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.