Lazar is a crew member on board a capsuleer ship whose crew has a unique approach to assimilating new members.

Hiring to capsuleer crew

Prior to becoming a crew member, he lived an unspectacular, unfulfilling life in a colony. One day, he decided to sign on with a ship that had visited the colony regularly. He was taken on by the ship, an industrial with a capsuleer who treated his crew very well. Lazar signed on for a yearlong tour, though the recruiters told him that people rarely left after the year is up.

Start of crew tenure

For the initial few weeks onboard, Lazar was assigned to a small subsection of the ship, an arrangement intended to last until he could become accustomed to his new life. He was not allowed to bring personal possessions on board, and was provided with all necessities. He noted that there are no mirrors on board.

Associations with crew

During this time, the rest of the crew he worked with were watching him and judging his skills. He made friends with several other crew members and became romantically attracted to a woman named Reania, with whom he hit it off and became close friends. She called the ship's capsuleer kooky, but kind, and agreed that the lack of mirrors was strange.

Onset of illness

Eventually, Lazar started to grow ill, witnessing small glowing spots in his room that followed his vision. He seemed to grow worse over the following days, a progression he believed was evident judging by how often others asked him how he was doing. He began vomiting at night and continued to hallucinate.

One day, a stranger sat next to him at lunch and acted as if he knew him. Lazar questioned the man, who reveals himself to be Jatek, one of Lazar's friends who had supposedly left the ship days before. Lazar noted the man was nearly identical physically, save for having a completely different face. Jatek seemed to realize this, but apparently had no issue with the change, which greatly disturbed Lazar. When another person, Kralen, walked in with the same face, Lazar ran off to vomit.

Worsening of illness

That night Renia came to care for him, and while they rested in Lazar's quarters, Lazar questioned her about Jatek and Kralen. She did not note anything wrong with them.

Over the coming days, more people appeared with the new faces. Lazar believed himself to be going mad, and flaked out during an attack on the ship. Though the ship survived and went to a station for repairs, Lazar was rattled, and was wandering around the ship in a daze, when a man with the now-familiar face approaches him. Lazar, however, believed this man's particular face fit his body, unlike the others.

The man reassured him, declaring, "We are all the same here. We all live this same life. Forever." Lazar was strangely comforted by this and realizes, as the man walked away, that he was was the ship's capsuleer.


That night, Reania visited him and offered additional comfort, assuring him he was not mad. The two slept together and subsequently spent every night together for some time.

One night, she told him she was going to leave for a while. Lazar accepted this and settled into his life onboard the ship, this time being of more use - including pulling Jatek away from a circuit board fire during another ship fight.

When Reania returned, it was in the dark in the middle of the night. As they started to make love, Lazar turned on the lights and saw Reania now had the same face as everyone else. When he saw his reflection in her eyes, he realized he too had the very same face, and seemed pleased with this revelation.

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