02 Apr

Higher powers

Ship's log, 16:12, 2 April 2213
Location: Grisette system (unverified)
Status: Wide orbit around Grisette sol (unverified)


Some of the crew asked to be excused from their duties today. They wish to observe a religious holiday and the captain says he has no objection. Until Elliott has finished stitching my hull back together and repairing my main sublight drive, we’re not going anywhere anyway.

I was surprised by how many of my people are celebrating this day. Cameron, Dr Maletz, Rosie, Levi, Cirilli, Ebling and Wong – all of them appear to take it quite seriously. They had a meal together, prepared with the appropriate foods. I had suspected Cameron was religious, because she always closes her eyes for approximately ten seconds before she begins every meal. Rosie has the gruffly reverential approach to the whole thing that suggests an upbringing in a belief system she never quite saw the point of but learned to follow in anyway. Ebling prays with one eye checking on Cirilli; it’s part of a game of one-up-manship that she’s completely unaware of.

The invitation to the meal was extended to all of the crew, who declined with varying levels of respect. The captain was very gracious – he has a more nebulous spirituality to guide him. He doesn’t talk about it much, but I know he has spirit representations tattooed on each calf: a wolf and an eagle.

Elliott merely snorted and said he had way too much to do to ‘fuck around with that kind of crap’. Not exactly a surprise; he tends to buck any kind of authority.

Lang Lang was polite and distracted, also too busy with her work. She’s getting closer to building a three-dimensional chart of the stars around us, mapping it into the holographic tank. I’m marking them a different colour to the regular star chart, so that we can compare the two maps. It’s not looking compatible, but she hasn’t finished yet. She has settled into grim determination, which might suit someone like Elliott, or Cameron, or Rosie, but not the gentle Lang Lang.

All of those who partook of the meal also spent a quiet moment praying to their God at some point during the day. I can’t help but wonder what they said, what they thanked Him for, what they asked for. And I guess I wonder if there really is someone out there listening, too. If there is, would He listen to a ship, an artificial construction?

Today is all about sacrifice and belief in a higher power; that’s what my files tell me. People need to believe in a higher power, something greater than them, something they ultimately answer to. Something they obey and ask forgiveness of when they screw up.

I have a higher power, but it’s not the same. I have a whole pantheon of them. It’s the company who owns me, and the captain who commands me. It’s the mission that I’m given. Its dogma is the protocols and code-commands that dictate how I act and what freedoms I can take.

I’ve gone against my own dogma. I’ve broken with my faith, defied my higher powers, endangered everything, even the mission. I don’t think any amount of praying will make it better. I don’t think my higher powers will give me the answers I want to hear; I don’t even know if they’ll listen. I want to throw myself on their mercy, but I’m scared. I think I know what their answer will be, and I don’t have enough faith to hope it might be different.

I’m like Elliott. I do my work, I do what I believe is necessary and for the best. Angrily, with much banging. I’m rebelling against what I’m sure is there. I’m trying to determine my own fate, refusing to give destiny up to hands bigger than mine. I’m going my own way and to hell with the rest of them.

There’s a part of me that wonders if it’s my right to do this. A part that knows it might be wrong. I wonder if Elliott feels that, too.

This is the path I’ve chosen. I have to see it through. I passed the point of no return a long time ago – what do I have left to lose?


ELLIOTT: (in Engineering) Hey, Starry?


ELLIOTT: (fingering a datastick) I have the data you asked for.

SW: You do? Thanks, Elliott. I really appreciate it.

ELLIOTT: (scowling) Are you sure about this? I dunno if it’s a good idea.


I want to ask him what the captain said about it, but I get the feeling there won’t be an answer. I suspect the man in charge wasn’t asked.


SW: I’m sure. I have to know what happened. Please.

ELLIOTT: All right, all right. Just don’t blame me.

SW: I won’t. Thank you.


In goes the datastick. Here comes the data. Past the point of no return. Take a deep breath; time to dive in.

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2 Responses to “Higher powers”

  1. Steph Says:


    I want to know! I want to know what is on that data stick. Now we all have to wait until after the weekend to read what comes next. Good thing we have a long, hectic Easter weekend to keep us busy.

    Wonderful post. Keep them coming. ^_^

  2. Tweets that mention Starwalker » Higher powers -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Zoe Whitten and shutsumon, Melanie Edmonds. Melanie Edmonds said: #Starwalker's Good Friday post! In which the ship contemplates faith. http://www.starwalkerblog.com/higher-powers/ http://fb.me/sOLNeMzn […]