Title: untitled drabble #74
Pairing: Evan Lorne
Warnings: after part 2 of "Exsul" in the Ancient!John 'Verse
Summary: On piloting Ancient vessels.
Notes: A start of part 3 of "Exsul" that wasn't.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
― Leonardo da Vinci
6 December, 2006 / 33 Days After The Second Exodus
When this is all over, Evan decides, he is cashing in all of his vacation days and sleeping for a week. He's been up for almost three days straight, and while normally this wouldn't be a problem - far from ideal, maybe, but hardly problematic, - he's spent most of that piloting Rory through hyperspace by himself, which is an exhausting proposition under the best of circumstances.
Piloting a 'Palantis'-class warship isn't like sitting in the Control Chair. The Chair - the 'cathedra', whatever the hell Evan's supposed to call it now that he's basically forsaken all claims to Earth and joined the Colonel's brand of Ancients in every way but formal oath - is different. That's pure neural interface. It's tiring, but... but it's like his mind becomes an extension of Atlantis when he does that. The city outsources certain issues to him and, in return, she helps keep his body functioning, so that, in the end, a drone training exercise is no more enervating than a long run.
Piloting 'Aurora' is different. That mental component is still there, but it's more intrusive. Whereas 'Lantis can slip almost quietly into his mind and do what needs be done without notice, Rory is hardly subtle. She has less computing power than the city-ship - the 'urbs-navis' - and less experience with the deeper levels of mental connection that are the province of 'pastores'. For these same reasons, some tasks must be handled manually, with conscious effort that's difficult to expend while his head's being borrowed for the kinds of problem analysis Rory herself is incapable of handling.
It's exhausting even at the best of times, and this isn't anywhere near close to the best of times.