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Death 999
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Peeru Fanfic part 16
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2009, 06:02:04 pm »

NOTE: I would like to make one minor retcon here: ever since the visit to the starbase, due to her reassignment to the Vindicator, and presumably for the duration of this, Peeru has been a demoted to commander from captain. I have decided that going back and editing this change in would not be worth the effort.


Two days before arrival at Epsilon Camelopardalis, there was a sensor contact moving their way. It was too slow to achieve an intercept course, but it was clearly heading to cut them off on their return. By one day out, the sensors blossomed with four more contacts, none of which would get to the system in time. The Vindicator had simply breezed right by the outer Ur-Quan perimeter.

Upon their arrival in-system, Zelnick zeroed in on the outer of the two planets and swept in at 80% throttle. As they came further into the system, they found a dozen Kohr-Ah marauders, not poised to intercept. And so the Vindicator got them to their first destination with no difficulty.

Peeru stood by, strapped in to the now-familiar lander with crews that were no longer names on a list. As Zelnick guided the ship through power orbits, scanning the planet's surface much faster than its gravity, even amplified by their cruising drives, could ever cause. She monitored the scans with him. There's nothing down there, just some metal.. Minute after minute passed, and still there was no word on whether to launch.

Peeru set up a side window to monitor the progress of the Kohr-Ah in their pursuit. Already they were spreading out to prevent escape. When it seemed like it was already too late, they broke away and shot out through the widest remaining gap of the cordon at full throttle.

Within an hour they were in place around the inner planet, and had at least an hour and a half of breathing room before they would be interrupted. This time, Zelnick satisfied himself with a quick scan on the main planet before moving on to the moon.

A moment after that scan began, a loud 'ping' rang out. The lander crew cheered. First system? This was about as easy as this could possibly be!

"Chief, don't hold back this time." I may still be poor at walking, but this suit helps, and even more now that it's been modified for me... oof!

The Vindicator was a dot in the distance in just a moment. Focusing her attention ahead, she fought terror: the ground was approaching much more quickly than it had in their practice runs in Alpha Kepler. And it was green, and cloud-covered, with electrical arcs flying incessantly. And I had been hoping for a nice tectonically dead airless moon, like we practiced on.

The lander entered the clouds and immediately swung to horizontal hard enough to strain their artificial gravity system's ability to compensate. The fog they flew through totally blocked the visible spectrum, so Peeru switched to infrared, then deep infrared. The ship around her blazed, but outside she could see the terrain, and the enormous vault looming before them. The pilot swung them around and retrothrusted just enough that they settled on the lower rim of the vault, below the top edge.

A moment later, a tremendous volley of lightning struck. Not the lander, but the vault's top edge, where a spike emerged from the edge and drew away the shock. If that had hit us, that would have been the end of it. Yikes.

The resulting thunder was deafening, but Peeru figured that chief Hourin was telling everyone to get to their positions. Where are the Syreen? They are[/i] my position. What if they're out... there?[/i]

She followed the crews out through the billowing vapors, produced as the warmth of their suits evaporated the dry ice on the ground, and refroze in mid-air. Where are they? Can't get a signal through this interference in just my suit... A gust of wind nearly knocked her over. She compared what she could see of the structure to the hastily compiled composite photo and diagram that had been loaded just before launch.

Hourin reported, "Charges set! Commander?"

"Hop around the rim, that way. This isn't the way in."

She crawled against a vicious cross-wind back into the lander; the crowd followed. Without even fully sealing the lander's hatch, they glided around the perimeter by around thirty degrees, more or less, and repeated. Peeru remained inside.

This time they were delayed by a rumble of enormous proportions, which swept over the ground like a deep ocean wave. This image did not occur to Peeru at the time, as she had never seen an ocean, and she hadn't seen much of stable ground either, but she knew it meant trouble. The vault's suspension system mitigated the bump, but the crew ducked under the lander to avoid the flying rocks. One the size of her head smashed into the lander's windshield, leaving a mark.

They did not waste any further time getting going. The next hop took them to the vault's entrance, which was getting crowded: the shuttle was in one corner, and the other lander splayed across the middle. The pilot nudged it out of the way, and all three were in.

The outer door closed, and the outside's tempest was cut off like a light. Once the heat from the ships' propulsion systems had boiled the fog to transparency, Peeru saw the handful of Syreen at the control panel in the corner.

A few moments later, the descent began. Let's hope their memories of this taking only ten minutes were around right...

Though two of the lander crew were jubilant about their getting this far, the sense that there were still so many things that could go wrong pervaded the team.

She stepped out. Over the radio, she called out, "Peeru here. Our fuel stocks are secure. Do lander 2 and shuttle also report okay?"

Trixia was on the other end of the voice connection. "Yes, we're all set. Let your feeder lines loose and get ready to pump us up."

Peeru glanced over her shoulder to the chief, and gestured down.

Hourin hit a switch, and with a muffled clatter, a pair of enormous hoses uncoiled from where the cargo bays usually were. "All right, let's give those girls some hot lovin'!" The rest of the crew headed down the hatch.

Peeru continued towards the Syreen who were out already, but before she could make it, they headed back into the shuttle. One was limping, and Peeru recognized a massive electrical burn mark across her left leg. They must have had to open this from outside. Yikes!

So she watched the two lander crews get the fuelling lines ready. After a minute of that, the Syreen captains filed out of the shuttle, all in jetpack suits.

Without warning, the elevator ceased to have walls on the sides. Kay offered her viewpoint camera stream up; Peeru hooked into its view of the densely packed penetrators, This is going to be a traffic control nightmare. As Kay leapt off towards her assigned ship, Peeru dropped the viewpoint, set up a model of the vault layout, and began to devise a takeoff pattern.

This plan ended up worthless, as some Syreen captains had much easier times than others readying their ships. This made the process lengthier, but far easier for Peeru: only a few ships at a time needed to fill up. Still, Peeru was kept busy juggling ships until all sixty seven were ready.

Their part of the job done, Peeru checked the time. Launch was eighty four minutes ago. The Vindicator should be back in orbit now from its time decoying around the planet. "Drop the lines and let's go!"

Even before the last lander crew were back in place, the vault doors were open. The landers took off as the penetrators waited for their all-clear.

The atmosphere rushed past and they were into black sky before Peeru could even remember worry about the weather.

The chief frowned. "No sign of the Vindicator... Ah, here it is, coming round. Boosting..."

Zelnick got her on the line even as Hourin was slipping into the tractor funnel. "Everything all right down there?"

"Yes, sir!"
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Re: Peeru Fanfic
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2009, 06:14:48 pm »

The announcement went fleetwide, "Hold onto your seats, we're going to have to do some serious distracting."

The moment the second lander was aboard, even before the outer airlock door closed, the Vindicator straightened out its burn and left orbit, aiming for the flank of the Kohr-Ah.

The lander teams stuck with their craft, securing everything for varying maneuvering, and returning unspent fuel to the ship's main tanks.

Peeru oversaw without having anything to really contribute, so she kept her silence.

This took a few minutes, and as they were wrapping it up, the fleetwide announcement came, "One minute to contact. Two marauders in this group. We have two minutes to wrap this engagement up before we get locked in with three more. Remember to stagger fire."

The lander crews rushed aftward. My fate and all our fates, out of my hands. I don't even have a combat station here. She found herself moving to the bridge, and got in just before the room sealed off. She almost didn't recognize Zelnick in his vacuum suit. She put her helmet back on.

And then the fleets' cruising fields were entangled. The allies launched a missile bombardment optimized to draw out defensive plasma rings. It was a partial success, in that the Kohr-Ah were unable to respond on the offense immediately. They're putting up blade defenses instead of going on the offense. They know we're in a rush. We should have my mauler here, to knock them out of that defensive screen. How could I let this happen? Why couldn't I have argued we were vital? Why couldn't I have not shot up the Gold?

Well before the two minute mark, Zelnick called out, "All ships, back to tractor berths immediately! We have twenty seconds. Ten. Good...!"

The marauders, seeing the retreat, went onto the offense. Blades flashed out, and hit. And again, blades were launched.

The Vindicator wrested free of the entanglement with the Marauders and snapped back into high-speed cruise. To further distract, they dashed towards the second planet again.

At first, they were pursued. After half a minute, several of the of the marauders broke off and headed back towards the moon with the penetrators.

Zelnick muttered under his breath, then slammed the button to send the takeoff call. The Syreen ships appeared as a fuzzy mass on the sensors, and all of the Kohr-Ah turned to pursue.

"They'll make it out of the system all right. Let's get outside, then..." The Vindicator accelerated hard towards the edge of the system.

Zelnick brought up the captains. "Casualties and damage? Abrams."

"One of our thrust pods is down, and we lost a few people."


"Three critically injured and one dead. Hit us right on the backbone. Structurally weakened, but we can still move and shoot." She looked away from the camera for a moment. "Make that two dead. We got the other two into cryopods."

"Do you need replacements right now, or... all right. Now, to improve the chances of the Syreen, we're going to have to head out-system and destroy the nearest battle group. We don't know how many of them there are, or what kind they are, but if we can do that, then the rest will be much easier. If we can do it in ten minutes, that'd be ideal. If we can do it in half an hour, that'll be adequate. Any questions? All right, get rest as you can. I estimate... two hours to contact."

The connection closed, Zelnick reclined his chair. "Good job down there on the surface."

"Thank you. Is there anything else I can do?"

"Yeah. If you'd run home to Sol and grab that ship of yours, I'd be much obliged."

"I was thinking the same thing."

"More seriously, though. You keep an eye on what's going on out in hyperspace. If this drags on, we may need to retreat. I won't have the time to focus on that. Remember the plan? You were there."

"I was running the other side in our sims, but I remember." Peeru sent him the consensus-confirmed decision tree, to demonstrate.

"Good. Now, would you leave until we hit hyperspace? I need to have some chats."

Peeru obliged. The stress finally ebbed a bit, and she finally let the claustrophobia of her suit affect her. She ripped off the helmet and gloves. That was better. The arms were a bit like big chains, in a way. And she was still wearing her knee chains as input devices, inside the suit.

After a minute, she was recovered. She plopped the helmet back on and got back onto the computer to review that decision tree. It wasn't long before she had it burned into her brain. As the fleet exited the system, she familiarized herself with the hyperspace sensors and the team operating them.

They could handle this job. Wasn't Trifop on sensors? Ah, not hyperspace sensors. Well, thinking on it, this is a real job - they get the information, and I call the retreat as necessary.

She glided down the ladder to the next deck, and into the sensor control room. One tech was idle, as the sensors were unusable this far from the heliopause crossover; one was trying to guide a robot through a repair on the outside.

"What's up?" asked the idle tech, transferring his raised boots from the spare seat to a table.

"I'm here to digest your results and pass them on to the captain."

"Wow, picked out for that?"

"Excuse me?"

The other tech got to her feet hastily. "Excuse us, commander. Your suit is mismarked."

The first panicked and fell to the ground before getting up. "Oh shoot! Ma'am!"

"As you were - I see that's sensitive, no worry - I borrowed this one from one of the lander crew. Help me get oriented with understanding these instruments, so I can make the call I'm here for."

The first looked to the one guiding the repairs. "Bridget?"

"You do it, Andy. This is still shorting somewhere."

Andy and guided Peeru through interpreting the scans, their limitations, the patterns of errors. From time to time, Bridget would cut in and correct or clarify something he said. Peeru asked for a few explanations of some principles, and ended up receiving amply - Andy happened to be the son of two scientists, who had grown up with a house decorated by three dimensional projections of high-dimensional manifolds such as the Calabi-Yau, and SzztZak sequence (that, at least, was what he said; the translation computer was unable to match these up to anything that would have meant anything to her). Once she had grasped what she needed to know immediately, she inquired as to the origin of various phenomena such as size-dependence in rescaling, and formation and shapes of hyperspace bubbles; and he was about to start in on their relation to the spherical harmonics, when they left the system and he had to get to work.

Bridget had not finished repairing the sensor when they left the system; but it was just one in the array. Zelnick brought up Peeru on voice as soon as they were out.

"This isn't exactly what I expected. See there in the southeast quadrant?"

"Yes. That cluster is moving north, not northwest."

"I'll be busy getting us ready. You figure out what's going on there."

In mere minutes, they were close enough to resolve the group they were aiming at.

"Holy..." was all Andy could say.

"That's eight ships, right?" asked Peeru.

"Yeah. Marauders. And we thought this was greenie space."

Suddenly, the straying ships clicked into place. We're in the middle of a Kohr-Ah flanking maneuver. Those ships to the southeast are retreating. That opens up a new hole for us! She put tentative colorings on the groups. What a time to show up. The Kohr-Ah are retreating here, which means we'll have to pass through both lines. On the up side, these might be damaged, too.
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Re: Peeru Fanfic
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2009, 06:42:11 pm »

The fleetwide announcement came in, "We have more time to work with, here. We're not here to distract and run, we're here to crush them."

Bridget moaned. "Ugh. The bravado, it kills me. Please don't say we'll kick their asses. Whoa, slow down, Cap. Don't want to shred."

"Shred?" Peeru asked.

Andy supplied, "If you come in too close and fast, both groups end up spread over maybe a light-month of space, locked in pairs. We don't want to have to face the Kohr-Ah one on one, I think."

"But being close would be good to prevent the Kohr-Ah from having time to build up blade defenses."


Peeru focused on the fleet arrangement as they approached. The skiffs, the fury, and two of the eluders were shuffled to the right; the cruisers hung were placed at the left with one of the eluders.

On the Kohr-Ah side, they employed a circle, with the Vindicator on its axis. That would make dodging tricky, if they focus fire, and the Vindicator were slow. But... this is interesting. They're mostly already damaged.

As they rushed in, she saw the region's mass attractor, a dwarf planet from the nearby system; it was off to the 'above' in the axes Zelnick had selected.

And then the hyperspace fields collapsed without shredding, and they were locked in battle. The cruisers scattered, slinging nukes along a variety of curved trajectories converging on one particular marauder. The Kohr-Ah opened fire on the Vindicator. The Vindicator sluggishly turned down to evade.

The targeted marauder caught several of the nukes in a flame ring, but they were spaced so that it had to repeat to catch the rest.

At the last moment it could before being sliced to shreds, the Vindicator burst forth with full speed. The blades, on no useful course, were dropped; a ring of blades flashed out, targeting cruisers this time. That's massive overkill, and there's no way they can dodge all of them.

The Vindicator swung around and faced the cruisers. What are we doing? Where... "Hold on!" The Vindicator slammed into the cruiser at the focus of the incoming fire, bouncing it out of the way, and retaining enough momentum to clear the shots itself.

In the mean time, a second wave of nukes all landed. There ceased to be a ship at that location. That'll teach them to go on the offense.

Bridget said, "I'm all for percussive maintenance, but 0.2 c is a little much. We lost R2. Send another up, Andy?"

"We lost the secondary restriction coil?"

"A robot. Send up a repair robot, you uncultured colonist."

"Done. By the way, with us dancing around like this, don't waste your time on the GRD. Just get the squids up, ok?"

"Got it."

Peeru split her attention between the scans she was to monitor, and the progress of the battle. Having seen what their fleet could do, the Kohr-Ah had reprioritized defense, putting up a thick shielding minefield up... on the side facing the cruisers. The Arilou were cautiously inching in towards being a threat, more intent on being a distraction than actually doing damage; the Spathi were on the flank, sending out bursts of torpedoes to demand attantion, which for the most part they did not receive.

As for things in the broader universe, Peeru watched a screen full of noise.

Andy pointed. "That group has turned about minus pi over six."

"What group?"

"If you squint, you can see the streaks. That isn't astigmatism, it's their drive vector."

"If you have to squint, you haven't done enough image processing."

"Image processing done in the eye is still image processing. I can switch it off faster, too. See that?"


"That whorl. Two groups just engaged each other there. I think."

Peeru watched him analyze the event, trying to make sense of the weak results.

The room roared and rattled for a second.

"What was that?"

"Blasters fired. We're right above them."

And then a repeating stream of fire made all action impossible. As it proceeded, the room lights dimmed; and after, gradually recovered. Peeru looked at the battle: five damaged marauders remained; as for the allied fleet, one skiff had been damaged, and two cruisers were hit hard enough that Zelnick had relieved them of offensive duties for the time being. The Vindicator had just drilled a hole in the group's blade defenses. A flight of nukes followed, drawing out flame rings from two of the marauders; and a second flight focused on one of them, destroying it.

Along the other flank, Spathi dumped spaced arrays of torpedoes to test the blade defenses, slipping a few through, wearing the marauders down further. In one case, the ship released a flame ring to catch two torpedoes. That's not sustainable.

Bridget cackled with glee, and Peeru attended to the newly comprehensible view of hyperspace. That battle opened up a big hole in the line. Can the Syreen slip through that? Looks like no, not as things are. Too bad. But if we go on to punch through that group there, they'll be wide open.

"How big is that group?"

Andy whistled. "You want me to tell you from here? At least two. I would not expect more than six. There are not twenty. Dreadnoughts, 70% chance." And from their role in the maneuvers, they're definitely dreadnoughts.

"That's a long-tailed distribution."

"From here, that's a lot of information to have."

The blasters opened fire again; Peeru closed her eyes as lights flashed.

An alarm sounded, and they braced. Bridget quickly pulled her helmet on. The deck jumped.

We got hit, right engine bank. Looks okay for the most part. Phew.

Zelnick called her up. "Update?"

"If we go West-southwest and take on that dreadnought group at the end of the line, the Syreen will be free and clear."

A pause. The blasters fired a few shots again.

"When would that be?"

"Intercept in... forty five minutes."

"Other options?"

"They follow us South-southeast, and curve home. There's another group we'd have to face, here. This one won't be damaged, though."

"Okay... If that's heading... Okay!"

The fleetwide announcement came, "Great work, everyone! We kicked their asses!"

"Dammit." said Bridget.

Zelnick continued, "We bought the space the Syreen need. We'll have to do a little dance to get a Kohr-Ah group off their tail, but we shouldn't need to fight to do it. Standing down to yellow alert."
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Peeru Fanfic part 19
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2009, 04:18:31 am »

The intercom flashed and an unfamiliar voice announced flatly as if reading off of a list, "Commander Peeru, report to medical 1 immediately for a paragraph 9."

Paragraph 9? I have no idea what that is. Must be something to do with paperwork authorizing treatment. But I'm not their commander anymore. And why the intercom rather than my monitor? Well, I had better go.
She was halfway across the lander deck when a crewmember leading an unfamiliar design of robot raced to her.

The human took her hand and gestured to the robot. "Commander! Would you get into this?"

"I'm not injured."

The crewmember said, "Very good.", and thrust her in; the robot englufed her. Momentarily she was firmly flattened her out, lying on her back. In her panic, she lapsed into the trade language. "What's going on here?".

The robot spat out her space suit and uniform, and washed her intensely with cool water, furthering her confusion.

By the time she was oriented well enough to say anything, they were gliding rapidly along the spine of the Vindicator, and her words would have been lost to the wind. Clearly I am a patient now, whether I want or not. A mistake?

The robotic gurney slipped through a special passage from the spine into medical bay 1.

Nuun was busy at work with another robotic cocoon, that one containing even the head. Nuun? Oh, right, she's our medic.

"What's going on? What's a paragraph 9?" I'm not sure she can hear me with that headset on. Looks like she's in an immersive interface.

"Paragraph 9: requisition of body parts for transplantation." Peeru strained to face the voice, and found Genlo, also in a robotic cocoon. "I'm giving a heart."

"Requisition of body parts? I don't remember that detail."

"You did read your naval contract, right?"

"I, uh, never got a naval contract." Plus, I was fired, so it, at least this part, would presumably be void. But that's a secret.

"Figures. Well, then, I guess you're not legally obliged to save Feres' life."

Feres. Not some random person, not entirely. "I guess they won't take anything I really need. So, what do we do?"

"Beats me. Hey, Wugyup," Wugyup? "When do you take our parts?"

Wugyup came into view. "I've already applied the matrix so you can regrow."

"What?", Peeru exclaimed.

Genlo agreed, "You mean I didn't even notice a heart extraction?"

Peeru amended, "You're a doctor?"

"Sports medicine, not surgery, but Nuun drafted me to help out."

"I didn't see any of this on your qualifications doc." And I thought him simple-minded? I already knew he was devious, but a doctor?

Wugyup looked down to Peeru's robot and began issuing commands. "You wouldn't. I didn't put it on."


He remained focused on the robot. "Just a moment..."

Peeru felt a cold sensation over her right side, and some tension. "What's that?"

"Just borrowing some skin. All right... and slather on some matrix..."

Warmth over the same area, and only then some slight pain, an itching sensation. "I don't have any skin?"

He looked up to her. "Plenty, though you'll want to stay on pain meds for a few days. Also, now would be a good time to let me know if you want any body modifications. I rather enjoyed having a tail."

"Tail? Like one of those fake Burvixese martial arts freaks?"

"Not for you? The usual candidates for enhancement seem in order, so perhaps you'd like a storage pouch? Or a sex change?"

"Now you're just playing with me."

"If you ever return home, think of the prestige elective surgery has. It doesn't so much matter what, as the mere fact that you did it."

Peeru lay in stunned silence, reexamining hundreds of reactions she had seen, but she set the line of thought aside for later. "Why did you understate your qualifications? How did you do it?"

He answered as he seemingly returned focus to the robot. "I knew some people in personnell who could get those things tossed out of my record on invented technicalities that would last as long as I didn't challenge them. That lowered my qualifications to the point that they could transfer me to a trainee positon on the 1038, the first ship in line to be sold."

"Because you hated working for the Crimson Corporation that much?"

"Because I figured whoever bought it would fight the Kohr-Ah." He stopped. Is that... I wish I could read him.

Unable to resolve Wugyup's state of mind, she asked Genlo, "Did you know all that?"

Genlo was asleep.

"Did he know all that?"

Peeru didn't hear the answer, as a postoperative coma took hold.


Peeru half-woke, and her thoughts settled on body modification. It was undeniable that there was a tendency for the well-off to do it, though mainly those who had outward-facing positions, like Foomp - if only his rejuvenated horns and drawn-up nose. On the other hand, those who became really well-off all ended up with some exterior exposure - connections.

And moreover, the tail was always seen as an aggressive modification, which suited her new role. She imagined various scenarios of her return, muddled, implausible. She abandoned them and just considered tails. As a child, when she had learned about their evolutionary forebears, vine-dwellers light enough that the square-cube law didn't prohibit leaping about wildly, she had envied them.

She allowed herself some fantasies of swinging through the vines and spires, partially due to her repression centers being not up to full strength yet, and partially for the practical effect that doing so would hasten her return to mobility.

And it wasn't long before she felt movement, as proprioception leaked back in. Her brain having a connection to the outside sped the reconnection of the other senses. Touch followed shortly - some itching; then temperature - cool, but not uncomfortable; then wetness - dry; then with a big breath she could smell the metallic air, and all at once she could see and hear. She was in a medical bay, lying on her left side, in dim light.

The bed in front of her held someone in a cocoon - from there she could not tell if it was Feres or someone else. She herself was out of the robot, in a tight-fitting mesh coverall. Who dressed me? Perhaps the robot did? I hope so.

She began to sit up, pushing up with her right hand. Through the painkillers, she could tell that her hand was not happy with that use, so she worked her way up without it. With her left hand, she probed the tender spots. In reaction, parts of her body convulsed. Feeling the strong reaction only through proprioception without any idea why it ought to be so strong was bizarre, but she didn't feel like playing with it.

Sensing an unfamiliar tension in her rear, she felt her back. There was a bump there, and a growing feeling - the beginnings of a tail. "Hey! What is this?", she slurred out in the trade language with a half-responsive vocal system. She repeated, louder, dismayed by her inability to speak coherently.

A few words flashed on a monitor, and she stared at them, unable to translate. Momentarily a human entered and whispered something to her briefly.

Yeah, yeah, be quiet or something. I have a tail I didn't order! I'm going to sue! If they have that around here.

The human gestured to the door. Peeru turned to it, felt dizzy, and lay down. Oh no, don't you leave. I'm lodging a complaint immediately! She raised her good arm and pointed distinctly to her tail.

The human took a look at it and said something. Peeru forced herself to focus and interpret what had been said. The human left before she finished, but she eventually did understand: "I'll get your doctor."

Peeru focused on recovering her hard-won language skills. To do that, she would have to recover the rest of her various abstraction facilities which she was no longer using automatically without specific attention. First, she focused on the constructive learning facility, recalling the exercises as a violinist might warm up with a scale. She had not done this in many years. Incidents from when she had learned how to learn flooded back in. Long before she finished even a lesser restatement, the facility was readily within her grasp again. But she continued, thinking more on the events of the time as she did.

Repeating the greater restatement with Kahso, as he struggled to formalize his intuitions. Then turning around and him training me on speech, driving me to drill its abstraction center to be so fast it could rival the intuitive. And then going further and speaking backwards, or fluidly mixing in ancient local languages, and then also Burvixese and Utwig. He wanted to get me back for confusing him incessantly with the derivative identities and changes of variables, and oh, did it work. And he never did let up, even when the crash hit.

She started in on the linguistic abstraction center. And he pushed me harder during the crash, didn't he? He knew just how bad it'd be. And I argued against, citing numbers. All of them undermined by gradual redefinitions of the metrics, or leaving the domain of applicability of the underlying theory. He relied on the body language of the executives and analysts. Those weren't bases for being so harsh, I argued. He wasn't my manager.

I really downsized myself with that move, didn't I?

It was fortunate that she had already restored a full grasp of her abstract linguistic abilities, because the distraction from that realization brought an abrupt end to the exercise.

Sure, the proximate causes of us separating were intense arguments over other things, but that was the irritant that got the whole mess started. He positioned me perfectly to thrive, and I... I need to repay him, but how? The astronomical distance is nothing compared to his being in a PIRR with... whats-her-name, the VP of Development. And now that I think on it, his commenting that he prefers his women feminine -- that stung! -- is sort of nonsensical considering how hard he was drilling languages into me. Did that have some hidden meaning? Or was it just smokescreen so she wouldn't go after me? Yes, on second thought, I think it must have been. So I'm still in debt to him. That's better than it was, actually.

"So, looks like you're done. Back with us?" Wugyup. He was leaning against the wall. It was a different room, lighter. "The night nurse said you were awake and aware, if incoherent." He had been speaking in English, and she had immediately understood.

Peeru's tongue was still sluggish due to the medications, but she was able to compensate trivially. "'My tail'. This ought to be a noun clause with no referent."

In the southern dialect, he replied, "Just finished the major language chord?"

In the trade language, "Not the Genmol system, the Wuuzi system. And changing the subject is not a good sign. Why do I have a tail?"

He shrugged. "Nuun needed to get replacement matrix somewhere, so she set up an extrusion center on your back. It's not your tissue, you're just feeding it. We'll take it off in a few weeks, no scars."

Oh. I guess that's a bit different. Sounds like it'd be included in the naval contract, too.

He went on, "Unless you want it for longer. We could definitely use a larger stock of matrix."

"Why not grow it yourselves?"

"You're the only one it wouldn't interfere with work. Speaking of which, you have messages."

"About what?"

"I'm a doctor, not your secretary." He handed it to her and turned to leave. "Want some privacy?"

"Yes. Wait. Privacy. Who dressed me?"

He shrugged and left. A shrug? I wonder if he even know how he's absorbing their manners of communication. Probably.
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Re: Peeru Fanfic
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2010, 10:47:40 pm »

The Peeru Fanfic is now only maintained on the SCDB, at

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