EVE: Identity

EVE: Identity

He woke with a start, gasping.  He recoiled from the suddenly bright lights around him.  Disoriented, it took him a moment to realize that a computerized voice was already speaking to him.

” -ry.  Welcome back to Ikami VIII – Peace and Order Unit Logistics Support station.  May I assist you with anything?” the automated medical attendant asked.

“Why in space are you jabbering at me already?” he crankily replied.  In the past, specific instructions had been given to the automated attendants to only provide information upon request.  After all, he wanted to come to grips with his most recent victory over death before finding out how the rest of the universe was doing.”

“Your instructions upon the last four clone activations have been for immediate welcome and assistance.  Would you like to change those instructions now?”

“Yes damnit!” he growled, stepping gingerly out of the reanimation unit.  His clammy skin glistened in the harsh light and he brought one arm up to shield his eyes against the glare.  The last four poddings I’ve requested immediate assistance?  That can’t be right.  Why don’t I remember that?

Carefully, he began his usual mental and physical exercises to make sense of the universe post-death.  Feet spread wide, he brought both arms to his side before throwing two light punches.

“I’m on Ikami VIII, Peace and Order.  This is our headquarters.  We began operations here a few months ago.”

He shifted one foot across the floor, pivoting his body in the process.

“Ikami is in Caldari space.  We are in the process of petitioning for corporate contracts for relief efforts in Metropolis.”

Eyes closed, he brings both hands together in a slow, deliberate sweeping motion.

“I died in…I died…”  His eyes snapped open.  He couldn’t remember how he had died.  “Computer, how did I die?”

The automated attendant took a moment to process the request before replying, “I am sorry, sir.  I cannot find the relevant data file.”

Losing his pose, he walked over to the closest wall terminal.  “What do you mean you can’t find the data file?  All transneural scans are logged these days.  Display the search criteria on my screen.”

It took less than a second for the search parameters to populate.  His eyes were immediately drawn to the flashing “No results” prompt in the lower middle portion of the screen.  How can that be? He thought, turning his attention from the results to the criteria itself.  What the…

“Computer, why in space…” he began to ask, but stopped short at an incessant nagging in the back of his brain.

“Please repeat your inquiry.” the computer voice replied.

“Computer, replay the programmed welcome from before.” he said, confused by what his memory told him he’d hear.

“Certainly sir.  Good morning Matthew Geary.  Welcome back…”

The automated attendant continued its litany, but he had stopped paying attention.  Looking around the room franticly, he spotted a mirror in the corner and rushed over to it.  Staring back was the face of a friend.  Not his face.  The face of Matthew Geary.  Someone he had worked with for months.  They had started White Talon Enterprises together.  But that was…not…him!

“May I assist you, Matthew Geary?” the sickly sweet attendant’s voice inquired.

“How in space did this happen?” he shouted.  “Where is my body?”

“I am sorry sir, but I do not understand the nature of your request.  Please repeat your inquiry.”

He started to erupt in anger at the computer, but warning klaxons exploded throughout the cloning bay.

“We have a Sansha incursion.  I repeat, we have a Sansha incursion in Ikami.” a voice boomed over the bay’s loudspeaker. “A large Sansha fleet has been detected entering the space around Ikami VIII.  All capsuleers are requested to join with Caldari Navy first responders.”

Sansha in The Forge?  Matthew Geary’s body?  What in space is going on?

 

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One Comment

  1. I hope you guys enjoyed the opening to this short story. The idea was inspired by Myrhial Arkenath of Ghost Festival, so kudos to her.

    Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this first little bit of story.