Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Journal: YC114.12.19

After a five-year career, the HDS Penumbra finally blew up today.

That ship and I went through a lot. Spying on Morsus Mihi titan bridge ops in Fountain, running gate camps in Paragon Soul, a trip to the depths of W-space and back, several cyno beacons in hostile territory, taking on four hostile HACs at once and surviving...

Combined Harvest asked Andreus Ixiris to FC the escort for four jump freighters full of humanitarian aid to Evaulon. He asked me to be their cyno. Simple enough gig, but high-risk. I asked for crew volunteers, every last one of the 536 crew stepped up.

The beacon was flawless. All four of the freighters landed inside the station's docking tractor beam range and promptly docked, safely. Successful op, huge amounts of medicine, food, and all the other stuff those people need.

Then, with ten seconds to go before the beacon timed out and I was able to dock... blam. Pirate fleet. I went down instantly. The poor bastards waiting in the inner core escape pods didn't stand a chance.

407 dead. 90 wounded. A fine ship's long and illustrious career finally ended.

But we got the aid through - all fifty billion Kredits of it. I hope it was worth it.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Journal: YC114.12.11

So. The new bounty system is in place.

My first bounty was within about six hours of the CONCORD bill going through. Just for fun, Aphoxema G slapped me with 100K.

Then another 100K for my beard.

Then Malcanis gave me another 100K just because.

So far, so funny and harmless.

Then somebody decided to slap Re-Awakened with a 100 million ISK corporate bounty via an anonymous third party service.

Okay, that's a slightly more serious sum of money. It might tip somebody's mental calculations in favor of a suicide strike on my freighter, the Zaibatsu. We decided to hold a corp tournament to have fun, work the bounty off a bit and sharpen our combat skills - very ReAw.

I woke up this morning to discover that overnight an individual named Toros Culzean has decided to place a billion Kredits on my head, with no explanation. I don't even know the guy. Can't remember ever talking to him.

Why? It turns out that last night there was what I am told is being called "Verin Fangirl Hour" on the Summit. And this person apparently didn't like it. He one billion InterStellar Kredits didn't like it.

I have no idea whether to find the situation hilarious or not.

...Okay, that's not quite accurate. I DO find the situation hilarious. The question is whether or not I should.

So I sold the freighter at a net 600 million ISK profit. No point in keeping it mothballed while I'm working off that billion, it's going to take a while.

Save. End.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Journal: YC11411.28 second entry

One of these days, I'm going to flirt with Schere where Nicole's around to see it. I have GOT to be more careful.

Actually, fuck that. I need to get a better grip on myself.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Journal: YC114.11.28

With Cia and Silver departed, Elayae's asked me to take over some of the jobs around Gulfonodi. I volunteered for manufacturing.

Just on the off-chance that this journal may someday be hacked and read, I won't go into details of what's in the corp hangar but... wow. Even I felt a momentary touch of avarice and temptation. It's a treasure trove in there.

And I have to comb through it looking for the stuff we can start turning a decent profit on. Omens, maybe? A lot of ships are getting overhauled soon, and the Omen's likely to see a price hike. I bet there's already a speculation climb on the graph. The Bellicose and Celestis both look good too.

longer-term, though, I think putting that advanced small shipyard to use. Interdictors, maybe. There's always going to be a demand for those.

Sure I'll think of something. It'd be helpful if Cia had left me a post-it note or something.

Save. End.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Journal: YC114.11.25

That time again, I guess. Nicole left the corp a few weeks ago, now Cia quit today - can't blame her, she has kids to look after - and suddenly I'm surrounded in corp chat by people I barely know.

Thing is, I like it here in Molden Heath. It's quiet enough to have gaps in the market to exploit, lowsec enough for some action if I want it, and central enough that supply runs to Rens and Jita are nice and easy. not to mention I just spent some money overhauling my planetary operations.

No incentive to leave, and plenty to stay. So, I guess the lucky buggers are going to have me for a while longer.

Save. End.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Journal: YC114.11.22

Bunch of FedNav capsuleers in the Summit today. Not freelancers who affiliate with FedNav, I mean actual officers from Tripwire. Three of them, though I only saw two.

Spoke for a while with a rear admiral Auvier Bauvon. Seems like a good man - thoughtful, career officer.

Apparently his son served aboard the FNS Wandering Saint.

If I'd had to endure the kind of reception he got from the freelancers in the channel, especially some of these puffed-up rookies who think the fact they're immortal now divorces them from any obligation towards treating other people in any kind of a positive way...

Don't know how he did it. Especially not with people prodding him about what must have been a very painful memory every two minutes.

He highlighted an area of my quest to understand the peoples of New Eden that I hadn't explored though - ethnically Caldari people born and raised in, and loyal to, the Federation. Apparently Admiral Bauvon is married to a Civire man these days.

I've got a long time to live. It's encouraging that there's so much richness of experience out there to sample. No matter how long I live, I'll never run out of perspectives to try and understand.

I hope I'll get to chat with him again.

Save. End.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Journal: YC114.11.19

To buy (in standardized shipping units):

108,000x industrial-grade silicon crystals

72,000x Toxic Metals (arsenic, mercury)
72,000x Reams Industrial Fibres 
72,000x canisters Oxidizing Compound
72,000x Protein broth
72,000x Algal Biomass

36,000x Precious Metals (silver, gold)
36,000x canisters Plasmoids
36,000x canisters Electrolytes
36,000x Reactive Metals (sodium)
36,000x Chiral Structures
36,000x Biofuel drums
36,000x Bacterial cultures (Escherichia Coli)

18,000x drums de-ionized water

And six barren dirtball planets to throw it all together on so any industrial accidents that may result from this lot won't kill a load of people and ruin the local ecosystem. 

I am a capsuleer, and I am officially crazy.

Save. End.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Journal: YC114.11.17

It's... astonishing just how heavily augmented I am.

Quite aside from the usual quintet of capsuleer improved-grade cortical performance enhancers, my clones are now outfitted as standard with a dizzying array of upgrades.

Ceramic bone lacing, myopolymer muscle weave, bloodstream oxygenation nanites, synthetic nephritic filters, microscale faraday mesh in my dermis that feeds into an ukomi superconductor in my spine that feeds to a charge sink near the lumbar-sacral junction, a spectrometer in my nasal turbinates...

or, in layman's terms, my skeleton is bullet-resistant, I'm 25% stronger than an ordinary man in my physical condition and don't need to exercise to maintain my body, I can hold my breath for an hour, I can smell toxic substances before I inhale or consume them, and even if I did most of them wouldn't hurt me, and if somebody were to try and shock prod or taze me it'd do precisely nothing.

People think transhuman has to mean leaving humanity behind. But here I am, about to go out for a drink with acquaintances tomorrow night, after visiting my sister, brother-in-law and niece during the day, and I spent today in my workshop tinkering with a research project for fun and, admittedly, flirting with some people. least, I'm pretty certain that was flirting.

Trans human. that's the key part. All the best bits of life, and all the worst bits mitigated. We've got to start clawing the term back from the people who've hijacked it and turned it into a horror story.

Save. End.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Journal: YC114.10.08

I think Atkio Vanamoinen forgets sometimes that what is an incredible amount of money even for a well-funded megacorporate research program, is actually a relatively trivial amount of money for an established, experienced capsuleer.

Schere's suffered some kind of an implant malfunction.

Five hundred million. To help her out of it.

I think it stunned him that I was able to produce that much within an afternoon of him telling me how much they were applying to Caldari Funds Unlimited for. He's put me on the books as an angel investor. Hell, he's even negotiated with the Lai Dai board for a 10% monthly compound ROI.

So, I'm going to wind up profiting from helping a.... friend.

How Caldari of me.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Journal: YC114.09.11

[Zainou "Socialite" SAC5000 P-series serial #4829/136/22B]
[User: Hakatain_YVG.]
[Conversation transcript]
[ Recording begins at 114.09.11 01:23:10 ]

Scherezad > "So, um, how is, ah, how's Nicole? I, um, I still haven't, ah, met her. You two are, um, doing well?"
Stitcher > "Mostly by not talking about some of the things I do want to talk about, but... yes. well enough."
Scherezad > "Hm. Yes, that, um, that's the trick, isn't it. I hope that, um, that soon it, uh, it can be. Um, in the open. Secrets are, ah, hard, on a person."
Stitcher > "The truth can be harder. I know that one from experience."
Scherezad >"Um, true! True. I guess you, ah, you have to, um. Choose your secrets, ah, well."
Stitcher > "And exercise your willpower in not sharing them. Especially when you really want to."
Scherezad > "Mm. Well, I, ah, I ohpe you can, um, tell someone. It might, uh, make it easier. Someone safe."
Stitcher > "Heh. That would be Sinikka, my sister. And I know what her response would be."
Scherezad > "Oh! It, um, it's not about, um, about getting an answer. It's just, ah, just about, um, sharing it. Maybe it, um, it won't be as heavy. Um, if you share it."
Stitcher >  "That sounds... like a very good point. Hmm."
Scherezad > "I, um, well. I try. But, ah, whatever it is! I hope it, um, it doesn't, ah, bother you. We, we have enough, um, troubles, as it is."
Stitcher > "to having enough troubles as it is, then!"
Scherezad > "To, um, troubles! Kampani!"
Stitcher > "Kanpani"

[ Recording ends at 114.09.11 01:35:31 ]
[User comment follows]

If she only knew...

Save. End.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Journal: YC114.08.29

I want to tell them.

Either of them, both of them, it doesn't matter, the urge to let them know is damn near overwhelming. I've got this irrational optimistic hope that if I just come clean, everything will go just fine.

But I know better. How would it really go? "Rakkai, I need you to know that I fell in love with another woman while you were gone and try as hard as I might I can't quit her. I still love you very much, but I can't stop thinking about her. When I'm with you, I catch myself wishing she was here with us. Can I have you both?"

Yeah. Say goodbye to your happy marriage, meat-for-brains. Nice job making a lie of your wedding vows.

And on the other side, what would I say to her? "Suuolo, you remember three months ago I told you how I felt about you, but that with the return of my vanishing spouse we have to move on with no regrets? well, I was wrong, I still feel the same way and I do have regrets. But I still love Nicole too. Can I have you both?"

I know what the right course of action is. It's to keep my mouth shut and my feelings private and to get on with life. It's to stamp down as hard as I can on the jealousy I feel when she's the focus of another man's attention, and on the urge to flirt with her. I understand perfectly well that "Can I have you both?" isn't likely to make either of them feel valued.

The right course of action is to accept that life is not about one man's selfish desires, that my fantasy will always remain a fantasy.

Could it happen? Maybe. But they're pretty long odds, and not worth what I'd stand to lose.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Journal: YC114.08.28

The human - and by extension transhuman - brain has a remarkable capacity for coming up with thoughts that fascinate at the time, then engender shame with hindsight. Thoughts that pop up at inappropriate times. Such as, say, when making love to your wife.

And fantasizing about how she'd look with a different haircut.

Say, a shorter one.

Much shorter.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Journal: YC114.08.22

It's been three months since Nicole came back.

I should be happy. I AM happy.

But it's not easy to be happy when there's another woman out there who makes my heart skip a beat every time she talks to me. Somebody I came this close to...

Oh, for fuck's sake Verin, you're a grown man! Be honest with yourself. You're in love with two women.

You stupid son of a bitch.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Journal: YC114.08.15

A couple of weeks back, I got to arguing with a religious type over the subject of God.

Nothing unusual about that, of course, but he raised a question that I must since have had quietly gestating in my brain until a better answer than the one I gave could hatch. Specifically: "how do you explain why there is something rather than nothing?"

The answer I gave was a rambling explanation of the Anthropic Principle and the fact that in a quantum universe, superimposing the states of both being and not-being is in no way impossible or paradoxical which, unsurprisingly, my opponent rejected as not making a lot of sense. As is usual when discussing physics, frankly. If you think you understand quantum physics, you don't. Our brains are just not equipped to intuitively handle the probabilistic weirdness that underpins all space, time, force, energy and matter.

But a few alternative answers have since occurred to me

The first is that the question itself may not necessarily be a valid one. It could be exactly as much of a nonsense question as "what is the marital status of the colour blue?" or "How much does Nostalgia weigh?" albeit better disguised. More like "why is Pi irrational? Why not an integer?" I suppose. On the surface it looks like a valid question, until you realise that it simply couldn't be anything other than what it is. There is no scenario in which the circumference of a circle is exactly three times its diameter, or indeed is even a rational multiple. It just isn't possible for Pi to be anything other than Pi. You can ask why we take the ratio between circumference and diameter as opposed to radius, but asking why the number is irrational is itself irrational and pointless. 

The same response might apply to the universe. the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" may simply be a well-camouflaged nonsense. It may be that, in the scenario that my above quantum superimposition of being and not-being is inaccurate, that the state of not-being is simply and fundamentally as impossible as a rational Pi.

The second and rather more damning alternative answer that occurred to me is quite simply that throwing God into the equation to make things up just shifts the question onto the creator, thereby adding a layer of complexity. Whence came God? What would be the reason for him to exist, as opposed to nothingness? Why should these questions stop the moment we step up a tier? Why is it permissible for God to auto-originate, but not the universe?

Failure to think things through, I guess. Which is why these lovely slow-brewed observations will almost certainly never actually manage to get through to one of these people. 

Good thing I argue for the joy of it, rather than to change minds then.

Save. End.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Journal: YC114.07.27

I'm not quite sure what Nicole was doing out in Aridia in a buzzard, but she ran afoul of a hostile battlecruiser and got podded for the first time ever.

"That was.... not pleasant" she said, with characteristic understatement. Which means she's a bit freaked out. I'd better go help her deal with it, asuming she needs me. She's a tough one.

Save. End.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Journal: YC114.07.18

I like and respect Morwen. She does a good job moderating the Summit. Sticks to the rules, treats everyone even-handedly. I can respect that.

Just so long as she understands that when I decide to break the channel's rules, it's because the target of my rule-breaking fucking deserves it.

Save. End.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Journal: YC114.05.09

She's... alive. Nicole.

Not well, but alive. Kidnapped. Escaped.

Or so she thinks. I'm not happy that a big part of me thinks that it's probably not that easy.

Got to get my head sorted out, and quick.

Save. End.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Journal: 114.04.05

For a long time now, I've wondered why anybody would willingly follow Sansha Kuvakei.

I mean, it seems so obvious. The man uses technology to enslave, crushes the human spirit under his heel, kills diversity and basically anathema to everything that makes the human spirit strong. He's pure refined evil as far as I'm concerned, and I don't otherwise believe that there's such a thing as "evil".

But when you're looking at a modular fullerene-based nanomachine composed of thirteen nano-subsystems where every possible combination is valid and produces a different mechanical function for that nanite, which uses purely electromechanical processes for its operational functions and so reserves all of its on-board computing for swarm tracking and co-ordination...

Hijacking the brain stem of an unfortunate victim and driving them up the ramp of a dropship would be trivial for these things. The man who designed them has re-written my private definition of the word "genius" a few times.

If nothing else, Kuvakei is unbelievably, brilliantly intelligent. and I guess I can start to see where his followers are coming from - it must be nice to know for an absolute fact that the man making the decisions is demonstrably and undeniably so much more intelligent than you are.

Intelligent, but not clever. Because while he's got the intelligence to create something like this, he lacks the creativity to achieve its actual potential. The possible applications for this technology are.... well, it would be shorter to list the things it can't do.

But he uses them as an easy way to acquire slaves. Which is so... so blind, so short-sighted, so stupid that I have trouble understanding how it could possibly be the same person. These nanites could forward human technology even beyond where the Sleepers have boosted us to damn near overnight, but he uses them to acquire slaves? I'm looking at possibly the most powerful tool to better our species I've ever seen, but it's being used in the most primitive of ways! Why?!

The answer of course, is simple. He honestly does believe that he's improving the human race through True Slavery. Because he's insane.

Utterly, utterly brilliant, but totally insane.

Save. End.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Journal: 114.03.24

[23:51:32] Dertana Hanaya > Ms. Surionen, while I'm sure I am not your favorite person in here, allow me to give you one piece of advice that I learned through experience and great cost. Count your blessings, not your pains.
[23:53:01] Ava Starfire > I do count my blessings.
[23:53:14] Ava Starfire > If i did not, I wouldn't realize them to be things worth fighting for.

Good philosophy, I like it. Definitely going to remember that one.

Save. End.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Journal: 114.03.22

[23:30:01] Kelsy Talan > I don't think I've seen Stitcher flirting before.

It took me a second to sit back and realize that that's what I was doing.

It took even longer to occur to me that maybe I should feel guilty.

But I don't.

Save. End.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Journal: 114.03.19

Ciarente > You know how when you're on the interbus and they go through the safety demonstration and they say that in the event of depressuraisation you should fit your own mask before assisting anyone travelling with you?
Ciarente > As much as you love Nicole, if being married to her hurts you so much, then you won't be able to be the husband she needs, if she were to need you.
Ciarente > Sometimes you have to make sure you're all right yourself first, or else you can't help other people no matter how much you want to.

She's right.

'Course, that's why I sounded her out on it. Because I knew she would be.

Save. End.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Outgoing correspondence, YC114.03.12

Origin: Verin Hakatain
Recipient: Nicole Hakatain
Sent: - YC114.
Subject: <none>


I don't know where you are, what you're doing, or even if you're in some predicament that's my fault for not being able to track you and come to the rescue.

This is the second time, and it would take a man made of tougher stuff than me to cope.

I'm sorry if this hurts you. I love you, I really do. But I can't endure this. Please find enclosed your half of the divorce documentation. If I don't hear back from you within two months of this message, then the divorce will be going ahead via power of attorney.

I just wish I knew why.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Journal: 114.02.05

The older I get as a capsuleer, the less often I fly.

I don't NEED to. With hundreds of millions of ISK to my name in liquid capital alone, and billions-worth of ships in the hangar, I've got all the venture capital a man could ever need.

After all, what can you do in a ship? You can mine - which as far as I'm concerned is a mind-numbingly slow trickle of cash that I only do when the corp needs the minerals. You can fight - putting assets on the line often for no good reason other than to protect lowsec shipping lanes that ReAw, on the whole, don't use. Or you can haul.

That one, at least, has a good price tag attached to it. If I'm in a badger, I'm making money.

What's nice is having the options. Whatever need may arise, I've got the skills to handle it, and often the ship as well.

There's only one thing I can't do yet - dreadnoughts. Time to fix that, I think.

Save. End.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Journal: 114.01.01

"Only through many hardships
Is a man stripped to his very foundations
And in such a state
Devoid of distractions
Is his soul free to soar
And in this
He is closest to God"
- The Scriptures, Book of Missions 42:5

We are in the River, and the River is in us.


"The Zone"


Again and again, the same concept appears in human thinking. Perfect form, perfect function, perfect action. A condition in which the solution to an obstacle is so obvious that choice ceases to exist- there is only perfect action. There's even a scientific term for it: Hyperconsciousness.

The fact that the science behind it is embraced by only a handful of less reputable academics doesn't deter me. Academia is a notorious home to back-stabbing and character assassination. The idea is what captivates me. For a human brain to transcend conscious decision-making and in so doing approach a state of perfect activity. It's a romantic thought, and one with infinite philosophical fascination.

But perfection. That's the flaw in the gem, of course. I embrace imperfection as the rich source of opportunity that it is. I reject utopia as the poisonous stasis of the soul. Either is an extreme, and extremes are detrimental. Extremes of environment, of effort, of morality and philosophy... there's a reason that the word "Extremist" is used with a snarl of contempt. And this Hyperconscious state would be an extreme of concentration. The true opposite of a state of sleep or catatonia, where ordinary alertness is merely the healthy middle ground where people must live their lives or go insane.

So I wonder. If I ever did find a way of rendering myself Hyperconscious. If I found myself on the banks of the River, needing only to take one step in order to immerse myself and to flow with it... Would I? 

Can one justify a path of carefully chosen equilibrium? Can an extreme be justly condemned without first experiencing it? I might, after all, be wrong. Hyperconsciousness may not be the extreme - it may be the Fulcrum across which the extremes are balanced.

What if I am wrong? About the Utopian toxin, or about the virtue of moderated chaos? Might I not be justifying a cage of mediocrity, or championing the broken window fallacy? 

You can't know, until you've looked at the problem from all angles.

Unless I'm wrong about that, too.

Maybe you just... get the joke one day.

Happy New Year, journal.

Save. End.