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First Impressions - Part 1

Posted on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 @ 12:00pm by Evahnae Kohl

Mission: Holoworld
Location: Transport Ship, En Route
Timeline: Back-dated - Prior to Current Mission
698 words - 1.4 OF Standard Post Measure

So this was mediocrity.

This shallow-panting gasp that stopped you in your stride, drenched in sweat that held no poetry, just the inevitable result of a body’s failure to regulate. There were no silver lining, only darkness, and beyond that the promise of genuine suffocation. Those who court demons best beware lest they wind up sharing your pillow, but it wasn’t that, not this time. This wasn’t the haunting of her past, nor the vice of her present, but the incumbent throb of an uninspired future.




How could one seize life and all its vast potential with hands that shook just a little too often?

The glass she held slipped, hovering as if, by some retrospect, it was rethinking its relationship with gravity...

...and then it fell.

* * * * *

With impressive clairvoyance, the blaring insistence of the alarm brought her back to awareness before the scatter of glass left only the prospect of a deeper, darker plunge into self-analysis. She'd always been a vivid dreamer, right back to her infancy, and the potency of her emotions in those initial moments after she awoke were no more pleasant now than they had been then. Buried halfway down the bed under a scrunched-up huddle of blanket, Evahnae glared into the muffled darkness and then winced.

Headache, check.

A roll sideways was futile, resulting only in a tangle that further complicated kicking her legs free and, for a minute, she contemplated giving up and just letting the humidity win. She was not, by any measure, a morning person unless you counted avoiding sleep entirely and, even then, her track record was sketchy. The chronometer she'd so diligently set for herself the night before had its own opinion, however, and when no amount of curling herself into the fetal position allowed her to avoid the constant demands of the repetitive torment, Eva summoned the first burst of chaotic energy for the day and lashed out angrily at the bedsheet.

In a flurry of feet and scrabbling hands, it eventually ended up on the ground.

"I'm awake!"

Neither alarm, nor light fitting, nor bed stand seemed that impressed.

Cursing at inanimate objects was pointless but it made her feel better and at least gave her some sort of coherency for voicing the frustration her aching head evoked as she rose. Today of all days required a clear mind and adequate sleep and, whilst Eva wasn't surprised that life hadn't deigned fit to supply either, the inevitability of her disappointment didn't make it more palatable. First impressions required a clear mind, quick-wit and, to at least some degree, a suitable amount of charisma. They probably didn't require a tongue made of sandpaper or a general sense of animosity that left the soul craving a target.

A glance in the mirror suggested they also probably didn't require you to look like your dead grandmother.

The quarters on the small transport ship were unassuming and smelt faintly of an indistinguishable musk that made it unwise to contemplate the previous occupant. It was a snug arrangement, devoid of charm, but it was private and relatively clean and the sonic shower was hers to monopolise; at least for as long as her energy credit allowed. Breakfast was a different challenge, available only by communal submission, but she could agonise over their mediocre coffee once she coaxed her eyes beyond a squint.

Leaning forward, Eva dragged the pad of her index finger against the lower lid of her left eye and examined, as best she could, the familiar redness that betrayed the previous night's poor choices. Well, that's attractive. Her other eye was no better, puffy from a mixture of dehydration and a lack of quality sleep. Scrunching up her face, the brunette grimaced at her reflection and imagined, for a moment, what it would be like to be someone who had their shit together.


With careless disregard, her nightwear joined the previous day's clothing on the floor and, keeping beat through a steady tap of her forehead against the shower wall, Eva hummed along with the tune inside her head.

And so her day started.


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