Thursday, 17 July 2014


... bright lights.

Rolling hills, blue skies.

The hum of the propeller. No... the faint scent of the moa racing ahead.

A barren wasteland? Mountains? The thrill of dice clattering to the table top.

Songs being sung through school halls. Piles of paperwork. The sweaty heat of a Sunday afternoon chained to a desk, dreaming of-

... stars.

I awoke in the pod a few days ago. Coughing, and hacking up dried-pod connection fluid, I emerged onto the hangar floor, collapsing as my atrophied limbs failed me.

Disuse had decayed what little muscle I had saved since becoming a capsuleer. Skin hanging like rags around me.

And the dull realization creeping though my gut that I no longer cared. I no longer recognized this body as a part of me. Rather, it was property, to be worn, and discarded when it no longer served it's purpose. The daily grind to maintain this soggy container of my concious seemed hardly worth the effort. Why bother eating? The savage hunger pangs of starvation can be barely recalled when a fresh clone is activated.

I looked back at the pod.

So that was the Sleeper experience.

To fold oneself into the world apart from New Eden. To have fevered dreams of ancient atmosphere craft, and to experienced wild fantasies of swords and sorcery. To revel in the simple pleasure of a well-run school, and the relatively mundane, yet sublime struggles of a normal life.

It was... attractive.

I somehow managed to drag myself to a food prep station, more out of habit than any real desire to feed. A thick salty broth eased some of this body's desperate cries, and over the next few hours, I placed ever more solid chunks of nourishment in my screaming gut. Dogmatic training super-cedes emotion in times like this, and I had been born Khanid, trained as a knight, and had long been taught to keep my body in good health. My body saw to its needs whilst my mind wandered.

I had been gone long this time. Longer than before. The sleeps were coming on more rapidly too. The gap this time just a few months, and the sleep itself nearly as long.

It's difficult to describe the sensation of knowing your end is close. Not even much of an end. More of a tiring slide into suspension. Not even the rigors and passions of youth declining into old age, but simply... stopping.

I dragged myself to the console, pulling up my public log. Readers still came and still commented. Strange how much that still meant, as if the human connection was all that mattered. Perhaps I always felt that way.

I am... reluctant to leave.

Too much I haven't done.

Too much I haven't seen.

So much... but I doubt there's time left.

Eventually, the sleeps would take me. And for all I know the kind, if somber, staff of Doomheim would find the nearest wormhole and release my body to the strange stations scattered beyond easy reach. Perhaps I should just take a shuttle out to the nearest blue star like the poor soul trapped in Geztic.


Now what?

Seems like only one thing to do.


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