New Friends, Old Enemies

by Jack Carrigan – who now has his own blog!!!!

Freedom. To true Gallenteans, it is the most simple and heavily defended of truths guaranteed to a people. To the Minmatar, it is the most fought for. Freedom takes on many different meanings as you ask different people. Is it the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want? Is it the ability to fly screaming through the bowels of the vast abyss of space? Or is it simply to be free from oppression? Is it up to the individual to decide, or is freedom a constant?

It has been almost two years since I last called Gallente space home, and honestly, I’d rather live with the Minmatar. They are a hard-working people that will stop at nothing to ensure the freedom of their brethren, be they Brutor, Sebeistor, Krusual, Vherokior, Nefantar, Thukker or Starkmanir. A Minmatar will fight by the side of anyone who proves their honor and treats others with dignity and respect. This brings me to something that happened most recently.

EIFYR AND CO. BIOTECH PRODUCTION
ERAM SOLAR SYSTEM
METROPOLIS REGION
MINMATAR REPUBLIC

It was another rough day, barely having time to get the morning cigarette in before getting back to the spacelanes, but I had to make due. Recently, it had been brought to my attention, that not only my Corporation, but the entire Alliance needed a serious recruitment drive to garner more numbers, and thus the ability to be more versatile. So I made my way down through the concourse, which was surprisingly empty for the most part. I had made the decision to try to find a quieter station to operate out of just so that I could get more work done with less interruptions. I stopped at the recruitment center, and hooked my NeoCom up to the mainframe, to compile a list of pilots seeking employment, or small corporations seeking to find new homes. It was the usual subjects so to speak. I exhaled a breath of tobacco smoke, and noticed a small, industrial Corporation which operated out of Caldari Space. From what I could determine, they seemed like nice enough people, so I sent their CEO a message to contact myself, or one of our Alliance Diplomats. Having done this, I made my way back to the hangar, and loaded the hold of my Thorax-class cruiser with ammunition, and some equipment that needed to be moved, and set off for the day.

Upon my return a few hours later, I noticed that I had a message from one of our Diplomats. Just then, my NeoCom beeped, and I grumbled as I answered it, walking toward the nearest restaurant that had a bar. I didn’t even notice the small Amarrian child who had been trying to get my attention, completely absorbed with the words the Diplomat had for me. His words were full of hope and promise about the Industrial Corporation which had contacted him, a stark contrast to the bland food, and the very bitter beer. Having paid my bill, I made my way back to my quarters, and took up my usual spot on the couch, where I soon fell asleep.

I woke a few hours later to the sound of my NeoCom beeping. I squinted under the bright light of some news channel replaying a blast tearing through an Outpost in Outlaw Space as I fumbled for my NeoCom, and my cigarettes. First things first, I got the cigarette lit and took a drag before answering. I was met with the soft-spoken CEO of the Industrial Corp which we had become fast friends with. I could tell by the panic and urgency in his voice that something serious had happened. It struck me as odd, as they mentioned no problems other than the typical people looking to make a quick ISK by nicking ore. Yet an Industrialist directly calling a Pirate? This was new to me. Once I got him to calm down and take a deep breath, he explained to me that a one-man Corporation had declared war against his ore-loving collection of pilots. I listened, and shook my head as I pulled up the database information in reference to the Corporation he had mentioned. That’s when it hit me. My Alliance had a run-in with this person before, and his old connections. I told our new friend to stand by, as I went sprinting down the gangway which led to my hangar. The lift carried me to my Enyo-class Assault Frigate, which had just finished being loaded with ammunition. I didn’t even get clearance before I tore out of the station at full afterburn.

CALDARI NAVY LOGISTIC SUPPORT
FUNTANAINEN SOLAR SYSTEM
LONETREK REGION
CALDARI STATE

Our friends waited patiently, as it was a long haul to the destination. They looked disappointed when only an Enyo-Class Assault Frigate and Orca-class Industrial Support Vessel docked. That is until the Orca’s Ship Maintenance Array opened, and the vessels on board were unloaded into the hangar. I walked up and shook their CEO’s hand, and introduced myself. His mates were shy at first as they saw the Jolly Roger emblazoned on the hull of my Enyo. That is, until they realized I was there to help. I explained to them, that while Piracy was my chosen way of life, Industrialists were not my chosen targets, as I see no sport in shooting at something that can’t shoot back. As our Co-Executor finished unloading his complement of vessels, he explained that an emergency meeting had been arranged, and due to the nature of the Corp which had declared war against them, we would have no problems absorbing the war declaration, but had to run it past our Executor, and the rest of the council.

I explained to them my history, the woe, the losses, and the betrayals. I explained to them that I had lost more than most of them would ever know. I explained the good friends commuted to ash, the ships rended to molten heaps of slag, and finally, the personal toll it had taken on me which created what I am today. But they nodded their understanding, and the quietest industrialist among them smiled, and placed his hand on my shoulder. His words made me smile. He said, “Mr. Carrigan, your losses were not in vain if they made you who you are today. I may be a humble miner, but I am not afraid as long as I have good men flying by my side. Let’s teach this enemy a lesson in blood, so it will not soon be forgotten.” In that moment I knew that I had made the right choice when I sent a message to this Corporation. They understood that Freedom is not a right, but it is something that must be fought for, no matter the cost.

The Continuing Adventures of Captain Jack

By: Jack Carrigan

///Begin Transmission///

The camera sat clearly in the midst of a twisted tree where a precariously perched Proteus-class strategic cruiser rested. The engines and thermal exhaust ports sat centered within the camera’s field of view. A man in dark attire was cutting a rope ladder which had been hodge-podged together presumably to reach the cargo bay of the stranded vessel. The tree itself had apparently suffered a cruel fate, as it was blackened and splintered, smoke still rising from where the twisted branches once constricted around the Proteus.

A communications cut-in could be heard overlaying into the recording, “Well Roc, I told you that this tree was going to get it. Nothing some low-grade explosives and some sharp implements won’t take care of. This ball has been my prison for far too long now, so I figured I’d leave the camera behind, and have it upstream until it ceases to function, which won’t be too long from now.” The cut-in also echoed the ship’s Aura system, “All systems showing 100% functionality. Engines priming.” Laughter was heard, “So this camera is about to meet a horrible fate as you can see, but I really could care less about it. See you in the spacelanes brother.”

A low whining sound began to pick up as the engines primed, and upon ignition, there was only blue fire, and then nothing.

///Transmission Interrupted – Uplink Not Detected///

Planetary Interaction? HA!

By: Jack Carrigan

“A year ago when you asked me what I thought about legally being able to work on the planets for resources I would have told you it was brilliant. Today, not so much.”The holoreel would have depicted a carbon-scored Proteus-class Strategic Cruiser sitting at an awkward angle, nose pointing at almost a forty-five degree angle into the lush canopy of the jungle. It was obvious the entry was less than planned, but a lot softer than it could have been. The Comms antenna appeared to have been welded back onto the hull with much effort after being sheered off by the trees. Splintered wood surrounded the disabled war machine, and green foliage served as a natural camouflage. The plating over the cargo bay doors was retracted, revealing a ladder hanging down into the jungle below, with a rope-ladder tied at the bottom of it to facilitate access to the ground. A disheveled appearing man turned the camera to face him, “This is Commander Jack Carrigan. I am documenting the fate of a stranded capsuleer. It has been two months since I crashed on this rock while pursuing pirates. I was interceding on behalf of a mining corp. This has made me realize something. If you can’t help yourself, you deserve whatever fate befalls you.” The camera turned and swung wildly as it was pulled up the ladder. Upon arrival at the top, it could be seen that the Proteus had been turned into a survival outpost. A rack of small arms was sitting along side the door recently marked “COLD STORES.”A voice could be heard as the door opened, revealing a large quantity of spilled blood, and several containers filled with various meats of unknown origin. “The animals on this planet have a lot of meat on them, but taste very bland, and there are a lot of venomous creatures that take to the hunt long after dark. Numerous encounters have been made, but to be perfectly honest, they’re not all that tough when facing rifle fire.” The camera panned around, showing hides hanging to cure on hooks in great sheets, one appearing to be that of a large feline animal which bore a resemblance to the mythological “Tiger”.

“The predatory animals on this planet are strong-willed animals, and even when wounded, continue to fight to their last breath. Capsuleers could learn a lot from them.”

The camera moved forward as the hiss of the cold stores door closed behind the holder, showing the rest of the cargo bay. Camouflage made from cargo netting and localized foliage could be seen hanging over the large opening where the bay doors were. A small coiled heater was resting on the deck plating, beside a pile of blankets, and a stuffed flight suit which appeared to be utilized as a pillow. “You think you know what Hell is? Well allow me to re-educate you on Hell.” Laughter escaped the speaker as the camera was placed onto a crate and the speaker took a seat, the emblazoned seal of the Order of the Shadow and a Jolly Roger visible hanging from the camouflaged netting in the bay in the background. “Hell is being trapped on some terrestrial rock, with a ship that you know is capable of getting you out, but not being able to free it from a fucking tree, because said tree constricts around it like a predatory snake. Hell is looking at the sky at night, and watching flashes in the sky which you know are some poor miner getting slagged, or some pirate getting his just reward, and knowing that you could have altered the outcome of the battle, but simply have to watch it from below. Hell is knowing that freedom is only outside of an expanse of gasses surrounding the rock your sitting on, but you still haven’t figured out how to get clear.”

Reaching out and turning the camera, Jack smirked before shutting down the recording, “Hey Roc, if you get this, try not to laugh too hard. Doing time planet-side is like being in prison. Now that I’ve got the Comms antenna reattached, expect to hear more from me. So to you I say, Planetary Interaction… …HA!”

The recording device shut off, and the recording was uploaded via NeoCom.

When I had finished laughing I gave serious thought as to why Jack felt compelled to send me these tales of woe. Then it dawned on me, like attracts like, and Jack and I had swapped several stories of our misadventures. It helped to keep the spirits up. To that end, I deleted the trace route Aura had setup. Let Jack figure out how to get off of his own damn planet.
It was good for building character. I laughed some more.

CONTINUED IN: The Continuing Adventures of Captain Jack