[Fan Fiction] Jin-Mei on Alert

Hello.

After a break of five years, I have decided to return to EVE. During my first presence in EVE (roughly 2009 - 2015), I wrote a series of FanFiction stories back on the now dead german Forum EVEGER. But I want to continue writing with the same characters, although their pre-story is now lost. It would take too much time to explain everything that has happened to them in those years in detail. But I will give a glimpse every now and then, especially at the beginning, when I introduce the main characters.

So, let`s get this thing started.

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Eletta (Space Transit)

And so he left the best of all man in the worst of all places and times.

He smiled, as he closed the book after having read the last sentence. He usually did not read novels, but he did make exceptions for Minmatar authors. “Anger of Abudban” was one of these contemporary novels dealing with divisive Tribal politics under the impression of a greater danger. Published in 117, shortly before the death of Empress Jamyl, it was written in an environment riddled by the appearances of the Drifters. Now, with New Eden faced by an even greater threat, the book had suddenly come to new popularity.

He put the book back in his bag and stood up to go the few steps to the cabin window. Out there were the normal effects to be seen when in a warp tunnel. He had seen this a thousand times, just like everyone else, who was used to travel around as Pilot or Passenger. Yet it never ceased to amaze him.

But he was not able to really enjoy it today. He assumed, that many others felt the same way. The fascination of space travel always stayed the same, but rarely has space been such a frightening place to be. Sure. There have always been wars. But it was a difference, whether the enemies were other humans or, as it happened to be in the recent years, Drifters or Triglavians. Whatever they may be.

He went away from the window to a large mirror at the wall. He looked at himself in his Uniform. Yarren Matsuyama. Lieutenant Commander. Federal Navy. Not a combat-hardened Officer, but still a veteran in the administration, where he led a Department of the Logistics Division. Married. Two children. Not bad for someone, who had been a boring loner just a decade ago.

In the meantime, he had seen a few very interesting, troublesome and exciting years. Yet, the recent five years had been calm again. Until a look into the Abyss changed everything. The Federation, whole New Eden had to adapt to a situation, whose further potential development frightened most people. Now New Eden needed every single of its citizens.

Which was the cause for his travel. He needed to see an old friend. And convince her to let her academic life behind her for the time being and go to space again. On the one hand he was looking forward to see her again. On the other hand he did not want to push her. But he had to.

He looked out of the window again and saw, that the ship had come to a halt close to a Stargate. Two jumps left to his old Alma Mater.

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Clellinon

„Insa? Would you take a look at this?“

„What is it?“

„This sample here. I mean, there is this large culture here and a smaller one over there. But this tiny cluster here…“

EVE1

„I am not sure, whether this actually qualifies as Cluster.“

„My thoughts exactly, but I am not sure. Your opinion? Top or Flop?“

„Flop, I`d say.“

„So be it.“

Insa Terink went back to her workplace in the laboratory and left her colleague alone. Despite them wearing protective gear, there were only two people allowed in a room, where usually four or five would easily be able to do their job. But even here, the Pandemic required restrictions. The University had rented rooms to establish more workplaces elsewhere, but they were lucky to belong to those working close to the campus.

Then the telephone rang and she picked it up.

„Lab 2. Akabashi.“

„Reception here. There is a visitor from the Navy, who wants to meet you. He said, it is important.“

„Aha. Well…“, she looked at the clock. „I`ll be there in half an hour.“

She put down the phone again and looked quizzical at her colleague.

„Someone from the Navy wants to talk to me.“

„Maybe your Ex. Greg or so? Didn`t he want to…“

„Pah.“,she answered. „Not in a hundred years. He was just another guy who was just all talk about his great future plans.“

„You surely seem to attract them, Sayuri.“

„Ach, don`t remind me. The good ones are either taken or not interested in women.“

The two young women laughed and then Sayuri Akabashi finished her final sample for today. Checking Corona Tests was not a glorious, but necessary activity. And as it seemed, they would not run out of work for the time being. When she finished the sample, she cleaned up her workspace, said goodbye to Insa and left the room.


„Yarren?“, she said, when she entered the entrance room of the University`s main building. She went to him and gave him a hug.

„This is a surprise. Why didn`t you say something? We could have met somewhere else.“

„To be frank, I am on duty.“

She raised an eyebrow. „Now I am curious. Let`s go to the Quarter.“

Clellinon

The Quarter. Or „Otrim`s Quarter“, to be precise. A well known pub and restaurant among students and popular for decades now. Mostly because of good food, reasonable prices and a location right around the main campus. Although the catering trade had been hit hard by the Pandemic, the Quarter had a loyal customer base, despite at best half as many guests as normal were allowed in.

Sayuri and Yarren were sitting at a table. While she was just having a salad, he enjoyed some Pasta.

„…made a great exam, ready to go out there and wham!“, she let her hand hit the table. „…the Pandemic comes along and all scientific excursions get cancelled. I should be somewhere in the Republic for a dig. But Archaeology is not essential. Pfff. Essential my butt.“

Yarren listened and smiled. This was not the young girl anymore who had asked him about whether it would be a good idea to maybe go to space to see something new. That was, well, almost seven years ago. A lot had happened and she had grown up to become an independent woman. He thought for a moment. She was 26 now, twenty years younger than him. If he were younger, she would be interesting for him for different reasons. But as it was, he had the feelings of a fatherly friend toward her.

„Maybe we can help you to become more essential in the future.“

„We?“, she asked.

„The Navy wants you.“

She laughed out loud. „Me? In a Uniform? Come on, now. Don`t be silly.“

„I am dead serious. I think, it is great, that you are working here to help deal with the Pandemic. But there are larger problems out there.“

„I know.“, she said and became serious. The Triglavians. They are the talk among students and teachers alike. For more than a year now. At first, it was all hypothetical talk about what they are and how they may be like. But this year showed, how they could be, if they are hostile toward someone. People reacted differently. Anger, fear, frustration. But it was nigh impossible to ignore them.

„I am not a Combat Pilot.“, she said. „Never been. Just like you. My space life ended four years ago. My implants are gone. I am not a Capsuleer anymore. What good can I be out there?“

„As an instructor.“

„Me? I would have to learn a lot again myself first.“

„Exactly what we are planning. See, if a well-known author stands up and enters a ship again, then this may very well influence a lot of your Followers.“

„Thanks for the flowers. But I don`t think, that a bunch of bookworms is what you need out there.“

„We need anyone.“, he said and now he looked her deep in the eye.

„Is it so bad?“, she wanted to know.

„Let`s just say bad. And we need Pilots. Whether someone is more or less qualified for frontline duty, is the second question. The first one is: How do we get people to volunteer? Listen, the deal is that you sign up for duty and participate in some PR to show your support for the cause. And in exchange we encourage the Republic to let you dig whereever you want. Heck, maybe we can even convince the State.“

She leaned back in her chair. So this was it. They surely know, how they can tempt people. A free pass to Archaeological sites in all of New Eden. That was worth a thought. But, on the other hand, she would have to leave the University. Not as if that would be a problem per se. But the risk was now higher than back in the days. She bit on her lip, as always when she was unsure.

„Let me think about it.“

Clellinon

Clellinon VII was a planet that was mostly water with only small landmasses. Many of them also rather mountainous. But every now and then, there were places suited for a city and some agriculture, although there were also many sleeping villages for the crew of the local space station or staff of the University. Sayuri had a house in one of these villages directly at the coast.

This morning she had been in the basement and brought a box with some things from her former life up into the living room. Now she was going through the remnants of those three years, that had been the most interesting of her life. When she finished school, she decided to take a year off before studying something. And so she went to space, after Yarren had encouraged her. She found friends up there. Among the miners. Navy pilots. Sisters of EVE. Customers of her own small business, who had bought ammunition or a Frigate.

She got to know Henk better. The same Cyrus Henk, the polymath academic and traveller, after which the University here got its name. When he died, she was one of the more important guests during his funeral in the Amarr Empire. When she came back, she began to travel too. Eventually she wrote books about Amarr Culture and Society. And about the EVE Gate. That also sold well.

But in 118 she had felt, that her life was going nowhere and that it was time to settle down and finish her education. And so she left everything behind to study Archaeology. Early this year she finished her studies and got her degree. And then the Pandemic came and everything was uncertain again. She volunteered to help with the Corona Tests and began to learn something about Biochemistry either. But was that really what she wanted?

Then she took something out of the box, that she has never showed to anyone. A fine wooden casket. She put it on the table and opened it. On a small velvet cushion was a golden medal. On it a hand with a dagger. The Medal of Saint Tetrimon. She let her fingers glide gently over the metal surface.

She went outside on the terrace and took a look at the sheer endless Ocean. She loved it here. But wasnt that the problem? Wasnt her life going nowhere again with nothing really interesting to do in this pandemic limbo?

After all, she did not need to be here. Back then, when she had sold all her belongings in space and with the earnings from her book sales, she was, by the standards of normal people, a rich woman. After checking the market this morning, she would be able to buy a Tech 2 Battleship cash. Without equipment, that is. The Navy probably knew that. So they did not offer her money but something she really needed. The opportunity to get around and do what she wanted to.

And all it would take was to make a deal, deliver a show and maybe play the Instructor for other pilots. She did not know, how the latter would work out, but wasnt that an offer she couldnt refuse? She looked at the medal again. It reminded her, that the world out there was also filled with dangers. She had to weigh risk versus reward.

She went back inside and sent a short mail to Yarren: “I am in.”

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Bourynes

"You are kidding me.“, she said.

„Ehm…no. Why?“, a man in the grey uniform of a Hangar Master replied.

„What is THAT?“

EVE2

„Looks like a Corvette to me. Velator-Class. Standard Rookie vessel.“

„I know what it is. But why does it look as if it is made of Aluminum or Silver? Is that a new look?“

The man rolled his eyes. Yet another Beginner who thinks, that ship design has to meet some random aesthetical standards of green wanna-be pilots. Anyway he gave her a chip card with which to enter and unlock the ship. She took it and let it disappear in one of her pockets.

The next thing she was doing was to search her room in the residential part of the station. Eventually she found a small appartment in the probably not that favorable parts of the living quarters. Suddenly she had a flashback to her first time as Beginner. This appartment looked awfully alike the one from back then. But she had been a few years younger and less demanding back then. As a younger woman she had been excited about this. Now she felt a little bit confined. It is amazing, how perceptions of things change as one establishes a specific living standard.

She went to the comm device and opened a video call with Yarren`s office.

„Sayuri. Nice to see you. Where are you?“

„Bourynes VII. University of Caille.“

„Fine. How are you feeling?“

„Ask me again in a few days. I am not going to stay here. I need to get to Dodi and do some serious shopping. After that I will look for a nice system, where I can practice.“

„Sounds good. How long will that take you?“

„Depends on how much time you grant me.“

„Look, contact me, when you have a permanent residence and where we can find you. I will send a message to my colleague from Public Relations. As of then he is your contact person. I am not sure, but you should not take more time than maybe a month for yourself. He will tell you more about when your public appearance is supposed to occur and what is happening afterward.“

„Understood. But I will stay in touch with you anyway and report my adventures.“

Dodixie

„Hello, my lovely.“, she said, after she entered the Dock and took a look at her first new ship.

EVE3

A Tristan. A mix of decent armor and armament plus the ability to efficiently operate a few Drones cramped into a beautiful hull. What is not to like? A few years ago, when she was an absolute beginner, this had been her first ship. And during the years she had spent in space, she had never sold it, until she decided to settle down. It had not been easy to give her away, but now she owned a worthy sister ship. And just like the first one, it would bear the name Diana.

The rest of the day she went from one merchant to the next to compare prices and get some decent equipment. Back in the days, Cap Stability was the gold standard of ship fitting among those HighSec dwellers, who are also known as Carebears among the spacefaring community. She remembered a thing or two about what to install in all these slots and at the end of the day, she was considerably pleased with the result.

Way less pleasing was, when she read more about the environment she was working in now. She had left her space life behind her in early 118. Not a lot later, CONCORD had completely revamped Clone Technology and classification. Back in the days, there had been a confusing amount of different Clones. So reducing that amount to just two was a good idea. In general.

Now the Universe was populated by Alphas and Omegas. Interestingly enough, even for the rather humble existence she had back then, she would have needed an Omega. Operating a Retriever, not to mention a Hulk? Flying to the EVE Gate in a Stealth Frigate? Efficient ore processing? Not possible anymore with a beginner Clone. And most of this is rather standard behavior in HighSec.

That evening she sat in a restaurant, leaning back in her chair and looked at the people passing by outside. She understood, that CONCORD wanted to distinct between those, who are in space rather casually and those who wanted to be professionals, with the will to invest more time and money. But it also forced new pilots into the decision, which way they wanted to chose.

She pondered about her own plans. For her, space was for travelling. Period. But now she had a role to play. And an Instructor with an Alpha clone? On the other hand she was just there to teach Basics, and that should work fine. She looked back on the table and the remnants of Odettian Carp she had just eaten. Then she shook her head. No. Whatever she was going to do in the future, an Alpha would have to suffice. It was just about making the best out of her possibilities.

Aymaerne

The incredible thing about Space Stations is not so much, that they are gigantic structures. It is the fact, how little of all that space is actually designed for human use. Sure, there are residential sections plus all the workplaces for the crew and business owners. But the largest part is occupied by Hangars plus all the technology necessary to support human life in the lethal environment called space.

Aymaerne VI is no exception from this rule. The only difference, that exists toward other stations, is that it is less busy. The Aymaerne system is one of the less important. Low population, not a lot mining operations and the only major corporation operating here is Aliastra. So, despite its high security rating, it is rather one of the numerous fly-through systems in New Eden.

Which is exactly the reason, why Sayuri picked it as temporary home. There were not a lot of people and the low traffic made sure, that she would be able to learn again some of her old skills without getting disturbed or noticed. For the next weeks she would stay here and, when she is ready, relocate to a more inhabited system and go public with her new lifestyle.

Although she was just another pilot in the infinity of space, there were still regulations. The Corporations, that operated the stations, wanted to know about everyone, who intended to stay for more than just a few days. And with the Pandemic going on, it was even more strict, since everyone staying for more than 24 hours had to register.

She sat in the office of Oune Aires, one of the low-ranking agents of Aliastra on the station, after completing the registration form.

„So, Miss Akabashi. This looks good, although we have to enter a departure date.“

„I don`t know. I will leave not later than late December, but have no exact date yet.“

„Then we pick the 15th for now. Just come back here that day and we file for an extension. Will you leave the station during that time for more than 24 hours?“

„No. I just want to travel to Villore in the next days. But will return quickly.“

„That is okay. Should it take longer, then please send me a mail, because then we have to test you again.“

„Yes, Sir.“

„Well, then we are done. Thank you for your cooperation and welcome aboard the station. I see in your papers, that you own a Frigate. Should you be interested in working as Freelancer for Aliastra, we regularly offer small jobs for Pilots. Appropriate payment included.“

„Thank you. I definitely will.“