Discussion: "Space Caskets"
Those of you who have been with us longer would probably know by now that
the Firebirds have, shall we say, a somewhat skewed sense of humour.
Presented below is the result of what was a chance musing by our A-CO,
Sparhawk, which soon spawned a lively discussion. Warning: If you think
the idea of finding morbid humour in death ghoulish or tasteless, TURN
BACK NOW. Oh, and you might want to refrain from eating or drinking while
reading this too. We hold no responsibility over your reaction to this
With all those space-caskets they launch into space (taking into
account the many Marines they have on board) wouldn't space be quite
littered with them? There has to be a more economical and practical way of
burying in space.
You know, I never thought of it before, but that's true. I figured
that incinerating the bodies into ashes and shooting it into a star inside
a missile or something would be more practical. Less space, resources, and
energy. But less dramatic, I guess.
Hey, it looks dramatic in my mind's eye. :) Imagine the flames in
the incinerator, the warm, golden glow bathing the faces of the fellow
Marines who are trying to do the Marine thing and not cry as the body of
their friend slides into the incinerator accompanied by the chaplain
saying a prayer and an "inspiring, haunting theme from some opera or
something..." to set the mood; the involuntary wince on one of their
faces as they hear the missile shooting into space; <cut to outside shot
of 'Toga> the missile leaving the 'Toga in slow-mo like the caskets,
streaking its way into a brilliant star... <fade>
Cool. Now that you've put it that way, I guess I *can* see the
dramatic possibility. Mind if I use it in a fanfic (if I ever get around
to writing it, that is <cynical grin>)? ;)
Nah. Go right ahead. :) Just be sure to mention me in the
credits... somewhere. ;D
On the other hand, where do they incinerate the bodies? Do they
build a special machine for it? I mean, burning the body inside a garbage
incinerator kinda takes the moving effect away from it, doesn't it?
Well, usually, It's a special machine. Looks nothing like the
garbage one. Actually, the one I actually saw took the coffin away and you
didn't see it burn. But I have seen pictures of those where you actually
can see it burn through a glass window. I guess that's the effect I had
With all the caskets floating around, wouldn't you think that
there'll be cases of ships colliding with them? Just imagine, the frozen
corpse of a long-dead Marine splattering against the viewscreen. <watches
as the Firebirds run to the head> Or maybe not.
LOL!! That'll be a sight! "I'm detecting unidentified bandit
ahead!! It's long and irregularly shaped and... ARGH!" <splat> "It spooged
me!! It... ARGH!! It's a *dead* body!! Oh my Gawd! It's Bob! Red Leader, I
have Bob's eyeball on my screen..." ;)
ROTFL! That'll be interesting allright. The poor guy would
probably be in therapy for the rest of his natural life. ;D
Living in a room with white padded walls and one of those fancy
jackets with lots of straps and an unnatural fear of eating fishballs.
And do you think that the Saratoga goes up into space equipped
with a certain number of caskets?
That's a tall order. How are they gonna know exactly how many will
Precisely my point. It's not possible.
Even an estimation would be difficult. Maybe they replenish the
stock every month? Where are the caskets kept anyway? The 'Toga's big, but
not that big.
Um... Down where no one can see them? Hey! Can't have the tropps
Won't the ship be kind of cramped then? I don't think they can
spare much space on the 'Toga.
I know! Collapsible caskets!! The latest in casket technology.
Buy one now for only 39.90 space credits!! Only while stocks last. Hurry!
And if you buy 2, you get one free!
LOL! And give your wife a nice white casket with her name woven
to the top for her birthday! Kind of like buying funeral plots, innit?
Maybe when you're assigned to a ship, you're allotted one casket?
Hey! Maybe if you're an officer, they even let you pick your own casket!
Imagine this: "Which one would you like, sir? The one with the Celtic
knots, or the one with dragons carved on it?"
Oh! That's morbid! Imagine standing in line receiving your
Marine issues: Dress blues... flightsuit... hat...gloves... helmet...
envirosuit... rifle... casket... boots... socks... How reassuring. I'll
have the one with the Phoenix, thank you. ;) I believe in life after
Hmm...I'd like the one with the Angry Angel, thanky kindly.
Maybe they are used as something else while waiting to be used as caskets.
Like what? Mess hall benches? Volley balls storage containers?
LOL!! Plant incubators? Hydroponics!! Grow your own vegetables
right in your very own casket!
That's like the Ancient Greeks and Chinese burying food with
their dead. Only this time, it's *living* food! Also...starving bounty
hunters can reel it in and cook the veg.
[other alternative uses for caskets] Like... um... oh, I dunno. ever
notice the luxury "bathtubs"? ;D
LOL! Wouldn't it leak?
Maybe there's a grunt in charge of taking stock of caskets.
Every month, he goes and take stock and then fills out the sheet. So, what
does the stock sheet look like? "Chicken, beef, dehydrated vegetables,
dried unmentionable rations, toilet rolls, CvRs, caskets, rifles,
"Meat -- check. Veggies -- check. Toilet paper -- check. Hmm....
caskets are running low this month. Must have been that last sortie. I
guess I better order another half a dozen."
Or are they like DIY jobs? Maybe they come in parts and you have
to assemble them.
Well, it'll take less storage space, at least.
And then you have the klutzes who don't know how part A fits
into B and where the hell is C anyway?!
I'm sure they have people who're good with their hands there! ;D
Um... they are Marines. Somehow, I don't think so. ;D
Well, they'd *have* to be otherwise their arms and legs would
have to be amputated and stuck in corners of the weird shaped coffin.
Or maybe they are inflatable?
Somehow, I don't think so. :D
What happens when they run out? Do they have an APC plying a
"Casket delivery service. Call 555-25-25. Guaranteed to deliver within 48
hours or you get them free! <small print> Disclamer: This offer is valid
for a limited time only. Subject to clear skies. This offer will not apply
should there be space pirates, alien bugs or chigs in the area."
LOL! I guess it's off to the incinerator, then. :)
Boy! Are we being morbid!! ;)
Let's put it this way -- I wouldn't discuss or read this thread
Note: The text was compiled from several e-mails, so some judicious
editing was necessary. I hope that I managed to arrange it in such a way
as to avoid confusion. For more information on cremation, go to
You are also able to view a picture of a
pathological cremator at