“By the Earth-Stypei Treaty of The Twenty-third Local Year of Our Interaction, as amended, suspected Stypean sympathizers may be detained by duly empowered authorities only so long as the unbreachable sovereignty of the Stypean body-host is not violated, and only for the purpose of deportation upon confirmation of Stypean inhabitance. Tests to determine inhabitance are only permissible if they do not breach body-host sovereignty in any fashion. The breaching of a body-host as well as the deportation of a non-Stypean body host to Stypean space shall constitute an act of war and a resumption of hostilities between the two worlds”
We stared up at the sunlit peaks, each thinking our own thoughts. I thought about Dessica. We’d waited two months after landing to name it, but the decision was unanimous. Hot, dry, with dust storms that could blow for weeks at a time– if ever there was a Hell, that place had to be it. But eight of us had stayed there for two years, exploring and collecting data; the first interstellar expedition at work. And then we had packed up and come back– at an empty Earth. Not a soul left anywhere….
“Really?” I couldn’t keep the disbelief out of my voice. My eyes wandered back to the picture on the general’s wall.
He noticed. “That’s an untouched photo,” he said. “The aliens are real, and they’re here…”
“You are accused of stealing the intellectual property of Einstein, Dirac and Heisenberg.” The middle-aged speaker waved his finger at Professor Hillabin, more in the manner of a prosecutor than a judge.
This episode of the Drabblecast illustrates the folly of bureaucracy. In the drabble, one by one an entire classroom of students are promoted to be their own teachers. In the feature, a lost, dimension-hopping scientist is trapped in a world where scientific theories are considered intellectual property. Unable to perform his calculations without them, he finds himself on trial for failure to pay royalties. When he cannot convince the court to take mercy on him, he pulls looses a devastating strategy.
In some Drabble News, Norm Sherman shares the interesting tale of well fed “Terry the Crocodile.” The featured stories are a double-dose of Michael Stanwick goodness. “Hush and Hark” brings a god back home, if only for a moment. “Metasciencefiction” shows just how writers come up with those wonderful stories about dinosaurs and guns and awesome stuff like that. Feedback is for Episode 80, “Standing in Line.”
We’re lying in the sun, letting our wings dry, when a thought suddenly occurs to me. “Do you think it’s fair” “What’s that?” says Bob. He’s sitting there beside me, fat and lazy, with his three tales flickering lightly in the spring breeze.
The fourth of the Drabblecast’s Trifecta episodes gives us three different views of the beginnings and endings of life. In “Ephemeroptera’s Lament,” mayflies look for love in their one-day life cycle. In “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg,” B.J. Harrison of “The Classic Tales Podcast” reads us a story of the end, and beginning, of everything. “No Strings Attached,” read by Steve Eley from Escape Pod, shows us the beginnings of a man’s new life. The show concludes with one of Norm Sherman’s original bbardle songs, “75 Lines,” a catchy tune referencing each of the first 75 episodes of The Drabblecast.
Once you start to see them, they seem to be everywhere…
The Drabble News report, of a 5-year scientific study which showed staring at women’s breasts prolonged the lifespan of males, inspires a now-infamous skit. Norm details the riot among medical test subjects when the non-boobie control group was chosen. The feature story continues with theme of close observation of the Creator’s handiwork. The author, whose work has appeared in “Alien Skin” among other places, presents a disturbing tale of a crusty old misanthrope discovering a crude shortcut from an Impressionistic God, harkening back to the world’s creation. Is humanity ready for that knowledge? Feedback for Episode #39, “The Bee-Keepers,” was accidentally erased by Norm, but the forum comments were very positive, and stimulated a great discussion about parasites. Finally, the Drabblecast New Year’s Resolution is a raise in the submission pay rates.