29 March 2009

EVE Blog Banter #6: The Hand of Bob

This month's topic comes... from me! I suggested to "write a short fiction story about the dissolution of the BoB alliance. It could be from BoB's point of view, the Goons', by neutrals in 0.0, civilians in Empire, NPCs or even rats. Write about before, during or after the coup; give us stories of market, war, people or love. In-character or roleplay. We want to know what happened, from those fictional characters that, in your mind, were part of it."

Somewhere in Delve.

Sam leaned against the door and rested for a second.

So this is what a coup looks like.

She was hurt and was bleeding. She knew she would not go too far, not without her equipment... but she had gone far enough already. She knew she could not make it out alive.

But now, she could at least get out.


Nine hours earlier

Bob security was tight, as always. The Bob Security Force ran the station like their own personal fiefdom and pretty much ignoring the regulars living there. Each and every little one of those goose-stepping twerps apparently had a better right to anything than a civilian, capsuleer or not. A flash of ID and that was it. Cutting in line at the bakery. Getting shuttle tickets and bumping someone off; or maybe just bumping someone off just for fun. They were always right about traffic disputes, they had the right to stop you for a spot search, they had the right to be judge, jury and if you were unlucky or stupid, your executioner.

Only, they had no right. None, whatsoever.

The day had started uneventfully as usual. Max had gone a couple of hours earlier than usual to work, looking worried. They had still had breakfast together, he had brought in a nice selection of rolls and coffee, chatted about nothing. He had mentioned putting off vacation for later. Station bills. Mining upgrades. Moving the medclones.

Yes, some corp had made a mistake and the medclones ended up in Detorid. That would need to be fixed.

"Detorid," he had repeated, looking straight at her, "what a screw-up."

The kiss has been unusual, a good-bye kiss. Not a see-you-later peck.

Of course Samantha knew Max was GIA. A 'Goonpany Man'. They had met a long time ago and, well, you don't really choose who you fall for. They shared many things, including being both miners. Mining. The thing was so far away of spying, in most people's minds, that most spies tended to pose as miners.

She was not into his part of the plan, but from her own she knew what was about to happen. Now, for him to mention the clones, his part would have to be risky.


The noise had started a couple of hours before noon. Distant explosions and then the sound, how to describe it, the sound of something big. Industrial, yet more alive than robotic, of shouting orders, of stuff melting at random, of vehicles, and crashing and the odd... scream? Then the PA system started giving orders to everyone, stay inside and do not venture out into public places, but was quickly silenced.

Shortly after noon the PA came back.

It was Max's voice.

"This outpost and all inside are now under the protection of the Goonswarm. BoB forces must lay down their arms now, or face lethal force. All non-combatant civilians should get to a safe place as soon as possible and away from resisting forces."

Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit. That was it, something had gone wrong and they would come for her now. She stopped what she was doing and ordered her people out, they had done their part already. Time to go.

It was the last time she heard Max's voice.


The in-station BSF corps was ruthless and efficient. They were far better trained and equipped than whoever was staging the revolt: heavy energy weapons, armoured cars, riot-control gear and, of course, no qualms.

They had lost comms, PA, and had seen sovereignty-control systems blown up by mining explosives; they retained control over environment and surveillance. They quickly overcame some of the harder pockets by venting into space or just incinerating everything in the troublesome sections.

After that they were still outnumbered but blasting away at some poorly-armed station peasants -shooting at "tee zeros"- was not nearly as challenging as the fight in space.

BoB would have this station back, whatever the cost.

And then, they would make an example of the leaders.


The BSF Lieutenant shouted orders to the fire team. They had tracked the woman from sovereignty all the way to the flight deck. A sniper had almost bagged her on the way -it would have been easier if the orders were to kill- but now he was confident.

She was surrounded.

All in-station exits were blocked, dock doors were closed, ships were still being offlined, starting with those she could fly, and nothing would be there by the time she arrived. The breach team was on its way. Somehow, the stupid little wench had thought she would be safe in a pod.


Sam felt the gantry stop as her pod was being moved. Not that it mattered. She had a way out... she wished she was dead.


"Sir! Gantry stopped, working on override to bring pod back in five minutes. All frequencies jammed except for emergency & CONCORD transmissions and alliance-approved..."

The Lieutenant cut him short "Jam everything you RETARD! This is damn Bobspace, not a CONCORD-owned sissy Empire vacation resort! WE RULE THIS PLACE. Now go and do you job, you moron, before I have your ass airlocked, understood?"

The Sergeant saluted and went back to his war station. Arrogance was par for the course; the hand of BoB was supposed to be harsh, but fair. On the outside, he was as diligent and professional as ever; on the inside he could not avoid flinching at the cursing. He hesitated for a few seconds.

He reported back "Initiated, full jam will be effective in..." and then he belched as the wind suddenly picked up.


As its self-destruct sequence completed, the pod exploded. As it happened, the gantry had stopped in the middle of two compartments; the explosion damaged the bulkhead in between and exposed both sections to space.

The lucky ones went quickly. The less fortunate would have to recover from a severe case of decompression bends.

Samantha was very, very lucky.


"Dude, that was awesome. Welcome to Detorid."

Sam opened her eyes and focused on the man debriefing her. It had been years since she had been to this part of the cluster. She was not used to this way of talking, nor the accent. Nor to the smells -every station, every world has its own distinct smells and air quality, reminiscing of... nothing she could remember in this case.

The man went on "I mean, Sovereignty four is off and you guys totally owned that outpost. Huh, huh, BOB is so lame that this is happening all over their space..." he went on rambling.

Sam tuned him out. She noticed a couple of others close by in the medclone facility, nodding and grunting approval. She wondered whether handing Bob over to these people had been a such good idea after all.

She looked around the facility and found Max's clone, unused.

Oh, sweetie, at least you will not have to worry about that, she thought, smiling sadly.


- Speed Fairy, The Hand of BoB
- CrazyKinux's Musing, No where to go...
- A Mule in EVE, Rolling to the Warzone
- The Ralpha Dogs, Two Tales of Glory and Honor
- One Man and his Spaceship, Times they are changing
- OZ's House of the Evil Dead, Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side
- The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Who the Hell are They?....
- I am Keith Nielson, He Gave Up the Stars

25 March 2009


I twirl.

I am bored.

It has been a crummy week and it's only Tuesday. For one, I finished with all the backlogged paperwork. Which is good because I am done, and bad because I am worn out.

I am tired. I am grumpy.

Too few friends are reachable today. One of them calls to ask how I am doing; we chat. Another drops by our channel to tease me; not today, thanks.

I don't feel like undocking because I have too much on my mind. Do you know that feeling? That anything you do, you are neglecting something or someone else; but if you tend to that something you will be neglecting yet another. Graduation. Vacation. Moving. More work. Explore, write, read, draw. Fix my pod. So I don't undock.

I am an equal-opportunity slacker.

I twirl.

My comms come alive, "Myrmidon-class Battlecruiser Marmalade, this is Kaalakiota dock. Do you copy?"

Huh? I did not expect them to phone.

I answer promptly, "Dock this is Marmalade. I hear you loud and clear. What can I do for you?" Maybe this will be fun.

"Is everything OK? Over."

"Everything is OK guys, thanks for asking." Aww, how nice of them to check on me.

They don't sound like the comforting kind, though. "Your camera drone is flying inside the dock at hazardous speeds. Are you in control?"


"Yes, that's my drone." Gee, how fast I was going, officer?

"Please stop doing that."

"I am not doing anything. I am just sitting here, docked."

"Please slow down or retract your camera drone or we will confiscate or shoot it down."

"I did not know there was a speed limit," I protest in vain.

"You do now."

Crap. These people are no fun. I stop twirling, slow down the drone and eventually leave it floating there.

I'm bored.

I chat some more. Tease suggests I should look at the new fitting screen.

Hey, look, it has a ship inside! I wonder if I can... Yes, I can.

I twirl.

24 March 2009

Racing Spy #2

December 109, ISGC Season 4
Between Races 4 and 5

It had been weeks since my racing interceptor had been scanned at a training session, by a friend. Only problem was, this friend was the owner of a rival team, had scanned me and another rival unawares while on a friendly flight.

To be perfectly fair, we fully expect competitors to scan us, especially before or after the race if we are stupid enough to loiter around station, or racing at Waypoint 1 before the lead goes all meep-meep on the rest. But scanning us would mean one of them would have to sacrifice 'race fitting' for 'spy fitting,' which hurts their race. Tradeoffs.

After the incident, Kay was angry and hurt; she would not talk to Kendar in friendly terms ever again -I thought it a bit too much but, then again, there was history between the two and maybe that's why it hurt her so. I was bouncing between indignation and indifference; what bothered me the most was the laughable punishment he had earned from his team. And Ken? He already felt miserable.

So I was totally not planning to get back at him anymore.

Well, maybe I wanted to, but was not planning. There is a difference.

Some time after the incident and while he was still suspended, we were chatting and Ken was lamenting how he was such a bad racer -yes, he was always sort of in the back of the pack- that it would take a miracle for him to ever win anything. "A miracle," was the word he used. I do not really remember, maybe it was something in the way he said it, maybe I thought he just needed a nudge, or the way he looked downtrodden in my comms... then I had this crazy feeling...

How often do you get a chance to grant a wish? To perform a miracle for someone?

Without thinking twice, I contracted him my dearest championship-winning racing frigate, A Wing and a Prayer. My ISK 150 million full-poly-rigged crown jewel.

My pony.

Oh, I was not flying her anyway.

Okay, if this does not sound exactly like 'revenge,' it is because it isn't. The idea behind was so Sisters-of-Eve-ish -smother him under a ton of syrupy sweetness- that he would feel even worse about the spying incident, then wake up one day and decide he would become all the racer he could be. I wanted him to feel better, myself to be impressed and everyone to be happy. A recipe for mending broken friendships. It felt right, weird but right.

Ken accepted the contract and, as soon as he saw what it was, his eyes widened and my contract list started blinking: he wanted to return it right away.

I then realized what a big burden it must have been on him.

Oh, so that's why it had felt weird.

Look, an Executioner may be many things, none of these remotely related to the word "resilient." As beautiful as she is, the poor thing is like made out of glass, you need all your senses not just to race but to stay alive -and I should know, having raced an entire Season 3 looking over my shoulder. My head was telling me that I would not see my ship ever again - the odds of him surviving a single race with her were, ahem, a bit on the low side. I was letting go of something very close to my heart, maybe forever. He knew that.

I had a knot in my throat as I asked Ken again to please, please take her and race like he really meant it. Naturally, I asked him to promise me -promise me!- to fly the entire season on that frigate.

"I know everything is going to be alright. Just bring her back safely, will you?"

Can you see where this was going, don't you? I had done a miracle. And then I had put an evil curse on it.

What can I say? I am just that well-balanced.

He hesitated. On one hand I was sort of expecting him to promise me the impossible and race to win. I really wanted to see him try. On the other hand, this was going to be interesting... five races remained and I wondered on which one he would go off as a shower of sparks. Would he still go ahead, knowing the odds? Which promise would he keep... would he be careful? Or would he be daring? I was secretly hoping for daring.

And then he promised.

Either way, my part was done. Ken would now carry out his: whatever happened, whether he wanted or not, he risked betraying this incredible act of kindness, either by not racing or by losing my ship. Unless he raced to win.

Maybe someone would have to make sure that the ship was lost.

We were even. Almost.


Racing Series
See what happened before
See what happened next

19 March 2009

Racing Tak

ISRC Season 7, Race 2

Takashi Kurosawa is back.

I know. He is so good it is almost not funny.

Last Sunday's race was the first after the Seyllin disaster and after space started acting weird. Some people are still grieving Seyllin, I understand that several others have been going into "wormspace" to explore and some simply dropped out of sight. I am grateful, however, for those of you that checked in and let me know they were OK :)

Anyhow as a result, the mood before the race was a bit eerie... I think the DVR team showed up in force, but we in SDS were missing people and VRT brought a single racer, Tak. We briefly considered switching the race to "exhibition" and not score it, but decided not to. It would be for real.

Well, in a word, our inty team did not have a good race.

Did I mention I ran inty this time? No one else showed up in Assault Frigates, so I would be either racing myself, or having fun against the inty jockeys. I decided to go for fun.

We lined up and went off, and Takashi started doing what he does best, gain a few seconds on each jump. I thought I had fixed that, I could swear I was gating faster than before but, meh, he still was pulling slowly ahead. So was Kazuo.

Never mind. I would catch them at the multiple waypoints. That is what I do best.

Only I, ah, omitted turning off overload on my MWD at one of those waypoints. >POOF<

After a brief dock, repair, undock in system (got lucky, I had not checked whether there was a repair shop in system but it was there) I found myself one minute behind the pack.

Enter our lovely warp train. I was able to climb my way back into the pack and then into 3rd place overall, but it was not meant to be. This was a race with so many jumps, I was falling a bit behind on each one, only to recover several seconds at the next waypoint, then falling behind...

Note to self: work on figuring out how to gate faster.

Then there was this waypoint at a star and, surprise, surprise, we can no longer use the solar system map the way we could before. Pod changes. I must have lost another half minute there.

And in the end, demon overtook me I think on WP14 or 15 on his Firetail. He is doing that to us every race now, no matter how many times we fire and rehire him. It is good to have him on the team but, oh, does he have to humiliate us every time?

Not that we did not deserve it this time.

Anyway, Kay had an awful race too. Apparently she missed every single gate by a few meters, had a couple of misswarps and finally her pod shut down on the last stretch. Someone in the fit crew is going to get so fired.

We came in, I think FIVE MINUTES behind the lead and made 3rd and 4th places. But we carried frigates :)

So at this point I am considering whether I will be switching permanently to inties now. The AF class is OK, I guess, but interceptor racing is shaping up to be all the rage.

Because, ladies and gentelemen, the Tak is Back.

17 March 2009

The Wiki Witch of the West

So I took a closer look at EVE's amazing wiki (heya, Mynxee)... and it rocks!

Anyway, I found the EVE wiki and I may have been writing one or two things. Go check it out.

But I must warn you beforehand. Those who know I play RL may know that my, ah, RL character sometimes writes stuff... dry stuff, sometimes so very dry that your lips will chap and your skin will peel, and that's halfway through the first paragraph. If you are still awake.

So before you read any, go drink something and put some chapstick on. Bring a pillow, just in case.

You have been warned.


(Credit and thanks go to Gyra Rho for ISGC rules PDF, which I totally cut and pasted into the wiki, now it is the base for what we do in the future.)

15 March 2009

Racing Backwards

March 111, ISRC Season 7 Race 1
Molden Heath

A good race, on so many levels. The track had a couple of surprises and was very, very confusing at times but our team had such a brilliant start of the season.

I could not decide what to race until the very last moment. Interceptor or Assault Frigate? Fast or Slow? Old or New? Safe? Fun? When I did, I picked my new Jaguar, la Féline Fatale. That was the first surprise. And then...

00:16 - The World Upside Down

"One jump here" came in Searaph's calm voice.

We were all in a long jump trail -what, seven jumps or so?,- approaching waypoint four. We had listened over team comms as Nakatre made a nasty mistake fumbling the checkpoint a couple of waypoints before and then was almost last in her frigate. I was barely ahead of her, racing an assault frigate for the very first time. I wondered if switching classes had been a nasty mistake too...

Other than that, everyone was falling into familiar habits. Takashi in front. Kay catching up from a slow start, right there with Searaph and demon his usual insolent self, challenging the interceptors on a Firetail.

Then the world turned upside down.

"I think I miswarped, no can here." That was Searaph's voice.


More racers piling on the waypoint... only there was no waypoint. "It's seven, belt two," "Aww, no can here" "Report it, ah, report it right now to KillJoy!" confusion in the comms.

The waypoint was reported and ISRC called waypoint five, Skarkon. Turn back and give me fifty jumps, racer, on the double!

Suddendly, being still halfway became being already halfway.

So we were all in a long jump trail -what, seven jumps or so?,- going backwards and approaching waypoint five. We had listened over team comms to Nakatre's glee as she was the first to get there in her frigate. I was just behind her in my AF, grinning inside.

Other than that, everyone was having a hard time. Takashi one of the last but catching up fast, Kay and Searaph barely ahead and trying to keep him at bay. Only demon was being his usual uppity self, somehow quickly moving from first place frigates (moving forward) to first place frigates (going backwards).

Really, ah, fired up.

00:44 - That was EVIL!

Waypoint 9 was special. Evil. KillJoy is proving to be every bit a sadist about track design as Gyra was, and then some.

I think... one thing is putting waypoints in places you can get shot at and you come out feeling shaky. Cleverly setting waypoints together so you misread the instructions inside, is another -you come out feeling stupid. That hurts.

It turns out that 9, 10 and 11 were all together at an Ice Field 1. 10 was very obviously a decoy and everyone was confused thinking it was an error... The setup was such that people assumed, but did not read the waypoints... and what they missed along the way was that the real 10 was in the same object, Asteroid Belt 1. He helped us make a mistake. Very clever, KillJoy, very clever...

Let's do that again :)

00:51 - Knock on Goo

By waypoint 13, my only AF rival Zeke was on League chat already congratulating me on my victory -quite a gentleman during and after the race. Although I was far ahead I was not sure not to have dropped any of the bookmarks myself; I needed to put 5 minutes between us to protect me from penalty time and I was not sure I would manage.

In the meantime, I knocked on goo.

Sure enough, the track was so confusing that penalties rained afterward. Our team mates got so many of them but so did almost everyone else -it almost did not change the results.

Zeke did not get a penalty. He came in 4:40 behind me.

I did not get a penalty either.

As I mentioned before, we won every class of the race, what an amazing start to our season :)

00:58 - Join the Gate-Set

ISD reporters have this cool frigate, it's called a Polaris, have you ever seen one up close? They are quite bigger than the usual friggy, they do look cruiser-sized to me... but then again I imagine they must be packed with all sorts of electronics and recording stuff and, who knows, writing staff and watercoolers and anything a reporter may need to cover a story in deep space.

Point is, it is a cool-looking ship. Rumour has it, it is a very special thing to fly as well, can pull a few tricks that no one of us can and has some insane stats. Well, ISD had two of those at the finish line waiting for us. Apparently they were having their very own Rookies & Vets, with veteran race reporter ISD Zachary Zain showing ISD Ashtoth Varlon around the racing scene.

Come to think of it, I have not seen any of these new 'Sleeper' ships everyone is talking about. Now, I think I will and maybe in bunches. But a week ago, I got to see two Polaris frigates flying together.

How cool is that?

11 March 2009

Please be safe

Like most of you by now, I have watched the news horrified. An entire planet? Half a billion people? Gone?

I can't believe it. The numbers stopped making sense so many zeroes ago. Also, a planet? How do you lose a planet? They say it was a some sort of natural disaster, which is little consolation. Could it have been avoided? Who knows. At least some people got out.

They say, eight degrees of separation is what it takes to reach anyone in the galaxy. You know what, it does not work when everyone is trying to reach everyone else at the same time. Comms went under yesterday morning as news became bleaker and bleaker, and they are not yet back to normal.

I feel secretly lucky that family is OK -got in touch with them already. Doubly so that Paul took that job in Empire instead of going back to his mining op. I found out that Kay, demon and maybe Naka are OK, some of the UC people too but I am concerned about the rest of my friends.

Apparently some in the crew were not as lucky. Thomas, our navigator, warned me he is trying to find out about some relatives and he may not be up to his usual, god bless him. I could notice people going around and dealing with it in their own fashion: some red-eyed, some dragging their feet, slouching shoulders, some simply withdrawing elsewhere inside their minds. I must admit I have never been close to my crews...

I took the Déjà Vu out for a spin. She feels it too. She is not her smooth self, rather lurches forward nervously. Yes, it has to do with the people.

I have work to do. I feel terrible about ISRC having a race scheduled by Sunday. Yah, as if, we can't raise half of the racers and some of the staff. I think this may not be the best time to push it -even if I am OK it may be very selfish to assume everyone else is. I know what to do. Words are not enough but, today, I can offer words and little else.

"Those of you in our staff that have reported relatives or close friends affected by this tragedy: we stand with you. Please know that ISRC will put travel means at your disposal if..."
"ISRC will decide as a corporation -no, as a family- what our next steps should be."

I finish the press release and send the holo off, holding back the tears. I hope they are watching the news.

Come on guys, please be safe. Please call, let us know you are out there.


((Out of character: Please let us know if you survived the patch -especially if you are in the racing scene. I know I did but there are desync issues and god knows how many other problems out there. Some people may have trouble patching, some may need to get shader number five or whatever, some may never come back. The plan today remains the same as last Sunday: to hold race #2 on 15 March.

However, we can swap this race with the next one (exhibition) if you guys think it will be safer; we would still be racing but without scores. Let me know what you think.))

10 March 2009

Acropypha... Aphocry... Apoc... Patch Day

'Nuff said.

By the way, you can go get your very own fix of news events right here!

09 March 2009

Racing That

I still have trouble believing it.

We won.

It is not like, "we won a race," mind you. I am really trying to be polite and not gloat in public, I know there are people reading. Really. Trying. Hard.

But I can't stop smiling every time I think about it.

In a word, our team had a very good Season 7 start. All of us, even our rookiest racers arrived before any of our adversaries. We won every class. I think this is going to change once the times and penalties are known and this will be very hard to repeat, but right now I am savoring the result. The track killed the interceptors' speed advantage and Kay was less than amused (hey, it's not like it was your fault)... yet we made it! I am very, very proud of my team.

But I would not want to gloat. So I better keep quiet, and will come back when the rush has worn off, with a better report and maybe even pics I had a chance to take.

Oh, by the way? I race a Jaguar.

05 March 2009

Racing What?

After our first exhibition race, the serious competition starts this coming Sunday. This means I drop everything related to track design and hosting and get to race myself. I even forced my brother to resign ISRC, mwa ha ha. La Scuderia is ready, team-mates sort of ready, our competitors seem certainly ready, everyone is ready. Am I ready? Of course not...

I wonder, what should I wear to the party?

On one hand, I could keep going with my interceptor, nowadays the Speed Potion #2. I know her so well... I have raced inties for three seasons now, I have even come up with cool stuff and have ideas to improve. I would be fleet booster from the front -which gives us a faster team. With our kickass inty racers, Kay and Searaph, this makes for a very strong SDS team.

Now, remember that The Tak is Back. Since S4, we have never beaten Takashi's season... maybe the odd race here or there, but not a season. We will need all our team's strengths to beat him and his VRT team... and I make the team stronger if I race inty. And if we carry inties, the other classes benefit as well.

On another hand, I can go race an AF, something that I have never done before. It is all about following others' lead. I do not know AF race fitting, my fleet bonuses would work from the back which I guess is silly. I hate hyper rigs, such a waste of slots, but I would need them. Our team has been traditionally weak on AFs (speed-wise, 'cause our AF pilots can still shoot stuff out of the sky), this would be an opportunity to change that. We would go into FI's and Dirtside's turf. Also, if I do well it is a chance to go for a triple crown: Frigates Champion (S3), Interceptors (S6) and finally AF (S7?), first one ever! If I manage that.

So I was thinking that aloud... so loud in fact that I ended up buying and half-fitting a new racer: Féline Fatale, a Jaguar. It could have been a Wolf with all those low slots, but the Jag is lighter and I think I am more of a cat person. Plus, "I race a Jaguar" has such a nice ring to it.

And so... should I go for the safety of racing an interceptor, for the good of the team, guaranteed fun and a shot at beating the best? Or should I forgo team strength and my own, for a learning experience, possible pain and a shot at personal glory with the AF class?

I wonder...


03 March 2009

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, make me a Map...

Mapmaker, Mapmaker,
Make me a map,
Find me a find,
catch me in Catch.
Mapmaker, Mapmaker,
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect map.

"Bad news Quin, Ombey is quitting."


"Ombey, the guy who makes maps."

It took a couple of seconds to register.



Damit, map guy is going away?!

Oh... whatever it is, good luck Ombey.

Maybe he does not know how important he is to everyone. Nah, I do not think so, he has been doing this forever and he must know already how very appreciated his stuff is. It must be something else. Something bigger. Important. Something for himself? That is a good thing then...

In any case, even if you already know or imagine, please let me say out loud how important Ombey has been to us in the racing scene because of his mapwork:

  • The maps help ISRC lay down the track for each and every race. It is easy to see where each waypoint should go, where the chokepoints are and how to get from here to there.

  • My racing team studies the region map every week before a race, they get used to the region and names. Spare racers and clones and bookmarks are set up thanks to these. I figure that other teams do the same -and if they don't, they should.

  • We have the fit crew on comms during the race, with the maps. They are especially helpful during blackouts like, undocking, and on occasion for detours when racing tricky regions (like that stupid Jita race).

  • And after using the maps for one thing, you can't really go back and do the rest without. Many of us now use the maps for everyday life, to find cool trading spots, to go exploring on a sensible path, to find the best path through dark places. there is no going back!

So we use those maps. A lot.

I can only imagine how much effort went on these; but what is even harder to imagine is how many people you have reached and use your work on a daily basis for whatever different purposes.

So I think this is a better place because of your stuff.

I guess what I am trying to say is... Thank You!

You, sir, have made a difference. Thank you and good luck Mapmaker.



((OOC, I can only say one thing: take care Ombey, and enjoy. We will all miss you. Two things, actually: don't biomass you character. Oh, three, you are not an 'Om-who' to any of us :P))

01 March 2009

I, Clone Part 4

Part 1: Welcome Back
Part 2: The Goodness of Our Heart
Part 3: The many deaths of Kendar Zek
Part 4: Impostor

Ockham's Razor: The simplest answer is usually the correct answer.

A) Thanks to advances in medical technology, the victim of a degenerative genetic disease can be cloned and cured. In the absence of a full neural backup, external memories can be synthesized and uploaded, giving the patient a new shot at life.

B) It is a scam. Dead people cannot be restored to life without using a capsule.

Kendar had given up on becoming all he was once. It was like trying to become a stranger, the endless study, the neural therapy, the constant forgetting of simple facts. Cloned or not, he would never be whole again. This much he knew.

He had gone back to his old habit of keeping a journal. He found those precious few moments unmonitored and, during those, he tried to keep rack of anything notable. Because it was private, he kept his journal in the same spot he had hidden Coat's wallet.

Then, there was something else, something deeper. He did not know, but he knew that something else had changed. He often found himself wondering if he old Kendar Zek would have done a particular thing the same way he had. Character, was that called character? One thing was his memories and another, his character. How do you save character for later? And, can it be restored? He felt like he had Kendar Zek's memories -some of them, at least,- but not his character.

He felt like an impostor.

Get up, let's go.

On the bright side, he had this treasure trove of memories. If he looked not at how much he had forgotten, but at how much he remembered already, it was fantastic. Flight training, connections in the Federation Navy, a name. He was already privileged to have those. There was no shame in not recovering the rest. He was beginning to feel at ease with himself.

Whatever the holes in his mind were, they were his holes. He would learn to live with them -damned if he couldn't. He already had more than people expect to have during their entire lifetime. He smiled at the thought of steering his life forward rather than back; he would become all he could be -rather than whatever he had been once. He opened the journal at a random page and read.

Who the hell was this 'Ambriel' person? Who had written this in his journal?

His own handwriting stared back at him.


Doctor Kraak was rightly concerned about his patient.

The patient should not have any recollection of those issues after the morning therapy. It was normal for him to have questions every day and he did his utmost to answer them, but one of the questions was out of spec.

He dealt with the fiancée question deftly. The best lie always contained an element of truth, so he did not deny anything: "You may have forgotten, but an investigation is underway."

He would have to erase that again. Maybe there was a technical glitch somewhere. How was he remembering what had been erased? Maybe there was an information leak. External? Security would have to be checked.

The next question was poignant but expected and therefore easy to answer. The patient wanted to know if he was going to live. "Mr. Zek, I am afraid I do not have the answer you want. Our technology has limits. We have restored you but cannot cure your genetic condition. We estimate, based on your biological age, that you still have three years of life ahead. On the other hand, this may be enough for a man of your resources to find a solution." Of course Kendar Zek was going to die, who would expect anything less?

The cloning story had had to be carefully prepared and, bullshit as it was, it walked the fine border between a medical clone wonder and bad science fiction. Kraak was not going to commit himself to a more outlandish claim to a miracle gene cure; he simply did not have the expertise.

Lie as little as possible, as consistently as possible to make it believable. Ockham's razor. "We brought your body back just as you were. We are unable to change things." Done. Things were going well.


Ken did not betray his surprise. Sugar had told him he was going to live. Coat was telling him, to his face, that he was going to die. To say that something did not quite fit would have been an understatement.