Friday, October 24, 2014

Night of the Haunting - Part 2

This is part two of Night of the Haunting. A horror/slasher piece centred around the New Eden equivalent of Halloween. Escape pod here if you're not into your Eve-O fiction.

The story reaches its climax next week, Friday 31st October, All Hallows Eve.......

In other SCASS fictional news, the latest novelette (or is it a novella I cannot remember?) is at a place I'm finally happy with, sort of, ish, may be. If anyone wants to give it a proof-read and check my Ingrish spelin I'll toss some ISK your way and give you a credit at the start. 22,000 words, action-adventure. Drop a mail in-game to Drackarn or the his name at Gmail dot com.



Night of the Haunting - Part 2


Ariken led the group into the pitch black hull of the wrecked Drake class Battlecruiser. The airlock looked like it had been blown open from the inside. The corridor walls were scorched and evidence of the fires and explosive decompression that enveloped the ship were all around. The group turned on the torches that Ariken had handed out as they had neared the airlock, the feint glow from the emergency lighting units which were still active at the entrance. The beams illuminated small areas on the devastated corridor walls, casting eerie shadows.


"Apparently this ship was finally caught in an asteroid belt in the system of Notoras in low-sec." Ariken explained as she ducked below a mass of wires that had fallen from the corridors ceiling. "The Capsuleer Kirith Darkblade disabled the ships warp drive with a warp disruptor beam and then destroyed the ship. Over eighty crew died on this ship when it blew, a mere 18 made it to the escape pods. However, nobody really knows how many the Jita Ripper slowly sliced and diced in his quarters here over the months leading up to that battle. The wreckage was towed back here to the heart of the Federation for forensic investigation as the Federation had jurisdiction in Notoras."

As they got further into thje ship the emergency lighting flickered and died. Now there was only torch light. Setta hugged in close to Jark. It was strange but Ariken's commentary was getting to her. She assumed that it was because this was not a made-up ghost story, it was all real. She had read about the murders in the news. A maniac who pretended to be a capsuleer to seduced women only to drug them and then slowly kill them once he'd had his way with them. Just as authorities were closing in on him, a real capsuleer with the same sick perversion rescued him and they together killed at least another dozen before being taken down in a dead-end solar system, deep in low-sec, where they were hiding.

"The problem is that the Rippers body was never actually found." Ariken continued "Some say he made it to an escape pod but the hero Capsuleer attacking the Drake scooped him up and sold him to the powerful father of one of his victims. They say the father had him tortured for days before killing him!" Ariken paused as she squeezed past part of a bulkhead that had collapsed, partially blocking the corridor. "Some say he was incinerated in the fire that engulfed these very corridors as he tried to escape, half burnt to death before being claimed by the cold vacuum of space. However, some say that he never truly died. That you cannot kill true evil. That his charred, undead body still walks these corridors, looking for his next victim!"

Suddenly the area in front of the group where Ariken stood was plunged into darkness. Ariken screamed. This caused everyone else to scream. Ariken's laughter could be heard as she turned the torch back on.

"Bitch" was muttered by several of the party under their breath.

Finally they reached their destination, light spilled from a door ahead into the dark corridor. The door itself was half open and the corridor side of it showed the burns and explosive damage like the rest of the corridor. However, it must have been sealed during the battle as the cabin itself had been protected from the fire. Inside small portable lights had been set up as well as a large selection of food and drink on one of the tables. Setta spotted various Matari ales and Gallente vodka as well as some Amarrian wines. A large datapad lay on the floor surrounded by cushions.

"Wow babes. You got this all set up." Ylamaa said checking out the cabin.

"Oh yes, I told my pet security guard exactly how I wanted it".

Nerwolfur shook his head. "Seriously, after all you put that guy through he still does this for you? You ruined his life but he's still under your spell so much he'll help organise a party for you, your boyfriend and your friends... but is not invited himself?"

"Of course! He doesn't see it that way. In fact it was he who invited me here originally for tonight, that's how I found this ship was here. I just convinced him to let me bring all my friends... oh and for him not to come. He'd do anything for me the poor boy. Come on, he did all my college work for three months and I never even let him touch me, just a simple peck on the lips until 'we got to know each other properly' which of course we never got there." she laughed "Getting him to do this was easy in comparison. Do you know why I chose this cabin specially."

"Why this one?" Setta asked already guessing the answer.

"This is where the Ripper took his victims to torture them to death!" she replied with glee.

-o0o-

Half an hour later they had their snacks and drink and had been instructed by Ariken to sit in a large circle around the large datapad on the floor. Ariken tapped it and it lit up showing a wheel. Several of the group groaned as they read the categories on the outside of the wheel. Truth, kiss, scary story, make out, dare, -1 clothing, +1 clothing, MO Contest and more.

"Spin the bottle? Seriously?" Matilhelm laughed.

"Oh yes, we're going old school." Ariken smiled. She tapped a button labeled 'start' and a small hologram appeared above the screen. It was a small Gallente man dressed like a game show host from a bad local network.

"Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to The Spinner. I hope you will all take part in the spirit of the game! I'll be back to explain some of the more unusual tasks if anyone lands on one or where time-keeping or adjudication is needed. Good luck to one and all!" the little figure said before vanishing.

The big pointer on the screen started spinning and the categories on the outside of the wheel faded out to be replaced by their names. Ariken had obviously pre-programmed it. It stopped on Nerwolfur.

"OK Nerwolfur you're up first. Hit the spin button!" Ariken said with glee clapping her hands excitedly. Nerwolfur pressed the button that said 'spin' and the pointer started to rotate at speed as their names faded and the various categories reappeared. Slowly the pointer slowed and landed on 'kiss', immediately the pointer spun up again and their names reappeared.

"If it lands on Chigas or Jark I'm smashing this thing up!" he growled.

Ariken giggled. "I've set it so it cannot choose boy-on-boy, see the boys names are faded-out, so don't worry Nerwolfur your secret is safe, we won't all see you enjoying a smooch with Jark who you secretly love!".

The group roared with laugher as Nerwolfur glowered. The needle slowed and landed on Matilhelm. There was a collective groan from everyone else and complaints that it wasn't fun as they were boyfriend and girlfriend anyway. The two lovers smiled and leaned together for a quick kiss.

"Don't worry, plenty more spins to go!" Ariken said in a tone that worried Setta. "Anyway, it's Matilhelm's go now"

Matilhelm pressed the spin button and the pointer whizzed around again. The group watched intently as the needle slowed. It landed on '-1 clothing'. Matilhelm smiled and took off a shoe.

"Setta, your turn." Ariken stated with a grin.

Setta really didn't want to play this stupid game however she didn't want to be the only one to say it. She pressed the button and the needle span. Chigas kept glancing at Setta and the slowing needle. Setta wondered what he was hoping for. Probably for her to get 'make out' and then for him to be picked. Would she actually go through with something like that? Finally the needle landed on 'truth'. As the pointer started to spin up again and their names appeared the hologram of the man appeared.

"Looks like someone has to tell a truth. Be warned, we don't tolerate lies here on the Spinner. So grab the rod of truth before you answer!" the hologram stated with the flair that only cheesy game show hosts can.

Setta looked around confused as Ariken grabbed a small crate and handed her a small batton. It was silver and about 15cm long and 3cm wide. She looked questioningly at Ariken.

"Its a lie detector linked to the game, you have to hold it when answering a truth. Some of the categories have props you are supposed to use, we've got a selection in here. Oh goody!" Ariken stated as she pointed to the spinner. The pointer had landed on 'Ariken'. Setta heart sank realising the bitch would ask the question.

"Don't worry. I'll go easy on you for the first one." she paused and pulled a face pretending to think hard. "Are you a virgin?" Ariken asked all sweet and innocent. Chigas and Nerwolfur whooped as Setta turned scarlet.

"Come on babes. Its not a difficult one. You still got the V plates?" Ariken asked again.

Josh leaned into her.

"You don't have to answer" he whispered.

"Yes I am!" she snapped at Ariken. The hologram appeared above the spinner.

"And that is...." it paused for dramatic effect ".... the truth! Well done you. Now to the next contestant!"

Setta passed the baton back to Ariken who smiled sweetly as the little hologram man faded away. The rest of the round saw articles of clothing discarded, truths told, kisses traded and even a ghost story. Setta had been concerned that Ariken may have rigged the game but when it came to her own turn she lost an piece of clothing. However unlike the shoes that others had chosen to discard, she'd pulled her top off and was sat their in her tiny lace bra. Setta had seen all the boys catching a glimpse, even Jark. She couldn't blame them as the tiny bra left little to the imagination. It was strange that she's expose herself like that Setta thought. Nerwolfur had just lost a shoe and Matilhelm was watching the needle spin. It landed on 'make out'. Setta glanced at Nerwolfur who didn't look happy that his girlfriend was about to make out with someone and it was down to chance who it was. Setta wondered what the chances of a fight breaking out where. How would she feel if it fell on Jark? The categories faded away and the names appeared as the pointer began to spin.

"Why aren't the other girls names faded?" Matilhelm asked.

"Because girls making out is hot so I left that option on." Ariken stated. Setta noticed Nerwolfur perk up suddenly. She assumed his sudden change was that he'd gone from thinking he had a two in three chance of watching his girlfriend make out with one of his best friends to having a chance of watching his girlfriend make out with another girl. Slowly the pointer ticked around. It seemed to hover over Jark's name but finally ticked over one more. It stopped on Ylamaa's name. All the others cheered as the hologram of the host appeared.

"OK ladies and gentlemen, we have a make out! No cameras or holorecorders please, what happens in the Spinner stays in the Spinner. Contestants get ready, its a one minute challenge and I'm the official time keeper. On your marks.... get set....."

The two girls didn't wait for the word 'go' and started passionately kissing each other with hands roaming as their friends cheered. They were really putting on a show. Finally the small holographic host called a halt to the proceedings which drew a chorus of boos from the boys.

"If you're not too turned on, its your spin Setta" Ariken said. Setta leaned over and hit the spin button. She glanced at Ariken who had a smirk on her face. Everyone watched as the pointer landed on 'MO Contest'. There were glances around to see if anyone else knew what that was. The holographic host appeared.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a make-out contest! Could the contestant please select their boyfriend or girlfriend on the screen. If you don't have one here press the spin button to pick someone random."

Setta looked down and saw their names had appeared under the hologram. She reached through the hologram and pressed Jark. His name faded out and then so did the other boys names leaving just the girls. The pointer started to spin.

"Contestant, please fit the red bracelet to your loved one." the hologram said.

Ariken handed Setta a thick red bracelet that looked like a watch strap from the crate of props. She placed it around Jark's wrist. She noted the look on Ariken's face, she was up to something.

"The bracelet monitors heart rate, perspiration and six other signs of arousal." the holographic figure announced "It then gives the person a score out of 100 how turned on they are. The bracelet wearer will make-out for 30 seconds with the person we are about to pick. The bracelet wearer will then make out with the contestant for 30 seconds. We'll compare the scores to see who got the lover, loved up the most! The random choice or the lover!"

Setta glared at Ariken who was smiling smugly. She didn't need to look at the spinner to know where the pointer had landed, the look on Ariken's face said it all. It was a set up. The machine must have indeed been rigged and this was her end game. Not only would she get to make out with Setta's boyfriend as she was made to watch, she'd then show the group that she'd turned him on more than her. She was going to humiliate her in front of the group. That's why she had removed her top and sat there for an entire round in that tiny lace bra, to get pulses racing, especially Jark's. It was all a set up.

Ariken stood up and walked across the circle, an exaggerated sway in her hips. She settled in Jark's lap, wrapping her legs around his waist as the holographic host counted down. Jark kept his hands behind him, leaning back on them,. He looked at Setta in worry. In that moment it came to her, a potential way to beat the bitch. Setta smiled at Jark and nodded at him that it was OK to go along with it. She had a plan.

"Go!" the hologram announced.

Ariken wasted no time in devouring Jark. She kissed him deeply and dragged his hands up to her chest. When his hands just sat there she used her own hands on top of his to make him squeeze her chest. Sat in his lap, she ground herself into him giving it everything she could, squeezing her slender legs around him and and pulling him into her. The group swapped their attention between the couple making-out and the rising score on the screen as the bracelet on Jark relayed information. Various people called out the numbers as they climbed.

"14!"
"39!"
"56!"
"66!"

"Stop! Time is up!" the host announced. A score of 79! That'll be hard to beat! Contestant, get ready, your thirty seconds starts very soon."

Ariken climbed off Jark and wiped her wet lips with the back of her hand, looking down at Setta.

"Good luck beating that!" she sneered.

Setta climbed into Jark's lap in a similar position as the host gave a countdown. Everyone watched in expectation.

"Go!"

Setta took Jark's head in her hands and placed her lips by his ear. She whispered something quietly which nobody else could hear. She then climbed off him and took her seat. Everyone looked at her in amazement that she didn't even try.

"Decided there was no way you could compete with me?" Ariken laughed cruelly.

Setta smiled sweetly at her and pointed to the screen. There was a gasp just before the holographic host reappeared.

"91! The contestant wins! Well done!" he stated. There was a uncomfortable pause. Everyone held their breath knowing what was coming.

"She fracking cheated!" screamed Ariken "She must have hacked the game or something! She didn't do anything to him. Its impossible for her to beat me!"

Setta just leaned into Jark smiling as Ariken ranted on before storming out of the cabin. It was clear the games were over for the night.

-o0o-

Setta poured two drinks from one of the Gallente bottles. Matilhelm appeared at her side, reaching for a pair of plastic cups herself. Ariken and Chigas had not been seen for the last hour after Ariken stormed out with Chigas chasing after her like an obedient puppy. Ylamaa and Zarisri had slinked out together a few minutes later leaving Setta and Jark with Matilhelm and Nerwolfur. They had taken residency in separate darkened corners.

"So, how did you do it?" Matilhelm asked with a smile. "I've never seen anyone get one over on Ariken so well."

Setta smiled. "I simply whispered to Jark that I had taken pink pill earlier that you gave me and that he'd be getting lucky later tonight. I think I actually told him he could do anything he wanted to me."

Matilhelm burst out laughing. "Ariken worked on his little head but you worked on his big one. Thats classic!"

"Is she still around?" Setta asked.

"Yeah" replied Matilhelm "Nerwolfur went to check a bit ago and they are in the cabins two down. From the slapping sounds he heard I think Ariken is taking her frustrations out on Chigas by......"

Suddenly there was a massive crash and the entire room appeared to shake. The sound of grinding and screeching metal reverberated through the ship. Jark and Nerwolfur lept to their feet and rushed to the door. Everyone soon congregated in the corridor and shone their torches down to where the sound had come from. A section of the ship had caved in. The corridor where they had come from was completely blocked by thick, twisted metal. Setta noticed Ariken at the back of the group wearing next to nothing and holding her loose top against her bare chest. She glared at Setta when she saw her looking. Jark approached the cave-in and inspected it.

"Yeah, we're not getting back out that way! Its completely blocked."

There then followed a ten minute conversation which turned into a heated argument about what to do. Ylamaa and Zarisri wanted to call for help as their datapads were still connected to the net which was a surprise so deep inside the wrecked starship hull. Ariken had ruled out any contact as they were trespassing and tampering with police evidence. Nobody fancied a federal criminal conviction and had reluctantly agreed. It was finally decided that they should get dressed, clear up and find another way out. The couples returned to the cabins they had been occupying to get ready.

Within five minutes most were back in the corridor ready to leave.

"Where the frack are Ylamaa and Zarisri?" Ariken snapped.

"Coming!" Ylamaa said as she stepped out of the cabin down the hall. "Zarisri is just...."

A horrific scream came from inside the cabin behind her. Ylamaa turned and darted back inside, the group quickly running in after her. They burst in to find Ylamaa on the floor on her back holding her right hand in the air by the wrist, it was red and looked burnt. Zarisri was writhing on the floor in a puddle of liquid. His clothes were half dissolved and all of his exposed skin was bright red and blistered. It looked like steam was rising from him and the puddle that surrounded him. The group looked on, frozen in horror.

"Help him!" Ylamaa pleaded. Nobody moved. Nobody knew what to do. After a few seconds Zarisri shuddered and fell still.

"Shit, he's dead isn't he. Frack! What the frack happened?" Nerwolfur asked in disbelief as the girls wept.

Jark went over, not getting too near. He looked around and up at the ceiling which was dripping a light green liquid through a hole. The metal of the deck plate was bubbling.

"Must have been some corrosive liquid from a pipe up there. The collapse weakened the pipe and it happened to burst as he was under it? Man, we have got to call for help now!"

Ariken looked like she was about to object but didn't say anything. Jark pulled his datapad from his pocked. He looked at the screen puzzled.

"Chigas, you got a signal? Mines suddenly died."

Everyone took out their datapads and tried to get a signal. Nothing was getting through. Ylamaa staggered to her feet weeping and still cradling her badly burnt hand where she had touched Zarisri.

"Its the Jita Ripper. Its his ghost! He's using his powers to kill us!" she wailed.

"Get a grip there is no such thing!" Ariken snapped "The collapse must have put too much metal between us and the exit thats all. We need to move to get a signal thats all."

"I have to get out of here!" Ylamaa screamed and ran out of the cabin, vanishing down the pitch-black corridor.

"Shit! Someone get her!" Ariken shouted.

The group ran after her but she had too good a head-start, the bouncing torchlight from the chasing pack hitting her back every so often. They half saw her as she ran blind around a bend in the corridor. The group gave chase, skidding to a halt as they rounded the bend themselves. With their torches they could see it whereas Ylamaa could not. A metal support beam had smashed upwards through the deck plate. Its jagged, pointed end rising up to chest height like a spear set in the ground. Ylamaa had ran straight into it at full speed. The beam vanished into the front of her chest below her breasts and rose up out of the top of her back. She just hung there like a ragdoll, arms by her side and head leaning forward. Her body was twitching all over.

"Nobody touch her!" Matilhelm screamed as they approached.

Jark slipped past with his back pressed to the wall being careful not to knock her. He could see she was still alive as her body twitched and spasmed, impaled on the twisted metal. He saw a look of pure terror in her wide eyes which focused on him. She tried to speak but couldn't, a small trickle of blood ran from the corner of her mouth. She twitched twice more and was still. A sudden noise further down the corridor made the six remaining students spin around in fear. They quickly pointed their collective torches in the direction of the noise. There were gasps and murmurs of horror. The torch light dimly illuminated a naked figure far down the other corridor. Even from that distance they could see it was naked and horrifically burnt. There appeared to be no features on its head, just a pair of cold, dead eyes. It stood still for a few seconds staring at them and then vanished into a side corridor. Nobody in the group dared move.

"The Jita Ripper!" Ariken whispered in horror.

To be concluded........

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bored

I've come to the realisation that I'm bored with Eve! In fact I'm generally bored, pissed off and fed with a lot of things at the minute but Eve is getting to me currently. To be honest you'd be better off navigating away from this post right now and picking something more interesting off the side-bar to the right.

I enjoy writing about Eve. I enjoy the Eve community. However, the game itself is just pissing me off at the moment.

Whilst this month has not been great for game-time generally as its been a public holiday, my wedding anniversary weekend away and the wife's parents have been over to stay, I have only had two fights all month. In 22 days, I've fought twice... and lost both times. I am really bad at Eve.


Its hard enough to find a fight (I don't call a bait frigate sat in a FW plex with support hiding a few AU away. Smeg, if you want to kill my Kestrel with that Stabber Fleet Issue after tackling with your bait frigate then you must be more desperate than me for kills!) and its not fun when after 30 minutes of roaming you finally lose the 1v1 you've been looking for. I've been like this for most of 2014. Lacking Eve mojo to actually play the game. My kills has shown this very clearly:-


Stagnant faction war, lack of PvP'rs in the area/time zone and its all led to a lot of Titanfall, Stronghold Kingdoms, X-Com, a little Elite Dangerous (docking is a pain in the ass!) and a few other games. The release of Civilisation: Beyond Earth on Friday is going to be another game sucking away my Eve time.

Therefore I have decided I will stay up late Friday night. I will play Eve until the early hours until you damn Euro's get on and you unemployed Yanks drag yourself out of bed. I will play Saturday morning when the rest of America is on and pewing.

I WILL FIND MY EVE MOJO. I WILL!!!!!!!!!


Right, blog post done, time for some Titanfall.

Shit.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Making a Tug Even Better

At Eve Vegas CCP Fozzie revealed some new ship related news. The Blackbird model is being revamped. After the Moa and the Crow I think we can expect a less boxy, symmetrical model... unfortunatly. Will be sad if this is true to see the fairly unique ships of Eve turned into more generic sci-fi ships. There is no atmosphere in space, they don't need to be aerodynamic.


We also have T3 destroyers. Woot! These will be different to T3 Cruisers in there will be no sub-systems. Instead you'll have three modes you can swap between. Defensive, Agile and Sniper. Thinking about a T3 Cockbag that can be in sniper mode, try and run in Agile mode if you don't volley them and then can sit in defensive mode if they catch you hoping the cavalry turn up could be very interesting! These ships will be released one per expansion starting with Amarr and finishing with Gallente given the results in the recent "technology race".

We are also getting a new ship, currently in development, code-name "The Tug". This freighter sized ship will have a ship maintenance array to place fitted ships in. In fact Fozzie said it could fit "several" fitted battleships. However, like freighters it appears they are designed for high-sec. It was said they are basically "carriers" for hi-sec.


Carriers have several uses. The most common being:-

1. Repairing stuff (Triage).
2. Ratting.
3. Moving stuff (Suitcase).

They are currently very good at all three, however will be pretty poor at #3 after Phoebe and the jump drive/fatigue changes. Whilst force projection needs to be nerfed, the Phoebe changes also make it a massive PITA to move. Lets look at Drackarn. Say he gets bored of low-sec.... OK say he gets even more bored than he is now... and wants to move. How easy is that going to be? If I joined up with some Null-sec guys and wanted to take my stuff to my new home....

102 ships including 3 capitals, 8 battleships and 7 Battlecruiser making 52,387,700 cubic meters
400,000m3 of stuffz

Yeah, I'm staying in Nisuwa. Can you imagine me rebasing with all THAT after Phoebe and the long-distance travel changes? Smeg off!


What if we added a jump drive to the tug and gave it a bonus to fatigue like the jump freighter has? There needs to be care taken but imho the issue with current force projection is capital and super-capital. Keeping the ability to move battleships and down quickly shouldn't be an issue should it? Yeah, Eve players, right. Might not be a good idea.

So if a jump drive tug is not the answer to "How do we help people move without opening force project" what is? How can the individual player, corporations and smaller alliances move home?

On idea that popped into my head was Interbus contracts. They took a week to process but you could get stuff moved by NPC's. Yes, obviously my next thought was that goes against the sandbox and impacts on other things such as Black Frog etc.

Basically either you strip your ships, lose the rigs and jump freighter the ships to your new home and then re-fit, or you accept its going to take a dogs age to get there.

All I can hope is some start using the 'tugs' with escorts to move large quantities of ships across low-sec. Convoy raids could be a lot of fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

SCASSSS - Factional Jackets

A lot of important spaceship news over the weekend. New Blackbird model, T3 destroyers and a new industrial ship for moving fitted ships around (holds several fitted BS apparently).

However I'm in a rush today and stuck on a laptop so.... the new factional jackets from the NES. Show your colours, if you really want to that is.





Friday, October 17, 2014

Night of the Haunting - Part 1

Its two weeks to Halloween! I had an idea for a story to tie in with the time of year. Eve Online meets Scream? Its a 'three-parter' with the climax on the 31st. Escape pod here if you are not into your Eve-O fiction.


Night of the Haunting - Part 1

The loud bell broke the silence of the classroom which was immediately followed by the squeal of chairs being pushed back as the students rose.

"I want that piece on Admiral Yakia Tovil-Toba handed in before the end of the week. I'll be knocking off 10 marks for every day its late!" the lecturer shouted above the din.

Setta followed the throng of students leaving the classroom and out into the crowded hall. At 18 years old she was a senior and would be moving up to university in the next six months. That meant moving to a whole new space-station. Away from her family, away from her friends. She edged forward through the crowd and got to her locker, managing to open the door one-handed as she struggled with her pile of datapads. She slammed the door closed and headed towards the exit at the bottom of the corridor. She realised that her next educational establishment would be very different as various students of all creeds and colours jostled past her. The space-station at Luminaire VII was fairly unique in the Gallente Federation. The planet below had once been home to the Caldari race and still bore its name, Caldari Prime. After losing the war with the Gallente Federation, the Caldari State was a now distant empire. Most of its people had fled the star-system to their new home, New Caldari. However there were still many Caldari on the planet and station in orbit above who never left their homeworld. Along with the Matari immigrants and the odd Amarrian escaping their repression for one reason or the other, the Luminnaire VII station was perhaps the most racially diverse in the cluster.


Setta exited the door into the park. Of course on a space-station it was all artificial, but an important element for the well-being of the space-dwelling students. She glanced around. Groups of students were playing various sports, sat chatting or reading or just strolling around. Whilst the sun was not visibile through the massive window looking out into space, a huge high-intensity light high up on the roof gave the apperance of bright sunshine. Suddenly a pair of hands grabbed her from behind.

"Gotcha!" the voice snarled as she almost jumped out of her skin.

"You bastard!" she yelled as she realised it was Jark who was lifting her up and putting her over his shoulder!

"Put me down!" she screamed, half laughing.

"Nope. Got places to go!" he said and strode across the park carrying her on his shoulder to the amusement of other students.

Jark was the captain of the Lacrosse team. A six foot pillar of Gallente muscle topped with short blonde hair. Your standard jock however he was different to many of them, he was actually a nice guy as well. He and Setta had been dating for four months. He finally put her down as he reached a group of students sat under a tree.

"Oh look what the Jark dragged in!" Ariken laughed. Setta smiled at her knowing the comment wasn't as light-hearted as she made it sound. Ariken was a bitch. She was the head of the click of the rich and beautiful girls and she had always looked down on Setta. Normally Setta wouldn't give airheads like her a second look. Rich daddy's girls who use their looks and daddy's money to get through life whilst being mean and cruel to anyone they see as below them. Ariken begrudgingly accepted Setta into the group simply because of Jark. The hansom captain of the lacrosse team needed to be in her group simply for the status. Ariken was Caldari, her father was a successful businessman planet-side, and it didn't help that Setta was Gallente. It had been a long time since the Gallente kicked the Caldari out of Luminarre but there was still some animosity.

"Jark... MY MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!" the man sat with Ariken yelled and jumped to his feet. The two men ran at each other before jumping in the air and chest bumping. Chigas was Ariken's boyfriend. He was the centre-forward and all-star player of the college Zero-G Handball Team. Next to them were sat Matilhelm and Nerwolfur, both Matari. Second-generation immigrants. The Gallente federation had taken in a vast number of refugees from the Matari-Amarr war and their grandparents had settle in Luminairre after fleeing one of the Amarr Reclaimings. The last couple were Ylamaa and Zarisri. She was Caldari, born and raised on the station. She was only a couple of notches down from Ariken on the bitch scale. Her boyfriend was one of the few Amarrians living in the Federation. His parents fled political persecution and had settled here after being granted asylum in the Federation. In their little group of eight, all four empires of New Eden were represented.

"So its the Night of the Haunting at the weekend." Ariken started. As normal everyone fell quiet. Not that they really wanted to hear what she had to say, but the tantrum and fallout from disturbing her whilst she was saying her piece would be too much trouble. "This year I have something special planned! You girls all need to tell your parents you are staying around mine for a sleep-over."

The Night of the Haunting was an ancient tradition. Like the Valentines equivalent called Night of the Lovers, the Night of the Haunting evolved from the old Earth celebration of Halloween. Through the dark ages of New Eden all knowledge of the existence of Earth, the Sol system, the Milky Way, humanities origins and the massive wormhole that brought them to this cluster was long forgotten. However some of the old celebrations made it through the dark ages, from Christmas to Valentines day. Now twenty thousand years on they are very different to our 21st century versions, but still recognisable.

"A sleep-over?" Ylamaa asked raising an eyebrow.

"Duuurrrr! Thats what your parents need to think!" she said with a look of sarcasm. "I have a plan for a Night of the Haunted party that will beat all!"

Ariken continued with vague instructions to Ylamaa. Setta tuned out as she knew she'd not be involved in the planning as the relative outsider. Ariken wasn't giving any specific details just general information and the whole thing was going to be a massive surprise. Eventually the planning faded out and the various conversations started to run in different directions. Setta felt a hand on her shoulder which then pulled her back. Jark was laying behind her and rolled on top of her.

"I have you now" he whispered as he started to kiss her. She returned the kiss as they lay on the soft green grass of the park. One of his hands moved up her side, sliding under her top and onto her chest. She took the invading wrist and guided the hand back to her hip.

"Awwwwww" he complained, half jokingly.

"Not now with them here!" she replied.

"Get a room you two!" Ylamaa joked.

"Oh there'll be plenty of opportunity for that at the sleepover!" Ariken said in a tone that sent a chill over Setta.

-o0o-

Two nights later Setta was placing some clothes in her overnight bag. She'd hidden her main outfit for the party in the bottom of the bag and now was stuffing unflattering pyjama's on top in case her mother looked. As if on queue she heard a voice behind her.

"Got everything you need sweetie?" her mother asked as she poked her head through the half open door.

"Yes mom."

She paused as if she had something to say. After a few seconds of awkward silence she spoke up.

"There aren't going to be any boys there are there?"

"No mom."

"And no drink."

"No mom. Its just a few girls from school. We are going to be having a sleepover and be telling ghost stories for Night of the Haunting."

Her mother looked slightly happier.

"Oh good. Because you know there is plenty of time after university for boys and having a good time. You need to focus on your education and get the qualifications you need you know!"

"Yes mom! Look I'll be good." Setta said as she zipped up the bag. She passed her mom in the doorway and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Don't worry about me so much, I'm a big girl these days!" she said with a laugh before heading down the stairs.

"And thats what I'm afraid of." muttered her mother as she leant against the door frame watching her daughter disappeared down the stairs.

-o0o-

Setta wiggled into her skirt as Matilhelm was leaning into a mirror putting on her own make-up. The girls were all getting ready at Ariken's huge apartment. Her father was planet-side working and her mother was off station on a mini-vacation which she apparently took every month. Of the four girls Setta got on best with Matilhelm. Ariken clearly wasn't really happy about having her in the group and Ylamaa did whatever Ariken said. Matilhelm, whilst not the nicest girl in school, had accepted Setta more than the other two. When they divided the rooms up in the apartment to get ready it had been a simple decision who shared.

As Setta finished putting on her shoes Matilhelm came over and opened her palm in front of her.

"You need?" she asked with a smile. In her palm was a medicine box, the logo on the lid was well known throughout the Federation. It was a combination pill that acted as a contraceptive as well as defence against all known STDs.

"I don't know." Setta said hesitating.

"Come on, you and Jark have been going four months. What are you, an Amarrian nun?" she laughed.

"We'll I was just waiting. You know, until graduation."

"Honey, you need to loosen up. A hottie like Jark? He won't wait around if he gets a better offer. You know what these boys are like. Plenty of 'sallope' at the college who'll jump on him if you don't." Matilhelm laughed opening the box and picked out one of the small pink pills. "I'm planning to have a very good time tonight! Remind Nerwolfur how lucky he is!" and with that she swallowed the pill.

"I don't know. I wanted my first time with Jark to be special."

"Look, just take one. You don't have to do anything, but if you change your mind later you're protected! Who knows where we are going, damn, we could end up at a five star hotel on the capsuleer decks for all we know. Ariken's father has the cash and the connections. Hey, imagine if we partied with an Empyrean! Anyway, where ever we end up, you might or you might not. Best to be prepared right? Keep your options open?"

Setta shrugged. She could see Matilhelm's logic and picked one of the small pink pills and placed it in her mouth. She hesitated a second before swallowing it.

"Thata girl." Matilhelm winked "These jocks are like decking plates on an Interbus shuttle. Lay them right and you can walk all over them for years!" she laughed and went back to the mirror to finish her make-up.

Setta looked at herself in the full length mirror. She had to admit she looked good. If she could get away from Ariken and Ylamaa and get Jark on his own for a while this could be a very good night. She wasn't sure about how far she'd let him go. So far she'd stopped him from going beyond having his hand up her top but she knew Matilhelm had a point. She was probably one of a handful in her year that still had her 'V' plates. How long could she hope to hold onto Jark if she kept knocking him back?

Just then Ariken stuck her head around the door?

"Hey girls are you.... oh, you wearing that?" she asked Setta.

Setta glanced down at her outfit. The tight top showed enough cleavage to be not too obvious but enough get Jark smiling. The skirt was short and flared. Her shoes were kitten heels as she she didn't want to wear high-heels not knowing where they were going.

"Yes. Why?"

"Oh right.... its, erm, nice. Anyway, transport is here. We need to pick up the boys and head to our top secret destination! Chop, chop!" she clapped her hands.

With not a small feeling of dread, Setta ignored the dig and followed her out to the waiting limo.

-o0o-

The ride there was surprisingly fun. After picking the boys up Ariken had produced a couple of bottles of Gallente champagne and even Setta had partaken. Despite the veiled insult before they left, Ariken was actually being nice. It was about 30 minutes later that the limo pulled up and stopped. They all got out of the limo and looked around confused. They were on an industrial deck. All around them were dirty factories and silos.

"Urrrgghhhhh. What are we doing here?" Ylamaa moaned. "We'e not going to some abandoned factory are we? Gross!"

"You'll see." grinned Ariken "Its going to be epic!". She led on towards a small booth set against an immense featureless building some 50 metres away. A young man in a security uniform exited the booth and approached the group.

"Hey babes" Ariken addressed the guard. Setta noticed Chigas tense up.

"L, l, l , look you need to be o, o, o, o, out by 11am station time. If the new shift starts you'll be l, l, l, l, locked up!" he stammered as he approached a door set into the immense wall. He removed a key and opened a small panel which exposed a keypad. He keyed in a sequence of numbers and the door unlocked with a loud click. Setta noted the Federal Police Service badge on the door and swallowed hard.

"We'll be back way before then" Ariken purred and stood on her tiptoes to give the man a kiss on the cheek. Setta saw Chigas step forward but Jark held him back. They all entered the door and Setta jumped as a huge clang resonated as it was closed behind them.

"Who was that guy" Setta whispered to Jark.

"An old boyfriend of Ariken."

Setta looked at him in disbelief that Ariken would date the guy they just saw. Jark saw her face and continued.

"I know. Apparently he was a straight 'A' student. 99 point average. Ariken became his girlfriend when she was in danger of flunking two years ago so needed a sap she could use to get her grades up. They dated, he coached her, she acted like his girlfriend but she was just stringing him on. Once she was over a 75 point average she dumped him. Poor guy never got over her. Before she dug her claws in he was going to be some egg-head professor, after she ate him up and spat him out he dropped out of college and now he's a damned security guard" Jark whispered "He'll still do anything for her even after she ruined his life. Chicks, eh? They can really frack you up!"

Setta gave him a playful punch in the arm.

The eight of them walked along the corridor. Ahead they could see the walls and ceiling of the corridor disappeared and it turned into some sort of elevated walkway. As they emerged into the open they realised they were inside some sort of huge room which was pitch black. The light from the corridor behind them made a small puddle of light in which they all stood.

"Where in Divinities Edge are we Ari?" Jark moaned "This had better be good."

"Oh its very good!" she replied as she walked over to a small console set against the railing of the elevated walkway. "We're spending the night inside a little bit of history"

She pressed a few buttons and the hanger started to light up. Huge spotlights activated with a thunk, one by one. In the centre was an immense starship, it looked like it had been almost destroyed. It clearly had been in some massive battle and lost. The group fell silent as they took in the sight of the ruined starship. The walkway continuing to a hatch halfway up the broken hull.

"Boys and girls, I give you our home for tonight." Ariken announced "The Drake class starship which the infamous serial killer, the Jita Ripper operated from, slicing and dicing innocents, before dying horribly himself in a fireball as the Capsuleers dispensed true justice."

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Next for Null Sec? Wealth Redistribution?

Now if I was able to read CCP Greyscale's mind this is what I think I'd see. I'd see CCP shaking the ant-farm even more. In fact I see them continuing Greyscale's risk/effort vs reward balance. Now that force projection is severely limited, its time to get people fighting. Not right away though. Let the changes sink in. Let the maps and boarders be rewritten as renters flee and alliances space changes depending on the new jump ranges. Then once everything is settled then I think they will really shake the ant-farm.....


...and do this by redistributing the wealth of New Eden

We've already seen this risk vs reward balancing in the Cirius expansion. High Sec is now the worst place to mine, refine and manufacture in terms of ISK/hr, but it is far the safest and easiest. Null sec is now the best place to mine, refine and manufacture but generally carries more risk and a lot more effort. Will that soon be for everything? Not only that, will CCP look at null-sec and decide that too can scale? There is a difference between null-sec regions when it comes to risk and accessibility? No more will there be simply three areas in Eve; high-low-null (yes and wormhole, I thought you guys just wanted to be left alone other than better POS and clone facilities?) Will CCP look at scaling null sec depending on the risk vs reward aspects of the particular space?


Null Sec near high-sec border = Poor
Null Sec near low-sec border = Meh
Null Sec a distance away from Empire space = Not bad.
Null Sec in the arse end of nowhere = FREE MONEY FOR ALL!

Will rat bounties and combat sites scale depending how deep you are into null? The more jumps you are away from high-sec, the higher the bounties are, the better the combat sites that spawn and the better the mood of the loot fairy? Those alliances who have great ratting space and also easy access to high-sec suddenly may find their ISK/hr drops whilst those in worthless deep space suddenly turn into Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool of ISK?


Could something major like a redistribution of moon goo lead to mass migration? We saw this with the T2 manufacturing moon goo and the Goons taking over the richest parts of null. Will CCP redistribute moon goo based on difficulty to get to? The most valuable goo moved to the arse end of the cluster whilst the easily accessible regions get the crap?

Or will CCP introduce something new and valuables in the depths of space? T3 modules* must be something CCP are thinking about. May be their introduction will require special moon goo or minerals. To make T3 modules you will need Sleeper parts from wormhole space and then some rare minerals/moon goo from normal space. This could take the form of planetary ring mining that has been hinted at before.

I think the wealth of null-sec now is not what it will be in a few months. Worthless, inaccessible space will suddenly become the new gold-rush when CCP make changes turning null-sec on its head.


Time will tell.....

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why Not Fire a Titan's Doomsday Weapon... Today!

I have no plans to put Drackarn in a Titan. No point for the style of game I play in Eve Online. I prefer small gang and solo PvP rather than TiDi heavy null-sec mash-F1 fests. However, I, like I am sure most people, would love to try flying a Titan and firing a doomsday device at some point just to try it.

Well currently you can!


Get yourself a Test Server install sorted. Its fairly easy. You need to copy your Eve-O directory to a folder called Test Server or something simliar so you know which is which and then make a new short cut with an extra command in it. All the official instructions are here:- https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Singularity

Done that? Right!

Patch your test server client.
Log into Singularity.
Select Redeem Items in the bottom panel on the character selection screen.
Oh look, you have one of each Titan there! Drag and drop your chosen Titan to your character you wish to use.

"But Drackarn, I don't have the skills for a Titan and it would take me a year to train up just to be able to sit in it!"


No it won't! We have magic on the test server. It'll only take you as long as it takes you to do these few simple steps:-

Join the chat channel "moveme"
Type "capitalships"
A CCP bot will confirm your request and ask you to leave the channel. Do as it asks!
You know have all titan skills, capital weapon skills and doomsday skills to level V.

Now get fitting that Titan up! My GSM (giant space mushroom) aka Avatar had 18 million EHP, 5000 DPS (I stuck some smartbombs on there) and more importantly.... a THREE MILLION DAMAGE ZOMGDIEDIEDIE LASOOOOOR BEAM OF DEATH!

Now you have your Titan go and break the game and submit a bug report when you do! Remember, Titans can use stargates and fire their doomsday weapon in low-sec now!

I did a test logging in an alt and getting her into a titan too. I just had to fire that big gun at least once!


Oh yes, superweapons are awesome!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

SCASSSS - Titan Squeeze

Currently you can get you character into a titan on the test server. I'll post how to do this and my experience first time in a super-capital tomorrow.

For today's Sunday Short, I made this picture after jumping through a stargate in an Avatar class titan. Yeah, the size does make it look a bit silly (yes its all about wormholes and matter, but still, thats a sizeable difference!).


Friday, October 10, 2014

Parallel

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

Its been a week since gategate. That got me thinking about the lore implication of such a massive change in universe mechanics. Of course the lore explanation is that "its always been like this". Now, with a Star Trek type twist....


Parallel

Debese was a Technician 2nd Grade on board the Thanatos class carrier Indomptable. He was currently crawling through an access conduit on deck 14 whilst swearing in Gallente. A control circuit had burnt out and the three technicians in his team had drawn lots for who was going to fix it. He'd got the short straw.

"Merde! Fils de salope!" he cursed as he banged his head on a low hanging power conduit. The particular control cabinet was located 200 metres from the nearest access point. He wondered why it was always the ones furthest from the access points that burnt out. Also, what idiot designed an electronic device that regularly needed servicing to be so inaccessible.

The air was cool but the myriad of cables and conduits made the tube hot and he was starting to sweat. Movement ahead, something small, red and spongy, made him jerk up crashing his head noisily into the top of the low ceiling. The Fedo scurried away from the noise. Debese cursed again. Ever since docking in that Amarrian station they had found these creatures all over the ship. He hated them.

After half an hour he finally reached the junction box. The pungent smell of burnt electronics told him he was at the right location. He pulled a screwdriver from his belt and started to remove the cover.

-o0o-

"What is it?" the Executive Officer asked, leaning forward in his chair.

"Scanning sir, its some sort of energy ribbon. Its moving fast and our long range sensors cannot get a full reading on it."

The XO continued leaning forward, looking at the viewscreen. One hour ago they had received a message from Federation Navy Command. Something had been spotted in the boarder system of Villore. The Indomptable had been sent to investigate in case it was a Caldari State incursion. This was obviously not the case. However, he couldn't simply report back it was some strange energy field moving at high speed. Command would want to know more.

"Helm, plot a course to put is in front of that thing. Not directly in its path, but I want to have it pass around 10km from us. That should let us get a good reading on it!"

The Ensign at the helm acknowledged the command and plotted the course. The Captain was preparing to enter the hydrostatic capsule down in the pod gantry bay so soon he would be in full control of the ship. The massive starship started to turn, aligning to the location plotted by the ensign.


"Number 2. I have control." the Captains voice resonated through the bridge speakers.

"Yes sir. We have aligned the ship to get in front of the energy field. It should pass 10km off our port bow. We can then get detailed scans for Command."

"Very good Number 2."

The XO felt the vibration as the warp drive activated and propelled the ship at the speed of light to the destination.

Back down in the access tube Debese also felt the vibration. He was reattaching the control box cover after replacing the burnt-out board. After fixing the last screw he started to crawl back to the exit as he felt the vibrations drop as the warp drive shut down. Suddenly he was plunged into darkness.

"C’est vraiment des conneries!" he swore for the 12th time that morning.

Back on the bridge all hell was breaking out. As the ship had dropped out of warp main power had failed.

"Report!" the XO shouted.

"As we dropped out of warp the main reactor went offline. Emergency power is coming back online but none of the auxiliary reactors will boot, we're running off batteries. Whatever that energy ribbon is, its emitting something that shuts down our energy generation systems."

The XO looked at the panel in the arm of his chair. It ran on emergency power so the XO would be able to get basic information even in an emergency. His fingers moved deftly over the keys. He hated being right. With main power down the thrusters that stabilized the ship after coming out of warp were not functioning. Fourth dimensional drag had slowed the ship from warp to a crawl, but they were drifting slowly into the ribbons path.

"All crew, all crew. This is the XO. Immediately proceed to your nearest rad-shielded area. This is not a drill. Proceed immediately to your nearest rad-shielded area."

All starships had protection against the harsh radiation of space. However occasionally ships had to travel through or near locations of intense radiation. Throughout larger ships, which would be uneconomical to heavily shield throughout, certain areas where specially shielded as crew refuges. These tended to be larger rooms where people could gather like mess halls, gymnasiums and briefing rooms.

Several decks below Debese heard the XO over his comm link and looked down the long conduit lit by orange emergency lighting, the access hatch a speck in the distance.

At that moment he invented a completely new Gallente swear word.

-o0o-

"Report." the XO ordered.

"Sir, we are showing all crew but one in shielded areas. ETA until we are hit by the ribbon, 20 seconds."

"Who is not safe?" he asked with concern in his voice.

"Appears to be an engineering technician. He is in in access tube 14 tac 5 tac B. He's moving fast sir, but he's not going to make it. He was in the worst possible location at the time we dropped out of warp."

Debese was crawling at full speed down the tube. Sweat was pouring off him as he tried to make it to the access point. He knew there was a shielded area only just down the corridor from where he would emerge. However he had no idea how long he had. Raising his head he could see he only had 50 metres to go. He skidded to a halt as he saw a blue light a great distance down the tube. It appeared to be approaching at speed. A few seconds later he realised it was not a single light, but a wall of blueish light travelling down the conduit towards him. He turned and scampered back down the tube away from the wall of light rushing towards him from behind.

Curses flowed from his mouth as he tried to outrun whatever it was barrelling down the conduit behind him. He afforded himself a quick glance, it had almost caught up with him, there was no chance of outrunning it. In a rage Debese span around to face the approaching energy field, holding a fist out in front of him and extending his middle finger as it rushed toward him.


-o0o-

Debese sniffed. He wasn't in the access tube any more. It smelt like the med-bay, disinfectant and ozone. He gingerly opened his eyes and saw bright lights above on a sterile bright white ceiling. Yes, he was certainly in the med-bay. He raised his head and the doctor standing nearby saw movement, he walked over with a smile on his face.

"Technician Debese, you're awake. How do you feel?"

"Errrr.... fine." he replied. He did feel OK, the only disconcerting thing was the last thing he remembered was flicking the bird to some sort of incoming energy field. "What happened?"

"The ship was hit by some sort of strange anomoly. An energy ribbon. It disabled out power systems and we drifted into it. As you where in the bowels of the ship you didn't make it to a shielded area."

"Am I going to be all right?" Debese asked worriedly.

"As far as we can tell, you are going to be fine." the doctor replied.

"As far as you can tell?"

"Sorry Technician, we have no idea what hit us. Whatever that was you took it fully on the chin. We've analysed your DNA and cannot see any damage. You have no signs of any radiation poisoning. Every test we've done shows you as green across the board. As far as we know the energy field appears to be harmless. However we'd like to keep you in for a few days."

Debese  slumped down in the bed worried. Was he going to be OK?

-o0o-

48 hours later Debese entered the engineering section to a round of applause. He smiled and took an exaggerated bow.

"So, if you've had enough time skiving off just because you've been enveloped by an unknown alien energy field you can help out in the jump conduits!" the Chief Engineer grumbled.

Debese nodded and head to the lower level of engineering. There he found Technician Tria stripping part of the drive assembly.

"I'm here to give you a hand" he announced.

She turned around and looked at him.

"How? By glowing if the lights go out and lighting the area so I can still work?" she joked.

"Ha. Ha. Ha!" he replied. Tria smiled and went back to stripping the drive.

"Cleaning the primary conduits? Are we stood down or something?" Debese asked as he realised what she was doing. Generally the jump drive was never serviced in space in case the ship needed to jump at short notice. Any work to the drive was usually done in spacedock when the ship was stood down.

"No." she asked with a puzzled expression.

"Well what if we got emergency orders? What if we needed to jump?" he was wondering why she appeared surprised by his line of thinking.

"Oh, you may have been unconscious the last day, sorry I forgot. We've made six jumps recently so the drive is on cool down." with that she went back to working.

Debese stood there dumbfounded. Cooldown? Jump drives do not need to cool down.

"Sorry? What do you mean?"

Tria turned back to him. A slightly worried look on her face.

"What do you mean, what do you mean? We've done so many jumps in the last few hours the drive is on cool down and the Captain has jump fatigue. We have a two hour wait before we can jump again."

"Oh, right. Yeah. I'm sort of out of sorts. Never mind." he mumbled.

Tria gave him another funny look and went back to work. Debese quietly moved over to a console and brought up the status of the jump drive. He froze as he looked at the screen. She was right, the computer was showing a cool down timer. It also referred to something termed 'Capsuleer Jump Fatigue'. Both timers were slowly ticking down. He reviewed the logs. For some reason they were showing this situation for months. Something was wrong, something had happened to the crew and the logs had been altered.

He'd get to the bottom of it later, when everyone was asleep.

-o0o-

The doctor crossed the entrance hall to the three suits waiting by the reception desk. The receptionist was busy painting her nails. Beel noted he'd need to have a word with her later.

"Gentlemen, I am Doctor Beel, head of this facility."

The men turned to face him. The one in the middle stepped forward extending his hand.

"Greetings. I am Orole Deloettan, lead auditor from Caspynaere, Cestille and Yvokin. These are my colleagues Lorchaert Ommenne and Garavitte Rosabvrollis. I understand the Federal Navy explained the reason for our visit?"

"Yes, a routine audit. As we have a standing contract with the Navy they want to see they are getting value for money from our services and everything is above board. Well Gentlemen I can assure you everything is and we will be giving you full access to everything not covered by doctor-patient confidentiality of course."

Orole nodded. Beel led the men through a side door, scanning his palm-print to unlock the secure door.

"How many Navy personnel do you have currently Doctor?" Lorchaert asked.

"We have 13 currently. Five are being treated as outpatients we have six normal residents and two special residents."

"What is a special resident?" Garavitte asked.

"We'll see those first. Those are, I'm afraid to say, ones likely to remain here for the rest of their lives. I think the layman way of putting it would be they are a couple of warp stabilizers short of a Caldari militia pilot."

They passed through several more secure doors, each one getting progressively more secure. Finally they came to a short corridor lined with six doors. Beel stood in front of the first one and keyed a code into the pad, the door shimmied and became translucent.

"Its a one-way view, the resident cannot see us." Beel stated as they all looked in.

Inside the sparsely furnished room was a woman in a white jumpsuit. Dark black hair flowed down her back in stark contrast to her white clothes. She was painting on a large electronic screen with her fingers. The painting showed an eviscerated man, his insides spilling through a large gash in his stomach. The other men blanched at the sight.

"We'd prefer to have her use a proper easel, paint and brushes but she'd only stab someone in the eye with it. She was crew on a Federal Navy frigate that was captured by the EoM during a battle. She was held captive for six months and then released. They had brain-washed her and programmed her. She had been acting normal at the rehabilitation centre. Something triggered her. She murdered five people before she was restrained. We've made some good progress but we might not be able to ever fully undo what they did to her. Its just lucky that she was triggered in the rehab unit, if she'd triggered on a ship in space there could have been a much greater loss of life."

Beel pressed another button and the door solidified. They moved to the next door down the corridor and the Doctor pressed the button to clear the door. The four stared in at a man sat on the floor apparently talking to himself. He was in a similar white suit but the arms were tied across his chest. He was sat cross legged and his eyes were open wide.

"This man was hit by some sort of strange energy field in space. Nobody has been able to find any damage but he appears to have suffered some kind of psychotic episode following his exposure. He was found late at night trying to dismantle the jump drive on a Thanatos class carrier. He has a complex delusion that jump drives do not need cool-down periods and that pilots jump fatigue is not real but some sort of alien conspiracy. Listen."

Beel pressed another button on the console and a small speaker crackled to life. The four men listened to the hoarse voice whispering.

"Five light years. No. No. No. No. We can go further. But they didn't want us to. They wanted to keep us back. Hold us back. Short hops. Like a bunny. But we can go 14. Five. Five is wrong. 14 is right. No cooldown. Cooldown is wrong. They are tricking us. Making us bunnies. The aliens are tricking us. We are not bunnies. Look inside. They are tricking us. 14. 14 is the number. 14. They are tricking us!"

Beel pressed the button again and the corridor fell silent.

"A sad case and one I can see being a resident for the rest of his life."

The men looked on at the gibbering man as the door solidified.

"Shall we move on?" Beel asked "There is nothing more to see here. We expect this gentlemen to remain at this secure facility for the rest of his life."


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

OK, What's Fozzie Up To?

This week we have a new Dev Blog. An event is running where the Empires are wanting Capsuleers to capture certain Sleeper components and hand them into their agents. Apparent Sleepers have had a change of behaviour and everyone wants to kwow why!


This event will being about "new technology". Clearly someone is going to get something special named after them, but what about the rest of us? Will new blueprints be created from this research race?

"Out of character, I can reveal that this storyline and the associated donation drive will lead directly to new technology falling into the hands of players in the near future. The relative success of each empire’s donation drive will determine in what order each faction will get access to this new technology."

What could this new technology be?

T3 Modules?
This particular blog post wasn't the original planned for today. I had a different draft post on my guesses for the next steps of Null Sec. In that I suggested that now force projection is being nerfed, CCP might shake up the economy and redistribute wealth making far flung worthless regions of null-sec suddenly very profitable. One way I suggested was to put ring mining in areas of null and make the "ring goo", actually that is a horrible name for it, one of several components in new T3 modules. Could this new technology talked about in the Dev Blog be the first wave of new T3 modules?


New Faction Modules?
May be not T3 but as the Empires are involved and inparticular their Navies are we going to see a wider choice of faction based modules? Fozzie is onto module teiricide so its quite possible we'll see new faction based modules I guess to cover gaps in the range of modules.

A New Logistics Ship?
Not as in repairing, as in moving. JF's are getting nerfed with a 5ly jump range. One of the suspected reasons is that CCP doesn't want the power blocks repackaging their battleships and shipping them accross the cluster at max speed. What if they are planning something between the Blockade Runners/Transport Ships and Jump Freighters? An industrial that had a long jump range, low fatigue but lower cargo capacity? It has a 10ly jump range but only 10-25k m3 cargo space? Helps logistics with deep-space regions but doesn't impact on power projection.

T3 Frigates?
Since the announcement of Strategic Cruisers CCP have said the next T3 hull would be frigates as they are the easiest access for all pilots. Could we be seeing these finally make an appearance after all this time?


Player-Built Stargates?
Too soon! 2015/16 more likely.

New Industrial Ship?
Fozzie did say he was working on a T3 Orca. Really he did. However he did say this in the early hours on the 2013 Pub Crawl to a lot of pissed up Eve players. I called "Troll" at the time. May be I was wrong....?

Fighter-Bomber Changes?
CCP have said they want to end the dominance of super-capitals grinding infrastructure. I'm assuming they want to see large BS blobs hammering TCU's and not a dozen super carriers chewing through them at 10x the speed. This is a difficult one. How are they going to nerf super carrier DPS against infrastructure but not against other capitals? Super carriers should still chew through capitals. Or with the new jump changes are they about to re-purpose super carriers totally? Personally I'm guessing fighter-bombers will be changed to impact on sovereignty structures less. Reduce signature radius on these structures so compact citadel torps do less damage or are we going to see wholesale changes to fighter-bombers through this new technology.


My crystal ball is foggy. I guess we'll see early November (assuming this is leading up to something new in Pheobe?)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jump up, jump up and get down. Jump! Jump! Jump...

They say occasionally CCP shakes the ant farm. Last week they took a sledgehammer to it. The proposed jump drive changes are going to change the face of Eve. No, thats not an understatement. From what I hear the Goons are going to stop renting space. That's how big this is!


The biggest problem in Eve has been that you can get anywhere on the map with a massive force rather quickly. By limiting jump range to 5ly you'll force people to make more jumps. If you then add "jump fatigue" you stop this force projection. Suddenly small capital ship gangs will start to peak out of their hangers.

"You mean PL aren't able to WTFHOWMANYSUPERSINAHOTDROP me now?"

So what do these changes mean? Who knows. Nobody can predict the outcome not even CCP. Here are a few of my guesses.

Eve will not die.
The tears on the feedback thread say this change will kill Eve and there will be mass unsubbing. Nope. It will change the face of Eve and the maps will be redrawn. However this is not going to kill Eve, it will reinvigorate it.

Gate Fire.... OH F......
Gate camps could get a surprise as a few titans and super carriers jump through the stargate. I cannot wait for the reaction of a super pilot when the FC says "BURN BACK TO GATE!"


I don't see a lot of super roams through gates due to the align time and bumping issues. However there may be the odd one!

Hotdrops will reduce.
Simple maths. Ranges are decreased and multi-jumping capitals leads to cool-downs and long waits between jumps. There will be a lot less hotdrops simply for shits and giggles in the brave new world. Even Black Ops will likely see a reduction in drops due to jump fatigue. Rather than a gang running drop after drop after drop, there will be down time due to fatigue to consider. However, there is time for CCP to look at BLOPS a bit more.

Massive empires aren't going to be so massive.
Alliances are going to have a loot at their space and decide what can they hold. Obviously its going to be more than 5ly. Jump clones, caches of capital ships and other things like this will allow good sized Empires but nothing along the lines of what we see now. I think by 2015 we'll see more smaller null-sec alliances taking space.

Moving logistics are going to be a PITA.
Whilst jump freighters get a 90% reduction in fatigue they still get it. Will this effect people like Black Frog who provide a JF service? The more obvious hit is suitcase-carriers. When people move bases they usually fill up a suitcase-carrier and jump back and forth to their new home/staging area. The changes are going to hurt people who are nomadic.


Null-Sec Could be Condensed.
With it being harder to move goods and people about the less accessible areas of null may become ghost-towns. Ideal for small corps and alliances to set up in. Other areas will become more busy as people migrate to areas nearer high-sec or where there are trade hubs.

Jita could become a lot less important.
Whilst it is THE trade hub now, could Jita become a lot less important in the new world order? Are we going to see null-sec trade hubs spring up, the space policed by players?

Ice-belts will be replenished by the tears of ice miners.
One thing is for sure in Phoebe, capital ships will be making a lot less jumps. Therefore the market for isotopes is about to go south.


Its a brave new world boys and girls. Embrace it!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SCASSSS - Gategate Memes

So the power projection/long distance travel blog last week cause two reactions. Either screams of joy or tears of rage. It also produced a lot of memes. Here are a few from Twitter and Facebook that have been doing the rounds:-












Friday, October 3, 2014

Alien - Part 3

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

Final part of the Alien three-parter.


Alien - Part 3

Esme dragged Zarisri through the undergrowth with Navok supporting Zarisri's other shoulder. He'd passed out through the pain. The sound of the fire-fight had died down and Esme tried to pick up the pace. It was difficult going through the thick undergrowth. Finally they arrived back at the others to a scene of carnage. Dozens of the small blue humanoids lay dead or dying in a wide circle around the crew who were backed up against the scanner probe on the sledge. Esme quickly scanned each of them. They had cuts and bruises but nothing with the severity Zarisri had.

"Shabra get over here!" Esme called and his Science Officer came jogging over. They laid Zarisri down on the floor and Shabra turned white when she saw his left leg that had been stripped to the bone below the knee.

"My god...." she muttered.

She bent down to inspect the leg as Esme went to check on the others. The crew had apparently adopted a defensive position as soon as they heard the shots fired by Esme and Navok. When the creatures attacked they were ready for them and managed to kill enough so that the others fled. The XO went over to Shabra who was tending to the unconscious Zarisri.

"Hows it looking?"

Shabra looked up at him and shook her head. "Its not good. It cannot be left like that, the bone will get infected and he'll die. It needs to come off and come off now." She nodded over to Navok's belt. Esme looked over and realised what she meant. He wandered over and took the Lasade from the security chief. He held it out and pushed a button. A bright red blade shot out the size of a large knife. He pressed the button again and the blade extended in length to that of a machete. One final push and it was the length of a sword. He walked around the unconscious body of Zarisri and lined the blade up to a point just under his knee. He raised the blade over his head.

Above the jungles green and blue canopy, the sky exploded with hundreds of colourful birds as a horrific scream shattered the silence from below.


-o0o-

The going was much tougher now. The sledge contained the scanner probe, the sharpened branches for defence and the semi-conscious body of Zarisri. His stump had been bandaged and he was barely conscience. Sweat was pouring off him and he moaned as the sledge bumped over the rough ground. Light was fading and Esme had been looking for somewhere to camp for the night. Just before it got too dark they came across a rocky stream. Large boulders lined the streams bed and on each bank larger rock formations jutted out. There was a large shallow cave in one. Only 10 metres deep if that but it provided a defensible location. They made their camp there for the night.

Two hours later Esme was sitting by the camp fire with Shabra picking at the last of the fish. Navok had taken one of the sharpened sticks and found some large fish in the stream. They had cooked them over a small camp fire. Esme wondered how long ago had his ancestors lived like this. Catching fish in a stream and cooking them in a cave by camp fire. He glanced towards the mouth of the cave and saw the security chief walk past. Navok's vision of a simpler time dissolving as he saw the laser pistol he was holding. Navok had first watch at the mouth of the cave and Khana and Hazra were sleeping. Zarisri was unconscious as he had been for most of the day.

"So, anyone waiting for you back in Amarr?" Shabra asked.

Esme raised an eyebrow at his Science Officer. She looked different in the flickering light of the camp fire.

"Don't worry, not trying to pick you up. Just curious. I mean we all work together so closely and we known nothing about each other. Is there a Mrs Esme? Two and a half kids? All devoted True-Amarrians who visit the catherdral for mass in their best dress?"

Esme laughed.

"No. I know its a cliche but I'm married to the Navy. Closest I've been to 'love' was a long time ago when we had a trip to the Federation, before the war obviously. I was part of the small token fleet escorting a delegation to Luminaire by invite of the Gallente. A 21 year-old Amarrian, let loose on shore-leave on a Gallente station? What where they thinking! I hardly knew what a woman looked like after all those years in the Academy" he laughed.

"You had a good time?" she smiled.

"Yes, I had a very good time actually. Too young to appreciate it though. Hell none of us knew what to do. The Acadamy doesn't teach you how to deal with those Gallente women! They are nothing like ours." he stopped suddenly. "I, I... I didn't mean it like that!" he said apologising, his face going red in the glow of the camp fire.

Shabra laughed.

"Don't worry, I'm not offended. I've been to the Federation myself, and yes, their ladies are very different... just as Matari men are different to our Amarrians." she smirked.

"Ahhhhh. So you had a similar trip?" he smiled.

"Probably around the same time. Before the wars when Admirals and VIPs would visit our cold-war 'friends' and we'd provide escort. I piloted a Malediction back in those days, one of my favorite ships. You can keep your cruisers, give me a 'ceptor and day of the week."

"So is there a Mr Shabra waiting for you?" the XO asked.

"Yes... somewhere. I've just got to find him first. Like you, I've spent too much time with the Navy. Doesn't make for a fulfilling love life does it."

Esme nodded in agreement and lay back against the cave wall and closed his eyes.

"If we don't get that probe back to the wormhole very soon, the Navy's effect on our love-life will be the very last of our problems." he whispered more to himself than Shabra.

-o0o-

The crew started out at first light. The jungle had been slowly thining as they neared the mountain range. The sledge carrying the scanner probe and the barely conscience Zarisri was becoming easier to pull as the undergrowth started to give way to grasslands surrounding the base of the mountain range.

As they finally broke through the edge of the now sparse trees Esme looked up at the high peaks dominating the view.


"I was never much into climbing" Shabra said as they all stared up.

"Me neither." replied Esme "Thats why I'm hoping that valley will take us all the way to the otherside." he said pointing ahead.

There did appear to be a valley in front of them that lead between two of the tall peaks. The crew nodded and started dragging the sledge towards the gap in the mountains.

Within the hour they were walking along side a babbling stream. The mountains rose high either side of them and disappeared into the low cloud. The grassy bank of the stream provided an easy path to drag the sledge. There was the odd tree and strange plant but generally the path was clear. The valley twisted and turned and did indeed appear to run through the mountain range. The walk was fairly level although they did appear to be gaining altitude very slowly, the low cloud cover appeared to be getting nearer.

After three hours and a number of stops they came to what appeared to be the peak of the valley floor. A small lake was fed by a number of waterfalls and two wide streams flowed out of either end.

"Looks like we are at the summit." Esme stated. "I would bet these streams probably flood from time to time and over the years and that what cut this valley over the millennia. Hopefully it'll be gently downhill all the way."

The tired crew nodded in agreement. He was trying to raise their spirits but the journey had taken its toll. Zarisri was still unconscious and in a bad way. Having one less body to pull the sledge was a major factor. Esme told everyone to take a break and eat. They had brought cold meat they had cooked back in the jungle as well as some of the fruits. They had been resting for only a few minutes when an eye-piecing shriek echoed up the valley. Those who had them instantly drew their pistols. The others grabbed their sharpened poles from the sledge.

"Here we go again?" Navok whispered to Esme as another shriek, seemingly louder sounded.

"Where is it coming from? Its so echoey down here I cannot get the direction." growled Esme.

There was a different shriek, on made by one of the women, and Esme and Navok span around. Khana was diving to the floor as a massive winged reptile swooped down out of the low cloud with its claws extended. The creature was the stuff of nightmares. Wrinkled grey skin covered its body. Its wings were bat-like and spanned a good eight metres. It had an elongated beak that appeared more fitting of a reptile than a bird. A sharp teeth stuck out in random directions along its length. Both men raised their pistols as the creature overshot the prone Khana. The discharge of the laser pistols struck the beast as it grasped the unconscious Zarisri from the top of the sledge. The hits on the wing punched great holes in the thin skin, causing it to scream in pain. Unable to gain height, it drunkenly flew centimetres above the ground, its left wing clearly the worst damaged. It careered into a rocky outcropping and tumbled to the ground flapping.

Navok grabbed the Lasade from his belt and ran forward. The creature snapped its powerful jaws at him which he ducked under easily. Esme saw the bright red blade extended from the hilt as Navok slid under the creatures neck. It shrieked as the blade bit into its flesh and was promptly silenced as the laser blade slid through its neck, severing its head.

Esme ran to the body of Zarisri which was still in the creatures claws. He slowed as he neared. He could see it was too late. The huge talons pierced through Zarisri's chest and he was clearly dead.

"Is there anything on this rock that doesn't want to kill us?" Navok muttered as he approached. The glow of the fully extended Lasade casting eerie shadows over the bilk of the monsters belly.

"May be, but to be honest I'm not that keen to meet any other residents. Shall we get this scanner probe into space and call the cavalry?" Esme growled.

-o0o-

As the day started to fade they arrived at the crash site of the rear part of the ship. It hadn't been hard to find. The pass through the mountains had emerged over another jungle basin. From their elevated position they could clearly see the brown scar that cut across the valley where the ship had crashed. It had taken another hour for them to reach the wreckage. There they found Chief Engineer and four other survivors. Engineering sections on most starships were solidly built. Housing the reactor and warp core they needed the greatest protection. Having been strapped into their safety harnesses the core crew of Engineering had survived.

Esme explained the plan to the other survivors as soon as they arrived not wanting to waste any time. The Chief Engineer had first looked at him like he'd lost his mind before slowly nodding and smiling. The crew had worked through the night stripping a thruster assembly from the wreck and creating a booster rocket. Shabra programmed the scanner probe to warp to the wormhole, re-enter Amarr space and broadcast the SOS. The first orange glow of dawn was visible on the horizon as the crew retreated a safe distance.

"So if this doesn't work....?" Hazra asked.

"If this doesn't work I think this looks like a good spot for a village." Esme replied glumly.

The group fell silent acknowledging the fact there was no Plan B.

"10 seconds." Shabra stated.

The crew diverted their attention back towards the rocket. It was an amazing feat that they had managed to build it in a little under 12 hours. Smoke started to billow from the base. A flash momentarily blinded them as the thruster rocket ignited. A roar sounded through the valley as the rocket lifted off. Slowly it climbed into the night sky, the crew bending their heads back to watch it climb. Less than a minute later there was a flash and the orange glow of the engines vanished. Several gasps came from the crew.


"Don't worry, thats the separator charge. Its supposed to do that." Shabra reassured them.

There was another flash, the flash of an object entering warp. The crew cheered and embraced. The launch had been successful.

-o0o-

"What is it Ensign?" the Executive Officer on the bridge asked.

The Tengu Strategic cruiser was carrying out a scan of the system.

"Its a scanner probe sir. Amarrian in origin. Its strange, its just sat there. May be the auto-recall functions failed when its mothership left. May be it malfunctioned. Its possible its mothership was destroyed."

"Narrow the scan and go broad-spectrum in the immediate vicinity. Worth just double checking." the XO ordered, his curiosity getting the better of him. The ship was actually controlled by a Capsuleer, however he would flag any significant information for the egger if they found any. All the important tasks were handled by their captain in his hydrostatic capsule.

"Sir, I am reading feint neutrino readings. There was a wormhole there at some point in the past. 2.3 APNO's per square metre. At standard diffusion rates that means the wormhole collapsed over five years ago sir."

"Noted Ensign. Flag the find with the pertinent information and put it in the review folder for the Captain. I doubt he'll be interested but you never know. 'Tag it and flag it' and reposition the probes in formation beta-four-niner and start the next scan. We're after gaseous anomalies remember,"

-o0o-

The sound woke Esme with a start. He instinctively went for the pistol at the side of the bed. As his hand grasp the cold metal he was properly awake. The sound wasn't anything to be worried about. He slid out of bed and walked down the small hall into the room at the end.

"And what's your problem then?" he whispered as he entered.

There was a sudden pause as he spoke, then the baby started crying again. He picked his son out of the cot and and cradled him. He looked back down the hallway and saw Shabra in the bed turn slightly.

"Lets not wake mommy now shall we you little tyke." he whispered and opened the front door and stepped outside.

Morning had just broken. The blue of the nebula was vivid at this time of day as it glowed in the growing light. Esme bounced his son as he looked around the compound. Wooden houses and buildings were enclosed by a stockade made from raw tree trunks. It looked like some medieval village, only it wasn't. On each corner a large tree trunk was topped with a mass of golden metal and wires. An Acolyte scout drone salvaged from the wreckage and reprogrammed as a defensive turret. Micro auxiliary power cores provided power to various lights and machines, all salvaged from the wreck of the Sun of Amarr. The village was a blend of advanced technology and medieval living. From the small church to the machine shop, it was two thousands years of Amarrian history in one place.

He jumped as a hand touched his shoulder. He turned around and Shabra was there smiling at him wrapped in a sheet.

"He giving you trouble?" she whispered.

"We have built the first Imperial Colony in wormhole space from nothing more than a ship wreck and a patch of jungle." he laughed "I think we can handle this little one."

He looked up as the stars were starting to fade.

"Do you think they'll ever find us?" Shabra asked.

Esme just stared up.

"Do you want to be found?" he finally replied.

"No." she replied wrapping her arms around him as they both stared into space.