Monday May 4th, 2015

The exercise:

It is time for the fifth installment in 2015's yearlong prompt: The Colony. Sorry for the lack of warning, but I had a few ideas while weeding this morning that I wanted to get down.

If you're interested in joining in but have yet to do so, here's a quick status update on the crew and who (if anyone) is writing from each person's perspective:

Eliza (crew member, backup pilot): Marc
Robbie (crew member, driver): Greg
Demi (crew member, medic): Ivybennet
The ship's computer: Morganna
Vassily (Mission Commander): available
Aditya (pilot): available
Patrick (crew member, ex-cop): available
Melina (crew member, psychologist): introduced below and (obviously) available
Two unnamed, unmentioned crew members: both up for grabs

That list is actually pretty handy for me. I suspect I will be referring back to it often. Please let me know if I forgot anybody! Also: we've only had one entry from Demi so far, so if you want to give her some area of specialty just make a note of it or make it clear in your next entry Ivy.

Okay, on with the show!


I suppose I should have expected things to go... less than smoothly here. Especially in the initial period after our arrival, while we got settled in and ironed out all the wrinkles that would inevitably appear.

But I never would have imagined this.

First the supply drops and the potential of tampering being the cause of the missing equipment and rations. I mean, what are we talking about here... aliens? It couldn't have been anyone from our ship - there's no way anybody could have slipped off unnoticed long enough to even reach one of the drop sites. Does that mean there are other settlers from Earth that we don't know about?

And, if so, is it safe to say that they mean us harm?

Maybe Patrick is wrong. Maybe it just looked like the work of a crowbar. I mean, who knows what sort of crap passes through this area on a regular basis?

Anyway. As if all that isn't bad enough, now I'm worried about Robert. I mean, even more so than before we left Earth behind.

I've overheard him talking to computer screens several times since we were all allowed to leave our quarters after the all-hands meeting. And not like, muttering threats at them like my brothers always did whenever our home computer wouldn't do something the way they wanted it to.

More like... he's having a conversation with them. And... I don't know... taking instructions from them? Crazy, right?

Maybe he's at the start of a mental breakdown, which is only slightly terrifying in this setting. Maybe he just thinks the computers work like they do in Star Trek and I'll find him ordering the poor thing to make him Tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Either way, I've asked Melina to talk to him, try to figure out how he's doing. But not head on, in a more subtle manner - I don't want to offend him if nothing is wrong. Though equally I don't want to give him any indication that anyone suspects something isn't right if that is actually the case. Melina's got the training for that sort of thing and I trust she'll be able to tell me if Robert is crumbling under the pressure already.

Maybe I'll get her to talk to me next.


Greg said...

Heh, I had a mental note to remind you about this Wednesday this week, expecting that it would be a weekend visit! Oh well, you beat me to it.
And... you've given me some extra ideas for mine now! I was looking forward to working with what Morganna gave me last time, but now I've got a little more to play with as well. I'm very intrigued that Eliza is worrying about Robbie though, I'd have expected her to mark him down as just as broken as she'd expected :) I hope she's the only one who's noticed that Robbie's being... helpful :)

Eliza's not talking to me.
Well, she's not exactly not talking to me, but she's only talking to me through the computer, which I totes don't get. I think maybe it's because she's much more senior than me and doesn't want to be seen wasting her time with me, or maybe when you get to a certain rank you're only allowed to talk to people at the right level. And while I've got a stunning smile and nice muscles (I feel like the workouts are doing something again now, but I have to work for so much longer!) and a big di– "Oh, hi Melina!"
"Hi Roofie."
I'm not sure if I like Melina. I mean, she's taller than me; she's even taller than Captain Vasiliev, and she's stronger; she beat me in an arm wrestle yesterday. And she's cleverer, but then so's everyone. But she asks really odd questions, and she keeps hanging around like she thinks I'm trying to steal things. So maybe Patrick's said that it's my fault that the crates were damaged... no, I have to find nice things to say about Patrick. He's been cleaning his skin a lot better lately and has lots fewer blackheads. There, that's wasn't so hard.
Oh, Eliza's talking to me through the computer again. What now? Go to Camera 12. OK, I know where that is, because yesterday Eliza told me through the computer to learn where they all were. Camera 12 is on the South side of camp, half-way up a tower that Patrick and Captain Vasiliev put up when we landed. Actually we don't have North and South here because there's no magnetic thingies, but I can't get the hang of spinward, antispin, poleward and antipole so I'm sticking with South. Let's go!
"Where are you going, Roofie?"
Why can't she get my name right?
"Camera 12," I reply and smile. She smiles back.
"What for?"
I don't know. Because Eliza said so... wait, she's put something else up on the computer screen. Make something up. Oh crap.
"To check my hair." Yeah, I sound stupid, but never mind, I can see in her face that she thinks I'm halfway there already. She smiled and nods.
"Do you ever talk to the computer, Roofie?" she says. Well duh, I swear at it all the time, but you would too if ever time you turn round Eliza's using it to tell you to do something else.
"No thank-you, Melina," I said. Her name's almost an anagram of Meanie. No, no, I mustn't think bad things about people.
"Can I go now?"
She nods, but I know she's going to follow me. I wonder what's at Camera 12 that's important?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been keeping up with the colony. I've always had extremely busy days when it was time for this prompt. I'll try and change that in the future (as well as read the previous posts in-depth and work harder to contribute to the story line). As of now, I think I'm going to make Demi the actual medic. I feel like there would be someone with clinical experience in these matters as well as a psychiatrist on a trip like this.

The Colony:

And there it was, that headache I’ve been having ever since we landed. Everyone else on the mission has been perfectly fine—health-wise, at least. Just the usual bumps and bruises from landing, not to mention Robbie’s continuous head bumps and other absentminded injuries. For a TV star, the guy sure was like a bull in a china shop, as my grandmother would say.
Eliza and the rest have been too focused on everything that has been going on to notice my slowing of motor functioning lately. That and add the tampering of the supplies, I’m surprised anyone in the crew have acknowledged me at all.
All of my schooling and medical knowledge to get me out of the Bronx was all of a sudden failing me. Though the supplies had been tampered with, I still have been keeping up with supplying water to my body; dehydration wasn’t an issue. As far as I know, a person can’t be allergic to a planet and I highly doubted I had formed any new environmental allergies so quickly.
A brain tumor? That could explain the decrease in motor function and how my hands would suddenly begin to shake right when I was helping the crew out with the technology. But how would I be able to diagnose that on Mars?
And why have I been having the strangest craving for copper?

Marc said...

Greg - hah, really like that Robbie thinks that Eliza is behind the computer messages. That's clever stuff.

Hmm, I too wonder what awaits Robbie at Camera 12.

Ivybennet - I was actually going to suggest that a medic would be required, so thanks for taking that one on without a nudge! I've updated the post to reflect Demi's role.

And no worries about the absence. Feel free to contribute to the monthly prompt at any point during the month - I'd rather see a late(r) reply than have too many skipped months :)

And signs of copper toxicity? Oh dear, this could get much worse before it gets better... but I suppose that could be said about the entire mission at this point!

morganna said...

I found the physical location of the intruders in my mind. Camera 12 is pointed at the location. My human is on its way to see. I hope I can get it to alert the other humans.

My other experiment is not going well. I've been making sub-vocal suggestions at one of the other humans while it is in non-active mode. I was hoping to create a robot. It seems humans don't turn into robots, even if I tell them to eat lots of metal. I better tell it to stop -- it is getting slower and slower and starting to shake all the time. This is different than the other humans, so it must not be good.

Marc said...

Morganna - that is a clever explanation for what's happening to Demi's character. I love that the computer is 'hoping to create a robot'.

Oh crap, we're in a new month now. I should maybe bring this prompt back around again in the next couple of days, huh?