January 2nd, 2552 Home
Pilot Katherine ‘Kat’ James Reporting
I say, pilot because that is what I am. Unfortunately because of how I came to the crew of the Valkyrie— my official designation is Convict 237. The ship’s mechanical staff call me two-thirty-seven, the guards call me Two-Three-Seven, as if I’m too stupid to deal with three-digit numbers. The scientists consider us test subjects and the Einherjar, or jarheads don’t call us— unless we’re working with them, and then we don’t have names- just the job we’re expected to do.
Einherjar, an army of one- the chosen slain, a colorful choice for Confed-Military, and what else are you going to call the soldiers on board a ship that is named after the mythological chooser of the slain?
They have a delightful demeanor, our warrior caste. They are the elite, the few— and they’re already dead. Technically we all are. When you get this far out on the frontier, physics takes its toll. We’ll never see earth again, except through relayed images from an observatory cluster near the crab nebulae.
They say we’re all crew and we’re all furthering the cause of exploration, truth, and defense— but there are very definite castes here. The officers call it the chain of command with the Officers, non-comms, enlisted personnel, and support staff. The Einherjar call it rank, which they separate from the ship’s command; from the scientist’s perspective, it’s them the bureaucrats they need to appease and the ones they can bowl over, and the people who do the labor-intensive things.
In every case, the convicts are at the bottom of the food chain, with the exception of our areas of expertise.
Convict 238, is a musician and tends to keep us entertained. Convict 232 is an expert in explosives, no worries there, right? Convict 223 is a programming genius who needs some moral guidance, or at least some adult supervision. Me, I’m a driver/pilot if it rolls or flies, I can get it from point a to point b. I can also do it, very quickly.
Right now, I’m only allowed to wheel a cart full of cleaning supplies. I guess trust takes time. No one trusts anyone from another branch and well— when it comes to the convicts, we know better than to trust each other.