Immortal

I guess after taking you with me into three battles I should really introduce myself. My name is Harkconnan, Hark for short, I am a Caldari Female and I have been Immortal for three years.
Before my transcendence I was a simple Caldari Navy Captain, Captaining a Scorpion Class Battleship for the Military attempting to survive as most mortals do in an ever changing universe. I would love to tell you I was some kind of romantic, in love with the stars, yearning to cruise the universe forever, bathing in the light of a million suns, but I wasn’t. I wish I could say that I was a duty bound soldier submitting myself to immortality for the good of others, but that’s a lie. I was just another mortal, struggling for life, and finding more of it than I bargained for. As with all Star ship Captains once every 10 years of service I returned to Caldari Prime, my nations home planet for my Service Analysis; it was here my ascension began. Officially these tests were a simple checkpoint, ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing of those trusted with the States most war machines, but as with everything in the Caldari State, eyes watched. Some eyes were looking for new Marshals, tacticians and strategists; Some even watched for investments and bets or puppets, but the ones hardest to spot, the ones clouded in darkness, were watching for something all the more dangerous. These were the eyes watching me.
My destination wasn’t immediately obvious after my tests, although I knew something had changed. My ship and crew were moved into a special division, dealing with more… delicate situations, here even I was aware, the eyes watched closer. Two standard years later I was ordered away from my ship for a series of “check-ups” due to “anomalies” found in my medical history. At the end of a thorough, rigorous and invasive medical checkup, lasting over a month, the truth emerged.
Capsules are notoriously independent from their birth states, performing tasks for whomever they wished, changing allegiances on a whim, most even joining vast alliances independent to any of the Empires in New Eden. Even the most loyal servants of an Empire realise its insignificance when faced with immortality. Yet the Caldari State, like all the Empires had become reliant on the skills of Capsulars to survive. Some missions were simply beyond a mortal Pilot, some tasks were too sick for a human Captain. With a need for a Capsulars skills, yet unable to rely on their loyalty, the Caldari approached the problem as they did every other issue; as a businessman. The theory was simple, find Navy personnel with the rare skills and aptitude to survive the encapsulation and offer to perform the transference from man to demigod, for the price of a year’s loyalty biologically enforced.
I had become a target; my mind was porous enough for the learning, my body suitable for the implants and modification, my personality hardy enough for the strains of immortality, I could be a capsuler. The offer was simple, a year of absolute loyalty on threat of death in exchange for immortality, I would even be paid for my trouble. So there I was, on the brink of transcendence, offered immortality by my masters the only price was one final year of service, service I already chose to give them any way. It seemed too good to be true, and it was, I didn’t know the true price and so I accepted.
Ascension sounds like a beautiful thing, at the time, in my human flesh, my preconceptions brought images of angels, white light energy and beauty with the word. I think that’s why they called the operations an ascension or transcendence; it was technically true, and covered the gruesome reality in a cloak of false hope. My ‘ascension’ took two years. I was dissected and studied, literally each part of my human shell removed, piece by piece and studied in the closest way. First my limbs were amputated and studied (in thirds: feet, shin, thigh; hand, forearm, shoulder). Then my core was dissected and I was ‘installed’ in a specialist room, my flesh impaled on apparatus which would facilitate this living autopsy; holding the slowly dwindling organic parts and connecting me to the mechanical replacements. There was never any pain, no feelings at all, just endless days of numbness watching my body slowly disappear, listening to the hum hiss and slosh of machines keeping me alive and force-fed training and knowledge I would later need. Eventually I came to enjoy each removal, seeing my remaining body parts as barriers between me and the end. A great irony descended on me, the very process which would make me immortal, also made me want to die. Finally I was finished, I remember the day they removed my spinal cord (already deprived of its ribs, pelvis and contents long ago). I had been given the day off from the normal learning projections and lectures, and my neural implants were connected instead to the rooms cameras, I watched with pleasure as the last of my body was severed, and thanked the surgeon with my electronic voice (to replace voice box, jaw and tongue) once the buzz of the saw had died. I was relieved of my body, all that remained was to flay my skull ( half day operation at best) and perform the final scan, a lethal neural probe using Jovian technology to map my very consciousness. Indeed the very next day I received my wish and my mortal body died, the brain scan destroying my neural pathways; severing each neural node in a searing white heat.
For me it was instant, in reality it took almost 24 hours for all the data which had been collected to be fed into the cloning vat and for the blank generic clone to be given a retroviruse to form my recorded mortal shell, then my consciousness was loaded into its neural pathways. Some clerics and religious zealots will tell you that although the procedure takes an exact copy of your physical body, it cannot copy the soul, making Capsulars walking talking thinking shells. They may well be true, but I will tell you now, I felt no loss. When I awoke in the gelatinous liquid sustaining the clone I mistakenly felt immortal, returning to a full flesh body after two years of slowly being crippled was a shock to the mind. But I was no God yet, that had been only preparation and once I had been extracted from the vat I spent the next months being acclimatised to my pod; this was when I was truly made immortal.
The next stages were if anything more horrifying than the procedure to get me this far. My clone’s body was identical to my mortal shell, except for its wetware interfaces; plugs and ports covered key nerve clusters and the back of my skull. My body had been broken and mended and now it was my minds turn. To begin with I was simply put into the pod for increasing periods of time. The pod itself was around the size of a small room, say a hotel room in width, two stories high and shaped like an egg. Its outer shell crammed with sophisticated technology making the actual living space just large enough to accommodate a single human body in a semi foetal position, enough room to move, not enough to stretch. Filled with gelatinous ambiotic fluid it was claustrophobic horror to spend hours suspended in its confines (it’s funny how after so long I now regard it as a place of comfort and safety, an artificial womb almost).
At this stage my mind was twisted, two years literally out of body, and now shoved day after day into a confined space and left, alone and dark inside sometimes for weeks at a time. I was physically fit, but unable to look after myself mentally. In a state of self imposed vegetation, unable to eat, sleep or function without mechanical, medical or human aid. It was from this broken state that I was rebuilt into a god.
After once again dumping my limp unresisting body into the fluid filled pod, they switched it on for the first time. Cables snaked from the walls in my liquid cell seeking their counterparts on my body. Each connecting and removing that part of my body from my consciousness, until the last cables clicked one by one into my spine and my vision went. When it returned I was no longer staring at the inside of the pod. I was hovering in mid air behind the docking bay in which my training pod was housed. The interface so instant and intuitive that I instantly knew the whole of the holo-net was at my disposal at a thought. I could view State records on any person, system or corporation. I could look at a virtual map of the universe and plot a course through its gates; system to system in seconds. I could communicate faster than light with others, through text and speech. The horrors that had befallen my body before were no longer a worry, for I had a new body far more powerful and intelligent. It was like a drug, out of the pod I was once more an active self aware animal, but I only kept myself alive ready for my next trip in.
The wonder of my new life increased when they unlocked the systems to allow me to enter a ship. The states cheap and mass produced training ship, the Ibis, though the lowest ship in a Capsulars arsenal, was a wonder to use. As my pod slotted into it for the first time and the pod paired its limited sensors with the ship for the first time it was an ecstasy. All my senses expanded, the ship’s hull was my skin, its probes my eyes. But now as well as engines and thrusters I had other items at my disposal. For the moment they placed Civilian grade turrets and mining lasers on my hulls standardised slots, allowing me to get used to their control, but I knew that soon I would be able to plug and change these for more powerful weapons as easily as a human changed clothes. It didn’t take long to get used to the civilian weapons, and soon I was allowed my first flight. Leaving the station for the first time I felt the full extent of my true power. My weak human flesh fitted inside a life giving pod, inside a death dealing hull, like some sick Matryoshka doll. Closely monitored for signs of insanity caused by the process I had undergone I was allowed to spend the last months of my ascension soaring through the stars, I did not care that they watched. I was a capsuler, I was a god.
My year in service to the Caldari Navy in payment for my transcendence past quickly. The Navy required me to perform the dirty tasks, things too disgusting or tricky for a mere human body to perform. By the end of the year my neural implants had allowed me to upload and learn books of vast knowledge, learning to control bigger ships, larger weapons systems, until before long I was back in a battleship class ship, this time instead of commanding a crew of ten thousand, I commanded her alone, with a few thousand crew detached from me to perform simple maintenance. My final missions for the Navy required me to use these ships to destroy other human commanded ships; fleets of them would battle me and a handful of similarly indebted Capsulars, each exploding ship snuffing out ten thousand souls. Five of us could easily destroy 10 or more battleships with all their accompanying smaller class ships, Battlecruisers, Cruisers and frigates were no threat to us. Occasionally we would be overwhelmed, our ships disintegrated around us by concentrated fire, and even rarer our pods breached by laser, or missile fire. But we were immortal, in the moments before death an implant in our brain performed another lethal scan of our mind, and transmitted it instantly to a new clone waiting for us. We would return with vengeance, killing those who dared to so inconvenience us.
Don’t misjudge me on the destruction I caused, it was rarely done in anger. But we were drunk with power. We told ourselves we understood the bigger picture, if destroying an outpost in space killed a million lives to destroy information which might spark off the Caldari – Gelentte war again; it was worth it to save millions who might die in the war. We thought being immortal gave us the ability to judge and value a human life, and the right to take it too in order to shape the infinite future which we alone would see.
After a year I had grown closer to my companions and we began to feel distain for our Caldari masters. A few months after our debt ended we begun to remove ourselves from the politics of man. We joined a corporation of other Capsulars. The corporation didn’t care about the Empires squabbles; they were out to carve their own Empire. We took space and owned entire solar systems, living out of stations and in our ships at times, we fought not the inconsequential wars of man, but the never ending fight of a Capsular. Against other immortals we stood on equal ground, time and time again shown that we were not beyond destruction, only beyond death. The realisation that others were as powerful, if not more so than us, was humbling. We began to become individuals again no longer Gods, but immortal humans with compassion, wants and needs. We had values we would fight for and wants we would happily be reborn for, morals we would stand for. We strove now for our own space, for money and power; the same as any other human, the only difference? Our struggle will last forever.
I guess after taking you with me into three battles I should really introduce myself. My name is Harkconnan, Hark for short, I am a Caldari Female and I have been Immortal for three years.
Before my transcendence I was a simple Caldari Navy Captain, Captaining a Scorpion Class Battleship for the Military attempting to survive as most mortals do in an ever changing universe. I would love to tell you I was some kind of romantic, in love with the stars, yearning to cruise the universe forever, bathing in the light of a million suns, but I wasn’t. I wish I could say that I was a duty bound soldier submitting myself to immortality for the good of others, but that’s a lie. I was just another mortal, struggling for life, and finding more of it than I bargained for. As with all Star ship Captains once every 10 years of service I returned to Caldari Prime, my nations home planet for my Service Analysis; it was here my ascension began. Officially these tests were a simple checkpoint, ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing of those trusted with the States most war machines, but as with everything in the Caldari State, eyes watched. Some eyes were looking for new Marshals, tacticians and strategists; Some even watched for investments and bets or puppets, but the ones hardest to spot, the ones clouded in darkness, were watching for something all the more dangerous. These were the eyes watching me.
My destination wasn’t immediately obvious after my tests, although I knew something had changed. My ship and crew were moved into a special division, dealing with more… delicate situations, here even I was aware, the eyes watched closer. Two standard years later I was ordered away from my ship for a series of “check-ups” due to “anomalies” found in my medical history. At the end of a thorough, rigorous and invasive medical checkup, lasting over a month, the truth emerged.
Capsules are notoriously independent from their birth states, performing tasks for whomever they wished, changing allegiances on a whim, most even joining vast alliances independent to any of the Empires in New Eden. Even the most loyal servants of an Empire realise its insignificance when faced with immortality. Yet the Caldari State, like all the Empires had become reliant on the skills of Capsulars to survive. Some missions were simply beyond a mortal Pilot, some tasks were too sick for a human Captain. With a need for a Capsulars skills, yet unable to rely on their loyalty, the Caldari approached the problem as they did every other issue; as a businessman. The theory was simple, find Navy personnel with the rare skills and aptitude to survive the encapsulation and offer to perform the transference from man to demigod, for the price of a year’s loyalty biologically enforced.
I had become a target; my mind was porous enough for the learning, my body suitable for the implants and modification, my personality hardy enough for the strains of immortality, I could be a capsuler. The offer was simple, a year of absolute loyalty on threat of death in exchange for immortality, I would even be paid for my trouble. So there I was, on the brink of transcendence, offered immortality by my masters the only price was one final year of service, service I already chose to give them any way. It seemed too good to be true, and it was, I didn’t know the true price and so I accepted.
Ascension sounds like a beautiful thing, at the time, in my human flesh, my preconceptions brought images of angels, white light energy and beauty with the word. I think that’s why they called the operations an ascension or transcendence; it was technically true, and covered the gruesome reality in a cloak of false hope. My ‘ascension’ took two years. I was dissected and studied, literally each part of my human shell removed, piece by piece and studied in the closest way. First my limbs were amputated and studied (in thirds: feet, shin, thigh; hand, forearm, shoulder). Then my core was dissected and I was ‘installed’ in a specialist room, my flesh impaled on apparatus which would facilitate this living autopsy; holding the slowly dwindling organic parts and connecting me to the mechanical replacements. There was never any pain, no feelings at all, just endless days of numbness watching my body slowly disappear, listening to the hum hiss and slosh of machines keeping me alive and force-fed training and knowledge I would later need. Eventually I came to enjoy each removal, seeing my remaining body parts as barriers between me and the end. A great irony descended on me, the very process which would make me immortal, also made me want to die. Finally I was finished, I remember the day they removed my spinal cord (already deprived of its ribs, pelvis and contents long ago). I had been given the day off from the normal learning projections and lectures, and my neural implants were connected instead to the rooms cameras, I watched with pleasure as the last of my body was severed, and thanked the surgeon with my electronic voice (to replace voice box, jaw and tongue) once the buzz of the saw had died. I was relieved of my body, all that remained was to flay my skull ( half day operation at best) and perform the final scan, a lethal neural probe using Jovian technology to map my very consciousness. Indeed the very next day I received my wish and my mortal body died, the brain scan destroying my neural pathways; severing each neural node in a searing white heat.
For me it was instant, in reality it took almost 24 hours for all the data which had been collected to be fed into the cloning vat and for the blank generic clone to be given a retroviruse to form my recorded mortal shell, then my consciousness was loaded into its neural pathways. Some clerics and religious zealots will tell you that although the procedure takes an exact copy of your physical body, it cannot copy the soul, making Capsulars walking talking thinking shells. They may well be true, but I will tell you now, I felt no loss. When I awoke in the gelatinous liquid sustaining the clone I mistakenly felt immortal, returning to a full flesh body after two years of slowly being crippled was a shock to the mind. But I was no God yet, that had been only preparation and once I had been extracted from the vat I spent the next months being acclimatised to my pod; this was when I was truly made immortal.
The next stages were if anything more horrifying than the procedure to get me this far. My clone’s body was identical to my mortal shell, except for its wetware interfaces; plugs and ports covered key nerve clusters and the back of my skull. My body had been broken and mended and now it was my minds turn. To begin with I was simply put into the pod for increasing periods of time. The pod itself was around the size of a small room, say a hotel room in width, two stories high and shaped like an egg. Its outer shell crammed with sophisticated technology making the actual living space just large enough to accommodate a single human body in a semi foetal position, enough room to move, not enough to stretch. Filled with gelatinous ambiotic fluid it was claustrophobic horror to spend hours suspended in its confines (it’s funny how after so long I now regard it as a place of comfort and safety, an artificial womb almost).
At this stage my mind was twisted, two years literally out of body, and now shoved day after day into a confined space and left, alone and dark inside sometimes for weeks at a time. I was physically fit, but unable to look after myself mentally. In a state of self imposed vegetation, unable to eat, sleep or function without mechanical, medical or human aid. It was from this broken state that I was rebuilt into a god.
After once again dumping my limp unresisting body into the fluid filled pod, they switched it on for the first time. Cables snaked from the walls in my liquid cell seeking their counterparts on my body. Each connecting and removing that part of my body from my consciousness, until the last cables clicked one by one into my spine and my vision went. When it returned I was no longer staring at the inside of the pod. I was hovering in mid air behind the docking bay in which my training pod was housed. The interface so instant and intuitive that I instantly knew the whole of the holo-net was at my disposal at a thought. I could view State records on any person, system or corporation. I could look at a virtual map of the universe and plot a course through its gates; system to system in seconds. I could communicate faster than light with others, through text and speech. The horrors that had befallen my body before were no longer a worry, for I had a new body far more powerful and intelligent. It was like a drug, out of the pod I was once more an active self aware animal, but I only kept myself alive ready for my next trip in.
The wonder of my new life increased when they unlocked the systems to allow me to enter a ship. The states cheap and mass produced training ship, the Ibis, though the lowest ship in a Capsulars arsenal, was a wonder to use. As my pod slotted into it for the first time and the pod paired its limited sensors with the ship for the first time it was an ecstasy. All my senses expanded, the ship’s hull was my skin, its probes my eyes. But now as well as engines and thrusters I had other items at my disposal. For the moment they placed Civilian grade turrets and mining lasers on my hulls standardised slots, allowing me to get used to their control, but I knew that soon I would be able to plug and change these for more powerful weapons as easily as a human changed clothes. It didn’t take long to get used to the civilian weapons, and soon I was allowed my first flight. Leaving the station for the first time I felt the full extent of my true power. My weak human flesh fitted inside a life giving pod, inside a death dealing hull, like some sick Matryoshka doll. Closely monitored for signs of insanity caused by the process I had undergone I was allowed to spend the last months of my ascension soaring through the stars, I did not care that they watched. I was a capsuler, I was a god.
My year in service to the Caldari Navy in payment for my transcendence past quickly. The Navy required me to perform the dirty tasks, things too disgusting or tricky for a mere human body to perform. By the end of the year my neural implants had allowed me to upload and learn books of vast knowledge, learning to control bigger ships, larger weapons systems, until before long I was back in a battleship class ship, this time instead of commanding a crew of ten thousand, I commanded her alone, with a few thousand crew detached from me to perform simple maintenance. My final missions for the Navy required me to use these ships to destroy other human commanded ships; fleets of them would battle me and a handful of similarly indebted Capsulars, each exploding ship snuffing out ten thousand souls. Five of us could easily destroy 10 or more battleships with all their accompanying smaller class ships, Battlecruisers, Cruisers and frigates were no threat to us. Occasionally we would be overwhelmed, our ships disintegrated around us by concentrated fire, and even rarer our pods breached by laser, or missile fire. But we were immortal, in the moments before death an implant in our brain performed another lethal scan of our mind, and transmitted it instantly to a new clone waiting for us. We would return with vengeance, killing those who dared to so inconvenience us.
Don’t misjudge me on the destruction I caused, it was rarely done in anger. But we were drunk with power. We told ourselves we understood the bigger picture, if destroying an outpost in space killed a million lives to destroy information which might spark off the Caldari – Gelentte war again; it was worth it to save millions who might die in the war. We thought being immortal gave us the ability to judge and value a human life, and the right to take it too in order to shape the infinite future which we alone would see.
After a year I had grown closer to my companions and we began to feel distain for our Caldari masters. A few months after our debt ended we begun to remove ourselves from the politics of man. We joined a corporation of other Capsulars. The corporation didn’t care about the Empires squabbles; they were out to carve their own Empire. We took space and owned entire solar systems, living out of stations and in our ships at times, we fought not the inconsequential wars of man, but the never ending fight of a Capsular. Against other immortals we stood on equal ground, time and time again shown that we were not beyond destruction, only beyond death. The realisation that others were as powerful, if not more so than us, was humbling. We began to become individuals again no longer Gods, but immortal humans with compassion, wants and needs. We had values we would fight for and wants we would happily be reborn for, morals we would stand for. We strove now for our own space, for money and power; the same as any other human, the only difference? Our struggle will last forever.

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