Arrival

2014-01-28 12-30-27_0031a

“You sure you have the right coordinates, Ptakh?”

“Hundred percent, Boss. I reseeded the satellites, reinitialised the computational matrix device and reran all the numbers. Everything checks out.”

“But it still looks wrong.”

“Agreed, Boss. What else can I do, though?”

“Have you run a sanity check?”

“Isn’t it a bit late for that? I underwent all the usual psychological profiling as well as the mental acuity and synaptic integrity checks before we left.”

“Not on you, idiot; on the system.”

“Oh, that. Yeah. everything checks out okay.”

“Inter-polar back-channelling?”

“Green.”

“Sub-messinal extemporisation?”

“Don’t know what that means.”

“Good, I just made it up to see if you were listening. So all the standard checks are clean.”

“Every one.”

“What about the pasta-antipasti pods?”

“Don’t you mean matter-antimatter?”

“No, I’m hungry. What’s for lunch?”

“Whatever the food replicators can produce from the primordial sludge they use as raw materials.”

“Do what you can, Ptakh.”

***

“How was lunch, Boss?”

“Awful. See what you can do with reprogramming the replicators to produce something that approaches edible without hiding behind a mask of rancidity.”

“It might take a while.”

“Just do it. Meanwhile, what is this place we’re approaching?”

“According to the enchiridion—”

“The what?”

“The enchiridion, Boss.”

“And that is?”

“The handbook, Boss. I just thought it deserved a swankier name. Anyway, according to it, this is a place of worship, a seminary and something akin to an orphanage and alms-house.”

“Is this your big-words day, Ptakh? Have you perchance swallowed a thesaurus?”

“I don’t think so, Boss. Weren’t they wiped out with the rest of the dinosaurs on one or our early visits?”

“No, Ptakh. A thesaurus is a book of words.”

“Is there another sort?”

“Haven’t you heard of picture-books?”

“True.”

“Anyway, tell me what else we know about this place.”

“It’s one of the places where they pray for all sorts of things.”

“Like?”

“Like world peace, healing for their sick, good harvests and sometimes parking places.”

“Are they still doing that?”

“Parking?”

“No, praying; idiot.”

“Oh yeah. It’s getting more popular too, by all accounts. Different factions use different names for their ‘gods’ and have different rules about how to pray and so on. They even fight wars between themselves because they can’t cope with groups believing different things from each other. And some go so far as to think it’s better to die than to believe the wrong thing. Other people, of course; no-one ever thinks it’s better for them to die themselves than to believe whatever it is they do.”

“Are you having a laugh at me, Ptakh?”

“No, Boss. It’s all in the enchiridion.”

“Okay, child. Find a clearing. This looks as good a place to start as any. Boy are they in for a shock when they realise who they’ve been praying to.”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 319 published on this site.

 

13 thoughts on “Arrival

        1. I never actually read the book, or any like it. However, I can give some of these concepts headspace alongside some of the many competing conventional faith systems – while not actually subscribing to any.

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