Monday, October 17, 2016

Real Life Hits You For Wrecking

As some people have commented, yes I'm being a naughty boy.

We're two months behind on the Blog Banters and I'm posting less on here than a high sec carebear gets killmails. Last couple of months have been killers at work leading up to me trying to run a 10-day formal course for the start of this month. Then me and the wife had to rush away for a wedding abroad where she was Matron of Honour and I was the Best Man so that needed a lot of planning in advance too! Heading back home today and expect work to be chaos for the rest of the week. However, I do hope that next week things are back to normal! Here is the non-Eve playing groom sandwiched between Stay Frosty and MC. pilots on the 1970's pimp themed stag (bachelor) party I organised.

Return the Eve normality soon (TM)

Friday, October 7, 2016

New Ship Explosions

Life has got me by the balls lately. Not having a great amount of time for important internet spaceships. However I was able to jump onto SiSi where I heard that the new starship murder assplossions talked about at Fanfest are live.

Wonder what happens if I self-destruct a Thanatos?

Nice! Look at this video I made!

What? Blogger won't allow you to upload videos more than 179mb in size? FFS!

Here, someone called BombSquad uploaded some to YouTube.

WHAT THE FUUUUU....... where has the YouTube thingy gone from Blogger?

OK we'll do it the old fashioned way. I assume I can still use hyperlinks? That OK with you Blogger?

I fail /o

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ghost (Fitting) in the Machine

We've been waiting for a version of EFT in client for what appears to be eleventy billion years. Last Fanfest they said they were looking at it. Now, we have a prototype on SiSi! Yay!

It's still early days. You have to go into the main menu, General Settings and activate the "Try New Fitting Window" in the Experimental Features section.

Wow! Nice!

I tried out an Officer fit Machariel because, why not!

15k alpha? Nice!

Apparently it's not intended to be as in-depth as EFT (other 3rd party fitting apps are available) but it is a nice and easy way of seeing if that fit will work on your toon.

I like the way you can filter all modules by not only type, but what will fit. Low on CPU and PG and just got a spare high slot? Mmmmmmm wonder what will fit there..... ah! Yeah, obviously not working fully yet as that heavy neut is not going to fit even though I am filtering.

You can see what skills you are lacking, overheat modules and see the difference that makes. 1414 DPS and 500hp/s by overheating on my Officer Mach!

Still some work to do, but as a general "I cannot be arsed to load up EFT but I want to try something to see if it works" it looks like its going to be bloody useful in-game.

CCP Karkur want's your feedback. Go give it a try and the forum thread is here!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gallente PvP For Under 100m

Today CCP Seagull retweeted a request....

Made me think of my favorite Gallente PvP ship and and that's well under 100m. The Triple Neut Tristan! An 11m ISK (ish) bundle of fun. You can just imagine your opponent screaming in frustration as Eve's Bitching Betty moans "The Capacitor is Empty!"

It has no guns, favoring instead neuting the smeg out of your opponent and letting your drones rip them a new one.

High Slots
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator x 3

Mid Slots
Warp Scrambler II
Small Capacitor Booster II
1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner

Low Slots
Small Armor Repairer II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Small Egress Port Maximizer I 2 x 2
Small Ancillary Current Router I

Hobgoblin II's.... lots of Hobgoblin II's

Basically you are not going to chase anything down in this. You need to catch them at short range. Sitting in the "warp in" of a faction war plex is ideal. If a kiting ship or anything that can keep outside the range of the neuts gets you then you are in trouble. Overheat your neuts and wait.

You can kill the kiters but you need to be careful. A Slicer is toast IF you catch him. With overheated web and scram I have been known to catch them before they get out of range.

I've also killed a Coercer before and even 200m ISK Daredevils. Comets are killable too providing they don't have a cap injector. They'll mince you if they do. Basically brawling frigates without cap injectors are your best prey. Just remember Minmatar guns generally don't need cap so will keep firing! However Slicers, a ship I do not like personally due to slow death by kite, are my favorite kill. It so satisfying to watch them making range. 4k, 6k, 8k.... speeds dropping.... 9k.... 9.5k..... 9k, 8k, 7k! YES! Gotchya!

It's not an easy ship to fly. You need to manage the overheat, the cap injector and your armour repper whilst making sure the target isn't getting away which occasionally needs some AB overheat if they are a decent pilot. However, it can be a very rewarding PvP boat!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Assignment

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

Busy week and not had time for double proof read (which I usually miss loads on anyway), so apologies for eny mistaks. :/

The Assignment

Chapel watched the man walk into his office and approach. He stood extending a hand. The stranger smiled and took it.

"Mr Ganette?"

"Please call me Chapel. Take a seat and tell me what you need."

"Well Chapel. I represent the daughter of a local business tycoon. She's been taking over some of the plants and has had to close a few loss-making ones. This has made her very unpopular with some of the ex-employees."

"Death threats?"

"Several. She has been really spooked by them but we have an event scheduled at the Jaques Roden Opera House in three days time. I'd like to talk to you about additional protection for my employer. Will already have four protection staff but we'd like you to attend this higher risk evening. You come highly recommended."

Chapel nodded. He could guess at the vague information the man was providing. He obviously worked for Venelles Aimemer heir to the Aimemer Heavy Metals company. It had been big news a few weeks ago that she had been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and quickly ordered the closure of two planetside smelting foundries. The local areas were already struggling economically and had caused uproar with the unions. The event at the opera house was the biggest event of the week. A charity gala organised by the mayor to try and bring much needed investment into the city. A lot of big players from both locally and within the Federation would be there. That meant security would be tight making his job easier.

"I can visit the site earlier to check the arrangements and scout for any weaknesses. Meet your Client and travel to the venue and provide protection during the event and then escort her back. It'll be 15 thousand Fed-Creds and your existing guys will need to know I am in charge."

The man looked uncomfortable.

"That is rather expensive Mr Ganette." he replied using a formal address again.

"That's actually very reasonable as I've taken into account the opera house will be under heavy security."

"I must say Mr Ganette, I'd never heard of you before today when I was asked to come and see you. I did some research on the GalNet and found hardly any references to you or your company. No adverts, no info-sites, nothing. All I have is this."

He held up a small black plastic rectangle. A miniature holoprojector built into the thin card projected the name of the company, CG Security, as well as the office address. It was all very low key.

"That's because I do not advertise or promote. The only way people hear about me is from previous Clients who will pass on one of those cards. If you would like a more, shall we say self-promoting security firm, I can point you in their direction."

Chapel reached into a draw and pulled out some cards and slid them over the desk. He quickly pulled on back and tossed it into the bin.

"Sorry, Black Sun Securities was seized by the Federal Government last week. However either of those other two can provide you with some very well produced feature holos on their services."

"You are not a very good salesman Mr Ganette."

"What would you like me to say? I could do like the others do, tell you how I was elite military, may be the Black Eagles? I was working for Mordu's Legion and lead the planetside operations at the Pike's Landing incident? I was a secret CONCORD operative? 61 confirmed kills? 97? Over 100? I could tell you anything and I would love to see you verify anything. I assume someone your Client trusts gave them the card and the recommendation. Surely that is better than anything I could make up that is always impossible to corroborate?"

The man smiled.

"I'll see you in three days Mr Ganette."


It was nearly midnight when they stepped out of the Opera house. The evening had been uneventful. They had walked through security with no problem. Chapel had been in earlier to register himself as personal protection and declare his weapons. As he had stepped through the security scanners in his black-tie ensemble upon arrival, the AI had detected all three weapons, a Duvolle Laboratories blaster in a shoulder holster, an Allotek Industries compact rail-pistol in an ankle holster and a nova knife strapped to the other ankle. As registered weapons the scanner simply returned a green light. The cocktails had been busy and a nightmare to keep track of his client. The opera itself was relatively easy. They had a box giving an excellent view of the show. A dramatic retelling of the fate of Nouvelle Rouvenor. The mayor had spared no expense in getting some of the best performers and hologram specialists in for the show. Now he only had another 30 minutes before he could return to his wife and kids.

His client walked ahead, the four body guards forming a loose circle around her as they walked down the marble steps through the crowds leaving the venue. Outside and in the crowd was certainly the most risky part.

"Venelles Aimemer!" the scream caused a hush to descend over the bustling crowd. Chapel saw the man nearly 100 metres away running at full speed carrying an assault rifle. The crowd parted trying to distance themselves from the charging armed man. The four body guards quickly moved in front of Venelles and drew their weapons. Time slowed for Chapel. It was his gift. The ability to appraise such a situation in fractions of a second. This wasn't right. The gunman could have easily kept the weapon concealed and closed to kill-range before drawing the weapon. Why the scream and do the dramatic charge giving the security plenty of time to react. He looked at Venelles. She had her back to him. The backless gown was pure green Gallente satin and cut low enough to see the rise of her buttocks. Looking at her naked and exposed back Chapel realised what was happening. He drew his weapon and span around back towards the opera house. The man with the shotgun was only a couple of feet behind. A look of surprise crossed his face as the blaster pistol lined up dead-centre with his chest he realised he'd been made and started to raise the shotgun. The report from Chapel's weapon as it fired was surprisingly small. The hole it made in he gunman's chest wasn't. Chapel span back around to see the man with the assault rifle turning and fleeing. He was the distraction.

Venelles turned around and stared at the body of the second gunman. A pool of blood was spreading from under his body. In the night light it was almost black against the white marble. Chapel took his jacket off and draped it over the woman's shoulders. He knew shock was likely to set in. He guided her in silence towards the waiting car.


It was nearly 4am when he got home. The police obviously needed a full statement but it was just a formality. 200 witnesses had seen the event. He entered his home office and opened the safe placing his weapons inside and securing it. Wearily he headed up the stairs and quietly opened the bedroom door not to wake his wife.  As the door opened he saw the curtains were not drawn and there was enough light from the street to show the bed was empty. Not just empty, it was still made. He quickly moved to his son's room and found the same. Next his daughter. No one was there.

"Awel!" he called out. No answer. 

Retrieving his datapad from his pocket he called her. The connection failed immediately. He tried again. Same result. Calls never failed unless there was a fault with the datapad, or it had been purposely damaged. The doorbell rang making him jump. He ran down the stairs two at a time and flung the door open and found two uniformed cops.

"Whats happened?" he asked urgently.

"Mr Ganette please note we are both wearing body cams and this feed is being monitored. If you try anything at all your family will die."

It took Chapel a second to process the information.

"You're not cops are you?"

"Please come with us. All will be explained."

Chapel stared into the small camera affixed to the first cops breast pocket. He knew he had no choice. He followed them in silence to the vehicle and got in the back. Leaving the upscale suburbs they entered a nearby industrial area. There they met with a standard black car which they changed into. An unseen third party emerging from the shadows to drive the cop car away. Another half hour took them deeper into the city. Soon they were approaching Enfer District. That area was infamous as a no-go area for police. A slum where people went to hide and the police avoided unless they had armoured vehicles and a full SWAT team. Chapel gazed out of the window. He knew it was pointless talking to these men. They were the muscle and probably knew only slightly more than he did at the minute. He was sure he'd soon meet their boss. He spotted groups of women on the street corners. PVC boots with silver stilettos leaving a small gap of lace stocking top and blotchy white skin below their lycra mini skirts. They all turned when they saw the car approach, flaunting their wares. He saw gangs of tattooed men lurking in dark alleys. Slaver hounds rummaged through bins for scraps competing with emancipated people dressed in rags. It was hell.

They pulled up outside an abandoned hotel. The windows were boarded up and the sandstone frontage was crumbing. One of the men opened the door and Chapel was directed to the front door. Inside, the hotel was even worse. Wrecked tables and chairs, smashed fountains and decorations plus grafitti in all colours over the walls. He noted at least a dozen cameras, almost hidden to the untrained eye. At the lift Chapel began to worry. What state would the workings be in? With a 'ping' the lift doors opened and he was surprised to see a modern and clean lift interior. He stepped in and the two men followed him. Here the cameras were more obvious.

The lift stopped at the top floor and the doors slid open into a smart foyer. Two huge men stood there is suits. Chapel could see the bulge of their guns under the ill fitting outfits. One opened the main door and gestured for him to enter. Nobody followed. The corridor was lined with plush carpet and art hung on the walls. He passed the first bedroom and saw two women passed out on the huge double bed. Almost naked, they still wore scraps of lingerie and high heels. A range of drug paraphernalia was stacked on the bedside tables. The next room also had the door slightly ajar, it had the appearance of an industrial server room. Stacks of computers and cables made it look like an assault course. A spotty man looked up as he passed. The guy looked no older than 21. Finally he entered the main living area. A huge room overlooking the low-rise district. Chapel automatically identified four cameras. A man was sat on the sofa between two stunning women. He smiled as Chapel entered.

"Ah! My Gannet so please you could accept my invitation. Please note the cameras are being monitored and my men have orders should you get within three feet of me so please, for your families sake, keep your distance."

Chapel looked around and knew he needed to be careful. He needed to buy some time and find out what was going on. He sat in a chair a safe distance from the man.

"I am Zonelle Vemere. Perhaps you've heard of me?" the man smiled.

Chapel nodded. This was bad news. Zonelle was the head of the biggest crime family in the city. It was also by far the most notorious. If half the stories were true, Zonelle was a sadist without equal. To cross him didn't mean just a horrible death for yourself, it also meant a similar fate for family, friends and even in some cases co-workers. He had a fearsome reputation.

"Good. That will save me explaining what will happen to your family if you don't do what I want."

Chapel sat their and didn't respond. His mind wandered briefly to some of the stories he'd heard and suppressed a shudder.

"I need a sit down and a chat with System Governor Sonnibel Aulloi. Obviously he's not going to be keen to accept any invite with those scandalous lies told about me so that's where you come in. I want Governor Aulloi sat in that chair in 72 hours. If he's not, then the Succubus of Matar has a party with your wife, son and lovely daughter."

It was worse than Chapel had thought. An impossible mission and Zonelle's chief enforcer holding his family. The Succubus of Matar was the aliases of a woman called Ulkka. A Matari who specialised in dealing out Zonelle's worst retributions.

"You want me to kidnap the Governor the system? Impossible. He resides on a Citadel in orbit, perhaps the most heavily defended installation there is for light years."

"Oh Colonel! I'm sure a man of your talents can find a way. After the Caille incident this should be a walk in the park."

Using his old military rank and that he'd been involved in a specific highly classified black-ops mission, Zonelle had showed he knew a lot more about him than he would have thought.

"Chapel, can I call you Chapel? Look, its very easy. Go collect the Governor, deliver him here in 72 hours and you and your family can go free. Now if you would excuse me, I need to discuss a few matters with my associates here."

He placed a hand on each of the girl's knees who responded with a giggle. The two gorillas from the foyer appeared at the end of the corridor.

"Good luck!" Zonelle called out as Chapel left.

Chapel picture the installation in his mind. This was going to be difficult.

To be continued....

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Destroyer for November?

Most of us will have got the bulk email from CCP regarding the November expansion. Industrial arrays - check.

Fleet boosts - check. Free limited access with alpha clones - check. Plus some free stuffz for those who maintain their account until then. Including:-

• The Gnosis exploration battlecruiser
• The curious Apotheosis shuttle
• A new SKIN designed for the Gnosis
• A special edition armor suit and goggles set
• Rumors from the shipyards indicate a new ship is about to be unveiled.

Of course "about to be unveiled" to Eve Online players actually means "Now we've said this someone will data mine through the test servers and find it".

Some believe they have. Both imgur and Reddit have shown these images of a Society of Conscious Thought destroyer - The Sunesis. Of course SoCT gave us the Gnosis previously, so they have form for handing out their Jove-lite ships for free.

Its description also reads like the Gnosis in that it needs minimal skills, in fact for the Sunesis it states "Since it has no skill needs, any capsuleer can pilot it".

I love destroyers so looking forward to seeing that this one can do.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Corporation

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here!

The Corporation

She looked at her datapad which lay next to the vivid green cocktail on the booth's table. Just over nine million and nine hundred thousand ISK. Tomorrow she would break ten million.

"Ten million" she muttered under her breath as she took a drink.

Interstellar Kredits where trading at a rate of about one to twelve local credits on her Federation homeworld. Ten million was a lot, one hundred and twenty million was more money than one could spend in a lifetime back home. That sum had taken her just under a week to make and she'd hardly done any real work for it. A few hours here and there. She could retire now or continue. She had forever.

Money was no stranger to her. She'd been born into a wealthy family. Her father owned a foundry making starship components on Gallente Prime. He'd sent her to an expensive private school where she'd excelled. As a straight "A" student she'd been accepted at the top university. It was there, during her first semester, that'd she been walking down the corridor and felt a little light headed. Next thing she knew she was waking up in a med-bay with her concerned parents by her side. Apparently she had a rare generic disorder. It had been dormant but had woken up. Whilst serious, it was nothing that couldn't be fixed with money. The medicine of New Eden was so advanced that they could grow you an exact replica of your body, minus any defects, and transfer you consciousness into it. Thankfully a simple course of gene enhancement would cure her. After the doctor had explained there was nothing to worry about he dropped the real bombshell. She recalled his voice as she lay in the bed worried, despite his reassurances.

"This genetic sequence you have, it is very rare, however it is more common in those who are also what is known as 'capsule-compatible'. With your permission we'd like to run some more tests for this."

She knew exactly what that meant. She might be one in the a fraction of a percent of the population who could use the Jovian technology known as a hydrostatic capsule to control a starship. An immortal spaceship captain able to link their mind with machine and cheat death.

The training was long and hard. Her father had paid a small fortune for it but she knew at this rate she'd be able to pay him back and more. Ten million ISK was a huge sum for her but she had only been a capsuleer a week. An experienced capsuleer could make ten times that in a day.

She looked around the bar. It was quiet. The few capsuleers that were there were sat on their own. Busy with multiple datapads, ignoring the world around them. She felt lonely. They had been warned about it in training. Capsuleers tended to be aloof, superior and most of all utterly untrusting of anyone. She put her datapad away and picked up the menu. It burst into life as she lifted it from the table. A suggestion for a vodka and Quafe jumped up in a 3D hologramatic advert which she dismissed with a swipe of a finger. She cycled through the drinks starting with the Matari ales, on to fine Amarrian wines and then Gallente and Caldari spirits. Following the food section there were the recreational boosters. From Matari smokeleaf to Gallente chill-pills. Another swipe of her finger brought up the girls. From almost every corner of the cluster, girls for hire by the hour or for longer. Another swipe of her finger and the men appeared. She paused a moment and put the menu back down only to pick it up a moment later. She needed something but wasn't sure what. This new life was so confusing.

Her fresh drink appeared a little while later delivered by a small automated drone. She looked up at the podium dancers, swaying to the music even when nobody was really paying attention. A Matari guy caught her eye. All muscles and oiled skin. She shook her head. Not tonight.


"Ah and I was just thinking about my favorite capsuleer!" Javenins stated as the comms-link opened. The Agent was sat at his desk as he looked into the holo camera.

"Got anything for me?" she asked. The Agent on the other end was looking at a computer simulation of her. She was in her capsule in the belly of a Catalyst class Gallente destroyer.

"I always have something for you! Do you want the official long winded mission briefing or the short one?"

"Short." she replied inwardly smiling.

"Pirate nest next door in Cat. Clear out the defense fleet. Report back."

The holographic representation of her nodded and she disconnected the communications link, aligning her ship to the distant stargate. The full briefing and details of the mission had been transferred so she could refer to it if needed but it sounded simple enough. The starfield blurred as the warp core generated the depleted vacuum around the ship and propelled it to speeds faster than light. In her pod she felt nothing, the incredible speeds to her meant nothing safely inside her hydrostatic capsule. The ship dropped out of warp a few seconds later, coasting to a stop 2000m from the massive stargate which allowed the relatively small ship the ability to jump interstellar. Linking with the controls she activated the jump systems and generated a small artificial wormhole. It swallowed the craft and spat it back out several light years away.

Wasting no time she accessed the coordinates Javenins had sent and activated the warp drive. In space terms, it was a short hop. A few seconds to cover the millions of kilometers to the isolated base. As the ship dropped from warp her overview filled with hostile contacts. Serpentis pirates in various frigate sized ships. With her body linked to her ship she could actually feel the 125mm railguns on her ship track the first one she'd selected for destruction. Before the pirates had time to react the antimatter rounds were propelled at speed from each her eight guns. The first pirate vessel exploded in flames.

"Easy ISK!" she thought to herself as she locked up the next pirate.


Looking at the data pad she'd broke into eight figures. Nearly 11 million ISK. She liked Javenins but knew that she was a low level agent and only gave out the poor paying missions. She needed to cement her reputation before she could access any higher-level agents. She'd also need a better ship. Currently destroyers were the best ship available to her. She'd need a battleship and then she'd be making millions per mission, not every few days. If only she knew how to fly one. However she was training. Information was being constantly uploaded into her brain through her implants. It was a slow process but still faster and better than classrooms and burying your face in a datapad and physically reading and learning. Then again in a classroom there were other people. Fellow students to laugh and joke with. Friends.

She downed her drink and picked up the menu. Selecting another drink she skipped through to the back and glanced once again at the companions. There to pleasure her and make her happy in exchange for a fistful of credits. She put the menu back down without making any further selections. It just seemed wrong. She could leave the capsuleer decks and find a club with normal people. She might even meet someone who wasn't just nice to her because that's what she was paying them for. The voice of her instructor crept into her thoughts.

"Be careful with mixing with the norms. You will be immortal if you complete this course. You won't age unless you want to. You can stay young forever. There is nothing worse than watching the one you love wither and die. Do yourself a favour. Stick to your own kind."

Another drink arrived and she took a healthy swig. She'd only been a capsuleer just over a week. She must not get too down. Things would improve when she really found her feet. Glancing around she tried to work out the other capsuleers stories. There were a few in but all keeping themselves to themselves. There were two capsuleer agents in this station. Both in the security division. The one she used had level 1 clearance. The other was level 4. One of the highest and only gave out the best, high-paying missions. It would be a long time before they would deal with her. There was little else in this station to attract capsuleers so the others in the bar were likely either running mission for one of those two agents or traders, making their money stocking the local market with what mission-runners needed such as ammo. Nobody looked up, nobody made eye contact.

"Stick to your own kind?" she muttered "Egomaniacs who don't trust anyone?"

She picked up the menu again but skipped passed the drinks and the boosters. She just got onto the section with the men when she flicked back. Down in the bottom left corner someone had caught her eye. She opened the profile. The woman was stunning. Caldari with sharp features and silky black hair. Something about her was... she couldn't put a word to it. She'd messed about in school. At the all-girls boarding school they all did but it had never gone really far. She knew she liked men. However this woman stirred something in her. She scrolled down hoping to see an absence of the little pink symbol meaning the decision would be made for her. However it was there next to the blue icon. This woman saw both men and women.

Sighing she put the menu down before picking it back up again. She downed the last of her drink as the next one arrived. This has to be the last one she thought. The Gallente Prime Sunrise cocktail was a vivid green and orange mix. She sipped this one slowly.

"Hello, I'm Isunmaa." the female voice made her jump a few minutes later. There stood next to her booth was the Caldari woman. She was dressed in short lace dress which showed her vivid red underwear below. Her heels looked like some kind of Matari weapon but had obviously made no sound when walking.

"Hi." she croaked back, her throat dry.

"Want to go up now or sit a while?" Isunmaa asked. Her voice soothing and seductive.

"Please join me." she said realising that she really didn't need to offer a polite invitation to someone she'd just paid 2000 credits for.

Isunmaa slid into the booth opposite her smiling. The drone scurried over with a small bottle of water. Obviously pre-programmed and knowing what to bring if she sat down.

"So what are you? A week old? Two?" Isunmaa asked.

"Just over a week. Am I that obvious?" she asked nervously.

"No, its your skin." Isunmaa reached over and stroked her arm "So soft, I love fresh clones. I've been around enough capsuleers to spot a new clone. Plus you seem a little nervous so unlikely someone who has just been podded and is in a fresh clone that way. Therefore I go for newbie."

"Yes, this is all rather new to me." she replied.

"Even me?"

"Especially you!"

"You've never.....?"

"Not really. I went to an all girls school, but never went really far. You know what its like...." her voice trailed off when she realised this companion probably didn't attend an exclusive all-girls boarding school.

Isunmaa smiled. "Don't worry. I'll take care of you."


The following night she was back in the bar again. She looked at her datapad again. Nearly 12 million now. The knowledge to control four drones at once was slowly being uploaded into her brain. She was thinking about cruisers now. The Vexor was a good choice she'd heard. A drone boat with the ability to swap differing types of attack drone depending on the need at the time. The Thorax class cruiser dealt more raw damage but at close range and had difficulty with smaller targets. The Vexor was far more flexible. It would be another week before she could fly one though.

"Hi. Do you mind if I join you?" a male voice asked.

She look up to find an Amarrian man stood there with two drinks.

"Sure" she replied and motioned for the man to sit.

"I'm Milley. It's not fun is it?" the man said as he pushed a Gallente Sunrise cocktail towards her.

"What isn't?"

"Doing this on your own? I assume you are flying for Javenins Angelle at the Fed Navy office? Running her low-paying security missions. Ending up here most nights. A bar with no soul. Just odd capsuleers keeping themselves to themselves."

She nodded as Milley spoke. At the same time she appraised the man. He looked to be a capsuleer. The clothing, the way he carried himself. They all indicated to her capsuleer.

"Yes. Its a bit of a lonely experience but we were warned about that in training weren't we?"

"Yes we were." Milley agreed confirming to her he was indeed another capsuleer. "However it doesn't need to be like this. There are alternatives you are not properly told about. Your first agents, the trainers, I bet they told you to get involved with the Federal Defense Union right?"

She nodded. The initial agents who held her hand through the final stages of training had indeed encouraged her to join the fight against the Caldari. However she was reluctant. Capsuleers had access to all the Empires as long as you'd not done too much to mark yourself as an enemy to them. Enlsiting in the Federal Defencse Union would soon have her marked as an enemy of the Caldari State cutting her off from Jita, the commerical hub of New Eden's capsuleer community.

"I represent a capsuleer corporation. We are a family of over nine thousand capsuleers. We can offer you training, ships and most of all a home. People like you."


"We are always on the look out for good pilots. Our corporation is affiliated with another capsuleer corporation. Perhaps you've head of them? Pandemic Legion."

She nodded. PL was one of the most famous capsuleer corporation. Only the previous week they'd destroyed one of the first Keepstar class citadels of a rival corporation.

The Amarrian picked up his datapad and swiped a finger. A message was transferred to her own datapad.

"I just swiped you our details. Think about it. What are you making? A million a day?"

"About that." she confirmed.

"You can get that plus fifty percent more in CONCORD bounties for one single kill where we are based and we'll give you the ship to do it for free to get you started. Of course nothing in this life is free. Our tax rate is ten percent. We'll also be keeping an eye on you to see if you have what it takes to move up the ranks, may be even transfer to the main corp one day. We'll also expect you to fight for us. The Legion has some of the best pilots in the Cluster but the Horde has the numbers. All the information is there if you want to join us. Trust me, its a better life out there. Enjoy the drink."

With that the man stood and left.

She looked at the message. It indeed offered training and ships to get her started. A tempting offer.


She looked at the command button. 'Terminate Clone' appeared to be such a harsh term suddenly. Of course there was no physical button. It was a visual representation in the meld between her mind and the machine. She'd spent two more days thinking about it and finally put her application in. It had been accepted straight away so she needed to leave the relative safety of hi-sec space and head out to null-sec. The easiest way was to set her medical clone to the Keepstar class citadel that was to be her new home and self-terminate her clone here. That would set into motion the automated transfer of her consciousness. Her brain-state would be scanned and sent the dozens of light years to her new home. It sounded simple but the fact remained she had to terminate herself.

She had already died before but not by her own hand. The final lesson at the academy was death. A new clone had been grown including all the required augmentations and implants needed to be a full capsuleer. She remembered walking into the med-bay that day with the other graduates. Laying down on the bed in the flimsy gown. Having the neural scanner placed on her head and being injected with a paralytic to keep her still. Then the fatal injection. Her memory was sketchy. As soon as her heart stopped the neural scanner would have taken a snapshot of her brain-state, scrambling it in the process. The image then was transferred and burnt into the new clone. She remembered vividly waking up in that new clone. The muscles ached and her eyes stung. Sound appeared distorted and her lungs burnt with fire. After a few hours she felt incredible.

"Frack it!" she thought to herself and pressed the button in her mind.

Everything went black.

Then white.

She gasped in the crisp air and opened her eyes. The bright light stung them so she snapped them shut.

"Easy egger. Take your time." A female voice sounded next to her.

She slowly opened her eyes allowing them to become acustom to the light. She was in a medical bay, laying inside a clone revival unit or CRU for short.

"Vitals looking good. You can sit up." the medical technician stated draping a sheet over her naked body.

The woman ran a scanner over her body and checked the readings.

"You're fine. There are some clothes and a new datapad on the side. The datapad is set to direct you to the quarters assigned to you. You then need to contact one of the NBI's to get your starter package."

"NBI?" she asked confused.

"Sorry. New Bean Initiative, what they call the system for you fresh capsuleers. They have a care package for you. Its a few ships and a collection of capsuleer skill books. There are details on the datapad on how to maximise your skill queue and what to do next. I'll leave you to get changed."

The woman walked over to another CRU that was starting to open.

She stared at the pile of clothes and the datapad wondering if she had done the right thing.

Monday, September 5, 2016

60 Million ISK and Loving It

I'm rich! I've broken the 60m ISK barrier!

I cannot believe I'm so happy about 60m ISK on my new toon. On my other accounts I have billions. Literally billions of ISK. From a full successful years of Pod and Planet fiction entries and my preference for frigate and destroyer PvP I'm not poor. Yet here I am on my 4th account enjoying blapping rat battleships in a Catalyst going "whoop whoop!" everytime I hear "Skill Training Complete". I could log on Drack and transfer a cheeky billion to my new toon without a second thought, but I'm not going to. I'm enjoying life as a new bro. I'm almost ready to jump into a cruiser and I've added Interceptors to my skill plan as recommended in the official corp skill plan.

Its really wierd and I cannot explain why its got me so hooked again on the game.

I've even started to even look at PvP even though I've only just broken the million SP barrier yet. Not 1v1 obviously, but when in the standing fleet and someone calls for help I'm trying to lend a hand. Although my ratting Catalyst with AB and no tackle isn't the most helpful thing! A Vexor will probably be more useful but no point buying one right now as Drones IV and V aren't going to be done for a few days.

When I created this new toon three weeks ago I had no idea it would reinvigorate me so much. My main can fly every combat sub-cap in the game. He's got Amarr and Gallente carriers at five and Gallente Dreadnought at five. He can also fly Caldari carriers and dreads. My second account can buzz around in jump freighters and maxed out command ships. Even my 3rd account is a pretty maxed out Archon/Revelation/Logi pilot. Yet here I am, in a T1 fit catalyst shooting rats and occasionally dying to another player when I've not kept my eyes on local enough.

And I'm really enjoying it. Comms is really active with a couple of hundred online the same time as me (even in my crap GMT +4 TZ) as opposed to a couple I'm used to for the last few years. OK, sometimes I'm cringing as I realise there is a reason stereotypical nerds are portrayed with no social skills, but heyho! Reminds me of Fanfest!

At the end of last week I watched local as one of these neuts came to our ratting/new bro system and promptly got kerbstompted. What followed as a 10 minute rant in local by this six year old toon about being blobbed. Yes, a six year vet of the game thought it would be l33t to come to the starter system for a new-bro friendly corp and get some quality PvP. I kid you not, this guy moaned on for an entire 10 minutes that we "blobbed" him and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

Ooooo.... I can fly a Caracal now......

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Eve is Going Free to WHAT?

I saw on social media someone make a comment about Eve going FTP and my initial reaction was along the lines of...

Lucky the Dev Blog was linked and I could have a good read. It doesn't sound as bad as I imagined it might be. Basically there will be two clone states. Alpha and Omega.

The Omega clone is how we are currently, so that's schimples. Pay for your account with a subscription or PLEX and all your clones are Omega clones. Easy.

Now for un-subbed accounts, these will be Alpha Clones. You'll actually be able to play on an unsubbed account but restricted to an Alpha clone. Alpha clones are cheap versions and not as good. Crowbar some back story in there about "Technological advancements in New Eden have led to a new way of manufacturing and augmenting clones, unlocking the possibility for a variety of distinct Clone States."

Basically Alpha Clones are cheap and don't have the extra brainy bits* Omega Clones have. If you are unsubbed and on an Alpha Clone, you will only have access to certain skills. This is NOT like trial accounts. Alpha clones are locked down to T1 ships, Cruiser and below. They are also locked into their racial types. Have a Caldari toon and want an Artillery Thrasher on your Alpha FTP clone? Tough tittie old boy! You're stuck with a railgun Cormorant! You'll also train slower and find you'll cap out your training around 5m SP.

Want to do more? Pay your sub, get an Omega clone and doooooooo..... IT!

What will this mean? Who knows. More casual players in game? More action centred around frigates, destroyers and cruisers (my PvP favorites that has been lacking a bit lately)? Higher player count in some areas only?

CCP said they will be monitoring it closely (when it launchers "later this year") and will be getting feedback via CSM as to what the playerbase thinks.

Me? Well I'm hopefully optimistic it'll have a positive effect on my game by giving me more targets! What about you?

*Scientific term.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Into Null!

My new toon is now a week old. Nearly 800k SP and somewhere I never thought they'd be at this stage. Null-sec.

I has "happily" grinding level ones for the Fed Navy in a rail Catalyst and nearing the level two agents. 10m ISK in the bank and a week of skills queued. Going OK. I log on and see the mail icon blinking. Now I'm suspicious! Why would this week old toon be getting an Eve Mail? Nobody knows who they are, not even the few friends that haven't quit the game. I was seeing how I got back into things before I started getting people to add the toon to contact lists. Who the smeg is mailing me? A scammer? A beggar? Who???

To my surprise, it was a recruitment mail. My first question was how do they know about me? I left the starter systems days ago and now in (relatively) normal space? Wondering if there is some way to search, find new toons and then you can mail them? Would make sense that CCP would make this possible. Anyway, however they did it, they did.

The pitch letter was good. Offer of skill books, ships, training, active corp, fleets. When I started this new toon in the hopes of getting back into Eve, null-sec certainly wasn't on the horizon. However, I decided what the hell. It cannot hurt. So I put my application in which was promptly accepted. Suddenly I'm a null-bear! Hear me growl!

First job was to get out there. In a frigate or destroyer? Dozens of jumps through null? Nope!

I used the once-a-year "move your medical clone" and the "terminate clone" option in the medical station tab. Zapppp! I'm suddenly in deepest, darkest 0.0 and inside a Keepstar citadel!

Next job was sorting out the support stuff. Forums, Mumble (always used TS in the past so that was new), IRC (wow not used IRC since the 90s) and stuff like that. Was very easy with the SSO stuff CCP implemented. So much easier than that bloody API crap you used to have to do. I was also gifted a newbie starter pack which contained a ton of skill books (which matched the recommended training plan on the forums) and a selection of fitted ships. These included tackle, scanning and ratting aimed at new-bros.

Suddenly I'm belt ratting in null-sec! That 10m it took me a week to make starts to look poor as I'm making a million every fifteen minutes in the belts here. My skill queue is maxed out at 50 skills and looking forward to getting some fleet action soon.

Oh yes and found my first capital rat! We didn't get on :(

Monday, August 22, 2016

Starting over.

It's been pretty obvious I'm in a huge Eve lull right now. Just look back at the complete lack of Eve posts over the last few months. I cannot remember the last time I logged into TQ before this weekend. I never really recovered from Fanfest to be honest. Add it a combination of my crap timezone plus the summer lull and low-sec PvP not getting any CCP lurvin' in the foreseeable future has meant I've just not bothered last month or two.

At the weekend I thought I'd try something to reinvigorate me. I started a brand new toon. I thought I'd run through the NPE to see what has changed in eight and a bit years since I did it last. No help from my other toons. No transferring cash, ships or modules. Try and relive those difficult and challenging times I recall from back when I first started in 2008.

One of my vivid recollections of that time was my first Caracal. I started Drackarn off as Caldari and been soloing for some time. I don't remember what frigates I was using but I do remember upgrading to my first Cormorant. Obviously they tear through level one missions like a hot knife through butter. However, I had my eyes on that lovely cruiser. I loved the look of the Caracal. I was desperate to get one. However ISK was always a problem at that time in my early 'Eve life'. The big memory that I have of that time was the massive disappointment of buying the hull, then remembering I needed the skill only to find I didn't have enough cash left! I had spent it all on my dream cruiser that I actually couldn't fly. Doh! So I had to go grind more missions to buy the damn book whilst my awesome new Caracal sat in my hanger collecting dust. Is it still like that?

There were no career agents as I recall back in my day, just the simple tutorial missions. Now you have your hand held a bit more. However, more than that, they give you free stuffz. A lot of stuffz. I was given an Atron, a Tristan, an Incursus (although that got blown up in a mission you are supposed to die in to teach you losing a ship is no big deal) and finally a Catalyst. The missions would be useful to a new player. They introduce you to concepts of webbing, tackling and taking orders from an FC. There is even one that has you doing some remote repping. However, they cannot teach you all you need to know. For example that webbing a ship may slow it down but also that if its not pointed it will align and warp away faster.

The big difference for me was the money. Eight years is a long time, but as I recall money was really tight for me as a new player. I recall all the the cool stuff in the game, but not having the ISK to buy it. Three hours running the initial Aura tutorial then onto the military and advanced military career agents this weekend and I had 5m ISK in cash plus four ships and a shed load of civilian modules as well as my loot collection. I did lose two ships. However I had to in order to complete the respective mission. One is where you fly an Atron packed with boom-boom stuffz into a Serpentis base. The other was the one I mentioned earlier where you are provided an Incursus for a suicide mission. The rest of the time my Gallente armour-tanked noobship and T1 frigates generally didn't get below half shield.

This was not the challenging times I remember. Am I remembering wrong? Was Eve this easy back then? Is it me? Is there that much of a difference between me as a total noob in 2008 and me now as a bit of a noob in 2016? Or have things changed? The "Eve is Hard! Are you up for the challenge?" campaign didn't last long. Is it less HTFU these days and more "Here, have some easy ISK and a handful of ships"?

I've moved onto level 1 missions and flying through them. Warping into "Gone Beserk" yesterday I just sat at the warp in and blapped everyone. I had to push my nose against the screen to see if the shields on my Catalyst had been touched. Not sure they had. This is easy Eve. Am I invested in the experience? Mmmmm.....

Friday, August 19, 2016

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 10

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here!

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 10

Thanan started from a window in the elevated office block down toward the distant smoking docking bay. Whatever the missile was, it hadn't exploded, but had smashed the wing of the transport. There was no way it would be able fly. His crew were evacuating the ship, inflatable slides had been deployed on the other side of the craft and people were running from the crash scene.

He watched as two figures emerged from the wreckage. From this distance he couldn't make them out but they were not wearing his uniforms and both appeared to be carrying guns. It wasn't a missile, it was some kind of drop-pod.

"We need to get back to the transports. What is the quickest way?" he growled.

One of his men took out a datapad and quickly checked.

"There are access tunnels that run underground. B1 is directly below us and would take us within a hundred metres of the docking bay where the two transports are. Its a 15 minute jog and we have 21 minutes sir."

Thanan knew that might not be the case but didn't say anything. Everything about the Blue Nova Crystal was theoretical. One hour was the estimated time to the reaction going critical but it could be longer, or shorter. Thanan had made billions in his time. His analytical mind was always weighing the options. They had two options. Steal another vessel, a closer one and get off world now or go back to the transports and take the one without the device. Whilst for his own personal safety option 1 was better he also watched the two men leaving the crash site and running in the direction of the transports. It was highly unlikely they could stop the reaction but why were they heading that way if they didn't know of a solution.

"Lets go!" Thanan growled.


"Shields holding but we're burning capacitor quickly!" Aki called out.

Another wave of rockets slammed into the Katsu Maru from the attacking fighters. The lights flickered and the sparks flew as a power conduit ruptured.

"Sensor status?" Sosa called out.

"Swamped. I cannot see us breaking through even with the backup arrays."

Sosa swore under his breath. ECM was a Caldari invention and was being used very effectively against them.

"So we have no idea how that Falcon is doing?"

"No sir. Our drones have engaged but it's possible he has some of those jammed too. He could be a tin can setup sir. No tank, just jams and amps. In that case we might have a chance. If he's got any sort of tank on there we're in trouble!"

A tin can Falcon was one whose loadout was fully aimed at getting the highest possible jamming strength. They had poor shields and armour meaning they would not last long in a firefight, but if your foe couldn't target you, then there was no firefight.

"Riku, we're in the shit up here. What's your status?" Sosa spoke into his comm unit.

"3 minutes until we reach the ship sir. Their exit transport was disabled and we're not encountering any resistance. I think everyone was ready to leave and now are desperately looking for another way offworld!"

"Good. Rescue our girls and get that device off planet!"

"Yes sir!"

Sosa looked at the viewscreen at the Thanatos class carrier. They needed a miracle and needed it soon.


Adab crossed the open plan office looking at his notes. The chief was surely going to ask a lot of questions, questions which Adab had no answers. In his 20 years of law enforcement in the Amarr Throne Worlds he'd never encountered such an odd enquiry. Reaching the Chief's door he knocked three times, waited a few seconds and then entered.

"Adab. What can I do for you?" the Chief asked. 

"Sir. A few years ago I worked on the security for a Caldari delegation who visited this station."

The Chief nodded.

"Yes I remember. It was heightened security as Heth was kicking off and we didn't want Caldari Executive Panel members bumped off by the Frogs under our watch."

"We'll I got to know one of the panel, she just called me direct and asked me three questions about an active investigation that was far as I know has no ties with anything Caldari."

The Chief leaned forward interested.

"Which case?"

"Detective Aleira's case sir." 

Adab's boss raised an eyebrow.

"She wanted to know if Detective Aleira had gone to Gallente space, if she was investigating the theft of six molecular lasers and if she had gone missing. I didn't see the harm in confirming this. However she shut down the link very abruptly before I could question her how she knew these things and what it had to do with the Caldari Executive Council."

The Chief leaned back in his chair and stroked his golden beard.

"This damn case case trickier with each passing hour!" he said wonder what the connection could be. The last they'd heard from here was when she left to investigate the Gallente University who had tried to buy six molecular lasers a few months ago. With her disappearance it clearly wasn't a coincidence, but how were the Caldari government involved?

"Try to call her back. Find out how she knows these things."

"I did sir. She won't answer so I tried another contact I made from the visit. Her security advisor said she knew nothing about what I was talking about and that there was an ongoing emergency in Caldari space and that they'd contact me once things had settled down to explain."

Both men stood in silence think what this all could mean.


Riku and Ingvar paused at the entrance to the docking bay. It was a huge circular structure where the two transports sat on the pad. One was still idling and had its power online. The other appeared to be offline. This was exactly as Aki had said they'd find them. To start the reaction in the crystal the ship had to have zero vibration so the reactor would need to be in sleep mode before they could activate the molecular lasers.

Riku looked around the perimeter walkway. He didn't see anything. However the concrete columns could be hiding any number of men.

"Plan?" Ingvar asked sweeping his Ishukone assault rifle around and looking through the thermal imaging scope making sure there were no guards or snipers.

"One of us goes and grabs the girls whilst the other engages the startup sequence and gets the craft offworld before that shit goes critical."

"Fantastic! So one of us the hero who rescues two hot women, figuratively and literally as my scope is showing that the hull of that ship is damn hot in the cargo bay area, and the other is the hero who gets vapourised to save 5 billion people?" Ingvar stated.

"Blaster, pulse laser, HAM?" Riku laughed referring to their version of rock, paper, scissors. The communicator crackled into life.

"Riku its Sosa. Looks like you're going to have company! We're still tracking the bug on Thanan. It changed direction and then the signal slowly got weaker and then died. Aki is almost certain he's gone into the service tunnels under the port. One of them leads to you. Expect him and his men on you in approximately six minutes. We're not sure how much longer we can provide assistance to you guys down there. Good luck."

Riku and Ingvar looked at each other and smiled, both having the same idea.


"Capacitor at 13% sir and booster is almost dry." Yoshi called out as the Katsu Maru was rocked by another volley.

"Sosa looked at the tactical readout. It was hopeless. They were unable to get a tactical lock due to the Falcon's ECM and even in a normal fight they'd be no match for a Thanatos class carrier. It had been a lucky escape when they last met in the Black Rise region. They'd only got away after the Captain of the Thanatos had made a grave tactical error and concentrated on the offline battleship rather than taking down the Katsu Maru first.

He glanced at the countdown. 11 minutes remained until the crystal would go critical and explode. He hated this feeling of helplessness. They were in the worst situation he'd ever experienced.

"Capacitor is empty! Shield booster offline!" Yoshi called.

Sosa looked around the bridge with a resigned look.

"She was a good ship." he muttered as he tapped away on the terminal and activated the escape pod system.

As he was doing this he noticed the water in his drinking glass start to move. It was as if the glass had been tilted but it was still upright.

"Has the anti-gravity been damaged?" he ask knowing that the shields, whilst now weak, hadn't been penetrated yet."

Aki's fingers danced over his console.

"No sir, but we've got some huge gravimetric disturbance in the vicinity. I have no idea what it is. It's not the carrier, its something else. Something bigger."

An alarm blared. The shields had failed. There was a huge explosion and the lights on the bridge went out. A second later the emergency lighting came on. Smoke lingered in the bridge. The viewscreen flickered back into life.

"One of the backup reactors just took a hit. We've got hull breaches on decks 12 to 21 on the port side!" Yoshi called out. "Sealing blast doors."

Sosa reached to activate the abandon ship alarm. Without their shields the fighters would destroy them in a less than a minute.

"Oh... so that's what was affecting the artificial gravity." Aki mumbled making Sosa pause and look up.

A Leviathan class titan dropped out of warp some distance behind the Thanatos. The 16km long ship was a marvel of Caldari engineering. The largest and deadliest ship in their fleet.

"Its Admiral Vikkito's flagship sir. The fleet that engaged our taskforce at the gate." Yoshi said.

The bridge crew looked as the Thanatos slowly turned. The fighters that were engaging them broke away from their attack run and started burning back towards their carrier.


"Lieutenant. Please remind me of the stipulations of the rights-of-passage for Black Sun Securities capital vessels in Caldari space." Admiral Vikkito said rather theatrically on the bridge of the Leviathan.

"Sir? Well the license allows them as a security firm to move capital class ships through Caldari high-security space. However no more than two capital class vessels are allowed in the same system at the same time. They also must not be capsuleer vessels as this would also conflict with CONCORD laws. Finally they must keep all fighters and drones docked in carriers and offline any fitted weapons on dreadnought class ships whilst in Caldari high-security space."

"Excellent." Admiral Vikkito stated. "Do you concur that Black Sun Securities have broken the agreement of the rights-of-passage for non-capsuleer corporations?"

Lieutenant Tenanochi turned to the view screen. The Mammoth class industrial had taken a beating and the fighters that had been engaging it were rushing back to the carrier. It was obvious the carrier was aligning to warp away, not wishing to go toe-to-toe with a Titan.

"Yes I do sir. We are required by law to order them to stand down and impound the ship at the nearest navy stardock."

The Admiral smiled and nodded as he tapped away on this keypad.

"Correct again Lieutenant. However, what if this ship was part of an attack on New Caldari with the aim of killing five billion men, women and children? What should be our action then?"

The Lieutenant went to answer but stuttered. Not knowing how to respond.

"Well the correct answer is this." he leaned over and spoke into the communicator that set into the arm of his chair. "Fire control, you have authorisation to engage."

Back on the Katsu Maru the bridge crew watched as the energy field developed directly in front of the Leviathan.

"Yoshi, please tell me our shields are back online!" Sosa asked.

"Yes sir. Only at 8% but it'll be enough to deflect flying debris."

Sosa nodded and smiled as he watched the viewscreen intently. The energy field glowed a bright blue and tiny puffs of smoke appeared from the titan, dozens of missiles were being launched as the doomsday weapon fired. As the missiles followed the energy field and slammed into the doomed carrier they all could see why it was named 'Oblivion".


Thanan stopped behind a concrete column. The two ships were still there. One idealing, one in sleep mode just as he'd left them. His two men had their guns drawn and were two steps behind him. He saw movement from the ship that contained the device. The two men he'd seen emerge from the wreckage of the transport's wing ran down the cargo ramp each carried one of the women. He couldn't tell if they were dead or unconscious. They ran to the opposite side of the docking bay.

"Lets go!" Thanan ordered and jogged towards the ship. As they reached the ramp he paused.

"Stay here and keep them two pinned down."

As Thanan sprinted inside the ship his two men opened fire. Riku and Ingvar quickly moved behind a large concrete column. From this distance the pistols the two bodyguards of Thanan were using were wildly inaccurate.

"Not the best of shots are they?" Riku stated as he cocked his rifle.

"Shall we show them how its done?" Ignvar smiled.

The two bodyguards dived onto the ramp as 8mm charged rounds peppered the area from the Mordu's men's rifles. Ingvar and Riku slowly started to advance using what cover they could find between firing accurate bursts to keep the bodyguards pinned down.

Back in the cockpit Thanan ensured the ship was fully powered before activating the weapons system. The Viator had a single weapon. A 75mm railgun mounted on a hardpoint along the ventral line along the top of the vessel. Looking at the external cameras he saw the unknown Caldari and Matari men advancing. He wanted to fire on them. The 75mm antimatter round wouldn't need a direct hit. The weapon was designed to shoot down frigates, hit roughly close to a human would be enough. However his watch said two minutes and he needed to make sure that his plan was completed. The railgun spun to face the other transport. Thanan carefully aimed and fired a single round. Riku and Ingvar dropped to the ground as they heard the doom of starship weapon fire.

"Shit! He's bringing out the big guns!" Riku snarled into his communicator.

"Yeah but we're both still here, so what on Pator is he shooting at?"

The roar of the engines drowned out any further communications as the Viator lifted off. The two men watched as the transport lifted clear of the docking bay and fired its engines. As it left Ingvar's question was answered. There was a smoking hole almost 5m wide in the starboard engine of the other transport. Without its power offline its shields and armour hardeners were offline.

"So, we won't be flying that thing anywhere!" Riku said as Gian and Aleira walked over. Both women's skin was red and blotchy where the heat from the crystal had burnt them.

"So that's it then? It's all over?" Gian asked looking at the gaping hole in the transport.

"It would appear so." Riku replied glancing at his watch. One minute and twelve seconds remained on the countdown.


As soon as he was clear of the atmosphere Thanan activated the cloaking device and warp drive. The journey was short, a few seconds. He didn't want a great distance between him and the planet. He needed to be close enough to watch it burn, but also far enough away to ensure his ship wasn't compromised.

He was shocked to see the Katsu Maru warp in a few seconds later. Hurriedly he checked the cloaking device and was relieved to find it still working. The Mordu's Legion ship was some 300km away, however it cannot be a coincidence that they were so close. In astrological terms they were sat on top of him.

"Looking for revenge Captain? Serve your idea of justice for what is about to happen." Thanan spoke on a short range broadcast. He knew with enough time they'd be able to pinpoint his location however they'd be too late.

"No, I'm just doing the same as you Thanan. I'm here for a good view of the fireworks." Sosa replied.

This put Thanan off guard. Was the Captain who had been doing everything he could to stop him, wanting to watch the planet burn? It made no sense.

"I find that hard to believe. I think your two men are frantically trying to get the crystal off-world. I think they, along with the good doctor and our Amarrian detective are about to join billions of your race in a fiery death!"

"Nope." the reply came.

Thanan was now worried by the casual reply. No pleading for him to do the right thing. No threats of what they'd do to him when they caught him. He quickly ran a diagnostic of the ship. Something was up. They knew something he didn't. Three red lines on the diagnostic caught his eye. A number of systems in cargo bay one were offline. Sensors, fire suppression, cameras. A feeling of dread crept over him. He lept from the chair and sprinted out of the cockpit. Taking the stairs two at a time he ran towards cargo bay one. He turned the corner in the corridor and skidded to a stop. The heat blasted him in the face. Ahead the door to cargo bay one glowed a bright orange. The metal was melting. Without dissecting how, Thanan turned and ran. The door at the end of the corridor was marked "Escape Pod". He didn't slow and crashed into the door slamming the open control. Nothing happened. He slammed it several more times. Something akin to a clap of thunder sounded. He looked down the long corridor as the door to cargo bay one turned bright white.

On the Katsu Maru they watched as the Viator appeared. Its cloaking device failing.

"Good calcs Aki. I was a bit worried we'd get too close."

"It was easy Captain. This close to the planet the bug in the book was pinging off a dozen satellites in orbit. Easy to get an accurate position."

The Viator was suddenly swallowed by a bright white ball that expanded and then vanished.

"That was it?" Yoshi asked. "I was hoping for a big bang!"

"That's all we get." Aki replied "Small but deadly. Readings are it was indeed hot enough to ignite an atmosphere. Small on bang, big on power!"

"Right. Let's get our people back." Sosa announced looking into the vast empty space on the viewscreen.

Epilogue next week....

Friday, August 12, 2016

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 9

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here!

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 9

Commander Meuldia looked at the tactical view from his elevated chair on the bridge. The situation was bad. The Caldari Navy had destroyed most of the Legion's support ships and were now hitting the larger vessels. He'd ordered all ships to fallback to the stargate and the majority of his faster ships were already in a tight orbit around the structure. They needed to be within two and a half kilometres from the vast structure to be able to activate it and jump out.The Barghest class battleship he was commanding was nowhere near that. Interceptors from the Navy had them webbed and scrammed. The micro-warpdrive was offline and the gaviton weapons they were using had increased the ships mass so much that a titan moved quicker. There was no way they'd make it back to gate, not with a wing of Raven class battleships on short-range scan.

"Time for those Ravens?" he called out.

"Under 20 seconds sir."

His fingers danced over his console. He punched in his command codes and the large red button marked 'Abandon Ship' filled the touch screen. He left it there knowing he'd need it in less than a minute. The torpedo volleys from six Raven's would make short work of his ship. He'd not trigger the command early, there was always hope, but he wouldn't leave it to the last minute either. They were not capsuleers or cloned soldiers. Death was permanent and something he really wanted to avoid. He opened a fleet-wide broadcast.

"All ships, this is Commander Meuldia. Set a course for the HQ in 5ZXX-K and burn for it. Get there and dock up. The Old Man will have to sort this mess out himself. Jump! Jump! Jump!" he ordered. The Old Man was a reference to Muryia Mordu, the leader of the corporation.

One by one the Legion vessels under fire by the Caldari Navy activated the massive stargate. Bright flashes pulsed as each was swallowed by an artificial wormhole and flung light-years across space. Three ships were left once all those within range of the gate had jumped.

"What about us sir?" Ensign Tarartault asked worriedly.

"Lets just hope when they scoop our escape pods they don't take us to New Caldari!" he replied as the viewscreen showed six Raven's dropping out of warp 30km from their starboard bow.

At the same time, several AU away on a Naval station in orbit around New Caldari Medical Technician Second Class Eratsaka tapped a command into the datapad he was holding. The coffin-sized unit in front of him hissed as the double doors opened just a crack. The condensation that was misting the glass doors started to clear as the cooler air from the medi-bay mixed with that inside the damp clone revival unit. The doors started to open quicker and the naked, hairless man who lay inside opened his eyes.

"Careful fly-boy, that's a brand new body. You know the drill, stay still whilst we run the tests."

The man blinked confused, his eyes stung even in the subdued lighting.

"What happened?" he croaked, using the vocal chords for the first time.

"You died I guess. Welcome to the afterlife and all that." the Medical Technician joked. "The brain-state transfer was confirmed at 100%, don't worry it'll all come flooding back in a few minutes. I see from your med-file this is your first combat related death and only your second clone after the termination required to graduate from Capsuleer training so take it easy. These clones aren't cheap."

"Combat death?" Eagle Five repeated slowly. "Oh shit!" he gasped. "I need to contact Admiral Vikkito now!" he said trying to stand. His new legs, never used before, gave way and he fell to the floor.

Eratsaka rolled is eyes as if to say 'every fracking time!' and moved to help the pilot off the floor.


The two Viator class transports settled onto the landing pad almost in unison. Whilst normally a deep-space transport ship, Thanan had spent a fortune retro-fitting them to allow atmospheric flight. As the XO started the shutdown procedures Thanan first stopped off at his quarters and retrieved a briefcase. He then left his room and went down a flight of stairs to the main cargo bay. The six molecular lasers were there pointing at the blue crystal sat on the white pedestal. He looked over to the main cargo doors that were open slightly allowing the bright sunshine in. Two of his men roughly pushed Gian and Aleira in at gunpoint.

Thanan watch as his two men fastened their wrists to chains dangling from the ceiling and left.

"Ladies. I've had you brought from the other ship as I thought after all your efforts you should be the first people in history to see a Blue Nova crystal go critical." he said with a smile.

His chief weapons building, Haakamon, entered the room holding a datapad.

"Is it ready?" Thanan asked.

"Yes sir. The reactor is offline and the vibrations are zero."

"Do it!"

Haakamon keyed some commands into his datapad. The six lasers hummed into life, their barrel's glowing red almost instantly. Clicks and whirrs filled the cargo hold as each one made minute adjustments in its alignment. Haakamon approached Thanan and passed the datapad over.

"If you would like the honour sir?"

Thanan smiled. This was it. His wife and children would be avenged. This wasn't Amarrian justice. An eye for an eye. A life for a life. He was going to repay the Caldari with interest. The pain and grief he had suffered over the last decade justified to him to the death of billions he was about to cause. He pressed the button and the six lasers fired a short burst. The room fell quiet.

"Did it work?" he asked excitedly.

Haakamon retrieved the datapad and looked at the readings.

"Yes sir. Just as expected. It has started!"

Thanan smiled and moved over to Aleira and Doctor Gian.

"Ladies, I'm afraid you and your Legion friends have failed. The cascade reaction has started. It cannot be stopped. That crystal will heat up over the next hour. Slowly at first but gaining in speed. I'm afraid you won't witness the actual moment it goes critical and sets off a chain reaction that destroys all life on this planet. You'll have been burnt to death before then by the heat of the slow reaction. I think its fitting. We used to burn traitors at the stake in ancient times. I'm just upholding Gallente traditions." he laughed and turned to leave.

"They'll get you. The Legion are going to find you and kill you." Gian said menacingly.

Thanan stopped a second, he didn't turn, just paused. After a moment he started walking again and left with Haakamon hot on his heels.


"30 seconds to the New Caldari gate Captain" Yoshi called out.

"Aki, you sure he went this way?"

"Yes sir. The bug in the book is still pinging. When in space it bounces off the nearest stargate so we only know if he's in system and which is the nearest stargate. This was the one the final ping came from before the signal was lost as they jumped."

Sosa nodded. The situation was tense. They had not been able to reach Commander Meuldia or the taskforce in New Caldari. As the Katsu Maru dropped out of warp once they neared the stargate Sora realised why. Part of the task force was this side of the gate, locked in a deadly battle with Caldari forces."

"Captain?" Yoshi asked.

"Hold fire. We cannot help them. If we get flagged for aggression we cannot jump. Thanan is in New Caldari now, every second we lose is to his advantage. We have no choice, jump!"

Reluctantly Yoshi activated the stargate. Leaving their comrades like this stung, but she knew the Captain was right. Billions of lives were at risk right now on New Caldari, at least the Legion crews had a fighting chance in their ships unlike those on the planet of New Caldari.

In a flash of light the Katsu Maru vanished and re-emerged from the artificial wormhole into a war-zone.

"Any chance we can catch a break here?" Sora sighed viewing the battle going on this side of the gate too. Several million kilometres away he was about to. 

Commodore Gakoho span round as he heard commotion behind him in the combat command and control centre. Supposedly one of the most secure locations on the space-station had a man in a hospital gown wrestling the two MPs that were stationed at the door. He glanced down at the tactical view. The Legion were defeated. Admiral Gakoho could mop up now. He marched over to the disturbance.


The three men snapped to attention.

"WHO ARE YOU?" he screamed addressing Lieutenant Yuatakkeimo.

"Lieutenant Yuatakkeimo sir! Callsign Eagle Five attached to the third combat wing under Admiral Vikkito sir!"


"Sir! There has been a mistake. My Crow malfunctioned. I was not engaged by the Legion, I crashed into them!"

The Commodore stared at the man sternly for a moment.

"Stay there!" he muttered and walked briskly over to a woman at a large console.

"Bring up the logs for Eagle Five."

The woman's fingers danced over the screen.

Last few entries sir show some course corrections, MWD activation... sir, there are error reports from stabiliser assembly control, serious malfunction warnings and then notification of fire in engine compartment. Sir, there is no target acquisition, no hostile fire detected. Eagle Five suffered some catastrophic engine failure."

One of the most senior officers in the Caldari Navy looked at the screen and the only response he could come up with was a single word.



Thanan walked in Waskisen's office with two of his men. Waskisen stood with a huge smile on his face.

"Mr Eratsaka! A pleasure to see you again." he said extending his arm to Thanan.

Thanan shook the mans hand and noted Waskisen was not looking at him, but the case he carried. He placed the case on the desk and opened it before spinning it around.

"One million credits as agreed. You need do nothing. Just ensure my ships are left alone on the pad for ninety minutes. One of my associates will arrive at that time and fly them away."

Waskisen just nodded as he pulled the case towards him.

"Yeah, its all arranged. Pad 4 is off-limits to all staff. The personnel transport you requested is on pad 14, fuelled and waiting."

Thanan keyed a quick message on his datapad ordering the crew of both of his ships to leave and get to the shuttle on pad 14.

"Hey! These are Ishukone Credits. We agreed on Caldari Funds Unlimited currency." Waskisen said angrily.

"We had an issue securing that amount of cred-notes in CFU currency back in the Federation. Ishukone is the next best thing I hear." Thanan replied.

"Not good enough." Waskisen said back confidently. "Whatever contraband you have in those transports is worth a lot I'm betting. I want a cut. I'm risking too much for a million in fracking Ishukone creds!"

Thanan sighed.

"I'll make this quick. You have two options and I will lay them out very carefully for you." Thanan started in a weary tone "Firstly you can take the money in front of you and live a long and happy life. The other option is that one of my men here will shoot you in the face and hide you body under this desk." he tapped the desk for effect "Then as we leave we'll do the same to that hot secretary you have outside the door. I'm sure you hired her for her typing skills. Anyone who comes looking for you in the next 90 minutes will probably believe you are in some cheap hotel, balls-deep in that Caldari slut and won't bother making a fuss. By the time someone realises something is wrong and you body is found everything will be finished regarding my dealings here, I'll be halfway back to the Federation and I won't care. So which option?"

Waskisen looked at the man he knew as Eratsaka in a new light. He'd misjudged the seemingly weak businessman. He stuttered his reply.

"Actually I prefer option 2!" Thanan said interrupting him.

Waskisen went to scream but Thanan's bodyguard already had his gun out. The compact rail-pistol snapped as the sub-sonic charge left the barrel and struck Waskisen in the face. The lead alloy round was designed not to penetrate far so could be used on a starship. The front of Waskisen's face caved in and blood and brains dripped from the hole, but there was no splatter on the wall behind. The bodyguard pulled the body from the chair and pushed it into the desks foot-well. He then moved the chair in front looking like the desk was vacant. The sub-sonic nature of the round and the electro-magnetic delivery system also meant it was almost silent. Nobody would come running. Thanan looked around and was satisfied anyone looking in the office would not see anything wrong. He nodded and the three men left the office. The secretary smiled as the men approached. Her expression turned to one of horror as one of the men pulled his gun and fired. The slug hit her in the centre of the chest killing her instantly. The other man hid the body under the reception desk and were leaving when one of the bodyguards spoke.

"Sir, what about the million credits?"

Thanan didn't stop.

"Leave it. In a few hours the value of Caldari credits will be worthless. Their currency will free-fall so much people will be thinking Republic Credits are a sound investment!"


The Katsu Maru was in warp to New Caldari. Sosa was speaking to Commander Meuldia on a secure link.

"We saw it. We had just jumped in to the battlefield when suddenly the firing stopped. What happened?"

"One of their flyboys had an engine malfunction. He slammed his frigate into one of our cruisers and when his ship went down they assumed we'd engaged. Took a few minutes for him to get out of the pot the other end and straighten it out. Shit Sosa, we lost a lot of good men today thanks to a fracking stabiliser breakdown!"

Sosa nodded.

"You are sure Thanan got through?" Sosa asked.

"Yes. The logs show two Viators decloaking after jumping in and then recloaking. Sorry Sosa but we were in a fire fight. Half of our fast-tackle were down and the other half jammed by those damn Caldari Griffins."

"There was nothing you could have done." Sosa replied "Cannot tackle a cloaking transport in the middle of a fire-fight."

Meuldia nodded.

"We're heading to Orbital 42. We cannot help evacuating Legion staff from the surface but the station is getting crowded so we're taking on personnel and moving them back to base. Do you think you can stop him?"

Sosa paused.

"We're going to give it everything! God speed" he replied before disconnecting the comm link.

Sosa walked over to Aki's station.

"We have him sir. He still has the book and is planet side. He's docked at a port near a large city. Both ships are there. I'm hacked into the New Caldari Net. I have satellite coverage too."

Sosa pointed to a big red countdown that read 52 minutes.

"That what I think it is?"

"Yes sir I'm afraid. I'm in the port's network and the ship's status is all logged when docked. From what we know, the lasers need a vibration free environment to work. Even the tiny vibrations from a starship reactor would be enough to misaligned the lasers so they would not break the molecular bond and cause the fission. Given that it will take one hour from firing to the crystal going critical, that's the worst case scenario. The reactor of the ships went down into sleep-mode eight minutes ago. If they fired the lasers immediately we have 52 minutes before it goes critical."

Sosa nodded. Unlike those modified transports, the Katsu Maru could not enter the atmosphere. It would drop like a stone.

"Ingvar, Riku. Tool up and get into the torp. Its down to you two."

The two men rose and left quickly. The "torp" was basically a simple shuttle designed for orbital insertions. It was fired like a weapon and could place two men planet-side in less than four minutes. Whilst it contained the latest in inertial dampening technology, it still wasn't a nice ride for the two occupants.

Sosa counted the minutes. Both Ingvar and Riku were his best fire-operatives and would be ready quicker than anyone else, but as the seconds ticked on he grew more nervous. Yoshi had confirmed they were in position. Finally the two men jumped into the craft and hit the release. Sosa glanced at the clock. 36 minutes.

"Sir, I've done checked the security feed." Aki announced "Looks like the crew of the two ships have transferred to an orbital shuttle that is waiting on one of the pads. I've got a good ping on the bug. its moving from the offices at the far end of the port towards the shuttle."

"Thanan! How long until he gets there?"

"A good ten minutes sir. Its a long way"

"OK, I have an idea."


Thanan walked across the skybridge from the office block. He could just see the tops of his two transports in the distance on their pad. He glanced at his watch. The crystal should be in the hundreds of degrees Celsius by now. He guessed the air temperature in the hold must be nearing sixty Celsius. Those two meddling women should be very uncomfortable be thought with a smile. Another fifteen minutes and they'll be burning he thought with a smile. He glanced over to the shuttle that was closer. It was an elegantly curved white craft with wide fixed wings. Designed for both fast flight between cities and orbital installations. The plan was to join his crew and rendezvous with in orbit with his support vessel. They'd then watch New Caldari burn from a safe distance. Something high above caught his eye. At first he thought it was a bird. The black speck in the bright sky started to grow. Moving too fast for a craft, the small object was plummeting towards the starport. He thought for a moment it might have been a weapon launched by the Navy or the Legion. They were going to destroy the starport in the hope of preventing the crystal going critical. He knew that it was unlikely. If they did know about the plan then they should know that once the fission was started it couldn't be stopped. An orbital strike would be counter-productive as it would prevent them moving the crystal off-world. The only way to stop it.

The object appeared to slow. Thanan looked closely. It looked a little bit like a capsuleer's pod but had metallic petals extended from the rear. Air brakes? He watched it a few seconds more before realising where it was heading.

"NO!" he screamed as the object impacted into the wing of the shuttle. There was a plume of smoke and sections of the wing flew in all directions.

Back on the Katsu Maru there were smiles as they watched through a hacked security camera.

"Riku. Ingvar? You guys OK?" the Captain spoke into the comms.

"Bit of a bumpy landing sir but we're fine. I assume the shuttle isn't going anywhere?"

"Affirmative. You'll see when you get out but that bird is dead on the ground. Ignore the crew. Now get the girls and find that weapon!" Sosa ordered.

"CONTACT!" Yoshi suddenly called out. "Falcon decloaking 20km, he's locking!"

"Launch the drones and set to aggressive. If he jams us they'll engage." Sosa ordered.

"We're jammed, warp drive is offline, he's got a disruptor on us. Second contact! Thanatos class carrier dropping out of warp!"

Sosa looked up at the big screen. The Black Sun Security vessel loomed large. The Katsu Maru was no match for a carrier normally. Jammed and with their warp-drive offline, they didn't stand a chance.

"Riku, Ingvar. You're on your own. We've just run into the ship I assume Thanan was about to meet up with at a guess and we've got big problems! Get the girls and stop that device!" Sosa ordered as he watch the first wing of fighters launch towards them from the carrier.

To be concluded.....