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.

7 Dec 2012

Engineering Peace - Part 9

All around Cedrien staggering destructive forces were unleashed by friend and foe alike. Small fighter craft followed each other through hectic maneuvers with the intent of bringing their opponents down. The majority of the enemy fleet was directing it's fire at his own ship, bombarding him with energized blaster charges and focused pulse laser beams. Among the combat support wing of the broken up enemy formation, Keram and Sandrielle endured under heavy enemy fire. It was an uneven struggle, but the former Armarrian pirate and his Gallente companion made the enemy pay dearly despite being outnumbered. So far, Cedrien had managed to keep their ships intact when they had to shut down their own repair systems to dedicate full power to propulsion and weapon systems, but he knew his own carrier would not sustain the combined damage for much longer.

With the enemy fully occupied, he gave the order for the evacuation convoy to undock and flee from the battlefield. When the small fleet of transport ships headed for the shield perimeter on the far side of the fight, fast interceptors launched from the janissary carriers to try and catch them by circling around the spherical expanse of the defunct station's defense screen. It was a vain attempt though. Before the mercenary craft were in range, the Awakened Industry escape vessels had already engaged their cloaking fields and were headed for safety with every piece of equipment, supplies and personnel that could be spared from the fight.

That was the final signal for the remainder of the baseline crews to disengage. If they could, they were to maneuver themselves away from the battle and engage warp, heading for safe locations far away from the centre of the system. Cedrien sent his fighters to cover their retreat. Sandrielle and Keram did their own part, engaging enemy interdictors and drawing more of the opposition's fire.

Most of the support ships managed to escape to safety, but then the Janissary order began to focus fire on the two remaining capsuleers. Cedrien overheated his repair systems in a last effort to keep his companions fighting. They were able to dispatch one Proteus giving chase and the Janissary ship broke apart under their combined fire, but the firepower of their opponents was too much for their defenses, even with Cedrien's support. With a series of explosions ripping her ship apart from within, Sandrielle's own Proteus cruiser went down.

Keram held out for a while longer and another enemy was thrown off course by his assault missile barrages. The enemy attack cruiser drifted through space for a few seconds before vanishing in a ball of plasma fire, then the Amarrian's Legion cruiser was hit by an energy neutralizer discharge from one of the Bhaalgorns. The next concentrated volley of Janissary fire tore through his armour faster than Cedrien could repair it, and a moment later – the former Gallente military officer was the only one left.

Him and the scores of men and women on his ship were all that remained of Awakened Industries in the orbit of the third moon of the sixth planet in an unnamed system of the remote Anoikis Cluster.

Every person on the vast carrier prepared for the end.


Kassina Vikkonen cursed inwardly when she received feedback from her short-range directional scanner. Indeed, she had found another wormhole exit from this forsaken place, but when she had warped to the closest planet to get her bearings, she also found out that a whole fleet of ships was lying in wait there.

The Caldari bounty hunter was by no means familiar with the rules of this alien environment, but her instincts and quick wits made her a fast learner. Having earlier witnessed the contraction of a wormhole when the massive bulk of a carrier passed through, lead her to only one conclusion: This exit would contract as well when all those ships jumped to the other side, maybe it would vanish altogether.

Kassina decided she would not wait to find out whether her assumption was true.

Even her scanners registered the three carriers she had seen before appearing close to the interstellar aperture. Her intuition told her that she would be isolated and stuck where she was if they would all traverse the channel between stars. Nobody had ever told her that the collapse of one wormhole would eventually lead to the appearance of another, so she decided with stubborn determination that her only way out of here would be through that exit, past that fleet.

Inside her capsule, the strong featured woman's jaw clenched as she aligned her ship and engaged the warp-drive. The distance gauge of her directional scanner raced downward before her mind's eye as closed in on the unknown fleet. She counted strategic cruisers of Gallente manufacture, the three carriers from before and a squad of Amarr-designed armor repair cruisers. Way too large a force for her to engage, or be engaged by, and survive, but she had the element of surprise as well as the cloaking system and the swiftness of her ship on her side. On her travels through New-Eden she had often run through blockades, and she would be damned if she couldn't do the same here.

When her ship landed, the forces of inertia carried her through the main body of the fleet perched at her destination. She saw the bulky rounded form of a Proteus cruiser hurtle towards her at high speed, until the repelling forces of their shields resulted in her ship and the other bouncing off each other into different directions. Her cloaking system failed under the impact, and immediately her sensors registered the attempts to lock on to her Tengu.

'Any engagement of high risk is decided in part through skill and in part through luck' an experienced capsuleer had once told her when she was still piloting her first frigate into combat. She could not help but remember those words now when her proximity alarms sounded off as the ricochet from the other ship threw her right into the maw of the gaping wormhole.

Without losing a second she willed her ship to pass through, and when she appeared on the other side, she looked upon the crystal gleam of a white dwarf star embedded within a disk of glowing solar matter pulled from a looming yet feeble orange giant.

She could savour the serene beauty of this cosmic display only for a few moments before the sensors of her ship transmitted a sound through her aural nerves. Naturally it was no actual sound, but the translation of particle agitation resulting from the passage of mass through the wormhole behind her.

The others were jumping through.

Quickly Kassina engaged her cloaking field and aligned to the nearest planet before the engines of her ship catapulted her into warp. As she traveled through the subspace vortex of the warp tunnel, her navigational computer supplied further data about the location she had found herself in. She recognized the alphanumerical code for that nameless system.

It was the home of Awakened Industries.

'Any engagement of high risk is decided in part through skill, and in part through luck.' she reminded herself again and began to analyze her surroundings as soon as her ship returned to normal speed.


Cedrien tried to relax his body inside the pod and shut himself off from the damage reports, the capacitor depletion warnings, the evacuation alarms and targeting data streaming into his mind.

He almost wished he could unplug himself from the control interface and finally have peace.

Of course that would mean his death, but would that be so terrible?

Fires raged throughout the floating megastructure of his ship. Every hit by an enemy now melted through the hull itself and tore glowing gashes into the Euryale which vented heated air and glowing plasma. Escape pods jumped off the carrier like fleas leaving a dying beast as it's blood is cooling, and Cedrien considered leaving his capsule. The last way for him to get out of this battle.

It would not be long, and his mind would continue it's existence – his existence – in a new clone body if he let everything happen as it was supposed to, but now he felt so very tired. Tired of the unrelenting storm of sensor feeds, the simulated pain as his hull was systematically destroyed, the unnatural feeling of being that ship in the first place. He wondered what it would feel like to die in his own body, realizing a second later that the whole thought was ironic of course.

It had not been his own body for quite some time now.

This was the fourth clone which the infomorph called Cedrien Roucellis had inhabited. The man who grew from the boy who was once carried in his mother's womb drifted long dead in the unmarked grave of an interstellar void. A discarded empty shell of the consciousness which he had become.

He was once born as a human. Would it not be right to die as one?

The new signals only registered at the periphery of Cedrien's awareness as he drifted in his pod, lost in morbid reflection, but something there caught his attention.

More ships!

Why would they need even more ships?

Was that the rest of the mercenary fleet coming to pick the corpse of his carrier? Pilots trying to get the kill registered on their professional resume to boast about it later? Cedrien spared a quick moment of focused awareness and then he registered that the new arrivals did not belong to the enemy. Even more noteworthy was, that they engaged the Janissary fleet. Surprised, the mercenary squadrons tried to reform and rally for a counterattack, but their new opponents had landed right in the middle of them and came fully prepared.

A whole wing of Proteus cruisers configured for maximum damage potential began to engage the Janissary Bhaalgorns while three carriers launched fighters to begin decimating the support fleet, but the defenders still had a slight numerical advantage, and now more vessels emerged from their carriers' hangar bay as capsuleer pilots brought new ships into the battle.

Surprised Cedrien checked the new combatant's registrations. 'Arclight alliance!' he realized 'Arrakh, what are you doing here?' he was wondering, confused. Arclights forces had one Archon carrier more than the opponents, but they had not brought dedicated capacitor warfare craft. Also, because they had opted for more carrier support, the number of ships they could bring had been reduced by the mass restrictions of wormholes. At this point, the battle could go either way, but it already seemed like the Janissary order had overcome their initial surprise and began forming up for a well-coordinated counterstrike.

From his crippled ship, Cedrien watched as the tide turned. Arrakh's forces certainly had more experience in wormhole combat, but in such a direct confrontation Commodore Sivaata was the one who had the advantage of experience and superiour tactical skill. His disciplined pilots began to draw their opponents into uncoordinated small engagements away from their logistic cruisers which could repair them. Already the first Arclight attack ship exploded and another soon followed.

Sivaata had launched a group of powerful electronic warfare ships which rendered the Arclight carriers useless on the field, and his replenished fighter wings appeared to be more skillful than the pilots engaging them. Even outnumbered they gained the upper hand in one dogfight after the other.

If he had not been inside his capsule, Cedrien would have sighed with despair. He had hoped to minimize casualties on this day. He had managed to get his civilian personnel out of harms way. The majority of the baseline crews could escape as well. Yet here Arrakh threw an assault force at a superiour opponent, and for what? To save a single capsuleer in an evacuated ship who had just entertained the thought of his final death.

With a feeling of defeat, Cedrien wanted to turn his attention away from that scenery of senseless destruction when suddenly his sensors flared up with readings he had never seen before. Space itself seemed to ripple and bend under forces that could not be explained or even fathomed, and then the light of the twin suns was blotted out by a massive, dark structure, vast like a city floating in space and smooth like the skin of an alien creature lined with veins of pure energy.

From the shadow cast by that space-borne construction, searing energy beams lanced outward and explosive projectiles came flying, followed by a swarm of Sleeper Drones which began to systematically decimate the assembled fleets.

In his capsule, Cedrien's mouth fell open when his erratic sensor feed transmitted the signatures of two familiar exploration frigates before his mind's eye.

No comments:

Post a Comment