[Long description: A sketch page of a funny little mechanical construct of a guy, named MarkOS. He wears a hooded cloak and a respirator, with big ‘ol circular lenses for eyes. A whole forest of antennae sprouts from the pack on his back, and he totes around a formidable-looking rifle.

In one vignette, the Chief wags a finger at the R.A. and MarkOS, saying:

Chief: And take the drone with you. I want the Chronicler to see this.

The R.A. scrunches up her face.

R.A.: Do I. Have to?

MarkOS draws in close behind her. He can’t smile through the respirator, but it sure feels like he does.

MarkOS: So :) Chief wants me to keep an eye on you 👁️

In another vignette, the R.A. physically positions MarkOS in front of a snag with some mushrooms growing on it.

R.A.: I need you to make some. Growth observations. Stand here for the next 46 hours and don’t move.

Finally, MarkOS catches a glimpse of the R.A. after dark, doing something she probably shouldn’t be doing. She hides behind a wooden crate with a crackling cattle prod-like instrument, while her pursuant looks for her.

MarkOS: What do we have here? :) :) :) ]


April 17, 2022

You’re never gonna guess what I’ve been up to.

Unfortunately my most recent nonsense is becoming populated with more dudes. This is MarkOS, and he’s like… if you took one of these guys and made them catch feelings and get therapy. He acts like a living surveillance unit for the crew, his every waking memory encoded and then transmitted back to the Imperial Archive for review. Despite the existential nightmare of his existence, he has a sunny (if unsettling) disposition and is easy enough to work with. As long as you don’t do anything “against code,” anyway.

Rank-wise, he’s technically the most expendable one on the team. Many of the more 'refined' members of the crew treat him more like a tool than a semi-autonomous being, though they seem to show some compulsory level of concern for his well-being, in the way that you would take care of an expensive piece of research equipment. There’s an unspoken understanding among the crew that it’s a Bad Move to do otherwise.

Chief and the R.A. are among the few who interact with him on equal footing, person-to-person. The Chief seems to have an uncharacteristically soft spot for him, and this is what ensures his safety around the rest of the crew (most of the time.) Unsurprisingly, the R.A. cannot stand him and can’t fathom why the Chief willingly keeps him around! … Little does she know the two have history.

There’s a human heart under all that metal, and the Chief knew the man that it belonged to, way back when. He used to be an Archivist with the Imperial Archive, a very intelligent and big-hearted guy with equally big ideas about how to push the Archive in a new and (slightly) more progressive direction. Unfortunately for him, those ideas had him branded a traitor and a heretic. The Powers That Be ended up, err, taking him out of commission. And they have ways of making what’s left of you useful, whether you like it or not ):

I’m not sure if the Chief goes out of her way to get MarkOS into her deployment, or if he’s stationed there as an implicit threat. Either way, he doesn’t know about any of this. He gets the strangest feeling that he knows the Chief from somewhere, and that he’s forgetting something really important, but he keeps those thoughts closely guarded from prying eyes. In the meantime, it’s enough for him that she’s good people and looks out for him. He’s happy to do the same for her, in his own… weird… way.

At some point, the R.A. figures out the truth of the matter and also how to bypass Imperial security measures, so she can finally jailbreak his brain. In the meantime she’s his cranky coworker at best, and actively jeopardized by his existence at worst.