[NOVA] Epilogue (3.4)

edited November 2014 in NOVA

You're finally back aboard the Stalker Jane, preparing to get back off-planet. The last few days were a blur of activity, a great deal of which made no sense at all, but in the end Brownlee and her crew of "terrorists" are taken off in a Space Corps Spec Ops transport, the planetary government re-affirms their commitment to joining the Polity and even makes a few concessions, and after one last dinner with Ayala, you're whisked back to the spaceport with a heartfelt invitation to return any time there's not anything political going on.

Zoo and Dinah are both physically okay, but very shaken. There's a shift in the dynamics, though. No one's issuing open blame or acting out, but your two friends have withdrawn into their own self-sufficient relationship, and it's hard to find way back in, at least for now.

Ezekiel Church is apologetic, and very solicitous of everyone's needs when you speak to him. You make plans to rendezvous and pick him up, but no one talks about a mission right away.

A few weeks later, the complement of the Stalker Jane is back to the full five, and you're starting a series of routine missions that seem to pose little challenge, at least for now.

Ksenia, you recover from most of your injuries. Do you do anything about the missing finger? A prosthetic would be easy enough to arrange. Also, Dr. Upshaw (the cyberneticist) was very impressed with you, and suggests that you contact him regarding a bio-mechanical digestion system he's been developing, that might give you the chance to actually enjoy food again without worrying so much. When you have time and some distance, do you contact him?

Mei, how are you and Cora doing? It seems like you think she was responsible for some of what happened with Brownlee. Does that mean her influence on you is getting stronger?


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    I'm really, really heartbroken about the shift in our relationship with Dai and Red. Red was my non-frakking friend, and I need that. I need a sister like her, and I don't know why she blames me for the mess that was our vacation. I've forgiven Church, and I lost my damn pinkie! Having trouble with Dai is odd, too. I can't tell if it's what happened during the attack, or the secrets I have to keep, or that I'm closer with Mei now than before. I miss her. Dai and I have a connection that's special, and now it's tarnished.

    I agree to a prosthetic, for a couple reasons. One, to ensure I can hold a gun properly. But more importantly, the missing finger obviously bothers Taban. She asked about getting it replaced several times and I feel this pang of guilt in her when she looks at it. I don't want her to worry after my stupid finger, so I got a fake one. It works well enough, not as powerful as my milspec arm, but it actually looks pretty real. There's a bit of a crease where it meets the bone, but otherwise, it passes for genuine at a glance.

    Yes, I contact Dr. Upshaw. I want food. I want to eat it and not have to puke it up. I want to cook for Taban and let her feed me strawberries. I want that very much.
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    We're back in the saddle. So to speak.

    I'm a little withdrawn back on the Stalker Jane; I really want a vacation from my vacation. Dai and Lourdes seem quite content to run her without my help. I retreat into my sketchpad, not wanting to be a bother. But I find myself curled in the observation port during a few late nights, gazing out at the void and the stars. My joy is tamped down. The mood is different. I wonder how much longer this crew will hold together.

    I'm worried about my career. About me, what I did to Brownlee. I start when I realize I've drawn her. The picture makes me blush, it's not something I'd show to anyone. I might just recycle it away. There are a number of spiral patterns that remind me of Cora's fractals. Maybe I am Psi Corps, no longer Space Corps. Every day, I half-expect new orders in my mail.

    Cora makes me think about Ksenia- she can dial up a new finger, easy as pie. I can't change my brain, or... an inchoate notion is bubbling around the surface. I'm pretty sure it's mine. Where could Cora go if she wasn't bound to me? The subtle readouts under the matte silver of the Cora box from the Academy boffins command my attention. I'm certain there are patterns to be found.

    I keep thinking about my admirer, seemingly silent as of late. What else, who else have I lost?
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