Friday, January 30, 2015

Ghost Station - Part 4

Friday fiction! Escape pod here.

Still here? Right, before we conclude the Ghost Station horror story I'd like to ask you question. I'll repeat it at the end but would like to hear your feedback. Generally I tend to write my fiction in one of three types of theme. Action/adventure, horror (like this piece), and then the more, erm, bow-chicka-wow-wow ones. What's your preference? I'd be interested to know dear reader.

Ghost Station - Part 4

The three paused as a maintenance bot charged at them. Sikoda levelled the make-shift weapon and depressed the button. The ion field washed over the charging bot frying its circuits. It skidded to a smoking halt at their feet.

"Eight shots left." he stated "However the hanger is just down here."

The three picked up the pace. In the last half an hour they had faced a variety of rogue bots. Haalonen had finally explained that her stalker was most likely to blame, however the AI had to take her alive and unharmed. Whilst they were with her the robots and the AI were at a distinct disadvantage.

They entered the massive ship hanger. It was mostly empty. A pair of cleaner drones approached rapidly, Sikoda taking them both out with a single shot from the modified ion projector. Glancing around he saw in the distance a small group of people boarding a shuttle at the far end of the bay. What looked to be the last shuttle in the bay.

"Wait!" he shouted.

He saw the man of the group look back. It looked like a family. He paused for a second and they all vanished inside the shuttle.

"Shit! Come on!" he said sprinting to the shuttle. The two women running with him.

Out of nowhere a large drone dropped in front of them. It was some kind of starship repair drone. It had a white hot welding torch as one arm, a circular saw for another. Some kind of drill made the third one. Sikoda fired his weapon at it. The machine jerked but continued to advance.

"Its shielded. Probably for working on ship drives and reactors. Shit!" Sikoda swore as he fired a second time. Again the machine convulsed, its drill arm stopped spinning and fell limply to its side. He fired a third time. This time it stopped for a second before advancing again. It lashed out at Sikoda with the saw and jabbed the cutting torch at Nirocque. It appeared to entirely ignore Haalonen. Sikoda dived to the side and the saw buzzed through the air only centimetres from his head. He heard a scream as he tumbled to the floor. He span around and saw Nirocque had been raked by the cutting torch. A blackened line ran across her body as she hit the deck unconscious. The drone turned towards Sikoda concentrating on him now the other one of them was incapacitated.

"Come get some!" he snarled firing again. The drone shook, its cutting torch spluttering out.

Movement caught Sikoda's eye as Haalonen ran between them.

"No!" he cried out but rather than attacking her the drone tried to go around her. Haalonen simply moved to block its way. She stepped forward and the drone stepped backwards not wanting to get too near to her. Sikoda looked at its arms and realised its problem. It could not carry her, it could not move her, it could only attack. She continued moving forward and the large drone continued its retreat like some kind of scared puppy. A few more steps and the drone backed up over the edge of the docking platform and fell.

Haalonen ran back to where Sikoda was with Nirocque.

"How is she?"

"The burn doesn't look life threatening. Likely she banged her head in the fall."

The roar of engines made them look over to the shuttle. The small craft moved away from the dock as Sikoda used an impressive array of curses against the pilot who had seen them but had chosen to abandon them. They both watched the shuttle slip through the forcefield and out into space.

Before it could warp away it exploded in a fireball.

"Damn. The exterior defenses are online." Sikoda said, relieved that they hadn't managed to board the craft after all.

"What now?" asked Haalonen feeling they were out of options.

Sikoda glanced around the huge hanger looking for plan B. He slung the weapon ove his back and scooped Nirocque's unconscious body. Sikoda started walking to the nearest wall. Haalonen fell in alongside. They reached the wall where racks held what looked like multiple black coffins. Sikoda carefully lay Nirocque on the floor and dragged one from its cradle letting crash noisily to the floor. He pressed a button on a control panel and the 'coffin' opened to reveal what looked like a small bed. He picked Nirocque up and placed her inside.

"What is that?" Haalonen asked as the lid closed and Sikoda pulled a second one from the rack.

"Its a cryo-sleep pod. No way the sentry guns can scan and target one of these, their signature radius is too small. I'll put you two in them and then disable the hanger bay forcefield. You'll be blown out into space with everything else not tied down. Hopefully search and rescue will find you."

"Two things! First, 'hopefully'? and second, what about you!"

"I have two shots left. Then its hand to hand combat with bots. We'll last two minutes on this station. These pods will keep you alive but are hard to spot. That means the sentry guns won't blap you. The transmitter on them will.... What in Divinities Edge is THAT!" Sikoda said pointing in the distance.

Haalonen turned and looked at the thing approaching. It appeared to be a very tall person walking very slowly. As it neared it was clear it was a person wearing some sort of metal exoskeleton. Once close enough to see clearly, Haalonen felt sick. It was a person that appeared to be made out of parts crudely stitched together. The people they parts came from were clearly fit and attractive. However stitched together like that they were grotesque. The face was once of a handsome man. Now it was grey and hung loosely on the skull, thick black stitches holding it in place.

"What the frack is that thing!" Sikoda growled.

The construct raised its arm and pointed at Sikoda. There was some sort of metal tube running along its length. There was a whooshing sound and something flew from the monsters arm and struck Sikoda. He fell to the ground as Haalonen screamed. Several more projectiles launched from the tube hitting the ground near Sikoda. Hallonen saw they were screwdrivers.

"Haalonen" the construct whispered.

Haalonen stood frozen. She recognised the voice. His face had been replaced by that grotesque mask, but she knew who it was underneath.


"Please Haalonen. Kill me." he whispered as the exoskeleton approached. "I cannot control it. It shot that man, not me. Kill me. I am in so much pain!"

Haalonen backed off but she was in a corner. The edge of the docking platform was only feet away. The construct that was once Ylomo extended its arms at her as it approached. She glanced over the side of the dock bay. A certain death, but preferable to suffering the same fate as Ylomo had. She decided that the jump was the lesser of two evils.

Suddenly Ylomo convulsed and staggered. He spun around to face Sikoda who was laying on his side. A large screwdriver was embedded in his shoulder where Ylomo had fired it at him. He had his make-shift gun pointed at Ylomo.

"Fire screwdrivers at me? Frack you freak!" Sikoda snarled as he fired again. Ylomo shuddered and staggered backwards. Haalonen dove out of the way as Ylomo crashed out of control against the wall. He stumbled, falling over the edge of the docking bay. Haalonen ran over to Sikoda who was trying to get to his feet, his left arm useless.

"OK, no more arguments." he stated as she helped him to his feet. "Into the cryo-tube."

"You never said what about you?"

"I'm on borrowed time anyway." he said kicking the weapon on the floor with his boot "That thing was rigged from a medical ion projector. The treatment would have given me a couple more months. Nothing more. I'm terminal. Someone needs to de-active the force shield. Thats me."

"No!" screamed Haalonen. "There has to be another way. I won't leave you to die!"

"Oh my god." whispered Sikoda and pointed behind her.

Haalonen spun around expecting to see the Ylomo construct climbing up from the dock bay edge, but she saw nothing. She was about to ask what he'd seen but she never got the chance. Sikoda had picked up the weapon and brought it crashing down on the back of her head.

"Happy now? That's the first time I've hit a woman and it will be the last time." he mumbled as he dragged Haalonen's unconscious body to the other cryo-tube. He gently placed her inside and staggered to the exit. He sealed the door, keyed in the over-ride and watched as the shield vanished. Everything in the hanger, including the two cyro-pods, were blown into space.

"Right you little shit, you're next." he whispered.


Half an hour later the secure door rumbled open and Sikoda stood looking at the computer core. Thankfully the door to the computer core was manual. In case of faults it was imperative that staff could access the core. Therefore it was one of only a few doors that wasn't computer controlled. He closed the door and locked it. He had wondered why no bots had attacked him. Mulling it over he decided the most likely answer was Ylomo was dead and Hallonen was off station. The AI probably didn't know what to do now.

"OK asshat. Just you and me now." he grinned manically approaching the cylindrical core. He knew the specs, he knew how to kill it.

Orange lights flashed in the room and suddenly gas vented from the ceiling.

"Ah, so now you realise the risk! Argonite? That the best you got?" Sikoda sneered as the fire-suppression gas surrounded him. He grabbed the screwdriver Ylomo had fired into him and pulled it from his shoulder screaming. The lack of oxygen and pain made him drop to his knees. He crawled towards the core.

"Nope. You are going down."

He was wheezing by the time he reached the base of the core. Smiling he raised the tool and with his remaining strength plunged it into the exact location he wanted.

"Never frack with an engineer!" he gasped as the lights on the core flickered and went dark.

Over the course of the next few seconds many things happened. All systems on the station shut down. Almost all of the back-up and secondary systems did not respond as the AI had disabled them so only it could control them. This included the reactor shielding and cooling systems. The anti-matter containment was breached micro-seconds after the power went down. By the third second a massive explosion ripped through the station blowing out power conduits and igniting the atmosphere inside.


Present day....

The crew had secured the old core in the cargo bay and were waiting for life support to come back fully online. Running the ship cold to avoid detection meant that life support had only been maintained in the cockpit. Over the last two hours all other areas of the ship were dangerously cold and lacking breathable air. The crew sat in their EVA suits monitoring the external atmosphere.

"Minus five degrees C and nine percent O two." the Captain stated "Twenty minutes and we should be able to get out of these suits. So what is everyone going to spend their cut on? I bet we'll get a big bonus with the holo-recording of that stiff attacking the core!"

Oinu's voice came over the comms. "I'm going to get one of those new Quafe handheld hologaming rigs. Give me something to do when you guys are traipsing around abandoned stations!"

"A holiday. Somewhere warm and sunny like a Gallente pleasure resort" Mitokka said.

"I'll go for the Federation but no beach for me. I'm finding a casino outpost with blackjack, whisky and strippers" Elanoda laughed.

Gakoho thought about it as Sakkatokka and Tatsari went over their plans. He'd lie and say something about booze and women. In fact he'd add the cash to the rest of his savings. Soon he'd be able to get off this flying death-trap and start again. A proper life.

Eventually they removed and stowed their EVA suits and went back to their duty stations as the frigate carefully manoeuvred out of the wrecked station and warped away. The Captain caught up with Sakkatokka.

"Hey Sakkatokka, I've had an idea. That recording we made helps push up the price, but if we knew more about that things history we might be able to push it up further. Hook the core up to our system and see if the data is still there and if its any good. Any logs on what happened could double the price we ask for." he said with a grin.


48 hours later.

The two engineering technicians crossed the small outpost hanger towards the beat-up frigate.

"What a junker!" exclaimed Todgert.

"Yup. Its seen better days!" Moorve laughed.

"What do they expect us to do with THAT!"

"Usual when a ship is found abandoned in space. Assess, repair and try to make it look shiny for when the corp auctions it off."

"Mmmmm. You cannot polish a turd! Any idea why it was abandoned?"

"Yeah. Looks like it got hit by a cutting laser from a salvager when its shields were down. Job-sheet say there is a 15cm hole running right through the ship. Worst possible trajectory too. Managed to pierce pretty much every compartment and depressurise the whole ship in one hit."

"Nasty. There are no bodies in there are they?" Todgert asked wrinkling up his nose.

"Nope. They had a look inside when they found it drifting. For some reason every internal door on the vessel was locked open. Apparently various organic matter was found around the main breach in the hull."

"No shit! The entire crew got sucked through a 15cm hole one at a time? Nasty!"

"Yeah. Not a nice way to go. Imagine slamming into the bulkhead and then having everything sucked out through that hole into space one at a time. Not the way I'd want to go. Anyway, can you start sealing the hole on the top of the hull. I need to go inside and do some stuff first and then I'll work on those internal holes."

"Righto. What you got to do inside?"

"Corporate rules. We need to hook up the computer and download it. See if the owners can be traced. Stupid waste of time as they are clearly dead, but rules is rules."

The two men split up. After half an hour Todgert had patched the hole in the top of the ship. He decided to have a look at the hole on the other side of the ship. He calculated where it would have come out and climbed down. As he reach the underside on the opposite side of the ship he looked confused. There was no sign of any breach. Just the drone bay hatch. He opened a panel and pulled the manual release. The doors to the drone bay started to open.

"Hey Moorve. You there?" he spoke into his comms unit.

"Yeah. The ships computer is downloading to the outposts core and I'm patching the internal holes. What's up?"

"I've completed the reps on the top hole but cannot find one the other side. I think it should be near the drone bay hatch but there is nothing here. Looking inside the drone bay now and there is a type 43 salvager drone in here but no hole that I can see."

There was a pause.

"Thats strange. Looking at these internal holes I'd have said the beam originated in from under the ship and exited out top. It must be there."

"Oh wait. I think I see it. Strange. Its breached the internal wall but didn't hit the bay doors! Hey, you know what I think. I think that this drone in here fired its beam whilst it was inside and..... Shit!"


"The hanger lights have just gone out. Some sort of power cut, give me a minute to....... aaaaaarrrrrhhhhhhhhhhh" the scream chilled Moorve's blood.

"Todgert? Are you there? Speak to me dude. That shit's not funny."

Moorve spun around as he heard a metallic scurrying behind him.

There was nobody in the hanger to hear the muffled scream from inside the hull of The Magpie.

The end.

P.S. Remember at the start I asked you which of the three themes you liked best. Action/adventure, horror the more bow-chicka-wow-wow ones? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rook Off!

Quick post today, busy!

Since the Combat Recons gained D-Scan immunity I've been looking at potentially using the Rook. I have one in Nisuwa I could have brought over. It was one of those ships I never really used.... because of Falcon.

In faction war most fighting is destroyer and frigate ships so what if I put a bait something like that in a medium plex along with a Rook? Enemy D-Scans plex, see's a "lone" destroyer and goes in for the kill.

First up is the support/bait ship. I don't want to be dual boxing in the fight so I tried a Dragoon. I can stick two remote sensor boosters on it, crank up the drone DPS with damage augmenters and assign a flight of 5 Hobgoblin II's to the Rook. Then that can just sit and wait.

The Rook has a full set of rapid light missile launchers, scram and dual web, two-sebo's and some shield tank. Lows are BCUs, rigs are targeting speed.

I have the lock speed of almost a Cockbag Thrasher at 1500mm and dish out 700 DPS nicely along with the assisted drones from the Dragoon. Tank is pretty bad but it'll wipe out most frigates and destroyers before they can do any damage.

Yup, I think I need to try this out on TQ!

Monday, January 26, 2015

How Did the (Faction) War Start?

"The way I see it, these days there's a war on, right? and, ages ago, there wasn't a war on, right? So, there must have been a moment when there not being a war on went away, right? and there being a war on came along. So, what I want to know is: How did we get from the one case of affairs to the other case of affairs?" - Private Baldrick

Do you mean 'How did the war start'? - Captain Blackadder

If you want a full and complete understand and want to read a jolly good book, ignore this post and go read The Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales. The short piece below contains spoilers. Actually, the whole thing is a spoiler for the book. Following a convo on Twitter I thought I'd put this quickly together on how faction war started in Eve Online. Remember, Tony G took 500 pages to tell this story, I've tried to do it in one!

The Empire Wars kicked off for a number of reasons. One of the main ones was an egger known as The Broker. This guy was well known to the powers of New Eden. A very powerful and secretive capsuleer who traded information. He could topple governments, he could manipulate markets, he could do just about anything. However he had a bit of a problem. An incurable degenerative disease was found in all of his clones. He was an immortal, dying. There was one snippet of information that The Broker had which could possibly save his life. He was one of only a handful of people in New Eden who knew that the CEO of Ishukone corporation was developing a cure for Vitoxin/Vitoc called Insorium.

Vitoc is used by the Amarr to control slaves. The slave is injected with Vitoxin. This is a mutating virus which is fatal if not regularly treated. Vitoc is a powerful narcotic that is also a short term antidote to Vitoxin. There was no cure for Vitoxin. Once you were infected you needed a dose of Vitoc every 24 hours otherwise you'd slowly die. Ideal way to control slaves. Without access to Vitoc you'll die so running away is not a good idea. The Matari government had tried unsuccessfully to cure Vitoxin but the Amarr had made it so it was constantly mutating and hence incurable.

Then Ishukone found the cure. Otro Gariushi's plan was to give it to the Minmatar who, in secret, had been syphoning funds from the Gallente aid packages to build a hidden super capital fleet ready to stomp into Amarr space and reduce their slaved brothers and sisters. The Broker believed that Insorium would also cure him.

The Broker needed the formula for Insorium desperately. Otro Gariushi wouldn't give it to him. Therefore the Broker started his plan. When Tibus Heth, a low-level Caldari worker, captured a Caldari Constructions factory as a symbolic gesture to the plight of the working masses the Broker stepped in. Through his huge wealth and using his information stockpile to blackmail the executive board, the Broker installed Heth as CEO of the mega corp. With the Broker carefully manipulating the politics, the Caldari State was soon under Heth's control. War with the Gallente was looming as Heth had a massive hard-on for them and the Broker was stoking that.

The Gallente dispatched a peace envoy to Ishukone to try and calm things down. The respected Admiral Noir in his Nyx supercarrier was head of the delegation. Only it wasn't Noir, the Broker had already killed him and taken his place using a clone. During the cocktail reception The Broker called Otro Gariushi and demanded access to the Insorium formula. Otro Gariushi told him to jog on. So the Broker, in the guise of Admiral Noir rammed the Ishukone HQ station with the Nyx-class super-carrier killing Otro Gariushi and tens of thousands of innocents. Obviously this kicked off war between the State and Federation.

Despite the death of Otro Gariushi , the Matari got their Insorum and launched a full-scale invasion of the Amarr. They used the Insorium to free the billions of slaves. At the same time, the Gallente border defenses and sensor net had been sabotaged by The Broker. The Caldari launched their own invasion of the Federation getting a Titan into Luminaire and in orbit above Caldari Prime.

During this time CONCORD had been knocked offline thanks to the Matari spanking their main station with a dreadnought fleet thus taking down their command and control network. So they couldn't do anything.

Jamyl II then turns up from nowhere with a Isogen-5 powered Terran superweapon and halts the Matari invasion with a big bang.

CONCORD finally juices their station using a reactor from a dreadnought and orders all Empires to stop. Just stop! Play nice! The Matari invasion pulls back, the Caldari leave the titan above Caldari Prime and everything stops getting 'shooty' in high-sec as CONCORD regains control.

So whilst the main advances into each others territory are stopped, low-sec becomes the battleground for the next.... well, come into low-sec and see. Its still going strong!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SCASSSS - Sunrise

Out on a roam killing Gallente, and we pass this planet, the sun just peaking over the edge.

Eve can be stunning sometimes.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ghost Station - Part 3

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

Part three of four of the Ghost Station horror story...

Ghost Station - Part 3

Nirocque looked in horror at the medical ward as she slowly walked through almost in a daze. All the patients had been killed in their beds. The surgeon bot had obviously been through here, slashing the throats of each. Men, women, young, old. All had died still in their beds. She expected the famous holo-vid actor Acherie Aeleem to suddenly jump out in his most famous persona of 'Doctor Slasher' from the B horror-movie franchise The Blood Rivers of Dodixie. She tried to recall whether they were up to part 8 or 9 now in the sequels. Not that it mattered, it just took her attention from the horrific scene before her.

She approached a window and looked down. There were less people running around now. The surgeon bot was still outside the medical centre looking for more victims. She saw at least another five or six robots and androids stalking the street which was littered with dead bodies.

"I'm guessing there is more to this than a lot of people who didn't pay their bills?" a voice said behind her.

Nirocque spun around to find a man stood there in a hospital gown and bare feet. He was clearly a patient.

"Where did you come from?" she gasped.

"I was in the ion room. What happened here?"

Nirocque realised why he had been spared. The ion room was a heavily shielded room with a stand alone ion projector. It was used on certain rare cancers but the ions used also disrupted all forms of electricity. It would have made him invisible to any of the systems, robots or androids. She beckoned him to the window. He looked out and said nothing.

"Welcome to the robot Apocalypse." she said quietly.

It was at that point she noticed the surgeon bot was no longer there. She pressed against the window trying to see.

"What?" the patient asked.

"The surgery bot. Its responsible for most of this. Its not out there any...." a crash at the bottom of the room cut her off. There at the far end of the ward was the surgeon bot, clumsily forcing its way through the double doors. A bright blue laser-scalpel in each hand.

"Yeah, I think we need to go!" the patient said grabbing Nirocque by the wrist as the android started stomping towards them. They burst through the double doors at the other end and the man pulled Nirocque upstairs.

"Where are we going? You'll trap us both. We need to get out!" she screamed as the doors to the ward burst open and the surgeon bot advanced. The man appeared to ignore her and dragged her up the flight of stairs and down a corridor. The metallic clangs of the surgeon bots foot-falls was closer now. Nirocque knew it was nearly on them. The man dragging her shouldered through one set of doors and then crashed through another. They fell to the floor and skidded into a wall. Nirocque looked back in terror as the surgeon bot entered the small room only feet from them. Suddenly it dropped to the floor lifelessly. She looked at the man confused. He nodded to the black orb sat on a plinth. They were in the Ion Room. The man rose and walked over to the deactivated robot and opened a panel in its head. He removed several circuit boards and wires and tossed them in the corner.

"Who are you? Some kind of soldier?" Nirocque asked looking bewildered at the deactivated robot.

"No, I'm just an engineer." he replied "The names Sikoda by the way, and we need a gurney!"


Haalonen sat sobbing at a junction within the ventilation duct crawlspace. She had escaped the gruesome spa but was out of options. She'd found her first way out of the ventilation ducts twenty minutes ago but had only got as far as peaking through the grill. Her stalker, Ylomo, had either gone crazy or made a very big mistake. Every robot, drone and AI system on the station was trying to kill everyone they could. She had seen so many dead bodies, many mutilated beyond recognition.

Following that she'd found several more exit points from the ventilation system but they all were too risky. Everywhere drones and bots patrolled like they were looking for someone to kill.

She wondered if help would come. Would heavily armed soldiers storm the station and take it back. Or would they decide it was not worth the risk and bring in dreadnoughts to destroy the station. It being deemed infected and needed sterilising?

Also where was Ylomo? Was he somewhere watching the carnage with glee? Was he cackling in maniacal laughter as innocent people were eviscerated by the robots?

She knew one thing. She had to get off this station by herself. Looking down the possible routes leading from her position, she chose one at random and started to crawl.


Ylomo turned off the screen of his datapad. He'd left the cyber club and moved to an old disused databank on deck 22. He had been replaying video clips over the last hour of Haalonen in her apartment. In some she was showering, some she was sleeping. In a couple she'd brought a man back after a night out. Ylomo could only watch them for a few seconds before he became insanely jealous. He generally stuck to the shower videos or where she was sleeping. He could gaze at her face for hours.

He rose to his feet and stretched having become stiff sat like that for so long. He knew he needed to plan his next course of action. The three main threats had been taken care of. Now he needed to find a way to get Haalonen to love him. Of course! He'd asked the central AI of the station to work that out for him. He searched around the room for an active network port and connected his custom datapad to the stations computer. He accessed his Trojan horse he'd implanted and requested the results of his query. Nothing. He was shocked. Even if the AI hadn't understood it should have made some entry in the log. He scratched his long greasy hair and wondered what had gone wrong. He tried for a further 10 minutes but was getting no response. Suddenly the door burst open. Ylomo spun around expecting to see a squad of heavily armed security soldiers there. Instead there were two androids in light pink uniforms. They looked like units that would work in a beauty salon or a spa.

"There you are!" one said "We've been looking everywhere for you!"

Ylomo looked on in shock. The two androids approached and each grabbed a wrist. He cried out in pain.

"We need to get you ready for Haalonen. Cannot have you meeting your lover looking like that!"

"What are you doing?" Ylomo protested as he was easily dragged into the corridor.

"We need to prepare you for Haalonen." the other android replied as they left the service corridor and entered a wide promanade of the station.

The colour in Ylomo vanished leaving him a deathly white. He'd been a fan of Matari horror movies and low-budget Gallente slasher flicks but the scene that confronted him ravaged his senses. All around were dead people. They had been brutally killed, ripped apart. The androids dragged him through the carnage with Ylomo having to jump over arms and legs that had been ripped from their owners. Coils of intestine snaked across the street. His sneakers skidded in pools of blood as he was dragged along.

"Help me...." a voice whispered.

Ylomo spun his head to see a man slumped against the wall. The huge wound across his chest pumping blood into a pool around him. A scream from the opposite direction made Ylomo snap his head 180 degrees. A woman was staggering unsteadily towards them cradling her stomach. She stopped and screamed at the top of her lungs. Suddenly a small spider drone burst from her abdomen and she dropped to the floor. At this point Ylomo threw up over himself.

Over the next twenty minutes Ylomo had plenty of time to realise what had happened. His virus had removed certain fail-safes and rules governing the AI. He needed to eliminate those three people tasked with tracking him down, but in doing so he'd made the AI kill. Moreover, he had taught it that killing was a means to achieve your goals. However he didn't understand why it had gone psychotic.

"Why are you killing all the people?" he sobbed to the spa drone dragging him along.

"So you can be with Haalonen of course?"

"How does killing everyone meet that goal?" he whined.

"An attractive and intelligent woman like her would never chose you. You would be one of the last options as a mate according to our statistical analysis. Therefore the simplest way to ensure she chose you would be to eliminate all possible options and competition. If you are the only two living organisms on the station, she will chose you."

Ylomo was dragged into the beauty salon. After all the death and carnage he'd seen on the way he barely noticed the mutated women in the chairs. He certainly didn't make the connection that the AI had tried to change them into his perfect woman modelling them on the adult video clips he stored in has datapad.

He did notice the pile of dead men in the corner. Stacked on top of each other with various body parts missing. He was numb as the drones placed him in a chair and secured him. They wheeled out a trolley stacked with male body parts. Ylomo started to scream.

"Relax. We show a 84% probability that Haalonen will still reject you when she has no other choice. That is why we are removing the women too. We show a 72% chance she would alter her sexuality if you were the only male and there were still women companions around. Your video collection showed us this. We will now enhance your physical form so that the likelihood of rejection is under 10%."

"Enhance my physical form? How?" Ylomo screamed in terror.

"We have harvested suitable replacement parts from males matching your definition of perfection."

"What definition of perfection?"

The drone pointed to a large monitor which flickered into life. One of Ylomo's favorite skin flicks appeared. The two men servicing the petite girl were huge.

Ylomo was stunned as the drone ripped his trousers off.

"Yes, that little thing must be replaced!" it said as it produced a laser scalpel and reached for his groin. "We were unable to source one the correct size so we made one!"

Ylomo looked confused. The android pointed to a tray next to him. The foot long piece of flesh was obviously three or four male organs cut into sections and sewn together crudely with thick black stitches. His scream was almost inhuman as the android went to work.


Sikoda and Nirocque walked down the wide shopping street pushing the hospital gurney. Every so often a drone or android would rush at them only to collapse in a flash of sparks as it got within 20 metres. On top of the gurney the medicinal ion projector lay, emitting its deadly interference.

"We won't charge you for the extra treatment" Nirocque laughed trying to make light of the situation.

"Insurance covers it so please bill away. I only hope one of these bastards got into their office. I know it sounds bad but one of these drones slicing up the insurance guys would give it a silver lining."

"Thats pretty harsh." Nirocque muttered.

"Sorry." Sikoda apologised "I have an issue with them. That was uncalled for."

"Don't worry about it. Would you believe I've heard worse said about insurance firms being a nurse."

Sikoda chuckled. "Yes I would. I am sure there are worse ways to die than a quick death by rogue robot!"

A large six armed restaurant serving robot came charging at them, a large carving knife in each of its hands. It slumped to the floor before it got near. Sikoda leaned over the ion projector.

"Power cells at 34%. We need to move faster." he said picking up the pace.

"Where are we going?" Nirocque asked.

"There is a workshop on this level. We need to be able to get to the lower levels and we cannot trust the lifts. Unless you think we can carry this with us whilst sprinting down stairs we are going to need something that is more portable and has longer powercells."

Nirocque nodded. He was right. It had taken both of them to lift the very heavy ion transmitter onto the gurney. They might be able to carry it down the emergency stairs but it would be slow going. With the cells depleting fast she didn't want to be stuck defenseless with all these killer machines around.

They entered a side door marked "Maintenance" and pushed the trolley into a side room. It was an engineering workshop with a large bench filled with diagnostic tools and parts. Racks of baskets all around contained various parts, reels of wire and circuit boards. Sikoda locked the door and braced it with a chair. He indicted to Nirocque that he needed to get the ion projector onto the desk. She grabbed one end and they heaved it from the gurney.

"What now?" she asked.

"Well I need some overalls. I cannot face saving us both in a backless medical gown. But first, nurse, you will assist me in performing surgery on a mark 4 medicinal ion projector. Screwdriver!" Sikoda held out a hand like a surgeon who had just asked for a scalpel. Nirocque giggled and passed him a screwdriver from the tray next to her.

"OK, but don't expect me to mop your brow as you work!" she said.


Haalonen was now out of the ventilation system and in a service corridor. She knew there was a shuttle bay a couple of decks down and was searching for an emergency stairwell or maintenance hatch. She turned a corner and was confronted by a small cleaner drone. She paused in terror. It reacted many times faster than her springing up and wrapped its spindly legs around her. She screamed and fell to the floor. However the expected pain did not come. It just held her. Suddenly she heard more approaching. Several of the spider like cleaning bots grabbed her arms and legs. She was immobile but unharmed. Scenarios played in her mind. Every attack she had witnessed showed the robots wanted to kill as fast as possible. This was unusual. She tried to concentrate through the panic racing through her mind. Heavier footsteps approached and Haalonen lifted her neck to see. It was one of the spa drones. Her light pink uniform was splattered with blood.

"Oh there you are! Finally we've found you. Come! Come! Ylomo is waiting for you." it stated.

Haalonen screamed in fear and frustration being unable to move. She heard more footsteps approaching, faster, lighter. Two people skidded around the corner. one was a man wearing overalls carrying something that looked like a floor cleaner with a cone on the end of it. With him was a nurse. The man pointed the contraption at the and pressed a button. The drones all collapsed simultaneously. Seemingly deactivated. The nurse rushed over and helped Haalonen to her feet.

"You're OK!" the nurse sounded surprised.

"I'll explain later." Haalonen said not wanting to tell her saviours this might all be due to her. "I assume you are going for the shuttle bay?"

The man approached holding the contraption.

"Yes. This thing has about 34 more uses so lets go!" Sikoda said leading the way.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Ships of the Hasmijaala Push

Following on from Monday's post, lets look at some of the ships that were very popular on both sides of the conflict over the last few weeks.

The Sniper Corm.
Both sides used this destroyer fit extensively. It is a long-range sniper boat designed to hit from far away. The 150mm railguns loaded with Spike give you a great range for a Destroyer. With my skills I could hit out to 92-98km. The problem was with MWD and two sensor boosters to allow you to target that far you had no tank. A true glass-cannon fit.

7 x 150mm T2 Railguns
MWD and 2 x Sensor boosters
Mag stab and TE (or two mag stags for max DPS)
ACR and two optimal range rigs

The Gunless, Kite Tristan.
This was popular with the Froggies. With speed links in system these things would zip about at high speed and use their drones to attack from range. With Griffin and logi support it was very hard to counter this meta.

No highs.
MWD, long point, MSE.
2 x Drone damage links and an over-drive injector
EM, Kinetic and Thermal Shield rigs.

The Derp Tristan
Forged in the chop-shops of the deepest ghetto's of the State comes the Derp Tristan. A 1.5m ISK sacrificial frigate that has no fucks to give... at all.

2 x T1 75mm rail and a neut.
MWD, Scram and a MSE
DCU, Auxillary Power Core and a Drone Damage Augmenter
Overclocker and EM/Kinetic rigs

Cheap Algos
Whilst mostly used on the Caldari side, this cheap and tanky destroyer was used by both militias.

5 x 75mm T2 rails and a neut.
AB, Scram and web
Reinforced bulkheads, 400 plate, DCU
Structure HP rigs

Kitey Kestrel
A common sniper set up used by both sides. 90km+ range.

4 x light missile
MWD, 2 x sebo with range script, Target painter.
2 x BCU
Rigs can be either tank (not a lot of point) or missile range rigs.

Another version was also common using a medium shield extender and a sensor dampener along with shield rigs. Knocked range down to 60km but added a sensor damp which is always useful.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Battle for Hasmijaala

On Boxing Day I lit a cyno and started jumping my carriers ladened with ships and stuffz to my new home of Hasmijalla. Many jumps later I had moved. It was a lot of work to do on yourself but it had to be done. Once you are in militia you cannot dock in stations that are controlled by the other side. That is why it is so important to defend your home system.

Then the bastard Gallente Militia announced that they were going to take Hasmijaala.

What followed was three weeks of epic spaceship violence as the Gals tried to make Hasmijaala vulnerable and we tried to stop them.

Things really started to kicking off around the 29th December. This period of heavy Frog activity lasted until the 5th of January. Every day they would plex Has up to around ten percent contested, mostly during early EU/AU timezones. I spent too much time zipping around in a fast ship taking pot-shots at Frogs whilst we were outnumbered 5:1 this time. Eventually America would wake and Cal Mil pilots would soon be equal numbers in system. These were the best times. Fleets coming together to smash each other. We'd regularly be running at 100 kills an hour in Has during peak times. The to fleets would engage. One would take loses and go and re-ship. Then it would start again 20 minutes later. The FC's would try and swap their fleet to counter what the other had. eWar and logistics made a massive difference.

As the day got later, then we'd outnumber them and they'd pull out. We'd then plex Has back down to stable. Rinse and repeat for a week!

By the 5th of January it looked liked the Froggies were running out of steam. Activitity dropped off, fights reduced and we didn't see Hasmijaala above 5% for a day or so. This only lasted a few days and then on the 10th there was another push by the Froggies. This was very similar to the last burst with contested level getting up to 10% and over and plenty of fighting to be had. For two days they tried not getting more than into the low teens. January 13th saw activity drop again. Had they ran out of steam in two days? Nope, it was the calm before the storm. January the 14th was fairly active and then on the 15th it exploded. The Gallente made their "Big Final Push". Typically my luck, that was the weekend I had a 40th birthday party where we were all going away Thursday to Saturday. I was taking photo's like this whilst checking the killboards on my mobile!

The Frogs pushed Hasmijaala to nearly 40% contested. Then Templis and allies woke up. Whilst I was laying on a beach getting pissed, there were epic battles raging in Hasmijaala.

Over one three hour period there was over 800 ships destroyed in numerous clashes in the various plex and on gates. Someone has estimated that 100 billion ISK was destroyed in the push for Hasmijaala. 100 billion ISK and the Gallente advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping in the end.

It was attrition warfare. It was brutal. It was nasty. So far in January I've got 190 kills worth 4.4bn ISK and lost 32 ships for 360m ISK. It's been fun! GF Gal Mil, GF!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ghost Station - Part 2

Fiction Friday. I'm away this weekend so no escape pod. Pick something from here if you're not into your Eve-O fiction.

Ghost Station - Part 2

"I want to know why that happened and I want to know yesterday!" Commander Yokikairos growled.

The command centre had been chaos since the forcefield for Hanger 32 had failed just after an InterBus shuttle had docked. Sensor logs showed nine people had been blown out into space. A search and rescue ship was outside the station now trying to recover the bodies. Down in the hanger engineers in EVA suits were studying the shield emitters and power conduits to see if there were any faults. In the command centre his officers were going through the logs and security protocols. So far everything appeared to be as expected.

"Sir. Second diagnostics is clean. There is nothing wrong with the shield's code and we show no intrusion into the system."

The Commander shook his head. "Hanger shields do not turn themselves off for no reason. Run a third diagnostic, then a forth and then a fifth. Keep running them until you can tell me why nine people just died on my station!"

The officer nodded and went back to his console. The Commander took his seat. There were two possibilities. A fault or a deliberate act of sabotage. Given the systems for the shields were so well protected and the potential for huge numbers of deaths should more shields fail, either option was terrifying.

Shortly after the engineering team reported that they could find no faults and no explanation why the shield went down for 20 seconds. To them, the emitters and power systems were operating perfectly. They assured the Commander it must have been a software issue.

Whilst the diagnostics ran, the AI in the core finished its own calculations. It had the answer to the question it had been asked. How could Ylomo make Haalonen be with him. The AI had found a way for them to be together and with the new code Ylomo had inserted to allow certain safety overrides to be ignored, he had made the plan possible. More over, Ylomo had taught the AI things.

In the Command Centre the Commander was staring out of the large viewscreen waiting for the fourth diagnostic to finish. A flash of light made him step back. A large explosion lit up the outside of the station. He stood there stunned for a second.


There was a delay as his officers tried to figure out what had happened. Another flash signaled another explosion.

"Sir, the sentry guns. They have activated and are firing."

"Firing at who?" the Commander barked. There was silence.

"Firing at who Lieutenant?" he asked again.

"Sir, they are firing at everybody sir!"


Haalonen laid out on the hotel bed. She felt numb. All this time she'd thought her ex-partner was a sicko and all along he'd been set up. She was the one that told the police about what she'd found. She had turned him in. She'd had an innocent man sent to a penal colony.

The door buzzer sounded and she walked over hitting the button on the console. The door opened and an android in a pink hotel uniform stood there. Androids were used extensively in the hotel industry. Cheap, reliable and able to do menial tasks that humans would soon get board of.

"Good morning Miss. I am Beautician Unit 457. I am here to escort you to the spa for your treatments."

Haalonen looked at the robot.

"Sorry. There must be some mistake. I have not booked at the spa."

As she turned away the android grabbed her wrist. Haalonen screamed in shock and pain as the robot gripped tightly.

"Now we must get you ready for Ylomo. Come along!" it said cheerfully as it pulled Haalonen into the corridor.

Terror gripped Haalonen. She now knew Ylomo was still on the station and that he was coming for her. The robot whistled cheerfully, or at least played a sound that was whistling as it dragged the kicking and screaming Haalonen down the corridor. Ahead a door opened and a middle-aged man poked his head out to see what the commotion was.

"Help me!" Haalonen screamed "Its gone haywire!"

The slightly overweight man obviously looking to play the hero for the young attractive woman in distress strode up in front of the android and held his hand out.

"Halt!" he commanded in a strong tone. "Deactivate!"

The Android simply grabbed him by the throat with its free hand. There was a sickening crunch as it crushed the mans neck, dropping him to the ground like a rag doll. Haalonen looked back at the man's convulsing body, his neck now no thicker than a clenched fist. She continued to fight the android but it was no use. It was far too strong. It dragged her into the lift and the lift automatically descended. The lift doors opened and the robot dragged Haalonen into the reception of the spa. Nobody was there but Haalonen could hear screaming from the treatment rooms. The android dragged her forward and into the rear rooms. Haalonen froze when she saw the sight before her. In the rows of treatment chairs were several customers and what looked like the human spa employees tied to the chairs. She threw up. The robots obviously had been working on them. The results were horrific. One woman appeared to have had most of her flesh stripped from her and her skin crudely stitched back onto her body. Her arms and legs were stick thin as she twitched in the chair. Nothing more than skin wrapped onto bone. A pile of bloody flesh was heaped next to the chair. Another appeared to have had her legs stretched to surprising lengths. With the way they bent it was clear to Haalonen that the bones in her legs had been shattered allowing them to be stretched a good 30 centimetres. The next woman's breasts had been stuffed to bursting point. They looked like two uneven, lumpy balloons stuck to her chest. Crude stitching with thick black cord showed where she'd been cut open and stitched back up. The remaining victims all had similar 'treatments' and were either unconscious or screaming loudly. They all looked like something out of a horror movie.

"We have been practicing. Analysis of the short video clips the Master enjoys watching has shown us you will need longer legs, increase mammary glands, a reduction in body mass and green eyes to be his perfect mate. We almost have everything prepared for the transmogrification. The eyes are the final piece. However we do need more understanding of how the legs can be extended without distortion to the shape."

Haalonen watched in horror as the woman in the last chair had her eyeballs carefully extracted from her head as she screamed in agony. The two androids holding her down carefully cut the stretched optic nerve and placed the severed eyeballs in a silver dish. Haalonen fainted.


Nirocque watched from the buildings roof. The surgeon bot was now roaming in front of the medical centre. It grabbed a man who was running past and lifted him into the air by his throat. The blue laser scalpel flashed and the droid dropped its victim to the floor already looking for the next. The man lay on the deck screaming, trying to hold his intestines in where the robot had opened his stomach up hip to hip.

A little way down a woman was screaming as she crawled along the pavement, pulling herself along with her fingernails. A small spider droid was attached to her lower leg and was flaying the flesh from her calf. Nirocque had seen these cleaner robots before, but they were meant to scurry around cleaning the streets, not rip the flesh from humans.

It was chaos down there and the 1st year student nurse didn't know what to do. She and her friend had slipped up to the roof to have a smoke when the building went into lock-down mode. At first she thought it was some sort of fire alarm. Then she had seen the machines start to attack people so had stayed where she was. Montilen, her friend and colleague and was also trapped. They were discussing what they should do when a loud hum came from behind. A hovering window cleaning bot was slowly approaching them. Nirocque took a step back.

"Its a window washer!" Montilen laughed. "What is it going to do? Squeegee us to death?"

"I don't know Montilen. Everything appears to be dangerous down there. I think we need to run!"

"Noncense. This thing has no arms or anything to attack us with. We're safest staying up here!"

The drone approached her slowly. Montilen stepped forward and stood defiantly in its path with her hands on her hips. The drone stopped and hovered for a second before spraying her in the face with a liquid. Nirocque couldn't suppress the laugh.

"So you were right, it is going to clean us to death!"

Her expression changed as Montilen turned around. The flesh on her face and neck appeared to be melting. Her mouth was wide open in a silent scream. No sound came out as gore bubbled and foamed from holes already eaten through her throat. She tried to walk but her eyeballs had already dissolved, yellow fluid running from her empty sockers down her melted cheeks and exposed bone. Whatever that window cleaning drone had spayed at her, it certainly was not soapy water. Nirocque was already running away when the drone turned to her. She quickly looked for an escape route. What she saw was disheartening. She was running out of roof and there was no exit. She could hear the drone behind giving chase. Thankfully it was designed for moving up and down quickly, not along. She could outrun it if she had room, but that was something that was running out quickly. Ahead she saw some old metal poles stacked in a pile. They looked like spare building materials. She ran to the pile and grabbed one. Like a javelin she threw it high. The pole arced down over the drone and clattered to the roof behind it. She grabbed another and threw that as the drone closed. This time the pole dropped onto the top of its starboard rotor. There was a smash and a grinding of metal as it span down, crashing into the roof. Its washer tanks splitting open and leaking into a bubbling pool. A few seconds later it fell through the roof as the acid ate through the metal structure. Nirocque walked to the edge and peered down into the medical centre. She now had a way back down.


The main view screen in the command centre flicked between shots of the various levels of the station. On all decks it was carnage. Every automated system, drone or robot was attacking anyone they could find. The camera showed a man crawling away from a lift, his legs missing with a trail of blood back up to the doors that had severed them. Another shot showed a deck almost fully underwater. Bloated corpses floated along the shop lined street before the screen flickered and showed static. The water obviously entering the cameras electronics and shorting them out. Another deck appeared to be completely vented into space.

"Engineering. Can you shut down main power?" the Commander asked.

"Negative sir. All primary and secondary control functions are being routed via the central core. Its in complete control."

"Thats impossible. The safeguards on that AI mean it cannot do this. We must be under attack! The AI has laws to stop it from hurting anyone!"

"Negative sir. There are no external active connections to the core. Its the AI sir, its operating on its own and its safety protocols are offline."

The Commander sat in his chair feeling impotent. His officers at the stations below were working hard to regain control of the station. However, for every minute that passed, dozens were dying.

"Why is it so damn hot in here?" he growled, running his hand through his damp hair. As he brought his hand down he saw that his palm was covered in damp hair. His face drained of colour.

"Engineering. Run a diagnostic on the ventilation system to the Command Centre." he said with urgency.

The room went silent. He stood and went over to the engineering console as the officer furiously typed in commands. A schematic appeared on the screen of the ventilation system. The Commander watched in horror as it highlighted the route back from the command centre down the stations core all the way to the main reactor.

"What is the status of the reactor shielding?" he asked in a resigned voice already knowing the answer.

"Oh my god. Shielding is down sir. Engineering has been flooded with hard radiation and....." the officer stopped as he realised.

Several staff ran for the door and tried to get out. The Commander didn't, he simply watched them. As expected the door was sealed tight.

"So that is that then." he said quietly.


Haalonen started to come around. She carefully opened one eye a slit. She had been placed in one of the salons treatment chairs but she wasn't tied like the others had been. The various androids were milling around, still obviously practicing their 'beauty' surgery on the helpless victims. She noticed a conduit access panel in the corner which led to the ventilation system. An ear-piecing scream erupted from the woman with the shattered legs as one of the droids pulled on her ankle trying to elongate the leg further and also straighten it out. Obviously these were trying to create what they thought was Ylomo's perfect woman. However a computer could not understand attraction or beauty. It simply reviewed the videos on Ylomo's computer and made mathematical assumptions from those.

The androids appeared to be engrossed in stretching the legs of the woman who had now passed out. Quietly Haalonen slipped off the chair and over to the conduit. As she slowly opened the panel door one of the hinges squeaked. The androids all turned and looked at her. Quickly she flung the access open and dived into the crawlspace. Crawling as fast as she could on her hands and knees she sped down the shaft. She looked behind and saw the androids trying to get in all at once. They were not designed to crawl and she was clear, for now.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Patience Soon We'll Be Crip Walkin' in Stations

Ah, if there was ever a need for a (TM) in song lyrics that was it.

Rixx Javix over at Eveoganda revisted the hot-potato of Walking in Stations this week.

As I have said before, most people wanted WiS. CCP had teased us for years and it was something the majority of the player base were looking forward to. Remember this old video that got the fanfest crowd cheering? FFS Blogger, I cannot embed the HD version? WTF? Crappy cam capture below then.

Finally we got Incara.

- One dimly lit room.
- Loss of the hanger and ship spinning.
- Melted graphics cards.
- The NeX store selling $70 monocles.

There was much disquiet. 18 months of development neglecting the more important areas of the game for THIS?

Then it was made much, much worse.

- The leaked email.
- The Greed is Good newsletter.

At this point people went into fever pitch. Rioting nerds, shot monuments, unsubbing. As can be expected in situations like this everyone changed their tune. Suddenly nobody had ever wanted WiS. Yes a lot of the feeling was justified. However a lot of the feeling was also mob mentality. You're offended? Then I'M offended. You know the thing that happened on TV over the weekend. 8 people complained to the watchdog. A few days later a newspaper prints "Uproar over comments on TV show" and suddenly there are 80,000 complaints, 79,992 who never saw the piece originally but read about it. I think we need to take a step back and think about this sensibly. World of Darkness is dead, Eve is no longer a test bed for other projects.

Is it time to relook at WiS? We have a future vision don't we?

We need some limited WiS in my humble opinion. I beleive CCP did some customer research some time ago and found that a portion of people were put off not having an avatar. Avatar game play does not have to be meaningful. How long do you spend docked up spinning your ship? Wouldn't it be better to be down the bar with your corpies ready for when the FC says undock? It will also help CCP. How much clothing have you bought of the NeX? No real point is there when only you see it. I would expect NeX sales would vastly increase with WiS proper. NeX sales increase money for CCP and can act as an ISK sink (people likely to buy PLEX with ISK to convert in Aurum).

What I would like to see CCP devote some resources to:-

Station Bars
A place to chill with people. Yes, if 2000 people in Jita 4-4 all go to the bar Tranquility will melt. Thats why you follow the example of the Celtic Cross on the Wednesday before Fanfest. You limit numbers. Do instanced bars. When one is full another one spawns. All named and numbered so you and your friends can select the one where you plan to meet.

Corp Offices
How awesome could that be. Your corp offices decorated to your own style.

Space Houses
I think CCP are already looking into this in the upcoming POS work. ex-CCP Soundwave talked about these at Fanfest 2012 I think it was. Think houses in Skyrim or LoTRO. Apparently these things increase player retention.

There are a lot of other ways this could go but I think CCP just need to dip a toe in. Yes, I know there are plenty of people out there who don't give a toss about WiS. This is Eve, we all don't want the same thing do we?

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to be an Awesome Fleet Member

I was in a lot of fleets over the weekend. Some had very experienced pilots, some, not so much. Several times I heard over comms people not understanding orders/asking that the FC's meant. This is hardly surprising. I've been fleeting up for six years and I heard some things over the weekend that I'd never heard before! However, as it was clear there were a lot of new-bros in fleet so I thought I'd write a quick guide for new players on Fac War Fleeting. Follow these general rules and your FC will think you are awesome.... may be...

Here is a very quick guide to being a good fleet member for bros who are pretty new to fleet warfare. Generally this is aimed at Faction War pilots.

FC Orders.

You follow FC orders. No arguments. No questions. Yes, sometimes you may think....

....however you do what they say. If you think you can do better then step up (next time not during the fleet!!!) and FC yourself. The only time you ignore the FC is if you are a specialist such as a scout or flying a specialist ship such as eWar or logistics. Then you should have separate standing orders. Its pointless for the five Griffins in the fleet to put all their jammers on the primary and logi shouldn't be locking up any called targets! Fly smart people.

Here are some common things you'll hear your FC say and what YOU should do.

"X up if you are/can....."
Type a 'X' in fleet chat if you meet what the FC asked for. Likely to be "...ready to undock" or something like " a T2 fitted Osprey".

"Fleet align XXX"
Point your ship at the thing he just mentioned! There are several ways to do this. If its on overview like a faction war plex click it and then click align in the selected object window. You can right-click it the thing in space and select align. Some times the FC will broadcast it so you can click there. Important thing is to be facing the right way so you all warp together! Timing may be vital!

"Warp to XXX"
Warp to that location at 0 and hold. See below for faction war plex as they are different and you do not warp at zero to these. If you are warping to a stargate and you think you might have clicked warp and jump by accident, click the "-" button to 'stop' your ship. Of course in warp you'll get a message saying you can't, but it will cancel the jump command.

"Warp to XXX and jump on contact."
Warp to the named stargate and jump through when you land.

"Warp to XXX at nn"
Right-click the object and and select the appropriate "Warp to nn KM". Its amazing how many people end up at random ranges when the FC asked for a set distance. You do it wrong and you may find yourself all alone and in the middle of the hostile fleet whilst your friends are 100km away wondering what you are doing over there!

"Warp to novice/small/medium"
Warp to the appropriate faction war plex. However, when warping to a plex you ALWAYS warp to 10km unless the FC says otherwise. You will hardly ever warp to 0 to a faction war complex. Warping to 0 could get you stuck on the acceleration gate and you'll not be able to get in immediately. Due to the size of the acceleration gate, when you warp to 10km you will land at an effective distance of 0 from the gate. You'll be able to slide in but won't be stuck in the prongs and bounding about for five minutes! The exception is large plex as they don't have a gate.

"Take the Gate" / "Slide the Gate" / "Activate Gate" / "Spam activate"
These all mean the same thing. Click the acceleration gate as you are dropping out of warp and spam activate. When landing there is a slight invulnerability you are granted after dropping out of warp. If you click the gate as you are dropping out of warp and spam this button you have a good chance of entering the plex even if there are hostiles camping it trying to point you.

"Align down the gate"
Select the deadspace pocket beacon and click approach as below. This will point your ship down the acceleration gate and when you activate it everyone will warp together. Remember to click on the gate after aligning so you are ready to activate.

"Hold your Invuln/cloak"
When you warp onto a new grid you get a session change. Just like undocking, if you do nothing you'll be invulnerable for a couple of seconds. Nobody can target you. Whilst you are not cloaked, although some FC's do call it this, you might as well be. Touch nothing! Just wait for the FC to give orders which will usually be an alignment or a primary target.

"Sort by name/range/type"
The FC will be calling targets by a specific field and if you sort your overview like what he says it will be easier for you to find them. For example he might want all the Griffins dead first so will call "The Griffin of Mr So-and-so". If you have your overview sorted by type it should be easy to find the Griffins and the pilot the FC called. Of course they can do it the other way and ask for it to be sorted by name - "Mr So-and-so in the Griffin". Sorting by range is rarer and generally, but not always, when the FC calls "weapons free".

"Primary is....."
Lock this guy and shoot him. Shoot him in the face! He might not be the guy nearest to you. He might not be the guy shooting you. He might not be your Eve Online nemisis. He might not be an easy kill. WE DON'T CARE. YOU SHOOT THE BLOODY PRIMARY AND ONLY THE PRIMARY!

"Secondary is....."
Lock this guy up but don't shoot. You only shoot the primary. After the primary is dead, this asshole is next.

"Tertiary is...."
Lock this guy up as well but don't shoot. You only shoot the primary.

"Free guns" or "Weapons Free"
No target calling. Just pick someone and shoot them! KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!

"Spread points"
The enemy is starting to or should be about to run. If you have a warp scrambler or disruptor you should use it on an enemy. Pick someone within range at random and don't just go for the closest or the guy called primary currently otherwise he'll have 20 points on him and all the others will warp off.

"Set drones to assist....."
Right click your drones group in drone control panel, select assist, click the persons name.

"Recall your drones"
Get them back in the drone bay now, we may be about to warp off and you'll lose them.

"Broadcast for reps if you need them."
The fleet has logistics ships. If the enemy is shooting you and your tank is taking proper damage (not being tickled) click the appropriate button for the tank you are flying.

"Bail" / "Warp away"
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. Generally this should be the only time you flee. When your FC orders you to. Stop warping away if you get yellow boxed by a single ship that is out of range! Don't warp away if you are taking damage. Fight and die like a man (unless your FC has said "warp off if you need to")

"Warp off if you need to"
This is a rarer call but happens. If you are taking significant damage and are not pointed, warp off to something and then warp back.

"Align out"
Select anything far away and align to it so you can warp when told to. The FC MIGHT call bail soon (TM) or he might not. So don't warp away like a sissy. Align as per the order and keep firing assholes!

"XXX is anchor"
This is usually FC. Best way I find is to right-click them in the fleet list and select "add to watch list". Then they are easy to find and you can simply right-click them in the watchlist and select 'Keep at Range - 1km'.

"Prop mods on"
If this needs explaining you really shouldn't be in a fleet for the sake of us all.

Turn on overheat for your weapons (FC may call for prop mods but he'll make that clear). Overheat is usually just for weapons. Be sensible. If your guns or launchers are badly damaged don't burn them out. Fight smart.

"Someone take squad X command"
In order for boosts to be effective you need a complete fleet chain of command. This requires a squad commander. You don't have to physically do anything, don't worry you don't need to give orders, but you need the skill Leadership V in order to give all 10 squad members the boosts. If you have it, jump into that position.

"Battle Comms"
Shut up. Seriously. Stop talking, now and stay quiet! FC, scout and target callers are the only ones that should be opening their pie-hole. BE QUIET.

"Check Check"
Same as the above but for a short bit of information. Stop talking and listen.

"Keep fleet chat clear"
Do not type anything into fleet chat tab for a while. The FC will probably be asking specific people to X up or something.

"X's in Fleet"
No, do not post pictures of your ex-girlfriend in fleet. This means that the person you are supposed to warp to/approach has typed 'XXXXXXXXX' in fleet so you can right click his name and select the appropriate thing. For warps it can be "WWWWWWWWWWWWW".

General Fleet Advice.

Bring What the FC Asks For
If we are flying sniper Kestrels then no, you cannot bring a Drake. The FC wants specific ships so you need to be in them. There may also be a specific fit. The FC's plan might rely on dampening out the enemy logi or alpha'ing them off-field. He might want to kite them or swarm them with high DPS drones. If you bring the wrong fit you are not helping very much. If this is the case the FC will say what fit he wants.

Train for your Doctrines
If your fleets contain sniper Corms often and you cannot use T2 railguns.... WHY? If your fleets regularly call for sniper Kestrels and you cannot fly them.... WHY? These are all quick and easy trains. Look what your corp or alliance flies a lot and make a plan to get the minimum skills for those ships ASAP. You can train "Scrap Metal Reprocessing" to level five after you can fly all the common fleet ships properly fit!

Follow the FC's Orders, Especially Targets
This cannot be overstated enough. Spreading DPS can turn your epic fleet of epicness into salvage for the enemy. Hit the primary in the face, hold on the secondary. Forget whoring. Shoot the bloody primary, align where the FC says, do not run unless the FC calls it. Listen to them! Simple but apparently so hard at the same time -.-

Consider Pre-Broadcasting if 'Called' by the Enemy Fleet
If you are primary you'll be broadcasting for reps anyway as you'll be taking a pounding. However if the entire enemy fleet is yellow boxing you it probably means you have been called secondary or tertiary. If you broadcast then the logi can pre-lock you up ready for when you become primary. ONLY do this if the majority of the enemy fleet suddenly starts yellow boxing you. If only one or two are it means that they are stupid pricks and cannot follow the target callers of their own fleet. Rejoice in their stupidity and supreme levels of fail.... and ignore them! You are much superior to them as you are firing on the primary right? RIGHT???

During an actual battle the FC and the target callers need to talk. 99.9% of the time you do not. Shut up. Unless you are in a fleet critical ship nobody cares you are going down, have gone down, been podded or some nasty person is shooting you. Logistics, yes, the FC needs to know when they are breaking. You in your cheap Kestrel, no. If you really, really need to tell people you died gloriously in a fire simply type "-1 Kestrel" or whatever in fleet chat (unless the FC has asked to keep fleet chat clear ofc). Keep voice comms clear.

There is no I in Fleet.
"Me" and "I" are useless in comms. Many are using a single screen so do not have TS open. They have no idea who you are. Always use your toon name.

There you go. Go join fleet and be awesome!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SCASSSS - Drack. One Man Blob.

I was sat in a novice faction war plex when a war target entered system. I was in a Tristan, he in an Algos. I saw a medium plex open up. He was in warp, I could potentially catch him on the gate.

But a Tristan vs an Algos?


I landed and went for him. I think it surprised him that a T1 frigate was going for his Destroyer. A very close fight later and....

I put "GF" in local and was responded to with...

Erm..... blob? Oooooookay..... I know, I'll fix the killmail for you....


Friday, January 9, 2015

Ghost Station - Part 1

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

In other fiction related news the results of the Pod and Planet Fiction Contest have been announced. I got 1st and 2nd place in the comedy category with "Angels and Sinners" and "Artificial Stupidity" respectively. My serious piece also was placed in joint 3rd in the 8000 Suns category. This is the first time any of my serious entries have been placed! Now is it that I'm getting better or is it that the new judges just have better taste?

Anyway this new one below ran away from me a bit. It got over ten thousand words so I'm made it into bite-sized chunks and four parts. Its a horror story set in the Eve universe.

Ghost Station - Part 1

Gakoho had never known silence like it. If he stopped walking and held his breath there was no sound at all. For someone who had lived his entire life on space stations and starships, it was unprecedented. He was used to constant background noise. The hum of the life-support system, the rumble of the engines, the subtle vibrations of the reactor. Here there was nothing. Just total silence. He stopped holding his breath. The sound of his rapid breathing now echoing loudly around his helmet. He looked around. The rest of the crew were with him, all kitted out in EVA suits and slowly walking down the ruined corridor. Every so often they would pass a breach in the outer hull. Gakoho would stared out into deep space. If he fell out of that hole he'd tumble into the black forever. Of course with the magnetic boots it was impossible, but he had thought about it. He needed to break the silence.

"Cap. We sure this is a good idea. This station is giving me the willies."

"Knock it off Gakoho. Its just a station. Just like hundreds of others we've visited. Only this one is abandoned. Having been wrecked in a massive fireball. With no atmosphere. And no gravity. And no living persons onboard except us. And everyone who was onboard may or may not have been killed nearly 90 years ago by a computer malfunction."

"Geez Cap, you sure do know how to put a guys mind at ease."

The Captain laughed through the comm system.

Gakoho had been serving on the salvage frigate "The Magpie" for nearly a year. Like many who crewed on these run down ships it was more a career of necessity than choice. His wife had ran off with another man. That had hit him hard and he soon lost his job which had also lost him his home. He'd taken a posting as salvage boom operator on the Magpie as a jobless, homeless and desperate man. He had spent the last six months cutting up wrecks of starships in space for their valuable metals and parts. It wasn't a wholly bad life. He had a job, crewmates and a bed. It may have not been much of a life compared to what he had previously, but it was a life none-the-less.

"Talking of living persons, Oinu you there?" the Captains voice echoed over the comms unit addressing The Magpie's pilot.

"Yeah Captain. I'm snug as a bug in a rug in the cockpit, which is the only place on this rust bucket you can be snug. Everything is shut down and running on absolute minimum power. Pretty sure the cops won't spot us unless they run some pretty intense scans on the wreck's interior. However, with everything shut down they could be knocking on the airlock right now and I'd wouldn't know."

The Captain acknowledged Oinu and it went silent again. Gakoho thought about everything that could go wrong. The Police were a real threat. They shouldn't be here and the cops would happily throw all their asses in jail if they were caught for trespassing and theft. Then there was the fact the frigate was running cold. It would take nearly an hour to be fully powered up again. If this wrecked station started to fall apart there would be no speedy escape. So many things to go wrong, so many ways to die.

They had known about this abandoned station for years. They had even discussed a few times how they could attempt to salvage some of it. Each time they had decided it was not worth it. It was on a busy shipping route near a stargate and the authorities would soon show up if they started hacking chunks of tritanium off the hulk with their salvaging drone or boom. Then a few days ago the Captain was approached by an agent. Apparently he worked for a rich collector who specialised in old computers. He'd pay good money for the central computer core of the old station that they were currently on. Apparently there was an urban legend that the station was not just abandoned. There had been an incident. Something about a problem with the stations computer core. There had been deaths and the whole thing had been covered up. The collector wanted the core for his collection so he could regale his guests with colourful stories about its sordid past. Problem was the core was located deep inside the rusting hulk of a station. This required the Magpie to carefully fly into the one of the ruined hangers and manually dock. The crew had then suited up and entered the lifeless station leaving Oinu to man the ship.

Gakoho glanced behind him. Mitokka, the ships doctor looked white. She was fine in a sick bay surrounded by the bleeding and the dying but in a EVA suit in a vacuum she looked lost and scared. The Captain had insisted she'd come in case of injuries. Her protests that she'd not be able to do anything in the vacuum of space had not gotten her anywhere. Then there was Elanoda the ships engineer. He looked most comfortable out of the group having logged months of EVA time over his career. When the ship broke down, Elanoda usually had to go outside to fix something, and the ship broke down a lot. Then there was Sakkatokka the scanning technician along with and Tatsari. They were an item these days. Tatsari didn't have an official title on the ship. Generally it was seen that if something, or regularly someone, needed hitting, Tatsari would hit it.

They finally reached the central computer core room. However for the first time in five hours, they had found a closed door. It took Elanoda almost half an hour to cut through the secure lock on the manual door. It appear to be locked from the inside. As Elanoda and Tatsari prised the door open, there was a rush of escaping gas as the door opened a crack.

"My god there was atmosphere still in there!" Sakkatokka exclaimed.

"Well there isn't now. Come on lets go." growled the Captain. They prised the door open fully and stepped in. The central computer core stood in the centre of the room. A cylindrical pillar six feet high and two feet in diameter. The crew stood silent. There was a body there. A tool like a screwdriver was in his hand and was wedged into the side of the core all the way to the handle. The sealed atmosphere had preserved his corpse from where he had fallen. He was wearing overalls like a station technician. One shoulder appeared to be covered by a rusty brown stain.

"What in Divinities Edge?" Elanoda stated.

"Blood." Mitokka stated. "This man was badly wounded. There are stains on the floor from the door. He was bleeding badly before he got in here."

"Nobody move!" the Captain growled. "Sakkatokka use the holo-recorder. Get that in a hi-res 3D recording. I'm guessing our sponsor will pay a lot more for the core if he has this image to go with it! Sort of backs up the legend that computer problems caused a disaster on this station."

Gakoho stood still and tried to work out what had happened. It didn't look like he was maintaining anything, it looked like he was plunging the tool into the core to do damage. Was that what caused the station to become abandoned. This act of sabotage? Why would someone do that? Or was it like the captain said and this dead man was no saboteur but an injured hero trying to save the station?


Ninety years ago.......

"He was spying on me?" Haalonen asked in shock. She was sat in her bosses office along with a high-level suit from their corporate HQ.

"I'm afraid so. It appears he was infatuated with you. We've got a lot of evidence from the servers here. Some of it is sensitive and I want you to know only I and one of our investigators have seen some small sections. Some of the videos are, well, personal. We will ensure it is all wiped."

Haalonen felt herself turn red. They had told her that hidden cameras had been found not only at her workstation but also in her apartment on the station.

"I cannot believe it." she muttered. "Why?"

"He's a nerd. Most of our best programmers are. You know what they are like. Socially awkward. Scared of approaching the opposite sex. He probably thought you were his girlfriend although you never said more than a polite greeting each day." her boss surmised. "I'm afraid there is more."

Haalonen looked worried. She'd been working for ZiaTech Communications for over a year. They specialised in remote access software and communication encryption using AI algorithms. Cutting edge programming. She's casually known Ylomo. He was slightly younger than her. A total geek who she always smile and said hello to but nothing more. She'd not invited any of this stalking!

"The 'issues' six months ago with Chiku. HR told us about them when we were discussing the current events. We think that was him."

Haalonen broke down in tears. Chiku had been her long term partner. They had lived together on the station. One day six months ago she noticed his datapad screen was on. It wasn't locked nor had it gone to sleep. She had trusted him, but still she couldn't resist. She opened the recent files and found a series of horrific video files. They were so disgusting she had reported him the the authorities. He had been arrested at work. They found more on his office computer and on memory drives hidden in their apartment. She had never seen him again as bail had been refused. The trial had been quick as the evidence was so strong and he'd been sent to an asteroid penal colony for fifteen years. She'd needed some time off work and had explained everything to the head of HR. Haalonen started sobbing uncontrollably.

"He set Chiku up?" she asked.

"We think so. We've found what sounds like similar video files on his drives as well as the access codes to your apartment. He could have easily planted the files on Chiku's computers and slipped in to plant the memory drives in your place. We've informed the authorities to what we've found but it'll take some time for them to investigate."

"Where is Ylomo now?" she asked.

Her boss went quiet for a moment.

"I'm afraid we don't know." he finally admitted.


"Look, he's the best programmer in the system. He can hack anything. He could be hiding out somewhere on the station. He might have left on an InterBus shuttle using a false ID. We're pretty sure he's not dangerous. However, you just need to be careful. We'll find him, its just going to take some time. We've got help coming to review what damage he's already done and to track him down. We've got the best of the best on this. Don't worry, in a few hours we'll know everything. In the mean time we don't want you to go back to your place. I've booked you a nice hotel room. Go, order room service, watch some trashy Gallente Rom-Com and I'll call you when we've got him."


Matari techno music blasted out of the speakers in the pitch black room. Rows of computer terminals streched across the room, each with a person at the keyboard. It was midnight station time and the cyber club was busy. Ylomo leaned over the monitor to block anyones view of the screen. A black hoodie was pulled up over his head to hide his face. On the screen he watched her on the hacked security cameras enter room 1045 at the Jasma Marquis hotel on deck 14. Should he send her some champagne? Some flowers? No, he needed to concentrate on resolving the problems he had. The third man was arriving now. He swapped windows to hanger 32's overview. The shuttle arriving was apparently carrying Ekulela, an ex-hacker turned security consultant. His ex-boss and the corporate investigator were stood on the dock side waiting for the ship to complete its docking procedure. They had ruined everything with Haalonen. Now they were going to try and catch him and put Ylomo in prison for a very long time. Ylomo knew he couldn't let that happen. He'd not survive on an asteroid penal colony. He'd be some gang-bangers bitch from day one. Probably passed around as a favour for a packet of smokes or a contra-band holovid. No, he needed to stop the investigation and make amends with Haalonen. She'd understand. She'd forgive him. When she knew how much he loved her they could live happily ever after. He just needed to stop the investigation. He went to work.

Down in the stations computer core the monitoring routines didn't see the intrusion. It was subtle, it was hidden. The code carefully weaved its way through the various firewalls and security routines. Eventually it reached the central command processor code and started to embed itself. Ylomo now had control over the advanced AI that controlled the entire station. It disabled certain security protocols and rewrote operational rules to allow Ylomo to give commands it would not be able to carry out with the safety protocols in place.

Back in the cyber club Ylomo glanced around nervously. All he could see was other geeks engrossed at their console. He'd half expected a troop of heavily armed guards to come stomping in, his virus in the core detected and traced. When he was sure his intrusion had been unnoticed he started programming it with new routines. He was currently on his own. Having an advanced AI on his side watching his back would be helpful. He'd ask it to help him win Haalonen. It would have some good ideas he was sure, AI's were smarter than humans. At no point did he think that an artificial intelligence designed to run a station would not be much use in giving tips on wooing women. He still embedded the task along with the others into the memory banks.

He glanced at the other window on the screen which showed the security cameras. The shuttle had docked and the passenger door had opened. A few people stepped out. Ylomo noticed Ekulela  amongst them. He'd heard of him before and seen him in news stories. One of New Edens best hackers, reformed and now a security consultant. Apparently he was good, very good. He could ruin everything. The three men, threats to Ylomo, were stood together in the hanger shaking hands and greeting each other. Probably laughing and joking how they were going to catch him and put him in jail so he could never see Haalonen again. Ylomo's lip turned up in a snarl.

"Frack you guys!" he whispered and hit a button.

Down on the docking platform the three men had just finished their introductions and were walking towards the exit. They noticed a number of people stood by the door. One was jabbing the controls furiously.

"Damn things stuck!" one complained as they neared.

"Call control and tell them to over-ride it." another suggested.

Haalonen's boss stopped suddenly. A terrifying possibility hit him. He span around and looked at the giant forcefield covering the entrance to the hanger. The blue shield that held the atmosphere in the hanger pulsed as normal, the large lights in each corner a solid green. The powerful energy barrier allowed ships to pass through whilst keeping to atmosphere of the hanger in. He breathed a sigh of relief. He was getting paranoid. He turned back to the group and opened his mouth to speak but was cut off as a klaxon sounded. Amber warning lights started to strobe around the hanger. Everyone fell silent for a second before chaos erupted. There was a mad rush for the door which would not open. Haalonen's boss slowly turned back to face the hanger forcefield. Red strobes flashed in each corner. He froze, realising it was too late. A tear ran down his cheek two seconds before the forcefield vanished in an instant and the contents of Hanger 32 that were not securely affixed to a surface were flushed into the frozen vacuum of space.

Up in the cyber cafe Ylomo grinned. The fact he'd killed nine innocent people hardly registering. He'd taken out those who wanted to keep him away from Haalonen.

Down in the computer core the AI was processing the data both from Ylomo's malicious code, but also the events occurring in hanger 32. It was learning. It started to work on the question it had been asked. How could Haalonen and Ylomo be together forever. The AI started to process possible scenarios using its vast resource of information on both people and humanity as a whole. It took four point eight seconds to select the plan of action most likely to achieve Ylomo's wishes.

To be continued.....