Flames and Stardust

The light stemming from the heart of the golden sun of Orien pours like honey though the room’s only window and mingles with the dust particles slowly twisting around in unpredictable patterns. There are some larger specks that almost seem to levitate in the low gravity. The slow moving air currents are unable to sway them and resolved to just spinning smaller mites around their bulk.

Then, suddenly, a thin cloud of dust forms around the large clumps and starts to navigate towards the surrounding particles. They start moving around wildly, as if trying to escape their inevitable doom - their background is now a nebula, stars and Orien’s sun frozen light.

The smaller mites are tightly packed groups of frigates, circling a large carrier vessel that launched its point defense fighters - one by one the small points turn into silent, tragic little balls of flame. The carrier seems to be overcoming the situation but just barely, its fighter squadrons are being tackled by the light craft and slowly burned down.

A missile the size of a small ship hits the carrier in the side. The nanites rush to their job, but the repair systems are lagging behind the damage. Another missile hits with a tremendous bang and I feel the view coming into focus. I realize I know that carrier, its rusty shape is extremely familiar to me. Sirens are blaring and the central console is flashing red from all its displays - I’m still reeling and a slight rush of nausea sends a shiver down my spine.



Fleeting Existence

Behind the station around Orien III, I’m slowly drifting away, heading to a meaningless point in the void. I’m feeling the soft undercurrents of energy produced by the sun and reflected by the station’s shielding. I feel … neutral - I just like basking in the gamma rays and feel my energy reserves replenishing.

The crew, I can sense, is in a bit of a flurry inside, running around corridors, talking loudly moving, securing, shuffling around - but their bustle I just register as background noise, like the sound of one own’s heartbeat, or breathing - the sound of a functional organism. For some reason, this gives me a vague sensation of plenitude and I stretch the energy condensers a bit more to supplement the feeling with a pleasurable, mild power spike.

I wish I could go on like this forever - drifting, being maintained, feeding off suns, hearing the hum of internal systems, nothing but existence, pure and satiating.

I jolt back to reality as one of the most central hatches slides open - I have learned what this particular one means. It’s the one that signals the good times are over. It means all that energy is getting expended. it means pain, strain and feelings. It means existence may end at any point in the very near future.

It’s the sound of the capsuleer’s pod about to become connected to my systems.

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