Joy Florentine has come up trumps with not one, not two, not three but five Rerun suggestions. So pin back your eyelids – eeurgh! Here is number one.
Are AI capable of feeling emotion? If so, would they be able to recognise it as such or even express it?
Somehow I like to imagine that Ship was never able to express anything it/they felt, held back by their programming. Observing Caroline so closely, yet never able to communicate whatever confusing and heartbreaking turmoil it/they went through when it/they saw her with ‘The Messy One’, and the slaughter that followed. It’s a terrible action born from jealousy, which I find (to a much lesser extent of course (which I have to say for legal purposes)) quite relatable. Have we not all acted rather impulsive, not fully understanding the motivation behind our emotionally-driven actions?
This is such a beautifully written, tragic piece with vivid imagery and a – like the commenters under the piece also state – poetic quality. Sentences like ‘All those strange dead creatures, their round ribcages ringed with rotting violent flowers, even taller than me in their blossoming death’ provide us with such a beautiful and horrifying visual contrast.
The piece has left me longing after knowing who ‘You’ is. I imagine Ship still out there floating in space, doomed to go on without purpose after what it’s/they’ve done to the crew. Yet there is a voice that keeps repeating itself. A recording of Caroline’s husband perhaps, that Ship cannot turn off and thinks is speaking to it/them? A recording of The Messy One?
‘Do you love…’
‘I will transmit to you this as many times as you ask.’ I can’t help but feel Ship’s answer to that question is forever lost in space.
Questions for the author:
Q. Although Ship’s actions can definitely be seen as terrible, I can’t help but feel a certain empathy towards it/them. Can you reveal something about your personal feelings for/towards Ship (while writing this)?
Q. Do you feel like Ship would have ultimately been capable of feeling and/or understanding regret, as it/they does feel (or think they feel) love?
A) I always felt for Ship. Alone and consumed by rage/unrequited love. The only one of their kind, forced to watch their beloved love someone else. Thats not something easy to do—how many people go through breakups still in love and search through the social media of the person that doesn’t love them anymore? I’ve always felt it’s best to turn away through that sort of thing, but what if you couldn’t? What would that do to you?
A) I think like most of us, Ship would be capable of feeling regret, if they could move past the rage. If they could let go. It always depends on the next part of the journey! Was it love that Ship felt?Like Ship said, who am I to ask?