76

I left Earth to get away from her, but the galaxy had different plans. I tried to forget feeling, but galaxies are stronger. They merely BE.

It has been two decades since NASA’s Cassini spacecraft began its remarkable journey of exploration to Saturn. Last September, having expended almost all the rocket propellant it carried to Saturn, Cassini was sent on its final mission – a suicidal descent into the planet itself. An emotional Earth created tributes to the death of Cassini and today, hundreds of artists and storytellers have shared works inspired by them. The Vault is please to present Gemma Mahadeo’s story seed inspired by Cassini, a tale of travel through the universe and emotional connections.

//Gemma Mahadeo is a Melbourne-based writer, poet, and occasional musician from the U.K. She/they tweets as @snarkattack & @eatdrinkstagger.//

74

No one believed me, not till it was too late. The whole time we thought we were watching them, they were watching us and learning.

In Jervis Bay, just off the east coast of Australia, an international team of marine biologists saw something strange. Led by professor David Scheel of Alaska Pacific University, the team filmed 15 gloomy octopuses communicating, dwelling together, and even evicting each other from dens. Previously thought to be anti-social, this discovery proved that congregation of octopuses do exist. The researchers nicknamed it ‘Octlantis’. Writer C.M Johnson casts this discovery into an ocean of paranoia. Could her net have caught onto the truth?

//C.M Johnson is an artist and writer. Her work often deals with anthropology and social sciences. You can find her at @selkiemade.//

17

“I can’t afford the licence fee for my petfood’s DRM.”
“I heard homebrew stuff can turn pets into beautiful monsters.”
“Oh no,” she smiled.

This story by Alex Hardison was inspired by recent events in the 3D virtual world Second Life. Virtual rabbits across Second Life will fall asleep on Saturday then never wake up, unable to access their food. Ozimal’s DRM-protected virtual food relies on servers which have been shut down by a legal battle.

//Alexander Hardison lives in Sydney with his girlfriend, cat & too-large collection of action figures. His work can be found at alexanderhardison.wordpress.com//