The Rookies (Episode Guide)

Sisters and brothers, allies and friends, Summit! I am very excited about a fun project we at the Icecream Audit Office been working on for past some months with the Electus Matari PR division and crew, and I can now release to the public! Six episodes are already cut and a seventh is in the editing room, with plans to continue to at least 12, possibly further depending on reception.


((OOC image credits: Painted Face by HartOz; CCP Games))

The Rookies is an exciting new reality holovid show about seven young men and women of the tribes who join the crews of Electus Matari combat fleets in search of adventure and challenges. Through 12 exciting episodes we follow their journey on the decks and docksides of the heroes of the Republic!

Everything is recorded 100% authentic in actual real situations and edited by professional staff for to make you feel like you really were there!

For security reasons episodes are released some time after actual events and location details can be obscured or removed.

OOC disclaimer

No, sorry nerds, but I have no intent to actually make the videos for real; this is just a story about and imaginary in-universe vid-series. :smiley:

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Image credit: archives of EM, recorded by Captain Arsia Elkin

Episode 1. You’re hired. Kathy(Sb), Mark(Sb), Lissa(Br), Serim(Br), Kimi(Vh), Neylan(Th) and Maryam(St) sign up as Junior Crew at the “Pancake House” station in Pator. We follow the group through orientation and initial ship assignments. The Sebiestor and Brutor are happy to share a ship with another Rookie tribesmate, while Maryam lands on a ship alone and faces some prejudices for her questions about practicing her Faith.

“They are calling their HQ the Interstellar House of Pancakes? Isn’t that… a little… undignified?”
“They have a tradition of embracing names they get called by the enemy. This one comes from a humanitarian operation pegged as ‘freedom fighter recruitment drive and pancake breakfast’.”
“So they don’t actually have pancakes served?”
“They do! Every shift start at the dockside messhalls.”

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((OOC image credit: Rene Aigner, CCP Games))

Episode 2. Call to arms. Orientation is cut short as the battleship wing the Rookies are assigned to is called to combat-readiness as the Republic Fleet mobilizes in response to Amarr attacks in Audesder and Floseswin. Serim finds himself very nervous and is comforted and encouraged by her stoic tribeswoman Lissa. Kathy explores the theory of alternative ship module configurations and talks about her passion in technology.

“I come from a very traditional clan from the core worlds. I’ve been trained since I could walk to serve. Everybody serves, at least some years. It was not a simple choice for me to be on board of an indie ship, rather than Tribal, or Fleet, and it is very important for me to do well here and bring honor to my kin. But I also grew up in a time of peace. My parents’ cohort fought in the Vindication wars, but my big sisters and brothers, that cohort is intact, and so is mine. So far. Now there’s a new war, and there’s a part of me that that wonders if we’ve grown too soft for it.”

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(picture cred: Arsia Elkin, ((stockphoto in Canva)))

Episode 3. Hurry up and wait. Kathy and Mark are on board for a sensitive escort mission and a skirmish with Amarr Navy. Meanwhile, Kimi and Neylan explore the entertainment the headquarters station provides, on a guided tour with more experienced crew. Maryam finds herself lonely among the mostly traditional crew of her ship. A CONCORD-sanctioned war is declared and we learn what that means for crews of independent capsuleers.

“Work hard, play hard.”

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Image credit: fleet: Jack Gallofree & ((face, found here, unsure of the original))

Episode 4. Battlestations! The high-security war ends by diplomatic means without shots fired, less than ten minutes to undock to the first battle. Ships of the wing and our Rookies with them deploy to Triglavian-infested Pochven. Kathy has ideas on how to make ship armor hardeners more efficient, but finds that on a combat ship, few people have the inclination to listen to the new gal. Maryam, Kimi, and Neylan see their first real battle, at a structure defense in Skarkon. Kimi talks about her clan’s belief that every human-made tool has part of the spirit of whoever made it and whoever uses it, and how that feeling is enhanced by the proximity of death.

“When you’re on the Sam-El-Dee, and you know missiles are already flying outside and there’s incoming fire, and the damned thing gets stuck, and you are busy trying to find a way to hack it to unstuck itself, and the loader Chief’s breathing down your neck, you’ll end up pleading and cursing it like it was another human being, and when it’s all over and the damned thing is still there and you sit with it and are, like, so we survived but no thanks to you, buddy, it’s like… yea, machines grow on you, and you can develop a relationship like that with a tractor on a farm once you’ve worked with it a decade, maybe. But one battle like that and Sammy has stolen a part of your spirit forever.”
“SAMLD. Semi-automated missile loader drone. Each has a human keeper, because let me tell you, that ‘semi’ is some rose-tinted optimism if I ever saw it.”

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image cred

Episode 5. Tried by fire. The Rookies deal with their first real loss as the wing loses the fight to defend the Electus Matari station in Skarkon. Neylan has a close call as his ship is shot down and he barely makes it to an escape pod. The surviving crew is picked up by the other ships holding the field and met with ceremony when the fleet reaches base. Neylan learns there is a tattoo the wing uses for surviving a ship loss and decides to have the ink, despite coming from a Thukker caravan with few tattoo traditions. Kimi’s steady performance at passing messages under fire has caught the notice of her engineering team leader and she’s promoted and transferred, to fill in for a wounded damage-board technician.

“I don’t know. I feel, uh, weird, I guess? I don’t, we don’t, I know ink’s supposed to be this big old Tribe thing. But I’m from a trad caravan. Some folks have tattoos at home. But they’re not this huge deal like other places. But when every wingmate carries it and you could, then you kind of want to. I can see what the ink’s for, now. It makes us one.”

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((Image cred: I am not allowed to post links to deviant art for some reason? Check out wavebender, though.))

Episode 6. Homesick. Patrols in Pochven continue. The Rookies are starting to understand the realities of a combat wing. During time off, Mark finds a very discouraged Maryam on the docks, and tries to convince her to seek transfer out of the ship she is not fitting in with, adamant that a connection to crewmates are essential in tolerating the stresses of combat. Kathy has had one independent idea too many about how to fix up the ship and gets to meet the Chief Engineer. Serim and Lissa have become quite close and when Serim’s doubts rise again after Neylan’s close call, they offer more to each other than just comfort and encouragement.**

“What can I say? He’s cute. And he’s not like most of them warrior clanners, all full of themselves and making claims of courage before put through fire. << laughter >> Well, I don’t think that’s really relevant yet, but since you ask, yea, he’d be eligible for a longer-term arrangement for me too.”

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((image cred: Mahalah Moore - (Old) Funeral pyre scene concept))

Episode 7. Come Death. Losses mount in Pochven. Kimi is on a ship that goes down and is declared missing, presumed dead, together with most of the crew of her ship. We learn about how the wing has its own rites for the fallen while trying also to accommodate for any clan and personal views on record. Base station loses shields and is put on high alert and the situation looks quite grim. Neylan talks about loss, danger, courage, and fear of death in a touching private diary scene.

“People have seen the holovids. They think life on a Caravan is this constant state of adventure and battle and running from the bad guys. Maybe it was that under the occupation. Maybe even after that, but it’s not been that to me. Caravans life is safe. Navigation keep us out of harms way. If anyone has skirmishes it’s outriders, or people who go out to pick fight. – I suppose in a sense we are here picking fight. But you always assume you’re the one on the escape pod that makes it out. Your spirit keeps on telling you that and you’re fine and you feel like on a Caravan. Until the moment the spirit shakes and your body takes over and you feel the fear. Then you don’t believe ■■■■. Not in escape pods and certainly not in ancestors waiting for you on the great Caravan beyond stars.”

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((https://www.artstation.com/artwork/zrWQw))

Episode 8. Faithful. Frustrated with Maryam’s increasing troubles and her inaction on it, Mark takes matters into his own hands and goes to ask for a transfer for Maryam behind her back. When Maryam hears of this, she is furious, and has an argument with Mark that leads her crewmates to think he’s harassing her, and intervening on her behalf. Later, Maryam’s ship goes down after it loses power to a void bomb run, and while she is picked up in an escape pod, many of the crew are not. Given the chance to go with her current crew in the reassignments, or to join Mark with his, she picks the former.

“God keep me from the meddling Seb!”

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Episode 9. Drupar’s Stand. A key battle in Pochven turns grim, as the fleet docks after being driven away from a structure grid by hostiles. A call for volunteers for skeleton crews for a number of ships for a likely no-return mission goes out. Turns out when Serim’s ship is one of those going out, he has no trouble finding his courage when it matters. The hastily gathered wing goes out to the fight again, and wins the objective on the last possible moment, ship after ship going down in the attack on range zero of the exploding structure. Reaction on docksides is a chaotic mixture of triumph and grief as the stand-down progresses into a night-long remembrance party.

“They DID IT! They really DID IT!”
“They were volunteers. We are a people of sacrifices.”
“A true Drupar’s Stand, I’ve never in my two decades seen anything like that. I’m so proud to serve with EM.”
“They will sing songs about that for generations!”
“I should’ve been there. I have no idea how to live with that.”
“Please leave, this is a private gathering.”
“TURN THAT ■■■■■■■ THING OFF.”
“Hey camera drone people, why don’t you come with us? We have some cool stories for you.”

Note for foreign viewers: Drupar Maak was a Starkmanir and personal slave of Arkon Ardishapur on Starkman Prime. Maak assassinated Arkon, the then head of House Ardishapur, with the latter’s own scepter of authority, sparking the Starkmanir Rebellion, in an act of defiance he knew he would not survive. “Drupar’s Stand” refers to a suicide attack or action, taking knowingly and willingly, for a greater gain.

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((Image credit: flag, EVE Online faction flags - Album on Imgur ; face, @Katya_Hilitari ))

Episode 10: Honor among thieves. A number of bodies of the spirits lost in Wirashoda arrive home on a transport organized by a tribeswoman gone Triglavian supporter. We follow the path of some of them from Hek to the homes of their kin. In this special episode we also go to a refugee camp in Amo to talk to some clans who have evacuated from Krirald and learn how some of their allied clans stayed behind, choosing rather to take their chances with the new overlords than to abandon their homes.

“It is a choice that all of our ancestors have made once. To stay or to run, to fight now or to bide time. I’d not have taken the risk, but I don’t resent the Hilitari for choosing otherwise. They are good people.”

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Episode 10 was such a boring letdown. Just one tiresome monologue after another. First they insult us with the trig tribal, and then they lecture us about Amo? Clearly someone decided to put the social justice league in charge of writing, but it just goes to show that politics doesn’t make for good entertainment. Frankly the series went downhill after Kimi got written out, they should have just renewed her contract, instead of trying to save a little money.

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