Whimsy Lark

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12/8/2017 9:17am

I must have looked pretty dazed to Amileex, the girl from Starbase IX-Mk4. I didn’t remember walking to Spacer Club at all. One minute I’m playing with my figurines in my room and all of the sudden I’m in the Spacer Club office. Everybody was just like I arranged them—Deke and Jon IV on the Switch, Blumurdra napping on the couch, the twins going through the mini-fridge, and Amileex talking to me on the floor in front of the bookshelf.

“You look pretty dazed. Are you alright?”

“Yeah. Just tired.”

“Hey! Have a Crazy Bitch!”

One of the twins (they’re impossible to tell apart) threw me a can from the fridge. Crazy Bitch is a stimulant-hypnotic energy drink that’s popular with the space station crowd, especially with the people who work 19 hour shifts. It’s even stronger when you drink it in full gravity.

I cracked open the can and took a swig. We didn’t have drinks like that back on the mega-spreader. My parents didn’t think all the sugar and caffeine and potentially addictive alien synthetics were good for me. Did my parents even drink coffee? My wheels started turning. What did they drink? Or eat? Looking back, it’s like I hardly saw them at all. I thought hard. I remembered walking up to the control room one day, seeing them there, in their tanks, their bodies suspended in some kind of bubbly fluid, tubes going in and out all over the place.

It was the room I wasn’t supposed to be in.


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12/4/2017 9:28pm

My counselor said I was experiencing a perfectly natural wave of homesickness, and it would be fine if I wanted to stay in for a few days. I've got a single room in the dorms--no roommate for me!--which was part of the plan to help acclimatize me to being around so many people after growing up so isolated. So I got out a few of the keepsakes I brought with me from home.

Mostly it was the set of toys I scavenged from the moon dump. The best of the best! My most prized discoveries. Unlike most of the other garbage (candy wrappers, fast food cups, and scraps of plastic) these were unique. They were figurines, but from a culture so alien it was hard to know which part of them to consider the head, or arms, or what to make of other body parts we don't even have. But they were definitely meant to represent beings, or entities. Whether that meant they were famous historical figures or farm animals, I had no idea.

I started to set them up like I used to... putting groups of them together, a scouting party there on the edge of the table, the rest behind making camp, or building something. You have to be careful about which ones you put together, because they get jealous of each other.

I found myself arranging and rearranging and them until I realized I had made a little model of Spacer Club. There was Deke and Jon IV on the Switch and Blumurdra napping on the couch and the Crab Nebula Twins raiding the mini-fridge. I'm off to the side, sitting in front of the bookshelf, looking at books. And then Amileex, the girl from Starbase IX-Mk4, walks in and sits down right next to me.

"Hi Whimsy. Feeling better?"

"Why, yes. Yes I am."

And there I was in Spacer Club, looking at books, and looking at Amileex.

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11/27/2017 2:02pm

After my date with Amileex, the girl from Starbase IX-Mk4, I haven't felt like going to Spacer Club. Certainly not her fault, and I hear she's doing OK. I just need a break from being around so many people.

Back on the old mega-spreader it was just me and my parents, and sometimes it seems I'd go for days without even seeing them. I had whole empty cargo bays to myself where I set up worlds with pieces of interesting garbage I salvaged from the giant, unending dump. Which was the whole moon. Little souvenirs and trophies from alien cultures I'd use for people, industrial power and cooling couplings for buildings and vehicles and weapons. Good times.

Of course I was online too, but we were so far out that the delay between sending and receiving transmissions made any kind of timely communication impossible. And who wants penpals anymore? Nobody has 3 months to wait between questions and answers.

I think it's just my lifetime of introversion catching up with me. That, and not wanting people to use their telepathy and see that there's "something on my mind" that I can't explain. Still trying to figure that one out. I can kind of see it there--back, and to the left--but can't get my brain around it. Amileex said something about a pathway and a big door, but so far I can't get near it. So in the meantime I'm just keeping to myself and hoping it just works itself out.

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11/15/2017 8:50pm

Had WiFi tea today with Amileex, the girl from Starbase IX-Mk4. The tea is ok to drink even if you don’t know the person you’re drinking it with very well—it just opens up visibility on an expanded level of surface thoughts. A lot of spacers drink it all the time. Helps them stay connected.

Amileex spent her time on the station surrounded by other spaceforce brats, whose parents were gone all the time on deployments. The complete opposite from me, surrounded with no other people *except* my parents, 100% of the time, on giant garbage truck.

"Oooooo, what's THAT?" she asked, referring to a large, oddly shaped mound on my consciousness.

"Hmmmm. What? Oh, that? I dunno. I never noticed it before." The WiFi tea isn't supposed to let you dive too deeply into each other's minds--not like the Mind Slug Pituitary Gland tea, or the brain-melting Mad Mary tea from Frolix 8. So what was this thing that Amileex had spotted? It must be big, breaking through the surface like that. And why hadn't I noticed it before?

"Let me take a look. Turn your head a little to the right. I mean your right. Ah, there. It's got kind of a pathway, leading to a door. A giant door. And what's this? It's like a----------hnnnnngggh"

Amileex had fainted. Spilling her tea and falling out of her chair. We were at the Spoonbender so everybody saw and somebody called the nurse's office right away. Almost immediately a gaggle of @Bimpliboos rolled in, pink with red crosses on their bellies. I'd heard some of them had gotten jobs with the school nurse.

"We want to helllllllllllllllp!" they squealed.

They gathered around Amileex's limp form on the ground, then squeezed underneath her, stretching their little rubbery bodies like they do. Then they started rolling her out of the coffee shop, down the sidewalk, to the nurse's office.

I stayed with her till she woke up. The nurse said it was the WiFi tea combined with adjustment to earth gravity, and that we shouldn't have more than three cups at a sitting, and why do they even allow it to be served to children anyway.

I walked Amileex back to her dorm, and we didn't talk about the weird thing she had seen in my mind.

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11/3/2017 8:41pm

Following my last post, my counselor suggested I attend a meeting of Spacer Club, which is for all the kids who grew up in space. Not on other planets exactly, but specifically in pressurized, low or no G environments. If you had to put on a spacesuit to go outside, then you qualify.

I was worried it would be a group therapy thing, but it turned out to be really fun. The club has its own room with couches and big screens and a full mini-fridge. I guess they could plan fund raisers or dances or something, but mostly they just seem to like hanging out.

Everybody there was really nice, and I especially liked hanging out with Amileex, from Starbase IX-Mk4. Her dad was an officer on one of those Ultimate Armageddon Bomb ships... the ones they plan on never using? I guess he was on patrol all the time.

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11/1/2017 1:48pm

Sure, it was a moon literally covered with a layer of garbage 9 miles deep, but I miss the horizon. There were mounds of garbage that had a little elevation, and when the mega-spreader found itself up there I’d put on my suit and open the hatch and climb up on the roof and take a look around.

The star we orbited was distant and reaching its end of life, but it was enough to light up the big purple-green gas giant we orbited, and you could see a good half dozen other moons in the sky pretty much any time, and the ice rings.

At times like that, dad would indulge me and shut down all the running lights on the mega-spreader so you could really see the stars. And of course they looked all different than the stars from Earth.

Don’t get me wrong—a planet like yours, that’s not covered with thousands of years of space garbage, is a paradise. Oceans! I’d never seen that. But even so, maybe I’m a little homesick.


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10/4/2017 6:04pm

My parents drove a garbage spreader on a dump moon. All the garbage in the galaxy would come our way and get dumped, and it was their job to spread it around in their big old mega-spreader. Picture a tractor or a combine as big as six football fields. Like a spaceship on tank treads. It was the only other thing on the entire moon aside from the garbage. Their job was to drive it around and around, flattening the garbage in the dark, the only life and the only light on the whole moon.

Ok they didn't actually "drive" it. There wasn't anything to run into except garbage. It had a program and would just do enormous, moon-sized patterns, like a roomba with thousands of miles of garbage carpet and no walls. We just ran over it. But sometimes a tread would need replacing or a headlight would need changing and it was easier to keep a human out there full time than fly one out whenever something broke. Like a lighthouse keeper. And they let him bring a partner, and eventually I got born there. On the mega-spreader.

The machine was so big I had tons of room to myself, but it got kind of lonely being the only three people on the whole moon. So when I got old enough they wanted to send me somewhere to meet other people, and I came here, to Psychic High School.

So hello everybody! I promise I don't smell. The moon didn't have an atmosphere, and we always wiped our feet real good when we came back in from working outside in our space suits.


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