EVE Fiction

 
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Suicidal Tendencies - An EVE/EON fiction contest submission

Author
#1 - 2012-11-01 23:06:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Meryl SinGarda
Suicidal Tendencies
Meryl S.F.
Category: A Day in the Life

I remember the first time I died.

Or was it the hundredth?

It’s kinda hard to distinguish once you’ve reached the double-zero mark.

So many deaths.

I die for many reasons. Sometimes I forget to pay attention to the onboard scanner and something sweeps another hunk of metal right out from under me. Other times it’s due to a miscalculation or the simple mistake of slipping through the wrong Stargate.

Whatever the reason, there’s always a perfect clone--a perfect recreation--waiting for me back at my quarters in Friggi. And as long as the money keeps flowing, I'll stay immortal.

But you kinda grow weary after a while.

Your senses go a bit haywire and then they fizzle and snap.

Then you just sorta forget about it, like it doesn't even matter.

Those red dots on your scanners? Just another group of mercenaries looking to scan you for expensive cargo.

They ransom you, you don't pay them and in the flash of a second you're back home slamming down a stiff drink and adjusting your freshly pressed clothing.

There’s been something strange happening to me these past couple of weeks, though.

I've been making more mistakes than usual.

And every single time I'm transitioning between sheared metal and frozen flesh, dangling in the ocean of darkness, to calm and collected back in my little hole in the wall, there’s a beam of something shooting into my head.

But only for a millisecond.

It’s unfamiliar.

Alien, almost.

For example, I was with a fleet of nutjobs just a few days ago. We're in an asteroid belt in
some system and they're asking me to nudge the quiet looking industrial vessel.

You know, just a polite tap to the hull.

Usually, people do this in order to determine whether or not the capsuleer inside is automated. Cybernetic, maybe? I don't know the stupid details...

So there I am focusing all of my energy on only just tapping this ship and without warning my sensors are screaming at me and before I even know what’s going on, I’m hearing the sound of my ship creaking and bending.

It wasn't so much a slow motion sorta deal, but I could feel the heat from the inside of my POD before I could even comprehend what they had done.

“Stupid inbred...”

Transition is almost like a sigh, I suppose. A cool breath of air.

“Alpha-one-primary to Neptune-five, you are go for warp.”

I see a ship, way more advanced than anything I've ever worked with--Concord blue and wormhole black.

And then a warp tunnel that gleams fantastically.

But the strangest thing I've been able to piece together from everything I've seen from each slice of each vision, so far, is the fact that there are no capsuleers here.

Just a crew of maybe a few hundred people.

Not Caldari, nor Amarr, Gallente or even Minmatar. Most definitely not. These faces are odd. I can't quite put my finger on what’s wrong with them. Then there’s this man wearing something around his head which forms circles in front of his eyes, maybe an optical enhancement?

A woman sitting in a mobile seat and pushing herself around with her fingertips pressing against little knobs on an armrest.

Are these people that lazy?

A living, breathing lifeform, totally not encased in any form of liquid or goo, piloting the ship with his or maybe her bare hands.

I don't know many people who do that anymore.

I know for a fact that no one in this galaxy has access to technology like that. Especially if they're going to go around looking as if they don't have the money to pay for it.

Crazy, right?

It’s all like a story unfolding in front of me, in tiny little pieces that are only rewarded upon death.

But what could it all possibly mean?

How many more times do I have to die before the story’s complete?

And why is this happening to me?

It’s the Jove, isn't it?

No, don't kid yourself. They stopped existing a long time ago.

My fingers smear around the edges of my glass as I take a final gulp.

“Aura, show me the headlines please.”

As you wish.

I kick up a pair of platform, businesswoman-style boots and cross leg over leg, three separate screens directly across from me staring back with all sorts of information.

“Veldspar prices are at an all-time-low...”

Yeah, yeah. Tell me something I don't know.

“In other news, Concord is offering a bounty of up to one billion ISK to the capsuleer or capsuleers who bring to justice a group of pirates who have syphoned the resources and very livelihood of New Eden’s most renowned trading corporation.”

Okay, now this is something I can maybe find the energy to care about.

“Another billion if most or even half of the supplies are returned to their rightful owners.”

People are so uppity about ownership.

I used to run a corporation years ago and we had a hangar full of ships.

You gotta just come to accept the fact that, eventually, you're going to trust the wrong person.

And suddenly those ships go missing.

Someone snaked their way into your corporation, befriended most, if not, everyone and took advantage of their place of power.

But once you relinquish a little bit of that exclusive ownership, you may as well pretend it doesn't even exist.

You know, there are mountains of ISK just waiting to be made.

It certainly isn't that hard.

What do I know, though?

I’m just some crazy woman who occupies Friggi most of her days and dies on an embarrassingly frequent basis.

“Visit the NEX store today and discover a new you!”

“Alright Aura, I've had enough.”
#2 - 2012-11-01 23:07:04 UTC  |  Edited by: Meryl SinGarda
The screens switch off.

“Prepare the Megathron this time.”

Are you sure, Meryl?

“Yes. I realize she’s a slow ship, but she’s got the armor plating I need to withstand a group of four or five haphazardly fit cruisers.”

You're going after the pirates then?

“Really,” dusting my sleeves with each hand, I walk for the balcony, “you know I jump at every chance to make a bit of cash. I didn't think it'd be a matter of questioning.”

This isn't about money.

“It isn't?”

You're on a mission to die.

“Says who?”

A door to my left flashes red with lettering that reads, “station environment not yet ready for biological consumption.”

I hear you talking in your sleep about those dreams you've been having.

“Visions.”

Right, visions. Why must you chase these ghosts? What if they aren't real?

“Does it even matter? Why do you care? You're just an interface in a space station.”

I understand. I'll make sure a drink is ready once you've returned.

The hangar hums deafening as a crew of millions of little drones pull my ship into full view.

“Alright, Icarus. Are we ready?”

The ship, named after something I heard from the mouth of one of many within my visions.

“Aura, get me Locator Donovan.”

Right away.

“This is Donovan, what can I do for you today?”

I strip from head-to-toe, tossing my heap of clothing over beside baskets of empty Quafe canisters. The gusting wind of the station’s hangar is like the cool breeze of cryo-preparation--refreshing against my skin and then the little hairs stand on end.

The frisson lasts for what seems like hours before I finally make the descent into a freshly constructed POD, filled with the same familiar green goop which keeps me safely connected to my ship’s systems. You know, along with all of those stupid wires hooked into my spine.

“Could you pull up your list of bounties and give me a location on a few pirates?”

“Sure, you talkin’ about those roughnecks who stole from...”

“Yeah, them.

“Are you naked right now?”

“Are you doing what I asked?”

He coughs over the transmission, “Yes, yes, but the price is going to be just a bit heavier than usual...”

It’s always sorta tough to get yourself oriented in these things, no matter how many times you do it. You go from standing, to crouching and then an awkward floating position as little rubber fingers plug into your back.

And there are capsuleers out there who rarely ever dock.

I can't imagine what that’s like.

“How much?” I let out a disappointed huff.

“Uhm,” clearing his throat a bit, “fifty mimumbleo.”

The POD sits, now, ready-to-go on my gesture.

“Please repeat that, I can't quite hear over your fumbling tongue.”

“Fifty million ISK.”

“Aura, what the hell is my current account balance?”

Six hundred and fifty four million ISK.

“Fine, deposit fifty million into Donovan’s account. Leave a note: You’re fricken’ fired after this.”

Message away.

“Okay, you got your filthy stinking money. Now give me a location.”

My hair dabs into the fluid that surrounds me as my body sinks, teasing at my chin.

“They're actually just a single jump away from you. Ihakana.”

“Got it. Close comms, I’m outta here.”

With a flick of the wrist, the door to my POD seals itself and I become fully emerged.

This is always the part where I can't tell, for the life of me, how long it takes to get from the balcony to the enclosure within my ship.

It doesn’t seem strange to you that these pirates are so close to your home system?

“Should it seem strange? It is a low-security system, after all.”

Yes, it is low-security. But I just think that...

“Look, I appreciate the advice, but I’ll be fine.”

Affirmative.

“This isn’t the initial capsuleer training program, you aren’t my mother.”

I’m an interface in a space station.

“Thank you.” Sometimes you'd think it has feelings.

Space, as seen from the angle of just outside of my ship, is always claustrophobic.

I spin the drones around a bit and gain my bearings, passing by Friggi Seven’s big, grey, pockmarked moon and focusing again on the giant gun barrel arms of my ship.

“Set destination for Ihakana and punch it.”

Warp drive active.

The boom of entering the warp tunnel sets off a ringing in my ears and in a matter of seconds the stargate is slamming into view.

“These guys better be on the other side of this gate. I could really use that cash.”

But you're just a lonely salvage worker. You don't even need that money.

“Aura. Activate the gate, please.”

Light smears across the black of space, I blink a few times and immediately initiate a second warp straight for the fifth planet of the system, one hundred kilometers off.

“Scanner shows...” My eyes glaze over the panel like a blurry dream I’ve seen a million different times, “just a few frigates. Bullshit.”

“Aura, tell me I've got some combat probes laying around in the cargo hold?”

This isn't your scanning ship, Meryl.

What am I thinking?

Right.

Warning: Enemy presence detected.
#3 - 2012-11-01 23:07:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Meryl SinGarda
“What?!”

Before I can react in an adequate amount of time, five ships decloak--completely surrounding me--and as quick as I can bite my lip, my warp drive’s scrambled.

The person I’d assume is their leader forces a comms connection, “Don't even think about firing up those weapons of yours.”

“What do you want?”

He laughs with a cackle, “What do you mean? You've got a bounty on your head the size of the Jita four-four monument--Sansha sympathizer.

“I do not. The hell is that supposed to mean?” Shifting around in the liquid, I imagine I might be sweating right now, if I didn't have insurance.

One of the other pilots, a jittery, squeaky voice breaks in over our chatter, “Yeah you are, you little Quafe addicted wench! You’re wanted dead or alive. Says right here. Extortion, murder, theft and treason for doing... doing whatever you were doing in league with Sansha!”

I did no such thing.

“That isn't me, you’ve got it wrong. I may have killed a few dozen people, but I don't associate with scum.”

There are a few moments of silence before their leader speaks again, “Well, ISK speaks louder than words, I'm afraid.”

Incoming transmission.

“Hey there Meryl, this is Donovan.”

“The hell do you want now?!”

“I'm contacting you to inform you that your clone insurance has been deactivated. You going to fire me? Fine. You should also know that there never was a bounty. It was a setup. A lot of people want you gone. So why don't you just sit back and relax and,” he chuckles, “have a nice day.”

“Of all the horrible situations I've been in, this takes the fricken’ cake...”

“Any last words?” The voice of my imminent and quite permanent death speaks.

“Maybe it’s better this way.”

You are being targeted.

“Aura, donate all of my ISK to Eve University.”

Are you sure?

“Yes.”

If anything, I'll at least pay people to ensure things like this don't happen in the future.

“Excuse me! You want to address the guys with the guns here?”

“Blow it out your wormhole.”

“Oh ho ho! She’s a feisty one!”

And all at once their comms go open and in a shrill, taunting shout, “FIRE!”

Klaxons ring, I close my eyes, charge my weapons and allow myself to just float adrift for these last few moments of the life I've led--greedy, wrathful, prideful.

Whatever.

It doesn't matter.

“Neptune-five to Alpha-one-primary, do you read?” A tall, dark haired man queries, presumably the captain of the same magnificent vessel I saw before.

A gate, inscripted with the word EVE, sits large in the middle of dark space, with little white and silver blips all gathering around.

“Nothing.” He turns to who I’d assume is his right-hand-man. “Can you give me our status, Jacobson?”

“Not only is our link between Alpha severed, but we aren't receiving packets from Earth anymore.”

The two of them turn around in dismay, just gazing into the universe beyond.

“I'm detecting heavy electrical readings from the gate,” a woman who looks to be an engineer approaches, dressed in black and white.

A swarm of bodies gather close to the flight deck.

The pilot lets go of his controls and presses a single button, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to thank you, on the captain’s behalf, for your service to not only Earth, but all of mankind. It is because of us, that anyone has made it this far in technological and human advancement. I regret to inform all of you that we will no longer be able to return. May your thoughts be with your families...”

Between a gulp and stinging realization.

“...and godspeed. Brace for impact.”
#4 - 2012-11-01 23:07:19 UTC  |  Edited by: Meryl SinGarda
And that's it! Hope those who read enjoy this quick little slice of crazy! Smile
#5 - 2012-11-02 00:32:39 UTC
I enjoyed reading that and would have loved reading more. Good job and thank you for writing it ;-)
#6 - 2012-11-02 00:44:08 UTC
Thank you! :) I'd also like to write a "sequel" to this, but I'll save that for when the contest is over.
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