"Caldari Expeditionary report: Subverted encounter."

(This is my first time trying my hand at actual Eve fiction. Feedback is appreciated. Enjoy!)

I sat upon my steel chair, uncomfortable and rigid, looking at status reports and diagrams. It bothered me, having questions I knew I had no answer to, and I would gain little from my notes and studies.

My room was somewhat warm, a comfortable, yet small, compartment. Metallic walls encroaching upon my desk gave a somewhat claustrophobic feeling, though not so much as to bother me. Behind me was a simple, yet large, single bed, built into the framing of my wall, as to indent and remain compact. Above it was a shelf, built in a similar fashion. A sliding door, automatic, was between myself and the bed. Directly to the left of my bed was a plexiglass window, reinforced for safety, that afforded me a spacious view of the top hull of my ship. Various lights and compartments could be seen from here, maintenance crews performing duties, welding plates and reinforcing vulnerabilities. A dark horizon surrounded it, distant stars and galaxies blinking in the distance, my fleet anchored just above the moon’s orbit.

I was trying to understand why we had not previously detected “Rogue Drone” interference here. We had sent scouting parties previously; survey vessels had a strong mapping of the system, and there shouldn’t have been anything sitting within our warning probes radius capable of avoiding their scans. Strategic Caldari Command had ordered our fleet, In conjunction with an Amarrian escort, to secure an asteroid belt, not far from the first moon, from which we could begin preparations for Ansiblex construction. We were in desperate need of this route; vital Mercoxit and Arkonor deposits found here would be required for war efforts along the Gallente borders.

Arrival was as expected. We spent nine months getting here, using probes from exploratory teams as warp beacons. It was faster than expected, especially considering it was an experimental procedure. We spent approximately four weeks setting up a basic maintenance station. Much easier following Upwell innovations. In total there were fourteen ships within our detachment: A Wyvern class supercarrier, two Chimera class carriers, two Phoenix class dreadnoughts, six Raven class battleships, and finally three Amarrian Mauler class cruisers. A considerable force capable of dealing with almost all threats.

It was 10:26 GET (general Eden time). I was watching the displays from the bridge of my Chimera “The Stratagem”. Daily station checks and fighter maintenance was being performed. Our alarms sounded, two drones, subverted Dominix class, had left warp 259km from our holding to the left of our station. Six more to the right of the Amarrian detachment, 132km from our holding. Before we had time to truly take in what was happening, the Amarrian escort was engaged; lasers of various colours lit the sky with vast explosions wrecking upon the hull of the lead Mauler. Fighter detachments deployed, flying low over the damaged Mauler, providing cover for their retreat. We engaged the closest Subverted and quickly dispatched four of their vessels. One Mauler was hit critically, ruptured metal began to crack across the hull of the ship, with flowing fires painting it’s sheen. One after the other, metallic shards flew from the ship, denting our bow, violent shaking was felt, and bodies flew from each section as the ship tore itself apart. The two subverted to our left began advancing as several dozen unclassed Drone frigates left warp beside them, rapidly approaching our fighters in uniform displays of intelligent ambush. Sirens blared as we lost whole fighter squadrons within only minutes of deployment. The chimera to our left began advancing; the sky above our glass overwatch forcing us to witness the ruthless destruction. Fighters were downed, wings torn and fractured, impacting and breaking apart upon our hull.

The Chimera to our left reinforced our own fighter detachment, pushing back against the hordes of Subverted that exited warp just beyond us. Our Wyvern became a Titan on the battlefield as it left warp above us, distant, accompanied by the remainder of the main fleet. Several dozen more Subverted warped just beyond, seemingly in response to the escalation, ripping apart two Ravens as they tore through their path, uncaring of any losses taken. All but five of our own ships remained at this time. We began preparing for an emergency warp, taking aboard any surviving craft or escape pods from nearby vessels. The Wyvern, now damaged, but functional, began the same; twenty four fighters providing covering fire for our escape. Just as we began to warp, an unstable signature, akin to a cyno but not, flared to the right of the Wyvern. A subspace tear opened, an EMP pulsing across thousands of kilometres, knocking out all but our core drives and systems; Phoenix capitals torn apart by the blast. Through the tear a lumbering, metallic monstrosity, twice the size of our Wyvern, emerged at an alarming pace. It charged the Wyvern from it’s vulnerable side, plowing through, and tearing it apart. Chunks of metal flew across the battlefield, a large piece landing straight within the observation deck of the left Chimera, breaching it’s shielding and obliterating anything, and anyone, inside. The Subert monster screamed a metallic roar, it’s tendrils reaching within the Wyvern’s remains and crushing it from within.

We warped just as it approached, barely escaping. We landed a great distance, in unknown space, as happens when you warp without a destination. Shaken, it took a great time to recover from our experiences. Some simply didn’t.

A few days later and it seemed we were not found. We began repairs and attempted preparations for a return to charted space. I made the decision to send this message, and archival footage, out into space as we travel, via data probes. If anything should happen to us, may this help you if you encounter them. God help us.

1 Like

Thanks for posting, I enjoyed reading this! I’ll leave a few comments/questions here, as I would if we were workshopping together, but I’m not a professional. Feel free to ignore any or all of it (except the part where I enjoyed reading).

Summary
  • So there were a couple distinct sections - those which read more like the “report” and those that put the reader in the head of the narrator.
  • In the “report” sections, the narrator is clearly describing the timetable of events. The cadence is good, as well as the pacing. They create the imagery of these horrific events which are easily immersive. That’s excellent.
  • There are narrative segments at the lead and spliced in on occasion where the focus seems to be on being highly descriptive, rather than how things are being described. The latter doesn’t provide much for the imagination, but it does make the narrator more sympathetic in general, in my view.
  • That’s not to say that it is too drawn-out. On the contrary, depending on your goal, you’ve assembled a lot to work with here that you could continue to dive into - character conflict (inner or otherwise), subtext, tension.
  • Ultimately, this piece gives me a brief window into the events, but I still want to know more about who the people involved are, why they feel the way they feel. That’s good, since you want your readers to want to keep reading. So… don’t stop posting.

Awesome narrative keep it up! As a friendly advice, give more love to the battle details,like what weapons are being used, even modules, etc, it’s awesome to find stuff we use daily in game described in the action .