PERSONNEL PROFILE #837, submitted by Trinarius
So, I was on a relatively routine hop from Lorville to Everus Harbor, the other day. I say relatively because, although it’s a direct flight between the two, and most pilots don’t give it a second thought, I’d been asked to ferry an MPUV-P to the station. Granted, it took only a little longer than twenty-seven minutes from skids-up to touch-down. And, yes, I know I was pushing the engines a little harder than maybe I should have, but, I didn’t overheat anything.
Now, you might think that’s the interesting part of the story, since the MPUV has no jump drive, and, as a result, you can’t use the quantum navigator to set a destination for your HUD. You simply have to fly by dead-reckoning and be patient.
And, you probably know just how sketchy the approach to Everus Harbor can be sometimes, since they have problems with pirates more often than you’d think Hurston Security would allow. However, it was a completely uneventful flight, and everything seemed like everything was going according to plan.
That was, until I saw her…
The very moment I stepped off of the “wonkivator” from the landing pad, into the ASOP terminal hall, I noticed she had just turned away and started walking.
If you’ve visited Everus Harbor even a tenth of the times I have, I know you’ve seen her… The woman wearing the yellow armor. If you happen to catch her gaze, she has violet-colored eyes and deeply warm-colored skin hiding behind that face shield.
Who knows why she never takes it off. But, she’s always there, somewhere. Sometimes walking around, but more often standing off to the side, like she’s watching people. But, her armor makes it look like she’s some kind of industrial technician.
So, this time, I decided to follow her… I was going to find out what’s up with what seems like her following me around. Especially since I’ve also seen her at other R&R stations around the system.
She must’ve seen me following her, not that I was trying to be sneaky or anything, because she turned and headed up the stairs toward the balcony seating. She continued to the seating group in the far back corner; it gave her the ability to confirm I was following her, and to keep an eye on anyone else who may be walking by.
Of course, she noticed me, she was staring right at me. But, I decided to go ahead and walk on over…
“We really have to stop meeting like this,” I said.
“Excuse me?!” she said. By the sound of her voice, she was clearly confused by my statement.
“You’ve been following me, and I’m here to figure out why,” I said flatly.
“What the hell are you talking about!?” she asked, clearly annoyed by my approach.
“Every time I come aboard this station, I see you, and it looks like you’re watching me. Are you some kind of security officer or private detective?” I asked.
“You’re making a hell of a first impression,” she said. “I don’t even know who you are. But I can see you’re quite the narcissist.”
I crossed my arms in front of my chest… “Well, then, let’s make this easy… I’m not narcissistic. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t really someone after me.” I said defensively. “And, you have to admit, the way you walk around this station, you seem to be watching people.”
“Well, there’s a very good reason for that, if you’d like to know,” she said, still annoyed.
“Y’know, I think I would…” I said smugly, uncrossing my arms and, like an idiot, I put my hands on my hips, standing akimbo. I guess I thought I might have the upper-hand in this encounter, especially since I was standing and she was sitting, but I was standing there like I was some kind of in-charge asshole. Honestly, though, I was tired of feeling like she was tailing me. That’s when I decided to change my stance to something a little less hostile but still on-guard; I lowered my arms to my sides but kept myself in a partial ready stance.
“I’m one of the senior elevator technicians for the Rest & Relax Hospitality Company,” she said. “It’s my job to make sure the elevators are working correctly at each of the waystations here in the Stanton system.”
“What?” Clearly, I didn’t believe her.
“I watch the elevators… to make sure they’re working properly… and, I make adjustments to their programming so that… hopefully… visitors to the station are able to move about quickly and efficiently,” she said in a way that sounded like a teacher trying to lead a student to the logical solution to a problem that had a blatantly-obvious answer. It was a fair bit condescending, but I’d earned that one. “So, I guess I can see how it might look like I’m watching you, or anyone else, for that matter, but I’m just watching interactions with the system, to see where we can make improvements.”
I gave her a suspicious look, as I wasn’t entirely convinced. She always wore her full suit of armor, including her helmet. I’d never seen her remove it. But, I’d also never seen her visiting any of the concessionaries on the station, either. Not even for food or drink.
“You want to see my credentials?” she asked.
“Hmm… Well, maybe…” I answered, clearly sounding like I didn’t believe her, which I didn’t.
“You did admit that you’re paranoid...” She chuckled and shook her head in disbelief as she removed her wallet from the right thigh compartment on her armor, and held it up for inspection… “Violet M. Jackson, Conveyance Engineering Supervisor II, Rest & Relax Hospitality Company.”
“Shit.” I said, shaking my head as I dropped my gaze toward the floor. “I’m really sorry.” Her credentials said it all.
“I thought you might be,” she said with a grin.
“Look… Maybe I could make it up to you… Buy you a drink or something?” I asked.
“So, first you accuse me spying on you, and now you’re asking me out?” she asked with no small amount of amusement in her voice. “You sure it’s just paranoia you’re suffering from?”
“Wha? No!!! I’m not asking you out. I was just trying to make up for being an ass-hat!” I said. She clearly had me on the defensive. Not only had I stuck my foot in my mouth, it turned out that I’d stuck both feet in, up to my knees, and was now chewing ever so thoroughly. What an idiot!
“Look, she said, I don’t have a drink with anyone I don’t know. So, if you want to make good… I showed you mine, now you show me yours.”
“Wait, what?” I blurted out, ever so obviously flustered by her directness.
“You took a look at my credentials, let me see yours…” she said, beckoning me over. “At this point, it might as well be a security check.”
“Umm…” I said, “okay…” as I pulled my credentials out of the top right pocket of my flight suit.
“Trinarius, huh?” she asked as I held my wallet up for her inspection. “No middle name or last name? Or is Trinarius your last name?”
“Legally speaking, my name is simply Trinarius,” I said.
“Alright, Trinarius, let’s go have that drink,” she replied as she stood up from the seating unit.
“Umm… Okay. But, it’s just Trin.”
“What?” she asked.
“Hardly anyone calls me Trinarius. It’s easier to just call me Trin.”
“Alright. Well, Trin, my friends call me Vi,” she said as he extended her hand to shake mine.
“Uh… nice to meet you, Vi,” I said as I shook her hand. Not gonna lie, it was a solid handshake. It was clear who had control of the situation. Of course, then I continued to make matters worse… “So, uhh… Voilet, because of your eyes?”
“You’re a sharp one, aren’t you? Shall we?” she asked, motioning back toward the stairs.
We walked over to the “inner station elevators.” I shook my head at the poor choice of wording on the wayfinding signage. Funny, though, how the doors opened, and a cab was waiting for us as we approached. She pressed the button for the Galleria and, moments later, we arrived without incident.
“Y’know, that doesn’t normally happen,” I said, as we turned right and walked to the food court.
“What do you mean?” she asked quizzically, motioning us over to Ellroy’s.
“The wonkivator operates the way it’s supposed to… for you,” I emphasized.
“You’re sure making points, today, Trin.” Then she turned to the guy behind the counter. Charlie, I think, is his name, and she ordered a 50/50. When he asked whether she needed anything else, she turned my direction and told him her drink was on my tab.
I ordered a long shot, paid for the drinks and then walked over to the seats near the chess board and motioned for her to sit. Our drinks would arrive shortly.
“I’m just saying… you don’t know how many times I’ve had to come rescue my buddy Glumm from those things. He takes a ride down to the Refinery Deck, submits his workorder, and when he returns, the doors simply won’t open; he’s trapped in the cab. He has to call me on his MobiGlass and ask me to come press the call button to get the doors to open and let him out”
“Ah… right. That happens a lot over at Shallow Frontier,” she said, as she removed her helmet for the first ever, that I’d noticed; she scrunched-up her nose as though she didn’t like the smell of the station air. “I’ve tried and tried to fix that system, but I just can’t quite figure it out. I really need to dismantle that system and install a new one from scratch, but headquarters won’t allow that.”
“Well, it wouldn’t hurt if the wonkivator was actually waiting at the pad when we arrive at the station, too,” I said, with a note of irritation evident in my voice. The drinks arrived and I raised my glass to her before I took a swig.
“Okay…” she said, picking up her glass, “first, why do you keep calling it a ‘wonkivator’ and, second, the cabs would be waiting for you if the controller sent it to your pad when you were cleared to land. But, if you introduced yourself to any of the controllers the way you introduced yourself to me, I can see why the cab is never waiting for you.”
I chuckled. So far as I knew, I’d never met any of the station’s controllers, but I suppose it was possible. “I call it a wonkivator because the word elevator means that the cab moves only up and down, inside a strictly vertical shaft. These things move in all kinds of crazy horizontal directions… they’re wonky.”
“Point taken,” she said, as she took another drink.
“So,” I said, “my apologies for the rude introduction, but I hope you might see where I thought you were keeping tabs on me.”
She laughed, “Yes, I can see that, but you’re right, you are paranoid.” She finished her drink and stood to leave. “Thanks for the drink, Trin. It was a good apology.”
“Yeah, well, next time I see you, I’ll wave and say ‘hi’ before I go sticking my foot in my mouth.”
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll see if I can’t fix those ‘wonkivators’ for you,” she said, replacing her helmet, then she turned and walked away.
While I wasn’t sure I’d made a friend, I’d at least learned who this previously mysterious woman was, and that she wasn’t one of those people who’re out to get me. Maybe.
So, if you’re ever aboard one of the R&R stations and you see a woman with violet-colored eyes, wearing yellow armor, and who seems to be watching you, be sure to just walk over to her and tell her “Trin said to say ‘hi.’”