Even with all those years behind me, I still remember the event who made me really care about the “normal” humans.
It was in YC 119, there was a dangerous plague with an apparent 100% rate of death. It was unclear at that time what caused the different outbreaks, but each empire was hit but no one could be clearly defined as an attack.
It was three very intense and dark days and actually one of the few time I really felt that I could die. Of course, as a capsulleer, I would not “die” like normal humans, but more like be reborn again, the problem was that the disease, seemed to be a prion, which meant that it was inside my brain and therefore, transferred in my next clone when I would die. Dying, again and again, from an incurable plague, spreading it wherever I would go. And that’s one of the limits of being a capsulleer and why I sometime consider it being a curse.
The society of conscious thought was organizing a meeting with representatives of each empire. Gallenteans, Ammarrians, Caldarians and Mattaris, all at the same place? That promised to be interesting, and oh spirits, it was. The fact that was the Society of conscious thought (SoCT) hosting the meeting was rather odd, usually this kind of humanitarian things was more like a Sister of EvE’s thing. Not that I was complaining, it has been a long time I started to suspect that the SOE were involving themselves in some pretty shady business.
Enough of this, it’s not the subject. I trusted the SoCT to hold a neutral inquest. I was more dubious about the choice to invite capsulleers, we are not exactly known to be wise, cooperative, and for many of us, life meant nothing more than to use the incredible power, wealth we have for “not being bored”. Of course, the goal of the SoCT were to get help from a “neutral” fifth faction and by “neutral” I mean “only interested in getting more power for themselves”. At that time, I was not sure of the pertinence of the idea.
I arrived at the Keepstar around mid-day. Security were reinforced since the start of the event and I was delayed during my arrival by many security posts and decontaminations chambers. I was too late to get the welcoming discourse by Doctor Cador Veranne. He was a small scientist, always in a satin cloak, I never saw him without his yellow glasses (except one time) seemingly protecting his fragile eyes. He talked with a rough, deep voice, often coughing when he took the microphone.
From the Society of conscious thought here was also Brother Riv Netee, a very serious and severe guy, his baldness was compensated by a beautiful tattoo of the SoCT logo on his head. Respectful of the authority, he was really an incarnation of SoCT ideal: calm, severe and truth-seeker. Even after all those years he still inspire me.
With them was Krug Maetor, the head scientist of the SoCT on the Kyonoke plague. He was a tall fellow, hidden under his bure and always carrying a data cube in his hands. The man spoke in a low toned, calm voice, sometimes even hard to hear.
There were also a small security team of SoCT but the actual security was held by the caldaris’, based on floor 3 of the inquest center segment of the station and the two officer aboard: Officer in chief Hamek Pakas and The Assessor Judienne Foron.
The first was the caricature of a caldari: military dressed, sunglasses even inside the station, commander hat, not smiling, speaking (more like barking sometimes) in briefs sentences and not getting any jokes…
The second was actually more welcoming, really tall and his most obvious feature was his moustache. He had a horrible accent though sounding like he had an hot potato in his mouth.
Like always, Amarrians were easy to find: in their chapel, on floor 10. To find them it was quite easy: following the chants and lamentation of those zealots. The chaplain on board (Meriat Lumelle) was a short red-haired guy with red-ish eyes. But oh gods, he was so damn loud that even his co-worker was trying to calm him. He had the nasty habit to sneak up and take the microphones during the day to preach about how we were all doomed (god, I still hear him yelling “DOOMED! DOMMED! WE’RE ALL DOOMED!!!”). His comrade was a Navy Liaison called Kuon Pentari. Under his (almost) friendliness, I suspect that he was more than capable of analysing the situation and would he not have been dressed up as a priest he could easily have passed for a soldier.
I must confess that I took a lot of my self-control to not just ignore them completely, but you know, we needed information and they had quite a lot of it, actually …
If the floor 10 was full of prayers, incense and religious chants, the floor 14 was the opposite: dancers, drug and loud music. You’re right, it was a whole floor transformed as a gallente pleasure hub. Oh gods! For me who had passed the last months in a Wormhole, used to the silence of space, where not even the static of FTL communications is present, it was hard to support, and the flow of people… How do the gallente can even support this? Worse, like it…
I would never understand. But liking it or not, there was two particular dancers I wanted to meet: Borin Het and his “sister” Nite Sossari. Both of them were quite good dancers and always seemed to be either drunk or high. But I had worked with federal intelligence officer before, and one of their best cover was exactly this: seeming drunk and drugged. But my suspicious were confirmed the days following. Nobody can switch being drunk-looking and dead serious with a good cunning measure in an instant without being a intelligence agent.
Lastly, my people, the only one to do actual work to help the crisis: The minmatars! Based on floor 2, the two beautiful women working here were really focused and committed to their work. The day prior the start of the investigation their lab was raided and many data was stolen, but as soon as enough data was recovered they started working again.
The surprise was that they talked my tribe’s dialect. It had been a long time since I didn’t used it and it was really a pleasant surprise.
Delayed by the security measures I had missed the first briefing, apparently the minmatars lab had been raided the night before and almost everything was either destroyed or missing. The most important thing being patient 7 who apparently was the only known survivor of the plague and therefore required to make a vaccine.
Of course, we needed to know also who was behind the sabotage. At first it seemed like nobody knew anything about everything. And then… Rumours started to appear, data started to flow. I was not exactly involved in the inquest at the moment I must say. I had a hard time orientating myself inside the station. Each data coming in started to draw a bigger picture.
We quickly found that there were not only materials that disappeared the night before, but also patients, and more importantly, a LIVING patient. Apparently patient #7 had survived the plague and the cure made by the minmatars.
More worrying on my opinion is that it seemed that the plague was actually engineered. The name “kasaras” showed up many time, either by the name of the son of the family, who apparently was responsible for the outbreak in the city of myrskaa, or by the father who apparently worked with the kaalakiota group, a caldari weapon research and development corporation or by the name daughter of the family: akira, who apparently, was trying to stop his father’s madness.
We also learned how the disease was working. And it was not pretty…
First the disease mess with your brain, you become paranoid, hear voices and have light sensitivity. Then the physical symptoms kick in… skin rashes, loss of fingernails, skin is breaking in every place, every articulation start to be painful, then you start to have internal bleeding…
And soon after, you die. It was definitely not a pretty disease.
The worst part was the fact the virus was incredibly hard to destroy. The virus had two state: inactive and active form. While in active form, the disease progress and is hard to kill, the only way are extremes cold (like vacuum) or really high temperatures. But in dormant state, only the vacuum on a long-time period can kill the virus. On short time, it only renders it more difficult to detect. Oh and, of course, the virus ignores all standards of security so that mean a hazmat does NOT protect you from it…
You may now understand how big of a threat the was…