Death. A concept that affects every single living being, but yet is barely understood. Even we "immortals", the capsuleers and clone soldiers still experience death, even if it is only temporary.

Most capsuleers on average die a handful of times during a year, depending on their profession. Most likely all of those deaths happen inside the pod, done quick without pain or suffering. But we clone soldiers, we are different. When we die, it usually isn't a calm, peaceful death. Most of the time, our deaths happen in pain, in the middle of a battlefield. Then when your body finally gives up and you die, you are quickly shunned back into battle to experience the same again. We die more often within a month that most capsuleers do in several years.

I remember this one time, when I was doing a contract, a sniper rifle bullet had penetrated my shields and went through most of my armor, I was running to a friendly logi to patch me up again, when I suddenly felt a sharp pain on my shoulder, collapsing on the ground in pain. Information suddenly appeared on my visor as I was lying there on the ground, telling me that a Caldari Assault dropsuit hit me with a Toxin assault rifle bullet, it had shattered my shoulder and ruptured my lungs, and I was lying there helpless as I felt my insides disintegrating. I tried to scream for help, but all I could let out was gargled cough, blood filling up my helmet from the inside as my lungs were collapsing. I was lying there helplessly for a full minute, before my body finally gave up and I died. Next thing I remember I was back in my quarters, lying on the ground and feeling like my insides were on fire.

Right now all of that only seems like a distant bad dream, but the pain, the panic is still very much real, and I will never forget the pain I have endured. Sometimes I can be lucky and die from a bullet piercing my brains, or from an explosion, only a quick pressure on your body before the darkness.

Darkness, that is the best way I can describe the feel between switching bodies, when I can be considered dead. Usually it is said that there isn't anything during this transition period, maybe it's because of this implant I have, but I can feel that darkness for the brief few moments it lasts. I used to dread it, I was afraid of the silence, the emptiness, the loneliness. But nowadays, I welcome it. I like the darkness, the emptiness, the silence, in there I can be by myself, away from the pain of battle. Sometimes it is over before I realize it, other times it feels like an eternity. I wonder if this is how Idama feel when they are passing on in life and inhabiting a new body.

When I have talked to the clone soldiers who have had the first generation implants in their heads have described a voice talking to them, whispering them what to do, what to think, what to say. I have never experienced this voice myself, but sometimes I feel like, there is an alien presence in my mind. Sometimes, I barely remember the battle I was just in, the only thing I remember is walking in the Warbarge and brief flashes from the heat of battle. Sometimes when I do remember the battles, I feel like these memories are not mine, but someone else's. When in battles, sometimes I feel like I don't have control of my body. I don't know if I'm going to turn right, turn left, or just stop and collapse on my knees, I feel like a helpless observer.

Being a clone soldier can be very tolling on the mind, and many of the people I have known, who were completely sane in the start, have become insane, maddened by the constant death and pain. We say that these clone soldiers: "go 514", since many of the first generation clone soldiers experienced hallucinations of the number 514, often written in blood. I wonder if the same is happening to me. Am I going insane, am I losing my mind? That is a question I fear to ask myself.

All clone soldiers have found their own ways to deal with these questions, and the ever-present madness that is pressing on our minds. Some just snap and go 514, some try to retire and go back to civilian life, a life that is never going to be possible for them again. Others don't seem to fight at all, they embrace the madness, they become the wind instead of fighting it, making them even more deadly. The rest of us who hold on, have different ways of dealing with it. I focus on my conviction, my ultimate goal I strive for in the form of liberating Intaki to keep my mind off the madness.

But in the end, there is always going to be a question troubling my mind, a question I can not answer myself, yet is always haunting me:

Who am I?

ཟར༴ཐ٦ཡཐ༴ འཤན༴བ བ༴ཏ༴མ༴ར٦ ٦ནད༴བ٦ ༴འ٦٦ད ན٦བ༴༴ٲ  

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