Ok, so I was having this interesting email discussion with a blogger and he made a comment that reminded me I had this “story” stored away in my “Short Stories” bin. I’ve dusted it off, made sure nothing contagious was clinging to it, and here it is…
Cosmic Garbage Dump
[off the cuff, by Sha’Tara]
Sometimes I get visions of this universe as a cosmic garbage dump. To see the humour of it, you have to have an idea of what happens in small town garbage dumps. There’s mounds and mounds of garbage, sort of sorted out, and bins where you can dump certain things and not others. There are huge machines going over the piles of refuse, pushing it down into valleys and covering it with gravel, layering it. There are vehicles coming in and going out all the time. Some have to take their garbage back – the dump won’t take it if it’s not kosher.
Let’s call our universe GD666.
It’s a very important place, lots of traffic, noisy, smelly, quite colorful in places – not that you’d want to live there — Lots of similar things bunched up together all over the place.
A load of planets pulls in at the gate house.
“Load of old planets removed from U-12”
“They still renovating over there? OK, sign here. Take the left lane. See the attendant in Planet reduction Sector X-5.”
Reduction Sector X-5: “How many? Seven? OK, got to test for biologicals, hold on. Hey what are you trying to pull? You have two biologically infected planets here. You know better than that. Take them over to fumigation. There’s an extra charge for this.”
A strange transport pulls in, with two nebulae in tow. “Hey Mack, where’d the Nebulae section go?”
“Sorry fellah, we’re not accepting those at the moment. U-338 has needs of them. You’ll have to get a credit from the gatehouse and take those to U-338. Those guys at Gate must be sleeping. I’ll call and tell them you’re coming back through.”
“Where in hell’s U-338?”
“Damn if I know. Ask at Gate. They should know that… oh shit! Hey you with the suns – hold it right there! Where’d these come from?”
“I dunno. I got a call – special trip, triple pay if I’d move on it right away and no questions asked. It’s a rush job apparently. Some big political deal happening somewhere. These were just pushed out and left to free float in space. They had wandered into warp space fly paths. I had to stabilize them and load them. Where do you want them?”
“I don’t want them at all. Our solar recycling section is burning up as it is. The old shields are breaking down and no one will spring for new ones. The radiation is a killer and our crushers can’t go near ’em. Take them beyond that galaxy over there. See if they have a black hole that’s not full yet and dump ’em there. Who knows, you may get lucky.”
“Hey got a train load of asteroids here.”
“Finally! Pile ’em up in the usual place. Make sure they all stay in one orbit. You don’t get paid for strays. Any meteorites in there?”
“Yeah, a few, why?”
“New regulations. We don’t take those. Too dangerous. You’ll have to be escorted to the dump orbit and the meteorites will have to go back.”
“So what am I supposed to do with ’em?”
“That’s not my problem. There’s some solar systems use ’em for entertainment or shooting up for sport. Ask around.”
“Load of stars from U-3. Where do I put them?”
“Listen and listen good and for one last time: stars are suns. Do you understand that? Nothing special about stars, OK? Whatever you call ’em, they’re suns. I don’t want ’em and you know that. Follow the guy with the suns. Find a black hole. Move it, and don’t try that again.”
Oh well, just another “day” at the Cosmic garbage dump. As below, so above. Get used to it, you may have a job there someday and you’ll thank me, don’t worry, for making you aware of that eventuality. It’s always Monday here and everybody works!