The rubble of the beast cast a thick shadow in the dust that hung in space. Fires silently burned throughout the vessel as the superstructure spun slowly. The crewship navigated its way toward the Leviathan, skirting past twisted metal and specks of glass.
It skimmed along toward the front of the Titan, careful to avoid any large fires or the myriad of material that jutted from it. The crewship stopped just above a large, gaping hole not far from the bridge. It stabilized above it, carefully matching the spin of the behemoth’s slow roll. The hangar door opened, and I descended down slowly, gliding quietly through the thickness of space to the Titan below me.
“Alright Adainy, let’s do this one quick and easy. Grab the capsuleer’s corpse and get out so we can be done with this before the scavengers arrive.”
Shadowy figures in the fluid echelons of capsuleer society were willing to pay good money for the corpses of dead immortals – even though the bodies didn’t truly belong to a departed soul.
I gave myself a quick kick off the structure of the ship, floating lazily down the length of the structure toward the hole, which now seemed to be a mouth grimacing in some frozen pain as I approached it. I peered into the depths, lights still flickering in the corridors. Holding onto the edge, I could hear the rumblings of the ship travel through my hands as it tumbled in the burning light of the sun. A groan that couldn’t be heard, forever trapped in the body that held it. I activated my headlamps, and sank down into the maw.
I navigated the hallways, pulling myself around debris and pushing some away. Light glinted off of broken glass panels and sparks burst here and there. I came upon a stairwell that descended downward, and as I corrected my course, a ghastly visage hung before me. It spun slowly, like the ship, and I watched as the face turned to see me. The eyes were open, but looking upward, and the arms were stuck wildly out to the sides. A name tag was pinned to the dress shirt. It read PFC Uomari. I looked the body up and down, and noted it was missing the left leg and most of the left side of the torso. I danced around it, and continued on.
I made my way to the bridge, where I found the installation for the pod. It had burst, just as it was supposed to, but the pod’s ejection and escape maneuvers hadn’t activated properly. It had remained locked in its housing – whether through accident or design, I do not know.
I waved aside the remnants of the amniotic fluid left drifting from the pod, and found the body. This one had a face full of tattoos, and scars marking the length of his body, some cut in intricate designs. The capsuleers were curious demigods.
Tugging the body along with me, I made my way back through the corridors. I passed Uomari and paused, inspecting the face. It was in agony. For every person that died on this ship, somebody thought them priceless, worth more than anything in all of New Eden. But ever since the capsuleers had been born, the price of life had been given a number. So many baseliners could barely afford the cost to recover their loved ones, let alone the reconstructive and funeral fees to make them presentable for their final farewell – and yet, countless eggers were willing to risk life and limb ad infinitum to obtain a shell of a person, a cast off container. Sometimes, I wondered if they even knew, or if they even cared.
I grabbed the hand of Uomari, and pulled the second corpse along with me. I had an idea, as I drifted up and through the dark maw of the ship and back into the blazing light, that perhaps bringing back the corpses would change something. But I knew that wasn’t the case – Uomari’s family would want justice they could never have, and the capsuleers would keep waging their wars, oblivious to the plight of those beneath them.