“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.