Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484 (9)

If you want to read from the start -> Coming of age, 2484

The heavy grunting in the toilet cubicle next door is very distracting.

Alone in the known universe, Dervlah’s home, the moon, still had single sex toilets. So unique were these, they featured prominently (just under the ad for cheese) on the “Welcome to the Mooooon” brochure (a mandatory training item for all tourists). People travelled far and wide to gaze perplexedly at these gendered restrooms from a time long past, some even brave enough to use them!

The grunting continues. How the hell could anyone focus? The grunting is getting louder. Dervlah is attempting to “find her centre”, sketching drunk kittens, taking a well earned break from Punice’s penetrating questions.

Ah for fuck sake, is someone slaughtering a pig next door? Dervlah turns up the music in her ear pods to try and drown it out, but the cubicle’s walls start to shake. There is a small yellow post-it note just above the toilet roll, stuck to the wall. The bottom of it is flapping in time with the shaking.

She enjoys using a real pencil and paper. But my God, the lines are getting more and more shaky.

Dervlah stands up, opens her door, turns smartly and boots open the now visibly vibrating neighbouring door. “What the fuck are you….” Inside, a goat fucks a pig. At least, that’s what it looks like. The goat has the pig bent over. Are these people dressed up as a goat and a pig? She’s not quite sure, and doesn’t actually want to find out.

Devlah’s pants are still around her knees. Now is a good time to hike them up. Wash hands. Exit to bar swiftly. Need another drink. Fucking sure that goat winked at her.

“So Boss, you come up with a plan?” Punice queries as Dervlah returns to her stool. She looks at them for a while. Take a long pull from her beer. Opens mouth to speak. Thinks better of it. Another pull of beer. “Nope. I was a bit distracted there. de’was a goat fucking a pig.”

“Ahhh, Mars” Punice sighs wistfully. “I’m sure I saw something about this in the “Welcome to Maaaars” brochure…. “I’ll be right back”. Heads to the toilet.

‘Judas Goat’ were actually a pretty good band, Dervlah admits, a few hours, and a few more drinks later. Although, there is something about those slit pupils of the Goat. They seemed to follow her around the bar. Seemed to follow her into the toilet. But the Pig drummer, he was fucking great, no denying that.

To be continued…

Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484 (7)

If you want to read from the start -> Coming of age, 2484

Breath lost as they look up to the gigantic Olympus Mons looking chandelier hanging over the casino floor.

The place is buzzing. The life of the casino condensing out of the air into droplets of pure, nervous excitement. Punice decries “Now this, my young padawan is where we can get proper fucked up”. Dervlah elbowing Punice hard in the ribs, “seriously, stop calling me stupid names, I’ll beat you.” Punice looking down his nostrils at her. Dervlah sticks a finger up each of these nostrils, hard. “And we are proper fucked up already, now shtap your squealing, ya fuckin padawan yourself”.

The man walking directly towards them has a meaningful look in his step. Dervlah reaches out her left arm to grab a drink from a passing tray. Punice reaches their hand to the right. Both sip. Nonchalance personified.

“Yezers are late, boss man don’t like to be kept waiting”. Both, in beautiful, slightly alcoholic rainbows, spray their drinks all over this meaningful bouncer.

Brought to a dark office (detour to bar for meaningful bouncer to get some paper roll). Whispers of the crowd below leaking through the window. “Have you brought it?” Says the sweaty mess wearing a name-tag “Himon Garfield”.

Not to be outdone, Dervlah leans forwards, both hands on table “yes we fucking have, have you, ya cuntcha?”. Himon, rich fucker he is, taken slightly aback-“brought what?”.

Dervlah rotates to Punice, “I thought so, fu–cking amateur hour here.” To Himon: “You dumb cunt, there is nothing, you don’t even know what your asking, now what the fuck do you want?”.

Himon is so taken aback his face is about to exit the back of his head. Punice, already a few drinks in, pukes onto the still wet meaningful bouncer standing at his side. Dervlah snorts with laughter, pulling an envelope like a weapon from inside her jacket, and fucks it hard at Himon’s face. In fairness, it’s an envelope, so it just kinda flops onto the table, but Derblah is still rather please with herself.

Propping up the casino bar, some minutes later, a pale Punice is Silent. With a capital S. Dervlah sighs “There’s no way I could afford to get off the moon without taking a few, ahem, part time jobs. Just a few deliveries is all”. Punice’s look says it all; they thought they were going to be the hero of this story. But they are not. They may have been a prick to her in school, but Dervlah has changed. She looks like she is about to fuck this whole galaxy, right up the hole.

Continued in Coming of age, 2484 (8)

Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484 (6)

If you want to read from the beginning, part 1 is here: Coming of age, 2484

‘Ok, thanks for that, I was feeling a bit dry there for a moment’ Punice sneers.

Punice takes a drink themselves. Dervlah decides retribution is in order; ‘Fuck it why not, let’s do it together’. It’s Punice’s turn to snort juice out their nose, showering Dervlah in, now warm, fluids.

They stand, facing each-other, breathing hard, both slightly moist. A tension between them, magnetic. Eye contact maintained. Did Dervlah raise an eyebrow? Was there a tremble of Punic’s lips? The moment passes. ‘Right then, together!’

Due to the nature of the strong atomic force engines, and the absurd levels of acceleration, their ships can’t actually fly while connected together. The AIs would pilot both carts within millimeters of eachother all the way up to .99c, but even with the ability to be so aligned, they can’t be physically connected. Dervlah sighs at the thought, she certainly knows the feeling.

With Punice grabbing their stuff from the other cart (Dervlah’s ‘Cart named Kit’ was roomier), she had a moment to breath. ‘So here I am, trying to get away from my old life, and the one fucker who I would have stayed for, has decided to join me.’ She may have left the moon, but it appears, the moon has not left her.

‘OK cartmate (‘Don’t call me that’) why are we going to Mars?’. Dervlah was sure she could hear a touch of desperation in Punic’s voice. She takes a deep breath, turns to Punice; ‘Well, I was just gonna find the first bar I can find, and get, ya know, fucked up. I’ve never gotten properly wasted before, like in the movies. I just wanna get, well, proper fuckin pissed’… she awaits judgement. The new Dervlah is through with being a good girl, through lying her way through life to make sure people have the right reactions. Punice slowly turns away, looks out the front window, and deflates with a sigh; ‘Well thank fuck you brought me, first bar indeed. My girl (‘Don’t call me that’), to get properly fucked up, you must go somewhere properly fucking classy. I know this…. I saw it in a movie’.

Continued here… Coming of age, 2484 (7).

Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484 (5)

(Part 1 is here -> Coming of age, 2484 )

‘Oh my God, I’m clenching again’. The power of the cart named Kit’s engine is extraordinary. Dervlah imagines the fabric of reality torn asunder not 15 meters behind her. Matter ripped apart just to move her, away from Punice.

Well worth it.

‘My first time on a flight deck, but I’ve spent hours studying at how to fly this thing on Uni-tubes. Not, a, bother. Now this is how someone makes a clean getaway’.

Radio beeps, ‘erm, it’s not Dervlah by any chance? Look, I heard you were heading off on an adventure, but, ah, I too have a cart with an engine, you can’t exactly outrun me’.

The lump in Dervlah’s throat takes some swallowin’; ‘Punice… what the fuck like?’.

‘Can we talk?’ They say. Dervlah is surprised. Politeness was a new one. While in Uni-T, generally it was just abusiveness and general assholyness.

Dervlah, clicking the transmit button; ‘OK?’

Not 30 seconds later there was a knock on the door. A knock. On the door. In space. What’s the appropriate response here? ‘Cooeeeeeee, come on in, I’ve got the kettle on’ doesn’t seem quite appropriate.

‘Punice, you fucking prick, what do you want?’. Yep, that feels better.

‘Oh hi Derbl.. I mean Dervlah’. Dervlah’s eyes roll enough to see out her own ears. They continue; ‘I heard you were heading out, leaving home behind?’ Stoney stare responds. ‘I think it’s really cool ya know’. Stoney stare continues but adds a square drink from the juice machine. Stoney stares are surprisingly thirsty work. Punice eyes the drink, waiting for the offer. Oh they can wait.

‘Oh fuck sake Derv, do I have to spell it out? Can I come with you or what?’

Juice erupts from mouth (and nose) and proceeds to spray over Punices’ face, torso, and wonderfully styled hair.

That, was not expected.

Continued here: Coming of age, 2484 (6)

Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484 (4)

Part 1 of this series is -> Coming of age, 2484

Dervlah’s heart beats and beats. ‘Punice Milord, what the fuck are they doing here?’ Dervlah’s future, stretched like a rubber band out in front, starts to shrink. The universe seconds before, unimaginably vast, is now the distance between two ships. The universe shrinks.

But, she has already started this journey. She has momentum. This fucker can’t stop her.

Momentum = mass x speed. Finger tip pushes throttle forwards to the stops. An iron ion is fired into the ignition chamber. Superconducting coils dump terawatts of energy in the shielded tunnel. From the iron atoms’ perspective, the universe shrinks.

‘I am iron’.

Such extreme force pulls at the atom, the distances between the protons, neutrons, quarks and haydrons start to widen. The force applied so quickly that momentum prevents the iron ion’s movement, but the generated energy field has the local force of a magnetar.

For the iron atom, space has contracted, to the outside observer (the cart called Kit) the atom has stretched over a kilometer out the back. To the atom however, the universe had shrunk to the point where the strong nuclear force dominates all others. And this force does not want anything spread out over a kilometer.

A rubber band the length of the galaxy. To the engine, about to transfer this potential energy to kenetic. To Dervlah, an irresistible force dragging her away from her home, her life. Away from fucking Punice.

While the electromagnetic energy was the equivalent of pulling the trigger, at two orders of magnitude more, the strong nuclear force was the gunpowder blowing out the bullet. In this case the bullet was a former iron atom, and the recoil was the cart named Kit, accelerated to .33c, or a third the speed of light.

Dervlah hoped it was fast enough.

Continued in part 5 Coming of age, 2484 (5)

Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484 (2)

Part 1 > Coming of age, 2484

Pop. Well no pop, but there should have been a pop. Black tunnel and pop, the whole universe. Is this what the big bang felt like?

Although not reccomended, Dervlah knows what has to come next.

Her hand drops to her right, fingers feeling for the small, roughened plastic rocker. Finger tip pushes back.

The whole chair gives a slight jar and slowly moves back, with a hum of gears and electricity. Dervlah has dreamed about this moment ever since she can remember. Her eyes stay fixed and the jewelled universe unfolding outside her cart’s canopy. ‘There, that’s enough’. Her right hand now has access to the small fusebox panel set close to the floor.

Dervlah’s heart races, her head races, but her hand is steady, it knows what to do. The panel falls open (bottom hinged for easy access), revealing row upon row of small, round, circuit breakers.

How she has dreamed of this. Barely breathing now, her fingers grip the first breaker, and pull.

Tiny pop. Warning light. Second breaker, pull, pop, new warning light. Repeat. About half way through now. The alarms start their clamour. About three quarters through now, the Alarms stop their clamour.

The last pop. Dervlah exhales. Tears begin to swell on her eyes. It doesn’t matter. The light of the cosmos distorted through tears on wet eyes with no gravity to wick them away. It doesn’t matter. The panels are all dark now, and the controls are dead. It’s not about her eyes now.

She was born on the moon. Her whole 24 years were on the moon. Air cleaned by filters and pumps and shifted in a never ending cycle. People crowded the few percent of the suface capable of holding human life. Constant fucking noise.

For the first time in her life, she had it.


Part 3 > Coming of age, 2484 (3)

Coming of age, 2484 - Series stories

Coming of age, 2484

Dervlah inhales. She clenches, clenches every thing. Retro terminal open on the dash, she loves the classic look.

Just a few twinkles out the front windscreen. Just enough to make it hard to see what she sees. ‘It’s just a pipe’. Dervlah exhales. Slowly. This is it. Her freedom. Well, as much as she can expect for now. Twenty years of studying done. Guilt feeling that she hasn’t got a… ‘proper job’. But that guilt feeling is kicked in the balls and fucked out the window. It’s been too much good girl. This is the payout. The promised land.

One thousand coins in her l-pocket, scrimped and saved making far too many starters and desserts. A full coil of energy thrumming in the back of her second hand cart named Kit, and her passport’s up to date.

Launch OK? Hit the Big Red Button and ‘oh my god did I stop clenching no thank god I didn’t’. Ohhhh the squeeze of the G force. Acceleration. Vision starts to fade on the outside. Slowly the twinkles approach. Faster they approach. Like lines then streaks they approach.

‘It’s just a pipe’ ten thousand nine hundred and twenty one kilometres long. Constant acceleration at three earth Gs. Eh…

[ins] In [1]: import math

[ins] In [2]: distance_m = 10921 * 1000

[ins] In [3]: distance_m
Out[3]: 10921000

[ins] In [4]: acceleration = 9.8 * 3

[ins] In [5]: final_speed_squared = 2 * acceleration * distance_m

[ins] In [6]: final_speed = math.sqrt(final_speed_squared)

[ins] In [7]: final_speed
Out[7]: 25340.773468858442

[ins] In [8]: initial_speed = 0

[ins] In [9]: time = (final_speed - initial_speed) / acceleration

[ins] In [10]: time
Out[10]: 861.9310703693347

‘Fourteen minutes twenty one seconds at 3G. I can’t clench for fourteen minutes. I can’t clench for one minute. Why the fuck do I keep thinking about clenching? Remember the training video. Try to relax. Try to fucking relax. They didn’t mention clenching. Fuck it, only twelve minutes left, and I will be outta here at oh… 25 kilometres per second’

Dervlah is sure, feeling like an elephoth is sitting on her for fourteen minutes is worth it; the feeling of getting out of this shit pit at twenty five kilometres per second, is, well, it’s fantastic!

Continued here: Coming of age, 2484 (2)

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (7)

The Shouter part 1 is here -> The Shouter

The Guards, Guarding..

“Yea did wha?” “Like, year not dumb fellas, clearly, but ah, what are yea even at playin wit dis stuff, sure yea coudda lost an eye!” Donegal Guard happy he has enough down in his notebook for the insurance company, nods at Dublin Guard. The nod said “We have enough, now lets get outta here before there’s more paperwork”.

Dermot, Declan, Tweedie Dum, Tweedie De; lookin at eachother. Not a tight squeeze anymore, not a shed. Quite airy now with the rather large hole punched in the wall. “Here, I know we said no strings attached, but…” Dermot, who saw this coming, says “Ah I fuckin knew it, no strings me hole”.

The equipment wrapped up and carted off. Summer ending approaching like a small ball of energised air on a collision course. Like a truck now. Dermot figured out it was Thales, a “we make satellities, but also we make missiles” company from across the pond, who had rented the building.

School starting again. The final year. Time to get the head down and start studying for real.

Radio Wow back on the air, two lads in the shed, bit of a squeeze, sharing a can of Dutch Gold. Dermot sighs. Declan, who knows about sound, says “Well look, I was thinkin…”

The end

This was my first series and first try at writing for public consumption. I hope you enjoyed it! You can follow me on mastodon if you would like to be notified of new stories”-

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (6)

Part 1 -> The Shouter

It was the smallest driver in the center of The Shouter. Small and skinny like the expensive cans of coke in the pub. It’s so small, a few kilowatts pushed through it’s windings move it fast. Move it very fast.

It shoots forward, fast. Faster than the speed of sound. A sphere of super compressed air left sitting there, about the size of a ping pong ball. The centre driver moves so fast, but the sphere of pressure sits, compressed, kilowatts of energy, formed in the air itself.

The larger driver, encircling the thinner driver, moves backwards. A donut of almost vacuum. The focus drivers, sitting around the perimeter of The Shouter like eyelashes of a fucked up looking eye, they squeeze.


Observe a slinky shook on one end, and the wave of energy speeding down it. Observe, a nugget of compressed shock, speeding down a path shaped out of thin air.

Slow motion. Dermot and Declan’s faces pan by, slightly out of focus. Open Mouthed. Hints of Tuborg making a hasty exit from Dermot’s right nostril (he’s had a bit of a cold, hence the asymmetry). In sharp relief we see a small ball of hell travelling past. It appears to be growing as it passes them. Declan, who knows about sound, has a hint of a smile on the corner of his mouth.

Crack. Crack may be too small a word for what happens next. Our favourite small (although bigger than when it started) ball of hell energy, impacts a solid lab wall. Cavity block and steel structure.

A few kilowatts of energy finds a nucleation point on the dappled paint, a tiny scratch. Our hell ball vanishes. The few kilowatts (a few more now as it had some mass added along the way) is a thin root, squeezed between molecules of paint and cavity block, and it expands.

A hole appears. Energy is released, then absorbed by every bit of glass in the building. Every crystalline structure gets a dose. The glass is sick of this abuse, the stress of these fuckin ejits messing around. The glass gives up. All the glass, in the entire…. fucking… building.

A smoking, football shaped hole in the wall. Alarms all over City West shreeking their siren calls; they are jealous of The Shouter.

Declan, who knows about sound, Dermot, who doesn’t. Still there. Still have Tuborg (less now thanks to sympathetic foaming actions). Can’t say anything cause they can’t hear anything. They don’t need to. The smiles on their faces says it all.

Continued in part 7 -> The Shouter (7)

stories The Shouter Series

The Shouter (5)

The Shouter < Part 1 here

The Crack cracks every bit of glass in the lab, it cracks every bit of glass in the building. It cracks the shit that shouldn’t fucking crack at all!

The night in question. Drizzle, wet, manky. Dermot and Declan. Few cans of Tuborg. They got a few bob now, no strings attached. They got a swag in their step now that gets them the few cans in the offie with no ID.

Their pirate radio station, Radio Wow ( ‘Wowing you out every Monday to Thursday after homework yowsa‘) has not been Wowing anyone after homework for about two months now. That’s ok tho, cause it was the summer holidays. But now… The end of summer is coming on like an onrushing truck now. The boys sense it. No way could they make this trip to citywest after school, once school comes on.

The end of this whole project was coming on like an onrushing truck now. The end of the fuckin night was coming on like an onrushing truck now.

Dermot, who dreams and and looks at too much YouTube, leans back on the beanbag, faces the roof and closes his eyes. Like an onrushing truck now. In his closed eyes he sees a centre of quiet black, and all around is black with thin silver lines. Movement and indistinct shapes on the edge of his vision. ‘Am I looking at my phone too much? Have my nurons formed new patterns that see a bright rectangle in front of my eyes that brings me laughter, joy, sadness and anger? Nurons which in times past arranged around faces of people I saw everyday, now arrange around this bright rectangle in space? Ignore the surrounding? Makes my heart beat fast? Makes me fall into the quiet black hole, fall down the tunnel like an onrushing truck now?’

Declan, who knows about sound; ‘What if… What if the inner driver went faster than the speed of sound? What if we got the Shouter to break the sound barrier?’

Dermot, who doesn’t, lifts from his torper. He sees the inner coke-can looking driver getting rammed through the tube like an onrushing truck now. The driver that looks like a coke can, pushed faster than air likes to move. He says, ‘What if we focus it?’.

Crack goes the building, like it was hit, by a truck now.

Contines in -> The Shouter (6)