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.

19 Nov 2011

Equal Measure - Part 1


I tried to come up with names which I thought would fit the different races. Here's a short sort-of phonetic English pronounciation guide for the dramatis personae:

Alira Tjalgard: AwLEErah CHAllguard
Cedrien Roucellis : SAYdreeun RUEsaylees
Keram Themas: KAYruhm THEYmuss
Halis Ettin: HUHlees AYttin
Dirgren Briguduttin: DEARgrehn BreegYOUdotin
Sandrielle Jaunes: SAWndrEEel JAWnes
Sylera Aulithe: SYlAIra AWleeTHAY
Shisei Kanioota: SHEsay KAWneeAWtah

'Space is silent. Humans - however - did not evolve in an environment of silence.
For us, orientation depends on sound as much as it does on vision, and to orient oneself in space is essential for a capsuleer. This is the reason why the neural interface of the capsule translates specific energy-waves into sound. Uncannily the right emissions from the outer space environment are selected to be conveyed to the nervous system in such a way, that the brain hears something, even though the eardrums remain untouched, immersed in capsule fluid.'

Alira was idly reminiscing about this introduction by one of her instructors from capsuleer training, when the passage of mass excited the gravitons forming the wormhole tunnel before her. The effect sent impulses to her brain creating the illusion of a swelling sound washing over her. Her brain reflexively sent the signal to open her eyes, and - although her eyelids remained closed - the sensors of her ship activated and fed information back to her. Light flickered along the rim of the undulating wormhole, but no ship became visible. Whoever had just come through remained unmoving and maintained the jump cloak.

Her body moved subtly inside it's pod while Alira brought the ship's systems online.
She felt the familiar tingle in her gut as the vessel accelerated. Cloaked as it was, it would not go very fast, but it would be sufficient to get within range to whatever came through the wormhole and at the same time get out of any immediately obvious jump trajectories the other one might choose. Willing her mind to convey speech through the neural interface, she engaged the intel channel to signal the other pilots dispersed throughout the wormhole system.

'Wormhole fire on alpha' she tersely reported.

'Copy that, it can't be one of ours' Alira would have identified the distinct Gallente accent of Cedrien, their chief officer, even if his name didn't flash before her mind's eye.

'I am on optimal, all systems standing by for decloak. As soon as he moves i'll have him pinned' Her awareness heightened, she was poised like a cat ready to pounce on unsuspecting prey. She knew that she had to be fast and time her reactions well, or else the intruder would slip away.

'Don't worry tribal princess, we'll be there to support you' A slight hint of an annoyed sneer momentarily appeared on Alira's features. Keram kept throwing those jabs at her. Despite being an excommunicated renegade, the Amarrian still retained a certain attitude of chauvinist superiority. He enjoyed provoking her. As usual she did not indulge him.

'Their phase alignment threshold is going to be reached in a few seconds. I'll time my decloaking to sync with theirs'

It must be a single ship.
Alira thought. The wormhole lead to an isolated system in low-security space of the Arida region. The pirates haunting such sectors hardly ever cared about wormholes. Chances are it would be a lone explorer. Maybe a forward-scout for a bigger party? It was late at night according to standard time. Most of their fellow wormhole settlers were fast asleep in their bunks back at one of the small stations they had painstakingly built in this isolated system. Only Keram, Cedrien and herself were on active duty. Hardly an effective fighting force, but enough to deal with small groups of inexperienced intruders.

Her mind signaled the ship to decloak, and the outlines of her Loki appeared in space as if emerging from a mirage. The other ship appeared at the same time ... it was a Prowler Class Minmatar deep-space transport.

Alira's body stirred in her pod while the neural interface translated the action of reaching out and grabbing something into an activation of her stasis web and warp scrambler.
A second later she spread her fingers and the artillery cannons on her ship reacted by swiveling and pointing themselves at the target.

'Please don't shoot. Mayday! Mayday! Please don't fire!' A panicked voice intruded on an emergency frequency.

Alira hesitated, not yet releasing the massive projectiles chambered in her cannons.
The other ship was obviously damaged. She could see breaches venting burning gases.
Many of the viewport lights were off or flickering.

'Warp on my position, but hold cloak' she relayed to her companions. 'This might be a trap, but it seems like those people are in trouble ... and then I don't mean from us.'

Switching to the emergency channel she replied to the Minmatar ship. 'This is Alira Tjalgard of the Sebiestor Tribe' she chose to emphasize her Minmatar background to put the other party at ease. The ship showed markings and signatures of the Republic Fleet 'You have intruded into a settled wormhole system, state your business'

Relief was clearly audible in the voice of the man on the transport ship 'Greetings Daughter of Matar. I am Halis Ettin of Sebiestor. Technician first class, Republic Transport Liberty Sun'
He sounded young and determined despite signs of adrenaline-related strain in his voice
'We have been waylaid by pirates. Most of our crew are dead or injured. Our capsuleer pilot has been rendered comatose by an odd feedback malfunction. Me and some other technicians managed to mount and activate a probe launcher we had in cargo. The pirates had all exit gates and stations watched, we needed a way out.'

Smart and resourceful under pressure. Alira thought. She liked the way this boy was thinking.

'Alira, you keep them where they are. Keram stay cloaked and ready for trouble. I will jump through to the other side and check out that system over there.' Cedrien ordered via the intel-channel.

'Copy' Alira replied and switched back to the emergency frequency 'Halis Ettin. Hold your position and power down your engines. We will confirm your story'

'Odd feedback malfunction' Keram taunted 'Did you Minmatar people still not work that glitch out of the neurolink'

Alira again ignored his provocation. 'Let's maintain comm discipline Keram' was her only answer. Keram chuckled 'Yes Ma'm'

The wormhole flared when Cedrien jumped through. The smooth lines of his Proteus hull became visible only for a second before he vanished down the spatial funnel.
'Looks like their story is true. I have two stations and three gates on scan over here. All are crawling with pirate vessels. No probes, though. Space around the wormhole is clear.' He reported after some time. 'I'm jumping back. Let's escort those guys back to our station before the pirates out here figure out where they went.'

'Which pirates are that?' Keram inquired.

'The Empire's Rejects, that's what their ship-beacons say at least' came Cedrien's answer just before the wormhole sent another energy burst when he passed back through.

'Aah the Rejects. I flew with them for some time. Don't worry. Uriel will not send his guys into a wormhole. He is too scared of the Sleepers after they lost a whole contingent in an attempted raid.'

Alira was grudgingly reminded, how useful is is to have ex-pirates on their side, even if they are obnoxious Amarrians like Keram. She weighed his statement. She knew the Rejects were a band of Amarr outcasts and heretics, second only to the Blood Raiders in size and danger. More pragmatists than fanatics, though. Keram's assessment seemed plausible.

'I am taking no chances Keram' Cedrien replied. 'You park your bomber here at the wormhole, Alira and me will take our guests to the listening post'
'Liberty Sun, align your ship to the following coordinates. Warp there on the shortest trajectory. Any deviation and you will be fired upon without further warning' he instructed the transport.
'Alira, I'll jump ahead to open the station shield for them. You follow them in warp, if they do anything suspicious, blow them apart.' Cedrien added on intel comms.


In time, the damaged transport was docked in the angular shadow of their Caldari-manufactured listening post tower. Alira and Cedrien walked through the badly damaged interiour of the ship, lead by Halis and a whipcord-thin Sebiestor girl who looked young enough to be Alira's daughter.

"Sorry, we had to take the long way around. Decks three through five are irradiated. They breached one of our cargo holds full of enriched uranium." Halis excused himself to Alira.

Like most Sebiestor he was of light build, only slightly bigger than Alira herself. Lean hard muscles stood out beneath his grimy and torn utility clothing with almost every movement.
He was not unattractive with his boyish tussle of blue-dyed hair, alert grey eyes and ready wry smile.

'How many casualties?' Cedrien asked while he sidestepped a spontaneous shower of sparks. His tone had the usual all-business military dryness. He even wore his old Federal Navy uniform, even though out here he neither held rank nor office besides the role assigned to him by their corporation.

'We undocked with a crew of twentyfive plus our capsuleer pilot.' Halis began 'Three got sucked out a breach. Seven succumbed to radiation. One got fried by a power conduit explosion.' He paused while climbing over a girder in a half collapsed part of the corridor. 'Several burns of various degrees, cuts, bruises, fractures ... Dirgren' he indicated the girl with a gesture 'me and three others are the only ones who came out of it more or less unharmed'.

'I didn't know the Republic Fleet directly employed capsuleer pilots in their ranks' Alira interjected.

'It's ... part of a new program' Halis explained. They had arrived at the blast doors leading to the pod chamber.

Dirgren entered the access code and the double layer of movable bulkheads slid apart with a metallic rumble. Amid a circle of instruments, cables, pipes and conduits rested the pilot's pod. Her body frozen in a rigid position of cramped contortion. The fair skin tone, flowing whitish-blond hair, sharp features and slender feminine form looked out of place on this Republic ship.

'I am especially surprised to see they employ Amarr capsuleers' Cedrien stated with a look demanding explanation directed at the Sebiestor technician.

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