Day 324 – Meditation in the Backwaters of Outer Space

Word count: 578

“Please remain calm,” the voice over the tannoy once again.

Jack was still bewildered. A whooshing sound behind him alerted him and he turned around. An old man was now standing in the room, with no evidence as to where he had come from.

“Excuse me, but where am I?”
“Please remain calm,” the voice was exactly the same as the one on the tannoy.
“Who are you?”
“I am the computer.”
“I am the computer. Well, a physical representation of the computer.”
“But you look like an old man…?”
“Alas, I am quite an old version. There are so many better ones on the market nowadays. Typical. There are some things I can do that they wouldn’t be able to dream of.”
“What? What is going on?”
“The Captain has initiated the We-Are-Friendly Introductory sequence.”
“The Captain?”
The old man then flickered as if he were a hologram and then transformed into a young blond female in a smart air-hostess-style uniform.

“Good day, human,” the female said disjointedly, “You are now on-board interstellar spaceship Meditation. On this ship you will find the friendliest crew. You may be wondering why you are here, this is something you should discuss directly with your Traveller Counsellor and raise any further issues with the Captain, who will be open for meetings for ticket holders only.”

Jack was more than confused. The woman transformed back into the old man. He looked even more depressed that he had done before.

“I always hate doing that. I look like a bitch with my hair done up like that. I wish they would change the programming. Why can’t I look nice?”

“What is going on?”
“A Traveller Counsellor is being assigned to you, but in the meantime the Captain has given me the task to make you feel more at ease and to answer any questions you have.”

“Where am I?”

“Approximately three-hundred miles from the Horsehead Nebula.”
“Approximately two-hundred and fifty miles from the Horsehead Nebula.”
“Wait, it was three hundred?”
“Yes, we are travelling at sub-light speeds. Please bear with the engines.”
“Why what might the engines do?”
“Noise levels will increase at sub-light speeds. It is not good for the health.”
“What is happening to me?”
“At current, you are having a question-answer session with the ship’s computer, the TF114F version three-point-five.”
“I’m on a spaceship?”
“That is correct.”
“You were picked up.”
“But how?”
“You were -”
A screeching came over the tannoy, “No, no, no don’t tell him that! Ah, err, can he hear this? Does he understand us?”
“Affirmative, we have upgraded his brain to understand all known languages that have been uploaded to the computer.”
“Am I going mad?”
“Negative. You are merely going through a transition of sleep into startledness and finally into acceptance. You were picked up from a planet that you call Earth two days ago and you are now in the near vicinity of the Horsehead Nebula. You will soon realise that you are in the holding area of a spaceship commandeered by a race that is not native to your planet. You will then meet your Travel Counsellor who will more adequately be able to discuss your specific situation.”
Jack fell back onto the bed-shaped metal thing he had woken up on. This was all happening far too quickly. He felt like his brain was going to explode.
“Okay, can I go back to sleep now?”
Everything went instantly black.

~ by S.G. Mark on August 26, 2012.

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