Into the Abyss

Most of the agencies Warriors and Horde Chiefs were already gathered in the dark briefing room at Vard Six Kin Development Studio Station when I arrived. The Matari Tribal War Chief and CEO of the T.R.I.A.D corporation, Det Resprox was hunched over the holo table pointing at various star systems, his hard facial features accentuated by the blue glow from the map projection. Reamorph, a Matari Horde Chief, known for his unquestionable loyalty to the cause, stood on the other side of the table with his arms crossed, a serious stern look on his face, listening to Det. “Ah Jae” Det said turning to face me, “Thought you were not going to join us”. “Sorry I’m late, had some problems with pirates on the Amamake gate” I said, quickly taking my seat near the back of the room, nodding at my fellow corp mates as I went. Truth of the matter was I’d woken up in Dodixie Fed Navy station literally 20 minutes ago and had to race my way across 8 jumps in a shuttle, not wanting to appear unprofessional I thought it best to tell a little white lie, there were pirates on the gate after all. Thinnish and Nasty1, two more Horde Chiefs both took their places with Reamorph to the side as Det moved to the center of the room. “I’ll keep this short as our brothers from the Tribal Liberation Force will need our help in Auga in a few hours.” With his hands now clasped behind his back he seemed to look at every one of us in turn. “As you all know, more and more Amarrian fighters are being put against the Republic and it is time for us to strike back and hit them where those warriors are born!” His raised voice echoed off the metal walls and ensured everyone’s full attention. “We need to mount a strike into the Amarrian home worlds itself – into the very heart guarded by the Amarrian Navy and to tear down all those we see as a threat to the Minmatar Republic!” A shout of agreement rose from everyone around me as Det turned and pressed a button on the holo table’s console, which projected a map of the Domain region into the air above it, at its center highlighted in red, the Amarr system.

Nasty1 then took a step forward, a courageous looking woman that is known and feared across the militias and who holds substantial kill statistics to warrant those fears. “After extensive testing we have what we believe to be a near perfect Wolf Assault Frigate setup, concentrating on high agility and ranged high alpha strike damage, it should wreak havoc in Highsec. I’ll be issuing the ship fit for your Neocoms after the briefing.” Reamorph then took the floor “This will not be your usual Lowsec stuff ladies and gents, our tactics will be much more precise, no room for error” he said as he paced the room in a militaristic fashion. “The Navy are nasty bastards, they appear in seconds and you will be in a whole world of hurt if you don’t pick your targets. You get in, stay aligned, out of scram range, kill and get out! I’ll be taking a squad up there in a few days to start decorating the killboard with the Amarrian emblem and show you all which systems the scumbags use as trade routes and mining hubs. So, are there any questions?” Spar raised his hand, an aggressive looking individual, his red Mohawk matching the colour of his pro-Minmatar t-shirt. “Yes Mr Multendor?” Spar shuffled in his seat slightly then said “Will the speed at which we have to get in and out mean I won’t have time to pick up corpses for my collection?” The room erupted with hearty laughter, “Not unless you want me to come along after and scoop your corpse up to give back to you?!” cried Nitro DSP, a good friend of Spar who was sat next to him. Spar’s middle finger slowly rose from his fist, a smirk appeared on his face and the room laughed again. “Right people dismissed, give them hell!!” roared Det and with that everyone in the room left their seats and made their way out, just leaving the Chiefs milling around the star map.

Spar Multendor

Two days later a small squad of four T.R.I.A.D members, including myself and Reamorph made our way up to Amarrian Empire High Security space, most of us flying Wolf Assault Frigates and Rea leading the spear tip in his self proclaimed “Glass Cannon” Zealot Heavy Assault Cruiser. The lack of defence on the Wolf was uncomfortable to say the least, most of all for my crew who pleaded with me to use a Damage Control Unit on the ship. We soon left the relative safety of Minmatar Republic space and entered the Amarrian home systems. The Navy were indeed quick, appearing whilst we were holding gate cloak, their massive battleships closing on the gate, accompanied by smaller faster frigates and cruisers. The smaller ships would manage to acquire lock and fire speed killing webifier devices at us, just as we hit warp and travelled to the next gate on our route. Exact details of systems and the route is classified as I’m sure you can imagine, but it wasn’t long until we were in a system well know to our intel officers and Rea as a junction system for ships moving items backwards and forwards to the market hubs. The system was busy, nearly a hundred Capsuleers were registered as being in local, a quick scan to check if any were war targets and from the Amarr or Caldari Militi indicated that one such pilot was. Rea immediately gave the orders and we spread out across the gates, searching for the ship.

My Wolf

As my ship decelerated out of warp and the star gate came into view, my overview computer lit up with various ships going about their business and my heart jumped into my mouth as one of them was flashing orange. I called out over the comms, as I immediately closed on the ship and initated lock, a Sigil industrial ship at range from the gate, presumably the pilot was auto piloting which gave me chance to destroy him before he got to the gate and jumped. He was locked in milliseconds, but I hesitated. My surroundings slipped into slow motion, my mind slowed and my thoughts wandered. My mother, my family, my people, they were murdered just like this, an Amarr industrial, shot down by the Amarr themselves to cover up a slave trafficking operation (see my past). What if there were slaves aboard that ship destined for Amarr? I could be killing hundreds of men, women and children, I thought with a sense of dread. I was abruptly pulled out of my thoughts by Rea’s voice over the comm channel, “What the hell are you doing pilot, open fire, oven fire!!” his cruiser appeared in front of my camera drone, its engines roaring at me with blue light as if in anger. I couldn’t speak, even though filled with the pod’s goo, my throat seemed dry and I felt panicked and disoriented. The Navy was there already and the ship’s computer was indicating an Armageddon Battleship was acquiring lock on me, one volley from its lasers and I would have disintegrated. I quickly set a path to a nearby planet and initiated my warp drive. The Wolf span around to face the planet, aligning its self ready to hit warp speed, its agility modifications working perfectly and the ship entered warp just as the industrial ship exploded, not even half way to the gate. It was no match for the awesome fire power of the Zealot’s Heavy Pulse Lasers. “He’s down….. Pod down too” called Rea, whilst I struggled to compose myself and concentrate in warp. I landed and immediately set destination again, not letting the Navy, who were well and truly aware of our presence now, get any locks on my ship. We quickly left system and carried on with the route. That was the only kill on that op, the rest of the roam was pure intel gathering and getting used to the pirate like tactics we had to use to survive in these systems, treated like criminals by the Navy. Rea opened a secure private channel with me once we were back in the Republic and I explained what had happened to my family all those years ago. He showed a surprising amount of compassion and empathy toward me and my grim story for such a battle hardened warrior. He set about reassuring me that such events do not happen as often anymore. “The Republic’s intel is much more accurate and far reaching, abductions and movements of our enslaved brothers and sisters are often known about long before ships leave planets and stations” he had said. Apparently in his experience during such operations he had never come across or heard of Minmatar people as casualties from any enemy Militia industrial ships being destroyed.

Reamorph

After checking the Militia’s war records when we returned to station, it turned out he was correct and I felt like a fool for my actions or lack therefore on the target earlier.

It took me a few days to gain my confidence back; hesitation can be a Capsuleers worst enemy, when survival relies on the thousands of split second decisions that are made in the heat of battle. The next roam I made on my own was much more successful. I spotted a Badger industrial ship, but this time the Amarrian Militia pilot was not on auto pilot and was flying manually from gate to gate, hopefully returning to his Corp to replenish their stocks. I stalked him for 3 jumps gaining on him each time. My faster ship sped past him in warp after the third gate; a quick short ranged scan indicated he was still on his way towards me, so I jumped through into the next system a few seconds later. He appeared in local and I waited hoping I would not lose my gate cloak too soon, but he luckily uncloaked first, his slow bulky ship starting to turn and align to the next gate in system. Adrenaline kicked in this time and coursed through my veins, I was focused and ready, my heart pounding like Matari war drums, he was locked and in range, I initiated my warp disruptor module, he wasn’t going anywhere. Noticing the Navy off in the distance closing fast and remembering Rea’s instructions I aligned to a nearby Asteroid belt in system and then opened fire without hesitation this time. My artillery cannons boosted in power and range by the ships modifications and modules, pounded the enemy ship, its shields disappearing in a blink of the eye. The Navy‘s interceptors had acquired lock at this point, slowing me to a stop with their webs, cruisers started to open fire and my paper thin shields quickly dropped. Cursing and then apologising to my crew under my breath, I overheated the whole rack of artillery, increasing the overall damage they would inflict. The ship then erupted into a satisfying ball of gas and flame just as my armour damage alarm started to shriek, knowing I didn’t have enough time to take out the pod as well, I hit warp and escaped just as the Navy battleships started to open fire too. The kill report thankful showed that the ship had not been carrying slaves or civilians, but a massive amount of refined ore in the form of minerals that would have been used to build Amarr ships.

The aptly named “Into the Abyss” offensive waged on for over a month and involved over 16 of our pilots, it only recently came to an end and a few weeks ago an award ceremony was held in the system of Vard. The “ceremony hall” was actually the Corp’s meeting room, but all the seating had been removed for the occasion, an improvised raised stage was setup and the room was brightly lit for a change. All Corp members and Agency members were there apart from the few still on patrol duty around the neighbouring systems. Everyone was dressed in formal uniform attire and all stood proud as Det Resprox spoke. “We hit the heart of both the Caldari and Amarr Militia with precision and ruthlessness; we infiltrated their systems and dealt massive damage to their war effort from within! During this last month on this campaign alone the Agency has destroyed 564 ships and pods amounting to nearly 7 billion isk!!” Cheers and applause filled the room. Raising his hands to hush us, he said “We will not forget those 66 crews that were lost, they all died warriors and heroes and will be remembered as such. Our thoughts are with their families”. After a sombre moment of silence and respectful thoughts, Det proceeded to call up to the stage at the front of the room Rawnec, a respectable Matari Warrior who often favours the stealth bomber, Spar and myself. We were all awarded the Kar’Unak Star for shooting down over 20 war targets throughout the campaign. I looked out at the smiling crowd as they applauded us; it was the proudest moment of my life. I’d received informal commendations before but this meant something, I had made a difference to the war and to my people.

Karunak Medal

Our kills paled in insignificance when compared to those of Nasty1, Thinnish and Reamorph. Nasty1 had managed to take down 147 ships and pods totalling 1.1 billion isk and was awarded several versions of the Kar’Unak Star and the Kar’Unak Wrath. A massive, seemly impossible kill of an Orca Capital Industrial ship in 0.8 security Caldari space, owned by the Caldari Militia was destroyed by Thinnish and Reamorph which alone totalled 1.5 billion isk (See here) and was undoubtedly a devastating loss for the State. This staggering kill along with 53 others from Thinnish and 210 from Reamorph also awarded them Kar’Unak Stars and Kar’Unak Wrath medals. The ceremony soon broke up after some final words of thanks from Det and then moved from the meeting room to the station’s bar, where ale flowed, stories of the recent battles were told and celebrations continued well into the night.

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4 Responses to “Into the Abyss”

  1. reamorph Says:

    And we will continue to blitz the foul slaver scum awesome job jae and the rest of the T.R.I.A.D murder and arson squad o7 we will sculpt the future

  2. aznwithbeard Says:

    Awesome RP. Wish I could write that well.

    • Thanks very much. I have not written for a while as RL has been busy. Positive comments like this make me want to sit down and write some more though. I’ll try and make some time this week 🙂

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