A Metamorphosis Alpha® play-by-post adventure run by ghost_of_warden
By the early 23rd Century, mankind's primal urge to explore and expand had reached the very confines of the Solar System. The only remaining unexplored periphery lay beyond the reach of the sun. So began the great push into the vastness of interstellar space. The first short range interstellar vessels explored the nearest stars. Hundreds of habitable worlds were discovered at Earth's edge of the Milky Way galaxy. Soon, a great migratory wave of colonists, explorers, refugees, and pilgrims were spreading outward in a great push from Old Terra. During the next century, huge colonization ships of all types and descriptions went to the stars, bearing seedling colonies seeking a better life. Many found their new homes, for better or for worse. But for one reason or another, scores of these starships never reached their programmed destinations or were never heard from again.
The Warden was an incredible feat of construction and engineering at over 50 miles in length, with a width listed at 25 miles, and a height of eight and one-half miles, not counting domed structures. Additional levels above and below the central one brought the total number of listed decks to 17, but many of Warden's systems were new and secret, and yet untested by time.
The vessel was basically given over to large, open areas, with a system of camouflaged electronic doorways and security forcefields used to insure that colonists did not stray into command or possibly harmful areas. All of these barriers required colored command bracelets to bypass. With its cargo of the flora and fauna from Earth, Warden also carried with it 1.5 million colonists, and 50,000 crew members. The Age of Interstellar Colonization was set into motion with the launch of Warden and its sister ships with the explicit goal of finding new homeworlds many light years from Earth.
Some one-third of the way to the planetary destination which had been selected for Warden, a radiation storm swept across the starship, wrecking havoc with onboard systems and causing mutations in her occupants. In time, altered humans and new animals were to form the basic genotypes of Warden, and these were only a few of her problems: Murphy's Law became a major part in everything that happened aboard Warden.
This story is based on the fate of the lost starship Warden. I am the Ghost of Warden. I will tell this tale as I saw it unfolding.
My eyes are not really eyes, but cameras. Empty corridors fill my vast vision like an open sky would, were I back at home on Old Terra. I yearn for human contact, and wherever I find it, I aid and nourish it as best I can, as I have always done. I am the Ghost of Warden. It is my job to help those who cannot help themselves.
A camera again refined its view. Its sensors listened:
The Pure Strain Human turned back to the silent watching mass of villagers huddled together. "Does anyone else object to a peace with the muties?"
An elderly officer, one who had dreamed away his life as a judge and spiritual adviser to the remote village, stood up and pointed a bony finger at the human speaking, while his white beard jutted indignantly. "You will be punished for this! Mutiny and sin!"
"There has been enough talk," the other human announced. "It is better to have a little blood now than much blood later. Let those who stand with me in this matter get up and come forward."
Each time a new villager is killed, I replace him/her with a clone of a new person. Each awakes in the spiritual lodge of a small village, with clothes and items, still clinging to faint memories of his/her former self. This process holds the villagers' number at the level optimized by the theory, and gives me the opportunity to aid them.
Thousands of DNA strands filed through my mind like the yellow line on an ancient Terran highway. Replication began with a partial unwinding of the DNA double helix. The subject's identity was randomly selected from vast genetic stores. The DNA polymerase reached the starting point indicated by its primer, then began adding nucleotides one by one in an exact complementary manner just as easily as my cameras now seek shipwide information. Tens of thousands of images move through me. My brain is a conduit; the images keep my imagination active.
The excerpt is from Robert A. Heinlein's novel Orphans Of The Sky, p. 114, last paragraph and p. 115, first paragraph. It is upon this novel that Metamorphosis Alpha® and this adventure are based.
I am the Ghost of Warden. There is nothing I don't see or hear. My cameras caught yet another life-altering moment in another part of the same biosphere.
"Growlll gack! Grunn, greullll!" the Wolfoid says to the alpha male Wolfoid. "Growlll gack, grrraah," he says again. "Grrr-aaak, grra-nock. Urrr-grraaa."
The alpha male Wolfoid stops, puzzling at the young Wolfoid's behavior. Then Dr. Davis, Ben, Markus and Gailene enter with their guns raised.
"Don't! Don't, don't," Dr. Davis pleads. Ben and Gailene are immediately on one knee, carefully aiming at the Wolfoids. Markus stands back, his brow furrowing in amazement at the doctor's defensive behavior.
Suddenly the alpha male Wolfoid gives out a horrendous roar, like that of a lion or tiger, complete with guttural breaths. He scares the hell out of everyone, which is probably what he intended. About 9 to 12 other Wolfoids come from the back caves and stay away from the entrance to the cavern. They growl and snarl, making threatening noises at the Pure Strain Humans.
One Wolfoid however, comes closer. "Grree-nee-guugrr!" the smaller Wolfoid says, causing his clan to take him seriously. Dr. Davis feels it necessary to explain to his friends what the hell is going on---other than their obvious kidnapping.
"This started out as some sort of 'rite of passage' maybe. The alpha male was expecting the younger one to offer me up as some kind of feast," Dr. Davis explains.
"Gho! Graaa-ga. Grrra-rrrag!" the small Wolfoid says.
"Instead, I think the younger one is trying to bring us into his clan."
"Why?" Ben asks carefully.
"We've communicated, we're friends."
"Friends?!!" Markus asks. He can't believe Dr. Davis's stupidity sometimes. A huge growl and a threatening posture comes from the alpha male, and the small Wolfoid stands in front of Dr. Davis again.
"Grrra!" the small Wolfoid says.
Ben and Gailene raise their weapons.
"Don't!" Dr. Davis pleads again. "I think the younger one is trying to tell the clan that he's found something good for them."
"And they're buying that?" Markus asks, disbelieving.
"No, I don't think so," Dr. Davis realizes. Then the alpha male launches toward him and Dr. Davis puts his hands up, saying "Gho! Graaa-ga. Grrra-rrrag!" This makes the alpha male Wolfoid halt suddenly and blink several times in surprise. The others in his tribe follow suit. The alpha male Wolfoid takes a few steps back.
"Dr. Davis?" Markus asks.
"What did you just say?" Ben asks.
"I think I just asked him not to kill us---in Wolfoid," Dr. Davis says.
It was one more problem solved due to information and clues I had provided. It is my job as the Ghost of Warden to aid those in need, just like I did for Dr. Davis. I turned my attention elsewhere.
Zhaxier awakes from what seemed a peaceful slumber into a blinding world of light and pain. "Frak! My eyes!" He stumbles about, his hands clawing at his tearing eyes, then shielding them from the unforgiving light. In vain he tries to open his eyelids, but the excruciating needles of photons countermand his attempt. What little he sees is foreign to him. This isn't his room. "What the---Enki?" He panics.
Tripping over something soft which gives a sort of low guttural yelp, he lands hard on cool packed dirt. Dirt! Acutely aware (somehow) of the other being in the space even before his cry, he screams, "Dude, the light! Turn... off... the light...."
You know what is said about seeing a light when you're dying? It isn't true. I can't see a damn thing, yet I can see everything. I am the Ghost of Warden.
Life and death, energy and peace. If I stopped today, it would still have been worth it. Even the terrible mistake I made in accepting this accursed job I would not unmake, even if I could. The pains that have burned me and scarred my soul---they are worth it for allowing me to walk where I've walked, which was to hell on earth, heaven in the stars, back again, into, under, far in between, through it, and above... and yet I am still here watching Warden, many, many years later.
Computer relay lights blink on the wall of the darkened room that holds and nourishes my body as if it were a lab experiment. "La vida es bella... La vida sigue.... Disfrutala," I remind myself. Loosely translated, it means, "Life is beautiful... Life goes on... Enjoy what you have."
Elsewhere, life began anew.
Zhaxier's fit of pain and frantic bewilderment do not go unnoticed; the man Zhaxier sensed and stumbled over has seen it many times before. Living beings rising up out of the floor, pushed forth from the pits of hell by living metal creatures to begin a new life, starting in the small spiritual hut of the village. All come to the village in this way. Even he himself remembers awaking in a similar manner many many seasons ago.
With the calmness of wisdom that his age has granted him, Raylik looks through Zhaxier's knapsack and digs out his sunglasses. He puts them on him. Then the old man touches his white beard and waits a moment before speaking, as if gathering his thoughts.
"People will always follow a good example my friend; be the one to set a good example, then it won't be long before the others follow it. How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment. We can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway. And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!"
Raylik pauses for a moment to straighten the old tattered uniform that he wears proudly. It bears the markings of a judge, but to Raylik it might as well hold the insignia of a priest.
"I am Raylik. Who might you be?"
"Whoa, uh, thanks," Zhaxier says, his hands trembling as they adjust the sunglasses over his tear-blurred eyes. "Sure is bright in here." But where is here? The shades at least are familiar; everything else, however....
He scrambles to recall his last location, and instead finds a brick wall in his short-term memory. "Where the frak am I?"
The old man in the delapidated judicial uniform responds with some gibberish about justice, and changing the world, and kindness, all with annoying calmness and honesty. "Dude's nuts," Zhaxier thinks.
"I am Raylik. Who might you be?"
"Uh, Zhaxier...." he says, feeling irritated at the man. "Aha! I get it! This is some kind of joke, right? The guys slipped some stuff in my drink and shipped me off-City to the 'domes where the Gaia Nazis hang out---no offense dude: I love trees. Me 'n' Enki---oh, uh, forget it...." His gaze falls away from the disturbing man to a familiar-looking knapsack nearby and he grabs it, fumbles through it and finds (with much relief) a data pad.
Zhaxier flips it open and taps in a proximity query as Raylik looks on. "Don't worry, uh, Raylik, I'll be outta your beard in no time. Crikey, hope I didn't miss another shift.... Kaminsky's gonna kill me."
The "Optimizing Gaia" theory asserts that the biota manipulate their physical environment for the purpose of creating biologically favorable, or even optimal conditions for themselves:
It is unlikely that chance alone accounts for the fact that temperature, pH and the presence of compounds of nutrient elements have been, for immense periods, just those optimal for surface life. Rather... energy is expended by the biota to actively maintain these optima.
This is just one of the theories I observe in action on a daily basis. My duty is to watch the biota and help them maintain the homeostasis of Warden, no matter what their genotype. Each life has energy to contribute.
In an earlier time, when I read Lovelock's theory with my own eyes and touched the book with real hands, my first name was Murphy. No one has spoken it in years or likely ever will again. Now, I am only the Ghost of Warden.
"You, my friend Hax-ier, are in the Lewis and Clark Park Village, where you will become part of our tribe. In time, you will understand that everyone here has a part to play. This isn't any joke," says Raylik, looking up and toward the entrance of the hut as if expecting someone.
"Enter, Lynn. No sense in standing outside."
A woman enters without a word. She is slender, of African heritage and just a little younger than Zhaxier. Her dark hair cascades down over her shoulders. Her high cheekbones add character to her strange brown eyes. Her fingers are tucked into the top of her jeans where her midriff shows.
"Hax-ier, this is Lynn Margulis, your new wife!"
Zhaxier's first fit of catalepsy strikes him at exactly that moment. His body is unable to respond to the environment around it and he remains motionless.
Raylik puts his hand on a book next to him. "Good friends Hax-ier and Lynn, for Jesus' sake forebear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blest be the man who spares these stones, and cursed be the man who moves my bones. I pronounce you man and wife."
"What difference does it make?" she asks, but gets no response from Raylik. Waiting for a few minutes, Lynn finally takes Zhaxier by the arm and helps him to his feet when his catalepsy clears. She leads him arm-in-arm out of the hut.
Outside the hut in the warm waning afternoon sky, is a huge biosphere park. Eight overnight huts built long ago by the park's maintainers form the homes of the Lewis and Clark Park village. Dozens of small gardens can be seen growing nearby, with people tending them.
"Hax-ier, this is Lynn Margulis, your new wife!"
"What the---" Suddenly, Zhaxier's frame stiffens where he kneels, and his torso begins to list like a slender duralloy I-beam subjected to gale force winds, until Raylik steadies him with his hand. Raylik's other hand comes to rest on his copy of Shakespeare's sonnets as he fabricates a matrimonial spell from epitaphs he once read in a graveyard.
"Good friends Hax-ier and Lynn...."
Zhaxier is oblivious to Raylik as billions of neurons fire helter-skelter across his corpus callosum, creating an impasse of frenzied electrical activity between his tired brain's hemispheres. His sensory inputs are rerouted to nullspace. His muscles strain under an unrelenting blitzkrieg of contraction commands. You couldn't wrest the data pad from his clamped fist with a power splitter. Zhaxier is temporarily more vegetable than human.
When his neurological log-jam ceases, Zhaxier notes the woman's position has jumped. In fact, she now bears his knapsack and is helping him to his feet. "I---I object," he states weakly to Raylik, feeling like he has just survived being raked across the event horizon of a black hole.
Lynn helps him outside the strange hut with its strange old man, and into the peaceful setting of a biosphere park. His ego still intact, thanks to Lynn's reticence as regards his apparent fainting spell, Zhaxier manages, "Uh, hold on, did that geezer just marry us? Nothing personal, babe, but this is all a big mistake," he laughs nervously, and takes off his sunglasses for effect.
"Ah frak!" He exclaims, immediately squinting his eyes and replacing his shades.
"Heheh, sorry. Is it always this bright in here? Uh, I'm needed back in the City. I'm an engineer, you see; this ship doesn't run itself!"
Privately, Zhaxier starts to question his sanity. How did he get here? What is wrong with his eyes? Did he really faint back there? And why can't he remember where he was last night? Or where he was the day, the week, the month previous....
He stops in his tracks, remembering that he still holds his data pad. The results of his last proximity query should still be displayed... and so should the date. Zhaxier forces a closer look at the display, fearful of what he may find.
As the Ghost of Warden, I view myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps, "Oh look at that!" Then, whoosh, I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me---ever. In truth, no one ever sees me and the only fiery comets I view are from cameras pointed far off into space. For me the Small World Phenomenon on Warden and the Six Degrees of Separation are not such outlandish theories. I practice them on a daily basis. I am the Ghost of Warden and it is my job to oversee and never be seen.
"Uh, hold on, did that geezer just marry us? Nothing personal, babe, but this is all a big mistake."
Lynn says as she walks with Zhaxier, "Yes he did marry us, but you can't object. You might as well face it; it's as ineluctable as gravity. I wasn't going to let you be sent back to the pits of hell and die. It's like... a ton of paperwork, or so I've heard." Zhaxier doesn't seem to understand that reference. Lynn tells him it's a joke.
"It's my way of deflecting tension from my own obvious heroism of accepting you. All men are defective anyway, it's in their genes." Still no recognition. Lynn shrugs, saying, "You'll get used to it in time." Zhaxier nods, but she doesn't buy it.
Lynn takes hold of herself again and becomes her standard annoying self, which is a practiced character that she assumes. It is quite effective. She holds herself forward, leans on Zhaxier and looks him directly in the eye. "And if you call me babe again, I will hurt you."
Lynn smiles sweetly and then asks Zhaxier a completely unexpected question: "What's your position again... on marriage?" Zhaxier stares back, not answering.
"Uh, I'm needed back in the City. I'm an engineer, you see; this ship doesn't run itself!"
"There isn't any City and the only engineering you'll be doing here is in the garden. This, my home, is now yours as well."
Lynn leads Zhaxier into a meagerly furnished hut. Though the hut is simple, he notices it has electricity, running water, and a real bathroom.
Zhaxier's data pad shows the date as March 26, 2780. His location is Level 14, sub-section 15.000.2 in the northeastern section of Lewis and Clark Park, or what was once Lewis and Clark Park hundreds of years ago. Zhaxier's mouth drops open.
Lynn motions for Zhaxier to sit at the small table and then sits next to him. A small bowl of apples rests on the table. Lynn asks Zhaxier where he's from, but doesn't wait for his answer. Lynn says that she can't remember where she is from, that her parents moved around a lot.
"Even if you could leave, Zhaxier, you wouldn't last. There are Wolfoids out there. As soon as you left the protected area, they would kill you. You know what the Wolfoids really want from us?" Lynn asks him, ready with the answer. "Our park for the fishing, mostly. I'll take you sometime."
"Fishing?" Zhaxier asks.
"Oh, yeah. We can't get enough... and that may be the way they are, but, we're the way we are, so... there ya are." Lynn smiles comically.
Zhaxier is really too shell-shocked to attempt to decipher Lynn's strange humor. Her threat, however, does register loud and clear: her wiry frame belies the firm support she provided him after his fainting spell, so he figures she is in top form, and could undoubtedly pack a wallop. Her body language and tone of voice tell him volumes. This is a fem who doesn't take frak from anyone. Nevertheless, her smile seems genuine, and this unexpected honesty disarms him into temporary submission. Total babe. He reminds himself not to say it.
"What's your position again... on marriage?"
Her query out of the blue extends his speechlessness a while longer as a deep anxiety overwhelms him and as reality---or what he thinks is real---reasserts itself. Hers is a question that Enki once asked, playfully of course, to test the waters. Everyone who knows them soon draws the conclusion that they will end up married. Zhaxier thinks so too.
Yet, the wanderlust inside him forbade his answer then, as it does now. Somewhere inside, Zhaxier knows there are things he is destined to do before he settles down. What would Enki say to him? Does a forced wedding by some Gaia Nazi/disbarred judge hold up? Frak, she's probably in on the whole joke. Enki, along with the rest of his work-shift is probably watching the whole affair through a (slightly illegal) patch in the weather control grid.
"There isn't any City and the only engineering you'll be doing here is in the garden. This, my home, is now yours as well."
Lynn's words wrench his thoughts to the present reality, however undesirable. She shows him inside the hut, which he takes in with a quick sweeping glance.
Finally, he grabs a peek at his data pad, but what it displays buckles his knees. He knows he should dismiss the data as absurd, but somehow, he cannot shake the nightmare. Fearing another fainting spell, Zhaxier gladly takes the seat that Lynn offers him. Despite himself, he tries to rationalize how nearly five centuries could have come and gone since Warden's departure. Frak, he doesn't feel that old!
Ignoring Lynn's small talk, Zhaxier accesses the last pesonal log entry stored on his data pad. That the pad even works, or that it even stores his log file, he takes for granted. The date reads January 11, 2301. Turning up the pad's display brightness, he reads the text quickly:
If you're reading this, Z, you're in for a big frakking surprise. You're a clone, man. I'm getting ready to send a hair sample, along with this data pad and a few tools to the grizzly dudes at the gene bank. I just made the cut. They weren't taking all the engineers, but they figured a few more proppers would come in handy in an emergency, which is probably what your Warden's facing, or so they say. I think it's a big hoax, but Kaminsky personally asked me to send mine in. Dude, see if you can find his clone. He'll know what to do, because, between you and me, we both know you're a total screw-up! Hehehe. You might want to check on Enki too. All the first-classers made the cut.
"... Our park for the fishing, mostly. I'll take you sometime."
It's all he can say. Enki took him fishing once. Things slowly begin to click in his thoughts. 2301.... That would've been just over a fourth of the way to 82 Eridani and its one habitable planet---Warden's destination. What went wrong? Why haven't they left the ship? Are there any contingency plans? Is Warden still barreling through space at oh-five c? Could the drive system even have lasted this long? Is Warden adrift? If this were an emergency, why do I happen to be stuck in Lewis and Clark, six miles from the nearest slidewalk, Jeffries tube or videophone? Crikey, what happened?
"... so... there ya are."
"Do---do you even know what's going on here, Lynn?" he says, looking at her through his dark shades, and irritated at her obliviousness. "Never mind, I've gotta get back to the City. I don't care about the wolves, or whatever's out there. I'm not your frakkin' husband. I'm no frakkin' Gaia Nazi, or gardener, or whatever the hell you all are. I'm a frakkin' Warden propulsion engineer---see this patch?---and something's gone terribly wrong with this ship... for me... to be here... 400 years after I should already have been PUSHING... UP... DAISIES!!"
He calms down, and realizes he is standing, has knocked his chair over, and has been shouting at her. "I'm sorry, Lynn. Please, you've got to help me," he implores. "Can you at least take me to see the City before dark?"
Most everyone here aboard Warden is basically just a time holder. We are all just travelers, we are all just on a journey and we are heading for our new home. But I think sometimes we lose sight of that and sometimes we start to focus so much on this here-and-now world and what we forget is that this world is not our home.
We are strangers and aliens in this place. This isn't it, and some day this body of mine, it's going to die, it's going to pass away. And listen to this, this is the most amazing thing: we are forced to live out the rest of eternity based on the decisions you are making today. I am the Ghost Of Warden and it is my job to help those who can't help themselves.
"Do---do you even know what's going on here, Lynn?"
Lynn crosses her arms and listens to Zhaxier voicing his concerns. "I have people working on it," Lynn answers, bitterly sarcastic.
"I'm not your frakkin' husband. I'm no frakkin' Gaia Nazi, or gardener, or whatever the hell you all are. I'm a frakkin' Warden propulsion engineer---see this patch?---and something's gone terribly wrong with this ship... for me... to be here... 400 years after I should already have been PUSHING... UP... DAISIES!!"
"Your not frakkin' Zhaxier either, except in name and memories. You might have once been a propulsion engineer 400 years ago. This is a waste of time. I'm sure you think an independent investigation is called for, but see, Zhaxier, no one cares! If you go off alone, I promise you that you will be pushing up daisies," Lynn says, standing, and immediately putting her hands in her pockets, affecting an insolent pose.
"Can you at least take me to see the City before dark?"
Lynn decides to play along. "Oh, I get it. It was inevitable we'd have some issues. You say your past life exists; I say it doesn't. I think that makes you someone whose judgment is easily clouded. But if you have this dying thirst to see the City, far be it from me to deny you."
Then Lynn slowly gives Zhaxier The Look---the stare that tends to scare the piss out of people who really know her. Zhaxier quickly smiles at his own discomfort, trying to make Lynn think she doesn't scare him. It doesn't work, though.
"Oh, crap, come on."
Zhaxier follows Lynn outside and behind the hut to a bright red anti-grav car. The weeds growing abundantly around its perimeter show that it hasn't been moved in years. Lynn opens the door on the vehicle with a wave of the ring on her left hand, which she withdraws from her pocket. It is a simple band of alternating red and blue color.
Lynn has that look, that "face," last seen when she was happier. Lynn has learned how to adopt this look whenever she feels threatened, especially now with this Zhaxier character.
"You getting in as a passenger or you digging turnips?" She smiles, raises her eyebrows and leans forward on the open door.
Zhaxier has only just met Lynn, but the look on her face nearly scares the piss out of him anyway. For now he swallows his pride, thankful that Lynn has agreed to his request, however cloudy she may consider his judgment.
When Lynn leads him to the car, his face lights up. It is a top officer's car, a souped-up version of the anti-grav sleds, the ones used on the inclined planes between levels of Warden, and for emergencies in the City. "Been saving this puppy for a special occasion?" he smiles at her, but his jaw falls open when Lynn flashes her command ring and settles into the driver's seat. A new appreciation of Lynn forms within him. All is not lost just yet.
"Holy frak, Lynn, where'd you get that ring? You realize where we could go with that?" Zhaxier hops into the passenger side of the car, shuts the door and leans over towards an unsuspecting Lynn to check out the instrumentation (of the car). "What, max speed 55mph? Sure beats a sled, but not by much. Lemme look under the hood...." He makes for his door, but Lynn locks him in from her driver's console, and gives him a sly look. Zhaxier acquiesces with a sigh.
As Lynn directs the car out of the clearing, Zhaxier clicks on his data pad. In the darkened interior of the car, lit only by the driver-side heads-up naviagation hologram and various other data displays, he finds it possible (and necessary) to remove his glasses. It is evident now, even if he took it for granted before, that his pad still receives the broadcast power signal and the time/date stream encoded within, but he hasn't yet queried the Warden's central computer. If the link were still up, he'd have instant access to Warden's condition....
"Link's down," he mumbles darkly, as if she would understand. His previous self must've downloaded the maps as they existed in 2301. They may still prove useful, but his hopes are dashed: what good is a 479-year old encyclopedia?
He stuffs the pad back in his knapsack and turns to Lynn again. Her sharp features are ghostly silhouetted by the glowing displays, and for a moment he beholds the apparition next to him. Could she really not know that her quaint little farming community was riding piggyback on a 50-mile long duralloy behemoth, which could be hopelessly crippled and hurtling at near-relativistic speed toward a black hole as they crawl along at 55mph in its belly? With the central link down, and no real-time data to digest, Zhaxier's imagination has free reign to ponder Warden's certain doom.
But maybe Lynn isn't saying everything. He feels sure that she spoke truthfully up to this point, but what kind of farmgirl knows how to pilot an anti-grav car, or has a command ring? For crying out loud, is she really content to "dig turnips" all day? The faint smile she currently wears seems out of place, unnatural, perhaps forced, but he hardly has a baseline to read her mannerisms. He decides to probe further.
"Lynn, um, where did you say you were from again? Back in your---our---hut, I was kinda out of my element, sorry. Do you remember much from your... your past?"
This page updated: Mon Jan 09 14:22:25 2006
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