F3: MySpace: 1999

This week’s Friday flash is themed, as per the suggestion of Gareth D Jones: the theme is “altered film titles”. I’ve cheated slightly because Space: 1999 was never really a film, just a hokey old TV series. But according to Wikipedia, a few feature-length pieces were cut together, so I reckon I get away with it on a technicality.

Kudos to James Hunt for suggesting the title – bet he didn’t think I’d actually write it – and also to Seb Patrick for some other awesome suggestions. They were all much better than my original idea of trying to do Transamerica, and almost certainly would have involved less appalling failure.

If, like me, you’ve never actually seen Space: 1999, then the Wikipedia plot summary may help make sense of this story.

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MYSPACE: 1999

Suzii Roquette is updating her blog:

My dads away again. other side of the moon, drivinng those big transports. booooring! I tried usin his comp to do some synth tunes but i cant work it out. Ant, will u come over n show me how to use it? Its too hard!!!

Still hate bein here. cant believe they dragged us all up here. the moon sucks, i miss london. Even miss Hammersmith lol.

Miss u all, com see me soon xxxxxxx :)

She sits back and picks at her fingernails. Frowning, she wishes she had more than three types of nail varnish with her. She hadn’t been allowed to bring any more. Her father had said something about weight limitations, and she’d said something about his beer belly, and they had shouted at each other a bit, and he’d let her bring three instead of two. But still, three was social suicide.

Peering out of a porthole onto the dull, motionless grey landscape aside, Suzii snorts and reminds herself that everything about this place is social suicide. There are only a couple of other teenagers in the colony and they’re spread between the pre-fabricated habitats that dot the lunar surface. The only thing they do have is access to their own portion of the lunar extranet – a parental concession to their demands for privacy and socialising.

Suzii’s blog auto-refreshes and, spotting the screen flicker, she turns back to the terminal to read the new reply. Her smile falters a bit when she sees that it’s not Antony who has replied but Fae, who Suzii is sure thinks everyone else is stupider than her:

Hey Suzii. I know how you feel. My dad’s over there too. It must be some big operation, huh? My mum’s been stuck in the hydroponics lab for days now. I’m so bored, here. I must’ve read all my books a dozen times. It feels like a thousand!

What was Hammersmith like? I bet it was more fun than Dunstable…

xx Fae

Suzii picks at her nails again, feeling slightly unsettled. Fae has never tried to be friendly to her before, and now she’s being conversational. Even chatty. She must be playing at something, but Suzii doesn’t know what.

Or maybe she is just being friendly. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that she’s one of only seven teens on this dead rock means that she doesn’t want to hold any grudges or push away people she thinks she’s better than. Did she ever think she was better than people? Or was Suzii just envious of Fae’s smarts? She has always wished she went to a better school…

Sighing, Suzii puts her fingers down to the keyboard. A year ago the answer would’ve been simple: she and her friends would’ve blanked anyone they decided was a snob and walked away making catty remarks. But here, on the cringe-worthily named Moonbase Alpha, life is too short for that.

Hiya Fae whats up?! Yeah hammersmith was ok i guess. we use to laugh at it and get the tube right out evry fri but at least it was a dump with ppl you didnt kno lol. and u cud leave. I never went to dunstable wot was it like? its in kent yeah? x Suz

Stretching, Suzii gets up from the little metal chair in front of her terminal and walks across her bedroom. It’s small and cramped like everything here, but she’s made it as cosy as she can. She brought her bedsheets up from Earth and some posters which already look dated, but she can’t get any more. To make up for the no-longer cool popstars who adorn her walls she’s been using some of the coloured paper she brought up to make big patterned sheets. Once or twice Dad has even praised her “artistic impulses”, although Suzii just rolled her eyes at him. Making pretty patterns isn’t art.

She also has a tank with some differently-coloured goldfish but they’re not real, just little robots. Real fish don’t stupidly bump into the sides of the tank every few minutes. Suzii taps the tank and watches one of the little machines obediently swim over. It blinks vacantly like a real fish, at least.

Fae’s next reply arrives:

Dunstable was dead. There was NEVER anything to do. Like, NOTHING. So I guess in some ways nothing has changed. Haha.

I was wondering… could I borrow some of your music? I only brought a few gigs with me which was really stupid.

xx Fae

Maybe that’s why Fae is being friendly: she’s just bored and wants something out of Suzii. Either that or borrowing some tunes is just an excuse, a peace offering. Still, it doesn’t cost Suzii anything, and it’s not like she has to send Fae the best stuff.

Sure fae thats fine! ill stream some over to ur account now. I dont know wot u like so ill just send over a bunch of stuff. x Suz

After a moment’s thought, Suzii adds “let me kno if theres any u like so I kno nxt time. :)” If Fae’s being genuine, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t also go the extra mile. It’s one extra person to talk to after all.

The screen auto-refreshes again and Suzii is surprised that Fae has replied so quickly. She hasn’t even started transferring any music yet. Then she realises that it’s not Fae this time but Ant, and her heart begins to beat a little faster. She starts to read his message.

Without warning, the ground shakes. It feels like thunder sounds: violent and powerful. Suzii falls straight off the chair and yelps in surprise. She hears crashes and clattering noises from all around the habitat.

Fighting to her feet, holding onto the desk to remain stable, she struggles over to the porthole. Behind her she hears a smashing noise as the fishtank slips and breaks. This doesn’t register because outside, over the moon’s curving horizon, she can see the Earth. It is moving away, becoming more distant by the second.

Suzii’s eyes widen. It’s not the Earth that’s moving: it’s the moon. The moon is flying through space.

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Other theme participants:

Gareth D Jones – The Man in the Iron
Neil Beynon – Full Meta Jacket
Sarah Ellender – From Tusk ‘Til Dawn
Gaie Sebold – The Remains of the Clay

Comments
8 Responses to “F3: MySpace: 1999”
  1. Seb says:

    Excellent stuff, although part of me does wish you’d done The Curious Case of Benjamin Disraeli instead… ;-)

  2. Shaun CG says:

    I would’ve loved to! I think the idea would’ve needed quite a bit of research and planning to do justice – certainly more than I had the time for. Well, there are always other weeks…

  3. You’ve NEVER seen Space 1999!

    I like the link from the mundane to the amazing in this.

  4. GLP says:

    Funny – in that way self-obsessed teenagers are when they can’t see the world outside their own obsessions. Nice one. You caught the tone well, too.

  5. Neil says:

    I really liked the character work in this and, as Gareth says, there’s a nice juxtaposition of the enormity Suzii attaches to her social interaction with the shock of an actual ground shifting event.

    Nice one.

  6. Shaun CG says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone, appreciated as always. :)

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