Friday, August 19, 2016

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 10

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here!

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 10

Thanan started from a window in the elevated office block down toward the distant smoking docking bay. Whatever the missile was, it hadn't exploded, but had smashed the wing of the transport. There was no way it would be able fly. His crew were evacuating the ship, inflatable slides had been deployed on the other side of the craft and people were running from the crash scene.

He watched as two figures emerged from the wreckage. From this distance he couldn't make them out but they were not wearing his uniforms and both appeared to be carrying guns. It wasn't a missile, it was some kind of drop-pod.

"We need to get back to the transports. What is the quickest way?" he growled.

One of his men took out a datapad and quickly checked.

"There are access tunnels that run underground. B1 is directly below us and would take us within a hundred metres of the docking bay where the two transports are. Its a 15 minute jog and we have 21 minutes sir."

Thanan knew that might not be the case but didn't say anything. Everything about the Blue Nova Crystal was theoretical. One hour was the estimated time to the reaction going critical but it could be longer, or shorter. Thanan had made billions in his time. His analytical mind was always weighing the options. They had two options. Steal another vessel, a closer one and get off world now or go back to the transports and take the one without the device. Whilst for his own personal safety option 1 was better he also watched the two men leaving the crash site and running in the direction of the transports. It was highly unlikely they could stop the reaction but why were they heading that way if they didn't know of a solution.

"Lets go!" Thanan growled.


"Shields holding but we're burning capacitor quickly!" Aki called out.

Another wave of rockets slammed into the Katsu Maru from the attacking fighters. The lights flickered and the sparks flew as a power conduit ruptured.

"Sensor status?" Sosa called out.

"Swamped. I cannot see us breaking through even with the backup arrays."

Sosa swore under his breath. ECM was a Caldari invention and was being used very effectively against them.

"So we have no idea how that Falcon is doing?"

"No sir. Our drones have engaged but it's possible he has some of those jammed too. He could be a tin can setup sir. No tank, just jams and amps. In that case we might have a chance. If he's got any sort of tank on there we're in trouble!"

A tin can Falcon was one whose loadout was fully aimed at getting the highest possible jamming strength. They had poor shields and armour meaning they would not last long in a firefight, but if your foe couldn't target you, then there was no firefight.

"Riku, we're in the shit up here. What's your status?" Sosa spoke into his comm unit.

"3 minutes until we reach the ship sir. Their exit transport was disabled and we're not encountering any resistance. I think everyone was ready to leave and now are desperately looking for another way offworld!"

"Good. Rescue our girls and get that device off planet!"

"Yes sir!"

Sosa looked at the viewscreen at the Thanatos class carrier. They needed a miracle and needed it soon.


Adab crossed the open plan office looking at his notes. The chief was surely going to ask a lot of questions, questions which Adab had no answers. In his 20 years of law enforcement in the Amarr Throne Worlds he'd never encountered such an odd enquiry. Reaching the Chief's door he knocked three times, waited a few seconds and then entered.

"Adab. What can I do for you?" the Chief asked. 

"Sir. A few years ago I worked on the security for a Caldari delegation who visited this station."

The Chief nodded.

"Yes I remember. It was heightened security as Heth was kicking off and we didn't want Caldari Executive Panel members bumped off by the Frogs under our watch."

"We'll I got to know one of the panel, she just called me direct and asked me three questions about an active investigation that was far as I know has no ties with anything Caldari."

The Chief leaned forward interested.

"Which case?"

"Detective Aleira's case sir." 

Adab's boss raised an eyebrow.

"She wanted to know if Detective Aleira had gone to Gallente space, if she was investigating the theft of six molecular lasers and if she had gone missing. I didn't see the harm in confirming this. However she shut down the link very abruptly before I could question her how she knew these things and what it had to do with the Caldari Executive Council."

The Chief leaned back in his chair and stroked his golden beard.

"This damn case case trickier with each passing hour!" he said wonder what the connection could be. The last they'd heard from here was when she left to investigate the Gallente University who had tried to buy six molecular lasers a few months ago. With her disappearance it clearly wasn't a coincidence, but how were the Caldari government involved?

"Try to call her back. Find out how she knows these things."

"I did sir. She won't answer so I tried another contact I made from the visit. Her security advisor said she knew nothing about what I was talking about and that there was an ongoing emergency in Caldari space and that they'd contact me once things had settled down to explain."

Both men stood in silence think what this all could mean.


Riku and Ingvar paused at the entrance to the docking bay. It was a huge circular structure where the two transports sat on the pad. One was still idling and had its power online. The other appeared to be offline. This was exactly as Aki had said they'd find them. To start the reaction in the crystal the ship had to have zero vibration so the reactor would need to be in sleep mode before they could activate the molecular lasers.

Riku looked around the perimeter walkway. He didn't see anything. However the concrete columns could be hiding any number of men.

"Plan?" Ingvar asked sweeping his Ishukone assault rifle around and looking through the thermal imaging scope making sure there were no guards or snipers.

"One of us goes and grabs the girls whilst the other engages the startup sequence and gets the craft offworld before that shit goes critical."

"Fantastic! So one of us the hero who rescues two hot women, figuratively and literally as my scope is showing that the hull of that ship is damn hot in the cargo bay area, and the other is the hero who gets vapourised to save 5 billion people?" Ingvar stated.

"Blaster, pulse laser, HAM?" Riku laughed referring to their version of rock, paper, scissors. The communicator crackled into life.

"Riku its Sosa. Looks like you're going to have company! We're still tracking the bug on Thanan. It changed direction and then the signal slowly got weaker and then died. Aki is almost certain he's gone into the service tunnels under the port. One of them leads to you. Expect him and his men on you in approximately six minutes. We're not sure how much longer we can provide assistance to you guys down there. Good luck."

Riku and Ingvar looked at each other and smiled, both having the same idea.


"Capacitor at 13% sir and booster is almost dry." Yoshi called out as the Katsu Maru was rocked by another volley.

"Sosa looked at the tactical readout. It was hopeless. They were unable to get a tactical lock due to the Falcon's ECM and even in a normal fight they'd be no match for a Thanatos class carrier. It had been a lucky escape when they last met in the Black Rise region. They'd only got away after the Captain of the Thanatos had made a grave tactical error and concentrated on the offline battleship rather than taking down the Katsu Maru first.

He glanced at the countdown. 11 minutes remained until the crystal would go critical and explode. He hated this feeling of helplessness. They were in the worst situation he'd ever experienced.

"Capacitor is empty! Shield booster offline!" Yoshi called.

Sosa looked around the bridge with a resigned look.

"She was a good ship." he muttered as he tapped away on the terminal and activated the escape pod system.

As he was doing this he noticed the water in his drinking glass start to move. It was as if the glass had been tilted but it was still upright.

"Has the anti-gravity been damaged?" he ask knowing that the shields, whilst now weak, hadn't been penetrated yet."

Aki's fingers danced over his console.

"No sir, but we've got some huge gravimetric disturbance in the vicinity. I have no idea what it is. It's not the carrier, its something else. Something bigger."

An alarm blared. The shields had failed. There was a huge explosion and the lights on the bridge went out. A second later the emergency lighting came on. Smoke lingered in the bridge. The viewscreen flickered back into life.

"One of the backup reactors just took a hit. We've got hull breaches on decks 12 to 21 on the port side!" Yoshi called out. "Sealing blast doors."

Sosa reached to activate the abandon ship alarm. Without their shields the fighters would destroy them in a less than a minute.

"Oh... so that's what was affecting the artificial gravity." Aki mumbled making Sosa pause and look up.

A Leviathan class titan dropped out of warp some distance behind the Thanatos. The 16km long ship was a marvel of Caldari engineering. The largest and deadliest ship in their fleet.

"Its Admiral Vikkito's flagship sir. The fleet that engaged our taskforce at the gate." Yoshi said.

The bridge crew looked as the Thanatos slowly turned. The fighters that were engaging them broke away from their attack run and started burning back towards their carrier.


"Lieutenant. Please remind me of the stipulations of the rights-of-passage for Black Sun Securities capital vessels in Caldari space." Admiral Vikkito said rather theatrically on the bridge of the Leviathan.

"Sir? Well the license allows them as a security firm to move capital class ships through Caldari high-security space. However no more than two capital class vessels are allowed in the same system at the same time. They also must not be capsuleer vessels as this would also conflict with CONCORD laws. Finally they must keep all fighters and drones docked in carriers and offline any fitted weapons on dreadnought class ships whilst in Caldari high-security space."

"Excellent." Admiral Vikkito stated. "Do you concur that Black Sun Securities have broken the agreement of the rights-of-passage for non-capsuleer corporations?"

Lieutenant Tenanochi turned to the view screen. The Mammoth class industrial had taken a beating and the fighters that had been engaging it were rushing back to the carrier. It was obvious the carrier was aligning to warp away, not wishing to go toe-to-toe with a Titan.

"Yes I do sir. We are required by law to order them to stand down and impound the ship at the nearest navy stardock."

The Admiral smiled and nodded as he tapped away on this keypad.

"Correct again Lieutenant. However, what if this ship was part of an attack on New Caldari with the aim of killing five billion men, women and children? What should be our action then?"

The Lieutenant went to answer but stuttered. Not knowing how to respond.

"Well the correct answer is this." he leaned over and spoke into the communicator that set into the arm of his chair. "Fire control, you have authorisation to engage."

Back on the Katsu Maru the bridge crew watched as the energy field developed directly in front of the Leviathan.

"Yoshi, please tell me our shields are back online!" Sosa asked.

"Yes sir. Only at 8% but it'll be enough to deflect flying debris."

Sosa nodded and smiled as he watched the viewscreen intently. The energy field glowed a bright blue and tiny puffs of smoke appeared from the titan, dozens of missiles were being launched as the doomsday weapon fired. As the missiles followed the energy field and slammed into the doomed carrier they all could see why it was named 'Oblivion".


Thanan stopped behind a concrete column. The two ships were still there. One idealing, one in sleep mode just as he'd left them. His two men had their guns drawn and were two steps behind him. He saw movement from the ship that contained the device. The two men he'd seen emerge from the wreckage of the transport's wing ran down the cargo ramp each carried one of the women. He couldn't tell if they were dead or unconscious. They ran to the opposite side of the docking bay.

"Lets go!" Thanan ordered and jogged towards the ship. As they reached the ramp he paused.

"Stay here and keep them two pinned down."

As Thanan sprinted inside the ship his two men opened fire. Riku and Ingvar quickly moved behind a large concrete column. From this distance the pistols the two bodyguards of Thanan were using were wildly inaccurate.

"Not the best of shots are they?" Riku stated as he cocked his rifle.

"Shall we show them how its done?" Ignvar smiled.

The two bodyguards dived onto the ramp as 8mm charged rounds peppered the area from the Mordu's men's rifles. Ingvar and Riku slowly started to advance using what cover they could find between firing accurate bursts to keep the bodyguards pinned down.

Back in the cockpit Thanan ensured the ship was fully powered before activating the weapons system. The Viator had a single weapon. A 75mm railgun mounted on a hardpoint along the ventral line along the top of the vessel. Looking at the external cameras he saw the unknown Caldari and Matari men advancing. He wanted to fire on them. The 75mm antimatter round wouldn't need a direct hit. The weapon was designed to shoot down frigates, hit roughly close to a human would be enough. However his watch said two minutes and he needed to make sure that his plan was completed. The railgun spun to face the other transport. Thanan carefully aimed and fired a single round. Riku and Ingvar dropped to the ground as they heard the doom of starship weapon fire.

"Shit! He's bringing out the big guns!" Riku snarled into his communicator.

"Yeah but we're both still here, so what on Pator is he shooting at?"

The roar of the engines drowned out any further communications as the Viator lifted off. The two men watched as the transport lifted clear of the docking bay and fired its engines. As it left Ingvar's question was answered. There was a smoking hole almost 5m wide in the starboard engine of the other transport. Without its power offline its shields and armour hardeners were offline.

"So, we won't be flying that thing anywhere!" Riku said as Gian and Aleira walked over. Both women's skin was red and blotchy where the heat from the crystal had burnt them.

"So that's it then? It's all over?" Gian asked looking at the gaping hole in the transport.

"It would appear so." Riku replied glancing at his watch. One minute and twelve seconds remained on the countdown.


As soon as he was clear of the atmosphere Thanan activated the cloaking device and warp drive. The journey was short, a few seconds. He didn't want a great distance between him and the planet. He needed to be close enough to watch it burn, but also far enough away to ensure his ship wasn't compromised.

He was shocked to see the Katsu Maru warp in a few seconds later. Hurriedly he checked the cloaking device and was relieved to find it still working. The Mordu's Legion ship was some 300km away, however it cannot be a coincidence that they were so close. In astrological terms they were sat on top of him.

"Looking for revenge Captain? Serve your idea of justice for what is about to happen." Thanan spoke on a short range broadcast. He knew with enough time they'd be able to pinpoint his location however they'd be too late.

"No, I'm just doing the same as you Thanan. I'm here for a good view of the fireworks." Sosa replied.

This put Thanan off guard. Was the Captain who had been doing everything he could to stop him, wanting to watch the planet burn? It made no sense.

"I find that hard to believe. I think your two men are frantically trying to get the crystal off-world. I think they, along with the good doctor and our Amarrian detective are about to join billions of your race in a fiery death!"

"Nope." the reply came.

Thanan was now worried by the casual reply. No pleading for him to do the right thing. No threats of what they'd do to him when they caught him. He quickly ran a diagnostic of the ship. Something was up. They knew something he didn't. Three red lines on the diagnostic caught his eye. A number of systems in cargo bay one were offline. Sensors, fire suppression, cameras. A feeling of dread crept over him. He lept from the chair and sprinted out of the cockpit. Taking the stairs two at a time he ran towards cargo bay one. He turned the corner in the corridor and skidded to a stop. The heat blasted him in the face. Ahead the door to cargo bay one glowed a bright orange. The metal was melting. Without dissecting how, Thanan turned and ran. The door at the end of the corridor was marked "Escape Pod". He didn't slow and crashed into the door slamming the open control. Nothing happened. He slammed it several more times. Something akin to a clap of thunder sounded. He looked down the long corridor as the door to cargo bay one turned bright white.

On the Katsu Maru they watched as the Viator appeared. Its cloaking device failing.

"Good calcs Aki. I was a bit worried we'd get too close."

"It was easy Captain. This close to the planet the bug in the book was pinging off a dozen satellites in orbit. Easy to get an accurate position."

The Viator was suddenly swallowed by a bright white ball that expanded and then vanished.

"That was it?" Yoshi asked. "I was hoping for a big bang!"

"That's all we get." Aki replied "Small but deadly. Readings are it was indeed hot enough to ignite an atmosphere. Small on bang, big on power!"

"Right. Let's get our people back." Sosa announced looking into the vast empty space on the viewscreen.

Epilogue next week....


  1. I check your blog daily. It's the only EVE-based blog I read. Unfortunately, I'm not in to the fiction and I'm really missing your comments about the game. We need something interesting in game!

  2. He's had a really bad day.
    His fleet is responsible for a major friendly fire incident.
    His homeworld is under attack.
    But he has a superweapon
    And you just presented yourself as a fat, juicy, and, most importantly, legitimate target.
    Have a nice day