The CSM XII voting has just started, and I'm hoping that I can secure your vote. Or at least a position on your voting ballot. (I'd like position one, of course ;) ) I've made some recommendations. Anyway, take a look at my post and please consider me.

Category Archives: Fiction

Memoirs – Flying

(Fiction! Yay!)

I guess this is the key feature of being a capsuleer. Piloting a ship, flying with just your mind.

I’ve been told the experience is different for everyone, so I can only speak for myself. It’s a hard thing to put into words, but I’ll try.

Have you ever driven? Where you don’t think about steering, you just do it? Where you’re one with the vehicle? And if you start thinking about it, everything goes to hell? That’s what flying is like for me. Achieving that state of mind where you just act, rather than thinking. There’s probably a word for it, but not one I know. I don’t think about going faster, or think “I should set speed to a hundred meters per second”; instead I just travel at the right feeling speed. Sure, it isn’t as precise, but it works for me. You get used to it, knowing how far away things are, and travelling there. Or twisting away from danger.

Some ships make me feel sluggish, others fast and nimble. I know some people find it hard to work with camera drones, your viewpoint no longer connected to your body, but it feels natural to me. When I want to look at something, I just do. While also knowing where I am, and what’s around me.

If I’m flying a long time, it takes a while to get used to my body again. I’ve seen some people who’ve spent long times in micro gravity have trouble getting used to the idea that things don’t stay where they put them. It’s similar, but on a bigger scale. Walking is harder than most people realise. And having to move yourself, to get a better view of something. Bit of a mind fuck, really. And kind of limiting.

Actually flying? There’s nothing like it. That feeling of power. Sure, there’s pain, when your ship gets shot to pieces around you. From an itch, to a deep burning pain. But you learn to wall it off. Keep thinking clearly, while your body is falling to pieces around you. The feeling of weakness, as someone drains your energy. Being stuck in molasses when you’re webbed. Explaining it is hard. There aren’t words for it. I guess, eventually, there may be. But when you’re a capsuleer, you just know. Though it makes some conversations hard to have. Imagine having to explain taste, to someone who’s only ever eaten the one food? It’s an overwhelming experience. But one I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Memoirs – Humanity

(Fiction, yay 😀 )

Am I still human? That’s an interesting question. I guess the technically correct answer is no. I’m not. This body isn’t born, it’s made. My brain isn’t grown, it’s forced into a state when my last body died. While it’s probably now a match for my original genetic structure, it didn’t use to be.

Technically, I’m an infomorph. A being of mind, that inhabits various bodies. That’s hardly human.

But I still think of myself as human. Not post human, as some capsuleers believe. Not better than the baseliners who surround me. Just different. Sure, I have plastic bones, plugs in my back and more metal in my head, but I still feel. I still bleed red blood.

 

Maybe if I spent more time in my capsule, I’d think differently. Maybe I’m wrong. But surely it’s how you feel, that determines your humanity?

Memoirs – Becoming

Calling me a loyal son of Matar would be a stretch. If I was, I’d probably be in the Military, exercising my talents there, and furthering the goals of the Tribes.

Instead, I broke off, shortly after graduating; going my own way, forming my own corporation, and setting up business in Gallente space. I mean, I employ a bunch of ethnic Matar, sourced from all over New Eden, from former slaves, to those like myself, raised on a Gallente world.

There’s some guilt from that. They put a lot of time and effort into training me, and how do I repay them? I run off to do my own thing. That’s not exactly showing gratitude. But I just couldn’t hack the military life, far too many rules and regulations, people telling me what to do, and what to think.

I was raised by a family, proud of our Matari heritage, even if we didn’t live in our own Republic. No Clan, as such, just a Circle. I’m not going to go into exactly what we did. Skirting on the edge of legality at times. But they were good people. I don’t stay in contact as much as I should, but I helped them with repatriation. They didn’t want to go back, to be a drain on the Republic. I helped them get set up when they returned, transporting them myself, and arranging purchases on planet. They also help out with some of the slaves I’ve emancipated, getting them back into decent society, helping them with the side effects of their treatment.

What I wasn’t a fan of, at the time, was the fact they made me go to school. I mean, I learnt everything I needed for the family business from them, but they wanted a well-rounded education, and not to have “the Authorities” looking too closely at the clan, as to why I didn’t go. It’s not a stretch to say I did well. Top of my class, for the majority of the time. But I’m a capsuleer. I’m exceptional for a baseliner, but middle of the road, with my current peers.

I had some corporations come sniffing round, some pre-testing done, and some offers for scholarships made. I turned them down. Prideful, I wanted to help my people, so I travelled to the Republic, and tested there. Again, the offers came in, and I took one. That was a hard time. I almost quit on several occasions. University took work. Capsuleer training took willpower. Watching people ring out, walking away from everything they’d worked towards. But I hit that wall, and fought through it. Shame I couldn’t do the same, when it came to following orders, especially from a baseliner.

Egotistical? Yeah, sure. It’s hard not to be, when you’re part of that elite group that got through. Less than one percent of those who try, make it through to the end. And you need that ego, that feeling of self-importance, to carry you through the final test. Th unshakable knowledge that you will survive, even if the body you were born in doesn’t. I try not to let it out too much, but it’s always there.

You may have noticed I don’t have any tattoos. I used to. I shed them when I cut my ties with the Republic. My parents still argue with me about that. When I see them. I’m not the person I used to be. Those Tattoos weren’t mine any more. And how can I wear them, when I’ve abandoned my people? It just didn’t seem right.

 

Memoirs – Self Image

(It may not be good, but I don’t care. You don’t need to read it 😉 )

Self Image

I’ve been asked before, why capsuleers aren’t all perfect specimens. Why some of us are scarred. Why some bear the legacy of the human endurance program. Why, when we can shape ourselves in pretty much any way we please, most of us chose to stay close to how we were, when we were baseliners.

I can’t speak for the others. One thing I’m not is a mind reader. And I guess I’m more unusual than most. I mean, every time I die, I wake up in a body which has had an eye and its arms replaced. There’s discomfort. There’s some relearning of how everything fits together, that I never had with a more natural body. [A snort of laughter] If you can call anything about these so-called clones natural.

But I think it’s all down to seeing a familiar face in the mirror when we wake up. I mean, we spend hours, days, sometimes weeks without being able to see ourselves. Where our bodies are the ships we pilot. Where our eyes are the drones we can send to see anything which we wish to. It’s a heady sensation, which can leave you feeling very small when you unplug. Limited. Vulnerable.

So, for me, I want to see myself in the mirror. Something to anchor myself, when I come down. Scars give you something to focus on. Something to say, “Yes, this is me.” Something to fool the mind into forgetting that this isn’t the same body as you were born in. Or even the one you woke up in that day. That might be half way across the cluster. Little tricks to ground you. Stop you forgetting who you are.

It’s one of the reasons I unplug when I can. Sure, there are risks to it. This me may die, because I’m not in my capsule, ready to be whisked away at a moment’s notice. But you can’t let that rule you. Even if this me may die, another can go on, branching from when I last got backed up. That won’t be me, but it’s a legacy, of sorts.

So that’s why we’re not all perfect. Because no-one wants to see a stranger in the mirror.

Head Canon – Blueprints

ooo, fiction. Flee while you can! Head Canon – An explanation I’ve come up with, with no backing from the original material.

“Damn it.”

Steve unlocked the catches holding the blueprint cartridge into the console, before removing it, and using a can of compressed air to clean it and the slot. “I could have blown into it to dislodge any dust, but corrosion and electrical contacts are a bad mix. And this one isn’t cheap.”

Seating it back in place, then re-engaging the catches, he turned to his visitors. “And now we’d have to wait for the nanite control matrix to replicate in the blanks. Time consuming, but the access controls are weaker, which gives me a far better chance to splice in some upgrades. However, I have a few I prepared earlier. Always have a few ticking over, when I’m hooked up in the capsule.”

Steve grinned, the expression somewhat out of place. Like he was unused to controlling those muscles. “My staff normally takes care of shifting the blueprints around. Just plugging the right cartridge, in the right socket, so I can take it from there, at some range. Unfortunately I’ve heard that the CRC are going to be banning the channels needed for actual control, which is a pain, but that’s life. Guess they’re running into some intra-system bandwidth problems.”

Waving his guests on towards a different terminal he continued, “These cartridges contain a second generation control matrix. It’s stable enough, unlike the third gen. Stable enough to spawn copies from it, and not to degrade as it gets used. The third gens, well, they’re more limited. Can’t cause another matrix to organise, and each time you have them run a cycle, they get a little less stable. The longer you leave them hooked up to a second gen, the better they get. To a point.” He paused. “Nanite based construction isn’t as simple as a set of instructions, saying ‘put this here, and that there’. They’re closer to a neural pattern. Very complicated, and somewhat difficult to make. The original makers have the first generation copy, which can spawn the stable second gen copies. The ones generally known as Originals. It’s not a good name for them, but it’s good enough.”

He sighed. “If I had one of the first gen, I’d be set for life. Any length of life. But no. What I’m currently left with is what I do here.” He waves his hand round the lab. “Taking badly protected matrices, and trying to splice upgrade patterns into them. Those are stable, but they don’t always take well. Or connect to the wrong place. I’ve had a few blueprints for ships, which had a thruster where the Capsule should have gone. Had to junk those. You get a feel for it though. When to cut your losses, and move onto the next, or when you can fix it. They’re even less stable than the third generation, but the performance benefits are worth it, and I’m following guidelines laid down by better, well, more specialized minds than mine.”

“Oh, research? There’s some research you can do with the second gens. They’re stable enough to massage. Where you can find places to strip out wasted materials. Lighter support beams, for example. Or a power core that’s closer to the margin. Again, it’s more of an art than a science. And one that really needs a direct neural interface. Art, rather than science. And a great deal of simulation. Thankfully something I don’t need to do much these days. I have associates for that. It’s not a full-time job, with the required simulations, and stabilization time, but it takes more time that I want to put in. And I just don’t enjoy it.”

Steve turned back to his guests. “So.. This is where you’d be working, if you took me up on my offer. For your down time, I’d be providing plenty of entertainment. Holoreels a plenty,” He coughs, “Entertainers. good food. And all for the fairly short time you’d be working for me. And a wage you just can’t get planet side. What do you say?”

Fiction – Claustrophobia

I never used to be claustrophobic; If I had been, I’d never have entered the Capsuleer program. Spending all the time in such a tight enclosed space would have sent me running for the hills.

These days, getting into, and out of, my capsule gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies. That time after the capsule closes, to when the neural implants hook up and my perspective soars. Getting out is worse. I don’t know if it’s common amongst Capsuleers, or just me, but after I spent a week hooked up, barely docking, just soaring free, getting crammed back into my head was almost more than I could take.

It’s hard to explain, that feeling of being trapped to one view-point, when you used to be able to send your vision flying through space. When you could talk to someone light years away, just by thinking about it. Sure, you miss a few things -food mostly- but they’re easy to ignore, when you’re bathing in starlight.

I don’t know. I still force myself down to a frail mortal form. But it’s getting harder. Especially after that Naglfar.

 

End Entry. Save.