Friday, October 22, 2021

Mors Spatium Homini...

~or “Immortality Lost”

Found him like this, a corpscicle.
Murdered in the silent cold vacuum of a moon and stripped clean...
Begun, it has...

Death of a Spaceman.
The End of Immortality and the Beginning of Generations... and of Legacy & Heredity in a Virtual Verse...

This is the story of how Turamarth Elrandir, an Immortal Empyrean Starship Commander from New Eden came to Stanton, lost his Immortality and discovered his true path in life.

He is a proud Matarii of the Brutor Tribe. Born two weeks after the Harvest Festival, YC113 on Khyn'thrra, the second planet in the Ammold system, Sveipar constellation, Heimatar region, Minmatar Republic.

He began his life as a normal unmodified and mortal human, a ground-pounder, a dirt grubber... one of the uncountable trillions of people born and raised in the deep gravity wells of the myriad worlds that grow the food and manufacture, well, everything that kept the Empire's Royalty and the Arrogant Immortals fed and entertained and fat and indolent and warlike and rich.

Those teeming masses of humanity also looked up at the stars and dreamed of a better life. But the vast majority were fated to remain on the ground, until they were buried under it... all but a very very few, but those few who did get out... they paid dearly for it.

Turamarth Elrandir was such a one. Not a lot is known, or shared, of his youth. He is a fighter, fierce in his loyalties and death to his enemies. After tribal school he volunteered for Military service to the Republic. After five years he requested and was chosen to be tested for the Capsuleer Program.

He passed. This is no small thing. The only test you have to pass is one you can only fail once.

Anyone can learn how to pilot a Starship, or “do” anything with modern SP Transfers, the process that directly records and then transfers, or “writes back” any skill or experience from any person to another, skills no longer need to be learned, they are just bought, sold and consumed like any other commodity. So it is not skill that one needs in order to become an Immortal Empyrean.

It is simply whether or not you survive the test.

Your body's life processes are terminated and your consciousness is, for the very first time, transferred to a clone grown from your DNA.
Some wake up...   some...    many...    do not.

Turamarth did.

And that was that. He became Immortal. Over the long long years that followed he died and was reborn many times. He fought battles to defend their home, “Serenity Station”, and the Corporation he and his sons founded and grew, HBHI, Hiigaran Bounty Hunters Inc.

He fought the implacable mindless Sleeper Drones in order to harvest the madly lucrative Sleeper salvage and loot and he spent almost all of those years flying and winning and living and dying in his beloved Anoikis, in wormhole space far far away from the Empires and Coalitions of New Eden.

So many years... so many deaths... but always he awoke... each and every time, he awoke... but no more.

You see Tur had been out scannin' down the holes one day back in YC123 when he and his crew found a hole they had never seen the likes of before... it was huge, much larger than any wormhole he had ever seen and it matched nothing in the database of hole types so of course, "Jump, jump!"...

~~~~~~~~~ BREAK ~~~~~~~~~

He came to in pain, confused and in a ship on fire... Klaxons and alarms ringing through the ship, the acrid smell of smoke and the blank screens all around the com told him all he needed to know... “Abandon SHIP!” he ordered and all who could did so.

As the too few escape pods flew away from his crippled and dying Loki Strategic Cruiser Tur watched it tumble and burn... a ripple of quick explosions wracked her frame and then the shock of unbearable light... and she was gone.

Tur called up SARA, the Pod's Semi-Autonomous Rational Array AI and queried their location... the AI took a long time to respond, over five seconds... “Insufficient data.”

“Huh,” said Tur. “Sara, define 'insufficient data'.”

“Insufficient data, defined as I detect no known star constellations or configurations or star types in range of sensors.”

“Huh.” said Tur.

“Well, that hole was in probe range of Serenity Station so we can call for help once we jump back. Sara, get me a fix on the wormhole we came through.” he ordered.

“The wormhole we came through is not there Commander, it collapsed after our jump.”

“Bob God of Holes! YOU ASSHOLE!!!!!!” Tur spit out angrily through his clenched teeth... He closed his eyes and breathed deep and slow.

“Sara, report on the current system.” .

“Report on the current system as follows. The sun is a Yellow Dwarf, G-type main sequence star similar to Earth's. There are 4 planets, 12 moons and a dense asteroid belt between the third and fourth planets. I also detect 22 Planetary Orbital and Lagrange Point Space Stations, at least 26 Systemwide Communication Satellites and approximately 113 world and moon based transmission point sources indicating outposts or colonies and a large amount of intrasolar shipping traffic.”

Then the AI paused. AI never pause. Ever.
“There are    anomalies.” It said, with a slight catch between “are” and “anomalies”.

“Ummm, okay.” Tur said slowly. “Sara, define 'anomalies'.”

“Anomalies defined as    I do not recognize any of the languages used in the signals I am receiving. I am 98% certain that these are human voices. They exhibit human vocal ranges and speech patterns.”

Tur just stared grimly for a moment. Again with the pause. This was NOT GOOD, in all caps. AI never pause or hesitate.

“Okay.” Tur said “Sara, create a subAI to run translations on the languages in the background and let's focus on the crew. Is there a planet or moon in range of the pods?”

“As ordered, s
ubAI created, program running."

"Yes, Commander. There is a planet with a Human Level Oxygen, Nitrogen atmoshere in range of all pods.”

“Good. Sara, you have linked with all other lifepods, correct?” he asked.

“Correct Commander.”

“Good. Sara, get them all moving towards that planet then request and compile a situation report.” he ordered.

“As ordered, all pods are now in transit towards the first planet.”

“Situation Report as follows. Fifteen of the ship's compliment of forty lifeboats are active and carrying eighty one of the ship's compliment of two hundred and forty crew. Thirty two have severe to fatal injuries, fourteen have mild injuries, thirty six are uninjured. All have basic compliment of food, water, and basic supplies. The injured are being treated.”

“Gods.” sighed Tur. “Sara, any progress with the translations?”

“Yes Commander.”

“Sara, report progress.” he ordered.

“Language Translation Progress Report as follows. The subAI worked out their math symbology and from that we are now able to interpret one language with 83% confidence and growing. This star system is called Stanton and seems to be governed by the UEE. The acronym UEE stands for The United Empire of Earth.”

“UEE? The United Empire of Earth? What the Feck?” Tur thought to himself. What in hell has happened to us? He turned and stared out the port at this new sun, this new system... “Where in the verse has that Bob damned wormhole left us?”

And that was that. Tur and his haggard crew landed quietly in the inhospitable frozen belt on the planet they now knew the be named Hurston by this strange yet strangely familiar branch of humanity.

There they found a deep cave, set up camp, buried their dead, rested and healed their wounded while they studied and learned the languages and customs of the people of this place and time. Over time they quietly integrated with this new society and culture and created places and lives for themselves.

But for Tur this was the end. His last go'round. Without access to New Eden's Clone Vat Tech and it's Quantum-Entangled Fluid Router FTL communications network this was the end of immortality...

Turamarth Elrandir is now as mortal as you or me.

First time regen'ed after bodyloss...   One down, eight to go?

And so it goes...

Fly it like you can't DIE!

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