Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #5251  
Old 11-30-2018, 11:17 AM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
"So we’re safe again."

"Safe? No, of course you’re not safe. There’s about a billion other things out there just waiting to burn your whole world. But if you want to pretend you’re safe just so you can sleep at night, okay. You’re safe. But you’re not really."
  #5252  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:31 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of.
  #5253  
Old 11-30-2018, 03:27 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
Serena hadn't told Sydney to go home. She hadn't told her to run away. She told her to go somewhere safe.
  #5254  
Old 12-01-2018, 12:15 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that “news” is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different—in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness.
  #5255  
Old 12-01-2018, 02:34 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
There was a red button on the wall labelled EMERGENCY, but no button labelled BEWILDERMENT.
  #5256  
Old 12-02-2018, 10:49 AM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
"Do you remember the little red button?"

"Yeah..."

"Push the little red button."

"And you may want to put on a seatbelt..."
  #5257  
Old 12-02-2018, 02:26 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
Arthur Dent: What happens if I press this button?
Ford Prefect: I wouldn't-
Arthur Dent: Oh.
Ford Prefect: What happened?
Arthur Dent: A sign lit up, saying 'Please do not press this button again.
  #5258  
Old 12-02-2018, 03:51 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
...And meanwhile the Galaxy ran through space and left behind those signs old and new and I still hadn't found mine.
  #5259  
Old 12-02-2018, 05:27 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
Nine of her broadside missile tubes, six of her broadside graser mounts, and four of her sidewall generators had been reduced to wreckage, and there was no way in the galaxy he could take on yet another undamaged heavy cruiser and win.

But he and his people had already destroyed three of them, he thought grimly. If they had to, galaxy or no galaxy, they would damned well take out a fourth. Either way, there was no way he was going to abandon Refuge to the animals who had already slaughtered so many, and he had people of his own down there.
  #5260  
Old 12-03-2018, 09:44 AM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
I can wait for the galaxy outside to get a little kinder.
  #5261  
Old 12-04-2018, 01:09 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
Victor smiled politely in return, the way someone smiles when they're thanked for having done a minor favor in times past. Held open a door in the rain, lent someone a small amount of money, butchered an ex-lover, that sort of thing.
  #5262  
Old 12-04-2018, 07:11 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
I doubt I was much of a storyteller, but I would have put that smile in my book. On page 104, right next to the image of the Ward. I would have written it on my heart. I would have proofread it a thousand times under a thousand moons until a thousand tears thoroughly rationalized what it meant to me. Each time for when I’d met the darkness, and then succumbed. The smile read “you can’t break me’”—bold and in italics.
  #5263  
Old 12-05-2018, 06:48 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
He smiled like a sun lamp.
  #5264  
Old 12-06-2018, 07:47 AM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
This was such a time. She felt a certain smile spreading across her face, in response. That smile. The involuntary one that sometimes came upon her, and made men forget her metabolism.
  #5265  
Old 12-06-2018, 03:10 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
This smile sank deep into her marrow and made her heart soar like the shuttles piercing the stratosphere.
  #5266  
Old 12-06-2018, 09:31 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
His earliest memories were of standing with his nose pressed to the window on the south side of his parents’ modest house, watching the atmospheric counter-grav freighters drive across the heavens, splashed in sunlight and cloud shadow, gleaming like the Tester’s own promise of beauty. Pygmies compared to the doomed ships outside his shuttle at the moment, but enormous for pre-Alliance Grayson.

And even more so for the imagination of a little boy who’d realized even then that ships had souls. That anything that lovely, that graceful—anything that many men had given so much of themselves to—had to be alive itself.
  #5267  
Old 12-07-2018, 06:37 AM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
“Attention, aboard the shuttle! You are under arrest! Surrender immediately! Come out slowly, in single file, with your hands behind your heads! Leave all weapons behind. Comply and your lives will be spared!”
  #5268  
Old 12-07-2018, 09:25 AM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.
  #5269  
Old 12-07-2018, 09:44 AM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
“I am Admiral Harrington, Royal Manticoran Navy,” she said, and something deep inside Gregoire Koenig shrank from that soprano scalpel. “I accept your surrender in the name of the Grand Alliance. Be aware that any resistance to my boarding parties will be met with instant lethal force and that my acceptance of your surrender is contingent upon the surrender of your intact databases. If those databases are not intact, or if any resistance is offered to my boarding parties by any individual, I will regard all of your personnel as having violated the terms of your surrender and act accordingly.”

She smiled, and somehow it was the most frightening thing Koenig had ever seen.

“You won’t like it if that happens,” she said very, very softly, “but I will.”
  #5270  
Old 12-09-2018, 02:10 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
"The contents of this computer are too dangerous, Julius. Not just to me."
  #5271  
Old 12-09-2018, 03:31 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit.
  #5272  
Old 12-09-2018, 04:39 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
I'm not sure of anything, Flora, except that a rebellion is in the cards. Something like the Uprising of 750, except that it will probably be worse.
  #5273  
Old 12-09-2018, 07:51 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
"According to Melissa Mailey, we now live in a world where kings and noblemen rule the roost. And they've turned all of central Europe—our home, now, ours and our childrens' to come—into a raging inferno. We are surrounded by a Ring of Fire. Well, I've fought forest fires before. So have lots of other men in this room. The best way to fight a fire is to start a counterfire. So my position is simple. I say we start the American Revolution—a hundred and fifty years ahead of schedule!"
  #5274  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:56 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
And a special thanks for not burning up the whole ship. Including yourself.
  #5275  
Old 12-10-2018, 10:11 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
She was my friend. Briefly, she was my lover. She was braver than I ever would have been in the moment of death. And I bet she was a hell of a shooting star.
  #5276  
Old 12-11-2018, 04:20 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
Grief is not productive. It simply represents an inefficiency in accepting change of status.
  #5277  
Old 12-11-2018, 09:08 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
"Shared pain is lessened; shared joy increased."
  #5278  
Old 12-12-2018, 07:38 AM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
We're all in it together.
  #5279  
Old 12-12-2018, 03:35 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
Diversity doesn't weaken us — it binds us together.
  #5280  
Old 12-12-2018, 03:44 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.
  #5281  
Old 12-12-2018, 06:39 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
"I'm not going to risk the entire galaxy in order to save a friend I've already grieved over."

"You do know that this time around you can't pretend innocence. You can prevent Tagon's death, so if he dies, it's all on your furry little head."

"And if the galaxy dies, nobody will care."

"If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, I've got a room full of violence-prone semi-sociopaths who care."

"Let's discuss this in private, shall we?"
  #5282  
Old 12-13-2018, 04:00 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
Why had he done it? Why couldn't it just not have happened? Why didn't they have time-travel, why couldn't he go back and stop it happening? Ships that could circumnavigate the galaxy in a few years, and count every cell in your body from light-years off, but he wasn't able to go back one miserable day and alter one tiny, stupid, idiotic, shameful decision...
  #5283  
Old 12-14-2018, 03:47 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
"I want to go back to four weeks ago and take away Tony's Flexy." He meant it, of course. Doctor Stuart had worked hard to get Mike to say those words. If he was thinking in terms of sibling rivalries and guilt feelings, it didn't show. "You can't do that, Mike. Time is a one-way street with no parking spaces. You just have to keep going." "Until you have an accident," Mike said bitterly. Doctor Stuart nodded. "Or run out of gas," he added, because he himself was old enough for the analogy to apply.
  #5284  
Old 12-14-2018, 04:06 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
Knowing the future is a huge responsibility. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
  #5285  
Old 12-15-2018, 05:15 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
'I've got fivesight,' he told me. 'Something just a little bit better than foresight.'
  #5286  
Old 12-15-2018, 06:10 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
The people who demand that the oracle predict for them really want to know next year’s price on whalefur or something equally mundane. None of them wants an instant-by-instant prediction of his personal life.
  #5287  
Old 12-15-2018, 08:21 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man.

But it's lovely work if you can stomach it.
  #5288  
Old 12-16-2018, 04:17 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
You can not aspire for redemption by asking for your reputation back. Redemption requires action, and a reputation is either defended or it is earned.
  #5289  
Old 12-16-2018, 07:00 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
To oppose something is to maintain it.
They say here "all roads lead to Mishnory." To be sure, if you turn your back on Mishnory and walk away from it, you are still on the Mishnory road. To oppose vulgarity is inevitably to be vulgar. You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; then you walk in a different road.
  #5290  
Old 12-17-2018, 03:57 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
Laika says I’m not middle of the road. One time she said that I was the road. She said I was her post-apocalyptic highway.
  #5291  
Old 12-18-2018, 02:24 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos... ruined dreams... this wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called "Max."
  #5292  
Old 12-18-2018, 04:07 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
But if you erase my memories, how will I learn from my mistakes?
  #5293  
Old 12-19-2018, 12:46 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
Only one attack fully succeeded, even so, but it was the one upon which he'd lavished the most care and effort, and he wasn't taking any chances on simply erasing the data he was after. Oh, no. His attack came equipped with the specific security codes for the computers in question, triggering the command sequence which reformatted their molecular circuitry itself. Turned those computers' memories into solid, inert chunks of crystalline alloy from which Saint Peter himself could not have recovered one single scrap of data. And because the man who'd prepared that attack came from so high inside Security itself, he'd known where all the backups were maintained . . . and how to reach them, too.
  #5294  
Old 12-19-2018, 02:52 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
“Brash souls made jokes about what must be mountains of unread spy-eye data stored who knew where and how.”
  #5295  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:47 PM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.
  #5296  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:51 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
Our instruments cannot perceive the wathan, what you call the soul, when its owner has died after attaining a certain stage of... let's call it goodness instead of ethical advancement
  #5297  
Old 12-20-2018, 10:13 AM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,658
"I've never done a funeral for an artificial intelligence before."

"We figured as much."

"Oh?"

"I think the "Petey's not in hell for committing suicide because he had no soul to begin with" argument gave you away."

"You're not eulogizing me when I die, even if it means I have to take you with me to make sure."
  #5298  
Old 12-20-2018, 10:16 AM
Blue Blistering Barnacle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,642
“Have at you, Builders! You can’t keep a science-fiction writer in Hell!”
  #5299  
Old 12-20-2018, 06:12 PM
Dendarii Dame is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14,470
"He runs something called the Celestial People's Republic, just north of here. What he tells his subjects is that we can turn Hell into Heaven by collectivizing it."
  #5300  
Old 12-22-2018, 05:59 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,316
Mere moments after humanity's return to Earth, the enigmatic Celestials appeared at a distance thousands of kilometers from Earth. They took no overt action. They were simply there, impassive, unmoving, and intimidating.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017