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.

27 Aug 2012

OOC Entry 42 - Another story finished

So there it is, the final part of the story about Keram's ordeal at the hands of a Caldari corporate executive who - one can say in all fairness - became pretty insane with her desire for revenge and her loss of perspective.

My take on Caldari society is, that it could drive people to such desperate extremes. It is a society where achievement means everything, and loss is final. If you fall, there is nobody to pick you up, and all you once were turns to nothing.

That is the situation where Tomoe Sairinen finds herself in the story, and she channels all of that into torturing Keram for hours and hours until there is nothing left of him.

Kassina Vikkonen is her counterpoint in this. A woman with a single-track mind who will just do whatever it takes to get a job done. Even ally herself with the companion of the criminal she is actually hunting. She is just too sober and pragmatic to become crazy. She makes a bold move in this last episode, though, and future stories will tell how that works out for her.

After all, the last Caldari who had an encounter with Awakened Industries found himself in a rather unexpected situation.

Also, the shadowy threat of the Amarrian Ministry of Internal Order makes surfaces again in this last chapter. After all, they have not forgotten who has beaten back the mercenaries they sent, destroyed one of their research stations and killed every single person on it.

I have to say I like using the Amarr as villains. They just fit into the role so nicely: A powerful old Empire of people who spell truth with a 'T' and are ruled by decadent noble houses. Where you have slavery, mind-control drugs, a repressive society and an overall sense of self-righteousness at the foundation of it all.

Who could make a better villain.

On the other hand, I would like to write some stuff about evil Gallente too. Sure they are liberal and hedonistic and have great food and fancy architecture, but they are also crafty schemers and cruel enemies who devastate planets if you get ideas about independence. Not all is nice that is Gallente.

In any case. This most recent story will have a short epilogue which I very much hope to finish before I will be off on a two week vacation. There I will tie up a few lose ends and put in some character development I guess.

So all the bloodthirsty readers who just want to read about space battles and torture and brutal fights in toilets where a guy's privates are hanging out can skip that one ;)

Blog Banter 39 - Home is where my Pod is.

August has almost come to an end, but before we see the month turn, Seismic Stan brings us another Blog Banter subject, courtesy of Richie Shoemaker from EON Magazine:

"Some say a man's home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox. 

In EVE Online, what does the concept of "home" mean to you?"

I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to space and the universe. While I like deep forests, old castles, Celtic stone circles, lush mountain valleys and lofty peaks as much as every other person, nothing has ever had the magnetic appeal of outer space for me.

Above my desk hangs a calendar with galaxies, nebulae and other stellar phenomenae. I have many books with lots of pictures and descriptions about the planets of our solar system and the fascinating vistas the Hubble Telescope has opened for us. I have stacks of magazines about astronomy, and I often go to sleep putting documentaries and lectures about such subjects on, to carry me off into my dreams.

I can spend hours fantasizing about rivers of liquid methane on Titan, the sandstorms of Mars and the molten surface of Venus. When I was a kid I saw Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series and I was sold for life.

When, after a long time, a friend told me about EVE, I read with fascination about the concept of humans being one with their ships, able to travel through the vast reaches of space like gigantic space-borne fish.

Disregarding all other aspects of the game for the purpose of this subject, the exploration of that world in my ship is where I feel at home. When the introductory Sisters of EVE epic mission arc took me all over the place, I was thrilled with the experience. The missions in-between were just waypoints on a journey. It was the journey that really mattered.

If only the stars could have looked the way then they do look now.

I can not complain though.

By merit of my wormhole residence, I get to go places where I would otherwise hardly ever come. Exits and entrances can open in the most out-of-the-way regions, and most of the time I do not mind flying those twenty jumps and see how the starscape changes as I progress.

At this point I would like to offer a deeply heart-felt "Thank you" to the art department who created those wonderful views.

Certainly, when I return to our home-wormhole, I get the feeling of having returned from long travels to see my best friends again, to come back to the homestead as it were. When I fly through the core systems of Sinq-Laison or Essence I have to smile when I remember my first weeks and months in New Eden. When I come through Lisbaethanne or Old Man Star, I fondly remember the excitement of my first encounters with dangerous pirates.

However, where my home truly is, that would be the ship in which my pod is cradled at any given time. Warping through space, moving, exploring, looking at the sights.

Home is where my heart is, goes the saying.

Well the pod is my ship's heart.

I am my ship's heart.

... and there in my escapist fantasy, that is where my home in EVE lies.

19 Aug 2012

OOC Entry 41 - Carebear Rage

I have received a comment from a reader saying it was hard to figure out why everything happened the way it did in the latest story so far.

Well this new chapter begins with a scene from the perspective of the Caldari woman who has abducted Keram. I wont get any more outspoken than this, but I am sure everyone will get it now ;)

I guess lots of victimized peaceful pilots have had rage born fantasies that they could have a pirate at their mercy like this.

So since we are all living in a 'single shard universe' (if there's only one, how can it be a shard - doesn't shard imply that it is a piece of something larger?) I decided to work in a small reference to my friend splatus' story and his main protagonist.

You don't have to read his story to understand what is going on, but it sure is fun to do so.

If you like stories focusing on the individual experience of becoming a capsuleer, then I can definitely recommend reading it, even though the hardcore EVE lore geeks will probably run away screaming because of the different ways how he likes to take liberties with the canon.

For next week, I will see to it that I can wrap up this story and bring it to a conclusion. I already sort-of know how I want to end it. I just hope the ending will fit into my standard episode length which is about two to two-and-a-half written pages. Reading text on computer screens isn't easy on the eyes, and I don't want to be responsible for ruining your eyesight by presenting you with overlong walls of text.

14 Aug 2012

OOC Entry 40 - Industrial Motherships

I trained one of my characters to fly the Rorqual recently and was discussing uses for those ships with people from my corp and alliance. Eventually talk turned to the difficulties of POS based industry in wormhole space with all it's constraints. Eventually we began to dream about a ship like the Rorqual - only with more abilities.

Something like an Industrial Mothership.

If you look at the combat oriented ships, then their range starts with frigates and ends with ships like supercarriers and titans.

If you look at industrial ships they also start with small mining frigates, but you hit the ceiling with the Rorqual, and that despite there being a possible opening for a ship type that does more and better things than the good old ore compressor.

Such a ship would have a heavy tank, most likely based on strong shields. It would therefore need a good amount of midslots. In it's high slots it would use mining ganglinks and would have the ability - like the Rorqual - to use three of them.

At this point I would actually like to propose a new module for that ship: An Industrial Drone Control Unit. Like the carrier's drone control unit it would allow for the deployment of additional drones, only in this case it would be limited to mining drones and the new upcoming salvaging drones.

While I am on the subject. There are three more new modules I would like to propose. The Refinery Installation, the Research Bay and the Assembly Line.

Those could be low slot modules and only one of each can be fitted. As their names suggest, they would offer refining, research and manufacturing slots. Those can only be used when the ship is in deployed mode, like siege or triage or the deployed mode of the Rorqual. In fact it would use the same Industrial Core for reconfiguration.

The three utility modules would also require their own skill to operate, and that one would grant one extra slot per level for each task - research, refining and manufacture - beginning with one to a maximum of five.

This Industrial Mothership could require it's own skill - ORE Mothership or something like that. Each level in this skill would grant shield buffer, a bonus to mining link efficiency and a bonus to time and/or waste factor of it's industry installations. Even the prerequisites are set up. Of course you need level 5 in ORE Industrial and level 3 in Capital Industrial Ships.

On maximum skills, it could operate at only slightly less efficiency than a station where you have optimal standings. It should be good but not superior to actual stationary facilities.

Like all real capitals it should be able to fit a jump drive.

Wouldn't that be a great ship?

It would give industry characters something new to aspire to, everyone else something new and shiny to kill with possibly very valuable loot inside. It can have some strong defence (mainly in the forms of shields and drones) but it would need support to survive a really serious attack. It would be the ultimate mobile industry platform for lowsec, nullsec and wormhole space.

Now I only have to hope for the sake of all industry pilots out there that someone from CCP reads this, then someone else from CCP actually thinks its a good idea, and then even more other people from CCP work on making it a reality.

12 Aug 2012

OOC Entry 39 - Parental Advisory

The following chapter of A Pirate in Distress features full frontal male nudity and torture that might be disturbing to some. This story is therefore not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

Makes me wonder which of my stories actually are.

So Keram's situation is getting from bad to worse, and it becomes a bit clearer what the Civire girl actualy wants with him.

Of course Alira is still out there, and rescue might still come. Possibly even from a very unlikely candidate.

If there will still be enough of him left to rescue that is.

I think I can probably conclude the story with it's next chapter, or maybe it will become a 5 part story again.

Somehow those stories tend to get longer in general ...

10 Aug 2012

OOC Entry 38 - How things change

Some nights ago I had a conversation with one of my first in-game friends.

We were in the same newbie corp together which didn't amount to much at all and we were basically left to our own devices when it fell apart.

We ended up talking a lot about this and that and learned the game alongside each other. He was very much the patient and dilligent type who would grind through missions, building up his base slowly but effectively, while I went all over the place with tomboyish recklessness.

I still remember it like yesterday when I convinced him to go out to lowsec and we both died in funny ways. He declared he didn't care much for PVP.

I went flying Incursions when it wasn't all structured and organized yet. He declared that he couldn't be bothered with all that fleet stuff and rather farmed his missions all by himself.

I went to go live in wormholes and offered him a place, but he said he'd rather stay with his Incursion fleets while mining  and building stuff in highsec with his, by then, very well developed industrial pilot.

Oh yes he had moved on to running Incursions by then. He slowly but surely gained experience, made friends and was eager to learn how to be an FC.

Through those Incursion fleets he got to know some people from a major PVP oriented alliance. He eventually joined them and is rising through the ranks in his usual way. Patiently, diligently, picking up his skills and never rushing things. A trustworthy and reliable participant in an online community.

It was brought home to me how much he had changed. Once he had been a lone mission runner who wouldn't care about Incursions and even less about PVP or nullsec. Now he tells me he dreams of a scene like this:

... with him in the role of king Theoden ... but then in space of course. Commanding a large fleet of strong warriors, ready to bring the fight to the evil hordes.

It couldn't be further away from how I like to picture myself in my game related dreams. It would be more like that:

I have also changed my outlook over time. In the beginning I dreamt of becoming an industrialist and a trader. However, being preyed upon by highsec griefers and realizing that I am actually not all that good at playing markets or even have the necessary knowledge of EVE economy, made me walk another path.

We are both what has been - smugly and disparagingly - called EVE born by someone who is everything but that.

For someone who is not EVE born, things will never change in the same way.

From the beginning you are embedded in a pre-fabricated community. Your only measure of change is which things you can fly and how much ISK or kills you amass or some other arbitrary metric. The experience of having to discover that vast gaming world, learning how to navigate it and find out what you really want to be. The thrill of never really knowing what the people you associate with are up to, who you can trust and who you can't.

Those are things the non EVE-born will hardly ever experience.

As mister M. writes:
"In practice, this means that Goons, Broskis and Redditors can be outright bastards to everyone else in the EVE - besides their allies, of course - and get away with it."
In practice that means, you play a game where your actions can have real consequences, but you avoid that aspect alltogether. You rob yourself of one of the most unique aspects that makes EVE what it is.

The first time I read that piece, it's self-aggrandizing attitude made me angry. I have read it two times since, and a third time while I wrote this post you are reading. These days it actually reads much more like a justification why you should feel great about being a "Goon, Broski or Redditor" in EVE.

Because, at the end of the the day, you are actually missing out on one of the most engaging and thrilling aspects of this game: The social experiment of forging an in-game community. Changing and growing while you progress.

4 Aug 2012

OOC Entry 37 - The out of pod experience

I wasn't playing EVE so far on this weekend apart from moving some ships between the two wormholes of our sister corporations which - by a crazy stroke of luck - were seperated only by one other system.

I could never have found a more safe route, because a direct connection between our two wormholes is impossible.

The class 2 wormhole which lay between us was occupied and active, but the people there were just hanging around in their POS and the warp trajectory between our two wormholes was off their DSCAN range.

Later they jumped a scanning Loki into our C4, but he left again soon after.

What I could do, however, was finish the next chapter of A Pirate in Distress.

So far this story involved a lot of capsuleers but not a single spaceship. It is a about the "out of pod experience". I find it interesting how those people conduct themselves outside of their ships. Much of their life is spent as organic cores of powerful war machines and massive industrial vessels. Connected to the interface of their pods, death is meaningless for them, because they will be transferred into a new clone as soon as their bodies are obliterated. All it costs them is money.

What does that do to a person?

Many patrons in the capsuleer bar on Jita 4-4 station represent the actual in-game element of the highsec griefers. Crazy, reckless pilots who revel in death and destruction for it's own sake. Killing because they can "for the lulz"

The reflections of Alira about this represent another view. The detached transhumanistic view of the empyrean for whom such violent games mean nothing when compared to the wonders of the universe experienced as a human-machine synthesis. 

Keram Themas is yet another page from the same book. The powers of the capsuleer gave him the opportunity to break out of the restrictive society he grew up in. As capsuleer he is the ultimate anarchist deviant, but his perceived immortality also makes him reckless and cocky.

In this chapter - which is entirely about him - the frailty of the human body outside the pod is brought home to him.