"There's something you're not telling the rest of us, isn't there - Commander?"
Wingnut clenched his teeth, realizing that NPC Tanner had him there. "Well, considering that the best-case scenario involves getting our memory wiped - which I suspect may already happened at least once - I might as well lay the cards out on the table."
The crew listened expectantly - Vega particularly leaning forward in his chair with his knuckles folded to his chin in concern.
"Now, bear with me, because it's going to sound crazy.
You guys and I are the protagonists in an ongoing story posted to a very small audience. What we go through - in here;" the Commander gestured about themselves at the bridge and the vast expanse of infinity beyond it; "is all written about online.
It's like this old Star Trek program they used to have on television, and we're all the actors. Good guys, bad guys, and explosions as far as the eye can see."
Right on schedule, the brows furrowed. Sure enough, the bridge officers were startled; was this man finally losing it?
"Or more accurately, we're all in a game, a simulation. I'm the main avatar, if you would - and that man you just saw is not only playing as me, he's writing about us, too.
You are all NPC's in that game."
NPC Sam Micheals, the newest addition to the crew and manning the Science Terminal, cocked his head.
"Navy Provisional Crewmen, Commander. Yes, we kn-"
"No," Wingnut refused this with a shake of his. "Non-Player Characters. It's a pun. Travis goes in weird places with his wordplay. I'm the PC."
"Pilot Commander, Commander?"
"Player Character, dipshit. Let me finish." He continued.
"Anyway, last year, Travis was having some kind of crisis in this other place - the place where he plays our game from, or as we call it - Meatspace.
We spent a lot of time introspecting in this other place, one even deeper than Meatspace, even more bizarre. This was Headspace. He was at the time, dealing with something seriously existential."
"More existential than -this?!-" Micheals squawked in horror.
"You'd be surprised, Sam. It's kind of a big deal, because if Travis had stopped writing, we'd just kind of fade off into obscurity like the rest of his projects. I, for one, kind of like being a spacer."
Vega frowned skeptically. "And so, Travis is, essentially, our creator? He basically.... fabricates this reality we're in? Is he supposed to be God?"
Wingnut choked. "Oh, no. No, no, fuck no. We are not going down that road, Mister Vega. Expunge the notion - our existence -may- depend on him, but the guy's just a low-budget writer who doesn't give himself any credit. Nothing more."
"I certainly hope so, Commander, because it certainly doesn't seem like he has a very good handle on our situation right now."
"That's exactly why I'm worried"