The Twisted Path

No non-capsular truly knows the horror of a Pod Death. Most know the theory, brain scans, lethal injections and memory implants on blank slate bodies. Most think no more of it. But as with most things viewed from afar, the reality is far grittier than many would imagine. The process itself is clean and clinical; you’d die and re-awake in an instant. The world goes black as if you had blinked, and you awake in your new clone. But it is not a pleasant experience. Capsulers don’t remember the death itself as it occurs after the brain scan. As this is triggered as the Pod is breached, it is not unusual for the last memory of your clone to be a missile head, or Artillery round poking through the pod wall at you. This small mercy is not enough to make the experience pleasant. Clones are not as easy to slip into as you might think. They spend most of their life suspended in a synthetic liquor amnii, you awaken with fresh fear from your impending death suspended in fluid. Your new bodies limbs and muscles have never been used in earnest only teased to strength by electronic pulses, aching lungs which have never breathed, sensitive eyes that have never seen life, a sore throat which have never swallowed. You’re removed from your mechanical womb and brought near naked for medical inspection. Loss of skills and implants can ache for days like lost limbs. Pain and Fear mark a Capsulers rebirth, no phoenix, no tabula rasa. But we live, and that is no small grace. So I emerged from the medical centre aching and hunched like and invalid, heading back to my hanger for comfort and rest.

There I was greeted by a familiar sight. Nevna, He was of standard Gallente build, dark hair round but firm face, his black hair tied up in a knot behind his head, and as usual a firm grin on his face. “Nano!” he greeted, a friendly sarcastic nickname I had acquired to the slow speeds my ships usually used. “You’re looking…. crap. Got that fresh clone smell about you, you know?” I said nothing, not trusting my new larynx to convey the expletives I was thinking. “Well,” he continued unabated “I’m guessing you went out fighting despite my warning, I hope you were insured” The bottom dropped further out of my world and I cursed something unintelligibly. “Don’t worry my friend, that old Rokh would never had made it to 0.0 any way, it’s a new life for you out there and a fresh ship as well won’t hurt”.

In the end we spent the rest of the day laying plans to get into 0.0. He explained how things were different out there, the importance of cloaking and how I would need to find a role in which I could learn the ways of 0.0 without worrying about making mistakes. The next day, when I was ready to do more I purchased, injected and trained all the skills needed for cloaking, and began a plan to get me into an interceptor within a month. The interceptor I was told was a good starting ship for 0.0, cheap to replace and easy to learn, as well as a vital part of any fleet. For the moment we fitted an extremely cheap Kestrel for the trip to 0.0. The kestrel was spacious enough, but not the size and luxury of the Rokh I was used to. Setting our destination of the edge of empire space, near the home system of my new corporation, we set off. On the Rout Nevna (or Ex as I referred to him) told me of what had happened to me in my Rokh. It would seem that by accepting his invite to the corporation, I also accepted the corporations Alliance as my own. The Alliance was made of many corporations, and was hundreds strong. However it also had its fair share of enemies. Some had paid concord under the Yulai Convention. This convection referred to as a War Dec allows them to pursue their war on any member of the Alliance in High security systems. While under a War Dec sanctioned by the Yulai Convention Concord will not send aid to any member of either Alliance if they are attacked by a member of the other Alliance. Thus where I had thought myself safe I was not, especially so close to Jita, it was a matter of time before a member of the enemy Alliance found me and tried to kill me.

Before a few hours had passed we found ourselves on the edge of high security space, and similarly on the cusp of a change in my life. We docked for brief respite, checked our clones had enough skill points to accommodate us in case of death and moved our clones to the station to avoid making the trip again. I was also advised that purchasing goods in 0.0 was a lot harder and expensive that high sec. So with hold full of ammo we set off. We would move through 4 systems of low security before emerging into 0.0 and then moving through a jump bridge network to our final destination “Valhalla”.

Moving through low sec was easy enough. There was no risk going straight from gate to gate as the minimal security forces did not allow warp disruption bubbles to be used. The only risk was when your first arrived in a system you could be attacked and warp scrambled before being able to escape by a enemy ship. We found none of these however and sailed through space till we his 0.0. Here we changed tactics. Ex would scout head of my by one system (a tactic referred to as +1 he informed me) and let me know if there were any enemy gate camps. Once in the system he would warp to a “Deep Safe” (and area in space which was not on a direct line between any celestial bodies). I then follow him into the system and warp too him at his safe spot, cloaking until he was in a similar spot in the next system. The we used Jump bridges, which are structures owned by Capsulers, which act much like a stargate, allowing for jumps between two systems, controlled by the alliance. These were treated much the same as gates, except there was little to no fear of gate camps as huge shielded, armed towers guarded each end of the bridge. Soon we were in my new home system and Ex took me to Valhalla, our own tower or POS, My new home and only shelter from the lawless world outside.

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