Pinecone: Yours Sincerely

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Operator Record
Yours Sincerely
Pinecone icon.png

Workers will always harbor visions of beauty, be it aboard nomadic cities or aboard Rhodes Island.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Pinecone to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Pinecone.
RI Operator icon.png
Engineering Operator
RI Room
RI Corridor
RI Training Compound
Pinecone receives a letter from her dad, which writes of the anxious and earnest hopes of a father and worker.
<Background 1>
7:00 A.M. \ Sunny, clear
Rhodes Island Dormitories
[Someone knocks the door...]
??? Mina? Mina? You up?
[...prompting Pinecone to wake up...]
Pinecone Nnuuh...
Shaky bedframe–bad...
[...and goes to open the door to see Kafka waiting outside.]
Pinecone Buh! You're already back, Kafka?
Kafka Just landed. Moseyed on down to you afore anything else... Oh, aaand I got a letter for you. From your dad.
Pinecone Ooh, thanks!
Kafka You only got back yourself dead of night, didn'tcha?
Pinecone Been takin' more stuff on these days...
Kafka You hit snooze, then. I got a Logistics Dep to swing by.
[Kafka leaves as Pinecone reads the letter.]
Doing well, Mina?
Your mom wanted Kafka to run you some clothes, but I intervened. Figured your friend was plenty busy enough back here in Columbia, seemed it'd inconvenience her.
How's your new job? They call it Rhodes Island? Kafka says you get along just swell with your coworkers.
If both her and the old Simon Co. head are working there, I bet it must be rock solid.
<Background 2>
8:00 A.M. \ Sunny, clear
Rhodes Island Engineering Department Hallway
Pinecone ...Bridge's facade repairs are basically done. Just a little testing an' work's wrapped up all tidy. I–I'll get to it in a bit.
Engineering Operator A Heck, you're done two whole days ahead of schedule.
Pinecone Best not forget to inspect the bridge this afternoon, Mr. Jeff.
Engineering Operator A It's fine, when have you ever messed up on the job? I'm a proud mentor here.
Engineering Operator B Say, Pinecone, were you in a hurry to get out this morning?
Pinecone Uh... don't think so.
Engineering Operator B Look at your socks. One's a stocking and the other's ankle-high. Not to mention the color clash.
Pinecone Oh, shoot!
Engineering Operator A Looks like you got muddled again. Maybe that afternoon inspection really is called for.
Pinecone Uh, socks are socks, work's work...
You don't slip up at work either, but last week, um, you had your gloves in the microwave like they were a loaf of bread.
Engineering Operator B Yeah, you sure did! And Closure chewed you out hard for that.
Engineering Operator A Look, I was half-asleep by that point, okay?
Ahem... Okay, Pinecone, brass tacks. Here's the Engineering itinerary for today. Take it and get to work.
Engineering Operator B I'll see you cafeteria-side at noon, Pinecone! Don't forget lunch this time!
Pinecone Mm-hm, got it.
[Pinecone leaves.]
Engineering Operator B How long's she been here at Rhodes now?
Engineering Operator A Clocking in close to a year. I was the one taking her through sign-on the day she reported in.
Registered her info, checked in at the dorms, and gave a tour of the landship. She was both curious and nervous the whole way. Didn't ask much, though, kept shy.
But the very last step, the simplest one, that was a real wringer.
The Engineering Operator contract's only a couple pages, right? She went through at least seven, eight times, checked over every single line with an HR op for any breach of contract clauses that might be lurking.
HR was convinced she was straight-up a spy from some other firm...
Engineering Operator B And she was way too serious about work while she was new. Enough to make even Closure not wanna assign anything to her.
Engineering Operator A Less serious, and more terrified of messing up. She took everything real carefully. I hear it's 'cause of some stuff she went through in Columbia, Kafka mentioned it once.
Engineering Operator B I remember nobody was willing to even crack a joke in front of her. Look at her now, though, firing your goofs right back at you.
Hahahahah–sorry, Jeff, I just can't help it.
Engineering Operator A Quit giggling... we're on the clock.
<Background black>
Your dad's recovering just fine. The whole project's been put on hold, though, and even the office shuttered. I asked around, and heard it was an investor that went belly-up. Simon Co.?
I'd been stuck at home for half a year now, no new job to speak of. Really hanging over me, but what can you do?
That's just the line of work we're in. Doesn't matter if you're in the right, clashing with the site owner is a big no-no. People think you'll rock the boat. Not to mention Columbia's got construction workers to spare.
Thank heavens for all the money you've been sending home... It's all my fault for being so useless, Mina, I know I'm a burden on you. Dashing all over the place with Rhodes Island can't be easy going either.
<Background 3>
1:00 P.M. \ Sunny, clear
Rhodes Island Convalescent Garden
Podenco Thank you for taking the time today, Pinecone.
I found all these ruptured floor tiles yesterday while inspecting the greenhouse. Water's seeped all unevenly through the walls too.
[Pinecone is checking the garden for any faults.]
Pinecone Sprinklers are working alright?
Podenco Mm-hm, PRTS upgraded them just last month.
Pinecone Uh-huh... floor got a case of overworn moisture proofing...
Podenco Will it be hard to fix?
Pinecone Add extra dried charcoal to each part's proofing, re-lay the proofing for the damaged floor tiles, and that should do it.
Not much hassle, but... it'll take a li'l bit. Just leave this to me.
[Pinecone fixes the worn-out floor.]
Pinecone Phew–this should be good...
(Ungh–shoulders are killing me...)
Podenco You've been at this for five hours straight, I can't thank you enough! I got you some flower cookies–take them, I insist.
Pinecone Thanks.
Podenco Let me see you out.
Pinecone ......
You got so many flowers here. Didn't even notice till now.
Podenco We barely ever see you in the Convalescent Garden! How about I give you the tour? It's the perfect opportunity.
We cultivate a lot of rare flora here. Miss Lena says you could compare it to an entire small-scale botanical garden.
Pinecone That's some mighty fine work...
Podenco I loved reading things like The Nomadic City Gazetteer, back in Bolívar.
They wrote about how all the big cities had gardens and nature museums, and how they'd hold regular botanical expos, and that they'd assemble all kinds of rare plant life for people to admire.
And I wanted to go and see those places for myself, so badly.
Pinecone Did ya ever go, then?
Podenco I never did. Right after I left home, I met Miss Lena, and then I came to Rhodes Island with her.
<Background fades out and in>
[Podenco shows Pinecone the flowers she tended to.]
Podenco These are summer wisterias, these are iridescent hydrangeas...
These are coralblack willows... These are skeleton flowers, a very mysterious kind. They're native to the Higashi mountains.
You can see how they're pink right now, right? But when they get wet in the rain, they slowly turn translucent!
Pinecone They do?
Podenco Mm-hm, it gave me such a shock the first time I saw it. Do you want to see, Pinecone? I could sprinkle a little water...
Pinecone Uh–I'm good, I'm good.
Podenco These are fire crotons... The ones in the pots over there are pinetails, which flower for just one short week.
Pinecone ......
Oh wilderness, wilderness, runnin' for the sky♪
Oh city home, city home, my palms they hold you right♪
Machines do roll, do roll with care♪
Say don't roll over them grassreed hairs♪
They'll move to city home, come some right time♪
They'll live with us, come some right time♪
Pinecone Hmm, hmm–uh, sorry 'bout that...
Podenco No, that was wonderful! What's that song called?
Pinecone Dad taught me it, um... it's just those lines, no name, really.
I used to... put in shifts with my dad at the site, but work was always on. Barely got to talk the whole day.
So after we clocked out, he'd walk me home real relaxed-like. We sung that song all the time, to shake the day off.
Sing it the whole way, and suddenly you're not so tired anymore.
Podenco Did you help build a lot of new cities, while you were in Columbia?
The lyrics talked about taking the plants home, so you must've had gardens and nature museums, right? So were there really flower expos?
Pinecone Nnuuh...
I–I don't know... Dad came up with the words himself...
Podenco Huh?
Pinecone All I really remember's the wilderness... A whole lotta heavy machinery driving out into the barrens, bringin' along all the workers and materials together.
Construction's awful loud, even scarin' off all the fowlbeasts living nearby. Nothin' but dust, all across the land and sky... 'n then layer after layer of buildings rising on up, fast as fast goes.
Sometimes the foreman'd tell us what the buildings were for. Office block, lab, observatory... 'n all together they'd form a city.
Um... but it wasn't like we could imagine how it'd pan out after folks moved in.
Once one project gets wrapped up, the machines all moved us off to a new patch of wild... Some folk who fell ill and couldn't work anymore got left where they were...
Altogether, I guess, um... we only ever saw the city blueprints, and the materials to build 'em, never the actual city.
Podenco I see.
Pinecone ......
Pinecone Oh, that's far enough. If the seepage ain't sorted out, come get me anytime.


<Background black>
But surprise! Your dad's found new work!
Remember Uncle Peter? He's an old work buddy of mine, and now he's a foreman. Does right by his friends too, I tell you! Called me in to the site. Good thing I kept covering his shifts all those years ago!
We're working on a small-scale nomadic city right now. I hear it's going to be used to temporarily settle people forced to migrate. It's no real big place, but functional enough, and welfare facilities are all well accounted for.
Peter says they're anticipating this city to work like a burdenbeast, doing runs through the wilds between big places like Trimounts, taking in anyone without a homeland anymore.
And it's all up to us to see to it that this burdenbeast gallops smooth!
Never thought Peter was foreman material, to be honest. The way he talks has grown just as much too. But he sure tells it like it is. There's still a hell of a lot of meaning in us building these hulking new cities.
That's our lot as frontier workers. The men don't matter so much, but the things we do matter like nothing else.
<Background 4>
7:00 P.M.
Rhodes Island disused training grounds
Pinecone Umm... is she not here yet?
[Aciddrop runs into the compound.]
Aciddrop Whoof–
Late, sorry about that.
Pinecone I–It's fine, I just got here from the Convalescent Garden.
Aciddrop You've never been skateboarding, yeah? I copied a few photos from when I won "Legs on Wings." Check it, that's the skatepark behind me there.
Pinecone I can–give it a shot.
Aciddrop I owe you, Pinecone. You're doing me a solid.
Pinecone It's fine. Closure says the landship needs more recreational facilities to help us all destress... but it might be kinda cramped indoors...
Aciddrop A buffer zone, some grind rails, a quarter-pipe, a half-pipe, a bowl, and a wave... That's all you need to kick it. Watch me if you don't believe.
<Background fades out and in>
Pinecone Lucky it's sloped right here. Hmmm... if we buff out the floor a little, then install a bar down here beside the...
Aciddrop For sure. You do that, I can finally pull off that nosegrind. Sweet!
Pinecone What was, um, the "Legs on Wings" thing you...
Aciddrop It was this trick skateboarding competition a couple blocks got together to hold. Nothing big-time, but crazy professional. Champion's prize was a high-grade, custom-made board... yeah, see what I'm riding right now? This is one of them bad boys.
They quit holding it even before I started getting treated at Rhodes, though.
Pinecone Wh–Why?
Aciddrop Neighborhood was old bones, government turned it over to a megacorp to turn into a commercial sector. Said they were gonna build this business complex over the park we hung out at.
Whoops, I meant "commercial sector." All they did was the same shady business once they landed...
But in a city as big as Trimounts, skating, graffiti, it's stuff they only let you do in a designated area... a tiny little corner.
Pinecone Oh. But isn't it meant to be... real neat stuff?
Aciddrop Neat's not a word to them, y'know? Freedom, risk... the bigshots don't like that stuff.
They need order, doesn't matter if it's good or bad. "Street culture's" just a dirty word to those guys.
Pinecone I didn't... know that about cities...
Aciddrop Pshh... who cares, we got the last laugh. Sprayed dumb faces all over their construction site warnings...
[One of the R.I. engineering operators from before walks toward Aciddrop and Pinecone.]
Pinecone Mr. Jeff, what're you doin' here...? Di–Did somethin' turn up with the bridge maintenance?
Engineering Operator A That's been checked and green-lighted. But I'm sorry, we're probably gonna need to call a halt to your skatepark project.
Pinecone Um. We already notified Closure about it beforehand.
Engineering Operator A Here's the thing, Pinecone. This training grounds was pegged for specialist combat drilling in the future. They're gonna overhaul the whole space to simulate battle environments.
Closure had to put it on the backburner, but now...
Aciddrop ......
Pinecone Mr. Jeff, to be honest...
Aciddrop Aw, forget it, Pinecone. Skateboarding's the freest art anyway. What kinda Champion Legs on Wings would I be if I let a park tie me down?
But if people complain to Logistics about how "somebody's making a racket skating in the halls," that's not my problem, yeah?
Engineering Operator A ......
Aciddrop We taking these poles and stuff down now then?
Engineering Operator A Good thing you'd only just started. Should be a cinch to return a place this small to the way it was.
Pinecone ......
Um, uh, do–don't take it down for now!
[Pinecone nervously speaks to the engineering operator,]
Pinecone Mr. Jeff, the, um–follow-up training ground refurb, could you–could you let me be in charge of that?
To be honest, the pipes and bowls and wave ramps you need for trick skateboarding seem real close to how the terrain gets rugged in the countryside...
You think there's the possibility, uh, the stunt track could be... integrated with the development of the training grounds?
Could you let me be in charge? I–I want Operator Aciddrop and the rest... to have a place they can skate freely.
Engineering Operator A ......
If I recall correctly, this is the first time you're proactively applying for a role, after all your time here at Rhodes.
The refurb's a big project, though. If you want to blend it with a skatepark, I can't imagine it'll be all that easy. You'll need to learn a whole lot of things...
Pinecone I–I can give it my best shot.
Engineering Operator A ......
Then you find Closure soon, and apply. I can be there to vouch for you.
Pinecone Um... huh? Really? Thanks a dozen, Mr. Jeff!
Engineering Operator A Alright, I'll see you then.
[The engineering operator leaves.]
Aciddrop Why'd you hafta go and sign up for all that extra work? I'm feeling beat just thinking about it.
Pinecone Uh, um, I don't really know either. I just felt, I should try as hard as I could...
Rhodes Island's–like a little city of its own, I s'pose... and cities ought to be real grand.
Aciddrop Grand? Now that's a loaded word.
Pinecone Mm. Billboards on all the sites in Columbia kept using it–"build grand new cities, beautify Columbia's badlands."
I asked my dad, once, just what a–a grand city was.
Though to be honest, he didn't know either. Still, I reckon it should be somewhere with everything... with botanical gardens and nature museums, regular plant life expos where everyone can come see the pretty flowers...
And giant libraries you can read in, no matter who you are.
And streets free for everyone to skate on, and walls so they can graffiti as much as they like...
Aciddrop Not to be a wet blanket, but every city in Columbia's gonna disappoint you with those standards.
They use slogans to dupe the workers, and ideals to dupe the youth. That's Columbia.
Pinecone Er, um... you're right about that.
But, well, but my dad told me, Columbia's got more pioneer workers than you can count. Probably hardly anyone reckons we matter, but the things we do have gotta matter a whole lot.
Uh. Us, ourselves, we ought to believe in that.
He was real sick before. It took a lot before he got better. But recently he found his way back to work. Said he was building a grand new city too.
So, I just think it's right I keep at it too...
If nothing we built before amounted to any kind of grand city, then at least starting now, I can make Rhodes Island a better place.
Um. So first, we gotta get you somewhere you can skate freely.
Aciddrop ......
Rad... I've got your back on this one!
And also, you take part in our "Legs on Wings" competition too! In light of your outstanding contributions to the competition venue, we can seed you for the semifinals.
Pinecone Mm... muh?
Aciddrop Well, we got a place now, so why not revive "Legs on Wings" here while we're at it? You dig it, right? I know you do!
(It'll be easy to win over the Doc and Amiya anyways.)
Pinecone Umm, in–in that case, I'll go apply with Closure at Engineering tomorrow... so we can get your venue set up soon as we can.
<Background 1>
11:30 P.M.
Rhodes Island Dormitories
[Pinecone returns to the room.]
Pinecone Bridge, greenhouse, stunt park... That's everything for today, finally. Tomorrow, I gotta...
...It's some kinda late now. Mmm, I'm feelin' sleepy...
Oh, forgot about fixin' the loose bedframe. *yawn*–t'mmmorrow...
[Pinecone goes to sleep.]
Oh wilderness, wilderness, runnin' for the sky♪
Oh city home, city home, my palms they hold you right♪
Machines do roll, do roll with care♪
Say don't roll over them grassreed hairs♪
They'll move to city home, come some right time♪
They'll live with us, come some right time♪
<Background black>
I'm on my way out to work now. Didn't think I'd have so much to write about. Didn't even get to anything important.
So I'll wrap this up quick, Mina. Work hard, and rest hard too. Take care of yourself.