Wednesday, March 30, 2016

BB73 - Eve Online: The Colony

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 73rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 73 - The Other Eve Game?

So soon(tm) we will have Eve Online, Valkyrie, Gunjack and the as yet untitled FPS to replace DUST514/Project Legion. Are we missing anything else? Are then any other games CCP should be looking into? Colony building simulators in the style of Sim City or Rimworld. Should it be on a grander scale link Civilisation or Stronghold Kingdoms. How about RTS games ala Command and Conquer. Survival games such as Rust? Planet based combat like World of Tanks? Would you like to see other game types expanding the Eve Universe or should CCP stick to what it knows?

In the dim and distant past I have already blogged about this. I'd love to see two other of my favorite games, Rimworld and Stronghold Kingdoms merged and dropped into the Eve Online Universe.

Rimworld is an early-access title. Three survivors of a spaceship disaster have their escape pods land on a distant planet. You build a base, grow food, research new technology, fight off pirates and mad animals, tackle natural disasters and eventually build a spaceship to escape. "Dwarf Fortress Lite".

In Stronghold Kingdoms you build multiple villages and castles, trade, research and fight other players.

I see Eve Online: The Colony as an amalgamation of the two. You pick a planet (server) and start with four colonists landing in your 'Quafe Corporation EZ Colony Hub'. The dropship-cum-colony hub touches down in your chosen area. Did you go for near the mountain range, more metal deposits but less flat area? The Forest for a nice flat area but a little lower on resources? Or one of the other biomes?

Your Quafe Corporation EZ Colony Hub then deploys. It has a reactor giving a bit of surplus power, a metal extractor that drills down into the ground to start bring some metal up, a small hydroponic garden for food and a laboratory for research. It can also accommodate up to six colonists. More people could wander in and join your colony if it gets a good rep!

You then need to go about expanding your colony. But what's your priority? Build some extractors because you need metal? Those extractors need power so you'll need more reactors or solar farms. However you'll not get anything built if your colonists aren't happy so a bar is going to be important. Plus the new arrivals will want somewhere to live. Plus you need money so do you make trade goods or search for gold? Oh yeah, and some defenses would be nice as there is a Serpentis base 200km south, a rogue drone mini-hive to the north and those big elephant type creatures that wander around are known to be easily pissed off!

A launch facility would also be a good idea to blast trade goods into space to the orbiting trade centre. Here all the other colonies also fire their goods into space and have their purchases fired down. Excess metal? Sell some of it and buy what you are low on!

The game would be free-to-play. You can buy Aurum and rent advanced AI programs from Quafe for a fee. Low on metal? Then the Quafe Advanced Mining Algorithms might help. 12 hours of 1.5x extraction. Therefore if you do not want to pay you don't have to, but these micro transactions do really help.

The game would also be "always on". Whilst you are logged out everything is still running. Your colonists will work, extractors will extract and you may even be attacked.

There would be PvP like in Stronghold Kingdoms. You can send raiding parties to other colonies. Steal their "stuffz" or even kidnap their colonists.

There would be random events occurring. Earthquake, global meteor strike causing a nuclear winter, fires, solar flare, rare massive animal that dislikes colonies.

It wouldn't be a game you'd sit down for hours and play. You'd log on, check whats happened since you last logged on in the messages. Place a new building (could take 6 to 24 hours to build), queue up some research, do some trading, make some repairs, make sure everyone is happy and log out.

Then again 'GrrrGoon794' who has the colony south of you is a bit of an asshat and he and his friends have banded together in a collective (the game's version of corp or guild) and declared war on your collective. You need to log on more often and also are burning Strontium at an alarming rate. However it does make your base invulnerable for a set period of hours so you can sleep soundly or relax at the office knowing those asshats cannot get to your colony. Wait.... you did do 12 hours of reinforcement right? Right????? (number of times I've been at work wondering if I did set enough monk interdiction on my villages to protect them until I got home).

Strontium would probably be a rare resource that cannot be traded and needs a special extractor built into the colony hub so you cannot build any more. You can upgrade the amount per day it makes through research but it's a limited resource. Again the effects of the reinforced mode can be modified by rental AI programs. The Quafe 'Nope!' Colony Shield Reinforcer Algorithm. Extends the period of invulnerability by 1.5x so the normal 100 stront = 4 hours of invulnerability is extended to six. So if you are AFK for the weekend and want to make yourself immune to attack you can spend 1200 stront (for 12 x 4 hours to give 48 hours total) or play the AI program and need only 800 units to give you peace of mind for whole two days. During war time you might spend a bit more time online to save you burning Strontium by leaving your colony in reinforced mode.

Of course your enemy can use their strontium based EMP weapon before you are reinforced and stop your shields going into reinforced mode for 6 hours a time. However that's 1200 strontium in an attack? You could reinforce your own colony for half a day for that. Are they going to burn that much? Even if they do, your defense drones, turrets and expensive AI controlled tank mean they'll be losing a lot of their attack force if they try.

All combat would be a simple "place troops on a map and click send". You do not control the battles, just get to watch them replayed after the event. Of course your opponent can see them coming and can beef up their defenses if they spot them in time. Its a 5 hour trip for your attack force to get to the other colony and during that time they are visible on the map. You could play an AI program that would speed the travel up. Then again they could be playing the Quafe "GTFO" turret upgrade program which doubles the fire rate of automated defense turrets for 6 hours. That could hurt! Worst of all you could commit most of your forces and then one of your targets mates sends a force to attack you. You cannot attack when your own base is reinforced so you are leaving yourself exposed!

So there you go. You start of with four colonists and a small hub and can build up a huge base with farming, mining, manufacturing, research, power, defenses and strip clubs (well may be not the later). Its a base building game... until someone falls out and starts a war!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Blog Banter 73 - The Other Eve Game?

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 73rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 73 - The Other Eve Game?

So soon(tm) we will have Eve Online, Valkyrie, Gunjack and the as yet untitled FPS to replace DUST514/Project Legion. Are we missing anything else? Are then any other games CCP should be looking into? Colony building simulators in the style of Sim City or Rimworld. Should it be on a grander scale link Civilisation or Stronghold Kingdoms. How about RTS games ala Command and Conquer. Survival games such as Rust? Planet based combat like World of Tanks? Would you like to see other game types expanding the Eve Universe or should CCP stick to what it knows?

Banter on!


Notes from New Eden - Enslaving false gamers
Luobote Kong - Blog Banter 73 - The Other Eve Game? - BB #73: More EVE-Inspired Games, Please
Voyager Spirit - BB 73 - Expanding EVE
MMO Nomad, confessions of a - Blog Banter 73 – The Other Eve Game?
The Ancient Gaming Noob - BB73 – New Eden Diplomacy
BadWrongFun - BB #73: Building the Original Dream
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - BB 73 - EVE Civilizations
SCASS - BB73 - Eve Online: The Colony
Giant Secure Container - BlogBanter #73 – Augment my reality! Make me mobile!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

SCASSSS - My Online Citadel!

Been wanting to play around with citadels more this week but the constant "The Market is not ready at the moment. Please try again later." has been stopping me testing them properly. By testing properly I mean shooting them. Here is what the level entry citadel looks like once anchored. More lights and billboards!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Delivery Boy - Part 3

Fiction Friday - Escape pod here.

The Delivery Boy - Part 3

The structure rose out of the frozen tundra of Caldari Prime hundreds of metres into the air. Ylle craned her neck to try and see the top through the windshield of the small car. They'd found a vehicle dealer in the small town where they stayed the night that was happy to take the hover-bike as part exchange for this old deathtrap and not ask too many questions. When Jullynes signed the papers in the name of Jaques Roden the owner simply lifted an eyebrow which was then lowered when Jullynes placed an extra 200 credits on the table.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Its an orbital launch facility. It puts goods into orbit for collection. The capsuleers use similar installations to extract resources from planets and get them off world. Of course they are not allowed to place them here on the core planets, but the Federal Government saw the money to be made. The installed a few test sites in remote, uninhabited areas of Caldari-Prime to see if they can be profitable."

"How do you know all this?" she asked surprised.

"I've been here. Field trip with the university. Like the capsuleer versions these facilities are fully automated and run with a simple AI. We work with these programs at the start of the course. They are not identified as a conscious AI, technically they are just very advanced computer programs that verge on being an AI but don't really cross the boundary. However they call them simple AI's for ease."

Slowly they wound around the various extractors, reaching the command centre and launch facility a couple of hours later. The surface was icey this far away from the terraforming facilities used around the cities however the facilites themselves appeared to be heated.

They pulled up next to a door in the launch facility and Jullynes got out telling Ylle to stay put as it could take him a while to hack the system. She watched from the warmth of the car as he hooked his datapad to the control panel next to the formidable looking door. Seconds later it was open and he waved her in.

"That was quick!" she said as they walked down a plasteel corridor.

"Yeah. A little too quick." he said, uncertainty creeping into his voice.

"You don't think....."

"No." he said quickly. "No way they could have tracked us here. Even if they did why let us in here? Easier to just seal the door and take us down outside. Must have just been lucky I guess."

"I'm not a big believer in luck." Ylle grumbled.

They passed huge conveyor belts moving freight containers towards a massive robotic arm. The machine loaded these into large rockets that were on their own slower moving conveyor.

"So what's the plan?" Ylle asked nervously.

"We need to look at the specs of these rockets to see if there is a passenger compartment. Or perhaps in one of the freight containers. I read a story once about some miner who escaped a pirate attack on an asteroid by hiding in a passenger section of a freight container and convincing a pod jockey to destroy the mining outpost."

"What, you don't know any of this for sure?"

Jullynes stopped and turned to her.

"We have a corrupt police force and the fracking Serpentis after us. If you have a foolproof plan laid out I'd love to hear it!" he snapped.

Ylle looked guilty. "Sorry." she muttered and they continued into the structure.

"What are we going to do when we get off-world?" she asked.

"We need to get to a Cromeaux Inc office."

"No! I'm not changing my body!" she gasped.

Jullynes shook his head.

"No, I'm not planning that! You've heard in the news about these new capsuleer skill extractors? Well Cromeaux Inc has adapted the tech. Its still in its infancy but they can also extract memories and digitise them. They are offering the service to people who want to share a memory with friends or people who just really want to forget things."

"They'll remove the memory of me watching the recording?" she gasped.

"Yes and put it on a holodisk. Upload that to the GalNet and we're clear. The story will be out and you'll not remember a thing about the actual video. Free and clear!" Jullynes said pointing to a stationary orbital launch rocket at the end of the line.


"I do worry about you sometimes Carvaire!" the Captain said as he entered the room.

Carvaire just shrugged, the bloodied shears still in his hands. The sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up and he had spots of blood over his arms. His black jacket rested over the back of a chair. Awel was still tied to a chair with her head hung forward. Her damp hair covering her face as she wept quietly, her throat raw from the screaming. Both hands were just stumps now, all ten fingers gone. Her shirt had been ripped open and her bra cut away. Thin red lines on her skin indicated he was threatening to carry out cut 'number eleven' but had not.

"You're not finished?" the Captain remarked surprised he'd stopped at 10 questions.

"I am. We've got everything she knows, I'm certain. Thought she'd be useful to us alive and not sure how much more she can take today. Surely the kid will give up the girl if we offer to trade his own mother. Once we have them both I'll finish up with her." he said with an evil grin. "Whilst that boy watches of course. Only fair given all the problems the little scrote has caused us!"

The Captain suppressed a shudder. Many of the corrupt officers on the force were in it just for the money. Carvaire appeared to enjoy the freedoms he had when questioning suspects that would disappear once they had given the information needed. The man was a sadistic prick, but a useful one.

"What do we know?" he asked.

"The son and the girl turned up at her work. He's got about five thousand cash on him that she gave him. So they are good for money. He's also a computer geek and apparently really good. He was on an old type 45 hover-bike and the techs are tracing it. Agencourt and his team are out checking locations. Other than that she has no idea where the kid is. Bit of a loner. No friends, girlfriend or any other family to run to. He's on his own."

The Captain smiled. This was good news. With no friends or family to help they'd be a lot more exposed and vulnerable.

"We have all exit points covered?"

"Yes sir. Every port is on the look out for them. Even with fake IDs they are unlikely to get through as the facial scanners will get them. The region is locked down tight so we just need to wait for them to pop up."


Reuvo slipped out of bed and pulled her red satin dressing down on. She looked back at the man in her bed. Angry red scratch marks covered his back. He'd been a good one, new to the agency. She'd need to remember him.

She crossed the room and entered the office, holoscreens activating as she entered. Scanning the latest police bulletins she could see the girl was still missing and they had no idea where she was other than they believed she'd escaped with some delivery boy. Her own agents were on top of things. The Serpentis had men and women everywhere. She was confident they'd pick up the girl before the Police. It was just a matter of time until they popped up on the radar. The money they'd save would be huge. Paying off the cops was an expensive business but if they had a hold over the Captain, there would be a lot less bribing needed. Satisfied her underlings had everything under control looking for the girl she checked the overnight losses to capsuleers. 14 sites had been attacked in the adjacent systems. The Mega-Corp agents were always hiring capsuleers to attack their assets. Loses were expected operating in this area of hi-sec space. However the Serpentis were a massive organisation and the mega-corps were fighting a losing battle. Yes they could hire capsuleers to slow their spread but they wouldn't beat them.

She wandered across to the large window that overlooked the planet. She suppressed a shiver. Caldari-Prime was still a cold world and she much prefered the station. It was also safer. They pretty much ran this small outpost and she felt secure here. It wasn't often that the regional commander of such a large pirate outfit felt safe.

Checking the time she saw there was no rush. She headed back into the bedroom to inflict some more damage on the back of her toy for the night.


The small shuttle sat in orbit. It watched the small rocket burst from the atmosphere and establish a geo-synchronous orbit. The pilot inside cursed. The small cargo bay was too small to scoop the rocket and no way to attach itself with it.

He replayed a message through the fluid-router network. The faster-than-light message informing his employer of the situation. It was then he noticed the industrial ship that was approaching. A Epithal class hauler designed for hauling planetary communities. He scanned the ship and quickly relayed the details.


Ylle and Jullynes looked at each other nervously as the rocket shuddered. They could see nothing in the small passenger compartment. The rocket landed on something hard and with resounding clang. Wherever they were, they now had gravity. Jullynes unfastened his belt and walked to the hatch. Ylle followed. A second later the hatch opened and two Gallente men appeared in the hatchway pointing guns at them.

"Stay were you are!" one shouted touching his ear. "Yeah Capt, as the scan said, two stowaways. Gall kids. Want us to throw them in the brig until we dock."

There was a tense silence.

"OK yes. We'll throw them in the.... what? Repeat? OK. Holding."

The other man looked at his crewmate questioningly.


"I dunno. Capt was telling us to throw them in the brig when he got a message and told me to hold a minute."

The man put his hand to his ear. Jullynes assumed the Captain was speaking again. The man quickly lowered his gun.

"Put that fracking thing away!" he hissed at his crewmate. The other looked at him in shock. "Lower that thing now or you're going to get us killed!" he hissed again. His confused crewmate dropped the gun to his side.

"I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding. Let me show you to some quarters you can use until we reach the destination. The Captain wonders if you would be so kind as to let us know your prefered station?"

Jullynes looked at the man in disbelief. As soon as he realised this was not a joke he thought quickly.

"Erm.... the Duvalle Labs Factory?"

The man nodded with a smile like some concierge at a posh hotel and touched his hand to his ear.

"Captain, its 3 tack 1. Yes, the Duvalle Labs station."

Jullynes and Ylle followed the two men in shock. He tried to listen in on what the men were whispering about to each other but he only caught a few words.



"Lieutenant! We have a hit!" The female officer burst into Carvaire's room.

"We picked up an emergency broadcast from the Sauternes in low-orbit. It's a hauler contracted by the Federal Government to collect the output from the Cerasix Inc installation up north. They broadcast to the Navy Police that they had scanned two life forms on one of the automated rockets and were requesting assistance. A few minutes later they said it was a scan error and there was nobody aboard. Sounded fishy so I contacted the contractor in charge of the launch facility here on C-Prime. They checked their logs. Someone hacked into a door at the facility two hours ago. There were no staff on site at the time!"

Carvaire stood and grabbed his jacket.

"Where is the Sauternes now?"

"Heading to the 3-1 station!"

"Lets go!" he barked.

To be continued....

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My First Citadel

I had been putting off installing the new launcher. I'm on limited bandwidth and the risk of something going wrong and it downloading the entire client was at the back of my mind. However my SiSi launcher had stopped working so I risked it. Op Success!

First job, put down a new Citadel. They are BIG!

24 hours to online then I can look inside!

Monday, March 21, 2016

(Gun) Jackin' Off

The other week I bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 to replace my slowly dying S5. I resisted the Gear VR headset as I'd just spent 530 quid/$760 equivalent on a phone.

I lasted just over a week. Unfortunately when I went into the electronics shop to replace the broken-down airfryer (you know, those healthy kitchen appliances that use hot air rather than a bucket of hot fat) they had a demo Gear VR headset going.... with Gunjack.


So today I was in the supermarket and finally said "Oh sod it!" and bought one.

Basically your Galaxy S7 (or S6) slides in and hey presto, you have a VR headset. I went through the setup and demo and was blown away. I played Valkyrie on the Morpheus headset at fanfest and whilst this wasn't as good it was still pretty awesome. Next job, download Gunjack. $9.99 on the store.

The game introduces itself as you are sat just outside an asteroid belt as a massive industrial ship slowly moves over you. Turning your head reveals more of the vast ship. The sense of scale is immense. Then you are taken inside through hatches and corridors. Gunjack is not a complex game. Its an arcade shooter. You are a gunner on their big ORE mining installation. The turrets are like a clear ball turret and give an impressive field of vision. Waves of ships come at you, bro, and you shoot 'em up. Tap the direction pad on the side of the headset to fire, swipe back to reload, swipe forward to use any power-up you have such as homing missiles.

Anyway here is a proper review! I'm enjoying it as something a bit different!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Delivery Boy - Part 2

Friday Saturday Fiction (don't ask, 2016 is shaping up to be a terrible year)! Escape pod here.

The Delivery Boy - Part 2

"So... seven dead Serpentis and no sign of the girl?"

"No Captain." Lieutenant Carvaire stood rigid in front of his boss' desk.

"However your sources said she was there."

Carvaire just nodded.

The Captain sighed and pulled out a bottle of Matari whiskey from his top draw with two glasses and indicated for Carvaire to sit as he poured.

"Are we sure she saw it? I mean it was a remote location, that was the point! How could she have possibly witnessed it?"

"I don't know Capt. She described you and the Scarlet Woman, and she's never seen you two. She must have been there. Frack! I don't know how. Was she following her father? Did she have a drone in the air. Was he wearing a wire? If he was why aren't the Feds kicking our door down?"

The Captain leaned back in his old leather chair. The gryo's squeaking as he did. That girl could mess up a rather beneficial arrangement. Not only that, most of the sector would be looking at 20 to life. The federal justice system didn't look favourably on corrupt police officers.

"You need to make this go away and soon. Get onto your source, find where they are holding her and make this problem vanish like a 'roid miner when CODE turns up!"

The lieutenant downed his drink, nodded and stood.

"I'll have a location by the end of the day."


The hoverbike landed heavily with a clunk. Ylle swung her leg over and looked up at the dilapidated building. They had been riding for an hour and the mega-city was now just a tall shadow in the distance. The 300 story buildings black against the green of the Gallente nebula. It was noisy overhead with orbital dropships coming and going from the adjacent industrial spaceport. Unlike the main city spaceport, this served the manufacturing and supply industries. The gaudy neon signs made it clear what sort of establishment it was.

"You expect me to go in THERE?" she asked Jullynes with a raised eyebrow.

"Up to you, but I have to. You can stay here by the bike if you'd prefer."

Ylle looked around. There was movement in the shadows. It wasn't a difficult decision.

"Actually I'd love to accompany you into what looks to be the cheapest stripclub in the city!" she said, her voice practically dripping with sarcasm.

"First I need to know. How much trouble am I in? We are in?" he corrected.

Ylle sighed and leaned against the bike.

"Everyone knows the Serps have the police in their pocket in this city but nobody talks about it. My dad bought be a brand new car for my 18th. Not just a car, a Galtech VX-45 sports coupe. What should have been a lovely present got me worried. Was my dad one of them? How could he afford that car on his wage? It was eating me up inside. In the end I bought a micro camera and hid it in a tie-pin. I gave it to my dad as a present. A week later I was reviewing that days video. I was almost convinced he was straight. There had been nothing each day that suggested he was on the Serps payroll. Then his partner said they were going to meet a 'special contact' in the old industrial area. Was this it I had thought? I watched expecting them to be taking a bribe. The evidence I was waiting for. No, they met a man my dad was surprised to see and he called 'Captain'. He obviously knew him and there was also a woman. She was dressed all in red like some strange hooker. She appear to be the one in charge. There was an argument. They wanted my dad on the payroll. He had obviously refused before but they were trying again. He turned down a huge amount of cred. After the bribe failed, the threats started. When they said I would be of use in one of their establishments he told them to frack off and turned and walked away. There was a shot and he twisted around. His so-called partner had just shot him in the back. So how much trouble are you in? Now you know as much as I do the Police will want you dead, and the Serpentis will want you alive but as leverage against this Captain who was an accomplice to murder. No need to pay off the police when you have their Captain over a capital charge."

"Right.... so basically we're fracked!" Jullynes stated and waved for her to follow.

The bouncer at the door waved to Jullynes as they entered. Ylle looked confused. Surely a boy who delivered Caldari take-away couldn't be a regular here. Inside it was exactly how Ylle imagined it. Gaudy decorations in black and bright pink. A scantily clad woman swung around the brass pole in the centre stage as the Gallente techo music blared through hidden speakers. Her tiny costume slowly being discarded piece by piece in time to the music. Several patrons sat around either chatting to other dancers or being led by their hand to one of the curtained booths. None of the dancers were what Ylle would consider hot. It was a cheap bar with cheap women.

"So we are being hunted by both the corrupt city police force and the Serpentis and you thought it would be a good time to get some T&A?" she said as they perched on the bar stools.

"How much money you got on you?" Jullynes asked casually.

"I was being held prisoner by the Serps! I have the clothes I'm wearing!"

"Right. Well I have close to two hundred creds which technically I'm stealing as they're tonights take from the deliveries. Mr Tasiwa is going to be pissed. However I thought we might need a bit more, you know being on the run from the cops and the largest crime organisation in the region. Some cash might be useful as we are now 'on the run' aren't we."

"What? You're expecting me.....?" she asked in shock.

Jullynes looked at her confused. Suddenly he realised what she thought and burst into laughter.

"No! My mom works here. I drop her off each night and leave my bag here, just in case I'm jacked whilst delivering. I need my rig and we'll also need some cash if we are laying low for a while."

"Oh, she the owner?" Ylle asked carefully.



"No. That's her, on stage."

Ylle looked over at the woman dancing around the pole. She didn't really look old enough to be Jullynes's mother. Probably mid-30's but glancing around she saw none of the girls were that young. It was a cheap joint.

"You got any other family? What about your mother?" Jullynes asked Ylle .

"She's dead."

"I'm sorry." Jullynes said feeling bad for asking the question.

"I was one year old at the time. I never knew her." her voice trailed off and they sat in silence until the song finished.

Ylle watched Jullynes's mother pick up her discarded clothing and make herself presentable. She walked over and kissed Jullynes on the cheek.

"Hi sweetie, you're early! And who is this?" she asked in that way mothers do.

"A friend." Jullynes said with emphasis on the word 'friend'. "Look mom, I cannot say why but I'm in serious trouble. I need to vanish and vanish now. I need my bag and, well....."

His mother reached behind the bar and pulled two bags over the top. One red ladies handbag and the other a cloth satchel which she passed straight to Jullynes. She opened her bag.

"How much trouble, give me a clue?" she asked pausing.

"My friend here is a witness to something. The cops want her dead, the Serps want her alive. As I know the what she knows, that pretty much applies to me too."

"Shit!" she muttered and continued rummaging in the bag.

"Here!" she said handing him a roll of notes. "Just remember that's the next semester's fees. Now go, if you're in that much trouble it won't be long before they are here looking for you."

Ylle watched the two embrace and two minutes later they were back on the bike heading north.


Lieutenant Carvaire was sat at his desk going through his reports. He'd been out to question his sources and it had gone quiet about the girl. Nobody knew anything. There were rumours she was dead. Rumours the Police had her. Rumours she'd been shipped off-planet. It was conflicting rumor after conflicting rumour.

The next report on his list was the DNA analysis of the body parts. After the grenade had gone off inside the enclosed room identification was a lot more difficult. Seven victims, all know Serpentis members with rap sheets as long as an Erebus. This only confirmed what he knew, she wasn't one of those killed there. The next two reports had nothing. The third caught his eye. The take-away food they had ordered had come from a local Caldari restaurant. The delivery boy had been reported missing by the restaurant. His last delivery on that run had been to the apartment. The owner of the restaurant said he had vanished with nearly 200 creds. If the boy had been there at the time, he might have been spooked. However surely he'd have surfaced by now. It had been hours. He opened the video from the apartment block's foyer security camera. It was poor quality and after the fire alarm it was very busy with the evacuating people. He paused the video. The person on the screen had their head down but his t-shirt clearly had the logo from Tasiwa Takeaway . Next to him another person who wore a cap with the same logo. Their head was also down so he couldn't see a face. He went back to the report. Did the restaurant send two people on its deliveries? He check the report, no the kid was on his own.

He pressed the comms button on his console.

"This is Lieutenant Carvaire . I'm sending you an ID. I want all units on the lookout for this kid. He's a witness in the Vientes case and we need him alive. Top priority."

Carvaire knew it was a longshot but right now that's all he had.

The C&C centre dispatched the notice to all units within a minute. What they didn't know was two third parties were listening. The Serpentis had a small router installed in the police's network. Placed by one of the police's own IT staff in exchange for a bag stuffed with 25,000 creds. The other one didn't need such a device. It had linked with one of the police's satellites in orbit, hacked the security routines and placed instructions that any communication containing certain keywords be forwarded to a local fluid-router and transmitted via the stargate network to a destination many light-years away. The name Vientes was the top of that list of keywords.


Ylle looked out of the window, the snow was falling but not quite settling. The big city was warmed artificially by a large solar mirror in orbit. They were now far enough away for the true Caldari-Prime weather to start creeping in. She looked back to Jullynes who was on the bed on his datapad.

"Won't they be able to track you on that?" she asked worriedly.

"This rig?" he smiled holding up the device "No, its hacked. I reprogrammed it myself. Officially belongs to some old granny in a carehome. Same with the bike transponder. When I'm doing my rounds I have it working properly in case Mr Tasiwa looks where I am, other times I spoof the signal. See!"

Ylle sat next to him on the bed as he called up a large map of the area. A red dot flashed in the south of the city.

"Where is that?"

"The Ragnarok in the Matari Quarter of the city. It's actually Brutor biker's bar in a bad neighbourhood. If anyone is looking for me, they'll have a hard time with all the bikes there. If they are the cops, they'll have a doubly hard time!" he laughed.

"You are good with computers!" she said surprised.

"What? You think I deliver take-away and thats all I can do? I'm studying advanced AI at Caille."

Ylle looked at him wide-eyed in surprise.

"My mom covers the fees. My contribution is minor to the household income. However, my mom does what she does so I can have a better life, its the least I can do."

"What about your dad?"

"Never knew him. My mom was just a kid. I was an accident although she would never say that. She was still at school when she fell pregnant with me. It was difficult for her."

"Oh." Ylle didn't know what to say.

"Get some sleep. We need to get a better vehicle tomorrow. Its going to get too cold for the bike."

"Where are we going?"

"We need to get off-world. No way we'll reach any of the other cities without being caught. However we cannot use any normal spaceport. I have a plan. Unfortunately its further north."


Jullynes's mother, Awel, sat in the room, her hands handcuffed to the metal chair in the interview room. The cops had been waiting to pick her up as she walked home. She wondered why they hadn't picked her up at the club. The door opened and a man entered. He was wearing a suit not a uniform. Probably a detective. He placed a syringe and a pair of garden tree pruners on the table and sat opposite her.

"You're not my lawyer so we have a problem." she sneered. "Like I told the last guy who asked me a lot of pointless questions."

"Correct on both accounts. I am not your lawyer and we do have a problem. I need to get hold of your son. We've tried appealing to you to do the right thing, I'm here to make you tell us." he stated calmly tapping the shears with his finger.

"Oh so you're the bad cop then? I've had the good one already? I couldn't tell."

"No I'm the worst cop. Unfortunately for you this isn't an official station, and as far as the records are you haven't been even seen since your son vanished. Now I'm going to ask you how we can find your son seventeen times. Then I'll stop."

Awel was certainly more nervous now.

"Seventeen? That's an odd number!" she laughed trying to sound confident.

"It used to be twenty seven but my back is bad these days and I prefer not to bend down. 17 appears to be enough. If I've not got my answer after 17 it either means the person doesn't know or won't tell me no matter how much agony I inflict on them." he stated rising from the chair and picking the two items up.

Awel started to breathe heavily in fear as he approached her. She let out a small shriek as he injected the syringe into her arm.

"That's synth exile. A booster that stops you passing out from pain. I will ask you seventeen times because you have ten fingers." he said tracing the point of the shears over her hands. She sobbed as he traced the tool higher. "Then we have two areola, one nose, two ears..." he sneered as he ran the shears over each as he spoke. "And last but not least, two eyes." as he rested the closed blades on her cheek.

Awel was crying hard now.

"So?" he said forcefully grabbing and uncurling one of her clenched fingers and pushing the now open blades of the shears either side as she howled in fear. "For the first time of seventeen - Where or how can I find Jullynes?"

To be continued....

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Repost - Fanfest Top Tips

This is just an edited repost of my previous Fanfest tips. If you've never been and want to know what to expect, here are my reports/photos from Fanfest 2013 where I did a lot.

Wednesday - Golden Circle
Thursday - First day and Charity Dinner
Friday - Fanfest and Pub Crawl
Fanfest Saturday
Party on Top of the World + Blue Lagoon

Also 2014 and 2015 galleries for your viewing pleasure.

1. Buy booze as you arrive.
Buying drink in Iceland is a tad difficult as it is only sold in special shops to take away. A mate had particular issues last year. As you arrive there is a massive booze shop in the airport, you cannot miss it. Get yourself a bottle/crate there!

2. Take the Bus
The main international airport is a fair distance from Reykjavik so a taxi is expensive. The FlyBus is a great option and has deals with most hotels in the city. You take the main bus to the bus terminal and then minibuses to the various hotels. The main bus does have WiFi for the 45 minute journey but, like the Harpa, when it's full of Eve Geeks who all have smartphones and tablets it gets a bit strained.

3. Pack the right clothing.
It's Iceland. You'll need everything from Arctic survival gear to beachwear! Well, may be that is a bit of an exaggeration. Last year I saw everything from heavy blizzards to rain to hail to high wind to a lovely calm day with warm sunshine.... and that was all in the same day!

4. Card is King
I always take some ISK in cash, no not the in game currency, the currency in Iceland is ISK (you see what they did there). However, there are few places on earth that are more 'card friendly' than Iceland. Even if you are just buying one drink, you can use your plastic. Same for taxi's even. Makes for interesting (and long!) bank statements after the party! ATM's are plentiful.

5. Prepare for the Prices
Iceland is not cheap. Being an island where most things are imported and the lasting effects of the global economic crash means that Iceland is not a cheap place. It's not hideously expensive, I occasionally visit Dubai and London, they're hideously expensive. Whilst Iceland is not as bad as those, it is not cheap.

6. Try the local Vodka
They make a local vodka in Iceland and it is rather nice. Its called.... erm.... what's it called? I cannot remember. The only time I've heard its name is when I've been, well, drinking vodka! OI Google! What's the name of that nice local Icelandic vodka?

7. Pace Yourself at the Party On Top Of The World
You'll miss out if you get there early, power-drink and then go off looking for munchies.... I know from vast experience! In fact you might wake up next morning, fully clothed with a camera full of pictures you don't remember taking and no memory of the events of the previous night. Thankfully I did make it to the Blue Lagoon! Don't go too early, don't get boozed up beforehand and you'll not miss as much. I was "sensible" in 2015 and really enjoyed it. I mean being THIS close to the man, the legend, CCP Guard as he belts out HTFU...

8. Try Everything Once....
The Golden Circle is worth doing to see the amazing Icelandic scenery. The Charity Dinner wasn't as good in 2013-5 as it was in 2012 (not as much ceremony) but it is worth doing. The Pub Crawl with a Dev is an experience, its much more difficult working out if CCP Fozzie is trolling you about T3 Orca's when you've had a lot to drink! Do the Blue Lagoon. Try the puffin. Go for a hotdog at that famous hotdog stand near the Harpa. Have breakfast at the Laundromat Cafe. Go to the Penis Museum (yes there is one). Go exploring!

9. .....Except the Horrible Rotted Shark Drink.
Its rank!

10. Get to Round Tables Early
If you are going to one of the round-tables and its one you REALLY need to go to, get there early. The popular ones tend to be standing room only very quickly and many find they cannot get in.

11. Enjoy Yourself!
Everyone there is mad about important internet spaceships and I've met some amazing people there. So grab a drink, get talking about spaceships and have a great time!

12. Give it an Extra Day
Sunday might sound the day to go home, but think about it. If your doing it right you had a very good time on Saturday night and into Sunday morning and you don't want to be travelling the same day as that! Book onto the Blue Lagoon trip, have a chilled Sunday and relax. Get the early flight out on the Monday morning! Unfortunately with leave as it is this year (2016) I cannot, so am taking the Sunday afternoon flight and I know I'll regret it!

Bonus 13. Grab a SIM at the Airport
Chris Hugman - "A big tip you missed, Buy a LTE sim from the airport with 5gb of data it worked out about £25, never needed wifi and had a great connection every where even on the golden circle."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Two Certainties (Broker's Fees)

Its was said there were two certainties in life - Death and Taxes... unless you are a capsuleer then it's just taxes.

CCP are looking at changing the charges for various in-station services in the Citadel expansion. One of these is market taxes. NPC station orders will be going up. See here for some details.

I knew about this change from a rage filled Facebook post (are there any other types?). Station traders furious that the taxes are going up. However I don't see what the problem is. To me this is what CCP said at the start of their road map back in what? Fanfest 2012? They want players running things, not NPC's. I originally thought of Mittens as Tibus Heth and thought "Well that's not going to work". However its not that, its getting players to be doing things traditionally done by NPC systems. I see these tax changes are aimed at that. CCP want Jita 4-4 doomed. CCP do not want an NPC station as trade hub. They want a player controlled citadel as the main trade hub(s) in the game.

After Citadel release I believe many players will try and make their own "Jita 4-4". I assume the Jita system will be off limits for anchouring citadels (for load issues), but it'll be somewhere close. One of these will soon emerge the favorite just as Jita did as the NPC station of choice. This player owned citadel will likely be cheaper to trade in than 4-4 as that will have the set 5% NPC tax. The owners of the new station could have their's set at say 1.5% for the sake of this post. Over time Jita falls out of favour. It's too expensive and most people are using the more popular player Citadel. The same happens near Rens and Dodixie. Soon very few trades are done in NPC stations. It's all about player owned and more importantly, player run, citadels.

So fear not intrepid traders. This is not the news to cause fear, rage or tears. It's going to be interesting. Just imagine if it's your Citadel that replaces Jita 4-4... 1.5% of all that ISK swapping hands currently in Jita? The Forge had 280 trillion in Sept 2015 (I think it was announced at Vegas). This could equate to about 4 trillion a month to a lucky alliance/corp if they cornered the market in that region.

This then raises a more interesting question. When the Goons burn *wherever*, they could destroy the citadel that had replaced Jita 4-4. OK may be not the Goons as they are seem to be heading away from that sort of caper for some .coming reason. However PL smacked down Chribba's freeport tradestation didn't they?

That could cause a massive problem. Imagine logging on today and finding that Jita 4-4 had been destroyed!

Erm...actually, CCP, have you thought about that aspect?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Delivery Boy

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

The Delivery Boy

Jullynes swerved the aging hover-bike around the front of a Quaffe truck that failed to look properly when pulling out. He narrowly avoided entering the oncoming lane before swerving back to the middle cursing loudly in Gallente. He hated his life right now. The rain was cold, falling from a black sky mostly obscured by the 400 story mega-towers that lined the 8 line highway. Traffic was heavy even though it was approaching midnight local time. He turned at a junction and winced as the metal struts along the base of the bike skimmed the roads surface in a shower of sparks. The bike should have a 30cm clearance from the surface but it was old and in dire need of repairs. It glided barely 5cm above the road meaning if he banked too hard when turning the metal studs protecting the anti-grav dishes would scrape. He glanced at the holo-dash, he was going to be late. Not only would that mean the customer wouldn't tip him probably, he's also lose 50% of his pay for the delivery. Yes, it was nights like this that reminded Jullynes that of the 25 million people in this city, he was near the bottom of the pile.

The mega-towers slowly gave way to smaller, but still large, tower blocks as he reached the old town. Rubbish and the number of homeless shuffling along the sidewalk increased and police presence dropped. He reached the address and pulled onto the sidewalk next to a burnt out truck, cutting the bike's power. It sunk to the surface with a clang. He opened the case on the back and quickly pulled out the large bags of greasy Caldari take-away running into the foyer. He glanced at his wrist pad. 45th floor. He ran to the elevators. The 'out of order' sign hanging from the battered door made him curse again, the most creative of the night. He took to the stairwell in a sprint. Finally he rang the bell for the apartment, gasping for breath. The staircase had not only been 45 flights of hell but was littered with rubbish and drugs paranfalia. The sooner he was out of here the better. He heard various latches and chains sliding on the other side of the door. How many did they need? Was this the Gallente Prime Depository? Eventually the door slid open and a hulking Matari Brutor stood there in a white vest. Jullynes swallowed as he saw the bulging muscles on the man.


"Erm.... your food order.... sir!"

"Oh, right. Come in!"

The Brutor re-entered the apartment and Jullynes followed into a small living room. Half a dozen men were sat around the tatty apartment. On the small table between the sofas were a pile of guns. Jullynes tried not to make it obvious he was looking. He set the bags down on another table.

"That's 64.50 excluding tip." he said hopefully. With being 20 minutes late thanks to traffic and no working lift he was expecting the old "Hey if it's 15 minutes late it's half price!" arguement.

"'Here, keep the change." the Brutor said handing him a cred-note.

Jullynes looked down. It was a crisp 100 bill. He looked up at the man in shock about the thank him from his generosity when there was a strange sound. Something akin to a small piece of glass breaking. The Brutor in front of him looked shocked but was frozen in place, a small red patch on the front of his shirt started to grow in size before he fell stiffly forward. As the man fell Jullynes saw the small hole in the window behind him. He'd seen enough action movie holo-vids to know what had happened. He dived to the floor as more rounds came through the window. The room erupted into chaos as the men jumped to their feet and went for their guns. Several cried and fell before they reached their weapon. Glass smashed and rounds thudded into walls and furniture. Foam stuffing from cheap tatty couches was thrown into the air as Jullynes crawled on the floor. The main apartment door was being hit too much so he headed for a side door. Reaching up he pulled the handle but it was locked. The key was in the door so he turned it and rolled inside slamming the door behind himself.

The window in this room was bricked up and it was dark. He stood and felt around for the light switch. He flicked it on and froze. This wasn't a bedroom, it was a cell. There was a small portable toilet, a single bed and a very scared young girl sat on it.

"Oh shit!" he muttered. The sound of the fire from the next room indicating that the residents were fighting back.

"Who are you?" the girl asked, clearly frightened.

"I'm Jullynes, or just Jully ..... I deliver Caldari take-away!" he said trying to explain he wasn't with the men who were clearly holding her captive. However he was only too aware that now he knew they were holding the girl they couldn't let him leave.

"Who are you? Why are you locked in here?"

"I'm Ylle. Those men! They are with the Serpentis. They kidnapped me because of my dad."

"He owe them money or something?"

"No, he's a cop."

"These men kidnapped you because your dads a cop?"

"Was. He's dead." she said with a sob.

"Sorry." replied Jullynes.

"THIS IS THE POLICE. THROW DOWN YOUR WEAPONS." The command echo'd through the walls.

"We're dead!" screamed the girl.

"It'll be OK, its the Police they'll save us!" he said moving over to try and calm her.

"Its the Police who want me dead!"


"I'll explain later! However trust me. Those cops are not here to save me. I know too much. That's why these goons kidnapped me. They have a hold over the cops if they have me alive. I'm a witness that could bring down most the corrupt force! They'll want NO loose ends at all."

The realisation hit Jullynes like a sixteen hundred howitzer. That sniper had killed the first man without warning. Cops cannot simply execute people! If the girl was telling the truth this wasn't a rescue mission and he was in the way. 

"We need to get out of here!" he said looking around. There was no way out other than the way he came in.

He opened the door a crack, there were three men left all taking cover behind walls and upturned furniture shooting blindly towards the window. Jullynes watched as one man pulled up some floorboards and reached down. Whatever he pulled out was wrapped in a blanket. He pulled the cloth off to reveal a grenade launcher. He armed the weapon and quickly stepped in front of the window.


He never finished the sentence, multiple bullet holes slamming into his broad chest. As he fell backwards Jullynes watched in horror as he pulled the trigger.

"GET DOWN!" he screamed slamming the door and diving at the girl.


Lieutenant Carvaire stepped into the smoldering apartment. There were massive holes in both the floor and the ceiling. Body parts and pieces of smashed, charred furniture were scattered all over. He brought a handkerchief to his face to filter out the worst of the smoke.

"Find anything?" he asked one of the officers coming out.

"She was here sir. They had a room set up. Bastards. They must have moved her before we got here. We'll find her sir. We'll find her for Janomeches." he replied referring to Carvaire's ex-partner.

Carvaire nodded and looked around. He needed that girl dead, and soon. Stooping down he picked up a brown paper bag with a receipt stapled to the front.


The bike roared down the deserted alley. Getting out had been easy. After the explosion the smoke covered them so they could jump to the apartment below through the huge hole in the floor. They then had just joined the throng of evacuating residents. The grenade blast had set off the fire alarm quite understandably. Jullynes had given Ylle his cap and she'd wrapped her blonde ponytail under it and kept her head down. The cops were looking for a lone girl who would be looking to find the police so they had simply walked past in the crowd.

"Where are we going?" Ylle called over his shoulder.

"Trust me!" he said as he powered the bike on.

The truth was he had no idea. The corrupt police were after them, he had no idea which cops he could trust. The Serpentis were also after them. He also had no idea that things were about to become a lot more interesting as a third player joined the search, high in orbit above.

To be continued...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cold War? Luke Warm Maybe?

March, just like most of 2016 so far, has been pretty shit. Oh, I've had some good times but generally the year has been very much doom and gloom. Not in a Rixx Javix "the US law is an ass and could send me to jail for something that is not my fault" bad, but bad enough. Therefore I've not been on Eve very much lately.

Yesterday I decided to log on for the 45 minutes befor the Eve Widow got home from work for some PvP. I log on near Asaki, obviously I logged out there last time. It took a minute to recover from "WHERE ARE ALL MY SHIPS???? I HAZ BEEN HAXZ! Oh.... this is not Ishomilken!". I undocked and ran the pipe back to Iso. Only ship I encountered was a Fed Navy Comet that would have murdered my rocket Kestrel. I then ran the Nikki pipe all the way to the high-sec boundary before returning to Isho. I then sat in a plex hoping someone would come in. A few landed on the gate and then warped off. I finally got someone to come at this bro... and it was a fellow Stay Frosty corpie. So I headed back down the Uuna pipe towards Mushi and Asaki.

In the 30 minutes since I was last in that pipe we have action! Merlin in a plex. Enter to find him 30km off the warp in and whilst I burn for him he has plenty of time to warp off. Bantam? Yeah I know but its worth a try. As I land he's already 3000km away warping off. Punisher? Go on. Nope, he's warped before I even land. I scan the Merlin again and warp to the plex. Gone. Remember I'm in a T1 Kestrel and warping into them! So I just sit there outside on the gate. Sure enough Merlin appears back on short range scan and lands 1500m from me. Scram! Web! Fire! He warps off. Stabbed.

I fly around a bit more but every system is the same. Either runners or those rare occasions I can get a point they have at least two stabs.

I log off and currently have no motivation to log on today. What's the point? I feel like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner. I want to fight but it appears there are few in the UTC+4 TZ who share my passion for PvP. I have nothing against PvE but most of these are faction war in combat ships. Faction war? Farming war these days.

I've just about had enough. Why is UTC+4 so full of farmers who won't fight?

And yes, I would love some cheese to go with my full bodied-whine!

However what is the solution?

Arenas? This was broached by CCP a few years ago but never went anywhere. I don't like the idea.

Nerf FW Farming? FW isn't about war anymore, its about farming LP. If we nerfed the LP the farmers would diminish. If you saw someone in a plex there would be a high chance its someone actually looking for a fight. Then again this would hurt proper FW players.

Oh I don't know. May be space is too big for the amount of players in the UTC+4 timezone. May be people just don't want PvP these days. May be I'm just fed up! I'll go and get my +4 scram frigate and end up dying in a fire to someone actually combat fit!

Apologies for the rage post. Its just really arsing me off atm.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Citadel Shanty Towns?

Soon (TM) Citadels will be launched. There will be various sizes to suit one-man corps up to the behemoths that the biggest alliances will be able to field. However, will rank and file members be able to feel engaged with these? As far as I'm aware it'll be like docking in a NPC station or an outpost. You'll have your standard captains quarters. Will normal members think "This is MY home?". I'm not sure they will when you compare housing in games such as the likes of Skyrim. However for Eve, and specifically low-sec, I was thinking about perhaps one of the best features of old Star Wars: Galaxies, towns!

If you never played SW:G, a guild could found a town on the planet. Within that radius, individual players could place their own house. There were many styles of different houses and it was yours. I was wondering if this sort of mechanic has a place in Eve Online, and I think it does.


Eve Online certainly needs those XL citadels. Goon HQ standing proud in all its 250km glory (or however big those things are going to be). Even the smaller organised corps especially the industrialists and the like. Their own citadel to show off.

However my opinion is that way is not appropriate for Stay Frosty or other similar corps. Yes we could build a medium sized one, but again, I don't think that fits in with the attitude. We are solo and small gang players brought together under an umbrella. We're in low-sec, the wild wild west of New Eden. A big shiny starbase just doesn't seem to fit in my opinion. We want a backwater outpost. A wretched hive of scum and villainy were us -10's can live. I'm thinking the Firefly type outlying worlds. Mos Eisley spaceport (in space) obviously. The diner from Spaceballs the Movie.

Perhaps a good example other than the SW:G type of towns, I'm thinking Defiance. A settlement of individuals, united. A hotpotch of "self built" structures. Individuals in a tight group (but not so tight that they are a pain to navigate). On their own they are weak and defenseless. Clumped together they are more of a threat. Obviously I'm thinking low-sec here as opposed to hi-sec where we'd see more structured and permanent citadels. Low-sec should be shanty towns like Defiance.

Your "space house" should be built by the industrialists of New Eden, but could be customised cosmetically with AUR items from the NeX to improve incoming for CCP. I want to mount a big neon sign on the house I've placed next to Rixx that says "Space Jail" with a comedy pointing finger.

Another option along this theme would be to have a base structure that a corp or alliance could deploy and it has a number of "plots" on it. The frame comes in various sizes and allows corp members to build their "house" on the structure.

There are several ways of doing this and I think it would be popular with a lot of players. However I do accept just as many will think its a waste of time. Then again if we all liked the same thing, Eve would have died out long ago!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

SCASSSS - Hi-Sec Screenshots

As a -10 piwat I rarely ever visit hi-sec. I certainly don't hang around to enjoy the view! However it's a pity as it can be real gorgeous in those amazing nebula!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Worker - Part 3

Fiction Friday. Two escape pods. Help out one of our own here, a guy that does a tremendous amount for the community. Also if you're going to Fanfest, how about a the best T-shirt ever!

The Worker - Part 3

Ragnar stared at his datapad. He couldn't believe it. He thought with Fanason at the salvage controls they'd get some good stuff from the strategic cruiser wreck but he never imagined this. A lot of the items on the cargo manifest he'd never seen before. Capacitor consoles and intact armour plates didn't even have a price on his local market. These were traded by capsuleers for ISK. There was also ship modules and even some drones. They were rich.

The next jump was uneventful. No Sansha, no capsuleers, no Serpentis. As they entered warp towards the regional stargate Fanason got up from the console and almost snatch the datapad out of the Captain's hands as she walked past.

"Hey!" he protested.

"Sorry, need this to reprogram the transponder before we jump out of null. What do you want this flying scrapheap to be called?"

"What about 'How the Fuck Did We Manage That?' as an option?"

"OK 'The Lucky Escape' it is then!" she replied as she left the bridge.

Mairanard manned the helm as Fanason went to engineering. They monitored some of the local news channels. Spokespersons from the regional government, navy and even the Sisters of Eve relayed the terrifying stories of the Sansha incursion.

"So she doesn't want a cut of the loot?" Mairanard stated as the news swapped to the coverage of the capsuleers attacking the Nation's staging areas.

"She was just desperate to get out of there. She also highlights she's a wanted felon by the Feds. If we give her money it might be traceable. Bang! We just helped a wanted felon and got 10 to 20 on a 'roid penal colony. However I have an idea." the Captain replied as the ship started to drop out of warp. At that moment Fanason returned.

"OK transponder has been spoofed but we'll be caught if we go anywhere near hi-sec. We'll need to dock at a larger station and then it'll take a couple of days of laying low until the Sisters find our escape pods and classify the ship as lost. On close inspection it'll be clear this ship is not what it says it is but they are unlikely to be able to connect it to the old name."

Ragnar nodded. They needed to get to a trade-hub to deal the salvage and that meant hi-sec. Not a great place to be when there is likely a large reward for information on your whereabouts still. The next system had an outpost but just like the one where they found Fanason, it was small. Not a good place to hide.


The jump into low-sec brought the huge green Gallente nebula much closer. Ragnar had thought about Fanason's plan to head to the nearest low-sec system. She was right, they didn't want to linger in null. The sparsely populated space was not a place to hide in, they needed crowds they could disappear into. They stopped off briefly at a small outpost for supplies but did not linger. It was almost certain the Serpentis would have a reward out on them.

"Captain. I've got some ships on scan at the next gate. Looks like a camp." Fanason said as she leaned over the console.

Gate camps were common in low-sec. Pirates, capsuleers, pirate-hunters. The gang there might completely ignore them, or they might attack. It was impossible to know. The ship shuddered as it dropped out of warp.

"Shit!" Mairanard excalimed as the viewscreen showed a number of Serpentis ships.

"What do we do? Run?" the Captain asked.

"No. They've seen us. We need to take them out." Fanason replied frantically working at the console.

"What? Yes you capsuleers are good but the ship is unarmed. What we going to do? Shout 'pew pew' out of an airlock?"

"I made a few changes whilst we were docked. Remember that strategic cruiser we looted and salvaged? Well when we were docked I moved some bits around!"

Suddenly the viewscreen went red as Fanason brought the ship into combat mode. Ragnar had never used these systems. He looked at the drone control systems. Gone were the salvage drones, replaced by the looted 'Augmented Warrior' class combat drone.

The Captain and his quasi-first officer looked on in amazement as Fanason worked. There was nothing they could do. Three Thorax class attack cruisers should have made mincemeat out of them. They headed for the gate as their combat drones destroyed the first ship. Alarms sounded as their shields started to fail under the blaster and railgun fire of the pirates. Ragnar looked nervously at the readouts as the armour took heavy damage.

"Erm, you're scratching the paint a bit." he joked nervously.

The seconds cruiser exploded in a fireball as more alarms sounded. Ragnar watch as she gave the drones new orders whilst trying to keep the ship in one piece. He was aware Mairanard had moved close and was gripping his arm.

"Almost there!" Fanason muttered to herself. Structural alarms sound as the last pirate ship turned to warp away.

"Oh no you don't." their mortal capsuleer hissed. A fireball burst from the rear of the cruiser which appeared to start a chain-reaction. The lights on the stricken ship flickered and went out as it drifted away. Fire burning from every port on the destroyed ship.

"Right, lets jump, get to the station and see about a respray." Fanason smiled.


It was cramped in the small Captain's quarters with the three of them. Ragnar and Mairanard were registered as Captain and First Officer in the Gallente ship records. A facial-scan would give their true identities away. This wouldn't matter with the station authorities, they were not wanted. However it was likely the Serpentis were monitoring everything they could hack into. This station was an obvious stopping point and likely the syndicate had agents here looking. Linger and Ergrad were not so registered so remained on the ship and had access to the station. It was a gamble that any inspection team would buy a crew of three. However this was low sec, and unlikely that they would be that thorough.

"I really need to buy some more clothes." Fanason grumbled as she exited the bathroom. She was still wearing the same clothes she had been wearing when she picked up the Captain. At least they fitted. Ragnar had sent them to be cleaned and she'd been wearing some spare clothes of Mairanard which were five sizes too large.

"I don't know. I kind of like that outfit." Ragnar laughed.

"Yeah. That's kinda the point when you are in my profession. Or should I say ex-profession."

"What's your plan when we get to high-sec?" Mairanard asked trying to change the subject.

"First is to get that chip out of my back. The Serps cannot use it to track me off the old station but it might be detected if I get too close to any of them. Actually these clothes are still needed. I need to find a good surgeon who will accept an alternative payment method." she laughed.

"We can pay for that!" Mairanard quickly suggested.

"No. You cannot do anything for me that could be traced back to you by the Feds. You are taking a big enough risk helping me escape. I can never repay you."

Mairanard laughed. "You repay us? If it wasn't for you we'd be mindless zombies in Sansha Kuvakei latest perverted vision of a eutopia! Here have a drink!"

Fanason smiled and accepted the offering. It was good quality Gallente vodka and after the earlier engagement they all needed a drink. Sitting on the sofa Fanason asked Ragnar and Mairanard their plans for the future. The Captain explained he was going to trade-in the Noctis and buy a industrial hauler. No more chasing wrecks. With the cash they'd make from the salvage he could get a good ship and a decent crew and haul. Mairanard said she'd had enough of life in the space-lanes.

"Find both a nice planet and a nice man hung like a Matar stallion and retire really early!" she laughed.

"Really? Settle down? Planet-side?" the Captain said in surprise.

"Come on Captain. It's been a wild ride but this run has brought it into perspective. We've nearly been abducted by the Nation and almost vented into hard vacuum twice by pirates in the space of 72 hours. You said that salvage is worth millions of ISK right?"


"And that will convert to tens of millions of Federal Credits?"


"Split between the five of us?"

"Four of you." Fanason corrected.

"So whilst its an exciting life, I can see peace and tranquility in my retirement. Not many of us get to retire in our late 20's but I'm going to be one of them!" Mairanard finished raising her glass. The other two joined in the toast.

"Wild untamable Mairanard settling down. I never thought I'd see the day." the Captain laughed. Fanason looked at Mairanard and raised a questioning eyebrow,

"Hey, I'm not retired yet. I still have a few more days to shock you Capt!"

With that she leaned over to Fanason and kissed her full on the lips. Fanason was too shocked to react. Mairanard pulled back slightly and smiled at her. Fanason returned the smile and wrapped her hand around the back of her neck and pulled her back in. The Captain looked on opened-mouthed as the two women shared a passionate kiss. Hands began to roam, small gasps of pleasure escaping lips as fingers wrapped around breasts and slid under clothing. Finally Mairanard pulled away a few inches and turned her head to the Captain. He'd seen that look before, a look of lust.

"Hey Capt. I think our hot-shot pilot here is wearing far too much. Want to give me a hand over here?"

The Captain rose from the chair and sat the otherside of Fanason, pulling her jacket off whilst kissing the side of her neck. Mairanard moved back in and slipped her tongue into the ex-capsuleers mouth.

"But not these!" Mairanard stated ending the kiss whilst running her hands up Fanason's legs. She traced the interface of the black lace and warm flesh at the top of her stockings with her thumbs. "These can stay on!"

Two hours later the Captain carefully untangled himself from the two sleeping women. Mairanard naked and Fanason wearing only the black lace-top stockings. Quietly he dressed and took a pair of scissors from the medical cabinet. Being careful not to wake either of the women her leant over and took a few strands of Fanason's hair and cut some free. He then silently went back to his ship.


A day later they looked at the SoE preliminary report on the Sansha Incursion. Hundreds of thousands abducted including everyone from the outpost they had left. Over two thousand ships lost either destroyed or taken by the Nation. The Captain looked at the list dispalyed on the big screen. There was his ship. Registered as destroyed by the Nation.

"Well its time to head for hi-sec I guess." Ragnar stated.

Mairanard and Fanason nodded and stood.

"No, you two are staying here!"

The two women looked at him in shock.

"Before you start, listen. Its one jump to high-sec. Me and Linger and Ergrad can do that and get to Dodixie. We'll sell the salvage and check on the situation. We'll be back in 48 hours. You two sit tight."

With that he turned and left, not allowing any arguments on the matter.


Two days later Ragnar returned in shuttle. The salvage had been very good and they were now rich. He was not going to take no for an answer so had made plans to reward Fanason for saving them. He docked in the station and ordered the docking crew to take his small cargo to deck 14. He tipped well to make sure it got there. He sent a message to a contact on the station he'd spoken to the day before telling him to get the room set up as requested. It was all going to plan.

As neared the door to the captain's quarters he wondered what he'd find inside? Would they be....?

A hulking Matari Brutor carrying a stun baton was certainly not what he was expecting to find as he opened the door. Before he could react his world went black.

The freezing water thrown in his face brought him round. Ragnar was tied to a chair. They were in some sort of old store room. Mairanard and Fanason hung by their wrists in the centre of the dank room.

"Morning Captain!" a woman walked around in front of him. She was Gallente, mid-20's and he could guess who she was.

"What a shame you ignored our messages. They could have prevent such unpleasantness."

"Yeah. Unfortunately I didn't have time to reply. You know, what with the fracking Nation trying to abduct us and everything."

The woman laughed.

"By the time we are finished you'll wish they had."

She pulled a metal cylinder from a pocket and dropped it his lap. He looked down at the strange device.

"It's a military-grade trauma injector. Soldiers use them on the battlefield. You hit the red button and four spike appear from the end. You then jam that into the gaping hole you or your buddy have. It fires a sterile expanding foam into the wound with coagulant agents and some nanites and drugs or something. Providing you're not hit in the head, heart or lungs, that thing will potentially save your life."

She then pulled a huge knife from her belt and walked up to where the two women hung.

"So Captain. You risked your crew's life for that slut over there? Any regrets on your decision making yet? Now you get to make your choice all over again."

The woman turned to face Mairanard who was sobbing. She begged as the woman pulled her t-shirt up exposing her midriff. The Captain joined in the protests as she gently ran the knife across Mairanard's stomach, tracing around to the side. She then plunged the knife into her abdomen eliciting a shrill scream.

"NO!" the Captain cried.

The woman then walked over to Fanason.

"May be I should have done this first and saved us the trouble!" she sneered before stabbing her deep in the side. Fanason screamed as the woman twisted and wiggled the knife cruelly this time, taking her time to inflict pain and suffering.

"OK let him go!" the woman ordered as she pulled the knife out.

The Captain felt the bonds holding his wrists together cut away. He grabbed the trauma injector and stood. Two hulking goons stood behind him, blaster pistols aimed at his face.

"Goodbye Captain. And best of luck with your decision!" the woman laughed as she left the room quickly followed by her thugs.

Ragnar looked down at the injector and then at the two woman hanging in the centre of the room. Dark, almost black blood pumping from their savage wounds.


Ysater woke with a start. Something had happened, but what? She'd been on the ship. It had been three days since she'd dispatched that slut that made Tuvan cheat on her. It had been big news. Disgraced Federal Navy capsuleer found dead from vicious stab wound. That Captain had chosen the save his crewmate. She knew he would.

Looking around it appeared to be a small quarters. Not a cell. Why was her memory so fuzzy. An attack. Yes, they'd been attacked. Some random egger. She'd got to the escape pod. The escape pod had been tractored! She'd been captured. Why would a capsuleer capture her?

She stood on woozy legs and looked down. She was naked. Moving over to the wardrobe she found five sets of identical outfits. The underwear and shoes were the same style.

"No. It cannot be!"

She looked at the slutty outfits, fit for a cheap hooker. It was revenge, but how.

Her datapad was on the side blinking. She picked it up ignoring the notification and went to call her HQ. The datapad wouldn't connect. It was disconnected. She looked at the notification. A video file. She played it.

"Hello Ysater." the woman said. Ysater had no idea who it was.

"This face and this body is new so you are probably wondering who I am. All I will say that you tried to ruin my life and in doing so I met some special people. Hours before you killed me a man who had become my friend returned from high-sec with two surprise presents for me. First was a fast shuttle. The other was far more special. By sneaking some of my DNA he arranged for a new compatible body with implants. I died, but they were able to get my body to a scanner in time. Before my neural patterns had started to break down. So the tables are turned. However I am not vindictive. There is no tracker implanted on you, no orders to the outpost management that I'll hunt them down and kill their families if they let you leave. The shuttle price to get off that outpost is fifty thousand credits. Once you've earnt that you're free. I've even paid your first three days of rent and food to allow you to settle before starting work. I'm afraid its not cheap living there."

The video stopped with the words "VIDEO DELETED" flashing in big red letters.

"SLUT!" Ysater screamed.

She sat on the bed continuing to swear to herself. She was going to get revenge.


Ysater walked down the deserted corridor teetering in the high heels. The skirt was too short and too tight and the halter-neck top showed more than it covered. She'd stayed in the small quarters all day trying to think of an alternative. In the end she'd accepted she'd been left with no choice. However as she could leave she'd simply find an acceptable Captain and offer to be his companion until she got back to civilization. The problem was there was nobody about and no signs to direct her. She was wandering lost. Finally she turned the corner to see two men stood talking. They turned to look what the movement was and both froze, their jaws hanging slack. They were almost drooling as she reached them.

"Where do the Captains drink here?"

"Erm.... what?" one asked not taking his eyes from her chest.

"The starship captains. There must be a bar they frequent."

"We's only got the one bar missy. Its in sector 3a!" said the other, similarly staring at her breasts.

"Finally" she thought to herself "Some useful information!"

"And how does one get off the this rock?"

"Wells a miss. You gotta buy a seat on the supply ship. Its fiddy large you know."

"Yeah, yeah I know!"

"You want us to show you the bar miss?"

"Yeah, lead the way!" she said rolling her eyes as the two 'special cases' turned. She thought it was just her luck for the first people she runs into to be two simpletons.

Finally they started to see more people as they reached what looked to be the main area of the outpost. Each one looked at her in total shock. It wasn't until they'd passed a dozen that she realised they were all men. Mostly labourers she judged.

"What is this outpost?" she asked her guides warely.

"Dis is the best veldspar mining outpost in the constellation!" one said.

"Dats because its the only mining outpost in the constellation!" the other finished, bring a laugh from both of them. Obviously a well used joke in these parts.

"So you get ships coming all the time to haul the ore out right?" she said as they continued into a sort of market street.

"Ships? Nah. The 'roid belt is unstable. We fire the mined ore in rockets out to be collected like doz egger customs things collect. Also stops people leaving before their time is up. Here we are!" one announced.

Ysater looked in horror. The one bar looked dilapidated from the outside. As they walked in she found it was no better on the inside. As she entered the entire bar fell silent. Dozens of muscled, filthy miners looked at her in amazement. 

"Rockets? But you said you can get off when the supply ship comes! So ships do dock right?"

"Yeah, the supply ship does dock. Its the only one and they only do it so often as it's dangerous you see."

Ysater glanced around. Dozens of lustful eyes were on her.

"How often does it come?" she asked.

"Once a year."

She let out a sob. Pausing to think what that could mean.

"When is the next one due?" she asked dreading the answer.

"Well, dat last one came in yesterday miss. I thought it musta brought you as we not seen anyone as purty as you before."

"Or any girly here actually thinkin' about it." the other stated matter-of-factly.

A scream of anger and frustration broke the tense silence of the bar.

The end.