Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Adventures in Indie Rock: Issue 4

Space is the place


Bill rushed over to the flight controller, worried about the burly man’s response to his theory. The control room was a mass of confusion, people running around trying to figure out what had happened. Only Bill thought he knew the truth.

“Sir,” Bill started. The flight controller turned to face the younger man, annoyed at being distracted by a low level operator.

“What is it Sutherland?” The controller shot at him.

“Uh, well, I believe I know what happened to the vessel.”

The room went silent. All eyes were on Bill. He tugged at his tie, as he always did when he was nervous. Continuing he said, “Well, based on trajectory of the vessel at the time of communication loss and with the satellite photos we now have in our hands, and the analysis we have performed, uh-”

“-Sutherland. What are you saying?” The controller was staring at him intently.

Bill looked around and then said in a soft voice “Sir I believe the ship may have encountered a Lorentzian traversable wormhole.”

The controllers eyes narrowed. Bill thought for sure he would laugh at him. But the same serious look remained on his face.

“How sure are you about this?” The controller asked.

“Ninty percent sir,” he answered.

The flight controller rubbed his chin. Almost to himself he said, “If that were true…my god…if it could happen..that would mean…” he turned to face the floor,” … Ben Gibbard is lost in space!”


The C12 class orbital vessel drifted though space in no particular direction. It had been eight days since the encounter with the bright green lights while in orbit, the dizzying descent into the wormhole and the subsequent re-entry into normal space. The C12 was a small ship designed for orbital research. It was split into two compartments: the cramped flight control and the larger living quarters. At first Ben had spent all his time in the flight control, hoping to hear anything on the radio, instead hearing only static. Now he sat in the chair that faced the small desk in the living quarters, dictating into the ship’s log. His hair was unwashed and a small beard started to form on his pasty cheeks.

“Day eight,” he said into the microphone, “and still no sign of rescue. I begin to fear that I am beyond range of rescue. I have stuidied the star maps and have not been able to establish my location.”

He looked out the small window on the other side of the room. Stars drifted by.
“My food supply is good, and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the freeze dryed ravioli. I fill my days with writing songs, and as I have become more dispondant and isolated my writings have become marketly better. I hope to return to Earth one day, as these are some bonafide hits.”

Ben glanced over at the flight control, but the panel remained silent. He sighed and continued. “The cockpit electronics were uneffected by the the wormhole encounter, but the same cannot be said of the entertainment archives in the living quarters. Almost all the tapes have been erased. All that remain are some re-runs of Judging Amy and the pilot episode of Joey. I have decided against watching the television at all. The music archives are completely erased, and I have had to do by singing songs to myself. Unfortuntely all I know are my own songs and the hits of seventies soft rock act America. I guess ‘A Horse with No Name’ is a'propos right now.”

A small light flashed in his cabin and a small beep emerged. Ben got up, went to the sink and took out a protien pill. He swollowed it without any water. He went back to his chair.

“I miss simple human contact and long for the touch of others. Masturbation has already lost its appeal and I cannot bring myself to try anymore.”

Ben put down the microphone, closed his eyes and waited for something, anything to happen


It had been two months since Ben’s exile and the C12 still drifted through space. He now had a full beard and had packed on fifteen pounds. It wasn’t the freeze dryed food that was doing it but instead the locker full of fudge that he had begun pilfering. The chocolate was for an experiment on the effect of weightlessness on brownies, but Ben figured that science would have to wait to figure that one out. Ben needed sweets.

Sitting at the same chair, the room was now littered with trash and completely uncleaned. His shirt lay on the bed, covered in melted fudge. Ben rubbed his bare chest and then reached for the microphone.

“I wonder if anyone will ever hear my log of this journey to nowhere. I doubt it. I have become so very bored and have tired of writing traditional songs to fill my time. The last week has been spent writing a seven hour tone poem to glory of victorian bathtubs. I believe it to be my greatest work.”

Ben reached for his beard and picked out random bits of fudge.

“After much consultation with the star charts I believe I am located in NGC 2403, a spiral galaxy in the Camelopardalis constellation. Knowing that I am eleven million light years from Earth, I have gven up hope of returning home. I hope that in some distant future humans find this recording and release my tone poem to the public, who I truly believe will still know about Death Cab. Possibly Dntel’s descendents can remix it, or Chris Walla’s kin can smooth out some of the inconsistancies in the vocals. Hope springs eternal.”

He turned off the mic and turned back towards the fudge locker.


Ben was in the best shape of his life. He had lost twenty five pounds and his muscles were taut.

Of course spending all day spliting rock on a Zarpillion slave colony will do that for you.

Looking up at the twin moons of Carpatchia, most of the slaves longed for their own homes and species. But not Ben. He was just happy to be out of the C12. When the Zarpill mothership had tracor-beamed him into its hull he had cryed with joy. Sure he would have to endure back breaking labor at the hands of cruel alien overlords for the rest of his life, but at least he had fresh air to breath. He picked up his pickaxe and plunged it into the rock again.

He hummed to himself , “Do do do do, soul meets body…”.

“What have I told you about your vocal emititance of hu-man words?” Krultog the overseer yelled, his seven eyes bulging out.

“Oh calm down Krultog,” Ben said wiping sweat of his brow. “Maybe if you learned how to sing your she-mate Wetoig would give in to your advances.”

Kultorg did not look pleased.

“Ok, ok,” Ben said and continued splitting rocks.