Day 361 – Meditation in the Backwater’s of Outer Space – Part 15

It’s almost like I thought of this from the very beginning!

Word count: 1191

Tanya threw something magazine-like into his lap. They were on a small space-craft. Stars were streaking by outside. It looked just a cold and desolate place as it did on TV. Only now could Jack truly appreciate the reality of special effects in movies.
“What is this?” he looked down and turned the thing to what he believed to be the top. It was all written – if indeed that was the correct term – in another language that was most certainly alien in origin.
“Green looking button, bottom left,” Tanya instructed, not taking her eyes of the space ahead. She was driving (steering?) this machine. It was the world’s – could he use that term outside of Earth? – tiniest cockpit. There was enough room for most of their legs and that was about it. Arms were clearly an additional function the bodies of the creatures this thing was designed for.
Jack pressed the green button. The writing changed. It was completely different lettering – Jack safely assumed it was another language and not more writing of the same one. However, it was still not English, so he changed it again. Several presses later, he finally got English.

Spatial Sanity – A Guide to the Newly Discovered Primitive Alien Race

“It’s extremely helpful. It gives you all the equations for FTL and space-ship building.”
“Faster than light travel, you idiot,” Tanya looked back at him as if he had just swung from a vine out of the trees and said “Ug” rather sluggishly.
“Excuse me Miss Space Expert, but some of us are new to this!” he retorted, “Besides, you must be one of the crazy nut jobs they picked up in empty roads in America late at night.”
“I resent that comment. I was chosen, actually.”
“Well get you.”
“Enough! Read the fucking comic!”
Jack simmered, unable to think of a witty response, and grudgingly opened up the brochure.

So, you’ve just been discovered by a superior alien race! What are your first questions? Are they friendly? Are they going to destroy your civilisation? Well no need to worry a second longer with this hand FAQ section!
It was a swell read.
Q. How can I protect myself and my world against these superior alien races?
A. You don’t have to! Thanks to the Galactic Association of Founders (GAF), your planet is automatically deemed a Class H planet. This gives you the privilege to have our protection from any unwanted inter-spatial battles.
Jack read further on.
Q. Can I travel around the galaxy as I please?
A. Mostly. You’ll need a permit for some regions of space, as there are continual wars going on in many areas of Space. However, you may apply for these permits from your local Galactic Interface Hub (GIH).

“So what does all this mean?”
“Read on, wimp,” Tanya instructed. Jack returned obediently to the FAQ.

Q. So where do I stand in the universe now?
A. Exactly where you are. You are neither as important not unimportant as before. Your species’ progression in the evolutionary stage may now seem minute, but rest assured that the rest of us have all been there and can give you some top advice about how to overcome inferiority complexes.

“Tanya, this is lovely and all, but it would be spiffing to know where we’re going.”
“Well we’re going back to Earth. I’m dumping you off there with this Harry guy or whatever, then I’m going to finish off a mission I should have done years ago and then I’m going to sod off to a planet covered entirely by sandy beaches and palm trees and drink enough cocktails until I pass out.”
“Right, and after I’ve been dumped off with this Harry bloke, what’s going to happen?”
“You can ask him yourself, he’s right here.”
“What? We’re in space?”
Jack could quite clearly see stars outside the window.
“Oh don’t be ridic – really? It’s just a screen saver whilst you’re in time-travel , you don’t really believe we were dashing through the solar system, did you?”
“Uhm?” Fool was not quite the word Jack would have wanted to describe himself as, but it seemed the most fitting in this situation.
Tanya leapt out of the driving seat and opened up the side door, revealing themselves to be in some sort of busy mall. She jumped out and let the door open for him. Jack stood up and looked around. It was… massive. A massive space port of some sort. There were great big spaceships – way bigger than the one he was just in – there were bright huge lights and billboards flashing with strange symbols and weird names. There were people of every type everywhere – it was the strangest sight he had ever seen in his entire life. It was stranger than fiction – it was stranger than that B movie he saw last autumn.
“Where are we?” he said, awe drooling from his mouth.
“Earth – London.”
“London – what now?”
“Time travel, idioto,” she knocked him on the head with her fist as if he were a door.
“What time are we on?”
“I dunno, whatever date Henrique wanted you here.”
“Right now that you’re here, I’m off. Back to your time actually – so weird, but at least I don’t have to have such a big jump now. London – twenty-twelve. God I much prefer it when they’re not talking about bloody Olympics.”
Tanya hopped back into the spaceship-thing and Jack watched as it disappeared from view. Then it hit him like an avalanche in the Alps. He was stuck in a familiar-ish place on another time-dimension/zone waiting for someone he may or may not know the correct name of and who may or may not actually exist, but who seemed so desperate to want him, that he somehow contacted him several hundred – by the looks of it – years ago to meet here.
“Breathe deeply,” a man’s voice said behind him.
Jack jumped with fright, “Who, what?”
“It’s all in the manual… FAQ number eleven I think.”
“Oh my god who are you?” Jack said breathlessly. He was not paying attention to FAQ number eleven at all.
“My name is Henry and I have been trying to reach you for a very, very long time my friend. You are perhaps the single most unimportant person in the entire universe.”
“Oh jeez, thanks.”
“And that just happens to be what I need right now.”
“Oh thanks!” the compliments were raining down today.
“To save the world.”
Jack felt a small lump in the back of his throat and he wondered if he had just choked up his ego or whether he had finally rejected that large brazil nut he had taken a few hours to try and chew through. “What did you say?”
“Save the world with me, Jack. Take a deep breath. Or turn to page three-hundred and sixty one in the brochure. I found it very handy for the first six months.”
Jack opened up the brochure and turned to the page Henry suggested. At the top of the page in large colourful letters were the words:

Meditation in the Backwaters of Outer Space.

~ by S.G. Mark on October 1, 2012.

One Response to “Day 361 – Meditation in the Backwater’s of Outer Space – Part 15”

  1. wow…
    this one has left me with a lingering grin (…FAQ section, star travel screen saver… )… good ol Jack…

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