For a while, I've been doing some side jobs. The pay isn't great, but it's a nice distraction from the boring ship repairs. And, there's always some small bonus at the end -- a nanite injection that boosts my strength, or a weapon I can sell.
But, to be honest, these side jobs are also freaking me out a little. Or more than a little, occasionally. Sometimes, I just help people repair stuff, or find some things that they lost. But sometimes, I sneak up on, and -steal- take some items, and bring them to somebody who can use them more than the original owner.
The funny thing, it's always the same group of people; sometimes I take from one, and bring the weapon or so to another; and a segment or two later, I steal from second person, and bring them to first. So it all evens out in the end, and all in all, I did nothing wrong, right?
But, here's the creepy part: Occasionally, I sneak up on, say, Aeris, and manage to snatch a diamond walking stick. And then, cool as a glacier, Aeris turns to me. And I nearly pissed my pants, because getting in the way of an explosion expert is never a good idea. And Aeris smiles, congratulates me to a job well done, hands me some extra credits, turns on the heel, and walks out.
I stood there, dumbfounded, caught in the act, with the just stolen walking stick in one hand, and the credits in the other, and wondered what was going on in Aeris' head. Mind blown.
You might think these are just a bunch of eccentric people passing their time this way, but it gets weirder! When I travel to another station, and try to find similar side jobs, who do I discover? The same crew! They are always there, always looking completely at home, no signs of recent travels. I checked the public shuttles, the immigration office, the docks, everything -- they leave no trace. None at all!
So, I have two hypothesis: either they have clones on every station, and activated them before dying (highly illegal!), or they are holograms, created by some pre-Catastrophe AI that has infiltrated all our computer systems.
Whatever it is, I'm nearly certain they just do what they do to mess with my mind.
Am I going mad? Help me, fellow travelers!