Relic, Pt. 2

So, Flint spent more time on the computers analyzing the signal that was sent to us a little bit ago. And we have both interesting and unfortunate news.

The signal is old. Really old. 253 years old, give or take a year. It turns out that whatever probe was sending the signal, sent it at one point, and the signal’s been bouncing around in the nebula. I’m not sure how it’s managed to survive this long, you’d think it would have decayed by now, but nope. It’s still there, trying to find it’s way back to planet Kona.

It’s kind of a deflating feeling, really. When we first heard it, it sort of felt like a connection, like we were meeting an old friend, or seeing family from the past. A bridge to our origins. But now it just feels like we’re seeing ghosts of a family we never knew. I mean, yes, it’s our technology and all, but now I’m wondering if we’re ever even going to see the probe, or if the data it has sent us is even useful in any way.

Flint is going to keep researching it. I actually have a date in the Reality Dome tonight, so I’m going to go dress up now.

Captain O’Connor

Guh.

The defense lasers powered up again. Scared the absolute shit out of me. That’s the second time that’s happened in the entire time I’ve been alive on this ship.

It starts with a giant warning on the screen, which has an annoying alarm that we CAN’T turn off, and then we just see an automated camera feed showing our defense lasers suddenly firing at… a teeny tiny meteorite. Something that, yes, is technically a danger to the ship, possibly, but goodness, they make it seem like we’re being attacked by a bunch of pirates or something.

I need to go lay down. Alarms scare me.

Captain O’Connor

A Relic from the Past

We received something… interesting, today. Flint received a signal from a distant ship, which we later determined to be a probe. And as luck would have it, it is a KSEA signal. One of ours! Wow, right? The probe, identified as Pioneer B, was sent at some point before our ship even launched, and it’s purpose was literally to wait hundreds of years for us to show up, so it could finally tell us what it had found. And, well, it finally had the chance!


This is the first image the probe sent us.

As you can see, the probe sent us an image of our targeted destination. The image is really *really* crappy, but we think that if we get a little bit closer, the images that are sent by the probe should start to clear up. Flint is investigating the signal to see if there is anything else to it, or if it’s just imagery. In fairness, the image was *actually* sent as sound, decoded into this image, so we’re trying to see if there’s any other underlying audio, or anything like that. It’s possible that the probe is sending telemetry data that the Tailspin is already working with, but we’re not sure.

But that’s it. That’s our wormhole. That is our ticket to the future. The ticket to the end of this journey. And we’re finally almost there. I can’t believe it!

What a mix of emotions. I need to calm down before I write more.

Captain O’Connor

Confusion

Something has been happening in the dome that we can’t quite figure out.

Power fluctuation, or energy bursts, or something, I’m not sure. I’m not the engineer and these aren’t Flint’s logs.

But seriously, there have been moments when I’ve been on the bridge, and there’s a power surge, and the crew calls me from the reality dome. Then, there’s times when I’m in the reality dome, and the power fluctuates, and I get confirmation from the crew that it is ship-wide. These weird anomalies only happen when someone is in there.

So far, Flint hasn’t been able to figure out a pattern to the mess. None of us have, though I’m trying to see if Sarah is running commands that we’re not aware of, or if she’s running rather… explicit… programs that require a bit more “energy” than the average romp.

I do know, that when it does happen, our systems act up a little bit. Terminals run slower (or faster, come to think of it, like there are temporary boosts in efficiency), access algorithms change, and I swear, I am not 100% sure, but I think some of the files in the library are being reorganized. I don’t remember everything being this… accessible? Other times, it’s just static or flashes or some error in the ships sensors. I’ve been trying to just chalk it up to the mysteries of space travel in a 200+ year old ship, eventually things are bound to act up, but I’m not sure. I’m just not sure.

Sarah has been able to manage to rule out Ginger, as well. Apparently one of the surges happened AS Sarah was handing Ginger a plate of food. Flint has ruled out maintenance and other usual computer systems (normally on a schedule, anyway), and Veronica, well, she hasn’t been causing problems with tennis balls or other such things, but even so, that’d be a long shot either way.

I dread the fact that we might have to start monitoring EVERY action we take, so that we can pinpoint everything we’re doing at the time of a surge. So far, nothing has been damaged and we haven’t lost any important systems, but I don’t want to risk that becoming a potential issue.

Captain O’Connor

Checking In

It’s been a while. A long while. I think it’s actually been a bit over a cycle. Wow.

I stopped making logs for a bit mostly because I just… didn’t feel like anything was really happening. At least nothing worth logging.

Yes, things have changed, things are different. But really, it’s all on a personal level. Personal to me. My crew. The ship is still the same ship. The same technology, the same maintenance reports. The same path. We haven’t heard any radio communications, we haven’t had any malfunctions, and even Ginger hasn’t tried to escape.

Ginger. That poor Tika. She just absolutely refuses to work with us. Sarah has at least gotten her to confirm what food choices she would like to eat. She seems to be communicating with a series of grunts, sighs, and the occasional “No.” I feel like it’s been so long. I just don’t get it.

In the Reality Dome, a few things have changed. Sarah, Veronica, and Flint have come up with a sort of “challenge” amongst themselves. They created this sort of Office wherein this sexual world that we all put together sort of revolves around it. Sarah, in an effort to get Veronica and Flint to ‘live a little,’ came up with some rules that they all had to live by. Once they created new characters, they stuck with their decision. No resets, no easy way out. Just live with the decisions.

I found it peculiar that she’d come up with such a concept, seeing as how the whole point of the dome is to create whatever you feel like, but her reasoning that there was no challenge, no conflict, no “real” feelings. If you have complete control of your situation, then it will always feel fake.

It’s an interesting challenge. An interesting assertion. Since then, Sarah’s been trying to put together new characters. Her most recent one was a squirrel, who apparently wasn’t allowed to have a shirt, and would forever be stuck with the embarrassment of trying to find one, but never quite accomplishing her goal. An interesting concept.

Apparently she’s intent on building fun challenges and games, and is trying to push Veronica and Flint into feeling like they’re doing more with their lives, and they’re not stuck on some ship. I think it’s going pretty well.

I’ll see what else I can come up with, I do sort of miss writing these logs.

Captain O’Connor

Emotion

I’m noticing that, despite so much more going on around here, I’m starting to focus on my logs a lot less than I probably should.

I’ve just been spending so much time accompanying Sarah. I think I need to be honest and just say it. I’m emotionally and sexually attracted to her. I’ve never really felt this way, not to this extent. As one of the last children born on this ship, I’ve only really been capable of expressing love to so few people my age. Sure, I can genuinely say that I love Veronica and Flint. I would do anything for them. But I’ve never felt any real sexual feelings towards them.

Yes, I have had sexual thoughts about them, there’s no point in denying it, but I mean, come on, they’re some of the only faces I even know. Veronica is the only Kona female I’ve seen naked, so her body is the only basis I have for sexual self-exploration. And let’s face it. It’s hard to separate the face from the body.

But now, there’s Sarah. She has curves, breasts, a tail unlike any I’ve ever seen before… blood red eyes… teeth so big she can’t even close her mouth fully… ears that are big and round, but don’t flop around like ours…

I could probably keep going, but the bottom line is: I really, REALLY like her. Obviously she can’t help me continue our species, but that’s irrelevant. It’s not like there’s any better option here.

So, I think I’m going to try to establish a relationship with her. But I’ll try in a way less clinical way than how I just typed it. Ugh.

Captain O’Connor

Personality

So, Flint was able to decrypt a few more hidden subroutines with the reality room.

The main change was that he was able to unlock a full personality subroutine that basically automatically applied to all custom characters in the reality room. Apparently this absolutely freaked out Veronica. She actually hesitates going into the reality room, because, according to Sarah, she is actually very embarrassed by all of these suddenly extremely realistic projections that act like actual people.

Apparently, Veronica used to just walk around naked and choose a randomly generated character on the ‘street’ that looked nice. Now, strangers will comment on her nudity or take pictures of her. Sarah absolutely loves it, but she mentioned how Veronica hadn’t even realized that the personality routine was turned on while she was in the dome, only for a random otter at a bus stop to suddenly pull his dick out and start masturbating while staring at Veronica.

I was definitely curious, and it was a rather strange environment. It’s almost as if every projected character was given *too much* personality. Like everybody had to be doing something to gather attention. There were buskers, street performers, really regionally charged Kona stereotypes, it was a little too much. And of course, if you so much as hinted at doing anything sexual, everyone responded. Sarah flashed her chest, and everyone was immediately taking pictures, or straight up reaching out to touch. Sarah was flattered by the attention but agreed that it was a little too much.

Anyway, we all talked to Flint, and we tweaked the personality routines a bit, removing sexually or violently negative intent from the general populace. It made the environment feel a lot more positive. Apparently Veronica ran into the same otter from before, who had a visible erection, but he kept it to himself and politely complemented her shirt. So, yeah, better?

Even so, Sarah seems to have some really devious ideas of her own now that she can actually do something with the random characters around the projected town. She has asked Flint to help her continue to tweak things so she can build some kind of modeling agency of some kind, I’m not exactly sure. I’m a little nervous to get involved because Veronica seems very interested as well, and I don’t think I need to see that.

Whelp, time to feed Ginger.

Captain O’Connor

Reality

So I’ve been in the reality room a handful of times since ‘disconnecting,’ but otherwise, I’ve done my best to stick to performing my duties as Captain. I think I’ve found a healthy enough balance.

Sarah has been spending about half of her free time in the reality room, and the other half on the Bridge or in my quarters, purely to hang out with me. Apparently one of her biggest complaints with the reality room is that the ‘dome-heads’ have basically no personality whatsoever. I couldn’t help but agree with her there. She did mention figuring out a way to spice things up a bit though, apparently she’s working on some games with Veronica to keep things interesting. I asked if I could come take a look, but she mentioned that the things she’s having Veronica do might not be something that I want to bear witness to. She’s absolutely correct about that.

In any case, she seems to be having a fair bit of fun, but I’m happy we still get to hang out a lot.

We also wound up actually talking about our sex life. We have it often enough, which is nice, but we figured we should just open up about the whole ‘boning holograms’ thing. Honestly, it was kind of refreshing to both just talk about how the relationship that we have with each other means more than the flings we have with the reality room characters. I imagine there might be some attachment to the dome-heads, especially if Flint can get the personality routines worked out, but ultimately, it won’t affect how much we love and care for each other. In the end, the reality dome is like really high-quality masturbation or pornography. Or something like that, anyway.

Captain O’Connor

Back to Work

So… it has been two months since I’ve written one of these things.

I don’t even know where to start. It feels weird to be sitting down and recording a log.

Two months ago, we activated the custom programming for the reality dome. And it was, in a word, amazing. We basically started spending all of our time in there. At first, we were taking turns, basically going in there, generating a random ‘dome-head,’ which is our fun name for a computer-created reality dome character, and then just… sex. So much sex.

Eventually, we stopped taking turns. Veronica was the one who initiated it. I was completely naked, alternating between two different dome girls, when Veronica just walks right in. I tried to protest, but she exclaimed that she was horny and she needed it, and she wouldn’t look if I didn’t look. I barely had a chance to look away by the time she was stripping.

At that point, I had Sarah help me design a couple of themed ‘hotel’ rooms in the dome, so at least we could all have some privacy while we used it at the same time. It worked surprisingly well.

The dome-heads are really quite devoid of personality. Like, yeah, you can talk to them and they’ll give basic responses, but they’re emotionless. But my goodness, can they put out. And you can customize them to whatever you want. Guys and gals, I didn’t care, I tried them all (I definitely prefer ladies but honestly? It’s kind of fun to just hang onto a dick for support from time to time, I didn’t think I’d be into that but here I am).

Sarah and I basically went into some sort of stasis in terms of our relationship. We still ate together, still hung out, but there was no real pressure on either of our parts to make things progress to the point of intimate, private, sexual contact. And honestly, neither of us really had an issue with it. We still talk and hang out like we’re in a relationship, and Sarah even sleeps in my bed (and vice versa) multiple times a week, we just don’t really have sex. And it’s weird, because we both know we’re having sex in the reality dome, but we don’t particularly talk about that, either. It’s just that *thing* that we both do, separately, multiple times a day.

Of course, the tremendous amount of time in the dome eventually became a problem. We began spending more and more time in there. Sometimes some of us would be in there for an entire day, maybe more. Eventually, we got creative with the locations, walking through generated jungles, deserts, castles, villages, all kinds of stuff, basically to find new places to bang people. Some times, we’d just sleep in there, and start right up the next day.

So when I had the gut-wrenching realization that we managed to go without feeding Ginger for two days, I knew something had to change.

I stepped out of the dome, fed her an excess of rations, offered her the sincerest, most desperate apology I could muster up (she assumed we died and was actually quite pleased), and now I’m here, in my quarters, while the others are still presumably boning something.

I can see now why Olivia O’Connor had the place shut down. I’m definitely not going to do that, but I am going to have to come up with a schedule, perhaps a limiter that prevents anyone from using it during certain hours, to ensure we’re getting all of our necessary work done first.

Captain O’Connor

Decryption Complete

Holy shit. Flint actually pulled it off.

He decrypted the access codes for the custom programming for the Reality Dome.

When he called me over the radio, I asked him to meet me at the entrance so that we could test it out. Funny enough, I was met by Veronica, Flint, and even Sarah, who all seemed curiously eager to find out what this change could do. It was actually the first time Sarah had seemed upbeat since the incident a few weeks ago, so I was pretty happy that this might be something that perks her up.

Flint entered in the codes, and I followed them up with my personal command code, and… nothing happened. Just a simple ‘code confirmed’ and that was it. I don’t know what exactly I expected, but certainly something more than that.

I had the terminal list off all available programs in the reality room, and sure enough, they were all the same. Farming. Electrical work. Fitness. All of the same boring stuff.

After wondering what went wrong, we were all about to head back to our stations, but Sarah insisted we wait. She told us to start the farming program, which I very reluctantly did, and we followed her inside. She looked around at everything, and frowned. I wasn’t quite sure what she was thinking about, until she called out:

“System – Change the color of the sky from blue to red.”

And it happened. The sky changed colors. This wasn’t exactly something we had thought to do before, so I wasn’t really convinced. I said something along the lines of “could it always do that? What if we were farming in an environment with a red atmosphere?”

Sarah, hands on her hips, looked around again, wondering what we could customize. She then walked right up to the holographic instruction Kona in the middle of the room.

“System – Remove this farmer’s pants.”

Holy shit. I couldn’t believe it. Neither could Flint and Veronica. The farmer stood there before us, dick hanging out, breezing in the simulated wind, like he’d done it a thousand times before without any qualms.

I don’t know if I need to go into greater detail, but I totally will. The four of us took turns posing the nude farmer, making him perform acts of self satisfaction on himself, we even made him urinate on some of the simulated plants. It wasn’t until Veronica asked if we could add more characters that we realized what we had truly unlocked.

After plopping some Kona (and even a few Tika) around the farm (for the record, it doesn’t look like a farm anymore, Sarah turned the plants into many phallus shaped objects), Veronica politely asked if she could have a half an hour with the reality room, alone. The only reason we agreed is because we figured we could take this time to finish our duties for the day and come up with plans for our own nonsense. Sarah has not stopped smiling, and I can’t get over it. This is going to be so much fun!

Captain O’Connor