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[Below] Lt Kettick: Alone


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[OOC: A short sim acting as a character growth acknowledgement, with a healthy side of nonsense.]
 
((Level 35, Anchorage, Denali Station))
 
Levels 35 and 36 of the Anchorage tower were occupied by a single apartment, made up of two floors.
 
The uppermost one, level 36, had been, until his recent transfer, Dekas', and boasted a beautiful view over the Administrative District of Denali Station. When the mood struck, the Aurelian could also open a window, and simply take flight for an aerial stroll around the Towers.
 
Level 35 was... something else.
Back in 2397, Kettick had suffered a major mental breakdown when an alien telepathic entity had tried to overwrite his consciousness with a simulated human identity. The attack left him in a coma for several months, followed by a long period of recovery, during which he struggled to integrate the remnants of his human persona with his baseline one.
 
During that recovery phase, one of his successive counselors had introduced him to a Vulcan meditation tool that used small blocks to represent thoughts and emotions, that the patient had to stack and balance together. The tool in itself had little use for a species whose emotions were lukewarm at their most extreme, but Kettick had been fascinated by the concept.
 
Fast forward to Denali Station. Following a brief sojourn in a simulated reality created by an ancient alien AI, the Remmilian had tried to map his thought patterns as mechanical actuators, in an attempt to understand how his own mind worked.
 
As Kettick watched the result a few months later, he had to confess a slight touch of concern.
 
The system had grown overtime as the Remmilian matured, accrued more experience, more thinking patterns, more strategies... Now, one could say that the "map" occupied most of the free volume of the apartment on level 35. 
One could even surmise that, in case most of the walls and structural elements of level 35 on this side of the tower were removed by some catastrophe, the demented Rube Goldberg contraption of brass and odds and ends would still be enough to keep the place together. Perhaps even to live in.
 
An otherwise useless piston moved at a glacial pace, and went to poke a slightly glowing rubber duck, eliciting a reproachful "quack".
 
Kettick did not need Major Quack's opinion to conclude that, in spirit at the very least, he could no longer consider himself a kt'k. Remmilian workers were simple people, efficient people. Not... whatever that was. If he had to be honest, he had to question whether he still was a 'k. Or a Remmilian at all. Some days, the joke he'd make of being "a Kettick" nowadays struck much too close to home.
 
He shook his head, dejectedly, before stopping himself, and shaking it harder. Yet another mannerism he had picked up, trained really, until it was a second nature. All in the name of blending in. If he ever came back to his birth Hive, would they still understand him?
And, more importantly, if he ever came back and faced his birth Queen... Well, he knew what he would do, really. By that point, the only question left was probably the blast radius.
 
Kettick: Might as well face it, for the first time in ever... there's only one like me.
 
Add talking to oneself to the list of symptoms. With a last shake of the head, he turned around, clicked the lights off and left the room.
 
A spider descended from the ceiling, and its weight triggered a near-frictionless wheel that ran a few turns before stopping. A faint "quack" echoed in the room.
In the darkness, a display screen flickered for a second before fading again. It read:
 
"What am I, chopped liver?"
 
END/NT
 
--
Lieutenant Kettick

Assistant Chief of Engineering
Denali Station
G239107LR0
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