Nanthology – The Competition Winner

Nanowrimo is a compelling challenge to write 50,000 words during November: that’s an average of 1667 words per day. My plan is to write a set of 30 short stories each 1667 words long instead.  Each story comes from a prompt, a lot from fellow bloggers.

MY NANTHOLOGY

Day Sixteen

Nanthology Charli 6

The Competition Winner

This is based on a prompt from Charli Mills over at the Carrot Ranch and is a homage to the late great Douglas Adams

Supreme Council, 2217. Official Reprosant presents the findings of the Language and Translation Department: We have recently made a breakthrough in translating a set of intergalactic signals, or IS, picked up by Hubble X through the analysis of deconstructed 3G dark matter, which has exceptional thought-based adhesion. In summary when 3G dark matter passes within a quadranal (≤15 light years) of any IS, its residual harmonics may attach.

The example I present today is from Seguin, a replaced system in Quadrant 7XV9a. Through careful analysis and the application of Rosetta principles we have decoded Seguinal. To date we have decoded 7.625×10³ IS. Seguinal is a carbo-oxygenetic chord rhyme language similar in composition to Sirian VI and Mid-Harondial.

What you will hear initially is a discussion between two Third Cluster Seguinal Senators. It is included as much for the concise summation of recent Seguinal history. The remaining decodes will have a general resonance, displaying similar tensions to those developing here prior to our Third Replaneting. Some explanatory commentary is also included. You will hear Senator Vernon first…

‘To recap, Seguin Three-Five is the Fifth Orb of the Third Seguin Cluster, housing the Tertiary Life Needs of home, work, leisure, health, punishment and government. Prior to replaneting, Seguin society was unclustered with all elements of every life need-want function existing in a randomly distributed position relative to its related user function…’

‘We do know this, Vernon. Can’t we move on and…?’

‘Marshall, if you’d just let me finish. The rationalisation of the distribution has led to the Cluster distributions we now enjoy…’

‘Speak for yourself.’

‘Marshall, I’m warning you. Cluster Three contains the Tertiary distribution and followed the Build and Maintain functions in Cluster One and Serve and Support in Cluster Two…’

‘That’s rich. What you mean is Cluster Three is the dump for all the stuff deemed ‘nice to have but inessential’…’

‘That’s hardly fair.’

‘Really? So why does it house all the hairdressers, catering assistants, actors, those in PR and advertising, estate agents,  air conditioning sales-people…’

‘Shut up, Marshall. Cluster Three became operational One Life Period ago and, as with the anniversary of the other Clusters we need to record this major event…’

‘You are the most boing person, you know?’

‘I’m sorry, Marshall but do you want to lead this debate? I’m happy to give you the floor.’

{Pausing there, please note Seguinal names are complex combinations on two levels of chord rhyme, one representing the individuals unique genetic code and the other a range of social and, in context, sexual preferences – i.e. water penetration, gland fulfilment and/or aggregated ovulation – Seguinists are thought to be hermaphrodites, each with a range of penis like appendages and a set of super elastic multi-functional vaginas}.

‘It’s alright, Vernon. We know you love background; you majored in logic, highlights and tints.’

‘Ho ho. Seg save us from your wit.’ {Seg more closely mirrors a superhero rather than a deity}

‘Calm it Vernon or you’ll have another vlomboidic rupture.’ {We are not certain but it is believed this is similar to a cardiac arrest}

‘I am calm. I’m half masseur if you remember. {Seguinists are a carbon-based people with a primary functional DNA that makes their work skills heritable and new skills arise from normal Darwinian selection and relevant mutations} Can we return to the purpose of this gathering? We are charged with the task of creating an appropriate memorial to the First Anniversary of New Seguinicity and, as the Tertiary Cluster, we will be expected to make a splash.’

‘Why must it be a splash?’

‘Oh please Vernon…’

‘A splash is exactly what the other Clusters will expect. It will pander to the worst stereotype, casting us as butterfly brained, airie-faerie, douche bags who are more interested in fringes than finance.’

‘We are stereotypes. I’m part hairdresser, part masseur and part no good busybody. I wouldn’t be part of the government without that last string of genetic material.’

‘That’s my point. By creating the Clusters…’

‘Oh, Marshall please, not again. We know you were against Clusters but look how peaceful things are. It’s worked. I for one am happy to stick to my own kind; frankly not having to spend any time bumping into my banker or optician unless I need their services is a blessing. All the polls show a seventy-two percent satisfaction rate across the Clusters…’

‘You know that’s the average and it’s barely fifty percent on this Custer…’

‘But it is above fifty and…’

‘… and if the polls are broken down by couplings versus singles the numbers differ dramatically…’

‘…there’s no law against inter-cluster relationships….’

‘….except geography and the fact that if any out-of-cluster visitor comes here of an evening we spend all out time wondering where he had his extensions done.’

‘You are in the minority and you know it.’

‘Look, I’m not against a monument… Per se.’

‘You’re not?’

‘No, Vernon I’m not. But I think it should make a statement not a splash. It should remind all Seguinists that we are one race. And that we need more integration than will happen if we become set in our Clusters. They’ll expect us to paint a mountain pink or pull a Crowd Frisan {a Frisan is a type of donut and the full phrase – ‘To pull a Frisan on a Cromple’ – is a euphemism for sex in public, often as a form of performance art; like dogging only without the cramp and the condensation}.

‘You’re disgusting. Though it is a thought. Anyway, I didn’t take you for a philosopher. Are you part Librarian, maybe? Or do you have some Poet residue?’

‘You are close to being Geneist. My ancestry is as memorable as any Third Clustodian. We need a simple statue or sculpture that speaks to everyone…’

‘Dullsville.’

‘…from all of the Clusters. And not just to us. Ideally it will be something that represents the Interconnectedness of the Clusters, something that we all have and all share with the other Seguinists. Are you making notes?’

‘Yes, this is good stuff. What about a name?

‘We could call in ‘Integration’ or ‘One Race’ or something.’

‘I’m sure we can do better but you may be onto something.

‘You think?’

‘There will be one condition.’

‘Go on.’

‘It has to be pink.’

‘Bloody hell, it can be covered in sequins and have nice hair if we can get this through. You’ll help, Vernon?’

‘I’m not denying my heritage and, of course, anything we do must be tasteless and grandiloquent…’

‘Granted.’

‘All right. I suppose you want me to talk to Council?’

‘If you would pass on my thoughts…’

Next we have the minutes of the following Council meeting

‘Let it be noted, following representations from Senator Vernon:

  1. There will be a monument to the First Anniversary;
  2. Whatever it is, it will be pink;
  3. It will represent the complete spectrum of Seguinists across the Clusters and what brings us together;
  4. There will be a public competition with the winning entry and winning name being chosen by public vote.’

Then we have another conversation between Vernon and Marshall, following a private briefing on the outcome of the competition.

‘Vernon, you must have known this would happen. Will the Council want to revisit the whole thing?’

‘True it’s hardly a surprise, when you consider the nature of the constituents. My impression is no one has the appetite to re-run the competition.’

‘But the idea was to have a serious memorial, not something that will be a joke across all the Clusters in perpetuity.’

‘The competition rules were based on the notes I took from you. You can hardly blame the Council for thinking that if you endorsed it, given you are easily the most serious and least frivolous Senator, it must be acceptable.’

‘It’s dreadful.’

‘It gets worse.’

‘How?’

‘The President will unveil it.’

‘Seg save me, you’re kidding…’

‘And then there’s the name…’

‘The name…?’

‘You won’t like it.’

‘Tell me.’

‘I really think…’

‘TELL ME.’

‘I’ve written it down. Come on Marshall, if you ask the people to put forward ideas and ask them to select the winner, you can hardly be surprised about the lowest common denominator effect, can you? We’re living on the most frivolous planet in the Galaxy, a planet peopled solely by those whose aim it is to either have a good time or help others have a good time. Personally I think the name captures completely that which links all Seguinists, when seen from this Cluster.’

‘I’ll kill myself.’

‘It’s going to be enormous too.’

‘Now. I’ll rip out my own Vlomb.’

‘Can you wait until I’ve left? This tunic is fresh on.’

Let me pause here. It is understood suicide is generally temporary on Seguin and is analogous to our going on a long walk with the dog.

You should consider the lessons from this. There are two factions represented in this discussion. Those who see the benefit in skill-based groupings, enhancing the sharing of knowledge and mutual support, and those who see the benefits of a mixture of groupings, learning additional skills from different groups which only close proximity can provide. I think we have seen that, with sophisticated global communications it is easy, even if geographically distant, to end up spending time with the like-minded, or in their case, complimentarily skilled, people. And with that narrow focus a certain loss of perspective develops. The last part is from the day of the unveiling by the Seguinal President.

‘It is my pleasure to visit Seguin Three-Five on this most auspicious day to thank you all for your continuing contributions to the enrichment of life on Seguin. This monumental sculpture will, I have been assured, stand testament to the strength of character and harmony of all our peoples. I am honoured to give you… Is this right?

‘Yes sir.’

‘Ok, but I’m not sure I approve.’

‘This is the Third Cluster, sir.’

‘Oh all right. I give you..

INTERCOURSE

A homage to our uniquely multi-faceted genitalia.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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19 Responses to Nanthology – The Competition Winner

  1. 🙂 So good!! There are ties when I would like to spend a couple of hours inside your head, just to experience the rush of creativity – but then I think I’d have to have a lie down for a couple of weeks to recover………….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t get beyond the techie stuff in this one, Geoff

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sacha Black says:

    Utterly barking mad. I adore this one. It just became my favourite of the lot so far!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sacha Black says:

    Partly because Adams is my hero!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Autism Mom says:

    Love this! Totally captures Adams’ bureaucratic babble come exposition style. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, splendid! I will forever look upon that sculpture and giggle in passing. I anyone asks what I think of that piece of art I’ll respond, “Oh, INTERCOURSE? I think it represents Seguinists, thought to be hermaphrodites, each with a range of penis like appendages and a set of super elastic multi-functional vaginas. What do you think?” Perhaps we will evolve to such artistic bits one day?

    Liked by 1 person

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