Wormholing

“She looks good.” I said to my chief mechanic. “Hopefully she’ll do the intended job.”

“She’ll be treatin’ ye right, lad. None of yer fluff, all yer meat.” my chief mechanic replied.

I had christened her the Kubwa, my first battlecruiser, a Hurricane class ship. The entire fit had been just over 100 million isk, but I figured I should get some solid experience in wormholes before taking my 2 billion isk fit Slepnier in there. My crew was slowly becoming comfortable with that size of ship, but I wouldn’t consider us capable yet.

My old friend Nathan Carver had been involved in a wormhole colony the last few months, their entire existence based in wormhole space. They had several POSes setup, and had regularly made their way into class 6 Sleeper facilities. Meanwhile, their Empire team would transport required goods and materials where needed. The entire colony experiment was thriving well, raking in billions of isk.

The war against the Amarr continued to drain my personal finances, so any quick influx of isk was welcome.

We met in Hek at 20:00 hours.

“Alright, I’ll scan us down something.” Nathan said.

“Sure thing, Nate. I’ll just sit here and look sexy I guess.” I replied. My Hurricane was an artillery fit, six 650 mm IIs at the ready. Complimenting those was a standard missle launcher, and a salvager. “Range and tank were they key”, Nathan had said to me when first discussing this opportunity. “The salvager just makes it easier so we don’t have to keep going back and forth.” he had also mentioned.

It wasn’t the strongest fit Hurricane in the galaxy, but I trusted Nathan’s expertise in this enough to fit accordingly. Now I just had to sit and wait.

I looked at the Tribal Liberation Force channel, keeping my eyes open for any potential threat coming our way. Nathan was no longer military, but I was still a Colonel, and though he had come in his Nighthawk which might make small gangs a little wary, we were anything but untouchable.

“Nice. Nailed it on the first try.” Nathan chimed in within minutes. “Warp to me and let’s take a look.” Soon I was sitting in front of the wormhole. It was a glorious and mesmerizing phenomenon, far more beautiful than I remembered from the wormhole I remembered when rescuing Sam from the fleet of Dreadnoughts. Of course, at that time I was focused on staying alive, not sitting around enjoying the scenery.

We jumped through the wormhole, landing in Amarr space, 31 jumps from our original destination. Fortunately, it was lowsec, or I was sure their militia would’ve responded accordingly to my presence. We returned through the wormhole, as it wasn’t what we were looking for, but I made a bookmark, as the destination would be useful to me over the coming days for quick hit and runs into Amarr space, at least until the wormhole collapsed.

We travelled through a few dead end systems, Nathan explaining the higher probability of not being bothered to me, and we eventually found another cosmic signature.

Warping to the signature, we came across an Orca. It didn’t retreat right away, which left us with the dilemma of whether or not to attack it. Being in high sec, the answer was no, but if the Orca was going into the wormhole, we could get away with it there. A fat bellied Orca always meant isk, though the pirating nature of the attack Nathan was discussing didn’t sit well with me at the time. My friend had changed since leaving the militia.

I opened a conversation with the Orca pilot. Turned out he was just leaving the wormhole, his gang having just made a successful run against the Sleepers. We were welcome to explore if we wanted, but he assured me we wouldn’t find anything.

I relayed this to Nathan, whom decided the pilot might be less than truthful, and we entered the wormhole.

Once on the other side, we quickly warped to different locations, scanning all the while for other capsuleers, as well as the nefarious Sleepers.

“I’ve got a lot of wrecks on scan.” I said, seeing that the Sleepers had indeed encountered the Orca pilot’s friends.

“Roger that. Looks like the Orca pilot was right; this place has been picked clean. Let’s head out.” Nathan said.

Several systems later, Nathan scanned down another wormhole. This time as we arrived, a single Jaguar pilot was sitting in front of it.

After some friendly conversation, it turned out he had been scanning this region as well, but everything had already been scavenged. We invited him to our fleet, but he declined, a little disappointed at having the last several hours looking for a fresh wormhole without success.

We wished him well and continued on our way to the next system on our route.

Jackpot.

Sleeper facilities everywhere with plenty of Sleepers to engage. We had them on scan, but before jumping in, Nathan took the time to brief me on our aggression strategy.

After getting charged up about the impending assault, I did one more quick scan of the Sleeper facility, and quickly aborted the warp cycle I had began.

“Abort!” I yelled into comms. Thankfully, Nathan was quick, and prevented his ship from entering warp.

“Two Ravens, a Dominix, and Broadsword just showed up on scan, probably in that Sleeper facility.” I said, thinking how fortunate we had been to have not been caught already engaged when they arrived.

“Dammit!” Nathan said. “I swear it’s not usually like this. Of course, we are only go in one level deep, looking for class 1 and 2. Nobody bothers you when you get to class 4 and higher.”

I looked at my chrono. I had to report for duty in five hours.

“I hate to say it, Nate, but I think I’m gonna have to call it. Gotta report for duty in five hours, so need my beauty sleep. We’ll do this again though, ok?”

“Yeah, we will. Next time we’ll have more luck. That I promise.” Nate replied, anger and disappointment in his voice.

We said our goodbyes, and I docked the Hurricane in Hek, grabbing Vigil I had recently fitted based on a recommendation from General Sasawong, and headed back to Dal.

AUGA SYSTEM

My engineers were working swiftly at locking down the Major Minmatar Stronghold. They had been attacked recently by the Amarr, and were in need of repair. Failure to do so would result in the Amarr being able to pass through Auga unmolested, and that wasn’t acceptable.

They estimated just over four more minutes to complete their task.

There were a few other TLF pilots in the area with me: a Rifter, a Stabber, and a Reaper of all things. We weren’t working as a fleet; I had scanned down this complex, discovering their communications array had been destroyed, and broadcast its location on the local overview. The other pilots had quickly flocked here for the opportunity to earn some honour through potential battle.

They wouldn’t have to wait long. A single Rifter entered our location, and my HUD immediately flagged him as neutral. In a warzone, neuts were never to be trusted.

Nobody moved towards him, so I took the initiative. After all, it was my engineers aboard the stronghold.

I prepped my single autocannon and missle launcher, launching a lone Warrior II drone to engage him. I had no scambling or webbing capabilities, but if I could frighten him off, that was all I needed really.

Of course, in hindsight, if the sight of the aforementioned ships didn’t scare off a single Rifter, that either meant he had more company coming, or was a complete idiot.

Turned out to be the latter.

My Vigil wasn’t really built for DPS, or tackling, it was strictly a small tank for plexing. Still, with some overheating and the Warrior II, I was slowly taking him down.

What amazed me the most is that he wasn’t leaving, even as he entered hull; nor did he target my drone, at least not until the very end.

He just kept pursuing me, his shots skimming off my shields effortlessly. I was stunned, still anticipating the arrival of more ships, but none came.

His ship exploded, but as I said, no scramming capability, so his pod escaped to fight another day.

Examining his wreck revealed the following:

  • 150mm Light Autocannon II
  • 5W Infectious Power System Malfunction
  • J5b Phased Protoype Warp Scrambler
  • Gyrostabilizer II
  • Damage Control II

What the hell? Regardless, I was cautiously thankful for the victory, and proceeded to retrieve my engineers.

Just another day of war I suppose.

200th Post Extravaganza!!!

Wow, hard to believe it’s been 200 posts already. Thank you for making this possible and joining me in this 200th post extravaganza! <audience applause>

It’s been an interesting journey thus far, and these last few weeks have been particularly tumultuous. Where will things go from here? I’m as interested as anyone else to find out! <audience applause>

But before we venture into the future, let’s take a look at the past, and see where we’ve been, and what we’ve learned. <audience applause>

Current Stats

  • Roc’s Ramblings currently receives over 15,000 views per month
  • The 1,000 view in a single day benchmark was broken on April 16th, 2009
  • The single most viewed post is Capsuleer iPhone Release Candidate – 1,716 views
  • The single most non Capsuleer related post is A Beacon Beckons – 1,347 views
  • The least viewed post is Roc’s Rule #176 – Breasts are insanely complicated – 3 views
  • My top (and only) heckler is Sard Caid – Congratulations Sard!
  • My top referrer is Life in Low Sec – 1,903 referrals! That’s what happens when I ride on the coattails of the greatness that is Mynxee

Blog Lessons

At the end of the day, I write this blog for me, and me alone. However, I must admit it’s been nice having an audience that has appreciated my efforts.

Some subjects are of interest to my readers, others are not. Short stories, novellas, artwork, these tend to be the things my readers enjoy. Recipes don’t seem to be a favourite, and yet they will continue! <audience applause>

So what I have learned from being a first time blog author? A great deal indeed. Let’s take a look. <audience applause>

  • People don’t like polls
  • People do like guides
  • Using tags is good
  • Promoting post titles for the blogrolls instead of Roc’s Rule #xxx is a much better idea(thanks again Mynxee)
  • People like artwork
  • People like artwork involving breasts even more
  • People demand more action figures
  • People demand Mynxee and Roc get it on!<audience applause>

The Future

So what comes next? Well, let’s take a look at the things I have on the go; I’m sure there will be something of interest! <audience applause>

  • Path to Freedom, EVE Online Novel
  • One Night of Roc, music CD available in August 2009
  • The Colonel and the Pirate, collaborative novella with Mynxee
  • Capsuleer 2.x, the definitive iPhone tool for EVE Online
  • Personalized 3D action figures of YOUR character in exchange for ISK <audience applause>
  • More short stories
  • More recipes
  • MOAR ROC! <audience applause>

Final Thoughts

Yes, it’s been a good ride thus far, and looks to be really only beginning. I invite you to continue to experience this adventure with me in this universe we call New Eden. There is always so much to do, so much to learn, new friends to make and kill, and of course, self introspection. <audience applause>

“I can’t believe I overslept!” I said, scrambling out of bed. I looked for my shirt on my dresser, sleep dazed for a moment until I realized I wasn’t in my quarters. I heard Kainda stretching behind me, small purrs escaping her mouth as I had inadvertently woken her.

I found my shirt on the floor in a far corner of the room, and began dressing quickly, trying to get one foot into a boot while pulling my shirt on. It didn’t work out exactly as I had envisioned in my head.

“Need a hand there, tiger?” Kainda said, reclining on the bed, the thin sheet barely covering her silky skin. I took her in fully, once my shirt was on, feeling her sultry smile and come hither stare penetrate me, stirring my loins. She leaned over onto her back, the swell of her full breasts reaching skyward, enticing me further to come and partake.

“I would,” I began, tying my one boot, “But I can’t late. Duty is duty.” I had used that line a thousand times before, to impress whatever woman I had happened to bed the previous night, and also as an excuse to make my exit, but this time it was true. I had been summoned by the Sanmatar, the request to my NeoCom requiring the highest level of clearance to view.

The message itself had been short:

<START>

Colonel Roc Wieler. Your presence is required at the office of the Sanmatar at 0500 hours. This is not an optional request. Failure to comply will result in military contempt and imprisonment.

<END>

It had obviously not been written by the Sanmatar himself, and seemed a tad threatening, but not everyone was good with their communication skills. Still, it did seem odd, and I tried to imagine what was going on that would require such strong wording and a meeting at such an ungodly hour.

“Will I see you again?” Kainda asked, a small cuteness in her voice.

“Universe is a small place.” I replied. I wasn’t one for relationships, never had been. Mynxee was the exception of course. There was obviously something between us, more than just physical, but it was unsure, uncertain, and definitely didn’t warrant any commitment.

I gave Kainda a quick kiss on the lips, which turned into several minutes of intense petting and making out, finally extricating myself from her grasp and running out the door. Hot women were going to be the death of me.

Arriving at the Sanmatar’s office slightly out of breath, and covered in old lipstick, I pulled a wipe from my jacket pocket and freshened up as best I could.

The two guards standing on either side of the Sanmatar’s door was an ominous beginning to this meeting. Usually, I would just knock on the door, and Maleatu would invite me in; clearly that day would be different.

I informed one of the two guards of my identity, which was verified, and after briefly speaking into his aural implant, the door was opened for me to enter the room.

As I walked in, I could feel the heaviness in the air, and knew in my gut something bad had happened. Maleatu wasn’t his usual smiling self, and was in the middle of conversation with two council members I didn’t know personally, as well my top ranking escort squad leaders. Daul Halwick looked my way, uncertainty on his eyes, and I nodded to him in reassurance, trying to play things as casual and “normal” as possible.

“Colonel, please have a seat.” Sanmatar Shakor gestured to a nearby chair as he finished his conversation with the council members. I assumed they would’ve left, but they didn’t, seating themselves in adjacent chairs to me. Daul took a standing position behind me and to the right, the other escort behind me and to the left.

I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, and my knuckles turning white, the blood starting to rush through my veins a little faster in anticipation of something dreadful about to occur. I quickly went over my activities of the last few weeks in my mind, trying to see where someone could’ve interjected speculation into my accounting of things, some aspect I had overlooked that could now be used against me.

I wasn’t a pessimist. I was simply pragmatic. Hope for the best, expect the worst. If I didn’t think of the absolute worse scenarios, I wouldn’t be able to react quickly and efficiently when even worse things occured.

“Colonel,” Maleatu began, his voice sounding uncomfortably formal. “I requested the presence of Councilman Traithe and Councilman Arbor this morning as witnesses to this meeting, and I apologize for the early hour; it was the only opening in my schedule today I’m afraid.”

There was no smile on my friend’s face. I could feel myself growing more tense. I nodded to the Sanmatar, acknowledging his words, but not offering up any of my own. There were times it was better to sit quietly and observe than to speak foolishly. This was one of those times.

The Sanmatar turned his back on me, gathering some documents on his desk, all the while talking. “Your anti-pirate initiative has encountered tremendous success. You are to be commended for that.” Maleatu said, turning his attention back to me once again, a small hint of a smile on his lips. “”Our squads have captured or killed many of the region’s outlaws, and morale amongst the general militia troops has drastically improved. Well done, Colonel.”

The two councilmen plastered fake smiles across their lips, clapping in unison for the exact same duration, then stopping, the smiles falling from their faces as quickly as they had appeared. It looked perfectly rehearsed a thousand times over.

“The council has been concerned by the additional expenditures during a time of war, and I’ve had to rationalize it to them on your behalf.” Maleatu continued, the unspoken words not being missed. He knew I had no experience with accounting or asset management, and I was thankful for his intercession.

“They have finally come to agree with my assessment as to the necessity of continuing this intiative, and given our most recent victory, have happily signed off on continuing the exercise.” Maleatu said.

Recent victory? As head of this operation I micro-managed just about every aspect of it. I didn’t necessarily have to be involved in every detail, I just liked to know everything that was going on at all times, who was doing their job, who was doing just enough to get by without being discharged from the op, even who was profiting a little on the side, though they weren’t aware yet that I knew.

What was he referring to?

The Sanmatar threw a docket onto my lap, but my gaze never left his. “One of our fleets has been very active in Evati system lately, the results of these pushes into pirate infested territory being that one of the local bandit groups has opted to relocate to Kourmonen.”

I only knew of two pirate groups operating out of Evati: The Bastards and the Hellcats, Mynxee’s corporation. My heart began pushing against my ribcage. I quickly glanced down at the closed docket, hesitant to open it.

The Sanmatar continued, “While enroute to their new ‘home’, we managed to coordinate with the militia and intercept some of their pilots, cutting them off from their main force. While there were casulties on both sides, this could now be considered a turning point in our war against terrorism. That’s what we were discussing when you arrived.”

I could sense Daul tensing slightly, his heavysuit making his movements easier to hear. I could feel a lump forming in my throat, and my heart continued to race, threatening to burst free. Casulties? Who had died? Had I known them? I found myself more concerned for my friends, even though they were pirates, than for the brave men and women of the militia that had also perished. I felt great shame at that.

“Please, Colonel. We need your input on this one. While you are strictly denied any access to this prisoner, your past experiences with her will prove invaluable to us. She’s proven quite resistant to interrogation thus far, but we know you will provide the answer.” Maleatu gestured towards the docket once again.

I couldn’t breathe. My hands wouldn’t respond to the commands of my brain, shaking and moving slowly towards the docket on my lap. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through me. I could feel the fear and outrage rising within me. I was terrified of whom it would be, yet also hopeful it was her; at least then I knew she was alive. I could feel my anger in the vein on my forehead; if she was alive and being ‘interrogated’ behind my back, I wasn’t sure what I would be capable of.

Finally, I opened the docket cover, and saw Mynxee’s face looking back at me.

Capsuleer v1.0 finally released!

The universe is a cold, harsh place. It’s difficult to survive; even more challenging to succeed and profit. Any advantage a pilot can gain keeps them one step ahead of the competition.

Introducing Capsuleer, the definitive iPhone/iTouch Characater Management Tool for EVE Online. 

Capsuleer offers a beautifully designed, intuitive interface to quickly display all your relevant character data to you. Featuring artwork and icons from EVE Online, users will find themselves quickly familiar with the application, and immersed in its stunning appeal.

SCREENSHOT

What good is beauty without brains? Capsuleer features an innovative Import Control System that allows you to effortlessly bring all your accounts and characters data into the application with one easy step!

If you want to be more successful in EVE Online, Capsuleer is the application for you.

KEY FEATURES:

– No manual api key entry. Addition of accounts/pilots is handled via our Import Control System
– Import Control System doesn’t use “scraping” or any other security violating methods to get your character data from the EVE api.
– Smart Character application Management. If you enter 1 character into the app, the next time you add characters, it will only display your remaining two. If you enter 2 characters initially, the next time you add characters, it will automatically add the third.
– Easy to use, intuitive iPhone/iTouch interface.
– Per second real-time countdown timer with skill completion date and time in long format. (Thursday, September 11, 2008 @ 8:34 AM)
– Colour coded timer as visual warning for skill completion. (yellow = 25% time remaining, red= 10% time remaining)
– Displays Current Skillpoints and current ISK total.
– Displays EVE Online avatar.
– Previous state memory will load the last character you were viewing.
– Displays skill description of current skill training.
– Background images specific to each character’s race. (can be disabled in options)

NOTE: Active EVE Online account required.

DOWNLOAD IT FROM THE APPSTORE TODAY

We are currently in negotiations with the EVE player that owns http://www.capusleer.com In the meantime, please visit us at our temporary website at http://capsuleer.wordpress.com

Thanks to all the beta testers and everyone who has supported us. We already have great things in store for the next releases of Capsuleer!