Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Vignettes by Me, on Themes Picked Randomly: Day Seven

Theme 127: The Rocket Ship

As the elevator had “Under Repair” signs posted warning off employees this morning, Sophia Quincunx took the stairs to the sixth floor. When she came to the sixth landing, she walked to her office door, which was just adjacent to the teasmade cart and a few yards down from the restrooms, grasped its handle, and was instantly teleported to the Horse Head Nebula, or thereabouts.

Sophia found herself in a starship, or rather, she herself was the starship. A tangled array of biosynthetic cords ran into and out of her cerebellum and medulla oblongata, via a pulsing grommet at the base of her spinal column. Her eye sockets now stretched out in a limacine fashion and poked through the ship’s outer hull at their termini. In place of her eyes sat multi-faceted sensor spheres capable of perceiving the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma radiation to radio waves. Her arms split out into thousands of conduits, braces, and furiously working arachnid-like appendages that tapped and twisted buttons, levers, and webbing on the inner surface of the ship. From her pelvis, cosmically shielded skin and cartilage spread forward to form a translucent lotus bud-shaped envelope around the entire craft. Behind this envelope, her legs, also cosmically shielded, opened out into scintillating zero-point energy sails.

As soon as Sophia came to appreciate her new circumstances, she turned herself about, leaving the Horse Head Nebula behind her and pointing herself toward Sol. She decided to put her capabilities to the test. Her sails became radiant as she tore off in the direction of Earth. She was travelling at close to light speed, 290 million miles per second, when her zero-point field engaged and all of space and time became fluidic around her. She pressed herself onward, faster. Every node in her body-craft reached forward to connect to every other point in the galaxy. She mounted the threshold of universal presence …

Sophia awoke slumped against the bars opposite the door to her office. Dazed, she looked up into the face of a stocky electrician who stood fretting over her. The electrician became relieved when he saw that she was conscious, and he quickly assured her that emergency medics were en route. While they waited, he proceeded to explain in a rapid but stuttering fashion that somehow, he didn’t know how, a conduit from the elevator under repair had fallen behind the wall and made contact with the doorframe, so that when Sophia had touched the handle, she had been electrocuted and thrown back against the bars.

Sophia nodded. She could hear the EM’s hustling up the stairwell now. She looked up at the wall and imagined her starship-self contacting every point in the cosmos at once.

Explanatory Postscript: When I say “picked randomly,” I mean picked from a Master List that I’ve compiled of 999 themes intended to serve as creative writing prompts (from the following sources: 501 Writing Prompts; 25 Creative Writing Prompts; Examples of Themes; List of Themes; 365 Creative Writing Prompts; 100 Themes Challenge Writing Prompts; List of Journal Ideas; and Top 10 Types of Story Themes). To pick a theme at random, I roll three ten-sided dice (the first for the hundreds place digit, the second for the tens, and the third for the singles) and find the theme under the number I have rolled. If I hit a theme I have already written on, I roll again. If I ever roll 000, I make up a theme. The Master List is a secret, so don’t ask for it.

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