I would love to say that my absence from blogging was because I was spending more time working on my work in progress. The reality of it though is that while I have done a little on the work, mostly I have been experiencing the joys of a filled life with little time to do other things. Many blog post ideas have formed, been captured, some even started, but none finished. As a switch from the norm, I decided to include a short bit from my work in progress. This is the first glimpse we have of Earnest Allman on board his ship The Danegeld, traveling the stars. Allman is the first of what was to be many travellers to other solar systems, but as we learn as the story progresses, a paradigm shift after he left left him alone. His travels, once incredibly popular the world over, became less and less followed by the public until it seems that only one person, Abe Hannah, still remembers he is still on his way. Even his creators have moved on to the next big thing, but when once you pay the Danegeld, you never lose the Dane and Allman's journey continues.
It was a monotonous trip. The scenery changed, if you call the distant constellations scenery. Traveling at near light speed made communication hard. It made course corrections critical, but for Allman, it was just like walking in the park. He could not remember the last time he received a word from mission control but there was no need to worry. Even with the laser-aided transmitter, it would take as long to send a message as it had to reach the spot the message was sent from. A reply would take even longer because the ship stopped for no man. It barreled on into the void.
Every imaginable book, song, movie and television show was stored for Allman’s entertainment in the equivalent of the internet, his information database. While mission control messages were rare, there were constantly updates to Allman’s library. He shut off an electronic book and settled down. Something had been bugging him from quite some times. Where was his toothbrush? His joints felt stiffer. It was bound to happen, that he would age. Relatively speaking he was ancient by earth standards. Everyone that had wished him on his way was dead and gone by now. And Allman was starting to get remorseful. The things he could have done differently. The things he should have done. Why had he agreed to come on this trip?
He crossed his cabin to the navigational computer. His destination was the same. The computer corrected automatically. He glanced at the chronometers, one for his time, one for earths and then he saw it.
How could he have missed it all this time? It was sitting there plain as day on the console by the chronometers. As he reached for his toothbrush, he felt a sharp, painful prick on his finger. He pulled back his hand looking at his finger. A drop of blood formed so he sucked on his finger while he looked at the console closer.
There was no sign of anything that could have stuck him. He crouched closer and turned to view the toothbrush as it lay there from different angles. He touched the instrument panel and slowly inched his hand across the surface toward the brush.
Nothing impeded his hand’s progress. No cracks, no seams, no screws, no rivets, no small needles waiting to poke him, no trap doors to conceal hi toothbrush from him for all these years. As he got closer, he slowed even more. After all, he had time, right? Nowhere to go and nothing to do. Why did they send him again?
A sudden pain hit Allman’s temple. Was this the headache he had heard so much about but never experienced? His temples started throbbing. Forgetting the needle stab of a moment ago, he snatched the toothbrush up and headed for the database screen. He would brush his teeth when he found out if this pain was a headache or something else. He could almost feel the tartar and buildup on his teeth as he pulled up his information database. He would solve the mysterious toothbrush dilemma later, when he had the time.