Friday, March 24, 2017

The Distraction - Part 4

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.


The Distraction - Part 4

Caldari Constructions Production Plant Station
Planet VII, Moon 4
Nourvukaiken Solar System



Kazem stood on the side of the docking berth by the Magnate class frigate. Two of his men flanked the small boy. At this hour the dock was deserted. There were another few frigates in adjacent berths but all appeared to be powered down except for the adjacent Merlin and that had its doors sealed. It was unlikely anyone was watching. He could see someone in the distance approaching. As they neared he could see it was a woman. The mission had gone disastrously wrong. Their agent had killed several back in Tama and been killed himself. Kidnapping the woman's son had been a rush job and a last resort.

"Stand by. Looks like we're on." he said touching the communications insert in his ear. He casually glanced up at the gantry high above. It was dark and he couldn't see anything.

The woman stopped ten metres away.

"You let my son go and I'll come quietly." she said loudly.

Kazem laughed.

"No I think you'll both come with us. Do it."

A shot rang out from high above and she fell to the floor screaming clutching her leg.

"You were saying?" Kazem asked. He took a single step forward sneering, she turned to him, holding her wounded leg.

"What pussy-calibre was that?" she hissed through the pain.

Kazem paused. Shocked at the question.

"7 mill? Just to make sure you don't run off. Why?"

"Because I prefer 75 mill, makes a bigger bang" she growled back.

The men jumped as a loud whirring sound came from the Merlin class frigate. They watched in horror as a railgun extended from its retracted hardpoint, twisted and fired. The supersonic discharge shook the hanger and the gantry high above the hanger where Kazem's sniper had been stationed exploded in a fire ball. The men were frozen in fear as the railgun twisted again and bore down on the group. They dare not run, knowing it was pointless. The blast would vaporise them all even if they scattered in different directions.

"You know as well as I do Pareh is going to give me and my son a very slow, horrible death if you take us back. He's such a sick asshole he's probably planning on forcing me to watch my own child die. Thankfully in my time dancing I made a few contacts. The deal is this. Release my son to that ship and I'll come with you..." as she said that a personnel door at the side of the Merlin opened casting bright light into the gloom of the hanger "...otherwise my friend there will vaporise us all. If both my son and I are to die I'd much prefer being instantly vaporised to what your boss has in store for us. Up to you."

Kazem swallowed hard glancing nervously at the 75mm railgun pointing at them.

-o0o-

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromab Solar System, Domain


It was early afternoon and traditionally time for entertainment at the conference. The governors were seated with their staff around a tiered stone arena watching several Matari slaves fight with primitive weapons. Each man had been told that if they died their families would be burnt alive. Each fought with passion and rage trying to save their wifes and children. The spectators had placed bets and were cheering on their particular champion. Three men lay dead already, seven fires burned high up on the top wall of the arena. Three men remained with eight woman and children tied to stakes above the remaining unlit fires.

"Sir, they have her and are en-route back here. They will be in Amarr space within minutes." Azhdan whispered into Pareh's ear.

The Governor smiled broadly.

"And they have her son too?" he asked.

"I'm sorry my lord. She was clever and made it so that our men had no choice but to give up the boy to ensure her capture."

"That is disappointing" he said, still happy he had her. He needed to set up holo-recorders in the cell. The Vengeance Drone couple potentially work on her for longer than he could stay awake and he didn't want to miss a second of her screams.

A cheer went up from the crowd as one of the fighters speared another with a trident lifting him far above the ground. Pareh clapped approvingly. A further cheer went up as the trident fighter was stabbed in the back by a sword-wielding man. The last man faced the governor and dropped his bloody sword.

"Bravo!" Pareh announced as five more fires were lit, his voice now amplified by a microphone. "We have a winner. Now ladies and gentlemen our final show of the afternoon."

The base of the arena containing the fighters dropped and slid away as another rose. In this there was a Matari woman tied to a table in the centre. Another Matari woman was stood next to her. A chain was fastened between her ankle and the table. At either end of the arena was a wooden stake to which a girl was tied. They stood on piles of wood.

"The woman tied to the table knows a code. There is a datapad coming which after the code is entered allows the user to select which of the two fires will light in one hour from now. If the woman tied to the table does not reveal the code, her daughter will be safe and the other girl will die a slow, painful death. The woman standing is the other girls mother. She has one hour to, shall we say, persuade the woman on the table to give up the code. However if she does give up the code she will condemn her own daughter to a horrible fate."

The hushed silence that followed was broken as two people entered the arena floor pushing two steel carts. The big screens around the arena that showed close ups on the action on the floor focused on one. It contained a datapad and various tools, knives and wicked looking implements.

"Who will win? Will the woman on the table keep the secret code or will the woman standing by her be able to convince her to reveal the code and switch the ignition circuit. Which of the two pretty young girls will be screaming in agony in one hour as the flames lick their ankles because their mother could not save them? Please place your bets."

There was a flurry of activity as the organisers turned on microphones hidden in the table. The pleas and sobs from the two women not to do this echo'd around as the Amaarian's excitedly placed their bets.

A large chime rang out and a large clock started to count down. The standing woman rushed to the trolley and picked up a wicked looking knife.

-o0o-

Approach to the Niarja Stargate
Kaaputenen Solar System


The man stood having bandaged the woman's leg. He sat next to her in the cramped passenger cabin.

"Pareh has gone to a lot of trouble to bring you back. You must have caused some real trouble." he laughed.

"Not really." she replied "Its because I know he is planning on killing the other governors and taking control of the planet. However now I've told you this, you're going to be next on his list too."

The man laughed.

"Good try. However I think he just wants that hot little body of yours back for some fun."

The woman shook her head as the 'brace for jump' alarm sounded again. A few seconds later and the man winced as the ship was swallowed by the artificial wormhole and deposited light-years away. Travel by stargates was not a pleasant experience for humans and many took mediation to ease the symptoms.

"You don't appear to be affected by the jump?" he asked.

"No. Even outside out pods, we capsuleers have done so many we get used to it." she said casually.

He looked at her through narrowed eyes.

"I think you've had a bump on the head. Plots against the planetary governors. You are a capsuleer. I don't know what you've been smoking but it sounds good shit sweetheart!" he laughed.

The woman reached up and pulled the wig from her bald head.

"First off I'm a man so knock of the sweetheart crap. Second I am a capsuleer and had this clone modified slightly before jumping into it. If you looked properly you should be able to tell I'm not Milaja. It was a rush job on the clone but I thought it would be enough to fool you. I'd ask you to feel how soft my skin is. But if you touch me I'll break your wrist. Anyway we'll decloak in ten seconds when my lover has a surprise for us. I know seven 280mm Republic Fleet Fusion shells is overkill but we capsuleers do enjoy overkill." the woman smiled.

The man paused and looked confused.

"But you're out of your pod.... you'll die!"

"Templar prototype implants. Same as what clone-soldiers use. Bye, bye!" the woman said giving a little wave and a big smile.

He lept from his seat in terror. He didn't even complete two metres.

-o0o-

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromab Solar System, Domain


Pareh looked in the mirror. His robes where gold, lined with red. The colour of his house. The closing events were all ceremony and pomp. He felt the orbital transceiver in his pocket as the slaves finished dressing him and styling his hair..

There was a knock at the door and Azhdan entered.

"Sir. There has been an incident with the ship bringing the package back."

"What is it?"

"It was destroyed by a capsuleer on the Niarja gate. No survivors."

"Are we sure? Why would a capsuleer do that? Isn't CONCORD around to stop this?"

"Yes sir we are sure. The authorities sent a full report. CONCORD responded quickly and destroyed the capsuleers ship but obviously this was after the event. The flight data recorder showed there was only one second between our vessel detecting a target lock and complete destruction of the ship. They would not have had time to get out of their seats never-mind make it to an escape pod. The Sisters of Eve have confirmed that the only survivors came from the Capsuleer's Thrasher class destroyer."

Pareh paced up and down.

"We are sure she is dead?"

"Absolutely. Last confirmation we had was she was en-route two jumps before."

Pareh smiled. Even though he had wanted a slow death for her, he was now free and clear. It was time for him to step up and wield supreme power over the planet, after he'd committed a little mass murder.

To be concluded....


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Incoming Moon Mining Overhaul

Full Dev Blog here.

My TL;DR:-

Medium and large size, more expensive than engineering complex, cheaper than citadels.

Docking, tethering and usual basic services (hangers, fitting, insurance, repair, corp offices)

Reprocessing Ore
Yeah, nothing else to say. If you have reprocessing rigs fitted to an Engineering Complex these will be unfitted on patch day so you have the choice of refitting.


Moon mining
Complete overall! No longer passive and will be a "high-value occasional event" requiring interaction and actual players mining! Summary:-
  • If deployed within set range of a moon (not in HS or WH), refineries can fit a special "Moon Drilling" service.
  • Can only be fit if no other refinery near that same moon already has one - only one structure can mine each moon.
  • Refinery nukes a site from orbit (only way to be sure) and then uses a "fat ass tractor-beam" (TM) to pull the chunk of moon into space to the structure.
  • Structure owner makes the choice of a "little chunk" (one week travel time) or up to a "feckin massive chunk" (up to several weeks depending on size)
  • YOU CAN SEE THE CHUNK OF MOON SLOWLY MOVING THROUGH SPACE DURING THIS TIME!!!!
  • Structure owner sets time and date to "Alderaan-ise" the chunk of moon turning it into a special type of asteroid field. This can then be mined for moon goo (TM).
  • The temporary moon goo field will not be close enough to mine from docking range, but close enough that a player in the structure can cover the miners with the structures defences
  • One the chunk is "Alderaan-ised" into a 'roid field then the process can be started again.
  • Rinse and repeat

The Mining Ledger

If you have a moon drill installed then the refinery will log who is mining what moon goo in the special asteroid belt. Whether friendly or those naughty ninja miners coming to steal your goo! Character, corp, ore type and amount mined all logged.

Reactions

No not that type. The advanced moon goo minerals needed for T2 and T3 production. New service module for refineries to do reactions. Low-sec and below. No structure job limits but per-character job limits increasing with skills. Reactions will require isotopes as fuel.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Distraction - Part 3

Friday Fiction! Well it's Friday here and I'm in a rush. Not sure what the time is in Blogger land!


The Distraction - Part 3

Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9


"Get undocked now!" the Amarrian woman screamed into her datapad dragging the sobbing Milaja behind her. The blaster charge slammed into the bulkhead at the end of the corridor seconds after they skidded around the corner.

"Aren't I missing a couple of important passengers?" the Caldari mans voice replied. To Milaja he sounded different. Disembodied somehow.
"We got to the dancers quarters to find a couple of bad guys with guns. They didn't give chase but they took her son. Get out there and watch for any ships departing!"
"You know this is Tama station right? THE Tama station. If there isn't a pirate camp on the undock its because they are waiting to undock once their single guy outside has got you engaged! My security status is -10. Sitting outside watching the traffic isn't going to be easy! "

"Pirate gate camps? You're a bloody pirate! Less moaning, more undocking!" she replied and disconnected the call.

They rounded another corner and stopped abruptly. The Amarrian woman peering around the corner to see if they were being followed. She doubted it. Whilst there were no weapons scanners this far down in the station, one being discharged will have been reported. They waited there for a few moments until she was sure they weren't being pursued. When she was happy they returned back to Milaja's quarters cautiously. There was no sign of the men who they had found stood outside the door with her son before. The blast mark at the end of the corridor was clearly visible. Milaja shook loose of the Amarrian's grip and burst into the room. She dashed into her son's bedroom. The babysitter was laying on the floor, blood seeped from a gash on her forehead. Her son was gone. Milaja sank to her knees and cried.

The Amarrian woman walked over the table in the main room and picked up a square of clear plastic.

"Were you planning a trip?"

Milaja looked up and shook her head.

"Well I think they've planned one for you. One-way Interbus shuttle ticket to Nourvakiken. Get dressed."

Milaja looked at the Amarrian woman questioningly and realised that she wore only the coat the woman had snatched from one of the dead bouncers on the way out of the club and a few scaps of lingerie.

-o0o-

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromab Solar System, Domain



The early morning light filtering through the narrow window stirred Pareh from his sleep. Today was the day.

He rose from the bed and looked at the Matari girl next to him. She was still asleep or pretending to be. Red welts crisscrossed her back, his belt that made them lay on the floor next to the bed. She'd been a nice distraction, but not like 'her'. He missed his special slave and would have preferred to have her back. That reminded him he'd ordered her killed last night. He picked up his datapad and removed the 'do not disturb' lock. A dozen urgent messages all from Azhdan flashed up. He grabbed his robe and left the bedroom. Azhdan was patiently waiting outside his bedroom.

"What's happened?" Pareh barked.

Azhdan cleared his throat.

"My Lord, there is a problem. Our agent was killed in the attempt. The girl is missing."

Pareh's face went bright red and he started to shake.

"How?" he asked, trying to remain calm but the rage creeping into his voice.

Azhdan  explained all they knew was what had been reported in the news feeds. There had been a quadruple killing in a club in the executive deck. The owner and two bouncers had been killed along with an unknown Matari man who Azhdan was confident was their agent.

"They have managed to capture her son but obviously such an unplanned action meant evidence has been left. They have had to flee the station where she is and moved to another station in hi-sec. A ticket was left in her cabin. She should follow and will excange herself for her son in a few hours. However time is against us sir. Should we cancel the plan my Lord?"

Pareh shook his head.

"We'll delay. The closing ceremony this evening will be the very last opportunity. I will accept no more failure!"

Azhdan bowed his head as his master turned furiously and slammed the door to his bedroom. He winced as he heard a crack and a shrill female scream and quickly turned and left as it continued.

-o0o-

Deep Space
Tama Solar System


"OK. This should be interesting." the hologram of the Caldari man said.

Milaja looked at the image that paced the room.

"Our would be assassin is dead."

"I assumed that. Normally happens when you take a broken bottle to the jugular." the Amarrian woman replied deadpan.

"No. I mean he was already dead. The cops have already ran his DNA as they had no ID on him and they got a match. Problem is the match was a Matari popsical found in the Auga system. However that guy was over 80 years old."

The Amarrian woman shrugged.

"Apparently the Joint Harvesting Refinery station in the system registered an unauthorised airlock activation. They sent a drone out and found a body. First they thought it was murder but security camera footage seemed to confirm suicide. The guy walked in, hacked the controls and overrode the safeties and blasted himself into space."

"Our assassin wasn't 80 years old."

"Nope" replied the hologram "So either we have the cluster's most born far apart twins or...."

"Multi-clones?" Cat finished for him.

"Multi-clone?" Milaja asked unsure of what they were on about.

"Multi-cloning is strictly forbidden by all the Empires and CONCORD. Whilst we capsuleers only have one copy of our consciousness at any one time, technologically speaking, there is nothing to stop the cloning equipment making a copy of your brain-state when it is in transit and placing each copy into a separate clone. Rumours are there are some people who have used the tech but you need to be a special kind of psychopath to do it."

Milaja nodded. She'd read some news story once about it. She didn't understand a lot but she got the concept.

"Psychopath?"

"These are clones of someone that is happy to terminate them once they have done their mission. You might think that would be easy. Make several copies of yourself and they do a mission and kill themselves to cover their tracks. However whether a copy or not, the human instinct is to survive. Even if the original thinks it a good idea the copy might not be able to go through with it. The fact this one did means we're dealing with someone very powerful and very dangerous if he access to operatives like this. This is the part where you tell us who." the Caldari man finished as the hologram turned to Milaja.

Milaja took a deep breath.

"It all started many years ago. My parents wanted us to have a new life and we were on a transport heading to a new colony...."

She continued to recount how that colony ship was ambushed. Amarrian slave traders captured them and hundreds more and took them back to Amarr space. They were sold to various Amarrian Holders and she ended up on a farming village under a Regional Governor called Pare. As one of the few that could work a terminal, most slaves were born and raised on the farm with no real education or access to technlogy, she spent a lot of the time working on the spreadsheets on the old terminal. One of the village elders taught her to read and write Amarrian so she could use the equipment. She fell in love, married and had a child. A few years later they were told the Holder was visiting and everyone was on their best behaviour. His reputation was fearful and nobody wanted to incite his wrath. She remembered him being shown into the offices and she kept her head down. He'd looked at her most strangely before moving on. They came for her that night. Shock Troopers burst into the village. There were some deaths including her husband. She and her child were taken back to the palace. She was told there was a cell planning to escape and her husband was part of it. That she'd been removed from the village for her own safety as other unknown conspirators may want to kill her to prevent her leaking any information her husband might have accidentally given her. She knew it was a lie. After a month the Holder came to see her. That's when it started.

"What a scumbag." the Amarrian woman sighed. "One thing about my people I've never agreed with is slavery. Go on."

Milaja continued that the Holder used her as his personal plaything. He was a sadistic brute but made sure she knew her sons life depending on her. So she went along with his 'sessions'. However this gave her access to his quarters and more importantly his terminal and datapad. He thought she was just another Matari slave born on the plantation and never experienced modern life. He had no idea she'd been brought in to 'top up' the slave numbers after a couple of bad winters killed many. He was also unaware that she not only knew how to use technology but that she also knew their language. Whenever she was left alone she would go into the systems looking for a way out. An escape. It came a few months later when they were to attend a conference on an orbital station. She had seen her name was down on the guest list as a servant. Just before the day of the visit she got the holder drunk on his best wine. Using his datapad and thumbprint she sent out a number of official orders and then deleted the local copies.

They went to the conference. That night as he slept she exited their quarters and went to the public ship hanger bay. There was her son, brought up from the palace on a dropship, waiting with a guard. As per his signed orders he escorted them to a private shuttle which took them to the main station in the system. There they swapped shuttles again. All pre-paid from Pareh's accounts. By the time Pareh awoke they were out of Amarrian hi-sec. She'd also managed to pre-purchase jewellery from various outlets and had them delivered to one of the shuttles. She paid the last shuttle in cash so Pareh could only trace them to the edge of Amarrian space. They were free with 5,000 credits of gold and diamonds remaining. Enough to get them well clear of Amarrian low-sec space and into Caldari systems.

"Clever!" the hologram of Caldari man said. "But escaping, and what is very petty theft, doesn't explain why he'd hire these costly professionals to kill you. That's a bit overkill isn't it?"

The woman paused.

"There's more. I saw things whilst planning my escape. Things on his system that I shouldn't have seen. I think he plans on killing the other regional governors and taking control of the planet. I saw orders for orbital bombardment ammunition and coverage orders for anti-destroyer orbital defence batteries on the surface."

"That's a bit circumstantial"  the Amarrian woman replied.

"And a copy of his speech where he accepts the responsibility to lead the planet after the deaths of the Governor Supreme and the other eight regional governors in an orbital attack by the Matari where they were destroyed by an orbital battery?"

The Caldari man nodded, thinking.

"Well that would explain it. I think I know what he plans but I need to know exactly what you know. First we need to get your kid back. Cat, you got any of those Templar prototype clones still on ice?"

"A couple. Why? What are you thinking?"

"I have a plan! I need one of your clones, a wig, a Cockbag Thrasher and a Drake."

"To save my son?" Milaja asked hopefully.

"Yes. I have an idea but there is a bit of an awkward downside to it."

"Which is?" Milaja asked.

"To save your son and to get one back at the Holder, we're going have to kill you." the capsuleer replied.

-o0o-

Deep Space
Bahromah Solar System, Domain


"Encrypted message sir. Its from our contact. States mission delayed for eight hours. We are to hold and await instructions."

Captain Ragnar nodded. Inside he wanted to scream. What were they thinking? A Matari destroyer in Amarrian hi-sec. Not a massive issue providing their cover as a capsuleer remained. If for some reason their cover was blown, they'd not stand a chance.

"Captain?" Ragnar asked.

"We'll hold here for a while. I don't like it but if we dock or use a gate we're going to run the risk of someone realising we're not running a legitimate ident code. Capsuleers sometimes just hang in space for hours. We'll bounce in a while. Nav-Com, chart some safes at least 15au apart. Four should do it. XO, you have the bridge. I'm going to gunnery."

With that Ragnar rose from the Captain's chair and left the bridge. As the lift descended he thought about the reward. A million ISK was a lot of money. Converted to Republic Credits there was more than enough for everyone to retire to the good life. The lift banged to a halt jarring his body as it stopped abruptly. He thought about reporting the fault to the engineering crew again but decided against it.

"Depending which way this mission goes we're either all dead or all rich in which case I'll be selling this flying junk yard anyway." he grumbled to himself.

The Gunnary section was dimly lit. The loading mechanisms for the 280mm artillary cannons lined the far wall. Everything was rusted and dull except for the gleaming silver shells in the racks.

The Captain walked over to Gunnery Sergeant First Class Girn.

"All set Sarge?" he asked.

"Aye Captain. Well as much as we can be. We've never done an orbital bombardment but we've set everything the best we can. Would have been nice to have done a test first."

The Captain nodded.

"Pointless unless its a planet with a similar atmosphere and the Amarrian's might start asking questions why we're firing on their temperate planets?"

"Aye. It'll be a case of 'all right on the night' then Captain?"

The Captain smiled and nodded being much less confident about the outcome than he made out.

"Easy Chief. Warp in, fire a couple of volleys and back to Matar space with a load of cash and the knowledge we've struck one hell of a blow to the Amarrians."

"...or that's the plan at least" he thought to himself.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I Shall Call Him.... Mini Chimera

Lets talk about the new Chimera Model. I saw some hate on social media so thought I'd go take a look. The new model is sleeker....




It's got cool, what I assume are, massive shield emitters on the side.


It's now a modern Caldari ship. However to me it now looks, well, smaller. Compared to the old model, which was, in lore, a bulk water transporter, it appears so much smaller. Its not actually smaller but it just looks it to me. The huge vastness of the old Chimera has been lost and it now looks a bit like an elongated Rokh that has been on a strict diet. There was no doubt this old fat boy was a capital was there?


Yeah, I'm divided over this change. Nice new model, but its somehow lost the visual element of being a fecking huge spaceship.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Distraction - Part 2

Friday Fiction! Escape pod here!


The Distraction - Part 2

Approach to the Auga-Kourmonen Regional Stargate
Auga Solar System



The Thrasher class destroyer approached the massive stargate. Captain Ragnar sat in his chair on the hushed bridge. The pilot was pushing the engines well over safe limits, but they needed to. They had to look like a capsuleer on autopilot, and no egger hung about on gates unless they were there to make trouble. The atmosphere was tense and silent. Down in the engineering bay it was the complete opposite. Smoke lay heavy in the air and the smell of burnt electrics was everywhere.

"Chief! Electro-plasma conduit pressure is 128% over max!" a voice yelled over the pandemonium.

"Never mind that Chief! Power relays are going to burn out in a minute. The intercooler chamber is hitting 400 kelvin!"

Chief Engineer Eymur didn't look up. He knew all this as it was laid out on the screen he was stood in front of. Sweat prickled his brow. A capsuleer straight out of training could get 270m/sec out of a Thrasher without thinking about it. Advanced capsuleers would be nearing 400 with some mid-range implants in an un-fitted ship. They had to push everything beyond safe limits and were only achieving 250. 

He thumbed the communicator on the console.

"Captain. We've got about thirty seconds before the gate control crew start to suspect our ident broadcast doesn't match this ship. Capsuleer ship engines don't usually overheat and explode!"

"We're jumping in ten. Good job Chief!" the Captain replied.

Up on the bridge they watched the massive regional stargate consume the the entire view-screen. They all knew this was the real test. The security on these pair of joined stargates that linked the two hostile empires would be the highest. That is why they weren't carrying the special orbital bombardment ammunition that had been promised. They would have a deep-space rendezvous with a corvette which would given them the ammo on the Amarr side of the border.

"What happens if the codes don't work?" Nai asked.

Nai was the Executive Officer of the ship. Dishonourably discharged from the Republic Navy after punching out her commanding officer after he'\d made advances and didn't take no for an answer. She'd fallen in with Ragnar and his privateer ship.

"We'll not know anything this end. When we decloak on the Amarrian side there are three possibilities as I see it. One, the transponder codes the old man gave us work and the Amarrians think we're a capsuleer and ignore us. Possibilities two and three are very similar and both work on the principal that the old guy was full of shit and the codes don't work."

"Dare I ask?" Nai replied.

"Option two is the codes are crap, the Amarrian's see that we are trying to masquerade as a capsuleer and their ships on the gate blast us into a billion fragments."

"I assuming three cannot be much worse?"

"Yeah, it can." Ragnar said "Three is the Amarrian's see that we are trying to masquerade as a capsuleer, scram us, capture us alive and we spend the rest of our very short lives really, really wishing they'd gone with option two."

Nai swallowed hard as the jump alarm sounded throughout the ship. In a flash of light the stargate opened an artificial wormhole and sent the ship light-years away.

-o0o-

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromab Solar System, Domain



Pareh walked around the small room. It as part of the old Palace beep below ground. In ancient times traitors and enemies would be kept here. The crude devices of the time persuading them to give up their secrets. There was none of those items here now. The only original features were the worn stone walls and heavy wood door, he liked some of the old world within his palace. 

In the centre of the room was an high-tech operating table fitted with restraints. Stood next to it was a humanoid robot. Its head hanging low in a low-power state. The Viziam Series Eight Medical Drone was the most advanced medical robot money could buy and if you were badly injured, this is all you'd want to see. It was human sized, a skeletal representation of a man's body but with six arms. The enlarged head contained sophisticated AI and scanning tech. Programmed by the best doctors, consultants, trauma surgeons and medics in the Empire there were tales of these drones saving the most gravely injured. Normal ones were coloured bright white, this particular one was a mottled red colour. It had been heavily modified by the Blood Raider pirate faction. This was a Vengeance drone. 

Vengeance drones were stolen series 8 drones that had been repainted by the pirate faction but more importantly, its AI was heavily hacked. Its primary purpose was now to inflict pain. Using its superior medical knowledge and equipment it could keep the person alive as long as possible. It was highly illegal and feared throughout the cluster.

"And I bought you for one purpose. For her and her son. Now what am I going to do with you?" Pareh mused. Azhdan had sent the kill order to their agent and it had been received. Any moment that Matari bitch would get a knife in the spine. Or perhaps he'd slit her throat. He grinned as his imagination shifted his agent sneaking up behind her and plunging a knife into her belly repeatably in wide arcs. The smile suddenly faded as he looked at the drone and considered what that could have inflicted on the slave that had betrayed him. If only they'd had time to capture her.

There was a knock on the ancient door and it was pushed opened with a creak. Azhdan stepped in and Pareh span around excitedly.

"Is it done?" he asked quickly.

"If you are referring to 'her' sir, I do not know. As an unplanned event I am sure our agent will carry out the orders but his escape will be a priority, not sending messages. It may be some time before we receive confirmation."

Pareh looked disappointed.

"However I can report that the Matari destroyer is about to jump into our space and that our delivery ship is waiting at the co-ordinates."

"Excellent. Once they have given the half-humans the cargo, you know what to do. Oh, and Azhdan. Have some suitable entertainment sent up to my room. I feel like celebrating."

Azhdan nodded, gave a slight bow and withdrew.

-o0o-

Asteroid Belt 1
Planet IV
Saana Solar System

"Captain what are we doing here?" Jariz asked looking at the scanner. He hated asteroid belts. He couldn't explain why, they made him feel uneasy. "Nothing good ever comes of hanging about in 'roid fields."

"Not this crap again." the Captain sighed "Yes, we're here to make a delivery, you know that. No, we won't be long. No, asteroid belts aren't haunted."

The rest of the bridge crew laughed.

"I never said...." Jariz's voice trailed off knowing he'd never shake off the joke.

As well as the asteroid belt, the mission was making Jariz worried. They usually ran small cargo from station to station. This job was to wait at these co-ordinates until a Thrasher class destroyer arrived. They had a code-word and if the other captain replied they were to jettison one of the two cargo containers they were carrying. They had to repeat this at another asteroid belt immediately after. It had to be highly illegal but the captain had taken the job.

"Captain! A pair of Sansha Scavenger's just warped in!" the tactical officer announced loudly.

"Battle stations! Lock up the nearest and give me a half a click orbit. Open fire!" the Captain replied leaning forward in his chair. This was expected and they'd come prepared. Given the cargo was relatively small the Captain had ordered the ship to be refit for combat. Two dual modulated pulse lasers occupied the hard-points usually fitted with mining lasers. The expanded cargo bays filled with a damage control and armour repairer. 

The Impairor was the most common ship coming out of the Amarrian ship yards. It was even the default vessel for new Capsuleers. The capable corvette was more than able to deal with the two pirates even without an egger controlling the ship. The first pirate frigate exploded after a few volleys of the pulse lasers, the second not long after that.


"We couple be here a while. Lets have a look what survived in the wrecks. Might as well make some extra cash whilst we sit waiting." the Captain ordered.

-o0o-

Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9

Milaja swayed to the music hovering inches above the Amarrian woman. The Caldari man sat on the other sofa in the small VIP room watching attentively. She'd made the right decision. When dealing with a couple she always concentrated on the woman to start with. She'd heard too many stories of women flipping out when their other half appeared to be enjoying the experience too much. 

The couple had set up an open-ended tab and every hour another room charge was billed. She got a healthy portion of the room fee so had to be careful. Give too much too soon and they may have enough and leave. Don't given them enough and they may get bored and leave or change dancers. The art was a very slow build up so they always wanted more. There were also the club rules to consider. These were regulation set by the station. Some of the girls who'd worked in Gallente stations had said the rules here were too strict here. No touching. Dancers must keep 30 centimetres from the Client at all times. However the girls had explained to her when she first started that whilst the club owners had to abide by the rules to keep their licence, they didn't enforce unless they saw it. If you got caught they'd fire you but as far as they were concerned, what went on in the VIP stayed in the VIP and if the punters were happy and paying top credit all the better.

She turned around and climbed on the Amarrian woman's lap, swaying her upper body seductively to the music. She turned again and looked at the man who was watching intently. However neither were giving much away. She'd found out early on they weren't here for the conversation. Deciding to risk it she moved her head to the woman's neck and gently blew hot breath on her skin pressing her bare chest against the woman. Moving her head around she passed her lips tantalising close to the clients. Pulling back she saw the Amarrian woman had parted her lips slightly. Milaja looked seductively at the man again. He was difficult to read but she thought she could see a smile developing. She felt the Amarrians woman's hands had raised up from the sofa and now were stroked her legs, her thumbs running over the lace of her stocking tops. Milaja lent back in slowly. She tentatively ran her tongue slowly between the woman's slightly parted lips. Pulling back she saw the same half smile she'd seen on the man. Waters now tested she went for it, leaning in and kissing the other woman fully. Her Client instantly responded thrusting a wet, hot tongue into Milaja's mouth.

Just then there was a knock at the door and Milaja quickly disengaged herself from the Amarrian woman. A few seconds later her boss, Kagrish, poked his head around the door. The manager of the club gave his usual sleazy smile.

"I'm terribly sorry for the interruption and I hate to bother you but there is another client here who is just desperate to see Seri before he leaves for null-sec." he said apologetically and using Milaja's stage name "He has offered to pick up your entire current bill if you could swap Seri for one or more of our other lovely ladies. He said he'd offer two of our other girls if you would like."

Milaja's head span, this could be her best night ever. A big spender wanting her exclusively so badly they'd settle another client's bill. Then, just as she was getting excited, something dawned to her. In the few months she'd been working here she couldn't recall any Client that would pay someone else's huge bill just to get access to her. That didn't make sense. She'd danced for dozens of men and quiet a few couples but no big spenders.

"No." the Caldari man said abruptly.

Kagrish looked in shock, surprised that they were not interested what sounded like a fantastic deal.

"Sir, you have nearly 10,000 credits on your bill so far. This gentlemen is offering to settle it fully if you will swap girls."

"I heard you the first time. The answer is no. Now we have sufficient drinks for the night..." he said lifting the three-quarters full bottle of very expensive Gallente vodka. "...and we are very happy with Seri here for the rest of our stay so please leave and ensure we are not disturbed again."

The club owner paused, appearing to be confused that they were turning down such an amazing offer. The Caldari man sighed obviously frustrated.

"Look, I'll make it simple for you. If we are happy at the end of the night you can make the bill up to 50 thou' Republic Credits. Seri is making us happy, currently your presence is making me unhappy. I assume that fifty thou' will ensure we are not disturbed again unless the club starts burning down?" the Caldari man said forcefully.

Kagrish's eyes lit up. Taking the hint and he nodded enthusiastically before apologising and withdrawing, closing the door as he left.

Milaja quickly did the numbers. She got a fifth of what the Clients spent on drink, private dances and forty percent on VIP room hire. Her share would be nearly twenty thousand and would pay for an InterBus shuttle back to the Matari homeworlds for her and her son. Even after that it would leave enough money for them to live on for a while until she found work back on Pator. Providing she didn't mess this up she could be back in Matari space in a few days with her son far away from Amarr and 'him'. She turned back to the Amarrian woman and again straddled her lap. She didn't protest as Milaja pushed the Amarrian woman's dress off her shoulders and exposed her chest. She glanced over at the Caldari man to make sure she wasn't pushing them too far. He was leaning forward sipping on his vodka. He smiled at her. Knowing they were happy she slithered down until she was kneeling on the floor in front of the woman. She ran her hands along the insides of the Amarrian woman's legs, swaying in time to the music. The black silk felt very expensive. She reached the woman's stocking tops and, agonisingly slowly, ran a teasing finger nail along the woman's inner thigh just above the lace. She removed her hands and lent forward, taking one of the Amarrian woman's nipples into her mouth and sucked, flicking the hard bud with her tongue. Her client arched her back and gasped in pleasure.

"Matari space and safety here I come!" thought Milaja as the Amarrian woman passionately grabbed a fistful of her hair pulling her tight against her.

-o0o-

Asteroid Belt 1
Planet IV
Saana Solar System


"Captain, Thrasher class destroyer on short scan."

The crew had already looted and salvaged all they could from the two Sansha wrecks and had been sat on their hands for the last half hour. Now things where tense as this could be the ship they were waiting for. There was a flash of light as the Matari destroyer dropped out of warp. The destroyer class starship were relatively small compared to the battle cruisers and above but this vessel dwarfed the tiny corvette. The Captain looked at the seven 280mm artillery cannons along its spine. If they were loaded with Republic Fleet Fusion rounds they could probably annihilate their ship in a single volley. Any engagement would be over before they could react.


"Incoming message on the local channel sir. It says 'Punisher' sir."

"Reply with Vengeance and jettison the cargo container marked 'Punisher'.

We watched the view screen as the tiny cargo container was flushed into space. An opening cargo door on the Thrasher cast light into the darkness making the spinning container glint. It disappeared inside, brought in by short-range tractor beams that scooped it up. The ruddy coloured destroyer then swung away and engaged its warp drive, disappearing in a flash of light.

"One down one to go. Set course to the second rendezvous point."

"Sir we're getting a short-range burst transmission." the communications officer stated. "Wait... sorry sir I don't know what that was. It looked like a burst transmission but I'm not seeing any message picked up by the array. It was certainly originating from nearby but no ships on 1au scans and was directed right at us."

"Strange. Do a detailed short-range scan. See where it came from."

That scan was never completed. The tiny satellite that sent the burst transmission some 100,000km away, self-destructed a second after it was sent. The second cargo crate in the hold marked "Absolution" that had received the transmission detonated ten seconds after that, vaporising the ship and all crew.

-o0o-

Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9



"Trouble incoming." the Caldari man said suddenly rising from his seat.

The Amarrian woman moved swiftly, rising from the sofa and pulling her dress back up. Milaja didn't know what they were talking about, she couldn't hear anything other than the thump of the music. She just watched the scene unfold as if in slow motion. The door to the VIP suite burst open and an unknown Matari man stood there. He held what looked to be a knife although it wasn't made of metal. It was white and looked almost organic. Fresh blood dripped off the blades tip. The man surveyed the room in an instant and focused on Milaja. He lunged forward with the strange blade. She froze and watched in horror as it sped towards her. Out of nowhere the bottle of Gallente vodka came crashing down on the mans wrist in a blur. He screamed in pain before being silenced as the jagged edges of the now broken bottle were slammed into the front of his neck. He went down gurgling clutching where the bottle had sliced into him. His white shirt turned red. 

The Amarrian woman looked down impassively at her handiwork. A slight sneer appearing on her face. The Caldari man quickly searched the body and retrieved a datapad.

"Time to go I think." the Caldari man said.

"Was it us... or her?" the Amarrian woman asked. The Caldari man looked at Milaja.

"He went for you first. Is there anyone who wants you dead?" he asked Milaja bluntly. Her pause and look of horror told him everything he needed to know.

"I'll take that as a yes. What do you think Cat? A little fun to be had here? An adventure? A distraction perhaps?"

The Amarr woman paused looking thoughtful at Milaja first and then down to the dead would-be-assassin.

"That's a bio-knife" she said kicking the white blade "They are really expensive, high-end and built to evade station security scanning tech. Not what you'd expect to find here in the arse-end of Caldari low-sec. She's the target of someone pretty high up the food chain. I think it could be a welcome distraction."

"That settles it. Come on, you're coming with us, lets go!" he said as he dragged Milaja by her hand out of the VIP suite. In the corridor Milaja shrieked as she saw her boss' body laying face down in a pool of blood along with two bouncers she knew. Each of them appeared to have had their throats slit.

"Get the ship ready. We're leaving!" the Caldari man barked into his datapad as he shoulder an emergency exit open still dragging the confused woman behind him, the Amarrian woman he referred to as 'Cat' not far behind.

"My son! I have to get to my son!" Milaja gasp.

They stopped running. The Amarrian woman paused.

"I'll take her to get the kid. You get podded up and get the ship ready!"

"Oh and why am I flying?" he shot back.

"Because I say so. Now go get naked and get in the goo! Go!" the Amarrian said with a smile. She turned to Milaja "Which way to your kid?"

Milaja couldn't speak, she simply pointed to the security office which led back to the lower decks. Her mind was racing as the Amarrian dragged her along. The words they used. She'd heard the same words in movies she'd seen. Milaja focused her attention on the back of the neck of the Amarrian woman she looked for a sign. Her thick black hair swayed as she ran. Milaja saw it. A flash of silver. She was right. She was being pulled through the station by a capsuleer. An immortal.

To be continued....

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New Cormorant and "Total Worth" Calcs

On SiSi there are two features that caught my eye. First off is the Cormorant. As Drack is Caldari this was the first destroyer I flew. Those were the days! Rail Cormorant running those missions and saving like made for the ultimate ship. The Caracal! Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Anyway the Corm has had a full makeover....



It's got side-wingy-bits that fold and move when warping. I actually like the new model even with the soft-spot I have for the old one as one of my first ships.

The other thing included is that your character sheet gives you your total worth in ISK. Just under 19bn for my main which would be higher if all my battleships hadn't been passed to a holding toon. Must have at least another 5bn there with my Windicator!


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Distraction

Fiction Friday. After a few months break and some Twitter nagging we're back.


The Distraction

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromah Solar System, Domain


Pareh looked out of the window at the stone courtyard below. Chairs were being laid out in front of the red-carpeted stage. Banners of the Royal Houses of the Amarrian Empire fluttered against the high walls in the gentle breeze. Huge potted plants were being moved into position my straining Matari slaves, their glave-collars glinting in the sun.

"Is everything prepared?"

His personal adviser, Azhdan stepped from the shadows in the corner of the room.

"Yes my lord. A suitable ship and crew has been identified to undertake the mission. We are making contact today. We have no doubt they will agree to it. Arrangements have been made to give them a little persuasion."

"Yes, but are we covered?"

"Yes my lord. A planetary defence battery will be pointing just in the right direction to retaliate after their first shot. They will not have time to fire a second time. The warp-in co-ordinates we will provide them with will place their orbit low enough that any wreckage will burn up in the atmosphere. There will be no evidence to the exact identities of the perpetrators but the scans of the ship type and its origin from across the border will let speculation run in the direction we want."

Pareh nodded thoughtfully.

"I was thinking about our, shall we say, continued healthy well-being, more than covering our tracks."

"Of course sir. Three minutes before the strike you will be informed of a small-scale slave revolt in the sub-district of Kaz-Lent. Nothing that the governor-supreme or any of the other regional governors would get involved with, but they will all get the notification on their datapads as it is a class-2 security event. They will understand why you will need to depart and return to your office immediately."

Pareh smiled and looked down on the 9 golden thrones in the front row of the courtyard facing the stage. He imagined the look on their faces when they received the notification during the event. They'd all nod at him supportingly but inside they'd also be smiling internally that he suffered such a public embarrassment during the congress in front of everyone. Oh little they knew. Everything was was going to plan. Almost everything.

"What about... her?"

Azhdan paused. Ensuring his reply did not anger his master.

"Our agent is finally closing in sir. It should only be a matter of time now until that loose end is tied up. She has been tracked to Caldari space and we expect a successful conclusion very soon my lord. We have delayed executing the plan until the last possible time sir. This is likely to be the last event where everyone will be together. It is now or never sir. It has been six months since she fled. Will she even hear about the events that will occur here tomorrow? Even if she did, would she dare say anything for risk of exposing herself?"

Pareh scowled. They were cutting it too close and there were too many unknowns. 

"Make sure you impress on our agent that time is of the essence. I want that whore in transit back here before the conference opens tomorrow! And make sure she is unhurt. That is my privilege!"

-o0o-

Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9



Milaja kissed her sleeping son on the forehead and quietly backed out of the tiny room.

"He's asleep so you should have an easy night" she whispered to Isela. The Caldari teenage girl lived in the next cabin with her parents. The girl would babysit in the evening for a few local credits.

"He'll be fine. I'll message you if there are any problems." the girl replied.

Milaja smiled and grabbed her bag. The terminal by the door showed a message waiting. She rarely got messages. Her heart sank. Already?

She waved her hand over the device and the message appeared on screen.

FINAL DEMAND - RENT OVERDUE - 24 HOURS NOTICE OF EVICTION

She sighed and waved her hand again over the sensor to clear the message before leaving. The station's corridors this far down were dirty and rusted. Various unknown liquids dripped from leaking overhead pipes and conduits. The lighting flickered and often went out completely for a few seconds. This wasn't the Throne Worlds where everything was golden and gleaming. This was low-sec and not only that, a Matari station in Caldari controlled low-sec. The Caldari were allied with the Amarr so whilst tolerating this station they did make things difficult for the owners. Constantly tying them up in red-tape and making deliveries of maintenance goods and spare parts delayed. She had arrived four months ago after escaping from "him". However she'd gone from one form of slavery to another. With no money, experience or qualifications she'd ran out of the small amount of money she'd stolen from her once master quickly. The economy was bad and getting work was hard. She did what she had to but it wasn't enough. In just under 24 hours she and her 3 year old son would be evicted from the tiny cabin they rented on one of the stations lower decks. Things looked bleak. Unless she got a big spender tonight.

A tear rolled down her cheek and she brushed it away with the back of her hand as she reached the old rickety lift that would take her to the upper decks of the station.

-o0o-

Joint Havesting Refinery
Auga Solar System
Matari Space


Ragnar picked up the large glass of frothy ale and downed half of in in one. It had been that sort of day. Whilst patrolling a local asteroid belt a wing of Angel Cartel pirate frigates had jumped them. They had to fight, the local space-station paid them to provide security in the system and running from the pirates would have lost them their contract, not that it paid much but work was scarce. Thankfully the five frigates appeared to be straight out of pilot school. The cannons on his Thrasher class destroyer had cut them down but at a cost. The damage sustained to his ship was many times over the value he was paid for the patrol including the bonus for the five confirmed kills. His crew were partying at various other establishments, high on the thrill of battle and glad to be alive. As Captain he didn't want to party, they'd been really lucky. He just wanted to know how he was going to pay for the repairs to his ship.

"Looks like you need another drink" a voice said behind him. He turned to find an elderly Matari man stood there.

"Yeah, rough day." he muttered and turned back to the bar, not in the mood for company.

"I know, I was looking at those gaping holes in your Thrasher. You took quite a beating out there." the old man replied.

Ragnar was suddenly on guard. Who was this man and why was he taking an interest in his ship.

"I have paid for your ship to be fully repaired and would like to talk to you about another mission. One slightly more risky than paroling the rock belts for the odd pirate but it pays well and will be a blow to those fracking Amarrians."

"I'm listening." Ragnar said cautiously turning on his bar stool back to face the old man.

The old man lowered his voice.

"The Republic is caught up in negotiations with the Amarrians and they are making no progress. CONCORD continues to sit on its hands maintaining the status quo. I work for an organisation that takes more of a direct approach to dealing with the Amarrian scum. Very soon some of the most brutal slave-holders on a small planet meet for a conference. They do this every couple of months however this is to be the final one. They have decided that coming together is too risky and are breaking with their tradition. The planet they live on is old-school Amarrian. They treat their livestock better than our captive brothers and sisters. I have access codes that will make your ship appear to be a capsuleer vessel allowing you to get to the planet. Then it is simple. Warp to the co-ordinates provided, lock your targeting computer onto a beacon that one of our agents will place. Then fire two volleys of the orbital-bombardment ammo that we will provide and warp away. A few hours work, minimal risk for the pay and a cool million in cash, and that is ISK not Republic Credits!"

Ragnar spluttered into his drink.

"A million intersellar kredits? That's a lot of cash for what you sell as an easy mission? Surely you have resources for this mission if you have that sort of cash laying around? Hell, for a million a new pod-jockey would take that contract."

"It is true that we have many very rich supporters both in the Republic and in the Federation. However, we prefer to use independent captains for our direct action. Makes us untraceable. Privateers are better than mercenaries or the capsuleers which leave a paper-trail or invlove agents who record everything. Plus nobody will suspect a small security contractor in the arse-end of low-sec to undertake such a daring mission. Seriously? Who would come looking for you?"

With his current financial situation and his hatred for the Amarr slave-holders Ragnar didn't have to think hard. The old man was right. The Amarrians would instantly suspect one of the big anti-Amarrian organisations.

"When do you want us to leave?"

-o0o-

Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Planet 7 - Moon 9
Tama Solar System

After clearing security, Milaja entered one of the executive levels of the station. Up here the air was fresher and the corridors were somewhat cleaner. It was still a Matari station but they made more of an effort for their wealthier customers. Taking the special staff routes, small corridors hidden behind the main thoroughfares, she entered the club's changing rooms directly and sat down at a dresser next to her friend Iriganda.

"Hey babes!" the Caladri woman greeted.

Milaja lent across and gave her an air-kiss to both cheeks.

"What is it?" Iriganda asked sensing her friend was upset.

"Rent is due and unless I get a good one tonight we're homeless tomorrow." Milaja replied trying not to get emotional.

"Aw babes" Iriganda said rising from her stool and hugging Milaja."Things will be alright. You'll get a drunk Caldari Mega-Corp Executive panel tonight. You'll have so much money you'll be able to treat that little scamp of yours to the latest holovid player!"

Milaja laughed and broke the hug.

"I hope so Iriganda, I really hope so."

Iriganda returned back to her dresser and was soon finished and vanished inside the club. Milaja took her time getting ready. Tonight was important. Various other girls came and went as she slowly applied her make-up. Since the Capsuleer citadels had sprang up in the system the older stations were seeing a big reduction in visitor numbers especially the business types. Working at a Gentleman's Club she relied on those business types. The odd privateer who themselves were struggling to live on what they earned was not going to put food on the table. Low-sec space was suffering a full on economic melt-down.

She had brought her best outfit in the hope of luring a big spender. She smoothed the black synth-silk stockings over her legs and clipped the lace-tops to the straps of the suspender belt. The feel of the silk reminded her of her old life. 'He' liked her to wear stockings. However he bought her pure Amarrian silk, none of that cheap synth material. She shuddered and started to find it hard to breathe as she recalled what came next when he was her master. She shook her head to clear the image of him. Covering her legs meant it would be awkward if she was asked to dance on the pole but she took the risk. The heels were silver and the stilettos looked like deadly weapons. She slipped on the last two pieces of her underwear and reached for her tiny outfit. The dress was fishnet and did nothing to hide her body, which was the point.

She finally was happy and entered the main club from a side door. Her heart sank s she looked around. There were only two customers and they were sat with girls already. Another half a dozen girls sat around in their skimpy outfits looking completely bored staring into their datapads. She approached the bar and greeted the barman. Taking a glass of water she lent back on the bar surveyed the almost empty club.

"Yeah, I'm fracked." she whispered to herself.

Back at the security checkpoint which she had passed through earlier, Guard 1st Class Arnald Tolangranner glanced at the scanner. The Matari man that stood in front of him had no concealed weapons or viral agents.

"Reason for visit?" he asked not really looking up.

"Business. My company is developing new tethering technology that can be retro-fitted to existing space stations. Help you guys compete with these new Capsuleer citadels." he said with a smile.

Arnald wasn't really listening. He was glancing at the the couple stood next in line. In fact it was the woman that had got his interest. Amarrian and an absolute stunner. Jet black hair and a short dress showing off a fantastic pair of legs. Arnald wished they still did physical searches rather than this remote scanner crap! She was with some Caldari man and patiently waiting in line. Arnald waved the Matari onward into the executive level, keen to get a better look at the hot Amarrian woman next in the queue.

Back in the club an hour later Milaja was listening to a man intently.

"Then when the Sansha were about to board my ship think we were defenceless I set off the smart-bomb and BOOM, vaporised them all!"

Milaja nodded and smiled as if she was interested but she had come to realise Nilen here was full of bullshit stories but bereft of real cash. The club had picked up a little in the last hour and she'd managed to bag herself a Client. Unfortunately she'd been unlucky and got one who wasn't spending. Cheap drinks and had only one private dance which was the cheapest on the menu. He'd even tried to haggle her down on the 20 credit dance price.

"I think that woman over there is trying to attract your attention" he said pointing.

She looked across and saw Iriganda waving from a booth the other-side of the room.

"Excuse me a moment, it might be important" she lied, smiling, and started to walk over. She looked at who Iriganda was sat with. Her heart started to race. The man was Caldari but the woman was Amarrian. They didn't get many on this station and certainly not in a club like this. Did she work for 'him'? Had her recent past caught up with her? She forced the thoughts out of her head. It was unlikely, she couldn't live the rest of her life thinking every Amarrian she saw was there to kill or capture her. There were trillions of Amarrians and probably no more than a dozen knew her. Iriganda rose and met her a few metres from the booth, far enough so the couple she was with couldn't hear what she had to say but near enough so that the other girls in the club didn't try to sneak in. It was a cut-throat business and if you left your Client alone for seconds another girl would sneak in there.

"What's up?" Milaja asked.

"Doesn't look like you are having much luck there." Iriganda stated glancing over at the privateer Milaja had been sat with. Another of the girls, seeing an opportunity, was already sat with him flirting like mad.

"No, he's rich in tall space-faring stories but poor in cold hard cash. Thanks for saving me! He'd  have been likely to occupy me all night and I'll never get a proper spender."

Iriganda laughed "That's not why I called you over. I got a present for you!"

Milaja looked quizzically.

"The two behind me want to go full VIP. Look, I know you're in a spot so I made an excuse and said I'm not the best for VIP with a couple as I'm very much a man's girl. I said you were the best in the club, especially for the ladies and said I'd get you over."

"Seriously? You're giving up a VIP for me?" Milaja said in amazement trying not to get emotional.

"You go give them a wild time babe and may be you'll get a big tip, something to get you out of the spot your in. And before you say it, yes, you do owe me one!" Iriganda replied with a wink and a smile before heading towards the bar.

Milaja quickly composed herself and walked seductively towards the couple smiling. The nagging feeling of dread being so close to an Amarrian not going away but the hope that this could solve her immediate financial issues settling her nerves a little.

-o0o-

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromah Solar System, Domain

Pareh was making small talk with various guests at the grand reception in the ballroom. He hated his own palace being overrun like this. If everything had gone to plan it would have been over months ago. However, with "her" on the loose they had to delay the plans. Typical of his luck that this was the last opportunity to enact the plan and also his turn to host the governor conference. A year ago when he put the plan into action he never thought he'd be arranging an orbital strike against his own palace. However, he'd come round to thinking it would be better this way. It would deflect any suspicion away from him. After all, who would think he'd have his own palace attacked like that?

He wandered around sipping on his champagne engaging with his guests. Each regional governor was expected to host one of these conferences every other year. As the planet was divided into ten there was approximately one every two standard months. His was the last for this year and the last forever if the Governor-Supreme made the announcement they'd all been expecting. Meeting like this they presented too big a target to the various Matari groups. Whilst it was a tradition, it could be done over holo-conferencing with a lot less risk.

Azhdan came up close and whispered in his ear.

"Sir, I just received a priority message. Our agent has visual on the girl but there is an issue. She is located on a secure deck of a Matari station in Caldari space. They said they could do an extraction of both her and her son but it will take time to plan and execute. The other option can be implemented immediately on your command."

Pareh stroked his chin. He had wanted proper revenge for her betrayal. A simple death was not what he wanted for her. Something slow and painful, of course after being forced to watch her own son suffer a similar fate first. However, time was almost out and if she was alive when the plan was executed tomorrow he'd be at risk.

"Send the message. Terminate her immediately."

To be continued....

Thursday, March 2, 2017

BB80 - Democracy in Action

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 80th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 80 - A Voice for All Players?

CCP Seagull ecourages you to get involved in CSM12 and put your name forward to be a Space-Politician. On his blog Neville Smit noted that CSM11 had done a good job with minimum of drama. However he said he'd not be covering CSM12 like he has in previous years as he sees no point. The power-blocs will vote on who they want and unless Steve Ronuken manages to get on CSM12 it is almost certainly going to have every seat taken by the big null-sec blocs.

Is Neville right? Is the CSM moving more and more into just a voice for 0.0? Is this a bad thing? Are the hi-sec, low-sec and WH players going to lose out badly or is it really not an issue as its the same game? Could a totally null-sec dominated CSM 12 give a balanced voice for everyone?

Banter on!


BB80 - Democracy in Action

Will CSM 12 be totally dominated by null-sec as Neville Smit says in his blog post?

Almost certainly.

Just look at 2016 and see what happen's when you give the masses the vote. First the UK votes to leave the EU in Brexit, the most self destructive and idiotic thing a country has ever done... then the USA say's "Here, hold my beer and watch this!".


Technically democracy should work in Eve Online. The huge numbers of high-sec, low-sec and wormhole players should be able to get together and get representatives onto the CSM. The problem is they won't.

First off there are those who see Eve as a computer game. They log on, do their thing and log off. How many Eve players even know about the CSM? If you asked your average mission runner or trader in high-sec are they aware of the CSM? Do they follow Eve social media? Eve news sites or blogs? There is a massive difference between those who see Eve as a game vs those who see it as a hobby.

Next is do they care? Again the "Its only a game" crowd might not even be interested in voting even if they know about it. Yes technically its easy, but you still need to visit the Eve website, log in, go to the CSM area and then vote for your candidate. If you're not that invested in the game, why bother?


Then there is the final issue. All those candidates splitting the vote. What was it? 64 candidates? That's going to split the non-null bloc vote.

So whilst the other areas of the game could each vote on a representative its not going to happen. The null-blocs with get a list of people to vote for and instructions on what to do.

CSM 12 is very likely to be 90% null with Steve Rokunen the only hope for non 0.0 voice. This could be prevented by the other sections of the community getting organised, banding together, selecting chosen candidates and everyone voting (First candidate the one for your area, second and third for the other two). However this is not going to happen. Voter "turn out" in Hi, Lo and WH will be low compared to population and votes will be spread to thinly.

As anyone who has FC'd before will testify. Getting a fleet of Eve Players to do what you ask them is difficult enough. How are you going to control tens of thousands?


As Neville said, we can only hope that the null-bloc candidates have experience or interest outside of just 0.0.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blog Banter 80 - A Voice for All Players?

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 80th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 80 - A Voice for All Players?

CCP Seagull ecourages you to get involved in CSM12 and put your name forward to be a Space-Politician. On his blog Neville Smit noted that CSM11 had done a good job with minimum of drama. However he said he'd not be covering CSM12 like he has in previous years as he sees no point. The power-blocs will vote on who they want and unless Steve Ronuken manages to get on CSM12 it is almost certainly going to have every seat taken by the big null-sec blocs.

Is Neville right? Is the CSM moving more and more into just a voice for 0.0? Is this a bad thing? Are the hi-sec, low-sec and WH players going to lose out badly or is it really not an issue as its the same game? Could a totally null-sec dominated CSM 12 give a balanced voice for everyone?

Banter on!

Contributors:-