The Omasters - Dispatches from the Front
REVELATION OF THE MYSTERIOUS TAPE TRANSCRIPTS OF PHILIP TAOD, Agent for Sufi Central.
REPORT TO RING-LEADER:
Intercept:(homopphone: "Fu year") —transformation. (Chief, in this report please allow me some parenthetical expressions. I am not (repeat, not) going to count them even--well parentheses, by convention, are even in number. This er, well accords with their use, as with brackets, although parentheses are not in the same bracket, by any means, as brackets. Within the same means, er, extremes, yes. The semantic kurtosis, also may be homologous.) ...reporting, AGENT (ACTOR, AGONIST, PRIEST/KING, PERFORMER, PLAYER)
C -H-I-C-O - C -A-R-B-O-N-E-R- I
Address: B. O.
(Chief, what could this all mean? "B.O."flashes me on Trick Dacy plenty.
please type your terminal identifier: 1001011-75-6
please log in: TROVATO, 432
proj. code: SWIFT
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21-Jun-99 BRUNO Page # 1
The title of the activity is: Worlds Beyond (information net): file 10001001
The participants in the activity are:
TROVATO MINELLA MCGAFF VON SCHLUESSEL
Codes A, B, X
TROVATO is present
(1) TROVATO (org) 21-jun-79
We have an emergency here. This is Ben Trovato sending from aboard the Adamantinus, a space scout attached to the colony Ergonaut. The ship has been carrying out a mission of exploration in the Northern Coal Sack Nebula, and I was assigned to it by my employer, Galanet, the public information activity of the information network we are now using.
(2) BRUNO (org)
The user is reminded that public discussions of the economic basis / of the network are discouraged on page 12 of the BRUNO user guide.
Never mind about that. My dispatches from the Adamantinus have had a wide circulation and my account of our visit to the plant planet Persephone won the Graves award for intergalactic mythopoetry. Now however I have a different sort of situation to report: a mystery that leads, I fear, to a disaster.
The Adamantinus is a small Class 6 scout ship. Its crew consists of a captain, Rebus Jetsun Orfandular, an apprentice space-driver, Peter (Primo) Primus, and a communications officer/ship's cook, Connie Chang. A rowdier crew has not been assembled since the voyage of the Walloping Window Blind, whose gunner, scholars will recall, neglected his duties to play hopscotch with the captain's watch. Chang, who used to be an ex-ballet dancer, has somehow managed to become pregnant, although she insists that none of the men aboard has been her collaborator. It is difficult to evaluate this information since the Lambda Squared space clock supplied by Fifth Crossing Mfg. has blown its relativity circuits and we are consequently temporally uncalibrated. My own rough hand calculations show that our mission has lasted for approximately 2360 earth years and Chang only yesterday got the results of the rabbit test.
Primo is a Fool, a Space Cadet in every sense of the word, who spends his duty hours working out endless permutations on the theme, red jack on a black queen. There is no danger to the ship because its course is automatic and the presence of a pilot is vestigial practice sanctified by contract with the Labor Trust. We have not seen the captain since separation from the Ergonaut. At first I took him for a recluse and respected his need for privacy. Lately, however, Chang has noticed that his graph on the energy chart has stabilized at zero slope; he is apparently neither eating nor excreting. Chang has tried a dozen different cusines, including pseudo-Mexican, to tempt his palate, without success. We imagined at first that he had died, but his instructions continue to appear daily on the Tryptoport; a search of the ship has turned up no trace of him. The captain has vanished.
All of us agree that this is a very odd circumstance. I have been a space traveler all my life and as a correspondent have seen many strange civilizations whose energy flowed in diverse patterns yet none who shift out of the sensory field totally. I am quite sure there is nothing like it. Therefore we are either onto something new, or the captain is still aboard the ship, dead or incapacitated or in hiding, or he never boarded in the first place. That is Primo's thesis, and I must say I find it attractive.
In any case, this is a hot one and definitely a galaxy-class story. There is no sense confining it to Superlit; I suggest we go galaxy-wide, with an exclusive for Spacewarp Inc. We can use this conference as the file. In the meantime, Chang requests information on pregnancy diets and exercises, and instruction in the Bradley method of natural childbirth. I would also appreciate it if someone would relay this entry to the Ergonaut. Neither Chang nor I can work the modem and Primo refuses to on grounds that Orfandular is the only person authorized to do so and there is no evidence that the captain is any less present now than he has been for the early part of the) voyage, therefore Primo risks demerits if he usurps the captain's function. Cover your ass, that's what they teach in the academy today. Tell the Ergotnaut that Primo needs some help.
(4) MINELLA (org)
Hi Ben, this is Sal. We have alerted the Ergonaut and they said they'd get right on it although they are a little shorthanded right now, it being a holiday. We like your story tho its not ready to be cronkited, not yet anyway. You've been away a a couple of thousand years, and people forget. We are annotating the history discs. Also von Schluessel is interested because we considered this situation and he gave it a probability of 1.
Perhaps I haven't made myself clear: I said Orfandular has disappeared, does not appear on the energy flow charts, as he once did, yet he keeps sending messages, contrary to all second-law principles.
What sort of messages?
Maxims from Blake. I Ching hexagrams. Tarot layouts. Transformations from Laws of Form.
Kurt von Meier