Friday, June 6, 2014


Fiction Friday! I had a bit of a blow-out yesterday and a rather long drinking session. When I started early afternoon everything was hunky-dory in the world of Eve Online. On the cab ride back home (technically the next day) this. WTF?


The deckplates above collapsed in front of them blocking the corridor. Fire spewed from the hole above as ruptured electrical conduits sparked and hissed. The group skidded to a halt in front of the burning barricade.

"No way through here. What now?" Josvis shouted.

Josvis was a technician working on the life-support systems of the starship. It was her first tour and at 25 she was the youngest of the group now running for their lives. She was Gallente by birth, born on the planet of Fricoure VI. Her mother was a lawyer and her father was an engineer. It was always thought she'd follow in her fathers footsteps. Her mother was murdered when Josvis was 14. A local gang thought it would help their friends case if they killed the woman prosecuting him. Whilst her father did his best at raising her, Josvis did go off the rails. By 18 she had straightened herself out. Then after completing her education she had worked on various transport ships in Empire space maintaining their LS systems. Six months ago her her circumstances changed and she needed money, a lot of money. There was only one option that paid that sort of money for someone of her skills and experience, Capsuleer crewing. It paid astronomically well, but everyone knew the massive risks. Immortal pilots did not fear death. They would fight on when they appeared to have no chance. If their ship was destroyed their conscientiousness was instantly transferred at the moment of death to a waiting clone light-years away. The crew, without a hydrostatic capsule, didn't have this luxury. They had to sprint to the escape pods and hope they made it off ship in time. The clever ones got in, made their money and got out quick. Life expectancy as an eggers crew was short. Josvis was now regretting the decision as the ship fell apart around them.

The Raven Class Battleship was huge, over 800 metres long and was the pride of the Caldari shipyards. A warship designed to hurl cruise missiles and torpedoes with devastating accuracy at their foes. Only this time those foes had the upper-hand. The captain had accepted a contract to rescue a crew of a starship that had become disabled due to an engine failure. However, they had dropped out of warp into an area where the pirate factions of the Serpentis Syndicate and the Guristas were fighting for control. So far the two pirate factions were too busy fighting each other to bother about a small private frigate with engine problems nearby.

When the capsuleer piloted Raven arrived at the scene the pirates did take notice of them. Immediately the pirate frigates had scrambled the Raven's warp drive and engaged stasis webifiers to slow them to a crawl. The pirates battleships had arrived shortly after. Their capsuleer had either underestimated the strength of the pirates, overestimated their own ship or both.

"This way!" Badik replied darting down a side corridor.

Badik was her immediate supervisor and headed the section she and the other three worked in. He had seen the writing on the wall and chosen to abandon their section which lay in the centre of the ship with no escape pods close. He had been leading them to the nearest escape pods when the roof collapse had blocked their way. He was Matari and a brilliant engineer. He had been her mentor since she arrived on the ship and was grateful he was looking out for her now.

Josvis jogged along the corridor with Badik and the other three crew from their section. There would be no need for the life-support team on this mission now, their ship was dead in the water and it would only be a matter of time before the doomed ship exploded. A mechanical thump followed by a hiss sounded close by.

"That was the cap booster ejecting empties. The egger is burning booster charges. We must be down to our last few. When they are gone there is no power to the shield booster and that is game over." Badik said breathlessly.

"How far to the escape pods?"

"We'd be at them now if it wasn't for that collapse back there. May be a few more...."

Badik was cut short as an explosion rocked the ship. A conduit near the group ruptured sending hot gas jetting into the corridor. Josvis screamed as it hit her arm. Josvis pulled her clear and looked at the damage.

"You'll live." he said seeing her arm was burnt but not too badly "move your ass. Come on you lot....." Badik fell silent and Josvis turned to see why he'd suddenly stopped talking. Their three colleagues were laying on the floor behind them, cooked by the gas.

"Come on. Lets go." Badik said quietly.

Within a few minutes they reached one of the escape pod areas. Six small hatches lined the wall ready for evacuees. Badik helped Josvis inside and strapped her in, trying to carefully avoid her burnt arm. Once she was secure he strapped himself into a seat and pressed a few buttons on the console.

"I've set it for auto-eject. As soon as structural integrity fails we'll launch, but it means we'll have more time for other crew to reach us."

Josvis nodded and looked at the eight empty seats in the pod. Five minutes later the hatch slammed shut and they were pushed back into their seats as the pod sped away from the Raven. After a couple of seconds the artifical gravity was lost. Josvis looked at the still empty seats. She wondered what had happened to the others.

A huge flash somewhere in space illuminated the pod through the small portholes. As suddenly as it came it died out, leaving only the black of deep space.

"So we've got a few hours before the Sisters come and get us. So why did you sign up?" Badik asked.

Josvis sighed. "My father."

"Your father? Was he a crewer?"

"No. He's sick. The meds he needs to survive cost a small fortune. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky. If we were in the State we'd simply not be able to afford them, in the Republic they just wouldn't be availible. I guess it would have been slightly better if we were Amarrian, apparently their medical care is the best. Anyway, we're in the Federation and whilst the meds are available they aren't cheap. Crewing for standard ships wasn't paying the bills. I knew capsuleer crewing was much more risky, hence the huge salaries, but never imagined this. Well at least I know now why they pay is so good!" she gestured to her burnt arm.

"Yes. Nothing like a bit of a risk of death to fatten the pay packet!" Badik chuckled.

"Well I'm going back to standard crewing" Josvis said. "No pay is worth this!"

Badik smiled at her.

"You say that now." he chuckled "Everyone says that in this situation. However I'm sure I'll see you on the next boat. Its the money you see, its always the money."

Josvis just closed her eyes slowly shaking her head, thinking her friend must be mad. There is no way she was going to go through this again.


Josvis woke in the medical bay. The escape pod had been drifting for hours until the Sisters of Eve had picked them up. They'd been taken to a nearby station and placed in medical care. A bright white bandage covered her burnt arm. The pain relief drugs were starting to wear off and she felt the dull throb returning. The door to her room opened and a small Caldari man in a suit entered. A small drone hovered by his side. He didn't look like a doctor.

"Who are you?" she asked cautiously.

"I am Mr Chojnacki." he replied "I am from the SSC and here to assess you."

Josvis looked at him in shock.

"Assess me? For what?"

"Compensation of course. All capsuleer crew are entitled to compensation following destruction of their ship." The strange man pulled out a datapad and started tapping away. The drone hovered over her menacingly. A variety of lights covering its black surface flickered.

"What is that thing doing?"

"Don't worry. It is simply scanning you. It needs to take readings for me to do my job."

She watched it carefully. A small hatch opened a probe extended. There was a flash of red light and Josvis  yelped in pain.

"It attacked me!" she cried rubbing her shoulder. The Caldari man looked at her puzzled.

"That was just a high frequency light burst to test your pain threshold. Surely you have had that before?" he asked questioningly.

"No!" she snapped.

"Oh. Well it is a standard procedure." he replied returning his interest to his datapad. "Mmmmmm an eight on a level six pulse. I'd advise you not to go for a natural childbirth with that score should you ever choose to have children."

Josvis looked at him opened mouthed, she couldn't believe what she was hearing. She was questioning the sanity of the suit stood beside her bed.

"3rd degree burns to right arm, 54% coverage. Factoring that for a eight stroke six..... I understand you saw three colleagues die?"

"Yes. The steam only hit my arm but the others...."

"Three colleagues killed by steam. OK got that." he cut her off.

"Well I'm afraid we cannot let you live to tell that tale so I'm afraid the drone will have to kill you now" the man replied casually.

Josvis screamed as the drone started to approach.

"OK. Thats a stress-level of 86 when faced with a possibility of death. That has been recorded on your permanent record. OK I think that is everything."

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?" Josvis shouted as the drone backed off.

The suit just shook his head slightly and mutter something about 'destruction virgins'. He turned his datapad around and showed it to Josvis. She gasped. A sum equivalent to a years wages was ready to be transferred to her. He took her hand and pressed her thumb against the datapad.

"That is my assessment of the compensation due for your stress, injury and suffering in relation to the destruction of the capsuleer vessel The Kucharik. The compensation is subject to a non-disclosure agreement regarding these tests that you just signed. Should you disagree with the sum awarded you have 14 days to lodge an appeal with the SCC. Good day."

With that the suit just walked out with the drone following. Josvis sat in her bed stunned at the last three minutes. That money was nearly enough to pay for all of her fathers treatment. She started thinking, another tour like that one and she'd be able to pay to cure her father and still have a huge chunk left over. Thoughts of returning to standard crewing started to fade from her head, replaced by credit signs and the vision of a very early retirement.


Two months later......

The man sat at the table. His head in his hands. Tears splashed on the datapad that lay between his elbows on the table.

The message was from the SSC and informed him of a transfer of a massive sum of credits to his account. The letter was cold, business like, unfeeling.

"You have been named sole beneficiary of the policy and the below sum has been transferred to your account following the death of Technician Josvis Ciete following the destruction of the Capsuleer vessel The Kucharik in the system of Fricoure on date......"


  1. Did she enlist to the same capsuleer, who almost killed her two months before, to a ship named after it's predecessor (and probably having the same fate soon)? Or the last letter was just a coverup for her to get her own life?

  2. Did she enlist to the same capsuleer, who almost killed her before, to the ship named after it's predecessor (and probably getting the same fate)? Or was the last letter just a coverup to get her own life?