Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mortality

"You want me to do WHAT?"
"I want you to kill yourself. Look, I already said that all of the arrangements have been made. All that remains is you."
"Isn't there any other way?"
"Of course there is. You could try to fly through Curse or the Great Wildlands. Should you choose to do that, I am obligated to take the Trader's Folly back, as per our agreement."
"You want me to fly through a warzone in a frigate? Are you mad?"
"I don't. And I'm not. That's why I proposed to use more.. cost-effective means of transportation."
"But I like my body. My mother gave it to me."
"I'll buy you a new one."
"It's not the same."
"She won't know the difference."
"..."
"I'd love to chat, but I have a schedule to keep. I need to be back tomorrow for the next shipment."
"..."
"I'll meet you there."

...

"Jumping again, sir?"
"Indeed. Tau Ceti Central, as usual."
"Very well. Your vat is ready. This way, please."

The metal floor feels cold beneath my feet and the smell of disinfectants is prevalent. I step into the vat and the technician starts plugging in the life support equipment. The clamps approach and gently grip my skull. I relax, and the machinery gently tilts my head to the right angle. The technician attaches the mask and closes the vat door. He returns to his console and the pod starts filling up. I hear a servo whining and a series of clicks behind my head. The fluid reaches my head and I close my eyes before I inhale the fluid. Some leave their eyes open, but I had once overhead the technician complain about feeling paranoid when in room full of pod people with their eyes open. There's no cost in being considerate.

...

My eyes are open, and the Gallente technician is making notes next to my pod. The fluid recedes, and I hear a sequence of clicks behind my head. The clamps let go, and I look to my right. Her clone is still inert.

The pod opens, and I force myself to gag to get the rest of the fluid out. The technician starts going through his list in a monotone voice.
"Contract number 53673093, client ID 092813-32, subject Shirrath, Male Vherokior, born.."
"I know who I am, thank you."
"Are you aware of your current whereabouts?"
"Wicked Creek, constellation R-M719, system Q-GQHN, Tau Ceti Central."
"Very well. It seems that everything is in order. Sign here, please."

...

While I'm dressing, I hear a scream, followed by a few thuds. I carefully finish buttoning my vest and walk towards the vat room. She's struggling against the restraints and banging against the pod door.

"It's okay, let her out."
She slumps into the cold floor, slimy and puking. The technicians try to give her a towel, but she lashes out, forcing them to back off.
"There's no need to be rude. You're here as a guest, remember."
"Wh..wh..where's here?" She's shivering.
"Tau Ceti Central."
"WHAT?"
"Tau Cet.."
"I heard where. I want to know why you brought me in the middle of roe-suckers' territory!"
"They're not affiliated with the Federation, and there is no need for that kind of language. I told you that we'd be working with..."
"I'll use any kind of language I please, you glorified sherpa!"
"Now you're getting personal. I have to remind you that you're only immortal as long as the fine people here keep your clone ready and you keep your well-formed behind in a pod."
".."
"I think we're done here. Get miss Ashley some clothes, and I could use a clean vest."
"This isn't over, you smug bastard."
"We'll talk afterwards."

2 comments:

Mynxee said...

Great post...Even though I'm a pirate, I'm secretly enjoying your blog :) Shhhh...don't tell anyone.

Shirrath said...

What comes around, goes around, madame. I too keep my eyes on people who have a bit more proactive stance towards asset acquisition. After all, trade would be slow if there was no constant demand for new ships, modules and other goods.