Friday, March 22, 2013

Into The Black - Part 11 - Back In The Black

Fiction Friday. Escape pod is here to Jester's Trek who has covered what I'll be doing later. Now I have no idea exactly how a -10 will fair in 1.0 hi-sec after DT, CCP are being very tight-lipped about specifics. We know CONCORD are unaffected but will the Faction Police be turned off in Luminaire for the whole day? I have no idea but I'm going there in a cheap clone to find out! Anyway, on with the story.....

Into The Black - Part 11 - Back In The Black

The small Gallente shuttle broke out of the upper atmosphere tracked by the State Navy Tengu. The Caldari assassin watched the sensor readings on her wrist mounted computer from the planet's surface below.

"I want them alive. No mistakes. They are in an unarmed shuttle so be careful" she ordered to the captain in the comm link.

The Agent herself was sat in a cargo rocket on the planets surface. The pursuit of the fugitives through the orbiting customs office had meant she did not have her own craft with her and had to get back the same way she came. With the two fugitives in the Gallente agents ship she couldn't risk having the Tengu send down her own landing craft as it would need to decloak. The countdown on the wall showed the rocket would launch to the customs office in less than a minute. With a two minute trip to the orbiting station the Tengu would pick her up after apprehending the two fugitives  She looked forward to interrogation them both. The small screen of her computer showed that the Tengu was 30km from the shuttle. They were nearly in range.


"What now?" Kara asked as the shuttle left the atmosphere and entered the blackness of space.

"Well, that Gallente woman said she had a ship in orbit but I'm not seeing anything on scan. This ship is just a lander, no warp drive so unless we get picked up we're stuck." replied Dorn.

Ahead of them space appeared to shimmer and a ship appeared.

"That must be them over...." Kara was cut short as Dorn turned the ship hard, the inertial dampeners failing to stop the artificial gravity from asserting G-forces on them as he banked.

"What are you doing?" Kara screamed as she staggered.

"That was a Tengu. It's Caldari! Our support is not...." this time Dorn was cut off as the space in front of him shimmered.

"Now there is our help!" Dorn point out of the view screen at the Proteus strategic cruiser.

Dorn fought the controls to take avoiding action as the space between the two cruisers lit up. The Proteus firing its Hybrid blasters and the Tengu returning fire with heavy assault missiles. Dorn opened the tactical view and saw the Tengu start to make range. Kara leaned over his shoulder.

"Are they running?"

"No. The Tengu's missiles have a lot more range than the Proteus' guns. They are trying to move out of effective range and will bombard them from a distance. The Gallente cannot hit that far out." Dorn concentrated on the monitor. Why wasn't the Proteus chasing the Tengu? If the Tengu got range they would easily win and Dorn and Kara had no chance of getting away with no warp drive.

Suddenly the Proteus turned towards the shuttle. At the same time a third signature appeared on Dorn's scanner.

"Sneaky frog bastards!" Dorn said with a grin. Kara looked at him puzzled.


The Captain of the Tengu was pleased the way things were going. They had got to 23km from the Proteus and the incoming damage had vanished. Their own Nova heavy assault missiles were slowly breaking the Proteus' defences.

"You can tell the agent we should have defeated the enemy in the next 90 seconds and we will then capture the fugitives. See, who needs State agents when you have the Caldari Navy?" the captain smirked.

Intelligence Officer Garrett stayed quiet. He knew something was wrong, that Proteus had let them make range. Any ship based on blaster weaponry would have a micro-warp drive fitted. They were moving far too slowly, something was not right. Far too often the person who things he is easily winning is the one that is about to lose he thought.

"Sir we have another contact, ship decloaking 261 mark 112. 29km range." one of the tactical officers reported.

"It's a....."

The lights and systems on the Tengu's bridge flickered.

"Target lock lost" announced another officer.

"Our micro warp drive just went offline, we're scrambled. It is an Arazu recon ship sir, likely faction fit."

The captains head snapped around to Garrett who showed no apparent response to the captains earlier gloating.

"Tactical Officer? Report!" the captain ordered.

"Sir. Our sensor array is damped down by the enemy recon, we can neither lock the fugatives shuttle, the Proteus or the Arazu to return fire. Our micro warp drive has been scrambled and our base speed will not be enough to catch either. Recommend calling for back up."

The Captains head snapped in Garrett's direction again making sure he wasn't smirking at the trap the captain had walked right into. Garrett sat there with a face of stone.


The small shuttle docked in the modified Proteus and Kara and Dorn were escorted out of the hanger by two armed guards.

Kara physically gasped as she turned a corner in the corridor and came face-to-face with the Gallente agent who she watch get disembowelled half an hour before.

"How.... how...." Kara stammered

The agent smiled. "I am fitted with a cranial implant that transfers my consiousness at the moment of death. As I died on the planet, I was reborn here in a clone revival unit."

Dorn nodded that he understood. It sounded like the capsuleer technology which he had a basic understanding of. The agent led them into the bridge of the Proteus.

The Gallente agent turned to the man sat in the command chair.

"Captain, I think we can head home."

"Yes ma'am." The captain answered. "Tactical. Is that squid Tengu still damped?"

"Yes sir. The Azarzu reports he'd be surprised if he can target his own nose cone. He's also scrammed and is not going anywhere."

"Acknowledged. Send my thanks for his support and that he may disengaged and head for home as soon as we are gone. Engage cloaking device and set a course for the Old Man Star gate. Jump on contact."


The Caldari agent stood by the airlock as the Tengu docked. She had watch the whole fight on her remote screen. She wanted to cut the captains eyes out with her knife there and then replace them with his balls. She knew that whilst she wanted to do that, she also she knew she needed him and the crew on-side for now.

She was onboard in seconds and the strategic cruiser aligned and slipped into warp.

She walked into the bridge and saw the Captain in his chair. He looked worried.

"Report" she said briskly

"We are in warp to the OMS gate. The Gallente Proteus is still on the local net so is still in system. I messaged the fleet, they are setting up in OMS on the inbound gate. We have enough ships to decloak them when they jump through. I've given orders they are to be taken alive and..... that's strange!"

The agent raised a questioning eyebrow.

"The Navy capital ship fleet just left system. I assume they are heading home as they will be little use against a strategic cruiser."

The agent thought about that and decided it was unlikely. They would have remained on standby until the suspects were apprehended. Something major must have happened for them to jump out of the system like that.

"Get is set up off the OMS gate at a short pounce. As soon as that Proteus is decloaked by the proximity of the gate warp and jump." the agent said to the Captain.


Dorn and Kara were sat in the ready-room which was located just off the bridge. The Gallente agent sat relaxed in a large chair, one leg casually draped over an armrest.

"So what are you?" Dorn asked bluntly. Kara shot him a disapproving look.

The Gallente Agent laughed when she saw Kara's angry expression.

"Don't worry, I don't mind. Well Captain as you can probably guess I am an agent of the Gallente Federation. You already know I am fitted with capsuleer style implants. In fact this body is not really mine so your term 'what' is appropriate."

"I assumed that, normal people don't tend to bleed silver." he replied cautiously.

The agent nodded and slid over a datapad, Dorn picked it up. On it was a picture of an older, rather butch woman dressed in army fatigues carrying a plasma rifle. She was posing before the turret of a massive combat tank in a landscape pocketed with scorch-marks.

"Is that your mother?" he asked.

The agent laughed. "No that is the real me!". Dorn looked in shock.

"This body is nothing but a tool captain. My real body is in stasis ready for me to return to. But for now I use these clones. I obviously cannot reveal everything to you as civilians, but you have seen me in action. You know I am not what I appear to be."

"You certainly are not. The outfit gives that away too."

The agent laughed again.

"Captain, you have no need to fear who, or what, I am. Reading the reports on your last few days travels I see you were in a capsuleer bar in Nisuwa. You were around people fitted with implants, walking around in cloned bodies, and remember, bodies they can adjust and change at any time if they so wish."

Dorn pondered what she had said for a few seconds.

"True, but none of those capsuleers could revert me back to a hormone-crazed teenager with a seductive walk and a look in the middle of a combat situation." he said.

"Well there was that lady capsuleer getting the lapdance in the bar that...." Kara started but Dorn playfully swatted her on her arm. She put on a comedy sulky face and Dorn smiled. She smiled back. Suddenly they realised they had held each others gaze slightly too long and turned back to the agent.

"You could have shot me when I appeared in the factory. But you didn't. A beautiful woman dressed in alluring clothing, no man is going to fire first without asking questions. And when I am close, well this body is designed for covert operations. One day I might be fighting on a battlefield, but all battles are not fought with guns, so the next day I might need to seduce an ambassador, or his son, or even his wife. This body is designed so I can achieve what is required. I'm sure you felt it in the factory."

"Yes I did. It was pretty un-nerving to be honest." admitted Dorn "To have those feelings spring up on you in such a dangerous situation."

"Men!" Kara laughed. Asia turned to her and smiled.

"It's not his fault." Asia smiled "This body is designed to help me achieve my goals. It has, shall we say, abilities to distract people in combat, to make them hesitate for that crucial second. As I've already said, not all missions require a gun and dead bodies. Some require a more gentle approach. Say you are the wife of a mega-corp executive. How am I going to get inside his heavily guarded home to hack his safe? How can I convince you to take me home as a friend through all that security?" she continued to look Kara direct in the eyes. A silence fell over the room as the agent continued to stare and smile. Kara looked deep into the agents eyes and felt her heart begin to pound, she felt hot and started to blush as a feeling of pure lust started to wash over her. She was grateful she was wearing a jacket that would hide her breasts and her obvious arousal.

"OK I get your point" Kara said and finally broke eye-contact with the agent. The feelings left her.

"Don't worry, I want do that again. I just wanted you to know it isn't his fault. It is nothing more than clever bio-engineering targeting natural human instincts. If we were in a different time and place just now, and I'd suggested we go back to your bedroom, what would you have said?"

"Yes." Kara shyly admitted.

"And do you jump into bed with every strange women you've just met?"

Kara already had pursed her lips to reply 'no' when Dorn butted in "Well apparently there was this one time at college."

This time it was Kara's turn to swat his arm playfully.

"Ow!" mocked Dorn "But it sounds a pretty big sacrifice, to give up your body and your life and be used that way for the government." Dorn added.

Before Asia could reply the 'prepare for jump' alarm sounded. Dorn was thankful as he saw the look on her face, he'd obviously been right about the sacrifice.

"Shall we go through to the bridge? We're only one jump from the Federation now." Asia asked as she rose from the table. Dorn and Kara nodded and followed her into the bridge as the ship jumped out of Heydilles.

They looked at the blank viewscreen which covered the entire front wall of the bridge. It was normal to be blank at this point, jumping through the artificial wormhole created massive power surges and interference which reset most the ships systems, that is why the startgate projected a temporary cloak to all ships jumping through the gate. It usually took a few seconds for the ship to come back to full readiness. However some times glitches meant that the systems never came back online. Captains and crew called it "The Black Screen of Death" and whilst very rare, it was always a concern.

With a flicker the viewscreen activated, and all hell broke out on the bridge as the space outside was revealed. Officers shouted, alarms sounded and commands were given. In the midst of this flurry of activity Dorn, Kara and Asia just stood there, staring.

"Now, we have a problem." Asia stated as Dorn and Kara stared at the viewscreen in disbelief.

.... To be continued.....


  1. Drackarn, the normal concord rules still apply, if you jump into Luminaire you will die to the police. They are just giving everyone who enters the system a suspect flag.

    1. Well thats no fun at all for us -10 Militia is it :)