Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Beginning Part 1


I slowly open my eyes and look around to see a clean white room filled with equipment and medical personnel.......they are speaking to me and each other........adjusting equipment on the tube.........then I am on the table as they clear the fluid off of me......I ask where I am and what happened to my ship.....the tech replies that I am at the FA station in YI and that my ship is gone, along with my last clone......those bastards on the gate destroyed my ship and then podded I lay on the table waiting for them to finish their tests and make sure that this clone has fully accepted the transfer my mind flashes back over old memories, they say that is normal while your new body is processing all the newly downloaded information but sometimes it is most unpleasant.......

I am sitting in my office at the lab doing some routine paperwork when a man and woman show up. I don't recognize them but they are dressed in military uniforms, yet another distraction from my work. Hello the man says, we are looking for ******* is he here? I reply that is me and what can I help you with? From that point on my life will never be the same. The woman then speaks up and asks me if I have ever been in space and seen the inside of a capsuleer starship? Really are you kidding those people are insane, I reply, neurally linked to technology, those implants that come out of their heads and make them prisoners inside those pod things of I prefer to be here on the ground and in my office, trying to get my work done.

I mean don't get me wrong I enjoy being in space, I have caught the sub-orbital shuttles around the planet for travel and been on the space stations throughout the system when I needed to, even been to some other worlds on vacation with my parents over the years but never on a capsuleer starship.

I finally ask them what they want with me and begin to start doing my paperwork again, figuring they would get the hint and leave....they don't....the woman introduces themselves as recruiting officers for the Republic Military School...a capsuleer training school. I acknowledge their introduction and wish them well still having no idea why they are here talking to me. Strangely enough, aside from the first sentence the man spoke, I realize later, he never says another word to me......odd but to each his own, I have always wasn't until much later that I discovered who and what he really was....

The woman asks me if I have recently taken a survey for some researchers on mental processing...sure I replied I got a e-request from a university researcher who is doing something on how humans store and process information, quick little survey to help out a fellow researcher, we get so many of those things that I didn't think anything of it. Apparently I should turns out that 'survey' was actually a test sent to people all over Minmatar space, in different forms for different groups of people looking for those that might possess the unique skills to become a capsuleer. I can't believe what she just said to me, I took that survey a couple hours ago, and they have processed the results and sent a team to see me. Incredible.

My boss comes in and wants to know what is going on, when I start to tell him the woman asks him to step outside with her companion, which he does. They return a few minutes later and my boss says that I can have all the time I need with them and that he will see me later...most unusual of him. He walks out with a slight backwards glance at the man, who isn't paying any attention to him and is focused once more on me. I don't think I like that.....definitely don't like that.......

By now several of the people I work with have come out of the lab and into the office trying to see what is going on. Two people dressed in military uniforms is unusual in a civilian research lab, they are all curious as to what I have done to warrant this visit.

The woman asks me to come with them for some further testing and join a small pool of capsuleer candidates that are meeting in the nearby system at the Republic Military School. I ask her how long this will take and she replies that the basic testing requires a week. When I inform her that I can't leave my research for a week at the drop of a hat she informs me that the lab and I will be compensated for our time and the resulting loss in research. My fellow lab mates say I should go, take it as an unplanned and all expenses paid vacation....I deserve it. I just finished defending my PhD and I should go and have a little fun.

All right, I tell the woman I will go but I have to make a couple calls first to let some people know that I will be gone. She nods and says that they have a secure line in their vehicle and I can use it while they take me to my place to gather a couple things before leaving. When I inform them that I have my own vehicle and my own communications system to make those calls, they say that isn't possible that by agreeing to come with them I am now under military jurisdiction and that for my own safety my vehicle will be left at the university until I return for it.

I stare at them in total disbelief, I didn't agree to join the military, and protective custody for what....that is when the woman points out that capsuleers are rare and that the republics enemies would not hesitate to kill one, before they became a capsuleer and thus posed a threat to their own programs. What the hell have I gotten myself into I think as we are walking out of the building toward a nice looking car sitting at the entrance to the building, with a second man in uniform sitting at the controls.

We get in and I start to tell the driver/pilot where to go when the woman assures me that he already knows where my home is.....this is not good at all....

I place my two calls from the vehicle/ship/prison, one to my mother letting her and my father know that I will be gone for a little while doing some research in another system and not to worry about it....I lie and tell her I am a last minute replacement for someone else in my department and that everything is fine.....I wish that I could believe that. The next call is to my girlfriend and I repeat the same set of lies to her that I told to my mother. This isn't going well so far at all, I have lied to my parents and to my girlfriend about going to another star I am going to be in so much trouble with them when I get back.

We get to my place and I ask them what kind of clothing I need to bring with me and start to do some quick packing. I am glad that I had cleaned my clothes just two days ago, had plenty of stuff for a jump out to another system without notice....and hey at least I don't need to go and pick up some food for the next week, I was out of basically everything and had planned on going to get stuff on my way home....something positive right....RIGHT....yeah I think so.

The next part of the trip is boring and spectacular all at the same time. We arrive at the space port and board a shuttle to take us up into space to the station near the planet...nothing special here I have been on one of these types of shuttles many times...yet something seems different to me. That is when I realize that we didn't go through any of the normal departure systems, we just got on board right from the ground vehicle and shot up into the security waiting for the pattern to clear for our take off...nothing...just got out of the vehicle, sat down and boom we are in space.......this is not good. What the hell have I gotten myself into here?????

As we approach the station I can see many ships coming and going from it, maybe 4 or 5, it is most impressive to see that many starships in one naive I was about what impressive really means. We dock at the station without any delay, but that isn't all that uncommon, these stations can handle many times the amount of traffic they see out here anyways. We get off the shuttle and head to another docking bay, this one with a capsuleer starship docked in it. I have no idea what kind of ship it is but it is huge. Again we board without anyone doing any customs or checking us for weapons or explosives nothing, and the security on the stations checks everyone for weapons and explosives, or poison gas or whatever the hell else someone might be carrying, but for us nothing.......this is not good.

We board the ship and are launched out of the dock and headed to the local stargate for the jump into the next system, I am told we have to go 3 jumps to get to the school and that it shouldn't take very long, maybe 20 minutes. I notice that everyone around me on this ship is also wearing a military uniform. Well that I guess is the first thing in this whole situation that actually makes sense, they are bringing me out in a military ship. We make the jumps and then dock at another station in short order. When the woman comes back to get me and take me to the docking bay, I step out onto the lift platform that will take me into the main portion of the station but she remains behind. I turn to ask her and the lift just starts moving and she is walking away......ok now this isn't good at all.....yes this is very bad...

As the lift arrives at the station end of the docking bay a new man in the same military uniform is waiting for me. He introduces himself and asks me to follow him to the medical wing where they will be doing the testing to see if I am really a candidate to become a capsuleer or if this whole thing has been a gigantic waste of time.

As we are walking down the passageway into the station I see many different people around me, some are in uniforms of both the republic military and some in the Gallente military, our closest allies. While others are in regular civilian dress, and still more are dressed in what look like uniforms but aren't from any branch of either the republic or Gallente military that I am familiar with.

We walk for what seems like hours, but in reality is probably 10 minutes, before getting to a hatch that leads into the medical wing. The hatch slides open and............

All at once the flashbacks end as the technicians confirm that the transfer is complete and everything checks out. I am free to go. As I walk out the door, the lead technician reminds me to make sure to purchase my new backup clone and to make sure that I have one with the enough internal memory for all of the skills that I have learned. I thank him for his reminder, but I will not forget that. To get podded is bad enough, to wake up and find some of your skills missing because you forgot to upgrade the memory capacity of your backup clone....that is just stupid. Now that this horrible encounter is over I head to my quarters here to get dressed in my own uniform and get ready to head back out into space, but first I have to see about the arrangements for my lost crew. I need to see if any of them survived the destruction of my ship......

Ranger Gama

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