The Catalyst

They began training as children, learning songs which taught them the basics of ship maintenance, gunnery, and warp drive operations. “The neutron blaster aims up and down, left and right, so we push-push-push the BIG big button, alllllll the wayyyyy down!” Afternoons were filled with riveting history seminars, analyzing how the Supreme Lord Protector conquered the Delve, before returning home to accolades and the veneration of all four empires.

In the prime of His youth, eternally frozen in the visage of Hercules, James settled down on a small farm in the rustic system of Halaima. The Saviour tended to His vineyard, enjoying the relaxing pace of rural life, far removed from endless war. However, word came to Him of the poor miners, struggling to make sufficient isk. They labored under heavy handed CEOs, who greedily snatched up tritanium, hauling it to Jita in quantities which the market could never absorb. As prices steadily declined, the miners lived in abject poverty, huffing mindflood and various wormhole gases. James pitied the wretched miners, and pondered how to save them.

The CODE. changed everything, once James nailed His constitution to the bulkheads of the Caldari Provisions Warehouse. Faster than the speed of light, citizens across the galaxy were amazed at the brilliant new government which James proposed. Henceforth, miners would be granted full citizenship, sharing in the bountiful profits of trade, rather than toiling for a mere pittance. All the peoples clamored to embrace the CODE., and the great bloodless revolution took place overnight, as even mighty Khanid knelt down and swore fealty to James as sovereign High King of Halaima. Of course, James did not wish to rule as just another autocrat, and insisted upon a proper referendum, resulting in a resounding 100% approval of the CODE. There was neither woman nor manchild to be found, who did not aspire to fulfill His sacred creed.

As the children grew up, they learned that these childhood stories were neither fanciful nor exaggerated, but the simple plain truth of the People’s Democratic Republic of New Halaima. They rejoiced, knowing that James was there to watch over them, shepherding His flock with the utmost tender care. However, they also learned that there was another side to this story, for some of the greediest scoundrels in the galaxy only pretended to embrace the CODE., whilst plotting to overthrow James and once again enslave the people. These monstrous traitors operated insidiously across the realm, stealing into asteroid belts when nobody was watching, and depleting the galaxy’s finite natural resources.

Now it became clear what their childhood songs were meant to teach, and the young adults began to seriously study the art of war. They memorized the writings of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, vociferously debating the sage oratory of Asclepiodotus and Vegetius. Livy and Cato spoke to them as dear friends, while they struggled to assemble Catalysts within the sprawling industrial shipyards. Over loudspeakers and videoboards, James addressed them each directly by name, urging them to work faster and harder so that the evil pirate miners could finally be brought to justice.

Eventually, the time came, when they reached their tenth birthday. After assembling one last Catalyst, they climbed aboard, not as workers but as a crew. An immortal capsuleer arrived, clad in black and red, greeting them sternly as they took their posts. There was a final check of the guns, the ammunition load out, the sensor boosters, and the rigging. Just moments ago, a renegade white glaze trafficker had been reported within the Oort cloud of Kamio. The capsuleer asked if they were willing to bring this vile traitor to justice, “ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS!” was the resounding reply.

The ship blasted out of the station, hurtling toward the warpgate. Less than a minute later, the hull quivered as it began final deceleration. “Overheat the guns. Sensor boosters on. Watch range, fire and approach!” Orders snapped crisply from intercoms, as gunners eyed the target growing larger within their scopes. Within seconds it was over, as the crew cheered with joy, “PRAISE JAMES! PRAISE JAMES! PRAISE JAMES!” Suddenly, the lights grew dim. The ship began to shudder violently, “We’ve lost engine control! Hull breach on port section 36A. Prepare to abandon ship!”

They all knew this might happen. Millennia ago, the empires sought to prevent rebellion, by developing an automated system which automatically engaged and destroyed ‘criminal’ vessels. Unfortunately, a fatal flaw in the bot code made this CONCORD system unable to understand that agents of the CODE. were now duly elected public servants of a new civilization. The crew bravely strove to save their vessel, from rogue drones which sought to enforce the ancient tyranny of those who had long since disappeared from history. As liquid flames boiled through zero gravity, their last thoughts were of James, hoping they had earned His blessing.

Excerpted from Aiko Danuja’s biography of Beniot Allier:


Best thing iv’e read this week. Ending almost made me shed a tear.

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