Writing Exercises

Silver Pod Part 2: The Broken Vessel

I felt inspired to write part 2 quickly. It’s less polished than the first, but that’s part of the goal, to keep writing, to build momentum, to accept imperfection.

Link to part 1

Silver Pod Part 2: The Broken Vessel

The Earth was no longer an enormous sphere. It had flattened and enveloped. Besh and the starship were inside the gullet of Earth now. Flames licked at the edges of the viewport.

Edging between the fear and the strangling loneliness was the realization that death faced Besh. He had not expected death to have a calm blue face piled with pillowy clouds.

Most of Besh’s desires came from Water. Water would fill Besh up and suddenly Besh would be urged to go out on the hull and let Water observe through his eyes the sun stretching morning light across the ice and dust ringing Saturn. Or Besh would have the urge to go to the starship’s kitchen, boil water, mix spices, and prepare some exciting dish for Water to taste through Besh’s tongue.

Besh had desires of his own, but beyond the urge to eat, to excrete, and to sleep, his motivation was hazy. He lacked the experience to determine what was worth doing. At least, he assumed that was what was missing.

But at the moment, Besh did not want to die. The desire to live was strong.

“Helper,” Besh said, “help me land the ship.”

“Please formulate your request in the form of a question,” replied Helper.

The atmospheric abrasion vibrating the hull deepened in tone.

“Helper, how do I land the ship?”

“This ship is not designed for landing on a planetary surface.”

Besh choked back the bile rising in his throat.

“Helper, how do I slow down the ship?”

“This starship is equipped with a multitude of propulsion mechanisms including: gravitic field generators, Newtonian ion reaction drives, Finsler space warp translators, ramjet fus…”

“Helper,” Besh interrupted, panic squeaking his voice, “How can I slow down this ship to have the best chance of surviving the crash?”

Helper said, “A list of action profiles will appear on your computer monitor now. The first action profile provides a forty-five percent chance of survival with a margin of error of…”

“Computer, action profile one. Activate!”

The starship’s gravitic field generators hummed to life, pushing against Earth’s pull. The starship bucked in the air, the new forces compelling the ship into a less aerodynamic orientation. At the same time, the starship deployed its kilometers wide solar sail that was immediately ripped off, titanium struts twisting and tearing like fragile stems. Ports opened on the starship, spilling equipment and supplies.

From the acceleration couch, Besh watched clouds stampeding past the viewport, then his stomach dropped, the ship turned and choppy waves rushed by. It was exciting. Besh wished Water could have been there to see it.

“Water” was Besh’s name for his parent consciousness, the consciousness that had mysteriously disappeared. Besh understood that it was different from the liquid water rushing by beneath him.

Besh had to survive. He had to find his parent consciousness.

The starship twisted once more, the viewport lurching upward toward a dark but warming sky. The ship crashed to the ground, crushing itself under its own weight.

Link to part 3


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