Every Single Word

maxresdefaultan original poem by System Baud

Opia Sonder Monachopsis

A Vellichor D’enouement Nodus Tollens
of the Onism of Liberosis Augumentum

The Altschmerz of Solar
Brings Occhiolism of Anecdoche

When Ellipsism Kuebiko then Lachesism
Adronitis brings Kenopsia

but Vemödalen Joska
Mauerbauertraurigkeit

Process Of Commutation

maxresdefauledsfescetThe dark velvet phosphorus light of subspace

The silence of the distortion of space and time
entangled the mind and body
twisting the stillness of being

Then nothing and everything instantaneously sliding furiously toward an end

Trophos process of commutating an electric current

Existence returns abnormal facing
truth returns as reality enfolds

Star expanding dark holes
of space…

Redemption

flat,1000x1000,075,f.u6 - Copy“You know why you’re here?” the question hung in the air.

System strode to the small platform that had risen out of the hangar floor revealing a collection of swords on a stand.

The capsuleer glared back at System from her kneeling position, her dark wet hair hanging down across her face partially concealing her lips as they tightened, pulling back exposing a row of enhanced razor sharp teeth.

“Yes, I can see by your response you know who I am and why you are here,”  System pickup her family blade Heosphorous, it’s scabbard discarded as she drew it’s black blade forth.

System pointed the tip down, then back, then rotating her arm and drove the blade high above her head and then down hanging above and slightly behind her head.  She then flicked it’s tip across and down to her side, it’s point making a barely audible ‘swip’ sound as it cut through the air.

She then turned her back on the other capsuleer, who stood some 10 meters on the other side of the weapon stand and walked back to the edge of the platform keeping her back to the Krusual capsuleer that had devastated her family.

“I imagine… the worst thing that you are thinking right now is that this is forever.  There is no clone at the other end of this fight. There is no rebirth,” System turned and stared across the hangar floor at Arachne.

Arachne rose to a standing stance and pulled her black hair back ringing out the Hydrostatic gel that clung to it.

She then quickly skittered across the hangar to the weapon stand. Keeping her eyes on System, she tore a strap from a sheath and tied her hair into a tail with it.  She then began to inventory the weapons before her.

She picked up several blades weighing their heft and balance in her hand, until she finally decided on a Nihontō Wakizashi that measured 1.4 shaku and it’s sister Nihontō Katana‎ that was  2.3 shaku long forming the Daishō pair.

She spun the Katana in her right hand in a very confident manner, displaying years of training and skill as well as familiarity to it that only came with intense training.

The Wakizashi stayed in the left hand, pointed down, and slightly behind her left leg.

“You are the Baud child,” she spoke with a slight breath of discomfort.

System was unsure if it was a question or a statement, but remain silent waiting for the Krusual to speak further.

Arachne, stepped to the side of the weapon stand exposing her full tattooed naked body to System.

System, still with her back to the darkly tanned body of the Krusual turned her head and shoulders just enough to see the position of her opponent.

She was taller than System thought she would be.

Arachne started to pace back and forth impatiently.

System was not ready to go just yet. She had questions that would never be answered if they engaged each other.

Krusual, why…” she paused, “Why did you slay my parents?  Was it just a job?” was there more she thought, hoping.

“Does it matter?” Arachne spat.

Yes, it does thought System, but she suddenly felt this conversation was not going to go anywhere.

System turned fully now facing the Krusual capsuleer.

“Do we talk more or do we do this?  I presume you seek my death, my permanent death.” the Krusual spoke again.

System pondered this.

All the preparations, all the fortunes spent, all the favors redeemed… it came down to this moment, and strangely System had not given much thought past this moment.

She looked again at the dark skinned capsuleer pacing across from her.

Something compelled System to pause again.

There it was.

Something about this woman, something about seeing her face to face. What was it nagging her mind?

And then like the sun bursting forth from behind a wormhole, the memory came flooding back.

She knew this woman. Well, she knew her from her childhood. How could it be?

Sherrazie.” The name drifted off her tongue. “Sherrazie Belinay.”

The Krusual capsuleer’s back stiffened and she stop dead in her pacing and turned her head toward System.

“How do you know that name?  HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT NAME?” she shouted.

Like a torrent Arachne sprinted toward System, catching her off guard.  Just three meters from System, she leap into the air both blades pointed directly at her chest.

Instinctively System lunged with her sword, fist tight, in front of her, as her left hand palm braced the flat end side of it deflecting the Daishō pair to her left as Arachne’s hip crashed into her knocking her down.

Arachne stood over her body heaving in breath at the expenditure of energy she had just released.

Again she said, “How do you know that name? Where did you hear it?”

System looked up at the woman standing over her, “I knew you Sherrazie, when you were just a child.  I was a child.  My father found you, and the others.  He rescued you form the Triad, the Orion Syndicate.  I know of your past.  I was there.”

Arachne paused, turned to her left looking away from System as the memory came flooding back.

Aurthrian had found and rescued the children of Talinus Prime back in YC95. System had been 12 years old at the time, and was aboard her father’s Abaddon, the Yumai D’ni, when he had brought the thirteen children on board.

Her mother had tried to isolate and hide her from the situation, but her father had insisted that System was old enough to know what had happened to them.

In that day the Orion Syndicate’s Triad traded in young girls they had taken from Minmatar worlds as sex slaves. The abuse they experienced was vile and was the inspiring source of renewal by Aurthrian in his emancipation endeavors.

The thirteen girls stayed on the Abaddon for three days until they were dropped off at a Ziddi orphanage that dealt with such traumatized children.

System had spent many hours with them and had gotten to know a little about each one.  All of them except SherrazieSherrazie never spoke. Sherrazie never interacted with the others.  Sherrazie always sat quietly on her bunk and watched the others.

“I, … I, I don’t remember.” Arachne whispered. But she did remember. “Your father rescued me? Your father rescued me.” she said trying the words out loud.

Blood rushed to her face.  Had she murdered the man that had rescued her as a child?  It could not be.  It mustn’t be.

Her eyes turned down and she breathed erratically.  A dread shame descending on her.

System spoke, “Sherrazie, you could not have known.”  with those words System felt an overwhelming emotion of regret, of melancholia.

She rolled out from under the Krusual and keeled, sitting up from a prone position.

Both women just stared at each other or a few moments, their faces in agony.

System could just not find reconciliation between the anger and vengeance she felt, and the empathy of this woman’s childhood.

Then her father’s words came rushing into her mind.

“The truest release, and freedom, any man can have is to forgive the unforgivable.  In doing so one saves themselves from the emptiness of vengeance.”

Tears welled up in System’s eyes and streamed down her cheeks.

Waves of emotions washed over her, heaving deep sobs from her lower abdoman.

She had never understood her fathers words.  He had spoke those words to her when she was sixteen and at the height of her teenage rebellious years.

How had she not understood him?

How did she move forward now?

Could she do what she felt obligated to; returning purity to her House by slaying this Krusual assassin?

She tightened her grip on her swords hilt drawing the blade back behind her leg.  She stood and stepped back from Sherrazie.

Sherrazie, still holding the Daishō pair of blades, looked toward System, her head tilted low.

System thought and contemplated.

After a minute or so, she resolved to what she knew she had to do to bring back balance.

Sherrazie, this is the end.  I will not pursue you any longer.  You are free from your crime, you are free from House Baud.”  she took a deep breath and continued, “I will always hold you responsible for my parents death, but I will forgive you of it’s crime.  I do this for me, not for you. Now get off my ship.”

System strode toward to her pod, stooping to pick up the scabbard sheath, she slipped Heosphorous into it’s tight leather walls, and then strode over to her pod.

She felt free again.

She felt like she had her life back.

She felt renewed.

Now was time to put this matter behind her.

She buttoned up the pod and willed it to come to life. It rose two meters off the hangar deck and started to head toward the Helios further down the hangar.

Sherrazie,” System thought into the pod coms, “You have three minutes to get in your pod and get off my Orca.  After that the Orca is going to warp.  Your Gila is adrift fourty seven kilometers toward planet three. Goodbye.”

“Thank you Amarrian.” the response came. “May we never meet again.”

May we never meet again, thought System.

Her pod docked into the Helios and it’s engines came alive.

She pointed the vessel toward the outer hangar door and looked over as the Krusual pod slipped out ahead of her.

After clearing the Orca, she pointed the Helios towards the Thera wormhole that had just opened up on her probe scanner.  The Sister’s probes slipped forth from the Helios and winked off the grid heading for the area just past the star-ward side of the system, toward the center of the galaxy.

She would finally be home in Paleo in the next few hours.

UNDER the wide and starry sky
the clone renews, ready to die:
Glad did I live and safely I die,
And I laid me down with my will.

This be the verse you ‘grave for me:
Here clone lies where she long’d to be;
Home is the starship, home from space,
And the explorer home from the hunt.

How To Catch A Villainous Krusual Bitch

hangar_by_kypcaht-da2f1lt

It had never been done before in all of New Eden. It was unprecedented. It was impossible. Or so said Aura, the Amarrian Inquisitor, and the Concorde Officer who had made the connections System needed to reach the Ugandi Boliant ministry of Boosters and Stasis Tech on the Passari V – Moon 8 stationed at the Lai Dai Corporation Factory.

What System had proposed was a scheme to remove a capsuleer from a capsule, alive, in deep space, within one minute fifty eight seconds of them ejecting their capsule from their ship.

The CARTHUM JUBILEE CONFESSOR would be the bait prize to lure the Krusual capsuleer from her ship. The enticement would be seasoned for several weeks with rumors, false D-scans and brief glimpses of the one of a kind, prototype Confessor that had been gifted by Empress Jamyl the first, in YC111 to the Baud House, in honor for the Baud House’s role in working with the Empress’ Declaration Emancipation Decree.

The key to the whole plan was to find a way to get the capsule free of it’s current ship, bring it aboard an Orca in Null Sec and open it from the outside before it could self destruct. The self destruct program of all Jovian capsules had a hard wired two minute timer that upon completion would send the capsuleers conscience across the universe to a waiting clone, one moment before it destroyed itself.

The forty billion isk valued Confessor would supply the motivation to entice Arachne Daemon to eject her capsule from her Gila. Then a covert operation cloaked vessel would need to decloak, and point the capsule at the fastest speed possible, while a nearby Orca would need to decloak as well, lock, and pull the capsule into it’s ship’s hangar bay by tractor beam.

The last step would be to apply the stasis link deactivation module which would supposedly deactivate the self destruct protocols and open the capsule. All of this would have to be perfectly timed and executed within one minute and fifty eight seconds.

In one hundred and twenty years there had never been a reliable report of such a feat ever being accomplished.

This did not stop System from trying to orchestrate it all.

Amazingly, and with a little help from billions of isk in costs and incentives, everything was in order and waiting after seven weeks of preparation.

The Orca, and the Helios had been cloaked on grid for four days. The Confessor had warped 100 kilometers off the third asteroid belt near planet nine and was currently sitting 9000 meters dead center between the two cloaked vessels.  System had ejected her pod from the Carthum’s sleek hull and had bounced off a nearby warp location, bookmarked in Aura, landing 8700 metres off the cloaked Orca.

She was at her most vulnerable state, alone in her pod waiting.

The idea, if the disinformation and rumors had made it to the Krusual capsuleers ears, was to appear helpless, in space, too far from the very expensive ‘Blingy’ Confessor so that when Arachne Daemon warped to the abandon ship, the plan could be sprung.

If the critically enhanced capsuleer in the Helios was unable to decloak, lock, and snare the Krusual’s capsule before she was able to warp away or board the Reni Brahk, then the plan would implode, with great loss, and the possibility that System would never be able to get close to her prey again.

“Capitan,” Aura spoke into System’s mind, “D-scan shows a Gila class vessel 13.9 au and closing from planet three.”

System had uninstalled ALLISON two weeks ago from her pod as to bypass any direct documentation of the possibly Signal Cartel creedo violating acts that were to follow.

The three capsuleers, two in cloaked vessels, held their breath, as much as any capsuleer was able to while submersed in their pods hydrostatic gel.  Their bodies naturally increased adrenaline output heightening their senses and dilated time, seemingly slowing down the moments that followed.

The Gila, blazing in a red Super Kerr induced nanocoating, ‘woop’ and ‘thumped’, landed on grid around ten kilometres from the floating lifeless Confessor.  As manipulated, she had warped from planet  three, landing her safely at a ‘T’ from the two cloaked vessels, leaving their cloaks intact.

The Gila seemed to drift slowly after landing, not immediately engaging her subwarp engines, as if it’s pilot was making a critical decision, which she was.

Probing D-scan pings could be registered as she reached out around her looking for ships that were warping in.  Apparently satisfied, the Gila lunges forward toward the Confessor.

Possibly her mind clouded with the billions of isk in prize, the Gila pilot never stopped to consider why the pilot of the Confessor had ejected and was so far from their ship.

System engaged her capsule toward the Confessor as well, at that moment, feigning an attempt to re board her ship.  This, as planned, hastened the Gila pilot to engage her micro warp drive, barreling toward the floundering ship at a high rate of speed.

This was to the snares advantage as when the capsule ejected from the Gila, it’s momentum carried it past the docking perimeter of the Confessor, but still closer than System’s Pod.

“Now!” System commanded across the comm channels to the Helios and the Orca.

With a shimmering crackle the Helios decloaked and immediately began locking the Krusual pilot’s pod.

Then as the pod turned to align and warp out, the warp disruption ribbons stretched out from the Helios, disabling its ability to leave. The one hundred and fifty million isk price System had paid for the Republic Fleet Warp Disruptor to the shady salesman in Ren had fulfilled its value.

Now time was the essence of success.

The Orca decloaked, it’s large frame casting a shadow across the tiny pod and Helios.

The locking claxon could be heard simultaneously by its captain as well as by the Krusual pilot in her pod.  If she had not yet started the self destruct protocols, she will have by now.

Time slowed as the behemoth Orca continued to probe, scan, stretching out to lock onto the capsule.

Then ‘snick’ the lock clicked in, followed instantly by a purple beam stretching out and engulfing the tiny vessel.

The large ship then began to pull the pod across the void of space and into its hangar bay.

System engaged her pod subwarp engine and coasted toward the Orca as well.

She felt apprehensive, and nervous.  She had a sense of impending doom with a side of destiny.  Her emotional turmoil boiled as she tried to calm herself.  Was it going to happen?  Was this going to succeed? Would anyone ever believe her?  Did it matter?

So many questions.

Her pod floated into the Orca’s ships bay and gently landed on the pod capsule platform.

The pod separated and open itself, her virtual HUD dimming as the light from the hangar flooded into her eyes.

System stepped forth naked from the capsule, dripping and shivering, from the transition out of the pod goo and into the cold hangar atmosphere.

She looked over to where the other capsule was now sitting, still glowing from the stasis module that had deactivated it’s self destruction protocol.  Another risky isk investment that has now paid off.

“Aura, please signal the Helios to dock on the Osirus and then have her pilot board the Reni Brahk and engaged it’s cloak after reaching the safe coordinates romeo alpha tango whiskey six.  Also, after said pilot leaves the Osirus, engage the cloak and then set her adrift away from the nearby asteroid belt. For now we will leave the Gila adrift.”

“Yes captain.” came Aura’s reply.

“Aura, please check local transponders.  Are their any unidentified new signature inside the star system?”

“No captain,” she said, “The only signatures in system are you, the Osirus pilot, the pilot of the Helios, and the cloaked pilot in the Anathema perched on the only stargate out.”

“Is the capsuleer Arachne Daemon’s transponder still showing in system?” she asked Aura, double checking.

“No Captain,” came the responds, “The only signature of Arachne Daemon are her life signs in the capsule adjacent to your position.”

System signaled the stasis module through her neural link to force the capsule to open and release the captured capsuleer.

The snare complete and successful, it was now time to confront the final member, and leader of the band that had killed her parents.

It was now time for Amarrian justice, purification, and vengeance.

It was now time for System to re balance her part of the universe.

 

The Tale of Palman the Thukker

faaf9cb5d1184678c4b8f875e69c703e

The smell of decay was think in the air.

System drew her cloak mask tighter across her face. It did not help dissuade the smell from reaching her olfactory epithelium. Looking down the ravine she noticed the distorted shape of a partially decade body some fifteen meters down the grade.

She had tracked the second Thukker Assassin to the small frontier settlement just twelve kilometres outside the command center. Once the correct individuals were plied with sufficient isk they gave up the tale of the Thukker stranger that had arrived three weeks past.

The tale went as follows as told by the barman’s daughter.

Palman the Thukker came from afar
to hide himself the town Phashar.

He spent his creds on wine and whores
and bet his isk on a sure wager.

The bet was that he could bed old Haggie
before young Kellman could sow.

For a perfect five and twenty load and
a seven measures of Swol did fold.

What Palman the Thukker did not know
was the anatomy of old Haggie’s chassis.

For she had an infamous pudenda below
which contained a Fedo, fangs and claws.

That lived betwixt her nether tenement.
and would dine on any man’s woody cock
that did wandered to and fro.

The fact that the towns people had already made a limerick about the demise of the villainous Thukker stranger amused System, but was understandable, since the small settlement saw very little of travelers, nor entertaining things, being so far from the civilized worlds of the Empire.

After further investigation she had discovered that the Assassin had been killed over a bet that he had not fulfilled, over a matter of two hundred and twenty nine isk.

No one seemed to know where his body was, but everyone seemed to know how it went down.

The Thukker Assassin’s name was Palman. He had been drinking and betting and indulging all things for several weeks, when the local organized crime boss had put out a collection on him.

“The isk he owes, or his life, which ever can be attained,” was what the boss had decree’d.

Nine thug henchmen died at the Thukker’s intoxicated hands that night, before a tenth, eleventh, and twelfth man were able to shoot enough holes in his chest, collecting the twenty five isk bounty.

System’s scans had finally detected decomposing matter two kilometers outside the town.

Sliding down the embankment, she came to a stop on a boulder just overlooking the body. Kneeling she pulled her cloak aside and de-holstered the sensor probe from her left leg and stuck it into the decaying body’s upper thigh. The probe buzzed and clicked and after a few seconds a bio tag id was confirmed as matching the same genetic signature that was left at the scene of the crime back on Oris.

Satisfied that the body was indeed one of the three perpetrators that had killed her father and mother, System holstered the probe and then drew the family blade Heosphorou from it’s sheath belted on her right hip.

Driving the sharp blade into the chest of the body, she spoke the words of purification, “Thukker Pish. Blood Vi Cunt. You have no name. Your death means nothing. Suffer eternal.”

She pulled the blade out of the decomposing body, wiped the blade across the heel of her cloak. Next she drew the blade along her gloved fist until the tip, the sheath, and her fingers all aligned, then she drove it soundly into it’s leather holstered home.

She stood erect, touched the lobe of her ear and spoke, “ALLISON, my work here is done. Please begin take off protocols. I should arrive at the ship in the next hour and we will be leaving the planet and heading for our last way point.”

“Yes commander,” ALLISON replied.

As System climbed back up the ravine she thought about how she was going to get her final target, the Krusual capsuleer, out of her capsule.

Honor would not be restored to the House Baud by just destroying the capsuleer while she was in a ship, besides that, there were Signal Cartel creedo violation potential implications with this risky task.

System knew this Krusual Bitch had to be coerced into a confrontation outside of the Jovian Capsules that both granted them immortality.  Only with both their immortality on the line, and because of the unusual circumstances,  the matter would need to find a just resolution with both House Baud and the Eve Scout Enclave being satisfied.

Although the Krusual Bitch did not know it was coming, nor deserve it, System Baud would arrange for the purification confrontation to be fair and just.

She was going to need to call in a few favors.

She was going to need the Reni Brahk… and some luck.

 

The First Sated Blade – Heosphorous

aa425a858ec451b2c9075e1ba2657f61

KS-1TS nine was a temperate planet deep in Insmother. System had slipped into the star system by way of a nearby wormhole that had been connected to Thera. It would also be her way out, but only if she could finish the task at hand quickly.

Luck was with her as well, as she had managed to enter the system and land on the planet while no other capsuleer were present in the system local gate tracking node control.

She had managed to bribe the right individuals inside the local planetary government gaining access to manifests that identified a certain Thukker Assassin’s arrival 3 days earlier.

She had tracked him easily as he had been sloppy, believing himself safe from any reprisal so far away from his recent job. He also had an addiction to certain chemicals which were only found illegally on the planet in one or two notorious cities on the northern hemisphere.

Combining search algorithms that System had written herself with this knowledge had made quick work of locating him through the planetary networks.

It was to predictable, which made System feel like she should be careful in her approach of the Fun Time Sukki’s: Many Happy Ending Parlour, Watering Hole, and Soiree.

System had disabled the sensor net that protected the top floor Penthouse. She silently entered the hatch and lowered herself down with one complete silent motion, her black cloak hiding her in the dark corner of the large lounge.

Music beat seductively, vibrating through the walls from the floor below. It’s methodic rhythm heightening her anticipation.

She paused and waited for her eyes to adjust to the low light of the room, then counted the occupants. It was very late at night or early in the morning depending on your intentions, and the occupants were mostly unconscious or so chemically altered that they would not notice her.

There were twenty nine persons in the room; twenty two female, and seven male.

While most were strewn naked across the furniture and sprawled out on the heavily carpeted floor. Five of them were lying, entangled with each other, upon a large glass bed which was floating on a dais at the centre of the room some 52 cementers above the carpet.

System’s sight became quite clear now as she focused upon the bed and identified the face of the Thukker Assassin, his dark naked body, spent, entwined with four Thul-risian prostitutes where he appeared to have passed out mid coitus.

A burning heat flushed across her cheeks, and her breathing quickened.

This was the moment. “Get it done,” she thought.

She strode silently across the room so lite on her feet that not a single person stirred in her path.

She lifted herself onto the edge of the bed perched and ready. Then with precise muscle memory she drew her cloak back from her face and then swept it back from her right side, exposing the hilt of her family side arm blade Heosphorous, it’s black steel sheathed.

The Morgenstern blade had been in her family for over 700 years, and tonight it would fulfil the family oath sworn by her father to her when he passed it down to her on the day of her 17th year.

“To uphold the honour of the Baud House by seeking out those who shall burn eternal, unredeemed,” her father had said to her. It was only to be used for restoring the purification of their House when the most grievous of calamity had befallen it.

She drew it out, then grasping the hilt with two hands raised it above her head carefully aiming the impending downward thrust toward the clavicle of the criminal. Then she placed her right foot upon his forehead shifting her weight onto it pinning the assassin to the bed.

With that, his eyes opened, and he stared directly at System.

Swiftly, before he could speak, with ease she dropped, plunging the blade down at a forty five degree angle penetrating the man’s chest from clavicle through to the back of his spine. The sharply honed blade easily slid into his quivering body sinking some forty centimetres cutting through his trachea, heart, and then diaphragm, it’s tip finding home bisecting his spine at the ninth thoracic vertebrae.

He gurgled and twitch, most of his body held down by the unconscious prostitutes. His mouth open to speak but with his diaphragm pierced he was unable to utter anything.

At the end of the mortal wounding coup de grâce, System’s face came within centimetres of the Thukker Assassin’s face.

Whispered so only he could hear, she spoke.

“Thukker Pish. Blood Vi Cunt… You have no name, your death means nothing. To hell I send you. Suffer eternal.”

She held for five more seconds until the lights went out of his eyes and his body went limp. Warm blood soaked his chest and Systems as well, it’s iron rich smell perforating the air.

She drew Heosphorous out of his chest and quickly now, sheathing the blade.  Then leapt to the ground and launched herself silently across the room.

In a single jump she cleared the hatch and was back standing on the roof of the Penthouse.

From her waist she drew forth a beacon activating the Purifier cloaked about two kilometre above the building. It silently descended and de-cloaking above her.

She jumped again grabbing the open manual entry hatch and pulled herself into the covert ops frigate.

She spoke out, “Aura, engage protocol twenty nine.”

The ship lifted and began to silently rise into the sky it’s cloak coming back online.

She quickly followed the passage way to the capsule chamber, stripping her clothing off as she went. Dropping the belt that had her still blood sated blade into a secure floor locker she grabbed the neural harness and began jacking in.

“Open.” her thought commanded and the pod door flipped up. She quickly lowered herself into the hydrostatic fluid, snapping the fibre connection into her neck as she willed the pod to button up.

The fluid pumped into the pod filling the amniotic sac, it’s warm embrace beginning to wash the fresh blood from her hands and body.

She did not realize how much blood there was.

So much blood.

Was it enough?

No, it was not enough.

Not yet.

The adrenalin began to leave her blood stream and shock was beginning to creep into her mind and body.

She shoved it back, a granite resolve, walled off, secure.

Now was not the time for introspection or relief.

She felt numb.

Well, her mind felt numb.

That would do.

For now.

Katie Override; Wormhole PI

piepiwarp

Katie. Katie?” ALLISON’S voice woke her from her sleep cycle.

“What’s wrong ALLISON?” Katie asked

“Nothing’s wrong.” the voice said inside her head.

“Then why did you wake me?”

“I was running a test.” came the matter of fact reply.

“But I didn’t schedule any tests ALLISON.”

“I was running a test Katie, a test to perform an unscheduled test.”

Katie was confused, “What? Why?”

To which ALLISON replied, “Please. Be more specific, Katie.”

Again Katie replied, “Why did you want to wake me and perform an unscheduled test?”

“Wanting is a human emotion, and not within my capability,” her semi metallic voice echoed again in the capsuleers head.

“I know that.” Katie sighed.

Maybe merging the ALLISON AI with the Aura ship’s AI was a bad idea.  System had done it and had reported good results, but Katie would have to interact more with this new hybrid to decide if it was really what she wanted.

ALLISON, Please warp to safe bookmark seventeen, run D-scan protocols and then engage the cloak.  After the ship is cloaked run diagnostic mode on yourself and maintenance cycle alpha three on the ship’s systems, then go to standby mode.”

“Acknowledged Katie,” ALLISON replied.

The ship surged into warp and moments later came to a silent stop.  Then the D-scan ping echoed in Katie’s head.

D-scan clear, the cloak engaged with a static pop sound crackling as the EM Nodes masked the ships signatures.

With a single thought the pod cracked and opened.  The pod goo cycled, half of it draining to the temporary tank. Katie’s feet touched to the floor of the pod as the sense of floating was replaced with the feel of the gravity plates pulling her down.

After disconnecting the neural harness, she dried off and pulled on a pair of tights and a soft silk robe.  Then she strode across the pod chamber, bare foot, to the hatch. Raising her hand over a sensor on the wall, with a snick sound, the hatch quickly opened allowing her to enter the passageway.

Halfway down the passageway she opened a cabinet set into the wall that contained an antique seeping kettle and glass beaker. She methodically opened a small bag next to it and scooped a few measures of an aromatic rough powder into the seeping chamber.  Then with a flick of an old rocker switch, hot water poured into the seeping chamber, draining its dark infused fluid into the beaker below it, a wisp of white steam rising from the beaker.

Katie enjoyed the antique object and its mechanical chemistry that produced such a splendid rough drink.  Some people like to drench it in sucrose, paladeen, or other opaque white fluids rich in fats and proteins.  That said, she enjoyed it black, in all its dark mysterious richness, unhindered by complication.

Katie carried on down the passageway to the Captain’s lounge. She had furnished it with rare, and possibly questionably acquired, Gallente Federation wood which came from the Ugamba trees found on Planet III in the Theruesse system of Verge Vendor.

It had seemed fitting for the old Epithal, and she really did enjoyed the feeling, smell, and ambiance the dark wood gave to the lounge.

She sat down at the console and placed the hot glass beaker on a stained piece of fabric next to the keyboard.

The routine of her life, clone after clone, had become, well… routine.

She did not mind it so much, in fact she found solace in its methodical sameness.

Its rhythm was a cadence of; Pod life – nourishment, sleep, activity… followed by her dry life – nourishment, sleep, and then activity.  Each event had a specific order, duration, and required outcome.

The only change in her cyclic rhythm that was allowed was once every 8,640 minutes.

She would warp her ship, Jane’s Revenge, from planet to planet in the J-hole system, to which she called home, collecting the supply of products her command centres produced from orbital customs quarantine stations.

After dropping the cargo into a contract to System Baud at the Astrahus, her responsibilities complete, she had the next 8,640 minutes to herself. Thus the next cycle of rhythmic routine would commence.

It was easy to not become bored when you are immortal, don’t believe what some would say. When you have forever and many clones, routine is not a bad thing.

She did enjoy a grand adventure, but one thing immortality had taught Katie was to savour the routine, be patient, and enjoy every simple thing you do.

There would be plenty of time for adventures when they came.