Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Summary of Alliance Movements

Just had to share a great video I was passed by a friend in the intel biz.  It summarizes the give and take of sovereignty in the major alliances over the past three years.  Some of the smaller alliance names are too digitized to read but you'll get an overall impression.  Watch for Goonswarm's later instantaneous switch to IT alliance towards the end.

As it does not properly fit in this column and the fullscreen button may not be visible on your screens, I suggest you double-click the video box to fullscreen it then play.

OOC: Incarna. Yay or nay?

I'll open this with a brief look at how I see things with Incarna playing out, followed by a game mechanic suggestion that I think is pretty interesting.

Allowing people to walk as personal avatars seems like a natural step for Eve.  After all these skills and ships and grinds it would be very refreshing to wander a bar, stroll an on-station arboretum, etc. 

I think the general community concern is that it would draw people away from the space game.  To be realistic, it is unlikely a first version of Incarna will have enough out-of-ship content to keep someone interested throughout the play experience.  There were be social gatherings, the RP'ers will flock there, there may be an in-station manufacturing and sales addition to the market.  There might be simple games of chance.  I imagine there will be the ability to walk in your own docking bay and observe your favorite ship directly.

It will be a fun distraction.  It will be a fad that passes, perhaps a bridge in the mind of the average player between the current state of the game and one supplemented by Dust 514.As a game mechanic,  it is money in the bank, in my opinion.  When a friend recommends a game like Eve to someone who is not a gaming veteran, one question that invariably pops up is whether you can get out of your ship and walk around, and I know a number of people who have avoided Eve for that simple fact: you are a ship, not a person.  With that hurdle covered, it becomes a lot easier to get your friends on board, even if that aspect of the game is a bit lackluster.

The other possibility is that it rocks.  It is THE place to be, some bars become suited to certain types.  An enforced RP might be good, in that certain in-person locations are the only places to reach specific contacts.  And lets not forget the camaraderie of sitting around a long table with all your corpmates.

My Suggestion:

In the Eve novel The Empyrian Age (let's forget that Burning Life ever existed) we find a character who runs multiple clones.  It is a unique ability, not common.  I say incorporate a function like that for Incarna.  Let's face it; most of our time in Eve is spent idle, autopiloting systems, mining, etc.  Yes, some pvpers hop online get right down to it without a moment of attention to spare, but my suggestion is this:

As we fly in our pods controlling our ships on our regular tasks, impart a portion of our conciousness to controling a second clone in the social nexus of our choice, in Incarna mode.  We have a tab like normal menu options that lets us check in on our avatar, read the local convos, order a drink as that last bit of mineral is loaded.  It wouldn't be uncommon for a conversation to be cut short as the clone's counterpart's ship is attacked.  Consciousness is shifted fully back to the pilot instead of continuing divided in half.  The social aspect would be in a resizeable window that you can pin in a corner or make semi-transparent so you don't get distracted from that probing enemy in 0.0.


I see how this flies in the face of established cannon, but its a game mechanic that would keep every ship in the sky while also opening a new comm channel of sorts for the lonely pilots in their mining belts, a way to remind themselves that there are other people out there.

Running two clones?  Crazy, I know, but from an 'everybody wins' standpoint it's not half bad.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The highpoint so far of life in New Eden

New intel on my brother!  Someone took the 10 million isk form me in exchange for some intel that could be quite damaging.  I'll get into that next time.  Before more time passes I want to detail something massively epic that transpired into this multilayered, galaxy-spanning conflict.

When the Sansha descended in triplicate on Antem, Anyed and Imya, they installed their dark uplinks amid a mass of bad intel and confusion they intentionally stirred up amongst the defending capsuleers.  We routed their defenses but the deed was done, for whatever it would mean.

As the debris was salvaged and wreckage cleared, a few AU’s off the main Antem station, the wormhole the Sansha had burst from in the previous invasion, oddly, remained open after they were pushed back through.  This was an anomaly.  In previous invasions the wormhole had been collapsed during the engagement by our ECM-projecting eWar ships.  Those gravimetric pulses seemed to destabilize Sansha wormholes, a tactic proven reliable by a score of incursions.

In the heat of battle, in the clearing of debris, it remained a cold staring eye surveying the disaster it had wrought.  People forgot about it after a day or so, or perhaps assumed it was under control, covered off by the leaders of the defense.

A covert ops pilot affiliated with anti-Sansha forces was cruising Monalaz on patrol.  Not me; at this point in time I was 3 jumps inbound for the mythic Eve Gate system not far off, on official reconnaissance of the ancient Jovian portal.  Piloting my trusty Purifier Covert Ops ship, I angled toward Antem and accelerated.

The patrolling pilot came upon the still-open portal left by the Sansha and radioed CONCORD representative Haeldone Dorgiers.  He later said “Understandably, they were still in the stages of reinforcing planetary defenses, and the anomaly had slipped by scanners.”  Dorgiers, in the area coordinating said defenses for future invasions, detoured to confirm.  His ship came in at 30k and did a quick conformational orbit before transmitting the presence of the hole to the four major empires.  Federation assets were a few jumps away and immediately diverted.

SYNEPublic is the predominant comm. Channel for updates on the Sansha threat, followed now by nearly 700 pilots.  It was there that Dorgiers, watching the menacing tear in spacetime off his bow, made a proposal; yes, gravimetric waves, over time, could collapse their entry holes, but here was a rare opportunity to try a new theory: blowing it up.

21:37, Agent Dorgiers briefed local squadrons from both the Federation and Amarr navies on the situation. He relayed a plan already set in motion days before with Cpt. Malarthi, explaining that he been provided with a customized Obelisk freighter by CONCORD agents. The freighter was manned by a suite of CreoDron drones that would both crew the vessel and monitor every piece of data possible at the time of hull breach. The rest of the interior was packed with a number of explosive materials. The detonation of the vessel near the wormhole was hoped to create some kind of abnormal behavior, and better yet, breach the wormhole itself, perhaps shedding new light on one of the Nation’s most troubling of tactical advantages.

The Obelisk was inbound, lined with explosives, most notably a massive hydrogen bomb.  But it was slow. 1 jump after another fell away as it neared.  Meanwhile at the wormhole, system interference was escalating madly.  From the viewports of the scattering of anti-Sansha forces and Federation vessels arrayed about the portal, the wormhole began to shake.  Comm frequencies blared the static of an incoming force, as my Purifier finally warped in at 100k cloaked, ready to act.  Waves of energy were radiating outward in visible waves as the wormhole distorted in advance of spitting out the dread army of ships we had learned to fear.  The force we had there was no match for a fleet of Nightmare Battleships.  I was trying to keep it together, and if all went well upon my death a clone would be waiting, but there were always errors.  It was also possible my Brother was up to his old tricks, perhaps another virus run through my backups to make them useless.  Behind the pulsing, dilating wormhole was black, cold night in a constellation of few stars. I knobbed down the volume on the panicky voices to align my own thoughts to the nearest gate.  If things got too hairy I would autopilot out, but I would not be the first to run.

The FNS Laeres, a massive CONCORD carrier arrived in adjacent system Imya  and Dorgiers rendezvoused and took control to help repel the inevitable attack; even that would be far from enough.  Counterbalancing this backup, numerous commercial and independent ships became pouring out of Antem for safety, with a general rally point in Yulai where heavy defenses were already in place.  Most of the ships at the wormhole were now rocketing toward the Imya gate to rally with the carrier and to meet the inbound Obelisk carrier, the bomb piloted by Malarthi.  Beams and flashes of blue light began to erupt sporadically from the hole; I’d arrived to fight these invasions in progress before, never had I had the singularly frightful experience of this calm before the storm.  It seemed only seconds now.   I stood my ground, figuring a cloaked recording of the events would be as handy as throwing my paper-thin hull in front of their cannons.

The Sansha Battleships erupted into the system before me.  Blacker than the night around them, but for only a moment before their laser cannons fired up and began to tear apart the meager resistance.  In the first 20 seconds several powerful anti-Sansha vessels were crushed, it was like an ever-expanding sphere of destruction as they fanned outward, their range ever increasing.  Klaxons sounded as the extreme outer edge of their targeting capabilities rolled toward my invisible bow at 67m/s.  I now aligned for the Imya gate as the scene came apart.  There were only three major ships in defense and they were losing their armor fast.  Without proper reinforcements within 8 jumps, there would be an opportunity for this Sansha Vanguard to sweep millions of men, women and children off the local planets.  Antem 4 was already barren of life after four previous invasions in the system, but more damage could be done.

Malarthi in his explosive, bloated Obelisk cam blasting out of his warp tunnel as all seemed lost.  In a ring about him were what Federation, CONCORD and capsuleer pilots they were able to rally.  A cluster of frigates broke formation to occupy the Battleships’ slow-tracking laser cannons.  The Obelisk, equipped only with heavy armor and massive propulsion, began a slow left roll as it closed the distance to the wormhole.  More Sansha appeared; perhaps they were only now understanding the danger.  I unaligned and aimed my thrusters toward the hole, still unseen.  It could be that at a critical moment I could be of use.  Despite the fear, the pressure, what I was seeing was a dazzling display, a box of black space lit like a torch by fat beams of yellow light threading the scene, black, barely-discerned hulks of evil drifting ever-outward, a dark menacing globe that was one-by-one swallowing the faint blips of resistence.  And now above and to the right the gleaming gold bulk of the Obelisk with it’s escorts a flitting defense, with the CONCORD carrier just behind.  Before my eyes dark and gold collided.  Despite it’s size the Obelisk force was occluded by the Nightmares, while my tiny ship scootered inward.

It all happened quickly.  The Nightmares focused fire on the Obelisk.  The carrier barreled onward.  It collided head-on with a pair of enemy Battleships, crushing their noses and pushing them sidelong, a great gold linebacker.  It plowed through the Sansha furball, banging off hulls and being gouted by cannons.  Around it the escorts blew apart under fire from another 15 Nightmares who suddenly emerged from the wormhole.  The CONCORD Carrier was beign crippled;  soon it would fall away as well.

Here was courage.  Here was desperate, mad determination.  Here was fear, ignored.  I saw heroes that day, and they did not scream as they died.  More and more Sansha spilled through, the spiny hulls like a swarm now.  It seconds their larger ships would begin to siphon off into the rest of the system to tear apart families, to drag children kicking and screaming to doom.

There was a shout on comms that drew me off my reverie.  It was happening.  Nightmares aligned either on a collision to the Obelisk, now 5k off the hole, now 4k, or on a line to escape the blast.  Rumors later came of Sansha ships actually turning back through the portal in the seconds before ignition.

Coils of coruscating energy began lancing like lightning along the hull of the Obelisk.  Caps and fuses blew out along it’s bulk, and a white glow began to burn deep inside, so insanely bright that it began to shine through 100 feet of Tungsten armor.  It became a torch in itself.  White light filled the universe before sucking inward for a final burst.  I overheated my engines with a thought and fired up my microwarpdrive, beginning to blast straight away from the engagement.  I had seconds now, and having ensured the Obelisk reached the event horizon before exploding, it was time to salvage what I could.  My engines might just get me to a safe range before-

There was a final cry of triumph from pilot Malarthi.  The system flared, flared, ignited.  A fireball formed in an instant at the event horizon of the wormhole and expanded at the speed of light, flash-frying everything within 15 kilometers and spreading devastation beyond that.  In the corona, the Sansha wormhole, at that very moment spitting out another cluster of Nightmares, wavered like desert sand before blowing away, the fabric of the portal singed then incinerated by the supermassive heat.  The shockwave rocked my ship;  I saw only white.  Even routed through the screens and filters, the instant flash had burned out my vision.  I rocked one way awash in the creaks of tearing metal.  What must have been a second, stronger shockwave emitted a tenth of a second later buffeted me the other direction.  In the next moment my hull blasted in all directions with a sound like a thunderclap.  I prayed for her to hold together, and held my breath.

I woke up in a pod.  A medical pod.  I was in Pelisle, Moira.’s home base.  It took another two hours to shake myself to full conciousness, allowing the recent memory of heat death to slough off my mind like a black oil slick.  The first thing I did was to contact Moira. command to inquire about what happened.  For the first time in New Eden history, a bomb had closed a wormhole.  Every Sansha ship and every other ship in the vicinity had been erased.  Battleships halfway through the hull were cracked in half.  The very heat had dissolved even the wreckage and flesh.  Where once was a heated conflagration, now there was once again emptiness. 

Many pilots lost their lives that day, many crew, but every life came to mean something, for without every ounce of resource and ability that was applied there, they might have been a few seconds later, and that’s all that was need for the Obelisk to be disabled before it reached its ignition point.  With perhaps my exception, everyone who acted that day had an affect on the universe as a whole.  These are exciting times.

Sansha Update

I felt it was smart to position myself in the loci of galactic conflict that is the Sansha Incursions.  While a part of me fights the good fight to defend our way of life, flawed as it is, another does so for the purpose of keeping eyes, ears and sensors open for my old nemesis, he who took my fortune.   SYNE, FCORD, Moira., these organizations were at the vanguard of the universal defense.  I had delayed this post as I wanted it to encompass all that has happened in the war, but it has become impossible.  Every time I start an entry I’m called away by some new action, and so I’ll summarize as best I can.

Sansha keeps opening wormholes in hisec and lowsec settled systems and taking whole planetary populations for slavery.  For awhile this was all they did, but new tactics have come to light, many of which might be disinformation.

  • There is a possible collusion between Concord and Sansha leadership.  Concord continuously fails to respond to incursions with force.
  • There is a possible collusion between Justicars and Sansha.  Justicars are an Amarrian defence force primarily consisting of Retrievers; hacked correspondence seems to say that they are either compromised now but not for long, or are uncompromised now but not for long.
  • A Federation Nyx entered restricted space during an incursion supposedly to assist and coordinate, however some evidence points to collusion with the Sansha, or, more likely, use of the incursion to mask anti-Amarrian actions.
  • There have been retrieval missions the Sansha stage that do nto include slaves.  They have entered systems to distract as they retain some valuable item from a hidden cargo freighter.  In one case the retrieved item seems to be a temporal device.  Another involved a special substance used to power a teleportation device.
  • The Sansha incursion locales may have a recognizable pattern.  They generally avoid Gallente space.
  • The Sansha are preparing a major operation in Monalaz.  They have recently hit 4 systems in that constellation in an op to generate uplinks of a mysterious nature.  Our good leader, Julianus Soter, feels that these hidden uplinks will somehow manipulate basic system processes like target recognition, the barring or allowing of cyno entries, and a number of other vital faculties.  
  • News reports from a planet which was cleaned out and completely sapped read that independent ships were fighting an orbital force as it worked to evacuate them with a vast number of dropships.  We know that the dropships were in fact Sansha ships taking them to slavery, that the independent ships were capsuleers fighting to protect the people.  One line of code from hacked transmissions re: the uplink detail that the media resources are being hacked; it is our prediction that the Sansha wormhole into a system, hack the media, use it to transmit that their ships are escape ships, then scoop them up and leave.  Dastardly.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kih - Sansha inbound!

Kih system (short form) was attacked last night.  The situation is that a handful of Sansha aligned Corporations have been wardecced by Moira. and they are a new factor to consider in any invasion.  Today I learned that the Sansha were handily defeated, but thats not where my story that night lies.

After the Battle of the uplink in the trio systems in Genesis, I had a pair of ships to move back to our base in Pelisle, off the Stacmon bottleneck, 15 jumps.  I scouted a few systems ahead in my trusty Purifier before hopping in my Harbinger, survivor of the uplink battles, to bring her home.  Upon launching a Sansha capsuleer warped in to the lone Imya station and targetted me.  I assume his warp scrambler initiated in the second after I laid out my warp tunnel.  I was off.

Another close call in Gergish where I neede to pickup my ammo stockpile left in case of need for the uplink battles.  My single warp stabilizer saved the day.

The call went out through SYNE and FCORD that an attack was underway in hisec.  Picture it like an equilateral triangle (a triangle that is equal lengths on all three sides).  One point was my origin, Imya, the point up to the left was Pelisle, and the point up to the right was the incursion system, KihX.  I knew I needed to rest and refuel and wouldn't make it to the incursion, but in the end I played a role.

It seems that enemies of Moira., more Sansha-aligned pilots had been conducting mass reconaissance on our home system when the true Sansha, came.  Now they were blitzing to the scene.  As I neared Pel, a steady stream began to cross my path.

A Dominix was the first, we ran into each other at a hisec gate.  I targetted and set to orbit at a good distance but he was aligning so I MWD-burned toward him to warp scramble.  I had no backup, his ship was bigger than mine, but my mind worked by instinct to roll the dice.  We tangled once I shut down his warp drive, and because of my optimal distance I punched through shields and half armor before my shields went down (armor-tanked).  I assume they were strung in a line of several systems in the mad dash, because first one, then three of his friends popped through the gate.  I had to disengage and did so just in time as I was ttargetted by the newcomers.  In warp I transmitted the intel to Soter, who was leading Moira. forces 20 jumps to the invasion point.  "Soter, I need to dock but you have a handful of Sansha-aligned en route to the incursion, be careful."

My Battlecruiser shook through a fast-warp and barelled non-stop through the next gate to home.  One of them chased me for a couple of systems before I made a detour and eluded.

Soter led forces alongside many others and the Sansha were defeated in short order.

PL.  Pandemic Legion.  One fact I didn't note in the uplink battles was that PL deigned to assist.  It was an hour into the engagements, but they came with a thunder and snow-plowed all resistence.  Soem view them as apathetic to the incursions but this proved them wrong.  It was an exciting development and their influx of vast vessels matched the multifariously assembled capsuleer fleet ship for ship.

If nothing else, the Sansha has made neutrals friends for the purposes of defending the universe, has made enemies neutrals.  We are all human. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Operational Failure

We knew it was coming.  Three systems, Anyed, Imya and Antem to be attacked by separate forces in advance of a final invasion down the road.  It was our chance to grind the Sansha plans to a halt.  Pressures were high, nowhere more so than in the ranks of Moira./SYNE,  particularly on the shoulders of one man: Julianus Soter.

To complicate matters, there were new players on the field.  Our alliances had recognized a war with a trio of Sansha-aligned capsuleers who were guaranteed to be on the field to slow or stop any special initiatives he might put into play to counteract the invasion.

Soter was taking no chances.  While the rest of the galaxy converged on those hisec systems to make their stands, Moira. would form a special taskforce working behind the scenes to shred capsuleer resistance.   

We aligned, approx. 10 Battleships, a handful of Battlecruisers, a spread of Assault Frigates, led by Soter’s menacing Dominix.

What followed was a series of mad dashes.  Intel sighted capsuleer war targets mixed in with the invasions, sometimes at a distance.  It seemed they were popping up everywhere, and it was hard to stay focused on these diffused combatants when the screams of millions echoed over comms, as millions of souls were harvested off the surface of their planet.  But we had our job, and it was an important one; the new enemies affiliated with the Sansha  had the capacity to wait for the most critical point and ruin our logistics, to launch against the many fleets’ weak points and break the back of the defenders.

I had rented a pulse Harbinger BC for the operation.  Throughout the warps, gatejumps and held positions I made an effort to fly in synch with a Corpmate flying the same.  Our twin Harbingers remained above Anyed’s lone station while the rest of the (PVP) taskforce plunged back into Imya.  War targets had been constantly chased off and provided  far less resistance than expected, and so Soter was leading the others into the main Sansha invasion, warping his comrades to a dangerous proximity of a Sansha supercarrier and beginning to join otyher capsuleers in pounding away.   Meanwhile our Harbs orbited the roof of the space station, scanning downward and outward for any sign of a war target.  I felt better that the main taskforce was back to focusing on the invasion itself, but a little nervous floating above that massive station with two systems under our responsibility while Soter was busy.

We had received warnings of a Sansha affiliated warship in the vicinity of this station, and one of our pilots had almost gotten close enough for a lock before it escaped.  Others had been spotted but that mighty Amarr vessel had stayed off-grid.

Minutes passed.  Updates streamed in.  The Sansha commanders appeared to be spending 15 minutes in a system before moving into wormhole space and appearing in the next area.  They were bouncing, moving, confusing us.  One wormhole opened in the dark and spat out a single frigate.  In another case three holes opened and closed just as quickly , taking their flash-force with them,.  It was a mess.  Later there would be overwrought claims that Soter focused too  strongly in space operations, neglecting the ground game.  As confusion prevailed above, thousands of troops landed, and while some herded innocents into the black holds of their dropships, others set to work constructing various mysterious uplinks, apparently the real goal of their actions this day.  In the end, all three uplinks would succeed, and we would fail.  Lives were taken, lives were kidnapped, ships destroyed, ships chased off;  The Sansha did us rough.  They had their way with us, and they didn’t use protection.  Yes we forced their carriers and commanders back through the jagged holes in space through which they’d come, however their mission was accomplished.

But for now the fight still raged, and as I was distracted listening to how things were shaking out systems away, I was a second late noticing the Armageddon war target undock from the station.

In tainted gold, the massive tubular deathstick pulled a slow rotation as it gained height above the busy station.  My twin Harb began to acquire lock as the Battleship locked us down, mine coming in precious seconds later.  She raised her head like a dragon and I was acutely aware of my lack of support.

The other Harbinger blasted a red klaxon and began a focused starboard arc to bring her about on the Geddon,  My own Battlecruiser ignited the microwarp drive and launched itself forward, angling between two arms of the station and out of the metal latticework, ready to flip nose up and over to reapproach in a barrel-roll to right myself.  Between the two of us we locked, scrambled and webbed the big ship, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t stomp us.  As I aligned on his broad left flank and punched the Fire All Weapons command, is shields wavered then reinforced under the barrage.  Thick pulse lasers lanced from the far side as my companion made a straffing run.  Ever so slowly the Geddon’s massive  megapulse lasers ground into position to fire into our hulls.

We tangled, and I again held my breath.  The Geddon, not yet having fired locked down my companion's maneuverability and weapon tracking, and, inhibited, he executed a slow spiral away from the station to exceed the Geddon's mod range.  With the vessel attacking my corpmate I ovverheated mods and blasted away with everything I had.  I even launched some core probes at the bow to help chip down the armor, ejected my garbage chutes to confuse his sensors, launched all my drones, but it was hopeless.  This beast waited until we were alone and pounced and we were not ready. 

It was then that the rest of the Taskforce rejoined us, having literally forced the supercarrier in Anyed back out of normal space.  In a rapidfire chain they landed out of their warp tunnels directly above the Sansha-aligned Battleship and battered him down until he managed to reinitiate dock and pull his bbeaten husk inside the safety of the public station.

From there we had a handful mroe engagements but as the Sansha trickled away and the dust settled, we knew that we had failed fundamentally to protect the universe we loved.  Something had been lost this day, and I shuddered to think of what time would reveal thatto be.

Next post, back to basics.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Incursion: Glory

Serren is quiet, backwater.  People who pass through there are on their way to somewhere else.  Afterburners blueprints are purchased, afterburner modules are sold.  Organic farming bands about the continents.

Planet III boasted the center of culture for the Serren system, and that was where the Sansha came.  The crater in normal space burst in the galactic evening, ejecting countless Battleships with their spiked frigate escorts, teeming with warp inhibitors to lame any defendor who stands against them.

The call went out -confirmed?- -standby- Then MajorJSilva, a major player in the war broadcast the truthiness of the incursion, and from all parts of the known galaxy capsuleers began cascading inward.  SYNE, Moira., FCord, all divisions aligned and burned, fleets merging and redistributing as they converged.

Seeing my ship via sensor inputs, I scanned inside and out.  I saw nervous crewmen on the bridge in the minutes leading up to our arrival in Serren, a system in our forward view now rocking with war, with mindless machines grinding humans to dust, containing the nightmare of boogeymen who come in the night and take your kids, to the spectre of death, apathetic and random.

"Entering Serren"   "Warping to Planet III"   "Engaging"

Before me was a massive black fleet, toward the planet on my left I saw the flecks of light that were their nefarious dropships, landing to scoop.  A gargantuan carrier, Citizen Ashtur of the Sansha in command, bulked in the center of the violent fury.  A trio of Sansha Battleships burst as a squad of capsuleer Drakes  concentrated fire.  Three other clusters of snipers rained artillery fire on the stolid shields of their command vessels.

I had come in a rush, hastily equiping a lightning-fast Punisher frigate and bringing her to bear.  My dual light lasers lanced out at Sansha frigates.  I was learning with each engagement, and by now I knew that the warp-scrambling frigates of the Nation needed to be the first to go.  A similar command went out on comms in our fleet now bursting at the seams.  I helped to down a score of frigates.  Battleships tangled, eWar trnasmitted both ways.  In Local we caught a secure transmission:

"Dropships 1-200 returning.  34% capacity"  Other transmissions indicated 230,000 souls taken, though I missed that one.

It was only seconds later that 200 fireblooms spotted the nearest continents as their kidnapped cargo reached for space.  A horde of drones spun about Citizen Ashtur after her command, while a separate flurry swarmed the upcoming dropships.  A handful were disabled, some fell to earth and caused more damage, a chosen few were able to be webbed then tractored off, the poor souls inside recovered.  Through it all the Carrier and Battleships rained fire, and about me comrades tore asunder while holding the line, while reinforcements rushed gates.

A new squad of stealth bombers led by MajorJSilva uncloaked then, taking the Sansha by surprise and dropping a series of bombs along their line. The dreaded Sansha Nightmares were, on purpose, direct in the path, and several ended up burning in space, a pair colliding without navigation and lighting up the area with incinerated devastation.

I pointed my frigate at the heart of the invasion, Ashtur's massive vessel, chossing a tight 3200 orbit under microwarpdrive as I blasted dual light lasers against it's flaring shields.  Other ships joined in, and again the command went out: KILL IT!

Meanwhile a cluster of eWar ships had moved into position about the 3 wormholes, decloaking to blast gravimetric pulses into their funnels.  While the science did its work to destabilize their precious links to home, many more capsuleers collapsed under the heavy Sansha fire.

In time those reinforcements arrived.  Most of the ascending dropships reached their destination, and it was anguish to watch them tumble through the hole that was locked to us, each vessel a myriad of unique individuals who were about to have their uniqueness literally deleted.

Ashtur, 34% triumphant, angled toward the portal home as the last handful of her defendors either ran or fell.  Now it was she alone, burning for the wormhole, comprimised.  A universe of pilots focused fire, and very slowly her tank began to lessen.

Running calculations on the fly I saw her ship was only 7k from her wormhole.  Orbitting so closely I was the nearest pilot.  There were seconds remaining before we lost him, and I broke off and flew a wide arc off right and came back in behind, reactivating my microwarp drive on a collision course.   I hoped to bump him off the wormhole, saving us some seconds, but he vanished through the wormhole before I could make a difference.

The computer chimed 3k....1k...40m...2m...and I flew through empty space as her entire vessel warped into itself and vanished through the wormhole.  For weeks I would have molecular engineers extracting matter from my hull that had merged through osmosis as for a terrasecond our two ships had occupied the same space (its a given that Ashtur's vessel occupied slightly more).  I spun off the trajectory and klaxons went silent, indicating that the Sansha thread had ended.  I brought her about and got back on comms.  It was 2 minutes before we dropped everything;  through some logistical error, alone and unguarded, a superior Slave of the Sansha had traversed the wormhole.  It didn't last long as he was lcoked down and bombarded, and a cheer went out on Local when it's fiery wreck lit up the system. 

There were victories and losses.  Pilots, numbed, went back to their activities, in full knowledge that this was simply a prelude to the universe-rocking raid that would come in 48 hours.  Untill then, all we could do was wait, and in idle hours in our cabins, review the personel files of those Serrans who had avoided capture due to our efforts, to read who they were and what they wanted to be when they grew up, to feel we had a hand in that to give the dark days to come a hair more meaning.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Uh oh


Calm between the storms.  After Sansha ransacked Oruse and did damage at Uedama and Anyed, things settled for a day.  Moira. forces were redistributed and our nets were cast wide for intel on any upcoming incursions.

The Informant had apparently spawned an infosite on the datasphere, collectively analyzed and assessed  by pod pilots across the universe, and from there had come the recent leaks, however the flow had, for now, stopped.  Across the Empires pod pilots grouped and patrolled, on edge and waiting.  Whatever item that cargo ship in hisec held that the Sansha felt was important enough to create a separate incursion to retrieve, it is a worry to every free-thinking citizen and soldier.

I took a break to comb separate intel for traces of my Brother.  With the Sansha onslaught I hadn’t had an opportunity to meet with his former Corp, the one he robbed, to see if I could glean any details, so I sent some electronic mail to try to get that ball rolling.  Killmail scans told me he had been quiet lately, or his kills had gone unrecorded.  

At the moment I was burning through Amarr space in the Madilirmire system, home to another Sansha attack a couple of weeks ago.  It was a different place, with recovery and rebuilding underway.  Still there were great swathes or wreckage spinning in the dark as probes and drones interlaced the starfield to coordinate salvage.  My trusty Purifier cruised past the corpse of another Purifier, its pod-creche gouged out by laserfire.  I nodded internally with respect for the loss as it passed off my field of view.

I spiraled toward the sun while blasting sensor scans, tuned for the faintest echolocation or anomaly to indicate a wormhole.

Blip…..Blip.

Core probes found a newly opened wormhole.  Madilimire had been ransacked twice by Sansha’s Nation, and I’d rolled the dice that it might happen again.  The anomaly that represented the new wormhole was 25 AU away and found faintly under wide-spread 5-side-dice formation.  I tightened the radii as I warped closer to the area,  far off the core in an arc between planets 4 and 5.

Warp tunnel collapsed, a bit more scanning, and I had a lock.  I cloaked mid-warp as my heart began to thrash in my chest.  I wouldn’t broadcast on FCORD until I could be sure that what I was seeing was a new incursion.  In the seconds before exiting the warp tunnel I prerecorded a warning of the incursion and had the ship’s computer set to transmit should in the seconds before my destruction, should they be waiting.

There it was: a massive hole in space, no one else around for many AU’s, my lone quivering frigate beholding the ripple-edged beauty of an exception in nature.  Nothing had come through, according to shipboard analysis of the energy levels.  No mass destabilization.  It had to have appeared within the last three minutes.  Then it rippled and perhaps the first of many Battleships crested the event horizon to become real on the Madilimire side.

It was an independent mission-runner, and not Sansha.  My heart skipped a beat then downshifted as I saluted his scarred vessel.  He must have noticed his hisec exit dissolved and immediately scanned down the new transfer, as I did.

Sometimes it’s a big story for me, and sometimes it’s a lot more domestic than I expected.  They can’t all be winners, folks!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carrier Loss Aftermath and a New Attack


One effort to evacuate citizens in lowsec ahead of the invasion had ended largely in disaster.    The Sansha menace loomed large, as more analysis and speculation was heaped on the little intel we still had.  Through it all I knew my sole aim was to find and ruin my Brother, however I couldn’t do that if he and I were both mindless Sansha slaves.  There was a growing possibility that the Sansha had many more tricks up their sleeves, enough sleight of hand to bring the whole house of cards down.  If they massively invaded hisec with their warships, if Concord and the factions collapsed to Sansha Nation rule, I would never have my revenge.  The invasion had become a threat to my vengeance, and so I would help to head up the defense for a short time before getting back on task.

I had escaped the Oruse ambush, leaving the Archon wreckage and the expanding corona of it’s loss behind.  My Manticore friend likewise aligned to the slowly retreating dropships bristling with citizens to see that they were unmolested as they fled to the adjacent system.

Our leader in Moira., Julianus Soter, perhaps the most recognized name in the universe right now, had plans to defend both lowsec Oruse and hisec Deltole.  The issue was getting our warships that far down south through pirate territory without falling to the same fate as the Archon carrier.  He made his way downtown with a plan; find a wormhole that would connect from near Oruse to near Pelisle, our stagin ground on the edge of hisec.  This was a million-to-one shot, but he’d already posted a 20 million reward for any pilot that located a decent link.  Oruse was dry, he moved on to Hare and I to Heleule.  I had a couple of close calls with pirate traffic but my Anathema and her warp stabilizers got me out of it.  

With amazing luck, Soter chimed in on comms: “FOUND ONE!”  With 30,000 planets in New Eden, he had found a direct link from Hare to Grispire, the system next door to Pelisle.  While this handy link was intended to route our warships into the area of the lowsec invasion, it soon had another use.

The FCORD announcement landed in our intel folders simultaneously.  Adye was under attack.  It was a hisec system that seemed to be 16 jumps from everyone.  From Osure it was far more, but I needed to get there fast.  Wormhole!

Soter and I hurried to the lowsec end of the hole and burned through, dephasing a brief moment before being spit out adjacent to the Corp’s home of Pelisle.  From there it was a dozen jumps, with various fleets beefing their numbers along the way or merging, by the time SYNE and FCORD arrived in numbers we had a sizeable fleet.

At Planet III numerous corporations aligned with FCORD/SYNE motives arrived in warp or cyno bursts.  Hearts beat fast a sensors swept the scene. 

Compared to the 1400 ships in  the Uedama incursion, this strike force was relatively small and came in two waves, the second being a cluster of 15 Battleships.  In each case the combined might of the hisec defense was enough to repell them.

While countless pilots breathed easy and others questioned whther Sansha resources had finally begun to run thin, somewhere in the mass, a lone freighter chugged.  In it was stored, perhaps, the key to the fall of the Empires.  We don't know what (or who) was being transported...

Intercepted Sansha communiqu├ęs indicated the reason that the incursion was so small; they were not there to destroy, they were there to pick something up.  Whether the freighter slipped through the hairball unnoticed to be enveloped by a Battleship, or a cloaked Sansha ship had sped through the system to scoop up the precious cargo while the warships at the wormhole distracted the defenders, we cannot yet know.  What we do know is that the Sansha apparently have plans beyond simple enslavement and zombification.  

We pushed them off and the remaining Battleships in the second Sansha wave flickered out of existence as one, presumably back to from where they came.  Capsuleers careened amidst the light wreckage recovering people and salvage as the debates rages in numerous channels.  The immediate danger now past, forces redistributed to Deltole to prepare for the next day’s expected invasion (unless this too was a distraction).  While most considered travelling to Oruse in lowsec to defend that backwater world not worth the danger or effort, Moira. Flocked back to their temporary wormhole and Julianus led a force to the Oruse area to set up camp.  We might be a loose-knit force of dedicated defenders when the wormhole tears itself open over planet 7, but those we could not save via evacuation would not be let down by the immortals that cruise the heavens beyond their horizons.

A calm settled over the galaxy.  We knew They were coming, busting out of the void, ripping holes in space, ramming massive fleets through to bombard humanity.  If they were walking organic robots, having done away with emotion and passion, then they were turning back on their parents, the very source of humanity, in an effort to snuff out anything with more mental freedom than a slave.  This was a war to protect what made us human, the instincts, the creativity, the love and hate that greased the gears of civilization’s crawl to Utopia.  The Sansha believe complete uniformity will eliminate strife from the galaxy.  

They’re right.

What they are not considering is the use of strife.  Should a calm gray apathy descend on life in the universe, conflict would vanish, as would invention.  Ancient names like Einstein, Oppenheimer, the greatest leaps forward have come as a result of desperation, war, pain, jealousy, vengeance, affection, drive.  Humanity, if it could still be called that under Sansha rule, would stagnate.  Research would stop.  With nothing new added there would only be opportunities for already-discovered technologies to slip away.  Decades, perhaps eons may pass as the Sansha de-evolve with no creativity to rein in the atrophying, the entropy, the relentless directive of chaos theory.  How long before the technology to maintain their mindless slavery itself comes to problems?  Would we survive waking up in a virtual stone age?  These are all simple projections on my part; in any case, the Sansha might win the war, but with no further battle, they will lose what remains of their souls.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sansha Continued

While all that went on, there was more behind the scenes I would only learn later.  We had one SYNE-sanctioned force working to hotdrop their Star, an giant vessel filled with thermonuclear explosives.  It was foiled when the invasion's leader learned of the plan and destroyed the logistics of the effort less than a minute before their plan came to fruition.

Confidentiality ensured that no one else knew about a crack Stealth Bomber force that warped just off the core of the furball.  Their plan was to cruise along the edge of the wormhole and discharge a mass of gravimetric bombs directly onto the portal's event horizon, hoping to collapse it.  Again the Sansha were prepared, as their fleet was uncloaked and scrambled.  A number of bombs were released but those ships never made it home.

At the same time a cloaked recon vessel slowboated cloaked to the rim of one of the three intruding wormholes at Uedama II.  It uncloaked and dropped over 13 points of grav on the lip, but a close-flying frigate crashed into him, knocking him from stealth and drawing the simultaneous fire of 140 Sansha Battleships.  It became nothing in a second and a half.

When the debris left by the end of the invasion was being cleared away the next day, there came new information, a leak, quuite possibly from the mysterious Informant.  It pointed to a pair of attacks, one in hisec at Deltole and the other shortly after in dangerous lowsec, Oruse.

Immediately SYNE and FCORD went into action.  One small segment was dispatched to push through lowsec space in order to light a cyno and teleport in a vast Arcon Amarr Carrier.  With a capacity for 800k civilians hollowed out, it was there to pull people to safety 24 hours before the Sansha war machine roared to life at their doorstep.  There is only one life-sustaining temperate planet there, and so the choice was obvious.

A scattering of covert ops ships set out into pirate territory, myself among them, in a scouting chain.  We hit the Oruse gate with an almost eerie lack of hostility; no gate camps, no bubbles or snipers.  Nothing uncloaking to make everyone gasp.  We breathed easy as we coasted in to planet III and set a tight orbit.  A Drake had been reported in the area roving for advantage, and we knew we needed to act quickly.

At the staging area for the hotdrop we had a pair us cov ops in position.  The Manticore uncloaked a lightyear off the Western hemisphere and lit the fuse that would allow the Carrier to come through.  Doing so would somewhat disable the Manticore for long minutes, and I was prepared to sweep in should some drifting Rifter try to seize the opportunity.   Local seemed good, and we commenced.

JUST off my bow the massive ship came into view in a corruscating burst of blue-ribbon energy.  She creaked and groaned a moment before settling into lowsec space, then lurched into the short warp hop that brought her to the upper atmosphere.

Operations began immediately.  Dropships started to cascade down to the planet in waves.  Politically, it was not clear-cut planetside, as many citizens disbelieved the knowledge og the upcoming attack or refused on the basis of their fear of capsuleers.  A storm brewing showed up on planetary scans, moving from the vast ocean toward the major population centers.  It roiled and lightning flashes were faintly visible from space.  ON terra firma FCORD volunteers ushered meagre families pulling crying children into their cargo bays.  Some stubborn parents ordered their children off-planet, too scared or stubborn themselves to make the jump.  Rain drove down, decisions were made, eyes darting always for danger.

The pirates had timed it well.  The dropships were just cresting the horizon to reach the waiting carrier in 5 Hurricanes and a smattering of other pirate warships either warped in or uncloaked in a ring around the carrier.  In my combat-useless cov ops I cloaked and broke my carrier orbit to plummet straight toward the planet, hoping this unexpected direction would throw them off if they tried to microwarp drive through the immediate area to decloak me.  Above me the Archon flashed with incoming missilefire and release waves of drones which tangled with the rogues. 

Some level of diplomacy was attempted.  The Carrier had backup a few jumps away that had just come under fire as well.  Though the tank was holding, any real backup was far away, and it was a matter of time before her capacitor ran dry and her repairers slowed to a stop.

Meanwhile the dropships in upper position jerked their trajectories and aligned an emergency warp straight out of the planet's magnetic field toward the nearest gate, looking for any immediate safety.  Luckily the pirates were there for the Carrier's salvage and little else, and one by one the dropships and their passengers slipped out of the trap.

I added a gentle arc and came about.  "Options?" the Manticore asked.  They were scrambling the huge ship, it could warp out.  The Manticore lit a new cyno flare but the pirates were dampening the jump drive as well.  The Archon tried to activate a triage program but the data had been somehow purged.

As shields gave way to armor and then structure, we gave a final salute and prayer to the pilot and had to watch him erupt, splinter and burst, scattering chunks or Amarr wreckage across one entire continent. 

If, before, the people below doubted that violence had come to their home, they knew now.

A storm was coming.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

O...M...G! Sansha invasion to the max.

Battle began in low-sec in the first of a three-tier onslaught the Sansha pitched against us.  I work with Moira, the vanguard of the Sansha response, both IC and OOC.  They work in space and in the CSM to forward the goals of a Nation-free universe.  With the upcoming Incursions people had been coming out of the woodwork to flock to Moira and Soter's leadership.  Ships, crew, ISK, stockpiles were streaming in to fuel our war machine.

When Lenar came under attack the word went out slowly.  It was downtime in Moira and our people needed a few minutes of being shacken to attention before we began streaming down from highsec or our lowsec base in Pelisle to funnel into the assaulted system.

The fact that the invasion was in lowsec was a concern, pirates of any type could crash the defense and doom whole clusters of defenders at the worst possible time.  I was gathering intel for Moira and came barrelling South-East and had the final jump gate propel me in a prosphorescent shotgun blast into Lenar.
The local chatter was awash with the usual Sansha public drivel, the craving for mindlessness, the preaching to a zombie choir.  I tuned it out, pointing my Punisher frigate to Planet 4 where the reported action was and punching the warp.

My tunnel whiplashed out of view as I spat into realspace.  A wall of battleships and frigates, the familiar spiked design throughout, sprawled before me.  Against the massive invasion fleet, backlit as it was by three guerrilla entry holes, there were a scant few players, a handful of battleships, some interceptors; New Eden hadn't formed up a response yet.  I listened to Local again as the SAnsha gloated over their successful extraction of countless poor souls on the nearby planet.  It was literally 100's to 1 odds, and their grinding menace of a blob dominated the horizon, handily at just such a range as to keep me off their agro list.  I had no cloak and no sizable fleet for support, but I blasted my afterburners to move in as close a I could before I was primaried and had to run. 

The pirate uncloaked only a thousand meters off my forward bow.  In a Dramiel he boosted toward me as fast as his ship was able.  Apparently he'd been in wait for easy, early pickings.

The wall of Sansha rippled and pushed toward us.  It was a wall of metal fire, ever advancing.  Warning klaxons inside the frigate sounded as the menacing fleet began to border on targetting range.

I and the pirate tangled.  His Dramiel sent his chunky missiles spinning in and against my hull.  Shields collapsed and it fell to my armor repairer to keep me alive long enough to figure out what to do.  I yanked her to the right and made a generous arc to come about.  He was looping to follow. I aligned as his warp scrambler knocked out my drive.  I would try to bring him into the path of the advancing Sansha, hopefully snuffing him in the process. More missiles rained down and internally sparks exploded and shot through smoke.

As the first few support ships began warping in to the defense, my Punisher exploded, and I managed to hurtle my pod to the nearest station, nearly at the center of the conflagration.  Sansha vessels ignored the station for now as they focused on funneling the humans from the planet below into their transports for processing.

As I signed for another Punisher and quickly fitted it out, the interior of the station was madness.  Residents didn't know whether to flee the system or hide in the basement.  Some people carried the belongings they could lift and scurried back and forth, scrabbling for a seat on a departing escape pod.  Here, in the departure bays of the massive station those pilots who could reasonably assure escape were in high demand.  Huge ISK offers were shouted at the captains of Covert Ops and Force Recon ships, civilians trusting in their ability to slip past the invasion and take them to safety.  I saw one single mother dragging her malnourished son through a bulkhead, having given away all her belongings for a spot on a departing Manticore.

I pushed off the confusion and relaunched.

An anonymous source had broadcast across the networks his prediction of the Lenar attack.  In the same post he divined an attack on Uedama 16 jumps away minutes later.  Lenar had come true, shockingly, and as some wondered who this mystery man was and how he came about his information, we turned our attention to Uedama.  How could we have known that what we saw there would make Lenar seem a walk in the park.

In Lenar we still did not have an appreciable strike force and in the lap of the Sansha, pirates still danced, picking of the weak.  Meanwhile the last of the transport ships carrying the kidnapped civilians rendezvoused with the Sansha fleet and they began to ooze back through the portals they had earlier opened.

\\\back in the action, I saw a single Manticore forced to uncloak, while making a run to escape the system.  The markings told me it was the same that mother had dragged her child onto, and with a gasp I watched as it too became primaried by the agressing forces; it was pounded into debris in a flash, all hands incinerated.

As more and more pilots joined up in fleet and connected on comms it was decided to make a strategic retreat to the Uedama system in expectation of a second attack.

The player fleet left some scouts in Lenar and the 40 pilots we had broke into wings to explore the various planets of the Uedama system.   The Informant had given the exact time of the Uedama attack, supposedly, and we held position, hoping we could make up for the loss in Lenar.

Five minutes before the Uedama invasion deadline, the calls came cascading down from deeper into highsec:  A major Caldari planet was under attack, on the heels of Lenar.  Conspiracy theories flew on comms, some citing the Informant as a source of disinformation.  Now 50 strong, the fleet left a pair of scouts in Uedama and ordered a withdrawal of general forces to reinforce the Caldari invasion.

Most of the fleet, anguished by the desperate calls for help echoing down from the new slaughter, had traveled only 4 jumps in the five minutes to deadline, when the scouts we had left in Uedama blared into comms that the Sansha were there, too, as predicted.  A prediction we thought was a strategic feint by the Sansha via misinformation had come true.  More questions raised, but there would be other times to investigate.  En masse we returned to Uedama, although some of the speedier ships who were a hair closer to the Caldari system simply kept on their away on orders.

While one light flight plodded to support the interior world, we came roaring into Uedama.  What we beheld at planet four was a horror;  in what was surely a record for this type of event, over 1400 Sansha ships spread themselves across the starfield enveloping their three entry holes.  It was daunting, and similar gasps came from every pilot on warp-in.  There was a supercarrier at the center of it all, tubular and dreadful.  Pod pilots were piling in now from all directions, Uedama's various gates flickering machinegun style to keep all the defenders incoming.

Now things really ramped up as most of our 50-man fleet formed up and made a stand.  We had to focus on the hundreds of frigates first to lower the scrambling rate.  It was two powerful waves crashing into each other as New Eden's best rallied and drove against the soulless interlopers.

Too numerous to count were the wildly expensive vessels that threw themselves on the flames, Tengus primarily bravely cruising through the line of fire for the greater good.  Billions were lost, pods were ejected and pilots reshipped, and again and again more and more Sansha vessels poured through into the system.
Slave Beta loomed in the core of the hairball in his supercarrier.  He spouted dogma as his forces rocked the system.  An entire planet was scrubbed clean of 4 million souls.

StalinGrad6 had concisely organized the capsuleer resistance and in true leadership fashion had planted his powerful vessel in the center of the action, raining fire down on the Beta supercarrier.

Malarthi Behemoth > In warp
Malarthi Behemoth > I need the wormhole stable!

Malarthi's people had a present in store for the Sansha, the fruition of extensive planning and logistics: a Star would cyno in in minutes.  A Star was a massive freighter filled with something along the lines of clustered thermonuclear detonators.  All ships were waiting on the order to burn outward at the appropriate time, before that monster would be hotdropped and create a nova that we hoped would swallow the bulk of the Sansha fleet.

WCPistolPete > Who's near the carrier?
SincII > I am
SincII > 29k away
Ilix E'ka > ETA on bomb freighter?
Gareth McGillicuddy > 1/3 shield left
Malarthi Behemoth > Bugging out.
Demyen > Gorrammit
Malarthi Behemoth > The Slave knew.
Malarthi Behemoth > That was 40 seconds ahead of schedule.

The Slave knew.  Sansha had their own intel, and the ships associated with the Star manoeuvre were quickly primaried and dispatched by the roiling mass of their armada.

Impossibly, to add insult to injury, there was yet another invasion, this one within the Uedama system at Planet III.  With the Star maneuver bulldozed a mass of pilots had to be diverted to this new uprising.

I don't know if the leading Sansha fleet at Planet III was destroyed in the minutes before I rejoined Squadron 3 there, but when I arrived the majority of the defense force was rung around a single Slave carrier.  Whether it was a diversionary tactic by the Sansha to allow their Planet II force to gain ground I cannot say, but long minutes passed as a massive fleet of capsuleers poured damage into that huge thing.  I lashed out and took numerous warships with it, but in time we wore it down and the invasion at Planet III was ground to a halt.
We rallied back to the original invasion area

StalinGrad6 > KILL THAT DAMN THING
Malarthi Behemoth > Goumeka, are you still on Beta?
luceax > DAT SANSHA :D

Slave Beta's supercarrier continued to shred defenders.

Now Althea, known to most capsulleers for her involvement in New Eden's Sansha defense, took center stack, herself roaring into the hairball and rallying all remaining pilots to focus fire on the final supercarrier.  Between her and StalinGrad6 they coaxed a ragtag force of defenders to unite in bombarding the last moral figurehead of the invasion fleet.

We had no time to wonder how the Caldari system in the interior was faring, but we had to assume it was a force similar to Lenar, that it was a feint in itself to draw us off and that what we were now grinding against was the primary thrust of the day's incursions.

Slave Beta was realized to be Heavenbound.  A Slave that had rmapaged across previous battlefields, as lead of the remaining Sansha force that pilot was primaried by the entire defense force.  We lost many ships in doing so, but en masse New Eden's defenders ignore the countless remaining cruise, bcs and battleships on the Sansha side to put an end to their figurehead.  I was locked down and bombarded as I made a close pass of the supercarrier.  My lasers lanced down into a bursting hull, and I brought her about and burned straight outward as the massive dark ship rippled, breached, then burst in all directions.

Althea Ekran > Bounty payment From:  CONCORD <br>Sent: 2010.11.27 21:49 <br><br>For your termination of Slave Heavenbound02 we have paid you the bounty that was set to his head: 5,000.00 ISK
Althea Ekran > too bad the bounty was so crappy. -_-
XPCES > link second chimera
Demyen > Dude, that blows -_-
Akrasjel Lanate > Lucky you
luceax > LOL
luceax > do we have the second killmail ?
Shpenat > Do we have logs from that E system?
Darranibal Colpia > can't believe i got a measly 300k isk bounty in exchange for nearly a billion worth of ships and modules lost
Akrasjel Lanate > Damn
D'Argent > yeah, that return is not good
Gareth McGillicuddy > antyhing else to kill, or are we done?
Shpenat > I think we are done
Pertrenius > yeah i managed to loss 2 ships and just as i got the 3. it was over
Gareth McGillicuddy > kk... thx for the fleet, FCORD.
Polar69 > there are more in <url=showinfo:5//30001377>sarekuwa</url>
Lorren Canada > more sansha?
Polar69 > so I hear.. haven't been there myself
Darranibal Colpia > screw that, not at that loss rate
Shpenat > Pilot Colpia, do you need some ISK backup?
Polar69 > what happens with all theese cans?
Lorren Canada > peeps on live saying sarekuwa is a false alert
Darranibal Colpia > do you have like a billion spare? cos other wise no
Shpenat > only 350mil
Shpenat > As I lost no ship this time I feel bit odd
Polar69 > lost a raven... :-(
Lorren Canada > :(
Ikarus Gaul > me too
Ikarus Gaul > lost a navy domi
Darranibal Colpia > lost my brand new hello kitty, and a Nighthawk, both faction fit
Ikarus Gaul > craptastic
ross2by4 > well it was great flying with you guys, im off back to, whatever it is i do :)
Ilix E'ka > o7
Lorren Canada > cheerio
Shpenat > Colpia, do you want logs?
Darranibal Colpia > sure, and please CC them to Jandice too
Ilix E'ka > can i get a cc fo my blog?
Darranibal Colpia > sure
Darranibal Colpia > Since Jandice is back, i wll begin updating the map
Shpenat > Is she in the pod right now?
Darranibal Colpia > no shes planetside
Darranibal Colpia > cane got primaried Pete, i'm flying a slasher atm
WCPistolPete > Hehe
WCPistolPete > So did my drake. ;)
Darranibal Colpia > did your drake survive?
WCPistolPete > :)
WCPistolPete > they got me to 80% shield! :O
Darranibal Colpia > smug bastard
Darranibal Colpia > :P
WCPistolPete > I kept playing range games with them
WCPistolPete > If the scram frigates started getting close I warped, then returned to my BM about 20K away
WCPistolPete > I kept the BS at about 50-70K
Lorren Canada > were the sansha salvaging the wrecks?
Darranibal Colpia > bah well i got in close among the BS and did some heavy damage, but that got me primaried the moment they realised i was using torps, despite my tiny signature (had halo implants) they pretty much popped me in one go, combat log shows 140 BS fired simul
WCPistolPete > :O lol
WCPistolPete > Maybe 140 guns ;)
Garandar2 > i got some nice kills :)
Garandar2 > and barely got out 1 time :)
WCPistolPete > I concentrated on the frigates so others could maintain warp capability.
Darranibal Colpia > [ 2010.11.27 20:25:27 ] (combat) Sansha's Tyrant aims well at you, inflicting 139.7 damage... followed bt 140 pretty identical lines lol
WCPistolPete > 20:59:38 Combat Sansha's Tyrant misses you completely.
Darranibal Colpia > okay i'm headed back to wuos, gonna hand over to WCPistolPete, since he like has a ship that isn't a smoldering black lump
D'Argent > Same, I took out more frigates than i care to think of, fast little fuckers. My AB Iskhur was having trouble keeping up until i started to scram and web them.


Just leaving you a little post-battle capsuleer chatter.  I did get CC'd on future distribution to counteract possible Sansha invasions...

From: Malarthi Behemoth
To: Ilix E'ka, 
I'm proud to report I have completed system centrality analysis, and am outputting the results below, with the caveat that these are for 13 jump results, 14 jump results and above cause burning smells to emanate from any computer I've tried to run it on.
Perimeter
Sarekuwa
Tash-Murkon Prime
Amamake
Botane
Kaaputenen
Meves
Kamela
Amarr
Aphend
Renyn
Kor-Azor Prime
Ourapheh
Chantrousse
Several regions are excluded because they were low scoring. Not all of these systems are the top scorer, but they are all in the top 5. This is to facilitate movement of cargo and willingness of participants to relocate. I would not recommend using all of these locations, instead, pick several that are spatially distant and house your ships there. In this way, we can be spread across the cluster, ready to respond to a Nation attack anywhere, any time.
Regards,
Malarthi Behe
Good work, Malarthi. 

This involvement in New Eden defense takes nothing away from my pursuit of my Brother.  I need to be where the action is to ask the questions, and I did broadcast my message at some choice moments when the chatter was light and I didn't think I would contribute to choking the commms.  The Dramiel which hunted me down in Lenar, it occurs to me that might have been a hit.  If so, fail.  My pod escaped, you can tell my Brother i'm not that easy.

Next up, a daring strategy to bait my nemesis.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I am working on an interview I can post with one of the members of the wormhole corp my Brother robbed, till then I took a break from missions in the aftermath of the crushing blow the Sansha had dealt my home Empire.

I've decided I need to hone my pvp skills in advance of confronting my enemy.  I knew now he flew Rifters exclusively, and so I assembled one on the edge of Concord space before plunging into lowsec.  I would feel out his ship from the inside, I would know it as well as he does in case that knowledge comes to bear in an engagement.  I want to know every strength and weakness of his chosen vessel.





Friday, November 26, 2010

INVASION

It was calm in Madirilime.  Close to the galactic headquarters of the Amarr empire, no pirate, cult or rogue fleets would dare tread.  That there was a Sansha attack that was swiftly defeated not long ago may have given the system a deadly overconfidence.

There were three Tengus, T3 war machines forged for fire.  They alone happened to be in-system when the void tore itself apart, chasming a hole in spacetime, a fount for darkness to spill through.

The Sansha ships are bulbous, heavily engined, and mohawked by a line of menacing spikes that crown their hulls.  Seeing them warping into an area is like watching a line of bayonnets thrust.  They had congregated at planet 4 before anyone had time to react.

The Tengus met them there as the first line of defence, one that lasted briefly.  First one, then another, then the third exploded in the far upper atmosphere of the planet, while below shocked and uninformed citizens saw fire-blossoms in the sky and had a moment to wonder why before countless Sansha collection ships began burning into the atmosphere.  Soon their confusion was eclipsed by the shocked realization that, yes, They had come, and, yes, They were here to take THEM.

Across the planet, on every continent that hosted a population center, the spiny vessels cruised to the surface and began to herd.

In space, orbitting the planet, the Slave that commanded the invasion decimated turreted defenses and any soul who lifted a finger to stop them.  Massive battleships were there to protect the invasion, equally dastard in their rough-shod, utilitarian design.

Spiked invaders blasted into the atmosphere of Madirilime IV.  Miners, civilians, politicians, all the people there realized at once that they were liabilities.  Cattle to be herded,  they soon were.

As Corporations responded to the distress call the damage was done, as thousands were rounded up into the drop ships before they blasted upward to rejoin with their fleet.

Moira came in roaring.  We warped to zero on the planet and spread across the upper atmosphere to stop the withdrawal of Madi civilians.

Aglow in the backlight of a living planet, we traded shots and lanced each other.  Some ships destined to extract citizens were shot through the hull and crashed deep below, others captured 1000's of citizens just to have their engines blasted out to crash on the terrain below.  In some daring acts troopers contained in attackships rammed into the invading crewships and stormed them, retrieving valuable personnel.

The Sansha had coated the plannet with force, spikes and spines and autocannons filling the starfield.  In the end vast groups of interconnected corporations spilled their top-notch battleships and fleets to clog the flow of humans from planet IV to the deadmind space of the Sansha home systems. 

Make no mistake, humans extracted would be reprocessed and lost to us.  As far as we were concerned, they would be retrieved or killed.  Many Sansha gatherer ships were burned from the sky even as others pushed through the loose bloackade to deposit their "cargo" Carrier-side. Yes, the Carrier, piloted by the Slave commander, it loomed behind us all, and as the dropships and frigates carrying their mindless hordes for mental reprocessing returned and docked internally, the banded ships of the highsec defense saw that the invaders had had their fill.

Rarely had I seen such savage violence. Beams and missile/rocket trails had crisscrossed the system.  Humans had been harvested.

It was at the wormhole portal that the Amarrians made their last stand.  The pilots downed in the initial attack, stripped of their tengus, returned, and brought the thunder alongside countless others.  Wild kinetic backlashes and fiery thermic and explosive concussions ravaged the Slave carrier hull.,  Contained within were thousands, perhaps millions of lives, as the entire defense fleet focused fire on the nefarious Carrier.  It came to 500m of the exit point, and all around it in a corruscating cascade that signaled their passage from the zone, Sansha freighters, frigates and battleships, all be-spiked, travelled home.

We didn't save those people.  Thousands of humans were taken, we fought as hard as we could but we could not grind that carrier to a proper halt.  Next time we will be more ready, they will feel more pain.

A distraction from my core quest, but a welcome one.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More WH Theories, and a Parallel Universe

Intro: This blog is about mye hunt for my half-Brother.  We hadn't spoken IRL in years but he looked me up in-game, got my trust, then took all my posessions and left me for dead.  I've since begun to build my way back up, and this blog is a tool to spread the word to help me find him and grind him under my heel.  Come with me, and Lets All Kill My Brother!

Recently I realized the man I hunt lives in his own wormhole system, flitting about in the ether.  I need a great plan to do him in, and I decided to start big:  is it possible to collapse an entire wormhole systm, planets, stations and all?  Looking into the wild possibility of such a thing, I came to a chilling thought about my own place in the universe.

I dropped the latest research datapad.  Summaries?  Wormhole systems are caused to branch off ours, sometimes by virtue of someone looking to see if they are there.  We know they distort spacetime by the way they send people through space (and quite possibly time) to enter an isolated branch of our own universe.

They are not limited pockets of space, in that they are mirrors of our universe but with sleepers instead of humans, and like our own universe, it is likely that the pocket has infinitely expanding edges resulting from a pseudo Big Bang, what I will call a Mid-Bang.  

They do not follow logic.  They are interlaced with the 5th dimension.  They have the same system-wide gravitational distortions that are commonly identified with classic extradimensional spaces that exist BETWEEN full-on parallel universes.

A parallel universe is likely to be a perfect mirror of our own, with the same people doing and saying the same things, with perhaps some distant alterations between them that cannot be perceived, things like a particle bouncing a different direction or the light from a sunbeam in a Kentucky window diffracting in an abnormal way in the dust.

Separate from my grand plans to collapse my Brother’s universe as a whole, it brings up an intriguing possibility:  if extradimensional spaces exist in the spaces between full-on parallel universes, then how do we know that when we return to known space, it is the same version?  Could it be that people who travel back and forth through wormhole systems left their home universe behind them? Might they return to the Amarr homeworld, watch the news and catch an item that makes no sense?  Maybe the layout of a station is different than they remember, even though records show no change since inception.  The average battle-hardened pod pilot, after numerous resurrections and brain-rattles, might dismiss these anomalies.  But perhaps they are there.  I shudder to think of what details and alterations have been wrought in the universe I call home beyond my notice.  People I might have met that now lived different lives, lifted from my path by inexorable physics.  

Which just now leads me to another thought.  My Brother, (really my Brother from another Mother), what I knew of him growing up, he was a sweet guy.  I fail to see how he could evolve into a creature of bitterness and anger like the one I hunt.  Is my old Brother a hundred parallel universes away?  By passing through the membranes of universes and thinking I had returned, was I in fact distancing myself from the one plane of existence that makes true sense to me?  This New Eden is cruel, but it did not always seem that way.  Its almost enough to keep me rooted in Empire forever, to prevent further changes.  I miss the old Bro, and the idea that he still exists somewhere is heartening.  But the one in this universe? He got's ta die.

Back to the idea, the EDSs have strong changes in radiation.  So does a birthing and dying universe.  We know there is a time dilation effect between us and those in wormhole systems.  Are they collapsing, rather than expanding like ours?  Huge spikes of radiation accompany the Big Bang and the Big Crunch.  Somehow generating massive levels of radiation in the core of a wormhole system might simulate its heat death and cause the premature collapse of the EDS.  That would require tremendous energy.  The formulae involved tell me I would need to start the effect by collapsing the star at the heart of my Brother’s domain and then convert the energy to pure radiation and siphon it outward.  I can’t do that without a Titan. 

Still thinking.