Friday, October 30, 2015

The Maniacs

Fiction Friday and you know what tomorrow is don't you....

Escape pod here!

The Maniacs.

Senator Sivanne took his seat at the conference table. To be called in at this time of the morning meant there was a serious military emergency. As head of the Senate Military Oversight Committee he assumed this was a big one. His suspicions were confirmed as both political and military heavy-weights entered. The Vice-President made him spring up from his chair to shake his hand. The final man entered, Admiral Adune of the Federal Navy and everyone sat down.

"Sorry to wake you all at this hour but this could not wait and neither could it be done over comms. At 0300 this morning Admiral Breau went rouge. He stole an experimental TCOW and fled in a shuttle."

"Sorry Admiral, a tea cow? Sounds something the Caldari would invent!" the Vice-President asked drawing a small laugh from the people around the table.

"Captain, please." the Admiral said to the uniformed man to his right indicating he should take over.

"A TCOW is a tactical covert-ops weapon. It is a pre-first strike weapon designed to hit the enemy hard before a formal declaration of war is given by either side."

"Sorry Captain, surely if its a weapon designed to be used first that IS the first strike?" Sivanne stated.

"No sir. The TCOW is designed to look like a natural disaster. We've looked at weapons that generate earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and even devastating hurricanes. The idea is to soften an enemy before we launch a first strike or to delay them if we believe they are about to launch a first strike to buy us time."

The Senator nodded and things fell into place. The committee had appointed Admiral Breau as chief overseer of their special weapons development as he was very against any weapon that could be used to target population centres. They had thought he would be the best choice, obviously they were wrong.

"Where is it now?" the Vice-President asked.

"The shuttle jumped into the Odotte system two hours ago. An interceptor followed him through before he used his command codes to turn the gate off."

"You can turn gates off?" Sivanne said in surprise.

"In case of invasion our stargates have failsafes and all at rank Admiral and above have the codes. Its a short-term solution designed to slow an advancing fleet. We hope to have the gate back online in four hours. The problem was the fluid-routers that handle FTL communications go down a few minutes later. The last communication we got was from our interceptor pilot that he had engaged and shot down the Admirals shuttle as it was entering the atmosphere of planet Odotte IV."

"What weapon was aboard?" the Vice-president asked.

"Captain." the Admiral said.

"Its an untested one. New tech. Given the Nation incursions over the last few years we have been working with captured nanite-tech. There are a range of people working for Sansha Kuvakei. Some have little or no mind-control and follow out of free choice, others are completely bereft of free-will, True Slaves. We have been looking at their nanites that affect certain areas of the brain and trying to change them, namely empathy and aggression to make the populace the weapon."

"Layman's terms Captain. What does it do?"

The Captain and Admiral looked sheepish as they started to explain.


The steel axe was raised high and brought down at lightening speed. The young man just stood there for a second before his body peeled in half. Loud slopping noises were made as his internal organs fell from his body cavity and hit the floor.

"Urrrghhhhh!" type noises could be heard around the seated viewers. Essinan struggled to see the screen as Menivare kissed her neck.

"Come on, you're making me miss the best bit!" she hissed quietly. Menivare slumped back into his seat and grabbed his oversized cup of Quafe.

The masked killer was on the move again, his bloody axe swinging in great detail in a high-definition hologram.

"Flayen and Nimestre don't seem to care." Menivare whispered petulantly.

Essinan looked down the almost empty row to their two friends. Menivare was right, Flayen was sat in Nimestre's lap with her back to the screen, Nimestre's hands vanishing up her tight black vest as they kissed passionately.

"Later!" Essinan whispered to Menivare as she turned her attention back to the big screen.

It was their last weeks at Choutchat High School. Most of their exams were finished and they were looking forward to starting colleges or universities in the autumn. Essinan had applied to the University of Poteque on Gallente Prime. An opportunity to escape this backwater planet and escape to civilization. Menivare had applied to the Federal Navy. His bio-screening had shown they may be a possibility his genetics were capsule-compliant. If he got the top grades then he might get a place as a Navy pilot and even turned into a Capsuleer. They had already had the talk. Their six-month romance had been fun, but they were both pragmatic. They knew being solar systems apart was too far. They would have a wild summer and then say their goodbyes.

Essinan watched as the killer stalked the last girl. He'd already cut her leg badly and she was dragging herself along the floor as he approached with his axe. Essinan felt a hand on her knee, slowly snaking up under her skirt. She placed her own hand on Menivare's and guided it back down to a respectable location. She shot him a "not now" look and he rolled his eyes.

Shots rang out making her jump. The heroine had got the dead policemans dropped gun and was pumping the killer with hybrid rounds. Menivare said to herself he wasn't dead and sure enough after the survivor was limping out of the house where most of the killings had happened a big hand came out of the darkness over her face and pulled her screaming back inside. The door slammed shut and the credits started to roll. As the cinema lights came on Flayen and Nimestre quickly adjusted their clothing.

"Come on tiger." Essinan said to Menivare "Buy me dinner and I'll make you get some of that!"

Across town Mrs Catelnau was just putting the fries on to cook as she prepared her dinner. She heard the front door open and glanced at the clock, that would be her husband home. Their son wouldn't be far behind. He entered the kitchen and looked at the table.

"Dinner not ready?" he asked emotionless.

"Not yet darling. I got hung up at the shops ten minutes and...." as she turned he rammed his fist into her stomach. The air was blasted out of her and she fell to the floor gasping like a fish. Her husband reached down and grabbed her by the hair lifting her up. She wanted to scream but there was no air in her lungs. He casually pulled her to the stove where the deep fat frier was bubbling hard. Her eyes went wide in horror as she realised too late what he was doing. Her face was pushed into the boiling oil and her whole body convulsed. After 20 seconds she went limp and he released her, letting her drop to the tiled floor. He picked up the prepared salad that was sitting on the side and sat down at the table. A minute later his teenage son entered with his hoverboard under his arm. He looked down where his mother lay, her face bright red, blistered and peeling.

"You killed mom?" he said with no emotion.

"Yeah. Dinner was late."

"You killed mom?" he repeated.

"Yeah. Dinner. Was. Late." his father said between mouthfuls of salad.

The son walked to the counter behind his father, slid the carving knife from the knife block and raised it high bringing it arcing over his father's shoulder. The steel plunged deep into the man's chest chest. His father slumped forward onto the dining table. A ping from the deep fat frier indicated the fries were ready.

"Timing!" the son said gleefully as he opened the fridge, tugging on the door to move his mother's dead corpse out of the way as he grabbed some sauce to go with the fries.


Senator Sivanne was stood with the rest on the bridge of the Lady of Caille, an Eos Command Ship waiting near the offline stargate.

"Admiral. What is our best-case scenario?" Sivanne asked.

"Well, that would be the interceptor hit the shuttle on one side and sent it into an uncontrolled spin into the atmosphere. The weapons shell is tough, but not indestructible. Hopefully the whole thing burnt up on re-entry."

The Senator nodded. "Lets hope so. However what is the likely scenario in your opinion?"

"The canister survived and broke open as it crashed. Anyone going near it within the first few hours would be infected."

"OK, one last one, what is the worst case you can imagine."

The Admiral paused.

"The ship survived re-entry, just. As it plummeted through the lower atmosphere the increased air pressure combined with speed caused the shuttle to break apart. As soon as the containment on the warp drive failed the ship would explode. A warp core going critical would crack open the case but the nanites may survive inside. If this all breaks apart over a populated area anyone outside would be infected. Hundreds or thousands of calm people who would kill rather than roll their eyes. Anyone going out after the nanites fell are likely to experiencing other effects. Namely rage and psychotic tendencies. Those who stay inside are likely to find themselves unaffected but surrounded by homicidal maniacs.

The Senator took it all in and then guessed at the probability of the worse-case scenario. Given the size of the planet it was highly unlikely.


Essinan chewed on her burger and looked at the screen above the bar. Most people were watching it. A meteor or small asteroid had burnt up directly above the town and someone with a camera had captured the light show. It was fairly spectacular. Pity they had been stuck inside the mall at the time. Menivare and Nimestre were discussing sport with Flayen listening intently. The news program moved on to some report about a malfunction of the stargate meaning not only travel being disrupted but access to the wider GalNet being down. It was a busy day for the news on a planet that was usually so boring Essinan thought.

As the group finished their meal Nimestre asked where they were heading to next. Flayen immediately answered with the park. It was no surprise to Essinan, she knew Flayen very well and after what she'd seen in the cinema she knew he would be keen to get Nimestre somewhere dark and secluded. It would also mean she'd be fighting off Menivare. However it was a warm night and there was always the chance of more meteors. They all agreed and paid the bill and left the mall via the underground carpark in Nimestre's old battered car.

"Whats with all cops?" Nimestre asked allowed as they reached the elevated road way. Essinan looked out of the window. From their higher position she could see a number of blue flashing lights.

"Probably A-holes all thinking every bang is a meteor impacting in their garden!" Menivare said dismissively. 

Essinan continued to gaze out of the window at a distant flashing light wondering what was going on.

Over on Hueromont street Officer Roysen entered through the open front door. His gun drawn and held in both hands but lowered.

"Hello? Police!" he shouted. Silence.

"Shit." he whispered to himself. The town had gone nuts and emergency calls were so high they'd split partners up sending them out on their own. A call had been made that screams had been heard from this address. He continued into the house.

"Police! Identify yourselves!"

Still silence. He didn't even have a drone to back him up. At least he could have sent it in to see what was inside. They had already all been checked out by the time he got on duty. He edged to the doorway in front of him and heard a humming. A tune. He poked his head around the door. A woman was at a large wooden table taking flowers from a wicker basket and arranging them in a vase whilst humming to herself. A man lay on the floor near by. Training the gun on the woman he entered.

"Don't move! Police!"

She just continued to arrange the flowers. Officer Roysen saw the small gardening fork embedded in the man's neck. He was very dead. On the sofa was a young boy, probably eight or nine. A large pair of scissors jutted from his right eye socket.

"What happened here?" he shouted.

"Oh this?" the woman said as if she wasn't particularly bothered. "He had the Mindclash on. I hate that Caldari nonsense. So I killed him."

Officer Roysen stared open mouthed.

"What about the kid?" he hissed.

"Oh little Bique? Yeah he wouldn't stop screaming so I had to end him too."

Finally the woman turned. Early 40's and wearing a summer dress splattered with blood.

"I had only been gardening outside to pick some flowers." she said advancing. Roysen eyed the large knife she held at her side that she had been using to trim the flower stems.

"Stop right there or I'll shoot!" he said sternly. She advanced.

"Freeze lady!"

Suddenly she broke into a sprint raising the knife.

Five shots rang out.


"A bomb? You want the Federal Navy to drop a bomb on a Federation town?" the Senator asked in disbelief.

"An EMP device. Casualties would be minimal. Those with cybernetic implants sustaining them, anyone in surgery at the time, some traffic collisions. However it would fry the nanites." the Admiral replied looking over the holographic representation of the town. The fluid routers in the gates had come back online and FTL communications were back. The gates were now generating the wormhole connection and in a matter of minutes they would be able to jump in. A simple glance at the news coming through the gate had confirmed the worst fears had been realised. A small town in the northern hemisphere of planet two had been infected with the modified Sansha nanites.

"And how do we explain that? A Hound Class stealth bomber was lost and thought it was New Caldari!" the Senator bellowed.

The Admiral remain quiet looking at the damage projects on the hologram.

"Solar flare." he finally answered.

"Really? Thats the best we can come up with. A solar flare. People aren't stupid!" Sivanne cried.

"Yes they are." the Admiral flashed him a look which indicated the discussion was over. He picked up his datapad and spoke into it. "Bridge, as soon as we're in system order the carrier to launch the bomber and get them to warp immediately to the co-ordinates and await orders. Also I want our 'other' frigate on remote and in space and ready."

The Admiral put the datapad down and turned to the Senator.

"So who is calling President Roden for the Executive Order?" he asked.


Essinan pulled Menivare's roaming hands out from under her skirt. He gave her the puppy dog eyes. She rolled her own.

"After Prom, I promise." she said.

Menivare looked over his shoulder at the bush that separated the two couples. The noises from the other side left them in no doubt that Flayen and Nimestre were getting it on. Sighs and moans of passion drifted in the still evening night. Menivare looked back to her with pleading eyes. She pulled him in close for a deep kiss guiding his hands up her t-shirt hoping that would satisfy him for now.

The scream was earsplitting. A duet of agony and terror. Menivare and Essinan jumped to their feet and ran around the hedge. Essinan slammed into the back of Menivare who had stopped dead. She looked around him and cried out. There was Nimestre semi naked on top of Flayen . A strange man had plunged a long metal spike into Nimestre's back and clearly it had penetrated them both. The man twisted the rod mercilessly as the two teenagers screamed. Blood spraying from both their mouths.

"Nearly there and we'll have peace and quiet!" the man said cheerfully. "Wait... you two! Were you about to make noise? You were weren't you!"

Menivare took a step back. The man heaved the metal pole out of the now still bodies of Nimestre and Flayen. The teenagers turned and ran.

They had entered the vast park through a side gate to a secluded and quiet area. They were now sprinting to the well lit commercial side. They knew there would still be people there at this time. Late night dog walkers, lovers having a stroll after a romantic meal. Turning a corner in the path they skidding to a halt. A young woman was sat on a prone mad. She held a large rock in both hands and was lifting it high above her head and slamming it back down. His head was gone. A flat mess of crushed skull and brains. However she didn't stop. Menivare grabbed Essinan's hand and pulled her along. They rounded a wall into the plaza. Everywhere people were either fighting or laying still.

"The towns gone mad!" Menivare gasped. A small group of boys were busy kicking an old lady on the ground. One snapped his head around and looked directly at them. The others then turned their own heads.

"We cannot out run them all." Menivare said out of breath as they turned and slowly started to walk towards them. Essinan was about to say something when Menivare punched her swiftly in the stomach. She fell to the floor gasping.

"Sorry! Pretty sure they'll take a probe piece of ass over a sprinting jock!" he sneered and took off.

Essinan lay on the cold ground gasping as the boys approached, ignoring the fleeing Menivare. His rapid footfalls crunching on the gravel as he escaped.

"Back of boys, I'm first!" the bigger boy said producing a flick-knife. The blade sprang open with a snap.


Menivare leaned against a tree in the darkness. The green of the Gallente nebular gave some light to see the park by. He was sure he was alone. Yeah, he had to sacrifice his girlfriend but he could get another one. In fact he could get one now. The woman who was bashing that man's brains in, she was alone. He briskly walked around the edge of the park and back to where they had passed her. He crept close and peered over the bush. The body was there but the girl was gone. Pity, he thought taking her by force would have been fun. Anyway there may be more about. The blow to the back of the head knocked him to the ground. For a split second the small number of modified nanites that had gotten into his brain released their control. He was confused as he opened his eyes. Essinan! What had he done! Before he could answer that that grinning girl landed on top of him smiling wildly holding her rock high.

He screamed as it crashed into his head.

Back at the plaza Essinan struggled as the group held her down. Most of her clothing had been cut away. Several times they had cut her as she struggled and blood ran down her arms and legs. The bigger boy grabbed the material of her bra strap and flashed the knife in front of her face.

"Unless you want me to cut a tit off you better keep still for this next bit or...."

The bang made him stop dead. The boys parted as the police officer approached. His gun still pointing in the air.

"What do we have here?" he said with a grin. The boys looked scared.

"Oh don't stop on my account boys. Get the bitch naked, but I go first!" he said with a snarl.

The boys fearful expression gave way to wide grins. They turned back to Essinan.

The light was blinding. It illuminated the entire sky. People cried out in pain, dropping to their knees and holding their heads. Dozens of screams echoing from every direction. Then it was dark. Pitch dark. The pale green of the nebula and the faint moon providing the only illumination. No lights, no vehicles, nothing. The boys looked at each other confused.

"Freeze!" the cop shouted pointing his gun at the older boy with the knife. The boy dropped the weapon as his friends darted in all directions. He too turned tail and ran hoping that the policeman would not shoot a fleeing suspect. The officer knelt down by Essinan.

"Are you OK miss?" he asked concerned.

She rubbed her head wondering why of all the injuries she had the headache that appeared with the massive flash would be the worse.

"I'm OK... but you were...." he voice trailed off.

"Look I don't know what just happened there. All I know we need to get to a hospital. You need attention and I want a brain scan and some answers.


The Senator and the Admiral watched the large dot of light on the planet flare up and die.

"So it's over?" the Senator said.

"Almost. The solar flare can be explained. The hundreds of murders cannot. Anyone who was outside this night there will have been affected at some level. All depends on their exposure and their brain chemistry. Some will have murdered, some will have done other things nearly as bad. Some will have just have been in a bad mood. People will want answers."

"How in Divinity's Edge can we do that."

"We blame Sansha's Nation!" he replied.

The Senator looked at him.

"Wait a minute. You said ready the two frigates. We only needed one. That second one was a Nation ship wasn't it?"

The Admiral smiled.

"It was a captured frigate from an incursion a few months ago. We put it in a low orbit near the city when the EMP went off. It crashed during the lightshow. Local law enforcement will find it in the morning I'm sure. With nobody on board they will assume it went down earlier that night and the meteor wasn't what they thought. The Sansha will be blamed for what happened and everyone will thank the stars that a freak solar flare saved them all."

The Senator shook his head at how easy the lies would be. They had gotten away with it.


On the outskirts of the city the Succubus lay in a field in two halves, smoking. Partly from the crash and partly from the explosives planted to vapourise the Federation tech that was remote controlling it. Any investigation would conclude that it was a standard Sansha frigate and the crew had taken the ejection pod shortly before the crash. The Navy had thought of everything, other than running a bio-scanner over the frigate when they salvaged it from the engagement. It had been depressurised so they had not seen the point. None of the crew had survived.

In the silence there was a scraping sound. A sheet of charred metal wobbled and fell. A pale grey hand reaching from a dark hidden compartment. True Slave 749003 was free at last. He had work to do.

The end

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

BB68 - My Cat's Bed aka Eve Online PC!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 68th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

This is my Rig, There are Many Like it...
What do you play Eve on? I'll show you mine if you show me yours! Are you pew-pewing on a laptop? Plotting universal domination on a 12 monitor set up? Mining away on a 50" TV? Is your set up located where your other half can speak to you or do you lock yourself away for hours in your Eve themed shed? How do you play your important internet spaceships?

Banter on!


My PC has many uses including a nice warm bed for Evie the cat.

However I prefer to use it for important internet spaceships.

You'll notice if you look hard most of the front of the tower has been pushed in. Because of Falcon cats. You'll also note that 6 months after I transported them from Iceland to the middle of the desert, my Rixx Javix posters are still not mounted on the wall because of reasons. They do hide the boxed PS3 though that I bought for Dust514 and then didn't like it.


On that table I also have my Eve stuffz including reading material on hand for references. The Empyrean Age, Templar One and Eve Source. "But where is The Burning Life" I hear you say. It is in one of the above photos and is serving an important part of my Eve Online life. Can you see it?

The PC is a Arabian Mau* modified Cooler Master nVidia case. Graphics is a Gigabyte GTX 760 2gb. CPU i5-3450 running at 3.5GHz. 8gb RAM. Nothing special really. Monitors have been added one at a time so running two (LG and Samsung) 24" widescreens (both 1920x1080) with a LG super-wide 2560x1080 in the middle. 

The Eve Probe screensaver looks good on them!

It can run 4 clients in max settings but I'm usually only running Drackarn on the middle one, zKillboard on the left (to check potential targets loss mails) and my digital shrine to Sindel on the right.

*That's the breed of Evie the cat who has battered the case!
** The Burning Life is under the centre monitor as the stand was too low compared to the others.
*** Before someone says it, yes, the electrical extensions are not ideal but housing here tends to have minimal wall sockets and anyway, everything is made of marble and concrete so nothing to catch fire!
**** Of course I don't have a digital shrine to Sin (other than the one I just made for this post). However, I just spent ages searching the web and Twitter for suitable images and then took the time put it together. So... yeah.... :s

Monday, October 26, 2015

Eve Blog Banter 68 - This is My Rig.

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 68th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

This is my Rig, There are Many Like it...
What do you play Eve on? I'll show you mine if you show me yours! Are you pew-pewing on a laptop? Plotting universal domination on a 12 monitor set up? Mining away on a 50" TV? Is your set up located where your other half can speak to you or do you lock yourself away for hours in your Eve themed shed? How do you play your important internet spaceships?

Banter on!


The Hermit Cave - The Eve Hermit
@tgl3 cannot be arse to blog but Tweeted a photo :S
Go Fund Me - Eveoganda
Get yer rigs oot - Notes from New Eden
My Rig - Morphisat's Blog
Its not Much, But its Mine - Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
Rig Check - The Ancient Gaming Noob
Show me yours and I'll show you mine - Absence of Substance
The Cat's Bed aka The Eve Gaming PC - SCAS
Flying the Deadly Skies on Ductape and a Prayer - A CARBON Based Life
If I show you my rig, will you show me yours? - CrazyKinux's Musing
BB68 - Back In The Saddle? - Diaries of a Space Noob
TECH/RIGPORN!!!!!!!!!!!!! - The Ramblings Of An Eve-Radio DJ

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Raid - The Conclusion

Friday fiction! Escape pod here!

The Raid - The Conclusion

Raysere stood looking down at the body of Draclira. Her white lab coat was soaked in blood. The lifeless eyes stared up at him, her mouth frozen in a silent scream. His crew stood back at a respectable distance. There had been rumors about the High Priest and the Chief Bleeder on the ship. The distance they made was a combination of out of respect and fear on how he would react.

He squatted down and ran a hand over her eyes closing them. He then whispered a prayer for the dead. She had been a true believer and his lover. Finally he stood and looked around at the mostly empty alcoves. Only the ones at the far end were occupied. They still contained the bodies of the first ones to be bled and were already dead. Grey bodies of Minmatars who had been completely drained of blood and left by the others.

"Any sign of the others?" he asked not addressing anyone in particular.

"No sir. We assume they made their way back to the Matari ship. This side of the ship is deserted, everyone is fighting the fires on the other side sir. Even the ones in the slave pens are gone. Someone took out the guards and let them out."

The saboteur had done an excellent job against them. Disabling the warp drive, destroying the primary and backup diagnostic terminals and disabling the fire suppression systems before torching sector 22. He couldn't destroy the captured Matari vessel, he needed it just in case they had to abandon their own ship. Now it was infested by those Matari sub-humans again.

"Chief Ezion. Form a detail with four other good men. Go back to the Mammoth and make sure we have control."

"Sir, just five of us aren't going to be able to recapture over 100 Matari...."

"Did I say anything about capture?" the Captain hissed. "This mission is BoB'd. Head over there, kill them all if you have to and ensure we have control of the ship. The rest of you either fight the fires or bring me the head of that damn saboteur!" he snapped.

The men quickly dispersed leaving him looking down at his ex-lover. He was about to leave when he noticed her data-badge. A clip on device she wore to monitor their captives. It also contained a small camera. He pulled it from her coat and linked it to his data pad. He watched silently the scene unfolding. He listened and then rewound the recording, playing a section back at a higher volume. He could hear one of the Matari speaking.

"...killed my loving husband, sold my son to slavery and given my young daughter to your twisted Captain....."
He sped it on again, fast forwarding where he heard her cry out and then fall to the floor. The camera now only showed the deck plates and a pair of Matari boots.

"Where is Aellike?"
"The Captain had her sent to his quarters. Only the Elders know what he has done to her!"

The Captain smiled and briskly turned to the door.


Chief Ezion stood by airlock four which linked to the captured Mammoth class hauler. It had taken too long to get ready. The small armoury nearest to the entrance to the Matari ship was found to be empty. The cowards in his crew had obviously armed themselves hearing there was a saboteur on-board. He had been worried the Matari had taken the weapons but he's checked the logs of the secure locker and one of his security staff had opened it and then closed it again a minute later with his hand-print so all was well.

"OK men, we're dealing with some terrified Matari refugees. They'll be cowering somewhere. Hopefully together so we can seal them in then cut life support. The only issue I can see is if they rush us, so we'll stick to choke-points and make sure they can't. Ready?"

The men nodded and confirmed their readiness. Each carried a laser carbine. An excellent weapon for fighting in a starship. It was a good close-quarters weapon and as a solid-state laser it was devastating against flesh. It was almost useless against armour meaning on the battlefield it was a poor choice, but in a pressurised can in space, it was ideal as it would be almost impossible to puncture the hull.

The team headed to the cargo bays assuming that was where the passengers and crew had gone to hide. Chief Ezion stayed towards the middle of the group as they advanced, weapons ready. Ahead they saw the closed door of cargo bay 2. The corridor was wide here to allow crates to be moved betweens the different bays. Various small shipping containers were lined up against the high walls. Ezion wondered why they had stacked cargo containers here and not in the hold.

"Pity we didn't know in advance they were heading back here Chief." one of his men commented. "This would make a great spot for an am...."

The security officer never finished his sentence. A bright red laser bolt shot down from upon high. His head exploded in a flash of super-heated blood, flesh and bone.

Another cried out, finishing the sentence his dead crewmate didn't.


Within seconds it was over. A sudden dazzling light show of bright red laser light and then the corridor was plunged into its dim flickering lights again. Ezion lay on the cold deck plate gasping, he felt his life slipping away. From where he'd fallen he could see between two of the larger crates. In the gap the body of Security Officer Nathrim was slumped against the wall, his right hand missing.

"So that's how they got the weapons." Ezion mused as a hulking Brutor rolled him onto his back with a boot. Ezion looked up at the sneering face of the Matari man which was then obscured by the muzzle of a laser-carbine.

A flash of light and it was over.


Hakar peaked around the corner. It looked to be clear. He advanced slowly towards the emergency stairwell. He hoped the route to the Captain's quarters would be clear with everyone fighting the fires he's started. Getting a starship to burn was not easy. For obvious reasons they made as much as possible from fireproof materials. However somethings could not be helped and too much reliance was placed on the high-tech fire suppression system. By disabling that in certain areas he had been able to create an excellent distraction.


Hakar froze at the sound of his daughters voice over the loud speakers.

"I hope I have your attention now you Matari dog!" a man's voice replaced his daughters.

"I have your little girl here. I will do things to her that would make Court Chamberlain Karsoth feel sick!" referring to the disgraced pervert who headed the empire for so many years. "Undo what you have done to the warp drive and the fire suppression systems. Return to the Mammoth and decouple. Once I have confirmed that is done I'll stick your daughter in an escape pod and you can scoop her and be on your way. We'll call it even."

Hakar powered up the stairs. He knew the Blood Raider had no interest in that deal. He'd destroy the unarmed Mammoth as soon as it was clear and keep his daughter for..." he tried not to think of what would happen as he landed with both feet on the stairwell landing. He stood to the side of the door and hit the open button getting the pistol ready. Nothing happened. He hit the button again. Still nothing. The system was powered and the door didn't appeared locked. It just wouldn't open. He moved to the middle and inspected the seal. He could see the discolouration on this side. It was welded shut from the inside.

"I'm not seeing my warp drive online. May be I should start slicing?" the Captains voice echoed through the speakers.

Hakar sprinted back down the stairs. He'd passed a maintenance locker a minute ago on the deck below. His heart was pounding in his ears as he ran.

"I'm pretty sure you have had chance to reach a terminal by now." Raysere said as if he was talking to a naughty child. Hakar burst into the maintenance room. There was a terminal there. However he knew if he did as was asked they would all die. The crew busy fighting the fires would come for him and with the warp drive active they no longer had a need for the Mammoth.

"OK, lets see how you feel after I've cut her pretty face off."

Hakar froze as he reached for a plasma torch. The scream was ear splitting. A high-pitched wail of agony. He dropped to his knees sobbing as the sound assaulted him. He didn't believe the Captain would follow through. He thought the Captain would keep her unharmed as a bargaining chip for his own life. He rose to his feet and grabbed the torch, tears streaming from his eyes. The screaming stopped abruptly.

"You might want to check channel 12" the Captain laughed through the speakers.

He knew he shouldn't but he couldn't stop himself. He walked over to the terminal and pressed a few buttons. The sight made him heave. The young face was bloodied muscle and teeth. The eyes stared forward, she'd passed out thought the pain but with her eyelids gone there was nothing to hide them. Brown. The eyes were brown. His daughters were green. The hair wasn't right either. He looked more carefully. With such wounds it was difficult to tell but the victim was older. He ran back to the stairs.

"She's still alive Daddy, just. If you undo what you have done then I'll throw in her detached face and an advanced medikit into the escape pod. You can return her to the way she was. But you'd better hurry, the flesh is dying."

Hakar reached the door and thumbed the switch on the plasma torch. The blue flame roared and then spat as he placed it between the two halves of the door.


Raysere checked the console in his quarters. The warp drive was still offline. This man wasn't taking the bait. He looked behind him. The daughter was in the corner sobbing, the remaining two slaves each side of her. He'd sacrificed the older one of the three he kept hoping to force the father to cooperate. It didn't look like his gamble was paying off. He stormed up to the young girl and grabbed her by the front of her t-shirt.

"WHO IS HE?" he screamed in her face "WHO IS YOUR FATHER!"

She looked him in the eye. She was no longer crying. The fear in his eye's giving her all the confidence she needed.

"To an Amarrian dog like you? Well, he is death. He is nemesis. He is justice." she sneered.

The Captain roughly backhanded her across the face and she screamed as she was knocked back.

"Well he's not getting in here any time soon with the doors welded so I'll show you what a real nemesis is!" he growled. He grabbed her t-shirt and ripped it from her before throwing her on the bed.

"Sounds like I'm going to have to kill daddy dearest." There was a clunk as he dropped his pants "But we've got plenty of time to have some fun! Ready to become a woman?" he snarled.

She screamed as he pulled at her jeans. She fought but he was too strong. He'd just got her belt unclasped and was trying to pull them down when he heard the door to his quarters hiss open. He turned, unbelieving that anyone could get in. In the doorway he saw him, a Matari man holding a laser pistol that glinting in the light. He looked down at his feet. His own pistol was in its holster which was now pooled around his ankles. He looked back at the Matari man and then down the crying, half-dressed girl below him with the bloodied lip from where he struck her. He swallowed hard. He had been caught with his pants down, literally.


"How are you doing here?" First Officer Hooran asked the man with the portable fire suppression gear as he sprayed white gas at the flames.

"OK sir, we're not really making any head-way but we are holding the fire back. The fire suppression in the centre of the sector is completely offline, out here on the edge it is intermittent. Whatever the intruder did, he didn't do it properly."

Hooran watched as the fire rolled forward and the team beat it back again and again. The fire suppression system helping every now and again. It wasn't totally disabled and the system in this area occasionally activated but only for a few seconds. Whoever that Matari intruder was he was both a genius and an idiot. You needed brains to be able to hack and disable the fire suppression system on a starship, but he was relying on the crew to stop it going out of control and killing everyone on board. It was a stupid risk and....

"Everyone, fall back to Sector 21!" he suddenly shouted.

The men looked at him in shock.

"But sir, we have the fire contained. If we pull back..."

"That is an order!"

The men started to pull back and immediately the fire advanced. The retreating men looked puzzled as their first officer stood where he was, facing down the approaching flames. Just as the flames were about to cross sectors the fire suppression system activated. White gases bellowed down from the ceiling beating the flames back. Then it cut off suddenly. It wasn't poorly hacked, he'd partially disabled it. Just enough to keep the fire from engulfing the ship and to make them think they were keeping it back themselves. A distraction. Hooran turned and ran to the bridge.

It took less than three minutes for him to burst onto the con of the cruiser. He hated being right. Everyone was dead. Slumped at their console, executed where they sat. A horrific sight awaited him at the front. The captain had been nailed to the black viewscreen with his arms outstretched. The screen itself sparked and hissed through the cracks. The captain was gagged and wore a blindfold. A blinking datapad was hung around his neck.

Hooran cautiously approached. He took the datapad. He felt a sudden resistance that gave as soon as he encountered it. The Captain woke suddenly, screaming behind his gag, he wasn't dead. Hooran noticed the wire coming out of the back of the datapad which had caused the resistance. There was also a faint hissing now. He realised what was happening and he moved fast, twisting away and leaping over a console to shield himself. It wasn't as much as a blast as a whoosh. The unmistakable blue flame of raw plasma lit up the room roaring over the top of the console he was hid behind. Then it was quiet. He slowly poked his head over the console. The Captain was still handing by the metal rods through his hands, however the blast had torn the lower part of his body apart. His torso twitched and his legs were either side of the room. Coils of intestine pooled below him making a wet slapping noise as more fell.

The First Officer stood their in shock. Almost on autopilot he pressed a blinking button in front of him indicating a priority message from their escort ships.


As if in a trance Hooran walked over to the weapons console and looked down. The two modified energy neutralisers the ship carried were firing on their escort frigates. He deactivated the weapons and took one last look around the carnage. For no reason other than morbid curiosity his mind then wandered. It had to have been a plasma torch and been turned into a bomb. So where did he hide it on the Captain? He would have seen it. He then looked at the damage and realised where it had been inserted.

"Oh my....." he said out aloud feeling a little queasy.


The Gallente coffee was strong and sweet. Hakar and Waninna sat at the small table at the street cafe. They had a good view of Aellike across the concourse wandering through the boutique. Thankfully she had gotten over the ordeal with the Raiders quickly.

"So consultancy?" Waninna asked.

"Yes, simply a desk job." Hakar replied sheepishly "After the debriefing they contacted the Republic Fleet and were able to pull my old record. Not sure they believed what everyone told them. I guess those idiots at my old HQ felt they needed to keep the Gallente paymasters happy."

"But you said....."

"I know. When I did my 10 in the special forces I was out and a civilian, but we are now refugees. This is an opportunity and pays well with no risk. Just me telling these soft Gallente how to really fight." he laughed. "Look, if it bothers you that much I can find anything else."

"Like what?" she sighed, already resigned to the fact they had little choice.

"Well we are now in the land of the free and liberated. I heard that there is a special adults club near here. With my new found skills of inserting...."

Waninna held up a hand to stop him.

"If it means I never have to hear about where you stuck that plasma torch again, you can work on the frontline for all I care." she replied spluttering her coffee.

They both laughed as Aellike returned with her purchase.

The end.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Pod and Planet Fiction Contest is On!

Its that time of year again. Telegram Sam has announced that the 2015 Pod and Planet Fiction Contest is live.

I've still got 3 billion ISK from last years prizes and the total pool this year is now over 50bn ISK!

As normal there are the three categories. 8000 Suns for canon-following fiction, A Day in the Life which relaxes the canon requirements for stories about ourselves and corps/alliances. Last but by no means least is the Things That Make You Swear and Curse comedy category where all (lore) bets are off. Whilst I really enjoy writing lore-based canon fiction I never seem to do very well. The best I've ever done was "The Wreck" which came in third place last year.

However I have had more success with my comedy entries. Its a bit of a funny one (pun intended) that my serious works don't do too well but my funny ones do. Oh well, an artist is never appreciated whilst he's still alive right? Right?

Well my past winners in the comedy category were The Briefing which won in 2013 and then in 2014 Angels and Sinners won and Artificial Stupidity took second place. Personally I thought Artificial Stupidity was the more funny of the two. I don't know, may be the Rixx Javix/Tuskers joke won it for the first one.

This year I have on draft I've been saving since the start of the year. Other than that I don't know. I have lots of ideas I note down when I think of a story line. Better see what's there so I can fail miserably at any sort of serious entries again.

Entries close mid-November so if you're going to have a go, better dip your nib in the ink soon!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Want to Buy Some of My Brain?

So the T2 torches and pitchforks are out in force on the Eve-O forums after the last Dev Blog! 

Unless you have been living under a chunk of raw veldspar the last few days you might have heard CCP are looking into allowing players to buy and sell skill points. It would work like this (these are the initial ideas and everything is subject to change):-
  • You buy a special container. Likely this will be on the NEX for Aurum but you'll probably find people selling them for ISK on the open market too.
  • You download half a million skill points or so from a character into the thing. Then you can stick it on the market.
  • A player can then buy these half a million SP containers and inject them into their heads. How many SP you receive depends on your total SP. If you are a relative newbie then you'll get the full 500,000. If you are a bittervet with 80,000,000 or moew then you might only get 50,000, 10% of the total.

So what are the benefits? Well ones that have been mentioned include:-
  • New players can skill up faster and enjoy the game more.
  • Newer players can get into better ships properly fit sooner.
  • Players who trained something wrong can respec.
  • Older players can make some ISK by selling SP.
  • Potentially more financial investment in the game (buy PLEX to sell for ISK to spend on SP) which might make new players stick at it longer and get hooked?
  • More demand for PLEX (to turn to AUR to buy the container) resulting in increased PLEX prices. (Good for PLEX sellers)
  • More money for CCP (in AUR sales).

What about the negatives?
  • Instant 'leveling up'. Will this erode the hard work/time you've put into getting your character where they are. Like enabling cheat-mode on a game. Soon becomes boring.
  • Recycling toons made easy for Awoxers, gankers and spies. Your ebil toon too well known? Download his SP, transfer his assets, bio-mass him, rinse and repeat.
  • More demand for PLEX (to turn to AUR to buy the container) resulting in increased PLEX prices. (Bad for PLEX subbers)
  • Corps and alliances may demand newer players respec.

Many of these negatives are already in game. If your ebil toon is too well known you could sell them and buy another with the proceeds.

Looking at the above I'm still to be convinced this is a good idea. The benefits appear to outweigh the negatives but I cannot shake the feeling this is going along the lines of turning on 'God-Mode' which is a sure fire way of soon becoming bored of the game.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

SCASSSS - 5th Wedding Anniversary

This weekend was our 5th wedding anniversary. I took the wife to a special resort in the desert nature reserve. No Eve? Well... sort of!

My falcon was uncloaked next to a Jove Observatory....

The room had art materials you could use....

During the early morning nature walk we saw this Arabian Oryx "burning back to gate".

No Eve pun, just got lucky with this shot of a Falcon coming in for the "kill".

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Raid - Part 2

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here!

The Raid Part 2

Raysere entered the bridge of the cruiser and took his position in the Captains chair. He pulled the small screen across and checked the status of the operation. They had been lucky, the vessel had a lot of Matari refugees on board. The cargo may have been lumber but they had found what they really wanted. He looked through the manifest. 125 to be bleed. 14 to sell on as slaves, and of course that girl he had sent to his quarters.

They could bleed 16 a time so would need 20 cycles each lasting several hours. He could return to base in a few days with full tanks, or be back within a day with live captives. The outpost could bleed their captives much more efficiently. Whilst some might question why the tanks are so low, the number of live captives would negate any questions over his competence as a Blood Raider High Priest. He'd return to base and drop the cattle off before heading out again to sell the slaves. The days travel would allow him to enjoy himself with her. Once the slaves had been sold he could take the ship in for some well needed maintenance.

"NavCom. Set a course for home and spin up the warp drive. We've got too many to bleed here, we'll take them back to base. Operations, seal the airlocks and detach from that Matari rusk bucket."

"Yes sir!" the two bridge officers barked in unison.

There as a pause and they both said in unison again "Sir, there is a problem!"

Raysere looked surprised. "NavCom, report."

"Sir, I've got a green light on the warp core but it is not responding."

Strange thought Raysere .


"Airlock 4 is jammed. It won't seal."

Raysere sighed. He had hoped this industrial would have a valuable cargo. He needed money for repairs to the ship and never had that been so evident. He hit a button on his console and waited. He rubbed his forehead as he heard his officers barking orders to get the problems fixed.


Hakar crawled through the ventilation duct. His chest throbbed but the pain was easing. He'd been lucky. Of course being shot in the chest by a solid-stage laser could never be described as lucky. However, in this case however he'd been twisting as he fought the two Raiders and the laser had skimmed across his chest. It had knocked him out and made enough mess of his flesh for them to think he was dead. The old Caldari medical kit he'd found in the store room had patched him up sufficiently for now.

He slowed as he approached the vent. Looking down he saw the vast engineering bay stretched out before him. An officer was briefing two groups of crew. He couldn't make out what was being said from such a distance but he could guess. One team jogged to the exit and the other strolled towards a massive set of blast doors. He counted the remaining crew, only three in the entire area. So far things were going right for him.

He pulled the sack behind him as he crawled. The store room had various tools and supplies that he knew he would find useful.


Chief Engineer Ezion muttered under his breath. May be this would help the Captain realise you cannot neglect maintenance like this. He'd been going on for months that they need a break from raiding to overhaul the ship. Not only that, it needed some real money to be spent on it. The Sect they belong to believed that the Captains should be able to run their ships without handouts from the leadership. As well as raiding starships for the crew, they were expected to steal the cargo and sell it to make themselves self-sufficient. A tax was levied on all loot of 30% which kept the outpost maintained and the support staff paid. A jammed airlock and a problem with the warp core which left them exposed for longer then any of them would have like may reinforce the notion that the ship needed maintenance.

"Turem, what's the result on the core diagnostics?" he shouted out over the hum of the engineering bay.

Ezion saw the blinking indicator that signified the outer blast doors had sealed and the inner blast door to the warp core was opening. His team would be in there in five minutes and he needed to know where the problem was.

"Turem, report!" he said angrily.

Still no response.

"Liaret, can you see Turem?" he shouted again.


The Chief Engineer spun round in a rage. He'd just sent one team into the core and another team to the jammed airlock. He had neither the time or the patience for this. He stomped over to towards the warp core station. A bank of consoles that was partially hidden behind a row of heat exchangers.

"I ASKED YOU....."

Ezion froze as he emerged from behind the last exchanger. Turem was slumped on the floor. Her neck was cut and a large pool of blood had formed beside him. Liaret was hanging by his neck from a power cable lashed around a conduit, slowly swaying back and forth. Something jabbed Ezion in the ribs. He didn't dare move. He felt hot breath by his ear.

"As you can see I have no hesitation in killing your kind."

Ezion gulped and slowly nodded.

"Walk to the core control panel slowly. If you do anything I don't like, things will get very messy very quickly."

Ezion slowly walked forward towards the console. He thought about hitting the emergency alarm but knew that would be the end of him. He might survive if he did what this lunatic wanted.

"I'm going to rescue my family and kill your Captain. I need time to do this. I am going to give you 60 seconds at this console then I'm going to knock you out and hide your body in inspection tube 34 after disabling the bio-scanners in there. So it is in both out interests that you come up with a creative way of disabling the warp core so we can both achieve our goals."

Ezion started to sweat. inspection tube 34 was off limits during warp. The radiation from the core system was flushed through there. A few seconds of exposure and your DNA would crumble like a dried leaf. It was a slow, painful death. They had bio-scanners in there to stop the ship from warping if there was someone in there.

"First off the warp drive is already offline, we have a problem. Secondly the bio-scanners are fail-safe. The ship won't warp unless they give the green light" Ezion whispered hoping to buy some time.

"I know." Hakar replied "It should take your team in there only a few minutes to realise the problem is that someone rewired a control board mid-ship and created a feedback loop. There is nothing physically wrong with the core. However if I can disable your warp core and prevent the diagnostics systems from seeing what is wrong do you think the bio-scanners will give me any trouble?"

Ezion got straight to work. He certainly did not want to die of radiation poisoning for this crew of pirates.


Raysere look at the scene in front of him. The remaining engineering crew were stood well back. His Chief Engineer was slumped over the sparking console with a knife sticking out of his back. Two other dead techs framed the grim picture.

"What is the status of the warp drive?" he asked through gritted teeth.

"Its offline. We found the original problem was sabotage. A control board near the shield generator in the centre of the ship had been rewired. When the crew came back after inspecting the core they found this. The sabotage, well the original one anyway has been repaired, however something has been done to further disable the core. We assume the saboteur forced the chief to do something, killed him and then destroyed the primary control console."

"And the airlock problem?"

"Sir, that has been repaired. Again sabotage. Someone shorted the control board in the controls by disconnecting a power line and simply running over the board."

Raysere took a few steps forward. There was a smell of burnt electronics and death. Whoever had smashed up the consoles had done a proper job. He was no engineer but could see they would be beyond repair. With the airlock repaired they could uncouple from the Mammoth class industrial but now that was the last thing he wanted. That ship shill had an operational warp drive. That was their escape vessel now if they couldn't get their own warp drive back online.

"What about the core back up consoles?"

"We've got a team heading there right now. The back up console is the other side of the drive in sector 22D. They are substantially separated so that if one sector is damaged then...."

The officer stopped as there was a rumble in the distance. The entire ship shook for a number of seconds.

"Bridge report!" Raysere spoke into his datapad.

"Sir there has been an explosion. We're trying to get details. It appears it was somewhere around....."

"22D?" the Captain guessed.

"Sir.... yes it could be. Emergency teams dispatched."

Raysere turned to face his men behind him. Veins bulged on his neck and forehead.

"Gentlemen, we have a guest. I want them to have a warm welcome and to be in a bleeding chamber within 30 minutes."

The men looked at him in shock.

"GO!" he screamed!


Waninna sat in the corner of the cramped room staring at her knees. She was numb. All around her the other captives were sobbing or eerily quiet. They all knew what was coming. The first group had already been taken. A group of armoured men with stun guns had come in and pulled some of the screaming men and women away. It was not a good way to die. Hooked up to a machine slowly draining your blood. She thought about her family. He husband dead, her son to be sold into slavery and her daughter.... She broke down thinking about that. The way the raider's leader had looked at her. What horrors were happening to her right now? May be she would move to the front of the room. Not resist when they come for the next ones to bleed. At least then it would be over.

Ten decks above her daughter, Aellike, sat in a soft chair. She had been bathed and dressed by three young Matari women. Slaves. They had been silent throughout and had ignored her pleas and question. They were now brushing her hair and doing some very subtle make up.

"Please. What is going to happen to me? Where is my mother and brother? Please say something!"

She caught the eye of one of the women in the big mirror she sat opposite. The woman looked pained and quickly broke eye contact. Another woman dabbed the tears from under Aellike's eyes. He thoughts turned to her kid brother. What was he going through?

"Well I say we rush them when they come in again" the biggest of the boy said. The others just looked at him in fear. "We are Matari! We must not let these Amarrian dogs sell us like cattle!"

Bynshar sat with the others listening to the boy who had elected himself head of the resistance. He glanced around. Some resistance. A dozen boys and a small handful of girls. A single armed Raider could take them on and they'd only ever entered the pen as a team of four. They carried stun prods as well as guns. This kid didn't seamed to mind that though. He was trying to persuade them into a suicidal rush.

The hiss of the door opening made them all jump, especially the big kid who was stood telling them all they should be resisting. A single Amarrian entered. Bynshar looked at him and rather than the angry scowl they usually had on their face his was different. He looked... afraid. There was a loud crack and his eyelids fluttered and he crashed to the ground.

"DAD!" Bynshar shouted jumping up and running to his father who was stood behind the guard. The others watched confused as the stranger scooped the boy up and lifted him from the floor. He walked over to the huddle of children.

"You!" Hakar said pointing to the larger kid.

"M, m, m, m, me sir?" he stammered. His bravado completely gone.

"Yes you. You're the oldest?"

The kid nodded.

"Take this datapad. Follow the route back to the Mammoth and hide everyone in cargo bay 2."

"But the Amarrians!" he protested.

"The route is clear. The Raiders are busy with a small problem..." the ship shook slightly and there was a muffled rumble "... busy with two small problems on the starboard side of the ship. The route to the Mammoth is clear now go!"

The children started to stand and follow the boy who held the datapad in front of him using the map to guide him back to the ship. Hakar placed Bynshar back on the floor.

"I need to go get your sister and your mother. Go with them and hide."

"But I don't want to leave you." Bynshar blubbed.

"Bynshar! I need you to be strong. Go with the rest. We'll all be back together soon!" He said embracing his son "I promise."


"What in the name of the Blood God was THAT?" Raysere shouted as another rumbled vibrated through the ship.

"Another blast in sector 22. We think the redundancy console for the warp drive was booby trapped. Now we're finding who ever it is was booby trapped other areas around there, especially the fire-fighting equipment. Sector 22D is gone, B, C and E have fires out of control. Engineering teams are pushing through from sector 22A. However we're getting reports of fires on decks 21 and 23 near to D section."

Raysere scanned the screen in front of him. What idiot put so many back-up systems so close together?

"Status of the fire-suppression system?"

"Still offline. We are trying to fix."

"OK, all available firefighting teams to 22A. From there let the officer in charge assign to the adjacent decks as needed. Signal a lock down. Seal all blast doors to non-essential sections and post guards at the others. Non-essential staff are to return to their quarters. And someone get the fracking warp drive online!" Raysere barked. Whoever this saboteur was, he was better than is crew.


Down on the bleeding deck Chief Medical Officer Draclira walked past the rows of alcoves. Her bright white lab coat was in stark contrast to the mottled red walls. She stopped at one to inspect the contents. A Matari male, about 25 was strapped upright to the wall. His skin was a deathly pale grey and perspiration dripped from every pore. She consulted the pumps, he would be empty soon. The Saline solution would be the only thing running through his veins. The end was near for this one. She ran her hand over his cheek like a mother would. His eyes flicked open and he looked on in terror however he was too weak to respond, his head fell forward. Draclira  squatted down and gazed into his eyes. Did he know the good he was doing? Probably not. He probably was only thinking about his own mortality not realising the amazing things his blood would help achieve through their research. Leaning forward she gave him a gentle kiss on the lips. She could feel his shallow breathing. He was almost gone.

She moved further down. The people at the end of the line were newer. They still had some fight in them. A few cursed her as she passed, calling her parentage into questions. Others begged and pleaded for help or mercy. She stopped at one particular woman. Matari, mid to late 30's. She looked up and stared into Draclira's eyes. There was no fear, no hate, no terror. This one was different. She looked at the controls. She had only bled for 10 minutes, she should still be fine for a while.

"I do not see fear or hate in your eyes. Why is that?" the Raider asked questioningly.

The woman looked at her and gave a strange smile.

"It was because I didn't care any more. You had killed my loving husband, sold my son to slavery and given my young daughter to your twisted Captain to satisfy his perverted lusts."

Draclira raised an eyebrow. She assumed the husband must have either been one of the first to be bled or was killed in the boarding action. She was only too aware of Captain Raysere's tastes and whilst didn't agree with it, he was her Captain.

"You said 'didn't care' as in the past tense. Why did you say that?" Draclira asked.

"Well that's what I thought minutes ago. Now I know my husband is alive, he will save our family and you will die right where you stand."

Draclira let out a guffaw. It was not unusual for victims believe they would be saved or to hallucinate.

"And how do you know this my dear?" she asked condescendingly.

"Because he's stood right behind you with a really big knife."

Draclira 's eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open in a silent scream. The Raiders chief bleeder looked down. A wicked knife point poked out from her stomach. Bright red blood was spreading from her abdomen over the starched white lab coat. The blade was pulled back and she fell. Hakar stepped over the body and pulled the needles from his wife's body before releasing the straps.

"I'd thought I'd lost you!" she sobbed falling into his arms.

"Where is Aellike?"

"The Captain had her sent to his quarters. Only the Elders know what he has done to her!" she sobbed.

"I doubt he has had time for anything. I've been keeping them busy." he said leaning.

"Help me!" Draclira gasped. Her hands clutched her stomach as blood pumped between her fingers. Hakar ignored her pleas and took the datapad from her belt.

"Take this." he said to his wife. "Save as many as you can here and get back to the ship. This place is on lock-down but the route is clear. Get to cargo bay 2, Bynshar is there with the other children. If there are any pilots get them to get to the bridge and get ready for departure."

He pressed a laser pistol into her hand. She nodded and moved to the next alcove to help her fellow passengers.

To be concluded....

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Eve Dubai - Other Things to Do!

Heading away for our 5th Wedding anniversary! Busy, busy, busy! A quick post for anyone thinking of coming to Eve Dubai!

Of course in two weeks the MAIN highlight is the Eve Online meet in Dubai in a little over two weeks. However if you are passing through or in the region and making a short hop and never been, here are some of the must do things in Dubai either side of Eve Dubai. These are photos are from when I have visited the city.

Go up the nearest thing we have to a space elevator.
The Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world. You need to pre book tickets online to the viewing platform but the views are spectacular! Access is via the Dubai Mall.

Walk through an aquarium.
The Dubai Mall has a fantastic MASSIVE aquarium. It is seriously large and you can go even go scuba diving in it! If you want to keep dry there is a tunnel you can walk through surrounded by sharks, fish and eels!

Go skiing/snowboarding.
The Mall of the Emirates has a real snow ski-slope. No seriously, it has. In the desert!

Stay at a 7* Hotel
I have stayed once at the Burj Al Arab for the wife's birthday. It is an amazing experience. The most luxurious hotel in the world. You only need one kidney right? There's the birthday girl lounging about in the downstairs area of our room (all hotel rooms in the hotel have two floors!!!)

Gold and Spice Souks
Souk is the Arabic term for market. These are well worth a visit although very touristy. Both a complete assault on your senses!

Geek out
The Al Ain Centre also known as Computer Mart is a small mall specialising in computer shops. A mall of computers. You can pick up anything from a server case to the latest Titan GFX card all the way down to 'junk shop' style places that sell second-hand bits and pieces.

Take a water taxi.
If you are going to the gold or spice souks why not take a water taxi across Dubai Creek. Better than being stuck in a taxi on a bridge and you get to see all the old school shipping in wooden boats that still bring goods to Dubai from other Gulf states.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Stress Free 1v1s?

Before I begin, a quick update on Eve Dubai. CCP Guard has sent us a swag box all the way from Iceland!

(*Cat not included). Thanks Dude! Now onto todays post...

As I posted last week I need to relax more. As a mostly solo low-sec faction war/-10 player, Eve Online is hardly classified as "relaxing" for me. I need to get the blood pressure down, not up!

I had a thought. OK, I admit in hindsight it was a bad idea, however I thought I'd give it a go.

What if I had no ***** to give. I just flew relatively cheap ships and took fights I'm not expected to win. No pressure therefore no stress? To hell with efficiency! K/D ratios be damned!

I had a plan so logged on. Luckily there was a Gallente Militia pilot in local. I fitted up a close-quarters Kestrel (lost my last one I guess) and undocked. There was nothing on max scan from the undock but I saw an open small plex some 24 AU away. I warped over and scanned as I got near. A Svipul.

OK I couldn't ask for much better. I'm in a 7m ISK frigate and he's in a T3 Destroyer already inside the plex. Normally I would simply go...

... however on my new YOLO I don't give a **** Eve "diet" I activated the gate. Calm down Drack, this is suppose to be stress free. You are warping a Kestrel into a Svipul. This should be a rather short fight! No pressure, you expect to lose badly.

So in I warp in a Leeroy Jenkins style. He's 12km from the warp in. Optimum range for artillery cannons with high DPS ammo. BANG. Before I can do much, most my shield is gone. I set a tight orbit, activate and overheat the afterburner and go for it. BANG! I'm now into armour. Thankfully this Kestrel is armour tanked. Yes, I'm in an armour tanked Kestrel.

My orbit is tight and his guns now have trouble tracking me. I have no damage mods with my tank as it is but I'm chipping away at him. He gets a few light grazes on me but nothing serious. With a scram and dual webs I have him for now.

It appears he can see this and I assume he swaps to propulsion mode. He starts burning away from me slowly even though I have him double webbed. I know I have the damage to kill him before he escapes given the slow amount the distance is increasing, that's not my concern. My concern is that he can make enough range so that he can track me with those 280mm cannons he's got strapped to that thing. My AB already has heat damage which also has leached to the webs and scram. I overheat the missiles and the AB for a couple of cycles keeping close watch on the damage. Its proving a struggle to keep in tight orbit, those Svipuls can move!

He starts bleeding into structure and posts in local he's sick of losing ships. 

He explodes and gets his pod out. I go to type GF in local and struggle.

My hands are shaking too much to type. 


Lessons learnt.

1. T2 Polycarbon rigs make Svipuls fast.
2. You can have a great 1v1 in a T1 frigate vs a T3 destroyer... if you are really lucky with fits.
3. Stress free solo PvP in Eve Online does not exist for me.

On my post last week a lot of people gave me lots of advice for things I could do. Need to pick another of the list to try!