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.

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