Hey The Relayers, a small departure from norm for me. This is an in fiction character piece that was written specifically for one of The Base DJ’s. A small piece with some backstory that will help flesh his character out once he is finally in game. I hope you enjoy my foray into character narrative!
You might think that the life of a DJ adrift would be somewhat glamorous and full of excitement. It can be both, either/or and neither. Confused yet? When news comes in, especially big news, it can be exciting and hectic for a short while as I broadcast said news to the ass end of the cosmos…and hope that someone is listening.
There’s a lot of waiting.
Long spans of moments all strung together, silence surrounding your thoughts as you wait for your console to come to life and alert you to the next big news. That breaking moment that will change your and definitely someone else’s life forever.
Every once in awhile just to break up the monotony of floating from one transmission nexus to another I jump on and broadcast….broadcast what you ask? Whatever hits me that day as relevant, my jumble of solitary thoughts poured over the airwaves as they trickle across the byways of my brain, intermixed with a random selection of tunes from the historically eclectic to the more recent hits of today. I never know who’s listening or if anyone is at all but it’s a process that’s cathartic for me.
I feel a slight weight drop onto my shoulder, reaching up I automatically stroke the tiny little head that rests against the side of my face, little hands clutching lightly at my neck. My tiny little sugar glider companion who’s my only company through the sometimes endless quiet days. Philip or Flip as I like to call him.
Detaching him from my neck I stroke his back once before holding my hand close to his cup, anchored to my console. He shoots what I can only call a rather disdainful look before I realize the cup is empty. I tuck him in against my body and stand to reach the small pile of rags I keep handy to move about as needed for him. Pulling one free I tuck it into the cup before once again extending my hand towards the small cubby. Flip studies it momentarily before deeming it acceptable and climbing in, subsequently curling up and snuggling into the softness of his bedding. “There you go, back to your comfy spot.”
Glancing out of the clear canopy I catch a glimpse of the stars beyond, a winking of endless bright points of light spreading across the darkling night outside my Herald. “Another gorgeous night, isn’t it Flip…”
A crackling static comes through my console, an equally distorted voice trying to gain clarity. I fiddle with the controls, boosting my signal to try and clean up the transmission. As usual, right on time. Another lost voice in the darkness. Someone who’s become a nameless kindred spirit of sorts.
His voice finally breaks through the static and comes through loud and clear, “Herald One, are you there?”
I once again shake my head at his label for my ship. Granted we do not know each other’s names but for someone who works doing the same kind of work I do…you think he could be somewhat original and come up with something a little more interesting. “I can hear you now. How are you today?”
So goes our conversation, a rather mundane exchange of daily details but when one lives a lifestyle more suited to a hermit, one voice even that of a complete stranger can save you from the edge of insanity. Today is different though. The conversation begins normally enough but there’s a sudden pause on the other end, making me wonder if our connection was lost, an eerie quietness that is full of foreboding.
His voice breaks the silence, “Kendy, you have to hear this…”
He trails off, his words replaced with that of an echoing transmission, what sounds like an emergency broadcast. What the hell, how does he know my name? The question no sooner flits through my mind when the actual content of the message registers. My thoughts latch onto a handful of words, not letting go, Vanduul incursion….Vega system.
My sister. My heart clenches, chest tightening as the whole transmission plays on a loop. Eyes feeling like they’re burning, body frozen in the chair as I try and assimilate the meaning of the words as they are thrown at me from the console.
I breathe two words, “Not Liss.”
The sensation of tiny hands crawling up my arm brings my attention down to my companion, slowly making his way to my shoulder before lowering himself into my front shirt pocket nestling himself right next to my heart. A heart that’s hurting right now. I place my hand over the pocket and feel his warmth through the fabric, small reassurance in moments of uncertainty.
Liss. My only sister, living in the Vega system. We were close once. Best of friends growing up. My thirst for adventure away from the place we once called home and her ambition to help her company establish their corporation on New Corvo separated us by distance. As for the other reasons…they’re best left in the past with fading memories and personal misgivings. I haven’t seen her in years and am ashamed to say that I only contacted her sporadically over the course of our intervening adulthood. Regret washes over me followed by a healthy dose of guilt before my grief threatens to overwhelm them both once again.
The repeating message changes, asking everyone to refrain from contact with any family or friends in the Vega system. To keep channels clear for official communiques. I should record something for Liss, make sure it’s ready to send as soon as they lift the communication ban. My hands cross the console cutting off the transmission and switching over to ready it for recording. The sudden quiet fills the Herald. I’ve never known a silence this deep.
Leaning closer I start recording, what do you say to someone who may never get this? Someone who might not even be alive to receive this? Clearing my throat I try to swallow the lump lodged there before I begin, “Liss….I hope this finds you safe. You might receive this well after I record this.This is my message…my message in a bottle and I hope it finds you…..”