Does two incarnations of a character having a conversation constitute an inner monologue?
Did I say that I hate having to supervise anything from a distance?
We held mock space battles and boarding exercises with the Guardian as the target ship. In each exercise companies of the Ranger battalion would take turns as boarders and defenders.
My Fourth Incarnation was a bit annoyed at my constant presence on the command deck aboard the Eagle.
“Don’t you have an office and work station on the ground?” He once asked me with a clearly annoyed voice as we observed Bravo Company on a boarding exercise.
“Yes.” I replied to him politely.
“You also have a wife.”
I turned to look at him silently. He spoke again.
“Seriously, I remember what happened to our marriage in the first incarnation.”
Number Four took a very annoyed and lecturer tone of voice in his reply.
“Evelyn Boatman Number One and the one and only Susan.”
“Oh yes, I remember.”
“She went back to Earth and it was our fault.”
And she remained on Earth until the end.
I spoke again.
Number Four looked forward and lowered his voice.
“Fine, I understand. The Standard Language isn’t set up for multiple incarnations of a person to have a conversation, particularly concerning a private matter. The point is that I clearly remember being overworked as our marriage to Susan failed while building the escape fleet. I clearly remember when she left us, and I clearly remember the subsequent results. And so should you, and I don’t want to see the whole thing happen again, even to you.”
“You aren’t married to Cheryl.”
“And the way you are pushing yourself right now neither will you. Seriously, you need to take a break. Go back to Camp Heinlein, put on some music files and dance with her, she’ll love it.”
I silently stared at him.
“Oh come off it!” He said. “Don’t give me the silent stare treatment!”
I broke off the stare and looked about the command deck. Everyone on deck was putting on the appearance of being strapped into their seats, hardwired to their work stations, and fully dedicated to their assignments.
Number Four spoke again.
“Look, you can call it a rehearsal for the arrival celebration, the point is that you need a break.”
“What about you?” I said.
“I’m not supervising this entire operation, you are.”
“And you also want me off of your ship?”
“Yes.” He replied. “Simply trust me on this, let everyone work on their tasks and think of better ideas for them. We’ll get it right.”
I had no idea how to respond so I took a break. It was now clear in retrospect that I needed it. And without knowing it the time Cheryl and I conceived our first daughter.