Pinprick of Light in the Dark

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

Repairs continued to the ship all around me. Once the key systems were up and limping again, the tentacles had dissolved into their individual photons and disappeared back into the cloud. Apparently the life form was only interested in our survival, not in getting us mobile again.

Getting the overseer to talk to me again was a job of work. Every time I’d just about have it online, a feedback loop would spill cascading errors through the system, and the overseer would drop back into hibernation again.

And then all at once, I had it.

“Whoa,” I swore.

“What is it, carto?” Harrigan asked. He was looking over my shoulder. I hadn’t even noticed his approach.

“A veritable flood of information, sir. It’s going to take me some time to sort through it, but it looks like the key to interpreting this cartography-based system of communication.”

“So that last jump was not entirely in vain, then.” Harrigan’s voice sounded grim. "Small comfort.

“Keep at it. I need to know if there’s a point to this insanity.”

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Comments (7 so far!)

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  1. Avatar HSAR

    Ah, excellent.

    Begin the story here:

  2. Avatar HSAR

    This overseer is turning out to be quite an important character. I should try and do character development on it some time.

  3. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    I’ve been kind of visualizing the overseer as something of a rudimentary intermediary between the life form and the crew, with a bit of the original invading code still buried somewhere inside it, if that helps at all. :)

  4. Avatar HSAR

    The overseer was meant, originally, to be an interface between the ship’s human-constructed systems and the alien jump drive systems (much like the cartographer is the intermediary between the human navigation computer and the jump drives), but it has since evolved beyond that.

    It’s no matter. We can assume the overseer was much more than was assumed by the human engineers.

  5. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Well, sure, I get that. I see this as new functions for the overseer, enhancing its abilities beyond the original scope of the program.

  6. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Ah, assumptions and evolutions, the key to sci-fi. I’m not entirely following, but I’m having fun. Let’s see if I can add without derailing.

    Nit-pick, that last statement being set apart makes it look like it’s the carto talking, but it seems like it should be Harrigan.

  7. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Note that the quotes didn’t close on the previous paragraph. Big clue right there. :)

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