Thursday, November 30, 2006

Part 19 – Supply Demanded.

Day 05 (I having slept through 04.)

What I woke up to was hell of the first degree.

Or rather, what happened as I felt my body locked away in a void of painful waiting as Downtime Day passed. In the darkness, something shone to me though. I heard the door unlock with a wonderful click, and I walked towards the faint outlines of salvation. I drew nearer to something that seemed to glow at the door, and reached out for the unlocked knob…

…only to find it red-hot. I drew my hand back with a girlish squeal that I am not proud of. Mumbling, I wondered what the glowing object was. My eyes fell upon it and my heart sank.

You are now 715th in Queue for escaping. Please try again later.

Foiled again! I waited with irritation as it ticked down. Previously, I had seen queues before, but no more than ten or twenty, that passed within seconds. This one lasted an eternity.

It was almost seven whole minutes.

I groaned, wishing there was some ‘forum’ I could fill with inane and loud gripes of my most grievous wronging by this terrible queue. I would rant with barely comprehensible shouting on for hours about how everything was stacked against me, and how injustice was everywhere. As no such awful place existed due to basic human decency, I simply waited and opened the door after those seven minutes, before entering the market.

I was in Hell again, it seems.

People everywhere were running around, grabbing fistfuls of Blueprints for sale! Apparently, this was the ‘Black Friday’ sale, famous post-holiday shopping spree… only with price gouging and no government regulation, as is traditional for Empire City.

“Drakes! Get your new Drake here! Only at eight hundred percent base cost!” shouted one vendor. I stared terribly at the crowds gathering before one of the new SUVs produced that day, and the bidding. Oh, the horrible, horrible bidding. One lucky man seem to have paid quite a sum for the priviledge of riding this new vehicle in the end. I watched him start off, driving while jealous crowds looked on. He drove towards the Onramp to a 0.4 security part of town. I distinctively heard one very loud explosion some time later. It seems the universe has at least some sense of irony.

I waddled down through the crowd to get to my still undriven Crow, when another man shouted in my face. “Rig up your ship, sirrah?” asked this bum, who clearly had not bathed in weeks. He was a scavenger, a poor type who ran around stripping car wrecks for parts, and offering to ‘rig’ up beautiful, virgin cars. I brushed him off as well. It seems as if the world had turned upside down in those twenty four hours.

My head spun. Was everywhere turning into a nuthouse? Had the insanity spread out here too, to the outer edges of Empire City, before the mad countryside? This was a continuing trend. I felt civilization slipping away to whatever this was. I knew true mission then, as I prepared to drive away from this awful place, to establish a new power base in lawless 0.0…

I would destroy the source.

I would destroy Jita.

(to be continued...)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Part 18 – Stacking Penalties…

She was a brand new, chrome-colored ’07 Crow, gleaming frame drawing my eyes alluringly. Like my old Condor, she had an annoyingly bent wing, but I could overlook that perhaps. She looked mean, sporty and fast. I knew I had to have it, especially where I was going to be going.

I walked right up to the dealer, smiling. “Excuse me, but how much is that Crow in the window?”

Like most dealers in Empire City, this one was a faceless goon, but I hardly cared. He responded flatly as I slapped down money, and my Crow seemed to become mine almost instantly, rolling out right into view. How very convenient. Now I had to go shopping for the proper accessories of course. And to plan where exactly in my lawless destination I wanted to go to with that priceless Cerberus blueprint…

I immediately viewed the choices and thought to myself things were looking rather nice. A wide range of possible brands to pick from for fitting my beloved new Crow were available, from the wonderful LV Series tires, to the far more expensive Arbalest tires, that offered .05 percent better roadworthiness.

“Excuse me, but could I get a set of four of those LV-2000’s?” I asked politely to the faceless clerk, who shrugged.

“Sure. If you want to worry about stacking penalties.” He grumbled. “And don’t look at those Tire Tread Stabilizers. If you fit a few of those, your headlights’ll only go half as far and take longer to turn on at night. Didn’t you hear about the new laws an’ stuff that’re taking effect tonight?”

I was startled. Fitting penalties for four tires? Fittings to prevent my wheels from being disabled, causing my headlights not to work? My mind boggled. He tried to explain.

“You see, the first wheel gives you additional traction of ten percent, but the second only gives you nine percent. Then the third…” he blathered on, and my mind wandered away. He finally added. “It’s for new legislation, cracking down on hit-and-run muggers.”

Fair enough. I shrugged and didn’t really care about those types, as long as they didn’t try what they did to me before during that ‘memorable’ little visit to a 0.4 mining spot. “Pardon me then. But what is going on? I need to… em. Take a good, long trip out to 0.0 County.” I said sternly after, returning my thoughts to the task at hand. “What’s going on tonight that’s so important to issue new laws?”

“Holiday. Downtime day.” He said flatly. And I stared. He continued. “Doing most anything is illegal for the next twenty four hours. Go take a nap, or drive yourself insane from boredom. Oh yeah, automakers are releasing some new models tomorrow. You probably should check back then if you’re interested.” He shrugged.

I just wanted to leave. Slapping down more money and watching parts delivered next to my crow outside, I turned to step out… only to find the door locked as my hand fumbled with the knob.

“Its downtime day as of… now.” The man said as he read a watch, before leaning back in his seat and falling asleep quite soundly. The door would still not budge. I waited as the lights turned out, sitting back with myself in total darkness for twenty four hours.

It would be a long wait. The seconds seem to tick by so slowly, and I had no contact with the outside world. I thought I’d go mad waiting.

What happened after that eternity of waiting almost made me wish I had.

(to be continued)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Part 17 – Sectarian Violence

Now before I go on about what happened next, let’s get a few things straight. I have always considered myself as a good neighbor. If a neighbor needed a rake, I’d be sure to lend him mine with only a token collateral, or even give a cheap one-run copy of instructions to make his own. I’m that kind of a good, generous neighbor.

My neighbors on Jita however, were not so neighborly. Perhaps it was crossing the Jita-Kosigo intersection when I first noticed the usual noise of traffic and the occasional explosion creeping towards me. Indeed, looking into my Badger’s rear view mirror, I first noticed the large amount of cars barreling right at me, flashing red lights to signal their obviously murderous intent. Perhaps advertising my possession of such a document was not such a wise decision. The horrific war-shriek of a suicide bomber throwing himself and his Kestrel at where I just was a moment ago frayed my nerves. I drove quickly off.

It was time to leave. Adrenaline began pumping into my veins again as I swerved through the streets at random to elude my pursuers. It was madness, and CONCORD police helicopters just blasted away at the streets below, destroying those after me.

This was martial law: a heavy police crackdown to restore order, with troops on every street and our civil rights thrown into the wind. Or as the Caldari say, it’s ‘business as usual’.

I found respite still, ducking into a randomly placed quarry filled with large chunks of unprocessed Concrete, Solid Concrete, and the marginally more useful Pure Concrete. Ignoring these ‘vast treasures’, I relaxed back to think of where to go. I was clearly not safe here…

I would need to run somewhere, buying what I could with my resources, and steal what I couldn’t. I needed a place to hide and lay low, where few would travel. Opening my demographic map of the city, I looked to where I was, a blue and green blob that represented the downtown… then traced a finger to the dangerous outskirts of town. Beyond there was the countryside, the boonies... a fierce region inhabited only by outlaws, bandits and countryfolk that others would pay me for killing.

A somewhat familiar rumble began to cut in and I ended my planning, stashing away the map. I knew the sound of course. Before my very eyes, a section of wall evaporated, and the majestic Raven heavy tank rolled in, ready to destroy me with maximum prejudice before CONCORD incinerated him.

“No no no!” I squealed in a girlish tone that I would not like to discuss further. Gunning the engine back to the freeway, I broke onto the open road before he could lock on and fire upon me. I did not turn back as the sound of CONCORD choppers appearing and dispensing with the punk. Clutching the precious blueprint in my arms, I coasted down the road to 0.0 with a shudder…

By circumstance beyond my control, I was now exiled! Doomed to an existence in a dangerous hell where I could trust no one and violent psychopaths littered every turn. Admittedly, it wasn’t much different from Jita Ave, or the rest of Empire City for that matter, but I wasn’t thinking too clearly then.

My Badger’s poor little engine gave out two ramps before 0.0. I was tired too, and had some badly needed downtime. A welcome rest stop came into sight, and I pulled in. Some sack time was good. I needed it. Even just an hour would do…

When I woke up an hour later (I couldn’t seem to stay asleep for longer), I left the truck, clutching the Cerberus Blueprint in my jacket pocket closely. I would need a new, more suitable vehicle for my journey…

That’s when I saw her. The one that would change my life…

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Part 16 – Severance Packages

When I came to, I was on a cold marble floor. My head lifted slowly, and I groaned from the heavy bruise there. I surveyed these new surroundings as best I could, before I realized by the giant blue [+] logo on the floor. I was now in the CareCorp headquarters!

I gasped. Sitting there in front of me was a parked ‘Hulk’, rimmed in gold. It had shining silver-plated rims and beautiful polish, completely wasted by mining dirt for hours at a time rather than anything worthwhile. It was my corporate CEO. It was the Most Secure One, and I was now in his 1.0 sec domain.

A shudder came. “I can explain…” I mumbled, looking up and rubbing my head. A figure vaguely visible behind the tinted windows lifted a hand. The loudspeakers boomed.

“Silence!” commanded the speakers. “For the crime of losing company mining equipment, and for first degree risk taking… I sentence you to a lifetime of concrete mining!” echoed the terrible voice.

I gasped. “No!” I cried out, as two security guards started dragging me away into a neighboring room. “But why? Why can’t I go into high risk areas?” I cried, as the voice followed into a white steel room. There was blood splattered on a metal table there, and I shook at the sight of the lettering above the table and brutal looking surgical tools.

Menacing Sign
CareCorp Spine Removal System: Mine Safely, Carebears!

They were going to remove my spine, so that I would be too afraid to make real money or have actual fun! A fate worse than death, but better than being lobotomized like those creepy untalkative asian robots. Held against the table, it looked like the end. I closed my eyes and let my mind drift away, ‘logging off’ to try not and think about what was going to happen…

…and when I opened my eyes moments later, I realized something very odd. I was in the hallway, and not in that horrible room! Somehow, when I spaced out, I had made a daring and uncatchable escape! It was time to run and find a new employer it seemed. I fled.

Still, crashing through the halls gave me an idea. Why not get a bit of a severance package from my dear CareCorp employers? I turned a corner to the Corp’s storage warehouse, and looted with a most innocent smile. Perhaps someday, I would return and show that hulk-driving jerk where he could stick his concrete ore…

Before I knew it, I had escaped from that awful place, driving in a Badger truck full of my theft. I was free! Now once more my own boss, I wondered what to do.

My first decision was to drive back to familiar, if crowded Jita Avenue. It was a good market at least, despite the chaos. Slowing down in the crowds of cars about, I used the time suck in traffic to sort my newfound gains. First was a pleasant blue sheet, which I read carefully in one hand. It was a blueprint of some kind. I decided to ask the plentiful (and loud) natives for some information.

I leaned out of the window, and lifted the blue sheet.

“Hello Citizens of Jita! May I ask if anyone knows what this ‘Cerberus BPO’ is for?”

Shifting eyes settled upon me from all directions. I sensed the thirst for blood and human flesh, and began to wonder if I should have stayed in the relative safety of 0.4…

(…to be continued)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Part 15 – Damn the Onramp Campers

My procurer’s engine kicked to life, barreling across the countryside! Still they came at me, firing shells and missiles relentlessly while my lumbering truck struggled to outpace them. Surrounded by carnage, I careened off a small cliffside and escaped into an open street, heading for the ramp that lead back to the highsec part of town, as they swerved about slowly to follow, having issues aligning with the street.

I was home free now! Not a foe in sight. I was going to make it back to highsec, and cash in this treasure trove of minerals and loot! A cackle of triumph escaped my lips.

That’s when the sound of a rifle sounded from miles away and the truck lurched. Some cowardly sniper had shot me! My Procurer spun out of control and swerved left hard, right as a flock of teenage punks jumped across my poor truck. One threw a net on the hood to slow my escape down, as the other tried to slash at my tires so I couldn’t flee using the highway.

Fortunately for them, I was fitted for such an occasion! Thanks to my Tire Tread Stabilizers, the inner linings remained unslashed and I prepared to escape from them once and for all… until I ran into a small rock on the road. It was a rather pitiful thing, barely as big as someone’s head. But the instant my little truck ran upon it, it halted and couldn’t align with the road to make a speedy getaway! I cursed.

They came still, swarming over, this bunch of goons. I felt that the earth below us was going to collapse and crash from all the people here, mugging my poor car. One of them brilliantly struck the fuel tank of my poor truck and the blast followed moments later, followed by a collective cheer from their crowd, salvaging a handful of metal scrap. Also of bizzare interest, a hidden compartment under my poor miner blew open, spewing little mail letters into the air, detailing exactly who I was and what they wrecked.

I got pretty pisseded off right there, but I knew I had to worry about later. Looking at the ground drawing away, then slowly zooming back in, I realized exactly where I was.

This was going to hurt.

Thrown high into the air back over to high sec, I groaned horribly to the sight of my burning vehicle, and all that lost profit amidst the rain of kill-mails. My dreams of being a wealthy Isogen-baron were foiled again.

My heart hurt terribly from the sense of loss. My soul hurt terribly from broken hopes. My spine hurt just as terribly from the impact against the ground.

I closed my eyes for what must have been two eternities to recover before gazing up again. My eyelids opened and even the light shining down hurt. Mercifully, shadows loomed overhead shielding me from that awful light. I looked up to see a circle of my fellow CareCorp employees gathering around me, murmuring amongst them with righteous indignation.

“He broke the rules! He went into the forbidden 0.4!”
“I’m scared… maybe the gangs will come after us now!”
“Is concrete ore not good enough for you or something, adrenaline jockey?”

Interestingly enough, those Asian miners still were busy at work, paying no attention to the unfolding drama. Perhaps it was for the best. But then, before I could speak a word of explanation, someone cracked down upon my head with the business end of a civilian mining shovel.

When I came to some time later, I realized just what kind of trouble that I was in…

(To be continued)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Part 14 – Slightly Reduced Security

The instant I set foot in 0.4 Sec, I was like a kid left in a candy store after hours. Not just any kid either mind you, but rather like one with an entire set of invincible soviet metal teeth, so cavities would never trouble him again. Like that kid, I was looting the place for all it was worth.

I was shoveling as much loot just lying all over into the cargo of my Procurer as fast as the little shovel in the back could. My eyes glittered, and I felt nothing at all but happiness. I rested back into my chair, wondering if I could take my mind off of things, and go make myself a sandwich while my truck filled up.

Suddenly, my LocalSenses began to tingle once more. Huh. A single person had entered the region. Alright, that isn’t such a big deal. It’s probably another dashing hot-shot maverick renegade like myself, out looking for riches.

I would find out soon enough. He drove right over to me, a compact little ’05 Toyota Shuttle. I had mixed feelings about such a little car, that reminded me rather of a clown car. Still, it was the world’s first disposable car that when melted down yielded just enough metal to construct a handful of nails. I paid it no attention, and the no doubt peaceful driver moved on, not saying a word or even bothering me at all. What business was it of mine what a simple passer-by was up to right?

The reclining seat on my little Procurer went back full tilt as I sat there, yawning. I lifted the calculator to my eyes, and sipped on a Coke 800 I popped out of my ‘Caffeine Injector’ minifridge. This was a useful little thing, giving me the energy needed in tight spots to stay awake. A pity I couldn’t really carry too many of the little things for some inexplicable reason.

As my eyes glittered across the vast numbers of zeroes in my projected profit margin, I felt invincible. No. I was invincible! My bold action had paved my way to fame and riches! Forget mining trash like the Most Secure One and his corporation. My grin spread all the way until I lowered the calculator and took a big look outside at my handiwork.

I saw the fields of gold-veined rocks, and the carelessly discarded stacks of money. I saw the trees, rustling in the wind and white birds flying across a clear sky. I saw four heavy tanks barreling straight down upon my position.

Satisfied, I continued to sip my soda and turned back to reading my projected profit numbers.

Wait a second. Four tanks were crashing down upon me! Two were French-built Megathrons, glittering with weapons and breathtaking sleekness. Another was the massively powerful Apocalypse tank, clad in impenetrable shining armor, and the last was one Tempest tank, built out of what was most likely an old tool shed, a boat’s topsail, and armed with what appeared to be a pair of very long nail files. Inconcievably, this third world tank was just as dangerous as the others, putting into question how just competent the designers of said Megathron and Apocalpyse were.

I stopped thinking of the wastefulness of the Military-Industrial Complex and remembered my current predicament. Perhaps these polite tank drivers were just passing through, I thought to myself. Dilusional thoughts, perhaps. I leaned out the driver side window and waved.

“Um… hi guys! What’re you doing here?” I asked with a toothy grin.

Predictably, they replied with violence.

(to be continued…!)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Part 13 – Safety First… or else!

My little Procurer puttered along, filling more of its cargo area with concrete. I just waited impatiently at this mindless task, grumbling and fiddling with a calculator all the while. Those Asian workers who had just awoken to another mindless 23 hour shift were getting on my nerves, so I fiddled with some numbers.

So far, things didn’t look so good. I had worked tirelessly for six hours, and by my calculations, had a whopping eight dollars worth of concrete! This wasn’t getting me anywhere. I spotted one of the talkative members of CareCorp, and drove up by him.

“Hey uh... Bill.” I said, not really knowing the man’s name and producing the most generic one I could think of. “I’m not making much money over here. How about you?”

The rather big-jawed Deteis man I had so arbitrarily named ‘Bill’ smiled very pleasantly. “Oh, that’s not my name… but that’s okay! You can call me that if you want.” He quipped effeminately. “I’ve made twelve bucks today, a pretty good haul if I say so myself.” He smiled serenely. It was immensely annoying as well.

“You spent all day making a grand sum of twelve dollars? What the hell? We should be making a dozen times more than that at least! Why are we mining this trash anyway?” came my annoyed reply as I glared across a dotted line in the distance, separating the .5 security zone with the .4 beyond it. The sparkle of gold veins in rock, and unattended bags of money left all over made my mouth water.

I meanwhile, was sitting here in a field of .9 rubbish. “There is clearly more valuable stuff to mine out past that line. Why don’t we actually go make some real money over there?”

He looked shocked. “B-but… but that’s unsafe!” the large man stammered like a frightened rabbit. “Out there, people can be… mean to us! We should stay here, where it’s safe.” He said assuredly. “You don’t want your mining truck scratched, do you?” He said before turning away to drive on, mining more of this useless rubbish. I grumbled and would have sworn I saw a scar on his back where somebody surgically removed his spine.

Before I could complain any more, a large loudspeaker blared and a video screen atop a CareCorp Billboard flickered on. It showed a new model ‘Hulk’ mining for dirt somewhere in a peaceful, happy, and completely unprofitable 1.0 sec area. It was the CEO no doubt of this little company.

Video Billboard:
”This is your leader, the Most Secure One… attention all concrete miners, we have completely depleted another county. We will prepare for moving into a high security area for mining in an adjacent state tomorrow. Please make the necessary preparations. That is all.

All Hail Caring!

I could hear the crowds chanting ‘All Hail Caring’ or some other nonsense. I gritted my teeth.

Screw this.

I shifted my little mining truck into first gear and drove off with a cloud of smoke following. I barely heard the occasional gasps and cries of ‘That’s unsafe!’ from the chanting masses, and I could only care less.

I sped over the .4 line to get at that gold and money just lying out there for me to take. It was only a slight reduction in security, how much more dangerous could that possibly be?

(to be continued...)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Part 12 – Mining Concrete 23/7

It all happened in a daze. I had parked in the blue headquarters of CareCorp, and was already being escorted into a full tour by two wonderfully pleasant guides, a matron-like woman and a neatly dressed man in a suit. Everyone here seemed so very nice, with sugary smiles and waves wherever I went. It was quite odd.

My arms swung in wide arcs as I walked peacefully into this company of friends. They had assured me that despite my lack of skills in various tasks, they’d help teach me. This felt all too good compared to the total chaos at Jita, or the dangerous life avoiding bullets and the trigger-happy scales of justice.

“So…” I began quite charmingly to my guides. “What would you think I could do at your fine institution?”

The man looked thoughtful, but maintained that somewhat vacant if serene smile. “We can provide you with the skills and training you’d need. Perhaps after a course you can drive one of the Procurers in the garage. I think we can find a spot for you in the .9 Sec Concrete Mining Division.”

Concrete mining? Was that an actual profession? Why on earth would anyone do that for hours at a time? It might be safe, but if I was lucky, my profits would probably top out in the high peanuts. While considering this terrible truth, my attention was suddenly drawn to a room beyond clear glass now entering my sight.

It was a small room, with golden floor tiles and marble pillars, sticking out compared to the usual cheap furnishings elsewhere. Nothing was there but a small assembly machine that read ‘BPO: Money II’ atop of it in big golden letters. As it chugged alone, it seemed to consume piles of scrap metal, garbage and a couple of cheap goods, while spitting out stacks of high-value bills on the other side. Inflation be ****ed I guess as long as somebody was able to swim in bathtubs made from pure 24 Carot Megacyte.

Before I could ask, I was ushered along quickly into the garage. There she was too, my new Procurer. It was a fine craft, different from what I was use to. All the wheels touched the ground at the same height, and it even seemed designed from the ground up to work. I could no doubt strip-mine entire fields of concrete effortlessly in this thing.

"We'll talk about full time employment and orientation after you have a while at the wheel." The two guides turned, smiling vacantly at me and each other before walking away.


Before I knew it, I was at the wheel and driving to work in the concrete fields out back. As I drove to my new workplace, mining worthless concrete, I looked longingly across a shallow red line reading ‘0.4 security past here’, and the piles of gold and silver just heaped up along the roadside, ready to be collected. It seemed so alluring, yet so far away. I felt sick almost at evil eyes staring back at me, and started mining concrete.

“Don’t look past there.” Said one of my fellow CareCorp employees. “It is forbidden to think of entering the 0.4” he whispered, eyes wide and glazed over. “It is said by the Most Secure One that if you even think about crossing the ‘Low Security Line’, that you will be killed in horrible ways.”

Perhaps after hearing him speak in such a tone was when I suddenly felt like something was truly wrong. This was an area the police deemed ‘0.9’ security, and yet there were dozens of workers here, all with utility vehicles of their own, mining nearly worthless ore tirelessly! They moved as one, with hive-like efficiency. Also of an odd coincidence, except for that man who spoke to me and a few other talkers, almost all of the rest happened to be blank-eyed and silent Asians, working 23 hour shifts like automatons to mine this worthless ore.

My mind raced at these strange occurences. I knew I would need to get to the bottom of this soon…

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Important Announcement!

(C.C.P = Correct Continuity Patrol, a division of CONCORD, not to be confused with any other)

It has been brought to my attention that previously, our annonomous narrator purchased a 9mm 'Scout' T1 Handgun, then at a later date was driving in a car with 'Colt 45' in the passenger side seat. The prestigious forces of C.C.P. have hereby intervened. Any parties looking remotely suspicious have been summarilly terminated as by standard Regulations.

The following decree has been relayed via RETCON (Retroactive Enforcement Team CONtrol, a Division of CONCORD).

This 9mm handgun was a popular Gallentan Rapper. It ran under the name 'Nerf Blasters' for a short period, before changing it's name to 'The Weapon formerly known as Nerf Blasters', before figuring out at last a more proper name would be 'Colt 45'. Thus, the irony. Please go back to your daily business before we destroy you, and your precious security rating.

This has been a message from ACRONYM (Association CReating Organizational Names Yet Measured, yet another division of CONCORD)

Part 11 – Give Peace A Chance?

Day 03

I awoke with a gasp, sweat drenched white sheets covering my body. I had nearly died yet again, or perhaps I had even actually died for a brief while! I had the strangest sensation of disembodiment, and an odd feeling that a doctor stitched me back together just fine out of whatever paste CONCORD and that bastard Frenchman beat me into.

Of course, I was quite sharp. My senses reoriented themselves as quickly as an Obelisk trying to align itself with the entrance to a parking garage. It wasn’t pretty to look at or wait for, but at least one knew it’d probably eventually get done.

Some minutes later, at last I figured it out. I was in the hospital again! Only this time, thanks to me not being stingy with the medical money, I wasn’t suffering crippling amnesia. And having no fillings, piercing or augmentations in me, I had lost very little. But I knew I had gone over the line. Thirst for vengeance overcame my reason, and I had paid because of that.

I had to give peace a chance.

That truck-driving Frenchman who had nearly killed me twice would have to wait it seems. Perhaps I could destroy him some other way while lining my own pockets? I sat back in the comfortable medical bed while filling out the forms to up-order myself for ‘Sigma’ service next time, as I felt my swelling brain was just too full of wonderful ideas to risk spontaneous amnesia. That’s when through inspiration and approximately 1 day, 42 minutes of waiting I had divined the knowledge of how to become a productive member of society.

Barely holding back my excitement, I jumped out of bed and ran out, past the moans and cries of other patients from the hospital. There had to be somewhere I could find the kind of kind-hearted souls that desired only to be productive members of society. Something about me had changed.

I emerged upon the mean streets of Jita unafraid, having more no fear in the world. I would trust my fellow man despite how terribly hard it was to move with all these people bumping me left and right and the occasional explosion.

After falling over one of the yellow advertisement boxes placed all over, I knew where I had to go. I read the can quickly as I unplanted myself out of the concrete before anyone could trample me.

Originally by: ”Jettisoned Container”
Feeling unsafe? Need a place to earn some money? Join CareCorp, a former subsidiary of ‘That Big Blue’. We’ll look out for you!

At last, I had found Kindred Souls. I saw the gigantic blue towers in the distance, and made my way there with the rotting and barely roadworthy Ibis kindly provided by the insurance company. With that lump of Tritanium ‘gratuity gift’ riding shotgun, things were looking up for me once more…

…all while I drove unknowingly into what would become one of the darker days of my entire life.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Coming Soon!

(Movie Baritone Announcer Guy Voice)

Imagine... a world gone mad.

Imagine... if the protectors of the people... were the enemy of the people.

One man with nothing left to lose must risk it all if he is to..


See it soon!

Coming soon to a Billboard near you.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Part 10 – Full Extent of the Law.

Wind blew through my hair as my Condor sped down the road, painful screeching having ended minutes ago when the end tip of the wing totally worn away. I rode with the top down, enjoying the fresh air as I tried to track down every last Quafe truck in town, and my driving buddy Colt .45 sat in my passenger seat, armed with (ludicrously enough) Antimatter bullets.

Idle contemplation, my other constant friend soon set in. Why on earth was firing an antimatter bullet barely more powerful than shooting someone with a brick of lead, or iron? One would imagine that being pasted with antimatter, resulting in an explosion rather like that of a nuclear blast would hurt signifigantly more than getting pasted by a lead bullet.

In fact, why on Earth were there nuclear bullets on the open market, being sold to civilians? Life was tough these days, and it didn’t need the ability to commit a war crime being easily available at your local Wal-Mart. Hell, I had even bought a Kevlar vest off the store shelves, like if it was a box of candy.

I stopped thinking about such trivial matters as I drove into a new area for a break. I pulled over to a rest stop, and filed in for a break, looking over what they had. There were of course, ‘Widowmaker’ Spicy Thermal Snack Chips on sale, my favorite. Munching upon them, and ignoring the T2 Snacks that cost ten times as much for only 5 percent more flavor, I walked outside.

Suddenly however, my ‘LocalSenses’ began tingling as I felt my prey had entered the immediate area. I knew without a doubt that my target was here, and I would not question what I felt.

Acting upon this supernatural warning, I leaped into my Condor, revving up the engine and dashing out to play. That’s when I saw him, about to pull up to the store down the street in that damned Quafe truck. I smiled. My LocalSenses never failed when coming to find out if people were about. I parked and hopped out, dashing after with my gun waving in the air, as many people tended to do.

“Hey you!” I called out angrily, speeding by a CONCORD officer too busy stuffing his face with donuts to notice someone charging at another citizen, waving a gun in hand. I ran over with my newly purchased Y-58 Hydrocarbon Sneakers to close that precious distance. I brought myself closer, where my antimatter bullets would be of use as the gun store rated them as being only usable at distances of five meters or less.

As I arrived before him, I knew it. It was the same face as the man who shot me; this hollow-cheeked Frenchman, in but a delivery service uniform and condescending smirk.

“You little bastard, why the hell did you have to shoot me? I just took a ****ed soda from you…” I said, closing the distance. I of course, hadn’t a clue of the law in the books that allowed vigilante-style executions if someone takes an item out of a container you lying around, but that was beside the point. The Frenchman just looked bored and walked on, shrugging.

I grabbed him by the collar, holding him in place to prevent any escape. My knuckles grew white about his shirt, as I stared into his eyes with anger. My vengeance was at hand.

That’s when CONCORD shot me.

And they shot me again. And again.

The officer even called his friends up to come and shoot me.

Not only did that damned donut-eating CONCORD pig spin around with the speed of a Ninja hopped up on Amphetamines, he fired with an absolutely massive gun in one hand, the other to the radio happilly coordinating my impeding doom. I jerked back painfully, a round entering my Kevlar-vested shoulder as I let go of the Frenchman and did the most sensable thing I could have done.

I ran for it.

Before I even managed ten paces, two SWAT vans swerved into my way from out of nowhere, one knocking over a newsstand and the other crushing some kid’s unattended bike. Ranks and legions of armed policemen stormed out and blasted at me, while helicopters strafed the street around me. One of the officers casually kneeled down and fired a rocket launcher into the hood of my parked Condor, blowing the venerable vehicle into a fine dust.

I screamed horribly, and fell to the ground. I saw the Frenchman just standing there, laughing by his unmarked Iteron all while I held the largest remaining piece of my poor Condor in my hands, part of the cup holder made from a single piece of injection-molded Isogen. It was pathetically enough my most valuable surviving asset.

Having being beaten to a pulp of course, the noble CONCORD officers, keepers of law and justice stopped their shooting to look at me while I lifted the cup holder close to my chest, cradling it miserably. “Please leave me alone?” I whimpered.

“Look out! He’s an aggressor! He’s got a module!” one of them shouted. Carnage began again with a renewed fury and explosions. The Frenchman just walked away.

In the resulting graphic violence, I couldn’t even tell if I blacked out before or after the mortar hit me. Contemplating the failings of the modern judicial system was hardly a good use of my time, but I couldn't help but think of it as darkness enveloped me once more...

(Is this the end? Will our narrator survive? To be continued!)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Part 09 – BPCs, Bookmarks and Broken Things

…and Like that same child waiting on Christmas morning, I too got something other than expected. Some assembly required, would be what this child’s gift said. Mine however, also lacked the parts to be assembled. And it was of the wrong item too! A badly photocopied blueprint of an old ‘92 ‘Stabber’ lay in my hands, printed by faded ink on top of what seemed to be tissue paper. I dropped it with a squeak of my voice, and realized such a badly copied blueprint would probably fall apart after but a single thorough reading. What kind of cheap trick was this? And speaking of that, why would anyone print plans for anything on such cheap paper?

I squinted at my prize, and frowned. Two could play this game. But how could I possibly make any money, having being cheated out of my life savings for some terribly photocopied blue print? What could I produce with no skill in manufacturing, science or crafting?

I would think about this for a great deal of time, until an idea hit me. I would sell Bookmarks. Everybody liked books, right? Perhaps I would have a theme to them, like locations around the world. I had plenty of cheap paper from the fragile blueprint. Sitting down, I set to work.

I sat in place, making bookmarks from the same location, and writing names of far away places on them in my dashing handwriting. Producing a few hundred of them in no time, I stashed them all in a box and put it on sale in bulk.

My heart skipped at what happened next.

People were actually buying my useless bookmarks. They bought them in droves! Admittedly some seemed quite angry afterwards from buyer’s remorse no doubt, and made weird claims of the bookmarks ‘not going anywhere’ or something like that… but it wasn’t like it was my problem. Buyer beware, right? A few threatened horrible murder to me, but I laughed at them and just happily went about my way. Sometimes, it was good to be in a place where completely defrauding people was perfectly legal.

Before I could further contemplate good capitalist morals, I packed up and left, as my remaining boxes were selling. Now it was time to buy, it seemed. And with my newfound riches, it was a truly happy time which I barely remembered. I spent hours just browsing through the market and purchasing dozens of things I had no idea how to use. Before I knew it, I had a very nice grey Condor, decked out happily and lined with some nice Nanofiber Rims. I even purchased a nice and legal ‘Scout’ 9mm handgun, one fit for my rather weak arm. Dazed at the assortment of bullets, I wondered if anyone would find it odd that my gun could fire a wide range of bullets, including oddly an iron chunk, or some weird block of plutonium.

I drove out of the parking garage then, smiling as I rode to find my enemy. I tapped the side of my beautiful car, noticing the two perfectly level and symmetrical ‘wings’ tapered on the side. How quaint, a Caldari vehicle that wasn’t so lopsidedly awful.

That’s when I realized that the randomly added wings were wider than the exit of the garage. I hit the break hard, trying to stop before I hit the exit.

Too late.

With a sickening crunch, the left wing of my Condor was bent in an angle, 45 degrees to the ground and noisily screeching along the pavement.

I signed and drove to meet my destiny, followed only by a long trail of orange sparks, and the eternal regret of driving Caldari…

(to be continued...)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Part 08 – Greed is Good

The door swung shut behind me, a gust of wind blowing past now that I had entered the Escrow Office. I smiled, and set my mind to work. I was going to make money with all my skill and charisma as a suave salesman.

My hand slipped down to my pocket, and I tossed the set of 9-volt batteries I had earned just the day before, in the mission before that terrible near-fatal shooting. With a swift motion, I had procured the complimentary cardboard boxes and placed my battery pack within, sealing it closed and sitting down. Now this was the hardest part of my scheme.

I would write a very persuasive advertisement, and hopefully use the charm of the written word to suave someone into buying these batteries at a 20 percent markup! With that profit, I would trade batteries and other goods. Within a few weeks, I may have even enough to drive home a new ’07 Condor, or perhaps one of those odd (and rather aggressively named) foreign vehicles, like the import-model Executioner. I began writing immediately.

My Note:

Contents: 8x 9volt Batteries, excellent quality. Please enjoy them for whatever appliances you have that require power, satisfaction guaranteed. The 20 percent markup over market value reflects the superb quality of these, so pick up yours today.

Tossing aside idle daydreams, I finished writing my honest and surely alluring notecard and wrapped up the package, handing it to a bored clerk. Things looked good. After all, who could resist my card and suave words?

I waited for some while.

Sighing, I grew impatient. Who would be able to resist my fair offer which benefited both parties equally? I frowned, wondering if I should sell another item to make this go faster. I had after all, my starting funds and a bit of change from running jobs… what’s the worst that could happen as I checked up Escrow?

I brought up a rather extensive list of possible orders, though my mind blanked out after reading the first batch.

View Escrow:

4 Jita Ave..Hans Brix.....................$2450..............Used Quafe Machine, slightly bloody
4 Jita Ave..Vladimir Ilych..............$0.....................Proletariat Revolution, plz buy
4 Jita Ave..Ruke Skywalk...............$90000...........3nlarge y0ur sh1p!!!1!!1two!
4 Jita Ave..Alucard.........................$1250000.......1x ‘Me’ Medium Nosferatu
4 Jita Ave..Some Alt.......................$55600...........MWD WMD NBSI BPO ME20 G2G…
4 Jita Ave..Some Alt.......................$55600...........MWD WMD NBSI BPO ME20 G2G…
4 Jita Ave..Some Alt.......................$55600...........MWD WMD NBSI BPO ME20 G2G…
4 Jita Ave..Some Alt.......................$55600...........MWD WMD NBSI BPO ME20 G2G…
6 Jita Ave..xTRUSTWORTHYx......$5025..............(LEGIT!!) NEW '07 Vegabond! Great Deal! Guarenteed! TRUST ME!
6 Jita Ave..Cybok...........................$900000000...‘Avatar’, slightly used
6 Jita Ave..Seliine..........................$1......................Veldspar.
6 Jita Ave..Anonymous Baddream.$250000000...My frozen corpse

There were many attractive deals on the market, even though I could not understand to save my life what half of them were actually selling. With but $5025 with me, I ruled out many of these deals, including the weird vampire auction, some kind of vehicle enhancement, and somebody’s creepily self-priced corpse.

I thought over one of the deals. A new 2007 model Vegabond, one of the fastest midrange vehicles money could buy. With such means at my disposal, I could track down the subject of my vendetta and destroy him! Plus, the seller seemed quite reliable, with a name like xTRUSTWORTHYx. The order was made immediately. I could barely hold back glee as I then ripped open the small packaging, waiting for the pair of keys that would bring me satisfaction.

I looked inside, eyes gleaming like a child on Christmas waiting to get a long-awaited toy...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Part 07 – Das Kapital

I emerged into light once more, that terrible light that meant I was exposed as a target. A sea of people crowded past onto Jita Ave, and I scrambled about into the throng of people. Escaping the awful hospital, I knew there would only be one thing now that could lighten my mood.

I would hunt down and kill that truck driver who shot me.

It would be difficult. I knew I had to prepare and to get righteous vengeance. Not just for myself, but for all of those like me I found in the hospital, missing countless valued objects after being brought there. My resolve was firm, and I felt like something was brewing within me.

I was shot! I thought with a bitter frown. Shot for doing as petty a thing as taking a single can of Quafe from the man’s possession. What kind of a mad world was this, where murder and destruction was on every street corner? When book vendors would send me to assassinate protestors, and when those protestors turn bloodthirsty and attack without mercy or hesitation?

I would never survive until I had a plan. As I pushed aside more annoying people in my way, slowing down traffic for anyone on the street, I thought long and hard. I would need a new vehicle, and I would need some means to defend myself. From there perhaps I could find solace and the means to settle down for a quiet life.

Still. To begin, I had to have some way of making money. But how could I possibly earn enough to exact my righteous vengeance by accepting jobs for garbage and batteries, like the corporations offered? All I had were a few thousand dollars, the previously mentioned package of batteries, and my basic clothing. A slight feeling of loss came to me, remembering the theft of my hard earned ‘Arbalest’ socks taken when I was shot.

I had to formulate a plan. How can an individual with only a bare minimum of capital be able to rise in the world quickly enough to make a difference? It was true money made the world go round, but how could I, with few marketable skills and assets be able to acquire these kinds of funds?

I knew what I needed. As I forced my way through the crowds, my mind sorted a list of three things I would need. First, I would need something cheap to sell. Then, I would need a way to advertise my possession of this product profitably. Lastly, I would need someone gullible enough and rich enough to fall for it.

A dark grin crossed my lips as I broke through the street level crowd. I would find all three in one location it seemed, a place where my vendetta could begin…

…a place called Escrow.

(to be continued…)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Part 06 – The Problems of Socialized Medicine

Day 2

I had passed through the light, entering what I thought to be my resting place. Heaven. Valhalla. Elysium. For however long mankind has thought of spirituality and the divine, there had been a place like this in their memory. I smiled to myself, opening my eyes to see what the halls of my ancestors looked like…

…Rust, grime, and annoying mint green. The tiling was in poor taste, as were the terrible green walls. My head rolled to one side, before I realized I was lying in a bed again! Wincing in preparation for another lengthy tutorial on how to get out of bed, I found little to bother me, as I sat up. I was alive, and this was the 4th and Jita hospital.

I was back on Jita Avenue.

**** it to hell. I could hear the yelling outside, the shouting of marketers, and the occasional suicide bomber blasting himself to hell, while a compatriot looted the remains of victims. My mind wandered a little, and I tried to hop off the bed.

Big mistake.

I fell face first, and growled out in pain. I tried to get up again, before falling face first embarrassingly at the feet of a nurse. “Help!” I cried out in panic. “I seem to have forgotten how to… walk.” She laughed a little. “That’s what you get for only having the ‘Alpha’ health plan.” She murmured, before walking off.

Before I could let out any quizzical query, shocked scream or pained profanities, she fled the scene, leaving me to help myself upon the floor of the hospital room. There seemed to be only one thing to do to get myself out of this situation.

I sat there. And thought very, very hard about how to walk. Somewhere in my mind, I was thankful I wasn’t particularly charismatic, and instead had superb eyesight and memory. I figured it’d take no later than 47 minutes, 20 seconds to remember how to walk in a basic fashion, with additional expenditures of time thereafter to increase my walking speed ten percent. I was set.

47 minutes and 21 seconds later, I got up and stretched. It was good to be mobile once more. Of course, I then took the time to begin thinking very, very hard on another topic I wanted to get good at in the near future.

With bravado and a bold step, I walked out of my personal bed stall only to find dozens more like it, liked up in a row! What kind of horror show was this? Did these many people suffer near-death, only to be brought here and hospitalized in such a miserable state? I walked through the ranks, moving for the doorway.

To my left and right, people were in worse condition than me. Some who had forgotten nearly everything, and still charged $1024 for the ‘privilege’ of being left to rot. By the door, I stopped before the stall of a young woman, crying. My heart ached.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. “You were nearly killed too?” I tried to ask, easing in to see if I could calm her down. She still shook terribly and covered her extremely small chest. She looked to me with tear-filled eyes. She just managed a barely manageable whisper of a word.


That’s when I realized the fillings in my teeth were missing too.

I apologized sheepishly, and fled this awful place, making sure to grab an application for ‘Medical Plan Epsilon’, a program that would ensure I did not get amnesia the next time this happened. I fled then, with my life was saved for now… but for how much longer would that last? I would find out soon enough…

(To be continued…)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Part 05 – It’s a vicious cycle.

“Hi!” I called out wittily to the group of three Minmatar protesters I was sent to ‘eliminate’. “How about we talk about your concerns? I think we can come to a reasonable resolution that will ensure all parties are satisfied.”

I stood there, eyes bright and hands resting at my side. I had offered conciliation to these people, smiling in wait for their undoubtedly friendly reply. Suddenly, a strange feeling seemed to grip me. Their eyes met mine, and they all stared silently and intently, in the same manner a wolf stares at sheep. I felt as if they were locking onto my poor, soft body.

Immediately, the group charged forward, lunging ferociously. Spittle exploded from their lips as they went into a completely unexpected fit of aggression. I looked to the CONCORD police officer still walking by, completely uninterested by the fact that I was about to get beaten upon. No help would from that guy, it seemed. My taxpayer dollars sure were being well spent.

The rusted steel protest signs reading ‘No Blood for Amarr’ started bashing down on me. I did the only thing that I could, and started randomly flailing to hurt them back first.

In a daze, I fought those dirty rats, kicking their surprisingly incompetent hides without much trouble. Snatching one of the rusted metal signs from the smallest one, I began to swing with wide arcs. I fought one off, taking him out of the fight with a swift chop… and then the next. I realized these three had barely laid a scratch on me, so my fears of my own death faded. Dispatching the last protestor and heroically smashing his face upon the ground, I finally tossed aside the weapon. I was covered in sweat now. I had killed.

A sudden sense of guilt struck me, and I closed my eyes. Three lives extinguished by the whims of the Barnes and Noble mega-corporation, at my hand. I decided to sate my disturbed soul the only way I could.

I looted their bodies for money.

Not bad. I had now made twenty five bucks, and even found a new pair of ‘Arbalest’ Medium Socks. As I sat and counted my newfound loot, and tried on my newfound footwear, I barely noticed a Quafe Truck driving by to the intersection. Before the truck stopped at the light, it ran over one of the now penniless bodies, creating enough of a bump to dislodge a box of Quafe.

I looked over to the fallen crate, standing up then. “Oh look… refreshments.” I smiled to myself. I really needed something to drink after all that carnage and murder. I casually walked away from the pile of corpses to take a single can from the box. I was so distracted by my thirst, that I didn’t notice the small warning post-it note about stealing that floated down featherlike from the sky, telling me that I had stolen from the driver and was now 'fair game'.

The driver stepped out of the truck, staring down at me. I meanwhile, popped the top off a can and drank it down contently. The taste of ice cold Quafe was refreshing enough to distract me from the sensation of having my lungs shot out by the driver, now firing a very large handgun repeatedly into my chest.

Precious life fled my body. Things grew dark around me, and I knew I was dead. Things became blacker and I felt serene… as if in a safe, tranquil place. The feeling vanished however, once I felt the hands of the truck driver taking my newly fattened wallet, and those expensive named socks. I swore silently, before a white light engulfed me…

(to be continued?)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Commercial Break

Part 4.5
And now a word from our sponsors:

Action! Suspense! Jita! is brought to you by...
Caldari Automotive Corporation, building working, affordable ships, no matter how awkward they look...
Buy me Now

and by the continued funding and sponsorship by readers like you.

(fades to some random public EVE-o-Vision commercials)

Part 04 – Public Relations

…nothing happened. I wasn’t ambushed, attacked or trapped under a stack of discarded crates left around for advertising purposes!

Before I even realized my status still resided as ‘living’, I possessed the photocopy of the [mission critical documents]! Wasting no time, I returned to the lobby where my Quality -19 friend waited. I smiled, half wishing to give him a piece of my mind by telling him that I didn’t have time for his stupid mission… but a combination of polite sense and my own desire not to starve to death as a bum won over.

“I finished the job.” I stated simply. He shrugged, tossing me a wad of cash and an 8-pack of batteries into my chest. I fumbled and caught it.

“Good. Come back to me later, and I’ll have something else for you to do.”

Alright, that sounded reasonable. This all left me feeling happy. I made money. I had a place to get work. I had… a pack of batteries?

I waited a few seconds when ‘later’ came and then I asked for a new job. More of this kind of cakewalk paper-copying and I’d be set to move somewhere nice, like Southside Gallente Hills, where thrills abound and life is cheap. I’d drown my sorrows with Quafe Spritzers and enjoy afternoons with those French ladies and their transparent clothing.

I felt so good in fact for my newfound $5.15 and the priceless batteries, that I even paid attention to his request this time through. I smiled and hummed nostalgic oldies tunes as he spoke…

”Minmatar protesters have been picketing our building for days because we apparently exploit minorities. This has been bugging me somewhat, so I want you to go outside and eliminate them.”

My Quality: -19 Pal said this in the calmest manner in the world. I stared at him incredulously. Did a guy working for a bookstore just ask me to kill people? What the hell kind of place was this?

He continued, completely oblivious to my look of alarm and confusion.

”The reward for this mission is fifteen dollars. If you complete it within twenty one minutes, and four seconds, you will be awarded an additional bonus of fifteen bags of garbage.”

I was going to kill people… for the wondrous bounty that was corporate garbage and fifteen dollars? I gaped and almost told him to shove it… but then again, money was money.

I took the job hesitantly, leaving the building with great anxiety washing over me. Would these people be reasonable and leave without me having to fight them? Or would they tell me off, and stick to their principles to continue the protest? As I pondered such issues, I saw the trio of protesters I was sent to ‘eliminate’ on behalf of the Barnes and Noble Corporation.

They looked tough and strong and menacing. Each carried a picket sign, made from rusted corrugated iron nailed sloppily on a bent brass pole, rusted through and through with words lazily written on them. I guess the poor Mataris didn’t even have access to proper cardboard these days.

A CONCORD police officer walked along only a few yards away, so I decided to play it cool and be a sensible negotiator with the protesters, using all of my cunning, charisma, and the soul of a kind, decent human being.

I had no idea that it was going to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done to that point…

(To be continued)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Part 03 - Things get economically viable

“What do you want? I hate beggars.” Came a voice, spat out in the rudest tone I’ve ever heard.

I stood plainly, mouth agape at the man sitting at the desk. He was middle aged, wearing an odd type of clothing I had never before seen, with sunken cheeks and clearly lacked even basic skills in personal hygiene. It soon became apparent once my eyes set upon his nametag.

‘Duogh Birik. Level 1 Advisory. Quality: -19.’

Not exactly a flattering job title. I certainly wouldn’t want the words ‘Quality: -19’ following me wherever I went, no matter how accurately it described the man before me. I supposed he had good reason to be surly… Either way, I coughed awkwardly. Obeying some strange desire within me, I responded in the only way the voices in my head let me.

“I want work. Do you have any?”

He glared down upon me, and immediately began to list details. Before I could space out to blissful daydreaming, his annoying voice took my attention and I waited impatiently with a sigh, mentally undressing the Achuranese Secretary typing to one side. I’d talk to her if I could, but Level IV’s like her just don’t bother with little people like me… my little thought bubble broke back to the mission briefing.

Quality -19 Mission Agent:
…Since I am so very busy at all times of day, you’ll need to get a few things done for us. As we’re very security-conscious, we need trusted hands to transport paperwork to the copy machine, then to deliver copies back. This is precisely why we’re offering the job to you, complete stranger.

Now, take this [mission critical document] to the copy machine on the fourth floor. When you’ve made copies, return to me. The payment for this will be $5.15, your hourly wage. If you can complete this task within six minutes and twenty five seconds, you will receive a bonus of eight 9-volt batteries I keep in my desk.

As he spoke, my own mind wandered to various thoughts. Not the least of which was the question of how this kind of a business model could ever prosper. Why was this man offering me batteries as a reward for swift service? I decided to boldly shrug. He did offer some money after all…

“I accept your mission.” I said, all officially. He seemed satisfied, and told me to get the hell out of here, tossing the ‘important papers’ onto an empty section of his desk. I took them without further fuss, to venture for the fabled fourth floor copy machine. I double-timed it to the elevator, pressing the ‘call’ button. That pleasant feminine voice from earlier returned soon after tormenting me again with her polite rejection…

Elevator Traffic Control:
You are now 6th in queue to enter the Elevator. Please wait.

Impatience set in. I tapped a foot and growled. Why the hell does everything have this godawful wait?

Once the elevator opened, I scrambled in and began to mash the ‘4’ button. Thankfully no further delays occurred, and I stepped out, making my way down a well marked path to the photocopier.

At once, I found myself sweating.

Why was this so easy? Where was the suicide bomber standing in the doorway, taunting me to come closer? Where were the inexplicable post-it note messages or long delays?

Nothing would have prepared me for what happened inside the copy room...

(To be continued...)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Part 02 - Streets of Rage

Part 2 - Day 1 (Continued)

“Hey! How do you mine for concrete ore?”
“Why isn’t this joystick moving my car?”
“Can I have money? I want money!!”

My ears were bleeding.

Hordes of loud masses chattered incessantly, begging, griping or just being totally lost. The sound was deafening and I felt my intelligence draining every second I was exposed to this wicked, unholy sound.

But I was not without a means of defense! Utilizing lightning reflexes, I tried to roll up my windows as a defense against the noise… but all I got was a faint ‘This automatic window is already in the process of activating…’ whispered to me by some disembodied female voice.

Before I could enjoy her pleasant tone or wait for my damneed window to even begin the process of rolling up, my thoughts were once again cut off by something terrible. A shrill cry, which had to have been the strange lovechild of an epileptic seizure crossed with the noise one makes when struck in the solar plexus.
“Join murderdethkorp! It’steh superuberleet!”
A shudder filled me at the shriek, that terrible sound emerging from the window of a lopsided Thorax, which in itself was perhaps the most horrifyingly shaped car known to mankind.

I screamed in terror. I screamed in confusion. I screamed for the sake of hearing my own screams block out such unholy words, spoken no doubt from the lexicon of an ancient and long dead lovecraftian death-cult. Reflexes kicking in again, I stepped on the gas pedal and gunned my Ibis’ underpowered engine, driving as fast as I could through the heavy traffic. Though I swerved through traffic, a curious observation dawned on me while the shrill cries of the locals died down.

In this city, dozens of discarded yellow crates littered the streets everywhere, advertising different companies. Each of these seemed to claim association with the number ‘1337’ in a cryptic manner in which I could not understand.

Even more bizarre than the inane local chatter and streets littered with empty advertisement crates, the design of the other cars on the road made my head spin. A great number of them were completely asymmetrical, in manners in which no automobile could operate. My rusted old Ibis felt a little heavy on the left side, and always had issues turning the other way, but some others exhibited a great deal of fault.

While driving my way to some place safe to find work a pair of new model ‘Moa’ pulled over on the lane to my right, before falling over and crashing into a hideous fiery wreck along the side of the road. I wondered if this was thanks to the brilliant Caldari Automotive Corporation’s idea of only putting wheels on one side of the car. This was a different and terrifying world.

The wrecks didn’t stop me from running by them of course. I drove right out of downtown, to find a nice safe spot to settle down and catch my breath. A sign caught my eyes while I parked and stretched, posted high above a building adjacent to me. It was called the ‘Barnes and Noble Logistics Center’, and a broad ‘now hiring’ sign seemed so alluring to my miserably poor self.

As I stepped out of my little Ibis, I took a big stretch, kicking aside another inconveniently placed yellow advertising box.

“Get yourself together. This can’t be as bad as Jita Ave...” I told myself. As you can see, I was quite good at the art of the bold faced lie.

I clicked my heels heels together and began to walk forward, one step at a time. Entering through the doors to the front desk, I couldn’t have expected the shocking response….

(To Be Continued)

Part 01 - Learn to Wake, newb...

Compared to all those other MMORPGs out there, EVE has struck me as something special. I'm relatively new to the game, and of course I hardly know all of it's secrets... but the way the game is dependant on the players for action is unique and special. But still, some quirks make it like a rather odd form of life. That brings me to a point. Eve is in many ways like real life. There's cheating, there's no free lunch and the market guides itself for better or worse. There's stock crashes, wars caused by misunderstandings and so on. But...

What if Real Life... was like EVE? I boldly decided to find out, putting my life and self-respect on the line. Using the help of common household chemicals formulated into something that could I suppose be called a 'booster', these are the memoirs of a Real Life Eve Survivor...


Day 01.

I woke up with a terrible hangover. Maybe it was a phenomenal party the night before. Perhaps it was from adventures with innumerable friends, and the great impression I made upon many members of the opposite sex. That was before I remembered what I REALLY was doing that night, sitting in front of a computer and drinking mouthwash. Reality was a bitter pill to swallow, and the empty bottles of Quafe laying strewn over the desk didn’t do much to help my ego.

I gathered my senses quickly, assessing my situation. I was located in a small apartment, dirty and situated on 5th and Jita, probably the most annoying traffic conjested intersection I had ever seen in my life. I had a pitiful 5000 dollars on me as my life savings, and nothing but a worn out '78 Ibis in the parking lot below.

I had to survive this somehow. Survive, and make a good life for myself. As I was about to take my first steps, getting up in the morning and all. That was when I noticed something else odd indeed.

My entire room was covered in post-it notes. Thousands of them.

“What the hell is this?”, I asked aloud.

I sat up, and felt an itch on my forehead. My hand reached up, and I peeled a yellow note from my brow. It was uncanny, as well as unusually condescending for a post-it note.


‘This is a tutorial. You are currently in bed, and will need to get out of bed. (next note --->).’
“This is stupid, I don’t need this.” I snorted, trying to get up only to find that I was paralyzed from the legs down. I couldn’t escape! Directly ahead of me however was another note, which I snatched quickly to read.


‘You are in the bed menu. To leave, please follow the next set of instructions…’


Having no other options, I carefully decided to follow the tutorial notes…

...Two hours later, I successfully got out of the bed.

I cast the notes aside in relief, as this troublesome business was out of the way and I was ready to get to lifting myself out of this pitiful existence... or so I thought. I walked out of my building then, heading for the familiar chipped paint of my ’78 Ibis, a vehicle of good quality so I was told. I hopped in, keying in the ignition. The engine coughed a few times before I pulled out slowly, noticing the odd irregular lump of metal I was given as a ‘gratuity gift’ by the insurance company in the back seat.

Ignoring this completely bizarre gift, I realized that I was feelin’ pretty good about myself. Having escaped the two hour tutorial to undock from bed, I figured it wasn’t going to be too long before I had some steady jobs and the cash that comes along with it.

I didn’t realize of course, that I was pulling out of the lot into the hell that was Jita Avenue: the most dangerous street in the world, according to hourly violence statistics. I took a deep breath, when the most horrifying of things set upon me…

(To be continued?)