Work. Work. Work. Epso stalked down the corridor on all fours, his movements slow and exaggerated. He made practically no noise, his well-oiled mechanics working just fine. And yet he felt as though his imaginary arthritis was as fiery as ever. He'd just gotten through examining the toiletry. It's a toilet. A toilet. You have a superior organism fix. A. Toilet. He would have thrown his hands up in the air if he cared. Now Epso was just wandering the vast halls of the ship he was now destined to inhabit. It remained docked in the hangar aboard the Triad flagship Kestara, waiting for its lazy captain. The flight of a lifetime, and the creature who has the opportunity to fly it is late. Ridiculous. In all honesty, it was a junker of a ship. It could barely be considered a primitive space station in shape, let alone a state-of-the-art starship. And yet it was. Mankind had sacrificed appearances in exchange for an excessively powerful warp drive and jet thrusters. Weaponry, in comparison, was pretty standard. It could easily take out a few fighters, but wouldn't hold up against a larger ship without the kinetic shields in place. Rare items. They created a field that maintained an aura that reflected projectiles by generating a slightly greater force which reflected the blast. Of course, it only held up as long as power was accessible. And even with the rechargeable capacity of the ship, it could only take so much damage before the hull was ripped apart. A pleasant stroll in a vacuum for me, a head-popping experience for fleshies. In all, it was a quilted mess of a ship. And yet it was the single most advanced fire-spitting, physics-bending, mind-fucking piece of equipment in the galaxy. I hate it already. Epso arrived outside the core room, noting that the maintenance beacon was on. What this time? And why didn't they have the ship engineers doing this? If there were issues with the ship before it even took off, that's something to worry about. He craned his ridiculously pained nonexistent joints through the doorway and inserted a finger into the dataport. Epso was hit with a shock of impossible energy, like jumping out of an airplane into a 40 degree pool of crystal clear water. He just died of bones shattering on impact and hypothermia. But in truth, uploading yourself into cyberspace was one of the few things he appreciated in life. A truly enjoyable experience being submerged in something connected to almost every point in the galaxy. Here though, he was working. And that sucked the fun out of things. Epso scanned the updating blueprints (truly useful items, those UBs. They frequently analyzed the status and shape of the structure in question and left copies of the data to be accessed at the leisure of the interested) of the fusion core, making sure there was no malware screwing with the flow of data or power. With nothing damaged in the cyber aspect, he removed himself from the port and physically scanned the reactor, checking for thermal abnormalities and physical deformation. No dents, no holes, no air field temperature increases outside of the shielding. Nothing wrong. Hmm... Epso moved back over to port and took another look at the digital room. As before, nothing wrong with the important stuff. But what about the unimportant things... Of course. Fuck the Eighth Daughter of Shaneeru. He uploaded standard security software and some of his own "cleaning" cocktails to clear the issues with the maintenance button. After the red light stopped flashing and the maintenance noise went off, his feet seemed to hurt more than ever. And Epso's nerves had been gone for years. An alert went off in the top-right corner of his HUD. "Convene with Cartographer. Assess psychological state. Assess physical state. Report back to Triad Intelligence Division A-23B6, Division 6, AI Monitoring. Password: *****." What am I, a doctor? Oh, wait. "I-Mail sent to MO, Operative Leslie Asmari and EO Epsostäner:Aklinakêlkeral'ner." Oh, wonderful. It's the social hour. Giving the maintenance beacon a contemptuous glare, Epso stalked out of the room, moaning to himself about his aching back.