Ch'rel chaps!

I'm currently on my second time around. That is, I've done the birth and growing up thing twice, with my consent, would you believe. Not that I died the first time round. I didn't. However, I was one of a few selected by the Corps as being suitable for the job (hardly anyone's psychological make-up is suited to it, apparently), and I was brought up with rather a strong sense of duty, so, like an idiot, I said yes. A few years ago I would have said it was the worst mistake I ever made, but now I'm having a lot more fun and I can see the benefits.

So, I was born on Sengen Patera, a fairly heavily shifting area, in about two and a half centuries from now. Went to school on Horus Patera, dump of a place, but it was at least a Corps-run school, with all the attendant benefits. I was a fairly average student (Unlike this time round, where I had enough residual memory to shoot me to the top of the class, get me moved up a year in the infants, and stay on top pretty much the whole way through to an archaeology degree.), but I did get through into the academy. I left a year before the end because I didn't enjoy the atmosphere, but I had the credits to get me my commission. I could therefore have joined up as an officer straight away, but having done some of my training on one ship that made me feel right at home, and a number of others that I loathed, I chose to sign up for that one ship, and wait for a suitable ranking post to come up. Started out as a First Tech, then moved up to a Third CO, then to a First CO, which was my credited rank. That took about five years. I was studying to cross streams over to Astronav when I was selected. I suppose I would have made it within about six months. I might well have gone back to it when I go home, but circumstances there have changed somewhat and that will not be possible for more than a few weeks. rocket

I miss things there an awful lot. I miss the system - the monopoly conditions attached to the Corps' five-arm domination meant that everyone was guaranteed a fairly well-paid job, provided that they didn't do anything seriously stupid. That's a safety-net you can really get used to, way better than social security. I miss my home planet (technically a moon, but any other colonists out there will know how much less zarking inferior you feel if people will do you the courtesy of calling it a planet), even though it was utterly deadly, prone to suck your dome under the surface without warning, and rather too close to the large red-spotted one for comfort. I miss AR, I miss being in space and I definitely miss my friends and colleagues, and, believe it or not, my work (sitting at my desk didn't make me lose the ability to dial up a specified tool on my SSM quicker than anyone else on my shift!). Above all, I miss having anyone to talk to in my 'Chiraea. If anyone recognised the greeting, I'd love to have a chat, though I have to admit, my controller won't let me remember too much of it consciously, but it flows out unexpectedly when I get emotional.

Now I'm in theatre. This time round, I've gone for something completely different. I've solved the problems of the grammar of time travel, which I have only done once in the most basic way with a spot of dimension hopping: If you remember it, even from the future, you say it in the past tense. If the thing you remember will happen to other people in their personal future however, it is referred to in the future tense. If you will soon be going back to do things in your future that you were doing with them in your past, when they won't have noticed you were gone because you were only given a courtesy minute between disappearing and reappearing, so that things you have done while away are in their present, your past, the people who were with you then's present which is the people you are with now's past, but was your future only a couple of seconds or decades ago: you need to go and get a nice hot cup of tea and think about it carefully before using any tense at all. tea

I make props, I help out at a costumier's, I paint portraits, I act in murder mysteries and I do altogether too much amateur theatre. I refuse to accept the present, I've seen what it can do to you. I believe in the past, it is all we have (unless, like me, a good proportion of your past is in fact in the future...), the future is all very well, but I didn't grow up in it in this dimension, so I can't guarantee its stability.

If anyone else out there understands exactly what I'm talking about, I will be in a whole load of trouble, but I'm past caring, do tell me. At the moment life is good, but the universe can be terribly lonely... towel


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