Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Run for your life!

“BTD Ganymede, this is Ealur Traffic Control. You are cleared for departure. Fly safe.”

“Ealur Traffic Control, acknowledged. And I’ll try.”

The tugs, who had towed my trusty bestower out of the docking bay into the departure pipe, shut down their tractor beams and let inertia take me out. As my vessel crossed the boundary of the stations environmental shield, the main engines sprang to life and filled the hull with their deep thrum.

‘Fly safe’ - ETC probably savored the irony. It had been about a week since I had rejoined the ranks of active capsuleers, but business hadn’t been good. I tried to tell myself that it was just a slump in the courier contract market - but truth to be told, I had grown weary of this line of work. This contract would be last one - a simple delivery from Akila to Amarr. The only interesting aspect was the minor detail of Akila being a 0.3 system - my first journey into low-sec since my ...accident half a year ago. Which is why I stopped in Ealur to exchange my Expanded Cargoholds for Warp Stabilizers, and let all extra hands leave the ship

However, the pipe turned out to be quite deserted, and after the first two jumps Aura was able to reduce the tranquilizer dosage in my life support system. Two more jumps and I docked in Akila, greeted by an eager young dock master. I had the paperwork ready, and was able to undock again within minutes.

What the... - a new name showed up in the Local list - -9.8 security status, not too promising...

...but I needed to get this cargo out. If not for the reward, than for my self-esteem. Warp drive engaged, I made best speed towards the gate - but my warp bubble collapsed just one klick outside of jump range - time enough for the pirate to lock me up and drop a volley on me. My shields dropped by 140 points, then the gate fires and yanks me to temporary safety.

I knew he’d follow me as soon as he could, so I wasted no time aligning towards the next gate. Eyes glued to the speed readouts, I iniated warp.


The gate fired - my pursuer was here. He acquired a target lock - and I entered warp.

westerferer > boo
westerferer > stabs
Druur Monakh > Sorry mate. Armor against weapons. Stabs against scramblers.

Now the race was on, towards the exit of the pipe. He was just seconds behind me, but whatever he was flying didn’t seem to align much faster than my hauler. One last jump, and I emerged in CONCORD-protected Ealur. In my excitement, I almost forgot to pick up my crew at the station.

It was good to be back.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


About a year ago...

“Honey, I’m home!”, I called out as the bulkhead clanks shut behind me. The backpack flew into the nearest corner, followed by my boots. All lights were on, yet no reply - exactly as I expected it. Walking into the next room, my feet caressing the softness of the carpet, I found my little sister in her favourite position: slouched in a comfy chair, eyes closed, the neuro-transducers streaming knowledge into her brain.

Noticing my entrance, she opened her eyes for a moment, and held up two fingers: Two minutes. Which was fine with me, as I was about three months overdue for a strong drink. The house bar quickly obliged with something frosty, tall, and positively flammable, and I let myself drop into one of my other comfy chairs.

On cue, the “Active” light on Eta’s transducers blinked off, and she returned to the land of the living.

“Welcome back, sis!”, she smiled, “How was it?”

“Ah, you know...”, I gestured into the vague direction of the planet visible through the window. “Hot, sweaty, lots of buff folks doing pushups - and totally classified.”

“How classified?”

Instead of an answer, I just grinned at her and took a sip from my drink. The liquid burned my throat and made my eyes water ... perfection!

“How have things been around here?”

“Well,” Eta began counting off her fingers, “I’m almost done with Analytical Mind, your corp has given you the boot, the hangar master in Hisoufad keeps asking when you’re going collect your ships, aaaaaand your bank account is down to 40M.”

“40M? Oha.” I took another sip. “I thought I had around 600M?”

“You did, but that was before you got blown up with a 500M collateral courier in your hold.” She shot me a curious look. “What _did_ you do the last weeks to forget that little detail?”

“Obviously I practiced denial, among other things.” I drained my glass. “Well, time to get back into the saddle, get some cash to flow. Are Markovian still around?”

“Yep, but their contracts are fewer and less-well paid these days. You’ll have to find other employers, I think.” She hesitated. “You sure you want to go back out there?”

Was I sure? My previous foray into space didn’t exactly end on a high note. But yet there was only one answer.

“Yeah, I’m sure. I wouldn’t be here if I weren’t. I’ll be breathing pod goo again - ”, I looked at my empty glass, “right after a second drink.”

“...and a shower.”, quipped Eta.