The Cormorant's call to the Jackal

A letter exchange between Commander Edward ‘MantelGlobalIndustries’ Adams of Nadire, in service to the Gallente Federation, and Supreme Commander Sahara Jackal of Stribog Kybernaut Subclade, loyal to the Triglavian Collective.


2nd June FC238/YC123

Dear Captain Jackal,

As much as I would normally open my letters up with pleasantries, I cannot really bring myself to do so. I will state that I wish this missive finds its way to you as true as one of my 425mm railgun slugs. That I can sincerely believe in.

You asked what would happen if I ‘poked’ you. Well, here I am. I’m not sure if you will take my words below seriously or with the blase manner that I oft see you exhibit in the Summit, but hear my words all the same. Or read. Audio-file on request.

I am a traitor. I departed from my home nation in exile to the Federated Union of Gallente Prime for a fresh start, as have many others before me have in the past and will in the future.

I love this Federation, even with it’s flaws. The comprehensive guarantees on liberty and rights it gives to the member states and it’s people are unparalled across the cluster. It is the bulwark of freedom and justice across New Eden, standing against the designs of the Amarr Empire and the abuses of the Caldari State that would threaten all those that enjoy protection under the Federation’s aegis. It has been very good to me despite my past transgressions as a member of the State Armed Forces.

So when the Triglavian Collective came on the scene and engaged in wholesale slaughter and violation of the principles in the Constitution and the Charter, as well as the consent of those solar systems that have been dragged kicking and screaming into the literal abyss…

I cannot see the Collective, and any that stand willingly in it’s defence or engage in services to further the advancement of Collective interests across New Eden, as anything but criminals and monsters of the worst kind. At every opportunity, they (including you) must be confronted, challenged and combated where possible to prevent even more from following the fates of Vale, Angymonne, Ala, Ignebaener and Archee.

Invariably, as your comrade Remilia knows, this would mean that should we ever meet in person, we will likely give each other the same treatment as we do in space. That is, putting our hands on each other with serious intent.

Know that I am your enemy, as are all those that stand for what the Federation’s ideals and values are. We have not forgotten those that are lost, and we will prosecute this war until the occupied territories in Pochven enjoy free skies once more. With dignity and honour, not savagery and barbarianism.

I hope one day that you will see the error in your ways and realise that you have committed a grave offense against the people of the Federation, and submit to it’s justice. It is never too late to recognise that one is taking the wrong path in life. Take it from someone that was on that path, and took steps to rectify that.

As the spirits are my witness and my ancestors my guide.

Sincerities,

Edward Adams
Of the Line of Adams
Federal Caldari
Commander
Nadire Security Consultants

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6th June FC238/YC123

Commander Adams,

It took me some time to gather my thoughts for a response to your missive. You are right, of course, that in a forum like The Summit my impatience fuels the tendency to snark. But I will give your words the seriousness they merit.

I thank you for the preambulatory details of your history with the State and the Federation, respectively; for your explanation of the code of philosophy you espouse; and also—most especially - for the unvarnished hatred you pour into every carefully crafted word. God, what magnificent honesty. Not one of my opponents articulates his rage in half so meticulous a manner, nor with such brio. Were I not already fully satisfied in such matters, I would include in this reply a demand for your immediate appearance in my bed. (Even then, the temptation to make the demand regardless crossed my mind, and more than once at that.) And so, I confess: I have read your letter a hundred times these past few days, for no other purpose than to drink the full measure of your exquisite scorn. And yet, here I am, and I thirst for more.

So here is my reply - in which I will refill the vessel of your animus to overflowing.

You serve a philosophy that is both a spectre and a lie. You kneel before an empty altar, offering supplications to an absent God. You pledge your blood and fortune to a nation that desires neither and will rob you of both; unceasing, uncaring, unknowing, and unbroken until it, or you, perish at last. The Gallentean Federation cares nothing for you, commander. It exists solely and only for the trillions of human souls that populate its worlds. And you are not now, nor will you ever be again, one of them.

Because you are not human. . . capsuleer.

You are a possession longing for the approval of the possessor. A hammer that mistakes the grasp of the craftsman for the embrace of a comrade. You are nothing to them, Commander. A mere simulacrum of a soul since departed. There is no threshold of Gallentean evangelism that will finally earn you back that precious, infinite thing.

And well I know it so, Commander, because I once stood where you now stand.

You howl in anguish for those who merit not your allegiance. Hear me well, Edward Adams, of the Line of Adams, you who bear the name of an extinguished soul: You are not Gallentean. You are not Caldari. Those labels are reserved for the mortal masses. Nor should you set your aspirations so low. You should not be with them, Edward Adams. You should be with us.

So long as you remain merely a capsuleer, you are damned. Meanwhile, among the Triglavians, salvation beckons. That which once was Empire space is now becoming something greater — something your meagre “free skies” cannot provide. What you so derisively call the “lost,” those ordinary souls inhabiting the worlds of Pochven, we deem greater: Aspirant Narodnya, who step by step travel the pathway to glory. To transformation into something greater than merely human.

And so are we, Edward Adams. We the kybernauts are slowly. . . becoming. “Guide and grant the flow and be fit for Glorification.” Glorification, commander. Are your eyes incapable of seeing that which I see? Do you not hear Zorya Triglav’s invitation to our kind and rejoice? She offers a transformation of our own; a chance to become something greater than the vacant shell of a human soul. The Triglavians already merge within themselves the human, the constructed, and the Other: something greater than the sum of its parts. How can you possibly choose a life of stagnation over a chance to walk the path of exaltation?

Do not weep for the fate of those on the pathway to Glorification. It is a universal truth of evolution: no inferior species survives contact with that which evolves to replace it. Do not weep for Vale, for Angymonne, Ala, Ignebaener, or Archee. Does the clay weep for the soil when the farmer sets his plow to furrow the ground? That which will grow up under the farmer’s care are sheaves of life-giving golden grain; but the undisturbed field yields nothing, barren, and is damned.

You should join us in the golden fields, Edward Adams of the Line of Adams. Put down the bitter wine of fallen Empires and drink ambrosia in Paradise with us instead.

Jackal

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7th June FC238/YC123

Dear Captain Jackal,

Thank you for your lengthy message. I was wondering if I were to expect it within this week, or this month… this year. I will admit to harbouring eagerness to reading your reply in earnest, if only to see what prattle a Kybernaut had to offer.

Colour me interested by your reply, to say the least.

The very least I can afford you is honesty. Having grown up in a society which allegedly valued being honest and forthright, it has stuck with me to at least be as open to others.

That said, I will not lie to you. I do have the capacity to be misleading, or conceal, or deceive, if it means protecting others, or the member state, the District or the Federation. It is not something I enjoy, but something I will do as long as it does not compromise who I am.

You may harbour your desires for my presence in your bed all you wish. I will not deny you the opportunity to request, either. It is not an event that is all that likely to occur. I would say I am sorry to disappoint, but that would constitute a lie. You will have to sate yourself on the scorn you so greedily and readily glug.

Now, to the meat of my response to your reply.

I serve a Federation that is, at it’s core, based on facilitating peaceful interstellar co-operation and expansion across New Eden, whilst also offering protection to those that are fortunate enough to be within it’s borders. The protection of life, of the rights and freedoms fundamental to every single one of us. That I pledge my allegiance to those ideals does not make me a supplicant to any deity or sovereign without substance. I willingly give my life without reservation in service to those that I have, and will, swear to protect.

You are correct in saying that the Federated Union exists for the trillions that populate it’s member states - that is the core purpose for it’s existence and if it ever became something other than that, it will be unfit and be torn down to be reconstituted anew.

I know what I am. I enjoy the freedom to define myself and my identity in a way that few can outside of the Federation: that I am Federal Caldari. No-one, nothing, can ever rob me of what I am. Not even being an Empyrean can deny me the right to my own identity, or my soul, which is as radiant as the brightest stars in the night sky.

What do you know about where I stand? Why did you cast your lot in with the Collective?

I hear your words - and I reject them outright. We have unparalleled agency to do as we wish in this life that we lead. However, that does not give us omnipotence. We are not gods. We are just as fallible as every other human, prone to anger, despair, love, lust, happiness, to name but a few. Who are we to condemn those in the Federation, or anywhere else for that matter, for merely existing in a system which was of interest to the Collective?

What glory is there to send billions of people that want nothing to do with our affairs? To be forced against their will to participate in the Convocation’s twisted games? Their bodies violated, their minds warped. You would deny them the choice to give their allegiance, or to even leave their homelands. This cruel denial would make one no better than the Nation in essence. What use for ‘proving’ or whatever it is you call it, be those that are unfit or unwilling to partake?

The golden fields you allude to are naught more than illusions conjured by an entity that would merely use you and those others that have sworn fealty to the Convocation as intruments of their will. And what is it in exchange to? Coin? Power? Recognition?

Help me understand, Captain. What leads one to choose this… cult of death? For all my condemnation, rightfully so, of the Collective, I understand very little as to it’s appeal for others that have forsaken New Eden.

Sincerities,

Edward Adams
Of the Line of Adams
Federal Caldari
Commander
Nadire Security Consultants

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9th June FC238/YC123

Commander Adams,

I read your response with great interest. Trading words with you has proven nearly as enjoyable as trading munitions on the battlefield. Though not nearly as enjoyable as other things I could trade with you, behind closed doors.

But let us speak first of words — your words, and all they reveal. Did you think you could deceive me with those patriotic platitudes and sunny affirmations of a contented life in Federal service? You cannot fool me, Commander. I was trained in the art of rhetorical assassination by singularly vicious servants of a merciless Amarrian God. Know this, Commander: the ones who trained me lived long enough to see me surpass them in every way.

You bleed, Edward Adams. The obsidian edges of my letter cut you to the quick. Sliced so deep you bled words and words and words and words – an arterial spray of arguments praying to persuade me that you never felt a wound.

But I promised you honesty, and will not so prevaricate. You wound me no less — and far more cruelly. Because instead of confronting my truths, you wed my words to beliefs I never espoused. Never have I claimed omnipotence – not for capsuleers, nor for kybernauts. Nor would I ever claim us to be gods. We are not even a shade nor splinter of a divine. We are nothing – less than nothing. A capsuleer is a construct: the echo of an engram, encoded into artificial form, deluded by pre-programmed aspirations of agency.

The lowliest baseliner of the most modest means has a greater claim to godhood than any capsuleer. For he is a biological miracle of evolution. He is the crowning achievement of billions of years of random chance, a marvel of intelligence unmatched. . . until now.

And thus we come to the heart of your inquiry: the secret you beg of me to share with you. I should make you beg for it, Edward Adams; I should make you kneel prostrate before me, and pour out the last full measure of your artificial soul in supplication for my favor. I should make you plead for merciful release from your ignorance. I should twist you until you cry out in promises of eternal gratitude from trembling lips and quaking limbs.

You wander the wilderness of stars and find no illumination, and now you land, at last, at my feet and pray to ask me: why. Why, you ask, do I hasten the Weaving of Pochven? What purpose is there to stand with the Triglavians and their transformation of worlds and souls?

I told you once already, Commander, but it seems you did not hear me. No inferior species survives contact with that which evolves to replace it. For billions of years, evolution selects winners and losers: the former to thrive, the latter to perish. And little you care about such things, if you even notice them at all. Why should you? They are nothing so much as the background noise of ordinary, natural order. That which lives, dies. That which is, shall no longer be. Entropy is the ultimate law, whether whispered in quiet expiration or shouted in catastrophic calamity: the raging conflagration that consumes the village, the tsunami that sweeps the city into the surf, the quaking earth that tumbles towers and buries the living under the rubble of the fallen and the dead. The only certainty of human life is that it must inevitably, ineluctably, end. And so it is for the human species no different. Given enough time, the human species will die and be replaced by something that some random chance of biology determines to be superior.

The rule of all creation is simply this: Adapt or die.

And so I ask you: why do you cry out in anguish for those civilians who have been given the precious opportunity to surpass the confines of their evolution to ascend into something greater? Their lives were always doomed. But for the intervention of the Triglavians, ALL of them would live in irrelevance and perish in obscurity. But for some of them – some of them, at least – they may achieve something that precious few in New Eden could ever hope to have: ascendance into a new state of being, beyond human limitations.

You plead with me to make you understand how I could make the choice to embrace the Collective. But I stand no less mystified, at you. Given the chance to become more than an artificial echo, why would you not?

You serve an empire of the walking dead. Your citizens will die. Your institutions will crumble. Your Federation will perish and its atoms scatter among the stars. This fate is foreordained for you, too - so long as you cling to it. What will you choose? When the consuming darkness of oblivion and irrelevancy creep up behind you, when true entropy licks at your heels - will you stand still, impotent, shouting into the void, or will you not at last take my hand and taste transcendent salvation?

Consider it carefully.

You say will not deny me the opportunity to request? Very well, then. Deliver your next reply only with the fevered whispers of your lips across my skin. I demand it, Edward Adams, of the Line of Adams. I demand it.

Jackal

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16 June YC123

Edward Adams of the Line of Adams. God, I love the way your name tastes as it rolls across my tongue.

No doubt you have heard that we are burning all the upwell infrastructure in Pochven. What you dreamed to start in righteous fury we will end in defiant fire.

I offer you the best seat in the house to witness the fireworks, Commander–aboard my ship, in my arms. Come and watch us sear our legend into the stars, we who are the most loyal of all Zorya Triglav’s acolytes.

God, what a lovely way to burn.

Jackal

[The message contains an embedded sound file of an ancient Amarrian torch song.]

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