Ara #13

FILE: PARTIALLY RECOVERED INTERVIEW

SUBJECTS: A.CATHLYN, K.WILTERS

ATHORA TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY, PARABUS

K: I’d appreciate if you could keep the conversation civil.

A: Civil? About that son of a b-

K: This is about the research, not the team.

A: But, see, you’re not getting it. To understand what we were doing, you need to understand the team. Because that’s where everything that could go wrong went wrong.

K: I see.

A: Sure. Anyway, as I was saying, there were five of us. At least five of us at the top of the chain, everyone had their assistants to run around after them. Except Mikaela really. So, first off, there was Yash, team leader and A-Class dick.

K: The research, Miss Cathlyn.

A: Yeah, I’m getting there. At Yash’s right hand was Engrid, our star exploration expert and environmentalist. Been to more planets than I could even name, but that didn’t make her any the wiser. Then there was Reia, the geologist, because apparently that was important.

K: I’m sure they would be useful when it came to the analysis of what data came back.

A: Eh, sure. Just rocks to me. And then, of course, there was Mikaela. Young, naïve, shouldn’t have been there.

K: How so? 

A: She wasn’t qualified! She had come into the company as an intern probably, what, six months prior? That’s when work around there got dicey, plenty of roles discarded without thought. All of a sudden, they found we were short of hands. Big surprise. That’s when Mik was propelled up the ranks, until somehow she was handling the data for our project.

K: Sounds like you’ve got some grudges?

A: Ha! Grudges. They’re the ones that had grudges on me! Who wanted to trust the engineer? I needed details, data, codes. You know who gave me them? No one, that’s who.

K: Why do you think that was?

A: I don’t know, maybe they had a stick shoved so far up their-

K: Ara, please.

A: Yeah, yeah. See, the thing was, I built the drones and their functions. All the hands-on kind of stuff, the fun bits. The Confederacy wanted drones that would explore, we wanted drones that would last. Not just to the next systems, but beyond even that. So, I was given the job to make that happen. Main part of that was building a self-repair system. All well and good, until you get to the problem of limited resources. We couldn’t exactly give it a giant supply of replacement materials to lug around the galaxy.

K: How did you get around that?

A: I just didn’t do it. Why repair something when you can just replace it outright? Fried wiring? Missing panel? Just replicate it.

K: You’re talking about creating something from nothing?

A: Not quite, plenty more goes into it than that. To put it ‘simply’ I’d say its more the manipulation of the vibrations in what we perceive as ‘nothing’. I mean, nothing isn’t really nothing, is it? It’s still something. And ‘something’ can be altered.

K: And it was successful?

A: Yes, and no. Wasn’t my fault though, it was Yash messing around with his coding that was apparently ‘too good to share’. That led to the issue where the drone wouldn’t attempt to replace the parts that had broken, but instead would just attempt to rebuild itself entirely anew. Glorious lack of communication, the wonders it achieves.

K: And was this what resulted in your contract’s termination?

A: No, that was from some numbskull deleting the drone’s manual override files! I’d built it all in, the installation was fine, and then two months prior to the launch they got deleted! That was a year’s worth of work gone! And then, on top of that, they expected me to recreate it all. So, I told them to shove it. Yash didn’t like it, I didn’t care enough.

K: It sounds like the project had a rocky history.

A: Oh, you don’t even know the half of it.


The Ended Saga is a collection of excerpts following the mysterious conflict in a universe beyond our own. No truth is clear, but it is out there. Continue the search…

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

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