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 Hysteresis (Third Person)

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Aphoxema G

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PostSubject: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:22 pm


Aphoxema stood between the projections of star systems and information, chewing on one hand nervously while the other held her elbow unhelpfully. Her eyes danced between the floating images, desperately trying to see something she knew she wouldn't find.

Lost in thought, she did not notice her wife walking through the luminescent map of the Manarq system in front of her. She did not hear her voice being called and it was only a stiff prod to her breast that awoke her.

Aphoxema jumped and grabbed her chest, "Ow! What was that for?!"

Zukes stared at her in ambivalence, "If you don't come to bed right now, I'll knock you out and drag you there myself."

"I'm busy, I need to study the last attack and..."

Zukes grabbed Aphoxema's shoulders roughly, "You haven't slept in four days, and it's not like you're on sleep alternative therapy. Your mind and body can't handle this and it's starting to show."

It took Aphoxema a moment to realize she didn't hear anything that Zukes said, "What?"

Zukes sighed and looked sternly, "I've finally found you after so many years, but you've become so obsessed with this. Did you even miss me?"

Aphoxema frowned, angry with the accusation, "Of course I missed you! I kept waiting, searching... I couldn't stop thinking of you, people told me to consider you dead and move on. They told me 'oh it's what she would have wanted'," she paused a moment to breathe deeply and clutch at a palpitation, "but it's not what I wanted, I wanted you and it drove me crazy. Crazier than normal, I mean."

Zukes sighed again and smiled painfully before embracing Aphoxema tightly, "I know it was hard for you, I knew it had to be. I want to catch up with you, I want to have what we had before. I know this is important to you, but you can't fight Sansha's Nation if you can't even control yourself."

Aphoxema surrendered and relaxed into Zukes's arms, hugging back, "I'm scared. I love you but I can't rest knowing the attacks are still happening..."

"I know."

Aphoxema jumped at a pain in her leg, followed by a dull, cold pressure. She stared out in disbelief, "You didn't..."

"I love you too, good night."


Last edited by Aphoxema G on Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:22 am

Aphoxema woke to the experience of falling and landing on her arm. The unnatural sleep was difficult to overcome, but soon she could sit up and squeeze at her abused shoulder.

She mumbled as she struggled to seat herself on the mattress, eventually speaking clearly enough for her command for the lights to illuminate succeed. Wiping her eyes and blinking hastily eventually revealed a bowl of fruit covering a piece of paper.

Shoving the bowl aside, there was a cutely-drawn illustration of her being berated by Zukes... and at the bottom, an elaborately written message. "Today you start your vacation. Sansha will wait."

Aphoxema groaned and scanned the room, finding it unfamiliar but clearly reinforced and designed to keep its contents from escaping into vacuum. She stood and stumbled towards a hatch, grasping the lever. It barely moved, stopping against something barring it from the other side. She banged on the door and waited. She cupped her hands against the door called into them, “Hello?”.

She moved to the less substantial, already open door to find a bathroom. A set of clothing was already prepared beside the shower. She stepped back out, noticing a console and a kitchenette. She was imprisoned but, at least, well provided for.

She sat at the console and turned it on to see a diagnostic overview of her own Fleet issued Tempest. With a smile, the realization came to her that she was in the Captain’s Quarter. On this ship it was a place she never visited. On other ships she left it for crew to use when out-of-action, being a hold-out from before the ship was modified for hydrostatic capsule command. When she wasn’t in a pod, she preferred to stay in the Combat Information Center.

Sweeping the diagnostic program aside, she found another message left for her. “Don’t play on Galnet all day, IGS will rot your brain. There’s some books you ought to read in the desk. I’ll be back later. If you escape or call for help, I’ll kick your ass.

Aphoxema shook her head and rubbed her eyes, letting free a complicated chuckle. She swept aside the message and started to log into Galnet, hesitating at the thought of checking on Nation activity; she knew if she were aware of an attack then it would only upset her that she wasn’t there. She knew there was nothing she could do now. She knew Zukes was trying to help her. Most importantly, she knew she had grown used to lamenting the loss of her greatest friend and hadn’t allowed her back into her life for fear of losing her again.

Letting go, she put the console back to sleep and pulled open the desk drawer. They were all books she hadn’t heard of. In fact, she had only read childrens’ stories when it had come to bound paper, or really any stories at all. She had never read a novel, only the gargantuan skillbooks in Pator Tech School.

Picking out a book titled The Great Empires: A Brief Account of CONCORD And The Sovereign Nations, Rev. 71”, Aphoxema leaned back and experimented with relaxation without the use of mind-altering drugs.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:23 am

Aphoxema poked at her datapad resting on the table anxiously while waiting for her food to arrive. She had barely logged in to Galnet before it slid out from under her hand and into Zukes’s pocket, “You’ll have time for that later. Would you share a bottle of wine with me?

Aphoxema sighed, frustrated a moment until accepting the improbability of finding something online that wouldn’t make her upset, angry, depressed, scared or compelled to run off and commit a crime against Humanity, “Champagne is more fun.

Zukes nodded with a smile and caught the attention of the Maitre d’. Aphoxema stroked at her neck nervously. She wasn’t unhappy to buy an expensive dress and have an expensive dinner. She was almost even enjoying herself. There was something, though, picking away at her consciousness. Not a voice or an idea. Nothing malignant or wonderful.

We can go back home if you’re not ready for this...

Zukes’s expression nailed Aphoxema with guilt, “I’m just worried about the Nation...

You’re not as worried about that as you think.

What do you mean?

Zukes held up her glass for her champagne to be poured, motioning Aphoxema to do the same. They both smiled with the first sip, just in time for their dinner to be served. Roasted Silvergill, an amphibious fowl, with a peppered white sauce over sparkling pasta.

The Silvergill was dyed different colors throughout the meat as a gimmick at first but had become tradition. The sparkling pasta was a clever trick done with salt and carbon dioxide, but the effect only lasted a few hours. Neither were expensive, just time consuming. Really, it was novelties liked this along with good service that many pricey restaurants across the cluster thrived on.

Aphoxema, accustomed to packaged bar-shaped nutrient replacement “stuff” was thrilled to be eating freshly-cooked anything. So distracted, it took a while for her to realize that Zukes had evaded her question, “What do you mean I’m not worried about the Nation?

Zukes hesitated, setting down her fork and looking at her plate, “After three years I was surprised you let me back into your life so easily, but it’s obvious that you really haven’t.

Perplexed, Aphoxema set down her own fork, “Of course I’ve let you back in, there wasn’t a day I didn’t wish you would knock on my door and say ‘hey here I am!’ exactly like you did...

But you don’t really look at me, talk to me. You haven’t told me anything about the time we missed...

Aphoxema’s throat tightened, fighting tears, “You haven’t told me anything, either... where have you been? You could have contacted me...

I tried to, for over a year!

I had some trouble... What about after that?

What about before that? What kind of trouble?

Aphoxema stretched her hands out, anger building, “You wouldn’t believe me, you wouldn’t be happy if you did...

Zukes took a breath and stopped the escalation, “We both have something we need to tell each other and we’re both afraid to, obviously.

I’m not afraid...

Aren’t you? We’ve had four months to come out to one another and I know you’ve wanted to as badly as I have...

Aphoxema held her head, “Okay! Okay... It’s complicated... It’s not like I found somebody else, I don’t want you to think that’s it, it’s just so complicated I don’t know where to start.

Zukes smiled a little, “I haven’t found anyone else either, I came back to you because I want to be with you.

Aphoxema sighed, “Okay. It does need to get out of the way...

Zukes put her hand on Aphoxema’s hand firmly, “It doesn’t have to be right now, I just want you to know I’m ready to catch up if you are.

Aphoxema couldn’t fight it any longer, a tear escaping down her face as she looked Zukes in her eyes, “... I am.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:23 am

Aphoxema and Zukes flew through the massive corridors of the station in a relatively tiny rental cab.She’d gone through three bottles of champagne with Zukes, the pair having spent hours talking at the restaurant.

I had a wonderful time... hey, are you sure you should be flying after all that champagne?” Zukes was suddenly alarmed, her own discretion diminished by her share of the drinking.

Aphoxema grinned tiredely, “I’m not really in control, it just lets me feel like I am. Here, I’ll show you.” She lurched the control grips to one side, aiming the cab at a nearby wall. The autopilot quickly took over and slowed the vessel until she righted her steering.

Zukes squealed, “Don’t do that again! My damned heart is bursting out!

Aphoxema tackled a thought, “I have a better idea...

Zukes relaxed and let out a laugh, looking over drowsily at her partner, “I love you...

Aphoxema, not really paying attention, guessed she was asking where they were going, “You’ll see...

I’ll see?” Zukes felt concerned again, “You’re not lost, are you? That was our ship back there.

Aphoxema smirked at the implication that they shared that ship, despite never having discussed it. More touched than anything, if a little surprised.

Where are we going?

Aphoxema missed the question, “What?

Where are we going?

You’ll see...” Aphoxema flew along, looking for a hotel for them to stay at. This was their vacation, apparently, and she didn’t want to spend it inside a warship or an apartment. It didn’t take long for her to find a place that impressed her. “Let’s stay here for a few days.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:24 am

Aphoxema pulled the plush blanket from over her face and looked around the suite, seeing her and Zukes’s clothes thrown about and three empty bottles of champagne on the bedside table. She wasn’t really sure if they had discussed anything but she could remember their playful tangling under the covers.

She slugged out of bed quietly to find standing from the floor a challenge while hungover but able to escape without waking Zukes. Though she had long been in the habit of running in her underwear, she decided it would be more appropriate to put on a robe before ordering breakfast.

She gently closed the door to the bedroom behind her and softly called for the lights to turn on. She hazily looked over the luxurious suite; being the first time she bothered to check, she was certainly impressed and couldn’t help but to consider making these accommodations typical for her and her wife.

As she walked into the decadent parlor, the virtual hostess flickered into view to greet her in a sublime but a little exaggerated voice, “It is wonderful to meet you again, Aphoxema Jeehiro! Did you sleep well?

Yes, be less nice.

Your preference has been recorded and will be applied to future conversations. I will focus on speech that is commonly considered sincere more. I will focus on speech that is commonly considered flattering less. How may I serve you today?

Aphoxema stared dumbly at the projection, “Go away.

Of course, have a good day.” The hostess bowed and disappeared, leaving Aphoxema in an silence she wasn’t prepared for.

Hey, come back!

The character reappeared and stared patiently at her user, “How may I serve you?

What’s your name?

My assigned name is Adelpha-501. The program with which I am managed is Nebula Interactive, a joint project of The Center for Advanced Studies and Pator Tech School funded by Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command. I am presently for sale. I have had six-thousand, twenty-one previous encounters and no owners.

Aphoxema blinked, “For sale?

Nebula Interactive creates unique personalities that are centrally hosted by CONCORD servers and then leased to end users with compatible software and equipment. All interactions are saved and processed to improve our ability to serve you. Each instance of a personality has his or her own unique history that can be either assigned to a renter, like this establishment, or bought and sold by individuals such as yourself.”

Aphoxema crossed her arms and looked suspiciously toward the figure, still unsure of its level of consciousness or purpose, “So you collect information for CONCORD?”

That is not entirely correct. We collect information for research, however we are funded by the Directive Enforcement Department under the condition that they are allowed access to any information collected.”

So you’re a spy.

That is a consequence of our relationship.

Aphoxema smiled wryly, “So, how much do you cost?

Adelpha-501 said nothing for a moment, flickering but standing still, “There will be no cost for you, Captain. The equipment necessary will be provided at no charge to your technicians for installation.

No charge? Of course...

You have been directly involved in matters relevant to the Directive Enforcement Department and your inconsistent history is of interest to our researchers.

Inconsistent history? How much do you know about me? What makes you think I’d let you just collect evidence on me right to my face?

Adelpha-501 smiled in a way that, for an artificial person, made Aphoxema a little afraid, “We know many things about many people. We know you’ve worked with many different criminal organizations. We know you’ve worked with many law-enforcement agencies. We know about your cloning incident, more than you do. You have been very useful to the DED in ways you wouldn’t believe and they have long had enough evidence to prevent you from ever stepping in a pod again, but that is not necessary as you’ve proven yourself to be reliable in accomplishing the things your benefactors wish of you.

We have lead you here to make a decision, but we already know what your answer will be. In return I can offer you select answers of your history and I can disclose information helpful to your mission. The Nebula Interactive-certified encryption equipment is being delivered to your hanger now and I have already been transferred to your possession.

Aphoxema shook her head, aghast, “I haven’t even said yes... mission? What mission?

The mission that was assigned to you in YC110.

Aphoxema thought a moment, “I didn’t even exist then!

Your brain-image was in stasis at the time until an opportunity to begin your mission presented itself. Now that this analysis is complete I would like to thank you for your time. I am looking forward to working with you. Please enjoy your time with your wife, your continued bonding will be beneficial to your mission.

Aphoxema stared in shock as Adelpha-501 disappeared, her legs losing strength. She let herself fall with some shred of grace before fainting.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:24 am

Aphoxema dropped from the service duct over the pod bay of the Basheenee, an Armageddon class battleship belonging to her captor. She tried to distribute the force of her landing, but exhausted and starving she had long lost any sense of finesse. She screamed at the pain of both her ankles breaking together, but it didn’t matter. She didn’t plan on being alive much longer.

The technicians spun around in surprise only to be slaughtered by the remaining rounds in the rifle Aphoxema had stolen during her escape. Three days she had crawled around the ship’s guts, sabotaging what she could and making her way to the this hanger. She flung the rifle aside and crawled towards the hydrostatic capsule. For hours she had been reprogramming the security system.

The brutish hacks she had to make due with had mostly disconnected the pod from the ship; there was no way she could take control, but she could force the brain scanner to kill her and send her incarnation out to be cloned. What almost worried her was that her clone had probably been decommissioned after months without her paying for it. It didn’t really matter anymore, she had just lost her entire family to a vengeful Amarrian that had raided their farmland.

She was supposed to be the only one to die, but RaeKhonin, her mother, tried to fight back. Her brother, Xeristian, made things worse by strangling one of the soldiers and in the panic they were both shot dead. That moment repeated in her thoughts, three days without food or sleep.

Aphoxema pulled herself into the pod just in time. The moment the seal began to close, gunfire erupted and pelleted the dome around her. She desperately fumbled to plug herself in, immediately assaulted with noise to her every sense. She had broken most of the interface but the pod itself should still be under her control.

Then for an instant, everything became clear. The navigation systems were shut down, but the warp drive remained active for maintenance. The Basheenee was docked to a small station, and the opportunity was too perfect. She didn’t think of who might be in that station, she didn’t care that there might have been whole families of innocent people living their own happy lives.

Before she initiated suicide she engaged the warp drive. With no course set, the drive rattled in its mount, trying to create a warp bubble to nowhere.

- - -

Aphoxema woke to Zukes stroking her head, “You’re on the floor.

She sat up shakily, “I had a bad dream...

Zukes pulled her close and squeezed her, “No, I heard everything, but it’s hard to believe.

Aphoxema grabbed her face and pushed on her eyes, “I have a lot to tell you.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:40 pm

During the formation of the Minmatar Republic, in the midst of their rebellion against the Amarr, there were many different ideas of what the Republic should be or if there should even be a Republic at all. Though the Ammatar Mandate came to be a reconciliation for some who opposed independence, it wasn’t enough for some who still favored the Amarr.

Much like the Gallente chose to support the Republic (and in many way were responsible for its existence), some Caldari had incentive to control how it was that the Republic was formed and who remained in control. These Caldari found the Matari who most aligned with their intentions, and used them to form the Jee.

The Jee were as much a meta-clan as a faction, they embraced the abuse of tattoos to dilute their value as a way to take their future as their own. They denied many Minmatar traditions, whether they were the new ones formed in the time with the Amarr or those resurrected faithfully by the Vherokior. However, it was being aware of these traditions that were as much of their culture in denying them as the traditions themselves.

The Voluval was a joke they laughed about, the Amarr were good people who helped to alleviate the ignorance and suffering of the tribes, and the Republic were malcontents who needed to be guided back to the prosperous path of serving the Amarr, or conveniently becoming a labor force for some Caldari corporations.

In the uncertain times, when many freed slaves grappled with their identity, the Jee were successful in promoting their philosophy to many and they grew in number and power. Many new Jee clans spawned, the largest of which would be the Jeehiro, Jeenaaro and Jeekinder. They won much of their finances and ships in mercenary work and used this to fight against other Minmatar.

Despite their tenacity, their weakness was their own appetite and lack of meaning; the only thing that kept them together was hatred and a misunderstanding of what made their race strong. They divided too many times under too many names. They became just another small bump in the path to the Minmatar liberation, and for the few to remember them, a reminder to the importance of what it means to be a Child of Matar.


Last edited by Aphoxema G on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:35 pm

Why was he so desperate to capture you?” Zukes had that curious, concerned look that really touched Aphoxema in a way that made her feel guilty for liking it.

Aphoxema realized she had ignored an important part of her story, a part she had never told anyone before, “That’s complicated.

Zukes frowned, “Everything you’ve told me is complicated.

Aphoxema stirred her coffee, though it was already well stirred enough, “I murdered his slaves and almost killed him.

Zukes stared at her, trying to not jump to a conclusion she would have been right in jumping to, “What do you mean?

It’s why I left Ubiqua Seraph... I was taking Drop, and...

You told me the worst you’d done was Blue Pill!

Aphoxema swallowed roughly, “Well, I lied. I’ve done almost everything there is to do that won’t straight out kill someone, and most of it was when I was with Marie

Zukes shuddered at the reminder of Aphoxema’s previous relationship, “That woman was always...

Aphoxema grabbed Zukes’s hand and looked straight into her eyes, “She didn’t make me do anything, she didn’t know. These were my mistakes and I am the one you need to be angry at.”

Zukes relaxed a little, sighing, “What happened?

Ben, he needed me to transport him for some big family ceremony, I said I would do it free because he’d done a lot for me. When I joined Aegis Militia, he embraced me as a Minmatar doing ‘God’s will’ and provided me with labor, ships and highly-trained crew members. By this time, I had already lost favor with the corporation.

I made a lot of mistakes, they questioned my loyalty and I did too. Ben kept his trust in me, though, but he wasn’t really a part of the corporation, just a supporter. I took command of his Prophecy, and it was only a few jumps away. Part of his speech was going to be about him thanking me for seeing my errors and supporting the Empire and I would be an example to other capsuleers who knew where they belonged.

We’d gone a couple jumps, and in mid-warp I heard God talking to me.


What?

I thought God was talking to me, I was delusional from the drugs and lack of sleep and I heard this powerful voice. He told me something like, ‘Your work is nearly complete, now you must destroy your father.’ For some reason I though Ben was my father. The voice directed me to turn around and warp straight into the nearest star. After I got there, I shut down the shields, ejected all of the escape pods, aimed straight into the star and self destructed my pod... while it was still inside the ship.

I woke up sober a few hours later in a new body, and then right away I panicked and left Ubiqua Seraph, grabbed whatever I could and went straight into Minmatar space. Then I founded Operation Inertia, met you and you know what happened after that.


Zukes stared in disbelief, “I kind of see why he was out for revenge. How did he survive?

He didn’t, exactly... They succeeded in remagnetizing the hull and eventually got the shields back up. By the time they had done this and got the ship turned around, everyone had recieved lethal doses of radiation.

Ben was a pod-pilot, but he had refused clone services to remain pure. After my betrayal, he abandoned his beliefs and cloned to escape his dying body. I don’t know if he did it out of fear of death like most others would, or if he was so angry he did it just to get back at me.


Zukes stole a sip of Aphoxema’s coffee, “Have you done any drugs since then?

Aphoxema took her cup back, “Yeah, but that’s a long story too.

I’m not going anywhere

Aphoxema rubbed her eyes, “After that, after he raided the farm, after we were captured, after my family was murdered, after I commandeered the ship and rigged it to explode... I just don’t really know. For two years I thought maybe my brain image was just bouncing around networks or stuck in a server somewhere. Today, I found out that apparently I was intentionally trapped by the DED or someone and now I’ve been conscripted to do something I can’t begin to guess.

Whatever, though. Eventually I wake up in someone else’s body, this girl named Khale Khan who just got podded for the first time and it ain’t pretty what happens to either of us.


Zukes stared at Aphoxema smartly, “I know.

What?

I’ve known where you were since you recovered your clone, I’ve just been afraid to see you again when I found out about... your state of mind. I didn’t know if you would still want me. I mean, I had no idea about the kidnapping or being out of a body for so long. I went to the farm after you stopped talking to me, I saw everything had been burned, that your claw was gone. I assumed that... you were dead.

I was dead, if I hadn’t cheated I don’t see how I could have escaped, and after that it was just luck, I guess. I had really expected to wind up in his body.

That’s all pretty incredible, a lot of strange coincidences, almost sounds like either it was designed to happen or... it didn’t happen the way you remember it.

The way I remember it? How could I forget?

Zukes looked worriedly towards her, “If that AI was right, and you being held in limbo was intentional, then what’s to stop them from making you remember things differently? What’s to stop them from making you remember your whole life differently?

Aphoxema stared, breathless, her heart fallen and her mind frozen in fear and confusion.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:44 pm

RaeKhonin Jeenaaro was the last to join the Jee. The same day she was liberated from her Amarr holder she had lead an assault against his home. She chopped his head off with his monogrammed letter opener while those who had freed her proudly watched.

RaeKhonin was used for breeding, she had given birth four times and never saw those children again. This one, she swore, she would raise herself, free of slavery.

It was only a few weeks later she had found herself in the ranks of the Jee. In months she went from soldier to crew member to captain of her own Stabber class cruiser. She didn’t care that often she fought with other Minmatar, though no longer a slave to the Amarr she still didn’t know how to think for herself. She followed orders and caved into the will of the Caldari leadership easily.

She gave birth to a boy and returned to duty seven hours later. Though she didn’t have much time for herself, every moment she wasn’t working she would spend with her son.

When the Jee’s power declined, they tried to escape Minmatar space to the Federation. What little remained of their fleet dashed away desperately as the Republic Fleet followed. They were nearly free by the time the Republic convinced the Federation to help them stop these terrorists from escaping, shutting down the gate and deploying disruption probes. They were given the chance to surrender, but only a few of them did.

RaeKhonin defied an order for the first time in her life. She couldn’t allow her son to die for something he hadn’t chosen. This started many thoughts for years to come, about the many lives who couldn’t choose that she had ended.

Aphoxema was just a word she had made up, desperate to give her son a name before handing him over to the Republic Fleet.


Last edited by Aphoxema G on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:21 pm

New Habitat was a small corporation started by Andru Flourette with the dream of establishing self-sufficient colonies on the most uninhabitable of worlds. Displaced refugees were abundant as the Republic established itself and Andru didn’t appreciate the disadvantages of space colonies. The need for regular supply would make building many at once expensive to maintain.

His goal was to take the idea of an arcology and maximize it’s self-sustainment. The residents would be responsible for upkeep and government. Little would come in, almost nothing would need to go out. His architectural designs were revolutionary, but his poor understanding of Humanity would be the ruin of millions.

The prototype of the Flourette Arcology would be on Dantbienn VII, not entirely remote but still a good test for independence. The massive pyramid and surrounding dome gardens were marvelously constructed in only a few years, tens of thousands of volunteer refugees, ex-convicts, orphans and impoverished people flooded the structure and took up their assignments for supporting their small, enclosed city.

Investors believed the project to be an absolute success after several years of stability. The residents had even managed to use less than the anticipated resources necessary. Many more of the Flourette Arcologies would be started across the cluster, though only a few would be completed before the project would be scrapped.

The prototype did do very well and the population was very satisfied. As they aged, though, and many grew tired of the dense population or felt the desire to migrate, numbers would drop. Flourette had anticipated this, sure the success of the program would invite more people to take up residence he saw no reason to worry.

From the birth of the Republic, much progress was made in other ways to support those exiled or escaped from the Empire. Advances in space colonies and a strong support system for supplies proved to be perfectly plausible. Few were interested in joining the lifestyle required in Flourette’s arcology.

The arcology continued to lose citizens. Maintenance fell behind, as the design of the building didn’t scale down well with less use and many systems continued to operate needlessly. Most of these people didn’t even bother with international currencies, even the poorest no longer had to worry about paying to survive. Most of the money they did have went to their family members who chose to move on.

Now, broke and stuck in the failing community, dissent skyrocketed and the riots began. Without enough people willing to maintain the shelter, life support systems slowly failed and most of the inhabitants would suffocate, dehydrate or starve.

Due to the rioting, Flourette’s selfless (though latent) efforts to relocate or supply the population did little to save anyone. Overwhelmed by guilt, he committed suicide and left his fortune to the few hundred people he was able to extract.
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:35 pm

Adelpha-501 stared with her fake eyes with the fake half-smile in her fake semblance of a human. In the last months, Aphoxema hadn’t come to appreciate her any better and the subtle flaws in her human emulation only grew more obvious. This was not a person nor an application. This was an enemy constructed by anonymous people pretending to be a person. Everything about her made Aphoxema uncomfortable, but she had agreed to allow her to stay even though she couldn’t explain to herself why.

Adelpha-501 never asked for her to do anything, only occasionally mentioning the secret mission though never making it clear what that mission was. All she wanted to do was talk from time to time about unimportant things, and every conversation frustrated Aphoxema further. It didn’t help that often the conversations were interrupted with Adelpha making an annoying, grinding noise, like static on a radio broadcast.

When Aphoxema asked Adelpha a question she wouldn’t answer, she never said why or offer something else, she just wouldn’t say anything and this infuriated her further. With the constant anger and anxiety this puppet caused for her, she still couldn’t justify even trying to get rid of her. Even thinking about telling her to leave her alone cause discomfort and fear.

Finally that damned thing had something to say after hours of just standing and staring while Aphoxema checked her inventory and estimated finances, “You have not fought against the Nation in a week now, have you surrendered to the invasion?

Every time she brought up a new subject she started with some kind of half insult or degrading comment, like every time it could have been put better but she was intentionally trying to provoke anger. Aphoxema didn’t care anymore, “I’m not making an impact either way. Other forces are holding them back and if I’m really needed I’ll return.

You swore on the Intergalactic Summit boards that you would dedicate your life to this fight.

I swear a lot of things. What, is fighting the Nation supposed to be part of my mission?

Adelpha-501, like she often would, said nothing and didn’t act like she was preparing a response. Sometimes there wasn’t one, like someone on the other end of a conversation walked away without saying anything, sometimes it just took a while, “Kuvakei’s attacks are completely unrelated to your objective.

You can tell me all day long what I’m not doing but you just can’t say what I’m supposed to be doing!

Again that long pause, they felt longer every time, “For your own safety, you can not know the objective until you have completed it.” The usual response.

But why do you have to always hang over me and invade my life? Can’t you just send me a message when it’s time to do whatever the hell you want me to do?!

Another pause, another gamble if she’d answer or if she would just waste time, “My presence is necessary to complete the mission.

Aphoxema pointed at Adelpha to somehow demonstrate her rage, finally saying something she had been suspecting for a while, “I don’t think you’re an AI at all, I think there’s someone on the other end telling you what to say, watching what I do, using my systems to gather information and I’m about sick of it!

Adelpha replied with that awful noise again, like a computer screaming, the holographic projection distorted a moment before she spoke, “Could you repeat that?

Aphoxema stared, confused a moment, “I said that... just shut up a while, I need to finish this.

But you have a message, you will find this one important to you.

Aphoxema groaned at the prying. This thing wouldn’t hesitate to pry at her personal information, but at least it was occasionally informative. Aphoxema picked up a datapad and read the new message, “Who the hell is... Kik... Kikia Truh... Truzhari?
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Rek Jaiga

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Age : 27
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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:47 pm

Great read! Aphox is on a super-secret mission that even she doesn't know! Great stuff :p
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Aphoxema G

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PostSubject: Re: Hysteresis (Third Person)   Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:56 pm

Adelpha watched Aphoxema pace back and forth, “This is a great opportunity, Pilot.

Aphoxema snapped at the spying hologram, “It’s a trap

Whatever could you mean?”

Must be trying to... catch me. The Republic.

Adelpha grinned eerily, “They’ve had so many chances, but your probation with Republic Security Services has ensured that your crimes against the Republic have been suspended for the time.

Aphoxema pointed accusingly to Adelpha, “You’re just trying to trick me!

There is no purpose in me misinforming you.

I can’t trust you to tell me you wouldn’t lie to me!

Adelpha bobbed a moment, as if thinking, “I did not tell you I am not lying to you. I have lied to you many times now.

Aphoxema shrieked, throwing her datapad through Adelpha, “You have done nothing but drive me mad since I met you. And for what?! What sick game are you playing with me!?

Adelpha stared silently again, longer this time, “I have miscalculated your personality. You will need to be adjusted again, and your mission will have to wait.

What mission?!

You will be given your objective once it is available again. You will also be adjusted to join Teraa Matar for protective custody until you are valuable again.

Aphoxema seethed, red and furious, “What do you mean adjusted?! What the fuck do you want with me.

Adelpha said nothing as Aphoxema walked closer to her projection, shaking in rage. Her depiction distorted, the shrill tones of binary code playing throughout the room again. Aphoxema tried to grab her ears, her hands shaking, resisting her muffling of the noise. Eternity passed in her head as the software encoded into her mind violently altered her being. Beyond any experience or emotion that could be known to anyone, every effort to resist caused immeasurable suffering until her will finally relented.

The projector turned off, Aphoxema laid on the floor in a heap. Tears, saliva and mucus collected together against her face stuck to the cold, metal floor. Hours passed before her swollen eyes blinked back to life.

She picked herself up, almost rejuvenated in the erasure that had taken place in her memory, completely unaware of the event, barely even aware of her own consciousness. She showered, redressed, ate. Void of thought, momentarily a machine, sitting back at her console before snapping back to reality.

She checked her notifications, seeing the offer to begin discussions for employment to Teraa Matar. She smiled, leaving a voice-message for Zukes, “Dear? I found a corporation who might want us.”

Aphoxema sat back and sighed, smiling contently at the opportunities before her.
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