Ride of Valkyries

Her rather good looks had always been a problem, shadowing her witts and intellect throughout her youth. Maybe that was why she aspired to spend the rest of her life in an egg-shaped pod, sealed away from view and any kind of light. Or had her life already ended, at least technically?

Can you still be considered a human being, after your mind and knowledge were transferred into an identical copy of the body you were born in? The original body long gone, withered somewhere in space, twindled into the upper atmosphere of a nearby planet most likely? Not eating, not drinking, not breathing….was that living or was it something else? Were those her Dreadlocks, wet with pod-fluid, that she felt on her shoulders, or did some antenna just brush by a sensor in the aft compartment of her Hel-class supercarrier?

‘Wake up, Fleet! Subcaps get on titan, caps get ready to jump!’ Sister’s voice, her fleetcommander, hammered through her mind. The sensors and cameras around her ship told her nervous system, that the ship and its surroundings were in optimal shape, all systems “nominal”. The Ride of Valkyries was ready, she herself was ready… or was there any difference?

The idea behind the whole pod-program had been to make the ship a part of  yourself, a part of your mind, that the pilot could control be sheer force of will. But actually, the capsuleers had long since moved past that idea. If your body was only something on board that had to be kept alive and your brain, your mind was controlling every system of the ship, was the ship still a part of you, or had you long since become a part of that ship? She tried to remember when she had actually used her body last… or at least seen it, let anyone else see it or see someone else with her own, biological eyes. Not the cameras she supplemented the other sensors of the ship with. No one had seen her present body in months, maybe years, but many had witnessed the Ride of Valkyries in the light of the myriad of suns of New Eden.  So it was like that: She was the ship, but the ship was also her. Where the ships name was all that remained of the Valkyrie-class drones it used to carry until a recent change in technological demand, making her swap out the Valkyries for Einherjars.

Wasn’t that the next logical step, changing out the Valkyries, who elect fallen warriors for the fallen warriors themselves who come forth to do battle again themselves? But the line of thought was disrupted once again, as the  commander ordered the subcaps to use the titanbridge to jump in and started calling primaries and sending orders down her spine.

Wasn’t it ironic; an arsenal of practically undead warriors at her fingertips, launched from a ship whos class depicted the goddess of the dead with a partially rotten body? After all these weeks and months caged in her pod, her  only link to the void outside being the socked in the back of her head, hardwired to her brainstem… who knew if some parts of her body, her human body, had not started to wither and die, while she had no practical use for them anyway? Maybe her new, cloned body was almost as dead as her original one, burnt up in the atmosphere of some nameless planet in the Fade-region…maybe all that was left was her mind? Trained, always awake, immortal…  cruel…

But the milliseconds for thinking were over: ‘Cyno is up, supers, jump to Codin!’ By her mere power of will the molecules of the Ride of Valkyries were being disintegrated by her ships jumpdrive, just to rematerialize a half dozen lightyears away, bending the laws of physics ever so slightly, to bring death and new life to whoever was waiting on the other end.

‘To the everlasting glory of the Initiative…’

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