Friday, March 28, 2008

Spock's Brain ?

As the cramped plane jostled in the darkening night sky, visions of old television images filled the weary traveler's mind. He looked out at the wing of the plane and thought he saw a young William Shatner holding a revolver and firing at some greenish gremlin of the icy-mists. Which of the two laughed more madly could not be determined.

Glancing over the weakly lit pages of "The Whsiperer in the Darkness" the traveler read:

"Do you realise what it means when I say I have been on thirty-seven different celestial bodies - planets, dark stars, and less definable objects - including eight outside our galaxy and two outside the curved cosmos of space and time? All this has not harmed me in the least. My brain has been removed from my body by fissions so adroit that it would be crude to call the operation surgery. The visiting beings have methods which make these extractions easy and almost normal - and one’s body never ages when the brain is out of it. The brain, I may add, is virtually immortal with its mechanical faculties and a limited nourishment supplied by occasional changes of the preserving fluid.

He thought, "that cagey Roddenberry. He plagiarized again!" ("Spock's Brain" was a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast September 20, 1968. It was the first episode of a dismal, heart-breaking season. )

I read:

There, in a neat row, stood more than a dozen cylinders of a metal I had never seen before - cylinders about a foot high and somewhat less in diameter, with three curious sockets set in an isosceles triangle over the front convex surface of each. One of them was linked at two of the sockets to a pair of singular-looking machines that stood in the background. That tall one with the two glass lenses in front - then the box with the vacuum tubes and sounding-board - and now the one with the metal disc on top. ... I became conscious of a mixed grating and whirring from all three of the machines lately linked to the cylinder - a grating and whirring which soon subsided into a virtual noiselessness. What was about to happen? Was I to hear a voice? And if so, what proof would I have that it was not some cleverly concocted radio device talked into by a concealed but closely watched speaker? Even now I am unwilling to swear just what I heard, or just what phenomenon really took place before me. But something certainly seemed to take place.
To be brief and plain, the machine with the tubes and sound-box began to speak, and with a point and intelligence which left no doubt that the speaker was actually present and observing us. The voice was loud, metallic, lifeless, and plainly mechanical in every detail of its production. It was incapable of inflection or expressiveness, but scraped and rattled on with a deadly precision and deliberation.

Then the traveler thought of his blog. How easily Lovecraft's words, planets, dark stars, and less definable objects - including eight outside our galaxy and two outside the curved cosmos of space and time, could be reinterpreted into Fool, paltry and apish being, know not that I've traveled on planets teaming with swampish archaeae? flown by brown dwarfs! You know nothing of the mysteries of dark matter, and you should shudder at the creatures contained within dark energy who existed in those microseconds when your universe first formed. I've moved through the multiverses and past the 'branes which you so dimly perceive. Crawl back in your caves, tear down your skyscrapers, call back your space-probes of wires and metal lest they take notice of you and anihilate you like the tiny dust mites that you be.

Somehow, with all those fantastic blend of thoughts, the traveler dozed off in that greyhound-bus-of-the-skies.

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