“Love bacon? Like to travel? Hate gravity?”
B-Stein fondled his last memories of Earth as he unexcitedly, indiscriminately picked at his breakfast. Terra. Solid ground. It had been three years since he felt the ground, and three years of eating the same bacon every day. And it was the same bacon. It was the same atoms of carbon, sodium, iron, and whatever else he had brought with him, reconstituted from his effluvient, delicately pressed together to form the shape of some dead animal.
While B-Stein is preoccupied with his breakfast, strange vibrations are starting to emanate from small electromagnets around the ship. The vibrations move through the recycled air, and reach B-Stein in a few milliseconds.
“Christ”, he muttered, “not another one”.
His crewmate F-Meier had been experimenting with the porkulator, trying to extract something slightly less porky, but all his experiments so far had ended up as a ball of plasmodic, flaming flesh.
B-Stein started to undo the velcro that was conveniently fastening him to his seat. The loud crackling zipping, which he had relished as a child, brought no joy to him any more. He felt a strange, yet familiar, sensation of air passing by him as he was sucked towards a new hole in the ship’s hull. He didn’t feel particularly cold, but did find it quite hard to breathe. This caused him a great amount of stress. He didn’t think of his wife L-Stein or their unborn child.
After the porkulator explosion of ’808, the hull breach was, purely by accident, sealed by the porkulator itself. Despite plans to remove the porkulator and weld the hull shut, by the time they were ready, the exterior was already overgrown with meat. A committee was formed, and it was decided not to risk further injury and leave the porkulator where it was. Plus, it tasted much better now.
B-Stein with L-Stein née Schön begat B-Stein-II, who with K-Stein née Meier begat P-Berg née Stein.
F-Meier with M-Meier née Feldt begat K-Stein née Meier.
F-Berg begat J-Berg, mother unknown; J-Berg and P-Berg née Stein begat T-Berg.
T-Berg put on his shaving suit. The shaving suit had begun life as an ordinary space suit, designed primarily for keeping oxygen in and radiation out. After a few unfortunate accidents shaving the pork, however, it was decided that it must also keep very sharp objects such as carving knives out as well.
T-Berg gave a firm tug on each of the fastenings, seals, rings and pinnipeds of his suit. No oxygen would be escaping today. He shook the carving knife to check the fuel, and heard sufficient petrol splashing inside its tank.
T-Berg had some trouble negotiating the ship without his velcro boots, and slowly worked his way to the airlock. He closed the inner lock, took the pressure down, and opened the outer lock. Before leaving through the outer lock, he pulled on the cord and started the carving knife.
He shimmied out of the lock, turning on his electromagnetic boots to anchor him to the exterior of the hull.
“Strange”, he thought, “there doesn’t seem to be any growth since last week. Something must be wrong with the porkulator”.
The hull breach where the porkulator was embedded was a five minute walk away, and he walked there uneventfully. He hadn’t been this far from the airlock before, but it all looked the same: a sea of meat, seared from the unfiltered radiation of a thousand distant stars.
He identified the porkulator as a large protrusion of meat, and started digging away with the carving knife. He stuffed what he could into his carry bag, and let the rest drift away into the void.
As he got deeper, his anxiety grew. Nobody had seen the porkulator since ’808. What if he reopened the hull? No, it was unlikely that he could reopen the hull. That entire section of the interior had been filled with meat for generations. He kept digging, and finally reached a metal compartment, like a safe or a refrigerator.
T-Berg had studied well, and knew a bit about porkulator mechanics: you had the source material that needed to be kept frozen so it wouldn’t get rancid, and the probes into the source material to inspect the DNA and structure. The effluvient input pipes were then filtered, processed and the output was a delicious porky meal, full of vitamins, calcium, and everything else your body decided it didn’t want in the first place.
T-Berg carved around the refrigerator door and pried it open. The light didn’t turn on. One thing T-Berg knew about refrigerators and freezers was that they had lights. He turned his headlamp on and peered in, to find the perfectly preserved face of his maternal great grandfather.