I don’t really like posting non-Ela stuff here, but I was personally challenged to write 1000 words using the prompts – Space station, frock, and check – and since I refuse to start a fifth blog, I have no choice.
(Post picture here if you can figure how giving credit is supposed to work)
The first fully operational and permanently inhabited space station cost 150 billion dollars to build and launch. That station was not only not self-sufficient, it’s estimated that it cost around one million dollars per day. A dollar was a currency our ancestors used, it was a piece of paper that represented partial ownership in some chunks of rare metal in a fortress somewhere. Hilarious right? To put it in modern terms 150 billion dollars is about 12 billion crypto. That’s tons of nanopods!
How many people lived on the first station? None, they just visited, and the only reason they were there is to study the effects of spaceflight on the human body. What a bunch of morons eh? I guess we shouldn’t be too hard on them, they were just starting to figure things out. They hadn’t even been to other planets in their home solar system yet.
You’re probably asking, who cares about space stations? They don’t even make them anymore!
No they don’t make them anymore, but they’re still out there. Nobody thinks about that. Technology moves along, but it doesn’t bring everyone with it you know? The “golden age” of space stations was hundreds of years ago, but all those space stations are still there. And check this shit out jeepers, most of them still have people living on them.
I know right?!
At the time that first crappy space station was built, humans were very concerned about what they called a technology singularity – a point where technological advancement would become uncontrollable and irreversible and somehow destroy the human race. That didn’t happen obviously, but what did happen is that as technology advanced, some people got stuck. Until I said that there were still people on space stations, you probably assumed that everyone lived on Arkships. Why wouldn’t they? They’re the best.
Well, get ready to freak your funk buddy because not only are space stations still inhabited, there’s still people that live ON PLANETS. It’s disgusting to even think about. They touch dirt! And their air, where does it even come from? Not machines that’s for sure.
When new stuff is made into new stuff some people just miss out right? They keep living on space stations when other people start living on ships like they should and they just never catch up. Probably at some point they realize, “oh shit, I need to get on one of those ships” but it’s too late by then. The universe has moved on and they’re stuck spinning around like idiots on a big metal wheel. And then as more time goes by and they’re isolated on their stupid ring more and more they lose touch with what’s going on in the modern world. All they know is an obsolete way of life on their obsolete hunk of junk.
It’s sad, but the good news is they don’t realize how pathetic their lives are, so I guess it’s okay? It’s like a rat that lives in a power conduit versus a rat that lives in the galley. The power conduit rat doesn’t realize how much better the other rat’s life is so . . . shrug. Also it’s a rat so who cares?
I’m going to write a novel about a guy living on one of these relics. He’s a frock maker. What the heck is a frock and why would someone make one? Space station people don’t have genetic skinsuits so they can’t download whatever appearance they want. What they do is they weave together fibers into a sack and they put that over them to cover their sloppy dirty naked bodies. It’s like when your dog picks up some ultracloth and is playing with it and it goes on their back.
They have a bunch of different kinds of sacks and they have cool names. Jorts, garter bells, lederhosen, musselbozen, sweatbands, socks, etc. A frock is a sack that consists of a skirt, which is like a tube for your hips, and a cover for the upper body. This is different from another kind of sack called a dress, which both covers the upper part of the body and includes skirts down below. A running gag will be that people will come to the guy because they want a dress and he’ll get mad because he makes frocks damn it!
The frock makers problem? He got paid for some frocks with a check. A check is another different piece of paper that says “hey, I have a bunch of those other pieces of paper in a fortress and you can have some if you go there!” It’s like someone promising to give you crypto instead of actually giving it to you.
The frock maker tries to “cash” the check, which is where you turn it in at the fortress for the other pieces of paper. I guess that’s where the term cashiered comes from. It’s fun to think about where words came from. But the fortress won’t give him any paper because it was fake. Because of course it was, what kind of idiot would think a promise on a piece of paper had worth?
This is a problem because the frock maker owes a lot of pieces of paper to space station mafia. What’s a mafia? On these space stations, people aren’t assigned jobs like they should be. Everyone just does whatever they want! What some people decide they want to do is loan other people pieces of paper and then if they don’t give them more paper later, they throw them out an airlock. Crazy, but it’s true, I’ve done the research.
What’s even crazier is that other people decide what they want to do is try and stop the mafias and throw them out an airlock. It’s hard to imagine but I think it’s going to be pretty exciting as a backdrop for a novel.
All I need now is a name for the frock maker. I’m thinking something along the lines of Han Solo.