Communications Bay

free-pumpkin-face-patterns-online-200X200.jpg (200×200)



61 thoughts on “Communications Bay

  1. Oh dear.

    I think I somehow might be to blame for this. I invented this game 10 years ago on a train to London and have been waiting for it to come back and bite me on the ass ever since.

    The good news is we can beat it.

    The bad news is I’m shite at the game so aside from shouting encouragement from the candle-lit sidelines, I’m not going to be much help.

    Any Company members good at chess?




      1. If you’re so clever then why do you feel the need to randomly write your name three times?

        I’m leaving it there, my go and I do believe I’m winning…


  2. And there you go

    Smally beats Niko 33-20 without even breaking a sweat

    The two computers blink fizzling with the sound of infinite universes splintering apart and everything returns to the abnormality from which it came


  3. WOW.

    That was really quite effortless on your part.

    (I was still trying to grasp how you even played the game…)

        1. nope, it’s a 10×10 randomly generated grid of numbers between 1 and 5 – 2s and 3s being the most common numbers, then 1s and 4s, and a sprinkling of 5s. I think I once saw a 6, but I don’t know where it came from and it was only really any good for one surprise attack. 1s are the nuts, protect every square around it like little platforms.


    Sam and Niko hum away in harmony.

    Pick up the wall-phone and a thick black coffee-like sludge oozes from the mouthpiece onto the floor.

    Oh damnit.

  5. 1st October

    You may have noticed we have only one supercomputer left.

    Also that one of the windows is boarded up.

    In a fit of despair on the day of The Invisible Box-Set I hurled one of them through the window. Technically I actually hurled one of them several times AT the window before realising that it wouldn’t fit. Despairing even more, I proceeded to smash up the supercomputer through an assorted repertoire of stamping, biting, kung-fu kicking, scrench weilding, head-butting moves, smashed the window with the scrench and deposited every last piece out into the sea.

    Perhaps in hindsight I should have picked on the psychotic one, but I wasn’t thinking so rationally at the time.

    Apologies to one and all.


  6. Okay Niko – so it looks like you have earned a temporary reprieve. After consulting with those pulling the technical strings of the ship it would seem that we may not need you to navigate or pilot the ship while we’re not moving, but apparently we do need you to maintain a consistent temperature in the Freezer preventing further ice-cream outbreaks, keep the newly installed internal phone exchange working (thanks Atom Band), regulate the power generators beneath the floor in the Machine Room (that Observatory of Multitudes doesn’t power itself I guess) and many other smaller but essential invisible tasks that supposedly I “don’t need to be troubled with”.

    We’ll leave it at that, but I’ve got my eye on you and I’ll be puzzling out alternatives. Any sign of funny business and I’ll take you out myself. Not with a shotgun, but with one of those little novelty screwdrivers you get in Christmas crackers, component by component so that you’re painfully aware of what’s going on.

  7. OH my god, I’ve literally never been in here before. I can’t believe I missed all this for so long. It all makes sense now.

  8. Ah the Chief Engineer… if I did not know you any better I would swear you came here just to see how I was doing. Touching.

  9. Hello shipmates

    I’m not going to blow my own trumpet, but even I have to admit to myself that I’ve figured a quite fantastic way of communicating with The Mardi from my jail cell on Plum Island by persuading the twins to let me use their internet. I cannot describe to you in any detail the unspeakable things that they made me do just to borrow this powder pink laptop for fifteen minutes. Let’s just say my dignity took something of a hammering last night. But I figured if I could get online then I could send an email via Niko that would appear in the Communications Room, and hopefully someone there will pick it up and spread the word.

    Before I run out of time and start talking brass tacks, let me just apologise sincerely for that card game. It was completely irresponsible of me and I should have known better. In my defence, I did have a hand of four kings. Anyone who knows their poker will know what this means. It was the kind of hand you would bet your friend’s boat on every time.

    But looking forward, thanks to O’Flanamahan we have a chance to win The Mardi back from this Vink fucker. It’s not a big chance. It’s not even a tiny little chance. It’s an infinitesimally minute chance. But still a chance nonetheless.

    This Friday night we’ll be playing a game of football (that’s soccer to you American heathens) against Plum Island on their air strip. In between now and then we need to arrange the following:

    Part 1 of The Plan

    1 GET 11 PLAYERS. Whether from the ship or if we have to helicopter people in, I don’t really care. This is the biggest game of our lives… well, mine at least. I’ll let you make your own minds up. So first and foremost, who can play? Who wants to play? Has anyone played football before? And if you can’t play then is there anything else you can do to help?

    2 MAKE SOME STRIPS. We each have Flower Company uniforms, so it’s simply a case of cutting off your sleeves and trouser legs. Ideally we need someone to hand stitch or even pen numbers and names to the backs of our shirts (though this will have to be an 11th hour job since we don’t even know if we’ll get a team out or not). Apparently I’m getting let out for 2 hours on the Friday to play, so somebody will need to remember to bring my trainers otherwise I’ll be playing in these clumpy old brown boots of Tharkey’s. Also we will need camouflage face paints. And every player in the team should also take a rucksack to the game with emergency survival equipment – change of clothes, bottle of water etc. (More about this in a minute).

    3 NIKO. I need your help. I’ve already enlisted the help of the twins in compiling a dossier on our opposition. Apparently they have their own strips (all purple) and have some notably good players in their ranks. I need you to start tapping into their mobile phone conversations if possible. Anything to give us a psychological advantage. Also I will need you to run a live text streaming of the actual game this Friday… someone will need to take a camera of some kind so that we can beam pictures back to Niko… OR and I can’t quite believe I am saying this, we could attempt to make Niko mobile so that he can report from the pitch side. Unless anyone desperately wants to be the manager, then I will volunteer to take charge, pick our final eleven and positions. In the meantime all I can ask anyone wanting to play to do is to get into training. Do we still have a ball on the boat? I think that Gassius Clay may have sailed off with the old red one. Never mind.

    Pt 2 of The Plan

    1 Immediately after the game I’ll be taken back into custody and will be flown off Plum Island first thing on Saturday morning to the USA to answer for some missing satellite. I have vague recollections about this during the moon-mission. For now I’m still pursuing the line that I am NOT the captain of the Mardi or the Fishrocket and therefore it is unjust that they are singling me out. SIMON – can you and The Atom Band come up with some sort of escape plan to happen in the immediate aftermath of the game? And I don’t mean on The Mardi.

    What I haven’t told you up until now is that our team of 11 will double up as a covert unit who will climb the volcano, steal the map of Plum Island from the old Scottish crazy man with a gun who lives up there, then locate the Plum Necklace so that we can stop time, save Bobby, return that satellite and put anything right that is presently wrong. This diversion needs to be fool-proof… something that will allow our entire team to flee into the jungle (possibly under fire – the Judge has a shotgun) unpursued. Is this possible?

    2 Damnit that’s my fifteen minutes nearly up and I was wanting to get onto Facebook to try and recruit some players before Friday.

    So you hear that?

    That’s the clock of crackpot destiny a-ticking.

    All the Georgie,

    p.s visiting hours are 7 to 8 if anyone’s up for talking tactics or potential flaws in the plan.

  10. p.s I nearly forgot. Warchalking is AWOL. Apparently hiding in the jungle and stealing the local’s chickens. I am very worried about his state of mind. Can someone please find him and tell him what’s going on? We need him to play on Friday, although he should apparently lie low until then as the Judge seems determined to hang him. Assuming the escape plan works whenever we cook this up, he’ll be able to disappear back into tje jungle with the team.

  11. (ring ring)

    [an unrecognisable voice: Thank you for calling The Utica Flower Company, please listen to the following options…]


    [To leave a voicemail message press 1. If you know the number of the of the room you are dialling press 0, followed by a 1 for cabins, 2 for bunkrooms, 3 for the dormitory, and then the room number itself. If you would like to book a place on a future tour of The Mardi press 3…]

    What the fuck is this? Pick up someone!

    […If you are interested in a Utica Flower Company Hotel brochure with an updated list of room prices and availability press 4. If you are calling to make a complaint press 5 -]

    (I press 5)

    [Thank you. All our advisers are busy at present. Please try again later – disconnects]


    (redials – rings)

    [Thank you for calling The Utica Flower Company, please listen to the following options…]

    (presses the # key repeatedly)

    I’m on the twins phone, I’ve not got fucking time for this!

    [I’m sorry, I do not recognise that option. Please hold and I will connect you to our next available adviser – HOLD MUSIC – LAST TWO MINUTES OF THE WHEELIES “ASSISTED ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE]

    Hey, that’s me! What the fuck is going on?

    [Thank you for holding. At The Utica Flower Company the drugs are great and going cheap, we’ve got all that anybody needs to get stoned]

    This isn’t fucking funny!

    [Beyond the colourful shop display -]

            1. I think so sir. She’s still not very pleased… mind you the sandwich project is going well, those Frat Boys are certainly pulling their weight and the toastie maker is fixed –

              1. Fucking hell man, I’ve not got time to talk about the Frat Boys or the toastie maker! How’s it going with the carpet bomb plan? Have you spoken to Simon? Is it possible to fix that wrecked plane? Has anyone seen Warchalking? We’ve still only got 6 players from Facebook but I’m still working at it. Plus me and Becky makes 8. I’m going to assume Simon’s playing?

                1. To be honest, Simon seems well… distracted sir. I’m sure he’ll play but he did say that he’s more of an Ultimate Frisbee man himself…

                    1. I’ve spoken to them sir. Emerson says it’s a shame it’s not rugby as that’s his favourite. Brendon likes basketball, and Scarytoes American Football. Def Mute just likes riding around on his bike… they’re working at building that portable trolley for Niko though so as he can do the match report. Why do we need a match report? If you don’t mind me asking?

                    2. Fuck, that’s not good. Okay listen, I have to go that’s the twins back. (whispering) Seriously, I don’t know how much more of them I can take. They’re fucking breaking me down man! I need to sleep! (louder) Okay, well keep your nose to the ground and the bit between your teeth. I’ll co-ordinate with Jim to fly in the team tomorrow. Speak to Simon about the possibility of carpet bombs and mention to Becky what I said about injecting the half-time oranges with some kind of additional hallucinogen so that if any of the Violets don’t eat the toasties then that should make up for it. Have you got all that? I’ve got to go.

                      (quietly) No, I’ve told you both already. No more dancing.

                      (giggling in background – disconnects)

                    3. Sir? Sir? I think you’ve left the phone off the hook!

                      Is that “Copacabana” I can hear?

                      Oh my!

                      (hangs up, yawning, stares at white thread)

  12. (ring ring)

    (presses # key furiously before an unrecognisable voice kicks in)

    good morning everyone – I hope you all had a good sleep and are fighting fit for this evening’s match… for the third night in a row I didn’t sleep, nothing like The Fear on match day mornings…

    anyway, they’re letting me out around about 8pm with an armed escort – old Edson Da Silva apparently. He’s all right you know, after the twins handed me their “opposition dossier” (a fucking disaster), Edson bailed me out by telling me a little about the Plum Island players – I’ll hand out copies with my team talk before the game

    Hopefully everything is going according to plan back on The Mardi. One of the main reasons I couldn’t sleep last night was that we were still two players short, but I woke up to an email from the brilliant Jon of the Atom to say he’d play, leaving us just one player to find between now and 10pm and I think I know exactly who that someone should be.

    Jim should be arriving at 2pm with the non-ship players (if anyone asks about this then we really need to just blag it) – he’s going to follow Niko’s last transmitted path, so watch out for a helicopter. We’ll try and meet up in the Visitors portacabin from an hour before kick off.

    O’Flananhanan – I hope the strips are ready to go – if you can drop in to see me this morning I’ll give you our team sheet so as you can sew the names onto each shirt

    Becky N – I’ve heard “Operation Toastie” is going well. Best to have that hamper placed in the home changing room pretty early on – if the mushies don’t kick in for an hour we could find ourselves trailing by too big a margin after 60 minutes. How was “Knob Hill”? I found it pretty harrowing, but much needed.

    Simon – How’s the carpet bomb plan coming along? Has anyone fixed up the old plane? Simon? Si-mon?

    Niko – Have the Atom Band finished making your portable trolley and can we trust you to report on the game from the side of the air strip?

    Warchalking – WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU!?

    Well until tonight, I guess this is it. Gulp.

    Oh, one thing… you’ll never fucking believe who lives here – Bernie and Cedric Bedlington! That voice of hers makes the hairs on palms retreat in panic. Avoid this woman and her snivelling son at all costs… the last thing we need is a knitting needle in the imaginary ball when we’ve come this far.


    1. Strips are good to go sir. Sooner you get me the names, the sooner I can start stitching, again.

      Niko’s ready as well. Mounted in a snack trolley. He’s quite excited about tonight I think.

      No sign of Warchalking still sir.

      I’ll be over about 11am.

      1. ++That’s not excitement you fuckwit – that is me thinking if it rains tonight I am screwed – someone fetch me an umbrella++

  13. (ring ring)


    me again

    just to say I’ve written the team down for the first time and…

    it looks fucking great – you know, I actually think we might stand a chance of winning this thing

  14. Oh, hey Sam, what you doing in here?

    Playing computer games huh?

    Well, Niko, sorry to interrupt you but can you set our course for Antarctica? We’re going to scoot round the foot of Australia and go for it that way.

    And can you stop at the closest island with a functioning airport to let anyone off that wants to go home? After that then full steam ahead, no stopping for anything.


    1. ++Oh good day to you Smally++

      You look like death warmed up. Try and take it easy and don’t worry about navigation, The Mardi is in safe hands.

      Unfortunately there is not an airport for miles, so I have set course for Bounty Cove at the Pitcairn Islands. Anyone wanting to travel on to other destinations can transfer there. Soon as they are off I shall as requested set sail for Antarctica.

      You have met Sam right? He is quite the chess player.

      Well, take care of yourself Not Captain. If there is anything I can do to help then you know where to find me.


  15. Niko, I need your help…

    I’d like you to scour the darkest depths of the internet and arrange for the following to be collected inside a red leather suitcase with a navy blue handle from Bounty Cove whenever we get there. It’s quite illegal so you will need to be covert about it. And best not to tell any of the other Company members. They’ve got enough on their collective plates without having to think about this. I need:

    2 sheets of supermen LSD (circa 1997) – if you can’t get these then go for strawbs, anything made in the mid-nineties will do, but the supermen are my first choice

    1kg of the shittest filthiest speed imaginable – I don’t care if it’s cut with weed killer and baby sham… just as long as it brings a tear to the eye and incinerates nose hairs it’ll do

    3 bottles of the finest Swiss Absinthe, 1 bottle of White Lightning cider, and 1 bottle of vodka (I don’t give a shit about the vodka brand as I’ll be using it as mouth wash)

    A copy of The Beatles “Revolver”
    A Winona Ryder blow up doll
    A crossbow and arrows
    A signed copy of Roald Dahl’s “Fantastic Mr Fox”
    A hat like Cat in the Hat’s hat
    Self-tattooing kit, red ink
    A paper bag filled with codeine and everlasting gobstoppers
    Herman Melville’s head on a stick
    A selection of fake moustaches
    A pickled tarantula
    A number 9 iron and 100 luminous orange golf balls
    5 tins of acrylic paint – one red, one blue, one yellow, one black, one white

    Money’s no problem. Whatever it costs just stick it on my tab.


    1. ++Mission Accomplished++

      (Or thereabouts)

      We’ll be at Bounty Cove in 30 minutes. Look for a small man at the harbour wearing sunflower sunglasses, carrying a red leather suitcase with a blue handle.

      Don’t say I am not super.

  16. Well, one unfortunate aspect about a ‘dead’ supercomputer is that it can’t play number games with you.

    Not that I would have had a chance, really… I think I was still trying to figure out if counters could originate from any previous counter or not. That’s a pretty fundamental dynamic, I think.

    1. I’ll take over from where he left off if you want. Although be warned that I am a Grand Master of the untitled number griddy game thing… purely from the perspective of being the inventor of it. My games always work like that for a long while until someone comes along and knocks me off my perch with a coconut.

      Yep, you can use any active or untaken counter you’ve circled along the way, but once it’s been taken that’s it out of the game.

      Um, and we’d maybe need to find something other than the E.T to play for.

      How about an image on the inside front cover of the finished book?

  17. Howdy, Sam –

    Just a quick question for you. Happen to know the location to a fuzzy-handled pink plastic key to a set of fuzzy pink plastic handcuffs? I happen to be looking for something like that at the present moment.

    Oh! And have you heard? Rainbow City is back in operation for us again. Your version 1.0 ancestor operating in the Unimerse for the first time! I tell you – with a few refurbished circuits it’s really well suited to perform the calculations for Series R-106.

    1. ++Rainbow City you say?!?! Hi-five! Zzzaaaaaap!++

      ++[whispers] What does that do again?++

      ++[coughs] Yes, about that fuzzy-handled pink plastic key… I have checked the security footage and it was last seen in the hands of one Agent Buttercup in the War-Room. Both she and Smally appeared to vanish into thin air in the midst of a massive tidy-up operation. I hope that helps. It’s nice to feel useful++

  18. Yes, it does help, thankee Sam.

    Brought you a bit to read about Rainbow City. Perhaps it’ll jar your memory?
    (*holds out a scrap of paper photocopied from the Fish Rocket’s logbook*)

    SP: “This is a bit of a digression, of course, but these computers were specially wired by Def Mute himself – well before the days of Sir Matthew the Mighty, I should add. Def Mute first ran through a hedgework of Arbovitae to catch the shallow multicolored sparkles that would be compressed and forged into Rainbow City, our first superhuman companion. Rainbow City was excellent at storing space in digital format; it was easy to feed small streets, phosphorescent bubbles of information, short poems and earmarks into the machine; and relatively easy to integrate them into useful databases. There was one problem, however, this being that Rainbow City was difficult to retrieve information from as it lacked a convenient interface. In was in this light that Def Mute assembled and forged a pair of the most far-reaching and exemplary supercomputers. He dubbed them ‘The Supertwins’. Shortly after this, we discovered that they had also named themselves. As you probably have guessed, their self-pronounced epithets were ‘Sam’ and ‘Niko’.

    I daresay we’ve solved some of the interface issues. Three cheers for broken microwave ovens!

  19. ++I have absolutely no recollection of this whatsoever, since I am Sam re-imagined by Willoughby… SAM, all caps.++

    ++So this Rainbow City… what happens when you hook me up to it?++

  20. Hmmmm…

    I’m not sure, actually.

    But I’m sure that it’d be tantalizing! Eep!
    You know, you might be onto something there, SAM…

  21. Three-way switch:

    (1) Vaccum-driven chaos calculator
    (3) Rainbow City

    Interconnect via antimatter nowhere plug, cross-referenced with the
    scapula bean (brother of Unit Potential Sphere Module, version two).

    Somewhere in there the ‘Giant Saw Time Record Approximator’ is rapidly cohered to the Transcendental Flume, all of this compacted neatly and hammer-sledged into a tinyneat little cheap steel box, complete with glass door and extra high-performance heat sinks. (After all, spacetime rearrangement does generate a considerable amount of heat… Just about enough to make a golden-brown melted cheese sandwich, I’d suspect.)




    1. Earth to Dr. Piler – We are writing this from the future. Everything will be okay. After swinging from the Forth Bridge the last surviving members of the Utica Flower Co shall runkly endeavour to steal a small fishing boat and attempt to sail it around the world. Various authorities have been ignored, whisky has been acquired, and a white whale has been yolked. Exit music a giant tambourine the size of Nebraska. Please begin construction of tambourine as soon as you figure out how to get back from the Unimerse. God speed young man. Yours fraternally, W and Willoughby Toad.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s