Saturday, 23 January 2010

A Matter of Principal: Part 1


Being the newly appointed CEO of the Guild Navy was a lot harder than the last time, I had been CEO before but that was a temporary post, just to keep things ticking over. This time the post was permanent. Inheriting the attributes of major neat freak from my pod mother, I had decided to reorganise the whole Navy. Roles, titles, hangers, permissions, you name it, of course the station masters hate change, however a capsuleers twitch of the hand towards the blaster holster was normally enough persuasion for most people.

After a few hours I had to get outside, the golden monotony of the Amarrian station was numbing my implants. My neocom buzzed, perfect I thought, "I'll be right there buddy." I paced towards the corporate ship hanger and ordered the technician to load me up into my Drake class Battlecruiser - Pancake Mark VI. The Drake cruised out of Zoars and Sons, I set the co-ordinates for planet 5, Northern Fall my long time friend and fellow director needed his hurricane shown the meaning of pain. Of course I'd let his ship stay intact - to a point.

Without warning red lights flashed, the drake spun around, engines roaring, I raced towards the console, hearing that North's hurricane was also independently moving. CODE 14-B. I checked it again, CODE 14-B, this couldn't be right, the alliance wasn't at war, then I saw who had broadcasted it, Joseph Reaper, Senior Member - Location: Jarkkolen - CONCORD designated 0.8 high security space. I tried contacting Joseph, no reply, something must be seriously wrong, no one had needed the whole alliance on combat alert since the Genesis War.

Contacting North, both of us were perplexed, heck if it was real it was time to load up the ammo, if it was a false alarm, severe repercussions were to be had. Checking alliance fleet topography showed a less than satisfactory result, North and I were the closest members by over 20 jumps. With only 2 jumps left to go I stripped off and lowered myself into the cold, clammy "bio-goo" of my pod. Being used to the sensation now the Drake's systems came online under my control, the Drake was still hightailing it at the maximum safe speed towards Joseph's last known position.

Entering Jarkkolen I heard the subliminal "Warp Drive Activated", I transmitted to North, "Form up on arrival, 500 metres to starboard, be prepared for anything". With the faint wisps of plasma clearing from the cameras I saw Joseph Reaper's Hulk streaming fire with a Enyo assault frigate mercilessly pounding on it. Northern Fall activated his Microwarpdrive and catapulted towards the hostile ship. Both ships' shields unable to withstand the sudden impact, the Enyo explosively disintegrated. North contacted me "Apologies sir, we had to act fast, and I've also got a magnetic pump failure on the fore shield transmitter." I replied, "Copy that North, rendezvous at Caldari Navy Station 3, and nice... shunt, out." North had a knack for impulse reactions, sometimes with hilarious or suicidal consequences, this time however his impulse just saved a whole ship's crew. Despite this tendency, in times of real crap, I wouldn't have anyone else.

Hailing the battered hulk of Joseph I still got no reply, "Warrant Officer Banica, board and rescue any and all survivors." After 10 minutes all crew saved, I had Pancake Mark VI align to meet with North. Besides we still needed out friendly duel once he had his ship repaired, not to mention a debrief with Joseph Reaper who was currently in Medical Bay. A sudden jerk in deceleration showed that the hostile pilot had returned, but in Dominix class Battleship. I got the notice "External factors are preventing your warp drive from responding to this command". Not good.

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