“Here’s to our first T3-dessie solo kill, Sins! Take that, you fucking Amarrian bastards! Your silly Confessor shredded to scrap metal by the Sister’s little sissy Astero!”
I raised my imaginary glass. Man, I was looking forward to getting out of my pod and kick back in the lounge area.
Bleak Sins, my mechanic and partner in crime, had to shout through the loud terran rock music playing from entertainment system. One time I visited the Eve Gate I found a terran artifact floating in space containing a huge selection of music. I love that old-time stuff. We were shouting and screaming for a couple of minutes, then we docked up to refit a salvager.
“We have a signature ready for fishing in Isenan, boss, remember that!”
I was damned proud of my mechanic. His transformation from a timid mechanic into a mean bastard of a pirate was something to be proud of. It reminded me of my own journey towards the life of freedom.
“Yes, I just want to know it there are some shiny stuff that can be salvaged from this T3 wreck first.”
There was not a lot, to be honest, so off we went to Isenan. And there we found a freshly graduated capsuleer going about his data salvaging, in our very own pre-probed little fish pond. We mopped the dance floor with him and sent him back to his cloning station.
“You know, Sins, let us show him the way of true freedom. I am transferring him 10 million ISK to show him our way of life is good one, a life of choices—your own choices. I am free to take whatever I want. I am free to give back. Nobody tells me anything.”
“You’re a god.”
I didn’t catch the sarcasm.
And then I got a message from one of my planetside enterprises that needed my immediate attention. I ordered my ship to cloak and transferred my consciousness to a planetside neural communication gateway, a so-called Automated Flexible Keyway, often referred to by capsuleers as “being AFK”.
I did not catch the error message my neural interface sent me:
U R UNCL04K3D
0 @ 64T3
I mentioned some time ago that I was looking forward to waking up in a new clone. That clean shaven chin (not the upper lip, of course!) and the feeling of youth. Beeing 27 again, even though I have aged quite a bit since I became a capsuleer. I hate the headache that follows, and the goo you wake up in is disgusting, but after a spa treatment and some fine dining, I always feel good in a new clone.
But this. This was brutal. This was pure evil. This was punishment for my hubris.
I was not cloaked. I was, according to my systems log, sitting at a gate. While AFK. My long lived and very expensive customized Astero was gone! And my clone with implants. And Sins! Bleak Sins! Where was he? Had he survived?
|An Astero that is clearly not cloaked.
I opened up my Neocom and quickly sent a message to the capsuleer, Distai, reported to be the cause of my recent loss. Would he be so kind to release my mechanic back to my service?
“Oh sure thing. It's not my place to separate you two. I’ll charge you 10.000 ISK for the release, though.”
Bleak Sins had survived yet another explosion! And now he waited for me to be picked up at the Federal Navy Academy in Vitrauze.
I was still butt naked and covered in goo. And I needed a new ship. But, first things first: A shower.
But before the hot water got through the stations subpar plumbing system, I was greeted in the local communications channel by a Yukio Wantanabe. It was the newly graduated capsuleer that I had shot down earlier! He sent me a short message thanking me for my contribution to his career and wondered why all the pirates he meets are so nice? I smiled and thought to myself: It is because we are the truly free capsuleers. I will have to send him a message to tell him that.
The hot water arrived. The cold water knob, however, was tricky and it was a choice between scolding hot or ice cold. Damned Concord plumbing. The local communication channel made a noise again.
“Saftsuze! How are you doing?”
It was Doctor Genocide. Terrible name. Good man. A free man. We shared corp for a short stint in R1FTA, and we have been in multiple communication channels over many years. He continued:
“This is where my medical clone is based!”
“Wow, and you just woke up here as well?”
“Yeah! I was warping out of a fight to a station for repairs as I burnt out my guns, but bounced off some guy; cancelled warp then the call went out to get the fuck out and align to top station…”
I could obviously see where this was going as we were both wearing our new baby skinned clones.
“... and a Proteus point got me, no chance of burning from that one. So, do you have anything in station? ”
I was butt naked. And a quick glance over at the inventory told me I had one Velator.
“Nope. I need to go shopping.”
The station's personal trading interface gave a quick notification about an incoming offer.
“Which do you want?”
In front of me my neural HUD-interface displayed a wide selection of different shiny frigates. I tried to be modest, opting for the Firetail. But a wealthy capsuleer like the Doc won’t let you take the cheap stuff. I could hear the noise from the stations docking drones as my hangar overview presented me with a new ship: A shiny new Garmur was now parked outside my captain's quarters! I ran out on my balcony completely forgetting to even grab a towel. I just hope there were no camera drones around to record my ere… reaction from seeing that ship.
|The Friend Ship
He laughed. Not a laugh like what you might expect from a person named Doctor Genocide. More like the likeable chap at the pub.
“Cool! I hope you get some good kills in her before she meets her doom!”
And off I went to pick up Bleak Sins in Vitrauze.
Yeah, I never bothered to take that shower. I just jumped straight into the pod goo again.
* I have Bleak Sins registered as a janitor because of a lot less paperwork in regard to work permits and such when crossing the different empire's borders. You won't believe the shit you have to do to bring a licensed mechanic into Caldari space.