Welcome to space

15th November 2010 – 7.30 pm

I get a call from an old friend, someone I never thought I'd hear from again. Capsuleers are like that, thinking themselves immortal and above us normals. You'd think that space pilots would understand there is no 'up' or 'down' in space, but there you go. It's nice to hear from Penny, and she makes me quite the offer, one I find hard to refuse. To become immortal myself.

The seventy-five million ISK casually transferred in to my account isn't needed to sweeten the deal, but apparently it isn't meant to. When I am told it is there to be spent I damn well nearly faint, it being more than I would make in five lifetimes planetside, but then I am given strict instructions on what to buy. A bunch of books doesn't sound expensive, but these are special, apparently. They'd better be at almost five million a pop!

I get all the books, accidentally buying one more than once, although that doesn't seem to matter. I also buy a bunch of implants, but I'm not sure quite what they are used for yet, or where they might be implanted. I am left with almost ten million ISK, which I can't even picture but am told is not even enough to buy the ship I am training to fly. And then the training starts.

Cybernetics is first, information flooding in to my mind, learning almost too quickly what is to happen next. Training finishes, briefly, as the implants I bought get 'plugged in'. What a lovely euphemism for slicing open your skull to jam electronic circuits in to your brain. At least I now have plugs, so hopefully any other implants aren't gained quite so traumatically. And I feel smarter.

The implants are just the beginning. Intensive training with the books I bought increases my capacity for learning, my intelligence markedly increasing along with my memory. It's all so quick, but I am sure I am taking it all in. What a buzz! There is more to learn, so much more, but even round-the-clock assimilation has its limits, the information fed to me only as quickly as my modified neurons can accept it.

I am brought out to space for one purpose. I am made capsuleer to safeguard my old friend. And what a gift I'm given in the process. I will learn to pilot a covert operations scanning boat, I will be the beacon that guides her home.

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