Just Dig

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By: Aria Rounuken

I regain consciousness after a long rest, my body aches, I taste the bitterness of my old pod fluids, “gotta make that change soon”. I keep forgetting basic maintenance things like these.
I open my eyes briefly, a dim deformed light seeps through my pod tank. I take a moment to become aware of that floating sensation and nothingness that a pod gives.

BEEEP BEEEP, alarm goes off. Reminding me we must start to work soon, I tried setting the alarm off. I’ve been struggling with my neural interface implant lately. Sometimes it’s just glitchy. I close my eyes and bring up my virtual HUD, the ships’ sensors are coming back to me… as I feel the coldness of the docking port arms, as if they touch my own body. A neighboring ship starts its engines. The vibrations travel through plate and hull. I feel the engine heat as if it hit my own face … I start my own engines. I feel her rumble, I feel the heat building. I recognize every servo, panel, pipe and cable as my own skin, muscles and blood. I freed myself from the docking arms and instantly ..

I am the ship.

As i cruise out of the station I feel a drop in energy , my capacitor module is not what it used to be. I can relate the feeling as instantly being depressed and lacking energy.

Hail beep. It’s Winston. Winston Enderas runs mining operations around HEk and other things…. or so everyone says… there are good guys and so far they have made me feel at home.
I am being summoned to a mining fleet. Mining solo has become increasingly aggravating around HEk. You know those clones aren’t really free. I have managed to keep this old thing flying for a while.. a frigate class mining ship named venture, my “Pufferfish”.

As i cruise through the main Hub in station i see a common site of ships industrial and military everyone going on an off to their own capsuleer choices a deafening sound of engines, alarms, docking arms and machines, going about fill the main Station Hub, a visual invasion of the sensors with colorful lights, warning signs and news casts.

and the automated hail from the station reads:

In order to conserve and protect our natural resources, our organization has taken on the burden of regulating all activity within Hek and the surrounding systems. In exchange for compliance with our regulatory efforts, we routinely offer boosts as well as tactical and logistical support. To take advantage of these benefits, please join one of our regular public fleets.

“If you want to mine, you can go to HEK”

While exiting the station, my HUD indicates a biomass near by,. I use my ship’s camera to zoom in, it’s a clone body… I’ve always feared being consciously trapped in a clone after decompression. I’ve heard stories….
It’s in range, i collect the biomass as i pass by.

I’ve been collecting biomass for many cycles. They have their uses.. maybe i can salvage a good neural interface implant. I know a guy that does that.
The fleet location is on the comms feed. I set my bearings and start warp.

Being in warp is like rushing through a sea of hands trying to pull you away, every planet, star, anomaly trying to pull you to them. Some people turn off their sensors through warp , but i love it i reminds me of the life of physical contact we give up on becoming a capsuleer…

As the ship slows down from Warp i come up to the fleet operations, maybe a bit to close for comfort, beeeeep proximity alarm goes off . I sweep under the Bosmang, an industrial command ship “ORCA” marvelous in its design, large and sturdy. I dream of a day i could drive one of those.. I wonder what it would feel like to be that big… all that energy….

BAATAANG! i feel the Bosmang’s fleet boost hit my ship like a rush of adrenaline. I feel more energy in me.
Sensors interpret a particular burning metallic soil smell around mining operations. It triggers my focus, i love this job.

BEEP Comms Hail from the Bossmang.
” Aria, stop lingering. Just Dig”

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