Monday, May 30, 2016

The Rules of Eve Blog Banter Club

There appears to be some longstanding confusions regarding the monthly blog banters. I just wanted to take a few minutes to clear somethings up.

Anyone can suggest a topic.
Let the current custodian know if you have a good idea for a banter. Currently that's me, Drackarn. You can email to my character name at, use the IG mail, Twitter, this blog or even find me at Fanfest! I usually take 3 or 4 potential topics and email a couple of other players who are very active "banterers" and see which is the most popular.

Anyone can join any banter.
They are not by invitation, you simply post your own response to the topic. There is a mailing list if you want to know what the question is a few days before the banter goes live but you don't need to be on it to take part. If you see people talking about it and you want to express your opinion then go ahead!

There is no time limit.
If you want to join in the banter a week or two after the start why not! The more the merrier! You'll be added to the main post if you let me know you've posted. Obviously there is greater interest in the week the banter goes live but there is nothing to stop you adding your 2 cents/penneth/euros or whatever currency you use to the topic!

You don't need to follow the title exact.
Its nice if you include Blog Banter or BBnn but call it what you want. In fact its good to go with your own title and make it stand out from the crowd. If everyone calls their post the same thing then its a bit boring.

Tell People You've Contributed
Make sure you post your banter in the comments of the main post on the current custodian's blog so that they can add it to the list of participating blogs.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Blue Flame of Revenge

Friday Fiction! Escape pod here. This could be a long series....

The Blue Flame of Revenge

Luminaire System
5000 years ago.

"Is it a sign?" the small boy asked looking up at the night sky.

The blue disk had appeared in the four days before and had grown larger with each passing night.

"It is my son." the old blacksmith replied also gazing at the translucent disk. In his many years he'd seen many things in the night sky, but nothing like this. A large blue translucent disk that had appeared in the heavens and grown larger by the day.

The planet, which in several millenia would be known as Gallente Prime, was a backward world. Whilst the original colonists from earth had been technologically advanced and arrived in starships, that knowledge had been lost. The collapse of Eve Gate had been catastrophic. The fledgling colonies had been unable to cope without the support from Earth. Most had died out, especially those colonies on worlds still being terraformed. Those that survived on the more stable worlds, like this one, had lost the advanced knowledge over time and reverted to an almost medieval society.

"We should head to the castle with the others. Our Lord will addresses us this night. He'll know what it means."

The man rose from the anvil he was sitting on and picked up one of the oil lamps that hung on one of the smithy's columns. The boy crawled up from the floor and followed his father into the village where the other villagers were all starting to leave for the castle, worried glances cast up high at the blue disk in the night sky. At the back of the group a bard scribbled a new song on a piece of parchment. He was confident their lord would proclaim it a good omen. A blessing that deserved a song.

At the same time, on a nearby planet in the same solar system, two armies clashed on top of a frozen lake. It was late in the day but the blue disk was just visible in the clear sky. Both of the fuedal lords had taken the appearance of the phenomenon as a sign it was time to crush their foes. Tensions had been building between the two for a long time on this island in the southern hemisphere of what would be known in the future as Caldari Prime.

"My lord!" the man in intricate armour entered the tent and bowed.

The man stood over the map table looked up. He was old and his long mustache was grey and hung down in points past his chin.

"What news general?"

"My Lord, you are victorious. As you predicated, the Eye of Heaven smiled upon us this day. We are mopping up the last of the enemy."

The old man allowed a smile to creep over his face.

"Excellent. Go to the scribe. Tell him your story whilst it is still fresh in your mind. Ensure our Captains do the same. This great victory should be recorded for all time along with the others!"

The armoured man bowed again, turned briskly and left the tent.

The leader followed him out, stopping at the tent flap. He looked up at the pale disk in the sky, pulling his cloak around him to keep out the chill as the snow fell. The valley below looked very different now. The snow and ice painted red with death. However the Eye of Heaven had been right, it was the right time to crush his foes.

A few days later the disk started to fade and within a week it had vanished. The event was told around the fires on both planets for decades after. However eventually it was forgotten, the only surviving references contained in a local song and the pages of a military strategy book of an ancient feudal lord on separate planets far apart... for the time.


Interstellar Space
3 Light-Years from Luminaire
Present Day

The red laser slowly cut into the rock. Gian watched from the laboratory console as the sample started to break apart. Chunks of raw veldspar dropped and bounced at the bottom of the sealed chamber. The basketball sized asteroid fragment then shattered and the pieces dropped from the centre of the clear containment cube with a bang.

"Great. More veldspar!" Gian muttered as the console analysed the rock.

She was an astrogeologist in the Duvolle Laboratories Exploration Division. However, she was currently on secondment to Thanan Industries. A private research firm. She'd been given the pitch by her boss. A decade ago deep-space scans had detected gravimetric anomalies in the Crux constellation. Thanan Industries had concluded that this space had probably contained a solar system but no star was visible. It had taken several years for a specially outfitted probe to travel to the area at warp speed. On arrival it had deployed a special beacon that acted as a cynosural field. This allowed their research ship, a modified Nestor equipped with a jump drive, to travel instantaneously to the point deep in interstellar space without taking nearly a decade to travel there. Apparently their main astrogeologist had been killed the week before the scheduled departure in an accident. The Nestor was due to travel and they were desperate for a replacement. Thanan Industries had offered a large sum of money to second Gian for a six month stint. Studying minerals in a system that had never been visited by humans before had been very appealing so Gian had agreed without hesitation despite the fact the vast distance meant she'd be cut off for six months.

They had been there a month now and so far they had found little but debris from some cataclysmic cosmic event. Something had happened to the system's sun. However hard evidence as to what was hard to come by. Her estimates that five thousand years ago there had been an incident, but the chunks of veldspar that the drones were finding were offering no more information than that timeframe and a massive explosion.

A blinking light indicated another sample had been delivered. She pressed a few buttons and the debris in the cutting chamber was swept away. Another chunk of rock was carried into the chamber by robotic arms and she started the laser cutter up again. Slowly bits of veldspar fell away and she consulted the active scanners. Nothing new, veldspar ore that at some point been subjected to a massive blast of heat. She glanced up and did a double take. Something blue was being revealed towards the centre of the rock. She looked at the scanner expecting to see isogen reported however the scanner registered the mineral as 'unknown'. Her curiosity piqued she started adjusting the scanners to concentrate on the strange blue crystal. As the last of the rock fell away the crystal was fully exposed. A smile crept across her face as the scans kept returning the same results. It matched no known substance either naturally occurring or manmade. She might have just made the astrogeological discovery of the century. She quickly logged the find in the system.

Deep inside the ships AI a subroutine woke. It had been waiting for a report that was similar to what Gian had just written. 'Blue crystal. Unknown mineral. Does not match any known materials."

Up on the ships bridge the Captain was reviewing the current drone deployments. They had 10 sample collection drones and eight were in space. One was unloading ore samples for the laboratories and another was in for repairs.

"Sir, we have an anomoly." Ensign Coverie called out.

Glad of the distraction the Captain rose from his chair and walked over to the navigation officers post.

"The Navicom has started calculating a FTL route on its own and the jumpdrive has started to power up."

The Captain looked at the screen and rubbed his chin.

"Shut them down. Find out where the startup commands originated from."

The Ensign's fingers danced over the control console.

"Sir, its not responding to my command codes and there is no authorisation codes attached to the spool-up command."

The Captain moved the Ensign out of the way and entered his own command codes. However the jump drive would not shut down. He looked at the navicom readout. It was certainly calculating a jump but to where? He returned to his chair and activated the internal comms system.

"All crew report to stations. We have lost control of the navigational systems and the AI is jumping us to a destination unknown. I want everyone ready to react to whatever is going on!"

A few seconds later the ship vanished into the artificial wormhole.


Dodixie System
Gallente Federation Space

"Slender pickings." the Amarrian grumbled walking down the line. The slaves stood with their heads bowed, staring at the deck plates. The small lights on the glave collars around their necks blinked various colours. The collars could be used to inflict pain, paralyse or kill at the flick of a switch.

"You want choice go back to Amarr. The slave markets on Oris in Amarr have plenty of choice. You want blackmarket slaves in Gallente space, this is what you get." the fat Gallente man replied. "Most of these here can help crew that bucket of bolts you have flying next to us, so you cannot go wrong if its crew you are after." The fat man stopped beside a young Matari girl "If it's something more entertaining you are after this one should tick all the boxes. Feel that skin, so soft and a steal at only eight large!"

The Amarrian looked at the line. Broken men and women in utter desperation.

"I'll take them all."

"Excellent! Transfer the creds and I'll..." a blaring alarm stopped the fat Gallente man in his tracks.

"What is it?" he yelled into his communicator over the sound of the alarm.

"Its that Hoarder sir! Its locked us up and has us webbed and scrambled. Not only that, its got enough firepower pointed in our direction to vapourise us!" the voice crackled out of the communicator.

The fat man turned to the Amarrian about to ask him what was going on but found himself staring down the barrel of a blaster.

"Order your men to stand down."

The fat man had no wish to fight especially with a gun in his face and ordered his men to stand down.

"You going to steal from me then?" he sighed.

"No. I cannot steal from something you do not own. Your bridge crew should have Federal Navy ships on scan, they'll be taking proceedings from here!"

An hour later Captain Sosa was back in his quarters on the Horder stripping of the Amarrian mask and robes. Slowly the Caldari man under the disguise was revealed. He showered and changed back to his normal clothing. Grabbing a mug of coffee he approached his desk as the communicator chirped. Accepting the call a small holographic figure appeared.

"I hear the Feds are rather happy with the conclusion of that contract!" Mordu stated. The head of the Legion wore an eccentric hat in the shape of a Rokh battleship.

"Yes, one less slaver is always good news, but a slaver operating in high-sec space outside the Amarrian Empire territory is a special catch."

"Good work there. I need to you to swing over to the system of Fricoure, the Duvolle Laboratories station there. They've put in a call. One of their scientists was seconded out to another company. They think they may have been duped and the scientist kidnapped. They want to talk to us about a locate and retrieve contract."

"We're only three jumps from there. Once the Feds are happy with the situation here we'll head over. What do we know?"

"There scientist was supposed to be helping out on a mineral survey for six months in deep space. So deep in fact, communication was impossible, we're talking interstellar here. Yesterday they received a partial message from the scientist. Its too early for them to be back, however the message originated from low-sec space between the State and the Federation. Therefore they think this company may have just kidnapped their scientist. They don't want the Feds involved nor their internal police. Something about results being published soon and no negative press. They want a quiet and low-key investigation by the Legion."

"Sounds ominous. We'll get there as soon as we are finished here."

Mordu nodded, his huge hat looking like it may fall off his head but it stayed put. The hologram vanished.


OMS System
Contested Space

Thanan reviewed the report. The theory had been correct. The project he'd spent over decade of his life working on was nearing fruition.

He looked at the holo-picture on his desk. A tear welled up in his eye. Soon there would be vengence. Soon he would find peace after so many years of pain.

Activating a secure commlink he waited for the recipient to accept the call.

"Is the ship secure?"
"Yes sir. Its docked and locked down."
"Nobody was able to get a communication out?
"We cannot be 100% certain sir. It took two seconds to lock the ship as it jumped back. Its possible someone sent a message before the ionisation weapon fired. However we knew that was a risk sir."
"We'll just have to hope the jump took them all by surprise. You have the item?"
"Yes sir. Its been transferred from the ship and is in the vault as requested."
"The crew?"
"As per your orders, the scientists have been transferred to holding cells. The others are confined to quarters on the ship."
"Excellent. Wipe the ship's computers and proceed with the next phase."

He disconnected the comm link and walked over to the bar. The bottle of Gallente vodka hovered in the air over a glowing disk. The repulsor field was not just a display device, it also kept the drink at exactly -2C. Thanan took the bottle and poured a healthy measure. Downing the drink in one he felt the alcohol warm his throat. He poured another measure and moved over to the window that looked into space. He'd had this outpost positioned so his office window looked out into deep space, into the Black Rise region and onward towards Caldari space. As he sipped his drink he smiled. Soon it would all be over.

To be continued....

Monday, May 23, 2016

Snuff Supers Snuffed/Goons Sov-less

"Man flu" alert! All reps on Drack! All reps on Drack.

Whilst I'm dying of desert flu, it appears Snuff got hotdrop o'clocked in my neighbourhood!

Although some might say the Goons losing the last of their Sov is also newsworthy. 

If I die of this flu.... then no.... you can't have my stuffz.

Drack out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BB75 - DUST to Dust. All Hail Nova!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?


Before I give, imho, what Nova needs I want to recap on the past. I have said before on here that I bought a PS3 just for DUST514. That's all it was ever used for. I like FPS games, I love Eve. So I must have loved DUST right?

I played it in the beta. I tried to get into it. In the end I just gave up. I kept on retrying for months and months. I played it after each major release hoping it would be better. That the issues I disliked would be sorted. There were some improvements but in the end my opinion of the game was that it was poor. Obviously there are thousands out there that loved it. There is no denying that there is a fan-base out there who completely disagreed with me. However a few thousand isn't enough for a AAA FPS game. Everytime I ended back on CoD or similar for my FPS hit.

So what were the problems as I saw it?

Maps too Open/Sniper Dominance
OK LETS DO THIS! Splat! Dead! OK I've respawned but now I have to "run" over there and... splat! OK dead again. Right I'll "run" this way this time and.... splat! So if I try..... splat. OK then.... splat. RIGHT.... splat. /shutdown_console.

Playing Chest Deep in Treacle
I know games like CoD and Battlefield are not an accurate representation of life. We don't want our FPS to be! We want a fun game not a realistic one. For smeg's sake, Eve players should know this! We are playing "submarines in space". The early versions were bad. It improved over time but overall the controls felt sluggish, unresponsive and slow. Hence the use of "run" in the previous point.

Tanky McTankFace
Am I talking heavy dropsuits or the actual tank? Who cares, there were problems with both being too OP!

Match Making/AUR Gear
Was it that some of the best FPS players in the world played DUST514 or the match making was terribad or the AUR gear was OP. So many games I played were utterly dominated by a single player or two.

So what does Nova need?

None of the above problems!

For those who have never worked in sales or wrote tenders for contracts that stands for 'unique selling point'. When I have wrote tender documents our aim was to put something in there the opposition weren't offering. As an example in the gaming world, when Titanfall landed it had two. The parkoura and the FRACKING 50 FOOT TALL ROBOTS OF DEATH! Nova needs a USP to make it stand out from the crowd in a very crowded genre. Whilst DUST514 had USP in the Eve Online link and orbital bombardment, it really didn't appeal to the masses and required too much planning. FPS on a console and Eve Online have massively different playstyles. "Oh I might have a blast on DUST later if I feel like it. Want to provide some orbital bombardment?"

A Link to Eve
The FW link in DUST was used by the players. I know from my time in Gal Mil that both sides used DUST to make specific systems easier or harder to capture. Something like this needs replicating in Nova. May be it effects node spawning when entosising sov in null? May be it could be used to spawn an extra vulnerability window in a citadel or extend the existing one? When DUST514 was announced they said they'd be able to bring the Eve Universe to the "millions of PS users". Well it didn't. Don't think millions, think 100's of thousands of Eve players/fans. That'll get you started and then bring others in. Orbital bombardment was a good idea. Lets get that working right! There could be other ways to overlap the games. Something like that could be cool. Nova mercs disabling a high-slot on a citadel? A raid on a Nyx hangar bay to destroy fighter bombers?

A Monetisation that's Balanced.
I will happily pay appropriately for a good game. However, I'm not paying more than an equivelent of an Eve subscription per month for whatever Nova becomes. If some numbnut who doesn't have anything better to do than spend 200 a month on uber gear keeps killing me I'm going to stop playing. This is the issue. To make micro transactions worthwhile they have to give you a decent boost otherwise why buy them? If its too much of a boost it will discourage a lot of people from playing (the majority who don't want to spend 50 a week in a FPS!). This is going to be CCP's biggest headache. Making money whilst not giving those who want to throw cash at CCP so much of an advantage it spoils the game for the majority. If CCP do go F2P like DUST, this is one of the big issues.

Good luck CCP, I'm hoping for great things from Nova.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Blog Banter 75 - What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?


Sunday, May 15, 2016

SCASSSS - 2nd Fortizar Down

The second Fortizar has been destroyed and this one shows who'll turn up to get on a 28bn ISK killmail when they are deployed in low-sec. The answer being 530 people!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Passenger - Part III

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here!

The Passenger - Part III

"Captain, I have a whole fracking flotilla on short scan!" Amme called out as the Nereus traveled at sixteen times the speed of light towards the stargate.

"Acknowledged" Tranard replied.

They were committed now. It was impossible to simply cut the warp engines. That would spell doom for the ship. Every faster-than-light trip required precise calculations. The NaviCom needed the exact gravimetric patterns and strength of the sub-space field. For strong areas such as those near planets, moons, asteroid belts and large structures in space it could do it remotely. The crew could also instruct the NaviCom to save the data for a specific location they were in at that moment in time so they could warp back to in in the future. However to enter warp your destination needed to be known point. If it didn't have a bookmark, beacon, planet, moon, belt or structure, you could not warp there without probes.

"We're landing in five, four, three...." Linead gave the countdown as the blurred warp tunnel in front of them started to slow and dissipate. A blinding flash of light and they dropped below light-speed and the vast stargate came into view as the ship, impeded by 4th dimensional drag, slowed quickly.

"Nobody!" Amme gasped.

The crew looked at the scene in disbelief. Their feint had worked. The Amarrian vessels guarding this gate had quickly gone to the other.

"No celebrating yet. We don't know what's on the other side, and this is one of several jumps we've got to do to get safe. Full speed to the gate, let's jump before those Amarr stop scratching their heads and realise we've just tricked them. This was a one time deal. They aren't going to fall for it again so lets move people!"

The Nereus fired its sub-light engines and started travelling to the gate.


Pareh smiled as he scanned the sheer amount of information on the screen. Suddenly it all made sense. He had been baffled why Yvandele was resisting his 'persuasion'. Why would a man put his family through that just to save a business acquaintance and his crew. This treasure trove of information was why. He had known Yvandele was an information broker, he just had no idea he operated in the Empire's space so much, and with enemies of the Amarr. There were details on Matari resistance groups and even Amarrian anti-slavers. Their own people committing treason against the empire. Hundreds, no thousands of contacts and locations. It would be the intelligence coup that the Inquisition would talk about for decades.

"Thank you for this Yvandele. You have done a great service to the Empire."

Yvandele didn't answer. He sobbed quietly, still bound to the chair. His head hung forward in shame and regret. In front of him his son stared straight ahead through lifeless eyes, still bound to another chair. His daughter lay naked face down on the floor. She was dead-still. The shallow movement of her ribcage the only indication she was alive, as her eyes stared straight ahead as her cheek rested on the floor. She was clearly in shock. The only movement was Pareh's men who were finishing redressing and Yvandele's wife. She was crawling towards the door, dragging herself by her left arm. He legs were useless, the achilles tendons in her ankles slashed by the men during their games. Her right hand clutched the gaping wound on the right side of her chest. It was that what had broke Yvandele, when they had started cutting. The Inquisitor whispering in his ear that once they had finished mutilating his wife, his daughter would be next.

Pareh confirmed the download of the files to his datapad and uploaded a particularly destructive virus to the terminal. He considered transmitting the data immediately back to HQ but paused. He could review the data himself. Pick out the one's he'd most enjoy serving the Empresses judgement to himself. He would become a legend. A man seemingly able to sniff out treason and heresy wherever it existed.

He stood from the terminal and picked his sabre from where it rested on the table. It was still red with the blood of Yvandele's son. The Gallente man looked up, resignation in his eyes.

Pareh walked over to Yvandele's wife who was still slowly crawling for the door. He thrust the blade down in the middle of her back. There was a crack of bone and a metallic chink when the blade struck the floor beneath her. He pulled the blade out and strode over to the daughter. He slammed the blade through the side of her skull. The body convulsed for a few seconds and then was still. As he started walking over to Yvandele he pulled his communicator out.

"I've sent coordinates. Inform the fleet that this is the targets destination and set our course for that destination. We'll met them there. Our capsuleer ships will easily overtaken them and we'll be waiting for them."

He opened a pouch on his belt and pulled out a silver fist-sized sphere. He tossed it lazily on the ground. Red lights flashed as it struck the floor. The device started to hum as it drew air though its core. It left the oxygen in the atmosphere to ensure the lifesupport didn't register an alarm. However it slowly converted the nitrogen into a much more dangerous gas. It would take an hour but the device could turn the atmosphere of any normal sized room into a highly flammable cocktail of explosive gases. Once it was the right mix the device would give a spark. The heat of the explosion was usually sufficient to erase all evidence.

"Well Yvandele. That is all we need. Thank you for your help. It was a most entertaining afternoon." the Inquisitor say bring the sabre up high.

As the Amarrians left nobody paid any heed to the portable air conditioning unit that steadily blinked by the door, dismissing it as a normal piece of office furniture. However Yvandele had been paranoid about his health. As well as filtering out dust and other particulates the air conditioner also had a similar use to the weapon. Its job was to ensure a perfect mix of 20.9% oxygen and 79.1% nitrogen in the air. The two devices were to do battle.


Tranard stared intently at the viewscreen on the bridge, watching the lone interceptor take a lazy orbit around the stargate. They had just jumped into their desitnation system and had expected to find another 'gate camp' of Amarrian Navy vessels. Instead they had found a single interceptor. Discussions had been quick on whether their earlier feign for a different stargate had led to most ships cross-jumping them. Or whether they had been ordered on a different route to intercept them at another gate.

"30 seconds left on the cloak Captain" Amme called out.

Tranard contemplated warping direct to the location Yvandele had provided them. However he decided to get safe and then take things slowly.

"Prepare to align for planet 6. We'll MWD-Cloak and plot a safe spot enroute. Ready. Engage!"

The crew held their breath as the manoeuvre was carried out. As the lumbering industrial swung around towards the sixth planet its microwarpdrive fired. As soon as it did the cloaking device was activated. The bridge crew watched as the interceptor spin around and align towards them, engaging its own microwarpdrive. Within seconds it was travelling at over 4km a second.

"Captain... that Interceptor is going to miss us. In fact it's going to miss us by a long way."

The Captain looked at the tactical view. They were right. Unlike the previous times where the fast tackle had come close to decloaking them, this interceptor looked like it would miss them by almost 30km. He rubbed his chin. A navy capsuleer should be better than that. The situation didn't feel right. He watch the interceptor rush past.

"Decloak, warp and get us safe. I need to make a call." he grumbled as he stood. The ship shuddering as it passed the speed of light.

The Captain exited the bridge and proceded down to the comm room. Whilst he always tried to limit calls when being hunted he had no choice. Something didn't feel right and it was nagging him at the back of his mind. He slumped onto the sofa and engaged the holo system. The waiting image popped up for only a few seconds. When the image morphed into the view of a man the Captain lent forward. It was not Yvandele.

"Who is this?" the small figure spoke.

"I could ask you the same question." the Captain replied, his finger hovering over the disconnect button.

"This is Detective Rembieres of the Quafe Internal Police Force."

"Goodbye Detective!" Tranard said and went to disconnect the call.

"Yvandele is dead." the Detective quickly spoke. The Captain paused just before his finger hit the button.

"How?" he asked carefully.

"I cannot go into details."

The Captain quickly worked on the other monitor whilst keeping an eye on the holographic policeman.

"How long have you worked in that station Detective?" he asked.

"Five years."

"Then you know who Yvandele is and what he does, did, I assume."

The holographic man nodded.

"Well it can hardly be a surprise this is how he died."

"This wasn't a hit Captain, it was something else." the detective replied.

The Captain quickly looked at the other screen he'd been working on. The search results were up. A headline of "Family butchered at Quafe Station" confirmed his worst fears.

"Are the media reports accurate?" Tranard asked.

"I'm not at liberty to say."

The Captain leaned forward to disconnect the call.

"Wait!" the Detective cut in "It was a brutal attack on him and his family and we believe they were after something."

"Check your logs. You'll probably find an Amarrian ship docked at your station shortly before and is now gone. You'll be looking for military types probably. Black ops. Special forces. Something like that."

"How do you...."

With that he disconnected the call before the detective could finish his sentence.


Detective Rembieres backed away from the holo-comm console in Yvandele's office. His tech's were finishing up. Spraying solutions containing nanites that would consume organic material and remove the large bloodstains. The ones on the ceiling were being problematic. When Yvandele's head had been removed from his shoulders the arterial blood had sprayed as high as the ceiling.

He tossed the orb in his hand. The techs had confirmed what it was and why it had failed. They'd also pointed out it was an Amarrian weapon. Knowing this he'd already checked the logs. A Prophesy class command ship had visited the station earlier for a few hours. Piloted by a capsuleer few questions were asked. It had no obvious ties to the Amarrian government but the evidence here and what that starship Captain had said clearly showed they were involved. Security footage had been sparse but from the few shots they had, five Amarrian men all dressed in nondescript black had come and gone.

He was out of his depth if the Amarr Government was involved. It was time to call his superiors.


Back in Amarr space Tranard strode onto the bridge having left the comm room.

"Amme give me a D-Scan on that bookmark!"

He watched as she angled the narrow beam scanner to the co-ordinates Yvandele had supplied.

"I have got a couple of structures and an old acceleration gate on scan."

"No ships?"

"No sir. Nothing on a 10 degree arc."

The Captain thought about it. That detective did not confirm anything but what had been leaked to the papers made him worried. It could have been a customer of Yvandele's. He did deal with a lot of unsavoury characters. Probably ones that would murder his family in front of him and then kill him for failing them. Send a message to others "Here is what happens when you disappoint us". However there was another possibility.

"I want 60 second scans of that site for the next half hour." the Captain ordered rubbing his chin, deep in thought.


Pareh surveyed the fleet sat inside the deadspace pocket. An area of space where the subspace field churned with magnetic eddies. A warp drive was unable to lock onto any point in this area. They could warp away but it was impossible to warp into this area with normal warp drives. The only way in was to use a massive acceleration gate that used graviton physics to hurl ships at warp speed. The gate was extremely accurate and a small beacon was anchored in space signifying the area a ship using the distant gate would land at. This beacon also gave the acceleration gate something to aim at. Over the years a fraction of a degree drift would lead to the landing zone being massively out. A dozen frigates surrounded that beacon ensuring when the Nereus warped in it would be unable to cloak.

"Nothing on scan yet?" the Inquisitor asked staring out of the large window into space.

"Not yet sir. They have not left system so we assume they are sat a safe spot cloaked. Probably waiting for our probe technicians to get bored so we don't pinpoint their location immediately. The Captain is probably thinking there is no point coming to this small outpost if we probe them down on the acceleration gate and know where they have gone." Borvah replied.

The Inquisitor nodded. He was torn by Borvah. An excellent officer with a keen and analytical mind. He was a great asset to his team. However the Inquisitor knew he didn't have the stomach for what needed to be done. He was too lawful when dealing with the lawless. That's why he'd been left on the ship when Pareh took a team to question Yvandele. Borvah would have lodged official complaints about the methods used and caused problems.

Pareh pinched his fingers along a section of the window. The smart glass zooming in on that location. He smiled looking at the satellite they had positioned just away from the fleet. All was set. Now they would just have to wait.


"Still nothing Captain" Amme called out.

"OK align to the bookmark. Prepare to drop cloak and warp. As soon as we hit that acceleration gate we activate it. Then once in the deadspace pocket we get 3k from the beacon and we cloak no matter what is in there. Understood?"

The bridge crew all confirmed their understanding of the orders.

"OK lets.... NO! ALL STOP!" the Captain shouted. The bridge officers spinning around in shock.

The Captain lept from his seat and ran to Amme's console.

"What did you say you had on scan?"

"As I said, a couple of structures and an acceleration gate."

"What structures?"

"Well a small outpost. Two storage silos. An accommodation block....."

"Any beacons?" the Captain cut in.

"No sir. No beacons on scan."

"If there is an acceleration gate there, then there has to be a beacon. There is always a target beacon. Otherwise what is the acceleration gate aiming at?"

The bridge crew went quiet realising the Captain was right. Without the beacon a mere 1 degree drift in the acceleration gate's alignment would lead to the landing zone being over a thousand kilometres from the outpost at least.

"They got Yvandele to talk. They have a scan inhibitor in there. Linead, what's the nearest Federation system from here?"

"Gratesier sir. Three jumps."

"Set a course. Frack it. We're making a run for it... I just have to make a call first."


"Sir, we've got the Nereus on scan. They have decloaked so are likely in warp."

The Inquisitor rubbed his hands together. He would enjoy interrogating the crew.

"Sir. They just left system."

"WHAT?" roared Pareh who stomped to the terminal.

Looking at the screen Borvah was correct. They had just left via one of the stargates.

"Order the fleet to pursue! They must not escape!" he cried.

The fleet of golden ships started to move, the smaller more maneuverable ships slipping into warp before the larger ships. The Inquisitor knew he'd made a mistake. There were too many ships here. He had been overconfident that they would fall into his trap. They didn't have ships protecting the stargates and his prey had a head start. Whilst their capsuleer piloted ships were faster, it was only a few jumps before they reached the Federation border and he could not risk taking the fleet further without risking war. The Prophecy shuddered into warp finally towards the stargate.

10 minutes later Pareh gripped a golden rail turning his knuckles white as they jumped through another stargate. They were not far behind but time was running out. Traffic was quiet and word of a large Amarrian fleet had obviously spread scattering what pirates were about. This gave the Nereus additional help.

"We're only one jump from Gallente space sir." Borvah pointed out.

"How many systems between our border and Gallente high-security space?"

"There is only one sir. However if our fleet even enters low-security it will provoke a response."

"Not the fleet, they will stop in Saidusairos. Just us to continue into Gratesier. We are not registered as Navy, we are registered as an independent capsuleer. We will stop them!" he growled.

As they reached the penultimate gate in they spotted their quarry. They had caught up! The Nereus jumped out of the system as they dropped from warp and coasted to the gate.

"Inform our Capsuleer that he must catch them on the other side! The jump after this one is Gallente hi-sec and if they make it there we have failed." the Inquisitor ordered knowing the capsuleer would be listening anyway.

They felt the strange sensation of gate travel a moment later as their ship was swallowed by the artificial wormhole.

"Sir. We have four Taranis class interceptors here." one of the bridge officers announced as the systems came back online.

"We have no choice but to engage. Decloak now! That industrial must be destroyed. We will engage and then retreat back through the stargate. Four Taranis and these automated sentry guns are not a threat in the time it would take us to retreat even if webbed."

"Nereus decloaking, 14km of the port bow!" Borvah called out.

"Destroy it!" the Inquisitor screamed.

The Prophesy locked the slow turning ship and engaged a warp disruptor. A graviton beam sliced into the warp core of the hapless industrial preventing the warp drive from functioning. A second later the rows of pulse-laser cannons flanking the command ship lit up. The industrial's weak shields, designed to hold out against small pirate vessels, shields were no match for the power of a capsuleer piloted battlecruiser and failed in a bright flash on the first volley. The second ruptured the engineering section and breached the reactor. It was all over in seconds.

"Yes!" the Inquisitor hissed. "Scan for escape pods!"

"No pods detected sir. I think we didn't give them time enough to react. All hands lost. The Taranis have engaged and we are taking gate-gun fire."

"No matter." smiled the inquisitor "Return to the gate and jump once...."

"SIR! Contacts!"

The Inquisitor was cut short as one of the bridge crew interrupted him, pointing at the screen. The bridge went silent as a Gallente taskforce dropped out of warp. Bright flashes of light signifying a great number of ships were dropping below the speed of light.

"Ten Brutix Navy Issue. 10 Vexor Navy Issue. Two Thanatos and a dozen Dominix, Hyperion and Megathron class battleships. They are engaging!"

The Inquisitor looked at the numbers and the small portion that were shown on the viewscreen. They were webbed and scrammed by the Taranis. There was no way they would make it back to the gate. Pareh simply rose and walked briskly to one of the escape pod accesses without saying a word. The crew looked at him opened mouthed for a moment before jumping to their feet and running for the pods.

It took barely 30 seconds for the Gallente force to vapourise the Prophecy.


"I am an Inquisitor of the Amarrian Empire and I demand to speak to my people!" Pareh banged both his fists on the table. Whilst chained together through a metal ring secured to the tabletop he still had enough movement to create noise. The Gallente man in the black uniform opposite didn't flinch and stared in silence at the Amarrian.

"Its like this..." he finally started "By taking an escape pod on your own there are no witnesses. We can deny we have you. That your pod was likely lost in the engagement. An illegal incursion by the Amarr military into Federation space by the way. This facility is also off the books. Nobody save a few high-ranking officers know you are here. So, we're going to start asking you some questions. Your co-operation will decide how well you are treated."

The Inquisitor scoffed.

"You are Gallente Navy. Don't try and frighten me. You cannot do anything, your laws choke and suffocate you. That is why you will never stand a chance of victory against the combined force of the Amarr and our allies in the State!"

The Gallente man smiled.

"I'd agree with you if I was Navy." pausing for effect "However we in the Black Eagles aren't as suffocated by laws as you might think." he said.

Pareh's face dropped at the mention of the Black Eagles. The officer picked up a small remote and clicked a button. One side of the holding cell shimmered and vanished revealing a room next door. Inside was what looked like a hospital bed and various machines. A stern looking Gallente woman, also in a black uniform, looked on from beside a tray of implements. She was pulling on a pair of black latex gloves.

"So Inquisitor. Do you want to talk to me or Doctor Durrac over there?"

"Do what you want with me you Gallente scum! I will tell you nothing. You didn't do anything. The girl is dead and we are victorious. You achieved nothing."

The Gallente officer smiled.

"Well, that is what your former crew mates will report. They are already enroute back to Amarr by the way after we assisted in their rescue. However, I must ask. Did you ever stop to think why there was a task force so close to that gate ready to pounce? Why those interceptors just happened to be there waiting to ensure you couldn't escape? Finally, did you scan the transponder of the Nereus you engaged or did you just fire first?"

The Inquisitor sneered. "You are bluffing. We won!"

Rising from his chair the Gallente officer picked his cap from the table and placed it on its head.

"You destroyed a remote control Nereus fitted with a cloaking device that we'd positioned near the gate. If you'd looked carefully out of the window of your escape pod you might have seen the other ship decloak after the full 60 seconds of gate-cloak." he said turning "I can tell you this as you'll never leave this facility. It is simply up to you how much pain you endure during your life here.".

The Inquisitor screamed in rage as the Black Eagle Officer left and was replaced by two guards as Doctor Durrac smiled and pointed to the medical bed.


Tranard and Amme arrived at the door at the same time.

"Ready for this?" Amme asked with a smile.

"Not sure, I think I'd rather have the Amarrian Navy chasing us again!"

Amme laughed and pressed the call button. A second later the door opened. Eva stood there in a satin red cocktail dress. The Captains jaw almost hit the floor.

"Looks like someone is getting the royal treatment." Amme complained half jokingly as they entered the spacious apartment. Eva smiled.

"The clothes provided for me were too Amarrian. I had a word with one of the representatives from your Government. I mean OUR government."

The dining table had been set up against a large window that looked down into deep space. The outpost was remote and had been their home for the last few weeks. The rest of the crew had already left with new identities and a decent amount of credits which would allow them to start new lives. As the registered command crew, Tranard and Amme, needed more time. They had undergone some minor cosmetic alterations. Difficult to spot but enough that a facial recognition scan would be fooled.

"You didn't have to do this." the Captain said, whilst he sounded polite, he really did mean that. He'd been hoping to limit contact with Eva. He didn't bear her any ill-will, just he thought it was for the best.

"Nonsense! Its our last night here and I wanted to thank you for saving me."

The Captain simply politely nodded thinking it best not to point out he was saving himself.

Eva gracefully moved over to the table and removed the silver platter covers. As she bent down the Captain noticed that the dress wasn't the only clothing that she'd negotiated. He was pretty sure Amme would not have been supplied lingerie like that given the underwear that was provided for him.

They sat at the table and surveyed the feast that lay before them. The meal was a blend of Amarrian and Gallente specialities. Tranard wondered how the kitchens on this militarised station had managed to come up with such a banquet. Then he thought about all the high-level defectors and prisoners that may have come through here. High-level directors of the State tired with Caldari life, Admirals of the Royal Amarrian Navy looking for the freedoms of the Federation. The food was consumed and the wine drunk. It was a welcome end to a difficult week.

"I could have skipped the surgery! Now I've finished this I'll be so fat any facial scanners will identify me as a potential for a moon mining array!"

"Oh don't worry Captain!" Eva purred "I'll make sure you work it off tonight!"

Amme laughed. "Sounds like your luck's in Captain."

Tranard gave her a stern look, feeling massively uncomfortable with it all.

"Your's too Amme." Eva continued "I want to reward you both... properly!"

Amme's jaw dropped and this time it was the Captain's turn to laugh as his second in command turned bright red.

"To the future." Eva said raising her glass changing the subject.

Tranard and Amme raised their glasses too, glancing at each other with looks of shock and uncertainty on their faces.

The end.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

First Fortizar Down

It appears the first Fortizar citadel has been assploded. zKill puts it at a 33,000,000,000 ISK loss. Thanks to One-Man Wolf-Pack for the heads up on this one.

Monday, May 9, 2016

I Wasn't Expecting That!

Sometimes in Eve things still can surprise you (or at least me).

Over the weekend I took a Kestrel out looking for some PvP. I found two sorts of players.

2. I'll come at you Bro.... in my Faction Frigate.

Yeah thats no surprise in my TZ, that comes a little later. Anyway, no-one wanted an equal fight. Great. After a while I gave up and flew back to base and swapped to a faction frigate myself and went back out. I then spent 30 minutes finding only one sort of player.


It would seem that those guys in faction frigates who came at my T1 weren't as keen when I was in a Comet. I've said it before, my TZ sucks!

Anyway after a while I enter a system with a Comet on scan. He vanishes off but local hasn't changed. There are a few about so I go sit in the Novice Plex and see if he comes. He does. Super job! A probable 1v1 given the other ships I've scanned cannot get inside this plex.

I drop my drones and get ready. He enters and he engages immediately but is trying to make range. I assumed there was a chance he'd be a rail-kite so I had pre-overheated my web, scram and AB. He's was also doing the same. This is where I derped the fight. At this point with us 7km apart and the range not changing as we're both on OH AB and webbing each other I should have stopped my guns and swapped to null ammo. I didn't as I was too busy trying to close the range when it should have been obvious he was running an overheating AB too. Eventually I realised this pilot was too fast and finally remembered to swap ammo. By that time I'd lost the edge. He was in mid structure as I popped. 

In the end it was one of those fights where you leave everything overheated knowing one of you is going to die before anything burns out. His active repper was just able to beat my passive tank. Looking at his previous Comet loses it looks like he T2 rigs his Comets too. I really should do that. However I'm pretty sure if I'd have just loaded null near the start I could have won.

All this was because I hadn't counted on a kiting AB blaster boat. I assumed either a blaster brawl at point-blank range or he'd be MWD rail fit. Also looking at his last pod loss he may have had both the Zor implants (10% AB duration and 5% AB speed increase) which would have given the edge speed wise. I really herpa-derped the fight!

Oh well, gf and lesson learnt. Be more careful about choosing my ammo. Maybe I should get some advice from my CEO Rixx?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

SCASSSS - Blue Pods

To celebrate Eve Online becoming a teenager the Client will be undertaking long sullen silences this weekend... not really, we've got an Upwell Consortium pod skin in the redeeming system! Don't forget to get yours!

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Passenger - Part II

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here

The Passenger - Part II

Tranard rubbed his temples as he leaned back in the chair. They'd been in some tricky situations before, that was par for the course when you were a smuggler, but not quite as dire as this. Amme had just finished explaining that the cloaking device couldn't be relied on to keep them hidden indefinitely. It was an old prototype device fitted to an aging industrial. A capsuleer ship could run one forever. However overheating and power fluctuations meant sooner or later theirs would fail. It may only go down for a matter of minutes, but with the combat scanner probes dotting the system, that's all their hunters would need. Not that staying hidden for weeks was really an option. Their supplies would last just under four days. The run was supposed to be just under a day back to Dodixie. They weren't stocked for an extended time in space.

"Linead, how are we on transponders?" he asked finally.

"We've got one spare that isn't burnt. Registered in the State as a bulk transport and should still be usable. The other one we had in reserve is no-go. That ship went down to the Serpentis three months ago. Anyone querying the ID will wonder why we're flying a wreck with a crew of corpses. However we'd need to dock to swap transponders and I'm guessing our 'friends' out there have the local stations and outposts covered."

Swapping the transponder was a normal trick of the trade. A spoofed ID copying another ship who hopefully was operating on the right side of the law many light-years away and ideally under another jurisdiction. Swapping them was a risk. Should the law enforcement agencies look closely, there would be no record of that ship making stargate jumps into the system and explaining to the police how your ship miraculously appeared in system would be an issue. The "we came in via a wormhole" was an overused and obvious lie. Plus they would need a safe outpost to do the swap. Dock under one ID and leave under another. Any proper outpost would flag that up. They needed one that operated under the radar and wouldn't immediately call the cops. The issue being Tranard was out of his usual area, he didn't have the connections here in Amarr low-sec.

"Can't we just drop our guest in an escape pod? The navy picks her up. Job done?" Coverie suggested.

"No good. That's a potential future Empress. Do you think the Amarr are going to be happy leaving us with what we know? That their holier-than-thou butter-wouldn't-melt princess is a bit of a party animals and has had more pricks than an acupuncturists client? No. They won't be happy until we're silenced. Moreover, keeping her on-board means they aren't likely to vapourise us and will be careful with their shooting. They'll try to disable rather than destroy which gives us an edge. Without her they'll bring the big guns to bare and won't hold back. Lets keep them restricted to small weapons and precision shooting shall we?"

The table fell silent again. The crew knew the Captain was right. Their industrial was no match for Capsuleer piloted Navy vessels. Anything cruiser and above would take seconds to destroy them.

"I'll make a call and then check on our guest. Get to your stations and be ready to move." the captain ordered rising from the table.


The green hologram glowed bright in the darkened room.

"Tranard! How are you? Back in Dodixie yet? Got my delivery?" the small computer generated figure spoke.

"No Yvandele. In fact we're having some logistical issues. Its all gone a bit Hasmijala here and we need a safe haven."

The face on the hologram turned serious.

"Villore serious or Old Man Star serious?"

"Tama serious!"


When Tranard had mentioned Hasmijala Yvandele knew to be careful and that their communications may be intercepted. The holographic figure picked up a datapad and scanned through it.

"I know somewhere near you, but its three jumps back."

Tranard groaned. "Nowhere in this system?" he asked assuming Yvandele was tracing the signal to the nearest stargate fluid-router any knew which solar system they were in currently.

"No. My information is that the system you are in is locked down. Something about a.... oh."

"Its not what you think or what is being reported. We have a run-away onboard."

"Can them!" Yvandele replied.

"Wouldn't make any difference to our situation."

Yvandele just nodded thinking about it.

"Look I'm sending you a bookmark. Encrypted key number 43. Be warned. A good system can break that encryption in a couple of days, three at the top."

Tranard nodded as the hologram vanished. He looked at his datapad and ran the encryption key. One of a set Yvandele had granted him years ago when he started working for the underground information broker.

"Amme. Set a course for the system I'm sending you. However only align to the outbound gate. I'll be up in five minutes." he said into his comm unit leaving the holo-com room. He headed up two flights of metal stairs until he reached the crew quarters area. As Captain he had the large cabin at the end. He look a deep breath before entering.

Eva was still in bed, she looked up with a smile.

"So Captain, are you here to take my order for breakfast in bed..." she pulled the white sheet down exposing her breasts "...or have you something more fun else in mind?" she purred.

The Captain rolled his eyes.

"I'm sorry, breakfast is delayed as we polish the best silverware... your royal highness." he said sarcastically.

Her expression immediately dropped and she pulled the sheet over her head and groaned.

"A fracking future Empress. How the frack dare you! Sentencing me and my crew to death just so little Miss privilege can have some fun. Is that all it was. Wanted to get to a proper Gallente nightclub and blow off some steam before ascending to the throne was it?"

She pulled the sheet back and jumped out of bed. She strode over to him and jabbed a finger in his chest.

"You know nothing? Do you think I asked for this? Do you think I want that? I was going to ask for asylum in the Federation. I was going to disappear to live like a normal person. I don't want to rule anything. Not the planet Eclipticum, not the Kor-Azor Prime solar system, not the Gebem constellation and certainly not the Amarrian Empire. If I even got there. The numbers are the same as always, if the Drifters have another pop at us I'll be in with a 6 out of 7 chance of having to commit suicide in the next succession trails. No. I don't want any of this. I want out! I'm sorry I put you in danger. I didn't mean to. I thought my cover story would be good for several days. Long enough that you'd all be back in Gallente space and safe and they'd be no reason to come after you. Damage done."

The Captain was stunned by the admission. This girl had the opportunity to be the most powerful woman in the known galaxy and she wanted nothing to do with it.

"What is done is done." he conceded not wanting to continue the argument. Her nakedness was putting him off. "Sit tight here. We need to go back deeper into Amarrian space where there is a small outpost that'll let us swap ID of this ship and hopefully allow us to slip back in the Federation."

She turned and sat on the bed, her knees deliberately apart.

"Don't leave me too long Captain. If we're all going to die horribly might as well enjoy the time we have." she said with a smile.

The Captain shook his head and walked out.


Sir, we have something!"

The Inquisitor looked up from his desk as Borvah entered his roomy personal office. The Absolution class commandship was large. Based on the Harbinger battlecruiser, it was spacious and allowed the highly-ranked officers plenty of space.

"Reviewing all the transmissions to ships in this system and only those in space we intercepted a communique we believe was between the target and a contact in Gallente space. He sent an encrypted bookmark."

"Can we decode it?" the Inquisitor asked.

"Eventually sir, but it could take up to 50 hours, we don't know. All we know is it is a solar system somewhere back several jumps the way they came."

"Good. Reinforce the outbound gate and..." a beep interrupted him. He looked down at his datapad. "I see we are too late. I have a report that the target ship has just dropped out of warp at the gate. Inform our capsuleer to align for that gate but not to warp. If the ship escapes I want the fleet to pursue them."

"And us sir?"

"I take it you have an origin from that transmission?"

"Yes sir. We traced it back to the Quafe station in the system of Old Man Star."

"Excellent. That is our destination if they slip through the gate-camp then. With our capsuleer piloting we should be able to be there within the hour."

Borvah nodded and span around to the door, heading to the bridge to relay the orders.


"They are locking us up!" Coverie shouted over the tactical alarm.

"Really? I thought dinner was ready?" the Captain grumbled to himself thinking the blaring alarm made it obvious enough.

"5km out." Amme called.

The Captain wished he was a capsuleer. They could drop out of warp almost on top of the stargate and jump immediately. The limited navicom on this ship dropped them out 15km from the stargate and they had to travel the rest of the way to the gate on sub-light engines. A gate surrounded by the Amarrian Navy.

"We're scrammed and webbed! Speed is dropping!"

"Come on baby!" the Captain leant forward. It was going to be close.

The incoming warp scrambler had neutralised the micro-warp drive they had used to cover the last 10km so quickly. The stasis webifier was also rapidly slowing the ship. Laser fire lit up the blackness of space. The ship juddered as the energy weapons struck their shields. He had been right. The larger ships were holding their fire. Unwilling to risk vaporising the ship and thus killing a daughter of a royal heiress.

"3km. Shields at 34%."

The crew tensed as they watched the distance to the gate reduce painfully slowly. They barely were moving when the counter dipped under 2500m.

"JUMP!" shouted the Captain and the there was a flash of light as the ship was swallowed by the artificial wormhole. The process of gate travel was unpleasant to the human body. There were collective groans from various members of the crew as they reacted badly to the jump. The view screen flickered back on as the systems came back online.

"Out of the fire...." Coverie stated as they all looked up at the screen. The destination stargate was surrounded by Amarrian ships. The Captain quickly scanned the options. The jump had been lucky, there was a good alignment to a distant asteroid belt.

"OK we're doing this old school. No room for error boys and girls. Our shields will fail on the next hit. On my mark I want alignment to the 'roid belt and a pulse of the MWD. Straight on and off. Activate the cloak and we coast to warp velocity, decloak and warp. Just like a pirate camp."

"Only this is not a pirate camp." Amme grumbled.


The ship shuddered as Linead set velocity to max and engaged the MWD. The normal cloaking field projected by the stargate onto any ship entering the system for 60 seconds fell away as the ship moved. Amme activated their own cloak as soon as the stargate projected one started to drop. The MWD was now offline.

"We've got a Malediction making a run for us. 12km out."

The crew held their breath. Any object coming within 2500m of them would cause enough gravimetric disturbance to cause the delicate cloaking field to fail. It was a common tactic my gate-camps to use a fast frigate to try and burn at the area where the ship appeared for a fraction of a second.

"9km. 7km. 4km...."

The tension in the bridge was unbearable.

"6km. 9km." He overshot but got close!" Amme sighed in relief. "He's turning!"

"Decloak and warp." the Captain ordered.

The single cycle of the MWD had propelled the industrial to speeds above what it needed to enter warp. The cloaking field dropped and before any of the navy vessels had time to target them, they were in warp.


Yvandele entered the office of his nightclub. As he approached the desk the chair swung around. A man in a black shirt and trousers sat there. Yvandele  paused to appraised the stranger. He was obviously an Amarrian but his attire did not give anything away. The fact he'd gotten this far past his elaborate security made him a serious threat. He casually glanced behind him. Two other men, also dressed in nondescript black, were stood against the back wall. He'd not been able to see them as he entered. He was outmanned and outmaneuvered for now. He needed to stall them, whoever they were.

"Greetings Yvandele. I have heard a lot about you. Entertainer, club owner, black-market information broker."

Yvandele knew there was no point lying. He needed to send a message to his family to run. He needed to buy some time.

"Well sir, you have me at a disadvantage. You know who I am."

"Yes I do. I also know you communicated with a Captain Tranard. He's a bit lost in our space at the moment. He's also got a very special person with him we are keen to reunite with her parents. So if you can unlock your console here we can do what we need to do and be on our way... and nobody needs to get hurt."

Yvandele knew that was a lie. They couldn't be sure he wouldn't call Tranard and warn him he was compromised. He was dead the second he unlocked his terminal. Tranard that was not the only thing stopping him unlocking that terminal. Not only would it condemn himself, the Captain and all aboard that ship to death, there would be many thousands more throughout New Eden. Over the years his services had been bought by many. From the scum of New Eden; pirates, criminals and pushers to what he considered the good. Members of the Amarrian underground pushing for democracy. Matari freedom fighters attempting to release the millions of their brothers and sisters still enslaved by the Amarrian race. No, unlocking his terminal wouldn't just cost him his life. It would be thousands dead in the Amarrian held systems. Perhaps one of the biggest coups for the Amarrian intelligence services , who he assumed now the intruder worked for, they would ever get, setting the resistance and freedom fighters back decades and exposing their network.

"You seem hesitant. May be we can negotiate?"

He nodded at one of his men who opened the door which led to a small store cupboard off Yvandele's office. Yvandele let out a sob as his wife, son and daughter were led out at gunpoint by two more men.

The other two men approached Yvandele and forced him into a chair, binding his wrists and ankles to the frame. The Inquisitor rose and they repeated the process with his teenage son, tying him to the chair.

"I understand your boy here has been accepted into Duvolle. Congratulations!" the Inquisitor stated pulling a strange handle from his belt. "And your daughter is likely to finish college later this year and follow him I have read in a report. Excellent grades apparently!"

Yvandele sobbed and watched intently as the Amarrian raised the strange device and clicked a hidden button. The glimmering silver sabre extended with four distinct metallic clicks. The rare weapon was a masterpiece of nano-engineering. The interface between the sections of the blade invisible to the naked eye.

"Unless you unlock that terminal things are going to get ugly." he stated pointing the sabre at the boy. "My men here have been couped up in my ship for far too long without any 'R and R' if you get my meaning, and this blade has not tasted blood in a whole day."

Yvandele  looked at his terrified son, his eyes fixed on the blade just inches from his stomach. He then looked at his wife and daughter. Each had a man each side holding them tight. The look in the men's eyes told him they were hoping he'd resist. Finally he glanced at the terminal. The low-lifes he didn't care for. They knew the risks they took. However, thousands of good men and women would be rounded up by the Amarrian security services. Thousands of people could be in this exact same position as him if he unlocked that computer. Them and their families suffering a thousand times worse in the interrogation centres of the Amarr Empire.

"Look wait...." he said trying to think of a delaying tactic.

"No. No waiting." the Amarrian replied casually and slowly pushed the sabre forward into the belly of the boy. The family screamed in unison. The Amarrian withdrew the blade and nodded to his men who dragged the women to the floor. They pulled knives and started to cut away the womens clothing. The screams raising in pitch as the sharp blades nicked flesh. The Inquisitor walked behind Yvandele and angled the chair so he had the best view.

"Your son has five minutes. Seven at the most. However that is likely to be a pleasant way to go compared to them." he hissed in Yvandele's ear.

Yvandele looked at his wife and daughter, now stripped to their underwear and were desperately fighting against the men. Thin red lines leaked blood where the knives had nicked the skin. The men continued their assault, the knives were gone, obviously they prefered to have a more hands on approach for the final scraps of clothing. His gaze fell on his sobbing son. The front of his shirt was wet and a trail of blood leaked from his lips.

"Unlock the terminal and it'll all be over. Leave it too long and the men will get bored. Then the knives will come out again. Once they have sated their lust, friendly wagers will be made on who can get the woman to scream the most. It can get very, very unpleasant." the Inquisitor said gently as one of the men slapped his wife in the face to stop her resisting.


"We got two interceptors on short-scan as we left. They followed us to the belt but were too slow."

The Captain nodded looking at the scan results on his monitor. They had stopped at a safe point in deep space and cloaked up. Combat scanner probes were everywhere. He consulted the starmap. They had two more jumps to go before they got to the outpost.

He needed a break. Looking at the charts he had a plan. One of the stargates was near to a planet, the one they wanted was in a point in deep space only a couple of AU away.

"Helm. Plot course to planet III. Warp us to 100km and then bounce to the outbound gate."

"Captain?" Linead queried the strange request.

"Just do it and no waiting. We want to land and be in warp as soon as possible."


Amme looked quizzically at the Captain and then smiled. She realised the plan. The ships on the gate near that planet were going to get excited. They'll report they have the ship on short-range scan and the assumption will be that was there destination outgate. This would draw ships from the other gates leaving them lightly defended. It was a risky plan that relied on the Amarrians being overzealous. However when dealing with Amarrains it was a safe assumption.

The ship shuddered as it entered warp.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The 85% and the Roadmap

Neville Smit posted this blog entry on Monday. Go read it. Basically it highlights the lack of any real development of Eve for Hi-sec, low-sec and wormhole space outside structures and capitals which are the focus for the foreseeable future. 

Sure the players in these areas will benefit from the new structures such as the industrial arrays and drilling platforms, but what else is there? Obviously I didn't attend every presentation and roundtable at Fanfest, but from what I saw.... not a lot.

Is the five year road map becoming the new "18 months" for the 85%?

I already posted that I was disappointed with the low-sec/Faction War/Crimewatch roundtable this year. Before I go on I want to make it clear the disappointment is NOT with the Dev's that hosted the RT (I'm not having a go at you Fozzie, you're lovely!) It's about resources being given to the areas considered by that roundtable. It was the same issues raised time and time again. Last year in 2015 CCP were suggesting they may have development time later that year to look at some of the issues we raised. This obviously didn't happen. This year there was no such glimmer of hope. No mention of potential resources or possibilities of actually looking at the raft of issues raised. Probably for good reason. That there is no intention of doing so. So that element of the playerbase, not interested in Citadels, faction capitals, boosted fleets and industry have nothing to massively look forward to.

I personally believe it's not quite as simple as 85% of players do their thing predominantly outside null-sec as null-sec is more important than that. Many high-sec players are likely null-bear alts. Faction war certainly has a lot of null players having an alt in there either for some fast and easy PvP or farming LP. We know previously a lot of the minerals mined in high-sec were shipped back to null for super-capital production although with the changes over the last few years I'm not sure the flow of Veldspar (in the form of 425mm railguns) is what it used to be. How many of those hi-sec veldspar suckers have their main in Null?

However, development does need some rebalancing. We appear to be slipping back to the old ways. Away from Inferno and Crucible towards... the expansion that must not be named. I am a low-sec PvP player. Faction war and piracy. What is coming up for players like me? I've seen nothing. I'm not going to put down a structure. I'm not interested in player built stargates. Capitals are very, very rarely used. The "new space" is likely to be null sec v2 with the blocs controlling the best space. Anyone who thinks the Goons and CFC/Imperium are gone needs their head examined.

Speaking to people, many feel the same. Areas of the game are stagnating and in need of revival. Industrialists and miners outside null have a few things to look forward to. Lets not just take my word for it. Let's scroll down Eve Updates and take a peek at what is "upcoming"

Structures Iterations - Part One
Contracts in Citadels
Rorqual Rebalance
Fleet Boosts Rework
Pirate Faction Capitals
Industrial Arrays
Mining barge Overhaul
Drilling platforms

Now think of how often the majority of Eve Online Players will be using the above? All generally good things coming up, but nothing space-shattering for a good proportion of the player base.

Nothing for the missioners and ratters. Nothing really for the PvP players outside of fleets with dedicated booster ships. Even for the industrialists is simply moving from POS or NPC station to your own place... if you want to risk it. These small hi-sec industrial corps are going to suffer from the hi-sec griefing corps who will dec them simply to blow up their array.

What's in the roadmap for us 85%? What has 2016 into 2017 got us excited for....?