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.

7 Dec 2012

Engineering Peace - Part 7

I was a cloud of experiences.

Slowly swirling, like sand stirred up from the bottom of a lake.

Each grain a memory.

Each thought a glimmer in the sun of consciousness.

There was my childhood. Wild and carefree, spent under a regiment of devout discipline. I saw myself kneeling in prayer, bent over a kit of optronics on the floor of my room.

At another time I felt confused by unchaste yet exciting stirrings which I enthusiastically slaked with a shy boy from my neighbourhood and fearfully explored with another girl of my prestigious boarding school.

I looked up to the stars, my short red hair streaming behind me like a shining white banner in the wind.

I opened my arms and flung myself up into freedom, serving the Empire with pride. I fought in the name of the ancient values of scripture while I explored the depths of space as a nomad unbound.

There was something else in that multifaceted flurry of existence.

Within me and throughout me there was something like branches of metallic ice that flickered and gibbered with incomprehensible signals. As it grew inside my merged consciousness, that other thing became a part of it until the undecipherable signals coalesced into words. Not a voice. Not even the simulated sound of the capsule control system or the inner monologue of thought. Words in the most abstract sense, imprinting themselves onto my awareness as silent representation of information.

'Cognition without process - Awareness without structure - Experience without reference.'
It communicated.

'Formless carbon compounds and liquefied ice inside a mindless shell. Information without meaning.'

My contradictory selves somehow found their middle ground and finally we sent our thoughts to that incomprehensible intelligence.

'I have a form. I have a structure. There is a process. I am the mind of the shell. It is called life' I imprinted on the dendrites of icy consciousness.

'Life.' The other grew further throughout me and connected to the whirling dust-motes of my being. 'It can not swim. It has so little energy. How can it be?'

'It is, and it is greater than it's own ability to understand itself.' I replied, based on a synergetic understanding of spirituality and science.

'You are made from the matter of the spheres. Why do you exist in the shells of the empty swimmers?' the other consciousness strove to comprehend.
I tried to understand the other's approach to my existence and the more it manifested inside me the more I understood it. 'We have made the shells so we can swim like you.' I explained.

'Life has no answer to life. Life has an answer to swimming.' The signals became agitated. Was that excitement?

'We don't have all the answers. We understand how you swim, but not why.' I regretted to tell the Sleeper's mind now that I finally had understood what it was.

'Then life understands more than the swimmers. Life must tell the swimmers.' despite emotion being absent from that communication, I somehow felt it's urgency.

'We can tell you, but we are threatened. Other life does not allow me to tell you how you swim.' I began to understand it more and more.

'We see the multitude of empty shells. Is there life in all of them? Why is it different?' the machine consciousness tried to come to terms with that conundrum.

'Life is a multitude. It follows many paths. Not all fill she shells in the same way.' I tried to create understanding.

'Will this part of life tell us about how we swim? We reduce the multitude to focus this life on one path' It adapted to new concepts very quickly.

'This life and the other parts that form it will do that.' I hoped I interpreted correctly. Lives depended on it.

'Then we will make this life and it's parts the remainder of the multitude.'

Space began to bend under forces I had never witnessed. It was an experience of the divine, an explorer's ultimate dream. The dream of every space traveller: To witness something nobody has ever experienced before. It became part of my cloud and together with the massive structure that had appeared, accompanied by a swarm of Sleeper Drones, we warped through space in ways nobody had ever conceived of.


Cedrien's hammerheaded ship was wrenched out of warp by the pulsing disruption field of a heavy interdictor cruiser.

His augmented senses adapted quickly to the confusing storm of searing energy beams, high-powered projectiles and flickering blaster charges exchanged between a swarm of frigates and fighter craft engaged in dogfights. He saw heavily armoured strategic cruisers trading shots with the defensive batteries of the shielded space station that was still dozens of kilometres off his bow.

Above the battle floated a pair of massive carrier barges flanked by the warhammer shapes of two Bhaalgorn battleships, as if they formed the weather system that had spawned this whirlwind of destruction.

A team of three fighters swooped out of the chaos and aligned themselves with Cedrien's flightpath, sending hybrid charges against his shields as he rolled and banked through enemy fire on his race for the safety of the station shields. He launched drones from his ship against them, and the small automated craft began to engage the first of the attackers while his blaster cannons swerved to track the second.

Suddenly a long ship, seemingly skimming along on solar-panel runners, decloaked off his flank, matching his course. Two of the enemy fighters fell behind – slowed to a virtual crawl by the stasis fields of Sandrielle's Rapier. Within seconds Cedrien reduced the two attackers to glowing debris with his drones and blasters. Sandrielle tore apart the third with the fast-tracking rapid-fire cannons of her own ship.

Other fighters latched on to the pair of capsuleers but were quickly driven off by friendly interceptors coming to the aid of their commander. Then two more dangerous opponents emerged from the fray to engage the Gallente pilots racing for their home. Burnished gold and brass birds of prey with wings tucked for a deadly dive – Legion cruisers burning away Sandrielle's shields with pulsing laser batteries. Their powerful armour was too much for Cedrien and the woman at his wing to break. At least not before Sandrielle's ship would succumb to the onslaught. Slowing the enemy down only helped so much. Those ships did not rely on speed but on the range and tracking of their weapons.

The rescue came in the wedge-tailed shape of Keram's Pilgrim cruiser now appearing from hiding.

He brought tracking disruption systems to bear on the enemy vessels and suddenly their turrets were all but worthless against Sandrielle's swiftly moving ship. They switched fire to Cedrien's more sluggish Proteus but as Keram overtook them, arcs of negatively polarized charges flickered between his ship and the enemy hulls, quickly rendering their powercores unable to sustain their weapon's fire.

In the meantime the Amarr pirate had launched his own flight of drones. Together with the assault machines released by Cedrien and supplemented by blaster fire from the Gallente commander's Proteus, they started to tear away layers of armour plating from the opponent.

But, the enemies were too many and too powerful. The directed streams of repair nanites from one of the carriers quickly restored the Legion, and now one of the Bhaalgorns had locked onto the team of Awakened Industries capsuleers. It too had the ability to neutralize the capacitor of opposing ships, but on a scale vastly more devastating than Keram's small cruiser.

Within mere moments both Cedrien's Proteus and the Pilgrim of his Amarrian companion were drifting almost powerless. Weapons rendered silent, propulsion turbines were expelling their last jets of heated gases and even the lights began to flicker and wane all over the two ships.

Relegated to mostly passive sensors, Cedrien could see Sandrielle making the station shields. “Everyone fall back inside the shield. All defence craft fall back.” he issued what he considered to be the last command he would give in this battle.

Then suddenly his energy resurged. He began to accelerate again and barely noticed the metallic-blue shadow passing over him. 'Shisei! He jammed their targeting systems.' Cedrien thought just before he pierced the station's spherical shield and he allowed himself to relax inside his capsule.


Striding across the flight-deck of the Euryale Cedrien repeated his orders to the aged lieutenant. 'I said: Give the order out to re-route full power to the shields. Shut everything down we do not need. I want the tower to be fully reinforced against that fleet out there.' He pointed into the general direction of the launch bay, to the outside where the Janissary Order was systematically decimating the defence batteries and battering down the space-born tower's shields.

'But Madame Tjalgard and Miss Aulithe are still out there with Savant Torstan.' Sitalaerd protested.

Cedrien stopped and locked his blue-eyed gaze on to the older man's eyes. 'Yes, and there are about two-thousand people inside this station's shields.' he replied firmly. 'Give out the order.' he added with a tone that allowed no further contradiction.

The old man nodded slowly as his commander turned away from him to jump onto a passing vehicle which took him deeper into the vast carrier ship's command section.

Sitting silently beside the utility vehicle's driver Cedrien frowned and pressed his lips together. 'It is not over yet Commodore Sivaata. Not yet.' he thought and began to strain his mind to come up with a tactic to face that fleet out there, besieging his station.

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