In response to Miss North


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #1

Sometimes, a person is just a person.

A ship on the other hand is something that is so much more to me. A vessel, from the very first corvettes an Empyrean learns to integrate with to a Promethean itself is the end result of centuries of struggle, and ingenuity in the only fields of philosophy that truly mean a damn: Mathematics and the Sciences. A ship, from the earliest days in which our ancestors sailed upon the seas to today in which they sail in the void among the stars, has always represented the pinnacle of achievement in thought, engineering, and industry of the nations and civilizations that give birth to them and thus the power and prestige of their society is rightly reflected in their navies.

Every vessel we use as a capsuleer is the end result of the work of centuries of constant societal advancement and the product of both thought and labour. The very act of generating a warp field required a civilization to first learn the basics of arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry and algebra; unify them in an algebraic co-ordinate system; find the extensions of that co-ordinate system into the third dimension by studying the irrationality of the square root of two; developing calculus from first principles; combining calculus with co-ordinate geometry to be able to explore differential geometry, linear algebra, non-euclidean geometry, vector spaces, and matrix operations which can then be used to form the basis of relativistic and quantum field theories according to empirical observation; which can then be extended via further advancements and research in quaternions, complex analysis, homotopy, and manifold theories to have the required geometric and scientific understanding in order to generate the warp tunnel that we use everyday and which many most likely take for granted.

That is a very abbreviated version of the underlying basis in warp manifold theory but I believe it illustrates that the technology we use is not a fluke or just mere happenstance to take for granted, but rather the end result of civilizations progress representing millions if not billions of man-hours in research and study from the very first days our forebears abandoned hunter-gathering for agrarian pursuits and thus had the the communal security and the surplus of food that allowed the surplus of thoughts to be explored.

It is all too easy, either historically or at present, to focus too much on the stories of political actors: Kings and Queens; Emperors and Empresses; Chieftans; Presidents or Senators; Corporate Executives; Generals and Warlords. Yet in truth their stories are but the subtext written by the true authors of human history: The philosopher, the scientist, the naturalist, the engineer, the logician.

How many Kings found an ignominious end due to disease later found to be curable?

How many Emperors deposed and their Empires left to ruin because their Generals could not compete with a rival who used steel when they still used bronze?

How many Chieftans found their lands taken and their people enslaved because they could not defend themselves against an Empire with better ships and more powerful weapons?

How many corporate Executives replaced when a rival company develops a better product or more efficient means of production?

How many Presidents impeached because they could not filter their thoughts on social media feeds?

They never created history on their own, their stories are just the byproduct of technological advancement as the tools we create change not just individuals but societies themselves.

A ship to me, in the combination of all its technologies becomes the purest artifice of human endeavour; creativity; thought; industry and history manifested into form reflecting the intents of its designers and the cultural purpose of the civilization and society that gave birth to its function. Not even the nullsec blocs with all their wealth and power have the ability to design and bring into being even the tiniest of corvette craft of their own ingenuity and must continue to subsist upon the alms of ship design that true powers permit them to use and create – which applies to each and every freelancer including myself. Even the criminal cartels have more claim to civilization and societal function.

As a capsuleer the ship, that apex achievement of my human legacy, in the moment of my integration and symbiosis between my flesh and its metal do I become like those Gods of old to breathe my life upon its clay and together we become something far greater than each of us separate could ever be. I bestow upon my ship my complete and total self without reservation or hidden truths. My hopes, my dreams, my ambitions, everything that I am down to the blood flowing in my veins becomes hers in an act which for me is spiritual ritual that strips away both fear and doubt; a confession that reveals the false catechisms of morality or redemption for the lies that they are; an act of iconoclasm that casts down the false idols of my constructed personality to shatter so that I am no longer blind to my own nature and the truth of my own humanity – primal and raw, the beast of pleasure and pain; rage and joy; anger and bliss; ready to pursue the old way and the true way of conflict that has always been demanded: out of fear, pride, and self-interest. When words no longer need to be spoken and the only dialogue that is required are the purely Melian to be uttered with violent vehemence.

In return the ship becomes as the locus of my own personal empowerment of my emotions, of my senses, of my personal agency and ability to act. Warship and true self manifested as one in a singular purpose and intent to fulfill that for which they were designed for. Able now to see the true billions of shades of colours awash in the universe. To hear the singing of stars in their hydrogen sonatas. To feel the caress of particle streams against shields like the kiss of a welcome lover upon the skin. To taste in exquisite detail the return signals from the directional scanner (slightly sweet like vanilla, must be a frigate; a destroyer even sweeter). To tremble inside as the sussuration of the warp drive increases in crescendo until at last the vacuum field bursts into being. All these feelings and more are granted to me, elevating my thoughts and perceptions to a point of complete and total happiness made possible through my self-actualization as fully, wholly, and completely what I am.

When I am divorced from my ships for any length of time it feels like an amputation has occurred. I can feel the absence of my vessel around me like the pain of a phantom limb and it becomes both a mental and physical loss such that I have been made to be a cripple and lesser than what I am. How dull and diminished everything is when the ghost of my infomorph must be trapped within the prison of, “Just another person”. I do not know what possible appeal or fascination other informorphs seem to have with being only human seems to hold for them. For me it’s much akin to those children who play house and pretend to be grown ups; except this time the affectation is trying to pretend you’re still fully human with all that entails; that you’re still whatever the memories of your own continuity make you think you are. What use are such silly and pointless games of pretend and make-believe?


(Jev North) #2

We agree on the opening sentence, at least.

Starships are one of the pinnacles of human achievement and we lose them in seconds, over the most basic of errors. There’s an underlying reason you named your frigate line “Shotgun,” that they’re numbered rather than named, that the story of “Shotgun 7” is exceptional; it’s the one that lived.

I know you like to fly. I know you like the feel of flying, because we’ve all experienced the rush of sense expansion of plugging into a shiny ship. You’re stumbling on a truth when you label the experience as spiritual, and I’m going to draw it out further by labeling it as dangerous. Peak experiences, while exhilarating, don’t actually expand your mind. The feel of the solar wind brushing against your hull is breathtaking, but teaches you nothing beyond the fact that it is breathtaking.

Morgana Tsukiyo famously ■■■■■■ her brains out, you may yet link them out of existence. Feeling diminished when not currently plugged in doesn’t sound like an expanded self to me; it sounds like addiction.

I want a self dat doesn’t include the ship I’m flying. I want a self that transcends the ships I’m flying; one that flows easily in the available space, drives it well, take its sudden de-shipping with that supreme attitude the Gallente call aplomb, and is then directly ready to repeat it with an entirely different one better suited to the task. Or just happy to exist separately for a while.

You say can’t imagine being “just” human anymore. I dislike the word “just”; it tends to hide an awful lot of glossing over. Your language here worries me.

At risk of judging well outside of my own experience, I think these capsuleers aren’t playing at being human, they’re trying to be human. They may fail horribly in the most varied of ways, but the attempt is genuine; they have a need, a loss they’ve experienced, a void they’re attempting to and might perhaps succeed at filling. I’ve pretty much lost this, and am on the fence about how much I should care – but I think you never had it to begin with, and so don’t understand its value, and so dismiss it as play.

“Playing house” isn’t a children’s game anymore when you’re an adult. Finding ways to live together and create a next generation is mortally serious business.

I want a self that’s also human, and can build something that will outlast its own existence.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #3

The Shotgun 7 was chosen as my flagship because I felt a kinship with it, of all those it was built with, only it remains – an exceptional story by an unexceptional tool. I do not consider myself exceptional by the same measure, I am just a tool well worn in my purpose that survived either by luck, fate, or just mere happenstance. I was trained for singular purpose and design since I was a child: for war and conflict. I was not alone in this, and year by year of blood spilled by my cohort – my brothers and sisters – who were given the gift of peace in the arms of the Mother, Kaasuya, until only I was of few who remained.

I loved them all, and I love them still as I remember them held close to my heart for the long decades since have not yet disabused me of the strength of bond in our kinship. They are gone and yet I’m still here. To live with my own shame and guilt. Much like my little kestrel, no matter how much one repairs surface details there’s still those point defects and internal plates that just won’t fit together like they should anymore.

My war did not end with the armistice was signed. Before that I did wonder to myself, when the war ends will anything change, will I be different? The truth was, nothing did change. Not for me. Not then and not now. When people say I’m cruel, lacking in compassion, a monster, or lost my humanity or didn’t have it to begin with I have to admit that they’re right. I can’t change what I am, what I was always intended to be: A weapon.

If people think me unkind or unpleasant in my words is because I want to prevent at all costs… you know when you watch those news shows about the latest capsuleer conflict and the anchors will wax profusely about the beauty and wonder of the tools of war in use or something like that. While a bunch of “Military experts” talk for hours about every different specification to infographics in the background, endless loops of footage from the latest conflict playing.

I despise such things because they sanitize war, in romanticizing or glorifying violence they diminish the costs and sacrifices of those who do have to pay the price. Weapons injure, they maim, they inflict suffering, they are cruel and they are impersonal whether guilty or innocent alike. Most of all they kill.

I do not desire romanticizing or glorification for the work I undertake for I also have done these things and will do so in future. I know and understand the costs associated with the use of weapons. I feel at least some obligation to remind others of that should they wish to use me in similar fashion the price they must accept, and which I will demand in payment as the devil’s due.

As to what sort of weapon? I am still learning the extent.

I am the anima; and the vessel my animus.

I cage myself like an animal within the dark of the capsule; suffocate and drown in the hydrostatic fluid – breathe in, breathe out; the syncretion begins to summon the storm within so that I may descend through the eye of the maelstrom and in the calm I learn what I am. Who I am.

That process of exploration and discovery of myself as an experience in and of itself feels more worthy and true in bestowing a sense of purpose and meaning to my life than to be without it. If being human is to discover, explore, and experience that which one feels their purpose and gives meaning to their own existence then being integrated with a vessel in the violent throes of combat to better know me is what feels the most human thing of all.

Everything anyone else has tried to tell me as to what it means to be human seem just like abstraction by comparison. I can understand it as such, but I cannot ever feel it to the same extent I think they think I should or could.