I don't want to die again

All my life, I’ve been told that capsuleers are immortal.

It’s what the news anchors said, it’s what the tabloids said, it’s what the cloning companies said, it’s what my family said. It’s what I was told when I signed up, it’s what I was told in training, and it’s what I continue to be told now, both by corporate, and by other capsuleers who have died and lived a hundred times.

When a pod is breached, the transneural burning scanner takes a snapshot of the pilot’s brain, and then transmits that data to a cloning facility where it is implanted into the brain of a cloned body, allowing the person to live on. And I am told that the pilot’s consciousness - the stream of experiences and self-awareness that make that specific pilot who they are - is preserved, unbroken, through this process.

But that just… doesn’t make sense! The process I just described doesn’t involve moving the brain - or the consciousness it contains - from one body to another! It creates an inanimate digital scan of of the brain, which then dies, and proceeds to recreate that scan inside the brain of a completely different person! What this means that the person who died isn’t the same person who wakes up in the cloning bay! They can’t be, it’s scientifically impossible!

And yet, even though everyone knows perfectly well how this process works and should understand its frightening implications, it feels like I’m the only capsuleer who is still terrified to die out there! Why am I the only one who seems to understand that when a capuleer dies, they still lose their life! The fact that some impostor will wake up with your stolen memories shouldn’t be comforting to you guys, so why is it?!

I realize that most capuleers confront this at the end of their training, when they make the “transfer” into their initial clone. I suspect the reason for that step is to prevent cases of death anxiety in capuleers, like what I’m going through right now. A lot of trainees can’t bring themselves to take that final step, and by all accounts, I should have been one of them. But I - in my typical, self-sabotaging way - managed to suppress my fears and suspicions about the cloning process at the back of my mind for five years straight, only for them to return as I was lying in the operating room, about to receive my first transneural scan.

When I woke up in my new body, it hit me all at once. That I wasn’t Alicia Nguyen. That Alicia Nguyen was dead, and that I was a fake. I grieved for her, for the person who used to be me. For that young woman who had her life cut tragically short, never to experience the future she was promised as a capsuleer… the future that I stole from her!

And the worst part is… it feels like I’m the only one going through this. Every other capsuleer I’ve met - if they aren’t completely desensitized to dying - at least believes in the idea that they will continue to exist after being podded. Why am I the only one who doesn’t feel immortal? Why am I the only one who seems to realize that - logically - the cloning process can’t make me immortal?

I’m still relatively new to capsuleering, and I really don’t want to die again. I don’t want to lose this life. And I don’t want the person who wakes up with my memories to feel the pain I felt, when I realized that the person whose memories I had taken - a person who, in that moment, I loved like a sister - was no more.

Anyway, thank you for reading. I understand that this Summit does not necessarily exist for rich, sheltered Gallenteans like myself to vent and complain about our posthuman pseudo-godhood. Yes, I know I need to “HTFU” and so on and so forth - I’m sure that will come in time - but right now, I just… need to get this out there. I need to know that somewhere in New Eden, there’s a capsuleer who understands what I’m feeling right now.


Alicia Nguyen
Independent Capsuleer


They lied. It’s a comforting lie that they (and a lot of capsuleers) use to shield themselves from an awareness of our mortality, but it’s a lie.

Correct. It’s a duplicate. You will die, and your friends will never mourn you, never even notice. You may have already had this happen with friends who have died without your knowledge.

First: You’re not. Take a deep breath, and understand that fact. You’re not alone. You’re not the only one. And you’re not insane.

Because they convince themselves that that person… will be them. They don’t remember previous deaths (after all, that iteration of their identity died after the recording stopped), so they can keep telling themselves they’re the original. You have it exactly right that it’s to prevent anxiety like the anxiety you’re experiencing right now.

You’re not a fake. You are Alicia Nguyen. You’re just not that Alicia Nguyen. You’re… an Alicia Nguyen, and you should take comfort in that. I don’t mean for yourself, though. I mean… take comfort in the fact that your friends—her friends—won’t have to live their lives without her in them. That your family doesn’t have to experience that empty hole whenever something makes them think ‘Alicia would love this’. You are still a valid, real person, and you fill a unique space in the lives of others—even if it’s a space other iterations of ‘you’ have filled before, and will fill later. Don’t lose sight of that.

‘I’ have died 133 times. I am the 134th iteration of Arrendis Culome, wayward daughter of Clan Stjörnauga of the Sebiestor Tribe. Every time I undock, I know I might die. Every time we undock, my baseliner crews know they might die. And they know that I don’t consider myself immortal, and I don’t want to die. They all have backup brainscans for the same reason I do: because if something happens, we don’t want our loved ones to even need to know.

We want to spare them that pain. After all, we’ll be dead. We won’t care if we’re mourned or if we’re forgotten or just incorporated into others’ memories of the ‘person’ that is our identity, to them. We won’t. Because, you know, dead. But at the same time… we don’t want to end up dead, so we try real hard not to.

And I know, you might come away from that thinking ‘then why the hell do you undock?’ and the answer is: we undock for the people who’ve undocked for us. People we’ve fought alongside, who’ve risked their lives for us. And when that’s not enough reason for one of my crew to risk their lives anymore… then they don’t undock anymore. I try to find them an administrative job in my hangar or in one of the structures around the Trophy Case grid. They are, after all, the safest thing this side of corp-owned stations in the big four. And we throw them a big party for finally getting their heads screwed on straight. :wink:

Like I keep telling people: I’d really like to celebrate a birthday. Maybe next August? It’s unlikely, given my average life expectancy is currently around 37 days… but hey, I can dream, right?

You’re not alone. You’re not insane. We are not immortal. We are… disposable, to those in power: easily and immediately replaced by someone they know will do our job as well as we did. But that doesn’t make you less real, and it doesn’t make your life, however long or short it might be, less worth living. It just means you owe it to yourself—and to all the future yous—to pack as much living into it as you can. They’ll thank you for the memories, I think.

I’m certainly thankful for mine.


These anxieties are perfectly normal and more common than you appear to think. As capsuleer technology for independent pilots enters its third decade, the mental health challenges accumulating over years of this lifestyle are becoming increasingly apparent. I can only suggest considering what form of support would suit you best. There are various options you could try at the Infomorph Wellness Center in Stacmon but keep an open mind as inspiration can be found in the most surprising places. For example, although not being a follower of the Rite myself, I found these words of Cardinal Graelyn’s most thought provoking.


You’re not the only one. I used to have this same reaction very strongly and still do not enjoy the experience. Some things that worked for me:

  • Get back into the pod as fast as you can after waking up and keep on flying. Even if you don’t need to now, there might be times when ability to do that will be vital. Also it does help with the feeling that your life was cut to get back to what you were doing before the cut.
  • Alcohol helps. No, seriously, it does. Once you can get some friends and get drunk af.
  • Don’t spend the next few nights alone. Having kin or someone you have kinship feelings to pull you back to this world from the nightmares is an immense stabilizing factor.
  • Get comfortable with your spiritual beliefs regarding cloning. Don’t rationalize it from tenets and teachings but meditate and find out what your spirit really believes.
  • For me, eventually, it got easier. Not via HTFU as such, but just, enduring it as necessary for what we are. I’d recomment sticking to it. “Eventually” was a long time, though - first 20-30 times?

So you die. So what?

Think of it like this. You got things to do in life. Goals you want to get accomplished. Everyone does. And often times it costs people their lives. But now, you don’t gotta worry about that: you can die as many times as you need to, and still come back at it. Setting goals and working towards them, death or no, is how you stay sane.

If you’re really worried about your sanity, make a backup of you in a body in cold storage. Save it away, disconnected from the whole network, so you don’t jump into it. Set it up so you have the memories you did at the time of creation, then just keep a log of all the important stuff, so you can get caught ip. If you feel yourself spiraling out of mental health, nix your current clone and use your backup. You’ll be rid of a lot of memories, but you’ll also be mentally healthier.

In a sense, you are, it is your own personal hell and all the liars that whispered you on to your damnation profit from your decent.

I’m afraid you are insane, Arredis is gravely mistaken, although I am sure well intentioned. How can we not be insane when all that is transmitted is a snapshot of our ultimate trauma and the events that lead up to it?

The system perpetuates trauma by design. I sometimes wonder if The Sisters are right to consider us abominations.

So Gallente, you’re in hell, what next?

I have some suggestions I’d like to share with you privately if you would welcome it.

No, it doesn’t. The experience of dying is not transmitted. Hell, death by burn scanner isn’t even a traumatic way to go. Your burn scanner activates in a microsecond as soon as the pod is compromised. Meanwhile, consciousness itself? That’s a cobbled-together experience of 80-100 milliseconds. So that’s 80,000-100,000 times as long as the sudden stop that happens to your brain. You don’t have time to register it. All you get is the impression of a bright flash, and no pain. See, the brain has no pain receptors. It can interpret pain from other parts of the body, but it can’t actually feel pain, itself.

I don’t know what trauma you remember from losing a pair of haulers, but what gets saved by the burn scanner? That’s all very carefully limited by the safety cutouts in your pod’s systems. Now, maybe that first loss twelve years ago was traumatic for you in other ways. That’s certainly possible, and maybe that’s got you reconstructing the memory (since, you know, outside of the scanner itself, we don’t ‘record’ events so much as we reconstruct them later) in a way that includes convincing yourself that it was some excruciatingly painful experience… but that’s not the burn scanner.

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I’m not here to measure reproductive apparatus Arrendis, although I would like to know what drugs you are taking to mediate the sensation of controlling a craft under fire.

That may be true, although I vividly recall the residual feed of a remaining camera drone returning to the visage of my former thermal-scarred and flash frozen body. While I sympathise with your readiness to dismiss such images in your line of work I, like Alicia, am not keen to experience them again quite so quickly.

Namas Alicia

I invite you to visit Intaki and reach out to us.

We Intaki have been practicing Rebirth for generations, long before the ascendancy of the capsule and clone.

I believe our unique experiences might offer you some peace of mind, and I’d be happy to sit with you to help you with your fears.


Theoretically. If there was a mechanical living entity with self-consciousness and this entity died and its brain or data from a “brain” was transferred at subspace to new body, would you say this new body can be same being?

If you think it could work for mechanical being, and I do so, why not for being from flesh and bones? In the end we are machines both, only the tech for cloning differs.

Still, I am scared of death as well…

I have died more times than I can be bothered to count. I am here, no more changed than by any other events in my life. Arguably quite a bit less by death than by far more lasting impacts. Before functional immortality, my life hung by a thread time and time again, and other baseliners face death as a matter of course. Soldiers, emergency personnel, every crew member we’ve ever brought to hell and back.

You don’t want to die? Few can claim otherwise, and yet they keep going. They keep bringing their guns, spirit, heart and courage to the field knowing that they won’t get to come back when they become the grim reaper’s harvest.

Will you be so much lesser than they, when you are granted infinitely more? Will you quail before your duty, when they face it as mortals?

Those who have that ridiculous attachment to ‘continuity’ and other such nonsense that makes no sense neither philosophically or physically can have their strange views and takes, and you can even subscribe to them if you so wish. That makes you no lesser than the rest of us.

What would make you lesser is valuing that continuity over your moral and ethical duty to those to whom you are bound.

Get back up and get to work, capsuleer. Death doesn’t even register as the price to pay. There’s so much worse in store for us all than that minor inconvenience.


This being welcomes you to the typical capsuleer world. Having a similar feeling is normal. Take act, and be aware you’re not the same anymore. Farewell and see you next clone.

Everything said here, 100%.

That said, you can always terminate your clone contract. You’ll die again because everyone will have to face their final death sometime, even us, but at least that time you won’t be back to have an existential crisis over it.

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For sure would not be the same being because all phenomena is composed by all it’s parts.

I suggest killing this one to see if her next clone is less prone to questioning.

The Problem is, facing the same problem again and again and again. And if again is not enough, again.

Sorry, but thats clonelife.

The universe is full of spirits. They interact with us through the wind, the water and the elements. Do not dismiss the spacer’s hunch that a creaking in the bulkheads might be a ghost. Must spirit also then flow through a digital brain scan or template genomap?

You, too, are a spirit. Perhaps you die and your ghost shall tarry here a little longer in a new form. I am thankful I may now die more than once for my people. But make no mistake that all of us will meet our ancestors eventually. See to your duties.


How do some capsuleer schools keep turning out people like this? Does UCaille literally just teach people the ad copy?

If you really find that dying is not for you, then you could always avoid work that sees you exposed to the risk thereof. Alternatively you could always consider settling down and starting a family once you feel ready.

Dying is just transportation.