Monday, 9 December 2013

Journal: YC115.12.09

excerpt begins

ALEXYLVA PARADOX CORPORATE MAIL SERVER
MESSAGE RECEIVED: YC115.12.09
SUBJECT: Friendly Reminder
AUTHOR: Streya Jormagdnir, Survey Coordinator.

"Hello everyone. I'm just sending out a friendly reminder to not shoot Sansha's Nation vessels. Nation is a fellow transhumanist entity whom we have agreed to not fire on (otherwise known as a Non-Aggression Pact). While not everyone may agree with our standings arrangements, or the way Sansha's Nation conducts their operations, it is our official belief that the dark history surrounding the sacking of Nation should be a humbling example for future generations."

excerpt ends

Yeah, I'm just going to go ahead and ignore that one...

Save. End.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Journal: YC115.11.29

The problem with neglecting to update a journal is how much can happen and then be forgotten. Usually.

In this case, there's not so very much to report save for the last week or so. Oh, there's plenty from the wider world: The death of Karin Midular, the Colelie event, the State finally driving out Tibus Heth and restoring the primacy of the Megacorporations... Living history, some positive, some not. In that sense, it's been a busy few months.

In person, it's been quieter. Re-Aw just kind of.... stagnated. Nicole dyed her hair blonde. Out of curiosity I've had a cybernetic arm attached, see if there are any benefits to be gained. So far I'm not convinced, so I may get rid of it again. We'll see. 

Then two weeks ago, Saede finally made me a proper offer on employment with Alexylva Paradox. Not just hint-dropping and compliments, but actual terms. So, now I'm out in J120442, AKA "Origin", building Tengu subsystems as fast as the rest of the corp can keep me supplied with the raw materials.

I'll give ALXVP credit for this - New Egbinger felt empty, barren and threatening. Origin feels much more civilized. The corp is active and enthusiastic, there's constant traffic back to K-Space. It feels like a thriving frontier colony, rather than a lonely corporate outpost huddled against the dark.

They're having a celebration tomorrow - the founding of the first permanent colony out here, all the usual Alexylva stuff about independence from the Empires, the creation of a new paradigm, et cetera. I wish them luck, but I hope they don't mind if I'm less enthusiastic about the notion. I don't buy into the corporate political agenda: this is just a job. I'm still the State's man and I don't foresee that changing anytime soon, not when this year has shown that the State works. We got rid of Heth, exactly as I said would happen - my faith in the system has been thoroughly vindicated. So, I'm not on board with Alexylva's politics, just with its economics.

But still: A well-paying job among friends, and another fresh start with another fresh perspective? Sounds good to me. I look forward to a prosperous career here.

Save. End.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Journal: YC115.06.29

Nicole's been getting more of a social life recently. Going out drinking with Kasuko Merin, talking to more people, just getting out of the house.

I'm glad. I know I let work and duty get in the way of being a good spouse too often. I know ours is one of those curiously Caldari marriages where both of us sort of... fit each other in around everything else, rather than the other way round, but I do feel like I'm neglecting her sometimes. I'd hate for her to become just... part of the scenery.

Besides, it's kind of amusing to nurse your wife's hangover. Ginger and lemon tea with a spoon of honey - ancient family remedy.

That said, the painkillers probably help a bit too.

Save. End.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Journal: YC115.06.24

I called Avl├Žnkaa. A little Shamanic advice, outside perspective. The whole parallax thing.

It's so simple, in the end. You can base your actions on probable future outcomes all you like, but the fact is that a death now is real, and a hundred thousand deaths in the future are purely hypothetical.

Likely as those deaths may be, I can't be judge, jury and executioner, especially not for potential crimes. So far, Kim has been a soldier, killing soldiers, and that's... well, killing and dying is what soldiers do. But I can't execute her for killing civilians unless and until she actually has.

Jump that gate when we land on it. Besides, she's Empyrean. I'm pretty sure merely beheading her wouldn't actually have achieved anything, and it would have given me some serious PR problems.

Even if I could take into account hypothetical lives lost, I also have to weigh them against hypothetical lives saved by my own actions, and my own actions are facilitated by my reputation. I don't know how large or small that number may be, I'm ignorant of too many variables.

So the only reasonable course of action is inaction, a stayed hand. Drop the sword. It was difficult, though.

Kim's wrong. I did the strong thing.

I do need to meditate on the way my instincts served me better than my reason, however. There is a lesson to be learned from that.

Save. End.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Journal: YC115.06.23

Twice in one conversation, Diana Kim handed me a sword and challenged me to kill her.

She made a compelling argument why I should, too - one Caldari life taken in cold blood, thousands of Gallentean lives saved in the long run.

I thought I'd be clever the first time. I played it like I was really going to do it. She was kneeling, with the blade on the back of her neck. I asked her if she wanted to be cured of her hatred of Gallente. She said that her hatred is all she is, that to remove it would be to kill her anyway. So I swung, took some hairs off her scalp as I buried the blade in the couch. Gave her this whole thing about having accepted death, maybe she can die and be reborn and... all that shit. It's what the Tea Maker is supposed to be all about, after all. Facing the real possibility of death, and if you survive then you turn the page, begin anew, let the old self die to be replaced by a newer, better person.

She called me "weak". Said that in my shoes, she'd have killed me without hesitation. Said it proves that she cares more about life than I do.

I have no idea if she's right or not. But she completely broke me.

I asked her: "Do you want me to kill you, yes or no?" The bitch hemmed and hawed and didn't give me a straight answer until I was practically begging for one, until I was so far gone that I couldn't function without hearing one of those two words.

She said no. So, I didn't. Had she said yes...

Had she said yes, she'd be dead now. And I'd have a lot of explaining to do. And I think I'm glad it didn't go that way.

But I can't shake the feeling that maybe she's right that maybe I was wrong to say that I value Gallentean lives. Do I really value who-knows-how-many of them less than I value just one of her?

Is there any other way to see this? Are my priorities really just that fucked-up? Do I genuinely believe that she's capable of being redeemed, and am I willing to pay the price in blood to see it happen?

One person, versus the greater good.

I know I should have killed her. I know it. Every logical iota of my being is screaming at me that I should have beheaded her and stood proud to defend the action.

But I just couldn't do it. I can't kill in cold blood. If she'd just aimed a gun at me, pulled a knife, given me the order, something, it would have been so simple.

Anything to avoid taking responsibility for ending a life, eh Verin? Rationalize them away, as enemy combatants, as threats, as orders and targets.

But she kneeled. And breathed her last. And even though she genuinely thought I was about to cut her head off, she bared her neck for the blow. And I've always felt that accepting your death like that is weakness, that death is something you resist until it takes you, kicking and biting and fighting.

So vulnerable. So willingly vulnerable. Absolutely and totally prepared, in the courage of her convictions, to DIE, then and there, to prove a point.

So why couldn't I do it? Is she right and I'm just that weak?

Have my instincts worked through an ethical maze that my rational brain is still struggling with?

Or is it just that I don't trust an Empyrean to stay dead?

Save. End.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Journal: YC115.06.11

Haatomo went from being a highsec backwater to being the most important system in the State overnight.

I hope this will be the end of it. The CEP have declared Heth a terrorist. He's stolen Navy ships and barricaded up part of the station. CN dreads and carriers were deployed to contain him.

Now it's a waiting game, and he's going to lose. Between the CEP and Tripwire, if he marches on Home like he's planning, he'll be space debris before he ever lays eyes on her.

Surely this time is the end of it?

Surely.

Save. End.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Journal: YC115.06.07

New survey sensor updates hit the market, covered by the pod license for universal installation. Seems like everybody's got the bug for poking around lowsec in search of valuable stuff. So, I put in a call to the Jockey, who updated BLACKWALL for me in exchange for first pick of any interesting data I dug up with it. Figured if I was going to join in I should have a damn good intrusion tool in my arsenal.

Mostly decryption algorithms so far, but Bobromis and I went on a roam on Thursday night, found ourselves a derelict colony ship the Angels had stashed an experimental rig blueprint in. And made the mistake of continuing our search for treasure in Egbinger rather than banking it at a station. We got ambushed, Bob's anathema got popped and the guys who hit us got the blueprint.

Oh well. Easy come, easy go. At least we've learned a lesson, and there's definitely more big scores out there. Ran into a pilot called Raziphan Rebular tonight, who'd found an advanced capital rig blueprint in his search, the lucky bastard. It's steady if small cash with the occasional big paydata jackpot and having to dodge other pilots is definitely more entertaining than sitting in a station watching ships assemble themselves and listening to the assorted ramblings on the Summit, and I've found some genuinely interesting - and beautiful - things this week.

Having the right tools help.

What else? Where to begin? I'm suspicious that Desiderya wasn't entirely forthcoming about Pyre's motive for operating in the Minmatar warzones. They seem to have adopted a quite fervently pro-Amarr, even pro-slavery attitude in discussion. Nobody's seen Pieter in a while either and rumour is the last time he showed up he was covered in bruises. Considering that he's got a subdermal carapace, that's a troubling rumour.

Aato and Big Fisk got the new DUST implants. Their first assignment was a babysitting job, though. the news about Admiral Yanala being forced into the Tea Maker Ceremony seemed to have something of an adverse effect on Diana Kim. I found her half bled-out in her quarters having patched herself up with shirt bandages and towels. Somebody took a knife to her in a big way. I don't know whether the fact none of her important organs or major blood vessels were damaged was because of good fortune, or because her attacker had a surgical knowledge of anatomy and didn't actually want to kill her. Either way, I had to use a triple dose of the Zainou deep site trauma nanites to repair the gash in her thigh. She doesn't know how close she came to losing the use of that leg. Not that it'd matter much to a capsuleer.

She's lucky I heard the rumours and decided to check them out. Even without the blood loss she was in serious danger of sepsis. Patched her up and posted guards on the door to ward off any further harm for a couple of days. It seems to have worked, though she's been acting.... strangely positive towards me ever since. Hamish Grayson sent me a bottle of spiced wine as a thank you for intervening, which was nice. After all the bickering with Pyre, it's been nice to see Caldari looking out for one another, even when we disagree.

After the revelations about Yanala broke and he was damn near rioted off stage, Heth and the CPD leadership have gone dark. No sign of them. I've moved the Arcurio Scar up to the Forge and installed a jump clone.

Oh, and my bounty is now in excess of three and a half billion ISK. Guess I must be doing something right.

Save. End.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Comms transcript, HDS SPOOKY ACTION, YC115.05.11

--  HDS Spooky Action FTL Comms transcript, captain's channel.
--  Fluid Router ID TR-1147-MX 
--  [Alert: Router at 5% entanglement. 
--  [Estimated time to router failure: 3 hours]
--  Log: Private Conversation
--  Channel ID:      -44733975
--  Participants: Yakiya Verin Hakatain, Pieter Tuulinen
--  Transcript begins [YC115.05.11 23:29:45EST]


Verin Hakatain > Don't you feel like antagonising the Matari might be a little counter-productive?
Pieter Tuulinen > I'm not antagonising them, Verin. I'm providing intel.
Verin Hakatain > We've all got our duty to do, but I don't see what Helgatild has to do with the defence of the State
Pieter Tuulinen > I hope you don't think I make deployment decisions for Pyre Falcon, Verin.
Verin Hakatain > I would have hoped you at least had a say.
Pieter Tuulinen > No. Executive authority is limited to the Command Cadre and our shareholders. I have made my own feelings on the deployment plain - but whilst Command listened it has been made plain that the deployment will not change.
Verin Hakatain > Well, I won't argue with following orders. Winds know, I've done plenty of that myself.
Pieter Tuulinen > Believe me, I've raised my concerns - but it comes down to, will I support my Kirjuun or will I aid the tribes of Matari.
Verin Hakatain > the two are not - usually - incompatible. And in this case, the only reason they are is because your Kirjuun took action to make it so
Pieter Tuulinen > I believe command sees this solely as a punitive anti-materiel campaign aimed at the TLF for their role in the debacle in Black Rise... If I might make a suggestion, I believe that Desiderya is online at present. If you have questions regarding the deployment, you've more chance of getting a fair hearing from her than Veikitamo. I could bring her here, if you'd like?
Verin Hakatain > Nothing ventured nothing gained
Pieter Tuulinen > I believe your standing within the State warrants answers.

--  Channel: UserAdd Desiderya, [YC115.05.11 23:36:03EST] 

Verin Hakatain > Desiderya.
Pieter Tuulinen > Commander, Hakatain-haan has questions regarding our current deployment.
Desiderya > Hakatain-haan.
Verin Hakatain > Saisieni... This Helgatild action. I'm not clear on what exactly it accomplishes in the State's defence.
Desiderya > Preying on targets. It's a war, after all. Or are you referring to something more than single takedowns?"
Verin Hakatain > well, my point is that I'm not sure how helping the Amarr take Helgatild aids the strategic defence of the State. In my experience, getting into a cycle of vengeance and counter-attacks with the Matari doesn't end well. It certainly undermines the diplomatic effort.
Desiderya > You mean Heth's diplomatic effort.
Verin Hakatain > I mean mine, actually
Desiderya > And how so?
Verin Hakatain > You've not heard of the Interlink project? I'm attempting to gather support for a Caldari-Matari capsuleer R&D venture in the form of an alliance of corporations. The idea being to promote more positive relations between the Tribes and the State and maybe ultimately get a cease-fire signed, disentangle us from the mess in the south and leave us to just worry about the Federation. That's going to be a rather harder idea to sell if we've got a prominent STPRO corp helping the Amarr take Matari systems.
Desiderya > Incorrect. We're not pushing territory.
Verin Hakatain > So, what did happen in Helgatild?
Desiderya > The neighbouring system of Brin turned out to be a good frontline resupply base. It's simple, really.
Verin Hakatain > So we've got a prominent STPRO corporation helping to clear out a frontline resupply base. The Minmatar are likely to view that as an.... academic distinction
Desiderya > We cross the border from The Forge for combat patrols with search and destroy or disruption as the goals. Helgatild saw some activity, so naturally we visited it more often, alongside the aforementioned strategic benefit Brin supplies.

Verin Hakatain > May I ask why you're crossing the border at all?
Desiderya > Because waiting gets so tiresome.
Verin Hakatain > ...I understand that Pyre can't base their policies and flight plans on my pet project, nor on my philosophy, but surely there's plenty of action in Black Rise and Placid?
Desiderya > Not in the same manner as here. Unless you want to deploy into deep Placid. And then there's a lot of serene quietness and the comforting feeling of playing directly into Heth's coffers, provided you can get systems back. I need an environment for our pilots to grow in. After Enaluri fell - and I might add that the TLF has had a massive impact on that venture, much bigger than Soter's self aggrandization - we found ourselves facing new challenges. Operation Cascade Flame is not about punishing the Republic, assisting the Amarr or personal vendettas. It is entirely focused around growing the company. Deploying into an unknown - to our pilots - area, establishing a base of operations and moving out into hostile territories hunting for targets. The targets are necessary, how else can you get skilled pilots? Besides rumour was that the Minmatar knew how to fight.
Verin Hakatain > And to some degree it's a poke in the Executor's eye?
Pieter Tuulinen > If ever an eye needed poking...
Desiderya > I don't want to enable that man any further at this point.

Verin Hakatain > I can sympathize on all points, I suppose. But there's a growing swell of anti-Gallente sentiment in the Tribes that I'm eager to leverage. I think the State could really benefit. It's... awkward, to have an extra weight on the scales at this delicate moment.
Desiderya > I can understand. But at the same time I'm not going to pack up shop over inconveniencing nascent plans for your project, nor especially over Minmatar gnawing my diplomat's ears off over that perceived slight. If they'd have put that energy into fighting the Amarrians they wouldn't have to evacuate.
Verin Hakatain > Nor would I ask you to. I just felt you should be made aware of the project.
Desiderya > There's nothing wrong with it. This deployment is centered around very mercenary type goals. You've got to understand that the company comes first, and I think you do. I'm sorry if this makes State-Republic relations more difficult, but so did the sacking of Enaluri.
Verin Hakatain > Mmm. But as I said, entering into a cycle of vengeance and counter-attacks with the Minmatar rarely ends well. They have a habit of taking things personally. Just look at Ava Starfire.
Pieter Tuulinen > I've been known to be grumpy in the morning too, Verin. I still have to be an adult. You know my feelings regarding Ava. I admire her greatly. But for her to respond to limited anti-shipping raids as if we were lifting slaves off planets by the freighter hold and selling them... That's unreasonable.
Desiderya > Yes, they have that habit. This makes us having to appease them? Certainly not.
Verin Hakatain > Appease? No. But it's hardly a good idea to throw rocks at a hornet's nest. Unless you have to, of course.
Pieter Tuulinen > I wouldn't mind - but mostly we've been prosecuting pirates, not TLF fleets."
Verin Hakatain > Did you tell her that?
Desiderya > Of course it is unreasonable
Verin Hakatain > They have a different definition of "reasonable". Not that I'm suggesting we should operate by their definition, but it's worth remembering.
Pieter Tuulinen > Verin, I've told her that we're not pushing territory. I've told her that we're not bashing IHUBs. I've told her that we aren't coordinating with Amarrian Militia. I've told her that we hand over Matari POWs to Matari authorities and NEVER to Amarrian authorities.
Desiderya > They see what they want to see and, when in doubt, there's always the ultimate argument of slavery. I'm under the impression that the vast majority of exchanges between the empires are formalized under the CEMWPA mandate, which, as I might add, has been signed by both parties. Apparently it was deemed acceptible.
Verin Hakatain > Sure. none of those are the issue for her at all. The issue is that you're there at all.
Pieter Tuulinen > A push back was always going to happen, Verin. The Amarrian militia has been more supine than a hangar full of whores. We are a VERY minor force in the grandscheme of that push back.
Verin Hakatain > I know that, and I understand it
Desiderya > Frankly, do I look like someone who gives a fuck about Starfire's hurt feelings?
Pieter Tuulinen > Any consideration for Ava's feelings is personal to myself and not corporate, Verin.
Verin Hakatain > She's an illustrative example. As a commander, your job is to be aware of as many relevant facts as possible. One such relevant fact is that the Minmatar have a seven hundred year old persecution complex, and not unjustifiably.
Desiderya > Don't try to be that apologetic for them. They're being unreasonable, and while it's heartwarming to get all that credit for work we haven't even done, it's above all over the top.
Verin Hakatain > Ava is... as much as I like her, she's a useful barometer for the general thrust of Matari opinion on this sort of issue. You can extrapolate her reaction up to the general reaction, is my point.
Desiderya > Oh, she sure is. You just have to shoot her Wolf down once and we've got tribals storming our office.
Verin Hakatain > I mean that it's entirely possible that the TLF will view the Amarrian involvement as expected, and the Caldari involvement as a much bigger deal than it really is.

Pieter Tuulinen > The recent TLF involvement in the Black Rise theater of operations is a complicating factor, Verin. It makes it look as if the TLF are quite happy when the boot is being applied by them, but squealing now they're feeling it on their own backside.
Verin Hakatain > Complicating, yes. Responding in kind complicates it further still. I agree, by Caldari standards they're often very unreasonable indeed, which is why I'm so concerned about this.
Desiderya > You can argue from a strategical position that weakening the Minmatar control in their warzone gives breathing space for the forces at home.
Verin Hakatain > I'd argue that weakening their control in their home warzone gives them less incentive to stay there and more incentive to raid.
Desiderya > And you'd be wrong. Knocking down system control levels makes it more important - and worthwhile - to defend owned systems. With the Amarrians pushing systems back they also gained more territory to attack at their doorsteps. No need to venture into Black Rise for that.
Verin Hakatain > As you say. In any case, I wouldn't presume to ask you to change your policies for the sake of my pet project. It was never going to be an easy venture in the first place, I can handle a bit more difficulty. I was just after a more complete understanding of what was going on. I now have it, and I'm grateful
Desiderya > You should tell me more about that project of yours. And also, we're not going to grow roots here. But for the time being it's unlikely to change. After all, logistics are in place and it was costly just to move everything. Not going to toss that down the drain over hurt tribal feelings.
Pieter Tuulinen > There was talk of extending an offer to Gradient for us to relocate if they covered our costs, but I shot that down as being likely to cause further bad feeling, Verin. Was that accurate?
Verin Hakatain > Oh, absolutely accurate. They'd be very insulted. And I'm still in the middle of writing up the alliance charter: this is as far as I've got in the rough draft. [ATTACHMENT 13Si8M]
Desiderya > You can't move without insulting them, apparently. Ah, the charter. Let me see.

Pieter Tuulinen > I must admit that I don't know Matari culture very well. Working as a diplomat in this area is very challenging.
Verin Hakatain > There's a reason I'm ReAw's chief diplomatic officer 
Pieter Tuulinen > There's a reason why I defer to your greater experience, generally. Sadly, I have to make do with the tools I have come by honestly.
Desiderya > You're not doing a bad job... Either of you. So, trade, R&D. I assume we're sitting right in your targeted regions for growing such a project, then.
Verin Hakatain > you wouldn't be inaccurate in that assumption. The idea is to demonstrate that serious trading, R&D and manufacturing initiatives between our nations can be as if not more profitable than the ones we currently have with the Khanid and the Empire. Sebiestor starship engineers especially represent a group I'm very interested in letting loose in a lab full of Caldari starship tech.
Desiderya > Definitely, there's potential.
Verin Hakatain > I don't need to tell you that cross-factional starship technologies such as those developed by the Angels and Guristas are highly valuable. If we can generate similar success with Caldari/Minmatar technology? ...Well. I'm pretty sure the megas have limped along on less revenue from time to time
Desiderya > Kaalakiota owns a lot of stations in this area, you're likely not the first to think that the Republic would be a worthwhile investment. It sounds better than selling TCMCs with a smile, no?
Verin Hakatain > It does. The tricky part is riding the impartial line between two nations that are, technically, enemies. Accusations of favouritism and espionage will be a daily occurance, I'm sure.
Desiderya > I am pretty sure that it will be a tough ride.
Verin Hakatain > So am I. Still, 'the mountains most worth climbing' and all that.
Desiderya > We all do what we can to move our vision forward, no? Well, you have my best wishes for your project. Maybe the recent squabbles between the Republic and the Federation will make them more likely to look into the direction of the State in regards of trading partners.
Verin Hakatain > My thanks. Anyway, I'll not take up any more of your schedule. Thanks, commander.
Desiderya > I hope I was able to alleviate some of your concerns.
Verin Hakatain > Not exactly, but you did alleviate my ignorance.
Desiderya > Honest answer, I like that.
Verin Hakatain > Anvatkaa


--  Transcript ends, [YC115.05.12 00:47:17EST]

Monday, 29 April 2013

Journal: YC.115.04.29

Well, the Second Decade of Post-Humanity Egonics Soundscape Conference was interesting. It was good to just... kick back for a bit, really. Set the worries aside for a while.

It was good to see Morwen in the flesh again. I forget when we were last physically in the same place. With her mother having been wounded by that gunman, I wouldn't have been surprised if she hadn't made it.

Even in minimum-sensitivity mode my Social Adaptation Chip was quick to flag something interesting about her when she did show up. Specifically, what she's wearing on the fourth finger of her left hand.

She didn't mention it, and so neither did I. But I have to wonder: why not?

Save. End.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Journal: YC115.03.27

The Federation hit Caldari Prime. Hard. Destroyed the Shiigeru. There's a million square kilometer network of burning craters down there from where it landed in the southern Kaalakiotas.

I don't really need to write anything about it down. I doubt I'll forget the events of this last week even if I live to be a million years old.

I'd like to do for Home what I did for Malkalen. A memorial wall. Except the death toll runs to... tens of millions. More names than you could realistically fit on a monument of any reasonable size, even if you did know every single one which is basically impossible all by itself.

I truly believe that the right words can express an appropriate reaction but... for now, I just don't know. The sheer scale of it is hard enough to wrap your head around, let alone articulate. Words fail...

...hmm. Save. End.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Journal: YC115.03.09

So. Schere and Saede.

They definitely both deserve some happiness, and I hope they find it in one another.

I mean, the insulting least you can say is that Saede has got to be a better and more concerned partner than captain Renowned Former War Hero.

Not that I said as much to her. I'm not quite sure how to say that without it being a backhanded compliment.

But I'm glad. Good for them.

And I can't deny, the mental image is a great deal more pleasant.

Save. End.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Journal: YC115.03.14

Well. I hope he means what he says, but even if he's only saying it out of that canny sense for politics that he's infamous for, at least Jacus Roden is speaking sense.

I'm glad somebody is.

Save. End.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Journal: YC115.02.23

One of the unexpected benefits of being back in Korama for the time being was unearthing three armour plates.

I don't know how many Revenant-class supercarriers have been destroyed since Sansha's Nation started incursing inhabited space, but I do know that I was part of the fleet that destroyed the very first.

They all get named the same thing: "The Kundalini Manifest", but I still think of that first one as the definitive original. That's probably wrong, but it's how I think of it. And here I have three of those sort of greenish-brown plates that had gotten lost behind a slab of Titanium Diboride.

I was explaining the discovery on The Summit when Tiberious Thessalonia asked me to do something artistic with them.

I'm not an artist. I just make stuff. Trinkets, ornaments, gifts.... wedding rings.... but those aren't art, however meaningful they might be to their owner. To me, art is a form of communication, a thought crystallized into physical form. And because I'm usually perfectly able to get an idea out of my head through language, I've only rarely tried to do the art thing. Cia's river, the flowers I made for Jan and Madlen, the Malkalen Memorial. That's... probably it, really.

So, I don't think I can claim to be an artist. But, you've got to start somewhere, right?

Kundalini Manifest. The Kundalini refers to a "spiral of energy" (ridiculous phrase, energy is a measure of capacity to do work, it can't have a shape by definition) at the base of the spine that's involved in meditative enlightenment. It's sometimes represented as a coiled serpent.

Serpents are also symbols of evil, of trickery and deceit, of threat and poison.

So... what; does Kuvakei intend for his flagships to represent physical manifestations of transcendence? And the icon he's chosen to represent this is can also be represented as a nearly-universal symbol of  insidious evil. I wonder if the irony is deliberate? Probably: He's not stupid.

I've got a whole datapad sketched full of notes and ideas here. Icons of enlightenment and illumination.

What are we pitting against him? Let's face it, in the war between transcendence and descent, most people come down on the former side. EoM aside, very few people want to see mankind fall into another dark age. I think that most people want to leave the world "a better place", however they define that, for having had them in it. So we're not differing on the objective of overcoming ourselves, we're differing on the destination. And Nation's destination is, what? True slavery, even for the ones not controlled by the implants. Chains of ideal and agreement, gleefully, invisibly worn.

Some snakes kill their prey by binding and constricting them. Hmm...

Save. End.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Journal: YC115.02.20

Or I could just have been projecting my own mood onto the State at large, I suppose.

But still...

Save. End.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Journal: YC115.02.19

In about two months' time, I will have been with ReAw for two years. That's two years living and operating in the Minmatar Republic, just... watching. And learning.

That's a quarter of my career as a pilot. I've never spent this long living anywhere that wasn't the State.

I'm back in Korama right now. Even... insulated as a capsuleer can be,it's impossible to miss the tension that's thrumming around here. If the State was a person, her palms would be sweaty, her lips dry, her weight shifted to the balls of her feet, her eyes wide and alert, her pulse raised and the ghost of future adrenaline just giving the world that extra gloss.

I hope this is the tipping point. I really do. Because what have we become if we can be pushed this far, and we still don't push back?

Save. End.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Journal: YC115.02.11

What a weekend.

Saturday afternoon, we got an anonymous tip-off that there was an imminent attack on our starbase tower in W-space, "New Egbinger Station".

Being rusty at this whole diplomacy thing, I went ahead and contacted a diplomatic officer for the alliance this tip-off was about before we'd finished getting the tower up-gunned and ready to fight off an assault. Realising they'd had a leak, they promptly attacked, in force.

I spent three hours stalling them with offers to pay a ransom and pull out while we hastily hired NOIR. Who, it has to be said, were amazing. Within half an hour of being hired the hostile force was scattered and in full retreat, they paid us an Orca for the privilege of being allowed to leave, and NOIR incinerated their tower behind them. Money very well spent I'd say, and very affordable too. Give it a month, it'll be a barely perceptible blip on our income graphic.

Yoday deserves credit for running the static to bring them in. High-risk scouting, and he deservedly earned a medal for it.

Repairing the incapacitated guns and EW batteries was a much bigger job. Apparently none of the wormholes connecting to NE are big enough to accept a carrier, so we had to do it the slow way, with Guardians.

Too bad we forgot to have a scout watching the system wormholes. About fifteen hours into the repair op, we got hit by eleven strategic cruisers.

Some people think "NBSI" means "HURR MURR DURR MAKE DA SHINY AXESPLOSIONS!!!" I guess. Any fleet I was in charge of wouldn't view three logistics cruisers as a target unless they were doing something strategically or tactically threatening. I guess other corporations feel differently on the subject.

Well, if they're so insecure that they think of three unarmed vessels as being good prey, I feel sorry for them. No skill, no perspective, no self-esteem, clearly.

I got my pod out and I'm back in the State now. Very few crew losses - I hit the abandon alarm the second I saw hostiles on grid. Even with a fairly green crew, that alone saved a lot of bereavement letters. The survivors are back in ReAw hands, very few quitters.

Could have been much worse than it was. Stupid of us not to watch the inlets, though. That's a rookie mistake, and we need to make sure it's remembered and learned from. you can't rely on the D-scan alone.

Save. End.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Journal: YC115.02.04

Interesting times in the State. The CPD, Home Guard and CalNav in joint military actions all over the place, up to and including orbital bombardment.

Naturally, CPD and Home Guard are handling the situation with all of the public relations delicacy and skill for which they're renowned. Legal action is flying thick and fast, and has even swept up a few of the involved capsuleers which is... unprecedented, as far as I know. I'm not entirely sure whether I'm not among them because I'm a director in an extraterritorial corporation, because I'm Ishukone rather than KK, or because my language on the IGS was sufficiently diplomatic. Probably a little of all three.

Elsewhere, we got into a conversation about wine last night on the Summit after somebody expressed a fondness for Caldari wines... now, I'm no great wine drinker, but I got nettled when the suggestion was offered that you can't make a real wine on, quote: "Some megacorporate factory-farm".

Taste and scent are purely chemical senses. if the substance in your glass falls inside the range of chemical balances (mostly water, then ethanol, then a delicate balance of fruit sugars - "Passion" is not among the list of ingredients) that it thinks of as a "good wine" then you absolutely can make good wine that way. You could make a wine that was indistinguishable from any of these ultra-rare collectors' vintages laid down by nth-generation vintners in some obscure corner of lowsec according to a traditional blah blah blah...

Point is, if I hand a neutral test subject two glasses of a chemically identical substance and tell them that one contains l'eau du cheval '97 and the other is the product of a megacorporate factory farm, the test subject will very probably tell me that the one with the fancy name tastes better, despite there being no chemical reason this should be the case. This is a known psychosomatic response - people prime themselves for an experience based on their foreknowledge of the context of the experience.

Now if what you're after is the meta-experience of indulging in something rare and special that was made in a peaceful sunny valley somewhere, great! And I completely agree that no SuVee corporate farm would ever replicate that experience. But if what you're after is great-tasting wine, then the farm absolutely CAN produce that. Accurately, perfectly, every time.

At this point it was suggested that I am a joyless Sansha initiate who sees no magic in life. Though to be fair this comment was later retracted and apologized for.

"Seeing the magic in life" must a shorthand for autohypnotic mental legerdemain, I suppose. Call me strange, but I see nothing magical or beautiful in lying to yourself, and this idea that the vintner's identity, family tradition and unsustainable business model have any bearing on the taste of the wine certainly does constitute lying to yourself.

Isn't it more beautiful to see what those things really do improve? They improve the overall context and experience of the drink, rather than the flavour of the drink. I'd rather have a good wine and ruminate on rustic lifestyles and human connection across dozens of light years be deluded into thinking that "being made with love" improves the taste.

Even better, I'd rather have a good beer. Wine's not really my thing.

Save. End.