Thursday, 27 January 2011

Message to me

Hello Laria, this is Laria speaking.

Not quite sure why I decided to record a vid-message. It could have been audio only and you could have set up a mirror.

Maybe you don't think that's funny. I do.

Maybe you're sitting there laughing at me. It's difficult to know what pronoun to use. Maybe we're both "I". Maybe you're "you" and you think I'm "you".


I just wanted to leave a message for myself. For there to be some link between me now and me after that wasn't just flesh and blood and some shared quarters.

Maybe you won't care about ships and crew as much as I do. Maybe you won't care about Re-Awakened, about making a good impression, the way I do. I don't know if you're /me/. Or someone else.

And there's only going to be an hour between me recording this and you listening. And I don't know how different I'm going to be. Are we the same person at all? Maybe we'll be the same and it really is just a bit here and a bit there. Or maybe we won't be, and we weren't last time and the fact that I didn't record who I was just covers up how much I changed.

I've been learning to bake cake. Keep doing that, me.

We sacrifice a lot. We get great rewards in return. But with cloning, with this psychological reprogramming... who am I? Who are you?

Try to work on that, a bit, even if you don't care. I do.

Good luck, anyway, Laria.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

New Challenges

It couldn't be that hard, Laria thought, scanning through the instructions on her datapad. It was certainly no harder than refining, and she was good at that - taking raw materials and processing them into something more useful. It didn't even seem as complicated as fabricating modules, and she'd done that in her early training at the University of Caille. With a flick of a finger, she sent the order off for the basic materials, and was rewarded with the chime that indicated their delivery.
Some time later, the fabrication unit beeped to indicate that the unit had been completed. With anticipation, Laria opened the door and carefully removed the finished item. Setting it down on a work surface, she peered at it.
Was it supposed to be black? And wasn't it supposed to be thicker? More... fluffy? She prodded it with an implement. It was supposed to be soft and springy, according to the instructions, but this was hard and crackly - shattering as she poked at it.
Laria stamped a foot in frustration. This was important - important to her and to her new corporation - and it had clearly gone badly wrong. She would never understand this cake thing at all.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The High Cost Of Living

The last of the armour cladding the Celestis Electronic Warfare Cruiser gave out with a crack that echoed throughout the hull, followed immediately a long, rolling, groan as the structure itself started to absorb punishment. The pilot, Laria Raven, in her capsule, abandoned her attempts to align the ship for warpout, and triggered the evacuation procedures. As the systems of the Celestis wailed a requiem, Laria's pod ejected. She watched the teardrop escape boats peel away from the disintegrating cruiser... one... two... the final one detached and the pilot released the breath she'd been holding. That exhalation was stopped as a stray missile, from friend or foe, she couldn't tell, slammed into the final boat, destroying it in an instant. Laria let out something halfway between a shout and a scream...

And woke up, covered in sweat, in her bunk, in her quarters, tucked safely into the side of the University section at the Pator Technical School in Aldrat. Third night. This one had hit her worse than the other losses, perhaps because the Celestis crew had been with her for a while. There were some pilots who ignored their crew entirely, pretended they didn't exist. There were others who seemed to take the loss of them with less concern than they did the loss of the isk needed to replace the ship. There were times Laria envied them.

But she couldn't be like that. Couldn't ignore the people she worked in such proximity to. She didn't socialise, but she knew them. Knew their names, their faces. They knew her. In the main, she'd noticed, they seemed to regard her as existing halfway between a goddess and a mascot. At the moment, she didn't feel much like either. Just very alone and a long way from home. She slipped out from under the sheet, and walked over to the console, bringing up the latest document. If sleep was denied her, then there were other things to do.

Dear Ms. Hilfwin. It is with deep regret that I write to tell you of the death of your son, Amuld, lost when the escape boat he was on board was destroyed during action against criminals in the Hagilur system. Amuld had served with me with distinction for four months, and will be sadly missed both by me and his fellow crewmates, with whom he was both popular and liked.

There is little that I can say to compensate you for his loss, other than that he was doing something that both he and I believed was necessary and for the good of the Minmatar people and humanity in general.

With sympathy,

Pilot Laria Raven.

80% of it was doing what was necessary. 20% of it, given that she was in the university, was training. Training her. 20% of fifty deaths. Ten human beings died for her training.

Too many.

She'd learnt a lot. An awful lot. And it was not time wasted. But to go on learning. Training. That /would/ be time wasted. And lives wasted.

Time to move on, then. Time to find something that would be 100% needed and wanted and necessary.