Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lifetimes Upon Lifetimes

I haven't posted anything in a while. Mostly because my life kind of fell apart, and I've been busy trying to avoid picking up the pieces. Today's post is a short story I wrote for a player run competition on the EVE Online forum. Its called Lifetimes Upon Lifetimes. Here it is in its entirety:

Lifetimes Upon Lifetimes

Lifetimes upon lifetimes, I had never felt the cold of space, but now the chill of the void is my universe.

The feeds are all malfunctioning. Occasionally I get brief glimpses of cartwheeling wreckage, or dim sensor echoes, but most of the time its just dark. And cold. I miss the stars.

Most of the pod's systems are down, either fried or in emergency standby. It must have been a one in a million shot to bypass the multiple redundant safety systems of my pod, the self-destructs, the transfer system. The Jovian's work true wonders with technology, but even they are fallible it would seem.

I wonder what true death is like. I've died so many times before, only to awaken to a new life, a new body just the way I like it. I wonder what I will awaken to this time. If I will awaken at all...

Time passes slowly in the darkness. I think I'm drifting in and out of consciousness, but I can't be sure. It all seems the same. Occasionally I glimpse something out of the corner of my eye, but my gaze disturbs the pond and the ripples scare the fish away. I've never seen a pond, not a real one. They say that holoreels just aren't as good as the real thing. I tried to access my holoreels, but the uplink isn't working. But if the uplink isn't working how did the fish get out?

I think the ship links are feeding back into my neural net. I can feel parts of the ship, right on the edges of my awareness, but I know that its gone. Its gone. Millions of ISK gone in a puff of vaporized metals and broken dreams. Its going to take days of mission running to make enough ISK to buy and fit another one. I might fill the high power slots with afterburners, then I'll be travelling in style. Wait, that doesn't make sense... These fish keep distracting me. They don't want me to know that the medical support systems are failing. Cheeky devils.

I think I can see a ship. Its salvaging the wrecks. Damn it, I can't get a weapons lock. I can't warp out either. None of the ships systems are responding. It could be Sanshas trying to eat my brains, or Guristas trying to steal my holoreels. I won't let them take my fish. This pond and everything in it belongs to me!

Its really getting quite warm here. I just love the feeling of the sand between my toes, the gentle embrace of the summer sun, its so relaxing. Not a care in the world. It is a little too bright though. Its kind of hurting my eyes. I should have bought a pair of those Nightstalker Goggles.

For a second there I thought I was trapped in a broken pod, slowly freezing to death while the automated systems desperately fought to keep me alive by pumping me full of drugs and the glitching neural interface cooked my brain. What a horrible thought. I've really got to stop watching bad holoreel horrors.

The beach stretches for kilometres in all directions. The cool perspiration on the side of my drink reminds me of something, but the thought eludes me like those wily fish. Sometimes when I sit and watch the gentle waves I wonder if its all just a dream, some kind of elaborate fantasy. But then I luxuriate in the feeling of the heat of the sun upon my skin, take a sip of my icy cold... Quafe... and I know, deep down, that a life so real, so perfect, couldn't possibly be just an illusion.

I'm so lucky to be one of the chosen few, a Capsuleer, an immortal. There is always something new to explore, always something exciting just around the corner, and sometimes what you find is so wondrous, so amazing, that eternal life just isn't enough. This beach, this thin strand of sand along the edge of this great ocean is such a place.

The fish jump and splash in the water and I know they feel the same way too.

Lifetimes upon lifetimes, I've never felt so alive, and now the warmth of the sun fills my universe.

It can also be found in its original form here:

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