On Being Tim Trouncer

Tim Trouncer’s consciousness can be much larger than a human. When his PodPooch chassis is connected to external sensor data, he can roam far and wide. I had fun writing this little snippet, a scene from Ceres Rising.

Tim stretched his mind and visualized the sensor data encompassing Bode-6. To the east was a mote of silver, and though visually distant it bristled with telemetry. It was the belt cruiser Marmutt and it was on final approach to the colony.

“The Marmutt will be here shortly, Grace,” he said.

Tim saw vectors race from the ship, bending above Bode-6 and spiralling down toward it.

“Approach Control has cleared it for Chamber Three,” he added.

He heard shuffling at his side, though he maintained his focus outside the colony.

“Another round of extortion try this. This time, I’ll be there,” Grace said.

Tim looked away from the vectors and back to the Marmutt itself. The ship was bigger now, though much of its geometry remained hidden behind tags of additional information. Tim pawed the tags and as he scratched the surface he saw data well up from deep beneath the Marmutt.

Three heartbeats? He sauntered closer, certain he was only seeing the crew on the bridge. Yes, there were three souls on the bridge, that wasn’t the problem. Where were the passengers? He dug deeper, and as layer upon layer of data flashed before him, he saw only cargo.

“Grace, there aren’t any passengers aboard,” he said.

He heard more shuffling, then a familiar pressure against his mimic coat.

“What do you mean no passengers?” Grace asked.