"Friendship' - The Adventures of Zarkor and Zerak
Posted by StarMountainKid , 19 February 2011 · 62 views
'Friendship', another episode of The Adventures of Zarkor and Zerak. As this episode begins, Zarkor is hovering in the Den of their Lightsip. A bottle of milk, a cup of coffee, a loaf of bread and a small old fashoned alarm clock sit on the floor before him. But the room is also crammed with antique artifacts. Zerak looks around and asks...
"What is all this stuff, Zarkor?"
"Some ancient relics I've gathered together.", Zarkor answers.
"You've been going to pawn shops again, haven't you?", says Zerak.
"These are ancient rare archeological items, Zerak, of great value!", Zarkor replies, defensively. "Museum quality! One would think even you would recognize that."
"My mistake, but what are you going to do with all of them?"
"I don't have to do anything with them. It's enough that I've saved these rare artifacts for posterity. It's part of my Legacy, Zerak. After all, I'm one of the greatest archeologists in the Galaxy."
"Yes, one of the greatest that has never even visited an archeological sight. Why don't you go out and dig something up yourself instead of buying from obscure curio shops and pawn brokers?"
"I'm a skilled professonal, Zerak, I've gone beyond mere mucking about. I leave that to my lesser colleagues. A specialist of my status purchases from trusted procurers of relics of exceptional quality."
"Of course," says Zerak. "Like 'Cousin Billy's Cosmic Pawn and Curio Emporium'. Now that's a reputable source of authentic archeological treasures."
"Don't start, Zerak. Cousin Billy has always provided me with the very finest objects of historical importance. Besides, he's a friend of mine, he wouldn't cheat me."
"Right. Some friend. Remember when he sold you that obscure example of Telavesian Temple art? That turned out to be a replica of a reproduction of a counterfeit version of a poorly exicuted imitation made in the infamous sweat shops on Famarion 3, who are well known in the Galaxy for their thriving business in fake relics. Even I could recognize the label on the bottom. You thought it was an ancient hieroglyph assurring its authenticity."
"Even the greatest archeologists make an honest error occasionally, Zerak. Besides, I didn't have my reading glasses on at the time."
"Okay, Professor Zarkor, we'll pass on that one for now."
To change the contentious subject, Zerak pauses to look at the loaf of bread sitting on the floor. "Ah, I see you're making some lunch."
"Yes," says Zarkor, "but I forgot the stuff to put in the sandwitch."
"Go to the Kitchen and get something," offers Zerak.
"I'll do it later." Zarkor appears concerned, "I usually don't forget things. Maybe it's time to Regenerate."
"Maybe," replies Zerak. "But I wish you had created your Brain Trust in a more reputable corporation."
"A more reputable corporation?! The Institute for the Preservation of Neural Pathways is a reputable company! Uncle Zebon recommended it! He said not to worry about the lawsuits and litigations, complaints, grievances, civil proceedings, protests, indictments, accusations, arraignments and petitions. Umm...brain deaths, convulsions, comas, paralizations, infectons, contaminations, bribery, fraud, deception, false advertising, maintenance glitzes, software errors, etc., etc. He said all that stuff was just due to professional jealousy among brain trust scientists. You know, corporate antipathy. Not to worry."
"I guess," says Zerak, doubtfully. " And it's cheap too, isn't it?"
"Sure," replies Zarkor, "only 29 Value Units for the first three Time Periods. Plus, you get a free gift! Mine is that pretty little clock sitting down there on the floor." Zerak looks down at the clock. "Only it doesn't seem to work for some reason. I think it's sick or something. Probably a virus it picked up during shipping."
"Probably," agrees Zerak. "You know how unclean those Galactic Parcel Service employees are."
Zarkor appears thoughtful. "You know, I've been thinking. Even brain backups deteriorate over time. Even backups of backups. It's that stupid Second Law of Thermodynamics. Who made that law, Zerak?"
"Nobody made it, Zarkor. It just comes with the territory."
"I know, but...When my brain can't be regenerated any more and I go into senile dimentia, and I just sit around blathering and drooling and all, well, will you look after me?"
"Of course I will," comforts Zerak.
"But by that time you may be blathering and drooling yourself! What then?"
"That's a long time in the future, Zarkor."
Zarkor doesn't appear appeased. "Yes but...I don't want to drool and blather alone! And what about my Legacy? Do you think my Legacy will live on after I'm gone?"
"Sure it will," says Zerak.
"That's good, I'd hate to be forgotton in the Galaxy. Think what a devistating loss that would be to every intelligent life-form! Think of how deprived school children would be without being able to read about my Adventures! It would stunt their imagination, and they'd grow up to have an underdeveloped sense of wonder!"
"They'd miss that," admits Zerak.
Zarkor looks down at the little clock again. "I'm still worried about clock. I think I'll take it to a technician and see if it can be cured. It's probably suffering." Zarkor ponders its condition. "Maybe it just has the flue or a cold or something. I know, I'll take it to the kitchen, maybe it'll take some hot broth, then I'll put it to bed and keep it warm. You think that will help?"
"It might. You have a kind heart, Zarkor."
"And then when I get senile and start drooling and stuff, clock can look after me. Like, it could sit at my bedside and I could listen to it ticking, and that would put me to sleep. The sound of ticking always puts me to sleep, Zerak." Zarkor looks at the clock again affectionately. "Come on, clock, we'll go into bed and in the morning you'll feel better. See you later, Zerak."
After Zarkor leaves with his clock, Zerak appears to look at us. "Sometimes Zarkor thinks inanimate objects are biological. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because he considers himself a superior intellect to all other species of the Galaxy. That's a very cold, lonely attitude, not likely to gain him many close friendships. Maybe that's why he feels this way about machines and technology. They're almost the only friends he has. He's always going to pawn shops and buying useless, ancient pieces of machinery and obsolete instrumentation and trying to interface them with our LIghtship's advanced technology.
"He's often childlike and innocent, but he can also be formitable and even heroic. He's fiercely independant, unconventional, aloof and often times condescending. Even arrogant. But still he has the heart of a child who believes all things have souls and are alive somehow. I've seen him show great kindness to the unfortunate of our Galaxy, I think out of his own lonliness and self-imposed isolation. He's a complex creature, and I feel privileged to be his friend."