My name is Alexa Virinenkov and I am a capsuleer.
Ever wonder why everyone starts out in some school? It's not because they wanted to, it's because they had to. Whats worse is that no one remembers the lost years. You wake up in your capsule, a message waiting, flashing in, I guess, in your eyes. It tells you about your ship, how to undock, how to load your cargo bay, all those good things. That is your ship, your cheap pathetic ship, not some nice caring friends. Thats your ship telling you how to go be useful again, telling you the basics. It tells you these things because that school of yours, it's wiped your memory.
I woke up, same as you and everyone else, I relearned how to do everything. How to fly my ship, how to endure combat, how to use the weapons, I relearned it all. I was successful, my wallet stacked ten digits out. Then as I flew through the vastness of null security space I came face to face with something I didn't think I would ever see out there. My own corpse, with the words “Federation Navy” emblazoned along the bicep.
I'd never been to XD-T0V before, why was my corpse out here? Why was my corpse labeled with a military tattoo from the Federation? I graduated from their school only 8 months ago, I was never in the navy! It couldn't have been my corpse, but the scans all proved it, even the implant configuration. No two capsuleers have the same one, something about the way the brain forms in utero and changes during adolescence. They'd taught us that in school, I'd always thought it was a bit odd back then.
That corpse got me thinking, had someone moved it out here? Scooped it up back in lowsec, thawed it, tattooed it, then re jetisoned it? Why would anyone do that? I started reading up on the local pirates. Guristas aren't known for mutilating or collecting bodies like the Blood Raiders are. It couldn't have been them, my friend Onigashi who flys with them even confirmed that it isn't their style. Why would they start now?
This mystery plagued me for several years as I traveled the space lanes. On a few occasions I'd heard stories in the group channels about other capsuleers who'd also found their corpses in strange places. Most had just assumed they didn't remember it thanks to an out of date clone or something. I've only been podded three times though, and I remember each and everyone of them, burned into my psyche like a laser burns through hull plating. Up to date clones are to thank for that.
One day in my travels, a pleasant day by most accounts, I ran across an unusually large military detachment from the Federation. A young captain by the name of Yvonne Legrand opened a chat with me and started asking me how I'd been. I quickly searched my contacts, I had no record of this young woman. I queried the public databases on her and found she was barely 40 years old, I was only 30, and only 5 years out of the academy. She wasn't old enough to have been an instructor, nor was she even a capsuleer so that ruled that out. Who was this woman? I quickly answered that I was fine and that business was good. She asked me if I was still in the same business and I responded with yes hoping that she would elaborate on her question.
“Ah, well how about we make this private, may I board your ship?” Yvonne said, “You may, would you like to do this in space or a station?” I responded, to which she simply said “You know how observant stations are, better we do this elsewhere.” “I have a safe spot we can use, 40 AU from anything, follow me.” I said and we took off to my safe spot. I still had no idea who this woman was or what my old business was, but she was sure as hell going to tell me!
As her cruiser landed at the safe spot pulling along side my battleship I quickly loaded my guns for high alpha Void L and told the ship to slowly rotate the guns into position to fire on her vessel but to do so without targeting. A little used sub function that would take the better part of fifteen minutes without the feedback of active targeting.
A small craft ejected from the cruiser, no larger then a small drone and headed for my ship's maintenance personnel boarding doors. It would appear she was coming alone, that craft couldn't hold more then her. I prepared my body suit and the neural links, then disembarked the capsule to greet her in person. Wireless neural linking isn't as reliable or as fast as connecting yourself directly to the capsule, but it would let me fight off a cruiser, or in this case ransom one. I disembarked the capsule and suited up, completing final connectivity checks as I walked towards the boarding bays. She was waiting in the bay for my authorization to enter the enter the ship, I gave it.
“I hadn't expected to see you in person Alexa, what prompted this?” “It's been so long Yvonne, I thought an in person meeting was appropriate.” I replied as I ushered her towards an entertainment room on the starboard side of my Megathron's bridge. We could clearly see her Federation Navy Thorax floating eight kilometers off my bow, but my guns were quite out of view. “Take a seat, let us chat of the old days.” I said to Yvonne as I gestured towards the bar in front of the windows. She sat as I walked towards the bar and started mixing a Gin N Tonic for myself. “Would you like a drink?” “Yes, a Vodka and Quafe would be delightful Alexa.” Silence filled the room as I mixed our drinks.
I passed her her drink and sat down on the stool opposite her, gently sipping at mine. She looked me over, “You look different Alexa.” “How so?” I inquired. “You look... less burdened, happier.” “Yet you look the same, stressed. How is it a Federation Navy Captain has the authority to randomly visit with friends from years gone by?” I asked her. “Oh Alexa...” she said as her hand slipped beneath the bar. “You don't remember do you?”
As the last of her question rolled off her tongue I solidified my body suit, freezing me in my position but also rendering myself impervious to most small arms and sealing me off from the environment of the room. “No Yvonne, I don't, but you're going to tell me.” I said as my ship unleashed a salvo into her cruiser ripping through it's armor, numbers flashing in my mind as the lock timer ticked down. She jumped to her feet and sprinted for the door, muttering under her breath. Lock complete, two stasis webifiers and the warp scrambler sprang to life ensnaring the enemy vessel, another volley ripping through the last of it's armor. Yvonne tried the door but found it locked, my trap had worked flawlessly. “Now Yvonne, what do you know?” I yelled, my voice amplified by the room's speakers, my anger so strong my voice leaked through the suit and into the ship itself.
She whipped out a blaster and pointed it square at me, evidently unaware of my suit's new properties, “Let me and my men go! Or there won't be an atom left of you to clone.”. “Fine, shoot me.” I said as I ordered the ship to fire a single gun into the tackled vessel, 25% hull damage. She didn't disappoint, she shot me in the knee, but to her dismay the suit absorbed the blast as though it were nothing. “Now, do I have to kill your friends and knock you out with nerve gas, or are you going to tell me what I need to know?”