Prologue — A Rather Short Time Ago In A Galaxy Closer Than You Might Guess…


   ­Boss Licina just couldn’t bear it. Not again, he thought. Why exactly now? Generally speaking, he’d never been a lot into that whole daily procedure of getting up, but on this particular day, boy, it was severe. Not that he didn’t also feel circa like Hiroshima after the first ever recorded congress with a nuclear warhead, that’s rather been one of the few true constants in his life. No. With all the mental powers he had available, he was disgusted, purposefully disgusted, at sleep itself. The whole idea and biological necessity behind it suddenly bothered him a lot.

   What a shitty day, he thought. Whatever else he simultaneously thought, out of touch with his verbal main screen, floated back and forth through his painfully sobered brainwires like an unstoppable tornado. In fact, it was rampaging. The first piece of thought, the first pebble to start that avalanche, derived straight from the first frame his vision managed to capture. To the worst of his luck, it revealed to him the very present state of time, meaning he was able to calculate back the state of time he was in when he laid down, and that he therefore had one clear and solid absolute-value number to go with, in hours, indicating how long exactly he might have been involuntarily knocked off. Damn too long! And he hated that — way more than usual, to be honest. It was extreme. Boss Licina’s quality hate has built quite a reputation in outer space, so much is for sure. One more fungous lower body exhalation emission and he had to take the risk of manhandling that war torn cadaver he called himself proud of possessing. As long as that brain is working at near perfect energy conversion efficiency, he thought. No exaggeration. That’s what he thought.

­    After finding a functioning vertical position and two well executed footsteps he felt confident enough to finally grant himself the first drink of the day. There was always a sip to go in one of the seemingly empty bottles. If that’s the way life says good morning to you, here you go saying good mo(u)rning back to it. He had to press his eyelids together for a couple of seconds to handle this personal wakeup ritual, be concentrated to keep the liquid where he swallowed it, and endure a feverish wave of cold sweat on his contracting neck and shoulders, but his stomach finally decided to save the rebellion for another time. In the third bottle he found an exquisitely merciful remainder, measured in volume and not measured by its undefinable solid contents. He was back on the thought. No. The thought was back on him.

­    It was the relative-value number that suddenly made him wanting throw up all the stash of hurtfully boiling twisted gut he had carrying under his, from a stimulative-liquid-ridden point of view, well trained belly. Now here’s the catch. Compared to the total amount of runtime he could expect his full life to last, extrapolated from a quick rule-of-thumb estimate on his daily pattern, it was way too long! Too much! A rough 32 per cent, I mean, what the fuck!? Just gone, like a tax! And for what exactly?

­    At that very moment he felt the betrayal, that eternal fraud of creation, pardon, evolution going on around everything without anyone ever even slightly addressing the fact. He buried his face in his hands. He felt so fucked over, literally fucked over, like a virgin maid that gets talked into first time intercourse by some low grade pickup hack, and gets impregnated. With twins. One of them born blind. Seriously speaking, guys!

    He was chewing his teeth. Anger built up. His thoughts appeared of too much truth to him right and there and that made him unable to get them settled — not to mention, getting them sorted. By now he had approximate figures about how big of a share of all evolution was spent in a flat state of doing nothing at all, maybe less than nothing. And there he was, facing this never-talked-about, and somehow crucially repressive, force of all the ages, the biggest drag of everything that could ever consider itself, including himself, privileged of being biochemically complex enough to be referred to as living form, with him not only being a living form, but a human being, at that. Fucking sleep. As if life weren’t complex enough.

    Boss Licina didn’t have a lot of issues going on with complexity, though. Sleep. That was the bitch that caught his total present attention. No matter what common contemporary life forms were aiming for, evolutionary speaking, since none of them have ever come up with a proper sustainable solution to anything, however recalculating a bare millionth of all the time that ever went into living sleep, at least in this universe, would be way enough to have these ongoing outer space middle ages put far enough behind in time for him not to be trapped right inside of them, but rather have an easy and joyful life at some completely different planetary place. A place where forming life made at least a little bit of sense, for a change. One where time wouldn’t be the most precious of all the resources. One where there was time in abundance, even time to sleep! Outer space, fatefully enough, was quite an uncertain place to be, after all, especially on a ship, or rather within a ship, as System 1 was.

    And then, he threw up.

    Now, dear readers and crewmembers, you might be carrying a distinct imagery of what it might look like if somebody were to throw up. You might even be picturing some consistencies or tastes, or tiny breadcrumbs in your nares, gently burning into the mucous membranes. Don’t forget that astonishing contracting of the stomach, that powerful inside-out pressing-push, that overruns any reflex there might have been and seemingly calls all the muscles in the body together to slam the final panic move across stage. We’re talking intoxication, after all. Beautiful, isn’t it? Very… down to Earth, don’t you think? Well now go and enjoy what happened to Boss Licina on this particular trip through spacetime.

    First to notice, he undoubtedly still had his face in his hands, and yes, that gentle vomité arrived rather quickly. So quickly, in fact, he was caught in maximum surprise, like a cough out of no where, because some backthroat spittle slobber would invade your trachea right on Peak Inhale. Also, whatever it was that had to leave his giblets in such urgency, it expanded upon thoroughfare, pretty much like when you take three marshmallows too many, foamful aftertaste etc., except that fluffy mass moving the exact opposite direction, feeling like someone just borrowed your windpipe and throat to give birth to an ostrich egg. Not exactly as pleasant.

    Picturing, no, painting that man-sized pyramidal whipped cream dispenser ejaculation Boss Licina had become for the scene as it unfolds, all the physical forces involved in a normal-gravity scenario let him perform a classic 180 backflip straight into his sleeping belt, where a second wholehearted cargo of ballooning sponge tatters would maybe not surprise him as much, but still make him feel like that ostrich egg now being jackhammered back into his rear end and take the full ten yards through all the his organs and body parts to eventually resolve in yet another cubic meter of soapy papier-mâché all across the Boss’s cabin. 

   All the control over his body he could fight for allowed for no more than a slight breath, before number three crippled him into the fetal position. There, he managed to get some more oxygen, and sprayed out another generous load. By then, he had understood. What came next can easily be interpreted as a consciously directed attempt at moving. Dubbing it crawling would just be too much of a compliment, but there was some progress going on. The fourth horseman cloaked some bottles that went down in tinkling, while Boss Licina managed to throw his mortal remains with some intention into a pile of his inflating mouth-come. Bingo. His head hit something familiarly solid — the MedBox. Not until he went under his fifth therapy session that came with a grandiose reswallow feature and the sixth dish also took place among worst case gravitational conditions he finally got another break, and another chance. If it weren’t for routine, he’d be pronounced dead already. Although he realized he should possibly not fuck up this one.

   Blind as a mole puppy and solely guided by instinct he pulled a collapsible syringe out of the MedBox, held it tight for a lucky seventh crevasse, unfolding it with clever hands, flipped into turtle position and fired that needle with all the oxygen his muscles had left right into his carotid, where it wasn’t chipped already. Tragically, his instincts didn’t pay too much attention to the fact he was, by now, lying on the bottom of an indoor ocean made of a strange bubbly non-liquid, so his first large-scale pant for breath delivered mostly the secretion of what had just come out of him. However, that antidote seemed to catch on, so his risk of death numbers dropped to a much more satisfying area. Also, his accumulated morning outputs obviously entered shrinking mode.

   He was not yet sure what was going on, but he managed to reach minimum target — not dying of suffocation. The more oxygen that got back into his brain, the more his thoughts began rattling again. At least he now was awake, he thought. Shock can always be of some good use. He wouldn’t admit it, but now he felt graceful for evolution and her smarts. Paradox as it may seem, a little near-death experience to start the day can really give you a change of perspective. That’s also why he never wanted to do much else but biohacking. And this, ladies and gentlemen, actually explains a lot, above all, to Boss Licina himself, since he is the fucking biohacker. And at this point he was almost fully assured he could have easily passed on that exhilarated theme park ride of his hadn’t he had such a grumpy wake-up, but he was equally almost as fully assured that System 1 could be in some big trouble indeed. There was simply no time to sense any pain. He had to look after his ship, where exactly it was and where the fuck it was heading. Big questions for outer space travelers. And when Boss Licina didn’t know the answers to these questions in razor sharp precision and with the best prediction values he could get his hands on, he usually went into full retard mode. Again, no exaggeration. This was all just to System 1’s best interest.

   He somehow managed to climb on his knees. What really began to creep him a little, though, only to accelerate full retard mode a little more, was the fact that he could practically eliminate any possibility of a hoax. The overall reasoning was simple. When opened his eyes he was sure he’d been sleeping for way too long by also lacking all mojo to get going. More than ten hours! Fatigué from too much sleep. Equals: Rant about sleep. However, including the information on what happened to him only a few seconds after he drank that sandy sauce he found in one of his bottles, combined with the basic parts of yesterday’s liquid intake, he must have slept for less than three hours, little enough time to leave whatever it was in his stomach to achieve that vominator side effect. He could have thought about that. By now he reached for the door handle, gave it a soft spin, and, alongside tons of bubble vomit papyrus, got purged out of his cabin.

   Fuck, he thought, it’s been nine hours or something! His hands shoveled away the moist squabble that sprang from his intestines. Optimizing his rotation of forced coughing and recovering breathing to the highest oxygen intake there was, he turned around and robbed his eyes, however paused for a moment. He felt heavily light-headed, his thoughts began sparkling all over his brains. He collapsed to the floor. Luckily, his air condition found a working environment. That was close, he thought, and blacked out.

   Maybe that was the best that could have happened to him right here and then anyway. With an unexpected threefold nine-hour time discrepancy between him and the ship after just such a short time of absence, there must be something very wrong going on. He had no idea what it was. System 1 could be bobbing up and down practically anywhere by now. Not a nice situation to find yourselves in in outer space, mutual agreement on that. As if that whole mess they were in already just wasn’t yet big enough. The devil always shits on the tallest pile, they say.

   Coughing his ass off, he regained consciousness. His eyes were too fucked to even attempt to open. He wasn’t gone long, seconds maybe, and felt some blood back in his vessels. He rolled over to the side, got on his elbows and gently touched his left eyelid with the top of his right hand’s middle finger. Facing down, he slowly tried to gain some sight. Some blue and grey shading. Tears gathered. Then something large and heavy hit the side of his head pretty badly. His upcoming unconsciousness would last only a short while longer, read Dr. sarcasm’s diagnose.

   The shamefully little mentioned System 1 was now in a fishy kinda fuckup. System 1 was not only a real bioship, but also the Dudecamp community forming its current inhabitants. Boss Licina was their only biohacker. And despite his sometimes questionable mood swings and turns, or because of them, he was the best biohacker at System 1. Thing is, he was not System 1’s best biohacker because he was the only one around, he was the only biohacker, because he was the motherdfuckin’ best dude on the job. Period. That’s why they called him Boss. His stories shit a billion stars’ worth of pants in the Ovosphere Galaxies alone. Now, unfortunately, he is also bleeding from his ears.

   Time is scarce for System 1.

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Prologue — A Rather Short Time Ago In A Galaxy Closer Than You Might Guess…

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