“Like A Christmas Tree”

ESD June 9th, 2629

Malinowski Research Station, Trobriand Sector, Ryosh c

Ryosh System

 

I haven’t slept more than about five hours since my last entry. This was not entirely on purpose but I’m not fighting it either. Once I get started on something, it’s hard to convince my brain that it has to take a break because Korae is tired, and a tired Korae is increasingly more prone to making mistakes that could jeopardize her career. Can you imagine what would happen if I managed to screw the pooch on first contact? Who would hire me then? Would I just end up some has-been net crank?

Hold that thought. So here’s what we’ve been doing the last 40 or so hours. I told Geris about my idea first, since he’d help me work out the technical details of the suit before I took it upstairs to Errin for a little back-alley brain surgery. As expected, the ship’s engineer was all over the idea of building something improbable to accomplish the impossible. A handful of fabricated screens and circuit sheets later and we’re now in business. Step two is wrapping all this around the exterior of a spare environment suit and fitting some contact points on the back of the helmet for my electrodes to hook up and control the patterns.

Errin had to wait until all this was done, which was a couple hours ago. The bedside manner training was pretty evident, given how well the whole thing actually went over compared to how it could have. No shouting, no threats, no accusations of mental breakdown, but no smiling either. All he said for about five minutes, between scratching at his stubble and looking over our little creation, was “hmmmm” and finally “I don’t see why not”. That last part took all my professional dignity (or at least what I presume to call that) to not make me start jumping up and down like I’d won a new spaceship.

I’d never been so excited to go under the knife. I use the past tense because he was able to do one better than what I’d been anticipating. Turns out I won’t need implants to get this done, but I will have to shave a couple strips of hair on the back of my head to make room for contact electrodes. Why, that’s many times less unpleasant than what I was quite ready to undergo, and apparently it only gets better from there. If we had access to a better machine shop and fabricator, like some of the more top-of-the-line, hospital-grade units, we wouldn’t even need contact electrodes, just a spec-fabbed electrode mesh to line the inside of the color suit’s helmet. Well, shit. Here I was ready to get my head sliced open and some future researcher won’t even have to shave their head to do what I’m about to do.

I guess I can live with this. After all, it’s the little sacrifices that build up over time to getting remembered forever. Pretty sure that’s how that works. Let all the future ling anth undergrads read in their overpriced textbooks about this goofy-looking weirdo named Korae Hallin, who made history looking like she’d lost a fight with a shaver while she was lit up like a Christmas tree. And what do the Ryosh kids of the future get to think about me for doing the same thing? The Christmas tree idiom probably won’t even translate.

If I’m worried about that of all things, then it’s really time for me to get to sleep.

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