Illuminae, p.13

Illuminae, page 13



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font   Night Mode Off   Night Mode

  Dorian, C, Corp: Stephanie LeFevre. She’s a commtech.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: ya I know Steph. Chill fem. Smart. What’d they brig her for?

  Dorian, C, Corp: Aiding and abetting the enemy. They have records of her log-in being used to access memory files out of AIDAN. Details about the Copernicus attack, Kerenza refugee files, things like that. They say she gave the gen to Hypatia command about AIDAN.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: shit. that was … not so smart

  Dorian, C, Corp: Except she didn’t do it.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: how u so sure?

  Dorian, C, Corp: Because she was with me at the time, Mason.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: like

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: “with you” in a biblical sense?

  Dorian, C, Corp: Yes, Mason. “Biblically.”

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: holy SHIT, little Charlie D with ALL THE MOVES!!!

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: chum no offence but I had you picked as a Neo-Abstinent, dead cert’

  Dorian, C, Corp: My god, you’re an infant.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: chum, I’m HAPPY for you. Steph is a queen

  Dorian, C, Corp: Yes, well, my “queen” is now locked in SOLITARY for WARTIME ESPIONAGE, Mason. Awaiting court martial. And a possible firing squad.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: right. fuck

  Dorian, C, Corp: Three quarters of TechEng are now on some kind of “watch list” for suspicious behavior. Torrence has completely lost the plot. He’s had two commtechs dragged over from Hypatia. Set them up on the bridge so he could “keep an eye on them.” The pair of them literally have bruisers with guns looming over them while they work.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: and there’s no way steph could have logged in to access the info?

  Dorian, C, Corp: I think I’d have noticed. Give me some credit, please.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: so just tell command she was with you. Case closed.

  Dorian, C, Corp: Yes, brilliant. Because Private LeFevre engaging in intimate relations with her reporting Corporal is so much better.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: chum, it’s better than being shot for espionage

  Dorian, C, Corp: It’s still a court-martialing offense. And the way Torrence is acting lately, he might just have us both shot. He’ll brig me at the very least, that much is certain.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: chum, you have to tell them


  Mason, E, LT 2nd: oh

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: well. Good for u, chum. Proud of you

  Dorian, C, Corp: Oh, shut up.

  Dorian, C, Corp: All this means is two more people in the hole. Two more people not working on us not all getting killed when the Lincoln arrives

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: double negative, wow, u really upset

  Dorian, C, Corp: And of course, there actually IS someone hacking into AIDAN and accessing classified files. Locking Stephanie and I in the hole won’t change that at all.

  Dorian, C, Corp: I swear, the people in command are drooling simpletons. Why on earth would Stephanie be accessing Kerenza refugee files?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: wait this hacker was accessing kerenza refugee files?

  Dorian, C, Corp: Yes, Mason, I believe I said that already. Twice.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: shit

  Dorian, C, Corp: Mason, do you remember when I said you were smarter than you look?

  Dorian, C, Corp: Well, I’m officially taking it back. You’re slower than German opera.

  Dorian, C, Corp: Mason.

  Dorian, C, Corp: … Mason?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: Please tell me this wasn’t you

  ByteMe: ??? u ok?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: This hacker who broke into AIDAN’s memory and told Hypatia command about Copernicus.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: Tell me it wasn’t you, Kady.

  ByteMe: they don’t even know I can hack. Otherwise I’d have been brutalized and hauled over to the Alexander like the others

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: jesus, it was you


  ByteMe: AIDAN murdered everyone on the Copernicus. it’s being covered up. I’m the only one who IS thinking

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: so you thought telling everyone on hypatia about it was a good idea???

  ByteMe: Byron told the Captain. How could I do that? I’m not even meant to be in there.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: wait …

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: who the fuck is Byron?

  ByteMe: He’s the guy your marines assaulted and dragged over to the Alexander, covered in blood. He’s the only one who was brave enough to speak up. And it was the right thing to do.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: oh really? Tell that to the commtech whose ID you jacked. She’s in the brig now. and the Corporal (my friend, btw) who’s stepping up to make sure she doesn’t get SHOT for something she didn’t do is going in the hole beside her.

  ByteMe: they shot our captain, did they tell you that? when they were taking my friends.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: Kady, those marines WOULDN’T HAVE EVEN BEEN THERE if not for you and lord fucking byron

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: You promised me whatever I installed in that server was just to help Jimmy and youve been using it to spy on people.

  ByteMe: I never promised that.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: You LIED to me

  ByteMe: Should I just sit here and wait to die? You might have become a military drone, but I don’t have any faith at all in your commanders.

  ByteMe: What would you do if it was me in the brig? Wait for your next set of orders from them?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: Weren’t u the one telling me not to try and break Jimmy out because I’d be putting myself and others in danger? Why the fuck are those rules good for me and not for you?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: Ppl are in prison because of you! Ppl got hurt because of you!

  ByteMe: and if nobody does anything, what happens then? you think your general torrence has the answer?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: who says nobody’s doing anything? ppl over here are busting their asses. they’re trained military personnel. they do this for a living and they’ve been doing it all their lives

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: and i dunno if they have all the answers, but maybe, JUST MAYBE THEY HAVE MORE ANSWERS THAN YOU

  ByteMe: they don’t, trust me. I’ve seen exactly what they’re doing. So has Byron. they have no idea.

  ByteMe: I’m not doing this for kicks, Ez. I’m trying to find out what’s going on, what’s wrong with AIDAN, and I’m wading through layers of lies from your precious command to do it. you might be as content to sit here and take orders as you were to sit on Kerenza and do nothing, but I’m not going to count down the 47 hrs we have left until the Lincoln catches us by sitting on my hands

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: fuck me, you’re seriously bringing up kerenza? now?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: you really want to go there?

  ByteMe: i’m doing what I can to keep us safe. to keep those of us who are left, safe. from AIDAN, from the Lincoln. have u changed since Kerenza at all?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: listen, I’m sorry i wasn’t the guy to explore the goddamn universe with you. i had my reasons.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: but u don’t know everything kady. your problem is you think you do

  ByteMe: i know we have 47 hrs left to live right now, and u want to sit and hope. I can’t do that.

  ByteMe: i promised Byron i wouldn’t stop trying. so get your head out of your ass and help me, Ezra.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: god this is so like you. Little Miss Bigbrain. You always think you knwo better. Always think you know the score. ALWAYS

  ByteMe: right, what’s your idea?

  ByteMe: seriously, I’m listening. got anything better than sitting and waiting to die?

  ByteMe: i
m sorry they brigged your friends, i am. but that’s not on me. that’s on your command. they got themselves into this situation by lying, and now they’re covering it up by taking the only people who might be able to help, and locking them up. so really, you tell me your ideas about what to do next.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: how about i go tell command i know how you’re getting access to the system before anyone else gets imprisoned or killed?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: better yet, how about this?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: < connection terminated >


  I’m sorry. Please, please don’t shut me out. Whatever else happens, please talk to me. I don’t want to miss out on the last conversations we might have.

  I owe you an explanation, so I’ve attached a stack of documents. You can read for yourself.

  I promise you Byron is the best chance this fleet has of getting us away from the Lincoln without AIDAN killing us. But he doesn’t have enough time. I need to help him, and that’s what I’m doing inside the system.

  I can climb around the quantum core like a playground, but I can’t make you sit down and read my IMs. And I promise I’m not trying to play you when I say I really, really don’t want to die before I see you again.



  Civilian Transfer Authorization (03/29/75)

  Civilian Transfer Request (03/31/75)

  Civilian Transfer Request (04/06/75)

  Email: Interfleet—Copernicus to Hypatia (04/07/75)

  Civilian Transfer Request (04/19/75)

  Email: Interfleet—Hypatia to Copernicus (04/19/75)

  Email: Interfleet—Copernicus to Hypatia (05/14/75)

  Email: Interfleet—Hypatia to Copernicus (06/01/75)

  Email: Interfleet—Hypatia to Copernicus (07/10/75)

  I finally have a moment to check in. I wish we’d had more time to say goodbye, but I understand now that there’s limited movement between the ships because we need to preserve fuel for our supply vessels. I hope you’re feeling better about the transfer now you’ve had a little time.

  I’m settling in very well aboard the Copernicus, which is different to the Hypatia in some ways, and very much the same in others. The lab here is actually quite well-equipped, and it’s almost a relief to get back to what I’m good at. There’s plenty to do, but I’m sure we can get it sorted out in no time. We have a surprisingly good team, given our limited pool of candidates.

  I’ve been thinking about our discussion the other day at dinner, and I really think you should give some more thought to joining one of the sports teams. I know it was always more Ezra’s thing than yours, but it would be an excellent way to preserve muscle tone during the journey, and you might meet some more people. I worry about you not having the support network you need, no matter how many times you assure me you’re tough as nails. I know you are, my darling—you’re your father’s daughter—but worrying is a part of my job description.

  I’ll wrap up here, but please do let me know how you’re settling without me. I know you’ll handle it with the same determination you apply to everything in your life.

  Love always,


  Hey Mom,

  So good to hear from you! I admit I half wasn’t expecting it, knowing how lost you get in your work. What’s going on over there that they need a pathologist so badly. Nothing serious, right?

  I’ve put in a transfer request to see if I can get over there and join you, but no word yet. I don’t really have any news here. I’m taking the programming classes but I don’t think it’s really my thing. I promise you indoor sports are not my thing either, but I also promise I’ll make sure I make more friends, so you don’t have to worry. Hopefully I’ll be over to the Copernicus soon and you can supervise me doing it yourself!

  I’ve been thinking about Dad more, with you gone. I guess he thinks we’re both dead. I know it’ll take months, but I can’t help imagining what it’ll be like when we’re close enough to transmit and he knows we’re okay. I really miss him. I miss you too, but don’t stress about it. Just make sure you TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Seriously, I know what you’re like!

  Looking forward to hearing about life on the Copernicus when you’re not so beat.



  Hello darling,

  Sorry I’m such a bad penpal. It’s extremely busy over here, and we both know I get a bit distracted. The health concerns here are nothing to worry about, so please don’t. Pathology is just a specialized skill, and it wasn’t going to be practical to send blood samples across to the Hypatia when I could be here.

  I really wouldn’t worry about putting in a transfer to move across to the Copernicus. Now I’ve had a chance to look around, it really isn’t as nice a ship as the Hypatia, and I’d be more comfortable knowing you were over there, focusing on your classes. You’ll have a life to pick up when this is over, and your education matters.

  I’ve been thinking about your father as well. I miss him very much, too. He always jokes I wouldn’t notice if he went missing, so you’ll have to be sure to tell him for me that you heard me say it! I love him, and goodness, I wish he was here.

  Speaking of people we love, I do wish you’d get in touch with Ezra. I can’t think why he hasn’t tried to contact you himself, except that he must be under the impression you don’t want him to. I’m sure if you spoke to him he’d understand that words you spoke in anger back on Kerenza don’t matter anymore in the light of what’s happened. It’s important to let the ones you love know that you love them, and I’d feel better knowing the two of you have each other.

  Give it some thought, baby girl, and take good care of yourself! I might not have a chance to write again soon, but don’t worry about me. Keeping busy!

  Love you lots,


  Hey Mom,

  You’re turning into the worst penpal ever! That’s three letters you haven’t answered! I’m now going to start withholding until you show up. So, you want more news, pony up! What’s going on over there?

  Love, your abandoned daughter,


  I’m getting kind of worried. Will you please just send me a one-liner and let me know you’re okay over there?


  Date: 07/11/75

  Text: I can’t

  I want my Mom.


  I want to feel how soft she is when she hugs me and I lean into her. I want her hair tickling my nose. I want the way she smells, like the lab and clothes softener. I want her humming something really horribly out of tune as she heats up dinner, then starting to sing and making up the words. I want her stuffing my mittens in my bag and then turning out to be right when it starts snowing before lunch. I want to hear her voice on a call with Dad after I’m asleep, all soft and mushy when she thinks I can’t hear, with these long silences when I know he’s doing his charming thing. I want her marathoning shows with me that we’d both die before we admit we watch. I want her making tragic, inappropriate remarks about the boys on the shows in an attempt to pretend she’s not old. I want her talking earnestly about my education. I want her telling me to lighten up.

  I just want her telling me anything. What to do.

  Please, I want my Mom. I can’t do this on my own.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: they took your mom to the Copernicus

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: she was on there when …

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: god, i’m so sorry Kades

  ByteMe: Ez. please keep talking to me. I’m sorry.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: jesus this is so fucked up

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: i’m sorry i yelled at you

  ByteMe: i get it. u had the right

  ByteMe: nothing about this makes sense. I swear I don’t know what the right thing is, except trying to keep us all alive.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: this whole time, i thought she was on Hypatia with you

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: god, why didn’t you tell me, Kades?

  ByteMe: don’t know really

  ByteMe: u were worried enough without me making it worse. i didn’t want to think about it. i didn’t want it to be true. take your pick.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: it was like that when my dad died

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: like, sometimes I’d be talking about him to the guys and i’d realize i was using words like “is” instead of “was.” Like he was still here

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: part of me just wouldn’t believe it.

  ByteMe: and here I am, asking u to be here for me exactly like I wasn’t for you. more than I deserve, i get that.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: More than you deserve?

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: you deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: You deserve more than I could ever give you, Kady.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: But I’ll give you everything I can if you still want me to.

  ByteMe: I don’t know how you can say that, but I don’t care. I just want it to be true. you’re all i have, but it will be okay if I still have you.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: you have me

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: until the last star in the galaxy dies

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: you have me

  ByteMe: let’s try really, really hard not to die.

  ByteMe: i really want to see you in person first.

  ByteMe: don’t care where we end up.

  ByteMe: i think Heimdall must be gone. Otherwise help would have come for us. so that’s my dad, too.

  Mason, E, LT 2nd: you don’t know that. try not to think about it. You’re carrying enough already

  ByteMe: I’ll try.

  ByteMe: I tried so hard to get across to the Copernicus. I still feel like there’s something more I should have done.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up

Other author's books: