The Thinking Man’s Guru

Mark Walter
Apr 20, 2016 · 3 min read

a busy mind was not necessarily viewed as a balanced state-of-being

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From “The Adventures of Retlaw Kram” — here we find Retlaw in-between lives.

The order to shut down the Admiralty came quietly. Within moments shock waves were reverberating throughout the corridors of Old Main, right on down to Corporal Effects’ office, who promptly picked up the intercom.

“Sorry for the interruption sir, but I thought perhaps the General should know the Admiralty is being powered down.”

“Who the hell gave the order to shut down the Admiralty?” barked General Karma.

“That would be the TMG, sir,” stammered the corporal, who couldn’t help but notice he was inexplicably beginning to madly over-perspire.

“Good God,” winced the General, trying to ignore the sudden burning in his chest. He bustled out the door, muttering something under his breath about those damn civilians, and desperately wondering if he would live another day.

Over in the Power Plant, several thousand alarms erupted simultaneously. Quarterlove, the lone engineer, bolted out of his chair. While he had trained for the worst, no one ever said it would actually happen.

The Power Plant housed all the main transformers and substations, feeding power out to the fleet and sustaining operations in every galactic ocean under their domain. The plant had plenty of redundancy, but standard operating procedures did not account for shutting everything down simultaneously, including all redundancy.

Quarterlove dashed over to the policy manual, nervously flipping pages in search of Subsection Z, 43.1 “What to Do When the Big Switch is Finally Thrown.” It didn’t have much to say since it was only one page long. The contents contained a short article, seemingly out of context, extolling the monastic virtues of not thinking so much, and ending with the innocuous tag-line, “Thinking too much will get you in the end.”

Out at sea, Captain Crossburn was literally a universe removed from Old Main. He had been keeping his little piece of the ocean pretty steady for a very long time — ensuring ‘the everything’ remained calm and stable — but occasionally found himself lapsing into reflective daydreams, wondering if the action wasn’t a bit more exciting elsewhere. That was all before Lieutenant Craven burst onto the bridge.

“Sir, we have observed a major power failure wave heading our way. It’s off the charts.” She was looking out of the windows, horrified. This could only mean one thing.

Crossburn raised one eyebrow ever so slightly as turned up from his charts, just in time to see Craven’s shocked face. A moment later the wave hit, and everything in the universe stopped existing.

Would you care for some hot tea, sir?” the butler respectfully asked the The Thinking Man’s Guru.

“Ah yes, Retlaw, that would be perfect,” replied the TMG softly, as he reached for the steaming cup.

“Would the guru be requiring anything else at the moment, sir?”

“No, no thank you,” replied the old man as he took a satisfying sip, faintly noticing Retlaw silently backing out of the room.

It will be nice to take some time off for a while, he thought as he reached for the phone to call his old friend Z, head of the Consciousness Bureau.

Z would be… well… ‘pleased’ was not an apt choice of words. The inevitable decision had been put off for a long time. Once made, it became a matter-of-fact procedure. However, the effects were disturbing, what with having to build a new model human, and having to retool the ‘Creation Program’ with its infinite subroutines. Rebooting the program was always a very big deal.

But, for now anyway, his job was done — all the thinking men were dead.

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