Friday, March 1, 2013

Into The Black - Part 8 - Battleships

If this works it should post whilst I'm sat on the beach! Therefore there is no escape pod this week if you dislike Eve-O fiction. Head over to Eve Bloggers and pick a blog at random from their excellent array of blogs if you're not interested in hot assassins and big-ass battleships!

Into The Black - Part 8 - Battleships

The agent walked into the bar. Although she too felt the same level of wonderment Kara felt, she didn't show it. She had never been into a capsuleer bar before, and it was an assault on her finely tuned senses. All eyes were on her and she liked it. Heads turned as she walked through the bar and she knew these people were capsuleers. Her finely tuned senses could 'see' these people were not normal. But why did they look at her like that?

She walked up to the bar and the barman came over glancing at her uniform.

"What can I get you?"

"Matari Fire Whisky and some information."

"Whisky I have plently of, and of course I'll do what I can for an Officer of the Gallente Navy."

"Really?" asked the agent "And were you working here three years ago?"

"I was."

"And what would you say to a officer of the Caldari Navy who turned up when this was under the command of the State Protectorate?"

The barman smiled and placed a glass of whisky on the bar.

"Exactly the same. Look, I'm the barman here. I have no allegiance and no agenda in this war. I like an easy life and am not looking for trouble. So what do you need to know?"

The agent pulled out her datapad and showed the barman two pictures of Captain Dorn and Kara.

"These two were here." it was more of a statement than a question. "Where were they heading?"

The barman studied the two pictures and stroked his chin.

"Ah yeah. Those two! They were bothering capsuleers all afternoon. I wanted to sling them out but as they were here it meant someone had invited them and I didn't want to upset the wrong egger. They wanted passage to Orvolle of all places."

The agent looked at the barman carefully.

"Orvolle. Why would they want to go there?"

"Beats me. If you wanted to head to null-sec then Pure Blind or Cloud Ring are the nearest from here. I assumed they had business in the Syndicate region."

The Agent thought about this for a moment. The Serpentis Syndicate pretty much ran that entire region of nul-sec. From Captain Dorns records she would have expected him to at least have worked with the notorius pirate faction at some point in the past. But the Guristas were the dominant pirate faction in the areas he previously opperated out of. It didn't matter, it was clear they were heading for Syndicate null-sec. That was good as far as the agent was concerned. They were running and not looking to reveal the information they had and such lightly populated space would make them easier to find.

Whilst she was here she thought she'd better ask around some of the capsuleers to see if they knew anything more. She had never dealt with Empyrean's before.......... and if she had known what was coming, she'd have left straight away.


"Welcome to my hanger!" the capsuleer made an over-the-top bow swinging one arm in a wide downward arc with the other folded behind her back.

Kara and Dorn just stared speechless. Rows upon rows of ships lined the hanger. From small shuttles to massive carriers and dreadnoughts. Captain Dorn looked at the ships with envy. Even the smallest ones were worth several times his old cargo ship and the larger ones could easily fit that entire ship into their own cargo hold.

"Impressive!" Dorn finally said. "So what are we going in? A stealth-bomber? An interceptor?"

"I was thinking something a little more.... erm.... shooty?" the capsuleer replied.
That is what Dorn was afraid of. The capsuleer wasn't interested in helping them until they mentioned they were being pursued. It was the chance of combat this pilot craved. She wanted a good fight, simple as that.

With a click on the console the three watched a massive battleship lumber into position. 10 minutes later the massive battleship undocked from the station.


The agent had just tried the 4th the capsuleer with no luck. She didn't known what was wrong. She was posing as a Naval Intelligence Officer, these Gallente Militia eggers should be falling over themselves to help her. She'd tried flirting, she'd tried authority. Nothing had worked and they all had treated her with a level of mistrust she had never seen. The drink, the food, the "entertainment", the whole atmosphere of the bar should make anyone relaxed. But these capsuleers, it was almost as if they knew who she was.

She glanced over to the door. A Gallente Navy officer had entered along with two armed MP's. She saw him look her way. She knew she was in trouble.

"Excuse me Sir." the Officer addressed her "Could we have a word?"

"I'm very busy!" the agent replied trying to sound annoyed.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist!"

The two MP's drew their weapons and the bar went quiet.

"So what gave me away?" she smirked.

"Your body." the officer replied matter of factly.

This surprised the Agent. How on earth had her body given her away?

"You look puzzled. You're in a room where 90% of the people are fitted with a variety of implants. Most have a optical implant of one form or another that increases perception. I don't know who, or indeed what you are, but you're not Gallente and you're not Navy. Additionally, from what the capsuleers are saying, your not entirely human either."

The agent smiled, nodded and suddenly swiped a glass from the bar with an open palm. The flying drink made the three Navy staff flinch and gave the agent the split second she needed. Her foot struck the officer in the face knocking him back into the other two. She flipped over the bar, forcing the barman to scurry back to avoid her twisting body. She rose and grabbed two bottles and flung them at the rising MPs. Each bottle sailed through the air and struck the men dead centre in the face. As soon as it had started, it had finished with the three Navy staff laying unconscious on the bar floor. The capsuleers had all stopped what they were doing and watched the brief fight. As soon as the three Gallenete Navy men were down they went back to what they were doing before.

The agent slid back over the bar and headed to the lift. She pulled out her datapad and accessed the stations scanners.


The massive battleship undocked from the station. Dorn and Kara were in a luxury cabin with a viewport into space.

Kara flopped onto the huge, soft bed and groaned in pleasure. "This is more like it! At last luxury transport!" Dorn just grunted.

"Oh come on Captain. This is great, we couldn't have got better. You have to admit its much better than that cramped and uncomfortable Manticore!"

Dorn stared out the window. He would have given anything to have swapped this ship for a cramped and uncomfortable Manticore. The capsuleer was flying a Vindicator. One of the most prized battleships in the cluster. The Gallente Federation's old trusty Megathron battleship had been almost completely redesigned internally by the Guardian Angels. Whilst from the outside it looked like a normal Megathron with a new paint job, the ship was much more deadly. It was also hideously expensive. Every pirate and Caldari Militia pilot would throw everything they could at it to take it down. He knew they were riding in a combat magnet. And that is exactly what the capsuleer wanted. A fight.

Dorn didn't want to tell Kara the truth. But they were inside a luxurous flying bullseye.


"Captain get the ship ready to depart now!"

The agent was running along the walkway that led to the Tengu strategic cruiser. There were scanners in the Capsuleer decks positioned at the entry and exit points. This way everyone could be accounted for. The two targets had left the capsuleer areas and entered one of the private hangers. She was just cross-referencing the hanger with the docking control logs. She entered the ship and closed the outer door. An eyebrow was raised when she saw the ship that they had undocked in. She would need the promised back-up from the State but she was confident the mission would soon be complete.

"Bridge, get us through the Abune Stargate ASAP. The target is a Vindicator Class Battleship. We are going to engage on sight."


The jump alarm sounded and startled Kara. To Dorn it was a common sound. Travelling via gates was generally an unpleasant experience for the human body. The artifical wormhole played havoc with the body, especially the stomach. Whilst capsuleers, floating in their hydrostatic capsule were immune to the effects, an alarm was sounded so the rest of the crew could brace themselves.

A second later they had travelled several light years through and artifical wormhole and appeared in the star system of Abune. The lumbering ship slowly started to align to warp to the opposite startgate.

As the massive ship slipped into warp the Nisuwa stargate activated again. The much smaller Tengu Strategic Cruiser appeared and quickly warped to the Abune stargate. The agent was on the bridge, her hands tightly grasping the headrest of the chair in front of her. They were so close. The ship slipped out of warp and the huge stargate appeared to race towards them as they decelerated heavily. They just had time to see the Vindicator battleship vanish into the artificial wormhole.

"JUMP!" the Agent demanded. "Jump and engage!"


Dorn looked out of the viewport, he could see the ships dotted around. A classic gate camp. The intercom broke his train of thought.

"Don't worry guests. The ships you see outside are the pride of Gallente Militia. Obviously set up to catch some squid scum. Next stop Heydeilies!"

Dorn relaxed a little, however he knew it was only a matter of time.


"Hold cloak. Report on hostile's." the Captain ordered.

The Tengu strategic cruisers viewscreen showed the hostile gate-camp.

"Sir, we have 12 Thrasher class destroyers. The target battleship is aligning."

"Acknowledged. Give me a close up on one of those Thrashers."

The view screen filled with the image of one of the destroyers. The captain looked carefully at the image and sighed.

"OK, they are artillery fit. What the Frogs call 'Cockbag' Thrashers. We cannot win this one. Helm, identify the celestial in closest alignment. I want a warp-cloak on my command."

"Sir, yes Sir. Planet 3 locked in Navicom. Ready to align-cloak on your command."

The Tengu was visible to the Gallente fleet for only a tiny fraction of a second. As it started to align towards planet 3 the cloaking field provided by the stargate dropped but at the same instant it engaged its own covert-ops cloaking device and slipped into warp.

"Helm, upon landing warp us to the Heydieles gate and jump on contact. We need to snag that Vindicator on the otherside!"


  1. Really enjoying the story, but as a movie template it strikes me that there is a glaring issue: most of the really interesting stuff is given either by the narrator or private thoughts of the characters. Movies depend on action and voice.

    1. Thanks and yes you are spot on. It would need a screenwriter to turn this into a movie. This is the 'book' the movie would be based on. And like many books-to-movies a lot of changes would be needed.