I’ve had this idea rattling around in the back of my head for a while, probably as a consequence of playing too many sci-fi/horror games with lots of audio logs. Once in a while, the little recorded monologues you pick up between gameplay sequences can actually be pretty compelling. I mean sure, more often than not they developers either put no effort into them or went too far the other way, shoving high-flown nonsense down your throat when all you want to know is why the place you’re current in is full of gibbering, twitching monstrosities. But when they get it right, you can have to really great storytelling from an unexpected corner. Anyway, that’s more than enough preamble – here’s the first in *my* three-part tirade of high-flown nonsense, without even the video-game to keep you entertained in-between. Enjoy!
Log Number 1
Hi. It’s me, Steven. I am speaking to you from aboard the U.S.S Mephistopheles, in outer space. I mean, you knew that already – and I still can’t really tell you anything apart from that the research is very important, and very exciting. Confidentiality and all that. But I had to say it out loud, just once. I’m in space! There. Glad I got that off my chest.
Oh, I have to tell you about the launch – the moment we left the atmosphere. It was incredible. It was like you’re on the biggest aeroplane in the world that’s in the middle of taking off and it’s the night before Christmas and you can’t wait to go downstairs and open your presents and you’re standing on the edge of the tallest, steepest cliff all at once. And I had your picture, in my wallet, in my chest pocket. Right here.
How are you, anyway?
Hah, tricked you there! This is just a recording. I can’t hear you. One of the technicians promised me that these logs will be taken back to Earth with the supply shuttle and delivered to friends, family, loved ones, etc. You might even get to send a reply! I’m looking forward to that. Talk about going long-distance, right? The longest. But hey, we managed to keep going when you were working in London, how much harder can it be? A lot, I imagine. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t missing you already.
Goodbye, Abby – for now. I’ll be making another log soon, so you’ll get to hear from me at least. Love, Steve.
Log Number 2
How are you? I’m alright. A bit bored, a bit lonely. The crew are… nice, but they all know each other really well already, and you know what I’m like around really talkative people. I just clam up and listen, or just end up talking shop for ages, I can tell they find that boring. I guess we just don’t really have much in common.
I met the ship’s cat. She seems to like me. But her name is River Tam, which is not a reference I get, and that just makes me feel even more left out. Never really liked sci-fi. Kind of ironic then isn’t it, that I’d end up out here? I’m finding it very strange. But hey, it is the final frontier, and all that. I suppose it’d be disappointing if it was just like home.
Anyway, lots more logs soon. So long Abby!
Log Number 7
Sorry the logs have been a bit thin on the ground, things have been really busy lately. There’s been a load of electrical interference recently, and we lost a lot of data, so they’ve been working us really hard to catch up. Doctor Gisborne says we’ll be getting some new samples in soon, so I’m really excited about that.
Still haven’t really gotten to know anyone, but I’m learning to play the guitar, so that’s been keeping me entertained in my spare time. I’m going to try to make you a mix tape, old-fashioned style, to send back with the supply shuttle as a birthday present. It’s a comfort to think of you receiving it. I just know it’ll make you smile.
It’s beautiful out here. In a really abstract, far-off kind of way. Like, it’s only ever a view out of a window. The same tastes, the same smells – synthetic meat and vitamin pills, disinfectant in the showers – and a new heaven on the other side of the glass. I’ve given up trying to take pictures for you. They never come out right. Anyway, back to work! I promise to make these more often in the future.
Your loving fiancé,
Log Number 14
I’m finally beginning to feel at home here, I think. It’s been months, but my room finally feels like it’s really mine, you know? It’s nice. And I feel like I’m finally making friends with some of the guys down in the hydroponics lab. We meet up most nights and play cards, it’s a lot of fun.
Jim is trying to distil some alcohol from the leftover food crops without his bosses finding out, using makeshift still he’s set up in supply cupboard. That’d be cool. Anyway, what with work heating up and actually having something to do in my spare time, I’ve been pretty busy!