Home > Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(6)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(6)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

ByteMe: Well you don’t sound creepy at ALL.

CitB: what i sound like is someone who knows more than u. u want lessons or not?

ByteMe: Want.

CitB: then let’s get started

Hey K,

I’m not sure if you’ll get this. I mailed you last month, but maybe it didn’t go through. If things aboard the Hypatia are anything like things over here, it probably didn’t. Maybe you’re busy. Or you don’t want to talk to me. I get it.

It was my birthday yesterday. Eighteen years old, can you believe that? Good news is I can drink legally, now. Bad news is there’s nothing to drink. Even the water’s in short supply. :P

They’ve got me doing tests. Not just me—there’s a whole bunch of us. VR sims and psych analysis and physicals. They’ve drafted a whole bunch of the Kerenza refugees into the UTA over here. Not sure if they’re doing the same on the Hypatia. Wartime conscription they called it. And now I’m eighteen, they’re looking at me. Which I guess means we’re in deeper shit than anyone figured.

I had a dream about you last night. No, not like that, relax.

It was the day of the attack, and I see you in your truck in the parking lot. And I run up to the window and knock, but you don’t let me in. You just stare, like you don’t know me. And I pound on the glass and yell your name, but you just shake your head. And then you drive off and leave me there. Weird thing is, there’s someone who looks exactly like me sitting right next to you the whole time. And he’s laughing.

And then the ships come.

You think it means something?

Anyway, I hope you’re ok. Write back and let me know. Even if it’s just to say you got this.

Love E

Mason, Ezra—

Psych Profile/Conscript Suitability Assessment

Interview Excerpt

Incept 03/19/75

INTERVIEWER: So tell me about your mother.

Ezra Mason: (laughter) Nice one, chum. You know, you’re the first shrink I ever met with a sense of …

Ezra Mason:  … Wait, you serious?

INTERVIEWER: Does it bother you? Talking about her?

Ezra Mason: It bothers me you snaffled your psych eval questions off the back of a box of Jupiter Loops, chum. That’s honestly your opener? “Tell me about your mother?” Are you dusted?

INTERVIEWER: You’ve undergone psychiatric evaluation before, then?

Ezra Mason: What makes you say that?

INTERVIEWER: You said I’m the first psychoanalyst you’ve met who had a sense of humor. Meaning you’ve met others who didn’t?

Ezra Mason: Proper little Sherlock over here, huh.

INTERVIEWER: There’s no need for hostility, Mr. Mason.

Ezra Mason: Mr. Mason is my dad.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, your father. Tell me about him.

Ezra Mason: Nothing to tell. He’s an engineer. Works the heavy processors in the hermium refinery. Bad cook. Worse jokes. You know. A dad.

INTERVIEWER: Do you miss him?

Ezra Mason: What kind of question is that?

INTERVIEWER: It’s been over a month since he was killed in the Kerenza assault. You still talk about him in the present tense.

INTERVIEWER: Do you think that’s interesting, Ezra?

Ezra Mason: (inaudible profanity)

INTERVIEWER: All right, then. Let’s talk about something that makes you happy.

Ezra Mason: … You mean like lingerie models?

INTERVIEWER: Tell me about your girlfriend.

Ezra Mason: Wowwww.

Ezra Mason: You’re really bad at this, chum.

Ezra Mason: Like, if Bad was a sport, you could Bad for your planet.

INTERVIEWER: Your girlfriend doesn’t make you happy?

Ezra Mason: She dumped me the day our colony exploded.

Ezra Mason: Rim-shot?

INTERVIEWER: Do you still care about her?

Ezra Mason: Next question.

INTERVIEWER: It’s just I notice you put her down as your emergency contact on the Alexander intake form. It seems strange to name a girl you broke up with as your effective next of kin.

Ezra Mason: I never told you I broke up with her. She broke up with me.

INTERVIEWER: Why?

Ezra Mason: That’s so not your business, it almost punches clean past the event horizon of Not Your Business and becomes Your Business again.

INTERVIEWER: You two had a fight?

Ezra Mason: All couples have fights.

INTERVIEWER: Is that how you got those scars on your arm?

Ezra Mason:  … What? Chum, I’ve had these since I was eight. What the fuck is wrong with you?

Ezra Mason: You don’t do this for a living, right? Please tell me the real Alexander psych crew all got X-ed out by those BeiTech assholes and you’re the guy who used to clean the scrubbers or something.

INTERVIEWER: I work the infirmary.

Ezra Mason:  … Jesus, I was kidding. You’re serious?

Ezra Mason: You’re not even a qualified shrink? Well that’s just fucking chill.

INTERVIEWER: I’m post-grad med from the UTA Academy. Psych major. We do six months field work in our final year. I pulled duty on the Alexander. But it doesn’t take a graduate from Neo-Oxford to see you have some serious anger issues, Mr. Mason. So we can talk about it if you like, or we can sit here and stare at the walls until our allotted hour is over.

INTERVIEWER: It’s up to you.

(skip 51:27 minutes of complete silence)

Ezra Mason: She asked for something I couldn’t give her.

INTERVIEWER:  … I beg your pardon?

Ezra Mason: My girlfriend. Kady. She asked for something I couldn’t give her.

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