Heroes were made

"Speaking of the ancients," he said "I've brought along something to help us in our quest for the hero. Look at these, will you? Divination tools!"
He held his hand out. Nestled in his sticky palm were three little objects of brightly colored plastic. There was a lime green pyramid, a pink cube, and a many-faced spheroid of sky blue. "Dice. This one's four-sided, this one's six-sided, and this one's twelve-sided."
The others stared as though they expected the devil to leap up through the floor. Dungeons and Dragons had been illegal for two centuries. Enjoying their reaction, Rutherford rattled the dice in his hand.
"You know what was done with these? Characters were decided. Heroes were made on paper and brought to life in people's heads. Fates were settled!"

(Rutherford in The Life of the World to Come by Kage Baker)

Broken motorbikes

This post is part of the EVE Blog Banter, a monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to him. The topic of this special installment is: "Why do you love EVE Online so much?"

"Enemy ships in sector 37!"
When it's the nineteeen-eighties, and you take a kid, of the male brand, not one of those pink-wearing doll-scolding Muggles, a regular kid, around 9 or 10 for example, and you give him access to a TV set in the Western world, sometimes, things happen. Marvelous things. Space ships appear on the black and white screen. Some of them huge, bulbous "star cruisers" crewed by a fish-like alien race. Some of them nimble fighters ready to unleash their vengeful payload upon that-which-is-not-a-moon, the ultimate vessel of evil in the galaxy (not speaking about SirMolle)... But we all know it's a trap. It's the eighties and the kid watches the final battle above the Death Star in the Return of the Jedi and, then, there is no return to Earth, the moment has defined him, the sky is now where the game begins.

I already knew what spaceships were
A long time ago, before they began selling internet spaceships, merchants used to sell motorbike toys, able to cross the span of a small table with their pretend motor. I must have been a solid 5 or 6 back then, and I had such a bike, for which I remember manifesting only mild interest. At school, I had a friend who had something much better up his sleeve. This enterprising fellow was building himself a space ship.
Now, any five-year old engineer will confirm to you a space ship takes time and effort to assemble. And what good are friends for if not to lend a hand to such endeavors? While not up to date about the latest developments in spaceship-building technology, I was aware that space ships were made of pieces of metal and where do you find pieces of metal? In motorbike toys, that's where. I decided to sacrifice mine in order to win myself a spot in my friend's space ship and I managed to extract some sort of a thin rod, obviously the core component of any man-made technology.
When my friend invited me to his place, I was conceivably excited. Perhaps would I be able to go with him on a test flight above the city? I kind of remember that he was appreciative of my offering of the rod, but told me the space ship's structure, while well on its way to completion, in the other room just behind the door, was not yet open to viewing. He would finish it later. I left his house with a sense of regret because I would have to wait a few more days before being able to co-pilot our saucer. Will you believe what happened next? The bastard did not mention the ship again, and I assume he has left the planet without me.

Flash forward
Elitist jerk : "Lose the stabs"
Gabriel DiCozza : "[random smack]"
Random Local passerby : "[witty retort]"
My friend left in a space ship and all I got was this lousy massively multiplayer game, Eve Online. Sometimes, holy shit lag is spiking, and the logs they show nothing. Sometimes, the magic kicks back in, and I am back to the battlefield above Endor. Rarely, I get a Proustian whiff of eternity, I switch the music back on, and it's like a shot of pleasure, I remember what it was like to be a noob in 1.0 and how fun the game was, how happy a child I was, when flying a space ship never seemed so close.

Check other Eve Blog Banter articles on the same topic.