söndag 5 juni 2011

Double standards


Adeste closed the door behind Kay who was the last to leave, then sat back down on the couch and put her head in her hands. Those seven words from Jude had crumbled most of the walls she had put in place since returning to her capsuleer life, and suddenly life didn't seem as easy as she had wanted it to be this time around. She could still hear Jude's voice in her head: "...after what they did to your parents..." and she shuddered involuntarily. They. The Guristas. The pirates. The bad guys. Her mother's killers, and later on, her father's. Since she was five years old, Guristas had equalled all of that to her and as she had grown, she had nurtured a hatred for pirates, and Guristas in particular. Now, the thought foremost in her mind made her want to run and hide: Was she really any different from them?

Adeste knew from experience she could never kill someone with her bare hands like they had murdered her father, but she was destroying pirate faction ships almost on a daily basis through her agent work, and what was to say that there wasn't mothers in those ships, struggling to make a living where they could, just like her mother had been doing when she got caught in that Gurista gatecamp? What was to say that there wasn't a five year old girl somewhere, only now hearing her father receiving the news of her mother's death, starting a life of hatred instead aimed at the Republic or the State? Why is our cause greater than theirs?

Adeste sighed and reached for the bulky bag that Kay had returned to her. She removed the bag and wrapped her arms around its contents, resting her chin on the top of the head of the large, worn teddybear, letting it soak up the tear that had worked its way down her left cheek. She remembered the wonderful feeling of closure from back in 108, when she had found the man responsible for her father's murder and the hatred she had cloaked herself in finally disappeared, but also the doubt in what she was doing while in pod that had assailed her afterwards, just like now. Her subsequent three years planetside had dulled her memories of that to the extent that once she got back in pod, it was easy to build walls around the doubts that remained and keep it all contained, continuing with capsuleer life as it had been once, and picking up with old friends where they'd left off all those years ago with no regards as to what they had been up to while she was gone, as well as making new friends, solely based on personality, never bothering to stop and ask about allegiances.

Well, the walls were gone, and she was now stuck with dealing with the consequences of that. Adeste stood up, still wrapping the bear in her arms, and headed for her bedroom. Maybe some sleep would help sort some of these thoughts out.

torsdag 2 juni 2011



Adeste sighed, and put yet another bunch of papers in her "to do" folder. Why she had signed up for a job that entailed so much paperwork, she would never know. It kept her out of pod too. Of course, it was part of what had lured her into accepting the offer, but... Shifting in her chair and absently massaging her neck with her right hand, she picked up another piece of paper with her left and started reading, but her thoughts kept drifting. She had told Kay she'd be there to race with her when the new season began, only to find out that all races were to be held on days when this job would keep her either station- or planetside. It made her feel lousy for not being able to be there for Kay, especially since the poor girl had had to break up her old team to be able to both fly in races and stay in ReAw, and she knew that had been really hard on her. Adeste smiled and chuckled softly as she remembered Kay exiting her quarters in Lustrevik with the bulky but not very heavy tote bag in hand. She hoped the contents of the bag had come to good use; it sure had for her in times of need. As Adeste's eyes reached the bottom of the page, she shook her head. She had no idea what she had just read. Best get a move on and start over to get this done. If she could just focus for a while, she might be able to get some time in pod tomorrow at least; she really should try to sort out her cruiser fit for the corp tournament, and... "No, focus on the job dammit!" She picked up the glass of water on her desk and took a sip, then with a sigh leaned back in her chair again, and started re-reading.

fredag 22 april 2011



The scene is set in one of the housing facilities of Jotenen, Planet VI. A tall woman of about 35, with a wicked scar running from temple to chin on the right side of her face is getting into her pilot gear in a hallway. A small child comes running. "Mummy wait!"  The woman picks up the blonde little girl and cradles her in her arms. "Mummy will be gone for a while little one."  The little girl pulls the long braid that hangs down the woman’s back. "I don’t want you to go off again mummy."  The girl pouts, and the woman smiles softly. "I’ll be back in a day or two dearest."  The woman kisses the little girl on the cheek. "Please be good to your father while I’m away!"  The girl nods and puts her head against the soft skin of her mothers neck and shoulder. "I love you mummy!"

One day later, the scenery is the same. A man of average height and muscular build stands, comm link in hand, blonde little girl cradling his leg, a stricken look on his face. His complexion is ghostly pale and with a moan, slowly, ever so slowly, he slumps down, sliding against the wall down onto the floor. The little girl looks small and frightened; she reaches for the man’s hand, which is grasping the comm link, knuckles white from the tension. "Daddy..?"

One week later, in a small chapel. An open casket stands in a quiet room, the man bending over it tears dripping, little girl in his arms. The girl reaches out and grips her mother’s braid, pulling it, the man doesn’t seem to notice. "Mummy? Mummy wake up! Mummy..? MUMMY!"  The little girl cries from fright and cringes in her fathers unresponsive grip.

torsdag 21 april 2011



At the desk in her quarters in Lustrevik, Adeste scowled as she lowered her datapad. Someone had messed up, and she didn't know who to blame. She struck the desk hard with her fist. A simple hardwiring implant operation resulting in a shift in her ocular filter, thus doing the tiniest amount of damage to her clone's prefrontal cortex. Even though she knew the effects it had had, she'd needed to look it up. "The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially-unacceptable outcomes)." What had they been doing messing around with her other implants anyway? She growled. Apparently she was supposed to be glad that the effects on her behaviour hadn't been more pronounced. Glad?! Bah! Luckily, only Vince had been in Daredevil's to see and deal with her that day, and that was about the only thing she was glad about in this whole mess. What if Kay had been there? That would have been... interesting actually... She almost smiled to herself, but quickly got the scowl back in place.

She cursed the medical facility in question as she brought her datapad up again to re-read part of the message she had just gotten: "...the prefrontal cortex of your clone has, to the best of our knowledge, been restored to its previous functionality... bla bla bla ...it would still be advisable to try the clone out in a controlled environment before putting it to use in pod, and we are of course happy to provide such an environment for you at your convenience." Apparently they wanted her to be a lab rat. Wonderful. Not a chance in hell that she'd give them that satisfaction though. Controlled environment? She'd ask Jude if he'd be willing to help her out. If he could just accompany her to her quarters after she changed clones, he should be able to poke and prod her enough for them to be able to evaluate her clone status. It had to be done soon though, since the wormhole expedition was drawing ever nearer, and this particular clone was what she had been planning to bring all along. It was even the reason for installing all those new implants, so if their "restoration" hadn't gone to plan and the clone would have to be replaced, someone would have to pay dammit! Ad kicked the leg of her desk and winced as her boot impacted with the bolted down metal. Bolts? What kind of interior designer bolts down a desk?! She made a mental note to make some changes to her quarters, and particularly her office, as soon as possible; she had after all been stationed in Lustrevik for more than a month now and should probably be able to consider this a more permanent residence.

Adeste grimaced and gave the annoying message the finger before she pressed "compose" and started writing a new one for Jude. Once she was finished, she stood up forecefully, pushing the chair back quickly enough for it to topple and make a racket. She revelled in the sound with a tight-lipped smile, before turning and aiming a kick at the chair, causing it to slide across the floor and topple the pedestal that held the only other living thing in her quarters - a potted plant she had brought back with her from her last visit planetside. Ad rolled her eyes as the plant crashed to the floor, creating a mess of earth, roots, leaves and shards of pottery. Well obviously that wasn't bolted down, she thought, sending the interior designer a thought that would have had him clutching for his chest and choking, had he known. With a snort of contempt, Ad left her quarters and headed for her agent. She needed something to calm her down, and seeing her missiles fly toward an incoming hostile was probably just the thing.