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  • Rudy

Rudy's Star Citizen Journal #4

It's a strange feeling learning the universe is coming to an end. It’s not uncommon as we exist in worlds where we eventually die and reincarnate as the same never aging adults, carrying the memories of the versions that came before. It’s only fitting our very reality would do the same. Citizens calmly speculate across all comms what can be saved and what can be done to regain all they’re bound to lose very shortly.

Of course, I learn of this information just as I step out of my apartment, recovering from yesterday’s non-stop crisis of a day. Area 18’s mostly empty save for the random denizens standing on chairs or working the various shops. A few citizens still around gather near shop terminals, selling away all their possessions while explaining how our current credits will follow us into the next life. I look at my struggling credit account, thinking about the stupid 50,000 credit ship parts and the fashion spending spree I splurged on just last night. The irony of having middling success once again ripped from my grasp was not lost on me. This time I manage to cope with a few quiet and painful laughs.

I check the internet only to find more contradicting claims about current and previous resets. “You will get to keep gear in your ship!”, “They can’t transfer your credit account!”, and “Credit-bought ships above a certain size are carrying over.” All these statements joined in the endless forum posts of galactic conspiracies. The only thing I learned for certain was that, much like most faiths, if you communed with the church of Robert Space Industries, maybe your prayers will be answered in the next universe. Or maybe they’ll continue to post about a silly penguin on social media and not address the sudden end of life as I and all the new citizens that joined this week know it.

Content with my state of affairs, despite being in an objectively worse financial position than I was when I began a week ago, I spend my last few minutes sitting in a hanger bay with my ship while enjoying a burrito as everyone continues coming together over to share condolences, praises, and hope for one another’s success in the next universe. As I begin to exit everything, one final message appears on my HUD, “See you on the other side! O7”

It’s a very strange feeling having to reshape your entire physical form. Assembled from digitized stardust, Robert Space Industries spit, and a craving for more space burritos, I wake up in my apartment once more in the same dark gray space suit I first wore a week ago. Of course, that original space suit didn’t survive my first trip in space, let alone this apparent realm reset. I’m quite literally a new man now and have a feeling I’ll be able to hold onto this beginner gift for just a bit longer.

I make my way to the weapons shop and immediately procure all the equipment I need from one of the convenient terminals that finally work now. A penance of nearly ten thousand credits is required to stock up for my new life as a mercenary. I don a full set of armor, now in a sporty twilight blue, accompanied by a rifle, ammunition, and grenades stocked in my every pocket and backpack. I leave the terminal and find a line of citizens behind me eagerly waiting to make the same purchases. With the same enthusiasm, citizens across the comms are pointing out issues old and new while crowdsourcing mass solutions. The energy alone from these amicable folks coming together and organizing is enough to keep that lonely voice inside at bay. I won’t be just me out in those skies.

I power up my ship while scrolling past the delivery contracts to merc work and bounties. An easy bounty apprehension contract catches my eye as I hop into my ship. I spin up my quantum engines and head to the target. I notice the ship is a bit unstable and hard of turning. My distracted mind decides to focus instead on the missions after this bounty. Perhaps another boarding action needs my help to be thwarted, or some marines need help securing some god-forsaken outpost on a backwater moon. Whatever it is, I feel ready.

The target lock warning rattles me back to focus as I see the bounty up ahead. A missile warning soon follows as my ship's HUD marks the weapon hurdling at me. I launch a decoy and slam my control stick to break right but get no response. I try again and again as the ship continues to ignore me. Maybe if I kill the engine it’ll drop me out of the missile’s pa-. Explosions erupt from the all-around my canopy as sparks, smoke, and flames shoot up from the side panels and console in front of me. What’s left of the HUD screeches every warning it can. I feel the ship descending rapidly. I refuse to die here, not like this. I look for the eject-.

I open my eyes to the bright iridescent lights found in Area 18’s hospital. Now instinct, I trade the baby blue gown I’m sporting for the complimentary all-white space suit waiting in my storage. I learned early on that every fresh clone receives one, saving me the trouble of having to hold my breath as I look for my corpse. Ten minutes pass and I’m back in the air headed back toward my bounty. I make sure to do a full systems check as I travel. All seems to be functional. The bounty and his friends find out even more so as I transmute their very beings into plummeting fireballs underneath a moonlit sky.

It doesn’t take long to find the wreckage of my past self. I put my ship down a few meters away, remembering not to dilly-dally should more bandits decide to pay a visit and make a repeat of my time on Lyria. I quickly find my body and drag it up my ship’s loading ramp, admittedly dropping it a few times by mistake. I consider asking RSI to add gyms to this universe as I finally successfully lug my remains inside my ship’s cargo hold and shut the ramp. It’s a truly surreal feeling to undress in the third person. It’s even stranger shoving a naked corpse with your face back out into the harsh wilderness. I admit I don’t feel proud doing such a deed, but as there are no funeral services I can procure, I figure burial under the rubble of my last ship’s remains is as good a service as any.

With some fresh credits in my pocket, I pick up another contract. Thankfully, it's a fat-paying boarding action only a few hundred kilos away with just enough time to get to it. I’m focused this time and starving for proper action. As the first target enters the radar range, I prime my missiles and head right at them. The second hostile tries intercepting from my 3 o’clock, but I reverse thrust with enough force for them and their missile to overshoot me. I send my target a missile of my own. It doesn’t connect. I launch another three and quickly hear a “Target Destroyed”, statement from my ship’s combat AI.

I turn hard towards the second hostile and attempt to unload my guns and lasers into them. Strangely enough, I only see a single stream of tracer rounds. I try the lasers again with no luck. I check the power systems while staying on the hostile’s tail. Everything reads green, but nothing comes out when I fire. Another burst from my main gun into my target causes my combat AI to point out, “Low Ammo.” I’m starting to worry if this is some divine punishment from RSI. Perhaps I didn’t pay, play, or pray hard enough. No matter.

I plan my attacks more carefully and make sure to fly slowly and steadily, allowing for larger windows of on-target aiming. My ammo bar flashes bright red as my combat AI reiterates, “Low Ammo.” The hostile ship decides to punch its boosters and make a hard turn in my direction in some last radical jousting effort. I oblige by unloading the remainder of my gun. “Target Destroyed”, is again stated, followed by a few warning notifications across my HUD as my shields fail from the combined efforts of that last assault and the hostile ship’s high-speed debris.

I sigh for a moment reassessing my position in relation to the yacht-looking vessel being boarded. I maneuver close and find myself interrupted by two back-to-back target lock warnings. Two more hostile ships rush towards me at high speed. I look at my ammo bar and see it empty. I line up the nearest hostile and squeeze the trigger as my combat AI replies, “No Ammo.” I start to panic at the idea of dying so soon and quickly accept that there are times to run, and not die over some random denizens that can afford their own luxury yacht.

I take a series of intertwined laser and ballistic volleys as I weave around the large distressed yacht for cover, waiting for my quantum engine to spin up. A handful of decoys, the hull of that yacht, and a whole bunch of luck manage to by the time I need to enter lightspeed and hop back home to Area 18.

A repair crew stares at me with anticipation as I touch down inside the hanger. I send them a few thousand credits to repair, refit, and refuel my apparent attitude-having partner in crime. On the tram ride back to my apartment I think about the reset and check the comms to see if anyone else is dealing with malfunctions like me. There’s chatter of a ship still decapitating its pilots but nothing specific about failing energy weapons or dead controls post-takeoff. I merely sigh away the trouble as I make my way into my apartment and flop right onto my bed. I close my eyes, giving this universe time to figure itself out as it continues allowing me to do the same.

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