Fish Rocket


NOTE: NO LONGER IN BELLY OF WHITE WHALE. BACK IN THE MOON POOL WHERE IT BELONGS. A LITTLE RUSTY, EXTREMELY BATTERED, AND QUITE WATERLOGGED, BUT UNDOUBTEDLY SALVAGEABLE.

Rocket outside

Rocket inside

The Utica Flower Company will shortly be attempting to fly a converted submersible to the moon. Updates and information concerning our space-capers will appear here.

For now, don’t the stars look pretty from way down here…

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33 thoughts on “Fish Rocket

  1. Okay, don’t all jump at once to go to the moon.

    There are five places on board, plus we desperately need someone to volunteer for being Mission Control, our eyes and ears on earth… and of course we’ll need what few hands are left on deck to pilot The Mardi while we’re gone.

    I’m going to assume I’m going.

    And Simon has to go as he’s building the “Fish Rocket” and thus will be the only one who knows what it can and can’t do.

    We’re taking the catatonic Bobby (since he appeared in the premonition) – he may choose to telepathically debate the fact at length, but unless he comes round in between now and blast off, then he’s going.

    That leaves two places on the moon trip. Technically speaking that should be “attempted moon trip”. There’s no guarantee we’ll make it back alive, so think carefully before signing on the dotted line. I think what we’re looking for are fearless daydreamers with nowhere to go for eleven and a half days (this is how long a Quantum Physicist friend of mine has calculated it will take to get to the moon and back based on the size of our rocket engine, running on the newly modified “Dreambrew”… he also strongly advised that we immediately desist drinking either Algaebrew or the modified batch saying – and I quote – “that’s like putting pulped fucking nuclear seaweed into your belly).

    Jazz Monk has been repeatedly bombarding me with hi-fives and pleading eyes ever since the moon idea sparked, but I’m reluctant to be stuck at such close proximity to a monkey in a hurtling tin can.

    Don’t be shy. Step on up. Our story needs you. And you. And you. And you.

  2. I’m not going if Jazz Monk is. He gives me the creeps. I caught him staring through the crack in the kitchen door at me one time when I was eating a sandwich. I said Hi but he just kept on staring.

    1. Well he can’t be hungry because he’s single-handedly devoured most of the telekinetic falafel and has eaten at least two-thirds of our supply of Ship Shapes cereal. It may be worthwhile for Brendon or Simon perhaps to elaborate on the history of this sax-wielding primate before we figure out if he’s in any fit state for such a perilous mission. This does raise the issue of vetting. I’m sure there are rigorous physical and psychological checks that your everyday cosmonaut has to endure before even being allowed to look at flashing buttons on board a rocket. As well as wills that should probably be written up before we go.

      Becky, I’ll pencil you in as the 4th cosmonaut pending us getting one more non-simian volunteer – are you sure with your fear of heights that you’ll be able to do this? (I say “do this” but in reality I have no idea what will be required of us all to pilot and navigate a home-made rocket to the moon – I mean, it’s not like we have any fixed scientific experiments to carry out, we’re really just trying to get there and back in one piece. For now I assume it will be a lot of floating around for a week and a half).

      If a 5th cosmonaut doesn’t crawl out from under a rock in the next few days then Jazz Monk gets the nod, and we’ll have to rope one of the tourists into coming along. “Here, would you like to try this new look deep-sea diving suit on for size?”

      “It looks like a space suit”.

      “Ah yes… they were completely out of diving suits at the fancy dress shop in Moscow. Anyway, less thought more action. Okay, you got it on? Yes, yes, I know the monkey is wearing a space-suit too. Just ignore him. Alright, well this is our submersible Fish Wife -”

      “It looks like a rocket”

      “A rocket? You reckon? Well, now that you mention it, it does a bit doesn’t it… But never mind that, just step on board, mind your head. There, that’s it. Remember to fasten your listen belt. (whispering frantically) Quick, lock the doors!”

      Should a fifth cosmonaut surface then could Jazz Monk be trusted as Mission Control? Personally I’d feel a lot safer if The Atom Band could be persuaded to do it. Those guys make even the impossible look fucking easy.

      p.s today I plan on stitching the numbers 1 to 5 on the suits. Just for fun.

  3. [steps out onto Main Deck and stops upon seeing the rocket gleaming in the sun, strapped to the new helicopter landing pad at the rear of the ship]

    Now I’m actually frightened. And excited. But mostly frightened.

  4. A bit fear-inspiring she is.
    I’m certainly not vain enough to disregard all the possible malfunctions that this rocket is capable of. (However, with that in mind, we’ve tried to keep the construction analogue; only about 5% of the operations require use of Niko Supercomputer… Probably a reasonable design-goal, if you ask me. Could also mean that a quick hand with a scrench could save our necks at some point. Who knows.)

    But, I will remind you – without the finished Dreambrew, this pony is hobbled. No worries; only a matter of a few days, there.

    ***
    A few things I should mention from my NOTEBOOK:

    There are 1/4″ and 1/8″ jacks for audio input in every compartment, and we’ve also included several exterior speakers. (Found in the cockpit: Volume controls and manual toggle between Nickelodeon and audio inputs. Both for internal PA and external speaker system.)

    Microphone and small webcam near the hatch. Otherwise, there’s no good way to look for obstructions directly in front of the door. (The microphone’s pretty useless when the boosters are firing, but otherwise, it’s also capable of digital space-recordings; one of Niko’s solitary tasks.)

    Bobby to sit in the aft hold? I know I certainly don’t want to try to carry him up the rung-ladder!

    We’ll need to figure out some sort of sustenance for our travels. Something lightweight, nourishing, and hopefully varied.

    [Important!!!!] Analogue controls mean: Someone’s got to be steering this thing at all times.
    I suggest we develop a system of shifts so that we can all get sleep, and a system of mind-revving musics so that the time spent piloting isn’t too dull.
    ****

    – Can you even imagine what it’d be like to have an unrestrained hostage in a ship that size? Oh, jeeeeez…

    – The Atom Band seems ready to take up the task of creating a Command Center; right now, it looks like the Communications Room would be a good bet. It’s got a radio. Earlier, I was even thinking about volunteering for a position as CapCom, a job I had for a single shuttle flight in Florida! But now I wouldn’t give up my seat for anything. Well… maybe a bombard or bassoon… or a euphonium or sarod or a set of timpani or a free-bass accordion or a horn in F. But otherwise, not anything.

    1. “possible malfunctions” (gulp)

      Can we just pretend that there everything will go swimmingly? until things inevitably go tits up. then we can start screaming at each other.

      And we have to rely 5% on Nikosupercomputer!? oh man, I wouldn’t trust that jumped up piece of technology 0.005%. we’ll have to seriously think about that.

      If you reckon you can get enough Dreambrew together in the next few days then we should aim for Sunday night possibly? though I’m happy to fit in with everyone else’s plans.

      Agreed on the Bobby situation

      For nourishment I’ve ring-fenced the remains of the ship shapes and will attempt to cook up a variety of flavourings and sauces, will soak the cereal pieces for a day, dry them out and fill a sack with them. Should tide us over?

      A thought on the Command Center – I know we said previously that the time machine should be reserved for emergency situations, and I think we’re staring down the barrel of one of these now. Potentially Simon (assuming someone can make some sense of the instruction manual), you could travel back in time creating two Simon Pilers. One to man the mission control… and, wait. We’re on timeline A here? That wouldn’t work. That would leave us Piler-less and fecked. Is it too short notice to knock up a cloning machine? I’m just kidding of course. We may have to resort to bribery to persuade someone to sit in the hot seat.

      Finally, testing. And blast off. That rickety landing pad for Jim’s helicopter is likely to collapse the moment the copter lands, let alone have “Fish Rocket” blast off from it. And could The Mardi handle it? Jazz Monk seems VERY keen to help out. I’ll volunteer him for any testing…

      Anyway, with 4 cosmonauts we’re not going anywhere. It’s bad juju to fly in the face of a premonition. My mind is already swaying towards cherry-picking a hostage. Buzz Aldrin springs immediately to mind.

      Failing Buzz, Tom Hanks has some experience of space disaster movies… plus we could eat him if the Ship Shapes taste as foul as I think they might.

      1. Geez, you’re making me feel fat… I have put on a few pounds for lack of exercise, ’tis true. I sure wouldn’t want to drag me up a ladder.

        I’d say we go for Steve Buscemi or Bruce Willis if no Aldrin.

        1. The last thing we need is some overpaid Hollywood actor over-acting any minor hiccup we encounter.

          Bobby (telepathically) “We’re almost out of ship shapes!”

          Willis (presses his finger to Bobby’s lips) “Don’t worry Bobby. I just sawed off my own arm. We can cook that. Now just tell me where the bad guys are and I’ll take them out with my one good hand”.

          If we’re going to eat a hostage, we should take someone um portly.

          What kind of shape is Nate Lowman in these days?

              1. Someone always dies on moon missions like these. Taking a douche like Nate with us, who has hardly anything to contribute to either plot, dialogue, or future developments, means that the likelihood of it being a valuable member of the crew reduces greatly.

                What’s that you’re saying Jazz Monk?

                Oh fuck no, you’re nothing like Nate (cough-cough) – you’re one of us now. Indispensable man, indispensable.

  5. If he can make falafel, operating the Nickelodeon via tekekinesis should be well within his capabilities.

    I’m desperate to know what I’m doing now, but in the interest of collective happiness I’m happy to take whatever role is leftover once the straws are drawn.

  6. Haha. If it’s on this weekend, I can’t come, because I’m planning on diving for treasure and the voices in my head told me I would only find them if I looked between Sat and Wed next week. (I might not have any internet as I’m going away.)

    1. You’re worried about the “Nate Lowman is a douche” thing aren’t you? It’s cool. We’ll have duct tape over his mouth and he’ll be blindfolded (assuming the kidnap plan doesn’t fall flat on its face) so he won’t even know he’s been to the moon and back.
      (Though with the vibrations and g-force I reckon he’s going to know that something weird is happening).

      Well, diving for buried treasure is a commendable pursuit so I’ll not stand in your way. Calm down Jazz Monk for fuck’s sake, I haven’t said you’re going yet.

      Maybe you could do Mission Control from the Thursday? (Simon, how feasible is it for us to fly mission-control-less for the first four days?) Or we could put the moon mission back a week (assuming you actually want to go to the moon – I can see many, many reasons for wanting to go, and many, many more for why it is a ridiculously bad idea)?

      So for now, pending a shuffle of dates or a couple of 11th hour applicants, the crew of “Fish Rocket” will be:

      1 Dr Simon Piler
      2 Me
      3 Bobby (unless he returns from Catatonia and realises what we’re doing)
      4 Nate Lowman (again assuming the kidnap goes according to plan)

      and

      (sighs)

      5 Jazz Monk

    1. Firstly, I wouldn’t want to be unrestrained (*shudder*) …when we’re in re-entry. I suppose we could rig up another harness of sorts in the Aft Fuselage? Why do you ask?

      The second one is easy – see those large, black, cylindrical chambers on the side? Three of them store oxygen, the last one, water.

      1. I think what I’m trying to ask is…

        is it too late to purchase, revamp, and hook up some kind of airtight mini-bus (with seat restraints of course), then connect it via some kind of airtight tunnel to the Fish Rocket?

        relax man, I’m just kidding

        good to know about the oxygen – I’ll be carrying emergency supplies though in my pockets. Not that I don’t think existing supply will last. But just in case they don’t.

  7. Okay, nickelodeon running duties accepted, sirs. Incidentally, I’ve just cleaned myself up… I could probably wake up at this point, but it’s pretty comfy here. Made a few friends, found a job… And the weather’s always nice…

    In regards to timing, Sundays work for me. The lab can run without me for a few days I suppose…

  8. Well, we have some general-but-not-so-specific interest in the moon gig, but until those golden moon tickets are found I reckon we’re going to have to stick with the original crew to preserve the premonition – to change it now might be seriously bad juju. Press conference to go ahead this afternoon on the Main Deck (weather permitting), and updates on the kidnap thing to follow.

    Lately I keep looking at the sky.

    1. I hear you. (About the sky thing… I hope the weather holds for a bit longer – sometimes hard to tell out here. And I wish we had a telescope. So we could check out what the weather on the moon has been like lately.)

      By the way, as far as the commercial goes, Scarytoes is typically my counterpart mythopoetic spokesperson. But I’ve rigged up a wonderful lifesize cardboard replica of him, instead. It’ll be delightful.

      1. yep, there’s a storm a brewing, that’s for sure – hopefully we can out-sail it though before Sunday

        mind and pack your film camera and toothbrush as well as cardboard Scarytoes

  9. A quite amazing discovery:

    I was minding my own business in my bunkroom, reading an old book I wrote called “The Labyrinth” that had weirdly found its way into my bag, when there was a knock at the door. I got up and opened it and what should I find lying there in the corridor. The question isn’t really “what?”, the question is actually “who?”

    Nate fucking Lowman. Bound and gagged and squirming.

    I ripped the duct tape off his mouth and he started yelling some of the strangest stuff “Fuck you! Fuck you, you motherfucking freaks! I’ll call the cops! What are you doing to me? Where’s that gorilla? That gorilla comes near me again and I’ll bite his fucking -”

    I carefully placed the duct tape back over his mouth and dragged him inside. I guess someone sorted out the fifth cosmonaut for us.

  10. Oh shit, got hung up in the lab. Buddha and Jesus bending my ears… Sun Tzu and Bill Burroughs telling me that they’re only out to snatch my crops. All the while trying to tie up the big bang with magnetic tape.

    So when’s blast-off???

    Shit, are we already airborne or what?

    Living in four places at once is exhausting.

    1. I think we might have to put off the big rocket launch until tomorrow, that storm out there’s showing no sign of easing.

      I’m away back to bed for now. If anyone hears screaming coming from Bunkroom 3 then it’s just me feeding Nate ship shapes with a fishing road.

      Weather permitting we’ll go for it first thing in the morning.

    1. Is it safe to fly a rocket through a thunderstorm?

      The fact we’re here and the rest of our crew consist of 1 catatonic amateur telekinetic, 1 kidnapped douchebag, and a sax-playing monkey… I say “Fuck it, let’s just go!” When the Gods are against you, you can either back the fuck down, or seriously raise your game.

      I vote the latter. So does Nate by proxy. And Jazz Monk’s been sitting in the rocket since last Wednesday, he’s that excited.

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