[YC 124 NEWCWC The Farthest Shore YC123.09.02]

Alone in the silence, time was immaterial. The quaint chapel seemed transplanted from some terrestrial plane with its massive stone bricks, weathered and cracked. Multicolored stained glass sent light dancing across the smooth marble floor, reflecting back against vaulted walls and empty wooden pews. Above the altar, a massive transparent viewport framed the legendary Eve Gate. Wreathed in luminance and radiation, its aurora cast a holy glow upon the Farthest Shore. Its luster seemed to define the word brilliance. Even the local Blood Raiders treated it in fear and respect. Here, everything outside melted away. Across the cluster, the lost races of men could wage war and die, spreading destruction and horror on a cosmic scale, but here nothing would change in this extratemporal veil. This temple was sacred to Amarr, protected by the custodians of the holy shrine; the Khimi Harar. Many had undertaken the pilgrimage to see the Eve Gate from her towering viewports. But now, silence. The station had been evacuated. All that remained was a small garrison of the Khimi Harar, resolved to defend their ward to the death. No help would come from the Empire. This duty fell to the Khimi Harar, for it was their charge and sacred honor. The token Imperial presence in New Eden had consolidated at the Sisters of Eve’s Research facilities to ensure the battle would not disturb the ongoing research of the Eve Gate.

A week before, a probing attack by Minmatar pirates was met with overwhelming force, causing them to withdraw. They returned a week later with a dreadnought in a surprise attack, bringing the station to its knees, while heavy reinforcements fell upon the Khimi Harar defenders and dealt a harsh blow at odds of three to one. There had been occasional pirate attacks on this most remote of worlds for years, but this was a determined assault. The station would not survive another. At the end of the evacuation just before the final battle, Khimi Harar held a ceremony to remove the sacred relics housed here. Throughout the station, even the flashing alarm klaxons were silent for their eerie procession. With the relics safely aboard a blockade runner, the chapel doors were locked one last time, and Khimi Harar waited for the dawn.

When the enemy fleet arrived in system, they were mad with Minmatar war cries. Our comms channels were bombarded with rabid taunts and jeers, so confident were they in their numbers against an isolated foe. They rushed our citadel, sending volley after volley against her. Meanwhile, ready to launch from the massive hangars, the disciplined veterans of Khimi Harar waited.

Suddenly, friendly voices broke through the comms chatter. A small task force had arrived to aid us in battle! A squadron of destroyers landed on the field causing a riot among Minmatar lines. They wavered. Some fled, others turned to meet their new enemy. The time had come. With God’s grace the Khimi Harar were loosed like an arrow into the broken Minmatar ranks. Rust bled into space fogging up the viewports as their ships burned one by one. The unfortunates who were torn from their hulls had not long to live; the Eve Gate fried them alive almost in retaliation for their trespass. We chased the enemy fleet slaying what we could. Our moral was high. But then, seeing that they were outmatched, they committed their dreadnought. Hopes evaporated as the dreadnought materialized through the debris. What hope did we have against a dreadnought and unending reinforcements? Resolved and determined, Khimi Harar charged yet again into the replenished enemy fleet. Ship after ship after ship went down, but we started taking losses. The destroyer wing was being picked apart. The enemy’s logistic cruisers were holding the line, and we lost most of our battlecruisers. As the station held against the unbridled bombardment of the dreadnought, a flicker of hope came as a surprise. The weapons systems on the station were dealing incredible damage on the dreadnought! Our beloved station had been trading back with the dreadnought with her torpedoes, and broken its armor! With a new surge of zeal we descended upon it, and we sent back to hell their massive construct, valued at twice the cost of our simple citadel. In fevered reverie we regrouped, tethering to the victorious citadel, awaiting the next wave as the station attempted to repair.

But the Minmatar take no account of their losses. Their elite roasting in the holy glow of the Eve Gate, they committed their reserves. Ships after ship after ship they sent out against us, plowing straight through the broken hulls of their comrades. Composed of ships of every class, every race, every configuration, they vomited their jury-rigged slag expecting victory at any cost. Supporting them, another dreadnought, flanked by a force auxiliary. There was even a wing of battleships. With our numbers depleted and the destroyer wing spent, what hope did we have against the hoards of hell itself? Hell had emptied its vagabonds, its destitute, its envious, its desolate, its forsaken, and its disturbed, broken and lost.

With a final prayer Khimi Harar reformed, and charged into the enemy one last time. Again they suffered, bled, and died. They paid every so dearly, but it was not enough. Most of what was left of the defenders by this point were smaller assault frigates, who danced around the larger cruisers and battlecruisers spreading death to their fleet like fire raging in a forest of dry rotting trees. The enemy numbers were overwhelming and constantly resupplied by feverish slaves giddy on their vitoc, oblivious to their peril. The dreadnought was brutally damaged, but they were tearing us apart. But our blood lust was not yet satisfied. Breaking away form the slaughter, we redeployed at the warp gate while the station shuddered under the waxing bombardment. Many of the Minmatar were limping back unescorted in broken hulls clogged with wounded. Tasting blood, we broke them ourselves, sending each of these pity vessels into the void like harpies feeding on the dead in the river Styx.

We returned to our Citadel as breaches formed, and fires raged. She had given as good an account of herself as any could wish for. The enemy fleet, choking on the wrecks of their own dead, sent their last volleys into her sides, murdering her. We watched in despair and yet…satisfaction. They had paid dearly for this shallow victory. Its destruction did nothing for them. They could loot the field of their dead as these dogs do, but they had lost so much for no credible gain. Their jihad had cost them more in lives and ships than and respectable force would tolerate. When the vitoc wore off, the grief of their dead would haunt them. As we withdrew in a small rag tag fleet, we did not feel defeated. Our holy relics and our people had been safely evacuated. There was nothing of value left for them to plunder. Stations could be rebuilt, and the Eve Gate, the Holy Site itself, was impervious to the works of man.

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Hey I flew out to the Eve Gate recently and noticed The Farthest Shore was no more, I appreciate your write-up of your efforts to defend! Gone but not forgotten, as you say the Holy Site itself is impervious to the works of man, though may it not be so forever.

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