December 17, 2019 at 12:40 pm #23072
Once they were in the air, Preston apologetically fell soundly asleep for the first few hours. Even once he woke up he was subdued, mostly just passing a few words now and then with Lilly and Rebecca and largely avoiding Alex altogether. He knew it wasn’t a good showing on his part, but he was feeling immensely tired in a way that sleep wasn’t going to help much with.
He eventually asked Rebecca “Do you ever find you need to be away from this life for a while? To have things be more more normal, well I guess there is no such thing as normal so maybe say more routine for a bit? I felt like I was not on top of my game at times in this run, and I feel like part of it was that I was wearing my role too much, trying to be my role rather than being my best me, if that makes any sense. Do you ever feel anything like that?”
* Eliza: No point in asking Al, he never seems to struggle to be himself
* Oleg: If he ever WAS confused about who he was, all he’d have to do is take a sniff and he’d know
* Gamma: This was Lilly’s first run from what she said.
* Eliza: Hopefully she isn’t having an identity crisis yet, and no need to bring her down by talking about such things.
* Gamma: Alex has long experience, including taking on a role as an actor and probably other roles as well
* Oleg: He’d probably give me a trivial answer. Me explaining how I feel to a three year old would probably not close to encompass how it would feel to him.
* Eliza: If he did give a detailed answer, that much perspective might crush me.
Later on he did go up to the cockpit to clear away the usual pile of detritus that Al seemed to accumulate anytime he sat still for long, and then to sit with him for a while. Preston mused “It is funny, that time down in Texas — you remember — has been making me homesick for the Athabaskan territories. I don’t know if you’ve ever been up Edmonton way, it is different than Texas in a lot of ways, colder for example, but the oil and cattle and dry flat country, those are all similar, and all very different than Seattle. What about you, you ever feel like you need to get back to your roots for a while?”
Before they land he finally sits with Lilly, and simply says “I don’t have the experience and network that Al has, or even Becky, but we should stay in touch. Maybe we can help each other, maybe we have contacts each other can use. I might be going out of Seattle for a bit, but here is my evergreen contact info.”
To Alex he just wishes “Good luck with the show, and with whatever you decide to do next.”December 17, 2019 at 4:11 pm #23073Jack_SpadeKeymaster
Alex replied to Becky and Al with mock outrage:
“Hey, that is totally uncalled for. I worked hard to become a bonafide actor. Took me years to sleep my way up into getting a Holywood contract.”
He smiled: “As for some tasteful artistic nudity: I’ll tell you a secret – the next season will feature a lot of surprising thunderstorms, sudden floods, secret meetings in saunas, acidental acid spills on clothes as well as one or two captures with subsequent screenings for tracking bugs.”
His smile faded: “And no, I trust Ernst Horn implicitly. If anyone, it was probably one of Harlequin’s groupies. That, or one of the dragons had another genius plan. The arrogant fraggers.”
As Preston joined the conversation he said: “Thanks. As I said, you are welcome to hang around the production for a while – but I understand if you just want to get your payment and then get away from here as fast as possible.
Anyway, my armored limousine will be around in a few minutes. Feel free to hop in – or not.”December 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm #23088
Rebeca observes Lilly’s cyberarm and touches it warily. ”So you get to stay in shape without training six hours a day? I could get used to that.” She frowns when Lilly mentions Bills, Rebbeca has seen her way with bills, and she told herself that it was all to pay off debts. Yet, she carried on long after she settled her debts, and long after she had enough for retirement. Rebbeca had no idea why she kept going; perhaps she enjoyed the adventure.
Rebbeca sighs: ”Can’t say that I feel an urge to help people. I have seen the worst of people enough times to free myself from good and evil. I am in this drek because it is interesting. I spend most of my days studying and training my body and mind. Work gives me room to let go and have fun. Enjoy the chaos of its all. If your body is for combat – mine is made for an obscure purpose. I am but a pawn in an endless game of and I lack the perspective to understand.”
She replies to Preston, with a comforting grin ”Tell me about it… Can you even imagine the pressure I felt over these years to fit in the pretty face role and to capitalize on my natural assets rather than pretend to be a warrior.
When Alex mentions his limozeen, Rebbeca hesitates for a short moment and then asks Preston ”Perhaps you want to party with me? I feel that what you need is to relax and have some fun. Perhaps it is what I need as well.December 18, 2019 at 1:53 pm #23092adamuParticipant
In response to Preston, Al said, “Done my share o’ travellin’, yessirreebob. But fifty-first-state shit, no, that’s a pleasure I ain’t had much of. It do sound invitin’, though. Nothin’ like…what’d ya say? Roots? Nah, that’s mountains. An’ trees. An’ hot. Not jist the air. The blood. Or the blood in the air. Or…aw hell, I’m a Thespian, not a poet. Jist say it’s a place where dreams sprout an’ spring up an’ the buds swell an’ then they rot on the branch an’ die away without ever the blossomin’, leavin’ behind a pregnant stillness that has a tendency ta explode in ugly ways amongst otherwise honest, God-fearin’ families. I’ll go back someday.”
Once they’d landed at Winslow’s island and Veljanov started talking about limousines, Al, sensing that there was probably a good supply of drink involved, said, “Well, yer boy Horn promised ol’ Al a star turn in yer next season, so guess I’m comin’ along.” With the words, he felt a sharp pang of trepidation, but wouldn’t tell himself why.December 18, 2019 at 5:37 pm #23096
“Oh, I’m not skipping this party, don’t you worry Becky! I spent enough time with Tanya to learn to appreciate the good stuff when it is on offer. Then maybe deal with a few bills and preparations in Seattle, then maybe it is time to go home for a bit, let my family know I’m alive. I doubt I’ll stay long, like I said I’ve learned to recognize the good stuff and I don’t think there is much of that in Edmonton’s Registered Ukrainian Language Community — did you know in the Athabaskan Territories just about any group can get their own schools and bylaws, they just can’t get proper SINs? It is how they keep the majority non-native under control, keep them divided into enclaves and make it hard to move around. I can’t imagine going back to living that way, but maybe a visit will help me get grounded, or something.”December 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm #23103
Rebbeca asks ”So you come from Athabaskan?”December 20, 2019 at 10:52 am #23112
Preston nodded yes to Becky’s question, then elaborated “I was trying to get out just about as long as I can remember. The ‘Ukrainian’ community was too small, almost smothering, and full of reactionary drek-heads. First I thought I’d join a security company — at the time KE was granting Ares’ SIN to new recruits. And then I thought I could make it big enough as a matrix gamer to buy my way out, but I stalled out at the minor league level, still working in a cafe to pay my bills. But in the end I got picked up as matrix support by a UCAS bounty hunter who introduced me to the wonders of fake SINs.” A series of emotions flick across his face as he remembers the good and bad of those years.
After a sigh, he finished up “I never risked going back, it always felt like walking back into a trap I’d been lucky to get out of once, you know? But compared to some of the things I’ve learned about lately, Uncle Oleg doesn’t seem as scary anymore. Plus the pay from this job should be more than enough for any required bribes, so I’m not so worried about getting stuck there. And there was a girl from the Korean community, her family moved up to Fairbanks before we got too serious, but I looked her up not long ago and she’s back in Edmonton … I don’t know, maybe I’ll look her up too.”
* Gamma: I did not have any plans to look her up before now
* Eliza: Sometimes I need to talk outside of my head to let thoughts really developDecember 20, 2019 at 3:01 pm #23122
Rebbeca listens, and then comments ”Why not… Your choices cannot be worse than mine. If you need some backup going back I don’t mind tagging along. Not sure that it would help you get your girl … “
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