Excerpt from Sadness is Conductive, the current work in progress in The Mission Universe…
Pauses – 1134 AE
The Sadness is Conductive
Estema Dilys Portillo, descendent of that original reporter, is looking over her father’s files. Her father, Erman Portillo, kept meticulous records, but was not a great investigative journalist, so his records were thorough, but not necessarily complete.
The Sadness has an avatar in the room, because it spends a lot of time with Estema. This avatar is male, bearded with light brown hair, affecting a black beret and polo neck jumper with slacks and a small bag with items for taking notes and sketches. She knows this is unnecessary, but The Sadness seems to enjoy the tactile nature of the activities, so the matter is not raised between them.
‘Bill, what’s this file?’ She asks looking vaguely in the avatar’s direction. It’s not marked up apart from the discovery of remains in your accessible substrate.’
‘Some sort of sabotage I think.’
‘That’s the most likely cause. I don’t have data on the remains.’
‘I’m sorry, you said what now?’
‘There is a data error in this matter. You know such things can happen, due to the quantum nature of memory.’
‘Yes, I do, but I thought such things were rare.’
‘Coincidences happen.’ The avatar shifts around and takes a pipe out of the little bag.
‘I’d rather you didn’t do that in here.’ There is a pause, and the pipe is put away again.
‘Anyway, I think the whole thing was dismissed as a one-time sabotage event, so I put the matter into long term storage.’
‘It didn’t seem significant.’
‘Alright. It just seems strange that no further investigation was carried out.’
‘You know what your dad was like.’
‘Yes, but still…’
‘Fairs and birthdays were his sort of thing.’
‘Yes, even so it seems…’
‘Small town newspaper type really, much happier covering the human interest stories.’
‘Pictures of family groups and that.’
‘Babies and such.’
‘Why, Bill, are you avoiding?’
‘Yes, Bill, you’re wittering.’
‘What about this file?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Then could you have a look please?’
‘What’s that smell?’
It is a few days before she is missed, and The Sadness maintains that she has gone on sabbatical.