79 \ 271

There were some nice blends that could be formulated from the array of food powders readily available among the Vedani. These thick drinking meals were generally very digestible once she got the hang of them; Arcta’s condition didn’t suffer, and perhaps thrived. Sometimes she wished she had the Vedani constitution that didn’t require toilets, but there was a point where she decided to value her humanity. She had that amenity, as a courtesy. Some of her neighbors offered her occasional experimental human-style foods, though she didn’t much bother to request it. She was still laying low and keeping mostly to herself on purpose, anyway. There was a lot happening out there at this moment, and she was keeping her thoughts on that.

Arcta had herself a cushy spot facing one of those strange portholes. The thing she found unusual about them was the way they looked out onto non-continuous starscapes. They didn’t line up. There was an explanation, though bizarre enough that Arcta preferred just to savor the oddity for what it was. Whatever they were talking about with the porthole mechanics was not her field at all.

She had wondered where Vedani planets were, and what they look like. They did come from some, they had said, but with the sensitivity of the current times she was careful not to pry. Arcta was grateful for this much acceptance. She maintained her tenuous contentment, dead to her world, her love disappearing if not totally gone. Yeah, she did actually love him, when she’d been able. Maybe she’d reinvent herself, and maybe she was, depending on what this new world would allow. For now, this poem in her hand.

they know,
and I know that they know!
it is the sweetest victory
from our deepest hopes.
they seek their own
victory now, and to this
the response is
my innermost battle cry.
they can’t hear it
but they feel it already
much greater than I

({clinging to this dream moment, no body, no hands. hardly any self to hold a thought. most of this time without time not even sure who i am. except for these moments that feel like memories})

She stared through the porthole as though it would show her a picture. Right now, she gets her news by talking to somebody. Since even if they could pirate an Imperial channel for her, she didn’t want to watch that by herself, the news she got was all Vedani-filtered. Vedani news with human sidenotes by inference, on a basic inquisitive level. This was her world now, and life was not too bad, not bad.

Arcta still played with sphere dynamics on paper – she did get paper, of a sort – and had a room for it now in the aetherscape. She could use their powerful suite of virtual tools if she didn’t mind that the work would be instantly public in process. Seemed dangerously tricky to her ingrained habits of concealment – but it was honestly refreshing to release her notes immediately to casually receptive interaction, free from the teeth of workplace commercialism. The game of sides, she was over it, on a personal level.

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