Monday, September 21, 2009

Entry 53

I don't know about you, but when I imagine a space station I think of Deep Space Nine. Basically a large metal wheel in the sky. If I think really hard about it I might recall Battle School in Ender's Game or perhaps the actual International Space Station. In general, I was expecting curved gray or sterile white walls.

A gasp escaped my mouth as I stared at a cavernous lime green room. The room held several ships, or what I assumed to be ships. Some were barely bigger than a SUV and some were the size of million dollar houses. The room was not even half way filled, indicating it was very large indeed.

The ships were not the blocky gray and white metals objects that science fiction shows portrayed. Some seemed to be made out of coral and other organic substances and were light pink or yellow in color. I could not identify the material of many of the ships, but I was dazzled by the colors: blues, greens, stripes, dots, and everything in between.

Aliens of all species and types raced between the ships, unloaded cargo, or just stood by. Between the landing ships and alien conversations, the sound in the room was like a roar.

"Wow," I said, trying to take in the scenery. "This isn't at all like I imagined."

"It's just a basic space station," John said, knolwedge he had undoubtedly gained from all of his research. "This is the landing dock, which why its painted a warning color. It can be dangerous among all these ships."

"You're blocking the exit." Ven's voice interupted my observation of the landing dock. "Either stay inside or get out of the way." I did not want to annoy Ven on our one day outside of the ship, so I moved down the ramp that had been extended from the ship.

Once on the lime green floor, I turned, realizing I had never really seen the ship that was my home from the outside.

Towering two three stories above me on the four thick legs was a light blue space ship. It had no sharp angles but rather smooth, sleek curves. The ship was shaped like a tear drop that had been placed on its side.

"Blaue, you're beautiful!" I exclaimed, skimming my eyes over the dark blue letters of her name which had been carefully painted on the outside.

"Thank you," Blaue's voice spoke in my ear. "Now you had better get moving. You're still in Ven's way."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Entry 52

After a week of anticipation, we had finally landed at the space station. I was not sure what to expect, trepidation and excitement filling me in equal amounts. The only real exposure I had had to the Universe had been at the Society of Anthropologists. Then everything had been overwhelming, not to mention the fact that I had been completely surrounded by enemies. Any one of those anthropologists would have stopped me from rescuing John. Now John was by my side, and together we were going to explore a truly alien society.

I wondered if it would be too alien for me to understand. Some cultures on Earth seemed truly bizarre and difficult for my mind to comprehend. And those cultures were made up of humans. Surely at the very least that should have given me some common ground to understand them. How much harder would it be to understand a culture based off of inhuman motivations? How much more difficult would it be to comprehend an alien who could not comprehend the values humans held dear? Or perhaps it would not be difficult at all. Perhaps humanity was not as human a trait as we arrogant humans liked to believe.

Blaue led us to the cargo bay where Ven was. The dashing young man was dressed handsomely in an outfit that was cut almost like a uniform. The coat was long sleeved and buttoned on his left side. His pants were the same dark blue color and tucked into a pair of black boots that I had never seen him wear before. My breath caught in my throat at the sight of him. If Ven had not been such a contrary person, I imagined I could have very easily fallen in love with him.

Ven looked at us sternly and gave us one last reminder, "Remember, Blaue will take care of all your transactions, but you will be spending my money. I don't have a lot of it, so be thrifty. Blaue will approve all your purchases and her word is final. Please don't bother me unless its absolutely necessary."

"We understand, Ven," I said in exasperation. "You have only been reminding us for like ten years." He seemed confused by my exaggeration so he just ignored him.

"Well, enjoy yourself and try not to get into trouble," Ven said. He then turned to examine his cargo.

"Are you ready?" Blaue asked.

"Yes," I said eagerly. John smiled and agreed, "Yes." Blaue smiled and the wall in front of us disappeared.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Clearly I am a terrible blogger who can't keep my promise of blogging every day. I blame it on school. When I was abducted from Earth by the Society of Anthropologists and whisked away on an adventure to rescue my brother, I did not think I would ever be in school again. Who knew that the Barkers were excellent home school teachers, not to mention task masters? Now I spend my days memorizing Universal Laws and writing essays on the philosophies of cultures that to me look like bugs. Who knew bugs had culture? Not me.

All this is to apologize for doing such a lousy job with the every day posting thing. I think I'm going to have to cut back and make a new promise. Let's try every other day. Monday, Wednesday, Friday maybe.

I feel terrible, but John says I can't forsake my school work for this blog. The Barkers are also skeptical about me even writing a blog (Ven's influence!) so they're probably giving me extra work so that I don't have time. They know the Society doesn't approve of me contaminating Earth's culture. They don't want me to get into trouble. I understand, but sheesh, they're not my parents. Not even foster parents. Technically, that job still belongs to Ellen and Scott. I should be my own person! I shouldn't have to worry about someone else's parents telling me what to do.

Now I sound like a petulant sixteen-year-old girl. Of course, I am sixteen, but that doesn't mean I have to sound like a whiny girl. So instead I'm going to continue doing my coursework and only post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Entry 51

Ven left John and I in the mess hall so that he could land the ship. A hologram with Blaue stayed with us, though I was sure she would also be waiting for Ven in the cockpit. I wished Ven would let me up there to see how he landed the ship. I wondered how necessary he was, or if Blaue did all the real work.

"This is certainly going to be an interesting day," John commented as he strapped into one of the chairs against the room's wall. Blaue had instructed us to strap in for safety reasons, while also reassuring us that it would be unnecessary. It was just a safety precaution. "I can't wait to get out of here. I've been going a little stir crazy."

"I hadn't noticed," I said. "You've been spending so much time studying. It seems like you like being cooped up with nothing to do but study. Gives you an excuse."

"Studying gives me something to keep my mind off of how small this ship really is," John responded.

"I'm fairly large for a personal vessel," Blaue said, crossing her arms and glaring down at John. My brother had the decency to look abashed at his words.

"I did not mean to insult you," he responded. "It's just when you're used to having a whole city to roam, this ship seems small."

"I know what you meant," she laughed. "I am just making a joke. I know I'm a small ship. I just like to remind men they need to be careful what they say around ladies."

"So you do consider yourself female?" I asked, thinking back to the cognizant at the Society's headquarters who had claimed he was an 'it'.

"Ven considers me female," Blaue answered. "And it's the opinion of my captain that matters most. I have discovered that most males do tend to view their ships as female. Most of my captains have preferred that I take on a female form. I am really neither. I could appear as a male should Ven prefer it."

"It's just so strange that Ven views you as a female and John as an it," I said. "You can be either. John has no choice. He is built to be male."

"Ven is many things, one of which is a walking contradiction," Blaue said. "He does not like to be reminded that he has so many conflicting view points. Many times, I think he forgets I'm simply a computer. But his prejudices against androids run deep." Blaue sighed and collapsed dramatically into a nearby chair. "But what can I do? I'm just a simple artificial cognizant?"

"Simple my foot," I responded, causing Blaue to look at my oddly. I then hurried to explain what I meant. "You are anything but simple, Blaue. We don't have anything like you on Earth."

"And Earth is what you measure all technologies against?" Blaue laughed. "Oh Carlee, I fear you are going to find the Universe very complex indeed." I flushed. I guess it was silly of me to compare her to Earth technology. What did we have on Earth that came close? Nothing.

"How long until we land?" John asked.

"We already have," Blaue said, jumping back up to her feet with a smile. "Unstrap yourselves and come along. You have a space station to explore."

Thursday, September 3, 2009


No post today or tomorrow. You guys enjoy your labor day weekend. I will not be, since labor day is not recognized in the Universe. Posting will resume next Tuesday. I'm giving myself Labor Day despite lack of Universal acknowledgment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Entry 50

I barely fell the small piece of metal drop into my ear. One minute I felt the cool metal and the next it was gone. I was worried that it had fallen into the dark, waxy depths of my ear, but I tried to push that worry to the back of my mind. Ven trusted this alien technology. Blaue and John were both products of alien technology. I had to learn to trust it like I trusted my cell phone back on Earth.

“See, that wasn’t so bad.” It was like Blaue’s voice was sounding directly into my mind, because the sound was so close to my ear. I stared at her, shocked. She simply smiled.

“This will come back out in the end?” I asked.

“Yes, it will,” Ven answered. “Do not worry about it. Both Blaue and I can talk to you through it. It also enables Blaue to track where you are.”

“Like those microchips they put in dogs,” I said, not sure how I felt about the idea of being tracked. Ven simply stared at me with confusion.

“It’s not under your skin.” John understood my statement and feelings. “It will come back out. Don’t worry.” It seemed that everyone was telling me not to worry, which simply made me feel like I should worry.

“Can anyone else track me with this?” I asked, my mind going back to the Society of Anthropologists.

“Not easily,” Ven answered. “Blaue has a very specific frequency. Someone would have to know her specific frequency, which should only be known by her captain and the shipyard that made her. So only me, and her past captains, and the shipyard know her frequency, and Blaue has not had that many past captains. We’re talking a handful of sentients in a Universe of quadrillions.”

“Quadrillions?” I repeated the strange word.

“Millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions,” John answered. The word clicked into my mind and even though I could not begin to grasp the number.

“The Universe actually has more sentients than that,” Blaue said. “The count in the quadrillions actually only counts the official citizens of the Universe. For example, none of the citizens of Earth are counted. It also does not count synth…” A sharp look from Ven caused her to change her words. “I mean, androids. There are probably quadrillions of living, breathing sentients, not to mention androids, who are not accounted for by the official number.”

“How do they keep track of that many people?” I asked in surprise.

“Birth and death reports, citizenship records, as well as censuses,” Blaue answered. “Citizens have a record that follows them electronically. Every citizen has an electronic file from the moment they are born. Censuses are done every fifty years to make sure there are no errors in the electronic system, just to double check that everything is up to date. The system is very accurate and very hard to circumvent. It takes a very crafty and powerful Artificial Cognizant to create passable fake identification.”

“I don’t have any identification,” I said, discovering more things to worry about as I went. “Is that a problem?”

“No,” Blaue answered. “If you are asked for ID just tell them you are not a citizen and direct them to me, your local Artificial Cognizant. No one expects anyone to keep all of your electronic files on you. You will be expected to have some sort of computer to take care of it. But I wouldn’t worry. Unless you get into trouble, no one should ask to see your ID.” Somehow that did not relieve me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Entry 49

My thoughts of learning to pilot the ship fled my mind the morning we were supposed to rendezvous with the space station. I had Blaue help me pick out the most fashionable yet comfortable outfit in my wardrobe, so that I would fit in amongst the aliens. I then practically skipped to breakfast, ready to be underway.

To my surprise, Ven was in the mess hall waiting for me. His face was stern, set in a way that I was beginning to recognize as his “lecture face”.

“Please, Ven,” I said before he could speak. “Wait for me to eat breakfast before you start berating me?” I then slipped past him and sat at the table, across from John. He looked amused.

“I’m not going to berate you,” Ven responded, sitting at the table. “I was just going to remind you and your android of a few things. Today is the day we dock with the space station, and I don’t have time to worry about you getting into trouble.”

“We’re not going to get into trouble,” I said as I bit into a muffin. “Trust me, John won’t let me.”

“And I will be keeping an eye on them, Ven.” Blaue materialized in a chair next to John. She smiled brightly at her captain. “Don’t worry about them. That’s my job.”

“You forget I know you, Blaue,” Ven said, pointing a finger at the artificial cognizant. “You are mischievous. I would not put it past you to let them get into a little trouble for your own amusement.”

“That’s not fair,” I exclaimed. Blaue had never been anything but nice to us. I really did not think she would let us get into danger or fall into harms way. “Blaue would never let us go against your rules.”

“She had better not,” Ven said, his stern expression fixated on the hologram, who was giving him an innocent smile.

“Ven,” she said sweetly. “Trust me.” He rolled his eyes and turned his gaze back to me.

“Carlee, the space station is not Earth,” Ven began, and I interrupted him, saying, “How could I forget that?”

“What I mean,” Ven said, looking annoyed at my interruption, “is that you won’t begin to understand half of what is going on. Your android has done a good attempt of studying everything it can, but even it will not be able to come close to understanding all the species and cultural interactions. And not everyone is as understanding as I am.” I snorted. If Ven was understanding, then the people of the Universe must be an unsympathetic lot.

“Carlee, I’m serious,” Ven continued. “Stay with your android. Do as Blaue says. If I contact you, do not ignore me. This is very important. Now, do you understand?”

“Yes, I understand,” I assured him. I was not stupid. It seemed like he had lectured me about this every day.

“I already gave your android the link frequency to Blaue, so it can speak with her directly,” Ven said, holding up a small round piece of metal. “This is so you can speak to Blaue and receive my calls. You just place it in your ear.” I took the piece of metal hesitantly. It was very small. I was afraid if I put it in my ear it would get stuck.

“This is safe?” I said skeptically. “If I put it in my ear, it will come out later?”

“Yes,” Ven answered. “Now, will you put it in so we can test it?” I nodded and hesitantly put my hand with the device near my ear. Taking a deep breath, I dropped it in.