as if to ponder what she just told me.  I can see her mind working, the deep frown on the pale skin of her forehead.  She blurts out angrily: “It just stupid sad story, mean nothing.  Old men talk, sad old cut men (she means eunuchs) telling stories.  I listen then, young and stupid, think maybe I believe.  Now no longer.  I strong.  This real.  I learn, I fight, I live.  I from this world. If other worlds like you say they not for me.” 

She continues with the same angry, disillusioned tone:  “Why you want to hear stupid story?  They call you Desert Beast for green eyes.  You come from desert, yes?  This they say.  But you no beast, just bigger woman, longer arm, legs, stronger.  You die too, like us, like all woman.  No different.  Same.  All same, always same.  I know.  It the way of it.”

[end blog post #59]

AN OPEN TUBULARSOCK STATEMENT TO THE U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM.

This post expresses well the real situation on the US/Mexican border and the comparison to the rise of Nazi Germany is apt. Americans know something’s definitely wrong with their country, as did the Germans after Hitler took power but it’s easier to just bitch, complain or make a thousand excuses for authoritarian government excesses than to actually do something about it. After all, if it gets really bad, well, someone in authority is going to do something about it… just as “someone in authority” did something to stop Hitler… right.

Tubularsock

An open Tubularsock statement to The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Edna Frieberg’s press release on Holocaust Analogies.

Tubularsock would say that EVERY holocaust survivor in the U.S should be ON THE FRONT LINES in reminding everyone that when a government starts putting people in “camps” like in Nazi Germany it is a step TOWARD a possible tragic and horrendous outcome.

And to demean people and treat them inhumanly and then blame them is exactly what the Nazi’s did to the Jews, homosexuals and Gypsies, so the analogy isn’t some far fetched idea it is an actual reality. And occurring in the United States RIGHT NOW!

The concentration camps on our Southern Boarder are not some intellectual abstract grammatical debate. They exist NOW!

And just to become clear, attempting to keep from any analogy the term “concentration camps” for fear that some people may have “painful memories” is unfortunate…

View original post 415 more words

“Life Aboard Ship”

[a short story, by Sha’Tara]

Star date: 190623-I haven’t spent as much time on this as I would have liked to but I am choosing to post now rather than wait two weeks when I return from an “Island” job. There is no internet where I’ll be working, though I will be doing some limited blogging on my cell phone. “Enjoy” this bleak story – it is what my heart is showing me these days.
_____________________________________________________________

“Maybe what I really need is sleep, he said to himself. A sort of twilight of living, with only the background sound of Beethoven audible. All the rest a blur.

No, he decided; I want to be! I want to act and accomplish something. And every year it becomes more necessary. Every year, too, it slips further and further away.” (A Maze of Death – Philip K. Dick)

I awoke, as does everyone sooner or later, aboard a strange craft, a ship that sailed through emptiness, bound for nowhere; a ship that would never find a port of call or ever crash on any shore. I knew this long ago, although no one ever spoke of it. In the daytime, the closest non-ship entity one could see was, of course, the sun. At night, if one happened to be on deck, one could see the stars out there, forever out of reach, the ship never getting any closer to any one of them. Sometimes one could see the moon, and although much closer than any star, or sun, it too remained aloof, at an unreachable distance.

One did not board the Ship, one was born on it and was automatically made a member of the crew. Everyone on board was crew, no exceptions. What you did as crew was determined by others and their perceived, claimed or stated needs.

Since Ship itself was quite automated, there really was nothing to do as far as sailing it. So crew served crew until that was the only thing that anyone knew how to do. The more people were born on Ship, the more it all became self-serving, with those who became leaders demanding more from their underlings. Of course the underlings had to find ways to please their masters so they learned to delve down into Ship to find resources that could be made into objects that would please or titillate the masters. Most of us became resource extractors, all to stay alive, some to seek promotions.

I don’t know the exact day, but an idea came to me: what was the point of all that? Who were we all, why were we on Ship and where were we going? I stopped my drilling, much to the annoyance of my partner, and sat down to think about this.

Where did I come from? Nowhere. Where was I going? Nowhere. What was then the point of my existence? There was none. Even if I found the strength and motivation to fulfill and surpass my quota of diamonds; even if I finally got a promotion, I would be old and near death by then. What could I expect then? Nothing. I would cease and my body would be thrown overboard, as all were except for the Captains and other rich and powerful who had themselves encased in crystal caskets and buried with much pomp and ceremony down the empty shafts of what had been our most productive mines. The shafts were then sealed and commemorative plaques put on the entrances. I leave the question with you: how much better off were these rich dead than the dead flung overboard?

Although I would become one of the outcasts, I left the mine and went up on deck to feel the noonday sun and the wind; to hear the waves beat against the hull and listen to the endless sounds of people everywhere talking, laughing, crying, cursing, praying, cheering and some even singing. These people were, in a sense, alive, but what is life without purpose except to satisfy the immediate, to seek a bit more pleasure or to avoid punishment for any and all reasons? It seemed to me that they were simply going through the motions of something they believed in, not as happening now, but as some sort of hope that it would happen by and by.

I do not need to tell you that there were many varieties of official and quasi-official beliefs aboard Ship that most people adhered to. The gist of those beliefs was that one’s soul would go to another ship once separated from one’s dead body and life would be vastly improved in that new place. The new masters would be benign and merciful… of course.

I asked myself why people believed such things when no one could furnish any evidence of their truthfulness? There was a simple enough answer: why not, when life on Ship was general misery and pointlessness and there was nothing better to believe in? If nothing came of it after one’s death, one would be none the wiser. Meantime this bit of hope made life’s tenuousness, fear and misery a bit easier to bear. It was a simple mechanism grossly exploited, of course, by those who pretended to know about life after death. 

Without dependents being an outcast is not as bad as it sounds. You can use your skills to help others and be paid back in food, clothes and temporary shelter. Survival is not difficult when one has been toughened in mining for diamonds deep in the lower bowels of Ship. On deck at least there is a pretense of freedom; there is fresh air, water can be skimmed from water barrels, left-overs and discards can be looked through before they are incinerated or recycled.

Thus I lived the later years of my life and thus I discovered a new ‘connection’ to Ship. It came to me gradually that Ship was talking to me, had always been talking to me but the people noise had blocked Ship’s communications from my mind. Now that I had more freedom I could, and did, move away from people whenever possible and in relative quiet I heard Ship.

I hadn’t known that Ship was aware of what the people were doing on board and in particular, how they were damaging Ship by their greedy delving for ever more esoteric ‘resources’ below deck and down, down, into its deepest accessible bowels. Ship’s voice was sad.

‘You are killing me,’ she said to me in an old woman’s voice, ‘and when I die, you will all die too. That should be obvious to as intelligent a race as yours but somehow your lack of purpose has deadened your understanding of cause and effect. Where are your logicians? Where you philosophers? Where is your empathy? When those things die, you die. No intelligent, sentient and self aware species can guide itself without logic, philosophy and empathy.’

What happens now, Ship?’

‘Like you I am going to die. My lifeless hulk will continue to haunt this orbit for millions of your years. Perhaps, in time beyond time I will return and bring it back to life again so I can be another ark. Perhaps.’

‘Everything, everyone, on board will die then?’

‘Yes, everything.’