probability of continuation


the mind wanders
there is a lot of blood
even here between the stars
they bleed too
though it looks different
smells different
tastes different

I move from cabin to cabin
(thank dog for the lock law)
I stay as long as the air lasts
I eat whatever I find
I am kept warm
orbiting the collapsed core of the eumilon zhang
maybe fifty cabins to go

so far no one found alive
that would at the same time be good
and bad
fear has given way to loneliness
loneliness has given way to numbness
I am a survival machine
resourceful they called me in flight basic

straight water is hard to find
plenty of unspoiled meat
(better cooked)
preserved by neutrons and zero g
by luck this deck included a shielded navcom node
where I keep what I cannot eat or drink
shielded from zhangs core radiation
frozen hard
dog I would kill for some water
no satisfaction licking ice crystals
from frozen limbs


I wish I could see you again
I wish I could tell you a bit more about me
I wish I could hold you
I wish I could talk to you again
I dream about you
I can smell you
I can hear you indistinct voices
I sit next to you on the beach at lanton
soaking up the rays

how you managed to love me I’ll never know
I broke everything I touched
you never hid anything
as though it was more preciously
broken by me
than whole without
what magical touch you had
to channel my maniacal madness
into vectors and angles
thrust and braking
rotational dynamics

as the secret weapon
lanston undercut the competition
with the routes I dreamed in my sleep
had it not been for the war
and special dispensation for the lack of credentials
I would have blissfully spent my days
on the galantine run
trimming off days

when the fleet mathematicians
realized that lantons posted plans
never matched the route taken
that no commercial navcom would dare go where I dreamed
they hid me in the galley floors while the ship was searched
watching freight jettisoned until the losses were unbearable
he handed me over himself
weeping over me
over the bottom line
half his crew suited up
jetting about
recovering the most valuable cargo
before it drifted into the nearest star


what maniacal joy
in the simulators
bone-cracking anticipation each cycle
sleepless so long they drugged me
until the I finally relaxed into routine
they taught me fueling/not fouling intuition
soon only the navcom cluster minds
of entire battle centers
could outwit me
and a bit later not even then

Gordon was the first
who could really hurt me
surely he taunted you did not think
that you were the only one
no amount of physical finesse could evade his attacks
for weeks I
lay in pain
walked in pain
studied in pain
fought in pain
the simulation engines faithfully reproduced
every acceleration
every bone crushing turn
electro-chemical stimulants simulated
the nausea of dimensional shift
the acrid burn of overloaded core
each needling distraction faithfully reproduced
in exquisite detail
to derail concentration
and destroy the irresolute

doctor lio came to me
after a grueling smash
look he said
I do not operate alone
and showed me his implants
they are very unpleasant at first
he explained in that
somber voice I late learned
was drained by so much death
but they let me see around corners
anticipate the unknowable
choose the best of uncountable options
they are very unpleasant later on
when it seems you must loose yourself to them
and become their meat puppet
but he explained
those with sufficient will can master them
can master the navcom cluster
he sighed seeing my hungry eyes

now in a fine pitch
pain not diminished
instead amplified
and redirected into
four/five/six dimensions
of exquisite misery
I saw behind the action
before multitudes of end games
modeled outcomes
navcom clusters could project but not choose
meat mind is the best to choose
doctor lio explained

Gordon was not the last to hurt me
he was not nearly the best
in fact there was no single best
some saw gravity best
some saw dimensional shift best
some saw the mind of the enemy best

we worked alone
we worked in teams
we worked in pairs
we fought for mastery of ourselves
and our machines
fierce collective minds
determined by threat
committed by common cause
impassioned to win

[probability of continuation :: .66327 +/- .003]

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