Sunday, 27 February 2011

Journal: 112.2.27

One unexpected side-effect of all this incursion hunting I'm doing is that I'm acquiring a fair few scraps of Sansha armour plating to do... pretty much whatever I like with. Mostly, it's become my material of choice for sculpting. Cia's flowers were just the start...

The joy of it is just how much of a challenge the stuff is to work with. Those supercarriers are so easy to bring down once the shields have dropped that it seems unintuitive that the armour they're layered with should be so difficult to cut, drill, melt and shape.

That's comparatively easy of course. "Easy" in that we only have to fling enough firepower at them to devastate a small continent.

Get it down on the scale of laser-sculpting tools, abrading drill heads and human hands, and you realise that it is in fact a non-uniformly crystalline metallo-ceramic material with some remarkable properties. It bends and flexes like metal - you could build a spring out of it - and it's tough, so compression shockwaves and kinetic impacts just transmit through without fracturing it. Its melting point appears to be somewhere in the order of 5500 Kelvin, but considering that it vaporises at about the same temperature. It's a semiconductor with a similar electrical resistance to a Silicone crystal.

Interestingly enough, the easiest way to cut and shape it I've yet found has been a simple piezoelectric vibroscalpel. I guess if you're designing starship armour, the possibility that somebody might take a surgical tool to it isn't ranked high on the list of eventualities to cover.

...I wonder how we can exploit that?

Save. End.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Journal: 112.02.22

Thirty straight hours plugged in. been a LONG time since I last did that. Think the last time was Deklein, the MC fight.

Made me wax all goddamn nostalgic, despite the pain in my back from being curled up too long, or the disarming, itchy too-softness of my skin where it'd gotten fat with water from the pod gel. Or the strange heat behind my eyes from the stimulants that kept me awake, and the gnawing emptiness in my gut from spending more than a day on IV nutrition.

All gone now, of course. A round in the gym, a hot shower, a solid meal with an ice-cold beer and eight hours of sleep. Not to mention the satisfaction of a wallet plumped out with the rewards showered on me by a grateful CONCORD and the deeper satisfaction of knowing everyone at the Roth estate got out safely.

Aato and everyone on the HDH task force that secured Debreth and kept it safe for the duration are getting a big fat hazard pay bonus. Fuck knows what Aato'll spend hers on, she's far too professional to let her boss into her private life. And I'm too professional to pry where she obviously doesn't want me to be.

I don't think she likes capsuleers much. She's just happy to take our money I guess.

Save. End.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Journal: 113.02.20

Eleven days since my last entry. Technically, there's a lot to talk about - my ongoing confusion about my relationship with Nicole, the way I've not spoken with my friends in a week...

Or the reason for that, which is that Meera and Veikko are getting divorced. She was cheating on him.

My own little sister, cheating on the father of her child. I think I might just be more angry with her than Veikko is. Sinikka won't even talk to her.

Dad... got quiet. And looked old. As old as he looked in the wheelchair during his cancer scare. Old enough that it's hard to remember that he's only twenty years my senior.

I'm the only one Meera's talking to at the moment. As mad as I am with her, I'm still big brother, and big brother's there for his sisters, no matter what they've done.  She's a wreck, and she knows it's her fault, but she's torn between two men she loves. Or claims to, at least.

I'm the only one Veikko's talking to, too. I've seen a man look that miserable before, but this is the first time he's not been on the far side of a mirror. We spent a couple of nights round my place getting fraternally drunk and watching Splinterz, in true male bonding fashion. Oh, and discussing how he's coping, whether or not he's doing the right thing by divorcing her, working things out. I don't think he wants to, I think he feels he ought to.

And my niece is staying with Grandpa and Aunty Sinikka right now, confused and stressed and unhappy. but Aunty S is damn good at keeping her distracted.

Dancing through that minefield's left no time for the day job. Hope I can get back out there soon... There's always an Incursion somewhere, and it kind of feels like a dereliction of duty not to be there, fighting them off.

But I guess it would be a dereliction of duty not to be here for the people I love when they need me.

Speaking of, I need to chat with Dad, get his take on it all. I'll go walking with him tonight.

Save. End.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Journal: 113.02.09

It's been the night I dreamed of for six months. The night of our reunion. We kept it simple. A dinner for two in the VIP room of a restaurant on Saisio I don't even know the name of. The Executive suite at a hotel, not her father's place. She's asleep now... I can't sleep.

I think I'm going to find it a little awkward for a while. My love for her shifted while she was gone. It became love-in-absence. The intensity just isn't there any longer, and the new intensity of feeling stems from relief and the sheer joy of her presence, not from...

For her, it's like the last time she saw me was only a week ago. But I've had six months of coping with her being missing. Six months of... I don't know, mourning? Coming to terms? Those six months have changed how I feel about us and about her. And about myself.

But gods, here she is. She got thin in that Sisters hospital. Thin but fit. All the curves are gone. She's different behind the eyes, too. Not quite the same Nicole that I remember. Not quite.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Inbox: YC113.02.08

From: Nicole Hakatain
Sent: 113.02.08 23:17
To: Verin Hakatain


It feels good to say that again. I visited my father and have been on Saisio since. I started to remember bits and pieces talking to Father and then out walking yesterday I remembered you. I can't believe it has been six months, it feels like yesterday I was in your arms, kissing you goodbye before going out into space. I don't know what happened still, but all I care is that I have you back.

I love you Rakkai,


Monday, 7 February 2011

Journal: 113.02.07

The newest addition to my fleet - a Vulture. Configured to do two things - tank, and run warfare link modules.

It does both superbly. the warfare links go a long way to mitigating Nation infection of local data networks and ship systems. Most of my work is filtering out the imperfections in the shielding systems of my comrades, but it makes an enormous difference to the ease with which we can excise the Sansha presence.

As for the tanking part... well, passive buffer tanking is one of my specialist fields. There's a reason I called this ship the "Unbreakable Vow".

May it live up to the name, and keep the skies of New Eden clear and safe.

Save. End.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Journal: 112.02.04 entry 2

It's been so long since I relaxed properly that I'd forgotten what it felt like.

It feels like a room full of happy people, where the troubles of the world have gone away for just a little while.

Save. End.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Journal: 113.02.04

One of the disconcerting things about a capsuleer memory is just how much strange and apparently useless "junk" information my head contains. Stuff that I didn't even know that I knew until something causes me to remember it.

Stuff like the fact that there such things as "birth month flowers" - that if you're giving flowers to celebrate a birth, then you give a particular species depending on the month.

For February, you give Violets, apparently. So I made some out of scrap metal and junk parts taken from a vanquished Revenant. Cleaned, melted down, shaved and assembled into a neat handful of silvery metal flowers. I think they look like violets. I don't know plants.

sharp edges though. Cut my fingers a couple times, and milling them down to a more baby-proof edge was surprisingly difficult. I went through three sanding heads. But, got there in the end, with the help of a bit of subtle varnish trickery.

Appropriate for Cia? I honestly don't know. But it's definitely a Verin present, and Dad says the best presents are the ones that are definitely from the giver.

Dad's rarely wrong.

Save. End.

Delivery Invoice

Hosoras Varnen Salvage Co.
Salvage vessel "Kalienta"
Based in Akkilen system

Date: 113.02.03

Thank you for your order, Mr. Hakatain!

Customer: V. Hakatain, Hakatain Dynasty Holdings Ltd.

Invoice address: 
Hakatain Dynasty Holdings Ltd.
9-17, 14th block
Deck 11, Section D
Korama III - Moon 10 - Ishukone Corporation Factory
Sela Constellation
LS114 338FD

Order Summary: 

Job code: 100-8636187222-7921

10Kg assorted scrap metal
1Kg assorted scrap electronics
Source: Wreckage of supercapital-class vessel "The Kundalini Manifest", destroyed Ukkalen system, YC113.02.02

Subtotal of items: 187.45 KCS (0.02 ISK)
Total for this order:  187.45 KCS (0.02 ISK)

Thank you for using Hosoras Varnen Salvage!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Journal: 113.02.02 entry 4

I owe the spirits a sacrifice.

thank you.

Save. End.

Journal: 113.02.02 entry 3

Took my mind off Cia and the kids by kicking the Sansha out of Otsabaira. Those motherships take an age before the shields are gone, but after that they just evaporate.

A tremendous sense of a job well done at least, but no reward. I had the misfortune to be in the smaller fleet that didn't contribute as much to the Kundalini Manifest's destruction.

...just how many motherships called "The Kundalini Manifest" does that bastard Kuvakei have anyway?

Anyway, the operation highlighted a need which has changed my skill training course for... probably the next month or so. I'm switching back over to leadership training so I can take over the command of fourty-plus member fleets.

There's no point in having a siege warfare mindlink if you're in a fleet of 47 pilots, and can only assist 30 at a time.

Anyway, here's to showing that bastard that he's not accomplishing anything. Kanpani.

Save. End.

Journal: 113.02.02 entry 2

Cia went into labour today. Problem is, the kids weren't supposed to be born until April.

Premature birth. Twins. there's a recipe for a complicated birth if ever I heard one.

Camille was chatting away on the Summit while she was waiting outside, guzzling an unhealthy volume of ice cream. And from what she described, it sounds like it is a complicated birth.

Obstetrics was never my field... but from where i'm sitting it sounds like one of the twins might not make it.

I hope I'm wrong.

And I hope the spirits see all of them through this.

Save. End.

Journal: 113.02.02

I just saw a health report on my primary clone, the one with the knee that needed therapy. The knee's healed up perfectly, like there was never anything wrong with it, but something stood out at me.

Yesterday, I had a Siege Warfare Mindlink implant installed. That one implant now means that the total mass of cybernetics attached to my nervous system now weighs more than the nervous system itself does. a lot of my skull is now artificial. My brain stem and spinal cord are both sheathed in Graphene. There's not a single structure of my brain that hasn't been penetrated by the filaments of my piloting implants, or the connectors of my neural enhancers.

Just the other day, Cia asked me... something about how I'd drawn a conclusion about something else. I just tapped my forehead, where the ortheoplastic of my skull was replaced to make room for the social adaptation chip.

It's funny. When I think of the word "cyborg", I think of something like a True Slave, or maybe of Amieta Invelen. Of a human with obvious external synthetic components. But of course, I'm a cyborg too. Doesn't matter that the outside looks like a totally normal human (aside from the plugs down my spine). The fact that my nervous system contains a couple of Ukomi superconductors says everything.

It alters the way you think, too. I can read the tiniest nuance of people's expression and body language. I can efficiently multi-task, recall almost any fact I've been exposed to, calculate some extremely high prime numbers in my head, and I reckon it'll be a cold day in heaven before somebody sneaks up on me. Those kinds of advantages don't have an overt effect on my thought process, but I bet they've been an influence.

So, most likely, has the fact that I can fly capital ships with my brain.

Save. End.