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.

30 Jan 2012

11 - Turning the Tide - Part 1

Classified Document – Ministry of Internal Order
Reference Number: 113-CC1437
Subject: Sylera Aulithe

For the eyes of the commanding Praetor only.

Honoured Praetor

I hereby inform you that we have succeeded in dispelling any doubts that the Aulithe family had about the fate of their daughter. A group of previously apprehended Minmatar terrorists have been implicated as the guilty parties in her alleged death. All of them have submitted the according confessions when promised a quick and painless execution. The sentence was carried out in the presence of the family to their satisfaction.

It shames me to report, that our efforts to capture the missing capsuleer herself were so-far fruitless. Our last attempt to seize her in Defsunun was a failure, as you know from report 113-CC1435. The Caldari trader she had contacted has relocated his office to Minmatar space and Kaalakiota corporation refuses extradition of corporate personnel except if proof is provided that general treaties between the Empire and the Caldari State have been violated.

We are, however, still investigating the lead provided by the sole survivor of the commando team we had dispatched. It appears that her accomplices are members of an unaffiliated capsuleer corporation called 'Awakened Industries'. You will find the records we could obtain about those individuals enclosed with this report. Allow me to mention here, that this is a group comprised of dangerous criminals and renegades, including the excommunicated traitor Keram Themas.

Unfortunately, it seems that this godless rabble are hiding in uncharted regions commonly referred to as 'Wormhole Space'. Considering the difficulty of finding and navigating those systems, I therefore most humbly request your permission to hire a group of mercenaries familiar with such territory.

The advantage of doing so is twofold: On one side, we thereby acquire the service of operatives with the necessary experience, on the other side we maintain our distance and guarantee plausible deniability of our involvement.

I remain in expectation of your reply.

Yours in service to God and the Empress

Lictor Curiatus Arzad Kel-Udar


Cedrien looked over the new recruits assembled before him. There were hundreds of them, but despite their numbers, the assembly seemed insignificantly small on the vast expanse of the carrier's flight deck. The Gallente commander noted, not without irony, that he never achieved the rank required to command a ship like this during the military career that got cut short by the moral choices he made. Now that he was an independent capsuleer in a region of space where such principles were meaningless, he would become the living core of this massive vessel.

Even with a capsuleer pilot, this Thanatos-class carrier was in need of a large crew and additional pilots to fly it's wings of fighters. The recruitment of suitable crew members had taken almost as long as the construction of the ship itself. Not many people were prepared to choose a life on this most isolated frontier. Those who would leave behind their familiar worlds were often uprooted individuals from difficult backgrounds: Fugitive criminals, escaped slaves, deserters from military ranks, failed colonists and the odd adventurer who actively looked for the challenge of settling wormhole space. Judicious security screening was of prime importance, but allowances had to be made. Otherwise one would never find enough crew-members to supplement the existing personnel up to a number necessary for the operation of a capital ship that size

Cedrien took a deep breath after the introductory speech he had just given to the assembly. He had kept it brief and to the point. 'With this I want to welcome you aboard your new ship, the Euryale.' he added as a closing statement to his presentation. ' Any questions?' He paused and looked over the rows of people before him. No response came. Obviously he had made himself clear and every single man and woman present understood what they had signed on for. 'Good. Please refer to your section leaders for assignment of quarters. Dismissed.'

He walked off the podium while everyone dispersed and approached the group of his assigned officers. Most of them were former Federal Navy personnel like him. He had chosen his most trusted and long-serving crew member – Sitalaerd - as his first officer and bridge commander. The older man still saluted him with the habitual military reflex of a veteran soldier, despite the fact, that Cedrien held no official rank here and had by now even stopped wearing his old Federal Navy uniform. The group of new officers followed the example of the old hand and saluted too.

'Do you think you will get them into shape for running this carrier together with me?' Cedrien addressed Sitalaerd

The other man scratched his chin, covered in grey stubbles, with slight skepticism. 'Many of them are not familiar with this particular class of ship, but they all have served on Gallente ships.' He gestured at a heavyset Mannar man beside him whom he had picked as his second in command. 'Corierre here has served on a Thanatos-class carrier before.'

The round faced Mannar nodded his clean-shaved head. 'Yes sir, for three years actually.' he specified, speaking Gallente with a heavy accent.

'Good, we will need your experience.' Cedrien sounded satisfied. In fact he was relieved, since he himself had only flown training simulations fed into the neural interface of his capsule 'We shall take her out on a shakedown voyage to some Sleeper ruins tomorrow. Something unspectacular to give the fighter pilots some training.' he nodded slightly at the gaunt faced woman who was designated as leader of the fighter wings. 'Considering the amount of traffic we get in here, there will probably not be much else but Sleepers to fight for some time. That should give everyone enough possibility to get familiar with the operation of this ship.'

'We have quite a few experienced fighter pilots.' the wing commander assured him.

'I will conduct a full briefing of the command crew later today.' Sitalaerd added.

Cedrien nodded affirmatively, dismissing the officers, and prepared to leave for a last test of the finished capsule control system. It had been the final installation on the ship, and the most crucial one for it's operation.


The slender hull of the Sei'r was slowly orbiting the undulating passage of a wormhole under the cover of a cloaking field. Nobody had ever set up an outpost in this apocalyptic ruin of a solar system they occupied. Local space was dominated by the immense gravity well of a black hole that slowly stripped the matter off a feeble orange sun. The few remaining planets which had not been torn apart by the pull of the collapsed star had become molten infernos or tempestuous plasma furnaces under the influence of wrenching tidal forces.

The passage they were watching lead to an equally deserted region that had looked like a dead-end when they originally scanned it. Still, they maintained surveillance here on this outlying position. Robotic probes skimmed along the edges of the black hole's relentless pull to look out for potentially opening wormhole conduits.

Idle hours of covert surveillance had made Alira leave her pod and join her command crew on the bridge. It was the graveyard shift now, and the Sebiestor capsuleer was engaged in a game of Kalanbha with the bridge's only other occupant, her engineering chief Hakaar.

Like many ancient Minmatar games, Kalanbha was simple in it's concept, yet it required complex strategy. Originally designed to be played with pebbles and small grooves made in soft ground, one row for each player, it was included as a standard recreational program into holographic projectors and neocoms these days.

Hakaar displayed his strikingly white teeth in a broad grin, and shook his heavy mane of thick braids with mocking amusement at his captain's last move. 'You think you're smart, huh?' he taunted while he displaced a number of gleaming virtual pebbles from his row into Alira's.

His capsuleer commander frowned in concentration and pursed her lips, obviously at a loss to predict what the Brutor engineer's intended strategy could be. Alira was still deliberating about a suitable reaction when the instrument panel at the main command console lit up indicating a sensor echo. Both were on their feet immediately. With a few quick command entries Hakaar reconfigured a part of the main bridge window to magnify the wormhole they were orbiting at a significant distance. The fluctuating portal began to oscillate with sub-atomic agitation. A luminous wave washed over it's edges as the passage of mass caused a burst of photons.

Alira engaged the high resolution sensors and manually primed the ship's defensive systems. Without the neural interface of her capsule, the processes seemed painfully slow to her, but at this instance speed was not an issue. They were safely situated scores of kilometers off the wormhole and under the protection of their cloak.

She checked the sensor readouts. Only a small amount of mass displacement was indicated. Whatever had come through could not be too threatening. Slowly the sharp edged, vertical winged shape of a Caldari covert ops frigate materialized on the magnified image of the viewscreen. The small ship maintained it's position, now that it's material composition had attuned itself to the new location, and started to launch a small swarm of probes.

'I have recalled our probes' Hakaar announced 'No need for them to know that there's anyone here.' A smirk appeared on his dark, broad-featured face. 'Probably just another lone scout looking for lucrative mining sites.' he assumed.

'Then why is he not cloaking again?' Alira replied with suspicion in her voice.

'Maybe he feels safe? There's nothing here apart from enough Sleeper constructs to keep a whole fleet of ships busy.' the chief engineer followed his statement with a shrug. 'Nobody wants to settle black hole systems.'

The following burst of warning lights on the sensor panel dispelled Hakaar's lax attitude in an instant. Alira shook her head and a feeling of foreboding crept up on her. 'This is no lone scout. Whatever is coming through now has enough mass to almost collapse this entrance. I better get into my pod.' The powerful flare of the wormhole looming behind the small frigate on the viewscreen illuminated the bridge while she ran for the exit.

Hakaar's eyes widened as he witnessed how several ships materialized at once. He was forced to extend the viewscreen's size to accommodate the spread-out formation of strategic cruiser hulls. They were followed by the massive bulk of two battleships that looked similar to standard Amarr designs, but showed ominous differences from the familiar Armageddon-class hulls. A flight of Minmatar-built interdictor destroyers shot ahead of the main body a moment later. The final arrival did not need magnification to be clearly visible through the wide bridge windows.
The Brutor engineer slowly mouthed a silent curse as a massive shadow oozed over the assembled fleet of smaller ships and the wormhole tunnel contracted under the strain of the mass passing through it.

'Forward recon to base! Do you copy?' Alira called on the combat channel as soon as she was ensconced in her capsule and had full control over the ship's systems. Slowly the Sei'r was aligning towards the wormhole that lead to their home. Nervously she regarded the threatening fleet through the virtual eyes the ship's sensors lent her.

'This is base. What's the situation?' came the reply from the comm station back at their main tower.

'Get me captain Roucellis on the line right now.' Alira urged

Tense minutes passed. She accelerated the ship into warp just at the moment when that newly arrived combat fleet began to fan out, probably in preparation to occupy strategic locations in this system.

'Alira?' Cedrien's voice finally responded on the channel.

'Cedrien, we have a problem. A whole combat force just appeared in this system.' She paused while checking the short range scanner to see whether they were closing in on the exit she was heading for. 'A whole wing of Legion and Proteus cruisers fit for combat, Bhaalgorn battleships, Sabre interdictors.' Her ship came out of warp and she held that position. Just close enough to the wormhole exit to pass through at any moment but far away enough to maintain her cloak.
'And they have an Archon carrier.' she added.

'Could you get their designation?' Cedrien inquired.

'I got a corp registry ticker from the initial scan.' Alira sent the data through the fluid-router link.

Cedrien cursed under his breath. 'The Janissary Order?! That's not just a combat force. That is an invasion fleet!.'

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