This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

30 Jan 2012

11 - Turning the Tide - Part 2

All over the station, mobilization alarms sounded, crews were assembled, ships prepared, weapon bays loaded and defensive stations manned. The operations centre was no exception. Here each scanning console and communications desk was occupied by crew members trying to channel their fear and tension into focused activity. Cedrien and the other five capsuleer pilots occupied the main command station.

'The Janissary Order is a mercenary outfit specializing in wormhole operations.' the Gallente commander explained while CONCORD registry data was switched to the main holographic display. 'They have an impeccable track record. As you would expect from a mercenary fleet, they have no loyalty to any cause except what money can buy. When it comes to that, however, they are steadfast. They have never betrayed an employer and only rarely failed to fulfill their contract.' he paused to call up a series of pilot records. 'What makes them particularly dangerous, is the fact that they have a significant number of experienced capsuleer pilots employed.'

Sylera looked confused 'How did they even find us here? I thought it was impossible to find a particular wormhole if it does not directly connect to a known location.'

Shisei nodded thoughtfully at that question. 'When we ran a gravitational analysis on that black-hole system, it indicated, that only one specific exit would generally exist there.' He looked up from the mathematical model he had double checked.

'Then they must have done a chain collapse to gain another entrance.' Cedrien concluded.

Sylera's narrow eyebrows drew together into a puzzled frown. Before she could ask the question which was obviously on her mind Sandrielle softly rested her hand on the younger woman's shoulder. 'It is possible to calculate the probability of a certain wormhole system opening into another.' she began to elaborate. 'Once a suitable system is found, one can cause it's naturally occurring exit to collapse multiple times until the sought-for connection opens.' she leveled her gaze at the others with a significant look on her face. 'It implies an action guided by intent. They were looking for that particular star-system.'

Keram shook his head in disbelief. 'What would they want with this black-hole wasteland?' he scoffed.

The Gallente woman looked at him patronizingly. 'Nothing.' she replied dryly. 'There is only one obvious conclusion: They wanted to get to us, and someone informed them which system we are currently connected to.'

'So you are saying we have a spy?' Keram asked through clenched teeth. Sandrielle nodded gravely.

'They are now camped on the other side of our exit.' Alira cut short any possible outburst when she saw how Keram's face reflected the building up of rage. 'They warped in their fleet around me, launched warp disruption spheres and began to close in on me.' her face contorted slightly with the memory of frustration. 'Once they had me surrounded they started activating smartbombs and forced me to jump through. It was a very well coordinated setup. Cedrien is right, they are definitely very professional and very dangerous.' she added.

'So far they seem to be maintaining their position on the other side of that wormhole.' Shisei announced after checking the deep-space scanner. 'No jumps have occurred since Alira returned.'

'So what the hell are they waiting for?' Keram growled.

'There is only one way to find out.' Cedrien answered. 'Shisei, what is the status of that wormhole?'

'It has not reached the end of it's activity cycle.' the Achura scientist replied 'According to my calculations, it should remain open for another six hours and twenty minutes.' he reported after adding a few figures into his mathematical model.

'Then this is as much time as we have.' Cedrien stated flatly. Looking at each of his companions individually he gave his orders. 'Keram, you and Sylera take over station defense. Shut down everything we do not need and make sure there are crews for all guns and EWAR platforms. I want each one of you to command one wing of defense frigates. Focus on electronic warfare and capacitor disruption.' he picked up his heavy armoured jacket while he continued. 'Alira, take out your ship and every recon team you can assemble. I want that whole system covered. Shisei, you will coordinate the evacuation of all non-essential personnel and materials to a safe location planetside.' The Caldari man nodded knowingly. Emergency plans for such an eventuality had long been made. 'Sandrielle, get Sitalaerd to prepare the Euryale.'

The Gallente woman quirked a brow. 'What about you?' she wondered.

'I will take a shuttle out through that wormhole and parlay with those Janissaries.' Cedrien replied matter-of-factly.

The gathered pilots all looked at him with expressions ranging from concern to skepticism. Cedrien opened his arms, palms upward, in a gesture of annoyed incomprehension emphasized by a stern expression 'You have your orders, get to it!' he stated in a tone that precluded any contradiction.

Everyone got up and headed for the exit. Alira shot a worried glance back after she had boarded the elevator with the others. She watched Cedrien giving last orders to the command-centre crew, then the heavy blast doors cut her vision off. She tried to tell herself that the churning feeling in her stomach came from the sudden downward plunge of the elevator cabin, but she knew that there was more to it.


Cedrien's right hand trembled slightly when he hit the command sequence to jump the shuttle through the wormhole. He felt exposed and defenseless flying manually.No hull surrounding him like the extension of his own fragile body, no shields or armor, nothing he could fight with. If the assembled force on the other side decided to open fire, he would die here. For good. Without the neural interface of his capsule there would be no instant remapping of his consciousness into a new clone body at the moment of his violent death. He smiled grimly at the prospect, then the gravitational pull of the wormhole catapulted his ship through.

When he emerged on the other side, he did not need the flaring of warning sensors to tell him about the deadly threat he faced. Against the ominous backdrop of a collapsed star, the enemy fleet filled the field of vision his cockpit window provided. What little light the struggling orange sun of this system could provide was occluded by the vast bulk of an Archon-class carrier. It's two-pronged bow stretched out far above him. In it's shadow two Bhaalgorn battleships floated like atavistic instruments of war, designed to bludgeon an enemy to death. The rest of the fleet circled around the wormhole like a pack of predators ready to pounce on their prey. Like Alira had said, warp-distruption spheres had been deployed to prevent any escape away from the wormhole.

Cedrien took a deep breath and willed his hands to stop shaking. He hailed on an open frequency.

'Captain Roucellis.' came the reply, emphasizing the generic title in a mocking way. 'Have you come to negotiate the conditions of your surrender?' the sneering voice was not accompanied by any image transmission.

'I have come alone, unarmed and unplugged.' He answered. 'You seem to know who I am. Although I do know the Janissary Order, I do not recognize you. I would like to talk to your commander face-to-face.'

'Why would he want to do that?' the unidentified voice sounded bored.

'Because I know that you did not come here without purpose.' Cedrien countered. 'Neither did you come simply to destroy us, or you would have already made your move. Let us talk about what you are here for, and we shall see whether an agreement can be made that satisfies your terms.'

The communications relay remained silent for some of tense moments. 'We may be mercenaries, but that does not mean we do not honour general rules of engagement.' the disembodied voice finally answered. 'You may fly your craft into the carrier's hangar. We guarantee your safety and free passage as a negotiator.'

Cedrien permitted himself a sigh of relief. 'Affirmative.' he responded and steered his shuttle towards the Archon carrier's hangar bay.


It did not come as a surprise to Cedrien that his hosts had chosen for a massive display of power to welcome him. A battalion-strength force stood assembled on the flight deck. Each soldier fully clad in red-and-tan fighting armor and armed with an assault weapon. Behind the regimented rows of troopers he could vaguely make out brisk activity in the fighter hangars. The small attack craft were being loaded and prepared for duty.

A four man escort waited for Cedrien when he emerged from his shuttle. They directed his steps down the flight deck by executing a snappy turn and heading in that direction, effectively forcing him to fall into step. He knew the Janissary Order from his military days as a disciplined and effective military outfit, as often working for the Gallente Federation as they would accept payment from the opposing side. Their specialization in wormhole-space operations made them a prime choice for striking targets that would try to operate from the isolation of those obscure regions. No standing military force had major cadres trained and equipped to handle such missions.

As they neared the end of the long expanse they traversed, Cedrien began to recognize the commanding officer who stood there to receive him, flanked by a detail of personal guards. The formerly platinum-blond buzz-cut of the Deteis man had by now turned into silvery white.
His strong-jawed, squarish features were creased by more wrinkles, but the steel-gray eyes under their bushy eyebrows still had the same determined glint to them.

'Commodore Sivaata.' Cedrien greeted the other man with a slight bow. 'It has been some time since we met.'

'Captain Roucellis.' Sivaata saluted briskly. 'The last time your superiour commander was my employer. I am honoured by the opportunity to face you as adversary now.'

Cedrien smirked slightly. 'I am afraid I might disappoint you. I am not quite in the position to provide a challenge against a force like yours.' he added while gesturing at the assembled troops.

'You have always been a most resourceful man.' the Deteis commander complimented him. 'Shall we.' he offered, and extended a hand toward the main deck elevator. Cedrien nodded and walked ahead. The older man joined him while the escorting soldiers positioned themselves around the two of them and followed. Both remained in silence during their progress through the massive ship's interiour. Cedrien remembered the attitude of this man, he would not be diverted by idle chatter, nor would he discuss business outside a setting he considered suitable to do so.

When they had arrived in a small conference room overlooking the flight deck, and an attendant had served fragrant, spiced coffee, Cedrien knew the moment had come to open up the negotiations. 'I know that it is useless to ask who employed you, or to make you an offer to buy you out of your contract.' he began. '… but my guess is you did not halt your incursion into our system for no reason.'

Sivaata nodded and slowly sipped from his steaming cup. He set it down before he answered. 'I did come here prepared for a serious confrontation, but it may still be avoided.' he sounded genuinely disappointed at the prospect. 'Among your number is a capsuleer who I am to retrieve, alive.' he took another sip from his drink before continuing. 'Deliver her to me, and we will retreat.'

Cedrien quirked a brow 'Now you are making it difficult for me.' he smiled 'It so happens that I have more than one female capsuleer among my crew.'

The Janissary commander touched the conference table's surface with his index finger and an embedded neocom panel activated. A few strokes later, a familiar young Amarrian face appeared as holographic projection, hovering between the two men. Wordlessly Sivaata looked over the rim of his cup at Cedrien while he drank.

'So it is her you want.' Cedrien acknowledged. 'This young woman only recently joined us.' he stretched in his chair and took a few sips from his own coffee. '… and to be honest, I am not quite sure whether she fits in well with us.' he continued.

The older Deteis man displayed an expression of resignation on his previously unreadable face. 'So you will deliver her to me?' he asked flatly.

'Well.' Cedrien wistfully started and inclined his head as if he'd consider the option. 'As you know I used to be a military man.' Sivaata nodded and set down his cup. 'While I have left this life behind me, I still value some of it's principles.' Cedrien continued, emptied his own cup in one go and deftly put it down. 'One of those principles is, that you do not sell out your crew to the enemy.' he displayed a sarcastic smile on his bearded face. 'In fact, in the light of some recent personal experiences, I would even say, that I value this principle higher than the Federal Navy itself.'

Commodore Sivaata's eyes gleamed at this response. 'So I can take this as a refusal?' he asked rhetorically and finished his drink too.

'Please accept my excuses for wasting your time like this.' Cedrien replied with an implicit confirmation.

For the first time the other man smiled openly. 'Not at all captain Roucellis.' he got up in preparation to escort his guest back to the flight deck. 'It is good that we have resolved this matter.' he gestured toward the door. 'I will give you the time to return to your base. When this wormhole reaches the end of it's cycle, we will engage.' Cedrien nodded, knowing that the man's word can be trusted on both counts. 'I am looking forward to our battle.' the Deteis commander added 'There are too few worthy opponents these days.'

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