Archive for April, 2017

Starch Sticks

About last week’s fake food sticks.

It IS starch with flavour added in.

Bwahahahaha
I hate it when I’m right…

Oh well, can’t be helped. You vegan lot with your “alternative food” that is.

Perhaps you wish to wash it down with this drink?

Stay healthy,
A.

Rings of Fate S2xE3 – Explorer – DEHuman II (pt.4)

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In silence, and a stern expression, Admiral Franziska Hardwick pulled up a chair to the cell, it was a rather old fashioned designed cell. Bars, instead of walls and a hard door, truly isolating the imprisoned person.

“You are in anguish. What is it that you fear?” Daria looked at her with a pleading gaze, but kept sobbing. “Is it the silence?”

“You know nothing!” She hissed between sobs. “Relying on the auditory and visual senses to communicate, it feels so limiting. Time consuming. As if my limbs are hacked off, my voice is gone and my ears gone deaf and my heart gone cold. Help me.” 

“How?” Franziska saw an opportunity to find at least one more linked person. 

“Set me free! Let me go to my people.” 

“We are your people. You are human, as am I.” darkly Daria stared at the Admiral. “Human. We are more than just that. We are digitally enhanced humans. They are my people.” Since the signal had first been detected Franziska had read old case files concerning the D.E.Humans, none had ever gone through such a hard and violent time as Daria. But she had been born with the implant, had always been connected to someone. 

Forgetting that, could spell death for the young woman. 

“I can bring you someone who understands, maybe that one can connect with you?” 

Seeing the temptation inside Daria’s eyes Franziska hoped she would do it. “Tempting offer Admiral, but I must decline. I will not bring others into your clutches. We have accomplished so much, soon we will rid ourselves of your rule.” Daria leaned back, softly rocking back and forth, humming a lullaby. 

Quickly the Admiral looked at Ophelia. “Get me a doctor. I have a hunch.” 
Together with Harald Rüttli, Jason sat in a room, large displays showed various data concerning the frequency of the link, both men worked in silence, but couldn’t find a way to access the network of the D.E.Human in order to send a shutdown message to the implants. More a sigh than a hiss came from the doors, Admiral Franziska Hardwick and Governor Ophelia Mbuntu entered the room, looking equally glum.

“I guess congratulations are in order.” The Admiral threw a tablet on the table in front of Jason, she seemed very agitated. Confused Jason picked up the tablet and read the information on it. “Is this certain?” He rose to his feet. 

“It is. Dad.” There was anger and a hint of hatred in her voice. “She not only hacked your implant, but her own. Circumventing rules and regulations.” The world around Jason began to spin, quickly he sat down again. 

“I see no way into the network.” Rüttli exclaimed in helplessness, burying his face in his hands. “They have shielded their communication better than anything we have to crack it.”

Still staring at the tablet Jason nodded in agreement. He was going to be a father, definite proof of that was before his eyes. “Her bloodstream is swarming with nanotechnology robots. Shutting down the implant might deactivate them too, but the tests conclude that they are acting as her immune response. She is immune to any virus or bacteria, known or unknown to mankind.” Franziska pointed at the tablet in Jasons shaking hands. “It would probably kill her and the child in her womb.” Ophelia put it in layman’s terms. 

As if he was caught in a space suit again, Jason felt the room closing in. Feeling claustrophobic he jumped to his feet. “I need to get out of here.” Gasping for air he ran to the door, but before he could leave, a security guard blocked the way from the outside. “Gardens.” He breathed. “Send him with me.” Franziska nodded and let Jason leave for the gardens with the guard as escort.
“He shouldn’t be allowed to participate in this project any more.” Harald spoke softly after Jason had left. “If it was me, and my girlfriend was pregnant with my child, I wouldn’t allow them to be harmed.” Both the Admiral and the Governor agreed with a gentle nod. “Restrict his access, and monitor his activities.”
After agonising minutes of transport and walking Jason finally entered the large garden in sub alpha. It was more funtional than recreational, unlike the gardens on alpha through gamma. Fruit trees lined up next to rows of hydroponics for vegetables and fish. Still it had the liberating effect that Jason had sought. 

“What are we doing here?” The guard followed Jason to an apple tree. 

“I need the open space here right now, a hint of claustrophobia rushed over me. You are guarding my sorry ass, so I won’t do anything stupid.” Gnarling back, Jason felt sassier than ever, empowered by the feeling that he had nothing left to lose.

“You have ro rescue her, your children.” The guard handed him an injector and his gun. Baffled Jason looked at the things in the guards hands. “You have to rescue us.” He added, putting the gun and injector in Jason’s hands. 

“If they turn the signal against us, and they will, in time, we all will die. At least part of us. They will abort the pregnancy. You can’t let that happen!” 

Before Jason could object the Guard bowed down his head and ran against the tree as fast as he could, collapsing unconscious to the ground. 

For a moment Jason didn’t know what to do, but either way the fact that an unconscious guard was lying next to him would get him, at least temporarily, in trouble. 

Time, he couldn’t afford to lose, would be wasted trying to explain what had happened, and that the guard himself was part of the D.E.Humans. 
Quickly Jason left the scene. Once inside the cab of the tube network he used the injector on himself, even before he learned that he was locked out of several command structures. 

Welcoming feelings rushed by him as the cab moved through the bowels of the Explorer, left him yearning for more as he found himself weightless again. Helpful thoughts entered his mind, codes, security lockout circumventions.

And the echo of his own warning, that in time the implants would be turned against their owners. An idea echoed through the minds he touched on his journey to the detention center. 

An idea that would’ve frightened him to death, was he alone in his mind, but the confidence of the others brought confidence to him. In front of the cellblock he stopped. Although the implant was already working, it wasn’t fully integrated with his brain yet. Part of him refused losing his individuality, rejected the implant. Closing his eyes he took a deep breath. A security code floated through his memory, and he opened the door with ease. Immediately two guards sprang into action, before knowing what he did, he rose his hand, pulled the trigger and sent both of them to the ground, sedated by the high voltage darts. 

With another deep breath he turned the transmission function of his new implant off, hopimg not to lose the implant altogether that way. 

“Hi.” He stopped in front of Daria’s cell, the security system repeated previously recorded footage of her and the empty hallways. “Hello.” Daria replied, surprised. 

“So, you’re pregnant?” He rose an eyebrow, toying with the tablet in his hand, the gun was tucked in his pants.

“A boy and a girl, just as Danielle.” She replied dryly. “I’ve come to save you, and our children.” Daria sprang to her feet, he had not spoken a word, sent her that information through the implant. She pressed against the bars, basking in his presence in her mind. A moment later the cell door opened, and the two hurried off. By now she knew of the plan he and the others had hatched on his way to her. 
“Admiral!” Crying out in shock Harald Rüttli ran into the command centre. Sitting next to Franziska was Ophelia, engaged in conversation. “I’m reading communication on the D.E.Human frequency, all over the ship. They hijacked our communication network!” the two women exchanged a glance thinking the same thing. 

Jason Charles. 

While Ophelia called her secretary to lock down her ring, Franziska ordered the computer to locate Jason Charles, with little success. “There’s activity all over the board.” The navigation officer reported, as did her first officer Louis Walsh. “They are copying everything we have.” Louis yelled, punching in one lockout command after another, with no success. 

“Where to?” 

“Unknown, they have established a virtual shadow network, I can’t trace it.” 

Petrified Ophelia stopped pacing around in the midst of the Chaos in the command centre. “They’re on Beta.” She hissed, more angered than afraid. 

“How do you know?” Franziska had already jumped up, leading her to the exit. After a while she had granted the governor access to the command centre, but the hectic nature of the situation called for the civilian to leave. “Because there are numerous transports coming in from all parts of Explorer, and the outer most sections have sealed off.” It was Franziska who now became petrified. 

“Louis, send in,” 

“Can’t. Tube’s are empty. No cab anywhere near our position, even maintenance cabs have gone.” With a mixture of helplessness and anger Franziska turned back to Ophelia.

“Attention all beta ring security personnel, you are ordered to apprehend all people trying to reach the outter most rim. Return cabs to sub alpha and sub gamma rings for reinforcement.” Her face turned from determined to questioning. “Hello? Beta ring?” 

An inquiring look to the com officer conformed that regular communication had been cut off. 

“Suits, guns, march there!” Franziska yelled at Louis, who saluted and hurried off to the barracks.
I still don’t like this. Jason sat at the helm of a pod still locked with the beta ring. Preflight checks ran, and a more experienced pilot, who was sharing his knowledge, oversaw the progress. 

Memory from the shared thoughts informed him that all the cryogenic chambers from the Ark1 had been transported to the ships on beta, officially for research purposes. 

All accounted for.

“Ignition.” The pilot couldn’t help but smirk, as the docking clamps released and a short burst moved the ship off. 

The ships from the civilian rings were larger than the pods Jason previously had known, after all they were supposed to function for colonising RV-p296. 

Ruttling the ship’s thrusters maneuvered the craft away from Explorer, weightlessness set in, and soon after they docked with the broken Ark1 next to Explorer. 

All of them. A last quick glance out a small viewfinding window confirmed that most of the outter rim from Explorer’s beta ring was gone. 
“We have back communication.” Rüttli sighed. It wasn’t his doing, or that of anyone else but the people who had originally blocked the communication. After they left, the blockade of communication was no longer required. 

“Receiving reports from beta.” Simultaneously with Harald’s statement, Ophelia regained communication with her office. 

“We have sensors back.” Navigation. Franziska immediately loaded the current data onto her glasses. Bewildered by her findings she cussed, turned away from Ophelia who remained in the command centre. “They docked with the Ark1. What could they want with that wreck?” 

“Gather the rest of their people and leave?” Ophelia put her hand on Franziska’s shoulder. 

Determined to continue work on the shutdown signal Franziska leaned back. “Let them have it. We can’t help them right now. I want a list of all missing personnel, change all codes, go through our systems with a fine toothed comb and close all back doors these bastards might have left.” 

Louis, returning from the tube network manned his post. “Ma’am. Reading unusual power output from Ark1.” Explorer’s whisker probes delivered a deailed image on the main screen. The attached ships had fired their engines, slowing down the Ark1 considerably. 

Within moments after the Ark1 began her deceleration she had fallen so far behind that any operation from Explorer was impossible. 

“They are gone, only on long range scanners.” Louis commented dryly. 

Breathing heavily, inside boiling with rage, Franzsiak groweld “They’ll come back. One day.” 

Eat Real? 

Found this questionable item in my local supermarket.
That’s right.
Supermarket.

Not the insane asylum that is the organic market.

“Eat Real”
As opposed to surreal eating?
Unreal eating? Should I be eating houses now?
What the fuck are you dimwits all about?
Dipshits.

Kale, Tomato and Spinach all don’t come in any way shape or form close to this stuff.
Is it made with an insane amount of starch? Therefore tasting like styrofoam, with some hint of “vegetable” taste?
Had the producers dunked the shaped sticks in fat and fried it to death? If so, what’s wrong with crisps/chips? Potato was a vegetable last I checked.
So it’s vegan.
Dipshits.

Listen. You want a tomato snack?
Easy:
Eat. A fucking. Tomato.
Kale?
Same. Fucking. Procedure.
Spinach?
Surprise!

Tomato even comes in a dried variant, so you have the same dryness.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people? Can’t you eat like normal humans? You know.
Real!

I do not demand you to eat meat, don’t get me wrong, but this shit is surely NOT how ANY creature should be eating vegetables. In dried out styrofoam pellet form.
Stop making weird food pellets out of *something* and call it food.
Eat. Fucking. Food.
Full stop.

Stay healthy, eat REAL food.
A.

Rings of Fate S2xE3 – Explorer – DEHuman II (pt.3)

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​》Daria Jane Fulton, born Kraemer, PhD, communication department, orphaned, adopted by Michael and Susanne Fulton.《 Jason stared at the lines before his eyes. 

“Her natural parents died?” He turned to the Admiral. “Yes. During the suppression signal emission. They were too close to one of their emitters when it was turned on. Field density was too strong, and it killed them.” Franziska said in a low voice. Apparently Jason had not known, and his suspicions concerning Daria’s involvement were somewhat validated. She felt sorry for him. Julio had been lead from the interrogation room, but was still in custody to prevent any information from leaking to the public. 

“She’s a linker!” Tears shot to Jason’s eyes. All of his world began to crumble, although hurt and mad at Daria for sending the two women to their quarters fin, he still loved her. 

All the time he had hoped that his suspicions were wrong, that once he had brought forth his observations they would be dismissed. Some secret mission she was on to help the Orion population. 

Anything.

Something. 

Crushed hopes weighed down on him. 

Sobbing, he let his head sink to the table. “It isn’t confirmed, after all, she is still doing well although the suppression signal is on.” The Admiral tried to comfort him with little effect.

“Don’t you think that they hadn’t adapted?” Jason rose his head, wiped away his tears. “It is not that difficult to create a checksum based communication protocol, immune to suppressing signals. All the signal does is limiting the linkers ability to communicate, but they themselves are probably fine. One or two will sacrifice themselves for the rest of them, maybe a few more, but the majority will remain hidden.”

Ophelia and Oleson exchanged a look, then nodded. “You know an awful lot about them.” The Governor edged a little away from Jason. “I know nothing. But we implemented similar systems throughout the fleet, in order to prevent any external, or unauthorised internal, influence from hacking, or disrupting our systems.” 

All present looked to Harald Rüttli, who nodded in agreement with Jason’s words. “Checksums were always part of computer communication, but it got strengthened, and improved. He is right. They have taken our own measures and used them against us. Probably.” 

Jason stared blankly in the distance. “In addition, they probably had devised a means of shortrange communication, allowing them to communicate freely with one another, without the aid of the nodes previously installed throughout the ships. On Orion one is monitoring the frequencies, they could install and use the nodes, so they wouldn’t have to stay relatively close to one another for communication.” He reached for the tablet with Daria’s file on display. 

Moments later he had the information about the D.E.Human chips on screen. “I estimate, based on this data, that they have a range limit of three to four meters, probably less.” Intentionally pushing his sadness and anger away with the technological topics to occupy his mind, Jason stared into the tablet. 

“We still have to scan you, you know?” Lieutenant Oleson put his hand on the tablet, covering the screen. If a gaze could kill, Jason would’ve committed murder that instant. “I know. But I have to do this.” 

Putting her hand on the Lieutenant’s arm in a calming manner Franziska slightly shook her head. “You can continue this line of work, if it helps you get over this hard time, but now,” she got up and reached for his hand. “you have to get scanned.” 
My father had a heart attack, my girlfriend of many years is a D.E.Human, and I’m in a tube to have my brain scanned for a chip. Staring at the ceiling of the tube Jason ground his teeth. Oh, and I might have quite successfully made a baby, or two, with a woman on a ship, whom I will never see again in my life time. That ought to make an uplifting story to tell the kids. Or to be discovered in my journal. “You’re clean.” 

Not that he had doubted it, Jason couldn’t help but feel relieved. After all, Daria could’ve given him an implant somewhen during their endless nights, both on Explorer and Orion. As he got up from the bed that had transported him into the tube Lieutenant Oleson handed him his own tablet and glasses. “Sorry for the inconvenience. But I had to be rude.” 

“No apology needed. You’re doing your duty, and I need to do mine.” He immediately began working as he left the room. 
Worried Franziska watched the security footage of Daria in her cell. She seemed frightened, always trying to get close to the guards. But even if they were linked too, the suppression field blocked their communication. Slowly she seemed to succumb to isolation, although she wasn’t isolated. 

“How is she, Admiral?”

“Not as good as I’ve hoped, Governor.” Franziska greeted Ophelia, who in turn took place next to her, staring at the screen. 

“They don’t seem so menacing, do they?” Ashamed Governor Mbuntu had to shake her head. “I’m guessing that she had the others in her head all her life after we shut the nodes down, now she doesn’t.” Although Daria’s adoptive parents were clean, Franziska suspected that other children, other grow ups, disconnected at the time of the suppression signal, had kept close to Daria. 

“Time is almost up.” Ophelia noted, she wore her glasses, had a countdown running for only a few more minutes until the suppression signal was turned off again. 

It reached zero. Almost immediately a cry of anguish came from Daria’s cell. “She senses the blockade gone but no one is contacting her.” Ophelia leaned closer to the screen. Gently shaking her head Franziska agreed. Assuming that no one would do so either she felt pity for the young woman. If anyone did contact her, they would run the risk of being exposed too.

“Will she lose her mind?” Ophelia turned around to the Admiral. 

“Maybe. I’m talking to her.” Leaving the surveillance room with the Admiral, Ophelia had doubts about the success or outcomes of that endeavour. 

Scary 

Easter came and went, and as such I, unexpectedly, have another trinket for you.

Because if I don’t, my brain will swell until my skull cracks open like an egg, so it can escape the fruitless pondering of “who thought that this was a good idea???”

This coloring book is neat, at first glance:

Googly eyes.
Until you change the page.

UNGODLY NIGHTMARE CREATURE, UNHOLY GHOUL FROM THE FIRE REALM! CALL 911, THE FBI, CIA, NSA, KGB AND CHINA!
Fuck me, this is creepy.

So, as an after thought, again a ghoulish happy Zomb…er…easter. 

Take care,
A.

Crappy Easter 2017 

Holy snotballs!

If you know a baking aficionado whom you hate, and want them to feel sick to their stomach everytine they bake, here’s the gift idea of your liking.

The pig regurgitates the yolk (out of its nose mind you).

Turn the passion of someone into a phobia. You’re welcome, have a Crappy Easter. (Just the one this year, sorry)

A.

Love?

In the beginning man and woman met outside. While hunting. While foraging.

A clout over the head, drag her to the cave, bang the ever living daylight out of her until your doomseed spawns out of her. 
You know… 
Love.

Later men and women met in the social constructs beset on them by class. Arranged marriage, basically the same as in the beginning, without the clout. 
Later in time, they courted one another, talked, fell in love. Doomseed, yada yada yada.
You know…
Love.

In the mid to late 20th century that entire crap got too time consuming so the local classifieds popped up.
Men and women filled pages of the newspapers in small print, advertising oneself like some overripe fruit on a farmersmarket five minutes before they close for the long weekend. 
You know…
Love.

That was too time consuming too after a while, so some rabbi came up with speed dating. 
Your entire life, your achievements, hopes, dreams, aspirations, character, interests, and what not, distilled into a ten minute conversation with one another, and then go over the entire list – again.
You know…
Love.

Time is money, you don’t have an entire evening for this! 
Pour a condensed vision of that distilled “You” into an online profile and off you go!
You know…
Love.

But even that was inconvenient, since we didn’t have it on the go. So some shit like tinder, really was inevitable. Condensed distilled you, photo, swipe. 
You can do it on an elevator, riding the subway, taking a dump.
You know. 
Conven…err…”Love”…

And what did I read in a newspaper just the other day? 
THAT was too stressful for some New Yorkers! They OUTSOURCED their tinder-ing to someone else who is doing the swipe based fuck selection for them.
You know. 
Love?

It kinda reminds me of the entire Farmville crap. On Facebook, a place for the condensed distilled version of you that you choose to represent, you could play a game. Farmville. 
You know.
Fun.

That wasn’t good enough for people. So they HIRED others to play the game for them. On their Facebook. 
As them.
So some underpaid poor sods in a clickfarm somewhere in southeast Asia played as white middle class Facebook people, for some extra grain or geese. 
You know.
Fun?

This is in no way different. 
Something that should be deeply personal – fun and relaxation in one case, fun and romance in the other – something that is as convenient as fuck, something that can be done on the go, outsourced. 
“I have neither time not nerve for fun, relaxation, games, love, or procreation. Let someone else do it.”
You know.
“Life”.

If your life style (or “work-life-balance”) doesn’t allow for playing a fucking game, or the convenience based swipe partner selection, trust me, you won’t have time for your partner in the unlikely chance you ever even found one. Ultimately losing them again.
Which you probably wouldn’t even notice until they send you on mandatory vacation…
You know.
Shitty life.

Take care.
A.

Rings of Fate S2xE3 – Explorer – DEHuman II (pt.2)

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“Any idea why we’re here?” Clearly nervous Julio wiped away a bead of sweat that ran down his forehead, the work team assembly from Orion had been gathered, he and Jason sat in the interrogation room. 

“Not because of the Lieutenant. That much I am certain of.” Jason crossed his fingers behind his head, leaning in the chair. The room was well lit, held in grey colors, a table that was bolted to the ground, the chairs were mounted on rails, you could move them, but not throw them. 

These measures had been taken after interrogations had gone violent concerning a powerful new drug, synthesised from engineering lube. It was all over the news back then, afterwards they had refashioned the interrogation rooms. 

“Why then?” Julio wiped another sweat bead away. “D.E.Humans, linkers, what ever you want to call it. Borg for all I care.” 

Suddenly Julio relaxed a little, but he still was sweating, he too leaned back, awkwardly at that. “I thought their network was shut down? The EM signal from Orion was supposed to be naught more than a glitch.” 

“It wasn’t, trust me.” 

With a harsh sounding hiss the door opened. “So you know about it?” A security officer entered the interrogation room, at his side he noticed Harald Rüttli, behind him the Admiral and a tall black woman, he assumed it was Governor Ophelia Mbuntu.

“I have suspicions.” Jason leaned forward, putting his weight on his elbows on the table, fingers still crossed. 

A cold smile appeared on the lips of the security officer, only for one fleeting moment, then it vanished again. 

Rüttli and Lieutenant Oleson entered the room completely, the Admiral and the Governor remained outside. “What was that business about concerning a Lieutenant?” Oleson sat down in front of Jason, next to Julio on the square table. 

With a nod and a knowing expression Jason looked to Julio. Again a sweat bead formed, this time Julio didn’t wipe it away. 

“I may have had an encounter with a Lieutenant on Orion.” 

Raising his eyebrows, wrinkling his forehead Lieutenant Oleson also looked at the man. “An encounter?” 

“Alright, it was unprofessional, and sexual!” 

“In that respect,” Jason cleared his throat, “I was behaving unprofessionally too. My girlfriend, Miss Daria Fulton, brought a Private to our quarters, hacked my implant so it would turn of for a few days, and returned with said Private the following night.” 

Staring at Jason with his mouth open Lieutenant Oleson paused for a moment. “Your transgressions with the personnel of Orion are not subject of this investigation, but it is on record and disciplinary action will follow.” Theatrically he opened the protection flap to his tablet as if he was opening a case file in an old movie. 

“We suspect that the Orion and its crew got infested with the D.E.Human technology, and we’re here to investigate this, as it can only have come from the away team that went there.” He glanced at the two suspects while still facing his tablet computer. “Let’s start with you Doctor Charles.” A sign of relief came from Julio, he didn’t react well to pressure. 

“Yes, my field of study, would make me the logical candidate of us two.” Jason raised his eyebrows. “We have turned on the suppression signal two hours ago, bio signs from your father are weak. Is he part of the link?” 

“Heart attack, prior to you turning on the signal. Look it up.” Although angry, Jason retained a calm demeanour, albeit less respectful than he intended. “You two gentlemen worked together on the Orion’s new computing systems, has there been a time you worked separate from each other?”

Both men shook their heads. Except for lunch breaks and the evenings, they had spent each waking moment together aboard the Orion. “Is it possible that your equipment might have been corrupted before leaving the Explorer?” 

“It is possible, although unlikely.” Julio leaned back in further relaxation, although facing disciplinary action for his transgressions with the Lieutenant, he was guilty of nothing else, he basked in that feeling. “All the checksums upon installation came back as they were supposed to, check our logs.”

“Tablet computers were clean too.” Scratching his head Jason shifted in his seat. “Or appeared to be?” Oleson stared at Jason with an icy glare from blue eyes. “Or appeared to be, but I am certain that they were clean.”

“How so?” Rüttli was unable to contain his curiosity. “Glad you asked.” Jason smiled over his shoulder, “As I told you, my girlfriend, Miss Fulton, hacked my implant.” turning back to Lieutenant Oleson he continued. 

“At first I thought nothing of it. Later I found an implanting device in our quarters. Convinced she was giving the woman we had over for two nights in a row the usual implant and the entire technology to increase their chances of conceiving sons, I still thought nothing of it.”

All the while he was speaking Oleson’s expression got progressively darker. “Now you do?” 

“Now I do. She’s not in the medical field, and a little research in the meantime, revealed that the normal implants can’t do that.” 

Lieutenant Oleson looked down at the tablet, back to Jason. “Have you spoken to Miss Fulton since your return? Confronted her with your findings?”

In a few words Jason explained that he had not, and why he had not, spoken with Daria since their return. 

Nature…

This all happened around my home…makes me less feel like a big-city dweller, and more like living on the country side.

The nicer side of spring (a.k.a. the season of death)

 

Have a nice weekend!

Rings of Fate S2xE3 – Explorer – DEHuman II (pt.1)

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Blanketed by forgiving darkness, a silence that was comfortably numbing, so silent in fact it drowned out even the noise in his head, Jason did not regret hacking into the cab controls. Halted mid section in the central spinal tubes of the Explorer he also had turned off the lights. As well as other equipment in the cab that would create either noise or light.

Just him. Alone in the dark. Weightless.

What did “We are sorry” mean? Daria’s message haunted his mind.

After the pod had returned to Explorer he had gone through the radio transmissions. An EM signature had been detected, aboard the Orion. It was the same frequency that the linkers from the Digitally Enhanced Humans initiative had used. 

Young had said that the implant had taken a lot of pressure off his mind. At the time Jason had thought that he had gotten an implant like the Explorer crew, one that regulated his reproductive capabilities, and functioned as a medical monitor. 

Now he saw it in a different light. 
Refreshed, after his zero G pause and a shower, Jacob sought out his mother. In difficult times he always sought her out. Perhaps she could provide him with insights or answers. 

“Mum?” Her office was dimly lit. A quick look at the time told him that she should be there. “Mum!?” An uncertainty clutched his heart he hadn’t felt since his childhood when he and his family were in the gardens and he had lost them. Little did he know then that he could be tracked, as well as his parents. “Locate Doctor Nye Charles.” 

At home? Grumbling he turned away from her office, in the hallway he saw her colleague Karla, whom he knew as aunt Karla. “It’s your father. He had a heart attack. But he is recouping.” She immediately recognised the look on his eyes. 

“Just give her my best wishes!” She yelled after him as he ran to the tube. A message came in on his glasses as he waited for the tube to deliver a cab to him. “Sorry about your father, hope he is recovering? Love.” It was from Daria, should he reply?

Deciding just to reply with a simple and short “Thanks” he entered the cab. Moments later he stood before his parents’ quarters. 

“Mum?” Had he uttered just that word half the day? Did he thank aunt Karla? He honestly couldn’t recall. 

“Hi honey. I thought you still were being debriefed, or I would’ve called.” She took him in her arms. “Aunt Karla told me.” He whispered, suddenly the tears shot to eyes. 

“How is he?” Sobbing at her shoulder he looked around the room. “Sleeping. Doctors said he is going to need some rest, his implant keeps them apprised of the situation.” Figuring that a more severe case would’ve been kept in the infirmary, Jason felt relived. Only a little, but still. 

His zero G experience, all the stress reliving effect it had, was wiped away. The gravity of the past days experiences weighed him down again. “I need to tell you a few things as well. Hope you can help me.” He sat her down on the couch. 
As if on hot coals, the Admiral sat in the meeting room, Louis Walsh and Harald Rüttli had just discussed the possible ramifications of the detected frequency on Orion. Afterwards the Governors had begun a similar discussion. Although seemingly relived that her fears of racism were uncalled for, Governor Mbuntu was for strict measures. Such as sending out a probe to Orion which would be emitting the suppression signal developed on Destiny and also deployed for a while in all the ships from Earth. 

“Our own constitution forbids such an action!” Governor Rostova had replied, referring to the article that stated that every other vessel has its sovereign rights, and couldn’t be subject to policy from Explorer unless it posed threat to the safety of the ship or its crew.

The other two governors were only calling in, while Ophelia had the dignity of being present in person. A meeting even more important than the discovery of Orion, and the other two governors had not come in person. 

“We must at least reactivate the suppression field on Explorer!” Ophelia slammed her hand on the table, suddenly standing. “We can’t.” Rüttli sighed, leaning back in his seat. “After all users of the Enhancement were found and rounded up, we let their devices emit the signal for a while, then turned the signal off, removed and destroyed the devices. Each individual once part of the link, is closely watched and none have relapsed.” 

Bringing up a detailed list of the frequencies he pointed to a marked section. “Running this frequency with the suppression field over our internal network would be a huge power drain. At least if we did it continuously.” Ophelia turned her head to the Admiral with a pleading gaze in her eyes. 

“Alright.” Franziska too got up. “Emit the signal, for twenty four hours. Check random bio signs from implants for signs of a comatose state.” Turning to Louis she started walking around the table. “And I want every member of the away team detained, interrogated and closely monitored. It is beyond me why and how we set them lose on this ship again after we detected that signal.” The screen went blank and dark as she left the room, Ophelia hard on her tail, leaving Louis and Harald bewildered and speechless behind. 

“Do you think this is enough, Admiral?” Stopping dead in her tracks Franziska allowed Ophelia to catch up. “Honestly, no. But it is all I can do. We don’t have enough power to run that signal continuously, without restricting other systems. And people would want to know why these other systems were shut down, or limited in functionality. Widespread panic, or at the very least paranoia would be the logical conclusion if they were told the truth. That is something we can’t have. Not while we still have to evacuate half of Ark1’s cryogenic chambers, Harpys in our back and the Orion possibly linking up to become a fully Digitally Enhanced Human ship.” First, both women knew, non essential systems would be limited in functionality, or shut down completely. The ship wide news and entertainment networks. All the backups from earth would be offline. And that was what people would feel immediately. 

Ophelia nodded in agreement. “Please, can I stay on the command centre when the suppression signal is turned on?” 

“No way. That place is off limits, but I’d like you near when we bring in the away team.” Franziska entered the tube, Ophelia with her. Both women sat down. Although each ring, especially sub alpha, had a detention center, the main brig, or cellblock, was on subgamma. Right after she had given the command, security personnel moved to detain the members of the team that had went to Orion.