/simu/ - Simulacrum

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>Date: February 14th, 2017
>Anchorage, Alaska

>T-Minus: 8 Days

>An advanced submarine sits in the harbour of Anchorage, the trim identifying it as the RV Nautilus, the pageantry around it indicating that the vessel hasn't been launched yet.

>Around the ship, operations crew members shift the last of the supplies for its maiden voyage, their movements slightly hampered by the light snow falling all around them. Various dignitaries and other VIPs mull about in the crowd.

>Out of sight of the press and onlookers, a crew member with short brown hair, his uniform identifying him as a member of the engineering department, holds his phone in front of him, talking to someone over video chat.

"I know it's Valentine's Day sweetie, but we're heading out today, and we've put too much into this for me to bail at the last minute. . ."

". . .I'll make it back to you when we get back, it's going to be a couple of weeks at most, ok? See you then, love you. . ."

>The man ends the call and sighs, ruffling his uniform slightly to try and keep himself warmer, clearly not used to cold weather.

"I should be back home right now, why'd the captain pick today. . ?"


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>In the viewing area for the launch, a politician talks to another VIP, the familiar tones of a Canadian accent in his voice.

"Well, it's a mighty fine ship, think they'll find anything down there?"

>The VIP replies, briefly scowling at a man standing behind her as the snow falls down, prompting him to take out an umbrella and hold it over her head to shade her.

"It better, a lot of money has been invested into this project. . ."

>Her accents has broad tones to it, almost making her sound like a gangster from an old noir film.

>Near the ship, the engineer was previously on the phone looks through thhe crew loading equipment.

"Treng? Hey, you seen Treng?"

>One of the other crew members shrugs him off.

"Rude. . . hey, Treng?"

>He carries on his search.


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"Treng. . ?"

>The engineer looks around. Not seeing whomever he's looking for.

"Oh well, not my problem if-"

>The man stops as he senses someone looking at him, and turns around to see a woman standing behind him.

"Oh, c-captain, shouldn't you be handling the final checks?"

>The captain sighs.

"I need you at your post, Midshipman Brown."

"Of course! Yes ma'am!"

>The engineer rushes off, heading to his station.

>2 hours later.

>The Captain steps out onto the command deck, looking over the crew in charge of keeping the ship running. As she makes her way to her chair, she lets out a sigh of relief.

"I hate speeches. . . are we ready to launch?"

"All systems are ready for launch, captain."


>The captain leans to the side, pressing down on a button on the armrest of the chair.

"All crew, prepare for launch."

>The captain leans back in her chair, making sure she's securely in place as the final launch sequence runs.

"Launch in 5, 4, 3, 2. . . 1. . ."

>The submarine jolts as it beings moving away from the city.

"All systems within acceptable levels, captain!"

>Another sigh of relief comes from the captain.

"Perfect, let us dive then."

>The crew member nods, and with great jolt, the RV Nautilus sinks below the waves. . .

>Date: February 14th, 2017
>Below the Gulf of Alaska

>T-Minus: 7 Days, 10 Hours

>Deep within the bowels of the ship, the engineering crew works away at making sure that none of the systems are broken, with no unexpected variables, however, this is a task that allows those assigned to it to slack off.

>With nothing particularly wrong with the ship, the engineer from earlier lies back on a chair, talking to someone while (barely) doing his duties.

"I'm telling you Treng, your culture is really interesting, you'll have to tell Liz about it, we could even make a day out of it!"

>The man spins on his chair.

"Like, you could visit me and Liz, and I could cook one of my famous chillis, you'd love it man, I make a great chilli - not too spicy that you can't eat it or anything."


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>Tsundue, or "Treng" as the man calls him focusing his eyes on his work area. Being from Tibet, he speaks with a heavy accent, English clearly not being his first language.

"Yes Kieran I'm sure the food is sufficiently mild."

>He continues to keep his eyes on his work.

"I will consider it. Visiting another new place is always a joy."

>He begins looking at Kieran from the corner of his eyes, and asks him a question.

"How does your wife take your… fascination with me? Do not try to deny it Kieran, you talk to me more than anyone else in the crew."


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>Kieran looks confused for a second.

"Oh, me and Liz aren't married yet, I was gonna propose today because Valentine's Day is such a romantic day for that, right?"

>With another spin of his chair Kieran sighs.

"Oh but you don't need to worry man, she's not like some kind of Republican or something, she's perfectly fine with people like you."

>Seemingly unaware of the phrasing of his statement, Kieran spins and carries on.

"Besides, she says I've gotta have guy friends like she has girl friends, right? I guess it makes sense, although I think she meant like, our neighbors or something, not some guy from the other side of the world."

>Kieran bursts out laughing, earning him a stern look from one of the other engineers.

"Anyway, you up for poker later? I got some of the girls from Ops to come over, as well as our guys of course. . ."


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>Tsundue's eyes shift back towards his work station.

"I have never played Poker before. But if we have the time later then yes. I'll play since you asked."


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"Sweet! Maybe we can even find a nice lady for you - I mean, I never see you talking to any. . ."

"Unless your type's someone like the captain or something - which I wouldn't get at all, but if that's your thing, go for it man."

>Another spin of his chair brings Kieran's attention to a flashing light on his console.

"Oh, look's like there's an issue in my sector, I gotta go check that."

>Kieran stands up, grabbing his jacket.

"So I'm gonna go do that. . ."


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"That would probably be best."

>Tsundue continues to focus on his work.


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"See you in a couple hours then Treng, we're meeting in the canteen after our shift's over."

>Picking up a maintenance kit, Kieran makes his way towards his task. . .

>Below the Gulf of Alaska

>T-Minus: 7 Days, 7 Hours

>As would be expected, the canteen of the RV Nautilus is a rather small and humble affair, with only enough room to accommodate one shift's worth of crew at a time. Besides the usual expected serving counters, the canteen has several tables set up, one of which has been claimed by several rowdy off-duty crew members, a pack of playing cards stacked in the middle of the table ready for those around to to play a game.

>Among them is Kieran, acting like the life of the party as he looks around.

"Hey, anyone see Treng? He said he'd come along, I wanted him to meet you guys. . ."

>Kieran flashes a grin at a pair of women sitting at the table.

"And you girls too."

"Oh knock it off Brown, you know we're not allowed to have unsanctioned relationships while we're on-board, captain said it distracts from the mission."

>Kieran shrugs.

"Hey, if the captain doesn't find out, shouldn't be a problem, right?"


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>Moments later Tsundue enters the room. Having heard Kieran's voice from down the hall he has no trouble locating him.

"Hello everyone."

>He stands near the table, looking down at it.

"Apologies if I'm interrupting."


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>Kieran looks at Tsundue like he's said some kind of insult, then laughs.

"You're too wound up man, I invited you didn't I?"

>Kieran moves up for Tsundue to take a seat by him and indicates for him to be dealt cards.

"Anyway, Treng, this is Heather. . ."

>Kieran looks down at his cards for a second then places them face down on the table.

"She was just saying she's just got out of a relationship and is looking for someone new. . ."

>Heather gives Tsundue a warm smile, a silent apology hidden behind it.


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>Tsundue gives Heather a bit of an awkward look for a moment, before putting on a smile himself. He sits down in his chair, and scoots it closer to the table.

"Ah. Well Heather I wish you luck in finding yourself someone new."

>He then turns his attention towards the cards on the table.

"I mentioned to Kieran earlier that I don't have any experience with playing cards. So please forgive me if I'm a little slow."


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"Aww, thanks Tsundue, you're a sweety, I hope you have luck too."

>Heather flashes Tsundue a smile.

>Kieran leans to look at Tsundue's cards.

"Don't worry, I'll help you man, you've got a pretty good hand there. . ."

>Kieran lowers his voice to a whisper.

"Go on man, you've got a shot, you could do a lot worse than Heather. . ."


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>Confused for a moment, Tsundue whispers back:

"Huh? Kieran I'm not going to do that."

>Trying to keep focusing on his cards again, Tsundue starts speaking at a normal volume again.

"Right… Just help me understand the rules while we play and I'll be fine."


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"Sticking to the rules as always, I see how it is man. . ."

>Kieran turns his focus to Tsundue's cards.

"You've got a good hand, you should probably raise, that's a good pair you've got."

>Turning back to his own cards, Kieran leans back and announces:

"I'm folding."


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"I don't think looking at my hand and loudly announcing what I should do is really a proper way to teach me the game…"

>Tsundue stares at his cards, thinking about whether or not to follow Kieran's advice. After a few moments he places his cards down.

"I'm also folding. I don't want to upset anyone by cheating."


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"Come on man, it's not cheating! Right guys?"

>Several people around the table mumble in agreement.

"You're a complete newbie, gotta learn the ropes still. How about we start over again, new round, not like we're betting money anyway."

>The table murmurs in agreement before everyone else folds, and a new hand is dealt.

"Happier now, Treng?"


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"Uh.. I guess."

>Tsundue quietly takes his new cards and waits for his turn.

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