Welcoming to Different Skies, an original science-fiction roleplay. Please mind the air locks and try not to get stuck in a vacuum.
 

 
 

 
 

 
"Humanity can survive, my friends. But it will take effort and it will take sacrifice. But first, we must rebuild the wheel to study these assailants from beyond. Any piece, any fragment of the Deus Pinnae that rears its head will be ours. Yamata 16 can no longer afford to linger in the shadows. If we must, we will take all of Bastion space in our grasps and ravage it until every metal sliver of the Pinnae is revealed... By any means necessary."

Jonathan Langdon.

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AGE: 39
ARCHETYPE: Human
Occupation: Drifter
PLAYER ALIAS: Marty
PLOTTER: http://darkmatters.jcink.net/index.php?act=ST&f=11&t=104
DOSSIER: http://darkmatters.jcink.net/index.php?showtopic=96
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Tobias Palmer

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Aug 25 2015, 02:31 PM
Ferrum Colony, Hrimpursar
Neuros System
Time: 15:00
Date: 15/02/2488


The chill had been everywhere the whole day, sometimes the ice sheets moved causing rifts to open that sent the inhospitable climate of the above surface planet into the deep caverns where Ferrum had been built. The thermal fans did their work in heating the colony, but not even the vents could keep the cold at bay when a one-hundred yard rift split the surface open.

Sitting in a corner on the docking station he glanced at a ship landing on the last empty pad, an old clunker riddled with scars, scars of battle. Battle against evil aliens that would want to hurt him. At least that’s one of the stories he’d make up every time he saw a new ship dock, brave explorers finding beautiful tropical worlds and mighty corsairs fighting villainous pirates who picked on the innocent.

The old ship was something that reminded him of an old design he had once seen in an old holobook, an old book about old ships that had once been the sleekest designs available, best efficiency known in the galaxy, it could outjump a SLED corsair before the latter could even get close. The Mariana Mk. XI, a ship of legend. The scars on its body showed the battles it had experienced in its long life, amazingly enough it could still fly and wasn’t yet scrapped for a newer, faster, and better ship.

Years before he had wanted to go out into the star, find new planets, places that didn’t even know about cold. Where you could breathe the outside air, or even look up at the sky at night. But it were merely kid’s dreams, no kid from Ferrum could afford a ship, and nobody owning a ship wanted to hire some miner’s kid to work for them. Even twelve year olds knew that ice would be the first and last thing you’d see, cold the last feeling you would feel. His father was a miner, and his grandfather had been one, three generations of miners had risked their lives for a meagre existence. He had never known why his forefathers had ever decided to live on this planet.

He only knew the stories from the books, three hundred years ago the planet Hrimpursar was discovered. A barren planet of ice and cold, but under the crust a near infinite amount of minerals ready to be removed from the earth, untold riches for anyone who would brave the harsh climates and risk their lives to dig it out. The books had been funded by the Naxos Mining Corporation, the biggest company on the planet, the company that made the most credits by luring people to a planet with stories of becoming richer than your wildest dreams.

Yet he had never seen a miner that had become so rich he wouldn’t have to mine again. His dad wasn’t rich, he was angry, but not rich. Many nights he would return from work smelling like alcohol, and he would show his anger, he would make him and mom feel the anger he felt, until they all had the same anger within them.

Last night his dad had been angry again, and he had thrown the hardest punch he had ever felt, right on his eyebrow. He had been dizzy from the blow, and the blood dripping along the edge of his nose had made his eyes well up in tears. With tears of red he had ran, ran until his legs couldn’t run any further, and he had hid in a crevasse that only he knew about, the only place he could be on his own and not be afraid, not be angry.

His wound had been frozen shut when the crust shook and the cold came in, a slither of frosted blood reminding him of the fear and anger he had felt last night.

He hadn’t returned, he had simply sit in his shelter, knowing nobody could ever hurt him as long as he hid, the only thing to keep him company where the ships and their stories, and to dream of a future amongst the stars…
Aug 14 2015, 05:10 AM
Time of Day: 19:00
Date: 10-8-2515

The bright blue liquid swirled in the cup as he moved his hand around at a slow and deliberate pace, looking into the drink as if he was going to find the meaning of life somewhere down in the glass. He was a man free to stand and go where he pleased, and what was the first place he ended up, a semi-high end drinking establishment on Bastion.

It had been fifteen years since he had drank a true glass of spirits, the crap they had brewed on Dukha could barely count for anything other than highly-powered cleaning solution. If you weren’t going blind, that’d be a good night of drinking on Dukha. Everything on that planet was able to kill you, even the booze… Especially the booze.

So the first inkling he had gotten was to use the final UD’s to his name, the final remnants of his old life, and spend it on getting hung over on proper drink. Sure it was enough to buy some food to last the night, and maybe if he somehow had money left he’d use it to eat something, but he didn’t care about food, he just wanted a drink, hopefully find a purpose in the glasses he received.

Taking a sip he let ‘Blue Lotus’ take grip of his taste buds before burning its way down his throat into his stomach, no doubt already looking to wreak havoc on his liver. As far as the blue stuff went, it wasn’t a far shout from the pseudo-spirits they drank on Dukha. Even drinking took baby steps, he’d go crazy without something strong, and ‘Blue Lotus’ was strong enough to come with a warning from the guy that tended the bar, then again, he had looked at Tobias and knew that whatever he had experienced he needed the stiffest thing around.

Setting his glass down, he had felt that he had tried hard enough in finding the answer to everything in the blue stuff. Running his hand through his patchy beard he knew he looked like a piece of crap, he looked and felt like one. Fifteen years of suffering on a hellhole planet had changed him in more ways than he could recount, the fifteen years had felt like fifty, the last year was by far the longest.

He had been put on that planet as a wide-eyed kid who thought he was a tough smuggler, a twenty-four year old with more talk than action, and the planet had made sure that any sort of delusions of grandeur were ruthlessly torn from his spirit. He might’ve not been the killer they told him he was after the death of that Praetor whose name he doesn’t even care to remember, but fifteen years on Dukha had sure as hell molded him into one.

Yet fifteen years had changed him, nothing had changed in the reality of how society operated. Looking across the bar he saw them, a few rich politicians enjoying their own drinks, probably talking about how they’ll screw over the lower-class some more tomorrow. Their eyes taking in all the meat that crossed their paths, no doubt scoping out someone who they’d want to take home tonight, and if they struck out tonight, they’d just pick up a sex worker and have their way with them instead, assert their dominance, make them feel like the big men they pretended to be.

He more than liked the idea of standing up from his barstool, walking over to them, and crushing both their heads onto the counter. No questions asked, just two quick deaths and Bastion and the rest of human space having lost two more ‘’productive members of society’’. The news would hail them as heroes, died at the hands of a known sociopath with a flair for killing politicians, maybe he was an anarchist, perhaps he was just some psycho with a deluded agenda, whatever would make the ordinary people sleep softly at night knowing that such a man was rotting away on some barren prison colony in the furthest reaches of known space.

And nothing would change. Two other corrupt politicians would take their place, and the suffering would continue unabated. It’s the people who have no voice that suffered the most, and everyone from politicians, SLED agents, and corporations went out of their way of making sure the suffering of the silent masses was continued and perfected, like a factory of misery and death.

But going back to Dukha wasn’t part of his plans, glancing across his shoulder at the corner of the room he saw a man sitting there, suit pressed a bit too properly to be someone of ill repute, not pressed well enough for being a politician or corporate entity. His hair neatly kept, his eyes trying to focus on a piece of reading; at least that’s what he wanted others to think. Tobias knew that the man was a SLED agent, sent along to make sure their reformed member of society was living up to the ideal of having earned his freedom back. And if the case was otherwise, well then it was a one way trip back to Dukha for a more permanent stay.

Whatever they thought he would’ve learned on Dukha, it wasn’t anything in the sort of him crossing his heart and never promising to sin again. Dukha would break the most honest person, and it would turn them into whatever they need to be to be able to survive. Dukha does reform people, it reforms them into weapons, ticking time bombs with nothing to lose.

Let him watch, if getting drunk was against the law, then he wasn’t prepared to live in freedom.

His train of thought was derailed, hearing someone take seat next to him at the bar. Looking right of him at the person he immediately knew what the young girl was, underneath her hair it was mostly obscured, but the fact she had a tattoo behind her ear told enough. She was someone’s property, some pimp’s asset in making a lot of money off of the back of a young girl who had nowhere to go.

Just another thing that hadn’t changed after fifteen years, just another soul that had been exploited and abused for the advantage of someone higher up. He didn’t know who she was, but anyone who had been placed in her position could use some release, even if it’s temporary.

“Keep, I think the girl can use a drink.” The barkeep looked at him wondering what he was playing at or if Tobias knew the girl. Before he finally spoke up. “Sure, but can you even pay for it?” the barkeep pondered, looking at his exterior and immediately wondered if he even had money to pay for his own drink. “Just… Just get the girl a drink, chief.” Sighing below his breath he raised his eyes as if he was looking over glasses, with a shrug the barkeep relented and looked at the girl for her order. Maybe he wasn’t getting drunk off of his last UDs, but at least it went to someone who could use the drink just as much as him.

After she got her order, Tobias glanced lightly at the girl, not going for eye contact but scoping her out. She looked like she had a rough night to say the least, probably a client who wanted to push her around a bit, trying to feel powerful and mighty by roughing up a young girl he paid for in the first place. Yeah, she could really use a drink. The girl would probably think that he’s trying to liquor her up for a ‘discount’ himself, but the last thing he was interested in was continuing the circle of exploitation.

“Rough night?” taking his glass of blue lotus he took another sip from the bittersweet blue swill, his eyes in front of him staring at his own haggard self in the mirror.

At least he could recognize himself in that question…






Tag: Essime
OOC: I will get a template going whenever I can find one that fits.
Aug 13 2015, 05:56 PM
Hello everyone, my name is Martijn de Knegt and I am from The Netherlands.

People tend to call me Marty for short since it's easier to write out than Martijn. I am 25 years old, and I have been roleplaying in some form since the end of 2008. Before 2014 it was in a competitive fashion, after I got burned out with competing on a weekly basis and tired of the toxic atmosphere that comes with a win or lose enviroment, I decided to stop competitive and just roll into straight up roleplaying where people only care for good stories and not winning or losing.

First I had a short stint in a Game of Thrones roleplay, but I couldn't find my place there... Then someone on that site pointed me towards a Marvel RP, which I am still writing at and having a great deal of fun doing it. On that site an advertisement appeared for Different Skies, and well here I am!

In terms of what characters I write, it tends to be all over the place from smart people, cocky people, rich people, to a man who lost everything and has only revenge on his mind... (hint, it's Tobias!) I really want to try everything and I just want to test my limits of characterization with every new person I write.

In my daily life I am studying IT, with only an internship of 6 months left to go before I get my degree and I am able to seek work in said field of IT. My dream right now is to get a nice groove going in life, save up some money, and hopefully move to a different country where I can hopefully start a new chapter in life.

In general I write when I am motivated and I have time free. Depending on how I am feeling my character, it will be writing a lot or less so, but I always try to stay somewhat active regardless of my motivation. I just like to write and be creative.

In terms of what I like, it's a good list so you better hold on tight!
Games: Deus Ex, Fallout, Manager Games, Civ, AC series, Witcher, All the BioWare games (especially KOTOR and Mass Effect). And many more.
Music: Anything that I feel like as long as it's not ridiculous shit like Screamo or Dubstep.
Film/Series: Anything Marvel and DC, Tarantino, Riddick Series, Firefly, Equilibrium, Blade Runner, Airplane, Scorcese, Edgar Wright, Person of Interest, Charlie Brooker and many more.

Other than that, I also read a lot of comics, and I read a lot of books including but limited to... A song of Ice and Fire, I am Pilgrim (Brilliant thriller), and also Marvel Comics, currently reading through the entire Ultimate Marvel series.

Also what I noted is Deus Ex, Riddick, Equilibrium, Firefly, and Blade Runner, and it's one of the main reasons I am on this site right now. If there is one thing I love, it's dystopian cyber-punk futures. Where Big Brother is alive and well, There's a huge divide between social castes, and basically the world is a shithole with the idea of law being nice in theory, but severely lacking in practice.
My current character is very much based on many ideas, and a amalgamation of how a (alledged) criminal would be handled in such a world. Basically thrown on a hellhole planet and left to survive his sentence.

And to be honest, there aren't enough good OC Sci-Fi sites on the internet that really strike my fancy in any way, luckily Different Skies did strike my fancy and I am intrigued to be on the ground floor of this site as it will hopefully grow to be nice and big and popular and filled with colourful characters of various creeds, colours, and ideals.

I could tell you more, but I have run a blank for now.

Hai to everyone.
Aug 13 2015, 05:10 PM

Tobias Palmer - 39 - Unaffiliated - Drifter - Human


Short Biography
To say that Tobias Palmer has anything in his life worth living for is a vast overstatement. After having lived on the Dukha Prison Colony for the past fifteen years for the murder of Praetor Vaughan Olmstead he had resigned to stay on the colony for the rest of his life with his wife Susanna Palmer-Rodriguez. Due to Susanna being slain by a deranged psychopath -of which there are many on Dukha- he essentially lost the only thing that kept him connected with the land of the living.

Now he is a free man, with nothing left to live for other than bitterness and anger, and the desire to find out who had set him up fifteen years ago, to find solace in killing the one that has taken away his life.

His only goal in life is to find his old crew and mentor, found out if they were the ones that set him up, and if so, kill them.

He has no family -none he cares about anyways-, he has no known acquaintances, nobody to look out for or care about.

But if he wishes to track anyone down, he'll need the resources to do so, he'll need a ship, he'll need people that can find the people he wants to find. And whilst he's a former convict, he knows that his only true talent lies with his abilities as a smuggler, and the survival skills he has learned on Dukha during his stay there. To get further into life, he'll have to get his hands dirty again, and in turn find himself in the scope of SLED who will no doubt want to send him back to Dukha on a permanent stay.

Friends and Overall Personality
Aside from his immediate plans, he is still an interesting personality to be with. Whilst he is gruff and stoïc in his demeanor, and slow to show any care or emotion towards people. His past experiences have given him a fierce protectionist attitude towards the weaker parts of society, be it children in danger, or people who are being exploited against their will. He doesn't want people to suffer the same way he has suffered in his life, and will do whatever it takes to help those people fight against their struggles and have a better life as a result.

Once he opens up and trusts people, he is a caring and reasonably smart person who shows that he is more than just a former convict.

Hostility
The people on his dislike list are few, but the few there are are there on permanent stay.

The obvious one is his former crew and mentor, who essentially left him with a murder charge, and may or may not have been the ones to have set him up for that murder in the first place.

The second one are SLED and anyone connected to the goverment, they were the ones that locked him up despite having no evidence of him actually havign committed the murder he was charged for. He has no respect, no patience, and no reason to be helpful towards members of SLED and anyoen surrounding it. As they are often too busy to care for their own rules, the well-off, and don't care for the people that truly need help.

Thirdly, people who exploit the weaker parts of society. Be it pimps who abuse and exploit hookers. Drunken fathers who beat their wives and children. Or big corporate managers who don't care about the safety of their employees and simply care for the bottom line of making as much money as possible.

Needless to say, he dislikes and even downright hates those people, and don't expect him to be on friendly terms when he's around such people.

Love/Romance
Finally there's the question of love and romance, and well... There is none. For him the wound of losing the one he loved, the one he was prepared to forego his only shot at freedom for is too great at this time. The death of his wife Susanna is one that has stripped him of a good part of his humanity, and it's one of the reasons he sees little in his life to care for other than have revenge for what happened fifteen years ago.

He might grow close to someone in time, but it's gonna take a long time before that happens, simple as that...

In closing
Tobias is an interesting person with a coloured history. Whilst it's doubtful anyone truly knows him after fifteen years of incarceration, a quick check-up would show them who he is, or perhaps who people label him as.

In truth, he's never been a murderer. But his life among the psychopaths/terrorists/murderers of society have changed him to be a ruthless and uncaring individual, who will have no issue taking a life if it's needed.

But whilst people see him as a murdered of a popular politician, he can be fiercely protective of the people he feels needs the most protecting. The people that the goverment and law-enforcement don't care for.

Needless to say, plenty of plot potential I hope.

If you're interested feel free to post in this thread, send me a PM, or add me on Skype: Martijndeknegt@hotmail.com (do tell me who you are if you do).

Lets make plot happen!

Aug 12 2015, 07:20 PM
_searching Z:\ for query...
    _uploading requested file...
    _opening heuristic personnel dossier:
    _dossier template: DEFAULT
    _script execution time .006 seconds

    CONTENTS OF FILE ARE [CLASSIFIED] AND REQUIRE SECURITY CLEARANCE OF [BLACK] TO VIEW.

Z:\ P L A Y E R - I N F O R M A T I O N.ooc

    _requesting RL:\ for
    established query...
_player alias: Marty
_other characters: None
_modes of contact: Skype: Martijndeknegt@hotmail.com

Z:\ C H A R A C T E R - I N F O R M A T I O N.ic

    _analyzing system
    settings...
      _generating personnel dossier: DEFAULT
      _rendering holographic display:

- Tom Hardy -


_affiliation: Unaffiliated

_full name: Tobias Anthony Palmer
_nicknames/alias: Drifter
_date of birth: 22/04/2476
_age: 39
_home planet: Hrimpursar
_current residence: Space
_relatives:
- Garnett Palmer | Father | 62 | Estranged/Alive
- Milica Palmer | Mother | 57 | Estranged/Alive
- Susanna Palmer-Rodriguez | Wife | 30 | Deceased
_orientation: Straight
_marital status: Official Records: Single | Unofficial: Widowed

_gender: Male
_height: 6ft3
_weight: 225lbs
_hair color: dark brown
_eye color: blue
_identifiable marks:
- Deep irregular and jagged scars on his back/torso/limbs
- Tattoo on the inside of his left lower arm, Susanna written over the horizontal bar, barbed wire tattooed over the length at a later date.
- "M1-DPC-3950258" (stands for, Murder 1 | Dukha Prison Colony | Prisoner number) tattooed onto his clavicle.

_occupation: Smuggler | Former Convict

Z:\ P S Y C H O L O G Y.ic

    _psychological evaluation loading... COMPLETED.
_personality: Gruff and distrustful, Tobias is cold and distant towards people he does not know, and at times also to people he does know. Coming from a very rough past he is slow to put any trust in people, and tends to prefer solitude and being a loner. The few people that know him, not little about him, as he won’t divulge his past experiences with anyone.

The few people he does trust are people that share the same history and lot in life as he does. Whether these are the weak, poor, or downtrodden, he is helpful and even kind at times to people who have had histories of being exploited, and abused. Feeling a strong sense to protect these people from harm, and try to make sure they live a life better than the one he has had.

Whilst most of the time he is stoïc and prefers to keep to the shadows due to his past, he is quick to anger whenever children are victims in situations. Coming from his own youth where he was often beaten by his father, he can be a danger towards people that abuse children in any sort of way.

Towards people that abuse and exploit the voiceless and helpless he can be downright hostile, giving them no time of day and taking a wide berth around them to avoid any sort of interaction with these people. If he is forced into interaction, he’ll be very hostile and in some cases might be prone to aggression too.

Z:\ P O W E R - I N F O R M A T I O N.ic

    _genetic sequencing
    algorithm initiated... COMPLETED.
_archetype: No Powers

_powers: No powers

_weaknesses: No powers

Z:\ H I S T O R Y.ic

    _individual background loading... COMPLETED.
Born on the ice planet of Hrimpursar, the early life of Tobias was one that wasn't spend in luxury, in fact he didn't have much time to be a child as he grew up in a severely disjointed household.

His father worked the mines during the day, and was out drinking in the evening, only to come home and mercilessly beat up his wife.
Whenever he didn't feel like beating his wife, the brunt of his abuse went to his only son Tobias, who as he grew up grew more resentful of his lot in life.

The company that ran the mines knew of the conditions both in the mines self, and the conditions in the homes of the workers. But afraid for the bottom line they proceeded to take bigger and bigger risks, and overwork the miners further.

Not willing to follow the same path as his peers and become a miner, he stowed away on a ship when he was 12. Proceeding to be caught and found out after the ship had left orbit and was well on their voyage, the pilot Enrico Marius wasn't an ordinary trader, instead was a smuggler who sympathized with the story of Tobias, and instead of throwing him off the ship at the nearest planet, he was made part of the crew, working along the rest of the ship's staff and used as a runner on planets to get messages from and to associates of Marius.

Slowly he became more and more a respected part of Enrico’s crew, being regarded very much as a protégé to possibly one day take the reins of the ship and continue Marius’ business of smuggling cargo.

As he became older, his role in the crew grew, eventually becoming the second-hand man of Enrico on the ship. Somewhere in his 24th year, the crew landed at Bastion for an important business meeting. Once they were at the meeting he was put outside as a lookout, whatever happened, and whoever decided to shoot first, nobody knows. But once he ran inside Enrico and his crew were nowhere to be seen, but on the ground lay prominent Praetor ‘Vaughan Olmstead’ with a fatal gunshot to the chest. Before being able to escape himself he was overwhelmed by SLED officers who quickly arrested him, with there being no prints on the gun used for the crime, everything led to him being the man in the room as proof that he was the perpetrator of the crime. Due to the high-profile nature of the crime committed, government officials, and civilians alike demanded a swift and harsh sentence for the man who had mercilessly slain a beloved Praetor in cold blood.

For reasons he might never know, he was spared a harsh sentence. It might've been a parting presence from his ''family'' that they bribed the jury, or simply the lack of concrete evidence, but he came away with ''only'' a 15 year sentence for the crime he did not commit.

In the governments final attempt to truly let Tobias suffer for his alleged crimes, he was incarcerated on the DukhaColony, a penal colony on a near-inhospitable planet where the only way to survive, is to find a way to co-exist with the most dangerous criminals of the world, ranging from terrorists, mass murderers, psychopaths, and anything in between. With no law reigning on the colony other than the law that the convicts make themselves, it’s in essence guarded from orbit, any unauthorized ship that leaves surface is promptly shot down without warning. Prison ships arrive and leave only to bring in new convicts, and to pick up convicts whose time in prison is over.

Despite the prisoners having to cooperate and co-exist to be able to survive, the casualty rate is still staggering as any sort of colony filled with the depraved would have obvious problems in terms of keeping their colonists in check. There is a semblance of government, but it’s a shallow façade and any sort of punishments on the planet itself tend to be quick and brutal without any sort of legal correspondence.

15 years he was forced to be part of the colony, after those 15 years his sentence would be up and he’d have the choice to leave the planet as a free man, or stay part of the colony, the choice could only be made once, and it would be permanent.

As he managed to find ways to survive the planet and its inhabitants, he met another convict named Susanna Rodriguez, a woman incarcerated for killing a shopkeeper during a routine robbery on The Carpel on Bastion. Convicted for the crime she was convicted for 30 years on Dukh.

And even on a planet of criminals love can blossom between people, Tobias and Susanna fell in love as they looked past their criminal pasts, and the reasons they were on the penal colony. They promptly married (whatever constitutes as marriage in a prison colony) and Tobias was planning on giving up his one choice of freedom as his own sentence was a year from coming to its end.

But tragedy struck the two as Susanna was one of the victim’s during a prisoners psychotic killing spree, the prisoner was slain himself according to the ‘’laws’’ of the planet’s ‘’government’’, but it almost literally ripped the few shreds of humanity he had left from his body, the love of his life was killed, giving him nothing left in life but the one thing that had kept him living during his prison sentence…

As his sentence finished, he chose for freedom and left the penal colony. With a shuttle he returns to Bastion –where his sentence had begun- to face a final debriefing as a prisoner, after that debriefing he would be a free man, free to stand where he pleased.

After fifteen years away from society, lots of things changed, yet in truth nothing had really changed. After fifteen years people barely remembered who he was, or who he had allegedly slain.

Despite being a free man, being able to go back to living and find a way to go straight, there was only one thing on his mind after all these years. Track down Enrico and his crew, find out if they were the ones that had set him up, and if they had set him up, he'd kill them for doing so.

But as a man who had just regained his freedom, he had no money, no connections, nobody in the world that knew who he was or cared about him. If he was ever to find the men that had set him up, he'd need money, and in his life he only knew one way to earn money…

A man with no family, no connections, nowhere to call his home, Tobias Harris decided to wander, to become a Drifter.

Z:\ S A M P L E.ic

    _accessing individual's archive footage files...
      _generating script... COMPLETED.
( At least three paragraphs. Try to play out a scene from your character's history. )

A bright light flashes into his eyes, blinding him for a few seconds as his sight had to adjust to the unfamiliar brightness of the lamp. The whirr of a machine could be heard outside of his current sight-range, it quickly launched forward, stopping just in front of his face. Anyone else would’ve flinched, but he stood there looking at it. He had seen it plenty of time, the machine scanning his iris and identifying him, a common experience for him after all these years.

From the other end of the room a speaker cracked before a voice came onto it. “Convict M1-TPC-3950258, sit at the table and place both hands on the table.” The voice commanded him, and without a secondary thought he stepped towards the table proceeding to do what he had been told, once more something he had experienced plenty of times before. But today would be his final time, the final time he went through the motions and had to listen to the commands over the voice box.

One thing he had not yet experienced was what happened next, a door next to the one-way window opened up, a young blonde woman stepping forth with a file in her hands. She moved across the room, eyeing the person at the table, and the cameras afterwards, she didn’t show it, but she was anxious. From the looks of her, she seemed about as casual as SLED employees got, her hair done up in a tight bun and a boring suit that gave up nothing other than that she was obviously working for SLED.

She took seat opposite to him, grabbing a pencil and paper, before opening the file in front of her. Reciting what had been written. “Start recording” she voiced lightly, the automated systems taking her order and switching on, everything that happened now would be recorded, from what was said to both their pulses and stress levels, technology making sure there were no secrets. “Prisoner M1-TPC-3950258 | birthname Palmer, Tobias | Sentence of 15 years for the murder of late Praetor Vaughan Olmstead | Served incarcerations on Dukha Prison Colony…” Pausing for a moment she glanced at him, eyeing him for any sort of reaction, she registered none but the same stoic look from when he entered the room.

“Mr. Palmer. I prefer to use names rather than the number you received, do you have any issues with this?” she asked, yet he sat there with his hands flat on the table and a blank stare that scanned the room and gave little interest in the proceedings, seeing something of note she wrote it down on her notepad. “I can assure you that speaking with me will make these proceedings go by much much quicker, Mr. Palmer” the young blonde told with a businesslike pleasantness that you could expect from anyone ranging from a doctor to an undertaker.

“Suit yourself…” her head shook lightly, biting her tongue and writing more things down on the notepad. “Mr. Palmer served his 15 year sentence, given the choice of freedom or permanent residence on Dukha, he chose the option of freedom.” She recited to the recording, glancing through his file trying to find more to say. “Palmer has given no reasoning for his choice.” In truth he had one good reason, the reason was he had nothing on Dukha to keep him there for the rest of his life, only suffering and death.

“His incarceration has been noted as uneventful, but such a thing is not uncommon for prisoners returning from Dukha. It can be noted that unruly prisoners are prone to not surviving their incarceration” which was her way of saying that anyone who didn’t play nice was thrown into the incinerator, life on Dukha made sure that even the most depraved had to work together for survival, anyone not participating was a burden on the system and was disposed of.

For a second it seemed that she had finished her recitation, but her eyes stopped for a second and returned to telling him and the recording more. “There was one notable event, the killing of a prisoner named Susanna Rodriguez-“ she wanted to continue speaking, but the automated security system activated itself and aimed a red dot at his neck, ready to deliver a killshot after the system recognized a spike in his pulse that could be interpreted as anger, luckily for the blonde agent it wasn’t directed at her. But she was writing it down nonetheless. “Prisoner shows unusual reaction at the mention of mentioned prisoner, will press further with questions.” The tone of her voice talked like he wasn’t even in the room.

“First I would request the prisoner to lower his mental state of mind to return the system to stand-by.” She told him indirectly as she was more interested in talking to the recording instead of him. Closing his eyes he let out a deep breath, feeling his heart-rate lower to less ‘’dangerous’’ levels, the system going stand-by to signal he was calm, for now.

“Why did you react to the name, what is the prisoner to you?” questioning him with zero sort of emotional attachment for whatever the answer might become. Her cold and uncaring emotions showing that she was the perfect SLED officer, trained to be the cold and unemotional drones they had to be.

Finally his stoic demeanor lifted slightly, knowing the blonde wouldn’t let him go any further without an answer. Turning his left hand he showed the inside of his lower arm, a cross with barbed wire on his arm with the name ‘’Susanna’’ written on the horizontal bar of the cross.

“I fail to understand the reason of her name being on your arm.” She told almost painfully unaware of the reasoning he had the tattoo. And finally after what seemed ages his lips parted for an answer “She was my wife” he told with extra emphasis on ‘’was’’.

The blonde officer was unfazed and wrote it down with whatever interest she could muster, before once more informing the tape. “For the record, marriages between prisoners are not recognized as official matrimony in accordance to human law.” she said with not a shred of emotion on her voice.

“That’s easy for you to say.” He told her coldly, doing away with his stoic demeanor, staring a hole into the back of the young officers head.

“I beg your pardon?” she lifted her head up, no doubt feeling that he was staring a hole through her head, her hand busy writing the interesting development onto the paper.

“You haven’t lived on a barren planet for fifteen years.” He told her with a calm anger that was coming from him, anger for the fifteen years that had been stolen from him.

“I don’t see what your incarceration has anything to do wit-“ once more the system sprung to life, aiming it’s red dot once more at the base of his spine ready for a kill shot.

But he stayed calm, calm but angry, as he continued. “Every day I lived on that planet knowing that I could be dead at the end of it. A planet filled with murderers, terrorists, and psychopaths.” His eyes glanced at the mirror behind her, no doubt her superiors watching along. “Fifteen years I survived for a murder that I did not commit.”

“You were the only person in that room that day, there was no-one else that could have committed the crime.” she told coldly, reciting what she had read in the file prepared for her, she had been a teenager when the crime happened.

“I don’t care about that anymore.” He told with his cold blank stare, the security system still at the ready.

“Then what is your point, Mr. Palmer.” she asked him, her voice starting to lose its original control as impatience was setting in.

“I had prepared to die on that planet, I found someone who I was prepared to die with… Spend my life with, forego my only chance of freedom. Because she was my wife.” The first time he had told anyone, and it didn’t hurt any less than when it happened just under a year ago.

“What your decisions might’ve been, it doesn’t change the fact that you weren’t married according to law. Prisoners don’t have the right to be married…” she told stubbornly as she recited whatever she had learned in the academy, so content to sit behind the rules and not realize the truth of the world.

“Maybe you’ll realize how it feels when you lose the person you love.” He inadvertently glanced at the ring around her finger, indicating she was ‘’officially’’ married herself.

“Is that a threat, convict?” she had been ticked off, her ringed hand slipping away from sight, her eyes fired up and she had lost her professional courtesy she had shown at the beginning.

“No.” he said without any emotion behind it.

Taking a final glance behind her at the mirror she nodded at her superior officers, before packing up the file and writing a final few things in her notepad.

“I think I have heard enough. For what it’s worth, you should’ve gotten life imprisonment for murdering Praetor Olmstead…” she said as she had made up her mind about who he was and what he had allegedly done. A sigh came from her lips, putting away the notepad and pen. “But I don’t make the laws, I only serve them… As far as the law is concerned, you are now a free man and you are free to live anywhere in known space and beyond.” She told with a slight bias towards the beyond, no doubt wanting him away from any sort of society, preferably sucked into a black hole never to be seen again.

“See the lenient sentence as a second chance in life, it will be the only chance you’ll get.” She warned him, but it got no reaction from him other than a casual and uncaring shrug. “For your sake you take it and start living an honest life, or I will make sure your next stay on Dukha will be permanent.” An icy glare she gave to him, no doubt angry that he was walking free, from what he saw in the eyes of the young agent she would’ve put him down right there and rid the universe of his presence.

“Have a nice day, Mr. Palmer.” Were her final words as she opened the door and walked back into the room behind the window, the security drones shutting down and the recording coming to its end.

He was a free man now, fifteen years of survival had given him freedom and a second chance. And he knew just what he would do with that second chance…
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