Tuesday, December 8, 2009
If you play EVE Online long enough, you find "glitches" in the game. When used improperly, these exploits can be damaging. This is what is happening with regards to Factional Warfare.
Several Caldari pilots discovered that if they attack Gallente FW Plexes with Amarrian characters, the NPCs will not attempt to defend the plex. This is why all of the Gallente warzone has been captured by the Caldari.
From what I was told, these pilots attempted to notify CCP of this bug/ exploit and according to my sources, CCP has not responded. Therefore, what do these pilots do? They come over to the Minmatar warzone and start taking down plexes as Caldari, knowing that the NPCs will not attack them.
As of this writing 3 systems has fallen using this exploit: Isbrabata, Egmar, and Aset.
As a pilot involved in factional warfare, I will be the first to rejoice when we win, but not by cheating. Granted, it sounds like CCP has seriously dropped the ball on this issue, but it doesn't justify stepping in and ruining the game for others.
There is another bug we discovered earlier and attempted many time to draw CCP's attention on. When a FW pilot enters a plex, approaches a timer, and then warps off, the timer will continue by itself. We have personally found Minmatar pilots repeatedly abusing this exploit, with no repercussions from CCP.
Using these bugs/ exploits is nothing more than cheating.
Our corporation, 1st Praetorian Guard, held several meetings regarding this matter and we unanimously agreed that these bugs are egregious and cannot be sanctioned or promoted. Even though many of our opponents don't mind using such bugs, we have committed ourselves on taking a higher ground.
So, what's going to happen in Matari Space? I am not sure. I suspect that the systems will fall just as the Gallente systems fell. 1PG will not be a part of it, and CCP should be ashamed that they have not addressed the issue.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
If you were not one of the 445 individuals in Local at that time, here is what you would have seen:
I personally don't have any hard feelings against SF itself. It is a pirate corporation and as with all pirates, rapscallions, and other forms of nefarious cretins who shamelessly attack and steal from innocent lives, they deserve their ultimate end.
The only regret I have is that Jade Constantine was not there.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thukker stations have a reputation for starkness. Since the Amarrians had invaded Matari Space, the Thukker Tribe has been on the forefront of the fight. And luxuries don’t have a place during time of war. JJ knew his way around the station. While being a young man, he has worked for Special Ops for almost two years now, ever since he graduated from the university. No longer having any family ties, the Brutor had found himself a capable agent. One who could infiltrate and kill without concern over the loss of loved ones.
The young Brutor knocked, and opened the door. He knew he was expected, so without hesitation he entered the small conference room and approached the two officers sitting at the table.
“Are you…”, began one officer.
“My friends call me JJ,” came the quick reply. “I’ve been told that you need my … um, … talents?”
Both officers stood, smiled, and shook his hand. “Yes, we’ve been expecting you. Please, have a seat.” The first officer said, “My name is Takkal, Captain of Special Operations in the 4th Thukker Division. This is Captain Sardis from the 3rd Division.”
“I’ve been told that we have an opportunity to infiltrate one of the houses,” said JJ. “How can I help?”
Takkal, turned and glanced at the second officer without saying a word. He then turned back to his guest, “It’s not the house we are after.” He paused and took a breath. “We need your help to get into the Theology Counsel.”
JJ didn’t say a word. Every Matari knew of the Theology Counsel. The Amarrian Empire was hated, yet it was the Theology Counsel that was despised the most. It was well acknowledged by every Minmatar that it’s their religion that drove the Amarrian to destroy and subjugate other worlds. It was their belief system that energized the enemy to commit such atrocities. And it was the Theology Counsel that promoted their vile faith.
“What can I do?” came the slow reply. “I’m no Amarrian priest!” JJ spat out the words as if they were coated with poison.
Sardis, who remained quiet so far, opened a folder and glanced through it. “I have a report here that your degree is in archaeology.”
The Brutor squirmed in his seat. His hatred for the Amarrian scum didn’t cloud his good judgment. JJ knew that to get too close to the Theology Counsel meant he would be scrutinized more closely than normal. “My degree is in Signal Analysis and Scan Probing,” JJ said. “I only minored in archaeology at the University just to fill in my credits.”
“That’s fine JJ,” came the first officer’s reply. “We need your skills and background to slip in and infiltrate a project the Counsel has been working on.” The lights went dim and the wall screen lit up showing the plans of an archaeological dig. Apparently an ancient building complex was discovered several years ago that contained an almost intact library. For well over a thousand years, this site had remained dormant and now with the expansion of nearby construction, the ruins were uncovered. “It has been found that many of the records translated so far have shown to contradict the current Amarrian religion. If we can get solid proof that the Empire has no foundation to their beliefs, it would go a long way to undermine their Manifest Destiny.”
“I’m not interested in religion!” shouted JJ, pounding his fist on the desk. “I want one thing! I want Amarrian blood!!!”
There was a long pause of silence. Captain Sardis took a breath and began, “JJ, we know how angry you are over the loss of your family. Many of your Matari brothers and sisters have lost family members to the Amarrians as well. You are no exception.” He leaned forward in his chair and continued, “We have an opportunity to strike against the empire, right where it will hurt them the most; in their precious beliefs.”
“JJ,” Takkal included, “We have the report on your home-world invasion.” He reached into the folder and removed several papers. Looking down at them, he continued, “Your father and brothers were killed defending your home, and your mother and both sisters were taken.” JJ bowed his head. He thought the years would have dulled the anger and bitterness over his loss, but the tears wouldn’t stop. The officer continued, “We also know who sponsored the raid.”
The Brutor looked up and glared into the eyes of his companion. “What does that have to do with me getting into the Theology Counsel?”
The two officers looked at each other and smiled. “The archaeological dig is headed by an unknown scholar by the name of Doctor Gabriel Theodoulos. His father, John Carl Theodoulos was the Amarrian who sponsored the raid that killed your family.”
For years the burning hatred and anger had sat in his belly, smoldering and festering in his very soul without having an outlet. He had tried to focus this hatred by volunteering for raids against the Empire. JJ believed that the only way to satiate this hatred was to find the murderers of his family and extinguish this inferno with the flow of their blood. Now he has a name. The name of his enemy. The name of the guilty who deserved nothing less than to die by his hand.
“When do I begin?” was his only response.
For a Minmatar agent to infiltrate the Amarrian Empire took lots of training and lots of time. Training began on how to behave without giving away your identity. Though the Empire had harvested many of their slaves from the Matari worlds, it was not normal for such a proud race to bow the will to another. It took training. Immunizations also had to be slowly given to the agents in order to become immune to the Vitoc which was regularly used by the Amarrians in order to keep their slaves in subjection. Without this immunization, the agent would be lost.
And finally it took time: time to produce legitimate forgeries of documents and passports. Time was needed to establish viable alibis in order to cover the tracks of the agent. Time is essential to prepare the agent for what they were about to encounter. Normally, an agent was slipped in with a cargo of slaves heading toward a certain point. Body would be pressed against sweaty body, with each slave’s Vitoc collar clanking against another’s while the transport made its way deeper into Empire territory. Once at their destiny, the slaves would be herded off and allocated to their assigned tasks, depending on their menial skills.
JJ’s entry into the Domain Region was different. Unlike the normal route of a slave, JJ arrived from Sinq Laison on an Interbus transport. Though still a slave, he had come by way of a wealthy Gallentean. JJ’s papers showed that he was an educated slave with a degree in Archaeology. While still a slave, this made him more valuable. Unlike the normal bulky Vitoc collars that are commonly seen amongst most of the laborers, JJ wore a more discreet version that allowed him to move among others without drawing attention to himself.
After landing in Amarr, the Brutor walked off the transport and headed directly to the closest terminal. Inserting his passport, the computer directed him to where he could pick up his luggage and be assigned transport. He retrieved his passport and started to head downstairs for his luggage, when he heard a voice behind him.
“You! Slave boy!” came a cold order. JJ stopped and turned around, being very careful not to raise his head and look at his hated enemy in the eye. It was a Security Guard.
“Your papers, now!” the guard commanded. JJ brought out his papers and humbly handed them to the Amarrian. The guard looked them over, and carefully scrutinized the Brutor. “I’ve never seen Matari filth dressed as fine as you.” Amarrian security guards normally carried firearms. Many also carried what was called a pain stick, a device that could deliver a controlled burst of current. With only a twist of a gauge the weapon could produce a wide range of suffering from a mild sharp pain all the way up to death. This guard was no exception. He handled his pain stick deftly in one hand while holding JJ’s papers in another. The Matari waited quietly until his papers were returned and he was ordered to be on his way.
JJ continued down the escalators and arrived in time to grab his luggage. Heading out the spaceport, he moved toward the lesser transports. No slave was permitted to ride the public transports of the Empire. They were relegated to the crowded transports for lower class. Moving away from the crowd and toward the lesser transports, he heard a voice call his name. JJ turned and saw a frail figure of a monk walking toward him. “I am called JJ”, came his normal answer. “I am here to work for my new master, Doctor Theodoulos.”
The monk smiled, and explained that he was to bring the Matari to the monastery. The Matari was not used to such politeness offered by this monk. He was familiar with callous words and a cruel hand. This monk was different. Though the Amarrian still kept his distance from the Brutor, he didn’t have the harshness that JJ came to expect from his enemy. The monk directed him to an awaiting vehicle, and they quickly departed.
As the two sped along towards the archaeological site, the monk handed JJ a small round device. “Master Theodoulos does not care to have his servants wear Vitoc collars. Here is a key to remove yours.” JJ was shocked. Never has he ever taken a collar off while in Amarrian Space. He took the key, and placed it on the collar. There was a small click and the band unlocked without delivering the lethal drug used to keep slaves under submission. JJ knew that this treatment of slaves was not normal, and he was not sure how to react.
“May I ask you a question,” JJ quietly queried. “How does Master Theodoulos handle those who rebel?”
Without even turning to the Brutor, the monk smiled and replied, “No one rebels against the House Theodoulos, JJ. No one.”
An icy chill ran down his spine at the thought. How can Minmatar live in slavery without rebelling? What horror keeps brave Matari from turning against their slave-holders? A haunting fear crept over the Brutor’s soul, not knowing what he was about to face.
They continued on.
The work at the archaeological site was more than Gabriel or anyone else could have imagined. At first only one floor of the library was discovered in the ruins. As more of the site was uncovered, three more floors of the library were found. Though much of the building had collapsed and disintegrated, thousands of books, manuscripts and tapes were recovered and much of them were still intact. It took a delicate and educated hand to recover and restore the material found.
Doctor Theodoulos discovered news on a Minmatar slave who specialized in archaeology. He was elated to find that while he only had a Minmatar education, he had experience in handling and recovering archaeological artifacts. This made him invaluable and the doctor had to have him!
It took him several months, and lots of paperwork, but Gabriel finally guaranteed his purchase. Many among the Theological Counsel were incensed by the idea of a slave being given such responsibility, but the House Theodoulos had close connections with the Counsel. When the dust settled and the nerves were calmed, Doctor Theodoulos won out, and the slave arrived.
Gabriel was beginning a new set of translations in his office when the Minmatar arrived. As the door to his office opened, Gabe could see his new manservant enter. He was tall and muscular, very much unlike the frail intellectual archaeologists that surrounded the doctor on a day-to-day basis. Despite the fact that he wore the wretched dreadlocks of a Brutor, he had a very clean appearance which pleased the scholar well.
“Come in, come in please,” invited the doctor. The slave cautiously entered the office, still uncomfortable over the treatment he was given by his new master. “How do you prefer to be called,” asked Gabriel.
“I am simply called JJ, Master,” came the quiet reply.
“Well JJ, welcome to your new home!”
JJ didn’t know how to react. Standing before him was the heir to the man who wiped out his entire family. This frail elderly man could have been snapped in two before anyone had time to react. Yet JJ knew that he had to keep his anger and bitterness in check. The Brutor had to find the material needed to uncover the facts behind this archaeological dig and secure the truth before he could exact his revenge on his enemy. JJ bowed his head and replied, “Master, I am eager to fulfill my destiny.”
After the meeting, JJ was escorted to his quarters. Though they were Spartan, the small room was clean and comfortable. During the last mission he was on, JJ had to live in a single shed with other slaves. The floor was cold and wet, and the only way to stay warm was to huddle close to his fellow slaves. This was different.
The first two weeks were a time for orientation. JJ was evaluated and assigned duties that fit his experience. He was shown where he had access to and where he was forbidden to enter. The Minmatar was given a quick orientation on how to use the scanners and analyzers needed to document and recover the fragile texts. By the end of the month, JJ fit in just like everyone else. The one thing that he could not get over was the fact that none of the slaves wore collars. Each person, both free and slave did their task. Though one or two of the servants were critical over their situation, most of the slaves were very happy with their lives, especially those slaves who came directly from the House Theodoulos. The Brutor could not come to an answer over this dilemma.
The months rolled on and eventually, JJ celebrated a year at the site. A lot of material was recovered and much of the writings, though written in the archaic languages, had been translated and catalogued. The Brutor had quietly obtained a copy of the work without anyone noticing. He carefully encrypted the documents and stored them in a compressed file completely concealed from others. When he realized that he had enough evidence to provide for his allies, JJ started making plans for his revenge on the House that murdered his father and brothers. Although no one on the site carried weapons, he did find one firearm in the storage cabinet in his dorm. He quietly noted its location for when he would need it. He also noted that his master preferred to be alone in his study at night, long past the time when others went to bed. Everything seemed to line up perfectly.
The night of his plans, JJ moved the file from his computer to an archive crystal, and placed it in his pocket. Quietly, he left his room and retrieved the deadly weapon. Making sure it showed a charge, he slipped it in his pocket and made his way to the labs. The halls were dimmed, and everyone was gone for the night. The only person left in the building was Gabriel Theodoulos.
The closer JJ crept toward his master’s study the harder it was for him to control the rage within him. For months, the Brutor kept his anger in check, and even though Theodoulos was polite and kind to him, JJ could never erase the sight of his dead brothers. That night so long ago, as the slaver ships were leaving, laden down with fresh slaves, the young lad held his dying fathers in his arms. He wept as he promised his father that he would not give up until he found the one responsible. Revenge must be brought about. Atrocities must be paid for, and the payment would come with the shedding of Theodoulos blood.
JJ slowly crept up to the door to the study. He knew his master was in there. The door was cracked and light was pouring into the dark office where he hid. With the sweat of anticipation and the adrenalin flowing, he carefully, opened the door. Allowing his eyes to adjust to the light, he clearly saw the back of his enemy. With his right hand he raised the weapon to deliver the blow of vengeance on this man.
Then without turning away from his work, Gabriel spoke, “Hello JJ. I was waiting for you.”
Realizing that his plans were known, the Minmatar agent pulled the trigger. He knew now that he would never escape alive, yet he would at least die with the knowledge that his family’s murderer would die as well.
“I am sorry my friend, but the weapon is useless,” said the aged scholar. “Though it appears to be fully charged, it’s just a fake. Planted there for you.”
JJ was dumb-founded. He let his arm drop as if it had no strength left. “How did you know?”
Doctor Theodoulos turned around and faced his would-be assassin, “Your psycho-scans revealed you on the first day you arrived.” Gabriel activated a monitor, bringing up the reports on JJ’s brain scans. “We have monitoring scanners in each of the dorms. Though I detest those terrible Vitoc collars, it is important to retain proper security among the servants.”
Things started making sense for the Matari. He couldn’t understand why this Amarrian would live among slaves without the Vitoc collars to control the rebellious. Now it is clear. The House he was sold to, monitors all psychological activities of their slaves. But there was one more question he didn’t understand.
The lights came on behind him, and two armed guards entered the office. With all resistance gone, JJ asked, “How do you control the rebel?”
“Control the rebel?” Gabriel repeated the question. “We don’t control anyone. My dear boy, we cure them!”
With the rage burning inside the Brutor and the horror of realization, the Minmatar assassin screams with all of his might as he is dragged away to the neighboring medical facilities. Neural surgery, though extremely expensive and potentially deadly has been considered more humane by the House Theodoulos. Their Amarrian surgeons are good. With a success rate of almost 85%, they are able to identify and redirect the cranial pathways that have been damaged by the hatred, pain, and bitterness. In most cases, a full recovery is expected.
Work continues on at the excavation site. More of the ancient library is uncovered, and the pieces are restored. Theodoulos wraps up another progress report for the Theology Counsel, and returns to his study. As he enters the office, he sees JJ sitting quietly to the side, waiting for him to return. Gabriel stops before the Matari and looks down at the seated figure, “Why JJ, it’s so good to see you back. How are you doing?”
The slave looks up at his Amarrian master, and tears fill his eyes. Though once, tears of rage flowed, now these are tears of joy and of love. “Master, I am so grateful for your help… so grateful.”
Gabe puts his hand on the Brutor’s broad shoulder, “That’s ok, my friend JJ. I am glad to help.”
“Master,” the Matari stammers, “Please, don’t call me JJ. That’s my old name.” The servant raises a sleeve to his face and wipes the tears from his eyes. “My father always called me by my full name, and I would be honored if you would too.”
“My name is not JJ, but Jom Jab.”
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Amarrian armor's hardened crash;
Frigates run to the battlefield,
Fight those Minmatar till they yield.
Fleeting skirmishes and mechanized drone,
Battle to return what is our own;
Fulfilling as the special chosen,
Rescuing all these wayward children.
Follow orders as you're told,
Make their cowardly blood run cold;
Fight until you die or drop,
Our Empresses will shall not stop.
Close your mind to fear and pain,
Fight till you're no longer sane;
Sound the horn and call the action,
Rescuing all these wayward children.
Barbarian tide we push back,
The foolish rebel's vain attack;
Revealing to them the truth of war,
Civility shall be taught, we foreswore.
Dawn has broke, the time has come,
Move your fleet to a marching drum;
Fulfilling as the special chosen,
Rescuing all these wayward children.
Disclaimer: I discovered a poem written on another character's bio, and I used this as a foundation to this piece. If you want to see the original poem, look up Leoline. Personally, I like mine better! :)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Today was my very first solo kill. Though I wish I could say that my opponent was flying something grand, like a Wolf, or Ishkur, I must confess that the truth be told, it was a Gallente Shuttle.
XO Saul apparently was afk on the Ardar Gate in Floseswin, when I happened upon his shuttle. My FC gave me the go-ahead and I locked, fired, and popped his shuttle. When I saw that his pod wasn't moving, I shook my head realizing that the hapless chap was indeed afk! Well, always eager to provide some instruction, even to the enemy, I locked his pod, and popped it as well!
Several minutes later I received an invitation to chat with XO Saul, and the following is the (edited) result...
Channel ID: 2140960361 Channel Name: Private Chat (XO Saul)
Listener: Gabriel Theodoulos Session started: 2009.03.04 21:50:24
[ 2009.03.04 21:50:34 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > Hail and Greetings!
[ 2009.03.04 21:50:55 ] XO Saul > why you shoot my pod? it was 100 m for me
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:11 ] XO Saul > why didn'T you ask for money or something
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:15 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > You are flagged as a War Target Sir.
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:25 ] XO Saul > i was afk
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:29 ] XO Saul > didn'T you see?
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:31 ] XO Saul > it was fair
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:32 ] XO Saul > ?
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:36 ] XO Saul > honorable kill?
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:37 ] XO Saul > or what?
[ 2009.03.04 21:51:52 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > yes, apparently you were indeed afk!
[ 2009.03.04 21:52:17 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > though I am a noob myself, I have learned not to go afk in low sec space
[ 2009.03.04 21:52:34 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > nothing personal...
[ 2009.03.04 21:52:44 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > just following orders.
[ 2009.03.04 21:52:57 ] XO Saul > orders
[ 2009.03.04 21:53:18 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > please, excuse me... must get back to work!
[ 2009.03.04 21:53:23 ] Gabriel Theodoulos > Fly Safe!
[ 2009.03.04 21:53:26 ] XO Saul > put your orders into your [bleep!], and watch your back, next time we will kill you, and leave this sys
... and I was truly hoping he would have appreciated the learning experience!
Sad to say, I get the impression that he took it a bit personally.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
All eyes had been glued to the news feeds coming into the cruiser, ISS Defiance. A large Minmatar-Thukker armada had opened up in the Yulai System and to everyone's amazement began bombarding the CONCORD Bureau at Yulai IX. Tensions had been high since the first appearance of the mystery armada, but no one suspected that the Republic would strike against the one source of peace between the empires.
CONCORD (Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command) was founded over a century ago, not long after the empires had established contact with each other. Relationships between the factions were strained right from the start and one of the main purposes of CONCORD was to ease the fragile tension and create a foundation for the empires to work their differences out in a peaceful manner. In this regard, the workings of CONCORD can be said to have been successful, since the empires have kept the peace over the last century.
Now, in one single move, this peace has been shattered.
Even though his attention was needed on matters regarding his ship, Aleczander Kerr of the 1st Praetorian Guard, also kept a wary ear on the development of the hostilities. "Lieutenant, any orders coming in from Command and Control?"
"Nothing more Sir, other than the standing orders to go to high alert," came the quick response of the comms officer. The entire fleet of the Vigilia Valeria Alliance had been called in from regular field duties and were en route to offer any aid needed in this attack. "Captain, we are being hailed by the Intrepid though."
"Patch him through Lieutenant," replied the captain. "Make sure the line is secured."
Alone, Kerr turned his attention to the screen. "Edarius, what's up?"
The captain of the Intrepid, Edarius K’Tol came into view. Though he had been experienced in the 1st Praetorian Guard for a while, Aleczander could see that he was visibly shaken. He didn't think anything could unnerve his colleague.
"Alec, Kor-Azor Prime is under attack," the Intrepid's captain answered.
"It began just moments ago, when we were pulling out of station here." Edarius was interrupted by his comms officer and he momentarily turned and gave him a quick command.
The screen changed. The view opened up and Aleczander could see the invading fleet hanging above the system’s main planet, Eclipticum. The markings on the sides of many of the vessels were clearly Thukker, while others carried emblems of an unknown type. "I don't think these are Republican Regulars," Edarius indicated. "Look at the markings on the ships. They’re Thukker markings. And besides, the Republic doesn't work with the Thukker Tribe." Dozens of small drop ships were already launched and beginning their decent to the surface. "Where is the Defiance right now?" he asked.
"I'm coming through Youl at the moment," forcing himself to remain calm. The Empire has never been invaded, and for the Minmatar to take such brash actions is just unthinkable. Without hesitation, Kerr called out to his navigations officer and quickly gave directions to change course for Kor-Azor Prime. "We're heading your way," he assured him.
They broke connection.
As the Defiance made its way through the jump gate, Aleczander Kerr wondered why would such a large Armada attack CONCORD headquarters, and Kor-Azor Prime? It was foolish to take on an entity that was funded by all five factions. CONCORD was established to keep the peace, not to be an offensive tool. They were designed to offset any force, and to work in tandem with Empires under attack.
Slowly a light started coming on in Kerr’s head. If an enemy of Amarr were to strike first, then they would be fighting both Amarrian as well as CONCORD forces. But if CONCORD was knocked out first… It finally coalesced that the true target wasn’t CONCORD. And with Kor-Azor Prime not being a major system of the Empire, the attack there must be a diversion. A diversion from their real objective.
Immediately, Kerr opened up channels to -VV- Headquarters. “Aura,” shouting directly to the ship’s computer, “patch me in to Legatus Vulpayne, immediately!”
“I am sorry, but Legatus A’rdan Vulpayne is not currently available”, came the non-emotional response of the ship’s computer.
The captain slammed his fist down in frustration of not being able to get through. “Sparks!” he shouted to his comms officer, “Get a hold of the Intrepid and tell K’Tol that Kor-Azor is not the primary!” He leaned over and checked the progress of their flight. “And by glory, hail me every combat ship around here!”
By the time the Defiance reached the Throne Worlds, the third and main front of the Matari armada struck.
Gazing out on the battle field from his Omen class cruiser, Aleczander felt that the gates of Hell had opened wide, vomiting the vile poison within its bowls. He could see the cynosural field still open, and row upon row of the barbarian fleet being cast out into the sacred skies above the planet Mekhios. Though he had been a seasoned warrior, and had experienced more battles than he could remember, Aleczander Kerr could not recall the time he saw so many ships in one place. The Naglfar, Matari dreadnaughts were so large, that they made the battleships beside them appear to be nothing more than toys. Gunships, cruisers, and drop ships filled the sky. All of them moving as a swarm of locusts, toward the primary planet of Sarum Prime.
“Sir,” cried out the comms officer, “Command and Control hailing us.” Immediately, the screen was filled with the image of Admiral Grr of the Epitoth Fleet Yards, one of the three high commanders of the Vigilia Valeria alliance.
“Captain,” came the voice of Grr, “A’rdan is caught up in the rescue efforts of Yulai. I’ve been asked to coordinate the defense of Mekhios with the alliances.”
“Where do you need us, Sir?” came Aleczander Kerr’s quick response. With Admiral Grr directing the front lines, he knew everybody’s chance of success greatly increased.
“We’re getting calls in from the Imperial Academy. They’re trying to evacuate the station, but the enemy is opening up on them.” The look on Grr’s face was hard. It’s one thing when an overwhelming force is firing on military targets. It’s totally different when the enemy target’s innocent lives. “I need you and the Victorious to do whatever it takes to get them to safety.”
“You can count on us, Sir!” Aleczander Kerr saluted.
The crew of the Defiance had been together for several years. While some capsuleer pilots remain enclosed in their pods, Kerr had learned that the secret of being a great captain is to include himself personally in the lives and activities of his officers and crew whenever possible. While piloting a craft inside the pod allows greater control, walking and working directly with his crew builds a greater bond that no capsule can offer. The bridge officers knew and loved their captain. Before he had the chance to relay the orders, his helms team and navigator had everything plotted and set. “Let’s go, Boys” came the captain’s voice, “We’ve got to save the day.”
The Omen turned and headed immediately to the station. The Imperial Academy was established as an institute of learning. Most of its residents were either faculty or students. As the Defiance approached, he could see the silhouette of the ISS Victorious joining him. The ship was hailed, and the image of Khal Sebrar came into focus.
“Alec,” the captain of the Victorious piped in, “we’re having troubles with these barbarians targeting evacuees. Give me a hand clearing the skies.” As they drew closer to the station, they could see several transports under attack by a squadron of Rifters. Without hesitation, the lasers opened up on both Amarrian ships, blowing away three, and scaring off a fourth. The Victorious came alongside the transport, dwarfing it with its Prophecy class hull. Aleczander Kerr turned his ship back to the station and found the next transport.
As he approached, a frightened female face appeared on the screen. “Please, help us Captain! We’ve got young children on board, and we are all terrified.”
“Don’t worry Madam,” replied the first officer, “we’ll make sure you will be safe.”
Another squad of enemy frigates attempted to come in, but were efficiently dispatched. After the first transport warped away to safety, Sebrar came back and placed his ship on the other side of the transport. It was at that moment that two Minmatar Tempest class battleships broke rank and started approaching the small convoy.
“Kerr, keep with this transport,” came Khal’s voice. “I’ll try to distract these guys.”
“Get some backup Khal!” shouted the captain. “There’s no way you’re going to stop them!”
“Everyone else is busy, my friend” came the reply.
With that the comms went silent. Both ships launched off their drones. The Defiance set theirs to coordinate with the Victorious, while Aleczander Kerr continued on course. All eight drones converged on the first battleship, tearing into its shields, and lighting the sky with their holy beams. All pilots within the alliance were devout to God and their empire. To dedicate their ships and crew into the providential care of their creator, set them apart for the sacred duty to defend their empire. While their engines sang the praises of God, the lasers purified the sinful and profane. The Prophecy turned its pulse canons on the second and flashes rippled across the barbarian’s plates. At the same time, both Tempests raged their hatred out through their artillery.
If the Minmatar’s fury could have been contained it would have rivaled the strength of a super nova, and after a while the damage done to the Victorious became more and more evident. One entire side of the warship was sliced open, with plasma and wreckage belching from its hull. The engines stopped firing and all that was left were a couple of its lasers. With one last effort, the Victorious charged its caps and fired an overheated salvo at the closest battleship, bursting its top dorsal fin in a single shot. It was then that a Minmatar shell found its target. Striking the central core, the ISS Victorious was engulfed in a single explosion, driving the two damaged battleships to the side.
Khal Sebrar’s efforts were not in vain. Aleczander Kerr and his crew were able to get the transport farther away. It was only a matter of seconds before the ship full of children would be safely out of harm’s reach. The far beams of the Defiance continued to fire on the battleships, while the Minmater vessels regrouped and continued their approach. But rather than locking on the Omen, both ships locked their guns on the transport.
“Helmsman!” barked the captain as he swiftly interfaced with the ship, “Get this hulk between the transport and those ships! Now!”
“Aye, aye Sir!” came the swift report. The Defiance maneuvered around, shielding the defenseless transport from the firing artillery.
Witnesses on the surface of the planet saw a sight that they would tell their children for generations to come. The sky, from horizon to horizon was lit up with the hurricane forces of battle. Exploding hulls, from both sides of the field, lit the darkness causing the night sky to come alive as if it were day. The citizens watched, knowing that the outcome if this conflict would determine their future.
Rounds slammed into the armor, shaking the entire ship to its core. Lights flickered momentarily as the computer rerouted power from the damaged area. Energy was diverted from secondary systems to the energized plating on the ship. Auto repair modules came to life, humming to restore full integrity to the armor.
As the two Tempests came closer, the Defiance changed their crystals to a more powerful set. The space between the ships lit up with fire from the Omen, ripping through the aft structure of the closest battleship. The Matari vessel tilted to one side and stopped, unable to coax its engines any further. The second battleship let fly her shells, striking the drone bay, almost ripping it from the ship.
“Seal off those lower decks!” commanded Aleczander Kerr. “I don’t want to lose pressure to the whole ship.” Another round hit the side of the cruiser, knocking out primary power to the bridge. Lights flickered again, and emergency backup was fed into the systems still active. Smoke started filling the control center, evident that life support had started to fail.
“Captain, banks two and four are down,” called out the weapons officer.
“Life Support is down Captain,” reported the first officer, “Hull breaches throughout the ship.”
Aleczander Kerr knew what needed to be done. He loved this crew as much as they loved him, but duty calls. When the helpless and innocent cry out for aid, every last sacrifice must be made to duty.
“Turn her into the Matari, helmsman,” ordered the captain. “change the crystals to multifrequencies, and start overheating the caps.” Each type of laser crystal has its benefits and drawbacks. Though multifrequency crystals have an extremely short range, they do the greatest damage. The Defiance, leaking plasma, poured everything it had into her engines in a struggle to close the gap between the Amarrian ship and the barbarian giant. Aleczander Kerr turned one last time to the transport and saw it slip smoothly into warp. He knew that the fight between his enemy and the Defiance would be soon over; cruisers just don’t survive a one-on-one with a battleship. But as he saw the flash of the Minmatar guns, he knew that the innocent and helpless entrusted to him would survive.
“Fire!” Aleczander Kerr raged above the explosions. The sky brightened before him with holy beams of wrath.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
My reply to him? "Balder Dash!"
So, rather than John answer these questions, I thought it might be a fine idea if I answered them instead!
1. Can you cook?
Why yes, I can cook, and pretty well too! While back at the monastery, our communal life required for some of our brethren to do the cooking, but after leaving I have learned how to program and use almost any replicator I have had access to. Though the Matari replicators are rather primitive and sometimes don't give you what you ask for, I have found the Gallente replicators to really need some practice to use. I am truly amazed what that machine can do! Just as long as you have the right ingredients, it will make literally any dish you can think of.
2. What was your dream growing up?
Oh, I'm not sure. Like all children, I had lots of dreams.
I remember on summer, while staying at my grandfather's estate, I watched his Syrikos Trainer working with the dogs. Even though these creatures have the ability to tear a man apart, he confidently handled 12-14 dogs with just his whistles and commands. You could see that these primitive creatures had great respect and love for their master, and I oh so wanted to have such authority, even if it were only over dumb beasts.
3. What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I were more of a warrior. Ever since I was 12 years old, I had been trained and cultivated to be a theology scholar. My focus has been literature and theology, not in fighting. Now, after being forced into the war by recent circumstances, I find myself in great need for ... oh, what does the Matari call it... ah, "Blood Pride!" I do very well in a team formation, and when I have a task to accomplish, but to willfully go after the destruction of another, is not in my nature.
This might change someday.
4. Favorite place?
When I want to be alone, there is a quiet spot on our family's estate where I like to go and sit. It's by a lake that have a small cluster of trees that have grown all the way to the water's edge. An old tree fell down creating a log seat, just perfect, allowing you to look out over the water and reflect on the issues of the heart.
5. Favorite vegetable?
I don't know if I have a favorite. I like almost all vegetables. There is one veggie, I had been introduced to recently that traditionally comes from the Hek System in Metropolis. It's a rather green/ dark-greenish pod that grows on a small bush. Inside are flat white seeds. It doesn't have much of an odor to it, but if you bite into it, especially with the seeds, it is rather spicy hot! My nephew introduced me to a recipe using these pods. You slice them open and remove all of the seeds. Then you fill the insides with a soft cheese and either roll them in breadcrumbs, or thin strips of smoked meat. After that you cook them for about 15-20 minutes. John calls them Poppers, but I call them wonderful!
6. What was the last book you read?
Skill books aside, there is one book, or set of books that I am translating. About 20 years ago, an ancient cathedral was found, with a large portion of it's library intact. I had been asked by the Theology Council to head up a team to try and recover much of the writings. Most of the library was in Ancient Amarrian, or what is also referred to as Vulgata, or High Latin. Yet there were also a section of books written in several unknown languages. Languages that I was at first, not familiar with. Over the next couple of decades, I had single-handedly learned these two languages and translated most of these writings. The main focus of this library appears to be a single collection of smaller books, written in what was called Hebrew and Greek texts. This collection is referred to as the Sacred/ Holy Books, and each of the 66 smaller books all point to an individual referred to as the Chosen or Anointed One.
This finding has incredible repercussions! The writings, we think, predate the wormhole itself. If this is true, then this alone makes the cathedral and library the most important archaeological site known to date. Second, which is a much more dangerous, is that if these texts are accurate, and I think they are, it shows that the Amarrian religion is not what it once was. Because I had taken the oath of Saint Michael's, I cannot be silenced when I have the truth, but the Theology Council has ... how can I word this ... "encouraged" me to be careful in my findings.
[Gabriel sighs and is silent for a moment.]
This is the book I am reading. It teaches that Salvation is not just for the Amarrian, but for all of mankind! If brought out into the public with all of its force, this would rock the very foundations of the Empire. [another pause] ... and I am not sure if I am ready for that.
7. What zodiac sign are you ?
Zodiac? What is a zodiac?
8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
9. Worst Habit?
Oh my! Personally, I think I have too many bad habits.
If you ask my nephews, they will say it's my snoring. But actually, I think my very worst habit is my lack of patience with people.
But I am working on that.
10. Do we know each other outside of blogging?
I know John, but I guess that doesn't count. Several other bloggers, I have come to know through the use of a wonderful tool called, Twitter. I greatly enjoy listening to other people's "tweets". My username is GabbyTheodoulos. Please, please... feel free to tweet at me!
11. What is your favorite sport?
I'm not a sports enthusiast. I do enjoy watching the playoffs, but really, I don't have the time.
12. Negative or Optimistic attitude?
[Gabriel sits and ponders this one]
I am not quite sure how to answer this one. I believe that the highest culture and civilization offered to man is what is found in the Amarrian Empire. We have an excellent balance between secular and sacred, and a unity that is unmatched between the Empress and the common Amarrian.
My goal in life is to offer this gift to every living creature. Though they do not always understand or appreciate such a gift, I do believe that it is in their best interest and welfare if they are brought into the Empire. They are like little children who do not know how important it is to eat their vegetables. It is in their best interests that they learn to eat healthy, and sometimes, love demands discipline!
I am optimistic that we will prevail.
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
I'm not quite sure how to answer that question. Do you bite? Do you shower regularly? Most likely I would be working with you on attempting a way of escape or rescue.
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
The loss of my brother Jed.
Jedadiah and I have been close all of our lives. Though I took the more secure and civilized course in life, Jed was always the more adventuresome. Many times, we would sit together and he would tell me of his escapades, and I would laugh at all the times he would find a way out of trouble. And I would be his anchor to reality, giving him a place to come back to the traditions and culture he loved most.
Recently, right as the war was breaking out, his transport was attacked by Matari barbarians. His pod was never found and his clone never activated.
[Gabe pauses a moment and as he looks up you notice the tears in his eyes.]
My goal is to find my brother and bring him home. One way or another.
15. Tell me one weird fact about you:
I'm sorry, I don't know how to answer that one. [Gabriel reaches down for a hankerchief to wipe his eyes] Is it not "weird" for a book-worm to be forced into the position of a warrior? If that is not weird, I don't know what is.
16. Do you have any pets?
No. No pets. My current state of affairs doesn't allow me pets.
17. Do you know how to do the Macarena?
The maca-what-a? I guess I don't!
18. What time is it where you are now?
At the station where I am assigned we are always on Eve Standard Time, or what others call Universal Time.
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
[Gabe gives a confused look] Clowns?
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
I never really thought of that!
I had not started my capsuleer training until later in life and though "in theory" I will physically live forever, I will have the appearance of an older man. I think I would enjoy looking a couple of decades younger.
It's not a priority, but you did ask.
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
I would most assuredly be your conscience! Do right young man! Though the stars fall, and the mountains melt into the sea, DO RIGHT!
22. What color eyes do you have?
23. Ever been arrested?
24. Favorite fictional character of all time?
I don't know. I don't read fiction.
25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it?
I am currently given an allowance of 500 to 600 Million isk per month from our family estate. What need would I have for US currency?
26. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
[Gabe brightens up on this...]
To read people's minds!
[he leans back, with a big smile, and slaps his knee] What a hoot that would be!
[Gabe pauses, gets a more serious look on his face, and sits up]
Well, come to think of it, reading people's minds might not be all that it's cracked up to be. I think I would pass on this one.
27. What’s your favorite hangout?
The estate, with my beloved family.
28. Do you believe in ghosts?
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and a good conversation with John. He's not the brightest, but I am learning to enjoy his company.
30. Do you swear a lot?
31. Biggest pet peeve?
Stupid people. Ok, ok... I am learning to be patient, but there are a few who really crawl under my skin!
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
Sincere. And friendly! Oh? That is two words, isn't it?
33. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
Be glad to my boy! Be glad to. Thank you for the questions.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Incoming Message from the Amarr Empire:
To: Gabriel Theodoulos
For your efforts in bringing Gods word to the heathens you have been promoted to the rank of Tribunus Colonel.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Recently I posted a story on Gabe's interactions with a sworn enemy and how a battle was won without weapons firing. After the post, we received a comment that struck me as a bit of a surprise. Though I knew that Amarrians are not well represented in the blog-o-sphere, it drove home that ole' Gabby is a true rarity amongst his social-networking peers. If you haunt the EVE blogs the way Gabe and I do, you'll notice that the vast majority of our fellow bloggers are either Pirates ("Yarr ye maties!") or Matari Freedom Fighters. Sure, there are a few carebears out there, but I have yet to find a fellow Amarrian Factional Warrior in the blogging realm! This revelation puts a bit more pressure on Gabe. The way he described it, it's like arriving to a tie and tails party dressed in denims and cardigan.
Please, don't get me wrong. Every single fellow-blogger has not only been gracious, but has demonstrated hospitality above and beyond what was expected. I guess the problem is that not enough Amarrians have the urge to blog!
Now, our work is cut out for us. Gabriel and I are going to focus on The House Theodoulos with the intent of showing that not all Amarrians are sinister dark overlords who wish to enslave the masses. There is another side to the Amarrian culture that too many do not see. Gabby has agreed to answer any questions posed to him, and in a civil and cultured manner. We both realize that the majority of stories out there come from those opposed to the Empire, and he has graciously committed himself to addressing many of the complaints as possible.
Now, my challenge to you! Please, feel free to ask either myself or Gabe questions you might have. We cannot gaurentee a complete answer, but we will try our best!
Addendum - Gabre reminded me... Please, no tactical questions from the blokes on the other side of the battlefield. It won't work!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Looking at the daily reports, Gabriel could see that much of the region had been tagged as being contested. It had been a really long day. Earlier on duty, he and Imperial Major Condor Amarr evicted a Matari pilot out of Arayar, decontesting the system. That afternoon, VFOR had fleet ops bringing in more than a few successful raids. Now, shaking his head, Gabe could see that the night was going to be busy with defense operations. “Looks like the Minmatar have had quite a go at it today, my boy.”
Onesimus looked up from his studies, clearly relieved for the distraction. “What’s up Uncle?” Both he and his uncle were the only ones in the pilot’s lounge and he had been working on Mechanic V for some time. Anything would be a welcome sight; even a round of defense plexing.
Gabriel tossed him the reports, and said, “It appears that we have a bit of work to do.”
The nephew got up from the desk where he was sitting at and stretched. Onesimus knew that he needed to pass these exams before being issued a license to fly assault ships, but it didn’t take much effort, and he was quickly convinced to stop for a while in order to clean up some of the mess the barbarians made during the day.
Both capsuleers undocked their frigates and quickly made the jumps to the battle zone. Moving into Sosala the two spit up, each would take a planet to scan down for anomalies. With a little bit of effort, they would quickly find the breaches in Amarrian Security. It’s not the most glamorous job in the militia, but it had to get done.
After what seemed to be a short eternity, both met at Planet Five. “I think Sosala is dry tonight Uncle,” exclaimed the youth. “Scans are completely clean.” Gabriel sighed, and reluctantly agreed. They were both hoping to get this work done as quickly as possible, but it was looking like the night was going to drag on.
Just then, a sensor went off warning a change in Local. Onesimus looked over and read off the name, “Karin Katari.” He frowned a bit and continued, “Hey Uncle, she isn’t a militia war target, but a corporate. What do we do with her?” Both pilots pulled up the database and took a closer look. According to the records, Karin was a member of the Ushra’Kahn Alliance, renowned for their reputation for being unpleasant. Both her Bio Report and her negative Security Status showed evidence that this was not a nice person.
Gabe shook his head and commented, “She’s definitely not the type you’d want to take home to meet Momma, is she?” He imagined his nephew smiling at the thought of introducing a Matari Sebiestor to his mother. Both knew the reaction would be a clear fainting spell. “Let’s ignore her, and just move on,” the uncle suggested. “Maybe she has bigger fish to fry.”
Both ships, banked and warped off to the nearby jump-gate which led to Uusanen. There was enough work in the region, and Gabe never did like to engage unless necessary. Arriving at the gate, the two frigates jumped and once again started their dance, scanning down the complexes. Immediately, Gabriel got a hit, and both craft quickly moved to the breached complex and began the procedures. They met at the gate, and swiftly moved in on the bunker to begin their scans. It wasn’t hard work, and the night started giving the appearance of another quiet evening. Almost half-way into the scans, the Local sounded off again, and both were grieved to find that Karin Katari had just arrived. Gabe turned and activated the Directional Scanners. He knew that the vessel would have to come close to scan them, and he wanted to see what they were up against. Clearly, Miss Katari had too much time on her hands to be bothering the likes of the two Theodouloses. “Let’s stay on the button for now Onesimus. If she is going to come in, she still has a ways to travel.”
The next couple of minutes, were a bit tense. Directional Scanners didn’t show up anything, though Local clearly revealed her to still be in the system. Both ships continued their routines, and the base was starting to become more secure. It was just then when a Rapier showed up on the Scanner. “Stink!” exclaimed the older Theodoulos. “She’s in a Force Recon Ship.” There are many types of craft pilots can fly. The Force Recon vessel specialized in Electronic Warfare, drones, and cloaking. Each skill by themselves, can be reckoned with, but when combined, the ship becomes a deadly instrument, especially in trained hands. “Listen to me Onesimus, this gal can come in here cloaked. I’m not going to take the chance and have her pop one of us, so let’s change things a bit in our plans.” A smile came across Gabriel’s face, and he switched over to an encrypted comms channel. “This is what we’re going to do…”
Though the scanning was not complete, both frigates aligned to the Iesa Gate and warped off. Arriving at the gate, Gabe ran a quick scan, and ordered both to jump. The gate started its activation, and though sounds cannot penetrate the silent vacuum of space, it still gave the pilots a sense of a building hum. The ball of energy quickly grew in the center of the gate, the ships carefully scanned, dematerialized, and whisked light-years away, reappearing in the Iesa system. Immediately both nephew and uncle broke their post-jump cloak and quickly headed to the Anka Gate. After a minute of warping, the two arrived at the gate in time to see their new friend jumping in from Uusanen. “Wow! You’re good, Uncle” commented Onesimus. Gabe only smiled, and directed the next jump.
After both knew that Karin Katari was in hot pursuit, and they made it to the next system, did Gabriel Theodoulos initiate the next phase of his plan. “Roger,” came the quick reply of the nephew. Onesimus knew what to do, but he was a bit nervous. He was only in a small Executioner-class frigate and he clearly knew that one wrong move would mess up the whole plan and possibly get him into some really serious trouble.
The young Theodoulos ramped up his engines and headed off to Tannakan Gate. By the time he arrived, his heart was starting to pick up speed. Looking toward the Local Channel, all he could see was that he was alone. For a moment, he thought the plan wouldn’t work, but then Local lit up and sure enough, Katari popped into the system. The lad waited a couple more seconds and jumped into the next system. From Anka, he jumped to Tannakan. After Tannakan, he jumped to Sahtogas. Onesimus was careful not to allow the Matari to get close enough to see him, but not too far away to lose her. The next system was Oyonata. Once he knew the Rapier was in Local he jumped and moved to the next gate which led to Sosan. This fox and hound maneuvering was getting on his nerves. The sweat was glistening off of his brow, and a couple of times, Onesimus caught himself about to make a wrong move. But so far, everything was going according to plans.
After a couple of minutes, he got concerned that he lost his pursuer. “Hey Uncle Gabe, I think she lost me,” came his comment. “What do you want me to do?”
“Don’t worry my lad,” came the reply across the comms, “You’re doing great!” Onesimus took a deep breath and relaxed a bit. Gabriel came back and suggested that he start scanning down Oyonata, since that system is contested as well. That sounded like a good idea, so he warped off the gate and started his scanning. By the time he got half-way through his first scan, Local chimed. She arrived!
The young pilot quickly warped off to the Sosan Gate. Once there, he took a quick scan, confirming her flight, and jumped. Going from Oyonata to Sosan added a major chunk of distance, throwing the frigate into the neighboring region of Devoid. Once on the other side, his attention was drawn to a warning light on his console indicating a possible malfunction in the vessel. This wasn’t good, and he relayed the news to his uncle. “Not a problem Onesimus, just one more jump, OK?” Once again, the pilot checked his readings and confirmed that the alarm might not be too serious, so he decided to head to Asghed. Arriving at the gate, he waited. Sure enough, the Ushra’Kahn jumped into the system hot on the heels of her Amarrian prey. He quickly jumped.
“Well done, Onesimus lad! Well done!” commented Gabriel into the comms. He was well pleased how successful his nephew was in eluding his powerful enemy. The aged scholar sat back in his pod and couldn’t help but to chuckle. “Why is it that so many pirates, rascallions, and nefarious folk always think the only way to win a battle is through the use of guns and missiles?” he thought to himself. Gabe calmly reached over and toggled the link, “Please, my beloved nephew, kindly send Miss Katari my warmest of wishes.” He paused, and looked out at the secured Uusanen complex. “Let her know that Uusanen is decontested.”