Saturday, 9 August 2014

I played Capsule

Nothing to do with RPGs, skip if that's what you hanker for.

Capsule is a nice little slice of gloom. You're on a capsule. You don't remember anything. You have no view ports, only a lo-fi radar. It's great. I wrote a thing because I enjoyed this game.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/303940/

--

You breathe, and you can taste it in the air. Or rather, you can taste the air. Stale. Recycled. A grim reminder of the ticking clock. The lights are red and dim, and you can feel the whirr of the generator throughout the hull. Straining. Cycling air. Running lights. Keeping the ugly, basic console before you alive. It's monochromatic light is harsh in the twilight of the emergency systems. Displayed on it are two basic symbols : a dot representing your tiny escape craft and the parent craft you are fleeing. A readout at the bottom left shows your distance. It increases rapidly, the initial thrust given by the escape system powering you on through the void.

*

Some time has passed. The air has become progressively staler. You have investigated the tiny, thin shelled pod you have chosen as your eventual tomb. You watched the generator for about - you don't remember how long you watched the generator for. You are looking at the console. It no longer shows the craft you are fleeing. You are a solitary dot on the screen. The distance readout has been replaced with two countdowns. You know the right-hand one is your oxygen. The count is 3 hours, roughly. The other counts down time until your next pulse. The next desperate cry for help in the deep black. The pulses are timed in such a way that the generator can power exactly enough pulses to last for the amount of oxygen given. How thoughtful. You sit. The tiny craft is hot, as the heat is difficult to disperse is space. The generous fins slowly radiate away the heat into pure vacuum. You are hurtling through space, yet you feel still. You wonder how many others found their way to escape pods.

*

More time has passed. You idly check the oxygen timer - you have about an hour and a half. You are imagining the battle your ship fell in. You decide battle doesn't really describe the reality of the fight itself. The ships stand out in the void, screaming emissions in every spectrum, as you are now. They launch drones at each other, which accelerate far faster than a manned ship could. They try and explode near each other. Your ship is lucky or dodges by moving erratically. Failing this, you could be damaged or destroyed utterly. As it was for your ship. Crippled, and being torn apart by the forces once keeping her flying, you fled to an escape vessel to die slowly. Of course, the other vessels in the fleet might be on their way to pick you up now. You lie down. The air tastes bad. The vibrations almost match your heart-beat. You wonder if this was on purpose. Clever engineers.

*

Later. Twenty seven minutes on the clock now. You tried thinking about religion, the afterlife, and what you've really believed all these years. You couldn't really focus, and instead thought about some of the cuter crew members. You consider that you probably should've said something to at least one of them before you found yourself in this situation. To be fair, you weren't to know. You spend some time imagining how that conversation would've went. When you check the time left, you see 10 minutes remaining. You realise your mouth is hanging open, and shut it. You don't feel yourself. The oxygen content is probably far lower than it should be. You giggle, and the sound echoes in your tiny egg. Egg is the wrong word, you feel. Egg implies life, a hatching. Tomb would just get you down, as would coffin. You decide on container. You come to realise that particular thought train took far longer than it should've done. Six minutes. You've given yourself a headache. Nothing to be done about that, really. You feel like you can hear the audible parts of your thought slowing, stretching, deepening. Strands like blu-tac. What? Two minutes. Shit. You're going to die and you're analysing yourself? Pretty lame way to go. You start choking on the not-really air. You'd have thought the clever engineers would've stopped you choking on your own CO2. Bastards. You die.

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