Dear Emily: Letter 4

Letter 1: Glowing Corpse Mushrooms. Mentioned: Novella, Fotilas, Reed, and Rhea
Letter 2: A Damn High Fuss. Mentioned: Lily and Snatch
Letter 3: Transverse Hyperlight Implosion. Mentioned: Reed, Rhea, Novella, Snatch, Greje, and Eli.
Letter 4: Flowcharts, pilots, and music. Mentioned: Novella, Sloane, Micah, and Dynames.

Oh, gods, Emily.

It had to happen, you'd know that better than anyone. Would you be jealous? I don't know. Yes. Maybe. You'd say no, whatever the case. Should I tell her? Let's make a flow chart.


Well, that was helpful.

So, anyway, I've met some people. I've met scandalous, dangerous, exciting people with questionable sanity, which is to say I've met pilots. I was misplaced. Once again, one of these things is not like the other ones… Pilots are different than engineers, you know? When pilots go crazy, they get drunk. When engineers go crazy, they build stills. Not that we don't have raucous hilarity too, our raucous hilarity just involves considerably more equations than other people's.

Hanging out with pilots also makes me feel old. In order to reverse this effect, I clearly need to spend more time with the Majors. Heh heh. If anyone ever reads this notebook, I am so dead for so many reasons.

Sloane is one of the first pilots I met, burned indelibly into my traumatized mind due to the fact that he was scurrying around in a towel and describing hypothetical situations that I do not want to hypothesize. The tank tops thing, though — that was pretty good, I have to admit. As far as I'm concerned, Sloane is like wildlife. Fascinating and amusing from afar, but if he gets close enough to turn on me, I'm hauling ass out of there.

Micah clearly didn't want to hear about his hypothetical inappropriate Marine romances either, which is why he was trying to beat the shit out of Sloane and nearly did. Micah is Novella's wingman, and therefore someone I want on my side. Or at least someone I want to tolerate me. It was interesting, watching the two of them — even while drunk and wacky, there's a bond there. Protectiveness, awareness of the situation. Which is as it should be, considering it's their responsibility to keep each other from getting shot out of the sky and making juicy confetti on some Raider's sensor array.

I don't want to think about that.

The last pilot I met was Dynames, who was a surprise. She understands. After Novella curled up in a chair and fell asleep in a peacefully snoring lump, Dyna and I talked music. Her guitar's electric, mine's acoustic; we'll have to exchange now and again when someone needs to play a sound that can't be coaxed out of one's own instrument. Dynames understood that it's not enough to survive, that there has to be a reason why we're bothering. That music, art, these things matter… these things are crucial. She has ideas about making instruments and finding other musicians, about doing something for the morale of the fleet if we can. It felt like a breath of fresh air, when I hadn't realized I'd been underwater for so long.

Three weeks in the military now. Or is it two? Four? I don't remember. Units of time have shrunk to the cycle of on duty, off duty, repeat. I look in the mirror and see that guy wearing the ugly-ass Colonial work uniform now, though, and he doesn't seem so much like a bodysnatching stranger as he used to.


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