ENTRY 028: Graveyard Trajectory
Until recently, death has always been a part of the transhuman condition, and there remain many among transhumanity that feel the need to honor the departed egos they once knew. Many habitats accompany the recycling of the morph—if there is one—with a simple ceremony and a celebration of their life that leaves lasting memories. The more social infomorphs often earn digital memorials, archives that preserve their life and work. Friends, family, and admirers throughout the system may accomplish some creative act, feat, or thing and dedicate it to the deceased. A few very old and conservative habitats and colonies maintain physical memorials—sometimes containing the decaying remnants of the morph.
Then there is the Graveyard Trajectory.
Burials at space are almost as old as space-travel, and take many forms in different cultures. Among the habitats of the Inner System however, the Graveyard Trajectory has taken hold: a designated path off the main shipping and mining lanes where remains can be released for a long, lazy elliptical orbit around the Sun. It is estimated that the majority of such remains fall into Sol within a year, but there are accounts from ships plying the space between Earth and Venus of corpses mummified from five or ten years’ cold soak in space.
Most ships that accidentally interrupt such journeys through eternity send them on again. Certain clannish families install mesh transponders to track their ancestors’ progress, and even automated messages providing a small remuneration to those who return their ancestors to space. The empty eyes and faded plastics may be taken as a reminder of their own mortality—or the limitations that transhumanity still fights to overcome.
- A Firewall agent in need of a quick escape committed suicide—with stipulation in its will that the corpse be vacuum-sealed, fitted with a beacon, and set on the Graveyard Trajectory. Now it is up to the player characters to retrieve the corpse, and retrieve the Firewall agent’s fork from its cortical stack before the power runs out, or someone beats them to it.
- Crossing the Inner System, an errant remnant from the Graveyard Trajectory impacts the vessel—a container of ashes dating from the time of the Fall, or maybe earlier. The crew and passengers are divided about what to do: cracking the seal and analyzing the remains could reveal important archaeological and anthropological information, but may also risk exposing them all to an Exsurgent virus.
- The Greenteeth, a morbid or pragmatic scumbarge, has begun trawling the Graveyard Trajectory, harvesting the corpses for whatever of value they can derive—genetic information, scraps of metal, antique tech, or even “space jerky.” A consortium of outraged mourners has taken up a collection and issued a sizeable bounty on anyone that can bring the Greenteeth in to a habitat where such practices are punishable under the law.