home screen

main viewer

Then I Woke Up on this Satellite… album cover

Then I Woke Up on this Satellite… is a log, following Kosmoniq in New Settlement Year 0407, traveling from settlement to settlement to earn a living, and have more than a little fun… City living long after cities took flight and left the Earth for space.

Visit Kosmoniq’s personal logs to read the stories behind Satellite…

all contents © 2010 the tribe of magic

transmissions log

main viewer

At First There Was Nothing / The Universe Has More to Offer You
At first there was nothing. Then nothing turned itself inside out and became something. The universe sent me to converse with you.— Sun Ra

Before we had ever built our first space settlement, who could have imagined the grand extent of humankind’s capacity? We now live spread across the milky way and into the black, cold extent beyond. Our conquest of space changed us in incredible ways; the best that we were and the worst we could do became boundaries to be exploited faster even than new habitats could be built across space and into the darkness.

The interesting fact is that humanity never even considered living among the stars as a practical possibility until a Humanist telePreacher four hundred years ago began spreading the idea, a man who called himself Pastor Thermin Houston. He put the words of a historic jazz musician across the worldNet, inspiring a change in the course of all humanity.

original lyrics by Sun Ra

Music is the Only Way

All ships have rhythms and tones, like music. My own Sailer Sublight pulses from its scanner cycles and its engines hum around me for days when I’m between settlements or sneaking through passages of empty space. It changes tone and speed as the computer makes corrections on the trip. After a few trips, the noise itched me something nova. So the next time I ported, after buying fuel and supplies, I spent the rest of my credits downloading hours and hours of music from the Cloud.

The other half of my plan to save myself from the silence of space meant waiting to upgrade Chas’ projection processor in favor of a burning set of speakers. Chas, my A.I. programming assistant—in many ways my best work—was also my most constant companion, often the only sentient being that I spoke with for months at a time on long journeys. He was some serious kind of ticked about that purchase, too. Every time his processors would overload and his image would dissolve, he would compute the angriest face he could imagine for the moment his processors would cool and he would reappear standing beside me, glaring. A few times it really was scary, but most I would, in spite of myself, wind up laughing at him. A few times hysterically, which ticked him just that much more.

In spite of his objections, it was worth putting up with the disappearances and funny faces for a few months till I could afford an upgrade. The Sailer bomped hard with those speakers, and I was much less unbalanced by the silence.

Freighter 759

Every couple of months I get sent a set of encrypted co-ords. They lead to an old starfreighter, numbered 759, from an expansive imperial shipping fleet that once serviced an empire now long dead. It doesn’t look like much, and it has to be towed everywhere it goes, but the thick, aged hull hides a floating party with parking for several hundred small ships in the converted decks. Once it’s moored and the co-ords are transmitted, the crew starts to arrive, parking and plugging in their drives to power 759’s interior systems.

The crew decorates, unloads the storage modules and wires the sound and lights into 759’s computer grids. Then they throw down for three cycles solid. By the second cycle there is a serious party burning in 759’s loins. I love the moment that I hit the transport tube and the seemingly dead ship activates the transgrip rails. Only a few seconds down the tube and I can start to hear the music from the party… the anticipation always gives me a metallic taste in my mouth. I know i won’t be sleeping for days until after I’m back out in empty space somwhere in my Sailer.

Just a little further down the tube my palms start sweating in my gloves. I can always hear the music by this point, very close and clear, and I can feel the people ahead. I start smiling way before I ever hit the end of the tube, waiting for the moment that my glasses adjust to the light inside the next hallway. Waiting for the moment that I can see my friends. Other than Corprate lab techs, I’ve literally had no family ever. And they were quick to remind me from the first day I understood their words: I neither had their genes nor did I share their spirit. I was Experiment. Certainly not family. Here, I think I finally really know what family is. I treasure the cycles spent onboard 759.

Funky Space (the Kosmoniq theme song)

I get lost in my head. A lot. It’s due to my Genomods. It’s a highly illegal practice, and not one I chose for myself. I’m a product of a Corporate lab. I look mostly normal, except for my unusually green eyes, which I rarely uncover in front of anyone. My difference is on the inside, an upgrade, of sorts. Sometimes it traps me in my own head, overwhelmed, lost, watching endless calculations sorting themselves in my consciousness.

My difference is, like most things, a liability and an asset. Many Agents would love to get their hands on me for study; serious downside to that ever happening… It also makes me awkward, and fearful of social interaction. The upside is that I’m the krakest codebender in the galaxy. Intelligent Sales Associates are my specialty. Most of my work goes Cloud, and I don’t ever ask where. I just build sexy, irresistible Sales Assistants. I did once bump into one of my creations, selling men’s accessories in a shop in really upcost System Two. Absolutely thrilling. Especially since I couldn’t afford anything in the store.

I wasn't about to give away who I was to the store keeper, nor would the Sales Assistant without being instructed to; I had to be careful—inquisitive—but not enough to get myself thrown out of the store as a beggar. He was still functioning perfectly, smart, and beautiful. And very, very charming. My kind of man, of course.

BompBompBompBomp??!?

I woke up to someone pounding on the topside hatch of the Sailer. It took me a while to focus, remembering the party the night before. I must have slept for a while now, still docked to 759. I released the hatch to find Kaira grinning, a breather in one hand, and a drink pod in the other. “Here!” she shouted, and thrust the breather between my lips, releasing its powdery gas with a click of her thumb. I never get messed up in public, but I had been too asleep to stop her. Plus, I kind of deserved to party a bit; I had spent days reworking 759’s A.I.—and cyphering where to bend malfunctioning psych frames makes my head hurt. “Bye!” She kissed me, full, deep, then dashed away, laughing, high. Blatantly, really high. Oh no.

After the mist set in, I realized could hear a steady Bomp Bomp Bomp Bomp through the bulkheads. I took the tube back to the party, forgetting my social fears. I was totally hacked in front of people that I barely knew, and it was all Kaira’s fault. Somehow, though, it was alright, and I actually found myself laughing and dancing with everyone else. That was the first day I realized—these people were my family—and I had become one of them.

The Orion’s Nebula Towers

The Neo-Sino Continental Empire’s first deep space colonies were plotted on the other side of Orion’s nebula over 200 years ago. When the construction fleets began arriving, they found the solar nursery scrambled all commdata, rendering travel and construction impossible. They were forced to build towers on either end of the nebula to relay information to the new settlement. They were as much a show of political wealth as they were necessary and functional; expansive, extravagant gold towers resembling ancient architecture no longer found even on Earth.

That interference makes the nebula a perfect place to get lost. One drawback—the only way through is to plot a course, close the radiation shields, and let a computer fly you through the celestial obstacle course with highly scrambled sensors. Oh, and proximity to the data stream can have some psychotropic effects. But, if you’ve got the guts, you can get away and just about anywhere untraced. It’s my favorite getaway, alone for weeks sometimes…

Chas absolutely hates it. He won’t even turn on his projectors when we’re travelling through there. I can’t say that I blame him. It does take a lot of extra processor power for him to maintain sensoral stability, which tends to make him a little slow in other ways. I don’t think I’d choose to do it either if I could get away without it.

Walk the Jetway

Naki’s voice crackled over the comm: “Get up to the port jetway. You gotta see this!” I met Naki years ago, in my first session of Refinement. He’s my closest friend, and the person who introduced me to the crew from 759. Had anyone else requested my presence today, I’d have ignored it. When I got to the jetway, I found a group of people getting ready to put on some sort of show. Dancers, from an outer colony somewhere, it was obvious; they had Genomods, like me. But unlike me, their mods were plainly, proudly visible. Instead of hair, they grew shiny, curved horns, like intricate wooden cascades falling, streamlined, down their backs. Their skin was also different; fluorescent, reflective almost, and always shifting in color slightly, subtly.

I had never met anyone else with Genomods, let alone who displayed them without fear. I knew there were some outer cultures that used them in ritualistic ways, but I had never even considered what it felt like to see this. Naki reached his arm around me, pulling me close to him while we watched the show together, sharing a pod of whiskey. I didn’t even stop him reaching over to remove my glasses in public, putting them away in his jacket pocket.

You Don’t Even Know / Wake Up Angels / Outer Space Employment Agency
How do can you say who I am when you don’t even know who you are? Are you a man, a beast, a god or the devil? Wake up, Angels!— Sun Ra

When humans first began to populate space, it was no easy task. But it was all undertaken with the future of the soul of mankind in mind—our race was dying, poisoned by industry for centuries—and it was hoped that we could renew our very selves in the endeavor. For a while, we really did.

Life in the first colonies was very hard and dangerous for almost everyone, but every time a major system broke down, or a microfragment pierced someone’s hull, everyone else in nearby quarters ran immediately to help. It took the isolation and darkness of space for humans to finally realize their absolute connection with each other. For that first part of the New Settlment era, we became much more than human, something outrageously beautiful. We became Angels.

After the first century, Industry began to encraoch again where it hadn’t been welcomed in the form of the Corporate Governance Act on Earth, realizing again its hunger for new sales and profits. War and famine followed, and once again in desperation we showed our other side, magnified as deeply as the goodness that came before it, and we became Devils. We’ve once again swung back towards the center—but varition is nature’s first edict and space is endless, immeasurable; there were so many places for us to become isolated and evolve as societies.

The Stuff of Stars

Everything was wrong that day. I was repairing 759’s computer as the last of the equipment onboard was being broken down and loaded back into the remaining ships; I was on the far, far end from where my Sailer was docked when the alarms went off. I signaled my ship to break dock and power down, to hopefully drift away slowly, unnoticed until the Agents left. I knew they’d been sniffing around for a while, we were all prepared for the eventuality. I grabbed a suit, helmet, and scrubber pack from the nearest utility bay—nothing electronic to set off sensors—and let myself out an airlock. I thought I’d only be floating for a couple hours before waking Sailer to retrieve me.

As I rolled through space, though, and saw 759 explode and my Sailer get ripped open by burning debris, I realized it was going to be a lot longer. Most people had left a few days ago, and I watched what I hoped was the rest escape… just me floating now. My scrubbers were mostly bio; they would recycle for weeks and the bacteria would keep thriving on my waste. The sponge filter on my air unit, however, was another story. After a few days I knew I would start losing capacity, and slowly suffocate.

I had no idea how long it would take anyone to start looking for me at all… well, anyone except the nearby Agency ships that were the obvious cause of the explosion. I wondered what Company they were working for. The best thing for me to do would be just stay quiet and still and hope I wouldn’t bump into anyone…Unless they’re looking to retreive someone or something in particular, they tend to give in to baser instinct and simply destroy everything offensive to them within scanning range.

all contents © 2010 the tribe of magic
granular viewer
kosmoniq

[koz-muh-neek] –noun:
1. one born or residing on the first habitat satellites surrounding Earth in the 24th century
2. a cosmic player or socialite, of non-planet birth and status

New Settlement Year 0407

Humans have spread across the galaxy in only four centuries, as nations have built rings of habitation satellites anywhere they found proper conditions, abundant raw materials and power resources.

Only the most privileged inhabit Earth or any of the other Planets. Even the richest of the working class are born, live and die in outer space. Most never know what real gravity or unrecycled, unscrubbed air feels like.


Pan through Kosmoniq’s log entries on the main panel using the buttons at its top right.

Sailer Sublight Drive Systems Corp.

Sailer produces many commercial space vehicles, but its most popular are the long-haul ion pulse sailers used for local shipping and loading. They donít start very quickly, but they will go a long way with very little fuel and are known to be very reliable and easy to maintain. They quickly became poplular as personal transport since a cargo container can be modded out and permanently attached as a home under the back of the rig.

Refinement Centers

Since the passing of the Corporate Governance Act, Refinement has been a “civilized” codeword for prison. Any Corporate misdeeds, since its passing, are usually (and easily) blamed on lower employees. The real effect, in the end, is that most everyone who isn’t wealthy enough to live on real soil, like Kosmoniq, has spent time in Refinement, just for doing what their employers demanded. You can see then why many prefer living unnoticed, nomadic and independantly employed.

Corporate Governance Act

The Corporate Governance Act officially broke down the last walls between Government and Corporations. Once a business entity was allowed to run for any office in the American Republic, the course of humankind was altered wildly. Every human alive, from the innermost planets to the furthest colonial satellites, lives under the power of the Corporations from birth until death.

Agencies / Agents

Agencies, legendary for being on the forefront of both innovation and brutality, were the natural replacements for national armies once Corporate Governance began. Private, shielded from any kind of scrutiny, highly armed and just as likely highly educated, Agents are every Corporation’s private police, army, and intelligence forces rolled into one. No one is safe from their reach, and falling into an Agency’s sights is thought to be the worst thing possible to happen to anyone, anywhere.

main control

  • home screen
  • personal logs
Sailer Sublight Drive Systems Corp. systems checking hull temperature:
nominal
engines output:
72 per eff
life support:
atmoscrubbers 84 per eff
life support:
hydroscrubbers in fermentcycle
fuel cells:
42 of 102 units full
radiation levels:
no warnings
download the album from iTunes Sailer Sublight Drive Systems Corp. systems checking hull temperature:
nominal
engines output:
72 per eff
life support:
atmoscrubbers 84 per eff
life support:
hydroscrubbers in fermentcycle
fuel cells:
42 of 102 units full
radiation levels:
no warnings
buy the beautiful CD from CD Baby Sailer Sublight Drive Systems Corp. systems checking hull temperature:
nominal
engines output:
73 per eff
life support:
atmoscrubbers 84 per eff
life support:
hydroscrubbers in fermentcycle
fuel cells:
42 of 102 units full
radiation levels:
no warnings
purchase the CD from CD Universe Sailer Sublight Drive Systems Corp. systems checking hull temperature:
nominal
engines output:
70 per eff
life support:
atmoscrubbers 84 per eff
life support:
hydroscrubbers in fermentcycle
fuel cells:
42 of 102 units full
radiation levels:
no warnings
download the album from Amazon