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.

17 Nov 2011

Equal Measure - Part 3

Frustrated Alira kicked an empty can of Quafe across the Liberty Sun's pod chamber and spat a string of curses to follow it in it's path. The instruments controlling the pod's functions had shown signs of deterioration, but now they were completely dysfunctional. She was locked out of the system.

It was late, or rather, it was early on the next day. Rows of Quafe cans all around were a silent testimony to feverishly worked hours, and the body of Sylera Aulithe, floating in her pod like a bizarre sculpture, was a reminder of failure despite all the effort.
Alira had kept working long after she had sent her crew to sleep, and now the realization sunk in that she had promised too much. She sat down on an equipment crate and rested her face in her palms. 'How am I supposed to find Sansha technology anyway? I don't even know how that differs from any other commonly used standard.' She sighed deeply and inwardly cursed herself for getting in over her head in an attempt to look good for Cedrien. Now she would look even worse.

'I hope you are not crying over an Amarr capsuleer' a smooth voice with a clear ironic inflection halted Alira's threatening descent into self-loathing.

She started and looked up. Sandrielle Jaunes. She would even have preferred the company of Keram at this moment.

Alira was plagued by severe jealousy when it came to Sandrielle. That Gallente woman was everything she wasn't: Feminine, mysteriously beautiful, professionally detached and always in perfect control of herself. She had the looks and aura of a holoreel heroine in a Gallente spy thriller. Worst of all she, was one of the few people in this odd band of wormhole settlers that Cedrien looked up to. Sometimes the way he would look at her bordered on admiration.

Alira straightened herself and stood up. 'No ... I was ... just thinking'
Sandrielle looked at her with those dark almond-shaped eyes as if she could read her mind.
It made Alira nervous and she turned away to point at the diverse instrument-consoles surrounding the pod. 'The command-and-control system has completely collapsed, all we have now is rudimentary life support readouts and emergency systems'

Sandrielle walked over to the disassembled instrument-consoles with casual grace and ran her gaze over the assortment of diagnostic units, backup controllers and secondary devices which had been connected to the array in an attempt to salvage it. 'It looks like you and your team did the best you could.' She rested two fingers against her cheek and pursed her lips. 'It surprises me that you didn't succeed'

'Was that a compliment or a veiled insult?' Alira never knew with this woman. She cast a droopy look at the jumble of cables, connectors and devices, resting her chin on her hands, her elbows on her knees. 'I don't know what it was ... we were getting somewhere but the whole system broke down for no reason'

'Oh ... ' Sandrielle breathed and turned around with a sphinx-smile. Alira almost rolled her eyes. She knew that expression. The next thing would be some cryptic statement. 'There is always a reason for every thing that happens' Sandrielle pointed out. Quite unnecessarily in Alira's opinion.

Alira got up and stretched her slim body. 'How long since you slept?' Sandrielle asked with more of a professional interest than personal concern.

'No idea ... too long' Alira replied

'Why don't you take some rest. Cedrien filled me in on the whole background. I will take over from here.' Sandrielle suggested 'You are not the only one with a good tech crew' she added.

'Why did she have to mention him?' Alira stopped herself from retorting with a defensive challenge. Did she just hear a certain element of personal concern behind the other woman's aloofness?

Sandrielle looked at Alira with the warmest smile the tired Sebiestor woman had ever seen on her. 'Alira, I mean it. You did your best. Find some sleep. Come back to it with a rested mind. We'll keep up the good work.'

Her exhaustion tugged successfully at Alira's resolve to defy that woman she could never really bring herself to trust. Sandrielle had appeared at their doorstep one day after a career as 'Diplomat' for an Alliance of dangerously sociopathic capsuleers living in the deepest recesses of the lawless Tenerifis region, on the fringes of the galaxy. Many of the settlers had accepted her for her skill and smarts. Keram, who usually managed to find out a lot of dirty secrets about anyone he takes the time to investigate, hardly found a shred of information about her at all. Alira remembered what he said back then 'Her record is way too clean for someone who lived in Nullsec space. Something's not right about her' It was one of the few times Alira agreed with the Amarrian.

'I guess you are right' Alira eventually replied. Dissatisfied she left the pod chamber that looked like the site of a lost battle fought with technology, sweat, smarts and semi-legal stimulants.


Alira walked down the corridor of gunmetal-gray industrial construction modules which lead to the docking ring. She had never liked the feel of the Caldari tower. Others might sleep in the station, but she preferred her ship. 'There are just too many questions' She thought as she slammed the airlock release with the last remnant of tired frustration. '... and one person who could provide answers' she realized.

Shortly after, her ship engaged with the docking system of the cargo-hangar floating a short distance off the main control tower.


Alira passed the rows of bunks in the emergency quarters they had set up for the crew of the Liberty Sun. Most of them were asleep. She saw mainly Sebiestor, a Brutor or two.
'A crew more fitted for a science vessel than for a deep-space transport' it crossed her mind.
She approached a small group of battered crewmen sitting around a small heat emitter drinking caffeinated breakfast stew from cups. 'Where can I find Halis Ettin?' she asked once she arrived at the small circle. 'Right over there, third bunk on the left' A swarthy Brutor boy told her 'The crew on this flight are generally quite young' she mentally registered. For a moment she fancied she was thinking like Cedrien, analyzing the situation, or even like Sandrielle, paying attention to every little detail. '

'Halis?' she whispered when she found him lying in a fold-up bunk bed. The blue-haired Sebiestor opened his eyes momentarily and looked at her, following with a tired smile. 'Alira Tjalgard ... you've come to wake me up?' he asked in an almost flirtatious tone.

'I am sorry' she knelt beside the bunk, feeling slightly embarrassed. 'I ... I just had a few questions that crossed my mind'

'I see' Halis replied. He swung his legs out of the bunk and stretched. Alira could not help but notice the play of taut muscles in his legs and arms. 'How long since I saw someone from my tribe' she inwardly wondered.

'Of course you have analyzed our vessel, and of course your Gallente captain has come to some conclusions by now.' Halis stated with an encouraging tone.

Alira unconsciously latched on to his direct opening 'Yes, we can't figure out how that Amarr loyalist capsuleer would voluntarily work on your ship, and why the pod's control systems have fallen to pieces like they did'

Only a second later her tired mind registered that she probably should not have said this.
The realization came too late.

Halis' hand shot out to her throat and cut off the inevitable scream at her larynx. The trauma to her windpipe deprived her brain of oxygen within moments as she choked for air. A blow that she did not even see coming in her stunned state sent her off into the void of unconsciousness.

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