Hey, it’s Mischa and today I’m chatting with Doctor OvLandra about Discovery by Karina Fabian.
[Mischa] Let’s get started. Tell me a little about yourself.
[OvLandra] I am Doctor OvLandra, and I am Zerog, ancestrally human, but of course, my people have been modified, born and bred for the life in space. As such, I am inherently superior to you Weighties for live in microgravity, darkness and vacuum. My eyes are larger, and have more photoreceptors and a nominal mirroring so I can see better in low light while protecting myself from glare. My limbs are longer and the joints more flexible, a result of microgravity, but my internal organs are genetically engineered to be more centered to help my center of gravity. I have greater lung capacity, but not the muscle density of humans.
[Mischa] What position are you seeking on this expedition?
[OvLandra] I wish to continue my position on the Edwina Thomas as ship’s doctor. I have spent many years on the ship, in the company of its human crew. I find I am not ready to leave it and return to my people. After a decade on the Edwina Thomas doing the runs to Saturn and Jupiter, I am well acquainted with human physiology and interplanetary cruises.
[Mischa] What are your hopes for this mission?
[OvLandra] Only for a successful completion, so I may return to my clan with pride in a job well done.
[Mischa Tell me about where you live? Who do you live with?
[OvLandra] I have lived on the Edwina Thomas since I left my family and friends of the Zerog settlement in the Trojan Belt, ValVejos. My city was a beautiful station, less…clunky…than most human settlements, for all that it was built inside an asteroid. We have many windows. My favorite faced the interior. My brother liked to trace the routes of the other asteroids, but I just liked to watch them. I hope to see that view again…and to float at the table with my family.
[Mischa] What do you hope nobody ever finds out about you?
[OvLandra] That is an interesting question. Do you ask this because we zerogs are a private race, or do you think I have secrets?
[Mischa] What do you like or dislike about the other characters from your book?
[OvLandra] This is an odd question, but perhaps it’s best understood that I do not allow my personal feelings to interfere with my duties. In my ten years working among you Weighties, I have been nothing but a professional healer.
[Mischa] What annoys you more than anything else?
[OvLandra] This may sound odd, but parallel lines. Weighties are obsessed with parallel lines, particularly with shelving. I do understand the human need to display things, but standing free, untethered, and on these long horizontal lines. Then you stack them, sometimes in perfect parallel lines. In my quarters, there are no lines.
[Mischa] What kind of weather is your favorite?
[OvLandra] That human weather should be pleasant is a human notion. To the zerogs, weather inevitably means danger – storms when two asteroids collide can rain destruction on settlements. Radiation storms or sunspots, even so far away and with our genetic protections, nonetheless can injure or blind. No, I prefer the controlled climates of the indoors. Although Commander McVee did introduce me to Earth-style rain. It was in the gardens of the Edwina Thomas, of course, but an interesting experience, nonetheless. Even so, once the novelty wore off, I did not enjoy being wet. It was much like sweating, but with a different smell.
[Mischa] Do you have any pets? Do you want any pets? What kind?
[OvLandra] Growing up, I had a spider monkey, ValBoo. We did agility competition in high school, but he was not very disciplines. Once, he ignored my commands and did swings in the large hoop – round and round, hands then feet then tail, always just out of my reach. It was very embarrassing, and of course, we lost. I was so angry because of the embarrassment more than because of losing. Boo knew it. All that day and the next, he did things for me. He brought me treats, played with my hair. He even helped me clean my room. He was very smart and loyal, just undisciplined.
[Mischa] Thanks for stopping by Doctor OvLandra. It was great chatting with you.