This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

17 Jan 2014

23 - Contagion - Part 1

'Cloning pod 27D-E status: Activation completed.' 
'Life-signs stable.' 
'Infomorph transfer complete.' 

A disembodied and artificial sounding female voice announced in a soft tone. 

Hatti Sugoi checked the instrument panel at his monitoring station overlooking a vast hall containing mindless bodies awaiting the death of their sponsors. One of them had just been imbued with the memory, personality, experience – the soul if one believes in such a thing – of yet another customer who had lost his life out there in the ceaseless violence committed by capsuleers against their own kind and everyone else.

Hatti filed the successful clone activation in the system and got up to step out onto the mobile catwalk. With the whine of servo motors it approached cloning pod 27D-E after Hatti entered the pod retrieval sequence into the control neocom.

Despite working in this capacity for years, the middle aged Civire cloning technician actually resented capsuleers. To him they were cheaters in the competition that was the foundation of Caldari society. 

Barring actual deficiencies, every citizen should have the same chance to succeed or fail. Of course, some were born into a highly successful corporate family, but then their privilege was a result of the efforts of the previous generation. Also, their station and wealth would not be a birthright but more like an inheritance they would have to actively preserve throughout their life. If they failed to do so, others would outdo them and their fortunes would be lost.

Capsuleers, however, were simply born with a specific neural structure that was suitable for integration with a capsule control system. The Jovians - who had historically introduced this technology to the Caldari - had of course genetically modified themselves long ago to be fully compatible. The other nations of New Eden had failed, so far, to develop a similarly effective method of genetic engineering, and as long as that remained the case, being suitable was nothing but a lucky draw in a genetic lottery.

Lotteries were a very poor way of allocating wealth or station as far as Hatti was concerned. It was something the Gallente would do. Play a game of chance instead of using merit as a basis for privilege.

There is nothing that set a capsuleer apart from others in terms of skill, culture or achievement, and it showed. Throughout the years that Hatti had worked in the field, he had seen all kinds of types who would never have amounted to anything if they hadn't been granted immortality by coincidence alone: Psychopathic mass-murderers, socially inept and obsessive hoarders of meaningless wealth and incompetent megalomaniacs who lost hundreds of crewmen because they were not even able to configure and use their spaceships properly. 

Members of the latter group were usually the most vocal after revival. Mostly they would put the blame for their failure on others, spout empty threats, and refuse to pay for clone upgrades on ridiculous grounds.

In the end they all paid of course. After all, a contract is a contract.

Hatti Sugoi expected the usual disrespect or any other form of unacceptable behaviour while he waited for a robotic arm to retrieve the drained cloning pod with it's newly awakened occupant. Morosely he held up a simple robe when the pod opened to release a bald Achura man bearing a Kaalakiota corporate tattoo on his temple.

'Thank you very much.' the Achura said with a respectful bow before he slipped into the offered robe. 'Your name is Hatti Sugoi, correct? You have been working here for several years if I am not mistaken?'

Hatti had not expected to be greeted by name, or acknowledged at all. Most capsuleers just slipped into the robe acting as if he wasn't there. Only a few would even bother to thank him.

At the second glance, he now remembered this man too. Shisei Kanioota, a rather uncommon specimen among capsuleers. He was always calm and professionally friendly. Sometimes he would linger for a few minutes after revival and share his thoughts with Hatti and even donate ISK to the staff retirement fund. He was still a capsuleer, though, and the very fact that he was standing here and now meant that dozens, possibly hundreds, had died today on one of his ships that he had most likely lost in a reckless action.

'That is correct Kanioota-haan.' Hatti replied slightly surprised.  

'I hope your transition was not too unpleasant.' Hatti said as a concession to customer service..

Shisei Kanioota smiled thinly. 'Why do I get the feeling that you have had a few difficult customers today?'

Hatti smirked. 'It has been a long day.' he replied evasively and entered the instruction to return into the control neocom.

Kanioota swayed slightly and held on to the handrail when the catwalk started to move. The capsuleers were always a bit wobbly on their feet in the first minutes after revival. 'Was it a big loss?' Hatti asked without really caring that much for an answer.

'A loss?' Kanioota shook his head. 'A sacrifice, yes, but not a loss.'

'Tell that to the families of the crew.' Hatti muttered quietly.

'Nobody lost their lives.' The Achura man must have heard him. Hatti cursed himself inwardly for thinking out loud. If Kanioota filed a complaint about his behaviour, his job could be in danger.

'I am sorry for what I said Kanioota-haan.' Hatti said quickly, followed by a bow. 'It's not my place to question your decisions.'

Kanioota chuckled once and put a hand on Hatti's shoulder. 'Don't worry. I am not offended. In fact, I very much agree with your way of seeing things.'

Hatti turned around to face the capsuleer when they arrived back at the control station. 'You do?' he asked with open astonishment.

Kanioota nodded. 'It would be horribly inhumane to put the lives of a crew on the line when you know that the whole purpose of your mission is to get your ship destroyed.' the Achura said. 'We capsuleers are in danger to lose touch with humanity too easily as it is. We should constantly remind ourselves what it means to be human, and not walk down a path that will lead us even further away from what we naturally are.'

Hatti's eyebrows rose and his forehead wrinkled as a result of the bewildered expression. It really seemed like this capsuleer was very different from the usual customer he had to take care of here. 'Uhm. Thank you for your leniency Kanioota-haan.' was all he could think of saying in response. He hadn't anticipated some philosophical discourse on human nature.

'Oh, don't mention it.' Kantioota replied with a slight smile. 'Actually, if I may, could I ask you to stay for a bit here in your control room. I don't feel like facing the commotion of the station quite yet, and I am in no hurry either.'

For the first time on this day, Hatti Sugoi smiled. 'Oh, of course Kanioota-haan.' He opened the door to the control room and gestured at a chair. 'Would you maybe care to tell me about that sacrifice you made of your ship? … Just to pass the time.'

Shisei Kanioota dropped into the chair with a satisfied smile. 'Well, why not? You have to know, it all began with the abduction of a valued member of my corporation …'


In the far reaches of lawless space, a fleet of warships painted in red and green and market with the stylized image of an ebailla insect were busy tearing apart the wreck of a large Orca class industrial ship. 

Their victim had offered little resistance, and the spoils gained from this kill were exceptional, both in value and in quantity. As they collected cargo containers that had spilled from the wreckage and distilled useful components from the remains of the ship with salvaging beams, they were oblivious to the microscopic machines that had been cunningly hidden in the molecular structure of their loot.

Without being noticed, the infinitesimal automatons spread throughout the ships they had been taken on to, and began to execute the instructions they had been programmed with.

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