YC109.08.04 // In the Handwringers

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They live beyond the coils of space, where they wring your hands and twist your face.

They tie you up and burn your feet, they’ll pull your nails and taste your meat.

They slice your flesh and drain your blood, and rip you up all covered in mud.

They’ll whistle and howl to your family’s mourn, the men of Bhaal and the children of ‘Gorn.

 

They’ll creep in the dark and laugh in the night, grabbing you quick with all their might.

They’ll strike your eyes and cut your hair, then hang you up all wet and bare.

They’ll dance all night to a hurried beat, far from the light of a burning heat.

They’ll  toast you up and make you torn, the men of Bhaal and the children of ‘Gorn.

 

And all at last they’ll shake you down, a jubilant crowd dragging you to the town.

A parade they’ll make of flesh and bone, then lay you atop a street of stone,

to gather ’round with all hands wringing, all gathered ’round and quietly singing,

 “We feast on all who are dead and born, we are the men of Bhaal, the children of ‘Gorn”.

[date/YC109/08/04.end_log]

YC109.08.27 // Messenger

[date/YC109/08/27.return_log]

Mrs. Uomari,

As you very well know, your husband was one of the many casualties aboard the Leviathan-class Titan ‘Emra’ that was under the command of the Caldari Navy. I recovered your husband and used some of my personal funds to have his body restored and a casket prepared for burial. Please accept my condolences for your loss.

Sincerely,
A. Gwanwyn

[date/YC109/08/27.end_log]

YC109.08.17 // Bring Back the Dead

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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.

[date/YC109/08/17.end_log]

YC113.10.24 // The Frontier

[date/YC113/8/27.return_log]

“Where do eggers come from, dad?” asked the little boy into the camera, static interfering with the audio and video.

“They come from the Empires, son.” replied the worn voice of his father. The video skipped, and I adjusted the playback settings. It continued.

“Mom says they’re bad, that they just ruin everything.”

“She’s right, son. Capsuleers don’t have any allegiance to the Empires, only to themselves. They don’t even trust each other, really.”

The video stopped again. I looked up as a corpse drifted in front of me, across the exposed and gaping hole in the structure. Asteroids spun and glinted in the distance as the sun rose over the nearby gas giant.

“Why don’t the empires just get rid of them, dad?”

“Capsuleers are powerful, son. You can’t just – ” sirens could be heard going off in the background of the video. The boys face went from curiosity to worry. A warning code came over the intercom system. “I’m sorry, kiddo, I have to go. There’s ‘rats inbound. Send my love to your mother.” The video stuck again.

I looked down at the screen. The boy’s face was frozen in distress. I looked back toward the sun.

“What do you think, sir?” asked Lieutenant Merromeau.

I tossed the data pad out into space, and watched it float of toward the asteroids. “I think we’d better leave before Nation comes back; there’s still plenty of corpses left, and you know how fickle he is with left overs, Lieutenant.”

“Aye, sir. Bringing the shuttle around, then.”

I scoured the deepness, trying to see something that wasn’t there. I knew Kuvakei was looking back, though – he was always watching us.

[date/YC113/8/27.end_log]

YC113.08.27 // The Halls of Erebo

[date/YC113/08/27.return_log]

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A cool breeze wandered over the park, the grass swaying lazily under its influence. Insects began chirping as night fell on the station, the sun setting behind the horizon of the moon. The stars slowly shimmered into existence in the night sky.

Down at the bottom of the hill, crowds mingled and laughed around booths and stages. In the center, a well lit theater’s lights flashed slowly, signaling the start of the main show for the night. People took their seats and a hush fell over the crowd as a speaker took the stage, illuminated by a single light.

“Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to the second night of the annual Vié du Gallente Celebration!”

People clapped and whistled, and the speaker smiled and nodded.

“Tonight, we continue where we left off in our tale of the Trials of Mithathrotes, that ancient legend of the birth of our people. The Fallen Prince Mithathrotes has passed on to the Enduring Heavens, after being cast out and defeated in battle by his treacherous brother Alakalios, who has also imprisoned their fair sister Agatheria in the depths of the Citadel. Alakalios is now beyond the power of any mortal man or empire; his strength is final, his grip on the kingdom absolute.”

“Tonight, we will witness the fateful decisions that our Fallen Prince must make, and we will see how far he is willing to go so that justice may be done.”

The beam fades away as the speaker steps off, and the stage is pitch black for a few moments. In the darkness, a few small lights blink softly, mimicking the night sky. Mithathrotes wanders into the nightscape.

“I could travel these heavens for eternity, and still not arrive at the same place twice.” he says. “What purpose does this land serve but to fool a poor soul!”

Mithathrotes lifted his head and gazed toward the stars above him. “O! Enduring Heavens, grant me a boon! My legs are weary from my endless travels, and my eyes tired from your vastness! Grant me a boon, I cry!”

A flash of light, and there stood a beautiful woman clad in the finest linen dress, shining bright and fully.

“Come with me, Mithatrotes, and rest your feet and close your heavy eyes. I, Athero, will take you to the world above, where many souls are looking down upon you, full of pity. Come with me, Mithathrotes, and you shall reside with them.”

Mithathrotes became angered. “Why would I desire to rest my broken heart and soul in a place where the people think so little of me? I would not rest for a moment in such a shallow place.”

At this, a second being sprang forth from the darkness, a man of all black. “Come with me, my Fallen Prince, and I, Erebo, shall take you below to my Great Hall. Come with me, to where the denizens of my house look up to you.” The Black Man laid a hand upon the shoulder of Mithathrotes.

“I shall go with you, Erebo, for I am weary and your house desires my company; be gone with you and your sordid ways, Athero!” demanded Mithathrotes.

“You are a foolish lord, Mithathrotes. You know not what you want nor what dangers lie before you.” And with that, Athero vanished, her great light taken with her, and Erebo took Mithathrotes to his Great Hall.

The stage went dark once again, and after a few moments, low lights came on, and the sound of many people crying and wailing faintly filled my ears. The actors took the stage once more.

“Welcome to my Great Hall, my Fallen King. My people and I welcome you with open arms!” said Erebo, bowing lowly, his arms spread wide. “Sit at my table, and feast!”

A great onyx table rose from the black floor, and food of all varieties grew upon it. Mithathrotes sat and rested, regaining his strength. Erebo spoke.

“I know of your troubles and heavy weights, Mithathrotes. I know of the treachery committed by your own kin upon you.” Mithathrotes listened, gazing at him. “A grave injustice indeed.”

Mithathrotes nodded in agreement, consumed by the lavish meal before him.

“Let us right what has been wronged; let us set straight the course of balance.” said Erebo. “I will give you the power to take back from your brother what is rightfully yours – the throne, your people, the kingdom. In exchange, I ask for a measly penance.”

“What do you require, wise Erebo? Tell me, for I am curious.” asked Mithathrotes.

“All I require is a royal soul. Perhaps your brother’s, should it be a desirable exchange to you, O Fallen King.” Erebo bowed again. “A royal soul for all the world.”

“I cannot deny you; we must set right what has been wronged, mustn’t we? If the price for absolute power should be one’s soul, then let the grievances be great when it is lost.”

Mithathrotes clapped the arm of Erebo, and the world fell dark once more.

[date/YC113/08/27.end_log]

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