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Pasha, an Avatar story.

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Txantsan, good work again :) :)

Part 129

Spoiler: The Church of Immaculate Tinned Soup"Why you want to scan my legs and my foot?"
"Is it a problem?"
"The Na'vi believe if we take a photo of you, you're soul is taken away?"
Pasha laughed till she coughed.
"Ììììì, no, no cameras, no photo's, and our spirit goes to Eywa when we die. Loosing your soul, because someone takes a photo, now that only a human thing. Ììììì, presumably?"
"Not all of humans. I think it might just be a couple of religions?"
"The sheer inescapable omnipresence of cameras these days, must be inconvenient to adherents?"
"Dunno, but ….. I guess? Francis'd tell you more, 'e's the resident god botherer. Goes to church regular like."
"Yep, every Christmas, without fail."
There was a brief pause in the conversation, which Chris broke.
"So, I select the app on my viewscreen, if you hold your legs out ….." Pasha held out her legs " ….. I move the viewscreen round, and it shows on screen what it's captured, it creates a fully detailed 3D model, and you can play around with it. Change the colors, warp it, distort it, duplicate it, flip it inside out, whatever. I can share it with a friend, or even Paul. Send the file to have it machined out of metal, wood, stone, or 3D printed if I want. In any size you like."
"Theoretically. But big gets real expensive, real quick!"
"Pasha, still writing down what we're saying?"
She was.
"Sran, good practice for writing."
"Can't argue with that."
"Your spelling's noticeably improved!" Chris, sneaking a look at what she'd written.
Chris and Paul looked at each other. Pasha was so far in advance of where they'd been when they started reeding and writing.
"So, the elephant in the room ….. " Paul began.
"That's a bit unkind, I may've put on a couple of kilos over Christmas, but, 'elephant'?"
"Actually, I wasn't referring to your prodigious girth."
Pasha sniggered.
"Paul, how much do you weigh?" Chris, pretending to be mortified.
"Last time I weighed my self, err, which was a while ago, I admit, eighty six kilos." Paul, with complete honesty.
"I weigh myself once a week …..
"Paranoia, or vanity?" Paul asked, but Chris ignored it.
" ….. I'm currently ninety three, but like I said, I've put on a couple of kilo's coz of Christmas. I'm normally eighty nine to ninety one. 'Prodigious girth' I've never been so insulted in my life!" Chris, finding it increasingly hard not to smile as he spoke.
"Well, if you say so. Or rather, if those scales of your's say so."
"Actually, I use the scales round by the exhibits team's office. Which is calibrated."
"Yeah, well, err ….. What were we talking about now?"
" 'The elephant in the room.' was how you put it?"
"Err, oh yeah, that thing you left cluttering up maintenance. You should probably go check on it. You know. I mean, you wouldn't like it to walk."
"I hadn't realized you we taking such a close interest in it. Would I be right to say, it's become a fascination of yours?Or would I be going out on a limb?"
"I can see the way it's going round here, I just wanted to fall in step."
"You know, I think I will have a looksie ….. Just purely to make sure it's not been stolen, or anything."
"By, your arch nemesis?"
"Well, you never know what he'll do next."
"Bit of a toe rag is he?"
"More of an R. Sole."
"I see. Best put your best foot forward then."
"So, I'm out. So, I'm outa here." Chris, leaving.
"Got to stay on the ball, mate!" Paul called after him, a moment after he had departed.
"Just putting the boot in?" Chris called back.
"Just shooing you away!" Paul replied, it went unanswered.
"OK, so, I know you guys well enough to know that was more than just a few lame jokes, what up?"
"He's working on something."
"That I gathered. Should I ask?"
"He'll be ready to show it, when he's ready to show it."
"I see."
"Meanwhile, I found something, on  my days off ….. "
Paul placed his viewscreen on the table, and tapped an Icon.
" ….. have a watch 'n' a listen."
It was a music video, Pasha watched.
"If this world is wearing thin, and you're thinking of escape. I'll go anywhere with you. Just wrap me up in chains, but if you try to go alone, don't think I'll understand!"
"Keep watching, there's a bit coming up."
"A bit?"
"You'll know when it gets there."
"OK?" Pasha sounded unsure.
"Coming up now."
The song continued "I'll make you beg for more! Stay with me. Stay with me."
A second singer's voice took over "You'd better hope and pray, that you make it safe, back to your own world. You'd better hope and pray, that you'll wake one day, in your own world. Coz when you sleep at night, they don't hear your cries, in your own world. Only time will tell, if you can, break the spell, back in your own world!"
There was a cry on the recording, and the song continued with the first singer "Stay with me. Stay with me."
Pasha sat stunned, staring, motionless, tears streamed down both cheeks.
"Yeah, made all the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when I heard it. It's old as the hills 'n' all. Twentieth century, I think it said. Charles Dicken ….. something. I think."

"Well, I've made progress."
"Mmm, the twelve inch end, that was the wrong way round?"
"I've pulled it to bits, turns out it was designed to be assembled either way round, so ….. "
"Now you've assembled it the right way round?"
"Well, I'm working on it."
"So it's being digitally upgraded, then?"
"Err, I s'pose you could say that."
"I just did."
"Oh yeah, so you did." Chris, not especially impressed.
Paul smiled smugly.
"So, what've you two been doing, while I've been up to my toes in it?"
"More writing practice." Paul explained.
Pasha spun Paul's viewscreen round, and hit play.
"That's made all the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end." Chris said, as the track came to an end.
"Yep, had the same reaction."
"It made me cry, I'm fighting it now again." Pasha struggled to say.
Paul took a deep breath "And?" he said to Chris, pointedly.
" 'And'?"
"How you're little thing going?"
"Well, for a first toe in the water, so to speak, quite well so far, but it's going to be a big project. It's been left in lost property for god knows how long. I have yet to power it up, I think I've got an adapter that'll fit it somewhere at home. If I can find it, I'll bring it in tomorrow night, give that a go. But, electronics can sometimes be finicky, the power cell's probably dead, haven't been brave enough to even look at that yet. Might've leaked. That'd be a right pain in the bum."
"Need to check that out, then."
"Mmm. So, what've you got for lunch?"
"Sandwiches, and a salad. You?"
"Can of tinned soup. Chicken and spirulina, with croutons."
"I heard you were on a massive tinned soup thing."
"I believe the exact phraze used was, you'd converted to 'The Church of Immaculate Tinned Soupism'."
"I wouldn't believe everything Mark tells you."
"It was Francis."
Paul and Chris both turned and looked at Pasha, it wasn't a conscious decision either actually made, it just happened.
"I had lunch earlier. Teylu ….. It always teylu. It's the only thing I can eat here. There's, there's nothing else. No payoang, no srakat, no pxorna', no hìrumwll, no värumut, esngay, yerik, talioang, 'angtsìk, tsofkxì, no paynìtsra, no kalinprrwll, no fyäskeytx. No tsngan nìmerki. No nikt'chey." Pasha became sadder and sadder as she spoke "I'd kill for a bite of utumauti." Pasha sat in silence, looking at the floor for a while before she spoke again "Hell, I'd settle for some rawp. I never liked rawp." she looked up "Taste like wee."

Txantsana pamrel nìmun :)

Part 130

Spoiler: A soundtrack of rowing and inconsiderate neighbours."Morning Paul."
"Fancy meeting you here."
"So, it's the usual."
"Pasha asleep on the bench?"
"Chris in maintenance on his new project?"
"Wow. It's almost like you work here, or something." Paul, not hugely wowed by Scott's predictions.
"Almost. Afternoons are busier. Mornings are quieter. Nights are dead. Or, well, they would be."
"If it wasn't for ….. "
"Well, I'm gonna see if there's a brew on the go."
"And if there ain't?"
"Tea room, I'll make a cuppa up there."

Scott made it as far as the door to Maintenance.
"Chris, hard at it?
"Morning Paul. Yeah, just fooling around with some 3D scans I took. Tea's on the counter top."
"Neither's sweetnered. Bag by the ….. "
"Yeah, found it."
" …..  kettle."
"Yup, that's where I found it. So, how it looking?"
"Well, it was the wrong side, but that's fixed now. Paul called it a digital upgrade."
"Err, I guess."
"It's gonna need a couple of new parts, already ordered what I could see. Next job, power it up. I think I've got a the right wall wart at home. Somewhere. I'll have a look when I get in. And I'll know more tonight. Well, hopefully."
"Pretty impressive."
"Still don't know if it works. It was in lost property, someone might've dumped it here coz it would've cost more to fix it than get a new one." Chris, with a shrug.
"Hadn't thought of that. Pasha asleep?"
"Was when I left her. Better to let her sleep a nice padded bench that the cold hard metal floor of her vivarium."
"I think they call it an 'Environmental Simulation Chamber'."
"Where'd you hear that?"
"Hmm? Oh, I know a fabricator, she was telling me about some noobie where she works, did an apprenticeship at a place that made Environmental Simulation Chambers. Possibly still does, just without, err, she did tell me his name, but, for the life of me ….. Nah, it's gone."
"Environmental Simulation Chambers, eh?"
"Well, I've done about all I can without some bits, so, I'm gonna g stash it away with the rest of the lost property." "And the bag of bits?"
"In my locker."
"Well, I'm impressed."
"Cheers, but, I'll be impressed if and when it's done."
"You'll be tweaking it for years to come, and you know it."
Chris looked at Paul with baleful eyes.
"Will I?" Chris asked pathetically "Can you tell me with the slightest degree of certainty?"
"Err, well ….. "
"Exactly, we all know we don't know. Her life is so precarious, the moment they decide she's past her usefulness as a going concern ….. Distributed tissue study, they call it. I hope you don't need me to go into the details."
"No, I get the picture. Do you think there's anything we can do about it?"
"Keep our fingers crossed, pretty sure Francis slips in the occasional prayer now and then 'n' all."
"Just for good measure."
"Just for good measure."
"Well, that's depressing."
"Hows the tea?"
Paul took a sip.
"Meh. I can tell it's not one of Moe's."
"As good as that?"
"It's OK."
"As good as that?"
"Did you know Pasha makes a pretty decent cuppa?"
"Er, no, I didn't."
"It ain't terrible, that's for sure, but ….. Her's is slightly better, it has to be said."
"I'll remember that."
"Oh, did you get the paints? I saw 'em, and thought of Pasha."
"So, mostly, she's been practicing writing, her art has deffo taken a back seat."
Paul waved a hand in the air dismissively, as he took another sip of his tea.
"There's biscuits in the usual place."
"It's OK 'ere, I might come again." Scott, tongue in cheek.
"I wouldn't, the management aren't that friendly." Chris was up for trading like with like.
"Morning ladies."
"Morning Miguel. Cup of tea." Chris pointing to the second mug.
"Miguel. Sweetener's self service." the warning only slightly too late.
"Yeah, noticed." Miguel, pulling a face.
"Why d'you think the bags there?"
"Err, double bluff?"
"Well, since you're both 'ere, I'll make my excuses and leave." Paul, looking hopeful.
"Anything in particular you want to be excused from?"
"Being here. When I could be on my way home, to a nice warm bed, and the oh so restful soundtrack of rowing and inconsiderate neighbours?" Paul, sounding less and less enthusiastic as he spoke.
"Could be worse."
"Oh yeah?"
"You could be starting your shift."
"Well, I guess I better go wake Pasha, take her back to her Environmental Simulation Chamber."
"So, handover time. Nothing happened. Apart from the date changed, and Pasha doing more writing practice."
"Oh, and plus Chris's new project."

Txantsan, good writing! :)


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