Whistling in the Dark

I love space. Not just the planets, stars, and galaxies – I like room to maneuver. I think the space setting gives me that more than any other setting. It’s vast, cold, unknown. We, as humans, breaking out from that frontier line into the unknown will inevitably take our humanity with us, in all its bizarre glory. There will be good and bad, greedy and generous, sane and insane, just as there is on this planet we call home.

So, with that in mind, a short space piece.

The ship’s engines pulsed methodically, vibrating the deck underneath the purposeful strides of the ship’s captain. Captain Vendo whistled a complicated tune as he walked his rounds.

He reached the engineering deck while whistling a difficult arpeggio pattern he had perfected in his seven years in space. Perusing the console for issues, he practiced alternating notes in octaves. After verifying all lights were green, the captain headed for the life support systems.

Scaling the ladder that led from one deck to the next through a narrow tunnel, Vendo experimented with his trills, expertly constructing counter-rhythms against the echoes of the long tube. Stepping onto the Life Support deck, he ignored an entire bank of glaring red lights while whistling Mussorgsky.

Ending his rounds, Captain Vendo returned to the cockpit. Only there did he end his concert. Sighing to himself, he repositioned the body slouching at tactical, holding his breath as he did so. Having set things back to the way they were meant to be, he departed for his quarters, giving only a cursory glance to the vast void of space that was the ship’s destination.

Vendo took a shortcut through the suspension tanks, and visited his favorite corpses out of the thousand. As he did so, he whistled “What a Wonderful World”.

One thought on “Whistling in the Dark

  1. I like space for similar reasons. A futuristic space setting feels so open ended, as you can play around with theoretical and completely fictional technology, cultures can be as numerous and diverse as the number of planets/star systems you wish to visit, and there are limitless prospective moral issues that can be dealt with in the present tense inside a science fictional universe.

    I played around with science-fiction once, making cultures and subcultures and history and even minute details down to currency charts to get a grip on what the economic setting looks like. When I got down to trying to write a just-for-myself-fun-story set in this universe though, I found myself struggling with description, or rather, too much of it. It felt wrong to not depict the differences in this futuristic world, but because everything is so different, that meant describing everything and well… that’s horribly taxing on me and makes for poor reading too.

    Ah, well.

    Fun read, thanks for writing! Captain Vendo seems like he’s been at this for a while.

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