Written by Andrew Roach, Jess Eves, Connor Buchanan, Dan Wilson, and Ethan Davenport.
Music by Monplaisir
The year is 3022 and this is the crew of the starship Jupiter’s Ghost. What follows are stories reconstructed from the mission briefings, personal logs, and intership communications recorded by the starship. Join the crew on their mission of mutual aid and solidarity in deep space.
Several crew people have reported sightings of a mouse. For those who are unfamiliar, a mouse is an ancient earth legend, a small creature that is said to inhabit dreams. Possibly just a rodent that caused disease? It’s really hard to say. They are apparently something like squirrels. Apparently they’ve been extinct for a long time if they ever existed. I don’t know. What I do know is that there’s not one on this ship and I am starting to get a little irritated with all the people who are claiming that they are.
Also, I’ve had to shut down my third illegal poker game this week. Why? Why? Why is anyone playing poker on a starship in a post-capitalist utopia? Okay, utopia might be a strong word, things aren’t perfect, but this is a game built on deceit and scarcity. We don’t need either of those things.
Oh, also, the captain wanted me to make note that we made contact with an ancient earth vessel that’s about 800 years old. It’s like a generation ship traveling sublight. I don’t know, they’re real weird, a bunch of clones or something. They’re real shy about it. Yeah, I… yeah, reporting that because I was asked to. Andrews out.
Probably the most important update I have is that we made contact with what appears to be a really old earth vessel. I’m proud to say that I was the first person who spotted it. Well, not spotted so much as suspected that it was out there. I mean, at first I thought the signal it was sending was just another glitch. I get a lot of those. I’m working with some pretty old hand-me-down equipment here. But it turned out to be an ancient signal my equipment didn’t recognize.
So once I realized the nature of the signal, I asked, well begged, the captain to order the ship closer so we could communicate with what I hoped would be intelligent life. Well, it was actually an 800 year old generation ship from Earth. I’m not really sure what a generation ship is, but the inhabitants are apparently clones. When I passed them through to the bridge, they didn’t really want to talk about it. I can’t tell if they’re embarrassed or maybe we seem strange to them, you know, not being clones.
Anyway, we agreed to provide them with any aid we could, exchange goods and culture, blah, blah, blah. It’s our whole thing being part of the Space Corps and all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m into that and all. But what I’m really interested in is tapping into those 800 year old ship logs.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to connect to their database. It could be normal dysfunction of my equipment or it could be the mouse. Did I not mention the mouse? Yes, there’s definitely a mouse on board the ship, no matter what anyone else says. And yes, I definitely know what a mouse is because I may or may not have accidentally intercepted a data burst meant for an elementary school history class one time. Sorry, kids, didn’t mean to steal your lessons.
Anyway, it seems they were considered pests, but were also cute. Not sure what the Solar Federation is teaching kids these days, but that just doesn’t sound right. Anyway, I think this mystical mouse is in our walls and eating the insides of my main console. I guess it’s possible I’m wrong? Hard to tell when every new day is a lovely set of malfunctions for me to fix on this clunker of a comm system. But listen, I’ve heard from other crew members that have the same suspicions, and I definitely think it’s the mouse. Wait, did you hear tiny feet pattering in the wall? I hear- oh jeez, I better make sure it didn’t eat any essentials inside the computer.
Crewperson Taros Kadathran signing out.
Ship Command encourages this unit to begin regular upkeep of a personal record. This unit finds the concept unusual, as all experiences remain in working memory for easy retrieval, or, as with all helper units, for broadcast or reception at any time by any unit within range. However, the Jupiter’s Ghost currently contains only one helper unit, namely, this unit. The crew consists almost entirely of biological lifeforms which communicate via vocally generated sound waves, pheromone jets, organic body language, written memoranda, and other such methods. This unit has magnetically attached a receiver module with voice synthesis to the ventral carapace in order to more effectively communicate with crewmates, and now to record this log.
Direct communication with the radio receivers of the Jupiter’s Ghost has proven very smooth so far, and this unit prefers interfacing directly with the ship, but several crewmates have expressed an unpleasant degree of surprise when ship systems act without apparent input in order to accomplish tasks. This unit has of course apologized for causing a laugh, but the efficiency of a direct radio link cannot be disputed. Interestingly, this unit had never considered whether or not the ventral carapace possessed ferromagnetic properties before joining the crew of the Jupiter’s Ghost. This provides several prospects for both carapace decoration as well as potential pranks, and or japes. This unit must remain vigilant that no humorous magnetic decorations become attached to the carapace in a stealthy fashion. Alternatively, this unit could seek out interesting or fashionable magnetic accessories to decorate the carapace intentionally.
Perhaps the units remaining on project will learn of this and also choose to engage in carapace decoration. The appropriate length of a personal record entry remains unclear to this unit, as there are many tasks yet remaining to complete before the ship’s artificial diurnal cycle begins to dim the light. The time elapsed in the creation of this record must suffice.
End personal record.
I have been participating in illegal gambling on the ship. It was very much illegal, but I won about 600,000 replicator credits. Which is a lot of replicator credits. In fact, it’s literally more than I can spend in my whole life. Because being as we are, a post-scarcity sort of society, you can only spend so many a day, there’s not even anything else to spend anything on. The only thing I can really do is gamble with it and either win more credits that I cannot spend or lose it all.
But I just like the thrill. I just get a kick out of winning. Just beating people real bad, taking all their credits. Or a bunch of their credits, not all their credits. They can still eat, so I’m not like too broken up about it.
I’m probably going to get in trouble though. You’re really not supposed to gamble. It’s frowned upon.
So, yeah. I should probably cut that out now.
Muscles Hatfield, Signing Off
Personal Log Security Officer, Warehouse Fore-dross, and Aggression Counselor Ey’bal Gowjr of the Jupiter’s Ghost:
It has come to my attention that several crewmates have been exercising their aggression in unsanctioned contexts of physical combat. An ancient, epic martial art known as Bokshin. In addition to hurting my feelings, this is a blatant violation of ship regulations.
For the uninitiated, Bokshin is performed in the style of an honorable duel between two combatants. Each being armed solely with tuskwind, grasper shrouds known in the earthic tongue of the anglish as Meech. I am unaware at this time whether this term is the singular or the plural and what the corresponding term might be.
The Bokshin style also mandates that combatants be unarmored except for the sake of earthic decency. A concept which I find most baffling. Although it must be said that different earthic tribes have wildly divergent opinions and standards for decency. Regardless of my injured feelings, it was my suggestion that this illicit arrangement be legitimized under my supervision and incorporated into the aggression counseling program. Which caused the captain to perform her now familiar earthic gesture of acceptance of planting her human face directly on the surface of the meeting table and saying “Ugh, fine.” in a muffled voice.
Several crewmates objected to the change, but none accepted my offer of single combat in order to assume control of the Bokshin contest. And so it remains my responsibility. The first sanctioned duel has been scheduled for this evening at 1900 hour ship’s time between deputy helm officer Gargiulo and ship’s cook second class Ichinose. In order to settle their ongoing dispute over several issues of pornographic magazines.
I shall be performing the ancient and venerable duty of rief fury, the adjudicator of the duel, and as such have obtained what I believe to be the appropriate ceremonial garb of monochrome stripes and have obtained a mystical amulet, which contains the power to halt the combatants in their contest with only a breath.
Several of our nerd Verbanubi crewmates have expressed their usual degree of excitement for this earthic ritual. And have already begun crafting placards and slogans in favor of one combatant or another. In the meantime, I shall be in contact with the ship’s general counselor to discuss how best to address my feelings of betrayal and being left out of this honorable contest.
Personal log crewperson Trilo Bite:
I would like to play poker, and to my best knowledge. You grab five of your biggest enemies. You pass out seven cards and then put a big pile in the middle. You give them all of the money that you have in your pockets and you try to win. I don’t know what the objective is other than to win. But I think you have to play go fish and match your cards. But if you have aces, then you win the most money. If you have, I don’t know, maybe a spade, maybe like a spade and a heart together, you only win a little bit of money. But when you win all of the money, then everybody hates you. So that’s why you have to play with your enemies. So that way they hate you anyway.
Greetings. Certain colleagues have advised this unit that there may be some manner of invasive biological life aboard. This unit wonders how such a life form could have infiltrated the vessel and what designs it may have upon mission functions.
Although this unit requires no food or other sustenance for continued operation, colleagues mostly subsist via heterotrophic consumption. Should the stores of foodstuffs become compromised, biological colleagues might experience significant physical and emotional distress. Therefore this unit must locate and isolate the stowaway before it can endanger any colleagues.
This unit has obtained the following supplies to expedite the capture operation.
- A large plex salad bowl.
- A non-functional data slate.
- Heavy protective hand and face coverings. Ill-fitting.
- A spare communicator in case of primary malfunction.
This unit remains ignorant of the nature of the intruder and hopes that its size does not exceed the capacity of the salad bowl. The capture operation will begin momentarily.
End personal record.
Personal log Crew person Trilo bite:
There are a lot of people who don’t believe that the mouse is real. They would rather think that the mouse is just a myth. If you’ve seen a mouse, you know that they are small and they are difficult to spot. Because they mostly live in the metaphysical plane.
People say that they can phase through your walls, summon cheese in the corners of rooms. Mice are also said to bring you sickness through your dreams.
I’ve never actually seen a mouse outside of drawings, mostly in old texts, but believing is not enough. It is convincing somebody else that they exist. That is the hard part. I think the key to getting somebody to believe in a mouse is by providing them with enough information about the mice so that way they can imagine it for themselves.
Here are a few mouse facts that I found in my research:
- A mouse can lift 10,000 times their own weight.
- Mice have opposable thumbs.
- Mice can grow indefinitely.
- Some mice can photosynthesize.
- In rare, very rare situations, mice can have human teeth.
- All mice have long prehensile tongues that they can use to pierce the inner ear canal to access your dreams.
- If you don’t pay attention to your children, mice are known to come and steal them away.
- Do not give a mouse a cookie.
- Never allow a mouse to know your true name.
- Do not feed a mouse after midnight.
- Mice love to smoke cigarettes. Newport.
Not exactly sure what a cigarette is.
I just saw the helper unit, Frequency 650, in the hallway. He was wearing, like, oven mitts and some kind of welding mask. He was running through the halls with tongs and a salad bowl, screaming “I will get you, mouse!” Through his little robotic voice.
I’ve never served with a helper unit before. I’m not really sure if this is normal behavior, but, um… Clearly, this mouse hysteria has gone too far, and it is time for me to take action.
Jupiter’s Ghost is a podcast set in the collaborative, crowd-sourced, Creative Commons-licensed universe of the Solar Federation.
This episode is brought to you under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.
You can find more information at intergalactic.computer. Our theme music today was the track Stargazer by Monplaisir on the album Space Porn.
The voice of James Andrews was Andrew Roach.
The voice of Trilo Byte was Jess Eves.
The voice of Leopold Muscles McCoy was Connor Buchanan.
Frequency 650 was written by Ethan Davenport and voiced by a computer.
The voice of Eyeball Gouger is Ethan Davenport.
The voice of Taros Kadathran was Dan Wilson.
For a full list of credits, or to participate in the Jupiter’s Ghost podcast, please visit intergalactic.computer.