“Go”, she whispered in her mind as the Helios covert ops ship left the shadow of the station hanger and was enveloped by the loving, stoic nothingness of the universe. She felt her body sigh as the stars and the heavens filled her peripheral vision, and at least for the moment, distracted her from the storm-front gathering behind her eyes.
Life comes fast, even to an immortal, and if you don’t keep up, you’ll get lost along the wayside. And that was where she found herself these days; truly lost. Nathan had suggested to her that she was “at a crossroads” as the familiar saying goes. But as she tried to sort through the chaos and uncertainty in her head, she felt that a crossroads would at least be a substantially less complicated choice than her current meanderings. Left or right; that she could handle right now. It was the added “sort of left”, “half-right”, “kind-of-up”, “partially down”, “perhaps backwards”, or “run-in-a-circle” choices that now clouded her view that were confusing.
She gracefully willed her Helios into warp, the nav computer already loaded with the destination of her favorite scan spot in this system. She closed her eyes and absently ran her fingers through her red hair as she let the computer do then hyper-space flying. Stars, dust, sunlight, all streaked past her ship, flashing like a dulled strobe through the viewing window across her.
TIF was her home, or at least, had felt like her home almost since she first left the academy. This group had become her family of sorts, and through various change-ups, departures, attacks, and triumphs, they had stuck together. Then, HE had come back. After not one, but TWO massive meltdowns and self-impossed planet-side banishments, the old guard of their corp, the founder, had returned. Again. Accompanied as usual by his maddening ego, rampant sense of entitlement, and horrible managerial capacity, he had immediately demanded his old position of power back in “his” corp. She ground her teeth and wondered if he had had the audacity to consider it “his” corp when he had disappeared for months and they (THEY) had built it up into something great. She was so angry at Rez for giving in to the childish demands and consenting. And now nothing was the same, the corp she knew, gone, replaced by a new corp under the banner of “HIS” alliance.
She opened her eyes and realized the ship was stationary now in her safe-spot. She loaded up the probe-launcher, engaging her graviton rigs, and fired off the first probe into space.
He was a loose screw in her mind. That he was emotionally unpredictable, unreliable, and full of shit was ok actually fine with her, but him involving those glaring character flaws in the running and operation of her corp, her HOME, was what she considered unacceptable. And to top it off, in the shakeup of the splitting and “re-forming” of the corp, she had somehow lost her position as a director; roles stripped for transfer to the new corp were somehow never reassigned, and were similarly never mentioned.
She punched the launch button again, ejecting a second and then third probe. She turned and switched on some music, an ancient style that supposedly had come through the Eve-gate with the first of them, and somehow survived. These days it was revered as an art-form of the highest caliber and typically reserved for the upper echelon of society. Real wooden instruments, with thin wires stretched taut across them that emitted pure emotion when played well. She let the string quartet wash over her, the lush lines of counterpoint like a warm embrace.
She felt alone these days. The camaraderie she’d felt with so many of her corp-mates, “her boys” as she called them, seemed to be fading faster the more she worried about it. Ssukor had left months before to find his calling elsewhere, and few heard from him these days. Rory too had left a while ago to chase fortune and glory in null-sec, and although he stayed connected via their public com channel, his visits were infrequent. Also, he seemed sad these days. Rez and Slayer had split their co-CEOing of TIF during the change-over, with Rez taking the reins of the new collective and Slayer staying behind to run and eventually close down what was left of TIF. He was back with them now, but she felt as though something was lost between him and Rez now.
She fired off a fifth and final probe from her ship and called up the scan overview. Her thoughts in clashing disarray and in clear counterpart to the meticulous and orderly way in which she laid out the probe pattern.
She needed direction! The rational part of her reminded herself of all the time spent training into production and research, and she cursed herself for not using those hard-trained skills for anything these days. Yet, another, darker part of her willed her towards a more tempting side of herself she’d never explored before. That was the part of her that daydreamed of venturing into low-sec, or crunching down on some combat skills and heading off to throw her lot in with a bunch of blood-thirsty pirates.
Her over overview beeped as the probes found a warp-able mark, a Caldari Navy Raven it seemed by the look of the scan radius and signature. With a smirk and a small shiver, she engaged her CovOps cloaking device and pushed her little Helios into warp. She streaked towards to the scan hit and wonder momentarily to herself (as she frequently did) why it was she was doing this; why she spent so much of her time these days wandering space scanning things down. Scanning anything really. Sometimes she tried her luck finding a wormhole, or some other spacial anomaly, other times she flirted with the dark side by scanning down battleships running active missions. Though she never stole, or salvaged, or interfered in any way, and mostly stayed cloaked, the element of the forbidden and voyeurism of it was always a thrill.
She wanted someone to point her in a direction and say “this is your way”. She’d probably do it to if someone just came forward and told her.
The Navy Raven pilot pilot fired volley after volley into the swarm of Guristas ships that were failing to defend themselves in any organized way. Sitting less than 15 km away, she watched him intently, as one watches an action vid played out before them on a vid-screen.
Should she stick around with the only home she’d known? Things were getting bad: old enemies were somehow part of their alliance now; hell, the same old enemies were actually in positions of power in the corp, and in charge of “investing” the corps hard-won money. Was she the only one that smelled a rat there?
Her screen flashed white as the Raven’s torpedoes found their mark, shattering through the remaining structure on a Guristas battleship and wrenching it apart from the inside. She grinned, eyes wide, watching this free show destruction and violence. Perhaps a little action is what she needed to get out her slump. But leaving home….that thought nagged at her. She yelled outloud in her ship to no-one, momentarily drowning out the sonata in the background, and she cursed at the stars and at her own indecision’s.
She took a breath and calmed herself. “Breath,” she though, “just breath”. Her sensors went off. With a sudden start, she realized that in her outburst, she’d somehow managed to uncloak her ship. “Wonderful,” she muttered out-loud “very cloak and dagger Sophia”. Even though she had in no way aggressed the Raven, the sudden appearance of another pilot in his mission seemed to have spooked him and he began targeting her little ship. This was time for a hasty retreat, and she coaxed her ship into warp as she left the Raven pilot to clean up the last remnants of the Guristas outpost.
She sat back with a sigh, turned the music up high, and quickly plotted a course to another system. She kept telling herself she need time to think about what to do, but the time for a decision was coming sooner than she wanted to acknowledge. The time for for a choice was now.
This is my first of what I hope will become a long serious of ongoing in-character fiction based off my own wanderings in Eve. This is also my frist attempt at blogging, and with my meager html-know how, hopefully I’ll have a slightly more interesting layout rolling out soon. Comments, critiques and suggestions welcomed. I can be contacted in game by way of Sophia Jackson. Thanks again, and hope you enjoy.