Heavenly Switchboard

Abstract mathematical data, echo of sondes and soundings and airwaves were visualised on the screens of heliovessel Curieux as a new world ready to be conquered for the whole mankind.
Astonished, Captain Cristoforo Piccolomini and the group of officials who helped him on the bridge, admired on monitors that anthracite excrescence's huge tangle :
It's a weaving of electric cables »,  Piccolomini joked, but he concealed with presumption from the crew his disquietude and disgust for that planetary body. He felt his subordinates laughing with a rod of iron. Striked the heliosails and switched off the engine, Curieux was sent into the planet's orbit and dropped the gravity - anchor from the hawse. The schooner's digital eyes, a bunch of aerials, sensors and telecameras, zoomed under 30.000 kilometers : grey slimy, seemingly latex knots filled the bridge's optical system: they covered a deserted and arid surface. He, puzzled, looked at Yamashita who, intented on his tools, rumbled doubtfully: " It should be a big lavic stone' s clot ", the geologist officer dared to say " It could be a recently developed structure; an enormous volcano, a magmatic ball's cooled shell ".
Mister Hamidi, scanning " Piccolomini directed him to proceed.The navigator casted a myriad of reading rays on the northern side of that odd globe: the laser caged it in meridians and parallels; a virtual model of the unknown planet glowed on the oloscreens with glosses and captions.An artificial mellifluous female voice announced: " No life ".
Sorrowful Piccolomini yawned, afflicted by the tediousness of a deserted galaxy. For the last five years he's sailed, fooling himself, in search of intelligences, traces, civilizations.
" Umpteenth stone is floating on vacuum ", Mister Sprach became sad, " everytime I wonder...  what do you use an anthropologist for?"
" Your salary ", bent in front a inexhaustible ticking consolle, Marinelli joked, " is repaid with license fees subscribed for mining bills.
" I no sooner sight a new planet and then... So how is your business going ?", Piccolomini asked; and the broker shared on the screens a lot of pre-emptions that were broadcast on tv from the Earth: every fifteen seconds, gas, metal, mining companies renewed their supplies of exploitation and their monopoly's claims.
" They buy, they spend billions lactei  without knowing what they are buying or what we discovered. Down here there could be I don't know how many thousands of shit or....".
" Shit is so precious ", Sprach stated precisely, " If there were shit's depots or fossil excrements on this world we could be successful in business ".
Piccolomini smiled at him, the anthropologist was thoughtful.
He dropped the embarrassing subject and wheeled the chair towards the scanner's administrator: " What is this truffle made of, Miss Levì?"

( ... )

"Centralino Celeste", il mio primo titolo pubblicato con Imperium, si prepara a varcare la Manica e l'Oceano: qui sopra potete leggere la prima pagina del racconto tradotto da Chiara Campidelli. L'ebook sarà disponibile non appena l'editore alzerà le vele digitali per la Perfida Albione e le, ehm, Colonie. Vi tengo aggiornati!

Alessandro Forlani

sedicente scrittore, è nato negli anni '70 del XVII secolo, si è reincarnato nel XIX, nel XX e millenni a venire. Nerd, negromante, roleplayer e autore "difficile" di racconti fantastici. Di giorno si impaluda da docente universitario e ciacola di sceneggiatura, cinema e scrittura; di notte, che dovrebbe far l’artista, piuttosto guarda film, legge fumetti, ascolta musica barocca, gioca a soldatini e poi va a dormire. Perché crede che sia più sano scrivere in questo modo.

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