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"Immortal Warriors" an EON fiction contest submission

E.A.D Alliance
#1 - 2012-11-03 17:22:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Ideki
This is my submission for the EON fiction contest.
This submission is for the "Eight Thousand Suns in New Eden" category.

A few things first:

  • English is not my first language, so forgive me if there are some errors or lack of vocabulary.
  • I tried to link The Empirean Age, Templar One and the 514 Chronicle. For a timeline, you could place my story just after Templar One and before the 514 Chronicle
  • The 514 Chronicle has an open ending that can be interpreted in different ways. I interpreted it as if the empires refused to trust Jamyl Sarum.
  • The story is 4887 words. 5,000 words is pretty short when you want to create a complex story. But I guess 10,000 words would have been short too. Roll

I hope you will enjoy reading the story, and I welcome your comments Big smile
E.A.D Alliance
#2 - 2012-11-03 17:23:54 UTC
Immortal Warriors

Pure Blind Region – YS-GOP Constellation
G-M418 System – Planet IX, Moon 4
Sovereignty none

“I am telling you, this is the find of the year!” Jeeka was peering over Anto’s shoulder at the data on the screen.

It was displaying the result of the scan the mining drone had run on the asteroid floating outside of their small frigate. The outline of an outpost was displayed. It looked abandoned from the outside. Yet the scans showed minimal electric activity inside. As if someone left a computer on, but forgot to come home. With a sigh Anto leaned back into his console chair and closed his eyes to think, forcing Jeeka to move back a bit. The bridge was small, and having a towering Civire looming over your shoulder made it feel even smaller. As a Minmatar, Anto himself was not of small stature.

“I don’t know. I do not like the look of this.” pondered Anto while massaging his temples, trying to relax and clear his mind.

After days of scouring the belts for some valuable mineral scraps left by capsuleers mining parties, this indeed looked like the find of the year.

Once capsuleers set their mind to mine a system, they usually leave it completely bare of anything valuable. But sometimes, they leave some bits here and there when they have to get out in a hurry. Either because Gurista pirates are coming, or because other capsuleers find it more profitable to prey on their kin rather than mine themselves.

And this is where Anto and his crew step in. They flew the ‘Out of Balance’ frigate, a Caldari Bantam which…had seen better days. The name seemed to be a joke that Anto made, but no one understood it since he never explained it.

They went through the belts, hoping to scavenge enough minerals to fill their cargo and go back to the station they called home, making a meager profit that would be swallowed by the frigate’s maintenance needs. With a crew of only four, there was plenty to be done.

They needed an opportunity to fix the frigate once and for all. Maybe this was it, the lucky find they were looking for.

If their warp drive had not failed and dropped them near this hidden belt by sheer luck, they would have been forced to go back with their cargo nearly empty. And that would have been a problem since Anto is running out of funds.

Still, as the ship’s captain, Anto did not want to take too many risks with the lives of his crew.

“For all we know, this could be a Gurista trap. If we get nearby to investigate, we could end up as target practice for some pirates…”

“Well I do not detect anything nearby, so unless a cloaked Capsuleer want to have fun wasting ammo on us we are all alone in the system.” said Narfu. “And it is not the style of the Guristas, Rabbit is more about smuggling than mugging insignificant people like us. We have nothing to offer them.” He was monitoring the local frequencies and long range scanners at the console on the left side of Anto.

“How is Tiann doing with the repairs of the warp drive?” asked Anto.

After the warp drive had failed, Tiann went to see what she could do to get them home. Anto was glad he took her on board. For a Jin-Mei she has proven to be gifted in mechanics. In the meanwhile, Narfu had let go a mining drone to investigate the nearby asteroid field. He expected a few good asteroids from it, maybe some Gneiss or Crokite if they were really lucky. So he was surprised to see the drone report an anomaly on the surface of one of the asteroids.
That’s when he called Anto on the bridge.

Jeeka had come from the kitchen with a cup of coffee because, as the ship’s pilot, he had nothing better to do at the moment. After a few sips, he said “She says she needs a couple more hours before we can attempt to use the drive again.”

“It’s a gift from God” proclaimed Narfu looking at Anto’s screen.

Anto’s eyes snapped open “I told you to not bring that crap on the bridge Narfu” he barked.

Sometimes the Ni-Kunni faith was really annoying. It’s only because Anto needed someone for the electronics that Narfu was allowed onboard. The Amarrian had made the vow to convert all non-believers he crossed path with. Sometimes, the thought of throwing him through the airlock really tempted Anto. At least Narfu was smart enough to decry slavery.

“We are already lucky the warp drive malfunction did not drop us inside a planet.” pointed Jeeka.

“Luck has nothing to do with it. It is providence.”

“Shut up Narfu.”

Anto took another look at the outpost and finally made up his mind. “Ok people, we are going to take a look, but very carefully.”
E.A.D Alliance
#3 - 2012-11-03 17:24:24 UTC
Placid Region – Viriette Constellation
Harroule System – Planet VIII, Moon 5
FedMart Storage station
Gallente Sovereignty

The phone had been ringing for three whole minutes already, and it looked as if the caller would not give up.

Silet reluctantly opened an eye and looked at the clock. He saw that it was two in the morning. He had been sleeping approximately two hours, his next shift started in less than five. So whoever was calling better had a very good reason to do so, otherwise he would make sure they understood how much he needed his sleep.

“Answer, voice only”

“Silet, are you there?” said a female voice that he had not heard for a long time. One he was not sure he wanted to hear again.

“What do you want Tiann?”

There was a small pause.

“I am sorry if that is what you want to hear. But this is not why I am calling.”

“I could have guessed. After three years without a single word I figured you would not call me to make up. Tell me what you want so I can say no to it and go back to sleep.” Silet was getting angrier than he should. He thought that he was over with her. She belonged in the past. So why was his heart beating faster just because he heard her voice?

“I don’t want to talk about it over the phone, but we need your expertise. It’s very important.”

“So what? You call me at two in the morning and expect me to jump in the next shuttle to wherever you are, just like that? I have a job and a life here.”

“A life? You had been selected to work at Crieliere before it blew up. Since then, you just lament for yourself on a rundown station in a backwater system.” Now, there was a bit of anger in her voice too.

“You insult me and still expect my help? Yes it’s true that my dream was shattered, but never as much as my life after you left.” Anger was starting to drip from his words.

Another blank, as if her microphone had been turned off.

After a few seconds her voice came back “Silet, if you come here to help us, we will make it worthwhile for you. I promise. And I also promise that we will talk about the past. Please”. His heart flinched at her plea.

Whatever it was she needed him for, it had to be important because it was not like her to ask for help. Before he fully realized it he sighed and heard himself say: “Where are you?”

“Thank you Silet, I am sending you the coordinates where we can rendezvous. I missed you.”

The communication ended and his computer was listing the coordinates for the meeting.

She was right of course. He had been very proud upon his acceptance at Crieliere. Only to get his dreams shattered when the research laboratory scandals came to light. Afterwards he had not known what to do. He distanced himself from others, even the only one who loved him genuinely. Tiann… His heart always gave a start when he thought about her.

He looked around his apartment. It’s true that he did not have much. No one was waiting for him when he came home. And this future looked very bleak indeed. She had asked for his help, and she said she missed him. As he got up he cursed himself. “I am a stupid fool; I should leave her with her troubles” Then he started to pack.
E.A.D Alliance
#4 - 2012-11-03 17:25:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Ideki
Pure Blind Region – YS-GOP Constellation
G-M418 System – Planet IX, Moon 4
Sovereignty none

“So Silet, now that we are all here tell us what you found.” said Anto.

“And is it worth anything?” asked Jeeka. Everyone could feel his greed.

It looks like he had not learned to curb it since he got caught stealing from his company. Everyone knew that the Caldari did not take kindly someone robbing them. Jeeka had left Caldari space in a hurry and took a spot on the first ship in need of a crew member: Anto’s ship. Jeeka was a good pilot, but his greed would get him in trouble again someday.

Silet had asked the crew to come to the small meeting room so he could present his findings.
As he studied each face around the table, he found it interesting that each empire was represented here.
His eyes lingered a little bit more than necessary on one specific crew member. And as she had promised, they had talked. Tiaan had changed, and so had he. But at least they were on speaking terms.

Narfu coughed and that brought Silet’s thoughts back to the present.

“Ok, I have a pretty good idea about who created that outpost. Who want to place a bet?” They were all looking at him, like their future was depending on him. Which might be true after all considering the state of the frigate. Tiann must be working pretty hard to keep it flying.

They all looked tired, and about to give up this lifestyle. It was easily understandable. Capsuleers had it easy in this business with their big ships. Even if they lost their ship, they could acquire another one (or ten for that matter) almost immediately. So captains who could not afford the capsule technology had a hard time.

“After spending a week bypassing all the security protocols in the computer system of the outpost, I discovered a few things.”

“First, you got extremely lucky. There was a small thermonuclear device rigged to blow up the whole asteroid in case someone uninvited came in. Whoever installed it made a mistake and you are still alive because of that.”

“God’s will”. That Amarrian was really infuriating. It looked as though he was trying to convert everyone he met but did a poor job at it because of his own faith was pushing everyone away from him.

Anto glared at Narfu and replied “More like an idiot not knowing was he was doing in my opinion…”

“What else did you find?” ask Tiann.

“Well the outpost is filled with datacore centers so vast that usually only the empires can afford them. So whoever setup this rig had a lot of resources. But the cloning equipment is the most interesting part as it is near impossible to get your hands on it, and the gear here is not standard.”

Anto was looking worried when he said “Only Capsuleers have this kind of money and need this equipment. Damn it, I knew it was too good to be true. Now we are going to have a Capsuleer after us because we stumbled upon his own private cloning facility… Just what we needed.”

“Capsuleers are demons.” replied Narfu.

“Your empress is a capsuleer…” pointed Jeeka.

“She is Divine, the technology cannot corrupt her.” replied Narfu pouring all his faith in his words.

Jeeka replied “I heard she is losing touch with reality sometimes. That she goes crazy…”

“How dare you!” Narfu was halfway up from his chair, ready to start a fight with Jeeka, even if the Caldari was almost a head taller that the Amarrian.

Tiann rolled her eyes and turned back toward Silet. “I know you well enough to see that you have an idea of who this rig belongs to. Am I right?” She smiled at him.

“Indeed I do have a good idea.” Everyone fell silent again.

“The sheer amount of data alone, and its nature, hinted at who this belonged to. I believe you stumbled upon one of the Broker’s rumored base. And the clones would explain how he could be anyone and anywhere. He must have developed a technology that allowed him to get cloned without the need of the capsule.”

If it was silent before, now no one was breathing and you could hear the gentle hum of the ventilation.

“You mean THE Broker?” asked Tiann in a whisper, as though she feared the Broker could be nearby.

“We are so dead…” said Anto as he put his head between his hands. There was no way they could escape that man.

“Yes, him. But before Anto gets a heart attack here, I have to say that I think he is dead. Gone to dust, straight to hell.” Said Silet looking sideway at Narfu.

Everyone looked at Silet with curiosity in their eyes.

“Let me show you why I think that is the case” as he activated the wallscreen where a file started to scroll.

“This looks like a log.” remarked Jeeka.

“It is. The Broker was really all about information. So he kept a journal with his thoughts, operations, etc… After all, he kept switching clones all the time, so he had to fill the gaps if he had to load a backup of himself in case something went wrong.”

The file was still scrolling until it came to a stop at the last entry, which was dated almost 4 years ago.

June 5th YC110 – I can feel the end coming. And I cannot stop it. Curse you Otro and your whore of a sister. If you had given me the Insorum, you and I would have continued to live. You are dead now, and I will be soon. I can feel it in my heart. It is pounding like it wants to get out of my chest. The clones cannot help me anymore. Once my heart stop beating and no clone will have activated for one week, my outposts will self-destruct. All I was will be gone. Only rumors will be left. I die, but my shadow lives on. If you had a grave, I would spit on it Otro…

Silet waited for everyone to finish reading the final words of the Broker. He saw them accepting the truth one by one. The Broker was gone, and they had chanced upon one of this base. Then they finally realized what that really meant.
E.A.D Alliance
#5 - 2012-11-03 17:26:05 UTC
Jeeka was the first to speak. “All that information… Any empire or pirates would pay fortunes to get it.” The greed was absolute in his eyes.

Anto being more practical and down to earth saw things a bit differently. “We could also all end up dead. Dead men tell no tales.”

Tiann smiled “As the only woman here, does that mean I get all the money if you are all dead?”

They laughed and it eased a bit the atmosphere in the small room.

“Not only have we full have access to his information, and there is a lot of it, but we also have his cloning technology. Think of what anyone would pay for it. Until now only the Capsuleers could afford it because you needed the capsule to handle the data flow to the clone upon death. But the Broker made it possible for anyone to achieve immortality. His technology is incredible.”

“That is sacrilege!” exclaimed Narfu.

“That is science.” replied Silet flatly.

“Still plenty of people would pay for it. Even more than for the data.” Jeeka was probably already trying to figure out who he could sell the technology to and for how much.

“True. Still I would not like to see an empire getting more power than the others because of us. And it is out of question to give the technology to any pirates.” Anto declared.

“So what do we do?” asked Tiaan.
E.A.D Alliance
#6 - 2012-11-03 17:26:47 UTC
The Forge Region – Kimotoro Constellation
New Caldari System – Planet II
Kaalakiota Corporation Factory
Caldari Sovereignty

Jeeka was pacing in circle in the anteroom. For the last two hours he had been waiting to be authorized to enter the meeting room next door. He was getting impatient, and the looking at the room’s luxury only made him greedier. Once they saw what he had to offer, they would give him a mountain of isk, and then he would buy all he had ever wanted. He would be set for life and some more. A house on the beach, a woman, or two, so much possibilities. Why were they making him wait for so long? They knew why he was here, what he had to offer. He had sent samples of the data with his request for a meeting. If he was in this room, it only meant that they had been interested by his data. So why the wait then?

After another thirty minutes, Jeeka was ready to leave to sell the idea to another corporation when the door to the meeting room finally opened.

A young woman came out and kept the door open for him. “They are ready to see you now.”

Jeeka was suddenly nervous. Usually Civire could handle the pressure very well. So why was he sweating now? This was going to be a normal business deal. Albeit one that would make him rich.

The woman escorted him to a chair at the end of the table, and then she left by another door.

The room was in deep shadows except for where he was sitting, which was in a bright spot of light. There was barely enough light for him to see that there were three people sitting at the other end of the table, but he could not distinguish their face. He felt more like he was going to be interrogated instead of selling data.

One of the shadow stirred and said “Jeeka Uesi, We analyzed very carefully the data you sent us. And we found it very interesting.”

Jeeka was squirming a little bit in his chair.

“We appreciate that you came to us directly instead of going to any other corporation.” Said another shadow.

“It was the least I could do. After all, Kaalakiota gave me everything I have.”
“And Kaalakiota will give me everything I want after today” added Jeeka mentally.

“We are curious to know where you found the data you have in your possession.”

“I found it on the black market. A man was trying to sell it and I recognized its potential. So I bought it and came here.”

“And do you know where that man got it from?”

“No, he only said that it was all of it and wanted to get rid of it.”

“So you have no proof that the data is actually complete or can even work?”

Jeeka got a little bit angry at that. “I am not stupid; I made sure the data was real.”

“I understand; we know that you invested a great deal in this and we want to make sure the data is genuine.”

Another shadow started to speak “Kaalakiota has done some research in the domain of cloning. But nothing really conclusive came out of it. In the end, it was decided that there was no real practical use for cloning except for Capsuleers. So the research was cancelled.” Jeeka spirits was sinking fast as he was seeing where the conversation was heading.

“Unfortunately, you got your hand on this data too late. A few months ago we would have gladly bought it as it would have saved us a great deal of investment. But now… Well we can only wish you good luck in finding someone who might be interested by it.”

Jeeka was devastated. He came in certain that he would leave rich. Instead he was being dismissed as useless.

Rage was consuming him as he left the building and he started to walk aimlessly into the city. He would find another corporation that would want this data.

“Excuse-me, do you have fire?” Jeeka jumped back, he had not seen the man walk up to him.

Jeeka replied gruffly “No sorry, I do not smoke.”

“Ah too bad…” was the last thing Jeeka ever heard. He never noticed the second man behind him. Nor felt the needle prick his neck.

Jeeka’s heart had already stopped by the time his body hit the ground.

The first man dialed a number on his phone and waited a moment for an answer while the other man was searching through Jeeka’s clothes.

“It is done sir. […] As usual, no problems to report.”

The second man finally found the datadisk in Jeeka’s inner pocket.

“We have the data sir. […] Yes sir, we will dispose of him. And we have a dozen witnesses ready to swear that they saw him take the outbound shuttle. […] Thank you sir, have a good day.”

The man pocketed back his phone. Under his vest was the uniform of Kaalakiota security forces.
E.A.D Alliance
#7 - 2012-11-03 17:27:08 UTC
Heimatar Region – Sveipar Constellation
Pator System – Planet V
Republic Fleet Logistic Support
Minmatar Sovereignty

“We could not believe it when we saw the data you sent us. It could be a tremendous help in our fight to free our brothers and sisters, still suffering as slaves to the Amarrians.”

“That is why I wanted to give the data to the elders” said Anto.

The Elders’ representative was beaming “And you did well. Now they want to see you.”

For the occasion, Anto was wearing the traditional Minmatar outfit consisting of being bare from the waist up so his tattoos could show completely.

They entered a dark room. When the representative closed the door behind them, they were in total darkness. Suddenly all around the room wallscreens came to life. Figures in cloaks appeared greater than life. For a moment Anto was tempted to kneel.

“Anto Jark, we wished to thank you for the incredible gift you did to the republic and to all Minmatars.” said a male voice.

“With this technology we will be able to fight back against the oppressors of our nation without fear of wasting more of our blood.” continued a female voice.

“For your action we now declare you a Hero of Minmatar. Your clan can be proud of you.” another male voice.

“Is there anything that you want as a reward?” asked a different female voice. Anto’s head was starting to spin. He was just a small frigate captain that chanced upon something he thought could help his kin. He never expected to receive such honor.

“I do not know. You already took the time to talk to me. This is reward enough. But if you insist, I would like my ship repaired and refilled if possible.”

“You could have any ship that you desire brand new.”

“Thank you, but I like my ship, I poured myself into it. And we went through a lot together.”

“As you wish. You fulfilled your Voluval mark. Be proud.” The screens turned black.

His Voluval mark was displayed clearly on his chest, and until now he had always considered that he had gotten the wrong mark. A triangle with a circle at each corner: the Bringer of Balance. To him it was like a big joke, hence the name of his ship. His life had been all but balanced. All he owned was a ship that fell apart. But the Voluval was more than that. He finally understood now what his essence instructor tried to tell him so long ago. The Voluval reveals what you are inside. It is your inner essence projected on your skin for everyone to see. After the ceremony, he had asked his instructor what his mark meant and what he should do. His instructor said that it would come in due time. Anto did not understand. Until now.

It was not necessarily a balance of his life as he had always thought. It was more like the balance of things around him. And now he was leveling the war field by giving to the elders a technology that would allow them to make immortal soldiers. And those soldiers could help save millions of slaves from the Amarrian.

It was balance on such a great scale that Anto had vertigo when he was thinking about it.

At least he had brought honor to his clan.
E.A.D Alliance
#8 - 2012-11-03 17:27:26 UTC
Domain Region – Throne Worlds Constellation
Amarr System – Planet VI, Moon 2
Theology Council Tribunal
Amarr Sovereignty

Narfu was puzzled by the office of the minister. He had always believed that, as you rose within the ranks of the church, you would free yourself from the luxuries of life, be pious. Gold was reserved to the glory of God. So how come the minister had so much luxury?

“My son, you did the right thing by bringing me this data. This is exactly what I needed.”

“I thought the whole empire would benefit from it.” Said Narfu

“Oh it will, I will present the data to the empress myself. She will have her immortal warriors and I will have her favors.” The minister was smiling but there was no warmth in it. A shiver ran down Narfu’s spine.

“But… this is for the glory of God, not for our personal gain.”

“Yes, yes…, it will all be for God, but I am sure God will not mind me getting a tiny fraction of it.”

Narfu could not accept it anymore. “This is wrong. Give me back the data; I will bring it to someone who deserves it better than you.”

The minister snapped his finger “I am afraid I cannot do that.”

The two guards beside Narfu grabbed him.

“What are you doing?” Panic was edging in his voice. He tried to break free, but the guards held him in place.

“We have to test the data to make sure it is properly working. And I am sure you won’t mind being the test subject. After all, it is for His glory. You will help to make sure the technology is safe for our paladins. I heard that the tests can be dangerous. But do not fear, I will say a prayer for your soul. Take heart in your contribution to my future”

“And the future of the empire.” Added the minister as an afterthought.

Narfu’s shouts only stopped after the office’s doors were shut.
E.A.D Alliance
#9 - 2012-11-03 17:27:42 UTC
Placid Region – Viriette Constellation
Harroule System – Planet VIII, Moon 5
FedMart Storage station
Gallente Sovereignty

The phone had been ringing for three minutes already, and it seemed that whoever was calling would not give up.

Silet was really annoyed. “Not again…” Would it be like this each time he tried to sleep?

“Answer, Voice only”

“Good morning” he could see her face on the wall at the foot of his bed. He sat a bit straighter against his pillows, even if she could not see him.

“What are you calling for this time?” he was glad she was not seeing him.

“I wanted to thank you for helping us. I sold the data to the Federation Navy for a hefty sum.”

“Good for you. You could have called me during the morning if it was just to tell me this. I need to sleep. I have to get to work in a few hours.”

“Why did you refuse your share?” She was looking at the screen, as though she could see him. Her eyes were piercing him, daring him to say the truth.

Why indeed had he refused the data? Or simply a share of the money. After all, he was the one that extracted the data from the Broker’s computers. He deserved it as much as the others.

“Because I did not go there for the money.” He said reluctantly.

When they agreed to get a copy of the Broker cloning technology to each empire, he had refused. The one thing he wanted could not be bought with money. And he could not find any way to fix the past. No, it was better to go back to his lonely life, immerse himself in a dull work and try forgetting her again.

“Can I ask you for your help again then?” She was smiling now, and he was mesmerized. Her eyes were shining like each time she teased him.

“What do you need this time?” He knew deep inside that he would always help her whenever she asked.

“I want to find something I lost long ago. Open your door and I will tell you”. She winked at him.

He felt his jaw drop and jumped out of his bed. He almost fell on the floor in his hurry. He fumbled with the lock for a moment and opened the door.

She was there, in front of him.

“I found you.” She said, as she closed the door behind her.