Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Monday, February 14, 2011

Guest Fiction- Purpose

  Today I have a treat. Ardent Finder, my corpmate as well as my brother, has been working on a fiction for a little while now and asked if I'd post it. I'm quite happy to and hope you enjoy it. I am debating if this could become a thing. Do you have fiction you'd like others to see? Just mail me at and I'll take a gander. So with that, I give you "Purpose" by Ardent Finder. Feel free to leave a comment to let him know if you like it.


"Kspace." sighed the pilot. "It's times like this that remind me why I live in a wormhole."

 As countless ships streamed past, transiting in and out of the jumpgate, the local public comm channels were inundated with sales pitches, scammers, bickering and a thousand other conversational topics. The cacophony drove into the capsuleer's skull until he killed the feed with a sharp gesture.
Shaking his head dourly, he signaled the jump, and his ship leapt across the light years instantaneously, carrying him away from the chaos of the trade hub.

"Gotta keep moving," Ardent said to himself. "Just a few more stops on the way and then back into our wormhole. Back to freedom."

  An interminable number of jumps later, Ardent had enough of the tedium. He pulled up a map to check his route for any way to shave off a few jumps, and his thoughts began to drift.

"Too many people out here. Don't know who anyone is. Who's an enemy, who's a friend. Anyone neutral is an unknown. Not like home. Black and white, there. Us versus them. Easy. Clean. What did I ever see in Empire space that kept me going before I discovered wormholes?"

  Ardent noticed his comms picking up a little flicker of activity in a low, disused band, mostly static. He asked the coms officer to adjust the filters. Some capsuleers ran a full crew complement, but Ardent preferred a skeleton bridge crew and paid them triple going rates, as life expectancy on a combat capsule ship was short. It ensured loyalty, quality, and allowed him to sleep at night.

"Mostly static. Probably an automated beacon on one of those ruins finally giving up the ghost. Maybe some local out in a skiff with a barely-functioning comm system." He dismissed the interruption and continued to muse.

  Looking put across the system he had just jumped into, Ardent breathed deep and was awestruck again at the stark beauty of space. A curtain of glowing nebula stretched around in the impossible distance, punctuated by the intense blue burning point of the system primary, dozens of AU away from the entry gate. A nearby planet loomed out of the darkness, the crescent of it's dayside showing brilliant blue seas and verdant landmasses. The nightside was lit with a tracery of cities and roadways, an inlaid filigree of civilisation.

  As he drank in the grandeur, the Ardent knew this was one facet of the life of a capsuleer that had called to him. But what else had called him? The romance of adventure in the unknown, to be master of his own fate, wandering the cosmos wherever whim or chance took him. Again, another facet. But he knew there was something missing. Something else lurked back in the depths of his mind, but he couldn't recall it. Like when a word is at the tip of one's tongue, he knew it was there, but it stayed frustratingly just out of mental reach.

"-yday! We are und-"
The desperate words rang across the quiet bridge, emerging from the warbling hiss of the static, jerking Ardent out of his reverie.

"Get it back! Filter it out and lock it down!" He barked the order out. "Set condition one."

  The bridge sprang into life as tactical and engineering stations ran combat systems up and warmed up fire control systems.
Ardent crossed the bridge to stand at the com officer's shoulder.

"What have you got for me, Signals?"

"Filtering back now, sir"

"On speakers." The growl of tangled transmissions poured out of the speakers for a few seconds before a voice resolved out of it once again.

"-rives down, taking f-" Static once again cut off the call, but a smooth, uniform white noise this time. Ardent glanced down sharply. "That doesn't sound like a failing com."

"No, sir, that sounds like jamming"

"Get me a bearing."

"Already on it, bearing is three two zero by two zero zero."

"Well, done Signals," Ardent said to his coms chief. Signals smiled at her commander's approval as she returned to her task.

"Guns." He addressed his tactical chief.

  The officer replied, "Directional shows a transport and four combat vessels. Transport is a civilian Minmatar ship, others are various types common to pirates and smugglers in this region. Wait, I now show another transport, this one of Amarrian make."

"Slavers." Growled the captain, his eyes narrowing. His anger was echoed by his crew of Minmatar and Gallente officers. "Map shows a belt in that direction, set course and warp."

  Ardent settled into his chair and linked to his ship, his mind running through its command runs and systems as he merged with his vessel to become the unified being that was a capsule pilot's advantage. Ardent Finder and the Vagabond called Shenlong became a gestalt of righteous anger and vengeance as the ship exited warp transit and dove into the asteroid belt.

  The slaver ships had crippled the transport and circled it like vultures as their slave ship approached to reap its harvest of flesh and suffering. At this range, the cries for help could be heard through the jamming and the confusion of the Slavers was apparent as Shenlong appeared on the field.

  Ardent bared his teeth in a predator's grin as he released his drones and sent them screaming at the slave ship as his 220mm autocannons spun up and spat white-hot fury, tearing through shields and armor. The ship lurched in agony before detonating in a bloom of soundless light.
The other ships, one frigate, a cruiser and two battlecruisers, turned to face their aggressor, opening fire.

'Sir, cruiser appears to be rigged for logistics," Guns' voice spoke in Ardent's head.

"Acknowledged, Primary target acquired."

  Shenlong swept into a orbit around the cruiser and pounded its shields down, then began chewing through armor.
Suddenly, Shenlong's speed dropped like a rock.

"Frigate has us webbed. And our warp core is offline, must have a disruptor. Micro is still operational."

Ardent sent his drones and a few missiles to keep the tackler company as he finished off the cruiser. Tandem explosions lit the asteroids as the tackler joined its sister ship in death.

"And now for the main event," Ardent smiled grimly as he sent his ship dancing among her foes like a dervish.

  Neurons and command linkages burned with fury, blood and coolant sang in exultation as the pilot reveled in the joy of skilled combat. He remembered. "THIS is why I became a capsuleer. Why I left humanity behind, why I left my life behind. The price I paid for this power was for a purpose.
We all chose this life for different reasons, some for wealth, some for the thrill of danger. Some to torment others for their own amusement. I chose so I might make a difference."

  Guns cycled, missiles roared from launch bays, drones circled and spat fire, and as the first battlecruiser's fate became clear, the second seemed to rethink it's priorities.

"Sir, target bravo is aligning, attempting to rabbit."

"We can't have that, now can we? Point him."

  The tactical officer activated the warp disruptor and the enemy com channel erupted in renewed panic as warp drives shut down.
  As the first target was destroyed, attention turned to the fleeing enemy and the ship was reduced to a crippled hulk in short order.

"Cease fire, open a channel with the enemy vessel. Get me the transport on the line as well, if their coms are still working." Ardent breathed deeply, composing himself after the rush of combat. After all this time, it still got the blood flowing like the first time.

  The screen switched to show a light haired man with blood running down his face on a bridge filled with smoke, sparks and flickering consoles. Crew in the background struggled to get ventilators running and extinguish flames, administered medical aid to wounded.
"Captain, we surrender, we'll pay anything you ask-"

  Ardent's icy tones cut off the enemy captain's pleas. "Cut your drives, take all offensive systems offline and stand to. I'll deal with you in moment."

Signals muted the audio feed at her captain's gesture.
The screen split as the transport's captain appeared, his face haggard with stress and loss.

"Captain, your attackers have been dealt with, what is your situation?"

  The Minmatar man tugged on his dreadlocks as he relayed his summary. "We're carrying a group of newly freed ex-slaves. We noticed we were being dogged three systems back. Well, they caught us coming into this system. Our escorts engaged them long enough for us to get into warp, but their frigate got ahead of us and cut us off. I assume that they destroyed our escorts and then arrived to finish the job. Blew our engines, but were careful not to breach the main hull. Didn't want to damage the merchandise, I suppose." The man's voice filled with bitterness.

"Any casualties?" Ardent asked.

"Three dead, two wounded. A power run overloaded when our engines went, killed a woman and her two children, two men attempted to rescue them and suffered burns."

"Doc, expect patients," Ardent sent the order over the intercom to sickbay, then returned to the com screen. "Captain, we'll be off-loading your people shortly. Medical attention will be provided as we transport you to a station where your ship will be replaced and an escort arranged. I'll discuss this with you further once your people are safe aboard. Ardent Finder out."

  The Captain nodded his thanks as the screen blanked and the line to the enemy ship came back up.
"My first thought was to ransom your release and have you carry word back to your masters."
Relief lit the man's face as he attempted to babble his thanks before Ardent cut him off.

"Then you killed two children."

"We didn't know, we never meant to kill anyone, we wanted them alive it was just business please let us go I swear we'll never..." the man's descended into a frantic babble as the stony expression and icy glare began to register the capsuleers extreme displeasure.

"What's that proverb you Amarrians have? 'As ye sow, so shall ye reap.'"
The man paled as Ardent continued. "To use another cliche, 'Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.'"
The man screamed in desperation as Ardent Finder blew his ship into an expanding sphere of vapor and wreckage. He exhaled, the weariness after a fight washing over him.

"Signals, file a report with the authorities. The bounties won't be much by our standards, but should give these people a nice boost in their new lives. Ops, handle the rest, send the captain to me when they are settled. I'll be in my quarters. "

  The crew acknowledged the orders as their Captain entered the lift, wrapped in his thoughts as he smiled to himself. Renewed purpose is just the thing to lift one's spirits.

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