Rgroffel robbiewon 1/28/2008
Low sec raids with a fleet of 100 or more all warping in from another stargate one gate over meet at exit of gate and all fleet warp to location local didn’t even have a chance to show we were there everyone picked their target and followed thru there were dead ships and bodies everywhere clone factories were busy with work that day it was a war effort so podding was legal podded a bunch of pilots that day
Tada o is our corp honda accord is our other group we fly with also helping new bees starting out we help em out till they get their wings we don’t pvp much unless it’s fellow teammates practicing
Well a update 13 years later I am still with tada o
And now have become ceo of our corp as most online the past few months we have lost a dear rl freind issler dainze my former boss lady aka ceo
Rgroffel robbiewon 1/28/2008
I once promised to never sell skillpoints for cash but then I did it anyways.
That was you.
Is it up to 2000 words, or would you rather it be closer to 2000 words?
“Captain on the bride!”
Captain of the SARS “Hel” strode confidently onto the bride in their regulation uniform, and stopped right in from of the first officer’s chair. He gave the chair a brief glance, and seemed to remember that he had ordered the First Officer to leave the ship two days ago. He shook their head and continued, before abruptly stopping again, and making a full 360 towards the rear of the bridge. The Captain made eye contact with every of the officers sitting in the back.
“Lieutenant Beatrice, that doesn’t look like the appropriate uniform…”
“Sir please… We’ve had this discussion before” said the Lieutenant quietly.
“I’m sure you’re uncomfortable in that, don’t you agree?”. As the captain spoke he raised their head and pointedly made eye contact with others on the ship who weren’t dressing to standards. In common sign of disrespect, the Lieutenant raised their head and spoke directly to the captain, “No sir, I’m quite comfortable”.
The Capitan sighed and turned their head back to their subordinate. “Well Claire, looking at you is making me uncomfortable”.
“Well sir, if you were in your seat and doing your job, you wouldn’t have to look at me”
With a humph befitting a small child, the captain proceeded to walk over to their modified captains chair, and sat down. The chair was just one of many things that bothered Claire. Her captain was eccentric to put it lightly, having named every singe ship he flew “Hel”, and listing them all under a made up navy. She was often asked what “SARS” stood for, and the honest answer was she didn’t have a clue, it simply stood for “SARS”. She had a sneaking suspicion that it stood for “Super Awesome Ratting Ship”, as the captain often described their current “Hel” as such. The Captain stretched across the chair, which if it had been standard would have been impossible, and called for a new destination.
“Sir, shouldn’t we run tests first?” A newer shipman asked.
“We are !”
“But sir, these coordinates are a known pirate outpost”
“Just trust me young man, we’ll be perfectly fine”
“But at zero sir? We’re in a Naga are we not?”
“Not just any Naga, a brand new modular Naga! Like what the capsuleers use!”
Claire sighed, the difference between integrated systems and modular ones was modular systems changed out reliability and efficiency for modularity. A modular ship could be fit in a multitude of ways with special modules designed to be stripped from a hull, even while in space or in a battle. These ships were quite a bit more expensive, and more prone to failures. Pilots could avoid the common failures by shelling out for tech 2 variations, or even factions if they had a cooperation or capsuleer backing them. The captain seemed to have a near infinite well of ISK to draw upon, so cheap modules weren’t the problem. The problem arouse from the captain having the most terrible decision making. Case in point: the uniform Claire got in trouble for wearing was the standard unaligned spacer’s uniform, and the one the Captain insisted everyone wore was a modified dressing gown from the ancient Amarr empire. It was light, fluffy, and soft, but floated in zero-g and was terribly suffocating the heat the Captain preferred.
“Captain, may I review your fitting you’ve chosen?” Claire said in her best please just say yes voice. Ever sense she began dealing with the captain, she had gotten quite good at that specific speech style.
“It’s a surprise!”
“Sir, they’re requesting your undocking code”
The captain paused in their stretch, and quickly pulled out their holographic display. He scrolled through a list of passcodes that contained far too many duplicates, and froze on one. Claire sighed inwardly again, for there was a bright red line through the code.
“It appears I might’ve done something last night that has revoked our docking access!” The captain said with their trademark smile. “If only I could remember what it was…”
“To apologize sir?”
“Of course not! I want to know if it’s worthy of going on my wall ”. The wall in questions was a shared board where the captain posted his latest exploits. It had roughly twenty thousand views monthly, and in a galaxy where the average shared board had twenty hundred thousand from bots alone, it was unthinkably low that the Captain’s only had 20k. Claire assumed that the captain had somehow failed to make their board public, and instead all those 20k hits were from the Captain themselves, reliving their “grand adventures”.
“Sir, how are you planning on getting out of this station then?” Asked their relations Officer, who’s job was nothing more than apologizing for the Captains behavior in a multitude of languages.
“How long is the undock hallway?”
“How long is the undock hallway?”
“About 1km sir”
“Wonderful, give me manual control!”
“Switching to manual and passing controls to the captains chair” spoke their new navigations officer, and Claire knew that the man was quickly beginning to regret their choice.
The ship’s engines began to hum, and the start up sequence was initiated. A few red warnings from the station popped up, and a few seconds later a comm channel was forced open by the residing CONCORD officer.
The officer appeared onscreen in front of the captain, a faceless void with a robotic voice. “Captain” it rasped, “You are in breech of multiple undocking procedures, please power down your ship”
“I don’t wanna”
“Captain, we have a target lock on your ship, and will not hesitate to engage”
The threat was mostly empty, the worst the station could do was to infinite-point the ship’s warp core, and engage energy neutralizes to force a shut down of the core. And Claire knew that the CONCORD Officer didn’t know her captain, otherwise the systems would have already been engaged.
“Well, good luck with that” the captain said as he closed the comm channel. In a few seconds the warp core went offline, and the capacitor readout drained rapidly to zero.
The captain laughed as he shook their head. “Oh no, what shall we do”.
The new officer looked around nervously, and ventured to answer. “Captain, we should shut down and await for boarding, as is stated in a multitude of regulations”.
“That wouldn’t be fun now would it?”
To the newcomer’s surprise, it wasn’t the Captain that spoke, it was Claire.
The Captain smiled as he looked back at Claire. “You’re ready?”
“Of course, I was ready before you even entered the bridge sir”
“Alright then, let’s do this”
Without even a second of hesitation, Claire inverted the shield’s polarity, effectively breaking all locks on the ship, and funneled the energy from the quickly dissipating shields into the capacitor. While she did this, the captain forced a burst from the engines and entered warp, flinging their ship sideways through the warp tunnel, and into the dark abyss of space. There was just one small problem.
“Yes! Glory awaits us my friends!”
“Captain, did we go in parallel to the warp tunnel?”
The captain’s smiled faded from their face as he realized that no, they had not gone into the warp tunnel parallel, but perpendicular. As he opened their mouth the ship’s computer began screaming multiple alarms.
“Brace positions!” Shouted an officer as the lights began to flicker.
The capacitor began to crawl up past 100%, and the ship began to overload it for what was about to come. All power was diverted to the core and shields, and non essential systems like lights flicked off. The captain’s rare fish probably wouldn’t survive this little adventure.
Many people don’t know what happens when you slide into warp. Most people have seen capitals do it, and titans are known for entering warp sideways, but the difference between a capital and their little Naga was the advanced propulsion systems that were able to keep a capital centered in a warp tunnel even if it wasn’t facing the correct direction. Their little battlecruiser on the other hand, had to be facing the correct direction, otherwise it would run straight into the edge of the warp tunnel. This is exactly what happened thirty seconds after entering warp, and suddenly the Naga was sent spinning into open space, moving at .75C. The ship would have been torn in half if the computer hadn’t adjusted the shields in time to bear the impact, and the overcharged capacitor gave just barely enough juice to the grav-feild generators to keep everyone on board from turning into pancakes. In fact, the only way the crew could tell anything was wrong was the fact that outside the window the entire world was nothing but one brown blur, instead of the usual colorful dotted sky of New Eden.
A few minutes later the ship was under control, and all systems had been verified as functioning at acceptable levels. The captain stood up from their chair, bent down to touch their toes, and sat back down.
“Well, wasn’t that exciting my friends? I doubt any of your old captains did that sort of thing now did they?”
Claire was normally going to be the one to point out that most people would have preferred a captain that didn’t almost kill them all, but the recent near death experience had put a damper on her usual chatter. Instead to went over all the systems once again. As she did, the Captain looked towards their navigation officer again and asked “What about the destination? We still have pirates to kill!” The new shipman grimaced as they put the coordinates in. Claire pulled up the coordinates on her own screen, and stifled a groan. A class 3 anomaly wasn’t terrible , but for a brand new ship fit during one of the Captain’s insanity filled nights it would likely prove to be too much, especially right after everyone had their heads rattled from the warp tunnel failure. Claire began ensuring that the emergency pods were ready to go, should the ship enter hull.
Again the ship entered warp, and thankfully the captain let it align this time. Normally this is where the adventures of the night would slow down, but it appears the captain had other plans.
“Requesting control of gunnery systems” Claire said as they began to land on grid with the hostile outpost.
“Calm your droolers Claire, lets see what we’re up against first”
“Doesn’t the database state what we’re up against? All combat anoms are scouted by DED forces before they allow mercenaries in to collect bounties” the poor, unsuspecting new shipman asked.
Claire sighed and explained to the man that their captain sometimes found less reputable sources to find pirate outposts. It didn’t pay out bounties, but it often had faction blueprints, modules, or rare resources that could be harvested. Her explanation was cut short though by an officer.
“Captain, the wreckage has been identified as an Angel drug manufacturing outpost”
“The wreckage ? I was promised an active site ripe for the taking!”
“It is active sir”
“Huh”, the captain looked puzzled for a few seconds, before turning back to their display. He opened up a convo with whoever he had gotten the coordinates from. Claire could imagine it went something like this:
“Hey, there are rogue drones here, no drug outpost”
“Sucks to be you, peace”
And by judging how quickly the convo was over and the Captain’s facial expression, Claire was probably right.
“Well”, the captain began, “lets just leave this one for the exterminators shall we? We can use the smugglers gate near planet 6 to get out of system and start looking for other potential targets”. The navigations officer nodded, and began the warping sequence. \
“Sir, I can’t warp”
“It’s deadspace apparently sir”
“How is that possible?”
“Probably the generator I’m broadcasting on screen now”
The captain leaned into their screen and scrunched their brow up.”Huh, you’re right, I guess we’ll have to blow that up”.
“Requesting un-calming of my droolers sir”
“We don’t have any guns”
“WHAT” shouted Claire, “What do we have?”
“Weird super processors! They’re high power modules!”
Claire paused, she had never heard of those.
“We’ve got 3 hull reps in the mids, 1 drone nav, a tracking link, and a cool experimental MWD that doesn’t have a signature boost, but increases mass significantly much more!”
“The heck … What are our lows?”
“Expanded cargo holds!”
Claire look down at her keyboard, which now displayed the ship’s fitting, at the same time everyone looked up as shield and armor alarms began to sound.
“WHAT WAS THAT” the Captain shouted.
“Drones emerging from the ruins!”
“Sir how do we engage?”
Claire realized with a sinking heart that there would be no escape pods, not if the captain planned to active tank in hull.
“Activate all 3 hull repairs! I’ll prepare our offensive! Navigation, align to the smuggler’s den and get ready to warp when the deadspace generator goes down!”
The captain began to work at their display, while everyone else but navigation sat in silence, watching the drones swarm their ship. Claire, being the main gunner, and never realized how terrifying battle was. She was always busy at the controls, picking off targets and giving orders, and never had time to appreciate the chaos. The noises of the ship being torn to pieces was alarming to say the least, but the sounds were probably amplified by the fact the Captain planned to tank in structure .
Their ship was pummeled into half structure before the three hull repairs managed to activate.
The poor rogue drones outside had so far been having the time of their lives, when suddenly the attack battle cruiser repaired half of its hull. They paused, their internal circuits running overtime trying to diagnose the problem. An order from the hive caused them to continue firing. Do not concern yourselves with this development, spoke the hive mind, they will be destroyed regardless of what tricks they have.
“Ok, offensive systems online!”, beamed the Captain. Claire looked back down at her screen, and saw that the Super Processors were suddenly consuming an alarming amount of the ships power, not enough to shut down the hull repairers keeping them alive, but enough to put them in the red, with only 2 minutes left of cap stability. In addition to their cap issues, she noticed that this entire time their speed had been holding steady at MWD speeds without significant signature bloom, likely keeping their hides from bearing the brunt of the damage from the sentry gun, which had taken out their shields when they first landed. The final thing though, that puzzled her the most, was the cargo rapidly depleting.
“Sir, what did we have in the cargo?”
Claire froze as hundreds (220 to be exact) of light drones began to come online. She hesitated, and then selected everything as a target. Their was a brief pause as the system calculated optimal engagement profiles, and then all calamity broke loose.
RETREAT COMRADES! THEIR NUMBERS ARE SUPERIOR! Shouted the hive mind as the rogue drones turned away from the fleeing ship, taking fire from a multitude of light attack craft. Outside the Naga, it was a rainbow as drones, rogue and controlled, spat out multicolored bullets at each other. Those in the ship stared awestruck as the entire field was cleared within seconds, salvo after salvo from their friendly drones tore everything asunder.
“Sir, think we can salvage anything from that?”
“Looking at my overview, our drones are engaging the wreckage as well, Claire?”
Claire bit the inside of her cheek to hide a grimace. “My fault captain, I just set them loose on everything”.
“Well, better not dead than not poor. Navigation, are we clear to warp?”
“Ready as soon as you are sir”
“Perfect, once our drones get back, get us out of here”
The Captain turned to look back at Claire, and gave another one of his insufferable smiles. “I didn’t do too bad now did I?”
“Just fit something other than a hull tank next time, ok?”
“Will do… was thinking a speed tank would be pretty cool to try”
“All hands to the main deck.”
The message came blaring over comms, jarring me from my sleep. The computerized voice repeated itself, echoing ominously throughout the dimly lit red halls of the starship Kali. Half awake, I pause to consider the irony in this order - “all hands” was no more than a 200-man skeleton crew, aboard a Triglavian battleship fit for a few thousand. The quarters were so spacious, the staff had taken to claiming entire barracks as personal sleeping spaces, decorating them with treasures and souvenirs from their own travels. I yawned, and tapped the glowing red triangle on my communicator to indicate I’d received the order.
Though I disliked having my limited sleeping shifts disrupted, I begrudgingly strapped on my boots and prepared to make my way to the central command chambers. I’d signed up to serve under Subcommandant Plague in the early days of the Triglavian invasion; hoping to do my part against Edencom, expecting the job to be tedious… but it turned out, staffing a capsuleer vessel was surprisingly dull, solitary work. A bit of repetitive upkeep, a few shifts managing inventory and stocking radioactive munitions, punctuated by those terrifying moments of singing alarms, as we clashed relentlessly with Edencom forces. The pay was incredible, and the risks seemed few in comparison; for all his quirks, Plague always saw us out alive. He DID seem rattled by our close call in Niarja; but as was often the story, last minute evasive maneuvers had seen us jump out to safety before our hull cracked. Ever since the Triglavians had taken interest in the star, the Subcommandant had been unusually reserved, spending his days poring over trinary data vaults, translating ancient Triglavian philosophy. If he was already distant, living as he did in the very core of the vessel, he had practically been a ghost ever since the day we fled Niarja. He’d only comm me directly to request help with translations, or to ask for status reports on various invaded systems.
The port to the main deck whirred open, and I shuffled in to find most of the staff already waiting. Freed slaves, scientists, exotic dancers and janitors, misfits one and all; strays and nomads the Subcommandant picked up during a life of interstellar troublemaking. Some of these eccentrics had been serving under Plague since long before the invasion began… They told stories in the mess hall of campaigns against the Sansha, life as Blood raiders, efforts to smuggle enslaved peoples out of Delve. They spoke of BreadFleet, a force of interstellar anarchists who challenged all established authority in New Eden. Each of us, for one reason or another, had chosen to stand alongside Subcommandant Plague in defense of the Triglavian refugees… and, since we were all wanted dead by every Empire in known space, Kali was the only home many of us had left.
I lit a cigarette and found my way to a corner seat in the spacious command chamber, the tiny crew around me only amplifying the feeling of emptiness in the massive command deck. The main screen in the center of the room was still on standby, updates flickering across the bottom in Triglavian characters. Oh, how I’d come to hate those little triangles… for the many hours the Subcommandant had me spend deciphering old datavaults, I could nearly read the updates in real time without my translator. The great red chamber filled with the sounds of questions and curses, and the smell of cheap liquor; professionalism hardly a qualifying trait for service aboard Kali. I smiled, comfortably distant from the buzz of the crew; they could be a handful at times, but these folks had come to feel like family. Together, we’d kept this boat movin’ through the unlikeliest of circumstances, and each made a small fortune in the process. Sure, we’d helped some folks… and we were always always in it for the right reasons. ‘Principle over profit’, as the Subcomandant might say. But, to the benefit of all aboard, the profit was considerable.
At once, the vidscreen jumped alive; the room filled with the slender masked outline of Subcommandant Plague. It was clear, even from what little we could see of his surroundings, that he was in disarray. Empty nerve sticks littered the restricted flooring of his capsule, and he’d left uncountable screens up in the background, each referring to some obscure bit of Triglavian history, or some notes he’d taken from the datavaults.
At the sight of the capsuleer, the crew let loose a deafening cheer; the floors shook with the stamping of feet, and the shattering of liquor bottles.
“SALUTATIONS, ENEMY OF EMPIRES!!”
The applause and the shouting echoed throughout the hall, as drinks were raised to the screen bearing Plague’s still image. The hooded figure, apparently unmoved by the commotion, silently gestured with one hand for the crew to be seated. Almost at once, the noise cut to a hushed whisper, and the motley assortment found their way to their own seats. All eyes were fixed to the screen, when the Subcommandant began to speak:
“Comrades. I have called you here to let you know, I have set a course for Reblier. I will be docking Kali at an undisclosed station upon arrival in system.”
At this, the room started to buzz with the sounds of confused crewman. What business had we in Reblier?
“Effective upon our arrival, your contracts will be terminated. Upon docking, all crew and passengers will immediately disembark Kali, where you will be smuggled by covert shuttle into Syndicate. You will each be given a severance bonus of 10m Kredits each, enough to secure a comfortable life for you and your descendents wherever you choose in nullsec. You will not struggle nor want, and you will be secure for the rest of your days beyond the reach of the Empires.”
A short silence overtook the command hall… until, at once, the room erupted in anger and cursing. Plague’s face warped a little beneath the impact of a thrown whiskey glass, which shattered against the screen.
“… I understand this displeases some of you, and hope you will try to understand my decision.”
At this, I rose from my seat and thumbed my communicator, indicating I wanted the floor.
“Comrade Evingod, Comms Officer. You are recognized.” Plague’s voice spoke softly over the screen.
The room quieted down, as the crew all turned to look at the corner where I stood. I tried to keep my voice from trembling as I spoke:
“Perhaps YOU will try to understand the frustration, Subcommandant. Each of us chose to stand by you through… all of this. We went to war with Sansha’s nation. We shot at Concord, and then at Edencom. We’ve made ourselves outlaws in every corner of k-space… and never have we strayed from your service. Kali is as much ours as it is yours… and we care about Triglavian liberation just as much as you do. By what right do you banish us from our own home? With all due respect… that’s ■■■■■■■■, sir.”
At this, the room became deadly silent. It was unthinkable to speak to a capsuleer in such a way; the moment the words escaped my lips, I feared I may have gone too far.
Rather than respond in anger as I expected he might, Plague winced; recoiling as if wounded by my words. He paused, and slowly reached a gloved hand to the plated mask over his face. A small hiss, and then a ‘pop’, as the bioadaptive plate loosened, and he pulled it away. The revealed figure beneath the mask was pale; the glimmering augmentations doing little to conceal the worry lines and stress in the bits where biological flesh still existed. The mythos of the capsuleer was one of a demigod… a fearless immortal who could endure any hardship… But, the character on the screen seemed thin, worn down, and above all, afraid. Was it my imagination, or could I see a small tear forming in the corner of his cybernetically-enhanced eyes?
“… You are correct.” He began. “Kali is your home. You have stood with me through everything we’ve done, every crime we’ve committed. When they called us traitors, when they demanded our corpses, you chose to stay. You chose this life - you are Kybernauts.”
He shifted uncomfortably, and continued:
“I have risked your lives many times, and would do so again in the pursuit of our greater mission. I’ve led uncountable shipmates, brave crews just like you, to horrible thankless deaths in cold forgotten corners of the abyss. And yet, every time I’ve asked you to die, you’ve stood boldly in the face of unspeakable wickedness. You’ve made this vessel a place of principle… challenged the authority of slavers and corporatists, fought for the liberation of the enslaved. You ARE my comrades, and I value and respect you more than you know. It is for that reason, I have come to the conclusions I have.”
His weathered face hardened, as he stared directly at me through the screen. My heart thumped wildly as his words, slow and cold, filled the room.
“What comes next is not liberation. There is no glory. There is no ISK. There is little hope of survival. I have something I must do… and I will not squander the lives of this crew on a mission so hopelessly foolish.”
He stopped, apparently satisfied that he’d said all that needed saying. After an uncomfortably long silence, I choked out the question:
“What is it you intend, Subcommandant?”
“Glorification.” came his calm reply.
There was no more shouting, not even a whisper. Had the Subcommandant consumed too many chems?
“Glorification, Subcommandant?” someone called from the crowd.
“Yes,” he responded slowly. “These treacherous agents of EDENCOM have spilled the blood of our allies in every star we pursue. These lapdogs of the state, who have relentlessly sought vendetta against Kybernauts, have taken innocent lives in the pursuit of our own. These cowards have chosen obstruction, and now I must test myself against them.” At this, his eyes closed, his voice continuing in a chilling calm monotone: “The Kybernauts invoke Cladistic Proving. Glorification of the fit, and mortification of the unfit will unfold in the Flow. Corrupted Narodyna must be extirpated.”
We all looked at one another, concerned for the Subcommandant.
“… Xeromus? What are you talking about?”
His eyes opened back up, his lucidity apparently returning. “Send an encrypted comm to Imigo. Have him tell the people of BreadFleet… tell them I’m sorry, and that I’ll see them in Buyan. I am going to the graveyard of capsuleers, and I intend to leave a message in blood, floating amongst the wreckage. I swear this sacred oath, to ensure final victory in that godforsaken wasteland at all costs. Gather your things, and prepare to disembark Kali. Comrades Sindrina and Lou will have covert shuttles waiting to smuggle you past CONCORD, and to a new life of freedom. I cherish your willingness to stand at my side… but there is no kind end to this path.”
In my heart, I knew what he meant. “Subcommandant, surely you can’t be suggesting… CONCORD abandoned the system soon after we escaped - It’s a bloodbath!” I pulled up the SCOPE reports on my communicator, and pointed to the list of casualties. “The number of ships destroyed in the last hour alone… if you go back there, you are GOING to get podded!” I shouted at the screen in desperation. “The forces in system have it covered… let the Triglavians fight this battle. There is no reason for you to risk jumping that gate, when you’re almost certainly going to die in the process. WE BARELY MADE IT OUT ALIVE!!”
“There is nothing more to say, comrade. I will personally ensure the death of every Edencom agent left in the system. The Kybernauts have called for fleet commanders; I am prepared to face the consequences of this decision.”
I tried to respond, but he cut me off with a final utterance, before the screen went black and left the confused crew alone with our thoughts:
“I’m going back to Niarja.”
[I submitted this story by email, but will leave it here too just in case. I hope you like it! ]
Submitted via email: GM Short Story Competition: À La Prochaine
Sent in by email but want to leave here juuuust in case as im worried i may have not done email properly
Title: A tired CEO, a bored Coms officer, and an Orca.
Brief Character Rundown:
Drogor Markilson: Bored Communications officer (Me)
CEO: Tired CEO who seems to be asleep
Darik: Random Blood Raider
This story comes from a couple years ago
The small mining fleet based in Khanid space was calmly chipping away at some moon goo, Mining lasers whirring away soothingly in the background. Slowly making isk and materials for production of assorted ships. Peace was apon the mining belt.
Drogor Markilson was bored, chipping away at rocks wasn’t exactly the way he planned to spend his weekend. He wanted to wander around the stars, dive into a wormhole, get blapped for the 6th time this week, you know, fun stuff.
Of course he liked helping out his corp with their mining projects, but he wanted to do something that wasn’t cutting away at Arkonor rock number 25.
So Drogor decided to call up the Orca Operator, the corp CEO, and ask for permission to blap some rats.
After waiting a call cycle Drogor took the silence as a “yes” and took his venture to the nearby athanor, where he had stored his ships.
Drogor looked at his combat ships in hangar.
Vexor? nah, a bit boring
Rokh? guns don’t track fast enough for frigate rats
Stabber? Ah thats a good one, might as well.
Clambering into his Stabber, “Properly Orky”. He guided it out of the docking cradles and out of the station.
What luck! A single Blood Raider frigate.
Activating his oversized MWD (500mn) he accelerated towards the blood raider frigate, which targeted him, detecting a threat.
Captain Darik’s Blood raider frigate was dwarfed by the massive orca mining ship he had stopped by. “Shall we shoot it?” said one of his crew members. “We shouldn’t wake the sleeping giant, wait for the venture to return”. The crew member nodded and turned back to his targeting console.
A blip on the scanner. A Stabber!. Captain Darik smiled, those rusty heaps of duct-taped tetanus-injection-required garbage piles they called “Cruisers” were easy prey for a nice laser blast to the engines.
“How long until he gets here?” said Darik. “50… seconds?” said the crew member in disbelief. “Impossible! He’s over 400km away” Scoffed Darik
Oh how wrong he was…
Drogor forgot there was an orca in his flight path as he flew at the Blood Raider frigate. His 500mn MWD continued to accelerate him faster and faster, until he reached 6km/s. Quickly slamming the giant red button on his console the drive overheated, flashing warning lights telling him that the engine was hitting the redline were ignored as he hit 7km/s.
The CEO was in fact asleep at the time of this occurring, however he was woken up by his console making a loud bleeping noise.
Checking the console he saw a Stabber travelling towards him at 7.5km/s and only getting faster. Hurriedly he called the oncoming cruiser as he watched it hit 8km/s. No response. And he braced for impact…
The impact between the Cruiser and the Orca caused both of their shields to go to half strength, the orcas un-reinforced shields taking the brunt of the impact energy from the cruiser. The energy imparted by the cruiser caused the orca to slam sideways at 3km/s. Straight towards Darik’s ship.
Darik had no chance to react as the Cruiser slammed into the Orca as the Orca slammed into him. 150,000 tonnes of ship slamming into 1003 tonnes. The Blood Raider frigate turning into a new set of scratches on the larger ship’s newly painted hull and a sparkling mist as the Orca goes straight through it like a giant space bound bus.
Immediately after this the CEO got in contact with Drogor.
“What in the blithering blue blazes was THAT?”
“Erm… inter-ship pinball sir?”
“No, What ship is THAT!?”
“It’s the current corp speed record holder sir”
“An Orca is NOT meant to travel at 3 KILOMETERS A SECOND!”
“Well you currently hold the record for the fastest Orca to ever exist sir.”
“You know you’re going to repair my ship, correct?”
Drogor felt his wallet draining at those words.
Submitted via email… But also included here to share…
“Something is not right!”
Jarl’s mind was trying to catch up. Trying to understand where he was; why his body was strapped down in full darkness; why he felt like he just underwent the Voluval. Despite the nausea and thundering migraine he was quickly coming to the only logical realization. He was in midst of a clone awakening.
Yet something felt way off. In his short lived capsuleer lifetime he had undergone dozen’s if not well over a hundred clone awakenings. The neural enhancements all capsuleer’s had implanted ensured that the experiences of an active shell were uploaded as close to real time as possible to all available clone bodies. His most recent memories being of an ambush in the war-zone. Against dizzying odds he had managed to hold off a small gang of Amarrian assault frigates in a Rupture until the numbers finally overwhelmed him… Something in the back of his mind was setting off some pretty strong warning bells.
“■■■■ it! Time to boot up 8088” Neural networks – his nicknamed 8088 – were not meant to be turned on until much later into the process; sometime well after those in the white lab coats had prodded and administered all sorts of cognitive tests. But Jarl wasn’t in the mood to wait any longer.
“What the ■■■■! Low-grade implants! Are you ■■■■■■■ kidding me!” Jarl was flabbergasted. How could someone so pivotal to the Minmatar war efforts, someone with his pedigree and his success have basic Low-Grade implants in a clone. The only capsuleers with implants lower than high-grade implants were the fresh recruits. (Or the cash poor but for someone who’s fortune was measured in trillions the thought never even came close to his mind).
Before he even had the opportunity to take the time to fully turn this over in his mind the pit of his stomach dropped. The neural network had just completed it’s update and the date had just come up. His last memory, the one of the heroic, if not a little exaggerated, gank he had held off as long as possible occurred more than two years ago.
If that wasn’t bad enough, his consciousness had been transferred to a clone, not at the high traffic Amamake keepstar, but in some parliamentary facility in the out of the way bureaucratic high security system of Vullat…
Elton had been with the PAX corporation for well over 15 years. As an Executive Diplomatic Vice-President – like all good corporations they liked their titles – Elton in essence acted as a capsuleer chief of staff (glorified babysitter to be real honest). He had been in his present position since Jarl graduated from the academy. Elton had witnessed every one of Jarl’s clone jumps (most due to death from his reckless nature). There had been 193 to be exact. But this one was different. Elton could see that Jarl’s personality was off.
In the 48 hours since this latest clone was put online he had shown himself to be volatile and possibly reckless. The smallest of things had kept setting Jarl off. Elton had managed to keep his boss in check but was prepared if things did go south. His preferred method was the rare “Elephant Tranquilizer” he had smuggled onto the station, but a crate of booze would do just fine and avoid any diplomatic headaches.
In Jarl’s defense a lot had happened these past years that hadn’t been downloaded into Jarl’s consciousness. The biggest being that PAX was on the verge of financial insolvency. This of course helped explain the gap in memories. Bandwidth for real-time consciousness transfer was quite costly, and had been one of the first things PAX’s executive board had deemed non-essential.
The cause of the financial collapse of PAX came fast. No one had anticipated the revitalization of the Amarrian movement. As if by the flick of a switch the war between the Amarr and the Minmatar had gone from almost absolute domination by the Minmatar to the reverse. But the defining blow had come when the PAX corporation fleet had inadvertently come across one of the first triglavian invasion waves. The destruction of the fleet was quick. No-one had even imagined that the triglavian menace was prepared to leave their abyssal home and invade New Eden. Only assets that were docked up were spared.
Elton put all thoughts of the past aside. Today’s discussion was bound to get ugly. PAX was out of gunships. In fact they were out of ships with the lone exception of a Sunesis that had been used to haul equipment around. PAX’s auditors had done an extensive review of all the corporation assets and had packaged up the most valuable (mostly salvage material) to sell in New Eden’s largest trade hub - Jita. Jarl was to take charge of the dessi hauler. Since the invasion of the Niarja system and subsequent closure of the shortest safe route between Amarr and Jita Pirates had started showing up along the now heavily traveled longer route. Which coincidentally was the same route they needed to take from Vullat to Jita. PAX had deemed that a combat capsuleer like Jarl would help ensure a safer trip in the unlikely event of a Pirate (or Code) encounter.
“Jita! You have to be ■■■■■■■ kidding me. That’s at least 20 jumps from here. I don’t have the time to waste on a milk run when the Amarrian slavers are advancing”
Jarl’s reaction was predictable. Elton could tell he was in for a long argument (thankfully he had the Elephant tranquilizer with him just in case).
“21 jumps and we really have no choice. We need to get our feet back under us and that requires capital. As of right now the only way for us to make some fast is by selling in Jita”
Jarl was not phased “What about Hek or Rens?”
This prompted a hardy chuckle from the room participants. Elton’s icy stare of death put a quick end to any laughter.
“The local markets are for lack of a better term total ■■■■. Outside of a few major commodities, Jita is the only market that will fetch us reasonable returns on any materials we can sell”.
“Well than ■■■■ the sales. Just let me fit some guns on the ship and take her to the war zone. Republic Fleet will pay us handsomely for helping out the cause.”
This time no amount of staring could stop the muffled laughter.
“It’s a Sunesis! Try all you want you won’t be able to adequately fit her for combat”
The warning klaxons and flashing lights woke Elton up. It seemed early for them to be approaching the third jump out from Hek. But he hadn’t really been paying much attention. He had been mentally exhausted at the start of the journey. The public discussion with his boss had taken a toll on him.
He had spent the early part of their journey to Jita holed up in his private executive quarters with the company of an adorable diplomatic ensign (one of the few perks of his job was the ability to pick the entourage that would accompany them). To be honest he had neglected his oversight responsibilities so far this journey. Risk was minimal as the first two jumps were in the well know Minmatar systems of Uttindar and Bei. But now that they would be entering Gallente space it was probably best that he get back into the game.
Elton grabbed his NeoCom to catch up on events before he headed to the bridge.
“■■■■! ■■■■! ■■■■! Mother ■■■■■■!”
Elton slammed the communication panel. But his attempts at reaching the bridge were in vain. No one was answering.
Elton burst out of his room and started running at full speed toward the bridge. He knew it was likely futile for him to try to get there in time. The warning bells and lights gave personnel a 5 minute mark prior to a jump. Just enough time for everyone to get in position to avoid any potential injuries from the jarring of the jump in either the artificial gravity quarters or the zero-g engineering areas.
“I’m going to ■■■■■■■ rip his balls out”
Elton continued his crazy pace toward the bridge but it was becoming clear he wouldn’t make it. He heard the unmistakable noise of the destroyer coming to the full stop required for the jump. He tried to force his mind to calm down and think about any potential solution. But this was a pointless exercise. The only thing that was going through his mind was their existing predicament.
“The ■■■■■■ is about to jump us into Rancer!”…
I submitted this by email, but I will also post it here for general reading:
The following is a dramatization of actual events.
(June 5, 2016)
Day 155, YC 118 - 13:43 Hrs
Solitude Region, Goins Constellation, Vecodie system, Planet II
Federal Intelligence Office Testing Facilities
“Ugh, why do Fed stations have to smell like that?”
Enntis Mitri and Chris Cairney watched as Enarisil rubs at his nose and gags a little, silently. Enntis just smiles ruefully and holds out a hand as though proffering an open door to Chris.
“New clone?” Chris enquires.
“Yeah,” quirks Enarisil, his head cocked to the side like a dog hearing a new sound, “Why do you ask?”
The three are sitting around a low, spartan steel table bolted to the floor in the cafeteria. The seating is functional metal benches, also secured in case of loss of gravity. Their metal coffee cups clink when they set them down. Everything has been scrubbed over long practice until every exposed metal surface has a natural burnish.
“It’s the hydroxyacetic in the cleaners they use. Intelligence depot like this one, they make the junior ranks clean. The CO and reporting officers can dock them pay or deny leave if they don’t do a good job.” Chris points at a young man cleaning a ventilation grate nearby with a small single-sided bristle brush.
Enntis steps in, “See, you have all the memories of your meat body and whatever other clones you’ve worn before, but this one is still shiny. All those olfactory receptors are factory fresh, so to speak. So smells are sharper, lights are brighter, and sex feels amazing.”
“You’re Amarrian, right?” Enntis probes.
Enarisil smirks, “How’d you know?”
“Face like a toe.”
Chris puts a hand on Enarisil’s shoulder, “Seriously, last time you cloned it was into an Amarrian station, I’d bet. Surrounded by smells and sights and sounds you’re used to. It makes it easier. Gallente military outposts aren’t exactly vacationland for you, and unlike the rest of Gallentean life, they’re not designed to be comfortable.”
Enntis stands and looks at his infocom, “C’mon, we’re going to be late for class.”
The three stand and gather their data pads and jackets. As they do a squadron of young Gallentean pilots wander in to the cafeteria, looking bored, hungry, and horny. One woman, red of hair and thick of thigh, gives Enntis a look-over that would parboil an egg.
Another, his jacket open and dog-tags hanging out over his tank top, lifts a cybernetic arm in a rude gesture.
All three stop and turn to look at the young soldier. The rank on his epaulets is a single thin, green bar and a down-turned chevron.
Chris smiles, “What did you say to me, cadet?”
The cyborg repeats the gesture, “Get spaced, canner. When we die, it counts for something.”
The three capsuleers look at each other for a second and between them, their eyes fall on Enntis. He rolls his eyes and shrugs.
“Canner. Never heard that one before. Care to explain.”
The other gallente pilots fall into a lazy-looking semi-circle around the rude cadet, as if to watch. While they look relaxed, the senior pilots keep their heads down and focused on their tables while obviously listening, and the less subtle watch as though expecting a fight.
“Yeah,” starts the boisterous one, “Because you’re packed into those capsules with biofluid like so much canned meat and grease. Flying can of spam. Canner.”
This gets a few laughs, and Enarisil nods and smiles to Chris, who returns the smile enthusiastically, “That’s actually pretty clever.”
Enntis nods, “Okay. So what’s that make you?”
The cadet puffs up with bravado, “It makes me–”
“Expendable,” Enntis finishes for him.
A sudden deathly quiet falls over the room. Even the sounds in the kitchen dull for a minute, as the line cooks look out through the serving port to watch.
Enntis continues, his voice intentionally low and disarming, “For the record, it still hurts when we die. We can just do it more often. I don’t know if that arm is a battle replacement or cosmetic, but losing an arm is just as traumatic. Maybe you need to talk to somebody about it.”
He turns and looks at Chris and Enarisil, “C’mon guys, we’re late for class.”
As the three of them leave the room the redhead watches Enntis with a smile that would make an Amarrian holder give up slavery.
Six minutes later they are walking through the doors of an appropriated Gallentean corporate office on the corporate levels of the station. Here the accoutrements are a little nicer and someone has thoughtfully put out diffusers scented lightly of cold water and cucumber. There are even a few plants - real ones, even.
Hanging from the walls, placed strategically around the walls of the office rooms, are gold pennants with a shield bearing a small golden sparrow taking flight on a field of black. The alliance banner of the Ivy League.
Standing at the front of the room, before a legitimate slate blackboard, is a tall and extremely slender Amarrian man with ornamental cranial finial plating. His eyes are rheumy and white, but he navigates the room like a sighted man.
“Welcome to class, you three. Take a seat.”
He walks over to a small control pad and gestures, holographic letters filling the air behind him with the words ‘Introduction to Fleets’.
"Hello everyone, my name is Jurius Doctor and I’ll be your instructor today. The purpose of today’s class is to orient you on the essentials of fleet navigation, communication, combat, and support. Today’s class should take approximately two hours, followed by a small outing. I will be providing you with new ships for this excursion, which are yours to keep or repurpose when we’re done. I am joined today by senior Unistas Kora K and Marc Gussif who will be assisting.
“I know it’s unconventional but before we begin I’d like to do a quick roll call. Call me old fashioned. I’ll read out the names and you raise your hand if you’re here.”
“Krektogar Garkros… am I pronouncing that right? Good.”
“Boozeplz Saissore… Is that seriously your name? Alright.”
“… and Belter Karan.”
Jurius swipes a hand through the air, dismissing the roll call sheet and picks up a piece of chalk. He begins diagramming a celestial and some intercept paths with small triangular icons to represent frigates engaged in combat.
Marc Gussif, an intense looking Caldari capsuleer, watches the classroom with attention and notes who is paying attention. Though his eyes also dart to the chalk board, occasionally nodding.
“… and so, let’s start with a discussion of engagement tactics and fleet communications.”
Several hours later the class are standing in a loose formation on the primary flight deck of the station. The space is a vaulted chamber big enough to hold three cities stacked one on top of the other. Long tritanium and durasteel catwalks connect to the moored destroyers, cruisers, and battlecruisers hovering above them like faintly humming juggernauts.
They are standing on the lowest deck, where frigates come in to land at designated drop-points. To the left, rows upon rows of corvettes stretch out in neat rank and file by empire type. Velators make up the majority, with a number of Ibis, Reapers, and Impairors set aside for visitors.
“Alright, class. Today we’re going to be doing something a little different.”
As Jurius speaks, facing the class, the decking behind him parts with a whir of machinery and a familiar yellow vessel hoves into view from beneath the decking. The Venture mining frigate. Its long, industrial nacelles bearing boxy, hardened ore containers with hardpoints worked into the frame for direct attachment of mining lasers for a faster feed.
“Uh, boss? I thought that I signed up for a fleet class. I didn’t think it was going to be a mining fleet.”
Jurius watches the student impassively for a moment or two. He looks at the infocom on his wrist and then folds his hands in front of his belt. He waits, with the patience most teachers seem to learn. There are a few laughs.
As he says this, automated arming systems rise from beneath the deck and begin fitting the Venture with FEDCAF advanced Light Neutron Blasters and Roden Shipyards BZ-10 magnetometric sensor cluster packages deployed in attachment pods to the underside of the fuselage. Two Hobgoblin class light combat drones fly out of a nearby bay and dock with the mining frigate, following a pre-programmed course.
“Class, who can tell me what makes the Venture mining frigate great?”
Three hands immediately go up, Kora just shakes her head.
Chris, “It comes in sunshine yellow?”
“That is nice, true. You.”
Archie, “It looks better if you beat it up a bit?”
“Not quite. Saissore.”
“Its defensive compliment includes a hardened FTL drive with magnetic stabilization so it’s harder to scramble or disrupt. Also, ample shield generation and drones.”
“Good answers, Saissore. Well done. And who can tell me why that makes the Venture fun for shooting at people?”
Enntis chuckles, “Because if they try to shoot at you, just warp off and come back.”
"Good, good. That’s precisely right. And that, my good students, is what will be happening today. We will be going out for a quick roam to see if we can find any pirates or ill-intentioned capsuleers. If we find someone, we will engage. As this will be a proper fleet, we will have some help.
“Jerrard, Gol-gogoth, and Belter. You’re in logi. Get in those bursts. The rest of you, myself included, will be in Ventures. Kora will be joining us shortly in her own vessel.”
“What’s our destination?” a few call out as they climb to their frigates.
“Sir, long range scans show a Brutix attacking a pirate stronghold. Looks like he’s just cleaning up.” Kora K, in her Punisher Amarr combat frigate, reports from her scouting position.
“Alright, folks. Who can tell me about the Brutix?”
“Enarisil here, sir. Brutix. Gallente combat battlecruiser. Heavily advantaged for ranged fire dominance. Heavy armor plating, and active armor repair systems. Moderate drone compliment, but can field a full flight of five medium and light drones.”
“Well done, Enarisil. Well covered. What we’re going to do is Kora’s going to get tackle, we’re going to jump through, and warp immediately to Kora. When we land, everyone is going to put out drones, lock target, and orbit at a distance of 500m with propulsion modules on. The objective is to get close enough to outpace his guns, get under his fire suppression, and kill him before his drones can take any of us out. Clear?”
Everyone reports back their clear and ready codes.
“Logi, you three maintain distance and kite, provide shield reps if called for. Broadcast early and often, and if you’re in trouble, bounce and come back.”
Jurius looks through his ships sensors to the other floating mining vessels, laughs to himself, and smiles.
“Alright Kora, go.”
In the adjacent system of Heydieles, Kora warps in on the target with her Punisher, locking a warp disruptor on the target and firing all lasers, afterburner lit and orbiting close.
Jurius grins, “Gate is green, gate is green. Jump, jump, jump.”
The Brutix pilot, a seasoned veteran hardened by combat, Lee Pellion of Sovetsky Soyuz, R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N Alliance, locked his warp scrambler on Kora’s Punisher as he launches drones, expecting to make easy an escape until he sees the numbers in local start to climb.
This isn’t his first rodeo, and he’s escaped big fights, won some, and lost others. He fires his guns on Kora, but his turrets can’t track fast enough.
Then he looks through his sensor logs as little yellow ships start to land on field. He opens comms, openly laughing.
“Hahaha. What the ■■■■? Ventures. Ventures? Okay then.”
The hoots and whoops an cries of elation fill communication for the fleet as thirteen Ventures, a Punisher, and a small swarm of drones chew through the Brutix in under two minutes.
Sometimes learning to fly in EVE University is an academic exercise.
Sometimes, it’s just fun.
Killmail here: https://zkillboard.com/kill/54440656/
“The Loethus is the first of its kind, a brave new venture for the most daring of tourists. Explore the wonders of wormhole space today!”
~Excerpt from Sukuuvestaa Corporation brochure
As the Loethus silently drifted into port, people couldn’t help but stare. The Amarrian transport glistened, a magnificent composite metal mixture with rare Omber accents. Dripping with decadence, it contrasted jarringly with the surrounding efficiency of the Caldari spaceport on the surface of Isenairos V. As the entry bridges extended, the Loethus’s engines shut off, marking the beginning of the 24-hour period when the ship would be taking on passengers.
The brochure that Sukuuvestaa had distributed throughout the four empires’ systems touted the luxury of the repurposed Sigil-class industrial, and emphasized its safety- equipped with 6 warp core stabilizer units, the Loethus could withstand the worst of the worst, neutralizing any gravitational buffeting encountered in Anoikis space and providing a much smoother ride. Naturally, tickets sold out immediately, and Isenairos was packed with people, some there to fly in the luxurious hotel ship, but most seeking the ability to boast that “I was there.” After the passengers had boarded, and all the pre-flight checks had been checked off, everyone watched with rapt attention. The Loethus was propelled upward by the tractor arrays of the spaceport, and, with half a planet in witness and trillions more watching through news coverage, began its maiden voyage.
Aboard the command deck, Admiral Valen Ymir smiled. He always enjoyed the energy of a spaceship’s crew; he absolutely relished directing it. The only thing he enjoyed more was making history. And here he was, doing all three. On his command, the ship quickly scanned down a faint electrical signature in the system, revealing it, as desired, to be a wormhole. Things were going extremely well.
“Halo Squadron has made contact.” Aerida Kuvoss, an up-and-coming tech assigned to comms, announced.
“Good.” Admiral Ymir said. “Put them through.”
The voice of Commander Murphy came through the speakers. “Admiral, we’re in position, and ready to fly.”
“Acknowledged. Be ready to do so on my count.”
Activating the PA system that would broadcast his words to the passengers aboard the Loethus, Ymir spoke.
“Good day, everybody. This is your captain speaking. Although, I’d like to point out that I’m technically an admiral.”
Admiral Ymir paused, hoping that someone had laughed at his little joke. After a truly awkward moment, he continued.
“To help defend against the dangers of wormhole space, we will be joined by the lovely members of Halo Squadron, the best pilots in our little Sukuuvestaa family.”
If Sukuuvestaa was a family, it would be a highly dysfunctional one, but Ymir wanted to keep his job, so he kept mum.
“We will be crossing over into Anoikis in about 5 minutes, so please sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.”
Ymir shut off the PA. Speaking once more to Commander Murphy, he gave the order to warp to the in-system wormhole, a mere 7.4 AU away. He signaled for the nav crew to begin warp, and the Loethus began to hum gently. Aligning to the Anoikian entrance, the small formation warped off.
“We’re in position to enter the wormhole, Admiral.”
Quickly contacting Commander Murphy, Ymir addressed the crews of each ship in the formation. “Enter on my command. 3… 2… 1… Enter.”
The ships entered, one by one, first the two attack frigates, then the two logistics frigates, and lastly the Loethus herself. Admiral Ymir trusted the tour guides he had personally hired would do their jobs, and breathed, relieved that he wouldn’t have to yammer on and on about some wormhole formation or other. While the scanning crew worked to find another wormhole to go through, Ymir ordered the Loethus (with Halo Squadron in tail) to warp to the second planet out from the wormhole’s star.
The planet was terrestrial, and after the scanning crew (annoyed that they had been torn from their wormhole-searching) determined that it was safe to land on, Ymir announced that there would be a 6-hour period of planet leave. Each group of passengers was to be accompanied by an escort, and no passenger was to at any point in time be alone on the surface.
“Today, you will be making history- even more. Each of you is part of the first group of people to ever touch this planet’s surface. Stay safe, and have fun.” he concluded.
After browsing over a couple of holoreels, Ymir passed the time by binging a series that some producer had made in YC118 about the Fountain War, watching it with a few of his crew.
Unfortunately, the time period ended just before the series got to Ymir’s favorite episode, and Ymir had to stop it early, resolving to finish it at a later date.
“Admiral, all the passengers are on board. Should we prepare for departure?”
Admiral Ymir gave his assent, then walked to the bridge of the ship.
“Scanning, do we have a wormhole to warp to?”
The admiral contacted Halo Squadron. “Commander Murphy, do you copy?”
“Warp to the wormhole, on my count. Ten… Nine… Eight…”
Seven seconds later, they were off.
Halo Squadron was already decloaked when the Loethus finished traveling through the wormhole. Admiral Ymir decloaked his ship, and was immediately contacted by Commander Murphy.
“Warp out, before it’s too late. It doesn’t matter where. We’ve got multiple hostiles at 10 to 20 kilometers.”
“Can’t you take care of them?”
“No. They’re capsuleers. And they’re in cruisers. ■■■■, you’ve got two targeting you.”
“Warp, warp, warp. Any destination, just away from here!” Ymir shouted to the crew. His knuckles whitened as every muscle in his body tensed.
The warp engines activated, then shuddered to a halt.
“We can’t. They’ve got too much disruption tech focused on us. We physically cannot warp!”
The three cruisers were joined by two Dominix-class battleships, both of which immediately targeted the Loethus.
Ymir sent a desperate transmission to one of the battleships.
“There are civilians on board! We are a civilian transport! Stand down at once!”
A gruff male voice answered him, no hint of sympathy detectable within the tone. “Ha! Likely story. You’ve got some kind of valuable cargo on your ship, and we’re going to take it.”
“Stand down! Stand down!”
The voice just laughed. And then the drones, 10 of them, started firing.
The sky filled with lasers and tracers, most of them directed at an essentially defenseless industrial. As Ymir watched the Loethus lose its shields at a truly alarming rate, he transmitted a short, desperate message to Commander Murphy, who was luckily still alive.
“The failsafe! Use it!”
Murphy understood, and grabbed for the filament. A gift from ORE to the Caldari, it created a direct link to null-security space, which, while still very dangerous, would at least provide an escape from any attacking forces such as this one.
As the Loethus’s armor rapidly deteriorated under the withering fire of the attacking drones, it entered the wormhole created by Commander Murphy. Nobody else made it.
Silence. It was uncanny, especially after the chaos of the battle that they had just escaped. It was only broken by someone from the scanner team.
“Admiral, we have bad news. There’s a closing window- well, the short of it is we have 20 minutes to leave the system, or else we die.”
“Well, we have no time to waste. Where’s the exit?”
“There’s a structure. Currently inactive. About 50 klicks from here.”
“3 Damavik-class Triglavian frigates rapidly approaching. Clearly hostile.”
“Do we have any weapons?”
“Just a mining laser and a scanner probe launcher.”
“A mining laser…” the admiral said. “I can work with that.”
“19 minutes.” the scanning guy reminded them.
“Are any of the Damaviks in range?” Admiral Ymir asked.
“Yes. One, and the other two will be in range soon.”
“Target the closest one.”
“You are aware that you can’t attack ships with mining lasers, right?”
Ymir turned rapidly toward the speaker, and spoke quickly. “Is there tritanium in their hulls?”
“Yes, we think so.”
“Then we can mine it.” Ymir said. “Fire at will.”
The Triglavian frigates expected an easy battle. The ship only had two weapons on it, going by their scans, so the three Damaviks had greatly superior firepower. And now the ship was fleeing? This wouldn’t take long at all. And then the ship’s turret pierced the foremost Damavik’s shields, and started tearing into the ship’s armor. The Damaviks gained 2 kilometers before the first exploded, closing the distance to about 14km. Only 2000 meters more and their weapons would be within range.
“Target the second!” Ymir shouted. “And the third!”
“And ready the scanning probes.”
“What on earth are you thinking?” one of the crew asked.
“They’re drones, right?” Admiral Ymir posited.
“Drones without weapons.”
“But with micro warp drives.”
“What are we going to do with those?”
“Simple. We ram ‘em.”
“They’ll explode, you know. And if I remember correctly, we’ll end up where we started if we escape- in wormhole space.”
“We have spares.” Ymir prayed to every deity he could think of that he was right. The Loethus had no shields, no armor, and a very weak hull. He wasn’t sure that it could last under onslaught of Triglavian weaponry, and this was the only way he could think of to kill the Trigs before they could kill him, his crew, and the 500-something passengers on board. “Mining laser on Two, scanner probes on Three. Fire.”
As the mining laser did its job, the scanner probes worked beautifully. In a storm of explosions, the eight probes crashed one after another into the Damavik frigate, a pyrotechnical display that crescendoed in the distinct red flare of a Triglavian ship’s demise. Another red-hued explosion, and the battle ended. The mysterious structure, now clearly a gate, activated, and the Loethus blazed through it.
“Alright.” someone said, voice wavering between calm and panic. “Two more rooms to go, and we’re home free.”
The second ‘room’ was easier, and was dispatched in much the same way- a single Kikimora-class destroyer could not withstand the brute force of the mining laser that tore it apart. Unfortunately, the nearly-forgotten time limit drew extremely close, and there was still one room to go. The situation only got worse as the Loethus entered the third room. Unlike the first two rooms, which had been (relatively) easy, the final room was truly hopeless. A Triglavian battlecruiser, Drekavac-class, waited for the hapless industrial on the other side.
“What do we do?” the scanning crew member asked. “We’ve got two and a half minutes, and a battlecruiser ready to kill us.”
“I…” Admiral Ymir sagged visibly. “I don’t know.”
The room fell silent, until a loud and obnoxious whooping blasted through the transmitter. A Vexor-class cruiser, one of the ones from the earlier gank, decloaked near the entry point, and immediately burned toward the Drekavac. Drones flew out, and harassed the Triglavian battlecruiser, shattering its shields, then bruising its armor until that too peeled away, and then tearing apart the hull.
Now addressing the Loethus specifically, the Vexor’s pilot chuckled. “I almost believe you now. No-one’s noob enough to not go after the bioadaptives, but knowledgeable enough to get in here. Now, if you want to survive, follow me.”
The Loethus did so, and the three cruisers waiting at the other end escorted the hotel ship back to its destination in high-security space. After muttering something cryptic but clearly cheerful about ‘LP’, whatever that was, the capsuleers warped off, leaving the inhabitants of the Loethus to celebrate their miraculous survival.
Eldris Avidi practically pranced with excitement. The piece he was going to write about the maiden voyage of the Loethus was certain to net him some major awards in journalism, and he might even get a promotion for it.
“So, Admiral,” he began, barely containing his excitement. “Tell me about what happened on the Loethus.”
Sent by Email
Posted here - “Come to Poitot”.
My entry was submitted via email a few days ago
By the way, weren’t the winners supposed to be announced yesterday? Did CCP forgot, or did they announce the winners somewhere else and just forgot their forums?
Per the Twitch Stream, so many last minute entries came in, they wanted to be fair and take the time to read them. i think it will now be announced Monday! (Although GM/ISD Confirmation is appreciated!)
that’s actually really nice, I rushed to finish mine only to realize that it was 23:59 eve time and not my time. oh well. regardless, eve is a fun universe to write in! I just wish I had more time to continue editing and correcting but sometimes it feels like you can just go on changing and developing and correcting forever haha
Did I miss something, has the best short story been published ? Were the results announced ?
No one has seen anything, but I would hope the GMs would let us know if there’s been a delay in judging
Sooooooo… Any updates?