12/01/21 – Beings Like Us

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, December 1, 2021.




Well, I had to start this storyline SOMETIME, didn’t I? 😉


    1. Jude

      I laughed when I read the strip, thinking hey! the little robot-mice are sentient, and then I read your comment. So, do you think sentient robot-mice taste better than wild non-sentient mice? Somehow I can’t imagine Ruddock becoming a vegan but I can imagine if he found out about them, he’d be dealing with a lot of angst. He’s a pretty sensitive and compassionate sort.

        1. tlhonmey

          I suspect the translator chip does something to them. All the uplifted animals seem way smarter than their real-world counterparts. Ruddock’s not too much of a boost though, coyotes are about on a par with a two-year-old I’d say.

        2. Jude

          There’s a cat on your shoulders. Ask him/her if they think wild mice are. I’m not sure my cat has ever caught a mouse though she lived as a wild stray for a couple of years till I tamed her. I asked her but got no answer.

        3. someone

          Sentience is a very low threshold, it only requires the ability to feel the environment, and react to it. These edible robomice are displaying sapience, however. Something that requires the ability to learn and remember.

    2. Rikard

      Any meat you eat comes from a conscious being. And the scientific jury is still out pertaining to mushrooms, and the like. Even ants, mealworms and ticks have some kind of consciousness.

      The divider isn’t consciousness or not, it’s do we relate to and emphasise with said consciousness or not.

      And when the choice is “eat or die”, let me tell you from personal experience that even soup made from pine needles and ants starts to look appetising…

    3. Keith

      News flash Rikard, sentients have been eating sentients for BILLIONS of years. It’s nothing new or special. Besides, on earth. We figure that if you end up in the stew pot you had it coming.

      1. Bonker of Things

        It’s nothing new for sentients to eat sentiens, what potentially is new is the abillity for a sentient to recognize that it is a sentient eating another sentient; we don’t know for how long that realization has been around, especially seeing that our type of sentient has been refusing to acknowledge the matter up until quite recently. Most people would claim that animals weren’t really sentient less than 100 years and I still meet people who live by that thought, I guess that for some it’s simply just a veil to not have to admit that eating meat requires other living, feeling individuals death. It is, indeed, more comfortable with a self delusion than to admit that one must murder for food. And, by all means, do not take me wrong. I do murder for food, I even perpetuate the quite horrible murder industry we have set up (as opposed to go hunting, which is far more humane and justified) simply because it is easy – but I, for one, am aware how poorly most animals are treated, most people does not want to know (a school teacher who would show a video of actual slaughter for students would get fired for telling the truth, ironically)

  1. Keith

    I recall a megacow who was so concerned about the health of those who were going to eat it. That it ate nothing but prairie grass and ran 10 miles a day. UP HILL BOTH WAYS! Yes that is possible. Yes, it’s actually harder than running on a track.

  2. Marco

    We should have seen it coming! Horrible, horrible exploitation of sentient beings is a main theme in Spacetrawler. Also, not the first time the food turns out to be sentient…

      1. Keith

        Well, all I can say is. According to the cephalopods I’ve known and some other primates. The only thing disturbing is when someone tries to steal the meat you just killed. Besides, it’s not like it’s someone you know. Go have that discussion with the sentient and sapient mammals of the sea who kill and eat other sentient and sapient mammals in the sea.

  3. Pete Rogan

    What a strange sensation. All the hair on the back of my neck, and then my arms, slowly standing straight up.

    I won’t speak of what I’m thinking because the parts of it that aren’t obvious, are not meant for unprepared ears. Or eyes, for that matter.

    Ruddock never asked for his food to be conscious. Only like Earth mice, and therefore mobile, self-preserving, and to some extent curious. Everything else we see here is gravy.

    Gravy that wants to find others of its kind and form a larger colony. You know. Sort of like tuberculosis. But sentient.

  4. Jude

    Came back to read comments as they’re the icing on the cake, so to speak.

    It just occurred to me – with Ruddock on the Strib ship, has the replicator continued to spit out new mice regularly? Without Ruddock eating them and the rest of the crew seemingly unaware of them, will the ship be waist deep in mice by the end of this adventure? And if so, will they get their own home world?

  5. Night-Gaunt

    Oh great even the mice are sentient. Aventure Time carried it even further withe food that have eyes and mouths and maybe talk. Fin and company ate them, of course.

    The worse curse is knowing I am limited in life. The so called “dumb animals” don’t think of such things. Though they do fear the predator and they feel the danger.

    Some few animals may be sentient enough to understand death like elephants and crows. Poor bastards!

    1. Pete Rogan

      Tyrell: The facts of life… to make an alteration in the evolvement of an organic life system is fatal. A coding sequence cannot be revised once it’s been established.

      Batty: Why not?

      Tyrell: Because by the second day of incubation, any cells that have undergone reversion mutation give rise to revertant colonies, like rats leaving a sinking ship; then the ship… sinks.

      Batty: What about EMS-3 recombination?

      Tyrell: We’ve already tried it – ethyl, methane, sulfinate as an alkylating agent and potent mutagen; it created a virus so lethal the subject was dead before it even left the table.

      Batty: Then a repressor protein, that would block the operating cells.

      Tyrell: Wouldn’t obstruct replication; but it does give rise to an error in replication, so that the newly formed DNA strand carries with it a mutation – and you’ve got a virus again… but this, all of this is academic. You were made as well as we could make you.

      Batty: But not to last.

      Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you’re the Prodigal Son; you’re quite a prize!

      Batty: I’ve done… questionable things.

      Tyrell: Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.

      Batty: Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for.

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