Wednesday, 24 October 2012

((EVE Fiction Contest Entry))

((This is a short story that I wrote for the 'Pod and Planet Fiction' contest.  It came to me when I read the TVTropes article about EVE Online, and how it describes capsuleers as god-like figures.  Hope you enjoy it!))

'The Day the Gods Came'.

I never saw them land. None of us did. All we remember is that they weren't there, and then they were.

Dear Spirits, it was horrifying. Shapes in bulky armor, pouring from bright golden dropships outside the colony's borders. Marching into homes, throwing people into the street.

Rounding them up like cattle.

I was hiding in my kitchen when they arrived. When
she arrived.

Capsuleers, my sister called them. Eggers, in the vernacular. Legendary creatures, rumors and shadows that are cloaked in myth and speculation. She told me that they're gods, or near enough that it doesn't matter.

I remember the 'egger' that landed in our home that day: the long green jacket, the markings on her face, the utter and unshakable
confidence of her posture. She was a god among mortals, and she knew it as surely as I know my own name.

Huddled in my family's home, I heard the soldiers moving through the village; they rarely spoke, even among themselves but she....she didn't utter a single word the entire time.

"Locked door here, sir."

"Break it down."

The voices were nearly identical. The only difference was the sense of authority, and the grating taint of a military-grade vocal filter. After the single brief exchange, the door of the house next to us was blown into shards of useless metal. I could hear our neighbor screaming as they dragged her into the street.

And all the while, she watched. The silent god of the stars observed as her minions gathered the weak and infirm, shuffling them off to unknown fates, and then returned for the strongest among us.

Finally, the outbuildings were empty, and it was our turn. The soldiers came, rifles raised and helmets grim and angular in the kitchen's dim light. My sister was obviously frightened, but I had to maintain control, for her sake.

"Outside. Assemble with the others."

WIthout concious thought, I took my sister's arm and led her into the town square. The soldiers had been brutally efficient; I recognized most of the others, men and women that I had worked alongside during the hunting season.

We stood near the back. Nothing was said -- no words
existed to describe the fear we all felt. The soldiers kept their weapons leveled, watching us without moving. It was impossible to see their true expressions underneath the helmets and behind the masks.

Finally, after an eternity of silence, she spoke.


Soft, warm, friendly....she was, for one shocking moment, someone's mother, greeting a guest to the home. She could have been my mother, had she not left us to dwell among the Spirits six cycles ago.

"You have no reason to fear me. You have been chosen to carry God's light to your people. You will be fed, and clothed, and your medical needs will be attended to."

With that, she fell silent again, waving a hand toward the soldier at her side. WIth a nod, he and his faceless fellows began organizing us into columns; as they moved among us, my sister huddled against me, as though she could simply melt away and remain unnoticed.

Eventually, they ripped her from my side. The last I saw of her was her frightened face, an ornate silver chain leading from a leather collar to the hand of our new mistress.

That day was seven years ago.

I sit now, in the few minutes I have before I'm called back to the fields, writing this on a scrap of paper. If I'm caught writing when I should be working, I will be punished, but hopefully someone will eventually read this and find us.

I can hear my sister unlocking the door; in the days before we were taken, she was filled with vibrant energy. Now, that energy is gone and she moves with a different purpose.

"Number Seventeen, it is time for your lessons."


  1. Great stuff, great tension. Really want to know the rest of the story now....

    1. I dunno if I'll tell the rest of that story just yet -- but I might have others to tell. :) Glad you liked it.