Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our Story: We Each Play a Role.

Dyner: Seek the Wants; Find the Needs

My story begins like most... search of fortune.

Funny thing about searching. You don’t always find what you want. But you do find what you need...


I had just become the proud owner of a Rifter-class frigate, though it could barely be classified as one. With a stellar map in one eye and hope in another. I set course into the great void of space. Mind you I had been a pilot for some time now, but the Rifter. These things made you feel like a real pilot. I had a new life. A new future.

...or so I thought...

It didn’t take long for me to find trouble. Trouble and I knew each other on a first name basis long before I took to the air...and later space.

At first it was minor. Just some Angels looking to flex their might. As my search for that famed ‘fortune’ that every Space Jockey plots for. My boldness did too. They say boldness defines a man. He forges it as he lives his life. What they should say is it’s a bubble. And like all bubbles it can, and will, burst. face, felt as if a hot conduit wire had been laid on it. I struggled to open my eyes, but all I could see was a blur...and that smell...smoke. slow came back to me, like that ‘last night’ at the bar you try and remember the next day.

I had decided to make a jump into Krirald. I had just purchased a brand-new Ferox...the ship plaque was still warm around the screws. I thought myself invincible. With the latest in Caldari Shield Tech, additional hardeners, and a entire battery of hybrids. I could take on a Titan....well, maybe not, but it’s how I felt; I knew better than to tangle with those demons.

I was in the process of making my normal rounds of the Krirald IV - Asteroid Belt 2 when my Gravimetric sensors, or as I had come to call it Gravdar, showed a small Angel’s group. My drones would handle the nimbles and my rails would pound the battlecruiser into dust.

...plans...why don’t they ever work out..

..I wasn’t the only one ‘on patrol’...

My aims were dead on, my drones relentless. These bastards never stood a chance. All that was left was to poke around the debris for anything valuable and then submit the combat logs to CONCORD for verification and [handsome] compensation.

I was on the last debris cloud when the collision alert sounded. Something was on a projected collision course...something fast. Before my TC could lock...I was locked....and scrammed.

“You know why I’m such a good pilot?”, said Ooinn, “because I grew eyes in the back of my head.”

Words of Advice always ring loudest after you needed them.

-Warning Shields level critical. Armor impacts detected.-

Never take your boosters offline...even if the area is clear. Lesson learned. Too little, too late.

Looking out at the drifting drones...”Fuck the god damn anti-AI laws. Only those Gallente leave their drones on Active Defense, and CONCORD has the Hostile Action Reports to show for it. And with communications scrambled only an AI would see that Hostile Actions would be very much appreciated RIGHT. NOW.”

-Warning Armor plating buckling. Hull breaches detected.-

“Well this is gonna suck.”

I plotted the course nearest my vector and primed the micro-WD for an emergency warp as soon as the pod cleared the debris [my debris!].

-Auto ejection sequence in: 5...4...3...2...1-
-Preparing to warp in: 3...2...1-

At least I think I heard a ‘one’. Couldn’t say over the tremendous ‘BOOM’. I guess since space doesn’t carry sound. “Sound” decides to double in decibel when it finally meets atmosphere.

Ya know, sometimes I envy the Amarr...they don’t have to worry about secondary explosions from munitions...or munition shrapnel impacting the Capsule. face, felt as if a hot conduit wire had been laid on it. I struggled to open my eyes, but all I could see was a blur...and that smell...smoke. “OH SHIT! ELECTRICAL FIRE! Computer initiate emergency atmospheric venting; ZERO O2!”
I grabbed the Emergency O2 Mask, stuck my fingers in my ears, and closed my eyes. “NOW!”

-Warning: Venting Oxygen. 80%...60%...40%...-

I could feel my skin begin to crawl as the internal pressure of my body began to exceed the ambient air pressure.

“Emergency re-pressurization now!”  People always make fun of pilots when they talk in their masks. But never have I been to scared...never has the thought of Aura’s Adaptive Speech Recognition Software been so in forethought as that moment.

-Re-pressurization Complete.-

A quick glance of the damage readout relayed my initial assumption. Hybrid ammo from the magazine stores had detonated. Life Support was stable, but critically low. The WD had suffered moderate damage, but could maybe get me to a station.....if nothing else went wrong.


They came like those locust you hear about in the stories of Earth. Some say we deserved it for the way we had treated them. But, I was there. No enemy, no matter how vile should be treated like we were that day.

Fortune, Lady Luck, whatever you call it. Had once again smiled on me. I had come into possession of a Mark I Hulk. And had found a nice belt of Golden Omber. I had just finished filling one of the jetcans when the alert went out.*To all ships in sector. Be advised unknown ships in system. Excer....*

It didn’t take long for the screams of the dying to finish the broadcast’s
full message. At first we thought a gang of pilots had decided to prove something to CONCORD.

...but then the CONCORD Emergency Distress Beacons began going off. That is when we realized. It wasn’t a gang; it was an invasion.

Had the Jovs had enough of us poking around their border? Had the Sleepers awakened. Were they coming to ‘our’ space to exact payback?

None of that mattered. Right here. Right now. People were dying. And no one knew anything..other than to run. But even running wasn’t enough. Comms flooded with people screaming to abort warps to the gate; sentries down. Hostiles everywhere.
$”Mayday! Mayday! Is anyone on the channel. I got wounded from the station. Please, anyone?”$It was deja vu. There I was in my ship. Calling for help....but no one had answered back then.
...not this time. This time someone would answer.

+”This Dyner of the Mining Barge #16C. What’s your status?”+

$”I’ve got 70+ wounded. Many critical. I made a blind warp, but the gates are under attack. I’m just a hauler pilot...I don’t do blockade runs!”$

+”Sync our Navs, I’ll be there in a sec.”+

What was he going to do?
What was I going to do! I only had 10 light combat drones. I mean maybe I could jettison my ore while going max speed and angling sharply; a make-shift Mag Gun. But really...that would be like throwing a brick out the window at an asteroid. In a vain attempt to destroy it.

But how do you live with yourself knowing you let people die. People that deserved a chance.

-”Sync complete.”-

As I approached my long range scans picked up ships...others had heard the desperate plea for help. Whether to answer or to seek refuge. Others had come. We weren’t alone.

....people say Privateers look out for “Number 1; me”. But we don’t. We look out for each other. We’re family.

=”You in this shit-mess too?”=
+”Yep. Heard the call, here I am.”+
#”Does anyone know what’s going on?”#

^”I heard some unknown fleet showed up and started trashing the place; including CONCORD.”^

~”So what should we do?”~

+”Well, we can’t stay here. If they can take on CONCORD, I’m sure they can scan us down.”+

^”You’re not seriously saying we make a run for the gates?! We’ll be scorched”^

&”Better to fight our way out than wait to die.”&

=”HA! Figures..a Minmatar.”=

^”But we’re just a bunch of frigates, haulers, and what (?), a handful of combat ships.”^

&”We worked with less.”&

..Leaders, like Heroes aren’t born. They aren’t trained. They are forged in the heat of battle when others would give up...

We hashed out a plan. Drones would be deployed in a ‘bubble’ around us. Bob the Drone, would be our first line of defense. We would use the ore from the various miners as a sort of scattering field. We had a Charon, we’d use her as a flying shield.

So there we were. One hell’va odd-looking fleet.

We aligned and warped.-Warning debris field detected. Aborting warp.-
=”JESUS CHRIST!”=We had dropped 30k off the gate. We had planned to practically smash into the damn thing. The place was littered with the burning wrecks of others who had the same idea.=”They even took out the pods....that’s fucked up.”=

Unknown signature detected.”-
+”SHIT! They’re here! Alpha Wing. Drones. NOW! Rest of you make sure the injured get out. Stick to the plan.”+

...plan...there’s that word again. And once again it never works out the way you want.
“My drones are gone!”
“Mine too!”
“Fuck, they’re too fast!”
“I can’t tank this shit!”
“I’m scrammed!”
+”We’re almost there!”+
“The Charon going up. GET CLEAR!”
$“My shields are collapsing”$
...they are forged...+”Dyner to all remaining ships. Diamond formation on that hauler.”+

It was only 8k to the gate, but with the Hauler’s engines in the state they would still be five minutes.

You know how they say time flies when you’re having fun? Well, the opposite is true when you’re not.%”They’re blockading the gate!”%

&”Then we’ll just relocate them!”&
What a site that must have been. Nine ships flying in formation. Barreling towards the a snail’s pace.+”PUSH THROUGH!”+..of the seventeen ships that had gathered. Only five heard the sweet sound...-”Jump Gate, activated.”-

...if only we had had more ships.
They would have made it.

We sat in the make-shift Medbay. The reports on the Comms came in almost as fast as the injured. The screens flashed. Then the only-heard-as-a-test CONCORD Alert System...

“At 0600 hours ET. An unknown enemy has made a hostile incursion into Gulfonodi System. There they began attacking all ships in the sector. CONCORD suffered heavy losses and is now declaring a State of Emergency.”

One of the station nursed looked at the screen with a puzzled look. After all..CONCORD had just said they lost.
@”They’re joking? Right?”@

The five of us looked at each other...and the wounds covering us.
+”No. No they’re not.”+

In the days to come CONCORD conceded that they could no longer guarantee a response should these “Sansha” show up. And set about a program to enlist volunteers to safeguard the space lanes....for a sizeable ISK “Risk Package”.

We were the first to sign. It wasn’t about the money. We had debt to settle. And we aimed to exact interest. To this day, every year, we go to that gate. And honor those who didn't make the jump...the hauler that reforged us into fighters.

I am Dyner, CEO of Midgard Protectorate. We are the shield of the Innocent. We are the sword of the Righteous. And we will never forget those that didn’t make it; those that gave us a reason to fight.
..but you do find what you need.