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 Nov 2011

Equal Measure - Part 4

Alira woke up to a feeling of panic. Her body reflexively wanted to get up from it's prone position but her forehead slammed into something hard and metallic sending her barely regained consciousness reeling again. Dazed she tried to determine where she was. Utter darkness surrounded her. She explored it with her hands and felt them brush against cool metal surfaces all around. Her fingers traced the objects chafing her back. 'Water containers. At least I wont die from thirst' She almost chuckled but her throat was still sore and swollen. Her jaw felt like something had hit her there too. 'How long have I been lying here' She examined her various pockets and found that they had all been emptied. She felt along along the lining of her utility jacket. Satisfied she noticed a slight resilience as she kneaded a seam. 'They haven't found the emergency comm circuit braided into my jacket. They must have been in a hurry' She pressed the button on her collar 'Operations control, do you copy?'

'This is OC ... is that you Alira?' Despite the low quality of the receiver she recognized the voice of Shisei Kanioota, the Achura scientist who ran most of the complex research and development projects they were conducting in the wormhole system. 'If Shisei is in ops then only a few hours could have passed, at most ' Alira concluded. 'I am stuck in a crate here. Most likely hangar two, bay seven, that was my last known location' she responded.

'Most surprising' Shisei answered with a calmness contradicting the stated sentiment. 'Your ship was registered as leaving the station shield'

A sensation like burning heat and freezing cold blended into one washed over her, followed by intense anger. 'Those sons of mangy slaver dogs stole my ship!' she slammed her fist into the side of the cargo crate confining her. 'I'm telling you, home in on my signal and get me out of this box!' she snarled.


'They could not have gotten very far' Alira rasped, her voice still not quite recovered 'To make all the subsystems of the Loki work together, you need a capsuleer pilot and a crew trained to use that kind of technology' She paced briskly around the command platform in the operations centre. 'I also made so many custom modifications to the ship that you'd need yet another technical manual to understand those'

'Would you please sit down Alira. We need to focus, and your agitation is not conducive to the process.' Shisei requested with his usual composure. Alira stopped herself but the habitual stoicism of the middle-aged Achura man annoyed her even more right now. 'It's not your half billion ISK flying around out there in the hands of ship thieves.' She stabbed a finger at the wide viewport and spat the last words with such a hateful emphasis as if she was talking about rape.

'Get a grip on yourself Alira!' Cedrien snapped with a commanding voice. 'As you said yourself, they could not have gotten far.' he continued with a more lenient tone while he stepped away from a holographic readout. He put his hands comfortingly on Alira's shoulders and bent slightly at the knees to level his gaze with hers. 'I need you here, allright'

Alira's inner turmoil dissolved in the deep pools of those almost indigo eyes. She nodded slowly 'I'm here, I'm allright'

Cedrien straightened and nodded. 'Good' he returned to the command console, all-business again 'Keram is already out there probing the system for them. They are moving, but he has a signal. It wont be long until he has pinpointed them'

'Leave it to a predator to track the prey' Shisei added with an inscrutable smile.

'Shisei, I want you to mobilize your crew and prepare your Falcon. Go for a full Ladar jammer configuration.' Cedrien ordered 'I will take my Proteus, and you ...' he turned to Alira with an almost boyish smile '... you will have the privilege of catching your own ship'


Alira had always loved the exhilaration of flying the Stiletto. No other ship she was proficient in responded in such an immediate way. Without any crew necessary, the small, fragile hull was like an extension of her body. The way it reacted to the impulses of her nervous system made it perform like a skilled acrobat under the guidance of her quick mind, now also spurred on by the determination of catching those who stole her most valuable vessel.

'I have visual' Keram announced via commlink. 'I am practically sitting on top of them' predatory amusement was apparent in his tone. 'Seems they haven't figured out how to make the cloak work on your ship'

'I am in warp to your position' Alira announced.

'I pray that your flimsy toy doesn't fall apart before you land' Keram quipped.

'Oh, go to whatever hell you Amarr believe in' Alira was in no mood to ignore him this time, as space washed out around her and she felt the sensation of taking a deep plunge twisting at her innards.

'Comms discipline people' Cedrien's voice demanded 'This is not a pleasure cruise. And remember, we want to board them, not destroy them. Be prepared to take fire though'

'Unlikely' Shisei stated matter-of-factly 'I am in position, ready to decloak and jam them. They won't be able to achieve target lock before long'

The small team of pilots had quickly fallen back on their extensive experience at flying together. Raiding ancient structures protected by the enigmatic and dangerous Sleeper Drones, as well as engaging capsuleer intruders, had forged them them all into a well coordinated fighting group in a way that superseded all personal differences.

The visual representation of surrounding space, created by the capsule-system's translation of sensor input, came into focus again as Alira decelerated out of warp. The hijackers had chosen the edge of the accretion disk as their temporary hiding place, probably hoping for the intensely radiating matter to foil attempts at finding them with scanner probes. A storm of superheated particles from the outer shell of the bloated red giant main star raged past them on it's spiral path into the deep gravity well of the nearby white dwarf.

Immediately she willed her ship into a tight orbit around the elongated form of the Loki's hull. What would otherwise have been an intense stare sent signals from her visual cortex to the targeting systems. She had the vessel locked in a mere second or two. An attempt of her opponents to achieve target lock themselves became a chirping sound in her mind. However, at the edge of her simulated field of vision Alira could see the angular shape of Shisei's Falcon emerge from obscurity and begin it's onslaught against the advanced sensor systems of the Loki.

Her hands twitched only slightly in her pod as a residual reaction to her mental grasping action while she disrupted the coalescing modulation of a warp field around the target. The glistening hull of Keram's Anathema now also decloaked at close range and added it's own warp-disruption effect for good measure. Finally Cedrien's Proteus shot out of warp. The organic looking Gallente ship cast the strongly amplified energy strands of a stasis web around the Loki, Alira followed with her own.

Their execution was flawlessly effective. Their quarry was virtually immobilized, unable to escape into warp, and sat there with overloaded targeting sensors, unable to attack.

'To the crew commandeering the Sei'R. Power down your shields and prepare to be boarded' Cedrien called out on an open frequency.

Halis Ettin replied with a mocking voice 'Or else? I doubt you will shoot at one of your own ships. I guess we are at a stalemate here and should start nego ...' he was cut off by agitated shouts in the background.

'Guess again' Alira interrupted grimly. 'I just powered down the shields by remote command.'
She willed another sequence of encrypted commands to transmit to her stolen ship 'Also you will find that all doors and airlocks have been overridden and locked. You are confined wherever you are on my ship!' Unimpaired by her physical condition, the electronic representation of her voice tore through the bridge of the Sei'R with unrestrained rage as she shouted the last words.

'You should know, Matari boy.' Keram added smugly 'You lay hands on a Minmatar woman's ship at your own peril'


Sandrielle looked down at the bound and broken remnant of what once was the defiant Sebiestor agent Halis Ettin working on one of the most innovative and sinister projects the Minmatar Republic had ever sanctioned. There were no obvious wounds or signs of abuse. She was above such crude methods to break a subject, but she always got her results. Interestingly enough, Alira wanted to be present at the interrogation. Sandrielle had made a mental note to not underestimate the capacity for vengeful callousness in the other woman ever again. 'Isn't it ironic' she mused at her - by now barely responsive - subject. 'You almost had us confounded. Only a bit longer and your nanites would have destroyed the brain of your captive capsuleer. We actually got lucky that we triggered the dysfunctional emergency-eject of the pod through an accident, and retained her alive.' she looked coldly amused by the memory.
'What do you suggest we do with our captives Alira?'

'Tug their ship to the exit and let the pirates sort them out' Alira responded dispassionately. 'That wormhole should collapse soon after and they wont be able to bother us again'

'You pass harsh sentence on one of your own, Alira' Sandrielle observed.

Alira spat 'He is not one of my own. Using Sansha Kuvakei's abominations to turn captive capsuleers into mindless beings forced to run ships? Forcefully drafting young technicians into unethical projects that will haunt them for the rest of their lives? The Amarr might have enslaved us and abused us, but that does not give us the right to do this to one of them.' She turned to leave 'He called it repayment in equal measure' She stopped on her way out and looked over her shoulder with a stony face. 'At least we will give them a chance they never gave that Amarr woman ... they will be able to meet the pirates out there with an intact mind and the freedom to choose their actions.'


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