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The -SFS- starship lay at rest in the deep darkness of the outer system of Tash Murkon Prime. Her systems powered to minimal and stealth signature barely above the background radiation as the Deimos class hull gleamed with dull-metallic hue in the starlight like unsheathed dagger tumbling in slow motion though the void.
Secure from combat alert and virtually undetectable in the vastness of interplanetary gap the crew breathed again in the heady post-combat rush and let weariness overtake minds burning with the memory of recent combat and evasion and turned each to individual relaxation as the skeleton run-silent watch took their place at bridge and alert stations through the ship.
System diagnostics nominal, energy signature masked by the local primary, damage reports show no armour breach or ancillary degradation of hull integrity. Reactors at 5% whisper mode, communications secure.
Statistics lazily crept across her imagined peripheral vision as the commander triggered capsule egress and initiated the automated cycle of immersion to external life and the sensations that waited in the absolute like hungry ghosts at the feast to claim her mind and emotions all. Warning pre-emptive capsule egress without acclimatisation routines will lead to disorientation and physical limitation for indeterminate periods …
Internalising the sigh of frustration with the relentless logic of the automotive systems the occupant of the capsule pod triggered override codes and banished the mothering instincts of the adaptive intelligence in a masochistic snap of subverbal commands and fleet authority.Seek medical attention for perceptive dysfunction recommend dosage hyphysomene 200 treatment regime following consultation with ships doctor …“End program, adaptive intelligence to stand-by, confirm immediate aggress, retract umbilicals on my mark, break immersive synthesia 10 secs, authorisation Constantine, Jade, J529225 voiceprint command rank assault cruiser class designator ‘passion play’.”
Ectoplasm drained, sudden bitterness of exposure and blindness, fantastic senses dimmed as the ordinary dimensions and forces of shipboard gravity and physical limits imposed their absolutes on the senses of a transhuman consciousness left shivering and naked in a foetal ball in the midst of the now obedient Jovian machinery.
Just a human body, just a human mind, free of the union with machine and divine vision and now limited to immediacy of location and geography and all those quaint laws of pre-history before the ascendance to machine union and awesome sensory transcendence of capsule symbiosis.
Minutes pass and she hardly moves breathing now at last the clean air of the onboard climate control and letting her body slowly match the ambient temperature and baseline speed of real-time awareness.
Its getting easier, the disorientation is almost pleasure, the nakedness of human senses a relief, her orders now obeyed and nobody there from the crew to fuss and bother and grant unlooked for kindness in the absence of universal sensory immersion of the capsule.
Now just a woman again, just a single mind in the darkness and silence of the sleeping vessel; nothing more than a mote in the eye of creation and a relief in the nature and solipsism of that awareness.
At last she rises, body still damp and glistening with the caress of the alien technology. Olive skin shadowed in the gloom of the chamber as her raven-dark hair falls over neck and spine to hide the interface machinery there in sweet pretence she is just a woman again, something less than the sum of seven lifetimes and knowledge of all that has gone before.
No comms chatter, no virtuality, no sensor trace and systems feed, no fleet disposition, no political analysis, no game-theory overview and risk assessment of alliance and psychometrics to colour the tell-tails of friend and foe alike.