Thursday, November 29, 2012


ALERT! Fan fiction featuring a goat! Your emergency exit is here for an interesting blog on killing newbs!

This is an extra entry for the Pod and Planet fiction contest. In the Eve-O forum post some rules were laid out which linked to the EON Guidelines. This included that you had to be careful with existing storyline characters. Which is understandable, I mean you shouldn't be killing off President Roden for a laugh should you? Empress Jamyl II wouldn't have a leaked home movie should she..... well actually if you read Templar One and what she was up to with Falek Grange (giggity)! Anyway, the actual example that was given, was about Tibus Heth and a goat, which obviously wouldn't be acceptable.

Wouldn't it? Of course not!

Could it? Well may be......

I love a challenge........




The two teenagers were hidden behind a pile of rubble which formed what was left of a partially destroyed office block. Soon the laughing voices could be heard as they approached. Petar peaked over the top. The two Caldari soldiers looked relaxed, they even had their rifles slung casually over their backs. This angered the young Gallentean even more, to see them ambling down the Gallente city's main street without a care in the world. It steeled his determination.

"Clear now?"

Petar looked down from his vantage point at Krissy and shook his head. At 16 she was a year younger than him but shared his anger over the Caldari occupation of their planet. They had met at the children's shelter after both sets of parents were killed in the Caldari invasion. Over the last three years they had grown close as brother and sister. Life at the shelter was hard and keeping together got them through a number of bad times. A lot of kids lost their parents and families in the invasion, many more were lost in the turbulent months after the Caldari seized control. The Gallente citizens on Caldari Prime had resisted but they were no match for the Caldari ground forces. Public punishments and executions had been a common sight in the city square for the first few months as people tried to fight back, were caught and were sentenced by the occupiers.

"Let them get round the corner before me move." he whispered.

Petar's house had been destroyed by a dropship during the invasion. It had been hit by Gallente defensive AA fire on the approach to the city and had lost control. 14 other houses had been wiped out in the crash. Petar had been out at a friends house when the invasion started and was spared the sight of this home and parents being crushed by the flaming wreckage. Krissy had not been as fortunate. Her family had survived the initial days of the invasion. Her older brother had joined one of the resistance cells that had formed in the immediate aftermath. One night, what he didn't know was that a miniature tracking drone had followed him back after a strike against a temporary Caldari field base. They came for him that early morning. From what little Krissy had told Petar of the event it appeared her mother had put herself between the Caldari soldiers and her son. She was given a plasma bolt in the chest for getting in the way. When the enraged father attacked the soldiers, he'd been shot too. They then simply executed her brother where he stood and took Krissy to the children's shelter and dumped her there.

The two Caldari soldiers disappeared from sight and Petar and Krissy sprinted from the pile of rubble, across the street and to the base of a statue that had been recently erected by the side of the road. Using the huge marble plinth as cover they hunkered down, keeping hidden from the windows of the building claimed by the Caldari Providence Directorate. This was the Caladari headquarters for the district. The building was set back from the road and the gardens in front had been replanted following the damage caused in the invasion. Some of the most intense fighting of the invasion had been around this block. Before the Caldari came this was the city hall where Gallente bureaucrats ran the city and surrounding area. The city of Vionles had sprung up well after the first Caldari/Gallente war where the Gallente captured Caldari Prime. It was mostly Gallente settlers that lived in the city with only a few Caldari. The city hall had been one of many beacons of Gallente dominance throughout the planet. Now it was full of Caldari military who ruled the city with an iron first. Petar looked up at the Caldari flag fluttering in the breeze on top of the building in disgust.

"OK, you ready?" asked Krissy.

Petar stuck his head over the plinth and scanned the local area with his eyes. He saw a combat MTAC by the doors of the headquarters but it was unmanned. In the months after the invasion this building was heavily protected with several armed guards, roving patrols and at least two combat MTACs at all times. But that was a long time ago, the empty scene he saw in front of him was normal since the resistance had been crushed and the Caldari occupiers had relaxed. All appeared to be clear.

"Yes, are you sure this will work?" he asked.

"Should do. Art-balls are in limited supply these days but I've programmed this one best I could. If the power pack inside is still functioning and can run the emitters for a full cycle I'm pretty sure it'll look like one, I just need to ensure it is positioned right."

Krissy pulled the fist-sized ball from her backpack and clicked a switch, a small light lit up. She pulled her arm back and threw it up at the statue where it stuck on the bronze figures upper thigh. They watched as the white foam started to be ejected from the ball. Slowly the mass of white modelling foam took shape, electrical charges from the art-balls power supply shaping the foam to the pre-programmed shape as it slowly expanded. Two legs started to form from an elongated body shape, then another two legs. Then a neck, followed by a head and two oversized floppy ears. Within a minute the small ball had transformed into a three metre long goat, which was firmly attached to the front of the statue of Tibus Heth. The two teenagers stood to admire their work.

"Pity we couldn't move his arms to grab the ears" Krissy giggled.

"Or use nanites to alter the head to put on his happy-face." Petra replied laughing.

The sound of a plasma rifle being cocked immediately behind them made them freeze. Nothing happened, so they both slowly turned together. Behind them were two Caldari soldiers who were looking up at the statue, now with added goat. Their expressions were a unusual mix of shock, anger and bewilderment. Slowly they lowered thier heads to inspect the two teenagers.

"So you think that is funny do you?" one of the soldiers asked threateningly. Petar and Krissy remained silent, they were frozen to the spot with terror.

"I think the interrogator's are going to have some fun with you t....."

The lead soldier suddenly stopped talking, a red mist erupted from the side of his head and he collapsed on the floor.

"What the....."

The other soldier raised his rifle and started turning when he too slumped to the ground, a red hole had appeared between his eyes. Petar and Krissy just stood there dumbstruck looking at the soldier who now had an obscene third eye. They were shocked out of their trance as a strange man sprinted up and took cover by the plinth. He was dressed in old style Gallente combat fatigues. A scarf was tied around his face hiding his features. He had a sniper rifle slung over his shoulder and was carrying a large bag.

"Get down!" he hissed.

The two teenagers suddenly realised they were in the open and crouched down by the statues plinth. They saw the man looking up at the foam goat.

"For fracks sake. Why here? Why tonight?" he groaned to nobody in particular, shaking his head slowly.

"Who are you?" Petar asked.

"Resistance kid. And you'd better get out of here. A shit-storm is brewing, and you and your pretty girlfriend don't want to be covered in shit now do you!"

"I am not his girlfriend!" Krissy protested!

"Whatever!" said the man removing a long metallic tube from the huge bag he was carrying. "Just get out of here! Oh, and whilst your timing sucks, nice touch with the artwork." He gave them a wink.

The two teenagers produced beaming smiles at the compliment and ran back to the rubble pile across the street. They could see a dozen other men in position all around the HQ building. Petar was thinking that this didn't make sense. There had been no resistance activity for nearly a year. The local resistance apparently had been defeated, or that was the word on the street. That is why security at the CPD building was so lax these days. Suddenly they saw the man at the statue plinth level the long tube at the HQ building. A small rocket spat from the end of it and slammed into the ornate doors blowing a three metre hole in them.

"I've got a feeling we need to be gone from this place, like now!" Petar whispered. Krissy nodded in agreement.

As they moved slowly away through the ruined building, crouched over for cover, they left the scene of the Gallente resistance engaged in a fire-fight with Caldari occupation forces, all spectated over by a large statue of Tibus Heth, with a comical foam goat stuck to the front of his groin.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Capsuleers and Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow!

......aka The Mating Habits of the New Eden Bound Capsuleer

A two-parter today. The second part is about capsuleers and "relationships" in-game. What do they do? But first, a fun little fight I had last night.

I've not been on Eve much in the last week. The alliance was going on a road trip last Tuesday but the moving op was too late for me. I decided I'd move myself on Wednesday (two alts in carriers and Drack in his dread with 4th account cyno). That didn't happen, because of wife. Ney bother, I'll do it Thursday night. As Friday is the weekend, I've got all night after I finish work and meet the guys down the bar after work. We started at 3:30 in the afternoon..... Suddenly, Friday! Hangover from hell! With 20 years practice you'd think I'd be used to it. By Saturday I was wondering what is the point in moving two carriers and a dreadnought three jumps for three days?

So last night I decided to undock a T1 frigate and solo roam a bit. First fight was Merlin Vs Merlin. I almost had him when another Caldari militia pilot turned up. I burnt out, warped off and gave a "GF" in local to which the new pilot replied "Asshole!". This got me confused until I worked out after a few more lines it was a Damar alt.

Anyway after a bit of a break I set out again only to jump into a T1 frigate gate-camp in the next system from home. There were four or five of them so I decided to try to burn back to gate, hold until some agressed and then jump back and try to out run those who followed. Either they all aggressed or were slow jumpers. 30 seconds later I was back in Nisuwa station looking at my ships wondering what could take all five but wouldn't scare them all off? I quickly assembled an AC Thrasher. ACs/rocket launcher, scram/MWD/MSE and I opted for TE's in the lows (Slashers and there TD's in mind). Add three extender rigs plus EM, Fusion and some longer range ammo and I'm ready to go. I undocked and saw they were in local. So I warped to a 1000km pounce from the gate and scanned, four on short range. A few seconds later two left local so I warped to the gate where I found two remaining. I engaged them and they attacked whilst calling their mates back. After a minute or so, four dead frigates and one frozen corpse. That was a lot fun even if it was only T1 frigates! It appears a Slasher got away but some guy called Jacob minced him in system :)

Now part 2. Capsuleers and, you know, Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow!

Now don't get me wrong here. I am NOT a roleplayer. However, I am fascinated by the universe of Eve Online and love the sci-fi setting. Hence the fiction I post on here.

I am an Eve addict. I cannot escape Eve. Even on holiday on the beach it's there in my mind (Yes I know, sad geek!). Eve = Crack.

I saw something on holiday earlier this month that got me thinking "Would this still be happening 20,000 years in the future in New Eden? If so then surely it would be the capsuleers doing it.....

The heels first caught my eye first. Extremely high strappy stiletto's ending in a wicked point. The shapely legs were smooth and tanned, disappearing under the hem of a skin-tight mini cocktail dress. Her figure was a slender hourglass. There was more than a hint of cleavage. Her skin was glowing and unblemished. The face was simply beautiful. Her make-up was expertly done and the hair looked like she'd just stepped out of a salon. This lady in her early 20's would not have looked out of place in the grand casino in Monte Carlo at midnight. Stunning, absolutely stunning.

Suddenly my concentration (drooling) was broken as my two slices of toast dropped out of the toasting machine with a clatter. I wasn't in the grand casino in Monte Carlo at midnight, I was at the breakfast buffet at a beach resort on the Red Sea. I was dressed like most of the others there. T-shirt (Tweetfleet one ofc), swimshorts and flip-flops, all ready to head straight down to the beach after I'd had my toast and a cup of tea (I am British after all!). Then a man approached her, placed his arm around her waist and whispered something in her ear which had her giggling like a schoolgirl. The way they behaved at the table, they were definitely NOT father and daughter even though he appeared to be at least three times her age.

Then the wife and I noticed them everywhere. Men in their 50's, 60's and even 70's with a 20-something stunner on their arm. Money and power! Every time we spotted one, which had become a game, my wife said "Its disgusting!" to which I replied "Lucky basta..... ow! Why'd you hit me? That hurt!".

But in New Eden its the Capsuleers who have money and power. Would they behave the same? This got me thinking on capsuleer relationships in New Eden. The novels and Chronicles have covered normal people, but they never really have touched on Capsuleers. The novel The Emperyan Age had a bit in, but they were Navy capsuleers so not the independents or privateers that we play. Do capsuleers have girlfriends/boyfriends? Do they get married? Do they do this with only other capsuleers or do they mix with normal people? If they do what about the age old issue of an immortal living with a mortal?

Have you ever thought what your character would do in this sense? I have within the fiction I have wrote and posted here. You can pretty much guess what Drackarn's usual is by reading "The Repairs". He has had a sort of relationship with another capsuleer which can be found in "Minmatar Aren't the Only Slaves.". I asked around to see if others had ever thought about this using Drackarn as the example.....

You could say he is your typical capsuleer. Aloof, superior and uncaring. He hasn't the time for relationships and generally relies on what's in the bar that night. A one night is a long-term relationship for him! He has a "friends with benefits" type relationship with an Amarrian female capsuleer from his past, but it never goes beyond that.

Rixx Javix - Rixx found love among the stars and married fellow Capsuleer Anastasia Javix over three years ago. She supports his aggressive life-style and is the foundation upon which his career has been built. Together they have two boys that dream of following their parents as Capsuleers one day.

Eelis Kiy - She is cautious but loyal and reliable. Once her respect is earned you usually have it for life. She greatly values friendships with her comrades and has strong bonds with her closest capsuleer friends. But she is also very stubborn, quick to judge and can hold a grudge forever. She finds it hard to apologise and harder still to forgive. She has a slightly depraved sense of humour which some people find offensive and others warm to instantly. Eelis is a creature of the senses and as such is fairly promiscuous. She was once quoted as saying "f**king is as necessary to the human condition as oxygen". Few realise that she is also very happily married though does not see her husband for months or sometimes years at a time, as their separate Capsuleer paths often take them in different directions.

S810 Jr - Never settled down for a long-term relationship as when she wants something she just goes out and gets it. Likes to be in charge of those under the sheets (or anywhere else they are at the time). Will happy settle for male or female so long as they can get the job done.

Gabriel Darkefyre - Tries to never forget his roots, always conscious of the human cost of his actions or inactions often getting hit with attacks of conscience (and promptly hitting the Bottle afterwards). He has not had a relationship, serious or otherwise, since becoming a Capsuleer.

Bagehi - Slow to trust, but fiercely loyal once that trust is gained. He is slightly paranoid when out of the pod and vulnerable, as he has made many enemies over the years. He generally stays away from relationships or one night stands for this reason.

Seismic Stan - is a recovering warp-coolant addict with a history of behavioural problems. Any chance he might have had of attracting a woman who likes a bad boy is probably scotched by his tendency to be a soap-dodger. Basically he's a dirty space tramp with imaginary friends (who often avoid him). He thinks romance is a Gallente STD.

Druur Monakh - At core I'm afraid I'm a rather social and trusting person - and I'm aware that neither quality meshes well with a capsuleer's life. I compromise by keeping a loose group of acquaintances, while satisfying my more direct needs with the occasional fling. I did dare to let another person (a pod pilot as well) into my life recently, but it ended badly, and I learned my lesson. I know that I can fully be myself with my dear sister, and that'll have to do.

vagy - he is a solo player most of the time and he thinks most of capsuleers are that way because of all the back stabbing and greed involved. Serious relationships are not for him. He's too paranoid from all the drugs to trust someone that much. He usually uses mortal sex slaves to satisfy the lust. He might have a chat with other capsuleers in bars just to pass time or get in contact if it's isk or loot involved type thing.

So you have an interesting mix there. Actually I'm surprised we didn't see more like the Red Sea Sugar Daddies.

On this topic I was actually chatting to Eelis at the end of last week regarding the blog post I used on a previous Fan Fiction Friday as an alternative about real-life Matari clothing. Eelis commented that the skull bra in that post looked uncomfortable. I said for New Eden it should be the front end of an Avatar not a skull. She then said the men's version should be a pair of pants with the an Erebus on the front. Then it just got silly. I mocked the ones below up rather quick using a mankini for additional effect. But Eelis went the whole hog. I ain't posting that. So Eelis, its up to you!

Coming to the NEX Store soon? :o)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Eve Hollywood Blockbuster - BB41

Blog Banter 41: Director's Cut

The universe of EVE is not without its drama and epic stories, both in and out of game. Imagine a publisher, movie studio or television network asked you to prepare a pitch for a new brand of EVE-flavoured entertainment. This could be your big break, what would be your synopsis to deliver New Eden to a wider audience?

A week or so ago I mentioned I was working on a new fictional series which would be the story I would tell if I became a billionaire overnight and financed an Eve Hollywood blockbuster movie. I'm currently on chapter 3 of probably 12 or so. So how would I pitch it if this came true? "Here is $100m cash to start!". To be honest I think someone investing that money would have no problem finding a studio to run with the idea. I don't want to reveal too much of my planned fiction series... but I need to contribute here or I'd lose my crown of geekiest geek of all the banterers!!!!

Well, without giving too much away may be I could do a IMDB style entry. 

Teh Udder Interwebzs Moveee Database (tuIMDB)

Dark Silence (2014) (Still working on a title)
Action - Adventure - Sci-Fi
In the distance future, two people are thrown together during a natural disaster. They flee across the galaxy as a powerful corporation sends a beautiful assassin to silence them before they reveal the dark secrets they have seen.

Director - Joss Whedon
(Who else?)

Writer - Tony Gonzales and...... Who? Seriously, who the feck is Drackarn?
(Would need a professional author to take my poor fiction and turn it into something special, Tony G would be my choice as an experienced Eve-O writer)

Stars - Nathan Fillion, Mila Kunis, Kate Nauta, Malcolm McDowell, Eva Green, Megan Fox and...... CCP's Guard, Soundwave and Punkturis?????


Plot Summary
20,000 years in the future mankind has relocated to a distance part of the galaxy. A freak plasma storm on a terraformed planet hits a major city. A facility owned by a mega-corporation that is developing illegal bio-weapons is hit and containment breached. In an attempt to stop their secret escaping and to prevent the spread of the infected, the city is destroyed. However, two people escape from the facility and the city. A secretary who had no idea of the true nature of the work going on and a shady privateer starship captain who had been contracted to courier cargo to the facility. Before they escaped the planet, they saw the truth about the facility and the terrifying weapon that had been produced. Now they are the hunted. And the corporation will stop at nothing to ensure their secret remains.

Synopsis (Spoilers)
A private starship captain who deals in the darker areas between black and white, accepts a contract to carry some cargo containers to a starport at a major city. Whilst there an unprecedented plasma storm hits and he takes cover in a secret tunnel leading from the remote docking bay. Meanwhile a scientist who cannot bear to leave the secretary he flirts with daily on the surface during the storm, takes her to the hidden underground facility for safety. Not knowing that the subjects of the illegal bio-weapon research that goes on there have escaped. With the doctor killed by one of the staggering infected humans, the secretary is saved by the starship captain and they make it back to the ship and off world before the corporation levels the city, blaming the destruction of the city on the power station was hit by the storm. Now the corporation must hunt down the two survivors, for if it was revealed they were developing bio-weapons based on the forbidden Sansha technology, the four Empires of New Eden would surely rally together and crush them. The two survivors face a frantic chase across the star systems of the New Eden cluster, pursued by a deadly assassin.

(Still deciding on names to some of the parts)

The Captain - Nathan Fillion
I know, I know. This is not Firefly but whenever I think of "private starship captain who deals in the darker areas between black and white", well there is only one isn't there!

The Secretary - Mila Kunis
The classic Hollywood transformation. Scared little secretary on the run, ends up sexy kick ass action star. 

CHIMERA - Kate Nauta
Seen Transporter II? Nuff said. This is the Caldari State version of THANATOS. No idea what I'm talking about? Read Templar One!

Admiral for Mega Corp - Malcom McDowell
Who better to play an older bad guy I ask you?

Nourvukaiken Station Fixer - Eva Green
An old friend of the captains. Helps to get them out of hi-sec and sets up a meeting with the barman in Nisuwa.

Barman in Nisuwa - CCP Guard
Well he has to be in there doesn't he! 

Lexx Jonlan/S810 Jr/Eelis Kiy (not sure who to use yet) - Winona Ryder/Alyson Hannigan/Katee Sackhoff
I envisage a scene in the bar alongside the CCP Guard scene when they are looking for the capsuleer.

Channel 47 News Anchor - CCP Soundwave
Well, who else?

Capsuleer - Robert Downey Jr
Not got that far yet!

Villore Task Force Commander - CCP Punkturis
Don't know why, but I can see her on the bridge of a Nyx looking mean!

You don't buy silence, you kill it.

Motion Pictures Rating
PG-15 for scenes of violence, intense action, mild peril and scenes of a bow-chicka-wow-wow nature

Parents Guide
The assassin is seen making love to a corrupt officer. She is naked and on top but the scene is brief and mostly in shadow.
A woman is seen getting a lap-dance from a female dancer in a bar.
Two women kiss briefly.
There are many dancers in the bar wearing revealing outfits.
Now, should the leads get it on in the movie? Or is that just shoe-horning it into the movie for the sake of titillation?

Violence and Gore
A man is bitten on his shoulder by a "zombie". The wound and a lot of blood is shown. The man is then shot in the head.
A female agent kills a man by breaking his neck with her bare hands.
A female agent kills a room full of people using martial arts and a gun. Some blood and bodies are shown.
A man with his throat slit is shown. The wound is not clear but there is a lot of blood.
A woman dies after slitting her wrists.
A man is seen dead on the floor. There is a lot of blood.
His wife comes home and is stabbed in the throat.
Two men are killed by being stabbed from behind.
I'm sure there are lots and lots more to come.

X number of naughty words suitable for the 15 rating.
I like blog banters, but I'm not counting them all just for this one!

Several bar scenes involving drinking and smoking.
References to a pirate faction that deals in drugs.

Frightening/Intense Scenes
The storm hitting the city is quite intense and a lot of death and destruction is shown.
The scene in the basement of the facility is quiet scary as the infected approach.
More to come, many, many more.

Did You Know?
The bar tender in the Nisuwa Station scene, the news anchor on the TV behind the bar and the female Nyx super-carrier commander of the Villore task force are actually employee's of CCP, the creators of the game Eve Online on which the movie is based.
The line halfway through of "The logs show nothing." is a nod to a common response in the game of Eve Online from the Game Masters to people making support requests when they cannot find any evidence of the persons claims.

I'm sure they would be some!

CHIMERA - "What are you thinking?"
Colonel - "Well, I'm thinking how a young lovely creature like you could end up in my bed."
CHIMERA - "That's an easy question to answer. It's because you've been siphoning off your battalions combat weapons and supplies and selling them to the Sepentis you naughty boy."

Scanner Operator - "They are gone sir. No longer registering in system. Also no corresponding stargate activation!"
Commander - "Impossible! Double check the stargate database entries for the last 10 minutes."
Scanner Operator. "Checking. Confirmed. The logs show nothing sir."

Weapon of Choice - Fat Boy Slim
Loves a Loaded Gun - Alice Cooper
Beneath the Asteroids - John Hallur

People Who Liked This Also Liked...

MOAR! BB41....

Humanity has always dreamed of venturing to the stars by Lukas Rox @ Torchwood Archives
Eve Online for Everyone by Oreamnos Amric @ 2nd Anomaly from the Left
Screenplay by Kirith Kodachi @ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
Enter Eve by Sugar Kyle @ Low Sec Lifestyle
Immortalis by Helena Khan @ Aggressive Logistics
My Eve Hollywood Blockbuster by Drackarn @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships
Making the cut with the director by Emergent Patroller
Director's Cut by Rixx Javix @ Eveoganda
Eytjangard Blues by Kuan Yida @ Random Posts from Auga

Thursday, November 22, 2012

An Eye for An Eye

Fan Fiction Friday! Your escape pod is here to Freebooted for the 41st Blog Banter. I'm actually having fun writing my entry to that one, my response will be the next post on here over the weekend.

This post is my entry for the Pod and Planet fiction contest. This is for the Eight Thousand Suns in New Eden which covers faithful lore and is not about in-game characters or alliances. 

I may do another entry next week. Simply because the guidelines state clearly that if you feature Tibus Heth with a goat in a compromising situation, it will have to be revised. Now to me, that's just a challenge. I think I have an idea. :)

Anyway, on with the proper entry......

An Eye for An Eye

The explosions resonated through the hull of ship. The four EMP warheads detonated against the armour plates tearing them apart and leaving a nine metre long scar.

"Armour is failing, how are we doing on those damn shield-boosters?" Chief Nikial shouted over the sound of the alarms in Engineering.

"Booster 1 almost reloaded. Booster 2 still has 35 seconds." Technician 1st Class Kara was at one of the control stations. "I'm trying to reduce the cycle time."

Engineering was a mess. Smoke and gases leaked from various broken conduits and minor fires were breaking out faster than the automated systems could cope. It had been a long battle. The two Hawk class assault frigates were fighting a desperate battle at a Caldari Outpost in the contested system of Enaluri. Wrecks of numerous Caldari Navy vessels drifted lifelessly nearby, the remnants of the outpost's defence fleet that the Matari Militia capsuleer had already destroyed. Both capsuleer ships appeared to be similarly equipped Close range rocket launchers for fire-power and twin Ancillary Shield Boosters for defence. The hungry shield boosters needed to be loaded regularly with expendable capacitor booster charges which took a full minute. This left a sizeable hole in the ships primary defences.

Another salvo of rockets struck the Minmatar Militia Hawk raking deep gouges in what was left of its armour plating. Down in engineering, the damage further up the ship caused a power conduit to rupture. Bright orange sparks rained down on the engineering crew who were struggling through the smoke to keep the ship in one piece. Their capsuleer had been disengaging the thermal cut-offs and overloading the ships systems to squeeze more performance out of them. This had only made the engineering crews life even harder as he stressed the ships systems to breaking point. Suddenly the constant ear-splitting noise of missiles exploding against the ships armour was silenced.

"Incoming DPS has stopped?" Nikial shouted in question. Whilst the missiles had stopped slamming into the ship, the noise from the various alarms was still making it difficult to hear.

"The Caldari target is still out there. Most likely his missile launchers are dry. He'll be reloading them. Shield booster 1 is loaded, our egger has already engaged it. We're out of the red! Shields are climbing. Armour status?" Kara shouted back.

"8% and holding, confirming the shields are back on-line  Our target is in worse shape, he's seen our shields are back on-line and he's making range. He's trying to bug out. Looks like he's faster than us. He's running!" The relief in Chief Nikial's voice was clear. A small cheer went up through the engineering section. Whilst destruction of the enemy vessel was preferred, they were so badly damaged that the crew didn't want to push their luck. In this case, a draw was acceptable.

Kara looked at her console in disbelief as a red dot flashed up.

"New contact! Hostile Stabber Fleet Issue on field! The Hawk is turning around and coming back at us!" she shouted.

Kara couldn't believe it. They were so close to surviving the encounter, but in their condition they couldn't possibly beat the hostile navy issue cruiser that had just dropped out of warp 60km for their position. She looked at the incoming scan results, it had five 220mm 'tech two' Vulcan Autocannons mounted on it's weapon hardpoints. Those six-barrelled weapons were probably already loaded with shield-shredding EMP rounds. Once it got within 10 kilometres it would tear their smaller frigate to pieces even with the shield booster running. She looked over to the engineering bay escape hatch, a red light above it signified the capsuleer had not activated the ships escape pod systems yet. This was a common tactic amongst the empyrean's. They didn't want their crew abandoning ship before the last possible moment.

"Get ready to run for the escape pods as soon as they're on-line  we're toast!" warned Nikial as if reading her thoughts.

"I'm diverting power from the shields!" screamed Kara "Getting the warp drive juiced so the capsuleer can warp us out."

"DON'T! We need the extra power for the shields to give us time to get to the escape pods!" Chief Nikail yelled. "The warp drive is useless with the Hawk's....... wait, the warp drive is spooling up, the enemy Hawk has not regained point. He's only 4k away, he cannot have realised he dropped point when he burnt out of range. That Stabber is not in point range yet! The capsuleer is warping us in three, two, one...... my god, we're away."

Chief Nikial slid down the bulkhead onto the floor in exhaustion as the Hawk entered warp.

"Good work on that power divert! I think I owe you a drink when we get back to station!"


Back in Nennamaila station the crew have been given shore-leave until the next morning. The repairs to the heavily damaged ship were being undertaken by the stations starship maintenance crews and the capsuleer had given his own crew the day off after their narrow escape. Most of the Hawk's crew had headed straight for the bars near the hangers which were not too busy at that time. Nikial and Kara were sat in a booth sipping their drinks quietly, reflecting on a close call.

"Look Chief...... I'm quitting."

Nikial took a long drink and slumped back in his chair.

"Can I ask why?"

"Today is a good example. What if that Caldari Militia capsuleer in the other Hawk had re-established his warp scrambler on us? That cruiser would have torn us to pieces Would we have made it to the escape pod in time? We were at 8% armour in a Caldari assault ship. What would it have taken, one volley from that Flabber? Two at the most? Our capsuleer didn't even think about calling for abandon ship even though we were so close to going down initially."

Nikial swirled the whisky in his glass around with the ice, thinking. He didn't reply. 'Flabber' was a slang term for the Republic Fleet Stabber. The cruiser, modified by the Matari Navy, was fast and could deal out substantial firepower. He was well aware how close they had come to being killed today. A simple mistake by the enemy Hawk pilot had gifted them the escape.

"There are worse ways to die than in the destruction of a starship, but not many Nik. Roasted alive by zero-G fire or death by the vacuum of space. You know what happens to you when you explosively decompress right?" she continued.

"Yes!" Nikial sharply cut in before she started listing what happened to the human body in the vacuum of space. It was covered briefly in the starship engineering courses mainly to frighten the students into doing their best at all times. It was not a pleasant way to die.

"Well I have savings, I think I'm going to travel for a bit. Take a year out. See more of the cluster. Enjoy myself."

"I'll be sorry to see you go. You're by far the best I've ever had. You'll be missed, especially by me." Nik replied with a sadness in his voice.

"I'm sure you'll find another suitable Tech to replace me." Kara said.

"I wasn't talking just about Engineering skills."

Kara blushed and smiled.


"Is that the target?"

Two men were sat at the bar drinking wine with their backs to the two engineers. They were both staring straight ahead, not acknowledging each other. One was an older man whose ethnicity was hard to place. The other who had just spoke was younger and clearly Amarrian.

"Affirmative. The woman is a grade alpha target. Minmatar militia engineering crew for a capsuleer. Our source said she was one of the main reasons a Matari Hawk class ship got away in the Enaluri system earlier today from our allies. She is the primary target, the loss of her skill-set will be a major blow for the capsuleer and the Matari militia. Even though she is the lower rank of the two, her abilities have been highlighted as an issue. The man sat with her is the Chief Engineer, grade delta target. Obviously any Matari officer rank loss is good for the cause, however, that woman is the primary target."

"OK, will see what I can do. I still think we'd achieve more going after the militia capsuleers themselves in-station."

"Oh, and how are you going to get close to them? The capsuleers are too well protected for now. Plus the fallout if it was found we were assassinating empyrean's would be damaging to say the least. Orders are to go for the best of their crew until that changes. And make sure it looks like an accident. We don't want a repeat of the Heydieles Moon 19 incident again."

"OK, whatever you say."

With that the Amarrian slipped off his bar stool and left the bar leaving the old man to his drink.


Early next morning Kara was reading the draft mail again. Her quarters were dark as Nik was still asleep in her bed. The green glow from the computer terminal at her desk was the only light source. She hovered over the 'send mail' icon. It was addressed to her Executive Officer and tendered her resignation with immediate effect. Finally she clicked the send icon and the mail vanished. She had done it, she'd gotten out alive. Something very few long-term capsuleer crew can claim.

Suddenly she felt movement behind her. A pair of lips kissed her gently on the neck. She giggled.

"I need to grab a shower" Nikial said, running his hands over her chest from behind.

"Want me to join you?" she purred leaning her head back to kiss him.

"Better not" he replied as he caressed her "I'm already late and if you get in there with me, well, then I'll be very late."

"In that case you're a complete tease!" And with that she swatted his hands away from her chest. He backed off to the bathroom raising his hands at the elbows in mock surrender.

She went back to checking her mails as she heard Nik climb into the shower cubical and shut the door. After a minute he called her name. She smiled.

"He's obviously changed his mind!" she thought.

When she entered the bathroom she found Nik still in the sonic-shower with his hands on his hips staring through the transparent door.

"Very funny!" he said.

"What?" she asked.

"Locking the shower door remotely. You going to keep me here as your prisoner?" he smiled "Seriously, I need to get back to the ship! I'm on duty in 20. Let me out."

Kara looked puzzled and hit the open door button on the cubical. Nothing happened.

"Seriously Kaz, I need to go."

"It's not me." she protested "Give me a minute."

She went to the main control panel. The sonic shower was still running and the door to the shower was locked-down for some strange reason. She tried to stop the shower and open the door at the main controls but they wouldn't respond. The almost inaudible sound of the sonic shower started to grow.

"What are you doing?" Nik asked sounding worried.

"Its not me! The controls are not responding."

The whine of the sonic shower was growing louder and louder. Nik placed his hands over his ears.

"Shut it down!"

Kara started keying in over-ride codes but still nothing worked. The sonic shower suddenly increased in volume exponentially and Nik screamed in pain. Kara spun around to see him fall to his knees. The sound hurt her ears but she knew that was nothing compared to what Nik must be feeling. The cubical was designed to dampen the sound of the sonic shower and the sound-waves were also directional.

"Help me!" Nik pleaded as his forehead started to blister. The noise increased further and wounds started to appear all over his body as the high-frequency sound-waves started to disrupt skin and flesh. Kara rushed into her quarters and grabbed a chair. She pulled it into the bathroom and swung it at the cubical door. It didn't even scratch it.

Nik was curled up in a ball now screaming in pain. His hands were pressed tight against his ears but flesh was falling off them. Several finger bones were visible through the disrupted flesh. Kara swung the chair again and again but it was hopeless. She turned around and aimed a leg of the chair at the wall-mounted control panel and charged. There was a slight crack. She hit it again and again. Finally the leg punched through the control panel and it erupted in a shower of sparks and blue smoke. The noise from the shower died instantly.

Kara span around to help her lover but froze as she saw the shower cubical. The sight of the bloodied skeleton laying on top of a pool of liquidised flesh and organs made her pass out.


"So a real-life, 100%, mad-as-they-come, psychopathic furrier-boiler then?"

"Absolutely! Apparently she programmed the sonic shower to increase it's power 300,000% and changed its frequency to that which would dissolve soft tissue. Not an easy job but she apparently was a brilliant engineer. Man, I wouldn't normally say no to a piece of ass like that. But given what she does after she's had you. Sheeeesh! This patient will give me nightmares for a month!"

"Well who knows, she may be cured some time down the line. Looking at her treatment schedule for the next month, they are going to pump enough juice through her brain in electric-shock treatment to power up a Caracal!"

The two medical technicians in the psychiatric wing of the secure facility looked at the screen in silence. A heavily sedated Kara was strapped to her bed in the small room she would be calling home for the rest of her life.


"So you would call that a success then?" the old man at the bar said without turning his head.

The Amarrian drank his wine, also without turning. He mulled over the statement a minute before answering.

"Yes, as I see it, we got lucky. OK so the intended target is still alive but she's as good as dead. Locked up in a mental health-care establishment pumped full of more drugs than your average Gallente rock-star. Plus the Matari Militia have also lost a Chief Engineer too. And to top it all, nobody is looking towards us as suspects."

"Lucky? Well I'm not sure I see it that way. The only luck you had was that the police on this station are Caldari and sympathetic to our cause and didn't really undertake a thorough investigation. Your frack-up in killing the wrong person could have put our operation at great risk if they'd looked into things carefully. But, thankfully for you, my superiors don't agree with me. Your payment has been sent and the Council sends it's thanks for, what they called, a job well done."


"She was framed then?" the hologram paced around the XO's quarters.

"Yes sir. Our team conducted a discreet investigation of their own. It would appear that the shower controls were infected with a computer virus from the stations own main engineering bay. It wasn't too hard for us to discover, so either the local police are either incompetent or....."

"They are Caldari." The capsuleer interrupted "They'll go with the conclusion that assists the Amarr in the war against us in Matari militia."

"Yes sir. We assume the female technician from your Hawk was the target, the Chief was just unlucky in.... well, in getting lucky that night, if you get my meaning. So what do we do now?"

"Keep looking. Find out who did this, find the Caldari or Amarrian sympathisers and report back to me. This was a targetted hit. Put in a request that an agent needs to deal with my incarcerated crew member. Don't go to the Tribal Liberation Force, they are too..... well...... direct. Last thing we want is half a dozen Brutors charging in with arc cannons blazing. Use our former associates, they can do it discreet. She needs to be out of there now! But make sure it's a clean one. It needs to look like she escaped. We don't need any more trouble with local law enforcement."

The XO nodded and the capsuleer disengaged the hologram and vanished.


It was late on the station and very quiet. Corporal Jona was bored out of his skull. He was just imagining a scenario in his head where he defended the station single-handily from an invading Sansha's Nation task force when his concentration was broken by a message on his terminal.




The shuttle bay, to which he was manning the guard room, might be a target for an escaped prisoner looking for a way off station. He unclasped the strap on his holster just in case. Fantasies started to form in his mind of him taking down the dangerous escaped patient, the reward, the medal ceremony, the promotion. He drew his weapon quickly a few times, pointing it at nothing but thin air in various directions.

His daydreaming was cut short as he saw two maintenance techs walking down the corridor towards the guard room at the hanger entrance. One was pushing a large mobile diagnostics and ship repair unit on a hover-platform. He initially tensed, but then relaxed when he saw they were both men and the unit wasn't big enough to hide someone inside.

"Evening!" the first one said cheerily when he approached the window. He slid his clipboard into the small hatch. Corporal Jona took it and read the job card. The other tech was messing with the mobile repair unit and didn't approach the guard room window.

"Two shuttles, both with the same type of engine intake damage?" Corporal Jona asked.

"Yeah." the technician replied sounding bored. "Some fracking eggers were having a battle on the undock and one got his ass handed to him. He had a hold full of raw veldspar and that shit got spread out all over the damn place. We've got about 40 ships in station with engine intake damage from flying through the debris field including these two shuttles in your bay. Seriously man, my wife is fracking livid, this is date night and I'm working double-shifts with everyone else!"

The guard scanned the papers without really looking. He was actually concentrating on the security camera monitors and drifting back to imagining his medal ceremony if he captured the escaped patient.

"Yeah, shit happens. Just make sure to leave the same way so I can log you both out." he said absently.

"Sure thing. We shouldn't be more then half an hour. Mack! Get that unit rolling to the first shuttle, I'll inspect the second to see if we need anything extra."

With that the second tech pushed the mobile diagnostics and repair unit into the hanger as the guard went back to the bank of monitors and his daydreams.


As soon as the maintenance techs were in the hanger the lead technician pulled a small device from his belt and pressed a button. The body of "Mack" shimmered and faded. The holo-projection that surrounded Kara's body vanished.

"What are you doing!" she whispered angrily. "The cameras! He'll see me!"

"Don't worry, the cameras in this hanger have been hacked. They are showing the same holographic projection we used to hide you on the way in. All he'll see is the 'Mack projection' on the screen just as he saw it with his own eyes when we walked past his office."

Kara relaxed a bit. However, she'd not been fully relaxed since this man had sprung her from the mental ward and explained what had happened. How she had been set up, and that he'd been sent to get her off station.

"So what's the plan?" Kara asked.

"Simple. You'll get into the shuttle in dock-port 14 and wait there. A pilot will be along in the morning and will transport you to Villore system. I've got new ident papers and cash for you as well as tickets on an InterBus shuttle from Villore to Dodixie. Then you are free to do as you wish. We've also been doing our own investigation into the killing of the Chief. I'm visiting the shuttle in dock port 25 at the other end of the hanger and will be placing a present for the Amarrian contractor who killed Chief Nikial and framed you. Then I'll disable the hover-platform and walk out of here with the Mack hologram at my side, tell the guard the hover-platform has died and we'll need to bring new parts in the morning to move it. Then I'll be out of here too."

Kara smiled at the man with her. "Who are you? I didn't know the Minmatar Militia had special forces other than those who blew down doors and shot first with big guns."

"The man smiled. Lets just say your capsuleer didn't always fight for the Matari militia and some 'owed favours' were called in."

Kara gasped making the connection to the man's dark looks.

"Your a member of the Black......"

The man just smiled and held up his hand to silence her. "Sorry miss, I have no idea what you're talking about."

"OK." said Kara "You won't admit to who you are, I understand that. But, I have a request before you stash me in that shuttle."

The unknown man cocked an eyebrow at her quizzically. "When rescuing people in your situation they don't usually make requests you know."

Kara just ignored the comment.

"You said you know who did this to the Chief and framed me?"


"And you know which is their shuttle and you are placing an explosive on it."


"I'm assuming you know my background. I have a better idea than a simple death for that bastard."

"OK" said the man with a smile. "I'm listening."


The Amarian's craft undocked from the vast station. His small ornate shuttle with its golden hull was in stark contrast to the vast grey Caldari construction it was leaving behind.

With that woman loose on the station he didn't want to hang around and there was every chance his employers would ask for their money back. Best to make a hasty departure he had decided. He plotted a course to Gallente space and started spooling up the warp drive. His payment for that job would buy him two weeks of pleasure in Federation space. Whilst the men that paid him wanted the Federation destroyed, along with the Minmatar Republic, he didn't care for politics. He simply killed for money. And the best place to spend it and have a good time was in the Federation. He laughed to himself thinking what the pious men who paid for the hit would think of their Empire's money being spent in a Gallente pleasure resort, sampling the sins they were trying to stamp out throughout the cluster.

The shuttle slipped into warp and the Amarrian slumped back in the cockpits single chair to relax. It didn't last very long, almost immediately he realised something was wrong. The shuttle wasn't in warp to the Hikkoken stargate as he'd planned, it was heading for the sun. Did he make a mistake? Did he select the wrong gravity-well by accident? Was he so caught up in his fantasies of the next two weeks that he accidentally selected the sun as the 'warp-to' object?

As the shuttle dropped out of warp he selected the appropriate stargate and was about to hit the warp command when he saw the ship was aligning, it was changing course on its own. It appeared to be setting a course parallel to the sun. At this point he knew that something was very wrong and selected manual control. The helm didn't respond, he activated the warp drive, but nothing happened. Suddenly the low shield alarm went off. He looked in shock. Nobody was attacking him. Why would the shields start to drop? He wiped the sweat from his brow. He needed to calm down, he was panicking. No, he thought, he wasn't, not yet anyway. Then the realisation hit him, it wasn't his nerves that were causing him to sweat. It was the heat due to the lack of shields and proximity of the sun! He quickly grabbed his tool bag and opened the engineering access panel under the pilots console. As he opened the small access door open, he heard a dozen small "pops" all around the cockpit. He pulled the door panel away to be confronted by a thin wisp of smoke. Before his eyes, the electronics in his console were dissolving. A small clear cylinder connected to a tiny grey box had burst open. Both items shouldn't be there and he knew exactly what they were, nanites. The container had been attached to the access panel door and when he opened it, the trigger had gone off and sprayed billions of nanites all over the internals of the flight console. The microscopic robots had instantly started eating away anything they touched. He knew the other popping sounds he heard were similar devices doing off, remotely triggered by the activation of the first one. The reason he knew this was simply because it is the sort of thing he would do. One in the navi-com, one in each of the backup systems, even one in the door controls. He was brilliant at electronics, but not even a genius could fix what had already been eaten away. He was now trapped in the cockpit, dangerously close to a blue star with no controls, no shields and no way to escape. It had to be her he thought. She'd rigged the ship to fly to the sun and drop its shields. She'd also booby-trapped the cockpit to prevent him undoing her work. The heat was starting to get painful.

He sat back down and laughed at the irony. An assassin, assassinated by the target he was sent to kill. He reached under the console and went to retrieve a blaster pistol from its hidden holster secured under the flight control desk.

"Sorry lady, but no way I'm going to slowly roast to death." he said aloud. Maybe she had planted a camera in the cockpit so she could watch, may be she didn't. He didn't know and certainly didn't care.

He placed the blaster to his temple and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. He idly tossed the gun to one side not even bothering to look. She'd clearly thought of everything.

Trapped in the cockpit with no way out and no way of ending things quickly the Amariran put his feet up on the controls, lit one of his favourite Matari cigars and started watching the sun get closer as the cabin temperature slowly rose.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The New Bounty System

aka "I'm Sorry CCP Punkturis."

Following my shameless Twitter plug of Monday's blog post with all the screenshots about my weekend play on Retribution, I got the following Tweet from CCP Pukturis.....

It was true, I didn't really cover the bounty overhaul or the crimewatch overhaul. Therefore I will try to make amends and beg her forgiveness in this post!

So even though I should be having an early night, I logged onto Buckingham and I sent an alt into low sec and pointed Drackarn, the naughty, naughty piwat her way.

I love the system of Old Man Star because of how it got its name. You don't know why it's called that? Shame on you!

Anyway, I bought the alt a faction frigate and warped her to the nearest scenic planet.

The new bounty office is divided into three sections. The first two are "Most Wanted" which details the players, corporations and alliances with the highest bounties.

This is then followed by "Top Hunters" which details the players, corporations and alliances who have collected the most bounties. The third section handles tracking your own bounties which we will look at in a bit.

You can also here, at the bottom of the bounty office screen, add bounties on players, corporations and alliances. I think I'll put a bounty on my own alliance for shits and giggles.

I sent Drackarn to find the alt in one of the new destroyers. I used the Caldari one as that takes the best screenshots with all those lovely, lovely rockets.

Avast! Thar she blows! Mmmmmm she looks a bit dangerous. May be I should put a bounty on her head! Fairly simple when you are in local with them....

Easy life! Right click, place bounty, set amount  Done! The problem is, your target gets a very subtle hint that you might have done this.....

Whoops, she's mad..... bro! Looks like I'm in for a fight. Better strike first! First! Eh? FIRE! LAUNCHERS??? Y U NO FIRE? WTF? Oh........

Oh yes, the new safety thingy! OK turn that crap off. I wonder how many people are going to find that a problem with their first time in Retribution. Right, I've set that safety thing to "Maximum YAAAARRRRR!".


That's better. Look at all those lovely rockets! Actually, whilst I'm firing on innocent players, you can see the new aggression flags in the top-left of the window. First one shows the gate/station lock out (60 seconds from last offensive mod activation), second is the GCC flag and third is the suspect flag (last two both 15 minutes). Last shot below shows a few minutes after the battle.You can see the lockout flag has cleared and the other two remaining are slowly ticking down.

Anyway, lets finish that poor innocent neutral off. Death by rockets!

Oooooo I got mail! As I put the bounty on her, and also killed her ship too, I get one mail telling me I got a bounty for that kill and another mail telling me that some of the bounty I placed on someone has been claimed.

I can keep track of my bounties in the bounty office window.

The payout is based on a percentage of the kill. That is also shown on the spaceship murder notification, I mean kill mail. Mmmmmm 14m loss, 21k payout? Going to take a while for that bounty pool to deplete at that rate.

EDIT - From CCP Paradox - Bounty payout values are not correct on the test server, just to point that out ;)

So all good on my try out of PvP and test of the Retribution bounty system on the test server. I still think it is impossible to turn bounty hunting into a profession simply due to mechanics and the fact people would exploit, but the new system is a massive step up from where we are now.

Oh and I nearly forgot, best of all.....

So CCP Punkturis, am I forgiven?