Monday, March 1, 2010

Ecliptic Rift's Flash Fiction Friday: Etherium Reach

Ecliptic Rift is hosting a weekly prompt for fiction from the EVE-Online community. Below is my contributuion for the latest prompt: Etherium Reach

Peht ran down the corridor as fast as he could.  His father had called to tell him there were not one, not two, but three offers for employment following his graduation next week.  It was his mother who called second to tell him she'd placed the letters on the kitchen table.  As most mothers, she was proud of her son's achievements, so simply telling him the letters had arrived wasn't enough.  She had to place them out for him.

He reached the door to his parent's quarters on the University of Caille station orbiting Bourynes VII.  He swiped his data pad on the door's reader panel and impatiently waited to be granted entrance.  Within in a few seconds he shot though the opening as the door slid open.  There on the table were the three letters his parents had mentioned.

The first was from CONCORD.  He quickly opened it and read through the offer.  A position on an advanced combat AI research team, all expenses paid for 2 years with an option to be granted an officership.  Peht's face grew a wide grin.  He'd received the highest offer CONCORD gives out.

The second was from his professor.  No, not his professor.  His favorite professor.  He was being offered a 4 year post graduate position on the professor's research team here at the station to continue his work on autonomous AI not requiring regular human supervision – automated mining ships, automated scouting vessels, and self maintaining stations.  Only two student were given such an offer each year, and the second was a runner up offer in case the first declined.  Peht noticed his offer was the first one.  His smile grew wider.

The third letter was, oddly, from the Minmatar Republic.  His face took on a quizzical frown as he opened the letter and read through the offer.  By the time he was done, neither the CONCORD offer nor the offer from his professor interested him any more.  He picked up his data pad and quickly entered a message to his parents:

“Taking offer from Minmatar.  Going to Etherium Reach.  Will assist in Republic's colonization efforts.  Will be on research team to develop autonomous AI assault programs to corrupt and destroy rouge drone hives and fleets.  Republic said to name my price.  ----What should I ask for????”

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