Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting to know you...

Recently, a fellow EVE Blogger posted a series of questions in order for you, our readers to get to know us more. Personally, I think this is a wonderful idea, but John is still a bit hesitant. By nature, he is relatively shy and feels that there should be some facts that would be best kept to one-self.

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?

No. None.

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?

Heavens, NO!

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?

Heavens, NO!

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

Promotion to Tribunus Colonel

Incoming Message from the Amarr Empire:

To: Gabriel Theodoulos

2009.02.14 09:46
For your efforts in bringing Gods word to the heathens you have been promoted to the rank of Tribunus Colonel.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Imbalance in Blogging

Hello All. John here, stepping for a bit of monologue.

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

A Wild Goose

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.”