Monthly Archives: January 2017

Didn’t finish a chapter in time #2

Hey hey hey, it’s that time again. Looks like it’s another week without I’m afraid.

Honestly I’m a bit surprised that I’ve been able to get them out for most of this month. It’s been a bit hectic around here. Late last month, basically earlier this month, it was confirmed that I needed to move out of my current apartment. I didn’t exactly have anywhere lined up and actually only found a place last weekend.

Yeah, my month of free time was encapsulated by searching for a house to rent.

With a full time job and living in the Capital city of New Zealand you would kind of expect that it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone to take my money in exchange for a living arrangement. Unfortunately January – early February is also when all the new students start looking for accommodation. The market was a bit saturated with demand for those who took economics.

Luckily that’s all okay now, signed on for a house, should even have fiber installed so I can upload to YouTube correctly.

So you may wonder why I didn’t manage to finish up a chapter this week, now that the stressful part is over. Well if we take a look at it in a general sense then we can say that its because my routine has been a bit broken by all that. And while that is a factor there are other forces at work.

My writing has always been at the mercy of my imagination, so long as I can pull my mind into the world I’m writing about I can usually trudge through the story even if sometimes begrudgingly.

This means that if I can focus enough I can just go and go until I need to eat, drink or get back to my actual job. Considering that, let me also add that under stress I gain immense focus, I think you’ll understand how this all works.

Now that I’m not stressed, in fact I’m mostly elated (I got a new job! Yeah!), I’m having a bit of a hard time with the whole focus thing. This isn’t all bad though, well of course it isn’t, being not stressed is a good thing. At least it means that we should return to our regularly scheduled program… maybe not next week as that’s when I move house but at least the week after.

As before, let me know if you like this kind of thing, or if you have any questions at all really.

Bye-bye.

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Leesandra 7

Another compartment flung open, Leesandra looked inside. The Visor sat staring at her in its cushioned box. It was the same recycled one she was given every time she requested it. No one else on the station ever made rental requests like this, the Kyber UI filled the same need and the humans could get implants if they didn’t want to be fully shifted over.

 

The white light shining on the visor flicked off and on willing her to take her order.

“Can I just purchase this visor?”

“Three hundred luxury credits.” CAL replied immediately as though already prepared to answer.

‘Damn, that’s all the luxury credits I’ll get from the station this week… actually, wait a moment I work a job.’

“How many luxury credits have I accrued this week?”

“Including tonight’s shift you will receive an additional six hundred and twenty nine luxury credits from the dock account.”

“Awesome, I’ll take it.” Leesandra placed her hand on top most front panel of the vending machine.

“Credits deducted.”

 

She picked up the visor and pulled the elastic over her head so that it rested around her neck. Pulling her braid up through it so it wasn’t pushed up against her.

 

Kicking against the wall she launched herself slowly towards the seats. With a quick motion she twisted around and brought herself down locking herself in place with the harness. She brought the visor up to her eyes and wrapped the headset over her ears.

 

“Initialize dock monitoring.” She could have ordered an external input pad as well but voice operation was always sufficient.  Her visor lit up, green lines flickered and spread out over her view, they filled in the space covered by the asteroid giving an perfect representation of the dock outside. Blue outlined the ships currently docked, she could easily request that the visor just alter the asteroid out of her view. However the blue and green lines always made this job seem more important.

 

*

 

The cleaning bot had just finished when the entrance to the dock opened. The door would normally stay closed until the morning shift arrived but someone requested entrance.

 

One of the security drones rolled out of it’s maintenance hole and hovered over to the visitor.

“Please state your name.” It’s audio output clean and crisp, it had never been used. The visitor walked right past the drone their feet tapping the ground with metallic twang.

 

The drone seemed to bob up and down in thought then hovered back to its maintenance hole without further questioning.

 

The visitor stopped in the middle of the dock’s main lobby and looked in the direction of the main viewing platform even though there was metres of steel between them and it. They looked forward again and continued to walk towards docking platform alpha.

 

They stopped again and turned left, making their way to the access hole. Once they were close to it they disabled their magnetic boots and made their way up the hole.

 

With each floor they passed they would stop their ascent and stare towards the viewing platform.

 

Eventually they arrived at platform Delta. Re-engaging their boots they got back into stride and made it over to the delta ten loading zone in a few quick moments.

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Leesandra 6

Coffee wouldn’t seem like a requirement when it came to doing an all nighter for the Kyber-kind. And for most it wasn’t, the standard sleep cycle can be completely suppressed with full access to the User Interface. Caffeine still had it’s benefits for those without doctorate genes though, as those without normally didn’t have the ability to generate a hormone cocktail for remaining focused and alert.

Leesandra wouldn’t be able to pull it off either, luckily caffeine wasn’t listed as an intoxicant though, otherwise it would have been filtered out. It only took one night of stark sobriety before she started to worry about that, she had once downed enough vodka to kill a human only to urinate out every molecule of alcohol that passed her lips. ‘At least it stopped me from doing anything stupid.’ Was her major thought about that night but it did mean she had to enjoy herself with actions rather than chemicals.  ‘No easy way to do it.’

“Leesandra Patrick.” She gave her name to dock security again on her way back in. The entrance was going to close shortly so the automatic cleaning process could begin. The cleaning robots had already made their way over from their docking ports. They were as big as a bovine and kinda looked like them too except completely white with thin seams around where they hid away their cleaning attachments. Leesandra pushed herself over to the closest one.

They were clearly designed to be as non-threatening as possible, no rough edges. She placed her hand on what would appear to be it’s head. Running her hand along the neck of it she patted it like she would one of the cats that live in and around her housing sector. There were dogs in her area too but even after all the genetic alterations made to them they haven’t been trusted to roam freely.

The cleaning bot moved its head up as if to face her. Lights on its head flashed pink in a heart shape. Leesandra wasn’t sure why they gave so many AI such emotional responses but she wasn’t an expert on the subject, perhaps it just cosmetic or maybe love stopped them from rebelling. Leesandra laughed at her own thoughts and moved on before they started to clean the area.

*

Leesandra entered the viewing platform. It was empty apart from the rows of seats and strategically placed vending machines. Each seat with a harness to hold the occupant to it. There were no direct interfaces into the dock systems anywhere in the dock, even if someone could hack past CAL there was no physical connection between magnetic seals, air locks or loading bots. Everything was wirelessly interfaced with here, unlike a currency transaction the only thing that needed to store any access information was CAL and CAL was already connected to everything here in the same fashion.

Theoretically CAL could have operated the whole dock without any human or kyber interaction. Most trader ships act like this, automatically unloading their raw materials and loading their manufactured goods with the operating crew taking shore-leave.

The only thing that Leesandra needed to do over night is be on watch in case something out of the ordinary happened. CAL would authenticate any ship coming in, extend docking umbilicals and assign loading bots if they were needed for cargo.

“CAL, can you provide me a comms headset please?” Leesandra floated over to one of the vending machines.

“Of course I can, dispensing.” CAL replied over announcement system. The vending machine she was closest too changed colour from its normal grey to a bright green, notifying her that this was the machine CAL was going to generate it in.

It shook a little and started to made a slow whirring noise like it was preparing a spring loaded car. She held herself steady on the railing next to it, waiting for it to be done. Looking out the viewing deck her view of the docks was completely blocked.

“… and a visualizer as well please, damn asteroid’s in the way.”

“Adding to dispensement queue.”

“Thank you CAL.”

“You are very welcome.”

One of the vending machines compartments shot open and made a clang as it hit its extension limit. Leesandra reached in and pulled out a thick black headset, it was still warm from the printing process. She was sure not to touch the foam around the air pieces as they never seemed to set at the same time. The visualizer was going to take a bit longer as the 3D printing hardware in vending machines still weren’t able to generate the crystalline structure of visor used in place of kyber implants.

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Leesandra 5

“Being kyber doesn’t have to be a curse you know?” Kari took a sip of her coffee.

“And despite that being the hundredth time I have heard that I am somehow cured, thank you, my savior.” Leesandra had her face down in her coffee cup looking up at her.

“You don’t have to be sarcastic. I know saying the words doesn’t help, I do have Psychology genes.”

“Would have been nice if those came with some form of empathy.”

“My Soldier genes drown them out anyway. See what I said about trash.”

 

“Genes can’t be trash, that’s not how kyber work, that’s not even how natural evolution works. Every gene coming together is what makes you, you.”

“That’s a nice sentiment.” Kari put her head in her hand and rested her arm on the table, smiling at Leesandra. “But I’m not that special.”

 

“We’re all special, not one kyber is alike. We improved on reproduction too much for anything less than complete individuality.”

“And yet you don’t want to be one of us.” Kari raised her eyebrows as though she congratulated herself.

“I like being a kyber, I hate the parts of me that operate outside of my control.”

“So what you’d rather go back to Earth and live tech free like the rest of them.”

“Not at all. Technology is great, but I didn’t need it from birth.”

 

Kari took a bite out of her pizza and sat there quietly chewing away. Leesandra did the same, remembering how hungry she was.

“Why does kyber scare you so much?” Kari sat up straight, preparing to listen

“It’s a long story.” Leesandra looked down at her food.

“I’ve got time.”

 

Leesandra gave a long and deep sigh.

 

“So for junior high I was in the only human one on the station.”

“Oh damn that must have been rough.”

“It was fine.” Leesandra snapped. “It was better than being plugged into a wall for sixteen years having data pumped in.”

“Yeah, i’ll give you that.”

“There was some interesting social divides ten years ago. The popular kids were all children of rich non-kybers that could afford genetic alterations.”

 

“They had the perfect kyber skin and looks as pre-teens, damn.” Kari shook her head

“Yeah, of course they wanted me in the group, the old classic nineteen nineties high school drama style. But I barely wanted to hang around anyone let along them.”

“So what happened?”

“There was some over the top bullying, one of the girls, Indigo, she was such a prissy bitch. It wasn’t enough to be seen as cooler than everyone, she wanted to push everyone down.”

“She bullied someone you liked.”

“She hit them, right in front of me.” Leesandra rolled her hands into fists.

 

“Human’s can be terrible especially at that age…”

“Fight or flight kicked in.”

“You went into combat mode because you didn’t have access to the main systems at thirteen or fourteen.” Kari grimaced.

“I broke her arm in three places before anyone knew what was happening. I would have killed her if I wasn’t screaming for someone to get her away from me.” Leesandra wrapped her arms around herself.

 

“But you have control now. You don’t have to be a slave to it.”

“After high school I finally forced myself to open my UI, for long enough to disable combat mode and stop accidental activation of most annoying functions. Then I spent the next month unable to the house.” She wiped away the tears gathering in her eyes.

 

“I’m sorry.” Kari put her hand out about to grab Leesandra’s but she had pulled it away putting it around her torso again.

“That not even the worse thing, I did that just before kyber-puberty at twenty. I started to have these odd shakes and pains all over my body. I thought I had messed something up, that I disabled something I needed.”

 

Leesandra grabbed her coffee and swigged back the rest of it, still wrestling back her tears.

 

“I couldn’t turn it back on, my mother managed to get me to the doctor. Turns out lady kyber genes have some important things in them, with a human mom I didn’t them.”

“So you have the female kyber genes of the doctor you saw, that’s why you have doctorate genes.”

“The kyber part of me could have killed me trying to control my human parts.”

“Only because you were missing information.”

“That’s not the point.” She grabbed her last piece of pizza and stuffed it in her mouth.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I pryed. I didn’t mean to make you relive it.”

“I know. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. You wanted to know, now you do and we won’t have to do this again.” Her hands were still shaking. “When do I start this night shift?”

 

“Uh, let me check.” Kari’s blinked a few times “At twenty hundred hours.”

“So eight o’clock.”

“Yeah, the clock-in interface has it listed in military time. Are you going to be okay doing the night shift.”

“Of course, I don’t let this stuff debilitate me and it’s not like I’ll need to do any work tonight.” Leesandra and Kari both chuckled quietly.

 

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