Touching the Sky

by prokofy on 14/04/07 at 8:04 pm

By Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Worlds, Planets, Universe, Multiverses, Metaverses (Yes, There’s More Than One) and Deep Negative Hyperspace


OK, so I’m clearing away prims in Neumoegen and suddenly I see Michael and Nigel Linden have a new train, a dark-red, old-fashioned beat-up one that I guess fits in with the hobo build in Calletta at the start of the line. I fly after it eagerly and select SIT and get RIDE…and away I go down the Linden tracks, clackety-clack.

So I settle in for what I imagine will be one of those bumpy but fun rides on the old SLRR. I realize it is hopelessly analog of me, and I know I’m supposed to teleport and p2p and skin off my hair, or strut around with AOs, but I still like riding the rails of Second Life. Maybe it’s the old beta-era hobos I meet along the way, their hands stretched out over barrels on fire, fingers protruding from hole-filled gloves. Their hollow eyes tell the story. They’ve Been There. I spot an Asian build coming up and the train bumps and halts and starts to give me messages. Then it starts up again.


I ride without event out of Achemon — or nearly so, when whoops, the land falls away to make a gulch. OK, pas de probleme, this is de rigeur. I zoom around looking ahead…and notice the land is dropping beneath me. OK, it will recover. It often does. If you ever watch it from the sidelines, it often jumps over sim seams.

Suddenly, I look out and realize we are aloft. No, we are not in Soho and no, this is not a project of Forseti’s. We are in the sky. And suddenly, I realize I am in a living, breathing, metaphor for the game of Second Life.



Is this the journey I signed up for? Of course not. But did I right-click and press “sit” and get “ride”. Of course I did!

Pondering whether I should file this under “Herald Literary Suppository” or “Philosophical Issues,” I hurtle upwards in the sky, despite sitting on a locomotive that is many simulated tons. I see the horizon.


Green chat is wafting up toward me. It’s telling me first that we are being struck by another train. Not to worry, however, this is Second Life. Then it is telling me to jump, jump for MY LIFE! I hit “stand up” desperately and…nothing….

And then we ride closer to the sun. I gulp. I know what can happen up here.

It’s time to IM Eggy Lippman. Eggy will have done this in beta. Eggy tells me to relog, meh, he’s no fun.

Perhaps Ordinal Malaprop who scripts the tram in Caledon will have some insights but she’s not online. Again, no worries. I know where to find her. She’s at the pub in real life, before everybody! Or, filling up an envelope before she is paralyzed with boredom! Or making some grub! I go to Twitter. Yoo-hoo? Ordinal! Where are you?

Meanwhile, the negative numbers are increasing with frightening speed. Ordinal pops online…Ordinal is then falling offline…struggling online…fallilng offline…Bye, Ordinal! the Concierge group is yammering about inventory loss…and I’m not lost. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. At negative -15,238 offworld somewhere…or perhaps deep in the world.

I lob off an PM to Michael Linden. “Linden, we have a problem,” I write. If I were a bug report, what would I be? Uh, user interface? Or uhhhh indecency? My hair is stripped off, my glasses and boots, no doubt, no wait…all in place…

I notice how silent it is up here. No Lucky Chairs talking. No whispering vendors.

No Lindens.


I realize my avatar is getting the sky-high jitters…he’s breaking up…I had heard about this….the eyes were bugging out in terror. The nail beds were turning red…or was it purple?



Hanging upside down in hyperspace, -100,000 plus meters from any living Live Help (which is cancelled now anyway), I realized I didn’t have to be afraid. I was still wearing my Ninja Fighting Trainer Jacket from Hammer and Coop.

I was still interacting with the brand. I was going to be all right.

That was before I got to -500,000 — and kept hurdling. My avatar face became a mashed Picasso painting.


Now, above (below? but there was the sky…) -250,000,000, Michael Linden’s train was holding fast. I was a mess, but then, well, it’s their world and it was all my imagination that…

Then…nothingness. Just…blue sky. Perhaps I was in Itchycoo Park, or Eight Miles High. Sims always perform their best when there is nothing, nothing, nothing at all on them, not even Linden stuff…Yet the bar at the stop, incredibly, still said IMPERIAL. Negative two million meters in IMPERIAL.



Suddenly, I noticed the sky was grey. Or had I merely landed, and was suffering from the usual grey square issues? My computer was making strange grinding sounds…Ordinal was logging off again, probably unable to keep a purchase on a crashing sim or something…Eggy was writing something…that he’d already did this in beta…that I would reach 2.1 million and then it would reverse and go backwards…but I was already at 2.5….the grinding was growing louder and louder, even on my brand-new expertly tweaked machine…

I decide to log off. As the screen dimmed, I caught a glimpse of a lunchroom…there was Michael Linden with a Yahoo and a Ring-Ding, laughing…


What did you do there?
I got high
What did you feel there?
Well I cried
But why the tears there?
I’ll tell you why
It’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful
It’s all too beautiful

15 Responses to “Touching the Sky”

  1. Nimrod

    Apr 14th, 2007

    “I got high”

    Oh my Prok! =O

  2. urizenus

    Apr 14th, 2007

    sounds like a sweet ride. I’m gonna see what happens if I drop some seclamine before I take the trip.

  3. Mini Kahlon

    Apr 14th, 2007

    Brilliant, love these posts. Where is the lyric from?

  4. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 14th, 2007

    “Itchykoo Park” is an old tune from the 1960s by the Small Faces.

  5. Cocoanut Koala

    Apr 14th, 2007


    That lyric does ring a vague bell.


  6. Sunshine Kukulcan

    Apr 14th, 2007

    Remember kids, Wikipedia can be your friend!

    The song’s name is derived from the nickname of Little Ilford Park, on Church Road in the London suburb of Manor Park, where Steve Marriott, the Small Faces’ singer and song-writer, grew up.

    The ‘itchycoo’ nickname is, in turn, attributed to the stinging nettles which grew there.

    Another local park, in the nearby town of Ilford, called Valentines Park, was also often referred to as Itchycoo Park, probably for the same reasons.

    The hairy seeds from the Rose Hip (or wild Dog Rose) were called “Itchycoos” by English kids is the 1950s, and the term is still used by some elsewhere in the United Kingdom[citation needed]. If you broke the seeds out of the berry and dropped them down someone’s collar between shirt and back they caused itching.

    Copied from

  7. EnCore Mayne

    Apr 14th, 2007

    read on in the wiki and you’ll see some unknown guy named rod stewart picked up where merriott left off.

  8. ほったらかしで毎月5万円稼げる方法教えます。


  9. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 15th, 2007

    I want to get the Eggy quote right here:

    “Eggy Lippmann: You can go on like that until you hit 2147483648, then it will wrap around into -2147483648.”

  10. Panda

    Apr 15th, 2007

    Shock! Michael and Nigel Linden plot to assassinate Prokofy Neva! News at 11!

  11. Inigo Chamerberlin

    Apr 15th, 2007

    Another Linden fuckup – they fail! :-)

  12. Nacon

    Apr 15th, 2007

    All trains are scripted to carry Prok into the void… that now I know it works.

    (har har, don’t care)

  13. Kerian Bunin

    Apr 15th, 2007

    This article was a fun read.

  14. Ordinal Malaprop

    Apr 16th, 2007

    I must admit, I’ve sent some trams down to some pretty extreme positions, but two million metres… one has to admire the engineering there.

  15. DriverKid Baxter

    Apr 25th, 2007

    Wow sounds like a fun train ride! Besides the flying into teh void part teh train is cool lol

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