SIM:Kevin Breeman - Autistic
Kevin receives a letter from his mother informing him of his being autistic.
((Dorm - Orson College ))
::I hate it. I fracking hate it. They sat me down yesterday and said I was too indispensable in my current role to move on. So I still have to run the coffee simulator engine. Ugh. Anybody can run the vicin coffee simulator engine. But my way is the best way, they say.::
::The guy who was supposed to do it for me quit. That's the fourth guy who's left. And I was so close this time. Next year's my senior year. I so wanted to continue working for this school, so I could be like John. He's been living here taking courses on and off for like 20 years. And he doesn't have to run coffee simulations. I can't stand that thing. What kind of idiot makes a conversational test computer and then turns it loose in university campuses?::
::So I guess I just don't have a choice anymore. I cried about it a few times today. That helped I guess but it didn't make it go away. What can I do? I guess I just have to create something else. That's all I'm good for.::
::I'm getting tired of this view from my window. The water laps at the edge of the embankment. Big deal. Who cares. It's Orson. Most days I don't even remember where I came from. All I can do is write. Write something nobody'll ever read...::
((Corridor - USS Ronin - 0445, day of meeting in CRR))
::The padd had everything on it, holographic display so Kevin could slip from one workspace into another without pushing a button. The code from the fly breezed across it and Kevin lost himself in some boilerplate function. Accessors... Setters... It was all the same. He tilted the padd and the miasma faded and something more official broke the surface.::
::The letter began. Had he received a letter? He kept reading.::
I know it must have been hard for you to transfer from one ship to another. I have some things I need to tell you that might shock you. They will most certainly explain many things.
I know you love reading your great great great grandfather's journal. Do you remember the way you used to talk all the time about him being autistic? Do you remember the way he was obsessed with computers?
Do you remember the way you used to flap your hands when you were young and rock back and forth while looking at your books? Do you remember how I used to tell you to stop? Your father and I decided that you shouldn't have to go through what your grandfather went through. We wanted you to grow up believing your were normal. So we never told you.
When you were born you were diagnosed with high-functioning autism. I know this might come as a shock to you and I will understand if you are angry we never told you.
::Kevin stopped walking. Someone brushed his shoulder, almost tripping over him. He sensed the gaze from the guy as he looked back at him. He looked down at the padd, the code and the letter blending into a blur of text -- mixed signals jumbling everything up so he couldn't perceive a thing.::
::The nervousness at seeing other people's faces. The obsessions. The pacing... He looked down again. Focus, he told himself. Let the thoughts come. Don't get angry. Don't criticize. The voices inside him gave their advice and left. No long-term commitments.::
I am proud of you and everything you've accomplished. It must have been hard growing up when you couldn't look me in the eye when we talked or when you couldn't sit still after finishing a paragraph in a book. I watched you and I marveled at every step you took.
I know you were angry with your father when you left for the academy, but please believe me when I say that he always speaks very highly of you with everyone he meets. We are both so proud of you. Don't look back on your great grandfather as though he were someone to look up to. You can look down on him. You've surpassed him in every way, Kevin.
::He still stood there, half eying the wall, half looking at the padd. It felt like everyone was watching him, like he'd just slipped on a banana peel and everybody wanted to laugh. Why didn't they tell him? But did it even matter? He was Kevin. If he was autistic that meant something about him was diseased. It meant something was wrong with him. What was it? Was it the mentor engine? Was it the faces? Was it the way he tapped his nose when he was deep in thought?
Autism. It was a word. Alien was a word too. He was a citizen of the United Federation of Planets. He was autistic. He kept coming back to that. How had he coped during his last mission, when the flies had swarmed him? How had he managed to survive the Ixvapyan assault? How could he have done all those things if he was autistic?::
((Dorm - Orson College))
::I guess feel a bit better. Staying with Kevin and watching him on his missions makes me feel better. John's been a great help too. He said I would make it eventually. He told me never to give up.
But there's so much in my way, keeping me down. It's fracking awful. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. That's all I can do is keep writing. I'll plod through it even if I have to use up every page in the whole vicish universe.::
((Corridor - USS Ronin))
::Kevin held the padd by his side and walked toward the turbolift. Autism. He stepped into the lift and stood there alone.
Autism. It kept turning up in his mind like the fading in text on the padd and then disappearing again into the code. Business as usual. Appointments to keep. New command. New identity.::
Lt. Kevin Breeman Chief of Science USS Ronin
Written from the perspective of Jessica. Not sure why I did that.
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