Monday, January 5, 2009

Keeping Up Appearances

"Docking request accepted. Please stand by for remote control."
As the tractor beams pull the Overseer through the entry corridor, I recall the camera drones and begin shutting down the primary systems. After a few minutes, I feel the ship come to a halt and shut down the final sensors. For a moment, I am blessed by absolute silence as the pod re-initializes my senses. First I feel the pod fluids around me, then I hear my own heartbeat. I can see the pod's inner lights activate through my eyelids. I hear a series of rumbles as the armor plates protecting the pod cradle move aside. While the pod is being lifted to the dock, the plugs detach themselves and float away from my head and spine. A slight thud signals that the pod has reached it's destination, and I hit the switch.

I fall to the cold metal floor, and the docking crew sprays me clean of the pod fluids. To some of my crew, this is the first time they've seen me. Up until now, I've been an omniscient, disembodied voice of god and before that, a name in the recruitment ad. Many other capsuleers prefer to keep it that way. I slowly open my eyes and let them adjust to the light. I try to stand up, the floor still slippery from the fluids. I try again. A towel is handed to me. I dry myself and start putting on my clothes. I spot a few crew members whispering something to each other. I can't hear them through the rumble of machines, but I don't have to. This little bit of theatrics has served it's purpose. I put on my vest and start walking towards the door.

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