Space is a cold, cold place. Logic dictates then that space stations are also cold. Yes, there is solar heating, fusion reactors and the like, but these massive structures are too costly to heat adequately throughout every sector. You would think as a capsuleer, that my Captain’s Quarters would be kept warm. Simply put, you’re wrong.
There are no throw rugs or plush carpeting in my quarters. Firstly, that’s just not practical given the gunk I drag in with me after space flight, but secondly and more importantly, I’m very utilitarian. I have ships and gear in many stations across the universe in case something should happen to one of my primary operations. No point in having everything in one place or luxuries spread throughout the stars. That too, would be costly.
The air in my quarters is cold. I can see my breath as I exhale. I slip a foot out from under my warm and heavy duvet to the metal grillwork of the floor and retract it immediately to hide within the warmth of my cocoon. I feel so snug, so safe. It’s dark. Dark means sleep. I want to sleep. I want to dream, wrapped up in visions of Amarr death and big breasted babes. My bed agrees. It refuses to release me. It embraces me with love, savouring this shared bond between us. It misses me. I miss it. So very much.
Don’t go, the blankets sing to me with their siren’s song, enticing me, luring me back into their warm fold. Don’t leave us, it’s cold out there, they appeal to my sense of logic should emotion fail. They almost succeed in undoing me. It takes everything I have to put my feet down, breathe deeply and head to the gym. My head is groggy. My muscles ache. I’m not awake. I don’t want to be. I have no choice.
I stand in the change room at the gym, my shoulders hunched, my back bent, my eyes puffy and half closed. I look like an old man. Where is the high confidence? Where is the tall posture, shoulders back as if wearing a cape? Where is the fire, the determination? Where is the Roc Wieler people have come to expect? He’s still back in bed, sleeping, like any other normal person should be. But I’m not normal.
All warmed up. Blood flowing. Heart pounding. Sweat dripping. Muscles limber. I’m fully alert. My breathing is deep and controlled. I’m in the zone. This is why I do what I do, for this moment and no other. My entire existence, my complete perception of reality changes when I devote myself to the workout, when I release every excuse, every inhibition, every concern, every other thing than doing what needs to be done right here, right now. I am Roc.
Back and biceps done. I focused on form. I focused on heavier weights. I focused on breathing. I focused on the moment, every moment. I am completely exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. I have drained myself this week. I have nothing left. I am an empty shell of a man, but for the briefest of moments, I felt heroic. I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t overcome, like I was the saviour of the universe. In a way, I’m right. I am saving myself from myself.
I report for duty, standing tall, standing proud. I am Roc. I know it’s going to be a hard day but if it was easy, I wouldn’t be here. Fake it til you make it. Do what needs to be done, whatever it takes. Never let them see your weakness. So many rules rush through my head.
I can hear my bed calling me already, seducing me back into its delightful clutches. Tonight, I think to myself. Tonight I will sleep. And then do it all over again tomorrow.