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.

14 Jan 2014

23 - Contagion - Part 5

'I have an override!' Laaku shouted over the tactical link. He managed to dodge the plasma bolt from the heavy Hive trooper just in time as the reinforced security gate of the cellblock slid apart.

'Concentrate fire on the heavy trooper and get in there.' Kassina Vikkonen commanded her squad and dodged sideways from cover while discharging her energy weapon into the powerfully armoured opponent. Her gun overloaded the Hive soldier's shields quickly and the hybrid slugs of the remaining mercenaries tore through the suit's armour, finally bringing the man down.

Sylera only noticed a lighter armed Hive trooper storming at her when that opponent raised his rifle to aim at her. Reflexively she turned to direct fire at him, but most of her shots went wide. Yet, one lucky shot hit the enemy's weapon, knocking it out of his hands. 

Not missing a beat, the Hive soldier kept running at Sylera and drew a long knife with an energized blade.

His attack was fast and vicious, but by no means refined. Sylera let go of her weapon, stepped sideways and grabbed the attacker's arm while she dropped low. She slid below the attacker until her shoulder connected with the man's hip. The momentum of the Hive soldier's assault made the throw an easy feat despite his weight. The wheeling movements of her arms – one pulling, one pushing – helped catapult the man along his path as Sylera rose. Quickly she dove behind him into the main corridor of the detainment facility.

Kassina's men retreated past the same threshold while pinning down enemies with full-automatic fire. The tall Caldari woman hit the emergency lockdown next to the gate as soon as the last one crossed. 

'Tell me you have disabled the access panel on the other side?' Kassina asked Laaku.

'Negative.' The helmet hid Laaku's features but his voice on the tactical channel betrayed the smug grin on his face. 'Turns out that heavy trooper took care of that for us. There wont be much left of anything after his plasma cannon hit the console.'

'Done deal then.' Kassina nodded briskly. Next to her the Hive trooper in a light suit, who had involuntarily joined them behind the heavy security door, struggled to his feet. Kassina unceremoniously drilled a cauterized hole through his helmet with a fully charged shot of her scrambler gun.

'Where's our objective?' She turned to ask Sylera.

The Amarrian read tactical information off a holographic display hovering around her forearm. 'Two cells down, left.' she reported.

Kassina signaled two of her troopers to take position there. 'Laaku, how long will that door hold?'

The Caldari tech-trooper shrugged. 'It's made to withstand infantry weapon fire, but if they bring anything heavier they'd be through it in less than two cycles.'

'Patch into the control system. I want this detention module to be ready for jettison. Monitor the outside. If they deploy heavy materiel, kick us out of here.' Kassina commanded.

Matis, you stay in contact with the fleet and tell them to have our pickup stand by.' she ordered another of her men. 'You ...' she pointed at Sylera. 'Get your kit ready, move over to that cell and plug yourself into their infomorph storage.' Kassina Vikkonen dropped her drained weapon and headed to the cell herself.


The whispering voices which had kept gnawing at her mind with teeth made of amplified pain suddenly stopped. Behind her mental wall built of both iron discipline and pent-up rage Sandrielle noticed the silence immediately. Did they finally give up? Would they kill her now and end this suffering? She cautiously allowed the feeling of relief that welled up inside her to become more manifest. Had she won out?


She knew that voice. She had heard it quote Amarr scripture haughtily. She remembered when it sounded displeased at yet another harsh lesson taught on the practice floor. She could recall that voice carrying so much pain too. Was that a new trick? What was their game now?

'Go away.' Sandrielle decided it must be a deception. After all, they had not managed to break her by force. It made sense that they would try with more subtle means. How did they manage to imitate the voice so perfectly?

'Sandrielle! You are still there!' The voice with it's Amarrian accent said. 'Your lifesigns were so weak that I was worried we were too late. All those horrible things they did to you.'

'Spare me. Not even Cedrien would be foolishly heroic enough to go looking for me. How would they even find me? Stop this already.' Sandrielle expressed her thoughts through the interlink with the limited capsule control system they still had her connected to. In its current setting the only purpose of that system was to torture her mind just as they had mutilated her body.

'But we did Sandrielle.' The voice insisted. 'Shisei and Alira reprogrammed the nanites. You remember, the ones we recovered from the Scion ships? Shisei infected some Hive ships with them and they led us to you. Even now they are right here and active. They allowed me to link up to your signal. And we are not alone. A whole fleet of Rasenzoku ships came with us.'

Sandrielle's mind momentarily forgot the pain that wracked what remained of her physical nervous system. Something else had just taken over. Something almost like hope. 'If that is the truth then you can give me control of the nanites. I know how they work.'

'Of course. Do you want that Sandrielle? You can use that control to encode your retrieval sequence into the transmit buffer of this system. We have a clone ready in Keram's hidden ship. All you need to do is to take control and encode that sequence.' The voice which sounded like Sylera said.

Sandrielle understood the game now. Not very subtle or resourceful. 'You say those nanites are all over this ship here?' She asked back.

'Yes. They have replicated through all the systems, and even the people on board to find your biometric signature.' the Sylera voice replied.

That would of course have to be a lie Sandrielle decided. If it was, then the Hive knew way too much about Awakened Industries. That thought worried her. There would be one way to find out of course. Sandrielle decided to counter a crude attempt at manipulation with an equally crude bluff. It was all a stupid game anyway. 'Of course. I understand. Give me control over the nanites and I'll do it. Just get me out of here.'

The signal-feed of a purpose-driven multitude assaulted her brain with a flood of impulses that was even more overwhelming than the pain she had endured. A part of her mind that remained barely aware under the barrage of information decided that this was indeed a very intricate simulation. Just to indulge it she struggled to filter, compartmentalize and attune as fast as her neural implants and mental capacity allowed her to. 

When she had the overview she desired, she began to search the main infomorph buffer to look for traces left by the encoded minds of other capsuleers. Sylera seemed real enough when she located that one. Sandrielle wondered how far they could take this simulation. They would not get her retrieval sequence, she was determined to keep that to herself, but if they wanted to have her play mind games, she would play along, the Gallente capsuleer decided grimly.

Sandrielle found the imprint of the capsuleer at the helm of this ship, and to her surprise she could track down it's pattern through the infestation that afflicted the systems of the supercarrier. She gave up the part of her mental wall that was built of rage. She would need that for her next move.


The cynosural field off the enemy ship's bow flickered, expanded and threw energy flares into space. In the afterglow, the heavy-set shapes of dreadnoughts materialized above the embattled Hive Nyx. A carrier squadron followed with the next flare. A swarm of fightercraft immediately sallied forth from those Hive carriers, and the immense turrets of the dreadnoughts laboriously turned to align with their intended targets.

The Rasenzoku attackers had become hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered within mere moments.

'That's a full enemy capital fleet. We must disengage before they jump through even more!' Cedrien urged across the command channel. 'We must activate the return beacons as long as we are not pinned down.'

'And leave the subcapital ships to die? No, we are committed.' The Intaki commander's tone allowed no contradiction. 'Captain Roucellis, you lead us here and we supported your move, but now this is a fleet of the Rasen Zoku dedicated to destroy the enemy.'  Tenshin Noy said with grim resolve.

Strike fleet command, what is your status?' he inquired across command broadcast.

'We are standing by for escalation.' a previously silent Rasenzoku commander reported in.

'Light them up.' Tenshin Noy ordered. The two Rasenzoku Archon carriers redirected full capacity to their repair systems and each activated a cynosural field generator to provide jump beacons for their own reinforcements.

'Cedrien, what the fuck are they doing?!' Keram transmitted on their private channel.

'The fleet commander just ordered more capitals to jump in.' Cedrien replied stoically 'He's made it pretty clear that this is their fleet now.'

'Well, screw that! He gave me command of this bomber wing and I'm gonna bail. We wont last long in this.' the Amarrian said and broadcast the appropriate orders to the stealth bomber squadrons which had become severely decimated already.

'Affirmative.' Cedrien agreed. 'Set up for a bombing run. We should at least get their support off the field if we want any chance at all of surviving this.' On his tactical sensors he registered the remainder of Keram's force warping off. Cedrien tuned out the angry questions of Rasenzoku subcommanders about the actions of the bomber wing. He had more pressing problems now that eight enemy dreadnoughts had locked their blaster batteries on to him and prepared to fire.

His next mental command for the carrier's defense systems was lost in a sudden jumble of impulses and warped mental projections when an electromagnetic surge washed over his ship and all the others engaged in this embittered confrontation.

Cedrien tried to come to his senses and regain control of the ship as quickly as he could. His mind reeled with the aftereffect of what must have been an ECM burst from the supercarrier. Through the haze of disorientation he noticed a new friendly ship on his targeting overview. Strangely enough it occupied the exact position of the enemy Nyx. Cedrien felt relieved when he recognized the commanding capsuleer's transmission code. What a good thing that Sandrielle flew that Nyx.

The impossibility of that sensor reading struck him just as the Rasenzoku capital ships appeared all around him in a blaze of cynosural flares.

Inexplicably deprived of their own jump beacon, now the Hive fleet was the outnumbered force. 

The battle was rejoined with new ferocity as the dreadnoughts of both sides unleashed a storm of destruction that swallowed the light of the distant sun with it's blaze.

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