The gauntlet was thrown, and the challenge to write a 500-word story based on the picture above was met by these people (more, perhaps to come, but I couldn't wait to post them):
Rennratt - the story of "O"s
Rick Leonard - a tale of woe
Mr. Schprock - geometry, yo!
UPDATE - Kingfisher tries to steal the show.
UPDATE to the UPDATE - Any blog in a storm's got a new one, doncha know
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: The great and mighty KOM has felt the creative wind blow.
Ya'll, it's so TOTALLY worth your time to go read each one. There are some very inventive people out there. 500 words don't take long to read.
If you're writing one, and want to send in you contributions, feel free - there's room for as many who are so inclined to submit their shizz.
And now, mine (plus audio linky goodness if ya wanna hear me speak it):
Eamon woke with a start from a deep dreamy sleep, in which he’d been snogging merrily with Andwyn, his former Chi'il mate. The violent lurching of his bed that had caused his awakening was not, sadly, caused by the quality of the dream, but rather by a whole-pod shift of about 3 degrees.
“Dammit to Flass!” thought Eamon. “Not again!” The Superloop Maintenance Team had adjusted the gyros last week, and they’d said it was going to be fine for a Jarh or two. Apparently their calculations had been a bit off, and now, with this further adjustment, Eamon’s team would have to go re-shift the coil drives.
“Dammit, dammit, dammit!” was all Eamon thought as he punched the confabucon that called up his team of Coil Jockeys. A good bunch, they were, and dependable, but as lazy as the turn is long, and they took a fair bit of rousing to get them ready to go. Eamon typed his message into the ‘con, “Laddies and lassies, time to wakey wakey! This is your commander! Get your stone-dead arses out of bed and turn out! We’ve got a coil maneuver to complete!”
The sleepy-headed crew of seven (a full quarter of the people left in existence) gathered in the pod-lock, readying their gear and drinking coffee. Once Eamon gave a quick briefing of what he thought the situation demanded, the lock doors shut, their suits were sealed, and they were whisked out of the bay by vacuum action.
Coil maneuvers usually took several choiks to complete, but today there was nothing to find to fix. With nothing to do, they decided to extend their float time with a pleasure cruise to escape the clutter and tight quarters inside.
Eamon led his team to a part of the Superloop unfamiliar to them. Supposedly, all Superloops were symmetrical in all planes, but with only 28 people on board there was no-one who’d ever been all the way around one, and Eamon wanted to be the first. He'd do anything to stay outside.
A choik later, once he’d gained the far side, he stopped all thrusters, halted his team, and began to weep. What he saw was like a punch to the gut, a violent and puzzling offense. Eamon could hear the epithets from his team through the suit coms as they got full view.
It was hard enough to see 6 more Superloops, with identical drones, Captowers, and polyports, because they had believed they were the only one left, but to actually see "God," in his white robes, placing his mighty hands on these beautiful worlds, was too much to bear.
Their Loopboard utter loneliness had been a lie, their Loop wasn’t special or precious, and God, they saw, could do whatever he wanted. They had never been in control, and never would be.
Eamon, dazzled and perturbed, opened his visor, uncapped the pressure equalizer, and let his head explode.
(This goes to a slightly earlier version, but you'll get the drift... )