Why are so many capsuleers orphans?

I was talking to my parents the other day on the holo, and they told me that I was really lucky that I had them. I was like “what do you mean?” and my dad said “do you know how many capsuleers are orphans?” I thought he was just being weird and maybe he was, but then I started researching this and he’s RIGHT - looking through the biographies of capsuleers, almost all of them have deceased parents! Not only that, they always died in some weird tragic way, like none of them ever died crossing the road or anything, it was always during some terribly important conflict or something. Then he started talking about how I should make contact more often because statistically he probably won’t be alive for long and I was like “give it a rest with the emotional blackmail dad, why do you think I wanted to become a capsuleer in the first place” and then mom got like totally annoyed at me for the rest of the chat, but I digress…

Anyway, since the IGS is kind of a random sampling of people from all different weird backgrounds, and probably the only culturally diverse community I really have any exposure to, I thought I’d ask you all: who has both parents who are still alive? What do you think attracts orphans to capsuleering specifically? (Obviously it’s not money to financially support their non-existent relatives.) Is this more common in certain areas of space and among certain people? Also, by being still alive, are my parents making me look bad?


There was a pretty good study of this phenomenon that was published not so long ago. I’ll see if I can find it.

A-ha: Here it is: [YC 121 NECWC] Early-life traumatic experiences as predictor of capsule compatibility


I have both of my parents alive, but I don’t get along with my father.

I don’t think it’s the case of orphans being more attracted to capsuleering. I think it’s a case of selection bias among your sample.


Wow, that’s an interesting read.

No wonder I have rubbish flying skills and barely scraped through to graduation. I don’t have the right background for this. I’m out of my depth! There I was all through Academy days getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to train flight maneuvers when I should have been putting a contract on my parents or sleeping in a crater in Rens for a year.


I’d love to see some wide-ranging statistical data. Does anyone have any?

Not that I know of.

There indeed is a growing body of evidence that the physiological changes caused by early and/or accumulating psychological trauma are related to capsule compatibility.

The Sudilgeir Circle of Metacognitive Analysis is probably the most famous group working on the question, though it must be said that if the work by Allartil et al with the Republic Fleet Research Circle for Improvement of Capsuleer Training could be declassified I believe it would shed a lot more light on the topic.

My own circle has made some recent advances in connecting the breaking down of normal kinship attachment as an intermediate predictor of trauma and compatibility, but as the topic is very sensitive, we face some trouble with its publication. Current times have not helped much with this issue.

Sky Seolec, PhD (Sb.)
Floseswin Circle of Clone Psychology
Republic University, Floseswin, Metropolis


Ah! I knew I wasn’t just making this up!

If anyone were to slip me any unpublished research papers on this, I would read them with interest and solemly promise not to make them public. Especially because if this stuff got out, my dad would gloat like so much, which would be so super annoying, I hate it when he’s “right” and knows it. He’ll be talking about it for months, using it as a way to make me do stuff… “remember when I was right about the orphans, I’m right about this too” UGH just don’t, dad.

While i don’t have a mom or dad, i have a vast set of cousins,uncles,ants, great this and that. I guess it comes with being matari :D, cherish your parents. There may come a day when they are gone, i wish i had a mom and dad to winge about.
Instead i have to make do with relatives and they can really gang up on yah, no be happy with your parents.

I’ve never had parents due to tube child stuff. On the flip side, it hasn’t really ever bothered me that much. Am I a technical exception?

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I’ve had the pleasure of growing up in a complete, stable and well-adjusted family. So has my husband.

This might explain why neither of us are actually all that good at capsuleer stuff.

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I sincerely hope not, because mine are also very much alive. We’re not as close as we used to be, but they did their absolute best to raise me right, and mostly succeeded. My trauma’s rooted in other sources, ha ha haa-… ■■■■.

Uh. Hi. Orphan with childhood trauma I don’t remember anymore, here.

So, this is just kind of an educated guess but seems like a lot of the cause here might be self-selection?

Maybe it’s changed a little in recent years, but, historically, capsuleer training has been kind of extremely dangerous. Getting ourselves to the point where jacking into a ship, and then coming back, was second nature wasn’t at all risk-free. Mindlock, wetgraving … you could break your brain kind of forever.

It might take a little quality of, “I don’t care what happens to me,” to go through with such a thing, so, traumatized psychological state manifesting as, maybe, depression, maybe a plus? Also, it might sometimes help not having parents to try to talk you out of it.

Further, the actual experience of being an egger can be pretty alienating. It might be more appealing to people already feeling a little alienated. So there’s that.

Basically it seems like something you’re way more likely to get into if you’re a traumatized, emotionally- and socially-isolated loner with maybe self-destructive tendencies? It’s just, you know, just … a sense I have.


My parents are both alive.

Well, since there’s that whole ‘genetic compatibility’ and ‘high likelihood of death during training’ combo, probably ‘I can do it, and I have nothing to lose’.

Uhhhhhm… no?

Yeah, that.

Although in my case, it really was more ‘you’ve got the right protein combo, so the Clan’s chipping in to send you off to do this. Don’t die and make that a waste. Don’t go insane during training and make us all look bad. Don’t end up some rampaging psychopath who spends all their money on stupidly expensive ships and never sends anything back to her people. Don’t kill anyone we like… at least, not in a permanent way.’

Sooooo… yeah, I think I’ve done ok by those measures.


Another capsuleer checking in with both my adoptive parents quite alive and kicking and leading unremarkable lives in a suburb of Caille.

Both my parents are alive, although I do not speak to my mother. My father lives with us.

My mother is alive and well. I speak to her often.

My father died eight years ago. I… did not do well to honour the leadership he gave to the Katanga Caravan.

My daughter… is estranged. I haven’t heard from her since the Caravan broke up… she will be nineteen now. Khali, if you read this, please… a lot has changed.

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Both parents alive, retired and living safely where nobody will find them. Siblings alive as well, so far as I know. My two sisters are doing well enough in a non-dangerous life, of that I’ve made sure. My older brother disappeared years ago, and while I know he’s alive, he’s been incredibly illusive.

Isn’t being an orphan, just a capsuleer’s version of planetsiders being vegans?

It’s really the minority, but they are always willing to tell you straight away.

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My parents are still alive even if I’m dead to them.

I think Arrendis is more or less right. People whose parents might be dead might feel as if they’re risking less. There might also be some link to tragedies befalling somebody and capsule compatibility, but I’ve got no real evidence.

No idea.