Day Eleven


“Hey, Mikey.”

“What’s going on? The alarm! What is it? Why are the lights off? Why is it so cold in here?”

“There’s a teeensie little problem in Engineering, Boss. With the reactor and the reactor is currently… off, but it’s not a big deal, except you might die if we don’t get it fixed within an hour.”

“What is the problem?”

“A little piece of the reactor is out of alignment thingy and-“

“Amy. Revert to default personality matrix.”

“Okie dokie. Reverting…”

“Echo, what is the fucking problem?”

“One of the magnetic coils generating the containment bubble was knocked out of alignment by .12 centimeters resulting in a field fluctuation that triggered a safety protocol to shut down the reactor and vent the contained plasma.”

“So we have no power until it’s fixed and the reactor is restarted. Assign a construct to fix the coil.”

“I tried that course of action before I sounded the alarm to wake you. The misaligned coil is in a section of the reactor room that a construct cannot access. This will require your intervention.”

“Always something. Okay, let me grab the tools and head back to Engineering.”

“Negative. That would be extremely unadvisable without an EXO suit. We are currently running on auxiliary power only. All non-essential ship functions have been shut down. Life support is set to minimal which means that life support functions are confined to the ship’s bridge module and stasis pods only.”

“Okay, let me get the EXO suit.”

“I would advise you hurry.”


“My estimates regarding the repair time, including your changing into the EXO suit and navigating back to the reactor module, is 43 minutes. Restarting the reactor will take 12 minutes. At the current rate of power usage, the batteries will be drained in 63 minutes.”

“Once I’m in the EXO Suit, shut down life support in the bridge section. That should buy us a bit more time.”

“113 seconds.”

“That’s it? What’s draining all of the power? No, the magnetic deflectors, right?”

“Correct. We are still traveling at .9 the speed of light. Any collisions from even the smallest debris particles would prove catastrophic.”

“Do the life support thing and dial back the deflectors another 5%. How much longer will that give us?”

“15 minutes, but I have already adjusted the defectors to the minimum safe level to redirect debris around the ship.”

“Drop the power further; I don’t care if the paint gets scratched so long as nothing punches a hole in us.”

“Calculating… There is a moderate risk, but I can reduce power levels another 3.2%.”

“That’ll have to do.”

Captain’s Log. Michael Torres. S.S. Neo Genesis.

I’m in an EXO suit preparing to transfer to the Colony Storage Unit 1 in an attempt to access the Engineering module so I can make a correction to the fusion reactor. I’ve got about twelve minutes before the power fails and we’re a giant rocket travelling at near light speed with nothing to deflect meteorites out of our way, so I’m keeping this entry brief.

Initializing airlock.

Jesus… well, that’s not creepy at all.

Caskets, cryotubes, I mean, lining the walls and stacked on top of each other ten high and nothing but the EXO suit’s light to see it by.

Yeah, this would be the part of the horror movie where the alien leaps out and tears me to pieces. Of course, there isn’t anyone here but me.

“Captain, may I remind you that time is short.”

Yeah, I know. I’m on my way.

Navigating through Colony Storage Unit 1. No vicious aliens in sight yet. Just a lot of human popsicles. Hey, it’s the Colony Governor. James R. Harris. Hi, Governor. You’ll be happy to know that your vitals are still normal for a human ice cube. Who else do we have here?

Chief Science Officer, Dr. Marsha Wells.  M.I.T.? Impressive.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Silas Green. Oh, doc… you’ve got high cholesterol, shame on you.

Quite a few farmers.

And… Secondary Space Pilot… That’s strange. No name or medical data. Are they still alive?

“Both reservists are alive.”

I don’t suppose you’d like to tell me more about my replacements, Echo?

“Information unavailable.”

Why is that?

“Mission critical personnel files are locked.”

Come on, I just read the names and medical statistics of the chief Colonial personnel.

“Mission critical personnel files are locked.”

It’s my clone, isn’t it?

“Human cloning is illegal under the Human Genome Accords of 2110. You now have fifteen minutes and 45 seconds to realign the magnetic coil and restart the fusion reactor.”

So I should drop it and get on with it?  Fine. But I’m going to bug you about it later.

“If you do not move with greater haste, there will not be a later.”

Yeah, yeah. I’m moving. Transferring to Colony Storage Unit 2.

So many people here and I can’t talk to any of them for another 30 years.

Echo, how far am I from engineering?

“The Engineering section is just past Colony Storage Unit 3.”

More creepy caskets. Great.

“Colony Storage Unit 3 contains all of the needed equipment, food, and supplies to establish a successful colony. There are no additional colonists in stasis.”

Anything I might find interesting?

“You have been provided all necessary and recreational materials for the duration of our voyage.”

You’re no fun at all, Echo.

“Would you like me to load the Amy profile again?”

No! God, no. I won’t touch anything. Scout’s honor. Just don’t bring Amy back online.

“Understood. Please, hurry.”

Yeah, yeah.

Okay, all of this stuff is so damn shiny, but it’s not that different from my own freighter’s engines. That would be the fusion reactor. Echo? Can you highlight for me the magnetic coil that is out of alignment?

“Displaying location on your EXO Suit’s HUD.”

All the way in the back, huh?

“Which is why a construct could not reach it. There was insufficient space behind the reactor core.”

Great design flaw. Let me guess, cost cutting measure?

“There are tools located in the lower locker nearest the door.”

Alright, let’s get this done, so I can go back to sleep.

You weren’t kidding about the tight fit.

“Can you reach the magnetic coil?”


“Good. First, start by using the-“

Relax. I’ve got this. I used to do repairs to the engines of my junker all the time.

“This is not a junker. This is a highly advanced starship.”

You’ve seen one fusion reactor, you’ve seen them all, Echo.

“Captain… striking the magnetic coil with a hammer is inadvisable.”

Relax. A couple of taps should do it.

“Captain, I must insist you stop. You are going to damage-“

There. Run a diagnostic on it now.

“The magnetic coil is back in alignment. But your methodology was not within recommended protocols. I must report this to your superiors.”

Echo, I kept a one hundred and twenty-seven year-old freighter running for twenty years without incident. I think your bosses know what skills I bring to the mission. But you do what you have to do. What are they going to do, fire me?

“There are two additional pilots on board.”

Is that a threat, Echo?

“A reminder. You are important, but you are still expendable.”

Wow. I didn’t know you had it in you, Echo. Restart the reactor and bring life support and the magnetic deflectors back up to normal.

“Acknowledged. What are you going to do, Captain?”

I’m going back to bed.


Big Whoop Book: Chapter Four

A few more questions from the mail bag:

Who created Big Whoop?

Now that is a very good question. The answer is “it’s none of your business, seriously, you don’t see Big Whoop diving into your family tree, now do you? We’re not nearly close enough to discuss the familial relations yet, so bugger off.”


Why did Big Whoop create in the first place?

Do you have any idea how dull eternity is? No? Imagine your life as it is continuing on forever. You get up, eat breakfast, drive to work, listen to inane chatter from your coworkers, eat lunch, work some more, drive home, curse at other monkeys in their cars, eat dinner, watch TV, drink wine, and pass out on the couch every day forever.

So if you found a little world with its very own chemistry set, you would probably decide to play around with it too.


Has Big Whoop ever appeared on Earth?

Yes. As a Mr. Tim Haverdashery of Cork County, Ireland. He spent a few decades herding sheep.


Herding sheep?

See the aforementioned problem of boredom with eternity.


Do you have any advice on how not to be an asshole at work?

Oh, yes. Let’s see.

  • If you drink the last of the coffee, make some more. Seriously, it take like two minutes. Stop being an asshole, Helen.
  • If you leave two drops of coffee in the coffee pot, just so you don’t have to make more, and yes, we all know it’s you, Dwayne, you’re an asshole. Just make another pot.
  • If something in the refrigerator does not belong to you, leave it the fuck alone.
  • Unless it’s been sitting there for six months and appears to have evolved into a new form of life. Then you should try to communicate with it. If it responds, leave it be. If it does not respond, throw it out. I mean, seriously, who leaves their food in the fridge for that long anyway?
  • Refill the paper in the copier if you use the last of it.
  • Do not reheat fish in the microwave. Seriously, you will go to Big Whoop’s Timeout Corner for Naughty Monkeys for a very long time if you do this.
  • Do not burn popcorn in the microwave.
  • Don’t be a gossip.
  • Don’t talk so loudly that people on the next floor up can hear you.
  • Do not come into work hacking and sneezing and dripping your disgusting mucus everywhere. Take a sick day.
  • Do not force your salaried employees to work overtime unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Pay your employees a living wage.
  • Give your employees the best benefits you can afford.
  • Don’t discriminate against someone based on their skin color, ethnicity, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, or any other thing that does not impact how well they can perform their job.
  • Keep your personal space clean, keep your communal spaces clean, keep your environment clean.
  • Don’t be evil.




An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 16: The Bee

God made everything. God made humans from a drop of fluid… Yeah, I’m thinking it too.

God made livestock for us so we could travel and eat. Surely this is proof of God.

Okay, I see there are still some doubters, so surely the stars and sun and moon are proof of God…?

Look at the plants and how you can eat some of them, that’s God right?

Well, what about all of the colors then? That’s gotta be God, right?

Also, the proof of God is in rivers, landmarks and roads…

Back to how unbelievers will one day stand before God and plead their case, but the angels will lead them off to the gates of Hell where they will dwell “Forever”.

And good Muslims get to go to a nice garden with plenty of water.

God picks out who repents and who doesn’t. But somehow he needs messengers to go out and convert people.

Some people say God won’t resurrect the dead, but Mohammed says, “Yes, he will!”

“45. Do those who scheme evils feel secure that God will not cause the earth to cave in with them, or that the punishment will not come upon them from where they do not perceive? Or that He will not seize them during their activities? And they will not be able to prevent it. Or that He will not seize them while in dread? Your Lord is Gentle and Merciful.”

God’s got a lot of work to be done. There is a lot of evil men who pillage and exploit the poor and oppress the innocent and pervert justice and they are rolling in the money. So, uh, why isn’t he doing something about that?

I guess Mohammed’s not answering that because then he goes into another round of God does everything, so if your life is good, it’s because of God. If your life sucks, it’s because of God. And if we’re not grateful for it, we’ll know soon.

Ah, there we go… well, if God punished people for all of their evil now, he’d have to kill us all. But he’ll do it eventually. Trust me. One day… not when you or I are here, but one day, God will do it finally.

“And they attribute to God what they themselves dislike, while their tongues utter the lie that theirs is the goodness.”

Congratulations. You’ve just described every religion ever.

Seriously, guys, rain proves God exists. Also milk. And fruit. Oh, and honey from bees! Surprisingly, Mohammed does recognize that honey has some antibiotic qualities. People used to use it on wounds to help prevent infection.

God gave you your money, so you know, you don’t have to share it with your slaves because it’s God’s blessing.

God literally gave you wives and offspring.

God is partial to the whole, the smart, and the wealthy. And I’m really surprised Republicans don’t like Islam.

Then Mohammed launches into another Judgment Day fantasy where he enjoys describing the plight of the unbelievers.

God commands justice, and goodness, and generosity towards relatives. And He forbids immorality, and injustice, and oppression.

Just towards relatives?

More stuff about how unbelievers are horrible and misled by Satan and not because Mohammed hasn’t really offered us a lick of actual evidence.

But there was this one town that was doing really well, but they weren’t saying thanks enough to God for it, so God destroyed them.

“Those who invent lies and attribute them to God will not succeed.”

History says otherwise.

Let’s see, what else. Oh, Jews suck. Abraham was the first Muslim. You can retaliate but only up to the level of harm done to you, but you know, maybe you should just be patient and wait for God to smite them.

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 15: The Rock

Mohammed continues to have issues with skeptics. People ask for proof of the supernatural and Mohammed says, “Yeah, I can’t do that, but you’ll see one day and even if I could call down angels and make you all float up to heaven, you wouldn’t believe anyway.”

“Also, we never murdered and set fire to any town that didn’t deserve it.”

If you want proof of Islam, look at the stars and constellations. Or read an astronomy book and find out how the stars really got there.

Oh, and also proof of God, you guys haven’t had any demons attack, have you?

God spread out the Earth and tacked it down with some stakes to keep it from rolling up.

And look at the job creation numbers! God is a great president, isn’t he?

And God brings fertilizing winds… which… okay… I assume this is a regional thing or it refers to rain, because winds don’t fertilize plants.

God made us, even though it looks like we’re the product of billions of years of evolution, God made us directly from mud.

God also makes genies out of fire.

Mohammed repeats himself about Satan being all pissed off that God wanted him to bow before mankind.

“Bow down before Adam,” said God.

“No,” said Satan.

“Why not, Satan?”

“Okay, first, Satan isn’t a name I should have yet. Satan means adversary. At this point, we’re still on the same side, but seriously, you made this thing out of mud.”

“Then you are outcast.”

“Could you put it off for a while, until the judgment day?”

“Sure, I guess so.”

“Oh, and since I’m called Satan even though it didn’t make any sense, are you cool if I stick around here on the Earth leading a lot of these precious mud men creations off to damnation?”

“Yeah, that sounds right. You do that,” said the Lord. “I’m the good guy in this story.”

Hey, have you guys heard the story about Abraham and the angelic visitors and Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah? You have? Well, too bad, I’m going to tell it anyway and make it even more boring than the last time I told it.

And see? That’s just like the people we tried to convert in the woods and killed and the people in Mecca… who we also killed and took over their city…

You guys just keep on preaching the message and God (or us) will take care of the unbelievers.

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 14: Abraham

So Mohammed once again says that God leads people to hell or heaven, it’s His choice, really.

Remember Moses, guys? Yeah, we’re talking about Moses again.

“Hey, guys, remember how God delivered you from the slavery he lead you into? You should be more grateful for that.”

Remember Noah? Aad? Thamood? Yes, we’re talking about them again too.

“Hey, guys worship our God.”

“Uh… can you give us proof that your God exists?”

“No. No, I mean, we totally could, but only if God wanted to.”

They everyone starts a religious war and the Muslims win because of superior tactics, better leadership, greater numbers, ha ha, just kidding… they win the Trial by Combat because God.

In Hell, they not only serve boiling hot water to drink, but putrid water too. Death comes at him from every direction, but he will not die. I think Mohammed took my advice. Eternal dysentery! Always sick and pooping, but never dying or getting better. Now, that’s a hell.

IF God wanted to, he could get rid of us and start a new creation. How do we know he didn’t? The world could have started today and all of my memories of the past might be faked.

Anyway, Mo, goes on for a while talking about how the unbelievers will really regret their unbelief on the day of judgment when God shows them how Mo was right all along.

Abraham shows up now and prays to God:

Let the land be peaceful and keep my family from idols. (That didn’t work out. See Jacob and Rachel.)

“I’ve sent some of my kids off in a desert so they can pray to you. Be a good fellow and make sure they get some food. Because I really did not think this one through…”

“Thanks for giving me Ishmael and Isaac. I tried to kill both of them… heh… good memories….”

Seriously, all of you jerks will regret making fun of Mohammed and not listening to me. God’s going to make you pay and then you’ll understand and beg me to help you and I’ll say, “No! You were a jerk, Kyle. Go off to hell and drink your putrid water and crap your pants for all eternity in the fire.”


The Big Whoop Book: Chapter 3

Before we begin, I sincerely apologize for missing our weekly talk last week. It would seem that in my transition to the mortal plane, I became susceptible to your mortal diseases like a common monkey and found myself suffering from a zombie virus that turned my eyes red and left me with a craving for human brains.

So, to make it up to you and especially the three of you who are now getting by on only 61% of your lovely delicious brains, I’ve talked it over with Big Whoop and he agreed that we should talk about the subject of sex this week.

I don’t feel the need to explain sex to you, since there are seven billion of you little monkeys running around down there, and ten times as many pornographic movies on your internet. You seem to have figured out the mechanics of sex quite well enough on your own.

But we will talk about what Big Whoop thinks of sex. For those of you coming from other religions, it will come as a pleasant surprise to you that Big Whoop is very sex positive. After all, he did invent sex.

Well… not really. He invented asexual reproduction. It was you little meat machines who evolved a bit and said, “Well, fuck that shit” and got right to boning like horny bunnies. But Big Whoop was very impressed by your enthusiasm for it and heartily approves of you animals bumping your naughty bits together in very creative ways.

Now, Big Whoop’s one guideline for sex is “Don’t be an asshole.”

Other than that, you go be straight, gay, bi, bi-curious, lesbian, asexual, trans-men, trans-women, trans-men into trans-women, trans-women into trans-women, straight men into three ways with women and transmen… whatever your little horny heart’s desire.

Big Whoop does not give a fuck who you fuck or where you fuck, even in the asshole, provided, of course, that you are not an asshole.

“But how do you know if you’re being an asshole?” you ask.

Are you hurting anyone with your ribald acts of carnality?

No? Then you’re not being an asshole.

What if they want you to hurt them?

Big Whoop is cool with that. You should see his browser history. Just make sure you communicate with your partner or partners openly and honestly first. And respect the boundaries that are set. This is sex. Everyone should be having a good time.

For the male monkeys, no one wants to see your genitals. They are not that impressive. If they were, they would already be in actual film, and not the sort of film you make with your smart phone. Frankly, your dangly bits are just weird. It’s like an elephant with saggy jowls is growing out of your pelvis. In fact, it’s making me vomit a little in my mouth just now. So stop taking and sending unwanted pictures of your genitals to other people. It’s not polite and you’re being an asshole if you do.

While we’re on the subject, keep your arms and hands inside the vehicle at all times. That is, don’t grab someone or touch someone unless you have permission to touch or grab them. You should have learned this in kindergarten.

It doesn’t matter what they are wearing. Why would you even ask that? Yes, he’s wearing a mankini. Perhaps he’s very proud of that beer belly and feels sexy showing it off to the world. It does not give you the right to grab ass without permission. So stop it.

It does not matter if you are ‘only joking.’ As an example, here is a very funny joke. Did you hear the one about the man who grabbed a woman’s genitals without her permission? She punched him in his testicles and he folded like someone looking at a two and a seven in poker.

It does not matter if they have previously shown off their bodies in a movie, television, magazine, or internet spread. Doing so doesn’t remove their ability to decide who gets to hump their leg like a naughty dog and who does not.

But, what if I think they’re okay with touching, but then find out that they’re not…

Then say you’re sorry and stop touching them. Don’t be a wanker. No, wait… to clarify, you can wank all you want, just don’t be an asshole.

What if they’re really hot, but they can’t tell me they don’t want to be touched?

Big Whoop is very big on the idea of consent, so don’t be an asshole and take sexual advantage of a drunk or incapacitated person. Get them home safely and leave. If you’re a standup sort of bloke, hold her hair while she vomits, tuck her into bed, go home or sleep on her couch, and get her a Sausage McMuffin and Coffee the following day. Hungover people appreciate that shit.

If you think someone is attractive and would like a date, ask them. If they say no, back off for a while. You may ask again later, maybe they really are busy that night, but if they say no a second time, stop bothering them.

If you are attracted to someone at work, read the situation. If you care about your job, Big Whoop suggests you follow your company’s rules about fraternization. If they say it’s okay to date, then ask the object of your affection on a date. If they say no, then respect their wishes. You get one… perhaps two tries, then you need to bugger off.

Do not use someone as an object for your own satisfaction.

Do not lie to someone in an attempt to get consent, do not lie to a partner, do not lie by omission to a partner about your fidelity. Big Whoop values honesty.

Consent should be clear and enthusiastic. Using coercion, power, or guilt to get laid is for assholes. Stop that shit.

Now, I think that should be a helpful guide to not being an asshole while running about humping every willing thing you meet like you humans do. And remember, as you’re grunting and moaning and sweating and making that weird face you monkeys make when you ejaculate… Big Whoop is watching… without pants.

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surah 13: Thunder

Okay, if you’re looking for proof of God’s existence, God raised up the sky with pillars you can’t see.

That’s not how Astronomy works-

Just go with it, he’s on a roll…

God spread out the Earth (sure, if he used billions of years of plate tectonics and natural geological activity…)

There’s all sorts of different fruits and vegetables that you can eat everywhere. (Billions of years of natural selection and tens of thousands of years of human agricultural development.)

It’s somehow a sign of evil to wonder if you’re really going to continue to exist after your body turns to worm food. We’re off to the fire to burn up or burn away our sins or burn forever.

People who doubt like that encourage good Muslims to do evil. (But I don’t. I’m perfectly content to let others practice their religion and believe whatever they want to believe so long as they don’t try to impose their beliefs and values on me and I welcome good conversation and friendship from anyone, even if I personally think your religious ideas are not true.)

People who don’t believe are always asking why God just doesn’t do something tangible and unquestionably supernatural to show us that He exists.

He doesn’t really answer the question. He just says God doesn’t work that way.

God doesn’t change the condition of a people until they change themselves, so how do you know it’s God and not just the hard work and industriousness of the people making their lives better?

God destroys anyone he wants to destroy. It’s arbitrary and you can’t understand it. Sometimes he does it with lightning and the thunder.

You know that Good People get nice gardens, right? And bad people go to the Bad Place?

Mohammed has this image of the sovereignty of God where he is responsible for all of the good and the evil in the world and responsible for all of the belief and disbelief in the world. So, much like Calvin’s sovereign God, God is deliberately creating sentient life capable of feeling and understanding pain and causing them pain and suffering in this life and possibly in the afterlife when he could be kind and show goodness to everyone and cause everyone to believe and enjoy good things forever.

And he is the hero of the book.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.