After the shuttle ride and a harrowing trip from the skyport to the Auroran Consulate, David (aka Proximus) went through detox and entered the vast Spacer compound. It felt a bit more like home, though the surrounding skyscrapers in the distance cast a seemingly forboding shadow on an otherwise pleasent landscape.
Dr. Abernathy with Jander by her side came out to meet David.
“Anna” he said with a wide smile, “its so good to see you again how have you been? Jander how are you feeling?”
Anna waited to let the android with the new cobalt blue finish speak, “I’m well sir, thank you for your concern. I look forward to continuing my duties.”
“Welcome back Jander. Anna, words fail me, thank you for all your help. Do we have time to talk or do I have to be somewhere talking to someone right away?” asked David.
Anna replied, “We have time David. It’s good to see you too. I went over your initial physical scan (taken as you entered the compound) and there were some irregularities. Odd ones in fact, but that could be attributed to being in such close proximity to dimensional-shifting creatures at Shackelton. Such barbarity.” She paused for a bit and continued, “If you haven’t heard, the interlopers have been caught. We can do a full medical sequence on you if you wish. But I’m jumping ahead of myself. Go ahead and give Jander your identicard and he’ll take care of those messy passport issues and we’ll talk. No need for us to do that unless you love bureaurocracy?
David replied, “While I know how to navigate the shoals of Burearocracy, its not really my favorite thing. Here Jander, Authorization Seven Theta. I think a full medical sequence is in order and then we will need to talk Anna. I may need your help.”
Anna smiled and replied, “Okay. Follow me and we’ll get started.”
The two of them proceeded to a stunningly designed white medical center made of auto-dimming tranparent aluminum and ferro-concrete. Plantlife broke up the building’s clean lines giving the whole center an etherial feel reminicent o f Aurora’s blend of nature, minimalism, and social engineering. David felt more at home already.
Anna, Dr. Abernathy, summoned her android staff and compelted a complete physical of David. Later as David relaxed in the arboretum, Anna returned, her look while pleasent, betrayed an underlying somber mood. “David. I have the results of your scans.” She wasn’t ignoring the androids mulling about doing their assigned tasks as she waived her hand and they quietly departed the chamber. When they were all gone she continued, “I compared them to your previous files and found that you are quite healthy, but there is an odd anomaly along your skealial structure and nervous system similar to a sickness you once had as a child and had disappeared. It is stronger now, but you so no adverse symtoms like you did then. Before I get more into this, you said you wanted to discuss something with me. We are alone here, you can tell me whatever you wish.”
“There is no simple way to say this Anna. For the longest time I have thought that I was a mutant that some how my genes had been altered.” David took a deep breath. “I was recently examined by a Grey. The anomaly is a symbiote. It’s crystaline in structure. It gives me powers and abilites. I don’t know what it gets out of the deal.” David changed into his Proximus persona and Anna took a step back. He then continued “I have taken the name Proximus for when I use my powers. I know what happened to the interlopers because I was one of the people that apprehended them in the first place and then recaptured them and their entire gang.” David stop talking and just stared at her waiting for her reaction.
Anna’s initial startlement passed and her curiosity took hold, “I don’t think it is conscious, but I could be wrong. If it is some kind of alien technology then we should investigate where it comes from and try to figure out how it channels power through you without harming you. I’m a doctor, not a dimensional physicist but I’m guessing it’s drawing on some kind of alter nate quantum phase. To really figure this out, I’d need to pull in a specialist, someone into pure theory that you and I can confer with. Perhaps even a telepath to try to reach it if it is conscious? But, I’m getting ahead of myself. You are going to keep up these heroics, yes?”
Proximus answered, “Yes I am. As for the rest I don’t know. I have been hiding what I am for so long because I thought people wouldn’t accept me for what I am that…I need to think about things for a while. I may have telepath that would help. I haven’t even told my family. I was wondering if you could get a message to them. I have it recorded in this capsule. Its not something I want to broadcast and eventually if I keep doing this I will make enemies that will go after them to get at me. Will you see that it delivered?”
Anna answered, “I can David.” She paused pensively and then said, “Are you sure using these abilities is wise without more testing? You see, if it (the powers) is harmless to you then maybe these heroics can be an opportunity for us. The Coalition I mean. Your actions could repair some of the damage done during the aftermath of the Revolt. I mean, we did completely defeat the Earth Fleet in the Revolt and almost took the war to Earth itself. Our trade controls of passage to the Outer Sphere and restrictions on their technological and colonial advancement following the war still brings deep resentment two centuries later. They started the war we didn’t, but tell that to an Earther and they’ll often say you are a lying Spacer. Even after we stepped back and made peace Earthers are still resistant to what we have to offer and they and the colonists hate us for our worlds, culture, agriculture and scientific prowess. We’ve made good inroads into bridging our differences with our trade, cultural centers and advancements in robotics and genetics that we’ve given them, but it just isn’t enough. You could give us a good name in a way we haven’t ever dreamed. If the powers are safe.”
David answered, “I believe my powers are safe. I have been using them since I was a child at first pretending that I was a hero like my ancestor Aura. Then secretly because I was afraid I would be labeled a mutant and shunned. But now that I know its some thing in me but not of me, I am ready to go public if that is what our people need. I really and truly believe that they are safe. I want to make a difference that is part of the reason that I finally decided to go public. I have started working with a group of people. Some of them I think are from Earth and others I am not sure about, things have been happening so fast I haven’t’ really gotten to know them. If I can help just tell me how and I will try. I don’t know if its wise to use my name yet maybe you can bring it up to the minister. Tell them you have been in contact with one of the people that helped save the station and they are a Spacer, maybe that will be enough, use your judgement.”
“If I tell the ambassador, he’ll want to talk to you eventually.”, she answered.”
He then added, “So what else am I supposed to do or who am I supposed to talk with now that the medical part is over? He said with his shy smile.
“Jander took care of that. Though I’ll let you know if you – David – need to follow up on anything. Proximus will probably as I said be someone whom they will want to talk to.”
(brief uncomfortable silence…)
“Are you doing anything tonight, do you have time for dinner? I would like to talk more but I feel like I have a responsibility to take care of before I can relax. It is just so good to see you again.” He said with all the sincerity that he possessed.
She smiled a bit and said, “Perhaps we could, its good to see you too. We have several good restaurants here on the campus, but if you want local East-Coast faire, I’m told there are a limitless variety. But I wouldn’t trust anything outside of the Green Zone and maybe certain areas of the Upper Cities where much of the elite of the city live and work. It’s still a bit unsanitary, but with proper precautions w e can mix with the locals.” She obviously didn’t like the idea of going anywhere without law, order, and most of all cleanliness.
He answered, “I am not feeling to adventurous, travel really doesn’t agree with me. I would rather odrer something familer than try something new right now.”
She smiled, relieved of having to go ‘out there’, “Sounds great, there is a great Melpomenian cafe here on campus, I think you’ll like it. Say about 21:00 local time?”
“That would be great… what time is it now?”
Anna said, “About ten before 9 in the morning. You said you had things to do today? First you should check in to your hotel room, your luggage you left at the station is already there. We have a place in the Green Zone for you, plus a spinner (GM Note: flying car a la Bladerunner) to get around or you can use the public transport or car, but the roads despite traffic controls are very dangerous. Your Jander has been updated with driving software in any case.”
“Thank you Anna I will see you tonight then.” he said. She smiled, nodded and departed saying, “Until then.”
David turned and said over his comlink to his robot servant, “Jander meet me at the gate, we are going to go to the hotel.”
“Of course sir.” the android evenly replied.