Floozman in Space
by Bertrand Cayzac
In a space station in Earth orbit, Janatone Waldenpond, a refugee from Europa, is trying to return to Earth. She meets a long-lost cousin, Fred Looseman. Meanwhile, Jenny Appleseed, the president of the Cosmitix Corporation, holds a conference to plan interstellar expeditions.
Chapter 19: Set and Setting
All you have to do is swallow the little yellow pill. It’s pretty, and it is good. All the conditions are met. All is set. All is right. Nothing is missing, everything is pleasing to the eye. The proportions are beautiful. Exquisite harmonies emerge and respond to one another.
But the architect’s gesture is not a copy of earthly forms, no. No false textures, no imitations of nature but solid edifices where genuine growing things flourish: brown and mossy hydroponic plants, garlanded with flowers in their spatial condition, wisterias, feathers and giant beanstalks. Thus does art spring powerfully from of the architectural necessity of the ship, excluding neither roundness nor smoothness.
The passenger knows she is in space and feels the effect of the primordial force that brings her there. Everything is new, and yet some shadowy movements bear the signature of the centuries-old trees that the soul remembers.
The experience leaves a large place for color. Luminous, carnal or spiritual, red and greens adjusted, off-whites: color is everywhere alive and meaningful. All wavelengths vibrate and combine according to their number. They give themselves to the eye in the inexhaustible richness or their blends: the blues and golds of the atmosphere, visible beyond the transparent panels; and in the immediate web, the splendors of the past cosmos magnified by a thousand networked telescopesl; the abyssal purple of nebulae and the crystalline ardor of dust clouds; innumerable tourmaline galaxies, the milky veils drawn over nocturnal, hieratic pillars, all meaning as much as palaces, temples, bellies...
And the air vibrates with chosen music. Holistic DJs ensure the unifying interaction and the rhythmic breath. In the NoosWeb, all human works shiver and conspire, echoing the slightest interrogation.
The subjects of the experience are all beautiful people. They exhibit good manners and noble gestures. They are young or old, female or male. A simple and attentive staff gives them beautiful clothes. They are coiffed, perfumed and adorned with jewels. They are the elect. They are part of the journey.
All preparations take place according to Dr. Weenie’s instructions while the army battalions settle into the cargo holds. From time to time, one can see Captain Diana on the bridge, one can see her walking constantly. There is nothing more uplifting, nothing more beautiful.
She barely slows down when she passes above the patio onto which the experiment rooms open. She feels the doctor’s nervousness: it’s his hour, his moment of truth. Can one say he will have had a good life? Quite in spite of herself, the captain thinks the doctor’s death. Then she answers with the ancients that one can make no determination before his last breath.
Dr. Weenie is with the head nurse. A journalist is waiting for him a bit further, captivated by the activities taking place in the central nave.
“Are you sure that the medium is serious? Have you checked carefully?” asks Dr. Weenie. “I don’t want my answers to be cut off.”
The journalist is human and inspires confidence. He works for Death magazine. “But why, Dr. Weenie?”
Dr. Weenie responds. “We are beginning to understand just how incompatible our historical view of the universe is with life in space as it is developing today. Our brain has been shaped by millions of years of evolution on planet Earth.”
“And a few thousand years of masculine control,” the journalist adds. “You mentioned that in a recent column.”
“Hm, not very recent, but yes, I did write that. What are you getting at? The experiment is biased? Of course, this is not news; our science is still fixed. All earthly science certainly is... But the scientific committee has become quite attentive to this issue, in particular to the definition of meta-objectives. We hope to gather the elements of a radical paradigm shift. Our method will help us eliminate the worst biases. For example, we have included many artists on steering committees in order to benefit from their intuitions...”
“Thank you, Doctor. Our readers want to know how you are doing science. Artificial persons, in particular, want to know. But please, carry on.”
“Ah, I see. It is true that we have ruled out cyborgs in this version of the experiment, but only for legal reasons, you understand.”
“Yes.” The journalist waves a hand slightly to show that he won’t reopen the debate.
“Nonetheless, we hypothesize that our minds can understand the universe or that they will be able to in an indefinite future. I want our presence aboard this spaceship to provide evidence for it. What knowledge of nature, what mastery we had to achieve to arrive where we are!”
The journalist shrugs.
“Okay. We also know that our reality is a construction of the brain. It results from the selection and the interpretation of signals transmitted by the senses. The filters are essentially in service of survival, but they are not a given once and for all.
“With the help of different techniques, scientists, artists and mystics have attempted to open wider the doors of perception. Their every intuition leads to a more fundamental view of the unity of creation. And yet the world has profoundly changed. Everything has changed.”
With a gesture, he points to the black sky on which intrudes the halo of the atmosphere. “This place is not the Earth, and no one has yet opened himself to it in a state of modified consciousness. More than ever, we need to understand it. We need to understand space to make discoveries, to innovate, to guide our evolution and adapt...
“This experiment meets all the conditions needed to open minds to their new habitat and observe it. With the help of psychotropes — the best molecules in the industry in the form of lovely little yellow pills — we are going to inhibit the production of chemical mediators that intervene in the mechanisms of selection. We are going to start right now so that the subjects of the experiment leave Earth in a state of modified consciousness. The interviews we are about to record will make great pages in history.”
“Dr. Weenie, prior to joining the army, you used the non-gravitational university labs to relaunch research on quantic decoherence at the scale of neural nanotube networks, which many specialists and roboticists consider the ‘melting pot’ of consciousness. You have co-authored an article in a famous scientific magazine suggesting that the conditions of life in space may favor a dazzling expansion of consciousness.”
“Um...” Alvin Weenie blushes.
“What role would psychotropes play in this expansion?”
“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid the discussion is becoming too technical. As I said, we are going to observe everything, including, of course, the quantic phenomena based in the neurons...”
“You don’t want to tell us?”
“Yes, I could tell you about that, but I don’t have time right now.”
* * *
Proceed to part 2...
Copyright © 2015 by Bertrand Cayzac