Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Goetia," Patience, pt. 3, 386 words

Meditation only reinforces the screaming silence in her head, where her wetware had once buzzed with the constant reassuring chatter and presence of the other members of the Goetia, and metaspace in general, that virtual universe grown over the bones of the Web. She tried when first on the way out, but her mind refused to settle down. A storm of primal urges demanding her attention; the need to feed, relieve herself, check her newsfeeds. But now that she's learned how to ignore all that, instead the dull hum of the Tin Can gets into her skull and overrides everything, making her feel slow and fuzzy as if drugged.

Just lying there with nothing to do is about as bad. It's like meditation, but a lot less focused, her mind wandering off on any random path it feels like until a stray sound jolts her out of her reverie and into a low-level panic. Not that she could fix the ship even if she wanted to. She's a glorified caretaker and sometime pilot. Nothing's broken yet, though; every time it's been the engine adjusting, or an air filter stepping up, or a service drone performing routine maintenance.

Her PAN – personal area network – has barely seen activity since getting more than five light-minutes out from Earth. With data flow slowed to a crawl, she's been able to handle reality and metaspace completely unassisted. The last thing she bothered using it for was to write a religious text while still tethered into her bunk, a strange whim that came upon her after spending a month out amongst the rocks on near-perfect radio silence. She got five pages in before abandoning it as too derivative of I, Robot and The Ghost in the Shell, despite featuring neither robots nor cyborgs.

Last week, she spontaneously decided to blast all her music collection (and uploaded as much more as her daily bandwidth limit would allow) at all hours on shuffle. Now there's not a genre she isn't sick of.

Today, all that mind-numbing boredom is about to pay off.

***

There's a good reason Sitri took this job, or else she wouldn't be out here of her own volition. She's somewhat asocial, but not enough to get a sense of fulfillment out of such complete avoidance of all other people.

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