Friday, 9 April 2021

Epicenter - Beyond The Infinite

 The J012635 System, Anoikis Cluster, 22:05 hrs NEST


The 'wormhole scanning lottery' - where you can't tell with any certainty which system in Anoikis you're going to land in without passing through, or taking that leap of faith.

It's been several years since I landed in one of these places.




There are just over a hundred of them. A hundred that we know about, anyway.




During my time in Signal Cartel I participated in a project that attempted to precisely locate the 'shattered systems' with respect to the rest of the Anoikis Cluster. The data concluded that they are a separate sub-cluster of star systems some 120 light-years distant from Anoikis. Not actually part of Anoikis at all. Whether the two clusters are gravitationally-bound is not yet known.




A single event, causing the disruption of all the blue giant stars in these systems that were all common to the same region of space; a disruption that caused all the planets in these systems to be laid waste. All the stars have, or had, these 'Epicenters' in a close yet stable orbit around them, all containing similar structures, all containing Sleeper and Talocan artifacts. 



They have been here for millennia, but probably not always in this state of disarray. Question: was this 'Epicenter' a facility? Were these pieces of wreckage once a functioning entity? What is it the 'Epicenter' of? Are those wormholes part of this structure or did they form later, after the event? Why are the wormholes too gravitationally-turbulent to approach?





Hypothesis: the 'Epicenters' were nodes of an ancient Talocan transportation network.




The rift phenomena were their wormholes; their gates to other systems - all the systems that are now 'shattered'. These systems were their homeworlds, after New Eden.




The rift phenomena are still powered, God knows how.




But wherever they went, whatever caused them to abandon this network, long preceded the 'event' that caused this spectacle, which is intriguing...

fascinating...

terrifying...




...because here is evidence of a power known only to God.




Because this is the power of a race that wanted to be Gods. 

Did they succeed?  




Where did you go?




The Sleeper Drones continue their surveillance of this place with all the patience of the Universe itself.

And yet they were not here first.




Hypothesis: the semi-stable, pseudo-randomly-occurring wormholes that have persisted ever since the same event In New Eden that caused this over a decade ago; the wormholes that we humans parasitically use to serve our whims and our purposes, our greed and our bloodlust and our constant need for conflict: those wormholes are a reactivated transportation network between Anoikis and New Eden and within, but it is a network that is malfunctioning, and there is nothing we can do about it.



May the Lord guide those with true faith safely through this abomination of a pretense to His power, His awareness, His benevolence, His wrath, for there is only one God. Only one true Faith.

Amen.




Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

I Saw A Guy Doing The Cosmic Boogie Over Tanoo II

The new generation of Alphas and anyone less than about five years old in capsuleer terms won't know this, but they used to call these 'Meat Popsicles'. That's what it would say on the Overview that your capsule's firmware fed into your enhanced and implanted wetware:



Capsuleers often use the word 'immortal'.

We are nothing of the sort. Our consciousness endures subject to contract and our bodies are replaceable only when attached to external apparatus. Our soul is another matter entirely.

The dude in the image is no longer attached to anything. Not his ship, certainly not his conscience.

This can only have been a self-destruction. May God have mercy on this capsuleer's soul for I hate this kind of waste of resources and casual disregard for life.

I have not been 'podded' in five years. Look it up.

Only God is eternal.




Sunday, 21 February 2021

...And So It Begins Again


I spent a year in Darwinism, which started out well, but then over a period of time I became spiritually adrift and rudderless. I took a sabbatical. Two years planetside, away from the capsule, all my assets in deep storage across three systems, living another life, an actual life, far away from the quixotic pointlessness of killing the unkillable. Two years of distractions, interests, lovers, businesses, and a rediscovery of my Amarrian faith. Two years during which I saw the holovids about them.

Not Drifters, who are no longer a thing, no longer a threat.

This Triglavian Collective, who showed up in New Eden as if from another dimension of reality; scratchy, mutated monochromatic holovids appearing to show them owning the Drifters asses and making mincemeat of them. Taming them. 

One of the Triglavian ships arrived in Yulai, right outside CONCORD's front door. The ship was battered, on fire, and had a thing hanging out the back of it like a hernia - its power source, as near as damn it an artificial black hole. Nothing good can come of that.

Then they started broadcasting stuff: hijacking the fluid routers with bizarre, pompously-delivered impenetrable nonsense about clades.

Then this Collective starts occupying and seizing systems throughout New Eden and concentrating on systems with blue stars and converting those stars into something horrific.




The power to do that; the will to do that; if our Amarrian forces had 100 divisions with this power then our problems with the Minmatar would very quickly be over.

Then this Collective went even further and took their new region of systems, called it Pochven and walled themselves off behind collapsed stargates, the sight of which is utterly terrifying. 



Because New Eden has now changed forever and will never be the same as it was. 




The vision of this shattered stargate in the Madirmilire system was revelatory to me. God's will informed me at this exact moment that the time was right to end my sabbatical and fight for the integrity and continuity of the Empire.

I had already left Darwinism as I knew for some time my path was taking me elsewhere. I now knew where I had to go.

The Imperial Society of Scepter and Crown.

SFRIM

I am now part of a group of Amarr loyalists working to preserve the sanctity of Amarr, the Empire, its interests, its citizens, its territory.  

From now on you can reach me in the warzone.

Amarr Victor!



Tuesday, 5 December 2017

All Roads Lead to Khanid, Part II: Poacher Turned Gamekeeper


The Trailing L5 Point Behind Ibani V, in the Ibani System in 'Cabeki Pocket' aka The Budar Constellation, Khanid - 12/5/119, 1105 hrs

I left the wormhole, because my work there was done.

Shortly afterwards, I left Signal Cartel, because my work there was done too.


It was a sudden thing. In the wormhole, over the course of a single day, I came to a series of realisations about my own ethical stance towards exploring Sleeper and Talocan archaeological relics.

In the wormhole, I'd seen enough, done enough, to know that I could no longer tolerate those archaeological relics and paleo-technological artifacts that I saw there, being plundered, ransacked, stripped, and stolen by capsuleers, all looking to make a quick and dirty profit by taking this stuff to a trade hub and selling it to some collector or industrialist, in return for a bunch of non-existent digital fiat currency that has no intrinsic value in the real world. Plundering those sites, when they actually need to be studied and learned from.

Studied, not sold.



A new, overall awareness arrived in my conscience like a beam laser through my forehead: if I can stop just one of those looters, then one fewer looters out there could make all the difference to understanding what the Sleepers and Talocan were, and to understanding the Drifter threat. It could be me that finds that piece of data that explains where they went and what they were (and are), instead of that data being found by some 'explorer' who doesn't stop to understand the significance of it, and goes on to flog it to some collector who doesn't give a shit, puts it on a shelf and leaves it there, forever undiscovered; or some industrialist who recycles it and turns it into something else, something designed to limit human knowledge rather than expand it.


I have the means to stop looters in their tracks. It is time to use Empress of Amarr as it was designed to be used: not as a ship of peace, but as a protector of a technological faith. It is made of Sleeper tech. It is part of what they were.



So I made the move. I locked the doors to my quarters in the citadel, resigned from Signal Cartel and re-emerged from the wormhole, back into New Eden.

There was just one corporation I wanted to move to.

To return to.

Outdated Host Productions - [PHP1] - the corporation I first joined when I left Hedion University, dozens of lifetimes ago.

I opened [PHP1]'s public channel and reached out. I got a swift and welcoming response, as I knew I would. I'd left on excellent terms 500 days earlier, and it was like I'd never been away. I had missed the Big K and its mostly-uninhabited lowsec 'pipe' that I had re-visited precisely once during my time in Signal Cartel. I missed the calming presence of The Cauldron in my cam drones' synthetic imaging algorithms. I missed Borgin's one-liners and Crystalline's urbane wit and elocution and passion for post-op cuisine. I even missed Jzma and Mechoj's turbulent leadership style (although I found since I rejoined that both are no-longer prominent in the Darwinism alliance now).


I missed the dulcet tones of Sul Glass, Bishop of the Seevadin Constellation - his ongoing doctrinal schism with Amarrian Orthodoxy alive and well (Sec Status -7.6) - now leader of Darwinism, which means Darwinism itself is guided from above. It was all the same old crew: Garen, Gettosmurf, Madrocks and Endiir, all still there like a universal constant (Endiir, what happened to those dreads man??).

Some other names I remembered had moved on since I was last in [PHP1], but that core foundation was still present.

All was well with the universe.



I considered the sudden and radical nature of my personal course-change once again while lobbing massive destruction at somebody's industrial facility today in Ibani - somebody I've never met, never even heard of.

It's about interests and objectives and how they align organically with those of others.

It's how and why, in the cam drone stills you can see here, I'm jacked into a stealth bomber as part of a fleet asserting Darwinism's presence in Khanid.



It's part of my job now, and I like it.

You might wonder how it is possible to live with what outwardly appears to be a complete 180-degree reversal of principle that comes with moving from a pacifism-oriented service corporation, to returning to a corporation that practices piracy and does crimes. The answer is in the principle itself and how it led to the realisation I arrived at that day in the wormhole: I never totally believed in the feasibility of Signal Cartel's pacifist policy in the first place; I just went along with it because it served my purpose to do so for as long as I wanted to stay there. My time in Signal Cartel was overwhelmingly positive, but now its core policy would become an impediment to the preservationist stance that I was about to take up, and as Signal Cartel itself states, if you can't abide by the credo, you can't stay.

I could no-longer abide...



I've left friends behind in Signal Cartel (on good terms, I hope), but progress and change and evolution are the dominant forces in the universe and resistance is futile (where have I heard that before..?).

There is nothing new about any of it. I'm just doing what humanity has always done: looked after number one. But I'm also looking to preserve knowledge.



Explorers: I'm coming for you now...



Monday, 27 November 2017

All Roads Lead to Khanid, Part I: Manifest


The Yulai System, Sanctum Constellation, Genesis. Directive Enforcement Department Logistic Support Station - Yulai VIII (Deck 4, Section 8 - Licensing Dept.)

Weary-looking middle-management-filing-clerk-type enters what back in the day might have been called a 'Records Room', where, back in the day, millions of hard copy files might have been kept in reverent seclusion in a warehouse-sized space, with an army of people tending them in silence like a form of clergy. These days, it's just like a bunch of terminals in a small, under-lit office where no more than five people sit, day after day, performing the never-ending task of updating the DED Starship Registry Database. It's nowhere near as visually impressive. There aren't even any windows in here.

Weary-looking middle-management-filing-clerk-type sits down at his assigned terminal for the day (for hot-desking is a thing at the DED), and logs-in. The second thing that happens during the login process is that The System asks the person logging-in a question. This time it's 'Does your work at the DED fill you with a sense of purpose?'

Middle-management-filing-clerk-type reads this and gets a gigantic flashback to the fork-in-the-road-of-life that was the time when he got chopped after Year One of capsuleer school; an event that caused the kernel of a lifetime of bitterness to form within his then-young soul, a soul too young to recognise that kernel for what it was: the poison of thwarted ambition.

His response to getting chopped was a few wasted years of oblivion spent in bars and pleasure hubs. When the hangover wore off, the opportunity to move sideways into being a regular starship meatbody had kind of passed him by or not even occurred to him (because the glamour of pseudo-immortality is everything!); so the only remaining choice was to return planetside from whence he came, or embark on an oxymoronic 'career in admin' with the DED.

Thus it was, or is, that middle-management-filing-clerk-type reads the question that The System is asking him, here in the present moment, and he sees the abyss of failure encoded within it. He clicks on 'Skip To Main Menu'...

Then the swoosh of the door opening behind him announces the arrival of a boss/leader type, whose name he doesn't even know, because it doesn't really matter. This boss person approaches his burning hot-desk and its expectant terminal and hands him a sheaf of printouts and says: 'Here's today's updates for The System. There's a new one for the Watch List.'

That last sentence generates a brief flicker of interest in the filing clerk. He says: 'Oh yeah?'

'Yeah,' the boss says. 'Legion-class, recently returned from a long deployment to the Anoikis Cluster. Spent the best part of a year there. '

'What's unusual about that? Happens all the time doesn't it?'

'Yes, but this one, its captain has changed employer at the same time. Left a research-focused pacifist group with no record of criminality and joined - or rejoined a group that's based in low-security space. Thing is, she's worked for them before. It's all there in her history. We've seen this pattern many times. It's a slippery slope, and who knows what the hell she's brought back with her from that place.'

Middle-management filing clerk takes the sheaf of papers and turns to his screen. The boss-type turns and swooshes out of the room.

Filing clerk starts typing...

>DED: A DIVISION OF CONCORD

>STARSHIP REGISTRY ENQUIRY: READY


>WATCH LIST: NEW ENTRY

>Legion-class Strategic Cruiser

>Ownership: Private
>Registration: ARX/O/12883745/III
>Name: Empress of Amarr
>
>Crew Manifest (see appendix for further crew details):
>
>Ship's Master: Cassandra Orizi-Habalu-Dannidaana.
>Security Status: 5.0 (provisional - subject to change - see below)
>Personal Details:


Birthdate: 10/28/90.
Ethnicity: Ni-Kunni.
Homeworld: Kor-Azor Prime IV.
Assessment:
Subject is heiress to the Proxima Direct Shipping Company fortune (status restored after recent Imperial decree clarifying capsuleer legitimacy within the Amarr Empire citizenry). Subject also known to possess interests in the Aridia region where she is a prominent political activist in her role as co-founder of the Ni-Kunni Capsuleer Development Foundation. Also known to possess interests in the Genesis, Tash-Murkon and Khanid regions. Operational track record demonstrates non-aggressive tendencies in general, except towards Covenant interests wherever found. However, recent activity involving a prolonged deployment to the Anoikis Cluster with her previous employer indicates the subject retains a strong interest in Jovian/Sleeper/Drifter culture, with a presumed interest in the acquisition of Sleeper-derived technology beyond that which is already developed as part of the baseline architecture of the Legion-class Strategic Cruiser she commands. 


Subject's addition to the Capsuleer Watch List is therefore based on the subject's recent change in employer within the context of the default operational strategy of her new employer, combined with the presence of a former Amarrian Templar in her bridge crew in the role of Chief Weapons Officer [see appendix for full crew manifest], a combination which requires the DED to assume that unverified Sleeper-derived technology will be used in flight operations in low-security space with her new employer outside the authority, control and jurisdiction of DED/CONCORD.
>
>Status: Expected to change. Watch-listed as of 10:49 NEST - 14/11/119.

>FILE Y/N?





Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A Ship Without A Crew Is Just An Empty Vessel



The Manarq System, Sanctum Constellation, Genesis - 2121hrs, 10/28/119

I've been here a number of times before. I've spoken to her. I've worked with her when I brought the renegade Dagan in a couple of years ago. I last saw her a few months back. She'll remember me, right?

I started to open a channel but they got there first...

'Ship approaching this battleship, state your registry and identify yourself.'

'Legion-class, registration ARX/O/12883745/III, Empress of Amarr. I was wondering if, er, Lear was around?'


There's a few seconds of static. The sound of military bureaucracy moving at the speed of geology.  We're not on a fluid router here. This is actual UHF ship-to-ship radio.

'I take it you mean Commander Evanus? She is not available. Please contact her through conventional channels. If you do not require any further assistance then please keep this channel clear. Goodbye -'

'No wait! Tell her it's Cassie. We go way back. I just wanted to say hello, that's all.'

'This is an Apocalypse-class battleship of Her Imperial Majesty's Navy, not a cruise liner, and nor is this channel a medium for light chit-chat. Goodbye -'


'No wait! Let me draw alongside. Just tell her I can see -'

'It's alright Captain, you can stand down. Cassie, it's Lear, switch over to this private channel I'm sending you.'

A window opens in my field of view. Lear!

'There, that's better. Now then Cassie, how have you been? How long has it been?'

'Ah, a few months, I know, I'm sorry, I've been busy.'

'You say you're going to call then you disappear for weeks at a time.'

'I know, but you know what I do, it comes with the territory.'



More static. The sound of me squirming with embarrassment even though I'm swimming in a pod and nobody can see me. Definitely nobody can see me, right?

'Hmmm, yes, yes it does,' Lear said. 'Anyway, that's a very expensive-looking ship you have there. Legion? Don't see much of those things round here, most ships that come through here are small-fry. Mostly destroyers. Boring. This is much more exciting. How many crew do you have?'




'None? Just me and a bunch of robots and a load of automation.'

'Are you telling me that ship runs itself? That you have it all to yourself? Does that even work?'

'Yeah?'

Another pause. The sound of disbelief.

'Don't you get bored?'


'Well, no, but, well, it works OK, but sometimes it gets a bit problematic.'

'Imagine if I had this thing all to myself. This huge ship. My God it would be torture. You have to have a crew to order around. That's the whole point. Who did your interior design?'

'I did. It's awesome. I have the most fabulous Captain's Lounge.'

'Who else gets to see it?'


'Nobody..?'

'I rest my case. What about the problematic thing? What's the problem?'

'The automation centre. Sometimes it lags, gives false responses. The helm doesn't always answer immediately. Target selection sometimes doesn't even work and I have to keep on selecting over and over. This ship is incredible really but if I could hit it with a hammer then I would...'

'And I bet they told you the automation would be flawless, like you wouldn't miss a crew, right?'




'Er, yeah.'

'That stuff never works properly. You need a crew, you need slaves, you need a functioning community aboard that ship. What I wouldn't give to get off this clapped-out old crate and get me some real technology. In fact I'll come over there and join you right now.'

'Captain Tight-Ass back there wouldn't like it.'

'I'm joking. Listen, I'd love to chat some more. We must have - what is it you call it - chai?'

'Chai.'

'Yes, that's it. Chai. Later darling!'

[voice channel closed]

'...'



Was it wrong to just show up like this? I know it's been a few months, but, you know, we all have lives, right? And I don't mean multiple lives in the capsuleer sense either.


Lear Evanus was right though, and to be fair, I had been coming round to the idea myself anyway. Just because you can fly a ship this big through an automation centre, doesn't mean you should. Sometimes I just need someone to tell me out loud what I already know.

A week later...

I docked the ship in Amarr. If you're going to recruit a crew - an entire ship's crew - it's best to go to the place where you're most likely to find people wanting to join a crew. The busiest place in Domain; the second-busiest place in the entire cluster. The trade hub.

So I got hold of a datapad, found the InterBus home page, subscribed to Crew Dock, placed an ad, retired to a favourite cafe, and waited...