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Ascension: Fan Fiction Blog Fest #1

October 31, 2009 4 comments

Hello All,

This is the first entry in the Eve Fan Fiction Blogfest series. Every month a topic is proposed and Bloggers who enjoy writing fan fiction create a short-story based on a particular theme.  For more information, see this Eve Monkey blog post.

This months theme was.

Write the story of the life of a stripper in this Minmatar station

I hope you enjoy it!

——–

It was a Monday, I’ll never forget that day. I had spent the latter part of the afternoon in my favorite spot on a hill just outside the City limits. I did not go very often, but I liked it there, it was peaceful and had a perfect view over the forest of sky scrapers as they framed the sunset. It would have made a very popular destination for those hoping to escape the rush of city life, except for the fact that it was a cemetary. All these dead bodies, the envy of the town with the prime real estate that they occupied and yet the envy of no one at the same time. But, for some reason I loved it here, it was a feeling that the cycle of life was as it should be. I loved reading the inscriptions on each grave, some boasting of deeds done, some regretful, some hopeful, all sorrowful. In some strange way I felt that this was the only place I could be understood.  Sometimes I longed for the release of death, the spirits of these people were truly free.

I was a slave, a household servant. Sure, I had heard the Empress Jamyl’s declaration freeing all slaves of the ninth generation or younger, and being of the tenth generation, on paper I was a free woman. Then it became apparent that on the fringes of empire space, old habits die hard. They did not directly disregard the Empress’s edict, no, they would not be so openly disloyal to the head of their race. Instead, we were freed, sent out into the world without the support of our old masters, without jobs, without money.

There were too few of us and we held too little power to change our situation. To eat, we needed money, to get money, we needed a job and the demand for the work we were used to was not high at all. And so we returned to what we had always known. I went back to the family from whom I had been freed and begged for employment, as did most of the others I knew. In their infinite wisdom and mercy, they found the compassion in their hearts to employ us and provide a roof over our heads. And then every last one of our former masters withheld our money in payment for the accommodation and food they provided us, and we became slaves once again in all but name. Some of the others were able to change their fortune, mostly by a lucky break or by stowing away on a shuttle bound for the outpost orbiting our planet.

I remember lying back on the hill that day and staring up at the outpost as it became visible in the setting sun. I started crying – I cried more than I had ever done before, out of despair, out of anger, out of desperation. It was long after the sun had gone down that I made my way back down into the city. I had over-stayed my allotted free time but I did not care. My master, sorry… “employer” would probably not miss me for another hour or so, when dinner did not appear on the table. I headed without thinking towards the space port. I don’t know what possessed me to do this except the fact that I needed to get out of there.

I had been to the space port a number of times, but not since the “freeing” of the slaves. It had changed greatly. where there were once orderly lines of travelers and those workers that commuted to the outpost, there were now masses of homeless and impoverished ex-slaves hoping for a lucky break. I was one of them now, the only difference being that I had relatively clean clothes and had been able to have a decent meal recently. I was still equally desperate however, and when the man came up to me I didn’t hesitate to take him up on the opportunity he presented.  He said he was from the Minmatar republic, he said that he had a transport ship waiting, ready to take a small number of ex-slaves to new homes in the republic. He told me to go to docking bay S3 and to ask for “Targa”. I believed him, I believed that asshole. I went to that docking bay and found Targa, and the next thing I knew I was I woke up in a holding cell as the ship was taking off. There were dozens of us all handcuffed in cages, lined up in rows. Most of us were young women about the same age as me.

The ship shuddered as it entered warp and I knew we were not heading for the outpost above the planet. “Brace yourself ladies” came the voice over the speakers. “You’re about to go through your first jump bridge.” a gut wrenching,  dizziness came over me and I passed out. After many hours and many more jumps, the ship came to a stop and we felt what must have been the automatic docking computer take over, maneuvering the ship into a station. We had no knowledge of where we were. We were filled into a room where it was explained to us that we were now slaves again. We were now property of the Guristas pirates and were to be sold at an auction the following day.

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I was one of the lucky ones. I was sold to the owner of a sleazy strip joint for a grand total of one isk. one isk was about a years salary for an average Amarian on my home planet, and of course it was more than any slave could ever hope to see in a lifetime, but apparently I was worth this much. And so, the outpost in YAO-XJ became my home and my prison for what seemed like an age. They made me dance, they made me dance for those filthy grease monkeys working in the maintenance bays of star ships, their learing eyes and their grubby reaching hands. For three months they made me do this. I danced, I danced well too, and I hated myself for it. I say I was lucky, because I was not touched. They said with a greedy grin that I was worth more to them unspoiled. It was not until I had been there for 3 months that I found out what they meant by that.

—-

It was a Friday, I’ll never forget that day either. It was the day I was to change from being an exotic dancer into a whore. As my initial sale had been explained to me with impassiveness, this also was explained to me in a cold-matter of fact manner. The bastard. He told me that I was to be present at the transaction and so I went. I had already made up my mind. This was my breaking point. I would kill my new owner before he could violate me and then I would kill myself and be done with this life.

The man who entered the room was Achura, the first of that race I had seen. He was flanked by two armed guards who spread out and stood on either side of the door. What drew my attention however was the obvious neural implants visible above his left eye. This was a Capsuleer. I was in awe, this was a living legend, and this was the first pod pilot I had seen in the flesh. His eyes as cold and calculating as the stories had described, his manner as sure and so utterly confident. I was repulsed so completely I physically withdrew in revulsion and horror as he walked further into the room. This was a god among men and he was about to purchase me for pleasure. These men and women that I had idolised, envied even, were nothing but the same as other men and women, corrupted and depraved.

He turned and looked at me, his eyes showing a glimmer of life as he raised his eyebrow.

“So it’s settled then” he said to my owner

“Yes sir, as we agreed sir”

“…And, she is unspoiled?”

“yes sir, she has been dancing for three months but has never been whored out sir.”

“Good. let’s finish this business then”

The Capsuleer tapped on the small electronic tablet he carried in his hand.

“The funds have been transferred, one hundred-thousand isk”

The owner checked his desk computer briefly. and the capsuleer turned his gaze to me but I could not read his expression.

“Thank you sir, you’re welcome to come back any time to enjoy any of our other women for free should you like it s..”.

“leave us”

“… uh sir? this is my office”. The capsuleer the guards raised their eyebrows and shifted their weight.

“I said leave us”.

My former owner did not need to be asked a third time and exited the room, bumping his desk in his hurry to leave.

The capsuleer’s gaze had not left me and he stared, cold and calculating. I met his gaze for as long as I could, but soon I dropped my eyes.

“fuck you” I said half under my breath.

At this, the capsuleer smiled.

“Ahh, good! I was concerned that your will may have been entirely broken, but it seems I have arrived just in time. I am Akura. What is your name girl?”

“Mikayla” I mumbled, no one had asked me my name for years.

“Mikayla, I am here to offer you a deal. I have bought you for what would be a fortune on your home world. I have bought you in order to set you free.”

“Wha..?”

“I had your DNA sampled and analysed. Mikayla, you have a rare set of genes. a particularly rare set. So rare in fact that in the known universe, only a few hundred thousand have this particular genetic predisposition.”

I sneered, thinking he was making fun of me.

“And what predisposition is that?”

“one that gives you particularly strong mental stamina. it’s a set of genes that I have too. as do all capsuleers”.

This took a moment to sink in.

“wait…. you didn’t buy me to be your sex slave?” it was taking a very long time to sink in. The Capsuleer looked disgusted.

“You’ll find that the pleasures of the flesh are abhorred by most Capsuleers. In our Capsules we command starships, fire missile volleys with a single thought, we are protected by our ships shields and armour and fleets of drones. Outside, we are just pieces of meat, repulsive, weak. It doesn’t interest me in the slightest. The only reason I’m not in my capsule now is because of you.”

“I am offering you freedom and a choice. You are from this moment forward a free woman. I will gift you with one hundred-thousand isk to give you a head start with whatever life you will lead from now on, and should you wish it, I will arrange for you to be transported by people I trust to any system in any empire with your identity changed to whatever you desire. There is no obligation on your part, no questions asked. you are free.”

“what’s the choice then?” I asked, not daring to hope.

“…Or, you can come and work with me. I will pay for you to receive training and neural implants that will allow you in time to become the pilot of your own capsule. I will also buy you your first ship and be your mentor and guide through the web of politics that we capsuleers weave.”

“…and what do you get in return?”

His face softened, a flicker of emotion passed accross his brow.

“Please understand I am not trying to buy your loyalty.  The isk that I give you is a pittance, Capsuleers make immense fortunes without a thought, I will give you ten times that amount if you ask, but it is worth nothing .   What I want, cannot be bought.”

“What is it that you want then?”

“People you can trust are few and far between in the ring of lawless space outside the empires, even between fellow pod pilots.    I hope for a friend and ally. This is something more valuable than you can imagine.  And in return, I offer you the same.”

with this, Akura bowed deeply, a gesture of respect, respect that I had never received in my life.

“I have arranged quarters for you while you make your decision. the transport I have prepared for you will be ready to undock at 07:00 tomorrow. If you choose that path, the docking bay is I-83. If you choose the way of a Capsuleer, meet me at docking bay MH-42 at the same time in the morning and I’ll show you around your new frigate.”

—-

It was a Wednesday. Another day I will not forget. I buried my corpse in the cemetary on that hill on my home planet. It was something I needed to do. The rifter Akura bought me did not last long, nor did my first pod. but the bounties on the Guristas pirates I killed before I died were more than enough to replace both my ship and buy a new clone.

I threw a flower on my grave. A releasing of my past. I looked up at the stars once more, and with a sense of release, I knew, I was truly free.

—-

Other Fan Fiction Blog Fest Participants for October 2009:

Akura Kawanaka (Eve Monkey): Ascension
Chainer (Corrupted Datacore): Lingering Chill
Jorshan (Industrialisms): The Cage
Manasi (A Mule in EvE): Breaking Free
Mikeazariah (A Missioneer in Eve): Stripper
Prometheus09 (The Captains Log): Honey Trap

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Categories: Fiction Tags: ,

The Dominion Wars

October 30, 2009 6 comments

The Fall of BoB

There was once a time, not too long ago, when the alliances of what is now called the Northern Coalition, Pandemic Legion, Sons of Tangra and Goonswarm fought side-by-side. These alliances combined to form one massive coalition with a single purpose: to wipe the Band of Brothers from existence.

The success of this is most easily demonstrated by the influence map. The following video is a 10 frames per second slide show of the influence map over the course of the past few years I highly recommend you download it in its entirety (and not just watch the preview):

http://dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/Nimtra/influence.avi

CVA alliance and the providence holders block has remained much the same, but the Northern coalition solidified with the introduction of Tau Ceti Federation and Mostly Harmless and Pandemic Legion moved into fountain.
Most importantly: The Band of Brothers was completely wiped from existence and Goonswarm moved into its place.

The unfortunate thing, however, was that prior to being displaced from nullsec, BoB was disbanded in a move similar to what has recently happened to CVA. The exception being that a BoB director deliberately dissolved the alliance and defected to Goonswarm, as you can see on the video where BoB turns into Kenzoku briefly. The reason this was so effective was the pre-dominion sovereignty mechanics: POS’s in Sovereignty level 4 systems are rendered indestructible. The disbanding completely removed Sov from all these systems, and Kenzoku was destroyed before they could gain it back

Rumbles in the North

It was hoped at the time, that what remained of BoB would dissolve and dissipate. With no common enemy left, the Alliances which made up the coalition gradually terminated the non-aggression pacts that had bound them together and over the past few months, Pandemic Legion and sons of Tangra have openly aggressed against their prior allies. But it has become apparent that post dominion, we may have a common enemy yet again.

The corporations that made up the band of brothers have re-formed under the banner of “IT Alliance”. I briefly mentioned that they had poked their nose into a conflict between the Northern Coalition and PL recently. IT Alliance has taken up residence in Syndicate, an NPC held 0.0 region in-between Cloud Ring and Fountain. The Membership in IT alliance has been steadily growing and growing. “Anzac Alliance” a corporation that recently joined Mostly Harmless has announced its intentions to join with their old comrades in IT alliance. With this addition, IT alliance will be only a few hundred people short becoming the one of the largest alliances in the game, second only to the bloated Goonswarm.

IT Alliance have not directly said that they will attack anything post dominion, but they have specifically noted that it will take the dominion patch to effectively wipe out the near-invincible Sov-4 systems controlled by their enemies…. and their forces are building.

One thing that is clear: The First Dominion War will be fought in the North.

—-

Other resources:
A history of BoB alliance
The Second Great War

Poor Sylvana

October 27, 2009 6 comments

logged in today and my empire hauling alt was looking at me funny….

doh

Should I put her down?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

We didn’t want that fleet anyway

October 26, 2009 8 comments

Got my first look at an Erebus on friday night.

There was a CTA anounced for 1900 and I formed up in my shiny new Megathron Mr Pew. We formed up in the usual spot but instead of the usual Avatar or Ragnarok we got treated to the mighty Galente Titan newly aquired by one of our other FC’s:

Erebus Titan with a fleet ready to Jump (by starlight)
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The FC told us that when it happened it would happen fast. We must all jump through as fast as possible and shoot the primary target which he said will be “obvious”.

The jump bridge came up and we jumped through to G8AD, the station system that Evoke had taken Soveringty in recently.

We immediately saw a Thanatos Carrier outside a hostile POS, locked it up and started firing. it went down very fast.

We didn’t want that fleet anyway.

Then the erebus blooped into existance next to us. This has happened before to me, the titan pilot may have clicked jump to rather than creating a bridge. This was the first time the pilot had used the titan in a fleet situation. We were all on edge however because of all the hostiles nearby. We were all preparing to shoot the inevitable interdictors that would come to bubble the titan, and I had just cleared my screen to take a quick screenshot or two…. Then it happened:

[ 2009.10.23 19:33:43 ] (combat) Aurora Ominae belonging to Sniperpirate hits you, doing 33310.5 damage.
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Yes, well… After all that preparation it would have been a very good fleet. But there were now small particles of space dust where our logistics and light/medium support ships once were, and most of our battleships were in structure or low armour. Sorry, my effects were off otherwise that would have been a shot of a DD going off, something I probably won’t see outside the test server :-(.

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I seemed to fare pretty well – my shield skills are higher than some armour specialist pilots I guess, also some people hadn’t yet got around to turning their damage control and hardners on…. I’ve made a habit of doing that first thing before even targeting the enemy so I got off fairly lightly. Also Mostly harmless mandate that every ship be fitted a certain way so that we can all survive at least one Doomsday Device, if it wasn’t for this mandate, the entire fleet may have exploded right there. The only battleships that died were targeted by the tower.

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Some hostile interdictors bubbled the titan and most of our battleships stayed on grid to kill them. as soon as the titan warped off we were out of there.

After jumping around trying to avoid the multiple hostile fleets that had materialised out of nowhere hoping to kill our titan we found ourselves in 9-4 at a safe pos jump bridge after repairing ourselves at the station. It wasn’t over though. the jump bridge was out of fuel and while we were waiting a Sons of Tangra fleet came and attacked us…. we probably should have been sitting inside the pos but hey…. We got inside in short order anyway…after loosing another two battleships.

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All in all, we accomplished our objective of killing the Evoke Carrier… we lost 32 ships in the process, but hey…. it turned out the titan pilot jumped into the system because the jump button was next to the bridge button, and because he heard multiple targets being called on Teamspeak the titan thought we were in a large fleet battle at a gate or something and hit the DD button prior to his screen fully loading. anyway – both the titan and majority of the battleship fleet got out safely.

Meanwhile…

At the same time a Morsus Mihi/Razor Capital fleet was attacking some Nearby Pandemic Legion POS’s and had been jumped by a fairly large short range remote repping PL battleship fleet.

We got home as fast as we could and switched out for stealth bombers. This turned out to be an awesome idea. nothing plays havoc with remote repping co-ordination than mass damage on multiple ships.

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There was massive lag as we got into the system with 450 in local (PL, SOT, Cry Havoc Vs MM, Razor and MH) and the entire fight happening at one spot. The layout was as the above shot. MM capital fleet on the right, PL on the left and Mostly harmless raining death down on them from above.

We started moving in and out dropping bombs on the battleships and shooting torps at anything that survived. I pulsed my MWD once but it stuck on due to the lag so I didn’t do that again! For most of the fight I was tackled by the only interceptor that I could see (I swear it is my name starting with “A”) , but by some miracle of lag I didn’t take any shield damage whatsoever. At one point I tried to target it but it magic’d itself out to 300km, and yet I was still warp scrambled…

Things got a bit complicated. Razor put scrams on their battleships?!?
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All in all, it was a good night (27 kills in 2hrs! I love bombs), we held the field and in true northern coalition fashion we outnumbered them and killed them all. Our Titan pilot is never going to live it down though. By the end of the night “warp in and DD them” was the solution to every situation that came up. Hostile newbie ship on the gate to empire? no probs, just warp in and DD them….. etc.

the unfortunate downside was that I got the final blow on two Morsus Mihi frigates (here and here) that got in the way of my bombs. but seriously… who brings an assault frigate and a rifter to a capital fight?…. a rifter!…..

Not a good idea…

October 24, 2009 4 comments

The up-coming Fan-Fiction Blog-Fest is less than a week away! With at least 9 bloggers indicating their willingness to write a short story about a moment in eve it is going to be great!. In-character short stories should begin appearing on the morning of the 30th and be all on the intertubes by the evening of the 31st.

I’m very much looking forward to all the submissions – there are some very good writers participating, my only hope is that I can write up to half their standard.

While doing some research for my story. I decided to rescue an enslaved minmitar exotic dancer. I’m not normally into doing charitable things for other people, but hey this was for the good of the story, in order to become more familiar with my subject matter.

While attempting to transport her via secure can however, I found something:

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Just thought I’d let you know.

Fleet Competence

October 21, 2009 6 comments

Recently one guy in my alliance forums brought up a good point about player competency in a fleet. He broke down the types of players into the following three groups.

  1. Those who don’t know what to do or why to do it.
  2. Those who know what to do, but not why to do it
  3. Those who, in a given situation, know what to do and why to do it

In a reply to this thread someone mentioned that this was very similar to the Four stages of competence

Now the reason it was brought up was an incident that happened in fleet on the weekend, allow me to set the scene:

Map of the Prelle Constellation in the south-western corner of Cloud Ring Region (courtesy of Ombey Maps)
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Despite the best efforts of TCF and Defi4nt alliances, Evoke have pushed into cloud ring to the extent that they took control of the station system G8AD. Shortly thereafter MH announced 24hr operations in and around that area. Basically there was nothing mandatory, but if we were planning on gate-camping anywhere, it had to be in that system or in the pipe leading to Evoke’s home system in A-S in Syndicate Region. We were also given the mandate to ensure that the fitting services on the now evoke-controlled station were to remain unavailable so that any Evoke docked in the station could not fit their ships.

Now, Evoke have for a long time been trying to take the 9-4 station system just a few systems away. This is a fairly critical hub-system and has been defended furiously for the past 4 months and as I have posted about a couple of times before (here , here and here, and we also got a mention in two of Concord’s Outer Region Political Summaries here and here).

Evoke, having achieved sovereignty in G8AD are now pushing for control of 9-4, and should they win the POS spamming war they’ll get it by this coming weekend, but in the meantime it is still held by Mostly Harmless as we have yet to hand over fully to TCF/Defi4nt. The current sov mechanics basically mean whoever has the most POS’s in system wins control – bring on Dominion I say! We have made a few attempts at taking out the Evoke towers, but because we don’t want them to jump capitals into the system, we have cyno-jammed it. This also means we cannot jump our own capitals into the system and therefore have to take out their towers with battleships.

The Fleet

Now here’s the situation: Mostly harmless put a fleet together on Monday night in order to provide support for TCF who were reinforcing yet another POS in 9-4. We weren’t going to actually hit the POS’s ourselves, but were just going to help lock down the surrounding area. We had a fleet of about 50 people, about half/half split between battleships and light/medium support.

At one point we were all in 9-4 protecting a gate when the FC told the fleet to warp to the G8AD gate. Then after a short duration he said for everyone to warp to the station at 50 and hit the fitting services. He then repeated the last command, confirming that we were to shoot the station fitting services.

Now, to the FC’s great frustration, these two fairly simple commands ended up splitting the fleet into three groups.

The first group jumped through into G8AD, warped to the Evoke-held station at 50km and proceeded to pound on the station fitting services.

The second group turned around and warped to the Mostly Harmless-held 9-4 station and started shooting the fitting services there.

The third group stayed on the gate and asked the FC if he meant for everyone to jump in to G8AD or not.

Now here’s the thing: These three groups of ships could be placed into groups 3, 2 and 1 respectively.

The people jumping through to G8AD and shot the station knew what was going on and why. The people that went and shot the friendly station were just following the exact orders that they heard. the third group perhaps at least had the presence of mind to realise that the FC hadn’t said jump and/or were just confused with some people jumping and some people turning around and warping away.

Either way, you could hear the FC’s head banging on his desk. After a bit of swearing and back and forth, the FC did the honourable thing and defused the situation by taking the blame for it (he didn’t actually say “jump” after all).

Covert ops scout displaying superior situational awareness
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The theory of the person who started the thread on the alliance forums was trying to make the point that competence comes from experience. But my theory is: In war situations, apart from any tactical competence people may have with flying their actual ships, a good fleet is made up of people that are situationally aware, not just of the surrounding systems as per scout reports, but they’re aware that the bad guys have taken xyz system or that they stage out of xyz system, or that there is a common bottleneck between abc and xyz systems that needs to be camped etc. ok, so some of this comes from experience, but a lot of it comes from just reading things, something that’s not hard to do.

Having a map is obviously infinitely useful. Go here and get it and print it out if you haven’t already.

Also the point was made that there is a rare breed of FC who (obviously time and situation permitting) take some time off from swearing at everyone and actually explain why they are giving certain orders. I’ve had the pleasure of flying with a few of these. I particularly like those that go over an encounter either failed or successful and explain what they were trying to achieve for the benefit of others.

A side note

I just want to take this opportunity to heap praise and adoration on EvE as a game. When thinking over every other game I’ve ever played, the pvp involved has always been similar. WoW – there’s battlegrounds, or you’re fighting on places that don’t change. Guild wars is the same – you’re fighting on a certain set of maps and everyone knows the objectives. all the first person shooters are the same to varying degrees of complexity (I lost count of the number of times I’ve played the “DE-Dust” map in CS). But Eve. heck, the terrain is very static, but the factors involved in determining each engagement (or non-engagement) are so immense that every fight is different.

Faction Pos Down

October 21, 2009 3 comments

There’s a small alliance that hangs arround a couple of backwater systems in Cloud ring called “Slammers Republic”.  They’ve taken some sovereignty in some of these systems and put up cyno jammers and I assume jump bridges as well.  We mostly leave them alone because they’ve taken non-strategic dead-end systems, that, and the fact they only have 8 people in the alliance apparently.

But also apparently, we have their towers bookmarked and occasionally check up on them.  The weekend just past, someone mentioned in alliance that one of the towers had run out of fuel and all the modules were offline and there was no shield.  So a bunch of us got together, bashed it to death, and stole the valuable modules. Apparently the estimated cost of the tower and modules was 1.4ish billion. So let that be a lesson to everyone trying to hold sov. make sure your POS’s are fuelled all the time – especially if you use an expensive faction tower.

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