Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Contingency Plan

I am gradually putting together a story about someone who has two bodies: one on Earth and another on a different planet. He is attempting to run both bodies simultaneously, each with their own particular quirks and separate life; and most of the time all runs smoothly. Occasionally though, odd difficulties arise, and this person becomes somewhat confused; experiencing momentary lapses of attention, being not quite sure which particular planet he is actually on, at that instant. How this person ended up in such a situation, is that he became annoyed at losing bodies through various disasters which occurred (planets he'd resided on being destroyed — taken out by asteroids) and figured what was needed to deal with the matter, was to have a contingency plan (run two bodies).

The other planet that he has a body on, is in some ways quite similar to Earth, but in other ways quite dissimilar. The similarity aspect is part of the reason for his strife; his confusion, and forgetfulness, of not always being sure where he actually is. For instance, the geography of both planets are virtually identical, and one is at loss (really) to discern any difference at all; both places pretty much look the same. Where the two places are different, is with the inhabitants. The people living on this other planet are all wonderful in every possible way. They are always thoughtful to each other; care about each other; are helpful to each other; courteous to each other. They basically are all just lovely, kind and considerate folk. Now our guy will be on that planet, living a beautiful life there with these adorable people (swept up in the moment and enjoying the serenity of it all) when all of a sudden, in an instant, he'll find himself back on Earth in his other body.

Now something else which is different is that on this other planet everything runs smoothly. It is all just so harmonious. Accidents never happen, there is no crime. The television news only ever consists of continuous streams of these pleasant stories of folks doing good deeds for each other. The newspapers the same, page after page of acts of kindness. Delightful articles about the splendid day-to-day life of the place, how it is all running seamlessly in frictionless-clockwork. Everything works — all the time. Nothing breaks down, people walk around beaming with happiness, in care-free outpourings of joy. Now this is where our guy really feels it, when he finds himself back on Earth, where it is a truly miraculous day indeed if there is not major upheaval, disruption, turbulence, trouble, pain, torment, distress of one kind or another. And this being continually reported on — incessantly; folks utterly being swamped, drowned with it; horror story after horror story, in a never-ending deluge.

Earlier, I alluded to the reason our guy was in the situation he was in, was due to him choosing for things to be this way (owing to his annoyance at losing bodies through asteroid impacts). This is only a partial explanation. What happened to him was that he suffered a major head injury; a traumatic concussion so horrific, that most people — in all reasonableness — would not have been expected to survive. But by some miracle of his own tenaciousness, he somehow pulled through. When the impact occurred to his head, he underwent what we will call TST (total soul transfer), meaning he (his soul, himself as a being) exteriorized from his injured body. For all intents and purposes, his spirit departed, he died. His transferred spirit thus ended up in a different body — on another planet. But just as the transfer — the upload — was about to reach 100 percent, something unexpected took place. His body back on Earth regained consciousness; with the outcome being, that the TST link-up was severed (the upload never completed). THE TOTAL TRANSFER FAILED.

Another problem that our guy had — after he 'came back to life', so to speak — was that it took him quite a while to realise that he wasn't dead. He was in a 'zombie-like state' for several years, walking around in a stupor. Then one day — seemingly out of the blue — an odd thought occurred to him: 'Hell — I'm alive!' But then, on realizing this, something else happened; he began seeing potential disasters everywhere he looked. And it amazed him that folks he met, were just so lackadaisical and completely uninterested in the dangers which surrounded them. Their apathy and 'lack of enthusiasm for wishing to rectify potentially disastrous situations' astounded him. It was like they had resigned themselves to the fact that they were going to die anyway, so why bother with all the extraneous fuss of trying to live a day or two extra. He found attempting to snap them out of their melancholy, quite trying. So mainly he just worked on dealing with the dangerous situations which kept appearing — alone. But in this endeavour he became exhausted, spent and completely worn out; because as soon as he would address one glaring outness, he'd then spot ten more red-flags fluttering (which he hadn't even noticed before he'd begun attending to the previous exigency which needed fixing). Phew! ............ He was just so fatigued by it all............

Anyway, that is the gist of this story which I have in development.

Image Credit: hasloo.com

Copyright © 2013--2014 Eamonn Gosney — All Rights Reserved

Contingency Plan:
"1. a course of action to be followed if a preferred plan fails or an existing situation changes. 

 2. a plan or procedure that will take effect if an emergency occurs; emergency plan."

Contingency Plan:
 "[O]ften used for risk management when an exceptional risk that, though unlikely, would have catastrophic consequences. Contingency plans are often devised by governments or businesses. For example, suppose many employees of a company are traveling together on an aircraft which crashes, killing all aboard. The company could be severely strained or even ruined by such a loss. Accordingly, many companies have procedures to follow in the event of such a disaster. The plan may also include standing policies to mitigate a disaster's potential impact, such as requiring employees to travel separately or limiting the number of employees on any one aircraft." 


Karen Naylor said...

Sounds like a very intriguing story premise Eamonn and I would be very interested in reading the result. I am currently working on editing my MG children's story with a view to sending out to agents/publishers (it is out with some beta readers at the moment), completing my first draft of a comedy 'inspired by true events' novel and entering various competitions with my short stories and poems. What are you working on at the moment other than the story outlined above?

Eamonn Gosney said...

Hi Karen

I have posted 'The Contingency Plan' synopsis at a site where one can post their book idea, to test whether they may have written a book which people would like to read:


Maybe you might like to post a synopsis of your MG children's story there as well.

I am currently involved with researching another project (medical related) which I've had a keen interest in for quite a long time.

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