Sunday, March 7, 2010

Loving you gently... with blasters.

Val stood grinning as she showered the suspension fluid off of her. It had been a long time since she had laid into any one with blasters, let alone with her comrades. It was a refreshing change of pace from the hours of studying she had grown so used to. For whatever reason, she couldn't find the time or motivation to jump into a pod and bring some good old fashioned pain. But tonight was different, and she felt invigorated.

She toweled off thinking about the kills, the banter on comms, and the thrill of just being back in the pod hunting other capsuleers. She had grown weary of trying to play nice with CONCORD by taking down members of the notorious pirate groups, which was all she had been doing whenever she DID jump into a pod. But tonight, she was back in her element. Back on the wrong side of the law, where her heart pumped faster, and her mind raced with the exhilaration of knowing that she was ruining someone's day; upsetting the status quo.

This reminded her why she was alive in the first place. But more important than the piracy... were the pirates. She had forgotten what it was like to fly with her comrades, to have stories to tell. Tonight proved to have one story in particular that would be with her for the rest of her life.

She smiled as she made her way to her bunk. She felt at home again. The piracy, the camaraderie... she had forgotten about it. But now she remembered... vividly.

(Thanks to all those who flew with me on my first roam in a very long time. It felt great to be back in my element. And that Archon story is epic.)

PS: (Due to some cajoling on behalf of a fellow capsuleer, I have been pushed to relate exactly what happened with "that Archon story")

Her mind flashed back to just before the roam came to a close. She had been scouting for her fellows when she warped in on the Vitrauze gate in Onne. Her ship's overview flashed furiously identifying enemies on-screen. A brief flash of anxiety took hold as she jumped through to Vitrauze, completely unhurt. She relayed the information on voice comms about the massive blob that was at the gate. As she collected her thoughts again, her commlink buzzed back. "It looks like they're fighting each other... We should totally ninja ourselves onto that killmail." Val laughed, it was obviously sheer lunacy... and she loved the idea. She prepped her ship's navigation systems to do an about face and jump back into Onne. Upon bouncing back into Onne, she warped off to a nearby planet trying to get into a better position to attack the Archon that was under siege. She spun her Enyo around and warped back to the gate. Her muscles tensed as her ships targeting computers blipped to life. She fired off a volley of shots from her blasters, barely scratching the behemoth's armor. "That should do it," she smirked. She re-focused on the nearby gate and proceeded to attempt a jump into Vitrauze.

In all her planning and studying, she forgot a very important fact. Gate operators don't like recent aggressors using their lovely technologies.

Her ship's warning sensors blared as her hull was torn asunder. She just sat in her pod grinning as it whizzed off. It was a stupid mistake to say the least. Her comms were ablaze with people bantering. Apparently the Archon wasn't as dead as we figured it was. We whipped up some ideas about collaborating with our typical enemy to bring this ship down.

After a few minutes of diplomatic failure, a new plan was hatched. As the details of the plan unfolded, Val couldn't help but laugh. It was brilliant. Soon she was listening to the logistics unfold. A cyno was dropped in the middle of all the fighting and a few moments later, our very own Archon arrived on the scene. The pirates besieging the Archon scattered, stupefied by the new threat. Local was filled with the desperate cries of a lone pirate telling everyone to hold fast, but to no avail. With a few glib jibes , the Archon pilot left system, laughing all the way.

Point in fact, never turn down help from a group of pirates, it may end up poorly for your own endeavors.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back in the Saddle

It had been over a month. Over a month since she had last flown solo with intent to kill. She strode out to the docking bay looking over her faithful craft. She loved her Incursus, she always would. But with a month of training, looking over blueprints, reading book after book after book, she finally understood almost all she could know about how to get the most out of her trusty ship. The fittings were finally complete. She looked her ship up and down, nodding to herself. This was her best fit yet.

With Tech 2 Neutron Blasters in place she smiled as she hopped into her pod. Feeling the emulsion fluid fill up around her. It was where she felt most at home. But it had been so long since she wasn't so distracted. Everything felt right. She flew off from Evati, moving to prowl the stars.

Running into a few unsavory folk she turned off a beaten trail she took to pick up her first few solo kills. She ended up in Mateber. There was a few people in system, according to her navigation computers. Worth a look around. Jumping from place to place she found nothing. Suddenyl a hit shows up. Two rifters. Pilot's names. She pulled up the pilots in her personnel database. Young, very young. Fresh out of school. Not even a week. They'd be easy prey. But 2v1? She had never really flown those odds. Well, at least emerged unscathed from it. But hell, they were new, raw recruits. She threw up her scanners and began plumbing for the two new pilots. Finding their mark and warping off to it. Only to find they had warped off only moments before. She continued searching continuing to follow their trail only moments behind.

Soon enough she saw them. Throwing on her Propulsion Jamming systems, she got a target lock and pinned the rifter down. The two seemed to want to run but were now trapped. Val's eyes gleamed as she engaged her weapon systems. The Neutron Blasters began firing up and let loose with a volley she had never felt the power of before. It was glorious. The Neutron Blasters ripped through the rifter's shields and within seconds the armor began shredding. A brilliant light flashed as the ships reactor's were compromised and the vessel desrtucted. Val snapped her scrambler onto the other ship, webbed her target and began ripping into her new victim with just as much fervor. Her armor was dinged and dented but nothing much, especially considering the two rifters were pounding into her ship with all they had.

Val sicced her drone on her target, but before she realized it, she had flown outside of her scram's range and her second target took the opportunity to run. She cursed under her breath. She could have had two of them... two kills in one swoop. But it was not to be... Oh well, not bad for the first solo roam back in the saddle.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Panic and Suppression

Val sat brooding in her pod as she was towed into the station for a second time that night, cursing herself for being so asinine as to sit on a gate and get distracted. She slammed her fist against the pod wall. "Dammit!" The thought raced through her head over and over again. Her frustration with herself building by the second. "Why the hell was I so stupid?!"

Her pod lurched to a halt as the gravity tethers secured it in the station dock. She emerged from the pod and ordered the maintenance crews to place her pod in Freyja, her Incursus, ripping off her body suit's gloves. She looked down at her hand and realized that she had cut it open on the wall of the capsule. She clenched her fist watching the blood run down the back of her hand. "I've lost so many damned ships. But I've never been as angry as I am right now." She sighed and began walking to the bar, blood running down her finger tips the entire way.

As she walked through the corridors of the station she turned off into a dimly lit corridor and slumped against the wall and hid her face in her arms. She was so upset, so pent up and twisted inside over her inadequacy, she began to cry for the first time in a very long time. She couldn't help it. She tried rationalizing the frustration and anger but it just made her more upset, and consequently more depressed. Her tears mixed with blood on the floor, swirling together.

It was more than just losing the ship and the stupid mistakes. It was all of the pent up frustration of just trying to survive. The everyday, day-to-day occurrences which wore on her very being. As new of a capsuleer as she was, she knew she was skilled. With the number of ships she had lost, she had never once woken up in a clone vat. That was a mark of honor for her, but it didn't help with this overwhelming feeling. She just wanted to go numb, to let everything just slide off of her. But she couldn't let go. She couldn't make the voice in her head stop. "You screwed up! You'll always let people down." She began to hyperventilate as she began sobbing.

"Why? Why is this happening?!" Val covered her face with her hands, the imersion fluid from the pod still thick in her hair. "I... I just want to let it all go! I don't want to have to fight anymore!" She dug her nails into her skin, hoping the pain would snap her out of this panic attack.

She curled up on the cold metallic floor of the station, crying, sobbing. A full hour passed, just trying to plumb the depths of what she was going through. Finally, she simply couldn't cry anymore. She just didn't have the energy to keep giving that type of release. She wiped her eyes and looked at the back of he hand. She had stopped bleeding. The blood was crusted over her hand, mixed with drying imersion fluid. She could only imagine how she looked. Curled up on the ground with dried blood, pod goo, and tear streaked lines running down her face.

She pushed herself back up onto her feet and walked back to the docking bay. Slipping her gloves back on, she climbed into Freyja and made her way to the quarters and laid down. The plain room was a stark reflection of how she felt. Empty, with naught but the bare essentials to get by. Food rations in the cabinet underneath the plain bed, and a small light. She looked at herself in the polished metal wall, she looked exactly hwo she thought. Horrible. She just stared back into those reflected eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Valarissa sat in bed, tossing and turning, unable to clear her mind and drift to sleep. What had she done? Here she was, in low-sec space, roaming around with outlaws, pirates, and, as hard as it was to admit, murderers. Tears began to form in her eyes as she thought back to her parents, and her life before war had struck her homeworld. She wiped the tears from her eyes muttering, "Venom would rag on me if she saw me acting like this..." To think, crying over what was? It was soft... it wasn't even remotely acceptable for someone who had done the things she had.

She had killed people! She had scrambled a capsule's warp drive systems, webbed them, demanded money, and then proceeded to kill them in cold blood when they refused to pay! Sure, the capsuleer's consciousness lived on in a new clone, but it didn't stop the fact that she had murdered that person in cold blood.

She even had a bounty on her head to show for it too. 1,005,000 Interstellar Kredits. Was that what a life was worth? Was that what HER life was worth?

Thinking back to her parents again, Val couldn't help feel shame at what she was doing now. Her parents had done everything in their power to bring about change in a non-violent way. And here she was, Val, a Hellcat, roaming around, destroying ships and killing for money. Just another pirate in a band of murderers.

And yet, she couldn't help to think about how kind these women were. The members of the Bastards were top rate too. All of them lived such vibrant lives (many of them more than one life due to a few too many run ins with "pod malfunction." They all were such kind-natured individuals, just trying to survive in their own corner of space. Hunted down by CONCORD, hated by the corporations that would turn this area of space into their dust for their material gain.

It was for this reason, Val, remembered, that she joined. It wasn't about the money, it was about making a life for yourself. It was about finding a way to survive, even if it meant spitting in the eye of an entity much larger than yourself.

That was why she became a pirate. She drifted off to sleep only moments later with one last thought drifting through her head:

"But hey... the pay's damn good too."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Outlaw Oddities

Valarissa sat in a Velator outside of the Todifraun - Evati gate, staring at her navigation screens. Her eyes glazed over as she watched the ships drifting into and out of the range of the gate. Warping in, warping out. All the while, her fingers moved swiftly to lock targets and fire up her weapon systems.

"Got away... flew off... jumped in... OOH! Almost! Damn..."

She honestly wondered what the hell she was doing out here. She convinced herself it was some bizarre hazing ritual. That she needed to do this in order to initiate herself as an outlaw.

A few more ships lazily drift through the gate, the Velator's targeting systems struggling to keep up.

A rapier flew into Evati, the Velator locked and fired. In seconds gate sentry guns opened fire and shredded the feeble craft in seconds. She could only imagine what thoughts were floating through the Rapier pilot's head. ("Who the hell? What? A Velator? At a gate? What in the world is this place coming to?")

Valarissa set her pod's destination to the Kaalakiota station off of Evati VII. The pod docked and she set her docking procedures to prepare Freyja version: (more than she could remember). She strolled into the watering hole that the Hellcats liked to visit and grinned. "I'm an outlaw now."

The others in the bar all offered their congratulations. "It seemed like a good idea at the time... and you know what, it was just fugging funny." She grinned and ordered a round while she waited for the cooldown on her name.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Testing your Mettle/(Metal?)

After a brief chat with Mynxee and another pirate, Shae Tiann, Valarissa was ready and willing to dive into her new life as a pirate. Mynxee looked the new potential up and down, sizing her up. Val returned the gaze with the calm steady composure she had learned in the naval academy. She had just run from authority and orders and she wasn't about to be intimidated by anyone, even if they were rather notorious. Mynxee nodded to herself and cracked a wry smile. "Alright Val, let's see what you can do."

The two hopped into their respective frigates and sped off into the void. After a brief assessment Val heard the comms buzz into her pod. "Hey Mae, do you have some time for a little action? I've got a raw one here and I want to see what she can do." Valarissa swallowed, sweat beginning to release from her pores. She had no idea what to expect, had she just been once-overed by this woman?

Another voice chimed in on the comms, "Yeah sure, I'll be right there!" The voice was cheery, and eager to please. She sounded just a bit more raw than Val herself did. Val's navigation systems picked up a small frigate in system. Within seconds the Amarrian frigate was in view. Val's muscles tensed.

"So ummm... when do we st..?" Val's words choked off as the sound of her targeting computer fired up. She had already been targeted and this newcomer, Mae, was opening fire. Mynxee chuckled over comms, "It starts whenever it starts Val!"

Valarissa fired up her ion thrusters and set the navigation computers to orbit her target at 500 meters. She turned on the afterburner and raced towards Mae's ship. Val had already taken a pounding. Mae had already punched through her shields and most of her armor, she was beginning to panic. As the distance closed, she activated her subsytems, ensaring Mae in a Warp Scrambler and a Webifier, the Amarrian ship ground almost to a halt. Val closed the distance and opened fire when her blasters were at optimal range.

Mae didn't seem to be able to track her ship fast enough. Pulsing the afterburner, Val shot around Mae's ship, firing volley after volley into the stunted ship's shields. Suddenly Val remembered the drone she had loaded into the bay. "This should give me the advantage I need," she thought. The drone bay doors opened up and her Hobgoblin shot out, looking for it's prey.

Ever since she had closed range and been circling Mae's ship, Val had barely taken a hit, she was in a stupor as her intel systems showed her that her target's ship was just as poorly off as her own. "I've got this one pinned!" She felt a rush of pride and encouragement rush through her as she continued blasting away. Her pride got the best of her though, and Mae quickly began to land hit after hit. The two ships were taking a beating but Val had the edge now. It was so close! "Just a little more!"

Val's comms kicked in, it was Mae, "Ok enough, I give! I can't afford to lose this ship right now!" Val grinned, she had won. She disengaged her weapon systems and recalled her drone. She couldn't believe it. Looking at her ship's status again she realized just how close it was. Two or three more well placed shots would have ended it for either of them.

Mynxee's voice popped in on comms, "That was a great fight you guys. Thanks Mae. You both did great. Val, dock up and repair your ship. Mae, since you have that GCC, just take care of yourself."

As Val set her ship's systems to warp to the nearest station with a repair shop, her heart finally began slowing. She couldn't help but grin as she thought, "This wasn't anything like academy..."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sinking In

Breathe in, breathe out... breathe in, breathe out. "I hate this part!" Valarissa thought as the amniotic gel came flowing up over her face.The cool viscous liquid slid over her skin like stepping into a vat of gelatin. It sent shivers down her spine. As the controls came online, the pod lit up, a tone signaling the connection had been completed. She opened her eyes and was greeted by a plethora of screens showing her every part of her ship. It was a frigate class vessel, so she was alone. Nobody else was needed to run the ship systems, it could all be controlled from within the sanctity of her pod.

As strange as it was, Valarissa felt at home in the quickly warming gel. It was where she felt most alive. She had grown up in the major Gallente systems, her parents, idealists and revolutionaries, brought her into the world believing that a world of truth and justice were not ideals, they were goals. Something that could be attained. As she sat in her pod bringing systems online, Val though back to those days.

Her parents vehemently opposed the Amarrian Empire slave trades, and the relative inaction by all the major governments and CONCORD to do anything about the trade. She remembered waiting, sitting on the steps of consulates, in the reception halls of embassies, and emissary dormitory hallways, waiting for her parents. Nothing ever changed.

The sound of the Incursus Ion thrusters firing up pierced straight through the pod, it was one of the only sounds she could hear from the outside world in that pod. The ship lurched as it began to undock from the station.

She grew up, constantly waiting for things to change, for wrongs to be righted. For the people to get their due. She believed what her parents had told her. Even though things never changed, from her perspective, they never grew worse either. She would have taken up the fight. She would have begun lobbying important governmental offices to hear the cries of the people through her voice. But then the violence started. War came to her system, the Caldari State Navy pushed into the system and began an open siege on her homeworld. Fire rained down from the sky, and for the first time, things changed.

The ferrying systems detatched and suddenly Valarissa found herself floating. All lurching and friction stopped. There was just grace. In her ship, in her mind. It was all so perfect.

Her parents died in a barrage and by some miracle she was spared. She had nowhere to turn to and immediately submitted herself to the Gallentean Federation Naval forces. The first change she had seen in her life had been caused by way, and they were for the worse. She intended to do everything in her power to put a stop to it all. Her marks far surpassed those of her peers and she was quickly elevated to an officer position on a cruiser. Her capsuleer saw in her the ability to command quickly and efficiently when in the heat of battle and suggested she be considered for capsuleer training. In a matter of weeks, she was prepping to become a capsuleer in the Federation Navy.

She pushed the ship as hard as it could go and engaged the afterburners feeling the inertia tug at her ever so slightly. She loved that feeling. The speed, the rush. It was everything she lived for. It was movement, it was grace and it was action.

Her training completed, she was given her first set of orders. They were simple. Embark on a roam into Caldari space to engage in a covert ops attack on a Caldari station to limit supply and increase the price of goods created and sold by a nearby Gallente station. It was about money. The stations population was in the millions, many of whom were civillians and would die in the attack. Had it not been for the threat of court marshalling and death, she would have flat-out refused on the spot. This was not the type of change she wanted to bring to the universe. She did not want to be a puppet in the schemes of a government who cared more about money and who let the cries of their people fall on deaf ears.

Her voice comms clicked on as the friendly voices of her fleet flowed into the pod. "Alright, we'll be doing a guerilla style roam into Siseide. Set destinations and warp to the Arnher gate."

While out with the navy frigate fleet, she broke off instead of following the rest of the fleet through a warp gate, jamming on the thrusters and engaging her warp drive. "I can't do this... not like this! I won't be used like this!" She jumped from gate to gate putting as much distance between herself and her home system as possible. When her heart finally stopped beating into her ears, she brought up her navigation system. She was in Evati according to the computer. "Low sec huh?... I guess they wouldn't bother coming all the way out here." She pulled her ship into a nearby station, disembarked from her frigate and walked into the bar. After ordering a few drinks she looked around and noticed everyone staring at her. "What are you all looking at!?"

"Hey Val, why don't you scout ahead for us on this one?" the familiar voice floated into her pod. "Ummm, you sure Mynx? I'm a little new to all of this scouting business... but sure, I'll give it a shot."

A woman approached her, "You're new here aren't you?" Val looked at her. "Yeah I'm new, what gives?" The woman smirked, "Well I was just wondering why someone would bring a Navy ship to a pirate station, I assume you have a story, because you're alone, and you don't look stupid. I'm Mynx by the way."

Val jumped through the gate, smiling to herself. She had run from the only home she had known and ended up in lowsec space with naught but a wing, a prayer, and her wits about her. She found the family she was hoping for, and the purpose she needed. "I've got an Iteron Mark III on scan... looks like they're shipping raw goods. Want me to tackle?" A voice chimed in, "Go ahead, we're jumping through now."

Val would use the only means she knew to bring change, and she would use it as SHE chose. As an outlaw, as a pirate.

As a Hellcat.