//A wristpad full of journals

Discussion in 'Diaries & Captain's Logs' started by Alias, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    //The beaten and nearly defunct piece of tech hums to life on inspection, a neon blue UI displaying an extremely basic menu. The "logs" section draws the curious, an array of dated entries available to be opened. Most of the early ones are completely incoherent, the earliest readable one being titled simply "850406"//

    [Initializing…]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Bllue
    [Error. User not found.]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Blue
    [Please enter password.]
    >*********
    [Incorrect password.]
    [Please enter password (1/3)]
    >*******
    [Please enter action.]
    >Create
    [Incorrect syntax. Usage: Create <?> (textlog) (audiolog) (vidlog) (user)]
    >Create textlog
    [Creating…]

    lemonade. i icried over lemonade today, and i couldn’t even siay why. maybe because it tbrought back such old memwories. old memories, iold faces. i still miss them, every onee of themo, i wish they were here. i don’t know why i’m bhteoring with logs again, fi’ll either delete them or losqe them again. judst like my damn photos. everything disappears with time except for scars, damn fit. damn everything. i can already tell that these will just be full of rambling, but i guess that works. i can’t exavctly talk out my feelings with anyone. ha. fuck mme.

    first log on thsi thing, woohuoo. give me a miedal or something. speaking of log,s if you’re reading this you’re either me, someone i trusted until right now – however few of you there are, or i’m dead. seems more and more likely all the tim,e that last one. i’d be lying if li said it didn’t terrify me. so many infesteddaround now.

    coming back was ia mistake. but i can’t exactly go anywhere else can i? stupid. i’m stupid, this bunker is stupind, i hate it i hate being alone it hurts. can’t trust myself with a pet. ei’d probably spazz and hurt it and i couldn’t live with myself. not aqgain.

    no, i’m clean now, i caxn handle it. i nonly wake up in terrors sometimes. ii could get a dog. a cat? something that can take care of ittself. if i die. if i don’t come back. tlike everyone else.

    i miss wmy fdriends. i want to move o.n my memory’s so bad now, it was nevegr good but now i can’t remember my owbn name sometimes. im’ scared. if i lose my list, i’ll forget thrie names. i can’t even remembwer what some of them looked like. maybe i shoould fourget, move on. no, not move on. stop mourning. i’ve made pa few new friends? maybe they’rll stay alive. maybe ill’ die first.

    i cn’t bury anyone else.

    >End log
    [Enter filename]
    >Log 850406
     
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  2. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    [Initializing…]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Blue
    [Please enter password.]
    >*******
    [Please enter action.]
    >Create textlog
    [Creating…]


    Pride. The things that happen bvecause of fucking pride. Misha got her brains blown out… god, years ago. Funny that all I can remember is hre name and those seconds, nothing else. We were good friends. “The cash and the phones, now, or I’ll fucking paint the wall with your brains.” and we did. “The shoes too.” and she says “fucking make me.” Bang.

    I’m surprised I remmember it so clearly. I fucked uop my head with drugs not long aftre, and I only got clean, for good this time, recently. It is for good this time. No matrter wghat. I may as well put the gun in my moiuth then. I won’t pput my friends throughg that. I won’t judst die on them.

    Idiot.

    THatt’s what I”m doing zanyawy. it’s whyI signed yup gfor this thsing, this… order.An orphanage, dogni good ikn the galaxy; righting wrongsf, saving cjhildren from fucked up places. yeah rihgt. yOu’re a coawrd blue. you pickepd a cause you thought might be whtro dying for, something that owuld maoke them remember you as a hero anxd not the STUPID BITCH yoiu are. YoRue’ a li,ar and A COEWARDD, AMD A a bibgot, you shoulmd have died yrearse ago but you’re too damn sdcared! And wbhat thme hell are you mdoing now? bBuilding up hpoes ni people, beingn ice to thgem, hopnig someaone tyou make friends with will actually stick arobund anjd for what? yo’rue just trying to gwo off and die some way that peopzle will oremember yuo. well yfuck wyou. yoqu caun change eertvyhing buxt what you aree. but oyu knowe. Iknow. nothing is going to change.

    Jjust have to see whto dies nexdt and hoipe it’s you.

    >End log
    [Enter filename]
    >Log 850411
     
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  3. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    [Initializing…]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Blue
    [Please enter password.]
    >*******
    [Please enter action.]
    >Create textlog
    [Creating…]

    Ive’ bjeen wondering something for a while no.w Is there an afterlife? is there as god, or gods, or qwhatever the fuck passes for one? if there is, this is a message

    You have some fucking sense of hmumor yoiu omniporettn bastard.

    I was alone for a reasobn! that man, whoever he was, was nice company. quiet qas I am. Thfen – no, i won’t complain, it’s always niec to see a ifrend. but then the crowd came and it, no, I started to feel crowded. No udh you pfucking moron that’s what a crowd *does. you stupid slef pitying bitch.

    Belle wanted to do the shooting competetion thren. I should’ve saud no. whatever, i didn’t, afnd – right. that hyto. i don’t know if yi hate them for what tvhey said or ebecause they were right. some maksnrma i amo, can’t even throw a can five meters into a bin. Belle’s much bettyer than I am. maybe at my hbest i could have matched her, maybe when i was doing pistol driolls every other day, but not now. probably not again if thesie shakes keep going.

    I think they might even be gettign worse. my head aches more often now, i think thers’e ca problem with my old implant. a new promblem i mean, not that it doesn’t fucking work. that means i have to pick a doctor. and be unconciene. uncontsatn. fuck it i know whart i mwan. the atlas doctors wmree nice, but.. I”ve heard rumors. Can you trust tehm Blue? I don’t know, can i?

    What am i typing, where am i giong with this?

    Shooting competition.

    Belle ywas great, I – well I hit the aertgt at least. good to know uI can still hit something less hthan ten meters away, you shaking wreck of trash heap fuc.k nothing feels rigt,h my gaun sits weird in my hand, and now you’re making excuses. bad excuses.

    No. i just need to stop shaking, uand put ibn some time at the range. yeah. that’s probably it.

    I need money. I need to put myself togeher.t that’s my goal. stop getting off track.

    I met someone else, she signs. Phonesha. Phonica? HhhhhHHHH WHY CAN’T I SPELL. STUPID STUPID IDIOT. Anyway she signs! And uses a plamsa riflle. Plasma. Rifle. Learn. To. Spell. Put me on esge. Then talking… she’s between jobds. Jobs. I can relate. They got to talking and the topic went to relying on family… Family. Heh. Ahe, hahahaha. I don’t even know if I want to talk about it with myself.

    I miss my girls. Do they miss me? Does it matter? I’m all but dead to them. One of them is off on her own, she’s married now, and the other… she probably doesn’t even remember me. It’s for the best blue. You’re a terrible mother. You can’t even tajke care of yourself.

    Is that all I do? I just pity mmyself. What about all the harm I’m doing to people around me? I get so angry sometimes, or confuswed. I almost hit that tri… stop. Stop doing that, stop throwing around those slurs. You’re better than that. For fucks sake you have hylotl friendds, how would they feel? I almost hit that hylotl. Not the first time… I almost stabbed my frirend, remember? She let me have a place to stay and I repaid it by trying to fucking murder her. I don’tt know if I can ever forgive myself for that. Even confised…. No. No more pity, stop dsredging up the past. Move forward. Be better. I’m going to trry.

    >End log
    [Enter filename]
    >Log 850413
     
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  4. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    [Initializing…]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Blue
    [Please enter password.]
    >*******
    [Please enter action.]
    >Create textlog
    [Creating…]
    Quet. Quet? Quiet. I’ve been keeoping quiet. Not that way, I mean to myself. I’ve been staying at my place. Taking care of my pl;ants. They’re not so bad when they aren’t tryuing to kill you.

    Belle canme over and helped me clean up, it feels so much niver. Niceer. Fuck it. Actually got me a mirror, wanted to get me rufgs for the concrete. I said no of coourse. I don’t want to step on her toes. But we spent some time cleaning after I cooked, and acfter… right.

    You cried your eyes out, remember? It was just a song. But she sang it so wel;. Just, everytghing. Sstop neing such a sadsack, move on, positivity remember? Stop moping about your vopivve VOICE. Can’t even spell vcoice. Stay positive.

    Hey, she liked your coojking. Mo,m’s hybrids finally working for good. I shouldf think about what she said, cooking sells out here,. Ha, maybe I could go tto cul… food school. But me and knifes don’t mix. No. That’s not rihgt. Knives and I? I think. I hhate my – no. positive. I could give it a job. Try. Words. It’s all jjust words. Words wrodds wprds. What do ywords mean? wHat’s the point? No. bnap. figure it out ttomorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    //The letters repeat for several pages.//
    [Low battery!]
    [Critical battery!]
    [Saving work as log: 850418]
    [Shutting down...]
     
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  5. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    [Initializing…]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Blue
    [Please enter password.]
    >*******
    [Please enter action.]
    >Create textlog
    [Creating…]
    losing track od time in tedious day tod ay chores. Hvan’t been tmessaging people as often as I should. Probably for the best with my rtack record. People I’m close to end up hurt, though it thankfully hasn’t happened yet/. Gotta write this all out before I forget it, everything is so disjointed. Tall dark and scarf-y came over for a visit and brought bread, very thoughtful. It was good, the company, the food too. I’m surprised at how over time I got so secluded again.

    You should message Belle again, it’s been a little while. Maybe. No, I should. I should.

    I’m worried about my implant. Sti;; broken and my head is hurting more often than it isn’t now, my memory’s gotten worde. Talked about getting it fixed with Xex. Fuck. Can’t rremember her full name right now. Can’t rember what ha[[ened after we left the hot spring either. I think we takled about getting my implant ficed? What happened first though, I think we went for a walk, then to the spring, then ate? No we didn’t, that was someone else. God my head is killing me. I need it fixed soon, but i’m too fucking afraid to be

    fuck it, “not awakw” with a dr poking aroumd in my head. Scary to think about being defenseless like that. I think I asked people to stay with me while I had it done though. Did I ask two people? Archer and Xex? I dont’ know.

    Been trying some target practice though, remember inviting Belle over to shoot rifles. Should do that soon. I’m getting better! I might be as good as I used to be thouhg it is going to take a while.

    To do-

    Msg Belle

    talkt o Atlas drs.

    Go shooting w/Belle

    Find that synthesizer necklace / get one like the one Viv had. That should help with getting a voice back.

    Maybe I should get something nice for myself too, or eat out or something. Cooking all the time is getting tedious.


    OH I FORGOT
    being given a second chance. I might be able to make up for satbbing her – no, almost stabbing. Stabbed myself instead like a idiot. But I need to be on my best. Soon. Fix my implant very verr soon.

    >End log
    [Enter filename]
    >Log 850413
     
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  6. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    [Initializing…]
    [Please enter username.]
    >Blue
    [Please enter password.]
    >*******
    [Please enter action.]
    >Create textlog
    [Creating…]

    Sittitting in the Atlas waiti – not the waitig roomit’s adifferent room. This gown is cold/. getting surgeyr to fix my impnt soon. It’s really busy though so I need to wati but that;s ok. I have some messages typed up and ready to sennnd to people. Kind of scared right nw. I shound ave come alone. It was stipid.

    Should be able to tlak aftr this though, I got a necklce that can synnthetize voisounds.

    Gofd my head hurts. Waana go home.

    I need to stay and get fixesd. The dr said it would be a while, maube I should sleep. Get some rest befor e everything.

    >End log
    [Enter filename]
    >Log 850519
     
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  7. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    There's another folder here - audio logs. They play automatically in sequence, one snippet after another, all saved with only the date and time of creation.
    I've had it. I'm fed up with the constant killing and violence and those god damn shifters. I quit! I'm safe here. This bunker has everything I'd need to live several lifetimes, a workshop, a lab, and a couple boxes full of books. I just need to get the hydroponics system finished and I won't have to go out into that hell for groceries anymore.
    ...
    Update: the hydroponics are done! I'm already starting to work on growing the basics - plenty of potatoes, leafy greens, a whole variety! Things are coming together nicely. In a little while I'll be able to let things run themselves! Good thing, too. I'm doing one last thing before I stop going out into the fringe. Fixing my voice! Really fixing, not just this dumb necklace.
    ...
    I'm not too fond of the synthesized tone on the edge of my voice. I know I can reduce it when my vocal cords start to get used to making sounds again, but that's probably a while off. Still! I didn't expect to be this happy to talk again! Belle is going to be so surprised when she visits!
    ...
    I'm starting to settle into a routine. Not that that's bad! I'm doing everything I should be. I wake up at 6am and shower. At half past I go make breakfast with either bliny or semolina. At around 7 it's time to start checking the hydroponics and make sure nothing is diseased or rotting, then I go do a walk around the outside to see what needs to be fixed. Once a week I stay inside instead and fix up my arm and leg though. By then it's usually time for lunch, usually I just make something with rice. Once I finish washing up I'll sit down with a book - I'm only thirteen chapters into "My brother-in-law's brother is my beloved" but it's starting to get really good. And then I spend some time in the workshop! Messing with the haptics in my limbs, adjusting their power draw, and seeing what I can take in or out to keep it the same weight as my other arm. When I start to get hungry again I'll whip something up and then while it's cooking I'll make a dessert. I don't actually eat much of it usually, but that's fine! It just means I have something nice on the days Belle stops by.
    ...
    It's been a few weeks since my little isolation started. So far so good! The mornings are getting a little colder, so I've started checking the hydroponics before breakfast. The heater in there is a little old and sometimes the pipes start to fill with slush. Nothing bad enough to break the system, but I'm going to fix it tomorrow. Wait, not tomorrow. Belle usually comes by around this time of the week, when she does stop by that is. In two or three days, then! I wish I'd gotten to it sooner though. I don't think the citrus fruits are doing well with the temperature.
    ...
    There’s a gap in the recordings with a few corrupted files - it looks like a span of around two or three months.
    ...
    The oranges finally died. I managed to save some of the others at least! On top of that, I noticed that the plants were diseased anyway and the chill kept it from spreading, so... silver linings! I'm finding it easier to look at positives in here, now that I'm not afraid for my life on a regular basis, or worse! It's funny, really. I kind of miss some things, but being able to walk around without my armor on is really liberating! I haven't pulled it off the rack in weeks and I don't regret it. Uh... I fixed the heater, and the nexus link. It's enough to let me message people, not that I have anyone to message. Belle already comes by, and it's nicer to talk face to face than send things over the nexus. Everyone else is... Well, they're gone. They're all gone.
    ...
    I'm not really keeping track of time anymore. It just... doesn't seem important. Things are running like clockwork around here, so I've taken to disassembling the machinery around the bunker and puzzling it back together. It's so satisfying, when things just click in place and it works again! Lately I've been working on patching up the heat dispersal system so the bunker is better hidden, I spotted that the thermals were getting into visible levels. It's such a complicated puzzle, but I'm working it out! On top of that I'm done working on my shell for when I eventually update my arm!
    ...
    Well, just my luck. A tiny meteorite smacked right into the nexus link. I'm not too broken up about it, since I never used it, but it's trashed to the point I wouldn't even bother trying to fix it. I'd definitely try harder if there were more people to message, but... They're all dead. Everyone but Belle. Dead, or gone far enough I won't see them again.
    ...
    The books aren’t really holding my interest anymore. I can already tell that I’m starting to lose it, a little. Working keeps me grounded, at least. The lab, my workshop, both of those still make sense. I’m not as intuitive with the chemicals, I have to sit down and do the calculations. It’s… boring. But the work makes sure I’m sane at least. Ha! Small mercies.
    ...
    Belle came by again today. It was nice! I didn’t realize I needed to talk to someone so much. I found myself just talking and talking – babbling, almost. She was polite! I knew I was talking too much, but it was so nice to have someone listening. I might… I might just talk out loud, just to get it out of my system before her visits.
    ...
    I’ve used stuff like this before you know. Have you heard of “rubberducking?” It’s when you explain a concept you’re struggling with to an outside observer – but in the absence of one, you substitute a prop. Well, I don’t have a rubber duck, so talking out loud will have to do. Life is… completely, unbearably boring. Yesterday I got so frustrated I put down my book, got up, and completely dismantled the toaster, named all the parts and checked against the manual, put it together, and then I did the same thing with half the other appliances. It was so thrilling to do something I completely forgot to eat – or sleep. I woke up when my alarm went off, sitting in the middle of what I think is supposed to be a prosthetic hand made entirely from silverware. It was…. Incredibly worrying. I think… I think I should stick to the schedule, from now on. It’ll be something constant that I can use as a form of grounding.
    ...
    I’m starting to get worried, it’s been over two weeks since Belle came by. If my fucking nexus link weren’t smashed I’d probably be sending messages anywhere I could to see if she’s okay. It’s gotten even colder outside, and when I tried to go use the teleporter to physically look the keypad was iced over. I’m suiting up in my armor, hopefully the torch still has fuel.
    ...
    Stupid! God damn stupid FUCKING idiot, I melted the keys together trying to get the ice off. And now, now I can’t even go out and see if- if she’s…
    The log deteriorates into tearful sniffing, ending in sobs.
    ...
    It’s been… about five days now. Since my last recording. I’m starting to realize just… just how alone I am right now. The snow is piling up in the valley, I’m nearly snowed in completely. Not that it matters. I can’t even bear to go in the front room anymore. I spent… god, hours, just looking at the mural. Just… thinking. Belle was my last tie to the outside world, and she’s… either hurt, dead, or left. I’m not sure which is worse. No, no, that’s not true. I hope she’s okay, or will be okay. But, no matter why it is, she’s not here, and now I’m… alone! With my thoughts. Fuck me.
    ...
    It’s been dead quiet for a few days now. I barely recognized my own voice when I started the last version of this log. I didn’t bother keeping it. The snow let up a little, so I went out to check the keypad. I really fucked it up, and there’s no replacements ready made. I think I can hack up some old tech for keys and cobble something together, but it was still a stupid mistake. I was just worried, and I wasn’t thinking. Fuck. And now I’m seeing things, I think. Shadows moving around corners, doors opening when they shouldn’t. I thought I saw Misha walking in the hall once, too. The waves on the mural moving. I can’t stay here but I can’t leave! I don’t even want to leave. I just don’t want to be alone.
    ...
    I don’t know how long it’s been since I recorded something. It’s like time just… isn’t real anymore. Deja vu… did I say this before? No time, no nothing, just me and Zip! I got him at the Zephyr festival, a… few months ago, I think? God, that’s weird to think about. Has it already been months? It barely feels like time’s gone by. I wish I had a calendar now, actually. Where was I? Zip. This cute little plush I got, that day I went to the… to the festival, with…. With Belle. It’s been a long time since she visited. Talking helps. About what? Nothing, nothing at all. Just talking out loud. To myself, mostly. I’d talk to Zip, but that’d be silly. I think you only talk to things once you’re completely crazy. I – what? No, talking to myself isn’t insane. Lots of people do it. When you walk by yourself, or – well, when you’re alone. Wait, I think I heard the door. Hello? Helloooo?! Who’s there? . . . Anyone?
    ...
    Desperation tints the rushed torrent of words, but they’re plainly being spoken in a cheerful tone.
    I can’t stand it, I can’t, I keep hearing the door and it sends jolts of hope through my chest and I just get so happy and then I look and it’s never true! After the last time I just, just felt something break. And now I – I don’t want to stop that smile I had when I got up to go check. I’m afraid, afraid I’ll forget how.
    There’s a mirthless, derisive laugh.
    Stupid. Buuuut, I can’t deny that I’m feeling a little better since I started keeping this up! It’s a lie, a little lie. You know? Smiling means you’re happy. Maybe if I do it enough, I’ll believe it? It can’t really hurt, and at this point I’d… I’d do anything.
    ...
    After 49 minutes of silence and distant sounds, there can be heard distant singing to the tune of an old folk song. It describes every single piece comprising the makeup of Blue’s cybernetics, down to individual fasteners. Following the song there’s indistinct sounds of conversation, rattles of metal components, and footsteps.
    I’m going out to fix the teleporter, be back soon!
    Upbeat humming grows near, then fades into the distance as the source moves out of earshot.
    ...
    Have you ever looked up at the stars? Really looked, not just for a couple minutes. They’re beautiful, and there’s so many. But when you think about it, how far apart are all of them? Millions and millions of miles at least! I was outside last night for… gosh, probably hours. Just looking up. I wonder if there was anyone else looking at the same stars. Is there anyone else? Maybe the shifters came back and everyone’s dead. Maybe the Ruin decided Earth wasn’t enough. Who knows! Not me!
    There’s a bubbly laugh, going on for longer than is strictly necessary, or comfortable to hear.
    I completely forgot that I was supposed to be fixing the teleporter! But, the schedule is important! It’s almost six am, and then I can wake up and go check the hydroponics. I’ll fix this after breakfast!
    ...
    Blue hums a jaunty tune, with the sounds of something mechanical being tinkered with in the background.
    The leg bone’s connected to the, type sixty-two mechanical prosthetic housing! The type sixty-two mechanical prosthetic housing is connected to the -… it doesn’t flow right! Fuck! Ooh, wait, I think… there!
    A whirr of machinery coming to life is immediately followed by an unhinged giggle, the woman plainly giddy. As the fit comes to a stop, the telltale sound of an incoming teleport drowns out the last stifled laughs.
    Belle! I did it, I fixed my teleporter! Now I can go look fo-r-… BELLE! You’re okay!
    Whatever recording device is being used, it impacts something hard, skitters across it, and tumbles to a stop. Muted sounds of elated conversation make their way onto the recording, the voices fading indistinctly before long. The recording continues for a few hours, only picking up audio near the end. Another sound of teleportation is heard, followed by a couple scraps of Blue’s voice and a laugh before the recording ends.

    Hello again!! I bet you thought I forgot about making recordings, didn’t you? Well I didn’t! I’ve just been so busy lately! Belle came back! She got hurt, someone… someone really hurt her. It made me mad, really mad, but I was so happy that she was alive, that she came back, it was hard to keep from smiling the whole time she was here. I guess I didn’t forget how after all, haha! What was- right. She’s in a wheelchair right now. Her back was broken, but she’s actually recovering! I offered her my help but she didn’t want it – not that I can blame her! She’ll probably eventually get use of her legs back, and it’s hard to heal from a full cybernetic augmentation. I think I’ll make something nice for her, next time she comes by. Maybe my old – old family recipe! The declaration is stumbled, Blue catching something from slipping. She lets out a giggled laugh, the audio suffering from a faint doppler effect for a moment. Syrniki. It’s perfect! She’ll love it! Oh, I’ll start working on it now!

    Distant singing can be heard, a few bars of a folk tune in an old earth language before the audio registers to the device.
    Translating...

    Alexandra! Alexandra, it is ours
    This lovely city!
    It’s become our fated journey!
    Let us gaze into it’s face!
    Oh, whatever happened, happened
    Let this place our sorrows dampen!
    It becomes us to be happy, at the place called garden ring!

    Indistinct speech is followed by laughter, trailing off into the distance.

    Just as good as I remember! I almost even took them out to her! But, haha, I- hahahaha! Ahh, I couldn’t! I got to the teleporter and froze. How can I say I’m alone if I won’t even, haha, go out and try to talk to anyone? It’s funny! A funny girl in a little funny bunker in a little funny corner of the galaxy so why aren’t I laughing? Maybe it isn’t really funny. Maybe the funny part is that I’m going to go out and everything will be fine and everyone will be back! And-and I’ll have just, ha, hahaha- h-hahahahaha!
    Further, wild laughter continues for several minutes, eventually quieting into sobs.

    I’m not questioning if I’m sane anymore! I’m very sure I’m not, actually, because if I were I wouldn’t have asked myself the question! My own little diary for my own little descent into insanity! Insanity, obscurity, insecurity, absurdity, all of the above and more~! I heard someone screaming the other day, and imagine my surprise when I checked the security cameras and it was me. There’s a deranged giggle. Crazy, right? Belle’s started to say I should go out in public again. I think she’s right, I just, I just need a little bit. I’ve been around long enough, at least, to know that if I’m going to go out and talk to people I need to be able to pretend to be sane! Maybe Zip can help me practice.

    There’s a snippet of about 10 minutes with Blue saying “Hello” with different levels of enthusiasm, tone, and volume. After the first 30 seconds it becomes unnerving.

    Hello! How are you? . . Oh, that’s good! . . No, no thank you, I don’t drink much – no, no, no! The bar is the only place people go, you have to drink at least a little bit! Even if I would rather have juice or hot cocoa. Try it again. Hello! How are you? Oh, that’s good! Sure! I’d love to try a drink!

    Coaching myself back to sanity is… hard. It’s always a step forward a step back – like a dance! If I force myself to act completely sane all the time I’ll probably just go crazy again. Double crazy? If you go double crazy do you just go sane again? Whatever! I just have to try! The last time Belle came over she looked sad. She said it was nothing, but I think it might have been me. I sat down and thought about it for a while – I have a lot of time to think. I don’t think I could watch her deteriorate alone, not without dragging her someplace outside – someplace safe! With… with friends… I need to go out and make new ones.

    Okay! Let’s see… concussion pistol, check. Knife, check. Flashbang, double check! Credits… where did I leave them? Fine, no credits, where did I – no, no. Osi? Do they still use osi? Whatever! I’ll just not take any money. If I need anything then I can just figure something out!
    Blue laughs, a wild, manic sound.
    Armor… fuck it! If she dies, she dies! Here goes!
    [There’s a shorter, barked laugh, and the sound of an activating teleporter.]
     
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  8. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Another audiolog, lying next to the first. A simple number 2 is marked on it’s side.

    First day back into the wild fringe yonder, and it went quite well! I had fun, met some new friends, old friends, met another cyborg – Mae, I believe was her name, had some drinks! There’s a deranged giggle. It’s like I never left! Same old fringe, just with new faces. They’re good faces, too! The landscape, it’s all changed, changing, but… sigh

    My heart hurts when I think about how many of them will be gone in even a year. It’s, chto, the same bittersweet at every turn. Again, she sighs, deeper this time, with more melancholy. Even the alcohol tastes sour, it’s not the same since the Bliss. Yet… when in Rome! Ah. Time to tend the plants.
    ...........................
    I can’t believe it! Xexanoth, she’s here and alive and safe. All but leading Atlas, even. When did that happen? Apparently everyone thinks I’ve been gone over a year! It can’t be that long, the days… I don’t… it can’t have been that long. Maybe months, yes, but not that long. Can it?
    If it is, then I really have lost my mind. Then again, is that such a bad thing? I feel fine, ha! Better than fine! I’m the happiest I’ve been in… I don’t know! She cackles out laughter, audibly flopping onto a soft surface. Xexanoth, and Belle – oh, yes! Xex got promoted. Did I say that already? I did, didn’t I. Prosti, the fringe is such a whirlwind. Someone fired a shot and I all but jumped out of my skin, I forgot that it’s so commonplace. I don’t usually hear them except for when I’m practicing, now.

    There was something else… chto, chto…. The small robot, and the cyborged Avian with the hat. Mir? They had a duel, and it was beautiful. They fought with so much grace, and skill, it was almost a shame when it ended. It was like a dance – I found myself watching it over again just to see what they did! I may even add the small one to the training room, see if I can’t react quickly to someone smaller than myself.
    Where was I? Ah! I have money, now! I fixed up Mae’s arm, it desperately needed a cleaning – so I took care of it! Such a lovely piece, too, fitted with a biogenerator and everything. I feel like I’ll be able to get by on little jobs like that, I hope at least. It was a long day, and I’m ready to rest now. Time to sleep.
    ...........................
    I got to see Lkzi today! Oh, and Dave is still around! He’s as red as ever. I’m already settling in out there, it’s just like old times. Stability in the chaos, or something! Just the right blend of sedatives and adrenaline to keep things lurching into the next day, and the next, and so on.
    Rose is still around, too. Lots of familiar faces! Some I knew before I was Blue, but they don’t seem to remember me. Just as well! If it’s really been as long as they’re saying, then there was no reason to remember another face in the crowd.
    ...........................
    The fringe is stranger and somehow more familiar than before. I spent five and a half hours being hugged by someone I think is part panda! I haven’t seen one in such a long time, ha, hahaha, lifetimes even! She laughs at her own joke, for quite some time. I barely know her, even, but I… it really has been over a year! Nineteen months, twelve days, and sixteen hours. That long without, aha! No social contact. Aside from Belle! I think Archer showed his face in that time, but he may have been one of the hallucinations! There’s no way to tell. No way to tell, just no way! The cyborg giggles with a synthetic buzz to the sound. The girl, <eto>, Miyoko. She seems nice. Lethargic, and a blank slate – Like she was created, not raised. Poor girl. It seems like Belle is protecting her – I did, too! Now I know for certain I’ve lost it, drawing my gun and shooting it to keep people from disturbing her nap. Ha! Everything made sense in the moment, even if it was my own selfish wants. I only… I missed the contact. God, I missed it.
    ...........................
    I think I’m glad to be crazy! Or maybe I’m perfectly sane, and it’s everyone else! She giggles, dragging the sound on. I know it’s fucked up, but this Deadbeat had a severed hand and gave a high five with it. I don’t know what I was feeling! I wanted to laugh, I wanted to run, to fight, it… blyat, It looked like mine. I’ll take a few days, right my head, if I can! At least Miyoko was there, and didn’t see. Having a focus helped! Such a help…
    I cracked a little, in front of Mae. It was all I could do to stay at least a little composed until I made it home, and there… Well. I’m glad I live alone!
    ...........................
    Rose is alive! Alive, and oh how she twists the knife! She cackles, trailing off with a sigh.
    I can’t deny that the cybernetics feel less alive, but they don’t – I’m not less human. I can’t be, I have to be… not the same, no, not the same, eto… but not less human! I’m human. I’m still me, still… I have to be. I have to. I have to. Ha, h- haha, hahahahahahaha! No, no I got over this, I’m over it! I’m okay, I was okay why why why why why….
    A saccharine, strained voice gratingly takes over her tone.
    I’m okay. I’m okay! Just breathe… count down… aaaand smile!
    ...........................
    Today I take a break. I’m taking, a break. My arm and leg are off, for now – I think I’ll just...polish them by hand, this time. Do something monotonous and simple with my hand to take my mind away. It’s better than Bliss, I don’t need it. I’ve been clean! Yes, yes I’m sure – tch. You- I have to stop. It’s not normal, not healthy to talk to myself. Then again, I’m just talking out loud right now. That never hurt anyone, at least probably not! She trails off, giggling.
    ...........................
    Note to self! Mae likes fantasy books. I’ll sort through what I have and send a few her way! Not that… Not that one. Or that one. Or that one….
    ...........................
    He’s not scary. He’s not scary. He’s not scary. Don’t think about it, just don’t think about it! It’s that easy, you stupid, stupid, stupid, just-! Rrgh! I could… the implants, I could make them filter the hisses? Force translation? I hate this! I’m not wrong, I – He’s… He’s floran. I-I can’t just… play nice! I don’t have to explain myself. But I could see how much it hurt him, and I-… It’s treading thin ice to watch every movement afraid that he’s just- But it’s Belle, and she trusts him! I have to-to try, but I can’t just forget all of that. Everything. Thinking of him as – it’s hard. Changing the way I think about a species – no. No, the rest are… just him. Easier, much easier.

    Maybe. Maybe, I could just… the projectors! Ha, hahahahaha! Easy! I just… chto… exposure therapy. He’s small, bright colors… I could do that. Yes.
    ...........................
    I went to the carnival today. It was nice, even if.. ah, no matter. Xex was there too, and the day was good. She gave me a lot to think about – the Ruin, even. It’s coming our way, apparently, and there’s a fight soon. I think… I want to help? It’s funny. I had nothing on Earth. Nothing left for me, I couldn’t have gone if I wanted to! But having it gone still feels like it was taken from me. She starts to giggle derangedly. Why this? Why pick the most hopeless fucking fight possible? Did nothing else take enough from me?! Atlas – their soldiers. They’re everything I hate, hated about the USCM. Hatred so deep it’s quite literally genetic! No, I have to – they’re not mine, those aren’t my memories, I have to let it go. They didn’t… not me. What was I..?
    Petersb- no, no, now I’m confusing them! The carnival. The seaside, Xex and I – yes. We went to ride the ferris wheel. Talked about.. nothing. I had a good time. I even managed to apologize, to Chalk. Progress is… slo-
    The sound of a materializing hologram distantly reaches the recorder at the same time there’s a clatter of movement, amid a yelled “Jesus fuck!” from Blue. Breathing fast, she yells out an on-edge “Hi! Hi! End program!”

    Slow! I’m trying, but bozhe moi, they’re still scary!

    I- god. I need something stronger than chamomile. Valerian? . . . I’m sure Corenne made something. I don’t remember, so I’ll have to check the labels. This – damn, the tape’s used up. This is enough for one, I gue-!

    End Log.
     
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  9. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Another log cluster, grouped together.

    “I realized something today. I got so… agitated when Belle was hurt, I forgot I took parts from Dioge’s projector to fix the teleporter. And that is why I don’t have a real cat, poor sweetheart. I thought it had only been a few days! Not… months. Is that why it’s been so quiet? It feels like it was yesterday he was knocking over my glasses and getting after me for messes… well. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt.”
    ...
    “What are the chances! Mae’s friends with Xexanoth too – not that I’m surprised, seems like she’s friends with everyone! Things are getting busier – Dioge is back and just as affectionate as ever, and Mae.. I brought her here. I’m trying not to think about it! She’s… Xexanoth is friends with her. She can’t be bad. So I have nothing to worry about! Hahaha! She’s… she’s good. I told her my name. I told her my name. It felt… good. It might be…… but he might still be here. Stupid. I should have… stupid! I need to do.. I don’t know! I don’t – hi, Dioge. Aw. Who’s a good kitty, c’mere…”
    The rest of the entry is comprised of purring and foreign affectionate mumbling.
    ...
    The log opens with a soft giggle.
    “Belle and I watched a movie, the other night. That was a nice evening, but then today! Mir got attacked by robot pants.
    She giggles again, continuing.
    “And there was a new person… <chto>, what was- Samantha! A hybrid, like Miyoko, but not. Cat ears, and a tail, and a few other similar augments… strong, too. She called herself a catgirl, and the description seems appropriate! What else… Belle’s planning on boxing in the league, soon, and she’s practicing for that. I’ll try and go to watch!”
    ...
    “The fridge. I have to – They can walk through them. How??! How?! I need to… A lock. I need to lock it, if anyone could just… A lock.”
    ...
    “I tried boxing. I’ve been… slacking. Or not eating enough, or not – doesn’t matter! I boxed Xander, and won, but doing it left me winded and a good hit… well. I need to start using the projector room again! Not the old programs, though. Too much – I could give them all silly hats!”
    The old familiar giggle sounds out.
    “Started planning a girl’s night, too. That’ll happen soon, maybe. After the ruin. Xex is… she’s going to fight it. I hope she wins. If.. if not, then I hope there is a god.”
    ...
    The voice in this log is a far cry from upbeat, both infuriated and on the verge of tears.

    “Human meat. Human meat. Every time, EVERY time I try to – to see them as anything but monsters th-they...”
    She lets out a choked laugh, breaking down into tears.
    “I can’t. I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I-I-I-… I smelled it and I thought I w-wa-was just hallu-ou-ucinating again-n but it was real.”
    The miserable sounding laugh that follows deteriorates into a deranged sound, sobs intermingled.
    ...
    It’s a longer time period than normal between logs before the next datestamp. Blue’s tone is rather flat, in this one.
    “I got invited to a barbecue. With-… with Belle. And Chalk. Part of me is screaming, and another part… if I say no, will they ask me again? The… meat. I c-can’t, not this soon. I-it’s fresh in my goddamn mind. hh-. Ha… haha…. it-it’s all so fresh, I’m even missing my arm again, I – stupid. Now I have to fix it, because I needed to win something and didn’t just let it go.”
    There’s a lull in the recording, the only sound being steadying breaths from the cyborg. Flowing like oil, the smile on her face coats her tone as she forcefully starts back up.
    “Oh well! I just have something to keep me busy! And an excuse to stay home for a few days, until I can… ha, ahaha! I just need to put myself together. Literally!”
    She trails off with a deep laugh, eventually trailing off to coldly sigh and end the entry.
    ...
    click.
    “Note to self. Blue. Kristina. Look into therapy.”
    click.
    ...
    “No, no, I don’t – what was I thinking! I’m fine. I-I’ll be fine. I just need to take some time, go out less for a time. Time, time…. I don’t need to. I’m not… I’m not – no. It’s not insane if you have a reason for the things you do, right? Everything – it’s been reasonable! The shifters, they were – killing, indiscriminately. So I left. The p- ff- Florans have… They’re not all bad. They’re not, they’re – I… She .. I trust Belle. I-I can do this. I can do it. I can be nice. Chalk seems nice. He’s nice I’m nice everyone’s nice! Nice to be nice to the nice.
    She barks out a wild laugh, the audio dopplering as she rocks back and forth.
    “No, no I’m fine. Talking to myself, I- I was lonely. I just lost track of time because there’s no sunrise or set in here. Humming, and singing, and-and walking to a rhythm – I’m just listening to music! Quiet music. Has to be, it’s in my head.”
    She giggles softly.
    “I’m not… I’m not crazy, right? They’re all – I’m not. I just- I just want to be happy, and I can’t leave. God damn Corenne. Drugs, drugs don’t work, they don’t – I can’t make them go through that again. I could – no. That’s just natural drugs, making a dopamine ss… chto… stimulator. I don’t want one of those, not again never again never again. I just want to be happy, is that too much to ask? Seeing them, meeting new people… it makes me feel better. I… it isn’t safe. So far from it.”
    “Happy and safe, happy or safe. God help me, I choose happy.”

    End log.
     
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  10. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Begin Log.


    I don’t need anyone knowing what I’m thinking. What’s… rattling around in my head. It’s too much, there’s too much! God, what if this is normal now? What if I- she – Humans aren’t meant to be alive this long! No, no, no, that’s not why I started this log. Sam, and Xex; they – no, that’s not what happened. Yet? This is what I get for not making a log.

    The barbecue was… nice. I had a good time, actually! Belle put in so much effort, and I could tell… Chalk was trying to be nice. Polite, at least. It- It isn’t my fault I’m afraid!
    There’s a quiet sniff.
    I can’t help it. I’m trying. I didn’t even flinch and he was only a few feet away so it’s working! It’s really working...
    The cyborg starts to quietly laugh, the mirthful sound carrying her through.

    And now I’m a model! Sam wanted to apply but she was nervous so I just got caught up in the moment and sent one in too! It felt good, and we both got replies. Her outfit looked amazing, and I’m in love with mine. The sweater feels so nice! I think I can make one here, too – keep the good one for nicer things, places where it won’t get soaked in blood. Just putting on a new look made me feel like I was happy again, what have I been doing down here? Surviving, not living. I want to live, again. I don’t…. I don’t know.

    . . .



    I’m already getting recognized from the photos! It’s strange, to think about. It’s… oh god. What did I do? I just plastered my face all over the fringe, the face I share with a murderer. Don’t think about it. Just… don’t worry. Nothing bad has happened. Live, not survive.

    Right! I got recognized. Someone tall and in armor, named Thomas Dickhead. Maybe it’s a fake name. I don’t know, or care! I went by Blue for years – I stopped though. Did I already say that? Blyat. This is why I make these, so I can recall instead of watching the footage of my own life.

    Thomas! Right. She’s a… eto… high end bot. The intricacy! Just beautiful. Someone went and bashed her face in for some reason though. I think she’s been flirting, too, but just to mess with me. I’m sure I’ll figure out more when I fix up her face.
    . . .
    That was an interesting conversation! She’s…
    The voice breaks into bubbly giggles.
    Some things make more sense now. She kissed my arm when she finished polishing my fancier one, her end of the mechanical trade – I kind of like the look, though! Not forever, but… it’s cute.
    . . .
    I almost lost it on Thom- Cebey. Fake name. Snuck up on me and grabbed me! I’m fine, everything’s fine, though. The trip out got better though, a group of us went to the Obsecrian embassy. The orange juice was delicious! Belle and Chalk were there too – he didn’t know I was a cyborg!
    She starts giggling at that.
    How funny is that? Ah, so much happening now – I work for Xexanoth, now, too!
    Atlas by name, but… I have Xex’s assurance that history won’t repeat. That I can put Corenne behind me. Nobody’s come looking for me since that modeling shoot, so I think she might be right. It’s such a weight gone from my shoulders!
    . . .
    A cat. With human ears. God save us all.

    Cebey took the worst of it this time, she lost an arm, and got her face bashed in again!. Luckily she knows me! I was able to get her fixed up good as new before too long. Eto, there was – Shine! Yes, Shine. What an introduction. He’s bold, I’ll say! Threatening to shoot Yaretzi, everyone even, if I didn’t give him – a synth – money and food. I’m glad he canceled my call for help, or things could have gotten ugly!
    She laughs quietly.
    What’s the point in living if you’re not alive, right!?
    There’s another few seconds of laughter before the log ends.
    . . .
    I – ha, I’m starting to understand why Cebey keeps getting damaged. I try to fix her up, and what does she do! Threaten to hit me with the gravfist I just gave her, over a joke.
    She starts to giggle quietly, unable to help from letting it intensify.
    It was a funny joke! I even made her blush, and she’s been trying this whole time to make me blush. Ahh… And then she freaked out that I was ready to defend myself. Sure, an EMP would have fucked us both over, but – tch. I don’t know. No, not the joke… the story. A story my mother’s mother’s mother told her, and… I don’t have to keep doing things if no one is happy for them. I should take care of myself.

    So why do I keep laughing? No – don’t, it’s working I- I feel better it’s working.
    . . .
    Note to self, Endy Klein. Red hair, put on edge by crowds, unwilling to have injuries seen to… ha. Sound familiar, Kristina?

    At least I know about the apothecary now! There are these, chto… health potions? I hope I never need one, but it’s good to carry. And the blood! I can’t believe how stingy the hospital was with it…
    . . .
    The last few days have been busy! My bracer design was implemented – the hardlight is so useful, having every tool in one! I can’t wait to use it more…
    . . .
    The log opens with soporific-fueled giddy laughter. It’s immediately evident she’s either drunk or on some form of painkiller.
    Owwwwwwwwww…. I broke my arm! Well…. I didn’t. But it’s not really Cebey’s fault either! Just an accident! Not a joke, though, she said is.. chto, if she ever said she’d hurt me it was a joke but she didn’t say she would! She just fell.

    I laughed myself unconscious. I didn’t even know I could do that! Ha, ahaha, hehehehehe!

    Ahhhh, cyka, you’re not well! Keeping up a charade like this, why? Who am I doing this for. For me? It doesn’t feel like a lie anymore, smiling… laughing… I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but it feels nice. That’s… that’s a good enough reason to keep doing it, right? It feels… nice.

    End Log.
     
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  11. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Begin log!

    I just spent two hundred and eighty osi. On a kilogram of sugar. It sounds as though it’s worth it, from what Blair said, so that’s why…
    There’s a metallic clatter.
    I’m making cookies! It’s been a while since I made something just this simple, but it’s easy enough… and I have flour again! I have… yes, and my substitutes… yes. I was told not to use too much, so let me just- Fuck! It’s very sweet. Okay, I can’t replace the sugar with this… but I can probably put on a little on top while it’s in the last few minutes of baking. So, this is a good time to be making this log…
    The baking prep noises intensify.
    This is harder than I thought, my arm still hurts. Stupid, I should’ve taken something for the pain. I’ve – It’s okay. It’s okay! I’ve been in pain before, I can handle it. I’m –
    She emits a bubbly laugh.
    I’m a grown woman in my own right, let alone in experience. This isn’t the first time, won’t be the last! It’s not even that bad if I don’t think about it! Talking makes it easier, so maybe that’s why I – BLYAT!
    There’s a harsh crash and she fluently dips into an accented Russian dialect.
    <Motherfuck that hurts! Ahhhhhhh-ha-hahaHA god, god that hurts! Fuck, fuck fuck I know – I had something here for-for pain.>
    Pained muttering carries on through a few minutes of footsteps, and then the sound of rummaging. It keeps going for a while before voice resumes clearly. She either hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care about the lingual switch.

    <Nonaddictive. Cheap. Barely effective! Acetaminophen. It cuts the edge off at least. I’m tempted to call over someone to help with this – they’re. Aha. I just broke my arm, I don’t want to wear out my welcome so quickly. I can handle this! I’ll easily handle this, it’s just a little pain! Just a little pain.>

    There’s a pause long enough one would think it’s the interlude between logs before Kristina begins to falteringly sing, slowly working at picking up the mess made before. There’s a full hour or so of the singing as she goes through the process of mixing and then beginning to bake cookies. Finally, she begins to speak, once again using galactic common.

    They’ll be done, later. I think I’m going to lay down, until they’re done. I wish I could take something, my arm still hurts.
    . . .

    This is good! It’s very good, actually. I got tea at the alc- apothecary. I haven’t had Hylotian tea in- since, not since I was in the hospital there. It’s soothing. I’m – I miss Doctor Randamu. I’ve been thinking more about going to therapy, I’m not – this isn’t – it isn’t healthy. Is it?
    I need something sweet to go with thi- cookies.
    There’s a rustle, silence, then another rustle.
    Mmmmh… they’re so good. Everyone’s liking them so far! Belle, and – oh! She won her boxing match! I’m so happy for her, it was close! And it looked like she was… hit hard, a few times. I’m glad she’s doing better.
    I like them too, it’s hard to stop at just eating one! I think trying to live healthier is paying off, I’m feeling better.
    She giggles softly.
    That doesn’t mean I can’t have a cookie now and then though. Or… every day.
    The cyborg giggles again, for a little longer this time before trailing off.
    Oh, Xex is at her office! I’m going to go and give her some cookies – I’ll just finish this up later.
    . . .

    That was… eventful. I’m sensing a running theme with Shine, he doesn’t believe in knocking. Not that I plan to use them on him.. but I’m glad to have started work on hard contact EMPs. That’s - that’s later. Xex is doing well. I’m surprised! She has a … lot on her mind, about the Ruin. And she seemed concerned about me, am I not seeming okay? I’m – I feel good! I’m just scatterbrained right now, but I’m fine. I’m… fine. Ha. Aha, hahaha…
    She delivers a halting, hollow-sounding giggle.
    I meant it! I meant it…
    She trails off with laughter.
    . . .

    There’s a new place on the teleporter, now. Some kind of cave network and there’s a nightclub – No, eto… strip club. Someone was dancing, I didn’t pay much attention. I was having more fun dancing myself! Not – not on the pole! No, bozhe moi no. What, what happened… Xex, Dave, then Xex left – and came back with Quuma, and that’s when we met Domina Nyx! She’s a… chto, Glitch Doomlord, and my new boss. I’m now Kristina Noskova, Sophus Luminare of the House of the Eclipse. Surprise! I’m in another Glitch house, it’s all reminiscent of Taranis again. Only this time, no Florans… and I’m learning necromancy. Can you imagine? Me, a necromancer!
    She giggles, long and quietly.
    I’m excited. I’m also… about to try something new. About to, no, I took it almost an hour ago and I’m on my way outside. It’s a beautiful day, a little cloudy but just enough to make the sun less intense, and there’s a nice sunny spot in the crater halfway down to the spring – from what I hear, that’s the reason Bask got its name, for laying in the sun. Let’s see how this goes.
    . . .

    The timestamp is only ninety minutes later in the day than the previous log.
    It’s all so fucking beautiful. And this feeling, I-I… is this just the drug? Or is this just being happy? I..
    I don’t...
    I don’t know.
    She sniffs, laughs brokenly, and deteriorates into a mixture of laughing and sobbing.

    . . .

    What do I do? What do I do? I wasn’t even thinking – and I went out and bought more of this, this fucking drug. I won’t, I can’t, I can’t do this to her I need help. She- I’ll message her. I’m going to. I’m doing it!
    There’s a long, long pause, only broken by a despondent laugh.
    Judith. Judith, okay, she – she sounds nice. I’ll – I’ll talk to her and then, then maybe I can stop feeling like this. I-, no. I can’t. I trust Xex, but I can’t trust Atlas. Not that well, not to the point of where I can.. talk about some of what I have to. I don’t think that anyone would do anyth- any… I don’t know. I can’t say it, because I don’t know. I’ll… maybe I’ll find someone. I could check with Eclipse? Or someone. I don’t know. I’ll check when-wh-when I go… tomorrow.

    End log.
     
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  12. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Begin log.

    So… you’re Doctor Dentiscalpum?
    There’s the sound of bones rattling.
    It’s nice to meet you! So I just sit right here?
    Silence.
    Okay. Do you mind if I record this? I – I record a lot of things. It helps if I can listen back to it, really make sure that I actually remember instead of just checking a video archive every time I need to remember something.
    Bones rattle again.
    Not very talkative, then? That’s alright. That’s what they said, but it just means you’re a good listener, right? I’m very good at carrying on a conversation on my own, too, so this should go just fine!
    The cyborg giggles her faintly synthetic laugh.
    And I guess that you’re perfect for privacy.. you can’t exactly go telling my secrets!
    Her laugh intensifies, slowly trickling to a halt.
    So, I’ll just start talking… Miss Noskova, what brings you to see me today?
    Well, I’m… concerned I might be unstable. As… as evidenced by the fact I’m holding two sides of a three sided conversation between my, myself, and a skeleton. I’m not thinking straight.
    She continues talking, the distant crinkle of cellophane in the background.
    What behaviors are you showing that might lead you to believe that, Kristina? Well, I’m not – I keep muddling languages. I never used to have this problem, I think it’s either implant corrosion or a product of seeing the… my mother’s crew.

    There have been a lot of people asking if I’m okay, lately. Am I? It’s… a good question!
    She trails off, giggling, taking a long pause to eat something out of that package.
    I took something the other night. Bask, it’s called, it uh… eto, it’s a muscle-relaxer. Relaxes the mind, too, takes away some of the worries. I – I was happy. I’ve been living with these limbs for so long I’d forgotten that they ache, and caring so much about being safe that… Well. I took it, and I went outside. There’s a big crater, near my home, and I went and laid down in the sun and just relaxed. It was the first time in so, so long that I felt happy in my own company and wasn’t just trying to lie to myself. Then to lose that, only hours later? I…
    Another, softer giggle.
    I have to confess that I got a little agitated! I wanted to take more, but – I can’t. I can’t become an addict again, the… I’m not, not strong enough to clean up again. They say it’s not addictive, even Haven sells it, but it… worries me. Makes me think that maybe I’ve broken something, in my head. About time, da? I only have… carry the… Two hundred and forty-five years or so of fragmented memories, half of them delusions of a genius that I can’t even comprehend and the rest the paranoid machinations of a fugitive terrorist! No wonder I have a type.
    She snickers at that, breaking into a full laugh that only subsides when she eats some more.
    If you could eat I’d offer you some. These cookies are – they’re delicious. Where was I? It – it doesn’t matter. Just talking – I’m feeling better.
    The woman lets out a bubbly laugh.
    Ahhhhh, it’s even a reflex now! It feels so natural to smile and laugh. Pleasant, even, it’s small wonder the others are doing it. Oh, don’t give me that look! I don’t want to bring them down and be all morose! I don’t want to be unhappy, so I’m choosing.. to just be happy! It’s- it works. It’s working for me. I can see how they look at me sometimes, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? I know – it’s a matter of neurotransmitters, and I know the implant I’d had when.. it, it doesn’t matter! It’s out, now, I shouldn’t have the issues. It’s been out since I was Blue and it’s gone, it’s all gone, I shouldn’t -

    What the fuck am I doing? This isn’t – no, No. This is just another problem! I can… I can break it down into little pieces and solve it, I should have solved it months ago. Right? Please say- please nod yes.
    She pauses as bone rasps on bone, sighing relief.
    I’m – manic, maybe. Hallucinating, certainly. And probably depressed. They’re all symptoms, not what’s wrong. Is there something I’m not doing? I’m exercising, eating healthily, I have friends… My isolation can’t still be affecting me, can it? That’s all that I can think of. Is where I’m at so bad, though? I feel better, lately, and my playacting is coming easier to me, more naturally, like I’m barely even acting! What – Dentiscalpum, my science is technobiology, and rather more heavily on the prefix. What I know of biology, of chemistry, those memories are old and degraded. Is this all I can do? No drastic measures to be happy other than drugging myself into oblivion and hurting everyone around me? I can’t – can’t hurt them, can’t hurt her like that, not again! What do I do? I just want to be happy, Doctor, what do I do?

    There’s a long, long pause, the background scratching of quill on paper only now coming into audibility – barely on the edge of hearing this whole time. Finally the paper rustles, and is evidently turned into Kristina’s view. She looks, there’s a beat, and she starts to snicker. That snicker becomes a giggle, then a manic laugh for minutes.

    Ahhhhhh, it’s adorable! The – his clothes… ahh, ahah… audio recording, right. He – Doctor Dentiscalpum, he’s drawn… a beautiful render of a dancing skeleton in court garb, playing an ornamental trumpet. Oh, he’s pointing out… he’s smiling. I should just… keep smiling?

    The cyborg giggles madly again.

    I have been feeling better. And I’ve been smiling since I started feeling better, that… that makes sense. It makes sense!

    She laughs energetically, a bubbly, energized sound.

    Thank you! Thank you, Doctor, I… thank you.

    There’s one last tearful “Thank you” before the log ends.
     
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  13. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Begin log.

    I’m trying the advice. Just – just smiling, taking care of myself, and it’s… I’m feeling good! It’s good. Taking a day to myself, and just thinking. It’s sunny out today, I could – No! I’m trying not to get dependent on it. I’m still going to go outside and lay down, but no bask. Ahhh… the sun feels nice. Summer won’t last long, maybe only two months, I need to make it count! Tch, too late in the day for the crater, it’s already shadowy. Oh, blyat, the next best spot right now has a fucking mine. Mh…. The cave, then.
    Soft footsteps begin to sound, coming to a stop before long.
    Good decision, Kristina… She softly giggles. Ah, thank you! I don’t need a drug to feel good here, it just makes it different. It’s tempting, but I’m – better than I was. That feels good to say.
    A silence drags on, broken by the soft sounds of crinkling cellophane after a short while before resuming.
    I think I made too many cookies. They’re wonderful, but I should wait before I make more. Just so they stay, eto, special. I’m happy I made them though! Everyone’s liked them.

    The project is working out nicely! I haven’t zapped myself yet, at least.
    The cyborg lets out her usual, synthetically-undertoned laugh.
    It won’t take too much longer. Just need to safely test it! - ah, hell. It’s getting cloudy again. That means it’s time for you, recorder, to get set here – and for me to enjoy a nice soak. This’ll do for today.
    . . .
    The log opens with a singsong declaration!
    Good ne~ws~! My arm is healing up, and I made a new friend! Doctor Zelis, in the medbay – we’ve met in passing a few times, and he’s nice! He’s a…. chto, kto on.. chert. That’s going to bother me. I’ve been to the species embassy, I should be able to remember this. Obsecrian! Fascinating species. Ah, Corenne would have loved to… nh. Her studies would probably be more invasive than he’d like.
    She laughs, a little tinged with a bitter note.
    He wouldn’t deserve that. I’m glad I’m me.
    There’s a pause, then she laughs again chimingly and with a much happier tone.
    I am! God, I am. Bless Dentiscalpum. So nice… where was I? Zelis! Zelisandinaj Nir Vaelin. Very much a smiler! I don’t know him well enough to say whether it’s for the same reasons as mine, but I hope it isn’t. They don’t always reach his eyes. Speaking of those, his eyes seem sensitive – I’ll set something up so I can dim the lights If I need to. They look like they glow, even, but he has almost no pupils – yet he can see freckles on my skin? I know I don’t have any, not in the visible light spectrum. Either infrared or ultraviolet then, I’m curious to see how far! Another time, maybe. My arm feels great at least, as long as I don’t bump it or lift anything or close my hand too much. Ah, I should eat something… Almost out of my prepared things! I’m not looking forward to trying to cook for real with only one hand. Maybe I’ll try and get something from someplace… another time!
    . . .
    Zelis came by to visit while I was taking care of my leg in my office. Scared me, too.
    Kristina giggles quietly.
    It was nice to talk more, get to know him better. He is a mysterious one, and I’m guessing there’s some big mystery about his species’ technology. He won’t discuss it much at all, and it doesn’t seem to have any kind of data transmission my dataflow implant can sense. Does it work on something to do with his horns? Pheromones, or brainwaves? It’s a captivating puzzle. The horns have segments and they move, and he doesn’t want to talk about them much – all I know is that they’re sensitive, like antennae. Something to think on while I finish up work on the EMP.
    . . .
    The log cold opens to constant, stifled giggling for long minutes, every attempt to begin speaking deteriorating into maniacal giggles.
    Ahhh, bozhe moi. Two. Hundred. Forty-five. Years. And not only is cloning science reaching the point of perfect clones, but immortality of the self was just- aha, h-ha! Dumped in my lap!
    She devolves into giggling again for ages.
    Is- is this karma?! I approve – god damn Corenne and all her preceding names, giving the woman I was supposed to be a long life would be misery for countless people. But… now? Ahh…

    I’m getting ahead of myself, I need to lay this out in order. Chto, chto – Haven. Archer. God, I hadn’t seen him in so long I couldn’t even think. He looks older, now, that’s never happened before. Older, healthy, I – I missed him. Apparently a few other people did too.
    She giggles again.
    He got in a fight! I understand why. Burying a friend… we’ve both done enough of that to be sick of it, and it hurts every time. Even when they come back, you can’t… unmake that memory.

    Which reminds me. He warned me about Zelis, and Gary… I can’t- no, I don’t want to believe it.

    I decided to hear them out anyway, so we went to the embassy – the climb was a bitch with one arm.

    There, they told me… the basics. That there’s an implant – the public site calls it Velzee’s skin, and Gary called it God’s skin. It’s – they said it was like an artificial horn, applied to your spine. Somehow, it goes inside, interfaces with your mind – and then you can interact with Corru. Gary said Idril or a Jud were good people to talk with. He’s evidently a Spir, a kind of… synthetic, almost, but with corru. Zelis is a Nir, which explains his middle name. Is that how their names work? I’d need to hear more names to work out if they classify almost a hierarchy... Bozhe moi this is a lot to think on.

    What did happen next? Oh- I tried to hug Zelis. He’s apparently been running himself ragged at the hospitals, working so many jobs – I bumped one of his horns on accident and something called zelatose happened. Then – whew, that bask is really kicking in.
    The cyborg chuckles, the simple short laugh turning into a longer one.
    Then when I’m asking what happened, Gary says Obsecrian relationships are complicated!
    Already laughing, she spirals into another fit. After a couple minutes, there’s an indistinct voice.
    – mh? I’m – sorry. I don’t mean to disturb anyone! I can move – yes, yes I can move. No, I don’t need help!
    There’s a quiet sound of rustling as she laboriously stands and shuffles to a different spot, laying down again.
    Tch, “causing a disturbance.”

    I’ve lost my train of thought. Fuck, this feels nice though. The – park, on Haven. I’m in a secluded sunny spot. I was closer to the path before, stupid, I should have moved farther off. I was just tired. Now I need to watch it back… mh, that was a surprising bit of news.
    She hushes, all but inaudibly whispering.
    Mir was one of the ones behind that black hole business. Astounding, I have to ask him how he managed that, I did amateur astronomy as a hobby when I - . . . I – wasn’t me. Damn these memories. Mm, the suns feel nice though. I wonder what they’re made of… looks like an A class, and a G class – both main sequence? Thinking’s hard, I just wanna… lay here…
    She sighs softly, dropping the recorder to her chest. The rest of the two hour entry is comprised of distant noises from passersby and quiet breathing.
    . . .
    The final entry in the cluster starts with laughter. It begins mere hours after the last.
    Ahh, haha! Damn it. The ultraviolet program I tested broke my video capture! Can’t see a thing, I have to record this fresh. I went out dancing at Alibi, Tart ended up joining me – it was fun! Bozhe moi even exercise feels good on bask! A literal runner’s high!
    She giggles, sighing.
    Mh? Oh, and now Xex is messaging. This is a good night!
    The woman laughs again, trailing into silence for long moments.
    Visitant symbiosis? No, no, she’s right, I can’t just jump into things. Especially not this. Lavender Reaper, then? I’ll talk, have long talks before I even think about getting this thing.

    I’ll think about it later. All of it. Corru, Visitant, Judith… later. For now, Medicus Dentiscalpum’s advice, it’s working, and I do feel happy! Just.. going out, talking to people, being alive is helping.
    I really want - . . .
    I don’t know what I want. Am I missing something? I know that this, all of this, pretending I’m happy until I actually am this isn’t normal other people don’t do this!
    There’s a quiet couple of sniffs, the woman’s voice synthesized as she continues to speak without invoking her vocal cords.
    And now I’m crying this is just great, this is the opposite of what I want. I’m smiling, and crying and I don’t know what’s wrong I’m supposed to be happy. Am- am I broken? Is this just from thinking too much about who I was, who I was supposed to be, the kind of horrible things the emotionless bitch that made me as some kind of fucking inheritor did? And the best – the best part is that she’s me and I’m her and I don’t think I’m sane anymore!
    Kristina barks a laugh, then helplessly slips into a deranged fit of giggling.
    I don’t! I really don’t I’m just scared to say so! This has been brewing since- since Belle got hurt, I think, and I think it’s just some kind of pride and fear that’s keeping me from asking for help because I sure as hell need it!
    The fit starts back up again, sputtering at first before petering out.
    But if I know I need help do I really need help because you can’t know you’re insane!? It’s just – It’s just – It’s just- ahahahahaha!
    It’s just taking a little longer than I hoped. I did get help! He’s- he’s a therapist I should- I just- aha! I just need to let this out, this is healthy, right? You’re fine, Kristina, you’re fine, just having an emotional outburst and releasing this all in a good way, right? Right? She – Xexanoth, she trusts Judith. I’ll go. I’ll go! Not right now. I’m – two weeks. Two weeks! If I don’t feel better in two weeks I’ll go. The twenty-third of the month. Timer set in my implant and everything! Just…
    The soft giggling that follows carries an unhinged sort of note.
    Keep it together until then, okay Krissy? Just hold it together.

    End log.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  14. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Begin log.

    I can’t. I can’t go out and put on a smile, not today. I feel so anxious today, is this from the bask? I promised I wouldn’t get dependent, I have to – have to hold out. Lucky for me that you can’t really get addicted to cookies!
    The cyborg forces a giggle, the first one followed by a second more genuine cousin.
    Mmh, these really are delicious – starting to get a little stale, though. It’s good there’s only a few left. I’ll bake some more soon. But for now… sorry, cookie! You had a good run.
    She’s mid giggle as the log ends.
    . . .
    I ran into Zelis today! Not literally. The poor dear doesn’t know when to stop working, though, he said he’d take a break… and then he didn’t, I spotted him when he was walking around the medbay and I had to all but drag him to lunch! Guidino’s. He seemed to like the pizza, and – note to me! He likes shrimp. They remind him of a… parasite’s eggs? Spiced with a fungus. I’ve tried a couple things since I started this little… diet of mine, but never that. It sounds utterly alien, and funnily enough I still want to try it!
    Kristina laughs, a bubbly and chiming noise.
    Ahh… when my cast is off, I should talk to Zelis about seeing his pets. But first… I need to think about whether or not I’m getting my leg replaced. Really replaced. That’s something to… to think about.
    . . .
    Ahhh-hah-ha! Haha! Oh, it’s been a wonderful time so far today. I was at Alibi again, dancing… yes, I was on bask. Again. I know…. It just makes me feel… better, about things. And then Zelis came by, and we just… talked. I can’t even remember everything, I was just enjoying the company. We visited a place he called the Fen, I remember – and I ate some kind of fruit? Chalky, but wet, and completely saccharine. Almost as bad as that spoonful of starsugar.
    Her shudder is audible.
    Oh, yes. We talked about some things I think… I think I would rather have not. No, that’s not true, but it did quash some small…
    There’s a short, barked laugh.
    No. It would never have worked. I talked with Lorette, too. She’s doing hyperspace research – maybe a good person to ask about this, eto… Visitant symbiosis. - Damn, where’s… did I eat the last one already? Fuck, making another batch of cookies will be hell with my arm like this. Unless I invite someone over to help? I’ll do that, soon. After I sleep.
    . . .
    The next log opens with hushed, sorrowful yet maddened giggles.
    I can’t, I can’t keep doing this. Living on my own, I can feel it – cracking me. And – and… I shouldn’t. It’s not my secret to keep. Not here, not in these. No, but I can still talk about -
    She giggles, sniffling.
    Three-den. And the revelations there, oh! What wonderful, horrible revelations. The ‘cost’ that Xex was speaking of – living so long you forget who you are. Not so bad, mh? Forgetting – everything? I don’t know, I don’t know. If I forget them – Can I say I’m still myself? Everything living grows, changes with time, it’s all the more proof that Spir are alive, and I still… I don’t understand it. Is that why? I’m terrified to put my… my very being at stake on something I know nothing about.
    The cyborg lets out a derisive, dark laugh, abruptly cutting it off and listening intently judging by the silence.
    I have to be quiet. I can’t – She needs rest. What was I saying? The cost. So easy to pay, but I – I like my body. I – maybe? Maybe I could do… something to figure it out. Cloning, as it is now…
    Another dark chuckle, dripping in regret.
    I know all too well that it would only be another link in a chain. A chain I intend to die with me, as I am. Who can I go to? I’ve already – she’s thinking about it. She’s good at finding the holes in problems, and I didn’t say too much. Only that it’s possible, not how or why, and she knew the better part to begin with… I need more time. I need to do something. At least… at least I know it’s possible. It wasn’t…
    She lets out a broken laugh.
    It wasn’t for nothing. And if I work it out… I can never undo it. Undo Her. But maybe I can… chto.. what, what is the word.. Atone.
    . . .
    I’m – I’m supposed to be feeling better, right?! I’ve been doing it, doing it all, so why-
    A deranged giggle follows.
    I- I talked to Xex, I – I – talking is supposed to help why do I feel like this?
    The last time – last time I was withdrawing from my own neurotransmitters and they fixed it, Yaretzi took it out so why- aha. Aha! Ha hahahahaHA-haha! Nothing’s changed so nothing’s worse, why, why?
    The reflexive giggle following the agitated question repeats, again, again, twisting more into a morose mockery of the sound every time.
    I was happy, I was better, I’m going to get help, so why is it WORSE!

    I can’t. I can’t get- I’m still – am I? Am I am I am I-am-I-I-I-I -I need help.
    There’s a moment of silence, broken by another cracked laugh.
    You say two weeks and can’t even make it one, Kristina? Idiot, overconfident, arrogant, self-assured egotist just like her! Aha- hahAʰᵃHa! Ahhh, such a – such an idiot! I can’t – I can’t! I’m going- going – I’m – hahaHahaha! Calling! I’m calling, her, I-
    No! No, nono no no no. This – I can pull it together! Ahahaha! Just like every other time, it’s a – haʰᵃ! - It’s a little slip, you – can take a day! Just take a day, compose, a-and call her tomorrow. Set up an appointment! I- I can make it a day. Much easier, just one day. I just need one.
    She trails off into giggles as the log ends.

    End Log.
     
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  15. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

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    Begin Log

    The waiting. The waiting is agonizing, I can’t sleep, it’s… maddening.

    There’s an intervening day between entries.
    ...
    The new entries open to quiet singing and the occasional metallic sound.
    Skazhi, kem stanem my v kontse puti? / Zamri i molcha mne v glaza smotri!
    The song quiets into humming and mechanical whirring for a while.
    I’m taking a day. I’d usually take Bask, on a day like this, but I’m – I’m taking a break. I’m trying to avoid taking anything to sleep, even if I can’t and it’s been hard, I- I’m just rebuilding my leg, and everything makes sense and it’s okay. No big complicated problems, no worrying about… anything! Just one piece of machinery clicking into another.
    She giggles, the sound clearly more forced than normal.
    Just need to get my head right. Or.. or I can talk to Zelis! If only it were better timed and he wasn’t... Ahh…. it’s a shame that he’s… ah well. He’ll find someone nice, if he can just stop -…
    There’s another, more genuine laugh.
    Oh, what was that word… it means sweetheart, yes? It definitely fits him.
    A silence descends for a while.
    Oh, ow! Ow, cyka blyat, chto..? Fuck! Fuck. I hope he’s okay. The psychology, biology, so different – I wish she’d been more interested in people, that I weren’t learning things as I go. That I weren’t… playing catch up to everyone else! Especially about... something just moved.
    There’s a sound of movement.
    What’s – aha. Hahaha! I’ve lost it! I haven’t been awake that long, have I? No, it’s been – it’s just been one night! Right? Unless I’m haunted. That’s – that’s a thing, right? There are ghosts, there are – things I never, she never studied, haha, or maybe… god I hope my implant didn’t break my brain!
    She giggles.
    It’s gone. It’s – it’s not gone, it’s just – I’m hallucinating, right? They’re hallucinations. Are they?
    The telltale sound of a concussion gun’s capacitive charge and fire sounds out.
    Hallucinations. Probably. Just in case! Now you get to go right here, and I am going to…
    Two more shots.
    Fucking – hold still! Stop moving, stop getting – stop getting closer!
    The sounds fade, with the occasional sound of more shooting sounding. There’s a long pause, then much sharper reports of a pistol, coupled with an abnormal echoed sound.
    Hallucinations! Probably! Or ghosts, who knows! This is a really bad time to be talking with Gary, haha! I need to.. to catch these? If they’re ghosts I don’t want to be haunted! I –... I need some kind of help and it’s probably mental help I need but if it isn’t I can’t… I can’t just let this go. Or maybe I’m just losing the ability to… ahA!
    Later. Later! I think about this later, right now I go and… get some kind of help!
    . . .
    Kristina sounds incredibly tired and weary in this log, dated a few days later.
    I was hallucinating. I wasn’t… awake overnight. I was awake for five nights. I then slept for over forty hours. I’m… tired. Drained. And I’m seeing Judith tomorrow. So much… happened. It feels foggy, even though I can see the footage. I went to Atlas, terrified that poor quartermaster, and Dave was the voice of reason in that whole… mess. Then Haven, where- I saw Zelis. He… took things well. I found out a few things about why he reacted the way he did. And I’ve decided not to commit more about the Obsecrians to something lying around, and I’m going back to scrub the data on these clips of anything more than public knowledge. Belle was there, too, and later Cebey. Bozhe moi, so much… God damn Corenne. The- the whole line. People are important, and the understanding I have is still built on those long years… dismissing psychologists as irrelevant, therapy as unimportant. If they hadn’t… well, I wonder how many more people might be alive.
    She barks a short, harsh laugh.
    I didn’t know enough to know that the advice I was getting – inferring I should say. He didn’t say a thing.
    The giggle that follows is more bubbly, spontaneous.
    It wasn’t good. Which is a shame! I still like him. I should have still seen that it wasn’t healthy, but – I’m not myself. Am I myself? Is this… it? Is this so bad?
    Yet another giggle deigns to be heard.
    Complex philosophy to be had when I’m still drowsy and off kilter. I can’t believe an entire week vanished… when I woke up, and cleaned some of the mess, I went to Rendera – and ran into Zelis again. We talked, and things are okay. They’re okay. A couple moments, in that talk – Learning that I’m a – a clone, he was concerned. Worried, even, only assayed a little when I told him that I’m my own person. Kristina Noskova; not Corenne, not Cherish, not Calliope, and not Catherine. Stupid, vain naming convention anyway… Tak, na chem ya ostanovilsya?
    Kristina sighs, letting it hang in the air before continuing.
    We made cookies, and I let him know I’m interested, and we’re going to see if things happen. Those things I learned – they’ll make it… difficult. If it’s even possible, or likely. Things aren’t awkward between us, at least, so it’s… small mercies.
    The cyborg chuckles, the partly modulated tone ringing.
    I feel good about it. Maybe it’s just the starsugar, maybe it’s really a good feeling. I don’t know, I just hope.. things get better from here out.

    I don’t… know what to make of things. It’s no quick fix, but I wasn’t expecting one. I’ll probably need to come back, a few times judging by how…
    Giggling follows.
    How I am, right now. I should be doing what I already am – being social, getting out of my home, keeping company and trying to lift my mood. I might be going on antidepressants, too, which… would help. It’s a place to start, for now, and we’ll see if anything comes of it.

    The next log segment is password protected and titled simply, “To Archer, from -”
    I’m sorry, Archer. If you ever listen to this… you didn’t fail me. You never could have. Not then, and not now, now that I know the horrible, uncaring truth. That there’s – well. You know, and I know, and if someone else is listening I pray that you never learn it. As for you, my old friend... “Bits of metal. Gene altering. And nanites.” Your curse. It’s – so, so much more. It is a heavy burden to bear and you’ve chosen to bear it alone and I can’t convince you that the hurt would be less if it was shared… but neither can I say that you’re wrong to keep it hidden. I hope I can convince you otherwise, your pain is… horrible. I want to help you, help lessen it. If I can’t?

    I hope you can forgive me, my friend.

    That checkup Zelis wanted to do – it went well. I’m on a few more medications, and there’s an injection repairing my liver for now – so no bask. No drinking, no… well. A little starsugar can’t hurt.

    He didn’t shoot down my idea, either, the one I can’t put out carelessly. Whether it will work… that’s a question for Gary- soon.

    Manic giggling ensues after the dip between log changes.
    It can be done! It’s possible, even if only between my own selves. It’s even possible if…. Well. I can only speculate. Testing, I have to test it, and get myself into a good mental shape to even think about it, but this- it can be done.
    Kristina laughs exuberantly, then.
    Two days, one to rest and see what I can do about negotiations, and then the next? I go back, and begin my work.

    End log.
     
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  16. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

    Joined:
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    Begin log.

    My cast is off, and I decided. I’m doing it, I’m getting the implant, and today I talk to Gary about- about my project idea. I’m -

    There’s a quiet giggling.

    I’m a little nervous. If he says no, or if it’s not possible, or if… there’s too much. I just need to ask, and find out.

    . . .

    Kristina Noskova, cipher three, Angliyskiy.

    What follows is nearly a half hour of nonsensical syllables before the entry ends.

    . . .

    It’s in – it itches, a lot! I’m not sure how much of it is just my imagination or if I really can feel it, like it’s moving. Just a week until it’s… well. I’m told it’s going to hurt. Fuck.

    . . .

    I’m glad to have this project to distract me – I can feel it more, and I’m… not, worried, but I keep wanting to touch it. I kept being about to touch it and had to stay awake to avoid doing so… I fell asleep, and I don’t know how much of what I did today was a dream!

    The cyborg emits a quiet laugh.

    I think I saw a few people, Zelis, a little robot, Tanze… I’ll watch the footage later, I’m just still so.. tired.

    . . .

    Zelis stayed with me during the worst of it. I’m… very glad he did. It hurt far, far too much. I never want to go through this again! Even with the painkillers, every time they came close to wearing off I could feel a searing, stabbing along my spine… but now it’s done. I watched the memory – a few times. It was strange, yes – remembering myself in a body certainly not one of my own. The sensations were… indescribable, and now I’m left wondering what the-

    Blyat. I need to be careful what I commit to these.

    . . .

    I hate the nexus. Stupid fucking- I hate it.

    . . .

    Zelis gave me – ah, a gift. It was very thoughtful.

    Kristina giggles, the synthetic buzz chirping quietly at the end.

    We had a very long talk after, it was nice. A much better way to spend a night than yesterday.

    . . .

    The next entry opens with a gleeful gale of laughter, the occasional crackle of air sweeping through the pop filter marring the first few words – like the recorder is being swung through the air. The opening to the log is said sing-song.

    The carnival’s for closers, and guess what I closed! They’re coming all the way out here and okaying the project, ahahaha! The kacheli, the koleso obozreniya, then to the cafe for gelato – ah, did you know? Zelis doesn’t get brain freeze, povezlo tebe. What else? Ah! I met Sydney, it was nice to meet her finally. It’s been a good day.

    . . .

    I don’t know if I should be angry, resigned, or… just disappointed. I let emotions get in the way of seeing a person, and… he’s not nearly as nice as I thought. Blyat. She’d rather I not share details, so I won’t… I just hope I don’t have to do more repairs soon.

    . . .

    Another nice day at Rendera! A few of us went swimming, even Zelis went in the water. Yaretzi, myself, Xex… a few others, but just wading around tired me out. I think I agreed to go fishing? They said this implant would make me tired faster, but I didn’t think it would affect me this much! I feel exhausted so often after my daily routines, half the time I barely want to leave my home now. Some days I’ve been finding myself sitting in my office, so fatigued even standing is taxing. Bozhe moi, what’s happened to me? My usual jog is taxing now, the hologram spars moreso.

    I think I’d like to take another nap, already.

    . . .

    A lot of things, many of which I can’t say! It was another good day though, I went to Zelis’ ship and got to meet his pets! They were lovely, very well behaved. It was almost too dark to see, but that’s not surprising.

    . . .



    The next entry is dated a few days later. Kristina sounds weary, haggard, talking slowly and deliberately as if having trouble.

    Vancouver. I never thought I’d see the place again, and not for something so important. There’s so little that I can mention! I met Senna, I can say that – she seems sweet! Absolutely infatuated with Zelis, and it’s… honestly, endearing. I like her. And then… I keep watching the footage. I… I don’t know enough to know if I’m right, if this is all just a gut feeling I’ve worried over too much, I wish I could actually check any of this. Maybe I’ll bring it up to Gary? Maybe… I don’t want to tell Zelis, If I’m right, he’d… I don’t know. And if I’m wrong he’d still worry. Something to think about later.

    . . .

    I need to talk to Xaden. Gary agreed with me, things don’t add up right, but none of it makes sense. Whoever did this – any of it – would have to be a professional at the least! In and out of the Spire without being seen…. that’s not true.

    Bazzi must have seen them, and been killed for it. Who would want to do this? Collapse a Spire, murder to keep from being seen – and nearly kill another. I don’t know, I don’t know. Everything’s buried except for him. I need to talk to him.

    . . .

    I should have seen this coming, I guess. I told Zelis what a date was, and then a day later I see him on one… with Senna. She’s good for him! Nice, and sweet, and she’ll take care of him… I. . .

    There’s a halfhearted laugh, fluttery and weak before trailing into a sniff.

    I can’t do this right now. Tomorrow, maybe.

    . . .

    End log.
     
  17. Alias

    Alias Galactic Citizen

    Joined:
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    [Begin Log]

    They aren’t dating! Em, Zelis isn’t. Senna wants to date him, I want to date him, who knows who else… There’s history there. Bozhe moi, twenty years she’s followed him? And always, there’s been something. He won’t talk about it, so it must be something bad, but it isn’t with her or he’d have pushed her away by now. I don’t… blyat, I don’t know. All I know is that, if I try to – to… chto… pursue him as I am, none of us will be happy in the end. If I find out what, maybe I could try to..?

    She cuts off with a barked, harsh laugh.

    Stupid. I care for her, and him, and if I care so much the best thing I can do is avoid playing matchmaker. Da? I can see there’s hurt there, though, and it’s paining them both. There’s too much, so much – I’ll think on it more, later.
    . . .

    The log opens with promise, to euphoric giggling. It’s not until she starts talking that it’s evident the Russian cyborg is on something.

    We had a fishing trip today! Xex, myself, Zelis, Yaretzi, and a lot of alcohol! But, none for me – just bask. I had to use the automatic reel, and support the pole on the boat, but it was fun! Zelis brought some mushrooms, coated in… something, but they were sweet! They were good, and then the vegetables Xex grilled were good too… it was nice. Today was good.

    There are some more giggles as the log ends.

    . . .

    Fuck, fuck, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

    A wild, manic laugh follows the string of obscenity, the muted flumph of a body hitting something soft sounding out.

    I should have – should – I should… I should know better! But I didn’t think that – they tried so hard to keep from killing anyone, and I thought he’d been sure he wasn’t followed, but they – they’re too innocent to know, to plan, and now he’s dead and I should have known better!

    The cyborg screams, the digitized howl muffled by something – probably a pillow.

    And now Zelis. And Senna. And me. We’re all in danger of getting killed! Haha! Ahaha- hahahaha, aha ha ha ha hahahahahaaaaaa..!

    The laugh continues into a fade, then silence drags on for a while until a sober-sounding Kristina speaks up.

    I need to be more careful with this.

    . . .

    Zelis wants me to teach him to shoot, now. We’ve started, but… something in me feels broken that he feels like he has to know. He… can’t be innocent anymore. I took that away from him, because I was paranoid wrong. Aha! Too paranoid in the wrong ways! Hahahahaha! Maybe – maybe I need more help, da? Maybe I should be taking medication, it’s not – I’m not – no. No! No, no no I’m fine, I – I’m doing better, yes, much better. I’ve – I’ve been seeing someone who can give advice, give me tools to get better myself, and Doctor Dentiscalpum Listens when I don’t have things I can tell anyone else.

    She giggles then, long and quietly.

    He’s a skeleton. I take hours at a time and go to a castle where I’m a necromancer and I talk to a skeleton. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m normal for the fringe! Maybe I shouldn’t be able to go back, even after the project ends. Hm? They’d probably like that. Yes… they would.

    . . .

    Today… was a good day, in the end. I made myself go out, I wore a vest, I had my gun and my little trinkets and the really fun things on me, and I ran into Belle. She – she’s… I don’t des- deser-…

    She starts to laugh, first, then cry. By the end it seems to be a mix of the two, switching to one or the other within heartbeats.

    . . .

    I don’t… have the words for what I saw today. It was… like I lived years as just a smear, with frozen little moments sticking in my head – Mostly the ones with Mi- fuck, with Caeli. And especially when- when sh-

    She can’t continue without letting out a sob.

    It’s burned in my head, every time I shut my eyes it’s fresh, I can hear the screaming. What was that thing? It killed them, killed her, and even though I never knew her it’s like my heart is torn apart. I’m torn, torn, frozen between horror and despair.

    The cyborg barks out a couple short laughs, deteriorating into deranged giggling.

    Was I lying to him? I said that it only ever hurts less, but time helped, but he’s still hurting. Is that all? Wasted, so much of my life, my lives were wasted ignoring people. Is that all that can be done? I felt it, there’s so much hurt in him and I can’t help it. I’m only there, with him, is that enough? It has to be, da? It has to be. It has to be, right! What else? What else can I do?

    What else can I do? What else can I – can I do? Hah. Hahaha, aha-ha haha! Aaaaahhhh...

    click.

    . . .

    I got coffee with Sam today. It’s feeling less strange to go back, every time. I still can’t… I don’t go to the pier anymore. It’s just… no, no, don’t start, Kristina. Just… coffee. It was nice. I had a latte, with sugar, and it was good and we went swimming for a little while and it was nice. There! It was nice. Nice!

    Her normal half-digitized giggles sounds again.

    . . .

    I did some modifications on Shine today. It was fun, actually, he was engaging to talk to once you see past the exterior! He’s not all crazy I think, but he likes to act it. It puts people off guard, and I understand! Some people think I’m crazy, and if I want to get discounted I act more like myself and it works… which is… telling, I think. I think I should… look at myself, seriously. I do the, em, the smiling and the laughing to seem happy, da? To make myself think I’m happy as well, and it works a little! I do feel better for it. The energy involved means I spend less time overthinking my surroundings, maybe even underthinking, and people think I’m insane, but I think… it could be worse! To have gone through… everything, and still be as good as I am, I’m… good. Not good, good, I’m… chto… I am.

    . . .

    I – they killed it. They killed the Ruin flagship today! Xex was right and they killed it and they fought off the other ships as well! People… people died. They’re making a memorial now, and when it’s open I’ll visit – pay my respects. They saved a lot of people, and more than that they proved it can be done. We can win.

    And that makes me think. Think about what could have happened if my ideas had been utilized, any of my- no, no, I’m my own person. If any of Calliope’s ideas had been used. There! The names, that was the point of the names.

    The cyborg cackles to herself.

    If those had been used there wouldn’t be an Earth to defend, which… may have been better, in the long run. Everything left behind was probably taken. That reminds me! I looked through the statis… no, em, the stasis cage. Some of the things in there are not to be handled lightly!

    There’s another giggle, and a pause.

    I don’t know how to get rid of them, safely. So I just… have weapons of mass destruction locked up in a glorified fridge! Now that’s funny!

    The chiming laugh that follows stops abruptly when the log ends.

    . . .

    Slurred words mark this log as taking place while the cyborg is very drunk.

    Karaokeeeeeeee! Hahaaaa ha-ha! Ahh, we sing so good! I – I, IIIIIIII had fun. Zelis and Senna and I all sang and it was… It was good. Ahh, I was worried about all... staying in here, in the, the fffucking.. apartment, after Xaden got - after, but it’s been good! ‘S been, it’s – it has, it’s been good.

    . . .

    Belle and Chalk are engaaaaaged! They’re – I’m happy, they’re cute, and this whole day has been nice! I met a nice girl named Robin, she’s a mechanic – Milky Way Mechanics to be precise! Another new person, but she wasn’t as friendly – I did offer to take out her spine and replace it with a better one. Maybe that was off-putting? I don’t know why, hers is very messed up, and she could use a new one that won’t develop compression injuries because of something silly like gravity! Ah well. It’s nice to see friendly new faces in any case! I’m glad I went out today, that I keep going out.

    . . .

    The spire is done! I’m… nervous about visiting. I’m waiting until Zelis can come with me and the lab is set up, which is soon! I think. Soon.
    . . .

    The lab is set up! Things are in progress, in movement, and I’ve been placed on another project at work. It’s taking a lot of my time, but they’re both worthwhile! I might – oops! Can’t talk about it here.

    She giggles at that.

    I can’t talk about much of either. I’ve been discussing the ethics of one with Dentiscalpum, and I’ve decided against… that trial, unless it’s certainly necessary. That’s all I can say!

    . . .

    Of course, of course, I should have… She makes him think of her, and the help hurts and the hurting doesn’t help and it’s all…

    Kristina laughs wearily, blowing air out and sipping something.

    We talked through things, and I got him to help. That’s… where my involvement ends, unless he wants to talk about it. Doctor Martinez is good, she’ll take care of his mental health, and she won’t talk about the rest to anyone. She better not, with what I’m paying her.

    The next laugh is a bit more manic.

    He’s… talking has helped him, and I can see it. I’m happy, even if it means – well, whatever it means! He’s happier, that’s what I care about.
    . . .

    The trials are progressing! It’s slow going, and despite all the precautions we still lost a subject. I’m… going to try to make sure that once the data is shared, that no-one tries to follow some paths of this research. It’s dangerous, too dangerous. And yet… it’s satisfying to see myself proven right.

    . . .

    Oops! I missed a few days. I forgot to hit record when I talked.

    The cyborg giggles at herself for a little while.

    I found out about love bites today. I didn’t know people did that! I found out… a couple things! Out of respect for priiivacyyyy I’m going to keep hush, buuuuut…

    There’s another few giggles.

    . . .

    Zelis is getting a tail, I got something like an, eto, interactive textbook, and I’m going to die of embarrassment! He wanted to read one of the, the romances in the box, and I wasn’t paying attention to what he grabbed. Bozhe moi, I hope he asks me about things and not Belle!

    . . .

    She seems to try to start talking a few times, slurred words devolving into quiet sobs. Someone nearby is snoring. Eventually, she does manage to croak out nigh-inaudible words.

    sh- she was s-so… so sad…

    A few forcefully controlled breaths steady her breathing, and she stays quiet with interspersed sniffles until her breath slows and steadies. The recording lasts for hours, until someone wakes up distantly, shuffles, and turns it off.

    [End Log]
     
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