Friday, January 24, 2014

The Colony - Part 2

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here to read about Stay Frosty's Frigate Free for All event running this Sunday.

This continues on from Part 1 and is playing out how I see my idea for a separate Eve-O game about colony management. I think its a winner, of course I would say that wouldn't I, and it got some good feedback here and on Twitter.

The Colony - Part 2

The twelve men and women looked out of the large window of the operations centre. The cloud cover had just broken and they were we looking down at a lush, green landscape. A roar sounded as the powerful jets of the dropship carrying the colony centre fought against the increasing gravity. Slowly the ship reached the ground and they felt the contact with the ground. A series of metallic clunks sounded and the roar of the engines increased in volume.

"Dear clients. Your centre is on the ground and the dropship is clear. You are clear to commence deployment!" the dropship's captain voice sounded over the communicator. "Good luck in your new lives. Dropship HL-602 out!"

The colonists crowded around the central command console. Their leader Chao, was stood looking at screen in front of him. A large button marked 'DEPLOY' glowed red.

"Here we go everyone!" he said as he touched the screen and the button depressed.

Suddenly there was a cacophony of mechanical sounds. Clamps disengaging, motors running, metal sliding against metal, all manner of sounds echo'd through the structure. The group watched the progress on the diagrammatic monitor as the huge colony centre started to unfold and expand. After five minutes there was silence. The structure had unfolded to four times its size. Rather than an odd looking green metal box, it was now a more a futuristic small village. Greenhouses and hydroponic gardens dominated one corner. On another massive drills had deployed and had started to burrow into the ground. A small factory was coming on line as were the research labs. The colony unit could now sustain them indefinitely. Chao flicked through the start up check-list.

"OK what AI personality do we want?"

The others looked at him quizzically.

"Seriously. The colony computer needs us to chose a personality. Male or female and any race!"

A quick discussion started. It was all agreed they'd not use Caldari, they had come from the state and were fed up about being told what to do by their Caldari masters. In the end Matari and female was chose. Chao hit the confirm. A hologram started to form. It was of a Matari female, looking in her late 20's.

"Greetings colonists! Congratulations on your new colony. I am Ada and am here to help you. I see that the laboratories and factory are online. I would suggest that the first order be to begin research on power generation and that 3 scout drones are queued for production. Would you like me to engage?"

The group just stood there a few seconds not knowing what to do.

"Yes. Engage." replied Chao taking the initiative.

"Orders sent. I am currently in advanced mode. This is a free gift from the Quaffe Corporation and will last 48 hours. During this time I can assist you to queue up multiple construction and research projects. I will also deploy scout drones to search for any resources in the area and any potential threats. Should you wish extend advanced mode, or engage it at any time in the future please contact Colony Sales at Quaffe Corporation."

"What the frack is this shit?" one of the men growled.

"Its how they make their money. You think this colony centre actually cost the pittance we actually paid for it?"

The man stopped to think. He looked around as if appraising the room.

"Well, I guess not." he admitted. "I did wonder how they could build and sell these for what we paid!"

"The enhanced AI, special blueprints for the factory and hiring out specialise staff to give us a boost. Its how Quaffe make money on this. Sell the unit at a loss and accept some colonies will not use the extra services. However those that do will pay for those that don't and make them a profit overall." Chao replied whilst studying the readouts.

Two weeks later

The group was gathered in the command centre around the huge window. Now rather than open fields, they overlooked several buildings. On the edge of the developed area a large structure was being assembled by the construction drones.

"How are power levels?" Chao asked.

"We have 275mw free currently. The last fission reactor finished last night. I've queued up another to be built after the factory as once that is online we'll only have 25mw free.".

"We have enough resources for that?"

"Its tight. Tritanium is low, we might want to think about building a couple more extractors especially as that advanced factory is going to start using it."

The lights on the top of the factory started to blink indicating it was coming online. It was an amazing feat of engineering. A large factory constructed from nothing within six hours. Chao walked over to the command console and looked over the factory readout.

"I'll queue up construction blocks as we are going to need more buildings."

Three weeks later

"So what is it?"

The three men looked at the grainy image on the screen.

"Some sort of scout drone. Our perimeter sensors picked it up an hour ago. Someone is interested in us."

"Who though?"

"We'll find out soon enough. Our own scout drone picked it up and is tracking it back to its source. Good job we did pay for that enhanced AI."

Two days later

"There's more coming in from the north-east!"

The command centre was a hive of activity. Since they tracked the drone back and discovered a small hidden Serpentis base very few of them had gotten much sleep. All manufacturing had been turned to defence with the factories churning out drones and defensive installations. The Serpentis attack force was having serious issues now. They had initially scouted a small undefended colony with good manufacturing and research facilities, much better than their own. However, in the two days since their scout drone had been to the colony a lot had changed there. Matari autocannon turrets strafed the Serpentis marines keeping the pinned down. The large railgun turret installed had taken out their single light tank in only a few shots. It was now pounding the hillock the marines were using for cover.

"I see them. Looks like some of our light drones are peeling off to deal with them."

They watched the attack play-out on the screen feeling helpless. The drones and turrets were all automated. There was no human interaction needed. It was down to the AI whether the attack would be repelled or whether some very angry Serpentis would be kicking in their door in a few minutes.

"Yes! It is ready!" came a shout from the back of the room.

The group rushed to the window that looked over towards the large factory. The huge doors started to rumble open. Out of the black depths of the factory a heavy tank rolled forward.

"Told you that would be a good idea!" Chao stated as the AI controlled tank swung towards the remaining Serpentis troops.

They had paid heavily for a single run blueprint of a battle-tank and also for a team of production specialists to speed up construction. They knew it would be a gamble. Would the factory complete the tank in time for the coming attack or would the Serpentis be pleasantly surprised after taking control of the base only for an expensive tank to roll into their lap for free. However it had completed at the right time and now the Serpentis were in full retreat as the tank advanced on their position.

"What do we have offensive wise?" Choa asked.

"Well we have that massive tank for a start! Plus a dozen light drones and 5 mediums. Why?"

Chao looked down at his screen.

"Did we see many defences at their outpost?"

Kim looked down at the logs from their scout drone.

"No, it was pretty undefended. Just marines with small arms."

"OK, I'm issuing a new order to the tank and drones!"


Jean pulled himself from the hole he'd been in for the last hour. The ceiling had caved in on top of him but had created a pocket which protected him. He had waited for 30 minutes after the last of the gun fire and explosions had died away. He crawled out into the open. The single story building he had been in was destroyed, he'd been very lucky. A few others were milling about the wrecked outpost. It appeared he was the most senior of the survivors.

He retrieved his datapad from his pocket and tapped a quick message.

Outpost Code - FZ231-214-67-12
Attacked civilian colony. Attack failed. Colony retaliated. Outpost destroyed.
Request evac and reassignment for eight survivors.


"So what did we get?" asked Kim.

Chao went through the report. It had been a couple of hours since their attack and their drones and tank were just returning along with the captured salvage. The combat drones were programmed to loot what they could after a battle. Complex algorithms similar to those used in capsuleer salvage drones allowed them to scan for resources and take what they could.

"3,000 tritanium. 1,000 construction bloc plus two drones. We lost three of our drones but I think we came out on top plus that is one pirate outpost that won't be bothering us again!"

"So what we going to do with that?" Kim asked.

"Well, do we start work on our spaceport?" replied Chao with a smile.


  1. You're constantly switching between Chow and Chao. Is that a mistake or are they 2 different persons?

    1. Proofreading with a bad hangover is not a good idea is it :) Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed

  2. Goddamn it Drack. Now I want to play a game which doesn't exist. EVE Civ.

  3. I want this now. Could be very fun to play as long as it doesn't turn in to a clickfest as some play some-wait long games can become.

    Another small thing:
    "A large button marked 'DELPOY' glowed red." Unless it's a Tarp offcourse :)

  4. It's all fun and games until some bored Goons call in an orbital strike ;)

  5. So would the game be called... Eden? Or Adam(as we already have Eve)