Friday, May 23, 2014

The Forefathers - Part 1

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here. Sin needs some help with the Angle Project.

This piece contains 'spoilers' regarding the origins of the races of New Eden. I know 99% of players already know this (especially if you've watch the CCP Origins video) but just a warning if you are one of these who has avoided the back-story and doesn't want to know. This is not the fiction for you!

It's a two parter. Concludes next week.

The Forefathers - Part 1

"Cyno is up." the voice crackled over the bridge's comm system.

"Confirmed. Ready to jump Captain!" the officer sat at the helm reported.

The Panther class Black Ops Battleship was ready, its jump drive had spooled up.

"On my mark." replied the Captain Gakoho.

Gakoho was 52 years old. A veteran of the Caldari Navy. When he left the Navy he had two choices, the Legion or Privateer. He had no real love of Mordu's Legion and had saved a great deal of money in his 34 years in the Navy. As a skilled leader with a commanding personality it had not been difficult to convince private investors who were prepared to invest in his own venture. He had purchased the Stormcloud and formed a crew of his own mercenaries. He now competed directly with the Legion, slightly undercutting them when possible. His operation had been a success and he had gain a good reputation of working in the grey areas between black and white.

His current contract was a lucrative one. They had been tasked with stealing some blueprints from a small automated research outpost. Passwords and shield codes had been provided. The main defence was a small fleet guarding the star gate into the solar system with several large warp disruption bubbles deployed. They could fight their way into the system but it would be messy. Also the defenders probably had look outs in surrounding systems who might call for backup when they saw a Panther heading their way. No, this called for stealth. Two hours ago a small covert ops frigate was flown into system. The defence fleet had tried to intercept it but it had made good use of its cloaking device and warped to deep space. It had now deployed a covert cynosural field that the jump drive of the Panther could lock onto. It would then jump to the cyno, warp to the outpost, steal the plans and jump back to safety before anyone knew they were there.

"Jump!" commanded the Captain.

"ABORT! INCOMING BOMBS!" a voice screamed over the comm channel at the same time.

However it was too late. The artificial wormhole had already formed and they had passed the point of no return. The Captain played the possible scenarios in his head. First likelihood was that they completed the jump before the bombs hit. The covert ops frigate would no doubt be destroyed, but the powerful shields of the Panther would hardly be scratched. There were obviously enemy stealth bombers there, they were the only ships capable of launching bombs. His drones would make short work of them, they could then warp off and cloak. They would be safe, but the defence fleet would know they were there and what ship they were flying. The second scenario was the bombs hit before the jump was completed and destroyed the frigate and the cyno. The Panther would lose its destination-lock. The navi-com would seek to lock onto a range of gravity wells in the vicinity and plot a safe emergence point. They could land anywhere in the solar system. This would be the best option as they would be able to instantly cloak without being seen. The defence fleet would know from the local channel they were there, but not what they were in. For all the defence fleet knew they could be flying anything from a covert ops to a capital ship.

"Jump complete in three, two, one...." the helmsman counted down.

There was suddenly a massive explosion and the ship lurched.

"Great!" thought the Captain "They've seen us!"

The ship rocked violently and the main power failed plunging the bridge into the dim red of the emergency lighting.

"What in Divinity's Edge?" shouted the captain over the alarms "Half a dozen bombs cannot hurt us!"

"Sir. We've got main power failure. I'm reading hull breaches... everywhere! Shields are gone, armour is gone and structural integrity is compromised."

Gakoho tried to think. This made no sense. Bombs were designed to work against drones and small craft. Big explosion, huge area of effect, not so much damage against anything bigger than a cruiser. There is no way bombs did this. But the only way this could have happened so quickly is a volley from a Dreadnought. But it had happned the second they arrived, they would have seen a dreadnought locking them.

"Review the sensor logs. Find out what hit us!" the Captain ordered.

The main screen flickered back to life and replayed the moment they jumped in. There was only a second of footage before it turned to static.

"Replay, one tenth speed."

The second time didn't show anything more than space.

"Captain. Look how dark it is!" Daichi the Science Officer commented.

The Captain stared at the screen. He was right. Whilst space was naturally dark, the view screen was showing a vision of the blackest black he'd ever seen. He looked at the prongs jutting from the front of the ship. There was no light hitting them, none. They were just black silhouettes.

"We didn't make it to the system. We're in interstellar space!" the Captain said incredulously. The bridge fell silent as they gazed at the view-screen.

The silence was broken by the crackle of the comms system.

"Bridge, this is Engineering. Do you read?"

"Affirmative Huras. Hows it looking down there?" the Captain replied.

"We've got some major problems Captain. The ship took some major damage, we've had a huge section ripped from our port side. In fact the section is so large it almost reached Engineering. Its ruptured the cooling system for the reactor. I have my boys using the reservoir to keep the pressure up, but we are having to use a cube every ten minutes. In 50 minutes the reservoir will be dry."

The Captain groaned.

"How long after that until the pressure drops too far?"

"Once the reservoir is dry, five minutes, may be ten, then the system will seize. Five minutes after that the reactor goes critical. We cannot repair the leak, all the equipment was lost. We cannot shut down the reactor, the controls are too badly damaged. There is nothing we can do Captain. I can give you an hour, but after that, we're gone."

The Captain was aware all eyes on the bridge were on him. "Daichi, worst case is we take to the pods. Is there any point?"

The Science Officer thought for a second.

"Sir, it was a four light-year jump. If we got really unlucky and landed at the mid-point that is a shade under 19 trillion kilometres. So our escape pods will take somewhere around 260 thousand years to get back to either system. Pity their life-support systems are only rated for 72 hours. Not that it is really an issue as even in a cryo-tube nobody could survive that journey."

"Right, we've got half an hour to save our arses. Lets hear your ideas!" the Captain barked.


The Captain slumped in his seat. They had got nowhere in the last 30 minutes. They were stuck on a dying ship trillions of kilometres away from civilisation without warp speed or jump drives.

Every option, idea or solution had been exhausted.

Wearily the Captain activated the ship-wide communication system.

"All crew this is the Captain. Our in-cyno was taken down before we completed the jump. For some reason the Navi-com dropped us in interstellar space. We think we landed in an asteroid belt. That is what the Navi-com locked onto and what we hit when we emerged from the jump. The ships reactor will go critical in thirty minutes. I've activated the escape pods. However, you need to remember there is no hope of escape. Nobody can find us out here, nobody will be coming to the rescue. You have the choice. Remain on the ship for a quick exit from this life, or take the pod which will give you three or four days more. It has been an honour serving with you all."

The Captain stood and approached the bridges weapon locker. He keyed in his code and pulled out a pistol and ammo.

"Well I'm taking the pod, but with insurance so I have a choice. Good luck all. I'll launch in five if any of you chose the extra three day option."

With that the Captain entered the escape pod and sat down. Soon several other bridge crew joined him over the next few minutes. The 8-seater escape pod had three space seats as it launched from the ship.

"So this is it? I have the pleasure of you four for the last 72 hours of my life?" Furalen the Security Chief laughed.

"Comments like that might reduce that 72." the captain joked waving the gun. "72 hours if we are lucky. Daichi said that any asteroid belt out here will have fast moving rocks. Back in solar space the gravity of the planets and stars tend to hold the roids in place in proper belts. Out here there are no planets or stars so no residual gravity. The smaller rocks are likely to be orbiting the larger ones which may themselves be orbiting even bigger ones. Its likely to be a huge ball of fast spinning roids rather than a traditional belt. Yup, a big ball of spinning minerals and we have no idea where we are as its so damn dark out there. We could be wiped out by a chunk of Veldspar at any second."

"Oh cheery" replied Yomon the helmsman "I assume all that spinning metal is why pod-to-pod communication is down too?".

"No. Our pods communication system relies on the fluid-routers of stargates to work. Technically the communication isn't pod-to-pod, its pod-to-gate-to-pod. With no gates near, no communications."

"So we've got no way of contacting anyone, we could be wiped out by a speeding hunk of rock at any moment, oh, and don't forget a battleship's reactor is about to go critical in our near vicinity. We could all be vaporised in a ball of superheated plasma in a matter of minutes."

A silence fell around the pod at the situation they found themselves in.

As the time neared everyone knelt on their seats looking out through the small viewports. Huras' calculations had been close. Less than two minutes after the predicted time the ship exploded in a massive explosion. For the first time the area was lit. Daichi was right about the asteroid "ball". It was an amazing sight, various sizes of rock orbiting each other. The rock at the very centre was vast. The Captain suddenly jumped out of his seat. The others looked as he raced over to the small command console. Whilst the escape pods were automated, they did allow for manual control if required. The Captain swung the pod around and started towards the asteroid ball.

"Er, Captain. What are you doing?" asked a wary Furalen.

"On the big rock at the centre. There was something on it." the Captain said concentrating on the controls.


"Something! I'll tell you more when... if... we get closer!"


The five crew stepped out of the escape pod in wonder. The Captain had been right, there was something on the huge asteroid in the centre, it was a ship. It was clearly derelict but the escape pods rudimentary sensors had shown it had life-support still functioning. There were no life-signs, only weak electronic signatures. When close enough the Captain had spotted an open hanger door. As he slowly and carefully guided the pod through the vast door it had closed behind them. They had assumed some automated system detected the presence of the incoming pod. The hanger had re-pressurised and the Captain had been the first to step out.

The construction of the ship was totally alien to them. It resembled none of the five Empires of New Eden and did not even appear to have anything in common with the Sleepers or any of the ancient civilisations recorded.

"8,000 years!" Daichi said in wonder.

"What?" asked the Captain looking at his Science Officer who was holding a small hand scanner.

"I'm analysing the air Captain. It is possible to calculate when the nitrogen atoms were last exposed to UV radiation!"

"So?" asked Gakoho.

"So? So this air was last on a planet eight thousand years ago."

The group fell quiet. Surely this ship couldn't be that old. However, they each thought of the possibilities especially that the construction matched none of the known races of New Eden. They slowly spread out and and investigated the rest of the hanger. Power was minimal but the lighting was sufficient for them to see. The strange writing on the walls meant nothing to them. Even Daichi who spoke all four languages and even some Jovian couldn't read the strange writing.

Eventually the group congregated at what appeared to be the main door.

"So Daichi. Thoughts?"

"Its an ancient ship. Pre-dating even the Talocan, Yan Jung, Takmahl and other related civilisations. The writing on the wall appears to be several languages. The first one you see is the main language I suspect, but the other two are perhaps translations into other languages. The characters are wildly different, I would guess the crew of this ship were from several ancient races."

"I don't suppose you know what that says then?" the Captain asked pointing to the small dull green screen next to the door. Daichi bent down and looked at it.

"I would guess Captain it says the corridor or room behind this door is either pressurised and safe to open or a complete vacuum and if we open it we'll or die horribly. However, I have no idea what it actually says."

"Best guess?"

"Green for go?"


Several hours later the group entered what appeared to be the bridge. Lights automatically turned on as they entered. The large viewscreen on the far wall showed the surface of the asteroid and into space.

During their extensive search of the vessel they had found vast cargo bays filled with unidentifiable machines and constructions. The engineering section used technology that nobody had ever seen before. The reactor was still functioning although nobody had any idea what type of reactor or fuel it used. Several sections of the ship were sealed off and inaccessible. The entire ship was an enigma.

"Nobody touch anything! We have no idea if the button is for ordering a sandwich from the mess or the auto-destruct!" the Captain called out as the various crew members spread around the bridge.

"Actually Captain, I think I can make out some of the text." Daichi called as he lent over a console. "I think this is for the propulsion systems."

The Captain wandered over and looked at the dust covered console.

"You can read that?" he asked surprised.

"Not properly but I can take an educated guess as some of these words. That there is the lateral thrusters." he said pointing to a small section of buttons in the top left-hand corner.


"Well I was thinking that one of the current languages of New Eden might have been a descendent of this ancient language. Then I found a common thread and worked from there."

"Is it Gallente?" asked the Captain.

"No, its all of them. I can now see elements of all five Empires language within this one. Academic belief is that all the Empires came from one place. The fact we are all share such similarities in our DNA means it is highly unlikely that we evolved independently on the different planets. The issue is nobody knows who seeded the planets. Our stargates were reversed-engineered from ruined gates we found when we started to explore space. Whilst not universally accepted, the most popular belief was this proves that there was an advanced race that colonised the area millennia before us. It is believed that there was a great war, disease or disaster that affected them. Over the millennia their outposts reverted to a pre-industrial age, lost all knowledge of the past over the generations and finally rose once again."

"You mean like the Talocan?"

"No sir, I mean millennia before the Talocan."

The Captain stood there looking around. Was this it? Was this the proof that all of New Eden's races were descended from the same race? Did this ship belong to the long lost relatives of all of New Eden's races past and current?

"Sir. You need to see this!" Daichi called out from the adjacent console that he had moved too.

The Captain moved over and looked at the screen. Strange characters were scrolling through.

"Means nothing to me." he said shaking his head.

"Its names and life signs. There are people on this ship sir. People who are alive in some form of suspended animation!"

The Captain look at him in shock.

"Alive? After eight millennia?"

"Yes sir. All 10,000 of them."

"My god! Are they a...."

The Captain stopped suddenly as a loud noise was heard echoing from the corridor leading to the bridge. The five crew stopped what they were doing and turned towards the door. The sound was footsteps. Heavy, metallic footsteps. The Captain wrapped his hand tightly around the gun. Someone was coming.

"Could another pod have made it?" the Captain whispered to Daichi.

"Negative sir. There was only one hanger door open and that door closed behind us. Even if another of our escape pods found this ship, they have no way of getting inside."

The heavy footsteps grew louder. The Captain raised his gun as a huge humanoid shadow emerged from the dimly lit corridor....

To Be Continued...


  1. Five Empires? Are you counting the Khanid Kingdom as a separate empire?
    Different fiction/lore topic: Do you happen to run into an authentic looking picture/drawing of the Ray of Matar voluval tatoo? You're the most into lore among those I "know". Or if you can turn me to someone else who may know, I'd appreciate that too.

    1. Jove are still technically an Empire in the eyes of New Eden.... even though they are all dead.

      Mark of the Eve-O Lore Guide is probably best to ask about the Tattoo.

    2. The Jove are all dead…. or are they?

  2. Great story as always. Can't wait for the conclusion. I also want to thank you for your escape pods as it let's me see what else is out there