“Another day. At least if you can call it that? Without the sun to circle around, the relative concept of time means very little. From our starting point on the planet Earth, we launched into the heavens chasing light that radiated billions of years ago. So I guess that we are traveling into the past at an accelerated speed in order to catch up to our current time at a different point in space. But no matter how fast this ship travels we keep slipping further and further into the past. Yet I am not getting any younger. Not that it matters much to the cargo. Five hundred thousand dead people who spend the best days of their afterlife souring around the universe. This is a trip they could have taken while they were living, but never got around to. So I chauffeur dead people into the past to see a future event that they were too busy to see while they were alive.
“It really is all quite confusing, but it is the luxury of the middle and upper classes to indulge in every eccentricity and it is my job to provide it for them. That’s right; this is what I do for a living. I chauffeur dead people on a sightseeing tour they cannot actually experience. I get to spend the next twenty years driving around dead people and talking to myself on a computer. The thing I still can’t figure out is when twenty years will be up. I don’t even know how to set the clock on this passage of relative time. I don’t even know if today is really today.
“This whole concept is absurd and depressing, but oh how they talked it up back on Earth. They deliver speeches that inspire you and excite your imagination and the longing for the unknown skyways of adventure.
“Anything can happen to you out there! You can be the captain of your own destiny! We can only consider the bravest and best for this job and you are one of the few!”
“Me and four other inmates travel on this flying mortuary of The Graham Line of Luxury Funeral Cruise Ships©®™. This ship is the very best in the fleet of luxury funeral procession lines, yes, this is the finest hearse ever built. Me and my crew of four will spend the next fifteen years seeing the wonders of the galaxy with a cargo of five hundred thousand former people who are all staring into space”
Talking to that thing is like writing your last will and testament. I really do think that’s what those things are for. They only play them back if something goes wrong. So I am talking to a death box on a death ship. I am one of a handful of living people planning my death on a giant space hearse.
Is it irony or just stupid?
Douglas pushed away from the console, the bridge of the ship was vast and built to impress. This was definitely a case of form over function. One of the small consoles actually controlled all the functions of the ship, but for the purpose of impressing perspective customers, the Graham Publishing Empire©®™ (GPE) built this vast chamber of steel and chrome. All the area was now covered with 3-D puzzles in progress and G.I. Joe Toys. The carpeting was comprised of a plush red silk in all the crew areas and a somber black silk in the public holds. It was another case of extravagance over common sense since the carpeting was slicker the wet marble.
The vast view screens ran all the way around the oval dome of the bridge. It gave you a panoramic view of everywhere you had been and everywhere you could possibly go. A metal shield could be dropped down over the window in case of debris flying through space. Douglas closed it to conceal the perspective of infinite nothingness that surrounded him. The blackness of space could really only hold your interest for a few days before it all looked alike anyway. Walking with a friend and speculating on the vast ranges of the night sky was one thing, but being out in it and surrounded on all sides by an infinite void is another. Closing the shield was in fact standard operating procedure for ship captains since the window was only there in case something went wrong anyway.
It was common for grievers to take out insurance policies on the deceased just like you would on a living passenger since the completion rate of a funeral procession cruise was, as of launch time: Zero. No ship had ever returned from a procession journey. In fairness, this was a relatively new concept and many of the ships were not due back for a decade, but seven ships have been classified as lost since they never returned within the communication belt.
The communication belt extends about five years out from the Earth. Beyond that point you are on your own and the pirates know this. So now, deep space cruise lines are equipped to defend themselves. People place a lot of valuable items with the deceased, this and the decadent luxury of the ship was a selling point to both consumers and thieves.
Dr. Richard (Ree – Chard) Labon was in charge of defense. A Frenchman in charge of the weapons system did nothing to sooth Douglas’ anxiety. Deep space was not the place for passive resistance. As a deeply committed pacifist Richard was in an extremely odd career. The combination of a mid – life crisis and the cooling of the Gulf stream which devastated France’s communal agricultural areas, led him to accept a job with The Graham Publishing Empire (GPE)©®™. His hand eye coordination placed him at the top of the class in weapons deployment even though he had yet to fire a real one.
Excerpt from: The History of the World Part 2: A Different Perspective by Carl Brooks:
The Graham Aptitude Test©®™, is the industry and even the worldwide source of professional placement. Its accuracy has even supplanted Democracy in many regions of the world. It was based on the long standing philosophy of the Graham Publishing Empire©®™ (GPE): We know better then you how to live your life!
The cult of egoists who for centuries had decried this as aristocratic elitism and promoted self responsibility and personal freedom were soon defeated in the great collectivist wars of the twenty second century. Man is now viewed as just another animal on the planet and free will is just the illusion of a deranged mind. Some animals are born wild but all can be broken down and led by their leash. The media giants seized this opportunity to divide the world up among themselves.
The ENlightened GLobal Analytic Division ®™© (ENGLAND), began marketing their philosophy as: Truth is beauty and facts are ugly, therefore perspective is absolute truth! The philosophy of perspectives is now the accepted norm. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beauty is truth, then only that which is perceived as good can possibly be real. Since good cannot exist without evil, which is simply an absence of good, evil can only be a flawed perspective and since it would make no sense to invite a flawed perspective into your well adjusted one, it simply is dismissed. Is it any wonder that people are dying to get off the planet?
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