General Impressions and Recollections of [REDACTED] by AZKV

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:03 am

General Impressions and Recollections of [REDACTED]
by AZKV from IRC

I am a pilgrim.

Mind you, I don't like being called a pilgrim. Quite frankly it's a very silly title, and I must say that I rather resent the connotations. At least people are generally pretty good about avoiding it when I ask politely.

I'd rather you think of me more as a mercenary space-pilot than a pilgrim. I think that's altogether a more accurate description. Hell, think of me as a low-life drug smuggler or a mass murderer - better than being a pilgrim, that's for certain.

Right, where was I...well, I should begin with the fundamentals. I'm from Eridani. I used to work for a starship engineering firm - we built high-thrust vector nozzles and sold a lot of stuff to the space force, but that's neither here nor there. I was dating a nice girl. All in all, it wasn't too bad - Eridani's pretty nice, especially if you don't really go for nightlife. Sometimes I wondered what it might be like to lead an adventurous life and go on some epic quest.

Then one day during a meeting at work, I became momentarily distracted. Happens sometimes to everyone - you sort of start to daydream, or at least your thoughts wander, and by the time you actually return your focus to the situation at hand, you find you haven't been paying any attention at all for a couple of minutes. Well, it seemed like it was going to be just that, but it was just then that Domina crap started up. The last thing I remember is that the lights in the room began to flicker, which got everyone's attention. And then I noticed a funny smell and taste - partly metallic and also reminiscent of ozone, among other things.

And then the vision started. Pretty typical stuff - very vivid, very surreal. Stars, planets. Zooming at high speed through interstellar space with stars whizzing past. The whole universe turning. Apocalypses, rebirths. Not much language. I did get the sense that there was something female and desirable, in several senses, calling for me from the galactic core.

When I came to, I saw a bunch of people standing around where I was sitting, trying to get my attention; evidently they were quite worried. I looked around, nervously, and explained what had happened. It was a small firm and we were pretty specialized; all the design guys and my boss were there. They were pretty understanding at least; apparently I sounded very sincere.

Thankfully I had a good deal in my accounts, and I am an engineer. I was able to find, among other things, a junked (though serviceable) Wolfen, and lots of suitable parts. The scrap dealers and so on around here were pretty sympathetic, too. After about a month of work I had myself something very much like a Wolfen, although it does look different from a normal Wolfen. I have kept up with upgrades as necessary; you can make your credits go a long way if you're clever and shop around. And sometimes you get lucky and find good stuff in wreckage.

At this point I have a pair of modified SN2500 reactors, which gives me a lot of power. It's a very compact installation, thankfully. I have something that started life as a Titan 440 thruster installation. There's a modified Class V deflector and some advanced ceralloy armor, complete with radiation-hardening and additional EMP protection - some nice applique stuff. I have a couple of patch spiders, too. I upgraded an ICX point-defense laser installation and added that on as part of the self-protection suite - got myself some nice ECM. I was even able to stealthify it. The cargo hold got some scan-shielding, though it's still the normal size - I have a couple of mule autons I carefully shepherd around when I need serious hauling, but even they're faster than usual. I have a dual lancer cannon installation and a dual Katana star cannon installation - I was able to get some of the electronics from some junked Hanzo blasters and adapt them. I have a fusionfire howitzer I found in a dead station as well, and an omnidirectional Tev 9; the forward-facing stuff is in limited-traverse barbette mounts, so I can engage stuff in about a thirty-degree cone. I quite like the F-1, as I call it (him?). The F-1 is a real rocket and very durable and well-armed. Making sure you're properly equipped is the least you can do for yourself.

I've had some real hair-raising adventures in the cockpit, by the way. Let's take the Charon system - I'd been flying missions for Korolev and also I'd encountered Charon bases. Well, the Charon system was something else - they had something like a dozen strongholds there, not to mention their infamous Fortress. I had to fight my way through wave after wave of gunships. And they weren't shy about committing their heavy stuff, too - I saw Drakes and Charon frigates. The system ended up choked with wrecks. But I destroyed everything they sent. They've never been the same quite since, or so I hear. Of course, they retained enough strength to keep sending attack groups to harass me with alarming frequency - I still can't go hardly anywhere without having to blow up two or three Drakes and frigates, not to mention several dozen gunships. I wonder where they keep getting everything. Same goes for the Marauders - I don't know how many Tripolis and raid platforms I've blown up, but they just keep goddamn coming. And I'm pretty sick of those Sung Wind and Steel things, especially the Steels with their damned cyber-attacks and electronic warfare nonsense. I did once manage to hack one of their hypernet relays and send them all a shock-image worm. It must have been effective, since they kept attacking me even more often than usual for something like two weeks after that.
Mind you, fighting the Sung isn't too bad - their food's pretty good, and you'll often find rations in the wreckage, especially the station wreckage. Even now I'm not much of a cook, but you can make simple stuff in the galley, and there's always the field rations. Those longzhu-sphere things are nice, too. You can upgrade a lot of things with them, although there's a trick to it.

Now, I don't mind the epic adventure parts of my experience so far - those are in fact quite fun. I've come to enjoy the violence, and I never had any moral qualms about it. Never had any moral qualms about dealing with the black market, either - they have some good pharmacologists, which we'll get to later. The parts I object to are the specifically piligrim-related parts, what with Domina bothering me. There's several aspects to that. Ever since the visions started, I've had this urge to go to the Core. It's subtle most of the time, but it's there, and it can act up sometimes. I've had crushes on girls; it's sort of like that. Maybe it's how being in love feels. Usually it's pretty tolerable, especially if you take measures. Now, most people like their Domina experiences, but I don't enjoy visions, even if the production values are really high, and I goddamn hate voices in my head. I did some research about the religious drugs those vile Sisters of Domina use, though, and based on that and some reading about neurochemistry, was able to get some idea as to what kind of compounds would work to have the opposite effect. Some presently commercially-available stuff - psychotropic - works just fine. I was able to find a supplier and the stuff helps to a certain extent; there are stronger things available, but they come with more side effects.

There are other measures I take, too. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but I came up with a shielded sleep helmet - it's got transuranic plates - that works pretty well to block stuff out, and you can add some wire mesh and so on too. In addition, whenever a Domina-type entity is present, you can measure it - besides lights flickering, I figured out that their presence messes with random number generators and such - they have a slight but detecable statistical effect on certain systems, rather - whenever they try and send you some visions and such. I figured that they didn't like being measured, and so I came up with a random number generator based on a sealed radiation source and a small scintillation counter, and I hooked it up to some stuff to record it. They do indeed not like being measured. I have the thing on continuously these days; this drastically reduces the incidences of visions and other presence-events. Between that and the drugs and other measures I take, I've been able to almost completely avoid strange dreams and visions, not to mention the occasional odd whispering voices in my head and that thing where you randomly experience intense emotions and somehow your bones and teeth feel itchy. All that remains is the urge, but I can live with that at least.

Needless to say, I've avoided the Sisters of Domina even since when the visions started up; I've never been able to stand them. Goddamn hippies.

Anyway, that's really it for now as far as subjective general impressions and fundamentals go - next time we'll talk about some specific episodes and incidents.
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shanejfilomena
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Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:26 am

halfway through that i figured Redacted did not imply contracted.

but very good stuff :)
Flying Irresponsibly In Eridani......

I don't like to kill pirates in cold blood ..I do it.. but I don't like it..

erik dela cruz
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Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:03 pm

Yep, goddamn hippies....I like! Ooops thought I was in fb. :wink:
I would have written the same but with more cuss. Hehehe. Nice. Seemed like more of an intro to something nasty. :lol:
.....cry without weeping......
.....talk without speaking......
.....scream without raising your voice......

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