May 23, 2019 at 6:23 pm #19146
Al sat in one chair and put his feet up on another. Filled out the e-form as Hezekiah Malachi, leaving anything blank that he couldn’t remember off the top of his head. And besides the name, he decided to always tell the truth – easier to remember that way. So for VOCATION he put Master Thespian, and under SECONDARY SKILLS he listed karate and voodoo.
There were also long drop-down lists of vehicles, precision instruments, industrial machinery, robotics, and other hardware and software that an applicant might be rated in – he ticked almost all of those – along with nanotech, biotech, and other technical and scientific qualifications – he ended up ticking several of those as well, some because he knew them well, and others because they didn’t sound like anything he couldn’t figure out in a pinch. How hard could they be, really?
Then he wandered back to Sheila the receptionist. He handed her the form, which was only slightly sticky with donut jelly. Gestured at the tube. “Sorry, hon, but that there definitely don’t pass the cool test. Reckon the only way yer gittin’ ol’ Hez’s spit is ta swap it like we’s friends. Or i could maybe part with some o’ my hair…jist pick what part o’ me ya want it from….”May 24, 2019 at 2:34 am #19155
Rebbeca was happy for her R6 SIN she recently had. Hopefully, it would not burn by this scrutiny. She selects a fitness instructor as her professions and lists computers, rock climbing, gymnastics, and manual driving as her secondary skills. She figures that driving on Mars would require some really good drivers and few people actually know how to manually drive. She is a bit worried about the psychological evaluation – fearing the realization that”insainity” is written all over her gene pool. She files the file an anxious grin ”Let’s see how it goes… “ she tells the man a bit nervously.May 24, 2019 at 9:43 am #19160
Sheila looked a bit exasperated but only nodded with a shudder: “A hair will probably be just fine.”
The black elf smiled again: “Well, I certainly hope you are with us for round two.”
By now, the event was slowly winding down. People were still milling around looking at the simulations and chatting with each other, but by now it was pretty clear who was interested and who had just come for a fun afternoon entertainment.
Hardcomb was helping Ron, the black elf and Iris, the dwarf girl, with the former, handing out the forms and collecting them again.May 24, 2019 at 10:20 am #19163
Al grinned around the cigarette in his teeth and pulled up his yellowing T-shirt, exposing his bare abdomen. Below his navel, a large gray area – some sort of tattoo – peaked up from his trousers, but with most of it below the belt line, it could not be identified. A nasty scar ran laterally across the exposed portion. Above that, a thin line of hair bisected his washboard abs, leading past clearly visible ribs to a thick mass of curly hair.
“Have it your way, hon. Do yer worst, then.”May 24, 2019 at 12:21 pm #19171
Sheila looked around, clearly for help, but then got a grip on herself: “I think one from your head will do, please lower your shirt… or maybe burn it.”
Al heard the black elf move over, still smiling but with a clear ‘do-we-have-a-problem-here’ look on his face.
Sheila brighened and said: “Hey Ron, could you please help this gentleman with securing a hair sample?”
“No problem Sheila.”
Al saw the man reach out to him to pick a hair from his head.May 24, 2019 at 2:28 pm #19180
* Gamma: My ID is not good enough to pass a gene test
* Oleg: Paranoid buggers. If they are taking people to Mars, what do they care about who they were on Earth?
* Eliza: I’m sure changing planets isn’t nearly far enough to leave snobbery behind
* Coleman: Obviously I’m not putting this application in today. Which creates an opportunity to gather more information
* Monky: Ew, Al is monopolizing the pretty one.
<<I’m not applying today, I don’t have a strong enough ID available for the dna check>>
Preston went through the form, looking for any questions that seemed out of place, and incidentally making a copy of the questions just in case they didn’t let him take it when he left.
He waits for the elf to finish helping with Al, then catches his attention and asks “What are the timelines? Like how soon are people heading offworld, and what is the deadline to be considered? I think I should figure out how quickly I could get my lungs worked on, and some cheaper implants upgraded, before I submit the form. The way I’m put together right now _I_ wouldn’t take me! But I know I can be more ready, if I just have enough time, so I need to know how much time I have?” He let himself sound a touch whiny, the better to let the tough looking elf write him off as ‘not-a-threat’
May 24, 2019 at 3:16 pm #19189
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Beta.
“No need to hurry – there are plenty of rounds to go before anyone gets even close to space. We have a few more events like this over the next few weeks. In general, once we have processed your information and done a preliminary genetic testing, we’ll contact you about the training. You don’t need to get the implants before you sign though. Signing first would actually make you elegible for the 5% discount – no strings attached. A small repayment for your interest and your data.”
Ron replied to Preston.May 24, 2019 at 4:14 pm #19193
* Eliza: subtle high pressure sales for leaving the planet? ‘Act now to save money on giving up everything!’
* Oleg: This whole process is off-putting. Something feels off.
“Well, I need to think about it. If I lose the discount then that is the cost of being careful I guess. If I make up my mind before the next recruiting event, where can I ARO the application — oh, wait, there is the genetic sample, I can’t just send you an ARO. Do you have an address where I could courier it? Or would I need to come by your office to have the genetic sample witnessed?”
* Gamma: I probably sounded a little bit disingenuous there; I’m not very good at outright manipulating people.
* Eliza: Hopefully he will just think I’m trying to fake the genetic sample.
May 24, 2019 at 4:50 pm #19198
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Beta.
“Sure, here’s the address. Don’t worry – as I said, you have plenty of time.”
The address turned out to be rented office space downtown – officially registrated to WF ltd.May 24, 2019 at 6:08 pm #19208
Al was willing to get shot at and even ensorcelled for a job, but let another guy touch him?
Deftly shifting his weight just out of the elf’s reach, his hand shot up and he plucked a hair himself. Handed it to the elf. “There ya go, compadre.” Then, turning to the girl, “Well played, missy. Catch ya on the rocket ship.” And with double peace signs he went in search of more donuts.May 24, 2019 at 6:15 pm #19209
Rebbeca hands her form and sample, and asks ”So what’s next? When will I know if I make it round two?”May 24, 2019 at 7:38 pm #19214
“Processing the data takes usually a day or two. We’ll get into contact with you to let you know – one way or the other.”
Sheila replied while still looking after Al’s retreating form.May 25, 2019 at 1:36 pm #19226
The donuts were good. Al shoved another into his mouth and stuffed a few more into the pockets of his jacket. They’d done what they’d come here to do. There was nothing left to do by linger and shmooze, which would only make them seem desperate. Al left and went to the Gov, where Lily was waiting.
<<Gon’ let you two git a cab or call yer own rides or whatever. Don’t wanna be all seen leavin’ in a group.>>May 25, 2019 at 4:07 pm #19233
* Coleman: Al is right, time to leave.
* Eliza: His instincts are so good in so many areas, and so absent in a few narrow niches.
* Gamma: I may have blind spots of my own, but of course I can’t see them if they are blind spots.
<<My car isn’t that far off, I’ll call it. Becky, you want to call your own ride? I could hit on you and offer you a ride, but you accepting might seem unlikely>>May 26, 2019 at 3:55 pm #19255
Leaving the event was no trouble – there was no sign of a tail or any other indicator that they had been made.May 27, 2019 at 5:58 pm #19288
No sign of tails or not, Al went through his usual bag of tricks – including transforming the appearance of the Gov – to sterilize his backtrail. Then he made for another truck stop. Given the agricultural output of Snohomish, haulage into the urban jungle to the south was a constant process – there were simply no shortcuts to fresh produce logistics. It had to be moved and it had to be now.
So he let the others know where he was, paid to park, and stretched out on the red velvet-upholstered bench in the back. No need to check with Lily about what he was doing – she’d do whatever she pleased. Always did. Or else just sit and stare.
It would be pretty easy to just put his feet up and wait for the Mars freaks to call. But he was feeling energetic. He’d already seen every episode of Dark Wave. So he called up Veljanov’s music catalog and started working his way back from the latest, Crystal Palace. The music was so awful the earbuds nearly burned a hole into his brain. Bunch of self-conscious German electro-gloom fit for no-one but wish-they-were-suicidal pubescents and black-clad depression junkies. But who could say what might be there to hear. To ease the pain, he also surfed for any public information on Shane Vixen, particularly her recent whereabouts.May 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm #19295
[Thursday September 8, 2078; Al’s Truck, Another Snohomish Truck Stop, Seattle Metroplex]
Lily was sat crossed legged with her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands, her diminutive form curiously childlike, presumably they saved on the construction costs of a full adult model.
“So what now? Sounds like it could take months to go through rounds of testing and hoop jumping before they let you anywhere near their main site. Probably a sensible precaution if you’re going in to space with someone, but it doesn’t really help us get to Alex. So are we going to recon the site?”
#14May 28, 2019 at 2:03 pm #19305
Al tore his eyes from his ‘link, which he was using for an exhaustive review of all of Shane Vixen’s nude scenes, certain there was a clue there somewhere. He was glad, though, for the chance to take Veljanov’s music out of his ear – the never-die was a much better actor than singer.
“Well honey, yer right, but….which is ta say, yeah, the full process could be pretty lengthy under normal circumstances, but they’s nothin’ normal about all o’ this. They done intimated we’d hear somethin’ back in a day or two. Reckon we wait that long, git a sense o’ the timeline involved. If’n it looks too long – by which I mean more’n a few more days, then, yeah, it’ll be incumbent upon us ta saddle up an’ take a more spec ops sort of approach. Inna meantime, the world is data. If I can figure out the right questions, could be somethin’ out there might give us some advantage.”May 28, 2019 at 2:14 pm #19306
Preston headed into the city, taking a straight run down the highway and marking any vehicles that seemed to be moving along with him. Matrix marking, that is. Then he set a course to a car wash, both to clean off the farm country dust and to give himself some delay, and after that took a wandering path through an urban area of downtown, checking on the location of the marked vehicles.
Having determined that none of those seemed close he then went to a dead zone to change his plates and ID, took another expressway run to mark a new set of cars, did another pass on checking that they did not stay clear when he pulled off to go through a drive-thru, did another change, then sent his car to a parking garage near his home while he cut through a mall and grabbed an auto-cab back out to the truck stop.
<<Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be one of those people who just always take the shortest, simplest, route to get anywhere? I wonder what they do with all that extra time?>>
When he met up with the others he said “I didn’t even put in an application, I don’t have an ID ready that can withstand that sort of scrutiny. I’ll start the work to get one, but I imagine it will take a bit, that level of sophistication takes time to put in place, if I can even get someone to burn the work required for me. I think going in the hard way might be the only way that we get our star back in time.“May 28, 2019 at 5:57 pm #19313
“Point taken, amigo. Robogirl here’s itchin’ fer action too. Listen, they said one or two days an’ back to us. Worth a shot ta see if their program fits our timeline – if it’s two more months o’ lame tests, we head south. But if it’s somethin’ like, ‘hey, yer on the short list so we’s shippin’ ya ta St. Helens fer evals tomorrow,’ then it’s worth it if one of us gits inside. Others’ll still be on standby outside the fenceline. An’ since that means at least some of us are takin’ the Gaz down there, then that’s a roadtrip we got jist a day or two ta prep. So ever’one needs an ID with a Salish tourist visa. We gotta have food, water, an’ campin’ gear fer a few days. Then whatever each of us needs to do do they part ta penetrate the place, hot or cold. Me, I’ll make sure he Gaz is good an’ ready fer the task.”
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