Captains log supplemental

Although after action reports vary in content and clarity, it is now clear that yesterday’s events were no ordinary day in Metropolis. What began as a routine patrol of the warzone developed into a race against time and threatened the lives of the brave capsules that did their duty on this day.

At 1900 hours, a small fleet undocked in the system of Auner, with the course set for the neighboring region of The Bleak Lands. The Kamela system had been the center of recent conflict, and the Minmatar militia was finally ready to claim victory.

The journey took the small fleet through a number of systems, and there was an eerie quietness about the warzone this evening. Scouts continued to investigate the systems ahead, while the fleet slowly made its way south. On a few occasions Minmatar complexes was investigated, but the long warp travels were uneventful so far. Things was about to change.

In the system of Kourmonen a brief communication from one of the scouts indicated a large enemy force. The main fleet was one system behind, but was sitting on the jump gate. The scout, who was flying in a Loki class strategic cruiser, now reported that the enemy fleet had landed on the gate, and was aware that he was there – still in his cloak from jumping the same gate. The enemy fleet immediately scrambled to get close enough to decloak the Loki. Mistakes were made in the chaos, and light missiles swarmed the Loki before it could recloak and warp off. The brave fleet commander immediately called for a rescue mission and the fleet jumped into the escalating chaos. The result was devastating. The Loki was the first to burst into flames, but Hurricanes, Atrons, Ishkurs and Breachers soon followed. The enemy fleet was vastly superior and their battlecruisers melted the hulls in a matter of seconds. The loss of the ships and their crews, was regretful, but this was however not the true danger of this encounter. A far more deadly threat was introduced to the capsulers that was present in Kourmonen this evening.

What was later identified as a very potent neurotoxin had found its way into the neural pathways of the brave capsulers on this battlefield. It is still unknown how the enemy force was able to deliver this agent, but its effect became alarmingly clear in the hours to come. What began as slight disorientation and failing discipline among the fleet members, soon became far worse, and the full effects have not all been properly documented yet.

After a short reship, the fleet was on its way again. Unaware of the micro toxins in their neural pathways they headed for the Kemala system to aid in the takeover of the system, and do their bit to claim victory. The fight was intense and the enemy relentlessly tried to break the allied barrage of the infrastructure hub. At one point enemy capital ships landed on the field and broke the allied defenses. The attack was quickly reinitiated and progress was fast.

Deeply buried in the minds of our capsulers the neuro toxins were now altering the very core of what normally constitutes rational thinking and quick decision making.

It was later agreed that the first sign of loss of mental cohesion was the fleet commander’s sudden obsession with an enemy group of Ferox class battlecruisers that patrolled the vicinity. Vague objections ware heard over the coms, but none of the fleet members was able to articulate any meaningful augment at the time. The order was given to attack, and the fleet members that actually registered the command, dived into the fight. The fleet, now mainly flying in Algos class destroyers, was wiped of the field.

In the meantime, the infrastructure hub was destroyed and victory was claimed. However, the effects of the neurotoxins were accelerating. Line members from allied fleets pointed this out over coms, and a decision was made to retreat to assess the situation. The effects were still increasing and the coordination and mental capacity of the fleet was deteriorating rapidly. The order was giving to return to Auner. The exact way this happened is still unclear, but the capsulers somehow found themselves in the Astrahus citadel in Auner.

A massive investigation into the origin of this neurotoxin now began with the help of unaffected capsulers that, at the time of the dreadful encounter in Kourmonen, was deployed elsewhere.

Coms chatter and distant intelligence all pointed towards Pandemic Legion, and their recent experiments to fit Heavy Interdiction cruisers with biological weaponry. One Onyx class ship was identified as the origin, and it had to be found.

The solution was simple. Kill the Onyx. However, the state of the fleet members was now so critical that even the simplest decisions was close to impossible. It was a race against the clock.

Radio logs exists where, once disciplined and intelligent pilots, fight over coms over which ships to use. What made things worse was that the fleet commander seemed to be the most affected of the fleet members. In the middle of the chaos and fighting, the fleet commander made the decision to use Rattlesnake class battleships and set out to hunt the Onyx. A few of the pilots agued loudly over that decision, some thought it was the best idea ever, but most had at this point gone into a state of apathy. This however, didn’t matter since the fleet commander had already boarded his jump freighter and was on route from the trade hub in Jita, with the ships.

More trouble arrived when the Rattlesnakes was prepared for battle. In the heat of the argument critical modules was forgotten, and ammunition was not considered absolutely necessary. Information on how exactly the Rattlesnakes was made ready, is lost. There was however a discussion that ended up with the conclusion: No ships should have low slots, so we won’t fly with those modules. If the Rattlesnakes were eventually fitted with low slot modules, is unknown at this point.

At roughly 0045 hours, the fleet undocked.

The course was once again set for Kourmonen. It was later agreed upon that just finding the Bleak Lands region was (considering the state of the fleet), one of the biggest feats in modern aviation history. Thanks to the fleet commander, who was somehow able to muster a yet unseen level of concentration Kourmonen was now only one jump away.

From here there is only very sparse information, since most logs are destroyed or the involved parties simply doesn’t remember. It is however clear that the Onyx was brought down in the face of overwhelming odds, and a cure for the neuro toxin was found. Surprising to most specialists involved in the aftermath, the most effective remedy turned out to be apple juice and sleep.

Fly safe 😀

 

 

 

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Fighters

Story time! This story is written in-character from the view of Clear Chelien.

Part two:


 

Clear Chelien is in warp, flying a small Astero class frigate, fit for maximum speed and stealth. Warping is one of the only places were Clear feels truly safe in space. Clear had heard rumors that a group of pilots, that had developed a technique to attack ships in warp, but so far it is just war stories, and the galaxy is full of those.

Behind the exploration frigate, the massive research laboratories of the Creodron corporation, were quickly disappearing out of sensor range. In the frigates cargo hold is five new blueprints for the most advanced fighter drones in the galaxy. The investment had made Clear go from anxiety, to a feeling of being alive and in the game again. Now they actually had a chance to get on top. But it had to work.

There isn’t much to do when warping from system to system, and Clear is spending the time planning for the first production batch of the new fighter drones. The star base is ready, and the production crew had just finished acquiring the skills needed to assemble this new and deadly technology. The demand is very high for these drones, and it seems like a way to get back in the game. Financially the small crew is at rock bottom after they lost the jump freighter to pirates. The investment in new blueprints is risky, the price tag was a little short of 1,5 billion ISK. Dealing in billions is new to Clear, who is comfortable with a few hundred million ISK, but not billions.

The traffic is increasing outside the small frigate and Clear now flies with the covert stealth module turned on as often as possible. This makes the ship invisible to pirates in all but the small periods of time, when Clear is navigating jump gates and stations. The traffic is unusually high, and bulky freighters and large battle cruisers are congregating on the jump gates on the inflight to the Jita system. The sight is amazing and the silent display of force had always fascinated Clear.

Jita 4-4, as it is known, refers to the Jita solar system, planet four, moon four. It is a mess – an absolute mess. You can get everything here for a price, and the station is crowded with sales people, scammers, beggars and opportunistic industrialists like Clear. Jita is the biggest marketplace in the galaxy and trillions of ISK change hands here every day.

The small Astero frigate jumps out of warp, and the cloaking device deactivates. The docking areas towards the station is packed with ships of all sizes. The local unencrypted coms channel is busy with offers, services and mostly scams of every kind. After accepting Clears docking request the Astero is hauled into a nearby hanger. Safety.

The Astero is a very well built ship and is very quite. The long journeys could be very monotonous and the silence could be very relaxing. The contrast to Jita is enormous. Clear is leaving the ship, and the myriad of sounds and smells reminds him what Jita is. The hangars was packed with industrial drones busy fixing up ships, and loading or unloading freighters. The air was heavy and had a unique burnt feeling to it. “There is nothing like sounds and smells that can bring back memories and its totally uncontrollable“, Clear thought.

At the registration point Clear orders the Astero to be put into storage for now, he knows that he will be leaving soon in a much larger ship. The precious cargo of the Astero is moved into his personal hangar.

“Heeey, there you are.. What took you so long?”

It is Metis and Flash on the upper level of the hangar, shouting at him.

“Come quick”, they continued.

They seemed in good spirits, and now he saw why. In the next hanger an unbelievable number of drones was assembling a truly massive structure. Clear immediately knew what it was; it is their new Rhea. The shear bulk of this massive ship dwarfed everything else in the vicinity. It is expensive as hell, but it is worth it.

“It is scheduled to be done tomorrow afternoon”, Metis said.

“We already have the first corp orders coming in – it seems the maiden voyage will require a stop in Sujerento, before going to back Eranakko”, Flash added.

Clear was eager to get to Eranakko as soon as possible, to see the new blue prints get to work. One stop in Sujerento couldn’t hurt, after all that was part of the job.

“Where is Sirius?”, Clear asked.

“Monitoring the market. He insist on checkin up on our sales orders every five minutes.”

Sirius is the newest member of their small crew and was mostly managing sales.

Clear sighed, and looked in the direction of sales offices with tired eyes.

“Okay, we’ll take this one more time then… “, Clear said, visibly annoyed, and headed towards Sirius’ office.

Clear knew the way all too well. The trading area in Jita was enormous. Everything was done on terminals scattered across offices and open spaces in a giant structure next to the hangar arrays. He found Sirius bent over his terminal, and franticly tapping through orders. This was not what Clear wanted to see, and he was thoroughly disappointed.

“What are you doing?”

“Whaaatuup, you back. Nooiice.. Got some dank prints at Creo? Heard on coms they legalized the drug prints.. true??”

“Yeah.. sort of.. ”

Sirius always talked in half sentences, and with a jargon that made older pilots a bit tired. Anyways, he was a good kid and a promising trader. He was just too damn impatient.

“Let me look at the orders”, Clear mumbled and sat down besides Sirius.

“What the fuck are you 0.1-ISKing this shit for???”

Clear was referring to a method of trading where the trader undercut other traders with an insignificant amount, 0.1 ISK, to always be on top of the list and the obvious choice for buyers.

“Well, you wanna move this shite right?”

“Not like this. Its a waste of time – we talked about this”, Clear snapped.

Look here, you set a price that is likely end up on top, within a week or two. Look at the long term fluctuations of the market!  Find a point where it is highly probable and where the price will fluctuate to“, clear explained. “It will sell eventually, you see? And it will sell at a price that gives us double the profit. The market goes up and down all the time. We sell when its going up, okay? It’s super simple stuff, man.

“its boring as fuck”, Sirius objected.

No its the way to make cash around here. Most of our orders are already beginning to drop too close to where we won’t make shit!. Reset all the orders to a point 25% lower than their highest trading point during the last month. Do it now, and leave the terminal and go look for our next investment in blueprints instead.“, Clear sputtered.

It is a mystery to Clear why so many traders are wasting their time like that. Its bad business and a waste of time. Good trading comes from analyzing the market and setting the right price point, and then having the patience to wait. Sure it requires a lot of liquid cash and large piles of ISK in sales orders, but that is the only way to go. We would just have to live with fewer orders.

Okay enough. We have a shiny new Jump Freighter being assembled, we have some great blue prints. Get the others – we need a night out!“, Clear said in a more friendly tone.

Clear was tired from traveling and needed drinks and something to distract him from the huge risks that they are taking. Jita had it all – and they dived into the pleasure hubs for the night and they blissfully ignored the challenges that lay ahead.

It ended up as an overnight drunk.

On the way back, the talk fell on what was next for the crew. There was a sense of optimism and belief in the future. It was a rare feeling for them, and it was probably influenced heavily by the local booze. As they were walking through the large corridors, that let them away from the Jita night life, the music subsided and was replaced by the ever present and familiar buzzing sounds of Jita.

They woke up in the Astero.

What the f..!?“, someone said.

Metis lost the key tag for the station sleeping quarters last night, but Clear still had the access codes for the Astero with him. Is is actually nice to wake up here, Clear thought. The exploration frigate has a very nice interior and is made to make a crew feel comfortable during long journeys. Sleeping in docked up ships was however frowned upon by the dock workers, since it created a lot of traffic that delayed their work. They snug out for breakfast and something that could dampen their headaches.

It is late afternoon and the Rhae had been loaded up with corp orders, new blue prints and a ton of materials to produce the new fighter drones. A short message came up on the coms, it was from Flash and simply read:”Cyno up”.

The crew is assembled on the bridge, when it very slowly left the undock area in Jita 4-4. Navigating the undock is normally a hassle in ships of this size, but that didn’t matter in a jump freighter.

Flash had left early, in his favorite Atron frigate. Its only cargo was a cyno beacon. When you jump with a jump freighter it has to jump to a beacon, that can be light years away. Flash had the beacon lit close to The Sujerento station, their corporations headquarters.

On board the Rhea, Clear activates the jump drive, and within seconds everything lights up and a thrilling feeling runs through the crew. With a silent whoosh, the giant freighter enters hyperspace and appears seconds later on the dock of Sujerento. Clear always felt that this way of traveling was a bit like cheating. Traveling with the help of jump drives was not everyday practice, partly be course of the price of jump fuel, and in part due to the fact that it involved a lot of preparations to make safe.

The unloading of cargo in Sujerento is routine, and it is nice to be back with the corp. There is always a cheerful chatter on the local coms, with everything from the pilots latest conquests to war stories of huge battles.

Later in the evening the crew takes the final jump to Eranakko, and they are finally home. Clear can’t sleep and goes to work on the blueprints. After a few hours the advanced small ship assembly array, is running at maximum capacity to prepare the first batch.

The following days the fighter drones are freighted back to Jita for sale. Clear is anxious to hear the results, and Sirius is instructed not to rush the sale in Jita.

The investment in materials for the first batch had been around 4.5 billion ISK. It is a risky amount, but the market looked good so, Clear took the chance. Finally the report came back on coms:

Its crazy! We have sold them all. We made 6.5 billion ISK

Clear couldn’t believe it. They have covered the cost of the blue prints and made a profit of almost half a billion, on the first production run. “It worked.. shit!! it worked“, Clear shouted into the coms.

There was a long silence followed by cheers from the crew, who was now all on coms.

It worked..

 

 

Misplaced

This is my first attempt on writing a short story set in the EVE universe. The story is written in-character from the view of Clear Chelien.

Part one


 

“How is it possible to misplace 24 Ares class frigates in a star base with five hangers?”

“Sorry sir, they must have been moved to the back of the raw materials hanger some weeks back and we forgot”

“And nobody missed them?”

“Well, sir, after we lost the jump freighter, stocks and inventories didn’t add up, and we presumed that they were lost. Sorry sir.

He only did the “sir” thing when there was trouble.

Clear Chelien sighed. The 24 frigates was actually good news since they could be sold for around half a billion ISK. However, it was nothing compared to the lost jump freighter and its cargo. Around 11 billion ISK was lost in that pirate attack.

Clear Chelien dismissed the star base manager, but asked him to come back in the evening. Something has to be done.

Clear is the commander of a small crew of five, who all had Galente backgrounds, and had joined the militia to fight the Caldari. The small outfit is doing a lot of logistics behind the scenes, and they are hauling large amounts of cargo to the contested systems, to feed the war machine. More and more often they found them selves jumping in the very frigates, destroyers and cruisers that they built, to join the fight. The star base manager, Metis Chelien, and Clear started the small outfit together some years back. Right now only Clear and Metis are at the star base. The rest of the crew is in Jita, the biggest trade hub in the galaxy, where they are selling their produced ships and equipment. All but one; Flash was piloting a small support frigate at the time of the pirate attack, and was suppose to warn against incoming threats. He felt that the lost jump freighter was his fault. In reality, very competent pirates in very powerful ships hit the jump freighter hard. But sure – it could have been avoided.

“If only I could blame Flash for it all”, Clear thought. But the sad truth is that they had failed as a team, which made it all the more depressing. Flash was last seen in a regional trade hub called Dodixie, were they used to do trading some months ago. He has good friends there, and the weekly transaction reports had shown nothing but drugs, booze to exotic dancers. Clear had let him, but enough was enough. He cancelled Flash’ access to the corporate funds.

“He’ll be back in a few days, maybe sooner..”, Clear thought to him self.

Clear is at a small star base not far from the nearest major station at planet 4. The station is located in a fairly quite system called Eranakko, which is found in the heavily contested borderlands between Gallente and Caldari territories. Just a few systems away, some of the most intense fighting in the region is taking place. For the time being Eranakko seems like a safe haven. The system is under pretty solid Gallente control and its protection is prioritized.

Clear is sitting in the captain’s quarters with some Gallentian wine, that he found in a hanger. “Nobody probably knows that the bottles were even there”, Clear chuckled to himself.. “24 frigates. That’s what? 60.000 cubic meters of frigates? Misplaced how…?”

On the table in front of Clear, piles of datasheets are spread out. New production opportunities. They need new blueprints to boost income and spread out investments. The timing was bad though. The loss of the jump freighter and cargo cost 11 billion ISK, which left him with 4 billion ISK in liquids and another 3 billion in produce. Not even enough to buy a new jump freighter, which was crucial for the whole operation.

Unlike other freighters, the jump freighter was capable of traveling unseen past the regular routes, that would take it trough extremely dangerous space. The price tag for the ship reflects that, and it is one of the most expensive transport ships you can get your hands on. There is no way around it, Clear thought. We need a new Rhea. How?

Clear had been reluctant to contact the corporation, that they work for. The loss of the Rhea meant that the other jump freighter pilots would have to run faster. It requires a lot of ships and equipment to keep the war machine running and our area safe. The corporation had done really well recently and now has about 70 pilots in its employee and the numbers are growing, but so is the demand for ships and ammunition.

Ohh well, lets just break the news, Clear thought and logged on to the corporation communications channel.

Arya immediately responded: “Hey man sorry about the loss, bummer”. He is one of the other jump freighter pilots, and skilled combat pilot. The loss of a valuable ship like the Rhea is something that you notice, and will send chills down the spine of even the most combat hardened pilots.

Arya was from some backwash system in the outer regions, and his accent took some getting used to. He was a good guy though, and he had started in the corporation around the same time as Clear.

“Hey Clear, what’s up. All good?”

“Yeah, we’ll come around, just give us a little time.”

“Listen, I have talked to the CEO and the other jump freighter pilots, and we need the space trucking. We have scratched together 3 billion ISK to help you buy a new one.”

“Shit, are you that tired of hauling??”

“Yeaahh.. Something like that.”

“Thanks man! I really appreciate it.”

Clear don’t know what to say. He is is thinking about promising to pay it back, but he knows that it will take time and is a risky promise. Arya logged off the coms before Clear can think of a reply.

3 billion ISK combined with what was left is doable. The new Rhea can be found in the major trade hubs for around 7-8 billion, which still would leave ISK for a few investments.

A small icon on Clears screen blinked, indicating that an ISK transfer had been received.

 

The buzzer sounded in the captain’s quarters. Metis was here.

“Hey come on in”

“Hey – what are you looking at?“

He had dumped the “sir” again. Perhaps he could somehow feel that the mood was better.

“Just some new potential blue prints. We need new stuff. These new fighters for capitals look really interesting”

“I agree. The profit is through the roof. But it won’t hold, you know.”

“Perhaps.. Look, first I need you to procure a new Rhea. As soon as possible, we need to get back in game.”

“We didn’t have that kind of cash last time I checked? ”

“We got a little help. But we need better profits if we are to be able to take a hit like that ever again.”

“The corp helped?”

“Yeah. Well more like its pilots?“

“Okay I’ll put word out, that we are in the market for a Rhea. Talk to you tomorrow “

“Yeah, we’re going to be back on track soon – and find Flash!”

“Hehe will try. Good night”

“Good night”

The lights are dimming, as they always do in the artificial night on board the star base. Luckily the cycle is set to the 24hours, which Clear is used to. He had been in places were the cycle time was different, and it always brought on a creeping feeling that he was out of sync with reality.

Erannako was a nice corner of the universe. The corp used to have its headquarters here, but the quietness and long travel times became too much for the directors. Now the operations are based out of the neighboring star-system of Sujerento, where the corp is closer to allies and supplies. Eranakko became all the more quite after the move, which suited Clear well.

Clear glanced out the window, and spotted an Atron class frigate jumping out of warp. He recognized the fitting and total lack of cleaning. Flash was back.