Visions of Hyperion

True story: last night I had QUANTUM in Scrabble but couldn’t find anywhere to put it, so I rearranged it (changing the blank from an M to an A) to make AQUANAUT. I wasn’t sure if that was an actual word or a 70s cartoon super-hero, but it was in the dictionary.

Coincidence? I think so!

I really hate doing visions, so even though my name is on the roster I jump sideways into one of my alternate selves a couple of times. I know that this won’t work but I’m doing it anyway to tease Barry, who turned up just now to give me the day’s assignment. Today Barry is a brightly coloured ceramic tiki mug with thick blue vapour pouring over his rim. “Cut it out,” he snaps, and dropkicks the lazy alternate self into me even though my name wasn’t on the roster. I’m not sure whether to get annoyed at myself or at Barry.

The usual rectangle of deep red velvet curtains appears, cutting off the beautiful view of the Rings and Titan. It’s not just the driving and the mess I hate, it’s the paperwork. I’m holding a handful of forms printed on pink and purple stationery which has a border of unicorns and dolphins in glitter ink. Blah. I glance at the first form.

OFFICE USE ONLY

1 Stated reason given to subject for refusal to disclose Ultimate Truths (tick ONE)

  • Subject cannot comprehended UT even with 100% of primitive brain
  • Subject insufficiently pure of heart (or other personality-proxy organ: be sure to check for local linguistic convention in your folkways handbook)
  • UT reserved for afterlife (non-reincarnatory) or higher state of being (reincarnatory)
  • UT withheld out of compassion for subject as it would reveal painful details of subject’s future

2. Actual reason for refusal to disclose ultimate truths (tick ONE)

  • Subject not paying attention
  • Subject unable to comprehend UT even with 5% of brain actually in use
  • Subject completely peaking, wouldn’t remember anyway
  • UT depends for impact on pun which only makes sense in Old Plutonian, really falls flat when you have to spell it out for them
  • UT withheld out of annoyance with subject
  • UT withheld out of embarrassment
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