Direct neural stimulation test response
Imperial Navy Academy
It was a headache, one bigger than I ever knew. It was like a supernova had gone off between my eyes, like the biggest migraine possible. There were all of these things that I saw-- shapes of shapes, but not actual shapes. I don't know how long it lasted. First the headache went away slowly, then these visuals faded.
I opened my eyes-- I don't know how I was seeing those images with my eyes closed, but I guess I was-- I saw this odd man. He looked like a Minmatar, but not dressed like any I've seen before. It looked like he was a wannabe-- trying to be more Amarr than the Amarrians, you know? But there was this tattoo on his neck, it drew me to him. I got up-- I was lying on the ground in a bunch of weeds. I wanted to talk, but he silenced me with a gesture. I looked around-- it was hard looking away from him, some odd compulsion. But I did anyway, and I was in the densest forest I've ever heard described. Everywhere was either green or brown, and there were these bugs all over the place. Worms with a hundred legs or more, a foot long and hairy; spiders in the branches overhead; lizards and birds all around me. Everything seemed to ignore me, these animals calling back and forth like the two of us weren't even there.
The Minnie gestured and I followed him. I couldn't stop myself. It was like he had this force of authority, like God Himself had kissed him on the lips and made him His chief angel. I'm a faithful follower of God, so I followed His angel. We walked for hours it seemed. When we moved, it was like we were climbing up a mountainside, when we stood still, like we were in a flat marsh. Always green, always full of animals and completely ignored by everything else around us. I tried several times to ask questions, but I couldn't.
We walked and walked, like I said it seemed like hours. All of a sudden, the forest ended and we were on a great plain. I recognized it instantly as part of Athra, even though I haven't been there. Isn't that odd? I looked and knew it was the cradle of our faith. A road lay before us. The Minnie gestured down one way, and there was this huge city. It wasn't a real city, it was the idea of Dam Torsad, the perfect city of God as He sees. And I knew that the world we see, isn't the world that God sees, because this world is imperfect and He sees only perfection. He doesn't see the crud, the poison, He only sees potential. I knew that the Empire we know is not the true Empire, but God sees it as it really is. It's our mortal eyes that make it dirty, our mortal minds that keep it from seeming as it really is. But that's OK, because I knew in that instant that God understands. That is why He sees the potential. And we are that mighty city because He has commanded it.
The Minnie gestured in the other direction. The horizon was taken up by a giant portal. It wasn't the Eve Gate, it was...something else. As I looked down the road, it shimmered like it was radiating heat on a hot summer day. I followed it with my eyes to the portal and the world seemed to twist around and fade into nothingness as it met the gate. There seemed to be something else beyond, but I couldn't see what it was.
The Minnie looked behind me, and I turned back to the forest. It was impenetrable and looked like it went on forever, except for a path that led from the road back where we had come from. And I knew that within that forest, there was game of every kind. Every animal in there, I could see clear signs of, and each was in its prime.
I looked back to the Minnie, but he was already walking away. The compulsion left me, and I could speak again. But he silenced me again, and I felt his words in my mind as he started to do a dance down the path to the portal.
Life demands movement, he said. Only the dead lie still as they rot. Follow one path or another, only those who are lost wait for rescue.
I received those words, but they were not meant for me. And I realized that what I saw as a Minmatar in Amarrian clothing was all those whose ancestors were enslaved and released. He was a Minmatar, but from the Mandate. As he danced down the path away from me, his clothes became Udorian, and Khanid, and a dozen others that I didn't recognize but knew were from peoples long since brought into the Faith.
When I first felt the compulsion, I felt like I was being violated, spiritually raped by this Minmatar, utterly betrayed by God using this... heathen, this slave, to lead me through the forest. As he disappeared down the road, I rejoiced in understanding that I could call one like him brother in the Faith. And I knew that it was my pride in being Amarr rather than my pride in being God's servant that made me feel violated before. I understood, really for the first time, the Reclaiming.
And then I woke up, with these wires in my head. I know it was just tricks played by electricity in my mind. But I still... these things remain as real to me as you are. I can even show you the tattoo this Minmatar had on his neck....
Data Source ended
Imperial Navy Academy
Adjudicator: Come we here to question the merits of Karath Piki, sponsor Yapetou Piki of Zoar & Sons, for entry to Capsuleer Training. Entered into evidence against such finding: Theological concerns; close working relationships with aliens and heretics; preliminary neurological studies; and current value to the Empire. Present are those recorded as Inquisitors A, B, C.
Inquisitor A: Cadet Piki, we have strong evidence of your collaboration with alien researchers and scientists, aiding convicted heretics and aiding rebels to the Empire. How do you respond to this?
Piki: Milord, Zoar & Sons has a long-standing partnership with Khanid Innovations, which culminated in a stock swap a decade and a half ago by permission from the Amarr Trade Registry. As part of this collaboration, I have been working alongside R&D specialists from both Khanid Innovations and Inherent Implants, helping to enhance the core Empire's advantage in supplying Holders, capsuleers and Cyber Knights alike with a new generation of implants. Since the relaxing of trade barriers by the ATR, the Empire has attempted to restore its market share in the Khanid Kingdom in cutting-edge military enhancements as part of a long term strategy. However, with the recent introduction of transcranial implants, Inherent Implants found itself falling behind the technology curve. I have served to facilitate development of implants that combines the advantages of transcranials and standard combat enhancements that mitigate remaining human weaknesses on the battlefield.
Although Khanid Innovations is a full partner in this, I worked to ensure that production would be the primary producer of resulting implants, as they have the facilities to ramp up to meet full demand within two weeks of necessary approvals.
Inquisitor B: Yet by doing so, Khanid Innovations has been able to pass along classified research to the Kingdom. The close ties between Kingdom and State mean that two alien bodies may have independent access to making these things, in violation of the agreements signed with Inherent Implants and on file with ATR. In short, this collaboration could undermine even further the strategic value of one of our great core assets. You seek entry to a military academy after such an act?
Piki: If we were not engaged with Khanid scientists, Inherent Implants would lose relevance in a matter of years. Most of the development of the next-generation transcranials was already in place before our collaboration; our primary value was in providing an avenue for manufacturing at a scale desireable and deep within Imperial territory. Security was a major concern of the Kingdom, particularly with the knowledge that certain pirate factions actively pursue implant technology. By moving production into the Empire, we both gave a measure of physical security to the project and managed to re-assert the reputation of Inherent Implants throughout the Cluster. It also created difficulties for the Kingdom to product future generations of implants, as those involved in my research will only be built in the Empire and those processes remain entirely classified, even from Khanid Innovations. Far from imposing risks of industrial sabotage by either the Kingdom or the State, our collaboration allowed us to parley entirely Khanid technological advances into strong strategic assets for the Empire.
Inquisitor C: This brings up the next point. Your present value to the Empire. How do you justify the expenses the Empire would spend on your training and support, to remove you from your current position? You have specialist knowledge about cutting-edge military technology possessed by only a handful of others in the Empire. In addition, you have strong working relationships within an organizer some see as a competitor and a threat that allow you to actively collaborate on their highest-value research and receive their blessing to bring it back and share with Amarrian companies. If you become a capsuleer, we lose much of that; the training would take years and your professional relationships disrupted. Your status as a capsuleer would be a gulf between you and them, ending what you just pointed out was a tremendously important strategic arrangement. Perhaps your value as a capsuleer would be less than as a researcher and officer for Zoar & Sons, or an appointment to a more official station.
Piki: That is a concern, that I am a victim of my own success. However, may I point out that the entire reason that collaboration was possible was my childhood friendship with Orelian Pesabato, a nephew of Ohulainen Pesabato, who had joined his uncle's lab at Khanid Innovations. However, Orelian Pesabato recently moved to a procedural auditing position within Lai Dai Corporation and is no longer actively conducting research. I am now considered another outsider in the Pesabato organization in Khanid Innovations. There were always those who wanted production of the implants to remain in the Kingdom and my biggest supporter is no longer employed there. Although I understand enough about the implants to do minor alterations, it's more of a mechanical understanding that lets me alter small things. There's no way I would be useful in designing a new concept that would launch another revolution in the area. I added a lot of value to the Empire, but I don't have much potential as a scientist. And I realize that my family's status would not be in my favor if I were considered for an official appointment.
Inquisitor B: Yes, you are so very humble, so humble the only path you see fit is to become a capsuleer pilot and have the Empire pick up the bill for it. And yet, you realize that there are serious consequences to being a capsuleer. It is a tremendous risk for the Empire to accept anyone for the program. All those implants mucking around in your head... well, I suppose you of all people should understand what that does to a person. We're not talking playing at being a so-called Cyber Knight, you will be integrated into a ship. It can...do things to pilot. We've managed to mitigate the worst of it, but various flaws in thinking become magnified and become dominant. And that is a source of grave concern to all of us. We have read the outcome of your preliminary tests. It provoked a...reaction with possibly serious moral and theological implications. Why should you not be refused because of this?
Piki: Milords, I am not a psychiatrist, nor an interpreter of dreams. Unless something had been transferred to my brain via those implants, everything that came out of it must have come from me. You are right, it did change my perceptions. I personally think that it allowed my mind to rationalize associating with a wider variety of people than I have ever known. I had resisted the concept of Reclaiming-- I mean, if God had meant us to enslave everyone, we wouldn't have the Jovians, we wouldn't have CONCORD, the Minmatar Rebellion would not have happened, and today we would be mopping up the last of the pirate factions. What I experienced in that was transformational and put into perspective everything I had been taught growing up and what I have seen with my eyes. It allowed me to critically accept the world we live in, and understand how our present New Eden can co-exist with God. It also taught me patience and to understand the scale on which God works. If anything, the experience made me more theologically centered and stable, and reinforced my belief in the Imperial system as sanctified by God.
Inquisitor A: Do you believe the Reclaiming is a thing of the past?
Piki: Absolutely. I also believe the Reclaiming is a thing of the present. Outside the Empire, Reclaiming is defined by invasions and slavery. Yet, we here know that there were those who were Reclaimed without invasion, without slavery. Those who saw immediately the benefits of joining God's Living Kingdom willingly and adopted the Amarrian faith. This continues today, individuals who fly with Amarrian loyalists and follow our faith, yet come from other races. That too is part of the Reclaiming. And I believe that the Reclaiming is a thing of the future. I understand the hubris that led to the Jovian catastrophe and the Minmatar Rebellion, and the establishment of CONCORD, and the Khanid revolt. I also understand that at some point we will have an Emperor who will, with God's blessing, lead us to Reclaim again through conquest, once we have bled the best, brightest and the worthy from the enemies' homelands.
Inquisitor C: I have no further accusations.
Inquisitor B: I have no further accusations.
Inquisitor A: I have no further accusations.
Adjudicator: Let the record show that here ends the entry defense of Karath Piki for the Capsuleer Cadet Program for the Imperial Academy. This transcript shall be reviewed and judgment issued by the Inquisitor Tribunal in two weeks.
Data Source ended