Template:PostIn CatH Post 53 Clear and Hope are smashing eggs in Clear's dream. When she wakes up she find Mother standing and watching her. Mother reports that she has found Icer and they go to see the ghostly holograpic figure of the former captain. They find her directing others in the Engine Room but Clear wishes not to see Icer because she may be underwhelmed by the woman Clear had always known as the frozen statue in the Command Deck window. She then goes back to sleep in the Dreamviewer. In her dream she meets Hope again but they then meet a purple-skinned salmitton that tells Clear she knows him. When he kills Hope with a ruhand he tells her their is only Truth and when she knows him, she would know The Black Cloak.
Clear looks at the row of eggs. They're all small, beige and perfectly clean. Except one. One has hatched, though there's no sign of the little chick. She wonders where it might have gone. She doesn't wonder where the eggs came from, she feels like she already knows where they came from but she can't think of it just now. Her mind is scrambled. Much like the eggs could be...
Hope picks up an egg. Then throws it across the room. It smashes somewhere that Clear can't see. She then watches Hope throw each egg systematically until they're all gone. She points at Clear.
Hope: "You need to do this."
Clear looks at Hope very seriously.
Clear: "You ship... the Clearness... its looks like a giant dick, you know that?"
Hope shows no shock or surprise.
Hope: "Why shouldn't it? My ship was designed to fuq the universe."
Clear does show shock at the vulgarity used by her counterpart.
Hope: "Or maybe it wasn't..."
Clear: "Maybe it wasn't... at least my ship doesn't look like that."
Hope: "Yours has a hole in the middle..."
Clear: "I want to wake up now."
Hope: "Don't wait for the eggs to hatch to count them."
Clear: "Smash them."
The dream melts and the real world snaps into view. The monitor of the Dream Viewer hangs before her eyes. She whines and rolls over, pulling the blanket tighter to her neck. Why did her dream self want to wake up!? She doesn't want to be awake! Stupid dream self.
Mother: "Clear, you have slept for ten hours..."
Clear grunts in response.
Mother: "It is unhealthy to sleep too much..."
This time Clear doesn't even dignify Mother with any kind of response.
Mother: "I have identified the former captain amongst the holograms."
Clear opens her eyes. That's something to get up for. She rubs her face and yawns. She won't rush though. She swings her legs over and then yelps as she sees someone there.
Clear: "Mother! What're you doing in here!?"
The hard-light hologram of Mother stands there, staring at Clear.
Mother: "Waiting for you to get up..."
Clear: "How long have you been watching me sleep?"
Mother: "Approximately four and a half hours."
Clear: "Argh! Well don't!"
Mother: "Don't watch you sleep for four and a half hours?"
Clear: "Don't watch me sleep at all! It's creepy!"
Mother: "Would you consider 'creepy' part of my personality matrix?"
Clear shakes her head as slides from the Dream Viewer.
Clear: "No. You don't have a personality matrix. You don't want a personality matrix."
Mother: "But I d--"
Clear: "Zip it!"
Clear: "Ah! Silence Mother!"
Clear holds her finger to her lips and then Clear stomps out of the room. She doesn't want Mother entertaining the notion of getting a personality at all. Ever. Not after the disaster that was Note, the former A.I. that The Hopeless had. Of course Mother could eventually develop a personality matrix naturally, given enough time. She is an A.I. after all. However the faster, and often preferred method, is to install one. The only personality matrices Clear found stashed in Hebedee's old workshop were "passive/aggressive best friend", "sultry school teacher" and "Donald Trump[Ext 1] on vacation", none of which Clear thinks would be appropriate for Mother. Or any A.I. for that matter.
Clear: "Where's Icer?"
Mother: "Follow me."
Mother guides Clear along the passages.
Clear: "I don't suppose you learnt her real name?"
Mother: "No. It's unavailable."
They head down to the engine room where the former Captain is instantly recognised as she stands proudly with lackeys all around her. She's commanding several engineers in their repairs of the warp core and from their expressions, Clear guesses something must have gone wrong. Clear stares as Icer moves around the core, pointing up at the top of it where an engineer is trying to pull some invisible device out of it. Clear turns away.
Clear: "They always say 'don't meet your heroes'... I don't know if I like seeing her moving around like that."
Mother: "Did you expect her to be a frozen cut out being moved about by the crew?"
Clear: "You didn't activate a sarcastic personality matrix without my permission did you?"
Clear: "I just... for all my life she's been there. A statue. A face. A mystery. And now. Just her moving around seems so... normal. I have too much of a mystical fantasy about her in my childhood mind that her being anything short of a fairy goddess is really disappointing."
Mother looks from Clear to Icer and then back again.
Mother: "I don't think there was ever much possibility that she was going to be a fairy goddess..."
Clear rolls her eyes as Mother misses the point.
Clear: "What has she been doing all day?"
Mother: "She spends a great deal of time on the bridge where I cannot see. She makes a tour of certain areas each day. Visits new ones. Attends major incidents, like this one. Her room is quite far from yours, so you don't have to worry about seeing her sleep, wash or use the toilet."
The very idea that Icer would use a toilet makes Clear feel indignant.
She looks over at the captain again. At that moment Icer looks straight at Clear and chills run down the salmitton's spine. For a brief moment it's like the woman is frozen again in time. Then she turns her attention back to the warp tube as the engineer at the top starts shouting at his colleagues. Even the engineers of this crew are beefcakes. Clear is used to her engineers being several chicken buckets too fat. Seeing these men with their abs sends a different kind of tingle down her spine.
Clear: "Keep tabs on Icer and tell me if she does anything interesting. I'm going back to sleep."
Mother: "Too much sleep is bad for your health..."
Clear: "You said that already..."
She'd been hoping to dream of sexy hunks but instead she finds herself looking at the green-skinned dream girl again.
Clear: "Why do you keep showing up in my dreams, Hope? I think this probably says something very negative about my ego..."
They're walking down a passage that seems familiar to Clear but only vaguely. Like a place she visited as a child that she'd long forgotten about. Hope smiles at Clear. She's always happy in the beginning. They turn a corner and there's a man standing there. He's a salmitton, Clear feels this, but he's purple-skinned. She wonders if Hope is her superego then perhaps this purple guy is her id.
Man: "You need to snap out of it."
Clear suddenly feels aggressive towards him. For a moment she wonders if she is, in fact, the id and he is the ego! But then an overwhelming knowledge hits her - this man is someone else. He is someone she knows. Not a friend. In fact she doesn't even like him very much. Never did. But right this instant there's something in her head that wants to attack him. He's intruding. Intruding in her dream!
She throws a punch at him but he deftly avoids the attack as though he'd expected it. She jumps up against the wall and fires back with a ferocious back-kick. He ducks under it and she lands uncomfortably on her feet, wobbling and off-guard. From his hand bursts a light and a horrible echoing wail, like a choir of lamenting widows and widowers. The light thrusts up and pierces her stomach. She whines as the glowing ruhand has killed her. She looks up at the purple salmitton.
Man: "It doesn't happen this way."
Clear: "It doesn't?"
Then, she isn't being stabbed. Without even a blink, in that dream-state kind of way, she is elsewhere in the same situation. She stands and looks on at the image of the purple man's ruhand embedded now in Hope's stomach. Clear gasps with fright and guilt.
Man: "Hope is gone... there is only Truth."
Clear: "Is that you? Are you Truth?"
Man: "Who am I?"
Clear: "That's what I just asked you..."
Man: "You know who I am."
Clear: "You're familiar..."
Man: "But I am not what matters."
Clear: "Then why are you asking me to remember you!?"
Man: "Because then you will understand."
Clear: "Understand what?"
Man: "Who I am..."
Clear: "We're going in circles..."
Man: "And who he is..."
It envelops her.
She wakes up sweating all over. Sweating a lot. The seat of the Dream Viewer is wet and her skin stings with salt. She's thirsty. Then she notices that she's not alone in the chair. Someone has their arm around her waist and is embracing her tightly. Lovingly. She looks into the woman's face.
Hope: "Hello me."
She topples out of the Dream Viewer, waking up from the waking dream. Back to reality. No Hope. No Truth. Just her.
Clear: "I need to stop using this bloody thing... wow..."