Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor
Version 1.0, if you find errors, typos, whatever, fix them and increase the version number by .1
and redistribute (Yes "ageing" IS a word in Britain!)
Scanned, OCRed and proofread by RastaJew.
Your own death, and how to cope with it
'DESCRIBE. USING DIAGRAMS WHERE APPROPRIATE, THE EXACT
TO YOUR DEATH.'
Saunders had been dead for almost two weeks now and, so far, he hadn't enjoyed a minute of it.
What he wasn't enjoying at this particular moment was having to wade through the morass of
forms and legal papers he'd been sent to complete by the Department of Death and Deceaseds'
It was all very well receiving a five-page booklet entitled:
Your Own Death and How To Cope With It
. It was all very well attending counselling sessions with the ship's metaphysical psychiatrist, and
being told about the nature of
Being and Non-Being, and some other gunk about this guy who was in a cave, but didn't know it
was a cave until he left. The thing was, Saunders was an engineer, not a philosopher - and the way
he saw it, you were either dead or you were alive. And if you were dead, you shouldn't be forced
to fill in endless incomprehensible forms, and other related nonsensica.
You shouldn't have to return your birth certificate, to have it invalidated.
You shouldn't have to send off your completed death certificate, accompanied by a
passport-size photograph of your corpse, signed on the back by your coroner. When you're
dead, you should be dead. The bastards should leave you alone.
If Saunders could have picked something up, he would have picked something up and hurled it
across the grey metal room. But he couldn't.
Saunders was a hologram. He was just a computer-generated simulation of his former self; he
couldn't actually touch anything, except for his own hologramatic body. He was a phantom
made of light. A software ghost.
Quite honestly, he'd had enough.
Saunders got up, walked silently across the metal-grilled floor of his sleeping quarters and stared
out of the viewport window.
Far away to his right was the bright multi-coloured ball of Saturn, captured by its rainbow rings
like a prize in a gigantic stellar hoop-la game. Twelve miles below him, under the plexiglass
dome of the terraformed colony of Mimas, half the ship's crew were oft planet leave.
No planet leave for Saunders.
No R&R for the dead.