Close CORETECHS. Return to home page


Back to Blogs

Other Blogs

Return to Blog

Melancholy in the Ship Breaking Yards

Today is a day of melancholy. Not much to do, but to reflect on what's been going on.

I took a walk through the busy Ship Breaking Yards on Gadani, and the lyrics of a song from way before the Catastrophe went through my head:

They had a last supper the day of the beaching
She's a dead ship sailing skeleton crew
The galley is empty, the stove pots are cooling
What's left of the stew

I head read about it in some old books. I don't know why I read it, I tend to think of myself as a practical guy, and mostly consider poetry a waste of time. But then, I seem to have a romantic side as well, which made me help some poor soul in need at times.

But I digress, I was in the Ship Breaking Yards, and saw how some bigger ships were relentlessly torn down into sheet metal. A sad thing to see, but also the reason that new ships can be built.

On L 726-8 A Jump Gate, there is this weird sect of people who try to pretend they live on Auld Earth, and they have recreated Auld Earth's calendar, which its weird categories of weeks, months, years (between 365 and 366 days), decades (ten years) and so on. While I hate this sect, I found this calendar endearing, and for today, this historical calendar closes a decade (about 36.5 cycles).

In my mind, this conjured up images of workers and machines deconstructing the old decade, just like they do with ships in the yards.

They pull out her cables and hack off her hatches
Too poor to be wasteful with pity or time
They swarm on her carcass with torches and axes
Like a whale on a bloody shoreline
Stripped of her pillars her stays and her stanchions
When it's only her bones on the wet poison land
Steel ropes will drag her with winches and engines
Till it's only a stain on the sand

In the past, I have focused much on combat, the arms and armors necessary for it. I hope in the new decade, I can focus more on creating things, on buildings, on crafting, maybe on trading.

Forgive my melancholy and my anachronism, let me just wish you a happy new "year", and that your future may be brighter than our common past.


  1. I, too, would much prefer to create than to destroy, although the latter is always depressingly easier.

    Happy New, umm, 36.5 Cycles? Yes, that is awkward; no wonder they changed it.

  2. You mean 36.5 tenspans? I believe this cycle issue may explain why that festival in Taungoo happens at such odd times. They did refer to it as a "New Year." It is a sight to see.
    Even the Kyarr are friendly. Not just polite, but jovial, accommodating and generous. Don't expect that any other time. The pageantry, the noise, the banging and clanging and passionate song and dance, . . . I think the passage of years did indeed once mean something.

  3. I had the correct word, but the incorrect decimal point: I meant 3.65 cycles.

    I have never, ever seen the Kyarr as you describe. It is difficult even to imagine. I shall have to detour to Taungoo when next I am in the Sol system near the appropriate date.

  4. Editorial preface: Any post on incoherent conspiracy theories is already too logical to make sense, which is, I think, contradictory to itself and paradoxical. Conspiracy theories are by nature incoherent, so an incoherent one must be plausible or true.}

    Alas, in the doldrums of Space, with no solar wind or fusion fuel in my reactor, I am forced to admit that these shuttles I have are but a waste of valuable materials and a futile attempt to get from place to place at more than a Turtle's upside down crawl. Were I at all of a mind to do anything, I'd break them up with torches (burning all the oxygen in the station) and die happily as my ships were cut up. We are all ants in a dying universe, trying for no reason other than to try to cling to the last vestiges of the warms and material from the big cataclysm at the beginning of said universe. We won't see it's end and we or some other beings will, perhaps, be here as we freeze in the last gasp of life before all is cold, dark, and ready to collapse. Would that I could muster the courage or idiocy to care enough to end it all. To fly, to fight no more, and in that flight to fight with incongruous thoughts that anything matters at all. A last flight in the fury of flame, with ships in tow and all on a station gone, too - but for the few forwarned and safely in their ships at dock. Oh, the sadness, the endless fight, that those few fools so misguided as to try more end, too - for that, in all truth, is their end, like to poor, inanimate hulks of ships being torn to shreds. And so, as I stand bewildered and sickened, I wonder. How can any fine soul believe in the mastery of the Consortium, with its many webs of lies and cruel constraints on existence. For, as in all, their efforts are in vain and with no purpose, but to fake themselves into the belief that there is hope when there is none, and that chaos can be beaten, for it can't. I can only surmise that a greater spirit is at the source, seeking to trick us all into thinking we have some place and meaning - us lowly critters with so few lives and vats to inhabit.