November 3rd 2021
Hey there, this is Ol’ Jegger back with another Far From Home. Praying this one comes through loud and clear after that disastrous last episode. Apologies to anyone who tried to listen to it. And thanks to everyone who commed me lickity-split to let me know my voice was extremely soft and the bursts of static extremely loud. Tried my best to spread the word that the audio quality was no good, but once it’s released, there’s not much I can do besides let y’all know to avoid it.
Shame, because I had a lotta fun with that episode. I answered several of your questions, very insightfully I might add, and actually talked about something I’ve never brought up on the show before… Major, our old dog that followed Mom everywhere around the repair shop back when I was a youngin’. Don’t remember much about Major besides him not liking my dad too much. Guess it doesn’t matter much now since most of you won’t get a chance to hear about it, and I don’t really feel like it’d be right to try to record it again. That’s not really how this show, or whatever you’d call it, works. I mean, I guess, the episode ain’t lost. It’s just not suitable for human ears.
Anyways, after the issue with the last episode I spent days trying to figure out what happened. You probably don’t know this, but I actually capture all my episodes using Shana’s comm system. I know that’s a weird way to do it, but I don’t know the first thing about media tech and whatnot, so I figured I’d stick with what I knew. Besides, I wasn’t really anticipating this to grow into what it’s become.
After wasting hours crawling around the ship’s wiring, and a bunch more on spectrum seeking advice, I finally took Shana to a friend for his professional opinion. Of course she worked just fine while there, so I spent a day or so doing local hauls until it happened again and then took Shana straight back to the garage to prove to my friend I hadn’t completely lost my mind. To make a very long story, well, just long, after explaining in excruciating detail what I had been doing in the moments before the problem came back he finally figured out that the comm system had an issue with one particular circuit. Took him about ten or fifteen minutes to replace it, tops. Issue hasn’t been back since, which I’m hoping stays true because I’d hate to mess up another episode for y’all.
Gonna guess the faulty circuit stems from my trip to Tyrol. Visited a friend I hadn’t seen in ages, since she retired to Haven actually. I’ll just call her Iggee, even though I know she hates that nickname. Anyways, Iggee was a mentor of mine. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, but I’ve always been averse to visiting Tyrol due to, you know, the chance of the system going supernova. Or that I might step outside without the right protective gear and melt or something. Why anyone lives there is beyond me, but when an old friend asks you to come see them, what else you gonna say besides, “How many bottles of mezcal should I bring?”
Iggee gave me the lay of the land regarding local gangs and advice on what route and time to approach Haven would be best. If you’ve never been, well, I can’t in good conscience recommend that you visit unless you know what you’re getting into, but I’ve never been to any place like it. Most of Haven is built into this massive canyon wall to limit exposure to the stars. Wasn’t until I was sitting in Iggee’s living room halfway through a bottle of Soles and watching the suns’ rays slowly shift across the canyon walls that I came to appreciate the place.
When I mentioned my newfound appreciation for Haven, Iggee smiled with tears filling her eyes. That’s when she revealed something that I never, ever expected to hear. She’d died recently. Outta respect for my friend I won’t get into specifics, but she still does hauls from time to time to keep food on the table, and a recent one went terribly, terribly wrong. She described waking up in a hospital not only knowing she’d died but feeling the aftereffects of it too.
Iggee and I talked about her experience for hours. Between the topic and the second bottle of Soles, we soon found ourselves deep into a philosophical debate about the new regen tech and how it’s gonna change Humanity. Don’t know exactly how, but it feels like life’s never gonna quite be the same. I mean, I’ve already had a full-on conversation with someone who died. I’m sure many of you out there have too, or maybe even been that person brought back from the dead.
Before we knew it, Tyrol’s suns were rising again. We’d talked away the entire night and I was absolutely exhausted. I slept away most of the day, then Iggee took me on a little tour of Haven. We spent time with a few of her friends, and I got to see the life she’s built for herself. We even walked by a low-rent regen station that looked like it was built by someone blindfolded.
When we got back to Iggee’s place, she opened another bottle and revealed why she’d asked me to visit. She wanted me and Shana to have the classic Juno Starwerk power plant she’d been using and tinkering with for ages. She explained that she was officially hanging up her hauling cap and knew we’d put it to good use. Gotta say I was extremely moved. Before I could find the right words to thank her, she told me she had one last piece of advice to pass along. To get a good imprint of myself made as soon as possible, because life’s worth the price. She knew I hadn’t gotten one yet and hoped her experience would convince me otherwise.
I explained my personal aversion to the tech and how it felt like it made life less, well for lack of a better word, precious. For years I’ve been traveling the empire to take in as much of it as possible. Every journey felt important. Every destination reached was worth celebrating because I was never sure if I’d reach it or ever see it again. I don’t know. Seems like you lose the fun of takin’ risks knowing that there’s a backup version of myself waiting in the wings. Plus, at this age, it ain’t like the process will take away all the aches and pains. In fact, seeing Iggee struggle with some of the physical trauma from her incident only soured me on it more. When I mentioned that to Iggee, she told me the pain from the new scars was worth it to see me one last time. That sure shut me up good and quick.
Iggee and I spent the next day with Shana installing the power plant. If you think I’m thorough and meticulous with my equipment, you should see Iggee. She shared this massive file with me tracking every issue she’d ever had with it and the corresponding fix. As we were finishing up, she turned to me and said, “Would’ve hated to see this go to anyone else.”
Shana and I left Haven the next day. Before going I gave Iggee a big hug. Told her I’d stay in touch and swing by again soon for another drink, but she just waved me off. Deep down we both knew this was goodbye, so she left me with one last thought to chew one. “The fragility of life doesn’t make it precious. The willingness to live it does.”
That thought’s still with me, rattling around in my head. Just as I’m sure Iggee hoped. If you’re wondering, I still haven’t gotten an imprint yet. Almost did though, just the other day. I made this delivery to an R&R and came across a brand-spanking new regen station. Don’t know how long I was standing there, thinking about Iggee, but it was long enough for an employee to come out and check on me. Before he could finish his spiel about why his doodad was better than that doodad, I told him I wasn’t interested but the tech had already made my life better. Poor kid looked confused as hell as I walked away. Gotta admit I feel the same way. I see the benefits, and maybe someday I’ll get one, but for now I’m gonna continue living this life like it’s the only one I got.
[ beeping ]
Damn, thought I’d found a nice spot to drift the night away but there’s a bit more activity ‘round here than expected. Hate to sign off but I gotta find someplace a little quieter before I run into any trouble. This is Ol’ Jegger signing off, somewhere Far From Home.