Second Chaplain's Letter of Introduction
TD+13, year 100.5
To the Captain and Crew of the Due Return:
Though I am sure my predecessor had discussed with many of you the genetic modification by which the people of our world of origination(known to you as TD+7 )auto-reproduce, it has become quite clear that my recent emergence—identical in appearance but significantly younger than my the Chaplain who lived among you for many years—has caused you some unease and raised many questions. Thus I offer you this account of the events in TD+12 which led to the Acquiescence of the my predecessor,Chaplain l, and the appearance of myself,Chaplain ll.
It seems that in the confusion of TD+12—the disorientation of endlessly repeating hallways—much of the crew lost track of each other’s doings for long stretches of time. My predecessor, ever vigilant, did her utmost to retain a sense of clarity and eventually discovered that the solution lay in anchoring herself in space—that is to say, limiting her movements to a known visual field and refraining from opening any closed doors. To this end, she removed herself from her bunk to the cabinet under the stairway leading down from the main deck, publicly declaring that the door was to remain always ajar (if not wide open).
Thus the crew knew always where to find the Chaplain (even if they did not always know how to get to that place). It has been related to me by several members of the crew that they found by opening any door appearing under any staircase they would access this selfsame space where the Chaplain was closeted.
As I am given to understand, several events led to the Acquiescence of my predecessor, all of them related to the unregulated practices of mating and reproduction taking place on board the ship. This is, you must understand, a very sensitive subject for our people, as we eliminated the paired mating process in favor of mono-regeneration in the wake of the Great Collapse which occurred in our home world over five generations ago.
The first event was the mating of the children Markus Glasikis and Sincerity Blue, and the subsequent birth of Canute Glasikis. The irresponsibility of it, both on the part of Markus and Sincerity’s parents and of Marcus and Sincerity themselves (even in the given context of widespread disorientation) touched a deep nerve. Though it appears Sincerity did seek out the Chaplain upon discovering her condition, from whom she received counsel as well as instruction on how to avoid such surprises in the future. Sincerity spent much of her pregnancy in the Chaplain’s company and the two became quite close. It was my predecessor who along with Captain Cada Blue (Sincerity’s grandmother) attended the birth of Canute.
The second event was the mating of Anteas Rowe and Isadora Sunshine, and the birth of their son Juniper Sunshine. What my predecessor found so disturbing about this otherwise un-noteworthy event, was that it completed a square of parentage in which four adults [Anteas, Isadora, and Sincerity’s parents Bitty Blue and Cadmus Rysdale III] had between them parented four offspring [Sincerity followed by Seithru Blue, Cadmus Rysdale IV, and lastly Juniper], each the product of a different pairing. This genetic conundrum was further exacerbated by the realization that Marcus Glasikis is actually Sincerity’s mother’s half-brother, the second child of Captain Cada Blue and therefore Sincerity’s uncle, which makes Captain Blue both Canute’s grandmother and great-grandmother.
The final stroke was the mating of Canute Glasikis and Juniper Sunshine, and the birth of their daughter Elena Sunshine in the year 100. Though the two were of appropriate age for breeding and not related by blood (being two of the four half siblings with opposite parentage), the further muddying of reproductive lines and familial relationships apparently overwhelmed my predecessor, driving her to despair. Locking herself in the closet, she decided it was time to Acquiesce.
And so I emerge, familiar already with your histories and eager to add to my predecessor’s memories those of my own making. I am sure it will be most interesting to live among you and I look forward to our future adventures together.