Monday, 21 November 2011

The Throwdown Showdown in Blogtown

The EVE metagame is a bizarre circus and every so often something wonderfully odd happens. Even more rarely, I'm lucky enough to get caught up in the middle of it. Following the apparent critical success of my self-indulgent audio reading of Mord Fiddle's Fever Dream, the author himself challenged me to a kind of write-off, a blog-duel or as Arydanika puts it; the "Throwdown Showdown in Blogtown". Or something.

So a set of rules were drawn up; no more than 1500 words to be written in 24 hours on the receipt of three trigger words as set by a Tweetfleet adjudicators Duncane Feldane and Adainy Gwanwyn. Following that 24-hour period, our submissions would be exchanged and we would have a similar time period to record a simple audio version with no special effects (boo!).

The results would be aired on Voices From the Void and a public vote would be opened, inviting listeners to grade both the content and the reading quality of each piece.

I know what you're thinking; utter madness, it'll never work. But it did. Somehow, we both managed to pull it off (although Mord's English accents and my female impersonations may disturb some).

The trigger words were: Post Capsuleer Graduation

What follows is the script I wrote for Mord to read. You can find his story at Fiddler's Edge and listen to both in Voices From the Void Episode 29.

Enjoy.



Searching For Pod”

or

The Accidental Capsuleer”

or

Earnest Learns to Fly”

or

Monty Python's Lock Stock and Two Red Dwarves”

(a short EVE Online narrative based on the trigger words: Post Capsuleer Graduation)
by

Mathew “Seismic Stan” Westhorpe




INT. SPACE STATION, MISSION AGENT OFFICE - DAY


CAPSULEER FRANK enters the office of professional Mission AGENT BRYAN.

AGENT BRYAN
Welcome to 'Capsuleer Missions For You' - efficiency and discretion guaranteed. Please take a seat. I am your mission agent Bryan, how can I help you?

CAPSULEER FRANK
Hello Bryan. I need a job.

AGENT BRYAN
Well you've come to the right place, Mr...


CAPSULEER FRANK
Um... Bryan?


AGENT BRYAN
Really? That's a coincidence.


CAPSULEER FRANK
What?


AGENT BRYAN
Well, that's my name too.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Oh, right. Okay, I'll be frank then...


AGENT BRYAN
Okay, please do... [AWKWARD PAUSE] ...so what is your name then?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Frank.


AGENT BRYAN
Hah, very droll ... that's not your real name.


CAPSULEER FRANK
It isn't?


AGENT BRYAN
Well, I...


CAPSULEER FRANK
No, really. Frank's the name, spaceships are my game.


AGENT BRYAN
I'm less than convinced.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Trust me. Frank N. Earnest, that's me. Honest to goodness capsuleer. Sorry - brain's a bit scrambled from the implants and the cloning activation and stuff.


AGENT BRYAN
Oh I see. You've just cloned in? I hope the nature of your transfer wasn't too harrowing.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Dunno. Not got much too compare it to – never done it before. It was a bit gooey... and are you meant to hear voices?


AGENT BRYAN
Only if people are speaking I suspect. Although I'm not entirely certain, I'm a “baseliner” myself.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Good for you. Well I'm a capsuleer. Proper pod-jockey, me. Holes in the back of me head and everything. So? Where's my spaceship?


AGENT BRYAN
You don't have a ship?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Course not, you're going to give me one aren't you? That is what you do... Bryan. Isn't it?


AGENT BRYAN
Well no, I provide the missions. Typically, our clients supply their own ships.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Oh right. News to me.


AGENT BRYAN
You've not done this before, have you?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Erm... no. Not really.


AGENT BRYAN
Exactly how long have you been a capsuleer?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Ooh I dunno... about twenty-five minutes now.


AGENT BRYAN
I...see...


CAPSULEER FRANK
That's not going to be a problem, is it?


AGENT BRYAN
Well, I'm not sure. When you say you've only been a capsuleer for twenty-five minutes, I assume you mean you've just acquired your licence. You have, or course, had all the necessary training?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Training? Don't you show me a quick holovid or something then just give me the keys?


AGENT BRYAN
No, Mr. Earnest. Flying space-going vessels is serious business, this isn't a hover-car rental service.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Oh don't be such a square. How hard can it be?


AGENT BRYAN
Hard? Mr. Earnest, even the smallest starships require years of training for a non-capsuleer crew. For a single podder to take over all the duties of the entire command crew requires intensive assessment and rigorous conditioning before being pod-bound. To attempt otherwise will result in brain-injury, mind-lock or death.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Meh, I think you're pimping it up a bit. It's just sitting in a bath-tub and playing a holo-game.


AGENT BRYAN
[SIGH] So am I understanding correctly that you have not graduated from any of the certified Capsuleer Institutions?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Like where?


AGENT BRYAN
Well any of the State Military Academies, the Education Institutes like Caille or Hedion University, or any of the other Civilian Authorities?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Naah. Sound like a headache. I came third place in a holoquiz once though.


AGENT BRYAN
I'm really at a loss Mr. Earnest. I can see by your implant sockets that you have indeed been prepared for hydrostatic capsule interfacing, but I don't think I can in good conscience provide you with any assistance.




CAPSULEER FRANK
Hmmm. To be brutally Frank (pun intended), I couldn't care less about your conscience. What if I said that if you didn't help me, I could snap your neck like a weak snappy thing. Being snapped.


AGENT BRYAN
Well there's no need for threats Mr. Earnest. I'm sure we can come to some arrangement.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Good man.


AGENT BRYAN
Let me see what we've got in the database for you. Hmmm.


CAPSULEER FRANK
I need a gig that provides the transport, remember.


AGENT BRYAN
Yes, yes, I'm just looking. Whilst I'm searching, satisfy my curiosity - how did you come to be a capsuleer?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Heh, funny thing. It was sort of a happy accident.


AGENT BRYAN
Really? How does one become a capsuleer “by accident”.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Well, me and the lads move in some... colourful circles. We were hired to get a poor, falsely accused gentleman out of custody.


AGENT BRYAN
Oh, a terrible miscarriage of justice, I'm sure.



CAPSULEER FRANK
Yeah, right. Aren't they all. Anyway, The problem was it was a very high security facility. Getting in was easy, we just had to commit the right sort of crime. Smuggling in the portable transneural burning wotsit was the real challenge. But we had a very well-funded sponsor who greased the right wheels.


AGENT BRYAN
A burning scanner? Like the device in capsules that transfers the consciousness?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Yep.


AGENT BRYAN
They make them portable now?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Oh yeah, if you know the right people. Of course, they're only as good as the technicians at the other end of the line. It's all very well “rescuing” some mob boss... er, I mean innocent gentleman... by microwaving his brain, but his brain image needs to land in the right body at the other end.


AGENT BRYAN
But presumably your rescue operation was a success.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Erm... to be honest, I don't know. I did my part and brain-scanned the target, so his mind got transferred somewhere. But I don't think my survival was part of their plan. Fortunately, me and the lads saw that coming and came up with a little insurance clause.


AGENT BRYAN
Which was?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Well, you're looking at it. This is my new capsuleer body. What do you think?




AGENT BRYAN
So... you aren't a capsuleer, but you're... you've stolen a capsuleer's body!?


CAPSULEER FRANK
Yeah, it's amazing what the lads can pull off with access to a cloning lab. I'd have been happy with any old normal body, but since these capsuleers just leave clones laying around in the care of others, they're not gonna miss one. To be honest, I'm not entirely happy about the face, but I can always steal a different clone later. The priority now is to get disappeared before the wrong people figure out what happened. I thought I may as well take advantage of my new pod-pilot status. Which is where you come in.


AGENT BRYAN
Right, yes. Well we've got a few clients requesting services that are fairly... indiscriminate about who carries them out.


CAPSULEER FRANK
Sounds magic. Wotchya got?


AGENT BRYAN
Well, let's see... the Damsel is in distress again, but I wouldn't bother with her. She'll only have got herself back in trouble by tomorrow anyway. Or there's...


CAPSULEER FRANK
No, no, that's fine. Damsel it is. Might be able to get myself some action whilst I'm there. I can find out how hi-tech my capsuleer plumbing really is.


AGENT BRYAN
Charming. Well, that's all arranged for you. My contacts in Docking Management will be able to source you a capsule and a Reaper-class ship.



CAPSULEER FRANK
Right then, nice one Bryan, I'll be off to the ship hangar right now. Thank you, you've been very helpful. See you never, pencil-neck.


AGENT BRYAN
A pleasure, Mr Earnest. Goodbye...

[WAITS UNTIL THE DOOR IS CLOSED]

...enjoy your wetgrave.




Please don't forget to vote at Voices from the Void



6 comments:

  1. That was... interesting :D
    I won't vote for this contest since I'm rather biased, but good job, the both of you :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What kind of crazy talk is that? If only people without a bias voted, it would end up a draw. Go vote.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well played. Both stories are excellent and I'll have to wait until later tonight when I have a chance to listen to the audio versions, but I enjoyed them both. Although you'll notice Mord did use my family name in HIS story! Although... is that a good or a bad thing? Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cheers Rixx, it was fun to both write mine and read Mord's.

    As to his decision to use the Javix family name, I reckon it's either an homage to his favourite blogger or a shameless attempt to gain your support for votes. You decide ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great job as always Stan. This was a great read and a great listen.

    Also... fabulous job on your lady voice. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. You went easy on Mord, Stan. I see however that he did not return the favor. Regardless, you both did quite well.

    ReplyDelete

Lay it on me.