Fuzzy sat across from me in his usual velvet-lined chair, smoking his pipe and appearing as aloof as a furrier in a waistcoat could appear. We sat in silence for some time.
“Tell me about your death,” he finally said, wiggling his nose a bit. I clenched my teeth at the question. I knew it would come up, but didn’t expect it this soon.
“Capsuleers die all the time,” I began, “the first time is scary, but you get used to it. You wake up in your clone, throw a bit of profanity around for a while and then get on with it.” I was avoiding the question, we both knew that.
“Waking up,” I continued, “that’s the metaphor most people use, and it’s pretty accurate. A moment of disorientation and then you’re somewhere else millions of miles away, a bit groggy from the meds. Just waking up. That time,” I felt my face cringe involuntarily. “Last time I didn’t wake up, I was reincarnated. It was nothing like waking up.”
Fuzzy cocked his head to one side and took a deep drag on his pipe, urging me to continue.
“One moment I was a speck of nothing being eaten by an infinite expanse of nothing,” I hesitated, searching for a better metaphor to describe it, eventually giving up. “Anyway, the next moment I was in a tank, but I was still dead, still dying.”
“I didn’t know who I was, where I was, what was happening. I know now, of course, but I think most of that was after the fact. In that moment I was reborn,” I paused, caught my breath, “Waking up is that slow peaceful urging to consciousness. That time it was violent, quick, terrible.”
Snatched from death by sharp talons.
Fuzzy removed the pipe from his tiny mouth. “When was it that you remembered who you were?” It was not an easy question.
“I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ve ever remembered. The Caldari, they got the scan off, they brought me back,” I swallowed hard, it was more difficult than I had imagined. “Whoever I was, I’m not that anymore, not all of it anyway. They didn’t bring all of me back. There are pieces out there, still screaming silently in the cold.” I paused for a moment and took a deep breath, “losing memories is one thing, people forget things all the time. But it’s not like forgetting, it’s like having a hole where a memory once was. Emotionally you still have some connection to that void, but as hard as you try there’s just nothing there.”
Fuzzy leaned foward, “what about your soul? Surely you’re more than just memories? How does your soul get from one clone to another?”
The age old question. I had annoyed my tutors with the same question for years in theology lessons. I didn’t know the answer. I don’t suspect anyone does. “I don’t know,” I said honestly, “but sometimes I feel like I left part of my soul out there.” It was a terrifying thought.
“I wouldn’t worry,” he said sitting back and putting the pipe back between his lips. “In my view, souls are the universe’s memories, and the universe doesn’t forget. Be patient, your missing pieces will find their way home. Maybe it’s time you went back to visit Amarr. Maybe give them less distance to travel?”
His words struck me simultaneously as idiotic and profound, but he was right. It was time to go home.