Ultra Solar Tales 01 02

 Early concept sketch for Titan by Jermaine Hall.

Early concept sketch for Titan by Jermaine Hall.

“We’re about to be hit?”

“Yes”

“How long?”

“Length of what?” asked a squid.

Oh, god. That was a stupid question. How long? Compared to what? Length vs time. Titan is now cursing her word choice. The anal retentive Babaca are gonna argue for days about the word “long.” And we’re all gonna float here getting fuckin pummeled.

Alanua asks her “Can you translate?”

“When will we be struck by the bulk of the debris?”

“We are already being struck. Airlocks have closed and the new pressure walls have been deployed in damaged areas. The largest, slowest pieces will be here in under 30 seconds.”

“Where will they hit?”

The screens shimmer and light up showing the estimated collision points. Alanua states, “starboard.” Her tentacles move in and out of water streams that seem to defy gravity. Well, ship gravity . . . hmm . . . I’ll get to that later. Chunks of salts and minerals in the air cause the floating water paths to separate as if they were streams parted by pebbles. The work stations are damp and glistening . . and I don’t like that.

“Incoming.”

Titan was always fascinated with their tentacles and how they could control so many appendages simultaneously. She had only two arms and occasionally smacked herself in the face. I just think they’re a little strange and far too bureaucratic but I enjoy working computer systems with them because they have multiple brain sacs and can run numerous systems simultaneously. I have to slow myself down when working with others. 

When the Babaca are stationary they are equally graceful in the air as in the water. Walking, however, was sort of like watching a bowl of jell-o trying to stand upright. Normally it’s not something Titan would laugh at but their obsession with attemptingto walk as if they were bipeds was just too much for her. 

For years she didn’t know exactly what they looked like because they never took off their spacesuits in her presence. They have such extreme adoration for her. A high regard. Practically worship. Reverence, deference, elevation, admiration, veneration, idolization, deification! She was two seconds away from a god-complex. Still, even now after all these years, they try to mimic most things she does. She is the most famous creature for light years. Her word is law. 

As she reaches Alanua’s chair Titan barks her orders. 

“Rotate the ship. I want the projectiles hitting as far aft as possible.”

“It’s being done."

Alanua whistles and all the squids begin manipulating water streams. The color, texture, and stream speeds all rotate in a kaleidoscope of waterfalls. The oily liquids would occasionally come to a stand still, in mid air, like the pause button getting stuck at an inconvenient time.

Alanua’s whistle cries out, “the projectiles will slow our velocity. Every strike is adding minutes to our arrival time.”

“Inform the planet. Run the new emergency protocols. Five second flashes. Projectile procedures.”                                                                                                  

The lights in the room begin to flicker.

“Do it now.”