[ISS] A. Lee (Tab 1.6)

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Tabitha,
Zola left to go watch some stuff at Pax's place before curfew. She didn't exactly invite you to come with her. You head back to your room with Gwen's clothes, spend a moment putting them away. The hangars that were unused finally have something on them, even if it's just a modest few outfits. Ourania hasn't returned, so you have a few free moments to yourself. What do you normally do when you're alone, Tabitha?

Oh, your Navi is flashing the soft amber light on the corner that shows you have a new message. Amber means administrative. That's a No Ignore type of thing.

Comments

  • edited March 2016
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    It's fine that I don't have a clear invitation to watch things with Zola and Pax. I'm in pretty bad need of some quiet time to myself; no people, no talking.

    When I'm alone, I usually read in my room or go on walks. Observe the stars from one of the areas with a porthole. Do plyometrics. Try to get rid of that box again. Stomm. What will ditching that actually take?

    I frown at the amber light from my Navi. I've tried to ignore one of these before, it went very poorly for me. Ship service access got tuned down item by item until I was cleared only to access my room and the message. To make it clear, that meant no food and water by the end of day two.

    I pry the Navi off of my desk and lay horizontally on my bed in one careless flop, turn on the message and set my jaw.
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    The normal background of the Navi's screen is gone, and there is that weird icon you've been taught is an "envelope", which used to be part of a physical message delivery system, hundreds of years ago. Tapping the icon reveals the message, no sender identified.

    Clone of Ioanna,
    This message is confidential. Revelation of contents to
    other children will result in severe service access removals.
    You will record a reading of the attached datafile and reply to this
    same message.
    Tone should be neutral to pleasant.
    Audio and video capture required.
    Eye contact with the camera preferred.
    Lighting at 50% or greater.
    This must be completed by curfew or penalties
    begin at firstmeal.

    This is the link.

    What do you do?
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    My back stiffens, which I'm sure is hard for anyone in school to imagine. I have about half of an hour to do this in. I go and wash my face first, rest a cool towel on the back of my neck. Try not to look at myself.

    When I've managed to relax slightly, I set the room light to 70% and split the Navi screen between the attachment to read and the message recorder. I read the attachment once more, silently to myself. What is this? It's nonsense.

    I start recording, reading slowly these foreign, tender words. Neutral to pleasant. Will anyone really see this? Am I being drokked with? What is a sepulchre (rhymes with 'concur')?

    A place for the dead. I stare at the camera for a few moments after, feeling exhausted. I stop the recording and send it.
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    This is a short deadline, and the instructions are oddly specific. Why don't you Hold Steady to get this perfectly right, Tabitha?
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    Holding Steady; (Rolled: 2d6-1. Rolls: 2, 5. Total: 6)
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    You pull it off, Tabitha, recording yourself saying the words comes more naturally than you thought after looking them up. Or at least, knowing what to say, maybe that's it. Doing a specific thing, a purpose, having a script. It feels, if not good, at least a little comfortable.

    The authority now has one string on you.
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    When it's done I'm not sure how I feel. Relaxed?

    I save the attachment to my personal files. Got to do it before the admin message auto-deletes.

    I read it again, to myself, aloud and lounging on my bed.
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