The scene fades in more quickly this time and is very similar to the one previous to it. According to the timestamp on the video feed, only a dozen or so hours have passed since the first entry. Ethan sits back heavily into the chair at his desk before beginning to speak.
Begin entry 2.
The computer terminal beeps in the affirmative. Ethan takes a deep breath before continuing, this time looking directly into the camera lens.
Let's try this again. To be honest, I'm not really very comfortable with this kind of thing, so I'll get right to it.
I'm a pod pilot, or capsuleer as some like to call us, but I didn't start out that way. I was born on New Caldari. My family have always been soldiers, and so it was almost expected that I go into the military. I didn't mind -- fighting seems to come pretty naturally to me, and I'm not surprised considering the type of people that my parents are. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents, but they're not the most diplomatic of people. It was a . . . rocky . . . childhood, for me and for all of my siblings.
But that's all beside the point.
I joined the navy straight out of secondary school. Most of my classmates went into various corporate security internship and career training programs. I still remember "careers week" back on New Caldari. Corporate representatives were all set up in the gymnasium, all vying for the most promising candidates. My friends were all wowed by the flashy banners and loud music that was playing -- I tried to get them to look past the advertising to the infighting, corruption, and cutthroat competition that corporate life entails, but none of them would have it (even after two of the representatives got into a fight with one another over an alleged copyright issue that had been in the news). Of course the presentations were slanted heavily towards Liekshone, since our school is run by their parent Ishukone.
The Caldari Navy presentation, however, was much different. The representative spoke quietly and forcefully about our duty to the Caldari state as a whole, about how the navy was the only thing that stood between our lives and death at the hands of the Gallente. The brochures were realistic about one's chances of advancement in the Navy -- while possible, it was very unlikely that one would ever stride the bridge of a battleship as it's captain. I signed up then and there.
When I got home, my parents went ballistic. Corporate security jobs are better than Navy jobs in almost every way -- better pay, better equipment, and the chance for fast advancement if some corporate higher-up takes a liking to you. (It's only natural when you think about it -- aren't the corporations going to look after their own first? They all contribute to the Navy, of course, but strangely enough it's always the most flawed or outdated equipment.) "How could you do this to our family?" "Can you imagine what your grandfather would think?" "Four generations of service to Liekshone and you throw our family name away just like that?!?" They were only mollified when I told them that the Navy representative had told me that, given my test scores, I was right on the threshold to qualify for capsuleer training.
What he didn't tell me was that "right on the threshold" means "not good enough." I failed my first entrance exam to the State War Academy in spectacular fashion. I was even young enough to be surpised, ha -- having been the best student in school all through my childhood, failing at something was a new experience. I spent a year as a machinists' mate on a Drake, studying and perparing for next year's exams. Full of confidence this time, I went in smiling -- and failed utterly once again. It was at this point that my parents started with the "I told you so" routine. I started feeling bad about it until I realized that I could block their interstellar mail address. I guess there are some benefits to being in deep space for months at a time.
I failed the exams twice more. I told myself that my fifth attempt would be my last, and if I failed I would resign myself to a life of reactor maintenance. Lo and behold, I scraped by -- I was admitted to the State War Academy on academic probation. After graduation, I applied and won a scholarship to attend the Eve University, deferring my enlistment for my graduate studies. And that's where I am right now.
However, I'm still subject to yearly physical examinations by a Naval medical officer, and that's where this log comes in. Took me long enough to get around to the point, eh? I've been having some sudden, sharp pains in my head and body ever since I got the capsule interface implants. Most of the time it's not really anything worth mentioning, but occaisionally it can get pretty bad. I know that there's supposed to be pain involved when you're flying a ship in combat, it's only to be expected when you're neural net is wired in that closely to something that's getting shot at. However, I was . . . temporarily . . . convinced that maybe it was something else and made the ultimate mistake of asking the med tech about it. Two hours of lecture about the dangers of pod interfacing later, and now I have an official order to keep this video log as a record of pain I experience while flying. Sometimes I surprise myself with my own stupidity . . .
Not that I have had a chance to fly recently anyway. It turns out that the university, as a corporate entity, can be engaged in warfare just like any of the Caldari corporations. We've been in lockdown for the past several weeks, mercenaries or something -- I don't know. The war should be ending, though, so hopefully I'll have something to document soon.
Ethan pauses before laughing to himself.
Or, rather, hopefully I won't have anything to document.
Ethan reaches forward to a switch behind the camera's field of view, and the feed cuts out.
*End of Entry*