Since my old Podlogs account has gone kaput some years beforehand, I thought I better repost some of My old fiction write ups. This dates from Incursion, which had to be the most lore focused expansion in living memory. It was in my opinion, one of my favorite times playing EVE. The hype was large, far larger than for Odyssey, a bit like the days leading up to the Crucible. I went to one of the first Incursion constellations myself, even if it was only in a Shuttle to observe.
I should have brought popcorn. And a fleet of really tanky salvagers, or something with warp core stabs and a cloak. People were dying ALL over the place. Caldari Navy Ravens, Tengus, everyone’s expensive missioning ships were being blown up-
Gloriously. The rage in local was pure comedy. The entire atmosphere inspired me to write a series of short stories. Here’s the First.
If Askander Venn could have squeezed his eyes shut and shake his head he would have. No matter how many times he did it jumping made him queasy. Then it was over and duty called again.
“Squad- Allign to co-ordinates at Oscar-10 Tango 4.” He announced. “Standby to go to warp on my mark.” All ten of the state of the art Maelstrom class battleships emerged from the natural cloaking that hid the behemoths and aligned to the distant planet. The gate was busy- dozens of ships of all sizes were coming and going. Some were other fleet vessels and a few even belonged to the independent alliances that had come to help- but their numbers were few.
Most were heading in the other direction. Dozens of industrials and freighters carrying evacuees- or valuable goods that they wanted to save. He thought darkly.
“Sureshot- warp.” He heard a hurried voice from command shout over the superior’s channel. “Primary target is the Logistics at Alpha-21 Oscar-3”.
He didn’t wait for him to finish his sentence- the Maelstrom squad was already in warp before he had finished speaking.
Askander had barely finished relaying the orders to his squad when they dropped out of warp.
A vast vista of destruction lay before him, a junkyard filled with dozens of wrecks. Fleet ships of every shape and size lay as lifeless wrecks, melted sometimes almost beyond recognition by the pitiless sanshan lasers. Mixed in them were bulbous spiky ships that were ridden with hundreds of autocannon and artillery shell impacts. Even amongst the wreckage the two armadas fought, using the corpses of their breathern as cover in what had degenerated to the point of dozens of individual shootouts. He was at least 120km away from the battle, but for him and his squad that was ample range.
The Fleet was losing.
Askander didn’t spare much thought to this- he had already designated primary and like the rest of his squad was acquiring a lock. As soon as he had the spiky ship’s trajertory plotted and it’s signal locked- within a nano-second of the rest of his squad- each of the Maelstrom’s huge cannons briefly belched fire and the entire battleship shuddered, rattling his pod.
10 maelstroms can carry 8 1400mm artillery cannons apiece. A 1400mm artillery “Quake” shell is about the same size as a car and weighs a good deal more. 80 of these made a brief transit through the void and then slammed against the sansha logistical cruiser.
The majority of the energy was absorbed by the ships previously formidable shielding system, which lasted for a full tenth of a second before it gave way the remainder carried enough knetic force to slam the cruiser into a nearby typhoon wreck, at which point the shells pierced the hull and detonated, causing the ship to disintegrate while still traveling at high speed.
Askander felt another one slide into breech.
“Primary Nightmare at Alpha-20 Zulu-10.” Previous seconds could be wasted while a ship aquired a lock- Askander had already secondaried the Nightmare, and as such no delay happened.
Askander felt another rock as the cannons discharged again. His squad flashed with him.
Amazingly the Sanshan battleship absorbed the catastrophic impacts and even though it’s shields failed, and it’s armor was penetrated it’s critical structure remained intact.
A badly damaged Hurricane emerged from behind a field of wreckage and opened up with it’s own artillery cannons, sparing Askander a second salvo. The nightmare was atomized as it’s reactor went Nova and shortly after the offending Hurricane fragmented as the Sansha fleet opened up.
“I’m Enemy primary.” Askander heard Eloi say softly, her voice calm and professional.
“Sureshot requesting immediate Logistical & interdiction support.” He said the officers channel.
“All assets engaged- denied.” Came the brisk answer, and the line went dead. He felt the cannons belch again and hit another nightmare. It too remained intact. This time there was no Hurricane to finish it off.
Eloi suddenly lit up like another star in the sky, a hundred yellow beams of light connecting her to the Sansha fleet. For a second it looked like she could hold out- then another three nightmares emerged from behind the wreckage and opened up- and suddenly Eloi’s once mighty Maelstrom was reduced to hundred trillion superheated atoms.
She would comeback he knew. Capusleers never truly died. But there would always be memory, the ghost of a true death.
He spared his squad of that if at all possible.
Two of his squad finished off the crippled nightmare while he directed everyone else to target the nightmare which a trio of rifters had tackled. Weakened, the ship exploded in a single salvo.
3 nightmares down- 5 to go.
Then everything went wrong at once.
The ominous inexplicable wormhole at the centre of the battlefield pulsed once and something impossibly massive, burst into existence.
“Shit.” He said softly. He had heard of these things but had never thought he would actually see one.
The Revenant Class Supercarier pulsed it’s overcharged shields, a solid wave of energy ending whatever ghost of a chance the Fleet had of a victory. The hundreds of wrecks became lethal projectiles, colliding with those ships that were not crushed outright and hurling them all out into deep space, or onto the planet below. A jaguar that had been sparring with two Succubus frigates was crushed by the mighty wave, and it’s wreck was dashed into a million pieces when it collided with a lifeless phantasm.
Several stabbers that had been resisting in skirmish maneuvers survived the wave but were reduced to lifeless hulks as thousands of hypersonic shrapnel sliced through metal, cable, pipe, and flesh.
Last of all was Jen Takor’s Slepnir which now stood alone in front of the mighty supercarrier. Damaged beyond repair, energy discharging off from disabled shield boosting arrays, it’s guns blazed once, twice, before it was atomized in a flash of blue light.
“Command report?” Askander shouted over the officers channel. Nothing but static answer him. He looked at it and knew that there would be no winning this fight.
“Any surviving elements of the 2nd wing is ordered to withdraw, in absence of higher command the 2nd wing is ordered to withdraw by authority of Acting wing commander Askander Venn, Reform at Omega-Aleph-10.” He said.
This time he was enemy primary.
“Warp.” He said over the squad general. The mighty revenant slide out of view just as a salvo of missiles were launched and the turrets began to glow…
What remained of the second wing reformed at the gate, and it was but a shadow of it’s former glory. Askander’s Maelstrom squad. A pair of typhoons. A few ruptures which had been far from the blast. Small mercies.
No reinforcements would be coming for hours. Some royal mishap in command had seen that hundreds of ships hadn’t been assigned to the system from the start because some aging armchair strategist had declared it a feint.
There would be no retreating if they came to the gate. Refugee ships came through, a lot at first, but fewer as more super carriers entered the field around other planets.
Askander Venn’s action saved tens of thousands of lives. Without his quick decision for a retreat the Sansha would have established blockades at the gate and intercepted the dozens of refugee ships that made it out while his maelstrom squad stood guard. This others told him. But Askander never forgot the silver cities of the doomed planet below, the ones he left behind.
There is a Part 2. And more. It’ll come