Inside the transport duct the pod was wrapped is a blanket of suspensor fields, the green-blue swirls of the field’s energy luminous in the darkness of the tunnel. Suddenly the pod shot off at high speed along the passage towards the station core. Inside the pod Zoo felt the acceleration as the gel went completely solid around him and readouts showed that a dampening field had been activated to protect him.

This is it. Today I see the stars for myself.

Growing up in a religious family he had never really thought about space. Yes, he had gone to the big cargo port of his homeworld with his father and watched massive lifters bringing down goods and travellers from far away. He’d watched in rapt fascination as huge reaction drives fired thunderously, lifting the metal mountains through the thick atmosphere and up to space stations floating around two of the planet’s moons. He remembered the Olson Incident to. He had been married just under a year and was camping with his new wife in the mountains when a super-heavy lifter had suffered a massive malfunction (later discovered to be sabotage as part of a multi-billion isk insurance job) and had fallen through the sky trailing an arc of glowing debris. Most of it had fallen in the sea but the small town of Olson was hit by a bit of the massive ships superstructure, the explosion killing nine people. For Zoo space was up there and his life was down here, on solid ground.

His thinking had changed after their deaths. Or that was the start of it. Twelve years in a monastic order had almost convinced him to stay but something had pulled at him. A desire to be among the stars, and with his wife and daughter gone he really had nothing to stay for.

The journey through the station had lasted just under 12 seconds and had involved the pod accelerating insanely through the express transducts, at one moment falling through the main vertical duct at the core and the next propelled up an outer duct to cargo bay 3. His pod now slowly rose up through the shining metal of the tunnel directly underneath his new Ibis class frigate, “The Explorer”.

As the pod lifted into the ship a thick, armoured cable flexed and swayed as if alive, the end of the sinuous metal snake searching for something. Finding the hole at the top of the pod it connected with a sudden snap.

Ship systems, in station standby mode, quickly powered up. Manufactured by only a handful of ship builders capsuleer ships were constructed with money in mind. While having a standard ship was all well and good ship builders and equipment manufacturers soon realised that the old system of costly and lenghty alterations were something the capsuleer class just didn’t buy into, it wasn’t quick and it wasn’t cheap. The first module based ship from Dec’Lareen Systems was a huge success, and while only able to fit DL modules the versatility it offered was soon recognized as sales soared.  DL were bought and sold, the creative team split between a number of manufacturers who then developed the ideas in parallel.  The principle was easy, each module used basic power, processing bandwidth from the CPU and high energy from the ships energy reserves. In practice it was much more complicated and it took 3 years and several corporate wars before a standard was agreed across all the empires ship builders. But here it was. His Ibis, fitted with a mining laser and Gatling gun.

Zoo started the undock sequence.


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