1 Digital Baptism

In the deepest recesses of space lay a ship floating aimlessly around the orbit of a planet ten times the size of Earth. It is covered in clouds, peaking through, desert plains are visible, seemingly barren of life. On this ship, there is no life, it is just the ship and it's AI. Years and years pass until finally, someone unknown appears on board. They did not get dragged in by drones, they weren't found as a refugee aimlessly floating through space by the AI. No, it was a lone person seemingly from nowhere appearing on the floor of the ship in the cockpit where screens layer the entire room showing the outside space and planets nearby. He awakes, a man with long black hair, unkempt - wearing a suit that he does not remember being put in. It is skin tight and the color of sand - rings that are apart of the suit wrapped around his fingers adjusting to each pull of his finger as he regains consciousness. As the ship rotates above the deep expanse above it begins to change it's color to black, changing accordingly if above specific objects of interest as a sort of camouflage. A long orange and black scarf wrapped around his shoulder do the same, the technology seems broken compared to the suit though. Then, there are his pants. Large baggy pants sitting above his skin-tight suit, more effective in its camouflage than the scarf.

As he wakes up, he reels back and throws himself into one of the screened walls of the cockpit, causing it to flicker. The man whips his head around the cockpit, processing what was in front of him before he realizes he's floating. He quickly composes himself, making his way across the cockpit's walls, examining the outside with them. Afraid, excited, stunned by the beauty of space. In the middle of this massive cockpit sits a chair, two sides of it branching inward like a bug with a control panel on it, a ball, and a center stick on the rightmost armrest. He makes his way over, pressing his legs around the wall behind him and jumping his way forward, grabbing the chair and leading his body to sit onto it. He is magnetized to the chair with the press of a button.

The man looks to his wrist to see a large screen showing a variety of information on it. Heartrate, visual acuity, physical capabilities, diseases, and more. This panel on his wrist showed it all. He looks to the panel on the armrest, seeing how it shows similar information instead of the ship specifically.

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After absorbing everything in front of him and contemplating for a while, he lets out an exasperated sigh, leaning into the chair he's sat in, looking to the planet above him. Fearful anxiety enters his heart as he spins aimlessly through space. The same anxiety he felt on a bad day, life's futility, and such. How one day an asteroid could end everyone's lives in an instant but now he's here in an unknown solar system. As the ship continues to spin, he sees the sun, a moon sat right under it. The sun is a bright orange shining into the ship while the moon shows a deep crimson red as its surface turns towards the planet.

"Will you register yourself as the master of this ship?" A voice rings across the ship from speakers set in an unknown location. The man looks around, slightly amused.

"Is there not already a master?"

The ship goes silent.


"No there is not. Would you like to register?"


The ship takes a few seconds to process. "Please tell me your name."

The man thinks and thinks. Seeing as how he is in the situation he is in, he believes that he should abandon his previous identity and that he will. "Gambler, call me the Gambler."

"Yes, Gambler."

"What now?"

"Please wait..."

The Gambler sat still, waiting for the ship's response until finally, "You have been registered, you are now the master of the ship."

"What's the ship's name?"

"I have not been granted a name yet."

"Do you have consciousness?"

The ship goes silent again and the Gambler chuckles.

"I will give you a name then, as the master of this ship," He pauses to think, hand cupped around his chin. "I will name you... the SS-Kardashev."

"Registering name."

A pause comes between them as the Gambler stares out into the abyss, the ship pointing out into the emptiness of space. "How do I even control this thing?"

"I could upload a manual to your Pauldron."


"The device on your wrist."

The Gambler looks to his wrist. "How?"

"Take the USB in the armrest and put it into the side of the Pauldron."

"Alright then." The Gambler feels around the armrest and pulls out a large wire, a USB at the end of it. He attempts to plug it into his Pauldron, after a couple of tries, he succeeds.


Some minutes pass...


A new window in his Pauldron appears on his wrist, he taps it to see a massive manual describing each and every function of the ship, bookmarks for each page that goes over a specific function or something that needs its own selection altogether. Drives, the fuel needed, drones, et cetera. The Gambler skims through most of it and gets up from the chair, which automatically stops forcing him to magnetize against it. The Gambler floats up into the air and he makes it to the back of the chair. "Where is the door?"

"Directly behind the chair, if you tap in a specific spot on the screens, a door will appear."

The Gambler nods, propelling himself towards it. He feels for a button until the screen shows off an odd ripple effect, turning the screens off as a door opens to the rest of the ship. The door opens and the Gambler makes his way through, throwing himself across the ship with his arms, gripping, and then throwing. The Gambler looks up, noticing an odd light peaking through the top of the ship. A skylight, showing the planet, it's moon, and the sun as the ship endlessly spins slowly, orbiting. The Gambler takes in the sight as he makes it farther into the ship, noticing a hallway leading to two separate rooms, in the middle is another, the door being significantly bigger than the others. The Gambler makes his way through to see that it's the engine room. "Is there a way to turn on gravity?"

"We do not have a Spinning Cortex."

"Is there a way to keep me planted onto the ground?"

"Open a panel on your Pauldron and there should be an option to magnetize your feet to the floor, do it slowly or you'll fall. This will be a good replacement for gravity."

The Gambler looks at his Pauldron and notices the option, he then remembered that it also activated when he sat down on the seat, so now he decides to do it again, turning it on manually. It asks where he wants it and he directs it to his feet, keeping it at the lowest amount of resistance possible. The Gambler flips himself to be in an upward position, feet pointed to the ground as it slowly drags him towards it, then finally, planting his feet to the ground.

He still feels like he is slightly floating, but it is better than before. The Gambler makes his way through the engine, inspecting what is there and what there isn't. On two ends of the engine are two airlocks, helmets lines on both sides of them, the helmets having the same function as his outfit. The Gambler makes his way to one of the airlocks, tripping once in a while along the way. He makes it to one side and grabs the helmet, putting it onto his head. The helmet is automatically fuzed with the suit and oxygen begins to pump into the mask of the helmet. The ship talks, "Connect the Pauldron with the Pyre."

The Gambler complies, looking for a USB wire like last time but instead in the Pauldron, taking it out and plugging it in on the same side. It connects, the visor of the helmet showing a hud of sorts, similar to the Pauldron, it shows his status. Diseases, heart rate, et cetera.

"Make sure to wear this outside the ship at all times."

"I know, don't want diseases."

The Gambler sighs, unplugging his Pauldron from the Pyre and putting it back near the airlock. The Gambler makes his way outside the engine and into the room on the right of the hallway, showing the sleeping quarters. The Gambler nods and heads to the left of the hallway, inside is a room full of wiring and trinkets. Small robots, large, wiring connected to massive computers with intricate carving put into them.

The Gambler takes one of the robots and attempts to activate it with a small button on the back of the machine. It doesn't react.

"You can put my conscious into that robot and I can follow you everywhere while being able to work the ship." The Ship suggests - The Gambler nods, an impressed expression coming across his face.

The Gambler makes his way to the cockpit and it shuts, the screens turned on once again. He makes his way to the chair and plugs in a wire from the armrest into the small robot and it begins to move. Shortly after plugging it in, he unplugs the wire and it begins to float around the Gambler. 'Did it work?' he thought to himself.

"As you can tell, I can talk through the bot now."

"What type is it, like surveillance?"

"Defense, it will shoot away projectiles and can stun animals or creatures you find. You may have to go through the disinfectant process."

"What else can my suit do?"

"Adjust physical acuity, accuracy, et cetera. The Pyre may be needed for aiming needs though."

The Gambler nods, "I guess I'll have to get used to this..."

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