Well, we’ve got all systems up and running, and have entered into the Alchiba System. Our current mission will see us heading through this system via warp five, into the Zeta Capuli. We have to go steady through Alchiba as there are large levels of meteor clusters populating this section of space. Shields are good, but after that last mission they could use a bit of love. Shawna has worked her magic as best she can, and has made it clear to me that we need to purchase some parts. I have asked Stretch (3etch) to add it all to the list. I don’t know where I’d be without Stretch. As far as a second in command goes, there is none finer.
Right before we got into Alchiba we got word that the The Corp took over full political control in the recent Terrestrial-based elections. It’s a joke, and I can’t stand that it has happened. I suppose I am not surprised given the lessons of history, and the trajectory of T-based folk. Life just got way more complicated…and hostile. Apparently massive unrest is being reported throughout the system. I imagine SV2380’s life is going to get more interesting.
Today, however, is an important day. It is the birth date of an original founding member of JOSM. John Stewart was born on this day in the year 1933. His work was crucial, and I love it. Every time we dock some place I check in with whatever literary sources that may exist there in order to hunt for documents. Sometimes when I find a story it’s not complete. He is also an elder in my family line, which means I find myself in his work. It’s a blessing.
Ironically enough, one of John’s stories that I have a piece of is called The Collector. If ever I had a thematic representative it is this piece – I think. I don’t actually have the whole story. I know it’s a four page story, and I only have around two and half pages. In honor of the day I share a bit of the story with you today.
That is all.
I collect stories. I am not alone in this old-fashioned pastime, there are many members in the association to which I belong. We meet regularly, much the way ancient explorer’s clubs used to, though not as often. We meet once a year. We also have some differentiation in the group. Some of us collect stories about terrestrial beings and post-life encounters. Others collect stories about watery disasters, desert travelling, and so on. The one element that runs through our collecting is that the stories we share are seldom about great heroes.
There are no Jonahs or Odysseuses. No Beowulfs, Abrahams, Gilgameshes. We don’t pointedly discriminate against great heroes, but stories about ordinary folk are the substance of our collecting. Ordinary people, after all, do carry the salt of the earth, so to speak. They send up great heroes to ready acclaim and transition while staying off-stage themselves. We think there is genius in that. My collections consist mostly of stories about “dissolved” communities. “Lost towns,” “ghost towns” where men and women braved great hardships and dangers in search of benign territory, precious metals, or other mineral wealth, then moved on when unforeseen elements intruded, promising lodes played out, or some secret lead that sucked them in turned out to be mere hoax.
Stories about places like Allatoona and Auraria get good audiences and reviews at our meetings, particularly since it’s not generally known that there was a gold rush in the Southern U.S.A. before the great discoveries in California. I have stories about lost towns in Belize and Mexico, and one day I’ll get to the Amazon and see what’s there too. Lately a new discovery of ancient urban communities in that part of the world has come to light. Deep in the jungle, overgrown with trees and bush, archaeologists have found the remnants of another indigenous community that predates European intrusion by hundreds of years.