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

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: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

3 Nov 2011

Dreams of the Past - Part 1

Smoke. Biting, acrid fumes that hurt the lungs with every breath. His respiratory tract reacts with violent rejection. It makes him retch and cough. His eyes are filled with tears from the burning sensation of toxic vapors. The flare of plasma fire all around him. A cacophony of screams, shouted orders, the crackling of materials under the consuming rage of the conflagration and the wail of the evacuation alarm. Somewhere in this wall of noise, a voice begins to demand his attention. 'Lieutenant! Lieutenant?' He raises his head and tries to heave his bruised body from the ground. His tear-distorted vision tells him that someone is crouching there in front of him. A uniform, an outstretched hand. He grabs it, the other one begins to pull him up. 'Lieutenant we have to get out of …' Another explosion. A piece of bulkhead is hurled past, and then he is showered with blood. The young ensign's hand still grabs his with disembodied strength. The arm is still there, but the torso that it was once attached to is gone. Ripped away by the flung piece of metal plating. Panic grips him and he tries to shake free of the dead hand's grasp.

Cedrien woke up shaking and drenched in sweat. Only gradually the traumatizing impressions that had haunted his sleep faded away, dispelled by the chirping of his comm system. Groggily he crept out of his sleeping compartment and hit the accept when he reached his desk.

'Captain Roucellis, our away-mission team has returned.' came the announcement of the station operator on duty. Cedrien just groaned in response. 'Captain are you all right?'

'I'm fine Sitalaerd. Just a bad dream. I'll be there in a few minutes.' he replied. 'Good man.' Cedrien tought 'Always concerned about me.' While he stepped into the shower, he did his best to push away the memory of the ensign who got cut in half by the piece of bulkhead.


Cedrien was still preoccupied with gloomy memories when he met Sandrielle in his briefing room. His mind kept coming back to the dream while he looked over the transport manifest and listened to her elaborating on the events of the last days.

'My contacts in Jita have confirmed that he has met with a long-standing business associate of his. I am positive that he has done so to acquire the necessary funding for the transaction.' Sandrielle interrupted her calm report on their latest venture. 'Cedrien, are you listening?'

'What? Of course. So you think he has told him everything?' Cedrien refocused his concentration on the matters at hand. Straightening himself in his seat he continued 'Don't you think that poses a risk? After all, his partner could leak the information?'

Sandrielle dismissed his concerns with a gesture. 'Those men are easily manipulated by fear and greed. He also agreed to the transaction already. If he'd blow the whistle now he would be in more trouble than we are. The fact that Aluvetti was seen together with Sylera by the Amarr authorities is practically a death sentence for him if he would report to them. His partner is now in just as deep as he is'

Cedrien frowned 'A risky gamble. What if he is more afraid of them than of us?'

Sandrielle shook her head 'We are an unknown threat to him which he can not fully quantify. He knows how to avoid the Amarr. Aluvetti has already taken steps to relocate his office to a system in Metropolis region. It fits with his psychological profile to take that course of action. If we play this right, this man is completely ours, and we will have ourselves a very useful sales-point in Empire Space.' she concluded and took a long look at Cedrien. 'You are barely present. What is the matter with you?''

The unexpectedly compassionate tone of her voice caught him off-guard, but he immediately dismissed the question. 'It is nothing, I am just tired.'

Sandrielle smiled emphatically. 'You have never been a good liar, and I on the other hand am way too proficient at spotting a lie.' she stated directly. 'What is bothering you? It can't be the business arrangement.'

Cedrien grimaced slightly. He disliked admitting to personal troubles in front of his crew, but it was difficult hiding anything from Sandrielle. 'I keep having dreams about a disastrous engagement. We lost many people that day.' he finally gave in. 'I wonder what happened to those who survived, to my old crew …' he let the sentence trail off.

To his surprise Sandrille continued her line of consoling familiarity. 'Maybe you should try and catch up with some of them. Alira found a route leading to Gallente space yesterday. I am certain that it is still open.' she inclined her head and smiled at him. The usual cold intensity had left her features. All that Cedrien could see in her face was the sympathy of a friend. 'Is she sincere, or is that one of her mind-games?' he wondered as he looked at her. He noticed that her Luminairian accent had become obvious. 'She is not controlling her voice, she must really mean it.' he observed inwardly.

'Don't worry, we can keep things in order around here for a few days without you captain' Sandrielle emphasized the last word in a playfully mocking way. 'By the time we find you a route back, you should have had enough time to meet up with some old friends.' she added while she leaned forward and put one of her hands on his.

Her touch felt comforting and encouraging. 'You are sure about this?' Cedrien asked with a worried frown. The woman across from him just looked into his eyes and nodded slowly while squeezing his hand slightly to reassure him nonverbally.

He slid his hand from under hers and straightened his uniform while he got up. 'All right then. I'll take my Comet frigate out.' he powered down the holographic console on the desk. 'But don't let the others know … make something up.'

Sandrielle smiled at him conspiratorially 'They will never know.' she assured him 'Enjoy your shore leave captain.' she added.

'I have seen so many sides of that woman, and still she manages to surprise me.' Cedrien realized to himself as he left for his quarters to gather the few necessities he would take on his trip.


Only several hours later, Cedrien sat on a sculpted wooden bench overlooking the idyllic bay area outside Caulandris-city on Ainaille V. It was not his place of birth, but of all planets in his home region of Sinq Laison he had always enjoyed this world the most. He closed his eyes and savoured the warm rays of the golden sun, the soft caress of the light breeze fragrant with wildflowers and the freshness of the sea. He listened to the surf from down at the shore where the rocks had been molded into smooth shapes by the waves. In the rustling foliage behind him he could hear the agitated chirping and fluttering of the small, colourful flying reptiles as they were hunting for buzzing dragonflies. A long-forgotten smile tugged at the corners of his mouth when he heard footsteps approach on the gravel path leading to this vantage point.

'Cedrien Roucellis, it really is you! I could hardly believe it when I got your message.' The smooth, familiar contralto of his former academy companion sent a slight surge of warmth through him. Her voice had always done that to him, he remembered. Slowly he opened his eyes when the woman obscured the sun. The years had been kind to her. That mixed ancestry of Vherokior and Intaki had always lent her a youthful, exotic beauty. Now that she had matured, her well coiffed shining-black hair framed a face characterized by high cheekbones, eyes of a rich brown like dark wood and smooth skin of bronze colour.

'The beard fits you well.' she said, and her smile drew slight creases along the corners of her small mouth and the outline of her almond-shaped eyes, a sign of her age after all. 'At least you are finally old enough to grow one.' she added and laughed.

He joined in her laughter and got up, stretching his hand out in greeting. 'It is good to see you again Nevire.'

She took his hand and, to his surprise, pulled him close into an embrace. 'It is good to see you again too, Cedrien.'

Memories of their old love flooded his mind as her arms and that familiar fragrance or hers wrapped around him. Insecurely he returned the gesture, but soon his hug became firmer as he felt her body under his arms.

1 comment:

  1. I guess, you outed me, I commented that your characters seem very controlled. Now in an action environment, this is of course required. It just made me wonder about their weaknesses and how they deal with it, how will they overcome their flaws to be the "heroes" that we make them to be. I really like this story, it sets up a backstory (the combat), an old love and a new one and complicated one for Cedrien. And then it drives the plot with the trader forward. Great stuff, thanks