• Vengeance
  • Wormhole
  • Asteroid - Blue
  • Asteroid - Green/Yellow
  • Plasma Planet
  • Asteroid - Purple
  • Intaki VI and Asteroids
  • Intaki Prime
  • SakBat
  • Warp Tunnel Distortion
  • Peyote Lake
  • Bighorns
  • Grizzly
  • White Anemone
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Purple Anemone
  • Waterton
  • Foothills
  • White Tiger
  • Red Panda
  • Orange Fungi
  • Grapes
  • Daenan
  • Arlayn
  • Stream
  • Berwen

Yearly archives: 2004


I have never felt this tired in my life. I’m not even sure what time it is…just very late.

The entire day was spent at the intake office, and most of that in the medical wing, a very cold and sterile place. It reminded me of the hospital and my throat started to ache with memory.

They weighed me, tested my blood, scanned my brain, took tissue samples. I ran for what felt like hours on a treadmill, with tons of leads and wires strung from my body, feeding data to their equipment. They put me in a centrifuge to test my resilience against g-forces—at one point I was sure I would black out, but managed not to. That part was almost fun, actually! Like being on rides at the amusement park with Father as a child, only much more intense.

I think now they must know more about my body than I do!

I wasn’t told much, just led around and ordered to do this, that, and the other thing. Often, the personnel attending me would review results on their printouts or datapads, nod, make notes, and apparently mutter with approval. Half of what I did hear them say I didn’t understand at all. So much technical jargon!

…and then I died.

In the Navy

Scolluzer VII – Moon 3 – Federal Navy Academy School

Sakaane woke just moments before the bedside alarm went off. The unfamiliar darkness confused her; the room was pitch black and devoid of all sound save for the quiet hum of air circulation fans hidden away in the ceiling.

Then the alarm blared its buzzer next to her ear and she remembered. This wasn’t home; it was a small windowless cabin, practically a closet, in a space station light-years from where she’d been born. The alarm’s light reflected off the polysteel walls, bathing the room in a blood red glow that blinked on and off.

Just like the emergency lights on the passenger liner.

Groaning, she banished the thought and reached over to turn the alarm off. It was 0600 station time.

“Lights.” The overhead flicked on. Blinking, Sakaane shuffled from the room’s narrow bunk to the opposite wall, where a doorway revealed a compact lavatory. She squeezed into the tiny shower stall. The water was on the cold side of lukewarm and she gasped, muttering under her breath about how the accommodations certainly did not live up to the exorbitant fee she’d paid for only one night’s stay. But as soon as she’d looked up hotel rates the night before she’d realized such was station life: living in space was not cheap and any amount of real estate came at a premium.

The water did not encourage her to linger and soon enough she was dressed, checked out of the room, and standing before the doors to the academy with her travel bag slung over her shoulder. Excitement tingled through her. Without hesitation she pushed the door open and stepped inside.


Verge Vendor Region – Ancbeu Constellation – Scolluzer System

The warp tunnel collapsed; a stargate loomed into view above Sakaane’s ship, dwarfing the battered Griffin-class frigate she’d bought from a salvage yard in Agoze. Abandoned on a battlefield where a capsuleer and Serpentis pirates had recently clashed, the ship was badly damaged and just barely functional. Yet it was all she had been able to afford. A shuttle was beyond her budget and she wouldn’t risk taking a commercial passenger transport.

Never again.

The burly man who sold the wrecked Griffin to her had been happy to be rid of what he called a “worthless hunk of squiddy metal” for the meager price she offered. He’d shrugged when she’d asked if it would hold together through seven jumps from Intaki.

“Mebbe,” he’d drawled, “if yer real lucky an don’t meet no pirates.” The salvage yard wasn’t terribly well-equipped; he’d pulled out a dusty paper map of the area. “You figurin on goin through Ost direct ta high security empire? Bad idea, that. Stac gate there usually camped.” He pointed. “Better ta use this gate here.”

He’d shrugged again when she protested about the course change adding another jump to the trip. “It’s yer life. Either way ya gotta figure some way ta fly this boat first. There ain’t no pod innit, an you ain’t no pod pilot.”

True, but that was the entire purpose of the journey. Becoming a capsuleer had never occurred to her before; she was Intaki, content to remain an artisan singing songs for her modest following, until Serpentis pirates had ruined it all. Now she was determined and had quickly learned from any pilot and mechanic willing to teach her how to rig the former pod ship for manual controls good enough to get by.

I will have my revenge.

Starting Over

I’m told I’ll be released in a week. My physical therapy has gone well; I’m fitter and stronger now than I was before the incident. Thanks to the doctor’s skilled hands you can’t even tell I was ever physically injured…all the scars are gone.

My psychological health has improved greatly since I got my voice back. I no longer fall victim to fits and tantrums when I see reports of pirate activity on the news. I feel much calmer, much more like myself. The nightmares are becoming quieter also… More and more I can sleep an entire night through. They tell me there’s little else they can do to help…the rest of this long road I need to travel on my own, as Ida teaches us.

Mom…is much the same. Her body has healed and they know she could take care of herself…if she wanted to. They moved her to a long-term care facility, one normally for the elderly with advanced mental decay. She seems old now, though she’s not.

She has yet to say anything to anyone and in my heart I know I won’t hear her speak again. She’ll never come home either.

Hello Again

I spoke today for the first time in ten weeks!

At first I wasn’t sure I could. But then the words formed and the sound came out!

I went to see my mother. She’s out of intensive care now and is responding well to the regenerative therapies. She can sit up unassisted and is starting to be able to handle solid foods. I hoped when I showed her I barely need the hoverchair anymore and could greet her aloud, it would spark something, anything…

At the sound of my voice she did turn to look at me. I reached out my hands and she let me take hers in mine, and even squeezed my fingers a bit. She watched me for a moment before a tear fell down her face and she turned back to the window.

She’s always like this now, always staring out the window.

I talked to her until my throat felt raw and I worried I’d overdone it, but she didn’t look at me again.

All I Ever Wanted Was to Sing

Dr. Haluarin wants to operate on my throat again. My vocal chords were basically destroyed by shrapnel and the regenerative therapies they’ve tried to date haven’t worked.

He says at this point it will be easier to completely remove what’s left and wants me to agree to let him grow me a new set instead. They’ll basically clone my throat and then transplant the new vocal chords in.

I don’t know anything about cloning. He says it’s quite safe and thousands of people called “capsuleers” are cloned daily without issue.

I haven’t been able to speak, or sing… What will I do without my voice?

I’m going to agree to the procedure.

…I wonder what a capsuleer is?