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.

16 Jan 2014

23 - Contagion - Part 3

Cradled in her pod and in tune with the Sei'r, Alira mentally prepared herself for the battle to come.

'Find your center and your senses will expand freely into space.' That was something she once heard from Shisei, but the Caldari scientist could not be with them now to provide any such wisdom. They had to move swiftly from staging areas hidden in the remotest regions of space when they received the news that Sandrielle's biological signature had been detected. There had been no time for Shisei to join up with them.

In preparation, the Rasenzoku had called upon capsuleers who had long sworn off active duty, to come out of their self-imposed isolation and commit their immense Titan ships once more. It is said that a Titan is the last ship that a capsuleer will ever plug in to. Often it turned out to be true. Many of those who have become one with those gigantic craft ended up changed. The existence as a mere human, or even as capsuleer steering a battleship, paled in comparison with merging one's consciousness with a machine that houses thousands of people and wields the power to scorch a planet. Often such capsuleers would become so detached by the experience that they withdrew from the active ranks and chose solitary existence in the vast emptiness of the galactic fringe. Only the most massive confrontations would bring those hermits back from their reclusion, or the short commitment for the eventual operation which needs a Titan's ability to send whole fleets through spacetime on artificial warp bridges.

Alira was not the type for large battles. Stalking and hunting like the cunning Slarde which prowl through the high grass of the plains on her homeworld, that was more her style. She thought of the last major battle that Awakened Industries had fought against the Yanissary Order. While they had held the field, they had effectively lost. Despite the Sleeper Drones and the support of Arclight alliance. The confrontation left their home in wormhole space devastated and their fleet scattered.

What they had faced then was less than half the size of the force which escorted the Nyx class supercarrier Alira now observed from her cloaked position. The design of the massive red-and-green painted ship morbidly reminded her of the sigil on a funeral plaque. She dispelled that thought as quickly as she could.

'Shadow scout, report.' Cedrien sounded collected and calm as always.

His voice reassured Alira and her focus returned. 'They are right below me at designated range. I'm in position.' she replied with her thoughts being synthesized into voice for the recipients.

'Good. Shadow Pivot. Are you ready to engage?'

'On your mark.' the Intaki accented voice of commander Tenshin Noy replied.

'We have the capsuleers of Rasenzoku on our side. Their experience fighting against The Hive must be good for something'. Alira thought in an effort to get her hopes up.

'Copy. You take over until Mace arrives. Pivot is yours. Alira light her up!' Cedrien commanded across the vast distances bridged by the fluid-router link. His contingent would arrive at a later stage of the confrontation. Provided, of course, their plan worked at all.

'Copy.' Alira replied tersely and willed her ship to shed it's cloaking field. Less than a second later her next neural impulse activated the cynosural field generator which twisted and spun the fabric of space until the forces it applied squeezed light in angry colours from the subatomic particles of the cosmic tapestry.

The part of Alira's awareness which was focused on her ship's sensors registered the immediate reaction of the Hive fleet. Smaller ships began to accelerate towards her position while the heavier battleships turned around slowly for their own approach. The Nyx supercarrier itself spewed forth a swarm of fighter craft that joined the race of the assault wing toward Alira's lonely Minmatar ship.

At this point, she was still well out of range, even for the battleships, but not for long. The energy requirements of the cynosural field disabled her engines and made her a stationary target. The faster attack ships would be close enough to engage her soon. It appeared that the Rasenzoku tactical experts had been correct. The Hive pilots showed little consideration and immediately rushed her. She just hope that the rest of the plan would work out just as well.

'The vanguard of assault frigates and interceptors is closing fast, only forty clicks left.' Alira reported. She brought her artillery guns to bear on one particularly fast approaching ship. 'Cruisers now at fifty.'

'Pivot fleet. Stand by for bridge. Alira, report when the cruisers hit forty distance.' came the order from wing commander Noy.

Alira fired her artillery cannons at a Stiletto class interceptor which lead the pack that charged at her. The Hive ship sent disrupting signals which affected her tracking systems, but it was still flying straight for her, making no attempt at evasion. Alira's high-powered shells tore the frail interceptor to pieces with only two volleys. Quickly she focused her targeting system on the next closest opponent. She would not have much time left before those fast ships could swing into an orbit around her and become untrackable for her artillery turrets.

'Cruiser wing now at fortyfive … three … one!' Alira transmitted

'Bridge up! Pivot Fleet jump!' The order from Tenshin Noy resulted in a firework of particle shockwaves all around Alira's position. When the energy flare died down, it revealed squadrons of Rasenzoku ships which had materialized seemingly from nowhere.

'Bombs away!' Keram's voice sounded over the communications channel enthusiastically. The squadron of stealth bomber craft which had bridged onto the battlefield sent their payload hurtling through space at the approaching cruisers. Mere moments later, a second sun cast it's harsh light on the fighting capsuleer forces. Only wreckage and four badly damaged cruisers of Amarrian design emerged from that conflagration caused by the thermal explosive charges. The cruiser wing had been destroyed almost utterly by the rain of bombs.

At the same time the frigates and fighters were entering engagement range. Already the first began to open fire at the Rasenzoku forces. The wing of wedge-tailed Pilgrim class recon ships, which formed the main part of Pivot Fleet, opened their dronebays and sent a cloud of automated fighting machines against the Hive attack craft.

Alira's multitasking brain raced to process the streams of information coming from her ship and the immediate surroundings. Space around her had turned into a storm of energy discharges, electronic warfare signals, weapons fire, quickly maneuvering ships and swarming drones. The enemy frigates and fighters had originally homed in on one ship, hers, now they found themselves among a group of more than twenty stealthbombers and recon cruisers. The Hive outnumbered them, but the smaller ships had been counting on cruiser support, and that wont be coming anymore. Even now Alira was sending barrage after barrage into the hull of the slowly approaching and heavily armoured Amarr ships that had survived the bomb blast. She had downed one already, and the next one had already lost more than half of it's plating.

'Stealth bomber squadron, pull range and see whether you can peel off any of those small ships.' Keram commanded and steered his ship away from the dogfight at full speed.

'I got three fighters on my tail … need fire support.' came the desperate answer of a Rasenzoku bomber pilot. Drones managed to track and kill one of the three pursuing craft, but the other two managed to destroy the lightly built stealthbomber before they were themselves taken by the drones.

'Pivot main. Jump!' Tenshin Noy called out, and with another discharge of lightning and glowing energy shockwaves, four battleships, vaguely shaped like tailed arthropods poised for the kill, appeared on the scene. While their drones joined the hunt for the smaller craft, they opened their cruise missile launcher bays. 'Widow pilots, sort targets by range. Target the closest enemy battleships that are approaching and launch. All stealthbombers warp to the closest planet and align back to this position. Stand by for warp-in. Pilgrims, I want energy neutralizers and tracking disruption on all close range ships, send light drones against distant targets, heavy stuff against close range after you drained their propulsion systems.' The Intaki commander quickly issued his stream of commands.

'Copy. Bombers get out of here!' Keram responded and one by one the small ships sped away into the direction of the nearby gas giant.

One more was caught by an enemy interceptor and went down under concentrated weapon's fire, but the small fleet of Hive fast attackers was getting decimated Drained of energy and with the tracking systems of their guns rendered useless by the Pilgrims, they were quickly picked off by drones.

Alira felt the tension release itself from her body when the cynosural field generator had finally completed it's cycle. Another attacking Maller class attack cruiser came apart with the last of her salvos, but she also increasingly took fire. Relieved, she willed her ship into motion kept firing on the last enemy cruiser that began to chase her. Her shields were down, and her armor was being depleted by pulse-laser beams, but her mind had entered a state of heightened lucidity under the pressure of the fight. Her ship had become more than just an extension of herself, she had become the ship, just like she had experienced in the glimpses she got of the Sleeper mind.

Quickly the battle against the smaller craft was won, but they were still facing a large force of enemy battleships and of course a supercarrier which, even now, undocked more Hive attack craft.

'Pivot main, deploy jump modules and then jump to the target under your own power.' Tenshin Noy ordered.

'Everyone else, pull drones, get in range, and follow as soon as the micro jump units are active.'

In response, each of the Widow class battleships dropped a contraption from it's cargo hold which unfolded itself into a circular field generator. At the same time, graviton emissions distorted the light around the four large vessels and finally catapulted them a full hundred kilometers closer to the enemy supercarrier. Seconds after the deployed micro jump units signaled readiness, Alira and the squadron of Pilgrim recon cruisers were cast across space by similar forces.

The wrecks of the Hive attack wing and the spent jump units were the only thing that remained at their initial position. The enemy battleships which had previously been close to engagement range had to turn around cumbersomely to close the distance yet again.

'Pivot main. I want full cruise missile fire on that Nyx. All ECM on the battleships. All drones against the close range attack ships they are undocking. Pilgrims, all tracking disruption against the battleships. Targets will be broadcast. Alira, you go for your primary objective.' Tenshin Noy issued his instructions before his Widow battleship activated a cynosural field of it's own. A mere twenty kilometers above the massive shape of the Hive supercarrier.

'Bomber squad, warp to my position at ten and open up with torpedoes on the Nyx. Launch void bombs at the thing. Everyone stay out of explosion radius. Pilgrims close in and engage neutralizers once the bombs went off. Alira you will have to coast through than one!' The Intaki commander's voice provided the lyrics for the symphony of destruction that played out around the Hive mothership now that new cruisers and frigates had issued forth from the carrier's hangars to engage the Rasenzoku fleet.

Alira directed all power to the propulsion of her ship and closed in on the supercarrier, scanning it's vast hull for emergency airlocks. Yet another sequence of energy shockwaves announced the arrival of more friendly ships that had come to the cynosural beacon which Tenshin Noy had activated.

The stealthbombers under Keram's command warped in from the nearby planet and engaged, Alira weaved through the first torpedo explosions that tore through the carrier's shields while speeding along the top surface of the enemy ship. She was taking fire from several Hive ships, but she had found her target. Her ship rocked from impacts of energy beams, artillery fire and hybrid weapon charges. Alira steered her ship confidently through it all. Like the Sleepers she swam through space

Now she registered the soothing sensation of projected armour repair nanites. On her sensors she saw Cedrien's Thanatos carrier and two Rasenzoku Archon class carriers which had jumped to Tenshin Noy's beacon.

The battle reached new levels of intensity around her. An interdiction field formed. It must be one of their own. Indeed, Alira saw that they had brought heavy interdictors with them along with the carriers, and a squadron of battleships too. She registered it all, but she had her own objective. Alira calculated a speed and course that would bring her ship right on top of that airlock she had spotted. She needed to get there, nothing else mattered right now.

Then all active systems on her ship shut down as the Void bombs spread their destructive electromagnetic detonation pulses.


  1. Took you long... X'D
    And it isn't a long read... Not even a bit.
    What is Alira flying?

    1. Despite my terrible publishing schedule I have not lost you as reader! I am happy to entertain at least one person :)

      To answer the question: Well, if the name doesn't give it away; so, she has a cloak and a cynosural field and artillery and she flies a Minmatar ship. There is a limited number of possibilities here and only one is tanky enough to hold out under fire and fly through a battle, surviving with armor holding.

    2. "I am happy to entertain at least one person"

      Make that two people :p

    3. Three - despite my terrible reading schedule :)

    4. I'd say four, but I probably don't count because I work here :P

  2. Hmm, there are 2 possibilities:
    1.) Slasher - 4 highs is enough for the protocloak, cyno and 2 arties. The 2 lows on the other hand makes it harder to armor tank, but at least have a small sigrad, which helps.
    2.) Ragnarok - Nothing can tank harder than a proper Titan...

    Joke aside. It's either a Loki, since she loved them before, or a Panther. The first can be fitted that way and have a decent tank with a reasonable sigrad, the latter's job description is exactly what she's using the ship on. I bet, the name Sei'r was used before, but I can't remember and that should tip the scales to the Loki side.

    1. Maybe I should have mentioned that it is a covert cyno? I guess that still leaves us with the alternatives of Loki and Rapier. I'd say Loki is more likely :)