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MSNPC Lieutenant Junior Grade Arianna Sokova - The New Normal

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MSNPC's are such a vital part of our narrative structure - they can add so much flavor and gravitas to a mission when done right and I think this is a great example!  In introducing their character and the situation, @Quentin Collins III has done a great job of contributing to our missions tone and I can't wait to see what we get next!  


Also, anybody else getting some Andor vibes?  And I mean that as the highest compliment!


((Interior. ???. Sheliak Mining Camp, Hab Block 6.))

Two-thousand, one hundred and ninety-one days read the fuzzy display of Arianna's barely functioning visual display.
Not that she needed the reminder. Basic training had all but hammered a finely tuned internal chronometer into her chest. She had felt and clocked every day here since the first. Just like Basic. 
Then it was Reveille at the crack of dawn, stringent PT throughout the day, insertion and TAC training throughout the night. Up, down, left, right. She had loved it then. Clung to it even, in some of the lowest moments. The routine, the repetition toward something greater. It was everything she had always wanted.
But her life now? If one could even call it a life...it had the very same repetition. The very same routine. But it was cruel and twisted. Deadly even to some. She flexed her tired joints and swung her legs up and off the dirty standing cot that she shared with seven other "miners", four of which were already on shift and gone.
Wiping a film of dust from her exposed eye and polishing as best as possible the implant ocular display on the other with the tail end of her tunic, she peered up and through the holey, corrugated wall of the Hab. Her flickering display concurred with her eyeballing. It was just about dawn. She had another few hours before she would be corralled with the rest of her shift.
She finally stood, placing her aching feet carefully into her boots but not lacing them. Sleep had been but a memory for a while now, but she was really just trying to get through what she considered the worst part of her day. Crossing slowly, she started the day as she always did, trying to will feeling and strength back into her limbs. A nearly impossible task thanks to the meager food and water rations the Sheliak allowed them. But she started her walk anyway. Up and down once more the whole length of the Hab, as she had done many, many, MANY times before since her arrival...wherever this was.
She used to do yoga, running drills, and war games with people she loved and respected. Now she had to shuffle up and down a rusty shack to indifferent, almost hostile glances from her "roommates", catching contemptuous looks at herself, from herself in the few mirrored surfaces of the Hab. Usually scraps of broken glass and smooth trisilicate shards smuggled into the Hab from shifts. 
Most days she figured it was what she deserved. Others, she couldn't even think about it at all. Those days, secretly, were the worst. Because that meant she was getting closer and closer to giving up. Closer and closer to acceptance and apathy. Something that would have been akin to blasphemy two-thousand days ago. 
A voice from that storied past found her again. Almost starling her as this had been the first thought not in her own voice for...too long she decided. "Nothing wins like time." By that metric...Time had had a stunning victory in sights for a while now. Maybe it was time for Arianna to accept that. Her body clearly had. Her once lustrous and sparkling hand circuitry and the lithe silver filigree that had run from her arm up into her cortex unit had chipped and dulled.
Spriggy farm rows of thatched auburn hair had matted across the junction lines of her headpiece while the other side hung dirty and clumped nearly down past her shoulders now. Making her look like a half burned toy. She didn't even bother trying to maintain it anymore. It didn't get in the way of work, so why should- 
A rusty SHUNK-ing sound frightened her more than she expected it to. A far cry from the woman she once was, a sudden and jangling realization that just pitched her despair darker. The bad feeling continued as she realized who was standing in the now open doorway. 
Azo. Her "Shift Manager". A hysterically mundane moniker for what he really was. One step down from a slave driver. The equip belt hanging dumbly across his rippling form. The mag-stick was already in his...flipper? Blob? Arianna still didn't really understand Sheliak psyigomy. She just knew their capacity for cruelty and corporal punishment. 
Azo was...particularly skilled at both. But he was nearly a full two hours early. And seemed...oddly upright for his usually hunched and squelching gait.
Sokova: What's-
Azo: Out. On ssssshift.
Sokova: I'm Second Shift. First isn't even done y-
The mag-stick thrummed to life and Arianna felt as if a million tiny needles were prying up her hand circuits, pulling her forward even from her stance halfway across the Hab.  This was painful, obviously, but it was also...new? That was...something. Something Arianna immediately filed away. 
She didn't like the idea of being pulled off of Grumm's shift, her only real contact to the before times...
But...Azo not even teasing a carrot this time...and going for the mag-stick instantly to bully her back into the pathway toward the pit, slinking forward behind her like a slug. Old instincts flowed back into her as she darted her eye and optical scanner across the whole of the upper surface of the "mine". That same ripple on Azo was crinkling across the rest of the "Shift Managers", all of whom seemed to be driving their charges just a bit harder than usual. Yet another morsel of new that she filed away.
oO They are nervous. Since when are the Sheliak nervous? Oo
And then...for the first time in two-thousand, one hundred and ninety-one days, Arianna Sokova felt something else new...something that seemed far away and impossible...
She felt something like hope.
To Be Continued...
Lieutenant JG Arianna Sokova
Sheliak "Miner"
As simmed by 

Lieutenant Commander 

Quentin Collins III

Chief Science Officer


U.S.S. ARROW NCC-69829

ID: E239512QC0



(SB118 Forums


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