Pascal Derrien

3 years ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Nothing But A Name

Nothing But A Name

Seano has lived on Hokra457 all his life. Seano is the only human mechanic in the Raku Galaxy. He has been told to call it a day more than once, that he was a relic, that his whole business was more a curiosity than just an anomaly.

Why does he keep repairing flying objects with his two loyal droids when the industry has been serviced and fully automated by bots for more than 300 hundred years now. 

Seano was born on Hokra457. His parents Hakym and Rosa came to Hokra457 to start a new life and a new adventure. But Rosa grew tired of Hokra457 relatively quickly. Who would blame her when you live at the confluent of regular galactic storms and other daily adverse cosmic weather conditions.

Its clear than while the installations and set up were second to none in terms of comfort and amenities, life itself beyond the human shelter was one of the most inhospitable you could come across in a radius of 3 million light years. 

Needless to say and almost without any surprise it took its toll on Seano's parents relationship. His birth gave a temporary relief to their compromised marriage but it ultimately did not survive tensions, insularity and chronic isolation. After successive crisis one more severe than the previous one, it culminated in Rosa packing up her belongings and leaving Hokra457 on a bright Tuesday morning. 

Hakym tried to salvage the situation and begged her to stay for the sake of their son. Did she not have any respect for all they had built together on this tiny asteroid. To what Rosa's final words were. ''You are delusional my dear Hakym, I loved you once but there is nothing here for me to stay, there's never been, never was , never will. This place is nothing absolutely nothing but a name''

And Rosa left Hakym and Seano behind her to never return. Life went on, Senao grew up, he got fond of all things mechanical and his dad ended up teaching him the delicate science of mechanics. Then one day Seano took over from Hakym when he felt he had become too old to keep on keeping on. Soon after that decision Seano took over and few weeks later Hakym announced he wanted to finish his old days on Rakra where he was born.  

Three months later Hakym hopped on a Galactic hack direction Rakra. Seano was left alone with his two Mechanic Bots Reed and Moore and a myriad of assistant droids. The routine seized life and the rhythm of life was only broken by ships coming for repair or service. 

By and large Seano's existence would have been pretty bare if it was not for the fortnightly  advent of vessels. Twice a month on average a fully automated 70 000 tons of metal  transport would come to Hokra457, now past the initial excitement its fair to say that automatons were rarely inclined in engaging into a conversation with a human.

Since he was small Seano had always made a point in being present on the deck when a new transport came to the arrival deck on Hokra457. He did not need to be there, first because Reed and Moore could manage all by themselves but also because Galactic winds were fierce in this part of the galaxy making a simple platform walk an hazardous enterprise. 

But there was not stopping Seano and Hakym had come up with a purpose built platform hook and wire for him. He used it as soon as he was in age to walk with a space suit. And to this day the same hook (and maybe a few new wires in the interval) have observed the same sequent of events when a new ship comes to the tiny asteroid.

Today is no exception, a big cargo from Generator Inc is coming for a service and repair after having been damaged not too far from Hokra457.As it is the norm nowadays there is no human crew or any form of animal intelligence on board. 

The danger with routine is that sometimes you lower your guard. Fully convinced that his hook and wire were fully engaged in a security position Seano's started giving various instructions to the Ship bots and Reed on the arrival deck.

Oblivious to any safety check, Seano's mind tricked him in thinking that he could safely move forward on the platform.  Just as he thought about checking his hook, a combination of high micro turbulences, tail winds and gravitational deficiency aspired Seano towards the exit of the repair station. 

First he crashed his space suit against the cargo at a high speed resulting in having his outward communication devices being automatically deactivated because of the shock. Second Reed and Moore were so deeply engaged in the harbouring protocol that they did not realize Seano had been projected out of the repair base.

Not panicking at first, Seano was confident enough that Reed or Moore or even one of the domestic bots would activate the man overboard plan.  After a couple of hours Seano is  realizing that he has drifted dangerously away and fast on top of that. 

He frantically tries to send a few mayday messages in a hope that one would be picked up on the alternative radio waves. The thing is that nobody is ever checking the radio waves any longer nowadays.

All space suits are equipped with a device which when activated in a crash situation or danger  takes over any decision making aspect leading to a potential rescue in the interest of the survival of the individual

Soon the device will put Seano asleep in order to save energy, limit human stress and provide a respite to his body temperature. It has been proven time and time again that humans cannot be trusted in doing the right thing in the interest of their own survival so similar equipment and processes has been installed on all space travel related apparel. They became mandatory almost 500 years ago.

Shortly Seano will be induced in a sleep in his flying outfit, he will then have the opportunity to have three cycles of three months sleep and will be woken up for two days at the time in order to check the viability of his vital organs. 

Minimum feeds are embedded in the space scaphanders so that a human will only be woken up if a rescue ship or in the event of imminent danger requiring a human intervention.

Sweating profusely Seano knows he will be put asleep very soon, breathing heavily he also knows and has noticed that he is drifting very far from any normal routes of an already very rarely travelled area. He is not looking forward to the third cycle of hibernation because he does not accept it will probably be the last.

Seano understands that after nearly a year of cosmic errand the protocol will run out of options and will shut down the survival process. This means basically putting him to sleep for good.

Seano tries his best to convince himself that he has not entered the first cycle so there is no need to panic yet. Despite being an optimistic by nature his mind is already telling him that after the third cycle he will most likely not be alive and that soon after that his body will leave place to an empty space suit with nothing, well almost nothing but a name on it.

Produced for beBee

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Written material copyright 2018 -Pascal Derrien-

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Ken Boddie

3 years ago #19

#21 Good luck with your trip to the patents office, Pascal. I tried to patent a folding bottle once, but the 'fottle' didn't go down too well. Then I had a go at patenting a folding cart, but I guess the 'fart' just seemed to disappear into thin air. But, last night I suddenly got a great idea for a folding bucket. Any ideas what I should call it? 😂🤣😂

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #18

ah ah that's a good one Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador LOL :-) Oops got a bit carried away...again :-)

You better get a patent for your imagination, Pascal Derrien! Amazing writing. Bravo!

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #16

AH you are very kind Jennifer Leach-Trask its a bit different alright :-)

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #15

many thanks Yogesh Sukal I get a bit wild every now and again :-)

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #14

thanks Claire indeed they are pretty good an album out at the end of month I believe ☝️

Claire L Cardwell

3 years ago #13

Wow Pascal Derrien - what a great piece of writing - am busy listening to The Blue Stones - Black Holes excellent!

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #12

thanks Jerry I do regular incursions in that territory now it's not every body's cup of tea I must admit but hey I think is fun 😉

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #11

Pascal, First time I've seen your fiction. Zowie!

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #10

thanks 🙏Bill I think the whole thing is real well is it ? I have never watched Dr Who so I am not sure who is T Baker but got to check that one out 😉

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #9

thanks Doc got busy of late but my mind wandered a bit as often 🤔

Ian Weinberg

3 years ago #8

The return of Pascal Derrien with a vengeance! A gripping narrative, out of this world.

Ken Boddie

3 years ago #7

You elevate me beyond my humble digital birth status, Pascal, even though there are not too many Kinematic Engineered Neurobots (KENs) here on planet beBee.

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #6

I quite like the metaphor but this is almost beyond my droid grade I guess you are a bot supervisor Ken if that's your factory name :-)

Ken Boddie

3 years ago #5

A familiar story here on planet beBee also, Pascal. We have so many who slip off the “purpose built platform”, go to sleep for three months, briefly wake up to “check the viability of their organs” then, after a year, drift off into oblivion. I guess we droid bees need to ensure that our posts have strong enough hooks to keep our viewers and relevants hanging around the platform. 🙁

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #4

ah many thanks Debasish Majumder I sometimes get carried away like the character in the story I guess :-)

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #3

unique buzz Pascal Derrien! what a grand imagination! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #2

ah you are a gent Neil doing my best you set the bar very high though 😉

Neil Smith

3 years ago #1

I started reading this without realising it was one of yours Pascal, after the first paragraph though I went back to check the header as it really seemed like your style. I love it. Nuff said.

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