10 Day And/Or Night Shifts With Blueneck


Neither Blueneck’s neck, nor the rest of his bulky body stayed still for long. This I realized pretty early into my first shift of work.  His synthetic voice also kept going, going and going although mostly it specialized in the types of communication my profanity filters blocked out from my conscious comprehension, of which, of course, I remain grateful.

And, unfortunately for my deeper thought patterns, the strength of his through the telepathic translator system we were all coupled into, also rarely took a break.  That, sadly, I could not completely turn off.  Workers at these sorts of stations were required to be able to comprehend their co-workers at all times.  Even if that particular comprehension involved disgust, dismay, horror, vomiting, the like.  The law the law.  It’s for safety.  Everyone knows that.

Now, sure, you might think that sort of thing is used by sensitive species which has no tolerance for the xenospicy side of existence, but I’ve learned with regards to many species, sexual deviancy and religion play a key part in profanity, and ones on species can be bad enough.  Once you start applying the kinds of things Alien species use for their own personal and cultural invective compulsions, then you can hit a different plane of disturbing.

This is why I never got into the more interpersonal side of the supersymetrical filter career.  That is a sure way to get irredeemably bent.

So… in between his tirade of language which was cancelled out by my filter – although there was always the option for a less graphic translation of his quips – he finally realized after a couple shift, I wasn’t responding in the way he expected I was supposed to.

Or, more specifically, the way Blueneck wanted me to.

“Are you *blank*listening to me,” he asked.  And then he did again, backing up the request with a telempathic push.  Eventually I had to answer.  Or it would seem like I was being rude.

“I am,” I told him.

“Gak?! Then, what do you *blank*have to say about what I just *blank*said?” he wanted to know.

I shrugged.  I’m one of the lucky species who can perform such a bodily maneuver.  You’d be surprised how rare we are.

“Not much,” I admitted.

“Are you one of those *blank*asexual irreligious types then,” he wondered. “Cause I am just not *blank**blank*impressed by species that just *blank*duplicate by *blank*splitting into *blank*blank**two.”

That was a little funny, considering we all had to have clones to just be here.

“Nope,” I told him. “Just don’t talk about it much.”

To be fair, my species, perhaps, didn’t have the sexual cache of the Womologs of Fran or the Geisseve Swarm.  They just don’t make many jokes about Balleeni sex or religion.

Yep, those species specific topics are simply that exciting to talk about..

“We’ll,” he nodded his neck, expressing an odd satisfaction. “I guess that’ll *blank*mean I’ll have to *blank*do it for the *blank**blank*both of us.”

And that was plenty fine for me, as it meant I would be left to contemplate the void in front of me with only a bubbling undercurrent from my co-worker, and the complex yet rote task of cleaning every bit of dark matter splatter. Any the other materials I was scrubbing? Well, I preferred not to quantify that which caked the anti-entropic collectors I’d been given, it was better not to ask.  One of the purposes of a cleaning job, I figured, was to also ensure that one can always have a clean mind – in theory, anyway.

<<Galactic News Flash: The Develian Crake, a super organism species type is currently in the process of simplifying It’s reproductive system by genetically grafting suitable characteristic of approved alien species.  If you would like to offer up members of your simplistic sexual species, or know a relatively defenseless species which members can be culled from, please contact your local Develian Crake consulate.  Don’t be afraid, they won’t eat you.  They save that behavior for their designated reproductive partners.>>   

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Dispatches From The Inter-Galactic – Stories